News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™      


Joy, Love, and Peace for 2021

Attitiude Reconstruction                                     

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January 2021                                              Keeping Perspective
Wood Duck -- photo by Joan Kent

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I am pleased to announce the reprinting (and slightly edited) version of Attitude Reconstruction

It includes a revised "action" chapter, full Blueprints on the inside front and back cover, and little futzes here and there. Available, signed, sealed, and delivered for only $15.00 (includes tax.).

To buy yours at this price, contact me at  jude@attitudereconstruction.com       
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Copious Praise for AR and the newsletter.

I love and benefit from your news and Attitude Reconstruction. It helps such a lot. "Joy is an emotion." 
I enjoy your emails and words of wisdom along with the humor.
Thanks for the attitude guidance.
Thanks for always putting my attitude back on track!

"If you're going to put everything in its proper perspective, I'll have another espresso."



Hey Jude: How can I stop insisting on having my way?

What I call "selfishness" is one of the four core attitudes associated with anger. Being egotistical, narcissistic, or stubborn indicates you believe your needs and views are more important than others'. Find a way to constructively channel your anger physically. Try on "Your viewpoints and needs are as important as mine" or "How can I help?"

Or strap some duct tape (imaginary) on your lips and start to listen, understand, and acknowledge the other person's position. Work together to find solutions. Or consciously practice surrendering your own desires for what's best for the other person.
Greetings dear ones,   
Hold tight. There are brighter days ahead. Until then, keep perspective.  

A Few Articles  

Not only has there been an increase in alcohol and drug consumption during these times, but eating disorders
are on the rise.
Words of the year are no surprise.
The spectacular New York's Penn Station has finally been completed, the Moynihan Train Hall.  
Child actor, Helena Zengel, had never heard of Tom Hanks. 
Fun Videos

UPS driver being cheered by local residents. Heart warmer!

I don't know if you caught this, but Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen interview "Barbara Walters" on New Year's Eve.

"The average American eats about 17 teaspoons of added sugar per day, roughly twice the amount recommended for men and three times the recommended amount for women. As a result, sugar is a main cause of the country's obesity epidemic and appears to raise the risk of diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's.
'Sugar turns on the aging programs in your body,' Dr. Robert Lustig of the University of California, San Francisco says. 'The more sugar you eat, the faster you age.' (His 1 1/2 hour
lecture has more than 12 million views on YouTube.)" Here's a 22 minute Ted Talk summary. 

Most all black and white cartoons borrowed from Cartoonbank.
Keeping Perspective
When I see clients in-person for therapy, and they are not feeling well, the first thing they blurt out is " I have a sore throat" or "I've been sick for a week." It's not, "I've had a good day" or "Those flowers in the vase are beautiful." They are focused on their physical ailment. Our askew physical state often dominates our awareness.
Likewise, if someone lives with "depression" (or any strong feeling), and I ask them how it is going, they talk about feeling depressed. If I persist and ask them to talk about good things that happened since I last saw them, they discover that indeed many positive events have transpired. However, they are so consumed with how they feel, and the accompanying negative self-talk and negative outlook that they have lost sight of the reality of the present moment and what's going well in their lives.
When we obsessively focus on something that is, or isn't, within our control, it can feel like we're carrying a giant boulder on our backs. Instead, we need to treat that one aspect of our lives as small rocks in our pocket so we can stay rooted in thinking, speaking, and doing things that promote joy, love, and peace. For our own peace of mind, we need to maintain the larger perspective.      

"That's strange. I remember it differently, in a way that aligns with my world view and casts me in a positive light."
Why We Lose Perspective
What is driving our perceptions so they dominate our awareness? According to Attitude Reconstruction, it's the emotion of fear. Fear takes our thinking in four ways, which I have named our fear-based core attitudes.
        The Four Fear Core Attitudes
1. Living in the future or past
2. Overgeneralizing
3. Losing sight of what is true
4. Attempting to control
Do any of these four mental tendencies sound familiar? If so, it means you've got unexpressed fear in your body that's keeping you from feeling peace. My unsolicited suggestion is that you need to increase the practice of shaking and shivering to let the pure emotional physiology move out of your body. (We usually do the opposite, and tense up and try to hold on.) Here's a link if you need a refresher about how to constructively move your trapped fear energy. Dealing with the emotion physically and naturally allows us to think more clearly and keep the broader view.
  "The people on the sidewalk look like angry ants who just had wine spilled on them."
More Ways We Lose Sight of What is True
Today I'm addressing an aspect of the third core attitude - "Losing sight of what is true" -- and that is, we don't maintain a healthy perspective.
For example, if you find yourself feeling frustrated about almost everything, and instead of enjoying a conversation, you are waiting for your partner to stop talking because you disagree with what he is saying. Your frustration is taking center stage and becomes that big boulder you are carrying. Your emotional state causes you to negatively misconstrue the reality of what is going on right now. You forget and miss the larger picture. You love him and his viewpoint is as equally valid as yours. You are just feeling frustrated right now.
Being wedded to your wristwatch, rushing and getting impatient, stops you from enjoying what you are doing right now. Getting to the ballpark late shouldn't overshadow the excitement of watching your son or daughter play soccer. If you're going to be late, make a mental note about how you can leave earlier next time and focus on the fun you'll have when you get there. Don't let the "bad" mood you've created within yourself dominate your experience in the moment, or for the rest of the day.
More examples of losing perspective are when you get wrapped up in things out of your control, such as: politics, excessively worrying about the Covid situation, or Headline News that triggers your worrying. In these cases, you can lose your balance and peace of mind. These negative distractions cause you to lose your ability to focus on what is aligned with your deepest values and purpose.
I'm reminded of the great line towards the end of the movie Casablanca. Rick says to Ilsa "I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world."

The Prescription

Stepping back and keeping perspective helps you to not get overwhelmed and stops you from dwelling on things in the past, present, or future. You'll find you worry less if you choose to focus on what you can control right now, rather than what you can't.
The opposite of fear is peace. That is precisely what you will experience when you realize this moment is the only time you have. Do your best to enjoy it and find the positive or humorous in your current situation. Lightheartedness improves with practice. Whether you are religious or not, this serenity prayer by Niebuhr is relevant to helping us maintain perspective: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
This strategy calls for giving up what you negatively dwell upon -and it's admittedly not easy to change. As I mention, the best way to start is to admit that you're being run by your fear: shiver, quiver, tremble it out of your body and refocus on the larger picture.
Write down what's truly important to you and refer to it daily. So remember, KEEP PERSPECTIVE. Articulate your highest vision for yourself and align your thoughts, words, and actions with that. That means, do what you can, surrender the rest, and enjoy the cosmic play.
Thanks for reading this newsletter. May you maintain a peaceful perspective during these unusual times. 

If you have any suggestions about a newsletter topic, or general comments, I love to hear from you. It inspires me to formulate my thoughts so I can spread the word of Attitude Reconstruction.

 Feel free to write me at jude@AttitudeReconstruction.com 
                           With love,