Only presenting an idealized version of ourselves separates us from others.

Elk in a pasture a few miles from my home.

Wanting to be liked we sometimes present our idealized self to others. What a therapist once described to me as selling ourselves. Not surprisingly, that most often creates the opposite result. The following is an excerpt from an article in the Harvard Business Review.

“In 1997, Arthur Aron, a social psychologist and director of the Interpersonal Relationships Lab at Stony Brook University, performed a groundbreaking study that answers this question.

He and his research team paired students who were strangers. The students were given 45 minutes to ask each other a series of questions. Half the pairs were given questions that were factual and shallow (e.g., a favorite holiday or TV show). The other half were given questions that started off as factual but gradually became deeper (e.g., the role of love in their lives, the last time they cried in front of someone else). The final question was, “Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find the most disturbing?”

After the 45 minutes, Aron’s team asked the participants to rate how close they felt to their partner. Pairs from the second group formed much deeper bonds. In fact, many of these participants started lasting friendships. In one longer version of the experiment, two participants even got engaged a few months after the study.”

Here is a link to the article.

Memories, Emotions, and Reality

For days since having a dream I have contemplated the importance of memories. Here’s the dream:

We are what we remember,

Choose what to remember,

Remember what makes you feel good, happy, joyful, magical and transcendental.

And you become your memories.

In true scynchronistic fashion I can across an article on the web citing new scientific studies confirming “Human Emotion Shapes Physical Reality”

Here is the link

New Research Shocks Scientists: Human Emotion Physically Shapes Reality!

Stress is Good?

Of course, I am someone who works with the mind and knows the mind can do miraculous things. Sometimes I can forget that it is important to question assumptions underlying our belief systems. For example, I have not questioned the theories on stress. I have read and believed that stress is bad for us all. And of course, if we believe stress is bad for us could stress be otherwise? I say not because our beliefs totally influence our reality.

So, I have not questioned the assumption that stress is bad for us until today when I watched this video. What if the effects of stress fall within the area of mind where placebos also reside. Could stress not be all that stressful if we believe it isn’t? The video below is interesting because it seems that if you don’t believe stress affects you negatively it won’t. Ah, the power of belief.

Free Will versus Fatalism


Everyone that I see in therapy learns about the polarity between fatalism and free will. Now a scientific study is saying that those who believe in fate, those who don’t understand their innate power of creation are more likely to have increased anxiety, depression and decision dissatisfaction. Those who embrace their free will have greater self-esteem and sense of meaning in their lives.

The study is talked about in Science Daily here.

As the study notes: “When we experience or have low belief in free will and feel ‘out of touch’ with who we are, we may behave without a sense of morality,” says Seto. “This is particularly important if we have a goal to improve the quality of life for individuals and the society at large.”


Brains on LSD imaged

LSD is a drug. One that has been banned from research for a long time. Prior to banning LSD, it had shown positive possibilities in many many areas. Research was banned in the 1980’s. Since the 80’s technology for looking at brain activity has advanced immensely. Now it is possible to understand the physical effects of the drug on brain activity and function.

Here is an excerpt from the Guardian article.


“A dose of the psychedelic substance – injected rather than dropped – unleashed a wave of changes that altered activity and connectivity across the brain. This has led scientists to new theories of visual hallucinations and the sense of oneness with the universe some users report.

The brain scans revealed that trippers experienced images through information drawn from many parts of their brains, and not just the visual cortex at the back of the head that normally processes visual information. Under the drug, regions once segregated spoke to one another.

Further images showed that other brain regions that usually form a network became more separated in a change that accompanied users’ feelings of oneness with the world, a loss of personal identity called “ego dissolution”….

The study could pave the way for LSD or related chemicals to be used to treat psychiatric disorders. Nutt said the drug could pull the brain out of thought patterns seen in depression and addiction through its effects on brain networks.

Amanda Feilding, director of the Beckley Foundation, said: “We are finally unveiling the brain mechanisms underlying the potential of LSD, not only to heal, but also to deepen our understanding of consciousness itself.””

The Guardian Article >

New Theory of Addiction

It is reasonable to ask about the way we think about addictions. Just take a moment to reflect and you see how pervasive the behavior of addiction is within people. We attribute powers to the substances and behaviors, physiological effects that leave the addicted one helpless in their grasp.

What if none of this is so? What if it is all about human connection? What if human connection is part of an overall pleasant environment, a pleasing home?

A recent study confirms this and it did so by questioning the scientific method used in the original studies with rats. The researchers didn’t consider the “psychological” effect on the rats confined in cages.

Along comes a new study where the rats are given a “Disney Land” environment to live in and now they prefer the water over the drugged water.

The study is interesting.

Read more here >

Giving and Receiving

rocks_280wThere is a continuum, a yin and a yang, if you will. And in this continuum we call a universe is the curiosity of our consciousness, our self-awareness, our relationship to all we encounter. And in this relationship we ascribe meaning to everything. We humans appear to be the only beings on this planet that have this capacity.

In that capacity to choose we confirm our free will. We live in continual exercising of free will as we go moment to moment. Moment to moment we effect the creation of ours and others futures from our thoughts, words and actions. Thoughts words and actions create in our bodies emotional responses Those emotional responses within us vary depending on the nature of the thoughts, words, and deeds. We ebb and flow like the seasons.

We search for happiness in many different ways. Happiness is elusive for most. We have wonderful glimpses at varying times in our lives and then it dissipates. Holding on to happiness may seem like holding a gallon of water pouring into our hands. It drains away disappearing into a thirsty earth.

It is not a new theory that giving, helping, being of service is the most certain way to find happiness. It also helps with getting along in this world. A recent New York Times article on an Author and Professor Adam Grant, adds to the happiness factor, the getting ahead factor of giving or “instant karma”. This is an eleven page article

Maybe there is an answer. Enjoy!

Harmony in Presence



“One is in harmony when that which one absolutely must do becomes identical to that which one most desires to do”. Maslow

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”

Chris Gardner “… here’s the secret to success: find something you love to do so much, you can’t wait for the sun to rise to do it all over again.”

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Steve Jobs

A recent study by two Harvard researchers suggests that peoples minds are wandering nearly half the time they are awake. Their minds were not on their current activity as much as 46.9% of the time. Those whose minds were elsewhere were decidedly unhappy. The researchers interpret these findings to mean that people who live in the moment are much happier than those who don’t. While dreaming of the past or the future may be part of the human condition, those most focused on the present are happiest.

Thoughts are things


I have been back in Minnesota to visit my mom, family, and friends. In the six months that have passed my mom’s cognitive abilities have slipped and two friends are dealing with cancer.  There are so many stresses people are dealing with in their lives.  I feel blessed to be able to be supportive and help with beneficial information. I talked with my mom today and she said while I was back “everything was good”. I wish I could leave that energy behind permanently for her. While I was there I bought a book by Dr. Masaru Emoto. I was familiar with his work and just wanted the book to support his ongoing efforts to research and elucidate the relationship between thought and material objects as exemplified in water. My simplistic summary of his research is this: Thoughts are things with tangible affects in our physical world. His research specifically shows the relationship between thoughts and the molecular structure of water. Here is a video you might enjoy:  Emoto’s research indicates that there are two words/thoughts that have the greatest power to affect matter in a wonderful way, those words are gratitude and love. I also got to meet my great nephew on this trip.

Sunspots and Consciousness


There is significant talk about sunspots in the media these days. There are also complicated attempts by astrophysicists and others to predict such events. Because sunspots seems to occur in periods there is the idea of the sunspot cycle. In Wikipedia we read: “The solar cycle was discovered in 1843 by Samuel Heinrich Schwabe, who after 17 years of observations noticed a periodic variation in the average number of sunspots seen from year to year on the solar disk. Rudolf Wolf compiled and studied these and other observations, reconstructing the cycle back to 1745, eventually pushing these reconstructions to the earliest observations of sunspots by Galileo and contemporaries in the early seventeenth century.

Starting with Wolf, solar astronomers have found it useful to define a standard sunspot number index, which continues to be used today.”

But what if this time of observation has been too short to really determine the true cycles or other important variables? What if further examination would reveal a cause and effect relationship not yet understood by science? What if the cause and effect relationship is a bit too science fiction for science? Science requires testing, and is greatly constrained in this circumstance by the need to be able to gather sufficient data and to reproduce hypotheses?.

Of course, you know I am leading up to an alternative theory. The alternative theory posits that the phenomenon of “sunspots” is inextricably connected to instability and turmoil upon the planet earth itself. Whenever war, strife, and turmoil occurr in the affairs of humankind, sunspots occur as a natural consequence. In other words, instability among people leads to instability upon the planet and throughout the universe!

Now this is a difficult theory to test. To test this theory we would have to create a significant period of peace on this planet and none of us can remember a time that would give us 5 -7 decades of peace. So just as this theory seems un-testable I would like you to consider the following evidence.

The evidence is referenced in a book titled “Gods in the Making and other writings by W.H. Church”. He has a chapter in the book called: Age of Glory, An interpretation of the 70 – year Sunspot Hiatus (1645 – 1715). Galileo invented the telescope in 1610 and close observation of the sun began in that year. The interesting point of this chapter is that for seventy years, beginning about 1645, with a couple of small exceptions, there were no grave wars or other disruptions. It was a real hiatus, a time of calm on the planet. It was The Age of Enlightenment. There was almost no sunspot activity through this period.

A second interesting indicator of this period and evidence was not discovered until 1922. In 1922 it was discovered in a museum in Europe that tree rings from that period were remarkable uniform. They did not show the variable cycles of widening and narrowing bands, a cycle now considered “normal”.

These days the physicists are more and more determining that there is a oneness of the vast universe and that everything therein is closely connected and coupled. Carl Jung used the term “synchronicity” to describe this same phenomenon on a human level. John W. Keely’s theories elucidate concepts of a sympathetic vibration that connects all things and energies, and that the harmony of these vibrations creates what we see.