Help! I’m Stuck in a Tsunami Blonde Joke

Oh, No, Not Again!

March and April found us back again, sitting shocked, amazed, spellbound, and powerless in front of our TV screens – watching as hundreds of thousands flee their homes and the steaming nuclear reactors.b

Dumbfounded we stared, as crews carried out the Hail Mary procedure of squirting sea water on the nuclear core to try to slow its progress towards a meltdown and the potential contamination of millions of locals, not to the billions across the ocean those of us across the ocean. Then the terrible stories of those who lost everything nightly across our TV screens.

And here I am, having that eerie feeling, hearing that spooky voice that keeps repeating, “It’s happening again, its happening again . . .”

The Art of Helplessly Looking On

Back in September of 2001 we all were glued to our television sets impotently watching the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers burn and collapse to the ground and New Yorkers running from a giant ball of debris growing as it overtook lower Manhattan.

It wasn’t long afterward that we watched as corruption and greed led to the demise of Enron, Arthur Anderson, Countrywide, Jack Abramoff, AIG, and so on – the predictable result of behaviors that were not only dishonest, but criminal. But what could we do?

Then we looked on helplessly as the stock market plummeted toward the abyss created by credit default swaps, ushering in the near total collapse of the global credit markets, and following close on its heels, the boggle boggling multibazillion dollar bailouts and the pain of the so-called “Recession of 2008.”

And here we are now, well into 2011, feeling that feeling of despair as we tune in to the news of millions of hard-working Americans having lost their jobs and homes to the recession. And again we felt helpless. Here’s an interesting little video – Bill Moyers’ take on how all that went down: The epidemic fraud in the Economic Meltdown Video .

Well, we made it through the Almost A Nuclear Meltdown scare, but folks in my neck of the woods are pretty freaked about the radioactive particles wafting our way. What’s next?

Stuck In a Dumb Blonde Joke

Somehow I have the feeling I am stuck in one of those “dumb blonde” jokes:

The Wager

Bob walks into a sports bar around 9:58 pm. He sits down next to a blonde at the bar staring up at the TV. The 10 pm news comes on, and the news crew covering the story of a man on the ledge of a large building preparing to jump.

The blonde looks at Bob and says, “Do you think he’ll jump?”

Bob says, “You know, I bet he’ll jump.”

The blonde replies, “Well, I bet he won’t.”

Bob places a $20 bill on the bar and says, “You’re on!”

Then, just as the blonde places her money on the bar, the guy on the ledge does a swan dive off the building, falling to his death. The blonde is very upset, but willingly hands her $20 to Bob, saying, “Fair’s fair. Here’s your money.”

Bob replies sheepishly, “I have to confess, I cheated. I saw this earlier on the 5 pm news, and so I knew he would jump.”

The blonde replies, “I did too, but didn’t think he’d do it again.”

Bob took the money…

click image for more blond jokes!

Blonde Like Me

How like that blonde we are – being surprised to see the same thing happening again and again, but unable to see that all these shocking events are really the result of a single underlying process at work in our global culture. I believe that until we really confront the real issues and begin to think systemically and examine the root patterns at work here, we are likely to continue to see this parade of tragedies. .

I don’t know what is coming next, but it’s bound to be a doozy. Hang on to your seats, folks!

The Cure for Blondeness

Fortunately this kind of blondeness is curable.

To me, the recent events in the Middle East demonstrate the power we can all have over our lives. I believe technology is a key part of using that power. As we learn to communicate better, the we awaken the intelligence and wisdom we need to free ourselves. We are entering the era of global community now, where time never sleeps and unfathomable amounts of information are at our fingertips.

The time for collaboration around Things That Matter has come. Connecting in a meaningful way with others is best in person. Second best, the information highway is running an ever-closer second. The internet provides an excellent medium for making meaningful connections, and a number of people and organizations have created some excellent centers for connecting and collaborating. I will suggest a few that I think might well help you shift to a mode of thinking that can enable a deeper understanding of what’s going on and offer some very reasonable actions you can take to help change this.

The change we want can come amazingly quickly. As our communication technologies mature, I can see the same vision as Clay Shirky,( consultant, teacher, and writer on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies), alludes to in this fascinating video – why we are on the brink of change, if we will recognize and use it.

The recent peaceful revolts in Tunisia and Egypt demonstrate how effectively cell phones, Facebook, and Twitter can empower even people who live in these relatively deprived and primitive conditions.

I believe there are enough of us who want to change and that we already possess the collective intelligence and wisdom that can set us free. All that is necessary is for us to begin to play our part in the conversation . . . What are we waiting for?

Steps for Recovering Blondes

Below are a few suggestions for getting started. When you arrive at these links, I recommend you read what is online then, and also that  strongly recommend that you actually SUBSCRIBE. These are living sites and subscribing will insure that you will receive future postings. Or you may click RSS ; it will be uploaded to your RSS readers.

Tom Atlee’s Cointelligence Newsletter addresses the fascinating concepts and practices of Collective Intelligence and is a great place to start.

The World Café offers guidance , materials, and online support for free on how to create conversations that matter to your neighborhood, family, and/or workplace. Here’s one of my conversations with Juanita Brown , the co-creator of The World Café, and here is a video I’ve put together about the World Café .

Alan Briskin’s provocative and intelligent book, Collective Wisdom , introduces his readers to that special kind of knowledge and insight that is available only through group and community interaction.

The Collective Wisdom Initiative website was created to help broadcast the emerging field of collective wisdom, its study and practice. It came into being in 2002 with support from the Fetzer Institute .

And here’s a clever little animation Rebel Girl and The Vagina Report , showing the power of collective action.

And, of course, if you are subscribed to my eNewsletter, “ Healing Times ,” or click RSS in my blog site, I will do my best to send you updates. And I invite you to contribute, and to pass this site along to your friends.

The splitting of the atom has changed everything save our mode of thinking and thus we drift towards unparalleled catastrophe .” – Albert Einstein

” If you only knew . . .” – Emmett Miller

Stop Worrying Now . . . Here’s How!

Do you sometimes have trouble turning your mind off at the end of a stressful day?

Can you stay awake at night thinking about all the things that are bothering you?

Do you ever suffer from high levels of anxiety or panic attacks?

Do you feel like your life is out of control?

You are not alone. Hundreds of millions of people just like you suffer from excessive worry, anxiety and stress, or the toxic effects of trying to manage them by overeating, drinking too much, or taking either prescription or street drugs. And most everyone else is simply nervous about what’s going on in the world, and would like to find a way to feel more relaxed and enjoy life more.

The Worry Solution may be just what the doctor ordered.  Here’s a message from the author, mind/body expert Dr. Martin Rossman:

Hello. I’ve been a medical doctor, researcher and teacher for 40 years with a special focus on teaching people to relieve unnecessary worry and stress. I wrote The Worry Solution to show you how to stop wasting your time and energy fretting about things that you can’t do anything about, and how to use the remarkable brain power you already have to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from preventable harm.

People often think worry is a bad thing, but it’s actually a powerful survival function. If your ancestors hadn’t worried enough, you probably wouldn’t even be here now!  By thinking about the future and turning problems over in our minds we can solve them more easily and we can often avoid unnecessary dangers. That’ s what I call “Good Worry.”

But worry can easily turn into a bad habit and put us on a mental hamster wheel of anxiety and stress caused by nothing other than our own circular thinking.

Anxiety and stress are not only uncomfortable and exhausting, but they drain you, interfere with your sleep, and make you much more vulnerable to many serious health problems. Unrelieved stress is a significant risk factor for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia, chronic pain syndromes, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, and asthma, among many other illnesses and discomforts too numerous to name. In fact, between 50-75% of all visits to primary care doctors are directly due to the effects of anxiety and stress.

The good news is that you can eliminate much of that risk by learning how to let go of bad worry and how to use good worry even better!

The Worry Solution by Dr. Rossman The Worry Solution will teach you how to relax your body and mind at will, how to release unnecessary stress and anxiety, and how to use your imagination to solve problems instead of creating them.  THE WORRY SOLUTION is the culmination of my lifetime of research into how people use their minds to make life harder or easier to live.

The Worry Solution draws on the latest brain science but is easy to read and easy to follow. It will give you the mental “software upgrade’ you need in order to deal with the massive amount of modern stress we all face each day, and give you the chance you deserve to lead a happier, more relaxed and more fulfilling life .”

“From one of America’s leading experts in mind-body medicine comes one of the best books on worry and stress to appear in years.  Dr. Marty Rossman turns worry upside down and shows how it can actually be beneficial if handled wisely.  THE WORRY SOLUTION may be the last book on stress management you’ll ever need to buy.”

~Larry Dossey, MD
NY Times best-selling author, The Power Of Premonitions

It’s not that there isn’t plenty to worry about in this world. In fact, it’s precisely because we are exposed to so much worrisome information every day that it is more critical than ever that we become more skillful in how we deal with it. We have to choose our battles better, and sort out what’s worth worrying about and what to let go of – The Worry Solution will teach you how to do that in a surprisingly simple way.

“I have had many troubles in my life, most of which never happened” Mark Twain

Research shows that 85% of the things people habitually worry about never happen, and when they do, 79% of people say that they handle it much better than they thought they would.

THE WORRY SOLUTION will teach you how to use your mind and brain in unique ways to eliminate suffering and the negative health impacts caused by worry.

http://worrysolution.com/book/

THE WORRY SOLUTION will teach you:

¨      To relax whenever you want to

¨      To sort out “good worry” from “bad worry”

¨      To immediately shift your mood by transforming bad worry to “Positive Worry”

¨      To supercharge your problem-solving creativity by adding the intelligence of your emotional/intuitive brain to your rational brain

The Worry Solution is like a software upgrade for your mind. It will teach you to use the remarkable brainpower you already have to live with less worry and stress, and more confidence and ease.

Can you even imagine what your life would be like if you didn’t need to worry as much?

Dr. Martin Rossman Dr. Martin Rossman, an esteemed colleague of mine, has pioneered the field of mind-body medicine, through ground-breaking research in guided imagery methods for self-healing. His insights have contributed to the current paradigm of holistic health and have influenced the work of today’s leading integrative medicine thought leaders including Andrew Weil, Dean Ornish, Rachel Remen, and others.

In addition to The Worry Solution Dr. Rossman is the author of the popular books Fighting Cancer from Within and Guided Imagery for Self-Healing . He has published numerous articles and medical textbook chapters on guided imagery, mind-body medicine, and integrative medicine and has been featured in articles in O, Self, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Natural Living, and Body & Soul magazines.

~~~~

http://worrysolution.com/book/

A Warm Winter’s Meditation on Gratitude

For many of us, the world moves along so quickly, and the endless stream of appointments, phone calls, emails, and other Things That Need To Be Done Next continually distracts us from the all important step of positive feedback. The nature of our world is such that many decisions need to be made by the unconscious levels of the mind.

Unless we create a clear, compelling image of the way we want to be and the life we want to create, that part of us may head in the wrong direction. And with so many negative messages (eg, economic woes, climate change, illness, pollution, politics), it is easy to lose our way and succumb to the toxicity of stress and depression.

Actually, there are many more positives within than negatives, and here is a way to make these known to your faithful unconscious mind – to really assume leadership in your life – by touching the positive experiences of the recent past and connecting them to the deepest level of your being. In this way you are setting your compass – and empowering the behaviors and experiences you want more of in your life.

So find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for ten minutes and recharge!

__________________________________________________________

(click “Play” button to listen . . . enjoy)

An Answer to Cancer – How Guided Imagery and Meditation Can Assist in Cancer Treatment [Podcast]

Don’t feel like reading? Listen to the Podcast at the end of this post!

What’s the first thing to do if you get a diagnosis of cancer? Grab a deep relaxation and guided imagery CD!

Really. It could save your life.

When people first receive the message from their physician that their body may be harboring a potentially fatal disease, they are usually dumbfounded, commonly frightened, and often emotionally traumatized. This is unfortunate, since such reactions of helplessness associated with the illness create an internal physiological and psychological state which may actually impair the body’s ability to defend itself against this invader.

Since guided imagery in the state of deep relaxation has been shown to assist the healing process in many illnesses, including cancer, it should be made available as soon as possible to anyone newly diagnosed with cancer – as well as those with other chronic illnesses. It’s the least expensive, fastest, and possibly the most important single thing you can do.

A patient’s physical comfort and perception of pain can often be markedly altered, as can their attitude, mood, willingness to undergo invasive procedures, or to participate actively in the treatment – even their ability to successfully survive the treatment. All these are profoundly influenced by the attitude and the mental self image he or she has, of the disease, of the treatment, and of those who are rendering care.

Certain ways of approaching the illness are far more likely to produce a successful outcome, cure and complete healing. Well-designed guided imagery and deep relaxation – what I call “ Software for the Mind ” – functions to enable the person to move through acceptance, to awaken the inner potential to heal and become whole, and to free the body of the stress that could otherwise worsen the illness. And the sooner an individual begins this process, the better.

I will describe some of the most important ways that these tools can be used as valuable adjuncts to treatment in a moment, but first lets look at the role of your mental imagery in preventing cancer.

Guided Imagery and The Prevention of Cancer

Of course the best use of guided imagery in confronting the challenges of cancer is to employ it at the stage of prevention Sometimes, for example, a woman with breast lump or unusual bleeding, or a man who notices an abnormal mole on his skin will avoid seeing a health professional because of fear they experience when they consider that this might be a cancer. Yet by avoiding that cognitive dissonance they fail to have the mass removed before it spreads, and while it is still curable. A different mental image can be developed, one which could tolerate the idea of having an unknown mass checked out, and save their lives.

Another example is represented by the person who needs to change their inner imagery is the person who engages in behaviors that can lead to the development of cancer – such as smoking or exposing him or herself to other toxic substances, or eating an unhealthy diet (fat, charred meat, low vegetable intake). Guided imagery techniques can help resolve the emotional states that underlie such self-destructive behaviors. A few counseling visits and/or the use of the appropriate CDs are often all that is needed. (For example, see Weight Loss/Management and Smoke No More )

The Power of Imagery and Meditation in the Clinical Setting

One of the physician’s first challenges is how to inform the person that they may have cancer. The mental image the doctor creates in the mind of the patient is very important.

Because of this natural reaction of fear, rather than face the emotions, the doctor will sometimes try to be matter-of-fact about it, saying something insensitive, like, “Your tests showed that you may possibly have a rapidly-growing cancer that could kill you within 6 to 12 months. I will take another biopsy today to confirm the diagnosis. Come back in a week and I will let you know what we find out.” Imagine how news delivered that way affects a patient! Yet it happens far more often than you’d think it would.

Now, compare how different the mental image and resultant inner experience are when, instead, the physician says, “We’ll have to repeat the tests we did last week. They are inconclusive. There’s a possibility that there are some atypical cells, and we want to run another test. The first one may be in error. I’m certain, whatever the result, that we’ll find a way to deal with it.”

Remarkably, I have heard dozens of stories from patients who were treated like the person in the first example, and sometimes even more crudely. The mental, emotional and physical shock they experienced at this time often proved to be quite catastrophic to their lives, leading to acute emotional problems, and often persistent depression and/or anxiety. It is not uncommon for this kind of shock to create serious disruption of relationships, social and work life – and, as you can imagine, fear of doctors and medical procedures, even when the first diagnosis turns out to be a false positive!

How a person is treated by his or her health professional is critically important, and the skills of empathetic communication and guided imagery are most valuable. I have always started my training of medical students with this wisdom. After all, what we want most is a happy, healthy patient. ( Verbal First Aid by Dr. Prager is an excellent read for Health Professionals and laypeople alike.  Listen to the Healing Times Radio Archive of my interview with Dr. Prager on my show, Healing Times Radio).

Early Cancer Treatment

Once a cancer has actually been diagnosed, there are several opportunities for the use of deep relaxation and guided imagery – to improve healing function and eliminate unnecessary emotional stress (for the diagnosed individual and their support network). As you probably know, stress has been shown, in many scientific studies, to inhibit healing. By using guided imagery you can enable yourself to maintain a positive self-image, a feeling of empowerment, and confidence in your ability to tolerate your treatment well – and to heal.

Depression and anxiety due to personal fears or cultural expectations add to the inadvertent negative imagery the patient experiences from health personnel, family, and the environment. These have been shown to interfere with the inner healing process. Such emotional states can cause a person to fear valuable and even curative therapies – and that same fear may interfere physiologically with the effectiveness of any that are tried. (see Freeing Yourself From Fear )

The purpose of guided imagery and relaxation is:

· 1. To enable identification with the strong, successful part of the Self – the part that believes/knows healing and wellness are possible.

· 2. To understand at a deep level the meaning of the Serenity Prayer , the role of acceptance, courage, and wisdom, and how to access them

· 3. To experience the confidence and empowerment that is gained by coming into the present moment

· 4. To discover how to let be what is, and to access the inner ability to respond mindfully, and not merely react .

In our culture we use denial a great deal. Every physician gets to see at least one person who was so fearful of finding a lump they refused to have the recommended regular examinations. Deep Relaxation provides an excellent way for the psyche to be prepared to accept the truth of the moment – it is the antidote to fear, and it eliminates the reason to avoid seeing the truth. After all, the acceptance of what is true in the moment gives you the power to use the resources you have available to successfully address the situation and gain the best possible outcome. And when it comes to cancer, the outcome is what really counts the most . ( Abolish Anxiety is an effective program for dealing with unnecessary fears of this kind). Once relaxation has been achieved positive image outcomes can be suggested and visualized.

Imagery and Interventions

You will also find that deep relaxation and guided imagery are extremely useful before, during and after therapeutic interventions – such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. (see Cancer Support Programs including Optimizing Chemotherapy and Optimizing Radiation Therapy )The use of these Software For The Mind tools can help reduce the discomfort and side effects of radiation and chemotherapy, thus allowing the use, in some cases, of even larger doses, thereby ensuring better chances of complete success. Imagery such as a shield protecting the normal cells of your body from radiation – or from toxic chemicals – tends to increase your sense of empowerment and involvement in the healing process, markedly improving outcomes, whether or not there is a direct impact upon the actual membranes of the cells in question. ( See Healing from Cancer, )

Guided imagery, along with deep relaxation, is also effective for dealing with the surgery that is sometimes needed by the cancer patient. By using image rehearsal techniques for days or weeks before the surgery, you train the mind and body in how to respond to the anesthesia, the surgery, and the healing. By the time you are in the operating room, your body is primed to go into anesthesia quickly, thus reducing the amount of anesthetic agent your body will have to take in and detoxify – making the surgery safer, and recovery faster. Further, when this is combined with the use of these techniques after surgery there is less pain and swelling, ambulation is faster, and healing time and hospital stay are shortened by about 25% (and that means 25% less opportunity to acquire a hospital-based infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria). (see Surgery, Operations, and Procedures and ).

Can The Mind Really Fight Cancer?

It is important that when someone gets injured or sick, we see two separate, but related, phenomena – the disease and the illness. In the case of cancer, the disease is represented by the abnormal cells that are attempting to grow without bounds. The illness is the loss of weight, the fatigue, the pain, the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness, the fear that treatment will not work, and the other unpleasant experiences represent the illness .

While it has not been conclusively demonstrated, a positive attitude and effective imagery can directly kill all cancer cells, studies have shown they are enormously effective defeating the illness. And when a person is less ill, they have a better chance of responding to any threat to their balance of health, and of surviving treatment that is powerful enough to cure the disease.

Some of the imagery approaches that have been found to be effective involve visualizing the cancer cells as being weak, confused, disoriented mutant bodily cells that need to be eliminated. Correspondingly, the cells of the immune system are seen as powerful, wise, and capable of attacking and destroying these cancer cells. Sometimes the imagery used is realistic, and sometimes metaphorical (which is how the mind impacts the body anyway). So a given person may see the cancer cells as mice and the immune cells as hungry cats, or see the cancer cells as outlaws wearing black hats, and the immune system’s cells as the good guys wearing, of course white hats. Still other people have less violent imagery, such as coming into harmony and simply halting the growth of the cancer cells, creating a safe long term balance.  In this way the healthy body establishes a balance with a tuberculosis bacterium, thus preventing its spread while not eliminating it completely (a kind of New Paradigm solution). Healing From Cancer guides imagery in this way, while the DVD, Immuno-Imagery , shows how this happens using photomicroscopy as well as interpretive animation.

(For more information about the roots of disease and its symptoms, and how to address them, see Deep Healing – The Essence of Mind-Body Medicine .)


In Conclusion

So, once again I say (only a little tongue-in-cheek), maybe the first and best thing to do in dealing with cancer, before or after it is discovered, is to use deep relaxation, meditation, and guided imagery tools. Through them you can “Change Your Mind – And Change Your Life.”

Discussion, comments and questions: A t the end of this post you will find a place ‘Join the Conversation’. I would love to hear from you.  Feel free to answer some of the questions below or let me know whatever is on your mind.

1. Have you used alternative therapies in Cancer (or other chronic illness)?

2. How about Guided Imagery? How did it work?

3. Feel free to ask questions

•   •   •   •   •

Click HERE to learn more about Dr. Miller’s Cancer Support Guided Imagery and Meditation CDs, MP3 Downloads, DVDs and Books.

The first podcast below is the recording of Dr. Miller reading this article ‘An Answer to Cancer’

The second podcast below is a recording of Elizabeth L. Richeson, Ph.D., M.S. PhysPharm speaking about her own use of Dr. Miller’s Guided Imagery recordings in her profession and in her personal battle with Cancer.

Ask Dr. Miller: Why Balance Emotions?

August 18, 2010 by EMiller
Filed under Ask Dr. Miller

Green Exercise Heals the Mind

Exercising, even for just five minutes, in a “green space,” such as a park or trail, can boost your mental health, according to researchers in the U.K . 1

They looked at evidence from 1,250 people in 10 studies and found significant improvements in mood and self-esteem after just minutes of such activities as walking, gardening, cycling, fishing, boating, horse riding and farming. In each study, mood and self-esteem were measured using two widely accepted assessment scales. All types of green exercise led to improvements in mental health indicators.

Most surprising was that the largest effect was seen within five minutes! After that, increased green exercise continued to add benefit but with decreasing returns.

The health changes – physical and mental – were particularly dramatic in the young and the mentally ill. Interestingly, an even greater effect was observed when the activity took place in an area near water, such as a lake or river.

Study leader Jules Pretty, a researcher at the University of Essex, said those who were generally inactive, stressed, and/or mentally ill would probably benefit the most from “green exercise. Employers, for example, could encourage staff in stressful workplaces to take a short walk at lunchtime in the nearest park to improve mental health.” He also said exercise programs outdoors could benefit youth offenders.

Once again, we have solid evidence that even a short period of green exercise can provide a low cost and drug-free therapy to help improve mental wellbeing. Anyone experiencing depression should be certain to add this kind of activity to whatever treatment or self-help regimen they have chosen.

Other powerful tools for helping to heal from depression, sadness and grief are presented on “ Escape from Depression, ” a two CD program for learning how to use your mind, meditation, imagery, autosuggestion and affirmations to speed your recovery.

For a set of effective imagery tools for dealing with loss of any kind, “ Accepting Change and Moving On ” can also be downloaded or purchased on CD.

Ask Dr. Miller: Do we have a purpose?

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