(18). How to build closer relationships

Solid relationships are core to building Resilience – your ability to bounce back from adversity.

Today’s blog contains seven ideas (short intro plus video) curated by Ted.com

Suggest you write the central point from each idea, and how you can make daily small wins in each thus improving your relationships.

From ideas.ted.com

They are:

1). Accept imperfection

2). Show up

3). Identify whether you are a giver, a taker, a matcher

4). Make space for solitude

5). Share something new

6). Give up old grudges and outdated beliefs.

7). Talk through your differences

How to build closer relationships

(17). Join Mindfulness in the Park events.

Please send me your full name and what’s app number so we can send you direct messages about Mindfulness in the Park events. (Go to contact Dr Moch, in website menu.)

My long term aim is weekly (Sunday afternoons, ninety minutes before dusk) Mindfulness in the Park sessions across the nation. Watch this space.

Volunteers most welcome to help roll out the dream.

Photo Shoot

1) Park at Acro Branch, Huddle Park

2). Begin start up walk at start of Trail Run Sign

3). Follow Blue Arrow Signage (about 300 meters)

4). Stop at this signpost.

5). You now can see the Mindfulness Nature site.

6). Follow short path and take your seat.

7). Your greatest gift to yourself. 90 minutes of full immersion in nature.

Sundays 90 minutes before dusk. July times 4:15pm until 5:45pm

(16). Mindfulness in the Park


This Sunday, 1st July, 4:15 pm sharp, at Huddle Park, Club Street, Linksfield, Johannesburg, until dusk. And Sundays thereafter.

Starting point.

Meet at Dog trails parking, by AcroBranch. Can safely park there.

Park at main gate at Huddle Park, at and pay daily walking rate at Golf Shop. About R30. They will give you a ticket or wrist band.
Then drive to meeting point (AcroBranch. Well signed). No extra costs. Ie free from thereon.

Please note that this is a most wonderful way to switch off all screens and experience Stillness, Silence and Mindfulness.

So no cellphones allowed. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a jersey, as it gets chilly towards dusk.

Bring along a small back pack that you can wear, then arms are free. To keep safely a small sitting cushion, keys, phone, jersey, bottle of water, …

NB. No talking will be allowed from beginning to end.

We do a mixup of slow walking, standing, sitting, listening, looking, being.

You can arrive earlier and do a walking warmup on the blue or green trail.

Ps its sounds easy, but can be very challenging if you are dependent on screens for noise or other distractions. Silence is priceless.

Your guide,

Dr Jonathan D Moch

(15). The Power of Silence

{Direct from the work of Graham Turner, Power of Silence,  the riches that lie within, pages 62,63.}

… the influential Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung wrote in a letter to a man planning to start a campaign against noise.

… people, Jung wrote, become as habituated to noise as they were to over-indulgence in alcohol, and just as you pay for this with cirrhosis of the liver, so you pay for nervous stress with a primitive depletion of a vital substance.

… with children, so much is fed into them from the outside that they no longer think of something from they could do from inside themselves.

… there is a widespread, though not conscious fear, which loved noise because it stopped that fear from being heard.

… noise is welcome because it drowns the inner instinctive warning. Fear seeks noisy company and pandemonium to scare away the demons.

… noise like crowds, gives a feeling of security, therefore people love it.

… noise protects us from painful reflection, it scatters our anxious dreams; it assures us that we are all in the same boat.

… we would not have noise if we did not secretly want it.

…. if there were silence, the real fear is what might come up from its depths; all the things that have been held at bay by noise.

… the more you attack noise, the more you come to the taboo territory of Silence, which is most dreaded.

… there are far more people than one supposes who are not disturbed by noise, for they have nothing in them that could be disturbed.

… noise is an integral component of modern civilization.

… it is an evil with deep roots.

… it all goes with the spiritual disorientation of our time.

Dr Jonathan D Moch
Contrarian Psychiatrist
Special Expertise In Optimizing Brain Health



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(14). Books that I am reading this month. You?

Combining long winter nights in Johannesburg and a public sale at Exclusives, is an ideal excuse to collect a number of books to occupy my mind-space for a few weeks.

The following are my recent purchases, and a précis of each as I understand the motives of the authors to write about the topics. (And why I am reading them.)

The Wisest Man in the Room – How to harness psychology’s most powerful insights.
Thomas Gilovich and Lee Ross

Understanding about knowledge, insights and wisdom, – how our thinking process are packed with biases, mostly unconscious, that results in poor judgement, and all it’s consequences (intended and unintended).

(Improves my insights into brain health, determinants of quality of life and optimizing decision-making. Love picking out the biases of others, but not even noticing my own.)

The Power of Silence – The riches that lie within.
Graham Turner

A world wide search for and documentation of individuals, societies, or corporations that deeply value times of silence, – a committed breakaway (minutes, hours, days, months, or years) from the nonstop noise of modern life. The sounds of silence are indeed golden. Sorry Simon and Garfunkle.

(Fits in with my seventh adventures in wellness: Digital Detox and the Art of Stillness/Silence.)

Unbound – How eight technologies made us human, transformed society, and brought our world to the brink.
Richard Currier

A concise longitudinal review of major changes in technology – from tools, spears, fire, wheels, clothing, huts to music, art, language, ethnicity, and more recent accomplishments of ships, writing, clocks, machines. And of course, now the Digital Age of the World Wide Web. Does this understanding give a positive or negative future trajectory? There will be a number of blogs about these insights.

(Informs my digital online teaching platforms.)

The Story of Food – An illustrated history of everything we eat.
DK – Penguin Random House.

A Cooks Tour (!) with illustrations, through the origins, nutritional values, and cultural uses of the ten major food groups: nuts and seeds; fruits; grains and cereals; vegetables; herbs and spices; oils and condiments; (processed) sugar; meat; fish; and dairy (milk, cheese and eggs).

(Fits in with my view on the primacy of superfoods versus junk-foods. Another of the seven adventures in wellness)

Your book(s) you are reading, now?

Dr Jonathan D Moch
Contrarian Psychiatrist
Special Expertise In Optimizing Brain Health

(13). What patients have taught me.

From the the Acknowledgements section of The Choice: Embrace the Possible, by Edith Eger.

My patients, the unique and one-of-a-kind humans,

who have taught me that:

1) – healing is not about recovery; it is about discovery

2). – discovering hope in hopelessness

3). – discovering an answer

where there does not seem to be one

4). – discovering that it is not what happens that matters –

it is what you do with it.

{Agree? Disagree?)

Dr Jonathan D Moch
Contrarian Psychiatrist
Special Expertise In Optimizing Brain Health

Seven common sense lifestyles to build a child’s brain.

Imagine you could optimize your brain health as you could to a child’s brain!?

From Sarah McKay.

All children differ in their biological susceptibility to life experiences in a -for better and for worse- manner.

Some kids are particularly sensitive to both highly stressful and highly nurturing environments.

Like orchids, such children bloom if lovingly cultivated, but wilt and wither if neglected.

In contrast, adaptable, resilient children who do not get easily stressed are like little dandelions; they will grow and thrive anywhere.

The seven influential lifestyle choices are.

1). Attachments and relationships

2). Language development

3). Sleep

4). Play

5). Physical movement

6). Nutrition

7). Executive Function skills.

Read more…




(12). What books are you reading?

One of life’s blessings and pleasures is the ability to read. There is this wonderful channel between the written word and the brain, – the eyes.

These three components – written words, visual tracts, and mental interpretation integrate and synergize perfectly, and is what you are performing right now.

There are so many mediums (screens, books, magazines) to fixate your eyeballs on letters of the alphabet (English, Chinese, Hebrew…), that in combination, make up words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, books and/or trilogies.

And then your neural networks extract meaning, recollect memories, release a panoply of emotions and can facilitate action.

Interpretive reading is what differentiates us humans from all of the animal worlds; and differentiates a Life Lived Well from a confused, frustrated, suffering one.

Millions of books, billions of blogs are published every year. There is a demand by the public and authors supply that need. No shortage to find your own interests. Focus on yours, and your inner world lights up.

Here are three books that I am currently  reading and reflecting upon it’s contents.

1). Aristotle’s Way by Edith Hall. (A ten chapter series that explores the way the Ancient Greek philosopher understood happiness/ potential/ decision-making/ self-knowledge/ intentions/ communication/ love/ community/ leisure/ and mortality. Bonus: All can be incorporated into the modern life. Just do virtue!)

2). Why We Sleep by Mathew Walker. (A grand overview of his life’s work in the scientific study of the mysteries of sleep, and its importance (7.5 hours a night) for a quality life. Bonus. The new ideas about the health role of dream states.)

3). Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. (After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl of Facebook and Lean In fame, teamed with Adam Grant to write about building resilience, bouncing back/forward, and (bonus) founding joy in times of enormous difficulty, grief, loss.

What books or articles, are you reading these days?

Dr Jonathan D Moch
Contrarian Psychiatrist
Special Expertise In Optimizing Brain Health

Online teaching platform.
Building Resilience in the Digital Age





(11). Perfecting communication. Easy as ABCD

There are four interdependent stages of perfecting communication in all instances.

Easy to remember.


It is a life long learning process.

A. Audience. Who is your audience? Who listens to your message? A spouse, child, employee, those reading your blog, a patient, student, investors, job interviewees, …. (Knowing their needs. What are their unique problems you are helping to solve?)

B. Brevity. (Aka Brief.) Short is better than long. Attention span is limited in the current age of Distraction.

C. Clarity. (Clear.) Understandable. To the point. Be clear on how you can help them.

D. Delivery. How your point is presented – writing, speaking, body language, physical context, tone, pauses, listening, responding …

Try it.

Would love to know how you practice this in real life situations.

Especially when delivering tough high risk messages.

Ps I am your audience. Keep it brief (less than 100 words), clear message, and deliver it by email.

(Adapted from chapter 4, Communication, in Aristotle’s Way, by Edith Hall.)

Dr Jonathan D Moch
Contrarian Psychiatrist
Special Expertise In Optimizing Brain Health

Online teaching platform.
Building Resilience in the Digital Age


(10). Guess who is coming for dinner?

Thought experiment.

If you could, who would you invite for dinner (dead or alive)?

What questions would you like to ask each guest?

Maximum of four guests.

This my list, a brief bio, and a few questions.

1). Aristotle – the Ancient Greek rock star of moral (virtue) philosophy. How can one best express latent potential; how can we make the world a better place?

2). Moses – the main persona of the Bible. What really happened in the Egyptian slavery era, the forty years wandering in the desert, the plagues, up on the mountain for forty days and nights, your childhood experiences as a prince? What was it like to speak direct to God?

3). My fathers, father mother – what were memories of my father’s father (who just escaped the genocidal pogroms of Lithuania) arrived in South Africa, 32, penniless, but died as CEO of a listed JSE company? Still raised five children, all married, each had three children. Lived for 76 years, with the intact crown of a good name.

4). Tim Noakes – a decent, brave, natural growth mindset scientist severely mobbed by his fixed mindset detractors, when he changed his paradigm on food choices. What are sustainable tasty superfoods that improve brain health, and how to optimize exercise routines? How to speak truth to power (science, politics, business)?

Please send me your list, and short questions you would ask each guest.

Dr Jonathan D Moch
Contrarian Psychiatrist
Special Expertise In Optimizing Brain Health