How To Defeat False Expectations Appearing Real AKA FEAR

 Thich Nhah Hanh Quote

Emotional Fitness Thoughts

Think about the above and then think about how it applies to political, religious, racial ranting, even to peaceful protests. We share our fears to dilute them. Helpful when done in small doses and privately with one or two others.

Reality check: Everyone wants the comfort of knowing our fears are shared. However, when such comfort mainly comes only by sharing the fear, the fear grows.

Emotional Fitness Training Tips

Tip one: Challenge fears with a safety check. Who is in physical danger right now? Not you unless you are sitting in a burning house and using your computer to call for help.

Tip two: Avoid what increases fear. Watch less news. Avoid discussions that only add to your fear or anger.

Anger is fear disguised – we fear being hurt and when hurt we fight or flee. Better to flee than to get trapped by anger into doing things that you regret or hurt others.

Tip three: Stay in the now. You cannot change the past or predict the future. Avoid situations that increase either future fears or past hurts.

Tip four: Strengthen your self-soothing skills. For a quick lesson check out these Emotional Fitness Exercises. For a longer last lesson, buy EFT’s Self-soothing To Create Calm in Your Life

Tip five: Do more of what offers hope and comfort. For some that may be attending religious services, for everyone, it means practicing kindness and pursuing change civilly through thoughtful civic actions.

Thank you for all you do

Remember to share all you find of value on the internet.  All who post crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.” Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness blesses you.

Katherine

Post Inspiration: This post was inspired WordPress Daily Prompt: Resist . We have to do what we are able to do to bring peace on earth.

Go here to learn more about the Daily Prompts.

Links of Interest

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much.  Take their advice and mine carefully.  Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart.  Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others.  As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.

Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors

If  you need perfect posts, you will not find them  here;  I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what  like me.  Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability,  Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense.  If  you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.

Dangerous Talk: Think Your Rants Are Harmless. Think Again.

Picture of the skulls of genocide victiims

Bones of victims at a memorial to the Rwandan genocide. Image by DFID.

The Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide has worked with fellow Rachel Brown to produce Defusing Hate: A Strategic Guide to Counteract Dangerous Speech. Read on to learn how you make the world more dangerous and how to make it safer. Here are some highlights from the Guide:

“Dangerous speech” is speech that increases the risk for violence targeting certain people because of their membership in a group, such as an ethnic, religious, or racial group. It includes both speech that qualifies as incitement and speech that makes incitement possible by conditioning its audience to accept, condone, and commit violence against people who belong to a targeted group.

For example, Hutu extremists were able to incite genocide in Rwanda in part because years of propaganda had influenced Hutus to view Tutsis as less than human and so dangerous that they must be eliminated from the country.The propagandists’ goal may not have been genocide, but their work prepared Hutus to understand and answer the call to act when extremist leaders launched the genocide.

Dangerous speech can take a variety of forms, such as an actual speech, a pamphlet, an online post, a video, an image or message on a T-shirt, or even a song. Its message may call for violence against a target group or may portray the target group in a way that makes violence against it seem reasonable, justified, and necessary.

Dangerous speech often dehumanizes the group it targets (e.g., by calling its members rats, dogs, or lice), accuses the target group of planning to harm the audience, and presents the target group’s existence as a dire threat to the audience.

Speech may be dangerous even if it isn’t intended to cause violence: for example, a false rumor that a rival group is planning to attack could make violence against the group’s members seem like justified self-defense.

The message by itself cannot make speech dangerous; the other factors that give speech the power to provoke violence include:

        1. A speaker who is influential or popular with the audience

 2. A medium (the means used to communicate a message) that makes the audience more likely to access, believe, or spread the speech;

 3. A context that increases the risk that the speech will provoke violence toward a group;

 4. An audience that is receptive to speech that promotes violence, fear, or hatred toward a group

Emotional Fitness Thoughts

Think about the above and then think about how the above applies to political, religious, racial ranting. Think both Hillary and Trump Haters; think religous rants; think Celebs ranting; think Black Lives Matter; think Talk about the USA as evil; think the painting of Israel as demonic.

Also think about the trauma impact such talk creates. The growing number of police killings is one example. If you walk crime ridden streets as a policeman, you live in a state of fear that can and often does lead to trauma based and self-protective acts.

What to do? Remember what matters; challenge dangerous talk; when you speak out, speak out thoughtfully and respectfully; practice kindness.

Will it help? In some places, but the bitter fact is people change slowly, particularly when their core ideas about the world are being challenged.

Nevertheless read Rachel Brown’s story and how her efforts made a difference.

Thank you for all you do

Remember to share all you find of value on the internet.  All who post crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.” Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness blesses you.

Katherine

Post Inspiration: This post was inspired by this Rachel Brown’s story. blog post. It also bears some relationship to this WordPress Daily Prompt:   Capable. We have to do what we are able to do to bring peace on earth.

Go here to learn more about the Daily Prompts.

Links of Interest

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much.  Take their advice and mine carefully.  Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart.  Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others.  As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.

Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors

If  you need perfect posts, you will not find them  here;  I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what  like me.  Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability,  Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense.  If  you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.

Do Books Tempt You? I’m A Bookie

Seven books I am tempted to read in 2017. Can you suggest some others?

Picture of a reader.

According to a  meme  circulating on social media, readers of books represent less that a third of our population. Some dispute that number. Others hope that those who do not read books are reading more on social media. My thoughts: across the centuries since books became common, most people were not readers.

My parents were not bookies, but read newspapers and magazines long before there was an internet. I do not remember lots of books in our house as I was growing up. Nevertheless, I became a bookie. I always have one or two books working. Sometimes, three or four.

I read and read and read. I read actual hold-in-your hand books for escape and pleasure.  Mainly, I read historical novels and mysteries. I read what many would consider trash as well as higher-brow stuff. Even the so-called trashy books teach me stuff I probably would not learn elsewhere.

I rarely read non-fiction. When I do it is most biography and history, but occasionally science or religious studies.

I used to buy books, now I rely on the library. I take out ten or twelve books at a time. I visit at least one library twice a month (I belong to three here in Colorado). Usually,I pull books written by authors who have proved amusing when I have read one or another of their books. Then, I pull other books at random. I also look at the best sellers and the library staff’s suggestion.

I am also a Social Media Junkie. I get most of my  non-fiction reading done via articles on the internet.

This year I was tempted to plan some reading  based on the suggestions of a long time blogger friend Pranav who blogs as Peace Restfulness. Here is his list of the 7 best books he read in 2016.

FICTION

Journey under the Midnight Sun, Keigo Higashino
Translated from Japanese, this crime novel has a very different structure compared to the ones I have read before. It tracks the lives of the people related to a murder in Osaka, over 20 years. The murder remains unsolved but the detective assigned to the case keeps trying even after retiring from the police. Does he finally find the murderer and the motive?
Other books by Higashino that I would suggest are Malice and Salvation of a Saint. (I am yet to read his most popular work Devotion of Suspect X.)

Govinda, Krishna Udayasankar
I was nearly planning to ditch this slim book after finding the first few chapters very boring. Glad I didn’t! This historical-fictional story shows how Singapore became a trade hub in early 13th century, much before its current rise. But what I found inspiring is that in the process of making the island an international commercial power, the protagonist Nila Utama finds what it means to truly be a king.

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair, Joel Dicker
This is perhaps one of the most gripping (and humorous) murder mysteries I have read. The dead body of a girl who disappeared 20 years ago in a small US town, suddenly resurfaces from the grounds of an author, Harry Quebert. The protagonist, who is a mentee of this author, sets out to solve the murder and writes a novel in the process. (Although it was a best-seller and critically acclaimed, there were some plagiarism concerns when it was released.)

The Valley of Masks, Tarun J Tejpal
Suggested by my cousin Harish, this engaging novel by Tejpal (yes, the Tehelka guy) is about a person who escapes from a cult-like isolated community in a Himalayan valley, and shares his life story to make everyone aware what it means to blindly follow some ideology. He is among the fastest rising and most devoted disciples of the cult, till he undergoes something disturbing and everything goes haywire. You find that out only in the last 15 pages or so. This is perhaps the best fiction I read in 2016. (His other book The Alchemy of Desire is good too.)

NON-FICTION

Antifragile, Nassim Taleb
I really liked Taleb’s earlier books – Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan, so was after this one for a pretty long time. Antifragile systems are those which benefit from chaos, i.e. uncertain outcomes make them stronger. The concept is especially true for all natural systems (like evolution), but doesn’t hold for most of the man-made ones. Which is why Taleb rings alarm bells – slight disorder somewhere can bring the entire system crashing down.

The Antidote, Oliver Burkeman
Picked this one up on Derek Sivers’ recommendation. The sensible anti-chocolaty approach of this book about happiness in life appealed to me, especially during difficult times. It focuses on the point that accepting things as they are can bring peace. It covers stoicism, Buddhism, death, meditation, etc.

Move your DNA, Katy Bowman
In this difficult-to-read but very insightful book, Bowman writes about ‘movement nutrition’. In case you have never heard of this term, it implies that when there is a lack of movement (just like nutritious food), various illnesses appear. She says that exercise is just a small subset of movement, and that continuous movement throughout the day is more important than spending 45 minutes exercising and then doing nothing! She also suggests flat soled shoes, squats, hanging from overhead rods and a variety of poses which seem to me like Yoga. This is a definite read. I only wish it was written in a simpler way.

The best novel I read in 2016 was Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone. The story of twin brothers born to in Ethopia to an Indian nun who died at their birth; their father was Thomas Stone, a British surgeon who disappeared the day the boys were born. One twin became a doctor, the other a Shamanistic healer. Ethopia overthrew their Emperor during the twins life span. Beautifully written and illuminating.

The best non-fiction? I read books for escape and do my non-fiction reading on-line and mostly via articles. However, I did re-read God According To God by Gerald Schroeder and recommend it to all interested in debating the existence of God. 

Emotional Fitness Thoughts

Reading serves as a self-soothing exercise for me. It also resonates with the following Emotional Fitness Exercises: Remembering What Matters, Honoring the Past,  Laugh and Play.

Thank you for all you do

Remember to share all you find of value on the internet.  All who post crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.” Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness blesses you.

Katherine

Add to my proposed list: Tell me the best fiction and non-fiction books you read this year.

Post Inspiration: This post was inspired by this blog post.  Best Books I read in 2016.  It also bears some relationship to this WordPress Daily Prompt: Tempted  Books tempt me to avoid all I must do.

Go here to learn more about the Daily Prompts.

Links of Interest

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much.  Take their advice and mine carefully.  Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart.  Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others.  As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.

Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors

If  you need perfect posts, you will not find them  here;  I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what  like me.  Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability,  Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense.  If  you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.

Nature Love: A Healthy Enthusiasm

Strech and wonder and improve your EI aka Emotional Intelligence

Whether you reject the idea of a creator and think all that is is accidental or believe in God, Goddesses, or Gods,  you miss much by ignoring the wonder of it all. Moreover, you limit your emotional strength. When you are in touch with the miraculous, you know what matters, you feel blessed by what you have been given at this moment in time, you live with greater awareness  and greater gratitude.

In the rush and turmoil of today’s life finding the miracles requires some diligence.  This is most true when we are facing a stone wall of sadness or are failing to find our way.  What to do? This quick and easy emotional fitness exercise, Stretch and Wonder, often serves to get you back on track.

  1.  Turn off all electronic distractions. Get comfortable.Take a minute to  breathe softly and slowly.
  2.  Don’t try to control anything, just breathe and notice how it feels to breathe in and then out.
  3.  Think of a starry, starry night. Imagine looking up into the heavens.  Imagine all that has been created.  Think about all the stars like our star.  Think of all the possible unknown worlds above us, below us, around us.  Wonder. Breathe. Smile gently.
  4. Think of a garden. Think of the flowers.  Think of the bees, the butterflies, the birds.  Think of the soil, the ground that supports the life that grows in it and walks on it.  Think of all the life within the soil.  The moles, other creatures, some too small to be seen, that crawl through the dirt and darkness so plants can grow.    Wonder.  Breathe. Smile softly.
  5. Think of your body. Think of the how skin covers muscles, bones hold us erect.  Think about your blood flowing through our veins.  Think of how you move, how you think.  Think of how one person connects to another to create life.    Wonder.  Breathe. Think of how you are part of this marvelous whole. You are one with the stars,  you are one with the earth, you are one with all others. Wonder, Breathe.  Be grateful.
  6. Lace your fingers together, palms facing out.Take a deep breath, reach out and up with your arms, hold for a count of five,Slowly breathe out while you lower your arms, unlace your fingers.think of the wonders of breathing, moving, being.  smile gently and softly say, “Thank You.”

Warning: Only do the physical stretching if you are free of back problems or other medical conditions that might call for caution.  If in doubt ask your doctor, and drop that part of the exercise until you get medical approval.

Warning: For this exercise to work when you are stressed, it must first be learned and practiced when you are not stressed. Start by practicing it when you are already relaxed. For some that will be at night when you are falling asleep, for others maybe in the morning before you first get up. Next add it to other times when you feel relaxed, maybe after a good meal, or at the end of your work day, or after watching your favorite sitcom. Then as you feel the exercise relaxes you try using it to relax during small moments of stress and finally during more difficult moments of stress.

If diligent practice does not help, consider counseling or the need for therapy or even medication. The strongest trees can be uprooted; traumas and life blows that uproot you need professional help.

Thank you for all you do

Remember to share all you find of value on the internet.  All who post crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.” Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness blesses you.

Katherine

Post Inspiration: This post was not inspired by a WordPress Daily  One Word Prompt Enthusiasm.

Go here to learn more about the Daily Prompts.

Links of Interest

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much.  Take their advice and mine carefully.  Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart.  Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others.  As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.

Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors

If  you need perfect posts, you will not find them  here;  I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what  like me.  Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability,  Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense.  If  you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.