Category Archives: psychology

High Coo – Nov 30 – Noah’s Story

Noah was excited to move to the Bay area. Unfortunately, his dream-come-true was traumatized by being mugged. He returned to the East Coast for medical and spiritual care and rediscovered happiness.

Check out his brief (< 3-minutes) video here

Today’s senryu: Noah’s Story

refocus on joy

let go of judgment and see

the fullness of life

I echo the “Heartfelt gratitude and awe for Doug Menuez and his team, including Executive Producer Pear Urushima, Director of Photography Luke Carquillat and Sound Technician/Gaffer Dino Davaros.” Check out

High Coo – Nov 29 – Vishal’s Story

Vishal is interested in patient-physician communication and has discovered that empathy, gratitude and compassion are deeply intertwined. His goal is to permeate positivity for his patients’ healing journey.

Check out this brief (< 3 minutes) video at

Today’s senryu: Vishal’s Story

empathy evolves –

let’s change our experience:

integrate grateful

For more information check out

High Coo – Nov 28 – Wendy’s Story

Wendy is an executive coach and business consultant who helps her clients “lean into gratefulness.” She says the more you appreciate the more you will see to appreciate.

Is that true for you?

Today’s senryu: Wendy’s Story

Having a bad day?

Be vulnerable – be safe –

lean into happy.

For more information on The Grateful Living Network founded by Brother David Steindl-Rast see

A peaceful, thriving, and sustainable world — held as sacred by all, for all.

High Coo – Nov 25 – Retail Therapy?


Retail therapy is shopping with the primary purpose of improving the buyer’s mood or disposition. Often seen in people during periods of depression or stress, … (the term) was first used in the 1980s, with the first reference being this sentence in the Chicago Tribune of Christmas Eve 1986: “We’ve become a nation measuring out our lives in shopping bags and nursing our psychic ills through retail therapy ….

The fact that shopping may provide a short time of comfort (relief from dysphoria), but also imposes costs and is subject to comedown and withdrawal, make it, like opioid use, either a therapy or an addiction, depending on whether each person uses it adaptively or maladaptively. Retail therapy thus exists on a spectrum with shopping addiction (compulsive buying disorder).”

Here’s an interesting book for your consideration:

“Often unknowingly the vast majority of us collude in a system that encourages addiction and co-dependence – and sees these states as normal. Many of us are addicted to chemicals, not only to alcohol or drugs but nicotine, caffeine, chocolate and overeating in general. Even more of us are involved in addictive processes: workaholism, gambling, compulsive shopping, sex, and so on. The realization of the extent of our addictions, both individually and as a society, is shocking but this book shows that these addictions can be identified and reversed.”

Today’s senryu: Retail Therapy?

grasping for success

I took comfort in shopping

for what, I’m not sure


High Coo – Nov 17 – Losing My Attachment Figures

Attachment theory is a very popular concept among psychologists and has been for a few decades now. It states that humans – in fact, all mammals – have an innate drive to seek out close emotional relationships with other people, who can become our ‘attachment figures’. Humans seem to have developed a particularly flexible attachment system. By this, I mean that we can become emotionally attached to a wide number of other people, from relatives to friends to romantic partners. Even non-humans can be our attachment figures – think about the bond you might have with a beloved pet, for example. Even inanimate objects can be attachment figures – the notion of a child and their teddy is a common attachment bond in many Western countries.” Maddie Bleasdale, aka The Awkward Archaeologist (see link above).

A recent Animal Chaplaincy class discussed how a loved pet (aka companion animal) can be a traumatic event for someone, especially when that loved one was a “primary attachment figure.” The guest speaker, Janel Griffieth, a Senior Director for CARE (Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity ( gave a powerful presentation about her personal experiences and why knowing more about trauma, resiliency, hope and the Attachment Theory can help animal chaplains be more empathetic when humans are emotionally devastated by the loss of their trusted non-human companion.

Today’s poem: Losing My Attachment Figures

the moment you died

I was sad, lonely, bereft –

I walk with you now

The book below, by Thich Nhat Hanh, has been helpful for me, perhaps it may be helpful to someone you know.