Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wisdom, strength, and peace...

I've just listened to Arianna Huffington for half an hour. She's pretty incredible and feisty and strong. The video was presented as part of the Mindfulness Summit but was actually a keynote speech she did at a conference called 'Dreamforce' in 2014. There was another Arianna Huffington video they posted on the Summit page but it was over an hour long and I didn't have the time for it. I did however find it on You Tube (link here in case I want to listen later).

Anyway - Arianna Huffington famously collapsed from burnout some 8 years ago (hit her head, broke her cheekbone etc etc - she was exhausted) and since then has been on a wellness kick. Has written a book called 'Thrive' which I am going to reserve at the library. She is a self-proclaimed sleep enthusiast and says we all need down time - time to unplug, recharge, ground ourselves in our own reality.

She says sleep and meditation are performance enhancement tools and burnout is the disease of our civilisation right now. This quote from her I loved; "We all have in us a place from which we can move the world. That place of wisdom, strength, and peace. It's as close to us as our next breath'.

She said the people who will win the future are the people who can sit quietly in a room while the rest of us clear our inboxes (which is like bailing water out of a leaking boat). Loved her!

Yesterday's Mindfulness Summit speaker was Russ Harris and this was presented as a Skype chat with Melli (summit organiser) like many others have been. He is a former GP who now is a trainer for Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) and is the author of the bestselling The Happiness Trap.

He said mindfulness without values is like a ship without a rudder. You need to bring the values of warmth and openness and generosity to the practice in order to truly find calm and peace. He said Mindfulness is acceptance with awareness and you need to have an approach with is open, curious and flexible.

He was interesting on the topic emotional avoidance (which I have been guilty of for many years of my life). We get stuck if we believe happiness is needing to get rid of unpleasant feelings and instead accumulate positive ones... that tight agenda will cause problems, and the more problems it creates the more it gives rise to 'experiential avoidance'. Experiential Avoidance is the ongoing attempt to avoid or get rid of unwanted, uncomfortable and unpleasant thoughts and feelings (that's what I did for so many years with my boozing!!!).

Everyone is experientially avoidant but the higher your degree of this the more you try to go through life trying to avoid pain, the higher your risk of depression, anxiety, addiction, PTSD, long term disability etc etc.

He had us do this cool exercise where we though our most nasty self-belief about ourselves (something you secretly think about yourself when you are being mean to yourself like 'I'm fat' or 'I'm not good enough' or 'I'm not ambitious enough') and he had us think it for a good minute over and over and really believe it. Then he had us think it again but insert the words 'I'm thinking that I'm ...' over and over.. and then after a while add a bit more to the front which is 'I'm noticing that I'm thinking that I'm....'

It was really affective in diffusing and distancing me somewhat from the thought.

We are not our thoughts!!

All good material on the summit the last couple of days.

Love, Mrs D xxx

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful to read all this after receiving yet another big blow from ex; he seems to have the never ending ability to deliver gut wrenching attacks via the children and usually trying to get more money. I did calm a little remembering we create the anguish in our response - but good to know running away is not the answer either. Breathing through it is the only way; trying not to throw up - or start the train of 'how could I have made such a mess of my life/ married such a bastard/ been so unlovable' etc etc etc. I will notice the thoughts, not banish or bury them.XXX