Thought for You

by Micki Fine

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."
     ~ Vivian Greene

Many years ago I heard Thich Nhat Hahn, a beloved Vietnamese mindfulness teacher, say "we must develop our capacity to experience joy." Joy is one of the 4 divine heart qualities that can be cultivated through mindfulness. (The others are loving-kindness, compassion, and equanimity.) Mindfulness helps us awaken to all experiences as they present themselves, whether pleasant or unpleasant.

Our auto-pilot mind is programmed to notice the unpleasant more than the pleasant. Given this propensity, purposefully noticing joyful experiences can be a balancing factor in life. Rick Hanson, a brain researcher, coaches people to sink into pleasant experiences by coming into the moment, embracing the sensate experience moment-by-moment and savoring the experience for a while (10 seconds or more). Then imagine the pleasant feelings sinking into your bones or flowing through you veins. He says this can help us to rewire the brain so we can actually find more joy. 
This is not about positive thinking, nor is it meant to have you overlook difficult things in life but look more realistically at life. Life is a big soup of pleasant and unpleasant.

I encourage you to experiment with this. May we open to our lives, the pleasant, unpleasant and neutral, with a sense of kindness and compassion. I hope our paths connect sometime soon.

Peace & joy,

Micki Fine, M.Ed., LPC.

For more information:

She has a new childrens' book out in October, May All People and Pigs Be Happy.





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