Instant Happiness

Leila Raven Posted in General

I saw a really neat scientific study in a documentary program last night. They had research subjects hold a pen in their mouth and then use that pen to circle a number between one and five to rate a stack of funny jokes. Half the subjects were asked to hold the pen in their teeth, and pull back their lips so they didn’t touch the pen. The other half were asked to hold the pen in their pursed lips. The subjects had no idea what the study was for. All they knew was they had to use the pen held in their mouth as directed to circle the numbers to rate the jokes.

What the scientists were studying was the theory that smiling can make you happy and frowning can make you unhappy. They realized though that if people thought they were being asked to ‘smile’ or ‘frown’ it would have an influence on their mood. However, holding the pen in their mouth with just their teeth used the same muscles as smiling in the same way, and holding it in the lips used the same muscles as frowning in the same way. So the subjects were actually rating jokes while either smiling or frowning, un-unbeknown to them. Sure enough the group holding the pen in the teeth, smile position, found the jokes really funny. The ones holding in the lips, frown position, thought they were really bad jokes and not funny at all.

Want a quick mood boost. Smile, smile often and regularly, if you can’t remember to smile… every once in a while hold something between your teeth. Force a smile, just line those pearly whites up and pull your lips make. Let the feeling flow from your mouth over your whole body.

I think there’s a bigger lesson here. We create our own happiness in the world. Don’t under estimate the little things, the tiny little simple things… that’s where life’s great secrets and powers reside. In a smile. Not only that, but smiles are catching. You have the power to not only light up your own life for a moment, but bring it to someone else as well.

Pull out that camera and get your loved ones to say ‘cheese’… tell a joke, or just smile.

It’s going to be a white Christmas.

Leila Raven Posted in General

Kittens and snow.

Leila Raven Posted in General

The snow started falling last night and it hasn’t stopped since. It’s beautiful, I’m happy to be inside though. I took a few photos, the one of the tree top is the tree across the street, I took the photo from inside my living room out the picture window. The branches with berries lean over the fence from our neighbours and I crept out on our snow covered back porch in my bare feet to snap them.

A couple of nights ago we went to pick up a kitten for an early xmas present for me… we ended up coming home with two kittens. Brother and sister from two different litters. Boo, is a pale ginger boy, he was born Aug 26th 2008, Tea is a black female, born Oct 1st 2008. They’re adorable.


Leila Raven Posted in General

I know I can’t please all of the people all of the time, and I’m not really trying to… I think. LOL.

I’ve written a lot about, mostly quoted and giving links to experts writing on, recognizing predators in terms of people who are narcissistic and/or sociopathic/pyschopathic etc.

Why? Because I tried to think about where the risks were in our community to people, where the conflicts come from, where the hurts come from, and how to try to address that stuff.

I figure the best way to help people is to help them help themselves. Try to encourage people to get interested in reading about and researching for themselves what warning signs to look for in others in order to keep themselves safe.

This approach has not gone over well with everyone. I think there are some people in the community, paranoid or not, or accurate or not, who think I’m talking about them, or implying them. Or they think that even if I’m not it creates fear, paranoia and labelling or isolating others. Not at all what I want to do. I’m not sure about this even though, as like most information, the information that the information I’ve been giving out hasn’t gone over well with some others is gossip from mutual friends, so again, open to interpretation. Not that I don’t believe them, just that these things are subjective.

Oddly enough the people I hear have been griping are actually people in the community I know for a fact have been horribly victimized in the past by a narcissistic predator. You would think these are the people that would most want other people to learn the warning signs in what to look for to avoid being taken in.

I’m not sure if there is a better way to try and help others in the community to protect themselves from people who would harm them. I’m definitely open to ideas. It’s something that concerns me a lot. We have had predators of the narcissistic and psychopathic kind in our community before. They have done damage to people I know. I knew while they were using others and lying to others that they were doing so.

One such person many years ago now, and at the time I remained on friendly terms with this person, still am polite when I occasionally run into him over the years. I know dozens of people men and women who have spat venom when recounting lies and hurts done to them by him. I did not ‘warn’ these people at the time. They were my friends. I wasn’t taken myself, despite a few attempts at my flesh and my wallet. I knew I couldn’t trust him, I knew what warning signs to look for. I knew what he was capable of. I didn’t know until later what damage he was actually doing, what lies he was telling, the details, hindsight. I knew enough though to know to protect myself. I didn’t know how to protect anyone else.

I still don’t.

I know I don’t believe in telling people ‘hey, so and so is a such and such’. a) it doesn’t work, especially because usually the person that need that information the most already adore this person. This is the biggest reason. Telling them doesn’t work they won’t listen. b) I could be wrong. Yes, I have a masters degree in psychology and I’ve been professionally trained to diagnose people. I can make mistakes. These are not clients. I don’t have all the information. I could be wrong. c) It’s malicious gossip, wrong or right. I’m saying bad things about someone. I don’t like doing it. d) I’m not teaching anyone how to take care of themselves. It’s the analogy of giving a hungry person fish instead of teaching them to fish. Which is extra silly because this hungry person is not going to eat this particular fish (see point a).

My approach in all the psycho-babble around personality disorders and predators is trying to teach people to fish. It’s NOT trying to imply that a specific party or parties in our community are specific types of predators.

Are there psychopaths and narcissists in our current community. You bet, they’re everywhere. Not alarmist, just fact. A certain percentage of the population. In any given group of people you will find a few, it’s a given. Do I know who they are? There are some people I suspect of having personality issues, yes. Are there people I currently know of who have hurt people I currently care about, yes. Will I tell you who they are? and what I’ve heard? No.

A lot of people disclose to others the names of people in the community they felt have hurt them or slighted them or hurt others they care about. I don’t do it. I already mentioned my reasons why. Besides that’s not really going to help you. Also, my opinion sucks. Yup, that’s right. It’s your opinion that’s important not mine. I don’t want you to think how I think, feel how I feel, like who I like, dislike who I dislike, trust who I trust, distrust who I distrust. Why not? I don’t know… honestly, I’m not wired that way. I like people having their own opinions, ideas, friends, and feelings. I find life more interesting that way. In fact not only do you not have to like who I like and dislike who I dislike to be my friend. I’m more likely to be interested you in a friend if we have… differences! I’m bored with my own company. Diversity rocks.

But back to the my opinion sucks thing. Honestly. I make up my own mind about things. I like it that way. I don’t like other people making up my mind for me. I try to encourage other people to make up their own minds for themselves. It’s egocentric thinking, but I assume if it works for me, and it’s my preference, it’s probably yours too.

What’s my evil agenda in sharing this information? Same as always. I think a lot. I talk in blogs a lot about what I think about a lot. It makes me happy to think in typing, it helps me sort my feelings on the world. I think it might be valuable to other people to understand where other people come from.

So this is my direction. I’ll share it. You share yours. Maybe we’ll find ourselves on the same path for a while.