Friday, August 15, 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

keeping the peace

“Worry less, smile more. Don’t regret, just learn and grow.” ~Unknown

The day finally came when my heart was strong enough to speak up.

I had spent many years trying to be the calm, sensible one. The one who would try to rationalize my sister’s behavior just to keep the peace.

For years the strategy was to keep everything in its place and accept what was said, done, or requested. The day finally came when the weight of accepting the burden was too much to bear.

No amount of talking would convince my sister that I was being reasonable. It had to be her way. It had to be acknowledged that I had somehow erred when in fact it was her very own thoughts that had caused her pain.

So, no more, I decided then and there.

“I am done. We are both far too dysfunctional to be in each other’s lives. I wish you all the best… You can blame me…This is what I want.” With those words I gave up on our relationship.

The feeling of freedom rose. The confidence from finally taking a stand was a trophy I now held proudly. “Well done!” I cheered. I no longer had to deal with accusations. Hooray! I was now in charge. I was the creator of my life.

Then, ever so slowly, it started to shift. Ever so gently the doubts crept in. Old scripts started playing. The mind was reverting back to old default programs.

We had both suffered as children. Our parents had been abusive in many ways. We never told anyone what happened in our home. We believed we had to protect our parents.

I became the surrogate parent. We both accepted that our parents did not know any better, doing to us what had been done to them. We allowed them to continue in our lives as adults.

I had to find help to get through the flood of emotions that threatened to drown me. Among the consolations was the fact that I still had my sister. Nobody else understood what we had gone through.

Now, however, I began to doubt my bravery. My sister and I were supposed to be there for each other until the very end.

I worried that I had made a terrible mistake. My view of who I was had shifted. I was no longer the savior. I was no longer the protector. I was no longer the one who got along with everybody.

I saw myself as abandoning my sister. How could I have been so mean? How could I just end it like that? I was a terrible person!

The pain was intense. The anger, the hurt, the bitterness all began to choke my life. Overwhelmingly, they tortured my soul.

Years of resentment buried began to rise up like icebergs slowly breaking the surface from their depths. The feelings, once anchored to my core, were now exposed to reveal infected open wounds.

I cried. I screamed. I read. I meditated. I yelled. I punched. I got angry. I journaled. What was wrong with me? I had always held it together. To witness myself unravelling was terrifying.

Dark and ugly thoughts plagued me. Driving was now an opportunity to vent. I was safe in my car; I could blast my horn, I could utter every imaginable swear word, and I could find fault with every driver’s technique.

I was a person possessed by anger and looking for a way to punish.

My daily meditation seemed to go nowhere. I connected to the universe. I begged for help.

I had persevered with the early morning practice for months when one morning I suddenly realized that my sister was no longer the first thought of my day. That was new. Then ever so slowly, other thoughts began disappearing.

There was a gentle loving energy helping me to create new thoughts to replace the old. I was okay. I am okay. Everything will be okay.

It was an inexplicably subtle process that I was convinced was not working when, on another ordinary day, I realized I was waking up okay.

Realizations began emerging. It was fair for me to end the discussion. No amount of talking was going to change my sister’s mind. Years of role-playing had created an expectation that I was to be at fault.

By speaking up I was positioning myself as a priority. I was no longer willing to rate myself last. I deserved better and I now saw that I had made the perfect decision for me.

Another realization soon came to mind. “You can blame me.” Those were the words I was most angry about. Those words came out of my mouth. I was mad at myself. I was mad that I had given my sister a reason to ignore her role in our story.

That had always been my go-to solution. Take on the blame to keep the peace.

When that was done, everything would go back to the way it was. We could live a fantasy life of closeness, all the while not realizing that I was slowly breaking my own heart.

This was the lesson I was now being shown. I had to learn to speak up when I did not agree. I had to learn to take responsibility for my role in allowing it to be that way.

I had wanted my sister to love me, and to make me feel important and needed. For this I had paid an expensive price. My sister, I realized, played her role to perfection in allowing me to wake up to this truth.

A few weeks later another realization came to mind. Silently, we had both blamed each other for parts of our pain. We were two damaged souls trying to live our lives with massive wounds in our hearts.

We could not give each other what we did not have. We did not know how to love each other without the past tearing open the old wounds.

I realized that I was not a terrible person for making a decision that was in my best interest. No one should be given an automatic pass into your life, regardless of their title.

It is actually a privilege that should be honored and treated with respect. The lesson may be painful, but if you find some way through the hurt, a better future awaits.

Each new morning brings a little more light. The universe continues to coax me to take another step away from the ledge of my past. I realize that the heartbreak I felt was a dissolving of me into a million tiny molecules before the gentle re-sculpting of those atoms into a more open and peaceful me.

Is it time for you to speak up? Is it time for you to find the courage to say “No more”?


Everyday behaviors that you may not be conscious of are the little things that make a big difference.

Unconscious toxic behaviors push people away from each other. We’ve witnessed the devastation these behaviors cause – to relationships, to personal and professional growth, and to the general well-being of both the individual behaving negatively, and to everyone in their life.

Let’s be honest – we’ve all acted in toxic, damaging ways at one time or another. None of us are immune to occasional unconscious mood swings, but many people are more evolved, balanced and aware, and such occurrences happen only rarely in their lives.

Whether your toxic behavior is a common occurrence, or just a once in a blue moon phenomena, it’s critical for your long-term happiness and success that you are able to recognize when you’re behaving negatively, and consciously shift your mindset when necessary.

Unfortunately most people don't "wake up" and realize these toxic behaviors are pushing everyone away from them until they personally experience some kind of major trauma that makes them actually change their perception and the way that they think.

. These are twelve most common toxic behaviors that most people are unconscious of

Being envious of everyone else – Don’t let envy (or jealously) get the best of you. Envy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. There is nothing attractive or admirable about this behavior. So stop comparing your journey with everyone else’s. Your journey is YOUR journey, NOT a competition. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be. If you want to measure your progress, compare yourself to who you were yesterday.

Taking everything too personally – People are toxic to be around when they believe that everything happening around them is a direct assault on them or is in some way all about them. The truth is that what people say and do to you is much more about them, than you. People’s reactions to you are about their perspectives, wounds and experiences. Whether people think you’re amazing, or believe you’re the worst, again, is more about them. I’m not suggesting we should be narcissists and ignore all feedback. I am saying that so much hurt, disappointment and sadness in our lives comes from our taking things personally. In most cases it’s far more productive and healthy to let go of other people’s good or bad opinion of you, and to operate with your own intuition and wisdom as your guide. (Read The Four Agreements.)

Acting like you’re always a victim – Another toxic behavior is persistent complaining that fuels your sense of victimization. Believing you’re a victim, that you have no power to exert and no power over the direction of your life, is a toxic stance that keeps you stuck. Working as a life coach with people who have suffered major trauma in their lives but found the courage to turn it all around, I know we all have access to far more power, authority, and influence over our lives than we initially believe. When you stop complaining, and refuse to see yourself as a helpless victim, you’ll find that you are more powerful than you realized, but only if you choose to accept this reality. Hoarding pain and loss. – One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go – whether it’s guilt, anger, love or loss. Change is never easy – you fight to hold on and you fight to let go. But oftentimes letting go is the healthiest path forward. It clears out toxic thoughts from the past. You’ve got to emotionally free yourself from the things that once meant a lot to you, so you can move beyond the past and the pain it brings you. Again, it takes hard work to let go and refocus your thoughts, but it’s worth every bit of effort you can muster. Obsessive negative thinking. – It’s very hard to be around people who refuse to let go of negativity – when they ruminate and speak incessantly about the terrible things that could happen and have happened, the scorns they’ve suffered, and the unfairness of life. These people stubbornly refuse to see the positive side of life and the positive lessons from what’s happening. Pessimism is one thing – but remaining perpetually locked in a negative mindset is another. Only seeing the negative, and operating from a view that everything is negative and against you, is a twisted way of thinking and living, and you can change that.

Lack of emotional intelligence & self-control – An inability to manage your emotions is toxic to everyone around you. We all know these people – those who explode in anger and tears over the smallest hiccup or problem. Yelling at the grocery store clerk for the long line, screaming at an employee for a small error she made, or losing it with your daughter for spilling juice on the floor. If you find that you’re overly emotional, losing your cool at every turn, you may need some outside assistance to help you gain control over your emotions and understand what’s at the root of your inner angst. There’s more to it than what appears on the surface. An independent perspective – and a new kind of support – can work wonders.

Making superficial judgments about others – Don’t always judge a person by what they show you. Remember, what you’ve seen is oftentimes only what that person has chosen to show you, or what they were driven to show based on their inner stress and pain. Alas, when another person tries to make you suffer in some small way, it is usually because they suffer deep within themselves. Their suffering is simply spilling over. They do not need punishment or ridicule, they need help. If you can’t help them, let them be.

Cruelty (or lacking empathy and compassion) – One of the most toxic behaviors – cruelty – stems from a total lack of empathy, concern or compassion for others. We see it every day online and in the media – people being devastatingly unkind and hurtful to others just because they can. They tear people down online in a cowardly way, using their anonymity as a shield. Cruelty, backstabbing, and hurting others for any reason is toxic, and it hurts you as well. If you find yourself backstabbing and tearing someone else down, stop in your tracks. Dig deep and find compassion in your heart, and realize that we’re all in this together.

Lying, Cheating and cutting moral corners simply because you can – Your actions define who you are, not what you say or think. Cheating is a choice, not a mistake, and not an excuse! If you decide to cheat, and you succeed in cheating someone out of something, don’t think that this person is a fool. Realize that this person trusted you much more than you ever deserved. You can be bigger than that. Don’t do immoral things simply because you can. Don’t lie or cheat. Only you have to live with yourself so its actually easier to be honest with yourself and everyone else. Do the right thing you can find your inner peace. When you lie, cheat, or steal you have to go into denial in order to believe you are a good person at heart. You're not fooling anyone but yourself when your actions do not match what you say you believe. Integrity is the essence of everything successful.

Hiding your truth – People cannot connect with you if you’re constantly trying to hide from yourself. And this becomes a truly toxic situation the minute they become attached to your false persona. So remember, no matter what age, race, sex, or sexuality you are, underneath all your external decorations you are a pure, beautiful being – each and every one of us are. We each have light to shine, and missions to accomplish. Celebrate being different, off the beaten path, a little on the weird side, your own special creation. If you find yourself feeling like a fish out of water, by all means find a new river to swim in. But DO NOT change who you are; BE who you are. Don’t deny yourself, improve yourself. (Read The Untethered Soul.)

Needing constant validation – People who constantly strive for validation by others are exhausting to be around. Those men and women who get caught up in the need to prove their worth over and over and over, and constantly want to win over everyone around them, are unintentionally toxic and draining. Be aware. Know this. Over-attaching to how things have to look to others can wear you out and bring everyone else around you down. There is a bigger picture to your life, and it’s not about what you achieve in the eyes of the masses. It’s about the journey, the process, the path – what you’re learning, how you’re helping others learn too, and the growing process you allow yourself to participate in.

Being a stubborn perfectionist – As human beings, we often chase hypothetical, static states of perfection. We do so when we are searching for the perfect house, job, friend or lover. The problem, of course, is that perfection doesn’t exist in a static state. Because life is a continual journey, constantly evolving and changing. What is here today is not exactly the same tomorrow – that perfect house, job, friend or lover will eventually fade to a state of imperfection. But with a little patience and an open mind, over time, that imperfect house evolves into a comfortable home. That imperfect job evolves into a rewarding career. That imperfect friend evolves into a steady shoulder to lean on. And that imperfect lover evolves into a reliable lifelong companion. It’s just a matter of realizing your current idea perfect doesn't exist, let perfectionism go. We can only experience our ideas of perfection for brief moments so that is why it is so important that we stay aware and appreciate those short moments. It is important that we avoid living in denial and that we're conscious of our habitual thoughts. We do not need the ego or unconscious behaviors dictate our actions.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

are we all just different parts of the same universe?

“some people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions ... are facts. And others are contending that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.”

Diagram showing Einstein-Rosen bridge connecting different parts of the same universe.(Gribbin, 1992, p. 157)

Monday, August 11, 2014

ego vs. soul

Your ego will make an argument for why you have to sell out. It will rationalize that you need security, safety, certainty, acceptance, and a paycheck. It will speak in the voice of your greatest fears, threatening you with loss of status, money, or approval unless you compromise what your soul knows. Sure, betraying your soul in this way gains you security and popularity, but at what price?

Abiding by your soul’s integrity is hard. It won’t necessarily make you popular or put you next in line for that promotion. Such a commitment is not for the faint of heart. You may have to say “NO”- a LOT. If you grew up in a dysfunctional family and you start to avoid being codependent, people you love may not support you. To them you appear unpredictable, because you’re not ruled by the fears that people use to control one another, and this unpredictability makes some people wary.

You may start to trigger others, especially the ones who have rationalized why they’re selling out their own souls every day. You become a mirror those who sell out can’t stand to look in.


if you feel alone, you've probably just been through some kind of abuse.....

and as a survivor.....just want to put this out there to my friends and family, if you get yourself in a super fucked up situation and you think you might die and you feel alone or too afraid to tell anyone, don't worry you can tell your crazy aunt tina about it. i almost died a few times, one of the stories is kind of embarrassing but if you want i'll tell you about what happened sometime....

i practiced a lot of muay thai and that helped shape me into a decent a fighter and coach. and the way we honor all those that came before is to continue teaching so that ideas can continue to evolve. so if you want to learn how it feels to put up some fight i'd love to teach you some techniques and help you practice so you can get to know yourself and so that way in the future effectively coach yourself

"The company you keep, keeps you company. Where there is devotion and love, there is always good company"

i think the parts of my life that were the worst was when I felt alone. it took me a long time to understand because in my mind feelings are just thoughts and don't we basically pretty much just make up the things we think as we're going along? on a fundamental level i just didn't understand my feelings, i was married and i was around people at work everyday so how could i be so lonely? but the truth is i usually trying to be perfect and make everyone happy which resulted in me neglecting myself (which is a form of abuse) and then my (now ex)spouse decided since i abuse & neglect myself that i would make a great target for his malignant narcissism and i was! totally stuck in that cycle of abuse, believing it was love.... mostly because of the way i grew up i didn't know any better so it took me long ass time to learn. it's really hard to hear people who are trying to help you because you're just so used to everyone being co-dependent and taking advantage, so easily recognize that a lot. and then because your emotions are usually going crazy on the inside, you find different ways to appear in control of any thing outside yourself and you just end up feeling very insecure. but anyway.....because i had endured all that abuse i was so confused and clueless to the meaning behind my emotions....i was just reacting to things that offended me. i had no fucking idea what was going on and one of the things i wish someone would have told me back then is that when you're so far away from understanding yourself and you feel THAT alone its usually because you've just been through some kind of abuse.

and whenever that happens the best thing you can do is stop, slow down and take your time to do whatever it takes to heal....

then the next step is learning to recognize those dysfunctional cycles and let them go. all while maintaining awareness of the intent behind your actions and staying conscious of the thought processes behind the scenes. (oh iz that all?!?!)

in my life, i've been lucky enough to have friends and family who did not judge me or try to control me when i was going my through dark times. they did not rush me or take it personally when i just wanted to be alone, because it is important to be alone every once in awhile; to reflect not neglect. when i needed company, they endured the boring lull of my crazy talk while i battled with my emotions and learned my lessons, they stayed around and helped to me to develop healthy boundaries, their presence helped me to experience what it feels like to coexist respectfully as individuals vibrating at different frequencies. these days those thoughts are what i choose to keep in my consciousness so that i can stay grateful and continue learning different ways to be at my best so that i can have something worthwhile to share with my loved ones.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

the way we think

there is nothing more crucial the the way we think.

Back in the 1920s, a group of Soviet psychiatrists discovered that film editing manipulates not only our sense of space and time but also our emotions. That's why editing is the magic sauce

reposted from:

Monday, August 4, 2014

psycho ohcysp

When people think about serial killers, and psychopaths, they tend to idealize them, and also have no idea what they are talking about. The idea that the psychopath is of above-average intelligence and cunning is perpetuated by the fact that unintelligent psychopaths quickly land themselves in jail. Psychopathy can be scored using a 40 point checklist developed by Robert Hare, and is often lumped together with the DSM and ICD’s anti-social personality disorder.

Many people have a hard time understanding exactly why individuals commit crimes but the reasoning behind it is actually the same as for those who commit serial rape and arson, or even those who excessively go clubbing: escaping present stressors through experiencing something so intense, which feeds into their fantasy, as to block out their real problems.

The most famous of all psychopaths are serial killers... serial killing can be compared to picking up singles at the club. people are the prey....

During the week many people avoid confronting their real stress by feeding a “party-hard” fantasy. Unfortunately, when they finally act to fulfill it, the experience is disappointing compared to the fantasy they’d been entertaining, which leaves them yearning, and determined, to do it again but this time to get it “right.” Serial crimes almost always follow a similar pattern: a never ending attempt to achieve an increasingly unreachable fantasy.

The biggest difference between this and serial killing is, whereas getting drunk and picking up a random girl fulfills a primary sexual need, the serial killer is also (and sometimes only) expressing a secondary sexual need: mainly for total control over their victim. Both mostly do it to, as Ted Bundy put it, “get your rocks off.” Both primarily lack a respect for people as individuals.

You cannot assume that all serial killers find the same things exciting, and the core of what creates the sexual thrill for them is called the “signature” (Keppel), which despite potentially changing modus operandi (or the exact methodology), will remain relatively constant. Although constant is the wrong word, since particular types of signatures tend to develop to extremes, although there is always room for human variable.

The part of the problem of the serial killer is what Robert D. Keppel describes as a “clinical anger“: they hold onto anger, frequently, and even if they hide it well, it interferes with their normal life and even their health. At the root, their anger likely stems from dysfunctional attachment taking the form of “avoidant attachment,” and a lack of meaningful or positive relationships. This means that as infants, they don’t cry when the caregiver leaves and also don’t want to play with the person giving the experiment, they don’t look for “proximity, interaction, or contact by reunion” when the caregiver returns. Much in the same way circumcision lowers a male’s sensitivity to pain, early and frequent experiences of abandonment and feelings of being an “outsider” in the own family, makes them prone to not voicing their emotions since they are used to no one caring anyways. Whether they show/know it or not: they experience emotions on a physiological level.

These people, as a survival mechanism to regularly experiencing such situations, do not really develop emotional intelligence. They do not consciously notice how unbelievably stressed they are: they create a diphasic personality to cope with it. This does not mean they have multiple personalities, it means they create a fantasy world for themselves and mirror behaviors for everyone else on the outside. With serial killers, this fantasy world is just far darker than with other subgroups to whom that description applies. These people “didn’t mature, because choosing to live in his fantasy world allowed him to say a child with no respect or consequences” (Keppel, p.325).

These people are not all geniuses, and they are not inherently particularly effective at anything other than being ruthless. Their high levels of stress tolerance, or inability to feel their stress and process it, let them fool lie detectors, as well as most of us. To them, lying is such a small occurrence that it wouldn’t necessarily cause a real spike in their heart rate or pulse. But, as Ted Bundy said: “if it’s properly administered…if you have a good person, they should be able to figure that out… if your man is good enough, I don’t think the person who’s killed all these people will pass.”(Keppel, 1995) A polygraph and associated technology only looks for signs of physiological stress (or even excitation) , which can be potentially elicited with questions into the killer’s signature, as opposed to alibi. (in other words to understand a psychopath's priorities watch their actions, do not listen to anything they say because they lie to themselves and all communications are based on those lies designed to manipulate)

These individuals are able to feel empathy, but have to use conscious effort to turn/keep it “on”. They are also so deeply involved in their fantasy life, avoiding their real life stressors, that they often never really process the consequences of their actions, or understand the patterns in their behavior. The repeated replaying of fantasies often paired with television programming, helps cement these fantasies and fuse them with the individual’s understanding of sexuality and/or stress release.

We also have to address that there are many toxic myths about men and emotion that leads many people to see anger as a more acceptable means of expressing social isolation than sadness: from childhood onwards. Not everyone is taught how to deal with emotional stress in healthy ways, and this can entwine itself with sexuality.

How many individuals have this kind of anger, this sense of separation, these violent fantasies? We’ll never know. In every case though, these individuals do not live in what famous psychologist Carl Rogers called “congruence,” or that that their experiences fit their self-image. Many of these people have a negative self-image, which allows them to do heinous things without creating dissonance. Anyone who believes themselves a psychopath is doing themselves, as a human, a great disservice by giving themselves such a negative label.

So, if you are a “psychopath”, or you have what could be called clinical anger, or just a tendency to hold onto anger like hot coals, burning yourself with the ambition of throwing them at someone else. How can you change your path?

The answer is to not force yourself into a negative self-image because of any strangeness you may have in how you experience the world. You do not have to be who you have seen yourself as, or make yourself a secret slave to any dark fantasies you may have. You can decide which thoughts you indulge in: you don’t have to hold onto anger. Practicing mediation is adviseable, as is taking responsibility for everything you do.

As Ed Kemper “co-ed killer” said: “I was emotionally impotent…a little wasn’t enough: it is like drugs or alcohol…“. These people do not trust the world to fulfill their needs, and build a fantasy word, transferrable to reality, which isn’t dependant on the will of others, which grants them total control. In some cases, it is actually at least partially dependent on them not wanting it. Their extremely narcissistic escapism literally throws other people to their death, and puts them through great suffering, in order for the perpetrator to misguidedly seek to relieve their real life stress and/or obsessive fantasies.

Your personality is not set, but it also doesn’t change drastically unless the circumstances change. What makes the biggest difference, what allows people to “change”, is compensatory strategies. There are ways to deal with emotional stress, other than blocking it out or turning it into anger: one can meditate, talk to others, and inhibit yourself from pursuing maladaptive ways of dealing with it. And although it is easy to blame psychopaths for the world’s problems: things really aren’t that simple.

Any serial killer could have changed their path and started to take responsibility for how far they had come already, the same is true for any rapist or arsonist. Many would never gone so far if they had trusted themselves to deal with their issues directly, had found better coping strategies, or if they had opened up to someone they could trust and let out some of the anger they are storing up inside. Whether psychopath or not: we could all do with holding more onto happiness, practicing the active art of love, showing empathy to other life, building meaningful social connections, and meditating. The only way to change your path, or that of others, is to be the change yourself.