Mental framing – Sculpting your view of life

Dear Integral Meditators,

We are never in 100% charge of what we experience in life, but we can determine the way in which we experience what happens. This week’s article explores how to mindfully take advantage of this truth!

In the spirit of sculpting & framing,

Toby

For those in Singapore: This weeks Tuesday & Wednesday evening meditation class focuses on seven mindful positions that can help you master your mind in daily life. One of these seven positions is mindful framing. This weekend I will be running a half-day retreat on Mastering your Mind Through Mindfulness Meditation. If you come along to the weekday class, then the cost of the half day retreat is reduced to $110 from $180! Full details of the retreat are below…

 


Mental framing – Sculpting your view of life

We are never in 100% charge of what we experience in life, but we can always influence the way in which we experience what happens. How we influence the way in which we experience something is via the manner in which we pay attention to it, and in particular the way in which we mentally frame it. The essential question with mental framing is “What is the optimal way for me to view what I am experiencing, so that I derive maximum value and minimum unnecessary pain from it?”
This question and the answers we get from it are like mental sculpting. The raw materials are our life experiences, and our ways of mental framing are like the tools used to craft and mould the raw materials into the shape that I desire.
Last weekend I was giving the example to a class of my own workshop creation process. I’ve created over 50 meditation and mindfulness workshops in the last decade. Of these only around 50% have gone on to be successful in the sense of attracting a lot of people numbers. So, if I focus purely on the ‘success rate’, then I’m not going to be a very happy boy in some ways. However, there are many ways in which I can use my mind to frame what I am experiencing after a ‘failed’ workshop in ways that are helpful to me. For example:

  1. ‘It is realistic to expect many of the events that I put on to not attract large numbers. It’s simply part of my evolving work progress, and in fact a 50% success rate is very good in the circumstances!’ – This view helps me accept the experience, feel happy about it and sets me up to continue working with it in the long term without feeling discouraged.
  2. ‘A small number of people in a workshop creates an intimate space for me to have a more meaningful, small scale relationship to the participants’ – Again, this view helps me feel enthusiasm for the experience and helps me to keep my appetite for the work in the long term.
  3. ‘I learned a lot from creating the workshop, so it is feeding my own process of self-discovery and growth’ – This is absolutely and objectively true, I do learn a lot, and so the time was not wasted, indeed it was very well spent!
  4. ‘If it didn’t work in this context, maybe I can try it in another context’ – I’ve seen from my own experience how courses that I have created in one arena later became a part of my mainstream ‘successful’ courses later down the line. No creative process is ever entirely wasted! Indeed, some of my most successful material only finds the right audience two or three years down the line.
  5. ‘This is helping my ongoing learning process about value creation’ – Every time I try something out, or put it out to an audience, I learn more about value creation, in business, in relationships and in life. This learning in turn helps me to make the best of what I meet in each day, and to become more successful in life. What could be better than that?

So, there you go; five ways of mentally framing my situation in ways that help me to view and experience it in a positive AND REALISTIC way. Realistic is in caps because for mental framing to be effective it has to be reality focused. You can’t just fantasize any old BS that just isn’t true!
Mindfulness is all about releasing our potential for learning and growth in the moment. Mental framing is a technique that really we can be using all the time during our day to ‘sculpt’ our reality in a way that is useful and desirable. But to get going you might like to take one or two specific situations in life and practice framing them. Happy sculpting!

Related articles: 
How to mindfully develop your self-confidence
Four positions for wrestling with your dark angels
Mastering your mind through mindfulness

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Saturday 26th May 10am-4.30pm – Mastering your Mind Through Mindfulness Meditation Day Retreat with Toby

Tuesday 29, Wednesday 30th May – Wesak Meditation

Saturday 2nd June, 9.30-11.30am – The Power of Presence – Mindfulness for managing conflict in your relationships and accessing your inner power

Saturday, 9th June, 9.30am-1pm – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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The mindful way to becoming a Titan

Dear Integral Meditators,

What are the real mindful keys to getting to where you want to go, and really achieving the things that you want in your life? My article below on ‘Becoming a mindful Titan’ offers a few perspectives!

In the spirit of great achievement,

Toby


Mindful Goals Coaching special offer:

Extended until Thursday 17th May there is a special offer on Toby’s Mindful goals coaching service. Three x 60 minute packages are on a 15% special offer (a saving of $95). Contact info@tobyouvry.com for full details.

  • Are you looking for concrete ways that you can combine improving your mental peace and centeredness with moving forward toward your goals in life?
  • Do you sometimes find yourself struggling to bridge the gap between your life goals and your daily actions/experiences?
  • Would you like to have a personally created mindfulness training program designed specifically for your needs and to help you achieve what you want in life?

Read on…


The mindful way to becoming a Titan (incremental & undramatic)

The Titans were beings of immense elemental power who lived before the birth of the Gods. You can find them in the mythic stories of the Greeks, the Nordic and other cultural traditions. Nowadays we use the term ‘Titan’ to mean someone who stands large within his or her discipline, like a giant. Michael Jordan is a ‘Titan’ of basketball, Serena Williams is a ‘Titan’ of tennis, Meryl Streep has had a ‘titanic’ influence on female acting in Hollywood, and so on…
So how did these people become the Titans of their discipline? What we see on the outside is a lot of glitz, glamour and drama. Because of this it can be tempting to think that these are the cause of their ‘titanic presence’. But , if  you look at the way in which these people build who they are, and the success they have, you’d actually see a tremendous amount of small, detailed, very repetitive and sometimes very boring actions that got them to the place they are. Serena Williams had to hit literally millions of tennis shots day in, day out to get where she is, whilst no one was looking or noticing. Similarly, an actor like Meryl Streep would have spent an inordinate and unnatural amount of daily attention to small detail, nuance and technique to get to where she did eventually.

The mindful way of progress – Incremental and undramatic
So, if we want to become Titans in our own lives, which is to say learn to fill our boots fully and stand tall and strong, fulfilling the potential that we have, then doing this means paying attention to a lot of small actions over a long period of time. The mindful way to fulfilling our potential is incremental, undramatic and generally very slow. For example:

  • If I say to myself ‘for the next three years, for five days a week, I am going to sit down for 10minutes and practice meditation. My aim is to become 15% more peaceful and centered’. If I then just relax and make sure I do that, then probably I’m going to be more than 15% more centered after three years. So, it’s just that small, by itself insignificant action done without drama that brings me the result.
  • I have been doing a short 20-30minute yoga program over the last two years, twice a week. In that time I have become imperceptibly more mobile and flexible, I don’t notice it from session to session, but I notice it if I compare myself now to myself six months ago. The difference is tangible.
  • A friend and I were talking last Sunday about how relationships (romantic and otherwise) are build or degrade over the course of hundreds and thousands of small inter-actions. Mindful attention to these exchanges gives rise to a titanically strong relationship. Equally inattention can destroy a strong relationship though incremental, consistent erosion.

Your self-development as a titanic project 
So, whatever goals you have in your life, if you want to build your Titanic strength and get to where you want to go, then try the mindful, incremental and undramatic way. Set up a target 2-3 years from now. Decide on small actions you are going to do most or every day to get to where you want to go. Then focus on execution, without worrying about progress, or whether anyone else is noticing or not. Becoming an unstoppable elemental force is within everyone’s grasp, if you don’t mind the lack of drama.

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Saturday 26th May 10am-4.30pm – Mastering your Mind Through Mindfulness Meditation Day Retreat with Toby

Tuesday 29, Wednesday 30th May – Wesak Meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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Mastering your mind through mindfulness – Seven skills

Dear Integral Meditators,

What does it mean to be a ‘Master of your mind’? In the article below I outline seven mindful skills that I have found to be particularly useful with regard to my mind, thoughts and thinking. They have continued to be effective for me and deliver value over long periods of time. If you are in Singapore then do check out the details of my Mastering your Mind Through Mindfulness Meditation Half-Day Retreat
Which is on Saturday the 26th May. It’ll be a chance to experience these skills first hand!

In the spirit of finding joy in your mind,

Toby


Mindful Goals Coaching special offer:

Up until Tuesday 15th May there is a special offer on Toby’s Mindful goals coaching service. Three x 60 minute packages are on a 15% special offer (a saving of $95). Contact info@tobyouvry.com for full details.

  • Are you looking for concrete ways that you can combine improving your mental peace and centeredness with moving forward toward your goals in life?
  • Do you sometimes find yourself struggling to bridge the gap between your life goals and your daily actions/experiences?
  • Would you like to have a personally created mindfulness training program designed specifically for your needs and to help you achieve what you want in life?

Read on…


Mastering your mind through mindfulness – Seven skills

What does it mean to be a ‘Master of your mind’? In this article my idea is to outline seven mindful skills that I have found to be particularly useful with regard to my mind, thoughts and thinking. They are designed to help you

  1. Find enjoyment and pleasure in the use of your mind, rather than feeling overwhelmed by it
  2. Develop confidence in the effectiveness of your own mind and thinking process, so that you can use it to navigate your life challenges more successfully

Here they are:
Not losing your senses – Whether your mind is busy or calm, happy or sad, its useful to have your body and your senses as a stable reference point for your mind. Learn to orientate your mental awareness around the stable anchor of your physical experience of this moment, right now.

Committing to be aware of what’s going on in your mind –  You can’t master what you don’t know. Get used to watching the comings and goings of your mind like a curious scientist. Learn to watch without editing what arises. What does a thought look like? How do thoughts and emotions relate to each other? Get to know experientially by observing regularly.

Being aware of the value of attention and the way you are framing what you experience – You can’t control everything you experience, but you can control the way you frame what you experience! If you are on a bad holiday where everything is going wrong, thinking ‘This is going to give me the material for some really funny stories when I get back!’ will give you a very different experience than if you just wallow in the thought ‘This is a crap holiday’! Pay close attention to the way in which you are paying attention.

Centralizing what’s good in the field of your awareness – There are always good things in your life. Make sure you know what they are, and make them front and center, not peripheral in your awareness.

Taking care of wounded, upset, dysfunctional and disowned thoughts – Often the parts of ourself and our mind that need the most attention are the ones that we reject, disown, repress or try and pretend aren’t there. Reverse this attitude. Learn to look after the thoughts in your mind that need your care and attention to heal and return to health!

Balancing mental activity with mental non-activity – Spend time getting familiar with what it feels like not to think. Get comfortable with empty spaces in your mind. Relax into them and enjoy the regenerative calm that comes from developing this skill, and resting in non-activity.

Bringing mental clarity through asking questions – Often our mind is an unexamined miasma of half processed thoughts, memories and feelings. Learn to consciously formulate questions that will help you bring clarity to the mess. Ones like ‘What’s good in my life?’ ‘What do I need to accomplish today?’ ‘What is my intention for doing this piece of work?’ or ‘What can I do to solve this problem’ are simple examples. Questions like this give your mind a target to focus on and ‘hit’. You can’t hit a target that you haven’t set up!

So, seven basic practices, if you like you could focus on one a day over the next three weeks, which would give you times to cycle though each one three times. See how it improves the way you experience and work with your mind, and how much you enjoy it 😉

Saturday 26th May 9.30am-1pm – Mastering your Mind Through Mindfulness Meditation Day Retreat with Toby

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Sunday 20th May, 10am-5pm – How to do Soul Portraits Workshop

Saturday 26th May 10am-4.30pm – Mastering your Mind Through Mindfulness Meditation Day Retreat with Toby


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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Giving your heart whole (Creating a ‘high functioning’ heart)

Dear Integral Meditators,

In order to get the most out of life, you have to give yourself whole heartedly to it without holding back. But what happens when you give yourself whole heartedly to a person, a project or a cause, and you get hurt, abused, rejected or taken advantage of? This weeks article offers a few perspectives on how to keep giving your heart to life without worrying too much about getting it broken!

In the spirit of the high performance heart,

Toby

PS: If you are in Singapore this weekend: Sunday 6th May, 4.30-6pm – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The shortest and most time effective meditation course ever!


Mindful Goals Coaching special offer:

Up until Tuesday 15th May there is a special offer on Toby’s Mindful goals coaching service. Three x 60 minute packages are on a 15% special offer (a saving of $95). Contact info@tobyouvry.com for full details.

  • Are you looking for concrete ways that you can combine improving your mental peace and centeredness with moving forward toward your goals in life?
  • Do you sometimes find yourself struggling to bridge the gap between your life goals and your daily actions/experiences?
  • Would you like to have a personally created mindfulness training program designed specifically for your needs and to help you achieve what you want in life?

Read on…


Giving your heart whole (Creating a ‘high functioning’ heart)

In order to get the most out of life, you have to give yourself whole heartedly to it without holding back. But what happens when you give yourself whole heartedly to a person, a project or a cause, and you get hurt, abused, rejected or taken advantage of?
Inevitably in life we get our heart wounded. People we trust turn out to be unreliable. Organizations that seem benevolent turn out to have a dark side. The reality we thought was there and that we gave our heart to turns out to be false. Sometimes it’s even malevolent, seemingly taking pleasure in the pain that we experience as a result of having our heart-felt feelings thrown back in our face. With experiences like this it is understandable that many of us become cautious, build up walls around ourselves, and wary of opening ourselves up. We’ve been hurt by opening our heart before, why take the chance of more pain by opening it again? In this article I want to offer a perspective on how to give your heart to someone or something in a way that makes continuing to give it both sustainable and enjoyable.

In romance and friendship – Giving your heart whole
One of the reasons that we get our hearts broken and wounded in love and friendship is because the heart that we are offering to the relationship is wounded and dysfunctional in the first place. If you come into a romance lonely, anxious and dysfunctional, then you are going to form a co-dependent relationship with the person. Consequently, if anything goes wrong, or they turn away from you, its going to place a wound in the already wounded or broken heart that you offered in the first place. This is going to feel really bad and take you a long time to recover from (if you even do recover properly).
The alternative to this is to do some work on yourself and your heart to make it a ‘high functioning, heart’. This means that you go into a relationship already feeling relatively whole, complete and happy within yourself. The relationship offers a further environment for you to express that already whole, complete and functional heart with another person. When you ‘give your heart’ to them, it is a whole, strong, robust heart, not a ‘heart of glass’. If the relationship then goes wrong in some way, or they behave badly, then you can simply take your heart back! Since you gave it whole, you can take it back whole. You didn’t give your heart to the person so they could ‘fix’ it, you gave it to them in celebration, in the spirit of fun, playfulness and possibility. If they were not able to reciprocate, then too bad for them, you just take your strong, whole, healthy heart back. You may feel a little disappointed or sad, but sadness can exist in a strong heart without breaking it.
In fact, if you have cultivated a high functioning heart, then giving it to someone is a kind of win-win scenario. If they reciprocate in kind, then you have a romance or friendship that can last you for a long time, even for life. But if it goes wrong, then you’ve had a good learning experience, no big harm done!
If you have a high-performance mountain bike, then you may like to take it out into the countryside and give it a thorough work-out, taking it through bumpy, muddy, wet and difficult terrain. Because it’s a good bike, its going to perform well, and you’re going to end up thinking ‘that was a great ride, I enjoyed that!’ Similarly, if you’ve invested and done the work in creating a ‘high performance heart’ then you are going to want to ‘put it through its paces’ and find things to test it against. You can ‘take it for a ride’, hit a few bumps and be pleased at how well it responds to genuine challenges.
In order to have a fulfilled life, giving your heart is really essential. But when you give it, give it whole, not broken. That way if you have to take it back, it’ll come back whole too!

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Saturday 28th April, 9.30am-1pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical meditations & techniques for working with your shadow-self

Sunday 20th May, 10am-5pm – How to do Soul Portraits Workshop

Saturday 26th May 10am-4.30pm – Mastering your Mind Through Mindfulness Meditation Day Retreat with Toby


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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Meditating with Your Inner Family (Plus Kids mindfulness coaching & gamma -wave medi technology)

Dear Integral Meditators,
What if as well as an outer family, you had an ‘inner family’ as well that you could draw upon for support as you go through the challenges of your life? The article below invites you to discover just such a family.
Before the article, you can see the details of a new service that I am offering ‘Mindfulness Coaching for Kids and Young People’. And beneath the article you can find details of I-awake technologies latest sound technology meditation track ‘Stealing Flow Gamma’.In the spirit of the inner family,TobyPS: If you are in Singapore This weeks Tuesday & Wednesday evening meditation class will be on the subject of how to ‘Ride the waves of your mind’. And a reminder of the of the weekend shadow workshop: Saturday 28th April, 9.30am-1pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical meditations & techniques for working with your shadow-self

Mindfulness Coaching for Young People with Toby

Growing up these days can really feel like a steep climb. Children and young adults are surrounded by an increasingly complex set of demands… mindfulness coaching for children, teenagers and young adults offers a safe space where your child can develop practical mindfulness tools to:

  • Deal effectively with difficult emotional challenges and anxieties
  • Build self-confidence and self esteem
  • Build focus and concentration
  • Learn to see their life in a more positive light… Click HERE for full details

 



Meditating with Your Inner Family

Four seasons, four stages of life
The ‘inner family’ as I call it has been a contemplative tool that I started using when during a time when I studied the Wheel of the Year and the Western Wheel of Life in some detail. The essence of it is that, in the same way that a year has four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter, so we have four stages of life that correspond to these seasons. These stages are childhood, youth (or young adulthood), maturity (or middle age, the age of ‘responsibility’) and old age/death. The final stage, old age and death in turn leads to rebirth. The idea with your ‘inner family’ is that you have four personalities, or aspects of self inside you that correspond to each of these stages. Regardless of what physical stage of life you are in, each of these ‘four selves’ is available to draw upon as an energy resource, a perspective, a power and a wisdom.

The basic qualities of your inner family members
Your Child self has the qualities of innocence, playfulness, creativity, spontaneity, wonder. To have a functional inner child is to have access to all the above qualities in our life. The child self lacks planning ability and mature wisdom, so needs to be guided and looked after by the older members in order to remain healthy.
Your Youthful or Young Adult self corresponds to the age approximating 17-34. S/he is full of vital energy and life-force, is ambitious, looking to establish her identity in the world and make an impact upon it. S/he is the part of us that may be explicitly concerned with looks and sexuality, being attractive, and so forth. We can draw upon her to get things done, fire our enthusiasm, be determined, and regenerate our appetite for life.
Your Mature self is the part of you that corresponds to middle age. More mature and settled than the youthful self, the mature self is good at planning, being responsible, problem solving, looking after others, and bearing burdens. When we are in actual middle age, this part of ourself can feel pretty run down, and so needs the energy and support of the ‘younger selves’ as well as the wisdom and perspective of the old self!
Your Old or Wise self is that part of you that views life from the perspective of being close to deaths door. S/he has lived through all the previous stages, and the ups and downs that they have brought with them. Ideally this part of you is actively available to the three younger members for consultation and wisdom.

Tapping into the wisdom of your inner family
I often simply imagine myself in a place in nature, and then see the members of my inner family coming to meet me, and sitting around in a circle. Once we have ‘checked in’ with each other, we might then go on to tackle a particular problem together.
For example, I am about to move apartment for the fourth time in a year. My mature self (I’m literally 45 in physical age) is feeling a bit run down and tired by this, mentally and physically. As I sit with my inner family group, I let my mature self-receive the love and playful enthusiasm of my child self. My youthful self offers support and vital strength, as well as keeping my appetite for life and ambition burning away in a healthy manner.  My old or wise self is on hand just to smile, empathizing at the suffering, and gently helping me pace myself through wisely.  All in all having my inner family around makes the experience enjoyable; I don’t feel alone or isolated. It’s a perfect complement to my outer family!
You might like to find your own inner place in meditation where you can meet and get to know your inner family. You can then consult them at will about any situation or challenge you are going through, facing it together, like a team.

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


New ‘Stealing Flow Gamma from I-Awake Technologies

Use Gamma:

  • While working, studying, exercising
  • When you want to shift into creative mode
  • To take in and process complex, detailed information
  • When you want to focus, get motivated

Click on the link or image for full details!


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Saturday 28th April, 9.30am-1pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical meditations & techniques for working with your shadow-self

Sunday 20th May, 10am-5pm – How to do Soul Portraits Workshop

Saturday 26th May 10am-4.30pm – Mastering your Mind Through Mindfulness Meditation Day Retreat with Toby


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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Dealing mindfully with anger and conflict in your relationships

Dear Integral Meditators,

There is a strong relationship between anger and power. If you can own your anger and learn to wield it as a force for the good in life, your sense of personal power will increase correspondingly. The article also looks at how to mange conflict in your relationships using mindful questions and attention. Enjoy!

Wishing you well,

Toby


The Power of Presence – Dealing mindfully with anger and conflict in your relationships

How can you deal more effectively with anger and conflict in your life? Here I am referring specifically to the anger and conflict that you experience in your outer relationships with other people. What I am going to do is give you some pointers for becoming more mindful in this area. This in turn will then naturally start to suggest to practical ways you can be more successful dealing with the challenges presented.

1) Observe the way in which you currently experience anger and conflict
Ask yourself the question: What is my current relationship with anger and conflict, both within myself and into relationships?
Bring to mind a time when you have been angry. What happens when you get angry? How does your body start to feel? Practice mindfully creating anger in your body and mind, and learn to relax into it, without being panicked by it or forced into a reaction. Get used to holding anger in your body comfortably, letting it flow.
Similarly, bring to mind a conflict you have in your outer relationships right now. Observe how you feel in the face of another persons anger, disapproval or aggression. Practice mindful holding your own space and breathing with the experience of conflict, so that when it happens in real time, you are not panicked or intimidated.

2) A working definition of anger – ‘Anger is a powerful emotion centred around issues of justice and fairness’. In its negative expression it is incredibly destructive and dangerous. In its positive expression it can be a powerful cause for order, justice and good in the world. ‘Positive anger’ might be thought of as simply the benevolent expression of justice and fairness in the face of malevolence or aggression. There is a lot to be gained from working to transform your own negative anger into positive anger. See my article on Act your rage – Three useful ways of thinking about and using your anger

3) Working with conflict in your relationships
Once you have done a little contemplation around section 1 above, here is a short exercise you can apply to any relationship you may have where there is anger and conflict. Firstly, consider the situation from three perspectives –
1st person – I/mine/ours – What is happening in this situation from your personal point of view? What are you feeling?
2nd person – the other(s) – What is the other person/people experiencing? What do you start to see if you mindfully take their perspective for a period of time?
3rd person – It’s, objective (fly on the wall) – What do you start to see if you take a more objective/detached point of view, outside of all the personal stuff?

Based on your insights from these three perspectives then decide ‘Am I going to’:

  • Change myself/adapt to the other person/people, (maybe not worth the hassle to confront?) or
  • Try and change the other person, or take a stand for what I feel is right (genuine issue if justice, and or ‘worth it’)?

Finally, having made your decision, strategize! Use your natural intelligence to come up with a way of approaching the relationship conflict, communicating skillfully in a way that you think is going to give the best result!

Experiment with small conflicts
A final point here, small and relatively insignificant conflicts are great places to start working with the above methods. Finding ways to gently work with conflict, anger and confrontation in minor situations helps you build the skill and confidence so that when something big kicks off, you are able to hold your own and enjoy learning how to articulate your own power in relationship conflicts.

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Tuesday & Wednesday’s in March/April – Inner Peace, Inner Power – An Introduction to Integral & Engaged Meditation Practice

Saturday 28th April, 9.30am-1pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical meditations & techniques for working with your shadow-self

Sunday 20th May, 10am-5pm – How to do Soul Portraits Workshop

Saturday 26th May 10am-4.30pm – Mastering your Mind Through Mindfulness Meditation Day Retreat with Toby


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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Facing what you cannot face (Mindful inoculation)

Dear integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores the idea of ‘mindful inoculation’, how you can become stronger and more resilient by deliberately turning and facing your most difficult inner issues. It’s a dimension of the ‘shadow work’ that I do.
If you enjoy the article, then do consider joining me for the workshop on 28th April: Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical meditations & techniques for working with your shadow-self, or check out my 1:1 shadow coaching service which is on special offer right now!

In the spirit of turning and facing,

Toby

Live in Singapore this week: At this Tuesday & Wednesday‘s meditation class we will be focusing on finding the balance between doing and being, all welcome! And on Saturday there is the Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat


Shadow coaching special offer: 
For the next week (offer closes 16th April) there is a special offer on Toby’s Shadow coaching service. Three x60minute packages are on a 15% special offer (a saving of $95). Contact info@tobyouvry.com for full details.


Facing what you cannot face (Mindful inoculation)

Inoculation from a disease involves injecting a small amount of the disease into your body, so your body’s immune system recognizes and become resilient to the disease. In order to become immune from the disease, you need to expose your body to the disease in small doses.
When building your psychological health, the same is true. To make yourself resilient to your most difficult and debilitating anxieties and stresses, you have to deliberately seek out and expose yourself to them each day. By doing so you ‘normalize’ the experience of the anxiety, so that it does not feel overwhelming or threatening; you build your immunity to it. You might think of this method as a sort of ‘mindful inoculation’ of your psyche from debilitating stress.

The challenge of doing this is it runs against much of our instinctive strategy regarding pain, anxiety and stress. When we sense a feeling or thought in our mind that is painful, sad (etc…) our first reaction is most commonly to distract ourselves from it, turn away from it, or repress and deny it. The last thing we want to do is turn and face it, let alone accept it!

The benefits of turning towards our sources of pain for short periods of time in the day is that we learn to accept and process them. This results in us taking far less time to work though the emotional trauma of bad experiences, and we become very confident. After all, if we can face down the very worst of what we find in the recesses of our mind, what is there left to intimidate us in life?

The method: Turning towards
To do this practice, take a domain in your life, eg: relationships. Then ask yourself the question “What anxiety or pain is it in my relationships that I am not acknowledging or facing right now?” Let your mind sit with the question, and start to investigate. Before too long you will come across an issue that you really don’t want to face. Once you have found it, mentally turn and face it. Move your attention towards it. Breathe with and acknowledge it. Relax into the experience (uncomfortable as it may be) for at least a minute. Over the next week or so your task them becomes to deliberately turn your mindful attention to the issue that you cannot face, and face it for short periods of time. By doing this you will gradually ‘inoculate’ yourself from the issue. It is not that it is no longer there, it is just you can turn and face it with confidence, you know how to look after it. It ceases to feel like a threat to your wellbeing.

An example
Relatively recently, a romantic relationship that I had been in for a few months came to an end. As we were moving toward the final split (but had not reached that decision yet) I asked myself “What is it about this relationship that I am not acknowledging or facing right now?” Quite quickly the answer came back ‘I cannot face that I may have to let this relationship go’. So, then my object of mindful inoculation became the loaded sentence ‘I may have to let this relationship go’. Repeatedly exposing myself to this, and the feelings around it moved my experience quite quickly from aversion: ‘I can’t let this relationship go’, to acceptance: ‘I need to let this relationship go’ to confidence: ‘This relationship is over, and I’m excited about the future and all the new possibilities!
You don’t necessarily need a lot of time to get over challenging, difficult or painful experiences, but you do have to have the courage to turn and face them and ‘mindfully inoculate’ yourself from them!

Related article: The quickest way through the rain

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Tuesday & Wednesday’s in March/April – Inner Peace, Inner Power – An Introduction to Integral & Engaged Meditation Practice

Saturday 14th April 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Saturday 28th April, 9.30am-1pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical meditations & techniques for working with your shadow-self

Saturday May 26th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Zen Walking Meditation Workshop

Sunday 20th May, 10am-5pm – How to do Soul Portraits Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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Four functional purposes of moving into stillness

Dear Integral Meditators,

Why bother continuing to cultivate stillness and reduced thinking through meditation? The article below considers four compelling reasons to keep you motivated!

In the spirit of stillness,

Toby

Live in Singapore this week: At this Tuesday & Wednesday‘s meditation class we will be focusing on self awareness though meditation, all welcome!
If your looking to give your meditation practice a shot in the arm, or know someone whose been looking for a place to get started with meditation, then this Saturday we have the Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever at the One Heart center.


Four functional purposes of moving into stillness

Why bother continuing to cultivate stillness and reduced thinking through meditation? It’s useful to have some concrete reasons other than ‘it feels good’, although this is not a bad reason in and of itself! Knowing the four reasons below helps us to persist with our practice, and be able to clearly see the benefits as they start to arise.

1. Our quality of thinking improves – By cultivating stillness we reduce the amount of thoughts in our mind. As the quantity of thoughts reduces, the quality of thoughts tends to increase. Because our mind feels less rushed, we activate our natural intelligenceand tend to think more positively, more reflectively, and more rationally.

We become much more resilient to stress – Imagine holding a bottle of water in front of you without putting it down. For 5minutes no problem, 10minutes your feeling it, 30minutes you are uncomfortable, one hour you might be in pain. If, however you were able to put the bottle of water down for 30seconds once every 5minutes, then you could actually hold that bottle of water out in front of you almost indefinitely, with minimal discomfort. It’s the same with our mental and emotional stress; it is not that the burden in itself overwhelmingly heavy, but because we never put it down it tires us out and feels unbearable. Stilling the mind and putting down our stressful thoughts is like putting down the bottle of water. It enables us to keep on bearing the weight of our stress FAR more easily by regularly putting it down!

We activate out intuitive and unconscious processing capabilities – When you temporarily reduce your everyday mind and thinking by moving towards stillness, you activate the natural unconscious and intuitive processing faculties of your mind. This enables your mind to sift through information, move towards balance and come up with creative ideas without you having to try hard at all. You learn to rest your mind and let it work by itself to come up with useful insights and information that we can use in our life.

We access the deeper self – Behind the everyday thinking mind there is the experience of consciousness itself; that which observes and is aware of the movements of our mind. This ‘observer’ is what I mean by the ‘deeper self’. It remains unchanged and constant even as our thoughts and experiences continually change. By dropping into stillness, we access this deeper, observing self. We can begin to identify with it, and use it as a point of stability, constancy and calm even as the events of our life twist and turn with fortune. Carl Jung called this deeper level of consciousness simply ‘the Self’, with our everyday thoughts, habits and patterns of action being ‘the ego’. In moments of crisis when the ego ‘falls apart’, people sometimes become aware of ‘the Self’.  Dropping into stillness gives us regular access to ‘the Self’, and the support it can offer us.

So there you go, four reasons to keep cultivating stillness! You can find a simple technique for cultivating stillness in my recent article So how do you still your mind?

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Saturday 7th April, 4-5.30pm – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Tuesday & Wednesday’s in March/April – Inner Peace, Inner Power – An Introduction to Integral & Engaged Meditation Practice

Saturday 14th April 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Saturday 28th April, 9.30am-1pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical meditations & techniques for working with your shadow-self

Sunday 20th May, 10am-5pm – How to do Soul Portraits Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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So how do you still your mind?

Dear Toby Ouvry,

You may have heard that meditating means to still the mind, but how do you actually do that, and what are the benefits? The article below considers these questions, and offers a simple practice you can do anytime!

At this Tuesday & Wednesday‘s meditation class we will be doing a class on stilling the mind, so do come along if you are available!

Underneath the article you can find the schedule of classes and workshops for April…

In the spirit of stillness,

Toby


Meditation Means to Still the Mind (Positive Amnesia)

We constantly try to solve our inner problems and find inner peace by using their mind to ”think” our way out, and it is certainly true that we can find many solutions to our problems using our mind.
However, it is also true that peace of mind is available to you at any time simply by stopping thinking and relaxing into a state of non-thinking stillness. If you can stop yourself thinking, then peace and inner well-being will arise naturally and easily from your consciousness. This is because peace, wholeness, and stability are the nature of your consciousness when there are no thoughts getting in the way.
So of course simply stopping thinking and resting in stillness will not solve all your problems. However, it will enable you to enjoy inner peace regularly, and this peace then gives you the perspective that you need in order to face your life challenges with much greater stability and sanity.

So, stilling the mind, is an essential skill that we are trying to develop in meditation. In many meditation schools such as Zen, moving into a state of stillness and non-thinking is emphasized as a major goal right from the beginning, it is THE training. The technique I explain below is a simple, uncomplicated way of moving into stillness that you can use anytime you want.

Stillness through non- thought: Amnesia or becoming a Simpleton.
This meditation technique involves an act of imagination, where you either imagine:

  • That you have suddenly been afflicted with amnesia and can remember nothing, not even your name
  • Or that you have become a complete simpleton. You have become so simple-minded or ”stupid” that you can no longer even string a sentence together!

Sitting quietly, just maintain the recognition of your amnesia or simpleton-ness. When thoughts, memories or images arise, remember that you have amnesia, or that you are too ‘stupid’ to hold the stream of thought together in your mind.
Practicing in this way, let your mind gradually become more and more relaxed, with less and less thought arising. From this absence of thought will come a sense of stillness. When you get good at this, you will be able to let your mind rest in a state of no-thought for longer and longer periods of time. This will give you a tangible experience each day of inner peace, and allow your body-mind mind to relax deeply.

Question: Won’t meditating on no-mind in this way actually make me more stupid, less intelligent and more forgetful??
Answer: Quite simply, no. We are using our imagination here to create a condition of stillness and no-thought. This then allows our mind to really have a good rest and recuperate its energy, which in turn results in an increase in our awareness, clarity and intelligence. It should also result in an improvement in mental factors such as memory.

Once you become used to practising amnesia or being a simpleton, you will discover that you can use it in many different situations in your daily life. For example, if you find that as you walk down the street your mind is commenting in a negative way on all the passers-by, you can simply ”switch it off” and ride out your difficult mood in relative inner silence, without making it any worse than it needs to be.

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Tuesday & Wednesday’s in March/April – Inner Peace, Inner Power – An Introduction to Integral & Engaged Meditation Practice
Saturday 14th April 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Saturday 28th April, 9.30am-1pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical meditations & techniques for working with your shadow-self

Saturday May 26th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Zen Walking Meditation Workshop

Sunday 20th May, 10am-5pm – How to do Soul Portraits Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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‘Going through the motions’ as a mindfulness tool

Dear Integral Meditators,

You may have heard or even experienced how mindfulness makes you more productive and increases your potential for success, but how does this actually work in practice? The article below gives a practical example…

In the spirit of quiet power,

Toby

PS: Live in Singapore this week: The Tuesday & Wednesday evening meditation classes this week is the Spring Equinox Balancing & renewing Meditation, all welcome!


‘Going through the motions’ as a mindfulness tool

There are a lot of things that are very necessary and important for you to be successful in life that are not very exciting, motivating or interesting. There are many days when you wake up tired, moody and undermotivated. On such days, even things that normally would excite you or motivate you can seem really uninteresting.
Whether it’s a boring task, or your feeling under-motivated, it’s really important in terms of being successful that you to keep doing what is necessary, whether you feel like it or not! When we do something that we don’t want to do, we sometimes say ‘I’m just going through the motions’. There are three basic stages to mindfully ‘going through the motions’ to get things done:

1. See the benefit of doing the task or action – This morning I went through a long list of old scripts, to see which ones I might want to re-vamp into new meditations. I was tired and it was essentially mundane work, but it was necessary to do before doing the fun, creative work of re-writing new material from the old. The mundane task sets up the completion of the fun, creative task.
2. Accept you don’t feel like doing it – If I’m feeling tired, run down and insecure on an evening, I may not feel like responding politely and considerately to my partners questions, or dealing with my children’s bad moods. But if I’m intelligent and thoughtful, I know that even though I don’t feel like it, it is in my own,  the other persons and the relationships best interests to make the effort. But I accept that I don’t feel like it. I’m going to do it despite the fact that I don’t feel like it!
3. Go through the motions anyway – At this stage I see the benefits of doing the task, I accept the fact that I don’t feel like doing it. Now, I need to go through the motions, just do it! It may feel mechanical and mundane, I may feel I am mentally ‘walking though treacle’, but I just do it. I start writing, I engage politely, I start exercising…I just get going, even if it feels fake. I go through the motions!

The benefits
There are a number of benefits to getting in the habit of going through the motions
You get it done, which feels good – As one writer said “I don’t like writing, but I like having written!” when you complete a task there is a feel good factor and a sense of satisfaction. Sometimes especially if you didn’t feel like doing it!
Sometimes you start to enjoy it and feel good – Once you start and overcome the initial inertia you can find yourself enjoying the activity. You didn’t feel like being polite to your partner, but now the conversation is chugging along very enjoyably!
Mundane stuff can be centering and grounding – If you are doing something boring, the repetition or predictability of the task can create a rhythm that is calming and centering. I noticed this recently painting walls in my apartment. The physical movement and repetition is deeply mind-calming and stress relieving!
You get sh#*t done that sets you up for success – when you habitually ‘go through the motions’ you become capable of doing and achieving things that you could not do if you relied on ‘feeling like it’. GTTM’s gives you the qualities of maturity, discipline and endurance that facilitates the long term fulfilment of deeply held goals and ambitions. You become capable of doing what the ordinary man or woman cannot do.

So, the next time you’re feeling tired, under motivated or despondent, simply set up the next task that you need to get done, and mindfully go through the motions!

Related article: On boredom, creativity & ‘mindful fishing’

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Starts Tuesday & Wednesday March 6-7 th – Inner Peace, Inner Power – An Introduction to Integral & Engaged Meditation Practice

March 20&21st – Spring Equinox Balancing & renewing Meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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