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While our ordinary experience may be one of limitation, throughout time all the wisdom traditions tell us that the limits we feel are imagined and superimposed on that limitless universal self. We all carry around more than our fair share of unexpressed anger. Yet acting like a Clot makes you the unintentional target of other people's hurt, fear, anger, and potential rage, which would otherwise be choked down. The repressed emotions that someone else carries around will have a convenient expression: blasting you. It's that person, then, who inhabits the Clot role. Clottery is synonymous with righteousness, so we experience someone else's reaction to it as an attack. But really, we're being counterattacked. Anyone at any time can slip into Clottery simply by believing the anger they feel toward another person is warranted, leading to their choice version of F--you, which is sometimes saying exactly that. Regardless of gender, race, religion, political affiliation, or what have you, we are all similar in this way. Our bad behavior unintentionally triggers counter-reactions from others, and we use their counter-reactions to retroactively justify our righteously indignant, Clotish attitude. This cycle of behavior causes us to misinterpret counterattacks as unprovoked attacks. In the summer we blossom in full color; in late summer, we develop fruit; and in the crisp, metallic autumn, our leaves and fruit drop and rot, returning to the soil. The Chinese knew that the way of nature is no different from the geography and workings of our body, mind, and spirit. At any given moment we may feel deep and flow freely like water, fresh and reborn like a new sprout, hot and explosive like fire, heavy and rich like the mud of the earth, or sharp and cutting like rocks and crystals. For example, think about how the fire of a fever can burn away toxins and bacteria or how shivering can warm up the body when it's cold. We all know that the bounteous food of the earth nourishes and satisfies us and that the minerals in the soil and water are crucial for the strength and structure of our bones. Water cleanses, cools, and hydrates us, and the growth of plants provides us with food, shade, and oxygen. In the same way, on an immaterial level, the fire of our loving relationships warms us and contributes to our well-being.

Or consider how the satisfaction of a meal with close family and friends raises our immunity against depression. Consider the fact that bacteria initially developed when there was little oxygen on our planet. 2 When some bacteria started releasing oxygen, new bacteria evolved that were far more efficient at using that oxygen to their advantage. 3 Their pursuit of advantage--whether by preserving the host or by killing it--is constant, inevitable, Darwinian. Faced with an endless competition to survive and reproduce, over time bacteria have developed a highly sophisticated, multilayered defense mechanism that combats external threats and attackers. This defense mechanism works to our advantage when good bacteria produce chemicals that help our immune system fight infection, not just in the gut but also in the lungs and in the brain. 4 Millions of bacteria living in our gut ensure digestion and uptake of nutrients from our food. But attackers also include antibiotics (the term comes from two words simply meaning against microbes5) that we've designed to target and kill the microscopic but mighty life-forms that can just as easily harm the very body in which they reside. Think of antibiotics as highly specialized weapons that target disease-causing bacteria rather than other cells in your body. Antibiotics occur naturally, and scientists have further enhanced these sophisticated weapons with two goals in mind: to kill the harmful bacteria or to stop it from replicating. Case studies are especially helpful when working with a developmental process because they can show how experience and behavior change over time. If a case study is to be used in this way, it is often best to introduce it at the beginning so that readers can develop a sense of how development occurs. Although we did not meet until later in her life when she began to have trouble feeling capable at work and with being valued in her relationships, M first showed signs of having difficulty with competence, worthiness, and happiness around age 8. Such details as current age, ethnicity, educational level, and other socioeconomic factors are not presented because they vary from person to person, though it may be helpful to imagine them if desired. What makes her story helpful for understanding self- esteem and well- being was not even her diagnosis, which involved depression and anxiety, or her particular problems as they are far from unusual in clinical work. Rather, M's extremely good memory of her childhood coupled with an ability to effectively describe events related to the process of human development are useful here because they il ustrate much of what we know about how self- esteem and well- being actually work. She readily recalled, for example, how she doubted her own abilities to succeed enough that she consistently held back her best efforts when they could have made a positive difference. Rather than take a chance and participate in a game or to try hard to win one as a child, she recounted how consistently she would avoid the challenge or only make a half- hearted attempt.

The result, of course, was often being left out or frequently experiencing failure, either of which confirmed This article draws on wisdom not only from Sanskrit but also from other traditions, both East and West. You will learn from the preeminent Sanskrit scholar and sage Panini, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, Plato, Shakespeare, and Homer, the Ancient Greek poet. In fact, the same wisdom is available wherever we look. In this article I will show how it is still relevant today and how it can have a beneficial effect on our everyday life. Opportunities and freedoms abound for us to express that universal energy in our own unique and individual way and to live a glorious life with purpose and passion. Innovation and developments, in fields such as technology, transport and medicine, have made many improvements in lifestyle. These improvements are widely available. They have made daily living so much easier than even one hundred years ago. Truly we live in changing and exciting times. One interesting aspect of these changing times is how many of us are questioning the traditions of the past. In essence, we victimize ourselves through our own Clottery. It's a miserable way to live. I've helped many people work through this and all that underlies it. I can help you, too! I've amassed immense personal and professional experience that convinces me beyond measure that being a Clot is a form of self-punishment. As Clots, we either isolate ourselves from personal connections or set ourselves up as roving punching bags. Trending literature is full of advice for people who need to protect themselves from Clots, especially narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths. My work in academia, as well as self-help and pop-psych publishing also gives me plenty of expertise in this area. However, I've found that the best classroom, and what ultimately authorizes me to pen this article, has been my collaboration with other authors, academics, and clinicians.

Business relationships are often prone to conflict. When we mine the gold of our natural gifts and start releasing what no longer serves us (similar to leaves falling in autumn), our chances of rousing our self-worth and confidence escalate. Nowadays, modern science is proving that moments of quiet and solitude (such as with meditation practice) calms our nervous system and reduces stress, while challenging experiences can actually stimulate emotional growth (like how trees and plants grow around obstacles toward the warmth and light of the sun. ) The ancient Chinese took these simple facts about physicality and nature and looked deeper. Over centuries they refined their observations and applied them brilliantly to the intricate workings of the human body, mind, and spirit and developed what I describe to my students as a no-brainer system of medicine: medicine that covers humankind's myriad ailments, whether physical, mental, or spiritual. Most importantly, this system reveals how to work with and even prevent these ailments. Chinese medicine works not because it is mystical and complex but because it is often simple and obvious. For example, I once visited a friend in the hospital after she had undergone minor surgery. She was experiencing a sudden gallbladder attack following her procedure, and the doctors were about to wheel her away to remove her gallbladder. I intervened and requested that they wait an hour so I could listen to her pulses and check in with her on an energetic level. 6 Do either, and patients infected with a life-threatening disease from a bad bacteria living inside them have a better chance of surviving. Now consider the continuously evolving bacterial defense mechanism that threatens the potency of even the best antibiotics today. 7 Bacteria have an outermost defense system, the cell wall, which functions like a heavily fortified castle. Behind it is another wall, called the inner membrane. Like forces arrayed against a castle, antibiotics intent on killing the bacteria can try to poke holes in the defensive cell wall and membrane in a major frontal assault. Some antibiotics stop bacteria from building a cell wall altogether. If it can't destroy the walls, or stop the bacteria from building the walls, the antibiotic opts for going under the radar deep inside the bacteria's interior. The antibiotics use the natural pores and openings of bacteria or diffuse through the lipid membrane to enter. Once inside, the antibiotic has one main goal: to attack the command and control center of the bacteria, a complex but irregularly shaped region called the nucleoid.

This nerve center is the bacteria's soft spot. growing fears of inadequacy concerning her competence as a person. She also described going down a negative interpersonal path with an older cousin during adolescence out of an excessive fear of rejection. M found that this type of choice resulted in several difficult, perhaps even traumatic, interpersonal events that made her feel unworthy. Finally, she seemed to have enough insight to recognize how early in life she began to avoid responsibility for her own actions by blaming negative events on others. Although this and similar tactics may have reduced some pain at the time, they also began to trap her ability to take risks, try new alternatives, stand up for herself, and grow. M knew that her parents were aware of these issues and that they tried their best to help her. For example, they realized that small failures distressed M more than her siblings or playmates and often attempted to cheer her up by suggesting she look at the bright side or deal with negative feelings by moving on to something else. However, instead of taking such care to heart, M experienced these efforts as further proof of her inadequacy or worthlessness and pushed away these and other sources of assistance or acceptance. In other words, rather than trying to break free of negative thinking and self- defeating behavior, slowly but surely M These traditions and values provided certainty, confidence and consistency to many generations. They had an important and stabilizing function in our lives and our society. However, they are now running out of energy and momentum. Their relevance is under question resulting in a lack of faith in our institutions and in ourselves. There is nothing inherently wrong with this; it is all very natural. However, these shifts are not always comfortable. History shows that there have been many natural cycles of human consciousness over the millennia. For example, classical civilizations gave way to the Dark Ages and then to the Renaissance.