Archive for the ‘Telehealth’ Category

Disillusion   Leave a comment


Recently a rock group known as “A Perfect Circle” released a song on their latest album, Eat the Elephant. The song is called “Disillusioned” and a link will be provided at the end of this post for viewing. In the song and video, society had largely been reduced to blank consumers. Entities with numbers, whose only purpose was to absorb information or products, foolishly believing that they were in control of their lives and destinies.

Now I know what you are thinking. “I’m not like that, I work, I take my kids to school, I socialize with friends, I control my life to a moderate extent”. However, I would pose to you, where is your cellphone? Your laptop? How far away is a TV from you? How connected are you? The irony is one of those  “connection devices” is likely how you are reading  this , so, after reading this go outside day or night and count to 200. It is a small, yet reasonable way to be in the moment and disconnect from technology.

Now let’s look at the issues. What are we connected to? Where is this connection taking us? How are we connected? Finally, what can be done to minimize or eliminate the “connections”? Notice I did not pose “why”. Personally I feel “why” does not have a direct answer to any questions posed therein, thus “why” is not used. We are here to find questions and solutions, not go in metaphorical circles.

What are we connected to? Media, each other, the internet, the planet, a myriad of things in this cosmos, yet our direct attention is attuned to the machinations of recent technological developments. We use MYSPACE, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIN, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Pinterest and others to communicate ideas, express personal feelings, receive validation, challenge society, find jobs, cook food and ultimately organize our lives. There are apps for everything from music to schedules, babies to homework, stocks and games. The reality is the majority of the western world has skipped past personal and physical development in favor of technological gain. Instead of going to a restaurant and trying the food, we read Yelp to find out how many stars the restaurant gets, in turn the restaurant has to spend money on social media marketing or risk losing customers and revenue. Experience is traded for information, which in turn creates a “lack” of pure individual experience.

Real life experiences are eschewed for virtual reality in ways our ancestors could never dream and that has permeated into every aspect of our lives. There are very few teenagers without phones and social media accounts, and the ones without them are often ostracized among their peers. Society has changed significantly in roughly 30 years with the major catalyst being technology. So what are we connected to? Everything like never before. The intimate  thoughts of a Syrian refuge hiding from a death squad is now a daily blog to be read over a cup of coffee in a free Wi-Fi café while you also get a notification from your social media feed that someone you know is getting married and you are invited. This is the new reality, a Pavlovian society where every time a bell rings everyone checks their phone to see if it is them, while consciously ignoring the tragedies viewed daily. Where the worst thing that could happen is a dead battery or an un-responded message. Where you are not judged by the content of your character, but by the likes of the content of your media persona. Anyone can become famous and the dopamine high from multiple people providing validation is exactly what the system is designed to do.

Thus we have a system that that plays upon human behavior like an orchestra, combining highs and lows to further entrance anyone connected.  Yet where is this connection taking us? Some have speculated to a point called the “Technological Singularity”. Technological Singularity is the point where Artificial Intelligence (AI) surpasses human intelligence and machines become “aware”. In the movies Terminator and the Matrix, it was this “singularity” that alters human civilization forever. It was at this point AI was greater than human intelligence and could make better, more logical decisions without human direction or input. It seems like a movie, yet with current advancements science fiction is rapidly becoming science fact. Companies have created humanoid robots that can completely mimic facial structure and speech patterns. Other companies have compiled data into household robots that can do anything from ordering food to sending emails, sometimes without your permission. In the movies this lead to subjugation by AI systems, either by eliminating vast sums of human population or slavery and farming systems whereby humanity survived yet was neutered. There are a few possibilities of peaceful coexistence, yet given humanities propensity for destruction, would it really be so hard to believe a higher thinking system, for its own survival, would not see humanity as a potential threat and attempt to resolve the issue?

All of this would not be possible without the vast amounts of pictures, stories, locations, and other bits of information constantly being “shared”. Oddly the very benevolent act of sharing may potentially hold the seeds of human civilization’s downfall. Yet, this is not all doom and gloom. The artificial intelligence may scour the billions of terabytes of data and see the beauty in humanity, its ability to come together in tragedies, its ability to create art and stories. Maybe, with hope, humanity can improve itself so that the better parts are clearly visible instead of the hate, mistreatment, and injustice that exists currently.

How are we, how are you connected to all of this? Well that one is obvious. Yet what is not obvious is usage. Technology is a tool; the question is how do you use the tool?  Is it the Swiss Army knife of your life, fixing every perceived flaw? Is it the hammer and nails building the bridge to your future, or connecting you to members of your past? The question is personal, so the answer is as well, thus it requires brutal honesty and an understanding of the potential consequences. There is nothing wrong with connecting, it is neither good nor evil, however it is what you do with that connection that makes the difference. Do you sow the seeds of confusion that a later intelligence will perceive as a threat or do you share love and compassion which highlights the greatness of humanity?


  1. Have your phone or technological devices plugged and charged outside the bedroom, if possible. Studies have shown that sleeping with the devices near you sets your brain in a receive mode instead of a rest mode. You are listening for a buzz or notification bell instead of enjoying silence. Have one place where technology cannot reach you.

  2. Go outside. Actually do something outside which requires you to move, think, and be in the moment. Every moment must be experienced, but not necessarily shared. This will help build personal memory when you have to actively recall an experience rather than refer to a picture in your phone. Most people only have experiences so they can show off (not share) to other people how exciting their life is, but in the capturing of the moment are they even really living in that experience?

  3. Know your neighbors. Learn the neighborhood you live in. Walk a few blocks on your day off and see what restaurants, stores, houses, and people are near you. Sometimes things are actually closer than you think and walking gives your mind time to unclutter and enjoy the journey. There is something to be gained from the joy of reaching your destination and enjoying the experience of being in your destination. Shopping becomes more essential because you can only carry so much and you may or may not have the energy to spend hours coveting things you do not need. The walking routine will help with physical issues and alleviate stress. It can also help you meet new neighbors and get acquainted with old ones, remember not everything is shared online and sometimes just talking to someone can reveal a need you may be uniquely able to solve. (This works because this is how humans communicated and solved problems for thousands of years)

All is not lost, disillusion is only temporary. Connecting isn’t negative as long as you remember that it is a tool. So when you log in learn quality information. Check the news, but pick a country and read theirs as well. When you check your pictures, find an art website and look at what new artists are doing. After you are finished reading this, go outside and count to 200. That’s 3.2 minutes of your life, but who knows what experience you will see, hear, smell, and feel when you unplug.



Getting the Most out of Daily Losses   Leave a comment

At some point people, no matter who they are, lose things. Even personal setbacks are a form of loss which causes just as much emotional turmoil as the actual loss of a loved one. Now I know what most of you are thinking, “I haven’t lost anybody recently”, but you have suffered a “daily loss”. Well, the purpose of the article is to expand the “5 stages of grief and loss” and learn how to incorporate them into our everyday experiences.

Have you ever been denied a job you knew you should have gotten?  Have you been rejected by a lover or significant other?  Have you watched as your favorite sports team went down in the flames of defeat? These are some examples of the very same losses that are experienced in the passing of someone, yet most would perceive them as miniscule compared to the passing of a 30 or 50 year spouse. In truth the process is exactly the same; most people just do not realize it.

So let’s start with a little history on the “5 Stages of Grief and Loss”. Dr Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying”, was inspired by her work with terminally ill patients. Motivated by the lack of curriculum in medical schools on the subject of death and dying, Kübler-Ross examined death and those faced with it at the University of Chicago medical school. [1] The stages are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

Where the stages are made critically manifest in situations of extreme loss, what is rarely noted is the minds ability to adapt the same process to “daily losses”. Throughout this article, will be highlighted, the specific stages and how they are exposed in the “daily losses”. Also this article hopes to expose the benefits of acknowledgement of those “daily losses” and to improve the tools to withstand the “greater losses” in one’s life.


Denial: “Say it ain’t so!


How many times have we said “no way” as someone steals your parking space? Or “this can’t be happening” as the final seconds tick away to your favorite teams’ season ending loss? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of examples in the day of how we experience those “daily losses”. Those losses are so common and the denial is so prevalent that there are a multitude of phrases. Even as this article is being created, there are many within the US or around the world in a sense of denial about current political, sociological, and ecological losses. Denial helps to incorporate the changing reality with our current understanding of the one we perceive. We, as humans, have to acknowledge variation and from that point a choice occurs. Do we accept that the perception is real or do we reject it? Oddly this whole process can take our minds moments or decades depending on the variance of change being perceived. An example would the repatriation of Japanese and German Americans after World War II. After the United States had won WWII and released its Japanese and German American prisoners from US based internment camps, there was still a huge division between those former prisoners and the rest of America. Where they to be trusted? Could they still follow in their homelands ways and establish domestic terrorism? Terms like “Japs” and “Krauts” became derogatory terms, much like “Colored” and “Ni**er” had for African Americans.  As with any “loss” the initial response was to deny the change. Segregation and denigration are symptoms of “societal denial”. “They are different so they must not belong in my reality”, becomes the rallying cry of “conservatives” (Note: I do not invoke the political movement, only the definition of the term). It is a broader case of denial made manifest in the society, originating from the personal denial of the change of one’s own perception of reality. Yet, it is the personal perception that is the key point of infection. The idea that when one person refuses to accept reality that misplaced perception is shared by others until it becomes societal and thus blight upon the culture as a whole. There are a multitude of examples from Nazism, Class Warfare, Nationalism, and Islamic Jihad to name a few, all stemming from denial of perceived reality and a sustained effort to try and resist the changes that have already taken place. When said denial and resistance efforts fail the individual moves to the next of the “5 Stages” Anger.


Anger:It’s our right! Right?


You lost the job, the girlfriend/boyfriend, the personal belongings, the big game, what do you do? You calmly sit down and have a glass of tea, contemplating the greater purposes of the moments within the day. Hell No, we rage. We retaliate emotionally to the drastic change that we can no longer deny and must accept, but truly have aversion to. That’s anger in an abbreviated definition. Many psychologists agree that “it’s ok to be angry”, pop culture celebrates the “Angry Hero” theme in in such a way that it seems the Hero only reaches his “truest potential” when he is “angry and cannot take anymore”. So everyone gets angry and it’s been proven by doctors to be beneficial to express that anger, so why can’t I express my anger in a “daily loss”?

Actually you can and already do. Cursing, hitting a wall, swearing, raising your voice or tone, are all examples of expression of anger within the frame of “daily loss”. These examples are actually more prevalent than denial because of the physical manifestation of emotional turmoil. Just saying the words “I’m angry” has nowhere near the emotional affect as a person flipping a desk or throwing something important. Society has defined dramatic expression of anger as “normalcy”, where as it is the abnormal person that calmly and without any physical movement describes their rage. “Seeing red” is ok, but when that red becomes “white hot” (oddly this is even expressed in nature with a star becoming a Red Giant, then a White Dwarf before it dies out) then the person is a dangerous threat to others and society as a whole.

So how does one use that anger without burning out or succumbing to the rage and becoming a pariah in society? Everyone has the ideas of the guy who is at the bar, just a little too passionate about the home team. The home team losses in a brutally contested match, the guy, a little too passionate and slightly drunk, starts a fight, releasing the pent up anger he has for something he has no control over, and subsequently winds up in jail. This leads to Bargaining as a means to rectify our inability to accept the reality through denial and or emotional reactions of anger.


Bargaining:Please baby, please” James Brown


Begging, the old fall back point. It is said, “Tis better to beg for forgiveness, than ask for permission”. Bargaining is nothing more than begging with perceived leverage. As stated before the change has already happened, there is no going back and changing time. Denial attempted to ignore the change and failed causing Anger to respond to the lack of control, so what is left? Use what modicum of the old reality that still exists and try to position for a better place in the new one. It’s the company that is bought out and each employee is fighting to prove they still have worth and need a job. It is the terminal relationship that has one party promising to do better or be better if only things would not change.  It is the customer begging the store owner to see if they have one more copy of the latest greatest product in the back so they could give the best gift.

Bargaining is seen as “swallowing your pride”, yet it isn’t truly. It is strategic and tactical; it is the perceived losing of something small to gain the objective. A dog lowering his head and whining is doing so to gain the advantage of something it wants.  Unfortunately, what most people fail to conceptualize with “loss” is that the objective no longer exists. In death, it’s begging with God for more time, denying that the clock has stopped. In our “daily losses” it’s trying to find a way to salvage a bad situation, completely oblivious to the fact the event has come and gone and there is only the result left to account for. This phase is usually characterized by the word “if”. “If this than that”. If one group does this then the results could be changed, (substituting any myriad of examples from politics to grocery store exchanges). It’s all trying to accept and change an outcome that has already been determined and is moving forward. The flaw in bargaining is when the “reality” that the objective we are bargaining for no longer exists, then when we move to the next stage, Depression.


Depression:I’d look on the bright side, if I could find it.”          -Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh


The “daily loss” has occurred. We denied it, emotionally reacted to our inability to control it, and attempted to achieve an objective that no longer existed, so what’s next? The long ride home. It’s the moments of silence when you couldn’t achieve the job, the relationship, the team, the perfect toy, the perfect parking spot, or any other examples of “daily loss”. It’s the idea that you failed, you could not stop the change, or seize the disappearing objective and now you are faced with reality as it is. You do not like it and you cannot do anything about it.

While there are many ways to cope with “loss depression” (it should differentiated from Depression as a clinical psychological DSM-V disorder) one of the most critical is the idea of “letting go”. It sounds easy and has been proven to be affective in alleviating the stress of some “losses”, yet it seems almost impossible to do in some circumstances.  How many times have we been told, “its just a game, girl, boy, job, parking space, toy, etc”? It’s a method of trying to get the person suffering to see things in a perspective, to see the “bright side” of the reality they have tried to so hard to fight against. In most cases it is “holding on” to the perceived loss that fuels depression and the subsequent actions that accompany the feelings. Once one has learned to let go (you won’t forget, though, sorry) the final step is approached, Acceptance.


Acceptance: ““Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”  -John Lennon


The final and crucial step towards moving through a loss is acceptance. In terms of our “daily losses” those steps may be quicker than the deep personal loss of a loved one. So you lost today’s game, there will be tomorrow. So he dumped you, Mr. or Mrs. Right will be around soon enough. So you missed your bid on the brand new gadget on EBay, there will be a new auction in a few minutes. Its surprising how people can become resilient and stronger by facing the changes that occur and accepting the results, even if unfavorable.

It can almost be argued that unfavorable changes, the “daily losses” of life, help to define the human experience and help to create a better person. So that when major changes occur one can look back on the smaller victories and recognize that all hope is not lost. It creates a sense of “I have gotten through tough times before…”.

This is an amazing, yet often overlooked, aspect of the human experience. A human being will go through smaller, almost imperceptible, experiences to help reinforce themselves for larger ones. When thought about, it actually brings about a sense of enlightened bliss in knowing that every major experience, albeit loss or success, has been previously achieved. Time and place may be different, but understanding, that “everything changes, yet nothing is truly lost” provides an awareness to even the most minuscule of stressful situations which impact us and our society.

The Universe is an amazing classroom with examples of lessons both within us and in nature of how to cope and achieve peace through and within loss. The 5 stages, while popular, are actually natural mechanisms within us to help alleviate the pain and stress of the human experience.




Control…..You Don’t Have Any.   Leave a comment

Before reading on please hear what Sensei has to say;


Illusion of Control




“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”

― Alan W. Watts

Control: The Illusion of Control or “How I learned love to have faith in the glitch”

Being a human has many wonderful and detrimental qualities; curiosity breeds innovation and destruction; empathy breeds compassion and gullibility. Control is one of those qualities, both helpful and harmful at the exact same time, a dichotomy. One must believe they have control and yet the very faith used to maintain control is the exact faith that is necessary to free oneself from that burden of control.

Now you may be thinking, “I control many things in my life! You cannot tell me I do not have control”, yet as you go down that list of things you control something happens. One begins to see the levels of control and yet the inverse becomes amazingly apparent. Stop!!!

Ha! Control. Such a beautiful illusion. If you will notice the last sentence is not grammatically correct. It is not “controlled by the norms of literature”. This is the beauty of the post. Throughout there will be many examples of break in control, “glitches in the matrix”. Why, because to perceive an illusion one must “see” a flaw.  Control is the same way, to perceive the “loss of control” you must first see the flaws in your “levels of control”.

So let’s start at the beginning. You have no control. Take a deep breath. Are you breathing because you choose to or because of the directions given or even the bodies need to receive oxygen? Which of these responses do you really have control over? Starting at the basics of control one can start to see where the illusion becomes faint. Now this illusion is not present in our early years due to many factors. We as children understand innately that we are the world and the world is us and there is no controlling either. We eat when we are hungry, sleep when we are tired, and play when we feel stimulated. As we mature, the illusion starts to manifest almost like a spell, cast by our predecessors.

We become aware of the “controlling factors” society and culture. We must conform our thoughts, actions, and being into something that fits the definitions of those factors. We began “to clothe” ourselves in the illusion that we must “control ourselves for the betterment of ourselves” to better society and culture. As an example let’s examine personal relationships.

Most would agree that personal relationships are an aspect of life that we, as individuals, control. The idea of determining whom the individual surrounds themselves with is considered deeply personal, yet in reality it is not. Many sociological studies have shown that personal relationships are usually defined by compatibility, communication, time, openness, and emotional investment. All of those 5 characteristics cannot occur within a vacuum, that is to say multiple factors are in place to facilitate their development. Most of, if not all, of those factors are not within an individuals’ sole control, yet anxiety and other negative emotional factors arise from the “perceived lack of control”.

An example would be the “meeting of someone special”. Two people meet and develop a bond. Now most would say there is control in that meeting, but if you look closely at the illusion you realize that “controlled meeting” isn’t controlled at all. Either person could have chosen to do something else, the weather, transportation, or any myriad of factors had to align to bring those individuals together. Even after meeting multiple factors outside of their control will determine whether or not a relationship will develop and in what form it may take. Yet, most people do not account for these factors when assessing why a potential situation “did not go as planned”. Most will develop an anxiety based upon the “perceived lack of control”, when in reality given the number of contributing factors there was never any “control” in the first place. The same arguments can be made for what we consume (nourishment/information) and how we devote our personal resources.

As a person matures, the illusion of control comes to symbolize the unknown. The myriad calculable factors that contribute to every moment of our being are compressed into a miniscule idea that “I am in control of X”. It’s a comfort mechanism designed to contribute to conformity within the society and culture. Those that embrace said idea are perceived as paragons and elevated to higher positions within society and culture. They are the “Chiefs” the leaders and bosses, while those that eschew said ideas are seen as “Outcasts, Rebels, or Renegades”. Oddly those individuals often times become the “Shaman” or advisors of society and culture, innately due to their ability to separate themselves from the illusions.

The “Outcasts” see that the “emperor isn’t wearing clothes” because they understand that control is an illusion and that to even attempt to maintain it is humorous. Much like in the video, the Sensei sees his pupil trying to achieve something that is impossible. Not because the task is unobtainable, but because the very idea of the task is futile.

Now that you can perceive the glitches in control the beauty of the illusion becomes apparent. The release of burden comes from the understanding that “if you have no control, it is not your fault; if it is not your fault, you should not be worried about the results”. Loss of control is the quintessential step in the concept of “faith”, it is the ground work for which faith (as the foundation of all religions) can grow and connect us to our higher purpose. In the video the Sensei, does not instruct the pupil to do anything but “believe”.  Belief highlights our inner knowledge that through all of these myriad calculable factors affecting our lives, everything will work out.

So in conclusion, you have no control and in having no control there is freedom. Therein lays the ability to believe in anything and everything possible, because you are no longer bound by illusionary limitations that were never there. When you are stressed or feel anxious just remember that there are factors outside of your control that are influencing your situation and just because it may seem negative in the moment just “believe” and that moment, like the illusion of control, will fade away.

“You only lose what you cling to.”

― Gautama Buddha

Stay peaceful


Separateness is the Illusion. Oneness is the Reality   3 comments

When we wake up every day and look around we see a vast world; miles and miles of land and sea with the seemingly limitless sky always above our heads. Our planet, out of billions and trillions of planets is teeming with billions and trillions of life forms.  If we live in a city we encounter endless numbers of new people every moment and buildings everywhere. From a separation perspective we are nothing but an insignificant speck of a speck of dust. From a separation perspective we are all alone, cut off from the infinite everything in our little biological meat suits.

In my opinion this is a deception.

You, I, and everything are not separate. Indeed we are all part of a universal mind, a shared consciousness, or maybe even a dream if you will. Thus, everything we experience, whether it’s through our physical senses or the thoughts in our brains, is our mind. All your neighbors, friends, and mentors are all a part of your mind. Your family, your pool, your home, everything is your mind.

Now, you may not believe a word I just typed but frankly I don’t care what you believe nor am I trying to impose my beliefs upon you, nor do I require your beliefs to formulate my own. You are free to believe whatever it is you want to believe. However, I believe that this particular belief of mine is important and I wish to share it with you to read and take from it whatever it is you so choose.

Once again “The Matrix’s” philosophical brilliance comes to play in highlighting this perspective in the following scene. Here Morpheus explains to Neo what the Matrix (metaphorically representing reality), is. Feel free to take a look.


What is Real


So, what is the implication of the perspective of oneness?      EVERYTHING.

This means that the neighbor who was once an annoying endless vocal cord generating mouth mover is actually a part of your own mind and maybe, just maybe, you can use his insight, as part of your own mind, to consciously become aware of or learn something. Unfortunately, in the separation perspective our egos get in our way.

Take the example of the new lifeguard at my pool. Now, I am an excellent swimmer yet have a poor butterfly stroke. Until recently I stopped performing the stroke altogether. When I made my feeble attempt at it again the new lifeguard immediately informed me of the error in my form that was preventing me from properly performing the butterfly stroke.  I listened to him and followed his instruction. In no time my butterfly improved and now I am eager to continue to improve it and incorporate it into my swimming workout.

When I was younger I may have rejected his advice by letting ego get in the way. Because I’m an excellent swimmer and may have thought “Who does this guy think he is? I don’t need his help” and scoffed him off to the detriment of my butterfly stroke. Now, because I maintain the perspective of oneness I viewed the lifeguard as myself accessing my mind to bring forth understanding to my conscious awareness and improve myself.

The oneness perspective opens up great possibilities for the improvement of our well-being for if everything is your mind it makes it easier to love your neighbor and all of creation because you are simply loving yourself in doing so. Intuition goes into overdrive with the oneness perspective because messages will come across from the reality that if you are able to catch them, (while actively maintaining the understanding that this is all your mind), you can use them for your own benefit.  All of our teachers and counselors are our own mind accessing itself to bring forth awareness and understanding. USE THEM. If you find them unworthy disregard them but perhaps what they have said that you disregarded is an aspect of yourself you may need to examine further.

Furthermore, if you are suffering I implore you to incorporate the oneness perspective in your everyday thinking. I believe you will be able to truly see within your own mind the solution to your problem for it is within you to do so. If however, you stick with the separation perspective, well, the solution maybe a 1000 light-years away.

Be as one and remember the phrase from the “Neverending Story” theme song;

“Dream a dream and what you see will be”

BE CONFIDENT   Leave a comment

Any child of the 80’s growing up in western society has likely witnessed the fantasy movie The Neverending Story.  It, like most works of fiction, contain within it profound truths. I have already mentioned some of these truths from other works of art in previous posts. The Neverending Story is of no exception.

There is a very powerful scene in the movie that has Atreyu, the hero of the story (metaphorically representing the everyman, or all of us), facing an ominous and foreboding obstacle in his search for the Southern Oracle (metaphorically representing Truth) This obstacle (a gate of golden Sphinxes) can see straight into the hearts of all beings and to pass through one must have full confidence in themselves, shedding all doubt, or else they will be destroyed by the gate. Atreyu approaches the gate cautiously and is overwhelmed by the presence of the Sphinxes. He notices a fallen hero before him and begins to doubt himself. Then, at the last moment, he musters his confidence and runs through the gate unscathed and is able to continue his journey (metaphorically representing the journey of life)

Click the title below for the scene.

Through The Spinxes

This is very relevant to our everyday lives and highlights the importance of self-confidence in our life’s progression. For we all will face obstacles, large and small, and must have the confidence to push through to reach our goals and see our dreams to fruition. One’s confidence often has a converse relationship to self-doubt. However, I must make it clear that doubt in itself is not inherently negative. Doubt is a path to wisdom for it forces us to question our motives, beliefs, and the workings of the world around us. Doubt can serve as a reality check for us to temper expectations and change our course for our own betterment. Doubt is the reason science has advanced humanity so far from its primal past.

Yet, persistent or malignant self-doubt has a paralyzing effect for if we lack confidence we will likely fail at what we are doing. Whether, for example, it’s a task on the job or having fulfilling social interactions. Subsequently we will not be who we are and if we do not be who we are we tend to make negative self-judgments about ourselves or regret and ruminate upon our failed opportunities. Thus, stunting our personal growth. This has a negative feedback loop and often we continually reinforce our lack of action/being to our continued detriment.

I personally have dealt with the conflict of doubt and self-confidence, particularly during my adolescent years. Like so many of us this was a time of great identity formation and confusion as I transformed into an adult. For many as it was for me, this is the great Sphinx that stands in our way. My obstacle was to liberate myself from the opinions and judgments of others. I allowed peer pressure to keep me down. Once I no longer permitted that pressure I was able to tap into my own confidence and strive on to where I am today and into who I will become in the future. It feels good to be confident.

I view malignant self-doubt to be a form of delusion not only because it invokes irrational beliefs about ourselves and leads to negative thinking, but because it simply is an expression of a false self, for the human potential is limitless.

Take the example of our best professional athletes. They have supreme confidence in their abilities. They help their teams win games and believe fully in themselves. They work hard to better themselves and their confidence serves as motivation to do so. Muhammad Ali famously said “I am the Greatest” and he was. A perfect example of full confidence at work. The same can be applied to those who have achieved great things in their life and lived their lives to the fullest, they were confident. They knew who they were and knew they could be who they wanted to be, just as confident people continue to be and do today.

Let me be perfectly clear, YOU can do it, YOU can be who you are and grow.

What are your obstacles? What are the reasons and excuses you are coming up with that are paralyzing you and leading you into negative thought processes? Whatever they maybe is it not time to shed this doubt and free your energy to reach your greatest potential?

The time is indeed NOW.


Non-Verbal Communication   Leave a comment

Some argue that our advanced ability to communicate vocally is the primary aspect that has led the humans to become the dominant species on the planet.

However, it is important to realize that most communication taking place between people is non verbal. Rather, it is our body language with our posture and gestures that do most of the talking for us.

When we are aware of this we can improve our communication skills and express ourselves more effectively.

Below is a graphic which highlights some of the messages we send through our body language along with tips of how to improve upon our visual expressions so that others will understand us that much better;

Say what you mean

Attribution to Online (Source of picture)

Embrace the Darkness to Know the Light.   Leave a comment

If you live in the northern hemisphere you are experiencing the longest nights of the year culminating in the darkest day of all, the Winter Solstice.  Each day afterward the sun will rise higher in the sky and the days will grow longer leading to the peak of light at the Summer Solstice.

I believe the most prominent theme of the Winter Solstice is the symbolic death and rebirth process which happens over and over again in our lives. In fact, on the cellular level you will over time become a completely different human being as every cell in your body is replaced by a new one. Those of us who reside further away from the equator witness the rise and fall of the plants as each year they lay down their leaves into dormancy, only to return when the spring arrives.

The Winter Solstice is a time to reflect upon the past year, spend time with loved ones, and look forward to the future. Hence why so many cultures and religions celebrate this time of year with holidays. (i.e. the birth of Christ) Although the darkness may reign supreme now we know with full confidence the light and warmth shall return.

Now is the death of the year; the vibrant spring and summer days of the year’s youth have past leaving the trees without leaves and the air cold. The animals, including us humans, are experiencing bodily changes in connection with the colder days and longer nights.  We tend to feel more tired and desire more rest. We become more susceptible to depression if we lack enough exposure to sunlight.

The lack of light and increased time spent indoors can also lead us to greater levels of introspection and reflection. There can be an examination of the consequences that have come about from the choices we have made. The outer darkness of the world pulls us to examine our inner darkness, the shadow which resides in all of us. For some people this can be a terrifying abyss to behold. So, distraction in its many forms may take place to avoid a confrontation with the self.

However,  to deny our darkness is to deny a reforging and sharpening of our being. By denying those traits and aspects of our selves which we dislike (laziness, lustfulness, selfishness, fearfulness, etc)  we actually give power over to them. It takes greater psychic energy to repress and keep them in their natural domain of subconscious darkness, where they grow in power and effect us outside of our awareness, than to bring them into the light to be integrated into the totality of our being.

Our shadow not only gains power through our denial but also through our own self guilt. Often we will punish ourselves for sexual thoughts, thoughts of rage, and  selfish desires.  Anything we deem wrong or unworthy about ourselves we may react to in a self-punitive manner. We may also project our shadow upon others. When we perceive someone expressing traits we dislike our reactions are telling. Could the person condemning the lazy actually like to indulge in laziness,? Yet hates this aspect of him or her self for whatever reason(s).

What can your judgements of others tell you about yourself? What does your perceived deficiency in someone else say about you?

Over the course of the year with choice after choice the internal shadow baggage increases within. So to does the outer darkness of the waning daylight. The long nights of late fall and winter pull us towards the inner self and the opportunity for renewal is at hand. The light surrenders to the dark so that it can be reborn and rise again.

This is the quintessential time of the new year, it is why so many people make resolutions for the future. We all sense a chance for a fresh start. The molting of the psyche takes place and reveals a new skin.

Use this time for what it is. Surrender to your mistakes, your weaknesses. Revel in your flaws. Cry, forgive yourself, and be reborn as you return to the vibrant light of the spring and summer within.

These shadow qualities are a part of you just as much as all of your most admirable ones. You would not be you without them. Use that rage as creative energy or to improve your physical condition, use that sexual desire with your partner(s) to liven up the relationship(s) or indulge with your fantasies and discard the shame you associate with them. Be lazy, take a break and rest. Its ok.

You cannot understand the concept of light without understanding the concept of no light. You cannot achieve what Carl Jung calls individuation, or the establishment of your true self that is distinguished from the collective, without integrating your negative traits into your conscious, every day life.If you deny yourself of your less admirable qualities or shroud them with guilt you will be unable to fully recognize and express your admirable ones.

The Winter Solstice and the procession of the Sun represents an immediate and consistent environmental reminder of the death/rebirth process of the physical world. It is a process however, that can happen at anytime of your choosing in the realm of the psyche.

When will you make the choice?