Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

Does True Altruism Exist?

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Excerpt from Neel Burton M.D.

Does True Altruism Exist?

“The bottom line, I think, is this.

There can be no such thing as an ‘altruistic’ act that does not involve some element of self-interest, no such thing, for example, as an altruistic act that does not lead to some degree, no matter how small, of pride or validation or satisfaction.

Accordingly, an act should not be written off as selfish or self-motivated simply because it includes some small and inevitable element of self-interest.

The act can still be counted as altruistic if the ‘selfish’ element is accidental; or, if not accidental, then secondary; or, if neither accidental nor secondary, then un-determining.
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My two cents: My daughter with the child psychology degree tells me altruism does not exist in nature.

She studied the behavior of primates in college, concluding we always have a benefit in mind.

Some people go to church so God will be good to them or they are afraid of not going to church and the consequences they may incur.

We always have a reason.

I want to believe I am a giver.

I can see both perspectives on this one.

Full article here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hide-and-seek/201203/does-true-altruism-exist
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Trust can sneak up on you


I was triggered yesterday in the online Kundalini group. We have a daily online group at 7 am During the week and at 8 am on weekends.

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We have a WhatsApp group chat to facilitate sharing and community.

I experienced the PTSD upset, a sense of danger, the physical reaction, intense sweating, and intrusive thoughts.

Instead of isolating myself, I shared my experience with the group.

Inside this group, I feel respected and safe.

That sounds like trust.

It can sneak up on you when you least expect it.

Sometimes we have to lean in more, risk a little more and do the opposite of what PTSD wants us to do.

Instead of the usual aftermath of being triggered, isolated and upset, I feel part of the group, calm, and included.

They supported me and gave me great feedback and empathy.

PTSD still rages at times but as Rudid96 says, I will continue swimming upstream for a while.

P.S. What a pain in the ass I must be. I am a lightning rod for discussion, never at a loss for topics.
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Happy Easter: A Kindness Post

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Photo by Adam Nemeroff on Unsplash

Kindness strengthens the brain: Study shows it helps boost the entire family’s cognitive health

By Jocelyn Solis-Moreira

Doing an act of kindness can make you feel good about yourself, and a new study suggests it also benefits the brains of everyone living under one roof. Researchers from The University of Texas at Dallas report that teaching and practicing kindness at home improved parents’ resilience and children’s empathy.

Because both resilience and empathy use different cognitive skills such as responding well to stressors or considering different perspectives, the researchers suggest kindness can improve a person’s cognition.

The Children’s Kindness Network is an online kindness training program that enrolled 38 mothers and their 3- to 5- year old children. The program included “Kind Minds With Moozie” with five modules featuring a digital cow who explained creative exercises parents can use with their kids to learn about kindness.

“We aim to encourage parents to engage in practical, brain-healthy interactions with their children that aid in a better understanding of one another, especially during times of stress,” says Maria Johnson, MA, director of Youth & Family Innovations and coauthor of the study in a media release. “Research shows that kindness is a strong potentiator of vibrant social engagement, which in turn is a critical component of overall brain health.”

The team studied the impact on the program and children’s empathy. Parents filled out a survey on their own resilience and their kids’ empathy before and after the training program. Results showed that after the program, parents reported being more resilient and preschool-aged children were more empathetic. 

One surprising finding was that children’s empathy levels were below average despite showing improvements after training. The team explains this is likely because of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns that limited children’s social and emotional development.

“In times of stress, taking a moment to practice kindness for yourself and model it for your children can boost your own resilience and improve your child’s prosocial behaviors,” says Julie Fratantoni, PhD, cognitive neuroscientist and head of operations for The BrainHealth Project. “Do not underestimate the power of kindness, because it can ultimately change and shape brain health.”

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PTSD: accepting our fate

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You reach a point, I have met others with my same pathology, abused kids, suffering at 50, 60, 70, etc, where we accept our fate.

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We adjust, fight the daily battle, accept healing is a mirage, and reality is overwhelming.

We have improved but PTSD still has power as a disruptive force.

I need to survive, so PTSD is alive but so am I.

It is a duel, a daily battle, a game of variant intensities of highs and lows.

Mood swings were unavoidable, and devastating to all relationships.

We must survive, endure this part of our life and continue to improve.

I feel like an extreme introvert one minute, near-normal the next, other times, an extrovert, a confident scoundrel.

Who am I?

A split personality, me and PTSD me?

It’s so strange, a plethora of woes.

What a quandary of drama called life.

I need to suck it up, take my risks, and live as fully as I can.

Help, ideas, comments, opinions?
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PTSD: Morning Routine

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I wake up early, anxiety flows, and thoughts of navigating the day enhance those anxious feelings.

During coffee, my writing process kicks in.

The topic is something I have read or a current challenge.

Writing seems cathartic, a creative distraction, wished I played a musical instrument.

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Meditation is next, every morning a 30-minute sit.

Meditation dissipates anxiety, calms the nervous system plus contributes to our wellbeing.

We carry more anxiety drugs, our nervous system idles much faster, and we are prone to the quick escalation of panic.

Worry and doubt arrive early, I sit in the middle of this unrest to quell the storm.

We can be caught off guard and overwhelmed by situations.

I concentrate on calming my nervous system in the morning.

Slow focused breaths have worked wonders for me.

Chores and hiking round out the morning.
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PTSD: A pleasant break

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Life has been freer, and calmer this week, and PTSD has rolled back up.

Letting go and focusing work much better this week.

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The onslaught of intrusive thoughts and emotions has dried up, that river bottom is waterless this week.

It is such a pleasant break, similar to life before an old trauma surfaced during covid.

Covid reinforced one of PTSD’s dastardly symptoms, avoidance.

Covid made other people dangerous in real life, we were told to avoid them, wearing masks to further distance ourselves.

Covid sent PTSD people into crisis, we isolated more.

Our social skills deteriorated during quarantine.

We already avoided, lacked the trust of others, and covid spiked that symptom.

Isolating can damage us further, making the road to recovery that much longer.

If I knew why this week has been so much better, I would bottle it and share it with everyone.

We are like worker ants, performing our daily practice, toiling in obscurity.

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This relief has been surprising, PTSD has been problematic for a while.

Never give up, never give in.

It is a war, have a battle plan, and a daily action plan.

Happy healing.
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PTSD: Can we be Special?

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Accepting the damage, moving on, and trying to have PTSD not define us is our goal.

Does writing this blog help or hinder me from moving on?

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I deal with PTSD every day on here.

Seems to heal, we handle our symptoms whether meditating, using therapy skills, or working to integrate trauma.

Yesterday, I won, PTSD GOT LOCKED out of my life for a good day.

Sunday, he won the day. I played defense and waited for his spell to break.

Even when PTSD explodes or gains control, we can limit the duration he rules our being.

This is a war, people lose their lives because of trauma’s impact.

Soldiers have committed suicide because of PTSD AT AN ALARMING RATE.

We can teach them how to kill but fail to teach them how to live with the consequences.

We fight to avoid being a victim at all costs, we suffer if we succumb to this demon.

I tell myself very few people could navigate my childhood, I am special. You also navigate PTSD where your friends would fail.

Not the way anyone wants to be special but it helps me endure PTSD’s damages.

We are special in a weird trauma-related way.

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We journey together sharing successes and hardships.

We, PTSD sufferers are a special group, this blog is a meeting place for us.

Happy Healing.
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Helping Others Help Us DISTANCE FROM THE EGO!

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Writing this blog is overwhelmingly positive.

It helps me and others improve, and feel connected.

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It is a special action shared by both participants.

Volunteering is precious.

Giving is divine and a blow to our PTSD.

I think giving unconditionally, that is without regard for reward or recognition, is as far away from our Ego as we can get consciously.

That is a great thing, a healing, safe place for us to thrive.

We need this positive energy, this connection to balance the negativity of trauma.

Taking action is critical for our well-being.

I hike five days a week, rain or shine, I am a grinder and find solace in energetic action.

That is a highly coveted place for PTSD sufferers.

Our Ego wants to control whether it helps or hurts our wellbeing.

Limit the Egos’ power, he/she is for identity, not governance.

Find a spot where you can volunteer, and give in a way that is meaningful to you.

Special benefits are waiting for us.

We are on this path in unity, traveling together, not in competition.

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Helping others without concern for recognition or reward brings a special soothing, healing energy.

We heal in increments, this is a powerful one.
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updated: A Path in sequence: ..Awareness, Acceptance, Surrender, Gratitude, Giving, Healing and then Happiness

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Sands of Time: Photograph by Bonnie Flamer
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Awareness: We have to see reality, the real world, how we fit in. Attention is placed on how our mind functions, how it interacts with our body mechanisms. We need to see ourselves without the bias of the “Ego’s” judgments. With 60,000 thoughts passing through our consciousness daily, awareness is key for perspective and proper navigation.
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Acceptance: Optimum acceptance would have us accepting everything about us right here, right now. There is nothing we can attain, accomplish or possess in the future that has any permanence or connection with happiness. We are complete, whole, capable of experiencing enormous happiness right now. Everything we need is available in this next breath.
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Surrender: Acceptance always had some resistance for me, some residual fear that kept parts of me closed off. Surrender is me opening my arms out wide opening my chest, my heart to catch what I fear. Surrender presents us vulnerable to our trauma fears. Once you have learned acceptance take the next step, surrender. It takes courage, guts to surrender.

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Gratitude: When our spirit fills with enough gratitude, desires deflate into proper perspective. Unless we can let go of the need for approval, the need for status and the need for importance, gratitude will wither. Awareness illuminates the path, acceptance frees the soul, and gratitude opens the door to our expansive side.
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Giving: I believe giving altruistically without regard for reward, distances the “ego” farthest from our consciousness. Giving allows us to escape the ego’s grasp and go deeper into our spiritual journey. Giving melts unworthiness and fear, moves the frozen with ease into action. In my opinion, giving is connected directly with happiness.
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Healing: On this journey, healing has been slowly underway, however at the giving stage, healing is accelerated, emotionally and physically. Focus on the breath while letting go of what scares you, liberates the mind, frees the spirit,, and expands consciousness.
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Happiness: Happiness, real happiness endures, it is a peace of mind we carry with us. It exists when difficulty, stress,,loss, joy and positive experiences unfold. In my experience, happy lives where thought does not exist, where the ego is dormant, where self fades for this moment.
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Can you identify where you are on the healing path?

Shaila Catherine: Mental Absorption (jhana states)

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“When the mind abandons its contact with the senses, including discursive thinking, the concentrated absorption of jhana begins.

The mind is utterly still and focused on its object.

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The specific object of focus becomes progressively refined in the development of concentration, from the physical sensations of breathing, to a perception of light.

Rapture, pleasure, and equanimity may accompany the bright radiant mind, while attention is continually directed toward the place where the breath is known.

As these perceptions grow increasingly subtle, attention remains connected and the subtle perception of breath is recognized as a perception of stable brightness in mind.

In jhana, attention is virtually merged into its object, creating an impression of complete unification.

Even if there is sensory impact from sounds and sensations, the mind remains completely unmoved.

Sensory contact—even strong pain or loud noise—does not disturb the tranquillity or affect the unification of the mind with its object of concentration.

It is as though you don’t hear anything, yet the capacity of hearing is not impaired.

It is as if you don’t feel pain, and yet the bodily processes are functioning.

There may or may not be subtle awareness of the impact of a sound or physical contact, but the mind lets go so automatically that there can be no sensory residue to disturb the concentration.

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