TSHP299: Is it OK to earn a lot of money?

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What’s Coming This Episode?

Death and taxes. The two certainties in life, eh? A listener emailed regarding a conversation she’d had with her father. He insinuated that anyone that earns money must have done it by stealth, at the expense of other. Our listener disagreed. Sean and Ed to the rescue?

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Is it OK to earn a decent amount of money?

I had an email from a listener this week all about money, power and an energetic conversation that she had with her father.

“Just had an intense discussion with my dad, he firmly believes that no one should have ‘too much’ money and that anyone who has a lot of money has acquired it in ‘bad’ ways.” 

The first concept to consider is how much is too much? In theory if you are warm clothed and fed you could say that you have all that you need. If you then want a television, the internet, a car and maybe a holiday then you will, by definition have more than someone who cannot afford any of these things. 

T. Harv Eker in his Millionaire Mind Book and courses talks about a money blueprint that is set when we are young and then, unless we adapt it, will play out through our lives. Those that have a rich template will create wealth while those that have a poor template will not. There is lots of evidence that shows when people get a lot of wealth through something like the lottery they will spend, spend, spend until it reduces to an amount that they feel comfortable with. This is when it matches their money blueprint.

It is true that if you gain a lot of money you can gain a lot of power. An engineer defines power as ‘the ability to do work’. The power rating on a motor is telling you how much work that motor can do in an hour. The power that money give us is the ability to do something.

With the power of money we can influence the people, even those at the ‘top’ and create real change in the world. This may be through charity or through educating people on love, kindness and logical ways of thinking and behaving. Many people would say that this is naive to think that it is impossible. “Be realistic” they say. I disagree with this version of “realistic”. I think that money is a magnify glass and makes you more of who you are. If you are a good person money allows you to be more of a good person and if you are a bad person money allows to do more bad things.

Attitudes to money, power and wealth are the ongoing disagreements between true communism, – the left wing – where we are all equal and true capitalism – the right wing – that is full of the haves and have nots. In the argument is between capitalism and  communism. People have tried to answer this problem in many ways. 

Religion has a view. In Islam it is considered wrong to go to bed with a full belly if the people next door go to bed hungry. In Christianity it remains the belief that we should all give 10% of our net income to charities and the poor.  In psychology we can measure the positive effects of giving to charity or committing charitable acts. Being kind to others not only makes us feel better but it also strengthens our immune system.

It is important to note that the finance houses in Europe and USA, including all the long standing household names, founded their wealth mainly on the opium and the slave trades. It is little realised that the one industry that they tried to privatise, along with everything else, was sugar that was and is still highly profitable, but built on plantations and the slave trade.

Because of this association with exploitation both abroad and in Britain people often see money as dirty. As the mill and the mine owners created their wealth by working people hard for little reward we developed unions, worker’s rites and employment law. Something that we may begin to give away with Brexit.

Alongside established business were and are the bad lads such as protection rackets, bad small business practices, and lying politicians. How easily the stage has been set to associate both power and money to bad practice.

The work of the Gates Foundation and the fortune that had been poured into medical research and the myriad charities sponsored by and supported by ‘rich’ people would suggest that money can be both a good and a useful resource. It is not what you have it is how you use it that counts.

In the end the issues is that if you live in a capitalist society people will act in capitalistic ways which are to make as much as you can, keep it all for yourself and don’t share it. If you live in a truly communist society, and there has never been one of these to my knowledge, then the question would be ‘what can I do for you and how can I help?’  

The question, is it wrong to be well off is relative. I work hard, harder than most, I seldom work less than sixty hours in a week. I also earn more then most though I would not describe myself as rich in any way, other than the wealth of positive emotion in my family. Does that make me a bad person? 

We all have the same choice, do we use our time to create wealth or to spend all that we can, even if it is really other people’s. I asked the question a few blogs ago, ‘Why do benefit claimants not work for their money and give back to the community that supports them?’ In an equal society we would all support each other as best we can and would also all contribute. For some that might mean paying taxes while for others it might mean helping out in social enterprises. I come back to my usual phrase…

If we all look after each other then we will all be okay

It is never the money that makes us bad, it is the love of money that makes us bad. As someone once said…

We need to love people and use money, not the other way around.

We can all be charitable. Those that have money can share it. Though even if you have no money to spare you can share your time and your love.

Take care and be happy

Sean x

TSHP298: What’s the link between nature and mental health?

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What’s Coming This Episode?

We know that being outdoors is, in general, good for us. We all feel refreshed after a good walk, a run or a ride through a wonderful landscape. But why? And why do we do it so little, or even design it out of our every day lives?

Enjoy the show and take care, it’s The Self Help Podcast!

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Take a walk in the wild side

I guess it follows that as we were hunter gatherers living in forests, not open plains, that we should have an infinity with trees and woods. I hadn’t realised the extent until I read around it and discovered that walking in the woods and being in natural settings is good for our emotional wellbeing. The trees and plants are all releasing pheromones into the air that have a calming effect on our minds and bodies. That explains the air fresheners and smelly candles. We are attempting to recreate the outside inside. Probably be healthier to open the window or go for a walk.

Have you got a walking app? Current wisdom is 10,000 steps everyday though some are now saying that it needs to be even longer than that. I guess there are so many factors to health that everything will vary depending on the individual. The thing that we do know is that we all need to move more and that we are mainly too sedentary. Ed would now tell us about the virtues of only using a bike or our legs and leaving the car at home.

He also has his smart watch that keeps him on his toes, literally. Every hour if he hasn’t got up from his desk or chair, it tells him to get going. For him it started as a novelty but has fairly quickly just become a part of who he is and built into his daily version of himself. Now he is in liaison with both the police and local councils to improve the situation for bikers.

Rie is a walker and together we have built in going for walks at weekends. Rie also  does more high impact stuff and me running (until I started to damage myself, mainly through over enthusiasm). So, walking has become a serious alternative. I am looking forward to being back on the bike once the weather improves a little and I would really like to do some running again but maybe not get so addicted this time!

Mindful walking is to use the exercise to stay in the moment to be instep with yourself. This is a mindful meditation in motion. Now add in some beautiful scenery and the positive psychological effect is enhanced. If you were doing it in a wood or a country setting the pheromones would enhance your neurology.

There is so much evidence now that when we move our bodies we also feed our mind and give extra support to our brain. I always go back to the notion that  as hunter gatherers we needed a lot of eye brain coordination to cope with undulating ground, obstacles and dangers both movement and brain work together. Work one and you work the other. So, physical health is often a state of mind and mental health is often a state of body. They are inseparable.

We now also know that the depth of vision we develop as we learn about visual perspective also effects our emotional self. In the Forrest we needed good depth vision to be able to see both prey and predators. Neuropsychology explains that the centre of the brain developed for depth vision also gives us a depth of emotion that includes understanding and empathy. The assumption of researchers is that as we no longer spend time outside developing depth of vision and depth of emotion we are gradually becoming less social and more isolated, less sensitive and more selfish.

I see so many people, often quite young, who have musculoskeletal problems that have been brought about by years of inactivity. This is a life style issue. Often a work style issue. How often do you move? I can also relate to the idea that these people also have corresponding emotional issues.

Anyway I digress, we need to get moving preferably outside in the woods. We have a good opportunity now to get fit leading up to May which is national walking month. During this campaign we are all encouraged to walk for at least 20 minutes every day .    Have a look at livingstreets.co.uk and you will get a feel for Ed’s desire to get us out and moving.

The neuropsychology is that if you raise your heart rate for about twenty minutes your brain will reward you by releasing happy hormones which feed positively right down into the chemistry of your cells. This is the relationship of:

Happy mind, happy body = Happy body, happy mind

Do you need an excuse to exercise?

When you are new to exercise or you have been out of the game for while you may need an excuse to get going. That could be finding a friend who will do it with you. Maybe join a gym. Get a trainer or join a club for either rambling, walking or running. You could simply borrow a dog. Have a look at borrowmydoggy.com. 

Walking to work

Could you either walk to work or even part of the way? Perhaps parking some way away or getting off the bus or train a stop earlier and walking the rest. In London the underground have a steps map that shows how many steps there are between stations. 

The bottom line is that exercise equals happiness and exercise in the country, if you can, has huge benefits.

So, keep moving, be happy and take care

Sean x 

TSHP297: What Makes the Perfect Valentine’s Day?

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What’s Coming This Episode?

It’s that time of year already. It’s time to put down our phones, switch off from work and show our partners some real affection. Is there a set formula? A pathway to Valentine’s success???

Enjoy the show and take care, it’s The Self Help Podcast!

Show Notes and Links

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Stay in Touch

We’re all over the web, so feel free to stay in touch:

Leave us an Honest Review on iTunes

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It’s Valentines Day – Do you feel the love?

Lovely Rie got us thinking this week as she made some suggestions of things that we might question this Valentine’s Day 

How do you know that you are loved? 

  • What do you want your partner, or lover to mean when they say “I love you”? 
  • Is love for you a simple one stranded thing or is it multi-faceted?
  • How many strands does it have?
  • What are they?

It is so strange that someone can love you truly, madly, deeply but unless it is expressed in just the right way so that you are able to receive it then you will simply not feel it, you will not feel loved.

I sit down with many couples in relationship therapy and commonly, at some point in their past, they both shared their love for each other. The problem, that only came to light later, was that they did not understand what each other meant when they used the word love. They both felt that their partner meant the same as they did. Later they discovered that they were wrong.

Love, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

It is not being loved that is important

It is feeling loved that counts

Example: A common sort of problem

First person: “I feel unloved and hurt when you fail to put a X on the end of a text”

Partner: “That just feels like you a trying to control my emotions. I only put an ‘X’ there when I am really feeling it. It is meaningless if I always put it there because in the end it just means nothing.”

Therapist: “How about if it is important to your partner to see an ‘X’ and if you do love her and care about her would the act of simply adding an ‘X’ be something that you know would make her feel happy and good. Is it therefore not worth doing?”

Sometimes showing your partner that they are loved isn’t egocentrically based around your need to be honest it is about ensuring that the person that you love feels it. To go out of your way, to put yourself out, to get something or do something that you know will make your partner happy is an expression of love.

If your response to the above is something like, “Well, my needs are as important as their’s and if I need not to put a ‘X’ at the end of a text and they love me then they will respect that”, then you are either emotionally immature or need to be in another relationship.

Once you get into relationships it can happen that love becomes a demand and not an act of giving. Success in relationships comes from both people giving, it is then that both people will receive. If both people expect to get love without giving it then neither of their needs will be met.

If it becomes a battle it ceases to be love and becomes acts of possession. Think about your relationship and how do you both share your love.

In relationships we sometimes need to fake it to make it. 

Maybe your partner has really cheesed you off for some reason but you still arrange their birthday party and have risen above the difficulties. If your partner loves you in the same way they will do the same for you. It is to do with whether or not your love is conditional and demanding or unconditional and giving. In a world where there really is no right or wrong, where there is only a consequence to your action, you need to take responsibility for who you are, for what you do and how you show your love.

I guess I should add that pouring out your love, time and energy into someone who does not love you back is like standing in an ice cold shower tearing up twenty pound notes. Not to be recommended.

Love is the magic glue that holds the whole of the universe together. It may be expressed as the law of attraction, as gravity, in the relationship between particles and atoms, it might be shown in the caring for the sick and needy or it might simply be in the giving of a bunch of flowers.

However you share you love, I hope that Valentines Day confirms the love that others have for you.

Take care and Happy Valentine’s

Sean X

TSHP296: How to Stay Energised

In this week’s show…

A listener has emailed us asking if we could talk about energy. About energy. About keeping a high level of work and effort. So we took on the challenge…

Enjoy the show and take care, it’s The Self Help Podcast!

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Energy and Breath

We had an email this week asking about how can we keep our energy up and keep going even in the face of difficult situations such as Brexit? For some this would be seen as inspiration, motivation and will power. The way that I see it is that most people are quite capable of achieving what they desire in every situation. It is often that they never have the self belief to get on with their life and simply just do it. As I said on the podcast most people do not need to find their accelerator what they need to do is take their foot off the brake.

There are two words in the English language that make me smile.  The first is ‘Inspiration’ when we get that flash of genius that solves a problem or creates a wonderful work of art or a scientific breakthrough and so on. The second is ‘Respiration” that we use to describe both the process and product of breathing. I smile because when any of us use these words, even the most committed atheist among us, we are really talking about spirit.

To be inspired means to be filled with spirit. This would seem to be an acknowledgment of the connection between all creative processes and the universal energy that some call ‘source energy’ and others refer to as ‘God’ or Yahweh, or Brahman and so on. Whatever we call ‘that’ thing we can all acknowledge that there are some of us that are, at some point, inspired and inspirational, or else we would not have any invention or charismatic leaders.

Respiration or to respire is to breathe and exchange gases through inhalation and exhalation. The word respire really means to ‘re-spirit’ or to refill with spirit. So that again we make the connection with spirit or ‘that’ thing and our self, our experience and our life.

It is said the the first thing that we do in life is to breathe in and, the last thing that we do in life is to breathe out. It is the breaths in between these two that are what we call our life, when we stop breathing this life comes to a close.

We do not realise the importance of breath. I know that if we do not breath we die, that is not what I mean, it is more to do with the quality of our breath, it’s depth, it’s speed and repetition, because there is something that you should understand about breath. It is this, we all get the same amount or breaths. A life ‘time’ is not counted in years it is counted in breaths and heart beats. There is a direct correlation between breaths and heart rate. The faster the heart the quicker the breath, the faster the breath the quicker the heart.

Across the world human life expectancy is an average 72 years, while a hamster has an average life expectancy of three 3 years and, amazingly a whale is around 150 years, but the number of breaths and heartbeats for each species will stay the same, in fact all amphibians, birds, fish, mammals and reptiles live life spans of the same average heart beats and breaths. The heart rate of a whale is around 10 heartbeats a minute and hamsters is 450 per minute.  Yet for both, during their life they will both have the same number of beats averaging about 1 billion.

On average, humans breathe about 960 breaths per hour that equates to 23040 breaths in a day and 8409600 in a year. If you were to live to 80 you will take around 672,768,000 breaths, based on your average respiration rate at rest. If you exercise your heart rate and respiration will increase while under exercise, but will drop back to a slower rate after the exercise so that over all the rates decrease. The other things that will increase respiration and heart rate in a negative sense is stress and anxiety

Considering all this the process of breathing is the focus of meditation and mediation techniques. Almost all mindful meditation techniques begin with breath focus, and in meditation and relaxation heart and respiration rates drop significantly. 

The punch line is that those people who breathe slower live longer. People who remain physically fit will breathe slower when at rest, and the most efficient breathing comes from the meditators who are taking control of their system and are leading calm and relaxed lives. It is always true that in life we do not need to slow down, we need to calm down.

In the Podcast I made a suggestion for an App as my resource of the week. There are several to choose from. Simply type Pranayama in your App Store and take your pick. If you calm your breath you will calm your mind. If you calm your mind you can be more focussed and get more done. If you create calmness, relaxation and meditation you will live longer and happier and if you take your foot of your brake you might also achieve what you desire.

Relax and be happy

Sean x