What Does it Mean to be Psychic?

Recently I had a friend ask me about my psychic abilities.  He wanted to know how it works, what you can know, and what I’ve used it for.  I thought the answers might be fun and interesting to share.

How does it work?
Well now that is a question with several different meanings. Since I’m a literal, sciencey person, I’m going to answer it that way.
we see....bee see

we see….bee see

It works the very same way your 5 senses work. Only it’s like the senses are way more perceptive than average. So I can hear, see, smell, taste, and feel things that go way beyond the norm. To “normal” folks it seems I can see and hear things that “aren’t there” but actually they ARE There. The rest of you poor slobs just can’t detect them.
Its like the way they say dogs cannot see red. (what do you suppose they see instead??) Just because they don’t see it doesn’t mean Red isn’t there, does it?
Or they say bees can see a color called “bee violet” we can’t see it, except under ultraviolet light, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real, right?
mantis shrimp

mantis shrimp

Likewise, the Mantis Shrimp can see about 6 more colors than we can see.
Do those colors exist?? Even though we cannot see them?? Yes, of course.
Dogs and cats can smell (and see) emotions. Can you? Probably not.  But I can.
There is also a condition called synesthesia, in which people can feel colors and see music, and so on.
It is understood that such people have sensory neurons “crossed” somehow.  Still they are experiencing sensory phenomena that most of us don’t.
My point is simply that there is a very wide range of stuff out there that can be sensed. And there are animals and people who can sense more, or less of that range than others.
When humans are LESS sensitive than average, we just call them insensitive, or we call them more grounded, or we call them “realists” but basically this condition is accepted as “normal”, given approval and even praised.
While people with a greater range of sensory perception are subject to doubt, suspicion, and ridicule.  But that difference in value judgment is completely arbitrary.
So I’m one of the folks in the extreme end of things who is very sensitive. And I’ve spent my whole life being told I’m “too sensitive” or “crazy” or lying. And yet, I’ve found a way to make my extra sensitivity useful.
I imagine if you dissected my brain you might find I have more sensory neurons than most. But since sensory neurons are small and easily destroyed during dissection, not to mention quickly degraded and decomposed after death, to say nothing of the fact that I’m still using them and would really prefer NOT to be dissected yet, the chances are slim that it can be proven that way.  But it is real and it is consistent.
What dogs see

What dogs see

What you can know?

Now that’s a trick question. Because just as we know all about our world with our senses, these extended senses can pretty much be used to know anything.

That said, I do a whole lot better with issues of people, than things.  I’ve had people come to me for readings to help them find an old engagement ring or some heirloom, and what I see is they have a new relationship and their fixation on & nostalgia about that ring from their ex is causing jealousy and they’re better off letting it go, or they should have sold it long ago. Or with heirlooms I see how dysfunctional their family is…maybe has been for generations, and how the heirloom is keeping their deceased grandmother lingering and critically looking over their shoulder. Or something like that.

    People don’t always want to see those deeper truths. So usually I do a tarot reading to help them find the thing, because tarot is like looking through a spyglass.  You can’t see the whole picture, only a little section of it.  That’s usually all people want when they’re focused on objects.

    It’s funny, because when I was a little kid that’s how things started out. I used to use my psychic abilities to find my shoes or books for school when I was late. I also remember playing a game with friends in the church yard. I would close my eyes and see a vision of a certain spot in the grass. Then I would open my eyes and find that spot and there would be a little prize there, a tiny lost toy, or an especially beautiful stone, or a piece of jewelry. I would find a prize for each of my friends that way. It was fun.  I still use it around the house the same way to find things. My kids will come to me and just say, Mom, will you find my ________. And I have to stop what I’m doing and focus, ask them a couple questions, then tell them where to look. Sometimes I have to go look myself, and it’s always right there where I said but they couldn’t find it. But can’t all Moms sort of do that?

I think I’m actually searching my kids subconscious mind for the object. So I really try to train them to do it for themselves. If they chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo & close their eyes and relax for a moment, they can usually find it. They’ve used that to find lost pets many times too.

So I suspect that my difficulty with objects now is because I’m used to going much deeper, to more profound levels in my office. I use it to look into peoples bodies and find the original cause of illness or injury. Sometimes the cause is an emotional blow, or guilt over an abortion, grief over a stillborn child or a child who wants in but was never conceived. I can see how sexual assault has led to back problems. I can see the impact of relationships on their health, or how an old injury was never quiet healed and is making new problems. Or even how problems between their parents when they were still in the womb have caused developmental problems at birth.

I also see similar problems come through from past lives. Usually it’s something that happened just before death, or never got properly resolved, so its still lingering.

So with all that as my normal office focus, I guess it’s hard to shift my focus to a simple object. Or maybe it just bores me. Or maybe I get impatient and fed up with people spending so much of their lives and personal energy fixating on shiny objects while the things of real value, like children, relationships, spiritual exercise, learning and mental and emotional growth, or a good sex life, all get ignored, neglected and marginalized.

So, in general I can see/hear/sense anything that has happened in the past, this life or others, relationships with self and others, ones mission and reason for being here, special skills and abilities, physical and emotional trauma, and future to the extent that it has already been formed by causes we are creating now. I can see/sense spirit guides, deceased loved ones, and demons that are hanging around helping or affecting your life. The key for me is focus. I can sense SO much that I have to really focus to narrow it down. I tend to focus on the top most important things that can improve their true happiness.

When people ask for something in particular I usually have to ask a few questions just to get them to stir their thoughts around & then the key issues rise to the surface. Everyone kind of knows their own stuff, but we don’t always trust ourselves, or were afraid to admit things, or we hide them from ourselves, or we believe others who try to tell us its not true, or feed us a pack of lies and myths and convince us that “reality” is limited and rigid, talk us out of what is obvious to a child…and to us if we weren’t so deluded.

I can, of course, hear peoples thoughts, but only when they are actively thinking them, you know? And I’ve gotten very good at shutting that out so I can walk through crowds without going mad. Still it’s hard sometimes because people near and far thinking about me can get really noisy and irritating. So I have a need to be alone, or out in nature, or distract myself with a movie, book, or writing, OR I can dumb it down and disengage my brain by drinking alcohol…or certain foods. That has repercussions though so I use it sparingly.

train wreck

train wreck

I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, so if I see some negative event or effect in someone future, I always ask “What can he do to change that?” That’s pretty effective and satisfying. Except when the person is dead set on denial or blaming others, and often I can see that. Then if I can’t wake them up and help them take charge of their life, by making changes, I want to just distance myself from them because its  frustrating to work with.  And eventually that bad prediction will happen because they did nothing to stop it.  So for me its like watching a massive train wreck in slow motion.

That’s the same reason I won’t do readings for people unless they pay me.  When people are willing to pay they are usually willing to listen.  So there’s much less change I have to watch a gory train wreck in slow motion and pretend I can’t see it.

What have you used it for?

In my practice, I use my psychic ability primarily for healing.  The Quantum Healing I do allows me to look into patient’s bodies, see any problems and fix them by working with the body’s natural ability to heal. Most western medicine therapies work against the body’s own healing mechanisms and often create more problems than they solve.  For example, fever is the body’s way of killing infection.  So fevers should not be suppressed with aspirin or other NSAIDs.  Its better to bring it down naturally by soaking in a tepid bath.  Mucus whether its running from the nose or sinuses is the body’s way of flushing out bacteria, viruses or toxins.  So when we take something that stops the mucus it also stops the body from healing itself.  Scar tissue is like the body’s own surgery.  So when surgery results in scar tissue, more invasive surgery will probably NOT help.

I also use it in my counseling.  Sometimes people can’t quite put the root of their problem into words.  Or maybe they are embarrassed, ashamed, or in denial.  Or maybe they just don’t like talking about feelings and relationships.  So then I’ll use my psychic sense to listen between the lines, or psychically feel the right questions to ask.  Once we locate the root cause, it makes the counseling and hypnosis much more effective.  Hypnosis goes hand in hand with counseling because when you reach that moment in talk therapy where you say, “Ah, ha!  This is what I need to do differently!”  we can make that change happen almost over night.

Check out all the ways I apply my skills to help you achieve extraordinary things:  clearmirrorhealing.com

 

 

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How can it all be FREE?!

I try to stay a-political in these blogs but I’m crossing that line today simply because this is more of an education and human rights issue.  Its a shame that it is being so politicized, really.  So, here I am explaining to the American public how all that “FREE STUFF” Bernie Sanders talks about ACTUALLY WORKS.  I’m not going to tell you how to vote.  I’m just going to tell you that I have lived in a few different countries and a few different states and I have seen these programs working.  You don’t have to believe me.  You can look it up or you can go there yourself and see for yourself.  My point, really, is that a lot of intelligent people in the US cannot imagine that its even possible, because they’ve lived without it their whole lives.  They pay their taxes.  They DON’T want to pay more in taxes. So where would all the money come from to create this wonderful world of rainbows and unicorns that Bernie keeps talking about?

Bernie Uni

FREE MEDICAL

Let me start with universal medical care. Most developed countries have universal health care.  What it means is this, if you get sick or break a leg or get pregnant you just go to the doctor or hospital and they fix you up free of charge.  Now if you want a face lift or gastric bypass or some other elective surgery or maybe you want a fancier hospital when you give birth, well you have the option to pay for that.  Its not free.  They do a good job with the free health care.  In fact, the health  of citizens in these countries is much better than in the US.  If you do the math, a population of healthy people will produce more wealth for the country than a sick population that can’t work and needs disability insurance.  So you can subtract the cost of disability, unemployment, and sick leave when you add up the cost of “free” health care.

FREE-HEALTH

But the real savings is in lowering the expense of the health care INDUSTRY.  See, in countries where the feds foot the bill, there’s a vested interest in choosing the most efficient forms of medicine.  That means health maintenance and it means alternative medicine.  Now this is my field, so I can tell you, the reason alternative and natural medicine has not taken off in this country is NOT because it doesn’t work. Its because its not lucrative.  Sure, you can make a little money off selling herbal extracts, but you can’t patent what people can grow in their own backyards.  So you can’t hike up the price of an herb to $700 a capsule and expect people to pay.  Also if you actually CURE your patients you don’t make as much money off them because they get their lives back and they don’t need you again for awhile.  (I know this because this is what I do – I CURE “incurable” illness.  I don’t make much money but I have a long list of happy patients.)  Health care costs stay low when you use more natural medicine and less industrial medicine and pharmaceuticals.

See basically what a for-profit health care industry is good at is finding medicines and therapies that keep people sick and keep them on a daily prescription for life.  So that’s where our health care industry is right now.  You may have noticed that almost everyone you know is now on a prescription of some kind or has had surgery.  When the nurse does your intake you might notice she now says, “What medications are you taking?” rather than the old question, “Are you on any medications?” And if, like me, you say you aren’t on anything she will ask incredulously, “None?”  And you may have noticed that you spend about 10 minutes or less with the doctor, and about an hour waiting to see the doctor.  So its working.  Everyone “needs” prescriptions and surgery and regular visits and this makes lots of money for the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies.

Countries that have universal, federally funded, health care use herbal medicine, homeopathics, aromatherapy, nutrition therapy, acupuncture, and other proven natural therapies right alongside western medicine.  Why? because they work well and they cost very little.  The US health care companies don’t use these therapies and often discourage their use because its impossible for corporate execs to get rich selling them.  So if the health care industry does NOT have to make billionaires of the pharmaceutical executives OR the insurance executives, let alone pay off the stockholders in those industries, the cost of health care goes way down.  That is a huge savings!  (You can check this out by going online to order pharmaceuticals from another country.  It’s MUCH cheaper when you buy them from socialist countries. Not because their government is paying for them, but because the companies are forced to charge a fair price in those countries.)    Its not magical, its simply using the most efficient and effective cure for illness INSTEAD of using the most lucrative “band-aid” to keep patients coming back.  So, if health care is NOT a money making industry but simply a break-even industry there are lots of ways to reduce costs AND keep people healthier!

health ranking

….but get less.

Health care spending

Now we spend more…

 

FREE College

Now let’s look at “FREE” education.  Here’s the way “Free College” actually works:  There is a dollar amount cap on how much is “free” per year.  If you go to community college or state college it is free.  If you go to Harvard, you are still going to have to foot a chunk of the bill. The State of Louisiana actually HAS THIS IN EFFECT, and it has worked for years (Here’s the link:  http://www.osfa.state.la.us/schgrt6.htm ).  Of course students have to make the grade AND keep their grades up or they lose the funding.  The Louisiana program was started by one philanthropist who set up a fund that still works pretty well today.  So it doesn’t necessarily have to be supported by tax dollars, it can be run from a one time investment.  You could also check out how it works in most European countries.  They may have even better systems. 

funny-free-college-countries-USA

When colleges are no longer just another way to make big bucks, they begin to focus on outcome & actually educate kids in practical ways. They also focus more on actual qualifications for incoming students when its no longer a competition for who’s Daddy can donate a new wing on the student union, or what students can win money for the college through big money sports.  You can also subtract some of the cost of unemployment, food stamps, the prison and police systems from the overall cost of “Free” college.  This is because young people with job skills, entrepreneurial skills, and life skills are MUCH less likely to end up dealing drugs, using drugs, getting fired a lot and generally being poor.  Desperate people do desperate things, you see?  But people with college education don’t get quite so desperate.  They tend to get busy inventing a new industries or branching out with new skills when they meet a challenge.

green-energy

FREE Energy

What about renewable energy sources?  That’s expensive, right?  Well, no.  Firstly, that pays for itself over time because its ACTUALLY FREE ENERGY once you get the solar panels or windmills set up.  The investment costs for solar panels and windmills are pretty reasonable and will also go down as they become more popular and R&D is put to work.  Last I checked it costs about $20K in set up costs to power a three bedroom house with a sunny roof.  If you take a look at the numbers you’ll find that people who put solar panels on their houses usually end up paying some piddling amount like $10 a month for electricity, which is pretty nice!

Secondly, you can subtract the cost of all the wars in the Middle East (which is about $3 million a day now) from your start up costs on renewable energy.  Because our government is waging those wars to keep down the cost of petroleum, which is only actually abundant in the Middle East these days.  So, that’s a HUGE savings right there!  To say nothing of the cost in human lives.

I recently bought a used hybrid car for $2000.  It costs me about $15 per week in gas, or $100 in gas to drive the 4 hour trip to get my kid to college (and back).  And that’s a 2003.  I’m sure I’d save even more with the newer hybrids.   So, even if the cost of gas goes back up to $6/gallon when we bring the troops home from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and so on, I’ll still be ok for gas money, you see?  And so will you once you go hybrid.  Or you can go electric, plug it into the solar panels on your house, spend $0 on gas and even pocket that $35 you would pay for an oil change every three months. (Electric cars don’t need oil)

Electric car in solar garage

Electric car in a solar garage = $0

Business Freedom

Now let me say a word about the business of America: Business.  Won’t all this socialism hurt American business?  Actually, no.  It will HELP American business tremendously!                                                                                               (See, this is actually a failing of the US education system.  If you didn’t study world governments in college you probably have no idea how different Socialism and Communism are.  You may even think that Socialism and Democracy are two opposing systems.  But Democracy is government by the ordinary people of that country, while Socialism, Capitalism, and Communism are ECONOMIC plans, not forms of government.  Communism is the one in which the government owns businesses.  Capitalism is the one that allows monopolies to actually own the government.)

In socialism the government regulates community resources that are shared or needed by all, like roads, health care, education, fire departments, and so on.  It also limits private industry so that monopolies cannot be formed.  If monopolies can form and grow, they can come to control the whole industry or even the government.  Then small businesses cannot survive.  They get crushed by the monopolies.  You also end up with industries that are “Too big to fail” so they can run wild & spend irresponsibly and the people have to bail them out or the whole country’s economy will collapse.  And if the monopolies get big enough, wealthy enough, and powerful enough, they can pressure government officials & pull strings until its no longer a government by the people, its a government owned by a few captains of industry.

But in a socialist economy, monopolies are limited.  If a company gets too big, it has to be broken up and sold off.  Often, company growth is capped so that once it grows past a certain point it is sold off to the employees in the company itself.  So instead of becoming a big monopoly, it becomes a small democracy.  The employees of the corporation gradually come to own and run the company themselves.

Monopolies crush competetion

Monopolies crush competition

So contrary to what most Americans think a fully socialist society will NOT crush competition, it actually increases real competition.  It will NOT limit variety and choices but increase them.  It doesn’t cost MORE, it actually costs much less.  The main reason you don’t know this or can’t quite believe it is because the news media in this great country of ours is ALL controlled by about four family corporations.  (Except for NPR.) Your education was also influenced by a few powerful corporations that dominate the textbook industry.  Also federal, state, and even city governments in our country are largely controlled by a few powerful corporations and capitalists.   So, it simply wouldn’t make sense for the owners of those lucrative corporations to tell you that you would be happier if you stopped them from controlling your life and paying you slave wages to fall in line and follow the crowds.

media-ownership

On the other hand, no one is paying me to blog or explain all this.  It’s also FREE!  So, I don’t mind telling you that if you really want to make America great again?  Make it a democracy again.  Stop paying a few greedy folks at the top of the money pile to tell you how to think.  Maybe you can even re-post this article on your own site, or page.  That’s free too and it could help We, the people, understand what’s really going on.

The Bern

Guns That Kill People

I know, I know, guns don’t kill people, people do.  And I get that.  I really do get that.
As a matter of fact. I get, in a very firsthand way why people in this country SHOULD be allowed to have guns.  I grew up in a family of hunters.  For most of my childhood I had never tasted beef.  The only meat my family and I ever ate was venison.  This wasn’t because we were rugged outdoorsmen trying to make a point.  This was because we were poor country people living on a minister’s salary.  We couldn’t have afforded to eat meat if my Dad had not been a hunter.

And he was a real hunter!  The old kind who spent all day tracking and waiting patiently in the woods, reading little signs in the forest, and talking to nature.  He really did too! My Dad would pray out there in the woods and ask the deer who would not make it through the winter, the one who would prefer a quick clean death, to come to where he was.  I remember he once killed a big twelve point buck who was blind in one eye & slightly lame in its hind leg.  The meat of that deer carried us through the whole winter.

12 point buck

12 point buck

Once, when my brothers were older, Dad went hunting with my teen-aged brother and his best friend.  The friend wounded a deer just before he had to leave and get to his job.  So my Dad tracked the wounded deer all that day and all the next day, just to put it out of its misery.  It was bow season, so when he finally found the big buck he had only one shot to kill it before it would be off tearing through the underbrush, running away.  He missed.  When the deer took off running, it was slow.  It was wounded in the leg.  So my Dad took off too, on foot, chasing the deer.  Now, if you know anything about deer, you know there is no man alive who can chase a deer on foot, in the woods, and win.  Deer are very fast.

But my Dad must have been talking to that deer, or the Great Spirit or Mother Nature or something, because my Dad caught up with it.  The deer tripped over a root and went sprawling into a clearing.  My Dad tripped over the same root and went sprawling into the same clearing, face to face with the wounded deer.  Now, again, if you’ve spent your life on concrete you may think deer are soft.  But if you’ve ever been up next to a real deer, you’ll know that face to face with a big strong buck, antlers and all, that the deer is going to win in any hand to hand battle.  My Dad must have known this, but to him there was no option.  The deer was wounded and would die a slow miserable death from infection, or my Dad would risk his life to do the right thing.  Armed with a hunting knife and a large stick, Dad wrestled the deer for an hour. He finally flung his body onto the deer’s back and while it tossed him around, cut its throat with the knife.  It wasn’t as clean or as quick as he had hoped.  When we butchered the deer we found more than 10 knife cuts.  My Dad did not get out of bed for three days & he never really hunted again.  He never killed a deer again.

All this is just to say, my family’s hunting style was the old ways, the Native American way.  In tune with nature.  Calling out the sick and the weak.  Killing only to eat.  Risking your own life to do the right thing by the people who feed you when it came to that.  There are still hunters like this.  There are still families in the US who depend on venison to get through the winter.  So, that makes one kind of sense.

There are also great bands of humans who call themselves hunters but treat their guns and their trucks like people and treat their dogs like things, and treat the deer like things, and treat Mother Nature like a thing.  For a first hand account see Max: A rescued Hound. (click to connect)  These humans should not be called hunters.  These humans should not even be called people.  And these humans should NOT be allowed guns.  Plain and simple.  These are the kind of people who kill people without remorse and without cause.  The proof is already there because dogs are people, deer are people, and Mother Nature in all her glory is a person.  These folks kill for entertainment.

african huntingWhen I came back from living in Kenya, I remember people baiting me with questions about whether or not, in a country where private gun ownership was not allowed, whether people still found ways to kill other people.  And, yes, absent firearms, people still killed other people.  Out in the rural areas they had a policy known as mob justice.  If someone out there committed a horror, groups of villagers would gang together, track them down and stone them to death.  But I’ll tell you, its a much different thing to kill a person when you can feel their rasping breath on your skin, see the fear in their eyes and know their humanity is no different than yours, than it is to stand at a distance picking off kindergartners like tin cans.  I also saw villagers build bow and arrows by hand and kill the odd antelope or warthog to provide for their families.  So, in short, I saw first hand that people without guns can still defend themselves, and still hunt.

Maybe guns DONT kill, people do.  But, I still don’t think people without humanity should be allowed to own guns.  In fact, I don’t think humans without compassion, or reason, or humanity ARE people.  So, maybe people DON’T kill people.  And maybe humans who don’t qualify as people shouldn’t be sold guns.  shooting cans

The other kind of people who should not be allowed guns are crazy people.  I think we have ALL agreed on that already.  Its not too hard to figure out who those people are, either.  The people who can watch the recent mass murders in Oregon, after all the similar mass murders in this country alone, people who can watch little school children killed, and their teachers jumping into the line of fire to protect them, and still clamor for their inalienable “right” to guns without controls?  Those are crazy people.  Those are people who SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BUY GUNS.  Because those people no longer have the ability to reason, or feel compassion for other people.

Science and God and Bundt Cake

evolution-treeI recently ran into some debate between “creationists” and “evolutionists” that gave me cause for pause.  Its just odd to me how both sides miss the point so badly.  In the first place, its patently absurd for anyone to think that science conflicts with anything.  Science is the process for discovering truth.

creation

Science

I know, I know, the way science was taught in school left you thinking that science is a collection of data.  But no, science is the reason we collect data, or facts.  Science is NOT the facts themselves.  In fact, if you’ve been paying attention those “facts” we like to call science have been changing.  That’s right!  If you learned high school science back in the 80’s you will find that quite a few of the “facts” we were made to memorize are now laughed at.  So you have to keep up.  You have to keep learning and keep “doing” science or it becomes ‘unscientific’.  That is NOT because science is unreliable.  It is because science is a PROCESS of discovery.  Science is the tool for learning truth.

Change is the real beauty of science.  Because change is the very nature of the world.  Some things change fast, some things change slowly, some change so slowly that we think they aren’t changing at all.  But they are.  Change is the one consistent and reliable truth of the universe.  So those collections of factoids that we like to teach to the younger generations are fun and interesting, but memorization isn’t really appropriate because they are all subject to change.

If you would actually learn (or teach) science you must learn the process of scientific investigation, also known as “The Scientific Method”.  Here’s how it works (simply):

  1. You have an idea or question about life, the universe, or anything.
  2. You set up a logical “If…then” proposal to help answer your question.*
  3. You test out that proposal at least 3 different times. (the more times the better)
  4. If the results (a.k.a data, or evidence) doesn’t prove your proposal, make a new proposal & keep testing until you find a proposal that proves itself.

*Step 2 is the tricky one because you’re sort of guessing at the answer (your hypothesis).  You want to make your best guess, but you don’t want to get so attached to your guess that you start faking (manipulating) the data so you can “win”.  You have to remain devoted to the truth & realize that the real “win” is not getting your hypothesis right on the first try, the win is discovering the actual truth!

So a lot of truths are discovered by just messing around to see what happens.  You’re not actually proving anything true until you can test it by the scientific method and repeat the test over and over with the same results. For example, when I took fruit fly breeding lab as part of my college genetics course, I’d do “extra” breeding just for fun.  Like I’d find the two weirdest looking flies and breed them together to see what happens.  Sometimes I’d get a bunch of baby flies with all the weird traits, and sometimes I’d get a bunch of “normal” babies.  That was fun but it didn’t tell me any truths until I thought, “Hmmm, I think the reason is XYZ.” and then I did a few more crosses to test out my hypothesis.

mutant fruit flies

You can apply the scientific method to anything, and it doesn’t even have to be science-y.   Like when I taught school I discovered I could use the scientific method to determine whether a student was telling me the truth.  I might say, “Sam, did you finish your classwork?”  Sam says, “Yes.”  Me: “Did you really?” Sam: “Uh-huh” Me: “Is it all finished?”  So, you see, I asked the same basic question three times, three different ways.  The funny thing is, a person usually couldn’t tell the same lie three different times quickly like that. So by the third time they usually broke down and told me the truth, or at least begin to squirm uncomfortably, then I’d ask to see the classwork.  As my kids caught on I’d have to ask the question more times. “Is that so?” “Did’ya?” “Huh?” “Huh?” “Huh?”  Annoying but effective.

My point, again, is that science is a process for uncovering the truth.  Science is NOT the collection of data or truths themselves.  The truths may change as the world changes, or the data may support different truths as our technology, testing and measuring ability gets better.  But science (the process of proving) doesn’t change because it is perfect. My other point is that science can be used to prove lots of things that don’t seem like science.  You can use science to make your relationship better, or to make your faucet stop dripping, or to make a better bundt cake.  You might even use science to prove the existence of God.*

bunt cake

bundt cake

Belief

Before I go into the existence of God, let me say a word about belief.  If you are relying on science to prove or disprove things, then once enough supporting data has been collected you can say that certain things are “true” and other things are “not true”.  Belief has no role in the matter once the scientific method has been correctly applied.  So “belief” is only accurately applied when there is some supporting evidence but not enough scientifically collected data to call it “true” or “proven”.   Belief is for the gray area where hypotheses are held until the actual testing can begin. It is not necessary to claim to “believe” in gravity, as there is ample data to support it as truth.  Likewise it is absurd to claim to “believe” in evolution, as it has been well proven AND I can even set up a little demonstration where you can watch evolution happen right before your very eyes (with bacteria, or fruit flies, or any organism with a fast enough reproductive cycle that is likewise small enough to contain and big enough to observe.)

evolution in a petri dish

Belief can also be correctly applied to things that cannot be tested scientifically.  So wrose carnationhile I could PROVE that you would smack me if I asked “Huh?” repeatedly, I cannot hope to prove that roses are prettier than carnations.  I may BELIEVE that roses are prettier than carnations.  I might BELIEVE that my mother’s bunt cake is better than your mother’s.  These things can never be proven or dis-proven, so they must be held forever in the limbo of “belief”.  I might actually be able to prove (or dis-prove) that people prefer roses to carnations, but I couldn’t prove they were prettier because pretty is subjective.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  It is value that cannot be measured.

 

So if anyone asks you if you believe in evolution, the answer is, “Belief is not necessary. Evolution is true.”  The same is true of science.  If someone claims that they do not believe in science, you can reply, “Science doesn’t require your belief, science is proof.”

Creation

Now lets look at things from the other side.  Let’s look at God and spirituality and all that.  It may just be that the existence of God has already been proven.  Wouldn’t that be fun?  And what if we could prove that God is real, and God really created all this stuff called “the universe”?  That would certainly make both science AND religion more interesting, don’t you think? But, “Wait”, you say, “Didn’t you just state that evolution is a proven FACT, Tolley?”  Yep, hold on to your hats folks, cause this is where I really make my point.

Take a look at that little story in Genesis, the one about creation.  God starts by dividing light from darkness, then land from water, then makes swimy things in the water.  Next there’s creepy crawly things on land, things that fly, then “beasts” (or mammals) and then humans.  Now, if you step back for a minute and stop all your arguing, you’ll see what I’ve been seeing all along.  Someone told the story of evolution to the person who wrote Genesis.  They told it like you might tell a bedtime story to children, but its the same basic story.  And, after all Genesis was written a very long time ago and that person was probably a simple nomad who might have grown bored or confused by a detailed description of DNA, genetics, random mutations, environmental pressures, fruit flies, and all that.  Why, I even know some modern people who get bored with that.

nomadDNA New

Now we can’t actually apply the scientific method here, but we can apply reason and logic.  And logically, the possibility that evolution and creation are actually the same exact thing makes a lot of sense.  Especially if you’ve seen my demo with the fruit flies and tasted my really excellent bundt cake, all created by the diligent application of science.

Bundt-Cake-7

God*

Now if we dig a little deeper and hold on ever so lightly to our dogma, this next bit is even more fun.  Remember when we were taught in school that all matter in the entire universe was made of atoms?  And remember how we learned that all atoms were made of only three things: protons, neutrons, and electrons.  Well, now science has proven that its not true.  String Theory, as well as the Wave-Particle Duality of Quantum Mechanics, actually teaches us that those 3 things that make up every atom are really only ONE thing, vibrating at different frequencies.  And of course Albert Einstein already told us that all matter is actually energy just very highly concentrated.  Then we went on to prove Einstein’s theory that Energy does in fact equal Mass (i.e. matter) by splitting open some atoms and blowing some hideous big energy out.  (Also, that’s pretty much what the Wave-Partical Duality is telling us: subatomic particles are both energy (waves) and matter (particles) at more-or-less the same time.

string theory

To summarize, science has now proven that ALL things are ONE THING.

Now, until we can test the hypothesis it might be tempting to believe that that ONE THING that makes up EVERYTHING in the whole universe, is God.  That belief might be entirely appropriate especially if you have other forms of supporting data (like your prayers being answered).  At the very least, it would be appropriate to suspend disbelief and gather more data.  I mean, if you were God and you were all alone & the only thing existing in the big empty universe was you, what would you use to make the world?  I guess you would have to use your own body, or your own soul, especially if those two things were really ONE thing, as the data seems to suggest.

God is the matrix.

We could say, then that God is the Matrix.  God is the substrate.  If that’s the case, then that thing about God being both IN us, with us and all around us might start to make a different kind of sense.  Also, the bit about the first human being made from the very soil of Earth, is maybe, not so crazy after all, if, you know, the soil is not just matter but also the very soul of God.  If you got enough particles of anything together for long enough, you could end up creating a soul from the matter, just saying.

So, if you’re still following the logic, the only thing that really DOESN’T make sense is why we argue.  Or why we don’t treat the environment with the same respect and dignity that we treat our own bodies, or the bodies of our dear departed who have come from the soil and now gone back into it?  And why on Earth don’t we treat ourselves with the same respect and dignity we reserve for God?  And why don’t we treat each other as both God, and as ourselves?

We have a bunch of religions and spiritual practices telling us this same basic thing in different ways.  Now we have science proving it true.  Even if we could listen with no more sophistication than a simple nomadic sheep herder in a semi-desert thousands of years ago, we might hear enough truth to believe it.  Or at least write it down as a hypothesis, suspend disbelief and gather data.

I love bunt cake

I love bunt cake.

 

 

 

The Parent-Child Relationship

I find it disturbing how many parents take it for granted that their children will one day say, “I hate you!”  Parents and parenting “experts” alike laugh it off like its a natural part of the landscape.  Even more distressing is how often parents of adult children deal with estrangement, distance, and alienation from their grown kids.  Mostly its distressing that people usually blame the kids in these cases.

Parents-Estranged

Children come hard-wired to love and forgive their parents no matter what.  If that love sours, its we, the parents, the adults, who need to take responsibility – both for its cause, and for its solution.  But most of all, we should be proactive from the beginning to ensure such powerful love doesn’t turn to hate.

The biggest part of the cause seems to be that parents try to fill a role.  They try to present the facade of “Mom” or “Dad”.   They make poor decisions (usually based on their own parent’s behavior) then they hold tight to their decisions because “I’m the Dad.”  They make mistakes but never admit their mistakes or apologize because “I’m the Mom.”  They base their parenting role-play on the notion that because they are the parent, they cannot be their child’s friend, or even an equal.  But all people are equal, and children know that.

parenting2

Let me introduce a new idea in parenting:  the relationship.  Regardless of what your grandparents, in laws, or friends on Facebook claim, parent and child are bound together in a relationship.  Like any relationship it must be built on fairness, trust, communication and honesty.  Anytime you step into a role and present a false persona you are choosing to destroy the honesty, trust, and communication.  You cannot live with another person for 18 years or more, presenting a false persona, never letting them see who your are as a person, and expect that relationship to last.

Those small people are astute observers.  They see what you are and what you’re not.  They see through your facades and your role-play.  They see what you hide from the rest of the world.  After 18 years of life they will either see you as the sham that you are, or they will see you as a real human being, delicate and beautiful, trying your best, failing more often than you succeed, struggling to do better each time.  They will watch your every move, your reactions through thick and thin.  They will see you at your best and at your most humiliating and shameful.  They will either see the fierce, glowing beauty of the human heart, or they will see the paper tiger with nothing behind it.

My suggestion is to conduct the parent-child relationship like you would an ideal relationship with someone you love, respect, and admire.  Trust them to be capable of only what is appropriate to their age and stage of life. Admire their efforts.  Appreciate their intentions. Thank them for every chore or favor they complete.  Apologize when youre wrong and learn to do better.  Most importantly, be real.

parenting

Be your real self.  Cry when you need to.  Laugh as a way of life.  When you’re angry, tell them why.  Don’t let them think they are the cause of your anger.  Don’t take out your anger or frustration or disappointment on them.  They will blame themselves for everything that you feel unless you explain the real causes of your feelings.  So, let them be your allies.  Tell them what you’re going through.  Let them help in whatever way they can.  Let them cheer you up.

Let them see you recover, get back on your feet, and try again.  They will learn from your struggles how to handle their own.  If they never see you lose, if they never see you lost or confused, they will become overly critical of themselves when they face these inevitable human experiences.  Let them learn from your good and your bad.  Let them learn what it is to be truly human.  And let them see you improve over time.  Let them see you grow stronger with each challenge, more capable with each obstacle you face, more compassionate and brave with each emotional blow you endure.

If you raise your children as real loved ones, allies through the hard times, companions through the loneliness, contributors to the victories, then they cannot help but love you for a lifetime.  The true beauty of the human heart is in its tenderness, in its ability to endure and grow.  Knocked down ten times, it stands up eleven.  There is no tenderness in falsehood.  There is no beauty in a wall, unbending, unchanging except to crumble over time.  The fierce beauty of flowers is as much in their delicate nature and their brief existence, as in their colors.  Find an artificial flower, covered in dust, colors fading with time, and where is that beauty?

Do not raise your children like a machine, repeating only what it was programed to do.  Raise them with heart, learning as you go.  They will teach you the details.  They will change you as they change and grow.  As long as you keep making new mistakes, and don’t repeat the old ones, you will always be the perfect parent.  As long as you don’t pretend to be better or worse than you are, they will forgive you all your many mistakes.  They will learn to love you with all your imperfections and that will teach them to love themselves, with all of theirs.

 

True

What if humans were more like the animals and insects? What if, for example, when we became bored we automatically began to make a high pitched droning sound like a cicada? It would be a game changer. Instead of pretending rapt interest in lectures that have continued too long or failed to actually inform or excite, we would be obliged by polite dignity to excuse ourselves and quietly leave the auditorium before we began to distract the others. The pompous lecturer would be left to face the empty seats of his own humility, and to reorganize his thoughts into words that better touch and inspire the listeners.

cicada

Click here for sound sample

Schools would become such a wild cacophony of squealing drones by lunchtime that students would have to be sent home early. Teachers, unable to hear themselves over the high pitched symphonies winding into frantic fervor, would have to forever abandon their forced memorization and superficial covering of topics for tests in favor of actual teaching. The neuroatypical students could no longer be marginalized, ignored, or labeled as poor learners. Their daily droning would teach us once and for all that their problem was not slow learning, but learning that was too fast, too thorough, and too far-reaching for traditional methods of spoon feeding disparate factoids. We would be forced to let them learn from experiential activities and then teach us. There would remain no doubt, no delusion about exactly who was failing whom.

What if your friends and lovers could no longer pretend to be engaged in your self-absorbed monologues? What if your children could no longer be expected to sit quietly through Grandpa’s inane diatribe or Grandma’s lecture on proper manners? We would be forced to become as interested in the lives and thoughts of others as we are in ourselves. There would be no more protracted and jealous divorce battles. We would have been driven from the home holding our ears during the first few days when we began to stifle our partners mind and spirit. Selecting a partner would become much easier, though. They would be the ones still listening when all the others had drifted away amid stifled squeaks.

angry ears

angry ears

And what if we had ears like cats or like the beautiful blue Navi from Avatar? If we walked into work in the morning with our ears laid back, people would know to stay away from us until we were over the strain of our commute. There would be no more brown nosing the boss for a promotion. The flex and tilt of our ears would give away our true feelings. Maybe bosses would even be obliged to become honestly engaged with their team rather than little dictators giving the hard work to others and stealing the credit for themselves.

Maybe we wouldn’t be able to go around grouchy all week snapping at others and blaming them for our foul moods if everyone could see that we arrived in a foul mood and simply nursed it for days. Seeing ourselves in the mirror might be enough to make us pull on the big boy or big girl pants and get over our bad selves. Maybe we couldn’t ignore our friends who had spent days or weeks with their ears drooping in depression. We might find a way to reach out to them and help.

depression cat

depression cat

Or if we could wag our tails like dogs when friends and loved ones came home. Flick the tips of our tails testily like cats before we lost our tempers. Purr when petted or given affection. Hiss our displeasure at annoyances. Maybe then our lives wouldn’t be built on fake relationships. Maybe our blood pressure wouldn’t soar, our arteries wouldn’t clog, and our bowels wouldn’t back up in our 40’s. Maybe it would be easier to focus on how much wagging or purring we had in or lives each day than how much bulged in our bank accounts. If healthy happy children wagged and yipped and gamboled playfully when their parents came home, perhaps abusive parenting would cease to be hidden. Then, perhaps, it could cease to exist.

happy wags

happy wags

Or maybe, just maybe, we could use our words. Since spoken words are what set us apart from other animals in our kingdom, maybe our words could be used to express our true emotions. Maybe we could allow people to speak their feelings freely and hiding true feelings behind false smiles could be called rude and thoughtless, instead of polite. Maybe children could be congratulated for identifying and giving voice to their true feelings. Maybe when people got angry they could just shout, “I’m angry at you!” and we could acknowledge their right to feel, and give them space until they were ready to solve the conflict. Maybe we wouldn’t follow false leaders into false wars if we all had a solid grip on how we really felt, and we weren’t afraid to say so. Maybe if we simply said what we felt to be true and refrained from saying what we didn’t honestly feel, maybe there would be a lot less confusion, coercion, and conflict. Maybe our true hearts and minds are a better guideline than all the intricacies of manners and polite society. Maybe its enough to be true to ourselves.

Make purrs, not war.

Make purrs, not war.

You CAN Stop Child Abuse

encourage-and-empower

Child abuse is much, much more common than you would ever suspect.   But just ONE adult who reaches out with compassion can make the world of difference.  Most insidious and damaging is child sexual assault because damage to the sexual body causes trauma to the emotional, spiritual, social, and physical bodies.  Like all abuse, sexual abuse takes many forms, not just the publically acknowledged form we call “rape”.  Anything that attacks or undermines the healthy sexuality of a person is sexual assault to the body, mind, and spirit.

To help and protect children we must understand how pedophiles choose their victims.  Children are preyed upon much more commonly than adults because they are more vulnerable and because they are whole and perfect.  A pedophile is someone who was damaged sexually themselves so they are sexually broken.  Rather than seeking appropriate healing, these individuals try to “steal” the beauty and wholeness from the sexual bodies of others.

Children come into the world whole and perfect, with open hearts and open minds. They glow with power and beauty.  Even though most people in our culture don’t consciously see this the way I do, everyone registers it subconsciously.  Predators see the parts they are missing and try to take them by force, or manipulation.  Of course, sexual power cannot be stolen (only earned by loving and empowering others) so the predator breaks the child’s spirit and remains broken himself, only damaging himself further through his cruelty.

The children most likely to be preyed upon are those who have no healthy caring adults willing to listen and talk frankly and honestly about sex.  Kids are made even more vulnerable if they are punished for “lying” (see How to Lie and Why You Should) or physically or emotionally abused by parents or caretakers (also pronounced “spanking”, “controlling”, “disciplining”, etc – see How to raise Children).  Such treatment leaves kids with no one they can turn to in times of doubt for fear they will not be believed…or for fear the adults in their lives will reject them.

Realize that, like adult victims of abuse, children experience feelings akin to shame, guilt, revulsion and self loathing in the wake of assault.  But these kids don’t even have the words, knowledge or resources to sort these feelings, reach out for help, or reason them away.  So the pain and damage goes deeper, making the child even more vulnerable to other predators.  One strong, kind adult who can reach out to a such a child, even once, can turn this picture around.  The crushing spiral of damage and vulnerability CAN be stopped.

Key to helping is knowing the signs and having the courage to act.  Adults may ignore the tell-tale signs of child abuse because they are afraid to confront the perpetrator.  This is NOT an unrealistic fear.  Abusers are usually experts at manipulation and can easily turn the tables, making the hero look like the perpetrator.  Moreover, the courts make the process of punishment convoluted and ineffective.    The good news is that punishing the abuser is NOT the way to stop child abuse!  In fact sending a sexually broken predator to prison is likely to make him MORE of a danger to the community, not less.

When, exactly, has violence, used against the violent, been shown to STOP violence??  Never.

So the REALLY GREAT news is that you don’t need to attack the attacker.  What is needed AND most effective is empowering the victims & would-be victims.

Empower kids!

Empower kids for safety!

How to Spot Abuse

1. Inappropriate sex play – while it’s completely normal for kids to take an interest in nudity of all kinds, to play with their own bodies AND to be curious about animal mating behavior and reproduction, kids who act out adult human sexual behavior are demonstrating knowledge beyond their years.  DO NOT punish kids for such behavior.  DO NOT get embarrassed.  See this demonstration as a cry for help.

2. Sudden weight gain (or loss) – A sudden change in weight can often be traced directly back to an event of abuse or trauma.  Appetite is a funny thing.  It often goes haywire in response to stress.  People may use food to fill an (emotional) emptiness inside.  Or they may exert control over what they eat as a subconscious response to a desperate lack of control over more profound areas of their lives.  Neither gain nor loss of weight in children should ever be dismissed as merely physical.

3. Nervousness, anxiety, fear & avoidance – If a child gets stomach aches, tremors, or other physical symptoms when its time to go to school or church (etc) this is a red flag that something very serious is wrong at the institution.  Often, predators intimidate their child victims with threats to their parents, siblings, or loved ones.  The child may be too terrified to tell anyone what happened or who did it, but they will go to great lengths to avoid being alone with the predator.  Please DO NOT dismiss a child’s fear as “normal” or punish them for “acting up”.  Always take a child’s fear seriously.

4. Back pain & degenerative bone disease – Many of the victims of child sexual assault that I have treated manifest some kind of lower back pain or degeneration.  The symbolic connection is clear: the spine and especially the lumbar region form the foundation of our physical selves.  Back pain and disease that persists in young people should always be taken as more than simply physical circumstantial, or random.  I have had great results healing such conditions by treating the whole person.

5. Compulsive lying – When children are forced to keep the terrible secret of sexual assault to themselves, their whole lives become a lie.  They have to lie to themselves every day to hold on to their sanity.  Its very common that these people become compulsive liars.  Compulsive lying can be spotted when a person lies randomly or casually.   There may seem to be no reason or point to the lies.  They may invent tall tales just to get positive attention or they may enhance the truth for no apparent reason.  Never punish a child for lying (See How to Lie and Why You Should).  Help compulsive liars, child or adult, to seek counseling.

6. ADD, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Split Personality (a.k.a Dissociative Disorder), and even the more problematic manifestations of the Asperger’s Spectrum – all these “incurable” problems of unknown cause have their roots in child abuse.  The trauma caused to the psyche of a child by physical punishment and assault often results in a mind that is “broken” and unable to function with continuity.  If you believe in spanking and have a child manifesting any of these disorders, you need to change yourself before you can change your child.

Kid's empowerment is key to stopping abuse!

Kid’s empowerment is key to stopping abuse!

How to STOP Abuse

1. Listen & believe – Kids don’t always have the vocabulary to express what has happened to them.  If assaults continued over a long period the memories are probably somewhat suppressed.   So if a child tries to tell you something about abuse it is likely to sound vague and confusing.  You job is to believe them.  Your job is NOT to play judge, jury, or detective inasmuch as those are tempting roles.  Take any ideas about wrongfully accusing an adult off the table and simply focus on believing and supporting the child.  This is how you actually make a difference.

2. Relieve – One of the most powerful things you can say to a child who has been the victim of assault is this, “Any child your age would have done exactly what you did.”  Believe it or not, one of the most soul crushing burdens children suffer is the burden of guilt and shame.  As obvious as it may seem to you that a child cannot be responsible for sexual assault, victims of all ages suffer from the delusion that they could have and should have done something to stop it.  Predators also use the natural human tendency to self blame to keep their victims silent.  They may say things to make the victim believe they were voluntary participants, or that they were seducing or enticing the perp.  So when you reassure a person that their silence was normal and the best anyone could have done, you lift a huge psychological burden.

3. Answer and Explain – The most empowering thing you can do for your own kids or any kids in your care is to answer their questions about sex and sexuality as simply and matter-of-factly as you can.  Children are sexual from the day they are born, but it is a very different kind of sexuality than that of adults.  So get over your own hang ups, get some facts and share them with the kids.  My studies have shown that the best way to ensure a child will grow to have a happy, well adjusted and satisfying sex life is to answer their questions about sex factually and without embarrassment when they are young.

4. Empower & Support – Talk to kids like they are people.  Support and respect their opinions and ideas just as you would an adult.  They are only small and inexperienced, they are not mentally deficient.  Never teach a child to obey an adult “Because I said so.”  Avoid giving too much power to authority figures.  Children will respond respectfully to adults and authority when they themselves are treated with appropriate respect.  If a child has a “creepy feeling” about a person or a place, don’t talk them out of it. Believe them.  Children are naturally more in tune with the unseen world.

5. Affectionate touch – Hug your kids often. Pet their heads. Pat their backs. Kiss their ears and toes.  Humans need warm affectionate touch like flowers need sunshine.  There is something about kind, respectful physical affection, freely given, that both heals and prevents victimization.

6. Treat & Heal – I wish all counselors were good counselors.  I wish everyone working for child protective services actually cared about children.  I wish I knew even one other therapist or health professional who could actually heal the sexual body.  You have the right to be discriminating when you choose a professional to help your child.  And you have that responsibility.  I treat and heal assault survivors everyday.  I give life, liberty and happiness back to those who have been preyed upon and broken.  Please call, text or email for an appointment.

Facts:  Of the patients I treat about 50% have signs of sexual assault in some form.  Males and females are equally likely to be preyed upon. MOST sexual dysfunction among adults (from lack of lubrication to uterine prolapse, from incontinence to poor libido to erectile dysfunction to cancers) has its root cause in sexual assault. 

 

 

How to Lie and Why you should

  Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 

I grew up believing that honesty is always the best policy. As an adult, though, I realized that was not true at all. I was raised in a family who were honest to a fault. Honesty can sometimes be brutal and often hurtful. And a lot of folks are simply dishonest with themselves. Raised to be completely honest, I was preyed upon by people who would use my honesty against me. And I was frightened and horrified by lies whenever I discovered them.

Mother nature's lie

Mother nature’s lie

During my shamanic training I learned that lies are not evil nor necessarily harmful. I learned that the natural world is full of misrepresentation, illusions, and untruths. During my hypnosis training I realized that the truth is always ever subjective. I learned that we can go back and rewrite our history because truth is fluid.  Ultimately, I realized that lying is not wrong, hurting people is wrong.  If you’re lying in ways that hurt people that’s wrong.  If you’re telling the truth in ways that hurt people, that is equally wrong.

The lying Cowbird

The lying Cowbird

I went on to raise my children with that understanding.  I taught them to lie appropriately and well.  It always makes me angry when I hear an adult berating a small child for lying.  Adults lie all the time.  Children see this quite plainly.  We demand that our children lie to Grandma and say they loved her gift then we punish them for telling their version of an event if it seems outlandish.  Even what seems like a tall tail by a child is probably closer to real truth than adults dare to think.

Rather than confuse the issue by labeling some lies “white” some “big” or “fat” and others “small” its best to simply accept lying as necessary and keep in mind not to hurt people.  If you are already confused by labels and friendly well known sayings about honesty, if your lies are getting you in trouble or if you are just new at lying you should learn and understand the Four Rules of Lying.

Four Rules of Lying  (adapted from Oprah Magazine, April 2014)

1. Always tell yourself the truth.

Denial is not just a river in Egypt.  It can really undermine your existence if you allow yourself to live with too much of it.  So always examine your life, your relationships and your choices honestly.  If you make a mistake, admitting it to yourself keeps you from perpetuating the problem.  Your most important relationship is the one with yourself.  Lying to yourself makes it harder to really like or respect yourself …and it only goes downhill from there.  Lying to yourself makes it hard to trust yourself and learning to trust yourself is what keeps you from being jerked around by other people’s lies.

Da Nile

Da Nile

2. Tell loved ones as much truth as you can.

Truth builds intimacy.  It is the basis upon which we are able to form lasting heart to heart bonds.  So share the truth to the degree that your want real lasting love relationships.  Choose those relationships wisely.  But realize that your relationships with your spouse, your children, your friends, and other loved ones WILL unravel and fall apart if you do not continually deepen the bonds by sharing your true thoughts, feelings, struggles and victories.

The truth becomes too much when it is hurtful and unsupportive, so please continue to tell loved ones that those jeans make their butt look GREAT – just be honest if the fly is open.  These sorts of observations are the subjective, fluid sort of truth.  The real truth is that if a person feels good about their looks, that’s all that really matters.  Besides, its not just Sir Mix a Lot who thinks big is better.

baby got back

I cannot lie!

3. Tell acquaintances enough truth to maintain connection.

Say you just walked out of a scathing review by your ogre boss when a colleague meets you in the hall and asks how it went.  If you want to keep your relationship strictly business just say, “Fine.”  If you want more of a friendship connection, tell the truth, “I’ve had colonoscopies that were more fun.”  Then she can either respond with bonding, “I know what you mean! I was depressed for a week after mine.”  or she can choose to keep distant, “Oh, gee! Sorry to hear that! Got to go!”

Some people like to keep their work lives and personal lives separate, and that’s fine.  But if you are feeling a bit lonely or would like to make some less superficial connections at work, sharing your truth is the way to real connections.  The way to do it is with a little truth at a time.  Share a candid thought or feeling, see if your co-worker responds with the same.  Then share a bit more.  You can choose just how deep the connection goes by the depth of your honesty.  And you can always backpedal with small talk if you decide they’re not bosom-buddy material.

Share if you dare to bond

Share if you dare to bond

Just try to avoid the common trap of connecting with co-workers over snarky comments.  Sure, in a bad work situation it is easy to connect over a common obstacle, “Is this guy a dictator, or what?” But if the only “truth” you are sharing is negative comments or complaints, people are going to start avoiding you.  Or you may end up buddying up to some “Frienemy” types who just want to spread juicy bits of news on the grapevine – including YOUR news!

4. To kill a relationship: lie.

Some people will use your truth against you.  These are the people you want to lie to as a rule.  If your co-worker known for stealing creative ideas asks you what you think of the new system, feel free to be vague or superficial.  Or even make something up!  If the boss uses people’s family problems as an excuse to pass them over for promotions, don’t mention your divorce OR your engagement.

When I was in a particularly cut throat pre-med program, I learned to add ten points to my score whenever classmates asked me my grade.  Most people were either looking for a study buddy to leach off of or they were looking to make themselves feel good by putting others down.  Its also a good idea to memorize a few replies to deflect probing personal questions from questionable people.  If a colleague asks if you use botox, smile and reply “That’s funny, why do you ask?”  If she’s a new friend looking for a personal recommendation, she will say so.  If she can’t share her truth first, she’s not friend material.

Neither the truth nor lies are guaranteed to set you free.  But understanding that personal truth is the currency with which we buy depth,  trust, and respect in relationships CAN be very liberating.  Use them both wisely and well.

People of Power

feel-the-power-of-love

Week after week in my office I meet amazing people of power.  And by “power” I mean the only true power that exists: the power of an open heart and an open mind.   Real power is the power that comes from empowering others and from challenging ourselves to learn and grow in confidence, wisdom, and compassion.   Each time I meet one of these people they present the same way: very reserved and modest, somewhat hesitant and unsure.  And they usually ask a question that sounds like this, “Am I a terrible person?  It feels like everyone is out to get me.”

The reason people of genuine power are reserved and modest is simple.  If power goes to your head you quickly become arrogant and arrogance consumes power.  Arrogance is simply the idea that any one person is somehow better…or worse, than any other.  This includes all concepts of inequality from racism to hero worship.  So its fine to be proud of your accomplishments & it’s important to appreciate your strengths and skills, but it’s equally important to remind yourself that others have strengths & skills and CAN accomplish what you have, given the right resources.  In short, people become and remain powerful by recognizing and supporting the power of others.

empower bill

The reason these genuinely powerful people come in feeling put down, brushed aside, criticized, and condemned is a bit more convoluted.   But the simplest answer is this:  they are NOT imagining it or making it up.  Forces of evil really do rise up to stop people who persist in growing in authentic personal power.  These “forces” may take the form of a bully boss, a bad manager, a system that stifles creativity and justice, family members who undermine one another, and religions or religious leaders that become self-serving.  These are all simply vehicles for the same principle.  Great good attracts attacks & criticism.  Great power always reflects on and corrects itself first.  So if you are self reflective, always trying to be better and feeling isolated, attacked or condemned, you may actually be a person of great power.

As an example of this principle, consider my dog.  I have adopted a dog who is on the large and powerful side.  You can see the power ripple through his muscles and his jaws.  You can hear the power in his deep bark.  You can feel the power in his pace, stride, stamina and assertive demeanor.  But the dog cannot see himself.  This powerful dog feels, within himself, that he is an equal to all other dogs he meets.  So if a tiny dachshund or yorkie barks a challenge, my dog feels attacked and wants to bark back.

If my dog begins to behave like the little pocket dogs along our walk, barking, jumping, running & pulling, he frightens people.  Humans and other dogs alike react by condemning or attacking my dog.  They think he is a Bad Dog, a scary out-of-control dog.  My dog is behaving EXACTLY like his smaller peers.  But because of his power, this behavior frightens others. Because of their fear, they react by condemning, attacking, or isolating him.

bark dog

When I first met this dog I could see his power and his potential to be dangerous.  I could also see that this dog had been badly abused every day of his life and still had an open heart and a willingness to self-correct, learn and become a better dog.  I was afraid of him.  But I didn’t let my fear stop me from befriending him, supporting him, and teaching him.  Now I am training my dog in the basic rules of the powerful:

1. Let others lead, even if you must teach them how.

2. Never bark, but never cower.

3. Empower and support those who are weaker.

4. No matter how well, or how poorly you did today, determine to do better tomorrow.

And most importantly-

5. Never be bothered by the small dogs yapping along your path.

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Today, like never before, people are waking up to their own true nature as people of real power in a world that condemns the great and  embraces the corrupt.   I am not saying that the world is evil or even that some people are evil.  I am saying this – we are all evil and we are all good.  Good and evil are the very nature of existence.   But when we choose to do good, especially against great odds, we become great.  And when we choose evil – we choose to see others as separate or distinct from ourselves, better or worse than ourselves, we become less and less powerful.  We consume our own power by seeking to destroy the power of others.  Evil is an idea, a persistent and pervasive idea.  While good is not just an idea.  Good is an action, it too persistent and pervasive.

A wonderful and powerful client of mine recently suggested that I begin a support group for the beleaguered and browbeaten people of power in our area.  If you think you might be a powerful dog with a heart of gold surrounded by small dogs nipping at your heals, please click on the links below and come to the meeting.  If you stand up for justice and equality only to be criticized and condemned, do the same.  If you’re tired of being told you’re too sensitive, too optimistic, or too nice, click and come.  If you’re unsure but curious, if what I’m saying here makes a profound sort of sense, if you don’t like to join groups because it usually turns out badly, click, or call, or text, or email.  You may just be one of the hidden persons of power that the world so desperately needs now.  You may be the key to empowering someone else who feels exactly as you do.

Click for Meet Up Page

Click for Facebook page

Text:  504-312-3097

 

 

 

What We Think…We Feel

Here in the wake of so many thoughts and feelings about Caitlyn Jenner when so many of us are having bold new thoughts about the way we feel or daring to feel new things about the way we think, I’d like to revisit some of my feelings and thoughts about Manthink and Womanthink.  I’ve mentioned before the need for a Man’s Liberation Revolution, and  if I could be the one to start it I think I would start with this:  Let’s teach our men and boys to separate thoughts from feelings.  Let’s stop dictating to our boys what and how they should feel and simply honor their authentic feelings.  Let’s stop dragging their hearts around.

Click Here for theme song.

Click Here for theme song. https://youtu.be/5O0Enwg8E3o

My daughter, home from her first year of college, asked me about a friend of her’s the same age who is already looking forward to marrying and settling down. Why would a guy want that so early?

The answer is  that lots of men confuse a Wife with a Life.  (And not all of them young men, either) Many men somehow grow up thinking that once they can claim someone as “My Wife” she will take charge, build and operate a life – that he can then look to with pride as his Own Life.

This tempting illusion is made worse by the fact that men have a sex drive that simply comes on like clockwork at regular intervals.  They mistakenly assume that a woman’s sex drive simply goes “On” at regular intervals too.  So, marriage to My Wife means that she will want to have sex with him regularly.

Anyone can see how enticing it would be for a man to lasso a gal into marriage.  Once he has someone to call My Wife, he supposes she will build and maintain A Life that he can be part of without any additional effort.  She will seek him out for sex without him having to work at seduction.  He can put his feet up and coast from there on out! What a huge disappointment The Life with The Wife will turn out to be when he is rudely awakened from this mythological fantasy.

Men in Western society have had a nasty trick played on them since birth that teaches them that their feelings are not valid.  Boys often get punished for expressing genuine feelings.  Then they are told in clear, black and white terms what they SHOULD feel in given situations.  When they go to school or join sports teams, their peers reinforce these unrealistic standards, punishing boys for showing honest feelings and rewarding them for faking other feelings.  Its no wonder they should want to have this magical creature called a Wife who will simply take over all the sticky situations that call for negotiating feelings and just let them avoid feelings altogether.

But such a creature doesn’t exist.  Men usually find this out the hard way.  They think they have WON the game when they’ve made some lady The Wife.  Then they wake up to find they only signed up for a new JOB.  There is no magical sex at regular intervals, sex has to be earned daily.  That ‘take charge attitude’ they thought would mean she could organize all the messy parts of life?  Its now pointed at taking charge of him and everything he does.  And that lovely construct they called My Life?  Evaporates when The Wife files for divorce, leaves, and takes the whole Life with her.

marriage

The sad part of this myth is that if you do what ‘they’ say you must and feel what ‘they’ say you should to win? Everyone loses.  Men don’t get what they’re after and neither do the women.  But you know what’s even sadder?  Real happiness is actually much, much easier.  And everyone wins.

For example, when a woman says she wants her man to “take care of her” the Good Husband is trained to think he has to work himself to death making lots of money to fulfil her every whim.  But what she really means is she wants him to stand up for her feelings and her support her dreams.  That’s a lot more fun, too.  Real women who really love YOU want to contribute equally as a team player.  She doesn’t want to have to sell her soul to an awful boss to keep her children fed, but she does want to contribute.  Acknowledging her skills and strengths and calculating a tangible value for what she does within the home as well as out is one step in that team oriented direction.

Let's get REAL!

Let’s get REAL!

When she thinks, “take care of me” she doesn’t mean you starting a fight when someone insults or demeans her.  It means you putting your arm around her on the spot and saying, “You don’t have to take this, let’s go!”  It means you ASKING her about her dreams and goals, and making it your goal to help her realize them.  Honestly, when women say “take care of me” they really want to be protected and cared for emotionally.   Haven’t you seen all the movies where the man becomes “married to his job” and ends up alone?  Money is only a small part of security, and it’s a part that can and should be open to negotiations.

Here’s another common misunderstanding.  When a woman says she needs to be able to trust, men usually think that means sharing a Facebook page or email passwords.  Such a recipe for misunderstanding and lack of privacy is a disaster waiting to happen.  But when men hear “I can’t trust you” they think of sexual infidelity.  They think trust is about who you’re having sex with.  But what a real woman means is she needs to be able to depend on you saying what you mean and meaning what you say.   If you are stretching the truth, or making promises you don’t back up with action, there can be no trust.  If you are saying what you mean and backing it up, she can extrapolate the data for herself and KNOW whether you are emotionally and sexually her’s…or not.

I’ve known plenty of people who have ruined the best relationship of their life because they were determined to FEEL what some cultural conditioning  said they SHOULD feel.  It usually starts with something that goes, “I have a right to feel__________!” or “Anyone in my situation would feel ________.”  Then you ask a dozen friends and strangers how they would feel “if…”  Usually the individual goes on to ruin his relationship with feelings of jealousy, hurt, anger, rejection – or any number of publicly condoned feelings that spell a death sentence to REAL trust or REAL intimacy.

Real intimacy is built ONLY of real feelings.  Real trust is only ever founded on real actions, backed up by real words and truths.  If men get their real feelings beaten out of them and instead accept false feelings, they have absolutely no possibility of ever having real intimacy, or real marriage, or a real life.  If women let it happen they will have absolutely no possibility of ever finding real trust, real love or a real man.  Begin to be your authentic self.  Begin to accept authenticity, and ONLY authenticity in others.  (Including the children!)  Your world will be a better place.

real2

 

Here’s an exercise in personal authenticity:

Set aside all the things your parents, your peers, your culture, and your society says you “should” feel.  What’s left?  That is what you honestly feel.  If there is nothing left?  CHOOSE to feel what is most beneficial all round.

Example: Your partner has an affair.  You “SHOULD” feel: anger, jealousy, eternal mistrust, pain.  You might then spend the rest of your life seeking vengeance, holding a grudge or extracting a price, or nursing your wounds.  This is what ‘they’ approve and condone.  Let me know when that starts to sound like fun or happiness, k?

OR you could set all that aside and see what you really feel.  You may find that your only authentic feelings are those of loneliness.  Then you can take action to solve whatever lack of real intimacy led your partner to seek out someone else.  This is what couples counseling is for.  Or you may find you actually feel glad.  Perhaps the lack of intimacy goes too deep and you actually want to find someone you can build real trust with.  You may even be happy that your partner found someone else.  Or maybe if you’re really honest you may find a 3-way marriage actually feels more fulfilling, who knows?

If you have felt what “they” said you “should” for so long that you cannot actually identify your true feelings?  Don’t worry.   Mastering the human emotional experience is THE major challenge of life.  You can actually choose to feel what serves you best.

For example, after my divorce, my Ex would often come to my house to talk and vent about his day.  Frequently, he would get around to blaming all his present problems on me.  I knew “anyone” would feel resentment.  I knew “they” would condone my anger.   But I decided to ask myself one simple question, “What good will it do you to argue with this man, in front of his children?”  I realized no good could come of it.  So I chose to feel compassion and pity.  Obviously, he had no one else to vent his day to (compassion) and lacked the sound reasoning ability to find the true cause of his problems (pity).  I found that simply letting him vent without feedback from me meant he would leave sooner.  That was the action that served me best, so that is what I chose to feel.

If Caitlyn Jenner had not been badgered into feeling a bunch of SHOULDS as a “He” she might have transitioned earlier.   I wholeheartedly applaud Caitlyn Jenner and all her family, friends and loved ones.  Most trans and non-binary people will never have the means to transform our physical form to match who we authentically are inside.  But all of us can begin to feel our own authentic feelings and think our own unique thoughts.  And we can stop pretending to feel and forcing others to feel,  what we never really felt in the first place.  Maybe we won’t even want to change our bodies if we can reclaim our hearts and our minds.

Be REAL. Be a champion.

Be REAL. Be a champion.