Month: November 2010

Never Hurry Through the World

With the arriving of the winter weather this week, I was ever so conscious that the delicious deciduous trees will soon become barren. Just last month when walking through Richmond Park, I saw the green leaves of the Sugar Maples transforming into vivid orange coloured foliage and the Field Maple leaves giving way to subtle yellow. This tree is said to be associated with the heart and love and can bring contentment to those who are burdened by responsibility.

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The Benefits of Facing our Fears with Compassion

Shine the light of compassion on all that frightens you to find healing and freedom.
-Tara Brach

Copyright 2010 George Buchanan

In our article last week we discussed how neuroscience has shown us that we are actually rigged to experience anxiety and rapidly remember negative experiences as one way that has helped the human species to survive. The good news here is called neuroplasticity, which is our brain’s ability to change its response to our experiences and alters its structure. Therefore, when fear comes to us like menacing black crows or ravens looming above, we have the ability to not only stand and face them, but to befriend them with loving kindness. We can bring our attention and awareness to our fear and treat it tenderly and gently without judgement, without running away or letting it threaten us. Thich Nhat Hanh states that “loving kindness” is “mindfulness”. What he means is that when anxiety or fears are present, we can also to invite mindfulness to be present as well. He likens it to a mother soothing her frightened baby as long as it takes until the crying subsides. This simple process is transformative. Read more

Flying pelican

How to Train Your Brain to Take the Edge Off Anxiety

This is the time of year when the holidays bring more consumerism and people tend to become more stressed. Yet no matter what the season, we all worry over health issues, family problems, job or school related demands, children with special needs, our mistakes, not getting approval from others, or the fact that there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done, to name a few. Sometimes we know how to ease our worries by better self-care, more quality time with family, or slowing down and getting our priorities straight. It is refreshing to wake up after a good night’s rest and feel ready for a new day. It helps to have taken care of business the day or night before, so we know fairly well what to expect from the day in front of us. But what about the days where you can’t control what is ahead of you?

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