In the Land of 148,000 No’s Who Are You? In his book, “What to Say – When You Talk To Yourself, acclaimed psychologist Dr. Shad Helmstetter wrote, “During the first eighteen years of our lives, if we came from fairly positive homes, we were told “No!” or what we could not do, more than 148,000 times!” If you were a little more fortunate, wrote Helmstetter, you may have been told “No!” between 50,000 -100,000 times. However many times, wrote Helmstettler, it was considerably more negative programming than any of us ever needed. Meanwhile, according to Helmstettler, during the same period, the first eighteen years of your life, how often do you suppose you were told what you can do or what you could accomplish in life? A few hundred, maybe a few thousand? Whatever the number, for most of us the “yes’s” or positive affirmations we received simply did not balance out the “no’s.” The occassional words of “belief” were just that – occassional and were far out numbered by our daily doses of “cannots.” The negative programming that we all received (and to some extent still receive) has come to us for the most part quite unintentionally. It comes to us from our parents (trying to protect us); it comes from our siblings, from our teachers and classmates, our co-workers, the significant others in our lives, advertising and media messages of all kinds, the morning newspaper and the six o’clock news. And for some of us it comes in the form of institutionalized stereotypes designed to limit our love for self and others like ourselves. But that is for another discussion. In this Land of 148,000 No’s – this is for those of us on the path of self-discovery. For those of us trying to find out who we really are. From Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet And a man said, Speak to us of Self-Knowledge. And he answered, saying Your heart knows in silence the secrets of days and nights. But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge. You would know in words that which you have always known in thought. You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams. And it is well you should. The hidden well-spring of your soul most needs to rise and run murmuring to the sea; And the treasuer of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes. But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure. And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line. For self is a sea boundless and measureless. Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather say – “I have found a truth.” Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.” For the soul walks upon all paths. The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.