10 benefits of meditation

Have you ever wondered what are some of the amazing benefits of meditation? I have made a list of ten benefits here and would love to share with you! Stay tuned my friend!

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What are your career fantasies? –an exercise I use with career counseling clients

Back in the old days when I was still offering traditional one on one weekly career counseling and psychotherapy sessions to clients in an office in southern Califonia, I always directed those who came in for career counseling, to complete an exercise called “wild career fantasies”. Most of them told me that this exercise was quite helpful and even pretty fun to do. Then I thought sharing it on this blog would help some of my readers with their current career issues as well. At least, this can be a good start. And yes, to this day, I still use this exercise with my career counseling clients when working with them online or in the face-to-face sessions. It’s indeed a good tool to really get in touch with your true passions.

Now let’s get started. Please get a piece of paper or open a new page in your notebook and write down your responses to these questions. There is no right or wrong answer. Just simply write down whatever comes to your mind.

Step one, take a few moments to look at your childhood dreams of the future career. What were the wildest fantasies you had when you were a child? What seemed to be great careers that you imagined then? Make a list of your childhood dream jobs, starting from the most remote fantasy you had to the one you had when you were a teenager. How did you feel back then when you imagined yourself in those fantasies? Write those feelings down, and then close your eyes for a moment to feel them now, whatever they felt like then.

Step two, what wild fantasies of careers do you have today? I am not even talking about five years ago, or three years ago, I am talking about today! Who do you secretly desire to be? What do you imagine yourself doing? A rock star, an astronaut, an inventor… a Hollywood screenwriter? Make a list as well.

Step three: lets take a deeper look at the fantasies of both your childhood and today. Are there any significant qualities that made those fantasies so attractive and compelling? Do you feel more alive, more enthusiastic in your fantasies than in your current day to day work? In your fantasies, would you be doing work where you could really use your special talent and expand? Would you find work and life more meaningful? Would you be more excited and fulfilled on a daily basis? And what is especially compelling in this work in your fantasies and do these fantasies have any gratifying elements in common?

Step four: identify a list of important qualities you would like to have as a component of your future work. For example, if you feel being able to travel frequently and stay in luxury hotels is a must-have component in your career, then put down “luxury traveling”; if you feel being on stage speaking to a thousand people on health topics is something that will light your heart on fire, then write down “public speaking to large audience on health topics”… (You can find those in your previous answers in step one, step two and step three, and highlight them. Or you can write them down on a separate page.)

Step five: now look your notes from this exercise so far, you have just developed three important lists: 1.my childhood dream jobs; 2.my current career fantasies; 3. The must-have qualities of my future career. And congratulations! You just finished your “wild career fantasies” exercise and started you journey of creating a wonderful career for yourself and living your full potential as a human being!

What did this exercise help you figure out or understand? Did it help you get a more clear picture of you desires and passions? Did you have fun completing it? I surely hope so. In fact, that’s the purpose of this article. Stay tuned for more information on tools and strategies to develop a more exciting life and career.

Live you dreams!

xoxo

Jenni

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How to develop a personal wellness plan for the modern life

Jenni Liu

      Over the past decade, I served hundreds of people in community clinics, crisis centers and private practice settings as a psychotherapist. Many were psychologically wounded, depressed, and stressed out. Some were even severely paralyzed by their emotions and developed long-term psychological conditions. What I realized that no matter what backgrounds the people were from, they had one thing in common. They weren’t really prepared for certain stressful events in life and had no clue how to manage their wellbeing. I often educated my clients that stress and anxiety are normal life conditions. We as human beings all experience anxieties, certain degrees of depressions or low mood, and various types of stress throughout the life span. It’s totally an existential matter. What I find helpful is to encourage people to develop a personalized wellness plan, a strategy to assist them manage their wellbeing, their life and their stressors in an effective way so that when things happen or when life gets out of control they are able to cope, to deal with things more successfully.

             The first step of developing a wellness plan is to write down all the categories that you wish to manage in life. For instance, the areas that are important to most people are physical health, emotional health, finances, relationships and career, etc.

             The second step would be to get into details of each area, and write down a list of important factors related to that particular area. For example, under physical health, one can write down, physical checkup, current medical conditions (if any) and medications (if any), nutrition, fitness, etc. Then, be real specific on what one needs to do to manage this area of one’s life effectively. For example, one can write down: physical exam once per year with doctor’s name; aerobic exercises three times per week at home or gym; multivitamin supplement once per day.

             The third step is to figure out some practical stress management techniques that are suitable for you. For example, some people find long walks on the beach very helpful, others find meditation more effective. It’s always a good idea to take some time for yourself to figure that out.

            The fourth step is to develop an emergency plan, set up emergency funds and put together a resource book for yourself and your immediate family.

I hope that you have found this article helpful in some way!

             xoxo,

            Jenni

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