Tuesday, May 26, 2009

OCD & The Gift of Listening

One of the greatest gifts we can give someone is our undivided attention. For people with OCD or ADD, or just people who are very busy, that may be difficult to do, as distractions almost inevitably occur when listening or following conversations.

In this very busy technological world, we are often overwhelmed with multi-tasking. I am often a victim of this. I will be reading something, or will be on the Internet, watching TV, cleaning, etc., and the phone rings and I try to keep up with 2 or more things at once, while having a conversation. The result of this is that all things usually suffer to some degree. Also, the person on the other end can usually pick up on my distraction. I have realized that this is very unfair. If I can’t give my undivided attention to someone, then I should tell them that I am busy at the moment and will contact them when I can concentrate.

Distractions, whether in the background or in the mind, sometimes makes listening difficult. The thing to do is to ignore all the surrounding chatter and try not to multi-task when listening on the phone, or even on the Internet. It is the same thing with thoughts that occur while talking face to face with someone. Sometimes we are so focused on our response that we don’t hear what the person is talking about. Make an effort to really absorb and listen to what the person is saying is saying. Focus on the words, live in the moment. Take yourself off auto-pilot.
I believe that giving the gift of undivided attention can reach people on a spiritual level, and that subconsciously, people know this. I hope that we all can put this into practice more often so that we can really connect as human beings.

Monday, May 18, 2009

OCD & The Economy

Many people are presently experiencing Economic Anxiety. It seems as if everywhere we look there is economic gloom and doom. Lately when I log onto my computer, I am greeted by headlines of stock market nosedives and watch lists for businesses that are expected to bite the dust very soon. The state of the economy seems to be the hot topic of discussion no matter where I go. It’s everywhere and unavoidable. I admit that this makes me a bit nervous.

This economic frenzy cannot be good for the mind and body. I’m sure it’s making a lot of people very nervous, and I know that it is exacerbating OCD in many people, as OCD gets worse in times of stress. I can just imagine the people out there who are frantic about paying their bills, or keeping their homes and jobs.

If your OCD was been acting up lately, perhaps it has something to do with the current financial crisis. Stop for a minute and think back over the past few months and assess your financial situation. If you have been feeling the current pinch, it may be linked to increased anxiety, tension, and for those of us with OCD, increased obsessions,compulsions, and rituals.

Just realize that we are all in the same situation. Also, I believe that the media is feeding off, and helping to create this frenzy. Frenzy sells more papers and causes people to watch more news shows. I think that things are not as bad as they would like you to believe. There are surely signs of financial stability that are overlooked.

If the economy upsets you, maybe you should limit exposure to the gloom and doom tactics of the media. Avoid the paper or news before bedtime if possible. This realization will hopefully make you feel better.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

OCD & Your Inner Orchestra

We have thousands of thoughts every day. Most of us are unaware them because they usually come and go so quickly. Whatever you think of the most eventually turns into a feeling, which gets transmitted to the universe in the form of vibrations. These vibrations are like music, and the universe will read your symphony and harmonize with it. In effect, what you send out, you will get back. This is why it is very important to keep vigil on thought, and what gets filtered through the mind. If left unchecked, bad thoughts can randomly flow and send out bad vibes which are picked up by universal energy which matches them and gives us more of the same. What you may not realize is that your mind is your inner orchestra.

All of our personal symphonies are being broadcast 24 hours a day. We are responsible for playing the right tunes – ones that make us happy, not the mental music that saddens or agitates us. We need to play tunes that soothe and uplift us – happy, harmonizing tunes. Even if we can’t sit down and write a piece of beautiful music, we are all capable of consciously having a pleasant thought and generating beautiful mental music. We can write the play list every morning.

A mind that is not in the present is like an orchestra without a conductor. All the instruments needed to play a beautiful melody are present, but there is no one there to organize and keep the rhythm. If we leave our inner orchestra unmanned, what comes over the airwaves will be out of our control- static and unpleasant noise. These are our negative run-away thoughts, which always turn into negative emotions; fear, anger, anxiety, insecurity, etc. I hope that you could be aware that if you are not in the NOW, no one will be conducting your inner orchestra and it will be forever out of tune. Be present and see that when you stand in front and pick up the baton, you can create the most beautiful music. Your life can be more harmonious and beautiful then you ever could have imagined!

Monday, May 4, 2009

OCD & Paulie Gee's Pizza

Yesterday was a culinary delight! We were treated to a unique experience via an invitation to a “Pizza Tasting” at Paulie and Mary Ann Giannone’s house in Warren NJ. Paulie G, as he is known by friends and fans alike, is famous for his pizza, which he cooks in his beautifully pained and decorated outdoor handmade pizza oven, named Napoli. Paulie only uses white birch wood that has to be kiln-dried for this special wood-burning oven.

As we were seated at the beautifully set table drinking Paulie’s homemade Limoncello and sipping Chilean wine, I noticed that there was a detailed printed menu of the pizzas that we would be eating, some of which were “Margherita with Speck, Pecorino Romano and Sliced Red Onion - Bianco with Chopped Fresh Garlic, Pecorino Romano and Basil –Margherita with Sopressata Picante and Parmigiano Reggiano.” There were ten pies in all and my mouth was watering!

Looking around, I noticed that the table was set precisely, and asked Paulie about it. Paulie told me that when he hosts a pizza tasting, there can only be 8 people. At the table the place mats must be perfectly aligned and the white chairs have to be at the front of the table and the dark chairs at the rear. Also, the blue glasses must be with the white chairs, and he needs clear glasses to be with the dark chairs. This sounded a lot like OCD to me so I asked him if he had any more “rituals”. He told me that when serving his famous Limoncello, (I did hear that Jay Z has had some) he must pour the first shot into a particular glass with raised letters, then next 4 guests must have plain glasses, then the raised glass again. Paulie believes that if these things aren’t done, his pizza tasting will not go as well as it could be. He said people notice these things subconsciously. He told me that when he serves his first pie, it must be in his “Pucenella”(which is a theater comedy/drama figure) plate, and his 2nd pie must be on another special plate. These plates were gifts from Adam from Slice, (an online pizza magazine) and Andrew from Scott Pizza Tours, people prominent in the pizza industry, who were at Paulies house for a pizza tasting. Here is the great article about Paulie and Mary Ann from Slice…

For the record, I do not think that Paulie has OCD. He just does a bit of “ordering” when it comes to his pizzas. I have noticed that when people feel passion for something, it can trigger a touch of OCD behaviors. In this case it’s worth it. Every pie was a work of art, lovingly made and out of this world delicious! Thank you Paulie, Mary Ann, and their son Derek, for a fantastic experience!