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Lanre Dahunsi

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Bibliotherapy (also referred to as book therapy, poetry therapy, or therapeutic storytelling) is a creative arts therapies modality that involves storytelling or reading specific texts with the purpose of healing.

I recently stumbled on the concept of bibliotherapy while I was reading David Burns Book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. Burns referenced five studies in which researchers studied the effects of reading a good self-help book without any other form of therapy. He wrote:

“True freedom is being without anxiety about imperfection.—Sixth-century Zen master Sengchan

Zen Buddhist monk Haemin Sunim argues that by only accepting yourself–and the flaws that make you who you are–can you have compassionate and fulfilling relationships with your partner, your family, and your friends. Love for Imperfect Things shows how the path to happiness and peace of mind includes not only strong relationships with others but also letting go of worries about ourselves.

Mindfulness is the practice of purposely bringing one’s attention to the present moment without judgment, a skill one develops through meditation or other training. The need to stay mindful and present can not be over-emphasized in our present age of always-on, tweet, sharing, and clicking world. We are busy doing nothing, running, chasing fame, the thrill and dopamine rush of vanity metrics such as likes, retweets, reshares, material things and we forget to stay in the moment, focus on the here and now. Mindfulness enables us to stay on the focused on what really matter.

A pioneer of the Western mindfulness movement, Jon Kabat-Zinn has spent more than 40 years studying, teaching, and advocating the benefits of mindfulness. In his MasterClass, he teaches you how to cultivate a mindfulness practice, reduce your stress, and soothe your thoughts with meditation and movement.

In Asian languages, the word for ‘mind’ and the word for ‘heart’ are same. So if you’re not hearing mindfulness in some deep way as heartfulness, you’re not really understanding it. Compassion and kindness towards oneself are intrinsically woven into it. You could think of mindfulness as wise and affectionate attention. – Jon Kabat-Zinn

According to Dr. Martha Stout in her thought-provoking book, The Sociopath Next Door: “About one in twenty-five individuals are sociopathic, meaning, essentially, that they do not have a conscience.” The Sociopaths are roaming among us and they do not have a label on their head saying they are sociopaths. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, spouse, child, parents, siblings, lovers, or even you.

 4 percent of ordinary people—one in twenty-five—has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. 

Martha Stout’s 13 Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life

We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people—one in twenty-five—has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt.

“Put more succinctly, there are more sociopaths among us than people who suffer from the much-publicized disorder of anorexia, four times as many sociopaths as schizophrenics, and one hundred times as many sociopaths as people diagnosed with a known scourge such as colon cancer.”

Social Media is a means of interaction among people that facilitate the creation/sharing of information, ideas, career interests, insights, and other forms of expression across virtual communities and networks.

Social Media is by far one of the greatest innovations in the past 50 years and, like any invention, can be used for advancement or used for unintended purposes or consequences. For instance, Nuclear Energy can be used to electrify communities, or it can be used to create atomic bombs; books can change your mindset (Think and Grow Rich) or can be read/written to cause harm (Hitler’s Main Kampf or Karl Marx’s Das Kapital). Social Media is a great source of joy, entertainment; we meet most of our friends and even get married through the platforms, business empires have been built, and great ideas exchanged, careers built, hobbies formed and nurtured.

One in six smartphone users say it would make them uncomfortable to miss a day’s updates on social media.

 Kintsugi Wellness is based on the philosophies of Japanese life and is organized into four parts: Strengthen, Nourish, Lifestyle, and Heart. At the core of Kintsugi Wellness is Self-Care, we are all broken but we can embrace our imperfections through self-acceptance, self-love, and self-care.

“In Japan, rituals are an important part of everyday life. These practices are prompts that remind you of what’s important, and ground you in the present while honoring the past.”

Until you are broken you don’t know what you’re made of.—Ziad K. Abdelnour

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. It is similar to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect.

We don’t ship the work because we’re creative. We’re creative because we ship the work.

The Practice is based on the Akimbo Creative Workshop pioneered by author Seth Godin. Seth insists that writer’s block is a myth, that consistency is far more important than authenticity, and that experiencing the imposter syndrome is a sign that you’re a well-adjusted human.

“The practice is there if we’re willing to sign up for it. And the practice will open the door to the change you seek to make.”

I am a super fan of Seth Godin’s work and book from reading his very insightful books: Purple Cow, Unleashing the Ideavirus, Linchpin, The Dip, listening to his podcast (Akimbo), reading his blog and his other great projects such as alt mba. The book is a compilation of 219 nuggets for creatives and writers.

“The practice doesn’t care when you decide to become an artist. What simply matters is that you decide. Whether or not your mom is involved in the decision.”

Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symbols. Writing is a form of self-expression that can be used to express thought, ideas, musings, rants, entertain – you can either write what is worth reading or do what is worth writing about. Writers, write, bloggers blog and creatives create. The hardest part of any creative process like writing is starting: You do not need to be great to start but you have to start to be great.

Here are the top 30 quotes on writing:

Kintsugi is the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with powdered gold. Day after day, week after week, stage by stage, the object is cleaned, groomed, treated, healed, and finally enhanced. Nowadays it has also become a well-known therapy metaphor for resilience. Personal Development Coach and Blogger Céline Santini explore the art of kintsugi in all its facets.

Kintsugi is the art of exalting past injuries. The Way of Kintsugi can be understood as a kind of art therapy, inviting you to transcend your struggles and transform your personal hardships into gold. It reminds you that your scars, visible or invisible, are proof that you’ve overcome your difficulties. By marking your history, they demonstrate you’ve survived, and they enrich your soul.

This ancestral technique, developed in Japan during the fifteenth century, consists of repairing a broken object by accentuating its cracks with gold—instead of hiding them. But the philosophy behind it goes much deeper than a simple artistic practice. It has to do with the symbolism of healing and resilience. First taken care of and then honored, the broken object accepts its past and paradoxically becomes more robust, more beautiful, and more precious than before it was broken. This metaphor can provide insight into all stages of healing, whether the ailment is physical or emotional.

 Psychology Professor Dr. Jean Twenge and social psychologist W. Keith Campbell, known for his research on narcissism, chronicles American culture’s journey from self-admiration to the present-day corrosive narcissism that threatens to infect us all. They highlight strategies for identifying narcissism, minimize the forces that sustain and transmit it, and treat it or manage it where we find it.

A narcissist has an overinflated view of his own abilities, similar to the kitten that sees himself as a lion on the popular poster. Narcissists are not just confident, they’re overconfident. In short, narcissists admire themselves too much.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

Life is short, we are all supposed to know that but unfortunately, we don’t. My first vivid recollection of grieving due to the death of a loved one was when I lost my paternal grandmother in 1998. I wept for a couple of days and kind of moved on eventually as we all do. I have lost 3 of my grandparents, recently my mum ( 2019) and my closest cousin (2013). The degree of my grief was kind of based on their age, my closest to them and the stage of life I was at the moment of their death.

   What these deaths have taught me is that no matter how long I live, I am going to DIE too. Death is the ultimate equalizer in life – The old, young, sick, healthy, slim, selfish, famous, selfless, healthy, narcissist, psychopath, sociopath, cheerful, depressed, gregarious, everyone is going to DIE at some point. The late CEO Apple, Steve Jobs quipped in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there.

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”

Most of us lead our lives like we are coming back (Jesus), would live longer than Methuselah, like we are promised tomorrow, hence we delay, procrastinate, temporize, stall, we overestimate what we can accomplish in 10 years, and underestimate what we can get done in a year. We say to ourselves “Someday I’ll“, we wait for the perfect time, the perfect mate, the perfect weather, business environment, job, career move, you name it. Knowing that we are all going to DIE, I wonder what we are waiting for.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world; most people just exist.” -Oscar Wilde

Mental Conditioning/ Programming

One of the greatest challenge for most of us is that while growing up we have been mentally conditioned and socially programmed with self-limiting belief systems such as You are here to pay bills, amass worldly possessions, Go to school, get good grades, find a suitable mate, procreate 2 or 3 kids, pay your mortgage, stay in that location for the next 25 years while working for organizations you are not excited about with colleagues and bosses you can not stand, save for retirement till 65, get ill at 70 and DIE before your 85th birthday if you are lucky to live that long.

“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” – Les Brown

Your Time Here is Limited.

  The average life expectancy in developed nations like Japan, South Korea, and Switzerland is around 84-84 years while the life expectancy in third world nations like Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Yemen is around 51-65 years. If we use developed nations’ life expectancy as a case study, the average human would live approximately 30,000 days (84 years x 365 days) = 30,600 days. As short as these days are, we still waste it on trivial issues because we think we would live long and we still have time.

Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need.” — Voltaire

 We spend one-third of our lifetime sleeping – 10,000 Days

We spend around 3,500 – 4,000 days working

On average we spend half of our lifetime sleeping, working, and commuting.

What do we do with the remaining time- We gossip, spend endless time surfing the internet and social media comparing our lives with those of our family, peers, and friends, we fight, litigate, have fun. recreation and little time examining our time here or deliberately working on our legacy.

“An unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates

Most of us live a life of quiet desperation tiptoeing towards our graves. We follow and adhere to the scripts and belief systems handed to us by our parents, school, religion, peers, society, media, and the internet. We do not take the time to slow down and smell the roses. We are busy doing nothing, rushing through the maze of life like rats. As Lily Tomlin observed, “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” Why become a rat when you are supposed to be a lion. As the African proverb says “The lion and sheep may lie down together but the sheep won’t get any sleep”. You are here to be extraordinary, stop settling for less, please, Go do epic shit.

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things..”― Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays

Social Media is Messing You Up

Social Media is

All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.