Friends…
Here at the Gatekeeper of the Mind you know by now that this blog is all about finding a more peaceful life by learning to love your mind. Here is an inspiring post for anyone who would like to join a fabulous cause. Please click on the Bloggers For Peace image on the sidebar. Peace is an action my friends.
~The Mindful Gatekeeper

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“Peace is not something you wish for, it something you make, something you do, something you are, something you give away.”–Robert Fulghum

In an effort to actively do something to create more peace in the world in 2013, I am dedicating a number of my posts specifically to peace. I invite you to join me. We can call ourselves “Bloggers for Peace.” Everyone is invited to join. The requirements are simple and flexible.

  • Devote at least one post a month to/for/about peace. If you write poems or fiction, write a piece about peace. If you take photos, post a photo or gallery that reflects, symbolizes, defines, or creates peace. If you write rants, rant at something that disturbs the peace or rant about something that promotes peace. If you are into zen, post a blank white page. If you are an artist…you get the idea. Feel free to…

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A Few Words…

Now my friends we will continuing on with general Mindfulness skills…but first a few words.

I want to wrap up our conversation on cognitive thinking errors. Every person is different. Some people may have milder forms of these distortions and can learn how to deal with them on their own. But for those who feel plagued by them I highly encourage you to get support from a professional. Believe me your life changes for the better. Like I have said before getting support is a form a strength. Burdens are much lighter and it changes how you think of yourself. Life becomes easier to  manage and quite frankly more joyful. It helps to live realistically. Learning to accept reality for what it is and being okay with that reality just encourages peace.

No one is saying that you have to like your reality. The way we change our life is by accepting where we are in life first. It is what it is and now I can relax..is what I say. Then you go from there. Then you make change. Sometimes we don’t know how to accept because life is very painful and we can’t look at the truth without serious distress. If you are in an abusive setting causing you distress the best thing to do is to get out as soon as possible..don’t stay in that kind of situation. Otherwise if you are in pain due to life’s events or a possibly substance abuse or chemical imbalance then admitting you need some help is accepting the truth and very healthy. It’s not so scary. The people are there to help while becoming safe and trusted sources that you can share your thoughts with…even if your thoughts seem overwhelming or uncomfortable. If your willing to help yourself you will find more peace.

~Wishing you well today

The Mindful Gatekeeper

Reserving Judgement…Should Statements

Should Statements are an attempt to motivate ourselves by using guilt.

Guilt is a powerful emotion that can be hurtful when misused.

“She shouldn’t do that. She ought to do this instead”

“He must not do that. He should do this instead”

Should statements cause resentment and anger towards ourselves or towards others.

Remember in Mindfulness we see and don’t evaluate. We look at just the facts. We focus on the WHAT..not the “good” or “bad”, the “terrible” or “wonderful”, the “should” or “should not”. (Handout 3)

Unglue your opinions. Let the judgements go. Let them pass by like a train rolling down the track in front of you.

When you find yourself judging. DON’T JUDGE YOUR JUDGING. (Handout 3)

It is what it is and now you can relax.

~Wishing you well this day

The Mindful Gatekeeper

Reserving Judgement…Jumping to Conclusions

The next cognitive thinking error is a familiar one…Jumping to Conclusions.

Jumping to Conclusions is when you negatively interpret an experience even though there are no definite facts that beyond any doubt support your conclusion.

The facts matter when interpreting an event. Your emotional mind reacts to events but you can use mindfulness to slow the reaction down and see the moment with clarity.

If you find yourself Jumping to Conclusions perhaps making a list of the evidence will help you see the truth more precisely. Only the facts should be written down. Remember to acknowledge your thought and then let a thought be just a thought. Let it go and start fresh. We have that ability…every new moment of every day. What a blessing.

~Wishing you well this day

The Mindful Gatekeeper

More To Ponder Regarding Reserving Judgement

How we think can cause us to become judgemental.

Sometimes we have thoughts that are really cognitive thinking distortions. There are several..and over time I hope to talk about them all in hopes that it will help you to become more truthfully observant.

One of these distortions which is driven and reinforced by emotion is Magical Thinking.

Magical Thinking is something that can be connected to the Fact vs Opinion debate.

“…..Magical Thinking
The erroneous belief, similar to a normal stage of childhood development—Piaget’s pre-operational phase—that thoughts assume a magical power capable of influencing events without a physical action actually occurring; a conviction that thinking equates with doing, accompanied by an unrealistic understanding of cause and effect.
Examples Dreams in children, in primitive people’s, and in patients under various conditions.” (Segen’s Medical Dictionary)

Magical Thinking is about belief. Although it may seem that this is not the main stream many everyday people have varying degrees of this thinking.

People may feel superstitious or have parts of their religious belief or opinions steeped in a bit Magical Thinking. These beliefs or experiences can be very emotional in nature and color our views when trying to Observe in a non-judgemental way. Staying free/or clearing the path of judgement is the most effective way to see the truth of any situation.

Certainly people can have very strong beliefs but when learning to use Mindfulness to achieve Wise Mind your focus needs to stay clear and unbiased. It’s like learning to shift your focus for the moment you need clarity. Slowing the moment down by breaking down each step can really help a person practice effectively..and with great understanding. Remember that emotion is driven and reinforced by opinion. Facts need to be checked and one needs to reserve judgement when looking to use Wise Mind.

~Wishing you well this day

The Mindful Gatekeeper

Just Do It

When practicing Mindfulness first you Observe, then you Describe then you Participate….which is you getting completely into your experience.

Let go of thoughts and ruminations and get completely immersed in what you are doing.

“Completely forgetting yourself”…(actual quote from DBT)

We have to put ourselves to the side so that we can become immersed into an experience and not self conscious.

Be able to do without thinking. Like dancing.

Act from your own Wise Mind in an intuitive way.

You have a role, you must focus on the way things ARE.

Learn to accept things as they are.

~Wishing you the best today,

The Mindful Gatekeeper

Become Immersed Within The Experience

The Singing Bowl

While I was in class we used a Singing Bowl to begin and end our practice sessions. To this day I find I love the ringing sound the bowl makes and how it triggers Mindfulness. Here is a little bit of information about the bowl:

“Singing bowls (also known as Tibetan Singing Bowls, rin gongs, Himalayan bowls or suzu gongs) are a type of bell, specifically classified as a standing bell. Rather than hanging inverted or attached to a handle, singing bowls sit with the bottom surface resting. The sides and rim of singing bowls vibrate to produce sound characterized by a fundamental frequency (first harmonic) and usually two audible harmonic overtones (second and third harmonic). According to singing bowl researcher Joseph Feinstein, singing bowls were traditionally used in Asia and the tradition of making sound with bronze bowls could go back 3,000 or more years to the Bronze Age.

Singing bowls are used worldwide for meditation, music, relaxation, and personal well-being. They are used by a wide range of professionals, including health professionals, school teachers, musicians and spiritual teachers. Singing bowls are used in health care by psychotherapists, massage therapists, cancer specialists, stress and meditation specialists. They are used to help treat cancer patients and also for post traumatic stress disorder. They are popular in classrooms to help facilitate group activities and focus students’ attention.”…Wikipedia

Here is a soothing video featuring a Singing Bowl. Be in the moment with the sound…..pull your mind back to the sound when needed…Let other thoughts just travel by you like a train going by…see them (Observe only) and let them travel by.

 

Practice:

MINDFULNESS BELL

 

 

Wishing you well on this day~

The Mindful Gatekeeper