Default image

Dr. Jason B. Fischer

Cinema Psych: CHAPPiE Speaks to Parenting

Cinemawise: CHAPPiE Speaks to Parenting, Humanity, Love
Rarely does a film come along that offers equal parts full-throttle bravado, tender-hearted sentimentality, and rich grist for the philosophical mill, but this is exactly what Neill Blomkamp (Elysium, District 9) achieves in his latest contribution to the science-fiction milieu of robotics. I'm not a film critic, so I'm not going to write this article as if I were one, yet I will say this: CHAPPiE is brilliant.

Rethinking “The Divorce Talk”

This article is actually an email I sent to one of my clients who was dreading having "the divorce conversation" with her kids. Like many faced with this daunting task, she assumed her children (both between the ages of 5 and 10) would be devastated by the news. Two days after sending my 8 tips, I received the following response from her: "Thank you SO much for this help! [Spouse's name] and I read it over several times and did just as you laid out-- and all is okay! The kids seem fairly unaffected so far and were happy and excited about xxxxxx's apartment having a pool. Anyway, I guess as far as this talk goes, it was really successful. You pointed out several things I wouldn't have thought about, so thank you. And thanks for always being available and willing to help. You rock!!" The particular 8 tips that I had offered her are included below.

Broke and Unbroken: Transforming Financial Distress

This isn't an article about how to make more money (there are plenty of those already out there). Instead, it's an article about something infinitely more important, an article about how to handle the oftentimes challenging reality that, if you're like most people, you are simply not making as much money as you'd like. I see so many people wrestle with the feelings that money brings out in us that I decided this topic merited some extra attention. So, here's the way I see it.

Falling in Love with Your Family

We tend to think of falling in love as something that happens between two individuals. If we fall in love, perhaps we're lucky enough to have those feelings reciprocated and build a lasting relationship with this person, maybe get married, have kids, form a family, you know, all that conventional stuff (not that that's the only way to do things). Then, upon this path, life inevitably happens. The stress and challenges of partnership begin to slowly nudge out the grandeurs of early romance and, at periodic junctures, it's not uncommon for some folks to wonder, "Hmmmm, have I fallen out of love?"

How Meditation Can Help You Find the Perfect Friend

I meet with a lot of people who say things like, “Oh, I’ve tried meditation before but I’m just not good at it.” When asked to explain, the most common answer is, “I just can’t make my mind get quiet.” I’ve heard responses like this so often that I’ve come to realize that this is the single greatest misunderstanding about meditation. In truth, meditation is not about calming our mind or achieving a state free from mental noise and cognitive clutter. Far from it, actually.

How Do You Know When You’ve Lived Enough?

I remember attending a lecture by the Tibetan monk Sogyam Rimpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, in which, smiling all the while, he confessed, “So many people, they say, ‘I’m not afraid of death.’I tell you, they’re lying! Death? Very scary. Me? I’m very scared of death.” And I thought to myself, “Phew, if he’s scared, then it’s certainly okay that I’m scared too.”

Navigating Discomfort

Life is full of choices. Some choices may take months or years to decide, others are so seemingly inconsequential that we may not even notice ourselves making them. The question is, why do we make the choices that we make? What motivates us to choose this over that from one moment to the next? How can we make sure that our choices serve us, not just for right now, but over the long haul? These are essential questions to answer if we want to cultivate mastery over our lives.

Overcoming Insomnia, Without Drugs

Sleep is one of the primary contributors to physical wellness. Having just survived two years of having infants in our bedroom, my wife and I know this all too well. When either of us don't get enough sleep, we inevitably grow more testy and irritable. Of course, being awakened by hungry babies is not the same as having insomnia, but the point remains: sleep matters. It matters so much so that, whenever a client complains about having insomnia, I never fail to share my secret remedy which (by the way) has never failed for me personally. I've used it hundreds of times with flawless results.

The Illusion of Negativity

The human mind can be easily deceived sometimes. In its perennial effort to accurately interpret our world, it is unfortunately prone to making some serious mistakes. This is exceedingly evident in the case of optical illusions, were the mind is tricked into believing something is true that, in fact, is false. The image below, for instance, is completely static and unmoving, made by colors and patterns fixed in space. Is this what you see?