A Bird’s Eye View of THE ENCHANTED SELF and what it means to YOU! – Part 1

by: Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

The Rebbe Nachman of Breslow often said, “Always remember-Joy is not merely incidental to your spiritual quest. It is vital.”

As the years have gone by and I’ve been in the practice of psychology over 20 years, I have become more and more convinced that he was so right, that joy is not an option. When we take away joy and we take away a sense of well-being, a sense that we are thriving, we allow ourselves or seem to find ourselves in circumstances that seem to drain, tire and weaken us. We are no longer the whole human being that is our birthright!

THE ENCHANTED SELF is a positive psychology approach to mental health that works both in the treatment room and out. I teach people the techniques they need to start to think in positive ways about themselves and their world. Thus I teach them how to see what is right about themselves, rather than what is wrong. I also teach them to appreciate their own life story, its ups and downs; the roller coaster ride that we all go on. I teach how to value our potential even if in childhood we were put down or criticized, as so many of us are.

I have the belief and I teach the belief that inside of each of us we know when we are on track and we know when we are living a wholesome life that fits with the integrity of our particular spirit. I call this sense of well-being ”The Enchanted Self” and I teach people how to find their “Enchanted Selves” again and again-how to recognize and celebrate the states of well-being that signify they are in touch with the best of themselves. I stress the positive benefit of recalling memories about one’s life in a fashion that permits us to discover and rediscover our own talents and resources. I also emphasize how to find in our past the kernals of pleasure, and reservoirs of strength, that we can come home to again and again, even if we need to reshape these facets of ourselves to suite new circumstances.

Basically, this learning involves listening to yourself, and reviewing your own past to see what worked for you, what really gave you pleasure. What aspects of yourself and your life can you identify as necessary to experience a state of well-being? What do you need to feel whole? For example, if you loved to play the piano as a child, then you may not really enjoy watching football games as an adult. You may much more enjoy listening to classical music. However, in order to live a full life, you may also enjoy football games because your son loves them or your husband loves them. Thus there is also an accommodation to someone you care about and a resulting interest develops.

I think you can begin to see that what is going to work for each person is so unique to that individual! It involves a review of our history, and it involves analyzing the circumstances currently in our lives. If we have a handicap we may not be able to become a ballerina. Even if we have severe arthritis, we may not be able to become a ballerina at forty. However, the love of dance since childhood may easily be converted into wonderful yoga stretches that help arthritis and feel ‘dancy’. So often, there is a creative turn in the road, thinking out of the box, that the Enchanted Self person develops. You find you have become an ENCHANTED SELF when you havethe courage to put together using your mind, heart, body and spirit new inventive ways of bringing pleasure and meaning into your life.

The steps I teach people are rigorous but they are no harder then all the habits we learn that keep us in bad moods and keep us depressed. For example, if I teach someone how to review at the end of the day everything that has gone right in their day, that it is no harder than listing what went wrong. In fact it soon becomes easier than listing everything that went wrong. The reason it becomes easier is that you don’t build up some of the rage and some of the anger that one can build up when we review the problems in our lives. Now we are encouraged rather than discouraged and even may end up sleeping better and feeling better leading to much less energy drain.

In next part we talk about how to come home to and release your ENCHANTED SELF. Meanwhile, why not try reviewing your day in terms of what went right, rather than what went wrong! Let me know how it goes.

About the author:
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, originator of THE ENCHANTED SELF®, a method of bringing delight and meaning into everyday living, invites you to view her new line of ENCHANTED WOMAN products, downloadable e-books, and free gifts at http://www.enchantedself.com

Get a copy of a bi-weekly The enchanted Self newsletter at http://www.enchantedself.com/elettersignup.htm.Order her books, THE ENCHANTED SELF: A Positive Therapy, RECIPES FOR ENCHANTMENT: The Secret Ingredient is YOU!, and now her new book, There Comes a Time in Every Women’s Life for DELIGHT! at http://www.enchantedself.com/catalog

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Hobby Psychology

by: Variety Access Hobbies

Happiness is the culmination of small amounts of success. You will inevitably not be successful at everything you try to do. Also, if you measure your success by extreme standards, such as accomplishing some great and important task then you will likely often be too hard on yourself and feel like a failure, despite all of your other small successes. It is better to focus on the small successes and make them happen as often as you can. Mastering a new hobby can be a small success that you can accomplish, that you can make happen, and that you have control over. Moreover, it is something you choose to do. You can succeed at the things that YOU want to.
If you or someone you know is having trouble getting excited about life or has little ambition, perhaps it is time to have a little success or help them find a little success. Success can be inspiring. Success can build your confidence. As you learn a new hobby, your confidence will rise. You will become more ambitious and happy. You will become excited about other things that before you were not excited about.

A hobby can just be something else for you to do. One of my favourite quotes is “Variety is the spice of life.” A hobby is something you can spice up your life with. It can be very helpful to your mental health as you fill your life with the things that you enjoy and love. It can also give you a sense of control as YOU pick your hobbies. YOU find the things that YOU like. You can pursue your own interests.

As you experiment with different hobbies you can find yourself. You can find out what you are really like, what really makes you happy. Perhaps physical exercise will make you happier, in which case you should find a hobby that requires some physical exertion like mountain biking, running, lifting weights, dancing, swimming, or playing sports. Maybe you would enjoy a hobby where you can interact with other people; most of the hobbies already mentioned could also be done with others. You could also find more laid back hobbies such as outdoor yard games, barbecuing, camping, or boating. Whatever your interests are, or what you think they might be you can find a related hobby and pursue it. There are also www.VarietyAccess.com hobbies for people who like to spend time alone such as crocheting, scrapbooking, arts and crafts. Some people like to tinker with things or are interested in technology, in which case, they might like model airplanes or radio control airplanes. Many people have a hobby of communicating with ham radios. There are as many hobbies as there are ideas.

By definition, a www.VarietyAccess.com hobby is a leisure or recreational activity that someone pursues outside of their regular career. It is something that adds quality to life and variety to your nine-to-five job. It is something you can enjoy, something you can look forward to doing at the end of the day or the end of the week. It is something that you can spend time doing with family or friends. It is something that can provide purpose and a reason for you to be happy. Hobbies can help to find yourself and find where your real interests lay.

So, find a new hobby today. Find a hobby at the www.VarietyAccess.com>online hobby store that makes you think, that challenges you to be more intelligent, to be a better person and that gives you something to look forward to. You will be surprised what a difference it makes in your life.

Peter Jay is the Owner/President and CEO of Variety Access – Your online hobby store and more. For more information about hobbies, hobby products, or Variety Access, go to www.VarietyAccess.com.

 

You CAN Improve Your Relationship

by: Kim Olver

It seems as if creating successful relationships with our significant others and parenting children are two of the most difficult jobs we face and yet we get no formal training in either. It’s as if people believe that we are born with an inherent ability to do these two things. Yet, look around us. In the US, the divorce rate is slightly over 50%! I don’t know anywhere but baseball where a 50% average is a good thing.

Couples go through life getting along when times are good; and fighting with, ignoring, or leaving each other when things get tough. Most people believe that to seek help with their relationships means to admit a certain kind of defeat that says something about who they are as a person. Or possibly, they believe that relationships are something we are just supposed to be able to manage on our own. Or, finally, some people believe that those out there helping couples can’t know any more than they do. After all, what’s to know about keeping relationships together?

Well, the truth is that there is a whole lot to learn when it comes to relationships. Unfortunately, the only training most of us ever receive is the passive learning we get through the modeling of the adults who live in our house with us and the media. Now, I don’t know about you, but my parents had only received the informal training they got from their parents, and they from my great grandparents and so on back through the generations. There is so much more to know about relationships than that!

For Two Bits Tuesday: B A L A N C E
For Two Bits Tuesday: B A L A N C E (Photo credit: EraPhernalia Vintage . . . (playin’ hook-y ;o))

Also, my parents have helped support that 50% statistic cited earlier in that they divorced sometime around their 25th wedding anniversary. What I learned about relationships from watching them is that couples never argue, especially in front of the children. On the surface, my parents had a very happy marriage but my father experienced a stereotypical mid-life crisis and suddenly questioned the meaning of “life” and decided marriage was holding him back somehow.

In some ways, this type of training may have been as bad as those who have parents who argue all the time. Disagreements are a natural by-product of relationships. It is virtually impossible for two people to come together and create a life without some of their ideals, values, opinions or day-to-day activities coming into conflict with each other. The question becomes how the couple manages this conflict.

There are many things to consider when speaking about couples and their challenges and areas for growth and development. The first is compatibility. I know there is an expression that says opposites attract and I believe there is some accuracy in that statement when you think of attraction as that chemical interaction that occurs when two people meet and are attracted. This chemical attraction doesn’t care what the other person’s values are, what is important to him or her, the personality characteristics involved, or what either of you likes to do in your spare time. Compatibility is a key for a successful, healthy relationship. Go to www.therelationshipcenter.biz and take the free Assessment to determine your compatibility with your partner.

A second consideration is simply that there are major differences in how men are in relationships compared to how women are. Women generally don’t understand men because the men don’t act like women and similarly, men don’t understand women because they don’t act like men. And since a woman has never been a man and a man has never been a woman, how does each learn about these important differences? John Gray researched and wrote about these issues in his book, Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus. But I would say that the majority of people in relationships don’t take the time to learn about these gender differences. It is easier to point a finger and blame the other person for his or her “irrational” behavior.

As mentioned earlier, a third area of growth is learning how to manage conflict. There are time proven methods for resolving conflict that we don’t learn in school or from a book. There are ways to actually hear each other in relationships. By placing the relationship FIRST in importance, these methods can be implemented by couples to greatly improve their satisfaction.

There is so much to learn about satisfying relationships that your parents never showed you. Please don’t become one of the statistics of divorce or perhaps worse, stay in a miserable relationship to honor your marriage vows while having so many regrets about your life as the time ticks away.

Take charge and take control of your life. Learn some new ways to improve the relationship you are already in or to prepare yourself for being a better, improved partner for the next person in your life. Contact Kim at 708-957-6047 or email at Kim@TheRelationshipCenter.biz about relationship coaching or take one the many Teleclasses scheduled on the Events Calendar at www.TheRelationshipCenter.biz.  Don’t wait until it is too late.

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