Learning To Give Ourselves A Hand

September 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

I am not a sports fan.  Actually the only thing I watch is the World Cup every four years. .  I know the Broncos is a football team but I’ve never seen Kenny McKinley play. But I do know depression and mental illness.

Kenny McKinley committed suicide this past Monday (9/20/10) at age 23.  His death makes us stop and wonder how a young man with a promising career would find himself in such a dark place that the only way out for him was suicide.

One of the things that make it hard to treat mental illness is its uniqueness.  You can take two people and put them through the same situations and the results will be completely different.  That’s because we see, feel and process experience through our own set of inherited and acquired tools.  Depression and mental illness are the results of “distorted” ways of seeing things or short-circuits/malfunction of the brain.

I’m not a doctor so I’ll move away from discussing medical reasons for depression and mental illness.  What I want to talk about is how sometimes we add to our suffering by the way we see ourselves.

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Change

June 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Three steps to change our lives.

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Yes, You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

May 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

I once wrote about the differences between my dog and me.  The gist of the blog was that while my dog would sit outside my office door waiting for me – even though I was travelling – I was not going to wait outside my husband’s door because I knew he was not ever going to be there.

Today I want to write about how my dog and I are alike.   Or better how dogs and we have the same habitual behavior.

If you train a dog to sit for a treat, they will eventually always do the commend even when you no longer offer the treat.  Pretty simple; dogs learn from repetition.

The same happens to us.  We create habits from events and thought repetition.  Let me zero in on thought repetition.  If I think everything always turns out for the worse, then that will color the way I see life, and how I relate to others.  The habit I’ve created will make me feel down no matter what is happening around me.  In essence we are – just like dogs – creatures of habit.  But unlike dogs, we can teach an old dog new tricks, it just takes discipline.

Let me share a couple of ideas that have worked for this old dog:

1                    -  Make friends with yourself – If you start getting familiar with your psyche you’ll be able to identify what is your “shit” and what isn’t.

2                    –  Take responsibility for your “shit” – this is when you decide you want to make a change.  This is an important step and if you really want to raise the bar tell someone you trust you want to make a change.  By telling someone you’re well on your way to making the change a reality.

3                    -  Be vigilant – Like our dogs we will want to go back to our familiar response system.  It will take love, kindness and discipline to remind ourselves that we want to change.

If you can follow these three steps with compassion for yourself you can make a change in your life.  Big or small, it is all up to you.

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