Tag Archives: psychology

Why Reading Is Great for Your Amazing Brain

  • exercises many parts of the brain and strengthens neural linkages
  • develops/deepens capacity to empathize
  • helps with healing of mental and emotional disorders as well as brain injuries

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Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay by Mira Kirshenbaum

This is a best selling relationship manual for those who just can’t figure out whether their relationship is worth staying in or not. It’s the book you reach for after all else has failed.

Personally, I love it. It’s very clear with respect to telling you what has a chance at working and what (in all likelihood) does not. It discusses topics such as how to recognize when someone is playing  a game and what you need to do, as the responsible person that you are, before you call it quits. Or stay, the decision is always left up to you.

Based on the premise that 1/5 Americans are stuck in relationship ambivalence, the book goes through diagnostic steps (from the most obvious ones to the trickier ones), discusses specific cases as examples, provides guidelines (i.e. conclusions based on how you answered each diagnostic step) and provides answers to questions that the reader is bound to have, such as: “how can you tell me to leave”? or “what if I still love him?”

Example:

Diagnostic question #1: Think about that time when things between you and your partner were at their best. Looking back, would you now say that things were really very good between you then?………

Guideline #1: If, when your relationship was at its “best”, things between you didn’t feel right or work well, the prognosis is poor. I feel comfortable saying that you’ll feel you’ve discovered what’s right for you if you choose to leave. Quick take: If it never was very good, it’ll never be very good.

It also discusses games that we play with ourselves:

The Waiting Trap: ….say you’re waiting for a bus. If you wait for 10 minutes, you immediately convert that waiting time into a kind of investment. Because you’ve invested 10 minutes in waiting for the bus, it feels stupid not to invest another 10 minutes. Before you know it, you’ve invested 20 minutes, and with an investment like that, how could you not keep waiting more and more. This is how you end up waiting 45 minutes for a bus to take you somewhere you could walk to in 15 minutes….[Sally] was married to her alcoholic husband for 32 years, because she was a victim of the waiting trap….

And, then, the author gives you concrete advice regarding how NOT to become a victim of the waiting trap.

In a nutshell: the books looks at deciding whether to stay or go with sensitivity, but also logic, based on experience and data gathered from other couples and their results. It looks at of the all angles, all of the tough issues without allowing you to get mired in a fearful, emotional bog. And if you are in one, it will help you get out…one way or the other.

Photo credit: from author’s site and Pinterest

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Defy Gravity by Caroline Myss

I will be upfront with you. I LOVE Caroline Myss. I believe just about every word she utters. I first read her book, “Anatomy of the Spirit”, during a difficult time, years ago, and it helped. I read it a few times over. I will read it again.

I read her latest book, “Defy Gravity”, a few weeks ago…..

Caroline Myss in conversation with a workshop participant

In this book, Caroline writes that people cannot heal through reason or emotions, only through the soul. Grace (which is accessed through prayer) is the conduit for that healing.

Unfortunately, we are locked in our control-driven ego, which is terrified of how our life would change, how justice would not be served, should we enter a state of grace.

How do we begin to get from here to there? Let go of fear and forgive (ie. surrender). And that is also done through the power of prayer and the grace that it brings.

A few of Caroline’s thoughts:

On prayer:

“The transformative link that drew a person “out of the mind” and into an altered state of consciousness, however slight and however brief, [is] prayer.”

On forgiveness:

“Forgiveness is your release from the hell of wanting to know what cannot be known and from wanting to see others suffer because they have hurt you.”

Caroline Myss teaching a workshop.
Photo: courtesy of Connie Morain Baker

On releasing fear:

“If you were to shed the fears that burden you ego, what would remain would be a clear intuitive soul that would effortlessly respond to others.”

On why things happen as they do:

“People’s actions are driven by forces that have nothing to do with you, even though you might get harmed if you stand in their way. Or you might hurt those who stand in your way – even if you care deeply for them.”

If you love Caroline too or you’re simply curious, you’re in luck. She is hosting a free, live, online event about sacred contracts….the contracts we signed before our incarnation concerning  who we signed up to be, who we signed up to meet, and what we signed up to experience. This event takes place on May 7, 7:30 -9:00 p.m..

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The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware

It seems to me that death is the new sex. That is, we handle the topic of death much like the Victorians handled the topic of sex. We deny it, don’t want to talk about it and, as a result, we are unprepared when it comes.

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing‏ gives us an opportunity to look (albeit in a hands-off kind of way) at the harsh physical and emotional realities of a fast approaching death from the perspective of the patients of a palliative care worker.

Bronnie is a free spirit, travelling around, moving from job to job as she enjoys different places that her heart tells her to see. Eventually, she is drawn back home to her native Australia, where she takes a job caring for a terminally ill woman. One such job leads to another and Bronnie finds herself in the thick of profound lessons that are found during the time that precedes death.

The number one regret of the dying? “The regret of not having lived a life true to themselves.”

(Anyone besides me worried that they may have the same regret when their time comes?)

The book’s strength lies in the list of regrets of the dying and discussions of life altering epiphanies. It is written in a very straightforward, simple way with a view to inspire thought and, possibly, change in the lives of those who still have lots of time left.

The kindle version of this book is available for $O.99 USD until this Friday.

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