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Trying Hard To Stay “Cool Calm And Collected”


Trying hard to stay calm, cool and collected! This recent status report on Facebook caught my attention. In our super busy world, this statement sums up what many of us are trying to do, much of the time.

BODY We try to stay calm, cool and collected and control stress in our body (tense shoulders, teeth grinding, sweating, and shallow breathing). But often, we fail to manage our stress because we don’t know how. Or we ignore and avoid what our body tells us.

EMOTIONS We may try, but find it impossible to control, negative emotions such as fear, anger, shame, and feeling overwhelmed. “I shouldn’t feel this way.” Perhaps we try to avoid them by distracting ourselves. Or we may avoid them as we block or ignore them. Going numb is a symptom of avoidance.

MIND – WILL We often do the same things with unacceptable thoughts and desires. We try to control them and figure them out. Or try to avoid them as we distract ourselves or go numb.

THEY DON’T JUST DISAPPEAR Whether we try to avoid or control these reactions, we don’t take responsibility for them. And so we fail to deal with them constructively. Does that settle the matter? Oh no. Those messages from our bodies, emotions, or minds go underground—into our subconscious. And there they stay until they gather enough power to resurface, or until circumstances force them into our awareness.

A LOSE-LOSE SITUATION So we create a lose-lose conflict. It I let it all hang out, I lose. I hurt people or make a fool of myself. But if I mindlessly and automatically try to avoid or control my thoughts, feelings and desires, I also lose because I don’t really resolve them. What’s a person to do?

Good question. You can’t fix something if you are not aware of it. So why not allow yourself to think what you think, feel what you feel, want what you want. feel? Willingness to stay aware gets you off auto-pilot. Now, you can take responsibiity for your reactions and make healthy changes.

TRY THE CHOICE-CUBE METHOD The simple Choice-Cube self-help method http://www.amazon.com can help you manage your body, thoughts, emotions, and desires. Here’s how.

First, the method gives you a mental framework to help you stay in touch with what you feel think, and want. Second, there are simple tools to help you do what’s best for you and for those you care for. Third, there are four key steps to guide your change from inappropriate defensiveness to healthy problem-solving.

Using this method, you learn to feel, think, and want without having to act on it. Instead, you learn to use the framework, tools, and steps to make important changes and take the best course of action. You become your own BFF—best friend forever–and relate in a healthy way to those you care for.

We Reap What We Sow It’s A Law Like Gravity


Ignoring the laws of the universe can lead to unfortunate results. Take for example the law of gravity. If we jump off a ten-story building, we’re dead. Rather unfortunate.

THE LAW OF SOWING AND REAPING The law of sowing and reaping may seem less concrete, but it is just as real! Ignoring this law can also lead to disastrous results. For example, when we sow seeds of dishonesty and toxic thoughts, words, and actions, we get a sickly harvest. If we constantly lie or rage, our relationships sour. Everyone gets hurt—a troublesome crop wouldn't you say?

In contrast, like the gardener who plants good seeds, when we plant seeds of honesty and kind thoughts, words, and actions, we learn to trust ourselves and others can trust us. Such a harvest satisfies and blesses us and others.

PLANTING GOOD SEED DEMANDS EFFORT Life often seems a battle between what we want to do and what we need to do. Planting good seeds takes effort and discipline–perserverence. At times, staying honest and kind may even seem impossible. We may feel we are losing the battle. But every choice matters.

OUR THREE CHOICES Everything depends on our choices. And really, we have only three kinds of choices.We can try to inappropriately avoid issues, control them, or successfully resolve them.

FOUR STEPS TO A GOOD HARVEST Here are the four steps to successfully solve a problem. When we perserver, we sow good seed and we will reap a rich, satisfying harvest.

Step 1: We recognize when we are planting bad seed.
Step 2: We manage our stress and our emotions.
Step 3: We think more clearly now and see the and cons of the situation. We can focus on the solution instead of on the problem.
Step 4: We take honest, compassionate action.

THE CHOICE-CUBE METHOD CAN HELP With each step we take, each choice we make, we program ourselves. The good news is that we can use the Choice-Cube Method’s tools and four key steps to make wise choices.

We can stop planting bad seeds. Good! We can face reality, work through short-term loss or pain, and plant good seeds. Better! We can make healthy choices and program ourselves for long-term gain. Best!

What about you? What kind of crops are you sowing? Reaping? The Choice-Cube Method presented in my book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, can help you sow good seed.

What the Placebo Effect Can Teach Us about Our Mental States


People who rely on antidepressants to go on about their daily lives may be in for a bit of a shock at the revelation that follows. The benefits they obtain from the drugs they take may be – quite simply – only the results of the “placebo effect.”

What’s The Placebo Effect? The placebo effect happens when a sugar pill, for example, is substituted for the anticipated medication. In reality patients receive no medication; they just believed they did. And they feel better because they expect to feel better.

Quite the shocker, right? Recently, Irving Kirsch, of the Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess, shared the result of his research, which basically makes a case for this very point.

Some Research According to Kirsch, the pharmaceutical companies that produce Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft had to repeat many clinical trials before they could obtain the minimum number of positive results necessary for FDA approval.

The numerous trials that failed to show positive results from the medication simply revealed no significant results. But even more interesting, the clinical trials that turned out positive revealed results that were barely significant.

On this basis, Kirsch suggests that subjects who experienced benefits from these drugs obtained them from the placebo effect rather than from the drugs themselves.

Now, what does this say about the power of our mental states?

The Mind-Body Connection Without a doubt, there is a vital link between our mental states and our physical health. Mental states affect our bodies and vice versa. It’s the typical case of the person allergic to cats who starts sneezing the moment he/she sets foot in the apartment of someone who has a cat.

But what if this person is merely reacting to the thought of a cat hair-filled apartment – in other words, with his mind instead of his body? It’s possible that our fear alone can breed physical symptoms, whether it’s the fear of cat hair or germs.

In an earlier post, we explained how emotional states send physical messages to the body through proteins called neuropeptides. These bodily messages may be linked to negative or positive attitudes that will affect us physically.

But one thing is certain…working through negative attitudes and mental states and choosing instead to deal with negative feelings in a healthy way may do wonders for us. We may even realize we don’t need the meds anymore.

Want to find out more about a way to treat depression that does not involve popping pills? In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, Dr. Beth Cujé sets forth tools and steps to help you move into the light and away from depression. Here’s your chance to download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here.

Get that Paper Bag Off Your Head!


Have you ever awakened anxious and depressed, like you had a paper bag over your head? Did you ask yourself why you were feeling that way? If you didn’t get a clear answer, what did you do?

STUCK OR UNSTUCK? The temptation is to focus on how bad we feel. This can keep us stuck inside that brown bag on a mental merry-go-round, just feeling bad. But there is a way to get unstuck. These two simple questions can help: What am I feeling? and What do I want?

LABEL THAT FEEING! Yes, we already know we feel lousy. But when we deliberately label what we are feeling,we do something different. We locate that feeling in time and space. We make it concrete–something we can manipulate instead of giving it power to run us.

WE CAN CHANGE OUR BRAIN Recent brain research by Matthew Lieberman of the University of California, Los Angeles suggests that simply labeling our feelings—angry, anxious, overwhelmed, sad—changes our brain.

A little almond shaped bundle of nerves, called the amygdala, sits in our emotional brain. The amygdala becomes very active when we are upset. But when we deliberately label the feeling, the amygdala begins to slow down and “relax.” Also, we engage the thinking part of our brain.

WE CAN LEARN SOME SIMPLE TOOLS There are simple tools we can learn to help us stay aware of feelings and label them. These tools also equip us to let go of feelings safely and appropriately. “Appropriately” means to express them without hurting ourselves or anyone else. Later we will learn where to find those tools.

So we label our painful, angry, and overwhelming feelings. We let go of them and engage the thinking part of our brain. Our mind clears. Now, it’s time for the second question: What do I want?

BAD NEWS – GOOD NEWS When we ask this second question, we should look for personal losses and conflicts. There may be surprises. The bad news is that often, emotions help us avoid knowing things we are not ready to face. The good news is that when we release those emotions in an appropriate fashion, the door usually opens to new understanding. This includes knowing what we really want.

EMOTIONS AND THOUGHTS CAN POISON US Appropriately managing our emotions and thoughts is critical.If we fail to deal with them,they don’t just disappear. They just sit in us. Like bad food we’ve eaten, they poison us until we get them out of us. We can become toxic, confused, and stuck.

Let’s learn to recognize when we have emotional paper bags over our head and get rid of them. Using the two questions can help. You can learn about them in the book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be – The Choice-Cube Method. The method presented in the book will equip you with a mental framework, simple tools, and four steps to help you deal with all kinds of brown paper bags. You can download the first chapter for free. Just click here.

Switch Off the Automatic Pilot — Do Something Different!


Picture the typical family dinner scene. Doug and Tina are enjoying a nice, quiet meal with their four-year-old son. Suddenly, little Timmy spills his glass of juice. Doug jumps up, shakes his finger at the boy and shouts, “What are you? Stupid? Look what you’ve done!”

SOMETHING GOES WRONG Little Timmy is bewildered. What he doesn’t understand is that his Daddy went through the same thing as a little boy. His father relentlessly verbally abused him over little things like a spilled glass of juice.

Of course, when Tina confronts Doug with what has just happened, he feels bad for yelling at the poor kid. But he can’t stop reacting this way. What’s Doug doing here?

A ROBOTWEB? Doug is caught in a “robotweb”– a habit pattern–that involves every single part of him: his physical sensations, his emotions, his thoughts and his behaviors.

I call this habit pattern a robtweb because, like a robot, Doug reacts automatically and mindlessly. It’s a “web” because of the way these reactions have become embedded into nerve pathways in his body and brain.

The verbal abuse Doug suffered when he was a child created an angry, critical pattern of reacting—a robotweb–in Doug’s mind and body. Now, something little like a spilled glass of juice can trigger this robotweb.

When the habit pattern–robotweb–takes over, Doug mindlessly and automatically repeats the same hurtful reactions with his son that he experienced as a child. He goes on “automatic pilot” yelling and criticizing when Timmy accidentally breaks or spills something (He’s only four and still a bit clumsy for goodness sake!).

HOW DO WE CHANGE? So, how can we switch off this automatic pilot, this robotweb?

First we have to get honest and admit that we have a robotweb. Then we have to take responsibility for what we think, feel, and do. Next, we must interrupt the robotweb before it takes control.

IT IS CRITICAL TO INTERRUPT A ROBOTWEB The trick is to learn how to interrupt the emotions, thoughts, and behaviors of a robotweb rather than repeat them. The danger is that the more we repeat the reactions of a robotweb, the stronger it becomes.

A robotweb must be stopped, dead in its tracks. We must learn to recognize it and do something different—interrupt it and replace it with a healthier way of reacting.

If Doug understood the power his robotweb has over him and how to interrupt it, he would be better equipped to switch off the automatic pilot before it kicks in. The next time little Timmy spills his juice, Doug might say, “It’s OK, son. It’s just a glass of juice.”

Want to know more about robotwebs and how to interrupt them so you can live a healthier, fuller life? In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be – The Choice-Cube Method, Dr. Beth Cujé sets forth tools and steps to help you understand yourself and move away from negative habit patterns. Download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you. You can retrain yourself, change and grow, and engage life more fully.

“I Refuse To Be A Victim!” Herman Cain


”I Refuse To Be A Victim!” – Herman Cain

I was fascinated to hear Herman Cain, Republican candidate for President, clearly state that he refuses to be a victim. Would you agree that the opposite of a victim is a victimizer? It’s true. And everyone is capable of becoming both a victim and a victimizer.

But a third option exists. We always have the choice to respond to people and situations as victims, victimizers, or as problem-solvers looking for a win-win solution.

WHEN WE ACCEPT THE VICTIM POSITION As victims, we Avoid! Avoid! Avoid! Rather than confront and resolve issues, we give up our healthy, independent selves. We believe we need others to fix us or provide for us. So we avoid arguments and confrontation in order to feel safe. We could say that victims respond to people and situations from an under-dog, one-down position.

BUT THERE IS A PROBLEM The problem is that when we play the victim, we eventually find a way to become the victimizer.

WHEN WE ACCEPT THE VICTIMIZER POSITION As victimizers, we Control! Control! Control! “You need me to set things straight. I have all the answers. I know better. I’ll fix you and everyone else. It must be done my way.“ Victimizers respond to people and situations from a top-dog, one-up position. Being in control helps a victimizer feel safe.

THE VICTIM-VICTIMIZER SWING And just as victims swing into the victimizer position, every victimizer eventually collapses into the victim position. I call this swing from victim to victimizer or from victimizer to victim the “Victim-Victimizer Swing.”

WHAT ABOUT THE PROBLEM-SOLVER POSITION? Our solution as healthy problem-solvers begins with our commitment to a win-win solution and to being honest with ourselves. Using Eric Berne’s of “okayness” we might ask ourselves;
• Am I playing the victim: I’m not OK-You’re OK?
• Am I playing the victimizer: You’re not OK-I’m OK?
• Am I acting as a problem-solver: I’m OK-You’re OK?

Let’s hope that Mr. Cain continues to refuse to be a victim. May he stay out of the Victim-Victimizer Swing and always try to take the win-win problem-solver position.

Want to learn more about the Victim-Victimizer Swing? In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be The Choice-Cube Method, Dr. Beth Cujé helps you understand yourself. She sets forth tools and steps to give you choice and help you change. Just click here to get the first chapter of her book for FREE.

Don’t Want to Deal with It? The Price You’ll Pay May Be Too High


One of Scarlett O’Hara’s most memorable quotes is, “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Now, when you’re feeling upset, agitated, flustered or frustrated, it might seem sensible to wait a day or two before dealing with your problems…but is it, really?

Everyone is born wanting to avoid pain and suffering. When you get burned you pull your hand back, don’t you? We’re only human. And it is a very human thing to want to protect ourselves from pain. We’ll try to never touch that thing that burned us again. And this is the appropriate way of dealing with this particular type of pain. It’s something we should avoid if we don’t want to keep getting burned.

The problem arises when we deal with pain and suffering in inappropriate ways. Here are four ways we inappropriately avoid issues. Take a look.

Escape Emma feels estranged from her husband. Their relationship is not like it was before. They never talk anymore, not like they used to, but instead of broaching the subject and telling him how she feels, she turns on the TV in the den whenever he tries to talk about things. Instead of TV, we may eat, drink, shop, or gamble—all different ways we try to escape and avoid dealing with difficult issues.

Dump/Vent Sarah deeply resents the fact that her mother in law treats her like an incompetent idiot and always butts in when she should just mind her own business. But instead of talking about it with her mother in law, she calls her best friend Tina and tells her, in very colorful language, exactly what she thinks of the woman. Sarah can go on for hours. After such a session, she feels relieved, but poor Tina feels awful. Sarah has managed to avoid the real issue one more time and the problem stays the same.

Stuff It Every time Tom feels unhappy at work or gets the nagging suspicion that he should change jobs, he chooses to ignore reality—how he really feels–and goes about his business. After all, the economy’s bad and now’s not the time to think about changing jobs. The problem is he has felt this way for years. Unless Tom faces his unhappy situation, nothing will change. Denial and projection are two classic ways of “stuffing it” –avoiding reality and staying stuck.

Submit Helplessly George is is feeling overwhelmed–hopeless. He can’t control his eating habits and his weight gain is spiraling out of control. He has stopped seeing people socially because he’s too embarrassed to be seen in public. He just stays in more and more, eating more and more. Being obese and out of control has become part of his identity. He’s believes he can’t change and that there’s nothing he can do about it.

Want to know how to deal with problems like these in more appropriate ways? In her self-help book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be – The Choice-Cube Method, Dr. Beth Cujé sets forth tools and steps to help you move into the light and away from behaviors that are getting you nowhere. Here’s your chance to download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you. You can retrain yourself, change and grow, and engage life more fully.

Oxytocin – Warm Hugs With That Guy Or Gal?


DEBBIE’S STORY Debbie recalls the day she met her husband. It was the typical scene of gazes meeting across a crowded room. They spoke. They danced. He walked her home. They shared a brief kiss. But then they hugged. And that was what did it for her. She knew right then and there he was the man for her. A few years later they married.

What happened that first night? Love at first sight? Magic? Ah, wouldn’t it be romantic, but no. Most likely, their romance was influenced by a surge of oxytocin – a hormone that passionate physical touch and closeness releases in the brain.

WHAT IS OXYTOCIN? Oxytocin is produced in the brain, in the hypothalamus, and released into the bloodstream like several other hormones. Now, the interesting thing is how this hormone is released. Breastfeeding and orgasm produce oxytocin, but also passionate warmth and touch. It washes over our bodies when we are physically close to someone who desires us and whom we desire.

So, when Debbie met her future husband, she didn’t know him well enough to love him, but she trusted him, she felt comfortable with him (the reason why she allowed him to walk her home), and the embrace they shared was so powerful, it started the bonding that would lead to a deep affection for each other.

Happily for Debbie and her husband they shared those feelings. They nurtured them and the more time they spent together, they more their attraction grew, creating the deep and loving relationship they share today.

WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT OXYTOCIN? Now, why does this concern us? Or better yet, our question should be: How can we use this knowledge of what this hormone does to us?

Some couples go to therapy and arrive in deeply agitated states. They can’t think when they are so flustered, so focused on what is wrong in the relationship and how badly it all hurts. Some therapists report the sense of trust and safety brought on by the effects of oxytocin makes their clients more open to therapeutic change. A 30-second, full-body hug is usually enough to calm them and make them ready to continue working.

But besides the therapeutic effects of oxytocin, this little hormone teaches us a powerful lesson. Sometimes, we let our emotions run wild, out of control. If we want what’s best for us and to become our best, healthiest selves. we would do well to understand our emotions and not let them control us.

As for the warning hinted at in the title, Oxytocin – Warm Hugs With That Guy Or Gal? – watch out unless you are prepared to embrace the rollercoaster ride that is a romantic relationship. Stay in touch with the best of who you are and set healthy boundaries. If you do, you could be on the road to a long-lasting relationship.

Want to find out more about becoming your best, healthiest self? In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, Dr. Beth Cujé sets forth tools and steps to help you do just that. Here’s your chance to download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you. You can retrain yourself, change and grow, and engage life more fully.

Might As Well Face It, You’re Addicted to…Emotions?


That’s not how the popular 80s song goes. Or is it? The song clearly talks about being “addicted to love”. And love is an emotion.

We can become addicted to emotions
The latest in brain research shows that every emotion we feel causes our bodies to release neuropeptides, in other words, proteins that are responsible for regulating our health, mood and behavior.

Here’s how the addiction is created Whenever we feel an emotion with a certain frequency, specific cell receptors start demanding the neuropeptides associated with that emotion. We feel compelled to recreate this emotion. For example, we may be addicted to feeling safe and so we are always on the lookout for ways to recreate this feeling – we cuddle in a warm blanket for hours, seek out others for warm hugs, etc…

That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? But happens when we are addicted to negative emotions like anger, and seek any excuse to be angry because our bodies need this neuropeptide fix?

We have a problem
The more we repeat a negative emotion, the more we strengthen and reinforce it. But there’s also good news. We can train ourselves to recognize and express negative emotions and release them in an appropriate way. And each time we interrupt and release an emotion appropriately (without hurting ourselves or others), we weaken it and make way for more positive emotions to replace it

It’s a matter of choice
Are we willing to face this ugly monster and learn how to stop this dead in its tracks? Are we ready to train ourselves to release its emotional negative charge in order to replace it with a positive emotion? In contrast, are we just going to let it fly or try to avoid it and settle for short-term relief–a temporary fix–because we need it so badly that we don’t care if we’re only making it stronger?

We’re not talking supression of emotions
Just to clarify. The goal is not to suppress negative emotions. We must interrupt them, express them, and release them in an appropriate manner, in other words one that won’t hurt others or ourselves. There’s no room for negotiation or bargaining. Negative emotions must be interrupted in an appropriate way or we will only reinforce or strengthen them.

Want to find out more about how exactly these negative emotions are interrupted and released? In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, Dr. Beth Cujé sets forth tools and steps to help you do just that. Here’s your chance to download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you. You can retrain yourself, change and grow, and engage life more fully.

Are You A Slave To Your Reactions!


Todd and Claire are fighting. He’s angry… furious. He can’t seem to make Claire understand how her complaints hurt him. Claire is bewildered. She did not complain. She simply mentioned to Todd how important it was to finish painting the bathroom.

What’s going on here?

Our Reality May Be Distorted Like you and me, Todd has his own way of seeing things—his “reality.” Now, no one sees reality perfectly. We all have a reality that is colored by what has happened to us and by what we think will happen to us. But in this case, Todd’s reality is twisted. You’ll find out why later.

To begin, let’s get clear that when we pay attention to something (OUR FOCUS), we automatically attach our own special way of how we see that person, thing, or problem. This is the MEANING WE ATTACH.

The meaning we attach, real or not, stirs up feelings of pain or pleasure, threat or no threat. And our body responds accordingly by stressing or relaxing. BODY REACTIONS

Emotions Are Signals From Our Body In every experience, our mind sends information and energy throughout the body and brain. If we pay attention to what is happening in our body, we can label those feelings as EMOTIONS. Now, if know how, we can release our stress and emotions safely and appropriately (without hurting ourselves or others). And we must deal effectively with our emotions because they can lock in distorted painful thoughts and mental pictures.

Next, if we manage our body and emotions well, we can choose where we focus. And whatever we focus on will get us more of it, healthy or unhealthy! Finally, when step by step, we know how to successfully manage our stress, emotions, thoughts, pictures in our mind, and focus, we are free to choose how we prefer to behave. BEHAVIOR

Here’s The Bottom Line If Todd, you, or I, stay aware and take responsibility for what we think, feel, and want, we create choice. We can choose to listen to our body and label its signals of angry, feaful, or shame-filled emotions. Then instead of going on auto-pilot and inappropriately trying to avoid or control a person, thing, or problem, we can choose to work with an issue and resolve it. We can choose to act in our best interests and the best interests of others.

Is Todd A Slave to His Reactions? Seems simple enough. But let’s see what Todd does with his reactions: his focus, the meaning he attaches to it, his body responses, emotions, and behaviors.

Todd focuses on Claire’s statement, “It’s important to finish painting the bathroom.” Note, he doesn’t question or share his “reality” that he thinks she is criticizing him. No. Instead, he automatically attaches a negative meaning to her simple observation. The meaning her attaches stirs up old body stress responses—signals of the painful emotions of shame and anger–that he felt as a kid when his mother criticized him.

Because Todd fails to stay aware of his reactions and take responsibility for what he thinks,and feels, he flips into control mode and starts raging.Todd misses the opportunity to discuss the matter rationally with Claire. Instead, because of the meaning he attaches and his failure to take responsibility and release his stress, hurt, and anger, he goes on auto-pilot. Once on auto-pilot, he seems doomed to react the same unreasonable way he has so many times before, with anger.

At this moment, no matter how hard Claire tries to reason with him, Todd will not be able to hear or understand her. Also, each time he goes on auto-pilot this way, he increases the likelihood that he will react the same way the next time he misunderstands her.

Here’s One Way To Work With Our Reactions At times, we all try to inappropriately avoid or control things. What do you usually do? In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, Dr. Beth Cujé sets forth tools and steps to give you choice and help you change. You can download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here Choicecube.com Choicecube.com and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you. You can retrain yourself, change and grow, and engage life more fully. (Copyright Dr. Beth Blevins Cujé 2011)

Another Kind of “Bad Boy”


Many women identified with an earlier blog post, Why Did I Pick the Same Kind of “Bad Boy” One More Time. That blog post described the case of a woman who, for reasons she couldn’t understand, always ended up with men who at first seemed to be perfectly charming gentlemen, but later transformed into complete, emotionally unavailable jerks.But there is another perspective on transformation.

Hard to Recognize For many women living in highly urbanized areas, the signs of an unavailable man are far harder and often take longer to discern – guys often seem so polished, responsible, and successful that women are blinded to what lies underneath the surface.

He’s Everything I Want Until the Good-By These “bad boys” come in an amazing array of shapes and forms, and there’s no easy way to avoid them. They never become the sort of sloppy freeloaders that are obviously inappropriate and far easier to detect. They are and remain everything a woman wants. . . until the day they say goodbye and walk out the door. No explanations, no excuses. Instead of transforming into a jerk any woman would gladly say, “Good riddance!” to, they simply go from “there” to “not there”.

Now What? What’s a woman to do? Many women make the mistake of torturing themselves with endless questions and doubts: Why did he leave? What did I do wrong? What would have happened if I had done…(fill in the blanks)…differently? And trying to answer any of these questions is as pointless as trying to get him back.

Our “Picker” Was Off If a man leaves a woman high and dry, without anything that remotely resembles a “This will never work because…”, the best thing a woman can do right from the start is stay in touch with her core self—her gut and her heart, as well as her brain. And secondly, set good boundaries!

Time For A Change When we set good boundaries, we effectively avoid the victim-victimizer scenario – in this case, you are not the victim who was so unceremoniously dumped. For reasons the guy was unable to explain, he left. That’s all. You don’t need a man like this. You can go on. When you set good boundaries you are better prepared to make a positive declaration and take positive action towards being your best, healthiest self.

Here’s One Way To Change And how do you become this best version of you? By “doing the work,” of course, and continually crossing the bridge and staying in the light, i.e. by leaving immature avoiding and controlling behaviors and embracing better, more appropriate ways of resolving problems.

Give It A Try Want to find out more about crossing the bridge and staying in the light? In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, Dr. Beth Cujé sets forth tools and steps to help you do just that. Here’s your chance to download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here Choicecube.com and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you. You can retrain yourself, change and grow, and engage life more fully.

Change That Attitude! And You’ll Change Your Body…


NEW NEWS ABOUT LONG LIFE Have you heard the term “psychoneuroimmunology” or the study of the mind-body connection?

This exciting field is shedding new light on the secret of longevity and perfect health.

Do you think your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, or genetic influences alone determine how long you live? Then think again.

The big news is that these factors – though still important, together with a balanced diet and exercise – are not solely responsible for longevity. Subjective information, like positive thoughts and attitudes also come into play.

BODY AND MIND ARE NOT SEPARATE Attitudes are not separate from our bodies just because they don’t take up a physical space. Attitude affects our health and interacts with our body to cause changes that may be positive or negative depending on whether our attitude is, likewise, positive or negative.

Ever wonder why a hypochondriac is always sick? It is not because they were born at a disadvantage with a weaker immune system. Most likely, they were born healthy babies, like most of us. Something along the way led them to believe their immune system was weak – perhaps an overprotective parent, or an illness – , and this attitude sends the message home, giving all of those nasty bugs and viruses a perfect host.

EMOTIONAL STATES SEND PHYSICAL MESSAGES TO THE BODY. And although attitudes and positive thoughts are not easily measured or quantified, there is hard, scientific evidence to support this. It has been proven that emotional states change the chemistry in our bodies.

Different states of mind deliver different chemical messages (through tiny proteins called neuropeptides) that are either beneficial or detrimental to our health.

This should come as no surprise. Everyone knows that prolonged stress can increase the risk of heart disease, for example. By the same token, a positive attitude, such as gratitude, can significantly decrease this risk.

WHAT SHOULD WE DO? So, what should we do if we wish to live long, full and healthy lives? Think happy thoughts? If only it were that easy!

What we must do first is identify and interrupt negative thoughts. Interrupting negative thoughts with gratitude and caring can actually increase a body’s level of antibodies! If we can learn to replace negative mindsets with positive, loving thoughts for ourselves and our bodies, we could very well be on our way to a long, happy life.

Want to learn some tools and four 4 steps to help you leave negative attitudes behind and embrace a healthier way of living? In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, Dr. Beth Cujé teaches you how. Here’s your chance to download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here Choicecube.com and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you. You can retrain yourself, change and grow, and engage life more fully. Copyright Dr. Beth Blevins Cujé 2011

The Devil I Know is Better than The Devil I Don’t Know


THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE We hear this over and over again: people don’t change. And although this is not entirely true, it is very difficult sometimes for us to change. Change takes us into new, unchartered territory–unknown territory–and the unknown is also unpredictable. We rather stay with what is certain and avoid uncertainty. So, we take the path of least resistance.

UNCERTAINTY IS A KILLER We are hard-wired to create patterns of reacting to life that we depend on for certainty. “The devil I know is better than the devil I don’t know.” The need for predictability runs so deep, that most of us would prefer the certainty of bad news to the uncertainty of no news about a problem. But we pay a high price for this when actually very few things are certain (only death and taxes, right?)

In our efforts to make things predictable–to keep everything as it is–we will hunker down and risk less. We may distort reality and focus on a worst case scenario. Or, in contrast, we may retreat into fantasies–-magical thinking–-and make terrible errors of judgment.

What’s the answer? Is there an answer? Yes, and it’s always the same.

YES THERE IS AN ANSWER – 4 STEPS TO CHANGE First, we need to embrace our struggle with our uncertainty. We must accept the fact that the fear of the uncertain and the unknown is holding us back.

Second, we need to label and let go of the fearful, anxious emotions that keep us uncertain. We may or may not be aware of the thoughts and pictures in our mind that create those emotions. But we can learn to recognize them and let go of them safely and appropriately–without hurting ourselves or others. We can take their power away.

Third, once we let go of some of our stress and negative emotions, we can face the “all negative” thoughts and pictures in our mind that keep our thinking lopsided. Such thoughts as a, “I can’t leave my husband because I’ll be all alone for the rest of my life” type of thought. Or “I can’t quit this job I hate because it puts food on the table”.

Fourth, when we can face our negative thoughts and still find the courage to explore positive options and possibilities, we create choice, for example, “OK, I lost my job, but I’m capable and hard-working. I’ll find another job.” When we admit a situation’s negative side but can also see the positive side and act on that, we are on the move!

HERE IS THE SECRET Stress and our emotions lock in our painful, often distorted thinking. If we fail to deal with stress and our emotions, they don’t disappear. They simply go underground and continue to influence us. Our body and emotions tell us the truth. We cannot always trust our mind. So, we need to pay attention to the signals of our body and emotions and manage them well. Then we can better challenge our limiting thoughts and mental pictures.

Dr. Beth Blevins Cujé’s self-help book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, will help you understand yourself and equip you with tools and 4 key steps for managing uncertainty successfully. Check out her website and download her book’s first chapter for FREE. Just click here and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you. You can retrain yourself, change and grow, and engage life more fully. Copyright Dr. Beth Blevins Cujé 2011

Why Did I Pick the Same Kind of “Bad Boy” One More Time?


KIM’S STORY Kim is an attractive, smart, freelance marketing consultant. She single-handedly built her own business and has a stream of steady, loyal clients who think she’s brilliant. So why does Kim feel so stupid?

Kim is in her late thirties and has had a slew of ill-mannered boyfriends. Oh, they are charming at first, perfect, romantic gentlemen, but then they start spending entire weekends at her place, cleaning out the fridge and drinking all the beer, while they leave a trail of dirty clothes, beer cans and empty pizza boxes for her to follow. Kim ends up cooking for them and doing their laundry. Only to discover that they have another (or several- ouch!) girlfriends on the side.

She recently broke up with Max, a man she had been seeing for almost a year, a man she thought might be “the one.” She learned he was spending “quality” time with his ex-wife again.

WHY DOES KIM REPEAT THE PATTERN OVER AND OVER? In a breakup, the thoughts that pop into Kim’s mind usually revolve around, “I’ve been had”, “I can’t believe I fell for it again” or “Do I have SUCKER written all over my face?” Kim can’t help but wonder why she always falls for emotionally unavailable men who only seem to want to use her for as long as it lasts. Why does this happen to her time and time again, when she’s so smart, so capable in her professional life? What Kim doesn’t understand is that her choice of men is connected to important childhood needs that were not met early on in her life.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS FROM CHILDHOOD According to Harville Hendrix, known internationally for his work with couples, sometimes parents fail to meet some early needs, which leads to pain and frustration. If these issues remain unfinished and unresolved, they lie in the subconscious mind until something stirs them up again.

THE SUBCONSCIOUS CANNOT FIX US Interesting thing about the subconscious, it cannot repair. It can only seek to recreate the experience that might allow us to repair. And so it selects a partner who possesses some of our parents’ positive traits but also some of their negative traits–-someone who has the potential to frustrate us and hurt us the same way our parents did. Why go through all this trouble? The goal is to recreate the experience and hopefully, finally to get those needs met.

THREE THINGS MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE So, we have bad news and good news for Kim. The bad news is that it is impossible for another human being to fill these longings and needs of the past. The good news? There is a way to connect to what we need and want from a partner at the deepest level if. . and this is huge. . . if we are willing to take responsibility for what we think, feel, and do. And second, if we are willing and able to speak our truth—how we see reality–with compassion for both of us.

RESPONSIBILITY, HONESTY AND COMPASSION ARE THE ANSWER When we do this, we expose our efforts to have another person meet our childhood needs. And as we expose these patterns, we find choice. We are no longer compelled to repeat the pattern. We become free to create an honest and compassionate relationship.

In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, Dr. Beth Cujé sets forth tools and steps to help you recognize and overcome these unmet childhood needs, among other things. Here’s your chance to download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you. You can retrain yourself, change and grow, and engage life more fully. Copyright Dr. Beth Blevins Cujé 2011

Tiger Woods and Counterfeit Self-Parenting


Tiger Woods is back in the limelight, this time, after having fired Steve Williams, the man who had been his caddie, close friend and confidant for the past 12 years and 200+ golf tournaments.

The Tiger Woods/Steve Williams split reminds us of another Tiger Woods “divorce.” Less than two years ago, Woods was involved in a sex scandal that inevitably led to his much-publicized divorce from Elin Nordegren. His sex addiction was front page news and the object of a media circus.

But what is a sex addiction, really, or any addiction for that matter? Do we really understand what an addiction is?

Let’s get clear that we are talking about addictions in the broad sense of the word. We can be addicted to sex, drugs, gambling, or alcohol. But we can also be addicted to people, situations (fighting with my spouse), or a thing (money).

Where Do Addictions Come From? In a perfect world, we would all know how to soothe and nurture ourselves. We would know how to get the help we need to make sense of crazy situations. All parents would have taught these skill to their children who would now be their own “BFF”- best-friend-forever – or loving parent.

But our world is far from perfect – we are far from perfect – and some do not learn these essential self-parenting skills.

Most addictions arise out of a lack of effective self-parenting and reflect instead counterfeit self-parenting. Those who were not taught the right self-parenting skills can get in the habit of using counterfeit means to self-soothe, feel better, or feel safe. We get high, get drunk, gamble too much, watch porn, or shop too much. You name it. We try to avoid or control our fears, pain, conflict, and confusion inappropriately.

Now, it is only normal to be drawn to anything that brings us pleasure or relief. But our addictive efforts to stop hurting and to avoid or control our thoughts and feelings can interfere with our everyday life. We are courting an addiction when we use a person, thing, or process to avoid or control our pain and find relief instead of dealing with our issues.

Addictions Are Dangerous. The addict stands to lose a great deal whether it is physical or mental well-being, or the loss of loved ones. Not only can addictions put someone’s health or life at risk, they also affect everyone around the addict, even destroying entire families. The key word here is loss.

But There Is Always Hope The good news is that there can be some gains, even with severe addictions. Those who successfully fight and overcome an addiction gain a better understanding of themselves. They learn more effective ways to manage stress and pain–to be their own best friend and loving parent. In the end, they gain freedom. Freedom from the thing that was holding them back, keeping them from becoming a better self.

Addictions are a very serious problem and professional help should be sought. This is not something that can be fought alone. Dr. Beth Cujé’s book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, does not focus on addictions. But you can find tools and steps to help you become a stronger person and fight habits that need to be changed. Looking to our Higher Power can also help us find the truth, compassion, and forgiveness necessary for healing.

Here’s a the chance to explore some of these ideas. Look inside the book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be – The Choice-Cube Method. Click here to download its first chapter for FREE and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you.

Doomed to Make the Same Mistake One More Time?


JEN’S STORY Jen is plagued with feelings of guilt and regret. She can’t control her rage. Last night, she yelled at her youngest child again because he accidentally spilled his juice on a brand new tablecloth. She hates herself for it now.

She has promised herself over and over that she’ll never do that again. But then another little accident happens, which sends her over the edge. Her son is 5-years-old, for crying out loud! He’s still terribly clumsy, Jen understands that. Now. But she didn’t see it that way last night.

IS SHE DOOMED? Is Jen doomed to react with rage? Is it simply who she is? Of course, not! She can change!

EASIER SAID THAN DONE But it’s easier said than done. What Jen doesn’t understand is that no matter how hard she tries to be more patient with her son she will not succeed unless she changes the beliefs and the inward reactions that cause her angry outbursts.

Her reactions (stress, negative emotions, thoughts and desires) and her angry behaviors result from some painful “unfinished business” and distorted beliefs — things too painful to bear locked away in her subconscious mind. Only a real conscious effort will enable her to change them.

OUR TASK The task is to make what is subconscious conscious. But why? Isn’t it better to just leave these painful things alone? Why bring it all back to the surface?

Unless we make some things conscious, we are doomed to make the same mistakes. Hopefully, there comes a time when we realize we don’t want to keep making the same mistakes. We want to change.

HOW DO WE MAKE SOMETHING CONSCIOUS? But how do we make something conscious? Answer, start with our body sensations and emotions. Usually, when dealing with the subconscious, our mind is not our friend! It just gets in the way. Our mind may be telling us things are okay, but our body–our gut–is saying, “Watch out!”

At this moment, our conscious mind is not what we should be paying attention to. If we are wise, we will learn to pay attention to signals from our subconscious that surface as our inward reactions.

THE FASTEST WAY TO LASTING CHANGE The fastest way to lasting change is through our inward reactions. Remember, these are the reactions of our body (stress), negative emotions, thoughts, and desires. Once we know what to look for and can identify our reactions, we can begin to change them. And, good news! If we learn to work with our inward reactions, we can retrain ourselves and stop repeating the same mistakes. When we know how to change our inward reactions, we can change our deep beliefs and our behaviors. We actually rewire our brain.

In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, Dr. Beth Cujé sets forth tools and steps to help you recognize and work through your inward reactions and deep beliefs, among other things. Check out her website http://www.choicecube.com to get idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you. You can retrain yourself, change and grow, and engage life more fully. Copyright Dr. Beth Blevins Cujé 2011

30 Second Present Moment Exercise


OUR FOUR CAR TRAIN
Think about this. When you feel stress in one part of you, you will have stress in all parts of you.

Imagine a small train of four cars chugging along. You are that train. The train cars are the reactions of your body, emotions, thoughts, and desires.

If one “car”—one reaction—gets stressed and negative or “jumps the track,” the other three will follow. For example, when you feel stress in your body, check your emotions, thoughts, and desires. I promise you they will be stressed and negative, too.

Do you want a simple, but effective way to keep yourself “on track?” The secret rests with how well you self-monitor and manage those four reactions: body (stress), emotions, thoughts, desires.

Consider this 30 second exercise that reminds you to stay aware of your present moment reactions and relax. Doing this exercise thorough out the day can help you manage your four “cars” well and get back on track if necessary.

SOME EXAMPLES You’re at a business meeting and you remember to be present and relax, so you take 30 seconds to scan your body,discovering that your jaw is tight and your mind is racing because soon it will be your turn to speak.. so you take three deep breaths and relax your jaw, neck, and shoulders. In this case, you manage your body to get all your “cars” back on track

Or, it is breakfast time. You are eating your toast and feeling anxious about your teenager who broke curfew last night. Right then you are reminded to come back to the present moment. So you stop, label your emotions (fear and anger) and spend the next 30 seconds breathing and relaxing your body. In this example, instead of going off the track with anxiety and anger, you interrupt your negative emotions, let go of them, and shift to a more productive way of handling the situation.

– While talking to a friend, you remind yourself to take some slow breaths, quiet your mind, and stop your thoughts about the time you have to get back home. Instead, you’re prompted to just listen to him/her. What do you think will happen? What do you think will change within and outside yourself? For sure, you will be more intimate and available with this friend.

–Your partner is criticizing you. You want to get away and avoid an argument at any cost. Instead, you take some deep breaths and remind yourself to speak the truth with kindness. Your desire to resolve the problem is greater than your need to be right. Quietly you ask him or her to listen to your side of the story.

IT’S NOT ALWAYS EASY TO DO It is probably hard to do this 30-second exercise every minute of the day; however, doing it every hour may not be farfetched. Is this too much? Can you take 30 seconds to scan yourself and bring your mind back to the moment you are presently living and experiencing?

It is true that sometimes things come at us so fast and furious they cannot be easily managed. However, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain if we train ourselves to manage our body, emotions, thoughts, and desires well.

SOME TIPS Here are some tips to help you get the best out of every 30-second exercise:

– Body: Pay attention to your posture. If there is tension somewhere, use slow deep breaths to manage them.

– Emotions: Identify if you are angry, sad, frustrated, happy,stressed, etc. Research shows that simply labeling an emotion takes away some of its power.

– Thoughts: Recognize that you are stewing, rehashing, or making up
hurtful ideas and pictures in your mind. Are you dwelling in the past or lost in the future? Use this as a cue to look for possibilities options, and strengths instead.

– Will/Desires: Where are you? Are you trying inappropriately to
avoid or control a person, thing, or problem?

Here’s a hint. Look for the truth of the situation with compassion for
yourself and others. Truth and compassion will always make things better in the long-run. After checking these 4 things–body, emotion, thoughts, and desires–take a deep breath. You’re done. The good news is that if you can be present and more relaxed in one area, the other three will get back on track, also.

YOUR CHOICE No one can force you to do this exercise; there is no sense in that. You must set an intention to do it for a day, every hour of that day, to see what happens… believe me, it is worth it!

In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be – The Choice-Cube Method available on http://www.amazon.com, Dr. Beth Cujé, therapist gives you more information about the four steps and equips you with tools to take the steps anytime, anywhere. Try this website http://www.choicecube.com to learn more about what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you.

What’s Running Your Life?


ARE HABITS RUNNING YOUR LIFE? It’s a good idea to become aware of the little, and big, habits that run your life; the ones that keep you on auto-pilot. Why not sit down and look over your current lifestyle. Ask yourself what you are doing that is mindless, habitual, and no longer enjoyable. You may even have a habit pattern that is hurtful to yourself and others.

WE LOVE THAT COMFORT ZONE! Change is always challenging! And most of us structure our lives to stay in our comfort zone. But avoiding change and staying stuck in the comfort of mindless habits can lead to stagnation, or worse. Not a pretty picture.

CHANGE YOUR FOCUS – CHANGE YOUR LIFE Become aware of what you want to change. But. . . instead of focusing on that, shift your focus to how you prefer to be. Instead of doing the same old thing one more time, do something different. Comb your hair a different way. Try a phone call instead of email or vice-versa. Instead of blowing up when you feel hurt, take a deep breath and say, Help me understand what’s going on here.

WHATEVER WE FOCUS ON GETS OF MORE OF IT It’s true. Whatever we focus on, good or bad, opens the door for more of it in our lives. Our subconscious mind is like a mindless robot and our focus makes the object of our focus important. The robot reads that importance as wanting more of the same and makes sure we get it.

HOW MUCH CHOICE DO YOU HAVE WITH YOUR FOCUS? If you are hungry, you will focus on food. It you have an addiction, try as you might, you will come back to focusing on your addiction. If you are thinking about buying a new car, you will pay attention to new cars.

Just how aware are you of where you focus. And how much choice do you have where you focus? You can retrain yourself, change and grow, and engage life more fully.

My book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, gives you the chance to explore some of these ideas. Look inside the book at <a href="” title=”Amazon.com”> <a href=" or download its first chapter for FREE. Just ” title=”click here”>

Tips To Get You Out Of Feeling Stuck


WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
Are you feeling depressed, anxious, angry, or in conflict? This is a normal part of life. Getting stuck feeling this way is the problem.

THE PROBLEM IS:
We get stuck when our focus is off and we keep repeating painful or damaging thoughts, feelings, desires, and behaviors that hurt us and others. Life can feel overwhelming when we try, but fail to avoid or control things that keep coming back to haunt us. We often feel paralyzed when we are in conflict and uncertain about our next move. Or we jump the track and act crazy. To get relief, we shut down and simply repeat hurtful old thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Or we blindly make unhelpful new choices. We are stuck and that’s the problem.

WHY DO WE GET STUCK THIS WAY?
We get stuck because our powerful subconscious mind takes over and our thinking becomes lopsided. We cannot see the whole truth of the situation—the big picture. And we lack hope and compassion for ourselves and others. Our subconscious mind stirs up instincts and habits that force us to see ourselves, others, and the world in painful, but familiar ways. And often we don’t even realize how mean and ugly our focus is; or how hurt and angry our focus makes us feel. We get stuck on auto-pilot and our subconscious mind, not our conscious mind, is running our show.

2 KEYS TO FREEDOM
We can find freedom if we stay conscious and know how to get off auto-pilot. Here are two keys to help us. The first key is to stay aware of where we focus, what we feel, and how we react. The second key is take responsibility for our part in the problem and to look for the truth of the situation. Using these two keys creates choice. And freedom to choose is the first step toward the change we desire. It’s all about turning off the auto-pilot and taking full command.

WE CAN CONTROL OUR FOCUS
Our creative, problem-solving conscious mind can control the reactions of our body, emotions, thoughts, pictures in our mind, desires, and behaviors. When we stay in our conscious mind–aware, responsible, and off auto-pilot–we can always find more appropriate ways of responding to life. Instead of falling back on old hurtful habits and ways of doing things, we can do something different and helpful.

THERE’S THE PROBLEM AGAIN
But there’s that problem again. It’s so easy to lose our focus, go on auto-pilot and get stuck. Without a constant effort to stay aware and responsible, our sub-conscious takes over, controls us, and we repeat the same old things one more time. We can get terribly stuck!

THIS SELF-HELP BOOK AND CHOICE-CUBE METHOD CAN HELP
The self-help book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be – The Choice-Cube Method, by Dr. Beth Cujé can help guide you to greater awareness and freedom. You can begin to understand yourself and why you do the things you do the things you do. You can learn to have choice and change. The method will give you:
• A mental framework to help you self-monitor and stay aware
• Simple tools to give you choice and help you change
• Four steps guide your change and help you get free

STUCK IN A RUT? STEP INTO THE LIGHT!


LISA’S STORY Have you ever thought about what might be engraved on your tombstone when you die? Lisa is absolutely certain her engraving will read: Here lies a woman who never had any time for anything. That’s exactly what she says. All the time.

Lisa wants to go back to college and get her degree, but with a husband and two kids to take care of, she doesn’t have time to study. She wants to go to the gym, or perhaps go to yoga classes, but she doesn’t have time for that, either. She doesn’t have time to get together with girlfriends, doesn’t remember when was the last time she went to the hair salon – and shopping? Whenever she does head for the department store it’s strictly the Children’s Clothing or Housewares Department for her. She doesn’t have time to do anything for her – just her.

Lisa loves her family, so she feels guilty for feeling less than satisfied with her life. But she’s also frustrated, sad, and even despairs sometimes that all she’ll ever do for the rest of her life is care for her family.

STUCK IN A RUT Lisa is absolutely and unequivocally stuck. Stuck in a rut a lot of women get stuck in and find it hard to get out of. And what do we do? Do we go on with our daily chores and tasks and continue complaining OR do we try to change something?

Sadly, most of us remain stuck. And dissatisfied with the life we live. What does it take to get unstuck? Is it really that hard?

HERE’S SOME HELP In my book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, I explain the difference between being in the shadow and being in the light. When we are in the shadow, we rely on inappropriate reactions, habits and behaviors to deal with our issues. In Lisa’s case, she’s often moody, irritated, and blames her family as much as she blames herself for not being able to pursue her dreams. She feels helpless and wallows in self-pity.

On the other hand, when we are in the light, we resort to healthier habits and reactions. We feel things like gratitude, self-awareness, and acceptance. We don’t assign blame, but rather seek change.

CHANGE OUR MIND – CHANGE OUR DESTINY Our state of mind (whether it is negative-shadow or positive-light) controls each moment of our life. And our moments add up to create our destiny. The good news is that we can learn (or train ourselves) to be mindful, and recognize each state of mind and change it if it is shadow so that we can confidently step into the light. This process is as physical (we must manage stress and also rewire our brain) as it is psychological!

You can find out more in my book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be. Here’s your chance to download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you. You can retrain yourself, change and grow, and engage life more fully.

I HATE YOU – I LOVE YOU: A MATTER OF FOCUS


I HATE YOU – I LOVE YOU: A MATTER OF FOCUS

THE SITUATION“Tim makes me so mad. I hate him!” Sara, a new client, was yelling at me. Truth be told, Tim does not make Sara angry. He triggers her rage, but Sara is making herself furious.

HOW IT WORKS
It works like this. Sara’s focus on Tim’s current behavior pulls up certain thoughts, memories, and pictures in her mind. These create the meanings she attaches to Tim. At this moment, she sees him as mean and unreasonable. The meanings she attaches then cause the emotion (anger) that Sara is feeling.

But let’s suppose Tim makes Sara laugh and hands her a small gift. Her focus will still be on Tim, but the meaning she attaches to him will change. I’m pretty sure her emotion will change from hate to something more positive, hopefully love.

Note: Our focus causes the meaning we attach to a person, thing, or situation and this causes the emotions we feel.

WHAT ARE WE TO DO?Our challenge is to stay aware of our reactions and take full responsibility for them. It’s true that others trigger emotions in us. But how we process that flow of energy and information depends on us. Moreover, we mustn’t forget that in most cases we repeat these useless reactions over and over again. We get stuck in this habitual way of reacting, and it’s up to us to train ourselves to get unstuck.

BAD NEWS – GOOD NEWSIf we refuse to take responsibility and insist that others are making us feel a certain way, we give away our power to change ourselves. We are at others’ mercy until they make us feel different. In contrast, if we take responsibility for our reactions, we can choose to do something about them. If we acknowledge them, and our responsibility in them, we are better prepared to resolve the issues and situations that cause them.

THIS MIGHT HELPIf you struggle with taking responsibility for your reactions, do not despair, the tools and four stepsof the Choice-Cube Method found in the book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, can teach you how to train yourself to take responsibility for your reactions and change them.

A LITTLE SECRETHere’s a secret. Forgiving is often necessary for us to change our focus. And forgiving is sometimes possible only with help from God or our Higher Power. We are often compassionate towards others, but it’s amazing how little compassion we have for ourselves. Spiritual awareness and connection to God or our Higher Power can help us find the compassion and forgiveness we seek.

My book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, gives you the chance to explore some of these ideas. Look inside the book at Amazon.com or download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you

2 Hidden Fears and Losing Our Balance


FEAR IN THE MIX       When life seems unbalanced, look for fear somewhere in the mix.  “Fear?  Anxiety? What kinds of fear are you talking about?” you might ask.

THREE COMMON FEARS    Let’s start with three of the most obvious fears we face every day: fear of confronting someone, fear of making the wrong choice, and fear making a big change in our life. We do not want the pain and trouble that might come from taking these actions. But is that all there is to it?

HIDDEN FEARS       No indeed. Underneath these fears lie deeper, often hidden fears. First we fear being rejected, or abandoned by people that matter to us, or people in general. It does not matter how old or experienced we are, we all have this fear and we need to deal with it. By the way, being rejected includes having people make fun of us.

Second, it’s true that sometimes others reject and abandon us. But sometimes we reject and abandon ourselves! Then we end up feeling inadequate and worthless.

HIDDEN FEARS CAN HURT US     Whether we realize it or not, we all live with these two fears: the fear that others will abandon or rejected us and the fear of feeling inadequate or worthless because we reject ourselves. These fears can get us in trouble and keep us from becoming who were meant to be.

On the one hand for example, to avoid feeling these fears, some of us drink too much, are TV addicts, are workaholics, or have dangerous sex. On the other hand, some of us want to control these feelings so we try harder and  harder to fix things, but nothing changes. Perhaps we use anger to control others or a situation. Or we try to figure things out and get stuck on a mental merry-go-round. We do not find the right answer but we can’t stop thinking about the problem.

GOOD NEWS!     The good news is that we can expose and overcome these fears and the harmful behaviors they cause. There  is a way to do it and it is always the same!

THE FOUR STEPS       First, we need to recognize we are off balance and expose the fear that is making us lopsided. Then we can interrupt and let go of that fear and other emotions that lock in the distorted and painful thinking driving it

Once we do this it’s easier, and feels safer, to face our wrong thinking. We can also risk opening our minds to other ways of thinking and feeling that were not on our radar before. So we begin to see possible solutions and choices that we did not see before. This gives us choice. And when we have choice—when we see the big picture–we can choose where we prefer to focus (refocus). This is important because whatever we focus on will get us more of the same! Now, do we continue to focus on the problem or can we focus on the solution to the problem?

Freedom to focus on the solution liberates us to take action. We can do something to replace the problem and bring about the solution (replace/act).

THE FOUR KEY STEPS AND OUR BRAIN    Here is more good news. If we  take the four key steps mentioned above, we do something different.

   1. Recognize

    2. Interrupt/Let go

    3. Refocus

    4. Replace/act

We stop struggling to avoid or control problems inappropriately. We become problem-solvers instead of anxious or angry defensive self-protectors. Even better, we rewire our brains ! Now, the next time we are off balance, we are more likely to take the four steps and problem-solve when faced with difficulties.      

If you  feel confused or not ready to make these four steps part of your life, here’s a resource for you. In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be – The Choice-Cube Method, available on www.amazon.com, Dr. Beth Cujé, therapist gives you more information about the four steps and equips you with  tools to take the steps anytime, anywhere.

Also, here’s a chance to download the book’s first chapter for FREE. Just click here to learn more and find out what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you.

THE BEST WAY TO BE HONEST


Being Truthful Can Be Cruel      Being truthful can be cruel if the truth you are telling is not communicated with compassion. 

There is a saying that goes something like this: “If something is the truth, is necessary, but is mean… don’t say it”. 

Honesty and Compassion    Even though you feel you’ve got to let it rip, remember the best way to be honest is with compassion. Both flourish when there is balance, but one without the other can be destructive, even dangerous. 

This blend of honesty and compassion doesn’t come cheap. The price is self awareness and a certain self-transparency. Of course, no one can demand this of you. You alone decide just how much you want, and are able, to share about yourself or what you think of others. 

Transparency     You won’t achieve transparency in your relationships by leaving the other person “naked”. You have to risk getting “naked” yourself. Can you get out of defense mode and stop protecting yourself at all costs? Do you know and can you show both your strengths and weaknesses? 

You become transparent when you find your healthy real self, and this takes courage. Your false selves, “people pleaser,” “tough guy,” “martyr” to name a few, may have run your life for years. Exposing these false selves and leaving them behind is not for sissies, but necessary in order to find the best of who you are. 

Hope But No Expectations     However, even if you have courage and can risk being transparent, do not expect the same in return; not everyone is ready to be real. If you are reading this, you probably are one of the blessed ones who are ready to change their lives. 

So act from the best of who you are. Demand nothing but hope for the best. Your gift of honesty, compassion, and transparency may influence your friend, partner, sister, brother, mom, or dad… it may “hit” them in the right spot, and encourage them on their journey to their healthy real self. 

And we all do have a healthy real self. It may be underdeveloped or hidden, but that’s part of the challenge. When we learn to be honest with compassion for ourselves and others, we invest in that healthy part of us–the best of who we are and step by step we uncover our the person we were meant to be. 

Dr. Beth Cujé, therapist and author of the book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, gives you the chance to explore some of these ideas. Look inside the book at www.amazon.com or download its first chapter for FREE. Just click hereand get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you.

Are You Conscious Of Your Subconscious?


PERCEPTION FILTERS – THE MEANINGS WE ATTACH                      Cells within our body respond to our thoughts, specifically interpretive thoughts, i.e. the kind that explain to our subconscious mind how we see the world at a given point in time.

Let’s say you encounter a lion… when this happens you automatically go into survival mode…unless you are a lion tamer. In this case, unlike most people, you will have completely different beliefs about how to relate to a lion.

Based on your past experiences and the meanings you attach to the lion, you will be able to interact with the animal without activating your survival mode. Your beliefs will let your body and mind remain calm–in the brain’s “learning mode.”

Interpretive thoughts are beliefs. These thoughts or beliefs act as perception filters in your subconscious mind. They influence activation of certain processes within you as well as management of all your body’s systems. Your perceptions offer all the information your subconscious needs to operate and do the following:

– Guarantee your basic survival.

– Remind you of the emotional drives that connect you in a meaningful way to life.

THE JUDGE AND THE ROBOT                                        Now, here are two key points. First, your conscious mind is like a judge and your subconscious mind is like a robot. The judge can rule over your subconscious mind…that is as long as you stay aware and mindful.

Your subconscious, a genius at multi-tasking, is designed to process huge amounts of information every second, while your conscious mind processes a much smaller amount at any given time. Therefore unless you know how to stay conscious of your subconscious, whenever you are distracted or overwhelmed, your subconscious will override your conscious mind and run your life.

Jack can stay out of bars as long as he makes a conscious effort to do so. But let him get too tired or angry, he automatically heads for the bar where he feels comfortable and happy.

Second, believe it or not, your subconscious cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is not real. So what you believe to be true becomes the truth for you. And you will express it in your body, emotions, mind, and behavior.

Annie is a beautiful girl, but she grew up thinking she was a “plain Jane,” She automatically dismisses complements and slouches around feeling ugly and unwanted.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:                                                                                     – – You have an experience.

– You automatically attach meanings-perception filters-to the people, things, or problems related to that experience.

– These filters produce mind images that trigger emotions and physical sensations in your body.

Experience >> Meaning Attached >> Emotion(s)

It’s a tidy little package in which what you focus on causes your subconscious mind to bring up meanings that you attach to a person, thing, or problem. These meanings then set off emotions and physical sensations within your body that release hormones into your blood, affecting the chemical firing of neurons in your brain that lead to the same thoughts, emotions, and behavior and reinforce the whole cycle.

IT MAKES SENSE TO STAY CONSCIOUS OF YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS                Since your brain is always set to either a negative way of perceiving—a negative perception filter—or to a positive way of perceiving, it’s a good idea to become conscious of your subconscious. Awareness gives you some choice.

Dr. Beth Cuje, therapist and author of the book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, gives you the chance to explore some of these ideas. Look inside the book at Amazon.com or download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you.

Did You Know You Are Not Alone in Your Head?


Yes! There is someone else living inside your head with you.

You may think it is you, you may not recognize it as a different “being”, but it is just as strong as the strongest person, and it is against you.

ENTER THE INNER CRITIC      

This “entity” that lives inside your head is called the inner critic, and it is the negative voice in your head.

Can you hear it? Pointing at you or others, even blaming God. Criticizing. Judging. Condemning. “You blew it. It’s all your fault. You looked stupid. You’ll never get it right. Nobody likes you. You’re no good.”

That’s your inner critic talking, the wise, analytical part of you gone sour.

WHERE DID THE INNER CRITIC COME FROM?

The inner critic is an internal audio-video recording of all the negative experiences of your life. These experiences are embedded in your nervous system in pathways that link thoughts, emotions, mental pictures, physical sensations, desires, beliefs, and behaviors.

Let’s say you felt unloved as a child, you may believe the lie that you can never be loved. The inner critic will hit you with this message any time you move toward someone who could really care for you.

CAN YOU OVERCOME THE INNER CRITIC?

The good news is that you can expose, interrupt, and replace these negative messages, this “entity”, with the full truth that you may not be perfect but that someone could love you.

THE WHOLE TRUTH IS YOUR WEAPON

Your experiences may have convinced you that your inner critic is right. We agree. Often, it is partly right. But even if what the inner critic says is 100% true, it is still only PART of the truth, never the WHOLE TRUTH. Half truth is all it takes to make it a lie.

You can interrupt and replace the inner critic’s “killer” messages. You can train yourself to recognize, interrupt, and replace its lies and half-truths with the full truth.

Truth is your weapon against the inner critic. Use it and you can even make the inner critic your teacher! How? Well… when you face the worst it tells you about who you are or could be – choose to be the best instead.

You can only know who you really are when you know who you have chosen NOT to be. 

                                      Copyright Dr. Beth Blevins Cujé 2009

“And how do I learn to do this?”, you ask… “Because this article is not enough”…

You are absolutely right! You fully learn how to live your best life and be happy with the Choice-Cube Method, which is now available for you!

Dr. Beth Cujé, therapist and author of the self- help book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, gives you the chance to download its first chapter for FREE.

Just click here and confirm what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you.

The 4 Best Emotions You Can Feel… And Should Strive to Achieve


Do you think you are a positive and happy person?

When we are in the light, we feel positive emotions and we are grateful.

Gratitude is the hallmark of PACS emotions. PACS are the 4 positive emotions that change lives. Good news! If you have one positive PACS emotion, all 4 are available.

Following is a list of PACS emotions with many of their expressions. All forms of PACS are linked to gratitude.

Without further ado, we present to you the PACS/Grateful & Curious:

1. PEACE                                This is a deep, mindful sense of peace. Something we all desire. When we enter into this kind of peace, we are filled with  gratitude.  

Expressions: accord, agape, balanced, boundless, calm, composed, content, at ease, faith-filled, flexible, free, fulfilled, harmonious, order, oneness, quiet, serene, still, trusting, whole

2. ACCEPTANCE/LOVE        This is the feeling that accompanies understanding, compassion, forgiving others and accepting forgiveness for ourselves.  

Expressions: appreciative, approving, belonging, beloved, compassionate, considerate, connected, delighted, empathic, identifying with, loving, merciful, open, receptive, secure, sufficiency, trusting, understanding, warm

3. CONFIDENCE/ZEST       This allows us to experience life with keen enjoyment. We take on challenges that make us stretch and grow. We live in the present with confidence and hope for the future.

Expressions: assured, adventuresome, courageous, challenged, cheerful, committed, creative, curious, daring, eager, enduring, enjoying, enthusiastic, faith-filled, hopeful, integrity, interested, joyful, natural, optimistic, playful, positive, resourceful, responsive, righteous, safe, spontaneous, secure, thrilled, trusting, willing, wonder-filled

4. SATISFACTION              Also known as positive pride, this is a healthy sense of worthiness and integrity. Satisfaction can be the emotional reward for a job well done. Filled with gratitude, satisfaction comes from being content with who we are and with our best efforts.  

Expressions: accomplished, balanced, comfortable, dignified, excellence, flexible, fulfilled, honorable, in-order, overcoming, personal best, playful, positive pride, righteous, truthful, tuned in, worthy

Three interesting facts about these positive emotions are: first, you will always feel gratitude; second, if you feel any of them you will discover that you feel all four; and third, being in PACS is as much physical as it is emotional, because these emotions affect your whole body.         

Copyright Dr. Beth Blevins Cujé 2009

But “Where does this concept of PACS come from!?” you ask.

Well… from the Choice-Cube Method.

And the good news is that this method is now available for you!

Dr. Beth Cujé, therapist and author of the book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, gives you the chance to download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here and get an idea of what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you.

The 8 Emotions You Would To Well To Get Rid Of Right Away


Indeed the best things in life come in small packages!

For example, the little package of 4 positive emotions–PACS (peace, acceptance, confidence, satisfaction)can boost your life. But there are 8 negative ones–PACS-FOGD– that can sink it.

These are the 8 negative PACS-FOGD emotions you would do well to get rid of right away. They have many expressions that vary in intensity and can hide the positive ones.

1. Pride (negative)       We compare ourselves to others to feel better or superior to them. This is the flip side of shame. We try to be superior to others to avoid feeling shame.

Expressions: arrogant, better-than, boastful, cold, condescending, contemptuous, critical, disdaining, judgmental, one-up, perfectionist, pitying, well-positioned, prejudiced, self righteous, self-satisfied, shameless, stiff-backed, superior, uncompromising, vain

2. Anger                         Unless we acknowledge and manage it well, it can easily create a downward spiral from offended to hurt to resentful to a pervasive bitter angry judgment that keeps us desperately stuck in the shadows.

Expressions: annoyed, argumentative, bitter, bloodlust, cold, cruel, demanding, destructive, distempered, despising, frustrated, grudge-holding, hateful, ill-humored, impatient, judgmental, murderous, merciless, oppositional, outraged, persecuting, pouting, rageful, rebellious, resentful, resistant, shameful, spiteful, stubborn, sullen, vengeful, vicious, violent, willful

3. Craving/Lust            It is driven by our desire to have or control a person, thing, or process. It can produce behaviors that seem effective but are truly damaging.

Expressions: ambitious, busyness, compulsive, controlling, covetous, demanding, devious, devouring, envious, exploitative, fixated, grasping, greedy, if only I could, longing, lustful, miserly, never satisfied, obsessed, feeling pain, panting, perfectionist, position, power-hungry, possessive, predatory, pulled, ravenous, reckless, selfish, shameless, starved, urgent, vengeful, yearning

4. Shame                         It is self-conscious embarrassment, and hurts. Some people prefer to endure terrible consequences–suicide, abuse– instead of facing their shame.

Expressions: a mistake, crushed, defiled, deflated, defective, deformed, dirty, embarrassment, evil, flawed, flushed/hot, humiliated, inadequate, imperfect, looking cheap/foolish/silly, no-good, pain, put-down, pitiful, red-faced, ridiculous, self-conscious, small, tortured, unsuitable, unfit, unlovable, wrong, worthless

5. Fear                            It feeds on uncertainty and unpredictability. We feel fear when we can’t solve a problem, or feel uncertainty and doubt.

Expressions: afraid, anxious, avoiding, cautious, controlling, cowardly, distrustful, fleeing, frantic, guilty, hesitant, hiding, horror, hysterical, inhibited, insecure, mistrusting, nervous, out of control, panic, paralysis, paranoid, shy, suspicious, terror, tormented, threatened, trapped, uncertain, uneasy, unprotected, worried

6.Overwhelm                It has 2 expressions. One: we “split off” from all feelings and become numb. Two: we feel wired, agitated, panicky, or hysterical.

Expressions: apathetic, bored, bewildered, chaos, collapsed, crazy, confused, defeated, depressed, detached, discouraged, disillusioned, doomed, double-minded, exhausted, failure, forgetfulness, give up, give in, helpless, hopeless, horror, hysterical, learned helplessness, impotent, isolated, indecisive, indifferent, invisible, lazy, leaden, lethargic, lifeless, loser, negative, no control, numb, overwhelmed, paralyzed, powerless, preoccupied, resigned, shocked, stunned, spacey, stuck, suicidal, tired, trapped, unfocused, useless, why try?, worthless

 7. Grief                           It is a part of life. It is a problem when we get stuck in it or are afraid to feel it for fear of drowning in it. We must release it well otherwise we strengthen it.

Expressions: abandoned, abused, agonizing, anguished, bereft, betrayed, brokenhearted, cheated, despairing, disappointed, feeling loss, forgotten, gloomy, guilty, heartsick, hurt, ignored, inadequate, irrelevant, left out, miserable, misunderstood, neglected, self-pitying, regretting, rejected, remorseful, sad, sorrowful, repentant, tearful, unimportant, unlucky, unloved, unwanted, wounded

8. Disgust                      It is feeling turned off, repelled, or sickened by something.

Expressions: disgusted, distaste, foul, nasty, nauseated, offensive, putrid, repelled, repugnant, revulsion, sickened,      vile, “yuck”

Copyright Dr. Beth Blevins Cujé 2009

“But I’ve been drowning in these emotions for years and don’t know how to get out of them,” you say?

The positive news is that you can stop drowning! A new way of dealing with negative emotions is available for you.  Now!

Dr. Beth Cujé, therapist and author of the book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, gives you the chance to download its first chapter for FREE. Just click here to find out more about the Choice-Cube Method and confirm what it can do for you.

Do You Know What “Double Binds” Are and How to Handle Them?


When you feel angry or anxious and don’t know why, look for a double bind.

A double bind happens when a choice between two options puts you in a conflict you cannot resolve because neither option seems right. You feel that whichever choice you make will cause loss or pain.

It honors the old saying that talks about being between a rock and a hard place.

A common double bind is: Give up your separate identity and you will be accepted because if you Assert yourself you will be rejected. Either way you lose. On the one hand, if you give up being your own person you undermine your identity and self-trust. On the other hand, if you refuse to abandon yourself and try to set healthy boundaries, you must forfeit love and approval.

Double binds distort reality and cause confusion because so much of what drives them is hidden. Caught in a double bind, we cannot, or do not, allow ourselves to see the full truth. Double binds are powerful enemies of reality. It’s easy to get stuck in them.

 A double bind makes us choose between two alternatives that put us in conflict:

  • I want to help you, but I don’t have the time./But I feel guilty if I don’t help.
  • If I tell the truth, s/he will be mad./But if I lie, I will feel guilty.
  • They will love me if I do everything they want./But if I do, I will lose my identity.
  • I must always act strong and deny my needs./But then I never get my needs met.
  • I am supposed to be successful./But if I am, she will resent me.

 So, how do you handle such situations? How do you deal with a double bind?

You handle it by taking responsibility for your feelings. Get in touch with reality, and then, in the light of truth and compassion, you can find the solution.

You have 2 choices:

Look at these two examples so that you can clearly visualize your options in a given situation:

Copyright Dr. Beth Blevins Cujé 2009       

See the difference? Want to dig deeper? Want to fully understand what this is about?

Now you can, because the Choice-Cube Method is now available for you!

Dr. Beth Cujé, therapist and author of the book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, gives you the chance to download its first chapter for FREE.

 Just click here and confirm what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you.

11 Important Things You Must Know About Your Emotions


Whether you are new to learning about and acknowledging your emotions or are a master on the topic, it is always good to remember these 11 facts about your emotions… Remember, you must know your “enemy” to be able to conquer it:

  1. Emotions reflect what we believe about something—the meaning we attach to it.
  2. Emotions give meaning to life. Without emotions, life would be a chore.
  3. Once our emotions are sufficiently stirred up, they can drive our thinking, will, and behaviors.
  4. All emotions have physical sensations that we can recognize if we check our body.
  5. Numbness, an aspect of overwhelm, is just as much a feeling as anger and fear.
  6. Simply admitting to ourselves that we have a PACS-FOGD feeling—I hate that. or I’m afraid or ashamed. or I feel numb.—and labeling that emotion, anger, fear, shame, overwhelm, quiets the amygdala in the emotional center of our brain.
  7.  We can acknowledge and accept a negative emotion without acting on it.
  8.  Each emotion has a limited amount of emotional “charge.” Once we identify an emotion and use the tools to interrupt and release it, we weaken it and can manage it better.
  9. For Christians, honestly admitting we have a PACS-FOGD feeling can be like repenting. When we are honest and compassionate with ourselves, we can accept God’s forgiveness and trust his power to help us overcome negative emotions.
  10. Emotions that we mindfully and appropriately release do not return! When we mindfully and appropriately let go of an emotion, what we let out does not return. It sometimes seems as if the emotion has come back, but this is not the case. What we are experiencing in such cases is more unreleased feelings pushing up to the surface, now ready to be released.
  11. Remember—if we fail to release negative emotions and mindlessly repeat them, we strengthen them and give them power to control us. We must be careful here and not shut down our feelings. Rather we can learn how to let go of them safely and appropriately (without hurting ourselves or others). (Copyright Dr. Beth Blevins Cujé 2009)

Very wise and easy to understand but, where is all this coming from? What’s PACS-FOGD? What do I do with this?

It all comes from the Choice-Cube Method, and is now available for you!

Dr. Beth Cujé, therapist and author of the book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, gives you the chance to download its first chapter for FREE and discover the best way to live.

 Just click here and confirm what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you.

The Most Important Question You’ll Ask Yourself: Are You in Shadow or Light?


                                                                  WANT SOME CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE?

Do you seek greater clarity in life? Increased freedom? Emotional stability?

HERE’S ONE WAY

In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, Dr. Beth Cujé argues that the best way to achieve a fuller life and become, indeed, the best you can be, the best version of you is to cross the bridge from shadow to light.    ,

 

 But what does she mean by that? What is shadow and what is light?

LIGHT

“Light is where we want to be”, Beth says. “In the light we have presence of mind. We can see both the down-side and up-side of reality and can choose to be honest and compassionate. We solve problems successfully and take constructive action.”

SHADOW

“In the shadows,” she continues, “we go on autopilot. We defensively react to things that threaten or arouse us. Reality seems lopsided, all bad or all good. This makes it difficult to see the full truth—the big picture—and make wise decisions. Actually, when we are in the shadows, we have only one decision to make—one thing to do—and that is to get back in the light. But first, we must recognize shadow.”

MORE ABOUT LIGHT

First, let’s delve deeper into what it means to be “in the light”. Being in the light is a healthy way of life. We are able to think things through and see the consequences of our actions. We are open to the truth, and we want it even though it may hurt. We feel compassion for ourselves and we have a clear sense of who we are. We don’t resort to inappropriate strategies to avoid or control problems. On the contrary, we respond appropriately by desiring to resolve problems.

Our body is relaxed.  Our emotions are positive. Our mind and our will are flexible and balanced. We can indeed see the big picture. When we live in the light we experience the following, among others:

 • Gratitude

• Self-awareness

• Avoiding denial or blaming

• Taking responsibility for own reactions

• Authenticity, being real

• Awareness of our strengths and weaknesses

• Truth-seeking

• Acceptance of others

• Forgiveness of others

• Acceptance of God’s forgiveness

MORE ABOUT SHADOW

When we are in the shadows, our main goal is to protect or satisfy ourselves. We are focused on a problematic person, habit, or situation. Anyone can go into the shadows. That’s a part of life. The problem is when we are stuck there and unable to cross the bridge into the light through the appropriate means. So, we are stuck using avoid and control strategies that will not lead to the resolution of the problem.

The idea of looking for truth or compassion is not important.  We are not in balance. Everything is all good or all bad. We trust nothing and no one, or we are too trusting. We are either submissive or self-protective. When we are in the shadows, we experience these behaviors, among others:

• Unwilling to forgive

• Under-responsible or over-responsible

• Withdrawn

• Preoccupied, hesitant

• Overly sensitive or shy

• Moody, irritable

• Sick frequently without medical cause

• Frequent aches and pains

• Needing constant praise

• Inappropriately defensive

HOW TO MANAGE SHADOW AND LIGHT

If you recognize some of these shadow behaviors in yourself, don’t feel disheartened. The Choice-Cube Method® can help step into the light. Dr. Beth Cujé, therapist and author of the book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, is giving you the opportunity to download the first chapter of the book for FREE. Just click here and see what the Choice-Cube Method® can do for you today.

 

Learn This Great Body Scan Relaxation Exercise


When you do this exercise you train your brain to be fully aware of your physical state, and its regular repetition will teach you how to interrupt stress before it overcomes you.

1.   Begin by slowing down your breathing. Slowly inflate an imaginary balloon in your belly and let the air out, slowly and gently. Continue to breathe slowly and deeply while you scan down your body as follows:

–      Relax between your eyes; stop frowning.

–      Relax your upper lip and the inside of your mouth and tongue; stop clenching your teeth and jaw.

–      Drop your shoulders; stop hunching and tightening your shoulders.

–      Relax the palms of your hands; stop clenching your fists.

–      Feel yourself sitting in the chair; become aware of your whole body.

–      Relax your knees; stop preparing to run away.

2.  As you scan, be aware of being in your body, centered and grounded. Live the physical experience of being firmly located within your body, balanced and aware. Maintain the slow deep breathing, filling and emptying the balloon. 

3.  Move your attention to your feet. Feel the ground pressing up against the soles of your feet, and imagine them getting wider and longer.

Watch your breathing. Slow down.

Gently move your toes and feel your feet getting larger, wider, longer, and starting to put down roots. Imagine those roots going down deep into the ground.

You are a strong tree planted by a river, rooted and grounded. 

4.  If your mind tries to slip away to focus on any person, thing, process, or problem, gently bring it back to your body and breath. Get centered again.

Feel the balance and awareness of being contained within your body and skin. You feel safe, confident, and relaxed. Enjoy breathing deeply and feeling totally relaxed.

Repeat the body scan, and as you do it, drain any tension down and out through the roots to the gently flowing river of life beneath them: 

–      Relax the space between your eyes.

–      Relax your upper lip, tongue, and insides of your mouth.

–      Drop the shoulders.

–      Relax the palms of your hands.

–      Relax your knees.

–      Feel the ground beneath your feet.

–      Grow the roots.

Any tension will leave your body through the roots to the river and will be swept away gently. Breathe and relax. The river flows and carries away your stress. Experience how wonderful it feels to be relaxed and in your body as the tension leaves you.

Very important: Smile and soften your face. Smile as if you were looking at someone you love, because the emotions your face shows send powerful messages to your brain about how to feel. 

Do you want to feel this good all the time?

Now you can! Dr. Beth Cujé, therapist and author of the book Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, gives you the chance to download its first chapter for FREE. This exercise is just one of many life-changing tools you will learn in it. Just click here and confirm what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you.

Feeling a Bit Stressed Out? 2 Great Tools to Manage Tension


Do you feel you’re stuck in a rut? Is there something about your life you wish to change, but have no idea how? In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, Dr. Beth Cujé sets forth a series of steps and tools that help you go from shadow into light, in other words, from a problem-focused reality to a problem-solving one.

Now, the first step in crossing this bridge from shadow into light is recognizing that you have a problem, and recognizing the stress that this causes on your body. In her book, Beth provides some very handy, easy to do exercises, to manage the tension. In the tradition of Andrew Weil, use these tools to calm your body and reconnect with your feelings and thoughts.

Deep Breathing

First check to see how stressed you feel on a scale from 0 to 10. Zero is mild stress, 5 is strong stress, and 10 is totally stressed. 

  1. Release your breath through your mouth with a whoosh.
  2. Put your tongue behind the ridge on the roof of your mouth, behind your upper teeth. Slowly inhale through your nose, mouth closed, to the count of 4. Imagine you have a balloon in your stomach that you fill as full as possible. Feel it expand.
  3. Hold the breath to the count of 7.
  4. Now put your tongue behind your lower teeth. Relax and exhale slowly through your mouth with a gentle whoosh to the count of 8.
  5. Repeat the inhale to the count of 4 with your tongue behind your upper teeth. Hold to the count of 7, and whoosh out gently for the count of 8.
  6. Continue the exercise for 4 or 5 rounds as you continue to breathe slowly and calmly.
  7. Notice how you feel now. Are you lower on the Stress Scale?

Continue breathing as deeply as possible in this way for as long as you want, or until you feel calmer. When you are finished, check your Stress Scale again to see if you are less stressed.

Another great way to reconnect with yourself and calm the tension in your body is through this hand-tapping tool:

Hand-Tapping

 Start by becoming aware of your breathing.

• As you breathe deeply, tap with the side of one hand (the fleshy part on the little finger

side) on the palm of the other hand.

• Tap firmly and repeatedly in a chopping motion.

• As you tap, give yourself permission to feel whatever surfaces, and imagine letting

go of it by breathing it out.

Feels great, doesn’t it? Now, that you feel a bit calmer, it’s time to consider what you want for your life. Want to feel fully liberated from everyday stress? The Choice-Cube Method® can help you. Dr. Beth Cujé, therapist and author of the book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, is giving you the opportunity to download the first chapter of the book for FREE. Just click here and see what the Choice-Cube Method® can do for you today.

The 4 Things that Are Keeping you from Changing


Most of us understand at one point or another that there is something we should change in our lives. But we are unable to make this change. Why? Because we resist change. It’s as simple as that. Instead of changing, we are stuck making the same unwise, inappropriate choices, time and again. But before we can break this vicious pattern of resistance, we must understand that there are four areas of inward reactions, four tendencies that keep us stuck and far from changing.

1.  Body: We Regress Under Stress, or “I just want to survive!”

With enough emotional, physical or mental stress, anyone will shift into survival mode. Our body takes charge, and all we want is to reach a safe place or get what we want. Rather than remain present and focused on solving the problem, we reach back to earlier experiences for familiar ways of coping. And we use these old coping mechanisms regardless of whether they are truly appropriate.

2.  Emotions: Repetition Compulsion, or “I have to do it again it until I get it right!”

If a problem remains unresolved, it will keep cropping up to demand resolution. Emotions that have not been released and thoughts that have been distorted drive us. We feel compelled to create situations that are similar to the original wound, loss or trauma. This is a reflection of our unconscious need to resolve issues. There is always the hope that things will turn out differently this time around, but because of our issues, and because we are accustomed to dealing with them in a certain way, we simply repeat the same old strategies only to end up with the same old results.

 3.  Mind: Projections and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies, or “I must make the world outside of me agree with the world inside my head.”

We feel the drive to make the external world conform to our internal world. This need for consistency makes out mind seek out or create whatever confirms our beliefs and to reject whatever contradicts them. Mental defenses such as denial and repression help us achieve this. If we can’t create the familiar situation, then we will simply imagine it, or project it. We create self-fulfilling prophecies that make us give off signals to make others see us in agreement with the distortions and lies of our past wounds. One way or another, we make our present reality agree with our past.

 4.  Will: The Path of Least Resistance, or “The devil I know is better than the devil I don’t know.”

It is natural to wish for things to remain the same rather than change; it maintains our homeostasis. There is also the fear of the unknown. Our innate, deep desire to keep things just the way they are, combined with our fear of the unknown, lead us to respond through the same strategies rather than move beyond our comfort zone of habitual ways of thinking, acting and feeling. It is this need to keep the status quo, that makes us endure a dissatisfactory, often painful, present rather than face the discomfort of change and adjustment to something new. Instead of risking short-term pain for long-term gain, we choose short-term relief that leads to long-term pain.

Want to know how we can beat these old tendencies that hinder us and keep us from changing? The Choice-Cube Method® can help you. Dr. Beth Cujé, therapist and author of the book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be, is giving you the opportunity to download the first chapter of the book for FREE. Just click here and see what the Choice-Cube Method® can do for you today.

 

 

 

Fair Fighting for Friends and Couples


                          * “We have a problem.
                               Let’s try to understand one another.
                               We can work this out.”

Start:

• Ask whether this is a good time to talk. Make sure your partner is willing
      to discuss issues.
• Clarify the rules of fair fighting (see below)and the issues to be  discussed. 
• Discuss them one at a time. Stay on track. Don’t in bring old garbage.

RULES FOR FAIR FIGHTING

Rule 1.   Take turns speaking.  When your partner speaks,  LISTEN!

Rule 2.   When it is your turn to speak,
                First, acknowledge your partner’s emotion(s) and repeat what you
                 heard him or her say.  (I can hear that you are angry.
                                                                  Here’s what I heard you say.)
               Second, state your reality (what you feel , think, and want).
               Third, allow your partner to say what s/he heard and state his or
                her reality.

Rule 3.   Use “I” language. Be direct and honest about what you, feel,  think, and want.

Rule 4.   Attack issues, not the person. Show respect in language, tone 
of voice and attitude.

Rule 5.   Stay in an attitude of trying to understand and problem solve. 
It is pointless to blame.

Rule 6.   *When necessary, use “time-outs”
                    Clarify that you are no longer willing to continue the discussion
                     at this time. Set a later time (in an hour, this afternoon, tomorrow)
                     to resume the discussion.

           *  No amount of talking will lead to problem-solving if you are not
              in a state of mind for solving problems

Staying Steady in Tough Times


What is the secret to staying steady in tough times?

I believe the answer lies with inner healing. By that I mean
successful management–‘healing’–the inward reactions of your:

          body (stress),
          emotions,
          mind (thoughts and pictures in your mind)
          will/desires (misdirected)

If you pay close attention to your inward reactions and manage them well,
you will become resilient, confident, and have hope.

The self-help book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be,
shows you how to recognize and manage your inward reactions.
True, doing so takes effort. But your efforts will reward you
with optimism and confidence that things will work out.

Take a look at the book on www.amazon.com. Or check out my website www.choicecube.com. You might find it extremely helpful.

The Victim-Victimizer Swing


In the Victim-Victimizer Swing, we respond to people and situations as victims (one-down, less-than, under-dog) or as victimizers (one-up, better-than, top-dog).

As victims, we Avoid! Avoid! Avoid! We give up our healthy self and try to find our identity and safety in submission and weakness. For example, “I ‘m afraid to confront or argue with anyone. I must “make nice” all the time. I’m afraid to let people know what I reallly think.”

As victimizers, we Control! Control! Control! We try to find our identity and safety in domination and control. For example, ” I have all the answers. I know better. I’ll fix you and everyone else. It must be done my way.”

Though we swing between being both the victim and victimizer, one position will be our default–the position where we start and end.

The solution is first, to recognize when we are being victims or victimizers and then to “Go Down The Middle.” I’ll discuss this next time.

If you are interested in learning more about the V-V Swing, you can pick up a copy of my book, “Become the Person You Were Meant to Be” on http://www.amazon.com.

Let me hear from you.

Change and Rewire Your Brain


Yes, I said it!  Rewire your brain.
It works like this. Each time we repeat a
thought, emotion,or action, we go over
pathways in our brain that carry the
information and energy of that reaction.

Repeatedly going over nerve pathways is like
repeatedly driving a car over a dirt road,We
create ruts in that road that deepen every
time we drive over them. This makes them
more likely to grab our tires and force
us to stay in the rut.

In the same way, the more we repeat a thought,
emotion, or action, the more power we give it
to grab us and cause us to repeat it again and again.

In fact ruts or pathways can become so deep
that it often seems easier just to roll along
and allow them to control us.

Here’s where rewiring comes in. We can train
ouselves to stay aware of what we are tempted
to repeat, but do something different. When we
do something different, we interfere with the
old ruts or nerve pathways. Now, we can refuse
to go over them and choose to make new, healthier
pathways. We actually rewire our brains.

Out with the old. In with the new!
Let’s get started.

You Can’t Fill A Leaky Heart


“You can’t fill a leaky heart.” my son said
in a recent conversation. Humm, “How do you
fix a leaky heart?”  I wondered. Can it ever
be full again?

Upon reflection, my answer is, “Yes.” Yes, we
can fix our leaky hearts,if we are willing to
be honest and compassionate with others and
ourselves. Yes,our once leaky hearts can be
full again.

Honesty and compassion are the antidotes to
a leaky heart. Both require finding courage,
forgiving, and accepting forgiveness, which may
hurt, take time, and require humility. Facing
the truth and letting go of old thoughts and
feelings is never easy. But we can do it.

I admit to having a leaky heart that is healing.
Honesty and compassion are working for me.
What about you? Would you like to give honesty
and compassion a try?

I would love to hear from you on this matter.

Connected or Split off?


If you read my piece on addictions on FaceBook,
you may have noticed an emphasis on self-nurturing.
 
Here’s a question for each one of us. “How do I
nurture myself?  “When I nurture myself, do I 
stay connected to myself and do what’s best
for me?

Or do I “split off” from myself and go after
something that, short-term, might relieve
and pleasure me, but long-term can hurt me?
Do I even think about it?

I would love to know what you are thinking.

Enough Lying and Dissimulating


Enough lying and dissimulating. This is a time for honesty and integrity.

There’s talk of Democrats and liberals,Republicans and conservatives, Muslims and Christians. We don’tneed labels. We need compassionate men and women of integrity who are not afraid to speak the truth and stand on it.

I won’t discuss the Choice-Cube Method here. But I will say that the thrust of
the method is to train oneself to:
    * take responsibility for one’s part
            in the problem.
    * seek truth with compassion for oneself
            and others.
    * stay open, curious, flexible and balanced.

Not easy tasks, but certainly worthy goals. Today, the alternatives are frightening.

Let’s Define Addictions


Let’s define addictions. I define an addiction as anything I do
repeatedly that interferes with my life. For example, I spend
money I don’t have to buy things I don’t need. Or, instead of
doing my homework I get high.

Personally, I have to watch myself. I could easily develop an
addiction to spending time on the computer when I have a million
other things I need to do. What about you? I’d love to discuss it.

So You Want To Make Some Changes


       So you want to make some changes. 

        Are you clear about what you want
        to change and  how you prefer to be. 
        For example,
       “I want to stop biting  my fingernails.”
        Or, “I want to cut back on smoking.” 
 
        Do you have a clear picture in your mind
        of yourself when you stop biting or smoke less?
     
         Can you imagine what emotions you will have
         when you see longer healthy nails?
         When  you say “No!” to that cigarette? 
 
         And can you imagine what how your body will feel 
         each time you have a victory?
         Now the work begins. It starts with
         your ability to stay focused on your goal.
         I call this “sustained focus.” 

          In my next blog, I’ll discuss how to create
          “sustained focus.” In the meantime, think
          about what you want, how it will look,
          what emotion you will feel, and how your
          body will feel when you succeed. 

          Remember this. Whatever you focus on
          will get you more of the same.

Image

Does Your Body Hijack Your Mind?


When Jack feels upset, he tries to figure out what’s going on.

Sometimes, he can, but more often he can’t find the answer.Janice in contrast, doesn’t even try to understand what’s happening. She just looks for someone to criticize or blame.

Tom simply is not interested in trying to understand. He thinks that if he just forges ahead and works harder and harder, things have to get better. But usually they don’t.

These are all examples of people caught up in efforts tocontrol people, things, actions, and problems.

At the other extreme, are the people who try to avoid difficulties. Fran, for example, escapes her problems by getting high. Jack stuffs his thoughts and feelings about the problem, while Alice collapses, submits to the problem, and wallows in it.

We have failed to understand and manage the overwhelming power of our body and emotions to hijack our mind and negatively influence our everyday life.

Instead, for years, our efforts to help people with problems have focused on changing how they think—on their minds. We have ignored the role the body plays in driving us to avoid or control things that make us uncomfortable or threaten us in some other way.

Why would we prefer to focus on the mind? Because honestly confronting our stress and emotions can make us uncomfortable, even painful. In fact, we often choose to feel stuck and unable to change rather than deal directly and honestly with stress and negative emotions.

This is dangerous. When we refuse to consciously and appropriately[1] manage stress and our emotions two things happen. First, stress and our emotions lock in warped and distorted thinking. Second, they hide the whole truth—the big picture–from us.

We then tend to use the avoid/control survival strategies, mentioned above, to keep stress and negative emotions from overwhelming us. The problem is that each time we repeat an old strategy, we strengthen it and create habit patterns of negative beliefs, reactions, and dysfunctional behaviors.

Like Jack, Janice, and Alice, we reach for old, familiar strategies that prevent healthy resolution of issues. We strengthen the stress and negative emotions attached to them and create habit patterns that we mindlessly repeat and reinforce through repetition.

It’s time to awaken to the role the body plays in what we think, feel, want, and do. It’s time to learn how to manage our stress and emotions moment-to-moment, instead of allowing stress and negative emotions to take over and control us.

A first step is stress management training. This approach makes us aware of our body and often enables us to stay present in the moment. Body awareness and knowing how to use our mind to stay present is foundational. But there’s more, much more.

Can you imagine a dependable method for choice and change that provides a simple framework to help you immediately recognize and label stress and negative emotions; tools that equip you to make wise choices and changes; and 4 steps to guide that change?

Such a method would create an internal sense of safety as follows. I can trust the framework to help me recognize my stress and negative emotions, I can use the tools to help me take responsibility and make wise choices and changes. I can follow these 4 steps and do something different that leads to positive action.

The framework, tools, and 4 steps are like a tool kit that keeps you moving through problems and difficulties to a win-win resolution of them. 

When you can recognize your reactions and take responsibility for them, hopefully you have some simple tools to help you manage them. The tools should help you let go of crazy, hurtful thoughts–distorted information—and the emotions attached to those thoughts.

Both the thoughts and the emotions–energy in motion–are embedded in the nervous system of your mind and body. It’s this distorted information and energy and that create the stress and negative emotions in the first place.

I would like to offer you the Choice-Cube® Method framework, tools and 4 steps to help you move through confusion, anxiety, anger, shame, and feeling overwhelmed to honesty and compassion for others and yourself.

Would you like to learn how to use the framework, tools, and 4 steps in your life? They are found in, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be – The Choice-Cube Method:  Step by Step to Choice and Changeby Dr. Beth Blevins Cujé. You can learn more about the method and sign up for a free copy of the first chapter of Dr. Cujé’s book. Just click here:  http://www.choicecube.com.

Aside


When Jack feels upset, he tries to figure out what’s going on. Sometimes, he can, but more often he can’t find the answer. Janice in contrast, doesn’t even try to understand what’s happening. She just looks for someone to criticize or blame

Tom simply is not interested in trying to understand. He thinks that if he just forges ahead and works harder and harder, things have to get better. But usually they don’t.

These are all examples of people caught up in efforts tocontrol people, things, actions, and problems.  

At the other extreme, are the people who try to avoiddifficulties. Fran, for example, escapes her problems by getting high. Jack stuffs his thoughts and feelings about the problem, while Alice collapses, submits to the problem, and wallows in it. 

We have failed to understand and manage the overwhelming power of our body and emotions to hijack our mind and negatively influence our everyday life.  

Instead, for years, our efforts to help people with problems have focused on changing how they think—on their minds. We have ignored the role the body plays in driving us to avoid or control things that make us uncomfortable or threaten us in some other way. 

Why would we prefer to focus on the mind? Because honestly confronting our stress and emotions can make us uncomfortable, even painful. In fact, we often choose to feel stuck and unable to change rather than deal directly and honestly with stress and negative emotions. 

This is dangerous. When we refuse to consciously and appropriately[1] manage stress and our emotions two things happen. First, stress and our emotions lock in warped and distorted thinking. Second, they hide the whole truth—the big picture–from us.

We then tend to use the avoid/control survival strategies, mentioned above, to keep stress and negative emotions from overwhelming us. The problem is that each time we repeat an old strategy, we strengthen it and create habit patterns of negative beliefs, reactions, and dysfunctional behaviors. 

Like Jack, Janice, and Alice, we reach for old, familiar strategies that prevent healthy resolution of issues. We strengthen the stress and negative emotions attached to them and create habit patterns that we mindlessly repeat and reinforce through repetition. 

It’s time to awaken to the role the body plays in what we think, feel, want, and do. It’s time to learn how to manage our stress and emotions moment-to-moment, instead of allowing stress and negative emotions to take over and control us. 

A first step is stress management training. This approach makes us aware of our body and often enables us to stay present in the moment. Body awareness and knowing how to use our mind to stay present is foundational. But there’s more, much more. 

Can you imagine a dependable method for choice and change that provides a simple framework to help you immediately recognize and label stress and negative emotions; tools that equip you to make wise choices and changes; and 4 steps to guide that change? 

Such a method would create an internal sense of safety as follows. I can trust the framework to help me recognize my stress and negative emotions, I can use the tools to help me take responsibility and make wise choices and changes. I can follow these 4 steps and do something different that leads to positive action.

The framework, tools, and 4 steps are like a tool kit that keeps you moving through problems and difficulties to a win-win resolution of them. 

When you can recognize your reactions and take responsibility for them, hopefully you have some simple tools to help you manage them. The tools should help you let go of crazy, hurtful thoughts–distorted information—and the emotions attached to those thoughts. 

Both the thoughts and the emotions–energy in motion–are embedded in the nervous system of your mind and body. It’s this distorted information and energy and that create the stress and negative emotions in the first place.

I would like to offer you the Choice-Cube® Method framework, tools and 4 steps to help you move through confusion, anxiety, anger, shame, and feeling overwhelmed to honesty and compassion for others and yourself. 

Would you like to learn how to use the framework, tools, and 4 steps in your life? They are found in, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be – The Choice-Cube Method:  Step by Step to Choice and Changeby Dr. Beth Blevins Cujé. You can learn more about the method and sign up for a free copy of the first chapter of Dr. Cujé’s book. Just click here:  http://www.choicecube.com.

 
Link

www.choicecube.com


www.choicecube.com