something to ponder

thoughts on various topics related to wellness and mental health

  • something to ponder

    Living a multi-dimensional life

    Living a multidimensional life One dimension One dimension is a line – a line connects 2 points. . This line does have movement – one step forward , 3 steps back… but it does not get you anywhere. We only recognize one dimensional living in others: ” why don’t you just go right? Or turn left? It’s easy and impossible at the same time. So much shame. Are you living a one- dimensional life? Are other people loading you with seemingly simple solutions that you just cannot do? What would that look like? Being a point on a line is the ultimate in stuckness – you can only go back…

  • something to ponder

    Loyalty

    Loyalty – I wrote this and posted it elsewhere, thought it should go here as well. In Santería, Obba is the faithful wife of Changó. She is tricked into believing that if she cuts off her left ear and puts it in her husband’s soup, it will cast a magic spell on him and make her more attractive to him. More attractive than the women he philanders with. The woman that he is having the affair with, is in fact, the one that tricks Obba into cutting off her ear. Morals of the story: don’t use magic to get your way; look more closely to see what the real problem…

  • mind - body - spirit through song,  something to ponder

    rewriting history

    Rewriting history We all come with baggage Things that happened to us as children; as teenagers and as adults Maybe a family member was insensitive to our needs; perhaps there was cruelty either accidental or intentional. There is remorse or regret over something we did: maybe we were the bully ; or we were the abuser. At times the victim becomes the victimizer. You can gaze at the past but do not dwell on it. We have learned – through self help books and therapy that we need to ‘work through’ our issues; which we dutifully do – we journal; talk about it; cry over it; confront the individuals that…

  • something to ponder

    how to save the world

    Last Sunday, my spouse and I decided to go for a late afternoon walk in the park. It was our lazy way out of doing a 3 mile run. Instead, we decided to walk the 3+ mile loop of our park with our dogs, as a way of getting the miles in but not over-exerting ourselves. This of course, is not the point of this post, but I need to set up this scenario. We walked around the park, but although it was already late afternoon, it was pretty hot, and our dogs are not used to the heat; and although they are fit, 3 miles was a big jump…

  • something to ponder

    Where were you in 1965?

    For any Dominican, who was living in DR during that year, this question is akin to ‘where were you on September 11th’. Lots happened in 1965 due to political instability and the American occupation of the Dominican Republic. I first found out about the events of 1965 during the time immediately before ‘Operation Desert Storm’ in early 1991. The US had set a deadline of January 17th, after which they would bomb Iraq. I was working in a mental health clinic in Bushwick with predominantly Spanish speaking clients. Many of the clients started getting increasingly anxious during this countdown. I noticed the increase in anxiety but did not know exactly…

  • something to ponder

    Earth Day

    Today is Earth Day – a day for us to renew our awareness of our connection to the Earth.  As we go through our daily routines, especially those of us that live in urban areas, it is easy to forget about the ground we walk upon.   It is deeper than the sidewalk in front of our house, the road that leaves town; or the bicycle lane that takes us to work.  Even in more rural areas, we may still focus on the day to day troubles and fail to contemplate the gifts of the earth. Along with the idea that we need to take care of ourselves – mentally, physically…

  • something to ponder

    doing the next right thing

    Sometimes our thinking can get in the way of progress.  We complicate things beyond recognition and become immobilized.  The concept of ‘doing the next right thing’ is a way of removing the thinking clutter from our minds and focussing solely on the next step that will move you forward towards your desired goal.

  • mind - body - spirit through song,  something to ponder

    Cognitive Distortion – Overgeneralization

    Overgeneralization is a type of cognitive distortion where an individual generalizes a negative view based on one, or limited, experience. In this song, Billy Joel is singing to someone who has ‘over generalized’ – she has been hurt in and is unwilling to love again. Does life stop after one is hurt or betrayed? Are there some things that are just too devastating that one simply just does not recover? We look to people to inspire us, like the guy that cut off his hand in order to live while mountain climbing; or Elizabeth Smart who was held hostage for over 18 years; the triathlon guy who does triathlons with his son, who…

  • something to ponder

    secondary gain

    One thing to look at when thinking about unremitting problems is what is the secondary gain from staying stuck?  Just as an alcoholic who gets sober suddenly finds themselves with a whole lot of time on their hands, so do others who make significant changes in their life.   What would you be doing if you didn’t have your situation?  Do you know? Looking at this a little more concretely, we can look at alcoholism.  With the elimination of alcoholic drinking, an individual will then have a whole lot of time, and probably extra money, on their hands.  There is no more time spent hungover, recovering from the night before; and no more time spent ruminating…

  • something to ponder

    Thanksgiving syndrome

    Thanksgiving is long gone right now, but it’s a good a time as any to discuss this ‘syndrome’.  Basically, Thanksgiving Syndrome is the idea that no matter how enlightened you’ve become or you feel, you have this tendency to revert back to your former self when back with family.  If you can relate to this, you’ve probably resolved to not let Uncle Harry irritate you as he usually does or your cousin Lucy to get under your skin.  You play out in your mind the booby traps that you usually fall into every reunion and imagine how this time, you will not fall in.  Some people focus on how the family members should not…