Monthly Archives: June 2010

weird goings-on in the head

we have a roommate, let’s call him harry.  sometimes early in the morning, harry gets a bit mixed up.  he uses my toothpaste and then puts it in his drawer.  the other day we were all in the kitchen, and then i went to the bathroom, which is right beside the kitchen, to brush my teeth.  i couldn’t find the toothpaste, so i opened harry’s drawer, and there it was.  now here’s the funny thing:  all the while i was brushing my teeth i was thinking, “oh god, did he hear that i opened his drawer?”  “does he think i open his drawer all the time and rummage around in it?”  “this is so embarrassing!”  “he probably thinks i’m the most nosey, impolite person on the planet!” etc., etc.

fortunately, i could see my silliness and told harry about it and we had a good laugh.

but – wow!  what a crazy thing our minds are.  did i really think he had nothing better to do but to listen to what i was doing in the bathroom?  that he could hear when i open his drawer instead of mine?  that instead of placidly brewing a cup of tea, he was all busy suspecting me of wrongdoings?

i think it’s important to watch out for such strange goings-on in our heads.  it’s harmless when it’s about your roommate’s toothpaste but you can see how, unnoticed, these thoughts can grow to dangerous proportions.

do you ever catch yourself being irrational like this?

goals, learning and contracts

after my post about small and SMART goals on garfield’s blog, i got inspired to write another one at brainblogger about the pitfalls and benefits of goal setting, this time taking a bit more of an academic slant. larry ferlazzo took up that post and talked about goal setting in the classroom. it made me think about learning goals. i won’t get much into this right now but i found it interesting that when i was googling around a bit about the topic, pretty much everything i saw were not really learner-directed goals. they were either goals clearly set by the teachers, or contracts that were not really contracts, i.e. they don’t meet the criterion of containing mutual promises. a lot of learning contracts (and contracts in counselling, too, by the way) are of the mafia sort: if you don’t pay up, we’ll break your leg. fortunately, there is usually little leg-breaking involved in learning or counselling contracts but they tend to be one-sided. the promises by one party (e.g. the learner) are numerous and clearly laid out, and often there are no promises made by the other party, or they are not specified.

random comments on depression

with over 1,000 blog posts, my memory of what has been written here is getting a bit fuzzy. to remedy that, i thought that once in a while i’d write a post about old posts. these here are reader comments on the topic of depression from looong ago:

it’s hard to get past the stigma. my mother was diagnosed with bipolar about 13 years ago, but since then the diagnosis has changed to schizophrenia. i have jumped up and down and ranted about “not being ashamed” etc. but when it comes to my own depression, nope there’s nothing wrong with me. i think i’m only just coming to terms with it.

from the stigma of mental illness

there is a big percentage of people who are homeless and have a disability, and often their mental health is severely compromised. no wonder, of course – even if you start out semi healthy mentally, the tough life of being homeless can really grind you down. contrary to what is often believed, homelessness is rarely a choice.

regarding stress and depression … i often think that if we were to attack the reasons for this, it would turn into a revolution … [that was a comment contributed by myself in reply to others’ comments]

from vote for mental health

i love [the] analogy of an “emotional storm” [for depression]. i hope we can take note that self-isolation comes very easily, and sometimes without our noticing it. when i was in the throes of depression, i was isolating myself quite a bit. isabella shares ways we can “safely” connect with others and extricate ourselves from dangerous isolation (contributed by jane chin, who runs one of the oldest mental health sites on the internet)

from seasonal storms

industrial society destroys mind and environment.

the fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of industrial society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. all issues are interlinked. our minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. our minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy nature.

the link between mind and social / environmental-issues.

subject : in a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
subject : a thinking mind cannot feel.
subject : scientific/ industrial/ financial thinking destroys the planet.
subject : environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.

emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

if there are no gaps there is no emotion.

today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

when society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

there comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

people become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

emotion ends.

man becomes machine.

a society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as depression / anxiety.

a (travelling) society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as depression / anxiety.

a society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as depression / anxiety.

fast visuals /words make slow emotions extinct.

scientific /industrial /financial thinking destroys emotional circuits.

a fast (large) society cannot feel pain / remorse / empathy.

a fast (large) society will always be cruel to animals/ trees/ air/ water/ land and to itself.

from our bodies, our environment

knowing that pain can be linked to depression really doesn’t do me much good, unless i take that knowledge and start looking for ways to deal with those feelings. thank you for articulating this so well; it’s helpful to read things that clarify thoughts rolling around in my brain. (contributed by nickie)

from why, what and how

[about my office] this room is very colorful !! i love it !! it doesn’t seem to be the “norm” for a therapists’ room though. i’ve sought counceling in the past and the rooms i’ve always been in were basically eggshell white with a blah bookcase with blah books on it and blah seating arrangements. i’m not sure the lack of “distractions” helped, or hurt though. for example, if i’m seeking counseling for depression, going to a “vibrant, colorful” room such as yours, would force my spirts to be uplifted rather then enhance my current depressed state. the double edge sword of that would be, my true feelings of depression might be masked by the “brightness” of your room, forcing me to not fully elaborate on my inner feelings. would it be best to be in a “drab eggshell white” room with little or no “distractions” ? heck, this could be a whole new blog post !!! “counseling rooms, distractions or places of refuge ?”

from sharing water

living on purpose, being on purpose

this is a guest post by my friend garfield, for whom i wrote the posts on goal setting a few weeks ago.



thank you isabella for inviting me to write a post on your awesome blog! i am a voracious student of human potential, and personal, spiritual, and professional development. i eagerly consume the teachings and knowledge of people such as: eckhart tolle, marianne williamson, michael losier, t. harv eker, jim rohn, satyen raja, esther hicks, and many others.

i used to feel so lost and confused and angry all the time. “why the hell am i here? this can’t be all life is…can it?”, i would desperately ask the universe, myself, anyone. then one magical day, after nearly two years of diligent and persistent training, seeking, reading, learning, wanting, i suddenly (and i do mean suddenly) after much perturbation, became totally present, realized the truth of who i am, and discovered how to live on purpose.

being ‘present’ has been a key element in joyously discovering how to live on purpose. i once thought that us human beings were given one grand purpose and it was our job to discover it and move toward it. of course, that would mean that our purpose is somehow outside of us, somewhere in ‘the future’…which doesn’t exist! the future will never be here, it will always be now, the present moment.

a truly great bonus to being present is the absence of negativity, fear, suffering, etc. it turns out that pain and suffering cannot survive in my presence. so how do i become present? i just breathe. the moment i observe my breath…in….out…i have become present.

how can it be that i have no pain or suffering or negativity by being present? well i’ve discovered that all worry, doubt, fear, anxiety, stress, guilt, and every other negative emotion exist solely in the past or future, in our minds. so once i thoroughly dismiss ‘psychological time’ and observe the now i realize quite readily that there is nothing wrong with my present moment.

when my mind isn’t plagued with thoughts of the past or fantastic future problems (which rarely, if ever, actually manifest in my life) i can think more clearly, and more importantly i can fully accept what is in the present moment and a feeling of lightness, joy, and purpose permeates my entire being. then the juiciest things come to light, i can feel my vibration rise and i am able to see who i truly am. for me, this is living on purpose. being on purpose is a feeling, a knowing, a vibration.

so if you’re stressed, worried, angry…perhaps try what i do and practice being present. ask yourself ‘what is wrong with this moment right now? what actual problem exists right now? not a week from now or five minutes from now, but now. you’ll discover that you can then respond to life and create what you desire, rather than reacting to life as it happens to you.

how often are you living on purpose?