I hope that each and every one of you are doing well. It has been awhile since I have written – I have been meaning to, but you know how that is!.. These are exciting times we are living in, aren’t they!? Difficult – yes, but extremely exciting as well, on so many levels. It seems an appropriate time to share a few different things with you (see below). Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions, need further information, or are in need of my services.
As always, it is a pleasure, and an honor, working with you. Thank you for all the referrals.
Many Bright, Beautiful & Peaceful Blessings,
Many of you are on prescribed medications, dealing with increasing health costs, etc. Following are two websites you may find helpful to obtain free and/or low cost prescriptions. They are both great programs, and provide in-depth information on the websites.
www.freemedicinefoundation.com (Montel Williams publicized)
www.walgreens.com (Walgreens Prescription Savings Club)
I receive many questions regarding the “energy” of our times, astrology, and planetary influences. Following are three of my favorite websites addressing these subjects:
www.whatuponplanetearth.com (energy alerts, which you can sign up to receive, are always informative)
www.moonsurfing.com (email alerts are available for moon phases, and their influences)
www.astrologyzone.com (astrology information, including monthly forecasts)
A good article on silence, and its benefits:
THE BENEFITS OF SILENCE
By Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D.
In the August issue of “Ode” magazine, Tijn Touber wrote, “Being silent means more than just holding your tongue. It means listening for the softest, most subtle sound of all—the sound of the soul.”
Last April, I was forced to keep vocally silent for a week after minor surgery on my vocal chords. Among the benefits I derived from not talking aloud (not even a whisper), was my penmanship dramatically improved. The notes I wrote to my wife were at least legible. The experience of not speaking allowed me the opportunity to identify some other benefits of silence. Here are some of them.
Verbal silence invites you to become mentally silent as well. Thinking has been defined as non-verbal language. One of the first exercises in learning how to meditate is to slow down (or completely stop) the mental activity called the “monkey mind.” Like a monkey in a cage, our thoughts usually jump from topic to topic in a rapid and endless motion. By not speaking, you can more easily learn to control the speed of your “monkey mind” and that allows your mind more easily to become silent…the necessary step for effective meditation.
When you do not talk, you become more sensitive to your external environment. After a week of silence, Tijn Touber exclaimed, “Never before had I felt such intense contact with everything around me—precisely because I hadn’t uttered a word. It was as if all my senses were wide open…”
Not only do you become more attune to your external environment, you also begin to focus more clearly on your internal environment. When you can’t verbally respond to the world outside your skin, you become
more aware of what is going on inside: every little discomfort; your breathing pattern; your pulse and heartbeat; your digestive sounds; etc.
Many times, using words can serve as a defensive “smoke-screen.” We all know people who speak incessantly, never letting you “get a word in edgewise.” They are constantly talking to protect themselves from being vulnerable to any responses from others. Their need to talk keeps them from receiving any responses from others. Other people very much appreciate it when the talker goes silent. It allows them
the opportunity to share their feelings and ideas.
When you are silent, it invites others the opportunity to be silent too. Religious orders know very well the benefit of “keeping the rule of silence.” When it is okay, even encouraged to be silent, that silence is never interpreted as negative or hostile (the “silent treatment”). It makes silence a comfort and a respite from the noise of every day living.
Internal silence enhances your ability to listen fully. When you don’t feel compelled to talk, you are able to be fully present, focused on what others may be saying. We all know the value of really listening without mentally composing and rehearsing a reply. Fully listening to another validates that what s/he is saying is important to you.
Italian psychiatrist, Piero Ferrucci, believes that silent contemplation is a human necessity. In the same “Ode” magazine, he compares it to the necessity of “going to the bathroom.” “But we deny this basic, physiological need—as if the entire society were to forget to go to the bathroom. That’s serious!”
The “ecoactivist,” John Francis writes: “Silence is not just not talking. It’s a void. It’s a place where all things come from. All voices, all creation comes out of this silence.” Perhaps Tijn Touber is right. When you are both internally and externally silent, you are ready to listen to the sound of your soul.
Don’t wait until you have vocal-chord surgery. Regularly, take some time to stop talking aloud AND internally. You may be surprised at what you can learn about the world around you…and your soul.
Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D. has 30+ years experience as a Life Coach and Licensed Psychologist. He is available for coaching in any area presented in “Practical Psychology.” Initial coaching sessions are
free. Contact him: (970) 568-0173 or E-mail: DrLloyd@CreatingLeaders.com or LJTDAT@aol.com.
Dr. Thomas is a licensed psychologist, author, speaker, and life coach. He serves on the faculty of the International University of Professional Studies. He recently co-authored (with Patrick Williams)
the book: “Total Life Coaching: 50+ Life Lessons, Skills and Techniques for Enhancing Your Practice…and Your Life!” (W.W. Norton 2005) It is available at your local bookstore or on Amazon.com.
If you found the above column useful, feel free to share it with friends. If you are interested in your personal spiritual growth, I believe this is the best site on the Internet.
To subscribe yourself to Practical Psychology, click on the following line (or copy and paste the address below into your web browser): http://lists.webvalence.com/listmgr/subscribe?lists=practicalpsychology
Upon subscribing, you will receive Practical Psychology approximately once a week.
Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D., 3421 Polk Circle West, Wellington, CO 80549
This is just a wonderful story. I had forgotten about it, and came across it again recently. Enjoy..
A Water Bearer in India Had Two Large Pots
“A water bearer in India had two large pots,
each hung on either end of a pole
which he carried across his neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it,
and while the other pot was perfect and
always delivered a full portion of water
at the end of the long walk
from the stream to the master’s house,
the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily,
with the bearer delivering only one and a half
pots full of water to his master’s house.
The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments,
but the cracked pot was miserable,
ashamed that it was able to accomplish
only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure,
the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer one day
by the stream.
“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why? What are you ashamed of?” asked the bearer.
“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load
because this crack in my side causes water to leak
out all the way back to your master’s house.
Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work,
and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt compassion and said,
“As we return to the master’s house, I want
you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
Indeed, as they went up the hill,
the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming
many beautiful wild flowers on the side
of the path, and this cheered it some.
But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because
it had leaked out half its load, and so again it
apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there
were flowers only on your side of
the path, but not on the other pot’s side?
That is because I have always known about
your crack. Accepting what was given to me,
I planted flower seeds on your side of the path,
and every day while we walk back from the stream,
you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to
pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table.
Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this
beauty to grace his house.”