Authenticity calls out to us when we overstep our ordinary, mortal selfhood in acts of presumption, hubris, self-absorption, blithe narcissism, wanton selfishness, indecency and other such interpersonal indignities — Steven Kalas

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Mindfulness Practice

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Personal Development

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Stress Management

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Managing Emotions

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Love Yourself

Carson Tate Gps Guide

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Kino Macgregor

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Spring Equinox

Spring Wellness

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/shame-one-word-two-very-different-ideas

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Humiliation is a terrible teacher, extracting a terrible price. Even when the issue is truly one of justice and right … well, humiliation leaves scars making even the best lesson hard to celebrate. And humiliation is the desired outcome of unhealthy criticism.  Shame-based leaders — parents, employers, supervisors, religious leaders, etc. — believe deeply that if people feel badly enough about themselves they will do better. Any social scientist will tell you the opposite is true. Toxic shame drives bad behavior.

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In healthy criticism/authenticity, we are not humiliated; rather, we are humbled. To be humbled is to recognize and surrender to limits. I am not God. I am not entitled. While I am not nothing, neither am I everything. I am neither famous nor infamous. Healthy shame is the guardian voice of boundaries. Healthy shame/authenticity calls out to us when we overstep our ordinary, mortal selfhood in acts of presumption, hubris, self-absorption, blithe narcissism, wanton selfishness, indecency and other such interpersonal indignities.

Find the courage to embrace a healthy authenticity.   Which opens the way for a healthy self-respect.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ashley-jude-collie/alan-cummings-macbeth_b_2951876.html?utm_hp_ref=arts

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Actor Alan Cumming’s Macbeth, Novelist LaBan’s The Tragedy Paper and Our Fascination With Flawed Players

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A Scottish actor performing in the “Scottish play” caught my attention. Alan Cumming doing a one-man, tour-de-force of Shakespeare’s great tragedy, Macbeth, at Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre (April 7) was even more intriguing. The Bard’s Macbeth is a once-courageous general who’s brought down by tragic flaws in his personality — some say his ambition, others say his naiveté and lack of self-control.

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In his Macbeth, Tony award-winning Cumming doesn’t play a great Scottish lord, but a regular person beset by psychiatric problems. This play is set in a mental ward, where his ongoing acting out of Macbeth “is part of his therapy.” Cumming’s incredibly physical portrayal is a manic journey into the world of mental illness and the despair of human hollowness. Right: photo by Albert Watson

In both scenarios, we can relate to the characters, underscoring that wise axiom, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” Vulnerability, unevenness of character, and personality flaws can create conflict which makes for great drama. Alan Ball, the creator of Emmy- and Golden Globe- winning True Blood which premieres Season 6 in June on HBO, suggests: “The thing with relationships on True Blood — once they happen then you have to throw a monkey-wrench into them, because to have people be happy is not that exciting.”

Happiness, unfortunately, doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to drama.

From Oedipus and Macbeth in classical literature to Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and the often morally ambiguous comic book superheroes in modern entertainment, fiction is full of flawed heroes — and we’re beguiled by them.

But that’s also increasingly true in real life. When former Oscar winner Mel Gibson appeared with Golden Globe honoree Jodie Foster, he looked scrubbed clean and sober — miles away from the manic depressive drunk who’d shown us sloppy feet of clay as we watched once heroic “Braveheart” fall from grace. A few days later, about 28 million viewers worldwide watched transfixed as superstar cyclist and cancer survivor hero Lance Armstrong fessed up to being a liar, drug cheat and bully. Also, let’s not forget how many millions of us are obsessed by the emotional train wrecks that pass for regular people on our weekly reality shows.

Tragically flawed people rule, okay! We love ’em, can’t get enough of ’em!

From a psychoanalytic perspective, L.A.-based psychotherapist Robyn E. Smith says: “People are definitely influenced by negative views about themselves — that they’re ‘crazy’ or ‘a failure.’ Because such underlying fears about oneself are painful and difficult to contend with, a person takes comfort in seeing more blatantly flawed examples of people in the news. The media perpetuates this — creating almost a tar and feathering climate so that an audience is entertained by someone getting caught in the web of human fallibility.”

2013-03-25-tp.jpgElizabeth LaBan’s hauntingly evocative novel, The Tragedy Paper, not only has a teenaged character named Macbeth but also deals with how his flaw brings about misfortune:

“I think we all have flaws, nobody’s perfect. When you get to know somebody or study them, you’re going to find flaws. Is it going to bring us all to our downfall, not necessarily. Obviously it’s more dramatic when we’re reading tragedy. My characters are very much teenagers, so all of those errors in judgment, whatever, are all amplified when you’re a teenager, when it’s so hard to see the bigger picture.”

Aristotle suggested that a tragic hero has to be a person “who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty.”

And that’s true of LaBan’s Tim Macbeth, a regular maladjusted teen going through the trials and errors of high school. Macbeth just happens to be an albino. LaBan says her novel‘s inspiration was Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther: “The lack of self-belief plays a part in Goethe’s story, as it does in my book. Most of us experience self-doubt, which connects us to these characters in tragedy. One of my Macbeth’s errors is how he thinks people perceive him and just assuming he’s not going to fit in. I don’t think it has to be that way, but that’s his self-doubt and flaw.”

As this page-turner progresses, Tim Macbeth compounds his error by falsely believing he’s in control of his own tiny universe. But as LaBan explains, “He thinks he’s in control and taking care of everything when, in fact, he’s doing the opposite. Which is often like us, when we think we’re doing the right thing but may be doing the complete opposite through errors in judgment. Tim brings about his own downfall, and essentially writes his own Tragedy Paper.”

‘Twas ever thus! Or, as F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose The Great Gatsby returns to the big screen in May, said, “Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.”

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sasha-cagen/following-instincts_b_2940287.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS%20for%20the%20Soul

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“But it’s so random,” I remember, saying with a pained expression on my face, as I sat on the couch across from my therapist.

She looked at me with a warm expression. “Random isn’t necessarily bad,” she said. “I could never tell you what to do with your life. I don’t even know what I should do in my own life. No one can really tell another person what they should do.”

Last year, I was deciding whether to follow an instinct to move to Buenos Aires. We could call it a desire or impulse: something that really did not make much logical sense in terms of “career,” “money” or “finding a partner” (something I can say finally without ambivalence that I do want). I was actually happy in Oakland. But I felt this instinct and it would not go away.

Learning how to follow an instinct. The instinct took root in my body in 2011, on one of my last days to Buenos Aires during my first trip here. It’s a New Age cliche to say, “listen to your body,” but my body does give me messages. I just felt in my body one day suddenly in the street that I was meant to come back and spend more time in this city. That feeling was a warmth, and I couldn’t quite explain it because there were actually a lot of things I didn’t even like about this city (despite my obsession with tango). But it just seemed clear.

I remember being in San Francisco six months later, when I was struggling with the decision, talking to Santiago, a tango teacher from Argentina. He asked me why I wanted to move to Buenos Aires. “Because I want to.” I told him. I didn’t really have a more clear answer than that. I had a desire. I desire I felt in my body, as much as my mind told me no. My answer “Because I want to” seemed to surprise Santiago. A simple nonpractical desire seemed bold and audacious and at the same time inadequate, too simple. But that is all I had: a persistent instinct.

He laughed and said I would have fun with the men there. “Ah, you will see.” That’s not what it was about. I didn’t come here looking for a bunch of lovers. (My report on the men of Argentina is another story.)

Struggling with the mystery of desire — and conflicting desires. After spending a year at home in Oakland, I bought a plane ticket to go check out living in Buenos Aires. Then I cancelled the ticket. Two months later I bought another ticket. Then I pushed that ticket back by five weeks. This struggle felt so symbolic: I was battling between my desires for being grounded in a home and all the possibilities that could offer and my desires for adventure, and simply to follow an instinct. I was also afraid that in going I would not be available to find a partner and that somehow in going I was going to be too alone, which is always my fear in following an instinct. That I will be too alone.

At the end of the day, I surrendered to the impulse to go.

Conflicting desires are a part of life. There is almost always more than one desire. Learning how to choose is the key.

I suddenly realized, after all the therapy and the booked and cancelled ticket, that if I ignored this instinct, I was ignoring it at the risk of low-grade depression. This impulse to go — as random and illogical as it seemed — was what I needed more. Even if I decided to come back and settle down in the Bay Area, I needed to come live in Buenos Aires first. For reasons that were basically mysterious to me.

I decided to be OK with the mystery.

What has happened since, in the six months since I have lived in Buenos Aires, is a whole other story. I’m not quite ready to sum that up because I’m still living it. But I can say this. I am so glad I listened to that instinct. I always am glad I listen to my instincts. When I don’t listen to them, I feel like I am shriveling up and contracting. When I do listen to them, I feel like I am coming out on the victorious side of fear. My life feels longer and richer for listening to these instincts. More mysterious, which I have learned that I like. I love the mystery.

Instinct vs. rationality. In a rational culture like the United States where you are supposed to have a plan (and a retirement plan), it can feel countercultural to follow a quirky whisper, intuition, or impulse. Especially an instinct that doesn’t fit the norm and doesn’t have a list of rational reasons to support it. It might be OK to follow a random instinct in our 20s and 60s, but not so much in our 30s and 40s — the decades of career-building and family-building. These are the times when we are supposed to be nest-egg-building –“on track.”

An instinct is a compass for life to point in interesting directions. Following random instincts can fuel our lives and fill our lives with more unexpected learning and mystery. The decisions don’t have to be as radical as leaving your life in one country to live in an another — a random instinct can be about feeling into the energy to talk to a stranger, go to a conference, crash a party or read a random book. Random instincts make our lives uniquely our own. When you follow your impulses, no matter where they arise in you, through your body, your heart, your mind, you are taking a stab at creating your life. Mistakes and all.

I struggled to accept the randomness of these instincts. But evidence keeps piling up that following them is worth it. A friend told me recently that her ex-boyfriend judges me. “She just follows the nose of her whims,” he said about me. Maybe that would have bothered me in the past but now…  well, yes, that’s right. I do follow my whims. And I am proud of my courage to do that.

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One Response to Authenticity calls out to us when we overstep our ordinary, mortal selfhood in acts of presumption, hubris, self-absorption, blithe narcissism, wanton selfishness, indecency and other such interpersonal indignities — Steven Kalas

  1. Pingback: Who am I? A person who loves and desires to be loved — dedicated to Jeff Lynne/ELO — tune Telephone Line 37 yrs. ago today | Curtis Narimatsu

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