Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Six Surefire Ways to Offend Someone

A recent email announcement sent to my entire database promoting my latest book, The Great Truth: Shattering Life's Most Insidious Lies That Sabotage Your Happiness Along With the Revelation of Life's Sole Purpose, prompted two angry responses. In both cases, the recipients took offense to my alleged claim that I have somehow miraculously uncovered a mysterious truth others are not privy to. The back cover of my book jacket makes the following statements: The purpose of life is not what we have been led to believe - to be happy, successful, pursue our passion, etc. While each of these has value, they are not the reason we are here. I promise  that once you understand Life’s Great Truth and the Universal Sole Purpose of Life  you will possess a guaranteed map for effortless living and  will see your lives transformed in ways unimaginable. Everything else will follow.

One person called me "too self-assured", questioning how I could be so confident in knowing such a Truth. The other commenced to describe her life of extreme hardship and the injustices she had endured, comparing her tragic life to my (supposed) life fraught with nothing more than "stupid relationship issues".  She concluded her two paragraph rant with "I would love to hear how you can make me the star you appear to be because I certainly don't have your POWER!!!!!!" Admittedly she confessed to being very cynical about "these kinds of self-help books wanting to get someone to love them!"

I know pain, insecurity, unhappiness, fear, jealousy, resentment, and bitterness when I see it.  And I know enough not to take personal offense to the anger and sarcasm others spew at me. But not everyone is able to do this and some may easily be insulted by the rude and ignorant comments of others. In both cases it was crystal clear to me that each person was dealing with some serious unresolved personal issues and my claims triggered what they have not yet come to terms with. (Behavior is simply an outward expression of our internal issues.) I also understand that neither individual knows anything at all about me: they are unfamiliar with my lectures, haven't read any of my books or articles, and do not know my life's story which contains significant amounts of pain and suffering. To make unsubstantiated and outrageous claims against a person one is unfamiliar with is sadly a reflection of that person's insecurities and lack of knowledge. 

There are six surefire ways of offending someone and alternative ways of expressing how we feel.
1. Make unsubstantiated, absurd or inaccurate  accusations and assumptions. Or - research and gather facts.
2. Call the other party insulting names. Or - treat them with dignity and respect.
3. Be judgmental, label them disparagingly. Or - give them the benefit of the doubt, be sensitive to their situation, feelings, beliefs, etc.
4. Be indifferent to their pain and suffering. Or - be sensitive and compassionate.
5. Criticize their success, self-esteem, and self-confidence. Or - appreciate and recognize their accomplishments.
6. Be sarcastic, have a bad attitude. Or - be reasonable and fair.
Life is filled with choices. Making the kind ones requires the same amount of energy but yields far better results.

Pick up a copy of The Secret Side of Anger at 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a very serious condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened. It can cause feelings of intense fear, helplessness, or horror resulting from a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, an accident, war, or natural disaster such as Hurricane Sandy. It is not uncommon for symptoms of PTSD to occur weeks, months or even years after the event.
Symptoms of PTSD include
  • Reliving the ordeal through thoughts and memories of the trauma. These may include flashbacks, hallucinations, and nightmares. Reminders of the trauma can cause extreme distress.
  •  Avoiding people, places, thoughts, or situations that remind them of the trauma.  This, however, can lead to feelings of isolation, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities. Avoidance does not allow for a healing of the trauma.
  •  Heightened arousal can included excessive emotions, problems relating to others, sleep disturbances; irritability; outbursts of anger; difficulty concentrating; and being easily frightened. Physical symptoms, such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tension, nausea and diarrhea can also occur.
In recent years, treatment for PTSD has shown great hope, allowing individuals to heal from, not just manage, the trauma. Treatment includes:
  • Exposure Based Treatment which encourages the person to discuss the experience and all related feelings. Staying with the emotions and learning how to process them causes the fear to dissipate or change into a more manageable feeling.
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy re examines any negative beliefs related to the trauma and replaces them with more realistic ones. An example might be: after a natural disaster, feeling as though one is incapable of rebuilding their life and being happy to "I have the ability and resources to recreate my life, although it may be significantly different than before, to one that is rewarding and enjoyable."
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy helps the individual to identify the feelings associated with the trauma and rather than avoiding them, discover new ways of coping that allow them to regain their lives. By focusing on core values, they can select behaviors that are more empowering and beneficial.
This is only a brief synopsis of my interview with Dr. Holly Parker, licensed psychologist from Harvard University.  If you or someone you know would benefit from working with a PTSD specialist, please reach out to Dr. Holly or someone in your area. There is hope. No one needs to suffer from a traumatic experience. Avoidance and denial don't heal. Facing it with a trained professional will. Feel it so you can heal it.

Contact Dr. Holly Parker at or follow her on Facebook at Dr. Holly Parker.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


 My interview with Cloe Jonpaul

Anger Turned Inward Quiz
           _ I don’t like to hurt anybody’s feelings.
           _ Other people might get mad, but I don’t.
           _ It’s hard for me to really care about myself.
           _ Sometimes I might act a little unhappy if I feel angry.
           _ I tell myself I shouldn’t get angry even if somebody else would.
           _ When I say somebody makes me sick, I mean it literally. I just can’t let go of the stress.
           _ All I really want is peace with no conflict.
           _ Even when I’m angry with someone, I feel like I should make sure they are doing okay.
           _ I get mad at myself for things I would comfort others about.
           _ Other people don’t know I wear a mask, because I am so good at it.
           _ Usually I just keep all my feelings to myself.
           _ I feel guilty when I feel angry or resentful.
           _ I am ashamed of myself when I get angry. I should be better than that.
           _ I’m too busy to take care of myself, even if I know I should.
           _ I’m always doing things wrong.
           _ I have an addictive behavior I use when I’m angry. It makes me feel better at the moment, but later I feel worse.
           _ I tend to have accidents when I get angry, like hammering my finger.
           _ Some days I get so angry that I would like to hurt myself.
           _ If I hurt myself, maybe other people won’t hurt me.
           _ It’s hard for me to care about myself.
           _ I don’t care what I do, just so long as I don’t hurt anybody else.

Put a check mark next to the statements that apply to you. Count them. If you have three or more items checked, look at how you can change to treat yourself better. If you have six or more check marks, it’s likely that you have some anger-turned-inward habits that affect your life negatively. If you have eight or more check marks, you definitely have some anger-turned-inward habits to change. Changing a few things could make you feel a lot better about your life.

15% of depressed individuals will commit suicide - the final act of desperation and an avoidable, treatable condition.
Depression limits your ability to make even simple functional decisions – like what to have for dinner. It’s no way to live.
Cecil McIntosh, The EYC™ Stress Relaxation Expert with 14 years of experience helping Entrepreneurs like you, stay focused, get more done and find more time, so that you can live in the moment. He is a published author of many audio Relaxation Programs using accelerated learning approaches and a Teacher, NLP Trainer and life Coach. You can reach Cecil at
Dr. Philip Gold of the American National Institute of Mental Health was able to prove that stress and depression trigger the release of emergency hormones, causing brittle bones, infections and even cancer. Brittle bones are a major cause of death among women today. In many people, these stress hormones are no longer merely triggered occasionally but they are kept at constant ‘hyper-readiness’. When they are turned on and stay on for a long time, they destroy appetite, impair the immune system, block sleep, break down bone and shut down the processes that repair cell tissue.
The latest findings in the field of Neuroscience have shown that levels of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that is linked to the experience of pleasure, are 20-25 percent lower in patients who are at high risk of suicide. Serotonin is particularly active in a part of the brain that controls inhibition, and a lack of the neurotransmitter, or its related chemicals, lowers the amount of control a person has over his actions. This predisposes a person to act on suicidal thoughts.
Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States. 

Anger is an emotional response to a situation. Feeling angry is no more harmful than feeling happy; it takes your brain only 100 milliseconds to have an emotional reaction to something. It takes the next 500 milliseconds for the cortex of our brain to recognize that reaction [source: Johnson]. It's how you respond to feeling angry that matters. You could express it outwardly (you tend to let your feelings out) or you could express it inwardly (you tend to bottle your feelings up).
As many as 12 percent of people with major depression end up committing suicide [source: Friedman].
Sometimes, though, the depression-anger link can seem to work the other way around. Think of the common saying regarding depression: "Depression is anger turned inward." When you feel angry, that feeling is often derived from a sense of hurt, and an angry person may seek to pass that hurt on, or take drastic action to change the anger-inducing situation.
However, when it's externally directed, anger doesn't effect fundamental change in the perception of your situation. Instead, that anger may eventually be directed inward, toward a new found object of hatred: yourself. At that point, self-pity can't be too far behind as you dwell on the inherent unfairness of life, or on the hopelessness of the situation.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"I Caused Hurricane Sandy: Facing the Fear of the Unknown"

I take full responsible for the recent "Frankenstorm" that ravaged the east coast, destroying homes and businesses, displacing millions of people, causing billions of dollars in damages, and more. I am fully aware of being careful of what you wish for and may have been irresponsible in a recent request. I've been under enormous pressure for more than a year and a half and desperately wanted a week off so I could clean my office, do yard work, and take care of other personal business. The Universe knows I never voluntarily take time off so I think it may have inadvertently caused the devastating hurricane that knocked out my power for eight days, allowing me plenty of time to clean out all the paperwork in my office and uncover that desk I was certain was still there. I cannot even begin to express the remorse I feel for those whose lives were disrupted by my reckless universal petition.

No matter what impending threats lurk in our future, there is a certain amount of fear and anxiety we face when confronted with the unknown. A storm of this magnitude had not occurred in more than one hundred years so there was much to be concerned about. How can one calm the inner storm that looms within?

First, understand that fear is a lack of trust - trust in the situation about to occur, trust in one's own ability to weather the certain changes, trust in God that He will provide for us everything we need to get through. 

Second, I need to prepare for what may transpire. Do I have a generator, lots of food and water, batteries and flashlights, have I secured anything outdoors that may not withstand hurricane winds, and so forth? Having a plan and taking action creates a sense of power in the situation and brings a sense of comfort and control.

Remain vigilant and address each issue as it appears. Only deal with as much as you can handle in that moment. 

Reach out to others for guidance, assistance, strength, hope, etc. Utilize every resource available. Use time and resources wisely.

Remember, real power lies in our ability to choose, to make the wisest choice possible given our abilities, time, situation, etc.

Built on your past successes. We all have them. Remind yourself of how you were able to handle  prior challenges. 

Accept that which we have no control over. Recite the Serenity Prayer as a reminder.
Stay positive and be grateful. Any day that you can get up and do something is a good day. There are millions of people who can't.

Have faith and trust in God.  "Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." - Isaiha 41:10

Don't allow fear and anxiety to paralyze you and dominate your thinking. Life is filled with uncertainty - it arrives on our doorstep each day whether we ordered it or not. No matter how unwelcome it is, remember that nothing lasts forever and this too shall pass.

Visit to learn more about anger and fear. Pick up a copy of The Secret Side of Anger and my latest book, The Great Truth: Shattering Life's Most Insidious Lies That Sabotage Your Happiness Along With the Revelation of Life's Sole Purpose.