(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

Invitation.

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.

Costs.
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

(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…

http://yourbrainhealth.com.au/seven-common-sense-building-blocks-for-your-childs-brain/

 

 

(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
https://flip365.teachable.com/

 

 

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/how-to-get-lost-in-a-good-book-joy-of-reading

 

(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

(6). Post-Traumatic Growth! PreTraumatic Growth?

Yesterday, walking through the Mall in Rosebank, on the way to a business meeting, a familiar face passed by, stopped suddenly, turned around and asked: “Dr Moch?”

“Yes,” I answered, vaguely recognizing the person from a few years ago. Not an uncommon experience. “What now?” I thought to myself.

He responded spontaneneuosly: “I am a recovering addict. Clean for fthree years. Successful construction company. And started a halfway house for destitute female addicts, integrating them back into society, work, and relationships.”

And continued. “Life is going well.”

And he closed the discussion. “Thank you for all your help and lectures when I was in hospital.”

Quick handshake, spontaneous hug, a couple of pointed questions, then wished him well going forward. He went south, I went north. Back on track, more upbeat, to the scheduled meeting.

After a stimulating conversation at Motherland, with cup of coffee in hand, I began to reflect on trauma and the response to the shock to the system – physiological, mental, social, environmental.

And then the big questions: Why do some recover, others never do, and a few grow from the trauma?

Quick scribble on a napkin, and after a few iterations, a four part model as shown in this image below. Plotting functionality against time.

There are three major responses.

A. Post-traumatic stress disorder, with severe dysfunction in daily tasks i.e. no bounce back

B: Post-traumatic recovery, with the return to previous function i.e. “bouncing back”.

C: Post-traumatic growth, return to a higher level of functioning before the trauma i.e. “bouncing forward”.

Then a new idea, initiated by the brilliant Option B book of Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant:

D. Pre-traumatic growth, where healthy lifestyle choices and practices induces elasticity that absorbs shocks, but at a higher level of functioning.

Then this morning (post good sleep, post exercise, post superfoods breakfast) it hit me: that is what my online teaching platform is all about – Building Resilience before the shock of traumas of life; and if they have already hit, being able to grow from the experience.

Thus FLIP365 is about options C) and D). Post-traumatic growth and Pre-traumatic growth.

The Seven Adventures in Wellness builds resilience – the ability to bounce back and forward from adversity (traumas – read loss of loved ones, serious illness, long term unemployment, victim of violent crime, divorce, rejection by family….)

Incredible how chance encounters stimulate reflection and realization, pulling all the disparate components into a coherent thought structure.

Dr Jonathan D Moch
Psychiatrist
Special Expertise In Optimizing Brain Health

Link.

Upside: The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth.

(Jim Renton)

https://books.google.co.za/books?hl=en&lr=&id=aUYjBQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=jim+rendon+post+traumatic+growth&ots=8j_E7ZXwI6&sig=4R7sjn8SEnJ9CDwGJKLu6742cJM#v=onepage&q=jim%20rendon%20post%20traumatic%20growth&f=false

YouTube Playlist Link. Dr Jonathan Moch

 

(5). Sudoku: A novel relaxation method.

Some neurotics twirl their stress-release wrist beads; others pace up and down. A few watch their breath; many distract themselves on something silly. And a million other ways to release mind and body tension.

Me? I open up my Sudoku app on my iPad, set it on the easy option and complete the single solution in the shortest time.

My record is one minute three seconds; the average 2:51 mins. And I have done this almost 7000 times over the past four years. See stats in graphic below (as of 13/06/2018).

Great investment, far better than Valium, a two finger whiskey, eating chocolate cake or punching pillows.

Sudoku is now a very popular pastime. Appears in international syndicate newspapers, free apps (AppleApp or Google Playstore), and mushrooming competitions with sizable prizes.

I love the simple symmetrical numerical logic of the puzzle.

Basically it is a grid of nine horizontal and nine vertical squares, making it a 81 possibilities to insert only one of nine numbers from 1 to 9 in each square.

The 81 square grid is also divided into nine standalone grids: three rows and three columns.

The rules are few.

Can only insert a specific number Eg 1 in one row or one column in the larger grid, and only one number in the nine sub-grids.

All games start with a few numbers placed in any of the 81 squares.

The complexity is added when there are fewer numbers. In other words, the more numbers, the easier the solutions.

The less numbers, the more you have to remember various number possibilities per square.

(There are, of course, complex behind-the-scenes mathematical algorithms that vary the intensity between games, but beyond my comprehension).

On my app, there are six choices of increasing complexity. (Love the descriptions!)
1). Easy
2). Medium
3). Difficult
4). Hard
5). Evil
6). Diabolical

EASY option for me, but I enjoy the gentle pressure of the timer, keeps me focused until the inner tension dissolves.

Try it! It is good for brain health, a novel way to induce the relaxation response, and improve attention, focus, and memory.

Start easy. One number at a time.

Dr Jonathan D Moch
Psychiatrist
Special Expertise In Optimizing Brain Health

YouTube Playlist

Link for more on Sudoku.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudoku

(4). Lessons from the University of Life (according to Bill Gates)

Things they will not teach you at school.

(Different sort of blog. Info passed onto me by one of my class participants. You can, with practice, parachute in these memes into the space between the situation/triggers/stimuli and your response to them. Notice how your thoughts, feelings, body sensations, energy and behavior quietly changes. JM)

Wise words by Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft.

Never too old to learn these mental recodes (from the university of life.)

1). If you mess up it is not your parents fault.

Stop spreading the blame around and take responsibility for your failures.

2). Life is not fair. Get used to it.

Stop expecting life to hand you things you think you deserve.

3). If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you meet your boss.

Instead of shouting at you in front of the class, it is now an entire office.

4). Life is not divided into terms.

Once life starts, it just goes on and on. So spend your life doing something worthwhile.

5). You will not make a lot of money right after school.

You will have to work hard for what you get.

6). What you see on television is not real.

In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

7). Your parents know something you do not.

Perhaps, before you were born, your parents were not as boring as they are now.

8). Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.

Swallow your pride and take the job you think is beneath you as a stepping stone.

9). Be nice to nerds.

Chances are you will end up working for one.

 

Video.

Podcast.

Check out my episode “Daily Blogs. Bill Gates.Wise Words” on Anchor! https://anchor.fm/jonathan424/episodes/Daily-Blogs–Bill-Gates-Wise-Words-e1ku7r

YouTube Playlist Link. Dr Jonathan Moch

Dr Jonathan D Moch
Psychiatrist
Special Expertise In Optimizing Brain Health