Monthly Archives: July 2006

“you made me do it”

“. . . is it safe to say that we can “make” a person feel a certain way? Are we not in control of our own emotions . . ? If I gave you constructive criticism and you cried as a result, that wasn’t me “making” you cry, that was YOUR reaction. 2 people, 1 cries as a result, the other takes that information and uses it to their benefit. Which person did I ‘make’ do something ?”

this comment on one of my previous blog entries was intriguing, so i wanted to spend a little more time on it, here in today’s blog posting.

this is really a very involved topic, and i’ll probably spend a number of posts on this.

but here is one little aspect: i was thinking about how “making” someone do anything works in other languages. in german, for example, there is no Continue reading

open hearts

jeff’s comments on my last post about gratitude about open hearts reminded me of something very beautiful that alice walker, one of my favourite authors (the temple of my familiar is one of my all-time favourite books), once said in an interview with sharon salzberg for shambala sun, a buddhist magazine:

“You know, what are hearts for? Hearts are there to be broken, and I say that because that seems to be just part of what happens with hearts. I mean, mine has been broken so many times that I have lost count. But it just seems to be broken open more and more and more, and it just gets bigger. In fact, I was saying to my therapist not long ago, “You know, my heart by now feels open like a suitcase. It feels like it has just sort of dropped open, you know, like how a big suitcase just falls open. It feels like that.”

Instead of that feeling of having a thorn through your heart, that feeling Pema Chodron talks about in tonglen meditation, you have a sense of openness, as if the wind could blow through it. And that’s the way I’m used to my heart feeling. The feeling of the heart being so open that the wind blows through it. I think that is the way it’s supposed to feel when you’re in balance. And when you get out of balance, you feel like there’s no wind, there’s no breeze, there’s just this rock and it has a big thing sticking through it. I don’t know how you get from one feeling to the other, except through meditation, often, but also activism, just seeing what needs to be done in the world, or in our families, and just start doing it.”

click here for the rest of the interview.

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

gratitude, awareness and patience

gratitude is a funny thing. i used to find it incredibly hard to be grateful for things that people expected me to be grateful for. i would just be resentful. that doesn’t really happen anymore; i suspect it’s mostly because i have weeded from my life most of the people who want to “make” me feel something, and when it does happen, i don’t pay much attention to it anymore.

you know what? i’m grateful for that. that i don’t have people like that in my life anymore, and that i don’t run in this irritating circle anymore, where i Continue reading

understanding internet users

(the following entry is a retreat of something i posted back in january. when i transferred my blog over from blogger, for some reason none of the material from january made it over here. so i’ll post some of the posts anew.)

a while ago i skulked around the internet again, using wordtracker to find out what keywords internet surfers use to look for the topics of problem drinking and anorexia. it was a pretty shocking experience.

for example, when checking what kind of keywords people used last month in connection with the word anorexic, there is hardly anything at all that would indicate that people think that anorexia, a life-threatening condition, is problematic. the most sought-after keyword was “anorexic pictures” (about 63,000 keyword searches, for pictures of supposedly sexy anorexic women).

most of the other keywords searched for are things like this

how to become anorexic
sexy anorexic
anorexic porn
anorexic sex
anorexic nude

the same thing with alcohol. when i looked for the word “drunk”, there were 27 times as many seaches for “drunk girls” as for “drunk driving” and 78 times as many searches for “drunk chicks” as for “victims of drunk driving accidents”.

i understand the mechanics of this – sex, drugs and rock’n’roll are more interesting in the short run than trying to deal with personal problems – but still …

do i sound like a dried-up old schoolmarm here?

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

understanding email chain letters

the other day i received an email from a friend. it started with the ominous “please read and pass on”. immediately my antennae went up; in my experience, 95% of such emails turn out to be hoaxes.

the friend of mine who passed the email on to me is an ex teacher, has an excellent education, and is well read. why, i wondered, did he fall for this hoax?

here are a few excerpts of that particular chain letter:

Outrage in South Africa … Last week a 3 year old girl was beaten and raped … The man responsible was released … If you are too busy to read this then … The Government is planning to close the child protection unit and this is a petition against it … You may have already heard that there’s a myth in South Africa that
having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS … Recently in Cape Town, a 9-month-old baby was raped by 6 men. Please think about that for a moment … Please don’t be complacent, do something … You can make a difference …

who in their right mind would not be Continue reading

driving meditation

back in the 90s, i spent a few years teaching a weekly meditation class at our local YWCA. it was at 5:00 pm, so i had to drive through thick traffic right into the hub of downtown.

one day i felt i had not meditated enough myself to present a good meditation class, but there was no time left to catch up on that. as i started driving i thought to myself, hey, why not do a driving meditation?

i had done walking meditations, dishwashing meditations, gardening meditations, why not a driving meditation?

it turned out to be a great idea, and Continue reading

alcohol, prometheus and freedom

is it the sugar, or the buzz that comes after a few glasses, or the hit of the booze right at the first swallow, or is it the taste, the burn in the throat? or the smell, the neat line-up of bottles at the liquor store? the memory of great parties, the memory of all the times when ugly things got forgotten, the memory of making up with a partner over a bottle of wine?

or all of it and more?

alcohol, hootch, booze, brew, spirits, liquor, juice, drink, demon rum …

it can be great stuff. and it can maim and kill.

i’m reminded of the myth of prometheus. he stole fire from the gods and Continue reading