• Neurofeedback: A Primer

    One of my Twitter followers said she reads this blog, (which made me really happy,) and I asked her what she’d like me to blog about next, and she said “Neurofeedback. I want to know more.” Me too. I’m training and learning more all the time. Here’s the basics: Neurofeedback measures the bioelectrical current of(…)

  • The Hiddleston Experiment

    Some of you have been waiting, very patiently, for a neurofeedback project to materialize that involves Tom Hiddleston. It is very nearly complete, and I can’t think of a better time to release it than Valentine’s weekend, WHENEVER MY VOLUNTEERS CAN HELP ME FINISH IT WE WILL POST IT IMMEDIATELY. The whole of it centers(…)

  • Scripts

    What’s Good About This: Change Your Life For The Better-Forever The last two weeks have been life moving at high speed, while feeling like I’ve accomplished nothing. In truth, this is not accurate. I’ve gotten a lot done, but my mind tells me otherwise. I’m working on fixing it. It’s a script called, “I don’t(…)

  • Kindness

    What’s Good About This: Kind People, Being Kind to Yourself and Others Today was an incredibly long day. I got up early and took my dad to the doctor. We’ve known he’s needed a back surgery since…oh-October at least, but he is his own worst enemy when it comes to actually scheduling it, and following(…)

  • Happy Monday: It Could ALWAYS Be Worse

    What’s Good About This: Perspective Happy Monday. I don’t really have “Mondays” anymore, not like I used to, because I keep the hours I want and I am self-employed. I know, I am a blessed, lucky, and hard-working lady. But if you haven’t had your coffee yet, I bet the word “bitch” went off in(…)

  • New Look

    We’ve got a new look around here…I think I like it. A few tweaks and changes later, and I will love it. I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend. Wherever you are-whoever you are.  

  • The Desert Soulscape

    Having a connection to a landscape, whether real or imagined is a good thing. It’s a place where you can refresh yourself no matter what… This is about as loose and tangential as you’ll ever catch me-here anyway. Get me into a conversation…it’ll be miles long. No apologies. Sometimes, my soul longs for the desert.(…)

Neurofeedback: A Primer

One of my Twitter followers said she reads this blog, (which made me really happy,) and I asked her what she’d like me to blog about next, and she said “Neurofeedback. I want to know more.” Me too. I’m training and learning more all the time.

Here’s the basics:

Neurofeedback measures the bioelectrical current of your brain in real time, and gives you a readout of your brainwaves called an Electroencephalogram (EEG). Fancy way for saying “measuring the electricity your head puts out.”

There are different types of brainwaves, and depending on the type of neurofeedback equipment you’re using, as well as the monitoring programs, you can measure each type of brainwave to a greater or lesser degree, and in different fashions, to track what you are interested in.

The basic brainwaves  for our purposes, are as follows:

Delta

Theta

Low Alpha

High Alpha

Low Beta

High Beta

Low Gamma

High Gamma

Delta is typically associated with sleep, but you are putting out Delta even when you are awake, and it can also be associated with relaxation.

Theta is prominent in children, and less so in adults, although I find that particularly creative adults tend to produce more Theta waves, especially as they are imagining things. Theta waves in large quantities in adults can also be a cause for caution-they can be associated with addiction and poor impulse control.

Low Alpha and High Alpha are for relaxation. I know, it seems like Alpha should be for Attention, at least to me, anyway, but it isn’t. People with ADHD tend to produce pretty good Alpha waves-it’s like their minds are surfing, slipping from one thing to the next. Meditative states can often evoke Alpha waves, in addition to Gamma waves. Alpha is awake and relaxed, but not generally attentive.

Low and High Beta waves are for attention. People with ADHD tend to produce lower quantities of Beta waves, and many of the games they play are to train the brain to start producing Beta waves on command. One game I use to help people train their brain to produce Beta waves is virtual target practice. They are literally shooting arrows at a target with their minds. After awhile of someone doing virtual target practice, the brain WILL start to learn to pay attention when necessary.

Low and High Gamma waves-AHHH. Gamma. They’ve been around forever, but we haven’t been measuring them for long. In the world of neurofeedback, they are the newer waves being studied-and they are very cool, because they combine the best of Alpha and Beta. More specifically, they are the higher frequency brainwaves you produce. What’s great about gamma is that they indicate a person is both relaxed AND attentive. It’s a state of mind often found in people who are meditating. I’ve recently seen that gamma waves are found when people are feeling blissful, in love, or are very excited and passionate about something they are seeing or doing.

Any neurofeedback activity, whether focused on the promotion of attention, relaxation, or a combination, cannot hurt you. (At least the type I offer. There are some types of neurofeedback that involve flashing lights, which could induce a seizure. There is also a type of neuro I don’t offer called LENS, which adds a small electrical current to your brain to disrupt dysfunctional brainwave rhythms.) You really can’t say “no harm” or at worst, “no result” for many therapies, and you certainly can’t say that for medications, not that I am resistant to them. It’s just-why take medication if you don’t have to? One reason I brought neurofeedback into my office as a service is because I got really tired of seeing all these wonderful children on ADHD medications that will literally alter their brains for life, when I know that neurofeedback can literally cure ADHD. I’ve seen hundreds of children and adults go off ADHD medications or reduce them significantly because of neurofeedback.

A question I am asked frequently is “How long will this take?” The answer is, if you’re doing it 1x weekly, for an hour, for about 6 months-1 year. After 20 minutes of any neuro exercise, a process is called neuroplasticity/neuralplasticity (depending on who you’re talking to,) begins, and means that the brain is making permanent changes. The brain is opening up new neural pathways for focus, attention, or both. It’s learning. It’s healing itself. If you’re doing it more often, say 3x weekly, the process is much faster. It also depends on what you’re treating. Neurofeedback can treat almost anything. ADHD, PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury-the possibilities for it continue to grow, rather than shrink, especially as technology costs are reduced. You can get a neurofeedback set to use in your home with starter software for about $135. I recommend Neurosky for equipment and software. They even make apps, so you can take it with you and use neuro with your mobile headset and your tablet or phone. neurosky.com

One of the very best things about neurofeedback is that you get to see what kind of results you’re getting in response to a stimulus. For example, you don’t just feel that a song makes you pay attention or relax, you can see it. You can tell if your efforts at paying attention are paying off, because you’ll increase your scores, and get to higher game levels. I think it is immensely comforting to people to know how something is helping them, and to see a result. Neurofeedback renders the invisible and mysterious brain visible to us, and allows us to take control in ways we never have before.

The Hiddleston Experiment

Some of you have been waiting, very patiently, for a neurofeedback project to materialize that involves Tom Hiddleston.

It is very nearly complete, and I can’t think of a better time to release it than Valentine’s weekend, WHENEVER MY VOLUNTEERS CAN HELP ME FINISH IT WE WILL POST IT IMMEDIATELY. The whole of it centers around crushes, why we have them, and what they do to your brain. Especially if the crush is Tom.

Just putting on the finishing touches. COME ON. WE CAN DO THIS.

I hesitate to call it The Hiddleston Experiment, because it makes that sweet man sound like a lab rat, or a space monkey, but the name has stuck. “THE” is what it abbreviates to, and it is certainly THE most ambitious neurofeedback project we’ve embarked on so far. It is THE project of the moment.

And we’re going so many places after that. Fun places, musical places, video game places, imaginary places, interviewing fascinating people places.

Hang on. We’re almost there. Trust your Loki Lust.

selfie

Scripts

What’s Good About This: Change Your Life For The Better-Forever

The last two weeks have been life moving at high speed, while feeling like I’ve accomplished nothing.

In truth, this is not accurate. I’ve gotten a lot done, but my mind tells me otherwise. I’m working on fixing it. It’s a script called, “I don’t have enough time…”

Scripts are interesting things-and they are exactly what they sound like. They’re lines we’ve memorized, just as if we were in a play, and we repeat them. We don’t just repeat them to others-in fact, usually, it’s our Behavior that we reveal to others, rather than the actual script. To ourselves, we say, “I’m not enough.” “I’m not good enough.” “I’m a bad person because.” “Everything always goes wrong.” “Eventually, everything is going to be ruined, no matter how hard I try.” Our behavior reflects these beliefs in some way.

Any of that sound familiar? I’d be surprised if it didn’t. They’re Very common scripts. I hear them, in one form or another in my office every day. The saddest are from children that say, “I can’t. I’m not good at this.” “I am a disappointment.” “I keep screwing up.” “I’m a bad kid.”

So how do you get that out of your head? How do you really change, deep down, when you’ve got an inner demon telling you that you’re terrible, that everything’s going to go wrong, and that you’re not ok? Even more confusing, you’re also running positive scripts that conflict with the negative scripts, so then you really do have that cartoon situation with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, each telling you something. Which do you believe? And if you don’t want to believe the devilish one anymore, how do you convince yourself to stop and change? And where did all this come from anyway?

Your brain is very much like a computer. From the instant you come into the world, and possibly before, you begin assimilating information. You learn that when you cry, someone comes to take care of you. (I hope.) This is surely one reason why, even as adults, we still cry. It’s basically the first thing we learned.

As we grow, we learn all kinds of other things, and we are programmed with messages from our parents, our teachers, and our peers. Here’s some examples.

1. Take a perfectionist parent. They’re out there, and you know them or you might even be one. Say your child comes home with a report card that has all A’s, except for one B. The perfectionist hones in on the B, maybe even acknowledging the A’s, and says something like, “You’re so smart, look at all these A’s, so how could you get a B? Do better next time.”  That’s the overt message. The covert message is, “You’re not enough unless…” See that? See how you got programmed too? And you deliver the programming on, without even knowing you’re doing it.

2. A father has two hyperactive little boys. They’re crawling the walls. The father tells them to stop, calm down, sit down, pay attention, even tells them they’re going to be grounded. No effect. The father raises his voice until he yells, “Stop! You guys are Always screwing around. You never listen, and I’m sick of you being bad. Knock it off.” Suddenly there are two cowering little boys. The father’s frustration levels have given him good reason to raise his voice. His kids weren’t listening. His parenting style is ineffective in this situation, and interventions obviously need to take place. The covert message he gave his kids was, “You are always bad.” He used the word “always.” Words like “always, never, impossible, and every time” are perhaps harsher than you can imagine. You have to realize and remember how concrete children are. They hear, “You are grounded forever” and they believe you if they’re young enough. “You always screw up.” Imagine that scenario happening a hundred times over. It’s not too hard to see how we get negative messages as kids from adults. We also get plenty of positive ones, but positive scripts are generally NOT the problem.

3. The messages we get from our peers often aren’t much better. We learn very early on in the playground that “different” can quickly become equated with “not ok.” It’s really terrible, because it’s a corruption of children’s innocence put to poor use. My best friend’s daughter, whom I refer to as my niece, is 3. She is truly one of the most gorgeous little girls I’ve ever seen, and it’s not just because she’s my niece. She’s also incredibly intelligent, curious, and unabashed about everything. One day, she poked at my neck. “Ouchie,” she said. “Auntie doesn’t have an ouchie, honey” I said. She poked at my neck again, right on a small mole I have that does stick out a little bit. Now this is messed up. I actually felt a little bit hurt. That’s how juvenile I am-right?

Then I realized, this tiny child just thinks this looks like a scab or something. She had her own scab that was healing over. Maybe it does look like an ouchie. Whatever. I laughed, and said, “Nope honey, it’s not an ouchie, it’s called a mole. Can you say mole?” She looked at me with dark serious eyes and said, “Mole. Do I have a mole?” “Yes, you do. You have a very pretty mole.” She touched her lips, where she does, indeed, have a tiny little mole, that will only bother her when she’s a teenager. “Moles are ok,” I told her. “They’re no big deal.” And with that, she smiled, and was off playing. She came back a minute later to tap me very gently on the head and say, “Bonk.” Correct. This kid will be a big fan of slapstick. Somewhere shortly before her second birthday, I got nailed in the head with part of her swingset, and so did she. We were pretending she was flying. She had a moment where she decided whether she was going to laugh or cry. “Aria,” I said to her, and intentionally tapped myself in the head with the offending swing, “Bonk.” It was the first time I ever saw her shake with laughter. It’s still a favorite game. I digress.

In a few short years, Aria will be in Kindergarten, and the kids that have learned that “different is bad” or “different is weird” will already be spreading the message. Now remember whatever your “different” was, or your “weird” or your “not good enough to play with us” scenarios were, and remember you had K-12 of that to varying degrees, and with you on different sides of the fence.

Now know, that as a child, teenager, and adult, you’re often not consciously thinking these things, you’re just feeling like you want to do things, and so you do them. I get adults all the time in my office that procrastinate. They want to stop, but keep doing the behavior anyway.  I run them through the scripts they have. Inevitably, it’s along the lines of “I don’t deserve…” “I’ll never get it all done…” “What’s the point…” or “I’ll wreck it somehow…”

So what I tell people about scripts, particularly negative scripts, is that you’ve got to reverse them. “I’m not enough” needs to turn into “I am enough.” Why and How? Well, as I say in a previous blog, would you intentionally talk to a 5-year-old and tell them they’re bad and not enough? (I hope not.) And people say “No!” So I say, “Why should you be any less gentle to yourself? Especially the parts of you that are wounded.”

And the healing begins. People start catching the negative scripts and replacing them with positive ones. It has to be believable to you. You must be able to find evidence in your daily activities that support your positive script. And you’ve got to be brave enough to step outside your comfort zone with the devil you know, and allow yourself to be who you are, really, deep down. The part of you that maybe got wounded, but if allowed out, will heal and flourish, and allow you to succeed in whatever you want to do.

And for anyone that believes deep down they are terrible, I am sorry. That was done to you. Please get help. Because the truth is, and research supports this, and I was astounded by this until I thought about it for a minute: the actual default state of humanity is essentially one of optimism and positive belief. If it wasn’t, honestly, we would have blown ourselves up long ago.

Give yourself permission, on this Valentine’s Day, and every day thereafter, to love. As much as possible. Love you, love the people around you. Love the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re single or not. If you’re single and you feel bad about it, YOU ARE RUNNING A NEGATIVE SCRIPT. You have a belief that’s making you unhappy. Get rid of it.

It takes work, it takes practice, but I promise, it delivers positive results. Beautiful, life-changing results. My sister calls it “Rising Above.” She’s right. It’s about going beyond whatever is limiting you, getting past it, and turning it into something meaningful. You can do it. I love you.

Unfreeze your heart.

Found while walking-an apparently natural phenomenon.

Found while walking-an apparently natural phenomenon.

Kindness

What’s Good About This: Kind People, Being Kind to Yourself and Others

Today was an incredibly long day. I got up early and took my dad to the doctor. We’ve known he’s needed a back surgery since…oh-October at least, but he is his own worst enemy when it comes to actually scheduling it, and following through.

While I don’t know if we’ll go with this surgeon-(it’s far more invasive than his other options,) I really appreciated how kind the surgeon was, as well as his PA.

I knew the PA from a previous work environment, and she was wonderful there and in her new spot. She and the surgeon spent probably an hour and a half with my dad, talking him through his MRI’s and myelograms.

As a person that has worked with tons of physicians and nurses, I can’t really say enough how much I appreciated their time, attention, and that they LISTENED to my dad.

Far too often at the doctor it’s snappy questions, in and out, on to the next, and no listening. It’s really refreshing to find people that take the time. I understand that because of how patients are scheduled in clinics, physicians, nurses, and PA’s aren’t always Able to take the time, and this is a problem in our healthcare system that’s probably only going to get worse, as there’s no current external incentive for it to get better.

We don’t always feel kind.We don’t always want to say or do the right thing. It’s about practicing, it’s making yourself problem solve positively ESPECIALLY when things aren’t going well that builds kindness in your character.  Please, no matter who you are, no matter what you do, take this with you:

1. Choose Kindness As Often As Possible In Your Interactions With Others.

2. We are all in a Quest for Significance: Remember That You Are Important. (It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor or a janitor. You have purpose here. No one can do things exactly the WAY that you do them, and That’s what makes you unique and special.)

3. Be Kind To Yourself. (I realize how difficult this can be. It’s about erasing negative scripts, which are internal beliefs and messages you’ve encoded and replacing them with positive ones. For example, “I’m not enough” has to be replaced with some form “I am enough” that you can actually believe. Sometimes this takes a lot of time to change.

Scripts are extremely powerful-we’ll go there next time.

Happy Monday: It Could ALWAYS Be Worse

What’s Good About This: Perspective

Happy Monday. I don’t really have “Mondays” anymore, not like I used to, because I keep the hours I want and I am self-employed. I know, I am a blessed, lucky, and hard-working lady. But if you haven’t had your coffee yet, I bet the word “bitch” went off in your mind. It’s ok. I forgive you. And I feel for you. I really do. (If you are not doing something you LOVE, then the best advice I can give you is to think about what it is you DO WANT, and then set small, medium, and long-term goals to get there.)

I have a very abnormal sleep cycle-I do not reset. My Circadian Rhythm marches to it’s own beat, the shifty little sneak. (There’s a psychology sleep joke in there.)

So when Monday and the rest of the week ensued, I would always be operating on 4 hours of sleep or less. For years and years. I had to change my lifestyle or die, basically. That probably makes you hate me a little bit less.

And remember-you could always be doing this. Here’s a motivational video for you. Safe for work. =)

IMG_0250

 

New Look

We’ve got a new look around here…I think I like it. A few tweaks and changes later, and I will love it.

I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend. Wherever you are-whoever you are.

 

The Desert Soulscape

Having a connection to a landscape, whether real or imagined is a good thing. It’s a place where you can refresh yourself no matter what…

This is about as loose and tangential as you’ll ever catch me-here anyway. Get me into a conversation…it’ll be miles long. No apologies.

Sometimes, my soul longs for the desert. Like it longs for England, but that’s another story. I grew up in valleys, near mountains, meadows, and fields. I grew up in the “Wild West” where cowboys roamed and still do. Where Lewis and Clark walked, I have walked. Where Custer and the Indians fought, I have shed tears-it is energetically overwhelming. I have seen Chief Plenty Coup’s ghost in the window of his old home, and visited the tree growing out of the spring beneath where people still go to pray and give offerings. It’s a portal to another world.

I’ve crept and leapt through old mines and ghost towns, and hotsprings still haunted with echos of miners. I’ve prayed in Peace Valley. I’ve held Charlie Russel original sculptures in my hands, because he loved my Great Grandmother Sue. But as much as these places are part of my soul, I have other soulscapes…

When did the desert come in? It might have been that certain trip to the desert as a child. Where, on leaving vast canyons and monuments, and driving into the western sunset, storm clouds formed a colossal cauldron overhead. Every color in the desert, the sands, the sky, the shrubs, cacti, and the road became something More-intense and vibrant. I could feel all of it thrumming through me. I remember leaving my body in the car with my family while my soul roamed the desert, flew through the sky, and touched every green and growing thing in the terrain, and delighting that something that was supposed to be so barren, was so full of life. I think that red earth still calls me because I, like a desert plant, have flourished. Despite the desert. Ultimately, the desert is cleansing.

I think that the maroon and orange and sand and yellow and cactus green and blue sky with thunderheads and the sunset is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.  I need to see the starry desert sky once more, after the rain, after the smell of ozone is still in the air, but the clouds have gone.

I do miss driving from Nevada to Arizona via Hoover Dam at sunset. I have perfect memories of  so many colors, and feelings-but we really just don’t have the words to describe them. Not in English, anyway.

From the Savage Playground to Living With Love

Is it madness to love?

Or is it madness to not love at all?

Is it madness to have loved, lost, and decide you’re never doing that again?

I’ve seen all of these things to varying degrees, sometimes to alarming extremes.

I still say, love. There is no better cure, there is no better drug, there is no better way of expressing who you truly are than to approach the world with love. We start out this way, all innocent, and it seems to me that the minute we establish “DIFFERENT”, which happens very early on the playground, we can become savage little beasts that tear one another apart. In all kinds of creative ways Hell never dreamed of. Some people never leave the playground. Other people realize that the playground was false to begin with. It is partially through differences that we define ourselves, but we should not use differences as a means to hate.

The world doesn’t make it easy sometimes.

I think that’s one of the ultimate challenge of being human-how do you be yourself, and love yourself, and love others in a world full of sorrows? How do you love those you hate you? How do you keep wearing your heart on your sleeve, but have enough sense to protect it?

I swear to you, one of the ways is by paying attention to good things. Practicing gratitude once daily eventually becomes a lifestyle where you see so much to be grateful for, despite sorrows and terrors, that you have actively chosen happiness.

It’s Friday. Dance. Be grateful. Smile. Know you are loved.

PS: This happened to my hand today, in between coloring with kids in therapy, and teaching adults on the whiteboard. I don’t really mind the decorations.

Kelly Hand

 

Freaky

I was just  listening to Flight of the Conchords, “I Told You I Was Freaky” and laughing my ass off. Why am I not following them on Twitter? Fixing that right now…Fixed.

Freaky, in one fashion or another, has been the Theme of the Day.

Before work, something freaky did happen-I got tweets favorited by a dead cartoon character in Archer. I told you Archer was awesome. I also totally called it that the character would die. I will not spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it yet. I never knew I always wanted to be interacting with a dead cartoon character until that happened.

On the way to work, I watched a couch slide off the bed of a pickup truck, fly through the air, and land Right. In. Front. Of. Me. Brakes kept me from hitting it by a very narrow margin. So I threw on my hazards and waited, because I couldn’t go anywhere, because: COUCH IN FRONT OF ME, and the other lanes were full. I’m so thankful no one was behind me. It would have been a pileup.

The guys driving the pickup truck just calmly hopped out and picked that couch up like it was made of feathers, (well, no, that would actually be kind of heavy…styrofoam, then,) and tossed it right back into the truck, the same way it had been before. They did not apologize, or nod, or even acknowledge something totally fucking freaky had just happened. It was like, “Oh, we have the World’s Lightest Couch, and we don’t tie it down, even on windy days, and we do this shit All the Time. We’re practicing for the Lightweight Couch Tossing Olympics.”  To be somewhat fair, I don’t think they spoke English, but even Me, the Whitest Girl you’ve ever met, (For real you guys, I glow in the dark a little bit,) knows how to speak Spanish. And some Brazilian Portuguese. And some Mandarin.  I am trying to learn how to say, “My hovercraft is full of eels” in as many languages as possible, because I think that no matter what, if I say that in a foreign country, people will assume I am crazy and just help me out, by allowing me to point to things. Not totally unlike the David Sedaris Method of learning how to say all the most screwed up things in French before he learned normal things. To paraphrase, I think he said, “I sounded like a possessed toddler.” I’m not even being that ambitious. I’m just going for the one sentence. For now. I actually love languages and would like to speak as many as possible.

So on arriving at work…I saw and heard various “freaky” things, but none of that is ever too unusual. That’s part of my job-to hear that stuff, and help people gauge how freaky it really is-and it’s generally A LOT  lower on the Freak Meter than they think. People worry about what they’re thinking and doing so much that it really takes away from their happiness. I tell them to get out of their heads a little bit once in awhile and just BE ok with themselves.

A question I ask people fairly often is, “Would you speak to a 5-year-old the way you speak to yourself and about yourself?” Always they say, “Well, no!” And I say, “Why not?” And they say, “Because…it’s mean. It’s inappropriate. It’s unkind. It’s not something that they would need to hear.” And I say, “You are every age you’ve ever been. So why are you treating yourself so unkindly?” I really love it when the lightbulb goes on after that. I never get tired of it. Then we have a really good discussion about reprogramming negative scripts, and correcting thinking errors.

I hope that helps anyone who is reading this. I have to remind myself to do it some days.

I went to dinner with my friend Cathy and she was drinking a freaky Martini when I arrived, made of chocolate and marshmallow liqueur, and I had one, and it was good, but I wished I’d waited until dessert for it, because it was like trying to eat S’Mores with a salad. I thought it would be more covertly chocolate flavored, rather than overt. I momentarily wished I had ordered a regular Martini until I remembered that no one has made me an excellent one since I lived in Las Vegas. I like them filthy, not just dirty, and with 3 olives, for future reference.

I got a piece of news that is so freaky, I’m not even ready to share it yet, and no, I’m not pregnant. It’s nothing like that. It’s more a…”this will come to pass” type message from someone I trust. I cannot even begin to imagine how it will come to pass. I’m just going to go with it for now.

Sometimes, amid the hustle, the freakiness, the flying couches, and the passing strange martinis, you just have to trust that it’s all coming together, just fine.

I can keep that up today.

(C) Kelly Krings 2014

Lucidity

I cannot be one dimensional, because I am multi-faceted. We all are.

I have been a comedienne, an actress, a model, and curator of an art gallery. Those are just some of my past JOBS. What I do now for work is to be a psychotherapist and own a private practice. I love it.

A lot of therapists get into this very rigid pattern of behavior where they become who they are in the office-or try to be, and it wrecks them. Hell, everybody does that, to some extent. It’s why some people die so soon after they retire…besides of old age-they often feel they’ve lost their purpose.

I cannot separate and compartmentalize myself where I only show anyone just one side of me. I mean, if you’re sticking around for any length of time, I think it’s better to admit that up front.

This blog is dedicated to talking about GOOD, but I think it would NOT be good to pretend I have never been pitched into darkness or sunk to the bottom of the well. I think that would be folly.

As much as I love people who show us “The Way”…it can get tough to stay on track, because in our own quest to find “Our Way” and  in the “Quest for Significance”, one of the things we do is compare ourselves against others. This is only useful insofar as it serves to give us inspiration and motivation. It is NOT useful when we say to ourselves, “I am not enough because I do not have…” or “I do not look like…” “Easy for them to say…” “They’ve never lived through…”

That only serves to make you feel like crap. So try not to do it-catch yourself if you can. Re-write those negative scripts. You are enough. Always. Always. Always.

Lucid Thoughts…

I will not pretend to be only happy, and relentlessly cheerful, because that is not the case. I have, however, learned happiness is a choice.

I will not say I come from an easy childhood or adulthood, because I don’t, although there are those who’ve had it far worse-and far better. I am happy with life in general.

I will not say I do not have a dark side-that would be false. I just…made friends with it a long time ago. I know what I’m capable of if I choose to use my powers for evil. I choose not to.

I will not say I am never afraid-that would be foolish. I’ve learned some ways not to let fear get the best of me.

I will not say I have never been mistaken, and gravely too, but I will say I have risen above. I have forgiven myself and others. I’ve done a better job not to miss the mark.

I will say I have lived just long enough to learn that Process IS Perfection.

I will not pretend to be anything or anyone other than me. I see no point to the contrary.

I will say I have suffered enough that I have some wisdom to share.

The price was worth it.