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Some people call it meditation and others might call it mindfulness. No matter what you call "finding inner calm," please don't overcomplicate it. You don't need a ten-thousand-dollar course to learn how to find some peace inside your head. Just sit down, be one with your thoughts, observe them, and then, ignore them. That's all there is to meditation. I "meditate" all the time--when I walk, exercise, write, wait, sit, lay, whatever. I can always find the time and energy to go within myself to find peace. I don't need anything to do it. That's important to realize. I've said it before. But it's so important that I'll say it again: You don't need a yoga mat, music, or teacher to help you control your thoughts. You can go within yourself to find calm anytime you want. You also don't need a holiday, new shoes, or a drink. You may flinch at the thought of calling something "trauma," just as you had to become accustomed to the word "abuse." But ask yourself, If this had happened to someone I love, would I see it as traumatic for them? If the answer is yes, label it so. That said, you may not have any trauma in your background. However, a lot of you will, and hopefully you can begin to realize and connect with the damage of those experiences with compassion. In some ways, identifying with perfectly hidden depression may mean that you've been stuck in one stage of grief for quite some time--the stage of denial. As you move out of that denial, many other emotions are waiting for you. And they can be overpowering.

You don't want to get stuck in one of the other stages, however, no matter how consuming those feelings can be. But if day after day you're angry, or day after day your sadness consumes you, then you may be getting stuck. It's important to safely express those feelings as much as you need, and for as long as is helpful. But these feelings need to go and come, not entrench themselves into your everyday life. (You might want to return to Stage 4 and review the techniques we outlined there.) As we look at the world and ourselves, we do it through a set of filters. Think about what a filter is. A filter is a mechanism that lets some things flow in, but screens other things out. Depending on what the filter is made up of, it can also alter whatever is looked at or passes through it. Sunglasses are a good example of a visual filter. But, obviously, I'm not talking here about some physical apparatus that we can put on and take off, like a pair of glasses. In fact, the filters I'm talking about are not really visual in nature; they are internal and are mental, emotional, verbal, and perceptual in nature. Through them, we process and assign a weight and meaning to every event in our lives. Some things flow in, others are screened out, but everything is affected. Our filters affect not just what we "see," but what we "hear" and believe. Now, because we trust ourselves to be honest and because we think we don't lie to ourselves, we tend to believe that our filtered perceptions are an accurate depiction of reality. Whatever passes through the filter, accurate or not, is what we tend to believe. As a result, if and when our filtered perceptions lie, we get suckered big time. We walk around believing that an upside-down world is the real one. So here's a warning: When it comes to any of your untested and unchallenged perceptions, you should be afraid, be very afraid. You could very well be seeing your self in a distorted light.

We may not know quite where to begin healing our earth's sparkle. We may feel disheartened by the damage already done. Yet all the while, change begins with us. Finding new ways to embrace and love ourselves and our earth more is simply a matter of learning. In the lovely words of Mark Twain, Training is everything. <a href=''>The</a> peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education!' Let us be the peaches and cauliflowers of our time and educate ourselves into a brighter, sparklier, happier and healthier future. <a href=''>Let</a> us find ways to live within nature, humbly sharing our love with our earth, taking only that which we need, and embracing the magic and inspiration that nature effortlessly, generously offers us in all that we do. <a href=''>Real</a> food is sacred. <a href=''>The</a> world over, food is associated with pleasure and joy, storytelling and connection, creative expression, love and care. <a href=''>When</a> we see food as precious and nourish our bodies in tune with nature, our lives are transformed. <a href=''>Differences</a> in intellectual intelligence can also play a role in shaping the landscape of emotional intelligence. <a href=''>The</a> two are not intrinsically linked---after all, that is why I'm writing this! <a href=''>There's</a> no doubt that strong intellectual and analytic skills can confer advantages when it comes to rational decisions. <a href=''>Nevertheless,</a> there is no intrinsic reason IQ and EQ can't complement one another. <a href=''>In</a> some instances, extreme intellectual intelligence may hinder emotional intelligence. <a href=''>For</a> example, antisocial personality traits can sometimes accompany extraordinarily high IQs. <a href=''>Neither</a> high nor low intelligence impedes anyone from improving and mastering emotional intelligence. <a href=''>In</a> many respects emotional intelligence is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. <a href=''>If</a> you Googlepragmatism', you'll probably read that the philosophical movement was founded by Charles Sanders Peirce, a former professor at Johns Hopkins University. But if you look closer into the story behind the philosophy, you'll find that it was William James who actually credited Peirce as the founder in 1898.

Even though Charles Sanders Peirce was a well-respected academic during the 1880s, he had fallen from grace by the end of the 19th century. James and Peirce got to know each other during the 1860s when they were both students at the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard. Peirce, once considered as a prodigy of mathematics and logic, went on to become a professor at Johns Hopkins University. But he lost his position in 1884 due to a scandal involving his re-marriage. It's truly a sad story. Peirce's first wife left him in 1875 and shortly after that, he became involved with another woman, while still being legally married. However, his divorce became final eight years later. During those eight years, he lived with a woman he was not married to. Apparently, Simon Newcomb, who was Peirce's colleague, told on him. Consequently, he was let go in what became a public scandal. Sadly, Peirce never found academic employment again and lived in poverty for years after he was fired. Peirce even lived and slept on the streets of New York City for years. No one helped him, except for his old friend William James. After James overcame his depression in 1870, he started building a body of work that, more than a century later, remains relevant. James became a Harvard professor and an academic celebrity due to the publication of his book, Principles of Psychology. A book that took him twelve years to write and was published in 1890. In contrast to his friend, James' career was on the rise for years. And out of nowhere, in 1898, William James credited "the principle of pragmatism" to the forgotten Charles Sanders Peirce, in a lecture called "Philosophical Conceptions and Practical Results." Consider for a moment something that you know you've grieved. Then write about how you went through the different stages of grief. It could be helpful, if you struggle to look at yourself in this way, to describe the stages that someone you know well went through.

Did you or they get stuck in any one stage? Did you or they avoid any of the stages? If so, how might you want to do it differently now? If we can see it is our agreements that rule our own life, and we don't like the dream of our life, we need to change the agreements. So far, we've focused on changes within you--changes that have allowed much more emotional freedom and that have challenged strategies and rules that no longer need to be followed. But what about breaking the silence of perfectly hidden depression and beginning to invite others to get to know the new imperfect you? Along the way, I've asked you to involve others as you felt comfortable. I've encouraged you to share your path with at least one trusted friend. And whatever risks you chose to take in Stage 5 likely required more direct and honest communication with others. I say that because our perceptual filters have the unfortunate tendency of being highly sensitive to the negatives, while screening out the positives. It's just human nature. All of us are subject to distorting the truth or missing the truth, particularly when we are dealing with a situation in which we are physically or emotionally threatened. For example, research shows that a person being held at gunpoint will fixate, not surprisingly, on the weapon, as opposed to a door or some other opportunity for escape or safety. Why? Because negatives invariably scream louder than positives and the more extreme the negative, the louder it screams. We tune into the negatives, the threats, and the problems because we are programmed to self-preserve, so if someone or something is perceived to threaten us (a gun), that threat can and will drown out all other events and inputs. The fear of the weapon galvanizes your attention, completely overwhelming and excluding any other data. The building could have fallen down around you and you wouldn't have known it. Such is the power of the human mind when it becomes fixated on a negative. Let's move to a more likely scenario, one that may be much closer to home.