The connections we make in the course of a life—maybe that's what heaven is.
Heaven can be thought of as many different things. An ancient story tells of the Samurai warrior who went to a holy man to learn the difference between heaven and hell.
When the Samurai demanded an answer, the wise sage replied, "Why should I help a miserable brute like you? Besides, you could never understand what I would say." In anger, the Samurai raised his sword above his head. But just as he was ready to strike out, the holy man said, "That is hell."
Slowly, the words sunk in and the Samurai—recognizing his uncontrolled anger as a state of torment—lowered his weapon. Seeing this, the holy man said, "And that, is heaven."
Research published in Frontiers in Psychology in 2014 showed how subjects experienced reduced distress and were less reactive to negative emotions by simply naming, or labeling, the emotion.
Try the simple practice, From Anger to Heaven in One-Minute, below. It's one of more than 48 practices in my newly released book, Stay Mindful & Color. This is a pioneering coloring book that integrates life-enhancing mindful coping skills with beautiful, matching illustrations. It's a wonderful tool for clients, treatment centers, and schools, or anyone who loves coloring.
Each topic includes a practice and a matching coloring page. Read the practice and then color in this drawing, or vice-versa.
From Anger to Heaven in One-Minute
When stuck in anger, it helps to find some heaven within.
1) Notice where you feel anger in your body, and name it by saying, "This is anger."
2) Take three long breaths.
3) With each exhale, visualize your breath carrying the anger down your body and depositing it out the bottom of your feet.
4) Imagine yourself floating on a boat on a serene lake. Feel the water’s calmness, stillness, and coolness as you say: