#mindfulness

Intention. Purpose. Trust.

I was listening to a podcast the other day with Dr. Dan Siegel, a scientist, doctor, and psychiatrist who is a neuroscience and mindfulness geek.  I was taken aback when, during a brain-science talk, he began to speak about the power of intention.  Intention and brain-science?

I was completely intrigued.

I did some research and here, in his book Aware, The Science and Practice of Presence, Dr. Siegel writes:

“How intention glows, determines where attention goes, neural firing flows, and neural and interpersonal connection grow.  Your intention sets the direction of attention and connection.  When we set an intention in awareness with initial purposeful effort, we influence what will also become intention even outside of our awareness. This creates a state of mind that can be present without our conscious effort. This is how a repeated, purposefully create state of mind during a practice becomes an automatic trait in our lives.”

What happens we set our Intention?

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Emotional Intelligence: Practicing the Art of Compassion

“Let our hearts be stretched out in compassion toward others, for everyone is walking his or her own difficult path.”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

It is not always easy to love, to forgive, and to find compassion for our families and loved ones.  And it is even harder to love, to forgive, and to find compassion for our enemies.

Our enemies, it seems a harsh word. The dictionary defines an enemy as someone who is actively opposed or hostile towards us, someone we have verified as adverse or threatening, a challenger, a competitor, a rival, or our nemesis.  How often have you used these words to describe a friend with whom you had a falling out, an ex-partner or spouse, a family member you are no longer speaking to, a colleague who you avoid in the hallway, or who beat you to a promotion?  We often make these individuals our enemies. We spin scenarios in our brains of what we would like to say to them; if they would just apologize or understand why what they did was wrong, then we could get along again.  We avoid, we spin, we stay angry, we blame, we play the victim – and in all of these cases we fail to grow, we get into a rut, we hold onto an anchor that keeps us rooted in one place, we waste time, and we create internal pain and darkness.

Can We LEARN Compassion?

Yes. We can integrate practices into our lives that cultivate love, forgiveness, and compassion and teach us to be more aware of delivering these qualities under challenging situations.

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The Twelve Mindsets of Living Alive: Part VII – Practice Forgiveness

Happy December.  Wow, that came quick. Another year is coming to a close and we are entering the season of holiday cheer – a time when we gather with friends, with work colleagues and with family to celebrate.

And whether you celebrate Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, Christmas Day, Boxing Day or Kwanzaa, we all celebrate with lighting candles, lighting trees, decorating our windows, yards and streets with lights, fires in the fireplace, exchanging of gifts, gathering together in community, and feasting around the dining room table. (more…)