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Newsletter Vol. #104 Thats How I See It!


 Hello all you new subscribers to the newsletter (11 this week and 9 last week). I hope you enjoy and pass on the newsletter to other folks who might enjoy what is offered.

We will finish the series (Pt. 5) on re-deciding how to live our lives next week, and then I am going to slow the newsletter offerings down--July/August--to occasionally.

"Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" a Rainbow Stage production opened tonight. It was absolutely fantastic! Full of surprises and a cast that is as solid as I have seen anywhere. A real feather and a great way to start the season in his new job as Artistic Director--all the best Carson Nattress.


Re-decision Pt. 4

 Once again I am excited about this series dealing with the impact that

early negative childhood messages/experiences have on our adult lives.

We are driven by these unhealthy messages and if we don’t become aware

of them, they will direct our adult behaviours. Remember though, we can

re-decide on these messages and live a fuller and healthier life.

 Last newsletter we examined the messages, “What we should do to

make it in life.” In today’s newsletter we will examine those other messages

that can also lead to inappropriate behaviours--what we shouldn’t do

--the DON’Ts.

 Reminder/continuity from Pt.3

The influential messages instructed us in both what we should and should not

do and although each of us has unique interpretations, a number of common

do's and don’ts that create stress have been identified.


 The messages which conveyed to us what behaviour was not appropriate came

in the form of "DON'T". "DON'T BE" is a message which has serious implications

for survival. It could be given in jest by a parent saying, "You were a mistake",

or more dramatically by child beating. The parent who conveys, "If it weren't

for you I could have… " is suggesting that it might have been better if you

had not been born. It is important to remember the message is being processed

through the undeveloped mind of a young child. Parents may, or may not have

intended the child to imply such a conclusion. Persons with strong messages

not to exist may have a great need to justify their existence. Many people

attempt to do so through work. However, working oneself to death is simply not

an acceptable way to follow the directive "Don't be".

 "DON'T BE YOU" is implied whenever something about us is rejected and has a wide

range of variations. "Be like… " is a common directive many of us experience.

In response we restrict ourselves and attempt to become what is seemingly

more acceptable. The more we do so, the higher our stress level.

 "DON'T BE A CHILD" is most commonly experienced by the eldest who is

expected to develop responsible behaviour at an early age. The long term

consequence of following such a directive is the inability to enjoy, to play,

to spontaneously respond to people and events.

 "DON'T GROW UP" is a conclusion reached by children who experience their

parent's preference for them to remain dependent. "Don't make your own

decisions", "Don't trust your own judgement", "Don't be sexual", are all

versions of the messages which imply the safety and nurturing of childhood

are preferable to the realities of adult life. Later in life these people

constantly seek the advice of others in order to avoid responsibility for

their own actions.

 "DON'T MAKE IT" appears to be a message that successful people would not have received. Excessive need to achieve, however, can be an overreaction to the message. The “fear of success” reported by some women may be a realization that competency and success may jeopardize other valued recognition. The idea of “making it” for a woman implies a violation of other strongly endorsed messages such as, “don’t be aggressive”, “the business world is a man’s world”, and “women belong at home”.

 "DON'T BE IMPORTANT" is implied by the many experiences a child encounters when asked to be secondary, usually to grownups, and results in an unwillingness

to declare our importance as adults. It happens often and unwittingly.

Children are seated at a lower table with plastic dishes while grownups eat

from china at a dining room table. Behaviour which implies other's needs

are constantly more important than my needs is the cue to having adopted this

message. “Make it big in life, but not bigger than me!”

 "DON'T HAVE NEEDS", is a common conclusion when, as small children, our needs

go unmet or when getting our needs met appears to have caused considerable

upset or resentment. This is experienced later in life as denial of the existence

of our needs or reluctance to ask for what we need. Declaring yourself as

"very independent" may be a way of saying, "I find it hard to ask for help". If you

have accepted the message that, "to need is to be weak", this decision becomes

entrenched even further.

 "DON’T BE WELL”, strangely enough, occurs in response to excessive caring

during childhood illness. Receiving high quality caring and support not

experienced during health can precipitate a desire to prolong or repeat the

experience and subsequently a decision not to be well. The decision can also

be made when illness is the only acceptable alternative to overworking.

 “DON’T BELONG” has many variations depending on early experiences. This

message is usually accompanied by a rationale that seems plausible— “We’ll

be moving soon", "People might expect something in return", or "They aren't

like us." The message, if adopted as a decision, results in a "loner approach"

to life.

 "DON'T BE CLOSE", "DON'T TRUST, "DON'T LOVE" can be a way to

avoid repetition of pain experienced in the loss of a loved one. The lack of

expressed love and affection in the home can also suggest to the child, "That's

just the way it is". Not being able to relate intimately or affectionately

to other individuals is the plague of a society that keeps us busy and

impersonal - that encourages us to value things and accomplishments more than

people. Tied directly to this are messages related to feeling and thinking.


YOUR FEELINGS" are at the root of many interpersonal problems. Somehow people have decided that certain feelings or the expression of certain feelings are not okay. Anger, jealousy, fear are often considered less acceptable than love and joy. Young children are often punished for outbursts of anger, teased

for being afraid, or laughed at for puppy love. Unfortunately it is rarely pointed out that 'not' feeling and 'not' expressing feelings have the potential to damage relationships. It is a myth to believe that healthy relationships are built only on the expression of positive feelings.

 "DON'T THINK" can seriously inhibit our problem-solving capacity. Usually this message is restricted to particular areas of life - "Don't think about ... (your feelings, sex, where you are going in life, how happy you

are).” If we decide to avoid thinking about our lives, we can sustain the status quo far longer. Many times however, the result is we increase our stress level and limit our options by postponing addressing certain

concerns in our life.

 References: Bob & Mary Goulding, C. Panati, Hans Selye,

Next week Pt. 5


Out of the mouths of babes..... 

TEACHER:  Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?

DONALD:    H I J K L M N O. TEACHER:  What are you talking about? DONALD:    Yesterday you said it's H to O.


TEACHER:      Clyde, your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his? CLYDE  :       

No sir. It's the same dog.    (I want to adopt this kid!!!)


TEACHER:    Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?

HAROLD:    A teacher.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------As promised:

My Declaration of Self-Esteem

 I am me.

 In all the world, there is no one exactly like me. There are persons who have some parts like, but no one adds up exactly like me. Therefore, everything that comes out of me is authentically mine because I alone choose it.

 I own everything about me-my body, including everything it does; my mind, including all its thoughts and ideas; my eyes, including the images of all they behold; my feelings, what ever they may be-anger, joy, frustration, love, disappointment, excitement; my mouth, and all the words that come out of it, polite, sweet or rough, correct or incorrect; my voice, loud or soft; and all my actions, whether they be to others or to myself.

 I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears.

 I own all my triumphs and success, all my failures and mistakes.

 Because I own me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing I could love me and be friendly with me in all my parts. I can then make it possible for all of me to work in my best interests.

 I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know. But as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for the solutions to the puzzles, for ways to find out more about me.

 However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and what ever I think and feel at a given moment in time is me. This is authentic and represents where I am at that moment in time.

 When I review later how I looked and sounded, what I said and did, and how I thought and felt, some parts may turn out to be unfitting. I can discard that which is unfitting, and keep that which proved fitting, and invent something new for that which I discarded.

 I can see, hear, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order of the world of people and things outside of me.

 I own me, and therefore I can engineer me.

 I am me, and I am okay!


                                                                                    Virginia Satir

 Several years ago, we had an Intern who was none too swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said, “I'm almost out of typing paper.  What do I do?” “Just use paper from the photocopier”, the secretary told her.  With that, the intern took her last remaining blank piece of paper, put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five blank copies. A Brunette, by the way!!


 I recently came across some material written by Robert Sweetgall. Robert is the gentleman who walked across America seven times. An overweight desk jockey, he decided to walk to lose weight and ended up being America's walking guru. A group of us in Winnipeg brought Robert up to Winnipeg twice in the 90s to do workshops on walking and wellness. Here is his website address: I'm sure you'll find many interesting articles and resources to better your health through walking.

Robert Sweetgall Reports

 The fact is that about three out of four Americans are classic lounge lizards. Obesity is at an all-time high. So is Type 2, adult-onset diabetes-now at epidemic proportions affecting 20 million Americans. Insulin resistance, precursor to Type 2 Diabetes, is now showing up in middle school students.


Despite the rising sales of treadmills and sporting goods equipment, an increasing majority of Americans have rejected structured exercise programs for a number of good reasons: "This stuff is no fun; it's painful; it's too restrictive; and it takes too much time." The sedentary majority is looking for something different: ... A no-sweat, no-pain, do-it- any time approach to personal training; something inexpensive, easy and flexible enough to fit into those short free periods of every day life.

 A study by Dr. Ralph Paffenbarger and Dr. Stephen Blair shows declining mortality rates from heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases for populations that are more physically active. Even the addition of one mile per day of walking (approximately 2000 footsteps) to one's daily life, has health enhancing effects. Two miles per day (4000 footsteps) is even better, and three miles (6000 footsteps) of walking is better. But 5 miles of walking per day turns out to be a better fit (in terms of reduced mortality) than 3 miles of walking per day. Most of the health benefits are realized in reaching the 3 mile level of activity, or 2000 to 2500 cal. of physical activity per week.

Have a great week, see "Breaking Up...", drink lots of water and hug your kids and partner.