BIG HEARTS SUPPORTING BIG DREAMS
26 HOUR MUSIC MARATHON IN SECOND LIFE
IN SUPPORT OF THE PARFAIT PARTY
REBELMUM SLADES’ DEFIANT RESPONSE TO STAGE IV CANCER
August 11 3pm to August 12 6pm
@ THE COLOUR FACTORY
At 3PM August 11 SLT a 26 hour Music Marathon commences in support of a very close friend of the Colour Factory, RebelMum Slade. @RebelmumSlade is not only fighting back against the Stage IV cancer in her body but planning to use every ounce of her strength for one great final life adventure reaching out to remarkable people (like her) and recording their stories to help support, comfort and inspire others. RebelMum calls this adventure and act of defiance against cancer, the Parfait Party.
This music marathon is being held to raise money and more importantly to raise the awareness of her story, her adventure and help bring her into contact with people who may become part of her journey. Along with the music from some of SecondLifes most talented and generous musicians Bright Oh will be attempting to sing one hundred of the original songs of SOAR. As Bright puts it – such an epic undertaking by RebelMum deserves something epic in support!
We would love for you to be part of the marathon!
For more info on the Parfait Party just visit the web site
What is the Parfait Party?
Vanessa Taylor was recently diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. It is incurable and life expectancy is about three years. Instead of spending all her remaining time in hospital and focused on health issues, Vanessa has decided to undertake a bold adventure spreading positive stories to all and raising funds for charities. The Parfait Party is:
Vanessa will travel Australia for as long as possible, seeking out inspiring stories and holding charity fund raising events. She is offering some excellent opportunities and perks for anyone wishing to be a virtual traveller; visit http://igg.me/p/121859?a=698918 and pick a perk, join the virtual road trip. Even if you can’t contribute to the Parfait Party you can still help by leaving a comment and Tweet or share using the tools from the Parfait Party site
Finding and celebrating awesome everyday people
While traveling Vanessa will seek out 48 people from around Australia who are unique, inspiring, courageous or just plain awesome. You know, someone who is meeting a challenge, or beating odds and makes you yell “That’s Awesome!” Vanessa will compile these unique stories into a book and feature these everyday inspirations on her blog to share the goodness.
Fund-raising for local charities
And if that wasn’t challenging enough, Vanessa and her remote team will also be hosting hilarious charity fund raising events along the way – the Parfait Party Events. At these events Vanessa will talk about her adventure, a local Awesome Aussie will speak about their unique life and a percentage of proceeds from the Event will go to a local charity, nominated by the Awesome Aussie.
Delivering the goods
From the 48 excellent stories and parties Vanessa and her team will publish a volume (hopefully with many more to come) of inspirational tales and a Parfait Party recipe book. The deliverables from the Parfait Party are
The Parfait Party Blog
Vanessa’s daily ramblings covering everything from the glorious fun of traveling Australia and building the Parfait Party organisation through to minor inconveniences such as cancer, death and soft mushy food. Guest blogs and opportunities to interact abound, so go on. Get involved. Interact. It is a party after all.
The Parfait Party – That’s Awesome! Volume 1
A humorous account of Vanessa’s travels and the towns she discovers, woven around 48 awesome stories of unique and inspirational people found along the way. Celebration, laughter and all the fun of the Parfait Party Events.
The Parfait Party Recipe Book
A collection of parfait dishes from some of Australia’s best venues and creative people sprinkled liberally with anecdotes, quotes and other snippets of the good life.
Come travel with Vanessa!
1. Log on, follow and comment Share Vanessa’s crazy Parfait Party – leave Vanessa a message to support her adventure, and read all the fun updates.
INDIEGOGO: Join the Parfait Party
FACEBOOK: The Parfait Party Group
2. Tell everyone you know about Vanessa’s adventure and forward the link to Indiegogo. The more comments and donations Vanessa receives, the more successful her Parfait Party will be.
3. Be a virtual traveller - Vanessa needs help to get the Parfait Party on the road. Be a part of the team by supporting Vanessa at www.indiegogo.com/parfaitparty. Everyone from interested individuals to big companies will find a place on the virtual road trip bus.
You can reach Vanessa and her team through any of the above sites or if you want to email or talk to a real person, we have some of those too;
Vanessa: 0416 757 629, email@example.com
Mel: 0429 347 765, firstname.lastname@example.org
Come back to center, that place in you that is still, calm, quiet, and connected. Your center is a place you can trust. It connects the body, mind, heart, and soul. It connects your truth and your inner voice. Your insights, awarenesses, and guidance come from being there, at that place. Your center is a place that is quietly confident, unassuming, spontaneous, and free. It is accepting, nonjudgmental, and channels the voice of your heart. It knows perfect timing. If you must leave your center to learn a lesson, feel a feeling, or experience something new, do that. Take all the side trips you are called to, but come back to center when you’re done.
What do Julia Roberts and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have in common? They both think Cooking Shouldn’t Kill!
Toxic cooking smoke claims 1.9 million lives a year – making it the fifth worst threat to public health in the developing world – with women and young children most at risk.
Every 16 seconds a life is lost to one of a range of deadly illnesses caused by inhaling fumes emitted from traditional cookstoves and fuels. In the Congo, that equates to one death for every 68 people.
Reliance on dangerous cooking methods forces women and children to spend countless hours a week collecting fuels like firewood – when they could be going to school or starting a business. Women are at risk as they collect fuel, especially in environments like refugee camps and in conflict zones.
Inefficient cookstoves can also put pressure on environmental resources like forests and animal habitats, and contributes to climate change.
About the Issue of Clean Cookstoves
The use of clean cookstoves and fuels can:
Reduce acute and chronic illnesses and lower the number of deaths from early childhood pneumonia, emphysema, cataracts, lung cancer, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease, and low birth weight caused by exposure to cookstove smoke.
Decrease time needed to collect fuel and the money spent on buying fuel, increasing the time that families have available to start small businesses and educate their children as well as freeing money for the purchase of necessities like medicine and school fees.
Create economic opportunities at the local level for men and women in manufacturing, distribution, sales, and service of improved cookstoves and fuels.
Decrease harmful emissions and pressure on natural resources.
Development of a global clean cookstove industry that is constantly innovating to improve design and performance, while lowering the cost of stoves, can lead the way to widespread adoption of affordable clean cooking solutions.
Learn more here: http://www.cookingshouldntkill.org/
Brought to you by The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private initiative to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.
Global Ambassador for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
Embark on a twelve week guided healing journey though your dreams with dream expert and radio personality extraordinaire Douglas Grunther via the Wise Woman University – Susun Weed highly recommends this personally approved course for you!
This twelve week course (only 6.25 per week) includes:
- Written materials including lessons and assignments
- Personal mentorship with your dream guide Douglas Grunther
- Four full length interactive teleseminars, attend live or listen to recorded events later
- Private group space for interaction with other on the same healing journey
- Twelve weeks to explore your dreams in a safe and guided space
Doug is a rare and special person, have known him well for many decades, and he has so much wisdom to share, and he shares it so freely…anyone interested in healing with dreams and dreamwork will find this course of great value..Doug cured himself of depression and you can too.
12 week course starts April 7 – includes four one-hour interactive teleseminars (all are recorded – attend in person or listen later)
- Teleseminar April 7 – 7pm-8pm EST
- Teleseminar April 28 – 7pm-8pm EST
- Teleseminar May 19 – 7pm-8pm EST
- Teleseminar June 16 – 7pm-8pm EST
Healing Yourself with Dreams – Course goals:
1. Discover the fascinating history of the healing power of dreams.
2. Master techniques for remembering your dreams.
3. Start a healing dream journal.
4. Use your dreams to solve specific issues in your life
5. Explore your dreams to improve overall health and wellbeing.
6. With guidance, use dream work elements “projection”, “shadow”, and “active imagination”
7. Learn about Jungian, Gestalt and Meditative dream work strategies.
8. Resolve nightmares by “alchemizing” their dark content through awareness and insight.
9. Understand the advantages of sharing dreams and work with dreams both one-on-one and in a group format to facilitate your personal healing journey.
Learn how your dreams can provide valuable insights into your physical, emotional and spiritual life. Every night we dream between 4-6 times. Join us for 12 weeks as we delve into the inner psyche in a guided tour of our dream world….
During this course you will learn how to remember more dreams by creating a dream journal and practicing “incubation” techniques. We will explore the fascinating symbols provided by our dreams and learn how to extract the deeper meanings behind them so you can apply them to major life issues. And after a discussion about the advantages of sharing dreams with others, you will learn some of the most effective ways to work dreams one-on-one and in groups.
Doing dream work is like entering a portal of fascinating and transformative energy. Dreams come to reveal important truths which can help us make significant life changes. They provide a more complete picture of who we truly are. Dreams offer us practical advice and can also serve as a profound spiritual activity, a means to psychological self-awareness and creative inspiration. Join me for twelve weeks of healing, fun, fascination, and support.
You can lean more about these classes, and register for them, visit here.
Spring is our favorite season. There’s just something magical about watching the trees and flowers sprout a sea of vibrant colors, as they renew every cell in their anatomies.
But tell me… as nature begins its cycle of rejuvenation, have you considered being in flow with it by rejuvenating yourself too? I want to bring to your attention the science of mind-body healing. Mind-body healing operates on the belief that our minds are naturally capable of healing our physical bodies.
And by healing, I don’t just mean alleviating illnesses – I’m talking about achieving a holistic state of wellbeing where you’re not just healthy, but also energized, mindful and in tune with your body.
If you’re a Centerpointe member I’m sure you’ve already experienced a feeling of enhanced wellbeing by listening to your Holosync- but have you ever considered looking deeper into the mind-body connection?
This is where our friends at The Silva Method come in.
Not too long ago, The Silva Method launched a specialized home training program designed to awaken the human mind’s natural healing capacity.
It’s called Silva Mind Body Healing, and it’s an 11-part multimedia home training program packed with trademark Silva tools, lessons and techniques to help you awaken your inner healer – even if you’re a complete beginner.
Go here to learn more about it
I’m especially intrigued with this material because its secret lies in advanced Alpha and Theta mind training. This makes it the perfect companion to your existing Holosync practice.
(In case you didn’t know, The Silva Method has been around since the 60′s, and has been taught to over 6 million people in 110 countries. It was started by the mind empowerment pioneer Jose Silva, the man whom many say sparked the personal growth movement in the States.
Their teachings are endorsed by some of the world’s top scientists and personal growth leaders, including Jack Canfield, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Shakti Gawain and the famed neuroscientist Mark Waldman.)
Silva Mind Body Healing is easily one of the most popular programs ever released by The Silva Method (and they’ve
released quite a number over the years).
Silva students use it for a variety of purposes, for instance as a holistic wellbeing tool, a way to manage or curb illnesses, and even as a complement to conventional healing practices.
And as a Centerpointe member I’m confident that you too can achieve similarly impactful results with it.
Neural networks are a plastic, dynamic architecture, a constellation of neurons that light up momentarily to perform a specific task. This is why, as you mull over a particular thought (good or bad), or practice a particular activity (beneficial or detrimental), you reinforce the neural networks that correlate with those thoughts and skills. Each time a situation reminds you of an actual fearful or dangerous experience from your past, and instinctual emotions are brought up, that specific neural network is reinforced. We strengthen the toxic emotions and neural networks in our limbic brain and begin to create subconscious beliefs about life. These beliefs drive our actions and reactions in all experiences.
This reinforcement can be done without our knowledge or when we are milking an emotional trauma for sympathy, whether from others or from ourselves. We might say, for example, “I don’t have to act maturely; after all, I had a terrible childhood.” By creating and repeating such a statement, we reinforce neural networks and emotional habits that are as distinct as the postural habits from an old whiplash injury that has affected the vertebra and muscles of the spine. These networks give rise to emotions, then beliefs that keep us favoring past pain, as well as behaviors that continually reinforce the trauma as well as the pity we have learned to so successfully milk.
We reviewed the MRI scan of a stroke victim’s brain that had been taken just two months prior to his visit at our clinic, and there, for all to see, was evidence of severe damage and loss of tissue, not only in the area associated with speech, but also in adjacent areas associated with facial movement and control of the right arm. Nonetheless, his examination revealed no deficits whatsoever. What had happened? Clearly, his brain hadn’t “healed”—at least not physically—because the area of his initial stroke was still damaged, according to the MRI. Yet, his brain had adapted; that is, it had begun to use alternative pathways to regain functionality of the affected part of his body.
Neuroplasticity is the link between contemplative practices and enlightenment. You train your brain to open the portal to wisdom when you turn your attention away from the everyday world and gaze within. In the past, it was thought that this ability belonged only to a few enlightened individuals, a belief system perpetuated by priests and religious hierarchies who had a vested worldly interest in protecting their privileged status.
In truth, every human being has the brain hardware needed to take this giant leap in consciousness. Our brains evolved to provide us with this equipment long ago. And if we look to the past, we can see the extraordinary feats of creativity and innovation that humankind has achieved by relying on the software that came preloaded in the prefrontal cortex.
Until quite recently, most brain researchers held that, even though the brain is malleable in the early years of a child’s development, the window of opportunity for changing its wiring slams shut by around the age of seven years. While it is true that the brain of a fetus or a young child is like a dry sponge, with the potential to soak up all the knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors it needs to survive in its new worldly environment, the premise that the brain can no longer be rewired past a certain early age has now been upended.
Leading-edge neuroscience research now confirms that we can grow new brain cells and change the actual networks in the brain. Once we provide our neurons with specific nutrients lacking in our everyday diet and embark on stimulating new activities, we can establish new neural networks that help transform limiting beliefs and behaviors and recapture long-lost feelings of joy, optimism, and tranquility.
Excerpted from the book Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment (February 1, 2011) by David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM, and Alberto Villoldo, PhD
Because people often tell me they have trouble connecting a negative emotion with the persistent belief that initiated it, I’m making this the second part of my series. (The first part explained why negative emotions can help us.) In the first article, I quoted from the Seth Material, specifically from The Nature of Personal Reality. Seth says about emotions and beliefs the following:
“The free flow of your emotions will always lead you back to your conscious beliefs if you do not impede them.”
Put bluntly, this statement is saying get out of your own way. Often we’re afraid of what we’ll discover when we explore the contents of our thoughts. I’ve found it really helps to be curious, instead, and to do my best to be interested in what I discover.
“It’s Not My Fault, So It Must Be Your Fault.”
While I was writing this article, a situation arose where I realized I was in conflict with some friends about a proposed action. Nothing was inherently wrong about the action, but for me to have engaged in it would have contradicted values I was embracing about the value of my time, experience, and knowledge.
In theory, it might have been easy to simply state my position and discuss it, because these values came from the core of my inner being. However, I discovered I was experiencing negativity that prevented me from being able to do this.
In order to unearth this negativity, I wrote in my daily journal about how I was feeling. In the course of writing I discovered that I was blaming my friends for making me violate my principles. This was absolutely untrue. No one was making me do anything. I found it easier to blame others than to take responsibility for not having immediately realized that the action would have been for me a violation.
Once I realized that, I did some Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) work on it, and I could release blame all around and further resolve to be more aware of the inner voice that was telling me I didn’t want to do that. I also incorporated messages that I didn’t have to be perfect and that not immediately discovering my blockages didn’t make me a failure.
Finding Your Inner Compass
With the explorer’s attitude, we can think of negative emotions as a map. They developed from a specific event or series of related events, and if followed, they will take you back to the time(s) when you made a decision about how to react emotionally and mentally to a certain stimulus.
If you had a parent who told you were stupid, you may act stupid for the rest of your life. Any attempt to claim your native intelligence will seem dangerous because it doesn’t fit with the idea you were given for yourself. Any number of emotions could lead you to this discovery: buried anger that’s allowed to breathe, sadness and tears, resentment, and so on.
Another child might react to the “stupid” label with determination to disprove it. For this person, as an adult, any break from the relentless pursuit to prove one’s intelligence might be dangerous. To relax one’s guard for a moment might prove one’s parents right.
To engage in this kind or exploration requires learning to trust one’s emotions as friends and guides. It may be a wise idea to start small. Take a small irritation you have with yourself or someone else. Allow yourself to feel it fully. Ask yourself in your childhood irritated you. Ask yourself what you decided about people like that.
The Explorer’s Tools
Keeping A Journal
I mentioned that my discoveries came through writing in my journal. I do this at least once a day. I write about whatever is bothering me at the moment, without judgment, punctuation, or spell-check.
This method may not always yield immediate results, but as you persist at opening and deepening your connection to your unexamined thoughts and emotions, you will discover a rich source of enlightenment.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
EFT is an energy practice that involves tapping on meridian points while speaking negative and positive statements. I’ve made some of my biggest discoveries in the course of doing EFT. This method continues to amaze me.
I discovered this method by accident. I was looking through a number of photographs from my childhood, and I discovered emotional stirrings. I looked more carefully and imagined myself back in the scenes that had the most emotional impact.
So many of our persistent negative beliefs were formed in childhood, and an examination of photographs from that time can help you to directly connect with your personal history.
Who Do You Dislike and Why?
This is a very valuable although often humiliating exercise. I have a habit of disliking people who need a lot of attention and often a lot of help. I was raised to be self-reliant. In principle this is a good thing, but it was a value externally imposed, not one I learned myself. The belief I didn’t realize I had about this value was that it was an excuse not to give me attention. The unresolved question from this belief was whether I didn’t get attention because I didn’t deserve it. Untangling this one gave me infinitely more freedom.
The habits of those you dislike may be ones you actively practice or they may be the ones you’d like to practice.
These explorations will develop your emotional muscle. Then you can increase the depth of your search.
Crystals and Essences
You can unravel a persistent emotion by choosing a related crystal or essence. I find essences especially helpful for this. If for example, you find that you’re frequently angry, choose Holly. Feelings of discouragement for a known cause (can’t meet the right person, find the right job, etc.) call for Gentian.
If you are really unsure, two Bach Flower Remedies called polycrests can help. Holly is one, generally recommended for people who are outgoing and expressive. Wild Oat, also an essence for those who have trouble when faced with an array of choices, is recommended for more introverted people.
A third helpful essence can be Star of Bethlehem. This is generally recommended for trauma. After a long study of trauma, I have concluded that the experts are right: most people have experienced unresolved trauma. Thus, taking Star of Bethlehem can open the door to discovery.
In terms of crystals, a very helpful approach is to ask yourself where you feel the emotion. Is your throat tight? Look at the blue and blue-green stones. Is it a solar plexus pain? Look at yellow, yellow-green, and coral-colored stones.
There is a very surprising reason why we tend to suffer over our mistakes as we do. The real source of our pain in these moments — whether we’re alone or with others — is the fear of being seen as less than we’ve imagined ourselves to be. We all know how it feels to try and save face, to scramble for scraps of lost dignity. But fearfully trying to cover up a misstep is not the same as knowing where we’re going.
In fact, whenever we feel compelled to cover our tracks, something is in command of us, isn’t it? But here’s the real question: What part of us wants us to believe that a good “cover-up” is the same as being right? The answer is surprising: It’s our “un-original” self… a level of being that only knows itself through a slew of acquired social images, including the false belief that they must be protected at all costs.
Though we have yet to see it, beating ourselves up after making a blunder doesn’t mean that we actually knew better than what we just did — nor does this kind of suffering lead to greater command or better decisions the next time around. Self-punishing acts prove only one thing: Something in us would rather suffer over what happened in the past than be present to those parts of us that erred in the first place.
Real self-command dawns within us as we realize that reliving the past is powerless to change a present misunderstanding; it comes from the light of our new knowledge that having the courage to drop the level of Self that keeps wronging us and others is far more important than being seen as right. This same realization also grants us the courage to start life over — again and again.
– Guy Finley
Listen to Guy This Week on New Dimensions with Michael Toms
Join best-selling author Guy Finley and New Dimensions host Michael Toms this week as they discuss Meeting Every Moment Without Fear or Worry.
The weekly New Dimensions radio show with Michael Toms is the premier spiritual radio show in the world, broadcast on over 600 radio stations throughout the U.S. and around the globe. Don’t miss this enlightening discussion that begins airing tomorrow, September 8.
Listen free for the next two weeks at newdimensions.org
You have probably heard Ireland referred to as the Emerald Isle. However, it is also described as having the forty shades of green. This is more accurate. The shade of green I noticed on my first trip was more like the cheerful chartreuse hue of peridot. Not until I went to the northwest part of the country (where it rains more) did I experience the energy of the emerald ray.
The breathtaking sight vibrated the kind of healing that goes deep into the spirit. I remembered why emerald is one of my favorite crystals and why more kinds of physical healing have been ascribed to the emerald than to almost any other stone.
The Emerald Prescription
During the third century A.D. emerald was believed to lessen eyestrain, and many gem engravers kept it on their worktable. Various cultures attributed to it the ability to heal a range of digestive troubles.
Emerald was also widely believed to offer its wearer supernatural protection. Hindu physicians claimed that it destroyed demoniacal influences; while others believed that it protected one from the attacks of venomous creatures and evil spirits.
I make no such claims, but emerald does seem to have the gift of banishing emotional venom and the unfriendly spirits that dwell within us.
To understand the gifts of emerald, it’s important to write about some common misunderstandings about love.
Many people who talk about its lack in their lives (“I don’t have a lover;” “My children don’t love me;” “No one likes me”) are speaking about what they aren’t receiving.
Sometimes they talk about love as a transaction (“I give. Why don’t I get?”). If you think about that, it has a stop-and-start quality. I give, pause, I get-or I don’t get.
To speak of love as a one-way or a two-way street indicates an interruption or blockage of energy. Energy’s natural pattern is to flow, not to stop for red lights or wait for a transaction to be recorded. Love is energy, and though it is romantically connected to the heart, it is spiritually connected to the soul. So is the energy of emerald.
The heart, however, is the area where love’s energy often gets blocked. Traditionally in chakra balancing, the pink stones (most commonly kunzite, rose quartz, rhodonite, and pink tourmaline) are placed on this area for issues like lack of love during childhood years, sexual or emotional abuse, the reluctance to love because of previous betrayals, sacrificing one’s best interests in favor of those loved, and other conditions that have caused blockage or imbalance in this area.
It is certainly vital to clear these issues, and it may take much patience and willingness for pain to temporarily arise in order that the clearing occurs. I believe, though, that to address difficulties on the heart level alone, however, creates a closed circle. The issues focus on “Me/You,” whether the “You” represents the people who failed to give love in earlier years (or now) or the people from whom one wants love in the present.
This circle opens when we reach for a greater source of love. One way of saying this would be that the relationship we seek is one of “Me/Thou.” In this case, “Thou” represents one’s greater self, a self connected to an infinite source of love.
This is the energy of emerald. When we are addressing the hurts of the past, we can feel smaller than our pain. Working with emerald reminds us that we are much more than that suffering. Emerald doesn’t specifically relate to interpersonal love relationships. By helping to open our connection to Spirit, it infuses us with nonphysical energy so that our ability to love and forgive becomes much more powerful than our experience of injury and loss. Because the spiritual source of love is unlimited, we are constantly replenished when we make that connection.
You can practice this meditation in one of two ways. The first involves an emerald and a quartz crystal of any size. (Note: it is not at all necessary to have a gem-quality emerald. Tumbled emeralds are available at very reasonable prices.)
Hold the emerald in one hand and the quartz in the other. You can be either sitting up or lying down for this meditation.
The second meditation uses more stones, and you will want to be lying down.
All of the crystals listed below are relevant to the chakra indicated. I am listing my favorites, but these are only recommendations.
At the base of the feet (first chakra): smoky quartz or hematite
Pelvic area (second chakra): red jasper or carnelian
Navel area (third chakra): tiger’s eye
Solar plexus (diaphragm): rhodochrosite. This stone assists in deep breathing.
Heart (fourth chakra): rose quartz
Throat (fifth chakra): aquamarine
Third eye (sixth chakra): charoite
Crown of head (seventh chakra): clear quartz
Statements About Love
You may want to prepare for this meditation by writing a series of statements. Here are some examples:
Even though when I was little, I didn’t get enough love from my mother, I recognize that she, too, didn’t experience much love in her life.
Even though I wanted more love, I choose not to let a lack from the past prevent me from giving myself love now.
Even though I’ve looked to others to give me love, I realize that I can choose to be the source of love.
I recommend keeping each meditation to a few statements and one relationship. As you repeat the statements to yourself, be sure to breathe fully and deeply. Be aware of the emotions that pass through you. Allow them their full expression.
Allow a pause between each statement. Listen to the thoughts that go through your mind. If particular memories arise, make note of them.
After each meditation, you may want to record your emotions and memories. I strongly recommend keeping a journal as you go through this process. Just write down whatever occurs to you without judgment or censorship. After a week, two weeks, or whatever works for you, you may want to reread these entries.
Also keep track of any insights and changes you notice in your relationships with others.
You may have heard this: Love Conquers All. I believe it’s more true to say that love dissolves anything that isn’t love. This is the energy of emerald.
more info on healing crystals and gemstones: Beyond the Rainbow
There’s a saying among medical professionals that everybody owes it to their colleagues to take on a borderline or two. “Borderline” refers to people with borderline personality disorder (BPD), who are some of the most challenging patients there are—so challenging the reasoning goes, that it’s only right that all practitioners assume their fair share of these difficult people.
Borderline patients are hypochondriacs. They believe, almost without ceasing, that something is dramatically wrong with them. And they demand immediate relief of their enormous suffering, in the form of medication, testing, referrals, or hospitalization. Substance abuse—alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal substances—may further complicate the picture.
Borderlines are relentless at getting what they want. So long as you’re meeting enough of their needs, you’re a hero. But make a misstep, which is just about inevitable amidst the drama of their lives, and you’re a bum. This is called splitting. People who suffer with BPD tend to view others without shades of gray, as either wholly good or wholly bad.
I have started out, to every one of my borderline patients, as a savior, as the doctor who finally really understands them and their problems. Sooner or later, all but a few have thrown me over because, in their eyes, I’ve failed them and because they have found a new doctor who really, really does understand them.
The stakes are high. Borderlines are subject to all sorts of self-harming behavior, including substance abuse, self-mutilation and suicide. So anything done to lessen their suffering can make a huge difference in their lives and in the lives of the people who exist within borderlines’ chaotic orbit.
There are numerous theories about the genesis of BPD, none of which captures more than a fraction of the truth about this unhappy way of existence. Some explanations say that BPD is merely an extreme of the normal variation of personality. Others blame genetics, abusive parenting, or toxic exposure early in life.
I’d like to discuss one theory of BPD that has special appeal to me because it treads the line between science and spirit. The ideas come from an article entitled, “The Role of Mindfulness in Borderline Personality Disorder,” published in the October 2009 issue of The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.
The authors hypothesize that the extreme measures that borderlines take to avoid being aware of uncomfortable emotions, sensations, and situations precludes them from becoming habituated to these experiences. “Habituation” refers to the lessening of sensitivity that occurs with repeated exposure to a stimulus, such as the sound of the train rumbling by to the people who reside next to the tracks or the livestock smell to the feedlot’s neighbors. By not allowing themselves to actually experience noxious stimuli, whether internal or external, borderlines don’t ever get to down-regulate their raw nerves. They find themselves in a vicious cycle of escalating distress and attempts to avoid it. Borderlines set the curve for dukkha, Sanskrit for suffering, the theme of Buddha’s First Noble Truth.
For this study, the researchers enrolled 70 borderline inpatients at a Dallas psychiatric unit, each having suffered extreme psychological trauma in the past and severe impairment, such as major self-destructive behavior, in the present. Participants were administered a number of psychological tests, including the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), a 15-item test which subjects rate, on a scale of 1 to 6. The MAAS assesses awareness of emotions, thoughts, actions and situations. (A sample question, to be rated 1 to 6, is, “I find it difficult to stay focused on what’s happening in the present.”)
The study’s authors did find a strong negative correlation between mindfulness and manifestations of BPD. That is, as mindfulness went up, this particular form of suffering went down, and vice versa.
Neither the researchers nor I would contend that lack of mindfulness is the sole explanation for the dukkha of the borderline condition. Still, mindfulness, a prescription for managing all forms of suffering, might provide a handhold on the slippery slope of personality disorder. Dialectical behavior therapy, a form of psychotherapy used for some BPD patients, does include a component of mindfulness training.
Over the years, a few borderlines have stayed in my practice for a long time. The secret of our success has been to see each other frequently, sick or not. That way the patient doesn’t have to be in severe distress to gain my attention. At visits where suffering is less, there may be enough attention and emotional energy left over to build, gradually, a relationship that depends on something other than the patient’s pains and the doctor’s nostrums.
Occasionally we can develop enough mutual trust to move on, slowly, to a healthier outlook and life. The relationship itself is therapeutic.
Developing a relationship with a borderline is no easy task. This cluster of personality traits has no correlation with intelligence, which means that a borderline patient may not only be needy, demanding and manipulative, but plenty smart too. Borderlines provide me with some of the greatest tests of my professional skill and personal compassion.
Because I have a special interest in psychiatry and because there is a huge need for compassionate care of these unfortunate individuals, I have significantly more than my “fair share” of borderlines in my family practice. How do I manage it? With mindfulness, of course. Regular meditation practice is my most important tool for managing difficult patients. By quieting my “monkey mind” (or by allowing it to dwell with at least a shred of ease in what causes me distress) I gain space between perception and reaction when dealing with people who have black belts in the art of pushing emotional buttons.
By no means am I ready to state that borderline personality disorder is the opposite of mindfulness, nor that meditation is the cure. Nevertheless, no matter what your relationship to BPD—patient, family, friend, helping professional—I strongly recommend that you try meditating.