Archive for February, 2011
Thursday, February 24th, 2011
“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”… Arthur Somers Roche
This quote gives fair warning to us all to get control of our fears before they have a chance to take control, because if we do not they surely will. We all fear something, some of us are afraid of many things, but letting them build force and volume will only freeze us inside of boundaries that imprison our soul and rob us of hope.
Every sea began with one drop and every flood has its levels, building in strength and depth over time until it claims what it can then recedes leaving damage in its wake. Worry is a lot like that. A nagging chant, becomes a mighty roar and the echo leaves us off balance. A trickle becomes a torrent that can wash away all logic… when we need our wits about us the most, they are too soggy to be of much use.
What if’s are a total waste of time. If fretting ever solved anything there would be some kind of formula we could follow to solve our problems… both real and imagined. Perhaps three days of sorrow for simple issues, or seven for more complex woes, or thirty days for a deep regret. Life would be so much simpler like that, but the real world is a pay as you go journey.
We all pay dearly, in one form or another, for a round trip ticket on this train, but the honour of being a passenger ought to give us some comfort. Simply living takes a toll, so why would anyone offer to spend more than is asked. Worry is a thief… of time… of energy… of hope, yet we invite them into our most sacred places and allow them free reign. They will arrive, invited or not, but the length of the visit and the amount of damage done is a personal choice we each must learn to make.
Leaving the thief in charge is not mandatory; acknowledge his presence, feed him as little as possible, and make the visit brief. The wisest choice is to save as much time, energy, and hope for dealing with reality, instead of wallowing in its dark imagination.
Monday, February 21st, 2011
Life isn’t an endless picnic of pleasure, yet some act as if it is nothing but… rushing from one place to another, one carnival ride to the next in a frantic attempt to keep hold of the thrill. They travel at the speed of light through delight, rarely savoring the moment, imagining it will never end, or synthetically creating it over and over as a way of staying locked into a lifestyle of addiction.
A hummingbirds speed isn’t meant to replace a humans normal velocity; if you’re not being chased by something that means you harm, why travel as if your life depended upon flight. Slow down enough to get a true taste of the simplest pleasure and the amount needed to satisfy will decrease in perfect response to the lessening need for speed. Savor the good times, because the bad will surely come and the strength we earn during happiness will be invaluable to mobility when sadness drives our footsteps. Heartache is a detour… not a final destination… unless we build a shrine there and worship at its base.
When we travel through troubled times or brutal realities the speed we adopt should reflect our true need for understanding and self awareness. Running away never works… facing our issues is the only way to make sense out of the pain, and eliminate the ache forever. To cease moving altogether risks the chance of sinking into the sorrow so deeply that any forward motion becomes a burden that cannot be carried. Move forward at a steady pace, not measured by miles, but calculated by knowledge gained and the journey will be worthy of the effort. Brenda Herzog
Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
Turning Point Detox & Rehabilitation:
A Path Less Travelled – at least for today
John Vereecke of Turning Point Detox & Rehabilitation, is a man for all seasons. John brings his past business and marketing experience to this alternative, all natural, approach to detoxing & rehabilitation to those wishing to deal with their addictions to drugs and alcohol. But more than this, John is Turning Point’s supervising contractor for the building of their newest treatment facility, their chief researcher on orthomolecular medicine, and the chief visionary for spreading Turning Point Detox & Rehabilitation centres across the country. How does one man do all this? He has Tammy Francoeur, his wife and business partner who is herself a seasoned business operator, working with him each step of the way.
Together, they are pioneering a medically supervised, drugless approach to detoxing whereby participants rid themselves of drug residue stored deep in the cells by sweating it out in saunas and through exercise, meanwhile, having psycho-therapy one on one counselling with their counselor to deal with the underlying issues of trauma and behavioural dysfunction in their lives. They are also pioneering the acceptance of natural detoxification process and protocol by the medical community and the insurance industries who have not always been quick to accept new ways of doing things e.g. chiropractic medicine, naturopaths and acupuncture to name a few. Clearly, these are two people who care a great deal about the human condition and are doing all they can to alleviate the suffering of addicts without involving any drugs. Tammy is most often the one who spends her time dealing with the families of the male addicts with whom they specialize.
Turning Point holds firm on the importance of family support, participation and after-care in the healing process. Also a firm believer in the 12-Step programs available to addicts and alcoholics, faith is a common thread in their holistic approach to healing the mind, body and spirit.
John is currently continuing his studies in this field in a pharmacology course at McMaster University. Tammy is exploring a television pilot as a means of outreach to those in need and will hopefully not be in a competing time slot with husband John who is a regular guest the first Sunday of every month, on CCAA’s weekly television show Living Clean which airs on the CTS television network across Canada.
Whatever tomorrow brings for this dynamic team, it will surely be an entrepreneurial adventure aimed at changing the ways we think about and serve those in need of healing.
Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
Eugene Weekly - 12 August 2010
> > Misguided Thinking
> > Mental health at a crossroads
> > By Chuck Areford
> > “Take your medication!” is probably the most common refrain in today’s
> > mental health field. After all, medication has been the cornerstone of
> > psychiatric treatment for decades, so much so that it is considered
> > unethical to treat many conditions without it. Yet a new book by award-
> > winning journalist Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic,
> > effectively shows just how misguided this thinking is.
> > For most of the 30 years I have worked in mental health, I have been
> > alarmed by my observations that most psychiatric treatments seem to
> > produce more harm than good. I started off as a psychiatric orderly
> > and assisted with electro-convulsive therapy, otherwise known as shock
> > treatment. Most of the patients were middle-aged women from the
> > surrounding St. Louis suburbs but no one was immune. A 16-year-old boy
> > was shocked because he was considered “pre-schizophrenic.” An 85-year-
> > old woman had a heart attack during the shock procedure and died hours
> > later. Shock treatment reduced all to a vegetative state from which
> > most recovered and some even improved. Tragically though, some never
> > recovered and I developed an enduring skepticism of psychiatric
> > treatment.
> > After obtaining my master’s degree, I went to work in the inner city
> > of Memphis. Here I saw the ravages of not only racism and poverty, but
> > of a mental health system that relied on medications as the primary
> > form of treatment. I worked with clients who had such severe side-
> > effects that they could hardly walk or talk, so tranquilized that they
> > appeared zombie-like. Even so, their humanity and courage shined
> > through and I was convinced that there was a better way.
> > After moving to Eugene 20 years ago, I stumbled across Toxic
> > Psychiatry by Harvard-educated psychiatrist Peter Breggin. Breggin’s
> > well researched book describes how medications and electroshock damage
> > the brain. He convincingly demonstrates that the common belief that
> > mental illnesses are “genetically caused brain diseases” or “chemical
> > imbalances” is simply not supported by research.
> > Fortunately, Eugene is home to David Oaks, an internationally known
> > psychiatric survivor and activist. With his organization MindFreedom
> > we reached out to other mental health workers and found that while
> > almost all professionals, including the psychiatrists, were
> > compassionate and caring, it was the younger, more idealistic workers
> > who were most willing to question common psychiatric methods.
> > The tide of history flowed against us, however, with pharmaceutical
> > companies making billions from sales of psychiatric drugs. They pumped
> > money into seductive advertising and sponsored research that was
> > deeply flawed, focusing only on the short term. Our culture was
> > flooded with Prozac, portrayed as a cutting-edge, feel-good pill for
> > almost anyone. A new generation of antipsychotic medications promised
> > to revolutionize the treatment of schizophrenia. These drugs were
> > touted as safer and were increasingly given to children and the
> > elderly. We who spoke out were dismissed as ignorant and my employment
> > was threatened.
> > But newspaper and research articles suggested that new anti-
> > depressants were no more effective than the old ones, which were
> > barely better than sugar pills. New antipsychotic medications were
> > linked to weight gain, diabetes and cardio-vascular disease. We
> > sounded the alarm after a surge of deaths in Lane County. A few years
> > ago, research showed that mental health clients are dying 25 years
> > earlier than the average person.
> > Anatomy of an Epidemic promises to turn the tide. Pulitzer Prize
> > finalist Robert Whitaker shows in a solid and evidence based manner
> > that while psychiatric medications can lead to marginal improvement in
> > the short term, they tend to make people worse and more chronic over
> > time. Moreover, these medications actually create the chemical
> > imbalances they are said to correct and this makes it very difficult
> > to quit taking them. This is why the number of those disabled by
> > mental illness has tripled in the last two decades. Today’s youth face
> > a major hazard from psychiatric drugging.
> > Whitaker examines historical and cross cultural evidence, long-term
> > studies and brain chemistry to reach his conclusions, which are the
> > same for antidepressant, anti-anxiety and antipsychotic medication.
> > The pieces come together to create an undeniable picture: Psychiatric
> > drugs are not an effective long-term treatment for most people.
> > Whitaker has credibility because he has no personal ax to grind with
> > psychiatry. He’s a reporter who investigated when he saw something
> > that did not add up and he found an immense deception. His book has
> > the sparkle of truth and is essential reading for those concerned
> > about mental health.
> > We are fighting for the health, safety and happiness of those
> > suffering from emotional problems. Just because we are right does not
> > mean we will win. Whitaker will give a free talk at 7 pm Friday, Aug.
> > 20, 2010, the Eugene Hilton.
> > ~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > Chuck Areford has worked in the community mental health system in Lane
> > County for the last 20 years.
> > ~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > Article on publication web site with photo of Chuck here:
> > http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2010/08/12/views1.html
> > or use this link: http://bit.ly/9LNdkx
Monday, February 14th, 2011
By ADAM HANNON
A Conestoga College doctor said vitamins and naturopathic remedies are undervalued by much of the medical community.
Dr. Anne Marie Mingiardi has been a member of the Quantum Health Alliance for about six months.
She used to study naturopathic medicine and herbal remedies in her spare time, before choosing to study traditional medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton.
Mingiardi said some people have become too dependant on traditional medicine.
“A lot of patients almost demand antibiotics,” said Mingiardi. “We’re finding that our early development of antibiotics for many illnesses has actually been detrimental.”
She added that the use of too many antibiotics can kill important bacteria in the body, and many viruses, such as laryngitis and bronchitis, don’t even require the medication.
“If students are affected by the cold or flu, instead of reaching for the Advil Cold & Sinus, they could try some of these (natural) remedies,” she said.
She suggested zinc lozenges with vitamin C and echinacea to help treat cold symptoms. They can be found at naturopathic and health food stores, as well as some Zehrs pharmacies.
Mingiardi said it is important for the human body to have enough vitamin D, which it gets from sunlight. She said since many people aren’t out in the sun a lot, and because of the long winters, many Canadians may become vitamin D deficient if they don’t take supplements.
She suggested that people should take vitamins, such as vitamins B6 and C, to supplement their immune systems, and help prevent illness.
She said some of these supplements can be taken up to 10 times a day without any side effects.
She said probiotic dietary supplements have also been developed to replenish the healthy bacteria killed by antibiotics.
“Supporting your immune system is your best way to stay healthy,” she said.
“The naturopathic options aren’t always presented as acceptable,” she said, adding that this is because many doctors don’t necessarily understand naturopathic medicine.
She said she is comfortable referring students to naturopathic medicines, if she is familiar with the remedy in question. She even uses them herself and for her children, because they have fewer side effects than many prescription drugs.
Mingiardi added that the effects of many traditional medicines and vaccines are not always thoroughly researched. She said an example of this would be the current flu vaccine, which contains mercury, which is a neurotoxin, as a preservative.
Eunice Egerhazi, an employee at Waterloo Health Foods Inc., said people come to the store to get remedies for everything from arthritis and prostate problems to cold and flu symptoms.
The store has a large selection of nutritional supplements, homeopathic remedies and teas.
Egerhazi said probiotics are also becoming popular. She said they help to balance the bacteria in the intestines, which helps the digestive system. This in turn helps the immune system, since the digestive system is responsible for 70 per cent of the immune system.
Egerhazi said none of her customers come with the recommendation of their doctor.
“People don’t tell their doctors,” she said. “If they’re taking something, they’re probably not going to the doctor, because they’re already solving their problem.”
Thursday, February 10th, 2011
“Admitting error clears the score, and proves you wiser than before.”… Arthur Guiterman
Confession of any wrong allows everyone involved the freedom of forgiveness, and dismisses a ton of guilt from the equation. The key is sincerity, which is proven over time by not being a repeat offender. That does not mean that you will cease making mistakes in judgement, but it does mean that the offense where pardon was asked for and granted will not reoccur endlessly throughout your lifetime.
Forgiving the same error over and over brings shame into the mix, altering mercy given into a sad form of punishment. To forgive something is much different than condoning it, but when the same issue keeps coming up and free pardon is always granted the line between the two is quickly crossed. Condoning transforms into enabling in the blink of an eye, which guarantees the forgiver a more than fair share of guilt for an offence that has already caused them heartache.
When someone fails to learn from their mistakes then any positives that could occur as a result of the lesson is deleted by default. No wisdom can ever come from de-fault if de-fault is not shouldered in a fashion that embraces its responsibilities. Asking for forgiveness implies lesson learned, or why else would you admit the error in the first place? When we receive amnesty it is our obligation to live up to the faith shown by following through with actions that speak louder than any words ever could.
Self-awareness plays a huge part in the gaining of wisdom. Autopilot is not a safe form of flight for a lifetime; we may use it from time-to-time without any damage done, but prolonged dependence upon it is the fastest route to a crash and burn destination. Examining errors shows us clearly why it was done, and how to avoid it in the future. True wisdom comes from walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Any fool can beg for forgiveness, but the wise truly deserve it.
Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
by Glynis Sherwood
Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships - Steven R. CoveyOne of the most common requests I get for counselling is to help people with their relationships in recovery from addiction. This can mean anything from repairing current relationships to developing healthier connections in the present and future. Sometimes the threat of losing a partner can be the catalyst for getting into recovery. Whatever the starting place, ultimately it is the addicted persons desire for a better life, including healthier relationships as a center piece, that will sustain their recovery.
There can be no doubt about it, relationships are hurt by addiction. From the constant fear of losing a loved one to addiction, and possibly death, to financial chaos, and the loss of trust and intimacy, addiction drives a wedge between loved ones. Partners of addicts often talk to me about the difficulty overcoming feelings of betrayal, as it seems like their loved one has been ‘having an affair’ with their substance or compulsive behaviour of choice. The secrecy and lies that are a hallmark of addictive behaviour compound that sense of being cheated on. Addiction results in a loss of intimacy as the energy that was formerly invested in the relationship is stolen by addictive behaviour. From my experience, rebuilding trust in intimate relationships can be one of the biggest but most rewarding of recovery challenges.
What are the steps to rebuilding relationships in recovery? There are parallel paths for people in recovery and their loved ones.
For the recovering person:
As with the addictive process itself - avoid minimizing and denial of the problem. Acknowledging that addiction has hurt your loved ones, even if you have trouble seeing this clearly due to memory being clouded by addiction, can be the first vital step towards healing the relationship
Apologize for the hurt, and listen emphatically to your loved ones concerns, fear and anger
Realize that it will take time to rebuild trust. Learn to cultivate patience
Acquire new communication skills, including being direct about what you feel and need.
Define a vision for a better life with your partner, and - together - map out how to get there
Seek counselling to overcome psychological difficulties that led to addictive behaviours, and leave you vulnerable to relapse
Become a more active parentFor loved ones:
Understand that your hurt is normal. Build hope by focusing on your long term goal - i.e. to reconnect positively with your loved one in recovery
Learn helpful communications strategies, including being assertive and setting healthy limits. Stop any enabling behaviours such as overcompensating for your recovering loved one
Refocus on yourself. Pursue individual and family activities that are a source of fulfillment and happiness
Talk with your recovering loved one about your hopes for your future relationship, and agree on mutual steps to take to get thereFor both the recovering addict and loved ones, staying committed to the overall well being of oneself and the relationship is key. If the going gets tough, consider attending couple and/or family counselling to rebuild, stabilize and strengthen your relationship.
Monday, February 7th, 2011
“Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.”…. Corita Kent
I often say own your space and this quote perfectly explains why I encourage everyone to live in “the Now” and feel the benefits inspired. Seizing completely all themoments of life is like looking through a magnifying glass. Our point of view is enlarged, our perspective made crystal clear, and time itself passes in a much gentler fashion when we pay it the honour of real attention.
Every single second holds an almost magical power that is released only if validated. We all have the same ability, but too few of us use what can only be attained by deliberate action. This mighty magnifier truly exists, but each of us has to lift it up and peer through or it is just a pointless possession.
You simply cannot see anything with it lying idle and untouched. I mean really, how many books could a pair of glasses read if laid on a stack and left for a lifetime? NONE, would be a safe bet. Tools are meant to be used. We may fumble a bit in learning how things function, but with all things God given it does not take much time to become a craftsman. A birthright quickly becomes second nature and gains momentum with use.
Own your space! Possess your moments, if not they will simply possess you and that makes a willing slave out of a potential master. Live up to your potential.
Friday, February 4th, 2011
“You need to listen deeply…….listen past what people say they want……to hear what they really need” anonymous
This quote inspired some thoughts on families and how they communicate.
Listening is an art form each of us should make a determined effort to master. Doing it well certainly does not come naturally to everyone. This world overflows with unsealed lips… but open ears that are not attached to a busy mouth are rare. Most people are all too willing to offer some kind of advice, assuming I suppose that when a friend or loved one opens up they are seeking a recommended course of action. Few simply listen, even though most often that is all anyone really requires of us, unless clearly stated otherwise. Voice boxes are a dime a dozen, but ear drums are priceless.
The next time you are called upon to play the role of sounding board, let that person vent their frustration without any attempt to direct their actions with suggestions they do not ask for. Unless you are answering a question no comment is required. If they do not ask something then pause for a response it is destructive to the natural flow of their release of stress when you comment. Capping a volcano is a dangerous undertaking.
Listen to what they say and how it is said. Take note of tone of voice, tint of face, stance of body, paying special attention to what the eyes say that the mouth does not. There is so much more to proper listening than simply hearing what reaches your ear. You may have something to say, which they need to hear, but leave any comments unsaid until their mouth is empty and their ears are tuned in. Taking turns is mandatory.
You will notice that they dig much deeper into whatever issue is on their mind and often come up with the perfect answer on their own. When comments get tossed in it stops any train of thought from getting them to a sane destination. You will end up knowing them much better by hearing whatever is really being said. They will also gain more soul-deep knowledge and strength that way than they ever would otherwise.
Simply save your breath and exercise your ears whenever possible.
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne
Creator of The Secret and The Power
“How do I stop my negative thoughts?” - is a question that I have been asked many times. If you have ever asked this question then you will feel such enormous relief in knowing the answer, because it is so simple. How do you stop negative thoughts? You plant good thoughts!
When you try to stop negative thoughts, you are focusing on what you don’t want - negative thoughts - and you will attract an abundance of them. They can never disappear if you are focused on them. The “stop” part is irrelevant - the negative thoughts are your focus. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to stop negative thoughts or control them or push them away, the result is the same. Your focus is on negative thoughts, and by the law of attraction you are inviting more of them to you.
The truth is always simple and it is always easy. To stop negative thoughts, just plant good thoughts! Deliberately plant good thoughts! You plant good thoughts by making it a daily practice to appreciate all the things in your day. Appreciate your health, your car, your home, your family, your job, your friends, your surroundings, your meals, your pets, and the magnificent beauty of the day. Compliment, praise, and give thanks to all things. Every time you say “Thank you” it is a good thought! As you plant more and more good thoughts, the negative thoughts will be wiped out. Why? Because your focus is on good thoughts, and what you focus on you attract.
So don’t give any attention to negative thoughts. Don’t worry about them. If any come, make light of them, shrug them off, and let them be your reminder to deliberately think more good thoughts now.
The more good thoughts you can plant in a day, the faster your life will be utterly transformed into all good. If you spend only one day speaking of good things and saying “Thank you” at every single opportunity, you will not believe your tomorrow. Deliberately thinking good thoughts is exactly like planting seeds. As you think good thoughts you are planting good seeds inside you, and the Universe will transform those seeds into a garden of paradise. How will the garden of paradise appear? As your life!
May the joy be with you, Rhonda Byrne