safe, insightful talk alternative to family, friends, therapy, coaching

Archive for the ‘fear’ Category

Inspiration Null

adult1

I simply have not had any inspiration to blog.

Hmm.  Just reading that sentence back: I know that’s not even slightly true. I think perhaps I’ve had way too much inspiration… and maybe simply not the energy to use it. Ever feel that way?

I felt that way A LOT when I was “awakening”- my term (and others’) for disengaging the auto-pilot switch powering perceptions of what life was suppose to be. Until my 30’s, school, jobs, money, relationships were programmed as “what life is”, not as I see them now: optional tools for me to explore the expansive and textured facets and depths of life – a wholly more fulfilling existence!! As I awoke to a consciousness that how I was living my life did not match my instinctual feelings both about the intent of life and the gifts I was here to offer, well… it was simultaneously excruciating and intriguing; confusing… and CRYSTAL clear.

My “revival” was infectiously stimulating; I found books, I found teachers, I found my intuition: inspiration, inspiration, inspiration! And then I found: overwhelming exhaustion. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. Physically. Tons of inspiration… and no energy to use it.

be-you-role6It’s a lifelong process, growing your YOU-ness. A zillion things contribute to each of our journeys… no right, no wrong: just real life requiring a series of “course-corrections” (as life-coach Nancy Levin so validatingly puts it). Gratefully, as I began to connect with my “self” during those highly transformative third-life years, I naturally gravitated towards people, perspectives and activities that literally fueled my spirit. And though it took some blind faith as I navigated a whole lot of new folks, the more time I spent in “like-mindedness”, the more the scales of endurance and joie-de-vivre balanced. I found the key to perpetual energy: my ME-ness.

So today, as I take a hard look at my I’d-rather-have-dental-surgery feelings re: “inspiration” and the many failed attempts at writing this blog, I finally hear the proverbial bell clang way, WAY loud, and the bell tolls for thee… er, me… oh whatever:

Could I be further awakening??

Ahhh…(ding ding ding) me thinks so!!!For Whom The Bell Tolls

Tired: check  
 Profound yet equal frustration with life and intrigue for life: check 
Feelings of confusion… but a sense of absolute clarity: check and check.

Yup. More awakening.

As mentioned in past posts, it’s now well over a year since my Mom passed. I had no idea how that experience would play out in my life.  You can read more here, but in brief: emotionally and spiritually, the passing of one of the people I love most dearly in this life was… light– if not actually: fulfilling! WHEW, eh?!  As time goes on, it’s been more clear that instead of the classic “pain” of loss (a pain which I absolutely have experienced in the past and so have good reference for), with Mom’s passing, I felt more of an energy drain. Listless… flat: limited highs and lows… and NO time at all for drama and bullshit.

Which… actually makes perfect sense, when you think about it: Mom’s love, hugs and love-yourself-core-3chats were a consistent, reliable fuel for my spirit since inception- and unconditional love fills you up.  Now, in the transition period since her loss, the needle drops below full: just enough to choke my energy lines and threaten a stall. Re-sourcing said fuel, after decades of simply satiating in the ever-present Mom-flow, requires a new and deeper awakening. Core deep. And though “deep” is a word often conjuring weighty feelings of seriousness or complication, here: it feels far-and-away more simple… and more peaceful. Because now, what I know from my life journey so far is that, as my AUXILIARY (and much valued) love-fuel lines fluctuate, my INHERENT ones are primed to do the job they could… should… and actually were doing all along – had I stilled more often and truly took awareness and ownership of my own power:
Drive life from the depth of my soul- beyond the clutter of reactionary, inauthentic “expectation”.
Own it.
Show it.
Live it.
And to no surprise, this totally fits my life’s overall experiential pattern:
the more depth i.e. ME-ness I concede, the simpler life is.

Ahhhh…. and the SIMPLICITY of life is INSPIRING beyond words! I suppose to really make that point, I should stop writing here. 

 

choice-consequenceBut I need to connect a few dots. There are life experiences whose only job is to get us to stop and check in with our values, priorities and actions. What are you here for… what do you want – how do you want to do it?? Death is a pretty overt pivotal experience for folks, but really, the impetus could present much more covertly: yelling at baristas, clutter, Candy-Crush marathons, keeping money you just found in the mall, resenting friends’ holiday pics or new homes, dreading Monday mornings – not to mention health flags like chronic backache, IBS… some think even cancers. […Or pain, anger, disillusionment in humanity from an election??*]

You are responsible for you.
READ ON:
 Could being pissed at a botched Starbucks order really be a CRITICAL life “pivot-point?
 And what’s TRULY the culprit for my lethargic ” lack of inspiration”…

Advertisements

Fifty Shades of HSP

Too sensitive?

Are you feeling just a wee bit of empathy for that sad, lonely little pin? If so, chances are you’re HSP… and/or a marketer’s dream!!! Come on folks: it’s a PIN!  But if you’re like me: I had an immediate physical ‘sensory’ reaction.

[……. spawning an emotional backstory involving other pin-people that are greatly affecting Pokey’s life… and not for the better: he definitely needs a mentor!!]

And I’ll call my shrink: HE??!
Well, I can’t help it – and neither can you if this pic triggers your emotions in any way.

So many of you resonated with the posts on HSPs (highly sensitive person) and how it is biologically driven moreso than conditioning. Without a mainstream understanding of this, many of you – us – have felt “different”: flawed, lacking; confused by our heightened sensories; painfully suppressing emotions; labelled introverted, shy, weak, wimpy or the incredibly condescending: OH, YOU’RE JUST TOO SENSITIVE!!! You just might be über sensitive, but that’s your calling-card: part of your identity to develop and use to your greatest life.

What’s really interesting, both from blog comments and conversations I have in general, is the number of folks that need their self-image and life to fit into a perfectly defined BOX with the duly assigned bow. Case in point, this comment in an email “Kelly2.0” wrote me:

“I thought I was right-brain, based on the criteria,  
but I’m definitely a list-maker and a planner– so I guess I’m not.”

And my client, let’s call him “Jack”, a very social, life-of-the-party type of guy, was puzzled – almost offended, when I suggested he may want to read a bit about ‘introvert’ tendencies, snickering disdainfully…

Me. Introvert. I don’t think so”.

Rather, Jack was convinced he had depression: because he regularly locked himself in his room for dark, quiet solace- often for days. Both of these folks had clearly misinformed ideas, and were looking at “definitions” far too linearly.

I'm with stupidI want to make it perfectly clear: all of these human “labels” such as introvert, extrovert, HSP, left-brain, right-brain ARE ALL JUST GUIDANCE – clues if you will, to help us understand ourselves a little better; to know that most of our tendencies are normal, and that there are other folks out there (like: MILLIONS!) with idiosyncrasies just as “crazy” as yours and mine! Naming characteristics and behaviours and “grouping” them simply makes it easier to communicate; and greatly benefits professionals to make some relative sense as they’re doing their jobs.  Just like rules: these “categorizations” too, are meant to be broken.

HUMAN BEINGS are on a gray-scale pretty much in every single thing about us: you might have more of something, less of something else; fit clearly into one group description, or fall flatly in the middle of two. I might be a “woman”, but I do not have the same DNA as any other woman on the planet Unique blends(if my parents can be trusted!). You haven’t the foggiest if I was born with a uterus; and my nether parts may biologically include a penis: am I still a woman? My assertiveness is chronically attributed to being a ‘fiery redhead’: there must be something pretty potent in Feria #74 – I’m a brunette! I have categorically green eyes, but their custom tones reflect colours from hazel to blue, depending on my shirt. (Sigh, my bio-family has called me blue-eyed my whole life!). I’m right-handed: but waterski and snowboard “goofy”*. I have 7,499,488,203 freckles. It’s summer: that could change.  My chromosomes put me in the general category of “female”, but as any other “female”: my own customized version. “Sensory” and sensitivity falls equally in the ingredients list of “being human”: how it functions and manifests for each of us will be on a gray-scale too.

As with everything in life, the golden ticket (as stated in the last HSP blog) is simply: AWARENESS. The more you know yourself, identify and respect your different shades, the better you can choose and navigate your path. Knowing you’ll never exceed 5’1″ will most likely save time when considering an NBA career (…and heartache… and your knees).  Knowing you feel pain and empathy for a pin, will most likely save time when considering a nursing** career (…and anxiety… and pharmaceuticals).  Having an understanding of what might be biological, what might be learned, and how to manage and monopolize on both gives tremendous personal power.

50+ Shades of You

READ ON: Kelly2.0 and “Jack’s” – AND MY
misunderstandings about “sensitivities”

 

Speaking of monopolizing on sensitivity…
Check out Ariana Page Russell and her “Skin Art”:
Use your sensitivities!!“My skin is very sensitive and I blush easily. I have dermatographia, a condition in which one’s immune system releases excessive amounts of histamine, causing capillaries to dilate and welts to appear (lasting about thirty minutes) when the hypersensitive skin’s surface is lightly scratched. This allows me to painlessly draw on my skin with just enough time to photograph the results. Even though I can direct this ephemeral response by drawing on it, the reaction is involuntary, much like the uncontrollable nature of a blush.”
Sensitivity at its most literal… but uniquely Ariana’s to use!

Can I Be More Thoughtless?

Just when I’m ready to take a break from my series of thought-full blogs, here comes Mr. Dyer again with a whopper…

dyer kaleid
“You might think that you have no control over the thoughts that keep popping in your head, but consider this radical idea:

Your thoughts are not located in your head.”
-Wayne Dyer

 

Say whaaa??? Take a minute and let this one resonate. Your thoughts are not located in your head.

I gotta say: immediately that idea made it easier to identify with the concept that “you are not your thoughts”; it reinforces thoughts as being external to “me” – thus not me. Personally, I’m doing pretty good putting this whole thought thing into a perspective that enhances my life:

  • I believe thoughts are made up, not reality
  • I believe I can control and manage thoughts
  • I believe that what I think about puts focus and attention on the subject of those thoughts thus narrowing what I see/feel, and bringing more of what supports my thoughts – positive or negative, into my realm (i.e. thoughts create reality)
  • I believe the quality of my thoughts create my future – can’t fix a problem with the same old thoughts that created it!
  • I KNOW of the existence and power of subconscious thought: through first-hand experience… and believe it can both manipulate us and us it!! (p.s. Mr. Dyer calls it “habitual thought” – might be easier to comprehend!)
  • I meditate, so I know I can stop thought and have a voiceless, empty head  (I can hear my brothers going: duh!!!) 

I follow a lot of neuroscience and have great insight into the theories and science-based realities of mind/thought/brain connection… but I gotta say, I’ve never really contemplated that if thought is not located in my head, then… where’s it hangin’??

I went back to Wayne Dyer to elaborate on this statement, and this is what followed, excerpted from his book Excuses Begone*:

“Thought is an energy system that isn’t found anywhere in the physical world.
The universe itself and everything in it is both mental and spiritual in nature.”

soul energy

Now this statement, relative to Wayne’s work and other current research in the quantum physics world, is actually a fairly simple, science-not-religious based concept.  But if you’re not up on his work or haven’t explored the world of spirituality and/or consciousness much, it can easily be lost and abstract: “huh what… energy system… mental/spiritual in nature, ya, whatever!!”
As per previous posts, I love how all of the old “woo-woo” concepts of the past are being validated by the new science, and therefore, I encourage you to take the time to read some of Wayne’s books. (I don’t even think they are close to woo-woo… however some ideas can seem a little heady based on the narrow-minded education, religion stereotypes/biases, and societal fear of “philosophy” that most of us westerners have been raised with!). Maybe supplement it with a scan of Bruce Lipton’s Biology of Belief, or Rick Hanson’s Buddha’s Brain, if you want a quick dive into the new neuro/consciousness research that helps to put it in perspective: “you” vs. your thoughts vs. your brain. (A-ha, seeit’s not all your fault – it’s YOU’s fault!!).

In the meantime, just lay down, tune into your body and really get a feel for your thoughts and the concept that they are not simply a nattering” mini-me” in your head, but rather, may be outside of you altogether: part of a much bigger picture.

Okay. Cool. I think that’s wrapped up some final insight on “thought”: I feel good to stop this blog series here.  So… what subject to tackle in my next blog?? I turn on my fave place for inspiration: Hayhouse Radio. Awesome!… it’s Joe Dispenza on the air – love me some Joe Dispenza! Dr. Joe is a chiropractor who diversified into neurology and wellness; most recognized from being featured in the award-winning film What the BLEEP Do We Know!? Dr. Joe is driven by the conviction that each one of us has the potential for greatness, and unlimited abilities; he always offers up some cool new perspective every time I hear him talk. Let’s take a listen to which of his many titillating interests Dr. Joe’s on about today:  meditation… corporate coaching… nurturing creativity?? Oh, you gotta be kidding me: PLACEBO effects i.e. the power of THOUGHT!! Now, it’s not really so far-fetched a topic for Dr. Joe, given his extensive research on brain mapping, holistic/integrative medicine and epigentics: it’s just… ironic!

And sorry… but now I’ve gotta go here: Dr. Joe  has just released his book You Are the Placebo, which “explores the history, the science, and the practical applications of the so-called placebo effect”¹.  (So-called, because other cultures and progressive scientists, thinkers and doctors have known for DECADES that thoughts can change and heal a life, yet mainstream folks most often think of “placebo effect” as flushing out hypochondriacs and annoying Pollyannas.)  The book might sound a little predictable – BUT IT’S NOT!! There is a whole new, juicy meal of fresh ideas around thought – in a perspective I’ve never heard before.  Dr. Joe speaks and writes for the common-man, and this book might give you a whole new insight on just WHY you can’t seem to master and change your thoughts (even though you’ve had all of this great information on OtherWise to provoke you!!).master-thought Interesting to me in particular, is the identification of thought patterns as an “addictive” behaviour: we get use to and crave the neurotransmitters that we have created through our thought patterns – good or bad. That’s some major insight, if you parallel it to a smoker or cocaine addict trying to stop! Not only that, but our trek down the same brain path over and over and over with a repetitive thought (60,000 thoughts a day, 90% of them repeat!)² carves a little river (figuratively), perfectly formed to our comfort zone — and a complete bugger to dam up! New behaviours need to stack up enough momentum to divert the flow of our comfy dysfunction and forge healthy new tributaries: thought by thought by de-toxing thought!!

Oh… where we could go with all of this!!  But alas, I will move on to a new topic next blog.  It wouldn’t be very thoughtful of me to leave you without a link to Dr. Joe’s Hayhouse interview with Diane Ray re: the above referred-to placebo book; Diane represents newbies to the subject, so it’s an easy interview to follow! There’s an interesting comment challenging:  we are not our thoughts…; and also, if thoughts don’t live in our head, then too: where do feelings live???  Here’s a bonus link to a lecture by Dr. Joe… and here’s one final article specifically on thought – for now! Fear not: thought will traverse through a lot of future topics: it’s a nucleus to a contented life!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* see Quotes Archive 2014 for a list of the most common excuses!!
¹quoted from www.drjoedispenza.com
²According to the research of Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University.

worry chairFour Tips to Reduce Worry and Rumination

How to break the “habit” of unhelpful worry and rumination
by Edward R. Watkins

Rumination and worry– repeated dwelling on feelings, problems, and difficulties – has been found to be a significant “process” causing and maintaining depression. Many people with depression report that they brood repetitively on their symptoms of depression (e.g. “Why can’t I get better?”), on their perceived inadequacies (e.g. “Why can’t I do this?” “Why do I always get things wrong?”), and on past upsetting events and losses. We know from long-term follow-ups and from experimental studies that rumination exacerbates negative mood and predicts increases in depression.

Next: How To Stop Ruminating (page 2)

Comparing? The Cat Knows A Lot About That!

No one youer than YOUEverything we really needed to know to thrive in our lives was declared by a cat in a hat. But did we listen – NOOOOO!

In the last few posts, we’ve been looking at the nonsensical act of comparing ourselves to others, and I think it’s pretty clear that we need to start nurturing – no, HAMMERING – the beauty of our differences at an early stage of life.  Dr. Seuss hit the nail on the head: his books are chock-a-block of “be yourself” ditties and they should be mandatory comprehension by preschool – and studied again in high school, before kids choose their career paths!

A slightly overlooked part of the whole comparison game, is that which we assign to the pedestal: be it prompted by societal views, familial expectations or life experiences.  In the case of people, when we’re “not good enough”, then reason says we think someone IS good enough: the problem laying directly in the word “think”. When we place someone in a high position on the “enough” scale, then for that person, there is nowhere to go but down. How fair is that – especially if it’s someone you’re close with? You will succeed.Everyone, just like us, is just trying to do their best; with trials and errors – just like us: struggling to find courage and resiliency, just like us.  To have the sense that somebody is constantly keeping vigil on the tarnish-factor of imaginary crowns is a lot of pressure to place on someone; and means at best, that they are not truly free to be themselves; and at worst, they are donning a mask to meet expectations and thus, presenting a false reality.  Who wins there? Excluding teachers and narcissists, no one asks to be appointed your guiding light: that’s a dysfunctional burden unwittingly placed on another; and a blatant imbalance of power in any relationship – destined to wither.

those who mind don't matterI’ve been in this position myself: placed on a pedestal and feeling that intense discomfort (if not an actual: “little miss perfect is not so perfect!” quip) any time I tried to reveal anything vulnerable about myself to this “friend”. True enough, I have experienced relationships where our life experiences are out of balance and unstimulating, and I have abandoned them. Never, though, have I stayed in a relationship for the pure reason of playing a leading role: way too unsatisfying – and blech, bore-ing!!! I want to take as well as give! Needless to say, I jumped off the pedestal and out of that relationship. Sad: I really liked her.

Oh the places you will go.Point being: assessing what “good enough” means is all in your own definition, influenced by your own life circumstances. At any point in time you can choose to change the definition. Don’t put your own personal fears and self-declared expectations randomly on others; and don’t underestimate yourself or what you can change if you focus less attention on others and more on YOU!
You are you. They are them. Enough.

Here’s an elaborated view adapted from Dr. Rob Kiltz on DailyOM.com:

In Life, There Are No Pedestals

When we fall in love with someone or make a new friend, we sometimes see that person in a glowing light. Their good qualities dominate the foreground of our perception; and their negative qualities – well, they just don’t seem to have any! This temporary state of grace is commonly known as putting someone on a pedestal. We have all done this to someone at one time or another, and as long as…

Next: The Pedestal (page 2)

Could You Be a Scarcity Model?

 scarcity2

“The real reason that you find it necessary to compare yourself to others, is that you’ve fallen under the spell that says: good things are always scarce.”

I came across this statement when I was exploring the psychology of why we feel the need to compare ourselves and our situations in order to assess self-value. It’s referred to, in a behavioural sense, as “the scarcity model”, and at its centre is the perception that unless you “have” – and stockpiled, somehow you won’t survive.

Hmmm… It’s an interesting concept, born presumably from our oldest reptilian brain remnant, the amygdala, originally facilitating our escape from dinosaurs or tigers.  The functioning of the amygdala has most recently been accused of being somewhat “dysfunctional” in it’s fight-or-flight talents, not having adjusted yet to what this means in civilization today, and triggering limitless hormones and neurotransmitters at every stressor – real or imagined. It might make sense then, this connection to being less than, and therefore, requiring more.

Never run out.

Ahhh, all is well!

I can definitely think of examples where I have felt the need to “stock up” – never knowing when the bottom might fall out: be it t.p. when my money is low, or seeking some validation when my spirit is low. I suppose I’ve compared things a little: I’m sure my friend so-and-so would never be so irresponsible as to run out of t.p. (i.e. funds to buy it); my friend what’s-his-face must be totally secure owning his own business, nice house, dining out whenever, wherever – but thankfully, those thoughts are few and far between! I’m so much happier and at peace since I’ve established a definition of success that works for me: and I am successful!  I no longer have a need to compare my life to others, and don’t give these comparisons a second more credibility than acknowledging that they are imagined and meritless thoughts: I have a nice little chuckle at their persistency to sneak back into my consciousness, and then boot their butts back into oblivion where they belong! I know now that everyone has their own challenges relative to their own definitions of success; some completely aware of this and doing their own butt-kicking of those momentary doubts; but all too many, completely oblivious to what brings them fulfillment, and stuck in deep-seeded comparison games to validate that they are really happy!

One of my fave speakers and behavioural psychologists, Brene Brown, has written about “scarcity” in two of her books, The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly, a relevant quote from the latter being:

“Worrying about scarcity is our culture’s version of post-traumatic stress. It happens when we’ve been through too much, and rather than coming together to heal (which requires vulnerability) we’re angry and scared and at each other’s throats.”

In an interview about The Gifts of Imperfection, Brown elaborates:

These are anxious and fearful times, and everywhere we hear the lexicon of scarcity. We are not rich, thin or beautiful enough; we are not safe, perfect or powerful enough, and ordinary lives are completely dismissed. But success and high achievement will not gratify us when our self-worth is tied to the mindset of scarcity. We think the opposite of scarcity is abundance — more time, more money — when really the opposite of scarcity is “enough.” Just enough.

Another duo, behavioural economist Sendhil Mullainathan and the cognitive psychologist Eldar Shafir have written a whole book on the feeling of scarcity, brilliantly comparing it to the realities of scarcity in purely political or economic terms – a very interesting read!

Scarcity mindset.

So what are we really talking about – what is the “scarcity model”?  To tippy-toe into the concept, here are excerpts from a few recent articles I’ve come across, and then a link to a more detailed article on the Mullainathan/Shafir book.

splat

It’s Time To Give Up The Scarcity Model

The scarcity model says that if the person that you’re comparing yourself to is (arguably) more attractive than you, then that person has grabbed up too much of that thing called attractive and now there’s less for you. Same thing goes for

Next: Comparison Battle – More on the Scarcity Model (page 2)

Amazing vs. Insanity. Your Choice.

Here’s a challenge for you:
Go outside and find the best possible stick.

Why aren’t you going? Perhaps because the request is ridiculous. What do I mean by “the best possible stick”? For doing what? Digging? Toasting marshmallows? Poking a weasel? A stick that’s ideal for one purpose might be useless for another. And that is why the “comparing mind” is:

insane green2

If your energy and time is spent just being a little bit better than the next person, you miss out on getting to be better for you.  Being better than someone else keeps the bar low and keeps you from exploring the depths of what you can be:

YOU’LL NEVER KNOW HOW AMAZING YOU CAN BE!

Last week we talked about fruit salad and not comparing the sweet vs. the tart, the colourful vs. the bland: just enjoy how every different juicy morsel brings a new surprise in every single bite, and contributes something special to the overall tasty satisfaction. Life can be sweet or tart; you may be colourful or bland: together, your inherent nature and the nurture of your thoughts will drive your future – with a few choice choices from you.

Martha Beck has a few choice words for you; and I like what blogger Tera Warner has to say:

Who cares what they say about the things you should do or say and how you should live your life?!  Be inspired by the lives of others, but do not follow their path and pretend it’s your own. The most valuable be you SUPERDOGthing you have is not your health, it’s not your time, it’s not your purse, your car, your fancy pants designer jeans or even your friends.

It is your self-determinism – your ability to choose the path you take in life, make your own decisions and stand for the things that you believe in. In a world where we’ve been fed a deep-fried, glitter-coated version of what Life should be, how it should work, and told to whom we should defer our power, creativity and authentic expression, it takes some serious [insert male/female sex organs here] to think for yourself! Question what you hear and stand in your truth, no matter how lonely it feels to do so sometimes!

Are You an Apple, Orange or… Bananas?

If you can’t stop comparing yourself to others, you’ve got a case of what Asian philosophers call “monkey mind”, and, honey, it will only drive you bananas.
adapted from article by Martha Beck

Our ability to rank-order things is invaluable in making choices and setting priorities. But problems arise when comparing mind is the only mode of perception we access. Every gathering, conversation, or friendship becomes a stressful contest: Will I “win” in this situation, or will someone else turn out to be prettier, smarter, richer, thinner…in a word, better?

This way of thinking is absurd, because outside the realm of human perception, the concept of better is MEANINGLESS!  This makes comparing mind a setup for failure. Even if you can be the world’s best at one thing, you’ll be the world’s worst at something else, case in point:

Supermodels make pathetic sumo wrestlers.

A brilliant orator who speaks only one language
sounds like a babbling fool in another.

If you spent your life mastering all languages, you might still suck at engineering, croquet, watercolor, etc. Since comparing mind hates being less than best at anything, you lose. Always.

Comparing is insane.It seems that no matter where you are on the planet, the competitive madness was bred into your cells and reinforced in countless social interactions. But you can learn to watch for comparing mind or “monkey mind” to appear, and to notice when it starts tainting your life. Like a virus, it generally sneaks up on you unseen; what you’ll observe are its symptoms. Here are some telltale diagnostics:

Next: Is Your Mind Going Ape? (page 2)

Daily Love… or Comfort?

TDL_FB-icon

Following is a recent post from The Daily Love blog, which is one of the few blogs that I have signed up for and then actually kept following!! The Guest authors on this site are fabulous and founder Mastin Kipp is a pretty insightful, inspiring and hip guy!  I highly encourage you to check this blog out (particularly if you are just beginning your self-awareness journey): http://thedailylove.com/ .

This snippet is a taste of Mastin’s wisdom, preceded by a fitting quote – which are offered daily to set the tone for the TDL blog.  More importantly, this is insight into how Mastin lives: life is too short, and simply too precious- – and FUN to live inauthentically.  In his own words:

“F-ING DITCH PLAN B!!!  Go ALL IN on Plan A!
Plan B is an f-ing distraction from your dreams!!!”

Also, find 25 minutes to watch the video below the article – you won’t be disappointed.  It’s proof that there is a sincere movement to shift consciousness to live more authentic lives, how Mastin’s efforts are a part of that, and how a strong, LOVING relationship is not only healthy – but just really cool!
(Disclaimer: video is uncut – unedited version of the above quote is included!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Is this Relationship About Love…
or Comfort?

Comfy or worn out?“You must constantly ask yourself these questions:

Who am I around?

What are they doing to me?

What have they got me reading?

What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming?

Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay? Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”
Jim Rohn

Many of my clients come to me because they are in a relationship crisis. Most of my clients are women, and some of them, when they are in a relationship crisis, feel as if they have done something wrong. Their partner is telling them that they don’t recognize the person they are in a relationship with. At first, before we go a little deeper, some of my clients feel as if they are the bad guy.

Imagine who you could be.

But – upon further investigation, we see that the cause of the relationship crisis is that my client is choosing to grow and their partner is choosing to stay the same. I say it so often, but I say it because I feel like I want this to be one of the main mantra’s TDL provides you – relationships are containers for growth; just because relationships end doesn’t mean they were a failure if you learn the lesson that the relationship was meant to teach you. I repeat, RELATIONSHIPS ARE CONTAINERS FOR GROWTH!

So what happens is that we meet our partner at a certain level of growth and we are with them, we change, we evolve, we grow and at some point, we have a choice – we can grow together or we can grow apart. Most couples do not consciously make this choice. Most couples “slide” into this place and all of a sudden a relationship crisis blooms. And then wedead end roses ask ourselves the famous lyrics from The Clash, “Should I stay or should I go?”

This is a tough question to answer. And there isn’t a cookie cutter answer, either. But what I can say is, ask yourself these questions if you are considering leaving a relationship – “Is this relationship serving my empowerment?” and “Am I serving the empowerment of my partner?”

The answer to these two questions, if you are REALLY honest, will get you far. Oh and here is one more: “Am I in this relationship for LOVE or for comfort?” A lot of people stay in relationships that don’t serve their empowerment because it’s comfortable. But, as we have learned (and preach) at TDL, choosing the comfortable path isn’t always what’s best for us and it’s rarely what our SOUL is calling us to do. Our SOUL is calling us out toward adventure to learn, to risk, to dare and to find a relationship where we bond over our power rather than just our wounds.

How's that workin' for ya?Of course we must Love each other, and that includes each other’s dark side. BUT – can you see how bonding over your wounds, over your fears creates a certain type of relationship? You have wounds in common. This is called woundology.

When you focus on and bond over your wounds you are playing small IF you support each other in staying wounded. Can you see the conflict that comes when people bond over their wounds, support each other in staying wounded and then all of a sudden one person wants to grow? All of a sudden the relationship dynamic isn’t the same. One person is growing, no longer the victim, taking responsibility for their life – and the other person is still stuck in the pain of their wounds.

This is what creates many relationship crises. So, if you are in this place either in a personal or professional way – ask yourself:

“Was this relationship created because we bonded over and supported each others wounds? Did we support each other to stay wounded?”

“Is this relationship now serving my empowerment?”

“Am I serving my partner’s empowerment?”

If you were TOTALLY honest with yourself, what would you say? And knowing this, what would you DO?

A few affirmations for you:

What's it gonna be?I attract relationships and business partnerships that serve my empowerment.

I am worthy of being happy, simply because I exist.

I celebrate taking steps towards my empowerment and let go of what no longer fits.

Love,
Mastin

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mastin and partner Jenna give us some insight into who exactly brings The Daily Love into our lives, and what their personal relationship has both contributed and gained from this project of self-awareness and conscious living. Enjoy!
UPDATE: awww, they pulled the public access to the video – it was so good!

audio

Mastin Kipp is the founder of TheDailyLove.com – a website, daily email and twitter account that serves soulful inspiration to a new generation.  Started as a feed of quotes sent to Mastin’s friends, The Daily Love shot to fame after a tweet from Kim Kardashian. And a love monster was born.

Hosting Mastin on her weekly show Super Soul Sunday, Oprah dubbed him an “up and coming thought leader of the next generation of spiritual thinkers.”  Both an honor, and a mouthful.Mastin’s mission is to connect people back to what makes them happy. Happy people make better choices, and better choices make for a better planet.

His book, Float: An Achiever’s Guide to Happiness, is due out from Hay House in February 2014.

Oh – You Want To Be Happy TOO??

Ever Gotten What You Wanted…
But It Didn’t Make You Happy?

Humans just SO messed up somewhere along the way.  Society…parenting…education system – no point in sourcing blame, just follow Maya Angelou’s “when you know better, do better” philosophy, I reckon.  I’m referring to our belief that we have to compare materialismourselves to anyone or anything. There’s a predominant conditioning in these parts that our lives (thus happiness) are measured in stages of development and accomplishments – and man, doesn’t that make the years fly?!!  Baby should be walking by X, talking by X… and all of a sudden you have this little person – when did that happen?  You master the alphabet by Y and algebra by Z – then suddenly you should be grown up… and you need to have a career, a partner, money in the bank and a retirement plan… and when you beat yourself up for another 20 years for not having all of that by 30 – because that’s OLD and you SHOULD, your negative thoughts and their impact on your body set you up perfectly for illness; and if you don’t die then, you try so hard to mash all of your bucket list into the next 10 years and enjoy yourself – dammit, that you’re too exhausted to revel in the golden years that you worked your a** off for – then you die. Sure, there are some happy moments in there – but are they really?  With so many adults struggling at 40-50-60 to still figure out “who” they are – something is fundamentally wrong.  “YOU” is innate; happiness is innate: we’re born that way because we’re suppose to live that way.  We humans mess it up with our mindless thinking and pointless, soul-raping comparisons.

Howz about we re-write the plan a little.  Parents are all full of the “you are perfect just the way you are, honey – you can be whatever you want to be” mantra – – but here it comes… in your head without skipping a beat… the conditioned ending to that thought: “but only if you demonstrate that you reach XYZ by XYZ timeframe just like Olivia in your class”. Silent, but  loud.  You’d never say that to the kids, I know, but face it, there is no “modelling” if YOU don’t know who YOU are, folks: you have to live it to sell it to the kids. Let’s work on a subtle shift of awareness – pay attention; SUPPORT your kid to really BE who they are. Let’s permit and assist them – and each other, to take this inborn identity and play with it, explore it, and do with it whatever is so chosen.  Milestones are great – but pick out a few flat ones to skip in the river: it just might amaze you.  A good start is to abandon the need for comparison to any other person, norm, median measurement in our life philosophies; and while making this transition within our measurement-crazy society, let’s reinforce any type of “assessment” to be perceived as a personal goal to attain higher knowledge or skill – – and to make it commonplace that we personally buy into any goal in the first place as something desired to enhance our own life or spirit.

Dr. Judith Wright has a relatable view on the subject, including a perspective within the workplace:

And I want it delivered

I had gotten what I wanted by my late 20s. I had set–and met–my goals; I had gotten all A’s, achieved career success, lost weight, had a handsome boyfriend, volunteered, and was doing good work in the world developing model programs for people with disabilities.

I had what I wanted–but I was unfulfilled. Dissatisfied. I expected that I’d be thrilled, but I was far from it. Even though my friends said I had it all and how lucky I was, I didn’t feel lucky. Then I felt guilty that this wasn’t enough and I thought I needed to do better, do more, be better.

So, I worked harder and partied more and achieved more goals and lost more weight and bought more cool stuff and did more cool stuff and I still wasn’t satisfied. I still felt that nagging emptiness.

It turns out I was miswanting–what positive psychologists say is wanting something that you mistakenly think will make you happy, with an emphasis on MISTAKEN.

We all do it. We are what scientists call poor “affective forecasters”—which means we pretty much suck at predicting what will make us happy.

I was getting what I wanted, but that wasn’t making me happy, satisfied, or fulfilled. And I found out I wasn’t alone in this. So many people were coming to our company for coaching Having everything you desire is not normalor personal and professional development trainings who seemed to have it all—great accomplishments, busy lives filled with great activities—but just like me they felt empty and unfulfilled, like something was missing. We thought the secret to happiness is to set and meet new goals, get another promotion, buy a new place, do yoga and meditate, do a seminar and our vision boards, tone our bodies and volunteer, scout for cool places to go to and cool people to go with…

Yet, none of these things will make us happy unless we unlock the real secret of happiness– which is not about getting what we want, but about fulfilling our yearnings.

The act of wanting gives a dopamine high, that anticipation of reward, that quick buzz, the rush of excitement, that burst of energy… but it doesn’t make us happy or provide long-term fuel of fulfillment. It doesn’t keep us warm at night, make us love our lives, help us respect and be proud of who we are when we look in the mirror, or make us satisfied about our contribution to the world or the legacy we’ll leave at the end of our lives.

Yearning is the true desire under all of our activity, all our goals, all those stabs at self improvement—the yearnings we all have to love and be loved, to be seen and heard, to touch and be touched, to matter, to connect, to belong, to excel, to make a difference. We want to get that promotion, but chances are we yearn to be seen, affirmed, or respected. We want to check our Facebook page, but at a deeper level we yearn to connect.

Believe - you already have it all

And when we are in touch with that deeper yearning, and know what we truly desire, everything shifts. Then we aren’t doing things so that when we get it, achieve it, or buy it we’ll be happy. We start to do things that meet our yearnings directly, and then we find that we actually accomplish more and we are more nourished and fulfilled in the process. When we are with a client or on a sales call, we focus on our yearning to connect, and we serve that client more deeply and tend to make more sales as a result. Whether we are making dinner or making love or making widgets, we are aware of our yearning to nourish and be nourished, to love and be loved, or to excel. The process is fulfilling and we’re not just waiting for the result or…uh…the climax, to be satisfied.

I discovered that I really yearned to love and be loved, to matter, to belong, to make a difference. And, that I was trying to “earn” love by my achievements and trying to prove I mattered through my accomplishments. I saw that what would really satisfy me wasn’t just doing more, or being better, or partying more; it was deeper. It was being present to what I yearned for inside my heart, being more conscious, feeling more fully.

Guess he missed the point.

By focusing on the goal,
I was missing the point.

By following my yearning, I’m more satisfied and fulfilled and meeting more “goals” than I could have imagined. I’m discovering things I wouldn’t have even been able to state as a goal before. It’s like I’m emerging and transforming as I stretch and engage in life to meet my yearnings. Rather than waiting for some future outcome, I’m more spontaneous and in the moment. It’s a messier way to live, I’m not so “perfect,” and I make a lot of mistakes by experimenting on the journey, but it’s a juicier, more exciting, more fulfilling way to live.

My yearnings while writing this? To share, to connect, to make a difference, and hopefully, to ignite some yearnings in you. Forget what we want, let’s go for what we yearn for instead.

Yearn, baby, yearn.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

adapted from The Daily Love Blog, June 20, 2013

Judith WrightJUDITH is hailed as a peerless educator, world-class coach, lifestyles expert, inspirational speaker, best-selling author, and corporate consultant. She is called one of America’s Ultimate Experts”, featured on 20/20, Oprah, the Today show, and in Marie Claire, Fitness, and Health as well as The Chicago Tribune, The New York Daily News, and The Detroit Free Press. Judith is the author of The One Decision and The Soft Addiction Solution. Judith’s latest venture is as president of The Wright Graduate Institute for the Realization of Human Potential.

Depression Cafe

Embrace change.Life, please…
with a side order of dysthymia…

This week’s post outlined a typical path for learning about what happens when you have a diagnosis of depression.  As way of subsidy, here is a menu of TYPES of depression diagnoses; ranging from sneakily disruptive to life-threatening, diagnosing and dealing is your quickest and best route to living your best life.
Following is an edited snippet that proved to be quite thorough and user-friendly (based on the DSM IV, the “bible” of mental health diagnostics) from one of the hundreds of good sites available to explore this issue.

This post and links are for general information only; your mental health practitioner has the latest “official” diagnostic info relative to your interests. 

3 Common Types of Depression
and 3 Less Common

Here is a quick list of the 6 different types of depression:

  1. Major depressive disorder
  2. Manic depression (bipolar disorder)
  3. Dysthymic depression
  4. Endogenous depression
  5. Situational depression
  6. Psychotic depression

The three less common different types of depression (4-6) only differ slightly from the general category of major depressive disorder:

Endogenous depression is referred to on many sites, thus it’s inclusion here, but has actually become a defunct category, formerly interpreted as stemming from purely inherent biological causes (in DNA). Current research in neuropsychology can now link biochemistry with the influence of “thought”, connecting it more closely with situational depression. Biochemical changes are inherent in all depression diagnoses: some need management long-term including drug therapy; some short-term where talk therapy may suffice and perhaps adding limited drug therapy.
Situational depression, often called adjustment disorder, is a short-term condition that occurs when a person is unable to cope with, or adjust to, a particular source of stress, such as a major life change, loss, or event.
Psychotic depression is an extreme form of depression in which the low mood states are often accompanied by delusions or even complete hallucinations. Delusions can include the sufferer feeling guilty for something which they are not really responsible for.
Continue Reading→ 3 Most Common Depressions (page 2)

Why Worry Is a Choice

-By Deepak Chopra

conflict10

The demands you put on yourself can create more pressure than you know how to handle. Deepak Chopra has a series of articles and strategies to help you break the cycle of anxiety by changing the way you respond to stress, this included:

Anxiety is like a shortcut. When faced with uncertainty, the normal response is to stop, consider what might happen, and make a decision based on the best prediction you can make.

But the anxious person doesn’t go through this process; they jump right towards feeling afraid.

No one enjoys uncertainty. There is always a tinge of anxiousness when you don’t know what the future holds. But going straight into fear is the worst way to handle the situation because fear is almost never a good advisor. It blocks clear decision-making, and exaggerates the risks and dangers that might lie ahead.

If you are an anxious person, you need to stop making the leap into fear. But how do you do that? It requires a new way of approaching uncertainty.

Life is always uncertain, and until you can embrace this fact, you will imagine risks, dangers, and threats that never materialize.

Yet, suffering in your imagination is just as painful—perhaps more painful—since dealing with a crisis is always easier than waiting for one in a state of dread.

The Anxious Self

There are many sides to me.

Many spiritual traditions speak of separation as the real cause of human misery. Depending on your school of belief, separation can mean being apart from God, your soul, or the higher self/consciousness. But the terminology isn’t important; even the word “spiritual” isn’t crucial. What is crucial is that people are divided inside. One part of the self opposes another part. With guilt, the good fights against the bad. With anxiety, the strong part of the self is at war with the weak part.

When a situation arises that can be handled well, the strong part feels confident, competent, in charge and in control. When uncertainty crops up, the weak part feels afraid, helpless, and hopeless. Anxious people never settle this inner conflict. They are so divided that when they feel afraid, the weak part is “the real me.” When they are not afraid, the strong part is “the real me.” In fact, neither is the real self. The real self is beyond conflict; it is whole and at peace. So the long-term approach to anxiety is to rise above the inner war to find a self that is more whole.

What self-judgment really sounds like

When the self is divided and in conflict, there is always a hidden aspect of judgment against the self. Anxious people judge against themselves so much that they usually seek a stronger person to handle the uncertainties and difficulties that seem so overwhelming. It can certainly mask the problem for a while to marry a strong spouse or rely on a powerful parent. But finding a substitute isn’t the same as finding yourself. Anxious people are blocked from finding themselves because they quickly run into self-judgment, and this makes them even more insecure. Self-judgment is the voice inside that says:

STOP. You are good enough.

“You can’t handle it. Remember the last time you fell apart?
This time will be the same.”

“You’re too weak. Inside you’re still a helpless child. Other people stand on their own, but not you.”

“You aren’t smart enough. Other people can find the right solution, but not you. You just stand there looking blank.”

“You aren’t good enough. All these fearful things are a punishment. You deserve what you get.”

As you can see, to live with a divided self is misery and anxious people dread themselves more than their imaginary dangers. The main thing they dread is anxiety, of course, but anxiety is more than a bad sensation. It is rooted in the weak self that quickly jumps to conclusions. The first part of healing is to realize what is going on. The second part is to identify with the real you; then the war inside will be irrelevant.

Your real self is always present, but it’s masked by the trappings of everyday existence. Whether you recognize it or not, everyone lives in a state of separation, which means the divided self is the one you identify with. People with anxiety have a tougher time than others, but even the healthiest and most secure person is divided. If you weren’t, you would be in contact with God, the soul, or the higher self twenty-four hours a day. I mention this only to emphasize that moving out of the divided state doesn’t happen overnight. Any anxious person needs to learn how to deal with fear and panic on a day-to-day basis while at the same time never losing sight of the long-range goal: finding the real self.

How to Move Towards Healing

Escapism is healthy - sometimes

You can’t find something if you are looking in the wrong place. This holds especially true for the real self, because we all look for solutions from our divided self, and then we trust its answers. For anxious people, fear is actually a kind of solution. It provides a shortcut. It keeps the person vigilant. It gives the feeling of being concerned, engaged, and busy. And since fear is unwelcome, it drives people into all kinds of escapist activities. Every distraction from alcohol and drugs to television and movies is constantly available. It’s no surprise that millions of people would rather accommodate their lives to being afraid rather than seeking authentic healing.

Yet real healing does exist. Because anxious people are insecure, they need to pursue a path to healing that reinforces itself.

Outside help is valuable, of course, but anxious people tend to use stronger people as crutches; that’s where impartial mentors and counsellors can be extremely useful.

The trick here, though,  is to accept that self-healing is the only way. Once you can accept this truth, which is quite painful to anyone in a state of insecurity and fear, the next part is to keep reinforcing the process. Every day needs to be seen objectively as a step in the right direction.

The daily checklist to end anxiety

One method is to keep a simple daily log to track the positive things you did to abate your anxiety. For the sake of being realistic, it’s also good to record the negative things, but avoid the urge to become discouraging or self-pitying. Rather than keeping a full-fledged journal, which most people can’t find the time to sustain after a few weeks or months, make your log a simple check list, ticking off what went right and what went wrong. You can insert comments if you like at the bottom of the page.

Affirmations WORK!

POSITIVES

I stood up for myself, I spoke my mind.

I felt strong.

I had a moment of being real with someone.

I dealt with a panicky moment.

I started to feel anxious but it didn’t progress.

I felt optimistic about myself.

I had hope for the future.

I felt some peace and calm.

I survived a difficult situation.

I appreciated myself; I congratulated myself.

I felt worthy; my esteem was high.

I didn’t fall into my usual reaction.

I had a bright idea.

The world seemed like a safe place to be.

I felt accepted.

I didn’t cling to anyone or use them as a crutch.

I faced a difficult choice.

There is hope.

NEGATIVES

I didn’t stand up for myself; I wanted to speak my mind but didn’t.

I felt weakness.

I didn’t get real with anyone.

I suffered through one or more panic attacks.

I had a lot of low-level anxiety that didn’t go away.

I felt pessimistic about myself.

The future looked hopeless.

I felt no peace and calm.

I caved in to a difficult situation.

I criticized myself and fell into self-judgment.

I felt unworthy; my esteem was low.

I related to people who made me feel bad about myself.

I gave in to someone else’s negative views.

I didn’t feel safe.

I felt rejected.

I was clingy.

I procrastinated and put off a difficult choice.

I wanted someone to rescue me.

I kept wishing that things would get better on their own.

The key to breaking the cycle of anxiety

If you decide to include the negative roster, be sure to note if the items you have checked Take time for yourself.off are improving. Negatives can be useful if they show you what you are moving away from, but they’re not useful if you use them to fuel your self-judgment, since self-judgment is the root of the problem.

It’s key to have more positive events than negative ones. Happiness is built up by having good days, not by reaching for an unattainable ideal in the future. The same is true for being non-anxious. You must find it today, as best you can. By paying attention to your anxiety one day at a time, the hidden healing processes in your mind and your body can begin to work, because you are giving them a real opening here and now.

In the end, however, the best healer is the real self.

It is found by walking your own path: call it the path to self-awareness, God, or higher consciousness – whatever appellation works for you.

The methods for discovery have been outlined in all the world’s wisdom traditions. First and foremost, you need to make a real connection with the level of peace, silence, and security that lies beneath the turbulence of daily stress and strain. The most reliable method is meditation. If that seems unworkable, then sit for fifteen minutes twice a day in a quiet place, close your eyes and breathe. Place your attention on your heart and simply be. If you notice that your thoughts have distracted you, breathe again and once more place your attention on your heart.

This technique will accustom you to being with yourself. Anxious people misjudge being alone. They identify it with fear, loneliness, and insecurity. That’s perfectly understandable given their history of fear. But being alone is your ground state, the basis of your existence. It’s not your enemy. It’s not a danger zone. So take some time to undo the mistaken judgment that alone and lonely are the same. They aren’t. The doorway to a lifetime of safety, security, and self-worth lies at the level of the real self, and you were born to open it.

adapted from:
Oprah.com   |   December 31, 2010

Tag Cloud