My friend Lisa Ann Bonfiglio at Dynamic Art House posted the following interview of me in her blog–you might be interested in checking her out, so read on:
Interview with Pam Garcy PhD
Thank You Pam
1. For my readers who may not be familiar with would you like to share a little of your background
I was raised in West Texas by a European Mom and an American Dad who survived the great depression. I had a blessed childhood and was spoiled to some extent as the baby of the family. However, I was told that I was going to be a doctor from the the time I was very small. they were talking abut an M.D. type of doctor–not a PhD kind. I had the advantage of a good education, but during that time, I had to find my own way. My parents were really heartbroken when I told them that I love psychology, not medicine. I had always gotten great grades in science and math–they couldn’t come to grips with it. For years, they kept asking me if I wanted to now go to medical school. This came from love, but fortunately, I was already in touch with my heart. Education is something, it was a long ride. I got my bachelors degree from Rice University (which we called Harvard of the southwest at the time). Following this, I obtained my PhD in clinical psychology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. I taught at Richland College, supervised students at UT Southwestern and also teach at Argosy University in Dallas. I love teaching, doing therapy, helping people and speaking to others abut what I’ve learned. It thrills me when I see someone light up with revelation. Somehow this is the greatest thing to witness. Life is so awesome and turning a person onto life is a truly amazing thing to me. Recently, I’ve discovered that writing is another way to reach others.
2. When did the idea first come to you about writing “The Power of Inner Guidance”
I was getting coaching from a man named Ken Porter through Jack Canfield Coaching. Within the first minute of the conversation, Ken told me that he’d reviewed my paperwork (lots of Q & A’s) and that he wanted to ask me something-he said, “you’re a really good person, aren’t you?” It took me aback a little bit. “how do you know?” I asked . He said, “I’ve always had this ability, kind of lie a sixth sense, about people. I can just tell by your and answers on the forms.” He said that I needed to tune into that more and that he could tell this would be freeing for me. We did some work on turning inward and it lifted me to a new level. The reason that I’d entered the coaching program is that I knew I wanted to write and to help people at that point. I had been saying the same things over and over to people. It was time to write it down so that those who couldn’t see me in therapy could benefit from the lesson I’d learned.
And how did the idea take shape?
I didn’t now what I was going to write about. Ken encouraged me to get very quiet and to just tune in, paying attention to whatever cam to me. I got an image of myself walking along a forest path with a group of folks, I was hosting a workshop of some sort, Id didn’t know what it could mean at the time, but it clarified this desire more for me. I realized that this process wasn’t really new to me. I had frequently turned inward for answers at various turning points in my life. Then it hit me-I would write about being true to oneself and the loving gentle voice inside that guides us to do this. How was it that we each had this loving this voice inside-you could call it inner guidance-and how could we actually use it to help us to be true to ourselves?
What was your first step?
My first step was to meditate and then simply ask myself a question: What are the titles of the chapters of my book. I wrote down all of the titles without judgment then, I committed to writing 5 pages a day until I had written a manuscript. As I wrote, I went back to this process of tuning into my inner guidance, over and over again. I also use REBT to help me shift my mood so that I could use this guidance and to help me to make sense of the information I was tapping into. 6 months later, I had a 400 page manuscript, Turned out that the whole thing changed into my short paperback of less than 100 pages after I pitched it to a publisher.
3. What was the biggest challenge for you in writing your book?
At one point, I got some very negative feedback on the manuscript. I had to separate my ego from the work. This was a big deal and a good growth experience. It helped me to get more feedback and keep working toward a clear and solid work.
4. What was the biggest joy in writing your book?
I loved the fact that as I wrote, my ideas would crystallize and solidify. Examining various angles of what I had to say opened me up to more of what was inside. It also helped me to become a more confident speaker, I felt energized by the creative process as well. It became a joyous time that I looked forward to each morning-my “me” time.
5. What is the most important thing message you would like to convey to individuals who to choose to read “The Power of Inner Guidance?”
I would simply like to encourage people to honor their inclinations, trust themselves and work daily to be true themselves. I also believe that it is important to honor others in the process. I’m not big on people being true to themselves unethically. For example, if you have a child, don’t just abandon them to go live out your dream. Do what you want ethically-which means that you honor the prior commitment. If you are a parent, your prior commitment is to parenting, so the fun stuff has to work around your child’s needs. This applies to other commitments as well.
6. Are you going to have an audio book and/or online course available and if so when?
Thanks for suggesting this. I would love to do this if there is an interest; I have a free online newsletter called insourcing. People can sign up for it at www.myinnerguide.com this provides an opportunity for my readers to tell me what they want from me. If all goes well, this is something that I will pursue and develop soon.
7. In your book refer to REBT (rational emotional behavior therapy) and how by following the steps of smart inner guidance which is a combination of inner guidance and rational thinking an individual can begin to live a fulfilling life. How does this process differ from the other self help books available today?
First of all, I admire Authors who are trying to help people. So it is not my intent to put down the works of others. However, my book differs because it combines the intuitive with the logical. I do this by showing you how to use your inner guidance and how to employ REBT. It is designed to help teach people how to live with themselves as they tap into their inner guidance, and how to make saner decisions in the process.
8. Your Bad Mood Box is a wonderful tool for shifting into a better feeling space. How did you come up with idea?
This is a medication of the work of Albert Ellis; I’m simply expanding upon it with my initial 3 question and changes in some of the phrasing of questions. Dr. Ellis was hugely influential in my thinking.
9. What do you see for yourself in the future? What projects do you have in the works?
In the future, I hope that this book will reach those folks who really need it. I plan on taking this book to the world more as the Fall approaches. I’ve just written the manuscript for an REBT based workbook, I hope to have that available soon. I’ve recently had thoughts about a sequel to Power of Inner Guidance, which I think I might make totally metaphysical because a lot of people tell me that the love the 2 brothers. So, I’m thinking about where I want to take these brothers and what they can teach us all.
10. What is your definition of true success and living a fulfilling life?
True success, to me, is living a life that embodies your values; it is not based in material, though various forms of wealth are often an offspring of it. Living a fulfilling life, in my opinion, is living a life based upon learning, honoring your Higher Self, loving others, sharing laughter, showing commitment to that which you love doing, giving charity, demonstrating patience, developing empathy, ongoing learning, connection and on it goes. The reason that it goes on is because life is a full and enormous process which escapes definition. However, I think that embracing the joy already in your life through attending to your own inner guidance is a key to experiencing true fulfillment. As you expand your awareness to that which is true for you, I believe you will find (and maintain) the excitement and exuberance of walking upon your path!
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Until next time continue to expect the best let your Light shine in all ways
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Hope you enjoyed checking out Lisa! –Pam Garcy, PhD
Do you overgeneralize? Try this self-quiz and learn the antedote
|Hi, friends. Have you ever noticed that our brains are wired to simplify our experiences? We’ll often naturally figure out rules and patterns, which is why we are able to acquire language so easily, figure out math rules and apply them, and decipher how to act in ambiguous situations.
Sometimes this tendency to simplify our understanding results in making mistakes about people, situations, or even ourselves. For example, at various points in history, people have decided to persecute select groups due their faulty beliefs about those groups. People have also decided to give up on themselves–sometimes we wonder if they gave up too early in the ballgame.
When you take something that has happened once or twice and decide that it is always this way or never that way, you are overgeneralizing.
Here is a fun self-quiz to help you decide how prone you are to overgeneralizing:
Do you often say, “Men are …..” or “Women are…..” when describing a person of the opposite sex?
Do you decide that you cannot do something if you fail to do a part of it well?
Do you believe that if someone hasn’t exhibited a certain behavior so far, they never will?
Do you often use words such as “always” or “never”?
Do you decide that something won’t work out because it hasn’t yet worked out?
Do you think that certain groups are basically a certain way, due to your experience with a few members of a group?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have a tendency to overgeneralize in certain areas of your life.
To overcome this, you might try what I call the “just because” game. Simply put your rule into the sentence and refute it:
Just because one (man, woman, child, dog, cat, member of a group, etc.) did, doesn’t mean they all do.
Just because one (man, woman, child, dog, cat, member of a group, etc.) didn’t, doesn’t mean they all don’t.
Just because it happened once, doesn’t mean it will always happen.
Just because it hasn’t happen, doesn’t mean it will never happen.
Just because I failed at one part, it doesn’t dictate that I’ll fail the entire task.
Just because it occurs often, doesn’t mean it always will.
Just because it occurs seldom, doesn’t mean it never will.
When we overgeneralize, we limit ourselves to what we think we know. We close the door to new instances and to possibility. This can lead to negativity and unhealthy negative emotions.
In an attempt to simplify our experience of life, we actually may close doors to people or situations that may make our lives richer, more interesting, and more enjoyable. Over the years, this can take its toll on your life.
So, consider expanding your views by playing the “just because” game! People often tell me that when they play this little game with themselves, they feel better!
And, when you feel happier, it will be easier to tune in to your healthy inner voice: Your Inner Guidance!
Lots of love,
Pam Garcy, PhD
Since I started writing the e-zine Insourcing: Inner Guidance Secrets, I’ve received wonderful and interesting e-mails from the readers. Occasionally, I receive e-mails which ask the very specific question, “What should I do?”
These “What should I do” type of e-mails relate to readers’ personal problems and concerns. I appreciate that people are willing to ask me for my opinion. I also appreciate that they are reaching out for help. Do not stop reaching out!
But, I realized as I would attempt to diligently answer these e-mails, that there were four things that kept coming up for me. I’d like to share these thoughts with you and hear what you think.
1. What I’ve realized is that the question, “What should I do?” often implies that there is one and only one right course of action.
2. It also assumes that the answer to one’s dilemma is outside of oneself (that is, another person is in a better position to judge for you what this best course of action is).
3. REBT talks about demands versus conditions when the word “should” comes up. For some people, the “should” part of the question can translate into an internal demand (One might say, “I should take this course of action or I’m no good,” for example). For others, the “should” is simply conditional (One might say, “If I should take this course of action, I should increase my odds of success,” for example).
4. The readers know more about their problems than I do and I often respond with guidelines that might relate to them solving their own problems trusting their inner guidance. I believe this also fosters self-reliance and happiness.
I invite you to continue to send in your questions, so that I might help you to access your own answers. I also hope that you will ask yourself these questions:
Am I seeking information, advise, or sympathy? What is my goal?
Is it really true that there is only one right answer to my question? OR, Can there be many paths to the same outcome?
What are some paths which might allow me to create the outcome I desire?
In this instance, is there evidence that another person is in a better position to answer my question than I am?
These questions are best asked when you are in a quiet and relaxed place, and able to tap into your inner guidance. If your mood is unhealthy, it is a good idea to take steps to improve your mood first. For example, I recommend using Dr. Albert Ellis’s REBT to help improve your mood before this process of inner questioning takes place (as discussed in Power of Inner Guidance: Seven Steps to Tune In and Turn On).
Then, you can get the ideas of others. For example, I turn to my mastermind group once a week to tap into the power of their brilliance and the group synergy. It is still okay to ask for help and to get feedback as to whether your answers for yourself are ethical to yourself, others, and the world as a whole. You can gain greater clarity as you discuss your ideas and as you hear the opinions of others.
All I am saying is that I hope for you to honor your healthy inclinations first and foremost, remembering to take time for yourself and tap into the wonderful source of wisdom that is already residing within YOU! There are gifts within you waiting to be claimed. The more you own them and utilize your gifts, the more you will enjoy the pleasure of following your heart rationally.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!
Pam Garcy, PhD