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Out

Deepak Malhotra Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Max continued his tale.

“Big came to me one day and said that he had heard I was attempting something crazy. He smiled as he said the word crazy, as if to emphasize his indifference to the term. I did not know Big—I had never even heard of him—but the sight of him was stunning. I have never seen a mouse so strong—so complete. When he told me his name was Big, I had to smile.

“Big told me that he had overheard some mice talking about ‘this fella Max’ who was pursuing an impossible goal. He became interested when he heard one of the mice say that I should quit being a child and go find some cheese. When another mouse added roughly that I was in my own little world, playing by my own rules, and that I was setting a bad example for the younger mice, Big decided he had to come and see me.

“Big was not interested in why I wanted to scale the wall. He did not ask me whether I thought it was possible. Instead, he asked me how high I estimated the wall to be.

“I told him it was as high as four mice.

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Medium 9780819848598

Part One: Love

Kathryn J. Hermes Fsp Pauline Books and Media ePub

Making Peace with Yourself

15 Steps to Spiritual Healing

By Kathryn James Hermes, FSP

With poetry by Bernadette M. Reis, FSP

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Hermes, Kathryn.

Making Peace with Yourself: 15 Steps to Spiritual Healing

by Kathryn James Hermes.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 0-8198-4859-X

1. Peace of mind—Religious aspects—Christianity. 2. Spirituality. I. Title.

BV4908.5.H47 2007

248.4’82—dc22

Cover design by Rosana Usselmann

Cover photo by Mary Emmanuel Alves, FSP

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher.

“P” and PAULINE are registered trademarks of the Daughters of St. Paul.

Copyright © 2007, Daughters of St. Paul

Published by Pauline Books & Media, 50 Saint Paul’s Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3491. www.pauline.org.

Printed in the U.S.A.

Pauline Books & Media is the publishing house of the Daughters of St. Paul, an international congregation of women religious serving the Church with the communications media.

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Medium 9781855756199

XI. Dream-narrative and Dream-continuity

Donald Meltzer Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

One of the most impressive evidences of the intrinsic continuity of the process of unconscious phantasy is to be found in the striking links between dreams of the same night or even of successive nights. Attention to this continuity plays a considerable role in the creative use of dream material in analytical work and opens many problems for research, not only in the field of psycho-analysis but in related fields such as linguistics, aesthetics and politics. In speaking of continuity I do not mean to refer to continuity of meaning, but rather continuity of form. Dreams often give an impression, when set out in sequence, of being like an artist’s sketches made during the organization of a major composition, or the drawings by children in analysis. It can be seen that a number of central/orwia/ structures are being drawn up into juxtapositions in order to create a space scintillating with potentiated meaning. Sometimes words and visual forms are seen to interact, as I will shortly demonstrate. At other times spaces are being created as containers of meaning. At other times the movements from one type of space to another, and the emotional difficulties of making such moves, are made apparent.

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Medium 9781576752807

Chapter Six: Don’t Stop at False Borders

Steve Donahue Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Sometimes the line in the sand is important. Other times it’s just a waste of good sand.

—Desert proverb

The truck drove for hours through the cold desert night. It was almost midnight when we finally stopped, and everyone spread blankets and sleeping bags on the sand. The next morning, the driver yelled “Montez!” again. We climbed aboard, and the truck rolled deeper into the void of the southern Sahara.

Although it was daylight, a new darkness had arrived—a sandstorm. A steady dark wind blotted out the sun, allowing only 20 feet of visibility. All day, the truck crept slowly ahead in the dusklike conditions. Tallis and I took turns sitting under a blanket for a brief respite from the relentless, stinging assault. At night the storm abated. The next day it returned with the sunrise. There had been no sign of the Land Cruiser, and we resigned ourselves to crossing the desert on the truck with the Tuaregs.

On the third morning the weather cleared, but the truck driver was in no hurry to leave. When we finally broke camp, we drove for only 30 minutes before he stopped and jumped out of the cab. I could see a couple of small concrete buildings and some barbed wire extending into the desert in each direction for a hundred yards. Farther south I could see more barbed wire and another checkpoint. The only sound was an Algerian flag flapping in the light breeze. He climbed up the ladder on the side of the truck and asked for our passports. We were at In Guezzam, the border crossing between Algeria and Niger. I noticed that several of the Tuaregs were missing.

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Medium 9781576752517

Chapter 7: A Modest Exercise

Jacob Needleman Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

115

Here is something to try. It may or may not be of help to everyone. Its sole purpose is to provide the mind with a quieter space within which we may find a first approach to the search for the Self. There are many such first approaches. I have found this modest exercise of help in verifying, actually witnessing, how the habit of worrying wastes the attention and therefore the time needed for finding one’s inner life. Practiced with some degree of diligence and relaxation, and with some advance guidance, it can also show us that there is in each of us a natural attraction of the attention toward another sense of time and the Self. This natural attraction toward the Self is an important part of that which our ordinary mind cannot comprehend.

One word of warning: it is only an exercise, an experiment, something to try for a little while and then let go.

116

However, although it is only a modest exercise, it echoes some powerful metaphysical ideas—namely, the idea, the strangest of all ideas about time, that everything that happens to us in this life has all happened before, and not only once but many times. This idea of recurrence may be found in the myths and philosophies of numerous traditions—in India, in the teachings of Plato and in many other doctrines throughout the world. It was of great interest to Nietzsche and was developed with considerable power in the writings of P. D. Ouspensky.12 In other forms, we encounter the experiential equivalent of this idea in the doctrine of destiny and fate as it is expressed throughout the Middle East and in Teutonic legend. The future already exists; your life has already been lived; you have only to inhabit this life as it “unreels”—inhabit it from moment to moment with faith in the Creator of all lives. This moment-to-moment faith in the Creator of destiny is the experiential equivalent of the moment-to-moment search for contact with one’s Self.

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Medium 9781605092751

Chapter Three: Write Your Flight Plan

Brian Tracy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Our goals can only be reached through the vehicle
of a plan, in which we must fervently believe,
and upon which we must vigorously act.
There is no other route to success.

STEPHEN A. BRENNEN

Many people think that having a clear goal and being positive and optimistic about accomplishing it is all they need to do to be happy and successful. However, choosing your destination, although vitally important, is just the starting point. Now the real work begins. Now is when you demonstrate to yourself and to others that you are really serious about your goal.

The fact is that only 3 percent of people have clear, written goals with plans to accomplish them. Only about 3 percent of adults work on their most important goals each day. Only the top people think about their goals most of the time.36

Instead of goals, the great majority have wishes. They have hopes, dreams, and fantasies. They have what I call “cigarette smoke” goals. They dissipate quickly and fade away in the imagination, providing no clarity of focus and direction.

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Medium 9781605090009

Take Actions to Encourage the Hero in You

Noah Blumenthal Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we get caught up in the moment and forget or find ourselves unable to make the changes we desire. Often people believe their failure is caused by lack of willpower: they just didn’t have enough determination to do the right thing. I don’t believe willpower is the key.

Rather, I believe we change by practicing new behaviors in a disciplined way. Regular practice will build your strength and make telling your new stories easier and more natural, even when you face a challenge. You can find many ways to practice the new pattern you want to establish. Try the following five suggestions or let them spark your own ideas for specific actions to guide you to new behaviors.

Take five minutes each day to write down the stories you tell in a small notebook. Record the victim stories that came to you, and then add the hero stories you told to replace the victim stories. If you didn’t think of a hero story when your victim story arose, create one for your journal. You may be too late to change the situation that formed the victim story, but creating the hero story will help you build the skill for the future.

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Medium 9781576755709

Chapter 5: Exercise Patience

Michael Schuler Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

A well-known Zen Buddhist teaching story highlights the need to “practice patience” if one intends to make the most of his or her abilities, gain insight, and achieve happiness.

A young man approached the venerable master, seeking guidance. “If I meditate eight hours a day and study the Sutras four hours every night,” he asked, “how long will it take for me to gain enlightenment?”

“Ten years,” the master replied.

The novice was taken aback. “That long?” he gasped. “Well, then, what if I practice for ten hours a day and study for six? How long then?”

“Twenty years,” said the master.

“But how can that be?” the incredulous novice wondered aloud.

The master shook his head and sighed, “For someone who is in such a hurry, enlightenment does not come easily.”

The master knows very well that spirituality doesn’t operate on a timetable. It requires aspirants to exercise patience through those long plateaus during which enthusiasm wanes and hope falters. The process cannot be hurried, and impatience is antithetical to the whole enterprise. The breathless inquiry—how long will it take— 136suggests to the master that this young novice is easily discouraged. Stop thinking about the future, the master advises. Just settle into your practice and learn to enjoy the subtle yet considerable rewards of being fully present for each new and original moment.

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Medium 9781608681457

5. The Prayer of Protection, Magical Circles, and Pyramids

Marc Allen New World Library ePub

5

THE PRAYER OF PROTECTION, MAGICAL CIRCLES, AND PYRAMIDS

There are only two ways to live your life.

One is as though nothing is a miracle.

The other is as though everything is a miracle.

I choose the latter.

— ALBERT EINSTEIN

All life is a miracle, because the force of life itself is a miracle. Your body is a miracle. Your mind is limitless. There are more connections in one square millimeter of your brain than there are stars in the Milky Way. That means we all have the capability to be endlessly creative. It means every one of us is a magician — if we choose to look at it that way.

The Prayer of Protection

One of the best tools in our magician’s toolkit is the Prayer of Protection. Repeating these words — or similar words — is powerful. While saying this prayer, you can focus on yourself, or you can encircle others in the light of your prayer. You can do it for your family; you can do it for the whole earth.

There are many different forms of this prayer. Some don’t have the words flows through me, and heals me. As always, find the words that feel best to you.

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Medium 9781576752807

Chapter Three: When You’re Stuck, Deflate

Steve Donahue Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Don’t be so humble—you’re not that great.

—Golda Meir

As we sped along the fresh asphalt south of In Salah, I wondered whether Jean-Luc’s brush with death had changed him. I hoped he had been humbled by the experience. After all, I’d been right all along. He should have taken his medicine.

Jean-Luc downshifted as we approached some heavy equipment blocking the highway. An Algerian soldier waved us around the trucks and bulldozers. Jean-Luc muttered a disparaging comment about the Algerian engineers, because they appeared to be repairing a road that wasn’t more than six months old. All of a sudden, he pounded the dashboard with his fist and shouted, “Merde!”

I looked up and saw the cause of his outburst. “Shit!”

Our mutual dismay seemed to be the first time we agreed on anything. This was not a maintenance crew. They were the road builders. The pavement had ended. Sooner than anyone had expected, the familiar black asphalt ceased.

André, Jean-Luc, and the Peugeot in the feche-feche.

We stared in silence at the sudden arrival of le désert absolu. Crisscrossing rutted tracks led in several directions from the road into the sand and rock of the Sahara. André and Tallis pulled up behind us. I could hear similar exclamations of disappointment as Jean-Luc went back to the Citroën to plan the initial off-road route.

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Medium 9781609940041

The Value of Pennies

Charles C. Manz Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money in the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12: 41–44)

The issue of evaluating and responding to the contributions of others is a major challenge for leaders. It is usually considered effective leadership to distinguish levels of performance of followers and to dole out rewards according to the amount that is contributed. This approach seems to be rational, logical, and even just. But once again Jesus throws us a curve. The value of contributions, he seems to be saying, must be considered in light of the capabilities of the contributor.

Initially this may send up some red flags. Is the implication that we should not concern ourselves with the levels of our employees’ performance? If someone means well and is doing the best she can and her performance is unsatisfactory, should a leader simply pat her on the back and praise her for trying? While this practice may not be as illogical as it sounds, I don’t think it is the real leadership lesson that can be learned. Perhaps the lesson is best summarized by prescribing a focus on the heart of the person. That is, pay attention to the intent, the motives, and the progress of the person. This may indeed be very sound wisdom for a couple of reasons.

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Medium 9781608681297

CHAPTER FIVE: Five Additional Practices That Accelerate Brain Change

MFT Linda Graham New World Library ePub

CHAPTER FIVE

Five Additional Practices That Accelerate Brain Change

The difference between try and triumph is a little “umph.”

— AUTHOR UNKNOWN

THERE ARE FIVE additional experiential practices that work synergistically with mindful empathy to guide and safely accelerate any process of brain change: cultivating presence, intention, perseverance, refuges, and resources. Here I describe some of the neuroscience that explains why these additional practices add a crucial momentum to the major practices of mindful empathy described in the previous two chapters. Each of these practices safely speeds up the processes of brain change we learn to use in the next chapter, allowing us to rewire our brain for resilience sooner rather than later.

Presence

To be present is far from trivial. It may be the hardest work in the world. And forget about the “may be.” It is the hardest work in the world — at least to sustain presence. And the most important. When you do drop into presence•you know it instantly, feel at home instantly. And being home, you can let loose, let go, rest in your being, rest in awareness, in presence itself, in your own good company.

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Medium 9781626563018

Introduction Thinking About the Future in a Systematic Way

Peter Neuwirth Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE IN A SYSTEMATIC WAY

It has become a cliché to say that we live in an “Information Age,” but the fact of the matter is that the amount of data available to us has exploded and grown almost beyond our ability to comprehend. At the same time, we as individuals are, more than ever, inundated with choices in our daily lives, and unlike the past, these choices now come associated with an overwhelming amount of information. Some of that information we seek and some is thrust upon us, but in total, rather than help us, the data often simply paralyzes us. From the mundane consumer choices we make every day to life-and-death medical decisions, we are given facts, figures, and recommendations but no systematic way to sort through that information and actually decide.

In almost all cases where we have an important choice, we are asked to make a decision in the present that will have consequences sometime in the future. This book is intended to show you a straightforward and systematic way to make those choices without getting lost or confused by too much information. The key tool we will use is called Present Value, and it is one that actuaries have used for over a century to do their job.

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Medium 9781605099224

Nine The Metal Voice: Clarity and Focus

Barbara McAfee Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

 

 

Better keep yourself
clean and bright; you are the
window through which you
must see the world.

George Bernard Shaw

 

The following are examples of the metal voice. Can you hear them in your imagination?

The Wicked Witch of the West screeches from the movie screen, “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!”

A bluegrass singer croons along with his banjo on a porch in the Appalachian Mountains.

Ethel Merman belts out “There’s No Business Like Show Business” on a Broadway stage that doesn’t have any microphones.

A Siamese cat improvises her own opera in an echoing hallway at three in the morning.

Willie Nelson kicks off “On the Road Again” to a cheering country music festival crowd.

The cartoon character Roadrunner evades the Coyote once again with a triumphant “Beep-beep!”

Madonna prances around the stage singing “Material Girl.”

The metal voice reverberates in what many vocal coaches call “the mask”—the area around the nose, eyes, and forehead. It focuses the sound in your sinus cavities, which act as powerful amplifiers for the vibrations your vocal cords make. These piercing sounds can be an intense experience as they ricochet around inside your head. I call the metal voice “the cheapest sound in the mall” because it uses only a tiny amount of breath to create a great big sound.

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Medium 9781609945367

13 Choosing for the Human Spirit

Margaret J. Wheatley Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

 

What is your experience with humans that would inspire you to choose to become a warrior for the human spirit? Are people really worth the struggle?

Chögyam Trungpa, the founder of Shambhala training, taught that dark times arise when people lose faith in one another. Absent that positive belief in others, there is no motivation to act courageously. People disappear into their private worlds, just as is happening now. If we choose to be warriors, we will find ourselves struggling day to day to be wise and compassionate as we work inside the collapsing corridors of power. We have to expect a life of constant challenge, rejection, invisibility, and loneliness. So it’s important to contemplate how much faith you have in people, because this is what gives you courage and the ability to persevere. What has been your direct experience with the best qualities of the human spirit, with human goodness?

Chögyam Trungpa also taught, “Something that is worthwhile, wholesome and healthy exists in all of us.”65 Have you discovered this in your life and work? Have you discovered that we truly are, all of us, bundles of potential, capable of manifesting new talents and skills? How many times have you been surprised by someone suddenly displaying new capacities, ones you never would have expected from them? How many times have you surprised yourself? And what’s been your experience with generosity and compassion? How often have you witnessed or benefited from others’ compassion generously offered, when they worked hard to help you or another person without concern for themselves? Certainly we witness this after every natural disaster, strangers rushing in to assist, people helping people with no thought for their own needs or safety.

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