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“The Courage To Change”

Guest Blog from Epsilon Healing Academy

Have you ever wanted to change something in your life and no matter how much you tell yourself and others that you want to change, you stay stuck?  Sometime it feels as though invisible forces work against us.  In a way, that is true.

The fact is –- change is hard.

To begin with, change involves taking action.  In other words, it means adding something else to your (very likely) already full plate.  One’s degree of discomfort with a situation or circumstance is weighed against the time and effort it takes to do something about it.  This often happens on a subconscious level.  For example, you might think you’d like to exercise more but you tell yourself you’re too busy and leave it that, thinking that you will get to it eventually.  But, you don’t stop to dig deeper into the reasons you don’t make your well-being a priority.

We are masters at holding onto old habits, old ways of thinking and doing things.  We convince ourselves that if we are not exactly happy, we’re at least okay.  After all, we’ve survived this long.  The longer we remain entrenched, the harder it is to let go. 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

“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

“Breaking Free from Your Comfort Zone”

and embrace the pathway to change

Published on August 8, 2011 by Mel Schwartz, L.C.S.W. in A Shift of Mind

The most intimate relationship we will have in our lives is not with our parents, our spouses, our children or closest friends. It is with our thoughts. They are our constant companions. Our thoughts will impact our lives far more than any relationship. In fact, they will greatly impact those relations. The quality and nature of what our thoughts tell us will largely script the experience of our lives. Learning to break free from the confines of old thought is the key to personal growth.

Thoughts can either be our supportive allies or our critical antagonists.  They are the very filters through which we experience our lives. A particular thought – embedded as part of a larger belief – can either imprison or liberate us. Our thoughts very much tend to be self-fulfilling prophecies. read more

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751

“Happiness & Health”

Social Connection Improves Health, Well-Being & Longevity
Published on August 26, 2012 by Emma M. Seppala, Ph.D. in Feeling It

We all know the basics of health 101: eat your veggies, go to the gym and get proper rest. But how many of us know that social connection is as important? Social connection improves physical health and psychological well-being. One telling study showed that lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. On the the flip side, strong social connection leads to a 50% increased chance of longevity.

Social connection strengthens our immune system (research by Steve Cole shows that genes impacted by social connection also code for immune function and inflammation), helps us recover from disease faster, and may even lengthen our liferead more

Life Coach & Therapist David Vendig | 323.744.0751