Not So Grand Illusions

So many of us are afraid of thinking too highly of ourselves or appearing prideful, but what about always assuming the worst. When we lack self-compassion and continually judge ourselves it becomes easier to do the same to others. It is almost impossible to judge only yourself harshly. Unfortunately judgement and negativity becomes a viscous cycle that can be hard to break. So how do we let go of negative self perceptions without swinging to the other side of the spectrum? Tuning into the truth as it is right now in the present moment………..Ok, easier said than done. Personally I have found that cultivating the skill of acceptance has been extremely helpful. When I first starting learning about 3rd Wave CBT (Mindfulness and Acceptance based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) I was really turned off by the concept of acceptance. It sounded too much like resignation or just plain giving up. Luckily I investigated further and discovered something more subtle and gentle. Acceptance is about being honest with ourselves and acknowledging our truthful feelings, possible biases, and basic desires. Acceptance is the opposite of resistance. When practiced with awareness and an open mind, acceptance can teach us a lot about ourselves and the world around us.

For example, I was recently speaking with some friends about the conclusions we jump to when we don’t get an expected response from a person we know well. It is easy to assume that someone didn’t laugh at our joke because they are mad at us or we just aren’t funny. Usually the reason has less to do with us. A usually jovial friend who doesn’t laugh is probably distracted by a task, received somber news or just is not having a good day. When we engage in acceptance we keep our mind open to current information and not succumb to making assumptions. There are assumptions that seem to be common to many of us. These are often referred to as cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions are basic PSYC 101, but I never quit finding value in revisiting them.

The below list of cognitive distortions was retrieved from

  1. All-or-nothing thinking: You see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.
  1. Overgeneralization: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
  1. Mental filter: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors the entire beaker of water.
  1. Disqualifying the positive: You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other. You maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.
  1. Jumping to conclusions: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion.
    • Mind reading: You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you and don’t bother to check it out.
    • The Fortune Teller Error: You anticipate that things will turn out badly and feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact.
  1. Magnification (catastrophizing) or minimization: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else’s achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other fellow’s imperfections). This is also called the “binocular trick.”
  1. Emotional reasoning: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”
  1. Should statements: You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. “Musts” and “oughts” are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.
  1. Labeling and mislabeling: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a loser.” When someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him, “He’s a damn louse.” Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.
  1. Personalization: You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event for which, in fact, you were not primarily responsible.

From: Burns, David D., MD. 1989. The Feeling Good Handbook. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

Everyday Beauty Everyday

Bill Cunningham

“Those who look for beauty will find it.”

~Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham is a street fashion photographer for the New York Times. He has such a passion for his work that he is still doing it at age 83. Even if fashion has never interested you, Bill Cunningham will interest you. He is a man who followed his heart (even when people balked him) and lived his passion. I tell you about Bill because I believe he is a shining example of the truest form of yogi, one who lets his spirit and conscience guide his life every minute of every day.

Published in: on February 5, 2013 at 7:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Great Thinker

Every time I read any work by Jane Jacobs I am struck by her ability to describe the systems of our world so clearly.  She has written about architecture, urban theory, sociology, public policy and so much more.  She was an activist in every sense of the word, living her life true to her beliefs and values.  In my mind she was a true yogi.  Jane Jacobs once wrote, “The precept ‘know thyself’ includes knowing the scales with which one weighs actions and attitudes in the great world of work outside oneself.” She asks us to take responsibility for understanding our biases and prejudices and how these influence our actions with the world around us.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities  by Jane Jacobs

The Economy of Cities by Jane Jacobs

Cities and the Wealth of Nations by Jane Jacobs

Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs

The Nature of Economies by Jane Jacobs

Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics by Jane Jacobs



NAMI Walk brings out hundreds for mental illness awareness

Video & Article Link: <a href=”

Article by Justin Corr can be found on it’s original website at the above link.

Below I have included just a few excerpts from the article.

BOISE — Eight hundred people gathered in downtown Boise Saturday morning to bring more awareness to a problem that affects Idahoans, their families, and their communities. It’s a problem they said is often misunderstood.
Angela Bryson has had her own battles with bipolar disorder, but was helped through by NAMI. “Externally, they might be putting on a good show, but if you’re sensing something is not quite right, and you can be of some help, definitely, stepping forward can change somebody’s life,” Bryson said.
“Whatever someone needs to feel better, that’s what they should do,” says Campbell. “Talk about it, get the help they need, and their recovery is very, very possible and very hopeful.”
As the biggest ever NAMI Walk came to a close, organizers hoped that awareness of mental illness, and the importance of treating it, will only grow.   If you’re looking for more information on NAMI, click here.


Tomorrow morning I will be rising earlier than usual to join others in the NAMI Walk.  Not much will get me out of bed before 10:00am on a Saturday (or any day :)) but joining with others to show solidarity and fight stigma is well worth it.

Photo courtesy of NAMI

I will be walking with the Region IV Stigma Stompers and would love to have you join us.  Even if you can’t join us you may consider making an online donation.  Below you will find all of the information you may need or you can visit the NAMI Walk website directly

NAMI Boise

NAMIWalks, Changing Minds … One Step at a Time, celebrates hope! NAMIWalks’ momentum is unstoppable! NAMIWalks brings together 750 participants walking shoulder to shoulder in support of children and adults living with mental illnesses and their families.

We are pleased to announce that Blue Cross of Idaho will be providing free depression screenings, and the Saint Alphonsus mobile mammography unit and Lion’s Mobile Screening Unit will both be at our walksite offering free screenings beginning at 9:00 a.m. and continuing until 12:00 noon. Please bring your used glasses, glass cases, and hearing aids for donation to the Lion’s Sight & Screening Foundation.

On October 1st, take your first step along with 749 others to raise the public’s awareness of mental illness and break down the stigma surrounding it.

Happenings at Albertsons/SUPERVALU headquarters–With a festival atmosphere, the walk site at 250 East Parkcenter Boulevard will feature Mac Daddy’s Mobile Music and free food and water. Create signs and get your face painted in the kid’s tent. The Speedy Foundation will kick-off the walk!

The proceeds of NAMIWalks will be used to: 1) provide free education classes to families in the Treasure Valley; 2) facilitate support groups for people with mental illness and their families; 3) conduct an anti-stigma campaign; 4) advocate for improved education, employment, housing, and community services; and 5) promote resiliency and recovery for children and adults living with mental illnesses.

Walk with us on October 1, 2011, and Change Minds … One Step at a Time.

Please Mail Matching Gifts and Offline Donations To:NAMI-Boise
4696 W. Overland Rd., Ste. 274
Boise, ID 83705
Location: Start at 250 Parkcenter Blvd.
Boise, ID
Date: October 1, 2011
Distance: 1, 3, 5 K
Check-in: 9:00 am
Start Time: 10:00 am

For more information about this event, please contact:

Carla Young, NAMI-Boise Walk Manager
Phone: (208) 376-4304
FAX: (208) 376-9029

Published in: on September 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Angela Davis my Namesake

I just returned home from a visit with my family.   It is heartbreaking to now live so far from them.  When I say ‘far from them’ I am not only referring to geographical distance, but also lifestyle.  It is challenging to connect to those we love when they live so differently from ourselves.  I find it is of utmost importance to celebrate whatever has brought them happiness and joy.

Visiting with my family and spending time in my old hometown also made me think about my roots and beginnings.  Those of you that know me now might be surprised to hear that I was not a very happy child.  My mental health was always a challenge.  Bi-polar made it particularly difficult to ever have a strong sense of identity.

Luckily, with age, experience and proper treatment of my bi-polar I have come to discover my authentic self.  I finally feel able to be a strong woman with the ability to defend what I believe in.  These are the same characteristics I am so proud of in my parents.  Every year I discover more about them that I am not only proud of, but also intrigued by.  I think it says a lot that my mother named me after Angela Davis. “Angela Davis (born January 26, 1944) is an American political activist, scholar, and author.” Many of you probably will recognize her for her amazing hair!  I know I will never have the hair, but I will do my best to have her passion and determination.

Published in: on September 14, 2011 at 10:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Fun Free Youth Workshop

Please take a look at this event, if you know someone who might be interested in having a youth attend please don’t hesitate to pass this information on to them and encourage them to register.  If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact Nicole:

Nicole Gustafson

Idaho Federation of Families

Idaho Youth Council

208.433.8845 or 208-695-5316

Free Kid’s Yoga

Saturday, May 28 · 1:00pm – 1:45pm

Settlers Park, Meridian

Created By

More Info
class will be next to the musical instruments at 1 pm please bring a mat if you have one…..ages 5+ if younger parent can practice with with/next to them, No experience necessary!
Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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What do your words say?

Published in: on April 12, 2011 at 7:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Life With Purpose

Lately, when I feel a bit down or overwhelmed I have felt a lift by visiting the Dalai Lama’s website:

He has so many inspiring words of wisdom and comfort.


Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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