Self-Direction: Angela Irvin

Lately, I haven’t had the time to blog as I would like. So, I’m trying to provide some “mini” blog posts calling attention to some of the great Blogs and Bloggers I’ve found on the web. I hope you’ll all enjoy the excerpts and links – please support all the wonderful bloggers out there in cyber-land!

Go check out this excellent, intelligent blog by Angela.

…we should not passively accept a direction that is handed to us. Instead, we should actively set our own direction. Additionally, we should foster relationships with people who are understanding and supportive of our need for self-direction, and when others offer opinions and suggestions regarding our lives, first consider how they fit in with our own goals.

A little info about Angela:  My name is Angela, and I am currently pursuing acceptance into a doctoral program for Clinical Psychology.

The Power of Love Notes (via Thinking Out Loud)

It seems appropriate always to remind myself and others that love is a power greater than hate and disagreement. This is a beautiful and poignant reminder of that fact from Thinking Out Loud’s Blog. Enjoy and please visit and read the entire piece.

Blessings,

Marissa

The Power of Love Notes By virtue of a series of serendipitous experiences, I’ve got love notes on my mind. It all started with a bad mood. Without going into details, suffice it to say I was cranky, annoyed, frustrated and felt like I had no control over my life. So I took it out on my husband, my best friend of 32 years, my partner of 30, and I wrote him an angry anti-love note, complaining virulently about – everything. To make matters worse, I typed it – two pages o … Read More

via Thinking Out Loud

Becoming a vampire without being bitten: A new study shows that reading expands our self-concepts

Very informative piece on how the reader becomes one with the community created by the writer.

In an upcoming study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Gabriel and graduate student Ariana Young show what that something is: When we read, we psychologically become part of the community described in the narrative—be they wizards or vampires. That mechanism satisfies the deeply human, evolutionarily crucial, need for belonging.

 

Check out the complete article: Becoming a vampire without being bitten: A new study shows that reading expands our self-concepts.

terra di sienna

Two tiny droplets
a morsel of medicine

Crayola-colored sienna.
A color from the box
with the sharpener
in the back — implying
grand accomplishment.
A budding artist, would, of course,
use them down to the nub —
. . . peel – sharpen – draw

Two miniscule pellets
of prescription medicine

Where else did you ever
hear the word sienna?
(We live exclusively in
shades of black and gray.)
Thirty-days, taken at bed time.
A few well-worn hours before
you pick another color, draw
inside the lines again a
new-born day of maybe —
. . . peel – sharpen – draw

Smart People Do More Drugs–Because of Evolution – Entertainment – The Atlantic Wire

There’s a very interesting article with an uncommon theory over at The Atlantic Wire. Take a look at the theory which says smart people are more likely to try drugs and tell me what you think!

Quote from article:

“Psychoactive drugs, therefore, are evolutionarily pretty new to humans. Which means that smart people, according to the theory, will be more likely to take psychoactive drugs.”

Smart People Do More Drugs–Because of Evolution – Entertainment – The Atlantic Wire.

Grandfather

On some other lost plane
of time you are standing
watching the years roll
like clouds forecasting
rain on a spring day.

Gray-black eyes fold tears
into memory that forgets
you. As soon as dawn comes
you watch the children
grow like strong trees,
the grandchildren grow
like deep-rooted sycamores
in the ground you plowed.

On some other lost plane
of time you are hovering
as a bright-bold presence
with a smile eating tears
of snow on a winter day.

April 2011

Cigarettes as a Positive Factor in Treating Mental Illness?

 

There is a wonderful post about cigarettes, nicotine, and schizophrenics by Dirk Hanson over at Addiction Inbox. He has a great blog with some wonderful content. The first paragraph of the piece is below…continue reading at Addiction Inbox Link.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Medical Cigarettes

Is it “Inhumane” to Take Cigarettes Away from Schizophrenics?
In an article for Brain Blogger a couple of years ago, I looked into the astonishing fact that, as a typical study of in-patient smoking among schizophrenics in Britain revealed, about 80-90% of the patients diagnosed with schizophrenia were cigarette smokers. Given that the running rate in the general population hovers around 20-25% on average, this is really quite amazing. It seems clear that nicotine is doing something for a schizophrenic that makes cigarettes into a form of self-medication that almost all schizophrenics apparently discover at one time or another. Read the rest of this interesting article at Addiction Inbox.

Declaration

 

I dream of poets —
of their bright-broken bruised
bones.

Their plight of speaking tomes
to the dead, to the living trying
to find word-songs to sing.
These ghosts of witness, prophets
caged in a time where prophets are
un-believed, are mere myths residing
in the places of Jesus
and miracles, and antiquated belief
systems. Poets
don’t exist beside
technology, briefcases,
economic woes, and woe is
the would-be poet-prophet who
tries to sing songs, speak warnings and
create dirges in a world gone deaf to hearing
and too busy for reading
and, of course, wouldn’t read poems anyway, but
would be more inclined toward
something like an e-book on “How to
Make $10,000 a year from home,” or
”The True Story of Rock Star John,”
a serialized E-special in print. Poets
and their prophecies spoken
in silent voices of white paper and black
letters in books filled with screaming
voices that are silent
upon the unhearing ears
of the world.

I dream of poets —
of their bright-broken
bruised bones.

 

 

 

 

March 2011

 

This is How We Dance

 

In circles that flow
during dream-time,
a step to the side.
A whisper to the left.
Two-step toward possibility.
Your voice in my ear
hushed tones of my name
spoken a thousand miles away.
There you are – living normally
where you are – I live normally
too, except for that vast space
of empty, during dream-time.
A whisper to the left,
A step to the side, two-step
in circles that flow. This
is how we dance.

The 99% and The Battle for America

“Do you not know that there comes a midnight hour when everyone has to throw off his mask? Do you believe that life will always let itself be mocked?“      ~Soren Kierkegaard

venice_masque

We are the author of our own personal truth. We make daily decisions, as the creator, designing and constructing the platform-frame as a foundation to which we attach our personality, build a narrative history, and create a legacy that becomes the unique remembrance of us in the world. We do this as individuals and as the United States of America.

Nationally, as Americans, we love to believe in the American Dream – that anyone can become anything, rising above circumstances and limitations, to become an American success story.  Our history is one of dreamers and dreams being born and flourishing. Our soil grows an independent fighting Spirit that makes us seek more and better; each new generation shoving past its predecessor to become smarter, brighter, stronger, richer, and happier. This is the promise we have cherished since becoming a nation; a promise believed to be our great Destiny. We are a nation built on hope, individuality, and dreams.

But, times are changing, and as New Americans we live in a time of masks. Our politicians are primarily a collective of hidden faces behind picturesque disguises, the national economy still tragically caught within a depression that is masked by the title recession, and numerous negative sociological and cultural changes ignored and denied as non-existent boogey-monsters imagined by an uneducated and panicky lower-class public. The American Dream still applies to 1% of the population, but what about the 99% who have trouble sleeping and haven’t dreamed in years?

Class Levels and the Battle for Education

America has always been a land of class division as much as she would deny it. However, not since the years of open slavery has the schism between the rich and poor been so great. The classes continue to grow in distance from one another, with the realities of one class being almost incomprehensible to the other class. At the heart of these different realities lies education.

The poorer classes traditionally are less educated and less literate than the more prosperous classes. The recent cuts in public school budgets for arts and sciences, the teacher downsizing and layoffs in the public schools, and the current trend toward staff reductions and closing of public libraries is obviously more detrimental to the poor. Likewise, when the fear of government shut-downs were discussed, it was the military and public parks that faced pay cuts and closures – both of which are utilized by and filled with people of poor to modest incomes. The rich seldom need to use these services or join our military forces.

The money and privilege of the higher classes provides advantages beyond what the “average” American can afford. High crime rates, violent acts during a crime, and major drug use are often directly traceable to lack of education and trauma in the home. Deprivation of basic resources and a sense of stability and security, along with unhealthy self-esteem, creates an unbalanced psyche that leans toward mental illness, drug use, and violent crime. While the answer may not be to throw money at the problems once they’ve reached that stage; certainly, no one would deny that our society benefits from educating our children, teaching them to be productive, ensuring that all children have their basic needs met, and are provided a good, basic education.

Education is like medical care: those with higher incomes and more disposable money will always be able to purchase both commodities. Those without the funds to do so lose the foundation of opportunity. We create a society in which violence thrives because higher education, critical thinking, logic and problem solving have not been taught. Instead, people take what they want by forces believing that to be the only way they’ll ever have it. Lack of opportunity, inequality, and jealousy creates violent men and women.

door-lock_small 

In recent years, our public education system has fallen terribly short of its objectives – we do need review and changes. However, cutting teacher pay, laying-off teachers, and increasing class size are not forward-moving steps. Rather, these are antiquated methods that lock doors to keep certain people (classes) “in their place.” An uninformed and uneducated public is also a less powerful public. But, we must beware, because history shows that mob rule becomes the norm when people cannot find voice or power any other way.

 

 Who is the 99% ?

 

There’s a wonderful article by Joseph E. Stiglitz, in this month’s Vanity Fair, titled, “Of The 1%, By The 1%, For The 1%,” that explores the inequality in wealth and class in America. According to Stiglitz:

The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent….While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall.

  

This is a staggering truth – the numbers don’t lie. The rich run the country through wealth and power, and the middle class IS shrinking. Stiglitz goes on to examine this situation in depth, looking at the ruling class and politicians, at current reinforcing rules, and at what this means for America as time passes. In closing he explains a basic truth often forgotten by those in power: As a nation, the fate of the 1 percent and the fate of the 99 percent is intricately knotted together.

The 99 percent could be called the “average Americans.” The men and women who work a job in construction, food service, plants or warehouses, service industries, and myriad other “blue and white collar” jobs. The 1 percent are the politicians, the IT millionaires, the privileged dynasty families, and the other top power brokers in our nation. The 1 percent, like the mythical comments of the French queen, may very well say “let them eat cake,” as the lower classes starve. Again, history teaches us valuable lessons about the abject distance between the two classes and the violence that is possible when the rich and powerful men forget that the poor man has a destiny entwined with his own.