Monthly Archives: November 2013


“Emotion is 24 times more powerful than logic!” Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (1466 – 1536)

From the depths of despair to soaring on the wings of love, both wonderful and important feelings, but what causes them, where do they come from how can my body stay the same and my feelings change?

How can I feel strong and confident in one moment, then suddenly feel worthless and insecure, or go from happy to sad, or hate to love?

As Erasmus or Rotterdam figured out many years ago, our emotions and our feelings are the prime motivators in our lives. All of your decisions are enhanced and or motivated at some level by our emotions.

From a simple physiological perspective, emotions are a result of hormone secretion in our bodies, specifically our stress hormones. Hormones are caused to be secreted by things external to us. So, something happens in our world, our body reacts physically by secreting hormones which gear up our physical body for a response. At the same time, the hormones motivate us emotionally to follow through with our physical response. In other words, we are hard wired to pay more attention to our hormones than to our logic because sometimes in a survival situation, we will have to do things that defy logic!

If you observe your world, you will notice that institutions such as political parties, advertising agencies, religious institutions, conservation lobbies, and even private clubs or institutions all use emotion to re enforce your feeling of superiority, inferiority, caring, anger and even love. It is the only way that they can by pass your reasoning logical mind and convince you to follow their ideas, even if you don’t want to!

In the past I have been writing a lot about your world view, how you see yourself in your world and how you are responding to the circumstances presented to you. If you now observe your responses and look for the underlying emotional trigger, you will be able to see two things;

First you will see what emotion is being used to trigger the response, and second, you will see what it is within you, that strength or insecurity, that is being pandered to by the trigger.

Armed with these two pieces of self awareness, you can then re assess the appropriateness of your intended response and fine tune it to your expected outcome. You will be more consciously aware of yourself in your world and will be better able to make sound decisions that positively affect you.

Ask yourself;

 How am I feeling now?

What is that feeling?

Where does it come from?

What result do I want?

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“Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name… And they’re always glad you came.”

Theme song from ‘Cheers’

“Norm!” every body shouts out!

Every time Norm enters the bar, he is welcomed by the same resounding chorus. Everybody in the pub are genuinely happy to see him! He is nothing special however, an average guy in an average bar doing an average job. His secret is consistency. He comes in at the same time each evening, sits on the same bar stool at the same corner of the bar and always orders the same beer. He is reliable, his advice is terrible, but he is there to give it. He listens.

What does “consistent Norm” represent?

He is an expression of our need for acceptance, for connection, of the desire to belong to something bigger than ourselves, a community to which we can contribute where we can find meaning in our own lives.

We humans are gregarious. Our self importance assures us that we are independent and self reliant, that we can go it alone, yet, like it of not, we do need the comfort of the herd. We naturally gravitate to what we know and like and there we interact with others like us. We form clubs, peer groups, lodges, societies, blogs, committees and gangs. We need each other more than we will often admit. We need to feel a connection with ourselves, with others and with something greater than us. We need to give and receive love, comfort and care. Without it, we get depressed, pine away and possibly die!

Now ask yourself;

Am I a friend or a rescuer?

Am I motivated by empathy or compassion?

Am I helping others to prove to myself that I am OK – if I can help them, then I must be OK… right?

Do I help because it makes me feel better, and do I let others help me so they can feel better?

 How often does accepting help make us feel weak, inadequate and inferior?

Society has taught us to be brave, to be strong, but in so doing it has disconnected us from the flow of life.

 Friendship is about mutual support. It is about giving and receiving. To have a friend, we need to be a friend. Go out into your world and enjoy the people in you life!

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Making Mistakes

“The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything”

Edward John Phelps (1822-1900)

We all know that horrible sinking feeling when your stomach clenches, your breathing becomes shallow, the muscles in your neck tighten, your world stops….

YOU got it WRONG!


YOU are an instant FAILURE!

Hold on for a moment!

The very fact that most of us are walking around today simply means that we are the product of our mistakes. A baby does not learn to walk without first falling down frequently and often!

Each fall is a mistake. Yet society and our learned world view regards mistakes as failures and we have been conditioned to regard a mistake with such shame and horror that nothing short of sack cloth, ashes and immediate self abasement is sufficient to purge our souls, and even then we are obliged to berate ourselves for as long as possible, letting others steal our limelight, our confidence and our worth!

We learn by our mistakes. Many great inventions and advancements in technology are the result of trial and error. Simple things like the light bulb and flight are the result of mistakes being made and the inventors using those mistakes to move forward and solve problems.

The trick is not to make the same mistake more than once and to learn the valuable lesson offered from each mistake. True wisdom is the application of knowledge, and knowledge is assimilated and accumulated through the process of making mistakes!

It is the ability to learn from the mistakes of ourselves and others that enables us to progress in life, love or business.

Now how can we even consider that what went wrong can allow us to progress when we are constantly in fear of judgement of ourselves and others?

Pause for a moment to consider that in the moment, right now, you are just fine, that what ever is happening around you, either of your own making or as a response to others, right now, it is fine.

Be gentle with yourself!

Take a moment to pause, observe and chose your next course of action. In that moment of pause, ask yourself what you can do with what you have to take you to the next stage of your journey through life.

By understanding yourself in the moment, judgement is suspended and your personal clarity of thought and vision comes to the fore to teach and guide us.

Take some time this week to explore to review your life thus far:

  • What have been your most magnificent mistakes?
  • What are the lessons that you have learned from them?
  • What are the recurring misfortunes in your life?
  • What are the recurring mistakes causing these misfortunes?
  • What can you learn form your mistakes?

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November 13, 2013 · 8:52 am



“Have you ever considered that any real freedom (is the)

freedom from the opinions of others, freedom from the opinions of yourself?”

                                                           Colonel Kurtz (Apocalypse Now)


Who is your jailer, if not yourself?

Who limits you, if not yourself?

Who dreams for you, if not yourself?

Who implements for you, if not yourself?

Who is responsible for your freedom, if not yourself?

Freedom is a concept of limitless expansion. The opposite of freedom would be restraint, which implies limit, structure, order and the definition of parameters. Freedom represents a unique paradox, as one needs to know one’s limits or restrictions to be able to free one’s self from them. The very existence of the concept of freedom seems to constantly negate its self!

To truly understand the concept of freedom, in every single sphere of our existence, is to consider that freedom is nothing without an accompanying personal responsibility. Freedom without responsibility is nothing more that another limitation and possibly even an excuse for idleness!

To be truly free from something, one has to be able to implement a change to the restrictive aspect of that freedom, and to do that one needs to be able to effectively respond to the consequences of the actions of the change. Great freedom fighters and strategists of the last few hundred years understood this (Washington, Tutu, Mandela, Sharon, Guevara, Bismark, Cromwell, Robespierre, to name a few).

Now lets apply this concept of freedom to our wellness goals – spiritual, physical and mental!

Where would you like to be on your path to obtaining those goals in three months, one year and three years?

What limitations do you need to change to allow yourself to be free?

What part of that change do you fear and why?

Are you willing to take personal responsibility for that freedom?



Filed under Stress Management and Life Coaching