Tag Archives | Self Improvement

Improve Yourself First

i-8c66c4d51330345ea25f9764619ec10e-human-evolutionThe most important revolutionary aspect of the printed page: it allowed people to learn how to improve themselves and change the way they thought about the world

Disinfo has echoed the point that the internet is alike to the printing press here: The Global Awakening. It’s an observation which is almost a cliché and it certainly wasn’t new when I wrote that article. The frustrating thing about the comparison is how hard it is not to be drawn toward the headline grabbing side of what happened next,- The French Revolution and a whole lot of violence. This is partly because it terrified the world’s leaders so much at the time that they’ve never let us forget about it. For me though what’s more important is the spread of radical ideas which preceded and underpinned those events, a period known as “The Enlightenment”. That process is less spectacular and blood thirsty but far more important, long lasting and relevant to you right now.… Read the rest

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Scientology’s “Super Power” Training Compound Opens In Florida

quadrantThink of it as an expensive, snobby private gym for training your abilities of extrasensory perception. As reported by the New York Daily News:

The stunning 377,000-square-foot center in Clearwater, Fla., will reserve its top floors for ‘super power’ counseling services to its members. A similar program in Los Angeles utilized an anti-gravity simulator, various exercise machines, and a gyroscope-like apparatus that spins blindfolded riders around, according to one Scientologist.

The Church of Scientology plans to dedicate its stunning 377,000-square-foot center in Clearwater, Fla., on Sunday. According to the new-age religion’s website, “The top floors of the new building are reserved for ‘Super Power,’ a series of Scientology counseling services offered nowhere else.”

“Super Power,” first unveiled by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, is one’s ability to hone in on 57 senses called “perceptics” [beyond] the original five senses. “Perceptics” the programs aim to help members master are personal size, blood circulation, fields/magnetic, sound direction, and emotional state of groups.

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How To Live Like A Sociopath

sociopathThe Economist explains that sociopathic tendencies offer opportunity for advancement in contemporary society, and disturbingly points out that economists view sociopathy as the “correct” way to behave. Here’s the self-help guide with tips from M.E. Thomas, a law professor and sociopath:

Assess costs and benefits. Sociopaths, says Ms. Thomas, “are incredibly sensitive to incentive structures and actively consider both actual costs and opportunity costs in their decision-making” (unlike the rest of us, to the disappointment of most economists). “I have always lived in the worst neighborhoods,” Ms Thomas writes. “Rent is cheap and I figure there’s no need for me to pay a safety premium if I have health insurance.”

Disregard unspoken rules. After being hired at an elite law firm, Ms. Thomas exploited her company’s “non-existent” vacation policy by taking long weekends and lengthy vacations abroad. “People were implicitly expected not to take vacations, but I had my own lifelong policy of following only explicit rules, and then only because they’re easiest to prove against me,” she explains.

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Don’t Trust Your Feelings: Somatics and the Pre/Trans Fallacy

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A great article applying the pre/trans fallacy to somatics and body-work. Steve Bearman brings some much-needed balance to the alternative healing field.

via Interchange Counseling:

It’s easy for counselors, and the people we counsel, to get stuck in our heads. Counseling as we know it originated as “the talking cure”. Over the generations, counselors have discovered how to use dialogue as a powerful medium for facilitating change in our clients. Even at its best, however, conversation can only get us so far. We are more than mere talking heads.

In a tradition that has long been top-heavy, the growing prevalence of somatics has brought counseling back into balance, adding much-needed weight to the body’s role in healing and growth. “Soma” is the body, and body-oriented work takes us places talking never can, but just like mind-oriented work, it has significant limitations.

For those of us in the world of counseling who strive to live fully embodied lives, somatics has seemed like such a godsend that we can fail to recognize its limits.

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Ten Obstacles to Sane Spirituality

EctoplasmicSnotJulian Walker wrote this excellent overview of New Age flakiness, and gives some corrective measures.

via Elephant Journal:

I am passionate about the relationships between three things:

> inquiry-based practices (yoga, meditation, bodywork and ecstatic dance happen to be my favorites)

> critical thinking (also called “viveka” in yogic parlance, or discriminating wisdom)

> and shadow work (after Jung – the psychological idea that we have a “shadow” that is where we hide the emotions, experiences, thoughts and aspects of self that we would rather not face. Shadow work then is the process of courageously turning inward to bring honest awareness and compassionate attention to this place.)

Having been a yoga teacher for the last 18 years, and having spent my adult life swimming in the waters of popular spirituality, my sense is that more often than not these three elements are missing both in theory and practice. My sense is that this comes down to one revelatory observation.

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Spiritual Bypassing: Using Spirituality To Avoid Pain

Author and psychotherapist Robert Augustus Masters outlines a pervasive phenomenon in contemporary New Age spirituality, spiritual bypassing:

Via Reality Sandwich:

Spiritual bypassing, a term first coined by psychologist John Welwood in 1984, is the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs. It is much more common than we might think and, in fact, is so pervasive as to go largely unnoticed, except in its more obvious extremes.

Part of the reason for this is that we tend not to have very much tolerance, either personally or collectively, for facing, entering, and working through our pain, strongly preferring pain-numbing “solutions,” regardless of how much suffering such “remedies” may catalyze. Because this preference has so deeply and thoroughly infiltrated our culture that it has become all but normalized, spiritual bypassing fits almost seamlessly into our collective habit of turning away from what is painful, as a kind of higher analgesic with seemingly minimal side effects.

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Exploring The Mastermind Technique For Goal Accomplishment

Steve BarnesAuthor and personal development coach Steve Barnes begins a series of posts discussing the “Mastermind” concept–a technique of gathering and consolidating resources necessary for attaining goals. He starts off with describing a very cool NLP/visualization exercise he did with his daughter to help her overcome a performance block.

Via Dar Kush:

“The mastermind is the only known means of overcoming a lack of ability.”–Napoleon Hill.

A critical concept, whether we look at an individual, a couple, or a crowd. Whether the goals are internal or external, whether they are artistic, commercial or spiritual.

This is so critical that I want to concentrate my thoughts here for a while. The primary definition of a “Mastermind” is: two or more people working together in a spirit of perfect harmony to support shared or separate goals.

Let’s relate it simply to the first basic levels:  An individual.

The Eriksonian “Parts Party” is designed to create alignment between the different aspects of our personality.

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Where Are They Now? G.W. Bush Edition

What does one do after holding the U.S. presidency? Work on fighting AIDS in Africa? Find a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis? In the case of George W. Bush, he is now speaking at $19 motivational seminars.

The Get Motivated seminar is, according to its website, “world famous for its energizing, action-packed, star-studded, fun-filled, spectacular stage show.” The all-day event will be held next week at the Fort Worth Convention Center Arena. Besides Bush, speakers include Rudy Giuliani (“America’s mayor”), Terry Bradshaw (“legendary NFL Hall of Fame quarterback), Rick Belluzzo (“legendary president of Microsoft”) and Tamara Lowe (“top sales expert and author of Get Motivated!”). Get yer tix now.

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