Archive for the ‘Well-Being’ Category

Summer of Rage Has Arrived; Now What?

June 2, 2011 Comments off

On December 21, 2010 I wrote a post referencing John Harris’s prediction for a nasty 2011 summer:

I tend to agree with Mr. John Harris of the Guardian UK as he predicts more civil unrest as austerity takes hold in Europe and mass unemployment persists here in the United States. People will be at the breaking point. His advice….? Even if the snow stops, stock up on supplies and brick yourself in.

So, what do we find on June 1, 2011? The financial markets are tanking. QE2 will end on June 30th. The jobs report for May 2011 was woefully anemic. Housing values keep plunging. Wealthy Republican-Libertarian ideologues are trying to strip workers of collective bargaining rights, privatize public education, eliminate Medicare, and essentially destroy the middle class and working classes. Inflation has taken hold rearing its head with rising oil and gas prices. The weather has been extreme and lives upended with multiple disasters.

What we are witnessing is a paradigm shift. The old ways are simply not working anymore. There are plenty of political, economic, environmental, and cultural reasons why we have arrived at this juncture. It is useful to know why, but whether we understand the reasons why or not, what is more useful is KNOWING we are in the middle of a major paradigm shift and KNOWING each person needs to adapt, change, and embrace their own power.

This KNOWING, this KNOWLEDGE, is useless unless we can act upon it. We cannot be like a deer in the headlights of global change. OMG it’s coming. OMG it’s here. OMG what do I do? When we combine KNOWLEDGE and ABILITY and ACTION – we get results. This is about as far from the BS touted in the best selling book, The Secret, as you can get. You cannot wish for things to happen and magically they happen. That is simply delusional thinking, otherwise called magical thinking. You need to set goals, lay out a plan, determine what’s what, and apply yourself. It is important to be committed BUT also flexible. If something does not work, bag it. Revise your plan. In Zen, there are a myriad of ways within the Way.

Contemplate this: Power is the ability to influence change. If we want change, we must ask ourselves: what can we do for our betterment? How do we apply our abilities to affect change?

Here is my own revised in-progress new path for change & well-being. It may be useful for you. If not, bag it! Create your own list.

Step One: Release all ideology – let yourself see.
Step Two: Eliminate distractions; dial down the noise so you can think.
Step Three: Determine what is really important to you (health, wealth, and happiness is too vague; try, eating healthier, doing work that is enjoyable AND satisfying).
Step Four: Stop trying to impress others – please your inner, higher Self
Step Five: Determine how you will achieve Step Three.
Step Six: Live your life as an authentic being.
Step Seven: Be creative and not destructive.
Step Eight: If you are angry about your life circumstances, start changing your self (from the inside out) and accept that you cannot change OR control others.

Happiness runs in a circular motion, so there is no starting point or ending point. All eight steps are points on the circle of life and are interchangeable. Good luck!


Narcissism and Voicelessness

March 14, 2011 Comments off

Here is a rewind from a post I did last October 2010.

Voicelessness is when we have been deprived of our right to express ourselves by controlling and oftentimes, narcissistic parents. This pattern behavior carries over into adulthood through relationships with persons like our parents: our boss, our mate, co-workers, or even people we think are friends. We are trained by the narcissistic parent to be subservient. This sets us up to be attracted to people who are like our archetypical parent – controllers and other people who suffer from unhealthy narcissism. By identifying our own pattern of behavior we can break the cycle. Part of it starts with establishing good boundaries and speaking up for ourselves. Find out more in my book, It Has A Name! available through Amazon Kindle and Amazon Create Space (print version).

Dr. Richard Grossman, Articles on Parenting, Voicelessness, Relationships, Narcissism, Depression, Psychotherapy, and other topics in Mental Health

Quote from Voicelessness: Narcissism:

Many people spend a lifetime aggressively trying to protect an injured or vulnerable “self.” Traditionally, psychologists have termed such people “narcissists,” but this is a misnomer. To the outside world it appears that these people love themselves. Yet, at their core they don’t love themselves–in fact their self barely exists, and what part does exist is deemed worthless. All energy is devoted to inflating the self, like a persistent child trying to blow up a balloon with a hole. – click here

Helena Norberg-Hodge – Economics of Happiness

March 8, 2011 Comments off

I am choosing Helena Norberg-Hodge to honor as part of International Womens’s Day today. She is the founder of The International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC).

ISEC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening of local communities and economies worldwide. Our emphasis is on education for action: moving beyond single issues to look at the more fundamental influences that shape our lives. You can visit her site by clicking here.

Helena believes that those running the global economy are imposing structural violence in our world. “The message of the Grandmothers, the message from indigenous cultures and peoples around the world has been managed, marginalized, brainwashed, and corporatized in a way that makes it very very difficult to get [the Grandmothers] message out,” she said.

Helena is fighting to rebuild the strength of Ladhka’s local culture and economy. She is also battling the effects of this worldwide global economy. For 25 years, she and John live 6 months out of the year in Ladakh. Helena’s book, Ancient Futures: Learning From Ladakh, has been translated into 42 languages and made into a film. Helena also founded the International Society for Ecology and Culture and is on the editorial board of ‘Ecologist” magazine. She also co-founded the International Forum on Globalization and the Global Eco-Village Network. For her efforts, Helena received an Alternate Nobel Prize.

Economics of Happiness
ISEC’s new documentary has been featured here and we have seen great interest in this film. Here is the link to their site to purchase the film.

Read Helena’s biography, click here

International Women’s Day – We Are All Free

March 7, 2011 Comments off

International Women’s Day is tomorrow, March 8th. Why do we celebrate women? They are our mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, wives, partners, friends and co-workers – they deserve a place of honor and respect in our societies. I am a woman. I have been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, attempted rape, and salary discrimination BUT, I have stood up for my rights and persevered through many of these attacks on my person. I write this in honor of my mother, Paula.

The Hill reports:
The first commemoration occurred on March 19, 1911, a time when most governments in the world, including the U.S. and Canada, barred women from voting and most employers refused to hire women, ghettoizing them in sweatshops.

Six days after that first international call to action for women, flames engulfed such a sweatshop, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City, killing 146 workers, the vast majority of them young women aged 16 to 25, some of whom jumped to their deaths from the 9th floor rather than burn.

Women can vote now. They can hold most jobs, though not all, including combat positions in the U.S. military. And their pay is only 75 percent of men’s. So the struggle for equality and autonomy is not over. Yet the GOP is intent on setting women back. If the Republican governors across the country succeed in confiscating collective bargaining rights from public sector workers, women will be hurt most. Read entire story, click here

Amnesty International
Living free from violence is a human right. Yet millions of women and girls around the world encounter rape, domestic abuse, mutilation and other forms of gender-based violence. Too often no one is held accountable for these crimes. With your help, we can urge governments to hold perpetrators responsible and put an end to this cycle of violence against women.

Calling All Crows and State Radio has been working closely with AIUSA

Calling All Crows and State Radio has been working closely with AIUSA to support and pass the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) in Congress this year. On their recent tour, State Radio and Calling All Crows has been highlighting IVAWA and the impact that passage of such a monumental bill would have in places such as the DRC where mass rapes were reported earlier this year, by calling on fans to reach out to their members of Congress in support of IVAWA!

Human Trafficking
Statistics on Rape

Does Your Path Have a Heart?

February 24, 2011 Comments off

Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary.

This question is one that only a very old man asks. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn’t. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.

Before you embark on any path ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path. The trouble is nobody asks the question; and when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him. At that point very few men can stop to deliberate, and leave the path. A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.

– Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda

The Link Between Depression & Heart Disease

February 21, 2011 Comments off

Overall wellness called, “good autonomic tone” – is a state in which a patient’s stress hormones are properly regulated, his heartbeat shows small variations and his blood vessels expand and contract properly in response to changes in blood flow. Increasingly, researchers are recognizing that when autonomic tone is out of whack, inflammation increases; heart function suffers. And also mood.

My mom has severe heart disease. She developed hypertension in her late thirties. She was a homemaker who raised six children from two marriages. She was not lazy, but not one to exercise in the traditional sense of the word. She was a hardworking mother and homemaker. Both her husbands smoked. She did not. All in all, she had very good habits. I noticed in her fifties the beginnings of a change in her personality. Menopause I thought was the likely cause. But, she seemed to be slipping into what I call, the zone – the restricted air space of depression. She did not go out except to do errands and occasionally out to eat with her husband. She had very few close friends. She got agitated very easily. She was on some sort of tranquilizer for that plus something for her hypertension. She was a very exacting person who kept tight control of her household. Things needed to be organized, tidy, and this was a telling sign. After her husband passed away (he was 58 and she was 62), she exhibited all the typical signs of mourning. She finally moved back to be close to me and my brother. Her life was one that I could not relate to entirely; her emotional state one I could not penetrate. Thinking back now I believe the caretaking of her husband for two years had to have stressed her heart something terrible. The correlating heartbreak resulted in her depression becoming more constant. Her battle with congestive heart condition and depression progressed and is present today in her 80s.

Nearly 25 years of research has drawn a clear connecting line between depression and heart disease, making the link Exhibit A in the modern compendium of mind-body connections.

The article in today’s LA Times is worth reading as the findings make us aware of the link between heart disease and depression.

Depressive behavior makes heart disease more likely; and once heart disease sets in, depression continues to cast a long shadow, making a patient less hopeful and engaged in their recovery, and thus – more likely to succumb.

I highly recommend reading this article, click here

MSNBC Special: Clinton, President of the World

February 17, 2011 Comments off

I am a great admirer of former President Bill Clinton. He has such grasp of issues it boggles my mind. He also behaves in such a way as to unite people to work for the betterment of themselves, their communities, and the world. MSNBC is airing a special next Monday night on the work President Clinton has been doing since leaving office.

The special will air Monday, February 21, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

MSNBC: There isn’t a single political figure today with the global reach and influence of Bill Clinton—a former U.S. president turned humanitarian and diplomat extraordinaire. This Presidents’ Day, msnbc’s Chris Matthews will take viewers behind the scenes of Clinton’s life in the one-hour documentary “President of the World: The Bill Clinton Phenomenon.”