Betrayal: to seek revenge or forgive?

Dealing with the aftermath of betrayal and the challenge of forgiveness often comes up in my coaching work. I recently came across a fascinating book entitled: “Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct” by Michael McCullough which gives great insight into why we human beings have evolved both the capacity for vengeance and forgiveness and how we can navigate our response to betrayal. I’ve spent the last few weeks devouring it and I’d love to share with you the concepts I found particularly helpful.

In my experience as a psychologist, and having sought counselling myself, part of the therapeutic process comes in understanding what constitutes a normal response to stress, loss and painful events. I have seen that great healing can come with this understanding, further deepened when we allow ourselves to have a normal human response to life’s challenges. This book helped me gain a better understanding of our desire for revenge and our motivation to forgive. If only we all had plenty of time to sit and read, so while it’s no substitute for delving into the book itself, here are some of the gems that helped the penny drop for me on the subject of forgiveness… (more…)

7 ways to cultivate the healing power of FORGIVENESS:

Of the 12 happiness-boosting strategies I introduced in “Self-Care Part 1”, practising forgiveness can be the most difficult – but also the most life changing. Please remember that in choosing which strategies to work with, you need to consider appropriateness, life circumstances, timing and your personality.

Given the moral and ethical issues involved, deciding when to use the strategy of forgiveness is a very personal choice. There may indeed be some events that are in fact unforgiveable. Only choose to work with the strategy of forgiveness if it resonates for you.

Central to the notion of practising forgiveness as a method for boosting happiness is an understanding that we practise forgiveness not for the benefit of our transgressors but to free ourselves.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at defining it, understanding its value and identifying some strategies to develop your capacity to forgive if you feel it is appropriate. (more…)

What is SELF-CARE?

Self-care can broadly be defined as personal health maintenance undertaken with the intention of improving or restoring health, or treating or preventing disease. I’d like to add the purpose of ‘flourishing’ to this definition and to promote the notion of thinking broader than just nourishing physical health.

When we think about practices to sustain good health and wellbeing, the most common themes are good nutrition, exercise, relaxation, sleep, hygiene, minimizing health hazards like caffeine, alcohol, and all of these are valuable, helpful elements to consider. Less often considered are those things that directly enhance psychological functioning – the things that alter how we perceive the world, our place in it and the quality of our interactions with other people.

In addition to caring for your body and nourishing your insides, I’d like to take an introductory look at some of the self-care tools that make you happier by nurturing your mental, emotional, social and spiritual bodies!