Posts Tagged ‘depression’

“Recipe for depression.” ~ Doc Meek

Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011. Today I am grateful for a friend who questioned me about depression. I had sent him the following “Recipe for Depression” and he queried me on it.

Here is the exchange:


(1) You notice that what is happening is what you want (you get your own way).

Result: You are happy.

(2) You notice that what is happening is what you don’t want (you don’t get your own way).

Result: You are not happy (you are depressed).

Since life does not always produce for you what you want, this is a guaranteed recipe for depression.


Stop basing happiness on whether you get your own way or not.

My friend replied:

That sounds good, Collins, but it’s just so natural to live the way you describe. Any suggestions as to how to change that or deal with it?

So, I guess I’m saying… You’ve told me the “what.” Now, please tell me the “how.”

So I replied to my friend:

I read Marci Shimoff’s book entitled Happy for No Reason and that provided a real start for me. Many “how’s” I think.

Then I got a “gratitude rock” (a small pebble) which I carry in my pocket continuously. Every time I reach in my pocket and touch the little rock, I think of something for which I am grateful. Actually feel grateful for, not something I “should” feel grateful for. I have slowly, very slowly, transformed my mental life from one of very natural criticism and complaints to one a healthier set of feelings of gratitude. Real feelings.

Just as real as the feelings of depression that haunted me for so many years.

Love and Respect, Collins

Side-notes with respect to my friend’s statement: “. . . it’s just so natural to live the way you describe [recipe for depression].”

(1) Yes, in our Western culture we do tend to live that way. That is why depression is so rampant.

(2) My Christian friends tell me that I should not try to live as the “natural man,” that I should try to live as the “spiritual man.”

(3) Knowing that my friend is a professing Christian, I should ask him, “What sayest thou to that?”

P.S. One thing in Marci’s book that caught me square in the solar plexus was one man (one of her group of “The Happy Hundred”) who said (and lived it):

“I am grateful for everything. I have no complaints whatsoever!”

I was so stunned when I read this that I determined to learn how to live like that!

I still have a long ways to go. However, I am getting there and it is so satisfying I cannot express how much in words.

Doc Meek, Tues, Mar 15, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

“Learn vital health data from Mike Adams” ~ Doc Meek

Thursday, February 10, 2011. Today I am grateful for Mike Adams. The reason I subscribe to his free health and wellness newsletter is that I can learn facts from an independent source who is honest and reliable. He is beholden to no special interests or advertisers.

Mike Adams is the editor-in-chief of

He’s written thousands of natural health articles and product reviews and is read by millions around the world.

Adams has been called “the best health and natural products writer on the scene today.” His work has been endorsed by Dr. Julian Whitaker, Michael T. Murray, Ronnie Cummins from the Organic Consumers Association and many more.

Mike Adams also serves as the volunteer executive director of the non-profit

Consumer Wellness Center,

a nutrition outreach organization that awards grants to nutrition programs that assist low-income children and expectant mothers all over the world.

You’ll hear more about the CWC’s success stories when you subscribe to our email newsletter.

Thank you, Mike Adams, for being a source of learning we can rely upon in these biased times!

Doc Meek, Thursday, February 10, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

P.S. logo and information:
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About: is an independent news resource that covers the natural health and wellness topics that empower individuals to make positive changes in their personal health. NaturalNews offers uncensored news that allows for healthier choice.

“Depression and Zen.” ~ Doc Meek

Monday, January 31, 2011. Today I grateful for those people who continue to provide a wide range of views and resolutions to the bane of our age–depression–both economic and mental/emotional.  Michael Masterson is one such person. He is a financial genius, which at first blush may seem to be an odd source for mental/emotional depression resolution ideas.

Michael Masterson has developed a loyal following through his writings in Early to Rise , an e-newsletter published by Agora, Inc., that mentors more than 450,000 success-oriented individuals to help them achieve their financial goals.

Masterson has been making money for himself and others for almost four decades. At one time or another, Michael Masterson (a pen name used by this ultra-successful businessman) has consulted for and advised multi-million dollar companies that were both public/private, onshore/overseas, local/international, service-/product-oriented, retail/wholesale/direct mail, and even . . . not-for-profit.

Masterson is the author of several Wall Street Journal, New York Times and best sellers, including Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat, Seven Years to Seven Figures: The Fast Track Plan to Becoming a Millionaire; Automatic Wealth: The Six Steps to Financial Independence; Automatic Wealth for Grads… and Anyone Else Just Starting Out; Power and Persuasion: How to Command Success in Business and Your Personal Life (all published by John Wiley & Sons); and Confessions of a Self-Made Millionaire and Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business (with MaryEllen Tribby).

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Thank you, Michael Masterson, for your encouragement and inspiration to all and sundry, over many years!

I wonder if there is a relationship between an economic depression and a mental depression?

Doc Meek, Monday, January 31, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

P.S. Here is Michael Masterton’s complete article, should you wish to read it.


By Michael Masterson | Mon, Mar 30, 2009 |

About a month ago, I played golf for the first time with Number Three Son (N3S). I was looking forward to a pleasant afternoon. I imagined fresh air, healthy sunshine, and that father-son banter that women who don’t understand men categorize as superficial.

The afternoon started off as hoped for. The sun was shining. The course was green. We prepared by eating hotdogs and lighting up cigars. But on the very first tee, things started going badly. At least for N3S.

N3S is a novice golfer. He’s played less than half a dozen games. He was focused on long drives and good chips and accurate putting. When he didn’t hit the ball well – which was most of the time – he was angry with himself.

Though he may not have been hitting the ball the way he wanted, he was hitting it. I was impressed and told him so. “You are doing a lot better than I was at your stage of the game.”

That didn’t mollify him. By the ninth hole, he was emotionally exhausted. He didn’t want to play anymore. “It’s no use,” he said morosely. “I stink.”

N3S’s frustration with his poor performance and his subsequent depression reminded me of myself until just a few years ago. It scared me to think that he might go through what I went through for 40 years. On the way home, I talked to him about one of the ways I’ve overcome my own tendency to get depressed. Today, I’m going to share that same strategy with you.

When you’re happy, you can move mountains. When you’re angry or depressed, your energy drops, your focus blurs, and your productivity lapses.

Depression can blunt your work skills. It can damage your reputation. It can separate you from your income and your possessions. It can affect your relationships with your spouse, your children and family – even lifelong friends. Depression will rob you of all the beautiful little moments that make life worth living – like a day on the golf course with Dad.

It steals your fun. It steals your time. It leaves you with nothing.

Last week, in my article, “Defeating depression before it defeats you.” ~ Michael Masterson,” I told you two stories about friends of mine who fell into deep depressions when they lost their jobs and their income.

Both of them had based their self-worth on their ability to make money – a mistake that many entrepreneurs make. And when, through no fault of their own, they suffered a serious financial setback, they felt like failures. I suggested that the way to avoid falling into that trap is to base your self-worth on things that really matter – on personal values that have nothing to do with your income.

There’s another common mistake that leads many to despair. The mistake that N3S was making during our golf game. I have to warn you that the solution to this one is a bit harder to understand and practice. But stick with me while I explain it. Because once you “get it,” you’ll have no trouble maintaining a positive outlook… even under the most difficult circumstances.

I am talking about developing the skill of emotional detachment. More specifically, developing the ability to set and pursue goals without caring whether you actually achieve them.

I learned how to do this only six or eight years ago, and have been practicing it in fits and starts. As each year passes, I get better at it. I feel happier and more in control of my life. Most important, I think it has helped me pass along some of my newfound happiness to others.

When most people hear the phrase emotional detachment, they think it means indifference or even heartlessness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Emotional detachment frees you from neurotic attachments and lets you focus your energies on other people, other things, and the here and now.

The best example I can give you is the natural love that a mother has for her child. When the child is happy, the mother is happy. When the child is unhappy, the mother instinctively wants to find the cause of the unhappiness and end it, if she can.

When the mother discovers that the child is unhappy because of some physical discomfort, she tries to relieve it. When the cause is an emotional conflict, she does her best to teach the child how to handle it. The mother’s goal is always to prepare the child to become independent. She works consistently to gradually free the child from his natural dependence on her so that he can go out into the world and live a happy and productive life.

When an 11-year-old tells his mother that he “hates” her because she’s imposed some restriction on him, the (mentally healthy) mother does not feel hurt, even though a hurtful thing has been said. She loves the child and doesn’t take his statement to heart. She remains calm. She reminds him that she loves him. And she explains that the restriction will not be removed simply because he “hates” it or her.

In other words, she is emotionally detached from the child’s expressions of anger.

If you are a parent, you understand what I mean. Most parents, most of the time, practice this sort of emotional detachment with their children. But there are some who can’t do it, because they are emotionally attached to their children’s approval of them. These are the parents who want to be “best friends” with their children. They break their own rules the moment their children object to them. Sometimes they go so far as to tolerate risky behavior.

The skill of emotional detachment can be applied to all relationships. It can work with your boss and colleagues at work. It can work with your spouse or parents at home. Detachment can also be applied to almost any challenge or problem. And the result will always be greater calmness and clarity.

This gets us back to my story about N3S…

When I started golfing, I approached the game very much the way my son approached it. That is, I was concerned about the outcome of my shots. When hitting the ball off the tee, I cared about how far it would go. When I putted, I cared about how close the ball would get to the hole.

This made the game very frustrating. Being a beginner, the outcome of most of my shots was disappointing.

But it didn’t take me long to realize that I was my own worst enemy. By allowing myself to be disappointed four shots out of five, I was setting myself up for failure. (How can you learn to play golf well if you are swearing when you are swinging the club?) The trick, I soon figured out, was to detach myself emotionally from the intended outcome (where the ball goes) and focus instead on the experience of the swing.

My goal, when I play golf these days, is to have a good swing. I don’t care where the ball goes. All I care about is whether I achieve my intention of swinging the club properly.

This has made a remarkable difference in my game. In several short months, I have brought down my handicap by about 30 strokes. Before, I was shooting about 130 and hating the game. Now, I am hovering at 100 and liking it, even when the ball lands in a sand trap or rolls over the green.

Anything we do in life – any goal we set, any relationship we engage in – can be done better and more happily by applying emotional detachment.

Let me give you a few more examples.

Emotional Attachment: You want to go on a picnic Saturday afternoon. It rains. You are disappointed.

Emotional Detachment. You intend to have a picnic on Saturday. But, knowing you can never predict the weather, you consciously detach yourself from the hope that the sun will shine. You create Plan B – going to the movies instead. So when it rains, you move happily from Plan A to Plan B without getting upset or upsetting those with you. You are the Zen Master of your Saturday afternoon. You help others feel better by your good example. And that, in turn, increases your happiness.

Emotional Attachment. You want to get a raise. You don’t get one. You are disappointed.

Emotional Detachment. You intend to get a raise. But, knowing you can’t control the outcome of your next performance review, you come up with a Plan B that involves starting your own side business. You make a good presentation at the review, but your boss doesn’t give you the raise. You aren’t disappointed. In fact, you are excited… because now you can initiate Plan B.

Emotional Attachment: You want to marry your college sweetheart. You propose to her. She refuses you. You are crushed.

Emotional Detachment. You intend to marry your college sweetheart. But, recognizing that you cannot control her feelings, you detach yourself from that outcome and settle on Plan B, which is to enjoy the relationship for some months longer while you begin to look for a new one. You propose to her and are turned down. You aren’t sad. You don’t pout. You put Plan B into action. She notices your detachment and likes you better for it. Now it is up to you to continue the relationship or move on.

As I said earlier, the skill of emotional detachment is hard to understood and practice. But if you can master it, you will enjoy a life of unlimited wealth, health, and happiness.

Before N3S and I went golfing for the second time, I had him take a lesson with Larry, the pro I learned from. (Larry understands the Zen of golf. He, like Ben Hogan, understands that the true purpose of golf is not to achieve a specific score but to experience the serenity and pleasure that come with developing a consistently good swing.)

When we hit the golf course this time, I reminded N3S to focus his mind not on where the ball goes but on executing his swing. We played all 18 holes in perfect harmony. And though we didn’t care about our scores, they were better than they had been the time before.

“Depression, a many-splendored thing.” ~ Doc Meek

Monday, January 24, 2011. I am grateful to know that depression is multi- faceted, both as to cause and as to resolution.

  My Personal Journey Though Depression

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A friend reported to me many years ago now:

“Depression is the natural result of unwanted circumstances.”

I was steeped in the medical model at the time and was very surprised at what he said.

I wonder who said this originally? If anyone knows, please let me know. My friend said he found it in an respectable academic paper.

Both conscious and subconscious negative thinking pattens about unwanted circumstances can generate neurochemical imbalances in the brain.

Some people take antidepressants to help balance neurochemicals, to encourage the occurrence of more positive thinking patterns.

Changes in neurochemicals can indeed sometimes promote more positive thinking patterns and lighten mood.

Amazingly the opposite is also the case:

Consciously changing subconscious negative thinking patterns towards more positive thinking patterns can often alter neurochemicals for the better.

What promotes conscious and subconscious negative thinking patterns?

Try the evening news for starters. 😮

Doc Meek, Monday, January 24, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

P.S. I remember Harv Eker saying:

(1) “Don’t believe anything I say.”

(2) “This is my experience. Test it for yourself.”

(2) “Nothing has any meaning except the meaning you give to it.”

T. Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind!
10 min – 9 Sep 2006
Uploaded by mrblue37

“Ask me anything.” – Doc Meek

Thursday, August 12, 2010. Today I am grateful that I have had more than thirty (30) years of great experience with almost all aspects of education and learning. They call me the “the brain guy.” – Doc Meek

People are always asking me questions about teaching, learning, and how the brain operates. And how the school systems operate.

I am delighted to answer any and all questions! 😮

So this is an open invitation to all of you who are parents, teachers, students, or educational administrators:

“Ask me anything”

I learned that phrase from my internet mentor, Connie Ragen Green. She teaches people how to be a business success on the internet, like she is. She is a great teacher/learner. Kind, considerate, and patiently able to explain answers to all questions, including the “dumb questions” people are almost afraid to ask. That’s Connie.

“There are no dumb questions, ” Connie says, and she practices what she preaches. And she keeps learning. She never stops learning. I think that is one reason she is such a good teacher. She is a good student as well. Thank you Connie! I am grateful for your example.

Same invitation from Doc: “Ask me anything.”

“Ask me anything about education, training, the brain, the mind, behavior, emotion, teaching, teacher training, student learning problems, and so on.”

I have had extensive training and experience with almost all aspects of education and learning, including the administrative and financial aspects. (See my Qualifications Brief by clicking on the date of July 15, 2010, on the calendar on the right-hand side of the screen when you first visit THE LEARNING CLINIC WORLDWIDE blog at

There is almost nothing about education, learning or the brain that you can ask me, about which I have not had some degree of familiarity.

You can ask me with confidence and I will respond with both knowlege and compassion. If I don’t know the answer I will find it for you.

And even a little humor may go a long way, eh?

Years ago, a Calgary magazine reported:

“Dr. Meek brings a unique blend of warmth, intelligence and humor to everything he does.” Thank you, Calgary!

If you have any questions or comments, just click on the little blue word “comments” at the bottom right-hand side of this article, and a form will appear that you can use to ask any question you wish.

Doc Meek, Thursday, August 12, 2010, at Nose Hill Public Library in Calgary, Alberta, CANADA.


J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
“What if you are smarter than you think?”
Learning Specialist

For brain health, ensure heart health (short video):
More on heart health
Ph (801) 971-1812 (Jeannette); Fax [801] 282-6026

CANADA: P.O. Box 3105, Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2T1
TONGA: Mele Taumoepeau, P.O. Box 60, Nuku’alofa
USA: 3688 W 9800 S, #138, South Jordan, UT 84095


Laughter lightens learning; gentle humor does too

Monday, August 9, 2010: Spent the night in the Big Horn Motel, at Dead Man’s Flats, near Canmore, Alberta, CANADA. The Rocky Mountains, for me, create humility–in the face of the mighty forces of nature that brought them forth– and gratitude–for their stunning grandeur.

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For some reason, staying at Dead Man’s Flats brought forth my sense of humor, despite the ghoulish name of the place, eh? 😮 How would you like to live in a place called Dead Man’s Flats? You would probably love it if the scenery was as beautiful and gratifying as it in this lovely place. 😮

This reminded me of how humor and laughter lighten learning, and open new learning channels of the brain. Parents and teachers who learn how to incorporate humor into everyday life at home and in the classroom enhance learning in the moment and help to create long-term interest in learning as well.

“I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful. ”  —Bob Hope (1903-2003)

Laughter even helps you have better health.

A healthier body = a healthier brain

“Laugh More To Live Longer,” by Dr. Michael Cutler on 07/04/2010

Are you feeling down… stressed… tense… or depressed? Does it seem like your spouse keeps stepping on your last nerve… and your coworkers were put on this earth to drive you crazy? Well, laugh it off and you’ll live a longer, healthier and more satisfying life according to recent studies.

Laughter has been shown to relax muscles, increase oxygen flow, promote circulation and reduce tension, as well as lower blood pressure, aid in social bonding, ease stress and boost your immune system. It can even help promote a healthier appetite in the elderly or disabled, and may even lower your cholesterol and reduce your heart disease risk.

A recent health report lists the following five benefits of a good sense of humor:

  • Most laughs involve exhaling deeply and when you exhale, your blood pressure and heart rate decrease, and you then experience a calmness and sense of relief indicates Dacher Keltner, Ph.D. professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley.
  • You’ll be better able to bond with your spouse because those who laugh together to ease tension are much more likely to have better marriages according to John Gottman, Ph.D., a psychologist at the Gottman Institute.
  • According to researchers from the Loma Linda University in California, even anticipating a good laugh decreases your stress hormones dopac (by 38 percent), cortisol (by 39 percent) and epinephrine (by 70 percent).
  • In a study reported in the International Journal of Medical Sciences, those of us who enjoy chuckling as much as 10 to 25 times a day experience fewer diseases than those who laugh less than that amount.
  • A survey of close to 600 men shows that 73 percent believed that having a good sense of humor made them better on their jobs.

What better way to promote good health and great happiness than to laugh your way through life? Try it daily and you’ll find that laughter truly is the best medicine.

Article from:

The author of the above guest article on THE LEARNING CLINIC WORLDWIDE blog is Michael Cutler, M.D. is a board-certified family physician with 18 years experience specializing in chronic degenerative diseases, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. 

A graduate of Brigham Young University, Tulane Medical School and Natividad Medical Center Family Practice Residency in Salinas, Calif., he serves as a medical liaison to alternative and traditional practicing physicians. His practice focuses on an integrative solution to health problems.

Dr. Cutler is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on experiencing optimum health through natural medicines and the Founder and Editor of Easy Health Options™ newsletter—a leading health advisory service on natural healing therapies and nutrients and is Medical Advisor for True Health™—America’s #1 source for doctor-formulated nutrients that heal. For more information visit ……………………………………………………………………

Thanks Michael!

Doc Meek, Monday, August 9, 2010, in the Nose Hill Public Library, at Calgary, Alberta, CANADA


J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
“What if you are smarter than you think?”
Learning Specialist

For brain health, ensure heart health (short video):
More on heart health
Ph (801) 971-1812 (Jeannette); Fax [801] 282-6026

CANADA: P.O. Box 3105, Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2T1
TONGA: Mele Taumoepeau, P.O. Box 60, Nuku’alofa
USA: 3688 W 9800 S, #138, South Jordan, UT 84095


“My Life . . . ’til Now” (Personal) by Doc Meek

Some readers want to hear more about the owner of this blog, Doc Meek

Rossland, BC, CANADA, Doc’s birthplace and hometown; Photo from: ……………………………………………………………………………………………

Author’s preface:

Some of this autobiography is factual, such as date and place of birth. However, as life goes on, as we all know, we develop “stories” about ourselves that we believe to be factual and which are in fact very subjective.

The certainty of “just the facts, m’am” is not easy to maintain with any degree of rigor, especially as we get older. Therefore, it might be fair to say that beyond birth, there is an ever-increasing certainty that our lives as seen by ourselves are largely fictional, or at the very least, creatively subjective.

The ego, however, generally maintains the certainty — the fiction — that we are seeing our own lives with perfect clarity. After all, our intellect is with us the whole trip, isn’t it? And its logic is impeccable, right?

It is — after all is said and done — our life, isn’t it?

Dream on.

“In the beginning . . . “

I was born on the side of a high mountain in Rossland, B.C., Canada.

It’s been all downhill since then.

Just kidding. I couldn’t resist. I remember once in a counselor’s office taking a potshot at one of the other participants. The counselor delivered a wry smile and observed: “You just couldn’t resist, could you?” True. Poor policy though.

Actually, my full story is full of ups and downs. I feel great gratitude for it all . . . now. 😮

And it is going to get better, right?

This can’t be all there is. Can it?

The movie’s not over yet.

I’m 70 years old, going on 71, and I’ve got only about 20 summers, maybe 30 summers left, eh? I hardly ever think about that except for right now because I am thinking that it is about to be Wednesday the 14th of July 2010 already and if I do my usual, summer is going to whiz by and I will have missed another summer in the mountains. Again!

Not right for a mountain boy, right?

Here’s the scoop (“Ira Progoff Personal Milestones”)

1. Born October 23, 1939, just as World War II was about to break out

2. Grew up in Rossland, B.C., Canada, where I was born

3. Moved to Kelowna, B.C. for Grades 12 & 13 when Dad was transferred

4. Went to The University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, in the fall of 1959

5. Fell in love; fell apart; my walk (stumble?) with depression

6. Married Loretta 1962 and co-created 6 beloved children; one died at birth

7. Divorced 1988; 1994 married Jeannette  (she had 4 beloved adult children)

8. Hoping to live happily ever after

9. Struggling with health issues

10. Still wondering what I am going to be when I grow up 😮

Expanding on “Ira Profgoff Personal Milestone” Number One

I was born on the side of a mountain. I already said that. I was actually born in the Misericordia Hospital, on an elevation at the eastern end of the main street (Columbia Avenue) of Rossland, B.C., Canada. Dr. Topliff presiding.

I went back recently to view my “roots” there in Rossland. Couldn’t find the “Miz” [Misericordia Hospital]. They tore it down! As my Mom says, “They didn’t ask my permission.” The nice condo in its place just doesn’t cut it, eh? The sisters of mercy are sorely missed. Or was it the sisters of the sacred heart. I don’t know. All I know is, the condo doesn’t cut it. 😮

Here’s to history!

Doc Meek, Wednesday, July 14, 2010, en route to South Jordan, Utah, USA,  from Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA, mostly by air









Below detail updated Nov 21, 2012

J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)

Your Trusted Learning-Teaching Guide

Seasoned Administrator and Finance Expert



CANADA: Dr. Meek (587) 400-4707, Edmonton, AB

TONGA: Mele Taumoepeau, P.O. Box 81, Nuku’alofa

USA: Dr. Meek (801) 738-3763, South Jordan, Utah

For best brain health, check your heart health:

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USA: Jeannette (801) 971-1812; South Jordan, Utah

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CANADA: P.O. Box 3105, Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2T1


(2) Learning to run our brain: Vital need for HOPE . . . always

See  full size image

See full size image; HOPE image may be subject to copyright; image from:

The vital priority of HOPE

This is the second (2nd) in a series of seven (7) articles on having fun learning how to run our very own brain, or if you like, learning how to manage our very own brain. If you missed the introduction or the first article, just click on the appropriate link below:

(Intro) Learning to run our brain: 10 minutes daily

(1) Learning to run our own brain: Fear of failure

Our brain is an incredibly wondrous part of ourselves, even when it is not working optimally. Think of how it helps you every day, minute-by-minute, second-by-second (your every breath and heartbeat, literally). 😮

Out of sight to flower bright

The point of the crocus photo above, for me, is not that every flower brings color and freshness and HOPE to each of us (which it does). Rather it is that when we look at a dark (hopeless) rotten piece of soil or other dark (hopeless) space, we have no no clue (no evidence) that out of that utter and complete darkness will spring life and color and fragrance and HOPE.

When our lives present us with dark spaces, we are tempted to give up HOPE. Indeed we may actually exercise the decision, based on the unavailable evidence before us, to actually give up HOPE.

Little do we know the huge price we may pay for that HOPE-less decision, for giving up our grip on the present, and our vital lifeline to our future.

We do need concrete reminders it seems

When I am working with clients who have given up HOPE, I ask them to develop their own meaningful image of something, or someone, that epitomizes HOPE for them, HOPE in capital letters. For some it would be a picture in their mind’s eye (their powerful visual brain) of sunshine, gentle soul-warming sunshine.

If they choose a person, I advise them to make sure the HOPE symbol person is “permanent” in some way, such as a dead hero, or dead ancestor. The problem with living HOPE symbols is that they may die, and your HOPE might die with them. Unless of course, they are permanently implanted in your brain as a living being image, or a living soul, whether they die or not.

An airplane would be my image of HOPE. Which seems unusual until you know that I love flying. When I was younger I flew little airplanes. Loved it. I still love flying in various aircraft, even when I am simply traveling on a commercial airliner.

I am always astounded when the weather is black and stormy here below, and I have lost my way mentally, so to speak, and the darkness seems total, I am able to draw on my flying experience.

The plane in storm darkness here below, as it departs the ground, and gains altitude, emerges gloriously into sunlight above. I am completely refreshed mentally, physically, and spiritually in a way not easy to describe.

HOPE is knowing sunshine is always above the clouds, no matter what my circumstances are here below.

1104114Starbust-Sun-Above-Clouds-in.jpg mornin sun image by   dan-e-boy56

“Mornin Sun” from: ………………………………………………………………………………………………

Why don’t I remember the glorious sunlight when I am in the darkness on the ground!?

My mental image of an airplane does actually bring that remembrance to mind, to my brain’s visual centre, when I need it. I have to practice remembering the airplane image and the sun above, however, for this to be effective for me.

My friend says that the sun is not always shining above the clouds. At night, it is the stars that are always shining above the clouds. And, says my friend, “The stars shine out HOPE for me far brighter than the brightest sun.”

Yes! Whatever image you create especially for you, for your very own brain, right?

“Hey, guy, HOPE fades,” say some

“So does bathing,” says Zig Ziglar, “that’s why we recommend doing it every day.” 😮

We all need to develop some simple way to refresh our HOPE image daily. A picture of HOPE on the fridge at home? A HOPE picture taped to a mirror at home? A small simple symbol of HOPE hanging from the rear-view mirror in our car? A HOPE reminder on our desk at work? An HOPE image in our back pack for school, or multiple HOPE images in our main study materials? A simple HOPE ditty we sing to ourselves anytime?

HOPE is more secure if you use an image that is “permanent,” like sun, moon, stars, nature, music, poetry, prose quotation, powerful story, etc.

Perhaps we could use a baby or a child, provided we don’t know them. The generic innocence of infancy, if you like, as a symbol of HOPE. If we know the baby or child, and they die, there may be a real risk that our HOPE might die with them. Unless of course our HOPE is pinned irrevocably on them as an eternal being, as an eternal “child of God,” for example. If that is unquestionably permanent for you, then is might be solid for your HOPE image.

100_5895.jpg Beaming Sunshine image by EdU2R1

“Beaming Sunshine,” from: …………………………………………………………………………….

What is  your concrete image of HOPE?

Every person will have a different picture of what means real HOPE to them.

For some, it is not a visual image of HOPE alone; for some it is a song of HOPE, or a piece of inspiring music of HOPE.

For some it is a poem of HOPE.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

– William Ernest Henley, from Wikipedia:

“INVICTUS” is particularly inspiring when we remember two things:

(1) This was no “armchair” exercise for William Ernest Henley; he suffered terribly and his poem of  HOPE sustained him. Among other things he had his leg amputated below the knee. [From Wikipedia: William Ernest Henley (1849–1903).]

(2) Even though Henley doesn’t say it explicitly in the poem, we all need to keep in mind, in the reality part of our brain, that we do not need to face the horrors alone. Help is often where we least expect to find it, and even when their is no obvious source of help or HOPE, the HOPE seed is implanted within the brain and heart and soul of each of us. Our HOPE is stronger than we think.

And still, we need to nourish it constantly, like a plant, so HOPE will flourish and flower always in us.

We just simply have to hang on to HOPE for dear life, no matter what!

To hidden strengths we don’t know we have!

Doc Meek, Sun, June 27, 2010, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

“What if you are smarter than you think?”

J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
Trusted Learning/Teaching Guide
[“Everyone” says: “Fun to work with.”]


CANADA: Dr. Meek (587) 400-4707, Edmonton, AB

TONGA: Mele Taumoepeau, P.O. Box 81, Nuku’alofa

USA: Dr. Meek (801) 738-3763, South Jordan, Utah

For optimum brain health, ensure your heart health:

More on heart health:

USA: Jeannette (801) 971-1812; South Jordan, Utah

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CANADA: P.O. Box 3105, Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2T1


“A paper brain is a good thing to have.” – Doc Meek

Pocket Daily Planner Small  Daily Planner Medium  Daily Planner Large  Daily Planners
Pocket Small Medium Large

Images from: ………………………………………………………….

Your own personal paper brain–any size  you like 😮

For years, professionals of all types have been using appointment books, pocket diaries, or day-books to help them keep track of busy days. Mothers of all types have been using home bulletin boards, daily diaries, or refrigerator calendars to help them keep track of busy days for themselves and children and husbands, a complex task indeed.

These paper brains are invaluable. I always encouraged the students whom I was helping to overcome learning problems to carry a paper brain.  I always told them that a paper brain was probably the best friend their brain could have.

Some professionals, mothers, and students have now turned to electronic “keeper-trackers” to help them through their often over-scheduled days. These have been dubbed “PDAs.”

What’s a PDA?

Some of the earlier PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) were simply electronic versions of paper brains, except that the available “writing space” or “memory space” was much larger. These earlier PDAs had no connection to the internet. Wireless functions are not required for a simple paper brain equivalent.

According to Wikipedia, a PDA is “a personal digital assistant (PDA), also known as a palmtop computer . . . a mobile device which functions as a personal information manager and has the ability to connect to the internet. The PDA has an electronic visual display enabling it to include a web browser, but some newer models also have audio capabilities, enabling them to be used as mobile phones or portable media players . . . . Many PDAs employ touch screen technology.”

A mobile handheld device

Image from Wikipedia: ………………………………………………………………………………

Can we keep up with our paper brain (or electronic equivalent)?

Even though our busy schedule may not overtax the paper brain or the electronic brain, our busy schedule may overtax us, personally. Our brain may be running on overload. And over-loaded brains, sooner or later, bring with them possible anxiety, burnout or depression.

What’s one answer?

Scheduled time for ourselves.

For ourselves alone, private time.

Of course we have to put this appointment with ourselves faithfully into our paper brain or our electronic brain, or it won’t happen.

Book it, and keep it. Then we’ll reap the rewards of a busy day with a real plus:

Time for us.

Of course, you have to consult the paper brain 😮

Sometimes someone may upbraid me for missing an appointment: “You should book your appointments in your paper brain; that’s what others do; that’s what you teach your students.”

My reply?

“I did book it.”

“Then why did you miss this appointment.”

“I did not remember to look in my book.” 😮

Hey, even the best of well-intended systems can break down occasionally, eh? 😮

Summary and Conclusion

In our modern world, anxiety, burnout and depression can be kept at bay by keeping solid appointments with ourselves for scheduled quiet time. The brain loves it. It absolutely needs the respite, and more than that, the brain needs the time to attend to different, vital and important tasks not normally addressed.

Way to go, paper brain (or PDA), for looking after me!

Doc Meek, Saturday, June 5, 2010

At Calgary and Cochrane, Alberta, CANADA; not at South Jordan, Utah

The Scientific Method Can Flaw Our Thinking

Picture from “The Scientific Method Today”:

Return to  Scientific Method Home page

My friend had suffered from severe depression for many years. One day he came to me and asked for advice.

“I have tried everything out there,” he said, “and nothing works.”

“What have you tried?” I asked. He got his fingers out, and started in with his list.

The first five fingers

“First, I tried antidepressants, several different kinds; gave it a good sincere try for many months. No help. Gave them up.

“Second, I tried vitamins and minerals, many different kinds; gave it a sincere try for many months. Didn’t work. Stopped taking them

“Third, I tried exercise, many different kinds; sincere try; strenuous; many months. Felt better immediately after workouts. Didn’t seem to last long-term. Seemed no real point in continuing that huge effort.

“Fourth, meditation. Have you any idea how many different kinds there are out there? Really went at this. Long effort. Tried really hard. Didn’t help. No point in going on with no results, eh? I did find some comfort in the stillness and quietness of the mind sometimes. Didn’t last.

“Fifth, tried music. Gentle  music. Kept this up for a long time. I did enjoy listening to the music. Didn’t lift my depression permanently though. Stopped listening. Kinda sad, eh?

The second five fingers

“Sixth [he had to switch to his other hand], enzymes. I had heard that dysbiosis can cause brain problems. Gave it a proper trial. Did settle my gut down a lot. I enjoyed eating more. Didn’t help my depression though. So I stopped that. Enzymes can be expensive if you take as many of them with every meal as you are supposed to do.

” Seventh came positive thinking and repetitive self-affirmations. Looked on the bright side of everything even though things were really awful. Kept telling myself that I was OK endlessly. On and on and on. Know what? I didn’t believe that crap. After an interminable period of time, I stopped. What a relief!

“Eighth, socialization. I was told I had too few friends and that I didn’t get out and socialize enough. That was why I was so morose all the time. So I gave it the old college try, eh? Found a few new friends. Really enjoyed their friendship. Tried to go out every week and socialize. What agony! I think it  made me even more depressed, although I don’t think that’s possible. Finally, after doing this like what seemed forever, I finally realized that this was definitely not lifting my depression, so I stopped the agony and stayed home where I was more comfortable, eh? I was less depressed at home. What’s the matter with solitude anyway?

“Ninth came EFT [Emotional Freedom Technique]. The big Kahuna. This guy said it would fix me up in no time. So I started in with this, even though I didn’t think it would help. You tap your head and body in various places and repeat the same boring words over and over again. This is supposed to get your energy moving and clear out your depression. Stupid technique. I kept at it for awhile and got no results. No point in going on if you don’t get any results, eh?

” Tenth. I tried punching a bag and yelling a lot. Get the anger out, eh? Felt good. Really good. I pounded the living daylights out of that bag for weeks. Didn’t help. No real value in yelling at a bag if you go back to being just as depressed as you were before, right?

Running out of fingers

“Eleventh . . . ” [he ran out of fingers, and was still going to plow on . . . ]

I raised my hand as a signal for a possible pause . . . he sighed deeply . . . and let his long list die a premature death. I was proud of him. He had suffered unspeakable agony and it really wasn’t my place to deny him the full list of things he had tried without success.

“Do you want to hear about my experience with depression?” I gently queried.


“Depression is the natural result of unwanted circumstances.”


Science and the one variable approach

“The scientific  method has a tendency to teach us to look for one variable that will resolve the riddle we are grappling with . . . uh . . .  the riddle with which we are grappling. [Gotta follow the rule about a sentence not ending with a preposition, eh? :o]

“We tend to work pretty hard to find the ‘one magic bullet’ that will permanently resolve the presenting issue.”

I went on: “If you had continued on with some of the things that you tried, and added some new ideas (like dancing, say, or maybe walking in the woods) and continued on with some of them, you would probably be well ahead of yourself by now, maybe even well.”

Free Butterfly Screensaver - The dazzling beauty of these unique  creatures really makes you think about the treasures that

This butterfly was once a caterpillar. Photo from:

Forest Waterfall. Photo from:

Placid Lake. Wander in the woods and along the streams and lakes . . . see them . . . feel them . . . smell them . . . drink them in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Photo from: …………………………………………………………………………………………….

I decided to take another tack:

“Let’s put it this way. I think it was Justice Brandeis who said something like this:

‘If we would just realize that life is difficult, things would go a lot easier for us’.

“Whatcha mean?”

So I suggested he put in place–permanently–this “medical model”:

Step one: Start low.

Step two: Go slow.

Step three: Don’t stop.

Step four: Add new ideas.

Step five: Repeat above steps.

[Five steps is all the fingers on one hand, right?] 😮

Depression is a many-splendored thing. It’s a multi-variable problem. It yields to a multi-factor approach.

Would it surprise you to learn that my severely-depressed friend got better?

Gradually . . . step by step . . .  over time . . . glorious time.

To your happy health!

Doc Meek, May 5, 2010, at Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA; not at South Jordan, Utah, USA

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