The Wheel of Time

This site is dedicated to discussing the events of our Past, our Present, and our Future, that affect us as members of Our Personal Community and ultimately as members of the Global Community. It will explore the external and internal lessons of Self that guide us on the Path to Self-Awareness, Self-Understanding and Self-Acceptance, all of which we can offer to the benefit of others.

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I am a Holistic Counselor working in an Alternative Health clinic. My mantra is: "It takes as much effort to Tread Water, as it does to Swim." I teach people to Swim...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Holistic Coaching

Image published by permission of the author.

Notice how we tend to define problems as originating and being affected by events outside of ourselves. We find life hard because of all the demands and pressures from outside. What I would ask you to consider is an alternative way of looking at this. The “problems” arise from, “our reaction to”, “our perception and labeling of”, events or people. Any distress we experience comes from within, rather than from without. Once we really see this, it provides us with a choice as to how we are going to react to situations.

So “How” do we go about taking control of our reactions and breaking those bad habits that cause our distress?

The answer lies within building a relationship with your: “WHOLE SELF.”

So “HOW can you build this relationship that you didn’t know you didn’t have?"

You can use imagery to help you build a relationship with your “Whole Self.”

As with all of us, many things happen that impact us emotionally on a daily basis. These emotions may include fear, resentment, sadness, and other emotions, which we commonly “sit on” or “repress”.

These don’t go away they churn around in what we could call a deeper part of the mind, and may sap our energy, and diminish our sympathy and patience with others.
Part of my approach to Holistic Coaching involves using imagery to “tap into” the Deeper Mind, because we know that there are two main pathways by which our mind controls the reaction
of our bodies to the environment: through thoughts and via imagery.

The two are connected; thoughts and emotions inspire images, and vice-versa.

Imagery is really a language, and a much more primitive one than words; so we should not be surprised to find it has in some ways much more power over the body than words do.

As you learn to understand and use imagery, you gain increased insight into the workings of your conscious mind – body – deeper mind, facilitating a relationship with your “Whole Self.”

You can learn what is going on in your mind through, examining your imagery. You will find that if you draw aspects of your life at present, these drawings may tell you quite a lot about your deeper thoughts and fears.

It takes some practice to “let yourself go” enough to produce and detect images that are something more than what your rational, conscious mind makes up, but with a little effort you can use imagery to open-up a dialogue with your inner-self and facilitate a relationship with your whole self.
Building a relationship with your “Whole Self” is really personal growth work; a “crisis” or “problem” is really the motivator. In doing this work you are striving to get more awareness of your own thoughts, and to drop many of the bad habits of thought that we all acquire over a lifetime.
My approach as a Holistic (Wholistic) Coach is to help you to focus on your “Whole Self.” This includes your feelings, thoughts, and HOW these are connected to your body.

This type of relationship building with your “Whole Self”, allows for you to begin deciding what matters most to you, and conversely what doesn’t matter much, so that you can take better charge of your time and your life.
“It takes as much effort to tread water, as it does to swim.”
For more information please contact me at: mandala0743@hotmail.com
Yours, in Good Health.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Depression and You

Photo published with permission of the author.

Ooops! I fear we are again headed down a path with no clear signs to guide us!

Are we using pills to cure all our ills!

I recently was asked to write about Depression on another blog, as a Guest Blogger.

The link to the article appears at the end of this blog, (press the Link icon to go there).

Good reading, and the next time you are feeling a bit low about something, or are overwhelmed by your life, please remember that you may not be depressed, you may be just needing to find a good listener to help you work it out.

Yours, in Good Health

Link

Saturday, May 27, 2006

What do you See!


Photo published with permission of the author.

Notice how we tend to define our problems as originating and being affected by events outside of ourselves. We find life hard because of all the demands and pressures from outside. What I would ask you to consider is an alternative way of looking at this. The 'problems' arise from, 'our reaction to', 'our perception and labeling of', events and people. Any distress we experience comes from within, rather than from without.

Once we really see this, it provides us with a choice as to how we are going to react to situations.

But how do we look 'within' to find out why we are reacting in a certain way?

One is to Learn to Communicate in a Different Way. I encourage people who seek understanding in "my chair" to use imagery as a way to access a Deeper part of their Mind and bring forth the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that possibly hinder them.

There are two main pathways by which our mind controls the reaction of our bodies to the environment: through thoughts and via imagery. The two are connected; thoughts and emotions inspire images, and vice-versa.

Imagery is really a language and a much more primitive one than words; so we should not be surprised to find it has, in some ways, much more power over the body than words do. As we learn to understand and use imagery, we gain increased insight into the workings of our conscious mind - body - deeper mind.

Images are formed as we experience the world around us, but they may also be summoned up from our memory, or even made up from fragments of earlier experiences.

You can use imagery to help you heal. I know that when a client draws from the heart that they are having a "private conversation with that page" and it is this intense connection that allows them to embrace themselves and all their pieces, without judgement and with "new eyes". They search to find the "wounds" and apply their "medicine" and thus promote "healing" within themselves.

An important part of healing is to decide what matters most to you, and conversely what doesn't matter much, so that you can take better charge of your time and your life. When drawing the client can "see" on the page "what matters most to them" and by absence or presentation they can see what does NOT matter so much to them. This kind of exercise allows the client to come to some understanding of the "problem" they are working out.

Visual images are powerful forms of communication and they can tell us things about ourselves that we had no "words" for.

It is this knowing or understanding of our 'deeper' self that promotes awareness and allows us to grow strong. This strength will then aid us in living mindful and happy lives.

Try and draw how you feel the next time you are struggling with a problem. See what happens. You might just surprise yourself.

"What you SEE on the page has a story to tell you!"

Yours, In Good Health!

Friday, May 26, 2006

What Ruler Are You Using?

So imagine that there are three rulers on the table in front of you. Now pick one. Put it back. Now pick again. Okay put that one back. The first ruler you picked is the one you Measure Your Life By. The second ruler you picked is the one that other people measure your life by.

Wow! Lost yet? Okay here's what's going on. I learned this exercise from a very dear friend of mine and it held so much wisdom that I have since been passing that wisdom on to others. It is about the rules or ruler that we measure our accomplishments, failures, image, etc. by and how we can sometimes be using someone else's ruler to measure ourselves by.

When you are instructed in the first line to "pick a ruler" you do without hesitation because that's all that was asked. Then you're told to "put it back." Okay now you're asked to "pick again". Alright, and if your like most people, you have a brief moment of anxiety because you think, "did I choose wrong?" So you choose another ruler in hopes that you do better this time. And of course you are asked to put it back again. Okay so now you have lots of questions. Not the least of which is "what's this all about?" And then you find out that the First Ruler is the one YOU CHOOSE to MEASURE YOUR LIFE BY... makes sense since it is your FIRST INSTINCT...and the Second Ruler is the one that OTHER PEOPLE MEASURE YOUR LIFE BY. Because you chose it thinking that the person asking WANTED SOMETHING OTHER than your first choice.

Wow! What a head rush!

That first ruler is your Internal Ruler and it is better known as YOUR GUT INSTINCT. The second ruler is the Judgement Ruler and it is better known as your RATIONALE.

When we rationalize our choices we are giving into FEAR. Fear of making a mistake!

If we would just listen to our GUT, our Internal Ruler, we would make choices based on OUR RULES and not ones based in Fear!

Remember if you are doing "no harm" and you are "acting" only on what you believe is "right for you" than you are more likely to live a life of CHOICE, than a life influenced by FEAR.

Yours, in Good Health

A Simple Life


Have you ever experienced a craving to escape this life and live a simpler one?

I have and it usually manifests as an image of "a little plot of land with some chickens..."
So what is this craving and what does it mean for us ?

What would simplifying our lives do?

Why aren't we happy with the life we're living right now?

To solve this "problem" I went to the drawing board, (big surprise) and after some false starts I found that my page was filled with all kinds of things.

It was the overwhelming nature of this image that left me with the conclusion: We don't need chickens! We need to clear out the emotional clutter we have accumulated in our lives!

Well that sounds easy enough, if applied to physical items. But not when that clutter is emotional in nature!

So we should ask ourselves: "Where did this emotional clutter come from and how do we clear it out?"

My observation is that in today's fast-paced world, we encounter people and problems daily for which we have no clear solutions. So, we collect the thoughts (feelings) about these encounters, for later inspection. Soon, this collection of thougths becomes overwhelming and our minds start creating a desire for a simpler life. But as some of us have found out, this approach only serves to make matters worse. Because now you desire to live another life and avoid the life you are living. (Please see my blog: Have vs Have Not).

Can you say STRESS!

Okay so the other approach, and possibly the best one for your overall SELF is that when you feel overwhelmed and need to take a break, do just that! But don't do it with the intent to "Avoid" your life, do it with the intent to "Inspect" your life.

Don't give yourself one more thing to Desire, (the simple life). Start simplifying the one you're living. And, when you gain that much needed perspective on your own personal "emotional" clutter, seek to find someone who will "listen" to you and help you "throw out" what you don't need and "keep" what you do need.

Listening is not a very common skill, and if we can't find it at home and don't have friends who are willing to allow us to say how we really feel, then it can be very helpful to seek help from a counselor. Because they specialize in listening!

If you would like to inquire as to how a counselor can help you, please contact me at:

mandala0743@hotmail.com

Yours, in Good Health

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Stress: To Have or Have Not?

A few nights of lost sleep and a diagnose from my Naturopath that I was showing signs of "HEART STRESS" and I decided that I needed to do some research into this thing that we call STRESS!!

When we talk of Stress we conjure up all the things that are 'stressing-us-out' and we clearly can tell everyone WHAT is stressing-us-out, often with great hand gestures! What we cannot do is find a way to relieve that stress because just as soon as we think we have eliminated the "stressor" in our life we find something else that stresses us out.

So why do we experience this thing we call STRESS and can we have a life without it?

The definition in Merriam Webster's online dictionary is as follows: "a state resulting from a stress; especially : one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium."

Okay, there are "factors" that create the tension in our bodies and minds and the result is a loss of equilibrium. So what are these factors? And where do they come from?

Once again I went to the "drawing board", literally, to find out what the factors were that were stressing me out. What I found was that I was stressing me out not the the things in my life!

Now I had a problem. I needed to understand HOW I was doing this to myself. So I went to my books to find the lesson I was missing. In them I found the concept of STRESS as being part of the 2nd Noble Truth that Buddha imparted to the world: "The cause of suffering, is Desire and Aversion."

Wow! So the lesson of suffering, (stress) is that we either DESIRE something or we have an AVERSION to something. That made so much sense to me. But I still had a question. WHY do we do this?

The answer came from the rest of the explanation in the text: "Both causes of suffering are rooted in our belief in a Self, that exists apart from others! in the concept of "me" and "mine."

So true today! this concept of me and mine. We don't have to go far to experience this; just look at the newspaper and you'll find any number of articles about people and nations fighting over what they see as "theirs"!

So now that I knew the HOW and the WHY there still remained the question of whether we could live our lives without stress?

I decided that to live a life without Stress I was going to need to practice MINDFULNESS. "Mindfulness is the practice whereby a person is intentionally aware of his or her thoughts and actions in the present moment, non-judgmentally."

With this practice I would need to stop, when I felt STRESSED and ask myself what it is that I DESIRE or what is it that I am AVERSE to. Once I got the answer I would try and change the way I perceive these things and in doing that I would begin to relieve much of the Stress I was imposing on myself.

We can all practice MINDFULNESS as a way to relieve stress. The next time you feel stressed-out stop and think about what you are trying to "have" or what you are trying "not-to-have" and then take a "Deep Breath" and try to change the way you look at your situation. You should soon feel the Stress leave your Body and Mind and you should begin looking at your world and the world around you with "wiser eyes".

Yours, In Good Health.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

"What vs. Who"

As I travel through this life and meet people I am always amazed at their ability to tell me "What" they are, but not "Who" they are.

We as a culture seem to identify our worth by "What" we do, not "Who" we are.

For example: if we are Doctors then we are seen as being more intelligent and worthy of respect, but if we are Garbage men we are seen as being "blue collar" and therefore less intelligent and less worthy of respect.

Isn't it interesting that when we meet people, and without even engaging them in conversation, we determine the amount of "worth" we apply to them because of the job they do. Instantly, "WHAT", defines HOW we react to these people even before we know "WHO" they are.

How did this happen?

Well as I am prone to do I look for the answer in many places and the best one, the one that resonates with me most, is the the Buddhist view of WHAT vs. WHO.

It is explained this way:
" In our product-oriented culture, part of us tends to get suppressed: that of the creative process itself. Children begin to feel they are loved for WHAT they produce rather than for WHO they are..."

What I understand from this statement is that when we as Parents, Caregivers, Grandparents, Teachers etc. begin to define the child through their accomplishments, (ie. Grades) we send a message that they have to construct something that conforms to an external arbitrary standard in order to gain our approval. The message we are sending is this: "WHAT they do has more value, (worth) than WHO they are!"

Wow! What a thing to teach our children.

Now how do we change that?

In the case of our children, the first thing to do is to tell them that you admire them for "Who they are and Who they are becoming" and to stop making the first statement out of your mouths, when the Grades come home, one that sends the message that you are measuring them by a standard that they have no control over.

Really, by what Ruler are we Measuring them anyways? The one society has set? The one we have set? or The one that they can set for themselves? Next time they come home with their grades ask them if they are happy with the results and then engage them in a conversation about WHY they are or are not happy with them. I bet it will give you an insight into "WHO" they are and an opening you may never have had with your kids before!

As Adults who feel a Loss-of-Self, we should remember the lesson from the Buddhists of "WHAT vs. WHO", and then begin deconstructing "WHAT" we are. This journey for some of us will be very painful, but at the same time it will bring the reward of reintroducing ourselves to an "old friend"... one who may have been lost to us since childhood.

The next time you meet someone, take the time to get know "WHO" they are and try not to engage with "WHAT" they are, you may just be surprised by what you learn.

Yours, in Good Health.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Map of Awareness

Recently I read an article in a local publication about 'Seeking a Map' that would help the author in exploring her Awareness. I thought, Wow! if we could only have a map of our Awareness, then our life wouldn't be so hard to navigate. If only we had a map then we could decide what path to take. If only....!

The more I thought about it the more I realized that the MAP is in all of us...! HOW to get at that map was the problem!

So as I always do when faced with a problem, I turned to my Mandala drawing. I soon discovered that to find our own personal MAP we first need to take a look at our reactions to our world. We need to know WHAT we must LEARN about ourselves and then HOW we can use that to facilitate our PATH. This LEARNING is our Map of Awareness.

Through the journey of our life we lay down the Path we are following and the lessons are the stones we walk upon. This forms the Map of Awareness.

The thing to remember is that our Awareness is in our hands. Whatever you do, be it Yoga, Meditation, or Mandala choose something that resonates.

And remember: Awareness is not found on a Map, Awareness is the Map.

Yours in Good Health.