As you can see I am taking a sabatical this fall. I have no classes to teach this fall which means it will be a squeeze financially but I will have more time to devote to writing for this website, more time to babysit grandchildren (which is a mixed blessing), more time to meditate in several different ways, and more time to pursue my own personal growth.
While I was teaching this summer (and taking an art class myself), I was feeling stressed out and at times it made me physically ill. Do you think that as a psychologist I should have known better than that? Maybe. But I just know from past experiences that it is a sign that I should take heed of and do something about.
It took time and money out of my pocket in order to teach even though I have been enjoying it and growing a lot doing it. Yes, I was paid but as a part-time instructor and only for what classes I taught each semester. This summer I made an hour round trip trip to town four days a week for two months spending the whole day there two days a week.
I will take two road trips this fall to see the evangelist Joyce Meyer and attend the homecoming celebration of my undergraduate college in honor of my class’s 50th anniversary. I will be doing this on a shoestring; but I am not going to miss these chances to do something I want to do which only comes along once in a blue moon.
I have already gotten one surprise phone call offering me some financial help for one of my upcoming seminars after it was decided that I was not going to teach this fall. I also have recently found some books that answer questions I have been asking, but did not get the answers for that I have been gobbling up.
Yesterday, I caught up on some of my sleep and decided to do nothing that I didn’t have to do. I missed one of my regular salesmen while I slept in the afternoon and I did not check on most of the things that I am checking on today and I did not turn my computer on.
I am growing. I intend to explore new and old things that I have not gotten around to doing recently.
Social interaction is crucial to children learning language. Watching a video or listening to an auditory version is not enough. Are children becoming autistic because people in our world are becoming less and less involved? What about a good old fashioned conversation or a satisfying read? Being unable to interact with others is a very real problem and I can see the day when children have virtual play dates? How removed from reality is this? Will we all sit home and rely on clouds and the internet to keep us in touch? Will the ethers be doing our talking? It will no longer be necessary to read or write as computers will communicate for us just by talking and ultimately will thoughts and images not words be used to share ideas?
This just started out as a blog about how children need human contact to learn and ultimately to thrive. Scarey isn’t it? For example, someday people will not sign their names, not just because they did not learn cursive writing; but because reading and writing are no longer considered necessary. We have done this since the dawn of the machine age and eliminating the human factor in creating things that we need and use. Is it possible we are also eliminating the good vibrations that many skilled, dedicated craftsmen and craftswomen put into their work.
Blogging is the new journaling. Writing a journal has often been recommended as a form of therapy. I used to never be able to get into it (I have lots of journals that I started writing in and then quit); but give me a potential audience and I am a writing fiend! I also can marshall my thoughts better on paper than in a discussion with someone. On the one hand, I find myself when someone is asking me for advice telling them to read my blog and on the other hand, using that person’s question as topic of a future blog. At the same time, my blog is an account of my journey into my own psychology and the progress I have made partly because of my writing.
I am an auditory writer and I hear what I am writing in my head as I write it. Then I reread it and make additions and revisions as I listen to them inside my head. I add pictures and look at a preview of my blog and hopefully add visual interest to it. When I am procrastinating and not getting anything else done, I can always write. Anything that occurs to me during the day as well as much of the material I read adds grist for the mill. I sometimes go back and read previous blogs and have found now and then that I have written a very satisfactory post, but don’t remember doing it.
All the reading and writing I have done has helped me in my “journaling” online. I have spent hours dictating social histories in one pass over the telephone from my interview notes. This may account for my auditory approach to writing. I have always liked to learn and explore new ideas. I have more books on self-help and mysticism than anybody really should have. Most of my life, I have been cut off from cosmopolitian centers where people attend groups and workshops and study these sort of things. These many books have provided me with alot of food for thought and this knowledge has been incubated over the years and has now blossumed forth.
Sometimes we don’t just pass judgments on people too quickly, we do the same with information. I have been reading (please forgive me men as I usually skip looking at the hunting books) interior decorating books lately. With three of them although I initially wasn’t too much interested in the topics they covered and even after I looked them over and I still was not was not too inspired, I found that after I looked at the pictures and read the text included about them that I took away some good ideas I could use in decorating in the future. One that I particularly found uninviting was a book on “green” decorating and they (as far as I was concerned) took it to extremes. One of the things I did learn from that book was what to look for in quality furniture or fabrics that would last and would not have to be replaced in the near future or perhaps in any one person’s lifetime.
This involves thinking out of the box and it is easily missed because we often focus on information about things we like and not on things we don’t like. We often think that most of the material on stuff that we are not interested in will be useless; but we often miss information that is covered that could be useful to us; but that we either think will not be covered in that treatment of the topic or we reject out of hand because it is associated with stuff we dislike or disapprove off. We tend to generalize and if one thing we dislike is associated with something, we may reject everything associated with it. This is one of the problems with prejudice. One bad experience with a certain religious organization or cultural group can lead to a person rejecting the whole organization or group and even anything associated with them.
To think out of the box, do the following. Please take a closer or more thorough look at things before tarring everything associated with it with the same brush. Take for example, visiting foreign countries can be seen by some people as a trying experience because so many things will be unfamiliar and an acquired taste. Be a little bold. Try a taste of something. Visit a different climate or explore a different landscape. I was surprisingly very impressed when I visited Apple Valley in the desert east of Los Angles, California. I didn’t go to see the desert. In fact, I was worried about the snakes there and I was not excited about eating only vegetarian food during my stay there. I went because I wanted to attend a workshop being offered there. I thought I had landed on the moon when I looked out over the desert and saw the horizon in the distance to be so very far away.
Here is how to think out of the box. Take a chance try different things, learn about different things, go to different places and you might find something that you might have missed otherwise by staying with the comfortable and the familiar.
Doing a personal autobiography could help you with this.
I knew that knowing your parents was important from my studies of psychology; but I found this difficult to do earlier in my life. I could not go home for a visit without having at least one disagreement with my mother. This wasn’t a problem with my father as I lost him much earlier and when I called home I always talked to my mother and she would tell my father what I had said. I was always a puzzle to my father anyway and he often did not know or understand exactly what I was doing and/or why I was doing it.
“Knowing Your Parents, ” sounds like the start of a self-help book, possibly an autobiography, doesn’t it, When I do it, I will have to let you know; but the story keeps changing as I live my life. I see my story from new and different advantage points as I go along. As I became a parent as I grew older, I understood things about my parents I didn’t understand when I wasn’t a parent.
Someone who actually did this was Jane Fonda in her book, “Prime Time.” I don’t know why I picked up this book as I didn’t like Jane Fonda or what she stood for at the time. I didn’t think the book would be a self-help book and even if it was, I didn’t think she would have any good advice to give. I was surprised to find that Jane Fonda had obtained some perspective on her life, on why she had done certain things, and why she doesn’t think the same way now that she did earlier in her life. In her book, she basically encourages people to write their life stories and to see what kind of insights about themselves they can get by doing this.
Dramas and stories have almost disappeared on radios. Those of us who listened to them in the past can remember using our imaginations to fill in the missing gaps left by the lack of visual clues. Going even farther back and racing ahead into the future, reading improves the mind and exercises our skills of imagination and visualization. Other books make us think. They might explain a great deal about a given topic but still leave out some links which the reader must create in order to understand what is being conveyed.
Also I can read faster than I can listen to an audio book or watch a DVD. I actually get antsy when I have to do this. I don’t speed read; but I understand that this can be even faster. The only other thing that can do this is hypnosis and I have experienced that. Time can speed up or slow down and an experience can be even more vivid and realistic than a photo or video recording. When time is speeded up incidents taking a much longer amount of time can be reviewed in just a few minutes or even seconds. And if you have forgotten something, you often can remember it while in a trance.