Anger Hack

After reading some research on anger management I asked a client to try the following technique to help with his anger difficulties.  He reported that it did help, so I thought I would share the technique with my readers.

It is one of those techniques that is not particularly intuitive, yet as research has demonstrated it is effective and produces results in a couple of weeks.

The technique involves a person using the opposite hand with as many tasks as possible.  The tasks should not be dangerous and involve risk to the person.  It might include, writing a letter with the opposite hand, stirring food with the opposite hand, holding a drink with opposite hand and so on.  The person is to do this for a two week period minimum and they must engage in these opposite hand activities as many times as possible through the day.

The participants in the study reported […]

By |Friday, October 31st, 2014 |Psychology, Science|0 Comments

Needless Complaining

This morning I was at the hospital waiting for a specialist appointment.  A number of other people were also waiting, including two men behind me.  The two men arrived after me and after a number of other people.

Our hospital waiting times to see specialists in the free clinics are lengthy and could be improved upon with more resources and people.  But it is free so we are lucky when compared to some other countries.

The two men behind me seemed to be oblivious as to the wait times in these sorts of clinics.  Every time someone else was called before them, they would audibly bitch and moan about how long they have been waiting.   As the waiting increased so did their complaints which everyone in the room including the hospital staff heard.

Their main compliant seemed to focus upon their appointment time.  In their minds they should have been seen at 9.30 […]

By |Thursday, October 30th, 2014 |Psychology, Spiritual|0 Comments

Tom Hanks and a Taxi Driver

I think this feel good story about Tom Hanks and a taxi driver, is a wonderful example of how synchronicity works. If something comes to mind and its powerful enough to leave an impression then other related but non-casual events tend to show up in our lives.  Here is the story:

“So get this. I’m driving down Park Avenue one day and this guy waves for me, so I pull over and I ask him where he’s going. He tells me 74th street, and I tell him that’s too far for me, because my shift just ended, so he says ‘thanks anyway’ and walks away. But then I think about it, and I start feeling bad for the guy, cause hey– I got a conscience. So I call him back to the cab and tell him to hop in. And he gets in the car all excited, all animated, and he’s talkin

By |Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 |Psychology, Spiritual|0 Comments

Lucid Dreaming Clarification

This has come up a few times in the past month consequently in the grand Art of War tradition it probably warrants some clarification.

I occasionally make reference to dream interpretation and lucid dreaming (being conscious/awake while we dream) where the two do not go hand in hand.  The reason is that when it comes to dream interpretation, we want dream material which is as untainted by conscious ego as there can be.   In short, what makes dreams interesting is the lack of ego involved and thus gives us a purer indication of what is occurring unconsciously.  When we try and control or manipulate a dream, then ego interjects and skews the dream in a different direction.

People sometimes point to times when they are not interjecting or attempting to control the dream but just passively observing the dream.  The argument of this line of reasoning is that there is no conscious […]

By |Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 |Psychology, Spiritual|0 Comments

Discerning between Appreciation and Gratitude

Many people seem to confuse appreciation with gratitude.  If  the color purple is seen and admired for its beauty that’s appreciation.  Where it gets a little confusing is that gratitude has a level of appreciation but also extends upon it by being moved by the color purple.   Something about the perception of the color purple moves us, so that it has a sense of awe or profoundness to it.

It’s this sense of other or the sense of presence much greater than the limitations of the ego which is a characteristic of gratitude.  Gratitude allows us to connect with something extraordinary while also connecting with a benign-ness.

By |Sunday, October 26th, 2014 |Psychology, Spiritual|0 Comments

A Way to Follow Our Deeper Nature

It is not uncommon for people to wonder whether what they are doing is in alignment with their deeper nature/higher self/soul.  A way to see if we are on the path we are meant to be is to ask the following:

If you were the only person alive would you still be doing what you are doing?


If today is the last day on the planet what would you be doing?

I am working on a book which is taking considerably more time than I first envisaged.  Which is a whole other story and besides the point.  But I did want to draw attention to writing and my love of it.   If there was no one else but me on the planet, I would still be writing and working on the book.  The same is true if it were the last day on this planet.

The reason is that I love writing.  Similarly […]

By |Friday, October 24th, 2014 |Psychology, Spiritual|0 Comments

Short Term Memory Loss and the Present Moment

At a rough estimate, I would think that perhaps 99 out of a 100 people would benefit by being more present in their lives.  This estimate would vary as some would benefit more than others, but I think it’s generally a good idea to be more present in our lives.  I certainly encourage my clients to do so and also people in my social circles.

However, as is the case with many things we often take a good thing and attempt to turn into a panacea.   In spiritual circles, the idea of being more in the present is frequently touted as the end of suffering.  It’s a rather naïve and erroneous assumption which often says more about the persons gullibility that anything else.  This was highlighted again in my mind when I was reading a book on a person who suffers from short term memory loss.

There are cases throughout history where […]

By |Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 |Psychology, Spiritual|2 Comments

The Guest House

Here is a little poetry from Rumi which is a great reminder on how to treat emotions:

 The Guest House


This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.


A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.


Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honourably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.


The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.


Be grateful for whatever comes.

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.


~ Jelaluddin Rumi

By |Monday, October 20th, 2014 |Spiritual|0 Comments

News Stories

Many years ago in a communications class dealing with multimedia we were discussing the news.  The lecturer at the time pointed out that often news stories run for a couple of weeks then tend to die a death of sorts.  When they run there is a narrative that is being espoused which gets consistently repeated.  Normally, intermingled with this spate of news stories is a counter-narrative – it’s usually only a couple of stories which provide an alternate view.

The net effect is if we see a ton of stories about spider bites, we tend to think there is an epidemic of spider bites.  But what we should be highly cognizant of is that for the time being the ‘news’ is enamoured with covering stores about spider bites.  It’s the news corporations that are determining what we are being fed.

We naively believed that the internet would produce more factual reporting.  But […]

By |Friday, October 17th, 2014 |Psychology|0 Comments

I am not I

I am not I.
I am this one
walking beside me whom I do not see,
whom at times I manage to visit,
and whom at other times I forget;
who remains calm and silent while I talk,
and forgives, gently, when I hate,
who walks where I am not,
who will remain standing when I die.

~ Juan Ramón Jiménez

By |Friday, October 17th, 2014 |Psychology, Spiritual|0 Comments