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Issue 1 September 2014 AU $7.95 School of Modern Psychology

Inside this issue: FREE Coaching Course Articles & More

CREATIVE CONTENTS Page 3 Making Choices Page 5

Living the Good Life

Page 7 Vulnerable Ideas Page 9

Enquire, Evolve, Etch, Embrace

Page 11 Values Page 13

What Sustains Your Journey?

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What To Do With Troublesome Thoughts

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Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Creative Mindfulness Coach?

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Register for a FREE 2-week Coaching Mini-Course

Page 21 Membership Link

MINDFULNESS EDITORIAL Welcome to our first edition of Creative Mindfulness. I’m very exicited to be bringing you the first edition and sharing ideas to help you remain creatively mindful. Some of the articles within this journal have been published in my local newspaper, while others are appearing here for the first time. As we’re launching a new program: Creative Mindfulness Coach Training, you’ll also find information about this exciting venture in here as well. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about modern psychology, creativity, mindfulness and coaching - then this will be a great edition for you to explore. In my work I’m often asked about what people need to know to practice Creative Mindfulness. My answer is always the same: get in touch with that ‘little voice’ inside and reconnect with what it was like to be playful, imaginative and creative. It’s a simple way to re-connect with the ‘you’ that’s waiting to be rediscovered beneath the layers of ‘parenting, responsibility and busyness’. I believe creativity is one of the greatest gifts we can use in our lives - and I know that I’m not alone. More and more research is being done in this area and the benefits are in the wonderful feedback we receive from our students. I know there’s a need within our communities to become re-connected with our purpose so that we live wholeheartedly by embracing ‘who’ we are and the possibility that each of us can embrace. Please let me know what you’d like to see in future editions, and we’ll do our best to bring that to you. Barbara Grace Director

Making Choices


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My son visited me recently and we played a game of chess together. We done that since he was 11, which seems a few lifetimes ago, yet was onl years back. We were both rusty. I did my usual ‘go-for-the-queen’ routine – mine in the process without capturing his. Playing with my son took m to when my own father taught me to play chess. He taught me how to m pieces, and I became pretty agile with knights and bishops. Truth is we hours chasing each other around the board as neither of us knew how t how to checkmate the other to mercifully call an end to the game – so w to-and-fro rather than head-to-head. And I’m wondering … how well we play in our own lives and w we ‘play intentionally’ or just ‘move pieces around’. I can look back ove life and identify plenty of times when I was merely moving the pieces o

e haven’t ly ten

– and lost me back move the e spent to win – we went

whether er my own or doing


what I thought were the right moves, yet wasn’t actually engaged in the play. At times I wondered what the daily shuffle was all about, the never-ending routine of drifting with the tide. It’s only when searching with intent, like playing chess to win, that what we do in the everyday becomes purposeful. And it’s in the search to light our flame that finding direction becomes more of a ‘need’ than a ‘wish’. How does this happen? Not by chance but by choice, because it’s in searching and acknowledging our talents – then developing them through practice and application that things change. Sometimes it’s in the pursuit of the game that we find our purpose. Sometimes it’s in bringing more of our authentic selves to the moment when we become fully engaged. And sometimes it’s as we explore our minds and find sources of inspiration which re-charge our creativity that we truly play a game we care about.

Living the Good L Centuries ago, philosophers were asking the questions that many of us still ponder today. From the Stoics, a philosophy movement founded in the 3rd century BC, we have guidelines for ‘living the good life’ that remain relevant now, including the following: 1) It’s not events that cause us suffering, but our opinion about those events. 2) Our opinions are often unconscious. To become more aware of them ask questions: • Why am I feeling this strong emotional reaction? • What interpretation or belief is leading to it? • Is that belief definitely true? • Where is the evidence for it? 3) We can only control our beliefs, yet we often aim to control external things – like someone else’s behaviour – and then feel insecure or angry when things don’t work out as hoped for. 4) Every day, we can choose our perspective on life. Imagine that you are your own film-director choosing the angle of a shot. Where you focus is where you’ll put your energy. Choose wisely. 5) Repeating ideas over and over until they become ingrained habits can strengthen resolve. The Stoics made up phrases or proverbs (eg “Everything in moderation”) which they repeated to themselves when needed. 6) Seeing adversity as an opportunity can ‘flip’ your perspective to it. In other words, if you’re aiming to improve your temper, practice not losing it. If you’re aiming to rely less on comfort eating, practice eating less junk food. 7) Living the good life is not found in externals like wealth or power, but in doing the right thing because that is always in your power. 8) When you take the focus off yourself and contribute to causes within your community, you belong to a wider group of people whose aim is to give rather than receive. The Stoics used journals to keep track of their emotions and actions and then reflected on their practice. Journaling is an ancient habit that’s as relevant today as it was centuries ago. At the School of Modern Psychology, we agree wholeheartedly, it’s in ‘getting out of our heads’ and allowing our subconscious mind to explore ideas further that we can embrace ‘the good life’ more fully.

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CREATIVE Vulnerable Ideas I’m wondering how many reading this article have had ideas to improve either the work you do, the way things are done or how people are managed? It’s possible that most have had a thought at one time or another that you could do things better, yet bitten your tongue because your ideas might be shot down in flames, thought stupid or mocked in some way. My guess is many people limit involvement because it’s easier to stay quiet and not expose themselves to vulnerability – heaven forbid – that may be seen as a weakness! Yet, are you being authentically involved or just giving a half-hearted watered-down extract of yourself in order to fly below the radar? If you’re agreeing and been in situations like this – what have you done about it? Because this is where the collective worth of a team’s power is, yet without a voice and a place to air ideas not only will they wither in your mind, the chances of you becoming disengaged, bored, restless and disillusioned with your role will amplify each day you choke your ideas and your voice. There are three issues worth considering here. Firstly, the quality of your idea. Secondly, your skill at expressing it so it receives air time. Thirdly, your vulnerability to follow what you believe is right no matter how your idea is received. #1 The Quality of Your Idea I call great ideas ‘shower moments’ – as they usually arrive when you’re not thinking of a solution, but when your mind is relaxed and open. They are the ‘a-ha’ inspirational thoughts that need incubation to fully develop. If you have experienced these ‘shower moments’, you also know how important they are to be nurtured and fleshed out more fully because it’s in how they’re presented that they receive their deserved attention. #2 Presenting Your Idea Getting an idea across the line needs three elements for it to survive: the right audience, the right medium to present it in, and

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a perspective of what the outcome implemented. Without all these elements your ide light of day; or worse, be taken by o their own. Ask yourself these questions: • Who could be directly impacted b negatively and positively? • Who benefits from this idea bein • Who will be against your idea and • What facts and resources are need idea? • How will those with higher autho impacted? • How will your idea affect clients a reputation? • What costs will be incurred by im savings will be created by the idea? • In what ways will the idea improv • How will your idea benefit others • What impact will your idea have The best way to deliver an idea is to back story, what led to the idea, (ie idea’s potential. Use diagrams on a white board/nap your audience and explain it visual Create interest spikes throughout y you’ve explored the idea by using p examples of your idea in action. Engage your audience personally b and gaining involvement because t cost to the company if the idea isn’t 3# Being Vulnerable

MINDFULNESS will be if the idea is

ea may never see the others and presented as

by your idea – both

ng implemented? d why? ded to support your

ority than yourself be

and the company’s

mplementing it? What ? ve daily work flow? s? on the workplace culture? o tell a story around it. What’s the e your ‘shower moment’) and your

pkin/piece of paper to engage lly. your presentation to show how percentages, quotes, anecdotes or

by asking questions throughout the big question is: What is the ’t implemented?

Somewhere along the path from childhood to adulthood we received the message that being vulnerable equated to weakness. Ditch this idea. We all feel vulnerable – no matter whether you’re running a multi-million dollar company or working for wages. It takes guts to step up and present an idea that may not be accepted. In my world, I call it being audacious and having the courage to expose yourself knowing there are many ‘cheap seats’ in this world occupied by those who love to throw stones at anyone who puts themselves out there. There’s only one question to ask yourself: What have the people who are more willing to shoot ideas down in flames done? If the answer is nothing, then don’t listen or give any consideration because it takes guts, audacity and courage to move out of your comfort zone and do something different. And who knows, doing this may lead to the next idea which was even bigger and better just because you took the chance.



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quire evolve

etch embrace As part of our new Creative Mindfulness Coach program that commences in February 2015, we’re using the Enquire, Evolve, Etch and Embrace philosophy to introduce people to the concepts of Modern Psychology, Creativity, Mindfulness and Coaching that we use. If you’re interested in joining a free 2-week mini-coaching course to find out more about what’s involved, then register for our upcoming program (it’s free) by copying and pasting the link below into your web browser:

v valu “Values are not goals, whereas we can reach our goals, we can never achieve our values - they are what guide our actions towards reaching our goals.�

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values ues Knowing your values is one of the most important areas in your life to consider, and yet it isn’t often an area we spend much time thinking about. In the upcoming mini-coaching course, we look at our values through six lenses: our environment, behaviour, skills, beliefs, identity and connections beyond ourselves. These are drawn from the ‘Logical levels of thinking’ initially developed by Robert Dilts and now used extensively in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). There are many ways to consider our values, and in some of our courses we dive in quite deeply to reflect on them using themes from Positive Psychology. It’s a reflective process that when given time provides a moral and social compass to guide our decision-making.

Without knowing our values, and what we stand for, we can feel ‘rudderless’. Yet, it’s important to know that our values are guidelines that may also need adjusting at different times in our lives. The values that guided us in our 20s may not serve us as well in our 40s, 50s and beyond. It’s our flexibility around this important area that helps us be guided by them - without being ‘fixed’ by them. If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming a Creative Mindfulness Coach, then copy and paste the following link into your web browser to experience a FREE two-week trial.


What sustains your to achieve your g Recently I read an article that said French women have re-discovered the relaxing playfulness of ‘colouring in’ to de-stress and de-tox the mind. I felt elated as I believe that creativity opens the door to living a more wholehearted life. Hectic schedules are demanding – and our ‘off ’ button can be hard to find at times – unless it’s found in a wine glass, a reality show or emotional melt downs. Yet carving space in hectic schedules to relax means putting yourself first and taking time to ‘massage your mind’ away from deadlines and expectations that can numb fresh ideas and deplete mental and physical energy. We are all born as playful and creative individuals – it’s only when we’re told that we can’t sing, can’t draw, can’t dance and can’t write that the ‘fun’ side of ourselves shuts down and replaces spontaneity with the business of being busy. Except – living life on a piece of string without a few creative twists and curls to vary the journey can leave us feeling bored.

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And what do many of us do boredom feels like the norm

Look for distractions, dumb and tune out. Instead of giv ‘dead-pan time’ and become cushioned and physically an

Yet by nourishing creativity may not be any more advan coloured pencils or paint an the perfect outlet for relaxat with personal meaning – an erupts when you take a mom self.

So perhaps it’s time to get yo creative vitality and experie



journey goals?

o when we’re running on empty and m?

b-down, zone out, disengage, switch off ving ourselves what we need, we choose e emotionally absent, intellectually nd socially disengaged.

y and respecting your expressions (which nced than the last time you touched nd brushes as a ten-year-old), you have tion, stress minimisation, re-connection nd above all – the release of innate joy that ment to revitalise your child-like playful

our colours out and indulge in some ence living more wholeheartedly.

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What to do with troublesome thoughts Ruminating and worrying about things doesn’t usually solve anything and unless you enjoy feeling low, consumed, exhausted, frustrated and drained there are . As few of us enjoy those feelings, use the exercise below to train your mind to ‘un-hook’ those thoughts that can sometimes keep us ‘stuck’. By practicing it for a few minutes each day, it’ll become easier to do - especially when you need to free your mind of unhelpful thoughts or images. Step 1: Relax your shoulders and breathe in, feeling the breath reach your lungs, breathe out. Slow and steady breathing. Step 2: Continue breathing in this way, and begin to notice the feel of the air as it enters your nostrils - it may be cool or warm, rushing or slow. Feel it being drawn in and then released on your outbreath. Step 3: As your ‘busy’ mind becomes distracted from your breathing and a thought comes to mind, imagine ‘unhooking’ it and placing it on a leaf, then releasing it onto a flowing stream. Step 4: Continue breathing and mindfully aware as thoughts enter your mind. Un-hook each one and let it drift away from you. Step 5: Each day, build on your practice by adding a few more minutes. Enjoy the peaceful relaxation and release.


Quiz: Do you have w Creative Mind Score the statements below from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest, 5 being the highest) according to how well they describe you to find out if becoming a Creative Mindfulness Coach is for you. 1. I love helping people. 1 2 3 4 5 2. I enjoy being creative. 1 2 3 4 5 3. I want to develop my creativity further. 1 2 3 4 5 4. I embrace personal development, knowing that there’s always more to discover. 1 2 3 4 5 5. One of my values is to live more wholeheartedly - in tune with my needs. 1 2 3 4 5 6. I want to be more mindfully aware and consciously strive to better myself. 1 2 3 4 5 7. I’m looking for a greater purpose in my life. 1 2 3 4 5 8. I can see myself sharing ‘Creative Mindfulness’ with those around me. 1 2 3 4 5 9. I have gained insight and value from being creatively mindful myself and know its benefit. 1 2 3 4 5 10. I’m keen to explore coaching so I can expand my career or business. 1 2 3 4 5 Score: • If you scored less than 20, perhaps this isn’t on your ‘radar’ at the moment - maybe in the future, it could have more relevance for you. • If you scored between 20 and 30 - it might be worthwhile investigating the idea of becoming a Creative Mindfulness Coach further and finding out what’s involved. • If you scored between 30 and 40 - then join our free trial mini-coaching course - there’s no obligation. It will give you a ‘taster’ to see if it’s for you. • If you scored above 40 - what are you waiting for - take the mini-coaching course and get ready to immerse yourself in all things creative and mindful!

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hat it takes to become a dfulness Coach?


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MINDFULNESS Comfort Zones are so-called because they are ... well, comfortable. This can be a wonderful place to rest and catch your breath - yet if we stay here too long that comfort zone can easily become an uncomfortable rut. It’s here that boredom steps in and mindfulness steps out because while the TV may be on remote control, we slowly discover that we are too. Imagine being a child and watching a fair from behind a glass window - and feeling the frustration at not being able to reach forward and embrace the moment. It doesn’t take long to feel disappointment and sometimes resignation. It doesn’t have to be this way. I’m sharing this, because I lived much of my life behind a glass wall and felt I was invisible. Thankfully I found some tools that helped me make a difference in my own life. Those tools were Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and developing my own creativity. NLP gave me back the power in my life to believe in myself, to know I could re-experience the joy that I used to feel. It gave ‘me’ back to me. If you feel that you want to experience a shift in your life, and to discover change not just at a surface level - but from a wholehearted experience, then join me for this mini-course and see for yourself whether it’s for you.

If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming a Creative Mindfulness Coach, then copy and paste the following link into your web browser to experience a FREE two-week mini-course.



Creative Minds Membership If you’d like to remain connected with the School and receive great activities and reflections each week, including a monthly webinar - we offer a value-packed bundle where you can become a Member of our Creative Minds group and be part of our wonderful community. Copy and paste the link below to check it out. Creative Mindfulness Coach FREE two-week mini-course. Copy and paste the link below into your browser for more information.

Š Copyright School of Modern Psychology 2014 Page 21 All rights reserved. Artwork is the design and property of the School of Modern Psychology

Creative Mindfulness Issue 1 September 2014  

The School of Modern Psychology's first e-publication talks about creativity and mindfulness and how you can become a Creative Mindfulness C...

Creative Mindfulness Issue 1 September 2014  

The School of Modern Psychology's first e-publication talks about creativity and mindfulness and how you can become a Creative Mindfulness C...