The Health Q
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) 1715 6165 | Library & Archives Canada Entry
Editorial Note: Life wants you to be happy; 5 Relationship killers; Tips for anger management;
How not to accumulate bad Karmas?; How to deal with monster of self-disempowerment; This month’s recipe ‘Spicy Indian Chai’.
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Life Wants You To Be Happy [Editorial Note]
by Parmjit Singh, PhD
The woman on the phone said, “I have everything—cars, money, a successful life—but still feels that I do not have anything.”
That was seven years ago, just around the time I arrived in Canada. I was on a live radio talk-show discussing mental and emotional issues faced by immigrant families and this woman called me after the talk-show was over.
Since then, I have met scores of people complaining about the same thing. Sadly but truly, for most people life did not become better even after they achieved all the social and material goals. In fact, in same cases, life satisfaction took a downward turn—comparatively they were happier before they ‘made it’.
For most part, fault lies in the way we have come to think of life, money, relationship, career etc. Nowadays, money rules the roost. If something can be bought, we would rather buy it than spend some time cultivating it. E.g. if you make $100/hour, you may rather pay $50 on a take-out dinner than spend one hour cooking it at home. And because money is so important, we tend to barter the value of doing small things in favor of thinking in terms of capital gain and loss.
Relationships, social responsibilities and kindness towards fellow citizens, however, are other things. In capital sense, they do not bring any rewards. Why to be kind and generous to someone when you can earn some capital by being deceptive, cunning and aggressive?
The feeling of emptiness the woman on the phone talked about is not a divine curse; it is a consequence of capitalistic mentality. Our ‘money can buy everything’ kind of attitude has created these troubles. While pursuing success and money, we tend to ride roughshod over the laws of nature and try to rewrite them, according to our convenience and philosophy. This is where we upset the applecart. We can not put the cart before the horse.
Through out history, people have tried to do so with little success. The story keeps on repeating itself in one form or other. Nonetheless, we never seem to learn.
Life would make us happy, only if we respect the very basics that makes it so special. And that can be achieved by forming congenial relationships, adopting loving kindness towards others and respecting the values which makes us human.
All your strengths is in your union
All your danger is in discord
Therefore be at peace henceforward
As as brothers live together
—Henry W. Longfellow
5 Relationship Killers and How to Avoid Them
by Dr. Margaret Paul
As a relationship counselor, I am constantly being asked why so many relationships fail. In the 37 years that I have worked with couples, I have discovered five major relationship killers:
Most people enter a relationship with a deep fear of rejection, and this fear motivates various forms of controlling behavior. Controlling behavior falls into two major categories: overt control and covert control.
Overt control includes many forms of attack, such as blaming anger, rage, violence, judgment, criticism and ridicule.
Covert control includes compliance, enabling, withdrawal, defending, explaining, lying and denying. Often a person at the other end of attack will respond with some form of covert control in an attempt to have control over not being attacked.
Controlling behavior always results in resentment and emotional distance, bringing about the very rejection that it is meant to avoid.
Many people enter a relationship with a deep fear of being engulfed and controlled— of losing themselves. The moment they experience their partner wanting control over them, they respond with resistance‑withdrawal, unconsciousness, numbness, forgetfulness, and procrastination.
When one partner is controlling and the other is resistant—which is really an attempt to have control over not being controlled— the relationship becomes immobilized. Partners in this relationship system feel frustrated, stagnant, and resentful.
Many people enter a relationship believing that it is their partner’s job to fill their emptiness, take away their aloneness, and make them feel good about themselves. When people have not learned how to take responsibility for their own feelings and needs, and to define their own self-worth, they may pull on their partner and others to fill them with the love they need.
Substance and Process Addictions
Most people who feel empty inside turn to substance and process addictions in an attempt to fill their emptiness and take away the pain of their aloneness and loneliness. Alcohol and drug abuse, food, spending, gambling, busyness, Internet sex and pornography, affairs, work, TV, accumulating things, beautifying, and so on, can all be used as ways to fill emptiness and avoid fears of failure, inadequacy, rejection and engulfment. And they are all ways of shutting out your partner.
Eyes on Partner’s Plate
Many people are acutely aware of what their partner is doing that is causing relationship problems, but completely unaware of what they are doing. For example, you might be very aware of your partner’s resistance or withdrawal, but totally unaware of your own judgmental behavior. You might be very aware of your partner’s anger, but completely unaware of your own compliance. You might be very aware of your partner’s addictive behavior, but very unaware of your own enabling. As long as your eyes are on your partner instead of on yourself, you will continue to believe that if only your partner changed, everything would be okay.
Resolving Relationship Killers
All relationship killers come from fear: of inadequacy, of failure, of rejection and of engulfment. As long as you are coming from any of these fears, you will be behaving in one or more of the above ways.
The way out is to develop a loving adult self who knows how to take full responsibility for your own feelings and needs. You will move beyond controlling, needy and addictive behavior only when you learn how to fill your self with love and define your own inner worth. When you are willing to take your eyes off your partner’s plate and turn your eyes fully on yourself, you can begin to do the inner healing work necessary to heal yourself and your relationship.
A good place to start is to download our free Inner Bonding course and begin to practice the Six Steps of Inner Bonding. The daily practice of these steps will move you out of your addictive and controlling behavior and into the personal responsibility necessary to heal your relationship. [HQ]
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including “Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?” and “Healing Your Aloneness.” She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course:
http://www.innerbonding.com or email her at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phone Sessions Available.
Spicy Indian Chai [Healthy Eating]
By Manjit Handa, PhD
For two cups: One and half cup water, two tea spoonfuls tea leaves (loose), a quarter cup milk, half an inch fresh ginger root, half tea spoon fennel seeds, two small cardamoms (coarsely ground), half an inch cinnamon stick, sugar to taste.
In a pan mix all the ingredients except milk and tea leaves and place it on the stove. When the water comes to a boil, simmer it down for a couple of minutes, and then add tea leaves. Brew for a few seconds and add milk. When it comes to a boil, strain and transfer into tea cups. This tea is particularly beneficial and soothing, when down with flu, cough and cold. Enjoy the cup! [HQ]
Dr. Manjit Handa PhD, is the editor of ‘Healing Matrix’ magazine and teaches at the Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. She loves cooking healthy food.
Think About These Adages Everyday
1. Old age will come upon me someday and I can not avoid it.
2. Disease can come upon me someday and I can not avoid it.
3. Death can come upon me someday and I can not avoid it.
4. All things that I hold dear are subject to change and decay and separation, and I can not avoid it.
5. I am outcome of my own deeds and whatever be my deeds, good or bad, I shall be heir to them.
—Buddha, Anguttara Nikyaya
By contemplating old age, the pride of youth can be curbed or at least reduced. This understanding helps us realize that youth, beauty and strength are not going to stay for ever and impels us to seek a deeper meaning of our daily living. Applying this wisdom to daily life can save a lot of troubles we cause while riding the euphoria of youth and beauty.
By contemplating disease, the pride of health can be curbed, or at least reduced. This does not mean that we invite disease by engaging in risky behavior. On the other hand, it inspires us to take a better care of our physical body by avoiding unhealthy conduct.
By contemplating death, the pride of life can be curbed, or at least be reduced. In our society, thinking about death is considered morbid. However, it should not be that way. Death is connected to birth and hence part of the whole life cycle. Remembering your death everyday can really focus you on the most important things rather than worrying over trivial matters.
And by contemplating that one is result of one’s own deeds, the evil propensities of thought, word and deed are curbed, or at least reduced. Understanding this vital truth empowers us to take informed decision and appropriate steps for a better life. We no longer remain a hapless cog in a ceaselessly spinning wheel of life.
One who contemplates these things can curb, or at least reduce his pride and passion and thus be able to tread the path of Nirvana (liberation or enlightenment).
Think about the above-mentioned five muses everyday and you shall feel peaceful and content. Not only this imparts a renewed direction to our life, but also reminds us of the important things or activities we might have forgotten as we got swept into daily hustle and bustle of life. [HQ]
Beating pillows or shouting at others during a fit of anger may be a cathartic experience, but it does not help you to control or mitigate it in the long run. Alternative is that when you feel angry next time, wait 10 seconds or count from 1-10 before exploding on the other person or venting your fury on the next object you lay eye upon.
In fact, Gurdjieff (a legendary Armenian mystic) was told by his father that whenever he feels angry at someone to the point of killing him/her, he should wait for 24 hours before carrying out his intent.
Tip: Become a witness to your anger without acting on it as long as you can.
Often, we take Karma as a fixed course of life or destiny slapped on us by some divine source at the beginning of our inning on this planet. However, we never pause to ponder that we may actively be involved in the creation of our Karma in everyday life. Karma, to us, stands for ‘KAPACITY TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR MOTIVES OF OUR ACTIONS’.
And if we take personal responsibility for our daily deeds and actions, we can change our KARMA for good in this life. After all, it does not seem to be so set in stone as we tend to think.
Tip: Be mindful of what you do in daily life. Mindlessness forces us to accumulate bad Karmas. [HQ]
The Monster of Disempowerment
by Parmjit Singh, PhD
Disempowerment, Lack of Self-Worth, incessant feedback that ‘we are not good enough’ is one of the toxic legacies of our modern world. Despite having everything, we some times feel so dis-empowered that it feels as if we do not have anything at all to feel good about. Reasons are myriad; some are natural and others are our own creation. In this short piece, I am going to talk about one factor which leads to this sense of disempowerment and that is our relationships with our loved ones and society at large for which we are enormously responsible.
As you would agree, relationships are a key to our healthy existence. But they are also the one that gets thrown on to the back burner while attending to more important chapters of our daily living. We tend to ignore the fact that the quality of our life and existence will essentially depend upon the quality of relationships we formed and nurtured during our life-time.
History is replete with events where most successful people died heart broken because they could not form meaningful relationships with their peers and families (think of suicide-committing stars, filthy rich people and enormously popular persons living lonely and medicated lives). We should be aware that business of life is different than life of a business. They are in fact, poles apart: what works in business may sometimes tear apart the families.
Research has shown that people having meaningful relationships with others are more likely to be mentally and physically healthy and tends to live a relatively happy life. Though success, money and meaningful work are important to our life, yet it will feel hollow inside if you have not nurtured good relationship with yourself and your peers.
Our SuggestionTry to be straightforward, honest and cordial in your relationships with others and invest in them as much as you would like to invest in your business portfolio and occupation. Deception and cunningness may work for shorter durations, but a good heart and honest relationship will make you happy in the long run. [HQ]
Dr. Parmjit Singh, PhD teaches at the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University, Canada. He conducts body, mind, spirit health and wellness programs in the community. For more information about these programs and its schedule, please visit www.TheHQ.ca or call 905.524.3463.