It started with a game

Louise Storey“Isn’t it funny you don’t realise what you have until you don’t have it anymore? Usually we mean this to be something we’ve lost that we treasure. In this case losing something has been the best thing that has happened to me and my family. Let me explain…”

As a teenager I remember feeling self conscious, lonely and depressed once or twice to the point of wanting to end my life. I didn’t even know what depression was then, the label came a few years later and I self diagnosed myself. I didn’t talk to anyone about my feelings, I just sat in my room, thinking and thinking and imagining how life was so different for me than everyone else. I learned to put on a good front / mask.

Anyway swipe through to a few years later, I didn’t do bad at all in my life I have a wonderful loving, caring, understanding husband of 12 years, I have 2 beautiful children and loving parents. I also had a well paid job that I loved and was good at.

However, I still had self doubt, I cared a lot what others thought and I lived my life and made decisions based on outside influences such as friends, family, adverts, society etc etc…I thought this was just the way life was….there was however, something constant in my life though, episodes of depression, sometimes they’d camp out for one or two days and other times they really move in and stayed for longer and dragged me down deeper. I coped though, tablets sometimes, acupuncture, reading all about it, drinking, diet changes etc etc

I got through some pretty traumatic times and was quite grateful for getting through 3 IVF rounds, split from my husband for 6 months, 24 week premature baby and then the diagnosis of my eldest child on the autism spectrum, without ending up in a straight jacket.

I went back to a full-time full on IT travelling job when my children were still young and hired childcare. I loved the freedom that my job was giving me and I spent 1 year putting my all into getting up and running after being 6 years out of corporate life.

What I wasn’t focussing on though was the beauty of my children growing up in front of me. I thought that having more money and being a corporate working Mum was who I needed to be to have what everyone was saying “my identity”.
What I wasn’t focussing on was the wonderful husband (and parents) who were so patient with the stresses and strains of managing both our travel plans, jobs around the house at the weekend, the commitments of parenting (grandparenting) plus the biggest thing of all a constantly stressed out out wife / daughter.

So supposedly I “had it all”. So why then did I feel so unhappy most of the time? ….

I remember very clearly the day before I was going to go on holiday I was in a meeting in work and all the insecurities that I had about being back at work and who I was started to descend on me. I was shaking, I had thoughts about how rubbish I was at my job, I couldn’t do it, I was a fraud etc. I could hardly function in the meeting. I made a decision that made me feel better in that moment, I was going to hand my notice in when I got back from my holiday.

I read Jamie Smart’s Clarity book on holiday.

Something got my attention, but I really have no recollection what. I don;t think the words “three principles” or “Syd banks” even popped out as relevant to me at the time.

I played a bit with some of the ideas while I was still on holiday, giving people my full attention when they spoke to me for example…sounds simple doesn’t it? It was fun and I enjoyed trying out this new game.

So I went back to work and I thought I had nothing to loose as I was going to hand my notice in anyway, I tried out some things from the book, listening mainly with nothing on my mind… although back then I don’t think I really knew what that mean’t.

Almost instantly in a few days, I hadn’t got the insecure thoughts I’d had before the holiday, I just couldn’t imagine them anymore, I became curious about some other areas in the book, tried them out and saw more changes at work. Still a game.

Fast forward to the end of that year, I had gone from an average performer to a top performer at work and winning two awards – one of which was for innovation. I had never won an award in my life!

This really was interesting…so I read more books about something Jamie mentions in his book Three Principles and a welder from Scotland called Syd Banks…well living life started right there…

Its been nearly 20 months since I first read that book and I have been through such an amazing journey of learning and it still continues.

During a 6 month period I started to question why I was working in a full-time full on job. I would wake and have different thoughts everyday. One day I’d wake and I knew I loved my job, it was good money and I had got where I was with hard work, so I shouldn’t leave, then on the other days I’d wake with a pure longing to be with my children, and then as time went on I just knew it was the right time and place to be at home with my children and I’d just have to look for work around the childrens’ school hours. One fear I had at the time was would I have regrets if I left? I was frightened of regretful feelings, would I be able to cope being at home? Now I see what those fears were.

Finally I knew I could trust my wisdom fully and I realised I had to leave, so I handed my notice in. My company offered me all kinds of working hours and workarounds to keep a valuable employee, things I never would have ever dreamt of asking for in the first place. I stayed for another 6 months working around the needs of the children and still doing my job with less stress and doing more productive work than ever……and then one day I just knew it didn’t make sense anymore.

I have just had the most magical beautiful Summer with my family. No regrets about leaving work, very happy and content in all areas of my life.

Having spent time on Jamies’ year long practitioner course, deepening my understanding of the 3 principles, has truly had a transformative effect on my life and the people around me.

I knew from the beginning that “I was living in the feeling of my thinking of thought taking form in the moment” all the way through I knew this to some degree, but I kept getting caught up and sometimes even questioning whether it might be different in this situation.

Now I absolutely know that it works that way 100% of the time with no exceptions, yes there are times when I still get get caught out, but for me the more I trusted and “tested” situations out and saw that it was always that way, the implications on life have been enormous.

So going back to my opening line… what don’t I have anymore thats made me realise what I had?
I had a misunderstanding about how our reality gets created.

Taking away this misunderstanding allows me to constantly see the pain and unnecessary feelings that I once had and that people around me have.

Equally it enables me to see the beauty of the world around me, like family, nature and friendships, all my senses are alive to the world and allowing me to experience a richer world. The implications of this is slowing down, being present with loved ones.

We all love “How to’s”….but there really is no shelving problems, there is no shoving things under the carpet, there is no thought changing method, all there is to do is to understand how our thoughts create our feelings and reality in the moment.

Emotions, memories, beliefs… all thoughts in the moment. The only thing that can happen when you see this misunderstanding is the feeling and thoughts dissolve away or you have the choice to take no notice. It just doesn’t make sense any more.

Sometimes I forget the game and thats when I get hood winked into thinking that something other than my thinking is causing me stress, fear, pain, I have too much investment on an end result, that I don’t trust the inbuilt guidance system we have. That guidance system is what got me through teenage years, IVF, Premature baby stages, I am here safely DESPITE my misunderstanidng.

The misunderstanding

As a teenager I had no idea that all the thoughts I created about my self image, self loathing, what other people were saying about me, the lonely feelings were all created by me, not other people not teachers not my parents, not my body, my clumsy sociable ways. All thoughts created by me…never questioned, and yes a good downing of alcohol cured it all for a while.

“I had it all” – what did that mean? Who’s beliefs were they? Media / friends / society? If so why did I did still feel pain? Again never questioned any of this, why would I?

The traumas – how did I manage to show up everyday when I thought my little baby was going to die at the hospital? Even at that time I knew something was carrying me through.

I even thought it was Jamie’s book that gave me the good feelings and thoughts, I was caught again. Some people might read Jamie’s book and not see it. Some do and it takes longer, some immediately… without trying out “having nothing on my mind” I might never have seen it, through the judgement and beliefs I had about myself and the world.

Work, I truly and honestly thought that going to work would make me feel happy and give me my identity back.

I felt happy when I was working …..BUT it wasn’t the job that was making me happy. Remember at the beginning I wasn’t happy? I was insecure. Then my state of mind and thinking about the job changed as I understood more…more clarity mean’t I had the ability to enjoy the job, but the job was still the same, the people were still the same. For me I was playing the game well, but then I realised I was playing the wrong game.

I thought that giving up my job and being with the children would make me happy. That situation had nothing to do with it. I was able to trust my wisdom that it was the right thing to do at this moment in time. Following wisdom meant the decision came with no regrets or guilt.

Why am I telling you this?

So why am I sharing this information?

From someone who was not looking for herself, thought she had it all in life and thats as good as it got and had to live with painful feelings and thoughts, who doesn’t come from a formal coaching, mentoring or teaching background. I know from living through all my experiences in life with the misunderstanding, I can now see what caused me so much unnecessary pain.

I now know my job in life is to share this with others, to ease their suffering and pain.

I am no longer an alcoholic

Sally Wyse shares her story of transformation. She had an addiction to alcohol for years and lost her job, friends and family because of it. Through insight on hearing about the Three Principles, she has turned that around and is no longer an alcoholic. Listen to Sally as she shares candidly.


Excerpt from the Telesummit 2014 with Dr Bill Pettit and Sue Pankiewicz

Dr Bill Pettit

Bill Pettit: I headed up an adolescent unit in a state hospital in North-West Iowa for just under two years, and it was a 30 bed unit with ages eight to 18 – it had 12 female beds and 18 male beds. And you have to burn some bridges you know, in order to get into the state hospital system. But I agree totally with you (Sue) that we’re much more alike than we are separate and what really hit me which I knew already, is the saying, “People do not care what you know, until they know that you care.” If that’s true of everybody, which I think it is, it’s especially true of adolescents. They’ve had so many people innocently telling them what to do and which way they should look and putting all kinds of directives and shoulds, on them, and it hasn’t worked out very well, and so to have somebody who truly cares and also sees the health in them – they’re more than open to that, they really want that.

I think you brought up a great point about the difference between, it’s a huge point, you saw the difference between the way you were with your daughter at the beginning and the way you were with the young people that you worked with. And we so easily have been told, or bought into that being invested in the outcome is part of caring and it’s not.  And I think when we get invested – you know you were obviously at some level much more invested in the outcome with your daughter and your wisdom guided you to see that that was getting in the way for the love that you have for her. Am I saying that correctly?

Sue Pankiewicz: Yes, absolutely.

Bill Pettit: Whereas with the other young people that you worked with, it doesn’t mean that you didn’t care deeply for them but you were able to not be invested. I’ve had a number of patients tell me, less so as the years have gone by, I think because I’ve become less invested in the outcomes. And that sounds funny, I’ve had a number of patients years ago say, “The day that you quit being invested in me getting better, allowed me to get better… because your ego was no longer tied up in whether I got better or not. You weren’t going to see yourself as a failure or as a great psychiatrist because I got better or didn’t. You were just present, giving the love and sharing the Principles as deeply as you could, and you trusted that whatever would happen from that would be enough, whether it was today, whether it was six months from now or whether it was a year from now.”

And I literally had a patient one time, who, when I left Florida in 1990 and went to the state hospital where I was supposed to have a Three Principles program that the funding got cut from in 1990, but about a year or 14 months after I left, (she had been badly injured in an accident, had chronic back pain and severe depression), about 14 months after I left Florida, she woke up one morning and she had a very profound insight about the Principles. And she circled the date on the calendar and waited one full year before she wrote me a letter because she wanted to make sure that it was real (chuckling) – isn’t that something? I mean, it happened 14 months after I left and then she waited a year and she wrote me this wonderful letter which I have, this wonderful four or five page thing and it’s in poetry and she talks about her short trips to hell. Even now, with her thinking, she’ll take a short trip but it is a short trip. When she starts feeling the heat she turns back around! (SM & SP chuckling in background) And goes back home, you know. And I thought that was very powerful, the point being, to the degree that we trust Mind, and we trust the innate health in people and that spark of divinity, then we no longer have to be invested in the outcome. We just give what we have as purely and as lovingly as we can and it takes the burden off. It frees up the joy of sharing. Because there isn’t the burden of expectation.

Sue PankiewiczSue Pankiewicz: It’s essentially impossible to find that joy if you’re looking for it… you know, when you start looking for it, you’ve already got an idea of what it will be like and then you start thinking, “well what’s getting in the way?” and you start working on that. Well, the minute you step back *boing*! (Bill chuckling) And you know I laugh – I just think back now and have even more thoughts coming about – I just kept thinking I was the one with the knowledge, I was the one with the wisdom, I was the one that could direct this recovery, and you know, I was pretty… I think to myself, “what tolerance she had of this woman, this mother, who would come along and say all this stuff to her!” Literally I couldn’t hear her, but she said to me one day – we were joking and I was apologizing because the last time I had seen her, I had been very critical about something, I can’t remember what it was, and I said, “Oh I’m just so sorry. I never want to say anything critical, I want to come along and just be have a lovely time.” And she said, “Mum, it’s alright, I just put it into a joke, I just say to myself, “mothers make the worst guests because they’re the ones who’ll tell you what they really think.” So she turned it round in her wisdom to say, “It’s not personal, it’s my Mum! She’s doing the best she can.” You know, I’m kind of awed by that because it strips me back, it shuts me up, it knocks me down to being who I really am below all this nonsense about, you know, initially the “failed parent,” the shame of it… you know, maybe it takes a while for us to be able to see all that absolute nonsense that we’ve been carrying around that looked really true and real.

European Tour III: Day 26 – Not listening

Day 26, Thursday, July 16, 2015

This morning I had to catch up on a number of very backed-up emails, and to finally get around to re-editing the next important journal article Tom Kelley, Eric Lambert and I wrote, after its critique by the peer reviewers. This one is for the journal, Spirituality in Mental Health, and compares our findings of 88% of those with Three Principles understanding reporting “flourishing mental health” to Keyes’s findings of only 18% in the general population. But these articles have been so much work and have taken up so much time! I’m not writing another one until we have the data for a control group study, which we need badly to finally be taken seriously by the psychological establishment. I also keep getting wonderful comments and appreciation from those who have now read the Paradigm Shift 3P history book.

Then I took a walk around a fairly nice park here in Bucharest. My legs are really hurting from that steep mountain hike and I need a leg massage bad! Then back to the park to have lunch with Oana. Then a much-needed nap—didn’t sleep very well on this very soft hotel bed last night.

And then it was time for my first session in Romania—on relationships. Unlike in Moscow, very few people showed up. Unlike Greece, I didn’t feel like talking about what happened with my relationship with Amy—amazingly, I haven’t even been thinking about it that much anymore (that will very likely change when I get back to Vermont, then Florida).

But with this small group I demonstrated what not to do in a seminar. I had it in my mind to talk about myths we have that keep relationships less healthy than they could be. I had come up with six of them and wrote them down on a flipchart beforehand. But it was not really appropriate for me to run down these myths for this very small group. My mistake was going through with my original plan and not deep listening to the group. I thought we recovered about halfway through the two hours and did end up with a pretty good feeling, but there was a lesson in that.

And we’re scheduled to have an even tinier group—only three paying customers, plus three organizers—for a day and a half over the weekend. Okay, have to put my thinking aside for that one!

The post European Tour III: Day 26 – Not listening appeared first on Center for Inside-Out Understanding.

Excerpt from Telesummit 2014 Kyra’s Story by Peter Anderson

Peter-AndersonThere’s a film that we’ve just published fairly recently, this Summer, called “Kyra’s Story.” It’s on the Three Principles Movies website. And when you see Kyra, she looks an absolutely delightful child, and she absolutely is. But her mum phoned me to say… and this was at the last school that I was working at, and her mum phoned me to say, “Look I think she’s turning into a psychopath here and can I get some child and adult mental health involvement.”

And I said, “Well, that takes ages. Why don’t you come in and talk to me for a bit, and let me just talk to you about this understanding.”

So mum was quite interested and then Kyra came in and started talking to me and she was a very insightful little girl. I mean this was a little girl that was using foul language to other children; she was hitting out at other children; we were getting lots of complaints on a daily basis from other children and their parents.

And yet there’s a little girl sitting there, 9 years old, saying to me, “Well look, I know I’m being horrible to people but I go home and I think, “Oh I’m going to be different.” And then I come in the next morning and everybody treats me the same and I get really angry.”

So we started talking about our thoughts and our feelings and this little girl just perked up and you saw her just come alive. And we used a little snow globe which I had in the office, and she sort of shook that up and I’m saying to her, “You know what, that’s a bit like our thinking really, that when we get all agitated and we get cross, it’s like you’re shaking that snow globe and it’s really, really absolutely thick with the snow in it. And yet you stand the snow globe down, and you just sit back for a little while, and it all settles, and you get some clarity.”

And she loved that and hooked onto that and so that whole sense of, if she could let things calm down a little, then she would get greater clarity about what to do and how to be. And it changed things for her absolutely dramatically, and she became then a very popular child in the school. And yet she actually was the bully. I mean there’s several people said that in the film but her mum felt quite uncomfortable, this was in one of the first cuts of it, and so mum asked us to remove it. And we said, you know, we’d remove anything she didn’t feel comfortable with and that we wanted to use this as a story that might be helpful to others. So that bit got taken out but that was what she was being called. And yet that changed things for her and she’s become a really helpful child; she’s helping others; now she’s sharing the understanding with other children. And I think, just going back to the last bit that Ami said about starting small – even as small as that, that can start to make a huge difference within that school community.

Peter Anderson

Excerpt from Telesummit 2014 by Dave Nichols

daveWe had one session at the school with parents. And this is just an hour and a half session one evening and after we had a nice meal. And about an hour into the session, this one woman just kind of made a side comment, or side gesture really, and it was like “Wow!” And of course we all kind of stopped and looked at her and asked her, “What was the thought that came across your mind just then?”

And she said, “I just realized something – I just realized that my child can have a bad day just like me.”

And for that person to have understood that it wasn’t her responsibility to make her child have a good day; that it wasn’t her responsibility to train the child or to enforce a process for her to live better and enjoy life; that it was ok for her four year old daughter to just have a bad day, and all she needed to do was just love her. And that was so transformative for everyone in the room to see that.

Well, the end result of that sort of story was that within about two months, that woman volunteered and became the President of the PTA. And when she did that, she became the first parent in the school to become President of the PTA.

The school is 100% free and reduced lunch, which is a way of saying, in the States here anyway, that all of the families who have children in that school are living in basic level of poverty; that they actually qualify for assistance for food that they can get at the school. So very few parents would even come to a PTA meeting, let alone see the value of participating in the school. But for her to first see that her child could have a bad day and have that translate into, “I can not only love my child, I can love the teachers, and the school, and the other children, and share what I can with them,” – that was a huge transformation.

So it can happen in any minute, any time, any day, but those are just a couple of examples from my experience that I think are telling for how quickly the Principles can be transformative. As Syd said, “We’re always just one thought away.”


The Effects of Anger by Bryan Ryan

bryan photoI had a client last year, a woman in her 50’s who lived in the rough inner city. She was the “salt of the earth” kind of person, who lived with a lot of anger in her life. Her 16 yr old daughter was wild, and the two of them would have countless arguments between them. She also had Crohn’s disease which was flaring up quite a lot as well.

The meeting with me was probably the first time she was able to sit down and have any kind of a peaceful conversation with anyone. Now this lady is smart, street smart, she needed to be to get by from day to day.

Within about 30 minutes of talking together I had the opportunity of teaching her in very simple terms how thought works, that every feeling of anger that she was experiencing was simply created by her own thoughts, that she was in fact making these thoughts up, just like a Hollywood producer makes up a movie from the vivid imagination of their own mind.

And she saw it, very quickly. The affect was instantaneous, it’s as if all of a sudden the weight of the world had been lifted off her shoulders, and she knew that she was going to be ok from that moment on.

When she came back to see me a week later, she told me that her relationship with her daughter had improved dramatically, because she herself, had been a lot calmer during the week. Her neighbour commented that she heard her singing in the morning, and wondered what was up.

She only needed to see me one more session, as so much had changed in her life for the better. On top of that she said that the wrinkles on her forehead had disappeared, as well as the swelling in her ankles. Her Crohn’s disease also did not flare up anything like before.

The effect of a calm mind has huge implications for the health of the body. Our bodies are made up of about 50 trillion cells, and each cell is being turned on and off by the chemistry in the blood. Since the chemistry of the blood is changed moment to moment by our thinking, so our thinking is directly causing cells to turn on and off. Stressful thinking is turning good cells off and bad cells on.

And after a matter of only about one half hour of negative thinking this has changed the physical body itself. The word “disease” is lack of “ease”.

The trick is to marinate in the sweet spot of calmness, as much as possible, as that’s where all the goodies are, and that’s it in a nutshell.

Bryan Ryan (Mental Health Educator)

An Explanation of the Obsessive Behavior of a Teenager

An excerpt from the “Bullying” session of the Telesummit 2015

So when I’m talking to kids I generally don’t mention the words Mind, Consciousness and Thought because it sounds too formal and academic to them. And I can just give you one brief example, maybe it would be helpful: that years ago when I was first in West Virginia, a friend of one of the people that worked with me was a health teacher in a high school and she asked me to come and talk to her classes because her friend had started coming to our courses and really liked the whole idea and thought it would help kids. So I went to this class… I went to this day at the high school and the health teacher was telling me, “oh you know, the first four classes are really great – they’re my good kids – and they’ll really like what you have to say and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. But,” she said, “the last period, fifth period, those are the emotionally troubled kids and they’re my problem kids and they don’t listen and they’re really hard to teach and it’s the end of the day and you don’t have to stay for that.” So of course I couldn’t wait for that one! (laughing) because that was going to be the true test of whether I could reach these kids who really needed that help.

So she was right, the first four periods, everybody was… they were good little students – they came in and they listened and they got their note books out and they had questions and they were fine. And then the bell rang for the last period, and I noticed two things – one is, the teacher changed completely as soon as that bell rang. She got really tense and instead of just interacting with the kids as they walked into the room and being friendly, and you know, just a regular person, she started screaming as soon as the kids started coming in the room, “Take your seats! Take your seats! Take your seats!” And of course they didn’t (laughing) and then she looked at me with this terrified expression and said, “I don’t even know if I can get them to sit down. They don’t like guest speakers.” And I said, “Well I tell you what, how about you sit at the back of the room and just give me a shot and you know, if I can’t get them to sit down, I’ll leave, and if they sit down, I’ll stay and talk to them.”

So I just started walking around the room shaking each person’s hand and introducing myself and as soon as I did that, they sat down. And so then I told them a little bit about what I do, and I said, “you know I work with people about trying to understand how to be at peace inside themselves and how to have a good feeling about life, even when there’s trouble; and how to keep their optimism and keep looking forward to the future, and keep feeling, you know, comfortable in their own skin.” And so they’re kind of looking at me and then this kid in the back of the room raises his hand and he said, “So let me ask you something”

and I said “sure”,

and he said, “Do you think I’m crazy?”

And I said, “Well, two things, one is, I don’t know you so I have no thoughts about you at all.”

But then I said, “Second of all I don’t think anybody’s crazy. I don’t even think that’s a real thing. Crazy is just a way we use our thinking sometimes that looks really bad to us and to other people. But, you know, it’s not a deep down thing. It’s a passing set of thoughts.”

So he said, “Really? Well everybody else thinks I’m crazy.”

And I said, “Well, do you think you’re crazy?”

And he said, “Well, I’m beginning to worry.”

So I said, “Why do you think people think that?”

Well, to make a long story short, it turned out that his grandmother had died. He came from a very troubled family and his grandmother was like the rock and the safe place in his life because she took care of him a lot and he could always go to her and she was always quiet and comfortable and loving, and she really provided him the sort of security that he was looking for as a child. And after she died, the family wouldn’t let him see her. He didn’t get to go to the funeral, he didn’t get to see the body, because they were afraid of what might happen. They were afraid it would upset him. But then he was totally upset because he didn’t know where she went or what that meant. He just was completely upset about it and didn’t have anybody to talk to and so he started studying death, because he was trying to understand “Where is she? What happened? Why won’t they let me see her? Why can’t I be a part of whatever’s going on? Why won’t they talk to me about it?”

So he started reading poetry and going to movies that were kind of about death and he started getting interested in vampires and ghosts and all these things, and his family got really upset and worried about him because they thought he was obsessed with death.

(laughing) And so he’s telling me this and it just looked so innocent to me, it just looked… you know, from the perspective of the Principles, he had a worrisome set of thoughts, then he couldn’t deal with them and so he kept building on them, and adding to them, and the more he thought, the worse it looked. And the worse it looked, the more he thought. But of course he started looking very bizarre to other people because that’s all he thought about and all he talked about and all he cared about.

So I said to him, “Well, would you mind if I asked you an unrelated question before we go any further?” These kids were all juniors in high school. And I said, “Have you had a girlfriend yet?”

He said, “Yeah well last year I had my first girlfriend.”

And I said, “And how was that?”

He said, “Oh my God, I got in so much trouble. I wrote her name in my locker and I wrote her name in my textbooks and I was calling her all the time. And, you know, my father almost killed me because he had to buy new textbooks to replace these textbooks I’d defaced writing things about this girl all over my books. And then I had to repaint my locker. And my aunt kept telling me, “Stop calling her. She’ll hate you. You just can’t keep calling people.” But he said, “I was just crazy about her.”

And then I said, “And then what happened?”

And he said, “Well you know, the end of the year came and it was summer and she and her family went on vacation and I got a job, and now we’re still friends but we’re not boyfriend and girlfriend anymore.”

So I said, “So you were crazy about her and now you just know her.”

And he said, “Yeah” and then he got this look on his face and he said, “Oh I’m starting to see what you’re saying.”

And I said, “Yeah, death is your new girlfriend.” And I said, “That’s what kids do. They get all excited about something that they don’t understand and if it’s something like a love or a girlfriend or cars or washing machines, nobody cares, because it’s ok to do that. But if you’re obsessed about something that frightens people, they get upset about it. And then you start worrying that they’re so upset but it’s really not the topic, it’s just the way people respond to it.

So he’s so funny because he looked at me and he said, “So I’m not crazy.”

And I said, “I don’t think so.”

And he said, “Well that’s a big relief to me!”

(laughing) And it was so cute because he’s just an innocent kid, you know, and he’s doing what all kids do which is, they get onto a topic, and they can’t stop thinking about it ‘til they either master it or get over it, and that’s how people learn. And yet, when it’s something that scares people, everybody gets all worked up about it, instead of just explaining to them, “hey it’s ok, you’ll think about it ‘til you get to the bottom of it and then you’ll be fine.”

Judith A Sedgeman EdD