Blogs and News

In this section you will find information about our upcoming events, recent publications related to personal development as well as commentary and news of general interest.

Our daily rhythms and rituals

Not so long ago I was listening to a talk by a Swedish academic on rhythm and ritual in architecture and design. The rhythm referring to the things that happen in nature. Rain, wind, light and shadows. The rituals, the human actions or moves that emerge as we respond to natural events to protect or expose ourselves to the rhythms of nature. Although I do not remember much more about the talk and, at some point, it became rather technical the idea of rhythm and ritual and how our lives flow stuck in my mind. It made reflect on the rhythm of my life and my daily moves from calming my mind through meditation, energizing through exercise and getting some fresh air and sun, the morning ritual of cleansing your body, breakfast and the daily ritual of getting my cup of coffee. Organizing, working, getting in touch with family and friends, and the movements that accompany these activities which are integral to my overall wellbeing. These reflections on how my day unfold have become part of my daily practices and make me look forward to the day ahead. My personal rituals include reflecting on my day briefly in the evening before bed and thinking about the day ahead when I wake up. I never know for certain how the day will shape up, as I am not rigid with routines nor very disciplined, but there are some things that I try to keep constant even if sometimes these get out of synch, shortened or interrupted. I know, for example, that I need to spend some time without screens at least a couple of hours before bed and that helps my sleep. I also know some form of exercise in the morning clears my head and also brings fresh ideas. Some activities and moves make me lethargic and others energize me. I suggest you spend some time understanding your habits. Your key moves, the things that give a pattern to your day and your key ritual moments. Think about to what extent these daily moves, patterns and rituals contribute to your wellbeing. Are these good for your body and mind? Do they allow you to appreciate the beauty in nature or art? Do they connect you with others in a positive way? Do they make you happy? Do they allow you to express your creativity in some way? Do they make you wealthier? This reflection may help you prioritize and make adjustments or changes to live your life better aligned with your purpose thereby contributing to your ease of being.

Upcoming workshops

Next planned workshop will be in a Sydney city venue in September. You can register your interest for future workshops and we will keep you posted. Register via ‘contact’ or email: meiras.sandra@gmail.com

Look forward to seeing you at the next workshop!

Renaissance

Proud to have contributed to Renaissance magazine, the first fashion magazine with no models under 40.

The happiness jar

And whilst we discuss how is your glass, how about your jar? There is an app for that! Seligman model of happiness has five key elements which contribute to wellbeing. There are: positivity, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment. It is know as the PERMA model. These are like small deposits into our happiness bank account or marbles into your happiness jar. You can now use The Happiness Jar app to fill your jar with happy memories. Try it!

Is the glass half full or empty?

A colleague recently sought my opinion on a job application she was submitting. She was concerned about the ‘desirable’ criteria and whether she had sufficient expertise to support it. In reading the description she sent me, and having worked with her in the past, I knew that she had all the requisites. She also had an extensive wealth of relationships and experience to support her claims. Yet, she was hesitating and was not convinced that her skills were an ‘exact’ match. She is a perfectionist, a trait she deploys in her work beautifully. But often, as it was in this case, her exacting tendencies get in the way of her own success. Nothing is ever good enough! I reassured her and reminded her of many examples of her own work that she could quote. And I hope she moved from a glass half empty to a glass half full. How is your glass?

In 2017 follow your passions!

Participating in activities one loves or feels passionate about and, in particular, when those activities are an integral part of who we are – our identity – is what psychologists define as ‘harmonious passion‘. These activities generate ‘positive thoughts‘ with greater frequency contributing to your wellbeing. Harmonizing your passions may be a good way to start the new year! Best wishes for 2017.

Cherophobia

Do you have cherophobia? When something good happens, what is your reaction? Do you allow yourself time to go through the positive experience fully? Do you savor it slowly or quickly hit an emotional high note and then go back to ‘normal’. Or do you choose to ignore it and move on? Understanding the way you react to good things that happen to you may allow you to better experience the good things in life.

Under the weather?

According to a recent study weather patterns have an impact on our wellbeing. I could have told them already as strong winds drive me completely crazy! But what about our own ‘personal seasons’. The different times in our life when we are clearly blossoming and those stages when winter invades us? The important thing, seems to me, is to be able to create our versions of hygge to sustain us whilst the seasons unfold.

A thing of beauty…

The memory of a beautiful experience can have a positive impact on your wellbeing – Proyer, Rene T; Gander, Fabian; Wellenzohn, Sara; Ruch, Willibald (2016). A beautiful work of art, the beauty of nature and just reflecting about beautiful things that people do has an impact on happiness. Keats said it ‘A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever’ and also Bill Cunningham – ‘Those Who Seek Beauty, Will Find it’ – who spent his working life in its pursuit and enjoyed himself whilst bringing joy to others!

Your strenghts

Peterson and Seligman (2004) provide a classification of ‘virtues and character strengths’ that contribute to the ‘good life’. The list is comprehensive and a key motivation for the development of the classification was helping people to live to its full potential through understanding their key strengths. Knowing ourselves and our strengths of character and virtues and applying them regularly will, it seems, contribute to our overall happiness. Do you know your strengths? Time for an audit?

If you want to be happy cultivate your sense of humour!

If you search google scholar for ‘happiness” and “wellbeing” there are in excess of 15,000 publications since 2015. There is great interest in finding the common “traits” that happy people seem to have and testing these through controlled interventions. And, not surprisingly, happy people tend to be good humoured! See: “Humor-based online positive psychology interventions: A randomized placebo-controlled long-term trial”; Sara Wellenzohn, René T. Proyer, and Willibald Ruch The Journal Of Positive Psychology Vol. 11 , Iss. 6,2