Fireside Chats Learn to Know yourself Like yourself Empower yourself to face life constructively and purposefully

ow you are ready to explore the lessons personally and privately.  Not to worry, they are offered in a progressive sequence that, though the subject is complex (life is complex), will be offered as a journey that starts simple and grows slowly into the complexity.  You will feel enlightened and empowered, not because of what they say to you, but because of how you will begin to see things that once seemed obscure and impossible.


ust remember that an unknown can seem huge and overwhelming to anyone, but as it becomes more understandable, it seems smaller and less intimidating.  Yet it has not changed. What has changed is you, your understanding.  This is the thrust of the lessons you will examine here.


ince these lessons are intended to take you through a journey of self-discovery and self-realization, they will not give you specific directions.  Instead, your progressively greater understanding of yourself and of your reality will gradually allow you to build the strength to face life with greater authority.  The fears and insecurities or disinterests that may have driven you to resort to the substances or activities that give artificial relief will be less and, therefore, less bothersome.  This will be a progressive state, so do not look for immediate results.  Rather, results will come gradually and often inconspicuously.


ll of these lessons are available free to you.  If your counselor feels comfortable explaining them, you can simply discuss  your interpretations and applications with him/her.  If you wish to supplement your regular meetings with an occasional or established interaction with us, please use the link below and book at least an initial appointment.


eanwhile, enjoy and be empowered.

Live Assistance

You may wish to have a private session with us either as a supplement to your counselor’s work with you or as an analytic insight into your inner conflicts. We offer online counseling that is very interactive and realistic explaining how to interpret and apply the techniques you have studied and working with you to reach your goal of purposeful life management. Examine and book it here.


I see myself as a little boy walking on the seashore diverting myself by now and again picking up a smoother pebble or prettier shell when, all along, the vast ocean of knowledge lies undiscovered before me. Sir Isaac Newton.



Have you ever seen a person who has never been in a canoe before try to canoe? It looks like an exercise in frustration. He sits awkwardly on one of the seats and gingerly paddles, first on the right, and then on the left. On a smooth lake, it may even seem to be a pleasant exercise though somewhat overdone. Now suppose such a person sets out bravely enjoying a glassy-smooth lake early one morning. The zigzag path doesn’t concern him as he stays close to shore or secure within a small bay.

Now let us suppose that a young teenager with a fast motor boat zooms by close to this intrepid but inexperienced canoeist. What happens next is not difficult to visualize. The canoe rocks and may even capsize. What does he do?  GET FULL HANDOUT

Every individual, every human being is equal to every other in having the same responsibility to manage ourselves in this world of immense biological, mechanical and social activity. Every individual is equal to every other person in having the same two categories of management options. One is proactive management that comes when we have conscious, rational understanding of the situation to be managed.

This is a Secure Reality, or a reality in which we feel emotionally secure. The other is reactive management that we use when we do not understand the situation fully. Then, we are in an Insecure Reality or a reality in which we will feel emotionally insecure and act immaturely no matter how intelligent or experienced we may be. Thus, the difference is not a secure or insecure person, a well or sick one, or a good or bad one, but there is a person who can be in a secure or insecure reality at different times.


Self-Esteem is an awareness of self as an existent or entity that is whole, complete, valuable, one who fits in with the reality he/she occupies.

Because there is not any initial self-awareness when a person is born, every child starts life without self-esteem. A child, and subsequently a youth, builds a personal vision of self that is based on attributes that appear to define and present them as the independent and respectable or acceptable individual. Therefore Self-Esteem is low when the attributes that the child can reach to define a value of self are unfavorable, disordered, or fragile. Think about it.

Let us now examine this carefully so we can understand the individual with low or fragile Self-Esteem and also see how to fix it. Perhaps no other self-help topic has spawned so much advice and so many (often conflicting) theories. They falter because they focus on building or replacing those visible attributes, not on the science of a deeper definition of self. So please allow me to walk you through an abstract examination of this dilemma. READ MORE




This is a discourse on how to look at life objectively. It requires and prepares you to view your stresses less as impositions that hurt or impede survival and more as challenges that can be used to stimulate and empower. This process of seeing life objectively from an observer state is that of self-actualization.

To be an authority in an area that is obscure, one must first understand obscurity.   Emotions are obscure. We cannot truly measure them. Yet they influence every area of our ability to act, recover from an unhealthy state, or go forward with confidence and authority managing our own lives.  Emotions are, however, simply the way we feel about ourselves. When we do not feel comfortable, capable, or safe in a particular situation or state, our emotions become frayed. When we feel capable, comfortable, or safe, emotions are balanced, even if those feelings are delusive.

No one needs to treat a balanced emotional state. We only need to treat the unbalanced one. And we can feel unbalanced or unstable for two reasons. On the one hand, it occurs when the stresses of life seem overwhelming, overbearing – whatever they are.  On the other hand, it can occur even in a familiar or apparently safe situation, when we are weakened by personal limitations – from lack of knowledge to illness that makes knowledge inaccessible. Of course, when both happen at the same time, the imbalance is at its peak.

To really save yourself, therefore, you have to know what causes too much stress, not only for yourself, but for anyone. In other words, you have to be almost an expert on the nature of stress as an obscure phenomenon that can be released in the form of – a breakdown of a situation you need to be stable, an unkind word, rejection, imposed expectations that are beyond you, criticism, or interruptions in personal health or stamina.

This part of the course will lead you to examine life as a perpetually changing paradigm of components that can make any event, any task significantly different from a more familiar state, and thus more stressful. You will see how this can play out, in the challenges of work and domestic responsibilities, in those from social interaction, and those that come from physical health and wellbeing. It will also examine another obscurity. This is the depth of your capabilities as an intelligent life-form, how this is developed and can be re-energized or re-activated. You will do it by  examining yourself from a theoretical perspective. Remember, you will be travelling down a path of responsibility and self-realization that is quite unfamiliar and difficult no matter how intelligent or urbane you may seem to be. It is important to see that, when anyone is moving from, say 1 to 100 and they reach 5, the observer sees only 4% improvement. Yet you have improved 400% from 1.


Self Respect is the ability to maintain dignity in the face of stress, rejection, criticism, or any activity that can erode one`s value systems. In a world of imposing immensity and persistent change, the forces that can strike at anyone`s value systems can be extreme, unprecedented, and persistent. Yet, we cannot contain or control those external events. There is no special stress that will always threaten every person. What threatens is the difference between what is imposed and the strength of the systems defining the person facing those impositions. If something destroys the systems that create value and define self, then it can destroy us. GET FULL HANDOUT




This is a discourse on how to elevate yourself above life and, with that, to look at life objectively. It requires and prepares you to see yourself as different and more versatile than the capricious reality you occupy, and view your stresses less as impositions that hurt or impede survival and more as challenges that can be used to stimulate and build the power of self. This process of seeing life objectively from an observer state is that of self-actualization.

To be confident and purposeful in life, one must first understand purpose.   Our purpose in life cannot be to live.  We have no control over that.  And that as a purpose is beneath us.  All living creatures are consummed with that need.  We are above that.

Consider that the main and perhaps only concern a wild animal has is to get food and to not be food. The human being, on the other hand seems focused on a variety of intellectual pursuits.  We can build a house and dam a river as do others but at a more sophisticated level. We, however, cook, clean, write, read, compose music, explore science and examine the world, beneath it, and above it to an extent that we cannot do just by using our bodies and five senses.  In sort, we have the ability to think, to create ideas and to implement them. We can examine and understand conditions before they happen and even influence how they happen.

Does every human being do that? No, but every human being has the capacity to do that. We are all born with the animal instincts of fight, fright, flight, submit. Yet, we are also all born with the rudimentary mind but with the ability to build and strengthen it to any range or reach.  To achieve that, we need the guidance, encouragement, and discipline to apply ourselves.  Discipline is ours to use or reject.  We use it if we have the incentive.  We hope that, in this section will show you how to get that incentive.  We will attempt to do it by showing you a purpose that both demands your intelligent focus and gives you a pleasure you cannot equate with any physical, chemical, or social advantage.


The need to communicate effectively in a marriage or family unit is perhaps one of the most challenging responsibilities we must face today. It is a responsibility because a relationship is the most dynamic area of life, dynamism that is based on the hidden, individual thoughts, desires and feelings of the people involved. People think constantly. Their thoughts are generated in directions that are influenced by past experiences, present perceptions and personal feelings. In today`s complex social, economic and mechanical world, no one`s total past experience equals anyone else`s. There may be some overlap, but the specific conditions that form any particular experience is entirely unique, and therefore specific to the person influenced by them. In addition, every situation is so multifaceted that two people observing the same event can have two very different perceptions. And, of course, forces that are unique to that individual at that time evoke personal feelings. So, the thoughts of another person are generated by such a unique combination of factors that they are without precedent. There is no knowledge of any event, issue, or existent that is common to all observers. No one, man, woman, or child, can be presumed to have a thought or opinion that is predictably based on any single social, cultural, religious, or ethnic factor. A man does not think specific to his gender. Neither does a woman.


If management can be defined as the process of reaching a state of equilibrium with a task or responsibility, then life as a whole is a management challenge! It is management because, in order to succeed or at the least survive, we are required to achieve an equilibriumWe live in times of great change. No one has been adequately prepared for the disruptions this brings daily in our jobs, family life, health, personal relationships, or the social interactions within the multicultural melting pots of our urban centres. It is natural then that the personal strengths we have learned to rely on will inevitably become stretched, even to breaking point. The result is that accountable people have time only to put out fires and many of us are beginning to fail at out jobs or relationships, addicted to the substances and activities that offer trivial respite, or lost in emotional angst we cannot escape long enough before the next stress arrives. These Unhealthy Moods and Inappropriate Behaviours can severely jeopardize our social, material, or physical wellbeing. We need to understand them before we try to fix them, or we will be left going around in circles and getting results only for trivial moments. with the many things and people that form our environment. It is a challenge because, regardless of how well we may have managed one issue, change creates a disequilibrium requiring another effort at success or survival. In order, therefore, to be successful at any aspect of life – career, health, or relationships – we must first accept the responsibility as managers of our own lives. Then we must look at how this can be achieved most effectively in the highly volatile conditions we face today.





We propose that nobody is inherently bad or sick or purposefully wrong.

What we show is that everyone operates sometimes in darkness, and sometimes in clarity.

When anyone is acting in places of clarity that person will act appropriately, and with consideration. An inappropriate response is simply a natural physiological response when the rational mind is operating in a state of darkness.

Therefore, a person who responds inappropriately should not be treated as wrong or sick first. He/she should be recognized as being insufficiently enlightened and simply falling back to basic instincts.

We cannot judge someone who is operating out of a dark place and punish them for being wrong, treat them for being sick, or fix them with our solutions. We have to first discover their darkness by uncovering the areas of enlightenment, and offer to “turn on their light”. A person can only be judged unworthy if that person refuses to build enlightenment.

This technique is based on the understanding that all humans are souls, born rudimentary – in darkness – but invited to build the power of that soul. We owe it to those who seek our counsel to give them at least that fighting chance.

This is what Prometheus did. He defied Zeus who was angry with man and took fire from man as punishment, leaving them in darkness.  Prometheus stole fire from heaven and taught it to man – the sign of enlightenment. Of course the part easily remembered is that Prometheus was punished by being tied to a rock and the ravens came nightly and ate his liver. The next day the liver will grow back making a continuous feast for the ravens and continuous pain for Prometheus. But he did a good deed. He was the god of wisdom. He gave us the fire of enlightenment.

As a person who was once caught in the throes of an addiction or a behavioural health crisis, you will have learned that you are first a human being.  You are and can be as normal as can anyone.  I hope that you have come to realize that your past indiscretions were normal responses of the limbic system, an area of the brain that is your back-up.  It comes and did come into play because your intelligent/psycho/social/spiritual capacity was not sufficiently awakened.  If you have now achieved that awakening, believe in yourself because you are as capable as anyone.  Take authority and manage yourself and your world with intelligence, consideration, and conviction that comes from within.  You can make intelligent decisions as does anyone, and you can make mistakes as does anyone.  Forgive your mistakes and go with a desire to always improve yourself.

You may not have taken away any specific pearls of wisdom from this course, but you will notice that you are already seeing things differently, projecting yourself differently.  I hope it will give you satisfaction and a greater influence where you can make your presence felt. Take great pleasure in your life. It is here to build you, to form and shape you not to be formed and shaped by you.

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