Monthly Archives: September 2007

try a little money management

looks like this is guest post week. today you can find me on nancy zimmermann’s blog. nancy is a money coach, and i wrote a little piece on “trying” money management. below is an excerpt. for the full article, go here.

a little while ago i wrote an article on trying vs. allowing. nancy thought it would be interesting to apply this to our relationship with money.

“okay, so here is the spreadsheet for tracking your money. can you use that for a month?”

“i’ll try.”

probably, this scenario happens once in a while in nancy’s practice. i know it does in my counseling practice.

men, women, and body image

here’s an interesting abstract from a research study on body image, do men find bony women attractive? it’s a bit woolly, so in the interest of plain language, i translated it:

we always want to know more about eating disorders. one aspect of eating disorders is body image, and particularly negative body image.

a positive body image often results from how we think the opposite sex sees us. that’s true for both women and men.

rochelle bergstrom’s research shows that men’s perceptions in this area are accurate but women believe men want women to be thinner than men actually do. [wow, that’s a strong claim! my bet is that the research shows a tendency for people to think that way but not that they always do that]

women who have such inaccurate perceptions tend to show higher symptoms of eating disorders.

self-worth was also assessed. if self worth depended on appearance, there tended to be negative consequences. in comparison, those whose self-worth was less dependent on appearance felt better, even when they had misjudged how the opposite sex viewed them.

so … what’s the upshot of all this?

1) if you’re a woman, get a reality check on how your desired partners see you.
2) men don’t care nearly as much about women’s body sizes as women do.
3) the less accurate the perception of how your partner sees you, the higher the chances you have an eating disorder.
4) if any of this is a problem for you, find a way to unhinge your self-worth from your appearance. (easier said than done, i know. but there’s help.)

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

(this post can be found in the BOMS carnival)

mental health without labels

today, i invite you to go over to GNIF brain blogger where i’ve written a guest post on a series of mental health success stories i had the fortune to listen to on monday at the canadian mental health association.

what remained most with me was one person mentioning that at a certain age, he “experienced symptoms associated with paranoid schizophrenia.”

how different that sounded from saying “i am a paranoid schizophrenic.”

the space between who that person was and those symptoms was palpable, airy, freeing. he did not identify with his mental illness. it sounded like one among many things in his life ” perhaps one that at times becomes pretty big and in need of a lot of attention but by far not the defining characteristic of who he is.

read more here.


an old, old poem of mine, obviously written in a (tea) drug induced state. but fitting, isn’t it, as we’re heading into cooler weather.

after four hours of sleep
and 16 hours of work
here comes pouring into the poet
a cup of tea.
tea! tea! tea!
drug that whitewaterrafts
into forgotten veins and drags
with it, drawing deep from the bottomless swirls
leftover bits and pieces of energy,
scraping fragments of strength off the walls
of this human’s caverns —
tea! tea! tea!
tea steals that hidden nestegg of lifeforce
and presents it on a silver plate
to the tired, delirious poet –
see tea reflected in sparkles from redshot eyes!
see it pouring, gushing beneath lids
that are leaden, burning, and yet! still eager to leave
light in. tealight.
the light that weaves romance from the fear of night,
the light that wraps death and despair in a velvet cloth.
tea! tea! tea!
hold those bones up that want to collapse!
keep those fingers moving that are about to fall!
spur on those lips that ceaselessly mumble no sense …tea kettle
draw the last drop of blood … !

(thanks, mart and gree, for the picture. it was interesting trying to find the right one. looking for “tea” in creative commons, much of what i found was a little on the cute and well-behaved side. nothing like the crazed late-night tea drinking i had gotten to know from my russian ancestors.)

the phoenix recovery centre

last thursday, i had the great fortune of meeting michael wilson of the newly created phoenix recovery centre in surrey, just southeast of vancouver.

a friend of mine, who has a little contract job there, had told me about it and said that i absolutely had to see it. so when i drove there, i thought i was well-prepared for something a bit out of the ordinary.


it’s out of the ordinary alright.

where to start?

first, when i arrived at the physical building i thought, oh, they must be somewhere at the back of the building because at the front, there’s a florist’s and coffee shop. phoenix recovery centre, surrey

it turns out the shop is phoenix’s social enterprise. that’s the one that sits beside their spiffy cafeteria, something that you’d only expect of a betty ford-type treatment centre, not of one that costs funders one-third less per person than governments spend every year on a homeless person.

“we wanted to disrupt the idea of what a recovery centre is, right when you first come in,” said michael wilson.

they were certainly successful in disturbin my ideas. what else is disrupted at phoenix?

the habits of alcohol and drug use, of course. but, even more interestingly, michael wilson and his gang want to disrupt old ways of doing that.

among us counsellors, the word “empowerment” gets thrown around a lot; it has become quite cheap currency. the people at phoenix seem committed to return real value to it. having a social enterprise there is proof of that already – but one plan that really intrigues me is michael’s idea to have phoenix alumni teach what they have learned to the community at large.

in recovery, people learn much, much more than how not to drink/shoot up/overspend (or whatever – pick your favourite addiction). that’s sometimes not known by those who have not gone through the hell of addiction and made it out alive.

look at phoenix’s mission statement:

[phoenix’s] modified therapeutic community is a multi-dimensional model that views substance abuse problems as disorders of the whole person and his or her functioning rather than defining characteristics. our program and services focus on promoting health rather than focusing on deficits and aim at involving people in enhancing their physical, mental, social and spiritual health by teaching the self-care and mutual support skills that will allow them to manage daily living responsibly.

health promotion. whole-person thinking. focusing on assets rather than deficits. mutual support.

these are things everyone can benefit from.

i have a hunch i’ll be writing quite a bit more about this exciting project in the months to come …

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

(this post appears in the 5th carnival of all substances)

what are you grateful for today?

PsyBlog is one of my favourite blogs lately. their latest post is on gratefulness.

i haven’t done a gratitude post for a while. so let me do that right now.

  • thanks, PsyBlog, for inspiring me to do that! it’s such a simple way to spread goodness everywhere – inside me, here on this blog, and perhaps it’ll plant a good seed in some of our readers’ hearts.
  • i am grateful for the quiet in our house.
  • i’m super grateful for our wonderful housemates.
  • i am grateful for drinking water; there was a time when i thought getting by on two cups of tea a day was cool.
  • there is gratitude for the equanimity that i experience more and more.
  • i am grateful for both my daughters’ creativity.
  • it’s wonderful that my husband is so easygoing.
  • i’m happy that i don’t need desserts in my life right now.
  • my blog is doing quite well right now. thanks, in part, to priscilla.
  • and boy, i have so many loving, interesting, gentle friends! thank you, thank you!

what are you grateful for today?

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

food addiction: another case of “duh” science

ok, time for another rant. looks like i can’t speak gently on this. sorry, buddha.

this article in UStoday had me alternatively laughing out loud, rolling my eyes and frowning.

obesity has long been blamed on weak willpower, overeating, genetics and lack of exercise. now scientists increasingly are seeing signs that suggest there may be an additional contributor: food addiction.

reaaaaally? how did they come up with that far-fetched idea? duh! they didn’t by any chance talk to people who overeat, did they?

monday night and again today, dozens of the nation’s leading researchers in obesity, nutrition and addiction planned to discuss whether food has addictive properties for some people. they’re gathering in new haven, conn., at a meeting sponsored by yale university’s rudd center for food policy and obesity.

“we believe that there is sufficient science to suggest there is something to this, so we are bringing the leading authorities together to decide whether food addiction is real and what the underlying psychology and biology might be,” says kelly brownell, director of the rudd center.

“it’s surprising that our field has overlooked this concept for so long,” he says. “society blames obesity only on the people who have it and has been close-minded to other explanations.”

oh, and not listening to your patients for decades hasn’t been close-minded? because otherwise you would have “discovered” this long ago. there’s nothing more frustrating for a person who is a compulsive overeater than to go to a doctor hoping for some help and all they get is, “well, you just need to eat less.” enough to drive one to eat! (and that’s not a joke).

support for the idea of food addiction comes from animal and human studies, including brain imaging research on humans, says mark gold, chief of addiction medicine at the mcknight brain institute at the university of florida, who is a co-chair for the meeting.

in a medical setting, “we evaluated people who were too heavy to leave their reclining chairs and too big to walk out the doorway,” he says. “they do not eat to survive. they love eating and spent the day planning their new takeout choices.”

they “love” eating the way a heroin addict just adores shooting up?

psychiatrist nora volkow, director of the national institute on drug abuse, a speaker at the meeting, says the research in this area is complicated, but most people’s weight problems aren’t caused by food addiction.

well, ms. volkow, i’m going to go have a talk with you about what constitutes “addiction” for you. would not being able to stop eating even though one wants to count?

some studies focus on dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain associated with pleasure and reward. “impaired function of the brain dopamine system could make some people more vulnerable to compulsive eating, which could lead to morbid obesity,” volkow says. she did groundbreaking research in this area while at the US department of energy’s brookhaven (NY) national laboratory.

for some compulsive eaters, the drive to eat is so intense that it overshadows the motivation to engage in other rewarding activities, and it becomes difficult to exercise self-control, she says. this is similar to the compulsion that an addict feels to take drugs, she says. “when this occurs, the compulsive eating behavior can interfere with their well-being and their health.”

ok, this might be a case of bad reporting again. i just hope that the good doctors didn’t say this.

people, read what you’re writing. if the drive to eat is so intense in some, what’s happening with the other compulsive overeaters? what’s with the “compulsive” and “over” eating with them?

and the compulsive eating can interfere with health? can you give me an example of when compulsive behaviour does not diminish health and well-being?

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

405 personal development bloggers

a week ago, i had the great fortune of being tagged twice to participate in the personal development blog list. thanks, priscilla and albert!

it’s similar to the W list or the Z list, although i have to say that the level of participation on this one is phenomenal. of course it’s a kind of meme – and in my looooong (um – 24 months) blogging life i’ve never seen a meme before that has generated so much fire.

below is what i believe to be the latest list.

but first, three things.

one: let me give you the blogs that i think should be added:

blogher’s religion and spirituality “department”. i like it because of its variety.

everyone needs therapy by therapydoc. personal development with a mental health twist. or mental twists with a bit of personal development? you be the judge.

intensive care for the nurturer’s soul by hueina su is well-known, at least in my corner of the blogosphere, and i’m surprised i haven’t seen it on the list yet. it’s a blog geared especially to mothers and other caregivers.

edith yeung’s “dream think act” is more business oriented. i find it interesting because it also speaks with the voice of an immigrant – something that the blogosphere has not enough of.

laura young: the dragon slayer’s guide to life. intelligent. courageous. oops! someone beat me to that one.

then, creativity happens by ken dow and martin cooper. you could see this one coming, couldn’t you? i wouldn’t put together such a list without including someone from the arts community.

and i see that another of my favourites is already on the list. it’s another creativity blog, although of a different stripe: inventor, author and consultant roger von oech’s creative think. this guy makes your thinks stand on their heads!

two: blogher people, therapydoc, hueina, edith, laura and ken and martin – do you have any blogs not on here yet that should be included? if so, why don’t you post about it.

three: i’ve created a wiki for this so that we can all work on the list. don’t know what a wiki is? the front page here on the personal development list wiki will tell you. if you want to add to the list, contact me and i’ll give you the password.

and now, without further skidoo, here’s the full list, with my recommendations added:

(update on september 21: it turned out that somehow the tail end of this post got cut off. i’ve now remedied that and added the most recent version of it. so for the accountants and bookkeepers among you: you’ll notice there are more than 405 :))

aaron potts at today is that day
adam alexander at adam’s peace
adam kayce at monk at work
adam khoo at adam khoo’s philosophies and investing insights
agentsully at life learning today
amber at amber waves
april groves at making life work for you
argancel at c’eclair (for those who speak french)
ash aka mr. biggs at one powerful word
al at
alan torres at made to be great
alex shalman at
alexander kjerulf at the chief happiness officer
alexys fairfield at unraveling the spiritual mystique
albert foong at
alvaro at sharp brains blog
amber at random mangus
amie ragan at psychology of clutter
amit sodha at the power of choice
amy hedin at there is no maximum to human potential
andrea learned at learned on women
andrea j. lee at money, meaning, and beyond
andy wibbels at
anita pathik law at power of our way
anmol mehta at
anna farmery at the engaging brand
antonio thornton at
ariane benefit at neat & simple living
ask lucid at ask lucid spiritual development
barb melloh at the law of attraction info
barbara curtis at mommy life
barbara sliter at creatorship
belle wong at abundance journal
ben yoskovitz at instigator blog
bill perry at lucid blog
billy smith at the organic leadership blog
blogfuse at lifedev
blogher’s religion and spirituality “department”
brad isaac at achieve it
brian clark at copyblogger
brian kim at
brian lee at
brightfeathers at this time-this space
brooke at plain advice
bob at everyeveryminute
bolly at motivational corner
byron katie at byron
cam beck at chaosscenario
cara lumen at the success magnets with cara luman and your second wind blog
carlon haas at possess less exist more
catherine carter at continuum wellness
cheif family officer at cheif family officer
chris brogan at chris
chris cree at successcreeations
chris marshall at martial development
chris melton at
chris owen at pink apple
christine kane at
christine valters painter at abbey of the arts
clyde at feeling good
colin beavan at no impact man
colleen wainwright of communicatrix
conceive, believe, achieve at conceive, believe, achieve
cooper at wonderland or not
crabby mcslacker at cranky fitness
craig harper at motivational speaker
curt rosengren at occupational adventure
cyres at cyres matters
damian carr at soul terminal
daniel sitter at idea sellers
danny kohn at be inspired everyday
darlene at spirited boutique
darren rowse at
dave pollard at how to save the world
dave schawbel at the personal branding blog
dave schoof at engaging the disquiet
davers at language trainers blog
david allen at the david allen company
david bohl at reflections on balance
david finch at david
david richeson at 360 degree success
david rogers at how to have great self confidence
david seah at david
david zinger at slacker manager
dawud miracle at
dean lacono at law of attraction for beginners
deb2012 at fibromaylgia and wellness
debbie call at spirit in gear
debbie lachusa at 10 step marketing collection
deborah aka zephry1 at climate of our future
debra moorhead at debra
denise mosawi at
devlyn steele at tools to life guide
dick richards at come gather round
dominic tay at personal development for winners
don simkovich at hey don
donald latumahina at life optimizer
donna karlin at perspectives
donna steinhorn at rethinking
douglas eby at talent development resources
dr. charles parker at the core psych blog
dr. hal at northstar mental fitness blog
drew rozell at drew
dwayne melancon at genuine curiosity
e murphy at the active life
edith yeung at dream think act
edward mills at evolving times
ellen weber at brain based business
emily g. w. lilly at the science of waldorf education
emmanuel lopez at the adventures of motivatorman
ellesse at goal setting college
elly jolly at jolly life coaching
enoch tan at mind reality
eric napier at quotation collection
erin pavlina at erin
evelyn rodriguez at crossroads dispatches
farouk radwan at 2knowmyself
frank kanu at frank uncovers excellence in leadership
frank roche at knowhr blog
galba bright at tune up your eq
garr reynolds at presentation zen
gary at personal strategic plan
gilad buchman at sigsug
gleb reys at personal development ideas
grayson at modern worker blog
greg butler at
greg frost at
geoff r at
george vasu at 360
golbguru at money, matter, and more musings
gretchen rubin at happiness project
gustav at
guy kawasaki at how to change the world
gyanish at diethack
halina goldstein at the inner travel journal
hilda carroll at living out loud
heather goldsmith at a creative journal
helgi pall einarsson at everyday wonderland
henrik edberg at the positivity blog
honman at open your mind to prosperity
hueina su at intensive care for the nurturer’s soul
ilyria at finding norway
inkedmn at the cranking widgets blog
isabella mori at change therapy
itzy sabo at email overloaded
jack vinson at knowledge jolt with jack
jackie at the painted veil
jackie at the vegan diet
jacklyn ker at inspiring and empowing lives
jarle husefest at the personal development blog
jason and michael at black belt productivity
jason ivers at a miracle a day
jason womack at fit and effective
jay white at dumb little man tips for life
jean browman at transforming stress into power and cheerful monk
jeane michelle culp at binding ink
jeanne may at aspirations plus
jeannette maw at good vibe coaching
jeanie marshall at empowerment and meditation blog and dailyaffirm: positive affirmations day by day
jeff davidson at breathing space blog
jeff lilly at druid journal
jeffrey phillips at think faster
jennifer at goodness graciousness
jennifer mannion at heal pain naturally
jenny and erin at jenny and erin
jeremiah owyang at web strategy by jeremiah
jerry hart at blue print to emarketing
jerry lopper at personal growth
jessa at
jessica hagy at indexed
jim stroup at managing leadership
jim walton at black in business
jolynn braley at the fit shack
joan schramm at accelerating momentum
joanna young at coaching wizardry
joanne at i’m happy fish
jodeeb at you already know this stuff
joe vitale at dr. joe vitale at zero
john pratt at john pratt international
john place at john place online
john w. mckenna at the leadership epidemic
john wesley at pick the brain
jon at join the secret
jonathan at smart wealthy rich and freelance folder
jordan at the abe blog
jory des jardin at pause: meaningful work
josh bickford at reach for magnificence and reach for magnificence
josh kaufman at the personal mba
judy martin at the work/life monitor
julia rogers hamrick at julia’s blog: journal of the journey home to eden
julie bonner at declutter it
kailani at an island review
kammie kobyleski at passion meets purpose
karen at journey with water learner
karen lynch at live the power
karen wallace at the clearing space
karl moore at karl
karl staib at karl
kathy mallary at coaching biz tips
keith ferrazzi at never eat alone
kelly at kellymentology
ken dow at creativity happens
kenton whitman at
kevin kinchen at creative power of thought
killeris at attitude, the ultimate power
kim and jason at escape adulthood
kim george at doing what you can do
kimber chin at client k
kirk nugent at kirk
kirsten harrell at ipopin
krishna de at biz growth news and todays women in business
k.l. masina at be conscious now
ljw at heavenly inclinations
lauchlan mackinnon at think differently
lawrence cheok at a long, long road
laura young at the dragon slayer’s guide to life
leah maclean at working solo
leigh at the lab
lee nutter at bmindful
leo babauta at zen habits
life reflection at universe in a single atom
lilifixt at feel happy
linda salazar at awaken the genie within
lisa braithwaite at speak schmeak
lisa gates at design your writing life
lisa mcglaun at lifeprints – good news for a more compassionate world
lisa q at 40s singleness-dating in your 40s
lisa van allen at finish strong
liz at internet marketing strategies
liz strauss at successful blog
lodewijkvdb at how to be an original
lola fayemi at real world spiritual and personal development
lorraine cohen at powerfull living
luciano passuello at
lucid at spiritual suggestions
lumosity at brain health blog
lyman reed at creating a better life
lyndon antcliff at and
lynn mctaggert at living the field
mt at mindtweaks
maddy at illuminated minds want to know
malathy badri at laws of universe
malcolm campbell at the round table
manny at success books
maria gajewski at never the same river twice
maria garcia at get organized now
maria palma at the good life
marianne williamson at journal
mark at the naked soul
mark forster at get everything done
mark lapierre at the winding path
mark mcmanus at build your life to order
mark w shead at productivity 501
martin avis at kickstart daily
mary k at becoming your stellarself
matthew cornell at matt’s idea blog
meg haworth at life lessons from your soul
melanie benson strick at the success blog
merlin mann at 43 folders
michelle at amusing my genius
michelle moore at happiness blog
michael port at the think big revolution
michael vanderdonk at toach performance
mike janssen at opgestroopte mouwen
mike kemski at banabu
mike st. pierre at the daily saint
millionaire mommy next door at millionaire mommy next door
mimi lennox at mimi writes
mizzy bohemia at miz bohemia’s rhapsody
mona grayson at question the mind
monte ladner at fitness rocks at mr wang says so
my everyday planner at my everyday planner
my mind on books at my mind on books
ncn at no credit needed
nancy mills at the spirited woman
nancy tierney at unconditional confidence
neil patel at quick sprout
nic askew at monday 9am blog
nick smith at life 2.0
nneka at balanced life center
organize-it at organize-it
pamala slim at escape from cubicle nation
pamm larry at my spiritual dance
patricia singleton at spiritual journey of a lightworker
patti digh at 37 days
paul at paul’s tips
paul piotrowski at self help wisdom
paula kawal at paula
peggy payne at peggy payne’s boldness blog
peter at i will change your life
peter aldin at great circle
peter haslem at necessary skills
phil gerbyshak at make it great
philippe matthews at shockwealth
pia at courting destiny
priscilla palmer at personal development demands success
quint jensen at win your mind
raymond salas at zenchill powertools
real modern man at real modern man
reg adkins at elementaltruths
ricardo at wake up tiger
rich schefren at strategic profits
rick cockrum at shards of consciousness
rick cooper at the pda pro
ririan at ririanproject
rob at 7breaths
rob cooke at leave the office
robert at compassionate council
robert at myselfdev
robert ashcroft at pdss online
robin skeen at robin’s reflections
robin yapp at yapp 3.0
robyn mcmaster at brain based biz
roger von oech at creative think
rolf f. katzenberger at evomend
rosa say at managing with aloha coaching
ryan marle at the alpha project
s.j. yee at personal development for the book smart
sam at aquire wisdom and live with passion
scott adams at the dilbert blog
scott berkun at berkun blog
scott bernadot at keeping the secret
scott ginsberg at hello, my name is blog
scott h young at scott h young
scott mcarthur at mcarthur’s rant
secret simon at the secret of life
self pursuit at self pursuit
senia at positive psychology coaching
seth godin at seth’s blog
at 2knowmyself
shane navratil at zoomstart
shauna arthurs at breathing prosperity and follow your path
shaheen lakhan at gnif brain blogger
simone at dynamic living
simone and mandy at outfit inspirations
single ma at single ma’s fabulous financials
slade roberson at shift your spirits and spiritual blogging
sleeping dude at how to wake up early
sonora jayne case at positive realities coaching
sophiagurl at life is just around the corner
spike at organize it
start up coach at take charge of your life
stephanie and jeffrey at brains on purpose
steve beisheim at jumping ship happens
steve king at the green geek
steve olson at
steve pavlina at
steve roesler at all things workplace
stephen at hd bizblog
stephen hopson at adversity university
steven aitchison at change your thoughts
success current at
sue ann edwards at always embraces all ways
surjit at gurushabad
susan at got2begreen
susan sabo at productivity cafe
suzanne bird-harris at learning curve coaching
takuin minamoto at
taylor at mom’s out there
ted demopoulos at blogging for business
teesha moore at
terry starbucker at ramblings from a glass half full
therapy doc at everyone needs therapy
thom quinn at qlog
tiffany at little red suit
tim ferris at 4-hour workweek and lifestyle design blog
tim taylor at my agapic life
tim warren at personal development4u
tish at the kat house
tom ledree at tom
tom peters at tom
tom spanton at trcoach
tom van brunscot of transformation economy
tony chimento at living forward
tony d clark at success from the nest
torlink at you create reality
travis a. sinquefield at disorganizational behavior
travis wright at cultivate greatness
tricia at blogging away debt
tricia at loving farewells
trizoko at
trent hamm at the simple dollar
trevor gay at simplicity is the key
troy worman at orbit now!
tuck self at rebel belle blog
tupelo kenyon at
ubertech at geeks guide to gtd
vanessa vinos at musings from a life coach
vera nadine at vera
vickie at contemplate this
wade millican at the middle way
wally bock at three star leadership
wan qi at meditation forum mantras
wild bill at passionate blogger
winsome at winsome gunning art walk

and these collaborated sites:
blogher’s religion and spirituality “department”
burst blog
change this
change your thinking
daily planit
did i get things done
dona nobis pacem: the peace globe posts
gtd wannabe
insights and lessons
joyful jubilant learning
life coaches blog strategies for a greater life
ted blog
the 3 alchemists
tiny gigantic
transformational girlfriends

and these for those of you who speak russian:
anatoly tikhomirov at personal efficacy
armen petrosyan at thought storage #428
irina chelnokova at women path
michael subach at
sergey biryukov at personal development in russian
vitaly kolesnik at
vladimir rundan at living is great!