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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26 Know Your Indulgent Parent

26 Know Your Indulgent Parent

A penny saved is a penny earned. Until now most blogs here have focused on your Critical Parent and the Toxic Beliefs that it holds. You must also get to know your Indulgent Parent, or suffer long-term consequences. Blog 21 described the see-saw mood swings you can experience if your Adult doesn’t balance these two Parent influences. Blog 22 refers to the most pervasive Indulgent Parent Toxic Belief, #9, that it’s more comfortable to avoid problems and responsibilities than to face them. To know your Indulgent Parent, you must gain deeper insight into your Child and how it takes control […]

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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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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 Mrs. Fixit Lights Her Candle

24 Mrs. Fixit Lights Her Candle

All it takes is a point of light, a ray of hope in the darkest night… Randy Travis Do you ever have moments when you get what seems like a great idea, but later you reconsider and decide you’d be crazy to try to do that? Here I am to show you what crazy looks like! I put this costume together when my son was six and we were going to a Halloween costume party. I sewed him the clown costume he wanted and designed my Mrs. Fixit trappings to express the longing I had to find full-time work as […]

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23 Compassion and Assertiveness for the Pop-Bead Puppy

23 Compassion and Assertiveness for the Pop-Bead Puppy

The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated. From the Dale Carnegie Course, 1976 Here’s a new take on compassion and assertiveness for the coming year! For a stronger Adult, a wiser Wise Parent and a more secure Child, consider the story of “Compassion, Assertiveness and the Pop-Bead Puppy.” As I sat feeling exhausted in my doctor’s sunny waiting room, an older man holding a string of gold-colored pop-beads came over to me. He said “I want to give you something.” I was touched by his kind, gentle manner and invited him to sit next to […]

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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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21 Set Up by Your Indulgent Parent

21 Set Up by Your Indulgent Parent

A see-saw of self-indulgence  and self-punishment happens when you’re set up by your Indulgent Parent (IP). Your Critical Parent (CP) keeps you on a short leash so you can’t get into trouble, scolding your Child each time you fail to measure up to one of the six toxic beliefs your CP holds. Your Indulgent Parent soothes your child into a false sense of security as it supports the next six toxic beliefs. This whole process is explained in my book, Part I, Chapter 4. Let’s take the example of procrastination, the ninth toxic belief, that it’s more comfortable to avoid […]

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18 Study the Whole Picture of Mental Fitness

18 Study the Whole Picture of Mental Fitness

Way back in my first blog, I described how I bought a sparkly plastic “wand” to help convey to my clients, who were impatient to achieve mental comfort, that it would take time and effort. With the same heartfelt sympathy I must remind my readers that, like physical fitness, mental fitness requires effort in many areas and a life-long commitment. I urged you all to buy my cheap book because you’d need it to benefit fully from my posts. Or you could ask your local library to stock it and see if it might be useful. You could look at […]

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19 Over-Personalizing Ignites Fight-or-Flight

19 Over-Personalizing Ignites Fight-or-Flight

Do you often feel like the only place you can find peace is one like this? The key factor omitted is other humans and all their triggers for fight-or-flight. While it’s wonderful to retreat to such an inspiring spot, peace can be found even when you’re among other people. Your Adult can learn to recognize the main problem, which is another Child Brain Habit. Here’s an example. Janet (all story names are fictional) sought counseling, after she and her husband divorced, for help with her troubled three-year-old son Winston. He had come to her one morning and sadly commented, “I’m […]

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