Making mindful use of your to-do list

Dear Integral Meditators,

How can you transform your busy-making ‘to-do’ list into an object of mindfulness? The article below explores one possible way!
Heads up for the Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever next Saturday 16th June, 10-11.30am.
And last few days for the mindful stress-transformation coaching offer, see below 😉

In the spirit of mindful to-doing!

Toby


Stress Transformation Coaching special offer:
Up until Friday 15th June there is a special offer on Toby’s Stress transformation coaching service. Three x 1hour packages are on a 15% special offer (a saving of $95). Contact info@tobyouvry.com for full details.
Stress transformation coaching with Toby is exactly that; it teaches you how you can transform your stress, anxiety and other difficult emotions into forces for the good in your life. The coaching focuses upon:

  • Getting to know and understand the negative or conflicting energy and emotion in your life more deeply and intimately, seeing its potential value
  • Developing the capacity to recycle,  transform and redirect this difficult energy into a positive force that works for you rather than against you
  • Find yourself thriving in situations and circumstances that would previously make you unhappy, fearful, inhibited and so on…Read on…

 


 

Making mindful use of your to-do list

Most of us have a ‘to do list’ most days. Quite often when you hear about practicing mindfulness, we are told to try and put down the to do list in our mind, in order to notice the present moment more.
There is one way that I have of using my own to do-list as a way of increasing my mindful appreciation, and it goes something like this. Every day I have my list of to-dos’. Often, they are written in my diary, alongside my appointments. At various points during the day I will open my diary and, with a little red pen cross off the actions and appointments that I have done so far. I will then pause for a few moments, and give myself a little appreciation for the things that I have done. I will also use what I have done to ensure that I am seeing that today has been a constructive day, where things have been achieved, and I take the time to note and feel good about that. I then proceed with the next few things in the list.
Of course, the list rarely ends, but my approach to my to do list ensures that I am using it to feel good about myself and my day, rather than taking what I have done for granted, and feeling oppressed (and maybe depressed) about the things that I have not yet done!

Structuring unstructured time with your list. 
Sometimes if there is a gap in my routine and I sense a certain amount of anxiety around ‘what I am going to do with this time?’, then I’ll simply write a list of things to do, work, leisure or otherwise that will last me that morning, afternoon, or however long the open space is. I’ll then just get on with the tasks, and cross them off as I go. Then at the end of the time I’ll just look at the crossed-off list of what I’ve done for a short while, just to register and appreciate what I’ve done, and enjoy the fact that my time was well spent.
If you choose to use this way of working with your to-do list, then rather than getting in the way of your mindfulness practice, it becomes an active part of it. Your to-do list becomes a way of honing your attention, developing appreciation, becoming more effective in life, and deriving active pleasure from your achievements, great and small!

© 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 AsiaOngoing 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 16th June, 10-11.30am – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Saturday 23rd June, 10am-4.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Shamanism


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Going from clinging on to enjoying (Attachment to appreciation)

Dear Integral Meditators,

What is your relationship to attraction? The article below offers a few thoughts on how you can go about enjoying and appreciating that which you find attractive without clinging or getting unhealthily attached! In short, how to transform attachment into appreciation!

And on the theme of ‘stress transformation’ see the coaching offer below!

In the spirit of pleasure and appreciation,

Toby


Stress Transformation Coaching special offer:
Up until Friday 15th June there is a special offer on Toby’s Stress transformation coaching service. Three x 1hour packages are on a 15% special offer (a saving of $95). Contact info@tobyouvry.com for full details.
Stress transformation coaching with Toby is exactly that; it teaches you how you can transform your stress, anxiety and other difficult emotions into forces for the good in your life. The coaching focuses upon:

  • Getting to know and understand the negative or conflicting energy and emotion in your life more deeply and intimately, seeing its potential value
  • Developing the capacity to recycle,  transform and redirect this difficult energy into a positive force that works for you rather than against you
  • Find yourself thriving in situations and circumstances that would previously make you unhappy, fearful, inhibited and so on…Read on…

 


​Going from clinging on to enjoying (Attachment to appreciation)

What are you deeply attached to in your life? Of these, what or who do you cling to in ways that are unhealthy, addictive, undermining to your self-esteem and create destructive patterns of behaviour? Think of one or two right now…

This article offers a few thoughts on how you can transform states of attachment and clinging onto appreciation and enjoyment. From an experiential point of view we have three types of object/person/situation that we encounter:

  • Those that we feel repulsed by or averse too
  • Those we feel drawn or attracted to, magnetised by
  • Those we feel neither attracted to or repulsed by, they are kind of neutral

Right now, we are focused on the second type of object, those we feel attracted to.

Underlying sources of attachment – Not enough, not competent, no joy
So what transforms something or someone that we feel attracted to to something that we feel attached or cling to? Part of it is an underlying sense within ourselves that we are incomplete, incompetent or that we have no joy or pleasure. For example:

  • If I feel incomplete as a man and I meet a woman I find attractive, then I may cling to her as a potential source of ‘completion’. So, what I feel for her is not just an appreciation of her attractiveness, but the idea that by possessing or obtaining her I will somehow ‘fix’ my problem of incompleteness or loneliness.
  • If I often feel incompetent or ineffective in life, then the things that I feel attracted to I may tend to cling to. For example if I feel incompetent in my business practice, I may cling onto a business or romantic partner as a ‘life raft’ saving me from my own confusion in the face of life’s complex challenges.
  •  If I am out of touch with my feelings, both emotional and bodily, then I won’t feel much joy or pleasure in my life. As a result things that I could be enjoying and appreciating such as caffeine, alcohol, sex etc…become objects that I become addicted to, a way of replacing the fundamental absence of joy or pleasure’.

Coming to your objects of enjoyment from the POV of wholeness
If I want to experience objects of attraction in a healthy, pleasurable way then, I need to come to them from with a healthy self-sense, one where I experience myself fundamentally in three ways:

  • I am complete, loved, whole as I am
  • I am competent, adequate (to life’s challenges)
  • I have ready access to the feeling healthy joy and pleasure in my body, today

If you come to the things you currently feel attached to with these three attitudes, then you have the opportunity to transform them from objects of clinging to objects of appreciation and real enjoyment.

Moving from clinging on to appreciating
So then, if I come to people places and things I find attractive in our life with the idea that ‘I am complete, I am competent, and I feel joy’ then:

  • When I encounter an attractive member of the opposite sex it will be easy enough to appreciate them as they are, without needing to ‘possess’ them in order to validate myself.
  • When I face a difficult challenge in my business I won’t be cling to the idea of someone ‘saving me’, but if my business partner helps me out, then I can appreciate and enjoy that!
  • If I have access to joy and pleasure in my body, then I can enjoy sex, caffene, alcohol, endorphins etc…as a complement and enhancement of that, rather than an addiction that I use as a compensation.

Three ‘mindful injunctions’ from this:

  1. Notice when you develop negative attachment or clinging in your life. Study the experience.
  2. Practice coming to the things you feel attracted to from the perspective of ‘I am (already) enough, I am (already) competent, and I have access to joy’.
  3. Emphasize appreciation and appropriate healthy enjoyment of the things you find attractive. Have fun and experience pleasure!

Related articlesGiving your heart whole
Cultivating positive non-attachment
The middle way to enjoying your life fully
Moving from attachment to care


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

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

Saturday 16th June, 10-11.30am – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Saturday 23rd June, 10am-4.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Shamanism


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Meditation – Centering around simplicity (to thrive on complexity)  

Dear Integral Meditators,

We all have complex challenges in our lives these days, how can meditation help you deal better with that? The article below offers one answer!

It’s Wesak day today, so wishing you all a happy Buddha’s enlightenment/birthday day today! I’ll be doing a Wesak Day meditation tonight and tomorrow evening, those in Singapore most welcome to come along!

Most of the meditation activities for June are up, just scroll down beneath the article to have a look…

In the spirit of  mindful simplicity,

Toby


Meditation – Centering around simplicity (to thrive on complexity)

Last night I was by myself in my apartment. It has been a busy month, and there are quite a number of ongoing projects that are quite complex and uncertain for me right now. If I had not been a meditator, then my mind may have latched onto any of these complex uncertainties, and started thinking them over. I may have experienced anxiety, doubts or worries, mixed in probably with some excitement and positivity. As it was I chose to let go of all the complexity for a while and just sit quietly, tuning into the solidity of my body, and allow my state of mind to become very simply and uncomplicated. The period of simplicity was refreshing. It allowed me to ‘catch up’ with any unprocessed emotions that were floating around, and enabled me to return to my thinking a while later with a sense of purpose and clarity.
This pattern of movement, from a complex state of mind to a simple, centered one is what distinguishes a meditator from a non-meditator, and it also illustrates much of the value that meditation offers.

Moving from complexity to complexity
For many of us the pattern of our consciousness is to move from one complex state to another. After we wake up we start thinking about work, or we have to get the kids ready for school. On the way to work or school we might start thinking about our romantic relationship, or lack of one, or the problem with the colleague we have at work. After sitting down at our desk we spend a while deliberating whether our work is the ‘right’ work for us? Are we wasting our life? From there we go into the practical challenges of the day….and so it goes on. Our mind moves from one state of complexity to another, to another. All of the complexity, and the associated emotions start to mix in with each other, and we feel almost perpetually anxious. Things feel out of control, unresolved. We solve one problem only for two more to take its place. Our ‘feeling’ that life is complex and/or out of control bleeds into all of our tasks, making us less effective at all of them.

Moving from complexity to simplicity, to complexity
For a meditator, the fundamental pattern of their consciousness changes. Like all of us, a meditator has complex life problems which s/he has to deal with. However, instead of moving from one complex problem to another, a meditator regularly returns their attention to a state of simplicity and non-complexity. So, for example I might go from thinking about the complex problem of ‘rasing my child right’ to a short period where my mind is simply focused on the pleasant feeling of relaxation in my body. From that state of simplicity, I might then think about the content of my next article, and write it. Then back to a state of simple body awareness. From there I might go onto an emotionally sensitive conversation with my neighbour about the volume of their music at night, then back to simplicity, and so it goes on…

A win-win between simplicity and complexity
One of the ideas with meditation is that, by returning regularly to a state of simplicity, your ability to deal effectively with complex problems improves. By returning to simplicity, you can deal with one complex problem separately from the others, rather than have emotions from your work life negatively influencing your personal life, and vice versa. Regularly returning to simplicity gives you a stable center from which you can meet the challenges of your life without feeling so intimidated and off balance.
You don’t have to wait until you sit down quietly to do some formal meditation, you can choose to cultivate a state of simplicity at any time. For example, while you have your morning coffee break, simply choose to come back to your body and the taste of the coffee. Become regularly simple to return to the complexity of your life with appetite and enthusiasm!

Related article: The benefits of simplicity

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

Saturday 16th June, 10-11.30am – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Saturday 23rd June, 10am-4.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Shamanism


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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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.

 


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)

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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