This Blog Is About

This blog is about---You! Each and every post is about you. Use it to challenge your usual patterns, as a tool for self-discovery, to stimulate your thinking, to learn about yourself and to answer your questions about others.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Paying It Forward and Benefactors

Giving with a purpose, generativity, and discovering your natural inclination to give/help others.

Recently I was sitting in a cold, BART station  on a colder cement seat next to a woman who was eating from a bag lunch.  It had been a long day in San Francisco for me and I was tired and hungry.    I noticed out of the corner of my eye that she kept sneaking glances at me-I was just sitting there, still and quiet, waiting for the train.  Then she offered me a tiny red box of raisins out of her lunch bag and she said:  "You enjoy it but then, you do something for someone else.  Okay?"  I agreed.  She then told me she makes a practice of doing this:  I recognized the practice.  It's called paying it forward.
 Related to The Butterfly Effect, paying it forward is more purposeful.  The one who offers the favor expects the receiver to reciprocate with some one else and extracts that promise.  It is purposeful passing it on whereas in the butterfly effect, we do kind acts on faith.  Paying it forward is an effort to make things different in the world.  There is a wonderful film on this topic called Pay It Forward if you are interested in seeing a fictionalized version of how this would actually be acted upon.

The concept of paying it forward is one of many examples of giving with a purpose.  Sometimes we give out of obligation-for a birthday or holiday; we may give because it is called for culturally; gifts are sometimes given to grease the wheels of business transactions, or to enhance an apology.  There are thank you gifts and gifts of reciprocation.  Gifts are a part of many kinds of relationships-between individuals, families, businesses and countries.  Nonetheless, a goal is attached, even if it is simply the loving one of seeing happiness in another.

Erik Erikson, who wrote about human beings as continuing to go through developmental stages throughout life,---not just as children, coined the term "generativity".  Generativity is one of the characteristics of maturity and usually emerges in late life, according to his observations.  This kind of giving, often in the form of charity work, volunteerism, or mentoring, represents the urge on the part of the giver to leave a legacy to the next generation.  It is a wish to help younger people and to offer up and pass on what one has learned, in life or in a particular field of specialty.
There is yet another type of giving, one that has no name as far as I know.  I researched this idea and didn't find much.  It is a recent discovery for me so maybe we are pioneering new territory here---I don't know.  If you recognize this, (or even if you don't, maybe you can create a name for it), let me know.
Here's a story about this kind of giving:  I have a long-time friend whose husband is very successful in the financial world.  I asked him for some help managing my financial matters. This wasn't easy to do because mine are 'small potatoes' in comparison to what he ordinarily deals with (big business clients).  However, he readily agreed.  When I tried to express my gratitude, he graciously said:  "What are friends for?"  I have met with him at his office several times now over the course of a few years.  When I am there, his entire attention is on me and my matters and his staff is at my disposal; I am treated as if I  were no different from his most important client.  He has only done a few things for me as I have been reticent, reluctant to impose on such a generous person.  But there has never been any sign of limits on his part.  He just seems to wait until I ask and then, he helps me. 

Because  I have felt sort of befuddled about how this was occurring in my life, I have put a lot of thought into it.  I remembered that the Chinese culture has a concept about benefactors.  The idea is that we each have the possibility of having a benefactor cross our path in life.  This would be a person who just, in some way, provides you with something beneficial to you, without remuneration.  Sounds like part of an explanation but still...

Then, one day I realized that I do this myself.  I'm not referring here to how I might put my heart out to a client in my practice-above and beyond what I am paid to do as my job.  I am not talking about what I might do for my child.  No, none of that.  I am talking about helping because I can.  Or helping because I can and I've been asked.  Or seeing a need, having the ability to fill that need, and then doing it.  This is giving that has no cost: It does not deplete the giver.

 People who know me as extended family or as close friends will sometimes come to me with a personal conundrum or even a life crisis.  It never occurs to me to not help---I just do it. When I began this blog, I did it because I wanted to offer to the world, what I have learned (and am learning); I wanted to make available to anyone anywhere, who could get to a computer, but did not have access to a private practice therapist, a part of what that experience is.  I put a lot of thought and time into these posts and I am not paid anything for this work.  Some people in my life have wondered aloud to me why I do that.  It's actually quite difficult to explain.  I just feel strongly that I want to make this offer.  And, so I keep doing it. 

  So, it seems that some people have this aspect in gear and some don't.  (Also, some are doing it but aren't aware, as I was).  It would seem a very foreign idea to someone who has not felt the wish to do this.  But, those of you who are doing it, will, perhaps recognize what I have described.  Do you?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Oceanic Experience

Oceanic experience:  Usually brief and unexpected, a feeling of being at one with the world, peaceful, joyous, and compassionate.

"Sometimes the silliest things strike a chord and fill me with hope and leave me laughing...and crying all at once."  Renee Miller

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Simple Lesson on Learning

                                                   Giving yourself the best.
 At Feldenkrais class last night, our teacher (Lauren McLeod) talked a little about the requirements for learning.  Be comfortable, she said.  If your body is in discomfort, your mind will be occupied with that.  If your body is at ease, your mind will be relaxed and open to new information.
~Are you hungry?
~Are you  tired?
~Seated in a good position?
~Good light and temperature?
~Minimal distractions?
~Emotionally calm?
These points are important for children too.  Optimize your child's homework/study environment as best you can to offer the best chance for successful learning.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Your Question of The Day

"What is your most treasured memory?"        

The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, P.h.D.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A No-Brainer

How we learn and tricks for a better memory.      All of us can perceive the world visually, with our sense of hearing, or, by feeling.  However, we each tend to favor one over the others.  Are you a visual person?  You may think sometimes in terms of images.  (You probably enjoy my quirky photographs on the blog!).  Others may have a lot of trouble picturing something in their mind, recalling instructions given verbally, and so on.  "Learn your learning style.  Some people remember best what they see, some what they hear, still others what they experience.  Knowing your learning style helps your memory run at peak efficiency.  To enhance memory, try using all three learning modes.  Write it down.  Say it out loud.  Even act it out.  The more actively involved you are in the process, the more likely you are to remember."
"Recall of a...fact depends on the importance you assign to it.  When you're interested in something, you pay closer attention and your brain 'imprints' on cells that store memory...Pay active attention."                
Anxiety, multi-tasking, some "...medications, poor nutrition, or a sleep deficiency..." may interfere with your ability to concentrate.
  Reading, learning a musical instrument, and playing certain games are known to help sharpen your mind.  A good memory is a sign of high intelligence.  Your neurological health is worth your attention. 
Source of quoted material:  Life Extension magazine


Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Butterfly Effect

"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness.

Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."  Scott Adams

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Iron Mike

                                                   A Story of Transformation
I just caught the last half of an interview with Mike Tyson on the Larry King Show on TV.  It was so interesting to see a living example of someone who has achieved tremendous internal change.  He is quite open about himself and his personal attitudes.  But his changes are also apparent in his demeanor---how he interacted with Larry King, his tone of voice, body language and, of course, in his verbal responses.  He seemed transparent to me, meaning he was genuine and sincere.  I felt the truth in his answers to the questions.  It is worthy of mention, I think, that listening to a person who is simply being straightforward can be fascinating.  After the show, I saw on the Internet many tweets attesting to the same experience I had.

As he is now, I would describe Mike Tyson as a humble, thoughtful, man with inner strength and  a commitment to his own personal development.  Yet, if you review his history, you will see that at this point, he is an example of tremendous transformation.  In his history is great success very early in life (heavyweight champ at age 20), breaking the rules (biting the ears of an opponent), breaking the law (convicted of rape and imprisoned for 3 years), and lots of other violent, outrageous, behavior as well as drinking and drugging abusively and enduring tragedy (the death of his child).  He talked about knowing that he needs "structure" and routine in his life.  This is very telling to a therapist as it indicates a piece of his early development that didn't go well (or some other kind of deficit), and explains some of his acting-out behavior. (Most healthy adults can provide their own structure, internally.) But what is encouraging is that he has identified this, and is now able to design his life in such a way that he has the optimal chance of functioning well and in a healthy manner.
As he is now, he seemed to be simple in his expectations of life.  I am sure that he lives well, based on the earnings and acclaim that he built in his early, fabulously successful, career. Yet, he declared that he feels lucky to be alive and grateful.  His belief is that he should enter into life fully and energetically as long as he lives.  His optimistic view is revealed in his belief that stupendous things can happen to a person if they enter into living wholeheartedly.  He has managed to change a penchant for aggression and violence into an ability to protect himself good-naturedly by joking, being direct, and fending off intrusiveness or insults in a non-provocative manner.  The humility I mentioned earlier is evidenced in his declaration that he is in no position to judge others and that he doesn't.

Mike Tyson is a public figure so you can easily find out more about him if my observations have you intrigued.  But I propose that the wonderful value of watching this interview and, I would imagine any others that have taken place in recent years, is an opportunity to see an example of an evolving individual.

Monday, December 6, 2010

No Denial Here

                  Alcoholism continued, definition and physical effects  

There are types of alcoholism, stages of alcoholism, in addition to the effects of alcoholism, on the alcoholic's personal life and physical health.  As promised, here is my definition of the difference between a social drinker and an alcoholic as well as a listing of some of the effects of overuse of alcohol on the body.

The bottom line with a social drinker is that they can take it or leave it; if someone said to a social drinker that alcohol would never be available to them for the rest of their life, they would just shrug their shoulders and say, "Oh well."  Or, "Oh, that's too bad."  But, it would not be seen as a disaster.  They may have a glass of wine with a dinner out at a restaurant but it is thought of and selected, as a part of the meal.  Social drinkers don't drink alone.  They have champagne at celebrations and enjoy the act of toasting; they may enjoy, occasionally, going out with friends for cocktails.  Alcohol can be enjoyed but is not a central focus.  They may have a nice bar set-up in their home, but the purpose is for entertaining.  If long periods of time go on which don't include alcohol, they don't think about it, they don't miss it.  Alcohol is simply not an issue in their lives.

~Conversely, an alcoholic's life revolves around alcohol:  They find reasons to drink.  They plan for or arrange to, be able to drink.  They pay attention to maintaining the supply of alcohol in their house.  Alcoholics who have progressed further-mostly those who have been challenged about their drinking patterns by others in their life-will begin hiding alcohol.  Drinking will be lied about.
 I once knew a woman who was a 'maintenance alcoholic', meaning she drank a little all the time to keep her blood levels at a certain place (and maintain her altered state); she played tennis as a hobby and would have water bottle containers in her car trunk and in her purse which contained alcohol but she would claim that they were bottles of "tennis water".
Encounters with the law, such as a DUI begin to occur.  They may have problems at work such as being chronically late or missing work or going to work hungover; sometimes this individual will have a co-dependent in their life who covers for them.  For example, the co-dependent may call the alcoholic's workplace and make an excuse, such as, "My husband is ill today and can't come to work."
The alcoholic uses alcohol in place of, that is, instead of, using coping mechanisms.  For example, drinking is often used as a way to avoid addressing a life problem.  An alcoholic will use alcohol to alter their state of mind; note how different this is from ordering wine with the purpose of enhancing a meal.  Often a hallmark of alcoholism is that the drinker shifts once they begin drinking and no longer seem to have the same personality that is usual for them.  This last symptom is very hard on young children of alcoholics.
In contrast to the social drinker, for whom alcohol is just one of a myriad of choices in the world, the alcoholic is, in a way, in love with alcohol.  It can become their primary relationship in the sense that they put it first on their priority list.  This aspect can be very hard on the spouse or primary partner of an alcoholic.  Tolerance issues develop in the alcoholic, going up, up up and suddenly, in advanced stages, precipitously down.  High and increasing tolerance is what is commonly noticed by others.
Eventually, there may be physical addiction.

Effects of overuse of alcohol on the body:
"Brain:  Heavy drinking over many years can cause memory, judgment and learning ability to deteriorate severely.  The alcoholic's personality structure and reality orientation may also disintegrate.
Lungs:  Alcohol has a ...poisonous effect on the lungs."
Heart:  It causes "...irreversible damage to the heart muscle.
Liver:  Cirrhosis...occurs eight times more often in alcoholics than among non-drinkers.
Pancreas:  Excessive use of alcohol causes inflammation of the pancreas.
Small intestine:  Alcohol blocks absorption of various..."  nutrients.
Endocrine Glands:  "Alcohol impairs the function of all endocrine glands.
Sex Glands:  Premature senility, including dysfunction and degeneration of the sex glands, result from alcoholism.  Studies have consistently shown that Shakespeare was right when he observed that drink 'provokes the desire, but takes away the performance.'
Blood:  ...causes anemia...
Infection:  Alcohol lowers the body's resistance to disease...
Bone Tissue:  Alcohol creates...brittle bones.
Hands and Feet:  Alcohol causes poly neuritis..." (quotes from paper drafted by Doctors Hospital)
Alcoholics invariably have vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Part of taking care of yourself is being honest with yourself about your relationship to alcohol.
(Reading suggestion:  Another Chance: Hope and Health for the Alcoholic Family)  Clicking on the label, Alcoholism and addiction (on the right on the blog landing page) will give you a list of 14 posts on the topic or in which this topic is mentioned.

Was it interesting to you to think about the differences between a social drinker and an alcoholic?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Oh! That First Visit

            Starting therapy  
 Today I was in a medical office for an appointment of my own and the nurse, who had previously asked me for a therapist referral, wanted to say how happy she was with the therapist I had sent her to.
As we talked, she said some things about how difficult it was for her, however, at first.  She said how, in the beginning, she felt unsure about the therapist as a person.  She saw therapy as "a commitment", something she wanted, but, would have to fit into an already busy schedule.  There's the cost to consider also.  And then, of course, the patient-to-be is proposing (to themselves) to offer up very personal information to someone who, at the beginning , is a complete stranger.  All of this can lead to some pretty strong reservations.  If the patient is brand new to the process, that is, has never been in therapy before, with anyone, it is even more daunting to be in that situation for the first time.
Some new patients are so uncomfortable, they just don't return.
And, yet, just yesterday, one of my patients (remember the patient in the I've Lost 38 Pounds post?---that patient), spontaneously said in the midst of the session:  "Oh, it just helps so much just to be able to talk about it."  At the end of the visit she stated:  "It is so important to have a place of your own, where you can go and just talk about anything-whatever is troubling you.  It's my own sanctuary."  And as she left, a heartfelt, "Thank you!".  So, if you stick it out (and sometimes it will not turn out to be the right therapist for you; but, if it is),------what a resource!

Note:  Two related posts are titled, A Healing Relationship and Marriage Counseling:

Monday, November 29, 2010


At the conclusion of Feldenkrais class tonight, one of the students said:  "I think I got the idea.  I'm going to go home and practice and practice."  The teacher answered:  "No, don't do that.  Do another lesson and then go back to this one.  It will be easier."
This is, coincidentally, a description of how this blog flows.  It is a form of circumambulation.  Many subjects are being addressed here: In the earliest posts, I wrote several times about empathy.  Transitions, Flyin' By the Seat of Your Pants, and The Absent-Minded Professor are all articles about personality types and patterns of individual functioning.  There are posts proposing ways to evaluate your life and how change can take place.  How's the Fit? (3 posts), The Man in the Mirror, Shape Changers, Change is Possible and Jack Goes Boating are titles of but a few of those.  There are posts on relationships and on the therapy relationship itself.  Depression and suggestions for coping with it is discussed in a few posts.

So, there are a few examples of the intermittent re-visiting of subjects that I have been doing.  Also as you follow the path of this blog, it can also function as a model for how to conduct your own growth.  In therapy, people don't usually hammer away at one topic until it is all solved.  Some try that.  But, usually, the most natural way, it seems, to be in a growth process, is to explore a topic, leave it for awhile and then re-visit it.  It will usually reappear giving you the opportunity to work and re-work it until it is modified or resolved and transforms into something else. 
Sometimes people find, seemingly magically, that a stumbling block in themselves that they never addressed in therapy, gets healed as a side-effect of the other work.  We are connected inside!  If one part changes, so do others.  (Another post that addresses this last topic is called I've Lost 38 Pounds!)

I chose the title of this post purposely because it has a ritualistic flavor and it refers  to moving around the sacred.  As I share my personal process with you and offer you my professional help in encouraging and guiding your own  growth process, I feel it has a quality of the sacred.  To me, the development and evolution of each individual is a serious, wondrous process.  You are engaged with that process or you would not be reading this blog.  I think that you being the most you that you can be is important and worthwhile.

Have you noticed the "circumambulation" pattern of growth in yourself ?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Light-Hearted Version of a Truth!

Women are like telephones:  They like to be held, talked to, but, press the wrong button and you get cut off!  Erin Shultz

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When Fire Water Causes Conflagration

About alcoholism
"Alcoholism is the number one cause of death in the United states," says Gerald Frank, MD.  "Cirrhosis by itself is the number five cause of death, and when we add in deaths from automobile accidents and other medical conditions that are exacerbated by alcohol, we end up with the disease that presents the most serious threat to the health of our patients..."

"Almost everyone knows a problem drinker---a friend, relative, or a coworker.  Symptoms of alcohol dependency range from the obvious---consistent drinking beyond one's intention---to the subtle---frequent absenteeism or depression." (author unknown).  Maybe you are worried about the drinking habits of someone in your life or, how you, yourself, use alcohol in a way that worries you or those close to you.  I wrote a post called, simply, Addiction, ( in which I discussed how addictions of all kinds get started in a person and what the result is.  Here, I have selected just one substance to illuminate.  It is a health problem that I have seen ruin, ruin and destroy, so many lives, in the people who have come to my practice.  Some are or have been, in the path of the destruction when they seek help and, some are there still not able to acknowledge what is making chaos of their lives, and some come to recover from their own already decimated lives.
"If drinking is interfering with your work, you're probably a heavy drinker.  If work is interfering with your drinking, you're probably an alcoholic."  ~Author Unknown

It is important to understand that alcoholism is chronic and progressive.

Currently alcoholism is understood by health care professionals to be a disease, not a moral failing.  It is treatable.

Here are a few facts on alcoholism from Doctors Hospital:
1 in 10 drinkers will develop alcoholism.
80% of suicide victims had been drinking at the time of the event.
The rate of suicide is 39 times higher for alcoholics than non-alcoholics.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the 3rd leading cause of mental retardation in the U.S. and is 100% preventable.
1 in 5 of teenage drinkers has a serious drinking problem.
%20 of American families are affected by the alcoholism of a member.
1/3 of all child abuse cases are alcohol related.
60% of all domestic violence incidents involve alcohol.

Alcoholism and social drinking are two different things.  I will give the definition in a future post.

Heavy drinking damages the body.  I will be writing more on this topic as it is so important, and in future posts I will tell about how alcohol affects the body.
For now, please remember, alcoholism is treatable, recovery is possible, a stable personal life is a real experience for many recovering alcoholics.  More to come

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Your Question of The Day

What is one and how do you plan on reaching it?*"

Follow up question:  "*How often do you step back and reflect upon the way you are living and where you are headed?  In what way will reaching your goals make your life more satisfying?"
The Book of Questions
by G. Stock, PhD

Monday, November 15, 2010

O Canada

Some of the things that I admire about Canada are the physical maintenance and cleanliness of the cities, the cultural appreciation of the arts, the sophistication regarding the field of psychology, the fact that Canadians take care of their elderly citizens and the dignified way that Canada participates in world affairs.
Thank you for your consistent and loyal following of what I write here!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

To All Intents and Purposes

                            Harnessing the power of your own intention

 One of the most powerful ways to manifest your own destiny is through the use of your own intent.
When you have a real purpose, a clear goal, and believe you will do it, you have an intention.  Here we are not referring to wishful thinking, longing, yearning or irresolute fantasies.  Intention starts with a true decision.  I might go so far as to say that you must have a sense of conviction about your idea, whatever it may be.
It could be about any number of things, as we've been discussing in the examination of how to be a force in your own future.  It could be simple as in, I intend to stay focused on business and not procrastinate at work today.  Or, it could be profound like, I am going to draw joy into my life experience.  Or, anything in between.  The point is, when you make the choice in your mind or write down your plan or tell a supportive companion:  "This is what I will do.", that you mean it.

Once you effectively accomplish that initial step, sometimes remarkable things will happen.  (and sometimes they won't---no guarantees--- but, it doesn't hurt to make the attempt!).  It can happen that the very thing you propose will be manifested with your only having had to state your intention.  Indeed, I have seen this occur.  Or it may be that you have to hold and nourish that thought consistently for a long period of time.  Sometimes you have to take difficult and repeated actions focused on reaching your goal.  In that case, having your eye on the ball will support your effort and keep you from wavering.  You can also come up against having to sacrifice something else important to you in favor of your goal.  Stay open and ready to seize upon it if something resembling your objective emerges; it does happen that sometimes you get a version of what you set out to manifest; it may look a little different than your original mental image or, on the other hand, it can be exactly as you imagined.
(Another post on a related topic is titled, Charting Your Course)

In Ben Affleck's film, The Town, one of the main characters states an intention about half way through the movie.  In this case, the intention meant a huge life change.  There were many obstacles thrown in his path.  However, he kept repeating his intention, verbalizing it to others as well as making attempts to act upon it.  Some of the others were supportive and, some opposed him due to their own self-interests which they viewed as being in opposition to his goal.  (This brings to mind a point that some make about this process; it is sometimes recommended that you share your intention with others in your life whom you expect will be encouraging.)  The film character, through all of the hurdles put in his way and despite terrific odds against him, remained resolute and unwavering.  He kept repeating what his intention was and never gave it up.  I won't spoil the movie for you by telling what happened in the end, but this character is an excellent role model for working a personal intention. 

Set your sights on what you know is the right next step for you, in your life, and see what happens!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


"Bountiful am I, blissful am I, beautiful am I."  from music CD titled Pure Ganesh

Monday, November 8, 2010


  Unfinished Business, follow-up post

 Amongst my many books and papers on  psychology, I have a page with a seemingly exhaustive list of words which identify various human feelings.  It is called Feeling Words and is published by Marriage Encounter.  There are 264 words for feelings here and yet nowhere does the word disappointment appear.  How did the compiler of this list miss that?  I certainly experience that as a feeling, don 't you?  I propose that this is one of the hardest states to recognize in oneself, much less express outwardly.
I rarely hear a client express this feeling and yet, I see people having it.  Recently I had a male patient in the office, devastated by what his young adult daughter was doing with her life.  Only in her very early twenties and, already she had done a little jail time for some dealing with illegal drugs.  The family saw her through that and hoped for a fresh start for her.  Now, he was reporting that she had involved herself with a young man who was conducting some shady business.  This distraught gentleman said to me with great anguish again and again how angry he was.  As I witnessed his pain and listened to his story and his declarations, I saw that he was profoundly disappointed.  And so, I said to him that I hadn't heard him say one feeling which he seemed to be having---disappointment.  The tears came.

I find that most people share but two feelings, anger and depression.  And, yet, here I have a list of 264 feeling words.  Something is missing here.
Children feel disappointment:  Imagine the little girl who believes in Santa Claus and has spotted a doll that she so dearly wants for Christmas.   A box appears under the tree that is just the right size for that doll.  She is sure it will be there, in that box, on Christmas morning.  The big day arrives, she hurriedly opens the box and, inside, is a xylophone.
When I was a teenager, my English class teacher had us do a spontaneous writing assignment, in class.  I wrote a story about an adolescent struggling with the temptation to smoke cigarettes.  It was an excellent story I thought, and I was proud of it.  My teacher accused me of plagiarism.   I felt a number of things---confused, surprised, outraged but also in there was, disappointment.  You may have noticed how very (maybe overly) careful I am to always credit other writers or speakers whom  I quote or reference in the blog.  I may be still smarting from that unjust accusation after all these years...   However,---as you can see, I never gave up on my writing!

Some disappointments may run deep and be very serious such as a long-term relationship that has never been able to provide the emotional intimacy that one of the partners wishes for.  Perhaps a person works hard all her life but just isn't lucky and always has a financial struggle despite her efforts.
Daily, little disappointments such as, the doughnut shop not having our favorite that day, can readily be absorbed.  But  the larger disappointments need attention.  As you can see from my case example (the gentleman with the young twenties daughter), the first and apparently quite difficult step, is to notice the feeling and identify it.  It should then be attended to in some way.  Do what you can for yourself.  Make up for it if possible.  Comfort yourself.  Share the feeling with a sympathetic person.  Read the post titled, Not a Formula.  But, as discussed in Unfinished Business, do not stuff it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

She Was On Her Way

Find Your Future-Lost In Thought, Follow-Up
"She wasn't where she had been.  She wasn't where she was going...but she was on her way."-Jodi Hill

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Find Your Future---Lost in Thought

Your inner source of inspiration
 The French have the better word, for how to begin to design your own future.  A reverie is a resource for your vision of your life and how you want it to be.  There are three posts on the blog on the How's The Fit topic and four on the Charting Your Course topic.  If you haven't been following these, the first group is about whether or not your life, as it is, is right for you.  The second series is about how to influence your own personal future, specifically discussing dream/vision boards.
One way to access your inner knowing (the implication being, that this is present within you---it's just a matter of accessing it) of how your life would best play out is through musing, daydreaming or reverie.  Sit and look out at the horizon and let your mind wander; do not censor it; just notice what comes up.  If you practice meditation, you will recognize this technique of letting thoughts emerge and pass by without attaching to (or dismissing) them in any way.  But even if you have never attempted a formal meditation experience, every person is capable of allowing themselves to become lost in thought or of daydreaming.

"Imagination is everything.  It is the preview of life's coming attractions."  -Albert Einstein
Apparently this very smart individual believed that there is power in our thoughts; what we imagine is what will be.  That's an exciting possibility to consider. Certainly, at the very least, we can discover possibilities for ourselves and potentially discover wishes and interests that were not previously conscious.

"When you dream and imagine, lights turn on throughout your brain, creating billions of new neurological connections.  This ability to form new connections through imagination and dreaming is our ultimate human gift, allowing us to move beyond our limitations and rigid old habits, creating new possibilities and realities that were not possible for us before."-Anat Baniel
.Allow yourself to dream and pay attention to what is revealed and you will empower your own imagination.  Maybe you dream of being a painter, an artist, even though you have not been artistic before.  Putting some focus on it makes it a possible aspect of yourself that can be developed.  Let's say you wish you could live in a cabin in the woods---you have a dream about this, it feels lots of ways to you-quiet, peaceful, calm.  The next step is to clarify the picture in your mind's eye; fill in the details, make the image as clear as you can.  Make it vivid!  Use your imagination to connect to your inner passions and thereby increase the likelihood that they will eventually manifest in your actual outer life.
Maybe your dream is to live in a big hotel.  Don't dismiss it out of hand, even if it seems outlandish.  It won't hurt to nourish your dream, it will energize you and possibilities do exist.  You don't know what can change, be added, or transform in your life. 
Many people who have not found someone to share their life with wish for a relationship; they long to find a partner with whom to share life's journey.  Instead of feeling sad about the absence of a partner, begin to open yourself to the possibility of a suitable person entering your life and the development of a good relationship.  If you place this firmly in your vision, it is much more likely to happen.  A dream board is one way of working on this; find pictures that represent the qualities you would want to enjoy in that relationship.  Perhaps you will find poetry that portrays the lifestyle you would want.  Maybe there are real couples in your life whom you admire; put something that represents those couples on your dream board.  Sometimes just having and working on the dream board leads a person to action they had not previously thought of. ~  I once had a friend who was in this position; she decided to make a real concerted effort and went to everyone she knew and asked them to introduce her to any single men they knew whom they thought might even be a remotely possible match for her.  They did.  She's been married for 15 years now.
Perhaps you need to find a healthier you in the future.  Or maybe you need to become less combative with the others in your world.  Maybe you need to deal with people at work in a different way.  Maybe there's a use for a benefactor to enter your situation.  In other words, nearly anything, from an enhancement/positive improvement to serious problem solving can benefit by the application of your imagination.
In my own life, I have had four instances of success with this approach.  One was through imaging, one was a wish, one was an intention, and one was a feeling.  I will write these stories if you put in the comment section that you want me to.  Imagine that!!!!

Has a dream come true for you?  Have you tried imaging a different future for yourself?  How about envisioning yourself with a new personal quality?  Please share your experiences with influencing your own future.