Saturday, November 12, 2016

Knowledge Is Power? - Not Quite


I often hear the phrase 'knowledge is power', and it always gets me thinking critically.  If knowledge is power, then is a book powerful all by itself?  A book simply contains information and is not powerful at all.  Understanding the words in the book and using them in a constructive way, that is where the power comes from.  Knowledge is not power, wisdom is.

A bodybuilder can use their physical strength to lift heavy objects that an average person may not be able to, but their strength had to be built up before they could do so.  Our mental strength is very similar to this in nature; we need to build upon our strength in order to be a 'mental bodybuilder'.  A healthy body is more resilient when injuries occur, and a healthy mind is as well.  Check your mental health regularly and if you do not feel healthy, do something about it.

Turn your knowledge into wisdom if you want to build up your mental strength and resiliency.  I have no doubt that you know many things, but what do you understand about all of those things that you know?  You may read a good quote from an important person from our past and be able to reiterate the words to others, but do you really understand what the words mean?  Understanding the words and critically thinking about them will gain you the wisdom that they represent.

I love to read quotes, some of them simply make sense, while others make you think.  If you need some mental exercise to start building your inner strength, this is a great place to start.  Don't just read something like "I think therefore I am" and commit it to memory, ask yourself what it means to you. Does it simply mean that I exist because I think, or does it mean the material world is an illusion and all that matters it the fact that we can think?  These types of questions will lead you to a deeper understanding and meaning.  You are becoming wiser every time you explore questions like these.

Wisdom is power and the more you explore knowledge, the stronger and wiser you become.  Don't simply take words verbatim just because someone 'important' said them, find out for yourself why they are so profound in the first place.  Start exercising your mind just like we would do for our bodies.  Become more resilient for when the 'low' times happen because they will,  How we face those low times depends on the strength we have.

Every time you suffer through more mental hardships, you have the chance to make yourself stronger. Learn from all of your experiences through reflection and turn those hard times and experiences into mind-building tools.  The best part is that the stronger your mental muscles become the easier it is to take control of your mind and your thoughts, as opposed to you being controlled by them on a daily basis.  Build mental strength and take control of your own life and perceptions.

Once you have better control of your mind you will be able to direct the thought processes to more positive paths.  Right now your mind could be feeling dragged down causing depression and anxiety, but with more mental exercise and critical thinking, you will be able to pull yourself out back from being dragged and push forward to thought processes you would prefer.

The new generation needs to be taught how to deal with information overload.  This generation downloads so much information each day and many are not able to process all of it.  This is where many of the current mental health issues are coming from in droves.  Start turning that knowledge into wisdom and begin to clear your mind.  Otherwise it will take over and control you.

Start training your mind to ask more questions.  Questions build strength and resolve unprocessed thoughts.  Unprocessed thoughts are what is causing your overthinking.  Build your strength, better control your thinking, and calm your mind.  Calm your mind and start choosing the thoughts you would prefer to think about, rather than being plagued by those you would rather not.

This is not about controlling the mind, it is about taking better control of it so it does not control you.

Be Well and have nice weekend!

Use Your Religion Wisely

This is a great quote to get you thinking and to expand your mind.  The more we expand our minds, the more room we have for thinking.  There is a big difference between philosophy and religion. No matter which religion you may follow, if you don't understand the words you have read or heard, then they are still just words.

I enjoy reading religious texts for the rich knowledge they contain in regards to good values and ethics.  I enjoy studying Buddhist texts when I am searching for inner peace or for more enlightenment in my life.  When I want to learn suffering and understanding deeper aspects of life, I like to read some of Jesus' parables.  I skip past the religious aspects of each text and search for the deeper meanings of the words that are written.

Following the philosophies of Buddhism or Christianity, or any other religion can be a very helpful way to find the path to being a better human.  You don't have to follow the religion to gain the wisdom they hold.  Use the philosophies and underlying teachings to find a better path.  Use the information to empower your growth as a human being.

There are many differing philosophies that can be used to guide you down different paths.  Find the one that works for you.  Having faith and understanding in something helps us to have more faith in ourselves, and in humanity.  It also strengthens our sense of mental well-being.  Having faith in ourselves is simply good for our mental health.

If you choose to have faith in a certain religion, I say good for you.  This has helped so many people stay on their path and to help them find it when they are lost.  Try not to get to wrapped up in the religious aspects if you are look for self improvement.  Question the words you read and hear, and understand them as best you can.  How can you use the information to make you a better you?

Don't simply memorize and try to retain the words you read in religious or philosophical texts.  Learn what they mean while strengthening and growing your own wisdom.  Use your 'gut' feelings to question your logic and make sure you feel good about all of the information you learn.  If something feels wrong, it probably is wrong.  Ask yourself why in these situations?

Use good information in your search for peace and enlightenment.  Use religious texts that have been around for thousands of years.  The philosophies have lasted the test of time for a reason.  Just make sure when you are reading and studying that you are critically thinking about all of the words.  Whether the words are right or wrong is not the point, understanding why they are right are wrong is.

Happy Weekend to all!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Reduce Stigma By Normalizing Mental Health Disorders


I am an avid reader of psychology books and I took a few courses in differing types of psychology while in college.  I spend a lot of time reading the DSM-V and I am also a quiet observer of people.  The DSM-V is the newest version of the diagnostics and statistical manual for mental health disorders.  There are hundreds of disorders in the book with a wide array of symptoms used to diagnose specific disorders.  My question is whether these are all disorders, or if many of them are simply personality traits that have been called disorders.

The more I read about disorders, the more I come to some conclusions.  I am certainly not a psychologist, but I don't think there is a person that I have observed who does not fit the criteria of at least one disorder in the book.  So does this mean that everybody has a mental health disorder?  It would seem so!

Here is how it works.  A psychologist, psychiatrist or a doctor will observe symptoms in a patient, use their knowledge combined with the DSM, and assess based on symptoms and other criteria in the book.  A person does not have to have all of the symptoms to be put into a category of a disorder, but if they meet the criteria stated, they will likely be diagnosed with the disorder after further assessment.  

My education deals with the assessment side of things and I take it quite seriously when I am working with others.  The more symptoms I can observe and classify within a specific disorder, the better I will understand the person I am working with, and therefore can provide better insight into their issues.  The more I do this, the more I learn that I cannot find someone who does not fit into the criteria of one disorder or another.  Even the most seemingly 'normal' people have symptoms that can be assessed as a disorder.

So what does all of this mean.  To me, it means that pretty much every person has a mental health disorder to some degree, but some don't fall as far outside of the social norm as others do, therefore they are not as recognizable.  A simple anxiety disorder for example can be hidden from others quite easily, whereas a severe social anxiety disorder is very recognizable to the public.  

Here is my point, if everyone has a mental health disorder of some sort, then where does all of the stigma come from?  It comes from the judgment towards those who stand out the most.  If you are suffering from a severe bipolar disorder or schizophrenia for example, this can be very recognizable to others, and often the 'others' will judge and point these people out because they are easier to identify, and it takes the focus on their own issues.

Normalizing is a way to remove stress and anxiety from sufferers, especially those who are dealing with more severe symptoms.  If we understand that everyone is suffering from some mental health disorder, whether it is easily observable or not, we understand that nobody should be judging another for theirs.  I am normalizing it by telling you that nobody is better than you.  They may have more material things, power, or money, but this doesn't make a person better than another.

Each day as you suffer, remind yourself that you must have a lot of strength to be able to get up each day despite your issues.  Also realize that everyone else is suffering with their own issues, and when they point a finger at you, they are in essence point the finger back at themselves.  Stop taking the treatment of others personally they are dealing with their own mental disorder and their behaviors are due to that.

End stigma by understanding that we all 'in the same boat together'.  Realize how hard your own issues are on you and that those who have more observable symptoms must be suffering so much worse than you are.  Give them a break and don't judge, be understanding.  If we all have a mental health disorder then the only stigma left is from discrimination.  

All mental health disorders cause suffering to differing degrees.  Don't discriminate against others or you will be discriminating against yourself.  It would be like judging someone for being of a certain race when you come from an oppressed race of people yourself.  Be understanding of the suffering of all others and the stigma of mental health disorders will eventually disappear.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Practice Makes Progress-Step 5


I am hoping you have been able to get started on the goals you set for yourself. Setting specific goals will help you to start completing tasks and process unresolved thoughts.  Hopefully you are well on your way to taking on these goals to guide you through your self-improvement.  Step 5 now involves looking at the goals you have set for yourself, and to see if you have been able to move forward with them.

If you haven't been able to yet, that is okay too.  This is the stage where simply trying to get started can be difficult in its own sense.  The more you try, the more chances you will have to succeed.  Either way, practice is so very important at this point.  You will want to analyze your own progress and take anything that has forward movement as a success, and use it to build upon.  If you have completed tasks for yourself already, that is wonderful.

Now take a look at how you did it and where you found the 'will' to get them done. This is the feeling you want to reward yourself with, it is a sense of accomplishment.  The more you practice all of the skills through Step 5, the better you will get at starting and completing thoughts and tasks, and the better you will begin to feel overall.  Every time you complete something or at least try to complete a task or thought, the more you will see your own forward movement upon your own path.

By doing this step over and over again until you get it right, you will be conditioning yourself and creating the skills need to overcome any problem you may have.  Start small and build up.  Just as going to a gym and targeting certain muscles will help to build your strength in them, the more you work on your ability to set and complete goals, the better this skill will become.

Don't expect that you will be successful all the time in the beginning or you may be setting yourself up for personal failures.  This is where you want to remind yourself to make your goals something that is attainable in your present condition, and that they are things that you can realistically complete in the time frames you set for yourself.  Success comes with trying.  As long as you are trying, your inner self will be proud of you, and that is what matters.

Keep reworking your goals until you are satisfied that they are complete, or at least you tried your best.  Working step 5 will help you to condition your own behaviours to something that is more positive for you.  The more you practice working on your goals, the easier it will become to work them from beginning to end.  Simply get started and find some relief for yourself.

Take care and Be well

Overcoming Anxiety-There Is Hope


I have started this part of my blog to share a journey of understanding and acceptance in regards to anxiety.  Anxiety disorders are very real and so is the panic that follows it when uncontrolled.  I will share a better understanding about anxiety; how you can cope with it and how to eventually overcome it.
The information I will be sharing is based on real life experience and followed by an abundance of educational upgrading.  I have lived through the pits of panic and the anguish of anxiety, and have emerged on the other side, medication free.  I have been medication free for a few years and have been able to sustain my calm demeanor while suffering from little to no anxiety.  You must also understand that I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at 16 years of age and I am now in my 40's.   For over 25 years I suffered, mostly in silence, while raising my children and doing my best to remain stable enough to provide a decent life for them.  It is my belief that the suppression of my anxieties led to my chronic pain and a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia which I have suffered with for many years now.
I don't want any pity for this, these were my personal life lessons and I would not ever trade what I have learned, nor do I have regrets.  Emerging from the other side of this was my chance to finally rise above the fog.  It took a few months to clean out my system of the prescription drugs my doctor had me on for all of those years, but once they were gone, I felt like I was seeing the world for the first time once again.
I was fortunate that spring had hit around this time because I was able to reconnect with nature once again, which provided me the strength to deal with the mental trials of decades of suppressed anxiety.  I began to challenge every stressor within me one at a time, and found that I was able to beat a few of them with logic and reason.  Mind over matter was very possible if I could simply find a quiet spot to pause life for a while and work on my own personal internal issues.  This is the process that not only brought understanding to me once again, but it also provided me with the wisdom to fix my own anxiety issues and to never have a panic attack again.
Don't get me wrong, I still feel anxiety each and every day, I just know what to do with that anxiety now as opposed to it doing something to me.  This one realization helped me to literally change my life to something much better and much more fulfilling.  I slowly learned to control my anxiety so that it could never take control of me again.  This is not a simple patch for coping like the pills were, this was a complete reversal of thought, and a tool for me to never have an anxiety or panic attack again.
My plan is to share this tool with readers one day at a time.  I will help with coping skills to aid you in getting through the day to day crap of our out-of-control society, while also showing you to challenge and overcome your anxieties.  I have learned the way out of the pit and you too can do it.  Continue to read and please comment if you have any questions or remarks.
Choose to have a good day today, it is always the foundation on which to start!
Be Well

How To Deal With Flare-ups and Illness


We all have times when things are better than others, but it is the bad times that question our resolve.  If you are a healthy person, when you get sick you suffer for a short period of time for the most part, and then go back to normal.  When you are already suffering each day from a physical or mental illness, and you get sick or have a flare-up, it can be crippling.  It can take much longer to get over the sickness and there is unfortunately not a 'normal' state to look forward to getting back to.  It may be your normal state, but it is not a state of wellness.

There is a virus going around in our area right now, and many are suffering for weeks from it.  Even normally healthy people are struggling.  What I have noticed is that the normally healthy people are over it in a week or so, whereas those that I know who suffer from day to day with an invisible illness, they are struggling much longer, including myself.  It has been tough on many over the past few weeks but i can certainly see who has the mental strength and who does not.

It seems that those who suffer on a regular basis have a much better attitude about life, even while having almost crippling symptoms.  It is nice to see that those who suffer on a regular basis can rise above their horrible symptoms and still keep a positive attitude for the most part.  This shows an awesome quality that we often miss in people who suffer from mental and physical illness on a regular basis, they are much more strong willed, and have much more inner resolve than others do.

If you think that your suffering is doing nothing positive for you, think again.  Your suffering is teaching you to persevere through the worst possible feelings, and still be able to function.  You are becoming stronger on the inside, although it does not feel that way most of the time.  I find that the more negative things I suffer through, the easier it is to deal with the world.  If I can handle what I consider to be a horrible situation, other situations affect me less.  I am seeing that in other sufferers as well, and I will stand up and tell you that you should be proud of yourself.

Whether you are suffering from depression, or chronic fatigue, or fibromyalgia, or anxiety, or any other affliction, and you still survive each day with a good attitude, you should feed off of this.  Your inner resolve and strength grow more each day as you make it through another.  Good for you!  You don't even let extra viruses get you down for long.  This is progress whether you can see it or not.

Every time you survive another flare-up or sickness, you are becoming stronger on the inside.  When you take away the material world all you have left is your spirit and strength of will.  Continue to build on it and life will get better.  Face each troubled situation with will of a warrior knowing that you have already survived so much.

Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help


While talking to a friend this morning I kept reminding her of something, don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it!  It reminds me that good people don't often ask for help because they don't want to bother others with their problems.  So we end up with a bunch of good people being isolated from others because they don't want to be a burden to others.  The ones who often need help the most are the ones who will not ask for it.

I am also guilty of not asking for the help of others, but then I remind myself that those close to me feel better when they are able to help me.  I think I am being a burden because  I believe that the other person has enough of their own stuff to deal with, while their perception is completely different.  If you have caring and compassionate people in your life then they will feel better if given the opportunity to help ease your suffering.

This is where we need to change our mindset.  I understand isolating our problems from most of the world around us, because so many people are judgmental and lack the empathy required to understand what we are going through.  There are people out there who truly want to help you and want nothing in return.  Their reward is in helping you.   Because they are caring and empathetic individuals, they simply want to see you happier and more at peace.  Let them help.
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Don't be afraid to ask for help from those who are offering from their heart.  They are doing it out of caring and compassion, and you are not a burden to them.  Not everyone in the world is self-centered and if you look hard enough, you will begin to see the people in your world who truly have your best interests at heart.  Turn to them when you are struggling and they will turn to you when they are.  We all need to collaborate and socialize from time to time, and this is essential to working through problems that you cannot take care of alone.

There are others out there suffering from invisible illnesses just like you.  Don't be afraid to reach out them for some understanding.  Don't go looking for friends and family to counsel you, just look for caring individuals who will listen to you with understanding and realization that they are helping you. Let them help even if it is simply by being a good listener.

The more you share your issues, the less weight you will fell in your mind.  Find someone you trust and share those things you have been holding onto for so long.  Don't repress things, face them. The more you face them, the stronger you will get, and the less fear you feel.  Ask for help!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Anxiety or Depression: Get Over It?


Have you ever heard this sort of comment, 'get over it'?  People suffering from invisible issues like depression, anxiety, or a chronic pain disorder hear comments like this from others, and let me tell you that there is nothing more frustrating to hear.  Comments such as 'buck up', 'pull up your socks', 'get over it' and 'get over yourself' are things that many people have either said or have heard in regards to their disorders.

Let me tell you, there is nothing more demeaning to a sufferer to hear comments such as these.  Do people actually believe that invisible illnesses are a choice?  Anyone with a mental health disorder or invisible illness would certainly choose to not have it if the choice was theirs.  So don't treat them like they are doing something wrong!  If it were as easy as 'getting over it', the choice would already be made.

My point here is awareness and understanding.  The more aware people are of the symptoms that are being suffered through, the more they can use their empathy and understanding to help ease the discomfort of the sufferer instead of judging them only on what they can see.  Awareness comes from the sharing of information and I believe it is the job of those who are suffering to start sharing their stories.

The more the general public knows about invisible illnesses, the better chance we will have that they will approach us with understanding, rather than offering treatment based on only what can be clearly seen.  I share things about myself so that others know that they are not alone.  I am a humble person who does not like being in the spotlight and can be quite shy in nature, but I know how important it is to bring these issues out into the open.

Too many people are becoming isolated because they are embarrassed of their illness or behaviours, and that is not fair.  Everyone should have the right to be themselves without judgment, as long as they are not hurting anyone else.  I am hoping to spread a little awareness with my blog and to help others gain some simple understanding of mental health.  I hope to help a few people get their critical thinking skills working so they can better figure things out for themselves.

Being somewhat isolated myself these days, I am reaching out to others who feel similarly, in the hopes that people will begin supporting each other more.  If you are depressed and know someone else who is depressed, reach out and share with them.  Share your understanding and maybe some helpful ways to ease suffering.

We tend to keep our issues quiet, but in my opinion, we need to open up the discussion and help each other improve our quality of life.  If you are finding my thoughts helpful, I would certainly appreciate it if you would share it with friends who could use a little Mental Health Straight Talk, or simply to share the awareness to others.

Click one of little buttons below the post and follow us on Facebook or Twitter at the top of the page.  It nice to see more readers from around the world each day, and I thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

I came up with a saying a few years ago, 'inspire others to inspire others', and that is what I hope to do here.  Inspire you to find your path to contentment and to share it with others as well.  Keep the inspiration moving forward.

Have a peaceful evening.

"I Think Therefore I Am"-Who Am I?


" I think therefore I am" is a famous quote by Rene Descartes.  It has some very deep meanings but for my purpose at this moment, it means that because I have the ability to think, I exist.  If I exist then the next question I will as is 'who am I?'.  This seems like a simple thing but it is very profound question to ask ourselves.  Ask yourself right now and see what answers you come up with, and are the answers natural or do they feel forced?

When I ask myself this question I come up with a multitude of answers, and many of them apply to 'what I am', as opposed to who I am.  When I re-ask the question of myself I begin to determine who I truly think I am, from my own perspective.  Many of us don't want to ask this question because we are afraid of what the answers may be.  The thing is though, if we don't know who we are, how can we truly understand ourselves.

I spent some time as a guidance counselor and I worked mostly with young adults who were struggling somewhat.  I use my experience, skills and training to determine who I think they are, and to help them find their path again.  I see the good in people until I am given reasons not to.  Every one of them is a good person trying to find the path back to themselves.  I simply do my best to help them back onto that path so they can travel in the direction they want to go.

That is what I am attempting to do with my blog.  Help troubled souls find their way back onto a path that will bring you back to who you are.  Who am I? I am an empathetic human being who takes pleasure in helping others find their way.  I don't know how to take you down your path, only how to help you find it again.  No matter what I have been through in my own life, I have always found my path again, and I want to help you find yours.

Continually ask yourself 'who am I', and don't stop until you begin to like the answers you are receiving.  You exist and therefore your life matters just as much as the next one.  Find out who you are and who you want to be.  Grow and build on your strengths and resolve your weaknesses.  Become who you are and find the peace you are searching for.

We can only be content with ourselves if we are happy with the path that we are on.

Be Well

Healing Mental Wounds


Let's use an analogy to better understand our own mental health.  It often gets confusing when dealing with our mental state because we cannot physically see the issue put in front of us.  When we  suffer a wound to our physical selves, we know to stop the bleeding and to cover it so it will not get infected.  We can watch the healing process over time and take steps to aid in the healing.  So what do we do when we can not see the wound and don't know how to keep it from getting infected?

Let's use an example of someone saying something very hurtful to us to analyze the healing process.  Think of the hurtful comments as a knife causing invisible wounds to our mental state.  Often we will suffer the wound and push it out of our minds so that we can hide from it and forget about it.  If we did that with a physical wound, it would fester and become infected, and it is the same with a mental wound.

Now, if you had cuts all over your body and did not tend to them, your physical self would begin to deteriorate until something is done to aid in the healing process.  Your mental state of being is the same way.  If your mind and heart are covered in invisible cuts, they will sit there and fester until the healing process begins.  When I talk about inner conflicts, I am talking about these invisible wounds.  The more wounds we have, the more we are controlled by their effects.

If you are depressed or anxious, or dealing with other inner turmoils, start to see each part of that turmoil as an open wound that needs to be healed.  Even though we can't physically see our mental state of being, we certainly know it is there.  If you are feeling anything but peace then it means that there are unhealed wounds still within you.

With physical wounds we can treat them and put bandages on.  We can't do this with mental wounds.  We can use reason and logic to begin the healing process though.  Stop the progress of infection by looking at the hurtful and negative thought processes and finding ways to stem the negativity that flows from your inner wounds.  Think of your reasoning as the antibiotics required to stop the infection and start the healing process.

Use this analogy to take a physical look at an invisible issue.  Put your negative thoughts in front of you and begin healing them.  Don't just put bandages on them and hide them away, they will continue to fester and poison your mental health.  Heal them through reason and love for yourself.  Use your critical thinking skills and reasoning to close the wounds and start your healing process.

Just like the healing process in our physical bodies, it takes time.  We know that if we don't heal our wounds that we will not be completely healthy.  Begin healing your inner wounds so you can be mentally healthy.  If you want better physical health you must change the way you think about health, there is no quick fix.

 It comes down to living a healthier lifestyle, not just some diet or workout routine.  Change the way you think about your own mental health and choose a healthier lifestyle that includes regular mental health checkups.  Start healing your wounds so you can finally find the peace within yourself that we are all searching for.

Be Well and have a wonderful day!

Stop Worrying!


As I sit here going a little stir crazy with flu like symptoms, my thoughts tend to jump around.  I find that if I sit down and write down some of those thoughts, that my mind clears out and I feel a little better.  I look for the silver lining to being sick and remind myself how important our health is.  It is amazing how we forget this simple thing at times.

I have lived with chronic pain and fatigue for quite a few years now but I am certainly not looking for sympathy from anyone.  Although it does 'suck' at times, it has taught me how important good mental health is and how it can be more important than our physical health.  These issues have put me through the suffering of depression and high anxiety, but without these I would never have learned how to strengthen my own mental health, and how to help others do the same.

I realize I have jumped around a bit with my topics so far and likely will do so in the future, but I believe I have brought out all of the major points I would like to hit with this blog and now I will be able to expand on those thoughts over the next few weeks.

Depression and anxiety come from opposite states of mind but tend to run hand in hand with each other for many.  Depression is based in our worry about past events whereas anxiety is our worry about possible future occurrences.  I am here to tell you to Stop Worrying!  Worry has no benefit to our mental health in any way.  It is okay to have concern for others but worrying about things has absolutely no benefit to health and well-being in any way.

Worry adds fuel to the fire of depression and anxiety and leaves us out of control with ourselves.  When we worry about things we are making predictions about the future and I will tell you this, nobody can predict the future so stop trying to.  What will happen will happen.  We can only control how we react to life and its events, not the events themselves.  The stronger our mental health and the more inner peace we have created, the better we will react to those events.

I plan to write more about depression over the next couple of weeks once my own head clears out, but in the mean time I want you to understand that depression is something we have created for ourselves.  Outside events may have helped lead to the feelings of sadness, but our reactions are what created the depressive state of mind.  I don't know about you but I certainly don't want to feel sad all of the time.

I have learned to identify the sad thoughts and used them to strengthen my own learning and resolve. You can too.  I am not saying it is easy, I am simply saying that you are the master of your own domain and it is time you take control of yourself.  Tell yourself that it is your turn to be happy.  Look for happy moments throughout your day and learn to focus on them.  You may find those moments in the smallest things, but by focusing on those small happy moments, you can produce large results.

Stop worrying about things because that worry is not helping anything or anyone.  Identify your negative thoughts one at a time and find ways to turn them into positive life lessons for yourself.  Don't try to tackle all of your problems at once because this will be terribly overwhelming.  Start with one problem a day and in a week, you could easily solve 7 issues in your mind.  We can all handle that and we all need to start somewhere.

Have a peaceful day and be well!

Racism Causes Inner Conflict

I wrote this post a few years back and shared my feelings on racism.  Racism is something that causes inner conflicts and is a detriment to our mental health.  We can not be mentally healthy and still believe in the dislike of others based on race, colour or culture.  It is a ridiculous notion and it goes against the moral fibers of our being.


I have been considering the "nature versus nurture" debate as I ponder values and morals.  Are these traits genetic and instinctual, or are they all taught to us during our developmental stages of life?  When we are young children, do we not test the waters of life while experiencing certain feelings and affective behaviors from inside ourselves which tell us what we are doing is either "wrong" or "right"?   This would be an argument for the nature side of the debate, and would tell us that we certain "built-in" feelings (instincts) and cognitive thoughts that guide us between "good" and "evil".

On the other hand, if we are taught something is right and it goes against our instinctual feelings, which one are we supposed to choose?  It is quite obvious for the most part that we are taught the morals and values that we carry with us throughout our lives by our parents and the important guiding figures that we grow up with.  Many of these are based with our family's religious beliefs or some other form of ethical code that we live our lives by.

One of my favorites to discuss when it comes to the very fiber of our moral and ethical beings is racism.  Racism is learned, it is not an inherent trait that we are born with.  There are a few that will argue this point but I believe that this is indisputable.  To dislike another human being because they have a different color of skin or are from a different race is absolutely ridiculous.  It is ludicrous to think that we have the ability to judge others based on how they look to us and not based upon who they are.  Racism is a prime example of how horrible our moral and ethical values have become within the human race.

The worst part is that this problem seems to only get worse and we will pass this along to the next generation.  We can praise our own set of values and morals as being the best and many religions often do.  But where do they refer to this issue within their set of rules?  Racism is a tool used to segregate certain groups from others for only negative purposes.  It is something that has become a way of life for many in our world and I must question the moral grounding of those individuals.

Is there a natural instinct within us that makes us dislike others who don't look the same as us or speak the same language?  I personally say no and will argue my side of that one until the ends of time.  It is a stereotype or schema that we create during our developmental stages of life, and this is where the problem needs to be repaired.  I ask all humans to attempt to teach their children better than our generation has been taught in this regard.  If we want to improve the morals, ethics and values of the youth in our world, we must begin by teaching them this most important value.

It comes down to that old saying that still holds true and always will, "Don't judge a book by its cover".  Accept all people for who they are on the outside.  If you find you don't like that person after you learn what is on the inside, then choose not to spend time around them.  Who someone truly is on the inside, and what makes them a human being with a "soul" or "spirit", that is what truly matters.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Invisible Illnesses and Isolation


Most people would likely be astounded to find out how many people are living with invisible illnesses.  For the most part, these people are hidden from society and forgotten about.  Many people with invisible illnesses are able to function daily and go to work, and for the rest of the time they remain mostly isolated from the world.  It can be a very lonely place to be and often leads to feelings of hopelessness and desolation.

Invisible illnesses can be mental or physical in nature, but they both have something in common, the symptoms are not invisible at all to the sufferer.  They are very real.  Almost all of the symptoms end up with an exhausted person trying to stay positive on the other side.  It is not an easy existence for us sufferers who constantly have very real mental and physical barriers to face each day.  Many end up isolated from the world because so few people empathize and understand how horrible it can feel.

This is why there is so much stigma attached to mental health.  It is hard to understand something you can't see, I realize this, but unfortunately the average person does not look deeper than the surface of most things.  Those that do look deeper can truly see your suffering.  Many of us end up isolated because of judgment and a lack of understanding.  There are two ways we can go from here.  We can stop caring what others think, or we can do our best to make others understand our suffering.

You will hear the word 'awareness' attached to many different concepts, and this is a very human way to try and help others.  Create an awareness about something so that people will offer empathy and understanding rather than judgment and ridicule.  Go on social media and easily find thousands of people with pages and groups attempting to create awareness for whichever cause has affected them, or someone close to them.  This is wonderful when it comes to spreading empathy around the world.

The more awareness created about your affliction, the more 'normal' you begin to feel and the easier it is to share your issues with others so they can better understand you.  This is truly helping people come out of isolation.  The other option is to stop taking things personally and to stop worrying about what others think of you.  If you are good well intended human being, just be you and don't worry how others feel about you.  It's really none of our business what others think of us anyhow!

If you are struggling with and invisible illness and are feeling isolated, there is hope.  Start small and do little things to build on your strengths each day.  Meditate each day for however much time you can spare and relieve some of your conflicts in a quiet state.   All of these things will help to build your confidence and self esteem as well.  As these build you will find yourself wanting to come out of isolation and face the world a little more.  Take smalls steps, but take them!


Taking Positive Action: Step 4


Now that we have an attitude for positive change, taken a solid self-assessment, and have produced some goals for our own self-improvement, we are ready to take on Step 4.  This step is the most fun, but it can also be quite challenging for those who are still struggling a lot.  Small goals or big goals are not the point here, this is about taking action with a well-assessed plan in place.  The better you get at this step the easier it becomes.

Because we have looked at ourselves and performed a caring and empathetic assessment, we now see that the goals we are setting for ourselves are things that will make us happier and more at peace with the world.  Taking action awakens our inner resolve and you can feed off of this energy.  My goal in this program was to get myself writing again each day so that I could move forward in my life.  Every day I write a new post I feel like I have gotten something off of my chest, and I can breathe more easily.

Now it is time to take action for you!  Choose your realistic and attainable goal, and set yourself a timeframe in which to complete it.  I wanted to post at least 2 blogs daily and remove 10-15 thought conflicts each week.  I set an attainable and realistic goal for myself and achieved it within the time frame I had set for it.  I can take that as a success and set a new goal for myself, and so on and so on...

I am saying that you can do the same.  Set those goals and push yourself to achieve them, it is that simple.  Yes, some days you will not be able to complete things, and don't let this discourage you.  Don't look at improvement on a daily basis, look at the positive change over time.  If it takes 3 weeks to complete a goal that you wanted to complete in 1 week, this is still success.  Only the positive change matters, not the time frame.  The time frame is merely and incentive to push your inner self towards the goal you want.

I have no doubt that most of the changes and goals you seek will make you a happier person, that is the point.  Be happier because you want to be.  If you are having trouble setting goals for yourself and your brain is simply too overwhelmed to pick anything specific, I am going to suggest writing of some sort.  I have been writing about blogging and journaling over the past few days leading up to Step 4.  Don't think about what you are going to do with the things you write, just write them.

Writing is a great way to take positive action for yourself.  It gives you the opportunity to stop and work on yourself for a period of time, and to focus on how you can feel and think more positively.  If you want your writing to remain private then take those precautions and don't blog unless you want to share it with others.

Start practicing goal completion in Step 4 and begin clearing your mind of clutter.  This step will come up again later in the program because it is the most important one.  We can think about our problems all day but until we take action, nothing will change.  Start taking positive action for yourself no matter how small and menial you may consider the action to be.

Baby steps lead to giant leaps and I am hoping you will look back at this in a few weeks and be proud of all the actions you have taken.  If you are looking for some good tips to get you start with your writing, I like this page at tinybuddha.com for ways to get you writing.

Blogging Our Way To Peace


Why does writing/blogging help to promote better mental health?  As I struggle through my own inner conflicts, I find that some days there are an abundance of ideas flowing from my mind, but on the days when things are much more calm I try to focus on the 'feeling' side of my body.  It is easy to reason out problems in our brain if we work hard enough at it, but understanding the unprovoked feelings that come along with mental health issues is a different story.

Writing the past few weeks has helped me to resolve many thoughts that I needed to process, and although this has provided me with much relief mentally, I find that there are 'feelings' and 'emotions' that rise up within without me calling on them.  If you suffer from anxiety at all you will know the physical distress that often starts in the abdomen area and can overwhelm you if left uncontrolled.

When the mind is calm there is room in there to focus on these feelings and determine where they are coming from, and what is causing them.  I find that with this new focus, I am able to identify the inner conflicts that I have still yet to resolve.  You will find that many of these overwhelming feelings you get are due to very personal situations that we don't often like to share with others, and therefore the thoughts and feelings remain unprocessed in the secrecy of our minds.

This is where blogging and journaling can really help.  These are the things we would write in our diary because we want to keep them for ourselves and will only share with someone we have complete trust for, and at the moment that may only be ourselves.  When you write the thoughts and feelings down it gives your mind a chance to process the conflict and provide you with answers to resolving it.

If you are suffering from mental health issues right now like anxiety, depression, ADHD, or a maybe a mood disorder, I suggest you begin by processing unresolved thoughts first.  Reason can be use to solve conflicts that we understand and can make sense of, and the more of these thoughts you can resolve for yourself, the emptier you busier mind will become.  Don't try to face the feelings and emotions until there is room in your head to do so.

Feelings and emotions are much more powerful and can easily overwhelm us.  Quiet the mind first and then work at the uncontrolled emotions a little at a time until you build your inner strength up.
If you want to improve your state of mind, you simply need to get started.  Don't focus on the emotions, focus on the negative thoughts that are plaguing you first.

Some of those thoughts could be simple tasks you need to complete but have been procrastinating because you are overwhelmed by the mass of it.  Pick one or two tasks and complete them.  Make sure you make not of how you feel once the tasks are completed.  This feeling may feel conflicted but focus on it so you know what it feels like to have a successful moment in your day.  As you complete more tasks and process more unresolved thoughts you will feel that successful feeling more often.

Build on that feeling so you can grow from a strength within you.  Resolve your weaknesses by removing negative thoughts and build your strengths by providing solutions in your life.  Use that strength to build your self esteem and confidence so you can once again be in control of your thoughts, feelings, and your life.  Happiness is a choice, but it is not an easy one.

Choose to be happy for you, and resolve the things within yourself that are blocking you from being happy.  Don't settle for mediocrity, you deserve peace and contentment, so take it for yourself.  Start writing and get some of those thoughts out of your head.  Less conflict means more peace.  They go hand in hand.

Have a wonderful day!
Be Well

Monday, November 7, 2016

More Blogging To Better Mental Health


Do blogging and journaling really help our mental health? Absolutely!  I explained in an earlier article about thinking of your brain as a fishbowl filled with marbles.  The marbles represent unprocessed thoughts that continue to go around and around until we take the time to work them out.  When we remove marbles, we get relief.  As we remove unprocessed thoughts from our mind, it becomes quieter and has more room to take on new thoughts that we encounter each day.

I started this blog 3 weeks ago and have written more than 50 new posts.  Each one of these was a problem or unprocessed thought that I need to reason out for myself.  I have taken more than 50 marbles out of the bowl and I can honestly tell you that my mind becomes more clear each day.  Up until I began writing again, my brain felt full and foggy for quite a long while.  Since I have been processing thoughts again each day I find that I am feeling better mentally.

Blogging does work.  For me, I write when a good idea comes into my head, and I don't stop until I finish the thought.  I don't edit what I have written, I simply publish it and don't ever read it again unless I really have to.  Once I have reasoned a thought process and written it out, I find that it is no longer 'rolling around' up there in my head.  I use it as a counseling technique as well.

Because I have used it in the past and found much success with it, I have shared my methods with others who have benefited from writing as well.  Start a blog or a journal and give it a try.  If you need some help with the simple set up and ways to get started, email me and I will be happy to help.  I will be sharing some ways to get started in an upcoming blog as well.  If you start a blog and aren't ready to share your words with the world yet, don't publish them, just save them for yourself.

I find that posting them to the internet frees them from my mind so that I can move onto new and progressive thoughts.  Start getting some of those unprocessed thoughts out of your mind no matter which way works for you.  Getting ready of one, two or a few at a time is helpful, and after a few days and weeks of it, you will notice a big difference.

Good luck in your writing and if you do decide to start a blog and need some readers, email me your address and I will check it out.  Thanks for reading and I truly hope you find some peace this week!

Positivism: Can We Think Too Positively?


There are people in the world who are seemingly positive all of the time.  There are also those who live each day through positive affirmations.  Being positive in nature can be a very good quality to have, but how much is too much?  Can we think too positively?

Many self-help books sell positiveness and how to change your life through positive thinking and positive affirmation.  The premise is often a good one and it can help us to see the world around us in a different light, especially when we are suffering through negative times in our lives.  I have tried the positive approach to life and spent many years practicing the idea in the search for happiness and peace.  Here is what I learned.

People who are positive all the time tend to get taken advantage of more often than those who are not.  Being positive and nice are often taken for weakness and easy-going, making us easy targets for predators such as narcissists and those with sociopathic tendencies.  Although having a positive attitude can help us to have a better outlook on life itself, we need to be careful.

We live in a world where people gain power and get rich off the backs of hard working positive people, and many will stop at nothing to use all the positivity you have to offer without a care that you are being drained and burned out.  First of all, don't force positiveness, grow it from within.  Learn to feel positive rather than faking it.  Use affirmations to give you a boost and let that feeling grow from within.

I have remained a positive person for the most part, even during these tough times I have been experiencing.  What I learned was to add in 'realism' along with my positivism.  When we are positive all of the time, we are often setting ourselves up for disappointment and failure, especially when the world around us can be anything but positive.  Adding realism helps to bring us back to the present.

A realist attempts to see the world in an objective and factual way, while using logical reasoning to see the reality of the world, instead of a glossed over version.  Look at the world with all of the positiveness you can muster, especially if you are depressed or feeling down right now, but inject realism in as well.   Look at the world as it is and then try to find the positive things within that.

This will help you to find the good in anything, the silver lining if you will, and with practice the little things will be easier to see.  Once you begin seeing the positive in everything while still being realistic about, you are on your way to the contented perception you have been seeking.

Don't leave the house in the morning thinking everything will be perfect, that is what over positive people do;  leave the house with eyes wide open and a positive attitude that you will see the good wherever you can find it.  The more you see the world for what it is while still keeping a positive attitude, the stronger you will be, and the stronger mental health will become.

Have a positively realistic day!

Common Sense Approach to Mental Health


As I do my own reflection each day I realize new lessons for myself.  I am a constant learner and it keeps me moving forward in my own life each day.  I read and research many different topics every day, but the real learning comes from my own reasoning.  You will hear the term 'knowledge is power', and to a degree it is correct.  Books are full of knowledge, yet without a purpose for that knowledge, the words contain now power at all.  The power comes from how we use those words!

Each day I try to take a 'common sense' approach to mental health issues and to life itself.  I write each day to share my reasoning with others in the hope that it will spark something in you that creates your own positive change.  I certainly do not think that I know everything and I actually quite humble if you were to meet me in person.  I have so much learn while I am here and this quest for knowledge drives me each day to find power in it.  This is the quest for Wisdom.

Anyone can memorize things and reiterate the words of others, and these people can be very knowledgeable.  Knowledge is simply information, and the information is useless until it becomes practiced and turned into wisdom.  Wisdom is power.  Wisdom is the common sense we are all searching for.  Understand knowledge, understand yourself.  Take a common sense approach to your inner self and build on your strengths.

In my reading over the past many years I have read many self-help books.  Some of them are written by gurus and religious groups while others are written by those who have experience things and want to share their story, often in the hopes that they can help ease the suffering of others.  Self-help is a new generation of marketing.  Everyone wants to share their stories and what they have learned, and you cannot go into a bookstore without finding dozens of books that claim they will help you succeed and be a better you.

We read quotes every day by important people on our social media platforms, and it seems there is a page for every possible path to peace or enlightenment.  While much of this information you read can be very helpful, be sure to think about what you are reading and how it helps you be a better you.  Anyone can find the path to peace or enlightenment, but we need to remember that their path is their own.  There may be things that happen along their path that will help others stay on theirs, but your path is yours alone.

Whatever information you read, make sure you are using your own common sense and reasoning skills to ask questions about it.  Is the information helpful to your path?  Does it fit into your path to peace?  Is the information conducive to your goals and values?  There are hundreds of questions you could ask yourself, so ask them.  If you don't take a common sense approach to your own peace and contentment, who will?

I can tell you what the path to enlightenment or peace is, I can only help you to find your way back onto your own path.  Those wonderful inspiring quotes that you read can help you to find your way back as well.  We have our own personal path to peace, and if you are searching for contentment, you will find it there.  It is there, you just need to keep searching for it.  The more you search from within, the closer you will get.

React well to your day and stay on your path, don't let the chaotic world around you push you off of it.  Calm your inner self and be proud of your actions today rather than letting the negativity pull you back into the chaos and disorder.  You will begin to relax while gain strength and confidence in yourself.  And please don't forget to stop and take a few deeps breaths when you can; this can change a bad day into a good day very quickly.

Be Well

The Law Of Karma: Have Faith in Balance


Most of us have heard the word Karma, yet the meanings become quite distorted in the mass sharing of information in our world. What goes around comes around and for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction are explanations we hear in reference to the laws of Karma.  There is some truth in these statements, but a deeper understanding allows us to have some faith that there is some invisible force which brings balance to all things.

The true nature of Karma does bring balance but in the truer sense, it does not come in this lifetime.  Our rights and wrongs  will not be righted in this lifetime; our Karma will balance out in a later life. This comes from the belief in reincarnation, and that we will return to live life over and over again here on Earth until we can remove ourselves from the cycle.

I am going to use the common understanding of Karma for the purposes of making my point today. We like to believe that Karmic Law is a true and real entity because it offers us faith in the fact that others will 'get what is coming to them' and that others will receive some sort of judgment for their misdeeds towards us.  It is a comforting thought for good people to believe that if we do good deeds, we will be rewarded in some way eventually, and conversely, bad deeds will be punished in some way.

Science has shown us that for every action, there is a reaction, while some still believe that there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Either way, it shows us that there are natural consequences for our actions.  When someone does something wrong towards us, we have a feeling of wanting revenge or retribution.  These are natural feelings but Karma teaches us that we are not to act on those feelings, we are to let nature take its course and that those misdeeds will be punished eventually.

I am making this point to show you that a little faith in this concept can go a long way.  It helps us to forgive, forget and let go of things that are toxic to us.  If we have been hurt or abused by another and we believe Karma to be a true force in nature, then we can let go of the negative feelings because there is a force larger than us that will bring balance for us.

This also goes the other way as well.  If we continue to be good people and perform good deeds each day, Karma will eventually reward us for our efforts.  Whether you want to believe in the concept, it certainly can be a comforting form of reasoning to ease our troubled minds.  I am tired of watching abuser get away with misdeeds against others, but my belief in Karmic Law gives me the ability to let go of the negativity that hangs on long after the abuse.

Letting go of negative feelings and thoughts is half the battle when striving toward better mental health.  The other have is rebuilding our strength.  Have faith that Karma will bring balance back to your life and that of others.  Know that there is a force out there working behind the scenes that will reward good and punish bad.  We want to see the results of course, but you just have to trust that nature will find the balance eventually whether we can see it or not.

I know this can be a bit of stretch for some, but changing how we view things can have wonderful effects on our peace of mind.  Believe in the idea of Karma and start letting go of vengeful thoughts and feelings, it is good for you and that is all that matters.  Let go of negativity so you can begin rebuilding your strength and happiness.

Let Karma do its job so you can get on with your life.  Focus on good thoughts today!  Change your thinking and improve your attitude towards life itself.  Karma's got your back and will bring order back to your universe, so trust in it and move forward through the chaos.

Be well and have a great day

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Strengths and Weaknesses: You Are A Survivor!


Inner conflict creates confusion and weakness within ourselves.  The more of conflict we have, the weaker we become.  Many of us get stuck in this downward spiral that causes anxiety and depression. The conflicts continually beat at our armour and strength while weakening our resolve.  So how do we stop this downward spiral?

Although removing inner conflicts will begin to stop , or at least slow down the barrage of negativity being thrown at us constantly, we cannot build on weakness,  we can only build on strength. So what is the strength that all of us sufferers have in common?  We get stuck in these low places and often feel that we have no strength left to build upon.  The overwhelming feelings of negativity never seem to relent.

Where do we find this inner strength to start building our resolve again?  You are a survivor?  Every day that you wake up to  new day you need to remind yourself what you have survived.  Remind yourself of all of the conflicts you have already resolved even in your weakest states.  You have suffered in your mental health, possibly for years, yet here you are.  I tip my hat to you all!  The so-called rich and powerful in the world would likely not have survived what you have been through.

You are a survivor and you need to start being proud of that fact.  When your mind keeps dragging you back to things you would rather not think about, face them as a survivor.  Show your past that no matter what it throws at you, you will survive and persevere.  Every time you resolve a conflict or weakness for yourself, you are lessening your fear.  Lessening your fear reduces your anxiety towards the world.  Reducing your anxiety begins to allow you to build strength again.

This may all sound simplistic to complex problems but that is exactly what I am trying to do.  Use metaphor and analogies to make sense of yourself.  Understand that your strengths are quite awesome when you take a closer look.  Look at feeling sad each day yet still offering the best attitude you can.  That is an awesome strength to have.

Once you take a closer look at your strengths and realize what you have already survived through, you will begin to rebuild that fire within that you have when you were a child.  You have survived through so much and need to remind yourself of that each day.  I can only imagine your struggles, and if they are even half as bad as my own, then I am truly impressed with you as a person.

 Build on this strength and your own inner peace.  Look for thing that make you happy each day, and when the negativity tries to pull you back, step forward with a new found strength.

Stay Strong!

Balance Your 'Self' and Remove Inner Conflicts


It is one thing to understand that we have depression, anxiety, or some other mental health issue, but it is another to know why we have them in the first place.  How can you solve the root of your issues if you don't know what is causing them?  I like to talk about inner peace being a goal for all of us, but sometimes forget that without an understanding of what is keeping us from peace, we can not solve the issues that are blocking us.

I would like to take this seemingly complex problem and simplify it as best I can.  Let's get started!  Where do all of our inner conflicts begin and what makes us 'tick'?  We need to begin at the place where we absorb and 'download' information.  The answer is simple and complex at the same time, we absorb information through our senses.  We see, smell, hear, touch and taste the world around us without any effort each day, but what happens to this information once we have 'absorbed' it?

The information we take in through our senses must be processed at this point.  We see something and our thought processes try to make sense of it.  We smell something and our brain tries to understand and categorize what it means.  We spend every day downloading information through our senses and our brains spend the day trying to understand what it all means.  Once we have sorted the sensory information with our thought processes, we put this into memory.

Our memories then help us react to similarities when we experience the world around us.  This is where our behaviours come from.  Our behaviours manifest from things we have already learned, whether good or bad.  So let's simplify at this point; we have feelings or emotions based on sensory input, we have thoughts that help us to reason and understand the input, and then we have our behaviour which is the outward projection of what we have learned.

This process goes on all day without us even noticing.  When we begin to notice is when we have inner conflicts that have been created.  The information we feel is conflicting with the how we think about it.  If we can resolve the inner conflicts, we can have inner peace, but it is very rare to find someone who is truly at peace with themselves and the world around.  This means that we all have inner conflict, and it is the source of mental health issues.

How I feel about something does not always match how I think about it.  These conflicts are what keeps the mind busy all of the time.  A busy and uncontrolled mind is what plagues our existence.  We build so many inner conflicts and rarely take the time to resolve them.  We end up with an overloaded mind and feel so overwhelmed that we end up with issues like depression and anxiety.

We live in a world filled with conflict and evil, and for well-intended good people, the world itself fills us with conflict each day.  It is difficult to make sense of what we are seeing and hearing, especially when our feelings toward these things are negative, but our brain is trying to produce positive results.  I understand what it is like to be depressed and it certainly feels like something that is out of my control to deal with.

You need to understand why you are depressed or anxious so that you can begin to resolve your own issues.  Ask yourself why you are depressed or anxious and seek answers.  Find out why you are feeling so conflicted that it is taking away from your quality of life.  Start by observing your own inner processes and try to understand why you feelings don't match your thoughts.  This is the conflict you want to resolve so you can begin to experience the world without conflict.

The less conflict you feel on the inside, the closer you get to being at peace with yourself.  If you can't resolve the conflicts then you will never truly find peace.  When you have a feeling about something today check your thinking that goes along with it.  Make sure that your thinking coincides with your feelings.  If it does not, that is a conflict you will want to work on.  Find balance between your thoughts and feelings and your behaviour will improve.

I will ponder this further and take a step forward in this thinking process a little later.  I truly hope you have good day and are able to remove a conflict or two!

Be Well

Balancing Thoughts and Feelings for Better Mental Health


Let's start breaking down the problem.  We know that we are suffering inside but most of the time we do not know why.  We could be suffering from depression or anxiety, or other inner conflicts which are causing us both mental and physical, yet finding the root of the problems can feel like an overwhelming journey.  We need to simplify and understand if we want to move forward.

I got to thinking about a discussion I had with someone a few months back where we had two very opposite opinions about how to help someone build a better you.  I was told that we need to build a person from the outside in and that is the only way.  I was quite astounded that someone who I considered to be quite intelligent could have this view.  A person can only be built properly from the inside out and there is little we can do to help others on this journey.

The only thing we can offer is guidance if we know a better way.  Teaching a person who they should be on the outside so that they can function better in society is counterproductive against the nature of our being.  Inside of all of us is a being that is screaming to get out, and the more we are bogged down by rules, procedures, protocols, laws and other forms structure, the more frustrated that inner being becomes.  It is one thing to 'act' a certain way, but a completely different thing to 'be' who we are.

Anytime we act outside of our nature, we cause more inner conflict.  If I am nice person and choose to be that way then I certainly don't want someone telling me that I must act differently.  I can be a 'jerk' when I choose to be but it is definitely not 'who' I am.  I plan to write some progressive articles today and tomorrow that will show both of us how to make sense of this problem.

Society has programmed us to see the world the way it wants us to see it, not for how it truly is.  Media sets the tone for life and laws tell us what we can and can't do.  Both cause inner conflict because they are not based in being a better person, they are based in us doing what we are told so we can be a better citizen in this supposedly more 'civilized' world.  Civility to means treating others well and hoping they will do the same.

These are just my ramblings that are helping me towards making a better and more important point. I am not creating a self-help program like so many capitalists are doing out there, I am simply trying to use my own wisdom to provide a little guidance which I hope will help you be a better you.  That is all that is truly important.  We all want to be better humans but are not sure how to get there.  Being better human beings helps us to become who want to be and who we are meant to be, and this is how we resolve our inner conflicts.

I am working out a few finer points about this upcoming article about subjectivity and objectivity.  Our subjective self experiences the world through our senses and gets us physically invested in the world around us.  This is where our gut feelings and hunches come from.  Objectivity is where our brain processes information through logical reasoning based on our inner values and ethics.  If these two things are out of balance then we will live with inner conflict.

Consider your subjective feelings coming from the 'heart' and objective thoughts coming from our brain; they need to work together for balance and peace, but much of the time what we see and how we feel do not match up and this leads to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.  I will attempt to simplify this in my upcoming articles so you gain a better understanding of your inner self, and therefore have the ability to start resolving your own conflicts.

Think well and feel good today!