Monday, May 14, 2018

Relationship with Others: May 11 2018

Charles West Mindfulness Group
2nd and 4th Friday of Month
Club/Recreation Room, Floor 31.
1:00pm sharp - 3:00pm
Facilitator:  Alainnah Robertson

Friday, May 11


Our meditation was 15 minutes, spent in our place of peace; our oasis of tranquility.

Our discussion centred on creating an Intention around our relationship with others. what do we want our relationships to look like?

Emotional Intelligence is what we need as we develop our relationships with the other people in our lives. This applies to all relationships.

Using the basic principles of Emotional Intelligence, we can develop a Vision of how we want our behaviour in a relationship to look.

  1. Self awareness
This is the first principle of Emotional Intelligence, and this is what we use to develop our relationships with the other people in our lives. This applies to all relationships.
The Objective Self that stands outside ourselves, is what we use to observe our behaviour, and that of others. Honestly, what am I thinking, doing and feeling, and how am I behaving in the relationship?

  1. Managing emotions
We have understood how to manage our emotions, and our motivation is that we want to avoid hurting others as much as possible. Honestly, what am I thinking, feeling and doing, and am I showing hurtful feelings, such as anger, in the relationship?
Boundaries are what we can implement in a relationship. We know what we want, and need, and we have learnt to say, "No!" We can do this kindly, with a smile, but firmly.

  1. Self-motivation
We truly want to develop good relationships with other people. We want to keep peace whenever possible, and work out challenges to a win-win solution. Honestly, am I working at the relationship to improve it?
Personal Responsibility is something we accept in a relationship. We know that our own behaviour is what we can control, and we don't try to control or change the other person in the relationship. We accept them with non-judgemental love.

  1. Empathy
We want to understand, and respect, the feelings and motivations of other people. We want to give support to others in achieving their chosen goals. Honestly, am I contributing to the relationship what is necessary to support the common aims?
Listening to the other person, is how we learn the other's point of view. As we strive to understand that different viewpoint, and respect it, we can probably propose a common meeting point that is acceptable to both. We can respectfully discuss options, and come to a win-win answer for both people.

  1. Handling Relationships
We want to have good relationships with everyone in our lives. We are prepared to do the psychological work on ourselves that is necessary to achieve this goal. Honestly, are we doing that work?
Meditation can help us in all aspects of our relationships. As we rest in our place of peace, we can quietly contemplate any situation from as many viewpoints as possible. We can search for common ground so that a win-win answer can be found.

Our Intention in relationships emerged clearly as we examined each principle and shared experiences from our own lives. Doing this, we developed a clear understanding of our Vision for relationships.

We want a relationship in which we ourselves behave in an emotionally mature fashion. Self-aware, and self-reflective, we act with emotional restraint. We practice empathy, making the effort to see the point of view of the other person. We listen carefully, and patiently, to what is said, before answering. We honestly present our point of view, and set clear boundaries that we are not prepared to have crossed. We love non-judgmentally, allowing the other person freedom from our control. We work with the other person, instead of imposing our will on them.


For instance: a mother dealing with a teenage daughter could sit down with her and discuss quietly why a curfew is being set as to when she has to be home at night. The mother could say that she understands that her daughter wants to go out with friends and have fun. She could then go on to explain that the curfew is being put in place out of concern for the daughter's safety. As long as the daughter is in the care of the mother, it is the responsibility of the mother to set clear boundaries on what is acceptable behaviour from her daughter. The win-win would be if they could come to a common understanding of how the daughter will deal with going out with her friends in a responsible and mature manner, coming home at an acceptable, safe time.

We all were agreed that having a clear understanding of relationships, and how to work on them, is very helpful. The wish was expressed that this had been taught to us in our youth. We took comfort from the fact that Mindfulness is being widely taught systematically in schools, universities, hospitals, and many other places. We hope young people are benefiting from it as much as we are!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Relationships: April 27 2018

Charles West Mindfulness Group
Second and Fourth Friday of Month
Friday, April 27
1:00pm sharp
Recreation Room, Floor 31
Facilitator: Alainnah Robertson


Working with our Subconscious Mind
We began, as usual, with a Meditation. Loretta said that she was having difficult at present in relaxing and sleeping. After our Meditation, she shared with us that she had experienced a peaceful time. Everyone said they would have liked it to be longer.

Working with our Rational Mind
As we had newcomers with us, we again examined our relationship with ourselves. This is the most important relationship, and if it isn't mature, no other relationship in our lives will be mature and happy.

Once again, I asked if everyone considered themselves as perfect. No one did.

We worked through a series of questions, as follows:
  1. Do we continually look deep into ourselves?
  2. Do we have a good relationship with ourselves
  3. Do we love ourselves unconditionally?
  4. Are we totally honest with ourselves?
  5. Are we kind to ourselves?
  6. Do we know what we want from ourselves?
  7. Do we respect ourselves?
  8. Have we developed a pragmatic approach to life?
  9. Do we know where to draw boundaries?
  10. Do we accept responsibility for our own actions?
As we discussed these questions, and shared our thoughts and experiences, with a lot of laughter, it was obvious that our Group is composed of mature people, who know themselves and their strengths and limitations, and accept themselves as they are. They have learned to love themselves unconditionally. 

I again asked the question, "Are you perfect?," explaining that I would define what I meant by "perfect." 

In my opinion, perfect human beings have opened themselves up to self-examination. They realise that they are a work in progress, continually striving to deepen their understanding of themselves. They seek to live life successfully, and observe their interaction with others so that they can continually improve on that. They want to make others happy, and be happy themselves. They are aware of their own continual growth in maturity. They accept themselves as they are, and love themselves unconditionally. 

As Loretta pointed out, in this sense, "perfect" doesn't mean a static state; it means that we are in flux, as is everything else. Change is always happening; the universe is continual change, and we are part of that whole process. 

When this definition was put forward as the meaning of perfect, everyone realised that they were, indeed, perfect. They certainly are in my eyes! It was a lovely end to a fascinating afternoon. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Relationships: April 13 2018

Charles West Mindfulness Group
Second and Fourth Friday of Month
Friday, April 13
1:00pm sharp
Party Room, Floor 31
Facilitator: Alainnah Robertson

We began our session with a guided Meditation. It’s fascinating how one’s Place of Peace can change.
It’s so interesting to share our experiences and enjoy the flights of fancy of our minds.


We examined what constitutes a healthy relationship with others. Once again, Carol shared with us
a challenge she was having with her relationship with a friend, and this demonstrated exactly
what we were going to talk about. She is certainly tuned in.


All Healthy Relationships have Boundaries. When setting these we have to, as follows:
  1. Recognize our feelings.
  2. Recognize when and how our boundaries have been crossed.
  3. Recognize how we need to set our boundaries.
  4. Communicate what boundaries you need to set.
  5. Take care of yourself first, before you can take care of others.
We applied these ideas to our own cases, and could clearly see how we had, and could now,
set boundaries in our own lives.


Carol was particularly pleased with the work we had done today. She stated that she is finding
that she is applying the principles we are discussing, and finding that they are helping her
make her life happier.


Homework: Practice meditation whenever you can: perhaps five minutes on going to sleep
at night and five minutes on waking up in the morning.

Consider what we have been discussing, and apply it to your life.

Relationships: March 23 2018

Charles West Brain Group
Second and Fourth Friday of Month
Friday, March 23
1:00pm - 3:00pm
In the Party Room, Floor 31


Another lovely afternoon was spent together exploring our minds. As Maureen said, she feels
she is putting her mind in order and tidying up her “stuff”.  


This session, we began looking at relationships. We began with the most important relationship
of all, the one we have with ourselves. When asked if they were “perfect”, everyone said that
they didn’t feel they were perfect.


A fascinating discussion followed, examining questions such as do we have a good relationship
with ourselves, do we love ourselves unconditionally, are we totally honest with ourselves,
are we kind to ourselves, do we know what we want for ourselves, do we respect ourselves,
have we developed a pragmatic approach to life?


At the end of this, “perfect” was defined as meaning we are comfortable with ourselves,
and have answered these questions with a yes. With this explanation, everyone could see
that they were, indeed, “perfect”. It’s a nice feeling at this mature stage of life to realise
that we are mature people, and have done our best in life, according to our knowledge and
circumstances at the time.


We brought our session to a close with a fifteen minute meditation.

Responsibilities: March 9 2018

Charles West Mindfulness Group
Second and Fourth Friday of Month
Friday, March 9
1:00pm sharp
In the Party Room, Floor 31
Facilitator: Alainnah Robertson


We began by sharing our experiences with dreaming, and using the concept of our Objective Self
standing outside of us, watching our actions and analysing them.


SubConscious Development
The members of our Group have become experienced and skilled meditators. With a minimal lead in,
we meditated for 15 minutes.


The discussion began by everyone saying that the time had seemed so short. Everyone had
enjoyed it, and hadn’t wanted to come out of it.


Rational Development
Once again, we quickly revisited the concepts we have already discussed.


Emotional Maturity: everyone has an understanding of what it means: feeling an emotion;
recognizing what it is and putting a name to it; researching what is the trigger and understanding it.


Choices: We all have choices we have to make in life, including how we let events and people
affect us, including what to do about any bad experience that hurt us deeply in the past.


Boudaries: If possible, the person who inflicted the wound should be approached to convey
the degree of hurt inflicted. If the person won’t listen to you, it might be a good idea to approach
them again, along with some else. If they are neither remorseful nor repentant, it is not necessary
to forgive the behaviour. We may feel sorry for the person, or not, but we may choose to move out
of their life, and move them out of our lives. This is perfectly legitimate. They had no right to inflict
such pain. We leave them in the past and choose to move into the present, with the incident
released from our emotions.


New Topic
Responsibilities: We all agreed with the concept that we are each responsible for our own life.
We accept control of our life, and make decisions affecting us. This is the beginning of maturity,
and the secret of true happiness.

This means we can never be victims. Any event that happens to us is an occasion for learning.
We chalk it up to experience, and use our Outside Self to help us analysis what happened,
and use our subconscious mind to help us process it.

Emotional Maturity: February 23 2018

Charles West Mindfulness Group
Second and Fourth Friday of Month
Friday, February 23
at 1:00pm sharp
Party Room, Floor 31
Facilitator: Alainnah Robertson



As usual, we began our session this week with a meditation. A visualization lead-in is no longer
necessary, and even our inexperienced participants were surprised by how much time had passed.


The discussion that followed emphasised that everyone was no longer a beginner.
Everyone was enjoying meditation, and finding it helpful.


Continuing our exploration of emotional maturity, everyone has an understanding of what it
means: feeling an emotion; recognizing what it is and putting a name to it; researching what is
the trigger and understanding it.


Our discussion raised facets of our experiences that illustrated that our Group consists of mature
people, with long life experience, who are emotionally mature and are already practising
what we have been examining.


It was agreed that the value of what we are doing lies in deepening our understanding of the process,
and giving it a framework. This helps in understanding and justifying our behaviour and attitudes.  


Carol interjected at this point to say that she values our sessions. She finds them an oasis of peace
in her busy week, and enjoys our friendship as we share our stories.


CHOICES was the new topic introduced for consideration. We all have choices we have to make
in life, one of them being what to do about any bad experience that hurt us deeply in the past.


Carol immediately told us a story from her experience that completely illustrated the concept.


When a hurtful event happens in our life, it was recognized that it is necessary to talk about
our feelings and allow ourselves to feel them, whether to trusted family member, friend,
or counsellor. We need to explore what happened and gain an objective understanding
of the event, including the behaviour of all concerned.


The final point in Carol’s story was that she chose not to let a person hurt her any further.
This naturally led on to our next new topic.


BOUNDARIES was the next topic of discussion.  
If possible, the person who inflicted the wound should be approached to convey the degree
of hurt inflicted. If the person won’t listen to you, it might be a good idea to approach them again,
along with some else. If they are neither remorseful nor repentant, it is not necessary to forgive
the behaviour. We may feel sorry for the person, or not, but we may choose to move out
of their life, and move them out of our lives. This is perfectly legitimate. They had no right
to inflict such pain. We leave them in the past and choose to move into the present, with the
incident released from our emotions.


The discussion around this was instructive, and once again showed the maturity of our Group.
Everyone understood the concept, and some found it useful to realise that it is not necessary
to forgive the behaviour.

The Emotional Heart: February 9 2018

Charles West Mindfulness Group
Second and Fourth Friday of Month
Friday, February 9
at 1:00pm sharp
In the Party Room, Floor 31
Facilitator: Alainnah Robertson



What a lovely afternoon we spent together this week!


Place of Peace


Meditation: We are all becoming experienced in the practice of meditation, and shared ten minutes
in our place of peace, filled with Love.


This sanctuary of peace within, is always there, and is our reality. No matter what storms rage
around us, it is always there for us. We can simply relax and close our eyes to  find it.


Discussion
It is so interesting and helpful to share, in discussion, our experience of meditation.


Homework: practice a 5 minute meditation every day. It can be done as bedtime, or on waking up
in the morning, if you can’t find time for it during the day.


The Emotional Heart


Part of becoming a mature human being is learning to deal with our emotions.


We retreated to our inner quiet place and felt the emotion Love. Our objective, observing Self
watched from outside us. We observed how love felt to us, and we named the emotion.
This is the first step of being emotional mature.  


Discussion
We had a fascinating discussion of our experience.


It became obvious that our Group is mature.


Homework

Practice feeling and recognizing emotions, in ourselves and others.

Emotional Intelligence: January 26 2018

Charles West Brain Group
Second and Fourth Friday of Month
Friday, January 26
at 1:00pm
In the Party Room, Floor 31
Facilitator: Alainnah Robertson


Place of Peace
Another lovely, peace-filled afternoon!


We began with a guided meditation to our inner place of peace, and rested in it for five minutes.


Discussion
Everyone is now becoming practiced in this discipline. The discussion afterwards shared that
everyone finds their place of peace so pleasant they want to stay there for longer.


This sanctuary of peace within, is always there, and is our reality. No matter what storms rage
around us, it is always there for us.


Homework: practice a 5 minute meditation every day. It can be done as bedtime, or on
waking up in the morning.


Emotional Intelligence


Part of becoming a mature human being is learning to deal with this facet of human nature:
our emotions.


Question
Have you all been doing your research?


Daniel Goleman wrote the book, Emotional Intelligence (1995),
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Goleman


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_intelligence


https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/emotional-intelligence


Discussion
What do you think is emotional intelligence?
Once again, the discussion was an interesting sharing of ideas. It quickly became evident that
our group understands what is emotional intelligence.


We went on to look at the idea that it is necessary to learn to recognise an emotion when felt,
and name it.


Once again, we use the concept of Self as being outside of our brain, to observe our feelings
and reactions.


Emotional maturity gives us the power to understand one of the most important underlying factors
of our belief systems and behaviours. What do I feel? What do you feel?


We retreated to our inner quiet place. Everyone can now do this immediately, without being guided.


The instructions were to see a person or something you love dearly. Perhaps a pet, perhaps
a spouse or life partner; perhaps a child; perhaps a grandchild: it doesn’t matter; just someone
you love, or even a something, and with whom you have a good relationship.


What do you FEEL when you see them? Name the emotion. This is what love feels like to you.


Discussion
We had another interesting discussion as we shared what we had experienced.


Homework
Practice feeling and recognising emotions, in ourselves and others.