How To Enjoy Saying Thank You

We have lots of opportunities to be grateful through our day. Not just for the big things but the small pleasures that can lighten your day. It is an abundant world, people are kind to us, we can eat good food, watch the play of light and shade on the hills as clouds race across the sky, hear the sound of a child’s laughter.

We don’t often allow ourselves to feel good about things for any length of time. It is much easier for us to spend hours worrying about a problem, than to spend seconds feeling good about something. As Rick Hanson, neurologist and author of Buddha’s Brain, once put it: “our minds are like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for good ones.”

If you spend a lot of time worrying about things there isn’t much capacity available to feel good. So to enjoy good feelings goes against our grain and we need a little practice feeling good to allow those feelings in.

Here’s one way of being able to feel deeply grateful and enjoy it.

1. Think of something that you are grateful for.

It can be as simple as you like, the first cup of coffee in the morning, the greeting of a friendly neighbour, the fact that someone else has done the washing up. The thing you bring to mind can be as big or small as you like.

I’ll use the cup of coffee as an example of how this process works.

2. As you think about what you are grateful for, let whatever feelings you have about it be there in your awareness. We often glide over these feeling in our hurry to get to the next moment. Take a moment to savour this experience.

3. Whilst feeling the feeling, ask yourself: “What does having (whatever it is) give me that I wouldn’t otherwise have?”.

4. The answer to this question may be another feeling or a thing or activity of some sort. If the answer is a feeling, allow yourself to enjoy this new feeling for half a minute or more – the only thing you need to do is immerse yourself in this feeling and enjoy it for a while. If the answer is a thing or activity let yourself enjoy the feeling of this gives you.

Question: What does having the first cup of coffee in the morning give me that I wouldn’t otherwise have?

Answer: It lets me know I am in a safe place and starting a new day.

Please note that what your first cup of coffee in the morning might mean to you is probably going to be completely different to mine and that’s fine. There are no right and wrong things to feel in this exercise.

The only right answer to these questions are your answers.

5. When you have enjoyed the feeling, put this feeling into the question: “What does having (this feeling) give me that I wouldn’t otherwise have?”. Enjoy the feeling of the answer to this new question for half a minute.

Question: What does knowing I am in a safe place and starting a new day give me that I wouldn’t otherwise have.

Answer: Contentment

6. When you have enjoyed this feeling for half a minute or more, ask yourself the question “What does having (this feeling) give me that I wouldn’t otherwise have?”. Enjoy the feeling of the answer for half a minute.

Question: What does contentment give me that I wouldn’t otherwise have.

Answer: Peace

7. As you continue putting the answer to the last question into the next question you will probably find the answer having a deeper more profound feeling. Repeat the process acknowledging and enjoying each feeling that arises as you go through this process.

At some point the answer to the question will probably be a core feeling: love, peace, oneness or some other feeling that is deeply important to you.

Enjoy that core feeling for as long as you like. Taking the time to enjoy the feeling allows it to become more familiar. The more familiar it is, the easier it will be to access that feeling at other times (like everything else we get good at what we practice).

While savouring that deep feeling, bring to mind whomever or whatever you feel grateful to for making this feeling possible. It might be a person or people, your Higher self, Guardian Angel, God, Nature, Life, whomever or whatever resonates for you.

From within this feeling thank them for making this possible for you. Feel the feeling and feel the gratitude for this feeling.

From within this feeling of peace I think of all the circumstances and people who got me to this point, starting with my parents & family and all people who have been good for me up to this present moment and life itself for having brought me along for the ride.

Continue to enjoy this process for as long as you like and as often as you like. Being able to enjoy gratitude has been shown to lessen depression and increase well being – what’s more it’s enjoyable!

Thank you to you as well for reading this far, I hope you try this process out and find it useful.

Is What You Believe Out Of Date?

The Nuer and the Dinka tribes of southern Sudan share an unusual custom. Both of these cattle-herding societies remove several of their kids’ permanent front teeth as soon as they sprout: two on the top and four to six on the bottom. It’s a very painful procedure, done with a fish hook, and it leaves all tribe members with a distinctive slack-jawed look and speech impediments.

This practice probably started long ago, when tetanus was rampant in central Africa. Tetanus causes “lockjaw,” but the tooth removal would have allowed children afflicted by this infectious disease to drink liquids even when their jaw muscles clamped shut. Although there has been no tetanus or lockjaw in the southern Sudan for ages, both the Nuer and the Dinka continue the custom of extracting the front teeth. Indeed, they believe the sunken jaw and lower lip are beautiful. People with front teeth, they say, look like jackals.

Newsweek – Toothless Is Beautiful

I don’t know about you but the thought of having my teeth pulled with a fish hook makes me cringe. I can’t imagine any good reason to do that. But the Dinka people create a wide range of justifications to support the removal of the teeth in such a way. They believe it is right, proper and necessary to behave in this way.

Beliefs are all  around us. We don’t often see them, they are part of our inner operating system, they support how we think and feel, what the world means and how it works. Not only that beliefs determine what we do.

Just in case you were thinking you are not like the Dinka, I bet you have some beliefs and ideas of your own that aren’t serving you. If you have a limiting belief about what you can and can’t do I bet you have a list of reasons to back it up.

Beliefs are both descriptions and prescriptions – they tell you about how things are now, how they have been in the past and how they will be in the future.

Read more

Bill O’Hanlon – Newcastle – May 2011

Keeping Your Soul Alive

Bill O'Hanlon

I’m very pleased to announce that Practical Wellbeing is sponsoring a workshop in Newcastle upon Tyne in May 2011 by well known therapist and author Bill O’Hanlon.

After the very successful Geography Of Possibilities workshop in September, I’ve invited Bill back to present Keeping Your Soul Alive a workshop for anybody in the helping professions who needs to recharge their batteries.

A Professional And Personal Recharging To Challenge Compassion Fatigue

20th & 21st May 2011 – Newcastle upon Tyne

Are you  someone in the helping professions?

  • Does your soul need some care and attention?
  • Are you suffering from compassion fatigue?
  • Have you lost sight of the reasons you went into this kind of work?
  • Are you heading towards burn out (or already there)?

Keeping Your Soul Alive is a two day workshop for: therapists, counsellors, psychologists, nurses, doctors, coaches and anyone who works with people and finds themselves suffering in work they (used to) love.

Attending this workshop will help you:

  • Recharge your personal and professional batteries
  • Reconnect with the soul of your work
  • Find your inner compass and free your resources
  • Find your way out of discouragement, exhaustion and despair.

This workshop draws on Bill’s hopeful, effective approach to therapy but goes beyond it to include an approach to one’s life and the universe that challenges discouragement. Through the use of structured exercises, poetry, storytelling, lecture material and writing assignments, participants will get a chance to step away from busy lives to find some spiritual and professional renewal.

This workshop is available  just £175 if booked before January 20th 2011 (£245 thereafter) with easy payment options if you are feeling a little bit credit-crunched.

To find out more and book your place visit

EFT Cafe – Tapping Into Your Shadow

Many years ago, famous psychologist, C G Jung proposed that we were forced by upbringing, or experience, to conceal important aspects of ourselves to get along with those around us.

Those aspects and capacities were hidden away in what he called The Shadow, the part of the psyche where all the disowned parts of ourselves are put away. He thought that we expended a lot of energy mistakenly fighting or suppressing the Shadow.

Although the Shadow contains what we were taught to be ashamed of or not allowed to express, these qualities correctly used can become a source of great power and strength to us. In fact they can be just what we need to deal with what life is presenting us.

One of the ways the  Shadow shows itself is through projection, which is judging the qualities that we have suppressed in ourselves but are displayed by others. This annoyance can tell us what resource we may have available to us if only we can get it.

In November’s EFT Café, Andy Hunt will introduce you to Shadow Work with EFT so that you can use the tell tale signs of the Shadow to bring what has been hidden to light and transform it with EFT into a great resource

The November EFT Café is on Wednesday, November 10th at St Oswald’s Hospice Teaching Centre, Gosforth, Newcastle from 7pm to 9pm and costs just £10.

You will need some experience of EFT to attend this workshop

Image courtesy of doogan82

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