Tag Archives: Norway

The cloak of invisibilty

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The cloak of invisibilty

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When she was little, her grandfather told her about the cloak of invisibility. A little girl wanted to get inside a palace, but as she was poor and never could get inside, she could only dream. One day a fairy appeared, holding a blood-red cloak, sparkling in the sunlight. She carefully draped it around the girls shoulders, and left. Three days later, when she by coincidence looked into a mirror in a hotel where she went in to wash her face, she startled when she could`t see herself in the mirror. In shock her cloak fell off her with a heavy thud, and she magically reappeared. Picking it up and taking it on again, she vanished once more.

The following days, she experimented with her cloak, and not only could she not see herself in the mirror when she put it on, no one else could either. With a thumping heart, she went to the palace. The cloak firmly around her slim body, walking with shaky legs, she stepped inside her palace of her dreams. Not only did her eyes rest upon beauty she never knew existed, but she also saw the prince himself. He was so handsome, that her cloak almost fell off her again, but she managed to avoid the disaster by clutching it tight. Three days later, she ventured into the palace again, and saw the prince sitting in the library, reading a book with tears streaming on his beautiful face. Without thought, she ran over to him, always eager to help. When she ran, her cloak made her trip and she fell, exposing the body she always tried to hide. The prince looked up from his book in shock from the loud thud, and the sudden appearance of a girl right in front of him. Their eyes met, and if there is such a thing as faith, this was it.

Three years later, they were happily married and had a girl, a little princess. The girl with the cloak, was never invisible again.

Her grandfather looked at his grandchild and smiled. She sat there, in rapt attention, dreams floating in her eyes. She looked at in him in awe and asked with a tender voice:

«Can I have a cloak like that?» He chuckled, stroking her hair and thinking he would give her anything, if he only could. On her 4th birthday a present was under a bed together with a little fairy doll on top of it. Eagerly she ripped off the paper, exposing a beautiful red cloak with glittering beads all over it. Before her parents, who always disapproved of her no matter what she did, could come in and realize that her grandfather had indulged in her once again, she hid it in the closet where she herself hid when her father roared in anger.

Later, she tried it on. She hid her bruises, misery and pain, and felt safe underneath the soft satin cloak. When she heard footsteps outside her room, she did not shiver like usual. She only put the cloak tighter around her, hiding in her closet, murmuring that everything would be okay. Like magic, her father left her alone, though he probably knew she sat there, and could have dragged her out to the bed like he sometimes did.

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She had always felt invisible, even without a cloak, but this time it felt good. When she recalled how much fear and horror she endured in her life, as an adult, she knew that she finally could change her future. Her cloak was always with her, no matter how dirty and ragged it became. Bit by bit, she felt safe enough to show small pieces of her invisible self to people who loved her. She managed to hide when someone untrustworthy came into her life, and slowly the bruises that had marked her body for so many years, faded. Sometimes, in the darkness before the dawn, she still put the cloak on, and little by little she managed to show herself to the world. She was like a broken mirror, but slowly the pieces came together again, and finally, one day, she was able to look at herself fully. Her husband, a kind man, helped her and found many of the broken pieces. Handling them with care, he fixed the mirror together with her, until they both could look into each others eyes without ever having to turn their gaze away from what they both hid inside.

At their third anniversary, he hid a present under her bed, with a little fairy on top. Her eyes filled with tears, as she saw the soft present underneath it. With shaking hands, she unwrapped it. A new cloak, even softer than the first one, appeared. Her tears flowed freely now, and when her husband came in with a birthday breakfast on a silver tray, he came over and held her hand. Carefully, he draped the soft silk around her shoulders. To her amazement, he wore a black cloak himself, shining in the sunlight from the new day. Together, they walked over to the mirror.

Her tears stopped flowing, and in that moment, life was good.

She never had to hide again.

This post was reblogged from my blog: Mirrorgirlblog

Try These Cognitive Restructuring Exercises to Improve Your Mood and Reduce Stress

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Try These Cognitive Restructuring Exercises to Improve Your Mood and Reduce Stress

Cognitive restructuring is a core part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is one of the most effective psychological treatments for common problems like depression, anxiety disorders, and binge eating. Here, clinical and social psychologist Alice Boyes shares some CBT techniques you can try at home to reduce problems with mood, anxiety, and stress.

Practice Noticing When You’re Having a Cognitive Distortion

lifeChoose one type of cognitive distortion to focus on at a time. Example: you recognize that you’re prone to “negative predictions.” For a week, just notice any times you find yourself making a negative prediction—for example, you might notice yourself expecting not to enjoy a party, expecting to feel too tired to exercise, expecting that your boss won’t like an idea, etc.

When you find yourself having the cognitive distortion, ask yourself: what other ways you could think? For the negative predictions example, you might ask yourself what other outcomes are possible. Try these three questions: What’s the worst possible thing that could happen? The best possible thing that could happen? The most realistic?

Track the Accuracy of a Thought

Example: Your rumination-related thought is “If I think a lot about my problem, it’ll help me find a solution.” For this example, you might write down each time you notice yourself ruminating (overthinking) in one column, and in a second column note if the rumination actually lead to useful problem solving.

At the end of the week, determine what percentage of the times you ruminated it led to useful problem solving? Another great idea is to record the approximate number of minutes you were ruminating each time you notice it. Then you can determine how many minutes of rumination you did for each useful problem solving idea.

Behaviorally Testing Your Thought

Example: Your thought is “I don’t have time to take breaks.” For a week (week 1), you could follow your usual routine and at the end of each day, rate your productivity on a 0-10 scale. For week 2, you could take a five minute break every 60 minutes and do the same ratings. You would then compare your productivity ratings across the two weeks.

Evaluate the Evidence For/Against Your Thought

Example: Your thought is “I can never do anything right.” You could write one column of objective evidence (column A) that supports the idea that you can never do anything right, and one column of objective evidence that your thought is not true (column B).

challThen, you’d write a couple of balanced thoughts that accurately reflect the evidence, for example: “I’ve made some mistakes that I feel embarrassed about but a lot of the time, I make good choices.” You don’t need to completely believe the new thoughts. For a start, just experiment with trying them on for size.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation involves picking a focus of attention, such as your breathing. For a set number of minutes, you focus on experiencing the sensations of your breathing, as opposed to thinking “about” your breathing.

Whenever any thoughts come into your mind, gently (and without self-criticism) bring your attention back to experiencing the sensations of your breathing. Mindfulness meditation isn’t specifically a tool for cognitive restructuring but it’s a great way to train yourself to be mindful (aware) of when you’ve become lost in thought. Mindful awareness of what thoughts you’re having is an essential first step in cognitive restructuring.

Self-Compassion

Self-compassion involves talking to yourself kindly whenever you have a sense of suffering. Like mindfulness meditation, self-compassion isn’t specifically a tool for cognitive restructuring, but it has that effect.

Example: you’ve done something silly and normally you’d call yourself a “stupid idiot.” Instead you take a self-compassion approach. You acknowledge you’ve made a mistake, that you feel embarrassed, and that this is part of the universal human experience. Over time, if you replace self-criticism with self-compassion, your thoughts will change. As you do this, you might notice your thoughts about other people becoming kinder and more accepting too.

Cognitive Restructuring | Psychology Today


Dr Alice Boyes’ PhD research was published in the world’s most prestigious social psychology journal – Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. She is originally from New Zealand but is now a digital nomad. She writes about social, clinical, positive, and relationships psychology topics for various outlets including Psychology Today, Women’s Health, and on her own blog. Follow her on Twitter @DrAliceBoyes.

More about psychopaths

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There is still much controversy when it comes to personality disorders. We still have the image of a serial killer on our hollywood-influenced mind, but real life is much more nuanced.

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I, Psychopath

I, PsychopathPsychopaths… we usually only know them from Hollywood movies. We never expect them to enter our real life. But, the psychopath is closer than you think. Experts believe their number to be as high as one in a hundred. Most of them function in cognito in high-powered professions…all the way to the very top.

But… it takes one to truly know one. In this intriguing documentary, Sam Vaknin, a self-proclaimed psychopath, goes in search of a diagnosis. In a scientific first, he allows himself to undergo testing to find out if he was born without a conscience. He knows he’s narcissistic and cannot empathize with others. By his own admission, he’s pompous, grandiose, repulsive and contradictory, ruthless and devoid of scruples, capricious and unfathomable… but he believes, he’s not a bad person. What he is is indifferent…he couldn’t care less. Unless, of course, the topic is himself.

Vaknin and his long-suffering but ever-loyal wife, Lidija, embark on a diagnostic road trip. But, it’s uncharted territory… deep into the mind and life of a psychopath. The 47-year-old convicted corporate criminal has agreed to take part in the pursuit of his own diagnosis… meeting the world’s experts in psychopathy in the hope that science will provide some answers for why he is like he is. These experts put Vaknin (and his wife) through a battery of rigorous psychological tests and neuro-scientific experiments.

Vaknin is shocked at the results. Sam, his wife, the scientists, the film-makers – will they ever be quite the same again?


The Validation Project

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This makes me want to be more environmentally friendly, haha

we are the most intelligent species on earth, so maybe we should act like it.

Occupy Sanity

Can you find the fault here?
http://occupyourhomes.org/

This blog is about inspiration. A lot of us want to make our life and others better, every day. Some of us get together and actually fight for this. But; There is often too little time, too much effort and a feeling of helplessness surrounding us when it comes to this. I have the belief, that we today have enough knowledge to actually "make the world a better place". We are capable 193f0c4e5eb72e262f5db6abb793ca96of flying to other planets, making food out of nothing, and curing diseases that people died of before. Still, as we see in the media every day, more and more people suffer. The division between rich and poor grows, and the news show us all the other dark sides: Rape, murder, corrupted politicians and war. After reading "no need to envy", a book about North-Korea: A country were some of the worst conditions imaginable actually exists, I felt anger soaring inside me. That some leaders can try to actually accomplish so much suffering today, is simply terrible. This rage led to a lot of thoughts and ideas, that I now share with the readers of this blog. If just one of you thinks this is a good idea, I would love to know.

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Give a smile to a stranger, and you have taken part in the “validation project”

PROJECT VALIDATION

To introduce the idea, I will ask everyone to watch this short movie first. Even if it takes 18 minutes of your time, I really promise it is worth it (psychologists honor)

We go about our everyday lives wanting things to always be getting better. We hope that our work makes a difference and those who came before us are proud and we wish for our children to have more than what we were given. As anyone knows who has heard Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech—delivered fifty years ago this August~ dreams are at the center of any effort to make things better. And today we have something with more power than we might realize: The internet. It’s not without reason that China and North-Korea tried to keep their inhabitants away from news. The media also have immense power, and even if some might argue that they focus on the wrong things (making thin the new fashion, ignoring many crises out there) there still is so many good journalists out there, who really want to make the world a better place. Combine the knowledge, motivation the internet and the media and you have a wonderful recipe: People who actually do something.

So, this is all well and fine, but how does this help? What can I DO? If you have watched the movie, I give an option. Like we all help the world by sorting our paper and throw it in a separate garbage bin, thereby saving the rainforest, what about spreading validation around to others ? What happens when someone smiles at us? Research shows that our mirror-neurons respond automatically by creating a smile on your own lips. This means that smiling AT someone, actually MAKE them happier. Research also shows that being happy yourself, gives you more energy to be there for others. So, like in the video, I would challenge the readers of this blog to do JUST one nice thing for somebody else (preferably a stranger, because that would have the biggest impact) the next week. When you have done that, write WHAT you did, and if you want, leave your email at the end. This will be like signing a petition for releasing a political prisoners. For every one of you who does that, you might have made the world just a little better. This is what your story means: You are signing a petition for a better world!

English: Dr. Martin Luther King giving his

English: Dr. Martin Luther King giving his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington in Washington, D.C., on 28 August 1963.

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http://ageer370.wordpress.com/i-have-a-dream-the-metaphoric-power-of-martin-luther-king/

Let us change the world

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in Norway we are on 2 place when it comes to overall happiness. So why don`t we do more for others?

When you think about the world today, its easy to get overwhelmed. We see news every day, where the current themes are war, unemployment, hunger, extreme weather and people dying of different diseases. I am lucky, and live in one of the wealthiest countries on earth, just because we were lucky and had a lot of oil that we could sell to the rest of the world. We have also saved a lot of the money, so that it grows fat and can protect us in the future. We have it all. I remember a friend in United Kingdom (a wonderful man who doesn`t realize it himself) shaking his head because we actually GET paid for studying, and we can study for 8 years without having a severe effect on our economics. He worked from

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early morning to late in the evening, and he was lucky, because it is so hard to actually find a job in London. Here this would lead to outrage and news in the papers (in the local news, it was actually top news that one doctor had worked for several years without a proper summer holiday). We are also a country that contributes a lot to the welfare of other countries and we often give of our own money when it comes to a good cause, but more than that, we don`t do. Of course its easy to feel a bit miserable and overwhelmed when you live in luxury while you know that so many people don`t. When we throw away food, because it is a bit too old, while somebody could kill another man for just one bite, our view on ourselves as good human beings, falter. Therefore, we have to construct a reason for not doing more, and here, I think, is where our brains help us.

Heard of cognitive dissonance before? If not, please read this before continuing:Cognitive Dissonance & Self-Justification (htycm.wordpress.com).The basics are: If we do something that don`t fit our view of ourselves, we find an explanation for not doing the “good” thing. For example, if we know smoking is bad for us, but still not quit, it must be because “we know a lot of people who haven`t died from smoking”. That is one of the reasons they include a phone number on cigarettes, so people feel they actually can DO something with the problem, since research show, that when we have the possibility to do good, we often do so. Especially if we see others “do the right thing”. Maybe that`s why exercising together with friends, or quitting smoking together with your partner, might be extra motivating. We are often more concerned by what others think about our will to commit, then we are if we break our own mental “standards”.

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So, what is the reason that I write about this at all? If we so easily give up, why bother at all? That might be a conclusion, an actually an example of cognitive dissonance. Because something seem to be hard, doesn’t mean it’s impossible to change it. We see the effect of one person gathering people who care all the time (but maybe don`t hear to much of it in the news) and if more people started to actually believe in themselves and at least try to do something, I don’t think this necessarily would take a lot of time. Think about how popular earth hour has become. For 1-2 hours the whole world turn of their light, and this small and easy effort done by everyone, helps the environment so much. What if all persons were supposed to at least ONE time during the year, not take the car for work, but a bus/cycle or walk instead, would not everyone want to contribute? In the oil crisis in -73 people started to talk together so that they had to share cars, thereby decreasing traffic, and even getting more social as an extra bonus (main complaint from a lot of patients I see: They feel lonely and unconnected to th8dd9e94b2822927172ef658f516ad7bee world). A lot of people know how influenced our climate gets by pollution, but since we do nothing to change it ourselves, cognitive dissonance sets in (our contribution is just a drop in the sea, anyway). But all these small drops can have an enormous effect! A lot of hotels these days, have some kind of information about saving energy and water; by installing environmental friendly equipment for the shower or putting up a request for guest to use their towel twice, to save water.

C. P. Pierce says it like this:

As soon as we start thinking about making a donation, we start thinking of reasons not to do it. Money’s too tight at home. The person to whom we’ll give it will spend it unwisely. The buck in the envelope is just a drop in the bucket. Oh, Lord, the problem’s so big and my wallet is so small. The modern reflex seems to be that the worst thing we can do for a problem is to “throw money at it,” even though very few problems ever get solved for free.In fact, as much as we inveigh against it biblically, or deplore the heedless pursuit of it, money is one of the few things that truly unites us. Our common currency is, well, common currency in almost all our essential interactions, including our most beneficent ones. Warren Buffett, eBay founding president Jeff Skoll, and the Google people seemed to realize this over the past couple of years. By giving away their money, they cement together some vital elements of our commonwealth. dec5872938ddb5d7f7a59ad79cae526eSmaller transactions have the same effect. Over this past holiday season, a management group in Rhode Island gave its employees money on the express condition that the employees then give it away to someone else in need. The company then asked their employees to share the stories of their charity at a company meeting. Thus does the act of giving away money form a kind of oral history, from giver to recipient and then to the people to whom the story is told. There is a spark of the collective consciousness in that, which hearten not only those people involved in the transaction but those who hear the story and pass it along. There is something like art there.When giving away your money, it helps to think of it as more than bits of paper and scraps of metal. That’s not a $20 bill you’re slipping into the envelope there. It’s a bagful of flour. It’s soup or a blanket or a bottle of medicine. That handful of quarters is a handful of rice. You can even make this art out of raw self-interest. Giving away money can be the most selfish thing you do. With a father and four of his siblings dead from the same disease, I can look at the check I send to the Alzheimer’s Association and see something that is every bit as therapeutic as any new therapy that money may help create. I see new drug trials, and respite care, and a light against enveloping darkness.There is nothing more visceral than cynicism, nothing more brutish than greed. These are reflexes, common and unremarkable, of the undeveloped spirit. But charity in its finest sense is always an act of the creative imagination.

So who knows, maybe we will save the world after all.

 Source:
Sweet Charity: The Benefits of Giving Back
By Charles P. Pierce