Affirmations and Neuroplasticity

Have you tried benefiting from applying neuroplasticity through practicing the power of reciting affirmations? Reciting affirmations ie. positive statements to encourage and support yourself on your personal voyage through life has a long history of efficacy rooted in neuroplasticity. Continue reading “Affirmations and Neuroplasticity”

Mentoring is Making a Difference

mosquitoEvery one of us is able  to contribute and make a difference to the people in our world in our own unique way. How we define success is up to the individual. Whether you want your life to make a difference and what difference you want your life to make is also up to the individual.  Continue reading “Mentoring is Making a Difference”

Half the truth is no truth at all

yoga mudraHere’s a brief gardening analogy I will use to introduce what I’m about to share with my readers.

If we recognize that positively focused people are like fertilizer and rain that helps us blossom and grow in our own lives. And, we also recognize it’s not wise to pull every weed out of our gardens because they provide vital trace elements for growth, then we can likewise choose to summon up enough empathy to become the sun and fertilizer in the lives of negatively focused people. Granted we may limit our time with them, but everyone we meet is our mirror, and if we want love to be reflected back to us then we need to be the light of love in their world. Continue reading “Half the truth is no truth at all”

A Difficult Week in Review

smallLast week was typical week for me.  I was busy and productive and though I had to deal with several difficult people I was happy.

I have resolved not to shun the so-called difficult people in my life for two self serving reasons. They teach me important lessons about myself, and learning from them provides  opportunities for my growth.

I acknowledged that every person in my life is my mirror. By remaining aware that each one was reflecting aspects of my own consciousness back to me,  I was able not to take their negativity personally. Continue reading “A Difficult Week in Review”

Does Solitude Have a Place in Your Life?

meditationcollage

Though it’s technically possible to be connected thousands of people thousands of miles away—anytime, anywhere—too much of a good thing can lead to a bad place. Solitude is a human need and to deny it is unhealthy for both mind and body. Living in a technologically connected 24/7 society that undervalues solitude and overvalues attachment is stressful and stress is a killer.  Continue reading “Does Solitude Have a Place in Your Life?”

Time Keeps on Ticking into the Future

paradox clockTime influences who we are as a person, how we view relationships and how we act in the world. Our attitudes to time and the way we use it, reveals much about our personality, attitudes and philosophy.

Do you race to beat the clock? Or do you have too much time on your hands?

Continue reading “Time Keeps on Ticking into the Future”

The Power of the Smile

Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart. — Anthony J. D’Angelo

There are hundreds of different variations of smiles expressing the full range of human emotion.  From Charles Darwin’s  facial expressions interpretations to Stanford University’s “Happiness” class — smile scholars have puzzled over the range of emotions smile depict. Experts including anthropologists, biologists and psychologists agree, the smile is recognizable worldwide and can be viewed as an international language understood by people across all cultures.

Continue reading “The Power of the Smile”

Seeking Happiness: Focus on Relationships

The Oxford Happiness Inventory and a battery of personality measures were completed by 171 subjects. The results showed predicted positive correlations for happiness with satisfaction with life, self-esteem, and sociability and negative correlations of happiness with embarrass-ability, loneliness, shyness, and social anxiety. Four predictors (satisfaction with life, shyness, loneliness, and sociability) accounted for 58% of the variance in happiness scores. Continue reading “Seeking Happiness: Focus on Relationships”

Deeper Relationships

small talk As Winter Solstice approached I carefully considered what I wanted to leave behind and what I want to achieve in 2012.  In 2011 I was able to achieve my health and wellness goals. I had an unexpected opportunity to work side-by-side with my husband by traveling down a  path with heart that drew us closer together than we have ever been.  However,  during that time I met new people and re-discovered how very poor I am at making small talk work for me. Continue reading “Deeper Relationships”

Live in Joy, Peace and Love

compassionate lifeCompassion without attachment is possible. Therefore, we need to clarify the distinctions between compassion and attachment. True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively. Genuine compassion is based not on our own projections and expectations, but rather on the needs of the other. – The Compassionate Life, Ch. 2  How to Develop Compassion p. 21 Continue reading “Live in Joy, Peace and Love”

Anger and its Antidote, Patience

phoenix I’ve been reading on the beach and learning much from what I have read. In How to Solve Our Human Problems Geshe Kelsang Gyatso proposes that there is no situation so bad that it cannot be accepted patiently, with an open, accommodating, and peaceful heart.

Reading this book caused me to take a look at my inner landscape. I have dealt with a large number of major issues in my life but not all. I experience anger less often than I have in the past because I tend to look at the big picture and ask myself how important is this? The answer is usually “not very” as emotions change and those things that evoked anger in me were really small when viewed close up. Sadly, there are still occasions when I don’t pause and ask myself that critical question. Continue reading “Anger and its Antidote, Patience”

Art Therapy Abstracts: The Depths

My paintings are a result of releasing and expressing deep emotions and most are the products of flow experiences. I’m in art therapy painting abstracts with others who also suffer from PTSD.  I’m analyzing what was going on within and around me when the traumatic events happened, and what the memories evoke for me in the here and now. I’m  learning art therapy can be a powerful means of for releasing pain that can lead to emotional healing  and experiencing  personal growth. Continue reading “Art Therapy Abstracts: The Depths”

Art Therapy: Abstract Painting

We begin our lives being spontaneous happy and playful. Challenging circumstances,  relationships and events in our lives can cause us to lose that childhood sense of wonder and joyfulness. That loss can result in depression ie. a mental state in which we don’t feel happy to be alive any more, and some of us are haunted by PTSD flashbacks to traumatic events in the past.

I suffer from depression and I have previously published articles in this blog on happiness.  Every day I focus on creating happiness between my ears, and this summer being with children gave me the creative boost I needed to start painting abstracts. Continue reading “Art Therapy: Abstract Painting”

Benefiting from private journal blogging

hands on keyboardI have written down my observations and responses to events in my life in diaries since I was 8 years old.  Keeping a private personal growth journal is therapeutic process that helps me keep in close touch with my inner brat.   ;)   But sharing every detail of my personal life with the whole world online in a public blog would neither be wise nor appropriate.  So I  have been keeping both a personal growth journal online and a dream journal in private blogs.

My commitment to journaling was flagging when I read Doreene Clements’ The 5 Year Journal in 2007  but her book spurred me on. I shared my approach to keeping dream journal in this blog. I have also published some of my dreams in this blog and doing these things encouraged me  to continue recording  my introspective internal journey in my private journal blogs.

1.   Catch your dreams - We dream every night and in fact we dream all day long too although we are rarely aware of it. Our dreams are not usually depicting real events, except in situations of remembrance or prophesy it’s true, but if we stop and consider then we will realize our dreams are real scenarios – manifestations of our unconscious thoughts and our emotions – manifestations built from the stuff of our lives and made alive through our imagination with the assistance of our intuition.

2.   Journaling Your Dreams Part 1 – Beginning – Journaling is an important way to help remember dreams. Journaling dreams can make all the difference between getting a valuable piece of information and completely losing it.

3.   Journaling Dreams Part 2 – Tips – Get yourself a dream journal. If you scratch down your dreams on scrap pieces of paper, or in general note pads, you’ll be sure to lose them. Here are some tips in helping your dream recall.

4.   Journaling Your Dreams Part 3 – Questions - When journaling dreams there are specific questions that we can answer that will assist in dream interpretation.

Keeping a private personal growth journal online

Using a keyboard is not that much different than using a pen and writing a journal in long hand. In a blog the process is essentially the same, but in a blog I can do more in the way of self expression by uploading and adding images, video and audio to the text. Writing in a blog editor is far easier for me as I do have swollen finger  joints and painful hands.

The way bloggers communicate and present themselves and their opinions online is important, but even more important than online presence is “to thine own self be true”. Authenticity is the character trait of being genuine, honest with oneself as well as others.  It’s more than that too. Authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite the demands of society or one’s conditioning.   – Blogging: Online presence and authenticity

Conversations with myself

My personal growth journal provides me with access to phases I have gone through. I  record significant events  and major issues in my life as they unfold, the issues I’m struggling with.  I return to what I record in my personal growth journal at later dates and I work things through by having conversations with myself.

Have a conversation with yourself and question your current strategies or aims. Criticize yourself. Praise yourself. Give yourself advice. Reflect on your mistakes.  –The Benefits of Keeping a Private Journal

I record the experiences that touch me deeply and  lead me to laugh or cry. I ask myself deep questions about what I think about them and I answer questions too. But most importantly, I record my spontaneous emotional responses to those significant events and life issues first,  then I revisit them again and again and record  my deeper thoughts about them as I move towards acceptance or resolution.

Gaining insight and healing

I have found that along with therapy, counseling, and meditation,  keeping a private personal development journal  is an essential part of my healing process. By undertaking the journal writing process I gain insight into my subconscious mind, insight I would not have gained if I hadn’t gone through the writing process.

I have used my journal to recall abuse and heal from it. I used my journal to chart my course through cancer and through recovery from a head injury. I’m currently recording my life struggles as a disabled person committed to overcoming chronic illness and stress.

By remaining committed to recording my thoughts and responses, posing questions and seeking answers  I am taking care of myself. The answers demand deep self-inquiry and to find them I must honestly explore my  desires and motivations.  I  must recognize not just my hidden  egocentricity, based on my attachments and aversions,  I must also find out where my non-negotiable commitments lie,   re-visit my core values, and make adjustments where required.  I use my personal growth journal to learn how to love myself and formulate strategies for setting myself free and becoming a better me.

The benefits of private journal blogging

Keeping a private journal helps me:

  1. record significant life events  and major issues and my responses to them;
  2. become aware of my inner dialog and gain insights into the workings of my mind;
  3. release disappointment,  frustration, fear and anger;
  4. become aware of my strengths and weaknesses;
  5. recognize patterns and best practices for replacing them;
  6. clear up confusion and solve problems;
  7. set goals and explore alternative ways of achieving them;
  8. express my creativity;
  9. celebrate my breakthroughs and victories;
  10. reduce stress;
  11. have more to compassion for others and more to contribute to relationships;
  12. remain committed to my personal growth, personal development and self improvement.

Discussion

  1. Do you keep a diary or journal?
  2. If so, have you tried private journal blogging?
  3. If so, what benefits you have received from keeping a diary or journal?
  4. Do you have opinions, either positive or negative, about the value keeping a private diary or a private journal blog?

Set Yourself Free

freedomYou are responsible for where you are in life at  this moment – what you think about yourself and others and how you feel and whom you choose to share your life with.  Stress is literally a killer and if you are unsatisfied with the way things are now, you  can choose to take personal responsibility to change them and set yourself free to become the best you that you can be. Continue reading “Set Yourself Free”

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Creativity in the Flow

flow imageMihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes flow as “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”

The intensity of the flow experience is one we all recognize as a creative one that goes beyond everyday consciousness. One reference is being “in the zone”. Csikszentmihalyi lists conditions necessary for the occurrence and continuation of flow experience:

  1. clear goals and feedback;
  2. balance between challenges and skills;
  3. action and awareness merged;
  4. concentration on task;
  5. sense of potential control;
  6. loss of self-consciousness;
  7. altered sense of time;
  8. autotelic (self-rewarding) experience.

The Hustler – Being in the flow state

There’s a move circa 1961 with Paul Newman talking about being in the flow state.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in a TED talk explains his studies about the roots of happiness and the concept of flow for which he is famous.

‘What makes human beings happy?’ Is the question he was looking for an answer to. Flow is his answer to the question

In our normal experience he looked at where we feel really happy. “Ecstacy in Greek meant to stand to the side of something. A step into an alternative reality. Such an intense experience that it feels like you don’t exist.” When you are in a state of flow, you are able to face high challenges using a high level of skills.

The entire concept of flow is really intriguing, at least to me. What do you think?

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness

In Buddhism, there is a form of meditation called samatha bhavana, which can lead to blissful states, like flow. In ‘samatha’ the mind becomes like a still, clear pool completely free from disturbance and anger, and ready to mirror on its surface the nature of things as they really are, m which is hidden from ordinary knowledge by the restlessness of desire and craving. You meditate until you attain jhana. Jhana is a meditative state of profound stillness and concentration in which the mind becomes fully immersed and absorbed in the chosen object of attention. It is the cornerstone in the development of right concentration.

Csikszentmihalyi illustrates that creativity is the central source of meaning in our lives and for better or for worse the planet’s future is closely tied to human creativity. Our capacity for being in the flow and ability to face higher challenges and succeed in what we do will in large part directly affect the planet’s future.  —  Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention.

No matter what walk of life we are in or what we may find ourselves completely absorbed in – we may be enjoying a flow experience.  What do you think about flow?

Celebrities: Love ‘em or hate ‘em

The mind-boggling “celebrities – love em – hate em” behavior that afflicts so many idle and easily preoccupied people is the subject of this post.  For the record I don’t “hate” celebrities nor do I “love” them. I don’t know them, or follow them, or give fig about what they do or don’t do. I don’t put them on pedestals and watch them slip and fall and then criticize them when they hit bottom. In fact, I don’t invest any energy into hating anyone. Continue reading “Celebrities: Love ‘em or hate ‘em”

Men, women, sexuality and jealousy

couple_fighting2Evolutionary psychologists have developed a theory to explain the origins of differences between men and women.  The two sexes developed different strategies to ensure their survival and reproductive success, and that this explains why men and women differ psychologically and tend to occupy different social roles.

Continue reading “Men, women, sexuality and jealousy”

It’s no secret

globeThe Secret has led to many people becoming self-styled Law of Attraction (LOA) “gurus. This movement is rapidly expanding as friends challenge friends and the overlapping circles of acolytes grow.

The Secret AKA Law of Attraction (the power of positive thinking plus creative visualization) is not new to me. I have been reading books on this subject for many years, and also practicing relaxation and creative visualization techniques.

Psycho-Cybernetics: A New Way to Get More Living out of Life was first published in 1960 by Prentice-Hall and first appeared in a pocket book edition in 1969.

Happiness and success are habits. So are failure and misery. But negative habits can be changed–and Psycho-Cybernetics shows you how. The mind/body connection us the concept that paved the way for most of today s personal empowerment programs. Turn crises into creative opportunities, dehypnotize yourself from false beliefs, and celebrate new freedom from fear and guilt.  Testimonials and stories are interspersed with advice from author Maxwell Maltz, as well as techniques for relaxation and visualization.

Psycho-Cybernetics introduced Maltz’s view that a person must have an accurate and positive view of one’s self before setting goals, otherwise he or she will get stuck in a continuing pattern of limiting beliefs. His ideas focus on visualizing one’s goals. He believed that self-image is the cornerstone of all the changes that take place in a person. If one’s self-image is unhealthy, or faulty, all of his or her efforts will end in failure.

William Walker Atkinson, Richard Ingalese, Opheil and many others, have written books on the power of the mind to attract what one thinks about, and these books are still popular and available at bookstores. Other known authors are Joseph Murphy, Napoleon Hill and Wallace D. Wattle. Shakti Gawain also wrote an excellent book on the subject and popularized the term “Creative Visualization“. All of these books are about what is now termed The Law of Attraction or The Secret.

So what is this secret?

An underlying principle of The Law of Attraction is that the Universe is neutral. What you get from the Universe what you’re a vibrational match to. This means that if you were raised with negative core values as a child, and grew up to be a person of low self esteem, then you’re getting negative stuff you don’t want from the Universe because you are in sync with negative vibrations, rather than positive vibrations.  In other words,  you must also be out of sync with what you do want or you’d be already enjoying it.

According to The Law of Attraction everything in your current reality is a perfect vibrational match to you.  If you want something different then you have to change your vibration to make what you do want ie. positive stuff in order for it to be part of your reality.

In Subjective Reality Q & A, Steve Pavlina contributes this:  Subjective reality is a belief system in which (1) there is only one consciousness, (2) you are that singular consciousness, and (3) everything and everyone in your reality is a projection of your thoughts. We create our own reality.  We attract those things in our life (money, relationships, employment) that we focus on. People who are efficient in attracting positives have trained their minds to focus on their desires and abundance comes to them naturally. They wouldn’t blink an eye if someone suggested they don’t deserve something, because it isn’t part of their reality.

The Law Of Attraction and The Law Of Resistance

In his book The Law of Attraction, Michael Losier suggests changing your perception around statements that activate its counterpart, The Law of Resistance. He suggests beginning to move towards making vibrational change with an exercise that amounts to making two columns: one that lists everything that you don’t like or don’t want; and one that reframes the resistance-filled statement with one that contains what you do want.

The following steps are to replace negative core values with positive ones thereby  so shift your focus from your feelings of lack, and toward feelings of gratitude and abundance.  The idea is to believe in yourself  and know that you can make whatever changes in your life you want by  creatively visualizing what you want and focusing on it.

The love of money: believe, request, receive

There are many different  LOA “gurus” and they all have their own programs including  pamphlets, ebook and videos, workshops, etc.  Some are focused on instructing their acolytes to jettison the work ethic as clinging to it will means you will remain “stuck”.  They encourage creatively visualizing enjoying  what you love and then believing, requesting, and receiving wealth  from the Universe.  focusing on it. For example, if  making money easily is what you’d love to do, then focus on it and attract it to you like a magnet attracts metal filings.

I have posted a link to some videos at the end of this post for those who wish to view them.

A recent survey of “Wealth Beyond Reason” students asked the question: “What are you finding most frustrating about attracting what you want utilizing what you know about the Law of Attraction?” As a result, a series of videos addressing the top responses was created.

The first two videos explain how to stay focused on your desire in the midst of “real life circumstances”… the next video deals with the issue of knowing what you really want when you start to intentionally create your life by design …

a further video deals with the critical issue of being held back by limiting beliefs that act as resistance against what you’re trying to attract … and the final video deals with the tricky subject of money.
Personal Development Videos – Law of Attraction

Core beliefs: Would you care to share?

It’s a quirk of human nature that we maintain our beliefs by selectively exposing ourselves to information that we already know is likely to support those beliefs. Yet, when we remove the emotional elements and take the time to gather information on the opposite side of any issue we are more likely to come to different conclusions. This is why it’s not surprising that gut responses based on deeply held core beliefs are not always the most accurate.

I’m aware that every decision I make is based on my core beliefs. To open my mind I review my core beliefs in an ongoing process I quiz myself about each one by asking myself  why I believe it. Next I imagine that I don’t exactly believe it any more, but instead believe something marginally different, and then marginally different again.

My  core beliefs are unique to me and my friend’s core beliefs are unique to them.  An open mind is comfortable with  the differences, and also capable of using a variety of lenses to view any issue from many angles.   So I ask you, my readers, if you would care to  share whether or not you have re-examined the core beliefs you were inculcated with as a child and replaced the negative with positive.

* This post was inspired by the repeated  personal attacks I was subjected to by an  LOA acolyte who became nasty in a  forum thread.

Constructive approaches to conquering fear of rejection

On one hand, all humans strongly want to be considered by others to be capable, competent and lovable. On the other hand, the greatest fears we humans have are the fear of abandonment (rejection) and fear of the unknown. Continue reading “Constructive approaches to conquering fear of rejection”

Openminded or Closedminded?

About this video – Talks – Jonathan Haidt on the moral roots of liberals and conservatives.

It is difficult to compare the merits of conservatism and liberalism because value judgments are divisive by nature. Jonathan Haidt argues that we can avoid this argument because these seemingly conflicting values actually compliment each other (yin and yang). This is another way of saying that we ought to avoid extremes and strive to find balance. Continue reading “Openminded or Closedminded?”

Life Eternal: The Great Cosmic Joke

This post was inspired by and includes the words of my friend

Tony Hogan, The Acoustic Guitarist

Men have argued about the nature of God and life after death since the beginning of time. The next time someone asks you if you believe in life after death please consider this:

Perhaps we all have eternal life and most have no recollection of past lives and that’s the great cosmic joke.

The Dream, is the underlying element in Jnana Yoga or Advaitism. The Universe is a dream in the mind of God and, God plays all parts and pretends that God is not God.

The One becomes many to experience LOVE. It is nothing but a quest for LOVE, and throughout out time ( I use that term loosely) puts on the garb of billions of beings to experience this.

The journey from self to SELF, is the journey, where God gradually shakes off the ignorance and reclaims the Divinity, or basically is conscious of his/her/its Divine Reality – LOVE.

Thus, the smile on the Buddha’s face.

God is also a process. The mind is not the tool to analyze God, never was, never will be, it has limitations. God has to be experienced, not dissected by the limited human mind. So really, God hasn’t gone anywhere, done anything, but is still seated in the same spot and has dreamed him/her/itself as ignorance.

Why?

The ONE becomes many to experience LOVE. It is nothing but a quest for LOVE, throughout out time (I use that term loosely), the ONE puts on the garb of billions of beings to experience this.

I don’t cogitate,  I meditate and when all the things associated with my “self” like greed, anger, hate, etc. dissolve there is no self; there is no distinct being that is separate from God – LOVE.

Neither male nor female, neither good nor bad, neither light nor darkness but containing all there is and situate everywhere: the universal stream of consciousness flowing through all is  God – LOVE.  Hence, God is found in everyone and in everything; God just keeps on experiencing LOVE.

We have only one life in this body at this point in time, but again and again, we return to live in a new body with no recollection of previous lives, until we stop clanging like cymbals, and actually become  ONE – LOVE.

I have twice been declared dead but have come back to life. I no longer fear death and no longer question what my life purpose is. I know that I am meant to LIVE,  LOVE  and LEARN and that’s why I’m here.

I know the lesson before me is to conquer  egocentricity and  experience freedom from attachments and aversions in meditation.

I know in my heart of hearts — I am meant to teach as well as to learn.

Death is a transition; it’s a new beginning. After my life in this body is over, I will return again to this earthly plane, with no knowledge of any past lives, and I will be faced with more lessons to learn and more to teach. Until I have learned all my lessons perfectly and taught them all perfectly, and I have become ONE – LOVE, I will return again and again.

Perhaps we all have eternal life and most have no recollection of past lives and that’s the great cosmic joke.

Not everyone has loved me in my past lives. Not everyone will love me in this life or in my future lives either. I have I not loved nor will I love everyone either but that’s okay, because at our core we are all much more the same than we are different.

Detecting Egocentricity

This blog is focused on personal growth, personal development,  self improvement, and relationships. I believe very strongly that we are our own healers so I seek out information focused on self help.

Our human historical records make it clear that people who attempt to rationalize and/or justify egocentric thoughts and behaviors as being requirements of their religion and/or political ideology are the most dangerous people on the planet. Continue reading “Detecting Egocentricity”

The Beauty Pageant Disease

sadbeautyby Guest Author CDF of Whirled Peas

Beauty contests have been getting more attention than usual lately. Usually, these rather pathetic events are ignored, left as an enthusiasm for hopelessly insecure young women, who having found no other quality with which to make their mark on the world, hit upon the “Evil Queen from Snow White” formula of finding self worth. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most neurotic-obsessive of them all?

Health and beauty

Don’t forget, these young women essentially torture themselves. They subject themselves to diets which border on starvation; they irradiate themselves either with natural sunlight or worse, tanning beds. In many cases, they have plastic surgeons who make sure their breasts are at optimal perkiness, their cheekbones are sharp enough to use as a hole punch, and their lips are sufficiently loaded with collagen that they appear to have a permanent pucker in place. It is rather a pity in those instances that the surgeons and cosmeticians don’t go up with the pageant winner to accept the award: doesn’t the pit crew deserve an accolade too?

Politics and beauty

We have Miss California to thank for drawing our attention to this swamp of shallowness and trauma. If she had merely said that she was in favour of gay marriage, or if the blogger Perez Hilton had merely dismissed her as an airhead, we would likely have allowed the latest Miss USA contest to pass unnoticed. But thanks to the brouhahaha between these two we have been reminded of this contest’s presence, and the deep seam of psychological issues not just with the contestants, but lurking within the public that allows this competition to continue.

Only in America would the notion of a nearly-naked fundamentalist Christian beauty queen tossing her processed hair and parading brand new pageant-bought plastic breasts across a Las Vegas stage in front of millions of television viewers with all the modesty of a blue ribbon heifer at a county livestock fair (the same fundamentalist Christian beauty queen who would later tell a television reporter that she heard God whispering in her ear as she answered a celebrity-worshipping Internet gossip columnist’s question about gay marriage) be treated as anything other than an occasion for high comedy and mirth.  — Michael Rowe

Fantasy made flesh

We live in an era where some must have every fantasy made flesh. Some want to live in a mansion; up until recently, it was possible even for individuals to buy one, even if they hadn’t sufficient means to pay back the mortgage. Some want to make a lot of money; again, until recently, it was possible to sign up with online stock brokers and try one’s hand at making paper profits. Some want to kill and hurt people; the more sane take up their time with graphic three-dimensional video games, the deeply troubled go on the rampage in schools. There is an urge, hidden but always screaming that demands we become wealthy, powerful, attractive, full of sexual magnetism, and never, ever be satisfied.

In this schema, the beauty contestants are victims of a need for fantasy to be made flesh. They desire attractiveness above all. But what supports that image of attractiveness is the willingness of the public to have them perform as their masturbatory props.

Masturbatory props

In order to explain this phenomena further, it’s worth remembering that all sexual activity has a fantasy element involved. The act is never the act in and of itself; if that were the case, it would become quite absurd in some respects, from the motions involved to the awkwardness of the creaking bedsprings. But it is not just that: there are fantastic qualities associated with it, connected to the imagination: e.g., I look into her eyes and see her soul. Or, this is such a naughty thing we’re doing. Or, this reminds me of this other time which was really good, in which case fantasy is piled on fantasy. We need this component, it is healthy: it is an abstract element which allows a space for thought in a world which if experienced solely through the nerve endings, would never allow thinking in the first place. However, at the same time this element can be warped, if our desires are exclusively trained on trying to turn fantasy into reality.

Sexuality and sensuality

We are constantly bombarded with stimuli which tells us to do precisely that. Men’s magazines, airbrushed, soft focus, or even digitally enhanced, try to portray an image of woman in a certain way: breasts have a certain set of parameters to which they must adhere, face, eyes, hair, all have to fall within a series of measurements. The ideal woman is young, sexually promiscuous, and yet vulnerable to advances of even the most homely man. But perhaps the fantasy space is disturbed by the impossibility of these qualities existing in a single combination, so it looks for substitutions: the young and vulnerable aspects make their appearance in the beauty pageants. The sexual element in this instance is more understated, but inherent. The women in this scenario are not women in and of themselves, they exist solely to fulfill an imaginative outlet, and reinforce the negative psychological feedback loop which suggests that fantasy is there to be realised.

Conscious living

Fantasy can be harmless, and as previously stated, necessary. However, there is a point where it becomes too much to remain unaddressed: that point is where it inflicts harm on the well-being of others. Considering the lives that are blighted by the necessities of this perverse phenomenon, that juncture has already been reached. To address this, the first step is to accept that this outlet is not “normal”. For those who say otherwise, it is considered “normal” in some societies that clitorectomies are performed, yet we in the West refuse to accept this. Normal is thus a relative value: therefore it is subject to revision, and when provable harm is entailed, morality demands it must be changed. Beauty contests should be exposed for the tragic mess that they are, not celebrated in any way; let it be ridiculed, damned, castigated, derided. Perhaps hope also lies in phenomena like Susan Boyle, which is challenging the underlying societal opinion about physical beauty being linked to talent or virtue: they are not. We need more of this in order to challenge and break our own assumptions. We also need more humility, whereby we realise that we are not all going to be pop stars, millionaires or Hollywood actors. We have value as individuals; trying to project that value against the ever variable grid of fame is neither worthy or worthwhile. Posterity should be taught to let it go.

Related post:
Sexualizing young girls

Internet relationships: When the walls fall down

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about friends and foes and what it means to me to have so many internet relationships.  I’m into conscious living, personal development and self improvement. I’m striving to become more forthright and effective  in my  communications and to become a better listener too.

Continue reading “Internet relationships: When the walls fall down”

Failures: Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones?

steppingstones
steppingstones

Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something. — Morihei Ueshiba

The kind of self- protective mindset that dictates that we only undertake things that we know we won’t fail at is a barrier to moving forward. Holding onto that  prevents us from taking risks and failing.  That’s unfortunate because failing is a lesson in learning how to succeed. Continue reading “Failures: Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones?”

No tolerance for trolls

Although it’s true that we all ought to be prepared to expect some negative feedback to any post we make to an online community forum, it’s also true that we ought to be able to cry “foul” and have something done about it when we experience an internet troll. Continue reading “No tolerance for trolls”

The Crystal Gazer

crystalballThe Crystal Gazer

I shall gather myself into my self again,
I shall take my scattered selves and make them one.
I shall fuse them into a polished crystal ball
Where I can see the moon and the flashing sun.

I Shall sit like a sibyl, hour after hour intent.
Watching the future come and the present go -
And the little shifting pictures of people rushing
In tiny self-importance to and fro.

- Sara Teasdale

INFJ: the most rare of all the types Part 2

The Myers-Briggs personality typology system was developed in the 1930s by Katharine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, as a way to place people in work environments naturally suited to their talents and aptitudes during World War II. It is based on the theory of temperaments by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. Jung believed differences in our personalities are due to our “preferences”. Myers-Briggs makes Jung’s theories practical and applicable in daily life.

The Myers Briggs model of personality has many applications, from team building to navigating midlife.The guidelines on personality types are best used as a means for understanding, appreciating, and interacting with various preferences, not as mere labels to place on others to justify your position or behavior.

In the workplace, the INFJ usually shows up in areas where they can be creative and somewhat independent. They have a natural affinity for art, and many excel in the sciences, where they make use of their intuition. INFJs can also be found in service-oriented professions. They are not good at dealing with minutia or very detailed tasks. The INFJ will either avoid such things, or else go to the other extreme and become enveloped in the details to the extent that they can no longer see the big picture. An INFJ who has gone the route of becoming meticulous about details may be highly critical of other individuals who are not. Source

In the workplace knowledge of personality provided by the Myers Brigg Test can give you the clues you need to increase both your effectiveness, job satisfaction and explain your natural positive motivation in terms of workplace needs. You can use your knowledge of your type to better handle conflict, improve your sales force, reduce absenteeism, improve work team dynamics, build leadership ability and many other uses that positively impact your bottom line.

For those who want to understand Isabel Briggs Myers‘ model in more depth, this article from the teamtechnology.co.uk website includes a description of functions, the dynamic relationship between them, and the meaning of the four letter code in dynamic terms.

The temperament theory of David Keirsey (made popular in the book Please Understand Me) uses the same four letter code as Isabel Briggs Myers’ system. However, although they used the same letters, they meant different things, and this article explains the differences.

More Resources

Take the test here

INFJ: The most rare of all the types

A fellow Blog Catalog member came up with an idea on the Discussion forum that culminated in many members taking the test and sharing their test results.

This is a list that I have compiled of various blogs that are categorized by the personality of the blogger using the Myers-Briggs typology test. Imagine, finding the blog of another person that shares a similar (or maybe even the same) personality type as you.

I started a Discussion thread on Blog Catalog because I was curious to see what the personality traits of bloggers are. I wanted to know if there is a dominant type of person who fills the pages of the blogosphere with anything from personal journals to information rich SEO blogs.

The Myers Briggs model of personality is based on four preferences (E or I, S or N, T or F and J or P). You combine the preferences to give your Myers Briggs personality type. Eg: having preferences for E and S and T and J gives a personality type of ESTJ. There are sixteen Myers Briggs personality types.

Myers Briggs Personality Type is based on 4 preferences

  1. Where, primarily, do you prefer to direct your energy?
  2. How do you prefer to process information?
  3. How do you prefer to make decisions?
  4. How do you prefer to organize your life?

The Myers-Briggs typology test link.

INFJ is my personality type. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.

Courtship in cyberspace

fig_-_power_of_communication.jpgMost folks tend to socialize with people of the same age and with similar interests. Most couples hang out with other couples. This isn’t the case with me. I live in a very small place with a low population so that may be a factor. I was raised in an extended family and friends lifestyle, wherein we were not ghettoized by age – we gravitated towards each other based on common interests. I have many interests so my friends range from teens to octogenarians.

One of my friends, who is and honor student in her mid-twenties, told me she would toss completing her college education right out the window if “Mr. Right” waved a diamond under her nose because she wants to have a family.

I gently reminded her that she’s the youngest of 2 children and that her parents will continue to pay for her education only while she lives at home. I also observed that she has no experience raising children, aside from what can be gained through occasional babysitting. Then she dropped her bomb.

She already has an internet crush on a man she has never met. Well, it seems they skipped some important steps in the development of their relationship.

We spoke at great length on several occasions and she finally agreed that they had skipped important steps and most of all and that she ought to meet him face to face before she became more emotionally committed.

I sent her the link to the Jung Marriage Test test which is based on Carl Jung and Isabel Myers-Briggs typological approach to personality. She passed it on to her crush and I have yet to hear back from her.

If you are interested in how the test is conducted, when answering questions, you choose one of two possible answers that you agree the most with. If you are not sure how to answer then the decision should be based on your most typical reaction or feeling in the given situation. You must respond to all the questions to get a reliable result. You press the “Score It” button after you are done answering the questions. Upon completion, you obtain online:

  • Your type formula according to Carl Jung and Isabel Myers-Briggs typology along with the strengths of the preferences
  • The description of your personality type
  • The list of occupations and educational institutions where you can get relevant degree or training, most suitable for your personality type – Jung Career Indicator™
  • You can also use the type formula and strength of the preferences to assess online compatibility with your mate in the Jung Marriage Test and Demo of the Marriage Test

Have you ever had a friend in a similar situation?

Grief: Learning from a major loss in your life

This winter I learned that coping with emotions associated with profound losses and learning from them is vital to my mental health. If you take a look at my sidebar you will see “Inspiration for Your Soul Meditation Experiences.” Under that title is a list of all the things I have been examining during this winter that for me has been characterized by loss, deep depression and grief. Continue reading “Grief: Learning from a major loss in your life”

Self-acceptance

Claudette Rowley:

So many of us use common beliefs and actions to cover up accurate, positive views of ourselves. Consider the following behaviors. Do you:

  • Let other people assign value to you? Don’t. You’re the only person who can decide what you’re worth.
  • Try to control others’ perceptions of you, even though you know this is an impossible task? People will perceive you however they’re going to perceive you. Attempting to control their perceptions only leads to heartache and misery. Try not to worry about other people’s perceptions. Instead, act in a way that’s congruent with who you are and your sense of integrity — and that will shine through brightly.
  • Mostly notice what you do wrong? Stop! Start noticing what you do right. I challenge you to keep a running list of everything you do well for the next week. The length of this list may surprise you.

Read the full article: Accept Your Own Flawed Brilliance

Related posts:
Self-acceptance, not self-improvement
Look inside and grow

Who owns blog comments?

Don’t fence me in

When I was young I was a competitive, rugged individualist. I rejected the ‘parallel thinking’ and ‘lateral thinking’ approaches that I was naturally inclined towards using. My family members, school teachers and employers placed a strong reliance on competition, within a structured environment replete with rules and regulations.

I struggled to become a ‘linear’ thinker but I failed time and time again when my shadow self emerged. By the time I was thirty I recognized that I had been a square peg and that no amount of hammering will make my ‘self’ fit into a round hole. I became aware of who I really am and I set myself free.

I edit spelling errors, typos and awkward wording on posts and in forums. I frequently do so more than once because I do not always see clearly. I also edit what I have written when I think I have not expressed myself clearly. I do this because I believe that my words belong to me and, because I believe I have the right to edit or even delete them, until someone else posts into the same post or forum thread. After that occurs IMHO any changes ought to be made in follow-up comments made to the same thread so the conversation in the thread is not disjointed.

How many times have you heard this?

If you’re not prepared to let it stand, why did you post/publish/say it in the first place?

My response is that if I am to be burdened with the rule of remaining silent, until after I have internally processed information, and taken a position on any given issue then, you will never experience the best of me. This is why. Continue reading “Who owns blog comments?”

What kind of a first impression do you make?


You Make a Great First Impression



You can handle almost any social situation with grace, even the tricky ones.
Strangers often find you charming and interesting. You are often remembered fondly.
Even if you’re not naturally outgoing, you can make conversation with anyone if you need to.
Whether you were born this way or had to work to get here, you are definitely charismatic.
You’re popular and well liked. People definitely look forward to being around you.
Your social connections bring you a full and rich life. You understand how important it is to make a lasting impression.
What Kind of First Impression Do You Make?

365 days of Sensational Sex

I am just about to finish reading 365 days of Sensational Sex: Tantalizing Tips and Techniques to Keep the Fires Burning All Year Long by Lou Paget. I haven’t read Paget’s other three books but, based on reading just this one I can say with assurance that this author knows her subject. Continue reading “365 days of Sensational Sex”

More Gratitude – Less Fear

In Time-Flying: How to Employ The Law of Perspective To Master Manifesting, Heather Vale says:

Now that I understand more about how fear and gratitude work in opposition to one another, I believe it’s possible to lessen the difference between two legs of a trip by applying more gratitude (and hence less fear or apprehension) on the way out.

Why should we be distracted from the beauty of the journey by worrying about what hasn’t happened… or what we haven’t yet seen or experienced? I always say that worry is the stupidest feeling around, because it doesn’t stop what we’re worried about from happening, and in fact might make it happen because of the energy we’re putting into it. So why not just enjoy and be grateful for the journey into the unknown, for the adventure it brings us? This applies to life as a whole as well; since life is truly a journey, not a destination, wouldn’t we be able to enjoy it more by being grateful, inspired, and not scared?

As I enter a new phase of my life, I’m making a personal commitment to let go of control a little bit and be more grateful for everything that comes my way, as unexpected as it may be. And interestingly enough, as I let go of my fear of the unexpected, the outcome always becomes more expected… and manifests exactly the way I wanted it to.

And if sharing my perspective on perspective has inspired you to enjoy life a little – or a lot – then hold on for a fascinating ride, because time is about to fly even more for both of us.

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Happiness is a decision made between the ears

There isn’t a person on earth today that doesn’t want to be happy. But when we examine what happiness means to any individual, we discover that most of what people claim makes them feel happy falls into the category of “instant gratification” derived from “outer events”.

Some people are true believers that the quickest path to happiness is to buy it or to mold it by transforming their personal surroundings. They may have convinced themselves that if they buy a new Lexus SUV or move to a beach house on the coast, lasting happiness will follow. But these kinds of changes only for the short term, they eventually become part of your status quo and their power to deliver happiness fades away.

People are happy when they are “in control”, that is, when they feel competent to satisfy their needs and reach their goalsHappiness

These are characteristic of societies where people tend to be happy:

  • wealth (measured by average purchasing power) -The correlation between purchasing power and happiness becomes less important for more wealthy societies, implying that once the basic material needs of nutrition and shelter are satisfied, further prosperity adds little to happiness.
  • access to knowledge (measured by literacy, school enrolment and media attendance) – The component of cognitive competence.
  • personal freedom – People are more satisfied in societies which minimally restrict their freedom of action, in other words, where they are in control rather than being controlled. This is again a form of material competence.
  • equality – Social inequality implies less control for those who are in the weaker position, and more risks of losing their privileges for those in the stronger position.

On the individual level, the differences in happiness between people living in the same society depend on their situation and on their personal characteristics:

  • health – Life-satisfaction tends to be larger among those that are in good physical and mental health. Inversely, happy people are much less likely to fall ill and die than unhappy people. This directly reflects the strong correlation between happiness and biological fitness.
  • psychological characteristics – Happy people are characterized by the belief that they are able to control their situation, whereas unhappy people tend to believe that they are victims of fate. This reflects what we have called subjective competence. Happy people are also more psychologically resilient, assertive, empathetic and open to experience. These are all features which, according to our theory of self-actualization (Heylighen, 1992), accompany the perceived competence to satisfy needs.
  • social position – Happiness is more common among those that have intimate ties (e.g. marriage) and that participate in various organizations. This reflects the degree to which people manage to satisfy their social needs, and get better control of their own situation by relying on the support of others. Occupationally, happiness tends to be more common among professionals and managers, that is, people who are in control of the work they do, rather than subservient to their bosses.
  • life-events – Happiness is clearly correlated with the presence of favorable events (such as promotion, marriage, etc. ) and the absence of troubles or bad luck (such as accidents, being laid off, conflicts, etc.). These events on their own signal the success or failure to reach one’s goals, and therefore the control one has.

From an interview with Tenzin Gyastso the Dalai Lama

Paige Parvin, Emory Magazine: You’ve spoken a great deal about happiness on this visit. Do you believe that most people are happy, and why or why not?

Dalai Lama : Most people? I think human life is basically a mixture, so pain, pleasure. But then average, difficult to say. I think I prefer to say the majority of the human being are relatively happy. Otherwise, the majority of people would commit suicide. We usually see surprise for the high rate of suicide. We’re surprised. That means we don’t want that. So we see those people who did suicide, we see, quite foolish! Better alive.

So I think average person, I think is happy. But my point is, physical wellbeing, physical comfort, also important. However, it is wrong to look for happiness only in the terms of physical condition with material facility. That is wrong, I think. Material facility is very important, we need physical wellbeing, also important. But that’s not sufficient. We must take a more serious look at what our inner mental peace. There, our own mental attitude is very, very important factor. So, compassion, forgiveness, reconciliation. Now these mental factors are very, very important factors for peace of mind.

The physical world is always in a state of flux. At each moment a new thing is being created, sustained, changed, transformed and then destroyed. This is the normal state of affairs and no one can change it. If we attach ourselves to a certain state, we are bound to experience unhappiness sooner or later. No state remains as it is. These are the laws of nature. When circumstances change, and the changes are not to our liking, we experience unhappiness. On the other hand, if we exercise detachment, nothing can influence our moods. Then outer events have nothing to do with our inner joy and peace of mind. — Remez Sasson

The truth is that we do not need pleasurable circumstances and events to evoke happiness with us. Happiness is within us at all times. Just as soon as we make the decision to be happy, regardless of our circumstances, it manifests.

No person, thing or circumstance controls our response to that person, thing or circumstance. We choose our own responses. We have complete control over our state of mind and happiness is a decision that we make between our ears.

Related posts:
Self Confidence Boosters
Being Happy No Matter What

Mindfulness Meditation

mystical imageMindfulness is: Knowing you are not your thoughts. Our thoughts take us away from being here now. If I am thinking about the past, or worried about the future, I am a prisoner of my thoughts.

When I take a moment to observe myself having thoughts, I am no longer the thoughts. I get to be and observe at the same time. That’s why if I continue to come back to my breath which always occurs in the here and now, it draws me into the present. And from that vantage point I can observe as past and future attempts to draw me away from the moment.

This paying attention to the here and now, to the breath, to the observing one’s thoughts without being critical or judgmental is what many people call Mindfulness. But what is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a word. Nothing more, nothing less. As a word it is a symbol or a sign. As a sign or symbol it points to a way of looking at life in general and one’s own life in particular. Mindfulness points one in the direction of being aware of the present moment.

Mindfulness points to: Being aware of and paying attention to the moment in which we find ourselves. Our past is gone, our future is not yet here. So what exists between them is the present moment.

If I can observe and not get caught up in my thoughts, it is all that I have. The here and now, the present is the link which holds what was and what will be.

My past was a series of present moments which brought me to this present moment. My future should it happen will be a series of present moments effected by only present moment in which I am now living, being, doing, observing, being aware or unaware, and attentive or inattentive.

While mindfulness is a generalization about paying attention and being aware in the present moment, it occurs only in the individual. That individual makes a choice to be in the moment and be aware of what is happening in the present moment. In that choice is a realization.

You are not your thoughts. Thoughts take us away from being here now. This paying attention to the here and now, to the breath, to the observing one’s thoughts, without being critical or judgmental as we go about our daily lives is what many people call Mindfulness Practice.

Related posts found in this blog:
Meditation Practices

Meditation Therapy For Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

A revered contemplative practice for centuries, meditation has recently inspired research into its therapeutic value for everything from anxiety disorders to heart attack prevention. A painful, progressive autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis is associated with a high risk of depression — double the risk of the healthy population, by conservative estimates — and various forms of psychological distress. Increasingly, RA patients are turning to alternative therapies like meditation to ease the toll of their disease. Mindfulness-based stress reduction shows promise for easing psychological distress associated with disease symptoms.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a meditation training program developed by Dr. Kabat-Zinn and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. MBSR teaches participants to relate differently to thoughts and emotions, and continually focus the mind on the present moment to increase clarity and calmness. The program has been shown to improve psychological symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia, cancer, and multiple sclerosis, among other conditions. -> full story

Related fibromylagia post links can be found on this page.

Your Brain’s Pattern


Your Brain’s Pattern


Your mind is a multi dimensional wonderland, with many layers.
You’re the type that always has multiple streams of though going.
And you can keep these thoughts going at any time.
You’re very likely to be engaged in deep thought – and deep conversation.

What Pattern Is Your Brain?

Go ahead take the quiz.

Related blog posts:

Do You Know Your Mind

Is the Brain on Your Mind?

Relationships and Messages

By Andrew Schneider
There are basically four levels of soul contact that we experience in our relationships – within ourselves, with each other, with the world, and with the Universe/God. These levels are psychologically all expressions of love. Whenever there is lack of unity or disconnection it is because one of the following soul invitations are not being responded to.

1. Pay attention to me. (I exist; I am here; see me; notice me.) Whenever any being meets another there is a demand for attention and this where we seek to communicate with each other. Communication requires attention. When others do not pay attention to us we feel cut off or separate. It is the essence or soul of things and beings which automatically and always sends out this message: ‘Pay attention to me!’

The soul is the magnetic energy of unity. It attracts other souls. Human beings often camouflage the message with distortions of who they are, and with behavior that alienates rather than attracts. We need to be perceptive enough to go beyond the distortions and masks to see and hear the essential invitation to connection, regardless of what the behavior is.This stage of contact is about valuing or validating one’s uniqueness. It demands attention to individuality. Our response could be:

  • From a human soul level we notice how someone is different and unique. We can also acknowledge their efforts, skills and talents.
  • From a spiritual soul level we notice how someone is beautiful – i.e., their uniqueness shows us their beauty. We can also acknowledge soul qualities or attributes they have.

2. Love me. At a deeper level beyond ‘pay attention to me,’ soul emits the message: ‘Love me!’ Once we get the other’s attention, this is the next message we can hear. Love is the essence of soul – the essence of our essence. When we do not love ourselves, then our behavior will reflect this invitation to connection – even though it may be inappropriate behavior to achieve that end.

On a feeling level we are searching for validation of our acceptability, goodness, worthiness, valuableness. When we don’t get the responses from others that we want we frequently go to the mental level and try to affirm or justify our ‘rightness.’ This is like saying, ‘If I can’t be acknowledged for my goodness, then at least I can be right.’

We might also reject others through blame or other judgments when we do not get the love from them that we want.These first two messages (‘pay attention to me’ and ‘love me’) come from personality, yearning toward that inner connection. Since it is not achieved inwardly, it seeks it outwardly through others – which is what personalities always do.

3. Be one with me. Beyond the invitation to ‘love me,’ when one is connected to the love within, in a conscious way, there is a love that sees the other as oneself and therefore seeks to unite with that. It is an invitation to share, to cooperate, to give and take, to mutual commitment, to honor and respect.The invitation to deeper connection is based on the need to share the love that one has acknowledged and activated within oneself, and the perception that this expression requires a unity with others. This unity often leads to service beyond the relationship itself.

4. We are one. We experience the ‘We are one’ when we enter the beauty of the other in our heart. This is the deepest level of soul emanation and soul consciousness. This state of unity is a profound affirmation of the oneness of life as we identify with it.

Conclusion
These four messages come from the soul and can be heard only by the heart of another. The heart will hear them if it is not preoccupied with its own survival or individual well-being. When we are not getting the responses we want to either of the first two requests, there is disruption to meaningful or fulfilling relationships. When this is the case a person needs to do the following:

a) Identify these messages being put out to others
b) Examine how they are being communicated
c) Look at the needs behind these messages and
d) Make the necessary adjustments without expecting others to change. This might require going to the third level of soul emanation and focusing on the love that one has to express.

The first two messages – ‘Pay attention to me’ and ‘Love me’ – are in the realm of personality functioning. When they are issues, conflicts arise and help is often sought to reduce the conflicts.

The third message – ‘Be one with me’ – is in the realm of spiritual soul expression and arises in matters of shared values, service, meaning and purpose.

The fourth message – ‘We are one’ – is in the realm of spiritual soul where there is no conflict and no question. All is well. This is the consciousness goal we all strive for. The soul journey moves us through these four levels of soul contact and expression.

Exercises:
1. Examine a particular problematic relationship you have in light of the four levels. (If there is a real ‘problem’ it is about level 1 and/or 2.)
2. Verbalize how the soul messages are being communicated to you or by you.
3. Identify the needs behind the messages.
4. Decide what responses you will make in order to improve the relationship.

Related blog posts:

Online Relationships: Internet Dating

Are Cyberspace Relationships Underrated?

Eight Suggestions for Improving Your Relationships

Relationships: Transformation and Commitment


Choosy Females and Competitive Males

Speed Dating – The first speed-dating event took place at Pete’s Café in Beverly Hills in late 1998. Soon afterward, several commercial services began offering secular round-robin dating events across the United States. By 2000, speed dating had really taken off, perhaps boosted by its portrayal in shows such as Sex and the City as something that glamorous people did. Supporters argue that speed dating saves time, as most people decide if they are romantically compatible very quickly, and first impressions are often permanent.Researchers led by Todd report in Tuesday’s edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that their study found humans were similar to most other mammals, “following Darwin’s principle of choosy females and competitive males, even if humans say something different.”Their study involved 26 men and 20 women in Munich, Germany, who ranged in age from 26 to their early 40s. They all took part in “speed dating,” short meetings of three to seven minutes in which people chat, then move on to meet another dater. Afterward, participants check off the people they’d like to meet again, and dates can be arranged between pairs who select one another.

Prior to the session participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire about what they were looking for in a mate. The questionnaire listed wealth and status, family commitment, physical appearance, healthiness and attractiveness. Following the “speed dating” session researchers compared what the participants said they were looking for with the people they actually chose to ask for another date.

On one hand, men appeared to base their decisions mostly on the women’s physical attractiveness and also seemed at be much less choosy. They tended to select nearly every woman above a certain minimum attractiveness threshold. And more importantly, the men’s choices did not reflect their stated preferences.

On the other hand, women’s actual choices, just like the men’s, did not reflect their stated preferences either but they were more discriminating. Interestingly, women were aware of the importance of their own attractiveness to men, and adjusted their expectations to select the more desirable guys. They made offers to men who had overall qualities that were on a par with their own attractiveness.

No matter how you cut it most like ‘em hot.

References:
Men still go for looks, women for wealth
Study: Men Men Go for Good Looks
Daters’ Mixed Motivations Debunked
Women ‘choosier’ over partners


Do You Know Your Mind?

This in-depth personality questionnaire will help you know yourself better. Covering the areas of Introversion-Extraversion, Emotional Stability, Determinism, Sexuality and Social & Political Attitudes, it will help you to see yourself – your mental, emotional and behavioral strengths and weaknesses – more objectively.

Peter Shepherd

The basis of the questionnaire is the long-established Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, used worldwide by the psychiatric profession. The idea is to test against cultural stereotypes, that is the “norm”, the way a statistical majority of people actually are in Western society. The “norm” is not necessarily an enlightened point of view, it simply represents what a typical person’s responses are likely to be. It doesn’t mean the normal responses are ‘right’ or ‘correct’.

High or low positions on a scale may represent neurosis if your answers represent compulsions, obsessions or inhibitions, and you may want to become more free in that area. But if they represent conscious choices in the way you play the game of life, then of course, that’s fine! A person relatively free from cultural conditioning in an area of life is unlikely to be the same as the ‘normal person’ who tends to be riddled with such conditioning.

Normally answers are not available to the person doing the test. I have made them accessible so one can be aware of the test’s shortcomings, and also hopefully in the process become more aware of one’s own fixed or limited beliefs, as well as fears and neuroses – as well as how one is likely to compare to the average guy down the street. …

The idea is to expose fixed and conditioned ways of thinking, feeling and behaving, not to indicate that any particular way is right or better than another. The questions can expose ways in which you are a stereotyped product of your culture, more liberated than the norm or more neurotic than the norm, or just different – the interpretation is up to you, the more honest the better!

Related posts:
All Loners Aren’t Social Misfits

Is the Brain on your Mind?