For a REALLY Happy New Year

2015 is breathing down our necks
(perhaps it might be wise to do more than a bit of thinking about it)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

As I ready myself for my own Christmas celebration on Twelfth Night, let’s take a moment to focus on the other big end-of-year celebration: New Year’s Eve.

Nutshell New Years

We count backwards from ten as the clock chimes and the ball drops. We toast and kiss, and blow funny-sounding horns wearing funny-looking hats, often dressed in formal finery.  Many of us party on until dawn.

© Phillip Martin – artist/educator

Yep – that’s New Years Eve in a nutshell for many of us around the world – or at least the image in our minds.

And then what?

Regardless of how heartily we’ve partilied the night before, we awaken at some point on New Years Day, hoping for the best in the upcoming year.

Some of us even take the time to write down a few of those ubiquitous New Year’s Resolutions, without really expecting ourselves to follow through this year, anymore than the years before it.

Pinterest and the daily papers provide image upon image making fun of the practice – or at least of the people who don’t practice their practice.

And most of the plans of those who resolve and regret fail to materialize through lack of long-range planning.

To fail to plan is to plan to fail?

As I implied in a much earlier article about planning for the New Year, unless we want the upcoming year to be exactly like the one in our rear view mirror, it’s time to get busy with some change-management.

A therapist I know has this to say about change:

“Everybody wants things to be different, but nobody wants anything to change.”

He doesn’t add, “especially anything about THEM” – but I have always believed that’s what he was really talking about: the devil we know, and all that.

What IS it about change that makes us cringe?

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

Fear of Change

In an excellent change-management article offering 6 ways that those in leadership can overcome the fear of change in the workteams around them, author August Turak says

“Taking a step backwards in order to take two forward
is an essential aspect of change.

All authentic change is revolutionary not evolutionary.”

Revolution is scary stuff!

Fearful_WaryI’ll bet you didn’t know that there is actually a phobic response to change for more than a few individuals who suffer from anxiety.

In certain individuals, more than the almost unconscious resistance that most of us experience, even the idea of change can lead to full blown panic or anxiety attacks with all their attendant symptoms.

That extreme fear of change or changing things is called Metathesiophobia.

According to a fascinating article on the site:

The fear of change is evolutionary in humans. Since times immemorial, man has liked routine. Our internal predispositions (heredity and genetics) teach us to resist change mainly to ‘always feel in control’.

Many people suffer from this phobia but the key is to accept change as part of life and, if need be, seek [help] to guide one through difficulties faced during the time of change.

So it is not change itself that people fear – it’s the feeling that we have lost the illusory sense of control that our attachment to the familiar tends to provide.  Our brain allows us to feel most comfortable when it can pattern-match.

That’s where it helps to have a map of the territory – and that’s where planning to actuate those New Years Resolutions is golden.

I strongly recommend that you read or review a former article, Predict it to Police It, Police it to PLAN it, but for this article I want to turn your attention to a couple of points in particular.

Making it Feel Familiar


Successfully reinventing yourself means PLANNING

  • Your brain’s ability to predict depends on pattern recognition,
    which BEGINS as a conscious operation:
    — What is the meaning of what is coming at me at this very moment?
    — Do I need to do anything about it?
    — If so, what?
  • After that, the situation, action and result are subsequently “filed” so that future decision-making can be simplified — BECAUSE it is relegated to subconscious pattern-matching:
    — Have I seen this before?
    Did I do anything about it at THAT time? If so, what?
    Did it work well enough?
    Good! Do it NOW.

Our brains seem happiest and most effective when they can operate in a groove – with as few decisions in real time as possible.

Consciousness is a resource-intensive process – our brains REALLY don’t want to burn up those resources making the same decisions over and over again.

As I said in another earlier article, The Impulsivity Rundown™:

DECISIONS are prefrontal cortex intensive — using the conscious pathways in our reaction/response mechanism — whether you are making a major decision or one as seemingly inconsequential as whether you want cream in your coffee. (Check out the Habits Series for more about this concept.)

Whether you like it or not, much of what you do has been relegated to the control of your subconscious mind where you have very little input in the moment.

you take the time to thoroughly familiarize your brain with the changes you would like to see in your life, you will probably do what you’ve always done.


Not so much.  As long as you can predict it, you can work around it – practically any “it.”  Here are six quick tips designed to help.

1. Make a list.  Identify what it is, exactly, that you want to change – in writing.

Take a look at Bumbershoots, Metaphysics, Logic & Coaching with this “make it familiar” concept in mind.  See if the S.M.A.R.T. planning advice makes enough sense that you might actually take it!

HAND-writing, by the way.  The goal is to make it more effective, not “easier” to capture and track.

Unless you know for an absolute it-ALWAYS-works fact that “inputting” works better for you for this sort of thing, it probably doesn’t (different brain pathways – more later on that, but trust me for now, okay?)

2. Keep it handy. You need to check it often and regularly.

Make Santa look like an amateur.

Begin and end each day with a glance at your 2014 Bucket List — your list of intentions (vs. “resolutions”).

Keep it with you, or keep it where you can’t help but give it the once over at specific points during the day.

  • Some people rewrite it when it gets tattered, some laminate it so it won’t.
  • Pick your poison, but know that when the paper begins to fall apart, so will your resolve.

3. Look without make-wrong.

Don’t stress over how well (or not) you are doing when you look.  You are trying to make it feel familiar, not difficult or dangerous!

4. Break it down.

Think about the implications of a goal: what changes to what you have been doing need to be made?

If your goal is to get home early for more family time, what needs to change at the end of your office day that has been keeping you there later than you desire?

Maybe that last email check needs to move?  Maybe you need to change that “quick” pick-up-a-few-things-for-dinner habit?

By the way, it’s okay to use your devices for this phase – even though hand-writing will give you a decided edge.  (Do whatever will get you to DO it!)

5.  Change what “this year” means to you

Many people give up too soon because they are looking for changes early in the year and quit when they don’t see them.  Make “2015” mean “before 2016 dawns.” Keep at it, and see what that does for you.

You DO have to keep getting back on the horse, however.  Change takes t-i-m-e.

Don’t make this an excuse to wait until the last minute to begin instigating changes.  Begin on January 1, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Make it a rule that you will never skip steps twice in a row.

6. Track the habit, as much as the goal

Yep – this is the most difficult part of it all: cause-and-effect TRACKING.

Grade school teachers use star-charts for a very good reason, and any good business coach will tell you that even the most effective measurables are worthless without tracking.

HOW MANY glasses of water are you drinking daily, for example, as well as how that is affecting your activation (or your cognition, or your weight, or whatever you want the new habit to DO for you).

What’s your LIFE worth to you?

© Phillip Martin, artist/educator

If you are serious about your desire to look back on the coming year with the glow of pride at how different your life has become, this is what it takes.

Don’t you think your experience of living
is WORTH at least this tiny bit of effort?

Check back often in the coming year for articles that will help you with that dreaded “follow through” part, right here and free for the taking. (Informational articles post on Wednesdays, by the way).

As the year progresses, keep an eye out for low-fee groups and TeleClasses – and eBooks.

Private Coaching Help Available Too

If you are somebody with more money than resolve, after an entire year where it was simply impossible for me to do it, I am happy to report that I am once again available for hire.

I will be returning to my private coaching practice in 2015, working with a small number of private clients committed to changing their experience of living – ready-willing and able to take advantage of the coaching.

I am reserving a percentage of those “slots” especially for TBI, by the way, so if that is NOT your issue, make sure you sign up early to reserve my remaining time.

Leave me a comment letting me know you are interested, and we’ll spend 15-20 minutes checking each other out – my gift.

How do YOU handle New Years Resolutions? 

Do you make them at all or have you given up on them?  Have you made any for 2015?

Do you have any tips and tricks that help you make changes in your life in some other manner?

Let us ALL know in the comments below.

If you’ve written about it on your blog or website, leave us a link (only one per comment or you’ll be auto-spammed).  Let’s SHARE our traditions in the spirit of good will toward ALL.

AS ALWAYS, comments of any kind are encouraged and eagerly awaited – as long as you don’t make individual people wrong, and do your best to avoid the dreaded “should” word, I will approve all comers (link-spammers shot on sight, however).

© 2014, all rights reserved
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IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

29 Responses to For a REALLY Happy New Year

  1. Pingback: 3 Words that Changed my Life! – lovehappinessandpeace

  2. swamiyesudas says:

    I have a Sound Sleep, as Always, on Christmas, the New Year and Easter, etc.

    Can’t remember having made NY resolutions in donkey’s ages. I notice and Note things I need to change whenever they are needed, and am happy that I am able to execute them. …Controlling my Anger took me about 40 Years, though!

    And, my Dear Madelyn, do You write shorter posts? 🙂 Love.


    • I do “intentions” rather than resolutions. I like to take reflection time as a yearly event, most years, anyway. I’m hoping to avoid day slipping into day into month, as years go by unmarked.

      Oddly, I experience anger more as I age – not at particular people so much as the increasing nonsense and cruelty expressed in the world – um, like the rabble roused by a venom-tweeting politician during an election campaign, for example.

      I used to be able to step back more easily, doing my part, believing that things would change slowly (but that they would indeed change for the better – and in my lifetime). Over 25 years later, I am losing patience with a growing segment of my fellow man, and that makes me angry.

      Shorter posts? My dear man, I don’t even write short *comments.* (I don’t tweet either) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • swamiyesudas says:

        Thank You for all this, my Dear Madelyn! Nice to know! From all Your efforts, as seen in the blogging world, You have NOT let day slip into day! You are a person Very much on the Go! And for all this, Hearty Kudos indeed!

        I see similarities between Your life and mine, in that, I too Never (seriously) got or felt angry till I was about 25. I suppose I started ‘noticing’ the world only then.

        The sort of Anger that You feel, Over the Nonsensical tweets, the rabble, and particularly the Cruelty, is Just, and to be Commended.

        Only, I hope You do not let that Stay in You. It burns Us out. Notice, Think, Act and get on with it, is my method. No Anger ‘Remains.’

        Why lose Patience, my Dear? Change for the Better IS happening. People are more Aware, and More People are fighting. Isn’t all this good?

        You have come to accept that Change of the Sort that WE want is not going to occur in Our lifetime. But You and I, We have set the machine rolling. Let Us Rejoice in that.

        Now See what You did! I too have written a long ‘comment!’ We are One in this too! Glad about having a Kindred Soul.

        Keep it Up. I like and Appreciate long comments. Actually, these are the Real ones. People who read through Will respond thus. So Thanks for that.

        Love to You. Yesudas. 🙂


        • How wonderful of you to take the time to acknowledge and inspire – and in such a lengthy comment too (::big wink::).

          I am in the process of attempting to determine my next pathway, and that is not something done effectively in a disheartened state. I am currently watching a lot of YouTube videos (TED talks, motivational speakers, etc.) to lift my spirits, but, unlike your wonderfully loving comment, they frequently have the opposite effect.

          I chalk it up to the arrogance of youth and try not to let it affect my mood. HOWEVER, it saddens me to see so many of these youthful advise-givers dispensing from the rah-rah experience of a life that has barely begun. They are usually *selling* that advice, of course – and it seems as if many of them are doing quite well. So of course they believe they’ve found THE answer, adding fuel to their marketing fire. People are desperate for answers, and it seems that many are willing to pay a great deal of money to a charismatic speaker who looks like he has found them.

          I have always been more a proponent of the “go within” school – investigate what others do and have done, and try what is suggested to accumulate DATA: a base of experience from which to fashion a success system that is YOU-specific. Because truly, whether neurotypical or neurodiverse, nothing works for *everyone* — or even most of the people who take the advice they are exposed to — or the self-help field would dry up and blow away!!

          And then, of course, “success” must be defined personally as well – and so many of these “motivators” keep score with $money$. Their advice is steeped in what I have learned is a recipe for an unbalanced life – the accumulation model. I am sad for the many who will consider themselves failures in that light, and live lives of desperation – and I have no idea how to reach them (other than what I do here on, which has an extremely limited reach). THAT’s disheartening.

          So I have been caught in a circular pattern. Your kind comment gave me a moment’s peace:

          You have come to accept that Change of the Sort that WE want is not going to occur in Our lifetime. But You and I, We have set the machine rolling. Let Us Rejoice in that.

          I have set it apart to be able to find it when I need it again. Thank you.

          Liked by 1 person

          • swamiyesudas says:

            C’mon, my Dear Madelyn! If a person has raised quite some points in the conversation, is it not necessary to respond to them (all)? 🙂

            And this a Very Good conversation that We have going.

            Am proceeding with this in quite a circuitous manner. Part of my response is sent to You at Your Facebook ‘Message’ section, so Do Please check that, and some I want to share in a post in my blog! You have inspired me!

            But I believe almost Everybody is reading, listening to, or trying to find out how to lift up their lives.

            And that has become a Very, Very goodly ‘business’ for all too many. I have read some books of that sort, and found them disappointing, including that Wayne Dyer.

            Youth thinking they have answers? I think it is a Malady of that Age. I remember thinking that I had more knowledge than my elders at that time! And even a Bible quote to that effect is found out and flaunted.

            Today, when I come across that, I just let it pass by. I have a High level of Contentment, and thus do not need Inputs. Anybody who wants to get some ideas is Welcome to get in touch with me, is my opinion. So I ignore the bantering of ‘Youth.’

            As You say, people are Desperate for Answers; but the Problems is that they have Already decided what the answers should be! And since those answers are NOT working, they want constant affirmations of their views!

            I absolutely DIS-agree with You on: Nothing works for Everyone. That is what my new post going to be about. …It should be ready by tomorrow morning, Indian time, if not sooner.

            Success to be defined personally? Is there Anybody who does Not want Love, Happiness and Peace? These are what they are trying to buy with all their wealth!

            …Wonder if that covers all Your points! End with Love, and look forward to more from You! 🙂


            • If a person has raised quite some points in the conversation, is it not necessary to respond to them (all)?
              ====>My apologies – sometimes I must choose to respond to part in order to have the time to respond at all. I’ll go back to see what I missed if I can drop something to make the time (very busy day).

              Part of my response is sent to You at Your Facebook ‘Message’ section, so Do Please check that, and some I want to share in a post in my blog! You have inspired me!
              ====>I’m happy that something I said inspired you, but I’m not sure what you mean about where you have responded. I checked both FB and my blog’s message section and there is nothing from you. (btw- I rarely use FaceBook which, for me, is a big time sink that doesn’t really add to my life — why I don’t have a link from my blog to a FaceBook page. It’s never a good way to attempt to contact me, in any case.)

              But I believe almost Everybody is reading, listening to, or trying to find out how to lift up their lives.
              ====>Not everybody, unfortunately and sorry to observe and repeat. The proliferation of internet trolls shows us clearly that some people are simply angry that they don’t already have [whatever] and spend their time spewing meanness and rudeness all over the ‘net. Psychologists would say that they knock down others to feel better about themselves, and I suppose that would be a generous interpretation, but it is becoming quite damaging. An organization and lifestyle vlogger whose YouTube channel I have enjoyed just posted her decision to step back for that very reason.

              A couple of her vlogging couple buddies have had their address discovered and published in an online forum, leading to so much hate mail they actually moved (only to have it happen again). The trolls have now called social services to report that they abuse their children, the pet-control agencies to report that they abuse their animals, the police, etc. (and they have been investigated – and cleared – of all charges, but life stopped while they took the time to do so). [ – about half way in for description of what happened to one of them]

              A prior upstairs neighbor had a problem with multiple pizzas from every pizza delivery place in our City being ordered in her name, etc. simply because she had a podcast channel. I have other examples, but I’ll spare you.

              These are not people looking to lift up their own lives, and are hell-bent on tearing down the lives of others.

              Re: Disappointing advice? I agree. I find that almost all of it is disappointing when the expectation is that ALL of what they suggest will work for everyone. Remember that I work with the neurodiverse population, and *most* of that advice must be tweaked or it will NEVER work for those whose brains are wired differently. Click HERE for more about that.

              Today, when I come across Youth thinking they have answers, I just let it pass by.
              ===> What bothers me about it is the deleterious effect I’m fairly certain it will have on others trying to find their way: the frustration of those sincerely attempting to follow the advice and blaming themselves when it doesn’t work for them. I have worked with hundreds who have been misled in that manner – and have helped them “rewrite the rules” in a manner that works for how THEY work. But FIRST we have to shore up battered self-esteem – *because* they believed that what worked so well for one of those “millionaire by 30 gurus” would work for them if they ‘tried hard enough’ etc.

              As I continue to say, NO advice that relies on sight will work for the blind. When your body is different, everyone agrees. When your brain is different – i.e., when you have what is referred to as “an invisible disability” – few understand or accept that things truly must be done differently. ‘Pushing a rope’ yields a great deal of side to side action but little forward movement.

              Re: Already decided what the answers should be! And since those answers are NOT working, they want constant affirmations of their views!
              ===> That is frequently true (confirmation bias <== link) However, in some cases – in the population I serve, in any case, they aren’t exactly looking for affirmation, as you say. In my experience, it is more that they know intuitively that what they are hearing isn’t right – even though they haven’t yet found what IS right.

              I had that experience myself, many years ago now, during the ten years I spent misdiagnosed until I found the correct dx for what was “wrong” with me, when life started to make sense and could finally move forward. Had the professionals I consulted been willing to Listen from Belief <==link, the trajectory of my life could have altered MUCH sooner.

              Re: I absolutely DIS-agree with You on: Nothing works for Everyone.
              ====> I shall look forward to reading your take on this before commenting.

              Success to be defined personally? Is there Anybody who does Not want Love, Happiness and Peace? These are what they are trying to buy with all their wealth!

              ====>Ah! What I mean by that idea is that they need to determine their own balanced idea of success. Those who focus on financial success at the expense of time spent in the other areas of life rarely realize that those other things can only be “bought” with ongoing time and attention – not after the fact, with money.

              I think I covered it all this time!


              Liked by 1 person

            • swamiyesudas says:

              SURE it is Necessary to respond to them All, my Dear Madelyn, and Thank You for doing so!

              No Need to Apologize, ever! 🙂

              I went and checked on Facebook. Your message has Not reached me.

              My post: 3 word that changed my life, is the result of that Inspiration! Vide:

              What I have done in Facebook is, ‘Unfollowed’ All those who do not write on a Social Issues nature! So the postings on my timeline remain in managable proportions!

              Facebook Msg provides an area where We can Share privately. Of course the govt is watching, but I am speaking of Us common folk.

              Of course what You say is True. As You have said: ‘Some’ ppl are angry, and do not hesitate to create problems for others. But, they are Not those who ‘Search!’

              I Never go into youtube much. Except in the Rarest of cases. …Not just the youtube, people can find our ids and addresses, (particularly business concerns), and Spam, Hassle and make Our life miserable.

              They are the Foxes that Lost their Tails, and want that Others also lose theirs.

              Of late my phone has been ringing annoyingly often, from the same or similar numbers, who just put down the phone if I respond. My number has also been given to a Local ‘Matrimony Agency,’ I found! 😦

              About those: ‘millionaires by 30’ gurus exist because of the Greed and Gullibility of the public, is my opinion.

              Raising a different point, here in India it is not so much those who want to be mills by 30, but who fall for empty words and promises made by politicos.

              Love and Regards. 🙂


            • Thanks for the info on FB – *and* I still don’t plan to use it. My blog autoposts there, so I keep it active, but I am not personally active there. It is not a format that works with my brain.

              Distractibility is my toughest challenge – and FB is simply not worth the debit to my cognitive bandwidth. I rarely visit because it eats my life when I do.

              So even for someone as sweet as you, I have to say no to private chatting on FB – one of my boundaries.

              Foxes and tails – lol – I have never heard that metaphor. APT! (I, too, have always preferred seekers).

              Sorry to hear you are being bothered by unwanted phone calls. It seems endemic these days. They drive me crazy too.

              Yes. Greed and Gullibility – sad to me (especially the greed part). Here in America we don’t exactly “fall” – we end up voting for the least worst candidate. VERY sadly, our 2-party political system is not working – primarily because of the nasty competition between the two. IMHO (vs. offering clear choices of how they think we could best move forward).

              We must pick our battles, however – as time is a limited commodity. Mine is mental health awareness and education – in particular, those with the “invisible” (neurological) disorders. It has taken a great deal of time (with little financial ROI), so I must guard where else I choose to spend time because I still have to keep a roof over my head and take care of life’s little details.

              I struggle to budget the time I spend on things I love to do (like chatting back and forth), but it still must be done if life is to move forward. lol – so much to do, so little time. 🙂

              Thanks for ringing in here – must run.

              Liked by 1 person

            • swamiyesudas says:

              Hello, Madelyn! Finally getting time to respond to the comments on WP!

              Your comments are Not getting Autoposted to FB. Must be some error. Better check. Reason I asked about FB is that it is possible to share in pvt in it through the msg section. …I do not get too many e-mails, so do not check those too often!

              When I meant pvt chatting, I meant, sharing something so pvt as ‘a disheartened state,’ [ this a direct quote ]. I do NOT mind sharing something like that if I believe it will help my Readers. Evidently You think so too. But I wanted to give You the opportunity to share that ‘disheartened state’ in pvt if You wanted to. NOTHING ELSE.

              Very glad about all the great work You are doing. I both Congratulate You and admire You for it.

              Much Regards. 🙂


            • Thank you for clarifying re: FaceBook – how considerate of you!

              But, yes, I am pretty much an open-faced sandwich – which I believe increases my credibility as an ADD Coach *and* allows those I coach to realize without a lot of conscious attention that nobody’s perfect.

              I know there are a great many coaches who attempt to sound like they have life by the tail (so people will rush to hire them, I guess). Many context that as “professional behavior.”

              But I don’t think it’s helpful to encourage clients to put helping professionals on pedestals. I want my clients and students to realize that I struggle too, and if *I* can do it (any “it”) then they can too.

              btw – I’m with you on email (or e-glut, as I call it). With everybody’s newsletters and frequent reminders, it’s gotten to the point where I can barely find what I’m looking for anymore. Who needs that agita? Not me. 🙂


              Liked by 1 person

            • swamiyesudas says:

              Hello, Madelyn! Thanks for all this.

              Admire and Respect You for being a ‘Real’ coach.

              In my numerous talks, I too have always presented my weaknesses, and ask people to see that I, a weak person, could improve, and hence, so could they.

              I have never believed a person who presented a list of accomplishments!

              Love and regards. 🙂


            • I admire the accomplished, but I like them better if they admit that things didn’t just fall into their laps. It’s so much more encouraging (and less ego-centric – lol)

              Liked by 1 person

            • swamiyesudas says:

              VERY well said, my Dear Madelyn! 🙂


        • Perhaps this is what you wanted me to respond to:
          “Notice, Think, Act and get on with it, is my method. No Anger ‘Remains.’ ”

          The first part of this technique is frequently referred to as ‘mindfulness’ – and it is indeed a good way deal with strong emotions. Naming what we are feeling and how we are responding brings it to conscious awareness, which does change the area of the brain responding to the inputs. Unconsciously, we are driven by emotions.

          The “act” portion is sometimes not really possible – at least in a manner that will change much of anything. I struggle with that type of impotence, which makes ‘getting on with it’ difficult for me on more than a few days. A good friend (a practicing Christian) tells me that God’s plan is inscrutable, but that He does have one. She finds peace in that thought that, so far, has eluded me, despite all the work I have done on myself.

          I have to push myself to do what I need to do *in spite of* my emotions – which is not exactly ‘getting on with it’ in my playbook.

          In any case, I’m not sure I want to reach a state where I am able to passively accept what I see in the world whenever it is so clearly cruel and unjust – or even misguided. To me, in order to beat back my feeling responses, I would have to push them down or numb them out. One feels like active denial, and the other would produce a result I wouldn’t care to live with. People who are unable to feel misery and sadness, are usually unable to feel happiness and appreciation as well (or so the researchers studying this area tell us – we can’t selectively suppress).

          Re: long comments – yes, discussion is one of life’s joys – and I much prefer engaging in that manner as well – but life doesn’t always allow me the time I would prefer to take in this endeavor if I choose to move forward in other arenas as well. Alas, there seems always to be the need to, as they say, “chop wood, carry water” – and I am not the fastest rabbit in the hutch were those items are concerned. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • swamiyesudas says:

            Actually, my Dear Madelyn, I had not really expected a ‘response’ from You on my method. I had just been sharing.

            And my method is Not ‘mindfulness’ techniques. Not is it what is taught in India as Dhyaan. That is why I have named my GAD (the Guha Anubhav Dhyaan).

            As I see it, Only Physical reasons should prevent Us from Action. Like being restrained by incarceration, Illness, Fatigue, etc. This last is much of a reason for me. My Age, my being a Heart Patient, the LONG hours I spend in writing, besides attending to my other duties…

            As for Effecting Change, is it not THE Most Difficult thing in the world? And it is NOT Our responsibility to effect change. As Change is dependent on the Free Will given to Humans by the Lord, even He is not going to force anybody to change. And Only a Change in People’s Mind’s, which will lead to Change in their Behaviour, can bring about Differences in the situation.

            Many Christians, and Christian preachers, give ‘glib’ answers, just to show off.

            Yes, emotions Cannot dictate our actions. What Needs to be done needs to be Done. The Best way to deal with it is to examine the WHY of any action.

            I would change Your: ‘People who are unable to feel misery and sadness’ to ‘people who DO NOT WANT TO SEE the misery and sadness (in the world).’

            You are Right that they don’t have happiness. Not Usually either. It is their loss, for all their time, even on earth.

            And, You shall have to Compete with me for the Ribbon for the Slowest Rabbit in the world! 🙂 And in this I shall definitely Win! Haha!

            Love and Regards. 🙂


            • You see – we are pretty much on the same page after all, we simply have different ways of expressing it.

              Since I have spent my second career working with the neuro-diverse population, my experience leads me to have a bit more room in my thinking for some who seem ‘unable’ to escape the tractor beam of emotions to learn to develop self-control. I have learned that they must find methods other than what are usually put forward as THE ways to do things. Like most things in life, using the right tools can make all the difference between ‘can’t’ and CAN!

              You make an excellent point when you say that “it is NOT Our responsibility to effect change.” In my work attempting to INSPIRE change I sometimes forget to remember that! Thanks for the reminder – it’s exactly what I needed. (I think I may have to post a sign over my computer ::lol::)


              Liked by 1 person

            • swamiyesudas says:

              Thank You for all that! …Myself, I keep a LOT of reminders around me! 🙂


          • swamiyesudas says:

            I forgot to add this: This is the reference to the GAD I had mentioned. It is quite a lengthy article, in many parts, which can be perused only with Leisure.


            Regards. 🙂


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