Create #46: Shock Them. Thank Them.

1. Announcements/Offers

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We’re going to have an AWESOME call to set some awesome, inspiring, motivating, and FUN goals for you for 2007. Dial in from anywhere in the world.

I invite you to join me for this special call/webinar (it’s a teleclass, but we’ll interact over the computer too), and to leave the call ready to really make things happen in 2007.

When: Jan 18, 7pm (EST)

Cost: $19 (100% of this goes to the charity LifeLine International or LifeLine Australia, and is non-refundable)
Friends?: Yes, you can forward them this invite. (motivating your friends increases the chance of you reaching your goals ;-)

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If you can’t make the call: Register anyway and I’ll send you the recording (definitely audio, maybe even video) so you can participate in your own time.

‘How to be Happy’ Paul Lowe 2006
1 CD, 15 tracks, 78 min. Live-recorded talks by Paul Lowe

I’ve gotten so much from Paul’s seminars, and I want to give you the opportunity to hear him, too.

Happiness is not something that can be attained – through wealth, therapy, or relationships. It’s inside every one of us, all of the time.

Paul states: “You have happiness inside you now. Eternal dancing blissful happiness, inside you now … Inside each person there is a something that is unaffected by anything.”

He suggests: “If you are not happy, the intelligent thing is to make [happiness] your priority. Find that place inside you.”

Paul explains how our conditioning obscures our natural state of joy and contentment, and how acceptance of each moment is the key to true happiness.

This CD guides you to a new understanding.

Cost: 15 Euro or 19 USD or 10 GBP. (plus 2 Euro/ 3 USD/ 1,6 GBP for each shipping)

Order by e-mail to Mia at

2. FEATURE: Shock them. Thank them.

I gotta tell you – after 20 years this guy was more than surprised to get a phone call from me!

But I jump ahead of myself…

How much did teachers impact your life? I mean both the good ones, AND the bad ones?

* * *
I was back home with my parents for a couple of weeks, and the subject around the dining table turned to teachers.

I remembered a teacher who was really nasty to me in high school; I clearly remember him telling me loudly in front of a bunch of students: “You’ll amount to nothing in this school, Wood. Nothing.”

Thank goodness I didn’t believe him, and went on to top the school in my final year. But it still had an impact. I shared with my Mum (also a teacher) over dinner how sensitive kids are to teachers’ attitudes towards them.

And then I said: “You know – I was a real pain at school. I mucked around in class, rarely listened, and liked to stir teachers and students alike. But my science teacher (we’ll call him Mr. Fourash to protect his privacy) handled us all really well. He always maintained his dignity, and NEVER said one unkind word to the entire class. He was nothing but supportive to us, no matter how much trouble we gave him – even when he was angry.

“That really means a lot to me, even today, and I probably should have told him.”

Well – the trouble with sending your Mum to the Landmark Forum is you can’t say something like that and get away with it. Next thing I know she’s got the phone book out and is running her finger through it…”Fourash…Fourash…I’m sure he lives…here it is.” And she hands me the number and quietly goes back to her lamb chops!

Now come on – I mean this is 20 years after high school; I haven’t spoken a word to the man or laid eyes on him since I left town 20 years ago, and here I am holding his home phone number, with my mother avoiding eye contact and suddenly interested in the gravy jar.

“Oh what the hell” I said…”There’s only one time to make a call like this, and that’s now.”

So I dialed the number, and as luck would have it he answered straight away. I said, “Hello this is David Wood calling for Mr. Fourash”, and I’ll tell you, it was pretty gratifying to hear him say “David Wood? You mean THE David Wood?” God love him.

So I explained that this was all spur of the moment, and I was sitting at dinner discussing him and on impulse called to tell him what a difference he made to me. I explained that I knew I was a difficult student at times, and quite a few of the teachers had felt threatened by that and tried to ‘bring me down a peg’ or reacted unkindly. But that I had always felt his good will towards me and the class, no matter what, and even to this day it made a difference that an authority figure treated me with kindness and respect, ESPECIALLY when I was difficult.

It was wonderful to reconnect and chat briefly with this lovely man after so many years, and to share how we were both doing, and to wish each other well.

He seemed to really appreciate the call, and I can only imagine that if teaching is your life’s work, it’s gotta feel pretty good to hear from someone out of the blue like that and be fully acknowledged for your contribution. Plus, I felt on top of the world when I got off the phone.

* * *

Who would you write to?

Are you interested in this game?

Think right now – who made a difference in your life? Who would you like to thank?

I don’t expect every reader of this article to pick up the phone. But it’s not so hard to call your school and find someone who would be willing to forward a letter for you if they are not willing to give out the teacher’s address. And there’s always the phone book, or you could place a brief acknowledgement in the local paper of your home town (what a great idea!). Guaranteed someone will pass the word.

I tracked down three teachers and got in touch with them (one from when I was 11 years old, and today I’m writing the teacher I had when I was 7!). If you’d like to see an example, I’ve posted it here.

And of course it doesn’t have to be a teacher. It could be a neighbor, a relative, a police officer, a co-worker, a friend. And it can be someone you knew 10-40 years ago, or someone you see every day now ;-)


1. Choose someone who made a big difference in your life.

2. Track down their phone number or mailing address or email (or a person willing to forward a note).

3. Call or write within the next 7 days.

3. Post on the blog, PLEASE. I’d love to read your stories. We can create our own little chicken soup helping right here.

3. The Personal Touch

I’ve just had one of the hardest times of my life.

I arrived in India for my 5 week ‘guru intensive’, and lasted 4 days. Lack of sleep and exhaustion led to anxiety and panic, and a nasty cycle I couldn’t see my way out of. So I made an emergency exit back to my familiar apartment in New York. (this was the 5th time in 20 years, so not bad averages really ;-)

What caused it? Perhaps the four vaccinations I got the day before leaving New York, taking three times the maximum recommended dosage of something else by mistake, dehydration, the prospect of delving into my inner self, being in busy, poor India where this happened once before, the universe knocking on (well, knocking down) my door to get my attention, or all of the above.

Since the decision to leave India things have kept getting better. Clicking into place. Two weeks later I’m feeling my body back in balance, and the constant anxiety/fear is a manageable murmur.

The good that came of this trip/experience (well, did you expect me to just whine?):

- I have deep empathy for people who suffer from anxiety and/or depression (and a desire to help)

- a new sensitivity to feeling what’s happening in my body, and seeing what ‘it’/me wants

- a new awareness of how sensitive/fragile my operating system can be

- my eyes/heart are open for messages; I’m on a quest to discover what else there is to learn from this

- I FELT deeply and clearly the love and support I have around me, and feel blessed/grateful.

- lots of insights about life, enjoyment, being present (and it’s still in process)

- lots of creative energy and some clarity around my future (advance peek: it involves public speaking, publishing books, tv/radio show, and leveraging people to run a bunch of projects just for fun). If you have any experience you would like to share around anxiety and/or depression, or if you could just use some support, I invite you to post on the blog. I’d love to read it.

Other news:
- launched ICE in November/December and it went really well, after SO much work and time, and that feels good.

- Prospects for 2007 are really good! Top Coaching Techniques launch coming up!

- Have two new amazing best friends (Beth and Ezra), and the darling Kristina is adding so much to my life I’m at times over-whelmed (in a good way;-)

Love, David

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36 Responses to “Create #46: Shock Them. Thank Them.”

  1. Anonymous Says:


    I, too, have suffered sever anxiety attacks as a result of my manic-depression. I believe these attacks are like Yield signs. They are put up to tell us to “Slow down and proceed with caution” because things are getting to be a little too much for us to process all at once. Not that we should NOT proceed, but we just need to slow down a little and take care of ourselves a little more. Even when we intend well, we can be doing too much, particularly if, as you said, we have sensitive operating systems. A blessing in so many ways, but a delicate place to live at times. Blessings to you as you find balance again, and Happy New Year!

  2. Says:

    Perhaps a lesson to be learned is that you don’t need to schedule 5 weeks in India to connect with your inner self. Take time everyday to connect deeply with your emotions.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I too have had a lot happen within a 2 week spread. Put our 15 yr old dog to sleep, mother-in-law passed away the next day, my mother got diagnosed with lung cancer the same day I had to have a complete hysterecomy due to precancerous cells, and my daugher’s lung collasped the week after all that! Whew! I think as we care so deeply for others, we tend to forget to care for ourselves. I care for my 80 yr old mother and it is very challenging to also have kids at home, a husband, and struggling to get my coaching business off the ground to enable me to care for everyone. Anxiety and depression is bound to hit us despite our denial of its presence. Maybe the Universe is telling us or forcing us to slow down and take care of “US” for a change. Let’s just take the time to be quiet and still and sort it all out. I know as a Bereavement Coach, I assist families in grief and bereavement. I’d like to offer my web page to any of your readers, but would like to get your permission first. I have given your web page to my readers as you have so many good articles and challenges that help my families move forward. I thank you for not only helping me as a coach, but also for helping the families I serve. I have a tough road ahead of me and even host workshops that reflect it called: Nobody Wants to Talk About Death, So…Let’s Talk About It! Let me know if it’s okay to offer my site as I can help your reader that may be facing a difficult time in their lives. Thanks again and I pray that you make some quiet time and allow the answers to come to you as well as some well deserved rest!
    Take Care my friend…

    All My Best,
    Kim Wolfe

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I serve survivors of sudden death.
    After experienceing the violent nightmare that robs someone of a family member or loved one. The ensuing grief is often interwoven with heightened anxiety and body numbing depression. More than once it has been described as a 500 pound elephant that takes residency on someones chest with all the offspring in tow.

    Those left behind by a freak accident, a willfull act of another human being taking a life by murder, or the blinding pain that can lead someone to take their own life are often alienated and at a loss for where to turn for help. The world keeps moving, and often survivors are expected to move quickly through the trauma.

    Not that different from the varried range biological disorders manifesting as deppression and anxiety.

    The society we live in is focused on sucess and prosperity and youth. Often emotional issues are met with discomfort in being discussed with siblings, parents, neighbors, co-workers, and communities we all co-exist in.

    How challenging would it be to move out of most of our comfort zones to be present to suffering and pain.

    So often the challenge of having support from an entire community is met with shame and discomfort rather than the extention of just being with someone in pain, or the simplicity of a listening ear caring and not offering well intentioned suggestions to get back into life.

    A line from a book whose title and author have faded from my memory, still resonates ….
    “What would it be like if in your greatest time of pain, an older wiser (wo)man can and sat beside you.
    [paraphased here from memory]:
    Sat with you and listened, and shared the soothing presence of being with you ?

    Something to think about the next time we encounter a fellow traveler in life that is not chipper and outgoing.

    We are all asked to change the world in varying ways and opportunities. Sometimes we are so interested in the making an impact we miss the opportunity right next to us.

    I challenge each person reading this to move beyond the business and totally wired fast paced life most of us lead and be present to that individual who is hurting.

    “Be kind to everyone, for you never know what storm they are batteling.”

  5. Marcia Says:

    I just wanted to say that I loved your letter to your teacher!

    I’m going to send an email to an ex-boss of mine who served me in the same way – seeing my potential and encouraging that.

    Thanks for the great newsletter this month.

  6. Duduzile Says:

    January to June 2006 my work was really demanding, working everyday of the week with hours ranging from 7am to 10pm. I got exhausted unlike David Wood I didnt have the sixth sense to take a break this led to a down spiraling into stress, depression and more depression because when one is tired you easily make silly mistakes and then the little mistakes add on more depression and because I made so many mistakes I ended up with the belief that I really was not good at my job. Ultimately I got fired. I really did not see things as clearly as I am seeing them now. I was out of employment as from July 2006 though I was frantically searching for a new job. I am gratefull that I had the last six months of 2006 unemploeyd to regain my strength refocus and really think about whats important in my life and not just run a rat race. I know now when I go back to work I’ll know when the signs that I need rest start showing and I give myself the well deserved break.

  7. Juanita Says:

    I am suffering anxiety caused by a domestically violent father and an insane Federal Magistrate taking my 21 month old son off me for 4 days per week for absolutely no reason. I too feel like there is a 500 kilo elephant sitting on my heart at times. I am only still here for the pure and total love and devotion i have for my son and the knowledge deep inside of me that he is coming home to me soon. I suffer anxiety attacks from the hours before i hand him over to this violent and abusive man they call his father to the minutes before i get my son back in my care. All i can say is i have to get through it somehow. I have to focus my attention on my little man and his best interests, and might i say its the hardest thing i have ever had to do in my whole 35 years of life. But this little man, my son, is worth every second of it, knowing that deep inside me, the amgels and god are helping him come home…..

  8. Andrea Says:

    Hey everyone
    Happy new year from the north pole :-)

    I just wanted to say something about depression and anxiety. I did suffer from that for many years and finally went to a doctor to get medication. In the beginning I was relieved and felt like the meds were helping me, but after a while (maybe 11/2 years on meds) I started to notice that the meds were not helping me so much, but rather just numbing me and making me strange. I heard many similar stories from manic-depressive patients and depressed people.

    I made up my mind in 2004 that I would really use my creative and intelligent mind and look for as much information as I could since I knew how to look for good info on the internet and since I really think the revolutionary internet has made it very easy for people to look for their own cures and medicate themselves to a better health than doctors can in many instances.

    So in the year 2004-2005 I read a whole lot of stuff about this. Since then I just really found out how the nervous system and the brain works with certain biochemicals wich are mainly just the right nutrition. This is what most doctors fail to tell their patients, and the main reason is just that they do not have enough education about this. Nutritionist, biologists and biochemists may sometimes be able to tell you more about how your body works than uyour doctor. Do not overestimate doctors and their education. Ususally they are all about drugs and medication, and surprisingly enough doctors and medication are Nr. 1 cause of death in the USA!!!

    Well if people are really interested in their own health and my pathway of knowledge about depression and anxiety I will share it. I decided to come off my medication when I had read about what I discovered and I haven’t been on medication since and I haven’t been depressed since. I have had two periods of stress and anxiety, but that was around exams and a tough period in my life, so it is normal to feel something at such times. :-) If we never feel anything at all, we don’t grow and learn from life ;-) … anyway… I found out that the body really really is an amazing tool/creation and what it really needs is the right biochemistry to function properly. If you have all the right nutrition and are living a healthy lifestyle it is very unlikely that you will feel depressed or anxious. What the nervous system and brain needs are certain vitamins and fatty acids along with some amino acids to function right, so that the nerve cells are able to “talk to each other” simply speaking.

    So if you are depressed, try and take some supplements of multi vitamins, and buy strong vitamins B (a combination of all the B-vitamins) and then buy yourself omega3 fatty acid in either liquiod form or capsules and take several of those every day. Of course you can also try and find the right food to get this nutrition from. These are really essential for the nervous system and brain to work. Research has shown that when people lack these nutritional essentials they begin to get sick, and lack of omega3 has been connected with ADHD, depression, manic depression, lack of concentration and violent behavior. A study has been done where children in one school were given omega3 fatty acids for some time and their concentration got a lot better and their IQ even increased 16 points on average!!! Some minerals have also been shown to help with this, such as calcium and magnesium.

    As I got to feel better, I also started feeling more capable and realized that it was essential for me to help in this world. So I began to do all kinds of volunteer work and campaigns and things that I was passionate about and important to me. That is also essential for people with great minds and good souls (that sometimes can get depressed) so I encourage you to find your charity, your field of helping in this world and start now! today! or as soon as you start feeling better from taking supplements and the right nutrition for your body.

    So if you REALLY want to get yourself rid of depression, you should try and take lots of supplements for 6 months and see how you feel.


    Another thing to tell here, that I also have found out because I have such a curious mind and am always reading :-) is that if you are living in a house or working somewhere where there has been fungi/mold growing inside – it is very likely that you would be depressed and tired all the time. Some more and very serious health problems would also occur, such as headaches, exems/skin problems, problems in stomach and digestion, hormonal disruption with either getting very fat and not being able to have children or getting way too thin. Even ADHD, cancers, Parkisons, Alzheimers and MS has been linked to mycotoxins which are produced by some dangerous fungi/mold.
    If this fits you, look at

    Those are also biochemicals and biological facts that your doctor might not have a clue about, because it simply is not included in his/hers education. But some doctors are better than others, and some doctors keep their curiousity and keep reading about research and new development throughout their career and are able to look into other fields as well 8are not narrow minded) and those are usually the best doctors, in my opinion.

    Well, I hope this helps some of you.
    Andrea in Iceland.

    curiousity and the internet go well together and are great things! :-)

    Resources to read (and please look for more – this is just for reference)

    American Psychiatric Association. (1998). Depression.

    Breggin, P. R. (1999). Psychostimulants in the treatment of children diagnosed with ADHD: Risks and mechanism of action. International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 12, 3-35.

    Breggin, P. R. (2003/2004). Suicidality, violence and mania caused by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): A review and analysis. International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 16, 31-49.


    Bruinsma, K. A., Taren, D. L. (2000). Dieting, essential fatty acid intake, and depression. Nutrition Reviews., 58(4), 98-109.

    Carter, J. S. (1996). Vitamins. – Drugs Information Online. (2005). Ritalin.

    Dupont, J., Holub, B. J., Knapp, H. R. og Meydani, M. (1996). Fatty acid – related functions. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 63(6), 991.

    FDA. (2004). FDA issues public health advisory on cautions for use of antidepressants in adults and children.

    Hakkarainen, R., Partonen, T., Haukka, J., Virtamo, J. (2004). Is low dietary intake of Omega-3 fatty acids associated with depression? The American Journal of Psychiatry., 161(3), 567-570.

    Harvard School of Public Health. (2004). Vitamins.

    Health Research Institute. (2004, A). Bibliography for behaviour disorders.

    Health Research Institute. (2004, B). Bibliography for depression.

    Marohn, S. (2003). The natural medicine guide to bipolar disorder. Charlottesville, VA.: Hampton Roads Publishing Company.

    Saggers, B. A. og Teal, A. R. (1997). Biochemical basis of disease. London: The Biochemical Society.

    Stoll, A. L., Severus, W. E., Freeman, M. P., Rueter, S., Zboyan, H. A., Diamond, E., Cress, K. K., Marangell, L. B. (1999). Omega 3 fatty acids in bipolar disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry, 56, bls. 407-412.

    The Vitamins & Nutrition Center. (2004). Vitamins Guide.

    Wang, P. S. (1995). The epidemiology of depression and cancer: Do antidepressant medications play a role?

  9. Andrea Says:

    wooobs sorry for the multiple post… i didn’t realize :-)

  10. Andrea Says:

    To juanita I want to say this.
    Do not trust in God to do things for you regarding your child and his violent father. If the father really is violent towards the child you can get a court order for him to stay away from the child and not having to hand him over to him.

    It is your civic and soul duty to report his father and to do everything in your power NOT to give the child over to his care and just trust in God or luck that he doesn’t abuse or violate him.

    So please do something for your child so that his father will not be able to destroy his sould and his life by being violent towards him. Even though all parents have the right to visit or to be around their children, they do lose that right if it can be proven that this parent is violent and dangerous for that child. No matter if it is the father or mother, if they are violent the law says that they can be restricted for supervised visits or even to have no contact whatsoever with the child.

    Do something for your little angel, your son juanita.
    May the force be with you :-)

  11. Ali Says:

    Hi David

    I am 38 years old and have suffered from social anxiety all of my life. Over the last 10 years or so I have invested an awful lot into my own personal development and I qualified as a life coach a couple of years ago. I’m not practising much yet because even though I know I have a lot to offer, I don’t want to go into a venture without having more faith and confidence in myself. This thing is a double edged sword because it makes life so hard but then, of course, you can use your experiences to help and inspire others.

    I have missed out on so much. Jobs, friendships, relationships – due to a genuine fear of being with people and not liking who I am. I believe this is changing – it has already changed so much and I have a newfound respect for myself. Anxiety gives us messages that we need to listen to. We need to listen to and respect our emotions, our ‘shadow’ selves. We need to learn to truly respect and support ourselves instead of constantly putting ourselves down. My task is to build a strong, respectful relationship with myself as the healthy new foundation for my life. And it’s coming! Just doesn’t happen overnight unfortunately! And that’s what I want my coaching to be about.

    I’m having a ‘fed up’ day today. I feel unappreciated, that no-one listens. I wish someone would appreciate how hard things are sometimes and give me a break. But I also know that that’s the Universe telling me that that’s what I need to give myself before anyone else will.

    The thing that makes this hardest is that it’s socially unacceptable to talk about it. If only we did discuss these things as a matter of course, life would be so much easier. And it’s ridiculous that we don’t given the problems people suffer today. People think I’m confident and ‘sorted’ but I’m not (who is). The funny thing is I’m probably one of the most ‘sorted’ people I know because I’m constantly having to learn how to look after myself. I know that I’ve learned techniques which will help me in any hard times ahead. I’m not in a position at the moment, but one day I’d like to be a lot more open in discussing social anxiety, its awful symptoms and its consequences.

    I have coached a couple of people with anxiety and it’s just been fabulous what we achieved in a short space of time. It might not always be suitable (you need to be ready to move on) but coaching can have so much to offer people with mental health issues. I feel so strongly about this. I feel like the ‘system’ has let me down. Any progress I’ve made, I’ve made because of my own efforts. I so wish that I’d met a coach like me 10/15 years ago and then I wouldn’t feel like I’d missed out so much. But like I say, things are changing and I intend the next half of my life to be very different.

    What I’d really like is some help and support, I suppose. I can’t afford coaching at the moment so if anyone feels like giving me a bit of support/advice based on their own experiences, I’d love to hear from you.

    All the best


  12. Anonymous Says:


    Again a brilliant and moving idea.

    I called a former teacher of mine from my early days as a computer programmer.

    That guy gave me courage in a day when I really needed it.

    He also gave me direction to my career as a programmer.

    I called him – as in your case David, he answered instantly.

    I told him why I called and he thanked me warmly. I really moved him.

    We talked about what we achieved in life (Before becoming a coach,I ended as a CEO of a software company, partly thanks to him and so I told him)

    We scheduled a meeting to catch up and maybe do things together (he can use my theatre expertise in his marketing business)

    So – WOW it works and it feeeeels so good.

    Thanks David


    I still do the morning meditations and it is also a great thing- recommended

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Wow, it seems that your “depression and anxiety” call for blog has elicited a great response. I want to share a technique for dealing with anxiety and really any kind of stress that is working for me. it is called Heartmath.

    The basis is that our emotional pathways surpass our cognitive pathways in speed and in numbers… this means that our emotions are more available faster to our brain and with more strength than our thoughts. There are two tools that have been very useful to me in stressful times that represented panicky situations in the past for me. I would like to share them.

    The first is “notice and ease” which is where we can accept how we are without acting on it… we simply notice (and possibly label) an emotion and let it be, or let it go… this works during difficult conversations that you are having with others (or with yourself!)

    The second is the power of “neutral” which is breathing through emotional times to relax your autonomic nervous system. You then have more clarity, focus, flexibility and energy to use to put towards thinking and planning and acting in a way that is in line with your core values.

    Of course that means that a fundamental part of this is knowing what your core values are… so discover. Best wishes.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    I was a pain in school too, and i never understood why an english teacher, that was not even teaching my grade, was so nice to me and would cover me in her teaching room when i sneak out of class. Now I understand she was trying to give me security, she was trying to show me you don’t always have to be in the bad side.
    although she was never my class teacher, English was always my best class. I am a spanish speaker and live in south america, but all my work is in english.
    I never realized until this moment how important she was to my life, she determined my succesful future, which had probably never come if she wouldn’t have given me that chance.
    Unfortunately she died a few months ago. I couldn’t tell her myself which makes me sad, but I am sure she knew it.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    I suffered stress and depression about 7 years ago due to work and bancruptcy. Many people think you overspend or do not live within your means. However, mine was due to medical bills for my son to receive urgent tratment. I sold my house,lost my job but still had the love of my wife and family. I found that the people around me helped an supported not only me but my fantastic wife as well. I had counselling but it was too spasmodic as not enough councellors available.
    I now have a good job but no money which always causes enough stress on a day to day basis.It’s putting things into perspective money will always come and go, your health is up to you eat well take time for yourself,enjoy and make time for those around you. It sounds easy and I know thinking back the one thing that stopped me taking the bottle of tablets sat next to me was my family and my wife/best friend who showed me there was more to life than just me.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Alison

    having read your message I am moore than happy to be of any help I can. I am qualified lifecoach just starting out so willing to see if some free sessions may help over the phone.I purchased a number of Davids resources which have realy helped me get started The Coach Start manual and 50 Questions are brilliant. I need to keep practising so please feel free to contact me and that goes for any readers (

    David your newsletter has opened a new world to me Thank you. I am surprisingly Lifecoaching an old Teacher of mine who told me I was useless at school. I wonder if they remember that conversation?

    David Snelders

  17. David Wood Says:

    I really feel for you darling. And being not in it, I can see a couple of ways that might fully empower you in this – so that you’re able to even love the situation, and this man. (Hey – I didn’t say it would be easy!) I hope you’re with a great counselor for support in this. Sending love.
    Regarding what Andrea said – I would see it in two steps – step 1) is to do everything you can, which I imagine you have. Step 2) Once you’ve done everything possible, is to get into agreement with the situation. You’ll have more power from there.

    Awesome reminder for me, and I WILL make that appointment with a nutritional counselor.

    I’d be happy to help. I don’t see any specific questions. If you post some here I’ll respond. It sounds to me like you’re doing great for yourself – well done.

    Myabe in some way, you’ve told her now ;-)

  18. Bud Bilanich Says:

    I had a high school teacher who greatly influenced me. Her name is Catherine Bloss Yothers. Mrs. Yothers was my 11th grade English teacher. She was just out of college when I was Junior in high school.

    I was a bright kid in an unacademically oriented high school. I did very little and got good grades, getting by on my native intelligence.

    When it was book report time, I would read something like Bob Cousy’s (a famous professional basketball player in the late 50s and early 60s) autobiography.

    For one book report, Mrs. Yothers assigned a book to me — “The Catcher in the Rye”. Being the smart ass that I was, I bought the cliff notes. As I read the cliff notes I said to myself, “this sounds like a great book”. I got the book at the library and devoured it.

    After I submitted my book report, I had a conversation with Mrs. Yothers. I asked why she had assigned me that book. She said that she had two reasons. One, she thought I would like it. And more importantly two, she thought that I was a smart kid, who could get a lot more out of life if I would apply myself more; and she was trying to help by showing me that learning can be fun and interesting.

    No one had ever spoken to me in such a candid manner. Usually teachers said to me “Bilanich, you’re a smart kid, but you’re lazy. You’ll be sorry later on”.

    Mrs. Yothers gave me a similar message, but in a positive manner.
    I asked her for a reading list in that conversation. She gave me a list of her favorite books — and she changed my life forever.

    Mrs. Yothers left my high school a couple of years after I graduated. I have never been able to find her to thank her for what she did for me. I have mentioned her on my blog. I’m publicly thanking her here. If you’re reading this and you happen to know her, please tell her I said thanks.

    Bud Bilanich
    The Common Sense Guy

  19. Anonymous Says:

    “LIFE’S JOURNEY is not
    to arrive at the grave safely, in a well
    preserved body, but rather to skid in
    sideways, totally worn out, shouting
    “Holy shit, what a ride!”
    - Mavis Leyrer age 83


  20. Anonymous Says:

    I called an old religion teacher. He was the first ever to help me see that there was more to scriptures than just words. I still have think of some of the lessons he taught me, and I am grateful.
    He didn’t remember me, but I just thanked him and got off the phone.

    I would love to find my teacher from the fourth grade. She retired the year after I left, so I am not sure if she is even still alive. The elemtary school I went to didn’t know anything about where she is now.

    Thanks for the experience, and for helping to think of Mrs. Bennett. Even if I can’t find her to tell her.

  21. Linda Says:

    Hi David

    Firstly can I say you are a total inspiration to me. 

    I to suffer from depression from time to time but I do manage it so much better now. December and January are always the toughest months to me as a coach and, this year more than ever I have been suffering fom bouts of self doubt and fatalism. 

    I am now commited to making my business the business it should be but it is nice to know that someone as successful as you has bad times too.

    Good luck for the future, have a fabulous 2007.

  22. cecilia Says:

    As a flight attendant traveling the world, I know first hand what stress and anxiety is as my world came crashing down on 9/11. Fear can take over or you can move through it and learn to live in the moment as I have. I have so much to be thankful for and am in deep joy on every flight for loving what I do and sharing that joy with my passengers.

    By the way, I love India but only there for 24 hours!

  23. Margaret McMillan Says:

    Hi David,

    Thank you for sharing your experience re: the anxiety/panic episode. I was in a so-called “school of enlightenment” for 9 years. Sensory deprivation and sensory overload techniques were used to break down the personality self, then insert what was wanted for us to accept. I was a workaholic (working as a nurse during the week and doing “spiritual disciplines” on weekend and evenings). The good that came of that school, was that I opened my latent intuitive gifts, though most of it came from my own efforts at home. However, during these years, I was ignoring the anxiety/fear I was feeling whenever I went to an event. I put on that I needed to get rid of my fear (what was taught) instead of realizing the verbal/emotional abuse from that teacher was what the problem was. I wasn ‘t listening to my Soul’s desires or my physical/emotional needs. When I started to become what I really desired & had put aside, nothing in my life would move. After I left the school, I had a nervous breakdown about 4years ago & was having severe panic attacks. My physical health broke down with digestive disturbances still to this day.

    Now, I am listening to my inner self — emotional, physical, & spiritual. My health is slowly improving. I’m being directed from a greater mind to the information that’s showing me what was holding me from going forth with realizing my new dreams/life. I feel that, as another blogger said, these feelings are “Yield signs” or warnings. Our feeling/emotions are our “Early Warning System”.

    One of your greatest gifts is your loving supportive family/friends. This is no small thing, as with me I have only one friend who is supportive of me. My biological family (siblings) only want the old sister who was spiritually ignorant & dysfunctional as they are.

    Thank you for this opportunity to share my experience & wisdom with you and others and hope that someone will derive benefit from this example.
    Blessings to you and all those who have left blogs about their anxiety experiences.
    Warmest regards,
    Margaret McMillan

  24. David Wood Says:

    I appreciate all your comments. Specifically…

    I’m touched by your story.
    Have you tried calling the high school and talking to someone who’s been there a long time, and enrolling them in this project of contacting her? Teachers usually know where other teachers went.

    Perhaps there is some kind of teachers union that she’d be registered under? Who might forward a letter? Failing that, I think you simply declaring it publicly, as you have, makes a difference.

    I really appreciate your words. I’m feeling fragile right now and not at all inspirational, but you’ve reminded me that it’s all attitude, and what you do with what you’ve got, that counts.

    Thank you. Living in the moment is my practice as of yesterday. Coming back to now. Noticing the thoughts and either letting them go, or re-framing them.

    It’s wonderful you have ONE. And if you care to, I think it’s possible to train others to be supportive if you show them how. And my belief is that it starts with appreciating for what they ARE giving you, small as it may be.
    Ha – this is reminding me to be grateful for even tiny things is what seems like a rough day; I don’t think I could ever have too many reminders of that.

    Love David

  25. Jen Says:

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your wonderful and inspiring newsletters that you send. I suffered from Clinical Depression for 6 years and am now pretty much recovered from it. What a hard 6 years it has been but also has taught me so much about life, courage, hope, and learning to listen to my body. I still get some down days but they are never as bad as they were and for that i am grateful about. I am currently weaning off my medication which im very pleased about. I have also suffered from Anorexia for 6 years, 2 of those in recovery and am on the way! I am a Kinesiologist and my “niche” is to inspire and motivate those suffering from the likes of mental illness and eating disorders. I have been in business for 5 months now.. I am wondering if a way to get more clients is to share my history with my clients as a way of marketing and showing that i understand them having survived both depression and anorexia. what are your thoughts?

    You’re an inspiration to many David.

  26. David Wood Says:

    It’s a huge challenge that a friend suggested I must be ready for. Feeling such intense, uncomfortable feelings that are shouting ‘danger’, and remembering they are just feelings. My mind running all the time, looking for a way out, trying to fix it, thinking up the worst that can happen. Which is not serving me.

    Then my coach reminded me that that’s the point. The mind is programmed, run by (or is?) ego, and thinking is not reality. It often does not serve us, it runs the show. And peace exists beyond the mind.

    So I have a greatly renewed interest in the practice of being ‘here’. Noticing the thoughts, and the emotions manifest in the body, without judgment. And gently bringing myself back to the now – what is, right now? As distinct from my thoughts.

    Paul Lowe has been saying it for years that this is freedom and enlightenment. My coach Kira Kay just told me yesterday. And listening to ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhardt Tolle is blowing my mind (hopefully literally! ;-) I highly recommend it if you are fed up with suffering.

    I’ve heard it all before, but I had no reason to really delve into it, it seemed too hard, and living in the past and the future, in my mind, was fine – was ‘working’ well.

    Perhaps the best thing to come from this challenge is the universe has my attention! I am highly motivated to develp this new practice of ‘seeing’ my mind as distinct from who I am, and how much it runs my life, and to dis-identify with the thoughts.

    And you know what’s interesting?

    That’s what I went to India for 3 weeks ago, which triggered all this. Amazing how things work, isn’t it?

    Would love all your thoughts on this.


  27. David Wood Says:

    yes, yes, yes! Let them know who you are! You’ve been there and done it – who better to help show them the way.
    For yourself you could look at what even has you hesitate to reveal that; could be some useful info there.
    You might like to publish a bunch of articles in magazines to help people; after all, you have credibility now.
    And well done in weaning off the meds – that’s powerful.


  28. Jen Says:

    thanks david for the advice. Yes, i am looking at why i am hesitant about it all,i guess i dont like to be judged and i fear that….actually it’s just clicked for me.. I guess it stems back to school days when i was first diagnosed with depression and then anorexia and the bullying i recieved from my so called “friends”. The ignorance and misundersanding in the school system about mental illness at my school was very poor…thinking about it now, something i would like to pursue. It is part of who i am, it’s made me the person i am today. It’s made me strong and stand up for what I believe. Being 22 yrs of age it’s young people who I want to work with….. I know back then I would have turned to someone sooner who i knew had suffered from the illnesses but unfortunately didnt. It’s amazing how these things all happen for a reason. I knew from a very young age that I was put on this earth / my purpose was to help people, i just didn’t know exactly where, how or who,however.. now i do!

    I too have an interest in the practice of being here, living in THE moment, not the past nor the future but NOW. I know when this is achieved, i will experience freedom from my ever racing thoughts!

    Thanks for your enlightment today!

  29. JM Says:

    Hi David et al.
    I have autism, and was suicidally depressed from age 7 to age 35. I kept an updated mental list of the three easiest ways to kill myself, finding that knowing the way out helped me have the courage and determination not to give in to the feelings of wanting to die. Feeling like dieing, and not wanting to feel that way, I actively sought things that kept joy and motivation present for me. I didn’t go the drug route, having atypical reactions to many things, but I tried therapy and counselling (very slow going), and a wide range of alternative medical techniques. Chinese medicine helped, as did Craniosacral Therapy, Trager, Wholistic Nutrition, and Naturopathic medicine. But the most helpful thing comes straight out of the recent film, “What the Bleep do We Know?!”: energy work. Learning how to work with your own energy field allows you to dissolve your burdens and triggers as easily as you get triggered (eg. by family or co-workers). I’ve worked with Tanis Day (, but in all likelihood there’s someone else in your neighbourhood. When you reach the point of saying “I’ve HAD IT with feeling this way”, you can take a short-cut straight to good help, skipping all my investigating.
    P.S. If someone is turning energy into a great mystery, and not teaching you how to do the work yourself, get away ASAP. Cheers, J.M.

  30. David Wood Says:

    When this is achieved? Hmmm, I wonder when that would be ;-)

    Thanks so much for your story. And I’m so glad you found help. I’ll check out the site.


  31. Stephanie Slawek Says:

    I’ve always thought that depression is a particularly cruel illness, because the very things you could do to make it better are the things you are unable to do. For instance, exercise is known to work as effectively as antidepressants, but if you don’t have the energy to get out of bed in the morning, how the heck are you going to work out? It’s a vicious cycle.

    I suffered from depression for the better part of 20 years–since childhood–and experienced anxiety off and on for about 10. I took multiple medications, did therapy, and while it definitely helped me, none of it was a permanent cure. I finally beat it by taking a holistic approach. I started as an exercise instructor (making it your job is one way to force yourself to get it in!), and now I am a yoga and pilates instructor as well. I also work as a holistic health counselor, and I support others to improve their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health through diet, exercise and lifestyle choices. It’s the most satisfying work I’ve ever done.

    Probably the single most helpful treatment I have found is yoga. I still use it when I find myself falling into a slump and it works for me every time. I believe it was the yoga that allowed me to come off of the medication I was taking (2 different drugs, both at max doses). Diet also makes a huge impact. It can help to work with a nutrition professional, or you can simply start by eliminating some of the processed, sugary foods in your diet and replacing them with whole foods. That is what I did.

    My heart goes out to everyone who struggles with mental illness. It takes a lot of strength just to keep your head above water. Much love and compassion to you all.

    Stephanie Slawek

  32. Anonymous Says:

    Enriched_Soul says:
    David, I’m another that have suffered from both anxiety and depression. Through both I avoided meds to find out why. My conclusion…when I knew that I wasn’t supposed to be doing something and I did it anyway, I suffered from anxiety. When I ignored the natural transition on my life path I suffered from depression. When I live consciously, making decisions about ‘right’ living, I suffer from neither. It’s taught be to listen more to my authentic self.

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  34. Evan Nelson Says:

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  35. Jake Charlebois Says:

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  36. Tristan Coleman Says:

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