Archive for November, 2011

Depression is a Desert

November 30, 2011

I treat lots of people with depression. I have come to view depression as the loss of our desire to do anything because nothing gives pleasure anymore. At least it seems that way. Most of us take that desire and ability to experience pleasure  for granted. We don’t even have to think about it. We want – we do.

It is hard to imagine that disappearing, but when it does, it is hard to escape.

It is like a desert. You are thirsty, so thirsty that you don’t want to move. So you get thristier and thirstier. In depression, you want to feel better like the desert dweller wants water, but you don’t want to move. You won’t find water if you don’t move and start looking. But if you wait to want to move before you do, you will die of dehydration.

These are the stakes, I am afraid. Depression kills. I am not just talking about suicide. Depression kills marraiges, relationships with family and friends, health, employability, etc. Losses start to accumulate. Its depressing 😉

So move. Don’t wait until you want to move. You are not going to want to move initially. But you may find water if you do. You won’t if you don’t move.  If you do, and most do if they move, then you might get some energy and be able to get some momentum to actually leave the desert. Leaving it is the only solution.

NO rah rah- here. Just what I have observed about depression.

 Most people who move before they want to do find water.



I’ve been better, i’ve been worse

November 21, 2011

Imagine running into someone at a moment when that were not true.

Duck and cover.


My mistakes are so tiny they make my ego look huge

November 21, 2011

I am extremely willing to acknowledge super tiny little mistakes that shouldn’t bother you in the first place.

I was playing with my 5 yo daughter , doing a mock judo throw called Osoto Gari. Basically I trip her and she falls back. I caught her so it all was going fine. She kept saying ,” do it again”. I did. It was like we were doing the tango. Her hair is long though and I accidentally stepped on it when I was pulling her back up for another throw.

A few hairs came out.

A few tears.

A few sorries.

She needs to control her hair better 😉


Some fascinating reflections on boredom

November 18, 2011

My wife told me my blog is boring yesterday. Of course, the pendulum swings away from boredom when someone calls you or something you do biring, so we had an interesting interaction. I do appreciate the feedback.

Wife also does a blog – it is not boring

Thinking about something is not the same as doing it, unless you are thinking about being bored.

Then bored you will be.

No one can’t sit  there and stay bored for too long. Eventually you will have to pee, and if you hold it and keep sitting there, it will not be boring.

Give it a shot.




Seriously. Serious people doing serious things for serious reasons. Its ridiculous.

November 17, 2011

Until someone loses an eye.

Or cuts off their nose to spite their face.

Or looks a gift horse in the mouth.


Snuggling Smuggler

November 17, 2011

Because the average person thinks in patterns and cannot accommodate himself to a really different point of view, he loses a great deal of the meaning of life. He may live, even progress, but he cannot understand all that is going on. The story of the smuggler makes this very clear (Idries Shah) :

Nasrudin used to take his donkey across a frontier every day, with the panniers loaded with straw. Since he admitted to being a smuggler when he trudged home every night, the frontier guards searched him again and again. They searched his person, sifted the straw, steeped it in water, even burned it from time to time. Meanwhile he was becoming visibly more and more prosperous.
Then he retired and went to live in another country. Here one of the customs offices met him, years later.
“You can tell me now, Nasrudin,” he said. “Whatever was it that you were smuggling, when we could never catch you out?”
“Donkeys,” said Nasrudin.


It has become politically incorrect to point out political incorrectness.

November 17, 2011

Actually, if you are politically correct, don’t go looking for credit – no one cares.  What fun is that.

The word ‘correct’ just annoys me anyways.

In Spanish they say ‘correcto’- in case you want to make it more annoying. 



Education Reform

November 16, 2011

If we look at some of the classical Nasrudin stories in as detached a way as possible, we soon find that the wholly scholastic approach is the last one that the Sufi will allow (Idries Shah) :

Nasrudin, ferrying a pedant across a piece of rough water, said something ungrammatical to him. “Have you never studied grammar?” asked the scholar.
“Then half of your life has been wasted.”
A few minutes later Nasrudin turned to the passenger. “Have you ever learned how to swim?”
“No. Why?”
“Then all your life is wasted—we are sinking!”

Just hope this isn’t why someone keeps putting up with you!

November 16, 2011

One day, Mullah Nasrudin brought a donkey ti market that was very ill-tempered. It kicked everyone who looked at it and brayed constantly.

“Mullah, how do you expect to sell a donkey like that?” somone asked him.

“Idon’t want to sell it,” said Mullah. “I just want everyone to realize what I put up with all the time!”

Talk is not just cheap – it will cost you

November 16, 2011

I read this article and it had some interesting research about how to go about making changes. We really have to pay attention to how we talk to ourselves and others about the changes we want to make, and if we are not going tobe careful, it is better not to talk at all. It is about weight loss but it applies to all human efforts to change. It also further validates the Camp system of negotiation which applies the principles that the researcher discovered in a systematic way.   As a therapist, it will help me to remember to remind patients to be very cautious about what they casually say they are going to do or be.

Full article:

There are other reasons to keep your weight loss plans to yourself.

Dr. Peter Gollwitzer, a professor of psychology at New York University, studies how goals and plans affect cognition and behavior. In his research paper, “When Intentions Go Public,” Gollwitzer describes how spilling the beans — and the resulting response — can change someone’s actions.

Everyone has what Gollwitzer terms an “identity goal” of some kind, whether it’s to be a good mother or a better scientist. In the case of weight loss, that goal is to be a successful dieter.

To reach an identity goal, you need indicators of your accomplishments. For a scientist it’s published research papers or a boss’ recognition. For a dieter it could be pounds dropped or praise from friends/family when they see how great you look.

Gollwitzer’s studies found that when you tell people what you intend to do, and that intention is acknowledged, the recognition qualifies as an indicator of accomplishment.

“The danger is that you feel that you have already reached the goal and because of that you don’t have to act on it any more,” Gollwitzer says.

In other words, when you tell a friend that you’re planning to drop 20 pounds and she notices your good intention, you no longer feel the need to follow through with exercise or healthy eating.

There are a number of ways to avoid this phenomenon.

“One is simple — you can keep your mouth shut,” Gollwitzer says. “Another one is to form different kinds of intentions, not only say what you want to do but also when, where and how you want to do it.”

Such planning helps create situational action control, he explains. When you find yourself at the gym before work, the situation you mentally mapped out controls your behavior instead of your intention to exercise more.

%d bloggers like this: