Rio Chama Publications

The Rio Chama Blog

The blog page offers holistic information regarding all facets of healing—be it emotional, spiritual, mental, or physical. We welcome your participation: email us your questions and comments regarding posted information or add a comment to the blog.

What does "Giving Tuesday" mean?

A few days ago I discovered the Tuesday following Thanksgiving is now in its fifth year of being designated as Giving Tuesday--an international day of giving whether via monetary donations or giving of one's time. This coincided with reading an article about quadruplets born in Canada last May--an event that involves giving in several ways.

In December of 2015 when  Bethani and Tim Webb went to the doctor and an ultasound was performed they discovered Bethani was pregnant with four baby girls--something that occurs one in 729,000 pregnancies! Furthermore later it was discovered the girls were identical which means  that one egg had split three ways -- this occurs one time in 15 million!!

Bethani and Tim who were in their early twenties married in June of 2015.  Their initial excitement about having a baby quickly turned to panic with news of quadruplets.   Bethani was convinced there had been a mistake.  Tim said "When they said there were four, I nearly fainted."  When asked who would change the diapers, he said "Her--I have a weak stomach and can't change diapers." Further he exclaimed "Living with five girls--YIKES!. I don't know what I'm going to do." Later he joked about building a private ourthouse just for himself. ( quadruplets)

The couple lives in a Canadian town of 821 people. Since they lived in a small apartment, they moved in with Tim's mother who is thrilled to have four granddaughters. Of significance is once the girls were born panicky feelings were replaced by Tim saying he felt overwhemingly awesome and blessed the babies were here. Bethani now says she can't imagine life without  them.

Not only did the initial shock of being a family of six wear off, the parents welcomed their four daughers with open hearts. An online fundraising page was set up as well as companies donating items.  Most helpful is how town residents have been coming  to help with diaper-changing, feedings, and baths--a superb example of giving one's time.

It's been said it take a village to raise a chilid--in this case four girls with assistance from the community they live in not just on Giving Tuesday but day after day and most likely for a number of years. As they are cared for it becomes increasingly evident how each baby girl  has a distinct personality. To tell the girls apart the parents paint the girls' toenails different shades as well as having their ears pierced and each wearing a different colored earring.

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Are you jealous or envious?

Many folks do not know the difference between jealousy and envy. Envy is the desire to possess what someone else posseses such as heath, beauty or money which in and of itself is more benign than jealousy because it usually does not involve acting-out behaviors. In fact in some instances it motivates a person to improve themselves by choosing a healthier life style, a more lucrative job, or improving thenselves  in some way.

On the other hand, jealousy is an emotional reaction to a threat of losing something or someone. For example jealousy often occurs in relationships yet is difficult to admit and also hard to talk about. In a study conducted by two psycholgoists at the University of South Carolina (Psychology Today, November/December 2016) it was reported that actions such as putting your arm around a spouse at a party or helping a partner's cute coworker draws a partner back in.  Furthermore it was found that indivduals were more commited to the relationship after a partner took such mate-guarding actions. The researchers concluded a little jealousy can benefit a relationship while too much jealousy potentially has bad implicatons.  Dealing with jealousy requires admitting to one's feelings rather than deliverying accusations--such as stating "I feel jealous when I see how others are attracted to and interact with you and I want you to talk to me the same way you talk to them." In addition couples need to assess what may be missing in their relationship and work toward incorporating new ways of being together.

Habits of people who never get jealous (HuffingtonPost, 2/04/2015) are: #1 They have a sense of self-worth #2 They celebrate other's successes #3 They take stock of their blessings #4 They know when to unplug from social media #5 They don't seek approval from other people #6 They don't focus on labels #7 They surround themselves with trustworhty people #8 They don't compare themselves to others. Notice how these habits are characterstics of individuals who function at stage 6 and higher of the ten stages of ego growth. If you are not yet familiar with these  growth stages, now is a perfect time to acquaint yourself.  Grow Up Your Ego is loaded with information that will improve your life in many ways including establishing enduring healthy relationships.


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Jeannette M. Gagan
Your comment aptly points out how one can act out like a hot-head when jealousy isn't understood and addressed which may endanger... Read More
Monday, 31 October 2016 17:46
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Stress is a substantial factor of 21st century life and with the holidays approaching its intensity mounts. In addition to routine tasks, plans for parties and gatherings require shopping for food and gifts, perhaps cleaning the house, and trying to navigatae preparing for guests or to be the guests of others in a cordial way. Family members and friends may not get along--perhaps the biggest challenge of all. For some anxiety about the holidays occurs because they are ill, live alone or in some way incapacitated and have few or no friends or family to be with.

How to relax is the major question which can be answered by referring to vast scientific evidence that shows how the relaxation response counteracts the consequences of stress and quiets the nervous system. Being in such a relaxed state involves a narrowed focus to the exclusion of everything else which provides an atmosphere of trust. And within the bounds of such an experience, our innermost vulnerabilites and potentials can be unconditionally embraced, which stimualtes the growth of healthy nerve cells in our brains. And without our knowing this growth often happens when we are in nature. Who doesn't know the delights of an open field or wooded area in which a flowing creek sings, the gentle wind murmurs, and trees offer up their soothing protection? Our connection to nature is primal and use of it can heal anxiety and tone down the effects of stress.

Thus the answer to the question is: if possible once a day take a walk in nature, sit in a comfortable place and allow your focus to absorb the quieting influence of Mother Nature. If you are unable to walk you can sit in a comfortable chair or lie on a bed and imagine youself in nature. It may be a place you visited previously, or one you've seen in a movie, video, or a painting on the wall. As you quiet your mind and breathe in the energy of Mother Nature, the relaxation response takes over as you experience the beauty, comfort, safety and peace of this natural state. It's a marvelous event that in this relaxed state you not only reduce the effects of stress, but also stimulate growth of new healthy brain cells!

Recent Comments
Jeannette M. Gagan
Thank you Mary--May this information be of help to many readers!
Monday, 30 November 2015 14:20
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This blog describes how individuals advance from one ego-growth stage to the next.

Charles--a thirty-year-old civil engineer had a problem. Even though he thought he had figured everything out--a good education, a lucrative salary, the best restaurants to go to, what church to attend, what kind of women to date, where to vacation and so on, he wasn't satisfied. A closer look at Charles' behaviors and attitudes revealed how he copied behaviors of his social group because having their acceptance was important to him; he identified with and adhered to a higher authority; he emphasized gender roles; he believed there is a right way and wrong way that is the same for everyone; he was preoccupied with appearance, material things, and reputation; he over-valued friendliness and niceness; and thought of life and relationships in simplistic terms: good/bad, always/never.

When Charles went to a psychotherapist with the complaint of his dissatisaction with life--a dissastisfaction that bordered on a full-blown depression, he learned how his way of thinking and functioning needed to be considered as possible causes. Heeding the therapist's advice he scheduled another appointment and also checked out a copy of Grow Up Your Ego: Ten Scientifically Validated Stages to Emotional and Spiritual Maturity from the local library.  Consequently when he read the description of the fifth stage of ego growth--that of the Conformist stage it was a BINGO event. At his next therapy session he announced he was ready to move from the Conformist stage to the sixth Self-Aware stage since he was experiencing a growing sense of an inner life that triggered questions about existence, relationships and behavior patterns. Needless to say the psychotherapist was pleased as they launched into new territory of Charles learning to appreciate multiple possiblities in situations; believing there are exceptions to rules; seeking out alternatives in difficult situations; and having an increasing acceptance of individual differences.

So are you like a conforming Charles, a more self-aware Charles, or perhaps stationed at the seventh conscientious stage whereby you measure achievements by your own inner standards; are committed to self-improvement and establishment of long term goals; self-critical but not self-rejecting; and understand that mutual relationships are complex. Or possibly you are in the more advanced stages of ego growth. To discover your stage, purchase a copy of Grow Up Your Ego and go for it! And good luck!!

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This blog describes how to handle anger in the most constructive way.

Alice worked as an accountant for a large corporation and thoroughly enjoyed her job. However, when a new person was hired to replace the department supervisor who was retiring, Alice's job situation took a downturn. Not only was the new supervisor impatient when his demands weren't met, he would vent his anger by ranting and raving. After several weeks of working under these tyrannical conditions, Alice began to have trouble sleeping and experienced nightmares. In an attempt to address the situation she went to the human resource department of the comapny and explained what was occurring. When she was asked if she had spoken to the supervisor about her dilemma, she replied no and stated her reluctance was due to fear. At that point the counselor suggested she read about anger and suggested several books. Alice checked Grow Up Your Ego out from the library and discovered a section on assertiveness in the sixth chapter on emotions. In fact she learned a great deal about emotions including how natural and important they are along with appropriate ways to express them without harming herself or others. After practicing an assertiveness message prior to going to work, she went to the supervisor's office and forthrightly told him she was experiencing considerable frustration when he lost his temper and requested that when he had a problem with her performance that he do so in a calm way. Much to her surprise the next time he needed to speak with her about something she had done incorrectly, he called her into the office, left the door open and in a poised, quiet way explained the problem and asked for her suggestions as to how the difficulty could be corrected. When she gave her input they reached an agreement as to how the situation could be resolved. Relieved she left his office and at the same time felt concern he would resort to his old ways. Such was not the case for in ensuing instances the supervisor maintained his demeanor and in fact a feeling of mutual respect began to develop between the two. Needless to say, the learning Alice acquired regarding emotions inluding anger not noly kept her from quitting her job, but also improved her relationships with family and friends. She now recommends the book to others.

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