Choice and emotion: a short essay with some musing

When we are emotionally dysregulated or in an otherwise emotionally reactive state we act impulsively and without consciousness or interest about consequences because we want relief from that momentarily intolerable emotional state. We cannot imagine an alternative in that moment. Until consciousness comes to such behavior we effectively have no choice. …

Writing as healing practice

Writing has most certainly helped me profoundly, so I'm posting this in the interest of sharing yet another possibility for a healing method and practice. I have dozens of them at this point. Practices. We all have different ways of finding out how to live well. Expression of some sort seems to be vitally important for most if not all people. … [click on title to read and view more]

Folk Healing, Industrial Agriculture and the Rise of Psychiatry

The idea of food and local herbs as medicine mostly dried up after world war II. Processed foods, microwave dinners, industrialized agriculture and shopping markets filled with food from far away started to dominate the Western landscape. Food became veryimages bland and tasteless. The notion that food was the essential medicine was overwhelmed by the idea that medicine was found in a drug. The psychiatric revolution really began in earnest in the 50’s at the same time that industrial farming took off. The first antipsychotic known as thorazine was synthesized in 1950 and was given to people who were deemed psychotic or labeled with schizophrenia. Interestingly, this first widely prescribed psychiatric drug was first developed as a pesticide to kill parasites in pigs. … [click on title to read and view more]

Frankly, I need some “negative” energy from time to time

Frankly, I need some "negative" energy from time to keeps me's to celebrating the whole spectrum of being human! Because, to be clear, there is some heavy shit going down on this planet and to not struggle with that reality is to be in denial. Denial of that might be the end of us all..we are human and what we've managed to create by being who and what we are is nightmarish and lovely and amazing all... I just found this quote: "Keep inviolate an area of light and peace within you." -- Corazon Aquino and there-in lies the trick to working with the negative...we must indeed find a source to sustain us...while not denying the that in embracing the dark transformation can happen. Alchemy. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Adventures into the ordinary…

Every moment is spiritual. Every moment is ordinary. The ecstatic, the mundane. The pleasurable, the painful. Same/same. I have found some measure of delight and freedom, both, in that realization. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

What are you doing with your life?

A total, an enriching revolution cannot take place unless you and I understand ourselves as a total process. You and I are not isolated individuals but are the result of the whole human struggle with its illusions, fancies, pursuits, ignorance, strife, conflict, and misery. One cannot begin to alter the condition of the world without understanding oneself. If you see that, there is immediately within you a complete revolution, is there not? Then no guru is necessary because knowledge of oneself is from moment to moment, it is not the accumulation of hearsay, nor is it contained in the precepts of religious teachers. Because you are discovering yourself in relationship with another from moment to moment, relationship has a completely different meaning. Relationship then is a revelation, a constant process of the discovery of oneself, and from this self-discovery, action takes place. So, self-knowledge can come only through relationship, not through isolation. Relationship is action, and self-knowledge is the result of awareness in action … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Therapists and psychiatrists: your patients and clients need love. Can you give them that?

Therapists and psychiatrists: your patients and clients need love. Can you give them that? Someone in the comments said, that no, they do not offer their clients love because it breaks ethical codes. My response to her was this: love doesn't break, indeed, cannot break, any ethical code...that is a misunderstanding of what love is. If love breaks a rule on the other hand, perhaps it needed to be broken!! Love is the highest ethic there is! … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Daring to Fall: Trusting in Our Communities

From the blog of Laura Burke: “In Sanity: Some alternative angles on mental wellness from the perspective of a creative arts therapist and psychiatric survivor.”

In Sanity

video_ocean_sea_of_madness_speedpaint_by_nitelyhallow-d4lrqneAs a mental health advocate, I feel that it is important to debunk some myths about notions of recovery, and about what someone who is “recovered” should look like. It is essential that I not only speak from the point of view of role model, or of one who has crossed the imaginary finish line into recovery and won the trophy of normalcy and a return to anonymity, but as one who is vulnerable, is messy, is human – someone who is on a nonlinear and meaningful path, regardless of the dubious and oscillating territory where my mind might find itself.

I am someone who has fought harder than I think I realize to reclaim what I deem to be the privilege of normalcy. My past struggles are often invisible. My scars are hidden. My psychiatric status and my medical chart are known to relatively few people I encounter. However…

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The guru is within…

The below sentiment is true about learning to live well in general whether you’re thinking of things in terms of spirituality or not. For example we would be much better served if we were told by mental health professionals from the very beginning to trust ourselves rather than anyone telling us what to do. Instead, the entire system is fraught with the infantilization of the client…this is (in general) true of both psychology and psychiatry as currently practiced. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Meditation is the practice of learning to pay attention. That is all.

Meditation is about seeing clearly the body that we have, the mind that we have, the domestic situation that we have, the job that we have, and the people who are in our lives.

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