Sunday, May 11, 2014


‘No, they’re not the same, but why am I mostly bereft of both of them?’


Jay went to a psychiatrist. “Doc, he said, “I’ve got trouble.

Every time I get into bed I think there is somebody under it.

I get under the bed; I think there’s somebody on top of it.

Top, under, under top. I’m going crazy!”

“Just put yourself in my hands for two years,” said the shrink.

“Come to me three times a week and I’ll cure you.”

“How much do you charge?”

“A hundred dollars per visit.”

“I’ll think about it.”

Jay never went back. Some time later he met the doctor on the street.

“Why didn’t you ever come to see me again? Asked the psychiatrist.

“For a hundred buck a visit? A bartender cured me for 10 dollars.”

“Is that so! How?”

“He told me to cut the legs off the bed.”


Today I watched a recently-recorded TED talk by David Steindl-Rast. Some have said the mantle of Thomas Merton has fallen on this gentle monk (?).

I remember when he came to Melbourne in the 1980s and a small group of us were privileged to spend a day with him, sitting in a circle in a monastery. I was seated next to him, and while he was talking I notice he used his thumb to turn a knotted rosary thing around his index finger. I asked him about it. 'Oh, yes, that's the Jesus Prayer - 'Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a sinner.' 'How often to do you pray that, consciously or unconsciously, every day?' 'Thousands of times...'

Now to his recent talk (easy to find: use his name and Google TED talks):

Everyone wants to be happy. But not all happy people are grateful (they want more of something, or want something else); but all grateful people (even though many live with misfortune) are happy.

So: it's not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.

Every moment is a gift, and 'opportunity' is the gift within every gift.

The master key to happiness? Moment by moment we have this gift.

In some moments we're not happy - because of someone's suffering, loss of a friend, etc.

But the key here is that we're learning something in every moment: patience, for example. And then in the next moment we get another opportunity.

How should we respond to all these opportunities? Same as you were taught as a child about crossing the street: STOP, LOOK, GO.

STOP when you turn on the water-faucet: millions don't have access to drinkable water. Or ditto when you turn on the power switch. (David's put little 'gratefulness stickers' on the tap and light-switch at his place, after a trip to Africa where these good things weren't available.)

LOOK - open your eyes, and your hearts (use the opportunity to make others happy).

GO - Do something!

Grateful people are not fearful, and therefore not violent. Grateful people are joyful people.


Ed Diener is the Joseph R. Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois. He is considered by many to be the foremost expert on the science of happiness and life satisfaction. Diener has been a faculty member at the University of Illinois for the past 36 years. He has been the president of three scientific organizations: International Society of Quality of Life Studies, the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, and the International Positive Psychology Association. Dr Diener has over 300 publications, with about 200 being in the area of the psychology of well-being, and is listed as one of the most highly cited psychologists by the Institute of Scientific Information with over 27,000 citations to his credit. He won the Distinguished Researcher Award from the International Society of Quality of Life Studies, the first Gallup Academic Leadership Award, and the Block Award for Personality Psychology. Diener's research focuses on the causes and consequences of "subjective well-being", positive feelings, life satisfaction, and low levels of negative feelings. He is embarking on a new project of founding a virtual exploratorium for psychology and positive psychology.


(Good; including Diener and Martin Seligman)


Last night Jan and I had dinner with my brother David and his wife (also Jan) in a Vietnamese restaurant at the Crown Casino, a stone's throw across the Yarra River from Melbourne's CBD. (The bill : $59 for two entrees, four main meals, and two desserts. The deal included five hours' free parking).

David and I talked about our father, who died in after suffering from a serious psychotic depression for a decade, and finally dementia. I can't remember having a meaningful conversation - ever - with my father. I tried to initiate one when he was first hospitalized with depression, by asking him gently about his life. Response: 'Please, Rowland, I don't want to talk about anything like that...'

Albert Reginald Croucher was a good man, a faithful provider, generally disciplined and truthworthy, but increasingly unhappy...  Before conducting his funeral service I asked around among his church friends what I should say. One said 'Candidly, Rowland, Reg was a faithful secretary, but he probably didn't have a new idea about anything since he proposed to your mother!'

Clue #1: my father didn't provide me with any 'new ideas' - and he reacted scarily to some of mine - but hopefully I learned from him to be faithful, to keep my promises...

At the casino we passed several gaming tables, where people of all ages and nationalities were searching for happiness while being expertly separated from their money.  (statistic).  Man owns most - James Packer - has been through two marriages.  Same Macao last year...

Who am I to righteously condemn... 'flutter' ...I who has spent not one dollar ... not even Melbourne Cup 'sweep' that I can recall...

Conferences everywhere on the subject (Lindy's details) arranged by Buddhists...

Now who am I ... Most disadvantaged in some respects. Healthy, own our home, very little savings but paid a government seniors' pension, live in a quiet suburb in the world's most 'liveable' city, Melbourne. 76 but can still run up steps. 54 years of a very happy marriage to the same beautiful woman, the love of my life.

All adult/working life I've been paid by various organizations schools, churches, other organizations to talk/listen on this subject.

Stories I hear six days a week (I rest from ... sabbath). Very privileged - people actually pay me to walk'ntalk along nearby forest trails about their problems and their frustrating search for happiness. This little book addresses the most common issues they raise together with collected / accumulated wisdom - ancient and modern -  from many sources.

Theories. Scott Peck - trouble.

But first, let's be brave and talk about hell: which I would define as the antithesis of happiness, in this or any other life...



A reflection on the circle of life by Wendell Berry, via Inward Outward:

"At the start of spring I open a trench
in the ground. I put into it
the winter’s accumulation of paper,
pages I do not want to read
again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put into it
the contents of the outhouse:
light of the sun, growth of the ground,
finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
and to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck;
have listened to too much noise;
have been inattentive to wonders;
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse
of mind and body, I close the trench,
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new."


7 Drug-Free Ways To Fall Asleep Faster



So many of us struggle with the issue of not getting enough sleep, and it can be one of the most frustrating problems to experience. I get it. For many years, I was an insomniac. Then, I spent a decade working 18 hours a day and giving up my sleep as a ticket to greater productivity. Burnout was my prize for that choice.

And now, even though I have implemented the strategies I outline below and am a great sleeper, I still have those nights, mostly when I have too much work on, when I either can't get to sleep, or I wake at 2 a.m. or 4 a.m. and have no chance of getting back to dream land. It is more rare these days, but it still can happen.

So what do I know works? From all of my research through wellness studies, performance management, and experience myself and with my coaching clients, here are some strategies that I recommend. Have a play with them, mix them up, and see what works for you. Then let us know how you go.

1. Tune in to your needs. The research is fairly irrefutable on how much sleep the average person needs each night to be productive and healthy -- it's between seven and nine hours and changes over our life cycle. But the most important thing here is to tune in to what your body really needs. You might thrive on nine hours but can get by on eight. You may know that if you only get six hours for three nights in a row you will hit the wall. Or you may honestly thrive on 7.5 hours. Tune in to your body over the period of a month of decent sleep and see how you feel. Find your optimal sleep level and try and build that into your lifestyle.

2. Beware the new normal. Many people get five hours a night and think they are fine. They have been doing this for years, they tell you, and have no issues. If you are in this category, you may be experiencing what I call the new normal. You really aren't fine, you are actually chronically sleep deprived, but your body has adjusted to this. You only realize how exhausted you are after being on holiday and actually having a week of decent sleep (like eight hours) and wake up to how tired your body actually was. So be honest with yourself, feel into your body and acknowledge where you are at.

3. Create a bedtime ritual. One of the greatest tools to changing sleep patterns is to create a bedtime ritual. Many people switch off their computers or get off a late night conference call, fall into bed exhausted and expect to be asleep within five minutes. For most of us, that just isn't possible. Setting up the right environment for sleep is critical. Work out what will really slow you down. Of course, devices off is a good place to start. I suggest to my clients some mixture of the following: 30 to 60 minutes before sleep time, start to wind it down with some gentle stretching or restorative yoga, five to 10 minutes of meditation, a cup of relaxing herbal tea and some light reading that will calm you not stimulate you. A few drops of lavender oil on the pillow, a warm bath with candles and music, anything that will help you chill out and calm down will help. Doing this consistently lets your body know it's time for sleep, helps optimize your melatonin levels (our sleep hormone) and lets your brain know it's time to turn off. Try it over time. It works better than anything else I know.

4. Try a gratitude journal. Research from the field of positive psychology has shown that keeping a gratitude journal daily and writing down three specific things each night before sleep that you are particularly grateful for that day, has been shown to decrease levels of insomnia. You need to be specific, e.g., don't write, "I'm grateful for my job" but instead write, "Today I was grateful for the experience of working with John on the strategy project because I learnt how to do the new network analysis." Specificity is important here. Buy a small notebook, keep it by your bed and try this for four weeks and see what impact it has.

5. Work out your stressors. We know that two of the main inhibitors to restful sleep are busy schedules and long work hours. For many of us, where working from home is part of the routine after dinner, this extension of the working day into the night only inflates the issue. Working out how to de-stress and switch off is critical. If you are particularly worked up at the end of the day and cant switch off, try writing a list as you log off for the task list for the next day. This can help you to not ruminate about it.

6. Don't log back on. One of the worst things you can do if you can't sleep or wake up during the night is to reengage your brain. Whether that's checking the iPhone, logging on to social media, or actually getting up and sitting at your computer, these are pretty much guaranteed ways to ensure you won't be getting back to sleep anytime soon. If you can't sleep, then try to relax instead. Lie in your bed and meditate, or listen to a guided visualization. Write quietly in a journal under a soft light. Or have pleasant thoughts about your next holiday or massage you have planned for the weekend. Staying in a relatively dark and quiet environment is often the best way to lull yourself back to sleep.

7. Keep a schedule and a journal: Our bodies like rhythm and routine. Getting in tune with your circadian rhythm by going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day, will help your body know when it is actually time to go to sleep. And we know that the hours before midnight are the most effective sleep wise, so try being in bed for sleep around 10 p.m. or 10:30 p.m., and waking at 6 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. Keep track of how you go, what is working in terms of rituals, how you feel on waking, and any thoughts that may have kept you awake during the night. By starting to track your patterns you can amplify what works, and develop counter strategies for what doesn't.

One of the most important things in creating sleep habits that work, is not to panic. We can get ourselves into a terrible state when we become so stressed about getting a good nights sleep that we are too strung out to sleep a wink. Try these strategies, see what works, and then readjust as you need too.

Sleep needs and abilities change over time. Work out what you need and how you can get it. And if you are really still struggling with lack of sleep or it turns into insomnia, then consider seeing someone about it like a cognitive behavioral therapist to look at underlying behavioral patterns. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Most beautiful rendition of Ave Verum

Check Google Finlandia: similar... 

​'Do Nothing': add that to your 'to do' list​



Add sleeping tablets summary... medicinal fruits etc.

Sunlight a good source for vitamin D. But Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer from sun exposure in the world. Best to expose more skin for less time. So in a map: WA NSW ACT - June and July 2-3 hours a week; rest of the year a few minutes on most days. SA, Vic, Tas - May-August 2-3 hours a week; rest of year a few minutes on most days. NT & Qld - all year round, a few minutes on most days.

Oh, a recent study has found that people who are exposed to early sunlight are leaner (with a lower BMI - body mass index - than those who had most of heir light exposure later in the day.

Latest way of fasting: the intermittent 5:2 fasting diet - restricting calorie intake to 25% of your RDI (recommended dietary intake) for two days a week, eating a normal diet for the remaining days. Eating fewer calories than the body requires occasionally means fat will be burnt to provide the deficit. (But people with blood-sugar issues will need to get good advice).

A pest-inspector who visits us once a year to check on white ants and termites (a problem in our area) made an interesting comment on his last visit. Paraphrasing: 'You have too much stuff: nasties can easily breed in piles of things. Why not give away or sell anything - except perhaps 'keepsakes' - you haven't used in the past 12 months?' 

We're experiencing a healthy trend towards 'minimalism'.


It’s Ed Diener I was thinking of, and he featured in a recent documentary I saw on tv.

You could probably still go to a website for the conference below.

From: Louise Alexander []
Sent: Friday, 31 May 2013 5:22 PM
To: Antonielle Paynter;; Louise Phillips; Maria Donegan; 'Rosemaree McLean'; Ruth Parsons; 'Julie-anne Dooley'; Kathy Bright; 'Liela Ibbotson'; 'Lindy Croucher'; 'Nadia Reeves'; 'Rhonda Dumicich'; 'Robert Turnour'
Subject: Happiness & Its Causes Conference & Workshops
Importance: High

Hi team,

I have an opportunity for some people to attend the Happiness & Its Causes Conference and Workshop days.  I have asked Julie-Anne, Lou Phillips and Robert to attend some particular days, but the rest is up for grabs.  Please send me your expressions of interest for the following:

Pre-Conference Workshop – Tuesday 18 June, 9.30am-4.30pm (2 places)
Professor Ed Diener (USA), The Science of Happiness
In this informative and engaging workshop, participants will hear the latest research on life satisfaction.  Explore key areas contributing to overall wellbeing for yourself and others.

Conference Day 1 – Wednesday 19 June, 8.30am-5.20pm (1 place)
A range of speakers including Professor Ed Diener (USA) – the new science of happiness, Dr Helen Fisher (USA) – the brain in love, Michael Leunig (AUS) – cartoonist perspective on happiness, Carl Honore (UK) – the slow movement, Clare Bowditch (AUS) – singer/songwriter personal story, Professor Carol Dweck (USA) – the psychology of success, Nic Marks (UK) – happiness in the workplace, Michelle McQuaid (AUS) – how to make a bad boss better, Father Bob McGuire (AUS) – personal story, Dr Adam Fraser (AUS) – find balance between different roles, Gretel Killeen (AUS) – communicating authentically.

Post Conference Workshops – Friday 21 June, 9.00am-12.00pm (2 places)
Workshop 3 - How to improve your relationships at work, Michelle McQuaid (positive psychology researcher, author and workplace trainer)
Workshop 8 - Sitting, moving, stress and sleep – how everyday habits can make for a happier mind and body, Anna-Louise Bouvier (physiotherapist, creator of The Happy Body ABC series)

Post Conference Workshops – Friday 21 June, 2.00pm-5.00pm (2 places)
Workshop 5 – The five ways to wellbeing, Nic Marks (innovative wellbeing researcher and founder of Centre for Wellbeing, UK)
Workshop 7 – The third space – how people flourish while fulfilling some of the hardest jobs in society, Dr Adam Fraser (educator and researcher on human performance and author)

I think we could all do with a bit of extra happiness and motivation right now!


Uruguay's Jose Mujica has been called the world's poorest President for his modest lifestyle. He doesn't ride around in limousines, nor does he live in an opulent official residence. Time May 12, 2014, p. 42.


You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choices...

'You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.' 

Sure you have rights, but you also have responsibilities!



The night before the Challenger space shuttle took off for its ill-fated final flight in January 1985, Nasa officials held a two-and-a-half-hour conference call with executives from the company that made the rocket boosters to discuss a potential fault. The subsequent investigation into the disaster, which killed all seven astronauts on board, concluded that poor decision-making at that meeting, which gave the go-ahead after much debate, was aggravated by the fact that two of the Nasa managers had been awake for 23 hours straight and had slept for no more than three hours the previous day.
Similar errors during long night shifts were implicated in the nuclear disasters at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, as well as the Exxon Valdez oil spillage. Meanwhile, the AA says that more than 3,000 deaths and serious injuries on UK roads each year can be attributed to sleepdeprivation – as many as for drink driving.
But new research published this week says that lack of sleep can harm us in more direct ways than, say, falling asleep at the wheel of a car. Researchers at Warwick medical school published a study in the European Heart Journal that linked disrupted sleep patterns to major health problems. "If you sleep less than six hours a night and have disturbed sleep you stand a 48% greater chance of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15% greater chance of developing or dying from a stroke," said lead author Professor Francesco Cappuccio.
Professor Jim Horne, director of Loughborough University's Sleep Research Centre, says the key to healthy sleeping is achieving at least six hours of "core" sleep a night – which includes the "deep" sleep during the first five hours of normal sleep. "Core sleep gradually gives way to what I rather loosely call 'optional' sleep, which maintains sleep until morning awakening. After about six hours of good sleep, all core sleep has usually disappeared." But he says that the idea of a "perfect" length of sleep is a myth: everyone is different. He therefore urges people not to assume that a few bad nights will give you heart disease or a stroke – with the subsequent worry only exacerbating your restlessness.
His tip for insomnia? Don't stay in bed: get up, leave the bedroom and do something distracting but mentally stimulating, such as a jigsaw.


Read about 15 articles on Ativan last night. I'd be careful. Here's my summary:

Ativan is an interesting drug: usually prescribed for anxiety etc. it was given to Jan by her oncologist for its sedative effect. I borrowed a few of them to get me off to sleep occasionally when too stimulated by research/writing. Very effective: but I did some research: it's not to be  used by anyone except the one it's prescribed for; it's associated with short-term memory loss and dampens sexual libido; you shouldn't usually take it for more than 3-4 weeks, and not with other sleeping tablets (that's associated in the literature with the 'Heath Ledger effect') and don't go off it 'cold turkey'. 

Our oncological prof. didn't tell us any of this: only 'I want you to get your sleep'.


Hurry Up and Be Still: Freedom From Adrenaline Dependence
Need Prayer? Join us in Prayer Community

William Gaultiere, Ph.D.
Executive Director of New Hope, Psychologist
"How are you?" my friend asked me on the phone.  "Busy," I replied.  "What else is new?" he laughed.  "Ever since we roomed together in college I've admired how disciplined and productive you are."  Years later, I still think about that exchange.  Although it was opposite of my friend's intention, I realized then that I was too busy.  Like so many people in our culture, I was relying on adrenaline to keep up.  Since then I've been learning to stop rushing around doing "urgent" things, slow down, get in tune with my soul, and interact more with God and other people.
It's all in the AdrenalineArchibald Hart, author of The Hidden Link Between Adrenaline and Stress, believes that "adrenaline dependence" has become the greatest addiction problem in America today.  People actually become "hooked" on the energy, pleasure, and confidence that come when the body's stress hormones - primarily adrenaline and cortisol - are released in emergencies. 
God has designed our bodies wonderfully and it is a great gift that we have this instinctive "fight or flight" response to danger that infuses us with vitality and well-being.  This alerts us to grab our child's hand at the curb when a car races by.  It energizes us when we face a challenge like giving a big presentation or working through a stressful conflict.  It cushions us when we get bad news.  We need adrenaline to handle real life emergencies like these.
But it's a problem for us when we live our lives in a continual state of urgency, viewing daily stresses as emergencies.  Hurrying from one thing to the next, each more "imperative" than the last.  Doing two or three things at once to save time.  Jumpstarting ourselves with caffeine (an adrenaline stimulant) to get going in the morning, to stay alert in the afternoon, or to get psyched up before a meeting.  Passing cars on the freeway.  Counting people's items in the "short order" grocery line.  Thinking about what we else have to do when someone is talking to us.  Working hard even into the late evening hours.  Then grinding our teeth at night as we worry about all that we didn't get done! 
Why Depend on Adrenaline?For help managing life.  That's the short answer.  Many business people rely on adrenaline to get through their 50-hour workweek.  Even parents may depend on it to deal with their children and get them from one activity to the next.  Students who go to classes and work all day and then study late into the night use it to stay alert while depriving themselves of sleep.  It seems like we have so much we have to do and our society is changing so fast - we feel we must get keyed up to keep up!
Besides, everyone else is doing it, aren't they?  Doesn't everyone tank up on coffee and other caffeinated drinks to stay in top form?  Isn't it normal to live in a hurry going from one pressure to the next?  Indeed, it seems that way.  The fast-paced, super-productive, determined life of an adrenaline addict is not only socially acceptable, it's admired and rewarded in our society.  Certainly, this reinforcement of others in our culture is another reason why we depend on adrenaline.
But I think the most important reason why so many people get hooked on adrenaline is simply because it feels good!  And without it they don't feel good.  Like people struggling with other types of compulsive behaviors, adrenaline addicts have an underlying depression.  Without adrenaline flowing they feel empty inside.  And they may feel inadequate or insignificant.  So they get keyed up.  They take on pressures and they hurry things.  They find something new, challenging, or exciting to get themselves stimulated.  Without realizing it, they keep calling up adrenaline to help them feel alive and important.
Are You an Adrenaline Addict?As I inferred at the start of this article, I am an "adrenaline addict in recovery."  My name, "William," actually means, "determined!" Sometimes it seems as if I am programmed to be productive, hurried, and intense.  Fortunately, I've gotten help.  I'm still in process and have to watch myself closely, but I've learned some things about replacing adrenaline dependence with soul care.  And I've had the opportunity to help other "junkies" step off the treadmill of a hurried life and onto the path of a soul-full life.  So if I'm hitting a nerve for you, keep reading.
The first step to recovery from any compulsion is admitting to your problem.  And the best way to spot it if you (or someone you're concerned about) are an adrenaline addict is to understand what you're like when you're not running your life at a fast pace.  When adrenaline addicts slow down they are not happy.  So they try not to slow down!  But if they do relax, say on weekends, in the evening before bed, or on vacation, they experience actual withdrawal symptoms like these:
  • A compulsion to get busy, be more productive, or be stimulated with noise or activity
  • Emptiness, boredom, and depressed mood
  • Feelings of guilt about being idle
  • Irritability or loss of temper
  • Worrying about work that needs to be done
  • Fidgetiness or restlessness (e.g., pacing, finger or foot tapping, fast gum chewing)
  • Utter exhaustion
Take my self-test, "Are You Dependent on Adrenaline?"
The Price of a Hurried Life
Living under the pressure of urgency or being keyed up is costly.  In addition to experiencing the periodic unpleasant withdrawal symptoms described above, people who live with adrenaline surging through their bodies regularly suffer from things like anxiety, rapid heartbeats, headaches, backaches, gastric distress, and sleep problems.  And they dramatically increase their risk of stress-related illnesses ranging from viruses and ulcers to heart disease and cancer.
I think that the most serious consequence of an adrenaline-driven lifestyle (one with eternal significance) is that it crowds out God and His blessings.  You become a "human-doing" instead of a human being.  Life is lacking in the things that are most enjoyable and meaningful: loving relationships, delightful experiences, creative expression, passionate pursuits, and spirituality.  God, when you do focus on Him, seems distant and unconcerned or like a harsh taskmaster.
More Sleep, Less Adrenaline
Recently I read an excerpt from Rest: Experiencing God's Peace in a Restless World, a book by Siang-Yang Tan, Ph.D.  The article on caught my attention because the title was "Go to Bed." Go to Bed?  I thought.  Like most adrenaline addicts I'm used to thinking things like, "Sleep Less, Accomplish More" or "How to Get More Done in Less Time," but not "Go to Bed!" 
Dr. Tan is right though.  A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation (Yes, such an organization does exist!) found that 63% of Americans sleep less than eight hours a night during the week, with 35% sleeping less than seven hours.  Tan cited a study, which showed that when people were given the opportunity to sleep as much as they wanted they slept an average of 8 ½ hours, and they reported feeling happier and more energetic.  I believe this is because sleep is one of the vital ways that we need to rejuvenate our bodies and minds from the stresses and adrenaline surges of the day. 
You see, you can't live without some adrenaline.  It's appropriate and good for you to draw on adrenaline in times of true emergency or in order to tackle a very important challenge.  The critical issue is that you come down from times of stimulation and intensity.  You need a recovery period so that you can rest and recuperate your body and mind.  This means times of relaxation during your day, as well as regular vacations to really "get away."
Let me share an example.  One of the ways I like to unwind from the stresses of a typical day is to go in the Jacuzzi with my wife.  It's so refreshing to sit in the spa, feel the heat and pulsating bubbles, enjoy the flowers in our garden, and talk.  It seems I can feel the adrenaline drain from my body!  Not only does this help me to de-stress, but also it helps me to get ready for a good night's sleep.  That is so much more restful than catching up on all my e-mail!
If you're having trouble relaxing and getting to sleep or you're not waking up feeling refreshed then consider Dr. Tan's advice (I've added some of my own thoughts too) on how to sleep well.  This advice also applies to getting free from adrenaline dependence!
  • Allow yourself at least 8 hours a night of sleep
  • Avoid adrenaline stimulating activities in the evening (e.g., pressure, busyness, excitement, noise)
  • Turn off the TV earlier
  • Turn down the lights in the evening to trigger production of melatonin, a hormone for sleep
  • Stay away from caffeine, spicy foods, and sweets in the evening
  • Take some time in the evening to relax, do nothing, or enjoy something soothing
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time each day
  • Unclutter your mind before going to bed by verbalizing your thoughts and feelings to a friend, to God in prayer, or to yourself by journaling
  • Use relaxation techniques like slow, deep breathing and meditation on Scripture
  • Exercise
  • If you awake in the night try to stay in bed and relax
  • Avoid long-term use of sleeping pills
Rest in God's Care
Rest is so important that it's part of the 4th commandment, which connects rest with worship (Exodus 34:21).  Even many Christians ignore this commandment (except that they may go to church) by rationalizing that Jesus undid it.  I don't think so.  He didn't come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it! (Matthew 5:17)  He removed the legalism that the religious leaders added to the Sabbath so that people could do things like feed themselves and their animals and care for those in need without the imposition of silly restrictions.  And he pointed out that he was Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8) and that the Sabbath was made for man's benefit, not the reverse (Mark 2:27).  As the writer of Hebrews wrote, "There remains, then, a Sabbath rest for the people of God" (Hebrews 4:9).  We still need this!
In the first century it seems that rest was more a part of people's lives, certainly that of Jesus and the apostles.  No business or work was done on the Sabbath.  Worship and meditation on Scripture were regularly part of most people's lives.  Without electricity, their activity and work were more in sync with sunlight, leaving the evenings for relaxing and nighttime for sleeping more hours (as recently as 1850 people slept 9 ½ hours per night!).  Instead of speeding down roads and freeways they walked most places they went.  Families and communities were more connected.  Meals were lingered over.  Information was limited, as it was passed on mostly through word of mouth.  And yet, even 2,000 years ago people needed to be urged to "Make every effort to enter [God's] rest" (Hebrews 4:11).As much as we need to "work" at caring for our souls by practicing healthy lifestyle habits like remembering the Sabbath, getting enough sleep, exercising, relaxing in the evenings, enjoying restful meals with family and friends, and limiting the barrage of information the intrudes in our space each day - all things that were more naturally a part of life even just 100 years ago - there's something that's even more important to our well-being.  I believe it's found in Jesus' words recorded in Matthew 11:28-30:
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Relying on God's mercy and grace to us through Jesus is opposite of the adrenaline-driven life.  We learn to stop trying to control our lives and make things work out.  We work at not letting other people or things control our lives too.  Instead, we go to God (and His ambassadors in the Body of Christ).  He gives us love and blessings and we receive.  He gives us dreams and directions and we follow.  As Paul wrote, "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).  To have our being in God is a matter of growing our faith by putting our trust in God and practicing spiritual disciplines to get ourselves in the position to rest in God and respond to Him.
Now is the Time to Be StillWhat am I trying to say here?  What is the key to overcoming adrenaline dependence and relying God?  Loving the Lord who loved us first with our whole selves.  (Matthew 22:37, 1 John 4:19)  Again and again I find that when I still my soul and open myself up to God I sense His presence. 
I see His beauty in the flowers. 
I hear His song in the birds. 
I experience His comfort in a friend. 
I read the Bible as His words to me. 
I feel the honor of doing His work in caring for those in need.
It begins with a quietness inside my soul, which doesn't come naturally or easily for me!  As the verse from Hebrews above implores us, I have to "make every effort to enter God's rest."  I have to hurry up and be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). 
Why the hurry?  Because the only moment to experience God's favor isright now (2 Corinthians 6:2) and it so quickly passes by in a blur of worries, pressures, and busyness.  Resting in God's care right now is life's one vital emergency with eternal consequences and it's the only one that doesn't rely on adrenaline!  If there is anything in life to be in a "hurry" about then that's it.
You Can't Hurry the SoulDr. John Ortberg, in his article "Taking Care of Busyness" (Leadership Magazine, Fall 1998) wrote that he asked a mentor of his, "What do I need to do to be spiritually healthy?"  There was a long pause and then wise, old man replied, "You must ruthlessly eliminate hurriedness from your life."  John then asked, "What else should I do?"  (Perhaps he didn't like the first answer!)  After another long pause the mentor answered, "There is nothing else."
What would your life look like if you lived life without being in a hurry?  If you slow down could you persevere through the depressing symptoms of adrenaline withdrawal to find out what's on the other side?  Could you develop a more soul-full life?  You'd accomplish less.  You'd feel less important.  You might miss the buzz adrenaline gives.  But you'd have opportunities to invest more in your relationships with God, others, and yourself.  You could focus on becoming the person God has created you to be, enjoying His blessings, and sharing His love with others. 
It's worth it.  I know I've experienced the hurried life and the soul-full life.  And in my journey I've gone back and forth many times.  I'm learning to be patient with myself because I've learned that recovery from adrenaline addiction is a process that can't be hurried.
William Gaultiere, Ph.D. is the Director of New Hope Crisis Counseling at the Crystal Cathedral and a Clinical Psychologist with


Number 7


Officially the world’s favourite number, according to a British maths expert’s online survey of 44,000 people. The reason: Its cultural significance and prevalence – think sins, continents, dwarfs and days of the week – throughout history.

Time, April 28, 2014, p. 40


Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
The Common Wonderful
Sabbath Meditation Saturday, April 26, 2014

Remember: The Common Wonderful

Death and life are in an eternal embrace. We cannot have one without the other. (Sunday)

Hard and soft, difficult and easy, pain and ecstasy do not eliminate one another, but actually allow each other. (Monday)

The problem of negative self-image that we try so hard to solve is already completely solved, and most people don’t know it. 

We are interrelated with Being Itself, participating in the very life of God, while living out one little part of that life in our own exquisite form. (Wednesday)

If we cannot control the biggies—life and death—why should we spend so much time trying to control all the lesser outcomes?(Thursday)

When we live consciously within this love, we will not be afraid to die, because love is eternal. (Friday)

Rest: Vinyasa and Savasana
The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit for “to yoke”—to join or unite. The intentional movement, breath, and relaxation within yoga provides an opportunity to welcome the seeming contradictions of our life. Muscles are engaged and the body releases into deeper stretches. The mind is both concentrated and stilled. Within vinyasa the body flows through a series of poses, such as Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara), and then finally rests in Corpse Pose (Savasana).
If you are not familiar with yoga, consider joining a class in your area or even find a short video online to lead you through the poses and breaths of Sun Salutations. If you already have a yoga practice, connect the rhythms of this familiar sequence to “the common wonderful.”
As you salute the sun, bend and bow in gratitude for the life force that flows freely in you without your striving or control, yet invites your complete participation.
As you inhale and exhale through each of the bends and lunges, challenge yourself to breathe deeper, to stretch more fully, and let this practice be easy, natural, without effort or strain.
As you lie on your back and let each muscle in your body—from toes to the top of your head—relax and sink into the ground, remember that you will die, but there is nothing to fear. Not even death can separate you from Love, and from death comes Life. Rest in this awareness.
Gateway to Silence:
All shall be well.

For Further Study:
Adam's Return: The Five Promises of Male Initiation (book)
Beloved Sons Series: Men and Grief (CD, MP3 download)
Exploring and Experiencing the Naked Now: A Compilation 
(CD, DVD, MP3 download )

'Experimenting with cannabis on a casual basis damages the brain pemanently, research has found (Harvard Medical School, reported in the Age, 17/4/14, p.14)


Graeme Hinson... Alcohol, mo swung around the room by her hair...


Suffering Adversity and Character Development

A FAIRLY URGENT/----->>>>> Q&R

Rowland Croucher

to jancroucher1

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