TODAY'S QUOTE!


"I awoke, only to find that the rest of the world
is still asleep."
Leonardo DaVinci

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"He who loves love, loves."
St. Dominic

Repost: REMEMBER PETE BEST!

I'm reading a book right now called "THE WISDOM OF NO ESCAPE," by Pema Chodron. The book starts out like this:

"There's a common misunderstanding... that the best way to live is to try to avoid pain and just try to get comfortable."

One of the things the book is about is "saying yes to life," which includes saying yes to all of our feelings, including sadness and pain. It reminds me of something that I say often to people in a different way - that being tired, being sick, having issues to be worked on is not an excuse for not living your life and doing what you really love to do.

This in turn reminds me of Pete Best, the original drummer for the Beatles before Ringo Starr. Ever hear of him? Exactly. Pete was in the band right before they were discovered and hit the big, BIG time.

How it happened was Pete called in sick for a 2-week stint that fateful year, and Ringo sat in for him... and, you know, the rest is history.

Whew! Pete calls in sick. Ringo subs for him. Beatles get discovered with Ringo. Ringo becomes Ringo, and Pete best is... well, Pete Best.

Do your thing, folks. Do what you really want to do, what you came here to do. Take care of yourself, yes, love yourself, yes, but don't wallow or squander the preciousness of who you are.

Repost: I NEED MY PAIN!

In one of the STAR TREK movies, the fifth one I think, "THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY," there was a rogue Vulcan who could use his mental powers to relieve a person of all their psychic pain. He could take away your long-held grief or chronic fears or self-doubt with one simple Vulcan mind meld. Quite desirable, yes? Not to Captain Kirk. Nope. He refused the treatment, defiantly saying: "I need my pain!"

Kirk goes onto to explain to his weaker comrades that our pain is part of who we are.

Kirk: "Pain and guilt can't be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken away!"

Well, Kirk does border on the masochistic there, and from my perspective, he still needs to work on his psychopathy, but his point is well-taken, nonetheless. Avoiding feeling pain (or having it "magically" - i.e. falsely - taken away by drugs or distractions) does not serve our life purpose, which is to become fully ourselves.

This morning, I found an excellent piece on the Huffington Post on this subject entitled:
"Pema Chodron: Reality Hurts? Relax. Use Your Discomfort." by Jesse Kornbluth

Here's a great quote from it:

"Life is hard. Don't wait until you 'get it together' to work at being your best self."

I have said this to many people many, many times. Our issues, our "problems," our pain and fears, do not have to stop us from having an evolving and expansive life and doing what we love to do. In fact, our problems are not our problem. Our judgments of our problems are our problem.

Including our judgments about our pain and fear.

Many of us react reflexively to pain, sadness or fear, as if their presence in our body or psyche automatically means something "bad" is happening. But no. Nature built in the capacity to feel those feelings, just as our ability to feel joy and pleasure are innate and instinctual. We have tear ducts, remember? There are times when we need to cry to release a build-up of sadness from a loss, for example. It's totally natural to do so, as natural as needing to urinate from a build-up of fluid in our kidneys.

Likewise, pain forces us to focus on a part of our body or a part of our emotional life that requires attention. Again, nothing bad is happening.

And as far as "getting it all together" before proceeding to seek out the love, abundance and creative expression you desire? Forget it! You'll never be perfect... because you're alive! Perfection is an illusory, static state, not real and not attainable, except to the degree that you can realize that you are already perfect in your imperfection!

Remember, I'm not talking about passive masochism here, folks, or oral laziness. Accepting your pain is not the same as creating and attracting pain from a character structure, and relaxing is not the same as collapsing. Take action regardless of your current struggles is what I'm saying. You never have to be paralyzed.

As I laid out in my piece from my classes on character structures, at the core of our distortions are the gifts of our Higher Self that we came in with, that we're meant to actualize. (See ALL OUR HIGHER SELVES by PL)

I'll give the final word on that to Jesse K:

"What you hate about yourself is just the flip side of your specialness. Yeah, your life is an interesting, smelly, rich, fertile mess - and that's what makes you human."

ARE YOU REFUSING TO CASH IN YOUR LOTTERY TICKET? READ THIS: "THE BIG LEAP!"

I wrote about a must read book a while ago, THE BIG LEAP, by Gay Hendricks. It's all about what Hendricks calls "The Upper Limit Problem."

This is a very, very important subject for people who have already done some significant work on themselves, have accomplished a degree of self-awareness and emotional connectedness, and may be somewhat successful in the areas of love and work already, yet are nonetheless resisting taking that full leap into an even more complete and actualized new life, into what Hendricks calls "The Zone of Genius." This is a place that is beyond competence, even beyond excellence. It is a place of inspiration, where our abilities to love and create and experience life totally are so expanded that we actually fear it and want to put a lid on it - thus the "Upper Limit Problem."

In my post, JUMP INTO YOUR NEXT LIFE, I likened this syndrome to having the winning lottery ticket but refusing to cash it in. I am really glad to see this being written about in a book.

Here's an excerpt:

"What Is The Upper Limit Problem? The ULP is the human tendency to put the brakes on our positive energy when we've exceeded our unconscious thermostat setting for how good we can feel, how successful we can be, and how much love we can feel. The essential move we all need to master is learning to handle more positive energy, success and love. Instead of focusing on the past, we need to increase our tolerance for things going well in our lives right now. If we don't learn how to do this, we suffer in every area of our lives."

This subject is also addressed quite eloquently in a Pathwork Guide Lecture: THE GREAT TRANSITION IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

The Guide talks about our resistance to becoming fully happy, even though we have done so much work to attain that very happiness. It's almost like we never really expected that the hard self-work we've done would actually work! OOPS!!

Here's the Guide:

"At the very beginning of this path you learned to recognize your faults, your weaknesses and your shortcomings on the most superficial and obvious level. This recognition was not easy, because you were untrained and unused to any kind of self-observation and self-honesty. From that stage onward you learned to explore deeper levels and find the greater subtleties of your nature.
The second major phase of this path dealt with your complexes, your images, misconceptions, and your unconscious confusions and conflicts.
Now comes a third major phase on this path. For those of you who have already gained an overall understanding about your inner problems... and how the human soul struggles against this! How afraid it is to leave a state of unhappiness for a state of happiness and security! How foolish of you to fear, deep within your hearts, that in leaving the old world and attaining the new you have to leave something precious behind."

Check out the book and take the Big Leap, folks.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "GOOD-BYE, G-SPOT!!"

"Without a doubt, a discreet anatomic entity called the G-spot does not exist."
So says Dr. Amichai Kilchevsky, a urology resident at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, and lead author of the review, published Jan. 12 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Well, there you have it, folks.

You know that special internal spot in women that loves to be massaged in a deliciously rhythmic way, either by fingers, lingam or battery-operated toys?

Doesn't exist! That's what the scientists say.

And those amazing orgasms women sometimes have if and when those spots are massaged just right?

Just your imagination!

Oh, yeah and did you know that the sun revolves around the Earth?

YOUR ORGASM IS IN YOUR STRIDE! (PREVIOUSLY POSTED AS: "HOW YOU CUM IS HOW YOU ROLL!")

Alexander Lowen, originator of Bioenergetic Therapy and coiner of the term "body language," famously said: "The body never lies."

I knew from a young age that Lowen was right. Perhaps because it was a calling in me to ultimately become a therapist who worked bioenergetically, I would notice, even as a kid, that people's body types, posture, facial expressions, etc., always revealed something about their personalities. As an adult, when sexuality and such things mattered significantly, I also realized with a fair amount of certainty that I could assess a person's sexual vitality simply by scanning their body and energy field.

Well, a recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine was written about in an article entitled: "What A Woman's Face And Walk Reveal About Her Sex Life And Family Plans."

Here's an excerpt:

"When it comes to sex, a lady never tells. But according to a recent study, simply walking across the road could be enough to give away her sexual prowess. Belgian scientists believe they've found the key to guessing how many orgasms a woman has had - and apparently it's all in her gait. The research suggests the more 'energetic and free' a woman's walk, the more orgasms she's experienced in the bedroom. 'A woman's experience of vaginal orgasm may be discerned from a gait that comprises fluidity, energy, sensuality, freedom, and absence of both flaccid and locked muscles,' conclude the two professors of sexology. The researchers questioned a small group of women about their sexual behaviour. They were then observed from a distance as they walked in a public space. Their movements were then analysed by two sexology professors, who were unaware of the women's sexual background. The study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Unfortunately, if a woman has a 'stiff' walk, it could mean that she's more refrained when it comes to sex."

Of course, this all applies to men as well, but the bottom line here, folks, is that you can judge a book by its cover when it comes to sexual energy and personality because it is perfectly on display in the body language of the person. That is why you still need to meet a potential date in person before you can decide if they live up to their profile on-line.

And it's not about what size the hips, butts or noses are, or the amount of cellulite for that matter. It's about the energy flow.

As I've written about many times on this blog, sexual energy is the most potent force in the human physical form, and it is extraordinary in its ability to revitalize, energize and even heal whatever ails you.

Have a great weekend!

REPOST: "FEAR IS EXCITEMENT WITHOUT THE BREATH!!"

That quote was from Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt therapy.

And it's a beauty!

So, what does it mean?

Well, when explaining this to patients, I'll usually start by describing what happens in the body when we are excited or exhilarated: adrenalin starts pumping. This serves to focus your attention on the pleasurable circumstance by heightening the senses, encouraging your body and mind to continue moving towards the pleasure. Cool, right?

Yes, but... fear also causes adrenaline to be secreted, so that in situations of actual danger, your senses will be on high alert, enabling you to quickly engage in a fight or flight response. Unfortunately, because of early life experiences and associations, we can mistakenly react to pleasure as if it were something frightening. This is so embedded in us that is almost at the level of a reflex, and therefore, almost impossible to control.

Almost.

There is one action that can decrease the fear reaction in the body, and it sounds so simple or cliche as to almost be unbelievable - breathe. Yep. A few deep breaths can reduce the fear state and actually bring you back to the pleasurable feelings.

Here's Gay Hendricks from his book, THE BIG LEAP, a good read for every advanced student of happiness:

"When scared, most of us have a tendency to try to get rid of the feeling. We think we can get rid of it by denying or ignoring it, and we use holding our breath as a physical tool of denial. It never works, though, because the less breath you feed your fear, the bigger your fear gets."

I believe that the breathing works because adrenaline needs to be used quickly and discharged through action, and if you actually don't have to discharge the energy by fighting or running away, you can discharge the excess hormonal energy through deep breathing. In other words, breathing through your fear is meant to be taken literally as an antidote to fear, and a way to get back to pleasure.

WHO WOULD CUT OFF THEIR HEALTHY BREASTS?!

Breathe.

Then think about it.


Then read a description HERE of the Psychopathic Character Structure.


Understand a few things - having a Psychopathic Character Structure doesn't automatically mean you're a serial killer or a gangster or some other kind of "sociopath." Sociopathy is a particular subdivision of psychopathy at the extreme end of the scale of this structure. Many human beings in socially acceptable occupations are psychopaths. Nonetheless, even those people with this personality distortion who may never commit a legal crime are capable of doing heinous things... like cutting off a pair of healthy breasts.



Every person I've ever known with a primary character structure that is psychopathic has an extraordinary fear of death. Extreme emotional numbing, which is the main defensive process that distinguishes psychopathy from the other character structures, leaves one incapable of experiencing the fullness of life. This is why psychopaths are known for craving intensity and drama and "larger than life" experiences. 

Not feeling fully alive is what leads to a fear of death, because no one wants to die numb. 

One of the major legal crimes committed by our medical establishment is the drugging of so many peopleeuphemistically called "pain management" - in the final stages of their lives. This reckless use of power has sadly made dying in a state of numbness the norm for so many. 

Another heinous crime, the one now making for all the tabloid headlines, is calling the drug, slash and burn atrocities of mainstream medicine "healing" or "life-saving." 

Really, Doc?! 

Removing healthy body parts in anticipation of a possible future illness is the best you've got? 


Folks, look, first of all, the body never lies. (See "The Truth About Everything, Part Five")


This is an excerpt from the Psychopathic Character Structure chart:


"BODY STATUS

- Body is “designed” to serve the purposes of dominating or seducing and can take almost any form, following whatever main image the person is primarily attached to (i.e.- athletic and powerful, youthful and innocent, sexual and alluring); generally, however, there are two types of body formations typical of this character structure:
1. The “overpowering type” which is inflated on top, “blown-up” looking, with a barreled chest, broad shoulders, and large head, while rigid and small in the pelvis, with small buttocks and thin legs, particularly the calves; or 2. The “seductive type” which is inflated in the pelvis (but numb to feelings there), with broad hips and hyperflexibility in the back, while deflated and immature in the chest area;
- Armoring is particularly marked in the chest, diaphragm, legs and shoulders;
- Eyes are highly charged, often large, and frequently gleaming or sparkling; in the dominating type, the eyes are penetrating and compelling; in the seductive type, they are soft and intriguing, cunning, dreamy or sleepy looking (“Bette Davis eyes”);
- Often, there is a pronounced split (correlates to a lack of integrity in the personality) between the head and the body (mature body, with a small child-like face and head, or visa versa); this split is facilitated by severe tension at the base of the skull and in the shoulder girdle, which holds the head tightly in place (“I must never lose my head.”);
- Arms tend to be immobilized and away from the body (due to the inflated chest and severe shoulder girdle tensions);
- Feet tend to be “pulled off the ground” and may be small; calves and thighs may be short and thin, even when the torso is heavy;
- Physical illnesses are often not felt or manifested until late in life due to extreme willfulness and numbness (later life problems may be in the hips, prostate, pelvis in general, or the heart);
- Spine may be twisted or fused and immobile;
- Chronic areas of tension: base of the skull, shoulder girdle, chest and rib cage, including the diaphragm, waist and abdominal muscles (which are often hard and clenched to pull sexual energy away from genitals), pelvic area in general, genitals specifically."


See anybody you recognize there? 


Secondly, the actions of a person both follow the body and control and create the form the body takes. This is also from the Psychopathic Character Structure chart:


"OPERATING MODES OF THE MIND, EMOTIONS AND WILL

- The will is powerfully exerted to control others and to control feelings; feelings are alive in the body, however, but denied recognition by the mind;
- Feelings and the body are denigrated and not trusted, so neither are the external senses; therefore only what’s in one’s head, only one’s own ideas in the moment, are treated as valid and real;
- Power rather than pleasure is sought from life;
- The mind is the servant of the will in this structure, so reasoning can be dramatically inconsistent, though capable of brilliance; arguing both sides of a situation or mixing lies with truth is common if it suits a manipulative purpose to gain power or be “right”; one’s own lies are often believed; there is also a tendency to poor judgement and an inability to learn from mistakes;
- Pain is numbed, and genuine feelings are denied, but dramatic emotionality and false feelings are acted out to achieve some purpose, like intimidation or seduction;
- Fear of being wrong or of submitting to the will of others is extreme and is powerfully denied;
- Intuitive capacities of the mind are formidable, with very strong abilities to read what is going on inside of other people, although the understanding of the meaning of what is going on is often very distorted."


Here's a an excerpt from a piece by Daniela Drake, MD, in today's Daily Beast entitled: "Why I’m Not Having a Preventive Mastectomy"

"My genetics suggest a high risk of cancer, like Angelina Jolie. But I’m not convinced that preventive surgery is a good idea. This is supposed to be patient-centered care. But it feels more like system-centered care: the medical equivalent of a car wash. I’m told incomplete and inaccurate information to shuttle me toward surgery; and I’m not being listened to."

Read Dr. Richard Schulze's take on this matter HERE. Here's an excerpt from the herbalist himself:


"And I am telling you right now, that in a decade or two, surgically cutting off healthy breasts because someone tests positive for the BRCA1 gene will be seen as a huge horrific medical mistake."


Duh.

WANT TO GENERATE CREATIVE WORK? TAKE A WALK!

"If you're trying to generate creative work, you should really consider taking a daily walk."

That's a quote from an article in Slate Magazine on several creative geniuses who relied on long walks to free up their creativity. While the article is mainly descriptive, and doesn't offer much in the way of deep dynamics, it touches on something that I regularly prescribe to the people I work with - TAKE A WALK!


Just as I often recommend taking a nap to refresh the body and soul, and recommend writing in a journal to keep in touch with one's inner life, I equally suggest walking as a way of grounding the body energetically. Putting one's feet on the ground (barefoot is especially good) and moving the body gently through walking almost immediately reduces anxiety and clears the head of repetitive thoughts. Naturally, that process then makes room for creativity to flow through the mind and body.


Spring is here, folks. Get off the couch. Shake off the winter blahs, breathe, absorb some Vitamin D... and take a walk!

REPOST: ERIK ERIKSON ON THE STAGES OF ADULTHOOD!

This is from Erikson's famous work: The "EIGHT STAGES OF THE LIFE CYCLE." It was rare that psychologists wrote about adulthood in the same way that the stages of childhood were explored in such depth by so many. Yet, we do not stop developing once we reach adulthood, which Carl Jung once said doesn't really occur until we are around 40 years old, and since fifty is the new forty, well... it's probably not too late for most of my readers to become adults!

Following are excerpts from Erikson's book about the three stages of adulthood, as he saw it, that I used for a class I taught on adulthood.

"6. Intimacy and Distantiation Versus Self-Absorption – It is only after a reasonable sense of identity has been established that real intimacy with others can be possible. The youth who is not sure of his or her identity shies away from interpersonal intimacy, and can become, as an adult, isolated or lacking in spontaneity, warmth or the real exchange of fellowship in relationship to others; but the surer the person becomes of their self, the more intimacy is sought in the form of friendship, leadership, love and inspiration. The counterpart to intimacy is distantiation, which is the readiness to repudiate those forces and people whose essence seems dangerous to one’s own.
7. Generativity Versus Stagnation – Generativity is primarily the interest in establishing and guiding the next generation, although there are people who, from misfortune or because of special gifts in other directions, do not apply this drive to offspring but to other forms of altruistic concern and creativity which may absorb their kind of parental responsibility. This is a stage of growth of the healthy personality, and where such enrichment fails, regression from generativity to an obsessive need for pseudo intimacy takes place, often with a pervading sense of stagnation and interpersonal impoverishment. The mere fact of having, or even wanting children does not itself attest to generativity.
8. Integrity Versus Despair and Disgust – Only a person who has in some way taken care of things and people and has adapted to the triumphs and disappointments of being the originator of others and the generator of things and ideas – only that person may gradually grow the fruit of the [prior] seven stages. [The state of] integrity is the acceptance of one’s own life cycle and of the people who have become significant to it as something that had to be and that, by necessity, permitted of no substitutions. It thus means a new, different love of one’s parents, free of the wish that they had been different, and an acceptance of the fact that one’s life is one’s own responsibility. It is a sense of comradeship with men and women of distant times and of different pursuits who have created orders and objects and sayings conveying human dignity and love. The possessor of integrity is ready to defend the dignity of his or her own lifestyle, knowing that an individual life is the…coincidence of but one life cycle with but one segment of history, and that all integrity stands and falls with the one style of integrity of which he or she partakes. Lack or loss of this accrued integration is signified by despair and often an unconscious fear of death. Despair expresses the feeling that time is short, too short for the attempt to start a new life and to try out alternate roads to integrity. Such a despair is often hidden behind a show of disgust, or a chronic contemptuousness. Integrity, therefore, implies an emotional integration which permits participation by followership as well as acceptance of the responsibility of leadership."

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

There's a very interesting short piece on happiness versus pleasure by Steve Ross (famous yoga instructor) and Olivia Rosewood (spiritual writer) called: "How to Find True Happiness."
Most of the article is about what happiness isn't, rather than what it is or how to attain it, but nonetheless the authors make some worthy points.

Here's one:

"Pleasure comes from getting what you want: for example food, good sex, clothes, etc. But pleasure is short-lived and fickle. It lasts for as long as it lasts--a few hours at best. And then it's gone. Pleasure is fleeting. However true happiness is inexhaustible and permanent."

Yes. I frequently tell people that if they attempt to rest their sense of happiness on the attainment of "goals," for example, their time spent happy will only be a matter of moments - when the goals are actually achieved - whereas if they find happiness in the process that leads up to the attainment of the goals, their happy time will be much more substantial.

Here's more from Ross and Rosewood:

"Pleasure and pain are two sides of the same coin. One never goes anywhere without the other, and they alternate. You may eat, but you'll be hungry again. You're lonely, then you're in love, then you're lonely, then you're in love. Then you're lonely and in love at the same time (and hopefully writing country western songs). Love and hate, war and peace, hot and cold, success and failure, rich and poor, and on and on. But true happiness transcends the pleasure/pain principle."

Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, who coined that term, "pleasure principle," says it this way:

"The primordial or initial principle of life is the pleasure principle. The aim of the pleasure principle is to rid the person of tension, or if this is impossible, to reduce the amount of tension to a low level. Tension is experienced as pain or discomfort, while relief from tension is experienced as pleasure or satisfaction. The aim of the pleasure principle may be said, then, to consist of avoiding pain and finding pleasure."

Okay, so according to Ross and Rosewood and Dr. Freud, pleasure comes from the momentary gratification of a desire and the momentary elimination of pain. But where does happiness come from?

Back to you, R & R:

"Happiness is in you, it is you, and it's not coming from an external source. Happiness doesn't come from the objects of satisfaction, it comes from you. This is where many people are erroneous in their perception, and also why people stress out, worry, and suffer: They believe happiness is out there...somewhere."

Beautiful! HAPPINESS IS US! I love it! It's us, and it's in us, not "out there." Right! "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." When I was a kid, sitting in church, I used to listen very carefully, not to what the priests and nuns were saying, because that was mostly controlling, scary, arrogant bullshit, but I'd focus on the actual words that Jesus was saying. He was saying that Heaven was inside of us, not up in the sky somewhere that you have to die to get to. No. "Within you." Woah!

So, then, what's the road to happiness? It is the road to the self. It is finding, within, and then being our true selves on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis. In other words, happiness comes from uncovering and connecting to ourselves, not from the pleasure of attaining the satisfaction of our desires or from avoiding pain, both of which are excellent goals, mind you, just not the source of happiness.

Needless to say (But I always say it anyway!), we're back to the need for some kind of self-work if we've lost our way and disconnected from our true selves, and that self-work very often requires the help of some kind of guide (i.e. - in a full spectrum, mind-body-spirit process). But the good news is, when you do reach out for help, you can start feeling happier right away - again, because happiness isn't a goal, a "prize" at the end of a journey; happiness is a state you can be in while you're on your journey.

Alexander Lowen, the brilliant creator of Bioenergetics, explains it eloquently:

"The act of reaching out is itself the basis for the experience of happiness. Happiness is the feeling of being fully alive in the here and now, which means to be fully alive in the bodily sense. Happiness is more than the release of tension and the satisfaction of needs, though that is part of it. In happiness, the will recedes and the ego surrenders its rule over the body. Happiness cannot be possessed. One must give oneself over to the happiness, allow the happiness to take possession of one's being. To have happiness, one has to 'let go', that is, allow the body to respond freely."

Click here for a little meditation you could do on a daily basis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjnvSQuv-H4
 

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