liveonearth: (Default)
I read this morning about a doctor who went mad and shot people in a hospital. As a doctor myself, I know that docs have terrible stresses trying to deal with a corrupt medical-industrial system that impairs our ability to help people regain their health. Then I went to look at the NY times article, here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/30/nyregion/bronx-hospital-shooting.html. He's richly melanated, that is to say, he has lived a life of fear because of his skin color. I infer from his violence that he may have been guilty of the accusation--sexual misconduct. He was a man, and he was angry enough to shoot others and hopeless enough to set himself on fire and shoot himself. He did not see any way out. He knew he would not receive compassion.

What people forget when they demonize any group of humans is that they are human. Dark skinned people. Doctors. Men. Gun owners. Murderers. Whatever group. All humans share the same basic needs. When those needs are not met, we have the same basic emotions. Driven hard enough, any of us could become dangerous. Hitler had reasons. The Arabs that flew airplanes into buildings had reasons. No one is pure evil, we are simply human and if tortured we can lash out, or become cunning.

My hope that that everyone who reads this will take a deep breath or three and think about the kind of pain that drives a person to such horrors. My hope is that compassion will rise in spite of the poisonous atmosphere of shame and blame that dominates our political world. We all deserve an opportunity to be free from fear, long enough to find our centers and our hearts and reach out into the world from that place. It will take a lot of us finding compassion to heal these wounds.
liveonearth: (moon)

Anacoluthon per wikipedia = an unexpected discontinuity in the expression of ideas within a sentence, leading to a form of words in which there is logical incoherence of thought.  It's how Trump talks, and can be useful for putting people in a stream of consciousness mode: less analytical, more suggestible.  Plural = anacolutha.  I've been studying up on hypnosis.  =-]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anacoluthon


**first use of tag: hypnosis

liveonearth: (moon)
What Clinton's remark broadcasted is how little she thinks of conservatives in general. Her tone was so dismissive ("you name it") as to suggest that every xenophobe on the planet was unworthy of having skin. What she obviously doesn't understand is that we are all conservative at our roots, until these basic feelings are educated out of us, or overridden by culture.  Xenophobes are people too.

It has a lot to do with who we grow up with.  If we grow up in an educated multi-ethnic culture, then ethnicity no longer has such a charge.  But if we are acculturated in a homogenous group, we will feel more comfortable with people of our same kind.  This is the instinctive basis of xenophobia. It is reasonable to be cautious around people whose values are unknown to you, and whose behavior is not predictable.

Xenophobia can be trained in at any stage of life.  I have suffered the hate of the Navajo and Apache when living and traveling in Arizona.  I understand why they hate the white eyes, because I do too, but I personally do not deserve their bad treatment.  Still, I got the bad treatment, and now when I see a tribal member I am on guard.  The same thing has happened to me here in Portland.  I had always liked and respected every Jew I ever met. Then I was mistreated by an attending Jewish doctor who took offense at me saying the words "a Jew" because in her mind she inserted the word "dirty". That word was not in my mind until she explained to me how offensive it was for me to say "a Jew", and then threatened to flunk me, sanctioned me through the college and required that I take cultural competency training. Other Jews near to me have hurt my feelings since then, and I have developed a reaction to Jews that I did not have before, when I lived in Denver next door to the Ashkenazis and thought they were really decent folk.

In spite of all my education and knowing things, I have feelings that are influenced by what happens to me in my life. Does this make me deplorable?

Oh, and all you decent men out there who think that you are not sexist. If you were born and raised in the U.S. you are sexist. Ask any European, male or female. I am a woman. I have never made anywhere near as much money as my partner, in my opinion because he has a penis. Yesterday I drove a vehicle up to a boat inspection station on the highway and the man with the clipboard came up and started asking questions of a man who got out of the passenger door. At the gas station the attendant speaks to the men first. Men here invariably address men first when approaching a couple. This seems like a tiny offense, but compounded into the reality of daily life, a woman knows that this is still a man's world. Clinton knows it all too well. American men, including educated ones, are unconscious of this kind of sexism "lite".  There's no stoning here, but men are not aware of the degree to which they are programmed to be sexist, and should spend more time in introspection around this. I think part of the problem conservatives have with lesbians is the men have no one they can talk to.

I realize I'm making a bunch of generalizations, just like Clinton did. My point is that these base impulses are present in the vast majority of all humanity, and Americans are clearly not above it. Our culture seems to be regressing. In my lifetime I have watched our society and politics become obnoxious. Substantive debate is rare, name calling commonplace. If there is to be a conversation between opposing sides, there must first be respect. Respect is a Universal human need. People denied respect are hostile and possibly subversive.

Liberals in general need to stop denigrating conservatives and dig deep enough into themselves to understand the conservative position. Conservatives need to educate themselves to articulate their concerns and rationales clearly to others. Everyone needs to start with the assumption that the other guys are decent humans just trying to do the right thing, the best way they know how. Then the conversation can begin.
liveonearth: (TommyLeeJones_skeptical)
As a student of nonverbal communication, I'm always fascinated when a new tidbit comes along.  It appears that there is one more universal microexpression to add to the current list of seven, and that is the "not" face, or the face that says "I don't agree".  It isn't completely unique, instead it borrows from the expressions of digust, anger and contempt.  The other four previously identified microexpressions are fear, sadness, surprise, and happiness. Here's a good explanation of all of this.
liveonearth: (moon)

NY TIMES OPINION PIECE: MOLLY WORTHEN SAYS STOP SAYING “I FEEL LIKE”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/01/opinion/sunday/stop-saying-i-feel-like.html

The PC-ness and softening of modern verbal communications has results in a net loss of meaning.  We can fix this, if we want.  Behind the cut is a good article arguing for awareness of this one particular phrase.  "I feel like" is often used to replace the words "I think", and it is not a feeling at all.  Feelings, that is emotions, are quite distinct from thoughts and judgements.  To be clear in our communications requires that we recognize and communicate that difference.

Read more... )

liveonearth: (Spok has a cat)

“Everything is interconnected. Gratitude improves sleep. Sleep reduces pain. Reduced pain improves your mood. Improved mood reduces anxiety, which improves focus and planning. Focus and planning help with decision making. Decision making further reduces anxiety and improves enjoyment. Enjoyment gives you more to be grateful for, which keeps that loop of the upward spiral going. Enjoyment also makes it more likely you'll exercise and be social, which, in turn, will make you happier.”
--UCLA Neuroscience researcher Alex Korb



Four Rituals that Make You Happy:

(in summary, and as suggested by science to date)
1. Be grateful.
2. Name negative emotions.

3. Make good enough decisions.

4. Touch people.

SOURCE: http://theweek.com/articles/601157/neuroscience-reveals-4-rituals-that-make-happy

liveonearth: (House religion psychosis)
I am just home from a terrific talk on cults by Lisa Kendall of Portland, Oregon. Her family joined a cult called The Move of God, which Wikipedia calls a nondemoninational charismatic Christian group. It happened because her 7 year old sibling made friends with another 7 year old on the walk home from school, in a city that seems as safe as Portland.
Read more... )
liveonearth: (Volume 11 spinal tap)
OK, maybe that's a little exaggerated, but basically any drug causes a dopamine surge that changes your brain such that the rewards of normal life don't seem good enough anymore. This study actually found that pot smokers have a bigger nucleus accumbens (the brain area associated with pleasure, reward, and reinforcement learning). They say that 19 million Americans have smoked pot recently. That's a lot.

Here's the article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/04/16/even-casually-smoking-marijuana-can-change-your-brain-study-says/
text )
liveonearth: (key to my heart)
If you're really listening,
if you're awake to the poignant beauty of the world,
your heart breaks regularly.
In fact, your heart is made to break;
its purpose is to burst open again and again
so that it can hold evermore wonders.

--Andrew Harvey
liveonearth: (trek jive)
American men have a variety of handicaps, not the least of which is that ruggedly independent badass image they try so hard to live up to. But it does them a disservice when it prevents them from really being close to others. There's no guarantee that they'll have or develop the ability to really connect deep down .... so it's something to celebrate when it happens. It turns out that age 80 is not too late to develop emotional intelligence. =-]

WORTH READING:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/06/opinion/brooks-the-heart-grows-smarter.html?smid=fb-share&_r=2&
liveonearth: (gorilla thoughtful)
We're on season 3, watching the last season of Lie to Me. The first season is perhaps the best, with plenty of good information mixed in about how to read people's emotions on their faces and bodies. The second season turns into a FBI story, and the third season is more police oriented---they were trying for a larger audience but apparently didn't get it. Only dorks like me who are curious about nonverbal communication stick with it.

The lead character, Cal Lightman, is a great study in body language. I don't know the actor's name but I am impressed. He does this thing I call the "Lightman Flop" which is to say that he jumps up into the air and lands on people's couches in a sprawled position that says "I own this place" and also "climb aboard" to any attractive women. He also shows his distrust of various characters with a toothy "smile" that isn't friendly at all---it's more of a snarl, and he is showing his teeth as if to say "Look out, I bite". One other notable thing that Cal the character does is he is very relaxed, intentionally relaxed. Being able to shrug off tension, to grimace and then release the face, is something most of us could use some practice at. Watching his swaying walk and the way his mouth hangs open when he is listening carefully has me experimenting with new ways of relaxing myself, and of conveying that I am paying my full attention. One of the recent episodes in season 3 showed him training a cop to fool lie detection specialists, and the main tidbit I took from it is "relax your cheeks" and keep after it, to avoid showing emotions that you don't want to show.

There's a lot that is said out loud in this program to teach people about nonverbal cues, but there is more that is not said, it is simply modeled, and it is up to the watcher to identify it.
liveonearth: (Oprah_shocked)
Went to a science pub on body language 9/10/13 in Portland, OR. Notes from that lecture are behind the cut.
CUT to notes )
liveonearth: (business dance)
Apparently 39/50 states have laws protecting the licensed apologizer. To find out if you are safe to say you're sorry, google your state name and "apology law". Here in Oregon, licensed medical practitioners may express regret and make direct apologies when it feels right. I am glad. I want to be able to communicate openly with my patients, and not to feel that I am constrained by risk of liability. If I make a mistake I'd rather talk it through than clam up in fear.

There is a neverending discussion in the medical world about malpractice suits. Doctors who take the time to talk to their patients, and actually care and connect, are not the ones who get sued. Hurried docs who treat the patients as unimportant are the ones who earn malpractice suits from regular people. Of course there are exceptions. There are a few patients who simply wander through life looking for someone to sue; you can't do anything about them except pass them on, and not to a good friend...

MORE INFO
http://mississippimedicalnews.com/legal-perspective-the-ongoing-debate-over-apology-laws-cms-959
The Oregon law )

QotD: Yoga

Aug. 12th, 2013 04:32 pm
liveonearth: (stone face)
Yoga is an internal practice,
the rest is just a circus.
---Guruji
liveonearth: (gorilla thoughtful)
Happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, disgust and anger. I have to admit, I have seen all these emotions on the faces of nonhuman primates, and some other mammals as well. Can you name another emotion? Or ten more? And do they break down to just this six??

What I thought of:
Jealousy. Is anger and fear and sadness.
Ecstasy. Is happiness and surprise.
Boredom. Is disgust and sadness. Or not an emotion, but rather a state of disinterest, a lack of focus or flow.
Confusion. Is not an emotion? Is a cognitive state of uncomprehending.

Maybe?
liveonearth: (Default)
Tis best to procrastinate on complex decisions, but to just act on simple items. But somehow I am able to put off things that I dread for some time, then one day I do them, the dread dissipates, and I feel so much better. I need to get on with it. And I think our newly established morning meditation routine is helping me do that. At the very least it helps me see my own dread.
liveonearth: (trek jive)
Being a geek is all about
being honest about what you enjoy and
not being afraid to demonstrated that affection.
It means never having to play it cool
about how much you like something.
It's basically a license to proudly emote
on a somewhat childish level
rather than behave like a supposed adult.
Being a geek is extremely liberating.
--Simon Pegg

(Thanks [livejournal.com profile] indigo_forest.)
liveonearth: (stone face)
What survivors do...dissociate from the body and withdraw into the head.

Cut off from the body, one doesn't feel vulnerable. By identifying the self with the ego, one also gains the illusion of power. Since the will is the instrument of the ego, one truly believes "where there's a will, there's a way" or "one can do whatever one wills." This is true as long as the body has the energy to support the ego's directive. But all the willpower in the world is no help to a person who lacks the energy to implement the will. Healthy individuals do not operate in terms of willpower except in an emergency. Normal actions are motivated by feelings rather than by the will. One doesn't need willpower to do what one wants to do. There is no need to use the will when one has a strong desire. Desire itself is an energetic charge which activates an impulse leading to actions that are free and generally fulfilling. An impulse is a flowing force from the core of the body to the surface, where it motivates the musculature for action. The will, on the other hand, is a driving force that stems from the ego--the head--to act counter to the body's natural impulses. Thus, when one is afraid, the natural impulse is to run away from the threatening situation. However this may not always be the best action. One cannot always escape a danger by running. Confronting the threat may be the wiser course, but this is difficult to do when one is frightened and there is an impulse to run. In such situations mobilizing the will to counter the fear is a positive action.

--Alexander Lowen, MD, in Joy; The Surrender to the Body and to Life, page 81-82.

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