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Ruth L Miller is an eclectic scholar with degrees in many fields of science and the social sciences and is ordained as a New Thought minister - because she keeps on seeking answers to the fundamental questions that make it possible for the spiritual beings we call humanity to live well and in harmony on this planet for generations to come.

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What are the 5 Toxic Words?

Have you noticed that when you look at your “To Do” list you sometimes feel suddenly de-energized, maybe even resentful?  Even if some of the things on the list are things you normally really enjoy doing, do they suddenly seem like an imposition?

Well, as a friend of mine used to say, that’s because you’ve been “shoulding” on yourself!

It’s fascinating: the moment we make something that we want to do something we “should” do, our small self (often called our “ego”) begins to complain about “having to” do it. It doesn’t matter how much we wanted to do it before; all that matters now is that it’s on that list and so has become a “should.” The body now responds to it as a stressor rather than a pleasure: our belly tightens, there’s tension in our arms and shoulders, and for some, a small rush of adrenaline “fight or flight” whenever we think about doing it.

This physical response, without an actual opportunity for “fight or flight,” builds up toxins in the system that cause other symptoms in the body, ranging from arthritis to diabetes, and can, for some of us, lead to adrenaline depletion.

Now, the word should is by no means the only such word that works that way—it’s just the one currently in style. Other equally devastating words are: ought (as in, “I ought to be…”), must (as in, “you must do this or…”), have-to (as in, “but I have to!”), and  got-to (as in, “I gotta get this done before….”). Each and every one of these is as toxic to the human body as Continue reading What are the 5 Toxic Words?

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What’s the difference between abstract and concrete thinking? Why does it matter?

Some people think in terms of their experiences and the things they can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell; they ask questions about objects, events, and procedures. Others think in terms of possibilities and principles; they ask questions that apply ideas in lots of different ways. Some people think in terms of specific how-to steps; they read the instruction book or do things they way they were told because each task is different. Others think in terms of relationships and patterns; they see how something they’ve done before is similar to what is being done now and use the same methods as far as they can—before reading the instructions.
People in the first group are called “concrete thinkers.” They tend to experience the world as a series of separate, discrete objects and events, and learn by experience working with objects, or by seeing or hearing concrete examples. Once they learn how something is done, that’s the only “right” way to do it.
People in the second group are called “abstract thinkers.” They’re constantly generalizing from events and experiences and relating or connecting them to others, and experience the world as an unfolding set of more and more complex interactions hoping to find a few basic principles that apply to everything. Continue reading What’s the difference between abstract and concrete thinking? Why does it matter?

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