Pebbles on Water


Venting Anger Increases Aggression, Is Seductive

The value of venting is a myth. The theory on which the idea of venting anger is based has been repeatedly disproven since the 1950s.While it may feel cathartic, venting anger doesn’t purge aggression from your system or improve psychological state. In fact, it’s more likely to increase anger and aggressiveness. Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, cautions that venting feels satisfying “because of the seductive nature of anger.”


Is your inner lizard getting you into conflict?

Everyone has an inner lizard, that part of your brain tasked with alerting you to threats in your environment and keeping you safe. Your inner lizards an important critter, but sometimes hes over-involved. In conflict, you want to manage your inner lizard instead of allowing him to manage you.Your inner lizard lives in the reptilian part of your brain called the amygdala, which is like an emotional tripwire and primes you for impulsive reaction, such as fleeing from danger or staying to fight off a threat. In emotional emergencies, such as in conflict conversations, your rational mind can get swamped by your emotional one. I think of it this way: The inner lizard wakes up, takes note of the threat, and jumps valiantly into action.


Blamestorming Is a Waste

a waste of everyones energy. When you assign blame, you act to protect yourself at the expense of another. In most workplaces, theres rarely one person or department to blame for any significant problem and trying to find one is a signal of poor problem solving.Instead of blamestorming next time something goes wrong, spend your energy thinking about the contributions that many people or departments probably made. Individually, those contributions may have had little impact, but collectively they created a problem.


Ditch Your Inner Critic

We beat ourselves up for both the big things and for the tiniest imperfections. And all this punishment isn’t helping us become more successful or to feel more fulfilled or even to get more done.What would happen if we gave ourselves a break?First, it is vital that you identify the critical, catty, judgmental voice in your head as your very own Inner Critic. And I’ve got news for you: Your Inner Critic is a Big Fat Liar! She/he tells you Big Fat Lies to try to maintain the status quo and keep you in your comfort zones – even if your comfort zones arent all that comfortable. If you want to take control of your happiness, it’s time to take Your Inner Critic out of the drivers seat.


When Couples Fight

I’m a fan of this great blog by Tina Su called Think Simple Now and she has a fascinating article posted about When Couples Fight.

The biggest insight I got was that it all boils down to this:

  • Each of us wants to feel appreciated and validated
  • We are trying to let that person acknowledge us
  • We are trying to let that person value what we contribute

How many times have we done something or sacrificed something for our significant other, only to feel hurt when they don’t see the value.  Expressing appreciation is something so simple and powerful… and it doesn’t cost us anything.

Of course, your ego is going to paint you the victim here… but as with everything that has harmony and balance, it works both ways.

You must express appreciation and acknowledge the contributions of your other half…

Who am I?

That’s the question I find myself asking ALL the time. It’s a central focus of my meditations more often than not.

I just randomly stumbled upon a blog that answers this question in a way that made me laugh so hard I’m still in tears… I introduce… Puppetji

…[forget] this nonsensical questions. People seem to believe they are what they do. Stop. This is false my friends. This is merely the identity trying to create meaning or purpose where there is none.

Let go of these questions… freedom comes in not knowing.

On Meditation

There are more books about meditation than I can count. Every book explains a different way to meditate and different reasons to meditate.

If we cut out all the excess information, there is only one primary reason and one primary way to meditate.

We meditate in order to stop our mental chatter.

Stopping our mental chatter brings euphoria, insight, improved physical and mental health, and taps into our intuitive unconscious. These are side effects of stopping our mental chatter and that is the goal of meditation.

Stopping the mental chatter can occur primarily by sitting and breathing. When a random though pops up we observe it from a distance, acknowledge that it is a thought, and then let it go bringing focus back to breathing. Sometimes we get the feeling of boredom that’s just another thought (strong because we’re identifying ourselves with it). Acknowledge it, let it go, focus on breathing.

Chanting is interesting because it’s basically a focus on breathing with an auditory component. Chanting with other people in unison… that’s an incredible experience that makes it very easy to stop the mental chatter.

The meditation books also talk about soft (new agey) music, incense, positions, etc. The point of all this is to put you in a better mood for meditation. They make you feel sacred and help you to relax.

When you meditate, if you’re going to use anything to help you, beyond sitting in a quiet place, make sure that your reason for using it is not ego based.

Being true in your motivations is very difficult to identify. The more you think or talk about it, the more false it is for you. You know right away if something is real, don’t ignore that.

What is the Ego?

For most people, it dominates every waking moment. It makes us sick, it makes us hurt others. It refuses to allow us serenity. And it is illusive because we think it is ourselves.

So what is this Ego, that I speak of?

Echkart Tolle says it best in his book “The Power of Now”:

As you grow up, you form a mental image of who you are, based on your personal and cultural conditioning. We may call this phantom self the ego. It consists of mind activity and can only be kept going through continuous thinking. The term ego means different things to different people, but when I use it here it means a false self, created by unconscious identification with the mind.

To the ego, the present moment hardly exists. Only past and future are considered important. This total reversal of the truth accounts for the fact that in the ego mode the mind is so dysfunctional. It is always concerned with keeping the past alive, because without it – who are you? It constantly projects itself into the future to ensure its continued survival and to seek some kind of release or fulfillment there. It says: ‘One day, when this, that or the other happens, I am going to be okay, happy, at peace.’ – Eckhart Tolle

Wow… that’s a scary insight. Our minds create what is essentially a separate manifestation with a will… an agenda. It wants to feel important so it makes us identify with it. We think we are our ego.

So, to escape this … insanity, we have to constantly self-reflect. We take a step back (or out) and observe our thoughts. It’s very easy to identify what is the ego and what is not when you stop to look.

This calls into question the value of everything in our lives. Everything we buy, every abuse we dish out on ourselves (overeating, debasing, self-defeating attitudes), the way we treat the people around us… why do we do all this?

Unconsciousness is the environment that Ego thrives. We must pay attention. We must look inward.

Ultimately, this all comes down to being consciously aware of the present moment. Be here now… and allow your mind stop for a moment.

Egoic Fear

If you really think about it, fear is simply an emotional response to the thought of not meeting your Ego’s expectation or desire. Fear is a response to nothing real…

Here’s a great quote that puts this in perspective:

All fear is nothing more than the ego’s expectancy of an upcoming contradiction. Most of it is not real. dissipate its power by refusing to buy the emotion. Make fear your friend. Talk to it. Accommodate it as a helper and ally, and most of your fear will change or disappear completely.

- Stuart Wilde, Weight Loss for the Mind

What is the Ego that, at its whim, we deliver to it our well-being?