Sunday, 30 November 2014

VIDEO How Your Brain Can Turn Anxiety Into Calmness

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Life Script

A script is a personal life plan which an individual decides early in life and is based upon his or her interpretation of the external and internal events which affect them. The script is a decisional model - this is very important - if I chose my own script then at any time given the right circumstances I can choose to make a change in my script. (When this change takes place in therapy the client is said to have made a Redecision.)

A potential script decision is made when a person discounts his own free child needs in order to survive. Only after several discounts does the decision become part of the script unless the situation carried a great deal of significance such as the death of a parent or sibling. Script Decisions are the best the child can manage in the circumstances. Yesterday’s best choice made by the child in a land of giants may now be very limiting to the grown adult. People follow their script because of the pay off, a familiar feeling, attempting to avoid the loss of love and in an attempt to gain love.


1) MODELLING by parents, siblings, others demonstrating how to = the Programme (accepted Adult messages).

2) ATTRIBUTIONS, the big person in Parent defining the little person in some way, e.g. “You’re just like .....”.

3) SUGGESTIONS, indirectly giving the message from parent, e.g. “Keep at it until it’s right”. Be Perfect).

4) INJUNCTIONS from the child ego state making demands on the person, either DO or DON’T.

NB: Messages can frequently contradict each other.

DRIVERS (Described by Taibi Kahler) From the Parent Ego State stating that the child will be OK if he/she follows a message which says:-

You will be OK if you..... Try Hard - Be Strong - Hurry Up - Be Perfect - Please Me –

TWELVE INJUNCTIONS (Described by the Gouldings in the book Changing Lives Through Redecision Therapy). Injunctions come from the infants parents scared or angry Child ego state:
Don’t be, Don’t be you, Don’t, Don’t be Important, Don’t belong, Don’t be close, Don’t be well / sane, Don’t think, Don’t feel, Don’t be a child, Don’t grow, Don’t succeed.

It is important to note that the child responds to these injunctions and makes a script decision... It is these negative script decisions which will possibly causing difficulty as a grown up. Permissions are also given to the child, these will be the opposite to the injunctions, e.g. Do think, etc.

The OK Coral: 
One of Berne's best know concepts is the idea that folks are born OK, The phrase I am OK - You are OK has become a part of folk language... In infancy, often pre-verbally the infant will make a decision as to how they related to others and themselves ... This is called their existential life position. Early life experiences will determine the person’s Existential or Life position. Once decided upon, the Life Position influences how the person thinks, feels and behaves. There are four basic life positions and Frank Ernst developed these into the well known OK Corral.

The script can be elicited in various ways, the questionnaire being one, and it is drawn out on a script matrix.
The script matrix is one of the earliest pieces of work done as a Transactional Analyst. The analyst will then design interventions based upon the information within the matrix. In therapy the injunctions are always to be dealt with first rather than Drivers which may well be the thing that keeps the person going. E.g. "I will be perfect then I can live." -- No matter how tempted don’t invite this person to stop being perfect, until they
have made a decision to live regardless of how imperfect they are!

These questions are designed to gain information from the client which enables the therapist to construct a script matrix, a picture of both the messages which were passed onto the infant and the decisions which the
infant made. (These 10 questions are based on Maggie and Jeff White’s article in the Jan 86 TAJ.

1. Imagine your mother sitting front of you and saying: “I am happy with you when you ... ..”

2. Do the same for your father.

3. When you were little, what was it about you that most upset or scared your mother?

4. When your mother lets you know that she does not like you being like this, what do you feel?

5. What do you do when you feel like this?

6. What was it about you that most upset or scared your father?

7. How do you feel when he lets you know this?

8. What do you do when you feel like this?

9. What phrase or sentence describes your mother and her life best?

Introduction to TA … “ TA 101 Notes” by Dave Spenceley TSTA

Saturday, 22 November 2014

What is Consciousness?

What Is Consciousness?
Excerpted for Choices and Illusions by Eldon Taylor

What is consciousness? Language is often thought to be the tool of consciousness and evidence for the kind of consciousness that makes humans different from monkeys. Indeed, language has often been referred to as the “jewel of cognition.” Some scientists have argued that Neanderthal man possessed advanced talking ability. This assertion is largely based upon a neck bone found in 1988. Other scientists argue for a more recent origin to speech—recent in this sense being between 50 and 100 thousand years ago. By contrast, early origin theorists date the beginning of language at more than 2 million years ago.
The evolution and history of language have a bearing on certain philosophical issues where consciousness is concerned. For example, take any date for the first appearance of language. For fun, let’s just assume some hairy bipedal creature that has never spoken. Is this creature conscious? Conscious in the sense humans are conscious? Now one day the creature utters some meaningful form of speech. Not a grunt or guttural sound, as all animals do, but some form—beginning—of speech. Is the creature now conscious?
What is the difference between the consciousness of animals and the consciousness of humans? What is intended by distinguishing between the two conscious forms as different and why? If a primate species shows the ability to learn, remember, and associate learnings, some insist this is evidence for reason. Most flatly refuse to recognize it as such. Is it possible that by recognizing consciousness as worthy and ripe for study that man’s consciousness will lose its unique, elevated status? What precisely is it that one means by consciousness, anyway?
Certainly reason preceded language. It would be rather odd if it were the other way around. Still, that’s an interesting thought.
Some seem to reason only with the tools of their language. In other words, their reason is limited by the rules and definitions of their language. Plus, there is some argument in favor of certain language structure as having greater or lesser faculties for developing logical thinking. Literal languages such as German, for example, tend to encourage the development of logical thinkers. However intriguing this may be, it still seems reasonable that reason preceded the conceptualization and development of speech. As such, one is hard pressed to limit the consciousness of a species on the basis of sound patterns called speech.
It gets still tougher--sound patterns that resemble speech, are uttered by so-called non-conscious animals such as whales and dolphins. So, what is consciousness?
Is consciousness a matter of wakefulness? No, it can’t be just that, for one can be a conscious being and still be asleep. Is consciousness memory? According to the experiments of Cleve Baxter, plants exhibit memory. Since science abandoned the study of consciousness years ago, the problems inherent in describing consciousness have proliferated during the interim. The advent of animal studies, plant studies, and synthetic or artificial intelligence has greatly complicated the matters of consciousness. Or perhaps simplified them.
For most people, parts of the left brain handle language. Brain hemispheric studies, including the now popular Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans show that the right ear sends acoustic information to the left hemisphere. According to Marc Hauser of Harvard University and Karin Andersson of Radcliff College in Cambridge, rhesus monkeys “display a similar cerebral setup, with the left half of the brain often taking responsibility for vocalizations intended to signal aggression.” If that is true, does it mean that the anatomical evidence for language processing is evidence for consciousness in the sense that we normally think of mankind’s consciousness. If not, what are the differences?
For some, mind equals brain. But for many, mind is a more general term that refers to the processes handled by the brain. Therefore, mind is often used interchangeably with consciousness. Is mind equal to brain? The chief area of inquiry offering evidence one way or another to answer this question is a discipline often held in low regard. Still, literally thousands of laboratory experiments in scientific parapsychology demonstrate that many aspects of mind cannot be reduced to anatomical or material brain.

Eldon Taylor

Eldon Taylor has made a lifelong study of the human mind and has earned doctoral degrees in psychology and metaphysics. He is president of Progressive Awareness Research, an organization dedicated to researching techniques for accessing the immense powers of the mind. For more than 20 years, he has approached personal empowerment from the cornerstone perspective of forgiveness, gratitude, service and respect for all life. To contact Eldon in response to the story, you can reach him via his website:

Eldon Taylor's New York Times Best-Seller, Choices and Illusions, is available at all fine online and retail bookstores. However, to participate in the online event that Eldon has put together, including a chance to win a customized $500 InnerTalk library, please visit:

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Relation Between Bipolar Disorder and Music

Music can be a positive force in mental health. It can calm and give peace, it can impart peace of mind and provide a healthy diversion from the harshness of life. It is important to be selective in one's choices in music.

Music, for some, can be a deeply emotional experience. When one identifies with some particular music, bonds with it, the emotions being imparted are like the flow of electricity, they flow from the singer, to the CD or radio, to you, and become a part of you, deeply affect you.

Music can raise or lower moods. One can see how music could have an impact for some persons, who might already be emotionally inclined, in terms of depression and bipolar disorder.

If a child or teen listens to music most of the day, and if that music is alternatively happy, angry, deeply emotional, harsh, jumpy, you can see how emotions can be affected, and how it might contribute to highs and lows in an adolescent's mood. This seems to be the case for some children and youth who are suffering with depression or bipolar disorder, for some with ADHD.

Charged-up and Intense Music and its Affect on Emotions
Some of today's music in most genres can be intense, some is "drug-charged," cocaine-fueled (type) passion-music. It's energy level is high, and when combined with imagery from music videos, it can be an intense experience and overwhelming for the senses. Disorders of various types might be affected by the intensity of the music-media.

Hours on the ipod going to school, in school and at other times of the day, watching Internet and television music videos can weaken the mind of young girls and leave some more susceptible to mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder.

This can especially be the case for those who do not have strong or stable family ties and emotional attachments. The sexual messages of much of today's music for children and teenagers has an affect, as does the intensity. Another aspect of the retreat into a private musical world at one's fingertips is the emotional and social isolation that it can cause. Some find an escape route from unpleasant family or other situations in the fantasy of captivating music.

Long hours on the ipod can affect the mental health of children and teens.
However, this can weaken the child and teenager's ability to be able to create or imagine without some external stimulation. It weakens a child or teen's coping skills and makes him or her more vulnerable to mental health crises.

Moderation is needed in music, and parents and caregivers need to provide a variety of well-chosen wholesome musical choices to young people and to some children who are musically inclined.

Music, Psychology, Bipolar Disorder: Rage, Anger and Desperation
There can be a "rage" and "desperation" in some of the music that is popular today for young people, including alternative (rock) music, heavy metal, grunge and hard core. The mind then can have little time to rest and may be in a constant state of over stimulation. Dopamine level in the mind is overstimulated, and this can contribute to highs and lows in mood, as well as contribute to, among other things, the rage that can become a part of a child or teen's personality.

When this is combined with an unstable family life or other media influences such as violence orpornography, the combined effects can have a powerful influence on destabilizing the mood of adolescents, children and adults. While this may not be the case in all situations, when combined with other controllable lifestyle issues, the choices and intensity of the music you listen to may affect mood and contribute to bipolar disorder for some.

Conclusion on Music and Bipolar Disorder
One can conclude then, by limiting the time of exposure towards music, as well as the intensity, both in terms of emotional impact, anger level, (rock and roll may be described as an angry genre of music, a sort of protest against everything that's not right and which youthreadily internalize. Some rock takes that anger and desperation to extreme levels), and volume, it can positively impact mental health, especially for teens and young people, whose minds are forming and who are adjusting both physically and to new circumstances in life.

Attention to music can be one effective way that one can improve one's bipolar disorder symptoms profile. This can especially be true for teens, and some children. By being careful in the selection of music, toning down the volume and intensity, and by concentrating on selecting positive and mellower music, it can do much to help to improve the symptoms of many who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Pages Related Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Disorder Story - Dr. Liz Miller permanently overcomes bipolar disorder through lifestyle changes, writing therapy, and mood mapping.

Dealing with Bipolar Disorder: Self Monitoring for Relapse Prevention

Bipolar Disorder Poem

About Bipolar Disorder Information and Facts

Bipolar Disorder Self Help 50 Natural Ways to Overcome Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Help for Bipolar Disorder - Coaching

Labeling in Psychiatry - The Medical Model of Mental Health and its Shortcomings

Bipolar Disorder Overdiagnosed

Bipolar Disorder and Children, Sharna Olfman

Bipolar Disorder Treatment - Children and Teens

Bipolar Disorder Overdiagnosed

Mood Stabilizers, Lithium - Effects and Side Effects

Bipolar Self Help (off-site)

Full article:

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Shell Shock in World War One

On 7 July 1916, Arthur Hubbard painfully set pen to paper in an attempt to explain to his mother why he was no longer in France. He had been taken from the battlefields and deposited in the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital suffering from 'shell shock'. In his words, his breakdown was related to witnessing 'a terrible sight that I shall never forget as long as I live'. He told his mother:

'We had strict orders not to take prisoners, no matter if wounded my first job was when I had finished cutting some of their wire away, to empty my magazine on 3 Germans that came out of one of their deep dugouts. bleeding badly, and put them out of misery. They cried for mercy, but I had my orders, they had no feeling whatever for us poor chaps... it makes my head jump to think about it.' [Punctuation and syntax as originally written]

Hubbard had 'gone over the top' at the Battle of the Somme. While he managed to fight as far as the fourth line of trenches, by 3.30pm practically his whole battalion had been wiped out by German artillery. He was buried, dug himself out, and during the subsequent retreat was almost killed by machine gun fire. Within this landscape of horror, he collapsed.

Medical symptoms
Arthur Hubbard was one of millions of men who suffered psychological trauma as a result of their war experiences. Symptoms ranged from uncontrollable diarrhoea to unrelenting anxiety. Soldiers who had bayoneted men in the face developed hysterical tics of their own facial muscles. Stomach cramps seized men who knifed their foes in the abdomen. Snipers lost their sight. Terrifying nightmares of being unable to withdraw bayonets from the enemies' bodies persisted long after the slaughter.

The dreams might occur 'right in the middle of an ordinary conversation' when 'the face of a Boche that I have bayoneted, with its horrible gurgle and grimace, comes sharply into view', an infantry captain complained. An inability to eat or sleep after the slaughter was common. Nightmares did not always occur during the war. World War One soldiers like Rowland Luther did not suffer until after the armistice when (he admitted) he 'cracked up' and found himself unable to eat, deliriously re-living his experiences of combat.

...everyone had a 'breaking point': weak or strong, courageous or cowardly - war frightened everyone witless...

These were not exceptional cases. It was clear to everyone that large numbers of combatants could not cope with the strain of warfare. By the end of World War One, the army had dealt with 80,000 cases of 'shell shock'. As early as 1917, it was recognised that war neuroses accounted for one-seventh of all personnel discharged for disabilities from the British Army. Once wounds were excluded, emotional disorders were responsible for one-third of all discharges. Even more worrying was the fact that a higher proportion of officers were suffering in this way. According to one survey published in 1917, while the ratio of officers to men at the front was 1:30, among patients in hospitals specialising in war neuroses, the ratio of officers to men was 1:6. What medical officers quickly realised was that everyone had a 'breaking point': weak or strong, courageous or cowardly - war frightened everyone witless.

Defining trauma
More difficult, however, was understanding what caused some panic-stricken men to suffer extremes of trauma. In the early years of World War One, shell shock was believed to be the result of a physical injury to the nerves. In other words, shell shock was the result of being buried alive or exposed to heavy bombardment. The term itself had been coined, in 1917, by a medical officer called Charles Myers. But Myers rapidly became unhappy with the term, recognising that many men suffered the symptoms of shell shock without having even been in the front lines. As a consequence, medical officers increasingly began emphasising psychological factors as providing sufficient cause for breakdown. As the president of the British Psycho-Analytic Association, Ernest Jones, explained: war constituted 'an official abrogation of civilised standards' in which men were not only allowed, but encouraged:

' indulge in behaviour of a kind that is throughout abhorrent to the civilised mind.... All sorts of previously forbidden and hidden impulses, cruel, sadistic, murderous and so on, are stirred to greater activity, and the old intrapsychical conflicts which, according to Freud, are the essential cause of all neurotic disorders, and which had been dealt with before by means of 'repression' of one side of the conflict are now reinforced, and the person is compelled to deal with them afresh under totally different circumstances.'

...a soldier who suffered a neurosis had not lost his reason but was labouring under the weight of too much reason...

Consequently, the 'return to the mental attitude of civilian life' could spark off severe psychological trauma. The authors of one of the standard books on shell shock went so far as to point out that a soldier who suffered a neurosis had not lost his reason but was labouring under the weight of too much reason: his senses were 'functioning with painful efficiency'.

Possible Cures
Nevertheless, how were these men to be cured of their painful afflictions? From the start, the purpose of treatment was to restore the maximum number of men to duty as quickly as possible. During World War One, four-fifths of men who had entered hospital suffering shell shock were never able to return to military duty: it was imperative that such high levels of 'permanent ineffectives' were reduced. However, the shift from regarding breakdown as 'organic' (that is, an injury to the nerves) to viewing it as psychological had inevitable consequences in terms of treatment. If breakdown was a 'paralysis of the nerves', then massage, rest, dietary regimes and electric shock treatment were invoked. If a psychological source was indicated, the 'talking cure', hypnosis, and rest would speed recovery. In all instances, occupational training and the inculcation of 'masculinity' were highly recommended. As the medical superintendent at one military hospital in York put it, although the medical officer must show sympathy, the patient 'must be induced to face his illness in a manly way'.

...their reputations as soldiers and men had been dealt a severe blow.

Sympathy was only rarely forthcoming. Sufferers had no choice but to acknowledge that their reputations as soldiers and men had been dealt a severe blow. After a major bombardment or particularly bloody attack, if the combatant had acquitted himself adequately, signs of emotional 'weakness' could be overlooked, but in the midst of the fray, the attitude was much less sympathetic. 'Go 'ide yerself, you bloody little coward!', cursed one Tommy at a frightened soldier. When the shell shocked men returned home, things were not much better. Men arriving at Netley Hospital (for servicemen suffering shell shock) were greeted with silence: people were described as hanging their heads in 'inexplicable shame'. No-one better described the mix of shame and anger experienced by the war-damaged than the poet, Siegfried Sassoon. In October 1917, while he was at Craiglockhart, one of the most famous hospitals for curing officers with war neuroses, he wrote a poem, simply called 'Survivors':

No doubt they'll soon get well; the shock and strain / Have caused their stammering, disconnected talk. / Of course they're 'longing to go out again', - / These boys with old, scared faces, learning to walk. / They'll soon forget their haunted nights; their cowed / Subjection to the ghosts of friends who died, - / Their dreams that drip with murder; and they'll be proud / Of glorious war that shatter'd their pride... / Men who went out to battle, grim and glad; / Children, with eyes that hate you, broken and mad.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Eldon Taylor New Book Launch!! Author Questions and Answers

Q:  You came from a fascinating background.  How did you get inspired to write your books?

ET: As a practicing criminalist, nearly every day I saw someone, who had a world of potential, blow it over some silly stupid notion.  Perhaps they stole from their employer and rationalized it away since in their minds the employer was a bum who treated and paid them unfairly.  The fact is, every perpetrator of a criminal act can tell you why they did it, and when you stand back, their answers are justifications more than reasons.

It became clear to me that many people were making choices that were simply self-sabotaging.  Not just those who committed crimes, but the average person on the street.  At a certain point in my career, I became acutely aware of just how persistent this characteristic was with so many folks and the question became, “Why?”  Answering that question changed my life, as well as my vocation, and led to the research and books that I publish today.

Q: What are the basic principles in your life and how did your life lead you to these principles?

ET:  I try to live my life from what I think of as the four-corner philosophy.  These corners consist of forgiveness, self-responsibility, gratitude, and service.  Let me unpack that some. 

Back in the early ‘80’s we conducted a double blind study at the Utah State Prison.  The technology used was a cognitive engineering tool that used a shadowing method to deliver what most think of as a subliminal message.  The technology is known as InnerTalk today. The goal of the study was aimed at lowering hostility and aggression, and perhaps interrupting the recidivist rate.  We used some elaborate psychometrics to determine our intervention affirmations, but in the end, it was the dialogue with our inmate volunteers that led the way. 

The inmates generally displaced responsibility for their actions via blame.  There were all sorts of people and events to blame, but the bottom line argument came down to something like, “All but for the grace of God, you’d be here.”

As such, we created a set of affirmations to prime the inmates self-talk and thereby change the way they talked to themselves, consequently changing their expectation.  The affirmations included three forgiveness messages, something I have referred to as the forgiveness set ever since.  Those affirmations are: I forgive myself.  I forgive all others.  I am forgiven.  We also included messages regarding self-responsibility and general well-being.  The results of the study were very positive and that led to the prison system installing voluntary libraries throughout, from the Youth Offenders facility to Maximum Security. 

I took a cue from this study, for I saw that I too blamed many people in my life for many things.  My life changed as a result of practicing what I preached.  Indeed, for a few years I lectured about the power of forgiveness and our InnerTalk Forgiving and Letting Go program was our best seller.  We found as our research continued that forgiveness was a key for all walks of life.  It was just as powerful for the business executive, the athlete, the truck driver, the live in mom, and so forth.

Then one day it dawned on me, if forgiveness is really the starting point for self-actualization, then the program should be free.  So about twenty years ago we began offering the program for free and it remains free to this day.  Your readers can download it from

As for service and gratitude, that would take longer than we have here, if I am to answer your other questions, but this short video on luck may prime the pump.

Q: In your book, Choices and Illusions, you say that our choices are not our own.  What do you mean by that?

ET: Research clearly shows that there is activity in the subconscious before a conscious thought occurs. In other words, our so-called conscious thoughts are given to us by our subconscious. My work has shown that it is this subconscious information that dictates the kind of life we will experience, and understanding that helps us clarify why the prison intervention I discussed earlier was so powerful.  Change truly must happen from the inside out.  We must choose to take control of everything we put in to our minds.

Q:  How does this information get into our subconscious?

ET:  Most of it comes from our environment – our friends, family, peers etc. Unfortunately negative information, such as “you won’t amount to anything” has a much greater sticking power than positive information, and scientists estimate that 90% of the incoming information is negative. Additionally, we have actually been trained in many ways not to think.  In fact, in a very real sense, we have all been raised in our own little chicken yards.  I think a story is worth much more than data, so to this end I have posted a YouTube video that is the prefect illustration of how this entire process works.  The story is called The Chicken and the Eagle and can be seen here:

Q:  What do you mean, “we have been trained not to think?”

 ET:  We are taught things in limited ways. Logic and linguistics make assertions about many things that are simply false to fact. For example, logic asserts that a gallon is equal to a gallon. This is simply not true from many perspectives, including the most obvious. A gallon of water added to a gallon of alcohol does not equal two gallons of combined fluid. Ergo, 1 + 1 = 2 is not necessarily so in the “real” world, for no two things are alike in every way.

Q: I know you tell us what we can do about this limited thinking in your book, Choices and Illusions, but can you give us an example right now?

ET:  We need to realize that most of our lives we have been choosing as though we were taking a multiple-choices test, choosing between A, B and C when in fact there exists an entire alphabet that we could have chosen from.  I love to illustrate this point with one of my favorite stories. The story is called the Flower Pot story and I’d love for your audience to check it out on YouTube: It’s a short 3 minute video but well worth the time.

Q: Did you have any heroes or influences on your work?

ET:  In the large sense, everyone who has contributed to the knowledge that we have today is one of my heroes.  Everyone who has paved the way for more civility and greater freedom is one of my heroes.  Everyone who takes a moment to go to the aid of another human being is one of my heroes.  I think we improve our world one person at a time and the best way for each of us to begin is to help one another.  That said, I have the larger than life heroes such as Martin Luther King, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Aristotle and so forth.  And I have my close heroes, Roy Bey, my partner in business who believed in what we might be able to do if we made giving back our primary motive, and my partner in life, my lovely bride Ravinder, who for over twenty five years has been my constant source of encouragement and my reservoir of strength.

Q:  What exactly is mind programming?

ET:  I could be a bit of a smart aleck and answer by simply saying, “The title to one of my books.”  The truth is, we are all programmed in some degree.  The science behind our programming is so sophisticated today that it bares the name, Neuromarketing.  Literally billions and billions of dollars have been spent learning how to motivate you to act in a given way, while making you believe that you made the choice to behave accordingly.  This is truly big business today, and whether it is a product or political platform, it’s all about choosing your choices for you. 

The irony is, the research data reveals clearly that once you make a decision, you will vigorously defend it even if you must make up reasons to justify it.  That may sound absurd on the surface, but believe me, it’s quite true!  Take for instance this scenario.  We know that if we place a bottle of hand sanitizer on a table with a questionnaire designed to measure your beliefs according to a scale of conservative verses liberal values, that the bottle of sanitizer will skew your answers toward the conservative side.  Once you provide the more conservative than usual answer, you will defend it and thus become even more conservative.  The fact is, this sort of “prime,” as it is called in the business, is quite often used to influence your choices in all areas of life.  So we must really begin to ask ourselves, especially if we’re like most people and believe that these things can influence others but not ourselves, “What was our last truly original thought?”

Q: How can we uncover our true potential?  Is mastering our mind the key to our happiness?

ET:  The Buddha is credited with saying, “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.”  Science supports this assertion today whole-heartedly.  Indeed, not long ago I attended a CEU for health care professionals dealing with the latest in neurological research.  There were some powerful concluding remarks, but the bottom line take away is one that is particularly relevant here.  Let me digress just a bit first.  When I attended University, the prevailing thinking asserted rather axiomatically that personality became fixed early in life, ages 4 to 6, IQ was fixed, brain cells begin to die and do not replace themselves somewhere beginning in our thirties, and so forth.  All of this is patently untrue!  Today the research shows us that among the best things we can do to improve our lives is change our personalities.  We know IQ is not fixed and indeed, the brain is amazing!  Voila, today we become excited about the possibilities inherent to neuro plasticity.  So now, fast forward to those concluding remarks and the big take away: YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN CHANGE BUT YOU CAN ONLY CHANGE WHAT YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN CHANGE! 

Q:  How can we find out more about your work?

ET:  I am pretty easy to find.  My web site is  My books are available at all fine bookstores and on line.  My work with InnerTalk can be found at  I host a two hour radio show each week called Provocative Enlightenment, and you can learn more about it at my web site,

Q:  Thank you Eldon.

ET:  Thank you for the opportunity to share.

Eldon Taylor's New York Times Best-Seller, Choices and Illusions, is available at all fine online and retail bookstores. However, to participate in the online event that Eldon has put together, including a chance to win a customized $500 InnerTalk library, please visit:

Friday, 7 November 2014

Mind-Body Fertility Clinic

By: Isabel Teotonio Living reporter

Amira Posner remembers the despair that set in as she and her husband struggled with infertility, trying to get pregnant with Baby No. 2. She would curl up in bed, feeling ashamed and anxious.

“I felt isolated and deficient,” says the 38-year-old Toronto social worker, remembering that difficult period six years ago. “It was all-consuming. It was raw pain.”

Just as she was beginning to lose all hope, Posner discovered a book on fertility that promoted a mind and body connection. Despite several failed attempts with fertility treatments, her faith was restored.

As she prepared to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF), with the odds stacked against her, Posner tried hard to block out the negative feelings and thoughts that had plagued her. She focused on listening to that inner positive voice and embraced yoga, meditation and visualization. The IVF worked — she became pregnant with twins.

Her personal experience inspired her to start Healing Infertility Counseling and Support, where she uses the mind-body approach with those struggling to conceive.

“When it comes to infertility, you can’t control what’s going on around you, but you can control your own response,” explains Posner, who runs mind-body fertility support groups at Mount Sinai Hospital.

“The mind-body approach is about refocusing our energy on something we can control ... People need to know that they have more tools in their belt than they think they do.”

That’s why the Mount Sinai Centre for Fertility and Reproductive Health is hosting aMind-Body Fertility Conference on Oct. 25 at the Delta Meadowvale Hotel and Conference Centre in Mississauga.

The public event is believed to be the first of its kind in the Greater Toronto Area. It will feature a variety of fertility experts from different fields, including reproductive sciences, psychotherapy, psychiatry, nutrition, hypnosis, meditation, acupuncture, yoga, spiritual healing and naturopathic medicine.

In Ontario, it’s estimated that one in six couples struggle with infertility, according to the Ministry of Health. Beginning in 2015, the province will start paying for one cycle of IVF per patient, but it won’t cover any of the associated drug costs. The IVF procedure involves retrieving an egg, fertilizing it with sperm and then transferring the embryo back into the uterus.

Among the conference’s speakers will be mind-body fertility educator Julia Indichova, whose book Inconceivable is what turned things around for Posner. It’s the true story of how Indichova struggled to conceive her second child and was told at age 42 that her child-bearing years were over — even IVF was no longer an option.

Unwilling to give up, she focused on becoming as healthy as possible. And she got pregnant, delivering her second child before her 45th birthday.

“I attribute it to countless changes that happened inside me that were physical, emotional and even spiritual,” says Indichova in a telephone interview from Woodstock, New York, where she runs Fertile Heart Studio.

“To me, infertility is really not a disease. It’s a catch-all diagnosis. It’s our body’s call for attention.”

Indichova, who will be the conference’s keynote speaker, says she hopes to motivate people to “fully engage with their own healing.”

“I’m going to encourage people to shift their view of this challenge, from seeing infertility as a devastating disease to an immense opportunity for healing.”

For more information on the conference visit

Monday, 3 November 2014

Interview Question: What is Your Biggest Weakness?

It's a standard question in almost every job interview, and one that most people have a hard time answering truthfully: "What's your greatest weakness?"

Despite being straightforward, it's a tricky question to answer. On the one hand, you don't want to appear cocky by pretending you have no weaknesses (because of course the interviewer knows you do).

On the other hand, you don't want to give the recruiter any reason not to hire you. (If your tendency to screw up Excel models isn't apparent on your resume, you certainly don't want to bring it up now.)

Most of us settle for a somewhat rosy-colored version of the truth that makes our shortcomings look like strengths. For example, you say you're a perfectionist who works too hard, or that your procrastinator tendencies have taught you how to work well under pressure.

But according to David Reese, VP of Human Resources at Medallia, who wrote on the topic for Harvard Business Review, this is exactly the wrong way to respond.

"Responses like these tell me little about how a candidate faces challenges and immediately implies a lack of sincerity," he writes. "It doesn’t demonstrate to me how they think — beyond their ability to creatively avoid being honest or self-critical."

Instead, show them that you're self-aware and willing to identify what's not working. Employers, especially startups, value having a diversity of opinions on their team. Innovation doesn't come from a roomful of people blindly agreeing with whatever the boss says. It comes from individuals giving honest and constructive feedback, even when that means pointing out the flaws in a popular idea.

When you're asked about your greatest weakness, be honest about what you need to work on. Better yet, describe how you've already begun to address the issue. That takes maturity and shows employers that you're willing to tell the truth even when it's difficult.

Read Reese's full post here.

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