Dr. Drew On Envy And Our Celebrity Culture

March 25, 2011 by  
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Not a great fan of Dr. Drew – for people outside of the US who may not be familiar with his work, Dr. Drew is board certified in internal and addiction medicine. He is also the host of the TV show Celebrity Rehab and the radio show Loveline. While I find him to be very smart and insightful, it bugs me that he uses his knowledge to expose others for his own gain.

Anyway, in the clip below Dr. Drew discusses our obsession with celebrities. In it he is really clear, well spoken delivering great insight on the subject. He discusses our loss of understanding of what really brings us happiness and contentment – relationships and not money or power. He adds because as a society we model after narcissistic behavior of people that are not healthy, we feel empty and in pain.

A couple of days ago I wrote a post, Building Contentment With Real Values that addressed the same theme.

This is very important.

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Finding Beauty In Our Own Lives

March 12, 2011 by  
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I have many friends who live with a physical disability.

I’ve always had great empathy for others, but since my late husband’ illness and passing, I have added knowledge to my empathy.  That may explain a great new number of people that have come into my life suffering some form of loss.

Every day I learn from one of my friends what it is to live with a disability.  The struggle doesn’t end with the acceptance of the loss.  There is self-esteem, reinventing a life, and there is the constant health struggle.

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Beyond Feelings Of Wrongdoing And Rightdoing

February 26, 2011 by  
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Photo by Angie Rubin

The great poet and theologian Rumi, said “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

That’s the gist of Anne Naylor’s post.  To find ourselves at an evolutionary point where feelings are neither good nor bad; they just are.

Having feelings and emotions is part of being human.  Being dominated and controlled by them is neurosis.  We cannot stop feeling and we cannot become different people.  But we can allow the emotions and thoughts to exist without bowing down to them.

If we don’t underline and hang on to the negative emotions we actually have the possibility to turn pain and discomfort into something more fulfilling.  Grief, the ultimately negative experience, if allowed to exist can teach us about empathy, compassion and letting go.

When I lost my husband I kept thinking that pain and loss could not be all that was left of him.  As I allowed my grief all the space it needed without clamming to it and berating myself, I found the wisdom of acceptance.

Loving acceptance of our vulnerability and insecurities bring us emotional freedom.  And with that compassion for others.

—–

Can We Be Emotionally Free?

By Anne Naylor

What would life be like without emotional burdens like anxiety, depression, guilt, rage, self-doubt and shame? What does it mean to be “emotionally free”? Is it possible? Is it even desirable?

Part of the tool kit with which we human beings are born are our emotions. They must serve a purpose, or we would not have them. So far, so obvious. What would life be like without love, passion, enthusiasm, joy, excitement, exuberance, compassion, empathy or frustration, anger, resentment, envy, jealousy, greed and fear? Positive emotions serve to move us forward and expand our horizons. Negative emotions can trap us in a miserable downward spiral of hopelessness and despair…Continued

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A Year Of Good Deeds

February 21, 2011 by  
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My friend Claire Pascal started a blog called A Year Of Good Deeds.

Claire is a very special woman.  She’s a writer and a teacher.

When 9/11 happened it touched her so profoundly she went to Yale to study theology. She needed a different kind of knowledge to understand or at least to cope better with devastation.

My friend Claire looks at life and people with profound respect and understanding.  She’s kind to others as well and to herself.  She’s fallen many times without ever losing her heart.  And for that she has my admiration. It is not easy to fall, truly see oneself down, get up and still be opened to the world.

As Claire writes about herself she lets us in her humanity and we are all better off for that.

Below is Claire’s statement about the birth of her blog.

A HAPPIER LIFE

So my life fell apart. I couldn’t deny my alcoholism anymore, a dear friend died, and then my marriage tore apart–wrenching and painful. To recover from the wreck I’ve become, I’m conducting an experiment: I will do one good deed a day. I’m hoping this helps me peek out from my miserable self-absorption and perhaps do a tiny bit of good for the world. Will this make me or anyone else happier?

A THOUSAND CONNECTIONS

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I just got back from an AA meeting and I stand corrected about the saying: “Give 100% expecting nothing back.”  Here’s the more accurate version:  “Give 100% because it’s free and fun expecting nothing back not even a thank you.”  A tougher version.  Now I have to have fun while I’m giving without expecting a reward.

Good deeds today:  Flowers for my AA sponsor.  A thank you note to the woman guard at the entrance of my condo complex.  She’s the only female guard and she always waves and smiles at me when I come home late at night from work, which is often…Continued

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The Anatomy Of Love

February 12, 2011 by  
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As we approach Valentine’s Day the world – at least the countries that commemorate the cupid’s day – gets divided into sections; people that are enthusiastically planning and shopping for a grand day , and others who hope this day goes by as quickly as possible.

I talk a lot about love because I truly believe connecting to this powerful energy source is the ultimate quest to living a life of wisdom and contentment.  But unlike many, I don’t equate love with just romantic love.  I actually think that many people who believe they have found love when they are in a relationship are actually unaware of what love really is and its life changing power.

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Turning Loss Into Depth And Wisdom

January 15, 2011 by  
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By Angie Rubin

A couple of days ago, I had lunch with a woman who had been my late husband’s friend.  I had seen her once before since his passing two and a half years ago.

The friend wanted to check in with me and again offer her support.  We talked for a while and then the conversation shifted to her brother.  She said we both had a lot in common; he’s a Buddhist – she said. Even though I don’t know her brother, I intuitively knew what she was trying to say.  She was referring to the quality of acceptance.

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What It Takes To Love

January 8, 2011 by  
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Just found the below article on Oprah.com and wanted to share it with you.

The post “What It Takes To Love Well And Wisely” discusses the transformative power of romantic love. That is because  in intimate relationships we get to show ourselves in ways we don’t  in other relationships.  We also get to know parts of us which are called upon in romantic relationships.

I believe for a romantic relationship to be “successful” we must first be a complete person; love ourselves, and have our own interests.  It is then we can be vulnerable without the feeling that we are losing ourselves.  It is then we can truly share without feeling we are giving up on our own lives.

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How I Deal With Fear

January 7, 2011 by  
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There is a “good fear” and a “bad fear”.

The “good fear” is a mechanism that goes into place when something harmful is about to happen to us to increase our ability to survive the event.  In this case certain areas in our brains such as the amygdala and the hypothalamus are activated to control the first physical response to fear. Chemicals such as adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol are released into the blood stream causing certain physical reactions such as:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Tightening of muscles
  • Sharpened or redirected senses
  • Dilation of the pupils (to let in more light)
  • Increased sweating

All of these reactions take place to help us focus and do what we must to survive.

Now the “bad fear” is a consequence of our interpretation of who we are in society and how society sees us.  And it is often not real.

I’ve experienced fear and its first cousin anxiety in small and large doses throughout my life.

First the big doses:

When leaving a bad eleven year relationship where I was emotionally and psychologically dominated, I wondered if I would survive.  I was then told by my partner I would never be anything without him. I fearfully wondered if that was true.

When I lost a job and my financial security because I was involved with a man who talked me into doing something that became a professional conflict of interest, I went on downwards spiral blaming myself for what I had done to my own life.  The blame was so great, it created an overwhelming state of anxiety.

When I knew Chris was dying, I experienced tremendous fear of what the last moment would be like and all the moments after.

These are just some of the huge events that happened in my life that brought tremendous anxiety into my mind and system.  But in each circumstance I went through the following steps:

  • Slowed my breath down
  • Carefully analyzed the situation
  • Accessed my courage to accept the situation at hand
  • Reminded myself life is a learning experience
  • Reminded myself I still had life ahead to experience and change what needed to change
  • Thought of realistic steps – even if baby steps – to take to come out of my situation

What about fear of saying or doing what we think because we don’t know how we will be perceived?

1.      I won’t approach him or her because they are going to know I like them.  And what if they reject me? What happens to my self-esteem?

2.      I won’t share my idea because what if others think I’m silly or stupid?

3.      I won’t tell others what I really want because if I don’t get it, others may think of me as a looser.

This type of fear is crippling and it’s self-created.  It often originates from a place within where we are not sure of who we are and of our own worth.  When I have these fears this is what I do:

  • Who cares?  I ask myself.  Don’t make everything in your life so serious.  So if you tell a guy you are interested and he rejects you, does that mean you are not worthy? NO. Who knows why he rejected me. Maybe I reminded him of his mother J   There is no movement forward without risk.  If I want something I have to come out of your shell and ask for it.
  • Because something doesn’t work out it doesn’t mean I’m less than.  It just means it didn’t work out.  I move on. I’ve learned not to make everything a judgment on who I am and what my worth is.

The more I get to know myself the more I learn to rely on my instincts and to respect my own values.  As long as I am in harmony within “bad fear” is something I can process and eliminate fairly quickly.

I hope this makes sense to you.  And if you are in fear, remember, all of us no matter who we are dealing with our own.

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Next To Normal; Seeing Others In Their Own Shoes

January 3, 2011 by  
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Angie Rubin

Last night I went with a friend to see LA’s last performance of Next to Normal, winner of 3 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize.  The musical is about mental illness. A subject one wouldn’t usually associate with singing – there is no dancing in this musical.

My friend, who is also a therapist and I really enjoyed the musical.  As I was driving home we talked about mental illness and finding acceptance and peace in our own lives.

One of the great values of films and plays is the opportunity they offer us to see situations and relationships through others points of view.  They create a safe environment – because we are not personally involved – and then present us with a situation played out by the different characters.

In my life I have been close to a few people suffering from mental illness.

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The Truth About Love

January 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Popular Posts

heart on the beach

I was married at age twenty to a man who was eleven years my senior.  When I married the man, I was a recent Brazilian arrival doing a lot of drugs and hanging out with all the wrong people.  I thought getting married would settle me down and straight, but instead marked the beginning of the worst period of my life.  The man was intelligent and creative but he was also possessive, manipulative and had an ego that didn’t allow any other human to occupy the same space as his.  Within the first year the intelligent man showed himself as delusional and abusive.   It took me a long time to understand the man’s bravado was a cover up for deep seeded insecurity which he was ready to go to any lengths to hide.  Three years into the marriage, and I no longer knew if what I thought and felt was real or not.  Only my fantasies – where I took refuge- remained mine.  In them I dreamed of being rescued and of living the love story I so much craved.  But back in the real world my husband was busy spraying beer all over me and undermining any attempt I made to stand on my own two legs.

One day, as I stood on the edge of a subway platform, I thought I could make it all stop if I took one step forward.  Now I’m a survivor and that kind of thinking just scared the hell out of me, so I summoned all the courage I had, and sought out help.

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