Positive Thinking - The Problems
A quick look beyond the covers of any self-help book and you will find the same, possibly dangerous, rhetoric of positive thinking.\
You have a really bad day at work - just think positively...
Your relationship ends terribly - just think positively, there is a silver lining...
Superficially subscribers to what is termed Positive Thinking , tend to be endorsing an attitude to lief in which 'the darker side' is repressed, or given short shrift. Indeed any philosophical approach in which personal realities are polished or shrouded may contain a problem.
Put more directly, if you focus on only the positive aspects of your life, then you are in danger of discounting (repressing) other parts of you life.
In short you are creating a fluffy reality - one in which the gulf between what you are feeling and you are allowing yourself to feel grows.
Jung spoke of the idea of our shadow and maintained that enlightenment was not about finding the light, but shining the light into the darkness.
In terms of our ability to 'bounce' back from difficulties, our emotional resilience, denying the light in the shadow and the shadow in the light does not the 'skill' of 'bouncing back' to be practised or developed.
No I am not for one minute saying that we should adopt morose attitude to life, what I am saying is that there needs to be a desire to 'walk in balance'. It's as ok to 'sad' as it is to be 'happy' as long as you 'own' those feelings as yours. Such ownership can encourage deeper and more relevant personal development.
Again to put another spin on things...
If you refuse to see the pain, does not mean that the pain ceases to exist.
I may not like the darkness, and I may prefer to stay in the light, but simply thinking about the light does not mean we actually have 24 hours of sunlight.
The challenge is about exploring the causes (attachments to) of sadness as well the causes (attachments to) happiness. In a forthcoming book I explore the idea of happiness in a bit more detail, but for now its worth your consideration to question 'what happiness means to me?'
Stoic philosophers maintained that any event is just an event. It is the meaning that we attach to each event which gives it its importance.
To be mindlessly happy despite the intensity of any event is to fail to explore the real attachments you place upon it.
In a spiritual sense, such denial does make personal enlightenment a bit of a challenge.
Recording of White Ribbon Campaign feature on Coast FM
Transmitted : 24/11/17 on Coast 2 Coast, Coast FM
This coming Saturday is White Ribbon Day
The White Ribbon CampaignUK is part of a global movement to put a stop to male violence against women and girls.
This is very much a MANS issue, and it is women who are disempowered, harassed and abused by the behaviours of men.
The White Ribbon UK website notes that ...
Men and boys have a crucial role to play in creating a culture where male violence, abuse and harassment against women and girls are simply seen as unacceptable. We support them to take a stand against gender violence in their workplaces, schools, communities and families.
The 25th November, the world marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day. From then until the 10th December, we encourage everybody to take part in the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.
Most men are not violent towards women, but many of us ignore the problem, or see it as something which doesn't have anything to do with us. We need to join women and women's organisations in taking action to end the problem.
You can take a stand against violence now and sign our personal pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about men's violence against women by visiting the White Ribbon Campaign Website
Created using Visme. An easy-to-use Infographic Maker.
A Walk in the Woods
A Walk In The Woods Test – Relational Psychology Test
Following on with the them of personality tests ...
This is what they call a relational psychology test.
The answers to these questions indicate relevance to values that you hold in your personal life.
Have a piece of paper and a pen to hand - and as ever remember the caveat; treat this as a source of personal reflection and not as any kind of diagnosis.
As you read the description answer the questions as they appear; do not read ahead.
Picture yourself walking through a beautiful forest.
The sun is out, there's a perfect breeze.
It's just beautiful.
Who are you walking with?
As you continue on in your walk through the forest, you come across an animal.
What kind of animal is it?
You walk up to the animal.
What does the animal do?
You're walking deeper into the woods yet, and you come to a clearing. There's a house in the middle of the clearing.
How big is it?
Is it fenced in or no?
You walk up to the door of the home and it's open a bit.
You enter and see a table.
Describe what's on the table.
You finish looking around the house and leave out the back door.
There's a huge lawn and in the centre is a garden. In the garden, you find a cup.
What is the cup made out of?
What do you do with the cup?
As you walk to the end of the garden, you find yourself at a body of water.
What kind of body of water is it? A lake? River? Pond?
You must cross this water in order to get home.
How wet do you get?
So now for some possible interpretations ...
The person you were walking with is the most important person in your life.
The size of the animal you come across is a representation of the size of your problems.
If your action was more severe, it means you tend to be more aggressive.
If it was peaceful, then more passive.
The size of your home is representative of the size of your ambition.
If there was no fence around the home, it means you tend to be more open.
If what you saw on the table wasn't food, people, or flowers, it indicates some possible unhappiness.
How durable the cup you found was is representative of how strong your relationship is with the person in the first part of the story.
What you do with it is representative of your attitude toward them.
The size of the body of water is related to the size of your sexual drive.
If you became very wet, it indicates that sex is important to you.
If not very wet, it may mean it's less important.
I came across this on The Learning Mind and thought it was very interesting.
Like all of these visualisation approaches it relies on the hypotheses that there are certain common themes, images and ideas that 'speak' to the unconscious.
Jung spoke about the 'collective unconscious' and archetypes, which feeds directly into this kind of analysis.
So here's , The Castle Visualisation...
Imagine that you are in front of a castle.
The scenario then unfolds through the questions that follow.
Take paper and pencil, note the responses and learn more about your character, through this imaginary walk in the castle.
1. You are in front of the door of the castle. How exactly do you imagine it?
It is a simple door
It is covered by plants and is somewhat hard to find
It is a huge wooden door with metal details and it looks a little frightening
2. You pass the door of the castle what is the first thing you see?
A huge library, wall to wall full of books
A huge fireplace and a hot fire burning
A large banquet hall with huge chandeliers and red carpets
A long corridor with many closed doors
3. You look around and find a staircase. You decide to climb the stairs. What does the staircase look like?
It looks sharp and massive like not leading anywhere
It is an impressive spiral, grand staircase
4. After you climb the stairs, you reach a small room in which there is only one window. How big is it?
It is a normal window
It’s too small, almost skylight
The window is huge, so that it takes almost the entire surface of the wall
5. You look out the window. What do you see?
Large waves crashing furiously on rocks
A snowy forest
A green valley
A small, vibrant city
6. You go down the stairs and you’re back in the area where you were when you first entered the castle. You go ahead and find a door at the rear of the building. You open it and go out in a yard. What exactly does it look like?
It is full of plants, grasses, broken wood and fallen barbed wire
It is impeccably maintained with countless colorful flowers
It’s a little jungle, but you can imagine how beautiful it would be if someone cleaned and put it in order.
The door represents your attitude to new experiences. If you imagined a simple, everyday door, you probably are not afraid of any new challenge and will test your luck in new things and situations without a second thought.
If you have chosen the hidden door, you probably do not know what you need to do in the future and your life in it, and it looks blurry and undefined.
Of course, if you have chosen a big, scary door, then you probably are afraid of the unknown and find it difficult to get out of your comfort zone and try new experiences.
The space inside the castle is the idea that you believe others to have of you. If for example you saw a library, you probably think that you are the person who supports others and helps them find answers to their problems.
A large fireplace gives a feeling of warmth and passion that you think you cause in people.
A fancy ballroom suggests that you feel that you can dazzle people around you and that you have a lot to give.
If you ended up in a long corridor with closed doors, you feel that you are difficult to understand and others will have to try much to ‘penetrate’ more within you.
The stairway shows the image that you have of life. The sharp and massive staircase shows a person who sees life as suffering, with many difficulties. Unlike the beautiful spiral staircase which shows how romantic a person is.
The window is the way you feel right now. A small window means that you feel depressed and trapped in your life. It may feel like there’s no way out of what you are experiencing in this period.
A normal window shows a person with realistic demands and expectations of life at this stage. You realize that there are limitations, but the future is here and it looks clear for you.
Conversely, if the window is gigantic, you probably feel invincible, free and able to achieve what you want.
The View from the Window
The view from the window is the overview of your whole life! A stormy sea shows a hectic and erratic life, while a snowy forest is associated with a person who lived isolated and detached from the crowds.
A green valley suggests that your life is calm and steady, without much stress and anxiety. Finally, the vibrant city is related to someone who generally lives full life socialising with lots of people.
The Courtyard of the Castle
The image of the courtyard is the image that you have in mind of your future!
So if your garden is neat and shiny, then you feel that your future will be heavenly.
On the other, a picture of a promising but neglected garden shows an optimistic person, who is worried if he can find the energy to take control of his life and make his future more beautiful.
Those who chose the grassy, damaged garden are pessimistic that do not have a nice picture of the future.
As with all of these kinds of 'tests' use them for personal reflection and not for any form of diagnosis.
Dr Alan B JOnes
Director Inspire NLP