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Helande Drama

Reminder of the present moment

Can you see and feel how love and joy is everywhere around you? Just be present, notice the small things and look around for signs. And the days when it's really grey and dull, if you can't find it elsewhere, search for it within. Through meditation and contemplation you can find the light within. You can even think of the happiest moments you've had - just that same happiness is still there. Don't forget.


"Don't count the days, make the days count." (Muhammed Ali)

 

 

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What is success?

boat sunsetWhat is success? I asked some friends and acquaintances, some weeks ago, in a discussion.

The answers varied according to each ones belief systems, values and cultural background.
Because isn’t that just how it is; we can’t say what real success or real luck is for anyone. In this world of today and in Western societies where much emphasis is on having the ‘right’ education, partner, job etc., we are fostered into believing what it is to succeed and be happy.

Many Zen stories have inspired me in life and one of them especially fits well on the theme of what real success and happiness is. It is about this fisherman who lives a simple life and every evening just catches as much fish as he needs for him and his family. One evening as he sat on the beach with his small draught and enjoyed the beautiful sunset, a business man approaches him. He asks the fisher why he doesn’t try to get more fish so that he could sell some of it. That could in return give the fisherman enough money to buy a bigger boat, go further out on the sea and catch even more fish. Eventually

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Power exchange

When starting to write this blog today, I happened to be sitting opposite a native English speaking Yoga Teacher. Now I'm the sort who believes in life giving (and taking) opportunities so when talking to her about the translation of the word power, we ended up having a really interesting conversation about both the word and everything connected to it. Plus exchanging ideas for future work. :)

In both Swedish and English the word can have positive and negative connotations. The significance of the expression power exchange can, just like our conversation, branch off in all kind of directions. Becuase at its best, this is what we people can do - share and exchange power. Just like everything else changing, so does power in its natural state. At its worse the roles we are taking and having in relation to each other can prevent real meetings where one or the other tries to dominate the other. Just like classical drama exercises of domination and subjugation, as described by Keith Johnstone, the famous father of improvisation. We are animals at one instinctive level and if we don't become conscious of it we can misuse power in many ways.

When I was

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Identity and self-image

Questions like ”Who am I” and ”who am I for real?” have occupied the human psyche throughout history.

At certain points in life we see ourselves in new ways and may even be surprised of our own actions/feelings and thoughts to things that occur to us.

So who are you really? Are you other people’s expectations on you or are you your personality? Without applying deep psychological theories on to this subject (CG Jung ie.) it is still obvious that we can take as many shapes and forms as there are people in the world. Or any creatures and figures that your imagination can possibly come up with for that matter…

*Take many shapes and forms* could be an expression that at first sight seem threatening if your identity is too much related to your personality and to family roles and profession. However, to anyone familiar with drama and theatre it is clear that we in some ways have everything inside of us. This also means there are many possibilities for how we can present ourselves to the world.

Nothing is static anyway in life and sometimes we really need to integrate unknown aspects of ourselves. Or getting more

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Beyond sympathy/antipathy

Feelings come and go all the time and can make you believe in them being real. Well, in Mindfulness therapies and related we learn to observe feelings; you have feelings but they don't say much of who you are. Or anything about others for that matter.

This is especially true when we come to feelings of sympathy and antipathy.  To put it in the frame of psychological language, sympathy is when you have positive feelings for others. Which are often based on seeing qualities you like in yourself. Sometimes there can even be an admiration for someone’s characteristics; traits you still haven’t developed yourself. Antipathy is obviously its contrary. Projected feelings of those negative qualities we don't see or know of, but dislike in ourselves.

People who are used to work upon themselves and have some insight in their own psychology, will have heard of this. What's interesting is when we look beyond the feelings of sympathy/antipathy and try to change how we see the other person. Since ourselves are the only persons we can change.

The brain finds it hard to change the way it sees things or people and will likely not change its opinion of someone.

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Make gratitude a habit

Gratitude increases the feeling of happiness both in the short run and with a long time perspective. In fact, research* shows that the general level of happiness increases with time if we constantly practise gratitude. So a person who continuously focuses on being grateful will, after going through hard times, return to a higher level of happiness then before. As if there was a reference point of the general level of happiness in us all.

A new year can mean starting a good habit, ie of this named gratification training. A good example to do so can be to fill a jar with something good of every day in a year. On New Year's eve 2017 you can open all the 365 gratitude notifications and see how much you actually have in your life. It can be the smallest of things and especially those things you take for granted ie; happiness to live in a nice home, to have food on the table, to be able to say what you want because you live in a democratic country. Or it could be goals you've achieved, an LOL moment, a quote, daily blessings and memories to be saved. 

I did this

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