thoughts in passing | music/video/book reviews | pattern interruption

THOUGHTS IN PASSING:

To my mind to be astonished at nothing is much more stupid than to be astonished at everything.

Fyodor Dostoevsky (Bobok)

When a thought arises just see its nature, do not conceive the water and waves to be different.

Savaripa (Collection of Songs on the Oral Mahamudra Teachings)

Every so-called fact is embedded in some kind of theoretical context.

Van Kaam (Existential Foundations of Psychology)

OUT OF THE BOX MUSIC:

Tinariwen: the sound of empty places

“Formed in 1982, in strikingly unusual circumstances for a musical ensemble, Tinariwen blend ancient musical traditions with radical contemporary politics.

Despite severe natural and man-made hardships, young Kel Tamashek exiles continued performing the traditional music of their Tuareg forebears in the southern Sahara while simultaneously fighting against the government of Mali. This music is known as tishoumaren, music of the ishumar (the unemployed). Usually performed by groups of 30 and more instrumentalists and singers, tishoumaren acknowledges contemporary western music, especially rock, as well as other music forms prevalent in the Middle East, while never losing touch with the original ancient form. In some instances, players not only adapt traditional forms but also substitute modern instruments for the traditional lutes, flutes and one-string violins. The electric guitar in particular has become popular, even though circumstances demand the availability of portable generators. The name chosen by this band, Tinariwen, means empty places [....]” (source: http://www.last.fm/)

PROVOKING VIDEO:

Russian Jumper

(note: starts slow, but really picks up after 2nd minute; also don’t try this at home, but consider this video as a metaphor for the following: mind challenges its own walls)

PATTERN-INTERRUPTION CHALLENGE (A):

Consider: Love is bias.

[notes: love is subjective; i.e. not objective, partial, biased]

Related Question: If infatuation is chemistry, aren’t you under the influence when you are infatuated?

PATTERN-INTERRUPTION CHALLENGE (B):

Consider:  Consciousness wastes itself on imagination, pretending it is memory.

Related Question:  Is memory imagination?

related resource:  Eyewitness Identification

PARADIGM-SHIFTING BOOKS:

Linda Craighead’s Appetite Awareness Workbook - in my (P.S.) opinion – is an absolute must for anyone struggling with binge-eating and overeating. Dr. Craighead offers a compassionate yet no-nonsense innovative clinically-proven treatment program.

Moreover, in my opinion, Dr. Craighead offers the Best Opening Paragraph of a self-help-for-overeating book that I have so far come across. Unlike most self-help books, Dr. Craighead’s intro offers no cheer-leading feel-good fireworks – but it offers a sobering truth, a truth that a psychological Do-It-Yourselfer cannot afford to be without.

More about it below, but, first, who is Linda W. Craighead?

Dr. Craighead is a professor of psychology and a director of clinical training at the U. of Colorado in Boulder, CO, and a clinical director at La Luna, an outpatient eating disorders clinic in Boulder.

But most importantly, Dr. Craighead is a scientist-practitioner. Her Appetite Awareness Training program (AAT) evolved out years of research. In particular, to provide scientific/empirical support for AAT, Dr. Craighead and her research team conducted and reported on several studies of the AAT protocol. Dr. Craighead writes that their 2002 evaluation of AAT-based individual treatment for women with binge-eating disorder revealed that 80% stopped the pattern of binge-eating by the end of treatment.

80% success rate! Now, that’s not just clinical lore or anecdotal data. We are not talking about a book of insights and epiphanies from clinical battle-fields. We are talking about outcome studies that satisfy the methodological rigor of the peer-reviewed scientific journals!

Now: about the Best Opening Paragraph of a self-help-for-overeating book…

Here it is:

“If you picked up this book, you are probably concerned about the way you eat, how much you weigh, and how you look. In today’s world, most women are dissatisfied with some part of their body. You may even blame a lot of your life’s problems on you weight and shape. You may think, “If I were thinner or had a better shape, I would be happier.” Learning to eat in a way that feels natural and comfortable is very valuable; it is the goal of this book and it may allow you to change your weight or shape to a degree. But you are not likely to ever be completely satisfied with how you look, and solving your eating problems is not going to make all your other problems go away. The reality is that changing your weight may make less of a difference than you anticipate. Fortunately, once you start feeling better about the way you eat, you will have more time and energy to focus on changing those aspects of your life that have greater potential to make you a happier and more fulfilled human being.”

So… what am I “drooling” over here? You might be wondering: what is really here to applaud? A lot, actually. In comparison to your typical bombastic cheer-leading, this first introductory paragraph might feel like a bucket of ice.

And it is: Craighead – in a typical for her book straight-forward manner – takes the unrealistic expectations of a total-life-makeover-via-weight-loss head on. She pulls no punches. She says it as it is: “you are not likely to ever (! – my exclamation sign) be completely satisfied with how you look, and solving your eating problems is not going to make all your other problems go away.” Now, that’s courage of honesty that can cost you book sales in this wishful-thinking culture of ours.

She goes on say: “The reality is that changing your weight may make less of a difference than you anticipate.” Bam! A one-two punch, no less! What a brutally honest role induction: you might have just bought her weight management book and here – right off the bat! – Craighead is telling you that losing the weight will not make you the most popular kid on the block and that you will not be finally discovered by Hollywood and that you will probably not be the first trillionaire on Earth… Brutal, but honest, isn’t it?!

She goes on: “once you start feeling better about the way you eat, you will have more time and energy to focus on changing those aspects of your life that have greater potential to make you a happier and more fulfilled human being.” No more upper-cuts and left hooks here, just plain sobering wisdom and (!) the beginning of re-prioritization of what this whole weight management self-help business is about.

Craighead doesn’t promise that “once you lose weight, you will have more time and energy…” Her choice of words is carefully selected here. She says: “once you start feeling better about the way you eat, you will have more time and energy to focus on changing those aspects of your life…” The focus is clearly on ending the obsession with food, on shifting back to the position of eating to live, not living to eat (or living to avoid eating, for that matter).

Clinically, Craighead’s workbook is impeccable. She offers an excellent program, one of the very few published consumer-level books that offer a Harm Reduction approach to Emotional Eating that allows you to “reduce binges to mere overeating” and to turn ineffective emotional eating into more effective eating as a coping response to prevent emotional overeating.

Stylistically, in terms of the writing demeanor, Craighead offers a calmly compassionate, rationally wise, no-nonsense, realistic-expectations-only, and, most importantly, honest delivery of the method. If, in your search for a perfect weight-management book, you are not ready for honesty and realistic expectations, if you are still looking for that bombastic cheer-leading “you-can-do-it-with-triple-!!!-signs” kind of book, this one isn’t it. But – it is my prediction – it is a book that you will eventually have to buy.

As your weight management self-help library grows, perhaps, after you haul off a couple of plastic bags of thumbed through and dog-eared weight loss and diet books to Goodwill, when you are finally off that diet-mentality-high, you will likely boomerang back to this very web-page and “look inside” Craighead’s book and probably buy it.

But here you are, prospective reader, in this moment, in this as-always-decisive here-and-now… Why waste a few more years on the feel-good-but-unrealistic-total-life-makeover promises? Why not start the process of change at a reasonable place of moderation? Why keep on looking for the short-cuts that prove at best dead-ends or detours? There’s more to life than dieting. So, my recommendation is this: point, click, proceed to checkout, and buy, even if you are not yet ready. I think you will find that Dr. Craighead’s Appetite Awareness Training program will prove a strategic addition to your weight management self-help library.

Be well,
Pavel, June 22, 2010

 


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From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (June 22, 2010)

Self-Help Potpourri | 360 Degrees of Mindful Living | Headlines Today (June 22, 2010)






    Last reviewed: 9 Jul 2011

APA Reference
Somov, P. (2010). Mind-2-Mind Potpourri. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindful-living/2010/06/self-help-potpourri/

 

Reinventing the Meal
Reinventing the Meal
Present Perfect
Eating the Moment
The Lotus Effect The Smoke-Free Smoke Break
Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. is the author of The Lotus Effect, Present Perfect, The Smoke-Free Smoke Break, and Eating the Moment: 141 Mindful Practices to Overcome Overeating One Meal at a Time.


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