Introduction: Singing Pigs, Paper Tigers, and Unruly Reptiles
Isn't it ironic that even as we acquire more possessions designed to increase our comfort, health, and happiness and have successfully generated movements that established rights for many who were disenfranchised—we still grow increasingly lonely, stressed, and discontented?
Life didn't used to be this way. In fact, though seldom perfect (and often really tough), lives used to start out with a certain distinct charm...
Sans cell phones, scheduled sports practices, and video games, kids were once upon a time at the mercy of Moms who distilled their child's abundant free time into one directive ~ ‘Go outside and play!’. Bikes and basketballs, jump ropes, Monopoly, chalk—or even the palms of your hands could make a game that entertained for hours. I watched clouds and hills and people—sitting against a tree reading or on a stoop laughing—it was simple. And we were—for those moments at least—free.
Simple joy long gone. Today we are multi-structured ad infinitum – and plugged in when freed from constraints.
So what? Well...
Bombarded by stimulation, brains over-processing, to-do lists rupturing, and the bar for 'good enough' set higher every day, stress and anxiety soar.
External news reaches us of mass shootings, islands of plastic, and political madness while at the same time, within our little worlds, we scramble to surmount inflation, illness, and family challenges. Result? We're increasingly frustrated and depressed.
And relentlessly the siren call of ‘Buy more! Have more! Do more!’ lures us, and we slip into new addictions (technology, consuming, toxic love), growing further and further from where we wanted – really, in our souls, wanted - to be.
The quality of our lives is now measured in ‘likes’ and selfies. We seek advice on how to be happy from TV commercials and social media. Our values have shifted. So has our happiness quotient. In its stead, we have anger, mounds of material junk, and fat on our bellies.
Efforts to achieve happiness through stuff and stimulation have landed well short of the mark! And into the void carved out by all this muchness slyly slips a mischievous band of pigs, tigers, and reptiles.
Allow me to introduce them to you!
‘Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig’.
How much of your life has been devoted to getting a parent, lover, friend, boss, heck, even neighbors or strangers, to change?! To treat you right?! You’ve tried everything to get through to them! I wonder – did you succeed???
And – did the chang-ees welcome your guidance, or did it tick them off?! Yet - though every failed attempt amps up your frustration and distress - you just can't let go. And your sense of control deteriorates with every futile music lesson. Helpless, hopeless, your pig cares not. No. It tells you – of course they can sing! Try again! You'll get 'em next time! Only... you never do.
Leaving the Pig behind for a moment, let’s turn our attention to the next beastie. Ponder this – how would you react if you suddenly came upon a Tiger? Just smack, dab out in the open, a ferocious, killer tiger?! Well, you’d run or fight, yes?
Congrats! You survived! Whew!
Now suppose you run into the tiger again. And again. And againandagainandagain. Or at least - you thought you did. Intact but exhausted, endlessly scanning, you put 'em up or take to the hills at the first whiff of le Tigre - againandagainandagain. Eventually, you are ready to run if something hints of said tiger - till your whole life is running and avoiding, trying to prevent the bad thing you fear from happening and it never occurs to you that if you could just steel your courage and, an inch at a time move toward, rather than away—you might just find that it never had power over you—one little flow-phooo… topples your fear like a hollow paper shell.
It turns out that all the running is causing you more pain than a real tiger ever could have. Say... How bout you?! I wonder if there are any concerns in your life locking you in a similar state of anxiety?
Goodness knows you would boot that tiger and pig out of your life lickety-split - rid yourself of these repetitious, destructive patterns - if it weren’t for that rapscallion Reptile. Pre-wired to survive at any cost, ravenous for pleasure and skedaddling from pain, your Reptile brain (or 'brain stem'), shaped and forged in childhood, relentlessly drags you back to your eagerly? Rhapsodically? Awaiting Pig and Tiger.
Each of these irascible companions cuffs us to behaviors that complicate, compromise, or even - annihilate the quality of our lives. Disarming these beasties will set you free, and ‘Singing Pigs’ is jam-packed with simple, clear how-to's to get you there! Digging deep on….
relationships and communication,
defining and developing your own voice,
freeing yourself from addiction,
enhancing self-care and self-compassion,
decreasing illness and pain management,
Singing pigs will walk you step by step from wherever you are to wherever you want to be. It will:
show you exactly how to clarify both your past and future 'where's,'
motivate you in innovative ways to stay on course,
encourage you when down,
replace old, stuck patterns with new ones that will deliver joy, pleasure, and fun instead,
guide you when you go off course, and
celebrate your successes (of which, I am convinced, you will have many!)
and most important - how to lock these changes in and build on them for the rest of your life...
Driving off-road from traditional self-help books by intertwining a smorgasbord of sources and voices (clinical, scientific, philosophic, entertaining, and moi!) into an out-of-the-box, interactive experience, Singing Pigs will come as close to live therapy as can fit between two covers! Your new 'pals' will weave a vibrant tapestry that maps your story – where you started, your unique travels and evolution along the way, and a clarified path to a flourishing future!
Ready? Time to put up your paws and fight this good fight!! Your three freshly minted mentors illuminating the way, ‘Singing Pigs, Paper Tigers, and Unruly Reptiles’, is your call to arms!!