Posts in Awareness
Is Me cRaZie!? - Blog#22 - 9 August 2019

No one wants to be “crazy,” and most of us would prefer to be considered normal. On the other hand, most people want to be “unique,” not a cookie-cutter clone of some middle-gray cardboard portrait of normalcy. But how do we determine what is psychologically normal? What is mental illness? Most angles on this issue are quite subjective, involving obvious or subtle value judgments. We can distinguish between statistical normal and healthy normal, but common behavior (e.g., Nazi compliance) is not necessarily healthy, and the context of your unhealthy or atypical behavior (e.g., a history of trauma) is also relevant. Your degree of control over your mind and emotions, your ability to adapt to various situations, and your internal and external connectedness are also relevant. Ultimately, mental health is just as much a social value judgment as a psychological fact, and compassion serves us well when we are judging our self or others.

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Inner Parenting - Blog#16 - 10 May 2019

Self-nurturing is easier if we have a history of being nurtured by our own parents. If not, we are more challenged. Religious folks can use the power of prayer to access and bathe in God’s love. Others require more evidence for their beliefs. In the absence of faith in the love of an invisible God, a secular approach to self-soothing is required. If we have a history of abuse, rejection, or other experiences that have led us to internalize negativity, resulting in rejection of our self, self-nurturance is a bigger challenge. The inner-child approach is one route through this dark forest. By tapping our capacity to nurture those we love, particularly our own children, we can access our nurturance skills and apply them to our self, developing self-compassion.

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The Gift of Consciousness - Blog#15 - 27 April 2019

Consciousness and matter are two fundamental properties of the universe, radically different from, and irreducible to each other. Consciousness is an incredible gift, and can be deliberately developed, mentally, not just chemically. We can identify various dimensions and dichotomies of consciousness. It can be private, or shared as a means of connecting, since connected consciousness is the essence of spirituality. It can be externally or internally focused, rational or intuitive, conscious or unconscious, and goal-directed vs. associational. Consciousness is as complex as matter, and just as fascinating. But it needs to be understood, managed, and altered to meet our needs and influence our feelings.

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