The Friday Dose #24

419 Relax and Succeed - We make a living by what we get

We all see chances to do it every single day. Chance after chance after chance. If we only took one or two per day we would literally change the world. We would set a different kind of example for kids. Instead of teaching them to shop for more stuff we could teach them to express themselves through kind and generous acts. This isn’t hard. And it’s far from painful. It feels awesome. Generous people aren’t generous because they’re stupid. It’s because they’re selfish. They know it feels fantastic to help another human being. Or even an animal or the planet itself. Despite what advertising tells you, it feels good to share and to not be driven all the time by want. Take a look at these wonderful examples. And I hope you’ll use them as inspiration in your own life:

Random Acts of Kindness


I have a lot of people come to me on SSRIs or other pharmaceuticals that they would like to stop taking, either because they feel dependent, or because they can’t make certain connections in life, as in cases with people who are artists but cannot access their creative self, or people who lose interest in their relationships or in sex. I only have my own views on this subject and I can certainly clear the air in the sense that if people learn to control their thinking better then they do tend to know more certainly what they want to do about medications. But there are a lot of datapoints worth taking in in the debate. Here’s a recent interview on the subject. If you’ve been thinking about quitting too, this will likely interest you:

Robert Whitaker on the Evidence Behind Antidepressant Drugs


There’s a lot of you that think you’re pretty clear-headed. That you’re pretty kind and fair-minded and that you’re a do-the-right-thing kind of person. But the difference between us is that I know I fall into ego all the time and I say and do and chase and avoid all kinds of things that are entirely foolish. But because I know that, I do that less than you. I’m humble. I’m on guard. I know I’ll slip, so I aim toward keeping my attention—my consciousness—focused on the moment I’m in. Here’s one example of something that might make you too uncomfortable. Something that you would have thoughts about that would prevent you from relaxing into love. It’s worth thinking about. There’s a lot of life experience on the other side of our fears.



Focus on the many things you have to be grateful for. Share your gratitude with the world through your smile, your kind words and your thoughtful gestures. Cause the world to be a better place because you are making it that way with the verb of your life. There’s nothing like it. It truly feels wonderful even when it doesn’t. Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

peace. s

The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Save these for when you’re feeling low and you want to change your perspective. They’ll help Enjoy. And please let me know if you bump into any broken links. Thanks!

Tortured by Weight

Can you write about over-eating? And I don’t mean eating disorders or people with actual medical issues, I mean people like me. People who eat as a way of coping with stress. I’m sitting here again at my desk today with a drawer full of unhealthy food and this really
has to stop before I start looking like the hippo my dragon mom is so worried about.

Tortured by Weight

Dear Tortured,

You have my condolences on having the Dragon Mom. I’m sure she’ll whip you toward some material success but, as you note, she might kill your spirit in the process. You can’t manufacture kids to meet specifications, you can only cultivate their seeds in an effort to help them realize their potential. All else will carry the sort of tension that leads to one having a drawer full of candy.376 Relax and Succeed - What a strange illusion

Let’s start with your Mom. Over time she has implanted ideas in your head that you are not worthy as yourself and you must achieve certain physical or material or social status and then you will become worthwhile. But your Mom is crazy and she’s lying to you. She didn’t mean to be crazy or to lie but she absolutely is. But she’s doing it just as innocently as you are. She got taught to do it and now you’re learning it too, and if you’re not careful you’ll extend that to your potential children in the very same way, so I’m glad you wrote. Let’s stop this unhealthy manufacturing before it pollutes too much of the environment.

I’m not worried about your weight. If we get you mentally healthy your weight will become whatever is natural for you. If people outside of you want to judge that then the problem isn’t with your weight—their problem is their judgment. So forget about weight and focus on health. What’s important is that you’re experiencing stress. Your reaction is just a symptom. We don’t battle symptoms on this blog, we focus on root causes.

It’s highly likely that the sneaking of food (it is in a drawer, hidden after all) was also taught by your Mom or someone she influenced, like a sister. It doesn’t really matter what the specifics of the math is, but the formula is essentially the same: if your mom was made to be ashamed of her weight and to feel guilty about eating then she would hide her eating and in doing so she would subtly teach the behaviour to you. You likely hold the phone the same way as your Mom, you likely speak, walk and stand like her too. You’re likely to buy the same brands—or avoid them—for the very same reasons. So this action isn’t you, it’s what you were programmed to do.

376 Relax and Succeed - I need to be skinnierEating is done for nourishment and/or joy. You have the caloric and nutrient value on one side, and you have taste and social interaction on the other. So there’s nothing wrong with eating per se. It’s necessary, important and worthwhile. But you want to eat in a way that enriches your life and not in a way that detracts from your life.

What you essentially have is an addiction. Not to food, but to the act of eating. This is much more like smoking than you might realize. Nicotine isn’t why most smokers can’t quit. The chemical aspect is relatively short-lived, the problem is in their thinking. They have triggers that will cue them to smoke. Times of day, collections of co-workers or friends, locations etc. etc. Smoking is weaved into their lives and they feel odd and “wrong” if they’re not doing it. This “wrongness” is merely a reaction to a thought dead-ending. It’s an actual sensation. You can feel it, as though you have left something out. If you always drive with your seatbelt, it’s like when you go to a foreign country that doesn’t have them—you almost feel naked riding in a car without one after the habit is formed. We wouldn’t say I’m addicted to seat belts and we wouldn’t run out to find a seat belt dealer on some dark corner, but it’s really the same thing. I have something my brain is used to and if it’s not there it notes the absence and I interpret that notation as discomfort.

So it might be helpful to figure out what your triggers are. Work stress, maybe mirrors, maybe a slim co-worker, maybe even a phone call from your Mom. However you slice it, your brain is very selectively collecting information all day long, and something you collect incites you to eat. Maybe you and I walk down a hallway where you work and I notice the pattern of the tiles on the floor and you notice and analyze the weight of the girl walking in front of us and you use your thoughts to compare yourself (likely unfavourably) to her. Start paying more attention to your thinking and you’ll find your triggers. But you need to get into the habit of actually actively listening to the narratives that make up your ego.

376 Relax and Succeed- Food is the most abused anxiety drugUsually before someone can simply Be healthy they need to un-ego their ego by arguing it out of existence. This act is meditation. You see that you are not over-eating, you are free and you are choosing to eat out of a kind of mimicry and blind repetition. You need to recognize this freedom and slowly break the habit by doing otherwise. This can be done in a variety of ways—maybe your reaction to these motivating thoughts are always met with a debate. Maybe you substitute another behaviour like exercise. It doesn’t really matter what you choose, as long as you’re breaking the unconscious pattern and challenging it, then you are rewiring the matrix in your brain that is this habit. You won’t be “getting healthy” though, you’ll just be “living differently.” The value judgments exist only in your consciousness—they are not things in and of themselves. Someone can eat creme pastries for every meal and die of heart disease at a young age, but if they enjoyed every minute of that then they got more joy out of life than most people do. There’s no right or wrong way to live, there’s just the way you choose and its consequences.

Can you see that you can’t sit there are try not to eat? Because that’s another way of thinking about eating, and that’s your actual problem. You have to change your thinking, not your eating habits. Otherwise you’re getting the cart before the horse. Simply put, you eat because you tell yourself to. You stop by telling yourself to do something else instead. Everything works that way. And yes, it really is that easy. The reason most people don’t try it is because they think the solution must be hard because they perceive that they have a big problem rather than a small thought issue.

I’m sorry your Mom got loaded with these crazy ideas and I’m sorry she downloaded them into you. I don’t even have to see you know you are divinely beautiful and worthwhile. You don’t need to achieve anything to be acceptable, you were acceptable when the universe deigned to collect a bunch of atomic-star-bits and 376 Relax and Succeed - You are beautifulassemble them into the energy-being that is you. Your existence alone is proof of your value. There is nothing you need from outside yourself, you just need to have a true sense of how miraculous it is that you exist at all. It’s a stunning gift that we all take so much for granted.

Eat because it tastes good. Exercise because it feels good. Enjoy other people’s company while you do both. But your thoughts about food and your thoughts about your value cannot be fixed by changing things in the outside world. Health is an internal issue. It’s a state of mind. And you don’t achieve it by wanting to be healthy because want is the core of the ego’s problem. You don’t become healthy, you realize health. You do that by refusing to think the thoughts of a person you are not. You are not the computer program your Mother programmed into your memory. You are the computer itself, and you can change your software whenever you become conscious that you are the hardware and not the software.

You are a flexing, changing, malleable, incredible being and yet you are talking as though you are some weak and fractured creature. This is a classic case of thinking small. Yeah, your Mom will still have her thoughts about how you look. But that’s her issue. She lives with those judgments. Let her have them. But don’t consume them yourself without checking to see how healthy they are. Because that’s about as helpful as a drawer full of candy.

peas. s 😉

The Friday Dose #10 – Guides for Life

We’ll start this week’s Dose off with a nice concise listing of healthy approaches to life. I’m sometimes reluctant to post blogs because I often only read the one I am posting and I have no idea if I might entirely disagree with their other blog entries. But this one has a nice breakdown of some good information so no 335 Relax and Succeed - If you don't make timematter where you are in life, if you’re struggling you’ll find yourself on this list somewhere:

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself


And here’s a scientific breakdown of why the bad habits listed above are actually bad for you. There are important truths revealed here if you’re prepared to forget what you believe you know so you can discover what you do not know:

How To Trick Your Brain For Happiness


And if you’re still not feeling like you can find a way to feel good then at least have hope that such a way exists. Because if this guy can build himself an enjoyable, enriching, rewarding life, then I’m entirely confident that you can too:



Let this be the weekend you discover how strong you really are. Have a great weak-end. 😉

peace. s

Losing Weight

I’ve said it before: one of the most insidious forces in human consciousness is advertising. Add to that the limitless motivation of capitalism and you have something really dangerous. Of course everyone believes they aren’t affected by advertising, which is precisely why it works. People watch it assuming they can defend themselves against it, meanwhile it’s busy re-wiring those very same defense mechanisms.

A vicious example of this is diets. I recently came across a woman who spoke from direct experience, and when I read it I immediately thought that my readers would benefit from hearing her story—from seeing what things look like from the other side of the table.

Here, for you, is Iris Higgins piece:

An Open Apology to All of my Weight Loss Clients198 Relax and Succeed - Do the best you can

I worked at a popular weight loss company for 3 years. I loved my job there. I LOVED my clients. I loved making a connection and sharing my knowledge. And I learned a lot about nutrition, about dieting and weight loss and what works and what doesn’t. My job was to be a weight loss consultant, and I learned that job very well. I can design a 1200 calorie meal plan, tell you which activities are most likely to make the number on the scale go down, and how many carbs are in a cup of rice. I can talk the diet game like it’s my business…because it was. Volumize with vegetables. Don’t go too long in between meals. Start with a bowl of broth-based soup. Are you drinking enough water? Did you exercise enough? Did you exercise too much? Let’s look at your food journal…

This is not an anti-weight loss company post (although I could write that too). It’s a letter to each and every woman that I unknowingly wronged. My heart is beating a little bit faster as I write this, and so I know this needs to be said. The words have been playing in my head for months. Sometimes it just takes time for me to get up the courage to say the right thing.

So here goes:

Dear Former Weight Loss Clients (you know who you are):

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry because I put you on a 1200 calorie diet and told you that was healthy. I’m sorry because when you were running 5x a week, I encouraged you to switch from a 1200 calorie diet to a 1500 calorie diet, instead of telling you that you should be eating a hell of a lot more than that. I’m sorry because you were breastfeeding and there’s no way eating those 1700 calories a day could have been enough for both you and your baby. I’m sorry because you were gluten intolerant and so desperate to lose weight that you didn’t put that on your intake form. But you mentioned it to me later, and I had no idea the damage 198 Relax and Succeed - The key to eating healthyyou were doing to your body. I’m sorry because I think I should have known. I think I should have been educated better before I began to tell all of you what was right or wrong for your body.

I’m sorry because I made you feel like a failure and so you deliberately left a message after the center had closed, telling me you were quitting. I thought you were awesome and gorgeous, and I’m sorry because I never told you that. I’m sorry because you came in telling me you liked to eat organic and weren’t sure about all the chemicals in the food, and I made up some BS about how it was a “stepping stone.” I’m sorry because many of you had thyroid issues and the LAST thing you should have been doing was eating a gluten-filled, chemically-laden starvation diet. I’m sorry because by the time I stopped working there, I wouldn’t touch that food, yet I still sold it to you.

I’m sorry because it’s only years later that I realize just how unhealthy a 1200 calorie diet was. I stayed on a 1200-1500 calorie diet for years, so I have the proof in myself. Thyroid issues, mood swings, depression, headaches…oh and gluten intolerance that seemed to “kick in” after about a month of eating the pre-packaged food. Was it a coincidence? Maybe.

I’m sorry because you had body dysmorphic disorder, and it was so painful to hear the things you said about yourself. You looked like a model, and all of my other clients were intimidated by you, asked me why you were there because clearly you didn’t need to lose weight. And yet you would sit in my office and cry, appalled that a man might see you naked and be disturbed by the fat that didn’t actually exist. I’m sorry because you should have been seeing a therapist, not a weight loss consultant.

198 Relax and Succeed - It is no measureI’m sorry because you were young and so beautiful and only there because your mother thought you needed to lose weight. And because there were too many of you like that. Girls who knew you were fine, but whose mothers pushed that belief out of you until you thought like she did. Until you thought there was something wrong with you. And the one time I confronted your mother, you simply got switched to a different consultant. I think I should have made more of a stink, but I didn’t. I’m sorry because you were in high school and an athlete, and I pray that you weren’t screwed up by that 1500 calorie diet. Seriously, world? Seriously? A teenage girl walks in with no visible body fat and lots of muscle tone, tells you she’s a runner and is happy with her weight…but her mother says she’s fat and has to lose weight and so we help her do just that. As an individual, as women, as a company, hell, as a nation, we don’t stand up for that girl? What is wrong with us? There ain’t nothing right about that. Nothing.

I’m sorry because every time you ate something you “shouldn’t” or ate more than you “should,” I talked about “getting back on the bandwagon.” I cringe now every time someone uses that phrase. When did the way we eat become a bandwagon? When did everyone stop eating and become professional dieters? I’m sorry because I get it now. If you’re trying to starve your body by eating fewer calories than it needs, of course it’s going to fight back. I used to tell you that then, when you wanted to eat less than 1200 calories a day. The problem was, I thought 1200 was enough. I thought that was plenty to support a healthy body. Why did I believe that for so long? I’m sorry because I wasn’t trying to trick you or play games to get your money. I believed the lies we were fed as much as you did.

And it wasn’t just the company feeding them to me. It was the doctors and registered dietitians on the medical advisory board. It was the media and magazines confirming what I was telling my 198 Relax and Succeed - Just eat foodclients. A palm-sized portion of lean chicken with half a sweet potato and a salad was PLENTY. No matter that you had “cravings” afterward. Cravings are a sign of underlying emotional issues. Yeah, sure they are. I’m a hypnotherapist with a past history of binge eating disorder. I KNOW cravings are a sign of underlying emotional issues. Except when they’re not. Except when they’re a sign that your body needs more food and you’re ignoring it. Then they’re a sign that your 1200 calorie diet is horseshit. Then they’re a sign that you’ve been played.

And that’s mostly why I’m sorry. Because I’ve been played for years, and so have you, and inadvertently, I fed into the lies you’ve been told your whole life. The lies that say that being healthy means nothing unless you are also thin. The lies that say that you are never enough, that your body is not a beautiful work of art, but rather a piece of clay to be molded by society’s norms until it becomes a certain type of sculpture. And even then, it is still a work in progress.

I owe you an apology, my former client and now friend, who I helped to lose too much weight. Who I watched gain the weight back, plus some. Because that’s what happens when you put someone on a 1200 calorie diet. But I didn’t know. If you’re reading this, then I want you to know that you have always been beautiful. And that all these fad diets are crap meant to screw with your metabolism so that you have to keep buying into them. I think now that I was a really good weight loss consultant. Because I did exactly what the company wanted (but would never dare say). I helped you lose weight and then gain it back, so that you thought we were the solution and you were the failure. You became a repeat client and we kept you in the game. I guess I did my job really well.

And now I wonder, did I do more harm than good? When I left, you all wrote me cards and sent me flowers. I still have those cards, the ones that tell me how much I helped you, how much I cared. But I’m friends with some of you on Facebook now, and I look at your photos and you look happy. And beautiful. And not because you lost weight since I saw you last. But because I see YOU now. You. Not a client sitting in my chair, asking for my assistance in becoming what society wants. But you, a smart and lovely woman, who really doesn’t need some random company telling her there’s something wrong with her.

So198 Relax and Succeed - You are exactly who I’m sorry because when you walked in to get your meal plan, I should have told you that you were beautiful. I should have asked you how you FELT. Were you happy? Did you feel physically fit? Were you able to play with your kids? There were so many of you who never needed to lose a pound, and some of you who could have gained some. And maybe sometimes I told you that. But not enough. Not emphatically. Because it was my job to let you believe that making the scale go down was your top priority. And I did my job well.

I am sorry because many of you walked in healthy and walked out with disordered eating, disordered body image, and the feeling that you were a “failure.” None of you ever failed. Ever. I failed you. The weight loss company failed you. Our society is failing you.

Just eat food. Eat real food, be active, and live your life. Forget all the diet and weight loss nonsense. It’s really just that. Nonsense.

And I can’t stop it. But I can stop my part in it. I won’t play the weight loss game anymore. I won’t do it to my body, and I won’t help you do it to yours. That’s it. End game.

Originally Posted at:


Love yourself the way you are. Have joy and curiosity and courage lead you through life, and let however you look emerge naturally from a life you love. That is true freedom. The freedom to be loved for who you fundamentally are.

Have a wonderful day. And let the beauty within you out. No matter what you weigh.

peace. s

The Trick to Happiness

178 Relax and Succeed - The cells in your bodyThere’s some parts that take longer, but about every seven years or so you’ll have grown an entirely new body. All of your cells would have split and died and there would be a whole new you that emerged cell by cell throughout that time. Take a moment to really think about that. Literally a new you every decade.

On each of those cells are receptors for the neurological-chemicals that are produced on instructions from your thinking. Think a scary thought, your hypothalamus produces the chemistry for fear, and your body reacts by changing your expression, your posture, and your awareness etc.  in a variety of fearful ways.

If you continually bombard yourself with a particular chemistry—your body is smart, it will make your body good at absorbing that chemistry. So in essence, as cells split, the new daughter cell will be better at what you’ve taught the parent cell you want to do. So if you’re in the gym and you’re working on your biceps, then that cell will be really good at gathering all of the necessarily chemical elements to facilitate the growth and strengthening of your muscles. Likewise if you constantly feel victimized, or afraid, or angry, your cells will split being good at that. So you can literally build a body that’s good at 178 Relax and Succeed - You can't live a positive lifebeing angry. Fortunately, you can also build one that’s good at being happy.

This week’s blog links to an article that was featured in UofC Berkeley‘s on line publication, The Greater Good. It talks about how our body naturally adapts to our requests, which in turn points to the importance of us maintaining awareness of our thinking. By making our thoughts more intentional, we can assume a much higher degree of control over whether or not we create and enjoy a full and rewarding life.



peace. s

Imagine What You Can Do

173 Relax and Succeed - Dergin Tomak
Video below

That’s right where it starts. Someone has a single thought. It’s probably the result of some fluke intersection of two or three other ideas in the person’s head, but emerging from that collision of dynamics will be an insight—a new idea.

Having imagined that, a person then realises there are some unforeseen hurdles. But in imagining those, solutions may also appear. This continues on until the person has the first notion to actually attempt to create an idea and then turn it into tangible form or patentable process. Everything starts as a thought. Including our egos. The less we think our selves into existence, the more brainpower we have available to both problem-solve and exercise creativity.

Here’s a case where a man named Dergin Tokmak chose to see a limitation as an opportunity. By developing incredible, artful, stunningly athletic responses to his creative needs, he has proven that every individual brings their own unique perspectives to every aspect of life.

163 Sun1 Relax and Succeed - The journey of a thousand steps

There is no way to live other than fully. Stop worrying. Dive in. It’s fun.
(PS-The second part is even more amazing than the first part.)

Pretty inspiring, huh?

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

Team Hoyt

The Saturday blogs are when I present video or audio materials that may illuminate, educate or inspire your spiritual growth. I know I normally write more as a lead-in to set up the contents, but in this case I will simply say that this is, to me, the single most inspiring video on the internet.
119 Relax and Succeed - If we all did the things we are capable ofLove is indeed a powerful force.


peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.