TODAY'S QUOTE!

"If God gave comedians the power to invent people, the first person we would invent is Donald Trump."
Jerry Seinfeld

TODAY'S YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE DEEP QUOTE!

"One should dry-hump as much as possible. It leads to great things. I'd prescribe it at least once per day. What's also nice about dry humping is that it can happen anywhere."
Cameron Diaz

A PIECE I DIDN'T WANT TO WRITE: CHILDREN DON'T COMMIT SUICIDE OR MURDER WITHOUT WARNING SIGNS!

This is a blog piece I struggled with writing. I started, stopped, then decided I had to say something.

A few days ago, two Minnesota eighth-graders, girls, hung themselves during a sleepover in an apparent suicide pact. The mothers of the girls said today that there were "no warning signs" and that they had "tried to help their daughters cope with bullying the best they could." The girls, both 14, were being treated for depression, and one was on medication, but again, their mothers said there were no indications they were going to take their lives.

Thirteen years ago, I ended up featured on a national radio show because of something I wrote in the New York Times about a Columbine-style school shooting in Jonesboro, Arkansas, by two boys, 13 and 11. The parents of the boys who committed those murders also said something similar, that there were "no warning signs."

Here's what I wrote, entitled "Could School Shooting Have Been Prevented?" that was published in the Times:

"In 'Death in a Middle School' (editorial, March 26, 1998), you say 'closer monitoring of troubled students and referrals to psychiatric counseling might have prevented this tragedy.' But you go on to say that 'ultimately, the unremarkable qualities of the Jonesboro suspects are what make finding answers so difficult.' As a psychotherapist who has worked with children, I agree with the first statement, not the last. A clinician specializing in children would not have difficulty finding the kinds of mental and emotional disturbances present in a child preparing to murder. The masks of children are very transparent, though understandably not to busy or untrained parents and teachers who are emotionally invested in not seeing problems in the children they care for. If the boys arrested had had a routine evaluation by a competent school psychologist, it's possible this tragedy would not have occurred."

Folks, where do I begin? This is hard and this is painful.

Children do not commit suicide or murder without warning signs.

Major warning signs.

If we don't stop trying to drug our kids emotional problems and inner lives into submission, along with our own, and if we don't stop letting ourselves as a society off the hook by not acknowledging out loud - really loudly - that most parents, teachers and doctors don't have a clue about our children's developmental needs, then these tragedies will continue. Furthermore, if we don't admit that most parents, teachers and doctors know close to nothing about the emotional and psychological issues that children suffer from, nor do most parents understand the inextricable connection between their children's well-being and their own adult emotional and mental health, then we will continue to endure these grievous occurrences.

Love is not enough of a qualification for raising children.

Parenting is a very challenging and complex job that requires more rigorous training than any doctoral program, if it is to be done well. That training is intensive self-work, the kind that leads you to being fully tuned-in and conscious, which makes you aware of your own emotional states and of the emotional states of those around you. It means you've overcome the idealizations, transferences and projections that make you see what you want to see and not see what is really going on in your children's inner lives.

Okay, there, I said it.

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"How dare you?!"
(Robert DeNiro to Donald Trump for daring to run for president)
You talkin' to me?

UNCONDITIONAL PRAISE IS NOT UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!

"It made me wonder about how we praise our kids and how we confuse unconditional love and unconditional approval."

Thus begins a piece on the Huffington Post entitled "Do You Substitute Praise for Parenting?" by Judith Acosta.

Can I possibly say or write more about this subject than I have already? You know, about the parents who think good parenting is to falsely boost a child's self-esteem by basically lying to them, telling them that everything they do is great and praiseworthy, regardless of the reality, ensuring the development of a tragically unrealistic narcissism in their offspring? You know, the same parents who also mistakenly think that playing soccer with their kids is more loving than letting their kids decide on their own what they want to play... with other kids?!

Why do they do it, all this boundary-less over-involvement and baseless praise? What's the motivation in these parents to basically gut their children's realistic sense of self? Is it love?

Listen up - NO! Not at all.

Unconditional praise has nothing to do whatsoever with unconditional love.

Here's an excerpt from Acosta's article:

"Safety is everything to a child. It allows him to grow, to question, to create, to make mistakes, to actually become empowered, to learn and finally to understand the workings of the world so he can function and build new relationships outside the family. Unconditional praise or approval is, by definition, the absence of limits, standards and expectations. And if there are no limits for a child, there can be no safety."

Get it? What these parents are conditionally burdening their children with are the unmet, unworked-on needs from their own childhood, needs that as adults should be tended to through some intensive self-work, which I have said emphatically should be a prerequisite for parenting.

Happy Sunday!

And thank you, Judith Acosta.

And to all of you prospective parents who refuse to do the work on yourselves? Get a dog!

REPOST: RAISING A CHILD? HIRE A CARPENTER!

Here's a piece by Jeffrey Shaffer that was on the Huffington Post entitled:"We're Being Bad: Are Mom And Dad To Blame?"

Here we go again, on the nature versus nurture debate! My position? Well, first of all, it's both - nature and nurture - and yes, there are constitutional and soul factors (and soul-age factors) at work in a child's emerging personality, but of this there is no doubt: parents are the least qualified of all adults to raise children!

You need a license to drive a car, a degree to teach elementary school, time as an apprentice to become a carpenter, but to become a parent, all you have to do is get pregnant, or get someone pregnant, and voila! Instant parent, almost unilaterally in charge of another human being's mental, emotional and physical development and well-being, even if you have absolutely no clue, even if you're a completely off-the-scale borderline personality, even if you're the Octomom! And as if the lack of qualifications wasn't a big enough problem, there's the psychological reality (what Freud referred to as the "child is father to the man" syndrome) that parents inevitably dump transferences, projections and identifications onto their children's shoulders, unless of course, they've done a lot of serious self-work before they have a child and... well, don't get me started on how often that happens.

Oh, and in case any objecting parents want to claim that "love" is a qualification for being a parent, I refer you to famed psychologist, Bruno Bettleheim's landmark book, "LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH."

It's not.

HEALING THE PART OF ME THAT CREATED DONALD LEVIN!

“I had to train myself not to get too interested in their problems, and not to get sidetracked trying to be a semi-therapist.”
DR. DONALD LEVIN (a psychiatrist whose practice no longer includes talk therapy)

The quote above, from an article in the NY Times yesterday, illustrates quite simply why I rarely refer to myself as a therapist anymore. Not because I am like Dr. Levin, not at all, but rather because I don't want to be associated with the same profession as him. Anyone who's been reading this blog for a while knows that I deplore the way drugging patients, including children, has taken over what was once supposed to be a healing profession.

Here's an excerpt from the Times piece:

"Like many of the nation’s 48,000 psychiatrists, Dr. Levin, in large part because of changes in how much insurance will pay (or not pay), no longer provides talk therapy, the form of psychiatry popularized by Sigmund Freud that dominated the profession for decades. Instead, he prescribes medication, usually after a brief consultation with each patient. Trained as a traditional psychiatrist at Michael Reese Hospital, a sprawling Chicago medical center that has since closed, Dr. Levin, 68, first established a private practice in 1972, when talk therapy was in its heyday. Then, like many psychiatrists, he treated 50 to 60 patients in once- or twice-weekly talk-therapy sessions of 45 minutes each. Now, like many of his peers, he treats 1,200 people in mostly 15-minute visits for prescription adjustments that are sometimes months apart. Then, he knew his patients’ inner lives better than he knew his wife’s; now, he often cannot remember their names. Then, his goal was to help his patients become happy and fulfilled; now, it is just to keep them functional."

I made my bones as a young social worker during the Carter Administration, a time when psychotherapy and helping individuals empower themselves through inner work was respected and supported by government. That all changed in 1980 when Ronald Reagan, as truly clueless a person who ever sat in the Oval Office, became president. Within literal moments, "The Gipper" dismantled funding for every aspect of psychotherapeutic treatment, even for psychotic patients who needed long term residential therapy. The results were a boon for pharmaceutical companies and the sudden appearance of thousands of homeless psychiatric patients living on the streets.

Those days, the early 1980's, are what's chronicled in my television series, "City Rock." During the Reagan years, the streets of New York became an apocalyptic landscape of homelessness, drug addiction, crime and despair, while simultaneously, Reagan's deregulation of Wall Street, banks and big business led to huge bubbles in the stock market and real estate markets, bubbles, like the champagne that flowed so readily with the plentiful cocaine, that only the wealthy and connected could partake in.

Cut to the end of the Decade of Greed, and "Frank Cello" (now pursuing New Age spiritualism as fervently as he had once pursued the Bella Blu Stars in the Gramercy Park Softball League) came to understand that all things (even the election of Ronald Reagan) occur for a reason. And that reason is our evolution. Cello (me in my early 30's) began pursuing not only his own self-actualization through "talking therapy," but as a guide for others, he began changing the way he practiced therapy. It had to include the soul, and the Universe at large, and the realization that one person at a time shifting their consciousness and energy field to a higher vibration (ala the "Hundredth Monkey" effect) was the way to contribute to the evolution of the human race.

So, in this new millennia, I let go of my old profession, just like I've continued to let go of old identities. And I let go of the Donald Levin's of the world by healing the part of me that created him.

YOU CAN DIET... OR YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR VIBRATION! WHICH DO YOU CHOOSE?!

This is hot off the 4th Dimensional Press!

Channeled by Wendy Kennedy on The Wave of accelerations to come in 2011, this little gem of a passage below is about how we can make changes in our bodies ("vehicles") in the year that's just begun by becoming heart-centered.

Take a breath, open your heart and check it out:

"2011 is to be a year of significant change. One of those changes will be that you can leave behind the notion that your vehicle [body] is 'real.' Your body is, in fact, a projection of your vibrational state, which can be shifted as you shift at the energetic level. Many of you try to work from the body level to shift your energies, and to heal your bodies. In the past you were able to make some adjustments at the physical level to get your frequency up to make small changes at the energetic level, but that's no longer going to be effective. Now, you're going to need to go straight to the template, straight to the energetic level to really alter your patterns, heal your bodies and make divine changes. In order to find perfect health and balance, it's simply about letting go of all judgment, about seeing everything from a neutral vantage point. It's not positive; it's not negative. It just is. When you get to that level of perception, you're able to transform your reality very, very quickly, including your physical body, which is designed to live for hundreds of years! Your body is very easily altered by shifting frequency. The mind and your beliefs make it very difficult, but when you get heart-centered, that's when you're really able to transform yourself."

Okay, still breathing? Good. Then, just throw out all of what you have been conditioned to believe - in fact, throw out all of your beliefs, period - and then do whatever it takes for you to let go of your judgments and live from your heart!

Ha! Sounds too easy, huh? Well, I hear you, and you're right, sort of. You can't fake it, that's the thing. So, you may need some guidance, some support to surface and challenge those beliefs and judgments you've been holding all these years, and you will definitely need some "coaching" and coaxing to reconnect to those suppressed emotions clogging up your heart, but you can do it. You just have to choose.

And what the hell, it's better than dieting!

AND MY FAVORITE REJECTIONS YOU GOTTA LOVE QUOTE!

"Guitar groups are on the way out and the Beatles have no future in show business."
(Decca Records after auditioning the Fab Four)

REPOST: ADDICTED TO ANXIETY?!

This is a subject that is somewhat difficult to grapple with. When I propose to people I see for therapy that their anxiety is something they're attached to - out of familiarity, for the adrenaline rush, as a distraction from other feelings - the usual responses go something like: "But I hate feeling like this!" It's not pleasurable at all!"

Nonetheless, an addiction to anxiety is very real, and a very real dilemma for a lot of people, just like an addiction to intensity is. (See this very good Pathwork Guide Lecture on that subject)

Here's a link to an article on this very subject by Casey Schwartz, a graduate of Brown University with a Masters Degree in psychodynamic neuroscience from University College London.

And here's some excerpts:

"Considering that anxiety makes your palms sweat, your heart race, your stomach turn somersaults, and your brain seize up like a car with a busted transmission, it's no wonder people reach for the Xanax to vanquish it. But in a surprise, researchers who study emotion regulation—how we cope, or fail to cope, with the daily swirl of feelings—are discovering that many anxious people are bound and determined (though not always consciously) to cultivate anxiety. The reason, studies suggest, is that for some people anxiety boosts cognitive performance, while for others it actually feels comforting."

“Some people get addicted to feeling anxious because that’s the state that they’ve always known. If they feel a sense of calm, they get bored.”

"Wanting to feel an emotion is not the same thing as enjoying that emotion, points out neuroscientist Kent Berridge of the University of Michigan, who discovered that wanting and liking are mediated by two distinct sets of neurotransmitters."

Hey, folks, try to relax!

DIVORCE - FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILDREN!!

I have been practically screaming about this for years, now. (Read some FPL articles on this HERE... HERE... and HERE.)

One of the biggest lies ever told by modern parents is that they are "staying together for the kids." Read this article by David Wygant entitled: "CAN DIVORCE BE FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILDREN." It's on the Huffington Post.

Here are some excerpts: "Do you realize how children learn to love? They learn how to love a partner by watching their parents interact with each other. That is how children learn how to love. That is how children learn to communicate in relationships when they get older. If you and your spouse don't love each other, and you don't display love for one another, then that is what your child is going to learn about love and how to treat someone in a relationship as they move forward in life. How do you think we all got so screwed up in our interpersonal relationships? We got this screwed up because this is what we saw as kids. Some of us are really lucky to have amazing parents who were in love with each other. For many people, though, they were products of dysfunctional families in which they saw (and learned) these behaviors."

As I have said so often, in 30+ years of practicing therapy, I can count on one hand the number of people who've told me they wished their parents hadn't gotten divorced. On the other hand, I can't even count the number who've said they wished their parents had split up.

Folks, please stop lying about this. If you are not in love with your spouse and you are a parent, you are fucking your kids up royally. You are not staying together for them. You are staying together because you are a selfish coward. Get out!

MORE ON "GUT FEELINGS": IF MEDICAL RESEARCHERS SAY IT, IT MUST BE TRUE!

Yep. They're saying so in a piece entitled: "'Knowing It In Your Gut' Is Real, Researchers Find" in the journal, MEDICAL NEWS TODAY.

I first taught a class on "Gut Feelings" - oohhh - twelve years ago? There was already an extensively detailed article published in the New York Times by Sandra Blakeslee even before that on the subject, but you know, when the medical establishment finally gets around to saying it's real, then hey... it must be so.

TODAY'S WHATEVER IT TAKES QUOTE!

"Life is not a spectator sport. If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life."
Jackie Robinson

On this day 64 years ago, April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
At first blush, it's shocking to think that only such a short time ago, the 3D world was so backwards, but then again...

SAY THIS 3 TIMES FAST: "WALCOTT WHIPS UP WAFFLES!"

I used to play softball with this guy! NYC Schools Chancellor, Dennis Walcott

THERE IS NO "GOOD" OR "BAD" - FREE BARRY BONDS!

The Universe holds these truths to be self-evident (if you really are open to knowing it):

We are all one. Linear time is an illusion. We create our own reality, individually and collectively.

Therefore, because we are all each other, because we will all always exist, and because we will all experience, at some level, everything and anything that we can imagine, there can be no "good" or "bad," no "right" or "wrong." There can only be creating and experiencing what we create. There can be preferences, and indeed many things that we experience as negative, painful, destructive, etc., are often not preferred, but nonetheless, whatever the choices, none are inherently "bad."

Which brings me to Barry Bonds.

On the baseball field, if you knew nothing else about his back story, he was the greatest baseball player who ever played the game. On paper, this is also true. Bonds' accomplishments, which may or may not have been facilitated to a major or minor degree at some point or another by chemistry, are simply and nonetheless truly astounding.

Here are the records Barry Bonds holds:

Home runs lifetime (762)
Home runs in a single season (73), 2001
Home runs against different pitchers (449)
Home runs since turning 40 years old (74)
Home runs in the year he turned 43 years old (28)
Consecutive seasons with 30 or more home runs (13), 1992–2004
Slugging percentage in a single season (.863), 2001
Slugging percentage in a World Series (1.294), 2002
Consecutive seasons with .600 slugging percentage or higher (8), 1998–2005
On-base percentage in a single season (.609), 2004
Walks in a single season (232), 2004
Intentional walks in a single season (120), 2004
Consecutive games with a walk (18)
MVP awards (7—closest competitors trail with 3), 1990, 1992–93, 2001–04
Consecutive MVP awards (4), 2001–04
National League Player of the Month selections (13—2nd place: 8 - Frank Thomas; 2nd place (N.L.) - George Foster, Pete Rose and Dale Murphy)
Oldest player (age 38) to win the National League batting title (.370) for the first time, 2002

Here are the records he shares:

Consecutive plate appearances with a walk (7)
Consecutive plate appearances reaching base (15)[175]
Tied with his father, Bobby, for most seasons with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases (5) and are the only father-son members of the 30–30 club
Home runs in a single post-season (8), 2002

Here are a "few" other distinctions to his name:

5-time SF Giants Player of the Year (1998, 2001–04)
7-time Baseball America NL All-Star (1993, 1998, 2000–04)
3-Time Major League Player of the Year (1990, 2001, 2004)
3-Time Baseball America MLB Player of the Year (2001, 2003–04)
8-Time Gold Glove winner for NL Outfielder (1990–94, 1996–98). As of the 2009 season, he is the last left fielder to win a Gold Glove in the National League.
12-Time Silver Slugger winner for NL Outfielder (1990–94, 1996–97, 2000–04)
14-time All-Star (1990, 1992–98, 2000–04, 2007)
3-Time NL Hank Aaron Award winner (2001–02, 2004)
Listed at #6 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, the highest-ranked active player, in 2005.
Named a finalist to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999, but not elected to the team in the fan balloting.
Rating of 352 on Baseball-Reference.com's Hall of Fame monitor (100 is a good HOF candidate);[176] 9th among all hitters, highest among hitters not in HOF yet.
Only the second player to twice have a single-season slugging percentage over .800, with his record .863 in 2001 and .812 in 2004. Babe Ruth was the other, with .847 in 1920 and .846 in 1921.
Became the first player in history with more times on base (376) than official times at bats (373) in 2004. This was due to the record number of walks, which count as a time on base but not a time at-bat. He had 135 hits, 232 walks, and 9 hit-by-pitches for the 376 number.
With his father Bobby (332, 461), leads all father-son combinations in combined home runs (1,094) and stolen bases (975), respectively through September 26, 2007.
Played minor league baseball in both Alaska and Hawaii. In 1983, he played for the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks in the Alaska Baseball League,[12] and in 1986, he played for the Hawaii Islanders in the Pacific Coast League.
One of only six Pittsburgh Pirates to ever be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The other five are Willie Stargell (twice), Roberto Clemente, Harry Walker, Dick Groat, and Frank Thomas.[177] He is one of ten San Francisco Giants to appear on the cover, along with Kelly Downs, Rick Reuschel, Willie Mays (nine times), Alvin Dark, Juan Marichal, Will Clark, Tim Lincecum (twice), Brian Wilson, and Buster Posey. He has appeared as the main subject on the cover eight times in total; seven with the Giants and once with the Pirates. He has also appeared in an inset on the cover twice. He is the most recent Pirate player to appear on the cover.


Here's another distinction that became part of Barry Bonds' legacy just today:

He was found guilty of obstruction of justice for lying to Federal Prosecutors about his use of performance-enhancing steroids.

In an article in the Huffington Post by Buzz Bissinger entitled: Barry Bonds' Federal Steroids Case Was a Travesty, the case is made for why this case shouldn't have been made.

Buzz very succinctly illuminates the blatant hypocrisy of all involved in the prosecution and persecution of Bonds. In an era when most major league franchise owners passively encouraged performance-enhancing drugs, and a vast majority of players used them, Bonds was singled out by a zealous IRS agent-turned-prosecutor because a. Bonds was the biggest fish; and b. nobody liked Barry Bonds. He was unfriendly and surly and as Buzz Bissinger points out:

"Bonds is the ultimate cautionary tale of what happens when you don’t care if you are liked and go against the grain of the Field of Dreams image of baseball, which has as much merit as heavily recruited high-school football players going to college because they want to major in molecular biology."

So, why am I writing about this? Because when we really don't want to connect to or acknowledge our oneness, when we don't want to accept that we create our own reality, and when we live in fear of the passage of time, we accumulate despair, and when we seek to do an end run around despair, we become "moral." Or more accurately, "moralizers." We look to excoriate those who appear to be "worse off" than us in some way or we seek to bring down those who appear to be "better off" than us in some way - stronger, richer, more creative, etc.

Look, folks... sports, like politics, is one of the ultimate expressions of duality, the false 3D notion that there are opposite sides to everything, teams, as it were, enemies to be defeated, winners and losers. With winning, then, at such a premium, is it surprising that athletes and their sponsors will do whatever it takes, rules be damned, toward that end? Of course not.

If we were all consciously connected to our oneness, we would be playing kadima, a game in which two players try to keep a ball in the air with paddles. It is a challenging game, requiring skill and stamina, but one in which each of the players are working towards the same goal. Imagine that. Athletes playing a sport without an opponent.

Build it and they will come.

"Is Political Conservatism a Mild Form of Insanity?"

No joke. Check out the research article referenced in Psychology Today.

For a few years now I've been saying that racism is a psychiatric disorder, and let me not be politically correct and instead be honest in also saying that the baseline common denominator of "political conservatism" is racism.

We're never going to solve problems in 3D if we don't at least start by calling things what they are.

So, say it: "Racism is a psychiatric disorder."

Okay.

STILL MORE REJECTIONS YOU GOTTA LOVE QUOTES!

"A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make."
Rejection letter to Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields' Cookies.

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"I have as much authority as the Pope; I just don't have as many people who believe it."
George Carlin



 

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