Do you think will power, positive thinking and good intentions can change your mood? It’s doubtful. Because it all boils down to programming. The good news is that programming CAN be changed. Until it’s changed, you don’t have much power to switch tracks if you’ve gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.
Remember much of what you do is outside of conscious control and physiological, not psychological.
What’s happening over on the wrong side?
You wake up and remember the financial straits you are in or maybe last night you fought with your husband or your kid told you he’s depressed. Life can be so so hard. The last thing you need is your primal brain bringing you your morning coffee! Read More
You may have heard the terms “the slingshot effect” or “gravity assist” on a Star Trek episode, and NASA makes use of it. It’s where a spacecraft uses the gravitational field of a planet to pick up some speed – a lot of speed – to get to where it wants to go in less time and with less fuel.
You can do this too – no planet, stars or space ship required… just a willingness to do the deeper work. Read More
by Mary Oliver
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a context but the doorway
into thanks and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
Christians call it contemplation and prayer. Buddhists call it meditation. Read More
Imagine ocean waves in Hawaii. You’ve rented a surf board. You’ve taken some lessons, and now is your chance. If you attempt a ride and wipe out: a rag doll in the wash cycle, odds are you will feel some fear. You might even call it a day or possibly quit surfing altogether.
Emotions are scary
This is how emotions can feel and why so many people shut down. So, you can imagine that when emotions come up in session, people get scared. If not consciously then subconsciously as they remark, “I don’t know where that emotion went. I don’t feel anything right now.” Read More
I appreciate that I experienced mental illness and recovered. Not all counselors need to go through dark times to be good counselors, but that’s how some of us got there. Naturally, almost everyone goes through hard times and seeks self-improvement in various forms. I guess I differentiate what I went through from customary and usual spiritual growth because it was ongoing and oppressive. I could not control my food addiction and it wasn’t a matter of lack of “self-control” or “will power” as so many people inappropriately judged it back then. While the depression oppressed, I never wanted to kill myself, although many times when I woke up in the morning, I’d close my eyes and wish I didn’t have to ever wake up again.
If people could only glimpse the feeling of freedom that results from doing the work, they would be willing to spend the time and money it takes. But it can be hard to imagine what light looks like if all you’ve known is darkness. Read More
Guilt feels so good, doesn’t it? I’m being facetious. Guilt and shame are an unnecessary scourge, because they hold emotions stuck, swirling around in an eddy and unable to flow. As a result, emotions end up looking like the problem, not the guilt-ridden stories in your head.
You can accomplish so much with a conscience; guilt – not so much.
Do you walk around on eggshells?
Is it up to other people to stay off your hot buttons? Or is it up to you to stay off of theirs? Read More
Can you imagine diving into a winter pond and swimming in it for 20 minutes? Or, how about climbing Mt. Everest in shorts? Well, that’s exactly what Wim Hof has done. And what about breaks my heart is that he taught himself this intense method after the death of his beloved wife. He wanted to show up for his four kids and, in the process, he has become a scientific phenomenon. This is what love drives one to do – to create, expand outside our limited perception of reality.
When I first started watching his YouTube videos, the whole thought of it made me want to turn up my electric blanket, crawl into my cozy bed and cover my head with a velvet pillow. Read More
Getting to thriving is a process, and it begins with seeking help.
Self-fulfilling prophecy is not a myth
The thing about existing is that you continue repeating what you know, even if it hurts. Evolution programmed you to be efficient not accurate. What does that mean? It means that if, for example, people have hurt you enough, on a deeper level, you develop a belief that ALL people are suspicious, fickle or threatening. Survival programming thinks in extremes, not in gray area. If you carry a strong belief (based on your experience) that “people will let you down,” or “people are untrustworthy” or “most people don’t care about your well being,” then that’s what you will perceive and experience. Read More
The week before I started college, I saw a poster with an arrow, and the sign said: TOMORROW August 8th, audition for the dance department! Instantly I knew I had to try, in spite of my fears. That sign had a huge impact on my life.
Consider these questions, and then I am going to ask them again at the end:
Are you ruled by “shoulds”? Do you have clear, loving boundaries and good self-care practices? Where do you give up your power in order to please others? What part of yourself or qualities do you want to reclaim from childhood? What scares you to try, but also excites you?
I grew up in a household of Lithuanian immigrants who were wary of strangers, thus I spent more time in the backyard of my grandparents’ house than I did playing with other children. Most of the kids who went to my parochial school, a couple of blocks away, lived farther from the school because my neighborhood was “rough.” Read More
But taking the bait will usually create more problems for you than any benefit you would get from venting. When you take the bait, you become part of the problem.
For example when someone pisses you off and you jump in to defend yourself. Or maybe someone “makes” you feel guilty and you attack. Attack or defense – either way – it’s taking the bait. Your participation contributes to the cycle. So, what can you do? Read More