Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How Yo Make The New Year Positive

I always have loved the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. It is a fun time of year filled with Christmas memories and I look forward to New Year's, but I also have the opportunity to look back at the past year to take inventory of our favorite memories. Along with the end to one year of memories comes the start to a new year. For some, this is just a flip of the calendar. But to others, it is a fresh start to a new beginning

In order to close out one year and start another in a positive way, you must let go of any negative thoughts you've been harboring about the events of last year. Avoid thinking that nothing will change in the New Year, or that things will always be undesirable. A New Year is a clean slate. What happened is in the past and before you lies a new future.

The key is to set your mind on how things will be better this year. By focusing your mind on what you want, as opposed to what you don’t want, you’ll be able to see last year’s setbacks in a different light. Seeing a setback as a challenge that you can overcome, even if it takes some time, will allow you to continue moving forward, even when things aren't going your way.

Even the happiest people have challenges. Just like you, at times they struggle and feel beat down. The difference is that they get back up again and focus on solutions rather than problems.

From Life Success Zone

Monday, December 19, 2011

How Can We Cope If Our Own Children Can Not Be With Us On Christmas ?

Of course, we all look forward to the Christmas Holidays with Family and especially with our Children. As adults, we remember as a Child the excitement and love that we experienced around the Christmas Tree on Christmas morning ...But, how are we as adults expected to cope if our own Children can not be with us (because of divorce), on that special morning. There is no easy answer. Perhaps, we as adults need to look toward a Positive Future and know that Christmas always comes. That is the Marvelous Message from the Christ Child to us even though our Children can not be with us on this Christmas. It is The Faith of This Message that will gives us the support, so that we still enjoy a Christmas without our own Children. And know deep within our Hearts, that our Children will be with Us in their own "spiritual" way, when a Positive Future Christmas will come again .

Friday, December 16, 2011

The True Meaning Of Christmas !

Our society seems to be so much more commercial these days when it comes to Christmas. You can walk in any store days before Halloween and already the Christmas decorations are coming out and pre-packaged gifts are on sale.
However, we need to remember the real meaning of Christmas as adults so that our children will not end up so caught up in Christmas being about getting presents and Santa coming that that’s all they will be looking forward to.
The real meaning of Christmas of course is the birth of Christ. Without any of that there wouldn't even be a Christmas. Even if you don’t do it now, you can start a new tradition of reading the Christmas story from the bible each Christmas Eve so that children begin to understand the real meaning of Christmas.
We all think our children are special when they are born and each and every one of them are, however, when Christ was born in Bethlehem there was no baby more special than Him. He was not created the way other children are created. He was created by a Heavenly being and that is what made Him so special...Kristen Carol Anderson

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

E-book Titled "Power Of Positivity" Article In MOA Journal


This link includes a article about my resent e-book in the Michigan Optometric Association Journal ( Nov-Dec 2011). The article appears on page 17.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Looking At The Ultimate Goal For "Power Of Positivity"

It has been just 4 months that my e-book ,"Power Of Positivity" has been published on Smashwords 


I am  pleased that  over 35 e-books have been sold and that 122 e-books have been downloaded. Although I have tried to build upon my own positivity in the last 27 year, I never dreamed of the success this e-book has brought  to others dealing with bipolar disorder. I am over joyed with the six "Reviews" that have been posted on the above link at Smashwords. I keep looking for more personal feedback from everyone (bipolar or not ), on how they feel that "Power of Positivity" has helped them in their own life. This perhaps, is the ultimate goal that I know this e-book needs to achieve. I'm hoping that this blog will be the vehicle to provide that positive feedback.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"Your Still The One"

In the first paragraph of the Forward, written by my wife, Linda, (In my e-book, “Power of Positivity”)  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/86502, She talks about her serious concerns of our marriage :

“At a certain
stage in my marriage, I decided that I was not going to ride on the bipolar roller coaster the rest of my life. Around that time, my therapist asked if I was going to divorce Fred because of his bipolar moods. Ironically, it was bipolar disorder that prompted positivity in our lives......."

SHANIA TWAIN sang this song that, Linda, (and I) hung on to as we both grow  together in  order to overcome Bipolar Disorder....”Your Still The One” :


Looks like we made it
Look how far we've come my baby
We mighta took the long way
We knew we'd get there someday
They said "I bet they'll never make it."But just look at us holding on
We're still together still going strong.
You're still the one I run to
The on that I belong to
You're still the one I want for life
(You're still the one)
You're still the one I love
The only one I dream of
You're still the one I kiss good night. Ain't nothin' better
We beat the odds together
I'm glad we didn't listen
Look at what we would be missin'
They said "I bet they'll never make it"
But just look at us holdin' on
We're still together still goin' strong.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Speaking Words Of Wisdom...Let It Be !

The Beatles had the Answer !
When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be. Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer. let it be.

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,
shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Till I Gain Control Again


Till I gain control again..... Thank You,Linda, My Wife.

I first head Willy Nelson sing this song in June 1984,when I came out of my last Depression.
Just like the sun over the mountain top. You know I'll always come again. You know I love to spend my morning time like sunlight dancing on your skin. And I have never gone so long just for telling lies... to you. What you've seen is what I've been. There is nothing that I can hide from you. You see me better than I can.
Out on the road that lies before me now, there are some turns where I will spin. I only hope that you will hold me now.... Till I gain control again.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I’ve Seen The Light

I’ve seen the light - And I’ve seen the flame - And I’ve been this way before -
And I’m sure to be this way again - For I’ve been refused - And I’ve been regained -
For I’ve been released -
Some people got to laugh - Some people got to cry -
Some people got to make it through - By never wondering why -
Some people got to sing- Some people got to sigh -
Some people never see the light - Until the day they die -

But I’ve been released - And I’m sure to be this way again !

Saturday, October 29, 2011

With communication, Learning "Pausing" Before Interfering

A very important quality of communication was "pausing” before interfering. I now would deliberately bite my tongue and zip my lips at the precise moment that I was tempted to get involved in the lives of those around me. I needed to become aware of my inclination to tell others, particularly my family members how they should be conducting their lives. Even if I hold off for a few moments before I butt in to someone else's business, I would be on my way to allowing those around me to find their anchor within themselves. This new discipline of resisting the habit to get involved by "pausing" before I would be interfering enabled me to see how capable everyone truly is when they are in the energy field of someone who "allows" rather then "dictates.”

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We Need Higher Standards For Stability !

I heard this quote a long time ago by Leonard Louis Levinson: "A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees...both sides, and shrugs; an optimist does not see clouds at all - he is walking on them."
We need to set higher standards for the emotional wellness and stability of people with bipolar disorder. On a personal basis, I believe that a “functional bipolar” needs to achieve “episode free emotional stability” to be productive. When that level of stability is achieved, the person with bipolar will approach life in a total positive way....."Power of Positivity" is the goal !   https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/86502

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fear Always Lurks Behind Perfectionism !

One difficult  distinguishing characteristic, especially of my own personal nature, was perfectionism. Until I happened across a quote while writing my e-book, "Power of Positivity" (Can be found by going smashwords.com and putting this title in the Search Box, upper let hand corner).
 "Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person".....Dr. David M. Burns
I deceided to follow Dr Burns advice and found that my fears of writing my experiences with bipolar disorder seemed to fade. In Fact I devoted a whole chapter in my e-book to "Breaking the Fears of Bipolar Disorder"
So writing from my heart and with a honest feeling, I found that perfectionism disappeared on its own.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Power of Positivity by Dr Fred Von Gunten

Personality Disorders

My Photo
I have just finished reading The Power of Positivity, an e-book written by Dr Fred Von Gunten who, I am really proud to say, was one of the first followers joining this blog. It is through his e-mails and the 'first-hand' account in his e-book that I have come to understand much better the life of a bipolar sufferer. Fred has lived with the bipolar for 50 years and was one of the first to receive Lithium when the FDA approved it in 1971. Fred's great belief in the 'power of positivity' is beautifully captured in the e-book, in which he focuses on the benefits of positivity over negativity.

I would like to recommend this e-book to all of you because, in my eyes, it is a 'must read' for anyone who either suffers from the disorder or has ever wondered what the bipolar might be about.  The following review offers a good introduction to the e-book, which can be yours within seconds for a tiny little fee of $1.99 USD. The access link is provided at the end of this post.

Review by: Linda Lee Rathbun on Sep. 05, 2011 : star star star star star
Anyone who has struggled with mental health issues, and anyone who wonders how they can achieve positive thinking in their life, will no doubt benefit from this book. The author shares his lifelong struggle with bipolar disorder, and offers ways to manage the disorder with medication and with the Power of Positivity. In this book, Fred Von Gunten has opened up his heart and life for all to learn from. It is only when experience is passed on that it becomes a learning tool, and in this case, also a positive force for everyone's life. I highly commend this book to all. Linda Lee Rathbun
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

More About "Power of Positivity"

It has been just a month that my e-book entitled : "Power of Positivity" was published by Smashwords.  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/86502
 See my two previous posts . I would like to share in this post a short comment I made about the e-book  and a comment made by my editor :

Learning to develop the power of positivity in my life, I encountered many challenges while dealing with bipolar disorder. This book explores these challenges and how I ultimately achieved episode-free stability. In the Power of Positivity, I present the numerous sources that were an inspiration to me and led me to a positive state of mind. After more than fifty years of struggling with bipolar disorder, I have written this book to help others achieve long-term stability.

Anyone who has struggled with mental health issues, and anyone who wonders how they can achieve positive thinking in their life, will no doubt benefit from this book. The author shares his lifelong struggle with bipolar disorder, and offers ways to manage the disorder with medication and with the Power of Positivity. In this book, Fred Von Gunten has opened up his heart and life for all to learn from. It is only when experience is passed on that it becomes a learning tool, and in this case, also a positive force for everyone's life. I highly commend this book to all. Linda Lee Rathbun.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Power of Positivity is on Amazon !

My e-book   "Power of Positivity-For Bipolar & Anyone Else" is also now on Amazon. you  can put my e-book on Kindle, IPhone, Your PC, Blackberry, iPad, or Kindle of Android.
go to this Link    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005NKFWPA

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Power Of Positivity Is Here !

I just published my e-book, The Power of Positivity. In it, I share my experiences of living with bipolar disorder for 50 of my 69 years of life. With the help of medication, and a constant struggle to improve my life and condition through the power of positive thinking, I have achieved episode free stability. Anyone who would like to know how they can apply the Power of Positivity to their life, should take a look. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/86502

The Power of Positivety for Bipolar Disorder and Anyone Else.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Battlefield Of Our Own Soul

Think of the many times a day that negativity arises. You are cut off in traffic and a little light goes off in the back of your brain. You seethe and seek to retaliate. Your blood pressure rises. Your heart beats faster. This is not what the doctor recommends when he says give your heart some exercise! Wouldn't it be wonderful if such disruptions never occurred? It can happen, of course. It is entirely up to us. We decide if violence and anger will control us, or peace and love. No one has to describe the benefits of living a life of peace over one of war. It is the same on the battlefields of the world and in the battlefield of our own soul. It is just that we must always fight for a positive view point, if we're caught in that vicious cycle of bipolar disorder.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Point Yourself In A Positive, Empowered, Fulfilling Direction

Negative momentum can be powerful. Yet the moment you commit yourself to a positive perspective, that negative momentum is gone. Perhaps you could stop worrying and complaining about the fact that your day, your week, your month or your life has gotten off to a bad start. Use this moment right now to interrupt the pattern and point yourself in a positive, empowered, fulfilling direction.

Your past has brought you where you are, and yet it does not dictate where you can now go. Make the choice to point all of your life in the direction of your dreams.
Even though you may have experienced great difficulty in getting started, choose now to be thankful for those difficulties you have gone through. Be thankful for the strength they have enabled you to build, and make positive use of that strength going forward.

This time, this moment is different, because now you're in complete control and determined to make it great.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Management of the Emotional Impact of Fear.

Everyone has experienced feeling afraid of something. Fear has a legitimate function since it alerts us to something that could possibly be harmful. Usually, we are able to assess the situation and see if there is any real danger, then take steps to deal with the problem. However, sometimes our fear interferes with the activities of daily living. We may have a restless sleep, difficulty concentrating or loss of appetite. This is often frustrating because we think of our fear as unrealistic but remain hampered by it.

Management of the emotional impact of fear takes time and involves different feelings. While we know there is a wide range of common, normal reactions to experiences of fear, we also know that each person may not have exactly the same feelings or reactions. Sometimes feelings can change quickly or seem to go from one extreme to another. Try to be understanding of yourself and those you care about, and recall that you may not have the same feelings, or have them at exactly the same time. Reactions may be cognitive, physical, behavioral or emotional. Fear reduction takes time, but will take place when you provide adequate self-care, and elicit support.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Recognize That It Is Simply Is "Aware".

You are the real you. When suffering from anything - mental, physical, or emotional - we become absorbed by that state of being. However, the mind sometimes barks at the situation - all the self-talk we are familiar with - expressing its frustration at this current reality. The mind remembers the good, the bad and the ugly, but mostly compares. Why am I like this now, when I was amazing before? It knows, and shows, and the emotion kicks in as frustration begs for release and freedom from this painful reality. Sounds familiar of bipolar disorder?

When all the storms of your condition overwhelm you, have you ever noticed another aspect of yourself? It just sits there, another voice that speaks silently in awe, wonder, sadness, love, or curiosity and surrenders to your choice. However, when we are quiet with it, we recognize that it simply is “aware”.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

For The Bipolar - Stop Blaming The Individual - Instead Blame the Illness.

When the bipolar is ready to handle the fact that they need medical and therapeutic treatment, is when they can rightly blame the illness and not themselves.
Certainly, that’s easier said than done. When a bipolar is in attack mode, we naturally tend to see that person as the attacker. It’s tough to view him/her as merely the instrument of the real, unseen force. We need to stay positive and look beyond the surface reality we’re dealing with to see that it’s the bipolar talking, the bipolar acting out.
When we can see the illness as the underlying problem, we can start doing two things to turn the situation around:

   -Stop making it worse. Blaming the person instead of the illness leads to confrontation which only worsens the situation. Stop pouring emotional fuel on a fire that’s already blazing. When we blame the illness, we take some of the negative emotion out of the equation.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Learning to Act Despite Your Feelings !

I post this for all my followers on FB ..." Biploars: We Support You "

-Why do little children think ghosts, goblins, and monsters are real? As adults, we know they are not. Your thoughts are not "real" either in the sense that you "create" and reinforce them -- and the emotions that go along with them. Your thoughts are only what you decide to believe in and continually reinforce in your mind. (This one is deep – think about this one.) For example, you are sitting alone in the dark in your home. You are down, depressed and thinking negative thoughts. All of a sudden the phone rings and it’s a friend you haven’t talked to in six years. You become alert, your mood picks up, and you have a nice conversation. Then, after you have hung up, you get blue again and fall back into a depressed mood. Why?
Suggestion: Even though we don’t feel it, we have more power over our thoughts than we think. We can decide to stay "up" after the phone call by doing everything we can to keep from slipping back into the quicksand of rumination and despair. (Cognitive-behavioural therapy gives us the tools to move away from anxiety and depression – and eventually to stay or "be" that way.) If your thoughts begin to change, you will feel better.
If you act despite your feelings, your beliefs and emotions will follow behind.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Impact of Attitude on Life.

Charles Swindoll summarized what is a positive attitude :
"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.
We are in charge of our Attitudes."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Using Visualization & Self-hypnosis to Achieve a Sense of Calm & Well-being.

Visualization is a form of relaxation therapy in which you visualize comforting images in an effort to relieve stress and anxiety. Combining it with self-hypnosis, you can immerse yourself in the image, closing your eyes and letting all your senses absorb the details your imagination presents. There is not a one-size-fits-all image for everyone---you might visualize a person, a place, an animal, an imaginary scene or anything that gives you a sense of calm and well-being.
Visualization is often accompanied by soothing music that complements your image. The process is meant to be relaxing and empowering at the same time, giving you a way to tap into your inner strength and channel your mental resources to regain a sense of balance. So, with these two techniques, a person with bipolar disorder may minimize their mood changes in a positive fashion.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Building Some "Mind Muscle."

We can now build some “mind muscle” with what Medha Godbole labels as exercises for positive thinking. They say that your thoughts govern your words, which reach the brain and then the brain converts those into action. Hence first things first: we have to guide our thoughts towards something positive if they are tending towards depression and negativity because that will have an impact on how your behaviour is going to be. Visualize a positive image, think about things which make you happy and try and keep the negativity in check.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Liberty is Ours...At Least We Are Free !

The most positive thought for ...Today...“The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered... deeply, ...finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people. Liberty is the possibility of doubting, the possibility of making a mistake, the possibility of searching and experimenting, the possibility of saying No to any authority--literary, artistic, philosophic, religious, social and even political. Every good citizen makes his country's honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defence and is conscious that he gains protection while he gives...George Washington & Andrew Jackson.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

You Are A Thought-Producing Machine !

Your past thoughts are about events that are no longer real. That bad experience happened yesterday (in the past) and is over. It is gone and exists solely in your mind. Today is a new day, a better day, and worrying about the past just dooms us in the present. It is how you process it now that makes a difference.....You are a thought-producing machine. When you realize this, you can begin to slow your thoughts down and allow your anxieties and fears to rest. Your automatic negative thoughts are only thoughts, they are not real, and they do not tell you the truth.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Come Out Of The "Wilderness" Of Depression And Discover the Positivity Of "Change"

It is from the soul walking experience, that I began to wander what other exploratory events could happen with my bipolar life. It was then that I recalled when I was in the "wilderness" of depression, that I discovered positivity of "change" to be free. It was there that I formed and firmed up my potential goals to overcome potential episodes. Sadly, and too often, our negativity tells us precisely the opposite. It says, "Don't change. Don't grow. Don't do anything different than what has been done before. So often we people with bipolar disorder, are in a "wilderness" all our own. The question is? Can we "change" and grow so that we can be free from our own "wilderness?"
Things get shaken up in the "wilderness." That is when I found my answers were to "change" from my old ways and to continue to work with my doctors, my prescribed Lithium, my family, and developing a higher level  toward positivity.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Without"Changes" My Dream Could Not Of Changed

In the last 12 years, I have had a recurrent dream. One that seems totally out of reach, but at times I know it is very real; because I lived it for 33 years when I was in practice. I am in a consultation room with my partners in practice. We are always in a deep discussion with each other. They are all talking and expressing their own opinions. And I am talking, however, I can not hear myself talk and they can not hear me either. The dream continues, but I am still not heard. So, the question is, why do I still have this dream after retirement of over 12 years ? There had to be something I had to ‘change’, and it had to be me. Without those changes, the dream could not of  changed. I could now hear myself and others could hear what I had to say. Perhaps, the question for each man to settle, is not what he would do if he had means, time, influence and educational advantages; but the question is what he will do with the things he has. The moment a man ceases  to bemoan his lack of opportunities and resolutely looks his conditions in the face, and resolves to ‘change’ them, he lays the corner-stone of a solid and honorable success. So, it was that I found the importance of positive change for controlling my bipolar disorder.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Making that 'choice' and stick by it.

We know that some people reject positive thinking because they perceive their life negatively. What they do not realize is that positive thought is a 'choice’ and that the person choosing often has experience with the dark side of things and that is why they have made the ‘choice’ to be positive.

A lot of people assume that if they are going to be negative, then something outside of them will give them a reason not to be that way. So they wait and wait and wait for something...and meanwhile in their minds they turn into shadows. They do not understand that if they wanted to see the world as beautiful, then they have only to make that ‘choice’ and stick by it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

We Choose !

The wonder of this life is that we are free to choose how we are to live it. We are free to choose what paths we will take. We choose whether we wish to live with paralyzing guilt or the promise of the always cultivating the positive aspects of life. We choose whether we wish to live a life of legalism or liberation. We choose !

Friday, June 10, 2011

"Pausing” Before Interfering.

A very important quality of communication was "pausing” before interfering.
Deliberately bit my tongue and zip my lips at the precise moment that I was tempted to get involved in the lives of those around me. I needed to become aware of my inclination to tell others, particularly my family members how they should be conducting their lives. Even if I hold off for a few moments before I butt in to someone else's business, I would be on my way to allowing those around me to find their anchor within themselves. This new discipline of resisting this habit to get involved by "pausing" before interfering, enabled me to see how capable everyone truly is when they are in the energy field of someone who "allows" rather then  "dictates.”

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Keeping the Endocrine System In "Balance."

Physical exercise which maintains cardiovascular function can keep the endocrine system in "balance" and is imperative for people with bipolar disorder. In addition, psychotherapeutic process must be sought to remove energy blocks from the consciousness. Everyone, regardless of his personal experience of childhood, sustains psychic trauma. Everyone has some blockage in the chakras.
When psychological blocks are removed and physical knots in the body are worked out through exercise, energy can flow and heal the parts of the individual which are in need. Reiki releases emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual pain. It helps in the facilitation of healing. Then growth can occur.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Through This Thorn That Faith Grows Stronger

For Leslie : If only I believed more then this thorn of bipolar disorder, would be removed, I once thought and with such thinking the pain grew even more pronounced. But then I realized that even here, God could work. Even with the pain, even with the burden. Indeed, it was through this thorn that my faith grew stronger. It was here that I began to understand the paradox of this strange and wondrous faith of ours: In weakness we are made strong. In defeat comes victory

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Open Up Positive Emotions And Feelings

It is the feelings and emotions, our likes and dislikes that give our life meaning, that make us happy or unhappy, fulfilled or dissatisfied and that to a large degree decide our course of action and even our health. Diseases not only make us feel unwell, but negative and suppressed emotions and feelings are a major contributing factor in causing our diseases. It is only by following your deepest instinct that you can lead a rich life, and if you let your fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instinct, then your life will be safe, expedient and thin.
I have learned that Feeling and Emotions can be the strongest characteristic in the human mind that brings out the total truth and understandings in ones life. If we persist in trying to hide "them", then they will sneak in our back door to show us the way - and the way is to let "them" out. However, there is a need for positive control when a person is dealing with bipolar disorder.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Good Decisions Produce Positive Actions !

Making decisions can always produce positive action for all people with bipolar disorder.
I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision. It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.- Eleanor Roosevelt
The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action-John Dewey-
If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.-Robert Fritz-
Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way... you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions-
I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions-Dorothy Day-
Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

Friday, May 20, 2011

Learning To Hear, Learning to Listen with Bipolar Disorder

As I look back over my life, I discover that it has been a process of growing positivity with Bipolar Disorder.
No blinding lights, no booming voice, just a slow, sometimes steady, sometimes not, journey of faith. The only things that survives had two qualities, deep roots and flexibility. Two assets that can serve us well as we continue this process of growing
The richness of our tradition, the wisdom of the ages, can serve us as we struggle to discern a calling each of us need to consider. But we also need to be flexible, to be willing to move in directions we never thought available or appropriate.
And part of flexibility is being able to hear,and we must learn to listen; for most of us are so damn busy talking, too busy doing, we don't hear anything but ourselves. Someone once said,"Prayer doesn't mean to listen to oneself speaking. Prayer involves becoming silent and being silent and waiting until God is heard."
If we want to hear from God, it might be better to put ourselves in a position of listening. Sometimes that means being in the right place, sometimes that means being with the right people and sometimes that means just listening a little harder.
positivity with Bipolar disorder.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Message From A Dripping Icicle .

And now as time has passed, the simplicity continues with my grandson. I thank God that my “choice’” toward positivity has continued to support my stability.
Perhaps, as I have achieved stability in my life with Bipolar Disorder, I am able to live a more positive life and enjoy the “small stuff". I was thinking about this lack of mindfulness from which so many of us suffer. I recall a time last winter when I was walking with my little grandson and we stopped by a bridge to watch the water from a small creek flow through the ice and snow. We crouched for a while paying particular attention to an icicle slowly letting go--drop after drop of clear, pristine water. Finally, the little boy spoke.

“PaPa,” he said, "why are you so good to me?"
I suspect that he was sensing the holiness of the moment. I have a hunch that he realized just how rarely we adults stop to watch water flow or icicles drip. I needed to come to terms with the genetics that may encompass my Bipolar Disorder and my grandchildren. What to do? I do expect to be positive and honest with them.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

We Must Exert Control Over The Small Thoughts !

Perhaps the biggest tragedy of being afflicted by Bipolar Disorder is the frequent inability to create healthy situations and prevent destructive ones. In struggling against the disorder, those afflicted often bring about horrific pain, tumult and heartache. One must exert control over the small thoughts that initially lead to irrational and poisonous emotions. Therefore, it is necessary to master the thoughts that precede this eventual commitment. When struggling to maintain a healthy mood and rational thinking, you can simply declare within that you have firmly committed to not letting an episode flare up. You must then become unambiguously dedicated to a beneficial, non-explosive, neutral or even positive outcome !

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Live In The Present !

If you pay attention to the darkness, you will never find the light. If you study and relive your past experiences, analyzing them, and "getting in touch with your feelings" you will only reinforce those feelings.
One should not focus on negative. Focus on the good, the positive,the beautiful, the nice. A happy person is fully caught up in the moment -- and is not thinking about the past or the future Too much thinking and analyzing just makes any problem worse. Today is a wonderful day--live it in the present !

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Seize The Moment Of Excited Curiosity

Seize the moment of excited curiosity on any subject to solve your doubts; for if you let it pass, the desire may never return, and you may remain in ignorance. Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.

Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Perhaps, that is why the person with Bipolar needs to always look at all the positive aspects and remember the mistakes they had in the past.
 What we have to do is to be forever curiously testing new opinions and courting new impressions

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lesson of the Water-Mill

Listen to the Water-Mill: Through the live-long day how the clicking of its wheel wears the hours away! Languidly the autumn wind stirs the forest leaves. From the field the reaper sing binding up their sheaves: And a proverb haunts my mind, as a spell is cast, "The mill cannot grind with the water that is past.” -Sarah Doudney-

(It dose no good to think back. The mill cannot grind with the water that is past, as the old people in the mountains used to say, move on, and be productive.)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Work In A Positive Way With Anger

Epictetus, from the early century AD, recommends if you do not wish to be prone to anger, do not feed the habit; give it nothing which may tend to its increase. If you would cure anger, do not feed it. Say to yourself: 'I used to be angry every day; then every other day; now only every third or fourth day. When you reach thirty days offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God.
Everyone experiences feelings of anger or irritability, however, there are people who are especially prone to these feelings and the adverse effects of anger. Some people can tolerate more stress, bipolar disorder frustration, and disappointment than others. The same situations, conflicts, or events may trigger anger for you and not for someone else. There are many different ways to express anger when you feel the intensity of the emotion. By reflecting on how you express your anger, you can determine whether you need to learn new skills to respond in healthier ways. If you have been wronged, it is natural to feel angry. But how you express these feelings through words, gestures, or actions can be problematic due to the intensity of the anger emotion. It’s important to manage your reaction in a constructive, controlled way. Controlling your outward behavior and your internal responses to the anger can allow you to calm yourself and let the angry feelings fade away. Relaxation or visualization techniques such as counting to ten, meditation, breathing exercises, or even exercising can help ease your physical responses and help you focus on something positive.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

One Follower Who As Learned the Power Of Being Positive

"I believe that good always outweighs evil. When shining a light the darkness doesn't hide--it disappears...just ceases to exist in the glow. :) some of those dark places are terrifying though. I think its all in the mind--all of it. At the end, we'll be free of the tiny confines of our "minds" and finally reach Truth, Goodness--or the opposite. Depends which direction we head ... "

Humunculus give me permission to post this. She has dealt with many physical, and mental challenges  in her young life. However, you can see her determination by the twinkle in her eyes as she writes about her consent  efforts to stay positive in her life.  She is one person who always call a "spade a spade", and in the final picture knows the Truth ...and will show us all...which direction to take !

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Truth Hurts

The truth hurts, so the old saying goes, and like most old sayings, it is the truth.
Most of us, even the most eager of truth-seekers, will admit that there are certain things we would just as soon forget. They can range from little truths...like recognizing how we really could do more around the house...to very big truths...like admitting how greedy and selfish we have become.
A whole lot of energy is spent on this truth-avoiding agenda.
Perhaps, people with bipolar disorder need to come face to face with ourselves and accept our diagnosis and move forward in a positive manor, acknowledging and addressing are own truths.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gaining Self Confidence

We can build on our patiences by developing self-confidence and learning to look at the positiveness from these quotes :
I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time. -Anna Freud.
There are admirable potentialities in every human being. Believe in you strength and your youth. Learn to repeat endlessly to yourself. It all depends on me. -Andre Gode.
Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste.The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labor is immense. -Norman Vincent Peale.
Believe in yourself ! Have faith in you abilities ! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

On Kindness & Joy

Working toward kindness can bring joy to the bipolar who has needs to overcome daily symptoms and to remain positive with stability.
The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been kindness, beauty, and truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury, have always seemed to me contemptible-Albert Einstein-
Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness-George Sands-
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy-George Bernard Shaw-
Give not over thy soul to sorrow; and afflict not thyself in thy own counsel. Gladness of heart is the life of man and the joyfulness of man is length of days-Ecclesiastes-
I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy!-Louis Bogan-

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Age Is The Tool to "Looking Back"

Often times I am pleased to have grown to my 'seasoned age.’ I need not wonder if my age is a draw back to my knowledge and understanding of bipolar disorder. I chat with younger people, often and they are very troubled with their thoughts. I emphasize the importance of age as it relates to security and their balance. We can all look forward to age as a tool to ‘looking back at all of our insecurities, and then gain that needed wisdom on change. I still believe that if we "Change our Thoughts-We can Change our Life" As Dr Dyer claims in his book.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Everything Changes But Change"

Heraclitus was a Greek philosopher who lived in the 6th Century BC. He felt that everything changed constantly and that all things must pass,unless there is change, which happened constantly. He thus coined the term 'everything changes but change'. The analogy used was that of a candle. He thought that the world was like the flame of a candle. It looks the same but is actually ever changing in terms of its substance.
I have talked about the importance of my needed changes in previous posts. This was extremely necessary to continue with a positive life related to my attitude toward bipolar disorder. It is from these changes that I was able to gain the insight needed for knowledge directed toward a positive visualization, to continue on a stable path forward in my life..

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lessons Learned In Life..

Do not ask for fulfillment in all your life, but for patience to accept frustration.
Do not ask for perfection in all you do, but for the wisdom not to repeat mistakes.
Do not ask for more, before saying “Thank You” for what you have already received.”
— Brenda Short

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Healing Of The Mandala

Tibetan monks have a ritual time to make a sand.mandala... - so beautiful and then the wind blows it away and they return some of the sand to the river.
...GRAIN BY GRAIN: TWO DAYS LEFT. WHAT IT IS A Tibetan sand mandala created by monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery. In Sanskrit, this particular "Akshobya" mandala symbolizes healing and indestructibility. The monks, who began making the mandala out of marble sand  at the Naples Museum of Art, completed the mandala over the next two days. Meant to bring positive energies and healing to the Naples area. As I stood by, one of the monks who was waiting to participate, I asked " what will become of this" He just smiled and stated " it is for you and your healing". Then the day came. With a few swipes of a paintbrush, the brightly colored sand that had been a Tibetan mandala lay in a heap, a metaphor of the impermanence of life. Nine Tibetan Buddhist monks spent three days constructing the mandala from millions of grains of exquisitely colored sand, carefully laid into place on a black platform. Shortly after completing the mandala, the monks blessed it and dismantled it. Half of the sand was given to the some people who came to watch,the other half went with the monks to the Naples Beach. There they carefully and blissfully places the colored sands into the Gulf of Mexico. I stood and watched a long time until most everyone was gone. A remaining monk came over and said to me, " Why do you stay....your mind is already healed." And somehow I knew it will always be.....

Being Disturbed Causes Growth with Stability

To be a disciple is to always be disturbed. Disturbed by the pain and sorrow in this world. Disturbed by the agonies caused by bipolar disorder.. Disturbed by the difficulties of medications.. But, true disciples can never sit smugly back while the rest of the world screams out in their pain. For we people of bipolar disorder, need to continually grow forward into stability for the benefit of ourselves and all others.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Life Is Like A Teeter Totter.

 When you need someone’s help to make something work, and you have to place yourself in a position of vulnerability, it is important to pick someone you can TRUST.
Otherwise, like being on a teeter totter, they might just jump off and let you fall to the ground.
I can say, I am always trying to balance the teeter-totter. I was not one of those kids who would run away when the other person was at the top.
Remember going on the Teeter-Totters, and all the people were taken, so you paired up with a bigger kid you did not know too well ? And then all of sudden, he would jump off at the crucial moment and you would go SLAM into the ground ! And he would walk away laughing. Every kid learns this lesson, at least once. It taught me that very big lesson in achieving bipolar disorder balance and that few are available to help you acquire that needed balance of mood swings. You have to be responsible for your own balance and be positive with achieving stability in life.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Remembering What You Already Know.

The last time anybody made a list of the top hundred character attributes of a bipolar, common sense snuck in at number 89. Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Perhaps, that is why the person with bipolar needs to always look at all the positive aspects and remember the mistakes they had in the past.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Courage To Forgive Others and Ourselves !

Perhaps, as we grow with our own bipolar disorder, we can approach the positive forgiveness that is needed to gain stability.
From what I witness, over and over again, I discover how satisfying living for others can be. The folks whose lives have meaning and purpose, who have a real zest for living, spend little of their time worried about themselves and a great deal of time giving to others.
Elisha Goldstein suggests “we all hold grudges against other people who we feel have hurt or offended us in some way or another. We even hold these grudges for people who are not even alive anymore. We do this with the false idea that somehow we are making them suffer by being hurt and angry with them”.
As for me, I have  seen enough unforgiving to be utterly convinced that it is about as destructive a thing as there can be. There is a kind of peace that is clearly observable among people who have the courage to forgive others and themselves. I like being around those folk. I’ll bet you do too.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chasing Happiness !

There are lots of ways of being miserable, but there's only one way of being comfortable, and that is to stop running around after happiness. If you make up your mind  to be happy, there's no reason why you shouldn't have a fairly good time-Edith Wharton-
Perhaps, that is all a bipolar needs to do is “make up our minds” It’s the willingness to be positive about all events with our moods that will bring about happiness and then stability .

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why Are We So Uncomfortable With An Invitation To Change ?

Sometimes I wonder if the reason we so easily pray not to be led into temptation is because we are so very comfortable where we are.
In the midst of everything else going on in our lives, the last thing we want is to confront the possibility of change. "Lead us not into temptation" may be just another way of saying, "Look, my life may not be perfect but at least it's familiar, so please God don't complicate it with invitations into the unknown."
Surely we face similar temptations. We are tempted to convince ourselves that we are doing all we can for God and for others...and perhaps we are...but why then are we, as people with bipolar disorder, so afraid to hear of other possibilities? Why are we so uncomfortable when the invitation to change is placed before us?
Is it because we are afraid to discover who we really are?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Do Not Be Discouraged By Failure

Do not be discouraged by a failure. This can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success. Inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly what is true; every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid. If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down. I cannot give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.
Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Soul Walking

I have begun a new type of walk two or three times a week. I call it a soul walk. Entirely different than my physical walk that I do three or four times a week.
While engaged in soul walking one should let ones mind simply relax.
Soul walks are not undertaken in order to solve lifes problems, resolve difficult situations or decide future activities.
Soul walks are simply for walking.
If you are accustomed to timing your walks or using a pedometer then this kind of walking will be a new experience for you.
If you are one of those curious folk who have taken up the latest and strange fad of aerobic walking...soul walking may take some getting used to.
When I am out on a soul walk, all kinds of wonderful things happen. A porcupine ambles on. Squirrels stop by to say hello. The sun rises. Ducks fly by in slow motion. Wonderful things that remind me of why I live near the warm Gulf winds. Indeed, why I live at all.
I am convinced that we need a little less regimen to our living and a lot more purposeless activity...like soul walking.
Which brings me to my final point. I believe it brings out the positiveness in we that have bipolar disorder. It is the relaxation that we so often need; it is strictly for fun.
If you become compulsive about it or develop a daily discipline that demands your allegiance then it is not soul walking anymore. It is something else and it may even be good for you but it is definitely not soul walking.
Soul walking is an exercise in nothingness. There is no purpose, no destination, no reward but the walk itself.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

View From Space

The astronaut, Rusty Schweigert, went for a space walk, and while outside the capsule something went wrong with his communication device. For quite some time, Schweigert was suspended, literally, in time and space.
When he returned to the capsule, he was transformed.
He had spent his time in limbo staring at the little globe called earth.
He said later that he felt the way a new mother must feel toward her child. He cherished this planet as a gift from God and vowed to spend the rest of his life working to care for it.
Something else the astronaut noted: There was no dividing line between the countries. Nothing separated Russia from Europe, the U. S. from Latin America. It was a vision of unity, of family, of communal blessing.
Perhaps,there is a correlation between Schweigert’s space walk and a person with bipolar disorder. When episodes are in a High or Low Mood , the Bipolar will also be without proper communications. However, the Bipolar views can become peaceful if there are positive thoughts and proper medications.
Schweigert reported all of this to NASA, they sent him to a psychiatrist.
 A person that is familiar to most people with bipolar disorder. Of course, this Astronaut was in a sane place in space. The Bipolar can find that same place, it is just knowing that both can walk the same walk.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gettting The Pain's Message

Peter Williams tells us about Pain (any pain--emotional, physical, mental) has a message. The information it has about our life can be remarkably specific, but it usually falls into one of two categories: "We would be more alive if we did more of this," and, "Life would be more lovely if we did less of that." Once we get the pain's message, and follow its advice, the pain goes away. A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses. Look to your health; and if you have it, praise God and value it next to conscience; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of, a blessing money can't buy.
Perhaps, this is what a person with Bipolar Disorder needs to hear when it is imperative to “push the positive.” Thinking positive thoughts with the help CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, will improve and aid the Bipolar so he/she can manage their mood swings with an increased confidence.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pushing The Positive with Bipolar Disorder

Can the mind stave off disease? Growing evidence links positive thinking to a longer and healthier life.
But, can simply thinking good thoughts help you deal with some of the ups and downs of bipolar disorder ? Yes, how you think can often affect the way you feel and act.

Bipolar Disorder is a brain disorder that causes swings between low mood (depression) and high moods (manic). There are serveral different types, and people with bipolar vary widely in how severe their moods are. But, in general, bipolar disorder is marked by emotional turmoil ranging from grandiose thinking to irritability and rage to sadness and feeling of worthlessness.

Bipolar is a serious condition that typically needs to be treated with both medication and psychtherapy. You cannot sunply "get over" bipolar disorder with a change in attitude. But research has shown that consistent therapy can help people control agonizing bipolar symptoms.

One type of counseling, called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is designed to help people change negative and harmful thought and behavior patterns. There are other effective types of psychotherapy used to treat bipolar disorder, but this post focuses on CBT.

Positive results with cognitive behavioral therapy :
CBT is a skills-oriented form of psychotherapy. In CBT, counselors teach tools to help manage moods, change thinking and cope with problems. For example, people are taught to recognize negative thinking patterns. These patterns often lead to problem behaviors and depressed moods. Some of these patterns include:

*All-or-nothing thinking
*Thinking the worst will happen (catastrophizing)
*Feeling others are thinking negative thoughts toward you (personalizing)

You may be coached on techniques to help you gain some distance from these negative thinking habits. One tool is called "thought stopping." As its name implies, you literally tell yourself to stop when you are having irrational or automatic thoughts. Then replace the negative thoughts with more positive thoughts.

For example, your boss e-mails you to set up an appointment with you. You might automatically think: "I'm going to get fired. I won't be able to make my house payment." Or, "He doesn't like me. I'll never succeed in this job." In the past, you may have complained to co-workers about your boss before you even knew why he wanted the meeting. In CBT, you would be coached to replace the negative thoughts with something like "My boss wants an update on the project. I have done a good job on so this will give me a chance to shine."

Another tool is a "mood graph." By writing down your moods along with the factors that influenced them, you can identify situations that might make you more depressed.

Your therapist may also help you develop problem-solving strategies, communicate better, handle social situations and learn relaxation methods.

Setting yourself up for success :
Of course, finding the right therapist and committing to a consistent therapy schedule can be a hard feat in itself. Ask your doctor if he can suggest a licensed counselor who has training in CBT. It is important to find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable relaying your inner thoughts. Also, you must trust this person to give you honest feedback and value that feedback.

For many, learning how to cope with bipolar is a lifelong journey. CBT can help give you some of the tools needed for that journey. Learning how to think in a more positive manner might help you take some of the bumps out of life.