323.744.0751

“Wired to Worry”

Stealth Super-Powers

Deep within you are powers you’ll never know you have—until they’re unlocked by fear. By Jeff Wise, published on November 01, 2010 – last reviewed on November 18, 2012

Before he even knew what he was doing, Tom Boyle Jr. was out of the truck and running. He’d been in the front seat of a pickup with his wife, feeling relaxed after a dinner at a Tucson mall, waiting for the line of cars in front of them to make a right turn out of the parking lot. The Camaro at the front of the queue lurched into the street, wheels squealing, and roared away trailing sparks.”Oh God, do you see that?” his wife said.

Boyle saw it: the crumpled frame of a bike under the car’s bumper, and tangled within it a boy, trapped. That’s when Boyle got out and started running. For an agonizing eternity the Camaro screeched on, dragging the mass under it. As it slowed to a stop he could hear the bicyclist pounding on the car with his free hand, screaming. Without hesitating Boyle bent down, grabbed the bottom of the chassis, and lifted with everything he had. Slowly, the car’s frame rose a few inches. The bicyclist screamed for him to keep lifting. Boyle strained. “It’s off me!” the boy yelled. Someone pulled him free, and Boyle let the car back down.

The young man was bleeding badly. Boyle held him in his arms until the ambulance came. Then he sat on the curb, drained. He felt like he was going to throw up. He asked his wife to drive him home.

Today, looking back on that frightening evening, Boyle is deeply proud of how he helped the injured cyclist. But the one thing he still can’t figure out is how he managed to lift the car. He’s a strong guy, sure. But a Camaro weighs over a ton. “Today, right now,” he says, “There’s no way I could lift that car.”

Boyle suddenly found himself in a zone that he had never before encountered. Thrust into the intensity of a life-or-death crisis, he experienced an ancient and automatic resolve. So strong is this force, so alien to our normal conscious experience, that those who experience it report that it’s like being possessed.

Most of us tend to think of fear as a negative, as something to be avoided. But fear can have powerfully positive effects as well. Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Quiet: The Power of Introverts”

Are You Shy, Introverted, Both, or Neither (And Why Does It Matter)?
Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Published on July 6, 2011 by Susan Cain in Quiet: The Power of Introverts
Bill Gates is quiet and bookish, but apparently unfazed by others’ opinions of him: he’s an introvert, but not shy.Barbra Streisand has an outgoing, larger than life personality, but a paralyzing case of stage fright: she’s a shy extrovert.

Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Shyness is the fear of negative judgment, and introversion is a preference for quiet, minimally stimulating environments. Some psychologists map the two tendencies on vertical and horizontal axes, with the introvert-extrovert spectrum on the horizontal axis, and the anxious-stable spectrum on the vertical. With this model, you end up with four quadrants of personality types: calm extroverts, anxious (or impulsive) extroverts, calm introverts, and anxious introverts.

Interestingly, this view of human nature is echoed all the way back in ancient Greece. The physicians Hippocrates and Galen famously proposed that our temperaments – and destinies – were a function of bodily fluids. Extra blood made people sanguine (calmly extroverted), yellow bile made them choleric (impulsively extroverted), phlegm made them phlegmatic (calmly introverted), and black bile made them melancholic (anxiously introverted.)

But if shyness and introversion are so different, why do we often link them, especially in the popular media? Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“The Will and Ways of Hope”

Talent, skill, ability—whatever you want to call it—will not get you there. Sure, it helps. But a wealth of psychological research over the past few decades show loud and clear that it’s the psychological vehicles that really get you there. You can have the best engine in the world, but if you can’t be bothered to drive it, you won’t get anywhere.

Psychologists have proposed lots of different vehicles over the years. Grit, Conscientiousness, self-efficacy, optimism, passion, inspiration, etc. They are all important. One vehicle, however, is particularly undervalued and under appreciated in psychology and society. That’s hope.

Hope often gets a bad rap. For some, it conjures up images of a blissfully naïve chump pushing up against a wall with a big smile. That’s a shame. Cutting-edge science shows that hope, at least as defined by psychologists, matters a lot.

Hope is not a brand new concept in psychology. In 1991, the eminent positive psychologist Charles R. Snyder and his colleagues came up with Hope Theory. According to their theory, hope consists ofagency and pathways.  The person who has hope has the will and determination that goals will be achieved, and a set of different strategies at their disposal to reach their goals. Put simply: hope involves the will to get there, and different ways to get there.

Why is hope important? Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Dogs, Happiness, and Health”

Which is most likely to make you significantly happier and healthier?
Published on August 29, 2012 by Howard S. Friedman, Ph.D. in Secrets of Longevity

Many, many scientific studies reveal that being actively involved with friends and associates is an excellent predictor of well-being. There is even pretty good evidence that getting yourself more involved in a social network with others, such as by volunteering in the community, is a reliable way to make yourself feel better, both mentally and physically. Or, if you prefer scientific jargon, we could say: Individuals who are well integrated into their communities are much happier and healthier, as compared to the network-less lonely recluse.

Right now, tens of millions of people worldwide are spending time on THE social network, namely Facebook. So why isn’t everyone doing great? Is Facebooking just as good as hanging out in real life? Perhaps it matters what you are doing on Facebook? Browsing around, I’ve noticed that there are more than a few pictures and videos of dogs and cats in cyberspace. Most of us love pets, so does this kind of posting provide a double benefit? All the evidence is not yet here (as studies continue to trickle in), but I doubt that Facebook is the secret to vitality and longevity. read more

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Finding Your Voice”

Control is an illusion. Release it, and freedom emerges.
Published on July 16, 2012 by Jennifer Hamady in Finding Your Voice

People want control. We’re all desperate for it. What we wouldn’t give to have more of it in our relationships, our work, and our lives.

Not that we come right out and say so. Instead, we hedge a bit, asking mentors, coaches, therapists, and friends how to better manage our careers and other people. How we can change this or that aspect of ourselves or our circumstances… how we might better deal with specific situations and relationships.

Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with wanting growth and development. Yet that’s not what most of us are really after. Subtle as we try to be, the proof is in the pudding of our thoughts, our feelings, and our actions; in spite of all our questioning and questing, many of us feel pretty stuck. No matter the energy we exert, we remain in a standstill. Read More

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“The Key to Success is in Taming Your Inner Critic”

Self-Compassion: Foster a positive self image to increase motivation and happiness.

Published on May 8, 2012 by Dan Buettner in Thrive

What is Self-Compassion?

Most people are familiar with self-esteem, but the idea of self-compassion is still in its infancy. This is somewhat surprising given that modern society considers compassion a virtue. If you doubt this, consider the Dalai Lama, who currently has just over 3.2 million Facebook followers! People who exhibit high levels of self-compassion are, in the most basic sense, nice to themselves.

Many believe self-compassion leads to people taking less responsibility for their actions, but according to a study at Duke University, exactly the opposite is true! People who have this quality work hard purely because it makes them feel good, not to meet someone else’s expectations. read more

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Feeling It”

Reading Bodies, Touching Minds

How eye contact, facial expressions, and body language are the key to connection
Published on October 1, 2012 by Emma M. Seppala, Ph.D. in Feeling It

Just by looking at someone, you experience them. Ever fallen in love at first sight or had a “gut feeling” about someone? You internally resonated with them. Ever seen someone trip and momentarily felt a twinge of pain for them? Observing them activates the “pain matrix” in your brain,research shows. Ever been moved by the sight of a person helping someone? You vicariously experienced it and thereby felt elevation.

We are wired to read each others’ bodies. Not just in terms of physical appearance but at a subtler and more complex level that lies at the root of lasting love, empathy and social connection. This process is called “resonance” and it is so automatic and rapid that it often happens unconsciously. read more

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Take a Picture, Improve Your Life”

What do good photos have in common with good organizations?
Published on July 10, 2012 by Nancy K. Napier, Ph.D. in Creativity Without Borders

Feeling overwhelmed? Does your life have too many “dimensions” to it? Stop. Pick up your camera and go take a photo. Or, at least look at some great ones. The principles of “great photos” might also just help you in your organization or even your life!

I always look for lessons beyond the borders of one discipline, whether art or science or business, for how they may be useful in another one. And I’ve always loved photographs – the homemade ones and the professional ones. But I’d never really thought about the principles of good photography could help organizational leaders. After spending a week at Santa Fe Photography Workshops, my thoughts on how to view organizations has changed, a lot.

We’ll get there, but first, let’s talk photography.

If you’ve ever looked at good photos (or a piece of art or dance, or heard a good piece of music), you might react by saying, “I like it.” But why do you like it?

At least three key components come into play. First, a good photo has an intent or a reason for being, beyond the “I was there” aspect. It moves us, tells a story, helps us see something in a new way, or raises questions. read more

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“Creativity as a Way of Life”

Stress free therapy and life coaching in your pajamas,phone or text therapy

Published on May 23, 2011 by Jean  Pollack, Ph.D. in Creativity as a Way of Life

Is it necessary to see your therapist in person? Why not have a therapy or life coachingsession in the comfort of your home? We are so accustomed to seeing a therapist in their office for 50-60 minutes but is it necessary to see your therapist in person?

In the Scientific American May, June, 2011 issue Distance Therapy Comes of Age ‘ by Robert Epstein states that with distant therapy you can see your progress in black and white referring to people who text with their therapist. The sessions are visible and can be reviewed for progress. He also mentions that research demonstrates that remote email Chat voice or text can effectively treat cognitive, behavioral and emotional disorders.

College age students that I work with find it very convenient to text me about their anxiety, relationships, school stress before class or even during class but they enjoy the quick effective interaction which is more convenient for them. Most of them are away from home, unable to come into my office and are busy and distracted by projects and socializing. They may not reach out for help if phone sessions or texting were not available.

These creative alternative therapy sessions are becoming more popular. Emailing is another preferred option for some people who like to update their therapist during the week, so that they don’t forget important topics to discuss during the week. They can also ask for help during the week or bring their therapist up to date before their next session. Emailing, texting, Skyping and phone sessions are a quick and easy confidential way to solve problems with a professional. People are busy. Mothers find the convenience of Skyping , texting ,chat and phone sessions an easy alternative when their child is sick at home, when the weather is inclement or when they want to stay in the comfort of their home in their lounging clothes and have a therapy or life coaching session. read more

Schedule a session with me today. click here for pricing & scheduling

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

“10 Creative Block Breakers That Actually Work”

You CAN overcome the frustration of feeling blocked.

Published on September 14, 2012 by Susan K. Perry, Ph.D. in Creating in Flow

Doesn’t matter what you call it: writer’s block or creative block or simply “Where is my inspiration when I need it?!” All creative individuals find their work coming less easily at some times than others. That’s when you need strategies, and plenty of them.

There are at least 90 such tips, tools, and techniques in Breakthrough! 90 Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block & Spark Your Imagination, edited by Alex Cornell, with a foreword by Erik Spiekermann.

Breakthrough! is a fresh compilation of practical, real world solutions offered by a range of creative individuals, including graphic designers, artists, writers, and photographers. These are people who are employed in jobs where they are required to be creative, regularly (brief bios are in the back of the book).

The insights in this perkily designed, light-hearted, and useful little volume are sometimes amusing, often unexpected. It’s worthy of being read straight through and marked and stickied and personalized by any reader who has ever felt not lazy but gooey in the brain in regards to a particular project.

10 Favorite Block Breakers:

1. Redefine the problem to find it more compelling. Ask yourself something like “What if Winston Churchill was designing this packaging?” That will provide an unfamiliar angle and perhaps a new perspective. (Christian Helms, Graphic Designer)

2. Dirty your canvas. Place an ink-stained handprint on its blankness so you have something to fix. (Deru, Musician)

3. Draw blindly for half a minute. You can’t criticize the results. Give yourself a theme (this works for freewriting, too, and let loose. Without expectation, you can break through to being able to work on your blocked project. (Paul Madonna, Illustrator and Cartoonist)

4. “Look at creative block as growth.” Consider this: “I’m not running out of ideas, just trying to push myself into better ones.” (Mike McQuade, Graphic Designer and Illustrator)

5. Fill your head with your view of the problem, review your notes, then go do something else, something mindless and mundane. ( Daniel Dennett, Professor of Philosophy)

6. Look for patterns in your episodes of creative block. Take notes when it happens and you may notice a trend (maybe it happens mainly on Mondays). (Simon C. Page, Graphic Designer)

7. Choose a better way to conceive of your blocks. For instance, rather than having to root through a blocked drain to achieve flow, consider temperature. “I try to find out what’s hot and start there, even if it may be unrelated to what I need to be working on.” (Michael Erard, Writer and Journalist) [Also see this post about famous poet Philip Levine, who “fires,” rather than flows.]

8. Induce a feeling of panic by giving yourself a deadline and stating your committment to other people. (Ben Barry, Graphic Designer at Facebook) [If the very word “deadline” causes you psychic pain, consider making friends with the concept; see this post.

9. Come up with many solutions, not just one. Urged to list 20 possible next moves, your mind will stop fretting over finding the one perfect one. (Marc Johns, Illustrator)

10. Don’t browbeat yourself when you’re in the necessary in-between times when most creativity gets its start. A lot of thinking time is crucial, and it happens where you can’t see it. (Douglas Rushkoff, Writer)

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com