Thursday, March 9, 2017
3-9-17 Post: How do we save ourselves?
Question/Comment: With all of problems and strife going on around the world do you still say to focus on the positive? Is that a way of hiding our heads in the sand? Shouldn’t we be out there fighting to save ourselves?
Response: When we see, hear, experience something we don’t want or don’t like it is a good catalyst for us to determine what we do want. Use it for what it is, a juxtaposition and let it go. Focus on what you do want and put energy into that. Remember we get more of what we put our energy into. We get more of what we focus on.
So, if you want more peace in the world, focus on peace. If you want more tolerance in the world, focus on tolerance. If you want more equitable distribution of wealth, of resources, then focus on that. If you want more empathy and compassion in the world, put your energy and thoughts into that.
The process is the same whether the problem is a personal one, a family one, a community one, or a larger geo-political one. Focus on what you want more of. If you are in a position to take action, by all means do so while still focusing on what you want more of rather than what you don’t want.
Yes, we need to take action to bring about the changes we do want, just make sure you aren’t fighting against yourself by focusing on anger, fear, or challenging the unwanted. Stay focused on your positive goals and put your time, energy and resources into creating the change you want to see.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
12-7-16 Post: Criticism and Indecision
Question/Comment: I find that I question everything and procrastinate because I am so afraid of making a mistake. I find that I don’t do anything because I don’t want to be wrong.
Response: It might be interesting for you to look briefly at your childhood to see if you were criticized or judged for making mistakes or not being perfect in some way. Then move on.
It is time to focus on the here and now. It is easy to suggest that you let up on yourself and allow imperfections. It is much more difficult to do it especially if criticizing and judging yourself is a lifetime habit.
An exercise may help get you past any fears that are blocking you from decision making or taking action. Chose something simple and not important to focus on. An example might be sweeping the floor. Then intentionally do it wrong. Maybe use a mop instead of a broom. Or, try to get the dirt into the dustpan with a shoe rather than a broom.
The point of the exercise is not to get the job done, but to laugh and not care if it is done right or perfectly. Do the same sort of thing with another task. Maybe walk backwards or sideways to get from place to place. The point is to not do it in the most efficient or effective way but to give yourself permission to be creative and imperfect.
Keep practicing silliness and ineffectiveness until you feel the freedom of it. With practice, you can break the habit of perfectionism. It is the demand you place on yourself to be perfect that is keeping you frozen in inaction.
Friday, September 16, 2016
9-16-16 Post: Flow with who you are.
Question/comment: I don’t know myself; I feel so lost and alone. Do you have any words of wisdom to help?
Response: You are not alone. Virtually everyone feels lost and alone at least once in life. Most people will set themselves aside to please or help others. We can easily get lost in fulfilling roles or expectations others have of us or we have of ourselves.
While helping others and giving to others is important, you are important, too. The feeling of being alone and abandoned may come from you having abandoned and ignored yourself and your own needs and wishes.
The key is to take time each day, at least once, to check in with yourself. Quiet time to go within is imperative to health and wellbeing. Here are some types of questions to ask yourself.
Who am I really, at my core? How am I feeling? What do I need? What do I want? What am I running from? What do I choose to keep for myself and what do I choose to give away? How can I best take care of myself at this time? How may I also serve and have a meaningful and purposeful life? What is in my best interest? What is the deepest, most genuine part of me telling me?
You must absolutely take care of yourself and then give to others from your overflow of good, abundance and inner peace.
However, when you have a child, incapacitated person or animal who is dependent on you, I believe you must absolutely meet your obligation to that being and do your best for them. The important issue is to do so without depleting or abandoning yourself.
How do you do that? Ask for help! In addition to checking in with yourself, ask for help. If you are overwhelmed or don’t have the resources to take care of yourself and your genuine obligations, ask for help.
Changing your thinking will also lead you to less stressful, less dire circumstances if you find yourself in such a situation. It bears repeating, always check in with yourself.
What do you need? How are you feeling? What do you really want? Are you fulfilling someone else’s expectations rather than following your own inner leading?
Do you have positive expectations, do you believe that the needed resources and help will come? Do you believe that you can remember who you really are? Do you believe you can take excellent care of yourself and fulfill your life’s path?
Remember we literally influence the world around us from the smallest subatomic particles to the grandest expressions of life. What you expect is what you will see manifest in your life. So, what do you choose to create for yourself?
As Louise Hay teaches, loving yourself is the basis for everything healthy and positive in life. Facing yourself in the mirror several times a day and reminding yourself that you love, appreciate and approve of yourself exactly as you are here and now will assist you trusting yourself. When you trust yourself, you can know who you are and receive all the good life has to offer.
So, who are you? What do you want? What do you need right now?
Friday, August 19, 2016
8-19-16 Post: Boundaries
Question/Comment: I feel very frustrated and disrespected when people disregard my boundaries. It seems to happen often. It makes me wonder if I’m too rigid. Am I wrong for not letting others control my boundaries?
Response: Please be aware that the opinions in this response are just that: my personal opinions. If you are in danger or have been harmed by someone disrespecting your personal boundaries, please, get help.
Boundaries are important in all aspects of life. Boundaries exist everywhere from the boundaries of a cell, to the boundary that our skin provides for us, to the social boundaries between us, to the boundary of the atmosphere of our plant and so on.
Boundaries delineate the end of one and the beginning of another. Boundaries are necessary for healthful functioning mentally, emotionally and physically. You don’t go into detail about who is crossing your boundaries or how: so my response will be general.
Beware of people who want to power push past your boundaries. Such a person does not have your best interest at heart and can cause you harm.
There are those who command and demand that they be allowed to cross your healthful boundaries; these people are often psychopaths or sociopaths and intend harm for their own benefit or pleasure.
We each have to determine how much of ourselves to let any particular person know. This has to be decided on a person by person and situation by situation basis. It is very important to get to know a person in proportion to the amount and quality of interaction you intend have with them.
If, for example, you are interacting with a psychotherapist you have chosen and trust, then you would let go many of your boundaries during your therapy sessions. On-the-other-hand, if you have an interest in dating a person, you would need to get to know them, maybe even research them if possible and take time to find out what their behavior tells about them as you slowly and gently and appropriately allow them past many but not all boundaries.
Does a person ever drop all boundaries? Maybe. But, I don’t think this is healthy. Often people who are emotionally disturbed seem to be boundary-less or are unaware of their boundaries being crossed. Such people don’t know how to protect themselves or keep themselves safe. This is often true for children who have been severely abused and for the adults they become.
There is also the opposite situation, where people have very rigid and strong boundaries and don’t allow others to cross them enough to make friendships or form intimate relationships. This can also be unhealthy. As with all things the middle path, the middle range is more in line with mental and physical health.
There can also be cultural differences in boundaries. Our boundary for comfort regarding space between people can be very different between cultures. For those accustomed to standing and sitting within a few inches of each other, people from cultures who feel more comfortable with a foot of space between people will seem cold and standoffish. Those who are used to a foot of space will feel crowded by, suffocated by and suspicious of those who stand or sit within a few inches of them.
Boundaries also include what you are willing to do or not willing to do for others. It may be a kind loving thing to lend lunch money to a friend who left her wallet at home or give a meal to a homeless person. It may not be in your best interest to lend large sums of money to someone you barely know. Healthy boundaries are a way of taking care of yourself and loving yourself.
Bottom-line, you have the right to set boundaries that suit your needs and customs. You, also, have the obligation to calmly let others know what your boundaries are and when they have crossed them. It’s good that you’re examining your boundaries so that you can decide consciously what’s appropriate for you at any particular time and with each person you come across.
I think boundaries need to be flexible and determined by self-love, self-care, compassion, and wisdom.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
7-26-16 Post: I feel stuck.
Question/Comment: I’ve been working for years on making some changes to my personality and it seems I’m getting nowhere. I’ve spent thousands of dollars and countless hours seeing psychotherapists, workshops and self-help venues. I feel that I have nothing to show for it. Is it hopeless? Am I hopeless?
Response: In most talk psychotherapy techniques, it is the conscious mind that is addressed. However, most maladaptive behavior rests in the subconscious mind. It is very difficult to make meaningful lasting change to the subconscious mind by addressing the conscious mind.
Techniques that use hypnosis are more effective but can still be more of a shot gun approach and still somewhat hit or miss. There is a technique called PSYCH-K that uses several levels of consciousness, uses techniques from hypnosis and establishes direct communication with the body as a mode of communication with the subconscious mind.
The resulting change is established much more quickly and produces more lasting results. Because the subconscious mind is usually out of our conscious awareness and operates automatically we have to approach it on it’s level. It also is the storehouse for every belief, every experience, every awareness we have ever had.
People in general, especially children draw conclusions about our selves, others, life in general and our experiences of life based on our own emotional reactions and beliefs taught to us by others. All of these conclusions live in the subconscious mind unquestioned and determine the nature and circumstances of our lives. It is a bit like riding in a taxi cab with an unknown, unseen driver that we never communicate with.
The driver doesn’t know where we want to go and doesn’t care. The driver goes where s/he knows best and ignores our wishes. The driver does attempt to communicate with us but not only do we not speak the same language, we do not use the same method for communication. We use verbal language; the driver uses sensations and reactions in physical form.
The driver takes us where ever s/he believes we should go and tells us when to get out all based on preprogrammed beliefs s/he has. Imagine standing outside the taxi, looking around, not knowing where you are or even how you got there because you were not aware of the whole process or what the decisions along the way were based on. You are still not where you wanted to go and have to try again to get there.
What ever you were intending to do is repeatedly thwarted and you get unwanted results because each time you get in the taxi the same thing happens. That is really what it is like when our subconscious mind is in control and behaves according to beliefs that we either were taught, absorbed or formed in a nearly totally unknown process or in long forgotten perceptions. Most people can with effort remember a time when something happened in their lives and they formed a belief that has been running their lives ever since. The conclusion reached and belief it formed may have even been useful at the time but may have long ago stopped being useful.
Just as an example, what if a child fell off of her bicycle and broke her arm when some of the other children were jealous of her new bike and began pushing her trying to knock her down. The child might draw the conclusion that if she has new, pretty things, others will hate her and hurt her on purpose. She might go through life never allowing herself to have new things or pretty things so others won’t hurt her.
She might go through life buying second hand items, keeping things until they fall apart before replacing them and so on. The initial event might be long forgotten and even if it is remembered, the conclusion she drew from it may be forgotten or no longer associated with the event in her conscious awareness. It is still in the subconscious mind and is still determining her behavior.
This is an imaginary up example, but it can help explain the process of how we create beliefs for ourselves that then run as programs and control us for the rest of our lives unless we intervene and change them. The good news, though is that we can change these hidden beliefs once we have identified them. PSYCH-K is a very useful process for changing beliefs. It is not the same thing as psychotherapy; it is a whole different way of approaching self-change.
For anyone interested, learning more about PSYCH-K or finding a PSYCH-K practitioner the international website is: https://www.psych-k.com/private-sessions-2/
Saturday, June 11, 2016
6-11-16 Post: What is energy Psychology?
Question/comment: I have heard a lot about energy psychology. What is it? Is it better than talk psychotherapy? Should I try it?
Response: I can give you my understanding of this topic and then if you would like, you can explore it more for yourself.
Energy patterns get stored in the body, maybe as attachments to the cells, maybe in the nervous system, maybe as holding patterns in the skeleton, maybe in muscle habits, or maybe all of the above. Energy pathways in the brain are definitely involved.
Trauma can create deep pathways in the brain; repetition of thoughts and beliefs can also create strong energy pathways in the brain. Energy psychology addresses these processes and interrupts them allowing the person to choose more adaptive and useful habits and operating modes.
There several different energy psychology intervention techniques; three such techniques are EMDR, Tapping and Reiki. Generally speaking, they work by interrupting specific unwanted energy patterns harbored in the body including the brain.
My suggestion would be to find a licensed psychotherapist who practices energy psychology and talk therapy and try it out. You may find a therapist who uses talk therapy techniques who works with and can refer you to an energy work practitioner. Usually talk therapy is needed in conjunction with energy work. In my opinion, energy work enhances and speeds up the process of talk therapy.
Depending on the individual and the issues they have, energy work without talk therapy may not be advisable. There needs to be a knowledgable and skilled talk therapist available to you as a safety net and guide. Let me know if you find a psychotherapist that can help you with this and how it goes.
Friday, May 6, 2016
5-6-16 Post: Thought is everything in keeping our bodies healthy.
Question/Comment: I have some serious health concerns at this time and want to do everything I can to help my body heal. Do you have any thoughts on this topic?
Response: Cell biologists are aware of a section of our DNA strand called telomeres that are vital in assisting our cells to copy themselves properly to create new, fresh cells for our body. There is an enzyme called Telomerase that enables the Telomere section of our DNA helix to reproduce thereby enabling proper cell reproduction, and health and youth for our bodies.
Life experiences can stimulate or suppress telomerase production. (See page 280 of The Biology of Belief 10th Anniversary Edition by Bruce Lipton.) “...stressful prenatal developmental experiences, childhood abuse (both verbal and physical), domestic violence, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), nutritional deficiencies, and lack of love all inhibit telomerase activity.
In contrast, exercise, good nutrition, a positive outlook on life, living in happiness and gratitude, being in service, and experiencing love, especially self-love, all enhance telomerase activity and promote a long and healthy life. (Blackburn and Epel 2012, Stetka 2014)
Lipton, Bruce H. (2015-10-13). The Biology of Belief 10th Anniversary Edition: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles (p. 56). Hay House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
So, yes what we have done in the past may be negatively impacting the health of our bodies now (including the brain). And, also yes; we can do something about it. At the same time, there is no room for shame, guilt or blame in this line of thought as those emotions would contribute to suppressing Telomerase activity.