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The Mission should you accept it……..


The Mission is to find Home Base– the particular spot on the planet where you can unravel even your most darkest thoughts and not feel in danger for revealing them.  When I was a young Catholic boy it was the confessional followed by three “Hail Mary”s and three “Our Fathers.”  I would come away from that location feeling cleansed.  What ever had dirtied my thoughts, or what ever cheating interaction that I had had with the world would disappear and I was once again in the arms of good graces of a warm home.

Around the season of Christmas many of us feel an need to be home and safe, but many times the home that we think is home is really just another place on earth, and not really the trusted home that is our heart’s desires.  Coming home to Nazareth, to Bethlehem, or Chicago is not the same as coming home to our hearts.  In a Christmas message the Vietnam Buddhist Monk, Thich Naht Hanh wrote the following:

There is no way home, Home is the way.”

 What does it mean to say, “Home is the Way”?

In order to put his phrase in perspective we have to look at what it means for us to be home.  For many it is a feeling of safety, a feeling of being cared for and loved, a feeling that even if everything is not right in the world, I can find that place inside my heart where things are all right within me.  Home is a sacred spot, a soul, a mental location, a psychic event that is characterized by being in a compassionate relationship with the self.

Easier said than done!

The process of finding in the self, the confessional of my youth, requires that I stop, look and listen for the very echoes that use to beat in the heart of a child.  The heart of a child is not concerned with the future.  A child can stop to amuse himself/herself with a clothespin, or with a tray of sand and a toy truck.  Returning to the center of who we were before we started pasting life on in layers is something we forget to deliberately do.  We forget where we left ourselves and it is an east thing to do.

Actually forgetting who we are is the default position of our ego.  The ego is in charge of covering life over with the events that occur to us or occur in front of us.  As little children we incorporate these event and begin to think that we are the event that happened to us. But we are wrong to stop there despite the fact that stopping there seems pretty natural to or egos.

Finding home inside, finding what brings peace to my insanity, finding what brings serenity to my chaos is an inside job.  Removing the layers of acquired victimization is not easy only because it is not the default position.  The default position is to add one more event to the pile of events that we think has defines us.  

In fact these life events have defined our egos, not our selves.  To meet the wider, deep self and to find the consciousness that existed before the layering began, we need to be quiet; and the thing that most disturbs that quiet is that passive, ever blaring voice running like a ticker tape in the back of our heads.

No one can tell us exactly how quieting the mind can be done.  In the same way that you can not “teach” a baby to walk.  Walking is a natural function that will occur in time with desire to reach something.  The desire to reach something is the center piece of being able to stop, calm the mind and listen for the silence.

Once silent we can order a paradigm shift toward what ever it is that we know will give us the feeling of warmth that every home needs. A house can be cold, but a home is always warm. Desire for freedom from the cold begins the journey home.


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You’ve Been Taking Breaks All Wrong. Here’s How To Do It Right.

The tittle betrays everything I talk about on a daily basis with patients, friends and even those few family members who are willing to listen to the old-man philosopher.  Nothing is right or wrong I like to say.  Suspend judgement, know your intent, be deliberate and above all move away from even using the words, “right” and “wrong”.

This tittle I swiped from the Huffington Post.  If you would like to read the entire link click on below:

Here are a few snippets from the article that i strongly advocate:

2008 University of Illinois study found that the brain’s attentional resources drop after a long period of focusing on a single task, decreasing our focus and hindering performance. But even brief diversions, the study found, could significantly increase one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods of time………

There’s no way to perform at your highest level without allowing time for rest.

The article goes on to describe seven ways of taking a better break.  My favorite is the one I copied below.  Thanks for reading

Make it a mindful break.


The most effective breaks are those that involve calming the mind through practices like deep breathing, meditation or yoga (mindful movement), which allow for maximum renewal in minimum time. Meditation and deep breathing can be particularly effective in relieving stress.

You may not notice a difference immediately, but research has shown that over time, cultivating mindfulness is correlated with lower cortisol levels. Plus, practicing meditation could boost your creativity and compassion.

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An Analytic Child-Guidance Approach to Conduct


The issue of child guidance has come up recently in my practice.  There seems to be a very high correlation between the manner in which the parents treat each other and the manners that the child picks up and demonstrates.  A quarreling couple may each be “nice-as-pie” to the child; but if the child sees discord in the relationship between the parents, there is a significant chance that that child will begin to model not how he is treated, but how he sees his mother and father treating each other.

Of course there is the present behavior and conduct problems that may arise in the child, but there is also a significant chance that the child will carry this early model of relationship into their adult lives and begin to display negativity and blame within the adult relationships. It can take upwards of three generations to solve a particularly recalcitrant family problem.

Children come into our lives with a piece of their characters inherited–D N A plays a role, nurturing plays another role.  What the child sees will in all circumstances be brought into the psyche.  What the child does with both the inherited and the learned behaviors will be a function of the child’s own egoic development.

When approaching child guidance from an analytic perspective, we are cautious to not be intruding in the family cycle in such a way that the members of the family are not able to take in the new information they need to have to make the changes necessary to bring the child back in line with his or her own natural development sequence.  In order for the parents to be able to make the necessary changes in themselves they need to believe that what they are currently doing is indeed–not a fault, but a mis-calculation in administering punishment and rewards.

Some individuals are under the impression that taking a favorite toy away for example will teach a lesson.  It may, to the right child who can learn a lesson in that manner; but what of the child who can not learn that way? What if the child is lacking an emotion or is over stimulated by his or her emotions?  The punishing routines have little chance to be effective.

In early ages conduct disorders are most likely a demonstration of a child’s inability to sooth themselves…A rocking chair is more the answer than standing in the corner.

Emotional lag, delay in growing up, is linked to a “stuck-place” in the sequence of the child’s learning.  Learning becomes over-stimulating and learning itself causes the over-stimulation that the parents are in the first place attempting to correct.


If we do not know how to find the quiet place within ourselves, we can be two months of forty seven years old and nothing seems to work.  Proper sleep and little sugar and little white flour go a very long way in correcting conduct disorders, but emotional communications that are soft and inquiring along with exploratory questions will bring a better result that to remove a toy or to punish in a way that gives the child the impression that they are some how bad….


Right and wrong are not as important as quality time and soothing language…..