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July 30th, 2011

To be mindful is to be an observer, not a judge. With most things in life, we are quick to label and judge. When you are on a diet and you experience hunger (be it physical appetite or emotional craving, you are probably quick to label that experience as “bad.” When you judge hunger to be negative you give it power and you begin a struggle that you will surely lose.I will help you understand that food cravings and hunger are neither good nor bad, they simply exist. They are merely feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations. They are not you. They are experiences within you. You can choose to react to them and allow them to overwhelm and suffocate you or you can choose to be aware of them and then let them go.Don’t worry if you don’t understand all of this now or exactly how it works. Keep an open mind and it will become clear.*65\358\8*

July 15th, 2011

Unravelling the link between smoking and lung cancer has been one of the most successful exercises in the science of epidemiology. The part played by British scientific workers, most notably Sir Richard Doll from the University of Oxford, has been one of the most substantial contributions of British science to medicine. • Through this century the upward trend in lung cancer has followed the upward trend in smoking closely.• The incidence of lung cancer is higher in smokers. A large number of studies in analytical epidemiology all point in the same direction.• The more you smoke the more likely you are to get lung cancer. This is true for the duration of smoking and the number of cigarettes smoked. The exact relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked and the increased risk of lung cancer can still be debated. People have smoked in different ways in different countries and discarded different amounts of the cigarettes. The tar content of cigarettes varies greatly and has fallen steadily in cigarettes smoked in Western Europe and the United States.A recent estimate from the United States (report of the Surgeon General, 1989) says that regular cigarette smokers have more than a twenty times greater chance of getting lung cancer than lifelong non-smokers. The relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked and the risk is not a simple straight line. We cannot be precise about the relationship but Sir Richard Doll and his colleagues suggest that the likelihood of getting cancer from cigarette smoking rises according to a more complicated mathematical relationship known as a quadratic. Broadly this will mean that increasing the number of cigarettes smoked may have a disproportionate effect on the chance of getting lung Cancer.• When you stop smoking your chance of gating lung cancer falls. Within ten years the risk has fallen dramatically from what it would have been if smoking had continued although it may take quite a long time to return to the very small level of risk enjoyed by non-smokers.• Smoking low-tar cigarettes reduces the risk of lung cancer. This is strong evidence because most other factors about the two groups – those using high-tar and those using low-tar cigarettes – will be similar. Only the change in the level of tar in cigarettes is likely to explain the change in lung cancer incidence which in low-tar smokers is reduced to about 60 per cent of the risk for patients smoking high-tar cigarettes.• Chemicals in cigarette tar are mutagenic and carcinogenic. By this we mean that such chemicals alter genes and have been shown in the laboratory to produce cancer.*40\194\4*

July 7th, 2011

In general, people facing death continue the process they began in response to depression and fatigue. They concentrate their energies on what is possible. They let go of some things they had wanted, mostly long-term career goals. They take control of their own attitudes: they decide how to live with their limits in life and still feel satisfied. In short, they balance living and dying.     In a way, they seem both to live and to die at once. Not only did Helen plan her trip to the beach the following summer and buy beach clothes, she also celebrated Mother’s Day in December—”In case I wasn’t here,” she said. Steven says his life is “back to normal,” and he doesn’t “sit around waiting to get sick,” but he doesn’t “order things that will take a year to get,” either. Alan says, “I’m keeping myself healthy and trying to keep the disease from getting worse”; he also says, “I won’t enroll in night school, I’m afraid I couldn’t finish.”     These people are not contradicting themselves. They are dealing with two facts; one is that they are dying, and the other is that they are still alive. They have to live recognizing both death and life. “I need some help dying,” said Dean. “But I also need help with living until I die, graciously and with dignity.” In fact, people have always had to learn to do this. Everyone has to figure out how to stay alive and still be ready for death, how to approach dying and still live the rest of their lives.     Eventually people say that they have always known how. At some time in their lives, they have had to accept the inevitable with courage and grace. “If we have not known how to live,” wrote Montaigne, “it is wrong to teach us how to die, and make the end inconsistent with the whole. If we have known how to live steadfastly and tranquilly, we shall know how to die in the same way.” Lisa’s husband said the same thing, that he would die as he lived, by paraphrasing the Bible: “I know I came into this world naked and I will go out naked.” The person who has lived is the same as the person who will die. If you know yourself at all, you know how you will die.*226\191\2*

June 25th, 2011

The Freudian encouraging her patient to experience her transference is encouraging insight through process work. The Jungian who uses active imagination to meet dream figures on paper is using a process paradigm. The Gestalt therapist requiring her client to act out a dream is dramatizing an experience which has been secondary. The neo-Reichian working through resistances to aggression in body work is touching the process work paradigm if these resistances are allowed to express themselves and are not simply ‘broken through.’ The process paradigm is not new; it plays a crucial role in all psychotherapies, and is accepted as a basic concept everywhere in psychology. The process paradigm may even be considered a central pattern in our earliest sciences. Alchemy is based upon cooking what is incomplete and Taoism encourages one to discover the patterns behind reality and to folloiv their unfolding with appreciation and awareness.       My background in process work is based upon the finalistic philosophy applied by Jung to psychological situations. He looked for the meaning of things; he was not interested in pathologizing them, but attempted to take them as facts for themselves. Since he was himself a physician he recognized the usefulness of the medicial model, but extended it by concentrating on the fantasy world produced by the client.*26\227\8*

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