La Bramasole

Human Interaction Specialty

The Hell With Distractions: Making The Mark

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The Hell With Distractions: Making The Mark

This is a real life photo of the great Disney movie “Brave”. This is not my photo, I found it from one of my favorite FB sites “Ancient Celts”. I would give credit to the photographer if I could find them; the best I can do is direct you to the FB page at this time.

This is a stunning photo and it means a great deal to me for many reasons. The first, because my family originally comes from Scotland (intermingled with Viking blood), migrated to Ireland, and then they made it over to America through Ellis Island.

The second, because of the rapt attention this young lady has as she puts her arrow to the mark; there is nothing else on her mind at that moment. The world is still and the only thing which matters is the target, her arrow, her bow, and the steadiness of her arms as she breaths as calmly as possible.

I started a weight loss project, as many of us do, with the Full Moon at the beginning of the year. Most of us know that there is a second full moon today. Not only is it rare for the new year to begin with a new moon, it is EXTREMELY rare for the new year to have 2 new moons within 30 days of each other, sandwiching change and creativity between them.

So far, I have lost 8 pounds in 30 days. It has been very simple; clean eating regularly, work out (I am doing Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Project on Bodybuilding.com…..which I wholeheartedly recommend…but consult with your doctor of course!!) including weight lifting and at least 15 minutes of the treadmill at an incline 4-5x daily. I feel lovely. I walk with confidence.

But I have tried the exact same thing several times before, and not once did it work. Why this time?

I think because this time was different. Just as this young girl is doing in the photo, I am very focused on the mark, on the target. I am more distracted than I have ever been before in my life, and yet, I am set on my goal of simply going to the gym…and then when that became a habit, of going to the gym AND eating breakfast. Then, and only after that becomes a comfortable habit, I will expand my target of going to the gym, eating my breakfast AND adding at least 2 fruits daily. And on it goes.

This particular weight loss journey has been different because this time I am comfortable with myself; with my own faults; my own quirks; and then not letting even those become distractions or limitations….nor yet excuses. I looked at them head on, as if I were looking at errant thoughts in meditation, calmly saw them for what they were, and then continued on with my journey without feeling shame or guilt.

You see my end goal was not to feel shame or guilt. It was to just get to the gym. To eat breakfast. And it will be to also eat fruit. To keep my eye on the mark, calmly breathing, just me and my bow and arrow, without distractions.

Sound off! What are your resolutions? Will you doing something funky and just do them again in February if they didn’t go well in January!

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Justin Bieber……Spoiled or Misunderstood?

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While watching #JustinBieber get into his SUV…….well Twitter went nuts with lovers and haters venting about it.

I watched a trending hashtag (above) and in 30 seconds, there were 56 tweets. They ranged from “What he did was wrong yes But I’m still a believer for life & hoping he learns from his mistakes” (@meganlucybieber) to “this is the first picture of Justin smiling where I don’t smile too” (@drewxperfect). And there are more harsh words yet.

It makes me think how far removed a person can be from reality; it is like standing in a tower, even a beautiful tower, isolated and quite alone.

But is it always early success that can do this? I don’t think so. Without providing excuses, I believe it might have more to do with environment. I think of it as an equation. High-stress+young age+lack of maturity to provide coping skills = Extremely risky behavior

To be fair, it isn’t just Justin Bieber. Child actors have been famous for having a rocky transition between childhood and adulthood; some never fully make the transition (Judy Garland; Lindsey Lohan; Wynonna Rider to name a few). Sometimes fame comes to an early adult, maybe in college, because of athletic ability; I know more than one college rockstar from a reknowned football team who just couldn’t quite make the adjustment to reality later on in life.

Athletes, cheerleaders, extremely popular social people in close environments (such as a small town or small office) tend to also follow this same pattern. High stress combined with a younger age bracket and a lack of maturity, in my observation and professional experience, often leads to explosive situations. Explosive situations within small communities  (or fishbowls if you will), most of which never gain popularity on TV such as J.B., could have been avoided with mindful attention to the situation at hand. However, we are not usually taught mindful social functioning and human interaction in our culture any longer. We are taught to vent, to react, and then to Tweet about it. I’m not sure that really works though; it might. I’m interested to see how Bieber works out his publicity on this one.

I don’t think we should hate on Bieber; I feel sorry for him personally. I am relieved there were no bystanders who were harmed. But I hope that, in this process, he learns a lesson. I hope that this extremely risky behavior wasn’t a publicity stunt…real people could have been hurt through his actions. I hope he finds the limits he seems to be looking for now, and doesn’t make a cycle of this kind of trouble with the law.

What do you think? Do you think this was a publicity stunt? Or do you think he is simply spoiled, out of control, and needs limits to his behavior?

*photo credit: Wrinklyvsirony@blogspot.com

*Constructive comments only. Hateful comments or spam will be deleted.

Emotional Vampires Part 2

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http://youtu.be/LtTESXypLrc

Hello All

This is my first attempt at making a Vlog AND using brand new software! Forgive the screen shot; I absolutely could not figure out how to make me bigger and my computer screen smaller; this was the third take and I figured I would just post it, beg your grace, and do better next time. The content came out ok anyway. Maybe just close your eyes and have a listen? Or pretend you are traveling from the Grand Canyon to the Arctic Circle on a random weekend journey with yours truly. Perhaps it is better if you just closed your eyes and had a listen.

Here are the points I promised to type out for you.

1. Listening/ processing styles. These are important so that you know how you might be the most vulnerable. They are VISUAL (if you don’t see it, it doesn’t exist), AUDITORY (if you don’t hear it, it doesn’t exist) and KINESTHETIC ( if you don’t move about, you can’t learn it). Also we talked about verbal processing (you have to talk it out in order to process something).

2. Further understanding about vampires and building that framework.
a. Vampires have their own set of rules; they are very different from yours and mine.
b. Rules of regular human engagement (social norms, traffic laws, regular laws etc) they they feel don’t apply to them; or if it does, it is at their convenience.
c. It is never their fault; ever. Even though they make very human mistakes.
d. They want things now. Or even sooner.
e. If they don’t get their way, they throw a tantrum. This can be on a spectrum, between passive aggressiveness and all out violence.
f. Their needs are more important than yours. Always.

Right, so looking back, there were 6 items not 5; sorry!

Ok, feedback always welcome. Thanks for watching. Cheers
Erina


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Wolf Moon

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I am going to deviate today a little bit….you can only hear about vampires so much in one week right?

Apparently, yesterday, we had what was called a “Wolf full moon”. It was really beautiful. And it was powerful to watch. Some people have mentioned to me that they get grumpy and surely during a full moon; I have certainly seen stranger-than-fiction things occur when I used to work at the hospital, and my husband did as well when he was still in law enforcement (he is retired now).

So what is a “Wolf Full Moon”? Fox news speaks to it being a nickname for the first full moon of the new year http://fxn.ws/1dt07eN . They reference Native American tribes calling this the Wolf Moon, and the smallest appearing full moon of the year, but of great importance as historically winter was a very hard time to hunt for both man and wolf. It was thought that this particular full moon carried importance as the “Wolf Moon” because it was most likely associated with howling wolves as both species of hunters came closer together in an effort to survive the harshest part of the year. 

Is there something special about full moons in general? The tide tends to be affected by it. People’s tempers seem to be affected by it. Hospital staff generally know they will have a deluge of patients with the oddest issues at that time of the month.

I have found, for myself, that I like to purge myself of internal “gunk” at this time of the month. By that I mean that I sit outside (this time of year with a cup of hot chocolate, snow pants and warm coat), quietly look at the moon, think of the time and energy it took to create such a marvel. I look at a piece of paper I have written out before. It is a thorough list of everything which not longer serves me. Usually these are attitudes, internal thoughts and feelings and emotional baggage that is wearing me out. One time, after a heartbreak, an ex-boyfriend’s name made it on the list. I think about this list mindfully. Then I dig a small trench in the snow and dirt, say a little word of closure to the list, and safely burn it, putting snow (or water in the summer) over the ashes. (In the summer, I always use a little can for safety’s sake). I look at the moon again, and thank my God for the Grace He has given to me and my household (if you choose to use this little ritual, insert your faith here) and walk back into my home with a renewed heart and cleansed soul.

How do you view full moons? Reverently or with fear? Comment and let me know :)

Faithfully

Erina

Image: Creative commons licence  3.0; artist: stripedwolf99

The Edible, Lovable, Oh So Deadly…….

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The list below is a very small snapshot of what Bernstein suggests as the “Anti-social” Vampire type. They are exciting, charming, seductive; think of Bond…James Bond and his never-ending supply of women and motorized vehicles…..useful one minute, then when he is done with them, he goes off to the next thing. Or Pope Alexander and his mistresses….or the Borgia children and their eternal quest for power at any cost.

Now, of course, I love James Bond; who wouldn’t? And that is so much a part of his charm. That is the charm of any Anti-Social EV….they are exciting to a fault which makes them as yummy as they are dangerous.

And I adored the Borgia series (was Heartbroken when it ended!), learned so much from it…and enjoyed every juicy detail and plot twist which made me hang from the edge of my seat.

The thing is, such drama really belongs in the movies. When you have to live with it in real life, every single day, the effect can become utterly exhausting. It can feel as if your every last molecule is drained of energy, with nothing left to give, but that one person still demanding more, and more and more until you can’t stand it and you know something has to give.

The term “Anti-social” does not mean that this particular type of person hates people; quite the opposite in fact. The term simply means that when this particular EV chooses to engage with people, they do so with their own set of rules. Their rules are their own, and often don’t follow social norms. Anti-social EV’s don’t like to bow to authority (unless they choose to respect such authority on a case by case basis) and they find nothing wrong with manipulating their environment such that they may control it by manipulation of a very sophisticated kind.

However, as Bernstein points out, the Anti-Social EV is also a bit of a loner. They have a hard time committing to anyone because they don’t really trust anyone; how could they?  They barely even trust themselves. They see the world as being motivated only through self-interest; compassion, grace and selflessness are concepts which are mainly lost on them. They feel that the only way to deal with the world is to out-manipulate, out-calculate, and out-control their environment. Don’t believe me? Pick up the nearest Harlequin romance, and see for yourself. But again, such drama belongs in books, fairy tales, or movies; not in real life.

This doesn’t mean that the Anti-Social EV is, by nature, a bad person. Quite the the contrary. Sometimes it takes the drama, the charisma, and the ruthlessness of the Anti-Social EV to make significant change happen. Larger-than-life figures comes to mind. Elizabeth I might be considered such a person; Charlie Wilson might be considered such a person; the great opera singer Farinelli; the influence of “The Prince” Cesare Borgia, bastard son of a Pope, certainly fits the bill; Hitler and Stalin, hugely influential in their time, were also thought to be such people. Some changes were arguably for the better while other change was certainly for the worse, but the fact remains, as Bernstein describes, when you look at an Anti-Social EV, you are looking at a Ferrari in a world of Toyota’s.

Next post: the checklist to recognize if you are dealing with an Anti-Social Vampire or not; and then, later, what to do about it if you are securely stuck in their web.

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Emotional Vampires

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Emotional Vampires

I have recently been reading the book “Emotional Vampires” and I wanted to share some of the most interesting concepts which I have found relevant in everyday work life.

One of my Resolutions was to find a better work/home/life balance. To be better organized. To make my lists and have them done. To work out at least 4 times a week, eat properly and drink all my water. We are two weeks into 2014, and it has been quite the struggle. What I didn’t realize was I had to identify the things (and people!) who were literally sucking me dry emotionally, mentally and even in my spirit. All of which combined to make me sluggish, disorganized, frantic and periodically panicked as I hurriedly finished something which I had forgotten to do earlier.

Apparently there are 5 identified such “Emotional Vampires”. The Antisocial, the Histrionic, the Narcissist, the Micromanaging/Ultra controller, and the Paranoid. We will get into each one in further blog posts, but the most important thing to me, today, was the beginning.

How on earth do you recognize such a person for what they are? And what the heck do you do with them when they have you in a spell of confusion and disorganization, but you haven’t realized it until this moment? Will it be too late when you do realize it?

Today let us just go through the quick characteristics of such a person.

1. The person seems to have it all together when you first meet them and get to know them; but over time, you realize they are a perfect mess, and bonus, you are the one suddenly responsible for fixing their every problem and crisis.

2. They present you with inconsistent displays of brilliant charm, making you forget for a small moment the torment they put you through the rest of the time.

3. Promises they make tend to have a 24-hour shelf life.

4. They can often be professional back-stabbers whose constant and spiteful games constantly drain you dry.

5. They are “stars” who keep you with them while you are useful; but when you no longer have a use for them, they kick you to the side of the curb and find another “host”.

6. They are persons with authority who teach or lecture about equal and safe treatment; but their actions and personal code of conduct are completely opposite of their words.

7. They are loving one moment, cold and distant the next, without rhyme or reason, which always seems to have them controlling their environment at any given time.

Next time…..Anti-social Emotional Vampires and how to recognize if you are under their spell.

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