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Remember the Daffodil Principle (Story)?  A reader of this ezine was wonderful enough to track down its origin for us.  If you'd like the full story go here:

The Daffodil Principle

The home page has the entire story as well as wonderful follow up questions to consider.  Thanks Cindy!

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Dysfunction Gets A Bad Rap


In Western psychological tradition there has been and continues to be a heavy influence from the medical institution. The result in the mental health arena is that we have learned to pathologize our insights. If you had a medical condition, we would certainly hope your medical advocates would pathologize correctly, that is... study, learn, label and appropriately treat your biological condition. When this approach is applied to mental health it has many limitations. In other words, when you pathologize your anxiety issue as some dark character defect how does this help you?

Have you been named distrustful, anxious, depressed, codependent, moody, wound tight (Type A), obsessive compulsive or any other such label? Here's a fresh spin -- Let's celebrate and embrace those parts of you instead of hating them. I know, you think I've lost my marbles and although you could be right, please read on ;-)

All parts of your personality serve you. Each part believes it's doing its best to serve your highest interests. We are all very complex and are made up of many, many parts. Almost all of these parts live in our subconscious and unconscious and powerfully influence daily decisions, thoughts, feelings, actions and beliefs. The majority of these pieces of our personality came into existence when we were very young, some before we were able to speak.

These personality pieces run similar to a software program on a computer. Software does well for what it is designed for but it becomes outdated. For example, the other day I tried to load and play an old DOS game for my son called JetFighter I. All of our computers at home run on Windows 98SE or Windows XP. The game wouldn't run and even crashed the system on one pc. Was the game trying to cause harm? Absolutely not. It was doing exactly what it was designed for, except that the environment, in this case the operating system, had changed from DOS to Windows.

When our environment shifts enough that some of our old ways of operating become outdated, this is when we decide it's time to change, grow or add some other skill set to our tool box. Unfortunately, for many, this transition is not as smooth as we'd like and these old parts of the personality just seem to show up, blocking progress.

Lynn grew up in a verbally, sometimes physically, violent home. Her parents were constantly arguing and fighting. As a protective mechanism, she instinctively went into a state of high alert so as not to be caught off guard in any potentially threatening situations. A part of her personality stepped forward and took the role of "Protector." This was a beautiful, automatic, self-preserving response which served to protect and keep Lynn safe.

Lynn is now an adult. She's bigger physically, has a black belt in Karate, is the mother of 3 children and works in the professional world. The "Protector" part of her personality is still quite active, but she is no longer in an environment where this part is needed full time. She struggles with sweats, panic attacks, improper breathing and frequent thoughts which inspire fear. The worst part is that she is mentally aware that her high alert status does not match her surrounding situation, therefore she persecutes herself for thinking, acting and feeling the way she does.

The steps I used to help Lynn in this area are as follows. The order of the steps are very important.

  1. I invited her to name this part of her personality.

  2. Lynn defined the purpose of the Protector and guessed at about what time in her life it came into existence.

  3. I had Lynn verbally and mentally affirm this part of her personality for the positive, guarding role it took in her life. This was a very difficult piece to do since she had hated this part of herself for so long. It was like a tearful homecoming.

  4. After acknowledging and honoring the Protector's purpose, she wrote down the current consequences which come from this part of herself. She explained them internally and out loud.

  5. Lynn then wrote down the 'new program' of operation she wanted for the Protector to take. Remember, these parts of our personalities serve us, not the other way around.

  6. Once clear about what type of role she wanted the Protector to take from this point forward, she created a statement of affirmation and intention and recited it daily for several weeks.

She began to notice significant changes in her physical relaxation and in her thinking. The panic attacks are now gone and she's a much happier and energetic individual nowadays.

Make the decision today to apply these steps to bring honor and peace to what has felt like a war-torn internal world.


Dave Turo-Shields (email)
Veteran Psychotherapist, Trainer & Life Coach

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"I have faced the enemy, only to find out that it has been my friend and servant all along."

Dave T-S

News Update

I apologize about the time lapse between issues of Feeling Great!  There are several things going on, so let me catch you up.

First, I had a horrible spam problem which is now taken care of.  Can I get an alleluia? 

I have also taken the plunge and bought a new pc, with Windows XP on it.  So, there was the learning curve and all the piles of software to load up.  

My wife and I have developed and have been leading a marital enhancement series at our church.  It's been great fun!

Additionally, I am working on a self-help software program with a colleague and this will be taking up a good bit of time.

My newsletters may be a bit sporadic as I continue to try and update my main two websites and work on the self-help software program.  

The great news for you loyal subscribers is that you will be among the first to have the chance to beta test the software once we have a working version of it.  So stay tuned!!

Your friend,

Dave Turo-Shields 

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