Monthly Archives: May 2007

success, success, success: steve pavlina, move over!

a little while ago, i participated in a blog meme initiated by aaron potts, to which i had been invited by cardin at optimistlab. i posted my contribution (success in a basket) and thought that was that.

what a great surprise to see that aaron has taken the infinite trouble of tracking down everyone who posted about this and turned it into a fabulous collection, called success roundups. he organized the 150+ responses into 62 themes and then gave copious examples for each theme. the material in there is enough to keep everyone happy and successful for the rest of their lives. steve pavlina, move over! (just kidding – we wouldn’t want to be in the blogosphere without steve!)

i combed through aaron’s list and culled the 10 that spoke to me the most, giving one example each. you’ll find them below. oh, and what can i say – i like so many of the others, i’ll list those, too!

if any of this speaks to you, please read aaron’s post to find out more about it, or visit any of the 100+ participants in this project (whose blogs are listed below).

and if you’d like to try any of this, why don’t you start off by using this goal sheet?

this is my top ten list:

  1. staying focused on mindset and tasks: listening to your intuition
  2. meditate: mind-clearing meditations
  3. becoming still/letting go: making a conscious effort to stop thinking about how things are going to work
  4. doing things differently: allowing your beliefs to power your life
  5. ask the right questions: “what is the next obvious thing that i should do?”
  6. taking action: acting on inspired thoughts
  7. living in harmony: maintaining a balance of internal and external factors
  8. be confident in who you are: allowing yourself to be at ease as you go through life
  9. having a positive attitude: not allowing circumstances to dictate your level of happiness
  10. over-delivering: giving customers more than they paid for

another 16 that i would have loved to squeeze into my top ten list:

  • switch off/quiet time/recreation: knitting
  • get out in nature: sitting outside
  • finding joy/happiness: acting silly
  • exercise/eating healthy foods: taking the stairs
  • taking scheduled time off: scheduled days off each week
  • only work with certain people: only working with partners who you have synergy with or who represent a high probability of success
  • helping others: knowing when not to give advice
  • be cynical: applying your own filter to knowledge that crosses your path
  • learning from other people: engaging in interesting conversations
  • be creative: doing something crazy once in awhile
  • give and receive affection: being open to experiencing and sharing emotions
  • practice productivity habits: knowing when to stop spending time on any given task
  • not being afraid/pushing your limits: putting yourself in difficult situations so that you have no choice but to perform

and these are great, too:

mastermind groups/partnerships: spending time with others who have similar interests
appreciating music: being inspired or motivated by music
write down/record thoughts or ideas: doing a “brain dump” in order to put all of your thoughts out on the table in order to be sorted out and acted upon
setting personal standards: working at your own pace
keeping perspective: recognizing that success can change forms as you grow and develop
measure success: assessing your most and least productive activities
don’t burn your bridges: gracefully getting out of relationships
follow through on plans: honoring obligations
focusing on the highest priority tasks: spending time on things that are more important in the long-term than the short-term
accepting responsibility: living your life consciously or intentionally
maintaining contacts: staying up to date with business associates
be prepared for the worst: being prepared for the fact that some ideas won’t work out
getting into the light: getting into the daylight as soon as possible each day

so … go forth and enjoy your success!

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

and here are the participants in this great project:

Chris Garrett on New Media
Breathing Prosperity
Live the Power
Creating a Better Life
Shards of Consciousness
Make the Most of U
K-L Masina
Evolving Times
Sania Wyatt
Be the Change – Tread the Path
The Fast Lane
Life Optimizer
The Wrong Advices
Thoughts & Philosophies
Bryan Baker
The Reasoner
Casual Keystrokes
Alex Shalman
Smug Puppies
Behind the Glasses
Writing Thoughts
Pink Apple Connections
The Tall Poppy
The Inspired Market-Her’s Blog
Quasi Fictional
Pamil Visions
I’m Forty What??!!
Words of a Broken Mirror
Grow Your Writing Business
Conceive, Believe, Achieve
North Star Mental Fitness
Women Walking in Wisdom’s Footsteps
Raymond L. Burton
I Captured a Blog
Shama Hyder
The Power of Trinity
Creating Abundant Lifestyles
Bionic Ear Blog
Home Biz Notes
Kavit Haria
Adversity University
Creation Thoughts
Content Done Better
Keeping the Secret
The Silence is Golden
Rachel Creative
Blown World
Beyond Horizon Coaching
The Urban Monk
Change Therapy
Life Beside the Edge
A Creativist Journal
Andy Wibbels
Made to be Great
Tennessee Text Wrestling
Sylvia’s Insight
Writer in the Making
Christy’s Coffee Break
Optimist Lab
Druid Journal
Internet Marketing Sweetie
Business Advice Daily
Breeze Debris
Success from the Nest
Finish Strong!
Build a Better Blog
Online Fandom
The Goat’s Lunch Pail
Juggling Cats
Story Geek
Second Life Education Research
Rule of 5
Life Wealth
Desmond’s Personal Development Site
Strive Success
Momentum Coaching
Money, Meaning, and Beyond
Marketing Qi
Sky Windows
Jeri’s Organizing & Decluttering News
Kathy Calculates
Roni’s Weight Watchen Page(s)
The Ted Rap
Just Another Weigh
Life is Good…Even When It’s Not!
Ed Tech Journeys
Ezine Marketing Center
Dr. B’s Blog
The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins
Dangerously Irrelevant
Mr. Fire
The Sovereign Journey
Adventures of a Suburban WAHM
A Teacher’s Life
Around the Corner v2
Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?
Enhance Life
In Another Place
Life is not a Race to be First Finished
Evenstar Houses of Healing
The Maverick Marketer
Pay O’Bryan
Kathy Schrock’s Kaffeeklatsch
Affordable Internet Marketing
Pour Out
Verve Coaching
The Figurehead
All About Music Blog
Pet Peeving
World Copywriting Blog
Out of the Blog, Into the Light
Writing White Papers
Joe Dale – Integrating ICT
The BizTechie Chronicles
E-Commerce Confidential
Create Reality
Do What!?
The Destination is Success…
5 Star Affiliate Programs
Law of Attraction Blog
Living Out Loud
Coaching Wizardry
The Daily Positive
Judith Morgan
Think Positive Blog
The Growing Edge
Energies of Creation
Ramblings from a Glass Half Full

carnival of healing – may 19, 2007

welcome to this week’s carnival of healing! thank you, phylameana, for doing such a marvellous job at making this carnival happen every week. i’ve had some really good things come my way through it, so the healing works! 🙂

okay, let’s see what’s on the menu today:

i love this picture posted by hueina su in her article journey into love at intensive care for the nurturer’s soul. it is her “small token of appreciation and inspiration for all mothers.”

karen lynch presents the still, small voice posted at livethepower. here is an excerpt:

… your truth will never come from something exterior to you. your truth will only come from your own “still, small voice”. so how do you hear the voice? … spend some quality time with you … just you, nobody else is invited. get comfortable with yourself. you are the only one who will always be with you no matter what … become your own best friend … listening to the intuitions and wisdom

pamm‘s what is tantra? posted at my secret spiritual dance is a good, short introduction to tantra. nowadays, many people only know tantra in its “nookie” (i.e. sexual) incarnation, as pamm puts it so humourously. but tantra is much, much more. it is

… designed to quickly rip away attachments, dissolve the ego, and sever any semblance of its feeling safety in the outer world. kundalini is raised so that pure mind/enlightenment can be obtained. everything is seen a divine and as such, sacred and practioners’ goals are to be in union with the divine/one with god. the path is often called the fast path to enlightenment or the path of fire.

next is a great, rambling post by therapydoc about all kinds of things, including her enthusiastic encouragement to just go for the pie in the sky. right on, my friend. let’s stop the tyranny of “but you have to be realistic”. let ‘er rip:

write the book, i say. start a band and play the gig. borrow money, start a business. adopt a child. get vocational counseling. charge more for what you’re doing. go back to college. paint. travel. consult. sell your work.

you shrug and tell me you could never do that, you’re too old. or you’re too tired.

but i have to tell you. when we do hit on that talent, that latent aspiration? even though you poo poo me and say you could never do it, even though you dismiss it all as pie in the sky

you can find the rest in her post courage at everyone needs therapy.

another, very moving excerpt i’d like to present is from joey cupps‘s say goodbye posted at hearts a fire. it’s a beautiful, quiet tribute to someone who passed away – and a tribute to the healing that comes from actively participating in this important life transition:

there was a chill coming off the window of the truck as we drove down the highway home. mountains cast shadows in the sky. only stillness in the truck and silent thoughts of her. watching the moon shine against the blackened sky, the lining of the clouds it passed behind glowed beautifully. they seemed to race along as the moon followed us home, with our hearts heavy from hours before where we all gathered at the hospital to say goodbye one last time.

along a similar topic, craig harper presents gill’s story posted at renovate your life with craig, saying, “every now and then you read an inspirational story that makes you cry. today was such a day!”

in other submussions, we find thenourisher, who talks about DNA and mitochondrial time bombs: uranium, mercury and diabetes at nourished magazine, saying, “well researched article about depleted uranium and mercury’s double punch as the cause of diabetes.”

anmol mehta gives us chakra balancing yoga breathing exercise at mastery of meditation, enlightenment & kundalini yoga. it’s a “time-tested yogic breathing technique for balancing the energies of the body to promote health, tranquility and joy.”

albert foong explores an interesting idea: aristotle vs. urban monk round 1: finding bliss. success. love. it’s posted at urban monk. he talks about “the highest human good – aristotle’s work on success and happiness, given the usual urban monk emphasis on readability and practicality – how you can apply his wrks to your life right now.”

jolynn braley from the fit shack answers the question, exactly why is MSG so bad for my body? she asks, “have you ever wondered why you feel hungry again shortly after eating at your favorite chinese restaurant? this article gives you some interesting information on the additive msg and will answer that question for you.”

another great article by erek ostrowski, ease up and don’t swing so hard! at verve coaching, talks about golfing as a metaphor for life: “one of the things i love about golf is that it serves as a brilliant metaphor for life. while it can be difficult and challenging at times, it can also be fun and extremely rewarding. what i love about golf is the same thing i love about life. no matter how much i think i’ve learned, there are an infinite number of things left undiscovered.”

there were so many submissions this week! i’m sorry i can’t go into detail about all of them. but i’m sure you’ll find something that’ll peak your curiosity in these posts:

alvaro fernandez gives us brain fitness program: how to select the right one at sharpbrains. greenwoman offers some words on psychic self protection at greenwoman’s wisdom. reb chaim haqoton gives us sweet transformation: a qoton classic. the power of your self-image is the topic of a post at the road to a perfect life. kevin kinchen talks about forgiveness at his blog creative power of thought: thoughts become things.

anna farmery presents top 5 reasons i want to live, posted at widows quest, as well as mum’s the word, posted at the engaging brand. raymond david salas writes about the real secret to miracles at – power tools blog. the blog beauty and personality grooming gives some information on quick remedy for dandruff flakes and other tips for cure.

that concludes this edition. submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of healing using our carnival submission form. past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page. last week’s carnival was presented by wisdom of healing; next week’s will be at reiki blogger.

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver


inspired by last night’s meditation meetup and the relaxation swicki, i thought i’d offer you these words.

sit comfortably, without slouching.

you may want to close your eyes.

notice your breath. in comes in – it goes out. it comes in – it goes out. there is nothing you need to do – yet it is the most important thing to keep you alive. enjoy the miracle of it.

after a few breaths, notice yourself sitting on the chair.

notice. gently, softly.

let your awareness travel down your legs.

notice your feet touching the ground. feel yourself supported by it.

if your feet feel tense, simply experience yourself letting go of the tension.

every time you let go of tension, pay particular attention to your outbreath. allow it to be as long and thorough as comfortably possible.

slowly let your attention travel up your legs. gently, softly.

let your legs just be there.

let your attention travel to your seat. notice your body touches the chair.

experience gratitude for the chair that supports you.

let yourself just sit there. softly, gently, without effort.

let your attention wander to your back. notice its long, strong muscles. notice the spine and let yourself know of the vertebrae that stack one on top of the other.

allow your attention to travel to your shoulders.

if there is any tension, let it go.

let it go.

let it go.

let your shoulders gently slope off your neck like the two sides of a coat hanger.

allow your attention to be drawn to your arms and hands.

is there any tension anywhere? in the forearms, in the hands?

let it go.

when you’re ready, travel up to your face.

so many muscles there! lots of tiny, hardworking muscles.

let them relax.


let your mouth relax, your cheeks, your eyes, your temples. let your scalp relax.

just let all the tension drain.

softly, gently, without effort.

and just sit there.




today is national day against homophobia.

homophobia is about us over here versus them over there. look, these other people! they do X and say Y, and we don’t do and say that, so they’re outside of the fence and we’re inside.

only there is no them. there is only we. and the fence is a figlet of our imagination.

i say “our” because this habit of artificially carving up our environment into what’s “us” and “not us” is deeply engrained, and certainly doesn’t just happen in homophobia. it happens in xenophobia, racism, zealotry of all stripes … it’s a long list.

what’s so strange about this fence building is that on the face of it, it has something to do with identity. by identifying another group as “those people”, we can have a group that’s called “our people”. “our people”, who aren’t hispanics, or transgender, or immigrants, or addicts, or poor, or conservatives – whatever flavour it is one wants to exclude from one’s life.

the strange part is that most people who identify themselves that way do not reflect on their identity in any other way. the only identity work that happens is this fence-building to exclude the “others”.

if i want to truly know who i am, i need to look inside. i cannot be too distracted by building fences against them, or finding flaws with them.

the deeper i look inside, the more i realize the paradox that my true identity lies both in my uniqueness – and in my being part of the great sister and brotherhood of humanity. i am both this person with this nose, this passion for equality, this dislike for loud music, and this woman who is part of the great womanhood of all creatures, this person who feels pain like anyone else, this girl born in munich, a city that belongs to the world.

i am thinking of some of the historic germans who were not able to express (and explore) their sexual identity because of homophobia: king ludwig II, kaiser frederick II, thomas mann. they, too, are my brothers, across time, each with their own great uniqueness, each with their similarities to me, and to you, my dear reader. what would the world look like today if they didn’t have to live outside of fences created by homophobia?

(and i guess i could have included homophobia in yesterday’s post about turning things off)

turn it off

i just walked through the house to see if there is any electricity-sucking widget, gadget, or doodah that doesn’t need to be turned on.

says bc hydro: “on wednesday, may 16, 2007, british columbians are encouraged to turn off and unplug all unnecessary lights, fixtures, appliances and vehicles.” so i did.

the worst is the family computer in the living room, the one used by our 10-year-old and assorted guests. it often sits idle.

well, actually, my laptop might be the worst. i hardly ever turn it off, rarely for longer than a minute. i rarely even put it on energy saving mode.

so i went around the house to check, turned off the family computer, a light in the kitchen, turned the fridge down a notch, and i promise i will turn off my laptop tonight! i also changed the power settings on my laptop to something more energy-friendly. and we’ll see what we can do for keeping energy consumption as low as possible tonight.

what else could we turn off and unplug? what else is a useless energy drain?

turn off


ah, yes, that feels good. a serene feeling in body and mind. no guilt about harming the environment. pleasant relationships. no more crazy buzzing around.

mmmmhhhh … enjoy …

(thanks to verve coaching and organic researcher for including this post in their blogs)

self-righteous in surrey

“if teachers are going to use the film an inconvenient truth in the classroom, they should also have access to another documentary which challenges the academy-award winning movie’s premise, says a local school trustee.”

this, my friends, we can find under the heading “school trustee demands ‘balance’ over gore movie use“.


let me get this off my political chest right away: these are the same people who weren’t that hot for balance when it came to balancing out the school library, to include among the 99.9% heterosexual books a few that also talk about same sex couples.

so this is me getting self-righteous. (and i feel pretty good about it! nothing as invigorating as a good dose of self-righteousness, says my daughter’s partner, ray)

but – whenever i get self righteous, there’s this little part of me that says, ok, you’re accusing someone (of hypocrisy, delusion and sheer stupidity, for starters), then you might as well take that as an opportunity to see where you’re not perfect. whoever throws the first stone and all that.

as painful as it is, yes, i have to admit that i’m not perfect. i’m not always congruent, and i bet that sometimes looks like hypocrisy to others. there are moments when i don’t like looking a particular truth in the eye, and that leads me to self-delusion. sometimes i’m straight-out dumb (like yesterday, when i just wouldn’t admit to my friend ava that her boyfriend’s and her ages, with him being 7 years older than her 52, do indeed add up to 111. “2 and 7 is 9, not 11!” i said to her. oh, get a grip, isabella).

it’s like driving. when you run a yellow light, you probably say, “oh good, i made it!”. the guy behind you, on the other hand, may see you as yet another example of bad driving in vancouver and natter about it all day.

our behaviour usually makes sense to us; to others, they’re often transgressions to get self-righteous over. it’s all a matter of perspective.

sometimes. maybe even often.

but i sure hope that if i ever do something as hypocritical, deluded, and sheer stupid as using the word “balance” to justify my political agenda, there will be someone out there to set me straight!

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

p.s. there is an update to this here at de smog blog.

mothers’ day prayers

tonight, the night before mothers’ day, i want to rest in a place where women live. i have taken my little book of prayers and rewritten some of my favourite prayers just a tad, to reflect the womanly aspect of the divine:

deep peace of the running wave to you,
deep peace of the flowing air to you,
deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
deep peace of the shining stars to you,
deep peace of the queen of peace to you.

(celtic prayer)

we were enclosed,
o eternal mother,
within the garden of your breast.
you drew us out of your holy mind like a flower
petaled with our soul’s three powers,
and into each power
you put the whole plant,
so that they might bear fruit in your garden,
might come back to you
with the fruit you gave them.
and you would come back to the soul,
to fill her with your blessedness.
there the soul dwells –
like the fish in the sea
and the sea in the fish.

(st. catherine of siena)

thou my goddess, and my sister thou
thou my friend, and my teacher thou
thou my wisdom, and my riches thou
thou art all to me, o mother of all mothers.

(ramanuja indian prayer)

watchful words: 7 ways to rename a mental illness

in thinking about today’s blog post and still in line with this week’s theme of the national mental health week, i came back to one of my favourite books about therapy, ben furman’s and tapani ahola’s solution talk: hosting therapeutic conversations. the following is an excerpt and summary of the chapter, “watchful wording” where they talk about diagnostic terms.

names, labels and diagnostic concepts in mental health are more than just innocent terms used to refer to particular problems. they are also shorthand for underlying beliefs and assumptions about the nature of the problem. they refer not only to observable behaviour but also to a host of presuppositions about important questions such as severity, course, causation, and therapeutic interventions.

to select a particular term is to subscribe to a legion of underlying assumptions associated with that term. words used in psychiatry and psychology (e.g. identity disorder, symbiotic psychosis, major depression) often tell us little, sometimes almost nothing, about the actual problem, but a great deal about what we should think about it.

here are some examples of wording mental health issues in ways that are more descriptive, more meaningful and, most importantly, more helpful and conducive to healing. the important thing to keep in mind is we are not trying to re-invent terminology here; rather, the aim is to make the words a better fit to a particular experience.

furman and ahola were called in to help workers on a crisis line deal with an annoying, intimidating caller, who they referred to as “the aggressive caller”. what’s a name that fits his behaviour but would also be agreeable to him? they renamed him “the midnight cowboy”.

people with borderline personality disorder can simply be “going through turbulent times.”

“feeling blue”, “down in the dumps” are well-known synonyms for depression. and how about “taking an inventory break” or “gathering energy”?

then – putting a positive twist on “brooding” – brooding is like hatching. what’s the person hatching? what’s the exciting new thing that’s about to be born?

i also love the idea of switching the idea of “masked depression” to “latent joy”.

instead of “alcoholic”, one could refer to “needing to cut back on the drinking”; another suggestion was “tormented by the booze-worm”.

chronic schizophrenia, say furman and ahola, “is the conventional label for long-lasting deviant behaviour associated with bizarre ideas”. other terms for it might be “in the corner lifestyle” (proposed by michael white).

“wild imagination”, “daydreaming”, “having ghosts” or “being scared to death” are alternatives to using the words “psychotic symptoms”.

finally, christina chew asks whether people with autism and/or asperger’s syndrome aren’t just “quirky” or “gifted”.

any more ideas out there on giving “pet names” to your emotional experiences?

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver