Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Month: April 2014

Good Links for a Good Life: From Work to Everyday Magic

Body of Work by Pamela Slim

This is my periodic collection of exceptional posts, good books, and helpful resources to help you live the best life possible.  Enjoy!

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The Simple Secret to An Extraordinary Life

Nourish Kindness

An extraordinary life doesn’t result from worldly achievement, the fulfillment of your own passions or fleeting ecstatic experiences.  If you reflect deeply, you’ll see each of these is a temporary state of affairs.

What might look extraordinary from the outside – like incredible financial wealth – may actually be wracked with internal pain and sorrow.  An impressive job title or higher rung on the corporate ladder can be snatched away in a moment, especially in these financially unstable times.  Of course, it’s wonderful if you can follow your passion, but is it healthy to think obsessively about yourself?

Kindness:  The Powerful Alternative for an Extraordinary Life

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ― Desmond Tutu

I believe kindness lies at the heart of an extraordinary life.  Kindness is a powerful alternative to the get ahead philosophy of life, which won’t matter much when death arrives.

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10 Ways I Embraced Simplicity and You Can Too

Simplicity: Sun and Moon

Imagine extra time and energy, the chance to pay down debt, deeper connections, better health, improved quality of life, more meaning and purpose, less stress, and honoring the environment for a start.  These are just some of the benefits you can gain by embracing simplicity.

When you engage in simplicity, you’ll naturally begin to think about what really matters in life. Hence, simplicity can be an incomparable path of personal transformation as well.

I wouldn’t wait a moment if you feel called to simplify. Like Joshua Becker and his family, you might discover that the “abundant life is actually found in owning less.”

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Be Still, Be Well: A Simple Practice of Mindfulness

Butterly ~ Be Still

Do you feel disconnected from your body or cut up into separate parts with a few numb or missing?

One way to avoid the body is by talking non-stop in conversation with others and with yourself, too.  I often see this when I visit the nearby hot pond.  Many people chatter away the entire time they’re present.  They don’t take a second to be still and soak in the sensation of being in the water or the sights and sounds around them.

On the other end of the spectrum, you may be obsessed with your body.  Women, in particular, are conditioned to spend endless amounts of time, energy and money shopping for makeup and the right clothes. Now, marketers push men in the same direction.  How you look may have become your identity. But, typically this leads to constant discontentment.

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Nurturing Self-Talk: A Kinder Voice Inside Your Head

Purple Roses - Positive Self Talk

Editor’s Note:  I’m delighted to share a guest post today by Jasmin Lee Cori, MS, LPC on a topic that trips up so many of us.

“Idiot!”

Is this what you call yourself when you stumble or make a mistake?

My niece called herself an idiot last week when she made a small error cooking our brunch. When I commented on calling herself an idiot, she assured me she would never call her children that. I believe her. Ann is a particularly giving woman and very conscientious as a parent. So how come she doesn’t extend that to herself? What gives?

The Inner Critic

As a psychotherapist I get to listen in on that voice chattering away in people’s heads, and although I work with very nice people, how they speak to themselves can make me cringe.

There are different names for the critical voice in our heads; the most common is Inner Critic. Generally this is an aspect of our consciousness that developed when we were very young and internalized rules from our environment. These rules tend to be very black-and-white, as they are to a young mind, and the way of enforcing them is also rather primitive. Mocking, ridiculing, threatening with extreme consequences are actually rather coarse influence skills. It’s like a terrified four-year-old desperately trying to keep you in line, warning you the world will end if you don’t do something just right.

There are books about trying to defend against or slowly dismantle this inner critic. Here I’m going to focus on bringing in a voice that may help neutralize the critic and eventually replace it. Wouldn’t you like a kinder voice inside your head?

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How I Became a Buddhist and What It Really Means

Natural Bridges, Santa Cruz

Natural Bridges, Santa Cruz

Editor’s Note:  I wrote this post for my readers who – in my recent reader survey – said they’re curious about Buddhism.  But really, it’s about the peace, compassion, and wisdom we all so deserve.

When I was in my mid-twenties, my housemate went to see a psychic.  Suprisingly, the psychic began speaking about me, the young woman who drank and smoked too much.  She predicted I would either meet a spiritual teacher or cross over in my early thirties.  That means die, in case it’s not clear.

I found this strange and spooky and largely put it out of mind.  I wasn’t spiritually inclined at the time so the possibility of becoming so seemed unlikely.  I started to drink less, but not because of the prediction.  Alcohol soothed my frazzled emotions and helped me to relax.  But I knew it wasn’t healthy or helpful on the long run.  It would be a long time before I gave up smoking, but I continued to breathe and walk on this earth, nevertheless.

At the time, I lived by the sea in Santa Cruz, California, magnet to surfers, valley girls, tourists and alternative lifestyle seekers.  The town and surrounding areas hosted a panoply of spiritual culture from WICCA covens to the Mt. Madonna Center, where the main yoga teacher had been silent for more than 20 years and communicated by writing on a small chalkboard he wore around his neck.  (He’s brilliant, by the way.)

I never gave a second thought to any of this as I was busy running a non-profit that helped battered women.

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