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must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves
awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an
infinite expectation of the dawn."
Henry David Thoreau, American Writer,
Philosopher, and Naturalist (1817-1862)
4 , 2003
From the Inside Out...
Cultivating Awareness through Gestalt
Angels for Hope
We Love to
What a Site!
Nagging (Part 1)
BE the World
You Want to See!
One of the greatest breakthroughs in human history has been
the evolution of public attitude towards psychotherapy.
While healing is indeed an 'inside job', there are times
when we can benefit from some professional 'wind beneath
our wings.' I have personally been blessed by therapy that
helped me dismantle walls and see life more clearly.
From the Inside Out
methods of psychotherapy exist, with diverse theoretical understandings
of the human personality and of what constitutes mental health.
Complex theories aside, Gestalt therapy is, in fact, a method of
cultivating awareness of ones self in the moment. This awareness
allows a person to become conscious of their internal process of
thoughts, emotions, perceptions and sensations, which go largely
unnoticed in the course of daily life.
and Sun" by Paul
Swiss Painter (1879-1940)
internal process has a determining effect on our choices and on
the outcomes of those choices, which make up our life. Many times,
people act without realizing what makes them feel compelled to do
so. For example, John may have had a dissatisfying conversation
with his friend Joe, finding him to be distracted and unsympathetic,
and then gone to the fridge to look for something to eat, even though
he had just finished his dinner.
John were aware of his emotions and physical sensations, he might
find that he is feeling the emotion of sadness, but actually experiencing
a feeling of fullness in his stomach. This awareness would help
John make a more appropriate choice for himself, such as seeking
a way to release his sadness, for instance by expressing it to a
supportive person. If no supportive person were available, John
could internally understand and accept his own sadness. He might
then choose to soothe himself by taking a hot bath, or he might
choose to release energy by engaging in a physical activity, such
as running or dancing. There is no one correct way to
handle a situation. When a person is aware of what he feels and
needs, he will find whats best for him under the circumstances.
state of mind will, most likely, have an effect on the way he interacts
with the people he comes into contact with. If he is still feeling
sad and disappointed but is unaware of what caused it, he may withdraw
from others, feel lethargic or something of the sort. This, in turn,
may cause his girlfriend to wonder why he isnt his usual lively
self, and she may think it is due to the fact that she didnt
have time to prepare a good meal or, perhaps, to the fact that theyve
been together a long time and he doesnt find her company so
exciting. (As you see, things can get unnecessarily complicated.)
we are aware of our internal process, we can communicate more effectively,
first of all with ourselves. John can communicate consciously to
himself: "I feel very disappointed and sad that Joe was so
unsympathetic when I was telling him how my boss put me down in
front of my co-workers at the meeting. I will tell him, at an appropriate
time, how I feel". John
may tell his girlfriend: "Im not in such a good mood
tonight". When she asks why, hell have an opportunity
to tell her and hopefully get her support. This will also save her
from trying to guess why, and from attributing his lack of enthusiasm
to some imagined shortcoming of her own.
people are unaware, they usually accumulate "heaps" of
interactions that affect their lives and the lives of those they
come into contact with, and create a tangled web of actions and
a result, they may feel out of control, as though "things just
keep happening to them." They may not know why they are having
difficulty in their relationships, why they cant seem to control
their eating habits, why they are having trouble sleeping at night,
etc. This is because, as a result of their lack of awareness, they
are missing crucial information regarding their motives for acting
as they do, and their contributions to the situations they find
If one is unaware, how does one go about gaining awareness? The
way we learn is through practice. Gestalt
therapy can be an invaluable tool in gaining the ability to monitor
ourselves in "real time," thus having more internal clarity
about our motives and desires. This allows us to make choices that
are more in line with our deeper needs, and are more likely to bring
about their fulfillment. Gradually, we can transition from feeling
acted upon by lifes circumstances, to feeling
that we have greater power to create our own reality and be active
participants in the great dance of life
Hana Dolgin, M.A. is a Certified Gestalt Psychotherapist, and
a graduate of Gestalt Associates For Psychotherapy in Manhattan.
She works with individuals, couples and groups in Manhattan
and Queens, to foster well-being and the enjoyment of life.
For more information, visit Hana's website
or call (212) 591-0149
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WITH FIVE HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS FEATURED
ON OUR WEBSITE
STOP STRESS NOW
Someone once said, "The only difference between a diamond and
a lump of coal is that the diamond had more pressure put on it."
If that were the case, we should all be shining brightly by now.
stress can motivate us to get things done
the upside. The downside can be really ugly. Stress, according to
a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine,
can sometimes lead to physical problems, such as high blood pressure,
and accelerate some effects of aging. And we all know stress may
contribute to emotional upheaval irritability, anger, and even depression.
are seven easy strategies, one for each day of the week, to help
you meet stress head-on and conquer it:
Breathe. Yes! It's that simple. Breathe deeply, but don't hyperventilate.
Inhale as though you were sniffing a delightful scent. Then stre-e-e-tch
your arms high over your head as you slowly and completely exhale.
Set boundaries. Just like the stressed-out mom who sat in the
playpen to keep away from the children, you can erect some barriers.
Decide what you will do and when. Better still, decide what you
won't do and dare to say "no." Try to avoid anything,
and anyone, who wastes your time.
Clarify your goals. Decide exactly what needs to be done, and
plan a smart way of accomplishing each task. Oh, and give yourself
a big star on the calendar every time you achieve even one of your
goals, no matter how small.
Put yourself first. That's right! If you aren't functioning
at your peak, your work and your relationships will suffer. Find
time for yourself, and try to do at least one relaxing thing each
day: Take a bubble bath, or read a chapter of a favorite book.
Give yourself a break. It's okay to goof off, cancel a lunch
date, or miss a deadline now and then. In six months or 10 years,
who will remember?
Get spiritual. Get in touch with your spiritual values, and
align your plans and activities with them. For instance, read an
inspiring book, then figure out how to incorporate what you learned
into your day-to-day life.
Take five. Right now stop what you are doing to cherish the
moment. Savor whatever you're drinking or eating. Or go outside
and smell the air, the flowers and the trees. Feel the wind, sunshine
or rain on your face. Listen for tiny sounds. Take a moment every
day to marvel at the wonders all around you.
We've had so many requests from subscribers
who want to
play or download our weekly Inspiration Line tunes,
that we've added a special new webpage...
"LISTEN TO THE MUSIC!"
Photo: Canopy Walkway
Canopy Walkway in Taman Negara National Forest is the longest in
the world. It was built with wooden spacers skillfully-fitted between
the bark and the cables, so that no nails would be driven into the
trees. Dating back to 1925, Taman Negara is one of the world's oldest
tropical rainforests at about 130 million years. In this National
Park live: leopards, tigers, boars, deer, elephants, rhinoceros,
hornbills, monkeys and many other animals.
crocheted creations for those who are
severely injured and/or chronically ill, as well as
their caregivers, or just someone that needs
as a tangible reminder that you are
not alone, that others care, and that we
remember you in our thoughts and prayers
FOR MORE LINKS
LIES WE LOVE TO PASS ALONG
profile of an urban legend
expert Jan Harold Brunvand author of the book
The Truth Never Stands in the Way of a
Good Story defines it
is "a story in a contemporary setting (not necessarily a big
city), reported as a true individual experience, with traditional
variants that indicate its legendary character." Youve
most likely received at least one legend in your e-mail inbox. According
to Brunvand and others, were eager to believe these stories
They seem like they might be true. Either someone we trust
is telling it,
....or it happened to a to a friend
of a friend
so common that it is known as a FOAF
....by people who study urban legends.
2. Theyre good stories
scary or memorable or funny.
3. They carry a message, one that confirms a world-view,
such as that Neiman Marcus is
....greedy or that parents are bad
for leaving their kids with babysitters.
"just-in-case" clause. Just in case its true,
I'll be doing a service if I pass the word
....along, right? Unless its
strictly for amusement and everyone is amused, you could end
....up looking like a real dope.
legends are like a virus that spreads geometrically from one person
to two people to four people, although the story's details might
change along the way. Most people dont have the time or talent
to make a career out of researching urban legends. However, there
are some simple ways you can protect yourself:
Use common sense. Does it sound too good or weird to be
true? Then it probably is.
2. Recognize the hallmarks. Does the story involve
a FOAF? A dead pet? A message written in blood?
....The ghost of a long-dead child,
a hitchhiker, or other such character?
3. Get suspicious every time you get an e-mail that
says "This is not a joke" or "forward to everyone
can also get info
on the latest computer
virus hoaxes from Symantec, some of which bear a striking
... resemblance to urban legends.
lists extensive information about all kinds of urban legends,
... including which ones are full
NOTE: To keep our readers informed on the
newest viruses and hoaxes INSPIRATION
LINE features the
& FICTION UPDATE"
LAST FRIDAY of each month (with permission of Barbara
Mikkelson at Snopes).
do fireflies light up?
Laughing It Off
Every ten years, as summertime nears,
an announcement arrives in the mail. A reunion is planned;
it'll be really grand; make plans to attend without fail.
never forget the first time we met;
we tried so hard to impress. We drove fancy cars,
smoked big cigars, and wore our most elegant dress.
was quite an affair; the whole class was there.
It was held at a fancy hotel. We wined, and we dined,
and we acted refined, and everyone thought it was swell.
men all conversed about who had been first
to achieve great fortune and fame. Meanwhile, their spouses
described their fine houses and how beautiful their children became.
boy we'd decreed "most apt to succeed"
was serving ten years in the pen, while the one voted "least"
now was a priest; just shows you can be wrong now and then.
awarded a prize to one of the guys
who seemed to have aged the least. Another was given
to the grad who had driven the farthest to attend this year's feast.
took a class picture, a curious mixture
of beehives, crew cuts and wide ties. Tall, short, or skinny,
the style was the mini; you never saw so many thighs.
our next get-together, no one cared whether,
they impressed their classmates or not. The mood was informal,
a whole lot more normal; by this time we'd all gone to pot.
was held out-of-doors, at the lake shores;
we ate hamburgers, coleslaw, and beans. Then most of us lay
around in the shade, in our comfortable T-shirts and jeans.
now I can't wait; 'cause they've set the date;
our fiftieth is coming, I'm told. It should be a ball,
they've rented a hall at the Shady Rest Home for the old.
have been made on my hearing aid;
my pacemaker's been turned up on high. I'm feeling quite hearty,
and I'm ready to party
gonna dance 'til dawn's early light.
~Contributed by Bob in St. Cloud, Florida
offers the finest products from around the world, promoting
external as well as internal health, and mental as well as physical
well being. Their goal is the same as it was on opening day in 1875
"To provide the best service and products to help our
customers lead happier, healthier lives. If that seems a bit grand,
It's only what you deserve."
are mini-programs (instructions) that tell your computer how to
use its hardware. Each hardware device has a driver. Some, like
drivers for a keyboard or mouse, are built into the computer itself.
Others, like video card drivers or modem drivers, need to be installed
when you get a the new hardware device. Without the proper driver,
your stuff won't work. If you're having trouble with a particular
hardware device, chances are that an updated driver may solve
your problem. These can be found at the website for the company
that made your equipment.
Look at THAT!
Move over bomb-sniffing dogs...
here comes Rusik, the fish-sniffing cat!
Russian police battling fish smugglers have
deployed a cat to sniff out contraband, who has distinguished itself
with an outstanding nose for fish."The cat finds it in any
hiding place," the Itar-Tass news agency quoted a police spokesman
in Stavropol as saying, adding that Rusik was fed on confiscated
fish. Several species of fish in the Caspian Sea, on Russia's southern
border, have become endangered since the collapse of Soviet rule
led to a sharp rise in fish smuggling.
Joyful Lifestyles: Weekly Insights
LIFE BEYOND NAGGING (Part
Clean the living room, wash the dishes, take out the trash ...
nag, nag, nag. The incessant nagging you do not only drives your
partner mad, it drives him or her away and hurts intimacy. How
can you learn to communicate more effectively and go from being
a broken record to a poster child for relationship success? The
first step, say experts, is to recognize that asking for the same
thing over and over again
believe it or not
just doesn't work. "Nagging takes the form of verbal reminders,
requests, and pleas," says Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW, a marriage
and family therapist.
Essence of Nagging: "If a person thinks, 'If I've said
it once I've said it a million times,' or 'it's in one ear and
out the other,' or 'I talk till I'm blue in the face,' this should
be a strong clue," says Weiner-Davis, author of several relationship
Getting Through to the Man You Love:
The No-Nonsense, No-Nagging Guide for Women (not
just for women, of course). Strong
clue or not, most naggers don't know they nag
they think their nagging helps, she explains. And it's not up
to them to decide: A helpful reminder becomes a stinging nag when
the person who is being nagged says so. "It goes from a reminder
to a nag when the person who is being reminded gets offended,"
says Weiner-Davis. "How the behavior gets labeled depends
on how the person hears it, not on how the person who says it
like any facet of a relationship, nagging is a two-way street.
"Obviously, if a woman feels responded to she won't need
to keep bringing up the same issues," says Jamie Turndorf,
PhD, a couples therapist. "On the surface, it's easy to assume
that it's all the nagee's fault
if he responded better, nagging wouldn't be happening." But
rather than assigning blame
is it the husband's fault for not cleaning the kitchen, or the
wife's for griping so much about it
start looking for more productive ways to communicate, or risk
damaging the intimacy in your relationship.
How can you tell that you've become a nag? According to Weiner-Davis,
here are a few key signs:
You're increasingly frustrated because you're not getting through
to your partner, despite asking again and again.
2. Your partner becomes increasingly defensive each time
you ask for something.
3. The things that bother you tend to grow in scope
you're more bothered by more things, more often.
4. Your irritation is contagious the more irritated
you get, the more irritated your partner gets.
5. The weaknesses in the relationship, such as what your
partner isn't doing despite your attempts at effecting
.... change, become the focus, rather
than the strengths in your relationship.
6. The most obvious sign that you tend to nag: You've said
the same thing five different ways, five different times,
... and yet you keep on going. (Continued
Chelle Thompson ~
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intent of Inspiration Line is to show What Is Possible … By choosing
we can change ourselves from the inside
out and improve our relationships, our community and our planet."
Editor . Chelle Thompson ~~~ Associate Editor . Geri Merrill
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