Curing Depression, Anxiety and Fear

Depression, anxiety, and fear are symptoms not causes. So when I read today that recently compiled statistics show that “one in 10 distressed Americans in 2014 did not have health insurance that would give them access to a psychiatrist or mental health counselor” I understood the point… but think it overshot the mark.

We have a tendency to treat symptoms not causes. I think its because as awful as symptoms can be they usually arise from causes we’d rather not confront. Whether it’s a lesion on our body or our psyche, we instinctively know that it will take less effort, and require less honesty and introspection, to treat the symptom rather than the cause.

The article went on to say each of these stress related conditions has escalated since the 2008 financial crisis. That the economic hit people took, the careers that were eviscerated overnight, the enduring personal debts that accrued due to loss of income have all been contributing factors. Well, yes.  And so it’s why I understand the concern for inadequate health insurance to address the symptoms, because psychiatrists and mental health counselors treat symptoms.

Only the individual can treat causes, and treating causes requires courage and honesty rather than government assistance or health insurance.

Of course the financial crisis of 2008 was hard on everyone (well, nearly everyone except those on the inside who are still profiting from their foreknowledge and connections) but even the near collapse was a symptom of a deeper cause. It was a symptom of a culture where values and principles have been discarded in favor of materialism and technology.

If you want to treat the cause of depression, anxiety and fear you have to look at the quality of your life, the choices you make, the things to which you aspire, the love in your heart for yourself and others. You have to put those you love before the things you want. You have to find gratitude in everything you have…not mourn or resent that which eludes you.

We went way off track decades ago. It began in the 1960’s in an innocent enough way. It began with the rising phoenix of individualism, no better exemplified that by four, hot-looking musicians from Britain with outrageously long hair and lyrics that dared speak truth about life as they saw it.  It was an exhilarating time when anything went and love, or at least sex, was a free-for-all.

Much could have come from that innocence but what, in fact, followed were decades of ever increasing self-absorption, self-indulgence and separation. We became a culture that wanted everything bigger, better, faster.

The millennials, who think they have their priorities on straight and are opting out of the “bigger” are still enslaved to the better and the faster. That is because they were raised by technology not human hands and hearts. In the world of technology, newer and faster are the “un-status” status symbols. Every generation has them…the seductions of the material world. It’s just that in each generation they are cloaked somewhat differently.

An appreciation for the material is not a sin. We live in physical world with things of beauty all around. Some are creations of God and some are creations on mankind. Both are here for our enjoyment not our enslavement.

I know firsthand about materialism and depression, anxiety and fear. I was raised with money. My parents had lots and, therefore, I had lots of things that were the status symbols of my generation. Three corvettes before the age of 20 paints an accurate picture. I was also riddled with depression, anxiety and fear. So, between the ages of 20 and 30, I saw a psychiatrist and a couple of mental health counselors. Its why I feel the authority to write about symptoms and causes.

I had stomach problems (symptom) that led to intestinal surgery at age 16.  At age 23, I was very depressed (symptom) so Triavil was prescribed. I used those to try to commit suicide (symptom). I was married and divorced in 11 months (symptom) followed by a series of unsuccessful relationships (symptom). I developed fibromyalgia (symptom) in my 30’s and struggled with it for almost two decades until I had enough of symptoms, their treatments and their cures.

I decided to address the cause, which turns out to be a full time job of being honest with myself and others, holding myself accountable for my actions, finding a connection to God, birthing my creativity and generally living life as an adult with principles and values that I live by not just espouse.

I have come to believe that most physical and psychological illnesses are the result of a spiritual imbalance. A soul at odds with higher laws. So, looking to government or the medical community often turns out to be an excuse for not looking within and up. I think we could cure a lot of our nation’s ailments by a willingness to look into the causes of our individual discontent and righting those aspects of ourselves that have gone belly up.              Carole

Why You Matter

It’s so easy to blame the politicians and the media. It’s always easiest to blame someone, or something, other than ourselves. But the dire situations we find ourselves in, politically and socially, are no one’s fault but our own.

For decades we have turned a blind eye to wrong doing. For those same decades we have become dependent upon, even expected, government to take care of us.  We have abdicated personal responsibility in almost every aspect of our lives for the corners we cut, the white lies we tell, the principles we say we believe in yet neglect to be heard in their defense.

Politicians are not our masters. They are simply individuals in public service who reflect the health or sickness of the society they serve. Our leaders have not been forced upon us. We have stood by and allowed the inept, the dishonest and the corrupt to seek and obtain positions of power. We have willingly enslaved ourselves to them and those who keep them in power.

After 2008, ask almost any trader on Wall Street and they will tell you they saw it coming. They saw it coming but did nothing about it. It was too lucrative. Mortgages and private school tuition had to be paid. Vacations were booked. Cocaine was costly.

It’s easier to go with the flow than swim against the current. Isn’t that always the case? But what happens when the current is carrying you to your destruction? Blame the current…or your unwillingness to fight against it?

A group of boys and young men of various ages, raped a 14-year old girl in Chicago this week and they did it on Facebook. Live. At least 40 people watched it and not one called the police.

It seems like a long way from the banking collapse of 2008 to live rape…but not really. The perpetrators in both cases knew what they were doing was wrong and so did those who watched. It’s a slippery slope when you give up conscience and all that is decent about human behavior; when self-satisfaction is the ultimate goal and any means to getting there is acceptable.

Every day we read about the corruption in Washington and fake news by the media. It’s all a distraction. The real news and what we should care about is how each of us in our daily lives lays another brick in the foundation of cultural destruction as we justify the corners we cut, the blind eyes we turn and the irretrievable and precious time we deny friends and family because we are addicted to our iphones.

It’s never about someone else. It’s always about ourselves. While none of us may have any control over what Washington or the New York Times does, each of us has total control over what we do in our own lives. Where we invest out time, what principles we stand for, what we value all define, in a very literal sense, our immediate world.

You comfort and excuse yourself because you are, after all, just one person and so what can you do?

Last year I moved into a condominium in Austin, Texas. I quickly learned that there was corrupt management that had drained the finances of the community and neglected the maintenance of the structures. I also learned that for 12 years, various homeowners had tried, unsuccessfully, to do something about it. So , everyone had given up and acquiesced to the corruption and neglect.

I spent a year investigating and compiling evidence of both the corruption and the neglect. I uncovered a privileged relationship between certain owners, the Board of Directors included, and the corrupt management company. I presented the findings at association meetings. I endured an organized effort by those involved to discredit me, including being sued, individually, for my efforts. But I  knew that what was occurring was wrong and I was determined to, as Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” In spite of it all I endured.

It took 12 months, several court appearances and all the energy and skill I could muster. But the Board resigned and, as new President of the Board, I fired the corrupt management company. We now have exceptional, new management and a law suit against those who depleted or finances and neglected our physical assets.

Was it hard? About as hard as anything I’ve done in my life. Were there times I thought I could not go on? Absolutely. Was every conceivable effort made to stop me? Yes. So why did I keep at it?

The whole is no more than the sum of our parts. I am a part of my community, my society, my country, my species. If I do no stand for what I know to be right, what hope is there that others will do the same?

It’s never about anyone else. It’s always about ourselves. In humanity, it’s not top down. It’s what we as individuals are willing to put on the line for what we believe in. This is what makes the difference and that is what ultimately defines us.

A Christian Polish woman who fed Jews and kept them alive less than than a mile from a concentration camp was asked, recently, how she came to do the right thing given the behavior of those around her. Her reply was simply, “The righteous didn’t suddenly become righteous. We just refused to go off the cliff with everyone else.”

We are each confronted daily with personal cliffs. Now more so than ever with the rapid pace of technology and the warp speed at which AI is developing. If, in hindsight, you can see why it wasn’t such a long way from 2008 to live rape…wait until you see what’s just around the corner. One voice, one person, one principle upheld can save the world. Remember, the next corner you cut, blind eye you turn, or principle you fail to uphold… could be our last.                Carole

The Answer To Suffering

A farmer and a blue collar worker were in line to vote last Tuesday. Someone overheard their conversation in which both were sharing that they had not had a good year financially since 2000. That’s 16 years. They were suffering and they were voting for Trump.

hope

I know a lot about suffering. It’s the same whether it’s an individual or the collective consciousness of a nation.  My knowledge and understanding comes from years of suffering depression which culminated in an attempted suicide at age 24. Individuals, like nations, who misplace hope and choose suicide as an option, don’t really want to die. Notice I said, “misplace” hope. Hope is never gone…but when suffering is prolonged enough and there seems no cure for its cause and no end in sight, hope gets obscured by the pain. And when the pain is bad enough, rational thought is cast aside for any solution, regardless of how irrational or self-destructive.

A person may choose suicide as a seemingly rational end to their suffering. But what does a nation filled with people who have misplaced hope do?

The seeds of national suicide were sprouting in 2008. Barack Obama, and the Democrats recognized this and so, knowing the nation was suffering, offered “Hope and Change”. They ignited the flame of hope that the nation was in need of and with that held out the promise of an end to the early stages of suffering. But the promise was empty and as time passed, the pain and suffering grew more intense.  With that increased pain, came a decreased optimism…hope…that there was a “cure” or light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, from 2008 until now, that light has been progressively (no pun intended) harder and harder to see.

Pain and suffering increased over the past eight years to the point that hope was obscured and with it rational thought.  What resulted was a populace who would, in its desperation, settle for giving the most powerful position in its nation to either a greedy thief or an egomaniacal illusionist. We chose the illusionist.

That is how a nation commits suicide.

My experience of attempted suicide taught me an invaluable lesson. It’s the certainty that hope always exists; it’s just up to us to have the patience and determination find it. Donald Trump will not save us for he was chosen in a period of national darkness. Whether he is well intentioned or not, there are those around him who recognized our perilous time of suffering and glammed on for the ride and for their own agendas, not for the national best interest.

When I was in the emergency room, I had an out of body experience. As they were pumping the drugs out of me, I was up in the corner of the room, looking down at what they were doing, and thinking, “Why don’t they let that body go?” At which point I “felt” a distant voice say, “You have to go back, Carole, you have work to do.”

Our nation is on that table. We are looking at it and wanting the suffering to stop and for the pain to go away. There are no guarantees. But this I know.

Hope exists if we are patient and determined to be the best we can be. No one will save us but for ourselves. Giving it over to someone else is an act of suicide. Its up to us to demand of ourselves personal accountability. Its up to us to demand of our government accountability to the founding principles. So, fellow citizens, we have to go back. There is work to do.

Carole Gold

 

A Guy Named Omeleto Has The Answer

Want to watch a five minute video that will change your life? I just did.

Purpose

I can’t say what it will do for you… but I can tell you what it’s done for me.  It’s given me renewed hope that enough people are waking up to the power of the individual that I can remember to ignore the naysayers, the politicians, the fear-mongers, the cowards and the herd mentality that is so deliberately marketed and maintained by the media.

The reason I find the video so profound and inspirational is that I lived most of my life not following my own heart. Not that I was ever lacking in passion; but passion misdirected can be an obstacle at best or a force for self-destruction, at worst.

The passion that creates for the good is that which is born from the uniqueness within each of us. This is the message of Omeleto’s video. (click and wait a few seconds).  This is the message I now live and teach others, through my work, every opportunity I am given. We are born to be unique. We are born to “sing our own song”…much like the bird that sits on the branch and sings its song without regard for how it is received. The songbird sings unrestrained from the sheer joy of existence.

From the moment we are born, we are taught “No.”  We are taught what the rules are. We are taught how to conform. We are taught what to believe. We are taught to comply. We are taught that non-conformity has undesirable consequences. We are taught to hold or tongue. But a tongue withheld cannot speak the truth and a heart devoid of nourishment cannot find the strength to emit its own song.

So my interpretation of Omeleto’s message is, above all, find the joy in you and allow it to guide you to your life’s purpose. If you’re having difficulty doing that it’s because you’re not listening within, or because you’re carrying with you that which was…and is no more.

When you get into your car, and program the GPS to where you want to go, it only needs two set points: where you are and where you want to go. It does not care, and cannot use, information about where you’ve been. No matter what your life has been up until this moment, you have the Free Will, and can summon the courage, to identify where you are and where it is you want to go.  That’s pretty much what it takes, along with a commitment to stay on the road and not turn back to your starting point because it’s taking too long to arrive at your destination. When you deviate from the GPS, it advises you to “turn around”….you’re off your route.

Your heart does the same thing.

When you’re not living your Purpose, when you’re plodding along, stressed and unfulfilled, you feel sad, tired, frustrated, angry, empty…any or all of the aforementioned. That is your heart telling you you’re not living your truth and not singing your song. You’re lip syncing someone else’s.

Whenever I feel less than joyful in my life I think about that. I think about the inauthenticity of singing someone else’s song. I think about how empty that feels. And I quickly shift my thoughts and my actions to something that enlivens rather than deadens me.

It’s clearly learned behavior and, like any other habit, takes practice. But I’ve come to know with certainty that, as Omeleto so brilliantly conveys in the video, I have no intention of my last thoughts being about what I didn’t do in my lifetime or how I allowed the uniqueness that is me to rank so low on my list of things worth discovering.

Carole

Instructions For Being You

When I was a child I would converse with inanimate objects.

User guide

I can recall my parents retelling the story of how, when I was three and four years old, I would bump into a chair, for example, and say “’cub-ie chair!” (because I couldn’t pronounce the words “excuse me”). I also read words and sentences left to right… but then read them right to left. I would read a dictionary for fun as I thought words were important and in some way alive. I communicated with animals and trees. I often felt physical pain when someone or something else was harmed. I sometimes knew what others were thinking. I didn’t perceive the world the way most people did. For me, life was as much about the unseen and the unsaid as it was about the external, visible and auditory world.

As a result, I spent the first few decades of my life trying to fit into a world that seemingly had no place for me. Why did I have all of this awareness and what was I to do with it?

For those few decades during which I struggled with how to find my place in the world, I experienced a lot of wrong turns and made a lot of unwise choices. Because I was surrounded by people who did not share or understand my perceptions, I was unsupported in living a life that was consistent with truth as I experienced it.

Being unique, and living that uniqueness, is the hardest way to go through life. It is also the way we were designed to do it. You, too, are unique. How many times in your life have you been the recipient of those words? Probably not enough!

As we all struggle to adapt, and at times survive, the rapid changes the world is going through, how valuable would it be to truly know that you were born with direct access to all of the information you need to handle each and every moment of your life with certainty, focus and calm? The answer to that question is that such knowing would be priceless.

Looking back at human history and beyond, we have moved from predominantly individual barbarism to predominantly civilized societies with the help of certain events and structures that have aided us in that journey. The Goddess-led cultures that preceded monotheism, the giving of the Ten Commandments, the life of Jesus, agriculture, industrialization, and 20th century technological explosion have all contributed to this forward march.

With each of these advancements, so too has the individual’s freedom expanded. Yes, there are still remnants around the world of that barbarism I spoke of earlier, but we are on an undeniable path leading us to a fuller understanding of what Free Will is and the unlimited power that comes from autonomy over one’s own heart and mind through a direct inner connection with the Source of All That Is.

Resistance is always greatest nearest the point of breakthrough.

This is what we are experience now…globally. The resistance can be found in political and religious bureaucracies; yet, it is unstoppable. It is the approaching breakthrough of sufficient numbers of individuals around the world who have experienced, either over time or most recently, the possibilities that exist beyond our five senses and the limitations of enslavement, when fully engaged in using our hearts and minds to create the kind of world in which we choose to exist and flourish.

I now know, and want you to know, the power of the uniqueness that is you. You do not exist to be a replica of anyone who preceded you, or anyone who is in the world today. You are not meant to “fit in” at the price of denying or relinquishing your unique contribution to the ever-unfolding experience of conscious human evolution. So long as you do not intentionally harm another, nor they you, we are all required to honor our individual perceptions, truths and life choices as we identify and manifest the essence of who we are.

Once I realized the answer to that question of long ago, “Why did I have all of this awareness and what was I to do with it?” I stopped trying to fit in.

Now I create space that lovingly supports me as I am.

 

Carole

Whose Responsible for the Opioid Epidemic?

My experiences with drug reactions and drug addiction began in my mid-20’s.

Addiction

Growing up, I was a closeted emotional wreck. I say this because I had developed a great act which, to others, masked the fact that inside my own skin I was depressed, confused and felt very much as if I didn’t belong anywhere despite popularity at school, good grades and an intact family.  Married at 23 and divorced at 24, I was no longer able to hide the depression.  A physician put me on the anti-depressant Triavil.  Not long after, I tried to commit suicide and came dangerously close to succeeding.

Fast forward to my mid-30s when I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. At the time, it was not the commonly diagnosed disease it is today. In fact, I saw 21 medical specialists before the Arthritis-Lupus Clinic at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia got it right. It was, and I believe still is, considered to be a partially sleep-disorder related illness. At that time, the treatment was believed to be Amitriptyline (also known as Triavil). While at a dosage of 90mg or more the drug acts as an anti-depressant, at a considerably lower dose it does not; however, it does, at the low dose, induce crucial non-REM sleep, the restful transition sleep that many with Fibromyalgia seem to lack.

My tolerance for the Amitriptyline increased over time until I was approaching that 90mg ceiling. So, my treating physician prescribed Valium to accompany it. I quickly built up a tolerance to it and that dose was increased as well.

In a matter of no time I was addicted to it.

Without belaboring all the details, I’ll just say that when I realized I was addicted, I phoned a local hospital that had a drug detox unit and spoke with the head floor nurse. She told me I had two choices.  I could admit myself to the unit immediately or go cold turkey at home; but, if I chose the latter I had to have someone with me around the clock for seven days. She said either way, withdrawal was going to be hell.

And so it was.

Family and friends took turns staying with me for the next week. I was alternately hyper, depressed, suicidal and lacked any appetite. In fact, I had to force feed tiny amounts of food and water. It’s an experience never to be repeated or forgotten.

Recently, Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has come forward with legislation to combat the national epidemic of addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin, known as opioids. Portman’s bill, known as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), passed in the Senate by a vote of 94 to 1 in March and was followed this past week with several related bills to also address the epidemic.

But, as with so much of what ails us as a nation, legislation isn’t going to fix the problem because 1) the pharmaceutical companies have too much skin in the game and to many lobbyists; 2) Obamacare has so destroyed the ability of doctors to take the time needed to effectively diagnose and treat illness and, 3) we have become a culture of the quick fix, instant gratification and impatience with all things that require time and effort.

I may have tried to commit suicide without the anti-depressants prescribed for me at age 23 but I’ll never know that for certain. What I do know is that there exists an undisputed body of medical research concluding that, in certain people, anti-depressants (and particularly following cessation of the medication) increase suicidal ideation.

As for the subsequent addiction to Valium in my 30’s as a result of treatment for Fibromyalgia, it cured me forever of a willingness to take any pain medication for almost any reason. I can say that with certainty because I have had surgery since and refused all pain meds post-op to the horror of my physician. Yes, I suffered through rather than risk addiction to the too easily prescribed Tordol, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol. I am neither brave nor stupid. I simply never want to go through hell again. So, I chose two days of excruciating, post-op pain to even the possibility that a pain killer might be addicting.

What I learned from both of these experiences has served me well ever since.

First, following the attempted suicide, I embarked upon a life of inner reflection and personal responsibility. I decided nothing was worth living a lie and if I lived the life I wanted, rather than the life I internalized was expected of me, at least I could like myself for my authenticity.

Second, I threw off the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. Well, not initially. I still said I had it but I treated it as a “lifestyle” illness. If I ate healthfully, exercised the correct amount, noticed what types of emotional, mental and physical stress in my life precipitated an “attack,” I could use my lifestyle to contain, or even eliminate the illness. For years now, I no longer think or speak of “having Fibromyalgia” nor have I had any symptoms.

While we may not be able do anything about the power of the pharmaceutical companies and their power over the FDA, or change the catastrophic effects of Obamacare on the quality of healthcare, what each of us can do is take responsibility for whether we are living a life of authenticity or deceit of self; whether or not we choose the quick fix over less expedient but safer alternatives and, perhaps most importantly, whether we are willing to acknowledge that much of what ails us is related to the pace at which we live and the choices that we make in trying fit into a culture that, in its present state, may have very little to contribute to our physical, emotional or mental well being.

 

Carole

Science Makes A Life-Altering Discovery

If we look at the history of our species and what we have accomplished to-date, it is difficult for me to understand why anyone would doubt what can, and is, occurring beyond the realm of our five senses. Have we not yet learned that there is more that we don’t know… than we do?

Universe

The latest example of the seemingly incomprehensible is the just released finding by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) that the entire corpus of Western classical music exists in a field of reality completely removed from human perception. In case you don’t immediately grasp what that means (as I did not; it took me two reads to get it) this means that when you stop listening to classical music, it doesn’t cease to exist. It actually continues to exist in a realm, along with all the other classical music ever composed, outside of our human perception but none-the-less real. In other words, it’s all “floating around” out there as surely as we are floating around in here.

Or, in the alternative, is either of us floating around anywhere?

This discovery by CERN, and the question I just posed, is why I call myself The Jury Whisperer and founded a business by the same name. For years, I practiced law and was an Intuitive with a national client base. But I kept the two worlds separate because, while the Integration of those two seemingly incompatible skill sets was the norm for me, it was certainly not the norm for society. In fact, my legal friends disparaged intuition and my intuitive friends disparaged lawyers! That left me having to bifurcate my exterior world in order to co-exist.

Talk about a legitimate basis for psychosis!

Ultimately, I decided that my success as a lawyer was in large part due to my intuition and my openness to listening and following that guidance from within. I always perceived the information I received internally as similar to tuning into a frequency not often accessed by others… like AM and FM but simply by some other call letters. This information exists outside the realm of our five senses just waiting to be “tuned in.”

Like Tesla or Marconi (if you’ll allow me a moment to hang with some pretty awesome company) I felt that what I knew could be shared for the greater good and accessed by many. That’s because I had developed and honed, over time, my own abilities through repetitive use: commonly called “practice.” Now, I am teaching lawyers to identify, strengthen and apply their own intuition to their professional lives. But its certainly not limited to lawyers. Anyone can elevate the quality of their existence, personal and professional, by releasing limiting ideas about what is knowable beyond that which has been known.

It’s always a thrill for me each time science catches up with Universal Intelligence. That’s what the CERN discovery is. It’s not only a boon for our conscious evolution, it’s also a welcome affirmation for those of us already aware that what we don’t know far exceeds what we do.

Carole

contact@carolegold.com

The Selfie Generation

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is a well known idiom in the English language that means a complex idea can be conveyed by a simple image.

Selfie

The majority of posted images that we see today, especially on social media, are “Selfies.” In prior generations, we took pictures of other people and our surroundings. If we wanted a picture of ourselves, we would ask a friend, or even a stranger, to take the photo. Given the advances in cellphones, and technology in general, it became easy to turn the camera around and take a Selfie.  As early as the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, cameras had become small enough that it was possible to take Selfies. But, people didn’t.

So what happened?

In the past, photos were something shared with family and friends. There was a certain intimacy, and a preservation of the past, that was shared in those photos. But with the advent of social media and cell phones, pictures became less about sharing and more about self expression. Selfies scream out “Look at me. Look at what I have done.”

Oddly enough, it was the Greek God Narcissus who warned of the danger. He was proud, in that he disdained those who loved him. In other words, he loved himself so much there was not room in his heart to love others.  Another Greek God, Nemesis, noticed this behavior and attracted Narcissus to a pool, where he saw his own reflection in the water and proceeded to fall in love with it. Not realizing it was merely an image, and unable to leave the beauty of his own reflection, he stared at his reflection until he died.  He had lost his will to live. His love of self is what killed him.

An occasional Selfie, in and of itself, doesn’t mean much. However, when you see the whole society nearly obsessing on it, I believe it says a lot.

I use to work in finance trading for a living.  It was my job to analyze events in order to gauge market sentiment and the direction of the market economy. I learned to tell the health of the markets just by where I sat on the trading floor. When our trading desks overflowed with people and new hires, like in 1998 (which coincided with Long Term Capital blowing up), I knew we were close to the top.  Needless to say, shortly afterwards, the markets tanked and all of those excess people were fired. In 2007, when our emerging market desk was moved to a new floor to accommodate yet more people, my boss looked at me and said. “In normal times, our trading area would have been rearranged for all these new people; but, the fact that our whole department is being moved to a new floor is probably a bad omen indicating the destruction of our firm.” Sure enough, Merrill Lynch went bankrupt a few months later.

Selfies, like the trading desk moves, are better read as signals of where things are headed. I think the rise of Selfies can be best be related to a boorish and selfish society on the road to self-destruction. Like Narcissus.

I am not a saint and can be as selfish as anybody else. But, as a father of six I have to tend to others. Thankfully, I have constant reminders to act selflessly. For example, every day homework has to done, dinner needs to be made, kids need to be bathed. This has to happen regardless of my health or my mental disposition. My children need tending. The worst times are getting up in the middle of the night to tend to a sick child as “unannounced sacrifices are often much harder than the sacrifices we choose for ourselves.” I don’t believe having children makes you more or less noble than someone else; but, having children does prompt you to be more selfless.

The fact is I love social media because it serves as a connector and has been a great tool for connecting people.  At the same time, it has the potential, at the same time, to disconnect us from ourselves and everyone else. The pictures we post are usually done at home, on our computers, away from other people. The sharing we do is virtual…not in physical contact or exchange with others. If all we do is post Selfies to draw attention to ourselves then like Narcissus, we will drowning in our own image.

Selfishness has consequences. I can’t predict how it will end; but, if a picture is worth a thousand words…a Selfie is a tome.

 

Steve

sleeclark@gmail.com

 

The Gift of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Malcolm Gladwell, author of David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants was interviewed by Glenn Beck and asked what Gladwell believes to be the reason why some people with ADD and other perceptual aberrations use them to excel while others allow those same challenges to defeat them. Gladwell’s response was “That’s the big question.”

A.D.D

The answer to that question is personal for me. Growing up, I was and remain ADD.  So is Beck. It’s only in hindsight, and with medical advances in identifying this disorder, that I have come to know myself as having the condition.  Prior to this now medically accepted recognition,  it caused my parents and later me to repeatedly seek out a variety of medical specialists, including therapists, in trying to diagnose the cause of several chronic physical conditions as well as behavioral ones.

Despite the physiological and psychological manifestations that I confronted, I never allowed them to detract from goals that I set for myself. While I may have been battling what felt like “inner demons,” I never allowed those demons to deter me from accomplishment. At times, I may have made what appeared to be foolish life choices; yet, I pushed through and used those choices to propel me ever onward and upward. I did not allow them to stop me or perceive myself as limited in any way. So, for example, while I dropped out of two colleges before I was 19 years old and was married and divorce by age 24, I returned to college as a freshman at age 24 and later law school at age 33.

I believe the two keys to my being one of those, who in Gladwell’s words “battled giants” was that while society had a difficult time labeling and pigeonholing me, I never saw myself as anything other than unique. Don’t get me wrong. Unique in a world of conformity is no day at the beach. I often felt very much the misfit and the outsider. Different can be a lonely road to travel. But, if you’ll allow me mixed metaphors, I always told myself “Yes, it’s lonely at the top but the air is cleaner.” By repeating this mantra, I wasn’t trying to elevate myself above others but rather to see my place in the world as a gift to be valued. To look on the bright side, so to speak. If I somehow came across as elitist, or distant, it was simply a survival mechanism.

Battling giants is heady and exhausting business.

The second key, and for me the golden one, was when I became aware that my constant “taking in” of everything around me, and my perception that so much was happening all at once, were actually additional perceptual abilities that, when understood and harnessed, placed me at a vantage point, and therefore gave me an addvantage, allowing me to see the larger scheme of things in my life and in the lives of others.

My ex-husband liked to call me “ADD Girl.” While he said it affectionately, he was actually expressing his perception that I was unable to stay focused and finish what I started. It was a common mistake made by him and others. Had I not been able to focus and finish, I would never have been able to graduate law school, prepare detailed litigation strategies and effective lines of cross-examination. As I said, the key was learning how and when to harness.

The real turning point came when I decided to give my own definition to what it was I experienced vis-a-vis information intake. Since everything is energy, and energy is both transmitted and received, oft times imperceptibly by us humans (as with radio waves), I owned that I simply had the ability to receive on multiple frequencies simultaneously.  This was not necessarily true for most people. The term most associated with this skill is psychic or, the more socially acceptable term, intuitive.  Once I understood what was happening I learned, for the most part, to tune “in and out” of that frequency (and others) thereby harnessing those energies rather than allowing them to run through me willy-nilly.  While I don’t claim to have a 100% success rate at harnessing my intake (cooking is still a bane to my existence as I still can’t seem to get a meal together without a chaotic mess and a series of kitchen foibles!) – overall I’ve got it pretty well down.

It is my firm conviction that many perception disorders, even more serious mental disorders, are tied to the unregulated and at times scrambled transmission and reception of data coming and going on a variety of frequencies.

So, if you are challenged in this way, or know someone who is, may I suggest a new way of looking at the challenge? Meditation helps a great deal in “quieting the mind” in order to develop some of that harnessing power I speak of. So does slowing down, as does training yourself to live in the moment, letting go of past worry and future anticipation.

Perhaps, just perhaps, through my own uphill experience, I’ve harnessed the answer to that “big question” posed by Beck and for which Gladwell had no reply.  And remember, at the top of that hill…the air is cleaner! 🙂

Carole

contact@carolegold.com

Jedi Mind Tricks

When I first entered the Marine Corps at Officer Candidate School, I had one particular Drill Instructor who used tortured me unmercifully.

usmc

When I first walked into Quantico,VA I was completely unprepared for what was to come. The things you take for granted, like walking or tying your shoes, can be an ordeal when confronted with a Drill Instructor screaming in your face. Even the most mundane task can seem impossible when you have two or three men berating you.  It’s why every single person who goes through boot camp is, at some point, a blubbering idiot. For some reason, all common sense leaves your body under those circumstances.

The Marine Corps prides itself in weeding out candidates.  Under normal conditions, most companies champion their completion rates; yet,  in the Marine Corps they champion their failure rates. The more “disgusting civilians” they can kick out before they get to enter their beloved Corps…the better.

It’s not the physical training that gets you. It’s the physiological abuse that does it. There were some really sharp guys in my platoon and the process to simply be invited to Officers Candidate School isn’t an easy one. It’s also definitely not easy to become a Drill Instructor. The Marine Corps only takes the best. But the other side of that picture of excellence are some of the most villainous people you will ever encounter. Their sole job is to make your life miserable.  My former Company Commander ,who was a former Drill Instructor, actually had a call sign in the Marine Corps of “The Evil One”… due to his sadistic streak.

The Marine Corps has numerous ways to have you doubt your own abilities, break you down, and isolate you from your peers so that you will quit. In my case, upon arriving, my Drill Instructor told me my medical records had been lost so I was not able to fully participate in all of the training.  As all the other members in my unit got their haircuts, uniforms and began training, I was forced, for one week, to wear the same clothes I arrived with. By the end of the week, my clothes stunk and were frayed by the intense humidity. I stuck out like a sore thumb. By this time, my peers were way ahead of me in their training and I was falling behind in my goal of becoming a Marine Officer. The Drill Instructors were delighted because I was easy prey. It got so bad, Drill Instructors from other platoons would harass me.  Some of the comments that were thrown my way during that week were:

“Clark how has it possible that everyone can get their medical records straight but you can’t.”

“Clark everyone knows you are too far behind the training; you should quit now.”

“Clark your whole platoon thinks you are a quitter because you aren’t doing any of the training”

“Clark how is possible that the rest of the unit is progressing and you can’t get your f–king hair cut?”

If you examine the comments, you can see how they all have the intention of showing how my actions were not the norm and, therefore, I had to be the problem. This abuse went on for a solid week as the Drill Instructors successfully isolated me from the other marines. The other marines knew the end was near for me so they avoided me like the plague. Unbeknownst to me, my Drill Instructor had purposely hidden my medical records as well as those of two other guys, because that technique always got candidates to quit. And, once again,  it worked. Two of my peers dropped. However, I stayed on. Just like that, as fast as they disappeared, my medical records reappeared and I started training with the unit. The mental abuse continued for the rest of my training; but, that brutal spotlight never returned to me again. I had passed his test and he began culling the ranks by focusing on other candidates

However, that mental abuse or, more kindly, mental training that I endured stayed with me forever. Unbeknownst to me, my Drill Instructor had opened my eyes and given me a way of thinking about how people can isolate and target their opponents through words. When I left the military to start working on Wall Street, I saw many of the  same verbal wars take place between salesman and traders as they fought over trades that needed to be done. In that arena, I did quite well because they were all amateurs compared to the Drill Instructors I had survived. Hardly any  of these Wall Streeters could have tangled with that Drill Instructor’s verbal acumen and come out alive.

In the political realm, the freezing out and isolating of opponents is a well known tactic. The Left is much more adept at this and you can see it in many of the causes they promote. For example take a look at these statements made by the Left regarding Global Warming:

  • “All the science is in on global warming, we need to act now.”
  • “All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it’s here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster.”

    The underlying message of these two quotes is that if you disagree with the premise of Global Warming, then you are an idiot and in the minority because the debates has been settled.

    Or take the arguments by the sycophants for Barack Obama and this image that gets regularly circulated by his supporters:

Obama

Let me break down what really happened:

  • Health Care. Obamacare was passed without one single Republican vote and the architect of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber, publicly admitted on the record that he knowingly lied about the plan to pass the bill. He stated that the bill was able to pass because the American people do not understand basic economics.
  • Jobs. We have a lower unemployment since he took office, and that is what his administration regularly flaunts. What the administration does not tell you is that we have the lowest labor participation rates in 30 years with close to 100 million people out of the work force. “These people don’t count” when factoring in the unemployment rate.
  • Marriage Equality. This was decided by the Supreme Court overturning many states’ laws that had already passed legislation banning gay marriage. You can’t favor a constitutional republic, or democracy as it is often mis-characterized, and have the unelected setting your laws, which is what happened here.

The political Left are quite adapt at isolating their opponents with false arguments and half truths, but it works. These arguments are meant to isolate you and feel bad for not seeing the truth; but, they are based on lies. The Left uses specious arguments on the weak willed to advance their cause.

I received my Masters Degree in verbal warfare from the Marines and it left me wide-eyed to the many forms of mental manipulation that the Left uses it to push their agenda. I find the Left’s arguments juvenile at best; but, in the end I am under no illusion as to how effective they can be if you don’t posses the mental fortitude to stay the course.

Steve

sleeclak@gmail.com