Anger and Forgiveness

Anger and Forgiveness….

How can we forgive people who’ve done horrible things?
Our judgment on the act is a reaction of anger.

Can forgiveness and justice co-exist?

When something bad happens, we seek justice. We want the wrong-doer(s) to pay.
But who made us the justice police? I’m not saying to give up on law and order, but I am asking us to reflect and seek out answers to the question, “Who made us the justice police?” To seek revenge, justice, and trial?

We hold out for justice to the abusers, abandoners, neglectful, and greedy.
What happens when we hold on to seeking justice, for the apology, for the remorse year after after year? What happens to anger over time? Is it still the same or has it grown ready to explode?
How do we respond? What can we do?

Anger met with anger creates more anger.

Anger cannot be overcome with more anger. You cannot get rid of anger with anger, however, a habit can be overcome with another habit.
Our response to anger is a habit and we can change our response with a new habit.

But what is anger? Anger is an emotional reaction.

“Anger is a response of suffering that has not been met with compassion and love.” – Dr. Deb Lindh

One of the greatest human strengths is the mind. We are able to judge right vs. wrong. Our common sense says if we do “x” then it will lead to “y;” cause and effect.
However, if the mind is preoccupied or distracted by anger, then we lose the strength of judgment. Therefore, we are not in harmony with ourselves; our mind, body, emotions, and energy as well as the world around us.

We are not free.
We are hostage to the energy, force, and power of anger.
Therefore, we must protect our mental strength and superpower of judgment.

How? We can counter our anger with a few steps.

We can cultivate less anger through building our response muscle in the mind. We can counter our anger with a few steps.

  1. Respond to projected anger with love and compassion. Through seeking to understand and using mindful awareness, we can counter through love and compassion. Once we can build awareness of understanding, then we see the person through compassion and love. You may not like what’s happening, but you can understand. Ask, “Why” and then reflect, reframe, and respond. 4, 3, 2, 1, 0. End with 0. In nothingness we find stillness; we find clarity and train the mind.
  2. Find the Value. If a person makes you angry or a situation makes you angry, ask: What is the Value? What’s good about it? What’s this person’s gifts? Respond to anger by finding the value of the situation and/or person. It’s there.  I always say, “everything has value.” It might take a little bit longer, but it’s there. It’s the balance of the Universe.
  3. Dealing with strong and harbored anger takes a bit more work. The longer the passed time, the stronger the anger. Suppressed anger grows. Let it out. Whether that means to write it all out (and it make take several times doing this writing), or talk into a memo app (make sure to not save or review but to delete)…just get it out.

After using any of these exercises…do one more step. Forgive. Holding on to anger hurts you. Release the anger and forgive. Release yourself from holding on to the anger. Doing so you’ll free yourself.

“Anger is a form of tension that robs us peace.” – Dr. Deb Lindh

Who does anger serve? With its hypnotic powers, once all is said and done and the dust settles from the aftermath, man’s clouded judgment becomes clear and as he looks around at the destruction. As he gazes he says, “God, What have I done? What have I become? How did I lose myself? Look what my hands have done to myself and to my fellow mankind. I have suffered and caused suffering. Please forgive me. Let me repent and dedicate my life from this moment on to do good; to promote kindness, compassion, peace and love.”

Post your comments. Share what you think.  I want to hear from you!

In love and light,

Dr. Deb

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We meet people from all walks of life, with different education, backgrounds, and careers. Recently, Dr. Deb met with a person who is recently divorced after 50 years of marriage. Throughout the years he relied on alcohol to suppress stress. His question, “Why did it take me so long (to decide to make the change)?”
Awareness can be linked to questioning and understanding. Awareness can also be linked to judgement and shame. After reading his question, how many reading this post when to “questioning and understanding?” How many reading this post went to “judgement and shame?”
This man’s question was both. Dr. Deb’s help to him was seeing the value in both and acknowledging the decision. As Dr. Deb said, “Better today then never.” Thumbs-up to this man. He decided and is taking action.
What are your thoughts? Share them…

Survivor 2 Warrior: Part 2


 

2 of 3 Video Series: Survivor to Warrior

Dr. Deb Lindh Transform Stress into Something Valuable – Post-Stress Growth, Grow Resilience, Happiness and Peace from the Pain, Hurt, Fear, Disappointment, Frustrations, Being and Feeling Stuck, and Effects of Stress.  Series Includes Second Step; moving from “why” and asking “what” to transform our stress and see immediate results in reducing stress.

A favor to ask…yes, I’m asking for another favor (which really helps us help you) – post your comments and questions at the end of this video, blog, twitter feed and again, I’ll be answering all questions in the next series and sharing with everyone – thanks a bunch!

Survivor to Warrior: Why


1 of 3 Video Series: Survivor to Warrior (including the Why Game Questions…which is located at the end of the blog)

Dr. Deb Lindh Transform Stress into Something Valuable – Post-Stress Growth, Grow Resilience, Happiness and Peace from the Pain, Hurt, Fear, Disappointment, Frustrations, Being and Feeling Stuck, and Effects of Stress.  Series Includes First Step of the “Why Game.”

A favor to ask…yes, I’m asking for another favor (which really helps us help you) – post your comments and questions at the end of this video, blog, twitter feed and I will answer all questions in the second part of this series. Any questions you have, I’ll answer. We’ll be answering these questions and the questions from the stress survey – and sharing those with everyone –  thanks a bunch!

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Practical Mindfulness Tips for a Happy Thanksgiving!

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The holidays.  Just the thought brings up a lot of feelings and emotions. As I write this post, I’m thinking about the person and people who are getting ready for today’s family gathering.  You know, the big family Thanksgiving feast that offers more than just food.  It’s the “dance” of relationships, interactions, the memories of past that haunt, and even can plague a person’s mind.  Yup. I’m thinking of you.  Maybe you’re already experiencing stress just thinking of today’s family gathering which is hours away.  Will sister Sue tease you about your weight/job/etc., or will Uncle Joe make “that” comment which causes your stomach to cramp because his comments are so incompatible with your values and beliefs…but that’s Uncle Joe, right?

Some people say these types of family dynamics are what makes family – family.  I disagree.  These types of dynamics lack responsibility, accountability, and perpetuate a continuation of inherited patterns of dysfunction all which lead to stress and unhappiness.

So, what can we do?  How can people prepare for today’s family gathering and still have a Happy Thanksgiving?

Some practical mindfulness (that means real-time awareness…stuff you can use/do anywhere, anytime…no need to “schedule” to breathe..btw, you’re breathing right now) tips for a Happy Thanksgiving.

1. Be Mindful – Being mindful begins with being aware; knowing your hooks and triggers (aka buttons pushed – what are they? Who knows them?  Who’s really good at pushing them?). Also, be 100% responsible for you and make the best decisions for yourself. Know that the word “best” varies from person to person and here I’m talking to you, not mom, dad, Sue, Uncle Joe – but you.  Being mindful starts with the self; meaning yourself.  It’s internal and then extended outwardly.  So, be mindful, 100% responsible for your thoughts/actions, and make the best decisions for yourself.

2. Decisions – Decisions, decisions, decisions. How do we make the right decision? What if we make the wrong decision? First, not making a decision is really making a decision; it’s a decision of denial. So, make a decision; any decision…just make one. Secondly, fear is our worst enemy.  Fear causes people to worry and paralyzes people into an infinite loop of “what if” and “should.” Find comfort in realizing that making a decision is a first step in being responsible – which is one of the best gifts to yourself and your family.  Arm yourself with making a commitment to yourself before the family gathering. Yes, a commitment to yourself.  For example, how much time are you willing stay at the event – 3 hours, 4 hours?  Make a commitment, set a limit, and stick to it! The sticking to it is a huge part of the decision of a commitment to yourself. Lastly, prepare for decisions during the event – decide now (not when you get there) how you want to respond to Sister Sue and Uncle Joe. Keep in mind that a response does not necessarily mean a verbal response, what it means is what do you want to do and how do you want to behave in situations that can for example push your buttons.  Know now.  Prepare now. Do then.

3. Choices – Choices come in two basic forms: Negative and Positive. For family gatherings, negative choices would include doing the dance with Uncle Joe and Sister Sue by returning the fuel and pushing their buttons, or participating in gossip and drama.  Engaging in these types of choices is fairly obvious as they’ll often be stressful, draining, and toxic.  On the other hand, positive choices such as hanging out with people who you truly enjoy their company and playing with the kids are uplifting and reduce stress.

4. Happiness – Isn’t this what we are try to achieve, feel, and be when getting together with family; especially during Thanksgiving? While gratitude brings joy and thankfulness brings appreciation, we often need to remind ourselves – to be mindful –  to be aware – and to allow ourselves (yes, allow ourselves) to be happy. We can do this by reflecting on what we are grateful for, who we are thankful for in our lives, and by counting our blessings.  We all have blessings. Be mindful, aware, thankful, and grateful for those blessings.  These will lead to joy and happiness!

Thank you for reading my blog.  Thank you for allowing me to serve you.  I’m humbled to do this work and grateful for the many people who’ve shared what this work had done for them.  Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! Share your comments, postings, let me know how this worked for you!

Mindful Eating – You are what you eat

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We know a lot about what to eat (fresh fruits and vegetables) and what not to eat (yeah, the whole bag of potato chips).  But what about the how, what, and why of eating mindfully?

Combining the how we eat, what we eat, why we eat with mindfulness means that we eat with awareness.  It’s not that people don’t already know that eating potato chips or fast and processed foods are not the best sources of nutrition.  People already know these food sources are not good for them.

So, why do we eat this stuff?  Why are we still grabbing the fast, quick, to-go foods?

This is where mindful eating brings “awareness” to what we are eating, why we are eating, and how we can develop a new relationship with food.

For example, when grabbing a handful of candy at the office ask yourself the question “Is this really what I want to eat? Why am I eating this…for a sugar rush because I’m tired?”  People might just find themselves understanding their real reasons and triggers for eating something.  For some, this awareness can be a big “ah ha” moment to make changes with eating habits.

Another example, when eating any meal, become aware of the foods on your plate, how fast you eat, and how the food tastes.  Often, people are in such a rush, eating a pile of food on the plate in record time becomes an automatic way of eating.  Instead, try sitting down at a meal and make the experience different by eating new foods, slowly enjoying a meal and savoring the flavors, or changing the dining environment.  While doing these new things become aware of the changes. You may experience feeling full earlier, notice the food tastes better, decide you no longer like a particular food, or the new surroundings may put you in a better mood.

By becoming aware and practicing mindful eating, people will begin to notice subtle changes emotionally, physically, and energetically; your mood, your body, and overall sense of self.  To further the practice of mindful eating, try keeping notes of your experiences in a journal or electronic tablet.  Review and use your notes of foods that make you feel better as part of foods to include on shopping trips.

Mindful eating is about taking time to enjoy eating, to be aware of what we eat, how we eat, and why we eat that ultimately cares for us in the best way emotionally, physically and energetically.

Please share additional tips in the Comments section or on our twitter feed.

 

Commitment

During this time of flux, commitment is in the forefront. The question to ponder, reflect, and ultimately answer is: Are we willing to do whatever it takes?

This is different than hooking on details, history, past decisions, mistakes, goals, etc. When making this decision, we can no longer hold on to what prevents us from moving forward. It doesn’t mean we forget, it means we keep the memory without being bound and stuck in the emotion.

It is about the present. Right now. This moment.

The choice is the answer. And the answer will manifest the future.

8 Ways to Live Mindfully

Mindful or Mind Full?

As Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. (1990) states, “mindfulness is moment-to-moment awareness” (p. 11) where we pay attention to the things of ordinary life giving us new insights to our lives through relaxation, awareness, being present, and through insight.

Perhaps your mind is full with endless to-do lists, resolutions, and other stuff like shown in the drawing.  How would your life be different if you stopped living with a full mind and instead lived mindfully?  Today, make a stand to mindfully live moment-to-moment.  Don’t worry about getting off track.  As Jon Kabat-Zinn (1994) says, “If the mind wanders 1,000 times, you simply bring it back 1,000 times.”

Here are 8 ways to live mindfully:

  1. Be present.  Have you ever driven your car only to not remember actually driving to wherever you were going?  This happens to a lot of people and it’s called living a life on auto-pilot. Our minds are so filled with stuff, the to-do’s and obligations of life that we go through the motions and sometimes zone out.  Living in the present means to be fully aware; mind and thoughts, physical and body – so, how we feel, how we think, and respond – moment-to-moment.  Sure, we will experience distractions and with regular practice, we are aware of living in the presence of each moment, each experience; all experiences one moment at a time.
  2. Wisely choose words.  Living mindfully also involves cultivating an ability to pay attention in the present moment.  What words do we use as a means of communicating? Words are powerful; they have vibrations of positive and negative energies, and combine emotion with information.  So, living mindfully – what words do we choose to use in our daily lives?  Do we tend to lean toward negative or positive words?  For example, do you workout or exercise?  The word “workout” denotes working our bodies and has 3 definitions; one of which is about resolving a problem.  On the other hand, “exercise” has 5 definitions ranging from the act of carrying out an agreement to regular use.  The two words by social definitions mean the same; however, they are very different when living mindfully.  So, be mindful of the words you choose and aware of the differences you experience.
  3. Just breathe.  Ah….breathing.  If we don’t breathe, well – we’re not alive.  Yet when we experience stress or in conflict situations, one thing people tend to do is hold their breath.  Holding the breath or breathing in short, shallow breaths only adds to the stress.  Living mindfully means paying attention to our breath, experiencing the air flowing through the nose, filling up our belly and releasing; to sit with the breath, observe it, and stay with it…moment-to-moment.
  4. Unplug.  Moments of non-doing? Yes!  In today’s world we are connected like the Borg.  Think about it.  Our cell phones, computers, social media outlets; we’re connected to the world 24/7.  Our whole lives are driven by doing and doing many things at the same time.  How can a multitasking person be present, aware, and mindful?  Recent studies show that multitasking is a performance hindrance.  In moments when we are aware that we are not being our best, simply unplug.  The act of non-doing restores some balance and perspective; by returning our attention to being present and focusing on the breath, we allow ourselves to return to the familiar place of being mindful.
  5. Stretch and rest.  Exercise the mind, the body, the energetic self.  Examples of stretch and rest come in many forms.  Whether this is through meditation, yoga, or a combination of both. For some, it may mean taking a walk, sitting in a park on a bench, or doing the hokey pokey with kids.  Stretch and rest is a way for your mind, body, and energetic self to switch from the doing to the being mode.  By giving ourselves permission to be, we learn to practice awareness with patience; cultivating a level of gentleness toward oneself.
  6. Consume nourishment.  The old saying “you are what you eat” is taking on a meaning today associated with our relationship to food.  The practice of mindfulness comes naturally when we start paying attention to the domain of food, our preparation of food, and our eating of food.  Great efforts go into buying food, preparing food, serving food, eating food, the environment where we eat, and the cleanup afterward.  Being mindful about food involves being aware of how much we eat, how frequently we eat, the quality of the food we are eating, when, where, and how we feel after we eat.  Do we feel well after a meal or eating certain foods?  How do we feel when eating rushed as compared to a leisurely meal?  What are our eating habits?  What are our family’s eating habits? All of these variables come into focus when bringing mindfulness to the foods we eat. Eating mindfully means being present and being aware of what your food looks like, tastes like, and makes you feel as you are eating it as well as afterward.
  7. Do a do-over.  Practicing mindfulness requires us to be aware of our own experiences, paying attention to the constant stream of reactions and judgments of life.  A wonderful gift mindfulness brings is do-overs as we transform from the habitual categorizing or labeling things  “good” or “bad” or “neutral” and move to acceptance, patience,  non-judging, and letting go.  Living mindfully, we pay attention to our intention, awareness, and our purpose.  For example, living mindfully we may become aware of our reactions to life and through awareness we identify our patience, understanding, and purpose.  Practicing mindfulness allows us to recognize our intention for being and purpose for doing.
  8. Make a commitment.  Living mindfully won’t happen by itself or because a person decides it’s a good idea.  Living mindfully requires a strong commitment to working on self and enough self-discipline to persevere in developing practices.  Through regular practice, the momentum of practice helps a person to live mindfully.

References:

Kabat-Zinn. J. (1994). Sitting mediations. Series 2. [CD]: Louisville, CO: Sounds True Publishing.

Kabat-Zinn. J. (1990). Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness. New York: Bantam Dell.