Mind Training

I love TED Talks and here is another reason why. French scientist as well as Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Matthieu Ricard-also known as the happiest person on earth- talks about the importance Mind Training (meditation) in the achievement of lasting happiness.

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Moving Locations

After many years at the same location on Eubank Blvd. we have finally reached the end of our lease. As a result I will be moving my office to a new location here in Albuquerque. I am trying to keep services accessible for clients and am therefore moving to a more centralized but easily reachable location: the southeast corner of Carlisle and Constitution.

The official move date is this weekend, February 26th. I will start seeing clients at the new office on Monday February 27th.

The new address and a map is below:

1400 Carlisle NE, Suite B (upstairs on left)

The phone number, fax number, and email will remain the same.

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We all know that happiness is important. After all, I think most of us would agree that we strive for purpose, meaning, and happiness in our lives. This speaker, from the excellent TED series of talks, makes an argument for the importance of happiness in our lives not as a result of achieving our goals, but rather as a prerequisite for doing good work and leading enjoyable and meaningful lives. It is a quite different way of thinking about happiness than the “normal” way.

I like that he gives ways in which to cultivate some happiness in our days at the end of his presentation. Though they seem simple and perhaps easily dismissible as too simplistic, give them a chance. Cultivating happiness doesn’t have to be an arduous task. In fact, if it feels that way it is probably causing unhappiness.

I hope you enjoy this talk and can put some of his suggestions to use.

Oh, and he’s written a book too:

The Happiness Advantage


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For those of you into yoga, or into cats, this is a nice little feel-good video. Enjoy.

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A Fresh Cleaning at The Koi Pond

Hi there,

Welcome. And if you have stopped by previously at the different incarnation of this blog, welcome to the new pond. After much ruminating I have finally settled on a way to have all of Koi Pond Counseling’s web presence hosted in the same place. So this blog, as well as the Koi Pond Counseling website, are all here at www.koipondcounseling.com.

Not too much has changed in appearance regarding this site, but lots of things in the background have, thereby making it much easier for me to update both the website and the blog. This is a lot for me given that I do not do any coding and my primary job is providing counseling services to my clients. Previously my blog was hosted at blogger; the website was hosted by yahoo and build with an old and clunky web-design software that was difficult to update; and I was also responsible for the content management. Way too much. So I sat down one day and identified those things that were getting in the way of keeping the information and content fresh. I discovered it was too much work to write both the content and update the site, so I went looking for another way to do it. This is the result.

For now not too much has changed on the face of things other than marrying the blog with the rest of the site. However I do have some things in the planning and execution stages for the website. Soon there will be a “Resources” page with links to relevant websites, a “Library” page with links to helpful books with topics ranging from addiction to interpersonal neurobiology to parenting to psychological and spiritual development, and a section with helpful information for compulsive gamblers and their families. I will announce theses changes as they come online here on the blog as well as on the Facebook Fan Page (www.facebook.com/KoiPondCounseling).

Now that the behind the scenes work has been completed I will be able to provide more content and look forward to connecting with you here on the blog.

My best regards,


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Some Inspiration

I came across this video that is making the rounds on the internet and social networking sites and found it touching and inspiring. I thought you might enjoy it and gain some inspiration to do the things you have wanted to do to improve your life.

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Lilac Wine

It has been some time since I last posted but that does not mean I have given up blogging. Quite the contrary. I am actually in the process of re-thinking my approach to blogging and where this blog will be hosted. The possibilities on the web seem endless and I want to be sure I provide a platform that is streamlined and makes sense. To that end I have been working on combining this blog with my website and working on a website update to better serve current and future clients as well as anyone that checks this blog for information, inspiration, and creativity.

To that end, and to keep the energy flowing here, I am posting this video I came across today. I found it quite beautiful and was inspired by the creativity involved in creating it. I hope you like it too.

Lilac Wine from Matthew Landa on Vimeo.

As always feel free to share this blog and to drop by my website at www.koipondcounseling.com.

My best,

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There seems to be a sense of play in living a creative life. All those that I know who live life creatively (whether they be artists or not) appear to be playing and having fun. Now, one might think that play is the natural outcome of living life creatively, but as one of my inspirations, commercial photographer Chase Jarvis, with the help of Carl Jung, mentions in his recent blog post that creativity is a natural outcome of play.

So here is a question: how can we play at this experience called life? With all of the work and responsibility that goes into living, how can we have a sense of play and wonderment supporting all of it? And what would that do to our sense of aliveness? My personal ideas are that life would become more fun, playful, enjoyable, creative, meaningful.

I’m also interested in Carl Jung’s idea that play might be an instinct acting from an inner necessity. Perhaps I’ll address that in a future post. For now, how can you bring a greater sense of play into your daily life with a sense of curiosity about what might come from it?

As always, your thoughts are greatly appreciated and feel free to take a moment to visit my website at www.koipondcounseling.com

My best,

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I love short visual stories that warm my heart. Here is one for you; it’s a commercial, but it’s also a warm visual story.

My best,

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I have a new favorite person I have just met. Well, perhaps I need to rephrase that. I have a new favorite person I have just come in contact with. No, that’s not right. I have a new favorite person I have become aware of…

You see, I have just come to be aware of Dave duChemin through a book he has written, as well as through a blog he writes. The book in question is “Within the Frame” which is a book about the “why” of photography as opposed to the “how” of photography and it intrigued me deeply when I came across it recently in a bookstore. The entire book is about discovering your artistic vision, nurturing it, and creating from it. And I think Dave hits the nail on the head. He writes passionately about vision (he even has a recently published book about vision entitled “VisionMongers“) and although his craft is photography and therefore geared to photographers, his writing is deeply about living life fully; about living life creatively. And, being a photographer, his pages are filled with stimulating, motivating, and enriching images that speak to that place in our hearts and souls that are beyond words.

In glancing through his book and reading some of his blog posts (check out his blog at www.pixelatedimage.com/blog/) I have come to realize that his work is not photography. His work is more about education, inspiration, and communication. He aims to educate people about humanitarian causes in the world; he hopes to inspire people to connect with others who might need some help; and he intends to communicate in a visual and visceral way. My sense is that photography for Mr. duChemin is a tool that allows him to create something moving, not just for himself, but for others as well.

And that is the piece that moves me; his intention to create something that moves himself and others. He appears to have put himself in service of something greater than himself and as a result has the ability to connect deeply with other people through images, and now words.

I have written in the past about living a creative life, not just in the sense of creating artwork, but more importantly in the sense of being creative with the common things in our lives; having a sense of play and wonder with being alive. It seems I have discovered someone who does this and is actively encouraging others to do so as well. While his medium is photographic images and books about the photographic process, I find his subject matter carries over into the overall context of this blog; exploring how to live creatively. As such, I would encourage you to glance through his book the next time you are in a bookstore (or better yet, buy a copy-Mr. duChemin would like to be able to make a living from his writing so that he can devote more time to humanitarian causes), visit his blog (at the very least you will be rewarded with looking at some beautiful photographs), and even visit his online eBook store “Craft and Vision.” You just might gain a few ideas on how to live life creatively. I know I have!

As always, I appreciate any comments or feedback and hope you have found this blog post helpful and meaningful. Please also visit my website at http://www.koipondcounseling.com/

My best,

P.S.-The image at the top of this blog post was shot by me at sunrise on a trip to Mexico last fall. Seeing as I am often so moved by the images on other people’s blogs I thought I might try to post some images to this blog to keep the creativity flowing. Who knows, perhaps I’ll even manage to find some images to go with the specific subject matter of the individual posts. Let me know what you think.
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