Posted in Thoughts to think on this week

Thoughts to think on this week

Oh honey, I’m sorry. Were you expecting to sit out there in your big, pretty house and wait for someone to drop off a bag of cash? (Give me your body by Catherine Chung)

What thoughts did this quote bring up in you?

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Posted in Thoughts to think on this week

Thoughts to think on this week

[In 2017, I attended two writing classes. This year, we’ll think on some thoughts from those classes.]

It was like a flamingo living in the house; it’s very beautiful and rare but it doesn’t really fit anywhere. (Speak Memory by Casey Newton)

Do you have any flamingos in your life? What will you do about this year?

Posted in holiday, self-improvement

New Year’s Eve

The late Rev. Dr. King, once spoke to a Junior High School in Philadelphia where he asked them this question: “what is your life’s blueprint”? He went on to suggest three elements for creating one, he said you must:

1) Have a deep belief in your own dignity— your life has ultimate value;

2) Achieve excellence in whatever you do; and,

3) Commit to the eternal principles of beauty, love, and justice.

As I ruminate over the past year, I hope that I shared a deep sense of self-dignity that I strived to be the best that I can be at all levels of work; and that I was committed to those same eternal principles valued in Dr. King’s blueprint by making a positive contribution to the betterment of the lives of others. I am a better person and my structure of life is improved by having similar people in my work and personal life; others who are working at having a great life blueprint of their own. Sometimes I think I never say “thank you” enough for improving me and for the enormous value you add to life. This value, dedication, and commitment help me face any challenges that life may dole out. Your positive energy and commitment to finding beauty, love, and justice in your life and to help others find the same along the way lifts me up as you lift up others. Thank you all.

 

Cite: Thanks to Richard Rhodie for opening up this discussion.

Posted in holiday

Christmas Eve

If you stop to think about it, it is astounding that the simple unassuming birth of a peasant boy born over 2000 years ago in the Middle East caused such a commotion. His birthday causes people to decorate their homes, send out greeting cards, buy gifts, go to Christmas parties, attend church services, sing Christmas songs, watch TV specials, and travel long distances to be with their families. Christmas sights and sounds fill the air everywhere. There are stores and careers that are exclusively dedicated to preparing for and celebrating Christmas. It causes traffic jams in New York City, Tokyo, Rio de Janerio, and everyplace with a mall. Every time you check your calendar or refer to a date or write a date down, you are referencing this point in history. History has been divided as before and after this simple birth, BC and AD (before Christ and after the year of the Lord.) Every event in history is tied to this date, even your birthday.

Many years ago, I started adding a Happy Birthday Jesus cake to my holiday celebrations. It’s a simple and joyful reminder to take a moment to remember the reason for the season. What do you do to keep Christ in Christmas?

Cite: The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren

Posted in writing

A Pirate’s Life

A couple of months ago I watched the final (I assume) installment of Pirates of the Caribbean. Spoiler Alert if you haven’t watched it yet: It was a nice wrap up of the stories – the lover’s got back together, Jack got his ship back, and Barbosa got redemption. If you’ve watched the other films, you know that Barbosa was a pirate who was brought back to life and who, it seemed, had bested Jack Sparrow. However, in this film, Barbosa and Sparrow worked together; and at a pivotal point, Sparrow gave Barbosa the sword needed to save Barbosa’s daughter and to redeem Barbosa’s soul. As it was apparent that Barbosa gave his life, Jack Sparrow and all the other men gave tribute by saying – a pirate’s life.

Watching this segment of the movie made me think about so many of my friends who have already crossed over. Several of them died doing what they loved. One had a stroke while riding a motorcycle but managed to pull over safely. Another one had a brain aneurysm after spending the day with all her children and grandchildren. Another one worked until her 80s and then died a week later. Each of these people died their own ‘pirate’s life.’ Others were not so lucky. They were felled by illness and their deaths were passive – waiting for it.

What about you? Are you living your own pirate’s life so that when your moment comes, people can say the same of you? Do you want to? Or do you prefer a more passive lifestyle? What do you think are the pros and cons of each?

Posted in self-improvement

Working through depressive and critical thoughts

From last week’s blog, “Depression is so widespread that it is considered the common cold of psychiatric disturbances. Cognitive therapy (thought therapy) is mood modification that you can learn to apply on your own through Understanding, Self-Control, and Prevention & Personal Growth.” Some tools to assist:

  1. Cope, don’t mope – Recognize automatic, self-critical thoughts and turn them to rational self-defense responses. Example:
    1. Bob hates me.
    2. Bob doesn’t hate me, he was unhappy with today’s work product, but just last month gave me accolades in the team meeting for my work on the larger bigger project.

 

  1. Procrastination / do nothingness – being stuck because of
    1. Hopelessness is frozen pain
    2. Helplessness is victim theology
    3. Overwhelmed is task magnification
    4. Jumping to conclusion is I can’t, I would but…
    5. Self-labeling is inferiorism
    6. Undervaluing rewards is not experiencing satisfaction…thank you for the award but I really don’t deserve it
    7. Perfectionism is defeating yourself with inappropriate goals or standards
    8. Fear of failure is if I fail at this task, I fail at everything
    9. Fear of success
    10. Fear of disapproval or criticism
    11. Coercion /resentment
    12. Low frustration tolerance (this is mine)
    13. Guilt which is self-blame

How to fix it? – Learn to endorse yourself by visualizing success, counting what counts, and testing your can’ts.

 

  1. When someone is attacking you
    1. Be empathetic
    2. Use feedback and negotiation
    3. Use an anti-heckler technique

 

  1. When dealing with anger, cool hot thoughts by
    1. Imagining other thoughts
    2. Rewriting the rules (remember Captain Kirk)
    3. Learn to expect craziness
    4. Practice enlightened manipulation (just give up the anger, you don’t have to manage it if you just give it up; you don’t have to choose between holding it or letting it go if you don’t create it)
    5. Practice should reduction
    6. Practice negotiation strategies
      1. Compliment what s/he did right
      2. Disarm by finding a way to agree with him/her
  • Clarify your point of view calmly and firmly
  1. Practice accurate empathy

A final reminder – anger and depressive thoughts are created by your thoughts just like other emotions. Your feelings result from the meaning you give to the event, not the event itself. Thus, cool those thoughts. You are making yourself hurt. Do you want to keep it up?

Cite: Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns, M.D.