It is the confidence you experience when you are awake and aware of your own potential and strength. My professional acquaintance with a twelve-step recovery program began in the late 1980s, when I took my adolescent psychiatric clients to A. A. meetings in Newport Beach, California. There, I noticed that people who recover from addiction through a twelve-step program experience changes that go well beyond their target behavior, be it drug use, overeating, codependency, or something else. My goal is to empower you to accept yourself as you are. Together we'll disrupt your current state of mind and show you the potential you already have to define your life. Begin by reading Don't Be A Clot from front to back; each article builds upon the next. Make sure you have a journal on hand to collect your insights along the way. Designed as an interactive guidebook, it includes exercises that give you a chance to dive deeper into your personal story, and encourages you to engage in conversation with yourself as you understand more about your relationship to the world, move into recovery, and make tangible changes to your life. I no longer took ownership of my depression as though it was something that defined me. Rather, I saw myself as a dynamic being and recognized that there were places where I could take more responsibility for my health. It was an incredible journey and has ultimately led me here, to writing this article. Blown away by this change, I eventually became a five-element acupuncturist and herbalist myself. I did this so I could share the incredible healing journey that I experienced with people who also want more from life than what they see. In 2013, I even started taking this system of medicine and its opportunities for healing around the world. I journeyed to places like Thailand, Burma, India, and Nepal, where I gave treatments on reservations and in slums, orphanages, and disaster areas. I held the hands of victims of sex-trafficking, rape, and shootings. I watched this medicine work in all lands, for so many who suffered and were in pain.

I watched the light of hope return to sad and empty eyes and a smile break forth once again. In India, nearly 18 million people died--one observer noted that the holy Ganges was swollen with dead bodies. The ancient city of Mashhad in Iran lost every fifth person. 3 Across the Pacific in Samoa, the death rate was close to one in four. 4 While the world remembers the Spanish flu as the killer, most people didn't actually die of the viral disease. They died of complications due to pneumonia, a bacterial infection. The flu virus weakened the immune system, providing an opportunity for the pneumonia bacteria to enter and thrive. In the absence of antibiotics to kill the bacteria, pneumonia proved to be a death sentence. Fascination with the symptoms of pneumonia goes back at least a millennia, with the Greek physician Hippocrates himself taking an interest in the subject. One of the best descriptions of the symptoms comes from Maimonides, the twelfth-century Sephardic Jewish scholar, renowned philosopher, and perceptive physician, who was born in the Andalusia region of Spain. This view also has practical value because once we identify such key areas in someone's life we can help the person improve in those domains. If that is not possible, this approach allows us to help the individual find new areas in which to be successful that are satisfying in regard to identity. fact, there are several self- esteem programs available that do this type of work (Pope, McHale, & Craighead, 1988. ) In short, it is important to recognize the value and usefulness of competence-based definitions of self- esteem. After al , it is difficult to deny that people do better in life when they competently meet its challenges as they arise. Those who lack this essential characteristic are simply at greater risk for a whole host of personal, interpersonal, and sometimes economic problems. Eventually, however, it became clear even to those who based their work on this way of defining self- esteem that there is a problem with James's definition and the competence approach to self- esteem in general (Crocker & Park, 2004.

) The problem is that making self- esteem contingent on success also means that failure is very important. I've been fortunate enough to study and practice timeless wisdom for most of my life. I grew up in an ordinary suburban home with my parents and siblings; from the outside there was nothing special. From the inside however, it was extraordinary. My parents were keen seekers of self-knowledge back in the 1960s. I was interested in their enthusiastic discussions at home; they had clearly discovered something that really mattered, and I wanted that too. So, I followed them and joined practical philosophy classes when I was ten years old in 1971. What do I mean by practical philosophy? The word philosophy comes from Ancient Greek and means love of wisdom; You may make entries in your journal article-by-article, or return to sections of interest later, when you feel moved to write and respond. Of course, mark up any part of the article that strikes a chord to identify material that resonates with you or mirrors aspects of your experience. I have no doubt you'll experience a number of aha moments, and may even enjoy some instant relief as you absorb information, recall anecdotes of people trapped in Clottery, and recognize opportunities to launch your recovery. My hope is that you find valuable knowledge, tools, and support that open a door to new ways of living and loving. The program I've created will teach you to stop the inner game of shame and self-doubt, an internal violence that begets external bullying. When you stop being a Clot to yourself, you'll stop treating others that way too. Buddhist philosophy suggests that when we stop the inner war, we can live at peace with ourselves and the world around us. The same teachings can be found in the twelve-step adage, Hurt people hurt people. Each article delivers the latest research, real world stories, and most importantly, exercises that allow you to explore your own emotional experience to see how you're being a Clot in your daily life, who bears the brunt of your anger, and who treated you poorly in the past.

In Part I, you'll learn exactly how you've stepped on the toes of others and why you adopted this behavior pattern in the first place. Through my not pushing, their curiosity about my position only intensifies: He agrees meat's tasty with lots of protein -- then why's he doing this? Arousing curiosity is the first, best step to changing minds. The discussion persisting, I'll add I never try to convert people, because I totally get that your steak tastes luscious and it's your choice. There are lots of health and environmental benefits with my choice, I guess I know them by now as I've been vegetarian for 37 years, but I'd only tell you if you really wanted to know. I haven't forced my point on them, you see -- I've made them ask me to reveal more. So I then mention that livestock farming is a major source of deforestation and consumer of fresh water, and if they show surprise at that I'll ping them a link to the documentary Cowspiracy. Though that can't really be my reason, I'll soften it by saying, Cos I fly so much I've created more global gases than average! On diet, I make sure I only claim that I feel great, but I'm no dietician and a good diet can come in many forms; then I bring in a few themes from the documentary Forks Over Knives and shoot them the link to that. Again I can soften it with, Eating wild salmon from time to time can't be too bad, I just don't do it from habit. His talents were all the more remarkable given that he and his family, and the Jews of the Mediterranean, were caught up in the crosscurrents of politics, religion, and competing powers. It wouldn't be the last time advances, scientific or otherwise, would be subject to the whims of other ambitions. Surviving exile and persecution, Maimonides wrote what remains a remarkably accurate account of the disease's assault on the human body: The basic symptoms which occur in pneumonia and which are never lacking are as follows: acute fever, sticking [pleuritic] pain in the side, short rapid breaths, serrated pulse and cough, mostly [associated] with sputum. Maimonides's treatise on pneumonia continued to be used as a gold standard by medical professionals until the nineteenth century, before the use of modern tools--in particular, the microscope. In January 1665, a article published by the Royal Society of London became an instant bestseller. The society, started just five years earlier by the Royal Charter granted by King Charles II, had created a new genre with its first major publication: popular science. The article's title was Micrographia. Its subtitle was even more enticing: or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses. With Observations and Inquiries Thereupon.

Its author was a thirty-year-old ill-tempered and brilliant polymath named Robert Hooke, and a major selling point was the volume's collection of vivid illustrations of plants and insects. An excessive emphasis on success can create self- esteem related difficulties for a person as well as those who are around him or her. For instance, if an individual's self- esteem is too heavily based on being successful in a particular domain of life and if he or she lacks the ability to succeed or suffers an unexpected failure, then that person's identity is easily threatened. Other examples of such behavior may be seen in the lives of those who sacrifice their integrity to pursue success at any cost, such as some well- known political figures, and as seen in various mental disorders, such as anorexia where being too successful at losing weight can result in death. In general, the vulnerability created by defining self- esteem in terms of success means that such a person must spend considerable psychological resources protecting his or her identity from the threat of failure because it destabilizes one's sense of self. Crocker and Park (2004) investigated this possibility by examining the impact that being rejected had on the self- esteem in a career context. The study measured the self- esteem of promising undergraduate students at a major university who applied to prestigious graduate programs to advance their careers and then measured it again after they had received notices of rejection. All of these participants were very good students, and few people enjoy failure, so the experience was unpleasant. However, the results indicated that only people who strongly tied their identity to being an outstanding student (i. e. philo means love, and sophos means wisdom. Notice I said practical philosophy, not theoretical. We learnt and studied, and we also practiced. The purpose of the practice was to discover for ourselves the meaning of what was under discussion. Only through direct experience can a person really know and transcend theory. This was how the foundations were established deep within myself. In our practical philosophy classes, we studied ancient timeless wisdom from many traditions, practiced meditation twice a day, and studied Sanskrit. The approach was always to discover its meaning in practical daily life, not just on special occasions. This set a direction for my whole life, especially throughout my later careers as a teacher and executive coach.