Forum Posts

Maria Grazia Serra
May 25, 2022
In Resources in English
In recent times we are inundated with negative news about the war. This raises questions about what we can do for others (concretely helping the victims of this conflict, but also helping our children understand this moment without being crushed by it). It also raises questions for us about what we can do for ourselves to regain the inner peace we need to navigate this time. In times like these, the spiritual dimension of life becomes even more important, if ever less so. Understanding the interconnectedness that binds us and letting it inspire us in our actions can be the key to inner peace and peace in relationships. This can be our contribution for peace. Here is a page full of tools for working toward inner and outer peace: https://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/practices/alphabet/peace/spiritual-practices
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Maria Grazia Serra
Apr 29, 2022
In Resources in English
Mindfulness is about being with what happens without trying to change anything. Without judgment, only accepting, with curiosity and openness. I admit sometimes it is difficult. Just sitting with what is unpleasant is hard, we feel such a pressure to avoid, to run away from that. Nonetheless, it is sometimes unavoidable. Life provides you some of those unavoidable, shitty moments, and you would like to run like hell, but you can't. Because of many reasons, you are stuck there, with all uneasy stuff and all the negative emotions rising up. Can we still do something? Oh yes! Our program is all about doing something to cope with adversity, and in this very learning platform there is a huge number of suggestions, interventions, experiences to help ease the unease. But can meditation still do something, in the moment, when bad things happen and we feel in such a state, without being a zen monk? The answer is YES. So, just find a place. It can be in the middle of the caos, but still, you can find your place into yourself, just reconnecting with your breathing. Rely on your breathing for 20 seconds or so, repeating this in your mind: I have arrived (breath in) I am home (breath out) When you are grounded in your breathing, in your present moment as it is, ask yourself: what character strengths can I bring forth, right now? How can I use the best in myself to handle this situation? Meditation creates clarity and allows perspective. In a sudden, you will take a step back to have the big picture view. Now listen to what naturally arises from within you: which character strength comes to your mind? And how can you use it, right now? Maybe you will identify an immediate action and do something, with your zest, teamwork, kindness and all the 24. Or maybe you will use your forgiveness, kindness and love and many other strengths to just be, with what is in the present moment. In any case, you will feel better, calmer and reconnected.
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Maria Grazia Serra
Mar 24, 2022
In Resources in English
Read these beautiful rhymes from Rumi and smile! The guest house This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, Some momentary awareness comes As an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, Who violently sweep your house Empty of its furniture, Still treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out For some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, Meet them at the door laughing, And invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, Because each has been sent As a guide from beyond.
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Maria Grazia Serra
Mar 22, 2022
In Resources in English
Much is said about gentleness in religious circles, but little is known about it from a scientific perspective. Can strengths of character help in a definition of gentleness? Let's look at that in Ryan Niemiec's article. https://viacharacter.org/topics/articles/gentleness-as-a-compound-strength
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Maria Grazia Serra
Mar 01, 2022
In Resources in English
How can we learn from the past in a positive way aimed at unlocking our potential to effectively address the challenges of the present? Dr. Ryan Niemiec helps shed light on a science-based approach to identify and mobilize the best in ourselves. https://viacharacter.org/topics/articles/what-are-your-defining-moments
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Maria Grazia Serra
Feb 28, 2022
In Resources in English
Today the city is blessed with a bright sun on the bright blue sky. And my eyes are filled with the beauty coming through my window ...and the worrying news coming in from the news. It seems odd to talk about worry on this platform this morning. Yet, it is perhaps the best place to do so. Participants in the Resiliency and Wellness for Parents program, our dear readers, are certainly at different levels of advancement, with respect to the topics discussed during the program. However, there are some things we can easily sense and some actions we can immediately take. Relationships with the others In times of difficulty, we are more likely to need to feel and strengthen connection with others. We know how relationships are a key component of our well-being, and we ourselves could not be who we are without the contribution of the relationships that have helped us grow and earn our place in the world. We can write a letter to that friend who lives in that country at war, or near the theater of war, to tell him that he is in our thoughts and hearts and that we feel his fear, with love and hope, in telling him that we can always look to those who do something to solve problems, who help, who show the best part of themselves. We can go to the streets and protest, together: our voice, persevering and strong, cannot be ignored. Being part of something bigger than ourselves will give us meaning, even in the midst of chaos. We can start organizations to help people affected by war, or join existing ones. With love, kindness and teamwork, our help can reach people in need and bring a little ray of sunshine. We can use our judgment to inform ourselves properly, navigating our way through different sources and not falling victim to fake news and propaganda campaigns. Relationship with ourselves This concept, less immediate than relating to others, confronts us with how we relate to ourselves. Do we fall prey to emotions, does fear and worry invade our minds in the face of adversity? Mindfulness can help us understand this and create the right distance from these internal emotions and events, so that we can better use our resources to deal with the situation. We can be mindful of what is happening to us with a meditation structured like this: reconnecting to our breath, observing with curiosity the events taking place in our mind and body, without staying on a single element, but looking for new elements in the present moment. If the mind gets distracted, gently bring it back to the object of the meditation. Accepting without judgment such events in our mind and adopting a beginner's mind attitude will help us to be more tolerant of ourselves, and explore our interconnectedness with others. We can write a list of the things we don't control and the things we do control, and decide courses of action on those. It is on these that we are truly effective and can use all of our strengths. In what ways can we use our signature strengths in each of these pathways? I wish you a "strong" and sunny day, -mg P.S. For those who are not yet familiar with character strengths, you can find many resources on the platform with a little research (see field top right of this page).
4+2 ways we can use the strength of hope in difficult times content media
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Maria Grazia Serra
Feb 04, 2022
In Resources in English
In this table from the VIA Institute, you will find some useful exercises to promote wellness, specifically targeted to each dimension of PERMA. Print and hang on your bulletin board or fridge the chart, and try practicing them every day! They can be turned into a fun family social game.
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Maria Grazia Serra
Feb 02, 2022
In Resources in English
How do we relate with ourselves? Relating to ourselves is a less obvious concept than relating to others. But let's take a moment to consider this: how do we address ourselves when things go wrong? Is our inner talk the same as it would be to someone else in the same situation? Probably not. We are often much harder on ourselves than we are on others. Or we adopt a blind attitude of denial, for which we are perfect and never wrong. Either way, a greater self-awareness can help us take a more balanced attitude. Considering our mind as a suffering entity can help us to feel empathy for ourselves. The mind suffers for many reasons: because it feels hurt, because things are not going as it would like, because it does not have what it would like... We can try to have compassion for this suffering mind of ours, without judgment, exploring with curiosity this part of us. Over time, our relationship with ourselves will change in its ways, leading to greater acceptance and love for ourselves. This will reverberate on others, especially younger people, for whom we are role models. By loving ourselves more, we will be able to have a more open and constructive attitude to life's challenges. We are more able to seize opportunities for growth and learning, truly becoming better people. Have a good exploration!
Exploring the relationship with ourselves content media
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Maria Grazia Serra
Jan 31, 2022
In Resources in English
Matt's story is full of interesting facets, like the relationship with the others and with ourselves, the sense of agency and taking responsibility, and how using the strength of Honesty is really an act of courage that makes us feel empowered.
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Maria Grazia Serra
Jan 06, 2022
In Resources in English
Do you feel like you’re thriving-really thriving-or are you just going through the motions every day? This is a question for every day, but maybe especially at the beginning of the new year it can have even more relevance. Which is the most effective attitude we can adopt and what character strengths can help us stick to our objectives, enjoy every day and eventually thrive? Let's discover what Professor Niemiec of the VIA Institute suggests in this article and how the use of specific strengths can help us thriving. And happy new meaningful year to everyone! 😉 https://viacharacter.org/topics/articles/you-need-these-7-things-to-thrive-research-says
New year resolutions...is a matter of character content media
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Maria Grazia Serra
Dec 10, 2021
In Resources in English
Want to know how to practically apply the character strengths approach in the family? Have a look in this handy list of activities!
Playing with strengths: December activities with your kids content media
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Maria Grazia Serra
Dec 09, 2021
In Resources in English
Everyone can remember that warm feeling of someone asking genuinely curious questions to us. That time we felt an authentic interest from another person, without any judgment. Curiosity is one of the most important strengths to build a relationship. When we as parents ask questions to our kids, without judgment, being there, and listening with the heart, the quality of the communication is totally different. It means putting aside our expectations and projections, and any other thing related to us only, and be really concentrated in that precious person in front of us. Let's engage in mindful, curious listening with our children ❤️
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Maria Grazia Serra
Dec 08, 2021
In Resources in English
Character Strengths are common language all over the world. They are recognizable by children since 4y age. Moreover, the use of CS, especially the ones most core to ourselves, makes us more effective, more energized and more happy. This is why it's so important to learn this language and to speak it in the family. The earlier the better! When our kids make a good thing, in the place of praising them for the thing they've done, try to shift their attention by praising the character strength(s) they used in doing that thing. The thing they have done will soon be in the past, while the strength(s) they have used will stay with them and support them along their life. They will experience a more lasting satisfaction and feel more energized; they will feel encouraged to use more of that. They will be more willing to train those CS muscles!
Character Strengths: language and muscles for life content media
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Maria Grazia Serra
Dec 07, 2021
In Resources in English
The strengths under the virtue of Wisdom are said cognitive strengths, they help us understand reality and form an idea about facts. The strength of Judgment helps us weighing all aspects of a matter, so taking into account any facet. So, the next time you hear that little voice inside your head telling you any possible doubt on yourself like me, try to question each doubt with the help of your character strength of Judgment!
Using your strength of Judgment to trick your parrot content media
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