Tag Archives: TED

You Exist

I see youPeople come to therapy for a number of different reasons. Frequently they are struggling with something and they want support or guidance. I feel honored to do the work that I do and grateful to my clients for allowing me to accompany them on their journeys. For some reason, there is still shame around not being able to get through a struggle on one’s own or even struggling. One of the most important things that I try to convey to my clients is that they are not alone and that they exist.

When we feel unheard, unsupported and unloved and we all struggle with these feelings at some point in our lives, it’s important to know that to someone else, anyone else, that we matter, we exist. During times when all is well, it’s also important to know that we exist. David Isay of NPR’s Story Corp, agrees. Here is a link to his amazing talk at TED.

Isay said, “In 1998, I made a documentary about the last flophouse hotels on the Bowery in Manhattan. Guys stayed up in these cheap I existhotels for decades. They lived in cubicles the size of prison cells covered with chicken wire so you couldn’t jump from one room into the next. Later, I wrote a book on the men with the photographer Harvey Wang. I remember walking into a flophouse with an early version of the book and showing one of the guys his page. He stood there staring at it in silence, then he grabbed the book out of my hand and started running down the long, narrow hallway holding it over his head shouting, “I exist! I exist.””

Isay’s TED talk is 21 minutes short. It’s filled with so many terrific pieces of wisdom. I want to listen to it over and over again. I hope that you get as much from it as I did and I hope that you know that you too, exist.

Contact me here and let me know if you could tell someone that they exist, who would it be and what would you say?

To Be Happy, We Must Be Grateful

This time of year we are bombarded by that word, “grateful.” We’re expected to be grateful. peanuts thxgvgWhat happens when you don’t feel grateful but you are told that you should be?  What if you feel guilt or pain about not feeling grateful? What if the pain that you feel prevents you from noticing those things for which you are inherently grateful?

David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar gave a TED Talk about the “gentle power of gratefulness.” He says that if we can “stop, look and go,” we will be ok. It takes a lot of practice to do this but if we can stop the negative thoughts, look around at the gifts that we do have and go forward, we can be happy. It’s gratefulness that makes us happy. One way to build these muscles is through meditation. Another way is through neurofeedback. The type of neurofeedback system that I use, NeurOptimal, trains the brain to be more present- it stops the ruminating negative thoughts, which enables us to look at what we do have so that we may move forward.

 

Steindl-Rast says that we all want to be happy and in that, we are all connected. In order to live gratefully, not just this time of year, we need to be aware that every moment is a given moment and is therefore, a gift. I'm gratefulHe says, “If we didn’t have this present moment, we could have any opportunity to do anything or experience anything. The gift within the gift is the opportunity. What you are really grateful for is the opportunity, not the thing that has been given to you. We can avail ourselves of this opportunity, or we can miss it, and if we avail ourselves of the opportunity, it is the key to happiness. Behold the master key to our own happiness is in our own hands. Moment by moment, we can be grateful for this gift.”

The power of gratefulness can literally change the world. lotus in handSteindl-Rast says that, …”if you are grateful, you’re not fearful, and if you’re not fearful, you’re not violent. If you’re grateful, you act out of a sense of enough and not a sense of scarcity, and you are willing to share. If you are grateful, you are enjoying the differences between people, and you are respectful to everybody, and that changes this power pyramid under which we live.” In order to be happy, we must be grateful.

To learn more about NeurOptimal neurofeedback, click on this link. If you would like to talk about how neurofeedback can help you or to learn more about how to move through the pain that you are currently experiencing, feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.