With all the excitement surrounding the latest “Star Wars” movie, I thought it was only appropriate to start 2016 off right with wisdom from the green one. I remember it was 1980 something and I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico sitting in a theater, which had previously been a catholic church, watching the “Empire Strikes Back.” I was mesmerized, thrilled, and just could not wait to go out and get the action figures.
Well, as the years have gone by, I have found that there are some good messages/ teaching moments that can come from these movies. I still have a growing family, so I felt it was time to get everyone up to date on these sci fi classics. So, we all discussed the following:
“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”
“Difficult to see, always in motion is the future.”
This was actually a lot of fun and quite insightful as everyone had something to say that tied in with the movie and their life. So Parents, you might want to give this a try when the family is gathered around.
To read more of what Yoda says about these topics, click Here
It’s horrible, unthinkable, and now fear and paranoia has taken a firm grasp on our society. Senseless violence against coworkers who are befriended for a time, a facade if you will, only to be eventually and brutally gunned down in the name of radical Islam (ISIS)? “San Bernardino Strong,” not one citizen of this wonderful community wanted to be put on the global map this way. However, they will be forever remembered for this tragedy, and I believe this will only serve to embolden more terrorists like these two radicals to commit more violent killings.
Gun sales were already at record levels with the recent mass killings in France. Now, we have been hit on our turf, it is real! Handguns and rifle sales are surging with gun ranges reporting all time highs in activity. We want protection, to be ready and safe. Meanwhile the President argues that disarming the citizenry is the best way to proceed. Interestingly, a recent Pew research study revealed that 57% of Americans believe that owning a gun helps protect people from crime. That it is up 48% from last year!
Our country is changing as is our mindset. The psychological impact that kicks in is that of “self-preservation.” On one level, this is our capacity or desire to anticipate dangerous situations and to respond to the cues that anxiety provokes in each of us. Also, this approach to self-care means that we become more self assertive in protecting ourselves and those whom we care about. This may well be one of the primary motivational reason people are buying their very first guns.
Where do we go from here? the Muslim community leadership admits that they are conflicted about having to come out and apologize for every incident that takes place with one of their own. Their people are afraid to come out in public because of the perceived and very real scrutiny. I do recognize their feelings and this is a polarizing point of growing contentiousness. There is increasing talk of possible internment camps to monitor all of the muslims, like there were with the Japanese Americans during World War II here in the United States. I’m a student of World War II and have read and known survivors who have personally sat me down and explained the horrors and atrocities of the holocaust. These discussions bring personal feelings of disgust and provoke deep swells of troubling uncertainty. The muslim community must police themselves, if not, this will quickly become something none of us wants or can stomach… EVERY LIFE MATTERS!!!
This time of year brings with it cheer and anxiety especially when it comes to those end of year performance evaluations. Yes, the dreaded sit down with your boss to discuss, explain, and defend why you should get that (fill in the blank %) increase for all the blood, sweat, and tears that were expended during 2015.
It’s always about the numbers, isn’t it? Well it is especially true if you’re in sales and trying to reach the all to often unobtainable quota. I remember the stress I felt even in the good years when I exceeded my quotas. The mental anguish that led up to the meeting was horrible. The idle chatter was excruciating, then came the evaluation, section by agonizing section with numbers attached to each one rating my performance from positive attitude to quota attainment to conference call participation to timely submission of paperwork etc. I’m sure that your review was similar.
There were horror stories of some going on for three hours, others being let go during their review. Still, there were those reviews that caused arguments to surface, yet, none achieved the intended purpose to challenge and motivate the employee. Why is that? Interestingly, it has taken companies decades to realize (with the help of the psychologists) that these reviews have a negative impact on their employees mental wellbeing.
Two corporate giants have already taken a different approach to how they will evaluate their talent which will dramatically reduce the negative mental impact while fostering personal growth in a low stress environment. Conversations need to take place all year long. For that matter, coaching moments needs to happen too. You cannot expect to show up at years end and expect a motivational conversation to unfold. Again, If these discussions are taking place throughout the year, communication increases, plans are adjusted, anxiety is reduced, teamwork is nurtured, and goals are realized. The article provides some valuable insight on what performance reviews actually do to employees receiving them…
Want to know if their review will be excellent, average, or poor then click HERE
I’ve seen a tremendous number of clients who have come to me seeking understanding and healing either during or after serious life events. Sadly, some of these client’s relationships go painfully the way of divorce. However, most are at that point in their relationship where they realize that help is needed or there won’t be one.
So, what are “Life Events” and have you experienced them?” Well chances are, yes, you have! Here are the biggies: Chronic Illness (like Cancer), Unemployment (job hunting), Childbirth (who wanted the baby more), Living Apart (thinking about our men and women in the military being deployed), Trauma (could be death of loved one, serious accident, sexual assault etc), and Unfaithful partners. You’d be very surprised, but, this last one seems to be the motivating factor in bringing couples in for therapy. All the cards are laid on the table so to speak and everything can now be addressed openly and with honest candor.
These life events are terribly painful, deeply personal, they drain our mental capacities, and tax us physically. The truth is that none of us will be able to leave this life without experiencing most of these “Life Events.” Did you realize that there are also “turning points” with regard to these events, as well. Let me explain. A turning point is not just a temporary change in our pathway, no, it is a permanent shift that only becomes recognizable to us as our life moves forward.
The psychological impact can be profound or subtle depending on our understanding of the turning point. Some of us may well experience a turning point that brings to us a much needed opportunity, or possibly brings one to a close. Others life events may create an environmental transformation that is more permanent. Still, one may feel that their life event has caused their turning point to be so deeply personal that it has provoked a complete restructuring of their self-worth, belief system, and expectations for themselves and the world around them. However, let’s remember that for in many of us these life events cause a turning point in many individual’s lives, yet, for some it may be less severe and therefore the transition doe not transform them.
Life events can bring upon us stress, anxiety disorders, depression and physical illness. Importantly, all of the life events that we will experience do require some form of change or adaptation by us. It can be unpleasant or pleasant. However, these can be valuable life lessons, as well. Can we ask ourselves, “What can I learn from this, and what can I share with others about my personal experience that might help them?” If you are in pain, thinking that you are suffering from depression, anxiety or another psychiatric disorder, get help. You don’t have to do this alone…Be well.
A couple of weeks ago I was intrigued by a frontline sensationalized article in a european newspaper. This online news source was breaking the news that a famous celebrity had HIV, but, was refusing to come forward for fear of the consequences to his career, costly lawsuits, and hatred and vitriolic dialog that would surely come from his announcement. The article was very descriptive and in telling that many famous actresses in hollywood, international models, TV stars, male and female porn stars had sexual encounters with this person. Adding to this, the pressure to come forward now and confess his acts.
Admittedly, I did wonder who it might be, yet, I thought this person was probably really agonizing over this decision and hoped he or she was seeking professional help. However, this article furthered my thoughts on what I could do to be a resource for people like you and me who have contracted HIV.
We all know now that Charlie Sheen is that famous celebrity who has contracted HIV. I watched his interview with Matt Lauer on the TODAY show and found it to be very insightful. I believe it was a smart move bringing in his personal physician who’s been treating him to explain the difference between HIV and AIDS. Let me pause here, if you did not watch the interview or read the transcript let me point this out, HIV is a virus that leads to AIDS. Charlie Sheen is HIV positive, however, he does not have AIDS! That is a very important part of his story that is being misunderstood.
What I look at are the underlying mental health issues that lead one to make harmful personal choices, put their health and others in danger, cope by way of addictive behaviors. Charlie was depressed. He self medicated with harmful drugs, toxic levels of alcohol, numerous hypersexual liaisons with prostitutes, celebrities, models, and porn stars of both genders. His angry tirades, non-sensical monologues (remember “tiger blood”), and erratic behavior went viral. He was a media sensation, a tabloid punching bag for months, and one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, as well.
I’m certainly not excusing his lifestyle choices, however, what I take issue with is that he was forced (blackmailed) to reveal his illness to the world. In the age of the internet, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat we are in everyone’s business. Personal lives aren’t! Social media is just that, social. Let’s step back a moment and think about this, would you want people to know you have a mood disorder, HIV, prone to long episodes of depression, suffer with paralyzing anxiety that build to spontaneous panic attacks? How about your employer finding out that you have OCD so severe that the compulsions cause you to take an inordinate amount of sick days? What about them finding out that your ADD is so bad that you have a habitual pattern of not being able to complete tasks, meet deadlines, or stay organized? You get my points, right?
This is bigger than Charlie Sheen, HIV and AIDs are very serious and continue to deserve our attention, but, not in this type of public forum. This a very personal struggle. Certainly, we can show compassion for the pain he’s in and he needs to be freed from the haters, opportunists, and blackmailers so he can concentrate on his health. At some point he’ll be able to put HIV in the RIGHT spot light. My hope is that we can be respectful of one another’s privacy, as we would like the same for ourselves.
The horror of the mass killings all over Paris this past weekend has literally paralyzed us. The media is awash in perpetuating what is around the clock fear. More information is coming out regarding the attackers and, as we all suspected, it is ISIS. Blame is being cast on the recent mass immigration of Syrian refugees to France’s rigid gun control laws.
Here in the United States, the Governors of both Louisiana and Texas have pushed back on President Obama’s effort to place up to ten thousand Syrian refugees in each of their states. Of course, this is strong reaction to the claims that thousands of radical Islamists have flooded into Europe under the guise of immigrants. The repercussions will be long lasting against the Muslim population as we will see as the weeks unfold. We did witness France take action by sending their air force to bomb Isis positions in the middle east. Across the world there was cry for solidarity as we mourned with the victims and their families in France.
Now, Isis is sending out threatening videos promising more attacks on the scale of those in France. Naturally,there is much fear and uncertainty in our populace and worldwide. Globally we are on high alert. I saw an article that described how this mass killing has now put the proverbial dagger in the heart of the liberal French society. Fear has taken over the mindset of the people. We are looking over our shoulder. If and when we see someone who looks or dresses like they are of the Muslim faith do we stare, become nervous, will our anxiety surge, will fear take hold. Now we are being told to be aware and report any suspicious behavior. Yes, it is really about fear!
Let’s look at why we fear. Of course, we need it at some level because it’s necessary for our protection from dangerous life events. Can you imagine sitting near a campfire and a spark touches your pant leg which then causes your pant leg begin to catch fire. Now, if you didn’t fear getting burned, you would burn to death, right? Again, protection and easy to understand. Fear creates a “fight or flight” mentality. Fear causes us to change our behavior, alter our routines, and diminishes our ability to trust. We become more cynical, suspicious and highly critical. Additionally, we become more prone to depression and anxiety. If we are not able to manage ourselves we may well spiral into an emotionally paralyzed state. Instead, let’s be more more cerebral about what types of fears there are and what we are dealing with. So educate yourself a bit with this article to determine your degree of fear and see if you’re slipping…There are 5 fears, which one are you suffering with…click HERE
Someone compared low self esteem to driving thru traffic with the emergency brake on. Are we guilty of this? The truth is we all, at various times, suffer with low self esteem. What causes it and more importantly how do we overcome it? To answer these questions we have to first look at the causes, or better yet, the triggers, that cause us to feel less about who we are and what we can do.
First, we really need to clear out the negativity that clutters our mind, a sort of rewiring if you will. Too often, we listen to that parasitic inner voice that points out all our imperfections and lists all the reasons why we are not good enough to do or achieve what we want in our lives. Once we have identified these self defeating thoughts, they must be replaced with thoughts that uplift and inspire us. These may be favorite quotes, inspirational songs, motivational goals that have been set (be creative). The idea is to replace the dread of self doubt with the light of hope and promise of something much better to strive for. In other words this is how we are able to change our complete mindset.
Remember to avoid the pitfalls and ugliness of unhelpful guilt, those fluctuating or persistent thoughts of failure, the anguish of trying to be a perfectionist, and playing this, ” I wish I had done this, or, if I had done that, my life would be better now, regret game over and over in your head. These self destructive habits will only paralyze you emotionally and you too will become the walking dead. So, don’t be an oxygen thief…
Do you you want to know more, then read HERE
Do you fear the walking dead? What about the prophetic blood moon that will be rising very soon? Maybe, your fear is about losing your freedom, or quite possible it’s being left alone? How does that quote go, “something about the only thing to fear is fear itself.” Let’s be honest here, the stomach wrenching pain we all feel is that of failure, or is it?
So why do I bring this up? Every thing that I read seems to be preying on our fears. Consider for a moment the mass hysteria that is shaping up in Europe with the mass migration of refugees fleeing from their war torn countries for safety and security. Now, it’s turning from a humanitarian crisis to an ethnic fear of overpopulation and potential fears of terrorism. Another fear that is gaining significant traction is with technology becoming so advanced, experts are now projecting that 35% of all jobs will be managed by robots within twenty (20) years. So, the follow up question becomes, what to do with all the displaced workers? Ah yes, then there is the impending stock market bubble, so here we go again 2007-08, right! Fear perpetuating more fear paralyzing more to fear, ugh!
I believe that fear can be used to motivate us (small doses please). However, let’s put fear in it’s proper light. If you’re religious, or spiritual fear can be tempered with healthy amounts of faith in a trusted higher power that empowers the individual to press forward knowing that “this too shall pass.” Now, if spirituality or organized religion are not your thing, then fear is probably more of a logical emotion best understood in your own terms and dealt with in a very singular, personal, rational way by you. Naturally, I certainly cannot try to explain it here, but you know what I mean. So what follows is a look at what we as humans really do fear. I believe that each of us can say, “yes that’s me.”
S0, I ask you again, “What do you fear?” Not sure, you really need to read HERE