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July 2016




How Important is Status to You?

"One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.”

… Morihei Ueshiba (1883 - 1969) Japanese Athlete

SCARFThis month we begin a series of five articles on what we term our 'core concerns'. These core concerns speak to what is centrally important to us. We have a basic need to take care of these core concerns where we either move away from a perceived threat to these concerns or move towards opportunities that we assess may enhance them. These core concerns also underpin many of our stronger emotional responses and the associated habitual actions these emotions predispose.

In defining these core concerns, we look to an ontological interpretation of David Rock's SCARF model that defines five core concerns - Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness. You can read more about David Rock's ideas of the SCARF Model by clicking here.

So let's return to the title of this article. Before going any further, take a minute to consider the question, "How important is status to you?"

Status speaks to how we see how our importance compared to others and can be seen in terms of the value we believe others see in us and how we believe we should be seen. In other words, we are asking ourselves a question about the value others place on us and comparing it to our own sense of value.

There are many ways in which we can make an assessment of our status. For example, we can compare ourselves to others and determine our status based on that comparison. We might do that by looking at our position in a hierarchy and judge it from that. We might do that by looking at how much impact we have on others and judge it from that. We might look at what we own and compare that with others.

Although it seems to be part of the human condition, the way in which we compare ourselves to others can lead to adverse effects. It can show up as a being a 'winner' where winning is everything. Unfortunately where there are winners there are losers. Taken too far, the impact on relationships can be dramatic.

Another, and perhaps a more constructive, way of looking at status lies in establishing our own value. To set our own goals that we feel create value for ourselves and others and then achieve those. It is hard not to compare ourselves to others, but when we do, rather than perceiving ourselves as a winner or loser, we might see what others are doing and seek to learn from them. In doing so, we may well become more valuable.

I invite you to reflect again on the importance of status for you and how you assess your own status. What do you do when feel your status is challenged? What are the impacts of those actions?

For those of you who like certainty, in the next edition of Talking About, we will talk about certainty!


Mind Health Matters

Some thoughts from Jacqui Chaplin

“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.”

... Anthony Robbins (b. 1960) US Writer and Motivational speaker

Things I can do to have a better relationship with someone with a mental illness

Welcome to the fourth part of a six part exploration of some of the things that may cause an empathy deficit in people when it comes to individuals living with mental illness. Following the opening blog post which posed the question about why there might be a mind health empathy deficit, in the first of the six pieces we looked at the link between preconceived values and beliefs, then we took a look at the impact of being in denial about one’s own or a loved one’s mental illness. Last month we looked at how a lack of awareness and education about mental illness can create an empathy deficit, as well as clarifying the causes of mental illness.

This month we taking a look see at how one’s personal discomfort might preclude an ability to be empathetic to those living with mental illness.

At its simplest, without awareness human beings don’t tend to move towards situations, experiences or people that make them uncomfortable or that might change the way something is done.

So the question you’re invited to consider this month is ‘how aware are you about your level of comfort with people living with a mood disorder or mental illness?’

For many of you, that answer will change depending on your experiences and exposure. And whether your experience and exposure generates fear, willingness to learn or acceptance.

If you have seen movies and TV shows, read news articles or books that have painted mental illness in a scary and violent light then you may be unaware just how impactful these messages might be on your comfort level with people living with mental illness.

If you are aware that your current or past experiences of people with mental illness have influenced your responses, then there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to acknowledge your potential discomfort with people who are living with mental illness. You might feel afraid of being hurt. You might not like the idea of getting involved with something that might make you feel uncomfortable. Or you might feel it is someone else’s responsibility to step in and help someone in need. Either way, discomfort is the prevailing mood you may experience.

If you know that the media and entertainment industry portrayals of people with mental illness are by and large skewed to the sensational and inaccurate you might find yourself more willing to explore your relationships with people you know with a diagnosis more readily. Or you may be more open to interactions with people you don’t know who might be acting outside your normal range of experiences.

And then there are all those high functioning individuals with a mental illness diagnosis that you are unaware of. They are the people who don’t act out violently and their behaviours aren’t scary in the main because they are inside the range of normal behaviours you are used to experiencing.

So following are some suggestions I offer for you to think about. They start with some small ideas and move into some more courageous conversations.

  • take a look at what your previous responses have been to people with mental illness
  • if you think there is room to be less fearful and more engaged, what might that look like?
  • what conversations could you have to become more comfortable in talking with and being with someone with a diagnosed mental illness?
  • check in with how even contemplating those conversations makes you feel? Are you noticing any reasons for not having those conversations?
  • step into a conversation about mental health with a family member, friend or colleague. Dip your toe into the water first.
  • hang out, have a conversation with someone who lives with mental illness. It could be a carer, a mental health worker or someone with a lived experience of mental illness.

Next month: Ain’t nobody got time for that

…how a busy life, that’s filled with personal, family and employment challenges can put those with mental illness low on the list of priorities.

Why? Because your mind health matters.

For crisis support in Australia call Lifeline 24 hours a day 7 days a week on 13 11 14. In Australia, in case of an emergency, call 000. 

DisclosureDisclosure Now Available Globally

Check out Disclosure: Casting Out The Shadows plus Strategies for Mind Health Resilience.

For European readers you can purchase the book by clicking here.

For the North Americans you can purchase the book by clicking here.

And here in Australia the book is listed but as yet unavailable in online book stores. So, for a limited time I am keeping distribution going for those in Australia. Email me your postal address and I will email you a PayPal invoice for the Australian RRP of $39.99 (plus $5.50 P&H). I am told the e-books are coming soon!

This option also provides the opportunity for you to request the book to be signed.


'But I Feel Good' Radio Show

Remember to tune in to ‘But I Feel Good’ ...talking pink elephants and black dogs BIFGbroadcasting in Melbourne's inner east on 94.1fm 3WBC, on your fav smart phone app or streaming live at www.3wbc.org.au every Monday 12-1pm AET.

The ‘But I Feel Good’ Content Only episodes are available for your perusal and listening pleasure at http://jacquichaplin.com/BIFGarchive.

‘But I Feel Good’ is still heard via syndication in central Victoria on 94.9 MAINfm Mondays 1-2pm AET.

I’d love to hear your ideas for mind health topics you’d like to hear about and any mind health resources you’ve found helpful. Email me at butifeelgood@jacquichaplin.com. Thanks to those of you who have done so already.

If you’d like me to speak about mind health matters and resilience at your conference or to your organisation please contact me at jacqui@jacquichaplin.com or +61 (0)412 741 531

We invite you to read Jacqui's blog here

More on Mind Health Matters next month!

“What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal.”

... Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) German Philosopher

The Monthly Diversion

This month it's some punography!

1. I tried to catch some fog. I mist!

2. When chemists die, they barium.

3. Jokes about German sausages are the wurst.

4. A soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

5. I know a guy who is addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop anytime.

6. How does Moses make tea? Hebrews it.

7. I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

8. This girl said she knew me from the vegetarian club, but I've never met herbivore.

9. I'm reading a book about gravity. I can't put it down.

10. I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

11. They told me that I had type A blood but it was a type O.

12. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

"I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them."

... Phyllis Diller, (1917-2012) US Comedian

Join Us Online

LinkedInDo you want to explore some of these ideas in more depth? Then, we invite you to join our LinkedIn Group and share any insights you may have. As others have done, we also invite to offer your own thoughts and conversations if they relate to the ontological approach. You can find us on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Want to Read More?

Since the formation of Talking About in 2005, we have published our e-zine every month. Before that, Chris wrote regular newsletters and e-zines with Gaia Consulting Group dating back to 1995. If you would like to explore more of Chris' ideas then you can access our e-zine archive and view any newsletter written since 2005 by clicking here or to look at all the articles Chris has written over the years simply click here.


Chris has also written some in-depth essays on a number of topics related to the ontological work. If you would like to explore any of these essays then please click on the relevant image below.


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