Claim Your Own Mental Fitness

Too Special to Thrive

“Entitled generation: owed certain rights and benefits without further justification” Dictionary .com The definition above refers to the group of people born between 1979 and 1994. For us pre-baby-boomers, the word “spoiled” comes to mind. And for critics of Mr.(Fred) Rogers’ soothing programs for young kids, the key word is “special.” These terms are all used to describe people who are just too special to thrive, leaving the rest of us to take care of them indefinitely. In mental fitness terms, their Indulgent Parent allows their Child too much freedom. As noted in the previous blog on the ninth toxic […]

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12 Competing for Love

12 Competing for Love

When (God’s) love chooses, it chooses with a perfect sensitivity to the unique beauty of the chosen one, and it chooses without making anyone else feel excluded. Henri J. M. Nouwen Competing for love is a concept that probably dates back to prehistoric times when humanoids rightly feared death if they were excluded from their tribes because others won out in the struggle to demonstrate for strength, cleverness or beauty. While our brain evolved, ever-present danger may have helped to wire in the second Toxic Belief, that we have worth only if we compete successfully against others. This belief still […]

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11 Wise Support for Your Adult

11 Wise Support for Your Adult

Ask, and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 The scaffold described in the previous Exploring the MF FORMULA blog #25 demonstrates how much your Adult is responsible for managing, both for your inner and outer worlds. Your pre-frontal cortex, where it resides, isn’t that big. Your Child and Parent parts can easily overwhelm it with fight-or-flight chemicals. Do consider reading my book, if you haven’t. It offers a step-by-step approach to this material that makes it easier to begin using. Without that background the scaffold may […]

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25 Put Your Mental Fitness House in Order

25 Put Your Mental Fitness House in Order

Sorting out your house for spring? Here’s how to put your mental fitness house in order. No fancy brain labels, just a scaffold to hang things on for ready access. This scaffold provides an overly brief description, but one that is easy to review and build upon. Referring to the previous blog, you could say that this scaffold forms the lantern for your candle. Let’s take each part from the top down. Whole Brain: includes everything above “Interpersonal Relating.” Child: activities listed below calm your child, drawing it out of fight-or-flight. Arrows denote how input from your Adult and Parent […]

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24 A Lantern for Your Candle

24 A Lantern for Your Candle

“When you see what’s wrong and you try to make it right, you will be a point of light.” Randy Travis This line from Randy Travis always brings me to tears. But wishing don’t make it so. First you must construct a lantern for your candle. This spark of inspiration and faith in yourself, like all fire, needs containment and guidance to become Travis’ point of light. Mrs. Fixit would say that the candle represents the unique set of skills and talents you have to fuel this light and your Adult must experiment with how to keep it lit. The […]

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9-s Reflect, Revise and Renew

9-s Reflect, Revise and Renew

Fake Fir (12/04) Always the scent of pine pitch In the chill night air, crushed out Of the carpet of needles lavishly strewn Over the corner tree lot. Always the hunt for the quintessential Tree-of-the year, just so tall, Just so irregular, just so fluffy. Often in the rain, always in the dark. Rebellion crept in slowly over the years, First, with fewer gifts mailed out, Then no more German Honey Bars, And last, the ultimate sacrilege. There it was on sale at McLendon’s: Frankly artificial and just the right size. Up a week earlier and not so prickly, With […]

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22 Be Assertive to Be Mentally Fit

22 Be Assertive to Be Mentally Fit

This picture shows that somebody wanted to create a unique statement at the beach. He or she thought about what to sculpt and carefully formed this octopus of damp sand. To make it more visible, the sculptor laid out seaweed to contrast with its arms. Now we can readily see this remarkable design. Social skills like assertiveness require this kind of focus, caring and creative problem-solving. You just can’t fill a bucket with sand and dump it out. Your Adult needs to set goals, study what they’ll require and then work with your Child and Parent parts to develop and […]

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4-s There Is a River

4-s There Is a River

5. Thus says the Lord:  Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals and make mere flesh their strength, whose hearts turn away from the Lord. 6. They shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when relief comes. They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.  7. Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.  8. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream, It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall […]

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14 The Golden Rule & Belief #3

14 The Golden Rule & Belief #3

Feliciana Netamba cares for her two children at their home in the Cacilhas village near Huambo, Agola, where the MENTOR Initiative is working to help control Malaria. Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist News Svc. See inm@greaternw.org for details. So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12 The Golden Rule, also called the ethic of reciprocity (see Wikipedia), has been embraced widely among religions and cultures throughout history. I think this came about as follows. At some point in evolution our uniquely human pre-frontal […]

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7 Quick Handles on Fight-or-Flight

7 Quick Handles on Fight-or-Flight

This is a squirrel who knows how to handle fight-or-flight. Surely not all squirrels would be able to manage this elegant solution. How does she do it? First she sniffs that there are seeds for her lunch up in the tree. Then she goes up to get them, but evil plotters have designed a barrier so she won’t be able to have any. She could run away in disgust at any point, but she doesn’t resort to flight. She could get frustrated and angry and scold loudly about it, but she doesn’t. She just sits there calmly and considers what […]

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