torek, 28. december 2010

Love Is the Answer

Read my third blog about taking control over your wishes:

http://www.helenasmole.com/2010/love-is-the-answer/

torek, 21. december 2010

My True Self

Have you ever examined a list of your wishes? Look deep and you will find the most important one.

http://www.helenasmole.com/2010/my-true-self-2/

torek, 14. december 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

Since it’s the time of New Year’s wishes, I wrote something about them for you:

http://www.helenasmole.com/2010/be-careful-what-you-wish-for/

četrtek, 02. december 2010

Reoccurring Dreams

Ever felt exhausted by a nightmare? Read my blog:

http://www.helenasmole.com/2010/reoccurring-dreams/

petek, 26. november 2010

Cutting the Ties to Worrying

Welcome to read about my last training program, where I did something in the worry reduction sphere: http://www.helenasmole.com/2010/cutting-the-ties-to-worrying/

torek, 16. november 2010

Cutting the Ties in Munich

Read about my last Phyllis Krystal Method Training Session in Munich:
http://www.helenasmole.com/2010/cutting-the-ties-in-munich/

sreda, 03. november 2010

Back from Munich

Read more on my page: http://www.helenasmole.com/2010/tired-but-happy/

nedelja, 17. oktober 2010

My New Site

Hello! Welcome to read my new blog on my personal web site:

http://www.helenasmole.com

petek, 24. september 2010

Cannot Blog



Autumn is taking its toll on my sensitive brain. Cannot blog. Searching for soul peace in the woods.

sobota, 11. september 2010

Greed Reduction


This would be my last blog on Sepp Holzer's experimental farm in Austrian Alps. I would like to talk about his greed reduction policies. As I have written in my first blog about Holzer – I believe his philosophy could be shortly described by three sentences: Back to nature. Do not be too greedy. And: Turn disadvantages of your situation into advantages. In the first blog I wrote about advantages, in the second about the nature, so let me say a few words about greed here.

It is one thing to say to people: “You are too greedy,” and a completely different thing to be able to show examples of greed reduction in practice. Those who have read my previous blogs must remember Vogelkirschen »bird cherry trees«. Holzer could have planted the usual cherry trees that give larger crops. But then he would not have so many birds on the farm that can only eat the small cherries called Vogelkirschen. And he needs the birds to keep the number of snails under a reasonable limit. He is ready to give, thus he can receive. He gives cherries and receives “snail-control”, for as you know birds like to eat snails too.

Let me give you another example. Holzer uses pigs instead of tractors in order to be environment friendly. On some fields he lets pigs eat all the crops. That way the pigs automatically do the “plowing”, for that is their way of feeding in nature. On other fields Holzer and his employees pick the crops, spread some corn seeds on the ground and let the pigs in (each field has a fence). The pigs then do the “plowing”, while searching for the seeds. Holzer likes to joke that “pigs are his employees too, for they plow and fertilize the soil”.

Another interesting point to mention would be that the cereals on Holzer’s farm are cut by hand. The long unbroken straw is then sold to homeopaths, for which the machine-harvested straw would be useless.

Give and you shall receive.

ponedeljek, 06. september 2010

Back to Nature


As I have mentioned in my previous blog, the saying “Back to nature” well applies to everything Sepp Holzer does on his experimental farm. Let us take snails for example. How does he fight snails on his vegetables? Well, it is a project. He planted lots of the so called »bird cherry trees« (Vogelkirschen). The cherries that grow on this sort of trees are small enough for birds to be able to eat them. Holzer picks some cherries and produces jam, but the rest remains there to be eaten by birds. Those birds like eating snails too. Thus there is no need to poison snails with artificial chemicals. The number of snails is reduced by the number of birds that are enhanced by sweet cherries. If we study nature, we will find answers to our problems there.

This is only one example of how Holzer is trying to »work with the nature and not against it«, like he often says. Let us take a look at mental illness. What useful techniques can we learn from nature?

Sleeping hours are surely one point at which nature has got it all figured out. One thing is for sure. The night is meant for sleeping. And the calming evening energies are there for us to shift our mind to »lower frequencies« before going to bed. Let us use that, before we ask our psychiatrist to give us sleeping pills. Evening parties, loud music, watching exciting movies or the news before going to bed are not going to help people with insomnia to fall asleep. Watching the sunset and listening to the wind will. It is also very important that one has regular bed time hours. That way one uses the power of night to rest. If the brain gets enough rest at night, one will be active in the day time and get enough sun light, which is also very important for the brain to function properly. You can read more about modern lifestyle affecting our sleep at:

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/09/01/2999748.htm

Another point, where nature and a sensitive brain can meet is food. A lot of mental patients try sugar avoidance, because large quantities of sugar somehow put us out of balance. First sugar calms you down, but very soon afterwards you get nervous because the body wants more sugar. There is no need to stop eating sugar, unless you have diabetes of course. However, one can try eating less sugar. Nature has a perfect solution to that: fruits instead of junk food. Fruits contain lower quantities of sugar that do not disrupt the brain.

And last but not least a stroll through a forest or around a lake is one of the most effective relaxation techniques after a rough day. Nature is always there for us. Seize the day.

Holzer says human beings are made to own at least some amount of land and grow food on it. That is not always possible, however nature walks are. Take advantage of what nature offers.

ponedeljek, 30. avgust 2010

Fear versus Creativity



During our summer holidays my husband and I visited an experimental farm in Austria. Sepp Holzer calls himself a »rebellious farmer« and works miracles at the height of 4200 feet above sea level. He turned a steep pine forest into a land of ponds, fields and fruit tree gardens. How? By building terraces. The rain water descending from pond to pond comes down as spring water full of life energy at the bottom of the terraces. By creating a humid microclimate Holzer is able to grow even apricots and lemons at an amazing altitude. He says: “My farm is not supposed to be a recipe. It is merely an inspiration.” He is trying to invite people to think creatively instead of being afraid and asking questions: What if ...? Holzer's core philosophy could be shortly described by three sentences: Back to the nature. Do not be too greedy. And: Turn disadvantages of your situation into advantages.

I will write about the back to the nature concept and about the greed in my next blogs. Let me concentrate on Holzer's approach to disadvantages here. Instead of whining about how he cannot grow anything on very steep slopes, he built terraces. Instead of complaining about the cold weather at 4200 to 4900 feet above sea level in Austrian Alps, he built a pond system to compensate with humidity and he grew mixed plant culture to make the plants stronger as a community to compensate even more for the low temperatures. He also applies rocks that accumulate heat and warm his plants, especially Mediterranean herbs and fruit trees.

It is one thing to listen to people talk about turning disadvantages into advantages or problems into challenges. To actually see people in action however is what really inspires me. On Holzer's farm you can literary see the saying »Life is what you make of it« coming to life.

Holzer’s positive attitude is not applicable only in farming. You can see challenges instead of problems and turn disadvantages into advantages in any area of your life. Mental illness happens. It is a fact. You had no saying in whether you would get it or not. In other words – it is your destiny. What you do about your illness however is your choice. Read in my book about my choices. It is coming out next year. My book is also not a recipe, it is just an inspiration. Just like Holzer’s farm.

četrtek, 05. avgust 2010

I am taking a short break from blogging


Based on comments of the readers of my last blog The Limits of Positive Thinking, I would like to add another limitation. One should not be too specific, when one affirms. Let me explain.

If we read books by L. Hay, there are no affirmations like: "I am married to Tom this and that." They are always more general: "I am married to a loving man." The actual Tom this and that is picked by god/the universe/coincidence – whichever you believe in.

I would give a similar answer to a lady mentioned in a comment to my previous blog that never wins in a casino. Maybe lottery is not the right way for her. Maybe she should think of other ways of investing money. She can keep the wish of getting well off, but needs to change the method of achieving it. By letting her lose money in casinos god/the universe/coincidence is showing her the way away from casinos. Affirming goes hand in hand with letting go and keeping faith. If one has no patience, one will soon say that affirmations do not work.

To sum up affirmations are not specific wishes. They never contain any numbers or names. For example one does not affirm: “I weigh 132 lb.” One affirms: “I am slim.” If that person is not at all overweight, all that needs to be done is improve her/his self-image. Only the ones who are overweight will really lose weight, if they change their diet and start exercising.

In my opinion affirmations are intended to change our thinking patterns. By saying positive things we only prepare ourselves for the future happiness. If we are not prepared, that means if we are too pessimistic and depressed, we might not even notice that something good has happened to us. Or we might blow our chances, simply because deep inside we believe that we do not deserve happiness. Affirmations are not magic, they are psychotherapy.

I am taking a short break from blogging, for my husband and I are going camping in Slovene mountains. It’s a recession-proof holiday. Minimum expenses, since we stay in our home country and sleep in a tent. Also very relaxing – no planes, no traffic noise, just mother nature. My next blog will be published on August the 30th.

ponedeljek, 02. avgust 2010

The Limits of Positive Thinking


I can only come up with one. It's not clever to endure a difficult situation that could be changed and only repeat to oneself: »It's fine. It's fine. It could be worse.« Some situations cannot be changed, that's true. All one can do in such cases is get used to it. However, there are situations that CAN be changed and those are the times to take action in addition to positive thinking.

Let me give you an example.

I had some lines from L. Hay's book hanging on a wall I was facing while sitting at my desk in my office, where I used to work:

»In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. My unique creative talents and abilities flow through me and are expressed in deeply satisfying ways. There are people out there who are always looking for my services. I am always in demand and can pick and choose what I want to do. I earn good money doing what satisfies me. My work is a joy and a pleasure. All is well in my world.« (L. Hay: You Can Heal Your Life. Hay House: 2008. Page 108.)

To be honest none of the upper lines were true for my job back then, except the one about earning good money. I knew that these lines are meant as an affirmation. They say something about our future. First we talk about it and then the reality changes. We have to speak in present tense, otherwise the affirmations always remain in the future, which means they never become reality. I knew all that. But it still felt odd, because I saw no better future for me. I was certain that I would never find a satisfying job, since no one else would hire a mental patient. I had gotten the job at that office, because the employer knew me personally and felt sorry for me having schizoaffective disorder.

Still, I kept reading the affirmations and with years I started believing that it was possible for me to have a satisfying job.

Nevertheless it took more than positive thinking to really give notice, when the time was right to do that. It took courage. No matter how many times I had read the upper lines, sometimes also aloud (when I was alone), the letter of resignation still had to be written by myself. The universe provided a financial opportunity to quit the job — I could become a financially supported wife, since my husband started earning enough to cover our basic expenses. But I still had to write and post the letter.

When the time is right to take action, you take action. You do not write on your wall: “Somebody else will do it for me.” Positive thinking provides the right requirements for happiness, but when the time is right, you still have to take action.

ponedeljek, 19. julij 2010

Society is Mental Illness


An American psychologist who lives in Slovenia and has recently read my book said to me: »I think society IS mental illness.«

I was puzzled for a while, but then I asked: »What are mental patients then? The worst cases?«

To my astonishment he replied: »No, they are just people who are more aware of it.«

I answered instinctively: »I'll take this as a compliment.«

Later I gave this conversation more thought. Maybe he was right. Think of paranoia. It's one of the core thinking patterns. We are afraid of getting old, afraid of dying, afraid of being alone. So afraid that whole industries can grow out of it. Think of depression. Most people are so immersed in negative thinking that you have to carefully pick your company, otherwise you get constantly drawn back into negativity, even if you strive for positivity. And the majority of negative thinkers are not even aware of what they are doing.

Thus maybe mental patients did not fall mentally ill in vain. The man said that we are more aware of it. What does it mean? Being aware of the problem is always the first step to the solution. Maybe mental patients who make it through their illness and start thinking positively can help the non-mental-patient-people to step out of their negativity. For honestly speaking the negativity cannot get any worse than it already is. We have hit the rock bottom already. Thus logically it can only get better.

Please send your thoughts on this subject to: bb.bukle@gmail.com

ponedeljek, 05. julij 2010

Bringing Theory into Practice


Some time ago I mentioned in a blog that I affirm regularly: “It is my responsibility HOW to draw a line in a relationship. The reaction of the other person involved is his/her responsibility.”

Today I would like to share with you a story that shows progress in real life due to the upper affirmation:

The other day I tried to draw money from an ATM. I pushed the bank card into the fissure. The ATM did not react. I noticed another fissure just above the one, where my card was stuck. I realized I had pushed the card into the wrong fissure. I tried to pull it out, but it was too deep inside already. I saw a man standing behind me and since he was waiting for me, I figured it would be good for him to get this thing sorted out as soon as possible, so he could use the machine too. I asked him for help. He approached the ATM and could not believe that a woman can be so stupid. I decided to buy tweezers just around the corner and try to grab the card by them. I ran to the shop and bought tweezers. When I came back, the man was angrily waving with my bank card in the air trying to make me feel guilty for having been so stupid. I tried to cheer him up with a joke, but his despair was not repairable. He asked: “Will you be able to do it by yourself now?” I kindly asked him for help, for I was in enough stress already and I did not want to do any more mistakes. He helped me, but did not forget to add an ironic remark that hurt me: “Like I have time for you.” He must have drawn his money while I was buying tweezers, so after having seen my card in the right fissure, he hurried away without saying good-bye.

Then I tried to finally draw the money from the ATM, but on the display there appeared a sentence that I did not fully understand. I was tired and I left with my bank card and no cash. I thought if I sit on a bench nearby and get some rest, maybe later I will be able to try again. When I sat down however, I started crying. I felt like a loser that does not even know how to operate an ATM. On the top of that I could not understand why the man was so angry with me. I even bought tweezers largely on his account so that he would not have to wait too long. On the top of that I made fun of myself in order to cheer him up. Still he showed absolutely no compassion. Since I had gotten to the point of crying, there was no hope for getting my focus back and being able to operate the ATM in a short time. So I went home. On my way home a most remarkable thing happened. I managed to transform my sadness and guilty feeling into anger that I expressed verbally. I did not care if anyone passing by should hear me.

It was a great relief to get the anger out and even to feel it in the first place. If this had happened a year ago, there would not have been any righteous anger whatsoever. I would have only carried this feeling of being a looser inside of me. The progress also showed in the largely decreased amount of time that I needed to process the feelings connected to the unpleasant event. I forgot about the man by the end of the day. If this story had happened a year ago, I would probably have carried the story of my failure in my head for a fortnight.

You can ask me more about the power of affirmations: bb.bukle@gmail.com

petek, 25. junij 2010

Saying Thanks as a Habit


Over the last years I have gradually developed the habit of saying thanks. I start in the morning. I say thanks for all the good things that happened the day before and also for the »things« that are there all the time – being happily married, having found my vocation as a writer etc. This is a part of my morning meditation called maypole exercise, which is one of the basic exercises of the Phyllis Krystal method. I do this every morning, which sets a thankful atmosphere in me for the whole day.

It is one thing to say thanks for the good things, but what about the bad ones? I am grateful for the mental illness episodes in my past, for they had brought me to the point in my life, when I finally realized, what my true vocation was. On one hand it was hard to accept the illness and it took me about 13 years to come to the conclusion that it was all for the best. On the other hand it is easy to talk about the positive aspect of something that is over.

The truly hard thankfulness seems the one that we can develop already while a bad thing is happening to us. Let me give you an example. When I wake up with a migraine, I first get angry. Then I realize that anger will only make the migraine worse. Then I say mechanically: »Thank you God for this migraine. I do not know why it is good for me, but it might reveal itself later«. I do not really mean it and how could I, when my head hurts like hell. Nonetheless it helps to say thanks, for these sentences calm me down, while angry sentences would only make the headache worse. In retrospective I have been many times really grateful for the migraine, for I have realized that it had slowed me down, when I was either working too much or getting too emotional.

Last but not least I want to tell you a funny story in order to spice the serious subject a bit. Some weeks ago I was buying coffee from a coffee machine. When the sentence »Please remove the cup« showed up on the display, I said: »Thank you«. The next moment I was laughing at myself and looking around in shame. The lady that had heard me was smiling. We ended laughing together.

You can ask me more about my habit of saying thanks: bb.bukle@gmail.com

ponedeljek, 21. junij 2010

The Blind Car Driver in Me


This is another blog on dream interpretation. May I point out again that I only interpret the impressive dreams or the reoccurring ones. I dream almost every day, thus in my opinion it would be pointless to try to interpret every insignificant dream. I might even overdo it and get obsessed with dream interpretation. That is why I have set myself the limitation of interpreting only certain dreams. On the contrary a person who rarely remembers a dream in the morning would not need this limitation of course. May I warn you that you should consult your psychiatrist first, before you start any kind of dream interpretation, for you have to be stable in order to be able to do it. If one interprets his/her dreams during a mental illness episode for example, the interpreting might even make the episode worse.

In my previous blog I mentioned that I usually use the Phyllis Krystal Method to interpret my dreams. Nonetheless the example in my previous blog was interpreted solely according to my intuition. This time I will describe an example of my dreams that I have managed to interpret according to the above mentioned method. Dream interpretation is just a facilitating exercise that I use as a back-up next to other exercises according to the PK Method that I do regularly. It is not the core work of the method, but it gives useful hints at times.

The dreams: I met a very interesting woman. She was the head of the Union of the Blind People of my country — not the real head, just somebody who appeared as such in my dreams. She was driving a car. I was astonished. I asked her: “How can you drive a car? You are blind.” She gave me a most logical but at the same time a surprising answer: “I see with my third eye.” As much as I was dazzled by her self-confidence and supernatural capabilities I was also just as much disappointed with myself, for I had stopped driving a year ago.


This last bit regarding my driving is real. It is not an imagined story from the dreams. I had been trying to learn how to drive and be relaxed while driving a car for 4 years, but it only got worse over the years, so a year ago I finally quit. The real-life feeling of being a loser who cannot drive a car was combined with the imagined story of a blind car driver in my dreams.

When I woke up in the morning, I first thought the dream was telling me to try driving a car again. Later however I tried to interpret it with the PK method, because this is what I usually do, if the dream is impressive. According to this method the people that appear in our dreams represent parts of our personality. Similarly the car usually means our job or business. Thus the blind woman in my dreams could be interpreted as the brave part of me that knows how to pull off my book project, even though the skeptic in me is still having her doubts, for this is my first project of the kind. In my opinion the dreams were trying to encourage me in my endeavor to publish a book that will help other mental patients in their fight for a better life.

You can ask me more about my dreams and the way I interpret them: bb.bukle@gmail.com

ponedeljek, 14. junij 2010

Dramatic Dreams


Last week I had a somewhat weird but also an inspiring dream. A friend of mine appeared in it. We were running away from a flood. I spotted a pile of sand and said to him: »Let's climb up this pile and then we are saved.« He said: »Oh, I don't feel like climbing. It's too strenuous. I will go around the pile.« I looked back at the threatening flood and decided to save my ass instead of trying to persuade him to take the hard way.

It was one of those situations in dreams that are hard to explain, but you know what you have to do and it is the only way out. I knew there was no time to go around the pile, since the flood was approaching too quickly. Losing any additional seconds trying to persuade him would have gotten both of us killed. So I climbed up the pile. When I got to the other side of the pile, I knew I was saved. I looked back and at that instant the friend was carried away by the flood. He died. I felt guilty for a second, but then a great feeling of reassurance set in. I did what I could for him, yet he was not ready to fight. His reluctance to make an extra effort cost him his life.

When I woke up from the dream in the morning, I said to myself. »Jesus, how stupid dreams.« Later however I started thinking about them and suddenly it dawned on me that the dreams were telling me something. The friend from the dreams is a friend from my real life. I have known him since my high-school years. He shares the same diagnoses with me, but he is too reluctant to do anything about his life that would change things for the better. I tried to show him the way many times, but he was never ready to work on his thinking patterns or to change his life style to a healthier one. It broke my heart to see him all miserable again and again and at the end of the conversation he would usually say that I worry more about him than he worries about himself. So I stopped chatting with him. I left him behind.

The dream was telling me that there is no need to have any guilt feelings about my decision. I still e-mail him, but going out for a cup of coffee with him is simply too exhausting for me.

I often try to interpret dreams that leave a great impression on me or those that reoccur often. I believe that such intense dreams usually try to tell us something. I normally use the Phyllis Krystal method to interpret dreams, but it doesn’t always work. This time I simply used my intuition.

You can ask me more about my dreams and the way I interpret them: bb.bukle@gmail.com

ponedeljek, 31. maj 2010

The Happy Hacienda


It's not really a hacienda. This is only a nick-name for a cute little plantation of olive-trees on a hill overlooking the sea. It’s a magical place, where the retired parents of a good friend of mine live and grow olive-trees for a hobby. Among the olive trees they are also happy to show their guests the lemon-trees flowering in May and to offer them fresh fruits in late summer: apples, peaches, figs and grapes. Giving the prevailing pale green color of the olive-leaves a touch of colorfulness there are red poppies, pink honeysuckle, yellow Spanish broom and indigo colored sage blossoms stretching up towards the sun. Next to this dazzling array of sunbathing plants there is a group of oak trees believed to be inhabited by dwarfs.

The dwarfs may represent an unpleasant issue for the skeptics, but my husband and I were surely being spoiled all the afternoon and throughout the evening by the human inhabitants of the olive-trees-plantation. All the carefully prepared food, all the laughs we had together have left a smile on our faces instantly popping up whenever we remember the soft smell of jasmine shrubs, the soothing light of the sunset and the delicious taste of homemade salt fish.

We came to meet my friend at her parents’ house in order to give her a set of earrings and a necklace as a small token of our gratitude for her peer-review of my book. It’s amazing how much we get back, if we are ready to give. Next to all the fairy-tale-like feelings described above I also discovered something very practical we got as a feedback. Later in the evening my friend’s aunt and uncle came to visit. They noticed the new earrings and the necklace she was wearing. My friend began to explain enthusiastically, how she had received this gift for having peer-reviewed my book. Suddenly it dawned on me that the earrings-plus-necklace-set is going to add to promotion, although totally unintentionally. That’s what I call little every-day boomerangs of our gratitude. When we give without expectation, we actually get a lot back. It’s not just a saying.

You can ask me more about my new book: bb.bukle@gmail.com

ponedeljek, 24. maj 2010

Society expects




I have read a paragraph in a leading national newspaper just recently: “Nowadays the society expects a lot from a woman. We have to be successful at work, be good wives, good mothers, look like models and keep smiling.” It’s interesting that such statements appear quite often and are usually written by women.

Coming across sentences like this we gradually get the impression that the society sets a list of priorities for us. Give me a break! Who precisely is this “society”? Society in my opinion is nothing but a sociological notion. How could something that is not even a human being expect anything from me? I choose to take care of my health in the first place for example. My husband comes second. I am not a mother yet, but work definitely comes last. This is my list of priorities. And I definitely don’t need any “society” to approve my choice, for I take full responsibility for my decision to put my health first at all times.

Of course I am “lucky” in a certain sense. I had my lesson – 3 times in a locked ward of a psychiatric clinic. An experience like this makes it very easy for a person to put one’s health on the top of the list of priorities. Those of you who are healthy and thus lucky in another way of course could maybe use my advice. Watch out for silly phrases like “society expects”. And decide what is your list of priorities yourself. Oh, and yes, please try to squeeze health somewhere towards the top — you know, just in case.

You can ask me more about taking responsibility for my own life: bb.bukle@gmail.com

ponedeljek, 17. maj 2010

Love Thy Neighbor


In my previous blog I was writing about the real karma. There were a lot of »should«-s. Surely some of you must have thought to themselves: »She preaches, but does she practice it in real life too? Posting on the net and getting all those sky-blue stars is one thing. Facing real people in need is another.« I couldn't agree more.

I hate to preach what I don't practice and luckily this time I have some real life stories to tell.

The first story started in autumn of 2007. I had my first volunteering experience. A went to the local old pensioners’ home and ask the social worker who was in charge of volunteering, if they need me. She assigned me to a relatively young lady in her 40-ies that is in a wheel-chair and is thus somehow forced to live in such a home. It was her decision to come there and she took full responsibility for this decision. I needed a year or so to stop feeling sorry for her. Now, after a year and a half, I view her as so normal and casual that I sometimes suggest some activities, that can clearly only be done by walking-people. Then I must apologize: “Sorry, I completely forgot you cannot walk.” And we laugh about it. I visit her every Tuesday, except during holidays when she has enough other visits anyway. I have written more about her in my blog Why volunteer? —Why not?
The upper example shows planned volunteering for which one needs time. But let me give you a very simple example of a half-an-hour-long volunteering done on the spur of the moment. In my block of flats there is a deaf couple. I do not speak the hand language. So I always restricted myself to nodding my head, smiling at them and moving on. The other day they seemed very motivated to talk to me. Of course I had no clue of what they were trying to say with their hands. Then all of a sudden I got a brilliant idea. I hopped to my apartment, took a pen and a piece of paper and hurried back downstairs. We spent a most delightful half an hour writing short sentences to each other and laughing. The part of our conversation that I found most amusing was the man’s occasional very short answer. When he agreed with something I had said, he simply ticked my sentence off.

And guess what – good will catches on. Some days later I noticed some other normally hearing neighbor talking with a pen and a piece of paper to the deaf couple. Isn’t this planet just beautiful?

You can ask me more about my experience with volunteering: bb.bukle@gmail.com.

ponedeljek, 10. maj 2010

The Real Karma


When I first started posting on www.healthyplace.com, I noticed the concept Karma in my Profile. Next to the concept Karma there were 5 grey stars. I had no clue what this meant. After a few months I noticed that slowly more and more of the five stars were lighting up in sky-blue color. The more active you are on Healthyplace, the better your Karma.

The “grey-stars-turning-to-sky-blue-stars-concept” is very aligned with what I believe about karma. For me karma is a very practical notion. Good karma doesn't come only with regular meditation or prayer. It comes from doing good deeds for the people around you or for the people on the net.

Of course it helps, if you meditate, because in that way you are more inclined to do good deeds. However, being spiritual only when you say your prayers or utter your “Oom”-s and then going out of your room and yelling at somebody for no righteous reason is definitely no good karma. The real good karma is a real-life good deed or a virtual-life supportive post on the net.

Of course there is a limitation to this general rule. Hereby I mean situations when we are exploited by selfish people. In such situations we are supposed to “pack our bags” and go do good deeds somewhere else.

In addition to that there is another limitation: your well-being. If you are going through a mental illness episode or suffer from a physical illness, it’s your duty to take care of yourself first. Take your time, get well and you will be back later. Of course sometimes it feels good to help others and forget about one’s own trouble for a while. Nonetheless be cautious. If you notice that www-chat makes you even more tired, it’s time for a break, a walk in nature for example.

Writing posts can also be viewed as writing therapy and too much therapy can bring trouble. We need the right dosage.

You can ask me more about my experience with self-help forums: bb.bukle@gmail.com.

ponedeljek, 03. maj 2010

The Power of Humor


I had this thing bothering me – it's called family gatherings. I couldn’t listen to huge quantities of lamenting and statements spoken from pessimistic viewpoints. I dedicated a lot of time and energy to somehow tackling the problem. All the different meditations and affirmations I did helped a lot, but in the end they seemed to be insufficient. What sorted things out entirely in the end was the power of humor. I start making jokes the moment I sit behind the table and then laughing catches on and it lasts.

Similarly I have an acquaintance who likes lamenting. It’s her habit, her attitude and her way of life. To my big surprise she noticed pretty soon that I don’t really like this attitude of hers. And guess what — she started telling jokes and developed a new habit. Hence she jokes in my presence almost all the time. And I surely like that a lot.

The point I am trying to make here is the following: People that keep lamenting and therefore take a lot of energy from you are not doing it on purpose. They are not even aware of what they are doing. Thus be gentle and diplomatic in showing them the way to a more positive approach in life.

And last but not least important: may I warn you that some people will fight very hard to keep their negativity, for in their world the negativity is all they have got. In such cases you have to take care of yourself first and protect yourself by avoiding them to some extent.

Of course humor also cheers up those who suffer from a mental illness. It makes it easier for us to accept our illness. Surfing on the internet I lately found very cool stand up comedians that are trying to make mental illness more casual by making jokes about it: http://www.standupformentalhealth.com/

You can ask me more about my experience with telling jokes: bb.bukle@gmail.com.

ponedeljek, 26. april 2010

The glamour and misery of negativity


Negativity. Why negativity? Because it hits the news? Give me a break! I stopped watching the news, I stopped reading newspapers.

And? It still isn't enough. The negativity seems to be almost the very core of our being. The core of a western civilization soul at least.

Avoiding the news was not enough, so I moved on. I also avoid negative people without any sense of guilt. All relatives included. It doesn't mean I will not help my parents, but I don't need to listen to all negative things they are saying: complaints, pessimism, resentment. It's a tough fight for the simple luxury of a little light in our hearts. A simple luxury, but a complicated and strenuous fight.

Yet I will not give up. Because it's the only thing worth living for.

No church, no politics, no organization ever matters for our soul peace. No leader either. I close my eyes and see myriads of tired loving eyes just trying to be happy. I look into the mirror and I see the same. Let's stay together in our prayers. No race, no nation, no religion differences ever matter.

You can ask me more about my experience with “myself”: bb.bukle@gmail.com.

ponedeljek, 19. april 2010

When the going gets tough ... it's time for positive affirmations


Mine go like this:

Moja odgovornost je način, KAKO bom določeno mejo postavila. Odziv drugega je njegova odgovornost.

Znam se postaviti zase.

Lahko izbiram, komu bom pomagala.

Don't despair. The translation is already there. See below:

It is my responsibility HOW to draw a line in a relationship. The reaction of the other person involved is his/her responsibility.

I am capable of standing up for my rights.

I choose whom I will help.

The upper Slovene version of my affirmations is written on a piece of paper. The paper has been hanging on my bathroom wall next to the mirror for about a year now. I can say with confidence that the affirmations started to work after a year. In my opinion personal growth can only be measured in years.

Let me give you an example for the last affirmation: I choose whom I will help. Some days ago I was taking a stroll in the medieval city centre. Social workers that run the local support group for mental patients were promoting volunteering. They spoke to me personally. If this had happened a year ago, I would have said yes. Thanks to the effect of this affirmation, I was able to say: “I will think about it.” And then I did think about it and decided to start volunteering for this organization later, when my book is on the market.

The method of positive affirmations is the one that I started with in 2004 and I still use it, although I added the Phyllis Krystal method in 2006. The positive affirmations method that I learned from books by Louise Hay prepared me for the more analytical PK method. Everything comes into our lives at the right time. That’s my belief. And results only come from hard work. That’s also my belief.

It's either the hard way or no way. Keep fighting for a better tomorrow.

You can ask me more about my experience with positive affirmations: bb.bukle@gmail.com.

ponedeljek, 05. april 2010

Drawing the line in a relationship

I have promised to write about the Phyllis Krystal method seminar I attended in Munich and now it’s time to do it. When one first comes across the Phyllis Krystal method and hears that we need to cut the ties to our parents, there is often the fear and the sense of guilt in the form of the sentence: “But I love my parents. I cannot do this. I cannot cut the ties to my parents.”

A simple answer to this dilemma would be: “You want to cut the ties to your parents precisely because you love them.” Cutting the ties means growing up. And by growing up I mean forgiving our parents and taking responsibility for our own lives. I can tell you from my personal experience that I only started to really love my parents about a year after having cut the ties to them.

You can read more about this ritual of cutting the ties in P. Krystal’s books. But please attend a seminar first before trying anything especially if you suffer from a mental illness. The method might stir up the bio-chemicals in your brain too much. Thus you need guidance of an experienced P.K. method practitioner. Also be cautious and talk to your psychiatrist before trying anything out.

The Phyllis Krystal method is just one way to grow up. There are other meditative methods to do that. I suggest you choose the meditative method that suits you best and do it. Another approach for example that might work for you is the Bert Hellinger Family Constellation Work. Again be cautious and talk to your psychiatrist before trying anything out.

Cutting the ties to our parents might also be rephrased by “drawing the line in a relationship”. We need to draw the line in any relationship. And again — we draw the line BECAUSE we love the other person. Putting up with everything that person says or does to us is very selfish in the long run. Why? We can only take a certain amount of “torture”. Some day we will crumble and the relationship will end. The other person will not know what he/she actually did wrong. Nobody reads our mind. We need to speak up. By being quiet and just swallowing everything we are not taking good care of the relationship.

The same goes for people that tend to be dominating and have submissive partners. They should motivate their partners to speak up. This can be called “drawing the line” as well. Let me rephrase what the “drawing the line” for the dominating people might be: “I will only make 50 percent of the decisions at home. You make the other 50 percent.” Or: “I cannot make all decisions by myself. You will have to help me. Let’s find compromises.” With your spouse you only do the figure 8 exercise of Phyllis Krystal method. You never cut the ties to your husband or wife. The figure 8 exercise helps us drawing the line between ourselves and the spouse in everyday situations. With our parents we do the figure 8 exercise as the preparation for cutting the ties though. You can read more about the method in Krystal’s books or attend a seminar of the P. Krystal method.

Let me give you an example of drawing the line in a relationship by describing our marriage. I am learning to be more dominating, since I am submissive in nature. My husband on the other hand is learning to be more submissive, since he is dominating in nature. For us life is a classroom. You live you learn.

You can ask me more about my experience with the P. Krystal method: bb.bukle@gmail.com.

ponedeljek, 29. marec 2010

A bad night's sleep


Last night I went to bed at 9 pm. I fell asleep in an instant. It seemed like a good night. Then all of a sudden I woke up from an unpleasant dream. I felt a burning sensation in my stomach. I got up. It was 2 am. And I didn't panic. What a change! If this had happened a month or so ago, I would have gotten worried. I had only slept for 5 hours.

I prepared myself something warm to eat and went back to bed. Still I didn't fall back asleep. Nevertheless I didn't panic. I rested in bed with my eyes closed.

Then at 5 am I started coughing. I was fed up with lying in bed. Therefore I finally got up, got dressed, made myself a cup of chamomile tea and switched on my computer.

There are two reasons why I didn't panic. First: my thoughts were calm all the time, thus it couldn't have been anything psychological. Second: I have been doing a special exercise called number 8. This is one of the basic exercises of the Phyllis Krystal method. Number 8 helps us to stop other people or things having control over us. You can guess whose control I am trying to break these days: the control of the schizoaffective disorder over me. It works.

You can ask me more about my experience with the schizoaffective disorder: bb.bukle@gmail.com.