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Psychology

Sometimes You Have To Let Something Go To Make Room For Something New To Come In

rp_300px-Sabbatical_titlescreen.jpgAs 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.rp_300px-New_Life_Ranch_Sign.jpg

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.

Stop! Think…Could A LadyBug Be Self-Actualizing?

rp_5854234616_9eb56eac3d_m.jpg(Work in progress.  More to come.  Including the essay that was the idea for this post.)

The epitome of personal achievement in Humanistic Psychology is the self-actualizing person who only reaches that point after overcoming the hurdles of satisfying basic needs: physical, security, social, and self-esteem ones.

It is not the person you might expect him, or is it her, to be?  ( Don’t we generally think of ladybugs as female?)  Fame and wealth aren’t necessarily the highest goals and meeting the needs for these self-aggrandizing or often other-exploiting objectives often can leave a bitter taste in one’s mouth and a sense of “Is that all there is?”

Then what is a self-actualized person?

Maslow’s characteristics of self-actualized people:

1) Self-actualized people have realistic perceptions of themselves, others and the world around them.

2) Self-actualized individuals are concerned with solving problems outside of themselves, including helping others and finding solutions to problems in the external world. These people are often motivated by a sense of personal responsibility and ethics.

3) Self-actualized people are spontaneous in their internal thoughts and outward behavior. While they can conform to rules and social expectations, they also tend to be open and unconventional.

4) Another characteristic of self-actualized people is the need for independence and privacy. While they enjoy the company of others, these individuals need time to focus on developing their own individual potential.

Now what has a ladybug got to do with this?  This description of a ladybug that was brought to my attention by one of my honorary “sisters” (as I only have brothers) fits most of the description of a self-actualized person quite well.   To be continued…

Part of the Lady Bug series

Part of the Lady Bug series

A ladybug in the essay is a very realistic person who knows where she stands, what she can contribute, and what those around her need.

A ladybug has a sense of what is right and wrong and endeavors to follow this self-created code no matter what others think or try to tell her.

After achieving the ability to do what others consider to be correct and being able to conform to the desires of the world, the ladybug develops a sense of individuality and what makes her “tick” and begins frequently marches to the sound of her own drummer inside.

Yes, a lady bug has her own drummer and a need to follow her own beat.  The determining of which is her own private goal and often involves some inward searching which does not always require the presence of others.

Earlier a lady bug was described in “The Self-actualized Lady Bug”as a necessary part of the garden  of creation and often overlooked in the scheme of things but as very necessary for the maintenance and growth and health of the plants there in.

She contributes to the welfare and well being of others and can be very industrious even considered insignificant until she is no longer there to do the work.  Sometimes she stands out by her choice of bright wrappings which may be even considered frivolous by others.

She is self-motivating and concerned with the needs of others.  She also knows the “right” things to do and is motivated to do them.

Could there be Gentleman Bugs?  Of course!

 

 

Why do we hurt each other instead of those who hurt us?

"Make my day!

“Make my day!

Just thinking…That can get you in trouble around here.  (Want to get this up in rough draft form before the internet gets too busy discussing this issue.)  How many people in Ferguson, Los Angles, and Chicago etc. are hurting fellow African Americans?  Looting each others’ businesses, destroying each others property, and making it impossible for fellow African American’s who have done no wrong to live peaceful law abiding lives.  Why are we hurting each other instead of arresting and prosecuting the law breakers who promote lawlessness in their own or others’ communities?  How come has it become impossible  for fellow African Americans and also the Caucasian  and Hispanic residents of these riot torn communities to live peaceful lives and carry out normal business and to be able to safely travel in these communities?

I was a student in Madison WI at the University of Wisconsin during the Vietnam war riots after the math research building was blown up by protestors and one graduate student killed (murdered?) in the blast who was peacefully studying in the building.  It was amazing that no others were killed or hurt in the blast because there was damage around the bomb site for blocks.  The most noticeable damage were the shattered windows in my own psychology building blocks away and in the University Hospital complex where people came from all over to receive state of the art medical care.

I (silly me!) tried to carry on normal business going to class and carrying on my research.  Certain times of day it was not safe to be on campus.  My stomach was tied in knots.  Certain students and professors made it clear that they enjoyed not participating in normal campus business like teaching, attending classes, etc. and rioting instead.  For them, it was a big party.  I remember barrels of trash set on fire in the intersections at night and young national guardsmen so scared that they shook when they gave you orders.  Don’t worry I knew that they didn’t know if I was friend or foe.

To them I was just another student and potential rioter or bomb thrower.   What had I done to deserve this.  Nothing.  I was just an innocent bystander.  What about the law abiding people of Ferguson who are losing their businesses and directing from that their jobs and sources of income.  Why can they no longer go peacefully about their business?

Also I have a husband who was directly involved in quelling the rots in Joliet IL at that time because he was in the national guard.  He won’t talk about it.  Talk about post-traumatic stress here in our own country.

I feel there is a strong politically correct movement that is preventing us from caring about each other and teaching any kind of morality.  Why is this movement hurting innocent bystanders and keeping the rioting in some cases from their own doorsteps?

Just thinking….  Government is supposed to help people  not hurt them.  That is why we have it.  There are small local movements for paying it forward and helping each other with nothing expected in return.  Where is our voice in government and in local problems?  Why are we the ones who ultimately get hurt by this?

This may get me in trouble!  What about the coming of the Antichrist?  Why have we not heard this speculated about in the media in these times?

P.S.   I can’t get any related articles from the web about the Antichrist?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bringing The Light To All, Answering Life’s Questions

Bringing the Light to all and consulting on life changes.  Please join me here as I further my goal in life of helping others answer life’s questions.  No, I didn’t start out this way.  I was lost as many of you were or maybe still are.sun on hand gesture

Some may call this wisdom, the knowledge that I have gained.  Some may think that I have had a life changing experience or experiences, a painful one or ones at that.  Maybe the pain is what led me to seek different methods of self-help and ultimately led me to dedicate myself to the spiritual side of psychology, mindfulness, Carl Jung, and…

It all seemed to start with some unanswered questions about my life purpose, the universe, and the future.  I would like to share these answers that I have found with you and helping you at the same time to recognize that you may have had some of these questions too and even came up with the same answers.  You are not alone.

At first life’s  the answers I found may have not seemed to fit and even made me more uncomfortable than the facts that I was brought up with.  I didn’t think that so many people in this world could be wrong.

Also I have found over the years that some of the answers I did originally find find no longer worked.  I had the idea that when one made life decisions, career, marriage, children, etc. that they would stick with them.  Also I felt that only certain answers were acceptable and that what I liked to do was not necessarily what I should do.

Lightner Witmer, the father of modern clinical...

Lightner Witmer, the father of modern clinical psychology. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Also I often picked reasons for doing things that while they were the easiest were not the best.  For example, I picked a Big Ten graduate school close to home that offered a clinical psychology program (my preferred area of interest).  What I didn’t realize then was that I had to find a professor whose area of interest in research was something I would be comfortable with as I would have to do a masters thesis and maybe a dissertation in this area.

The type of practical courses offered by the school in clinical psychology were taught by these same professors whose real area of interest was research, not clinical practice.   Also some of their research was aimed at discrediting those who performed psychological evaluations and did psychotherapy.

Carl Jung integrated psychology with spirituality

The answers I found were not all out there; but they were found within.  Along the way, I found I was not alone in my search.  Others had the same yearning I did to find the answers.  Others like Carl Jung had gone on the same journey and could lead the way.

 

 

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Creativity And Counterproductive Thinking

not who you are 344Is your thinking sometimes counterproductive?  Do you think the same old thing over and over and it doesn’t do a thing for you or your situation?  Do your thoughts often block your creativity and productivity?  How often do you think to yourself, “I can’t so why even try?”  It always keeps you from doing anything about it.

Counterproductive thinking often keeps one from thinking out of the box which is sometimes necessary to think of a solution.  Creativity is what it is all about.  Instead of thinking of one solution (even if tried and true) for a problem, think of many even if they don’t all work out then you have “exercised” your creativity.   I think the word is rigid for those who are stimmied when their planned for or go-to solution doesn’t work.

Some people have an incredibly difficult time changing gears when the first solution doesn’t work.  I always say, “If not plan A, then plan B.  If not plan B, then plan C and so on.”  The world is not designed so that “one size” fits all situations.  The brain continues to form new connections as long as you continue to use it.  Grow with me  Come share the excitement of a new ay of thinking, of possibility thinking.

Weddings are occasions when inevitably this type of problem occurs.  There seems to be at least one snafu.  The wrong wedding flowers arrive, the photographs don’t turn out, etc.  You can grin and bear it or try another way.  This ensures a happy occasion.  The guests might even think that you planned it that way.

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Chained Emotions

Do you have chained emotions?  Yes, you do.  chained-emotionsEvery time you get to feeling guilty, worthless, or hopeless when you look at something or think of something.  These are learned reactions and while they might have been appropriate when they first occurred, they are not helping you now.  I can leave the moment and ruin the day I am having when I do this.  I also can just let my imagination run away with me and after living in the past and reliving past disappointments, I can envision myself in the future having the same unfortunate things happening to me again.  No wonder I just can’t see any hope for me in my situation.  I can easily list the things that I can think of or see in my ordinary life or on TV or the internet that do this to me.  I have frustrating appliances that are on their last legs and feel extremely deprived because I don’t have new ones and anticipate the problems I will have when they “conk” out.

You have heard of self-fulfilling prophescies well I am creating them when I think this way.  I may feel bad when some “bad” thing happens but why does just the thought of something like that happen to elicit such a strong emotional response.  In psychology, it is called conditioning and it’s a learned response associated with a certain stimulus.  When this happens then whenever that stimulus appears again real or imagined, we automatically have that response.  What we focus on we get.  That is a self fulfilling prophesy.

Stop feeling what you don’t want to feel, stop being dragged down by past emotional reactions.  For example with a failing appliance, be thankful that it still works and lasted so long.  Be grateful for every extra load of dishes that get washed or cup of coffee that gets made.  Pretend this is not really your house so it doesn’t matter what the appliances are like.  Think of how much nicer the new appliances will be when you get them.  They will be spanking new, work perfectly, and save you lots of time.  You can get just what you want.  Go shopping but only with a positive attitude.  You know it pays to shop around.  Who knows you might find a bargain!  Remember that new car smell, the pristine appearance of a newly painted wall, how much fun you will have trying out a new appliance.  Focus on this not on that.

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Children Are Fearfully And Wonderfully Made

A smiling baby lying in a soft cot (furniture).

A smiling baby lying in a soft cot (furniture). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Children are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You can always learn something new.  As you might know, I am teaching a child psychology class this summer.  What I am reading is reinforcing what I already knew.  Children are busy little beavers from birth and they come equipped with amazing hardware which enables them to perceive and understand their environment.

Children are fearfully and wonderfully made.  They are not just passive receptacles of stimuli.  They are programed to take it in in a certain way and then use it to form an amazing 3-D, multi-sensory model.  It forms their conception of what the world is like.  From this, they proceed to make assumptions about how things are and they use these assumptions to draw conclusions about what will happen in their environment.  This will lead to developing concepts like depth perception and object permanence.

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Intellectualization

Intellectualization occurs when you tend to explain everything away.  People say you are

Cast of characters in The Big Bang Theory. Fro...

Cast of characters in The Big Bang Theory. From left: Howard Wolowitz, Leonard Hofstadter, Penny, Sheldon Cooper and Rajesh Koothrappali. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

all in your head. You ignore your gut feelings and you tend to be less emotional than other people.  You try to find an explanation for everything.  However, you may be unconsciously programed to react in a certain way without thinking about it and can’t find an explanation for why you do what you do.  Things in the unconscious are unconscious and that is why you don’t know why you are doing what you do.

Intellectualization goes hand in hand with blocking in psychotherapy.  This occurs when a person starts to remember something and immediately forgets what it was.  Things in the unconscious are there for a reason and remembering them can be uncomfortable and therefore, they get blocked.  Emotions are attached to these memories which are repressed and feeling these emotions is unacceptable for various reasons.  Episodes of abuse are often forgotten and not remembered because of the horrible memories attached to them and the fear that telling someone might result in rejection or death.

Intellectualization occurs in persons for whom being emotional usually is unacceptable and for whom giving a reason for doing something is more often acceptable.  The problem with denying feelings is that a person can become unemotional and not experience good feelings as well as bad.  Geeks and nerds are often considered to be unemotional in this way.  For an example of this watch The Big Bang Theory.  Of course being overly emotional can be also unacceptable too.  This type of character has also been successfully portrayed in situation comedies and comedy sketches as well.

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Whose Business Is It Anyway?

EXPERT

EXPERT (Photo credit: Pete Prodoehl)

Most of us have trouble controlling our own lives so why do we think we can do a good job of controlling someone else’s life, especially that of someone we really don’t know.   It seems that our media encourages this and hour upon hour of television news is spent speculating about people who are in the public spotlight and garnering opinions about them, who they are, what to do about them, and why they did what they did.  They survey dozens of “experts” and whether these experts know what they are talking about is often not very clear.

Usually this speculating starts before the facts about the situation (if we ever really get them) are all in and often the initial information from which people are drawing conclusions is sketchy, at least a little inaccurate, and sometimes just plain wrong.  This jumping to conclusions can lead to actions and  reactions that are not just inappropriate, but downright harmful.  Mob violence, for example, can be such a thing.  There is something to be said for delays in reporting some of the news until all the facts are in and for taking the time necessary to put together a full and unbiased report.  Even then should people, consumers and “experts”, be called prematurely to offer ideas as to how they would describe the motives of possible “suspects” and as to what should be done in terms of punishment and in terms of changes in the law that should be made.

How can some of us who may have similar problems of our own that we can’t or won’t solve and/or who have little knowledge of the problem in general tell others with that problem what to do?  In college, the sophomore who was taking introductory psychology always knew the most about the subject and was inclined to offer other college students who had not yet taken the class, friends, and family unsolicited advice and opinions about others’ behavior and psychological problems.  “Don’t look at me; look at them,” the person seems to be saying and often following this with unsolicited and unsound advice.  Control yourself, not others, unless you are officially responsible for them as a teacher, law enforcement officer, judge, or parent.

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