Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools

kindle coverOne  of the nicest things about having a blog is that it provides a recorded history, similar to journal writing. I can see that I’ve not written a blog for almost six months! At the time of my last blog I wrote about looking for an illustrator for my young adult book, “It’s an Inside-Out World.” The project has since evolved to help school age children find greater mental health and wellbeing in schools and in their daily lives.

Over the course of six months of work, I have learned a great deal. Not only the technical aspect of self publishing on Amazon and Kindle, but also what it takes to complete a big project and to collect the right team of people to see it through. I feel incredibly blessed to have found the right team along the way, with very little effort on my part — a great deal of time, focus, concentration and energy perhaps, but it was mostly an enjoyable project that felt more like putting one foot in front of the other than working hard to accomplish a goal.

In fact, it was never a goal of mine to write a book, much less an illustrated book for youths! The story line literally fell in my lap and then I had no choice but to follow through, or so I thought. I think of myself as the scribe and the project manager, rather than the author. The author was the sum total of all the people and parts that made it come together in the end. I woke up one morning with the story in my head and it didn’t feel as though I had dreamed it, but there it was begging to be told. What else could I have done but sit right down at my computer and put fingers to keyboard to write what was already in my head?

Enter all the angels who seemingly swooped down to let me know that as miraculous as the unsolicited delivery of a story may seem, it still needed to be honed. I have Jack Pransky to thank for that, as well as Judy Sedgeman who woke me up to the fact that youths no longer use a phone other than to text, face time, or for social media….more revamping. A young woman who was sixteen at the time, now seventeen, helped me revise words to sound the way teens talk these days. I joined an authors’ forum where I found a wonderful team of illustrators in India, and my formatter, Caroline Frechette, in Canada. Caroline knows more about writing and publishing in the young adult world than anyone I could imagine. She has written books for this age range, won awards and she is also a librarian, along with being quite brilliant. Jyll Kashmann, my trusty editor, who finds typos in the NYT, rounded out the team. A team of angels.

I had a few humbling experiences. One night (actually, it was in the wee hours of the morning) I had a go-round with my illustrator on-line with India. Our thread was about measurements and dpi and resolution, as I recall. I was incredibly impressed with her patience and kindness even when I was clueless about some things. The whole project seemed magical. It came out of nowhere and has a life of it’s own which lead to helping young people find peace and satisfaction in their lives. I’m honored to have wound up here. To top it off, I was recently invited to participate in a global call of educators involved in bringing the inside-out perspective to schools and none of them knew I had written this book. That goes beyond synchronicity. I’m not even sure how I got invited.

I know that anyone can write a book or complete any project they feel passionate about. How fortunate we are to experience life as creative beings and to know that when we hit a rough spot we can catch our breath, regroup, and begin again. The book seems to be for the Young Adult age range, maybe eleven to seventeen, to help them understand how to access their innate health and wellbeing during troubling times. I’ve received feedback from adults who have read a pre-published copy, that it will be an appealing read for adults as well. I hope you will consider pre-ordering a digital copy that you can view on any device, even your smartphone just by downloading the Kindle app. You will be notified when it becomes available but the price increases once the pre-orders are filled. Here is the link for you: “It’s an Inside-Out World!” If you’ve been struggling with a project of your own, I hope this blog has inspired you to take a breath, regroup, and start again!

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It’s Been Awhile…

Apologies for my absence here, but I want to keep you posted nonetheless…

I’ve been working on the final edit for my relationship book, The Secret of Love, and a Young Adult book, It’s an Inside-Out World, which has taken all of my writing energies.  I’m also working on finding the right illustrator for the young adult book, approximate age range of eleven to fifteen. I’d love to receive your opinions. I’ll embed two examples below.

I’m also announcing “A Flood Sale”

Healthy Thinking, Feeling, Doing, from The Inside-Out; A Middle School Curriculum and Guide For the Prevention of Violence, Abuse & Other Problem Behaviors, by Jack Pransky and Lori Carpenos is now on sale for almost half price: $18.00 covers shipping. The publisher, Safer Society Press, sustained a major flood last winter and had to make changes. Please contact: 3Principlestherapy@gmail.com if you are interested in making a purchase.
And here are the two illustrator examples (the first one seems more free spirited to me, the second more for younger children)
What do you think? Please leave me a comment in the comment section below.
Thank you!
 girls_on_phone_in_color_semirealistic

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Eliminate Stress and Anxiety from life

Discover 3 powerful secrets to eliminate stress and anxiety from life, that no one talks about… yet! Stress-Free Flyer

Saturday, February 14 from 9:00 to 5:00

Presented By:

Kiran Dintyala MD, Hartford Hospital Physician and author of “Taming the Tiger of Stress,” was trained by two of the lead teachers of the 3 Principles while at West Virginia University School of Public Health

Lori Carpenos LMFT, Marriage and Family Therapist and author of “The Secret of Love: Understand the Mystery, Unleash the Magic” was trained by Sydney Banks, and other teachers who trained with Mr. Banks.

Laurel Patt BSRT, Retired Director of Radiology of Middlesex Hospital, also trained by lead 3 Principles teachers

Cost:
$90 and $75 for second person, as long as tickets are purchased by Feb.8 —
This will be a great send off for a romantic, stress free, evening together! CEU’s have been applied for. An additional fee may apply for continuing ed. units.

Location:
Hartford Seminary (room 205)
77 Sherman Road, Hartford, CT.
* Please check on the seminar tab of 3Principlestherapy.com in the event of inclement weather, for an update on schedue.

We are really excited about this seminar, and know that you will gain a lot — all you have to do is show up! Please forward this to anyone you think would be interested. Space is limited so please purchase your tickets asap and definitely before Feb. 8 for the early bird discount.



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A Paradigm Shift for Mental Health

I feel so fortunate to have run across people who were teaching the Principles, way back in 1985 and to have met Sydney Banks while he was still alive. There is no question that Mr. Banks uncovered what would become a paradigm shift in the fields of psychology and psychiatry.

 “Someday someone will find principles for psychology and when they do, it will change the field to a philosophy and a science and in turn it will help millions of people.”

William James (sometimes called the father of psychology)

To think that we’re at the forefront of an amazing realization for humanity; to witness history in the making is incredible. One day it will be common knowledge and people will quite naturally live life from their spiritual essence as opposed to their personal ego; we’ll surely have a different world then.

Can you imagine the vast majority of humanity living from an understanding of their spiritual heritage, looking out at the world from deep within, from their true nature? If more people knew they were experiencing their own thinking, their own creation – they would know which thoughts and experiences to take seriously and which to just let  pass along on their way.

That is true mental health.

Of the three Principles, Thought is the creative Principle — it’s the principle that creates anything and everything. Consciousness is the principle that recognizes the creation and brings it to our awareness, and Mind is the power behind the whole show.

The Principles offer a deep, comprehensive understanding about how we operate. We can understand and explain the role of thought in moods, emotions and insecurity; what underlies differences between people, and why everyone thinks their perspective is the right one — to name but a few things an understanding of the Principles brings us.

Sharing the Principles with people is like giving them a baseline to understand how they experience life. When people have a baseline understanding of how they and their partner operate — it shifts everything. It shifts a person’s relationship to situations and circumstances to one of empowerment rather than victimization. To be able to look within and contemplate how we function as humans and to have even a rudimentary understanding of the Principles — helps people.

It’s a great privilege to witness an individual come up against their typical thinking and then come to the realization that a thought is not a fact; that thinking doesn’t make it so. As a therapist, I get to witness people transform their lives and their relationships just by understanding this one fact of life.

Recently, a young man came to my office for his second appointment, looking very dejected. He said, “My wife asked me for a divorce.” He came to the next session with his wife. She said, “I never said I wanted a divorce. I said, If I’m not giving you what you want, then maybe you should find someone who can.” She went on to say, “I really love this man; I want him to be happy and to have what he wants.”

People often “hear” through their personal thinking, which filters out what is actually being said . What is heard is not always what the speaker meant. The Principles show us the value of listening more deeply and beyond the mere words; to listen for the speaker’s meaning and the feeling that is being expressed. Generally, we are not taught to do that. As we grow up we learn to listen only to the words and then analyze what is being said according to our personal perspective. Children are actually more adept at hearing the true emotions behind the words, because the words have less meaning to them.

I could hear the wife’s frustration; thinking that she was incapable of satisfying him in the way he wanted her to and that just being herself was not enough for him. Listen beyond a person’s words, to what is really being felt emotionally. The Principles explain how personal thinking delivers separate realities; thus, it is important to ask questions rather than assume you know. The Principles explain what misunderstandings really are and why they happen.

  1. The three Principles provide a paradigm shift from trying to change what’s “wrong” with a person to realizing the wisdom and health within everyone.
  2. Seeing the inside-out nature of the Principles points both the client and the clinician to their spiritual nature where insights take place naturally.
  3. Positive change occurs spontaneously as a natural outcome of understanding how thought creates our moment-to-moment reality.
  4. Pointing in the direction of the inside-out nature of life offers hope to everyone, regardless of their situation and alleviates clinician burnout.
  5. The over-arching effect is a recognition of our spiritual nature as home base and that we have a built in guidance system — our feelings.
  6. All this from three simple Principles which truly are the basis of everything we encounter in life.

When people first hear about the Principles they often ask, “What do the three Principles have to do with well-being?” My answer is, “Everything!”

Since Mind, Thought and Consciousness work together to create our experience, when we experience well-being, it’s coming from the Principles in action, and when we experience difficulty, that’s coming from the Principles in action within us, as well — it’s so simple.

People in the general public who either haven’t heard of the Principles, or haven’t seen them deeply enough,  do not know that they have access to well-being, thinking it’s a fluke, that it is only felt when something good happens to them, which places them at the mercy of whatever happens in life that is out of their control.

While writing this blog, it occurred to me how interesting it is that people know what the word well-being means — which tells me that a person would have had to experience it to know that! Therefore, that makes it possible. Even if someone thinks they hadn’t experienced it in fifty years, they’d know what you were talking about. Everyone has moments of well-being even if just fleeting moments…the feeling of well-being comes through in the spaces between unsettling thoughts. It comes through even when difficult circumstances prevail, because there are always calm moments between thinking about the difficulty.

Well-being is a feeling to which we all can relate — when we use that word people agree that it is a feeling and know when they are in a state of well-being or panic or concern or worry — everyone has the capacity to differentiate — what allows people to do that?

The Principles allow people to know. Consciousness informs us of what we think, in combination they give us an experience we remember, via the Principles, and thus the experience is not only recognizable, but can be replicated, as well.

Elsie Spittle put it so well, in the description of her talk for our conference: “Let the Feeling Do the Work; innate wisdom expresses itself via a deep feeling of well-being. The feeling is a reflection of our true nature.”

Our true, spiritual nature exists before thought. We come into the world with no thought until we’re spanked to get oxygen to flow through our lungs, then we cry and then we rest peacefully; we’re all born with resiliency. That is how everyone enters the world of form from formless energy.

The prevalent thinking in the world right now however, is that one must find the thing or the person that will provide well-being, when in fact it is already a part of us and we are the ones who allow ourselves to have it or not — it’s always there for the taking. Isn’t that incredible? It’s always with us, but we just cover it up with our thinking. Well-being is our neutral but we’ll slam ourselves into reverse, into second, and third gears, without a care about what we’re doing to our internal mechanism. This may sound like a whacky metaphor, but really it’s a good description of how it feels to me when I’m not aware of the fact that my thinking is off on a tangent. Well-being is our birthright — regardless of what we can’t control — regardless of circumstances and situations.

Here is an example of what I mean: I’m enjoying myself, writing this blog and without realizing it at first, I start to scrunch up my bare toes. It feels strange to me, and then I recall that I broke a toe while playing ball barefoot on the lawn with my nieces. From there I begin to slip into memories of my broken wrist a few years ago and a thumb accident on a bike ride. Then slipping further down, I start to think about how I’m getting older — but at that moment I realize — oh my, I don’t have to go there! I don’t want to do that to myself — why beat myself up? Then boing – I’m back to a feeling of well-being again. We can wake up and become aware even in the middle of such a slippery slope.

We have a built in guidance system — our feelings, and all we need do is understand how that works. Our feelings (thoughts) let us know when we’re off course and about to slam into some thought rocks.

I am so very grateful to be involved with a spiritual understanding (Innate Health and the three Principles) that helps me, personally and professionally, in ways I could never have known. I wish the same for you, too. To deepen your understanding please visit:  www.3PGC.org as often as you can and read Elsie’s book, “Our True Identity.”

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Outsmarted by a chimp!

My apologies for the mailchimp mailing that was somehow triggered yesterday morning! I’ll have to consult with my web administrator to find out how it happened… Technology – a learning curve I will always be on!

I will take this opportunity to let you know what’s been happening here — since it’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog for you – I will send one very soon – maybe even in the next day or two. It’s called: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Which is an appropriate phrase to also explain why I’ve not been writing blogs for awhile – I’ve been working on my book which is using up all the keystrokes I can muster up! We’re about 1/4 finished with our (Chris Heath and me) Then we’ll send it to a professional editor. An unexpected gift — I’m finding more insights about the Principles by writing about them! In case you’ve ever thought of writing a blog, Judy Sedgeman recently offered a webinar about writing blogs that was excellent. It can be found on www.3PGC.org.

I look forward to sending my next blog to you soon. Please leave comments for me at the bottom or contact me directly by phone or email, if you wish.

Hope you’re enjoying this magnificent weather we’ve been having!

Lori

 

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The Simplicity of Creating a Healthy Relationship,

If Only People Knew!

I’ve missed blogging to you on a regular basis, but I truly did not realize how much time it would take to write an eBook.

My co-author, Chris Heath, and I have received an unexpected amount of support for what I had originally envisioned would be just a small project. The good news is that we’re getting wonderful stories from 3 Principle teachers, around the globe, whose relationships grew in ways they never would have imagined before they learned about the Principles that are at the heart of all human experiences. Hearing or reading about others’ stories is a great way to gain insights that will assist your own relationships.

It occurred to me today, that I can still keep in touch with you this way — and let you know how the book is coming along, without having to wait until I have time to return to regular blog writing. Know that you will receive the eBook, free, for having signed up here,  it’s just going to take longer than I expected, to complete.

These are a few notes that came to me the other day — which may or may not be included in the book, but I thought I’d leave you with now…

At times, a person has said to me —
“Yes, I live in the moment. I believe in that too.” That person might then ask a question such as, “What about when an issue needs to be dealt with and resolved?” To which I might reply: “Interesting, how does that seem like living in the moment to you?”

The truth is — there is nothing to deal with when you’re in the moment — you’re just there taking care of whatever life presents and it always works out better if you can “deal” with whatever is being presented in a clear mind with pure wisdom in that moment.

When it comes to relationships, learning from the past is a misnomer. If we’re “learning from the past” then we may not be as aware of the nuances that are happening in the now, to where we have evolved. We’d just be stuck in our memory and our conditioned thinking missing out on insights, from a deeper wisdom, that will lead to a better experience in the now.

Wisdom, uncontaminated by personal or conditioned thinking, tells us how to take care of things in the moment. Sometimes our wisdom may say it’s best to just stay quiet and listen. Sometimes our wisdom might tell us, h/she needs reassurance or some sort of comfort but may be too upset to accept that right now, in which case you might just say, “I’d very much like to comfort you right now but I’m not sure that’s what you are wanting….” Your compassion will come through and that is very powerful. Your partner may not stop railing, but it will calm things down a notch and you can just hang back and listen quietly, for there’s always something to be learned from what the other is expressing.

I’d love to hear your comments and whether or not this is the sort of thing you’d like to see in our book on relationships.

I’d also love to hear your response to the following working titles, and if you have a favorite or if you come up with something else that would illustrate the same idea, please let me know.

The Simplicity of Creating a Healthy Relationship,
If Only People Knew!

Simple Truths Behind Healthy Relationships

Simple Truths Behind Rewarding Relationships…

Simple Facts That Create Healthy Relationships

And last, but definitely not least — please consider joining us at the annual conference in MN. in September 5-8! www.3principlesconference.eventbrite.com

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Could The Newtown Shooting Have Been Prevented?

Thoughts of the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut come to mind every time I see a young child. The event happened on a Friday, and I cried every time I saw a child throughout the weekend. I felt sluggish, duped, hopeless, extraordinarily sad, angry, unmotivated, and at times as though I just did not want to do a thing. I could care less. Mail started to pile up, because I was choosing to do what I wanted to do, I did not want to reward a world capable of this by doing anything it seemed to demand of me. A world capable of creating such monstrous events— no thank you!

I realized that my own thoughts were delivering my experience of anger and hopelessness; knowing that helped a great deal.

Newtown, CT massacre - how to regain our own mental health

Photo by Bill Canfield

There has been no natural disaster, no war, no other slaughter that has affected me like this one. Maybe partially because it happened so close to my home, but mostly because I know it had to do with the human thought process so I know it could have been prevented if more people understood how it works.

There is talk of the need for security guards in every school now; for armed principals, for bullet proof glass doors and windows, for lock-downs and closer restrictions on who can purchase guns and of course getting assault weapons out of the hands of ordinary citizens whose minds can crack at any moment. All external fixes for an internal occurrence. No one is talking about the thinking that goes on behind the scenes of any action; good, bad, or horrific. No action can take place without a motivating thought. Whatever thoughts are on a person’s mind creates the state of mind in which they live in. States of mind are created by the quality of thinking within the individual.

I can not fathom the state of mind the shooter would have to be in to bring about such a horrific outcome. It would have been awful enough if he had chosen a nursing home with people at the end of their life, but to target a first grade class; it’s unthinkable. If Alfred Hitchcock or Steven Spielberg had even come up with that idea for a movie, they would have squelched it because it would be too awful for their audiences. Too horrible even for a movie, but yet it can happen in real life.

Of course there is renewed consideration of gun control laws; but even beyond that we must work at getting everyone to know, at an early age, that horrible thoughts will come to their mind from time to time, and they alone will choose whether to act on them or not. Horrible thoughts don’t kill or harm, but actions do. Every person has the ability to choose wisely, but first they have to know it is possible for them to choose wisely.

Anne Curry, of NBC news, used her ability to create something very touching in response to the loss of innocent young lives:

It was through the same ability to think, that Adam Lanza created an atrocity. We have the freewill to choose how we use our ability to think and it’s built into every one of us to choose wisely as long as we know that is the case.

We have the resources and the people, available, to teach others about their thinking  – that they have the power to choose wisely in every moment of life. They have the power to discern. It’s so simple and obvious when you hear it. We have the ability to recognize the feeling that tells us when we are off course. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes that. There has never been a better explanation that is so simple to see and understand, than the three principles of Mind, Thought and Consciousness. If only the shooter had known, this horrific outcome could have been avoided.

If the adults who knew Adam had listened to what he was really saying, they would have recognized the signs, and not have passed off his statements as “prepubescent ideas.” Talk about “blowing things up,” does not come from a high state of mind. It would have been so simple to spot if the adults had been taught to listen to the person speaking, and for the feeling beyond their words, and not just their own ideas and assumptions.

We enjoy the benefits of living in a free-will society, and of course we should, but no one learns the responsibility that goes along with the gift of freedom. We live in a culture filled with anger, hatred and violence but we don’t have to accept it as fact or as anything we want to spend our precious time on. Yet how many really know they have this choice? How many know that we can choose to feel bad and keep our minds going in the most unpleasant direction, or we can switch gears and turn in the other direction? We’re blessed with flexible minds. How many know that?

To think that this mass murder of children, at the beginning of their lives, could have been avoided, had they known how the three principles work within everyone. It’s so simple and easy to share and show others. Maybe now people will start paying attention to what comes first, what comes before the ability to have or use guns, before the creation of bullet-proof windows and the idea to hire security guards. It is the ability to create all of that, as well as symphonies, slaughters, and everything else under the sun. When will the world look in the direction toward which it all begins – the power to create within our own individual minds where we can pick and choose what creations which to pay attention.

Someday, another potentially disturbing event will be prevented because the potential perpetrator will have come to understand the relationship between his ability to think and his feelings and know not to take his negative thoughts and feelings seriously and thus, not to act on them. S/he’ll know to let it go or talk to someone about the horrible thoughts that s/he is having trouble letting go. The mother of a child who is suffering from his/her thinking would know how powerful thought is and would know that best way to protect her child is to do whatever it takes to monitor his/her thoughts and utilize whatever assistance she can obtain. She would know the danger in trying to handle it alone.

The best prevention is spreading the understanding that is available for everyone, about how their own thinking creates their life experiences, in every moment.

 

This is an excellent blog from my friend and colleague, Jack Pransky, Ph.D. on the School Shooting:

http://healthrealize.com/one-more-tragedy-of-the-newtown-tragedy/

Please RSVP – if you would like to be part of a support group to talk about how this has affected you. I’m offering this opportunity at no cost because I know it can be very helpful to talk it out and to foster each other’s mental health and resilience.

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How to keep up with technology and not lose your mind in the process…

The world seems to be changing at warp speed, to me; does it to you, too? I wonder when I turned into my mother.

Photo by Bill Canfield

Hunkered down at home on a Monday due to storm cancellations, I thought it a good time to take care of the personal business that I put off as long as possible — checking credit card statements, emails, movie reviews, and frequent flier mile questions. Things that have no urgency or deadline attached yet have the power to drive a person crazy when tackled in between two things that do have a deadline or urgency, real or imagined.

Is it really the thing that has that power?

Or is it our ability to think, that has the power? In fact, our ability to think has to be powered by the same life force that powers our heart and lungs. Our ability to think is accompanied by the free will to think anything! I learned this from Sydney Banks, who, in 1973, discovered that we all operate from three Principles: Divine Mind, Thought and Consciousness, which taken together give us an experience of our lives every second we are alive. Divine Mind refers to the power behind everything including the human ability to think. Consciousness refers to the fact that we are always conscious of what we think, it makes what we think appear as though it is the one reality. Thought refers to the ability to think anything. From this knowledge came my awareness that I could think about (reflect on) whatever I choose and I don’t have to believe any of it since I’m the one making it up.

I exercised this ability and decided to settle in and enjoy the process of taking care of the mundane things we all have to keep on top of in life.
I made my way down the list, letting out a sigh of relief with each check mark as though I had just won an Olympian award for most organized or best checker offer. Accomplishment can be such a thrill. I’m happy to have made up that game with myself, it elevates the mundane to a higher power. Why not? It feels better to do things that way and makes the mundane more pleasant.

It seems to me that we’ve been given the ability to be selfish (which is nothing more than thinking selfish thoughts and believing them, or not) — why not put that ability to good use? I used to think it was selfish to look for ways to take care of myself. I would have put finding a calm state of mind in that category thinking that the only person it would benefit would be me and then I’d get less done. Or so I thought.

First, It’s better for everyone involved when we look at things from the vantage point of a calm mind. Did it have to take a storm to see that? Not only does it not take time to be calm, it’s also good for everyone with whom I come into contact!

Let’s have a closer look…

Since when does being calm take time?

That sounds so funny to me now — I realized that it’s something I thought that I was unaware of thinking. It’s because of the Principles at play within us, that made it look real to me. I actually believed that I needed time to calm my mind — now that’s quite an idea to entertain. I reflected on the consequences of believing in such drivel.

When having to deal with customer support, I would get a thought about how annoying that’s going to be so I’d put it off, like I would if I were a kid having to clean her room or brush her teeth. Why do I think it has to be a bad experience?

All the things I put off until I THINK I’ll have time for them!

I realized that I made that up. It doesn’t have to be that way! By putting things off, the pile would only get higher and then I’d have a bunch of anxious thoughts about what needed to get done that I wasn’t doing. I would never consider if my state of mind was calm and if not, just go to a calm mind, and pick up the phone. In a calm mind, it was easy to make the choice to enjoy my time with customer service. Why not?

This insight came to me as I hung up the phone with an AT&T technician in Kentucky, named Samantha.We had a lovely time joking about how we all need a college degree in “Satellite Internet/TV remotely controlled interchange/exchange,” and a minor in cyber phonics —  we laughed; the whole thing was a pleasant exchange.

New technology can connect phone lines to TV and probably other mobile devices as well. I enjoyed moving through all the internet windows, with Samantha’s guidance, to find the page that showed me my incoming calls because the number I thought I heard on my voice mail was not a working number.

Since you can’t leave breadcrumbs on the internet, I had no idea how I would ever be able to retrace those steps without an AT&T technician on the other end of a phone line. I couldn’t help but wonder how long it took Samantha to learn all that.

I complimented her on her skills to which she told me a story about an ER Surgeon who was similarly amazed that he could do what he does by day and be completely stumped at night by a TV and a remote controller.

I commented that we all need one another and as our society becomes ever more complicated, we need one another even more. There is no individual human brain that can do it all. Even Einstein would probably need some technical assistance in today’s world.

Complicated societies require the expertise of many people. New jobs will have to be created for all the new details of modern day life. That remark seemed like a no-brain er to Samantha and me, yet a roomful of politicians may not draw the same conclusion. I wish I had asked her how long it took to learn her job and what her salary was and what her age was, but that would not be socially acceptable — or would it? In future generations perhaps it will. I chose to stick with my conditioned viewpoint that those questions would not be socially acceptable and I didn’t want Samantha to think I was prying.

She also led me through a series of steps that began at the Start button, cascaded to Control Panel and then to Internet Networking — behind that door lays the answer to the question: How many bars do you have? I know I’m being a bit glib right now since most people are quite familiar with this and in fact if I keep going you’ll know my age — or at least within 5 years of my age. I know a little but not nearly enough to keep up with the pace of technology today.

A friend warned me a couple of years ago, saying, “you’d better keep up with technology or you’ll be a dinosaur like the older CEO’s who refuse to learn as though they are better than that, and are meanwhile being replaced by their younger, tech savvy, employees.” The world has changed at warp speed; we can fight it, grin and bare it, or embrace it — the choice is ours to make. We have the free will to think anything we want.

We joked about how we can be on hold for 1/2 an hour and once someone actually picks up we’re then led through a maze, trying to figure out how to word the question, never mind figure out what the answer means.

Samantha told a story about an 80-year-old woman she tried to guide through a series of steps and the degree of patience it required because the woman could barely get beyond turning the thing to the ON position. Heavens, where will the world be when I turn 80? I had better keep up, or at the very least stay friendly with the Samantha’s of the world — they rule!

I wrote down Sam’s info so I could give her a good review for her calm effort with me.
Samantha  SL486N

 

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Escape Reality

Bill Canfield Photo

 

What exactly does it mean to escape reality? I’ve heard those words bandied about with some frequency. People go to movies, shop, drink, and get high to “escape reality.”

No one who uses a fix to escape can possibly know that the reality they so desperately seek to avoid was self-created. We create our own reality in every moment throughout our lives, whether we’re aware of it or not. If we can think, then we’re creating a reality within our own minds. There is not one reality; there are as many personal realities as there are people on the planet.

Even when we’re looking out at a landscape, one could argue—-well that’s not in my mind, that’s out there; everyone can see it. Yes, it may be out there but if two people were standing on either side of you they would each see something different, or differently. One might not even notice the scene because s/he was so absorbed in some other thought.

One crisp fall day, I remember commenting to someone about the beauty of multi-colored foliage. Her response was, “Oh I hate fall, it reminds me of death, all these leaves will soon die.” Now that’s two very different realities, side by side, taking in the same scene, “out there.”

Whatever we notice “out there” will always be imbued with our thoughts about it. What we see can appear as though we’re wearing rose-colored glasses, or gray tinted ones. What most people do not know is that the mind will clear, whether the thoughts are rosy or gray, and things will look different again, and again. We never know how things will look in the next moment.

A shift in our thinking is natural. We call them moods. High quality thoughts put you in a high quality mood. Low quality thoughts put you in a low mood. It’s really that simple. I’m not suggesting that you conjure up some positive thoughts – consciousness does not bring forced thoughts to life the way it brings our “out of the blue” thoughts to life.

Armed with the knowledge that thought and consciousness bring us a particular state of mind, our ignorance is removed. Armed with this knowledge we can navigate our lives with more grace and ease. We may still be bumped around a bit, but we won’t get smashed as we would if life came hurling at us.

Imagine being in the middle of a mental storm, simultaneously knowing that it’s a temporary condition and that we can simply observe it without acting on it. Somehow, these emotional storms pass a lot more quickly when we recognize them for what they are; momentary personal takes on reality. None of us has the absolute truth about any view of reality.

A friend of mine experienced excruciating pain a few weeks ago during an attack of a virus. He thought he had food poisoning. Later, after the pain had subsided, he admitted that if there had been a window up high, he might have jumped out of it to avoid that horrific pain. A few days later he wondered how many people had actually gone ahead and taken their lives during moments of physical or emotional pain, whereas if they had just waited it out, they would have felt better and been grateful not to have taken the contemplated leap.

What a difference a thought can make.

People who have gained a deep enough understanding (it only takes exploring the many ways available now) have seen how to access beautiful feelings beneath their thinking. This is available to everyone. It requires letting our negative thoughts pass through, unattended. That’s the best way to escape “reality.” It’s natural and totally harmless. Then nice feelings rise to the surface; where people are at their best. Higher-level characteristics automatically spring forth. People then find they are more creative, more patient, more compassionate, and more generous, not because they decided to be but because these are the characteristics fostered in pleasant states of mind. It’s a natural outcome. No technique, practice, or drive is required.

Think of this as a public service announcement and spread it to others. It’s knowledge we can all stand to know. For those who would like more information regarding the workings of thought and consciousness, click here. 

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