Monthly Archives: December 2014

Here’s to 2015 – another year older!

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“The older I get, the faster I was.”¹ I bet many of us can relate to that statement. How are you handling the reality of aging? Every year is a new experience looking in the mirror. I hope you respect the face you see in the reflection.

Our faces represent the terrain of our hearts. Each wrinkle is named after a time of endurance and a series of experiences. All our triumphs and heartbreaks imprinted on our profile are testimonies of our compassion, character,IMG_0740 and strength.                                                                                                                                                                                            New mornings offer a fresh journey of encounters and our face will map its expressions. Our silhouette today is evidence that we’re still standing. That warrants self-respect. –Dr. Sandy

¹Charles Barkley, professional basketball player in a television interview with Bob Costa, January 22, 1995, on NBC

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Why is there something instead of nothing?

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I recently had a conversation about the small galaxy that was detected by the Hubble Space Telescope. This tiny galaxy was discovered in the Milky Way’s backyard which makes it sound like you found a new Frisbee behind the garage. But, the backyard of space is endless, or is it?

How do you account for or even imagine the amount of space in all the universe and the amount of space between galaxies, stars, and planets. The Pale-Blue-Dot.png photo taken of earth by the Voyager 1 space probe is said to be a pic of the earth from 4 billion miles away–4 billion miles.

blue dotYou can barely see the small white fleck, but that’s us, that’s earth in the vastness of space.

My question is: how did this happen? How does space exist? What occurred, what came to pass that resulted in billions of miles of white-speckled space and light-years? Where do our black skies come from?

Carl Sagan titled his 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space after the photograph. In it, he expresses his thoughts on a deeper meaning of the image: From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.  

What’s your point of view?

[whohit}How does space exist?[/whohit]

 

Where do most people who want to change their life get stuck?

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Where do most people who want to change their life tend to get stuck in the process? Choose the answer you believe is correct:
A. They get stuck because they don’t know how to change others so their own lives get better.
B. A snow-bank.
C. They get stuck because they don’t know another way to handle things or people.
D. They get stuck because some people in their life just don’t get it.

Correct answer is C.

Author E. E. Cummings said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” Many people desire to make positive changes in their lives but get stuck because they don’t know how to handle things differently. It’s scary to think of life any other way IMG_0211than how we’ve been living it, even though it’s been far from a picnic. It’s scary to examine what we learned in childhood surroundings that may be incorrect. It’s scary to take a look at what we assumed to be normal. It’s scary to face what’s wrong and not working for us.                                                                                                                           But when we blame other people for our unhappiness, keep doing things we firmly promised not to, fail to do what we decided to do, then we begin to understand that we don’t know how to fix the mess our lives are in. We realize that we’re no longer able to soothe our fears and hurts. There remains nothing left to pull out of our hats. And we’re left stuck because we know no other way to think, feel, and act.

We know we’re unhappy, but we don’t know what to do differently. With all we’ve done with our attempts to be in control, we can no longer control our own sadness, which has no doubt reached a miserable level. We focused on solving problems that couldn’t possibly be solved with the ways we were trying to solve them. And when we failed to fix these problems, feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and even anger multiplied. All our inadequacies and all our hurts joined our self-doubts which we spent an enormous amount of time hiding because we needed to appear competent and in control. Marriage and Family Therapist Robin Norwood writes, “Most of the insanity and despair you experience comes directly from trying to manage and control what you can’t.”

So what would you do? Please share your suggestions on improving situations and making positive changes. –Dr. Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Do you possess honor?

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Other people learn how to treat us when we tell them what’s acceptable behavior around us and what is not; what actions we will let slide, and what attitudes we’ll not back down on. How someone behaves toward us, or treats us, has been communicated to them through our interactions.

site8 - CopyTo think that someone will stop unacceptable actions if you just ignore it or ignore them, isn’t likely to happen. But remember, the point of stating what’s acceptable and unacceptable to you, isn’t to manipulate or control the other person either. The purpose of giving yourself a voice isn’t to get the person or situation to change to your liking. The reason for stating your thoughts, opinions, and needs is to honor your identity–your SELF. You verbalize thoughts and opinions to give integrity to your self-respect and special being. You acknowledge that you’re a separate individual with values, priorities, and principles. When someone else communicates his or her thoughts, opinions, value, priorities, and principles to you, they are either acceptable and agreeable to you or not acceptable and not agreeable. They are not stated for debate or judgment.

Today, resist the urge to tell someone that their thoughts are wrong, or attempt to change the person. Either accept the person, and nurture the relationship, or realize there’s no compatibility and accept that no deep relationship or friendship is likely with that person. Dr. Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Is your acceptance conditional?

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Tolerance is the belief that people who disagree with us have the right to. Isn’t it important to accept and respect the opinions, thoughts, feelings, choices, and decisions of every individual rather than see it as a mission to convince the person why they’re wrong, misinformed, or whatever if their views are different?
IMG_0251When we accept and respect the beliefs of other people, we demonstrate tolerance—we allow them to be who they are and we focus on who we are. If we become upset, resentful, or hurt, when someone disagrees with our beliefs, then we’re not accepting and respecting the other person. We’re saying that our acceptance of them is conditional on their compliance with our opinions. As we accept others as they are, we’re able to learn about different beliefs and preferences of other people.

Controlling someone is the opposite of accepting someone because the acceptance is conditional on that person’s compliance—agreement with us. We place the other person in the position of having no freedom to disagree with us or state different thoughts, opinions, needs, or preferences. People do have the right to see things differently, to prefer something else, and to do things the way we wouldn’t. They may even be wrong, but people have the right to be wrong.

Look at any need to control other people today; and instead of attempting to sway them to your views, ask more about theirs. Dr. Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

What are you expecting today?

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Some individuals hold others responsible for the disappointment and unwanted outcomes they experience. This furnishes them with a blaming, self-defeating state of mind. After being injured, disappointed, hurt, and violated enough times we may forfeit the anticipation of good outcomes in life. We remain snared in the unfairness of life where incorrect thinking and pessimistic feelings reign. We invent an imaginary scale by which events are weighed. Of course, the scale never measures above bad luck. No matter how many blessings exist or good IMG_0294things happen, it’s not seen, or it’s not enough, or something is flawed with it or we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“You have a style, a way of being. You hear people describe others by noting their persona: He’s a real hard charger, or she’s a cool customer. Some approach life as a combat: they’re hostile, even explosive. Others are milquetoast who expect to get trampled, and do. Your attitude of approach dictates what you get back. You may complain about the way people react to
you, but believe me, you create it, just as everyone else creates the reactions they get from the world. Honestly evaluate your style of engagement, and you will begin to understand why the world responds to you as it does.”¹

Unless we tackle the thinking that results in this self-defeating negativity, we’ll become more complaining, more resentful, and continue to experience more unfairness because that’s what we’re expecting. What are you expecting today? Dr. Sandy

¹Dr. Phil McGraw in Life Strategies

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

What is Grace?

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Grace is . . .
                           a caring look
                                                        quiet moments                         a tender touch
         being accepted                             tranquil snowfalls                                                                                                                                special people                                                                                                                                     renewal and rest                    sunsets                      time                                                                                                                             a warm blanket                                    abiding kindness                                                                  faith           long hugs                          sudden smiles                         IMG_0411(2)                                        helping hands                               laughter                                                             prayer                                                                                                                                         strength and guts                    children singing                                                                 unexpected good                           mistakes forgotten                              sins forgiven                                       caring words               a happy sigh                               compassion                                                                  open arms                            a Savior given                                                                                                                                                Christmas morning                                     God’s joy and embrace

Christmas Blessings!

-Dr. Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Do you know where your life is?

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It’s today. Do you know where your life is?

Are you increasing in wisdom, love, and happiness? If not, you’re going the wrong way. Disconnecting from change does not recapture the past; it loses the future.¹ Today is no ordinary day for you because yours is no ordinary life. Your life is not common, not over-circulated, not everywhere to be found. It’s unique, with one owner, one writer and director—YOU!

IMG_0562More and more individuals are shedding the stigma against change and embracing a better life from their introspection. Every moment of one’s existence, one is growing into more or retreating into less.² There’s an overdue epidemic of people realizing that change is actually a wonderful endeavor that reaps rewards that have remained stalled for years. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. If you’re getting what you want in life then there’s no need for change. But if your rewards are stalled, join the movement today—Change Something! -Dr. Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

¹Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, American Poet                                              ²Norman Mailer, American novelist, journalist, playwright, film maker, actor

 

Are life’s unknowns knocking on your door?

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One summer night during a severe thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small son into bed. She was about to turn the light off when he asked in a trembling voice, “Mommy, will you stay with me all night?” Smiling, the mother gave him a warm, reassuring hug and said tenderly, “I can’t dear. I have to sleep in Daddy’s room.” A long silence followed. At last it was broken by the boy’s shaky voice saying, “The big sissy!”
IMG_0926Fears of the unknown can cause total havoc in life. As a rule, men worry more about what they can’t see than about what they can.¹ We have a need to know; a need to be prepared–a need to control. But reality tells us that we also have a need to learn to live with uncertainty. When life is sunny, we do not worry if we will be able to handle the happiness or get through the joyful experience. There are few frets when life unfolds as we planned. We feel in control of our lives.
Likewise, when the storms of life occur we need to believe that we will handle the havoc and get through the unplanned. We can not see what tomorrow will bring. In fact, there are oodles of things we can not see or have future knowledge of despite the control of details in the present.
Remind yourself that whether today is sunny or stormy, you will and can handle whatever knocks on your door and survive it.
If you have found this post helpful, please pass it on! -Dr. Sandy

¹ Julius Caesar, Roman General and Statesman, 100-4 B.C.

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Why appear perfect?

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This epitaph adorns the grave of Ellen Shannon, 26, of Girard, Pennsylvania: Who was fatally burned March 21, 1870 by the explosion of a lamp filled with “R. E. Danforth’s Non-Explosive Burning Fluid.
IMG_0560(2)Apparently, R. E. Danforth thought his non-explosive burning fluid would not explode. Most mistakes are not fatal like Danforth’s product, but merely inconveniences and disappointments. A mistake is an unwanted outcome, not necessarily a reflection of adequacy. Mistakes are messages that more information or knowledge is needed to create the outcomes you want.
I have heard that an eagle misses 70 percent of its strikes. Why should I expect to do better?¹ Our thoughts are delusional if we think life can unfold without mistakes. In fact, the more we’re compelled to present ourselves as error-free, the more it indicates delusional thinking. You and I are going to make mistakes the rest of our lives. We’re imperfect, with flaws, weaknesses, and limitations. There are things we do not have knowledge of; things we do not know how to do.
If you didn’t focus energy on appearing error-free today, where else would you focus that energy? Today, view any mistake as an unwanted outcome and instead of beating yourself up for it, admit the mistake and seek a different solution. –Dr. Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

¹Sophy Burnham, American author