Shifts Work

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Entries from March 2016

You don’t need a fresh start: you need to make compost

March 27th, 2016 · Comments

It's the season when fresh starts seems possible. We look at flowers and green buds and think: "that's what I want. A fresh start."

But go for a walk in the woods and you'll come back spattered with mud. Nature doesn't start fresh: she starts with the muck of dead leaves and fallen branches and other things that decompose near the roots of trees. You've got the raw material for emotional compost: the hurt, the frustration, the guilt.  You don't need to make them disappear, you need to let them decompose and be transformed into the stuff that nurtures growth.

You don't have to keep your eyes on the muck: just find the compost pile and stir things up once in a while. The rest of the time, focus on warmth and light and air. You can be sure that chemistry works, and the muck will decompose into something useful.

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Tags: Fresh Thinking · resource · metaphor

Mindful limits: How language helps you find the edges of your pain

March 14th, 2016 · Comments

This exercise takes less than 10 minutes to demonstrate that mindful attention in response to language allows you to find the edge to your experience of pain. As you do, you'll find your breathing settles, your mind clears, and you develop the ability to choose to focus on your pain or to focus on what is on the other side of the edges of your pain.  And if you do focus on your pain, you will find that human focus blurs, so that paying attention to only one thing creates a sense of calm and space, even when what you give your focus is painful at first. And you will notice that on the other side of the edges of your pain, you are calm and centred and you have what you need to move forward.

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Tags: Uncategorized · healing · language · calm · mindset