The Significance of Protein in an ADHD Diet


February 6th, 2014

Protein is an important part of the human diet. This nutrient contains the long-chain amino acids that the body needs to repair itself. Every day, our bodies can go through normal wear and tear, but it can easily be repaired using protein we get from our diet. Some people, like body builders, drink a whey protein shake everyday (or more) so they can continuously repair their muscles and increase their size. However, science has also recently discovered that protein could be good in lessening the symptoms of certain conditions. In particular, children and adults who suffer from ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder could greatly benefit from consuming extra protein, which is why it is one of the components of an ADHD Diet. Let’s first take a look what is an ADHD diet and how protein plays a part in it.

What is the ADHD Diet?

ADHD is a type of disorder where a person’s brain cannot focus on a single task. The three common symptoms of ADHD are: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. There are medications that help lower these symptoms, but doctors have recently discovered that adhering to a certain diet can also help. The ADHD diet, which requires less caffeine, sugar, and complex carbohydrates, plus high protein is said to help curb these symptoms and help the person function better.

FoodQMark

How is Protein Significant in an ADHD Diet?

One of the components of the ADHD diet is consuming high amounts of protein. That means the child or adult should take beans, eggs, nuts, and meats. A whey protein shake could also help, if the person simply does not have time to prepare or access to proteins. Proteins can help the person with ADHD in different ways.

First, the neurons in the brain need protein in order for them to function properly. Neurons are special cells in the brain that transmit nerve impulses, which tell the body what to do. These neurons are partly made of protein, so by providing the brain with more protein, the brain can repair any damaged neurons and ensure they work properly.

Next, consuming protein can aid with medication. As mentioned earlier, there are medicines that can help with the symptoms of ADHD, like Adder all and Ritalin (the two most common ADHD medicines). However, studies have shown that eating more protein can help the body absorb the medication more efficiently and take effect faster.

Finally, taking protein also produces and amino acid called tyrosine. Tyrosine, in turn, produces dopamine and nor epinephrine, which can help balance energy levels and improve alertness.

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How Can You Take More Protein

So, if you or someone you love has ADHD, how can you make sure you eat a lot of protein in your diet? Well, you don’t have to stick to eating meat all the time. While red meat is a good source of protein, there are other better sources. For example, nuts and green leafy vegetables actually contain a lot of protein. Also, you could try drinking a whey protein shake. By drinking a whey protein shake every day, you can increase your protein intake efficiently. With modern science, ADHD has become more manageable, but people who have this condition should also be mindful of their diet to help curb the symptoms so they can live a more normal life.

 

Gloria MillerGloria B. Miller graduated in 2001 from the University of Michigan with a degree in business administration. After working for her family business for 4 years, she decided to take a world tour for 1 year, where she discovered her love of travel and writing. She decided to go back to school and get her journalism degree from the University of Florida. After working in Washington for 2 years, she moved back to her home town of Troy to pursue a freelance writing career. You can read her blogs at www.energyfirst.com follow her on Facebook & Twitter.



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9 ADD Friendly Foods to Improve Memory


November 19th, 2013

The following guest post is from Pete of liveningup.com

If you’re one of the millions of people in the world who has ever found your television remote in the freezer or searched frantically for your car keys before locating them in your pocket, then you may be able to benefit from the following foods.  All of these have been scientifically proven to improve your memory and keep you sharp. The following nine foods will boost your memory and keep your brain working at its peak for years to come.

  • Oil-Based Salad Dressing   

Many people automatically associate the word ‘oil’ with unhealthy eating habits primarily because we’ve always been told that oils and fats are bad for us. However, there are plenty of reasons why oil-based salad dressing can improve your memory. Most of the oils that are used in salad dressings are incredibly high in Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant known to protect the cells in the brain from damage and keep mental faculties sharp for long periods of time. Something fascinating to consider is that scientific studies have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that these benefits do not exist when Vitamin E is taken as a supplement. It must be consumed in food. 

  • Fish 

Most of the fish that you can find in your local market contains what are known as omega-3 fatty acids, or healthy fats. These contain a substance known as DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, which is crucial for allowing the neurons in the brain to function normally. Essentially, fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel can help to make sure that your brain works at full function. Of course, you should be sure that you eat fish like this in moderation because it also contains a substance known as mercury which can be toxic if consumed in great quantities. Never fear, though: the benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids in the fish outweigh the trace amount of mercury found in standard 2oz serving sizes.

  • Dark, Leafy Greens

Dark, leafy greens are one of the best sources of Vitamin E, the antioxidant that is also found in healthy oils. Some of the best choices include kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens and other similar foods. A half cup of cooked spinach contains 25% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E on its own! These vegetables also contain folate, a substance that is also known to protect the brain although the reasons how or why remain unclear. It is thought that the folate breaks down a substance that triggers the death of nerve cells in the brain.

  • Avocados

Everyone underestimates the power of the yummy, creamy avocado. Not only does it contain Vitamin E, it is also a great source of Vitamin C. When these are consumed in conjunction with one another, they are more easily processed by the body and have been scientifically proven to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease – one of the leading causes of memory loss in adults. Avocado can be eaten right from the peel or added to sandwiches and other dishes as well. It’s a truly versatile food that is just as good for you as it is delicious.

  • Peanuts and Peanut Butter

While you’ve likely been told that peanuts and peanut butter contain a lot of oil and fat, these are of the healthy variety as long as this nut and its products are consumed in moderation. They are packed with Vitamin E and healthy fats which improve both brain and heart function. Peanuts and peanut products have long been researched and scientific evidence shows that consuming peanuts, hazelnuts and almonds in moderation can go a long way toward protecting existing brain cells and helping in the creation of new ones.

  • Berries 

Berries are truly miracle foods in that they offer up tons of valuable substances that your brain can use to improve function and thereby memory. Blueberries, strawberries and the lesser-known acai berry can help to protect the brain’s ability to correctly file away and store information. Not only does this help to improve your memory right away, but it can protect your brain over the long term and help to reduce the effects aging has on your brain. Essentially, the antioxidants in the berries help to remove the proteins floating around in your bloodstream that can lodge in your brain and cause memory loss.

  • Whole Grains

Finally, you should always remember all of the benefits that whole grains provide. Scientific studies have shown that people who consume large amounts of whole grains on a regular basis (such as those who consume Mediterranean diets) are able to prevent mild cognitive impairment that may later develop into Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is important to make sure that other healthy foods are consumed along with whole grains in order for them to do their jobs as intended. For instance, a lunch of whole wheat bread and a side of berries is a great, healthy choice.

Absent-mindedness, lack of concentration and the inability to remember simple details can certainly become frustrating, but eating the right foods can help stop this cognitive impairment in its tracks. Remember that you should always boost your healthy diet by staying hydrated, too! Dehydration is one of the leading causes of temporary memory loss and it is easily remedied by consuming at least 64oz of water each and every day.

 For more tips on ADD and Nutrition, you can read my article on Treating ADD With Brain Boosting Nutrients.  



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How to Improve Communication With Your ADHD Partner


September 29th, 2013

By Leslie Rouder, LCSW

The great Carl Jung once said that “Loneliness doesn’t come from having no one around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that are important to you.”  Although this is a universal truth,  in the case of those who have ADHD, communication can certainly be a bigger obstacle to intimacy than to those who do not.  Not only for the person who has ADHD, but for the partner who may feel that they are never being heard.  

Over the past 13 years of counseling couples in which one partner had ADHD, I have heard numerous complaints. Many of the challenges are quite common amongst individuals whose partners have ADHD, but the single biggest complaint I hear over and over again is that, “My ADHD partner does not appear to be listening to me.” Good communication is probably the single most important element that constitutes a healthy thriving relationship.  When one partner in a relationship feels that they are not being heard (regardless of the reason) all kinds of resentment and anger can build.  Often the non-ADHD spouse feels uncared for, or even disrespected because their ADHD partner may seem to zone out, pay them “lip service” or not respond at all.  If they are aware of how their partner’s ADHD is affecting their ability to pay attention (and most of them are) they may be able to objectify it and even understand it, but at the end of the day, they are still not able to resolve the problem.  Many of these couples have been through the diagnosis stage, the education stage and the medication stage, and still the same problems around communication persists.  By the time they come to see me, many of these couples are feeling hopeless, exhausted, frustrated, beat up, misunderstood and angry.  They just want solutions that will make it better or they want out.   

 

Although re-learning old behavior patterns can be difficult, I am here to say that when both partners are willing to make changes and see it as a priority, communication can greatly improve.  To this effort, I have outlined the most important areas to consider in moving communication forward.

  • The use of ADHD Medication

Although medication is not for everyone, we do know that for about 80% of those with ADHD, medication is the single most important treatment in mitigating ADHD symptoms, especially in the area of distractibility.  For some, more than others, medication can mean a huge difference in one’s ability to be present in a conversation, as well as one’s life in general.   If your partner has been diagnosed with ADHD and is not on medication, this would be a worthwhile consideration.  If your partner is already on medication, it would be a good idea to be sure that when you want  to discuss something that is of a serious nature, that the medication is still effective and has not worn off (like at the end of the day)

  • Get your partners attention. 

Make sure to tell your partner that there is something important that you wish to discuss and find a time when he or she can devote time to the conversation.   Don’t try to fit it in while your partner is running out the door for an appointment or has limited time.  But an interesting fact that you should know is that 89% of men will assume that something is wrong if you say, “We need to talk”, as apposed to 61% of women.  So be aware that this language may induce some form of anxiety or defensiveness before you even start the conversation.  So perhaps you can let your partner know that you need some time to discuss something with in such a way that they don’t instantly feel that there is a problem.  Ask them if they would mind giving you their attention for a few minutes, or perhaps  you can  gesture to them is some way that lets them know that you wish to talk and “they are not in trouble”.    Unless of course, they are. (only kidding :)) 

  • Write your communication to your partner.

In some cases, you may want to write a letter or e mail to your partner so that they have time to read it, process it and consider how they want to respond without any pressure.  I would only do this in certain circumstances that are fairly straight forward and do not involve a lot of possible misinterpretation.  Most communication is non-verbal in nature, so remember that when you write, the other person is not hearing voice inflection or seeing your body language.  This can lead to miscommunication.  So be careful when and how you choose to use written communication. 

For the ADHD Partner

Remember that your partner has probably experienced months or years of feeling hurt or frustrated because you have a long history of not giving them your attention when wanting to talk.  He or she may have felt that you were not interested in what they had to say or that you do not value them as a partner.  For this reason, you must

  • Make the extra effort to recognize the importance of paying attention when your partner is speaking to you.  This may mean that you need to set aside some activity that you may be involved in at the moment or even set aside some alone time for her/him so that there won’t be any distractions.  
  • Listen to understand.  Wait until he or she is completely finished with what they are saying before you respond.  Listen to understand first, rather than to take a position of being wrong or right.  If you need some time to process what is being said, then ask for it.  But make sure that you come back to your partner with a response.  Don’t just leave them dangling.
  • Use a note pad to jot down thoughts.   Rather than interrupt your partner when speaking, you might want to jot down a word or 2 to remind you of something that you do not wish to forget when responding.  But be careful not to lose the gist of the conversation while writing a note to yourself.  Or ask your partner if he/ or she would give you a moment to take notes, so that you can turn your full attention to the conversation without being distracted.
  • Mirror back.  Before you respond to your partner, make sure you understand the meaning of what he or she has said.  A good way to do this would be to mirror back to your partner what you believe he/she has said.  So, “What I heard you say is ________.”   If you are unsure of the meaning of what he/she is saying now is the time to get clarification.  Then mirror back again.  Once your partner agrees that you understanding is correct,   you may then respond to what they are saying, having made sure that you understood the meaning of the communication accurately.  If you do this consistently, it will become automatic and greatly enhance your all round communication skills in any circumstance.   

  In conclusion, not feeling heard by your partner leads to a rather unhappy relationship.  Here are the main ideas you want to remember

  • State your intentions before the conversation to avoid defensiveness.
  • Listen to understand rather than respond.
  • Listen without interrupting.
  • Clarify your understanding of what your partner is saying (through mirroring). 
  • Avoid being demeaning or confrontational. 
  • And lastly, try using humor, love and/or empathy.

 Leslie is a holistic therapist working in South Florida who specializes in working with adults with ADHD. If you would like more information about her work sign up for her free Newsletter at www.ADDadults.net.

 

 

 

 

 



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The Shocking Truth About Developing Good Habits (part 1)


August 31st, 2013

see saw in one's mind By Leslie Rouder, LCSW

Are you a person who believes that you always do what you intend to do?  Most people would probably answer yes.  However, despite what you may believe,  research shows that the majority of people, do not.  In fact, most individuals have far less control then they believe they do.  As frustrating as this may be, there are ways of establishing good habits and overcoming those existing ones that seem to get in our way.  But first let’s look at how habits are formed, as well as the obstacles we face in overcoming the existing ones that prevent us from achieving our goals. 

It has often been said that it takes 3 weeks of repeating a behavior for it to become a habit.  However, when looking into this further, I discovered that this is actually not true.  In most cases, it takes much longer.  (WEW! That sure let’s me off the hook for all those times I thought I would  have it down in a month’s time, only to discover that I had not.)  In fact, it was discovered in a recent study that for most habits to become automatic, one must perform them repeatedly for an average of 66 days and in many other cases (depending on the particular activity) longer than 84.  In this same study, it was discovered that some (more difficult habits) took as much as 254 days to form, which is the better part of a year.  It’s no wonder so many of us are unable to keep our New Year’s Resolutions.  

Since helping individuals to develop and enforce good habits, is part of my work as a coach, I understand the importance of developing well intentioned habits as being vital to ones success in reaching ones goals.  In this effort, I did some research and discovered some perplexing studies about our habits and why it is often so difficult to do what we intend. 

Have you ever tried to change a particular behavior only to realize that it was not as easy as you thought?  How many times have you said you wanted to lose weight, exercise daily, quit smoking, change jobs, or cut down on drinking?  What do you suppose the success rate was for the average person? Studies have shown that for the majority of people who attempt to change their behavior, old strongly held habits dominated their conscious choices.  pushing oneselfThis is because it is not our conscious mind that is in the drivers seat.  In fact, it is the power of the unconscious mind that influences all of our thinking and behavior.  Our strong established habits will automatically override our conscious intentions in most cases.  Now, combine that fact with the length of time it takes to form a strong habit, it is easy to see just how difficult it can be to establish new habits on any consistent basis. 

This being the case, what’s the answer to this frustrating phenomena?  How do we overcome the unconscious programming of our minds, when we are not even consciously aware of them and why don’t our habits surrender to our conscious intentions?   Consider these 4 essential characteristics of habits;

  1. Habits are performed automatically, without much need for decision- making or thought. 
  2. Habits are emotionless.
  3. Habits are performed in context to other things. (That is, they are  situational.) 
  4. Habits serve a purpose and/or provide us with something. (consciously or unconsciously)      

So, in considering what it is we want to do, versus what we actually do, the first thing we need to notice is the behaviors supporting our existing habits.  By observing how, when and where we perform these automatic activities we get vital hints as to  what is actually happening in the unconscious mind.  Since our unconscious mind is constantly carrying out all kinds of high-level thinking that we are unaware of, as well as unable to access through our ordinary thought process, it would make sense that we would have to consider alternate ways to do this.   One of the ways that assist us in accessing our unconscious mind is in asking the right questions about our process.   Another way to access this hidden part of our mind is through the use of NLP or hypnosis.  In fact, some of the quickest changes I have seen have come out of using all three of these modalities.  

In my next newsletter article I will explore the answers further and assist in providing some solutions to this very difficult dilemma. 

If you have experiences with overcoming or establishing new habits that you would like to share, please let me know. I am always interested in hearing  and learning from other’s experiences. 

Leslie is a holistic therapist working in South Florida who specializes in the treatment of ADD in adults. If you would like more information about her work or more help with ADD,  sign up for her free newsletter at www.ADDadults.net.

 



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The Shocking Truth About Developing Good Habits (part 2)


July 31st, 2013

In my last Newsletter I explored how the unconscious mind dictates much of our automatic behaviors, making it very difficult to break old patterns of behavior and establish new habits.  In this article, I will explore this further and provide a useful exercise that taps into our unconscious resources while reinforcing the development of a new habit.   

The first step to changing our behavior in many ways begins with the awareness and power of the unconscious mind.  Although there are many ways to do this, the following is an exercise that is easy to do alone (or with a partner) and is designed to tap into the power of the unconscious mind.  Take the time to answer the following questions and write them down on a piece of paper.

Answer the following series of questions;Why do you want to develop this habit? Since motivation is key to beginning any new habit, being clear about why we wish to establish a new habit, makes it is easier for us to consider making a change in our pattern of behavior.  Be as specific as you can. How will it benefit your life?

What will you see that will be different?

How will you feel once this habit has been established?

What will you hear?

What will you notice about how others interact with you differently?

Include your health, your sense of mental well-being, your physical appearance, your social life, your work life, your family life, and any other aspect that might be affected in a positive manner in considering this.

  • How will not developing this habit impact your life?

In answering this, be very specific as to how your life will be negatively impacted by not developing this habit.  Use the same criteria that you used when considering all the benefits.

  • What steps will you need to take to develop this habit? 

Break down all the actions steps.  Again, be very specific as to each step along the way.  What time will you perform this habit?  Under what circumstances? What will be the context under which you will perform this habit? In what sequence will it be performed.  The idea of context and sequence is vital here.  For example when I am in a particular place or circumstance, I will do __________.   Sequence is more about the order of how you will do something.  For example, as soon as I get out of bed in the morning, I will brush my teeth and then go for a jog.   Thereby giving your mind the context under which you will perform the habit, but also the sequence in which you will do it.

  • What obstacles can you foresee yourself facing in developing this habit? And
  • How will you compensate for those obstacles?

Here are two of the most important parts to consider.  If we don’t consider the obstacles that we will face and plan for them, when they appear, we will most likely defer back to our old habits since it is easier and they are always waiting to take over our automatic unconscious process.  Therefore, in planning for any obstacles, we are already mapping out a plan for our mind to follow when encountering any hurdles.  For example, when I get up in the morning I will brush my teeth, then  I will go for a jog, unless it is raining.  In the event of it raining, I will go to the gym and exercise on a tread mill, instead.

 

The last part of this exercise is to visualize the entire process from beginning to end, since the unconscious mind sees things in pictures.   See yourself performing the habit in the context that you will be doing it.  Notice every step that you will take along the way.  Notice what you do in the event of an obstacle. Visualize yourself already having established this habit 6 months into the future and notice how this new behavior has impacted every single aspect of your life. Then look back over the past 6 months and notice all the steps you took along the way and any of the obstacles that you needed to overcome to establish this new habit.   Make a special note of how you handled those obstacles.  Savor the good feelings that arise from this visualization and allow yourself to enjoy those feelings.   You may be surprised at what comes up for you during this visualization process.  Sometimes, an obstacle that you never even thought about appears, or some other vital piece of information presents itself to you that you never considered. Use this information to make any adjustments or changes to your mind map.  Run the process through again, having made these adjustments.  Now bring yourself back to the present moment and begin the process, exactly as you envisioned it with any adjustments so that it feels right for you.  Repeat this process a few times over the next few days, if needed.  You may be pleasantly surprised at the results. 

 

Leslie is a holistic therapist and ADD couch practicing in South Florida.  If you would like more information about her work or more help with ADD, sign up for her free newsletter at www.ADDadults.net .

 

 



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Mystery Schools of the Western Mystery Tradition


July 31st, 2013

The following is a guest post by author, teacher and founder of the Euypsychia Institute.

By Jacquelyn Small

“Robbed of its mystical tradition, an outer system  is like a rose without its perfume.”                                                                                                               – Esoteric Historian Caitlin Matthews

During times of rapid change and radical uncertainty, such as we are experiencing today, an inner process activates to link us back to the wisdom of our ancestors and open the way to the gods. Throughout history, the esoteric Mystery Schools are the preservers of this sacred inner wisdom, transmitted afresh for every Age.  The Ancient Wisdom teaches us the sacred meaning and purpose of our spiritual/human lives, and how to read the symbolic realities, which reside closer to our Source than our ordinary intellectual understanding does.  Our intuition knows this deeper work quite well, though our intellects often don’t have a clue!  So we just need to be reminded. 

A sacred Mystery is not just a lofty idea; it is a spiritual event – like a death and rebirth experience – which creates a shift in our psyches and moves us to a new place in consciousness. The ancient Mystery Schools are the timeless reliable “technicians of human consciousness” that restore the balance between our outer and inner realities anytime we start to run off-track. Mystery Schools are here for “old souls” who come together to help manifest a certain aspect of the evolutionary process for the sake of the world.  They are the inner side of “tribes” who come together to live in a different dimension of higher consciousness than we rarely experience in our ordinary daily lives.  And this Ageless Wisdom cannot really be taught; it can only be caught — gleaned from the crucible of each one’s own committed desire to become “a seeker on the Path,” and to remember who we truly are – spiritual beings living in an oh-so-human world. 

This time-honored esoteric wisdom is the ground floor of all the true religions and philosophies that have impacted our world. Its sacred knowledge holds steady a unitive consciousness that honors all spiritual paths and supports the inviolable laws of the universe.  Yet, our brave ancestors who were the guardians of the Ancient Wisdom often had to remain hidden as a matter of life and death, because the Ageless Wisdom teachings were forbidden by the early Fathers of the Orthodox Church.  This timeless wisdom of the subjective and higher worlds shows us how to access God directly without any outer religious authority’s indispensable demand for a priest or a holy mediator.  You can see why this was a threat to the Church authorities. 

When honored and followed as truth, these teachings imbue our lives with magic, enhanced creativity, and a sense of sacred purpose to our human lives.  And today, this spiritual path of Self-realization — known as ‘the Path’, or ‘the Way’ — is open to all who seek knowledge of this esoteric inner work, regardless of creed or religion.The metaphysical Sacred Arts of the Western Mystery Tradition are the “tools of the trade” for this deeper way of knowing ourselves and our world.  These sacred technologies include high magic, numerology, Tarot, sacred geometry, esoteric astrology, shamanistic soul retrieval, Native and Celtic rites of passage, alchemy, esoteric psychology and healing, Gnosticism or Mystical Christianity, the Mystery of the Holy Grail, Ancient Greek Pageantry, Mythical Symbology, Goddess Invocations, and Pathwork of the Jewish Kabbalah’s eternal Tree of Life.  There are more, I’m sure, but these are the ones I am familiar with. 

I am a teacher of Tarot, numerology, and esoteric psychology, trained by advanced Initiates in the Hermetic Orders of the Golden Dawn, the Builders of the Adytum, and the Theosophical teachings of the Master Djwhal Khul through the writings of Alice Ann Bailey. Eupsychia’s work is part of the Group of World Servers with a specific purpose of helping heal humanity’s emotional body that has been damaged by the conditions we’ve all undergone while living here on Earth.  Our work helps us heal and awaken to our whole nature, which is both human and divine.  I have been guided in doing this Eupsychia work for over 35 years. Musical breathwork is one of the most efficient and simple methods for entering into this blessed inner work. The word “Eupsychia” means “psyche’s well-being” in Greek.   

In the 4-day Eupsychia Mystery School, I teach you to read the Tarot cards and to understand their higher symbolic meanings, which gives you the wisdom of the 7 powers we have as God-made human beings; knowledge of the 7 law of the universe that guide our awakening process while here on Earth; and carries us through the first Initiations we undergo as seekers on the Path of Return to our Source. You will also learn to read the symbolic realities of number, the 12 astrological houses, and geometric design. You will leave this program able to do Tarot readings for yourself and others, based in the deepest understanding of who we are, and what our current task or issue is for our unfolding personal selves. The lineage of the Western Mystery Tradition can be traced back to Atlantis, Eden, ancient Sumeria, and the paradisal arctic Hyperboreans.  Some of the following may serve as a reminder of your soul’s own former training and ancestry:

.  the Greek Eleusinain and Orphic schools who utilized pageantry and ecstatic non-ordinary states to access the mystery of death/rebirth, art, and beauty; 

.  the Egyptian Hermeticists or Initiates of Isis and Osiris with their specific techniques for translating wisdom from the higher worlds into ordinary life, often through the arts; 

.  the Persian Zoroastrians known for battling the tension of the opposites of good and evil, or the higher and lower worlds; 

.  the Celtic Orders who sought the Mystery of Middle Earth and the Mystery of the Grail; 

.  the Knights of the Templar who were sacrificed by the Romans for their belief in spiritual knowledge transmitted directly; 

.  the Gnostic Christians and Essenes who underwent the Christian initiations and knew the real Jesus and Mary Magdalene and the true mission of The Christ who teaches us to ‘Know Thyself'; 

.  the Jewish mystics, begetters of the sacred Kabbalah and its eternal Tree of Life that teaches us the Divine Plan, “As above, so below”;

.  the Alchemists who created the philosopher’s stone, or the center of the Self, by ‘turning lead into gold’ through a purifying process of turning one’s shadow nature into light;

.  the Goddess Traditions of Greece and  Rome, that teach us the inner qualities and rites of passage of the unfolding feminine principle essential to balance masculine power and authority; A re-emergence of this great metaphysical Tradition is occurring now for today’s troubled world.  So you may be feeling the Call to re-unite with your own inner terrestrial/celestial lineage, pre-coded in your DNA. All this knowledge and wisdom already resides within you, only to be accessed by psycho-spiritual processes and the symbolic Sacred Arts that can reach deeply enough into your unconscious mind to access your very essence.

If this work is something that moves you, please consider joining us in our Mystery School work.

Warmest love, 

Jacquelyn 

 



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May Thought for the Month


April 30th, 2013

“Don’t identify too strongly with what you now know; that “truth” is impermanent.  Identify with the possibility that at every moment you can emerge from your blind self to see in the dark.”

                                                                        _Carl A. Hammerschlag, MD 

man seeing in dark



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The ADDer’s Guide to Spring Cleaning


April 30th, 2013

By Leslie Rouder, LCSW 

It’s that time of the year to consider those spring cleaning projects.  Clean out your closet?  Maybe it’s the garage or attic that needs to be cleaned?   Or perhaps it’s just all those dresser or kitchen drawers that seem to have accumulated mounds of clutter.  Where does all that STUFF in my night table come from anyway? frazzled woman

When I consider all the possibilities, it might seem like an Adder’s biggest nightmare.  But in truth, it really doesn’t have to be.  There are several ways that one can go about successfully tackling spring cleaning projects, despite having ADD.  This article explores some of those ways to be consistently more productive and to get those spring projects done.

Get Motivated.   Without motivation, many projects or tasks may seem difficult to even start, no less finish.  Consider all the reasons why this particular spring cleaning project is important.  Do you need to make more room for something you cherish in your garage or closet for example?  Or maybe the idea of having more order to your life reminds you that you can save a lot of time looking for items that are buried under mounds of clutter.  Get clear about the value of completing these projects and how it will positively affect your life.  And keep those reasons in your mind.  You might even consider making a list of all the benefits and posting it somewhere near the project location so that you will be reminded of the benefits. 

Know your engagement threshold and use it to your advantage!  What does this mean exactly?   Your engagement threshold is the longest amount of time you can consistently work, while staying focused on a particular project without being distracted or losing interest.  In addition, you will need to be able to evaluate how long you will actually need to accomplish the project being considered.  Since individuals with ADD often have difficulty estimating how long a project will take, try adding a cushion of about 50% more time than you think just in case, to cover yourself.  If the task takes less time, than you may be delighted to find you have a bit of unexpected extra time for yourself at the end of the project. 

Make an action plan.   How specifically will you accomplish this goal?  What are your specific action  steps?  For example, if cleaning out your closet, it might look like this;

  • Empty the entire closet    (30 minutes)                                                                                                                              
  • Separate items by type of clothing ( 1 hour)
  • Have 4  boxes ready to sort all items
    • One box for donating to charity
    • One box for shoes and bags
    • One box for clothing
    • One box for items that you may want to discard
    • Re- hang all remaining clothing items by type and color ( 1 hour)
    • Re-fold and place clothing on shelves (1 hour)
    • Organize placement of shoes and hand bags on shelves ( 30 minutes)

 

Schedule the time to do it.  Here’s an important piece of information for you to think about.  I know that many individuals with ADD think that the only way to get something done is to break it down into small action steps.  Maybe I will do 30 minutes here and another 30 minutes there.  This is true for some smaller projects but here’s the thing you need to consider.  Every time you transition in and out of a particular activity, you lose A LOT of time, which means you lose a lot of productivity.  For this reason, it is important to know the limits of your upper most threshold and set aside the time that most reflects that threshold.  If you only have 30 minutes here- and- there, you will never start those larger projects that require sustained attention and effort over a longer period of time, because you already know that you will never get enough done to make any difference.  So why even bother to start?   In addition, if you only have 30 minutes here and there, you will most likely end up checking e mails, going on Facebook and surfing the web, since not much else can be done in such short amount of time.  Those are actually appropriate actions to take in a 30 minute window, but they will never provide you with what you need to get those larger projects done.  

So, that having been said, knowing your engagement threshold, make sure to set aside the appropriate amount of time to get a good chunk of the project completed.  Consider those times that you have the most energy and ability to focus.  If you know that your Adderall wears off at 6:00 PM, don’t start that project at 5:00 PM just because that’s the time you get home from work.   If you are a morning person, don’t start that project in the afternoon. 

Work with your schedule and block it off your calendar.  If you don’t make an appointment with yourself, you may possibly procrastinate and put off starting the project all together.  Sound familiar?  

Don’t Be a Perfectionist.  Many people with ADD get caught in doing such a perfect job that they lose sight of the big picture.  So make a point of not getting stuck in the tiny minutia.  Do as much as you can as quickly as possible until the job is complete.  You can always go back AFTER it is finished to make it EVEN better, if you so desire.   It’s more important to complete the project in a timely fashion.  So work quickly and continue working till completion.  

Work with a Body Double or Professional Organizer.   For many people with ADD, having someone there to work with them, while keeping them on track can be extremely helpful.  Find a friend or family member who would be willing to assist.  Or, if you desire (or can) hire a professional organizer to work with you on the project.

Bucket with cleaning tools Avoid Distractions.  Turn off the phone, television, or any other distraction that could interfere with your completing your project.  Once you get started, have a “ DO NOT DISTURB” sign placed outside the door of where you are, and unless there’s an emergency, tell your family, not to disturb you for your allotted amount of time.  Take this commitment seriously and other’s will too. 

Make It Fun and Interesting   Have fun music playing or have your friends come over and help.  Discover ways to make it interesting by using timers, or creating some kind of challenge that keeps it interesting. Provide yourself with a special reward when you have completed the project.    Bet your partner or a friend that you will complete the project by a certain time or else………. (You get the idea)

And one last thing, after you read this article, don’t just put it down and consider the ideas.  Take the time to actually write down and plan your spring cleaning project, as you follow each step above.  Imagine that it is already completed and see it in your mind’s eye.   Envision yourself having completed the task and imagine and enjoy the feelings of having accomplished your goal. Then, take action and do exactly as you have planned and envisioned.   As the great Tony Robbins once said, “In life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action”.  

 

Leslie is an ADD coach and therapist in South Florida.  To read more of her articles or to sign up for her free Newsletter, you may go to www.ADDadults.net.

 

 

 

 

 



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Romance, Love and ADHD


March 5th, 2013

It seems the more I listen to people in and out of my therapy practice, the more I realize that, for many of us, achieving a healthy love relationship is often fraught with much difficulty. Obviously, there are multitudes of reasons why people may have difficulty forming healthy long term relationships, and I should certainly know, having had my share of “roller-coaster rides”,  but having ADHD often adds to the difficulty in very distinct ways. This article explores some of those difficulties as they apply to romance, love and ADHD. 

 Recently I had a conversation with a client who has a long history of unsuccessful romantic relationships. She’s a beautiful young woman who has had a variety of passionate relationships which, for some reason never “work out”. Over our past few sessions we have explored this pattern, only to discover that the men she most cared for were exciting, handsome, and dreamy, but somehow not very supportive or emotionally available. On the other hand, she had a variety of long term relationships with men who she referred to as her closest friends.  She told me that these men have been there for her for many years and were all extremely supportive and solid in her life.  In fact, her best friend, is a man she has known for the past 10 years. This man has provided her with a rich friendship that includes trust, shared values, affection, loyalty and great fun.  When I asked her why she had never dated him, she said that he was not her type. “So, what exactly is your type?” I asked.  

It seems to me that many of us share this same dilemma.  Very often, the people we most attract and are attracted to are the ones that provide us the most drama.  There’s always that elusive quality or edge that makes the relationship fraught with intrigue.  Often there is a lot of arguing, tension, excitement, longing, passion, and pain, but not a lot of trust, respect, safety, and loyalty. 

Certainly one does not have to have ADHD to fall into this same pattern, but here’s the part that seems to fit with the ADHD mind set.  People with ADHD thrive on stimulation and get bored easily.  If someone is rock-solid, trust worthy, safe, affectionate and loyal, without all the drama, this can feel boring to the ADHD mind, which is constantly seeking stimulation and excitement.  Being in a committed relationship in which we are sure of our partner’s loyalty and affection can feel boring to someone with ADHD, especially if we are not tuned in to the principles that constitute true love.  That’s because true love is not a feeling, so much as it is a decision. Love is what we choose to commit ourselves to.  It is an action, a verb, not a noun.  Feelings come and go all the time, but true love is about loyalty and commitment.  Not all that heady or stimulating, a lot of the time. 

In addition to our need for stimulation, it seems that our culture is one in which the virtues of friendship, affection and loyalty are not held up to the same standards as passion, romance and excitement.  But in addition to our society’s seeming bias toward passionate romance, if one has ADHD, the inclination of falling into a pattern of seeking titillation at the expense of commitment, can certainly prevent one from ever finding true love. For romance, with all its stimulation has a completely different energy and set of values than love. One can certainly have occasional romance and passion within a loving relationship, however that is not its foundation, nor does one expect or demand that the passion be sustained on a continuous basis, since the ingredients of love are far less “spicy”.  And spicy is what our culture sells us.  

The next question that my client asks is,”how do I take the chance of risking my friendship with my best friend, while seeking love?”   “I guess that really does take courage, now doesn’t it? ”  To stretch beyond our comfort zone and consciously choose love over drama, knowing that we may find it dull or boring (at times) is certainly something to consider. How do we transcend those periods of boredom to allow us to embrace a sense of peace, comfort, security, fulfillment and (alas) true love?  And what if we open that door to love, only to find that we cannot fully step through it?  How do we continue, if we can no longer continue? And have we lost our best friend in the process? 

The great Tony Robbins once said, “If you do what you have always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten.” So, here’s my answer.  If something in our lives is a pattern that is not working for us, then perhaps we need to try doing it a different way. It takes a lot of courage to open a different door than we normally would. But it’s only through taking risks in our life, that we are provided opportunities to evolve and grow. Love is more than feelings, emotions, and physical attachments.  It is also about conscious choices, spiritual growth, and evolution.

Love is everywhere around us, and yet, for many of us, so difficult to access in any meaningful way.  It is for each of us to decide when and if, the risk is worth taking for the sake of love. To my client, who struggles with this dilemma, all bets are on her. I believe she will find her way through that door and if and when she does, I hope to celebrate her victory along side her. entry door to love

Leslie is a holistic therapist working in South Florida. If you would like more information about her work or more help with ADHD,  sign up for her free newsletter at www.ADDadults.net.

 



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What I Learned About Improving One’s Life from Bryan Hutchinson


February 7th, 2013

This month I had the pleasure of interviewing Bryan Hutchinson, who is an inspirational writer and author of several books about life with ADHD, including the bestselling and well regarded memoir “One Boy’s Struggle“.  He’s also the author of the blog ADDer World and the founder of the ADDer World ADHD social network. Lately, Bryan has taken his positive thinking concepts a step further and started a new blog, Positive Writer, for all types of creative people.  

As many of you may know, my passion is understanding the process by which people change, shift and evolve.  As often said in the world of Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP, “What’s the difference that makes the difference?”   To this effort,  I dedicate the following interview. 

Q:  Can you identify one person, place or event that most influenced you in making a major change or shift forward in your life? If so, what or who would that have been,  and why? 

“I can thank billiards for the positive shift in my life. I wanted to get better, but I was constantly getting in my own way. I was often too distracted to stay focused during longer matches and my mind would wonder while my opponents were at the table, which also took away valuable concentration. Put simply, I could not maintain my focus.

 Billiards made me “want” to get better, to find answers and improve. As they say, when you play a game such as billiards, it often mimics real life. I share the story in my book “One Boy’s Struggle”, but here’s the short version: 

I came to a point in my billiard career that I wanted to stop and give up (as I had done with so many other things). I was not improving, and actually, I was getting worse. Thankfully, there was someone who cared about me, who took me under his wing and became my mentor. 

He started off by giving me a very important book which I still have to this day. It is titled “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale. The book was life changing for me, but it was also a not so indirect message. I was too angry, too resentful and too negative overall and unfortunately this is all too common with people who have ADHD. Negativity blinds us from our own potential within and worse it repels anyone who would otherwise help us or just be our friends.

 My mentor needed me to open up and discover something about myself that I could change, something that was within my control. We all have choices to make, whether we have ADHD or not and I was given a choice: Change my perspective or stay the same, or worse, continue to regress. Most people balk at this choice or continue to blame their ADHD for their attitude and I was fortunate not to know I had ADHD yet and didn’t have anything to blame, but myself. The book helped me stop blaming myself and start seeing life as something positive and meaningful, and likewise I started treating myself and others in that manner. It wasn’t an overnight process, but each day I saw small positive steps and that kept me moving forward and brought me to where I am today.”

Q: Can you tell me how you made that shift?  What were the actions that you performed that allowed that to happen for you.  What was different about them?

“It was a difficult process at first, because ADHD is a neurobiological disorder as you well know and changing one’s attitude as an adult was only the first step. Improving my attitude opened me up to possibilities. Previously my negative attitude had blinded me. I used to mock people who thought positively, because I thought it was foolish and delusional. I wasn’t brave enough to tell them to their faces, I was a shy person after all the punishment I had been through, but I thought the thoughts that held me back, perhaps more than ADHD ever has.

It makes me very sad when I see people in this condition and having been there I know that they may never find their way out if they keep looking in the wrong place and that’s one major reason I published my memoir and started ADDer World. Oddly enough, the people who are caught in the world I lived in now mock me and call me delusional, but it’s okay because I’ve been there and done that. It is the surest sign that ADHD isn’t their main problem and if they so choose, they can improve, too.”

Q: If there was any one piece of advice that you could have given to that “younger you” growing up, what do you think that would have been?

“Well, without diagnosis any piece of advice I would give my younger me, such as in grade school where all my real problems began, would not be that helpful. When I was playing billiards and shifted my attitude I was already an adult.

What I would rather do here is let parents know that ADHD is not something to blame and a child is in no control or fault for having ADHD and you are not a bad parent. What the child really needs is professional help and support. ADHD is not only damaging academically, if undiagnosed, it is also detrimental to one’s self-esteem. Later in life ADHD may be accepted by many, especially today, but a negative attitude is not and never will be. Support your child, get the help he or she needs. Diagnosis isn’t a bad thing, it’s the best thing that can happen for a child who has ADHD, because that opens doors to understanding and treatment that can help. Inspire and encourage your children and that will motivate them. Punish and chastise your children and that will demotivate them and that goes for any child with or without ADHD.”

 Q: As an adult, what skills have you learned that you rely on most when you feel “stuck” to move you forward now?

“ADHD is never easy, no matter how good at maintaining I get, it is always work. However, what helps me the most is that I do my best to try and find something interesting in everything I do. The ADHD mind works best when it has incentive and knows there will be a reward for any effort and that’s why I make it a personal choice to find something interesting in everything I do. It is possible to trick the mind into being excited about something, even if you normally are not. That’s what I have found to help me the most. I do not take medication for my ADHD, but that’s not because I don’t believe in it. I do not take medication because I cannot tolerate it, or I would have. In one way that’s okay because it has made me develop the mindset that everything I do is worthwhile.”

 Bryan, thanks for your time and great insights!  

 

Leslie is an ADHD Coach and holistic therapist working in South Florida.  If you want more help with ADHD, sign up for my free newsletter on my website and get your free tips to Overcoming Procrastination and Achieving Your Goals at: www.addadults.net 

 



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