Tag Archives: mindfulness

Avoidance or Awareness: How Do You Live?

Dr. Lynda Klau

“Avoidance works but Awareness works better and is in the direction of Evolution.”  Marilyn Ferguson

Years ago I read that sentence in an inspirational book by Marilyn Ferguson called “The Aquarian Conspiracy.” There are some lines that you hear once and never forget. This is one of them. Ferguson was right. Avoidance does work. You can push down, cut off, go far away, blame, not see—to varying degrees—feelings and thoughts inside you. You can live with a broken shower head, a doorbell that hasn’t rung in years, not see the garbage on the streets and much more. Avoidance supports you in living with the hard stuff without addressing it, without even being aware of it.  Avoidance helps you go forward. And, yet, there is a price to pay.

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See your right hand pushing your left fist down. Be your right hand. How much energy does your right hand need to keep your left fist down? Now see your left hand, after being held down for quite some time, and be your left hand, busting lose. Explosions happen from the repressed and suppressed. In the places where you avoid how can you be truly connected with yourself? How can you be fully intimate with another? How can your heart be wide open to all of life?

In order to survive many of us have had to avoid.  May we honor “avoidance.”  And realize its price.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awareness at its best means observing from a place that watches and does not judge. It is about waking up. You wake up to your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and decisions you’ve made about yourself and the world. I am bad. The world is dangerous. It’s my fault. You wake up to reality, the facts: you see the broken showerhead, you don’t have a job, your relationship is a mess. And you wake up to your calm center, your essence. As you build awareness you are also building another place on which to stand that holds the “all and the everything” from love and openness. From this perspective you can wholeheartedly see what is, and grow with it. What’s the downside? Often feelings and facts hurt. But the whole truth is they only hurt for a little while and then, the truth when felt, sets you free.

Do you want to move toward Awareness? Can you see some of its benefits?

What is the key to developing your Awareness? What is the major obstacle?

I always want to hear from you,

Lynda

Dr. Lynda Klau

Founder & Director of

LifeUnlimited: The Center for Human Possibility

www.DrLyndaKlau.com

Life-Unlimited-Blog.com

1 212 595 7373

Date 7.16.12

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WHY I BECAME A HELPING PROFESSIONAL

By Dr. Lynda Klau

Many people have asked me why I became a helping professional. I share my answer with you now.

All my life, it appeared that I was “on the right track,” so that by the time I was in my twenties I had achieved all of the trappings of conventional success: I was married, I had earned my PhD, was financially comfortable and traveled often. But always, deep within, I felt a haunting sense of incompletion—a pervasive longing for something I couldn’t name.

Then one cold winter day in February, when I was twenty-nine, everything changed. On that day, in a professional workshop, I had a number of experiences that pierced the core of my being and unleashed my life energy, my essence, which had largely been locked up.

I felt the power of love: life itself and larger than life, the visible and the invisible. I opened to a new clarity of seeing, through which I met the present moment free from the past. I discovered what I could only call “Real Life.” This, I recognized, was what I had always been looking for—the vision that would pull me forward for the rest of my life.

Like every journey, it happened a step at a time, each step bringing a new freedom. Out of my desire to live “Real Life” which meant heal myself, live from my life energy, my essence, and live in harmony with the mystery of life, I began my life’s work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For over two decades, I have worked with individuals, couples, teams and organizations using my unique integration of a psycho-spiritual therapy, coaching and holistic business strategizing. I am a professional public speaker, and published author; I conduct workshops nationally and internationally and appear on radio and television. As an expert in the development of human possibility, I address a full spectrum of issues, from moving out of “stuckness”, fear and people pleasing—which could manifest as depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, and business issues of all sorts—to evolving into a transformational, inside-out mindful and free mentality. In this place we live and thrive as our whole selves; being authentic, present, empowered; having our voice, feeling good enough, pursuing our callings in the world, being leaders, living our lives and giving to the world.

The way I work is: what is present in the moment, experiential and non-formulaic. My recent years of training in brain science, particularly Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB), naturally compliments the unique set of skills and cutting-edge tools for transformation that I have trained in and used successfully over the years: breathing, somatic work, mindfulness, guided imagery, Gestalt therapy, Transformational therapy, strength based approaches and more. All of this leading us to living “Real Life.”

I now see that, all along, I was building a roadmap that would help others find their way to this new way of living. It is unending. It is beyond my wildest dreams. It was worth all the work.

Today, I choose to be one of the many who acts as a midwife for the birth of a new world: one that works for everyone. A world that supports us all in being and becoming our best selves, supporting one another, based on the love of truth and the truth of love.

Another world is not only possible. She is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.   

~Arundhati Roy

Stay tuned for our upcoming teleclass-workshops. You can also work with me privately if you wish.

Sign up for my newsletter to be notified of events, click here. Feel free to pass this on to resonant others.

I always want to hear from you,

Lynda

Lynda Klau

 

Lynda Klau, Ph.D.

Founder & Director

Life Unlimited: The Center for Human Development

www.drlyndaklau.com

life-unlimited-blog.com

1 212 595 7373

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Mindfulness: The Art of Cultivating Resilience.

Resilience, MindfulnessUndeniably, sooner or later, we all have to deal with life’s realities—those hard surprises and “unknowns” that can literally change everything in less than a nanosecond.

Imagine you’ve just been fired. Many of us would react to this situation in at least some of the following ways:

“I’m terrified.”

“I should have seen this coming.”

“I’ll never find another job in this economy.”

“Am I going to be homeless?”

“I’m a failure.”

Reactions like these reflect a fear-based survival framework for viewing the situation, whereby we filter the external facts of what’s happening through the internal lens of what we feel (our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and body sensations). In this way, our fear creates our reality, locking us in anger, powerlessness, and blame.

Mindfulness: A Tool for Re-contextualizing and Reframing

“People are not afraid of things, but of how they view them.”- Epictetus

Although it’s understandable why we might react from fear when facing the prospect of losing our job, or other challenging situations, mindfulness is a powerful tool that offers us the opportunity to make a radical shift in orientation.

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing our awareness to what we are experiencing in the present, both internally and externally, without judgment (Kornfield, 2009). It is a wake-up call to become conscious of the ways we perceive and respond to life’s situations. When we live mindfully, we shift our entire ground of being.

Here’s a traditional, easy-to-follow exercise to help develop your mindfulness during difficult situations (Klau, 2009). Mindfulness takes time to develop. It is an ongoing process. Be kind and compassionate to yourself as you follow these instructions.

Sit in a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed.

Close your eyes and focus your attention on your breath.

It’s natural for your attention to become distracted. When that happens, simply return to your breath.

While focusing on your breath, allow your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and body sensations to enter your awareness as you perceive the external situation.

Now ask yourself: What are the facts of the situation? What are my thoughts, feelings, beliefs and body sensations? How am I responding?

With practice, this exercise can bring us to our calm, reflective center. This safe-haven, in which we can rest and see more clearly, holds and contains everything arising for us in the present. From here, it is possible to deconstruct, re-contextualize and reframe our original fear-based feelings and reactions, honoring and embracing them without being their victims.

For example, let’s return to the original situation, where you’ve just lost your job. Rather than automatically reacting with fear, Mindfulness helps you realize and accept: “The only fact about this situation is that I don’t have my job right now. Everything else— my self-judgment, my fear, my blame, my anger, and the tightness in my body— is my feelings.”

We don’t have to meditate to practice being mindful. There are many ways to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives. As we become increasingly mindful, we can begin to respond from a place of freedom and choice. In other words, we can act with resilience.

What Does Resilient Living Look Like?

The more mindful we become, the more we broaden and build several inner resources that help us strengthen our resilience (Fredrickson, 2001). These include:

Compassion: You hold the intention not to judge yourself or others. You are mindful of your self-talk. However, if you do judge yourself, you don’t judge yourself for judging. You are kinder and more supportive. If mindfulness brings the wisdom to see clearly, then compassion brings a loving heart (Neff, 2011).

Acceptance: You increasingly accept the facts, which you can distinguish from the feelings. Acceptance isn’t about “giving up”. It is having the strength to “let go” of control and stop fighting reality.

Openness: You’re progressively open to viewing even the most difficult situations as opportunities for growth. You trust that they have something to teach you, and you expect to learn.

Creativity: You draw on your power to visualize and create the results you desire. At the same time, in the spirit of acceptance, you are not attached or fixated upon your own expectations.

Living resiliently is more than just “bouncing back”. It is about shifting our perceptions, changing our responses, and learning something new. For example, a resilient response to losing our job might re-contextualize and reframe the situation in any of the following ways:

“I’m going to breathe deeply and take things one step at a time.”

“I may not like it, but this is the way it is. My first step will be to file for unemployment.”

“I’m not going to play ‘the blame game’. It’s not my boss’ fault or mine.”

“I’m sure that there’s a lesson or two for me to learn from all this.”

“It would be easy to get ‘just another job’. I’m going to find one that I’m truly passionate about.”

In Conclusion:

Living resiliently represents a whole new way of being and doing. In this way, resilience isn’t just for the hard times…it’s for all times. Empowering us to live, love, and work adventurously in the face of change, it builds a well from which we can draw for the rest of our lives.

References

Fredrickson, B.L (2009) Positivity, Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity and Thrive, Random House, NewYork.
Klau, L (2009) Mindfulness: The New Zen of Time Management, GAINS Quarterly, Summer.
Kornfield, J. (2009) The Wise Heart, Random House, New York.
Neff, K (2011) Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind.
Siegel, D.J. (2010) Mindsight, The New Science of Personal Transformation, Random House, New York.

This article may also be viewed at http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/mindfulness-art-cultivating-resilience

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Psychotherapy: getting free to live your dreams.

Psychotherapy: Transference: getting free to live your dreams.
Do you want to be free? Free of the obstacles that block you
from living your dreams. Then learn about Transference. It
is a key psychological concept that we all should know about
and understand. When we are able to be conscious that
transference is unconsciously operating in our lives; then we
have choice.


What is Transference? In the broadest definition of that term,
refers to the unconscious act of redirecting or projecting the
feelings that we had toward our parents or early caregivers
onto people in our everyday lives. To say that it affects our
behavior constantly would be an understatement. Imagine that
your boss doesn’t look you in the eyes and it instantly makes
you feel exactly as your father did when he treated you
dismissively as a child. Imagine walking into a job interview
and finding that the person behind the desk talks constantly
about herself, which unconsciously triggers the way you felt
when your father incessantly lectured you without asking your
opinions. Lastly, how many times have you been strongly
triggered by someone, either positively or negatively, without
knowing why? The truth is that most of us react to these
transferential situations emotionally and unconsciously.
The “wisdom-perspective” would advise us to detach from the
situation at hand because our personal feelings do not reflect
the objective facts. One of the common catchphrases of the
wisdom perspective is “Don’t take it personally!” But what
happens when we can’t help but do so?

If we understand the
psychological concept of Transference, then we realize that
the “real” situation we’re dealing with often triggers
a “symbolic” one that is often unconscious, activating feelings
that arise from our past. By addressing Transference, we begin
to distinguish between what is real and what is symbolic,
allowing us to return to everyday situations with awareness
and choice.



Transference Exercise

Here is an exercise to be done in your own

private time and space, designed to help decrease the negative
effects of Transference in your life:


Step 1: List the people in your everyday world who “push your
buttons.”


Step 2: Select one person on which to focus specifically.


Step 3: Perform a review of your feelings about this person. Ask
yourself: “What happened in reality? Who in my past does this
remind me of? How do I feel about that person?”


Step 4: Now visualize a boundary and separate the “real” person
you’re dealing with from the “symbolic” person they trigger


Step 5: Listen non-judgmentally to the feelings triggered by
the “symbolic” person. For example, pay attention to the things you
might have wanted to say or do to someone from your past, but
which you never did. You may even want to write your feelings down
concretely.


Step 6: Return to the “real” situation. What has changed?



This exercise should be repeated as often as necessary. It brings us
back to the “real” situation with a greater sense of emotional freedom
and clarity. The more conscious we become of our transferential
responses, their effect on us will increasingly diminish. We will not
simply unconsciously react to a person or a situation, but we will
respond productively with awareness and choice.

Want to heal your obstacles or blocks, your depression, anxiety, self-
esteem issues, and more? Want to know what your transference
rating is? Contact Dr. Lynda Klau @ drlyndaklau@gmail.com. http://
drlyndaklau.com/psychotherapy.html
.

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Psychotherapy: On Being and Becoming Whole

Blogs relating to: Psychotherapy and Couples Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy: On Being and Becoming Whole

Psychotherapy

Some of the most leading edge work in psychotherapy these days combines mindfulness, the body, neuroscience, and relationship research. I’ll be teaching a course in this powerful approach for mental health professionals as part of The Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy’s Year Long Certification Program in 2011-2012. Here’s the course description.

On Being and Becoming Whole

When we as mental health professionals combine mindfulness, neuroscience, and new relationship research, a synergetic approach emerges.

Several questions arise relevant to integrating psychotherapy and spirituality:

These and other questions inform this learning module, which draws from personal and professional stories as well as exercises and discussion.

  • How does mindfulness contribute?
  • How can we include the body?
  • What does “brain-wise” neuroscientific knowledge add?
  • What qualities can we develop to facilitate relationships that heal?

FREE OFFER

If you want to receive my hot of the press new podcast guiding you in a mindfulness meditation email me drlyndaklau@gmail.com and I’m happy to personally send it to you.

Sign up for the email newsletter on my official website for periodic updates and helpful information and resources.

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Just Be. Visit our Free Meditation Room

Need some space to chill out, cool down; need some time for yourself?

Go to our Free Meditation Room.

Perhaps you just want to sit quietly, do nothing, and Just Be.
Perhaps you want to choose one of our pictures to as the object of meditation.

You can read the simple written instructions for Mindfulness mediation.

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