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Welcome to MeetAnOstoMate
The best place to meet and talk to other OstoMates with 17,423 Members.

GRATITUDE

Posted by Bill

GRATITUDE.


The worst of times has got to be
when first you find your ostomy.
You can no longer hide away
it’s on your side and there to stay.


It shakes you to the very core
and makes you feel that you deplore
the very thing that helped you to
avoid the brink and then pull through.


In those early days you’re stressed
and easily become depressed.
After your stoma comes along
you start to grow healthy and strong.


If you proceed I feel you’ll find
this will recede within your mind.
Then you may start to understand
as you take part and play your hand.


I found life’s game’s not done until
you’re underground and lying still.
Not much to be hateful for
but much you can be grateful for.


With experience comes a kind
of recognizance in your mind.
From introspective attitude
onto respect and gratitude.


I ponder problems that I had
and yonder trouble bad and sad.
I am now grateful to be free
from all that pain and misery.


It’s not just all the things you’ve got
but must include the grot you’ve not.
I now conclude my attitude
tries to exude my gratitude.


B. Withers 2013

Comments:
Simply well,spoken, beautiful, angelicamarie
Thank you so much Angelicamarie. Feedback is always welcome and this is especially so when it indicates that someone has got something positive from the rhyming verses.
Best wishes
Bill
Bill I hope that the incredible volume of comfort companionship wisdom serenity strength and love that you pour onto our community comes back to you one hundred fold. This hope is a prayer. Thank you for helping me through the most indescribable year of my life. Your words often gave me ideas for coping and healing strategies and I especially loved feeling the power that came from knowing I was not alone. I am deeply grateful. All the best to you and yours.
Hello Lemonlimeviolet.
Firstly, let me thank you for your comments. I usually read through most posts so I know that you don't write too often. This makes it feel all the more rewarding for me as I often wonder how those people feel who usually choose to read rather than reply. I feel I do not deserve the praise that you heap upon me and maybe now is a good time to try to explain why.
There are three fairly distinct facets to my writing rhyming verse.
First and foremost, this type of writing has helped me to overcome or manage my own feelings on those facets of life which tend to cause the most stress. My own perspective on this is that the process tends to be introspective and self-centred. Therefore, I don't really deserve praise of any kind because I am not trying to help others in this process of writing on stomas - only myself.

The second facet is when I share what I have written with others. In doing so, I am no different to anyone else(including yourself) who posts on MAO and I certainly do not think my contributions are any more valuable than anyone else's.
Normally, I publish my work and put it up for sale. This too, is not a selfless, but a selfish act and, in my 'book' does not deserve praise.

The third aspect is much more complex and difficult to explain. It stems from when I first started writing rhyming verse. This was prompted by people who I was supposed to be helping, who had unimaginably unresolvable problems in their lives and in their minds. For the desire and necessity to try to do 'something' for them, I plagiarised their stories almost word for word/ definitely meaning by meaning, and translated what they were telling me into rhyming verse, which I then gave back to them, mostly to show that I had listened to what they said. The process of reading their own stories through a completely different medium gave them another perspective on their own problems and often helped them to manage better than previously. One effect of putting in the effort to document their stories in this way, was to show to them that I had really listened empathetically to everything they had to say and I thought it and they were important enough to document for prosperity. In fact, this was about all I could do for them and most of them already knew that, which made them feel grateful that someone else 'understood' their position and plight.
For my part, I was relieved to have found some way to 'do something' in situations where I was floundering to do anything at all. So, in a sense, I could not help but think that I was doing this as much for my own benefit as for theirs.
Please don't misunderstand my ramblings above. I do really appreciate it when people such as yourself take the trouble to say that they have appreciated my contributions to life. However, the very fact that your comments make me feel 'proud', tends to make me feel as if I am being selfish, or at least self-centred yet again.
The problem with this, is that whilst I appreciate the camaraderie of being with people who have similar problems, who share with each other so that they don't feel alone, I do not really want to feel that I have anything in common with people who are self-centred and selfish, so every time I am reminded that there is this underlying tendency within me, I react adversely to it.

I hope this explanation is not too complex and unwieldy but I needed to get it off my chest.
Best wishes
Bill

Angelicamarie
See bill I'm not the only one that knows you are talented that was very touching bill god bless
Thank you again Angelicamarie! for reading my ramblings.
Altruism and Empathy are surely admirable traits and aspirations. I wonder if the warm sense of "right" or "goodness" they invoke (pride?) in one's self are more attributable to a human fault or...option B... resonance with Divinity? And if it's Divine resonance does that maybe suggest that a smidge of self love (selfishness) is critical? Can you tell I'm writing to myself as well? Thank you for opening this door Bill. I'm working every day to experience and love this life. I'm not good at knowing myself and I blame my distraction and worrisome spirit for my physical ailments. Your written words give me solace and if that makes you feel good or happy then I expect it will keep you writing and helping me. It's not duplicity. I think it's one of the best things about humanity. Thank you and all the best to you both Bill and Angelicamarie.
Thank you brill, keep it flowing!!!!
Hello Lemonlimevoilet. You open up some interesting points of discussion which deserve a little more airing than we probably have the time or expertise to do justice to. However, I'd like to try to respond to your comments from my own perspective and see where it takes us.
Empathy, I have virtually no problem with as it is all about seeing from another's point of view.
Altruism, gives me some grief because it is often viewed as people giving freely without receiving any reward for themselves. The very act of altruism often carries it's own rewards and can be addictive for some people for that very reason. When this is so, it surely loses the essence of altruism which is based on selflessness.
Self-love, I view as more like narcissism than selfishness but sometimes the two are so intertwined that they can be indistinguishable.
As for knowing myself, as soon as I think I have an answer or an explanation for a part of me, I either change and the process starts again or, I begin to doubt that what I perceive about myself, would not bear any resemblance to what others may perceive about me. I then come to the conclusion that I can only do what I think is right for me (and others) at the time that I'm doing it.
I also have a theory about 'blame'- which goes something along the lines of 'blame is a form of bullying and it's the biggest bullies that tend to make their version of blame stick the longest'.
When people blame themselves, (according to this theory) they are simply bullying themselves as others might also bully them.
I try not to let the 'blame' culture into my world, for so often it distorts the truth, whatever that may be. Have you ever noticed that invariably 'blame' will fall on those at the lower end of the hierarchy and completely bypass those at the top? My own empathy lies with those unfortunate souls who cannot avoid the blame that other people deem to heap upon them. I also feel for those who heap that blame upon themselves without fully considering where it truly lies.( or at least emanates from)
Best wishes
Bill
Hi Bill. Fascinating analysis. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. It feels true-blame is bullying. Is is wrong to bully a negative force (Worry)in order to dominate it...eliminate it? Heck yes it's wrong! For me for sure. It's all so negative. Blame Bully Dominate Eliminate. All horrible. Doesn't matter if I think the enemy (Worry) is the Big usurper of my health. Have I been bullying myself for a trait that is just intrinsic? seems so obvious (now)that the variables for this equation are much greater in volume than just a)submission or b)blame. What to do....what to do? Love (again seems the obvious answer).
And realizing Worry isn't just an unlucky accidental trait that I've come to identify as my genetic handicap - there's definitely a component of selfishly weighing events exclusively within my individual perspective so maybe in one way Worry is the price to be paid for being selfish. Wow this is tricky. I'm considering how to do something for someone else this beautiful afternoon so I feel less selfish. Which of course immediately felt like a selfish plan until I thought about your conclusion of doing what I think is right for me and others at the time I'm doing it. Thank you for that. I can definitely work with that today. All the Best, Andrea

Hello Andrea.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this way as it gives me an opportunity to respond with some of the many other theories I've had to develop on thee types of issues.
Firstly, I agree with you that it's 'tricky' in that it involves so many different facets of humans interacting with their environment. However, in order to make some sense of the complexity I have tried to simplify some of it in order to help with understanding and moving on.
Things that we have come to call worry, anxiety, panic etc. can all be subsumed under the heading of 'fear', which in turn is one of several 'emotions'.
My theory states that 'emotions' are indistinguishable from 'instincts'
Many people believe that there is no controlling instincts because they are part of the natural order of things that one is born with. I agree that they are a part of the human condition but strongly disagree with the notion that they cannot be managed and controlled. My theory, based on years of practical study, is that Humans 'learn' most of what will be useful to them throughout life, before they reach the age of five years. It is then that we learn to walk, talk, think, eat, defecate. This period, so early in life, is crucial to learning how to control our instincts/emotions.
Those who are fortunate enough to have had good teachers, learn to control emotions quickly and effectively and carry on with their lives practicing what they have learned and get progressively better at it as they grow up.
Those who did not learn self-control at that early age, have few skills to practice and therefore are likely to muddle along in life with their emotions/instincts controlling them, rather than them controlling their emotions.
This can be a recipe for disaster in some cases whereas in others, it just makes life uncomfortable at times.
My working life was very much concerned with helping those who became mentally ill because of this problem of not being able to control their emotions/instincts, so it was necessary to devise some techniques for helping them learn what they should have learned before the age of five.
Some people have an entrenched attitude that 'you cannot teach an old dog new tricks' but anyone who knows anything about dogs will tell you that this is simply not true. Once people become aware that this is a problem of learning the basic skills necessary to control their emotions, then the path is set for them to catch up on what they failed to learn as a child.
I will not go into the multitude of reasons why some children are not taught these skills properly because that is often very specific to each child. 'Learning' at such a young age is primarily down to who is doing the teaching. Suffice it to say, that if the parents did not know how to control their own instincts/emotions, how on earth would they be expected to teach these skills to their offspring?
I would therefore urge you not to think of 'worry' as an unlucky , accidental, genetic trait/handicap as that carries the implication that there is nothing you can do about it. It helps if you perceive the problem as being, that you probably did not learn the skills necessary to manage your emotions/instincts during the under five years. This difference in perspective will hopefully show you that there is still plenty of time to acquire those skills, if you put your mind to it and practice, practice and PRACTICE SOME MORE.
One of the most powerful tools I found for counterbalancing emotions is 'logic'. That is: thinking things through, without the encumbrance of emotions.
The posts you have made on this so far, indicate to me that you are already beginning to think logically about the problems and how to overcome them. If you keep at it in this way I feel sure that you will soon compensate for your inadequate childhood learning by teaching yourself.
In my case, I spent a working lifetime sharing my own self-organised learning with others, so that they too might unburden themselves of the stress that uncontrolled emotions place upon them. This was my technique for practicing controlling my own emotions, in much the same way that writing rhyming verse continues to help me now.
Best wishes
Bill
Good morning bill how are you today, I see you see me that wonder poem but no message did you think I need to read it again!!! Angelicamarie have a great day bill
Typing errors see should be sent !!!!!! Angelicamarie
Bill that last comment wasn't meant for you my fellow ostolate do forgive me
Witty it was for you
It was for you bill cause I wanted you to understand and not with errors
Bill it should be wonderful not wonder!!!
Good morning bill how are you today? What are you doing today? Just wanted you to know an a fellow ostamate thought of you have a great day!!!!!!! Angelicamarie
Hello Angelicamarie.
Thank you for asking how I am as if offers the chance to say that I am much better for reading your comments as they cheer me up no end. Firstly, I am surprised that anyone reads the rhymes at all and as for reading them twice, it would seem a little like flagellation. I do like to see spelling mistakes made by others because that makes me feel better about making them myself and, after all, is it not the meaning behind the words that counts most?
I have been busy gardening as the weather forecasters tell us we are about to have the first real frost of the winter season, which means all the summer flowers needed taking out, to be replaced by spring bulbs which, hopefully will brighten everything up after a bleak winter. Now, it is time to put my feet up and have a rest before starting on my evening writing quest.
I hope your day was also filled with all the things that you would wish for yourself.
Best wishes
Bill
Thank you bill you a very kind soul!!! Angelica
Thank you so much Algelicamarie for your kind comments.

I kind of think, that I'm the kind of person, who responds in kind to the kind of person who is kind to me.
However, sometimes I'm completely different and can be a right 'dink'.
Bill what is a dink?
No one is perfect, so when you accept one you except the good and bad I can be a pistol if I'm pushed don't like to but I can be.
A 'dink' is literally the reverse of 'kind'.

Forgive me for making these 'kinds' of words up but that's what writers and poets tend to do.
It's our prerogative and it's how languages stay alive and grow.
Best wishes
Bill
Bill you haven't been a dink to me, Angelicamarie and your forgiven .....
Thanks Angelicamarie. You sound like my kind of person!
Go to sleep bill ,are you a night owl .u just woke up at 4:00'am so I'll be up for the rest of the day . Have you been to sleep bill?
Despite the late night fireworks to celebrate November 5th. I had plenty of sleep and have been up now for almost 5 hours. The time here is 10:45am and I am looking forward to Sunday being a day of doing all those things that I never seem to have time for during the week. Being on the other side of the Atlantic I think makes us a fair bit ahead of you in terms of time.
Bill it's 6:00 am here what was the fireworks for, why do you celebrate the 5th, angelicamarie
We celebrate November 5th as 'Guy Fawkes' night.Otherwise known as 'bonfire night'.

On November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes was foiled as he plotted to destroy the Houses of Parliament during state opening and kill all inside it - including the King - in what became known as the Gunpowder Plot.

I'm not sure if we celebrate it because he failed or because he tried.
I will be in church all day, soI hope you have a pleasant day and you get to do the things you need to do!!!! Angelicamarie
Thanks for the thought, but I have found that there has never been enough time in my lifetime to do all the things I want or need to do so each day there are always things left over for the next.
Hi Bill and Angelicamarie. Beautiful name by the way. Angel Mary is what I keep thinking. Seems to really fit your kind postings. You both make me smile this morning. Bill much gratitude to you once again for giving us healing thoughtful words to read. i have found written words more effective than pharmaceuticals in some pretty serious situations. And your timing for sharing your theory of emotional control is really spot on. I'm going to be a grandmother very soon! I want to discuss your theory with my daughter and her boyfriend because they both suffer with anxiety panic and depression at times. The boy is a "reader" but my daughter is not. I think that In my environment-emotional control is often commonly perceived as suppression. I don't think that's the same thing though. My experience has taught me that the power residing in our beautiful brains is a sorely neglected true resource. Sometimes I think if the brain rather than the heart had been credited for the source of love in humans then some of our aspirations would be realized much more easily.
I'm looking forward to another beautiful autum day 65 degrees (F) and sunny...And my husband is baking bread! Recipe for nirvana.
Peace.
Andrea
Hello Lemonlimeviolet. Thank you for joining our discussion and sharing your thoughts. I don't know about the 'timing' of sharing my theories as I'm always going on about them to someone or other. Every now and then someone may listen and we may have a 'constructive conversation' underway.
You are absolutely right about the reaction of some folks to perceive emotional control as 'suppression'. Whenever I get this response, I try to explain how the use of common sense 'logic' can be more of a replacement or counterbalance to uncontrolled emotions, than a form of suppression.
But that seems to be jumping the gun in the sequence of 'theories'. I should explain that the people I used to work with were those who had been through many forms of 'teaching', 'treatment' and 'therapy' and had come away from that feeling more damaged than when they went in. I was the last 'dumping-ground' for folks who were deemed to be unhelpable.(another word I made up!) In the Psychiatric field they were almost always labelled as 'personality disordered' and, by implication, untreatable. A number of them were also psychopaths, but that is another story.
The first thing I used to do was to answer three basic questions about their condition and themselves.
1) Do they recognise that they have a problem?
It is surprising how many people don't recognise their symptoms as 'problems' so, If for them their is no problem, then there surely is unlikely to be a solution.
2) Do they want to change?
Some people have lived with their 'conditions' for so many years(since very early childhood) that they have little or no desire to change.
3) Are they willing to 'work' at changing?
So often I used to find that people answered yes to the first two criteria but were not willing to do anything to help themselves change. They prefer to take pills or look for some other 'magic wand' solution. ( I actually asked one client if he was looking for a magic wand solution and he enthusiastically said "Yes! -that's exactly what I want!") When the psychiatrist said she didn't have one, his emotions burst over into aggression and he demanded that she find one before he attacked her.
The three questions summarise my theory of constructive engagement; If any one of the questions is answered in the negative, then there really is no point in trying to engage in 'constructive conversations' as the individual will find a way to sabotage the process.
Here endeth the first theory!
I do like your linkage between the head, the heart and love but, in my experience 'love' for human beings has become a word meaning another emotion out of control(albeit sometimes a pleasant experience). I prefer the type of love that needs thinking about and working on, not something that you 'fall' into, flounder about and then fall out of almost as quickly. This is often based on 'lust' which is easily mistaken for 'love'. ( just another theory)
There is an old Jamaican saying: "Love don't last - cooking do!" I hope you enjoy your husband's 'lovely' effort in making you fresh bread.
Best wishes
Bill
There doesn't seem to be any way to edit these posts when I see mistakes so I must point out that I get THEM to answer the three questions - not as it is written implying that I answer the questions for them.
Hey bill I'm now after church had to go and check on my parents there getting up in age, so I go every week I was so tired today I was in church from 9:00 am to 1:47 pm then to check on mom and dad. How was your day bill did you get any rest, hopefully you did I got your messages. Be good Angelicamarie
Meant to say I'm home now bill angelicamarie
Hello Algelicamarie. Church from 09;00am to 1:45pm seems like a long time. I presume that there is more to it than praying during this time? Are your parents close by or do you have to travel far to see them?
I too was out visiting yesterday. My brother-in-law has a rare condition called amyloidosis as well as the after effects of a stroke, which means he needs to be in a residential home. These places can be very isolating for the younger people as most of the residents are well over 80 years and have conditions that make them bedbound and unable to communicate for most of the time. Fortunately, he has four sisters who all live locally, so someone can usually pop in to see him everyday.
I hope your parents were okay on your visit and the rest of your week will not be quite so hectic as the weekend.
Best wishes
Bill
We had communion yesterday, I Also attend Sunday school which starts at 9;30 until 11:00 and the secures start at 11:15 . I used to teach the women and children. And yes it takes ne 40 minutes to get to my parents when a have a sibling 20 minutes away who simply do nothing i try I don't want to have any regrets they took care of me!!
Services not secure. I shouldn't be there.a should be I have












Bill thanks so much for asking!!!! Anglicamarie
Good morning bill, how are you today, I'm hoping your feels pretty good. If you go out dress fairly warm it's suppose to be cool. Angelicamarie
I'm fine and how are you?
I have two jobs that I do during the week, plus all my writing so I don't always get back on here quickly to answer posts. However, I do usually try to come on this site first thing in the mornings so that I don't get too behind with correspondence. I understand how you feel about siblings who don't seem to do their duty but having lost nearly all mine, I now look back and feel that we just have to enjoy having them about no matter for better or worse.
Best wishes
Bill
Boy I'm finding lots of life events of varying magnitude hit with a "fear" (anxiety)or "anger" (irritation) punch. I think Some are so downright minute that they seem silly. It's only been a day or two but I am having some good success here with facing down emotions... total infant at it but just trying to accurately Identify them and then basically control them from having any purchase whatsoever in my mind by carrying on with a different mindset or activity. We shall see if this is simply a honeymoon phase or if I'll be any good at it in the long run. Best of luck to like-minded comrades out there! A bit of unexpected control is a happy circumstance. For anyone.
Bill talk to you later I'm going to doctors appt have a pleasant day!!!!
Hello Lemonlimeviolet.
I am so pleased to hear that you are giving it a go to try to control your emotions and I am confident that if you keep practicing you will reap the rewards of a less-stress existence.
You have already chosen a very effective strategy by carrying on with a different mindset or activity - It's what we call 'distraction' and it is what almost all emotionally balanced people indulge in to help them control otherwise wayward emotions. There are so many useful distractions that I won't try to list them for you but it is worth noting that the distractions you use, need to be equal to or more interesting/demanding than the emotions it is replacing otherwise the emotions take over again. For my own distraction techniques, I chose to 'study' emotions so that I could more thoroughly understand what they were and why they affected people/me in the ways that they did. By studying them logically, I was not denying their existence or trying to eliminate them altogether, but just trying to find out how to control them more effectively.
In my studies, I came up with quite a few theories and 'mini-models' to help clarify and understand the multifaceted nature of the phenomenon.
If you are interested, I could gradually share these mini-theories with you as you explore your new world of self-control. Just like with having a stoma in the early stages, sometimes it helps to have someone to share your experiences with, especially when there are ups and downs in the road to getting a grip on the problems. Emotional control is one area that I can safely say that I have 'been there -done that' for myself and for many other people. So, if you would like a companion and potential mentor then I don't mind sharing my own knowledge and experience with you.
Best wishes
Bill
Hello Angelicamarie. I hope your trip to the doctors goes well and you have a pleasant day also.
Best wishes
Bill
Hey bii, that's for the concern vert sweet of you to remember, IT couldn't have been better I suppose. But I'm here there are checking my poop for everything I can't hold weight, always been slain but haven't been like this supine my twenties. I weigh 109 lbs, how are you bill, and you gal? The weather is definetlynstarting to change you be good and have a pleasant and safe dat bill. Angelina
Been small not slain, since not supine since my twenties.not you your fam not you gal. I have elephant eye out there should I did them up now?
Gee I'm making a lot of mistakes today I'm a little nervoue elephant ears not eyes.
Hello Angelicamarie.
Sorry to hear about you not being able to keep the weight on. A lot of people do not realise how being underweight can be just a troublesome as being overweight. I is particularly worrying when there is the possibility of operations where you're likely to lose weight simply because of the procedures. There have been posts in the past about trying to maintain weight and from what I have read it is something that faces those with ileostomies. Perhaps, if there is someone on here that has had this problem and resolved it, they might join in and give you some advice on the subject.
Best wishes
Bill
Bill thank you for your very generous offer. You really do have a vast capacity and talent for helping people. I gratefully welcome your expert analysis, opinion, advice....all! Please don't feel obligated though. I read these posts several times. And every day am finding new benefits and pearls of concepts buried in the sentences. The concept of constructive engagement fascinates me. It's like turning down a side street that I've passed a million times on my way home...a place that may have held some intrigue...but too close to my final destination for me to warrant spending extra time on a diversion. Impatience is a devil I fight with a lot. Which emotion is at play there I wonder? Fear again probably. Heavens this is eye opening. The healing potential seems pretty staggering. "Proceed with caution" says my pragmatic inner voice! Also wanted to say my favorite stanzas in GRATITUDE are the 2nd and 6th. The whole poem is really very good. All the best to you.

Angelicamarie I'm sorry I don't know of any tricks for keeping weight on. I bet you've already tried a lot of different food strategies. This might sound weird and if it does please forgive me but I wonder if there are any alternative therapies in terms of meditation or something like that? From your postings I've read that prayer is a big force in your life so today you are in my prayers for continued good health and for a bit of weight to stay put so you stay strong. God Bless.
Hello Lemonlimeviolet.
I am so glad that you are interested and inquisitive about world of emotions/instincts. You are quite right to approach things with caution and I would encourage you to question everything that I and others may say on this subject or any other. Having studied the field for so long, I have come up with many theories and models to help explain the phenomenon to myself. However, all that I have to say is only 'theory' and, as such can be replaced by a better theory as and when it comes along. I do pride myself in thinking that most of my theories are based on 'common-sense' and they might therefore be already familiar to you and others as being pretty obvious. However, I have tried to bring some of them together to make sense of why some people have mastered the skills of emotional control and others have not. There are a few introductory concepts that I share with people so that they can better understand where my theories originate.
The first is that I believe that emotions are a form of dynamic energy. This is deduced by the fact that people who get highly emotional for any length of time become exhausted, having used up their emotional energy, perhaps without doing anything physical at all. Given this presumption, I use the analogy of other forms of dynamic energy such as electricity, water, gas, etc. being palpably dangerous if left out of control whereas if the energy is managed controlled then it can be made to work for us rather than against.
My theory states that this same principle applies to emotional energy. If you don't control it - then it will control you.
I will not try to rush through all that I would like to introduce you to as this might be too much for both of us all in one go. A little at a time may allow you to contemplate the concepts and maybe integrate them with those you already possess. Remember, that almost everything that I will relate to you will be concepts that some under five year olds have been taught and integrated into their view of the world. These are the children who travel through life knowing how to control their emotions - so get the best use from their energy without the frustrating problems associated that energy working against them.
Best wishes
Bill
Thank you bill your a nice perso thanks for saying a prayer for me, and my friend god bless you!!!
Hello Angelicamarie. Thank you for your comment. However, I think you will find that it was Lemonlimeviolet who had you in her prayers. That does not mean that I'm not thinking of you and hoping that your problems will resolve soon. The difference is that the energy force that I believe underlies the concept of 'God' is not something I can pray to in the accepted sense of 'prayer'. Nonetheless, I do believe that there are many things that humans do not understand fully in relation to such matters and therefore keep an open mind on the subject. I do feel that the power of positive thinking, especially when many people are involved in it at the same time, can have a beneficial affect of the world around us. However, it always seems such a pity that there are also many people simultaneously thinking negative things that, at times, it seems to outweigh those who are more beneficent in their prayers.
You do, of course, remain in my thoughts and I also appreciate the good work that you and others engage in through their various churches.
Best wishes
Bill
Hello lemonlimeviolet thanks for you prayers!!!! Angelicamarie!!!!!
Dear Bill and Angelicamarie,
Before I write more I want to share that I had my colostomy reversed in December of 2015 and am 8 months out from my last surgery for a whopper hernia, I'm deeply connected to this community and will feel so for the rest of my life. But I think it's significant enough to mention and give you the opportunity to decide if or how this impacts our conversations. Angelicamarie you refer to your "friend" and I have the same connection. It's a sobering and truly amazing experience to witness a piece of yourself ... previously unseen and taken for granted.....save your life and chug along without really asking much in return. (Except maybe holding off on eating a hot burrito) I have deep respect and something deeper unnamed for experiences I know not about. So in the spirit of friendship you deserve my disclosure.
Bill thank you for sharing your theory of dynamic energy related to emotions. Again-I find this fascinating and I'm sure it's because this is a logical and base evaluation. In the past I've been shown examples of how the force of energy is neither created nor destroyed. It exits in this manner. I believe it but I don't understand it. Thank you and all the best to you both.
Hello Lemonlimeviolet. Thank you for your disclosure as it shows you are willing to share, even at the risk of some negative reaction. However, you may be reassured that it makes not one bit of difference to me whether you have a stoma or have had a reversal. The point is just as you say, you have had the experience and feel part of this community, which is more than enough for you to be welcomed and included in whatever conversations transpire here.
When we are talking about the dynamic energy of emotions/instincts, none of us really know the intricate details of what it is about. That is why I stress that what I think is only 'theory' based on what I observe and what seems to make sense at the time. As we progress in our understanding, I am confident that someone else will come up with better, logically based theories but for now I just make them up as I go along.
Here is one I developed because people kept asking me -: If it is so important that the skills of emotional control are learned before the child reaches five years old, then why are these skills not taught in schools?
It took a long time for me to come up with a theory on this one because it is multifaceted and complicated. Eventually I whittled it down to an understandable concept for our modern society.
Logically controlling emotions is primarily a 'thinking' process. The people who benefit most from folks acting on their uncontrolled emotions/instincts and not thinking for themselves, are the people who are involved in politics and commerce. The politicians would be voted out and the shopkeepers would be out of business if people controlled their instincts and thought things through before they acted impulsively. It is in their best interests if the general population don't 'think' for themselves but are willing to be 'influenced' and told what to do by them. Look around, and you will find that there is very little talk among the people who rule our societies about how important it is to think things through. What they want us to believe is that they have done the thinking and therefore they are 'right' about everything they say. The general population are viewed as followers and therefore only need to be told what to think, rather than actually doing it themselves.
The curriculum based academic system bears witness to idea that they want our children to learn what 'they' think is important - by remembering answers, rather than thinking about the questions and coming up with their own answers.
It might be surprising to learn who can become victims of such a system. I used to take sessions with PhD students coming towards the end of their first year who were suffering from great anxiety because they had done so well remembering stuff and passed all their exams to get to PhD level. Then, they are expected to think for themselves and find that they do not have the skills to do so. Fear and panic (uncontrolled emotions) take over and they were in a state of frozen ineptitude. Some of them were diagnosed as mentally ill and ended up in hospital.
My programme was designed to 'teach' them how to 'think' rather than remember. It was simple enough for the under five's to understand so PhD students had no problems with it once it was explained. It was not that these people were unintelligent in academic terms, it was because they were emotionally inept. This was down to our society's system of teaching that does not really encourage youngsters to think for themselves.
Their system imbibes an attitude of answers that are either right or wrong so if someone thinks of an alternative way of thinking about a question, if the response doesn't match what they 'want'. then it is marked as 'wrong'. Many very bright children give up on schooling because they are being brainwashed and conditioned to follow rather than think for themselves.
Anyway! that's my simplified theory on why children are not taught the skills in schools.
There are some good books on theories in 'emotional intelligence' if you are interested in this subject.
Best wishes
Bill
Hi Bill. In light of your theory certain events of my life are playing through my mind with a brand new perspective. Particularly in regard to my dad. Leonard was a big bear of a guy-loved by many-loved and feared by his kids. Often compared to John Wayne in appearance so you get the picture. Basically the 7 of us kids were conditioned to see him as emotionally inept and unreachable and throughout life at times blamed our emotional problems on his handicap. But this guy took us to the library on a regular basis - encouraging us to bring home the limit and selections tougher than we thought we could handle. He was practical and a tough disciplinarian. College was encouraged and expected but knowledge for the sake of knowledge alone was not tolerated with respect. You had to have a plan to use it. My siblings for the most part achieved a lot. There's a judge, West Point cadet, nurse administrator, architect and then me and one dear sister who gets by but has emotionally suffered most of her life. We lost a brother tragically in 1970 from a brain aneurysm-he was only 19. We were lower middle class so these achievements were thought pretty cool. My dad didn't get much credit for setting us on a steady path. Folks would say "out of adversity comes greatness". Mom's contribution was based on the premise that love is the most important thing and she'd acknowledge her weakness (alcohol and pharmaceuticals) consistently stating and demonstrating her love. Gratefully she achieved sobriety more than 20 years before she died. Unfortunately dad didn't fair as well and succumbed to cirrhosis from alcohol in 95. So that's probably more than you needed to hear but maybe not a boring story at least. Im considering that the force of emotional control imparted by my parents -even though it was an inadequate amount and level -actually had a very helpful impact. I think recognizing this in a way helps build a platform for one to believe in the potential benefits of emotional control.
I have personally witnessed organized education fail miserably when dealing with brilliant students who think differently and question things in a manner not in line with the teaching method currently in style. Thank you for sharing your beautifully logical theory.
Your link to societal responsibility for the suppression of emotional control is significant as well. It's perfectly in line with what we know has always made the 'world go round' - sadly - money and power. In his book "The Mindbody Prescription" Dr. Sarno describes how the incidence of people with gastric ulcers decreased in popularity when this malady was found to be driven by stress and unconscious emotional distraction. I would say this mass statistical change demonstrates the impact of societal influences.
Thank you very much Bill.
Hello Lemonlimeviolet.
Thank you so much for sharing your family experiences which are not a million miles from my own. It sounds as if your parents did indeed give you a firm platform on which to work. They could not be expected to get it all right but 'love' is important and so is early discipline in its own way, as long as these things are not done from bullying but from a desire to give the children the best start in life that they can get. Different circumstances require different approaches. The concept is well captured in the lyrics of the song 'A Boy Named Sue'.
Society can be very supportive at times to certain people but it can also leave many victims in its wake. My work was with the victims so I make no apology for being somewhat biased in my theories towards helping those who have been damaged by the very things that should have helped them.
I have quite a few more mini theories I will share with you for so long as you are still inquisitive.( and patient - as I cannot always get on here every day)
Best wishes
Bill
Hi Bill.
Of course! When you have time and post here I will be grateful to read what you have to say. Your theories are very interesting and although I don't know the details of your previous or current occupations I definitely respect what you've shared about helping victims and certainly wish you all the best. I remember that song! Johnny Cash I think? His music was terrific.
Andrea
Hello Lemonlimeviolet.
I often think that songwriters and singers sometimes capture the essence of a theory in ways that researchers and scientists can only dream of. I feel that the best of them are the ones that have found ways of using the energy of emotions to express themselves and this is what makes their songs so powerful.
Anyway, back to the theories: It seemed to me that one of the problems with controlling the energy flow was the sequence in which things occur. Very often when things happen in life, the first reaction is prompted and guided by instinct/emotion and thinking (if it happens at all) comes last.
The sequence therefore becomes Emotion -Action -Thinking. Or EAT - which, in the past I have described as an EATing disorder, because acting before one thinks can be dysfunctional.
My theory goes on, that if instincts/emotions come first, then people should put their effort into making sure that their Thinking/logic comes a close second and, Action only flows from that. The sequence is therefore Emotions -Thinking- Action or ETA. which will, in all probability, lead to a less dysfunctional outcome.
However, there is another way, which involves thinking about possible scenarios before they actually happen so that one is prepared psychologically, emotionally and physically. The sequence in this case becomes Thinking-Emotions-Action, (TEA) which has proved to be a very effective strategy for managing and controlling the emotional energy so that it does not become dysfunctional. (they say that there is nothing like TEA for calming the nerves!)
The point of these particular theories is to stress that people are more likely to have a functional outcome if they put their Thinking before their Action.
There are many clichés which capture this concept and, although some people deride the use of clichés, they do have their uses and would not have gained the cliché status if they did not imbibe a basic truth.
I like the one that says "Always make sure your brain is in gear before you engage your mouth". There are many more, but I'm sure you get the idea.
Best wishes
Bill
Good morning bii, how are you? You sent me to responses I must be missing some
Thing di need to read gratitude again ti get it!!!!
Bill you are now listening to my mispelled ramblings(smile)
Hello Algelicamarie.
It is now the end of the day in the UK and I have just come on the MAO site to see what messages I need to answer. None of the messages are timed so I am not aware if I am replying in real time or not. Sometimes this type of correspondence means that a reply can come days after the post that it refers to and other times it can be almost as if we are talking in a chat room.
I will try to get on here tomorrow morning GMT. to share some more theories so until them, I hope that you have a good day.
Best wishes
Bill
Hi bill, how are you it is 7:52 pm here . I probably sent you s few but that ok you do answer I usually I had a doctors apt today after took a friend that don't A a vehicle to the doc got home about 8:00 left this morning at 9:99 had to go to the bank prior to going to doctor . Went with husband they said he had a blockage but when he saw cardiologist he didn't isn't that strange how two salbutamol doctors tell you different thinks which is not cool. Cause before you jnow the truth that stress can hurt you in different. Just glad he's good. Did you miss lemonlimeviolet and myself?
Mini theories? I would say significant not mini. Bill your acronyms are easy and sensible. Just what an acronym should be. This one has had my mind spinning all day. In a good way certainly but such a new focus for the poor old girl that it's exhausting. Logically... I believe this is progress to the goal. Expenditure on thinking exhausts energy in a satisfactory manner vs emotional expenditure. But exhaustion has taken purchase. I'm so grateful for your generosity with these insights. Maybe these mental exercises will become easier with practice. I expect they will. Really it reminds me of the first push up I tried after a year of healing incisions. Just hard! Thank you! All the best to you and yours.
Hello Algelicmarie.
It is difficult when two so called 'experts' tell your different things as it creates what is called 'cognitive dissonance'. In spite of people telling us that they can multi-task, the human brain has difficulty holding on to and processing more than one conflicting concept at a time and the result is often 'STRESS'. This is hard to place in the in the straightforward list of emotions because it is often a combination of some or all of them. However, stress and frustration can be a precursor to an emotional response or outburst so it is as well to be able to control this, in the same way that it is advisable to get control of the emotions themselves. Self-control can minimise the effects(hurt) of these things so that we can get on with our lives in a more considered and balanced way.
Of course I miss the people here when either I or they, cannot get on here for some reason.
Best wishes
Bill
Your a sweetie my friend have a great day, angelicamarie
Hello Lemonlimeviolet.
What I find, is that becoming exhausted from exercising in a 'good' way feels much more rewarding than allowing emotions to dictate your life and becoming exhausted through lack of control. A period of rest is what is prescribed for exhaustion - and then we start all over again as life doesn't stop.
The thing about theory-making, is that with something as complex as the human condition and the brain, the theories can sometimes get too complicated for ordinary folk to comprehend fully. I have tried to develop mini-theories that are simple, understandable, and based on what I believe are undeniable 'truths'. This way, people can understand them, relate to them and gradually move towards a position whereby they will fully understand the more complex stuff further down the line.
Because every individual's problems with emotions and life are different, over the years I have developed my mini-theories to suit particular aspects that need to be explained before people can effectively grasp what is amiss and start to move on. We have not touched on the mini-theories yet, but over a series of future posts, I hope to be able to introduce you to the concepts and explain the models that support them.
If we approach it slowly and methodically, hopefully you will not become too exhausted with the process and it should provide some excellent practice in simple logical thinking. Which can provide a useful 'distraction' from all those wayward emotions.
Best wishes
Bill
I forget to say that if you are interested in 'training your thinking skills, then here is an author who has some very useful and simple ideas on how people can do that effectively.
Edward de Bono the father of Lateral thinking, a brain training pioneer, author of six thinking hats and creative thinking expert.
His work is well worth reading for anyone who is interested in 'thinking' as a subject of study or, for those who want to increase their thinking skills.
There are also many books written on the subject of 'emotional intelligence' which, when combined with DE Bono's work, provides an excellent platform from which to launch a thinking 'career'.
Best wishes
Bill
Best wishes
Bill
Good morning my ostamate family!!!! Have a great day and think positive all. Angelicamarie
Good morning Angelicamarie. It's always nice to hear from you even though you are wishing me a good day at a time when our day in the UK is nearly over. However, that doesn't stop me from returning the sentiment and wishing you a great day as well.
Best wishes
Bill
Hello Lemonlimeviolet.

Before we delve into the realms of mini-models, it seems important to explain a theory of mine that underlies and supports the way I think and therefore the way I try to act.
It struck me, that relationships between many human beings are fraught with difficulties that often reflect uncontrolled emotions/instincts. I wanted to develop a personality and style that would allow me to relate to other people in a positive way and yet avoid or overcome these problem areas.
I took my cues from 'companion animals' and developed a list which I called my 'AIMS for today'. These are what people told me their companion animals provided for them in terms of a 'good' relationship so I saw no reason why I should not try to emulate what they had perfected over the years of being around humans.
I hope you can see that each of these AIMS have their own unique elements that help to establish and cement relationships in a logical way, without the mention of 'love' - which, in my view often means an uncontrolled emotion/instinct, albeit a pleasant experience.

AIMS FOR TODAY
1. To BE – THERE
2. To be CONSISTENT
3. To be HONEST, GENUINE & SINCERE
4. To be NON-JUDGEMENTAL
5. To LISTEN: Empathetically
6. To keep things CONFIDENTIAL
7. To ENABLE & EMPOWER (DIY process)
8. To show POSITIVE REGARD (unconditional)
9. To show RESPECT for INDIVIDUALITY
FEELING & NEEDS
10. To FOCUS CARING (according to my principles)

Best wishes
Bill
Wow bill, that's interesting and deep
Abgelicamarie
Bill there seem to someone editing my typi'ng where it don't bother you it bothers them!!!!! Where're someone,was ediitg my private info too.heck I don't need to do anytging. Since there doing my info for me.....
Hello Angelicamarie.
You are absolutely right in saying that whatever ends up as writing on the post will be acceptable to me. If someone is messing with it, then I hope they are getting something out of their efforts. What matters most is the fact that you are responding and showing that you are still interested in the subject matter. Hopefully, the editing will stop and we can continue communicating without interference. If not, then I sincerely wish that you do not give up on it.
Best wishes
Bill
Hello Angelicamarie and Bill!
This business of sequencing emotions, thinking, and action has me very occupied and distracted. I Didn't just type that "ETA "sequence on purpose... but ETA is where I'm sort of "living" these past 2 days so I don't think that was accidental. Friday morning I totally bypassed the bakery shop I was supposed to stop at to pick up breakfast for a work meeting and then I drove to the wrong hospital. But the significant thing was that even though I was frazzled with each mistake I didn't get pissed off. When I realized my mistake it was a little shock so -wham- emotion... but then I had learned I could sequence in some thought before acting like a crazy person. And it worked. It worked great. I had a nice exchange with the counter woman at the bakery and then noticed the beautiful pattern of the clouds as the sun came up as I drove to the right place. I realized that if I hadn't made the mistakes It would have still been too dark to see what really was a magnificent sunrise. I know that my natural reaction would have been EAT- and that would have left me feeling sheepish when all was said and done. Embarrassed of myself when I finally got around to thinking logically about the true significance of being a little late. Thank you Bill for sharing this with us! It's a big deal to feel more powerful in the midst of a situation than a little shameful when it's over.
Truthfully I was really engrossed in thought about these sequencing options and that's why I wasn't paying attention to where I was going. Who cares about that though? Not I. But I think it proves I definitely need to learn how to train my brain before I wrap my car around a tree! I don't know who Edward de Bono is and I don't know what lateral thinking is but I am certainly looking forward to finding out.
Your 10 Aims for the day are really lovely. I'm not surprised they came from observing service animals (dogs?) but I am impressed by your choice of inspiration. Very good call. Makes complete sense to me.
Angelicamarie I am with you! I think this conversation is deep and interesting. I confess that I am intimidated by 10 daily Aims in addition to resequencing my emotions, actions, and thoughts. I don't know if my brain is strong enough but I hope so.
Oh and my ETA description is "Estimated Time of Arrival" ....of mental stability. It's happening more quickly.
All the best to both of you. Hope the day brings each of you an unexpected happy surprise and also good health!
Andrea
Hello Lemonlimeviolet.
Believe it or not, I find it difficult to find the words to express my delight in knowing that you have understood and used the sequencing theory in such a practical way. I am even more delighted that you have chosen to share your experiences with us while they are still fresh in your mind. You paint a vivid picture of a very important principle. The practical application of theory is probably much easier to remember than the theory itself because while you are involved, you are teaching yourself. It is this day to day practice that will stay with you, rather than trying to remember the theory itself. Eventually, the practice of putting thinking before action will become a habit and second -nature. It is only at the beginning that we need to keep reminding ourselves of its importance.
At this stage, I don't want to pressure you by ploughing on with lots different theories, so I will stick with the sequencing for the time being and expand a little on how I think it links with other people's ideas. Hopefully this will not give you any more to try to remember, but it might be helpful in placing the sequencing theory in some sort of historical context. I'll put my thoughts in the next post so that it stands on its own in a literary sense.
Best wishes
Bill
A DARWINIAN APPROACH TO EMOTIONAL DYSFUNCTION.

‘Once upon a time’ there were primitive humans.
They lived in a primitive world
This was a difficult time and place, where nature was ‘raw in tooth and claw’.
It was a time when those who ‘acted’ quickly and appropriately to their ‘instincts’ SURVIVED and those who were slow or inappropriate in their actions DIED.
Nowadays we might recognise this process as ‘the survival of the fittest’ or, as a facet of ‘evolutionary theory’.

The three basic action strategies for survival in that type of primitive, dangerous, natural environment can still be observed in primitive animal species today.
They are:-

1) FIGHT: This strategy has advantages if the opponent/danger is smaller
or has some other disadvantage so that there is a good chance of ‘winning’ in the fight. This was a primitive strategy for obtaining food.

2) FLIGHT: This strategy has certain advantages if the opponent/danger is likely to win in any ‘fight’. Flight is obviously less effective for survival if the opponent is faster and more likely to catch you.

3) FREEZE: This strategy is probably the least preferred option as far as taking ‘action’ is concerned as it may be very frightening. It may ‘feel’ as if you are doing nothing and it may ‘feel’ as if you are leaving yourself more vulnerable. However, freezing has advantages where fighting and fleeing might lead to almost certain death. Many primitive species use this strategy as a very effective ‘defence-mechanism’. This is especially so where freezing is accompanied by some form of camouflage. The killer instincts of many predators are triggered by movement and are thus, they are likely to miss those things that stay perfectly still and ‘play possum’.

Logical framework for discussion:
- Fight, flight & freeze are seen as basic Action (A) responses to instinct
- If primitive humans had not acted quickly and appropriately to their instincts, they were more likely to die and thus would not pass on their genetic inheritance to future generations. (This is part of the theory of evolution propounded by Darwin.)
- If humans successfully evolved using such strategies, then it would logically follow that the human species may be left with residual tendencies to act in these primitive ways when, and if, their instincts were ‘triggered’.
- Instinct is linked directly to a need or desire to survive and a ‘fear’ of not surviving.
- Humans have come to call instincts – ‘Emotions’ (E)
- This re-labelling was probably because humans went through a phase of trying to distinguish themselves from other animals and desired to view themselves as somehow ‘superior’.
- Humans began to ‘Think’ (T) and, as part of this thinking process, they came to believe that they were less primitive than other animals
- We now have a logical framework of ‘sequencing’ comprising :-
- For primitive humans:
Emotions (before) Action (before) Thinking (E-A-T)
- For ‘modern’ humans:
Thinking (before) Action (before and/or after) Emotions.
(E-T-A or T-E-A or T-A-E )

More of this sequencing pattern later, for now, it is important to understand that humans may well be genetically and/or environmentally pre-programmed to act out a primitive sequence. If this is so, then changes from this pattern would need the ‘skill’ of a ‘learned’ sequence and maybe recognisable rewards/ benefits in order to encourage changing primitive instinctual patterns of behaviour.

On Human ‘need’
Whilst we are talking about primitive, basic concepts surrounding behavioural responses to instincts, it would also be useful to tease out the concept of basic, primitive human ‘needs’.
This can then be both linked and contrasted with emotional motivational factors surrounding the more modern concept of ‘wants’.

It is my contention that there are three basic human ‘needs’ for human survival which are listed below:-

1) FOOD - This includes water and all forms of physical intake that are likely to keep the person alive.

2) WARMTH – This includes anything that achieves sufficient warmth for humans (as warm-blooded animals) to stay alive. In colder climates, this might include things like clothing, shelter, etc.

3) LOVE – This is a more contentious ‘need’. At its most primitive it includes the processes of procreation so that the species survives.
It is my own belief that 'most'( but not all) humans have evolved to become ‘pack-animals’. Thus, for the most part, they ‘feel’ that they ‘need’ each other and are likely to die (or want to die) if they are deprived of some form of ‘relationship’.

My conceptualising of these ‘needs’ runs along the following logical sequence:-
In primitive times it will be apparent that the focus of human survival strategies would have been on the provision of food and warmth.
In more modern societies these ‘needs’ are generally met without the individual having to spend the bulk of their time focussing on them in order to cater for them.
If humans no longer have to focus on providing food and warmth, then the need for ‘love’ is likely to attract more attention than would otherwise have been the case.

According to myth, primitive, instinctual ‘love’ is portrayed as physical lovemaking, (SEX) presumably for the purpose of procreation. The popular image of primitive cavemen is that of the male dragging the female off to a cave by her hair with his club in hand!
I paint this dubious picture in order to portray the power of man over woman as possibly an instinctual response, based on the capability of the stronger to fight, dominate and possibly to kill.
In most modern societies those men who still prefer this primitive approach to lovemaking are likely to be viewed as criminally dysfunctional and dealt with as such when they are caught.
Most modern societies have ‘evolved’ to include a degree of rationality and morality in their thinking and behaviour. With this thinking process, there evolved a sense of what is ‘right - wrong’, ‘fair – unfair’ and that which is deemed ‘functional & dysfunctional’ for the new set of circumstances.
‘LOVE’ no longer just means sexual action but involves much more complex forms of ‘relationships’.
Just as the ‘pack’ has become the ‘group’ or ‘society’, the individual has evolved and learned to understand that personal relationships are more than simply about procreation and survival. – More of relationships later.
Also within the evolutionary theme, primitive, animal style ‘instincts’ have also evolved and for humans have been labelled as ‘emotions’.

It is but a small, logical, deductive step, to link the instinctive motivational responses of fight, flight and freeze with instinctive/emotional forces and the needs of food, warmth and love that underpin survival strategies.
These evolutionary facets are important concepts to bear in mind if we are to achieve a comprehensive, logical understanding of emotional dysfunction in modern human societies.
Hello Lemonlimeviolet.
Sorry if the sequencing concept seemed to go on a bit, but all these theories are connected with each other and get more complex as we think about them more deeply.
I decided to study 'companion animals' partly because animals and children under five years have much in common when it comes to acting on their instincts/emotions. The situation changes as the two types of animals mature and humans 'think' and 'learn' in more complex and sequential ways. Well! some of them do, whilst others learn to think but remain with their sequencing stuck in the primitive form.
For the sake of clarity,I have stated this concept as if it's an all or nothing thing, but there are many variations and some people sequence appropriately sometimes and not others.
The greater and more intense the emotional trigger, the more likely humans are likely to revert to the primitive reaction of acting (A) before they think (T).
Best wishes
Bill
Hello Bill,
After reading your analyses and concepts it takes me a while to organize my thoughts. After my first go around the wheels are spinning like mad and the only response I can muster is an inadequate "thanks!" So hopefully after a third and fourth dissection of the information you write about... I have something to contribute here.
I agree with your assessment that in today's society the pursuit of relationships is the most 'needy' of our instincts/emotions and attracts a significantly heavyly weighted portion of our attention. I appreciate that you shared your explanation of the historical foundation for this because it seals this concept as logical to me and therefore easier to move forward.
After some success working to sequence Actions after Thoughts I had a bit of a problem yesterday and became overwhelmed and "acted" on a frustration even in the midst of beseeching my mind to find a logical response! This resulted in publicly scolding my husband in one of those giant warehouse stores (which I hate even being in..)but it was my idea to go and the issue was so insignificant that it was ludicrous.
So I thank you for mentioning the risk of reverting to primitive reactions when the emotional trigger is more intense. In my case yesterday however... the emotional trigger did not appear to be intense. But I bet I'm not identifying the 'trigger' correctly.
Late last week I received horrible news that the 28 yr old daughter of one of my oldest and dearest friends was diagnosed with stage lll breast cancer. She has a 6 month old son. Now THAT was an enormously intense emotional trigger (I would think). And it hit like a punch in the gut. But I was able to tap into a thought process before acting wildly emotional. That was my first success with ETA and it got me through a number of conversations with others using empathy, respect, and sincerity.
So maybe the 'trigger' is the risk of abandonment? If one perceives ?) that a "fix" isn't at hand then the intensity of the relationship bears on the ETA equation? Seems likely otherwise why would a tiny difference of opinion with a close family member cause an inappropriate sequencing of 'action' when a huge and serious event for someone I also deeply love was able to be analyzed more reasonably? Ah. I don't think it's the actual Person. It must be what we risk losing if the relationship is lost? Or FEAR losing!
This brings to mind (what I consider to be one of the scariest emotions)- Jealousy. I don't even like thinking about that. Best not to sweep it under the rug though.
I promised myself I wouldn't ask questions because your methods of imparting your concepts are well planned and very effective for me. But there it is. It's almost uncanny how you have technically answered my questions before I ask them.
The warehouse incident led to a good discussion by the way. One that I wouldn't have known to pursue without having the EAT concepts at my disposal. So it ended much better than it otherwise would have.
All the best to you and yours. I'm so very thankful to you for your time and generosity.
Andrea
Hello lemonlimeviolet I looked to see what you wrote me couldn't find it , how are you?
Hi Angelicamarie! I bet you get a notice when I write on this blog so I should have said hi to you too. Thank you so much for asking how I am. I'm doing well and better and I have you and Bill to thank. It's really great to have new strategies for coping with my emotions. How are you? I read your comments and really appreciate your kindness. It shines right through. I hope you are feeling well and finding that Bills explanations and theories for emotional control and stability are helpful in your life too. God Bless you and have a great day today!
Me and you are always talking with bill. That is so kind of you to say I have uplifted you, it cost nothing to be kind!!!!
Hello Andrea.
Thank you again for replying to the blog in such a detailed and personal way.
By doing so, you give me the opportunity to comment on your own experiences of wayward emotions as well as referring to all the many others that have contributed to my theorizing in the past.
The first thing I would like to say is that your’ mustered ‘thanks’ are never ‘inadequate’ and are gratefully received. However, it is me that should be thanking you for reading my mindful meanderings and for trying to make practical use from them.
Theories have very little use unless they are translated into some sort of ‘practice’, that makes them come alive and be relevant for others.
You are certainly on the right track when you begin to analyse what triggered your emotions on any particular occasion. Unfortunately, I should have explained that the process of learning emotional control is a little more complex than identifying the triggers. I will do my best to try to keep the explanation of my reasoning simple and generalised, so that it links in with some of what we have covered previously:
I you recall, we talked about instincts/emotions being a form of ‘ENERGY’.
I usually use the analogy of steam under pressure to explain how it’s not the ‘triggers’ that are the problem, it is the pressure that builds up prior to pressing the emotional triggers.
If there is no pressure, then, when the trigger is pressed, there is no (or very little) response.
What is required in these circumstances is to ‘think’ about what may be creating the emotional pressure prior to triggering, then do something to reduce the build up of pressure.
You have been brilliant in explaining your thinking on what happened to you this week, which gives me the opportunity of speculating on what may have been happening in each situation you describe.
The death of someone close is almost always an intensely emotional time for anyone and there is a recognised process of grieving, that people generally need to go through to come to terms with such an event.
In my opinion, it is healthy and natural to allow such a trigger to let all the ‘Natural’ emotions flow, rather than over -thinking them or bottling them up inside (which can be the source of pressure). Although they are extremely important, I do not intend elaborating on the theories of ‘loss’ at this point because it might be distracting and overwhelming, alongside trying to control emotions .
So let’s concentrate on getting the basics understood, so that you can continue practicing and achieving some success.
PRESSURE, if it is not continually managed and controlled, tends to build up from all sorts of different sources and angles. It is not necessarily the big things in life that cause pressure to build, but all the many minor things that irritate and frustrate us every day.
You mentioned that you ‘hate’ going into the huge warehouse stores. ‘Hate’ is an obvious emotion indicating a buildup of pressure that has remained unresolved for a long time, and is therefore likely to be ‘triggered’ by even the tiniest of frustrations.
When the pent-up emotions appear to be triggered by something minor, they tend to be viewed as ‘irrational’. Which is, of course, exactly what they are, with Irrationality, being a condition of not thinking logically.
Now, if we use the time when we are away from what is frustrating and irritating, to examine what pressures you were under , then it is much more likely that you will be able to reduce those pressures when in similar situations in the future. Hopefully you would then have thought through a strategy and a plan for dealing with those frustrations, before they happen again. This prior-thinking and planning will be the ‘T’ before any ‘A’ or ‘E’. You will know In advance what your reaction is going to be and, with imaginary ‘practice’, you will be able to control your responses.
The beauty of thinking out a prior strategy is that the thinking process can be distanced in time and place from the actual, potential event that maybe sometime in the future.
One of the potential reasons for having a go at your husband at these times is probably because he is the one closest to you when these things are happening to you. Some people would take it out on the cashier, or the person stacking the shelves, or, in the case of road-rage, whoever is in the vehicle that frustrates them at the time.
I will share an example from a lady whose father was continually being abusive to her over the phone.
We analysed why this might be happening, then figured out what she would have liked to have said to him rationally and without the outburst of complex emotions under pressure. We made a long list of rational, logical responses, which were written down for her to read out to him on the next occasion that he was abusive to her over the phone line. Obviously, he was unaware that she was reading out her pre-thought responses, but she was delighted with the results because he quickly realised that he was not winding her up by what he said, so he gave up and became a bit more civil towards her.
Einstein’s theory of relativity? “ For every action – there is a reaction”.

So! Let me summarise my long-winded and cumbersome explanation:
1)Emotions are a form of ENERGY
2) If energy is put under pressure – almost anything can ‘trigger’ it and it will then be uncontrolled.
3) If there is no ‘PRESSURE’ in the energy, then pulling the trigger will have little or no effect.
4) It is as important to ’THINK’ about reducing the pressure as it is to try to avoid the triggers.

I hope this helps
Best wishes
Bill
Hello Angelicmarie.
Thank you for your posts. It is a bit unsettling when I seem to be replying to Andrea more so than you. However, as you have not mentioned whether the subject of uncontrolled emotions is relevant to you, it did not seem appropriate to address those posts to you as well. Let's hope that you may read them and get something from them, whether or not you have experienced problems in these areas.
Because this is a subject in which I have a certain amount of expertise, I do tend to waffle on a bit. but, as long as it is of interest to somebody, I'll keep posting.
Best wishes
Bill
Bill thanks for the compliment on the picture ( smile)
Bill I wishing you a great day on the 15 th of November, keep writing my friend it's appreciated!!!!! Angelica
Hello Angelicamarie.
I did manage to have a look at the picture the right way up by copying it into a different programme and turning it around. You look great in it now the blood is not all rushing to your head!
You have a good day too and of course I will keep writing as long as it is appreciated. (Thanks for letting me know!)
Best wishes
Bill
Ok funny guy thank you so much bill, how can you do that from your end,angelicamarie
It was easy enough. I just copied it, then pasted it into 'MS Publisher' where it can be rotated.
Best wishes
Bill
How do yo paste it, in to mr publisher. Angelica
Hello Angelicamarie. MS stands for Microsoft. What I did was right click on your photo and chose 'copy' from the options. Then I opened up MS Publisher and selected a blank page where I right clicked again and chose the option 'paste'. your photo appeared upside down. At the top of the picture frame there is a little round 'o' with an arrow which indicates that left clicking it and holding as I move it, the picture can be rotated to being the right way up, I have tried downloading it back to this site but it did not work and, I'm pretty sure that this is because MS Publisher is the wrong format.
I hope this helps in some way.
Best wishes
Bill
It seems to be able to upload GIF format pictures - so I've put one on my own profile photos for now. I hope this helps
Best wishes
Bill
Angelicamarie.
I have just noticed that the picture in question has also appeared in the 'photos' section so you can view it from there. However, I doubt if you will be able to move it.
Bill
Hi Bill and Angelicamarie,
Hope the day finds you both happy and healthy!

I find that Emotional energy is an elusive force. Where and why it originates seems very unscientific to me. However I do totally agree that this phenomenon has enormous power and I'm so glad that you brought the conversation back to the base for me.
About a year ago I was scouring the internet for ideas or solutions for severe chronic pain. I came across some folks who had been 'cured' of debilitating chronic back pain by unconventional means. The theory they implemented states that often physical pain is not actually a component of the physical body. An MD in New York had spent years treating patients symptomatically for pain and became very frustrated by his lack of success. A physical source of the pain could not be identified with reliability. So he started considering the brain as the culprit. At first I was skeptical because I had been told for years that my pain was caused by a pelvic floor dysfunction from an old tailbone injury. I read on though because that dysfunction diagnosis never seemed logical to me. Why didn't it hurt everyday? What caused it to flare? Everyone with similar old injuries didn't experience this! One day in frustration I had asked a physician if this 'was all in my head?' To which she replied, "your head is instrumental to pain'. And the new treatment I was reading about was based on the premise that the unconscious mind in an attempt to avoid unpleasant emotions would cause a physical distraction (pain). The science in support of this didn't seem overwhelming to me but then neither did the science that was blaming an old injury. I guess this "emotional distraction " theory had found that there was a very slight decrease of oxygenation to the cells in the tissues associated with the pain. Therefore the pain was real -not just a perceived situation. And the cure? Concentrated mental focus on evaluation and discovery of the emotional problem and acceptance of this as the true and only source of the pain was key. Once the mind had worked through the process and redirected focus to emotional analysis - distraction was no longer needed- oxygenation to the affected body part would increase and the pain was relieved. The specific site of the pain was said to have been carefully chosen by the unconscious mind-the goal of distraction would be best achieved if the afflicted area had or was receiving attention. There's much more to it but that's it in a nutshell.
This theory worked for me. I felt there were pieces missing from the theory but I believe the premise and have not had this pain in nearly a year. This theory is Dr John Sarno's.
I mention this because I feel like it's another dimension of what I am learning here from your concepts Bill. I can't grasp the connection but I'm extremely curious and excited to learn more. Thank you for all your gracious help!
Andrea
Your right bill I can't move it, I'll just remove it
Hello Andrea.
Reverting back to our discussion on emotional pressure;
In many instances, pressure can build up as a result of a whole host of different 'frustrations' or 'discontentment's.
I never classified 'frustration' as an emotion, even though it has its own energy.
Up to now, I have viewed frustration as a 'precursor' to emotion, in that, when people are frustrated, it is likely to the medium or reason for internal pressure to build up before an emotion is triggered.
From a theoretical point of view, this makes it quite important for people to learn how to cope with frustration. Which, incidentally, is precisely what parents teach their under five year olds. (or not as the case may be). We can build on this subject again later! After we've explored a few more mini-models
Best wishes
Bill
Hello again Andrea. Sorry I did not address your latest post. it was because it was not published until after my own was posted. However, you mention a very useful theory about the connection between the brain and pain. There is a very potent example of this, when people have limbs amputated and, yet they still feel pain emanating from those lost limbs. My father was a somewhat cruel and vindictive man at times so, when we were young and complaining of pain, he used to ask if we wanted him to get rid of it. If we said 'yes', then he would stamp on one of our feet very hard and, hey-presto! the other pain would vanish, in favour of the more acute pain he had just put us through.
There are many theories floating around with regard to brain power and how it works, but some of these can so interesting and absorbing that they can detract and distract us from 'working' on those aspects which will put us in control of basic emotional/instinctual energy. I have already tried to point out that the energy wrapped up in 'instinct', has been very useful for every living animal in terms of the fight, flight and freeze responses. I do not underestimate the importance of instinct in today's society. However, times have moved on and, for the most part, we no longer live in a 'natural/primitive' world where instincts would be most useful. Much of the world we humans inhabit is unnatural and artificial. In order to act appropriately in these conditions, we have developed logic and thinking as a tool to help us choose the most appropriate ways to act and react to our artificial surroundings. This is why the sequencing is so important. Because, in an artificial world, our instincts can be way out of line with the modern reality and we can act inappropriately. The combination of instinct and thinking is taking the best from both worlds and, acting only when these two have been considered puts the individual in control of their actions.
I have always maintained, that if a person finds themselves in a life threatening/primitive situation, then stopping, or even pausing to think about it, might end the person's life. In those situations it's useful to act first and think later. However, most of our lives are not lived on the brink of natural disasters, but are mildly threatened by the deviousness and manipulations of our fellow human beings. In which case, the most useful strategy is to think things through before you act.
If you are interested in the deviousness of humans, then there are still not many authors who expose this better than Eric Berne in his classic book 'Games People Play'. I like his assertion that all of these types of 'games' are basically dishonest and the only effective antidote ids to 'unmask them'.
Best wishes
Bill
Whoa that foot stomp from your dad sounds terrifying. Not only painful but scary. The thought of human deviousness breaks my heart. I wish I didn't have to think about that. But I have learned that 'buried anger' can be a source of distraction. It was not a pretty realization that I harbor anger that is strong enough to cause physical pain. I don't feel like an angry person at all so it was hard to accept. But case in point-one afternoon driving on a very busy multi lane highway in Los Angeles I felt nervous and started to experience sharp pain. Realizing the pain was a distraction from my mounting fear... I tried to find 'the positive' of being trapped in what I perceived to be a threatening situation. So I started justifying about how it was actually cool to be in a place and time with so many of my fellow human beings and how we all were engaged in somehow contributing to the world and blah blah blah. But the pain kept raising until I finally just said "screw it! I hate LA highways and I hate that this terrifies me and I hate that my mind is beating me up for being scared!" The pain took a hike.
I must admit that the idea of human manipulation and deviousness in an artificial environment paints a depressing picture at first glance. However just as I had to learn that anger is a powerful energy it follows that human deviousness must be considered as an element in the equation. Honestly though I don't want to know more about this. But I will if it's integral to becoming successful achieving TEA. Thank you as always!
Andrea
Hello Andrea.
I do so love the way you describe your feelings. It shows me that you are indeed willing to face up to the many things that are likely to face you and frustrate you in life with honesty and an open mind. If one theory doesn't fit then try another that suits you better! Please don't let my own biased and cynical view of human beings affect the way you perceive them. I do believe that there are many humans who have moved way from being primitive in their reactions to others, and they now think their way through life in much more acceptable fashion. It's just that I DO NOT MEET TOO MANY OF THEM!
Let's now move away from this to a mini-model that deals with a slightly different perspective. I'll document it on a separate post so that it remains apart from our more general conversation.
Still trying bill
The series of 'mini-models' are theories that were worked out for different individuals that were asking certain questions and/or were needing guidance on particular aspects of controlling their emotions.
I used to sit in cafes and work on these theories by drawing the illustrative graphics on table napkins. I often reflect that drawing them gradually in this way, helped the people watching to follow the theory as it developed, rather than have it all handed to them completed. However, having written it all down and, with you being so far away, we have to make do with what we have.
All of my mini-models link to a concept of what is 'functional', what is 'dysfunctional' and what is 'neutral' as far as far as emotional energy is concerned. Needless to say, I believe that putting 'T' before 'A' is much more functional that the dysfunction that often flows from getting it the other way around. The first of these models is about emotional 'BALANCE' AND IT tries to answer the question as to why I did not adopt the same or similar approaches as my employers in the criminal justice system; the medical profession and in formal learning. For these models, I would like very much for you to get yourself a piece of paper and a pencil and draw the same graphics that I would draw if you were sitting here with me. The drawing is a very simple set of old fashioned scales - like the ones represented on the statue over the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
The graphic helps to clarify the concept of 'keeping life in balance' as well as identifying the basic techniques of balance.
On the left hand of the scales you could draw a letter 'D' which represents problems,Downward Drag, Dysfunction, Downward pressure, Depression etc.
On the other side of the scales you could put a 'U' to represent all those things that are Uplifting and the opposite of Drags.
Now we come to explaining two different strategies for trying to keep a balance when there are more drags than uplifts. The first strategy is the use of 'props'.
I would ask you to illustrate this on your drawing by sketching a stick figure underneath the 'Drag' side of the scales. The use of 'PROPS' is widespread in the medical profession when people complain of problems because they are treated with pills, surgery, etc, which, at best, tend to be short-term solutions to long-term problems. Once the 'props' are taken away, there instantly become an imbalance again, unless a different strategy is learned in the meantime. I also view formal , Curriculum-based learning as a 'prop' in the sense that it tells people to remember answers that have already been worked out, instead of helping people to ask their own questions and find out the answers for themselves. It is, in my view a subtle form of 'bullying' or brainwashing. It leads the 'teachers to the conclusion that only the establishment curriculum is right and any answers that are 'different' are seen as 'wrong'. The criminal Justice System is also a 'prop' on behalf of the established order of things but in that case they use punishment as the prop. Often it only works at the time it is being administered, just like the other props.
I usually use the analogy of props being like a car jack. The purpose of which, is to quickly and efficiently enable repairs to be undertaken.
If the car-jack is left in position, it is unlikely to help if someone wants to move on in their life's journey.
My theory postulates that there is an alternative strategy, which is much more effective at helping people achieve emotional 'BALANCE' in the longer term. That is SOLAR, short for Self-Organised Living And Reflecting. ( more of that later)
I quite like this illustrative model because it encompasses the concept that keeping balance is a 'delicate' thing as it can oscillate either way in the process of trying to maintain an equilibrium.

When I read your example of taking control of your emotions during your car journey, it put me in mind of this concept of trying to keep a balance by using your own efforts and strengths. This is the sort of thing that needs persistent practice in order to achieve a more advanced skill and a regular healthy emotional balance in life.
Best wishes
Bill
Bill did you want me to see you and lemonlimeviolet is still engaging in conversation?
Bill I sent you 2 messages
Hello Angelicamarie.
Of course, I am delighted for you to be involved with the conversation and I hope you will actively participate as well as just observe. If you observe at how many people have looked in on the blog, you will see that you are not the only one following the conversation but most people are content to just do the reading, rather than compile a reply. Andrea is an active participant because the subject matter is of interest to her and she is trying to change her situation in that regard. It's a bit like the other blogs and forum topics directly related to stomas. The reason some people respond in writing is often because the subject under discussion is particularly pertinent to them, either at the time or in the past.
I got your messages - Thanks and I've replied in one message. I cannot actually send messages myself because this facility is only open to full members, which I am not. My view on most of my own correspondence is that the site is much more likely to stay open and dynamic if the conversations are public. If everyone only sent private messages, then there would be nothing for passive readers to read and we would probably lose some of the newbies. Just a thought!
Best wishes
Bill
Understood
Hello Angelicamarie.
I am amazed that you replied so quickly as I thought you would be fast asleep when my post was published. It's almost as if we are in the 'chat' zone.
I am on my way to work now, so I'm unlikely to reply to anything else this morning
Here's hoping your day goes well for you
Best wishes
Bill
Wishing you day is good Be careful out there!!!!
Hi Bill and Angelicamarie!
This theory is so exciting I'm going to mess up and not even type complete thoughts. Sorry!! Balance is the goal... right...no surprise there...using props? Yes! That's exactly what we do. Not to blame...props are how we TRY. Can't be mad at ourselves about that and your car jack analogy? Exactly! Can't really move forward when we use a prop. They get your flat tire off the road but try to move and you just spin in place! Totally totally totally applies to curriculum based learning. Spit out what they want to hear and you GRADUATE! That Feels uplifting certainly but I've sure heard a lot of graduates say they basically just stuck it out to get that piece of paper. And actually I feel like that. It's more complicated than that but moving on...
Been mulling over the variable of emotional energy INTENSITY levels. How some feel like a constant leak (lower pressure) and others are a (high pressure) blow out. The leaks may actually bear more significantly on drag and dysfunction (D side of the scale)- they just wear you down.
I'm happily anticipating the next step and I expect when we get to your strategy for solarization I will be equally fascinated! Thank you very much for continuing to share all of this. I think it's terrific.
All the best,
Andrea
How are you today lemonlimeviolet? Bill is definetly talented !!!! Have a great day friend or shall I say evening.
I'm fine Angelicamarie Thank you so much for asking! It's a good day indeed when a new hope is on the horizon. You have a lovely evening as well. Take care!
Hey friend











Bill hi , you're probably sleep, however I just wanted to wish you have a great day . And that you get a lot done!!! Angelicamarie

Hello Andrea.
I'm pleased that you appreciated the 'BALANCE' concept. Before we move to the next concept I would like to try helping you think about the intensity aspect a little more deeply as it need not be quite how you describe it. The triggering under high pressure does indeed feel like an uncontrolled emotional 'blowout' and is therefore not recommended. As a strategy, this approach is often not a good way to learn about how to control emotions and it tends to be repeated time and again. Dealing with the things that create the pressure, as they come along, gives people the opportunity to examine and 'Think' about what is happening , so that they can reduce the pressure without it overwhelming them. It then does not build up inside to present a problem when next 'triggered'. This 'leaking', as you describe it, can be controlled and dealt with as it occurs, so should be viewed as an 'OPPORTUNITY' to practice thinking and controlling emotions. Every small opportunity to practice becomes a positive experience,(an Uplift) instead of a Drag.
I would like to provide an example from my own ongoing experience:
Sitting on the toilet and irrigating for a couple of hours every night, at first was a very real and potent Drag. It was emotionally exhausting because I RESENTED EVERY MINUTE of wasting my time in this way. The more I had to do it the more resentment built up, until I 'T'hought of a possible solution to distract my emotion onto positive thinking. I started using the time to write. At first it was rhyming verse - all about my stoma problems- which forced me to be analytical about them in a logical rather than an emotional way. After I had come to the end of the things I NEEDED TO SORT OUT IN THAT FIELD, I started using the time to write fictional novels. At first, these were also in rhyming verse, but that is quite a difficult way to write a storyline so after three books, I decided to try writing in prose and I'm now on my third novel in this genre. Sometimes I'm so engrossed in what I'm writing, that I spend more time on the loo than I need to and I'm completely resentment-free because I' distracting my thoughts onto something I consider to be productive and worthwhile in terms of controlling my unwanted, uncontrolled emotions.
The point of the example is to show that negatives/ Drags can be converted into positives /Uplifts as long as you can THINK your way through to that sort of solution.
Best wishes
Bill
Hello Angelicamarie.
Thanks for your kind comments and your well wishing. You always bring a brightness to the conversation that sets me up with a positive attitude to start the day. Maybe it seems like a small gesture, but it is very much appreciated.
Best wishes
Bill
I rec'd your message about you work with the elderly and the handicap, it is rewarding as long as your not emotional. I couldn't do it. I worked in a nursing home because my next step was nursing . I was good with the patients but got to attached. So whatever time you have left keep writing!!! Take care angelica
Hello Angelicamarie.
You sound as if you are well suited to the caring professions as you obviously 'cared' both for and about the people who you were helping. Attachment, is not a bad set of emotions and can be very positive. What you describe as 'Too much' attachment, is probably not seen as wrong from the receiver's point of view. It only becomes a problem when the relationship is disrupted or lost. At which time, a combination of other emotions come into play, which we sometimes call ' the mourning process'. Many people do not know how to handle such an impact of uncontrolled emotions all coming at the same time, or soon after one another, which is understandable because they are often so overwhelming. However, they are also frustrating for the person that is left behind much more than the person who has left. I would therefore postulate that these emotions are somewhat egocentric. They can be managed relatively effectively, if the person takes time to THINK things through in a rational fashion and not let the emotional side take full control.
I have never been an advocate of suppressing emotions, but of managing the energy contained within them and making it work for you rather than against. This is the aim and purpose of most of my theories surrounding the subject of 'emotions' so I hope you will keep following the concepts to see if any of them make sense for you.
Best wishes
Bill
I also note that we have had almost 600 views on this particular blog so, presumably there are quite a few people reading it who have chosen not to join in the conversations by posting themselves. I hope that they all get something from the discussion and that they can feel free to chip-in if they want to.
Best wishes to you all
Bill
Right! Let's get back to the subject of uncontrolled emotions.
My next mini-theory was developed because many (if not all) of the people I worked with had 'suffered' with uncontrolled/ dysfunctional emotions for so long that it could be described as a 'chronic' condition. The internal pressure that this created often lead to depression at various degrees of intensity and depth.
It was part of my role to assess how likely people were to commit suicide. The 'official' approach to this was to use the Beck Depression Inventory created by Aaron T. Beck, which is a 21-question multiple-choice self-report inventory.==== Far to unwieldy from my point of view and it did not create a constructive conversation between us. so I developed a simple model of my own to measure the same concept.
I drew two dots at the ends of a line some distance apart and put the words 'BIRTH at one end and death at the other.

BIRTH o-------------------------------------------o DEATH
Life/Living

I would also explain that my area of expertise lay between these two points and I could not speculate about pre-birth or afterlife. Although there are plenty of others who would be happy to comment on those aspects.
By drawing the line in this way, an opportunity arises to point out that there is no definite length of time to the life line. If someone dies prematurely, then the line still remains from birth tot death.
I used to ask people to mark a point on that line where they thought they were. Invariably, they would guess at a point that represented their chronological age. It also was a very good indicator as to whether they were seriously contemplating suicide, as those people would put themselves very close to the point of death on the line.
I will not enter into a discussions on the rights and wrongs of suicide because everybody is different and each person has a right to their own opinions on these matters. My purpose in using this model was to identify how close they were to death and thus, how urgent the need was for some sort of intervention. The model also was a useful link to the next mini-theory which would show them more precisely some of the possible or probable reason's for them being the way that they were and feeling the way that they did.
More of that in the next model.
Best wishes
Bill
When you have time we'll see friend
Angelicamarie
Hi Bill and Angelicamarie,
Bill thank you very much for sharing your personal experiences. This manner of explanation is incredibly gracious. It truly brings us to a more substantial understanding of the concepts you are introducing. To be as engaged in this life and in the manner you describe yourself to be invokes admiration. You are innovative, inventive, caring and genuine. I suspect this bit of praise might not be your cup of tea -but I am so grateful to be in this place at this time reading this and wanted you to know.
I'll work backward from your last two posts because the topic of suicide is a giant attention getter. I will only speak for myself and I know that probably goes without saying but I just want to be clear about that and leave no question of arrogance or presumption. But the healing potential of your theories in action holds such fantastic implication for our community here that I hope my impression is of some use.
Waking up with a colostomy is one of the most bizarre things that I ever experienced. Taking care of this little lifesaver stretched my sanity and had me walking around for weeks like a deer in headlights-shaking my head with eyes wide in amazement and mouth sort of hanging open. It's not that I was completely unfamiliar with ostomies or freaked out by them- when I was 18 I met a woman in her 40s at my place of employment who was to become one of the best mentors I ever had and she had an ileostomy. She was also a real talented seamstress and had a side business called "VIP"- "Very Intimate Personals"- and she made really nice custom men's and women's underwear for folks with ostomies. She started out sewing stuff for her to wear to cover her bag during sex. I'm sure there's an entire industry for these products now but in 1982 she was the only game in town. This was back in the days before the www so she advertised in health magazines. And her business was booming! I used to help ship orders sometimes and we became very close friends. Also- my grandma had a colostomy so I grew up hearing the gas noises and seeing the different supplies in the bathroom and being careful to only hug on one side and not squeeze too tight.
I only bring this up to perhaps demonstrate that my personal reaction to having an ostomy and how it changed the way I felt about myself (vulnerable) and how I perceived the world (scarier) was an entity of the whole experience that left me stunned and unbalanced. A recipe for depression, anxiety, panic, you name it. So the concepts and models you developed Bill mean a great deal. We all need a strategy to achieve personal happiness. The reasons for one's reactions are elusive and a model for identifying why we are the way we are or feel the way we do holds great potential.
I often think about the first time it ever occurred to a surgeon to save someone's life by pulling a healthy section of intestine out of their abdomen. Now THAT I think was some ingenious lateral Thinking!
Back now to "working on drags and uplifts". With the big Thanksgiving holiday looming next week there are some issues in the wings that I considered needed a bit of thought. Holidays are just tough. Even if you have a 'perfect' situation with loved ones available and engaged-something or someone usually dinks it up. (Borrowed your word). I already anticipate some high emotions so I made a list. I started with pros and cons as headings. Then I changed that to "drags" and "uplifts". I found that I could record a lot more stuff under the "U" column. So that felt good-although I may not be identifying things appropriately yet-but it's a start. And yep I have a couple of things in the "D" column as well. But it's not a 1:1 ratio is it? I suspect those Ds have enough emotional energy potential to cause an unwanted release. I am "heads up" on them already though. That counts for something very desirable. The proof will be in the pudding....
Best Regards and Wishes,
Andrea
Hello Andrea.
I do so love reading your posts as it is clear that you are genuinely thinking about these concepts and what they might mean to you. I also admire the sorts of people you talk about, that were pioneers in doing the surgeries and in helping people to cope when they had surgery done to them. You are obviously very knowledgeable about what people go through having a stoma both physically and emotionally. This gives you the background to help others in their coping strategies. It is my belief that there will be people reading these posts who may or may not identify with what I am saying but, will almost certainly warm to the graphic descriptions of experience that you are writing about. My words are just theory, whereas yours paint a picture of practice as it is happening. This is priceless in terms of helping people to learn about themselves.
I will continue with the next model as soon as I have the time available. If you just keep thinking about these things as you are doing, I am confident that you will master the skills necessary to manage and control emotions in no time at all.
Best wishes
Bill
Reading this is like reading a story the way you break it down bill thanks how was your day, or should I say how's your evening? I really enjoy communicating with you my friend
What a nice thing to say. How unexpected. I enjoy communicating with both of you (all of you out there). Thank you for reading what I post. Please please please do not feel obligated to reply! But Please DO respond if you want to say anything at all. Above all please be WELL and know that your kindness is very deeply felt and appreciated. Also...if it's not imposing...I could use a good novel. The holidays always roll better after a few hours with my nose in a book. No obligation or pressure...might you be willing to share perhaps a favorite title...or a creative offspring of your own?
In gratitude,
Andrea
Thank you for responding it was like you understood what i felt. Take care angelica
Goodmorning my friend cause I don't know if it's night
or day there so good morning I hope you have a pleasant day, and continue writing bill.


Angelicamarie
Hello Angelicamarie.
Thanks for your posts. There is really no way of telling what time the messages were sent as it only gives us the dates. It's 06:00hrs in the morning here on the 18th November, at the time I'm writing this so It's a day later than when you wrote yours.
I note from your private message that you want me to pass on your regards to Lemonlimeviolet/Andrea. However, it looks as if your communications on this blog are coming through okay so I am confident that she will get the message without me writing separately on your behalf.
Best wishes
Bill
Hello Andrea.
I thought I needed to respond to you asking about favourite books. I only started reading books about a year or so ago and I had absolutely no preference of my own in that regard.( I just take them off the shelf at random) I was brought up believing that the dictionary was the best book to read because all the words are in there and you only have to shuffle them into the right order and you have your own book. It's a bit like a jigsaw puzzle in words where you piece together whatever story you want until the thing is complete.
As for my own efforts. So far I have not really been writing them for an external audience but more as a distraction form the drudgery of stoma maintenance. If I had your email address I could send an attachment with the script and you could read them that way for free. I do not have full membership, so I cannot message you privately but I can and do answer messages that others have sent me.
Best wishes
Bill
BACK TO EMOTIONS:
The last model was a simple Birth to death concept which is easy enough to grasp but simplicity often does not paint a comprehensive enough picture to explain anything much.
The next concept tries to show that the journey of life rarely runs in a straight line.
In this mini-model 'life' is portrayed as a spiral,(like a spring) where each repetition where each repetition of the spiral may or may not look the same but as the journey moves on and involves movement in time, there can never be an identical spiral.
I use the graphic of the spiral to share the theory that the first revolution of an emotional developmental spiral could represent the years from 0 to about 7/10yrs. This first spiral is almost certainly the 'pattern maker' for future revolutions of the spiral.
The image of the spiral leads directly from the birth-death line but it also reflects a similarity with the double helix model of DNA which is someone else's theory of life.
By referring to the spiral I can encourage people to identify at what age their emotional development has been stopped, stunted, damaged etc. ( I called this the AED score-Age of Emotional Damage)Invariably this coincides with early childhood and experiences of parenting but other things, such as trauma later in life can also have similar effects on emotions.
The second cycle of the spiral represents roughly the years 7 - 20years which are described as 'teenage' years. Expectations are that hormones are changing rapidly and emotions are chaotic. If the child was not taught how to control and manage their emotions in the first period, then they are unlikely to learn it in adolescence. In the next cycle, after 20yrs. the person is assumed to be an 'adult' and should know these things. My theory states that if the child is not taught at the beginning and is allowed to do their own thing in adolescence, how can they be expected to have learned what they need to about emotions by the time they reach adulthood. The patterns/ habits of lacking emotional control are, by then fairly fixed - so without help, they are likely to remain stable (or unstable) for the rest of the person's life.
My spin-off theory in this regard is that our 'society' is run by manipulative, greedy people, who have a vested interest in the bulk of the population having little or no control over their emotions. People act on their 'instincts' without thinking first. It becomes easy for the people in the world of commerce to persuade these people to buy stuff that that do not need when these people act before they think things through.
The theories surrounding this concept involve many day to day examples which there is not time to elaborate here - but I'm sure you get the idea.
Best wishes
Bill
I omitted to mention politicians, who also have a vested interest in the mass of people being told what they should think, instead of encouraging people to think for themselves.
Best wishes
Bill
Hi bill, how are you today, I had some appts, don't feel to good think I caught cold from,some nasty butt. I say that because some people will come to church and cough their heads off on you!!! Instead of staying home and tending to the cold.so much for that . How was your day friend? Hoping you had a good day and definitely wishing you and your family a safe and great weekend!!!! Angelicamarie
Heck bill as soon as I send you a message, item posted out there
Hello Angelicamarie.
Thank you for your good wishes and I hope the same for you and your own family.
Sorry to hear you have a cold. Wherever people gather together they are likely to spread their germs. If it's not in church, then it's somewhere else like the supermarket where they cough all over the food that someone else is going to buy after they've gone. It is not surprising that epidemics spread so quickly in our modern societies as some people have little or no consideration for others. However, in the context of practicing how to control emotions; With these types of irritations/ frustrations, there are several ways to turn the concept around in order to make it a more positive experience.
When people are ill, they tend to look for comfort and understanding from empathetic 'others'. Many folks go to the doctor's, hoping that they will get this emotional support from them. What they usually get is a prescription for medication that does little for their emotional needs. If they come to church, one suspects that they are looking for emotional support from their fellow worshipers or from the God that they pray to. It is perhaps a good thing that these places exist in order to cater for that need when people are ill. Otherwise, where else would they go in order to satisfy that need?
Another way of perceiving this, is that not everyone is affected by these sorts of illnesses, even though theyare constantly exposed to the germs. Research has shown that people are more likely to become ill if their immune system is depleted or they are emotionally unstable(maybe the two are linked). those people who HAVE A POSITIVE OUTLOOK ON LIFE are less likely to get the colds and, if they do, the effects tend to be less dramatic. It has been found that the negative affects of illness are more acute for those who have a negative outlook. This negativity is invariably linked with a person's emotional state and their ability to control that.

More of this later but, as I understand it, Jesus did not hesitate to get upfront and personal in tending to people with contagious illnesses such as leprosy. I have not read anywhere that he suffered himself as a result, but he set an example as somebody with a positive attitude towards helping others with the affliction. An example to us all maybe?
Best wishes
Bill
BACK TO THE THEORIES:
Having established that life is a journey from birth to death that we are all on whether we like it or not.
My next mini-theory involves explaining the simple concept of how important it is to 'look where your are going' whilst on the move. People who have become emotionally dysfunctional because OF PAST experiences, have a tendency to focus their attention on the past rather than the future. I have several ways to get the message across that it is more functional to look in the direction you are travelling (the future) rather than looking backwards when you are in fact travelling the other way. The first way of illustrating this was to draw a picture of two faces, one pointing to the past and one to the future. The second was a practical demonstration of what happens in the scenario where people don't look where they are going.
I place a chair in the middle of the two imaginary points which are described as 'Birth' on the one hand and 'Death' on the other. I explain that the 'chair' represents a problem or obstacle in the journey from birth to death. I start at the 'birth' point and start walking backwards towards the chair, whiclt inviting the observer to guess what is going to happen when I reach the problem/ obstacle. By the time I have finished the sentence, I have CRASHED INTO THE CHAIR and come to a standstill on my journey. I then repeat the process, but this time I face the way I am travelling. It becomes obvious, but I still explain, that if I'm looking towards the future I will almost certainly see the obstacles before crashing into them. This will give me the options of avoiding them by going to one side or the other, or actually moving the obstacle so that it is no longer blocking my path.
Seeing the problems and having the time to THINK about them before you crash into them seems a much more sensible approach to enable a person to make rational choices about what they need to do to stay in control of the situation.
In the process of enabling people to control their own life, emotions and destiny, it is useful to explain what I am 'not trying to do' as well as being clear as to what my aims are. I do not use the techniques of some psycho-therapists, who concentrate their efforts to help people to look back on their past. I usually refer back to concept (1) to explain that my perception of people relying on psycho-therapy is akin to using a 'prop' and, unless they get better and move on, the prop is more of a hindrance than a help.
I often use the analogy of a driver making a journey in a car. Most 'functional' drivers will make sure they look forward if they are in motion and use their mirror to 'reflect' on what is happening behind them. @reflection is, therefore, seen as important but should not be so distracting that the focus on the journey ahead is neglected.
I did explain at the beginning of this discussion, that most of the people that were referred to me were at the end of the line in terms of 'therapy'. Most had not benefitted from psycho-therapy, so this was a way of explaining why this might be so. The point of looking back into one's past is to gain an insight and understanding that will allow you to move on in the journey without having to keep looking back. If the person does not turn around in the process, then the psycho-therapy is ineffective and can actually make things worse because the past is then brought into focus even more.
One of my 'clients' describes it really well when he described his past life as "A heap of shit! Being taken back in time via memory, felt like being dragged back through all that emotional shit, without getting any relief from the symptoms."
The concept of looking forwards, does not discount 'reflection' but advocates having it fully under control, with the aim of avoiding the shit catching up with you. Also, so that you can move on in such a way that you are more likely to leave the shit behind in a 'constructive' and controlled way.
Here endeth the fourth concept!
Best wishes
Bill
Hi bill people will positive attitudes get sick, I try to look at things in a positive way, however when I'm sick I don't go out why spread it, I don't like how I feel so why give it to someone else? How are you today/ or this afternoon? You said you wasn't a member but you are you won membership!!!!
Will should be with bill sorry, I know it don't bother you thank you for being human!!!!! Bill sometime before I'm finished it's out there well hell why talk and send a message if it's taken right away and shown to all . Should just send it to all and not a particular person
The reason you send it to particular people it's somewhat a comfort zone .
Hello Angelicamarie.
I do understand how you feel about sick people spreading their germs about and it is good to think of others in these situations. However, some people do not have that sense of social responsibility and I was trying(unsuccessfully) to point out that there can be other ways of viewing their choices.
As for the messaging service; I do keep getting notes to say that I have free membership and yet when I have tried to send a message the service is not available to me. Because I don't often have the urge to use it I just carry on as if I don't have the membership. Obviously, I will still reply to any messages sent to me through that route but I must admit that most correspondence takes place in the open forum or on the blogs. I hope that you received my replies to your past messages and I will always reply to any sent I future.
Best wishes
Bill
Understood bill
Hi Bill and Angelicamarie,
Bill once again I'm finding a ton of useful, logical, and applicable perspective in your theories. They are very well-rounded aren't they? I confess that I do struggle when I try to subscribe to the premise that humans are devious. But I am getting there. I would never ever classify you as a devious person. Quite the opposite in fact. But I remember the first response you posted when I thanked you for posting GRATITUDE and the conversation turned to the element of "selfishness ". (A component of deviousness perhaps)I hope this is coming across properly. My goal is to show that the way that I think is changing. Also the amount of time I spend thinking is increasing a lot. I am curious about the source of deviousness in humans. Is it always lurking somewhere in the mind-even at the tiniest level of severity? (Rhetorical question)
It's not something I could easily convince myself exists within either of you kind folks. But in order to achieve the skill needed for emotional control I feel some terms need a new definition for my mind.
I'm also so glad your philosophical road included the next logical supportive theory regarding "looking forward" because I know I didn't learn emotional control by the time I was 5 and the thought of analyzing nearly 50 years of my past life for the 'fix' was a mealy proposition at best. Thank God one need not pursue that!
I believe it's important not to skip any of the theories however it takes time and thought to assimilate them properly for my psyche. Thank you very much Bill for sharing all these theories with such relatability. (Totally made up word- I think?)
Angelicamarie - I'm real sorry to hear you are under the weather. My advice for beating a cold is to eat chicken broth/soup. Dont ask me why because I have no idea why-but if you can get your hands on a bowl of soup please dig in and Get Well Soon!

On a personal note-I wanted to let you know that a dear friend was admitted to a hospice facility today so I'm distracted and please forgive me if my post is disorganized or unclear. He's not afraid. It's incredible. But time is running out quickly.
All the best,
Andrea
Oh Andrea I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, you must be close to him, hold your head high unfortunately we can't change the outcome of dome things but I will keep you and you friend in my prayers I pray for your strength. Try and have a pleasant nightlll angelica
Andrea i mispelled a word dome was meant to be some things sorry for the error!!!
Hello Angelica.
Pleas do not feel you need to apologise for spelling mistakes as almost 80% of language is pretty redundant. so as we read, our minds fill in the gaps and mistakes as if they were not there. It's just one of the many wonders of the human brain. In computer terms I think they call it 'fuzzy-logic'.
Best wishes
Bill
Hello Andrea.
Thanks for your post and for sharing your sad news about your friend. I have had a few people admitted to hospices in the past and every one of them have commented on how comforting and good they were in these difficult times. Two of them (who had problems controlling their emotions) shared with me (confidentially) that being in the hospice had been the best time of their lives. They were looked after with the love, affection and caring, that they had been seeking all their lives. Surely, nobody could ask for a better recommendation than that. He will appreciate that people are thinking of him and wishing him well. ( or at least hoping he is not suffering too much) This is a good opportunity for you to THINK about what you can do to make his last days as pleasant as they can possibly be, rather than becoming emotionally upset/ disturbed/ dysfunctional. The AIMS for today list that I mentioned earlier is a great, logical format for achieving this, especially the first aim 'To be there' for someone. Now, back to the theories:
I like the word 'relatability' and it does not matter a jot if it's made-up because it's perfectly understandable. 'Stickability' is another such word that I tend to use with regard to practicing the control of emotions because they are likely to spring up at anytime. In response to your query about whether deviousness is always lurking. for now, I would encourage you to think about deviousness as a behavioural manifestation of an emotion/instinct. This behaviour does not emerge from all humans when they want to get their own way. Some humans do not act on their instincts but THINK things through and choose a different path. In order to address this very point, I have developed a much more complex model that I called an 'OWN_WAY LIST'. Tis theory helps me to place people in categories of predictable behaviour patterns even in the midst of chaotic emotions and lifestyles. However, I think that explaining the complexity of that model at this point would be a mistake, as it would be too much to try to take in before you fully grasp and internalise some of the mini-models. So, if you could bear with me on that one, I will come back to it at a later date, when it will be much easier for you to assimilate.
From the replies you send to us, it sounds as if you are doing really well in practising your thinking skills and, although at times it may seem difficult, if you keep at it, in the long-term it will become second-nature to you. Just like any other learned skill, like walking, driving, etc, once you have the basic skills, with further practice, you can do it 'with your eyes closed'. The trick is to get those basic skills under your belt so that as you move to more complex stuff, it all has a firm foundation on which to build.
Your point about NOT wanting to analyse 50 years of your past life is one that came up time and time again with people after I pointed out that under 5yrs was probably when the problem began and when it should have been resolved. I would like to tell you that, if you had been here with me, rather than on a computer, all of these mini-models would have been explained to you within the space of a 2 hour intensive introduction. This way you would not have had time to worry about whether you would be expected to relive your past emotional experiences because the mini-models would have been so close together that it would be obvious that reliving your past was unnecessary. Also, the reason I normally like to get all these mini-models explained quickly, is they are only the groundwork / foundation for building a pattern of thinking that will stand people in good stead for the rest of their thinking lives. The models are only important when they are all linked together and make sense in terms of logical reasons for choosing to THINK for oneself, rather than have your emotions control your actions and subsequent thinking.
I'm so glad you are still with us regarding the theories as it might give you a useful distraction as you cope with the pre-death grieving process regarding your friend.
Best wishes
Bill
Bill I read what you wrote to rag doll a loner with a stoma simply to the point ,your such a good writer bill. Angelicamarie
Hello Angelicamarie.
Thank you once again for your kind comments, even if they are relating to a different blog. Interestingly, your post prompted me to re-read the correspondence on the blog 'A Loner With a Stoma' and many of the points I was trying to make there about people acting on their instincts with out thinking things through in a logical and rational manner are just as pertinent to the discussion we are having here. Sometimes acting on instinct can be so ridiculously wrong ,that it beggars belief that people continue with the strategy over and over. However, thinking about it a bit more, emotions/ instincts are, by definition, 'irrational' so we should not be surprised if there is little or no rational logic supporting the action of those who act on it.
As for the writing. I never had a proper basic education and I had to teach myself how to write when I was well into my twenties. At first I decided that it was not a worthwhile pursuit so I employed someone to type my thoughts out for me. After a while, I thought I would/could teach myself to type and use a word processor to correct any obvious errors. I have been practicing my writing skills and trying to improve ever since. Sometimes I feel I'm doing okay, other times I can perceive in my writing that the basics I taught myself were inadequate and the amateurish nature of the effort would show through. However, this has never really bothered me too much as I detach myself from the embarrassing bits and tell myself that I have come quite a long way with these skills, considering I had a disadvantaged start.
It's a bit like the poor start people have in learning emotional control skills. Once we realise what has gone wrong, then by Self-Organised Living and Reflecting (SOLAR)and sticking at it, we can metamorphose into whatever we want to be in spite of others trying to put blocks in our way.
Best wishes
Bill
Bill pat yourself on th back then you self taught yourself , some went to school but you cant tell. I think you great writing skills. Good night angelicamarie
I think you have great writing skills . Correction from the above message to u bill
Hello Angelicamarie.
Thank you for your kind comments. I do not think my writing skills are 'great' yet but it is, as they say, 'a work in progress' and with time, patience and practice, I feel I am getting better at it. Mind you, I don't know where I would be without a keyboard and a word processor, as I still cannot write very well with a pen.
Best wishes
Bill
BACK TO CONCEPTS RELATING TO LIFE'S JOURNEY:
The next mini-model links with all the previous ones but extends then to cover the concepts of 'drift', aims, choices and plans.
I draw a 'route-map' graphic of the journey between birth and death with lots of binary junctions where there is a choice between following the 'right' path or the left(wrong). The discussion surrounding this graphic reiterates some of the concepts already illustrated but goes on to make the point that if you have (or create) destinations, goal, aims along a path to the ultimate destination then the journey tends to become more functional, bearable and sometimes even more 'enjoyable'. If there are no mini-destinations, then there is likely tom be 'drift' and the journey becomes chaotic, overwhelming, going around in circles etc.
The left-hand route represents dysfunction and the right represents functionality. If the person is already embarked upon the dysfunctional path it is usually because they have, for some reason chosen, or been obliged to make the wrong choices in the direction of their journey. If they prefer to be emotionally functional rather than dysfunctional, then I can point out that by THINKING about being more functional as an aim or goal, then they will begin to make choices that will take then from the left hand path across to the 'right' path.
The concepts and directions are not dogmatic and do not restrict the freedom to change direction if one sees a more preferred direction.
This concept has direct links with the concepts of Self-Organised Living And Reflecting (SOLAR) and the management of counterbalance. However, for those who want a more detailed, reasoned and complex illumination of the same concept, there has been a lot written about Management By Objectives (MBO), which can be a useful tool for those in business to understand and warm to this concept.
Best wishes
Bill
I like clichés because they only become that when they state something absolutely obvious (a'truth'). In the context of our discussion about emotional control. I would choose the following cliché.

'YOU CAN DO ALMOST ANYTHING, IF YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO IT.'

By implication, 'putting your mind to it' is describing logical THINKING. (not acting on emotions).
It also implies that we need to know what it is we want to do - 'A GOAL' and how we want to do it -'A PLAN'.

A thought for today! - have a good one.
Best wishes
Bill
You too bill thanks for responding angelicamarie
Hi Bill and Angelicamarie. Thank you so very much for comforting words and important reminders. I would encourage everyone reading this to please give a chance to putting thoughts before acting on emotions. I wasn't sure I would figure out how to find a way to do it but I can sometimes and it's brought me such a wonderful feeling of stability in difficult times. Bill I think this method of reading the theories and concepts in very small doses is absolutely fortunate. The time between pondering how to THINK in a new way is beneficial to me. Thoughts are constantly banging around up there bashing in to walls and trajecting (my word) on paths that seem to have nothing to do with the original course. Organization by what I have learned is easier to do because I can keep going back to concepts that you laid out very clearly. And I'm not overwhelmed or extra confused by too much information too soon that I didn't grasp. Maybe everyone even thinks at a different pace. Thank you for your generosity of time and patience and for continuing to share the theories. I had such a lovely visit with my friends at the Hospice yesterday. I think I did some TEA. I think I hit my aim of acting more like a service dog then an emotional catalyst?? My thoughts were very analytical before I walked in the room. Things made sense.
More later. Sorry I'm in the midst of a very unexpected volume of sick friends. I have a lot more thoughts to share once I can organize them. Regarding your posts referring to your "writing life" Bill. It's fascinating. I mean I'm sort of stunned. Yours isn't the type of story one hears of ever really. I think your brain power is beyond unique! It's ...well it's ...fascinating.
All the best to you!
Andrea
Hello Lemonlimeviolet.
Thank you so much for posting a reply as I look forward to reading them very much. I is so interesting to read how someone is getting along with the theories at a practical level. Usually this happens in vocal conversational form but it is just as potent when you write a bout it as you obviously have a good grasp of what's going on and you explain yourself very well.
'Making sense' is really what it is all about and you seem to be doing just great in that department. If you can THINK about the scenario before you enter into it (like the hospice) then you can be infinitely more useful to the patients than if you act emotionally, because then the patients feel they have to cater for your emotional needs as well as their own. The 'Aims for today' list was precisely as you describe the service dog approach. The entire exercise focuses attention on the best relationship that can be achieved and that is one between the emotional 'pet' and it's human partner. I look forward to hearing some more of your thoughts as and when you find the time to write.
As for my 'writing life', I don't think it really shows unique brain power as I believe that almost everybody has a powerful and unique brain - (most of them are underusing theirs). What is perhaps unique to me, is that I have had to Self- Organise my life with little help from those who should have been 'there'. However, this lack of outside help and support has motivated me to formulate my theories surrounding SOLAR (Self-Organised Living And Reflecting) so it can't be all bad! It also helped me to 'make-sense' of the way the education system and other societal systems decide that people who think differently should be brought into line or punished. However, that is a wholly different set of theories which would probably confuse the conversation we are engaged in at present, so I'll stick to the 'emotional control' set first.
Best wishes
Bill
CONCEPT 6 : DIGGING HOLES.
The graphic for this concept is a simple stick figure, holding a spade, in a hole.
There are several points to be made using this concept.
The first is that life’s emotional journey does not necessarily go in a straight line or have binary choices. It is multidimensional and sometimes, as we all know, it can have its ups and downs. (a hole is a form of down).
I usually attribute the concept to Edward de Bono, who talked about ‘academics’ digging themselves holes, encouraging others to join them in the digging. The result being, that they tend to get deeper and deeper into their own holes so that they quickly and effectively restrict their horizons and cannot visualise beyond. The deeper the hole,the harder it is to climb out of.
My theory goes like this:
IN A HOLE - - - -

1)It is difficult to manage and maintain a life ‘balance’ when you are in a hole.
2) The flow and the journey forwards is impeded if you are going downwards.
3) Once the horizon is lost, it could be said that they have disappeared into their own hole.
This also links to the previous concept where people can go round and round in circles and get nowhere in a hole
4) In a hole - The perspective looking backwards becomes much the same as looking forwards and get people nowhere.
5) Destinations, goals and choices can be severely restricted if you’re in a hole.

NOTE: The process of continually reflecting on previously accepted mini-models tends to lend credibility to what has been described as ‘grounded theory’ . It assists in leading people stage by stage towards the ultimate goal of Self- Organised Living And reflecting. ( SOLAR)

Just another thought!
Sorry! I almost forgot to add the important cliché.

"IF YOU ARE IN A HOLE ----STOP DIGGING!"
Hi Bill and Angelicamarie,
A fantastically positive uplift that has happened as a result of practicing the concepts I've learned here so far is a significant decrease in "being exhausted ". I mention this because after the first 2 or 3 days attempting to conjure logical thoughts before I acted on the emotions I was experiencing I had posted here that I "felt exhausted ". Well the opposite is starting to happen. I was at the hospice last night until midnight and when I woke up this morning as I started to think about my day and plan some sequencing options for possible scenarios with my friends, kids, and husband I felt a little weary and (maybe "fell in a hole?") and considered it might just be easier just for one day... to skip this business of "planning TEAs" and "take the day off".
But almost as soon as I considered that- it occurred to me that the "stressful" times had been going so much more smoothly lately so why mess with success? So I thought some more about how in particular "being nonjudgmental" when the conversation got weird or heavy last night- not only helped me feel balanced- but it sure didn't hurt the atmosphere in the room with my friends either. Our dying friend isn't "awake" anymore but he can still hear us. They say that is the last thing to go. And I wasn't being "holier then thou". I really "aimed" for "service dog" responses. I'm going to use the name "Marley" for my role model for 10 daily aims. Acting like Marley feels really nice. It doesn't feel like a martyr or a "know it all".
That whole "conversation " with myself made me feel more capable and strong. Not exhausted in the least! Curious to me always is how to stop myself from sabotaging progress made. What incites us to start digging that damm hole? What's the possible payoff? Ah...maybe it doesn't matter one lick! Maybe there's never going to be an answer to that. The reason for the hole doesn't matter as long as you can pop out of it?
Im not actually identifying "holes" properly yet- but a good outcome from considering this concept nonetheless.
Thank you for the kind words about my posts because sometimes I am embarrassed by the volume of "I,I,I's" and "me,me,me's". One hope is that the personal graphics help illustrate the benefits of this fascinating process.
SOLAR is a proven method for emotional balance. I agree with the saying "necessity is the mother of invention" (is that a cliche?) So logically then "necessity" is the Principal thing. But...depending on the circumstances....and in your case...also heartbreaking.
All the best to you,
Andrea
Hello Lemonlimeviolet.
I just love our posts and the way you are able to describe your thought processes,feelings and logic.
One point that I would like to make is that 'exhaustion' can come about either with the energy used up with wayward emotions or the energy used in logical thinking. If the emotional energy is present, it needs to be used or dissipated. Allowing emotions to dictate the emotional flow is likely to be exhausting and unproductive/ dysfunctional. Whereas using logic tends to lead to outcomes that you can examine and feel that they have been a positive experience. I would suggest that this leaves you with a much better feeling about yourself and therefore you might not feel quite so tired as an after effect.
I do like the concept of 'Marley' for two reasons:
1) there is a great book called 'Marley and me' which is all about a Jack Russell terrier who has a mind of its own.
2) It reminds me of Bob Marley, who was an independent thinker if ever there was one.
Now we come to a topic that you have touched upon which sums up my own approach to helping people think logically for themselves. You talk about a 'conversation with yourself'.
My overarching theory asserts that these inner conversations are particularly important in Self Organising and Reflecting. However, people who act on emotions are much more likely to let their emotions dictate that inner conversation then those who THINK it through. I have developed a theory and practice which helps people to make these inner conversations ''constructive'. Hence, I have called them 'Constructive Conversations'. I don not want to go into detail about this theory just yet as there are a few more mini-models to get through. However, suffice it to say that constructive conversations are also derived from what I learned about 'Marley', so the logic should not be hard for you to grasp once we get around to explaining it.
You mention about being able to 'pop out of the hole' as being important. I would suggest that an even better option is to recognise these holes before you step into them, so that you can avoid them altogether.
Whenever you start feeling that you want a rest from all this thinking, I WOULD URGE YOU TO REMEMBER THAT IT IS A 'SKILL' you are learning and skills need practice in order to perfect them. The beauty of 'thinking' is that the more you do, the easier it becomes, until eventually it can replace emotions as the first response. At that point it has become internalised and second-nature. One of the most effective ways of learning new skills is to teach others. So, if you come across people who are 'suffering' with emotional control issues, then there is a great opportunity for you to share what you have learned.
Don't worry about the 'I's and the 'me's in any of our conversations because 'you' are the only person that I would like for you to concentrate on while you are in the process of controlling you own emotions. Your 'worry' about what you write is probably a simple a reflection of wanting to do the 'right' thing for other people. If you treat 'worry' like you would any other emotion and think your way through it, you will undoubtedly find your own answers.
NB: Of course you would agree with the cliché 'necessity is the mother of invention' - because clichés have that element of common sense and truth that we all relate to. Otherwise they would not attain the status of 'cliché'. Someone THOUGHT about them sufficiently to come up with a cliché that we can all relate to.
Keep posting your thoughts - I love them.
Best wishes
Bill
Hello Lemonlimeviolet.
I have to make a correction to my reasons for liking the concept of 'Marley'. Coincidentally, the question arose on a quiz show the minute I finished writing my post. The book 'Marley and me' was in fact about a Labrador - not a Jack Russell. The book I mistook it for was 'DUDLEY - the worst dog in the world'. Sorry for the misinformation but it's been a long time since I read it and my memory isn't what it used to be. Or rather it is - as my memory has always been dreadful. Just as well I' able to 'think' things out and not rely so much on memory.
Best wishes
Bill
7. A THEORY OF ‘ARGUMENT’: PERMEABLE BOUNDARIES/ DEGREES OF REFLECTION.
Have you ever noticed that when some people argue, they can get emotionally involved to the point of ridiculousness?
This concept tries to address this phenomenon in a less emotional and more logical way so that we can appreciate what may be going on during such an argumentative interchange.
Having talked about restricted perspectives in previous models, it seems appropriate to continue with this theme in a slightly different way, by introducing the concept of reflective perspectives.
The graphic used to illustrate the concept is a simple mirror and how effectively it reflects. However, there is a trade-off, a price to pay, an imbalance in perception which accompanies that much reflection. Often, all that is perceived is the reflection itself (the mirror-image). This tends to be a single, narrow image, as perceived by the person doing the looking, rather than a more comprehensive view of the whole situation. The mirror (reflection)becomes a ‘block’ to seeing what may lie beyond it (on the emotional journey in life). I draw a double headed arrow to illustrate that the person’s perspective hits the mirror and reflects/ bounces back to them.
In order to illustrate and emphasise the point and begin to extend it into the upcoming concept of emotion, feeling and thinking. I usually produce a coin (English – but any will do). Stating that I am about to enter an ‘argument’ with them (participants). Holding up the coin with one face towards them and the other towards me, I ask them what they see?
They may venture several different answers but eventually they say either ‘heads’ or ‘tails’. My retort – as if to engage in an argument, is: “ No you don’t!” – Even if I have to do the whole of this bit of the conversation myself for effect, I encourage the pantomime effect of|: “Oh yes I DO!” -- “Oh no you don’t !” etc. ( A bit like the pantomime our politicians act out in the House of Commons on a daily basis) This gives the illusion of the beginning of an argument.
I will then explain how arguments are often perpetuated, not by one or the other side being ‘right’, but by the degree of emotional attachment each side has to their own perspective.
I refer back to the simple graphic and draw an arrow on the end of a line straight through the mirror -illustrating that it need not be a ‘block’ to seeing beyond one’s own mirrored perspective.
Another way that I press home the point is to turn the coin around and ask them what it is they now see? Obviously, it is the other side of the coin. “Try to see the other side of the coin” is a cliché that I will come back to time and time again to remind them if they are not seeing the full range of perspectives on an issue.
I usually spend some time meandering around this concept with comparisons taken from the individual’s own life, family and experiences. Alternatively, I will use it as a simplified, logical explanation for whatever wars are going on in the world at the present time or in the past. With each ‘side’ seeing only their own perspectives
The concept can be useful to explain everyday encounters where people become quarrelsome and can illustrate the tendency that they are UNABLE to have a perspective beyond their own.
The problem of argument is thus portrayed as a combination of a restricted perspective, coupled with uncontrolled emotion. It allows for describing the people who engage in this type of argument as somehow lacking in perceptive ability, being defective, disabled, dysfunctional etc.
This mini-model gives the impression that, avoiding dysfunctional arguments can be as simple as adopting a more comprehensive perspective on the subject matter. It also implies that those who can adopt a more informed overview, will have a better grasp of what is what, compared with the relative ‘ignorance’ encapsulated in the narrow, inflexible perspective .
I believe that this concept has the potential to help people to be more objective in their opinions and avoid getting into unnecessary, unfruitful, dysfunctional discussions with people who only see things from their own perspective.
The main point in relation to emotions is that people who argue in this way, do so because they are being controlled by their emotions rather than logic. The more they invest in an ‘emotional’ argument the more blind they become to rationality. If you recall a previous element of our discussion; ‘Emotions’ are, by definition ‘irrational’. ie. They do not need rational thought to be triggered or acted upon.
I look forward to sharing the next model as soon as I have time to type it up.
Best wishes
Bill
Hi Bill and Angelicamarie,
Thank you so much for reading this but PLEASE skip over and move on whenever your mind finds an interesting or worthy topic or distraction. It's been a tough week. CANCER is everywhere in my life. Rotten luck in too many directions.
Logical Arguments are actually a big passion of mine and I'm very interested in the theory of permeable boundaries. I work for a hospital system in Wisconsin writing appeals for insurance denials on Inpatient claims. And man do I ever love to win. Maybe it paints a picture of me as a competitor but I can assure you I have zero interest in "winning" unless I can beat a giant asshole trying to screw us out of $750 when their CEO brings home $116 million. I know how to identify, fight and win against their invalid arguments.
I get that there is a flip side to the coin....and face value (reflection) is often deceiving. Good and Bad. Every single situation is unique.
In life....in IMPORTANT relationships.,What stumps me...what evades me...is the 'other side of the coin' . Even though I know it's THERE...I don't SEE what it IS.
Thank you so much Bill. You help always...you encourage and compliment and above all share such VALUABLE IDEAS. In a short time I've learned much. I can tell the contributions I've made in the past 5 days to my friends and family have been more comforting than I ever could have managed previously. It's such a big deal to me to have been given this gift. In the past I've tried and buggered it up miserably with "advice" or perspective that came across as a 'know it all'.
(I was visiting my husbands best mate today-in hospital with a worsening lymphoma and I actually cocked my head to the right and blinked my eyes like a cocker spaniel (in companionship) when I had no possible useful response to bad news!)

And there is a "real" Marley in my life! My son's 2 yr old golden retriever/ standard poodle. He is named after Bob Marley! He was a little puppy and best friend to me when I came home from hospital with my ostomy. Shy and suspicious of humans in general... we became fast friends almost immediately and even though we are now separated by a couple of thousand miles... when fortune brings us together it's like we've never been apart! He's a poster boy for 10 daily aims!! He truly is.
All the best to you,
Andrea
Hello Lemonlimeviolet.
Thanks for posting. Far from skipping over any of your writing, I am keen to read every word so that I can absorb the essence of what you say in order that I may understand where your emotional journey has been and where you are now. Visualising the other side of the coin can be difficult for many people until they are actually looking straight at it, but then it is just looking at the mirror image again and not looking through or past it. For now, please just read about these concepts as perhaps being interesting, rather than being something that you should 'master' as a skill. When I have shown you the whole set of 24 I will start to explain how you can have a 'constructive conversation' with yourself which will help to look at things from all sorts of different perspectives. However, the introductory ideas are important to help get you into the right frame of mind for more complex theories later. Also, the more complex theories are in fact simple common-sense so there is no need to worry about not understanding them. It's just that I like to refer back to the models when the questioning starts so it is useful if you have an understanding of those first because they become a sort of shorthand, rather than going through the explanations again.
If you have been part of the process of helping people with claims. then it is no wonder that you are picking up on the concepts so quickly. You will already have the basic skills to think these things through, so in your case, it is probably only a matter of applying the skills you already possess to new situations where you have not applied them before. (maybe because emotions get in the way)You probably have already experienced the phenomenon where it seems much easier to fight for what is right when you are doing it for someone else's benefit. However, it becomes infinitely harder when you are doing it for yourself. The reason for this is usually because focussing on your own circumstances introduces emotions into the equation and it gets in the way of logical thinking. The 'advice-givers' or 'teachers' as I like to call them, often evoke a negative reaction from the listener because they are 'telling' people, rather than encouraging them to think it through for themselves. At the risk of drifting over to theories on education, I believe that 'EDUCTION' is a more effective approach when it comes to emotional issues. 'Eduction' is a defined as a process of 'drawing out'. For this to work we need to believe that people already know the questions and the answers and don't need 'teaching'(Telling) What they need is someone who will listen empathetically enough to draw those questions and answers out from the individual so that 'telling' becomes superfluous.
The 10 'Aims for today' is one of the most effective techniques for assisting this process as they are fundamentally based on what the likes of 'Marley' does within their relationships with humans. They act the part of a true 'friend'. You may be interested to know that much of my research work was done looking at the relationships between humans and their pets, SO I'm REALLY PLEASED THAT YO HAVE GRASPED THE VERY RELEVANT CONNECTION BETWEEN HOW PETS RELATE and how humans 'could' relate, if only they acted like pets. (who incidentally, do not verbalise their communications in words - which can also get in the way sometimes when trying to help practically with emotions!)
I'll keep posting the concepts/mini-models but urge you not to get bogged down with them in your thinking.
Best wishes
Bill
CONCEPT 8. ‘FEELINGS’
In this concept, I try to illustrate that there are two distinct and different sides to cognitive-type feelings.
On one side of feelings are emotions. These are primitive, unlearned, instinctive and often uncontrolled in those who have not learned the skills to manage them.
On the other side of feelings, there are the cognitive aspects of ‘thinking’ which, for the purposes of the model, are separated from emotions and are more associated with words like logic, reasoning, lucidity, common-sense and sensitivity.
NEUTRAL CONCEPTS.
The point about all these concepts is that they are ‘neutral’ unless the individual leans too far one way or the other on a functional-dysfunctional scale.
The graphic for concept 8 puts emotion on the left-hand side , which (according to complementary concepts) may imply that it is more likely to be uncontrolled than ‘thinking’ , which is placed on the ‘right’ – hand side of ‘feelings’.
This is a subliminal suggestion, which may or may not be relevant to any particular individual.
There is a possible confusion arising when the term ‘feeling’ becomes synonymous with emotions, rather than thinking.
This graphic offers the opportunity to clarify the difference between emotions and thinking , helping to explain the reasons for asking the separate questions of "What emotions?” and “What do you think?” This is in preference to asking people the potentially confusing term of “What feelings do you have?”

EMOTIONS FEELINGS THINKING
(unfortunately, these posts do not allow us to draw the graphic, which in this case, is a simple circle around the word 'feelings')
CONCEPT 9--- POLARISATION.
Most of these models will be perceived as familiar, both to partici[ants and professionals in the caring arena. Some useful work has been written of the disadvantages of ‘polarised thinking ‘ and in these introductory stages, this work might be mentioned to complement the models.It can be stated or implied thAT aspects of the models which may be of particular interest to any one person could be pursued (by them) at a later stage in more depth.
Using the ‘polarisation’ model with people suffering from uncontrolled emotions is yet another way of illustrating that they can be leaning too far one way or the other and becoming ‘unbalanced’ –as shown in the previous ‘balance’ graphic.
Some people swing wildly from one extreme (pole) to the other and describe this experience as ‘mood-swings’.
For the purposes of the model and for greater clarity, they can readily recognise this tendency as ‘emotional’ instability or lack of control.
When analysed more closely, it becomes apparent that ‘mood-swings’ rarely result in consistent and ‘functional’ activity, but are likely to reflect the chaotic, disordered, impulsive types of activity reflected in the dysfunctional ‘list’. Looked at from this perspective, the swing is not so much from side to side but up and down on the dysfunctional scale.

The simplified message is that polarised thinking (black &white) is less effective for being able to perceive a comprehensive picture, which has much more ‘grey scales than either of the extremes.
For a ‘napkin-graphic’, I draw two circles, one black and one white with a grey rectangle between them illustrating that there is more grey than either of the extremes of black and white.
This concept is also linked with the graphic 7 on permeable boundaries, restricted perspectives and degrees of reflection. The concept of looking at both sides of the coin is usually reiterated with comments relating to alternative ways of looking at the same coin.
Examples can be offered, which are not likely to carry emotionally charged content and if I can throw in a few perspectives from sociology, so much the better.
For instance, a metallurgist might look at the coin and see it, not as heads or tails, but as made of certain metals. An economist may perceive it as a simple a unit of currency, whereas a political activist might describe it as an instrument of manipulation.
Referring back to ‘polarisation’, I will often refer to whatever war is currently being waged in the world, to represent extreme views that hardly make any sense when placed in the wider perspective.
This can also be linked to personalised extremes of likes and dislikes leading to emotional, irrational responses, rather than rational, controlled action. Focussing upon the dysfunctional nature of extremes might assist in encouraging people away from polarisation in order to ‘think’ about alternatives.
I also bring the discussion back, to remind people who difficult it is to be on the extreme end of the dysfunctional scale and how much more comforting it is to stay flexible and keep a ‘balance’, somewhere in the centre ground.
CONCEPT 10. FUNNELS AND FILTERS.

Mini-model 10 illustrates how the energy from emotions can be channelled through a funnel to allow the flow to be controlled through a filter mechanism, into the thinking process which, in turn, will influence their actions.
This concept is directly linked to the EAT and ETA sequencing strategies.
The model also allows for an explanation of how a fully-closed filter will act as a ‘block’ or repression of emotions. The energy would then build up and bubble out in an uncontrolled way, back onto the dysfunctional side.
The model can be developed by way of conversational metaphor, to explain how valves and filters can be useful to control all sorts of energy. For instance, an air-flu on a furnace or fire can make it roar, or alternatively, burn in a relatively calm and controlled way. This metaphor can also be extended to illustrate how the ‘energy’ and ‘heat’ of emotions can be controlled in a similar way. Steam under pressure can also be a useful simile to illustrate how it can be dangerous if it is not controlled and used constructively.
I often use pertinent examples of channelling and control from the individual’s own experiences but one of my favourites when dealing with men, is the example of hitting people. If you hit people in an emotionally uncontrolled way, in a context where that behaviour is unacceptable, you may be subject to external controls such as the criminal justice system. If however, you engage in exactly the same aggressive behaviour within structured boundaries of understandable rules, such as boxing, martial arts, warfare etc. people might pay you for it and applaud your efforts.
By channelling and controlling emotions and basic instincts in this way, the individual is perceived to be ‘functional’. Whereas, when the same actions are uncontrolled, they are viewed as dysfunctional and a liability.
I find that there is usually a proliferation of high-profile, topical examples to draw on for discussion on this subject.
At this stage in the presentation of mini-models (after concept 10) I usually try to make sure that people are still on board with understanding the models and retaining the idea that ‘it all makes sense so far’.
I will often recap some of the models in order to be sure that they are still on the same wavelength, which includes making the most of their ‘journey through life’.

Helo Lemonlimeviolet.
As pointed out in the above post, this might be a good point at which to pause and reflect upon all the mini-models, just to make sure that at least some of them are still relevant. The mini-models that follow will all be leading towards enabling you to perceive the importance of logical thinking when you are engaged in that all-important activity of having internal conversations about what is useful and what is not.
Best wishes
Bill
Hi Bill,
All of it is relevant. Im having trouble writing my responses back because I want them to be organized and maybe helpful in some way to you but I'm just too emersed in thought and learning this. I am having a great deal of fun Reading and Thinking about every concept. Wish I could drive up to my sisters cabin and spend time alone rereading and outlining my thoughts on paper.
Really been thinking about the basic Darwinian Approach to instinct of Freezing. I won't be able to be eloquent in my explanation here. But "being there" is a quiet positive feeling. Not unlike freezing it doesn't talke much action at all. Very similar outward appearance but the construction of what's behind it...the feeling inside...the control....the peace and stability...it's a whole new ballgame.
I love this stuff. I could and do read it again and again. I'm happy to see this website saves these posts for years. Thank you very much.
All the best,
Andrea
I also just wanted to say that I do think that when individuals find emotional and physical balance they are implementing your concepts in some degree. They just don't know what they are doing. And we don't know how to repeat the good stuff that works out almost by accident. Your discovery and organization of the data/information is like an alphabetical system. Building blocks. I've eluded to it before but it's like this emotionally balanced way of life has been just out of our grasp. It's not hard to learn. It's just different.
Hello Andrea.
Thanks again for your comments as they are right on the ball. It is like you say .most of the concepts describe what normal, emotionally functional people do all the time, without giving it a second thought.
This is because the practical aspects of all these things were learned at such an early age (below 5yrs) that they did not even know they were 'learning' it. When adults need to learn or re-learn this stuff, they often have the unfortunate handicap where they need to unlearn the habits that have inhibited their emotional development. In order to progress emotionally, adults need be convinced that reverting back to basics is actually the way forward. However, they also need to have those basics explained in such a way that it does not really feel like learning something new but simply drawing out of themselves stuff that was so obvious that they had not pieced it all together in a sequence that made sense.
I used to describe the process as a bit like playing the piano. Everybody knows all the notes are there, it just takes a bit more skill to put them in the right order to produce an acceptable tune. Sometimes I liken it to the dictionary, where we have all the words that need putting in the right order to make a story.
Some of the next few mini-models are more difficult to explain without the 'napkin graphics', so I might try to get around this by posting them as photos on my profile. Where necessary, I will give that a try to see how it works out.
Please do not worry too much about whether your replies are well organised because your raw thoughts are extremely valuable in helping to understand what cognitive and emotional effects the models are having at the times they are delivered.
It's not unlike my comment s to newbies about their stoma experiences. It's all very well reading comments from people who have had stomas for a long time but there is an invaluable added dimension in the comments from those who still express their raw emotions in an unadulterated way.
I look forward to hearing just a few words from you about your initial reactions on each of the mini-models and, if there is anything at all that occurs to you which will make them more dynamic for newbies, I would be really pleased to incorporate your ideas for future expositions.
Best wishes
Bill
CONCEPT 11. YIN-YANG.
Polarity, duality & Interdependence.
Holistic perspectives
The ‘whole’ outside the ‘hole’.


For explanatory purposes, this mini-model has similar characteristics to that of concept 9 on ‘POLARISATION’ in that it illustrates polarity, separated black and white ‘sides’ of duality in a seemingly clear-cut image.
The illustration is chosen, partly because it is also a symbol of a belief system (Zen) which many people are already vaguely familiar with as one which reflects a self-help approach to life and thinking or meditating.
The symbolism also provides another opportunity to explain how things that are seemingly separated black and white, are interdependently entwined and could be more productively viewed from a holistic, multidimensional perspective. This model does not have the grey area of model 9 but it represents the idea that the line between the two is not a straight division and the black and white spots illustrate that there is always an element of black on the white side and white on the black. – Just another way of saying that all issues are not straightforward polarised black and white.
I tend to avoid talking about Buddhism or any other belief system at this stage, as the complexities and problems that are prone to arise from such discussions tend to blur the simplicity of the concepts being presented.
If and when the participant begins to engage in the process of ‘constructive conversations’ there will be plenty of scope for more exploration of such subject matter.

(see my profile photos for 'napkin graphic' on this concept)
Hi Bill!
I found the napkin graphics! Thanks so much. It may take me days before I sort my thoughts
on concepts 8 through 11. First time visiting the profile page on this (or any) website. Not for lack of interest! I tend to feel like a bit of a voyeur though- and I'm not a particularly shy person but I feel shy about websites. Gorgeous Poodles. Lucky you!
I've still been circling around "degrees of reflection" and "permeable boundaries".
I'm reminded of a film titled "hocus pocus", it's a Disney film for Halloween- the story goes...3 old hag witches snatch children and force them to drink a vile of magic potion. The potion's effect is to transform the children into an "essence"... and then the witches inhale the smokey essence and transform into younger more beautiful women. The children die. (Disney creeps me out MOST of the time).
Your concept of permeable boundaries brought this story to mind. How Being Permeable and knowing others are Permeable (degrees of reflection-for ones self and others) and directing our actions considering this concept is sort of critical to achieving stability and hopefully fostering stability in others. Considering that vulnerability is a byproduct of permeability it lends a hand to another daily aim "being empathetic ".
Here's a personal story that illustrates "permeable boundaries" for me. One high intensity afternoon- my pregnant daughter headed out for yet another home inspection. She had been living with us for a few months while in the process of buying her first home. She's only been gone 10 minutes and my cell buzzed. The tire we'd been asking her to have repaired-the one with the nail stuck through-blew a flat and she was stuck on the side of the road.
I flew out to meet her and emotions were riding high. I just switched cars with her-gave her my car -she went on to make her appointment at the house and I stayed behind to fix the flat.
But this is what we found out later-after talking and laughing about the whole ludicrous experience. On my way to meet her I had (planned, decided, thought out) that I would speak softly be kind and take control. My instincts kicked in - I saw an emotional conflict as a bigger problem than figuring out what to do with an out of commission automobile. At the same time-my daughter had planned out that a few quiet tears and distraught actions would illicit a protective response in her mom. She said she knew the emotional atmosphere was the biggest possible obstacle to achieving what we only had about 10 minutes to accomplish! The story ended well-the house passed inspection (she lives there now!) and I was the lucky recipient of the kindness of strangers. A big rig driver pulled over and changed the tire for me. Thanks Mike from Todd Transit wherever you are!
Again- not probably applying the concept accurately- but I'm still having fun- it feels like "thought architecture"....
Best wishes,
Andrea
Hello Andrea. Thanks for the post and some interesting stories. I'm always having a look at people's profiles as they give a different perspective on the person than their photos. I've taken to selecting a photograph at random from the ones at the top of the screen, thinking about what my first reaction/gut-feelings /emotions/assumptions are about this person, then going into their profile to see how wrong I was.
I find that it is a salutary reminder that I am still prone to being affected by instincts but it is also good practice for managing them without anybody else being aware that I'm doing so.
What you have probably gathered from my writing is that most of these mini-models originated in discussions (in cafes) with individuals who had specific problems. It is 'them' who I thank for the ideas and I would only take some of the credit for stringing them all together. I wanted to tell you this because I have just come across another mini-concept That would lend itself to a simple graphic and a written or verbal accompanying explanation. That mini-model will be called 'thought architecture', so thank very much for that!! As soon as I've worked it out, I will post it so that you can see how helpful your thinking will be to the next set of participants in this process.
Best wishes
Bill
Hi Billl,
That is very exciting for me! Thank you! I can't wait to read it!
I just finished a long response here and for some reason it disappeared. My post is a ghost! (I know you like rhymes-and I can honestly say that's the first one I've written in forever).
I need to start my day so I'll retype my thoughts later. Sorry-it's been happening to me the past 3 days. Takes forever to actually get a post submitted.
All the Best to you and yours,
Andrea
Hello Andrea.
I've managed to draft a mini-model for 'Architecture' and hopefully I will be able to post the writing on her and the napkin graphic on my profile for you to see. These models are only ever in draft form and can be changed to suit the circumstances of each individual so, if you think anything ought to be changed, then feel free to contribute and I will accommodate your contributions in the next draft.
I too have had several posts disappear from this site or even before the have been posted so if I intend to write a lot, I tend to draft it in MS Word first, then cut and paste it here. At least that way I know I will still have the original somewhere.
Best wishes
Bill
CONCEPT AA – Andrea’s (thinking) Architecture.

In utilizing the analogy of modern architecture in thinking, we can explore some of the principles that fit both realms of endeavour. I say ‘modern’ because some pre-modern architecture was put up on a ‘whim’ (designed by emotion rather than thought) and did not need to last. Whereas modern architecture needs some thought and planning, permission and regulation so that it will not topple over because of poor design or building practice.
There are some obvious principles involved, which are best looked at in sequence so these are listed below:

1) The SURVEY:
The survey takes a look at the ‘site’ and what environment the structure will be constructed upon.
It explores the problems that arise from historical aspects that have made their mark on the site and it indicates potential problems with certain types of design.

2) The PLAN:
With the help of the survey, thought can be put into a plan or a design for a structure that will be appropriate for the ‘site’ upon which it will be placed.

3) ‘PERMISSION’:
In a modern world, there is little or no building that goes on without having to obtain permission from the community ‘authorities’ as to its appropriateness and viability to the ‘site’ in question.

4) The BUILDERS:
The bottom line with regard to choice of builders comes down to a choice between getting someone else to do the work or DOING IT YOURSELF. (DIY)

5) ‘SITE’ PREPARATION:
Before any structural work gets underway, the ‘site’ should be cleared of all historical ‘junk’, that might interfere with the proposed building works.

6) A FIRM FOUNDATION:
Any modern structure will require a foundation that has the potential to withstand the forces of nature that are likely to affect that particular ‘site’. If it is in a zone prone to turbulent events, then it will require a stronger foundation than if it was situated in a zone where it had stayed calm for a number of decades. Although, consideration has to be given to a rapidly changing world, where turbulence can hit in places where it has not occurred before.

7) THE STRUCTURE:
In an exposition of principles of modern architecture, we do not have to detail what structures should be built on any particular ‘site’ as these can be of an infinite variety within the framework of principles described above. Some structures will be solid, others might be flexible to allow for particular types of turbulence. The materials they are built with can also be as wide as whatever is available and what can be manufactured. The possibilities are only limited by the imagination of the commissioners, the architects, the builders and the people who give or withhold permissions.


The mini-model ‘AA’ relates the architectural analogy to the thinking process of human beings.
For our purposes, the ‘site’ refers to the person who is wanting to do the ‘Thinking’ (T) in such a way that it is appropriate and strong enough to counterbalance the turbulence created by their uncontrolled ‘Emotions’ (E).
The ‘napkin-graphic’ is used to illustrate the concept(s) in a sequence that makes sense with regard to the architectural analogy.
Before drawing begins I would write down four questions on the napkin to cover the preliminaries of 1) the survey 2) the plan, 3) permission and 4) the builders:
What have we got? ( what is the person dealing with in terms of personality, background, emotions and thinking ability, sequencing, and interference.)
What do we want? (does the person want a new thinking structure to manage, control and withstand the turbulence of uncontrolled emotions on a permanent basis or will they stick with the instability that wayward emotions create?)
Who needs to know? (In the case of personal thinking and emotions, people need to give themselves ‘permission’ to change. They do not need to ask for permission from anybody else because the process of change is largely internal. The fact that others might see the results of such a change is not relevant with regard to asking permission.)
Who does the work? (Personal Thinking (T) is just that! Like Emotions (E) It is done by the person themselves. People can take advice from others, but the work is a DIY job and changing from Emotions to Thinking as a strategy can, therefore, only be achieved by the individual’s own efforts.
The first thing drawn on the napkin graphic is a straight line with a heap of rubbish or junk that has been pushed to one side, representing ‘site’ preparation or ‘clearance’. It is no coincidence that this heap of rubbish is drawn in the shape of a brain which is the receptacle for all the accumulated historical emotional and cognitive junk that gets in the way of people moving on in life.
The second part of the drawing is initially a rectangle representing a firm foundation. However, alongside a discussion on alternatives to suit the ‘site’(individual) I would draw stabilisers or ‘piles’ that sink further into the ground to give added stability where needed.
These would or could be supports such as religion, counsellors, theories, family, etc. Very useful ‘props’ if the potential turbulence is likely to be severe, but otherwise the rectangular foundation that is built by the individual themselves is usually enough to keep the structure stable.
The next stage of napkin-graphic would be the structure itself , which is described as ‘one brick at a time!’ as a parody of the ‘one day at a time’ that ‘AA’ groups use to help alcoholics cope and manage their addictive habits.
I would then draw the structure in a pyramid shape as that is one of the most stable architectural shapes known to man that have stood the test of time. I would, however, explain that it does not matter what shape or design the structure is, as long as it is ‘stable’ and able to withstand the forces of nature. In this case, instincts/ emotions being the force of nature that needs withstanding, controlling and managing.
Bill! This is beautiful. I'm smiling because you so generously named it "Andrea's" but seriously all I did was spout out two words that kick started another of your deeply insightful descriptive concepts. I was just grabbing at all the new "workable" things I am learning and likened the process (in a loose generalizational way) to architecture.
This concept is well done. In a previous post I mentioned my sister is an architect? So all of your principles for this concept are well known to me. I've heard a lot of stories on each one through the years. It's uncanny really!
After my first couple of read-throughs...I have no suggested changes. My goodness I could not be that arrogant. Thank you for writing this! It's awfully generous of you. I can't believe you created this in one day. Sometimes I think creativity just seeps out the pores of the gifted. The rest of us play catch up. And aren't we the lucky ones?
All the best,
Andrea
I'd like to discuss an emotional phenomenon thats been on my mind and that I think is interesting. So first I just want to say how incredibly great it is to accepted for what I post here. Thank you.
Polarization.
Interdependence.
When emotional energy is on the rise in both partners in a relationship it occurs independently (of course) and is "fed" on both sides by whatever instincts are fired up or currently "Fertilized"...the afire of the fertilizer is unbeknownst to the partner... but the escalation process is no secret....both parties know it is occurring is but the expression (release of pressure) is interdependent and it plays out in a curious manner sometimes and it's hard to plan an emotional strategy when I don't understand why this happens:
Heres the scene: Sue is worried about a friend and she is crabby. Bob is worried too but more so concerned for Sue's distress. So he "makes nice". It doesn't change Sues disposition...she is still in a bad mood and acting grumpy...downright unreasonable..,Bob tries to soothe the storm again and is met with escalating frustration and anger from Sue..,finally Bob blows up. There's that moment of peak dual emotional explosion. Then Sue calms down and the day moves on in a more balanced fashion. Why the heck didn't she calm down when her partner was trying to be calm instead of when he blew up too??
Sorry I didn't mean to be greedy for specific answers!!! Please Move on as you see best and I'll be reading.
Thank you.
Andrea
Hello Andrea.
Thank you for your posts and compliments even though they are not quite representing the true story. I did not 'create' it in a day. The basic ideas behind the concepts have been swimming around for years and just needed the prompt that YOU PROVIDED, for the concept to be formulated in the way that it was. I gave a lot of thought as to how to draw a mini-model to illustrate the relevance of 'constructive conversations' and whilst pondering on what would be a good graphic I have already talked many times about the importance of a firm foundation and the basic building blocks for emotional development. It was your comment that provided the impetus to design the graphic as presented, so of course you deserve recognition. --I'll reply to your other posts separately so that the ideas don't get mixed.
Best wishes
Bill
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment upon the cameo that causes you to consider what is happening in this relationship. The scenario you describe is not at all unusual when two or more people are in close proximity to each other either in terms of space or emotional attachment. There has been a great deal of very good stuff written about 'attachment theory' which may be relevant but I would like to try to focus on the emotional energy aspects. Unfortunately, such a simple cameo holds within it a whole range of emotional stuff that is difficult to unravel without a long-winded complex explanation. I will try to keep it as simple as possible but please bear in mind that relationships are rarely ever 'simple'.
Firstly, the business of emotions arising within each individual is perfectly plausible and I 'almost' always focus on the individual taking responsibility for managing their own emotions and not trying to manage other people's as well. However, this is not to diminish the importance of interaction with others on any dimension. Very often, the build-up of emotional pressures is due to unresolved emotional issues from way back in childhood (long forgotten). The frustrations involved in each small repetition of unresolved issues tends to be accumulative because one unresolved issue adds to the next. The accumulate nature of this process is often imperceptible to the person who is affected by it so they feel that the frustrations are the result of things that are happening 'in the moment' rather than the past. I prefer that people do not try to analyse too deeply these past events because they are not really important in themselves, to remedy the present problem. However, it is useful to be aware that the past can still have an influence on the present. You say that the partner is unaware of what is 'fertilizing' or fanning the fire of emotions. My contention is that sometimes the person themselves is not fully cognisant of everything that is influencing this process. It is then, of course, difficult to plan a LOGICAL-Thinking strategy for controlling the emotions, especially when you are only at the beginning of the learning process in this area.
I'm copying your cameo her to remind us both :
Heres the scene: Sue is worried about a friend and she is crabby. Bob is worried too but more so concerned for Sue's distress. So he "makes nice". It doesn't change Sues disposition...she is still in a bad mood and acting grumpy...downright unreasonable..,Bob tries to soothe the storm again and is met with escalating frustration and anger from Sue..,finally Bob blows up. There's that moment of peak dual emotional explosion. Then Sue calms down and the day moves on in a more balanced fashion. Why the heck didn't she calm down when her partner was trying to be calm instead of when he blew up too??
Let's take it bit by bit:
Sue is 'worried' ( worry/ anxiety is a form of 'fear' - which is an emotion.)
Sue does not implement a strategy to manage/control this emotion, possibly because she feels it is appropriate to 'worry' in the circumstances. Nonetheless, if the emotion is not managed, the pressure will build.
Sue's reaction to this emotional pressure is to be 'crabby'(irritable)which is a combination of several identifiable emotions such as resentment, anger, hurt, helplessness etc. which in turn, 'add' to the original 'worry/fear' so the pressure keeps building.
Meanwhile: Sue is interacting with Bob;
Bob begins with 'worry' - an emotion that he is also not controlling sufficiently to neutralise the pressure. Almost the same process of pressure building is happening with both parties to the interaction and neither party knows how to 'control' the pressure until it is 'released' in an 'uncontrolled-outburst'.
What sue considered to be Bob's effort at being calm was probably Bob mirror-imaging her own emotional state.
This phenomenon is easier to spot when it is not immediately relevant to the two people concerned so I usually use the analogy of the dog owner with their show-dog. What happens is that there is a transfer of uncontrolled energy from one to the other and neither knows what is going on. In the dog-world it is called 'down the lead' because whatever is worrying the owner seems to get transferred to the dog with consequential mirror-imaging in behaviour.
Sue's genuine 'concern' for her friend is admirable but would not help anybody by advancing it into being a 'worry/fear'. Whatever problem the friend had, will not resolve itself by someone else worrying about it. However, to convert the 'concern' into a logical-thinking strategy, that might lead to suggestions for helping to resolve the friend's problem could also help to divert the Emotion of 'worry' into the Thinking process before the pressure builds up.
Like any other problem in life, if one can recognise the signs and symptoms early on in the process, they tend to be easier to deal with, than if the pressure builds to high and is only dissipated by an explosion.
I hope this helps, as it is so important to keep practicing emotional control through thinking at every opportunity. The fact that you are now thinking through what happened might be enough to divert you next worry into a thinking process before it gets out of hand. It's early days, but I feel sure you will have it mastered in no time.
However, I cannot really comment on Sue's partner, as he did seem to try to keep things calm at first but then got too frustrated (which is a precursor to emotion.) My guess is that he was not using that period of initial calm to THINK and divert his attention from his own 'worry/emotion'. so, this allowed the pressure to build within him as well.
Just a thought!
Best wishes
Bill
Andrea.
I did not like to put this comment on the last post because it might be a bit of a distraction and it's probably hard enough to follow all the concepts without anything that might put you off. However, it is perhaps worth pointing out that 'love' is an emotion which for many people is just as much out of control as any of the other emotions. It often does not feel that way because it tends to be a pleasurable experience, which people like to just let run its natural course. However, Emotional/instinctual 'love' can be just as frustrating and dysfunctional as any other wayward emotion. This is partly the reason for developing a Thought-out (T) version of a really good, functional kind of love, that does not relay on Emotions. Tis concept is encapsulated in my 'Aims For Today' - which I've already posted.
I mention the Emotional love, as being potentially uncontrolled. because in your cameo, it struck me that when two people are very close, they sometimes rely on 'love' to see them through. Unfortunately, if they don't have control over this emotional energy, then it can be just as powerfully dysfunctional as any other Emotion--anger and hate spring to mind.
Sometimes it is not enough to simply 'love' someone, What is needed is rational, well Thought out strategies to deal with the testing times appropriately and adequately, before they develop into an uncontrolled set of actions which make it difficult for participants to extricate themselves from.
For those people who talk about sliding into a black hole. I try to show them that the trick is to recognise these holes long before they start sliding down into them. By spotting them from a distance the individual will have an opportunity to avoid the holes altogether and choose a different route.
Best wishes
Bill
CONCEPT 12 – HIGH JUMP.

This is a concept I particularly like because it seems to illustrate the notion of ‘maximising your potential’.
I also offers the opportunity of introducing the concept of ‘failure’ as a positive and necessary experience – in order to be knowledgeable about your own levels of competence. (if you did not fail, how would you know what was possible for you to achieve?)
The high jump also has a structure that allows for at least three failures on any one day before you are likely to feel that this is the highest level likely to be achieved. However, on another day, your performance may be higher.
This mini-model also introduces other concepts pertinent to personal performance such as ‘PB’ – doing your ‘Personal Best’.
It encapsulates such additional concepts such as perseverance, training, controlling emotions, and ‘getting over hurdles’. – All things which lead towards viewing things as ‘challenges’ to be enjoyed, rather than problems to be endured. ( see also mini-model 14 problems/challenges)

Measures.
High jump is an interesting concept in terms of measurement because it offers an opportunity to illustrate how natural and normal it is to want to measure things.
The measurement in this case is one that I take to indicate how near to a person’s Personal Best (PB) they are getting.
There are other (SOLAR) models that use measurements and this one can be compared to those as and when appropriate.
The main point about this concept is to show that people who do the high jump do not necessarily get overly emotional if they fail. They reorientate themselves to be Thinking about their next attempt. Feel another cliché or two coming on to cover this:
‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again!’
‘ Take a hair of the dog!’
‘If you fall of the horse, get straight back on again’. Or even the lines of a song can be relevant------
‘Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again’.
Or, in the case of advertising ‘hope’ as with a Lotto slogan: ‘Maybe – just maybe!’
Hello Andrea.
It is becoming apparent that posting the napkin-graphics on my profile as photos also puts them on the main site's photo page. This seems to me to be a little over the top and inappropriate. I would therefore ask you if there is any way you could copy and paste the napkin-graphics onto your own computer for your personal future reference, so that I can delete them from my profile. If not, then we will simply have to ask other readers on the site to be tolerant as this is the only way that I can get the graphics displayed at present.
Best wishes
Bill
Hi Bill,
I'm on an iPad and couldn't quickly figure out how to copy and paste so I drew up the napkin graphics myself. Much more useful activity to me in pursuit of emotional control than conquering a tech application new to me. Go ahead and delete them from your profile. Thanks so much for letting me know and giving me the opportunity to hang onto the graphics.
More later.
Best wishes,
Andrea
Bill,
Thank you for explanations and new concept posting. I'll be deciphering and thought organizing for several days and then will post after I devote more time to this activity. I need to hand write stuff down and then post when I've got it the way I'd like it to be.
Thanks for your help!
Andrea
Hello Andrea.
That's great. I will leave the graphics on until I'm sure you have read them before I take down the photos.
Best wishes
Bill
INNOVATION:
Another reason I like the mini-model 12 – ‘high jump’ is that it introduces the concept of innovation, THINKING laterally, out of the box. Offering the opportunity to change the rules and accepted ways of doing things so that we can excel far beyond out previous Personal Bests (PB).
The way I explain this is that when I was at school, doing high jump, even the very best of the jumpers could not get over the bar any highrer than about one metre (although in those days it was about three feet!). The reason for this was that we took off from the ground and landed on the ground (in sand) and the technique was what was called the ‘scissors’ movement with the legs. Then, with a stroke of genius at THINKING laterally, a bloke called Fosbury invented a ‘flop’ backwards, that enabled him and everybody else to almost double the heights that they were jumping. This would not have been possible without ‘changing the environment’ – by using mats on the other side of the bar so that he did not break his neck on landing and ‘altering the rules’ to give ‘permission and legitimacy’ for this new way of doing things.
You would think that when some innovation like this comes along ,the people in charge would be only too pleased to accommodate and adopt the new approach. However, such an assumption would be wrong in the case of the javelin. In this sport, some clever engineer designed a new, aerodynamic javelin that was enabling people to throw much longer distances than before and the authorities eventually banned it from use in competitions.
(I usually ask participants to try to guess why this would have happened)
The answer is simple in that sports stadiums are a finite size and they usually have a running track around the area wher the javelin throwing takes place. The new javelin was being thrown so far, it was in danger of spiking the runners. Thus, the authorites wanted throwers to achieve their personal bests but within the limits that the old type of javelin proscribed.
The point of the additional concept is that by innovation and changing the way we do things, we can achieve new levels of achievements and PB’s we could not have even envisaged prior to the changes.
In terms of EMOTIONAL development, we need to explore new ways of sequencing how we get to our final actions. If we are still using the laess effective method of putting Emotions before Thinking, then we will not achieve our personal best in terms of emotional stability.
( One of the most effective ways of learning for the long-term, is to repeat the message to be learned in slightly different ways so that the learner can look at it from different angles – turning the coin around so they can see the other side.)

CONCEPT 13 – FRINGE-EDGERS.

This was a concept and terminology that I first used in the 1960’s when studying how groups worked. The theoretical models of the time did not seem to consider the dynamics of those who were apparently not a significant part of any group but seemed to be ‘floating’ or ‘freewheeling’ around the edges.
It was noticeable that some of the more influential group members went out of their way to relate to certain fringe-edgers who were clearly their intellectual equals (if not superior).
Between these insiders and outsiders of the group dynamics, there seemed to be a tacit understanding of what was important to people within the group and to those surrounding it in ways that were perhaps mutually functional to all concerned.
This is perhaps not the forum to expand on this theory but it should be said that the variety of people who occupied the fringe-edge were at least, if not more interesting than those who were prominent within the structures of the recognisable groups.
Individuals who felt ‘uncomfortable’ on the edge, were also vulnerable, bot to group pressures and potential emotional disturbances.
Loneliness, isolation and rejection tend to have negative effects on the emotional stability or otherwise of the individual and it can sometimes be very difficult to sustain true independence form the group. However, for those who have the capacity, competence and aptitude to enjoy the solitude at the fringe-edge, there is a whole new world of relationships to explore, which those who choose the ‘safety’ and comfort of the group are unlikely to experience or comprehend.
This mini-model has tenuous links with mini-model 6 (digging holes) where the group structure might be viewed as a ‘hole’ or trap, in which some individuals do not want to get ‘caught’.
Other fringe-edgers have been rejected by groups and simply find themselves isolated and on the ‘edge’, both in terms of relationships with others and on the edge in terms of emotional and cognitive cohesion to group values and norms.
Those who lean towards not being accepted in societal groups will almost certainly understand the concept of fringe-edgers and the problems surrounding surviving and sustaining a life without acceptance from others.
This concept introduces the idea that when an individual feel rejected by recognised groups, they may move towards thinking that they have no ‘worth’ by the standards of others (worthlessness).
Fringe-edging can be viewed as a parallel existence, that is occupied by a range of individuals. Some of which, do not need or want to be integral members of groups, yet can still enjoy a degree of functionality and purpose in life. Other fringe-edgers find the experience of being an ‘outsider’ frustrating, emotionally disturbing and dysfunctional.

MEASURES:
I usually use this model within ‘constructive Conversations’ to ascertain where people believe they are in relation to other relevant people (and pets) in their lives.
A ‘property-space’ is drawn as concentric circles around a spot (representing the individual).
The participant places identified people (WHO) on the graphic, according to where they think they fit (closer or further away from the participant in the centre but also how near of far they are from each other).
A measure can be obtained by allocating a score to each concentric line and/or a protracted score, to define where people are perceived to be in relation to one another.
An advantage of this graphic, is that other mini-models (e.g. 14 & 15) can be superimposed on this one, so that we can be much more specific about what is being measured.
I'm here. Reading.
And thinking.
Evaluating ....
Thank you for sharing these (your) beautiful concepts. Please keep going if u are ok to do so.
Andrea
Concepts 12 and 13 are very emotional-
Sorry I'm not able to respond in detail yet....
Hello Andrea.
Thank you for your posts. The length and depth of your replies are not as important as the thoughts behind them, as the short ones are important in order to let me know that you are still reading and interested in the concepts.
The longer ones are brilliant because you are a good writer and grasp what is useful to give me insight into the details of your thinking and your progress in applying the ideas. I do understand that it takes time to formulate and write down what you are thinking so I'm not expecting lengthy posts in response to each concept. It's just helpful if you let me know when you have read them, then I can delete the photo graphics as we go along.
Best wishes
Bill
Hello Angelicamarie.
I have deleted the posts dated 30th Nov. as you requested.
It is appreciated that you are still following the blog and I look forward to reading any comments you may have at all. Whether they are to do with the models or anything else.
Best wishes
Bill
Bill i do read your writing i just haven't commented , lemonlimeviolet seems to be helping a great deal. Im sure its time for you to dart out for work bill i hope you have a good day. And i will read it again and make comments. Angelicamarie
Bill on human love; what do you do with the love when there no longer here, you still have that love, what do you do?when it hurts so bad how do you handle that? Angelicamarie
Hello Angelicamarie.
It is a very good question that you ask with regard to what we do with love when the object of that love is no longer with us. The short answer is probably that we 'suffer' from loss, bereavement and grief. The degree of suffering is often in proportion yo how much we loved and lost. However, some of it is down to how we think our way through such tragedies. I am reluctant to give advice on this or any other issue because I did not really come to terms that well with my own losses in the early stages.
My own strategy was to sink myself into work for almost 20hurs a day, which meant that I hardly had any thinking time left to mourn. The type of work I was doing was with other people who had bigger problems than I had so it took up a lot of emotional time and energy as well. It's not a strategy that I would recommend because the side effects are absolute exhaustion. However, looking back, I think I WOULD PROBABLY HAVE BEEN JUST AS EXHAUSTED with the overwhelming, out of control emotions. Eventually, time moves on and we learn to live with our grief. In my case it never went away, neither would I want it to because with the grief, comes the memories which I want to keep forever. Here is another reason to look carefully at my 'Aims For Today' list - which offers a way of focussing attention on a different type of 'love' that will not replace the old one but complement it in ways that helped me to move on.
Bereavement counselling can sometimes help with the process of adjustment but essentially coping with grief is a DIY process and it is notoriously difficult to find anyone with advice that really helps.
Best wishes
Bill
Thanks my friend, u see your not forgotten I still think you are a very good writer, just going through some diffulculties, .angelicamarie
Bill, my son would be 37 years old, but he died and I have never stop loving him somehow I just learned to continue living, and I thought if my behavior continues he won't be able to do his job where ever he is so I changed my mindset I continued to miss him cried a little but it got better but I will never forgot him when you loss a child it's different from any other family member, didn't receive grief counseling but did receive counseling, however when my grandfather passed it was totally different I wanted to go too.
Dear Angelicamarie,
You are in my thoughts and prayers tonight. It's so exponentially difficult when the pain of the fresh loss of your dear brother brings back the terrible feelings of losing your child. The verse I posted that you liked -Isaiah 41:10 -was recently shared with me by a dear friend who's 30 yr old daughter was diagnosed with stage lV breast cancer. The impact of the beginning line "fear not" was more meaningful after studying bill's concepts. It comforts me because I have found that we have some control over managing painful feelings. Not ignoring them...no not that...but what I mean is that perspective and sequencing my thoughts in front of my emotion or at least in front of acting on my emotion....feels so much better. It balances my mind and heart and soul. The idea that I got was - well maybe I won't be able exactly to "not fear" because after all losing someone important in your life is a fearful thing- but the expression of that emotion doesn't have to be ruling me-it's hard but I could do it...by thinking about it in a different sequence-by talking to myself first...it quieted the fear and pain. My most sincere hope is for ease of your pain. You are a good person. I went online and saw that Walmart carries a necklace with this verse. If you want The next time you go to the nail salon maybe check out if your store carries it. I sent one to my friend from a Christian website and she really loves it.
God Bless You.
Andrea
Hi Bill,
Thank you very much for your detailed analysis of my Sue and Bob scenario. The really important thing I got from your post is comfort in the realization that the application of learned concepts and subsequent logical equation applies to all manner of emotional situations. I think I was doing well when the situation was obvious to me or when the emotion was big and current. But I struggled when trying to figure out how to manage a situation when it was more complex...or had undertones. So now I see how diagramming out the elements of really any situation is possible. I'm sure there are many more opportunities to implement this logical process. I'm glad I didn't know how to do it and kept getting it wrong and Making mistakes actually. Because now I see it. I learned the difference. Thank you so much!
All the best,
Andrea
On a personal note-my first grandchild was born Monday morning. GRATITUDE and joy fill my entire being-a new life in the world and a grandmother who's lucky now to have some wildly positive rearing strategies to share!
Hello Andrea.
CONGRATULATIONS! with regard to your new grandchild. They are a great distraction throughout their childhood and, if you look carefully as they grow and develop, you will be able to witness the way they are taught to cope with basic frustrations that can lead to emotional outbursts. Many new parents quickly learn that positive 'distraction' is a useful technique when children are getting frustrated to the point of negative reaction. At this very early stage, positive distraction equates with THINKING about something else. It is the first easy stages of learning how to think in order to control wayward emotions. If the child learns it early, then the strategy stays with them for the rest of their lives and they practice it everyday without even knowing that they are doing it.
As you rightly point out, there are many opportunities to implement logic - because the process is THINKING and we all do it most of the time.
For what it's worth, I believe that implementing the 'Aims for Today' list when in the presence of children (or anyone else) presents then with the opportunity to be in the presence of someone with the best, therapeutic characteristics of a 'pet'. If the human being can fulfil this role, then they will have the greatest opportunity to be influential in the child's learning strategies.
I feel a quotation coming on from Rudyard Kipling's "If" poem:
"If you can keep your head when all about are losing theirs -----"
An apt set of verses which I would encourage anyone to read in its entirety if they are interested in Self-Organised Living And Reflecting. (SOLAR)
Best wishes
Bill
Good morning bill, I read what you sent lemonlight violet, interesting but as I said your a very good writer my friend. right about now your probably still sleep about to emerge from sleep and get your day started.take care of yourself, and hava a great day my friend. Angelicamarie
Lemonlimelight
Congratulations grandma, what an honor God have blessed you. I'll never know what that love is like. But I'm so happy for you, and I will ask about that necklace at Walmart, and thanks again for your kindness!!!! Angelicamarie the verse Isiah 41:10 will always be etched in me thanks again.
Bill, thanks for sharing this poem. It's obvious that the writer touched on the delicate (and sometimes conflicting) emotions that we all know and experience so well. I struggle with body image and feel less feminine with the ileostomy for some reason. Thanks for sharing, Tiffanie
(Tpntiff)
Tiffany good morning , I rec'd your message no I don't show outsiders my bag, I may have shown maybe two people outside my family a lot of people don't know. I really don't think people that haven't been there will understand. You must be very proud of your children. So glad you thought of me this morning, have the best day that you can have. Angelcamarie
Hello Tiffanie.
Thanks for joining in with this blog and I hope you have gained some insight along the way.
You are far from being alone if you suffer with body image. The cosmetic surgery business is earning millions out of all those people who are frustrated and disappointed with how they look. The 'moneymakers' have a vested interest in people being discontented because, the way they sell their products is to create discontentment and then sell you the idea that they have the solution to your problem (for a price!)
Discontentment is as much and emotion as any other and many people do not know how to control it without 'buying-into' the sales pitches which appear to promise 'happiness'. I have a whole series of theories on the futility of the pursuit of happiness, but I will not expound them here. However, what I will say is that the 'antidote' to discontentment must surely be 'contentment'. If only people would control their emotions, then they would become more contented with every aspect of their lives, including body image. Whether you wear a bag or not, the most lasting and endearing characteristic of any human being has got to be their personality. Good looks do not last, but personality can grow more and more positive with age and this is what intelligent, mature people look for in others. Beautiful people are only that way if their personality reflects their inner beauty. Otherwise, the image is superficial, shallow and does not stand the many tests of genuine 'worth' that life's problems can throw at it.
So many ostomates have posted on here saying that they are getting on with their lives without making a big thing about having a stoma. Getting on with their lives means they are involved with other things that they want to do, rather than worrying (another emotion) about the possible negative effects that surgery might bring. Focussing on the positives can help redress the balance of the negatives. After all, being alive surely beats the alternative and having a body-beautiful is far from being an essential ingredient in getting the best out of life. There is nothing in my 'Aims For Today' list that mentions anything about 'good looks' and if you see how the pet dog is loved for what it is (warts and all) you will begin to understand that being 'liked' ( or licked) is much more about what's happening on the inside of your head than outward appearances. Anyway, I have scanned through your photos and I can state with confidence (as a man) that your femininity is equal if not greater than many of the women who think they are beautiful. I can tell by the looks and reactions of others towards you that there is an inner beauty that goes more than skin-deep.
The bag can be a positive thing in our lives if we perceive it that way, so personally I celebrate the fact that the stoma has improved my life and I can carry on doing all those things that I want to do without the negativity that led to the operation in the first place.
Best wishes
Bill
Hi bill how are you today friend, that was interesting, what you said, in the earlier year I was more concerned with my physical being but I rather have beauty within because it would generate outward. Angelicamarie
Hello Angelicamarie.
Thanks for your post. It is clear by the way you write that you do indeed have that inner-beauty that radiates from genuinely wanting to help lift the spirits of others. It comes across as a literary hug,a smile and a greeting that puts the message across that you wish people well.
So best wishes to you as well.
Bill
Bill your a sweetheart my friend, I deleted it to start again you hava a good day at work!!!! Angel
CONCEPT 14 – PROBLEMS/CHALLENGES

By using napkin-graphics we can place concepts like ‘problems’(negatives) in juxtaposition to ‘challenges’(positives) on what is called a ‘property-space’.
This graphic illustrates the interaction between problems/challenges on one dimension and ‘INTERNAL’ and ‘EXTERNAL’ forces that work to influence what is going on in each dimension.
Working our way around the different dimensions we start with when things are perceived as ‘problems’ with ‘external’ forces at work. I describe these as ‘other-organised’ and negative. These problems are hard for individuals to tackle because they are viewed as external and beyond the power of the individual to do much about.
The second dimension is when the external forces are viewed as a ‘challenge’, which adds a ‘positivity’ that is not present when the same forces are viewed as a ‘problem’, even though they are still ‘other-organised’.
The third dimension postulates that even when the problems are fuelled by internal forces and are self-organised, viewing them as problems still give them a negative charge.
The fourth dimension indicates that when thinga are viewed as ‘challenges’, rather than ‘problems’ and they are ‘internal’ and self-organised, then they tends to have a positivity greater than any of the other dimensions in this property space.
This makes quadrant (4) the most logical place to be if one is aiming for a positive experience whilst dealing with the challenges of life. The concept and graphic is useful when people appear to need a logical explanation for why they ‘feel’ certain ways and aoccupy particular quadrants on this graphic.
As mentoned previously, these types of concepts lend themselves to be compared and superimposed upon other concepts such as that proposed in concept (13).
They also have potential for mearsurement but this is beyond the scope of the present exposition. ?
CONCEPT 15 – EMOTIONAL ENERGY: DRAGS & UPLIFTS

Mini-model 15 is a ‘property space’ which links directly with mini-model (1), whewre the factors that act as Downward -Drags (labelled D) are placed on one side and the counterbalancing Uplifting gactors (Labelled U) are placed on the other.
The vertical dissection of the property space represents ‘Extreme’ and ‘Neutral’ dimensions.

QUADRANT 1.
Most people who see themselves as severely emotionally dysfunctional would feel that they fit into this quadrant of Extreme-Drag.
QUADRANT 3.
Those who are dysfunctional but less so, may view themselves occupying the Drag-Neutral space.
QUADRANT 2.
By contrast, those people who are both functional and have excellent support systems plus resources, may see themselves in quadrant 2. Extreme -Uplift.
QUADRANT 4.
Those who have less support but still feel functional would probably view themselves as occupying the Neutral-Uplift quadrant (4)

MEASURES:
This model is more of an ‘academic exercise’, which offers slightly different perspectives on Drags and Uplifts. It can be developed to measure the degrees of Drag and Uplift, so that scores can be compared to those obtained from other models.
The model is useful when discussing with an individual, their perception of their life in comparison to others. (invariably, others are perceived to have more Uplift). It is also useful in talking logically (without emotion) about people’s perceptions on life and where they stand within it.
The concept of ‘fairness/unfairness’ can begin to be quantified in an understandable. logical form, at the same time as offering a vehicle for controlling the emotional content of the conversation.
Gdm my friend how are u and your family? I hope your well !!! I'm so glad I found this site, or I would have never found you!!! Have a good one!!!! Angelicamarie
Hello Angelicamarie.
We are all fine and I hope you and your family are the same. You may well be glad that you have found this site but by doing so you have provided much pleasure to the rest of us in your communications and long may it continue.
Best wishes
Bill
CONCEPT 16 – ATTITUDE & LEARNING TO FLY.

Sometimes similies and metaphors are borrowed from other sources in order to explain or make a point and this concept fits into that category.
The concept was adapted from the Air Pilots Manual, which talks about ‘ATTITUDE’.
Apparentlty, attitude, in flying terms, means ‘the angle’ at which you fly.
It does not take a genius to see the relevance to everyday life in terms of psychological attitude being a simile.
I usualy use a lot of non-verbal communication in my work so the outstretched hand and arm act as a visual representation of a plane flying, whilst I explain that:-
It doesn’t matter how much energy /force is put in, if the attitude is too steep upwards, the plane will stall. When pointingthe arm downwards, it becomes obvious that the more energy there is, the faster the plane will crash. I briefly int out that planes also have up and down, plus sideways flaps in order to achieve an appropriate ‘balance’ (Tus linking back to mini-model 1).
Concept 16 allows for an explanation that. In order to ‘fly’, there needs to be a continuous readjustment of ‘attitude’, according to the total environment and conditions at the time.
Comparisons with life, learning and relationships seem obvious in the context of a Self-Orgainiased Living And Reflecting (SOLAR) programme. However, if it needs to be spelt out, the additional concepts of ‘getting off the ground’, flying, moving onwars and upwards etc. are all thrown into the conversation.
I also make sure that people are aware of the logical formula that the aeronautical industry use in this regard.
“ENERGY + ATTITUDE = PERFORMANCE”.
A simple formula, which is surely applicable to those who wish to control their emotional energy to help them become more functional and to move onwards and upwards. (again linking withmini-models 1,15 & model 5)
Measures :
It is relatively easy to ask people to provide a measurement of the relative angle that they approach problems and these vcan link back to measures obtained from other minimodels.

CONCEPT 17 – GROWTH
Pruning > New Growth, Strength & Fertiliser.

When looking at the napkin graphic for this concept, it is not dissimilar to that of mini-model 5 and this is pointed out because it helps to link in and continue with the theme of life as a journey.
The themes surrounding the growth of plants offers endless opportunities for metaphor and simile. The concept of something needing the right ‘growth medium’ and environment can easily be compared with human growth and development.
The specific environments of soil, nutrients, weather and damage followed by new growth are particularly useful in demonstrating that, despite adverse conditions, things can and will still grow. Damage can still be seen and previous damage may not always be entirely repairable but if the energy is still flowing, the plants continue with their journey through life.
When ‘growth’ is viewed as part of that logical, structured process, it can offer many opportunities for metaphorical comparisons to the lives of people with emotional control problems.
Metaphors are usually chosen and tailored to the circumstances of each individual but typical examples might include the observation that each plant adapts and grows according to the environment in which it finds itself. Thus, if a tree is nurtured in ideal conditions, in an open space, with good soil and plenty of nutrients, rain and sun, it will grow into a relatively magnificent specimen. If, however, it finds itself growing in cramped conditions with many other trees fighting for the same space, nutrients etc. it will inevitably be distorted in the way that it grows.
These metaphors are illustrative of ‘survival strategies’ which are not too dissimilar to those experienced through the life of a person with emotional control difficulties.
The concept therefore links with all the other mini-models in a very pertinent fashion in that it illustrates a whole realm of different strategies for survival in a hostile world. Each plant must fight for survival and growth in its own way and any help from others is often purely coincidental or symbiotic in its manifestation.
When plants die, their places, spaces and resources are soon absorbed by others engaging in the same struggle. Their focus is on life and their “energy is utilised to maximise their potential in whatever environment they may find themselves”. The statement in parentheses would be my definition of ‘intelligence’. So, when talking to people who have difficulty controlling their emotions (who often believe that they are not intelligent on the grounds that they have achieved little academically) we can explore the concept of who would be likely to flourish or fail, given the hostile environments these people have often lived through.
Another explanatory snippet I share is the concept of ‘pruning’ which involves damaging the plant to encourage it to grow in certain desired ways. If a plant is damaged by severing or blocking the growth in one direction, if there is still energy flowing through the plant, then the plant will begin to grow around the damage.
Yet another simile involves taking about all the ‘shit’ that emotional people tend to carry through their lives. If this shit is in the branches (on the shoulders) then it weighs down the plant and may even suffocate it to death. If on the other hand, the same shit is placed on the roots of the plant, (behind or under) it becomes fertiliser and the plant can use it to grow strong and healthily. The comparisons with human growth and development become obvious as do the potential solutions to the problems.
Bill, your a sweetheart,you say the kindest things thank you!!!! Angelicamarie
Hello Bill and Angelicamarie,
This is an incredibly important study . Each concept is beautiful in its own right. And each concept keeps building this amazing foundation for self organized living (I almost typed "learning" - not a coincidence I think...)and reflecting.
Every morning now I start considering what's on my mind right away. It's almost silly but issues tend to "hide" from me so I've been trying to coax them out. Some days it goes better than others... some days it takes a longer time and some days the little suckers really hide. Those are the days a couple of glasses of wine in the afternoon take off the edge from the search.
But oh how much more pleasant and balanced it feels to be in control than a buzzy submission. So my point is that I'm finding that when the planning and thinking works- a whole bunch of other stuff falls into place. Or rather "FLYS"!!! Into place!!! That's one of the difference isn't it?! You gain altitude in attitude!!
Today in what I've begun to think of as the morning "Board meeting of the Foundation" - members being Thought , Emotion, Feeling - Thought was really trying to overpower emotion on the issue (challenge! Opportunity!) for today...but the energy had a good stronghold within emotion. I found "time" factored in nicely! Patience played a part in accomplishing that diversion of energy and I discovered some very balanced approaches to my problem. Not sure how this works yet. Or if there is reliability to this factor of time-patience-waiting it out? I Do find that "emotion" has the ability to win that power struggle. Certainly Not as often nor as totally and completely as previous to receiving the gift of your concepts and theories.
And then I read concepts 14, 15, 16, and 17. Thank Bill. Those two little words just don't come close to expressing my deep appreciation for all your kind help.
In Gratitude,
Andrea
Hello Andrea.
I had just finished replying to your post when the screen went blank and I lost the lot! Bless this modern technology. However, I will attempt to recall what I wrote before and do my best not to lose this one.
Firstly, I am pleased that you still seem to be getting something positive from the models.
I would like to try to address the problem of emotions creeping back into the field of play even when you are trying hard to THINK in order to control them. The tick is, not to think that you need to eliminate the emotions- Emotions are identical to INSTINCTS and these are the energy and motivating force behind all living creatures. ( fight, flight, freeze) Instincts evolved as survival strategies over millions of years and we are unlikely to rid ourselves of their habitual effects, no matter how hard we try. They are a 'force of nature' and like other natural forces you will not be able to stem their flow without building up huge amounts of pressure. All you can hope to do is to divert the energy from emotive action and guide it towards something more controlled and functional like THINKING. It is much easier for humans to learn the techniques of emotional control when they are very young (under 5yrs)and they learn good habits from the very start. However, older people can learn the techniques, as long as they recognise that their earlier 'habits' will need to be controlled as well. Many of the techniques for kicking all sorts of addictive habits are well documented and have a good success rate as long as people stick to the regime and practice. What we are doing is TRYING TO CONTROL THE FORCES OF NATURE and nature is a powerful force.
INSTINCTS are a primitive survival strategy for a primitive environment. Unfortunately, humans have moved on and made our environment almost entirely artificial. Instinctual responses can now be dysfunctional in this new environment where THINKING is required to survive at the levels demanded by the modern world. Interestingly, modern societies will sometimes incarcerate those who act on their instincts to the detriment of other members, either in prisons or in mental hospitals. But that's a different set of theories!
Back to the models:-
The next batch of models does not use napkin graphics to the same extent as previous concepts as they are more verbally descriptive - or in this case written down for you to read. I will post them as and when I have typed them up.
Best wishes
Bill
CONCEPT 18) – QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

It is my belief that our basic education system does not do enough to encourage people to ask questions. The secondary education system seems to be geared towards a ‘curriculum’ approach, whereby the individual students are posed pre-prepared questions and are expected to learn and remember what other people have come up with in terms of answers.
In effect, this approach can be viewed as akin to rote-learning and / or training.
Moreover, the system is overshadowed by a series of examinations where invariably, if an answer does not match up with what has been proscribed as ‘right’, it is likely to be viewed and marked as ‘wrong’, without further thought or consideration to the merits of the answer as given.
Whatever happened to the notion of ‘enablement’, ‘individuality’ and original thinking?
What about the concept of: - “I like that answer, even if it was not the one I was expecting!”?
What happened to the development of the concept of ‘EDUCTION’? --
What about that desire to elicit, develop and bring out the best in people? To ‘enable’ them to think for themselves, formulate their own questions and work out their own range of alternative answers.
It is this desire for the encouragement of an expansion of the THINKING experience of individuals’ that has led to the development of techniques that sow the seeds and enable this process of Self Organised Living and Reflecting (SOLAR) to grow.

People who have difficulties controlling their emotions can be particularly disadvantaged by an education system that does not teach them how to THINK because its focus is on ‘TELLING them to REMEMBER’. Some people react adversely to being told what to do or what to think. Their ‘instincts/ emotions’ lead them to immediately reject the dogma, even if it may have a sound logic. Others react emotionally and have difficulty remembering because memory relies on three phases; ‘input’ ‘storage’ and ‘recall’. If the person’s instinct irrationally tells them to reject what is being forced onto them by the ‘system’, then there is a malfunction in the ‘input’ phase. The information, or what is learned, could be anything from resentment to hatred for what the ‘Authority’ figures are trying to brainwash them with.
If the ‘input’ is faulty, then there is likely to be a concomitant failure in ‘recall’.
If these same individuals are encouraged to find out things for themselves by asking their own questions and exploring their own answers, then what is learned is likely to be remembered in all three phases of the memory process.
IT IS NOT THAT OUR CHILDREN FAIL IN THE SYSTEM - IT IS THAT THE SYSTEM FAILS OUR CHILDREN.

SOLAR has developed a simple technique for helping emotional people to formulate their own questions in a logical sequence to minimise the disruption caused by wayward, uncontrolled emotions. More of this later!


Hey friend how are you? Are you'll ok is the plumbing fixed yet, ? I hope all is well I had a very difficult day, but its still new, keep me in your thoughts !! Angelicamarie
Hello Angelicamarie.
We are still okay - apart from being cold. The plumbers come today (hopefully).
I hope your day gets better and I will certainly keep you in my thoughts and wish you well.
Bill
Bill
Good morning well I'm hopeful that the plumber will arrive today, and do the job. Cause the weather is changing don't want you,and your to become ill, one can only take so much cold to the body, your ostamate sister. Have a good day, I know until the plumber come it's not great but hang in there!!!!! Angelicamarie
Hello Angelicamarie.
The plumbers are here at the moment so hopefully we will have hot water by the end of the day and maybe heating by the end of the week. It's not the best time of the year to be having this sort of thing done but the carbon monoxide alarm kept going off so it's as well not to take unnecessary chances.
Best wishes
Bill
CONCEPT 19 – S.P.A.S.E.
Specified Problems & Alternative Solutions Exercise (SPASE) was a technique developed and tested during work on a thesis (1987) as a ‘brief-focussed intervention’, to enable people to quickly identify the salient features of problem areas and seek to explore all available solutions.
This approach to problem solving is typical of a functional, rational, pragmatic way of rapidly resolving the problems in front of us.
Unfortunately, the underlying reasoning is much the same in principle as the ‘curriculum’ approach in education, in that the questions are posed by someone other than the person with the problem and the answers have also been thought up by someone else.
The individual is expected to absorb and remember other people’s answers to their problems.
This is equivalent to a ‘PROP’ as mentioned in mini-model 1 and is therefore viewed as useful in the short-term (hence, ‘brief-focussed intervention’) but can hold people back in the longer term as it does not teach or enable them to think things through for themselves.

It reminds me of the quotation: - ‘Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man to Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.’
Alternatively, it is equivalent to saying to someone “Tell me your problem because ‘I’ have all the answers and you don’t need to think for yourself”. This is often a preferred strategy for sales merchants, politicians, teachers and anyone else who would like to lead and control people, without them questioning their controllers.
This concept links directly with the previous one and has relevance to the concepts that are to follow.

CONCEPT 20 – MEANING SYSTEMS.

People are encouraged to subscribe to the shared meaning systems of the societies in which they live. Culture, traditions, education, laws, language, etc., all help to guide individuals and groups into the accepted ways of the system in which they live. It is as if the people that run each different society want the people to believe that they are somehow ‘right’ and other societies are ‘wrong’.
The processes of socialisation, education and training are geared to encourage people to understand the ‘meaning’ of life within a designated context or framework.
There are however, other possibilities for developing meaning systems and one of these is at an individual level.
An assumption underlying alternative perspectives and approaches is that people may actually have the ability and capacity to think for themselves.! Also, they may not necessarily agree or fit neatly into some or all of other people’s meaning systems.
Many folks who have difficulty controlling their instincts/emotions feel marginalised by the restrictive perspectives imposed by societies that want to control those individuals who would really prefer to control themselves.
CONCEPT 21 – EXTERNAL CONVERSATIONS.

The conversations we have with others may or may not be reciprocal in nature or degree.
Some of these conversations do not give the individual credit for being able to think for themselves and others do not give them the opportunities.
Many assumptions are made and prejudices enacted through external conversations.
In emotional terms, there are times when external conversations feel as if they have become some sort of power struggle in the establishment of dominance and dependency.
When this happens, it is those who are emotionally sensitive and perhaps lacking the confidence in conversational techniques who tend to come off worse in such encounters.
People who dominate others (bullies) and tell them what they ought to do and think are prevalent throughout most societies and are often to be found in the most influential of positions. They often believe that it is their ‘right’ to be dominant over others because their ancestors were also dominant and they have a distain for those whom they perceive to be ‘below’ them in the pecking order. External conversations with such people are frustrating and emotionally disturbing for those victims on the receiving end of their conversational bullying. Is it any wonder that many people prefer conversations with less dominant people? If they cannot find mutually equal people for dialogue, then often, the most supportive and constructive conversations are those that an individual will have with themselves.
CONCEPT 22 – INTERNAL CONVERSATIONS.
Th conversations people have with themselves should not be viewed as indicating a mental disorder, as we all have them every day, which makes them ‘normal’.
Internal conversations are not necessarily dependent upon any coterminous external conversations but can be greatly influenced by them. However, they are very much influenced by instincts/emotions.
People can sometimes withdraw from external conversations because they become too frustrating, stressful and anxiety provoking, whereas it is very difficult to disengage from an internal conversation.
To maximise the positive potential for internal conversations, the energy contained within the emotional experience needs to be controlled and managed so that it does not manifest itself as dysfunctional.
With a recognisable structure and technique, it becomes possible to manage the emotional energy in such a way that what might have been negative and dysfunctional becomes more positive and functional.
One of these techniques is called ‘Constructive Conversations.’ And is briefly described in concept 23.
Hi Bill,
I'm so sorry your heat is out. A week without heat sounds like a very long time and I just really hope the repair man will fix it sooner.
Your concepts need to be in a book. I am not kidding. I was talking to a dear friend at a funeral this past weekend and the poor girl has been struggling with depression for years. The conversation turned to "how do we fix this" and since you had mentioned in one of your posts that sharing the mini theories is a good way to reinforce what I'm learning I took the liberty to tell her that I am getting better and that I came across some fascinating and effective research on the topic of emotional control - well she just grabbed my arm and said "where do I get this book?". I only had about 2 seconds - mass was about to start- so I told her it was a blog and the wind sort of went out of her sails. Of course I couldn't do much justice because first of all I know I struggle understand things and also we had no time. But even at that I could see hope in her eyes. I wish I could buy your book and send it to her.
Thank you for continuing to post and commenting on mine. I realize my grasp is weak (did you really present the 24 concepts in a two hour session?) my god I wonder how my brain would have handled that. I sincerely appreciate your continued attempts to steer me in the desired direction as well as dearly welcome advice for how to help build emotional stability in children.
On external conversations- l think there is a maturity element to our "conversational personalities" that impacts conversational relationships. I've been called a "doormat" because I don't "stick up" for my beliefs. I don't generally give my opinion on religion or politics because of what you've identified as bullying. And I don't "cave in" to someone else's opinion I just can not tolerate confrontation for no good reason. (And truthfully it's very uncomfortable for me even when there is a good reason). I have no compulsion to sway people to my point of view but that doesn't mean I'm not loyal to my positions. It comes across as aloof though which I hate but don't know how to fix really.
I hope this post hits the board when I submit it now and doesn't do that "swoosh away" business. All the best to you. Try to get warm!
Andrea
Bill, see lemonlimeviolet recognized your gift, and to be self taught, wow what a gift. I told you that u inspire of me, and you honestly do, continue to write. Your very good and wise. Hava the best day that u can have. Angelicamarie
Hi Angelicamarie,
Thank you for saying that! I was thinking the same thing but it's hard to find the words. Your words come straight from kindness. you said it perfectly.
Andrea
Hello Andrea.
Thanks again for your post and the detailed account of how you are thinking and using the concepts.
The first thing I would say is that the concepts are in a book that was written at a time when I worked in the medical sphere of mental health.(2003) It therefore uses labels for people with emotional control difficulties that I do not entirely agree with. Also, the concepts are dynamic when they are given in the 'chalk and talk' mode in that they differ with each presentation to suit the listeners at the time. Reading a book is the equivalent of me 'telling' people what I have found out. I have asked the questions and I have found the answers. This approach does not have the same impact as being 'there' for someone and sharing in a dialogue in such a way as to draw out from them the things that they know about the subject area.
My second point is that I presented all these concepts in a two hour session because in my view, they are only common-sense background information that people need not study to remember because the most important techniques of 'Constructive Conversations' will throw up many opportunities to return to and recap on the concepts time and time again, with the added advantage that it will be within a context that they will have thought through for themselves. This means that it will be absorbed and remembered much more readily than simply 'telling' them.
Your brief discussion with your friend probably did more good than you realise in that it would have given her 'hope'. Which is like the positive energy of an emotion that can spur people on to find out more about controlling their emotional energy. It does not matter if you cannot remember everything, what matters is that you told her what you know - which is that whatever you are doing, even if you don't fully understand it all, seems to be working.
As for conversational bullies, In the same book, I have outlined another theory which is not listed as a 'concept' but covers my 'criteria for engagement'. It is a very simple formula which has three questions:
1) Do you have the problem? (defined as difficulties with emotional control)
2) Do you want to change? ( It's surprising how many people don't!)
3) Are you willing to work at changing ( Even more people don't want to put any effort into changing themselves - they prefer pills and other 'props'.)
YES answers to these questions would indicate: a) a recognition of a problem b) a desire for change and c)a chance of moving forward constructively.
YES -- and SOLAR could work.
NO as an answer to these questions indicate: a) Denial b)a desire to stay dysfunctional c)less likely that any positive change will occur.
NO --- and nothing is likely to work.
I share this theory because it is also relevant to any conversation with anyone about anything. If you come across a conversational bully, then applying this logical criteria will tell you whether it is a worthwhile exercise to bother engaging in the first place or whether it is better to use your energy in other, more productive ways. Bullies generally only speak in monologues and are unwilling to listen to anyone else's point of view so what is the point in trying to establish a dialogue with these people?
Logically, you have a now got a good, well reasoned excuse to walk away without making it personal or emotional. The 'criteria for engagement' is a benchmark as to whether you engage or not. I used to confront people with this criteria before ever entering into further conversation. If they are put off at this early stage by honesty and simplicity, it is possible and likely that they are still dysfunctional and not wanting to change at this time. In which case it becomes ore economical and efficient to defer any further work/conversation until they fit the criteria.
I hope this helps you to understand how you can walk away from conversational bullies without giving it a second thought. The y are not worth engaging with.(unless you like confrontation)
Another way of viewing this same sort of thing is to see them as 'playing games'. Eric Byrne (Games People Play) described game-playing as essentially 'dishonest' and postulated that the only way of combatting it was to 'unearth the game' and expose it for what it is.
Best wishes
Bill
Hello Angelicamarie.
I agree with Andrea in saying that you are so kind and that is a quality which I for one appreciate immensely.
You remain as always, in my thoughts.
Best wishes
Bill
Bill will you delete the first message I sent you on the 6th I was saying you won't hear from me much today because I,m preparing for a colonoscopy and a Egd. This is my first time since I got my stoma, so I' really don't know how it's going to be. Keep me in your thoughts bill!! Angelicamarie
Bill have you heard from tpntiff, I know she I'll, but I sent her a message just to see how she was doing she hasn't responded hope her health is holding up!!! Angelicamarie
Hello Angelicamarie.
I have deleted the message as requested and NO! I have not heard from Tpntiff. I expect she will respond when she feels up to it.
Best wishes
Bill
Wow bill did I affend you, if so I apologize I only asked caused I know she have sent you comment, sorry I was just concerned about another human being!!!! Angelicamarie
Hello Angelicamarie.
It should be me that is apologising to you. Of course you did not offend me. Having re-read my reply I can see that it could have been less abrasive. My excuse is that I did not notice how it read at the time. I should have taken more time to compose a more suitable reply than the brief, brusque one that I hurried to get off before going to work.
I was not quite sure which poem Tiffanie was referring to as I had just posted about Rudyard Kipling's 'IF' but after further reflection I presume she was referring to 'GRATITUDE', although the two poems do have a bit in common.
It is not easy sitting here trying to type with no heating and fingers freezing at the ends. I am hoping that they might be finished by the end of the week, but it all looks painfully slow progress at the moment.
Best wishes
Bill
My friend , apology accepted moving forward. Angelicamarie
CONCEPT 23 – ‘CONSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATIONS’
Introduction:
When emotionally unstable people have internal conversations, they will often be guided by their wayward emotions to such an extent that the conversations are neither locical nor constructive. These internal conversations are likely to be as irrational and dysfunctional as the emotions from which they emanate because it’s the emotions that are guiding them. An even less controlled internal conversation happens during sleep, when there are virtually no controls at all and the mind is free-wheeling.This is when dysfunctionality really comes into its own with what we call ‘bad’ dreams or nightmares.
‘Constructive Conversations’ is a technique which basically consists of having a structured, logical conversation with one’s-self in such a way as to encourage the generation of one’s own logical questions and alternative answers.
The method involves viewing questions as ‘dimensional’ so that a more comprehensive persective can be gained and any dimensions that are omitted can be readily identified and rectified.
The process is one that helps people develop strategies of thinking logically, rather than emotionally or trying to learn and remember specific things from what other people say.
I am tempted to share the whole story about how this tecniques was developed from research into people’s relationship with their pets. However, suffice it to say, that when emotional people talk to their pets, they often get a more sensible conversation than when they talk to their fellow human beings. This is probably due to the fact that the pet communicates non-verbally, so it is not being judgemental or trying to ‘tell’ or bully the person into what they should think or do. In fact the pet adopts all the strategies listed in my ‘Aims For Today’ so it is little wonder that the conversational experience with them is so positive, even if they don’t talk back in the verbal sense.
It was my desire to develop a technique whereby I could fulfil the same functions as a pet within a ‘Constructive Conversational’ experience that was an internal dialogue to the individual rather than external with me.
What was needed was a firm conversational foundation upon which to build a conversation guided by logic rather than emotion.
In order to achieve this we need to understand the fundamental nature of conversations, which is the area I will address next.
RECAP:

BASICS OF CONSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATIONS.

Basic principles:

Alongside all other animals, human beings are pre-programmed to act on their ‘INSTINCTS’
(This was how they ‘survived’ in primitive environments.)
INSTINCTS and EMOTIONS are essentially the same ‘energy force’.
Emotions (instincts) tend to influence and control cognitive processes unless this is altered artificially by thinking logically.
Many people do not fully control their own thinking but allow their emotions to control their thinking for them.

‘Constructive Conversations’ are devised to help people to ‘THINK’ – logically.
Thinking logically helps people to ‘CONTROL’ their thinking and their consequent action.
The technique of ‘Constructive Conversations’ assists people to gain control over their cognitive processes and restructure the way that they think. By doing so, people are better able to use logic as the basis and motivation for their actions , rather than acting on their instincts/emotions which are more likely to lead them to be ‘dysfunctional’ in our modern society.

What happens with conversations:
There are basically two different types of conversation: -
1) Conversations that take place ‘between’ people. (talking to others)
2) Conversations that take place ‘within’ people. (talking to yourself)

The first type of conversation is important for communicating with other people. However, the ‘internal’ conversation you have with yourself is much more important, in as much as it determines your perception, attitudes, motivation and action. It predisposes you to act in response to your emotions/instincts.
Responses to instincts are FIGHT, FLIGHT and FREEZE. These responses might be appropriate or inappropriate but the responses are more likely to be appropriate in an artificial, modern environment if they are thought through logically first. If your internal conversations are guided by emotions rather than logic, then it may well lead you to being ‘dysfunctional in this modern society.

One main purpose of learning new things is to try to improve your performance for some future event. What you say to yourself via your internal conversation is a prime motivator for the direction you are likely to take in your subsequent actions.

Criteria for engagement:

Before bothering to do anything, it is as well to have some idea of your purposes for doing it! Some people go through the motions of learning stuff that they are never likely to use.
Below is a set of criteria which may help to identify whether engaging with the processes of ‘Constructive Conversations’ is likely to lead to some benefit.

1) Has the person got the problem? (In these cases, the problem is defined as not being in control of emotions.)
2) Do they want to change?
3) Are they willing to ‘WORK’ at changing?
4)
The above criteria may sound obvious. However,
a) Many people do not recognise the problems they have. (some simply pose problems for other people)
b) Some simply do not want to change
c) Others do not want to ‘work’ at changing. (They would like someone or something else to achieve the change for them.)


The extent that any one of these criteria are not met – will be the proportional extent to which progress is not made.

Other reasons for lack of progress are to do with people’s ability and capacity to ‘think’.
Apart from the emotional instability itself, there are a few other obvious things that mitigate against thinking clearly and logically.
‘Drugs’ (no matter what the source) tend to be emotional ‘props’ which do not resolve the problem but simply mask it for short periods.
They tend to dull the ability to think and therefore diminish the efficacy of this method to counterbalance emotional instability.
‘Environment’ can be useful or not in the processes of logical thinking. (toxic environments do not help)
‘Relationships’ can be useful when positive but not when they tend to be emotionally ‘toxic’.
‘Focus’ - There are many distractions in life that diminish the desire, skills and ability to think for yourself.

Without logical thinking – instinct/emotions will rule your life.

That last part of basic of contrucrive conversations, applied at this time, how are you this morning? Is the plumber finished yet. Do you'll have heat now? Hope all is well I missed u yesterday ,but assumed that the plumber hadn't finished. Hang.in there it will be finished my home is under construction also, not the heat, but the flooring. Best wishes my friend. Have the best day that you can!!! Angelicamarie
Hello Angelicamarie. Thanks for your post and your concern about the plumbers - It looks as if they will be here for the best part of the rest of this week. Fortunately, it has gone a few degrees warmer today so hopefully it will stay like this until they have finished. I'm pleased you found something in the last post that was applicable to yourself. Sooner of later, most of these concepts become relevant in one way or another. I am always finding new ways to make use of them.
I have no more numbered concepts to list for you but the theories surrounding 'Constructive Conversations' can be very useful in helping people to think logically so I will try tom plough on with an exposition of those.
Best wishes
Bill
CONSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATIONS - QUESTIONS.
Almost all conversations are made up of questions and answers.
When two or more people enter into a reciprocal conversation the questions and answers flow from one to the other with sensitivity and respect which is called dialogue. (between two people)
However, many conversations are conducted as a monologue (just one person) where the one person has asked the questions and then proceeds to answer them as if there is noboby else taking part in the conversation. In some respects, my presentation of the SOLAR concepts was a monologue because I had posed the questions long before I sought and found the answers. When I passed this information on, it was in the form of my ‘opinions’ or theories and was therefore antithetical to the principles of trying to help people to ask their own questions and find their own answers.
It is particularly important for people to ask their own questions when the conversation is internal because there is often nobody else present to ask the questions for them. It is also important for people to learn how to ask questions in a logical (non emotional) sequence if they are to avoid being led by their emotions to irrational questions and answers within their internal conversations.
Getting to the point of a pragmatic, understandable, useable theory about questions was part of the process of finding a way to get people to talk to themselves, without my verbal intervention. In other words, to behave as a pet would behave when being spoken to by a human being. I will share my findings in the next post.
DEVELOPING THE METHOD OF CONSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATIONS.

‘Constructive Conversations’ was therefore based on the concept of the person asking their own questions.
In our language and culture there appeared to be just six basic questions.
WHAT, WHO, WHEN, WHERE, HOW & WHY
When developing the method, it quickly became apparent that WHY posed particular problems of functionality in ‘building’ and constructing the conversations. I concluded that all the other questions had a definable ‘dimension’ and could lead to a logical list of answers. Whereas the question ‘why’ had three different meanings and only one of these was utilitarian in helping people to stay logical and construct meaningful conversations.

The concepts were explained more fully in 1998 but very briefly the dimensional questions are listed below:
QUESTION DIMENSION EQUIVALENT
WHAT (EXISTENCE) WHAT – is, was, will be, may be, could be, etc.
WHO (SOCIAL) WHAT – person, people etc.
WHEN (TIME) WHAT – time, occasion, etc.
WHERE (SPACE) WHAT – place, position, circumstance, etc.
HOW (RELATIONSHIP) WHAT – way, manner, degree, condition etc.
WHY (REASON) WHAT – reason. purpose, etc.

At first I postulated the ‘non-functional’ nature of ‘why’ both in the context of Constructive Conversations and with moving forward logically at a more general level. This was partly because - in order to answer ‘why’ adequately, all the other dimensional questions needed to be addressed first.
Having answered all the other questions the question ‘why’ became superfluous.
Another reason for being wary of using ‘why’ stems from my distrust of teachers and politicians. When I was at school, teachers seemed to ask the question ‘why’ and invariably the answers that ‘I’ gave were deemed to be ‘wrong’.
I argued endlessly and fruitlessly that my answers were not ‘wrong’ - just ‘different’. However, this appeared to make no impression at all on this ‘breed’ of people who seemed to truly believe that any answer which deviated from their perceived ‘right’ was automatically ‘wrong’. Needless to say, my schooldays were far from academically productive and the emotional scars, born from continuous battle, can still occasionally irritate when the spotlight of memory falls upon them.
I also perceive the question of ‘why’ to be the question of the politician and the philosopher because it has the overt quality of seeming to be a genuine, functional question. However, there cannot be any definitive answer. This is because ‘why’ is fundamentally about reasoning and one person’s reasoning is/may be different to another’s. ‘Why’ also has a quality akin to infinity, in that has there is no end to the question or to the potential answers. Covertly ‘why’ has the characteristic of a whirlpool, taking you round and round in ever decreasing circles until you disappear into a different dimension, yet rarely if ever with an adequate explanation. Children (under 5years?) illuminate the pitfalls of the infinity’ of ‘why’ by asking ‘why’ and then upon getting an answer will proceed to ask ‘why’ again and again and again to infinity. Unless the responder chooses to end the conversation in some way. I sometimes call this a ‘god’ question because some people end it by saying things like “because God says it’s so” or they might put themselves in the ‘god’ position and say it’s “because I say so”. If the responders knew about the nature of ‘why’ they could use the alternative of asking the question of the questioner - “When asking ‘why’ -do you mean ‘what reasons are there?” This transposes the question ‘why’ into a ‘what’ question – which is much more logical, functional and can produce a useful and relatively finite list.
Probably the most important reason for not encouraging the use of ‘why’ in ‘Constructive Conversations’ with emotionally unstable people (EUP) is that one use of ‘why’ is as an emotional defence mechanism.
An example of this is in traumatic situations. A graphic example is when someone who is emotionally close dies in unexpected circumstances. Invariably a wreath appears with the question ‘why’ written upon it. In essence ‘why’ in this context is not a true question requiring answers. It is a statement of overwhelming emotions and it may also be a way of avoiding more functional questions. The example I usually use to illustrate this point is when Princess Diana tragically died. There appeared the wreaths with ‘WHY’ which reflected the emotional mood of the people. However, the police, who had a more logical, functional role to play in understanding the events were not asking ‘why’ so much as concentrating on what, who, when, where and how, which are deemed as much more functional in finding relatively objective answers.
Another example of an ‘emotional use of ‘why’ is when people say “Why me?” This is not a ‘real’/functional question but an expression of frustration not requiring a logical answer. Indeed, if an answer were forthcoming it would probably be interpreted as ‘critical’, unhelpful and upsetting to the individual who is already emotionally stressed.
This emotional defensiveness is not a condition to be encouraged in people that are already emotionally unstable and often dysfunctional. If they are to learn the skills of thinking logically they also need to learn the skills of controlling wayward, dysfunctional emotional states.
Back to the logic and reasoning of questions:
The ‘primary question’ is ‘WHAT’ and all others are subsumed under it. Presumably the other dimensions were at some time in the past deemed by someone as important enough to warrant their own specific questions.
My interest and the interests of fellow ‘personal construct’ researchers, indicate that there are not enough of these specific questions to cover all the dimensions we wish to explore.
Thus in ‘Constructive Conversations’ I have included some extra dimensional questions to complement and extend the list.

QUESTION DIMENSION EQUIVALENT
WHINK (THINKING) WHAT – thINKing, cognition, etc.
WHEM (EMOTION) WHAT – Emotion, feeling, spiritual experience, etc.
WHELSE (ALL ELSE) WHAT – ELSE, anything not yet thought of, etc.
WHEXT (FUTURE) WHAT – nEXT, future, plans, goals, aspirations etc.


It will come as no surprise that if we are interested in personal meaning systems and personal constructs we will see the significance of asking specific dimensional questions about what we ‘THINK’, what ‘EMOTIONS’ and what NEXT is relevant. The question what ELSE is relevant in that it encourages participants to generate as many answers as they can. It also gives a clear indication that there may be more answers that we have not yet brought to mind.

THE METHOD OF CONSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATIONS.

A simplified reductionist approach to generating questions was achieved by utilising the questions listed above.
At the outset of developing this approach only one question was legitimately allowed from me as the facilitator.
This took the form of “WHICH question would be most appropriate at this point?” Giving rise to the dubiously affectionate gibe of being dubbed the first qualified ‘WHICH – doctor” in the UK.
On a more serious note, this simple question seemed to be the minimum verbal contribution that allowed for purposeful intervention and encouragement to continue. Also, as a pre-written icon, it could simply be pointed to, thus reducing my verbal input to the absolute minimum. (Akin to my dog pointing to its food when it’s hungry or to its lead when it wants a walk.)
Nowadays I either ask ‘WHAT’ would be the most appropriate question or I don’t ask any questions at all but simply encourage people to make their own way down the established dimensional list of questions. I have also gradually come to encourage people to ask the questions in the order they come on the list.
Sticking to a sequence has never been a ‘necessary’ factor. However, it does help people to remember all the questions by repetition and it puts WHEM (Emotions) near the end of the list. By the time the person reaches WHEM they are already practiced in the skill of answering logically and continue with that theme and strategy even though they are talking about emotional content. Therefore, there is much more emotional control at the very time when the Emotionally Unstable People (EUP’s) would be expected to lose it.
The ‘method’ is for participating people to ask their own questions and list their own answers to each of the questions and the result is a ‘Constructive Conversation’.
This is a simple method based on what most logical, functional do most of the time ‘naturally’.
‘Naturally’ in this sense, simply means they were taught how to do it in early childhood and they have carried on with the ‘practice’ throughout their lives. It has thus become internalised and second nature.
Most people are not fully aware that their thinking was invariable part of a personal strategy but those who are familiar with ‘personal construct psychology’ (PCP) will be aware of this phenomenon.

Sorry if the above is a bit long-winded and the layout did not download as I would have liked but I'm sure you will have got the gist of it.
Explaining the questions in this elaborate way is more for those who like long explanations. For participants in the exercise of 'constructive Conversations. I devised a simple way of absorbing the information using a hand as and aid memoir. 'WHAT' was written on the thumb, which was described as 'having' the thumb on the button to start things off; 'WHO' was on the pointing finger. If you put the 'subject'(of discussion) between the thumb and the forefinger, you will have a grip on the subject. 'WHEN', 'WHERE' & 'HOW' was written on each of the other fingers and 'WHY' was written in the palm of the hand, to signify that if all the other questions are asked. then you will have a grip on 'WHY' without having to ask the question. In addition to the basic questions, WHink, WHem, WHelse and WHext were written on the sinews at the wrist, to signify that they work the fingers (other questions) from behind the scenes.
I also wrote a rhyming verse to capture the ideas and I will post this as soon as I can find the time to type it out.
Best wishes
Bill
Hi Bill! Ok ... now thankfully it makes sense to me What was stopping me from making sense. I make mistakes when I talk to myself!! I suspected as much!! It's a relief to know. (I really had faith we would get here... I don't think I ever really doubted you and I find this very uplifting because I am the type of person that can absolutely not connect with other people until I have spent a lot of TIME with them. but something in your poem pulled me in. ) I don't understand yet how to have a constructive conversation with myself. But I really need to keep studying and for gods sake try to figure out what you are saying. Time is ticking!
This reminds me of an intro to philosophy class I took at a community college when I first moved to Iowa. We were studying Rene Descartes and I happened to 'luck out' and reason that perhaps a flaw in his therory "I think therefore I am"... was to consider if in fact "thoughts" were what "was"... what primarily "existed". What defined "existence ". And the "I " was merely a function of thoughts? Who could say?
Anyway that was the extent of my enlightenment. I didn't understand another single concept the rest of the semester. The professor still gave me a B for a final grade. I think I might have broken his heart a little bit because my mind appeared to hold potential for a brief moment and then (disappointedly) crapped out.
As the years passed my body followed suit. Glimpses of brilliance peppered with humiliating episodes of "crapping out" from the woods of Wisconsin to the streets of New York, Paris, and Cologne. In
For now I continue to try to copy my Marley, read your theories and concepts posted here, keep my chin up, and try to understand how to achieve balance.
Hope your dang heat is on Bill!
Thank you for everything.
All the best to you and yours.
Andrea
Looking forward to the poem just whenever you have the time. Thanks!
I think it's worth pointing out that in order to identify the heart of "the matter" at hand - whatever it may be- I will need to put pen to paper. Concentration alone within my own thoughts will not provide the clear Diagram I need to organize a discovery.
The 'questions' remind me of past situations when in the midst of a pain flare I would occasionally become so frustrated I would yell 'What is it??' Meaning what was emotionally triggering the pain?? Because once I was able to identify the culprit I was relieved of pain.
Your method of constructive conversations is so much deeper and layered. It gives me great hope. I'm looking forward to practicing this for myself and will do in the near future. There is a bit of fear that I won't make any discoveries but really mostly glad anticipation because there's a very good chance that I will.
Hello Andrea.
I do believe you are right about putting pen to paper as once you get going on looking comprehensively at subjects, it can sometimes be hard to remember what it was you thought of just a few questions previously.
If you think of the list of questions as different ways of looking at the subject matter from different angles it becomes clear that if all the questions are not asked, then there will be an inadequate perspective gained. Once the questions - what, who, when, where and how are asked in that sequence there are some obvious dimensions or angles that are missing, which is why I invented some questions to address the gaps.
firstly, we want to know WHat people are thINKing - hence the question WHINK?
We also want to know WHat their EMotions are - so we ask the question WHEM?
our answers are only circumscribed by our imagination, there is always something ELSE so we ask WHat ELSE - WHELSE?
and when all these questions are asked we want to know what we are going to do with this information for the future. The question is therefore WHat nEXT = WHEXT?
I expect you will have noticed that all these questions derive from the primary question - which is WHAT.
When I am facilitating a 'Constructive Conversation' the subject matter is written after the words WHAT IS----.I then write a number (1) signifying that an answer is expected. Once one answer is given and written down, I immediately write (2) underneath, thus, expecting another answer. This goes on until the participant cannot think of anything else. The writing of the numbers is in fact the subliminal question WHELSE? (WHat ELSE?)implying that there is always something else. What we are looking for is to draw out from the person what the subject matter 'means' to them.
The same procedure is repeated for all the other questions until a complete 'Constructive Conversation' is achieved. If you like, I will copy an example of one that has been completed by emotionally unstable people. What I would like from you is a one-word subject matter that would have some significance so that you can follow the conversation as if you were taking part yourself.
First of all I will post the rhyming verse covering the five basic questions.
Best wishes
Bill
PS: We have finally got some heating in the house so my fingers have thawed out for typing.


CREATING QUESTIONS FOR CONSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATIONS.

THROUGHOUT THE LIVES OF HUMAN KIND
MANY ANSWERS CROSS THE MIND
BUT QUESTIONS TEND TO VIVIFY
FOR IN EACH QUESTION ANSWERS LIE.

SO, QUESTIONS ARE THE WAY TO GO
QUESTIONS PAVE THE WAY TO KNOW.
THROUGH ASKING QUESTIONS ONE BY ONE
BETTER ANSWERS SURELY COME.

THE WORLD IS FULL OF ANSWERS
BUT THIS YOU MAY NOT KNOW –
IF YOU CREATE THE QUESTIONS
THE ANSWER’S BOUND TO FLOW.

“WHAT”
STARTING OFF WITH YOUR THUMB
‘WHAT’ IS QUESTION NUMBER ONE.
ASK THIS QUESTION AND YOU’LL SEE
WHAT CREATES THE CLARITY.

“WHO”
YOUR POINTING FINGER SHOWS YOU WHO
MAY BE IMPORTANT FROM YOUR’ VIEW.
WHO IS WORST OR WHO IS BEST
‘WHO’ HELPS IDENTIFY AND TEST.

FIRST GRASP.
IF YOU WANT TO TAKE A HOLD
BE CLEAR OF WHAT AND WHO’S INVOLVED.
TOGETHER THESE WILL GIVE YOU GRIP
WHICH WILL NOT LET THE SUBJECT SLIP.

“WHEN”
TO GLEAN THE MEANING FROM NOW AND THEN
NEEDS YOU TO ASK THE QUESTION ‘WHEN’.
AFFECTING, EFFECTING EVERYTHING
DON’T LEAVE OUT ‘TIME’ FROM ANYTHING.

“WHERE”
ASKING ‘WHERE’ HELPS FIND THE PLACE
THINGS ARE OR WERE IN TIME AND SPACE.
TO EXPLORE BOTH FACT AND FEELING
‘WHERE’ WHEN ASKED, CAN BE REVEALING.

“HOW”
THE QUESTION ‘HOW’ WILL HELP EXPLAIN
BY STARTING OFF A CAUSAL CHAIN.
‘HOW’ IS THE QUESTION YOU WILL FIND
SUITS THE MORE ENQUIRING MIND.

“WHY”
‘WHY’ REFLECTS A HUMAN TRAIT
TO WANT TO KNOW WHY THINGS RELATE.
THE QUESTION ‘WHY’ SHOULD NOT BE ASKED
WITHOUT THE OTHERS IN YOUR GRASP.

B. Withers 1993
Hello Bill,
I was very glad to read that the heating was back up and running in your house. I shudder to think of anyone subject to unrelenting cold. It's very frigid in Wisconsin tonight. Thank you very much for your kind offer to help me follow a constructive conversation on a one word topic! I can tell you that this type of exercise will be incredibly valuable to me for concrete examples are a good learning mode for me. I must admit that after considerable thought I still find it somewhat difficult to understand how to narrow down the subject. I find that broader topics come to mind and push in and in effect this inability to "see the tree for the forest" is perhaps one of my primary challenges. So here I will propose a subject matter of "disappointment ". I'm not confident that this is a word that lends itself to building a constructive conversation so would ask for your kind redirection as necessary.
I do feel compelled to express my heartfelt gratitude to you for this blog. As life unfolds- day to day- I find myself returning to previous pearls of wisdom and perspective you have written down here. Just now I had reason to scroll back and search for something you said early on regarding siblings. I couldn't remember it exactly but remembered that I thought it was honest and insightful and sounded balanced. During this holiday season I think it's especially relatable and bears thought.
This is what you said, "I understand how you feel about siblings who don't seem to do their duty but having lost nearly all mine, I now look back and feel we just have to enjoy having them about no matter for better or worse".
Bill I hope your days are spent with kind folks who treat you with all the attributes contained in the 10 Daily Aims.
All the best,
Andrea
Hello Andrea.
Yes! it is such a relief to be warm again. However, sitting in the freezing cold does make us appreciate what we have when it all works again.
'Disappointment' is an ideal subject for a 'constructive conversation' - mind you, I wold probably have said that no matter what subject you came up with, as the process lends itself to examining anything you like.
I scanned back on the many 'CCs' conducted with Emotionally Unstable People and found one on 'DISAPPOINTMENT' so I will post it. However, please bear in mind that these 'CCs' were undertaken in a group setting, so the contributory answers might seem to be beyond that which one person might think up for themselves. Don't worry if you don't understand some of the one-word answers, because they would have been concepts very specific to the person who contributed them.
You might like to bear in mind that I was in the group as a facilitator. Not saying anything but encouraging the conversation by my non-verbal contributions (according to my AIMS list. I was also writing down their contributions on a sheet of lining paper, so they could see the conversation 'building' from the one-word subject of 'disappointment' through all the different dimensional questions.
I hope that by reading through what others have come up with by way of answers, you will see that what starts out as an emotionally charged concept, can be analysed in terms of what it actually 'means' to and for the participants. By the time we reach the end of the session they have come to grips with the subject and begin to see where they can go next in that regard. I hope you will jot down your own answers to each question as you read through the 'CC' then perhaps we can discuss the whole thing further.
Best wishes
Bill
1) WHAT IS DISAPPOINTMENT

1) Being let down
2) Being ostracised
3) That’s life
4) Being made unhappy
5) Being uncomfortable
6) Out of the ‘known zone’.
7) Become untrusting of people
8) Sense of failure
9) Become paranoid
10) One disappointment after another
11) Things escalate
(feelings, happenings)
12) Disappointment leads to resentment
13) Could lead to retaliation
14) Rejection
15) Leads to lower self-esteem
16) Feelings of worthlessness
17) Expectations damaged (+14 above)
18) Relationships
19) Working relationships
20) Personal qualities that inhibit
dialogue/ communications.
21) Shyness , fear, anger, withdrawal etc.
22) Discrimination
23) Acquaintances
24) Lines to step over
25) ‘Systems’ that disappoint ‘some’.
26) Assumptions
27) Responsibilities
28) Parenting
29) Learning
30) Adaptation
31) Progression ( or not)
32) The way the world is going
33) Those in charge
34) Realisation
35) Manipulation ( good & bad)
36) Hierarchy
37) Planning
38) NHS
39) Dishonesty – against you
40) ‘|Merry’ –go round. ( cycle)
41) Social control
42)

2) WHO (is relevant)
1) Self
2) Everybody
3) Those in authority
4) Those who manipulate / bully
5) Those who Fail to live up to our expectations / hopes.
6) Family
7)

3) WHEN (is relevant)
1) From birth
2) When vulnerable
3) When looking back
4) When listening to people
5) When you ‘realise’.
6) When you feel ( aware)
7) When you can control ( or not)
8) When you can ( can’t) ESCAPE
9) When things happen –
( out of the blue)
10) When things don’t happen
11) When you’re not ready for stuff
12) When you’re uncomfortable.
13) When you cross the line
14)

4) WHERE (is relevant)
1) Home
2) Wherever you are
3) Work
4) In your head
5) With your doctor
6) Amongst friends
7) The ‘system’.
8) School / college
9) ‘Therapy’ sessions
10) Where people are ‘detached’
11) Where people ‘belittle’
12)

5) HOW (is it relevant)
1) Mental Health
2) Change of personality
3) Self-esteem
4) Level of functioning
5) How you handle it
6) How others handle it
7) Taking life’s difficulties in context.
8) Use it as a learning tool
9) Affects your whole life
10) It’s a ‘pointer’. (usually negative)
11) Needs POSITIVE – to balance
12) It becomes a ‘landslide’
( one added to another)
13) Race/gender/politics.
14)

6) WHINK (WHat do you think)
1) Disappointing
2) Lack of control
3) You don’t have a say
4) You don’t ‘choose’ it
5) Money is a control
6) Power & money in a monetarist
system.
7) Money talks
8) Unfairness
9) The fact of disappointment =
expectations.
10) Takes away ‘freedoms’.
11)

7) WHEM (WHat EMotions have you)
1) Sadness
2) Depression
3) Hate ( dislikes)
4) Resentment
5) Anger
6) Envy
7) Jealousy
8) Hope/ hopelessness.
9) Dishonesty ( against you)
10) Worthlessness
11) FEAR
12) Insecurity
13) Frustration
14) Uncontrollability – in life
15) Isolation
16) Loneliness
17) LOVE – ( likes)
18) Powerless
19)

8) WHEXT (WHat nEXT)
1) PLAN ( life – death – others)
2) Look to positive attitudes
3) Mix with different people
4) Get help
5) Find out what you ‘need’.
6) Go for it
7) Take control of your own life
( as far as possible)
8) Take control of own decisions
9) Take control of emotions
10) Manage your disappointment
11) Acceptance / expectations
12) Move on
13) Let go
14) Don’t punish yourself
15) Don’t set yourself up for failure
16) Think about self-preservation
17) Use hindsight to prepare for the future
18) Try not to be self-destructive ( harm)
19) Be self-empowering.

END.
Hi Bill,
These answers are so very comforting to read- actually to see all the responses helps to understand that the volume of the quandary is universal. I realize this was a group exercise but I suspect that for an individual - a lot of emotional instability comes from the process one's brain goes through when dealing with a huge amount of considerations. Is the goal to find one answer or is it ok to be enveloped in the giant potential that each question provides? The second option seems to have a pitfall of wallowing for long of periods of time. I find myself in that position throughout various activities- to be clear.,,the means do often justify the ends. But with unreliability- unfortunately. I'm very thankful for the things I have learned here so far because even when I'm overwhelmed by a large volume of options to consider- I have tools to see me through. Acting like Marley helps me slow down and think. And in that gift of time I'm able to sequence my emotions and feelings in a more balanced way and obtain some control - the kind of control I seek. Not to dominate! But to be able to act the way a person should. The way I want to act.
Bill I'm responding to dissipointments, some of that t totally relate too, some pertains to me now but it's real. Good job!!! Bill your my inspiration. Angelicamarie
Hello Andrea.
I'm pleased that you were able to get something useful from the transcript of the 'constructive Conversation' on 'DISAPPOINTMENT' and it's good that you are sharing your questions about the process as this gives me the opportunity of explaining things that might be of more relevance to your thinking.
You are quite right when you say that emotional instability can come from the brain trying to process huge amounts of information(this is sometimes described as the brain 'racing'.) The main 'goal' is not to find one answer but to control the processes within the mind that cause it to 'race' with very little control on the process. Asking these questions and coming up with a host of different answers is a way of channelling all that 'racing' energy into a logical format.
If you notice, the question WHEM? , which is specifically asking WHat EMotions are felt, has been left until almost last in the sequence. This is because all the other questions can be answered instantaneously by 'instinct', yet the emotional 'charge' of emotional energy does not come out as anything but a logical answer to a logical question. By the time the participants have reached 'WHEM', they have practiced answering logically enough times to say logically what emotions they feel - without actually feeling them. If we asked about emotions at the beginning of the conversation, the chances would be that the whole conversation would be fully emotionally charged and probably end up with some sort of nervous breakdown. As the 'constructive Conversation' progresses, it can be clearly seen that the participants are getting more and more control over their 'racing' minds, to such an extent that after they list their emotions, they are well prepared to list what they should do with all this information NEXT.
This process doesn't necessarily slow the thinking process down, it puts it into a logical sequence, no matter how fast the responses are coming. at the end of each conversation the participants suggest their own solutions/answers to the problem that they stated at the beginning ( in this case it was 'Disappointment'.) This is truly a DIY method of learning to control otherwise wayward emotions in ways that lead the participants to find their own answers, rather than have them 'told' to them by someone else.
Looking at a problem / topic from all these different perspectives will give anyone the knowledge to make rational decisions for themselves about almost anything.
If you choose another topic, I will see if there has already been a CC on it and that can be used as another example. However, another approach would be for you to choose a topic to work through for yourself. Asking the questions in turn and then trying to think of as many answers as you can for what that topic 'means' to you. As with most things, the more you practice, the easier it tends to get.
Best wishes
Bill
Hello Angelicamarie.
It is really good to think that you are also getting something from the 'Constructive Conversation' on 'DISAPPOINTMENTS'. I was tempted to post one or two CC transcripts on 'LOSS' and related issues but I felt that it was perhaps a bit early for these concepts to be aired in such a logical format, as there needs to be enough space to feel the emotion and let it run its due course, before trying to control it. However, the same offer applies to you as to Andrea, in that if you have a concept that you wish to see how someone else has dealt with it in a 'constructive Conversation' format, then just let me know and I'll search through my archives to see if the subject has been dealt with before.
Best wishes
Bill


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