The 5 characteristics of people who well take care of their mental health

For most people being mentally healthy means being up, alive and happy. For they know that mental health needs taking care equally as the body does. Going on being in the midst of thousands of thoughts crossing the mind every day and different shades of emotions coloring one’s mood, all the while being exposed to numerous stimuli from the external environment how can the human being keep his or her mind clear, healthy and in well order?

Here are the 5 things they do which bring them the “mental wellness”:

  • Attention and mindfulness: The typical practice is taking 3 minutes of pause every day to review their actions, choices and reactions.
  • Seeing the good: They spend effort to see the good in whatever happens and with whoever it happens to be such that it becomes a daily exercise for their mental wellness.
  • Self-compassion: They regard themselves with compassion, aware of their shortcomings they know they are not perfect and they are willing to forgive themselves.
  • Physical well-being: As one takes care of his body, it gives way to take care of the mind and the soul as well as reducing the stress and depression levels.
  • Altruism: They help others. Consequently, they become happier and such kind of happiness lasts longer. They live longer.


Duygu Bruce

April 25, 2017

Psychology Today, March 2017.

Journey of the Souls

One of the richest books I’ve read about the spiritual worlds and the life of the soul. Michael Newton, PhD, the renowned hypnotherapist is set out to write this phenomenal book based on the case reports of 29 patients that he worked with in his professional practice as a counselor and therapist. He reflects on his life, and becoming the author of this book in the following recollection:

My oldest friend is a Catholic priest today. As boys walking together in the hills and along the beaches of Los Angeles we had many philosophical discussions, but were miles apart in our spiritual beliefs. He once told me, “I think it must take courage for you to be an atheist and believe in nothing beyond this life.” I did not see it that way at the time, nor for many years afterward.

…Looking back, I suppose it was no accident in my own life that people would eventually come to me for hypnosis –a medium of truth I could believe in –to tell me about guides, heavenly gateways, spiritual study groups, and creation itself in a world of souls. Even now, I sometimes feel like an intruder in the minds of those who describe the spirit world and their place in it, but their knowledge has given me direction. Still I wonder why I am the messenger for the spiritual knowledge contained in this book, when someone with less original cynicism and doubt would surely have been much better suited. Actually, it is the people represented in these cases who are the real messengers of hope for the future, not the reporter.

In his lifelong work Michael Newton is seeking the answers to the universal questions:  Does the soul exist? Why are we here and where are we going?

It is a paradox that humans, alone of all creatures of the earth, must repress the fear of death in order to lead normal lives. Yet our biological instinct never lets us forget this ultimate danger to our being…Dying makes all our earthly goals futile. If death were the end of everything about us, then life indeed would be meaningless. However, some power within us enables humans to conceive of a hereafter and to sense a connection to a higher power, and even an eternal soul. If we do have a soul, then where does it go after death?

Newton works with each patient case by case for a range of treatments from psychosomatic disorders, to overcoming a chronic phobia, decoding a powerful dream, and finding a meaning and purpose in life.  As each case unfolds in the ladder of regression, the mystery of life after death gradually becomes unveiled and Newton’s originally skeptic approach gives way to another level of comprehension and sensing the truth.

Although each case is different, they reveal a common reality in their descriptions of life after death, the existence of the various spiritual realms, the experiences of the soul in the other world and the conditions of coming back to earth. The existence of the soul and life after death becomes all so natural and real as one reads further into the book. The first-person narratives as told by the patients, coupled with Newton’s scientific skills and method make it a truly special read.

Journey of the Souls is about our journey here on earth, about where we come from, what our purpose is, and what it takes to become a true human being on our way to our destination.

Journey of  Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives, Michael Newton. 1st ed 1994. 5th ed 2003. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications.

One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich

The true story of a dutiful Russian soldier wrongly accused of treason and sentenced to ten years in a Siberian labor camp –the gulag –where there is no escape but death out in the cold, dark and bare tundras. The very existence of the gulag system was enough to keep the average person fearful and silent in Stalin’s Russia. The dictator’s spies were everywhere. He murdered dozens of his top military commanders fearful that they might turn against him. He,

later eliminated many members of his party as well as most of his inner circle assistants and friends. Millions of people were arrested and sent to Siberia to work as slaves to extract diamonds, gold and oil to contribute to the riches of Stalin’s reign.

The knock on the door could come at any time. The best insurance was to keep your mouth shut.”

In the heartfelt story of Sukhov who once was a conscientous soldier with a home and a family, is now a laborer at the camp where the cold hunger and pain rules, where even thoughts are not free. Yet how can it be possible for a human being to keep his dignity, courage and inner strength against all tyranny and dehumanization?

The morning came as usual. The windows iced over and the white cobwebs of frost all along the huge barracks where the walls joined the ceiling! There would not be a warm corner for a whole month. And fires were of out question. There was nothing to build a fire with. Let your work warm you up, that was your only salvation.

 He did not get up. He lay there on his bunk on the top tier, his head buried in a blanket and a coat, both feet stuck in the felt sleeve of his jacket. Apart from sleep, the only time a prisoner lives for himself is ten minutes during breakfast and five minutes over dinner.

Sukhov ate his bread down to his very fingers, keeping only a little bit of crust. He wrapped the crust in his cloth again and slipped it inside his pocket for dinner, buttoned himself up against the cold and prepared for work.

He cared for his work, he even took pride in the way he trowled cement and laid the block wall with care and patience. In that way he could remain human. In the frozen cold when he could not even feel his feet nor the fingertips, he thought he survived through one more day at the camp.

 The question written in the afterword of the book : “What would I do if I were in his shoes?” is an essentially humane one. It is grounded in empathy. We either see ourselves as distinct individuals without much to do with one another or we see ourselves as essentially similar people who just happen to have landed in different sets of circumstances in our respective lives.”

What makes us human then in all circumstances?


Alexander Solzhenitsyn. One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich. 50th Anniversary edition. 1st ed 1963. New York: Penguin Group. Original published in Russian in 1962.

The Feathers of the Soul

One night a fool of God wept bitterly

And said: “The world, as far as I can see,

Is like a box, and we are locked inside,

Lost in the darkness of our sin and pride;

When death removes the lid we fly away–

If we have feathers –to eternal day,

But those who have no feathers must stay here,

Tormented in this box by pain and fear.”

Give wings to aspiration; love the mind;

And if at death you’d leave this box behind,

Grow wings and feathers for the soul; if not,

Burn all your hopes, for you will die and rot.


Attar, Conference of the Birds

Translated by Afkham Darbandi & Dick Davis

January 1, 2017

Story of Moses and the Sheperd


One day, Moses heard a sheperd on the road praying,

“God, where are you? I want to help you tie your shoes and comb your hair. I want to wash your clothes and clean the lice off. I want to bring you milk , kiss your hands and feet when you go to bed. I want to sweep you room and keep it neat. Dear God, my sheep and goats are yours. When remembering you, all I can say is ayyyy and ahhhh.”

Moses could no longer stand it and he intervened: “Who are you talking to?”

“The one who made us, and made the earth and the sky.”

“Don’t talk about shoes and socks with God! What more –what is this this with little hands and feet? Such blasphemy, it sounds like you are chatting with your uncle. Only something that grows needs milk. Only someone with feet needs shoes. Not God!”

Then the sheperd sighed, repented and tore his clothes off and wandered into the desert.

A sudden revelation came to Moses and he heard God’s voice:

You have seperated me from one of my own. Did you come as a prophet to unite or to sever?  I have given each being a seperate and unique way of seeing and knowing and saying. What seems wrong to you is right for him. What is poison to one is honey to someone else. One way of worshipping is not better or worse than the other. It is not me that the devotion glorifies, it is the devotee.  I look at the heart not the words spoken. The “wrong “ way he talks is worth hundred times more than the “right” way of others. Inside the Kaaba, it doen’t matter which direction you point your prayer rug! Love has no code. Only God there is.

God spoke of deeper mysteries to Moses…

Moses ran after the sheperd, following his footprints.

When he finally found him, Moses said: “I was wrong. God revealed me there are no rules for worship. Say whatever comes from your loving heart, your sweet blasphemy is the truest devotion.”

Whenever you praise or thank God, like this dear sheperd’s simplicity, when you eventually see through the veils how things really are, you will say “This is certainly not we thought it was!”

Rumi, Masnavi

Photograph: Sinan Çaglayan


The Guest House


“The words you speak become the house you live in” said  Hafez and  life in this fleeting house is beautifully described by Rumi :

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


translated by Coleman Barks

September 10, 2016

Chocolate, Playing and Reality



Juliette Binoche –acting as Vianne in the memorable movie Chocolate– is a young single mother who moves to a village in France with her six-year-old daughter, Anouk and opens a (more…)

Dreams, Symbols, Inspirations On the Royal Road to Unconscious

The earth is heavy and opaque without dreams “ wrote Anaïs Nin in her diary. Freud described dreams as the “royal road to the knowledge of our unconscious activities.” In his seminal work, The Interpretation of Dreams, he emphasized that “dreams have at their command memories which are inaccessible in waking life.”  (more…)

A Spring Poem

Bell copy

The days of absence and the bitter nights
Of separation, all are at an end!
Where is the influence of the star that blights
My hope? The omen answers: At an end!
Autumn’s abundance, creeping Autumn’s mirth,
Are ended and forgot when o’er the earth
The wind of Spring with soft warm feet doth wend.


Chinese Art and Greek Art

The Prophet said, “There are some who see me
by the same light in which I’m seeing them.
Our natures are one.
Without reference to any strands
of lineage, without reference to text or traditions,
we drink the life-water together.”  (more…)

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