Fear of death

Another portion of my forth coming book What are you afraid of? Taken from the chapter Fear of the future .PS. This is a draft

Fear of death

Memories

The brain stores memories in different formats and uses different strategies for recording life events.For example we have episodic and semantic memories. The encoding of memories is another level from working memory to long term memory. In short it depends how , when and where the event was recorded. (www.alzheimers.org.uk)

Our environment can have an effect on our mental , emotional and spiritual state. The brain records all of our life experiences from the start of our life in the womb recording our histories even now as you read this page the brain forms a memory . Sometimes we don’t want to remember painful events by choice. The subconscious also protects our mind from overwhelming tragic events they call this a hidden memory (nm.org sciencedaily.com) The emotional charge from these experiences are still there even if we can’t remember the pictures ( memory-key.com). One way the brain stores information is in a logical way like a library.The mind puts information together to help us understand( sitn.hms.harvard.edu) imagine you walked into a library and wanted to learn about dogs. So the Liberian would take you to the section about animals. In that area there are hundreds of books describing dogs behaviour, dog grooming, different species etc. If you wanted to learn about Pavlov dogs you would have to go to the the Phycology area because it talks about classical conditioning theory not pets. The brain sometimes stores references about dogs in same area regardless of the subject material. This helps us to understand the brain now because on first discovery of what we stored random associations with the common denominator of dogs. This is true with our human experience, as a child when may of had one bad experience of a dog and now we fear all dogs we come into contact with and even seeing the word.(frontiersin.org)

Ask yourself what is it that you fear about death? Is it the physical process of suffering, emotionally, mentally and physically? Or is it that you will no longer be alive enjoying all the comforts around you including your love ones and close friends? Naturally these are the most common fears because no one in thier stable conscious mind wants to experience pain and loss. Is the fear a religious belief ? Is the belief that the world can’t function without you? There could be so many reasons why people are afraid or don’t want to die. It may be a subconscious event which is lurking in the brain with a charged emotion producing this underlying hidden fear.

Emotions

Fear is a emotion which is triggered by conscious and subconscious in the amygdala which processes our emotions by personal experiences in our life. It could be something we have seen or experienced in the environment.The brain continues to stores all events we experience either real or imagined. All the films , books and conversations are stored even if we can’t recall them. The brain through its life will try to make sense of what is and translate the world in order it to exist.(buffer.com).

Brain is like a computer

Our brain could be similar in principle to a super computer that programmed by the senses filling in every small detail. The information gained is to optimise the body’s functions with the main subconscious mechanism in the body to survive. For example the glucose levels in our blood are monitored. Our breathing is regulated , our appetite is also controlled for us to sustain survival. When we understand that all data is collected for our body systems we can start to appreciate how amazing the control centre in the brain does is an impressive job. There is sometimes a big problem with the data stored in the brain which computes situations automatically as danger or fear. (time.com) For our survival the fear mechanism is an excellent response to act quickly to avoid catastrophic event(undellgroup.com) We do this without thinking , the body produces adrenaline, cortisone which translate as anxiety to prepare our body for response. The brain remembers a negative event automatically goes into overdrive to escape the looming danger either real or imagined. So the big question we need to ask ourselves is when we feel these sensations in our body is this a rational response and logical or is it an imagined emotional reaction. The brain can not understand sometimes what is an actual event or a perceived imagined event. In physiology when a person always thinks the worst is going to happen is called catastrophising.

What is death? In simple terms it when an individual ceases to function or no longer is controlled by voluntary and involuntary actions by the brain. They call this a clinical death because humans can keep a person body alive by machines but there is no interaction with the person. When all bodily functions fail to operate to sustain a person existence it is the end of their human memories. When the brain shuts down the whole body has no control centre to facilitate any actions from pumping the blood to vital organs to a simple smile. There are many expressions which explains this process ” the lights have gone out” “passed away” and ” meet thy maker”. Whatever you believe from personal to religious beliefs you can no longer communicate, listen or share an interaction with a corpse. An old proverb several thousand years old describes it this way “Whatever your hand finds to do,do with all your might,for there is no work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave”.

The end of a human journey on earth

Fear of the Future

Excerpt from my forth coming book “What are you afraid of?”

Chapter 8
The fear of the Future
Highlighting Joy and Peace

Fear of the future

“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision” Dalai Lama

Faith is permitting ourselves to be seized by the things we do not see. Martin Luther

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be” Abraham Lincoln

If you were asked the asked the question how are you feeling now? Depending on your state of mind and life actual realities , we have two simple answers. One answer could be I’m great and everything is going well and the future is bright. Or opposite response could be I’m so stressed and anxious I have this ……

How are you feeling?

You have probably experienced one these states or even both . The continued program or mindset we have in simplistic terms is pessimistic or optimistic mindset.

Is your glass half empty or half full which describes your person mindset?

The acceptance of life for what is often filtered by what optical illusions we don’t wear. The person who continues to look for the negative will find the holes in life experiences. In contrast the person who looks at life with possibilities and opportunities will probably find them.

There are different ways of living life especially with our programmed mindset. We could continually look back in regret or with joy. We could live our life always chasing the dream of tomorrow or worrying about the what ifs?

The ultimate way to embrace life is to be totally present right here now at this moment in time as you read this sentence being absorbed in the flow state with no distractions entering my world of engagement now………… Pause and close your eyes and reflect on the 3 choices I have just mentioned about what style living you are in.

Question your thinking patterns

As you close your eyes be honest with yourself and ask the question

1 Looking back wanting

2 Looking forward wanting

3 Live each day being fully present with yourself and engaging with others and environment.

Take 5 minutes to do a quiet meditation and ask yourself this soul searching question.

The fear of the future can stop us from enjoying the present moment and missing out on experiences fully. Your fears could be very real or an imagined fear of what might happen. I was listening to Jim Rohn today on a healthy attitude about health etc. He related an experience of a young woman who was diagnosed with heart problem and the consultant said she had to restrict her lifestyle and take medication for the rest of her life. After some time she evaluated her life and said to herself this is not living. She decided to live her life again , took action and started to rebuild her life. She went to the gym , changed her lifestyle stopped the medication. She became an executive and lived life to her purpose. Another article I was reading last night was about a young teenager who had brain cancer and was diagnosed with terminal illness. Today he is still living a normal life 30 years later. We can never really be totally convinced about our future even if it looks bleak. We all have are own responsibilities regards health care and we all have own choices on what we decide is best for our situation. Very often practitioners can advise and be very helpful to improving our life style but no one really knows what the future will be.

Chronophobia Is from the Greek word Chronos means time and phobia means fear. The reality of a person sense of time is either a lack of it or not sure what happened to the time. The a word is related to this condition used in medical text books called prison neurosis. (medicine.academic.ru) Imagine you have been sentenced to life locked up in prison it will have an impact on your perception and feelings. Constant fixation on the future outcomes can impact our health especially our mental and physical systems. Anxiety or being anxious about the future is a symptom. In essence we can not change time either go back or forward. Maybe another post I might discuss the science of time travel which is great pub discussion….

Anxiety

What is anxiety?

We all face anxiety from time to time but constant anxiety and uncertainty is not a healthy lifestyle. We all need stress in some measure as it moves us to action for reward or from threat. Understanding anxiety or stress on how it drives us can be a useful weapon rather than being a slave to its relentless drive on ours body and mind. Recognising and being aware of anxiety is the first line of action. In another chapter on self awareness will show in more depth of recognising the different states we are in.

Stress can effect many different body systems in different propensity. The brain is the first port of call in response to stress or anxiety we face ( either it can is real or imagined ). The brain makes many decisions we are unaware of for example our breathing and heart rate done automatically but we can over ride them. The brain has to make decisions in utilising efficiency of resources with out us constantly thinking about it. A lot of our actions are on auto pilot driven by subconscious behaviours. Logically if we had to think about every single operation we did in our existence the brain would need so much energy to sustain it be ridiculous. The brain is an effective predicting machine with no conscious thought, this is a interesting debate you can have with friends with of use of our free will who is actually in charge? (neurosciencenews.com).

The HPA Axis (hypothalamic pituitary adrenal)( integrativepro.com) hypothalamus is part of the brain that maintains homeostasis of the human body in a stable condition.( yourhormones.info.)
The body releases different hormones from pituitary gland and adrenal glands (pituitary.org.uk) (endocrineweb.com).

The biology of the body is effected also by diet receiving a balanced nutrition.( britannica.com) Also the environment can interfere with our natural responses to stress which effect homeostasis or equilibrium of our internal body systems.(course.lumenlearning).

A key player in our stress response is the hippocampus and one of its functions is memory and learning (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) This section of the brain is part of the limbic system that process our emotions and behaviour in our responses to stimulus. In the chapter on fear in the book I will discuss more in depth how this is the reactions we have in life experiences especially about fear.

In summary the brain references our experiences as future actions from past memories. For example when brushing our teeth we don’t think about the whole process. We create the internal biology of who we are from a lifetime of intertwined experiences some great some not so pleasant. The good news is because of neuroplasticity we can rewire or reprogram our brain some call this neurogenesis.

There a lot of references not mentioned here and I have tried to keep it simple to understand. I want post all the bibliography now it will be in the book though.

The Red Revenge

Part two of of Melancholy Musketeer

D’Artagnan ran off hurriedly to find Grimaud, Athos servant to break the tragic news to him. “Your master has been stabbed, quickly attend to him as he is lying down injured on his bedroom floor.” Grimaud ran to his master house frantically, running upstairs then he crashes through his master bedroom door. He sees his master lying still on the floor with blood on the floor. Immediately he attends to Athos wounds and arranges his master safety to a new location.

Athos condition stabilises over a couple of weeks as he regains his strength and dignity while convalescing in a secret lodge . Meanwhile D’Artagnan arranges a secret meeting with his other musketeer friends away from Athos in fear of reprisals. He knew this was a conspiracy organised by the Cardinal Richelieu who was in pursuit of complete power of the country of France. The Cardinal was a a clever strategist who played the game of chess with peoples lives. He became arrogant because of his position and power but cunning to his allies. His preferred greeting from the patrons was “Holy father the Red Eminence and saviour of France.

Red Dragon

The 3 Musketeers met in the opulent Bugeaud in Paris a noble of the gentry home who was an acquaintance of Athos. “How is our dear friend Athos?” said Porthos with sincerity with a worried look on his face. Aramis interrupted angrily“ don’t just stand there , we need to kill this traitor NOW!” Aramis stamped his feet and slammed his fists on the table. D’Artagnan blood was pumping through his veins and he was full of energy. “Let’s go and kill the bloody Red dragon and his blood will be licked up by the dogs of the Huguenots who are waiting in the dark”. Aramis put his Hands on his two blood thirsty warrior friends and said” I understand the anger and pain you both have. This is about Athos and we cannot rush out with passion in our heart and just seek revenge in sheer anger.” “Here we go again Porthos you always complicate things by your insistence on finding the facts out first” said Aramis in a derogatory manner. D’Artagnan said in a courageous spirit” we are doing this for our dear friend Athos who nearly died”. Porthos sat down as he looked at his friends in the eyes and said” I know you both love Athos dearly but if we don’t have a strategy we could be murdered and what will Athos do then on his own against the Cardinal?” Aramis shouted like a madman I need a dam drink if I am going to listen to this nonsense”. D’Artagnan jumped up out of his seat and went to fetch some beer for the 3 of them to appease his friends in solace.

The Bugeau (St. James Hotel Paris)

They all sat down with drinks in hands in a lively discussion seeking a plot to to avenge the stabbing of thier close friend. They had many debates with very Colourful words venting thier anger of past demeanours of losses. The flow of alcohol slowed down the keen anticipation of revenge to a more laid back approach. As the evening continued with the sun setting the musketeers plots for revenge became more and more ridiculous. Porthos the comical musketeer suggested a fashion show in Versailles . He said in a Joking tone of voice why don’t we all dress up like the red dragon and slay him in public. He laughed and chuckled about his idea but Aramis and D’Artagnan were confused but they laughed along with him because it seemed preposterous.

Versailles
Versailles

Then there was a knock at door “ come in “ said Porthos in a calm subdued voice because the alcohol was making him tired after several hours drinking with his friends. D’Artagnan was nearly asleep with his head on the table and a glass of beer in one hand trying to close his eyes. Aramis looked up and said “what the hell do you want Grimaud?”. Grimaud was a timid servant of Athos and rarely said a word to the musketeers out of fear. “ Go on you fool ,is Athos back on his feet yet?” Asked Aramis in a harsh tone.
“ He is well sir… he wants to see you all very soon”. Porthos spoke up in a compassionate tone “thank you my dear servant of Athos ,arrange for him to meet us here and we will be waiting for him”.

To be continued….

References below

https://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/t/the-three-musketeers/character-list

https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/09/euwf.html

https://www.globalblue.com/destinations/france/paris/inside-the-saint-james-paris-hotel#slide3

https://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/7981/evolution-of-french-fashion-from-16th-to-19th-century

Click to access An-exploration-of-16th-century-French-dress-March-2012.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2019/dec/27/codpiece-envy-fashion-reinvents-16th-century-accessory

History of French Fashion in Paris

http://www.chateauversailles.fr/

….

Change your negative self talk

Excerpt from my forth coming book what are you afraid of? This tool is to help reframe our internal negative judgements especially in enabling the wonderful quality of forgiveness being part of our soul.

The hardest person to forgive is often ourselves. Being self aware gives us the tools to change our stories of our mistakes in the past. The water has passed us by but we cannot change the tide or time but we can change our thoughts.

Freedom from self judgements

The mantras and prayers are used in many different religions to convey ideas for significant healing purposes. The mantra I am encouraging is from a psychological perspective is the actual meaning we put behind the statements we say to ourselves. The restructuring of our vocabulary can have a significant impact on our feelings and emotions.

Change your words , change your mood

For example if you continue to say to yourself I am fat and ugly it will have an effect on your behaviour and your mood. The object lesson here is to replace our own judgements of self and others to a higher plane.

What are you listening to internally?

We can choose what music we listen to and can avoid the negative talk in the cafeteria by walking away. In a Similar situation refuse to listen to the condemning negative self judgements in your mind.

Here are some examples of individuals who had a positive impact. I am sure they can inspire us by some of thier mantras. You could either adopt them or tailor them to suit your own needs. Inspire others by living by your mantas by squashing negative self talk.

New perspective on forgiving self

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”. Albert Einstein

“Unlike some politicians, I can admit to a mistake”. Nelson Mandela

“Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it’s no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing”. Elkhart Tolle

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. Thomas Edison

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying”. Michael Jordan

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”. Mahatma Gandhi

What is your new mantra?

“The water has passed us by but we cannot change the tide or time but we can change our thoughts”. Steve Hyne

The Fear of Rejection

Excerpt from my book “what re you afraid of” Chapter 7

Rejection from relationships and loss of employment

Attachments styles

1 Secure
2 Resistant/Anxious
3 Avoidant

There are other forms and theories of attachments compounded with Bowlby original theories. There is often an overlap of one or two styles depending on the relationship. Trying to understand our attachment style can help us see how rejection effects our reactions and different individuals responses. There is no right or wrong interpretation of what has and what , it is just identifying our responses that help can our understanding of ourselves and others more accurately. For example a couple may have two different attachment styles because that’s what it is. For a deeper insight into relationships styles in romantic interest the book Attached by Amir Levine and Heller is great introduction to various attachment styles.

Attachments or relationships come in many different forms in life. The attachment style we used may of serviced previous relationships but now conflicts with other attachments. This could be because of our own personal growth or awareness of how we interact with others. Or it could be that a new relationship or old relationship is now out of sync. For example one individual may have been the secure attachment style and the partner could be resistant or avoidant. The secure relationship is a safe haven for the other person because the secure relationship is trusting and benevolent. The relationship could work because secure partner is willing to put effort into the attachment because of unconditional love. In time the avoidant or resistance may grow and develop trusting attachments thereby becoming more secure by effort.

The way a person responds could be because of a fragmented relationships in their past histories. For example the boss has anxious style of attachment always looking for perfection and not taking full responsibility of his own autonomy. The Business may have financial setbacks due to the oversight of the boss focusing on the negative aspects of the company. Afraid or in fear the boss makes cutbacks and fires some of the staff. As an employee who has dedicated thier life to the company has a devastating loss. Now imagine the 3 different types of attachments style and how each one could react to this loss of employment.

1 The avoidant response could be : Denial not accepting the job loss thinking the boss will change his mind. Consequences not looking for new employment . Not asking the boss for reduced hours .Not experiencing the loss by being distracted or desensitisation to ease the pain.

2 The anxious response could be : Go into depression because overwhelming emotions. Believing that will never get another job. Too afraid to search for new employment or learn new skills. Blaming everyone for the state that they are in now not taking action to change the situation.

3 The secure response could be : Take a few week off from all activities process the emotional loss and accepting it for what it is. Takes time to reflect on new possibilities and opportunities now and in the future. Thankful for the employment has provided for his family for example home , holidays and developing key skills in the employment.

Secure attachment in childhood

Here are just few examples of how rejection can effect us by our attachment style and the experiences we face will be very different to others. Being aware of our attachment style and especially of others can be very enlightening to help us make the informed reactions. When we stand back and look at the rejection for what it is may make it easier for us to navigate it. Human behaviour is very complicated and often unpredictable. Old proverb “not to add wood to the fire” helps to stop the contagion rather than cause an inferno that cause complete devastation.

Respect Ourself and others dignity

When life throws at us rejection whatever the form is will cause pain. The relationship or attachment is now broken and it is an end or loss. For example if you brake a bone it will cause suffering and can cause incapacitated action to normal routine even stopping it. The same is with rejection even if you can’t physically see it , psychologically it will effect you. One study showed how rejection can effect even the brain with a fMRI scanner and researchers said “those who are rejected show increased activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate and the anterior insula — two of the regions that show increased activity in response to physical pain, Eisenberger says. As far as your brain is concerned, a broken heart is not so different from a broken arm.”

With any broken bone it takes time to heal and needs attention and support. With a broken attachment or relationship we can support it and use the balm of respect. Respect has a lovely synonyms which give us a full colour of what respect is : appreciation, awe, consideration, dignity, esteem, honour, recognition. The reaction of any broken bone is going to be painful physically and emotionally. During the convalescence stage of rejection balm your inner wounds with respect. The old saying it takes two to tangle so don’t take full responsibility unless you are totally responsible. Every attachment or bone to be effective before the break had to have cooperation for it to function. By respecting ourselves we recognise our part in the relationship for what it was. At this juncture some relationships have been abusive either verbal, physical, emotional and sexual are not acceptable because it robs humanity of respect.

Illustrate how self respect can heal rejection in a personal relationship.

1 Appreciate how hard you worked in the relationship being congruent. The blessings you recieved from the relationship , the children you had together , the happy memories of holidays etc.

2 Consideration you showed when your partner was ill or when you made acceptable allowances. The different choices allowing your partner to be themselves and how they supported you in different areas.

3 Dignity you both had for each other’s needs showing respect to each other.

4 Esteem or value you put into the relationship and the intrinsic value your partner showed.

5 Honour you had for yourself and your partner truly valuing thier positive qualities.

6 Recognition both achieved as a couple accomplishing things together. Creating a new home , raising the children.

The idea is to focus what you brought to the relationship and recognising how it positively impacted you own respect and your partners. It is so easy in the heat of the moment to have a Pompeii effect when a relationship finishes with no restraints of furry. Some people have been in abusive relationship from romantic , work and religious attachments. The respect they had at one time could of been destroyed or dismantled when the attachment became a prison. Rebuilding your self respect can be a slow and painful journey but by restructuring yourself now with new opportunities will be clearly seen.

New opportunities will become available by personal growth of developing self respect

Embrace the emotions and evolve to expand self awareness

Emotional awareness
“A man is more frank and sincere with his emotions than a woman. We girls, I’m afraid, have a tendency to hide our feelings”. Marilyn Monroe

Have you ever said I’m ok but below the mask of deception you had a completely different feeling. It could be for a million reasons why we hide our emotional self to others. Whatever the reason question why?

Often we have learned our cues in society on how we ought to respond or express or often suppress our true inner states. At times it is judicious to act in a discreet manner. For example the boss or an officer could be acting in a demonstrative way pushing all our internal buttons. The problem of others emotional states could jump onto our emotional states and before we are aware of it we suppress super charged emotions or let them explode on to a innocent victim.

Embrace the emotions as information from internal states. It is also information from others internal states of emotion which is called empathy. The skill of self awareness is vital for sustainable relationships firstly with ourself then secondly with others.

Avoiding or dismaying emotions that are uncomfortable can lead to emotional burnout or exhaustion. More importantly it gives us vital information about ourselves and others emotional states. By recognising our emotional states and correctly labelling them with lead to personal growth. We don’t always know why we feel a certain way , understand what emotions they are. By embracing the emotions and accepting it for what it is could be useful. In the future as we reflect we might be able to discover what lead up to or the underlying reason why we felt the emotions at a particular time.

Here is a personal example on how to embrace emotions. Yesterday I was feeling sad all day , I wasn’t sure why? Reflecting at the end of the day I reminded a quick phone call from my mother who said that my two sisters anniversaries due in the next week. I said off the top of my head , Kate (my late wife) use to organise all the cards and gifts etc. I got back to work quickly and didn’t think twice about it. At the end of the day I was wondering why I was feeling sad? Then I figured it out my body and brain was telling me of the previous memories we had as a couple enjoying the happy times. We had shared many good times with my family during those previous anniversaries with my late wife.

By accepting those uncomfortable emotions it stopped me from projecting my sadness onto my sisters happy occasions , they call this emotional intelligence. Of course we don’t always get it on cue especially when we have had a day stacked with lots of emotional juggling at the office or day looking after the children.

We evolve our emotional understanding of our inner workings by discovering what can trigger or nudge our various states. The diversity of temperament, culture and education is the challenge of fruitful interpersonal relationships. By building on self awareness of our inner states and communicating these to others is key to success in our relationships.

As we encounter new challenges with new experiences embrace the feelings with no judgements. It could be a message from our past that hasn’t been resolved or a internal conflict we are not aware of.

A small acorn has the potential to be a mighty oak tree providing many blessings to the creations nearby. When we embrace our emotions and evolve with understanding we can flourish with self awareness.

“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people”. Jim Rohn

References

Why You Shouldn’t Suppress Your Emotions

https://time.com/5163576/ignoring-your-emotions-bad-for-your-health/

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_regulate_your_emotions_without_suppressing_them

http://www.danielgoleman.info/three-kinds-of-empathy-cognitive-emotional-compassionate/

https://www.thisiscalmer.com/blog/5-stages-of-burnout

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCDV_59.htm

Top 8 Interpersonal Skills for the Workplace

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/guru

Become the mighty oak

What expectations do you have?

When we are young we may dreamed of being a fire fighter or flying to to the moon or a superhero. Whatever the dream we had as little people it gave us a glimmer of hope in our eyes of what we can do. I will say at this juncture some children dreams have been squashed by thier caregivers by negative statements”get a proper job” or “don’t be stupid you are doing this”.

Whatever the situation I’m sure all of us during our younger days before the tide of responsibilities came along we had some fantasy or dream expectations.

Dream big

The mind can be so busy with everyone’s dreams and ideas we may of forgotten or lost our drive to look further than tomorrow. The rat race of human existence with propaganda of Bussines fighting for your attention and resources. The emotional , physical and mental demands can drain our inner sparkle of yesterday dreams.

No time to relax

As we mature into young adults the stage changes and our internal body systems start sending us new messages. We crave independence and new experiences with experimenting. Trying to discover who we are and what we want in life. Again at this key stage the environment we were in could of swamped our aspirations and dreams with the challenges of our family systems ideologies or cultural footprints. Sometimes we get lost on our journey just trying to survive with the anxiety’s about the present day let alone our dreams and passions of tomorrow.

What our your expectations in life?

What are your dreams?

What are your passions?

Reflecting on our individual person needs is essential to maximising our long term health and future happiness. All relationships are based on expectations.

What are your partners expectations?

What is my boss expectations?

What are my children expectations?

What are my friends expectations ?

We can change and everybody has the option to change. As we grow older hopefully we become wiser and learn new insights. Our dreams and aspirations on our journey through life could take us to a new destination.

Ask yourself what are my expectations?

Love ?

Career ?

Health ?

Finances ?

Skills ?

Spend some time reflecting on your personal expectations if money or time had no constraints. Writing the dreams and expectations down is starting on the road to success, some call this affirmations. With our first small step can realign our intrinsic aspirations.

Simple visual of what science recommends

One easy trick to start your day and get motivated when you don’t feel like it.

How to get started

Motivation is sometimes hard to get your brain in gear let alone your body up and running. Here is one easy trick to kick start your day when you don’t feel like. You may feel tired or you may feel sad or just not in the mood. In therapy one tool we use is CBT which basically means change your thoughts then your feelings which will lead to actions. One easy way is to watch a YouTube inspirational video. You could even listen to one as the same time getting ready for work or eating your breakfast.

After some time you will discover your own personal favourites and become attached to videos. One of my favourite inspirational speakers is Jim Rohn who died in 2009 but his philosophies still live on. For me it’s like listening to an old friend and after listening for 10 or 20 minutes my mindset has gone up a gear. Below is a sample of his simple logic to inspire you please enjoy the company of this great friendly man.

Can dreams teach us anything new?

Everyone dreams

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.

Napoleon Hill

Sweet dreams are made of this Who am I to disagree? Is a famous opening lyric from 1983 hit by the Eurythmics. Dreams have been in society from the beginning of time with many references in religious ideologies, histories and cultures.

Today there are many variations of dream themes from the children’s section to the horoscopes in the tabloids. We have all had dreams some weird and wonderful then there is those bizarre dreams we would rather not talk about.

Psychoanalytic dream interpretation was the brain child of Sigmund Freud. I remember listening to a lecture on his dream theories and putting it rather bluntly my mother would be shocked, but I just laughed. Most of his interpretations included sexual connotations and when we think of the time period he was definitely outspoken.

I have not studied his work throughly to come to any conclusions. Thanks to his boldness and creative ideas the foundation of Psychology was being laid. Through the last 100 years the science of dreams has also had an influence on society with its interpretations.

Oneirologist “research seeks correlations between dreaming and current knowledge about the functions of the brain, as well as understanding of how the brain works during dreaming as pertains to memory formation and mental disorders. The study of oneirology can be distinguished from dream interpretation in that the aim is to quantitatively study the process of dreams instead of analyzing the meaning behind them.” (Direct quote from Wikipedia)

Word of caution before you rush out to purchase that new dream book or pay someone to interpret your bizarre dream hold on to your hard earned cash. Everyone one brain is unique with a life time of individual experiences. What one interpretation could mean to one person could be the complete opposite to someone else. We all have hidden bias from the past right up to this moment in time and tomorrow we could change our mind again. Projection of an author labels of an event of definite explanations to the masses is going to be subjective. Diversity is the liberation of the soul and freshness to the human condition.

I have learnt one tool recently as a therapist on how dreams can teach us lesson from Gestalt theory. Basically gestalt theory is relating to our human experiences that have not completed the cycle. One example your brain says you want a drink , you make a lovely cup of coffee. You are in expectation of this moment but you had to rush away leaving the coffee. It is very simplistic definition of a missed opportunity you were wanting to complete. That why loss is very tragic, you imagined getting married live happily ever after. The mind prepares the soul with all its internal systems living with this person forever.

The process or the tool I will now try to explain is not so much understanding of all the details of the dream but understanding the two major parts of a dream. For this could be two significant inanimate objects that oppose each other. Often a emotion is tied up with a dream in a random fashion.

I will explain a simple dream I had and see if you can understand it from my world not your world to explain it. In therapy the client has the ideas or the therapist could project his ideas which would be ethically wrong.

Norway

I had this dream a year ago on holiday in Norway . This was my first holiday away on my own for about 25 years. My wife died in 2017 leaving me as a single parent. I left children with friends who look after them. When I was on my amazing holiday I had a very vivid dream , it was like I was there and I could feel every sensation and now reflecting on it is very real.( the brain can be easily fooled it can’t distinguish what is real or false. That why when wake up after a nightmare your body is in fear.)

Back to my dream , I was swimming underwater with my wife enjoying the lovely fish and calm sea. Then all of a sudden my wife was calling out saying “helping me I’m sinking”.She was being sucked down into a vacuum. I was struggling to pull her up out of the vortex. I remember shouting to her as I let her go of her hand.”I have to leave you or we will both die to to look after the children”.As I swam frantically away I could see her being swallowed up by the dark vacuum as she was drifting down into the darkness then I woke up .

Goodbye

This dream is a simple way to understand how I needed to complete an experience in my life from an emotional perspective. The two significant parts were me and my wife. The hidden message have you worked out yet? I had to move on or I could be sucked into a vacuum or vortex of deep darkness. At this point I do have times when I am sad about my old life. This is natural because the Steve that married Kate is a memory in my brain. All emotions are positive it is a part of the human experience.

1996

In our skills practice I saw first hand with a fellow colleague that was finally resolved, a reoccurring dream from childhood. If you have difficulty in dreams or nightmares I would recommend seeing a qualified therapist who can be there with you as you try and complete a fragment reality of a dream.

Tell me about your dream

Sometimes we can learn parts of our inner selfs by investigating our weird and wonderful dreams. The brain and body are amazing design of pure craftsmanship. We are only on the fringes of understanding ourself and others especially dreams. Napoleon Hill said “cherish your dreams” because they may teach us many lessons to come about ourself.

The Fear of what they think of Us

Extract from my book “What are you afraid of “

The Rest of this chapter will consider two factors that have a very negative effect on self esteem. I would say they are like siblings in a negative family group. With the feeling of low value or low self esteem the close association of shame and guilt jump on the back of the self. With a perspective in life including these siblings of the inner self , shame and guilt have a negative relationship who the self has become today.

“Shame on you” is the response of a mother who rebuked her young son for being cruel to the neighbours cat by throwing a small stone at the defensive animal. What is shame? How is shame constructed in our emotional development? How can shame be encouraged to move out and away from us? The different interpretations of what shame is relative. Depends on your culture , religious and educational status. There are common narratives of the meaning of shame and the simplest meaning of having shame is a feeling of being damaged. This could include a physical disfigurement or sexual abuse. On top of this concept it is the self perception who we are. The beliefs of what others think and say can make the self feel damaged.

A great concept by Joseph Burgo proposed four different types of shame. This will help to identify the shame that harasses some from childhood until today. His theory is 1:unrequited love. 2:unwanted exposure. 3:Disappointed expectation 4:exclusion. What is the essence of these ideas and how does this relate to low value of self.

The first idea of unrequited love is rejection of someone we love or have feelings for. This first occurs in childhood from narcissistic parents who fail to reciprocate love to thier children. The newborn baby fails to learn emotional intelligence from its mother as it mirrors the mother’s emotional story. This rejection also happens when the love for someone else is not reciprocated by actions and words.

The second concept of shame is unwanted exposure by being humiliated by someone exposing the person faults whether they are true or false. This could be an embarrassing situation that leads to shame because of the propensity of what was done in the self perspective and that of others.

Thirdly disappointed expectations is an often occurrence in many personal lives. We fail to get that job we wanted and feel it was our own fault or self worth why we didn’t get the job. The mistakes made in various situations is redirect back to others. It can be autonomous but others blaming the other-self for the breakdown of a relationship.

Finally the fourth shame concept is exclusion from activities and social groups. Humans have an desire to be loved , connected and feel special with a belonging. This in essence how our value of social , family , and others is measured. Thier dictates of who we are and what we should be not considering personal evaluations of self.

When we consider the different appraisals of shame it helps understands an event has knocked us off balance with shame jumping on to us like a leach. These may be subconsciously locked away or it may hit us in the face by an event or trigger. Shame can eat away inhibiting future growth of the self. Shame can sink the self into a depressive state being manifested by posture , moods and negative thinking of the self value.

Traumatic events or a lifetime of unresolved conflicts with the self will feed the shame like a cancer that grows with every negative experience The expression “where there is blame there is pain” underscores the judgements of self and others will embrace the shame we carry as a close companion or sibling. The other sibling of guilt comes into the home of our mind and shakes hands with shame making the self more victimised. The brother Shame and sister guilt organise a party when the self arrive home after a long emotional day. The news of failure from the tears of self are welcomed by shame and guilt as they prepare to celebrate another victory of blame on the self. The self tries to hide from shame and guilt but they continue to hunt the self down with another confidence trick of failure. Another guest low self esteem arrives at the unsolicited party and joins in with singing and dancing with shame and with guilt and the misery continues with self.

Melancholy Musketeer

It was a bright sunny morning with a cool breeze awakening the residents of the Parisian community. Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu continued to gain power of the country with an alliance of the church and the state. The Red Eminence Cardinal Richelieu was plotting another scheme to disband the kings musketeers and use his red army as the new loyal agency for the king. Secretly the Cardinal wanted complete autonomy over Louis XIII.

The Red Eminence wore the cloak of an imposter fooling the king to be his trusted friend but he was devising a cunnining monopoly for complete power.

D’Artagnan was back to his youthful spritely self looking for a new opportunity to prove his valour in the Paris streets. He never trusted the Cardinal or the religious hierarchy because of their legacy of corruption and power. In his heart he knew he was going to uncover all the lies and deception of the Cardinal but he just needed the evidence and a opportunity to avenge his injustice.

“Wake up Athos” D’Artagnan said enthusiastically as he banged on his friend door. “Wake up , wake up, it’s a glorious day we have a royal appointment today”. There was no sound from inside the home of Athos. D’Artagnan walked around to the back of the house and climbed up on to the balcony where a window was open. There was still no sound when D’Artagnan shouted again as he entered through the window. The aroma of wine sailed through the air as he entered the room , it reminded D’Artagnan when Athos went on his melancholy binges in the past.

As D’Artagnan entered the room he looked around he noticed bottles everywhere some upright and other bottles abandoned on the floor. It looked like a cave of despair with fringes of light reflecting from the glass bottles as the light navigated through the dusty windows. “Athos where are you” shouted D’Artagnan with an impatient voice. He walked towards the front bedroom door along the corridor as the floor squeaked and cranked with his heavy boots. D’Artagnan thought, I wonder what Athos is doing this time of day, he knew about the royal appointment 6 weeks ago when all the musketeers were together he whispered in his mind.

D’Artagnan knocked on the bedroom door and said “Athos I’m coming in now , we need to get ready quickly”. As he opened the door it made a noise of a high pitched melody of strange noises. The hinges were buckled and the wood creaked as it dragged along the floor. D’Artagnan pushed the door with more strength as he struggled to enter the dark room. Eventually he managed to get through the array of clothes, furniture and more wine bottles in the room out as he pushed it out of the way. In the corner on the floor next to the bed was lying a wounded victim breathing slowly. As the injured musketeer slowly looked towards D’Artagnan he opened his eyes very slowly with a stare of sorrow and guilt. “leave me in peace my son , I don’t want you to see me anymore”. The shivers went through D’Artagnan spine as he walked towards this injured solider lying there.

“Who was it Athos? , who was it?“ D’Artagnan said in a passionate and angry voice. “Please go D’Artagnan before it’s too late”. Athos closed his eyes again and slowly turned his head away from his worried friend.

D’Artagnan noticed there was blood on the bed next to Athos and a small dagger near Athos leg. D’Artagnan mind was in a maze trying to understand what has happened to his fellow musketeer and friend. In his mind he had many questions that needed immediate answers. Who attacked Athos? why is there a dagger on the floor? Is Athos going to die? What shall I do? All these mysteries panicked the young musketeer as he looked around the room looking for answers.

D’Artagnan was a very impulsive hotheaded musketeer and at times of high anxiety he would make irrational decisions. He loved and respected Athos very much like a father who nurtured him.” I’m going to find Porthos and Aramis and we will kill the Red Eminence and his blood will be poured on the ground that I am standing on”.

to be continued…..

References below

https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/melancholia

https://www.parismarais.com/en/arts-and-culture/history-of-private-mansion-houses

https://www.biography.com/royalty/louis-xiii

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Armand-Jean-du-Plessis-cardinal-et-duc-de-Richelieu

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-melancholia-379852

https://jgdb.com/literature/study-guides/character-athos

https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/3musk/characters/

https://musketeers.fandom.com/wiki/Athos

https://www.charactour.com/hub/characters/view/Athos.The-Three-Musketeers

https://www.goodreads.com/characters/546-athos

https://www.shmoop.com/study-guides/literature/three-musketeers/athos

https://peoplepill.com/people/armand-dathos/

http://www.mousquetaires.asso.fr/en/athos-porthos-and-aramis.html

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