miercuri, 28 mai 2008

Watch it

luni, 26 mai 2008

Live well

What to eat, do (and not do) to prevent cancer

Small changes can make a big difference in your risk.

When it comes to the question of whether you'll get cancer, it often seems that your fate is a mysterious combination of factors beyond your control. We all know someone who smoked, drank and ate bacon every day yet escaped a diagnosis. And far more disheartening, we also know people who lived a virtuously healthy life only to develop the disease. Add to that the confusion over what actually is the right way to avoid the Big C. In fact, three in four people believe there are so many recommendations about preventing breast, colon, lung and other cancers that it's hard to know which guidelines to follow.

The area that probably generates the most debate? Knowing what to eat. There is such an abundance of contradictory studies about food and cancer that it's nearly impossible to consider any one definitive, let alone keep them all straight. So how do you sort through myriad studies, complete with caveats and exceptions? Well, you don't, because we did it for you. SELF went to the experts and scrutinized the latest research to summarize the best cancer-fighting eating advice so far. We also looked at the news on other lifestyle factors such as stress and exercise to generate a guide that can help cancer-proof your body from head to toe. But first, a list that tells you what to forgo and what to fill up on. Let's eat!

Three foods to feast on frequently
Cruciferous veggies Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale are all cancer-fighting stars in the produce department, and several studies have linked them to a lower risk for colorectal, lung and stomach cancers, says Lawrence Kushi, Sc.D., associate director for epidemiology at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. Plus, research from Michigan State University in East Lansing found that those who ate raw or lightly cooked cabbage and sauerkraut more than three times a week were 72 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than those who had 1.5 or fewer servings. Experts suspect vegetables such as cabbage contain chemicals that turn on your body's natural detoxifying enzymes, Kushi explains.

How much to eat You can't have too much, but five weekly half-cup servings is a reasonable goal.

High-fiber anything Fiber's ability to keep things moving appears to have a protective effect not only on the colon (no surprise) but also on the breasts. Researchers in Sweden followed more than 61,000 women and discovered that those who consumed more than 4.5 servings of whole grains daily had a 35 percent lower risk for colon cancer. Because fiber speeds the passage of stool through the colon, cells have less exposure to potentially carcinogenic waste. Roughage may also sop up excess estrogen and insulin, two hormones linked to breast cancer.

How much to eat Aim for 25 grams (from food) a day. A half cup of a high-fiber cereal, such as All-Bran or Fiber One, can provide about half your daily dose. Beans, whole-grain breads with added fiber, fruit and veggies can help get you there, too.

Foods rich in vitamin D and calcium Your breasts and colon may get protection from this vitamin/mineral combo. Scientists who reviewed 10 studies found that those who consume high amounts of dairy products have a lower risk for colorectal cancer, likely because of calcium's protective effect, according to a report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The two nutrients may also help ward off early breast cancer by suppressing the effects of hormones.

How much to consume Women under 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium and at least 400 international units of vitamin D a day. Fortified milk and orange juice are good sources of both.

Two foods to enjoy often
Tomatoes and berries There's a bit of evidence that tomatoes and tomato products may reduce the risk for gastric, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancers. The theory: Lycopene, which gives tomatoes their red color, may help prevent cell damage. The research, however, is far from proven. "It is one thing to show effects in tissue culture, and another thing to demonstrate conclusively that these effects translate into real health effects in people," Kushi says. Still, these foods are absolutely healthy, so SELF says, Eat them!

Berries, too, have their share of fans, but evidence of their anticancer benefits is still being gathered. Certainly, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which protect against cell damage. But as with tomatoes, it's not clear if the findings hold up in the real world. Again, this is not a time to wait for the science to catch up—consuming a variety of fruit and veggies will always be good for you.

How much to eat Make berries and tomatoes a part of your nine fruit and veggie servings a day. Sneak in extra amounts by tossing some berries on your cereal or ordering a little extra sauce for your pasta.

Three foods to cut back on
Red and processed meat Still reluctant to trade your hot dog for a not dog? You may want to reconsider. Studies have found a strong connection between colon cancer and processed meat such as hot dogs and cold cuts, as well as beef, pork and lamb. The stats are pretty convincing: Women who ate approximately 1 ounce of processed meat (about one slice of bologna) two or three times a week for a decade were 50 percent more likely to develop colon cancer; eating only 2 ounces of red meat a day long-term can increase the odds of rectal cancer by as much as 40 percent, according to a large study in The Journal of the American Medical Association. Colon cancer isn't a carnivores-only concern. Women who downed 1.5 servings of meat a day had nearly twice the breast cancer risk of those who ate fewer than three servings per week, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. One possible reason? Carcinogens are created when meat is cooked at high temperatures as well as when it's processed with substances such as nitrates.

How much to eat Think of meat as a side dish, Kushi says. Stick to less than 3 ounces of red meat a day, and avoid charring as much as possible.

Alcohol Disconcerting news for drinkers: Imbibing alcohol increases the risk of developing breast, colon, esophagus, mouth and throat cancers. "Alcohol is one of the few dietary factors showing a clear and consistent relationship with breast cancer," Kushi says. If you're wondering why total abstinence isn't encouraged, the reason is twofold: "We recognize that a little bit of alcohol reduces risk for cardiovascular disease," Kushi says. Plus, there's nothing wrong with enjoying life!

How much to down It's safest to limit yourself to a drink a night, max—and less if you have a significant risk for breast cancer. Because binge drinking may have other negative health consequences, no divvying up your seven drinks over two days instead of seven. (We asked.)

Fats Although experts agree that maintaining a diet low in saturated fat is smart all around, the research linking fat and cancer is controversial. Still, there is evidence suggesting that keeping fat intake low may offer some breast cancer protection. When researchers from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, followed nearly 189,000 postmenopausal women for four years, they discovered that the chance of developing breast cancer was 15 percent higher among women whose diets were 40 percent fat versus those that were 20 percent.

How much to eat No more than 30 percent of your calories should come from fat. That's about 60 grams of fat for women eating 1,800 calories a day. And because saturated fat plays a huge role in heart disease, try to get most of your fat from healthy sources such as avocados, fish, nuts and olive oils.

One food to watch carefully
Soy Soy is generally good for you, but its exact relationship with breast cancer is still being sussed out. Studies in the lab show that breast cancer cells proliferate when exposed to isolated soy compounds, most likely because soy contains plant-based estrogens, Kushi says. In the body, however, "these same phytoestrogens seem to be related to some reduction in risk." How much to eat About 20 grams or less daily. You'll be in the healthy range with a cup of tofu, three quarters of a cup of edamame, about half a cup of tempeh or a quarter cup of soy nuts.

Protection in a bottle?
"The best way to get your vitamins is with food," says Larry Norton, M.D., medical director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. "God put more good things in an apple than I know about," he says. But the one exception may be vitamin D. Women who took nearly three times the recommended amount of this nutrient, as well as about 1,500 milligrams of calcium, reduced their cancer risk by 77 percent, according to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. For now, get at least 400 international units a day. Fortified milk and orange juice are good sources, but ask whether a supplement can help you make up the difference.

sâmbătă, 24 mai 2008

The Incredible Power of Focus

by Bill Harris, Director,
Centerpointe Research Institute

One of the more important points I have made in my writings over the years has been the idea that you really do create your own life and your own reality.

Many people, after continuing to experience the same old ups and downs and personal dramas over many years, get to the point where they dismiss this idea as charming but useless -- or just plain wrong.

"If I'm creating this, then I'm certainly not doing it on purpose," they say. "It sure seems like this is HAPPENING to me, rather than that I'm creating it." They just assume that it's all BS because "this and this and this and this are going on for me, and I have no control over it, and anyone who thinks I'm creating this doesn't understand what I'm going through."

Essentially, they are resigning themselves to be a victim of their circumstances.

We live in a universe of infinite complexity, and many forces -- way too many to keep track of -- operate on us. Yes, it is true that we are NOT in control of everything that happens, because we are not in control of most of those infinite other parts of the universe.

In fact, the only thing you have total and complete control over is...


That is, if you learn how to exercise it.

Luckily, this one thing -- your mind -- that you do have control over gives you tremendous power. By exercising control over your mind, you can get the rest of those infinite other parts of the universe to begin to march in formation.

The person who says, "If I'm creating this, it certainly isn't on purpose," is right. They are not creating what is happening to them "on purpose." Who would purposely create failure, or bad relationships, or any other suffering?

You can only do something that is not good for you, that is harmful to you, if you do it unconsciously. This means if you are creating something you don't want, you must be doing so unconsciously.

Your mind is running on automatic pilot, based on "software" (unconscious programming) installed when you were too young to know any better, by parents, teachers, friends, the media, and other experiences and influences. The key is to become more conscious, more aware...to get yourself off automatic pilot. Once you do this, you stop creating all the dramas and other garbage you don't want in your life.

How do you do this? One way, of course, is to use Holosync, because listening to Holosync increases your ability to be consciously aware. As you continue with the program, doing this becomes easier and more automatic. That "watcher" part of you becomes stronger and stronger, until it is watching over everything, and with that degree of conscious awareness, it is pretty difficult to create anything that is not beneficial for you.

You can help things along, however, by remembering and using a very important piece of wisdom.

What is this important piece of wisdom? I'm glad you asked.

It's the fact that whatever you focus on manifests as reality in your life.

You are always focusing on something, whether you are aware of it or not. If I spent some time with you, and heard your history, I could tell you what you are focusing on. How? By looking at the results you are getting in your life. The results you get are always the result of your focus.

The problem is, this focus is usually not conscious focus, it's automatic focus. We unconsciously focus on something we don't want, and then when we get it we feel like a victim and don't even stop to think that we created it in the first place. And what is more, we don't realize we could choose to create something completely different if we could only get out of the cycle of unconsciously focusing on something other than what we want.

If you have a significant negative emotional experience (say, for instance, a relationship in which you are abused or mistreated in some way), a part of you is going to say: "Okay, I get it. There are people out there who can and will hurt me. Relationships can be dangerous and painful. I have to watch out for these people [or sometimes, relationships in general] and avoid them."

Unfortunately, to watch out for them and avoid them, you have to focus your mind on "people who could hurt me," or "bad relationships," and that focus draws more of what you don't want to you...AND...actually makes these things you don't want (at least initially) attractive to you, so when they appear in your life you are drawn to them.

This is why many people keep having one relationship after another with the same person, but in different bodies. This principle, of course, applies to everything, not just relationships.

Focusing on what you do not want, ironically, makes it happen. Focusing on not being poor makes you poor. Focusing on not making mistakes causes you to make mistakes.

Focusing on not having a bad relationship creates bad relationships. Focusing on not being depressed makes you depressed. Focusing on not smoking makes you want to smoke. And so on.

I think you get the idea.

The truth is, your mind cannot tell the difference between something you think about or focus on that you DO want, and something you think about or focus on but do NOT want.

The mind is a goal-seeking mechanism, and an extremely effective one at that. Already, all the time, it is elegantly and precisely creating exactly what you focus on. You are already a World Champion Expert at creating whatever you focus on. You couldn't get any better at it, and you don't need to get any better at it.

When you focus on anything, your mind says: "Okay, we can do that," and starts figuring out how to do it. It doesn't ask whether you're focusing on it because you want it or because you do not want it. It ALWAYS assumes you want what you focus on and then it goes and makes it happen.

The more frequent and the more intense the focus, the faster and more completely you will create what you have focused on, which is why intense negative experiences create intense focus on what you do not want, and tend to make you re-create what you don't want, over and over.

Most of the time, for most people, all the focusing and thinking is going by at warp speed, on automatic, without much, if any, conscious intention.

Your job is to learn how to direct this power by consciously directing your focus to the outcomes you want.

Once you do, everything changes. This does, however, take some work, because at first you have to swim upstream against the current of your old, unconscious habits, and the current can be swift and strong.

First, you have to discover all the things you focus on that you do not want, and I'm willing to bet there are quite a few -- way more than you think. To the degree you're getting what you don't want, you are focusing, albeit unconsciously, on what you don't want.

Spend some time over the next few weeks, then, making a list of all the things you do NOT want as you notice yourself thinking about them.

Second, you have to get very clear about what you DO want. Then, you have to examine each of the things you want and be sure they are not just something you do NOT want in disguise.

For instance, saying "I want a relationship where I am treated well" would not even be an issue if you had not had relationships where you were not treated well, and even in making this seemingly positive statement you are focusing on not wanting to be mistreated.

Saying "I want a reliable car" wouldn't even come up if you weren't focusing on the fact that you don't want a car that breaks down and needs a lot of repairs.

After you've sorted out the things you habitually focus on that you do not want, and know what you do want, you have to begin to notice each time you think about an outcome you do not want, and consciously change your thinking, right in that moment, so you are instead focusing on what you do want.

Remember, you do NOT have to avoid things to be happy and get what you want. The urge to avoid something is a result of having had a negative emotional experience regarding that thing, and trying to avoid things requires you to focus on them, which tells your brain to create them. Not good.

You will be surprised how often you are thinking about what you do not want, how difficult it is to catch yourself doing it every time, and -- most of all – how difficult it is to switch your thinking to what you DO want. There is a strong momentum to keep thinking about that thing you want to avoid. As I said, the current is strong and swift, especially at first.

The solution? Practice, practice, practice. Persistence, persistence, persistence.

It's a very good idea to write down what you want, very specifically, so that your Fairy Godmother, were she to read it, would know exactly what to give you without any additional explanation. Then, read what you have written to yourself, preferably out loud, several times a day, while seeing yourself, in your mind, already having what you want.

The more emotion you can bring to it, the better. Then, take whatever action is available to begin moving toward what you want. A good time to do this reading and visualizing is when you first wake up and right before you go to bed.

I know this is work. Do it anyway. There is a price for everything, and this is the price you must pay to get what you want. Be prepared to pay it. It will be worth it, I promise. And be prepared to pay for a while before you get results. Stick with it.

Another way to change your focus is to ask questions. As an example, I'll ask you one right now. What did you have for breakfast this morning? To answer this question (even to just internally process the question), you had to shift your focus from whatever your mind was focused on (hopefully, this article) to today's breakfast. This means that to change your focus, all you have to do is...ask yourself a question!

It also means you better be careful what questions you ask yourself.

Good questions include "How can I get X?" "How can I do X?" "How can I be X?" By asking these kinds of questions, you get your mind to focus on what you want to have, do, or be. Then, your mind takes over and answers the question...solves the problem...and creates what you want. You just have to provide the focus, take whatever action presents itself, and be persistent (some things take time).

I would do away with questions like "What's wrong with me?" or "Why can't I find someone to love me?" and so on. Your mind will find an answer to any question you give it, including these dis-empowering questions.

Learn to say "How can I...?" when you don't know what to do, instead of "I can't," and (if you are persistent in asking) the universe will send you the answer, every time. Learn to be conscious in what you focus on and your whole life will change.

This all may seem very utopian to you, or overly simplistic, or like a lot of work. I assure you it is not utopian (it's the way all successful people think), it IS simple, but not simplistic, and yes, it is work, at first.

The great Napoleon Hill, who spent over 60 years studying the most effective and most successful people of the 20th century, concluded that -- without exception, mind you -- "whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve." He at first suspected there had to be exceptions, but toward the end of his life he said he had to admit he had not found ANY.

Let's go over that again: "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

It will take some time to learn how to consciously focus your mind. It will require some effort.

You will fail many times, and it will seem difficult. But at a certain point you will "get it" and at that point it will become as automatic as the unconscious focusing you have been doing. When that happens, a whole new universe of power will open to you.

If you'd like to experience the kind of dramatic, positive change Holosync audio technology can create in your life, read the introduction which details all the benefits and reveals the scientific proof behind Holosync (and includes an extremely attractive, money-saving offer) found on the homepage.

miercuri, 21 mai 2008

Patrick Swayze has pancreatic cancer


His prognosis is not for long-term survival.

Some entertainment sources are quoting Patrick's Stanford University cancer doctors gave him five weeks to live.

The common world is stunned by the news that a movie icon and dancing star has little life left.

Why is there such a great outpouring of emotion and love for a celebrity that few people directly know?

What is in the yearning and the pain that brings people to mourn Patrick Swayze when their neighbors are suffering the same dying fate with a different, but similar, result?

Why are celebrity deaths more important than the decaying nameless? The heartbreak is the same, but somehow the attached fame weakens the intimate and strengthens the familiar - and our society is worse for the wear of that disconnect.

Top 5 greatest Patrick Swayze movies ever

1- Point Break
2- Next of Kin
3- Ghost
4- Roadhouse
5- Red Dawn

joi, 15 mai 2008

London - Take a tour

With a population of just under eight million, London is Europe's largest city, spreading across an area of more than 620 square miles from its core on the River Thames. Ethnically it's also Europe's most diverse metropolis: around two hundred languages are spoken within its confines, and more than thirty percent of the population is made up of first-, second- and third-generation immigrants.

Despite Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish devolution, London still dominates the national horizon, too: this is where the country's news and money are made, it's where the central government resides and, as far as its inhabitants are concerned, provincial life begins beyond the circuit of the city's orbital motorway. Londoners' sense of superiority causes enormous resentment in the regions, yet it's undeniable that the capital has a unique aura of excitement and success – in most walks of British life, if you want to get on you've got to do it in London.

For the visitor, too, London is a thrilling place – and in the last few years, the city has been in a relatively buoyant mood. Thanks to the national lottery and the millennium-oriented funding frenzy, virtually every one of London's world-class museums, galleries and institutions has been reinvented, from the Royal Opera House to the British Museum. In the Tate Modern and the London Eye, the city can now boast the world's largest modern art gallery and Ferris wheel, and the first new bridge to cross the Thames for over a hundred years. Furthermore, following sixteen years of being the only major city in the world not to have its own governing body, London finally acquired its own elected assembly in 2000, along with a mayor who's determined to try and solve one of London's biggest problems: transport.

In the meantime, London's traditional sights – Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, St Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London – continue to draw in millions of tourists every year. Monuments from the capital's more glorious past are everywhere to be seen, from medieval banqueting halls and the great churches of Christopher Wren to the eclectic Victorian architecture of the triumphalist British Empire. There is also much enjoyment to be had from the city's quiet Georgian squares, the narrow alleyways of the City of London, the riverside walks, and the quirks of what is still identifiably a collection of villages. And even London's traffic problems are offset by surprisingly large expanses of greenery: Hyde Park, Green Park and St James's Park are all within a few minutes' walk of the West End, while, further afield, you can enjoy the more expansive countryside of Hampstead Heath and Richmond Park.

You could spend days just shopping in London, too, mixing with the upper classes in the tiara triangle around Harrods, or sampling the offbeat weekend markets of Portobello Road, Camden and Greenwich. The music, clubbing and gay/lesbian scenes are second to none, and mainstream arts are no less exciting, with regular opportunities to catch brilliant theatre companies, dance troupes, exhibitions and opera. Restaurants, these days, are an attraction, too. London is now on a par with its European rivals, and offers a range from three-star Michelin establishments to low-cost, high-quality Chinese restaurants and Indian curry houses. Meanwhile, the city's pubs have heaps of atmosphere, especially away from the centre – and an exploration of the farther-flung communities is essential to get the complete picture of this dynamic metropolis.

Do narcissists have emotions?


Of course they do. All humans have emotions. It is how we choose to relate to our emotions that matters. The narcissist tends to repress them so deeply that, for all practical purposes, they play no conscious role in his life and conduct, though they play an extraordinarily large unconscious role in determining both.

The narcissist's positive emotions come bundled with very negative ones. This is the outcome of frustration and the consequent transformations of aggression. This frustration is connected to the Primary Objects of the narcissist's childhood (parents and caregivers).

Instead of being provided with the unconditional love that he craved, the narcissist was subjected to totally unpredictable and inexplicable bouts of temper, rage, searing sentimentality, envy, prodding, infusion of guilt and other unhealthy parental emotions and behaviour patterns.

The narcissist reacted by retreating to his private world, where he is omnipotent and omniscient and, therefore, immune to such vicious vicissitudes. He stashed his vulnerable True Self in a deep mental cellar – and outwardly presented to the world a False Self.

But bundling is far easier than unbundling. The narcissist is unable to evoke positive feelings without provoking negative ones. Gradually, he becomes phobic: afraid to feel anything, lest it be accompanied by fearsome, guilt inducing, anxiety provoking, out of control emotional complements.

He is thus reduced to experiencing dull stirrings in his soul that he identifies to himself and to others as emotions. Even these are felt only in the presence of someone or something capable of providing the narcissist with his badly needed Narcissistic Supply.

Only when the narcissist is in the overvaluation (idealization) phase of his relationships, does he experience the convulsions that he calls "feelings". These are so transient and fake that they are easily replaced by rage, envy and devaluation. The narcissist really recreates the behaviour patterns of his less than ideal Primary Objects.

Deep inside, the narcissist knows that something is amiss. He does not empathise with other people's feelings. Actually, he holds them in contempt and ridicule. He cannot understand how people are so sentimental, so "irrational" (he identifies being rational with being cool headed and cold blooded).

Often the narcissist believes that other people are "faking it", merely aiming to achieve a goal. He is convinced that their "feelings" are grounded in ulterior, non-emotional, motives. He becomes suspicious, embarrassed, feels compelled to avoid emotion-tinged situations, or, worse, experiences surges of almost uncontrollable aggression in the presence of genuinely expressed sentiments. They remind him how imperfect and poorly equipped he is.

The weaker variety of narcissist tries to emulate and simulate "emotions" – or, at least their expression, the external facet (affect). They mimic and replicate the intricate pantomime that they learn to associate with the existence of feelings. But there are no real emotions there, no emotional correlate.

This is empty affect, devoid of emotion. This being so, the narcissist quickly tires of it, becomes impassive and begins to produce inappropriate affect (e.g., he remains indifferent when grief is the normal reaction). The narcissist subjects his feigned emotions to his cognition. He "decides" that it is appropriate to feel so and so. His "emotions" are invariably the result of analysis, goal setting and planning.

He substitutes "remembering" for "sensing". He relegates his bodily sensations, feelings and emotions to a kind of a memory vault. The short and medium-term memory is exclusively used to store his reactions to his (actual and potential) Narcissistic Supply Sources.

He reacts only to such sources. The narcissist finds it hard to remember or recreate what he ostensibly - though ostentatiously - "felt" (even a short while back) towards a Narcissistic Supply Source once it has ceased to be one. In his attempts to recall his feelings, he draws a mental blank.

It is not that narcissists are incapable of expressing what we would tend to classify as "extreme emotional reactions". They mourn and grieve, rage and smile, excessively "love" and "care". But this is precisely what sets them apart: this rapid movement from one emotional extreme to another and the fact that they never occupy the emotional middle ground.

The narcissist is especially "emotional" when weaned off his drug of Narcissistic Supply. Breaking a habit is always difficult – especially one that defines (and generates) oneself. Getting rid of an addiction is doubly taxing. The narcissist misidentifies these crises with an emotional depth and his self-conviction is so immense, that he mostly succeeds to delude his environment, as well. But a narcissistic crisis (losing a Source of Narcissistic Supply, obtaining an alternative one, moving from one Narcissistic Pathological Space to another) – must never be confused with the real thing, which the narcissist never experiences: emotions.

Many narcissists have "emotional resonance tables". They use words as others use algebraic signs: with meticulousness, with caution, with the precision of the artisan. They sculpt in words the fine tuned reverberations of pain and love and fear. It is the mathematics of emotional grammar, the geometry of the syntax of passions. Devoid of all emotions, narcissists closely monitor people's reactions and adjust their verbal choices accordingly, until their vocabulary resembles that of their listeners. This is as close as narcissists get to empathy.

To summarise, the emotional life of the narcissist is colourless and eventless, as rigidly blind as his disorder, as dead as he. He does feel rage and hurt and inordinate humiliation, envy and fear. These are very dominant, prevalent and recurrent hues in the canvass of his emotional existence. But there is nothing there except these atavistic gut reactions.

Whatever it is that the narcissist experiences as emotions – he experiences in reaction to slights and injuries, real or imagined. His emotions are all reactive, not active. He feels insulted – he sulks. He feels devalued – he rages. He feels ignored – he pouts. He feels humiliated – he lashes out. He feels threatened – he fears. He feels adored – he basks in glory. He is virulently envious of one and all.

The narcissist can appreciate beauty but in a cerebral, cold and "mathematical" way. Many have no mature, adult sex drive to speak of. Their emotional landscape is dim and grey, as though through a glass darkly.

Many narcissists can intelligently discuss those emotions never experienced by them – like empathy, or love – because they make it a point to read a lot and to communicate with people who claim to be experiencing them. Thus, they gradually construct working hypotheses as to what people feel. As far as the narcissist is concerned, it is pointless to try to really understand emotions – but at least these models he does form allow him to better predict people's behaviours and adjust to them.

Narcissists are not envious of others for having emotions. They disdain feelings and sentimental people because they find them to be weak and vulnerable and they deride human frailties and vulnerabilities. Such derision makes the narcissist feel superior and is probably the ossified remains of a defence mechanism gone awry.

Narcissists are afraid of pain. It is the pebble in their Indra's Net – lift it and the whole net moves. Their pains do not come isolated – they constitute families of anguish, tribes of hurt, whole races of agony. The narcissist cannot experience them separately – only collectively.

Narcissism is an effort to contain the ominous onslaught of stale negative emotions, repressed rage, a child's injuries.

Pathological narcissism is useful – this is why it is so resilient and resistant to change. When it is "invented" by the tormented individual, it enhances his functionality and makes life bearable for him. Because it is so successful, it attains religious dimensions – it become rigid, doctrinaire, automatic and ritualistic.

In other words, pathological narcissism becomes a PATTERN of behaviour. This rigidity is like an outer shell, an exoskeleton. It constrains the narcissist and limits him. It is often prohibitive and inhibitive. As a result, the narcissist is afraid to do certain things. He is injured or humiliated when forced to engage in certain activities. He reacts with rage when the mental edifice underlying his disorder is subjected to scrutiny and criticism – no matter how benign.

Narcissism is ridiculous. Narcissists are pompous, grandiose, repulsive and contradictory. There is a serious mismatch between who they really are, their true accomplishments, and how they regard themselves. The narcissist doesn't merely THINK that he is far superior to others. The perception of his superiority is ingrained in him, it is a part of his every mental cell, an all-pervasive sensation, an instinct and a drive.

He feels that he is entitled to special treatment and to outstanding consideration because he is such a unique specimen. He knows this to be true – the same way one knows that one is surrounded by air. It is an integral part of his identity. More integral to him than his body.

This opens a gap – rather, an abyss – between the narcissist and other humans. Because he considers himself so special and so superior, he has no way of knowing how it is to be human, neither the inclination to explore it. In other words, the narcissist cannot and will not empathise.

Can you empathise with an ant? Empathy implies identity or equality with the empathized, both abhorrent to the narcissist. And being perceived by the narcissist to be so inferior, people are reduced to cartoonish, two-dimensional representations of functions. They become instrumental, or useful, or functional, or entertaining, gratifying or infuriating, frustrating or accommodating objects – rather than loving or emotionally responsive.

It leads to ruthlessness and exploitativeness. Narcissists are not "evil" – actually, the narcissist considers himself to be a good person. Many narcissists help people, professionally, or voluntarily. But narcissists are indifferent. They couldn't care less. They help people because it is a way to secure attention, gratitude, adulation and admiration. And because it is the fastest and surest way to get rid of them and their incessant nagging.

The narcissist may realise these unpleasant truths cognitively – but there is no corresponding emotional reaction (emotional correlate) to this realisation. There is no resonance. It is like reading a boring users' manual pertaining to a computer you do not even own. There is no insight, no assimilation of these truths.

Still, to further insulate himself from the improbable possibility of confronting the gulf between reality and grandiose fantasy (the Grandiosity Gap) – the narcissist comes up with the most elaborate mental structure, replete with mechanisms, levers, switches and flickering alarm lights.

Narcissism Isolates the narcissist from the pain of facing reality and allows him to inhabit the fantasyland of ideal perfection and brilliance.

sâmbătă, 10 mai 2008

Feelings and politics

The politics behind telling you "how to feel"

Recent examples of how political authority under President George W. Bush demands feelings like patriotism or demands reverence for a narrow religious bias and concomitantly creates shame and fear of excommunication from power if you don't play along, have stunned many people. Such demands can only be made successfully under fear -- i.e. when we have been made or manipulated to feel afraid -- when fear is heightened in a group, we are more easily shamed into obedience. Disobediance is then portraied as jeopardizing the safety of all. Hitler knew about and used that psychological phenominon almost like a law of physics.
When we feel free and safe to 'feel what we feel', not necessarily to "act what we feel", but to receive, acknowledge and endevour to understand our feelings and their origin, we are stimulated to increase communication and understanding. Conversely, deception and the ensuing confusion and fear of punitive authority, force both communication and understanding to go underground... the hallmark of dictatorial regimes.
With this dictionary, we try to bring basic feelings back to basic situations -- no shoulds. There is no better way of doing this than to study very young children: how do they react to situations, what are their feelings informing them of ? and how do they express those feelings ?
When you read the feeling definitions, think of them as the gift of information that your body provides. How we act on this information is up to each individual in accordance with competence, knowledge, goals, courage, determination etc. But be aware that those who have an interest to lead you in the direction of their interest (politicians, priests, spindoctors, teachers or experts in general) will attempt to define those feelings for you. So read, as always, with discrimination and see what rings true for you.

Feelings and Emotions


Feelings and emotions in your dreams

Fear and anxiety are the most commonly expressed emotions in dreams. Anger ranks next. Fear, anger, and sadness occur twice as often as pleasant emotions. It is important to note that the feelings we experience in dreams are not symbols of something else but are reflections of our real feelings. Such feelings may not have been repressed during the day and as a result are coming out in your dreams.

To dream that you abhor a person, denotes a strange dislike for some person, and your suspicions of his integrity and honesty will prove correct. Difficult times are also ahead for you in the near future.
To dream that you are being abhorred by others, symbolizes that your good intentions to others will subside into selfishness.

To dream that you are afraid to continue on some situation, signifies trouble in the home and failure in business.
To see others afraid in your dream, signifies that some friend will be too wrapped up in his or her own problems then to help you out with some favor.

To dream that you exhibit aggression in your dream, denotes repressed sexual needs. It is also a reflection of conflict in your waking life.

To dream that you are amorous, denotes that your personal desires and illicit pleasures may land you into trouble. You will find yourself engulfed in scandal.
To dream that others are amorous, signifies that others will try to persuade you into illicit pleasures and abandon your own sense of morality.
To see animals amorous in your dream, signifies that you will engage in degrading pleasures will fast men or women.

To dream that you are feeling much anger, forewarns that you will be involved in a terrible and tense situation. Your loved ones will let your down and disappoint you. It also forewarns that once solid ties will be broken. Being angry in your dream may have been carried over from your waking life. In your dream, you may have a safe outlet to express such emotions. You may have some suppressed anger and aggression that you have not consciously acknowledged.
To dream that others are angry with you. signifies your struggle to regain their lasting favor and friendships.

To dream that there is animosity towards you, suggests that you need to reevaluate a situation and rethink your issues of morality.

To feel annoyed in your dream, signifies that rivals are at work against you.

To dream that you are experiencing some anxiety in some affair, is a reflection of what you may be feeling during your waking life. You may have repressed thoughts, unexpressed emotions, resentment, and hostility that are triggering your anxiety dream. This dream also denotes that you are disastrous mixing business with pleasure.

To dream that you have been betrayed, represents your suspicions about a particular person, relationship or situation. This dream often occurs when you are having feelings of insecurity and are faced with major commitments in your life at the same time.

To dream that you are confused, may reflect your true confused state of mind and the nonsensical events of your dream. Isolate the single element in your dream that is confusing to you and analyze the meaning of that particular symbol. Alternatively, dreams of confusion signifies that you are being pulled in opposite directions or do not know which viewpoint is right.

To dream that you are experiencing delight, signifies a favorable and positive turn of events and much pleasantness.

To feel depressed in your dream, foretells of the coming of bad news.
To dream that you are in despair, signifies that you will have many hardships and experience much cruelties in the working world.
To dream that others are in despair, denotes that some friend or relative will be in great distress and find themselves in a unhappy situation.

To dream that you are showing your devotion to your beliefs, serves as a reminder that nothing will be gained by deceit.

To dream of disapproval, indicates that you are rejecting or ignoring some aspect of yourself. It may also represent your own feelings of self-worth and being accepted.

To dream that you or others are in distress, suggest that things will turn out better than you expected. You will find that all your worries were for nothing and need to lighten up. Embarrassment
To dream that you are embarrassed, signifies hidden weaknesses and fears. You may feel that your self-confidence has been undermined. This dream also suggests of insecurities about your sexuality.

To dream that you are emotionless, suggests that you are closing yourself off from those around you. You may be neglecting your own feelings and should start paying more attention to them.

Emotions expressed in dreams is a way for people to act out their feelings which they would not normally express if they were awake. This provides a "safe" outlet for these emotions instead of letting them be pent up.

To dream that you are envious of others, signifies that you will make warm friends by your unselfish deference to the wishes of others.
To dream that you are being envied by others, denotes inconveniences from friends who are overanxious to please you.

To dream that you feel fear, signifies that you achievements will not be as successful as you had anticipated. You are having anxieties in certain circumstances of your life. However, your worries will be temporary and short-lived.
To dream that you feel frustrated, represents your difficulty in coping with a situation in your daily life. It may reflect your concerns that your life is not going in the direction you want.

To dream that you feel guilty about something, relates to how you are handling your successes and failures or competence and incompetence. You may feel undeserving of your achievements or on the other hand, you may feel that you have let other down. Alternatively, it is also symbolic of repressed and negative feelings that you may have about yourself.

To dream that you are happy, may be a compensatory dream and is often a dream of the contrary. You may be trying to compensate for the sadness or stress in your waking life. Hunger
To dream that feel hunger, signifies a feeling of unfulfilment. You may be starving for recognition or longing to achieve something that you have desired for awhile.

To dream that you are jealous of another's fortune, signifies misfortune and difficulties in climbing the social ladder.
To dream that you are jealous of another person, signifies that such feelings may be carried over from your waking life This dream may reveal you unconscious feelings of jealousy toward that particular person.
To dream that you are joyful, denotes harmony amongst friends and loved ones.
To dream that you are feeling lazy, signifies that you will make a terrible error in a business deal resulting in bitter disappointments.
To dream that you lover is lazy, signifies that you will have many rocky and insecure love relationships.
To dream of love of being in love, suggests intense feelings carried over from a waking relationship. It implies happiness and contentment with what you have and where you are in life. On the other hand, you may not be getting enough love in your daily life. We naturally long for the sense to belong and to be accepted.

To dream that you have malice toward others, signifies that others will look down on you because of your ill temper. You need to control your temper.
To dream that others have malice towards you, denotes a false friend who is working on harming you.

To dream that you are feeling melancholy, signifies disappointment in an event that was assumed to be a success.
To see others melancholy in your dream, signifies unpleasant interruptions in your affairs that need to be tended to immediately.

To dream that you are merry or in merry company, signifies a time of pleasant engagements and profitable affairs.

To dream that you are morose, denotes that you pessimistic about the world around you and find that it is going terribly wrong.
To see others morose in your dream, signifies unpleasant situations and disagreeable companions.

To dream that you feel mortified over your conduct, signifies that will find yourself in an embarrassing situation before those whom you wish to appear most honorable.

To dream that you have nausea, signifies that you are suffering from a sickening situation or condition in which you are trying to rid yourself of.

To dream that you feel numbness, signifies illness and unfavorable conditions in your health. Pain
To dream that you are in pain, signifies that you are being too hard on yourself with regards to a situation that was out of your control. It may also be a true reflection of real pain that exists somewhere in your body.

To dream that you are in a panic, indicates a lack of control and power in your life. You may be feeling helpless in some situation or unable to make a clear decision.

To dream that you are paranoid, indicates your hesitance in moving forward in some situation or relationship. You are not ready for that major step in your life and are overcome with fear and suspicion.

To feel peace in your dream, indicates an end or a resolution to an emotional issue or inner conflict. It may signal and end of a cycle and the pause before the beginning of a new endeavor. It also suggest that you have reached a new level of stability and calmness. Alternatively, the maddening quietness may refer to the calm before the storm.

To dream that you have pride, denotes that you will have to stand up and fight against attacks to your integrity. You will be challenged.
To dream that others are displaying pride, signifies that you will soon be invited to be part of a project or accepted into a group.
To dream that you are in rage, signifies that your bad temper and negative outbursts may lead to loss of friends.
To see others in rage in your dream, signifies an ill turn in your business and social affairs.
To dream that your lover is in rage, denotes an unharmonious relationship stemming from doubts and misunderstandings.
To dream that you are rejecting something, indicates that there are feelings or situations that you want to be rid of. Alternatively, you may be refusing to accept a situation that is being imposed and forced upon you.
To dream that you are being rejected, signifies a lack of self-worth and alienation of others.
To dream that you are sad, signifies a positive turn of events. It is generally a good dream foretelling good things are about to happen in your near future.

To dream that you feel suffocated, signifies that you are feeling smothered by some situation or relationship. It also forewarns that your current love relationship will end in an extremely bitter break up.

To dream of temptations, signifies that an envious person will try to turn your friends against you and cause you much problems.

To dream that you are in terror, forewarns of disappointments and loss.
To see others in terror in your dream, signifies that the unhappiness of friends will impact you as well.
To dream that you are tipsy, signifies your carefree nature and jovial disposition.
To see others tipsy in your dream, denotes that you need to be careful in who you associate yourself with. Their actions may reflect on your own character.

To feel warmth in your dream, signifies contentment and satisfaction in your accomplishments. It also symbolizes hope and unconditional love.

To dream that you are being yearned for, indicates that you will soon be greeted with a proposal for marriage.
To dream that you yearn for someone, foretells that you will find joy and contentment with your present love.