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On Being Happier: Thinking with Heart and Mind
21 minutes | Jul 5, 2022
Navigating political differences with heart and mind
Is it possible to maintain differing viewpoints and, at the same time, not lose our human connection? This episode says it’s not only possible, it’s important and provides insights into maintaining these bonds. Exercises for Episode 23 1) Remember a time when you interacted with a group of people without knowing their political views. Chose a positive experience. This could be a memory of a vacation, a work experience, or it could be from childhood. a) Split this group into two and arbitrarily assign each to opposing political parties. Would it be harder to play as enjoyably with this political knowledge? b) Would you interact as freely? Would you enjoy the group less? 2) Understanding another: How many people understand you … really understand you? How many understand you pretty well Do you wish people understood your better? Do you feel closer to those who understand you? How many people do you try to understand? How would you expand this? What would happen if you expanded this?
31 minutes | Jun 12, 2022
Thinking through relationships with heart and mind (Part 3 of 3)
Show Notes for Episode 22 When we use heart and mind to think through our relationships with our partners, spouses, children, and parents we can create richer and deeper connections. We are fully ourselves. It’s the art of living well. An exercise: review the key points in the episode Partners and spouses: • Remember that we chose to live together to enhance our lives. • Consider regular meetings to discuss the specific challenges of living together. Spouses: • Trusting each other with your hearts Children: • Raising them to be strong in themselves and to be caring and compassionate • When they are out of your house, drop all criticism about how they live their lives Parents • They might still see you as a child. Accept that. • Allow them to be the way they are. Enjoy them.
23 minutes | May 24, 2022
Thinking through relationships with heart and mind (part 2 of 3)
22 minutes | Apr 17, 2022
Thinking through relationships with heart and mind (part 1 of 3)
Show Notes Episode 20: Thinking through relationships with heart and mind (part 1 0f 3) The following story typifies one aspect of thinking through relationships with heart and mind. It also sets the stage for the next two episodes: Yesterday a third-year medical student came to my office to work with me. The first two years of medical school are in the classroom. Students learn about the body, in health and disease. They spend the second two years with patients, learning to apply what they’d learned. Pediatrics was his first clinical rotation, and this was his first day. “Do you know what you want to do in medicine?” I asked “I think I want to be a surgeon.” ‘How did you decide to go to medical school?” “The idea occurred to me late in college. I was a psychology major. One day I realized that I was going to be a psychologist because my mom is a psychologist. I respect her so much that I wanted to be like her. After appreciating that, I thought about what interested me. Biology was my real interest, and I knew I wanted to go to medical school.” “Surgeons can be very impersonal, pompous, even conceited,” I said. Their work, to them, is almost art. They see what needs to be done, and they apply their skill and ability to the task. When I was in medical school, a surgeon’s comment highlighted this attitude. “Internists,” he said, “stand around and talk about problems. Surgeons fix them.” “You can avoid developing this standoffish attitude,” I went on. “by bringing the warmth and goodness you revere in your mom into your practice. If you become a surgeon with this ideal, you will be a different doctor. You’ll be true to yourself and to what you value most.”
21 minutes | Feb 9, 2022
Working through emotions and feelings with heart and mind (Part 2 of 2)
We can have better, fuller, and richer relationships by using what we learned about about working through our emotions and feelings and applying it to our relationships. Exercises based on the episode’s content: Exercise 1: Remember a time when you were criticized without your asking for negative comments. How did it feel? Were the comments helpful? Did they make you feel closer to the person who criticized you? Why? / Why not? Exercise 2: Remember a time when you were given advice you didn’t ask for. Was that advice helpful? Were you happy to receive it? Did it bring you closer ? Why? / Why not? Exercise 3: Remember a time when you were feeling inner pain and others tried to help by offering generalized positives. Were these comments helpful? Did they bring you closer ? Why? / Why not? Exercise 4: Do you commonly criticize others, even when you’re not asked for your opinion? Do you commonly give advice when you’re not asked for it? Do you regularly try to cheer up others who are hurting by telling them they are strong or there is meaning to their difficulties? If these don’t help, are you willing to change? Practice not criticizing when not asked for a comment. Practice not giving advice when not asked for it. Practice holding the space for another. Be with them when they are hurting. Exercise 5: Does such holding back seem like a loving act? Does holding back from unasked for comments and criticisms make you feel better? Does such holding back build richer and deeper relationships.? As you practice this regularly, do you feel better? Does it build better relationships? With time, does a place of joy open in you?
20 minutes | Dec 26, 2021
LOVE: Its strength and power with heart and mind
Love uplifts and strengthens. Its power works through everyday life. It’s the art of living well.
26 minutes | Nov 22, 2021
Working through emotions and feelings with heart and mind
Show Notes: Episode 17: Working through emotion and feelings with heart and mind (1 of 2) Exercises used to review the episode’s content Exercise 1: Allow yourself to fully experience your emotions. Exercise 2: As your emotions and feelings arise, note their origins. Are they from past hurts, frustration from present events, or are due to loss? Exercise 3: Explore the idea that love lives within and that wisdom is another name for love. If love is basic to being human, wisdom is too. How differently would you live if love and wisdom were built your life? Note: The idea is not to believe these ideas, but to think them through.
33 minutes | Sep 9, 2021
Trusting Life: A Spiritual Journey With Heart and Mind
Show Notes: Episode 16: Trusting life: A spiritual journey with heart and mind Exercises for reviewing the episode’s content Exercise 1: Love is transcendent. The love one feels for a child, for example, crosses culture and time. That’s how it is with love from the heart, the love associated with compassion. Does this make sense to you? Exercise 2: We are containers for love. If love lives within us and passes through us, we are connected to the transcendent aspect of love. Do these statements make sense to you? Exercise 3: Wisdom is another name for love. If we love a pet, we treat it with a love that’s thoughtful and caring, a love that’s wise. How has wisdom guided you in your most loving relationships? Exercise 4: As you look back at your life, do you see times where love and wisdom were at work? If you see love and wisdom behind the scenes in one setting, then love / wisdom has to be present in all settings and circumstances. Could it be otherwise? Exercise 5: I should be able to drop worry if love is always with me, not because everything works out well, but because I’m not alone. Does this make sense? Exercise 6: Life is about growth. Have you ever grown through difficult circumstances? Did difficulties ever bring out the best and most human in you? Can you see the possibility for wisdom in challenges and difficulties? Exercise 7: If we know that wisdom and love are present in the events in our lives — even in our most difficult ones — we can face each setting and situation with calm, presence, and focus. We can be ourselves. Does this make sense? Exercise 8: We can test the idea that our lives are filled with wisdom and love by taking the leap and living and acting as if the idea were true. If the idea holds, we should feel stronger, more competent, more loving — more fully ourselves. Do the ideas in this episode make sense to you? If so, what’s stopping you from taking the leap and testing them in this way?
21 minutes | Aug 15, 2021
Conquering self-doubt and self-criticism with heart and mind (Part 3 of 3)
Show Notes: Episode 15: Conquering self-doubt and self-criticism with heart and mind (Part 3) Exercises for episode 15: Exercise 1: Remember a time when you felt overwhelmed because you had too much to do. This pressure could have been due to a school project, the demands of work, or trying to balance parenting and work. Besides feeling overwhelmed, how else did this make you feel? Did you enjoy such pressure? Did these feelings help you get through? Exercise 2: Think of an activity you fully enjoy, or one you used to enjoy — a craft, a sport, or a creative endeavor. Do you take lessons? Does practice make you better? Do you value your practice time? Does it increase your enjoyment of the activity? Do you wish you had more time for this activity? Pablo Casals, one of the world’s great cellists, was asked why he still practiced at age 90. “Because I think I’m making progress.” Exercise 3: Think of the work that goes into healing old wounds, into forgiving yourself for your mistakes, and into living in the moment. Episode 15 describes this as a process of letting in light, developing self-compassion, and learning to feel good about ourselves. The work involved, even it’s a lot of work, makes us feel better about ourselves and our lives. Does this make sense. If so, does this work more closely match how you feel when facing an overwhelming burden, or does it seem closer to the work involved in getting better at a favorite activity?
24 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
Conquering Self-doubt and Self-Criticism with Heart and Mind (Part 2 of 3)
Show Notes: Episode 14: Conquering self-doubt and self-criticism with heart and mind (Part 2 of 3) Exercises for episode 14: A review of the episode’s main points. Exercise 1: Does the idea that we think with both heart and mind make sense? Where do you think with your heart and where do you think with your mind in your everyday life? Exercise 2: Heart and mind working together As partners —Where do you use the mind’s objective thinking to carve out space for meaningful moments? Which practical matters go more smoothly when you add your heart’s insights? How / where could you expand your use of the heart? As friends — This episode tells us to follow our dreams and to enjoy life’s practical gifts. It also says that our sense of well-being depends on our acting from our hearts, remembering ‘who’ we are not just ‘what’ we are. Does this make sense? How do these two opposites weave through your life? As healers — How do you use heart and mind to work through challenges when life takes difficult turns? What advice about working through difficulties would you give to another that you could use? Exercise 3: Note — Work on this exercise on your own, with a friend, or with a mental health professional. Stop if memories arise that are too strong or too powerful. This work can be done safely, but wait until you feel ready. If feelings of self-doubt and self-criticism regularly fill your consciousness, seek the roots of these unpleasant voices. Did they start with the words and actions of those who abused / neglected / bullied you? Does it help to know that their words and deeds grew out of their own inadequacies and frustrations, not out of who you are? If so, how might you use this insight?
25 minutes | Jun 19, 2021
Conquering self-doubt and self-criticism with heart and mind Pt.1 of 3
Show Notes: Episode 13: Conquering self-doubt and self-criticism with heart and mind Exercise: The exercises for this episode have one theme: think through the ideas in the episode. See if you agree with them. 1) Picture your best times with friends, loved ones, while engaged in an activity, or during prayer / meditation. Were self-doubt or self-criticism present? What would have happened to those moments if self-doubt or self-criticism entered? 2) Were those who criticized you or treated you harshly psychologically sound? If they weren’t, and if your encounters with them created your negative self-images, shouldn’t you be able to discard these negative self images? 3) Love passes through us when we act compassion We can experience love by opening to it. 4) Love is strengthening and it is timeless. It has the power to heal inner hurts. 5) If we can care for another, we can care for ourselves.
23 minutes | May 23, 2021
Successful, guilt-free inner work with heart and mind
Show Notes / Exercises — Episode 12: Successful, guilt-free inner work with heart and mind Play: Being a teammate Picture the benefits in being a good teammate and boosting others on your team See the various people in your life as teammates How could you help them thrive through your attitude and approach? Playfulness Look at your most difficult settings and situations Is it possible to see them differently? Could a spirit of playfulness help? Even humor? A play on Einstein’s thought experiments: Picture yourself filled with light and love This feeling has nothing to do with outer events or circumstances If necessary, start small. Feel love in the tip of your finger Don’t be discouraged Don’t give up Einstein’s ideas took years to develop What qualities would you add to make you the person you’d like to be? Note: Consider qualities, not abilities Why did you pick these? Which ones are you already good at? Test these out in your imagination How would you bring these into play in different settings? How different would you be if you had these qualities? Quotations Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. — Albert Schweitzer True guilt is guilt at the obligation one owes to oneself to be oneself. False guilt is guilt felt at not being what other people feel one ought to be or assume that one is. — R.D. Lang He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest. — Dylan Thomas
26 minutes | May 3, 2021
Attitude and Gratitude with Heart and Mind
Show Notes: Exercises for Attitude & Gratitude with Heart and Mind Exercise one: Reviewing your attitude Consider your attitude in all the settings of our life settings Are you pleased with your attitude? Does it include your heart? If there’s difference between how you’d like to be and how you are, why is this so. What stops you from being the way you’d like to be? Exercise two: Considering gratitude Do you think there’s a connection between gratitude and the heart’s love? Why /why not? Think of the people involved in getting a favorite manufactured item to you. Allow a feeling of gratefulness to grow. Notice a feeling of wanting to give back. Explore your channels for giving back. Quotations The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes. — William James Everything can be taken away but one thing: the last of human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. — Viktor E. Frankl “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough. — Meister Eckhart
25 minutes | Apr 7, 2021
Making decisions with heart and mind
Show Notes: Making Decisions with Heart and Mind Exercise one: Review your life and test the episode’s idea • Does good decision-making increase happiness? How? • Exercise two: Reviewing your decision making • Think about these four kinds of decisions in your life. Which are you best at Which need work? Intellectual / practical decisions. Decisions involving heart and mind First impressions Decisions based on love and compassion Quotations Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent. —Dalai Lama In difficult circumstances always act on first impressions. —Leo Tolstoy Nothing happens until you decide. Make a decision and watch your life move forward. —Oprah Winfrey
16 minutes | Mar 22, 2021
Show Notes: Bonus 9a A Daily Practice with Heart and Mind Begin the practice before opening your eyes in the AM If you set your alarm, give myself an extra 10 minutes Turn off phone alarms without seeing any notifications Practice this, if necessary Let in light and love Steps in Episode 9 Use an image of the sun poking through clouds Say a prayer or verse Stay with this feeling as long as you like Cursory view of the day Glance chronologically See all the events that will be happening Look over the day a second time This time hover more closely Look at practical details Look for helpful tips and reminders Not a ‘to do’ list, it’s a ‘what’s doing’ list Avoid getting too lost in detail, though do so if important Pause where events seem hard. Break into two groups Don’t see how I’ll get things done Discomfort connected to people See what you need to do to get through the logjams Massive schedule changes can be saved for review at a different time Save interpersonal challenges for next layer Go through day again, looking with eyes of the heart How I want to be? Seeing interactions from the viewpoint of others Work at places of discomfort Reviewing ‘forgiveness’ in Episode 5 Finding a heart-based response > see Episode 10 If stuck, ask love to join you and move on When days or lifestyles are more about being than meeting scheduled demands Same process Focus on feeling love, on carrying love When finished with reviews, fill yourself with light and live the day End of day Before going to sleep, fill yourself with light Glance over the day backwards Stop where things went particularly well Appreciate that you’re loved Stop at moments that concerned you How did you do Non-judgmentally look Think of ideas for similar situations in the future Review situations that didn’t go well Dissect them What were the problems? How could you have made it better? How could you avoid this in the future? Feel closure: you did your best Save issues that need more time, and get to them when you can When finished, fill yourself with light and love and drift off to sleep. Notes on process The day ahead is coming The goal is to live fully and be in flow as much as possible It’s about being you Continued work has definite and real effects
23 minutes | Mar 14, 2021
Rethinking stress with heart and mind
Show Notes: Rethinking Stress with Heart and Mind Exercise: Letting in Light and Love Close your eyes and think of a moment when you experienced love. Any feeling of love works here. It can be a time when you felt another’s love, or it can be the feeling of love you have for another. It can also be the feeling of love you felt when with a favorite animal, or from another time in nature. The feeling of love experienced during prayer or meditation also works. Close your eyes and repeat the exercise. This time let go of the circumstances that brought the feeling of love. Simply hold onto the feeling of love. Let it fill you and let it radiate through you. Call up the feeling of love without any associated memories. You don’t need to close your eyes to call up this feeling. Call it up multiple times during the day and in various settings. Quotations I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. William Ernest Henley, Invictus If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person. Seneca In the wonderland of Mind, I am as free as another with sight and hearing. Helen Keller
25 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
The psychology of heart and mind
Show Notes: The Psychology of Heart and Mind Look at the settings and situations of your life: Do the ideas in this episode seem true? Does thinking with the heart, with love and compassion, differ from critical analysis? Consider how thinking with heart and mind play roles in your own life? Look at the settings and situations of your life: How much of a role does this inner judge play? How much were you judged? How often do you judge others? How does being judged feel? NOTE: Explore without bringing up old feelings, just as an athlete can look at videos of mistakes to improve. Only go as far as you can. Do this work with a friend or a mental health professional in necessary. Look at the settings and situations of your life Where does love play a role in your life? Have you ever experienced feeling loved? How did that feel? Have you ever done something for someone else purely out of human kindness? How did that feel? Would you enjoy your life more if you increased how much your offered kindness, caring, and compassionate insight? How might you achieve this? NOTE: You needn’t make any changes. Change will naturally occur if thoughts become powerful. Quotations Don't condemn if you see a person has a dirty glass of water, just show them the clean glass of water that you have. When they inspect it, you won't have to say that yours is better. Elijah Muhammad, The Autobiography of Malcolm X Life is for the living. Death is for the dead. Let life be like music. And death a note unsaid Langston Hughes I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up, and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom. Rosa Parks
25 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
Finding purpose with heart and mind
Show Notes: Fining Purpose with Heart and Mind Look at the settings and situations of your life: Where can you increase practical effort? Where can you add heart? Look at the settings and situations of your life: What stops you from being more practical where it could be helpful? What stops you from being adding heart where it could be helpful? Note: journaling, a dialogue with yourself on paper, might help here Making peace with life: Where don’t you feel at peace with your life What can change that? Note: Move aside temporary difficulties to examine core aspects of your life Make peace with these temporary difficulties Again, journaling can help Quotations The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for. Fyodor Dostoyevsky Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education. Martin Luther King, Jr. I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself. Lone Man (Isna-la-wica), Teton Sioux
26 minutes | Jan 22, 2021
Being present with heart and mind
Show Notes: Being Present with Heart and Mind Motivational review Look for moments in your life when you were fully present. Assess their value? Examine your encounters: Are you prepared to be present in them? Are you prepared to be open? Are you prepared to be welcoming? Think about changes: Consider the encounter you could improve What would you do differently? Notice: as you become clear about the changes you’d like top make, they will effortlessly occur. Practice being in the moment: Quiet the mind Live in the senses Listen Be the person you’d like to be with Quotations Forever is composed of nows. Emily Dickinson Flow, the best moments in our lives, usually occurs when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi When the ideas are coming, I don't stop until the ideas stop because that train doesn't come along all the time. Dr. Dre
26 minutes | Jan 1, 2021
Forgiving with Heart and Mind
Show Notes: Forgiving with Heart and Mind Kinds of forgiveness: Death bed > Picturing the wrong doer weakened and at the end of life Jaws of Life > Freeing ourselves from the grip of others’ actions Family gathering / business meeting > making peace to protect another Rain slicker > Blocking the negative words and deeds from entering Tools of forgiveness Compassion for those who hurt us Getting free Allowing healing to take place Dropping the need to get even Having compassion for our injured, former self Seeing our actions through another’s eyes Letting go of the drive to be right Keeping safe Not giving up on a friend Quotations As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison. Nelson Mandela Let us forgive each other – only then will we live in peace. Tolstoy Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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