Saturday, December 31, 2011

What's Your Right Brain Doing These Days?

Recently I read My Stroke of Insight  by brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor who suffered a massive stroke at age 37. It wiped out her left brain hemisphere, where we hold language and linear reasoning skills.

When only her right brain was functional, she discovered an incredible sense of the present moment and a feeling of peace and oneness with all, which is what mystics and spiritual gurus achieve through meditation.

Dr. Taylor is now fully recovered, but her stroke changed her. While recognizing that we need our left brain linear thinking skills, she encourages others to side-step negative left brain emotions such as anger and jealousy by choosing otherwise.

“The more aware I remain of what my brain is saying and how these thoughts feel inside my body, the more I own my power in choosing what I want to spend time thinking about and how I want to feel,” she says.

I made similar discoveries after a major life trauma in the early '90s shattered my psyche. Although not physically caused, I needed counseling to rebuild my broken sense of self. In the process, I became more conscious of my thoughts and actions, and learned how to non-judgmentally observe myself and be more accepting, compassionate, and loving. Toward myself and toward others.

I recommend Dr. Taylor’s book.

Or learn more about my favorite presentation topic: “The joy of self-discovery: Getting to the heart of who you really are.”

Saturday, December 24, 2011

New Year, New Weight Loss Resolutions?

For many of us, the first of January means the inner diet genie emerges. "Gonna lose those holiday pounds," we proclaim. If we can be healthier by changing certain habits, we should do it---but let's make sure we're motivated, not by self-dislike ("I hate the way I look!") but rather, by loving self-acceptance.

After all, self-acceptance doesn’t mean you have to stay where you are. Our bodies are precious gifts and a blessing from our Creator. They can help us as we seek the Holy.
Let me quote a prayer from the pages of my book,
GRACE ON THE GO: Quick Prayers for Determined Dieters. 

A Prayer of YES!
"Dear Lord, I say YES!
Yes to loving myself.
I am as you made me.
 Dear Lord, I say YES!
Yes to healthy eating.
Being active.
Choosing right.
I surrender this area of my life to God.
Dear Lord, I say YES!"

 “O God Help me To believe The truth about myself No matter How beautiful it is!” (by Macrina Wiederkehr, from Loving Yourself More, AveMaria Press p. 31)