Tuesday, August 30, 2005
COURAGE. Everything takes courage. How do you inspire it in others? By hooking them in to a greater cause...letting them know they aren't alone...letting them know they have a leader...holding out to them what they can accomplish...talking about what they're up against in non-incendiary terms and how well-prepared they are...telling them you have confidence in them... and by talking 'higher' - higher purpose, higher calling, higher hope, higher source of help.
GENERAL DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER
THE D-DAY ORDER
JUNE 6, 1944
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine; the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe; and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely. But this is the year 1944. Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeat in open battle man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory. Good luck, and let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
IS LAUGHTER MUSIC?
"Music that Soothes, Enchants, Immunizes"
IMMUNIZES?? Of all the things you know music does for you – energizes, inspires, soothes, evokes emotions, and entertains you – there’s evidence it affects our immune systems.
The Greeks suspected this, making Apollo the god of both music and medicine. They believed music had the power to move streams, tame beasts, and penetrate the depths of our souls, changing and healing us.
Pythagoras, a mathematician, thought certain musical chords and melodies produced certain responses in people, and that the right sequence of sounds ("the music of the spheres") could change someone's behavior patterns and accelerate healing.
The connection between math, healing and music is a strong one. Many people talented in math are also good at music (they’re both symbolic languages), and to be a doctor, you must be good at math. Many doctors, in fact have music for an avocation, or use it for stress relief.
HOW DOES MUSIC DO THIS?
Music is vibration. The cochlea in our ears converts the vibration to electrical impulses which travel to the brain stem. That’s our primitive brain and that’s why we’re so deeply affected by music; the brain stem is so far from the neocortex it doesn’t even know we have one. Music is as primordial as smell, completely circumventing “thinking.” Smells affect us emotionally. You know how you feel when you walk into a house and smell cookies like your mother used to bake, or how you buried your face in your loved one’s clothes after they’ve died? It's how the newborn finds its mother, and now the lover finds his mate (pheromones).
Music affects us as profoundly. When you hear a song from your teen years, suddenly you’re transported across time and space to your first love and feel as you did then (and would give anything to have it back?).
These electrical impulses create brain wave frequencies: beta, alpha, theta, and delta. Beta waves are when we’re alert and focused. Alpha waves are when we’re relaxed or in-the-flow. Theta waves occur during deep meditation and that twilight time before we fall asleep. Delta waves occur during sleep.
The electrical impulses then make their way down the spinal cord and impact the autonomic nervous system (“ANS”), which effects our heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, and muscle tension, which translate into “feelings.”
We hear “Con Te Partiro” (“It’s Time to Say Good-bye”), by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman, and feel the sorrow of parting, a Sousa march and we get up and start cleaning house, and music like Pachelbel’s “Canon” is so even-keeled it’s used by masseuses. Likely it puts us into alpha state, along with the massage; or doesn’t disturb us from that state.
Music and massage are two things I recommend to people who’ve suffered trauma that goes beyond words. Touch and music reach the cells of the body, where the healing needs to take place, because the suffering is pre-verbal, or extra-verbal. As Mendelssohn said, “Music cannot be expressed in words, not because it is vague but because it is more precise than words.”
Because music is vibrations, we “feel” it as much as we “hear” it. In fact the German composer Beethoven was deaf at the end of his career. He continued to compose by placing a piece of wood between his clavicle and the strings of the piano, feeling the vibrations.
WHAT DO THE SCIENTISTS SAY?
Goldman and Gurin, early researchers in the field of psychoneuroimmunology, found there are nerve fibers in every organ of the immune system, establishing a link between our thoughts and feelings and health. What we tell ourselves about what we perceive and how we therefore feel, makes a difference.
Dr. Candace Pert, professor of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University Medical School, researches “new paradigm” healing and “how the ‘bodymind’ functions as a single psychosomatic network of information molecules which control our health and physiology.” In other words, our emotions are in our cells. (You’ve seen her in “What The Bleep Do We Know?” and on Bill Moyer’s “Healing and the Mind.” She is the author of “Molecules of Emotion”.)
Dr. David Sobel, author of “Rx: Preparing for Surgery,” recommends talking to your immune system before surgery because our immune system as well as our autonomic nervous system functions can be influenced by our thoughts, visioning and what we hear.
What about sending it music, and not just before surgery, but routinely?
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC?
I’m sure I’m not the only parent who objected to their teenager listening to acid rock; the lyrics were bad, yes, but just the beat I thought was agitating, and I could see the effect on my sons when they listened.
What would be calming? This varies from person-to-person, and it’s your pleasure to figure out what works for you. If you can monitor your pulse rate and such, as you listen, so much the better; if not, simply note what calms you and makes you feel good. Some folks I know play the same music every night when they go to bed, and it works like Pavlov’s dog.
I should add here that one of my sons did one of those experiments growing plants to music when he was in high school, and darned if the ones that got Mozart didn’t thrive, while the ones that got acid rock died.
That might be a clue, a place for you to start.
CAN MUSIC BE THERAPEUTIC?
Expressive Arts and Music therapists think it can. Barbara Crowe, past president of the National Association of Music Therapy thinks its because music and rhythm still the constant chatter of the left brain.
“A loud, repetitive sounds sends a constant signal to the cortex,” she says, “masking input from other senses…”
Do we need a break from all the judging and analyzing? You tell me.
The Director of Coronary Care at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, thinks “… music therapy ranks high on the list of modern day management of critical care patients.”
According to the American Music Therapy Association, music is used in hospitals to alleviate pain, elevate mood, counteract depression, calm or sedate, induce sleep, manage anxiety, and lessen muscle tension andd relax the ANS.
We hear examples from time-to-time … perhaps you received the email about the little boy who sang a certain song to his baby sister when she was in utero. When she was born she was in great distress and her brother was brought to the hospital to tell her good-bye. He started singing the same song, and she calmed and was able to get better. If it’s not true, I think it could be.
Or the research on Vietnam veterans suffering from PTSS for whom the only thing that’s worked has been drumming.
Or check out “Chant,” a recording made by the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos, Spain, which has sold millions of copies around the world. About it, the music critic for the San Francisco Examiner wrote: “What we’re talking about is inner peace, transcendence, a serenity beyond mortal care.”
Ask those of us who live music, not just love it, and we’ll tell you music transports us somewhere … somewhere where we like to be, and I suppose we take our cells with us when we go there!
But don’t ask others, find out for yourself.
MUSIC HATH CHARMS TO SOOTHE THE SAVAGE BEAST ... USE IT ON THE BEASTS OF STRESS, ANGER, DEPRESSION, JEALOUSY, ENVY, HATRED
"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired." --Mother Theresa
And we need to keep from getting tired of loving. It starts as an emotion or feeling, but on a day-to-day basis it must be shown through actions. However, it's some of the most rewarding "work" you can do! It's work of the heart.
These are the dogs days of summer. Folks from all over the world are telling me they're "tired," "exhausted," and "worn out". How about you?
If you're tired, take some time to reflect and figure out where this is coming from.
In the Western hemisphere, is it the heat? Getting the kids back to school and adjusting to a new schedule? Your vacation's over the for year, and there's nothing to look forward to until Christmas? Is it not the heat, but the humidity? Did you go on a vacation, blow your diet and fail to get back on it, so you're eating too much junk and not getting enough vitamins and minerals?
It seems to be widespread right now. Indicative of this is my Singles Group. The calendar is always full of activities, but no one has planned anything for Labor Day. That's unusual. Sounds like everyone just wants to rest. I must admit I got some extra sleep this weekend myself and it felt good.
If you need to rest, please do. Whether the fatigue is mental, emotional, physical or spiritual, attend to it. You may need:
If the fatigue is from boredom ... you can jumpstart yourself. Find a new interest, or revisit and old one.
Try a new book, or a new Internet course. Study something you've been meaning to (physics? computer? baking bread?), go meet that new neighbor, or start participating in a new group. Houses of worship are starting up there fall programs now and would welcome you among them.
Or how about some new music? Currently I'm enjoying studying opera, looking at some of the librettos that are free on the Internet, in preparation for attending the operas during the year. I just returned from seeing "Turandot" in Santa Fe, which was beautiful. I plan to see "Orpheus and Eurydice" in Chicago in March. I'm also enjoying the CD "Romanza," by Andrea Bocelli.
The Teaching Company offers some great listening tapes, offered by some of the greatest teachers in the world in their fields. I have the series called "How to Listen to and Understand Opera," consisting of 16 tapes, such as "Introduction and Words and Music," "The Invention of Opera and Monteverdi's Orfeo," "A Brief History of Vocal Expression in Music," and "The Growth of Italian opera. I can listen to them in the car.
The Greeks considered music a force that could move nature, change the hearts and souls of people, and heal. The god of music was also the god of medicine.
IF YOU'RE AN EXTRAVERT
...Energizing yourself means being around people. New interests can lead you to new people, who in turn bring new things into your life.
IF YOU'RE AN INTROVERT
...Your study is likely to be personal, as you energize yourself with time alone. You may connect with someone else interested in the same thing, for some one-on-one sharing, briefly, perhaps in writing.
.... starts with self-awareness. Knowing how you're feeling right now, and knowing why. When you're feeling "tired," does it help for you to go with it and ride it out, knowing it will pass, or is it more helpful to jumpstart yourself with a new interest, an outing, or being around people?
Someone said the answer is always salt -- the sea, tears, or sweat. (Might we include some neutraceuticals in that mix?)
Which is it for you? Only you can know.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
From the mailbox, a great story that encourages us to stay calm, think things through, and find great solutions to complex problems.
Thanks to Shlomo, in Israel, for this one:
Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the village moneylender. The moneylender, who was old, ugly, and hated by all, fancied the farmer's beautiful daughter, so he proposed a bargain. He would forego the farmer's debt if he could marry his beautiful daughter.
Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal, so the cunning moneylender suggested that they let providence decide the matter.
They were standing on a pebble-strewn path, so the moneylender told them that he would put one black pebble and one white pebble into his empty moneybag. Then the daughter could pick one of the pebbles from the bag.
1) If she picked the black pebble, she would have to become his wife and her father's debt would be forgiven.
2) If she picked the white pebble, she wouldn't have to marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven.
If she refused to play this game, the moneylender would throw her father in jail. The two agreed, so the moneylender bent over and picked up two pebbles. As he did so, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them in the bag.
Uh oh. We really need to think hard when the deck is stacked against us! What would you do if you were the girl? It would seem that there were only three possiblities:
1. She could refuse to take a pebble, in which case her father would be thrown in jail.
2. She could show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the moneylender as a cheat, in which case her father would still be going to jail.
3. She could go ahead and take one of the black marbles, sacrificing her happiness to keep her father from debt and imprisonment.
Thinking about this "logically," there isn't much chance for her. We need some lateral thinking! Being a clever girl who could think outside the box, here's what she did:
She reached into the money bag and took one of the pebbles, then, as if by accident, let it fall from her hand, getting lost immediately among the thousans of pebbles at their feet.
"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But that's okay. We can tell which one I took by looking in the bag and seeing which color is left!"
Now the moneylender's in a tight spot. The remaining pebble is black, of course, which means that "logically" she chose a white one -- unless he admits to treachery, which he can't afford to do.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Most complex problems do have a solution. It is only that we don't attempt to think and come up with creative solutions.
EQ NOTES: If the girl had let her emotions get the best of her, she would've been worrying about the outcome instead of paying attention to what was going on. She wouldn't have noticed the moneylender was picking up two black pebbles. It all depends on staying calm in crisis so you can think clearly.
She also had to know something of human nature -- to know that the moneylender would not want to be exposed as a cheat.
The girl was able to keep her head clear in a difficult time. That's good EQ!
Friday, August 26, 2005
A COUNTRY WHERE FLOWERS ARE PRICED SO AS TO MAKE THEM A LUXURY HAS YET TO LEARN THE FIRST PRINCIPLES OF CIVILIZATION. Chinese Proverb.
What's the "M" word? No it isn't Marriage, though that strikes fear into the hearts of many; it's the "M" word, MONEY.
The coming reform in the bankruptcy system shows the state we're in as a nation.
Credit card debt has escalated out-of-control in the US, fueled by the difficult economy, and the volatility of the stock market after 9-11, which caused many seniors to lose their 401Ks ... while everyone you see owns a cell phone, regardless of age, income or station in life.
US society has become increasingly materialistic, and values have shifted.
Take the medical profession, for instance. It's clearly on the fault line. While you may resent what doctors make, or what you think they make, (or made in the past), it's an old and honorable profession, demanding years of preparation, and then often brutal hours in practice. It also happens we need doctors. If money should follow hard work, even sacrifice, for decades doctors put in the longest hours. (That other occupations are now demanding an 80-hour week is nothing to be proud of as a society.) Now they struggle with malpractice insurance reaching $200k a year, which, combined with office, equipment and even rudimentary staff makes a mighty large nut to crack, so they're hawking Shaklee out the side door, while teenagers barely shaving make fortunes with a dot.com porno site.
Medical care is essentially available to all in the US, and affordable to none. HMOs have commandeered the fields of medicine and psychology, and insurance companies now dictate who gets what for how long, setting the prices and standard of care, essentially deciding who lives and who doesn't. By what possible justification can an insurance company cut off Temador for a brain tumor patient in the middle of the course of treatment? Because it's too expensive?? What, then, is insurance for?
Doctors burn out, stacking patients like cords of wood in their waiting rooms. A recent article revealed we now wait 2-5 hours to be seen. Hardest hit are the primary care physicians, the ones who do the hard work of diagnosing. We wait 3 hours, while they must see 10-15 patients an hour to turn a profit. What kind of diagnosis are you going to get in 2 minutes?
Meanwhile seniors who lost their 401Ks in the stock market after 9-11 wonder how they can live on social security, while their grown children wonder how they'll provide for their parents as well as their children(and themselves), and what social security may look like when its their turn.
These are societal problems, and we do about them what we can. What we always have under our control is our selves. So how does the individual manage to be fiscally responsible amidst the chaos? It reminds me of losing weight, or should I say maintaining a healthy and near-ideal weight.
THE QUESTION: Why do you want a lot of money? Why do you want to lose weight?
If you're losing weight for the man in your life, or your mother, it isn't going to work. Even if you're doing it for your doctor it won't work. It has to be for YOU. Meanwhile you're deluged with photos of pencil thin, highly air-brushed, totally unrealistic models to make you think you're somehow defective.
Likewise, if you want a lot of money to show off for others, you're likely to spend money on things that don't matter in the long run, don't bring happiness, don't bring you the esteem you want, and land you in debt. You'll be 35 thousand dollars in debt instead of 35 lbs. overweight.
What's a good reason to maintain an ideal weight? What's a good reason to live within your means and establish a healthy interface with money?
THE ISSUE: Both weight and money pertain to our personal lives and ought to do with how we feel about ourselves -- just between us and us; while in reality they usually have to do with how we want others to perceive us. Or how they make our ego "feel".
THE GOAL: How can you extract yourself from external pressure and judgment, and establish a weight and budget that work for you? How can you become responsible for your weight and your finances, setting goals that will benefit you, and sticking to them? What's your intent? How will you accomplish it?
THE EMOTIONS: How do you feel when you're 15 lbs. overweight and get winded climbing stairs, give in to the temptation of the Krispy Kremes in the break room, and hear from your doctor all the time about your bad cholesterol?
How do you feel when you're $15,000 in debt, panicy about paying your bills, continually giving in to the temptation to charge on the Internet, and watching your debt-to-asset ratio climb daily?
How does it make you feel emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually?
THE REPTILIAN BRAIN: Who's in charge of all this? The reptilian brain or the neocortex? Eating is an instinct, basic to survival, but most of us are so far from that place, it's irrelevant. It's about impulse gratification and pleasure. And so is money, isn't it, beyond the sheer necessities (just like food). We want. We take. We see others have it. We must have it. We eat and spend in a knee-jerk fashion because it's habit, because we want to impress others, because everyone else is doing it, or because we're afraid to stop and take a look at what's going on.
AT STAKE: Your self-esttem. Your self-respect. Your health. We don't feel good about ourselves for long because we have a new car, a hot fudge sundae, or a great new outfit. We feel good about ourselves when we behave according to our values.
Suze Orman, the great money guru (brave woman) wrote: "We are all powerless as children, and money looms so powerfully.... We don't grow up to claim our financial power until we look money directly in the eye, face our fears, and claim that power back."
She suggest you take a look at money in your life and figure out your feelings about it. Our emotions are there to give us information.
Says Orman: "In all realms of life it takes courage to stretch your limits, express your power, and fulfill your potential; it's no different in the financial realm," says Orman. "In a buy-now, consume-now culture like ours, it takes courage to make the decisions today that may make us rich tomorrow. It takes courage to face up to the facts of old age and mortality and to prepare for them. It also takes courage to live generously, regardless of your financial state of affairs. ...It takes courage to ask for what you want. And it takes courage to live honestly, wisely, true to yourself ...and true to your desire for more."
If you want to be RICH some day, please take the time RIGHT NOW to define what "rich" looks like and feels like. Is it only about money?
If you want to be rich SOME DAY, why don't you want to be rich JUST NOW? How are you going to get by just now without all the things that "rich" brings? Are you willing to go weeks without a vacation, days without playing with your child, months without looking into the eyes of your lover, years before you stop and smell the roses? What kind of rich are you willing to give up in order to be what kind of rich?
Take some time to investigate your relationship with money; your emotional relationship to money.
graphics from www.clipart.com
Thursday, August 25, 2005
PAIN AND SUFFERING. They're a part of life we don't like to think about, don't like to see others have, and don't like to have ourselves. Breaking up with someone we love is so hard, it's almost comprehensible that the first-marriage divorce rate is 50%; the second-marriage divorce rate, 60%; and the third-marriage divorce rate, 70%.
HOW DO YOU HEAL A BROKEN HEART? It has to heal itself, and in a way you need to get out of its way and let it take its course. It comes in waves. It's a day-by-day thing for a while. It takes time and patience, faith and hope, loving friends who know to respond, but not feel responsible for ... and time. Some broken hearts don't heal, but most do. If you're suffering a broke heart right now, take the advice of a doctor friend of mine -- "Be a patient patient."
Men react to emotional pain the way they do to most emotions -- as a call to action. If a man loses the love of a woman, he will go out and find the love of another woman. He is not always discriminating about this, and will do it way too soon. These transitional relationships usually end abruptly when he does begin to heal and moves on to other things.
Women react to emotional pain the way they do to most emotions -- feeling them, dealing with them, turning to work and service to others and perhaps being a bit too much set-back by the negative ones, i.e., women tend to wait too long to get involved again.
Imagine the futility and pain when the woman who has waited too long hooks up with the man freshly divorced and moving too fast too soon. It's not an uncommon scenario, and one I don't recommend, as the woman ends up with a lot of pain, and the man, a lot of guilt.
There's a middle space there you can aim at, and I recommend coaching, once you start on the upcurve. Getting back into the dating scene is stressful. Coaching can help you shorten the learning curve.
And now, one of my most popular "articles." (One website where I list articles tells how many have visited each one, and this one (oddly?) is one of the ones most often visited:
THE TOP TEN 'HURTIN' LOVE SONGS:
1. Con Te Partiro - Andrea Bocelli
2. I Fall to Pieces, Crazy - Patsy Cline
3. Only Love Can Break a Heart - Gene Pitney
4. Always on My Mind - Elvis, WIllie Nelson
5. He Stopped Loving Her Today - George Jones
6. Killing Me Softly - Roberta Flack
7. You've Lost That Loving Feeling - The Righteous Brothers
8. Crying - Roy Orbison
9. Red, Red, Wine - UB40
10. Till I Can Make It On My Own - Tammy Wynette
1. The Big Hurt - Toni Fisher
2. Two by Ian Tyson: Springtime in Alberta, and Irving Berlin is 100 Years Old Today
3. The Best I Know How - The Statler Brothers
4. _______________ your call (send me your suggestion - mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org )
Here is an excellent book on the topic:
Mars and Venus, Starting Over: A Practical Guide for Finding Love Again After a Painful Breakup, Divorce, or the Loss of a Loved One, by John Gray, Ph.D.
This man really knows his stuff!
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
RESILIENCE has been called the stress-buster for this decade. It's a "meta" term meaning our ability to handle stress - to ridde out the highs and lows of life.
Positive events can be stressful as well as negative events, as the article on winning the lottery confirmed; also marriage, having a baby, moving to a new house, getting a new job... They can't compare to the stress of losing a job, losing a baby, finding out you're sterile, getting a divorce, or losing your house, but they are stressful in their own way. They cause big physiological changes in our bodies, and our bodies cannot interpret the "cause," just the "event."
A good way to study RESILIENCE is to look at RESILIENT SENIORS. People who remain resilient over a span of 60, 70, 80 years or more have certain traits in common.
Some of the things that have been found to contribute to resilience are:
For more on resilience, see my my ebook on resilience or take the optimsism course (email).
It pays to increase your emotional intelligence skills NOW, because it's for sure you'll need them later!
As Socrates said, many, many years ago:
"REMEMBER THAT THERE IS NOTHING STABLE IN HUMAN AFFAIRS; THEREFORE AVOID UNDUE ELATION IN PROSPERITY, OR UNDUE DEPRESSION IN ADVERSITY."
images from www.clipart.com
Sunday, August 21, 2005
WHEN YOU'RE GIVEN ENOUGH ROPE TO HANG YOURSELF, OR TO WRAP AROUND THE PACKAGE AND MAKE A NICE BOW
"Winning plays a game with your head," says msn.com, in their article about 8 people who won millions in the lottery and are now bankrupt, living on food stamps, living with relatives, millions of dollars in debt, alienated from family, betrayed by advisors, and proof of anything but the adage that "money buys happiness."
If winning millions messes with your head, let's take a look at this from the EQ standpoint.
According to Susan Bradley, certified financial planner and author of "Sudden Money: Managing a Financial Windfall," winners get into trouble because they fail to address the emotional connection to the windfall.
"There are two sides to money," says Bradley. The interior side
is the psychology of money and the family relationship to money.
The exterior side is the tax codes, the money allocation, etc.
"The goal is to integrate the two. People who can't integrate
their interior relationship with money appropriately are more
likely to crash and burn."
This is about remaining level-headed -- like integrating the two hemispheres of the brain, integrating thought and emotion, ... only harder.
"Often they can keep the money and lose family and friends," says
Bradley, "or lose the money and keep the family and friends ...
or even lose the money and lose the family and friends."
The lives of these 8 lottery winners are rifled with divorces, betrayals, greed, incompetence, poor decisions, attempted murders, estrangements, uninformed investments, food stamps, and misery.
Bradley calls instant lottery winners "fragile and vulnerable," referring to their highly-charged emotional state.
When we experience a tsunami of emotions we are understandably "flooded", and this interferes with our ability to think clearly and make good decisions. What "fragile and vulnerable" means in relation to lottery winners is that they have to make decisions in all areas of their lives when their emotions are causing chaos and they have no experience to fall back on to know how to cope if they could think clearly in the first place.
In addition to coping with emotions, they have:
(1) no intellectual knowledge of how to manage large sums of money, including how to invest, how to save, what a payout of what amounts to $50,000 annually "feels like," or how much it costs to furnish and maintain a half-a-million-dollar home and 60'swimming pool.
(2) no experience or knowledge of how to deal with "flooding," i.e., when high emotional states effect our ability to reason;
(3) inablity to deal with the emotions and behavioral changes of relatives and friends around these issues; and
(4) reduced ability to interpret their "gut feelings" in regards to whom to trust as partners, investment advisors and money managers, and how to correctly assess the motivations and intentions of relatives and friends.
DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?
-- Know someone whose spouse died and they made a disastrous remarriage choice not six months later?
-- Have you heard of someone whose wife left him and he made such poor business decisions he lost his professinal license and practice?
-- Did someone tell you about two people who made bad decisions regarding their children in the months following their divorce?
-- Did your friend who lost her child and was comforted by volunteer counselors decide she wanted to become one too, and find the program director wouldn't let her until at least a year had passed?
--Are you recently widowed and everyone's telling you to wait at least a year before you make a major decision?
-- Did your cousin's rich husband divorce her, giving her millions in the settlement, and she turned to a televangelist, hotline psychic healer, storefront minister, cult leader, unethical therapist, or uncredentialed "financial advisor" for advice on what to do with her money ... and lost it all?
Remember that the extremes are the same thing psychically, so a disorienting event can be something either very good or very bad.
Bradley recommends lottery winners start by setting up a DFZ or Decision Free Zone.
"Take time out from making any financial decisions," she says. "Do this right away. For some people, it's smart to do it before you even get your hands on the money.
"People who are not used to having money are fragile and vulnerable, and there are plenty of people out there who are willing to prey on that vulnerability -- even friends and family," she cautions.
Where can you turn at such a time? Well, that's the big question and ultimately you're on your own. Therefore it's good to have developed Your emotional intelligence, and to have learned what to expect from transitions and how to cope with them.
Take the Alpha Transitions course, read the Resilience ebook, or sign up for some EQ coaching now. Call 210-496-0678 or mailto:email@example.com . You might need it later on.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
I think this is legitimate. If you know otherwise, please let me know and I'll post it!
We're all concerned about abuse of our cell phones.
In about 29 days, cell phone numbers are going to be released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sale calls. The word is that YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS.
Isn't that about the LAST thing you need?
To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888/382-1222. It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for five (5) years.
PASS THIS ON TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS or the website: http://www.donotcall.gov/
BTW, maybe one reason Santa Fe is so laid-back is because it is illegal to use a cell phone in your car within the city limits. How about that?
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Got some bad attitudes going on in your office? Wish you knew what to do about it?
You aren't alone.
According to the Gallup Organization, there are 22 million workers in the US who are "extremely negative or actively disengaged" which costs the US economy between $250-300 billion in lost productivity annually.
This does not include the dollars spent on healthcare for the workers who suffer physically, mentally and emotionally from their "attitudes"
The majority of people who visit their primary care physician give as their complaint "stress at work"
Negative employees can scare off every customer they speak with . . . for good. In customer and client relations, you don't get a second chance.
In a recent survey, 9 out of 10 people said they are more productive when they are around positive people. Aren't you?
Positive people have higher EQs. EQ and a positive attitude can be learned. Most people take to EQ immediately, because it brings them positive results in their own lives immediately. It takes a while to improve in the competencies, but since results are immediately experienced, it's self-reinforcing, and meets with little resilience. In fact most people I coach say, "This is the missing piece!"
Bringing an EQ workshop to your office gives everyone the same language and allows them to read off the same page, while increasing the understanding of, and tolerance for, individual differences. EQ becomes a short cut and map for:
EQ brings a common culture to your organization because it is amenable to everyone, regardless of their culture. I have trained coaches and individuals globally and it is very much a common language. Everyone has emotions and everyone must deal with everyone else's, regardless of their particular position, or the field they work in.
Have you said, or heard someone else say, "It isn't the job that's driving me nuts, it's the people"?
In a word, emotional intelligence training effects the bottom line, and, just as importantly (because your business IS your people), it increases wellness and reduces stress for employees.
Business schools are beginning to recognize the important of what was formerly called "soft" skills and building it into their programs, and looking for it in candidates that are otherwise highly credentialed.
An organization with a low EQ is a stressful place to work. I reflects on customers and clients, and grinds people down daily. And if you've ever been the one positive person in a group, you know it's nearly impossible to sustain this in the face of negativity. If you hire new people who are positive and have high EQs, they will be worn down. Just as organizations have cultures, these cultures become known to others, through word-of-mouth, and it becomes increasingly difficult to hire good people.
To stop the downward spiral, you need to change the culture, i.e., "how we do things around here."
Offices with low EQ feature complaining, whining, demeaning, intimidation, bullying, no tolerance for questions or mistakes little training, and a general defeatist attitude with increased worker stress and absenteeism. Or "presenteeism" - the new term for being there but not really being there. People just "serving time" and collecting their paychecks.
In the US, there are 22 million workers who are "extremely negative or actively disengaged." Are some of them working at your place? Are you one of them?
The victim mentality says that nothing can be done about this. The EQ attitude is that if you keep doing the same thing, you'll keep getting the same results, so why not DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT?
That's what EQ is all about. Find out more. You'll love it!
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
What is it about Santa Fe?
I don't know!
Could be that there are many retirees there, and the climate is so beautiful and the scenery so relaxing. So much of what you see (as a tourist, but for miles) is adobe - in shape and color, which is very calming. It almost gets boring. Living in a town where the Historical Preservation Society (known to some annoyed residents as the Hysterical Preservation Society), I was impressed at the sway the local one holds in Santa Fe. Miles and miles of houses that "are okay as long as they look like adobe from the outside".
We did see some sterling EQ practised at the Albuquerque airport. As you know, if you've been traveling, the restrictions get worse, and tempers flair. Also at this airport there are perhaps more than the usual amount of "seniors" traveling. Many are "well off," and therefore "entitled" -- we observed. The staff at the airport must have had special EQ training, as they handle it all with smiles, humor, and just the right touch.
Santa Fe is a town that relies on tourism for its economy (like the town where I live, San Antonio), and they know it. When I served on our Chamber's Tourism Board, we tried to get some actions into affect that were more congenial for tourists, and my town does a good job, but Santa Fe does an excellent job. They know where their bread and butter come from. Now isn't that EQ smart??
The hotel we were at had TWO concierges working full time, and they were more than accommodating. Many people did not bring cars and were relying on the various shuttles, and there was a lot of work for the concierges in that area. They were competent, smiling relaxed and confident -- both females -- which helped the travelers to relax a little!
The opera was grand opera at its best. Go Puccini! The opera house is open air and it got very cold. (It got down to around 50 at night.) We were glad we had been told to bring blankets, and the manager of the hotel had also "saved" two Pendleton wool blankets just for us. (See what I mean how nice they are? This is the El Dorado Hotel and I recommend it highly.) It got both cold and windy at the opera as the night wore on, more the first night than the second.
Again, many were reliant on the shuttles, and the staff was so pleasant and accommodating. Travelers get anxious -- who wants to be left stranded at the opera, many miles from any hotel? The relaxed and confident drivers, who never lost their aplomb nor their senses of humor, were an example of EQ in action. The drivers were all well-versed in opera, as well, and talked intelligently, and also used their EQ as some of the people going, of course, thought they were authorities on opera.
If you're planning a trip to Santa Fe, and want some tips, do email me. And do go! It's lovely. And you don't want to miss Ten Thousand Waves - a world class spa up in the hills. Outdoor hot tubs! You can book a private one if you like. Lovely. Very Japanese and you can hear the wind in the trees as you relax in the hot tub.Then enjoy a massage or facial and you'll turn to butter.
And, yes, the sunsets are as advertised. The sky, in fact, is always something to watch, changing, beautiful and colorful. I saw some clouds with the most "silver linings" I've ever seen -- and I live in Texas!
When I got back to San Antonio, there was a rainbow in the sky. No rain in sight, just a rainbow. Now that's a lovely sign!
Friday, August 12, 2005
I am going to Santa Fe this week to see the opera "Turandot." I've never been to Santa Fe, but have many friends who have. One of them told me today, "It's like they have valium in the water there. Everyone's so relaxed."
Others have told me about the many spas (10,000 Waves), the adobe and fireplaces, the cold nights, the Native American influence, all the art and culture, the beauty, and the clean air. Of course the Santa Fe Opera House is legendary.
Now it happened that today msn.com ran a list of the 10 best places to live in the US, and the 10 worst. Unfortunately I can't access it any longer.
They made some general comments and drew some conclusions. In the study, they found that high suicide rate and high divorce rate generally went together. In turn, those two often went with cities where there was also high unemployment. Certainly a sign of out times. And if they didn't factor in "the traffic," I think they should've. I coach many midlifers, and all who are planning to retire mention first thing that they want to "get away from traffic."
msn.com singled out three of the "best" places to talk about: Miami, Santa Fe and Hawaii. I don't know about you, but my first thought about Miami is crime and traffic, and when I hear Hawaii I think of all the people who've told me how high the cost of living is.
I've talked with people who live in Miami, and they say the traffic is some of the worst in the nation. They mentioned that Miami and Hawaii certainly have many of the same stressors as other cities, but that the people don't seem so bothered by them. Does something strike you about these three places?
Something occurred to me, having read "The Pleasure Prescription," by Paul Pearsall, Ph.D. Paul is a psychoneuroimmunologist, so I've studied his writing, which is heavily backed by years of research. Our emotions directly effect our immune system, which is our health. "Neuro" of course refers to "brain."
In this book, Paul talks about the Western way, the Eastern way, and then what he calls the Oceanic way. As I recall his mother was Hawaiian and he's spent a lot of time there. The passages about the Hawaiin (native) way of life are beautiful. Pacific Rim, I guess. For instance, once you marry you are married for life. Whether you stay together or not, though most do. Isn't this true? Do we ever "get over" the first husband or wife? The Italians say, "The first woman a man marries is his wife. The second is for companionship. The third is nonsense." We share history, and children. And then come the grandchildren.
Another is what is called "Talk Story." The couple gets together and one of them does "talk story." It is talking. Talking until you're through talking. The other just listens, without judging, and usually without comment.
Hawaii ... has the Oceanic outlook, which is, you should pardon the expression, Pacific.
I have to add here that Samoa has a very high suicide rate, especially among the youth. There isn't time to go into why here, or my theory as to why, but if you're interested, go to www.bigmyth.com and look at the creation myths from the different countries and pay particular attention to Samoa's. It is different from any other in one crucial aspect. (Email me if you're interested!)
Miami ... there's a high rate of crime, and it's a bustling city with bad traffic, but what there is there is a lot of family. This is basically what Pearsall says about Hawaii, and what is so missing for so many in the United States. We move away from nuclear family, then get divorced.
I spoke with a client today who moved from California to Texas to live near a cousin. She's a single parent with a young son. Soon after moving, she and the cousin had a falling out, so she lives in a city where she doesn't know a single soul. There is no one she could call to help with her child if she became ill. She's decided to move back "home" where her folks live, and I certainly advise it!
Miami is now 60% Hispanic. (So is the town where I live, San Antonio, Texas). Harvard professor Samuel Harrington has written a book called "Who Are We?", controversial, in which he says, Miami has been Hispanicized "without precedent in the history of major American cities." He talks about how influential this majority is and claims they are not assimilating, though Thomas Boswell, a professor of geography at the U. of Miami says they are assimlating, whatever that means, and has the data to back it up.
Miami is also unusual in that more than 2/3rds of Hispanics in Miami are foreign-born.
In an interview, Mother Theresa was asked, since you've seen the cholera, small pox, AIDS around the world, what do you think is the worst disease? She replied, without missing a beat, "the isolation in the West."
Are these communities, and Santa Fe, especially good at avoiding isolation? We know that isolation is worse for our health than (research says) high blood pressure, obesity and smoking, combined. And one reason we study EQ is to keep people from isolation. You can be isolated in a room full of people if there's no connection, and connection occurs through emotions.
Now, we might think Miami and Hawaii are so pleasant, so "best," because they're near the ocean. Just staring at water causes the release of calming chemicals. But then so is Seattle, which used to be the suicide capital of America, though I think it's been replaced.
The third one ... Santa Fe. They mentioned the beautiful Native American influence, and the beautiful countryside, and all the retirees flooding the area. I haven't looked at the demographics to see what the population makeup is.
At any rate, I'll be looking to see why it's one of the best, and why my friend said it seems like there's a tranquilizer in the water supply, and hoping I take some it home with me!
It can't be the ocean; there isn't one there.
It is for sure we in the US need to look at our lifestyles ... why the stress is so high, why so much depression and auto-immune deficiencies ... and keep working on the individual level to make sure our own "worlds" are among the 10 best. It isn't the stress, it's how we handle it. How are you handling yours? How isolated or connected are you? Do you live (inside) in one of the 10 best places in the US?
"The Pleasure Prescription," by Paul Pearsall: The list price for this book is $13.95. To purchase it from Amazon.com for $10.46, a 25% discount, go HERE. It's a good read. Worth the price just to read his take on anger.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Virginia Sapir, a psychologist and pioneer in family counseling, wrote: “Once a human being has arrived on this earth, communication is the largest single factor determining what kinds of relationships he makes with others and what happens to him in the world about him.”
With this in mind, I present some my favorite Communication Operating Principals.
1. “In order to understand what another person is saying you must assume it is true and try to imagine what it could be true of.” ~George Miller
2. “The first law of communication is: Assume you have been misunderstood.” ~Source Unknown
3. “Men can take up to 7 hours longer [than women] to process complex emotive data. [They] will not know what they feel at the moment of feeling and will take longer to figure it out. [They] may not be able to put their feelings in words – if they choose a verbal strategy at all.” ~Michael Gurian, author of "What Could He Be Thinking”
4. “Verbal confrontation is as natural to men as walking or breathing, and as unconscious.” ~Suzette Haden Elgin, author of “The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense”
5. “There is a libraryful of research to indicate that logic is almost useless as a way of convincing people of anything.” ~Suzette Haden Elgin
6. “Never use Hedges (‘I know you’d never let me, but ---). They are exactly equivalent to wearing a big sign that says ‘Please kick me – I would love to be a victim.’” ~Suzette Haden Elgin
7. “If a man truly wants to communicate with his wife, he must enter her world of emotions.” ~Gary Smalley
8. “For parlor use, the vague generality is a life saver.” ~George Ade
9. “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” ~Peter Drucker
10. “Sympathetic people often don’t communicate well. They send back reflected images which hide their own depths.” ~George Eliot
11. “If you can always be taken by surprise because you have no idea what verbal aggression is or how to spot it, you are an ideal target.” ~Suzette Haden Elgin
12. “The genius of communication is the ability to be both totally honest and totally kind at the same time.” ~John Powell
Whether we’re communicating at work, socially, or in an intimate relationship, and whether we’re communicating thoughts or feelings, it’s a strategy, a choice we make in an effort to accomplish something. And, it’s good to remember – if you’re there, you’re communicating SOMETHING, whether you mean to or not.
Interpersonal skills are part of emotional intelligence and can be learned. Become aware of your communication style and work to improve it.
Should you tell her "the truth" if she asks you if those pants make her look fat?
Should she ask you that question?
The answer to the second question is "no." Not the question to ask.
The answer to the first question? I like this -- I don't always know what "the truth" is. (After all, I look with the eyes of love. And what would you tell a child you adored if she asked you if she was beautiful? Come on now.) I don't always know what "the truth" is, but I always know what's "kind."
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
TAKING A LOOK AT PROFESSIONS
There follows some humor, but it really is amazing how little we know sometimes about what other people actually do for a living. There are stereotypes and prejudices about occupations, just as there are about gender, ethnicity, cultures and so forth. How do you get the scoop? There is nothing that replaces being curious. It's also one of the keys to resilience and aging with grace. When you meet someone, don't lock-in to your preconceived notions. Ask some questions. You might be surprised at what you find out.
a.. A statistician is someone who is good with numbers, but lacks the personality to be an accountant.
b.. An actuary is someone who brings a fake bomb on a plane because that decreases the chances that there will be another bomb on the plane.
c.. A programmer is someone who solves a problem you didn't know you had in a way you don't understand.
d.. A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat which isn't there.
e.. A topologist is a person who doesn't know the difference between a coffee cup and a doughnut.
f.. A lawyer is a person who writes a 10,000-word document and calls it a "brief."
g.. A psychologist is man who watches everyone else when a beautiful girl enters the room.
h.. A professor is one who talks in someone else's sleep.
i.. A schoolteacher is a disillusioned person who used to think they liked children.
j.. A consultant is someone who takes the watch off your wrist and tells you the time.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
HOW TO STOP THE MADNESS?
THE SECOND TEN COMMANDMENTS
1. Thou shall not worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities.
2. Thou shall not be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass.
3. Thou shall not cross bridges before you come to them, for no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this.
4. Thou shall face each problem as it comes. You can only handle one at a time anyway.
5. Thou shall not take problems to bed with you, for they make very poor bedfellows.
6. Thou shall not borrow other people's problems. They can better care for them than you can.
7. Thou shall not try to relive yesterday for good or ill, it is forever gone. Concentrate on what is happening in your life and be happy now!
8. Thou shall be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear ideas different from your own. It is hard to learn something new when you are talking, and some people do know more than you do.
9. Thou shall not become "bogged down" by frustration, for 90% of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive action.
10. Thou shall count thy blessings, never overlooking the small ones, for a lot of small blessings add up to a big one.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Hate those telemarketers?? Who doesn't?
From today's mailbag, supposedly from Andy Rooney, here are some Tips for Handling Telemarketers
Three Little Words That Work !!
(1)The three little words are: "Hold On, Please..."
Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt.
Then when you eventually hear the phone company's "beep-beep-beep" tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task.
These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting...
(2) Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end?
This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone.
This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a "real" sales person to call back and get someone at home.
What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible This confuses the machine that dialed the call and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer !!!
(3) Junk Mail Help
When you get "ads" enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return these "ads" with your payment. Let the sending companies throw their own junk mail away
When you get those "pre-approved" letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope.
Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular 37 cents postage "IF" and when they receive them back.
It costs them nothing if you throw them away! The postage was around 50 cents before the last increase and it is according to the weight. In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes.
One of Andy Rooney's (60 minutes) ideas.
Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn't get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back!
If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them.
You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them 37 cents.
The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own junk back in the mail, but folks, we need to OVERWHELM them. Let's let them know what it's like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they're paying for it...Twice!
Let's help keep our postal service busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that's why they need to increase postage costs again. You get the idea !
The person who sent me this adds: "If enough people follow these tips, it will work ---- I have been doing this for years, and I get very little junk mail anymore."
P.S. You can also stick your business card in there if it's a product or service most people can use. Why not? They did it to you!
Friday, August 05, 2005
Colin Powell's Rules. Consider how many relate to EQ.
He is known to be, first and foremost, a people-person, and someone who believes solutions must be invented to meet particular situations.
1. It ain't bad as you think. It will be better in the morning.
2. Get mad, then get over it.
3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
4. It can be done!
5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
6. Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
7. You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours.
8. Check small things.
9. Share credit.
10. Remain calm. Be kind.
11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
12. Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
Except from Colin Powell's book My American Journey, with Joseph E. Percsico, Page 613, 1995
Thursday, August 04, 2005
"Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny." Frank Outlaw
And to do all this "watching," you must be able to manage your emotions and the emotions of those around you!
Have you read "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense"? We recommend this book! It's first premise is to recognize when you are under attack; when you are not in an honest, upfront dialogue. In which case you must defend yourself, and she gives many great specific examples for specific situation, such as when your manager says, "We all understand you're doing the best you can considering what you're going through" or "If you really loved me you wouldn't..." or "Obviously you don't care about this job or you'd be ...". Good stuff!
Take care of yourself out there!
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Have you heard the Chinese Proverb "Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead"?
Let's face it, most communication has the intent of convincing others, and as such we are deluged with it daily. In this, the Information Age, we never lack for someone trying to sell us something. It's on the radio and TV, on billboards, on the web, and in the print media. Everyone vying for our attention. Therefore we tend to tune it out. We're also plenty used to, from childhood, someone reprimanding us, criticizing, or pointing out our faults. We tune those out as well, as they are painful and unpleasant. When we hear a strident tone of voice, an accelerating pitch, or a negative tone, we quit listening. Some people refer to this tone of voice as "Mother" or "School M'arm." But I wouldn't leave out "principal" or "angry Father."
If you want to be listened to, slow down and talk more softly. Avoid the nonverbal signals that say "lecture coming ... tune out." This might include putting your hands on your hips, bouncing your head, holding out a finger and pointing, banging on the table with your fist, narrowing your eyes, and so forth.
Another thing to avoid is those key phrases that make us all want to run and hide (or hit). These include:
1. Listen here, young man
2. We need to have a talk
3. You asked for this
4. Can I give you some constructive criticism (do you ever believe it's going to be constructive
5. Please come to my office
6. I'm only going to say this once
7. I know you're not going to like this, but ...
8. I'd like to make one thing perfectly clear
9. Okay, I want you to listen, and to listen good
10. How many times have I had to tell you
Emotional intelligence starts with self-awareness. Learn to get back from yourself and hear yourself. You may find that you wouldn't listen to you either, if you were on the receiving end.
Learning to deal with Constructive Discontent is an EQ competency. When you're upset or unhappy about something, this is the time to slow down and pay attention, not go off half-cocked.
When you're angry about something:
Our emotions give us information, so pay attention to the message, but don't consider it a call to action of any sort. It's best to take some time to THINK, so that you RESPOND, not REACT. Anger is good for telling us what we want. It is not good for getting us what we want.
When you live and/or work closely with someone else, don't train them to tune you out. Avoid the tones of voice and sorts of words that signal "lecture coming." Yes, yiou must defend yourself if you're under verbal attack, but it's never necessary to use any more force in return than is absolutely necessary. This means keeping your emotions under control.
To learn more, take the EQ Alive! training and certification program. Fast, affordable, no-residency program which will give you a strong foundation in EQ and teach you how to apply the EQ competencies to real-life situations. This program is excellent for HR personnel, managers, therapists, coaches, ministers, teachers, and all who want to learn about EQ and how to coach it to others. Email me for more information. Start immediately. Individual instruction arranged to fit your busy schedule.