Friday, June 20, 2014

Acceptance

The final element, or habit, of mindfulness is acceptance.  In this scenario, acceptance is defined as  “completely accepting the thoughts, feelings, sensations, and beliefs that you have and understanding that they are simply those things only”. 
 
Today we finish my thoughts on mindfulness.  When it’s all said and done, a lot of mindfulness is accepting reality as it is without judging, with patience, with a child-like “Beginner’s Mind”, with trust in our personal abilities to deal with the moment, allowing life to unfold as it will by non-striving, and finally, what is often the most difficult part, acceptance.  Whatever our individual moments add up to be, for most of us they are not the moments we probably dreamed of in our youth.  I’ve always felt like most of my life was an accident.  The life I have is not really the life I wanted.  It is, however, the life I have.  Just because the life I have is not the realization of my early dreams does not mean it’s all bad.  I strive to not see anything as good or bad .  My life is what it is and many twists and turns brought me to this point.  I can bemoan the fact that it’s not everything I hoped for or I can accept it and strive to better understand why I am where I am and what I am supposed to do with what I have been given.  Such acceptance does not come easy and I am not totally there.  However, even my feeling s must be accepted as “they are what they are”.     

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Non-Striving

The fifth element, or habit, of mindfulness is Non-Striving.  Non-Striving is described as “the state of not doing anything, just simply accepting the things that are happening in the moment just as they are supposed to”.  This is a very tough challenge for many people in our American culture.  We pride ourselves on being busy, productive, driven, and goal oriented people.  In addition to this many of us are also control freaks who want to alter the outcomes of as much as possible to suit our own agendas and needs.  The idea of non-striving and allowing life to unfold as it sees fit is almost abhorrent to us.  We spend a great deal of energy holding on when the best move might be to simply let go.  Many of us are wound a little tight because of the tension within ourselves that is caused by our driven, competitive, and controlling natures.  Keep in mind, however, that Non-Striving is not the same as being lazy or not caring.  I think Non-Striving is like white water rafting.  You don’t necessarily allow yourself to be tossed to and fro by the rapids of life.  You learn to be one with the running water.  Some of the time you just flow with it.  Other times you use your paddle to make the occasional course change to avoid crashing into a rock.  If you fight the river or attempt to change the course of the river you will eventually crash and sink your boat.  Those with skill learn to flow with the river and tap into its energy.        

Trust

The 4th element, or habit, of mindfulness is trust.  In this scenario trust is defined as “having trust in yourself, your intuition, and your abilities.  So far we have talked about non-judging, being patience, and having a beginner’s mind.  When we are in the moment and present to our reality, not only do we have to be non-judging, patient, and childlike in our curiosity and openness, we also have to trust that the moment is as perfect as it can be.  Keep in mind that trusting that the moment is as perfect as it can be does not mean that the moment is perfect.  Rarely in our life is the moment perfect.  Many of our moments are imperfect and during those times we often must rely on ourselves, our intuition, and our abilities to deal with life’s challenges.  By having trust we believe in ourselves and our capacity to meet life’s challenges.  This is also a reminder that mindfulness is not living in oblivion and mindless bliss.  Mindfulness is being present to reality.  Certainly there are those blissful moments when all is well and life is beautiful.  However, there are also those moments where life is painful and challenging.  While we all want to experience the joy filled moments, we must be present to our more painful realities as well.  As someone told me the other day, if you want to experience life’s rainbows, you must also be willing to experience a few storms.      
 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Beginner's Mind

The third element, or habit, of the mindfulness attitude is “Beginner’s Mind”.  What is beginner’s mind?  It is “having the willingness to observe the world as if it were your first time doing so.  This creates an openness that is essential to being mindful”.
 
Most adults have a difficult time having a “Beginner’s Mind”.  As we get older our minds become so filled, mostly with junk, that being open enough to have the curiosity of a child is very challenging.  When it comes to “Beginner’s Mind”, my greatest teacher is my ten year old granddaughter.  I spend time with her most weekends and during this time she teachers me to see life like a ten year old.  People with “Beginner’s Mind” tend to see life, not only with curiosity, but with simplicity.  When one sees life directly, and with the simplicity of a curious child, one is usually very present to the reality of the moment.  Life is not usually seen as complicated to a child.  It just is.  I remember once asking my granddaughter if she was happy.  At first she seemed confused by the question.  She looked at me as though she was wondering why I would ask such a silly question.  Her eyes said, “Paw Paw, isn’t being happy the normal way of being”?  Only someone with a “Beginner’s Mind” would think being happy is the normal way to be.  My granddaughter’s mind is open and fresh and her vision is pure.  She is full of curiosity and can be present to the moment in a way I can only hope to be.  Unfortunately she will likely grow up to be like the rest of us and she will lose this now effortless ability to be present.  At some point she will have to work to regain it just like her Paw Paw is doing now.   

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Patience

The second element or habit of the mindful person is patience.  Patience is “cultivating the understanding that things must develop in their own time”.  Patience is a trait that usually comes easy for me.  Of course, what I call patience is sometimes seem by others as me being non-assertive.  Admittedly, one of my coping strategies in life is simply waiting things out.  Despite how I am sometimes seen by others, and acknowledging that I do sometimes act in dysfunctional ways, patience is a gift that I believe I have been given to me as part of my personality.  We live in an impatient world where everyone seems to be in a hurry and many people want everything yesterday.  I remember a joke from my days in project management.  It was said that it takes one woman nine months to give birth to a baby.  You cannot give birth to a baby in one month by using nine women.  In other words, “things must develop in their own time”.  Certainly there are situations in life that require a sense of urgency.  Things sometimes happen that require us to kick it up a notch.  However, not everything in life can be done quickly nor should they be.  You can open a can of soup and pop it in the micro wave for a quick and usually unsatisfying lunch.  You can also slow cook a variety of ingredients in your crock pot and have a culinary delight for dinner.  You can pressure cook your life or let it unfold naturally.  As I have said before, in a world of pressure cookers, I am a crock pot.  In the end, patience gains all things.  Move quickly when life demands it but if you are running and pushing all the time, it will catch up to you and you will regret it.     

Monday, June 16, 2014

Non-Judging

I discovered something called the “7 Elements of the Mindfulness Attitude”.  I think it could also be called “The 7 Habits of Highly Mindful People”.
 
The first element, or habit, is “Non-Judging”.
 
Taking the role of an impartial observer to whatever your current experience is.  This means not making a positive or negative evaluation of what is happening, just simply observing it.
 
It is so hard to not judge.  I once heard someone say “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see”.  In other words, almost nothing is what it seems.  Most of our opinions are based on perceptions and perceptions are usually seen as truth in the eye of the perceiver.  How does one be truly objective and non-partial?  How can we remove the filters from our own eyes?  I haven’t achieved this yet.  Certainly the times I have become aware of my own misjudgments have been learning experiences.  I would also say the times I have been misjudged have also been learning experiences.  In my own journey of self-awareness I have become a little better at stepping outside of myself and observing my own behavior.  Of course, even when I do this it is still difficult to not judge myself.  I am a very feeling type person with strong emotions.  It is difficult for me to remove my feelings from most situations.  Sometimes it helps to say to myself, “You’re having an emotional response.  What is really happening now”?  My experience is that it is not easy to be impartial and it is very challenging to simply observe what is going on around me.  I guess the only real progress I have made is by being more aware of my own emotions and how they can misrepresent reality.    

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dualistic Versus Non-Dualistic Thinking

Most people see things as either/or.  Things or people are seen as good or bad, right or wrong, black or white, liberal or conservative, successful or unsuccessful, attractive or unattractive, and on and on.  People tend to walk around and consciously or unconsciously make judgments.  We all do this.  This type of thinking is called dualistic thinking.  Imagine a day where you don’t do this.  Imagine a day where you don’t see life as either/or but rather both/and.  This type of thinking is called non-dualistic thinking.  It is non-judgmental.  I also like to think of it as walking the middle path.  When one walks the middle path, and ceases to judge everything as good or bad, you experience a oneness with life rather than a separation from parts of it.  There’s a common phrase that simplifies this.  I’m sure you’ve heard people say “It is what it is”.  It’s a phrase I tend to overuse but I like it.  I admit that it is sometimes challenging for me to make a decision because I can usually see both sides of an issue.  Because of my desire to walk the middle path and to be a non-dualistic thinker, I try to find an answer in the middle of conflicting opinions.  This seems to be a lost art in modern day politics.  No one seems willing to compromise and meet in the middle.  Always seeing everything as either/or, and never being willing to compromise and meet in the middle, gets us nothing but gridlock and standoffs.  When everyone is holding their ground you can never move ahead.            

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

There Is Always Hope

In today’s world many people’s hope is dissipating.  Many people are without jobs and they struggle to provide their families the basics of life.  Those with jobs often struggle financially as well.  People have lost faith in most of their institutions and many of our leaders seem inept.  Civility seems a dying characteristic and the world can often seem to be filled with more hatred and violence than love and compassion.  It’s no wonder that many people’s faith and hope are shaky.  Still, hope is alive.  I refuse to give in to pessimism.  I have always been an optimist.  I’ve always believed that life will get better even when it doesn’t appear to do so.  I have always believed that I will receive what I need and so far in my life this has been true.  I live in the hope that my struggles have not been in vain and that these very struggles have molded me into the person I am today.  I was talking to someone recently about my experience of living in a monastery.  I left the monastery 41 years ago.  If I was still Brother Dominic I would not be the same person that I am today.  I would not have had the same struggles and challenges as I have had living in the world.  Our struggles and our challenges define us.  Brother Dominic may have turned out to be a holy and happy monk or he may have ended up in therapy.  The jury is still out on Michael Brown.  Live in the hope that your life is what it is meant to be.  Your struggles are creating the person you are meant to be.  Don’t let life get you down.  Hope is alive and you will be the person you are meant to be and you will find the life you are meant to live.  It’s all a journey and hope is one of your companions.     

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Be Where You Are And Do What You Are Doing

To dwell in the here and now does not mean you never think about the past or responsibly plan for the future.  The idea is simply not to get lost in regrets about the past or worries about the future.  If you are firmly grounded in the present moment, the past can be an object of inquiry, the object of your mindfulness and concentration.  You can attain many insights by looking into the past, but you are still grounded in the present.
-Buddhist saying
 
Be Here Now.
-Ram Dass
 
Zen is being where you are and doing what you’re doing.
-Michael Brown
 
Being here now, being where you are, and doing what you’re doing sounds incredibly simple until you actually try to do it.  I feel reasonably grounded within myself but my mind and my body are rarely in the same place.  As I write these notes I am already home in my mind, happy that another work day is over.  It takes some effort to be mindful.  The truth is that I don’t always like where I am or what I am doing.  To be one with reality and to be one with a desired reality is not the same thing.  Most of us struggle on a daily basis to accept reality and to flow with it.  I realize after many years of introspection that I have a personality that often fights reality.  Sometimes I feel that when I am trying to be mindful of reality by being her now and doing what I am doing, I am sleeping with the enemy.  The reality I want and the reality I have are sometimes in conflict.  Still, I try to practice my Zen and my mindfulness, hoping for an insight that will give me a new way of seeing things.  So, for the time being I will be here now until 4:00 PM.  After that, wherever I go, there I am.   
 

Monday, June 09, 2014

My Granddaughter...Now And Then

I am moving a little slow this morning and I feel like I didn’t have a weekend.  I was in the office at 5:45 AM on Saturday morning so I could avoid the estimated 10,000 people who showed up downtown for the annual Color Run 5K race.  Occasionally I looked down upon the masses from my 11th floor observatory.  Thankfully it was a quiet, uneventful morning at work.  By the time I left at noon all the runners and walkers had gone home.  Soon after I got home I headed for my couch to enjoy a nap.  I was deep into dreamland when I was suddenly awakened by my granddaughter jumping on me.  She is the only person who can do that to me and get away with it.  Everyone knows I dearly love my granddaughter.  In a few short weeks she will be ten years old.  She is growing up very fast.  It is a joy to see her turn into a unique individual but it is also a little sad.  Chloe the child is turning into Chloe the soon to be teen-ager.  Like most children she is breaking free and trying to assert her independence.  This weekend we had a mild confrontation and disagreement.  When it was over I felt terrible and I was sorry it happened.  I apologized for being grumpy and told her I loved her very much.  As always she forgave me and we parted on good terms.  As she heads towards the teen-age years I hope I can be patient  and understanding of her and the challenges of growing up in today’s world.  On many levels she’s had a tough time her first ten years.  As she gets older I hope I can be a good listener and counselor.  

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Just Be Nice

If you can’t love everyone, at least don’t hurt them.
-The Dalai Lama
 
I am often aware of the struggles going on in other people’s personal lives.  Occasionally the struggles are within my own life.  Sometimes our struggles are just the challenges of daily life.  Other times they are significant and may even be life and death scenarios.  I think we often forget about the troubles of other people.  We rub shoulders day after day.  Many times we are judgmental towards those around us.  We may walk around like we are the only people in the world with a problem or a difficult life.  Today I would like to remind everyone that all of us have crosses to bear.  All of us have challenges, disappointments, losses, and broken hearts.  What’s the point of saying this?  Well, the point is to remind everyone to cut everyone else some slack.  Be patient and understanding with one another.  Most of us are doing the best we can.  Be kind.  Be compassionate.  Be forgiving.  Tolerate one another’s weaknesses.  Yes, I know I am ripping off some of this from St. Paul.  Do whatever you can to make another person’s life a little easier.  God knows the world doesn’t give most people a break.  Remove the stones from one another’s paths and definitely don’t add more.  Lighten up, chill out, and put things into proper perspective.  Get over your ego.  Don’t get hung up in the BS of life.  Focus on what is truly important.  What is important?  I don’t want to sound like a Hallmark card but after 63+ years of living I think it boils down to love and caring for those in your life.  This doesn’t just mean family or friends.  It means the people you work with too.  I have never regretted caring too much.  However, let me add one caveat.  I don’t mean allowing other people use you as a doormat.  Sometimes caring can mean practicing tough love.  Most parents have this experience sooner or later.  I’m talking about the kind of caring that anyone can practice with anyone else whether you know them or not.  Life is tough and is often a struggle.  Do good whenever you can.  Be kind.  Treat other people the way you want to be treated.  Over tip the tired waitress at the Waffle House.  If you’re strong be grateful and help the weak.  If you’re weak, do the best you can.  If you’re gifted be grateful and help those less gifted.  If you’re not gifted, do the best you can.  Whoever you are, just be nice…and real.     

Living The Same Day Over And Over

In my living room my wife and I have one of those electronic picture frames that contains several hundred pictures from our family’s life.  The pictures change every few seconds and do this twenty four hours a day.  However, it seems like every time I actually look at the frame it is always showing the same picture.  In the movie “Groundhog Day” the actor Bill Murray seems to be living the same day over and over and over.  I’ve also noticed in my daily life that I even seem to see the same strangers every day at the same time doing the same thing.  It is very easy to think and believe that life never changes but we all know that it does.  My two sons are no longer little boys.  They are grown men.  People are always asking me, “How old is your granddaughter now”?  When I tell them they usually reply, “No way”!  When I look in the mirror I see my father with a beard.  I was in my 30’s when I began working for Humana and now I am in my 60’s.  For a life that never seems to change, much has.  Is all this a bad thing?  It all depends.  If you’ve gone from point A in your life to point B and you can’t remember any of the journey, that might be a problem.  As I’ve said many times I try to practice mindfulness so I am present to the moment and I can tell when the moment moves to the next moment.  I write so I can remember.  Someday my granddaughter and other members of my family can go back and read my stories and they will remember events and occasions long forgotten.  My advice to everyone is this.  Slow down and pay attention to your life.  Write it down.  Remember it.  If you’re in a rut, climb out.  If you always turn right, turn left once in a while.  If an opportunity arises to do something different, do it.  Drive home a different way.  Occasionally go out in your yard in the middle of the night and look at the stars.      
 

Friday, June 06, 2014

Physical Health

The final pillar of well-being has to do with our health.  This is the toughest one for me.  I had my first health crisis in my 30’s and it was traumatic.  In my 50’s I was diagnosed with diabetes.  Both of these events demanded changes in my behavior and life style.  Like most people I wondered “Why me”?  I beat myself up a little debating how much my health problems were my own fault or whether they would have occurred anyway because of the genetic hand of cards I had been dealt by my parents and ancestors.  It’s probably a bit of both.  Whether I deserved them or not is irrelevant at this point.  The good news is that my health issues forced me to think differently about my lifestyle and choices and for the most part I have adapted to these challenges in a positive way.  My medical conditions cannot be reversed at this point but the reality is that I am living a healthier life now than I did when I was younger.  Good physical health is important.  If you have a sense of purpose, belonging, and security, they may not seem very important if your health has failed and you cannot enjoy what life has to offer.  At the same time, you may be the poster child for good health and healthy living, but if you have no sense of purpose, belonging, or security, your life is out of balance and it would be misleading to say you have a sense of well-being in your life.  Total well-being is about having balance and balance is found in the tension of opposites.  Purpose, belonging, security, and good health do not come easy.  Well-being is about choices and consequences.  The desire to have well-being and the experience of well-being are two different things.  In the tension of opposites balance and well-being are found walking the middle path of moderation.       

Thursday, June 05, 2014

A Sense Of Security

The third pillar of well-being is having a sense of security.  Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” lists food and shelter as our most basic need.  If you don’t have food and a place to live, everything else is pretty tough.  For me, having a sense of security also means not being afraid.  How can I feel secure if every waking moment is filled with worry and fear about my basic needs?  In order to have a sense of security you do not need to have an overabundance of everything.  I feel secure when I have enough of everything.  Like most things in life, it’s all about balance.  When we are young we often want everything without a realistic understanding of what it takes to have anything.  Unless you are a trust fund baby or you win the lottery, you are probably going to have to work.  Assuming you have employment and it provides you with a regular and steady income, your needs and wants with have to be balanced with your ability to pay for them.  Keep in mind that what you need and what you want can be very different.  As I’ve said before, the first half of life is usually about building and gathering.  I am in the second half of life where I am now deciding what is truly essential for my life.  I no longer think about how I can get more.  Now I think more about letting go and doing with less.  One also needs to balance the needs of the present with the anticipated needs of the future.  This can be tricky.  I don’t believe in robbing the present for a future that is not guaranteed.  However, I don’t have an attitude of “let’s eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we may be dead” either.  Of course, a sense of security is not just about money.  Assuming basic physical needs are met, I also want to feel safe, not only from harm, but from the unexpected.  I avoid stress by minimizing stressors.  I avoid fear by avoiding situations that put me in danger.  In life I strive to give what I can and only take what I need.  I generally feel secure and I have gotten to this point by learning from my mistakes and by making new and better decisions that don’t jeopardize my security.      
 

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Solitude

I feel a little guilty when I say that I am sometimes happiest when I am alone.  Give me a day home alone with a good book, a cup of coffee, and my favorite music and I am perfectly content.  When I am alone it is a stress free zone.  I don’t not have to meet anyone’s expectations or demands.  I don’t have to change who I am to fit in.  In a recent conversation with a friend who has been a monk for 50 years I shared that even though it’s been over 40 years since I left the monastery and my days as Brother Dominic, I am still temperamentally a monk.  I am not, however, anti-social, and, for what it’s worth, neither are monks.  I like people and most people like me.  In spite of my preference for solitude I must interact with people every day.  I have a wife, children, a granddaughter, extended family, and friends.  I still need to come to work every day and interact with all kinds of people.  Some days this can be challenging.  When I was a young monk, and I was in much better physical shape than I am now, I used to wander for hours in the woods and hills around the monastery.  The monk who was responsible for my training allowed me a weekly “Hermit Day”.  I’ve come to the conclusion that there are a lot more people like me than most people realize.  Even if you are an extrovert, I think people need solitude and time alone.  It is only in solitude that you meet yourself and learn to deal with who you are.  Solitude is not always a party for me.  Sometimes in solitude I come face to face with my weaknesses, my dysfunctions, and my hang ups.  I occasionally have to stare in the mirror and deal with myself.  Outside of solitude you can avoid yourself forever.  If you are constantly moving and running and surrounding yourself with distractions, you can spend your whole life out of touch with your own reality.  I like who I am but I know I am not perfect.  I have needs that are not being met but I also must occasionally tell myself to get over it and let it go.  Sometimes I have to bring a halt to the pity party and remind myself of what’s good in my life.  So, as you can see, solitude can be a double edged sword.  It can be a peaceful retreat from the demands of life or it can be a face to face encounter with your own dark side.  For me solitude is my comfort zone.  However, as I recently wrote, sometimes you have to leave your cave to fully appreciate all that life has to offer.  I probably don’t do this enough.  However, that doesn’t mean I am putting a “For Sale” sign on my cave.  I am keeping my cave because that’s where all my stuff is.           

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

A Sense Of Belonging

Yesterday I shared some thoughts on having a sense of purpose in your life.  The next pillar of well-being is having a sense of belonging.  What does this mean?  It basically means that you feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself.  There’s a saying that “No man is an island”.  Despite the feelings of loneliness that we all feel sometimes, the reality is that we are all connected to one another and everyone else on this planet.  You disagree?  Where do you think your food comes from?  Did you grow all of it in your backyard?  Of course, a sense of belonging is more than just the reality of connectedness with other people.  A sense of belonging would also include a sense of acceptance and relationship.  Most people are part of a family, a community, a city, a state, and a country.  Beyond this they might also be part of a faith community, a political party, or other groups of people who share your beliefs or values.  We have grandparents, parents, spouses, significant others, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, neighbors, friends, employers, employees, and co-workers.  Our sense of belonging can be gauged by the depth of our relationships with all the people in our lives.  The more love and acceptance we experience, the more we feel a sense of belonging.  I expect my family to love me.  It’s part of their job description.  Beyond that, it’s all gravy.  Someone joked once that my team would jump off the 2nd Street bridge for me.  I would never ask them to do that but I do believe that if I fell off the 2nd Street bridge into the river some of my co-workers would jump in the water to save me.  When one experiences such a level of love and caring, one realizes that their life has value and acceptance, not to mention the joy of knowing other people want you in their life, all of which are the foundation for a sense of belonging. 
 

Monday, June 02, 2014

A Sense Of Purpose

One of the pillars of well-being is having a sense of purpose.  What does this mean?  I suppose it can mean different things to different people so all I can do is share one thing that gives me a sense of purpose.  Most of my life I felt very ordinary and average.  I was mature and dependable, if sometimes na├»ve, but rarely felt like I was making a difference to anything.  I think many people feel like this when they are young and in the early stages of their life.  When I began my 50’s I began to see myself differently.  I started to realize that although I wasn’t better than anyone else, I was my own unique self.  My personality traits, my life experiences, my education, and my inner drives began to work together to form the person that I am today.  I started to be more assertive and passionate about my values and beliefs.  I discovered that I have a gift for writing and communication.  I started sharing the experiences of my life and the thoughts that came to me in moments of contemplation.  I became less afraid to share who I am and what I think and feel.  People began to tell me that my worldview inspired them, gave them hope, and comforted them.  I began to realize that I might be what some would call a “Universal Man”.  By that I mean that I seemed able to articulate thoughts and feelings that many people have within themselves but are either afraid to voice or perhaps cannot find a way to express themselves.  Some people have accused me of reading their minds and hearts.  I don’t know how I know what I know or how I am able to tap into universal feelings.  Writing just comes natural to me.  All of this has given me a sense of purpose.  I now know I make a difference.  I still see myself as an average guy but certainly not as a guy without worth.  I know my worth and I know my purpose.  How that purpose will play itself out for the rest of my life is a mystery I look forward to unraveling.  Of course, within the workplace,  I still have basic, sometimes mundane, responsibilities that need to be completed and goals that need to be attained.  Purpose and goals are not always the same thing but they can be weaved together.  My reality is that I discovered my sense of purpose primarily within the workplace.  It is mostly through the encouragement and support of co-workers that I have been able to see my gift and sense of purpose.   

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Worry Is A Waste Of Energy

“Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want”.
 
I seldom worry.  My life experience has been that most things work out as they should so why waste energy worrying?  My lack of worrying doesn’t mean I don’t have concerns.  I just see most concerns and obstacles as inconveniences and not as crisis’s.  I have also learned that most worries are in our head and not based on reality.   As Mark Twain once said, “I have been through many terrible things in my life.  Some of which actually happened”.  My experience of people is that many of them worry ceaselessly.  I wondered why some seem to worry more than others.  My observation is that women tend to worry more than men.  Maybe I don’t worry because my spouse worries twenty four hours a day.  According to one personality type theory that I have found to be very true, all the basic personality types fall into one of three subtypes, i.e., gut types, heart types, and head types.  I am a gut type.  I tend to react to life quickly and from my gut.  Typically I over-react.  Of course, I prefer to think of this as being passionate.  Later, I think myself into being reasonable.  Heart types are always wondering how they look to others and what others think.  They often base their actions on how others will react.  The third group is head types.  This type of person lives “in their head”.  Head type personalities are fear based personalities.  When you think about this you realize that fear is in the head.  Most of what we fear in our heads never actually happens in reality.  The largest percentage of the general population falls into this category.  This is why it appears that so many people are “worry warts”.