Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Introduction to the 'Negative Mind'

Confirmed Negativity Condition (CNC) is the culmination of negative thoughts against oneself inadvertently established in the brain. From this is derived the ‘negative mind’ which is the action arm of CNC (as is a verb to a noun).

With the resulting relentless, unforgiving attack against the 'Actual Mind,' the potential host person becomes progressively diminished into submission and ultimately, emotional ‘slavery’.

The sufferer becomes extremely subjective, as is a child naturally. Hand in hand with this is the recognition that subjectivity engenders limited logic, irrationality, to some of the most brilliant people on our planet. In the misguided perceptions of their minds, they feel both guilty and responsible for the plight of mankind: global warming, world hunger, crimes against humanity, the economic crisis, and people’s addictions etc. The ‘Negative Mind’ pretends friendship—it becomes the known—the status quo—as it tightens its grip and wages its civil war.

The 'Actual Mind' realizes the existence of the two minds even in its seeming inability to struggle free. Despite the apparent hopelessness of this condition, given that it is generated from a psychological construct, it must then be reversible. The 'Actual Mind,' with kind persuasion, positivity, constant reassurance, and as much monitoring as the individual is able to allow, will, in most cases, lend itself to anyone sincerely wishing to unite in its support. That it was reversible was my thinking years ago when faced with the situation of my daughters’ illnesses. Now, I know it to be true.

Please keep hope and possibility in your minds--either as sufferers or loved ones of sufferers.

We are all angels with but one wing,

And only by embracing each other can we fly.

~ Luciano de Crescenzo

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Dearest Hope

(excerpt from The Secret Language of Eating Disorders)

It is my dearest hope that the wider public can come to understand the true nature of Confirmed Negativity Condition (CNC) and the manifesting eating disorders that arise from it. Sadly, the perils caused by CNC extend beyond its sufferers. All too often, families and other loved ones are tortured by the mistaken belief that they are somehow the cause of the sufferer's condition. They feel guilty, devastated. Families are destroyed, unnecessarily.

Once the public understands the true nature of eating disorders, then the crushing onus of blame will be lifted from sufferers and their loved ones, freeing them to focus on recovery.

Although sufferers of CNC (and resulting eating disorders) have been subject to negative caricatures of selfishness and victimhood, they are in reality purveyors of the most positive virtues available to humankind. These are lives to be cherished. Sensitivity and caring are not new in man. Poets and artists throughout the ages have described and ached for humanity. What is disturbing is the frequency and intensity with which this caring manifests itself in eating disorders in our contemporary global reality.

Each CNC sufferer I have met has been uniquely loving and has possessed uncommon courage. I have been pained by the thought that their lives have been so readily discounted. My hope is that we will build bridges among all of us united in this endeavor. I have the greatest belief in the commonality of our cause, the human conundrum.

The poet A.E. Houseman said it thus:

If truth in hearts that perish
Could move the powers on high,
I think the love I bear you
Should make you not to die.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Secret Language of Eating Disorders

(some words from my first book)

For most people, eating disorders are a great mystery of our time: an enigma to the medical and psychological professionals as well as to those who have had to live with the bizarre and often tragic behavior of its victims and the sufferers themselves to cannot explain their actions. Paradoxically, much of the mystery has arisen less because we lack the knowledge or wisdom to understand what drives people to destroy themselves, but because we are all too ready to explain their behavior in some of the most authoritative and misleading clich├ęs of our culture.

In a world so fixated on images, so prone to reward selfishness, so ready to equate success with self-promotion, it is hardly surprising that eating disorders are often construed as simple vanity taken to an extreme.

I believe that these conditions and the behaviors they engender can be fully understood, provided one takes the necessary steps to look beyond the obvious. There can be an understanding of how the interplay of social situations and psychological dispositions lead people to this particular “rational irrationality.”

My hope is that we can continue to enable, by therapeutic process, these victims to create a new interpretation of their world so that they see that self-destruction—the unconscious impulse toward suicide that lies beneath the symptoms of eating disorders—is no longer a necessary response to their misperceived role in society.

To all of my dear friends who have faced these behaviors and succeeded, I applaud you. To all of my dear friends who are still struggling today, I share with you the hope that you can and will be well.

Much love,

Peggy Claude-Pierre

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Reality is Moderation

Guilt need not be a burden if it is understood in the context of its reality--its positivity. How could that possibly be--say you! It is only when it is served up in self-condemnation and held on to pointlessly long that it loses its meaning--its direction--its usefulness.

Follow me on a little journey.

Over time each one of us forms a set of personal ethics that are not necessarily determined by, or consistent with, the mores of the times--our social context. Hopefully, our ‘characteristic spirit,’ our ‘personal disposition,’ therefore, our ETHIC is such that honesty, kindness, empathy, courage, and positivity--even if it isn't the norm, can stand firm. So--guilt is useful only to reflect the honor of our personal ethic momentarily--to remind us of who we really are. Then, we can act accordingly. In normal self-development, guilt is not meant to paralyze and overwhelm us with confusion, inaction, or despair. Ultimately, it should move us to positive action, to gently correct that which does not comply with our internal core--our understanding of our SELF. The intention of guilt should be to remind us, to bring us back to the moderate, ethical expectation we have of ourselves. So…guilt is only a minor, corrective tool of our conscience—which is the necessary, steadier, companion-friend to our ethic.

Here is an example: a six year old child in grade school comes home with the flu. Her three year old sister subsequently, three days later, gets the flu badly. The six year old child can hardly sleep, tells stories to the three year old, stays with her to make her feel better and to assuage the guilt of having brought home the flu. This is typical of CNC-distorted thinking (Confirmed Negativity Condition) .

The balance is disrupted when guilt becomes a way of life. CNC sufferers often feel extreme guilt around circumstances that they can't control. Apologizing for someone else's anger, always trying to mediate, always trying to take the blame, being sorry for everything, all the time, becomes a way of life.

As is necessary in everything we do, it is important to learn and practice moderation. Reality is moderation. Moderation is reality. Extremes are dangerous, damaging, and dysfunctional. Lend a thought to what you do today. Does it make common sense?

I send sunshine energy your way today.

Love you,

Peggy Claude-Pierre

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kind Interpretation

One of the helpful ways not to blame others is to consider their motivation as individuals. We can then realize the SO many variables behind each interaction. This could be our first thought instead of reacting to a questionable or abnormal behavior.

One's behavior usually describes himself--his understanding of "self" at the moment. Negative behavior can be a shallow description of what is really happening within the emotional mind of the individual. What he needs from the interaction is usually much deeper and takes, hopefully, kind interpretation. When comprehension is not immediately available to us, it will serve us well to give the individual the "benefit of the doubt." The need for attention, the need for solace, a panic or anxiety reaction--be it aggressive, introverted, condescending, hurtful, shameful, or manipulative--all indicate an understanding (or lack thereof) of one's level of peace within one's self and that of their harmony with humanity--emotional maturity. Others can still be on the road to that possibility and with compassion and empathy from us, that possibility becomes a probability. Hopefully, with enough stability and encouragement, this can become a surety.

Most anti-social, unsuitable behaviors indicate a lack of self knowledge (self love). Negatively reacting to a negative reaction leaves a mess of consequences which ultimately require a positive response to make those involved feel balanced with their day and each other. Consider that a young child is hungry, has not had ample sleep, misses his parents because one or the other is away, a parent was impatient or angry, one of them has become ill, parents are focusing on the new baby, he cannot handle the sleepover after all and he left his teddy bear at home.....So.....reacts in fear. Emotional maturity allows us to immediately assess and respond with kindness and empathy with the consequence of a return to feelings of security for the child. Emotional immaturity in us, can result in a reaction to a reaction, which will build on the interim of insecurity and will have the affect of destablizing the child for future interactions--thus creating the beginnings of the anxiety of negative expectations for the next time.

With children, it is easier for us to respond, to evaluate the motive behind the behavior. With adults, we have more expectation, less tolerance, less willingness to understand, forgive or empathize, more scorn if behavior is odd or out of place. Oftentimes, we expect chronological age--adulthood--to be on par emotionally. The reality is, that many adults have been emotionally blocked at a young age and are valiantly trying to live despite this blockage. They are attempting to contend with and to understand and control their environment from a absolutely terrifying internal place, a maze, that no amount of societal-friendly accolades--(example, scholastic honors) can console.

If we can accept that life is a struggle to gain and maintain a foundation to allow progress on each our own path; that there is no competition except to attain our own peace, first, within ourselves and then, to spread outwards to others, we can allow each interaction to reflect our love and hope to find and inspire the good in everyone.

Love and Peace. Enjoy your day,

Peggy Claude-Pierre

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Responding vs Reacting

Hey People; big hugs.

A question repeats itself in the emails you have sent me so I will write you on the subject of blame over the next few days. Blame is often tied to guilt. Guilt deserves its own emphasis, so I will concentrate on that some days later.

Come from a place of love and realize that no one who is at peace with himself wants anything but good to come from any interaction. Each of us has the gift of many opportunities every day to create a bit of happiness and good will in the world.

Understand life as a journey of emotional intelligence-tempered by logic-leading to emotional maturity. We can evaluate our level of emotional maturity by our ability to respond rather than to react. To not react does not mean to not validate one's emotions. There are healthy ways of doing so in a manner that usually becomes a shortcut to a successful outcome.

The way a person reacts or responds generally reflects their own sense of self (or lack thereof), not yours. If you are unhappy with yourself for reacting, in action or word against yourself or others, then it is helpful to look at what state of mind you are beginning from. If you let go of fear of being hurt, no one can hurt you. If you come from no ego, empathy and compassion will allow you to respond rather than to react. In the end, you have done yourself a service. You will feel better. Happiness will course through you in a positive mind-body experience. Build on it.

By the same token, when someone reacts in anger, offensiveness, blame, disrespect in interaction with you, they are showing you, not necessarily who they are but where they are at on the journey to emotional awareness-emotional maturity. Again, it is not up to us to judge anyone unkindly, but rather, for our own growth, to evaluate their abilities to interact positively. Certainly, if there is a way we can turn a reaction from another to a positive response--we are all winners. Body and mind chemicals are healthier, we are happier all around.

We have no control over the universe, only the possibility of positive response from our inner core-our 'actual self'. Life is full of the unexpected, where spontaneity and flexibility will be better friends to us than our plans have ever been.

You might have fun evaluating your own ability to respond (rather than to react) in interactions. Like you, I face this challenge everyday and still have much to learn.

Please feel free to share your experiences, they are always welcome.



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Depth of the Valley

I talked recently about objectivity…but….seeing the whole picture, standing on the mountain, is just half of the equation. To appreciate the view, to value true peace of heart and mind, in retrospect, it is necessary also to understand and have patience while in the valleys. When you are in the midst of the valleys, the mountains can look so high. I ask you to stop and appreciate this moment. Though you may currently be in a valley, there is something positive to be learned here. Everything we experience will have its place in our future wisdom.

The fertile valleys, sediment, can be likened to the subjective state of mind, governed by fear-- soil is toil. It is the learning that any seed can grow and endure, but it is also the “how” that is important. We sometimes lack windows. Life becomes wretched and paralyzing. We wear blinders that are painful to discard. We have experiences that make us feel more than we are able to support, more than we are emotionally prepared for. We have subjective and ultimately, unnecessary, engagement with anything negative or everthing perceived as negative. Life, dear friends, is full of experiences. I’d like to remind you that situations come and go from the minute we are born. It is understanding how to be at peace in those interactions that is important—never is it about who is right or wrong.

Pain and anger come from fear instead of love. Climbing out of the valleys means letting go of that fear—embracing the idea that every experience, whatever it is, leads to growth, peace and love—and in the end—wisdom.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Top of The Mountain

Usually what I post here is related to questions I am asked by one or some of you. My answer to several of these questions is simple, "exercise objectivity." I'd like you each to feel free to question anything I say. Good discussion is stimulating. Please allow me to write today and clairify some of what I mean when I use the word "objectivity."

Objectivity is a view of everything-- it's the view from the top of the mountain--the place where you can see the whole picture--explained as a response rather than as a reaction--with logic and tempered emotion, yet validation of feelings. It is taking into account the circumstance, the motivation, the genetics (sensitivity levels), and the evaluation of emotional maturity.

Evaluation is more likely to represent a common understanding of reality and usually a kinder one. It is not valuable to judge. Judgement can be subjective, one-dimensional, non-productive and hurtful to all involved. Ultimately, evaluation can exist for the elevation of our personal self--not in competition with others; rather, to realize our own potential; to attain better understanding of our essential self to promote positive forward motion.

We are each on our individual journey and how we interact with another would ideally be with respect. A response gives us choice in our decision in an interaction. A reaction leaves us a puppet of the other's emotions, confused and frustrated, and, of course, no closer to rectifying the situation. For example, a dear young girl I know has a mother who inadvertently sees herself as a worthless. She calls her daughter as a confidant of her frustrations. This daughter cares deeply about her mother. For years the daughter was incapable of understanding the ramifications of her role as confidant. She became increasingly depressed with most interactions she had with her mother because she was simply reacting to the situation. The reaction was to be hurtful to herself because of her helplessness in her relationship with her mother. Eventually she enlisted adult help for her mother so that it was not her responsibility as a child to ensure her mother's well being. The child's connection with her mother is in its proper place, and the child can continue her emotional growth.

Objectivity permits acceptance of ourselves as part of the whole; that if we are at war with one another we are at war with ourselves. Objectivity depends on emotional maturity and promotes empathy, compassion, understanding and respect for differences--with love instead of fear.

Love is freedom.



Friday, March 5, 2010

Don't Feel Defeated

Good Morning Everyone!

I'm so honored to be in touch with such amazing people. I have heard some very sad stories again lately. Thank you for your incredible courage, though your mind is creating havoc for you.

Your feelings are always valid. However, let's make them work for, instead of against, you. For those of you who feel hopeless, let's work together towards a positive direction. Take one small, beautiful point that you see in each day, and expand upon it.

I'd like to share some wisdom that was given to me by my father several years ago. It has never stopped giving me inspiration. He was such a hero. Once when I think I was feeling sorry for myself because I had fallen from my bike, he picked me up and hugged me, and he said something similar to this:

"You're crying because one sad thing has happened to you today. Turn that around. Until twelve sad things have happened to you, don't feel defeated." So obviously, I never felt defeated. "Instead, take twelve chances each day and see how you can make the world a better place for others."

I don't always succeed. But I sure have a great time trying. Don't be defeated by another's journey through this lifetime if it conflicts with your gentle, inner core. Be yourself--join me in surrounding yourself with positivity and love.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Channel of Charity

I was searching my bookshelves this morning and found myself reaching for the lessons of Saint Francis. The book opened to a page that said what I was thinking better than I ever could:

"Freed by forgiveness and energized by love, you can be the channel of charity, compassion and grace in a hard and needy world."

Doing this blog is a new experience for me and somewhat unfamiliar. Thank you for your encouragement of helping me help you. There are many sufferers who have been writing to me regularly. Every letter I receive reaffirms my belief in what I am thinking and doing.

In other words, my belief in YOU.

I have received as many positive emails as desperate ones. Thank you for your kindnesses. And remember what I have always realized and have had confirmed in the years between my first book and the one to come. Thank you...but I am merely a platform to profile your specialness. I believe in you and your kindness with every thought of every day. This blog is for you, and how I may help you feel more comfortable in your day-- in your week --in your month-- and, ultimately, and most importantly-- in the strength of yourself. You are never a nuisance, not a bother. Thank you for teaching me so much in your wisdom even through your pain.

Together, let's make the world an even better place. Please feel free to send me any ideas you have, stories you'd like to share, or thoughts of the day.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Our Vision

Our vision for this site to have the strength to gather together world wide to spread kindness, compassion, possibility, empathy and love despite adversity; to appreciate and understand each individual within his or her perspective; to be our brother's keeper as well as our own; to create a wider understanding and acknowledgement of sensitive minds-to prevent them pain; to be grateful to those role models who already live in this wisdom and to have patience with the others of us who strive and aspire to it.


With love,

Peggy Claude-Pierre