Archive - February 2010

Roving Gangs Of Thoughts
February Focus: Celebrate Your Strengths!
Negativity Addiction:  Behavioral Prescription Rx-Virtual Valium
Knowing What You Want

Roving Gangs Of Thoughts

Street gangs in oGangs.jpgur cities concern us. Gangs form around poverty and powerlessness as a form of support, especially among young people. Negative support and hate seems better than no support at all. The idea of roving gangs creating havoc and violence and gaining power from their numbers is something we abhor. To increase their sense of size and power, oversized jeans, big thick belts, metal piercing flared nostrils, facial tattoos, T-shirts and jackets sized larger than the person exaggerate and give an impression of working very, very hard on dominating and creating respect from fear. And the death toll from young people on the streets just keep rising.

We just don’t like the idea of roving gangs on our streets.

We don’t like them at all.Complaints.jpg

Add to that loud, in-your-face rap music, vulgarity and pornographic lyrics and we fear what in the world can come next.

The gangs on our streets are a perfect symbol of negativity. And we hate them.

What a perfect image they are for what goes on in our own heads. The lyrics and power-driven pagan drum beats are a perfect image for our own self-talk and our negativity. When our negative thoughts gang up and when they put on “clothes” larger than they are, when their rhythmic beat is a drum in our heads, we wreak a greater violence on our own sense of self than roving gangs of kids could ever do. If anyone else beat up on us like we do, we would want them shot.

Street gaBrain16.jpgngs mirror, on the outside, the “gangs of negativity” on the inside of our own heads.

When negative thoughts gang up on us, what they tattoo on the brain is a greater violence than anything roving our streets. Our culture has created on the streets, the negative gangs that rove in our brains.

There are gangs of negative thoughts that “rove” the streets of our brains, sometimes with great, great freedom. Sometimes, we haven’t done a thing to stop them.

There is another gang in town, another gang on the streets of our brains and it is the louder and louder sweet pulsing beat of:

Gratitude, love, peace, joy and hope.

The pulse of these emotions grows in size when they increasingly take over the streets of our brains and return freedom to one’s self-image.

There is a war in the streets of our cities and there is a war in our brains. Let’s heal the streets of our cities by healing the negative gangs of thought roving in our own minds.Brain_Halo.jpg

Can you imagine a world where everyone belonged to an UpSpiraLife Group and worked together on increasing their UpSpiral Score? I really cannot imagine it on my own. My consciousness just can’t wrap itself around that. But I can, with all of you holding it in your consciousness as well. When we capture our thoughts and turn them to gratitude, love, peace, joy and hope, there will be no gangs in our heads or on our streets.


February Focus: Celebrate Your Strengths!

This is a month wheRushmore.jpgn we celebrate, among other things, the birthdays of presidents, the Chinese Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, and the beginning of a forty day period in the Christian calendar we call Lent. In this month of only 28 days, we get to experience it all-the greatness of well-known historical figures, the hope for a better “new year,” and the glories of love, all wrapped in the shroud of one Wednesday this month which seeks to persistently remind us of our mortality.

And so in a month of conflicting energies, what is it that I want for myself? Where am I going to choose to place my focus? What am I going to choose to celebrate?

The immediate answer is easy, at least for me. I’m casting aside the “morbidity” of February. I’m in no state of denial about it; but I have a choice either to celebrate the physical end of my life by focusing on it or to exalt the power of who I am NOW, always expressed so perfectly in my unique combination of strengths. I’ve learned to choose the latter. It just feels better, it just raises my UpSpiral, it just makes me more and more clear about the power of the “real me.” Knowing consciously that I have a perfect set of strengths, built in and ready to go, always at hand for any and all situations, is my February Valentine’s gift to myself. Bringing those strengths “home to me”…applying them to me…knowing that they’re mine, always and forever…making them real in my own life…that’s the gift this month. It’s that simple.Necco_Hearts.jpg

One of my top 5 Signature Strengths is “the capacity to love and be loved.” So in this month when the culture around us focuses largely on love and relationships, I’m using this strength as a challenge for myself-in how many ways can I express love for myself? How can I love myself more? What does “loving me” look like? How does “loving me” feel? And then, how can I reflect this love I have for myself outwardly to others? To my family? To my friends? To the many communities in which I participate? Too often we think that strengths are to be used only “out there,” for the good of others. Now there’s certainly nothing wrong with “spreading the love.” But without a sense of how I express this “capacity to love and be loved” to myself, there’s really very little to give. It’s just that simple.Jack_All_Trades.JPG

Many of us were raised with the belief that one’s goal in life was to be “well-rounded,” to excel in a number of areas, to develop a broad repertoire of thought which would produce a kind of ideal personality. It has been described as being the “Renaissance” man or woman, a “jack-of-all-trades.” Much has been written in positive psychology lately about this belief, because what it really expresses is the opposite of using one’s strengths. The Gallup Organization has done some significant studies in this area. In the area of relationships, this “jack-of-all-trades” approach has come to be called “rounding.” It’s the belief, now confirmed by research, that the goal of “being all things to all people” is not only a myth but is also essentially destructive to the development and growth of healthy relationships. It promotes compromise and self-defeating behavior. And you can also “round” yourself- by closing yourself off from receiving the gifts that others bring to you, or by simply not engaging the strengths which you already have. Instead, let your unique set of strengths “shine” in every relationship, including your relationship with yourself. It’s “you being you,” engaging your strengths, that produces the most enduring and healthy relationships. “Rounding” means you shrink from the authentic expression of your strengths for some perceived gain in being “all things” to “all people” in “all situations.” What’s really happening is just the opposite. You’re simply being “less than yourself.” The real power in relationships is to see how your strengths complement those of others, to see the synergy in the combined power of your strengths with those of others, and to love and appreciate yourself all the more for knowing your own giftedness.  Valentine_Treats.jpg

How are you “rounding” yourself? How are you “rounding” others?

So go ahead this month and admit it. You can’t do it all by yourself. You really can’t be that “Renaissance” personality, going it alone. Your’re not the “Lone Ranger.” But with your strengths engaged, you can be true to yourself and to others, and in so doing, shine as who you really are!


Negativity Addiction:  Behavioral Prescription Rx-Virtual Valium

Our Tires_Mud.jpggreatest addiction is to negativity. It is at the core of every addiction. Worry is a false trap that feels like solving a problem when you’re really just spinning your tires in the mud. Just a few negative thoughts that take a wrong turn in your thinking can lead you down a road that is all too familiar. As much as we know about the cycle, as much as we study it, and as much insight as we gain into this negative cycle, it is most easily called a DownSpiral. Little captures its essence more than the concept “DownSpiral.”

The addiction to negativity will find its attachment and its “fix.” These are what we use to try to make ourselves feel better. It works a while and then leaves us “flatlined,” bland, bored, hopeless, and feeling empty.

I have heard people say that they never get their hopes up because they are afraid of being disappointed. Can you imagine an adult who is afraid of bBus.jpgeing disappointed? So you’re disappointed, so you go on to the next thing. There is an enormous abundance of “next things.” I used to tell my daughter, when she would experience the latest “lost love,” that boys were buses: another one would be along in 20 minutes. I also told her that when the right bus came along, and that it surely would if she believed it would, that she would also recognize the right bus. The only caveat is that if you choose to worry and be negative, you will miss the bus.

Pretend that youPrescription_RX.jpgr life is a big house that has just been finished and you are given a check-list by the creator. Rather than finding out everything that is wrong and checking it, it is your job to write down everything you like about this life that you have been given. Don’t miss a detail that is in place. Don’t miss one single pretty thing. Don’t miss your breath, don’t miss life. Don’t miss one good taste. Most of all don’t miss the larger picture. 98% of everything you worry about doesn’t happen and the problems that seem looming for you today, most likely won’t be around in a year.

Throughout the day you have within you a “virtual valium” and that is simply this: you can pulse “peace, peace, peace, peace, peace, peace” and it will work for you. What you choose to feel is what you will live in and what you will create. Feel a little bit of peace and pulse it over and over and over again. If you can’t feel it, think it, think it, think it and the great Universe will be right “back at you” with peace, some way, some how, just how you need it.upspiral.jpg

And if you are arguing that it doesn’t happen that way, join one of our free UpSpiraLife groups and DO THE WORK there, and it WILL happen.

Knowing What You Want

Everythchampagne_cork2.jpging starts with knowing what you want. We have all been given messages about wanting too much, about the greed of our wanting, about how holy it is not to want. My parents used to tell me that I had a “champagne taste on a beer budget.” Nothing has changed. I still do. Only the budget is better and what I want is still more expensive. In life we often get the message that we will get what we need but not necessarily what we want. Or someone may have told you, “All you do is want, want, want; you’re never satisfied with what you have.” That’s right. While I am deeply grateful everyday for everything I have, I am never satisfied.

Many people were told to save their money for a rainy day. I was interested to observe that the rainy day always came to take what they had saved.Vision_Mission3.jpg

We have to get clear about what we are wanting because the mind and the brain are always creating whatever that wanting might be. If the wanting is on a subjective level, we are creating it. The Mind as a creative force is unimaginable. Scientists have tried to recreate models of the power of the right hemisphere of the brain and have simply given up. There is no way to quantify its power to produce, to store, to calculate, and to create.

If you want to get out of this life, if you’ve decided that you’re tired of it and that your life is basically over, there is an illness that will cooperate and help you do that. If you’re lying to yourself about the level of your happiness and you’re really just treading water, and you’d simply like to escape, you’re a perfect vibration for some dramatic thing, usually an accident or an illness. We powerfully create our worlds.

I want health, wealth, happiness and love and I want to live in an UpSpiral of love, peace, gratitude and joy. I want to learn and share, in an elegantly simple way, means of growth that move others to higher levels of happiness and joy. I want to add to making the planet a happier and more harmonious place. I want to see thousands and thousands and thousands of UpSpiraLife Groups all over the world and I wantPorsche_Red.jpg to see thousands of VisioNavigator coaches, teaching all over the world, the simple message that there is a vision of passion for every life.

I want you to feel totally free to want what you want, regardless of what it is. So long as it harms no one else, want what you want. Oh yes, I also want a red Porsche and a black Toyota truck with an extended cab and I’d like the plastic liner to already be in the truck bed. AND I would really get a kick out of getting all of this in these troubled economic times… so filled with abundance!

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute