Archive for the ‘Assorted’ Category

Develop a curious mind



Al Siebert trumpets the benefits of having a curious mind as one of the core traits in his book “Survivor Personality”.

A curious, creative mind helped survivors entertain themselves under life threatening circumstances.

Nando Parado in “The Miracle in the Andes” credited his mantra, “As long as I have a breath, I will die one step closer to my father” as sustaining him in toughest times.

The other 16 thought he was crazy. They lived because of his creative mind and incredible desire to think about living, taking action in the midst of their total surrender.

Two more examples: Two Vietnam vets demonstrated what a creative mind does to stay neutral or positive.

One vet created exotic menus for a high class restaurants. Detailed recipes were invented in an attempt to lesson his hunger.

The other vet created a detailed lumber list for building a house he designed. Detailed, down to every last nail.

Prisoners, being captive, held in isolation, creates a situation where the mind either destroys us or saves our sanity and freedom.

A Curious mind is positive, freer, more expansive.

Curious minds seem to be more intuitive, open to searching outside the box.

My meditation/mindfulness practice has freed my mind of varying degrees of worry, doubt, and negative emotion.

This freed up time has been focused on observing and wonderment.

Wonderment is what a child sees or feels when he/she experiences something new for first time. The cognitive thinker has nowhere to file or even define what is observed.

That momentary amazement we call wonderment.

Also referred to as Beginners Mind, seeing, feeling life through the eyes of a child is our goal.

Everything is new, we never surrender to the boredom of repetive chores, work, personal interaction.

I experience doing laundry as a present action, neutral, or with purpose.

My practice has given laundry duties a purpose. Paying attention, hanging up everything neatly, gives me joy.

I am making sure my grandkids look their best.

Laundry was a chore, something where speed to get finished was the primary goal.

Now, doing laundry is completed with no time involved.

I find myself inside the task, mind clear, at ease and focused somehow on the boring chore.

Wish I had this kind of success with other chores (Dishes).

Where does focus and freedom enter your world?

Could be gardening, cooking, a hobby, yoga, a musical instrument, etc.

The mind craves being empty, letting our curiosity run free for short periods of time as an ante for being happy.



Judging and Comparing

Pixabay: AbsolutVision



Judging consumed many, many hours throughout my life. Another form of judging, comparing myself with others took another chunk.

Judging brought worry, comparing gathered that sense of lack.

Judging and Comparing are never extinguished.

Meditation, focuses on the breath, slowing, calming, sensing, observing. No effort is given to changing or destroying any thought.

Judgements and Comparisons are transparent, fading on their own without attention or emotion.

Imagine a thought right now. Hold that thought, sarcasm intended.

If you do not express that thought to anyone, does anyone else know of its existence?

Is that thought real if no one hears or reads it.

Thoughts can be irrational, incorrect and incomplete.

Some thinking and thoughts are harmful to our wellbeing.

No thought exists when we travel to the right hemisphere.

That must have some significance.

Some designer created a wordless, thoughtless side of the brain to balance the literal cognitive side.

Spend some time on your expansive side of your brain/mind.

It is brilliant, has no worry, doubt, judging or comparing.

It is always available through the cloud of thought and emotion.



The Science of Self-Talk: Rumination

johnhain / 1133 images



It’s important to note here that negative emotion (or negative affect) is not necessarily your enemy. It’s how you think about negative emotions that makes them negative.

In other words, how you represent negative emotions to yourself in your own self-talk is the key ingredient that turns them into real negativity. How so?

Researchers studying depression have figured out that people with clinical depression have a kind of compulsive destructive self-talk.

Psychologists call it rumination, and its characteristic is repetitively going over symptoms of distress, like a scab you keep obsessively picking at.

Its other characteristic is passivity. You don’t focus on solutions but problems.

So you have a negative emotion, such as sadness, but, on top of that sadness, you’re telling yourself this toxic story:

It’s all useless, I can’t do anything right. I’ve been stuck in this same position forever and I’ll never get out of it.

Dysfunctional self-talk tells a story. It’s the wrong kind of story, a story in which you’re passive and helpless.

In constructive self-talk, on the other hand, you see yourself as someone who can achieve your goals. That doesn’t just lift your mood.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you see yourself as capable, then you have the right perspective to become capable.

That puts you in the driver’s seat.




My two cents: Self talk: “Edward Bourne PhD. Anxiety specialist: “It is so automatic and subtle you don’t notice it or the effect it has on your moods and feelings. It appears in telegraphic form- one short word or image (”Oh no!) contains a whole series of thoughts, memories, or associations. Anxious.18th self-talk is typically irrational but almost always sounds like the truth.


Enquiring Minds want to know: Change



Alexas_Fotos / 20674 images


How many people make a significant change in their life? What percentage would you assign to change?


Why do you think change is such a monumental task?


I know that human nature would rather endure a known suffering than risk change, even if change would benefit us.


This must be the road less traveled.


I have opined in many posts about taking risks and improving.


Looking deep inside yourself, what needs to happen for you to risk change?


It is different for all of us.


Therapists I have asked, say 5% of clients do the work and risk change.


We go crazy about politics but look at how few vote.


Are we drawn to the easy way out, seeking pleasure, avoiding anything awkward or difficult.


I know some of the greatest, most satisfying lives have been filled will difficulty, loss and drama. Lincoln, Mother Theresa, and Mandela come to mind.


Maybe if we increased our gratitude and giving, change would be easier.

Please share your thoughts on change.

Improving in my mindfulness group



We work on brain science, focus, letting go, body awareness, thoughts, and application of our practice.

We work on issues that derail us. Home work or focus during the week has helped strengthen their practice and improve life.

We work on sitting shorter periods with maximum effort (focus). I have introduced different objects of focus.

I always recommend using my breathing model and listening as our core focus. Then ideas like, altruism (loving kindness gratitude), showering others with kindness without regard for reward becomes our focus object.

A shift in focus from a visual to listening object expands everyone’s skill level.

Imagine sitting with your back to a dense jungle, tender dry from a year long drought. Something in the jungle is heading our way.

Can you quiet down inside your ears, listening deep into that jungle?

Scenario two: We are commanding a submarine 200 feet below the surface. An enemy ship is hunting us. Shhhhhh.

Absolute quiet, absolute silence is our goal for the next 15 minutes.

Add some creative challenges to your mindfulness practice.

Enjoy the journey.



Meditation/Mindfulness changes in me



That big sense, I am lacking something has dwindled. I need very little now for me to be content or happy.

Worry gets much less attention. Life is a challenge, many things are out of our control, however my time spent in the present moment has increased exponentially.

I do not try to escape feeling awkward, sad, lonely or anxious anymore. Now, feelings are felt in their entirety, then let go to fade away harmlessly.

Emotions and thoughts are discounted as mere appendages, nothing of relevance, just a mild inconvenience. Wow, what a relief this has been in daily life.

My free time has increased since ruminating lasts a relatively short duration with most disruptions.

Being able to let go of thought, judgment and emotion has eliminated so much suffering. No need to repair or integrate days of dissociating, ruminating in my traumatic past.

The promise of being free in this moment has triumphed over living in the past or predicting suffering in the future.

I enjoy times of happiness when my mind is focused, clear and ever present.

While hiking I let my senses control my being, that is I observe what my eyes see, ears hear and nose smells without narration.

I am a sponge, observing, soaking up reality without analyzing or judging.

Miracles are everywhere. Giant trees, wildlife, fresh air and nature fill my being. Thought spoils this pristine experience.

I have learned to let my mind empty, to give him a break.

My body and mind repair themselves when I focus on the breath and let thoughts clear my consciousness.

Our goal in meditation is to reach a no thought space.

We are just daydreaming until we build our focus to this level.

It takes practice and is attainable for all of us. No special talent, intelligence is needed, just daily practice.

My intuition has grown. I sense things in others, non verbal clues, unrest or agitation that went unnoticed before.

We all have intuitive skills waiting to be developed.

Meditation becomes more significant in life’s harsh times.

Most of us can have joy when things are going well.

Our issues comes with perceived failure, loss, a health crisis or someone offending us.

Our ability to focus, then let the noise go, changes life completely.

Could you benefit from a mindfulness practice?



Let’s talk Victimhood



This is an extremely volatile word on any PTSD discussion board. Many PTSD sufferers lose their minds, becoming irate and aggressive.

The discussion board taught me Victimhood demands congruence.

My sin was writing, we can heal with daily work.

You find out how hateful people can behave, being anonymous on a discussion board.

Victims could not stand having a non-victim in their midst.

The great divide between these victims and myself, was responsibility.

One communal thought shared, we can not heal from Complex PTSD until the DSM recognizes it as a disorder.

Unbelievable how many excuses are created to avoid taking responsibility.

Fear dominates their lives.

Yes my father abused me violently, but I am responsible, now.

When I was blaming my father, being a victim, I suffered.

I maybe be a victim in the future, but it will not be for long.

Please have the courage to take responsibility for your life, take action.

Taking a positive action (step) to heal, however small, is a giant step out of Victimhood.

I maybe damaged physically and emotionally, riddled with flaws, but unworthiness has no foothold inside me.

This sounds arrogant writing, but I refuse to be or act like a victim.

When I catch myself feeling sorry for myself in a weak moment, it disgusts me.

I would rather die taking responsibility, whatever that entails, than live feeling sorry for myself.

We die the same day, same hour, same minute, if you suffer as a victim or live free and risk.

We have a choice.

This may generate a few responses.



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