Friday, February 29, 2008

The Fear Of Change

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Transiting From One Level Of Life To Another

Sigh. You know there is something seriously wrong with the way you are running your life. You #@^*@# hate it! And you surely for hell want to change things. But how?

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It could be relationships that could be draining your happiness. May be you or the partner is now behaving grouchily because they are entering their menopause / andropause. Or somebody is cheating on somebody. Or it is a health problem that is the cause behind the wear and tear of the threads binding you with the others. There is change - from the days of holding hands and looking into each other's eyes.

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It could be a new assignment looming large on the horizon at work. Possibly, you are being asked to take on a new job profile different from what you were comfortable with. Or may be you have been given the pink slip, and therefore are required to fend for yourself in the job market. There is change - from the days of receiving in time the pay check.

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It could be the diet. You remember the wagging finger of the doctor warning you of watching the calories, or else. And you also remember closing the consulting room's swivel door behind you, fully revved up to take out from the drawer of your desk for one more time, the dieting schedule you had downloaded from the health site you had signed up a year (or was it two?) ago. You also remember the rapid fall in this revving as your car reaches the front gate of the house. There is change involved - from the days of carefree binging.

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And in all these cases and more, the frustrating problem is that we all know what will happen to us once we move forward and embrace the change that is being demanded of us. Yet, we continue to wallow in self-pity, self-blame, self-infliction of wounds. We procrastinate because there is the fear of the unknown. The fear of going out of the comfort zone that one is so cozily ensconced in.

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Motivating somebody to take this step from self-defeat to celebration has been a big challenge as counselor. I was happy, therefore, when friends at myHelpHub sent me a set of 6 CDs, part of a course conducted by US-based Lee Milteer, human potential speaker, productivity coach and self-dev writer. They sent them to me by mail, though the content can be downloaded too. Here is the link:

Lee Milteer's Image

Costs just USD 47. If you have some very tough-as-rock issue in your life that has refused to budge for all these years for want of your reluctance to embrace change, then this is one investment that might be worth considering. And implementing.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Detach The Self From All Sorrows...

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For The Universe Is A Benign Place

Sorrow can hit us unexpectedly. The pronouncement of the doctor that an incurable disease has been detected in either our body or that of our near or dear ones devastates us. Life becomes divided into two: one that was lived before the moment of pronunciation, and the other afterwards. The sudden passing away of somebody - either due to an accident or due to some natural cause - can drown us in oceans of sorrow. We always remember the date when we experienced the reversal in our fortunes: the day we received the pink slip, the day our factory closed down, the day the mortgaged house was taken away from us, the day our spouse or best friend walked out - they are forever etched in our mind, for us to remember again and again.

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The mind is a queer "thing". It latches on to negativities very quickly. Almost as if it has an affinity to negativities. To veer it away from any sorrows facing us, and to persuade it to latch on to something positive, is a Herculean task indeed.

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But this is a task that we have got to do. We have to realize and understand that the Universe is a benign place. For the universe, happiness and sorrow are indistinguishable. It simply does not understand the difference! As far as the Universe is concerned, the sight of hundreds of young people enjoying the sunshine on the beach has the same degree of value and importance as the aftermath of a hurricane hitting the beach. The Universe continues on its own course, idyllically indifferent.

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The Universe is not being callous. That is the way it is structured. It is how one takes the ways of the Universe which makes the difference. That is why, the task of latching on to something positive in the immediate instant when one is face-to-face with sorrow, is important. This detachment from the sorrow does not in any way undermine our pain and love. But the detachment is like a protective shield that envelopes us from all negativities, and allows us to seek more positive thoughts. Axiomatic in this thought is the belief that life is much too precious to be withered away wallowing in negativities and unhappiness.

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Sorrows help our mind to seek the meaning of our life. In their own brusque manner, they tear us away from one aspect that we were smitten with, and force us to look at alternative aspects to be smitten with. And we have got to accept joyfully, this tearing-away business.

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For, the Universe is a benign place.

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Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you leave all of the links active, do not edit the article in any way, and give author name and blog name credit.
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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Britney's See-Saw Between Sanity And Mental Illness

image from MTV website

Teacher One Day, In The Psychiatry Ward The Next

It was almost a year ago that this blog had advocated meditation and self-hypnosis for Britney to accelerate her comeback plan. That was the time when she was on the verge of releasing her next music album.

image from MTV website

The album bombed, however. And the girl's condition has gotten from bad to worse. (It is obvious that she is not subscribing to this blog!) It was fairly clear that she was heading for psychiatric attention. She called it post-partum depression, but now the current thinking is that it is a case of post-traumatic stress disorder. And of course, if we reflect on her past few years, we can see that the downhill actually started the day she texted the infamous SMS to her husband, informing him of divorce after his extramarital fling came to light.

image from MSNBC

In the one silver lining in this sad saga, Britney was invited by Robert Baker, Director of the Millennium Dance Complex in North Hollywood, California, to teach a dance class for one hour last Monday. And surprise of pleasant surprises, she wowed her students with her very professional teaching style and the special warmth with which she handled the between four- and seven- year-olds.

Image from Mtv

In the backdrop of news that people are prepping her obituary, this indeed is good news - it gives a peek behind the facade that her apparently huge stock of tinted goggles try to hide: that of a 26-year old human being, a person who is yet to begin living life normally, a girl who is still searching for the right man, and a mother who loves her kids enough to crave for their custody.

MSN image

I had recommended meditation and self-guided hypnosis for Britney. I would also prescribe a year spent away from public glare and paparazzi. Don't drool over her pictures and don't take sadistic pleasure in her activities, folks. For her sake, for the sake of her two kids and for the sake of decency in public life, let us leave her alone.

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[Of the various personalities that Britney has been compared with, there is one personality with whom comparing Britney's makes for a very interesting study. And that is Mrs. Hillary Clinton! There is an uncanny resemblance between these two contemporary individuals in the relationship department. They both have gone through some very dark and multi-colored hues that the yin and yang have to offer. Here is the article that performs and ponders upon this comparison: "The Road To Denver Is Lonely". Read and reflect!]

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Proved! Hypnosis Does Alter States Of Brain...

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...And Also Alters States Of Consciousness

The journal, "Neuron", has published an article titled "Mesmerizing Memories: Brain Substrates of Episodic Memory Suppression in Posthypnotic Amnesia" in its recent issue dated January 10, 2008 (Here is the URL).

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Strip away the usual mumbo-jumbo the scientists love to surround themselves with, and the picture that emerges is that they have finally been able to confirm that hypnosis is not just another side-show that you enjoy at the circus or any of those after-dinner family entertainment programs. Hypnosis does alter states of the brain.

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A group of subjects that is susceptible to post-hypnotic amnesia was made to watch a movie. They were then hypnotized, and under that state they were given two suggestions:

1. To forget the movie in toto.
2. To recall the movie again in response to a cue.

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When this happened, the fMRI scan showed some very specific regions in the occipital, temporal and prefrontal lobes of the brain being activated differently than the control group (which was not affected by any amnesia). Later, when the cue was given so that the group would remember the movie once again, these very same regions showed some activity.

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Ergo, hypnosis does have an impact on different areas of the brain.

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Good to know that scientists are now cottoning on to a concept that we self-developers knew already through our own empirical observations.

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Exactly who or what in the brain / body "listens" to the hypnotic suggestion, and proceeds to implement it by activating the appropriate regions of the brain? We self-developers call it the sub-conscious. Some others call it the homunculus. Will take a while for them to get there, but it is good news that scientists are making progress with their measuring devices and instruments.

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