The Seeds of Change
|By Dr. John H. Sklare
The thoughts that you have in your mind are similar to the seeds a farmer plants in his field. Consider the fertile soil of a farmers field. The farmer decides what crop he wants to grow and then he plants the appropriate seeds. The ground in which he plants the seeds has no choice but to produce the very crop that the farmer has plantedbe it corn, wheat, barley, or weeds. The ground doesnt debate, challenge or try to change the seed. Its only role is to embrace the seed, nurture its growth and produce the crop. The same can be said about the thoughts you plant in your mind.
You, like the farmer, are a planter of seeds. Your seeds, however, are of a psychological nature. In your case, these are the seeds of thought and behavior. While the farmer plants his seeds in the ground, you plant your seeds in your mind. And just as the type of seed the farmer plants in the earth determines what he produces in his field, the kinds of thoughts that you plant in your mind determine what you produce in your life.
If you plant seeds of negativism, self-doubt and apprehension, you produce a life full of fear, frustration and helplessness. On the other hand, if you plant seeds that are positive, hopeful and strong, you produce a much healthier, happier and successful life. You cant continue to plant seeds of doubt and failure in your mind and expect to produce the successful life you dream of. Think about that as you wander through your day today! What kind of seeds are you planting?
Wishing You Great Health,
Dr. John H. Sklare
Archive for October, 2006
Dealing With Sorrow Depression Management
by: Rene Graeber
While the term depression has been commonly used that people tend not to take it seriously anymore, it is a very serious condition that could impair ones life. Depression is very difficult. It can debilitate ones normal functions, making even the most mundane tasks such as getting up from bed or eating breakfast seemingly difficult. It is sad to think that a lot of depressed individuals are not treated because of the high costs of therapy. However, coping with depression is still possible without professional help if one knows depression management. Here are a few things that can help people deal with depression, it is important to note however, that professional therapy is still very invaluable with serious depression. These steps are just suggestions for alleviating the condition.
Staying active is one way to take ones mind off depression. Primarily, activities help distract people from whatever it is that is causing their depression and it also helps channel unspent energies that build up when one is depressed. Keeping active also releases endorphins natural mood boosters that somehow cheer people up.
It is also important to take a rest. Being depressed can be very exhausting, so it is essential to regain strength and energy if one is to deal with depression. Relaxation techniques can help one be more attuned to the self and be more at peace. When resting, stressors should be kept away from the bedroom so that ample rest can be obtained.
Depressed people should also express their emotions. Depression usually results from suppressed emotions. People who are grieving can be prone to depression if they keep their emotion to themselves. A lot of people avoid crying because they think it might be a sign of weakness. However, it is important to cry because it releases ones emotions. When expressing feelings, it is important to avoid catharsis venting up ones anger by doing something violent like boxing, smashing things, and the like. Catharsis does not release ones emotion, especially anger. Rather, it makes a person practice violence as an expression of emotion, and thus can be very dangerous.
Hang around with friends and loved ones. Depressed individuals need support very much. Other people can distract one from stressors. People can also remind a depressed individual that there can be more to life, and it is worth living even if it is simply because of the company of wonderful people.
Lastly, it is important to believe in oneself. A lot of people get depressed because they put themselves down. It is important to satisfy oneself and gain a sense of self-worth. It is good to do something that would make one happy. Prioritizing ones self can help one to believe that ones own life is important and can be enjoyed. Being kind to oneself is one of the most important steps to get away from a depressive state.
Depression management is possible and entails taking charge of ones self. When dealing with depression however, it is important not to rush. Sadness does not disappear overnight; it takes time to get back on ones feet. Little by little, one can get out of depression and have a normal life once more.
About The Author
Choosing Psychotherapy to Manage and Conquer Depression
by: Alex Fir
We all have faced depression in our lives. Some people have been fortunate to have faced only a mild form of depression while others have not been so lucky and faced a more severe type of depression. For such people the treatment might lie in psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy is the treatment that employs talking as the primary function. During psychotherapy there is minimal usage of medicines.
Psychotherapy can be Cognitive Behavior Therapy or Interpersonal Therapy.
The most widely used therapeutic strategy is the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This therapy involves recognizing destructive patterns of thinking, then modifying or replacing these with more realistic or helpful ones. It also involves creating an environment whereas the patient feels comfortable.
The patient works together with the therapist to become aware of the causes of his/her depression. The patient is asked to note down the negative thoughts that happen to him or her during the course of the day. This way the therapist will know how often such thoughts come to the mind of the patient.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy lays emphasis on discussing the negative thoughts and the behaviors that leads to them. This kind of therapy focuses on reconstructing the thoughts, by helping the patients discover reasons, intuitions, and perceptions, thus teaching them to use this discovery to manage their lives while thinking more positively.
Interpersonal Therapy is a short-duration treatment for depression related disorders. The main concern of this kind of treatment is usually on the individuals social and other relationships.
The therapists aim is to help the patient with improving the way the patient interacts with others. When relationships break or run into a rough they directly have an effect on the concerned people.
Such turmoil in relationships can give rise to negative thinking leading to depression. This therapy helps to improve the inter-relational skills, communication, emotion expression, dealing with situations in social circles, etc. Although it is commonly used at individual level, it can also used for group therapies.
Most of these therapies that concentrate on an individual lay maximum emphasis on making the patient pro-active in his approach to daily life and treatment. The patient is supposed to do certain tasks at home or outside the therapy centre.
Although not much research has been done on psychotherapy, therapists use it worldwide as the first step for treating depression and related troubles. Medication should always be taken as the second step in treatment of depression.
About The Author
Alex Fir shares a wealth of information on his website Depression Help Center. If you want to learn more about depression treatment go to http://www.depression-help-center.info/blog/.
Nearer to us than
Our hands and feet
Nearer to us than
Our own breath
Not to be found
In temples, mountain caves
Or forest fastnesses
Not hiding somewhere
Beyond the horizon,
Such joy on realizing
The Divine Melody
In our own heart,
Loving Grace of the One
That can connect our consciousness
With the Immanent Power
And take us to the place
Where the Divine Melody descends
(by Deborah Morrison)
(Published in “Nexus” and “Mystical Poetry”)
The Beatles had it right: “Money can’t buy love,” nor can it buy happiness as shown in psychological studies where the co-relation between happiness and money is not as strong as we might think. Many employers also recognize the limits of higher salaries in motivating their employees. Besides fair salaries, workers also want to be treated fairly, praise of their accomplishments, clear communication, involvement in decision-making process, and learning and advancement opportunities.
True happiness comes from within, from the recognition that my value as a human being can never diminish. You were born with that intrinsic worth that a thief can’t steal, a fire can’t burn, and water can’t drown. Of course, we have certain basic needs of food, water and shelter. Beyond that our desires are merely wants and not needs. When we recognize the difference between wants and needs, we gain freedom, for we no longer feel compelled to walk the path that others walk. We can find our own way towards personal satisfaction.
When we look at wealth I sometimes wonder whether our understanding of wealth is narrowly defined, confined merely to a person’s bank account. Yet a person with a lot of money without a joyous heart, loving relationships, and self-worth would actually be poor. Wealth besides our income can extend into all that gives richness of mind, body and spirit.
I am not recommending poverty or abandonment of money but a right relationship with it. We need to clarify our personal values and motivations. Some people are indeed motivated by a large income and work towards it even making sacrifices, yet for some true wealth comes from time spent with family, from the knowledge that you are loved, from connection to a community, or from a connection with the Self. What makes you happy is the more important question? Once you know, then as Joseph Campbell suggests you can “follow your bliss.”
A successful person knows the right direction for them, whether it is an altruistic goal or a pragmatic goal. An unsuccessful person loses self-awareness and the direction to achieve personal fulfillment, instead they follow a direction that has been recommended by others even when it is incongruent with their nature.
We need to learn where we want success in our life whether it is in work, family, personal development or another area of life. Steven, an important person in NEXUS, experiences a conflict between his desire for financial wealth at the expense of ethics and compassion. Like Steven, we can also face a dilemma between different sets of goals. For example, many parents, especially mothers, may have the dilemma of career goals versus the desire to stay home with a young child.
Our society recommends that we have balance in our lives, yet balance in these situatins might be an undesirable goal, rather we need to decide what is our greatest value. What would give you the greatest joy between the choices you face? Or to put it another way: How much fun is it to drive around in Ferrari with no one beside you?
If money isolates us from relationships than it may in fact go counter to our happiness. This is precisely the experience of Steven in our novel. One cautionary note: In seeking happiness, we need to accept the highs and lows in life, since they are part of life. Some of the happiest individuals I’ve meet have been those who remain joyous under any circumstance.
Our circle of influence may not always extend to shaping the political agenda. Yet it is always within our power to influence our state of being. When I have been around individuals that radiate an inner peace outwards, it influences those around them. My own inner conflicts have been brought to silence in their presence. Within our being we can access harmony, stillness, compassion and peace.
The inner journey to our centre involves purification of our senses through practices such as meditation, especially when our mind is constantly bombarded with images from the outer world.
First meditation brings to awareness that we cannot consciously control our thoughts and we also start seeing a pattern to them. We can then label the thoughts as worry, fear, anxiety, guilt and other emotions. Labelling the thoughts allows us to understand them and to gently let them go in order to focus our awareness on a single point like our breath or a mantra.
After some time, the thoughts start to drop and we experience moments of stillness. This stillness is where we connect to our peaceful centre that transcends conflicts, dualities, doubts and fears….Instead we experience supreme peace and oneness.
The practice of meditation and recentering is an ongoing process, since our awareness needs constant purification. Once we have mental clarity from a blissful mind, then our actions in the world also display harmony and peace. In this process, we can transform the world through our personal transformation. Change does start with you and without inner work first even noble intentions may only result in tension, which is contrary to the purpose of spiritual growth.
Movement in stillness
And stillness in movement
Therein lies peace.
We cannot judge the future
On the past
As technological advances
Have made our existence
Spiritual awakening can also create peace
And when and if this becomes
A mass consciuosness,
It can create a more peaceful world
Where conflict need
Not be resolved by violence.
A visionary can see possibilites
While a realist
War to me
Is an expression
Of a symptom
And it cannot be
Seen as the solution
And if it is then
This is a temporary condition
In our development as spiritual beings.
Psychotherapy can help a person with depression to gain perspective and regain hope. It can overcome the feelings of hopelessness that accompany both anxiety and depression. Those feelings of hopelessness are accentuated in Nexus with Logan Andrews, who is unable to cope with demands of work and life. Since the book is dealing with a serious topic, it is not light reading. Yet, when the book is read as a whole it is highly rewarding and insightful. Nexus is an experiential journey, so that through the challenges of the main character and other people in the book, we gain wisdom.
With anxiety and depression being an important challenge for Logan, we are sharing information that will help individuals struggling with it in their own lives. I also had a period of depression in my own life and found helpful strategies to regain hope. In my practice as a hypnotherapist, I was able to share these insights in helping clients and often worked in conjunction with Deborah Morrison, who is a trained psychotherapist.
An attitude of self-help is necessary to regain hope along with openness to seek professional help. So how can psychotherapy help with depression?
Supportive counselling can uncover and address underlying feelings of hopelessness that reinforce depression. A caring psychotherapist can also uncover mental distortions that create pessimistic thoughts, unrealistic expectations and critical self-evaluations. Cognitive therapy is type of psychotherapy, which replaces distorted thinking of someone suffering from depression or anxiety disorders with more accurate perceptions.
Cognitive therapy can allow you to understand your self-evaluation and in depression this self-evaluation tends to be highly critical of the self due to unrealistic expectations. When something goes wrong, a depressed person will blame themselves with an inner dialogue along these lines: “I messed up. I can’t do anything right.” The lack of success becomes magnified, instead of the recognition that this is an isolated incidence and that the self can remain intact outside of it.
In depression a person will often see the world through dark-tinted glasses, which creates pessimistic, negative views. Unless these views are uncovered and changed, an individual can remain stuck. The outside perspective of a caring psychotherapist can help in regaining optimism and hope.
Self-talk is part of our thinking but when it becomes negative, it can immobilize us because the fear of failure keeps us from acting on possible solutions. Here is an example of negative self-talk: “Why should I even try? I’m just going to fail anyway.” Or, “I can’t do this. I’m just not motivated.” A psychotherapist can assist in changing this negative inner dialogue and in turn restore self-confidence and a willingness to try.
Cognitive distortions can cloud perceptions, judgments and assumptions of a depressed individual. They include distorted ideas and false assumptions, which need to be checked in order to restore mental health. Overgeneralization is one of the common cognitive distortions that a person can experience during anxiety or depression. A caring psychotherapist can help a person to take inventory of these distortions and then teach us how to change the way we perceive situations in life.
Depression can interfere with our ability to function effectively throughout the day. It affects the mind, body and the spirit. So an multi-faceted approach works best to overcome debilitating aspects of depression. Hope creates dreams, motivations and optimism in our life and prolonged depression can robs us of hope. Through actively seeking help, we in time overcome depression and regain hope.
Today I flew in a small Piper Cherokee with Jared, Debby’s son, who is working towards his commercial license. My greatest concern was motion sickness from the plane’s sudden movements but we had a doggy bag just in case.
Due to a head-on collision in a car three years ago, I have developed uneasiness with sudden movements. I wanted to overcome my concerns through today’s flight. I felt confident in my pilot’s abilities and that removed many of my fears.
Jared picked me up at my home at 11:30. We travelled to John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport for our flight. The air was crisp and clean and it was a perfect sunny Autumn day. As he drove into our destination, we passed a number of Purolator Cargo Planes (pictured below) and parked in front of Peninsulair building.
Peninsulair is a flight training school with a fleet of aircraft for training purposes. After Jared checked paperwork inside their building, we proceeded to our plane, a well-maintained Cherokee. Here is my photo next to its propeller:
Jared did a visual inspection of the plane from front to back including check of the fluid levels. Then we entered the plane from its one door on the passenger-side. We adjusted our seats, securely latched the door, and connected our headphones in order to hear each other in the air.
Jared checked the various instruments on the panel in front of us. When everything checked out, he started the engines and the propeller blades started rotating. I learned that you change altitude by moving the control column and that the altitude is controlled by the throttle.
Interior of a Cherokee Piper
We were ready now for take off and Jared contacted Air Traffic Control for clearance. The sky was covered with soft, billowy clouds. After a short wait, we rolled down the runway. The take off was exhilarating and in a small plane you really felt connected to your environment unlike a jumbo jet where you can only view the outside through a window.
I saw the whole city with the cars, buildings and trees below appearing as miniature models. The Cherokee isn’t a high performance plane but it’s ride is something I really appreciated. Jared stated that its the perfect plane for training because it is very forgiving. We headed East toward Lake Ontario, passing Hamilton, Stoney Creek and Grimsby.
Over Lake Ontario with view of traffic on QEW Niagara
Jared decreased altitude to allow me to get a better view of the landscape, I felt somewhat nauseated similar to the feeling you get when a Roller Coaster drops down. With change of focus to the flight, the scenery down below, and the conversation with Jared, I soon lost that feeling. Jared’s style of flight allowed me to relax and enjoy the spectacular view and in time the downward movement of the plane no longer affected me.
We soon reached our destination: Niagara Falls. I took this beautiful photo of Casino Niagara with mist rising from the Horseshoe Falls.
A little further and we were above the Canada-US border. Of course, you don’t see an actual line drawn across the two countries as in maps. This picture shows Goat Island with the US shore on the left and the Canadian side jutting out on the right.
On the return flight, we went through more of the Niagara countryside, so I could fully appreciate the Autumn foliage. We flew beneath clouds, where there are updrafts, and therefore we experienced light turbulence. I felt slight bumps like driving an off-road vehicle on uneven terrain. The turbulence was nothing to worry about since our altitude remained stable.
We arrived back at the Hamilton Airport in just over an hour. I was most impressed with how Jared navigated through flight paths in space. The landing was also impressive, though Jared felt it could have been smoother.
Hamilton Airport from Above
On our drive back, Jared and I decided to go for lunch. We had some spicy falafels and salad. The flight was a success, since I regained my confidence with downward movement during flight. A few times the sudden decrease of altitude did make me feel uneasy, but I just reminded myself that I am safe with my pilot and just to enjoy the flight. Once the feeling passed, I loved the whole experience of perceiving the world from a bird’s eye perspective. I also gained an understanding of what makes flying such a thrill.
Continues from Logan’s Death Excerpt
Three months had passed since the conclusion of the retreat. Sarah hears an angelic voice telepathically speaking to her: Oh, child! You suffer greatly and I know the pain you carry in your heart. Now, it’s over. You are in heaven now and you are united with your love.
Sarah looks all around her without seeing with her eyes, yet her mind’s eye can see it all. Heaven, a place that no eye can describe, no human ear can narrate its harmony, and no human heart can convey its perception. What she sees is beyond her imagination.
Everything including her body seems of a finer essence than physical existence like the difference between the materiality of solid objects and the subtleness of thoughts. She realizes she feels no inflow or outflow of her breath, nor does she perceive her heartbeat. The realization is disconcerting, yet her light-body, which isn’t even really a body but a beam of energetic light in human shape, vibrates with peaceful silence, calmness and splendid brilliance.
Sarah realizes she must have died. The thought of being separated from Logan is too much for her. The angelic voice speaks again: Your Logan is here and you are united with him. Just think about him and he is with you, for time and space are mere concepts here. Our reality is outside them. Everything is in the now. Hence, your imagination can make anything possible. Merely imagine or utter it and it will be. This realm is even subtler than your thoughts on earth. Think of him now and he is by your side.
She imagines Logan with her full attention and in a moment she feels his warm hand on her shoulder. He utters: “Oh Sarah! How I’ve missed you!…”
In that instant, she experiences myriad emotions originating from the earth. She intensely feels the joy of two lovers holding hands in a park, the fear of a spider as it is crushed under a newspaper, the pain of drivers and their passengers as their vehicles collide, and the wonder of parents beholding their newborn child in the maternity ward.
Sarah feels that her heart will explode from overwhelming compassion. As Logan touches her hair, emotions become calmed and intense with love, compassion, devotion, acceptance and a complete sense of comfort. Then, she knows she isn’t meant to understand it all. She exclaims: “I heard their thoughts and felt their emotions. I felt an emotional connection to everyone. We are all interconnected!
Love and compassion are the most important in life, my dear, the angelic voice whispers. The whole is in the parts and the parts are in the whole. The entire universe vibrates as one. Sarah the love you feel, the love you give, the love expressed in thoughts, words and deeds is the most important. So now you must return to earth.
“I don’t want to be without Logan! Wait! Wait!” she cries.