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Holistic Psychology, Coaching, Motivation, Inspiration and Freelance Writing.

In an ever changing society, it is important to keep in touch with what is truly important in life. You are not what you own nor your position in society. You are a human being with a soul, like all others, walking along a path on this journey called life. Hopefully, this blog can be of some support. You do not have to struggle alone along this path.

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My cage has been rattled!

Link: http://www.venerinaconti.com

Ok, my cage has been rattled and, as those of you who know me know, when my cage is rattled, I don?t get angry but I do start to kind of choke on sparkles of fire drops, and then I find it very difficult to be quiet. So, here I am with another article.

Everyday, everywhere we?re willing to look, if we open our eyes, we can see poverty and conditions that can be considered less than human by today?s living standards. Whether we choose to ignore them or not, the fact remains that there are starving human beings in the world; children, men and women. The fact also remains that there are people without a roof over their heads and without clean water to drink.

We may not know their faces and we may think the problem isn?t ours. We may even think the problem is so remote from where we live that it?s none of our concern, but that?s not the case.

There is no country in this world that doesn?t have poverty or sub-human conditions. There is no country in this world that doesn?t have someone living on a park bench or under a bridge or out in the desert or in a cardboard box. Most of the time, we don?t see it or we choose not to see it because we look the other way, and we all have our reasons for doing so.

Some of us think that by looking the other way, the problem will go away. Some of us think the person on the street should get a job like the rest of us. Some of us think that by giving a euro to someone, we?re only going to be feeding their drug habit. Some of us can?t even look at a person on the street because it brings feelings of guilt about the way we live and what we have in our lives. Instead of feeling grateful for what we have, in the face of the misfortune of another, we subconsciously feel guilty.

Some of us may even feel apathetic and so saturated by all the poverty and harsh conditions out there, that we turn our backs for that very reason. I find that even sadder than poverty itself.

Yet, what disturbs me and rattles my cage the most is when people just sit around talking about tragic conditions and poverty by saying: ?how tragic, how sad, makes me cry,? yet they do little or nothing to lift a finger to help relieve some of the suffering out there in the world. Of course, I am not talking about everyone, and of course there are many many people who help. I am fortunate and blessed to know plenty of them.

It would either seem that people just don?t realise how much of a difference they can actually make if they were truly willing to. Or, in the face of it all, they still do nothing. It is sad, I?m not saying it isn?t, but a starving human being doesn?t put food in his stomach with words or people sitting around feeling sympathetic. A freezing human being, living on the street, doesn?t warm up with people sitting around feeling sorry for him or turning away.

I can understand people?s apprehensions nowadays, but I?m sure if people had the choice, nobody would willing, freely or whole-heartedly opt to live in a cold, hostile or starving environment.

Yet, what we forget is that there are so many ways to help and it doesn?t always have to be with grand gestures. It doesn?t always have to be with money and it doesn?t always have to take up hours and hours of your time.

For example, if you don?t want to give the guy on the street a euro because you?re afraid he?ll go and buy drugs, go and buy him a sandwich. Think about whether it?s really about the euro and the drugs or whether it?s an excuse not to part with a possession that?s yours. Let me remind everyone that when we die, we can?t take any of it with us. Or, worse still, is it because we can?t bare the thought of being close to someone who is smelly and dirty -someone who reminds us of everything that we don?t ever want to become; our worst nightmare and the darkest side of life we couldn?t bare to face.

I can guarantee you this: when you give the guy that sandwich, if he?s hungry, he?ll be truly grateful and if you throw in a coffee, the look of gratitude he?ll give you will be priceless. It will warm your heart for years to come. In fact, you may never forget that look for as long as you live, and when he dies, you?ll remember him and know that you played your part in trying to keep him alive.

Yet, not everything is about money. The men and women sleeping on park benches and in cardboard boxes, they get cold too in winter. For those of you who like to have spring cleans and throw out old blankets, have you ever thought about asking any one of those human beings if they need a blanket, a jacket or a coat? The problem is, half the time, we?re afraid to talk to these people because most of the time we see them as less than human or even as simpletons.

Yet, less than human George may have a sad story. He may have lost his job and his wife. His children may have abandoned him. So, he feels he has nothing left to live for. He simply lives on the grass because he feels he?s at God?s mercy until death comes for him, and most of the time he wishes death would come for him. He?s grateful for any kind word anyone has to say to him in passing by the local bus stop.

The young girl, Helen, who everyone makes fun of, and who has been pushed from pillar to post between institutions, may have lost her mother and her husband prematurely to cancer and has nowhere to go. Her home may be possessed by someone who doesn?t really want her there. Her only child may have been taken away from her and she may not be allowed to see him. She too may feel like she has nothing much in life. She has food from a local shelter but what she really needs is someone to give her a kind word and put their arm around her and let her know that tomorrow will be ok.

Until we know why someone is where they are, we cannot second guess someone?s life or what they?ve been through, and trust me everyone has a story. Yet, the problem, I think, with our world is that not everyone has ears they?re willing to use. Sure, we all listen, but do we really listen?

There are so many ways to help others; distributing food to shelters; sponsoring (or adopting) children in their own countries, helping the elderly, visiting people in hospital through organisations, and the list could go on and on.

We can all donate some of our time, our love, our talent, our prayers and maybe some of our money - there are 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. The important thing is to realise that everyone can make a difference if they really want to. A tiny gesture to you may mean the world to another human being.

  09/08/10 10:39:28 am , by admin   , 3173 views, Welcome,

Love ...

Link: http://www.venerinaconti.com

Just lately I have read and heard so many negative and positive things about love, it reminded me of an article I wrote many years ago.

In the article, I described love as an abstract concept; something intangible - an emotion or a feeling we experience deep within our inner being. Yet, something we cannot physically touch; an idealistic state we all wish for - someone to love us.

We may experience emotional, chemical, psychological and physical symptoms as a consequence of the feeling of love like a racing heart, sweaty palms, desire, lust, a lack of hunger or sleepless nights. Yet, we cannot see or touch our emotions with our physical senses.

In that article, I said that most people everywhere aspired to it. Men, (and women), killed in its name. I said that we all daydreamed about it at some point; that children give it freely, whilst adults are cautious who they give it to.

I also said that some may delude themselves that they are feeling it or experiencing it, and that sadly some may never experience it at all in their life.

I mentioned that uttering this very simple four letter word ?love? has the ability to make one person ecstatically happy, while making another person completely despair.

By saying ?I love you? to someone, it?s possible to mend a broken relationship, it?s possible to heal wounds and break barriers between people. Love can also quite simply make right a whole load of wrongs.

In my article though I questioned whether love per se was enough nowadays, or whether our society has become so materialistic that many marriages are based more on interest than love. Or, whether there is so little love in the world, as we grow further and further apart as human beings, that many marry because they don?t want to be alone.

I questioned whether there would be fewer divorces in the world if there were more love.

I asked if the word ?love? nowadays has just become a convenience; if the romanticised concept of love has become just another misconstrued reality based on false literary and media reality, or just another expression too quickly and falsely used for gaining physical pleasure with the opposite sex.

Whichever the case, I do not see that as love. It?s the illusion of love.

I?m no expert in love but I do know that unconditional love is when you never walk away; despite the odds. It?s never losing that faith and respect. It?s the strength to walk away from someone when they tell you to leave them alone and get on with their life. It?s knowing you would give your life to save the life of someone you love. It?s knowing you would give up your entire world if you had to. Even though, in love nobody makes demands and nothing is ever asked. Everything is freely given as a gift between people.

It?s knowing that if you ever deliberately harmed another it would hurt you more. It?s getting on a plane and travelling half way around the world just to hold someone or be there for someone just because you know they need you.

I feel there are many ways to love the different people in our lives, our families, our friends, our colleagues, but there is only one kind of love: the unconditional and eternal kind.

There is no I or ego in love. There is only love itself. It is what drives people to help others; showing kindness, love and compassion to perfect strangers.

No one person ever loves the same as another and no one individual ever experiences love the same as another, but sharing love brings people closer together.

Where love begins nobody knows. It?s a question philosophers and romanticists have been debating since the beginning of time. Where it will end nobody knows.

If you believe that death is only the end of the physical, and that love touches the very essence of who we are, then you must believe that love does not die. If we plant the seeds of love well during our life, they will continue to grow fruits until the hereafter and beyond… perhaps that is what makes love eternal.

  09/08/10 02:37:16 am , by admin   , 1933 views, Welcome,

Transpersonal Psychology

Link: http://www.venerinaconti.com

Transpersonal psychology is a relatively new science that emerged in the late 1960s. It emerged from the psychological schools of behaviourism, humanism and psychoanalysis in a bid to explain what couldn?t be explained by conventional means.

The foundation of Transpersonal Psychology is accredited to William James, Carl Jung and Abraham Maslow who used transpersonal methods of thinking in their psychology. In 1969, Stanislav Grof, Anthony Sutich and Abraham Maslow created the first issue of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. In 1972, the first Association for Transpersonal Psychology was founded.

Maslow considered Transpersonal Psychology to be the fourth major wave in Psychology schools. He thought it was the most positive and truly complete psychology par excellence because it deals with human development in its entirety from scientific to transcendental; in mind, body and soul.

Transpersonal Psychology aims to understand human nature, the world and the universe at large, in relationship to one another, in a holistic way; as a whole instead of segregate parts. It?s concerned with different states of consciousness individual?s experience and the highest potential humanity can attain through self-development, peak experiences, mystical and spiritual experiences and everything that goes beyond what is considered a physically tangible experience.

The transpersonal domain seeks to explain what conventional science has dubbed as ?miraculous,? ?extraordinary phenomena,? or simply ?impossible to believe.? More importantly it is a psychology that seeks to understand what it means to be a spiritual being having a human experience.

Transpersonal Psychology integrates the principles of conventional psychology, philosophy, healing, spirituality and creativity in all its forms in order to research and understand the human experience of life and the cosmos as an interactive ?oneness?.

The basis of Transpersonal ideology is that all life and the universe are one and form part of a higher consciousness that can operate through any individual who is capable, or aware enough, to tap into its infinite resources. It is within this infinite cosmos that it is believed all knowledge is stored, pre-existent and available for tapping into; for the good both of an individual and humanity at large.

Conventional science relies on tangibility of proving with facts and figures. Transpersonal science lacks somewhat in this area because there are no one set of specific rules or formulas that can be applied for comparative or investigative purposes. Transpersonal research is almost impossible to subject to rigorous scientific tests.

Transpersonal Psychology seeks to comprehend everything beyond physical and scientific reality; how this differs or is similar among different people within different cultures; how something beyond human comprehension can operate through an individual. It seeks to explain how the infinite works through the finite.

Within the realm of the transpersonal, everything has it?s own, particular, meaning. Nothing happens by chance and individuals can alter their life, or any part of it, by way of a shift in conscious awareness.

A simple alteration in the way an individual thinks, interacts with their environment and within the universe itself can bring about big changes.

The transpersonal world could be described as the independently conscious realm that lies beyond the realm of the physical senses. It is an independently explainable realm beyond the proven logical and scientific realm. It is the supreme infinite of ?being? along with the eternal wisdom that has always been, is and always will be, which resides within, through and beyond all of us.

This infinity resides within each and every individual; only some are more in tune with its frequency than others. However, all of us have the potential to tap into it with the right guidance.

Venerina Conti
www.venerinaconti.com

  31/05/10 04:26:30 pm , by admin   , 3935 views, Welcome,

Creativity, Healing and Meditation

Link: http://www.venerinaconti.com

Creativity and Healing abilities can be a lifelong journey of discovery and a step by step progressive growth over the decades. They change with age and spiritual maturity.

Creativity and healing can only happen when a person is ready, open and wants it to happen. Nobody else can make it happen. We can all receive guidance from others, from books, from inspiring people but ultimately, we are the only ones who are responsible for ourselves. We need to find new ways of communicating with ourselves on all levels.

To move forward, we need to break old patterns of thinking; even if sometimes this means going against every belief structure we have. Most of the time, we are our own worst enemies. We hold ourselves back with the amount of junk we store in our minds. We recreate and exaggerate the bad things in our minds until they eat away at us. Sometimes, we give ourselves bad advice when we should just be sitting patiently and quietly to see how things play out naturally.

Somehow, from childhood to adulthood, we forget how to be creative. Sometimes because of a lack of encouragement or because the society we live in dictates a certain type of acceptable behavioural pattern. Sometimes we are forced to believe that maturity means being serious, taking responsibilities with a certain attitude, which makes for creativity being viewed as a childish whim.

Regardless of the reasons, the truth is we forget there are limitless boundaries of infinite possibilities. We confine and limit our thoughts, which consequently imprisons us by making us believe we can no longer be whoever or whatever. One day, we wake up and feel gloomy because we are resigned to never achieving whatever it was we use to dream of.

As a consequence of this imprisonment, we eventually lose our motivation to strive for the achievement of our dreams. We doubt or ignore our capabilities and we often settle for a ?second best? way of living. Given time though, as I have discovered in my many friends, in later life this sense of second best living fills us with remorse and/or a sense of resignation. Remorse eventually eats away at us and before we know it we?re ill. We?re depressed. We don?t know how to cope with the world around us and we?ve forgotten who we are and how to live.

In contrast to popular belief, children do not look to adults for help in being creative or inventing their characters. They do not consult with them over decisions about how each character should be. Instead, children are totally independent in thinking. They quite happily go off, invent and explore without consulting anyone for anything. The only thing children do is look to adults for inspiration and approval. So, why do we become so reliant on others in adulthood?

If we look at it from the principle that children only look to adults for inspiration, comfort and/or approval; when these needs are not met or when the child is ridiculed, punished or reprimanded for their creative actions, they begin to form unrealistic opinions about themselves.

Self-doubts and fears begin to set in and slowly but surely the child starts to lose his/her creative and imaginative qualities.

As the child grows older, he/she begins to depend more and more on the opinions (judgments) of others because there is no longer enough self-confidence to trust their own. After long term dependency on this reliability of others, people become slowly drained of all enthusiasm. It then follows that in adulthood people need to look to others for motivation and validation. Some may even rely on others to tell them what their goals in life should be and what path they should take.

To try and clarify what I mean, here?s a perhaps extreme but simple example: A little girl, age 4, who I will call Sara, dresses up like a princess; long dress, crown, her mother?s shoes, make-up and feathers. She runs to her parents in the living room who respond with a critical and demeaning tone: ?Don?t be stupid, you will never be a princess, get that stuff off, you look ridiculous.?

In that one sentence, Sara has been given such a negative view of herself that if it is persistently repeated over a period of time she will assimilate into her own perception of herself. She will accept is as her own concept of her reality.

What happens is:

Doubt sets in. Creativity is viewed as a negative quality and so is imagination.

Sara would have a low amount of self-esteem.
She?s thinking, ?I?m stupid, my parents told me so,? ?I?m not good enough to be a princess,? which in later life translates into: ?Well, as I am stupid, I am never going to learn anyway, so why should I bother? or ?I?m not good enough, so why should I bother aiming high?? Motivation and drive is gone. Desire to achieve has gone and the self-belief in her own capabilities has gone.

?You look ridiculous?, in Sara?s mind could equate to thoughts of: ?I am not pretty.? In later years, no matter how good she may look to others, Sara will never think she is pretty enough.

I am not saying that we should run out and blame our parents or our teachers or others who have influenced our life. I am just outlining some possible causes for loss of creativity. As adults we cannot deny our own sense of self responsibility.

We all need to learn to become more self-reliant, more self-validating and more independently minded thinkers. The beauty is that as an adult we can make our own choices based on formulated opinions from information and experiences we have accumulated. We can choose to find a lesson and the positive in negative situations. We can choose who to surround ourselves with and what influences to take on board. We can choose what to believe and what to discard.

When I was younger my grandmother who couldn?t read or write (but was very wise) said to me once: ?We are all born alone and we will all die alone, so we should never have to completely rely on others for anything. You make your bed, you lie in it.? As I get older, I begin to really appreciate how true this statement is. In fact, I have taken it one step further.

I believe that alone decide what goes through our mind daily, what thoughts we choose to have and whether they are negative or positive. We alone decide what types of internal dialogues to have with ourselves every waking minute we spend with ourselves.

Over the years working in luxury hotels around the globe, I have spent a considerable amount of time studying, observing and questioning successful people and their attitudes.

By successful I mean people who have achieved their dreams in life or who are happy. The conclusions I have drawn from my quest are always the same: He who really wants something, makes time. He who desires something, does everything in his power to make the circumstances right for things to happen and he who really craves change, works every hour God sends (even for free) in order to achieve it.

There is nothing that could stand in this type of person?s way. There is no mountain too high to climb. There is no obstacle that cannot be gotten over and there is no shame in failing time and time again until. The key is belief in one?s self regardless of others.

Here?s a classic example of not using Creative energy. Three years ago, I was sat in the staff area of a hotel when a barman came in complaining bitterly about his job. He went on and on about how much he hated working in a hotel bar, how much he wanted to do something else where he could earn more. He wanted to have enough money to go on nice holidays, stay in luxury hotels, buy a better car, have a nicer apartment etc. He went on about how much he felt he was unappreciated and how he felt stuck in a rut; like life was going nowhere.

After about twenty minutes of listening to him, I enquired as to what he thought he might like to do and how he planned to do it. More to the point, I asked him if he?d thought about an alternative career and how he planned to achieve it.

I must add here that this barman is a wonderfully, talented artist who has created some beautiful pieces. Art was never something he had ever tried to pursue. Despite encouragement from his mother, in his mind his talent would never earn him money.

I asked why he didn?t consider trying to pursue an artistic career. He replied that he wasn?t good enough. He had never tried and was obviously not really interested in trying.

So, I asked whether he had ever considered further education in order to acquire more qualifications. His reply was that he didn?t have time, he didn?t have the money, he didn?t enjoy studying and couldn?t really be bothered. He even brought his girlfriend into the conversation saying that whatever time he had available was dedicated to her.

I would just like to point out here, his working times were between 3pm and midnight (roughly) five days a weeks. He had two days off a week and every night he went to bars with his friends. I am not going to judge him but he could have made time. He could have saved enough money by not going out so often. What distinguishes this type of person from one who succeeds is the conscious decision one makes not to be like it anymore. We all have a choice and the power to decide which choices to make in life.

When we learn we are not just the bodies we live; when we realise that life is far beyond our limiting physical abilities; when we realise that we can be as infinite as the Universe and when we learn that nothing is really THAT bad that it matters that much; when we learn that we alone are responsible for ourselves; only then can we truly begin a healing and creative process that goes beyond all imagination.

The trick is to learn to take small steps at a time. As Edgar Cayce said, we need to learn to have higher ideals, we need to set ourselves realistic goals, we need to find within ourselves love, compassion and brethren towards our fellow human beings. We need to learn to respect our environment and we need to break free from moulds society would have us confined to.

We will make some wrong choices along the way but we need to learn that that is ok. We need to find the lesson in the bad choices we make. Once we have learnt that lesson, we need to accept what we did as a natural process of growth. We need to forgive ourselves and move on.

If we never made mistakes, we would never learn. If we never learnt we would never grow, and it doesn?t matter how many times we make a mistake or the same mistake. No-one is perfect. Life is not a competition and everyone learns in their own time.

As long as we are moving forward we cannot fail. Failure is only a concept created in the mind of those who expect to climb Mount Everest without ever having walked more than a mile in their lives!

If we are going to heal, we need to learn to be our best friend.

Learning to recognise a peak experience or a spiritual moment is an excellent way to begin the healing process internally. Frequent meditation can restore inner peace and harmony. It?s an indispensable part of healing and re-connecting the mind, body and soul to create balance. It also has amazing effects on Creativity.

Meditation can put everything into perspective. Meditation is an excellent means to connecting with the self and making self discoveries that have previously been suppressed or ignored. When we stand outside the issue, we can see it more clearly. It also allows us to connect with our Higher self and the Universe.

Eastern philosophies such as: Buddhism, Vedanta and others similar that advocate that education for the intellect alone is insufficient and should be accompanied by education and training for what he refers to as the ?eye of contemplation;? the opening up to knowledge that goes beyond the realm of the physical, rational, categorised and explainable.

Meditation, can help us to control our minds and emotions, although it requires patience, time and dedication in order to achieve a quietness within and around the mind.

Each human being is confined and delimited by way of that which they hold in their mind. Buddhism focuses on the need for man to be in control of his own mind and not vice versa.

More specifically, it mentions the need for ?attention training and cultivation of concentration?, which are considered essential to stop the mind from wandering off on its own. It suggests that a well ordered mind will be capable of controlling and nurturing emotions, at will, such as: happiness, love, compassion etc. It will, also, be able to shift emotions from negative to positive; alleviating, or even eliminating sadness, fear and anxiety.

Recognising these destructive emotions is the first step to changing them and nurturing the positive ones, with the aid of a few transcendental practices.

Qijong, Taoism and Yogic practices teach us that by recognising every moment is precious and unique, and by gratitude for ?what is?, by way of inner peace, an individual can be truly happy because nothing more than this moment will matter and every new moment will be a new experience.

Venerina Conti
www.facebook.com/venerina

  31/05/10 02:51:10 pm , by admin   , 2339 views, Welcome,

Labels & Self Descriptors

Link: http://www.venerinaconti.com

Labels reflect a person?s life, the way they?ve chosen to live it and the beliefs they have. They are born of a person?s history and experiences. They tell us something about who they were and who they?ve become today. They also give us clues as to why they are the way they are. Yet, they may still not be the true I of a person. So, you might be asking: Is there a true I of a person?

In 1936, Sicilian author and 1934 Nobel Prize winner for literature, Luigi Pirandello published Uno, Nessuno e Centomila; (One, Nobody and One Hundred Thousand). Vitangelo, the central character in the book becomes aware that everyone he knows has a different definition of who he is. He doesn?t identify himself with any of these definitions. He sees them as separate personas people have created in their minds about him.

In an attempt to destroy these personas, Vitangelo starts to act foolishly; in a way that almost borders on madness in the eyes of others. Yet, no matter how foolishly or madly he acts outwardly, he comes to realise that his spirit is definitely incapable of being mad or a fool.

The moral of Pirandello?s novel, as the title suggests, is that everyone is made up of one, none and one hundred thousand Is. Often, we each show the I we think is most appropriate at any given time. That I is then subject to others? interpretation of us. It mulls around in their internal processes and resurfaces in the shape of a persona I they have just created for us.

The I we manifest and the way we choose to conduct ourselves are relative to the environment, the culture, the circumstances and the people we find ourselves in the presence of. They are relative to points in time throughout our lives, and they are built on the foundations of the ideals we have.

Although we manifest a few similar characteristics of our I all the time, we can potentially have as many I?s as we do circumstances in life. We can also potentially have as many persona I?s created for us as the number of people we know in the world. Everyone is unique in their way of thinking. They may share some common traits but, generally, their definitions of us will be different.

Whether we do it consciously or not, when we are in the presence of others, we assess who they are, how they might respond to us and we adjust ourselves accordingly. Of course this is not a general rule because there are those who cannot, have not or will not master this adjustment quality.

Those who can and do show a particular sensitivity towards others. They are demonstrating an ability to put themselves in someone else?s shoes and see a different perspective to their own. As we will see in the chapter on Neuro Linguistic Programming, one of the tricks to effective communication is being able to put yourself in someone else?s shoes and see perspectives other than your own.

No matter what labels we choose to use in life, we are all spiritual beings having a human experience. We walk between the spiritual and the physical realms. We are an interconnectivity between energy and mass. We exchange this energy all day long with others and with our environment.

If using labels sometimes hold us back in life, then so do self-descriptors. When we say, I can?t because I am not that way inclined or It?s not in my nature, I?m not strong enough, I can?t help it, I?m too overweight to do that, I?ve never been able to, we?re:

Keeping ourselves from discovering new possibilities, taking risks and putting ourselves out there.
Stopping ourselves from acknowledging and implementing the positive qualities we do have.

Using descriptors as excuses for maintaining the status quo.
Attempting to manipulate other people?s behaviours.
Really saying ?I have no intention of trying or changing.?

In his 1976 book, Your Erroneous Zones, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer explains descriptors at length. I am going to briefly give you an outline here. Dr. Dyer calls them our I?ms and places them under appropriate headings. I have placed them into the following categories:

Academic avoidance ? I?m not good at science, maths etc. By using this descriptor, we never have to master a particular subject we?ve never found interesting enough. They?re excuses for expanding our knowledge.

Lack of skill ? I?m no good at swimming, cooking, drawing etc. Not only do these descriptors justify our failure in the past, they also justify why we should never have to do them in the future.

I would add that in some cases, like cooking, cleaning or sewing, they?re excuses we make in order to get someone else to do something for us. Therefore, they can be manipulative.

Genetic/Personality excuses ? I?m too shy, I?m quiet, I?m nervous etc. These descriptors are used as resigned self-acceptances. Using them does not challenge who we are nor force us to re-evaluate ourselves.

They support the negative self-beliefs we hold onto about ourselves. Sometimes, they are just opinions others have expressed about us in the past, which we?ve woven into our idea of our I.

Ridicule avoidance ? I?m clumsy, I?m uncoordinated etc. We use these when we avoid doing something, we might like to, for fear of being ridiculed. Particularly when it involves activities we don?t consider ourselves as skilled as someone else for.

Physiological ? I?m too tall, I?m too short, I?m not pretty, I?m overweight etc. Dyer explains that we use these to avoid putting ourselves on the line with the opposite sex. He also says it?s our excuse for not having to work at being attractive to ourselves.

I will add that sometimes we use these descriptors as excuses for not mixing with other people in general. They?re a perfect excuse to barricade one?s self at home and not go out very much. Furthermore, I?ve heard these types of descriptors used to justify not getting a job, a role, a gig etc.

Of all the descriptors, I think the physiological ones are probably the worst. They are the ones that have the biggest impact on us. Not only can they socially disable us but they have serious long-term psychological effects on us as well.

In most case, these descriptors are the ones we worry about the most. The media has conditioned us into thinking there is a perfect physical type we should aspire to. Yet, if we look at nature, it comes with all kinds of faces, shapes and sizes.

The most important thing is being healthy. Yet, health isn?t always equated with a perfect physical type.

Behavioural ? I?m untidy, I?m a perfectionist, I?m meticulous etc. These descriptors are somewhat manipulative. They justify certain behaviours of ours and kind of demand that others behave the same way around us. They act as rule makers.

Excuses for ineffective behaviour ? I?m forgetful, I?m careless etc. When we do something that is less than effective, it is very convenient to use these as an excuse to validate our actions.

Ethnic ? I?m Italian, I?m French, I?m Chinese etc. I explained these in terms of being labels; earlier in the chapter.

Yet, Dyer is making a point here that we use our environmental and cultural background as excuses for many of our behaviours.

If a behavior is too difficult to explain, if we plain don?t want to explain it, or if we don?t want like it but don?t want to confront it, we use our ethnicity as an excuse to pardon ourselves.

Excuses for hostile behaviour ? I?m bossy, I?m the leader, I?m pushy etc. Instead of learning to control our tempers a little more, we react first and justify later with phrases such as these.

I think these types of descriptors are very dictatorial and manipulative. I find that their usage can be very emotionally stressful for the receiver.

Sentences like, I?m the boss, you do it my way or you?re fired is a perfect example. The act of firing may be a heat of the moment idle threat, but the seed of insecurity has been planted in the receiver?s mind.

As well as the obvious, there is also an element of emotional blackmail in that phrase. Trust and respect have been breached. They will be lost and unrecoverable.

Behaving in a rash way and then, in calm retrospect, justifying it with I?m sorry, that?s just me, I?m bossy by nature represents the detrimental mind games people play with each other, which can have more serious long term psychological implications.

Age ? I?m too old, I?m tired, I?m Middle-aged etc. These are classic descriptors a person uses to justify not taking a chance on something new and moving any further forward in life; especially when there may be an element of risk involved.

We are not the labels or self-descriptors we use to place ourselves into categories. Nor are we the ones others would pigeon hole us with. They are the product of our lifetime?s journey. Labels and self-descriptors are ways of identifying ourselves with others. They are ways of justifying our shortcomings and validating our behaviours and actions.

While we cling to our labels and descriptive qualities, we do not have to aspire to anything more. We don?t have to take any risks and we don?t have to put ourselves out there on the line. We don?t have to face our fears. We don?t have to leave our comfort zones. We can just stay exactly where we are; unchallenged, without judgment and set in the same old ways we?ve been accustomed to for years.

Life, however, is in the present. We can?t keep living in the past. What?s gone is gone. It should be blessed for having taken place, and we should be grateful for all of it. No matter how bad something may seem at the time, it always has something to teach us. Once the lessons have been learnt though, we need to let the events go.

Today is all that matters. We start building our tomorrows based on our thoughts and beliefs of today. If we choose, today, to stop using auto-defining labels and self-descriptions, we open ourselves up to tomorrow?s endless possibilities.

Venerina Conti
www.venerinaconti.com
www.facebook.com/venerina
www.venerina.blogspot.com

  31/05/10 12:20:45 pm , by admin   , 3158 views, Welcome,

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