Tag Archives: memes

25 things

a bunch of people tagged me on facebook with the “25 things about you” meme. i’m going to try and do this a) really quick and b) restrict my answers to the kinds of things discussed here on this blog, namely psychology, creativity/art, spirituality, books and lefty stuff (you know, social justice, peace – bleeding heart kind of things). here we go:

  1. i still remember the feeling of my heart beating when i first read about ron melzack’s neuromatrix theory of pain which states that pain (and sensations in general) can be related to neurological “images” of ourselves, not necessarily to the physical reality of our bodies. neatly explains phantom limb pain and neurological “pain loops”
  2. i love children’s books and think that if adult books were presented like children’s books we’d all be better off
  3. watching the films “sacco and vanzetti” and “Z” when i was a teenager made a big impression on me and is one of the reasons why i’m a bleeding heart
  4. year and years ago, someone once said to a dear relative of mine that women pour all their creativity into having children and are therefore not good artists. my blood still boils
  5. i used to say the lord’s prayer when i woke up from scary dreams. hard to imagine now
  6. i once fell crazy in love with the works of torquato tasso, an italian renaissance poet who wrote libretti for monteverdi
  7. please don’t make me listen to classical italian or french opera
  8. i call the typical first two psychology courses “canadian tire catalogue” type of learning. you learn nothing but one fact after the other. yuk
  9. i once hunted down a book by abraham maslow (the “inventor” of the famous “hierarchy of needs”) at the library, only to detect later on that i already owned the book
  10. the first book i ever ordered was a beautiful book about roses by a descendant of the king of sweden who lives in a beautiful castle on a magical island in southern germany
  11. when i told my ex husband that i was thinking of becoming a social worker he said he’d leave me if i did that
  12. i am fascinated by biological psychology and utterly incapable of memorizing even the most important and most often repeated facts in it
  13. i am often baffled by how much intuitive sense buddhist ideas make to me
  14. i think i would make an awful marriage counsellor. way too opinionated
  15. a good-hearted right-winger will always win me over a mean-spirited left-winger
  16. my respect for adult learning started very early, when an uncle of mine received a PhD in theology at age 60, something almost unheard-of in 1960s germany
  17. i never had a romantic relationship with anyone who was not an artist or at least strongly interested in the arts
  18. i was one of the first people to do psychological research on the web
  19. one of my heroes in christian mysticism is julian of norwich, who lived in 14th century england and who was also the first woman in the western world to write a book
  20. i would love to be a corporate philosopher/psychologist, wondering through a company having fruitful conversations
  21. watching a bob marley concert in berlin, shortly before he died, was one of the most intensely spiritual experiences i ever had
  22. i think freud is underrated and that without him we would be nowhere today in psychology
  23. when i lived in paraguay, i had a great friendship with a pastor. we drank lots of brandy and smoked cigars; only when it came to talking about spiritual things, he got all bashful. but he was a great preacher
  24. i love singing the types of hymns they sing in evangelical churches but often feel like a fraud when i do that because i don’t subscribe to many of their doctrines
  25. i try to write a ritual poem (“words of power”) for every moon phase

i’ll tag a few people here, and a bunch more over on facebook.

giggle on
mellow yellow

8 random facts

8 random facts about me

… and things you may not know …rudolf nureyev, russian dancer

  1. i once seriously considered starting a web site dedicated entirely to caesar salad
  2. the only autograph i ever bothered getting was from dancer rudolf nureyev
  3. in my crazy berlin-before-the-wall-came-down days, one saturday i had a one-night stand with a kurdish urologist who looked like a french philosopher
  4. my next grandchild is expected on 08-08-08
  5. in paraguay, one hangovered morning i was trapped up in a grapefruit tree
  6. part of the novel i’m working on plays in dahomey (present-day benin)
  7. my most traumatic musical experience ever was when i had saved up for a ticket to covent garden in london, terribly excited to watch debussy’s the afternoon of a faun – and i had to listen to tosca
  8. one of the best gifts i’ve ever received from a client was one of those little stuffies-in-a-can, rescued from a garbage bin

i’m doing this because it’s fun and because damien (remember him from the 10 cognitive distortions?) tagged me. now i’m supposed to tag 8 people. let me find some blogospherians i’ve never tagged before. hmmm ….

  • raul, because he’s beautiful
  • todd, because he’s kind
  • lillie, because she edits
  • gillian, because she has a cat
  • catatonic kid, because she wrote about synaesthesia
  • sage, because she’s a philosopher
  • stumbleblogger, because i owe him a guest post
  • zoe, because she knew how to spell ‘articulate’ when she was 4

(image of nureyev found here)

a meme for my tired brain

a daisy fractali’m here at the northern voice 2008 blogging conference. an amazing amount of inspiration! so i need an intellectual break and who comes along …

c.b. whittemore! she tagged me to participate in an interesting “getting to know you” meme. it’s based on a list of attributes that supposedly go with the month you’re born in. this is the kind of lighthearted thing that’ll give me a break from all this wonderful brainiac stuff here at the conference.

so. my birth month is june. the image you see above is of daisies – june flowers, who always feel me with a feeling of lightness and softness.

these are the june traits:

  • thinks far with vision — yes. at least that’s what i like to think. i’m definitely more a big picture gal than a detail monkey.
  • easily influenced by kindness — kindness speaks to me, no question. i loved my bus ride this morning because the bus driver was so wonderfully friendly to a blind person and a person with a cane. “influenced”? wouldn’t have used that word.
  • polite and soft-spoken — yup.
  • having ideas — too many. nah. i’m an idea person and that’s me. i have just the right amount of ideas.
  • sensitive — yes. very sensitive sometimes; still learning how to best live with that. example: i can have about 3 cups of caffeinated beverages per month. more than that and … no “and”, because it’s out of the question. example: sensitive to whether i’m on the same wavelength with people. result: most of the people in my life today are absolutely wonderful companions.
  • active mind — yessaroonie! more about that in my post on add.
  • hesitating, tends to delay — a little timid sometimes, and like to do lots of research before i embark on something. although once in a while i jump into something big without much thought.
  • choosy and always wants the best — what i just said about being sensitive J
  • temperamental. nah, not really — i’m enthusiastic and talk with my hands but temperamental – no.
  • funny and humorous. loves to joke — you be the judge.
  • good debating skills — theoretically but rarely practically. thinking on my feet is not one of my greater assets.
  • talkative — nah, not really. the older i get, the less i talk.
  • daydreamer — hmmm …. that’s an interesting one. when i was younger, i spent tons of time daydreaming. mostly about romance. i’m so glad i don’t do that anymore. i have an incredibly active imagination but i use it more and more for real life. i like to live my dream rather than daydream.
  • friendly — most people who know me would probably say that’s one of my top ten qualities.
  • knows how to make friends — yes. a gift that i am deeply grateful for.
  • able to show character — what does that mean? i work on acting and thinking ethically – maybe that’s what it is?
  • easily hurt — not really. i assume that most people either have good will towards me or are at least indifferent to me. when i do feel hurt i like to look at what that says about me.
  • prone to getting colds — no.
  • loves to dress up — yes and no. i go through phases. what i wear is very important to me, though – it needs to match my mood. see above for sensitive.
  • easily bored — no. and you know why? i find boredom extremely uncomfortable so i go out of my way to avoid it.
  • fussy — about some things, yes, but mostly i’m pretty easy going. i get fussy when confronted with people who seem pretentious to me. a fancy restaurant is prone to receive a stern critique from me but i can easily rave about a greasy spoon.
  • seldom shows emotions — that’s not me at all. i’m not a drama queen, not by any stretch of the imagination but when i’m happy, angry or sad, you’ll know.
  • takes time to recover when hurt — no – neither physically nor emotionally.
  • brand conscious — yes. and reputation conscious.
  • executive — huh? what does that mean? the only thing i can think of is that cancer is one of the june signs, and cancer is a cardinal (main) sign. and yes, i like to take initiative and show leadership. however, as a leader i have a fierce belief in teamwork so sometimes i look a little blander than i am.
  • stubborn — no. when i’m convinced of my opinion, you can’t sway me but i’ll gladly listen to and engage with other people’s opinions. if what they have to say adds to my point of view, i’ll happily include it.

since this is a meme, let me explain the rules:

1. mention the person who tagged you and create a link back to them.
2. pick your month of birth.
3. copy and paste the traits for all the twelve months, or link to phil’s post that shows the traits for all 12 months
4. look at your traits and simply copy the ones that apply to you or otherwise write about the list of traits and how they apply to you.
5. tag 12 people and let them know by visiting their blogs and leaving a comment for them. (i’m pretty busy right now so that might take some time; i hope that the people i’m mentioning will notice it by looking at their trackbacks or other wonderful techie doodahs)
6. let the person who tagged you know when you’ve done it!

… and here are the 12 people i’m tagging:

one for your success
your dose of lunacy
nancy zimmermann, the canadian money coach
myopic broadcast
kilroy’s the gonzo papers
riehl lifevillage wisdom for the 21st century
the lives and times
urban monk
ali gator
tales of ladies, goddesses and bitches

(image by gadl)

happy 2nd birthday, change therapy!

happy second birthdayooops! i totally forgot my birthday – i mean, my blog birthday. today, december 19, it’s been two years that i’ve been writing on this blog. so i decided to go back to my 1st birthday post and rewrite it, in the light of the last 366 days.

it’s been an interesting 132,000 words to write (that’s how many words i estimate have accumulated here in the last year – about 24,000 more than last year)

what was the most surprising thing? i hadn’t anticipated i would merge my web site with my blog. from a technical point of view, that was a good thing. however, the “pages” section of this site (the old static web site) still feels a bit orphaned and static.

participating in some great memes and group writing projects has been a real boon. i got to know a lot of people through them. just to name a few examples, there is priscilla palmer’s personal development blog list, the W list, InspirationBit’s group writing project on – well, inspiration, and the fabulous 6-word project at middlezonemusings.

i still haven’t run out of topics – in fact, i have more than i can handle. sometimes i wonder whether i’m too general. but what can i say, i’m actually quite happy with the range of topics. here are the topics i was thinking about discussing on my last birthday post:

there’s an entry about a cognitive psychologist who has done research on our ancestors’ thinking – how people ten thousands of years ago used their brains. a book review about the supposed inherent violence of men. thoughts on men and obesity. on the difference between faith and hope.

i did write about the first topic – still love that image of the cavewoman, isn’t it great?

and i see that i still haven’t written a review of neil boyd’s book the beast within. i should do that soon – even more than a year after reading it, the book still stands out as an important contribution to both psychology and sociology.

men and obesity? not a thing. get on it, isabella! especially since nancy asked me to write more on overeating.

difference between faith and hope? meh. doesn’t sound very interesting right now (although who knows, maybe you’ll see me eat my words next month.)

other things i might write about are sam harris’ neurology paper on “primitive” beliefs and more on these topics: what and how to eat when recovering from anorexia, on quitting smoking, creative people, and on counselling theory, especially countertransference.

last year, i said i was happy how comments and conversations had started to happen and “if i would have been a little more confrontational, they probably would have happened faster.” there was a tiny bit of confrontation here and there, on the first article on the taser death here in vancouver, for example. but really, i’m not much into confrontation.

and stats – just like last year, an article on anorexia and sex had the most page views. the post on st. augustine, darwin, plato and freud had people glued to the monitor for the longest time, and one of the understanding “i don’t know” articles had the best exit rate (i.e. people didn’t get fed up with reading my blog after reading that post). it’s also nice to report that on december 19, 2007 i had six times more traffic than on december 19, 2006!

these were the things on my wish list for the blog last year

  • have some guest columnists
  • do more memes
  • have some sort of meaningful collaboration with other bloggers
  • have more conversations through comments – my goal is to have at least as many comments as posts by the end of february

i’m happy to report that all of it happened.

for the coming year, i’d like to

  • explore the possibility of monetizing the blog
  • do at least one big group writing project
  • get that #$&(@$ do follow plugin working
  • explore more interaction with readers – more comments but also more … what? social media type interactions? let’s see.

and again i’ll ask you, readers: what would you like to see more of, less of?

… following up on InspirationBit’s suggestion, this post became part of the blogging goals group writing project on daily blog tips. here is the list of people who participated in it.

  1. making home-made wine and beer – 2008 goals for this blog
  2. 2008 plans for sk8 dad
  3. blog gigs – blogging goals for 2008
  4. my life with it – blogging goals for 2008
  5. butterfly media – 2008 blogging goals
  6. scott andrew bird – blog goals 2008
  7. objetivos do 1001 gatos para 2008
  8. 2008 goals for money and blogs
  9. kris cpec – blogging goals for 2008
  10. win a revolution theme
  11. non profit leadership, innovation and change – goals for 2008
  12. 2008 blogging goals and the rewards they earn
  13. blogging notes – blogging goals for 2008
  14. the university blog – blogging goals for 2008
  15. #comments – goals!
  16. agile business navigator – (blogging) goals for 2008
  17. goals for 2008: (almost) every blogger has some
  18. amanda – 2008 blogging goals
  19. why i never set blogging goals
  20. the genetic genealogist – my 2008 blogging goals
  21. techlife – 2008 blogging goals
  22. ooof – blogging goals
  23. zparacha – 2008 blogging goals
  24. learn how 2 earn – blog goals for 2008
  25. 2008 blogging goals win premium wordpress themes
  26. happy 2nd birthday, change therapy!
  27. not-so techie goals set for 2008
  28. jake bouma – blogging goals for 2008
  29. paasikoe – 2008 blogging goals
  30. train the trainer: 2008 goals
  31. beyond behaviors’ blogging goals for 2008
  32. fashion by jenni – blogging goals for 2008
  33. ledger pad – plan for 2008!
  34. a contest! a xontest!
  35. planet apex – 8 blogging goals for 2008
  36. a writer’s words – 2008 blogging goals? plans, maybe …
  37. romance tracker’s 2008 blogging goals
  38. global warming hub’s blogging goals for the new year
  39. setting your goals makes you 200% more productive
  40. online tech tips blogging goals for 2008
  41. concholakeaz.com blog goals
  42. inspiration just doesn’t get any better than this
  43. blog about your blog – blogging goals for 2008
  44. my 2008 blogging goals for blog contest central
  45. blogging goals – christmas letters to santa claus
  46. mixed market arts – goals for 2008
  47. have you thought of your blogging goals for 2008?
  48. vincent chow – blogging goals for 2008
  49. writing nag’s 2008 blogging goals
  50. shawnw – my blogging goals for 2008
  51. the value of being incomplete: what are your goals for 2008?
  52. on financial success – goals for the new year
  53. madhur kapoor – blogging goals for 2008
  54. work n play – 2008 blogging goals
  55. what i wish to achieve with dailyapps in 2008
  56. gimme a dream – my blogging goals for 2008
  57. new year’s resolutions for tailgatingideas.com
  58. it’s write now! – blogging resolutions for 2008!
  59. blogging: learning the lessons the hard way
  60. nazjam – my blogging goals for 2008
  61. jobmob 2008 blogging goals
  62. what will your blog look like in 2008?
  63. my 2008 goals for newest on the net
  64. misentropy – what i want my blog to be…
  65. the visitor’s book (2008)
  66. an unplannd future
  67. good bye 2007 – blogging goals for the new year
  68. life in the internet – blogging goals for 2008
  69. blogging goals for 2008 – learn from the experience!
  70. techno money – my goals for 2008…what are yours?
  71. 8 goals for inspiration bit in 2008
  72. cyber street report – 2008 blogging goals
  73. mary emma – writing and blogging goals for 2008
  74. gauravonomics – my three blogging goals for 2008
  75. ebiz parent – 2008 blogging goals
  76. alphablogs – 5 goals for 2008
  77. daily blog tips: 10 goals for 2008
  78. blogging goals for 2008

what do your favourite words tell you about yourself?

yesterday, i came across a post by lisa collazo on good therapy that inspired me to follow her idea to really look into what words mean for us. one of her questions was – what are your favourite words?

here they are, with an explanation why – and read on, because we’ll turn it into a meme!

captain haddock from the famous comic strip tintinblistering barnacles
i like this word – these words – because they start with b. i have a thing about words that start with b. b’s are soft and friendly and make me think of bubbly porridge. plus it’s a word used by captain haddock in tintin. oh, and i like barnacles – i have a wonderful memory of spending a whole afternoon looking at barnacles with my husband.

what does sassafras mean? i’m not quite sure. oh! a deciduous tree. originally used in the manufacture of root beer. now used in the manufacture of ecstasy. but what a nice word! i like how the mouth goes up and down when saying it.

now that’s another nice word. it’s a drug, too, i know, but that’s not my problem. the experience of ecstasy will long outlast that little drug. ecstasy is an exciting word, a short and easy-ish word, and i like all the sharp sounds in it. i like it better than the german “ekstase” (extaah-say) which sounds like you’re yawning.

that’s my husband’s name. so that’s good to begin with. it’s another soft and easy word. and it immediately conjures up its meaning – the image of a green clearing in the woods, somewhere in england maybe?

i like that word because it is one of my very close friend danielle’s favourite words (“it makes me feel so english!” she says). she uses it whenever she can – so it makes me think of her.

what does all of this tell you about me (or tell me about me)?

  • words have a sensuous, tactile quality for me. yup, i’m a very tactile person. (the meaning of these words is less important as the feel and sound of them).
  • relationships play a large role: three out of the five words mention people.
  • nature plays a part, too: two words have trees in them, and then we have the barnacle
  • there’s a sense of playfulness in all of this (no wonder she likes tintin!)

let’s make this a meme!

  • what are your favourite words, and why?
  • what does that tell us about you?
  • write about it on your blog and invite other bloggers to write about it.
  • link back to this blog (change therapy at http://moritherapy.org) and i’ll
    • gather the words and contributors in a list and publish it
    • stumble your “favourite word” post (as long as they meet my stumble criteria, which shouldn’t be difficult with a post like this)

ready, set, go!

i tag

  1. lifecruiser
  2. wendy of windy angel
  3. karen of abaminds
  4. fier of mindmoleskine
  5. rudolf of poem tree
  6. neena of neenmachine
  7. lawrence of a long, long road
  8. jess of jessicaper
  9. maritim of afro puffs
  10. tina at discover the truth about reading

and, of course, everyone else who wants to play!

(image by joffley)

thinking differently about success, failure and learning

a few weeks ago i wrote a blog post, the scrunchie challenge, where i felt inspired by a post at monk at work to change a habit.

i said i was going to keep a scrunchie on my wrist for three weeks, to remind me to ground myself whenever i wasn’t experiencing my body enough. i also said i was going to check in with you occasionally and report back on october 12. i turned it into a meme and tagged a number of people with it.

i didn’t keep the scrunchie on for a long time. i only checked in once, and barely at that. i didn’t report back on october 12. i didn’t really follow up on the meme. nobody took me up on the meme.

what a failure. of course you didn’t remember any of this because i’m not important enough and now that you’re reminded you just snort and say, geesh, what a flake. and how unreliable. i’m so embarrassed.

i better never start a meme again. obviously i can’t follow through on it. and you guys are going to think of me forever as an unreliable, flaky failure.



peter's think different challenge

okay, let’s try this again.

a few weeks ago i wrote a blog post, the scrunchie challenge, where i felt inspired by a post at monk at work to change a habit.

i said i was going to keep a scrunchie on my wrist for three weeks, to remind me to ground myself whenever i wasn’t experiencing my body enough. i also said i was going to check in with you occasionally and report back on october 12. i turned it into a meme and tagged a number of people with it.

i kept the scrunchie on for a few days. i still remember what it looked and felt like. something small shifted in me. since that post, i’ve been paying way more attention to my body. i feel more “in” my body.

one of the things that happened as a result of that was that i became aware that an old but irritating sinus problem had crept up again. i watched it for a while and decided not to have any sugar at all for 10 days, see whether that makes a difference. i’ve never done that before and am now on day three of that.

it also prompted me to work more on meal planning, to coincide better with my daily biorhythm.

i really gained something from this exercise! i guess there were a few things that i didn’t do and i would have preferred to have followed up on the announcements i made but, oh well, live and learn.

what’s the difference between the first story and the rewrite? the events were very much the same. what i focused on was different.

what have i learned from this process? what is my “metalearning”?

  1. how the look and feel of the physical reminder of the scrunchie imprinted on me. even though i didn’t use it much, it still stayed with me.
  2. how important it is to learn things over and over again. i knew about each and every one of the points here but for them to be effective, they need to be reinforced once in while.
  3. one things leads to another, and there are always surprises. i certainly didn’t think that this exercise would lead me to experiment with cutting out sugar!
  4. if i just keep at it and keep being open, i can always find new ways to deal with long-standing challenges such as meal planning.
  5. that, when i focus on my learning, what others think of me becomes uninteresting.
  6. next time i do a meme and nobody takes me up on it, i will first follow up on the people tagged and if that doesn’t work, tag a few more people.
  7. and that i can look at any thought, action and event in the light of learning. i don’t even want to say success. success brings up the dichotomy of success and failure. learning, on the other hand, is open-ended.

a heartfelt thanks to jennifer from heal pain naturally for inviting me to participate in the think differently meme. i had been wondering how i would write about the scrunchie experience and when i got jennifer’s tag this morning, it all popped into my head.

because that’s what i’m doing here. thinking differently about success, failure and learning.

who else wants to think differently? this meme was started by fellow vancouverite peter, so maybe i’ll tag a few more people from here. please read the guidelines for participating here. i’m tagging carol, paul and maggie.

(this post appeared in the 25th total mind and body fitness carnival)

learning. seriously.

okay, it’s fall, everyone back to school! dave has tagged me for a meme to develop some classes. here is the first one:

(and an apology to my readers for the temporary appearance of this blog. this will change!)

confucius on confusion 121
you’ve taken a philosophy course back in … when was it again … but your addled brain has forgotten most of it? you keep foncusing your light brain with your reft? let master kung straighten you out. only one analect per lesson! hard to forget!

prerequisite: the ability to remember to show up for the course.

materials: bring whatever parts of your brain you can find.

with a guest appearance by professor yu dan

now of course it’s nice to go to classes with your friends. here’s one of dave’s i’d like to attend:

british columbia geography 399
clueless about where all of those places in the lower mainland are? can’t tell nootka from bella coola (or even bela lugosi?) this course will get you straightened out, with numerous field trips to various bc geological and cultural landmarks. students will compare topological maps to actual terrain via helicopter and float-plane fly-overs, and at the end of the semester, the class will pool their newly gained knowledge at a spa retreat in tofino.

prerequisite: none, except for a hefty tuition fee

i’ll have to co-ordinate that with the next course i’ve come up with:

olive oils 499
only for advanced users. taught by olive oil expert santiago botas. a selection of topics: the thermal stability of extra virgin and virgin olive oil at high altitudes; the politics of pre-950 BCE phoenician olive cultivation; caesar salad: olive oil from greece or portugal?

prerequisite: caesar salad 209; kitchen chemistry 100; gourmet snobbery 311.

cost: $4,999. includes flight to tuscany and 6 nights in a cold, uncomfortable, dank and drafty but very aristocratic 1300-century villa

and for the personal development people among us, we have:

SP 100
how to think like steve pavlina. how to manage your time like steve pavlina. how to blog like steve pavlina. how to make money like steve pavlina. how to do all of this without becoming a clone or being embarrassed that you really, truly think that steve pavlina is one of the best things since sliced bread.

prerequisites: only for bloggers whose blog content is at least 37% touchy-feely.

cost: we’ll have to ask steve pavlina.

instructor: steve pavlina. (please???)

being serious 00001 – an introduction
do you think the universe is a big joke? do you never attend comedy shows because just riding on the bus has you in stitches? do people look at you funny because you think everything and everyone is funny, even steve pavlina? you need serious help. you need being serious 00001. after you have successfully and earnestly applied yourself to this course, your secretary’s assistant will take you seriously at least every second friday and watching the news will not cause you to break out in uncontrollable guffaws.

warning: may cause ulcers.

now let’s tag a few more people with this meme. according to blue tea, the originator of this highly educational endeavour, the idea is to come up with a few courses that will “fix” something in your life, find a course you’d like to attend with the person who has tagged you, and pass this on to a few other people.

so here are the people i’m tagging: the decision strategist, balanced life center, friday’s child, jennifer mannion, jan karlsbjerg. finally, i urge the pastafarians to come up with a much-needed curriculum to teach us more about how the flying spaghetti monster created the world.

can’t wait for this university to open.

oh, and here is my last course.

being in the moment 000

just show up.

instructor: bud d. ha