Monthly Archives: January 2014

013 – Anger!! What Lies Beneath


Anger affects more than just people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Some people just seem to be wired to be more volatile.  All of our life circumstances and experiences help us cope with the “stuff” that we encounter.  We can learn new ways of dealing with whatever we experience or feel.

People dealing with PTSD are often also dealing with deep anger.  Learning to “manage” anger is extremely important.  Part of that process is gaining insight to what lies beneath the anger.

In today’s episode:

  • Is anger “bad”?
  • Quiet vs. Loud Anger
  • Physical Impact of Anger (+ stress and fear)
  • Can anger be managed?
  • Analogies of anger: Diet Coke; lighter
  • The Fuel of Anger
  • PTSD and Anger
  • Taking responsibility

Some quotes on anger:

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” Mark Twain

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” Buddha

From —

Yoda on fear and anger … 

“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate … to suffering” Star Wars Episode 1

Is anger “bad”?

No.  Anger is a normal human emotion.  It is what we do when we are angry that brings most of the problems.  It can have bad physical results on our health when it dominates our emotions.  Consider these words of wisdom, “And “don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,” Ephesians 4:26a (Holy Bible, New Living Translation).  Mahatma Gandhi made a similar observation, “Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep.”    It is what we do as a result of anger that gets us in the most trouble.  The Buddha on anger: “A man conquered by anger is in a mass of darkness.” Kodhana Sutta: An Angry Person

Loud vs. Quiet Anger (Aggressive vs. Passive)

Not everyone screams and shouts when they are angry.  Sometimes passive aggressive behavior is rooted in anger.  Also some people will hold it in and withdraw from relationships.  It can show up in giving someone a cold shoulder or a fake smile.  Anger may also be behind some self-destructive behaviors.  Some may quietly literally feed their anger with food.

The Biological Reality of Anger (+ stress and fear) 

Anger is a biological process…

Hormones and Steroids flood the body causing, among other things, a rise in blood pressure, decrease blood flow to the reasoning center of the brain (pre-frontal cortex).  All this is part of the Fight or Flight response—very much like stress and fear.

Can anger be managed?

Yes! (Don’t miss next weeks episode when we discuss strategies we can do before during and after we are angry.

Analogies of anger: Diet Coke + Mentos(TM) (thank you Mythbusters); a lighter


Courtesy of Zan

Courtesy of Zan

The Fuel of Anger – What lie beneath?

Anger does not just happen.  It is tied to deeper emotions.  Most of us may rather admit we are angry than afraid.

PTSD and Anger

A great book on PTSD by Dr. Shay: “Achilles in Vietnam”
PTSD anger complicated by “What’s right” being violated.  Trust is lost …

Taking responsibility

People may push our buttons; but they are our buttons.

 Sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.  – Author Unknown

Check out some other resources:

How Anger Words

Understanding Your Emotions

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Encouragement…how a simple video has encouraged many.

After one year and over 31,000,000 views this video is still inspiring.  Be encouraged!  Each of us has a lot to contribute to others.  This thee minute video is not a major Hollywood production.  It does not star a famous actor.  It was not produced by one of the industries greats.  Yet it is impacting the world.  

We may never directly reach 31 million people.  But we can reach someone in our little part of the world. 

Encourage someone today.  You may never know just how much they needed that encouragement.

When trouble comes our way…

Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble
Trouble been doggin’ my soul since the day I was born” song by Ray Lomontagne

Stuff happens! Sometimes we are at the center of the problem with the choices we have made. Others also make choices that can cause us problems and heartache.

Philosophers enjoy a good debate on the problem of evil. I admit this can be “fun” and it has its place. Nevertheless, regardless of the cause of these problems, they are part of our life. Jesus shared some thoughts on what we will face:

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”John 16: 33 (NLT)

We “may” have peace in Christ. Here and now, regardless of what is happening too us or around us. This is a choice that we can make. We can abide, live, in Christ.

Simple? Perhaps. Easy? Not for me. Yet as I grow in faith I find that I more at peace—regardless of the difficult circumstances.

Jesus is clear that we “will” have trials and sorrows in this life. This is not “if you have tribulation”; it is “you will have many trials and sorrows”. In these trials and sorrows he tells us to “take heart”, that is, “take courage”–NASB. Why can we be courageous in the face of tribulation? Because He has overcome the world. Yes, this is a present reality. Yet it is clear that this has not been brought to completion; but it will be brought to completion at his second coming. In the mean time we can still find peace in Him.

We should not be shocked when difficulties come our way. Jesus assured of such things; but He also assured us that we can experience peace because He is with us and we are in Him and that He has indeed overcome the world.

Even while he was still experiencing difficulties St. Paul proclaims:  “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.”2 Corinthians 2:14 NIV

It is through this process of us following Christ that we spread the knowledge of him. This becomes even more evident when we face difficulties. The reality is that our trust provides unparallelled opportunities to grow when we experience trials and sorrows. As we trust him more and more and experience His peace and presence we bring glory to Him and this is as a fragrance to others that cannot be ignored.

Weather we have contributed to our difficult circumstances or not, Jesus is there for and with us. He will never leave us or forsake us. We can abide in Him and find peace—here and now. We can stand assured that “he who began this good work in you will bring it to completion.”

A final thought:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (NIV)

012 – The Power of Music


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Throughout the world and throughout time music has been part of celebrations, calls to battle (action) and dealing with loss.  Even when the style, instruments and language are unfamiliar there is something recognizable about the message being conveyed in music.  It aids us in expressing our joys and pleasures.  It can pull tears even out of hard hearts.  But can it help bring lasting transformation to those dealing with PTSD?

In this episode we will discuss the different roles music plays in our lives and possibly as part of our recovery.

Therapeutic role of music 3,000 years ago (David)

Music affects our bodies, our minds and our soul.  Music can:

  • make you laugh: “Weird Al” Yankovic,  (for those who enjoy this kind of song…)

  • be part of celebrations
  • stir people to action.
  • bring us to tears.

The Brain and Music

 Music Therapy

 PTSD and Music

Group therapy utilizing different objects (need not be a musician)

A UK study of PTSD and music therapy (non-veteran) in the journal Psychology and Psychotherapy:

 A VA (U.S.) study by Health Service Research & Development Service: Guitars for Vests: Evaluating psychological outcome of novel music therapy: and

 Live music played during a group session

Dr. Mary Rorro (the violin doctor):

 Individuals and groups participating in the creative process

If you are interested in Guitars4Vets:

 LifeQuest Music camp:

 LifeQuest Music camp video:

 Healing Veterans through the Creative Arts

 Some of the music created by veterans via Warrior Song

 Jason Moon’s song, “Trying to Find My Way Home”:

Buy this song on Itunes: “Trying to Find My Way Home”

Music Theropy and the Military (a Huffington Post article):

 Listening to Music

We each have different tastes in music, art and comedy.  Take a chance and listen to something that falls outside of the norm for your tastes.  People for all backgrounds communicate their stories through song. 

What songs have impacted your life?  Share with the community the music that has impacted your life?

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Trying to Find My Way Home…through music

Music can make us laugh, calm us down, rile us to action and move us to tears.  It can be a powerful tool in helping us deal with and overcome different aspects of PTSD.

Jason Moon, a Veteran and song writer, captures a small part of the struggle that many face when returning home.  In this case it is coupled with the visual arts in the video.

Question: What do you think of the song?

(On January 24, 2014 we will be releasing an episode of the podcast exploring how the role of music in our recovery process.)

Music, Art and Recovery…

Music and art—including movies, poetry, pictures and paintings—can move us emotionally.  We each of may have different tastes and we may be move by one thing or another; but there is something that will affect each of us.

Can music help in the coping with or healing of PTSD?  In our next podcast episode we will consider some of the scientific research into this topic.  We will also look at the more personal side of what each of us experience when we listen to music.

Until then, here is link to one bloggers take on Music, Art, and Poetry that I find interesting:

Question: How has music be beneficial in your life?

011 – START A New Direction in 2014!


What desires do you want to achieve in 2014?  Growth in getting a handle on PTSD?  Healing a relationship?  Starting a business?  Overcoming a fear that has been holding you back?  Dealing with a difficult work or home relationship?  Whatever it is, there is a set of goals and tools that can help you achieve your desires–one goal at a time.

2013 had some great moments.  It also had some challenging moments.  In 2104 we can START to turn our desires into tangible goals?

 In this episode we will:

  •  Explain why we have not had a show for the last three weeks.
  • Discuss: What We See Vs. What is Going On Inside
  •  Explore how to begin to turn our dreams into reality using the START process – A New Direction in 2014!

 Why was there no show for three weeks?

A few days after our last December show I had a heart attack.  It was a mild heart attack, as far as those things go.  I was blessed to be out of the hospital on Christmas eve.  It is good to be back!

START A New Direction In 2014!

A summery of START:

  • Set goals: discussed below
  • Tools: people, training, books, resources, equipment, techniques
  • Action Plan: who, what when, where and how
  • Run: Just do it!
  • Test: Ask the question: Am I achieving my goals?  Am I getting closer to achieving my objectives/desires?  If not, what needs to change?

 Set Goals:

  • Outcome and/or Performance
  • Specific
  • Measurable,
  • Time Sensitive,
  • Written and Shared

See the blog posts s on Change: part 1part 2part 3 for more information on the start process.

Our “issues” do not have to get the best of us in 2014.  There is hope and help.  We can take action and set goals in the Physical, Psychological and Spiritual aspects of our lives.  Let me know if you would like assistance turning your desires into goals.  Contact me:

Question: Do you have a goal you would like to share with the community? 

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