News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™


More Joy, Love, and Peace in 2014 please!

Attitiude Reconstruction  

February 2014


First, a little awe! One of the casualties of tree trimming was this hummingbird nest. Luckily it's not breeding season, so I don't believe a family has been displaced. Look at the quarter and then you can get an idea of the size of this nest. The inner nest itself is so soft. Just perfect for a mom and a couple of juniors to weather the winds and be cozy and safe. Nature is indeed grand.  

The Dwindle Effect
How to Overcome the Dwindle
When Fear Gets the Upper Hand
Full Body Jerks
Jude Bijou
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Attitude Reconstruction

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Kind words about the book.


     Some books are truly awesome. This is one of them. There is something for everyone, only most people don't know they need what is in this book. It is a guide that teaches you in the most simple way how to use the tools that you have in your toolkit that you probably don't know you have. It's an easy read, not academic at all. Easy to put into practice.

     I've read a lot of books, text and self-help and this is one of the best because the author, Jude Bijou gets to the point but also shows you HOW to do what you need to do to really enjoy your life and be happy. As a positive psychology student, this is undoubtedly a book that should be required reading for classes. Throw out the text books, they don't cut it.  

     This book will not only help the reader, but it will help teachers and parents to be better teachers and parents so the children will be able to navigate their lives a whole lot more easily. This is the book that we all needed to read to help us and isn't it about time, and very nice, that there is a real handbook available.  

     Kudos to the author for the 30 year journey she took to help all of us and then write it down and pass it along. You CAN change your behaviors a whole lot faster than you think and this book is just what you need to show you how. A lot of books are well written and say a lot but few actually describe the HOW - Jude does this exceptionally well.  

     She is ahead of her time and we are all so lucky to have the opportunity to learn from her experiences and research. Thank you, Jude. I know a lot of people will benefit greatly from your work!

T. Love 


Jude Bijou MA MFT is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her multi award- winning book is a practical and spiritual handbook to help you create the life you desire. 

Greetings Friends!


       This month's newsletter is about how to keep those New Year's resolutions you made a few weeks back. I call abandoning our best  intentions "the Dwindle Effect."
       Here in Southern California we are experiencing this dwindle, as you can see in the photo showing our ever shrinking Lake Cachuma.
I also have firsthand experience with "the Dwindle Effect" phenomena myself and witness it time and again with clients.


The Dwindle Effect

Backsliding comes with almost every new habit you're trying to ingrain. I call it the "dwindle effect" because the initial impetus to change an old habit wanes, and it's easy to lose sight of good intentions. It's common to rebel against the effort the new action requires, forgetting why you wanted to change in the first place. Your persistent mind chatter becomes the only voice you hear, and you just want to numb out the emotions of the moment with your familiar, safe (and yet oh-so-destructive) habits.

The dwindle effect can either drain your resolve or provide a learning opportunity. With a little observation and introspection, you can identify some of the whens, whys, wheres, and whos that spark falling off your sterling intentions. Keep the warning signs in mind, and you'll be better prepared next time. Ask yourself, "What will I do next time this happens?" Develop a strategy, like choosing some truths for tough moments, selecting another substitute, or setting a shorter-range goal that's more achievable. If you relapse, don't abandon your goal. Just remember the dwindle effect. Deal with your emotions and then step back onto the battlefield of life.


Five Steps to Overcome the Dwindle Effect


       You made a commitment to walk every evening after work, but you can't remember the last time you did. Work is so stressful, you've decided it's a bad time to quit smoking. Or your New Year's resolution not to drink during the week has long been forgotten. No matter how strong your intentions were in the beginning, life's invariable challenges flare up and make it oh-so-easy to slip back into your old habit. Welcome to the DWINDLE EFFECT.


         So what happened? You were on a roll there for a while with the yoga classes! Well, emotions came up (about you, your weight, your relationship, whatever) and you didn't handle the sadness, anger, or fear physically and constructively. Instead, you went into survival mode and reverted back to the familiar habit that you swore you were going to change.


        How can we fight the dwindle effect? Making a long-term change in life isn't rocket science. To actualize your goals and good intentions, do these five things:

1. At those crucial moments when you're justifying not following through with the new behavior --- make a new choice! Stomp, shiver, or cry to deal with your anger, fear, or sadness. Find a safe place and do it with abandon for just three minutes! Your unexpressed emotions are clouding your ability to choose anything new. I know that sounds radical, but it's not. Emote and then remember your goal (see number #2). 


2.   With awareness, changing old habits IS possible and sustainable. Locate your self-sabotaging thoughts and find contradictions that support you. Remind yourself of the reality when you start to waiver. "I hate looking like this. I want to be more fit. I'm doing this for me."


3.   Make sure the change you desire is doable, specific, and reasonable. Maybe you can't become a gym rat five days a week but you could catch one class two mornings fairly easily. And make sure your goal resonates as what's true for you. 


4.   Get a buddy who also wants to make a change and establish a regular daily, weekly, or in between check-in for support and accountability. Initiate and contact him or her at the appointed time, no matter what. Each person gets two to five minutes of listening (set your own reasonable amount of time). The first one talks of victories and breakdown, and the next specific steps he or she need to take between now and the next check-in, and appreciates themselves. Then switch and listen while the other person talks about how they are doing making with their new behavior.


5.   When you choose for the old habit today, don't give up your good intentions altogether. It really IS okay. Get up and start again fresh tomorrow. It's a brand new day.


        Just remember to deal with whatever emotions are sabotaging your efforts and keep checking in to make sure your steps to your goal are small, reasonable, and doable.


        Keep at it and you'll conquer the dwindle effect and bask in the new life you've created.

When Fear Gets the Upper Hand

Here are two recent examples of high profile people talking about how their emotions have derailed them at pivotal moments...

Check out what actress Jennifer Lawrence said in her acceptance speech at the golden globes this year.


Simona Halep, a Romanian professional tennis player, talked about her loss in the quarter finals of the Australian Open... "I just couldn't play today... I had emotions, big emotions, and I couldn't manage this. Before the match I was very nervous and I didn't feel the ball at all. I couldn't move my body and I couldn't play." 

Shiver  Shiver  Shiver  Shiver  Shiver  Shiver  Shiver  Shiver  Shiver

Hey Jude,

My husband is suffering from a bad case of myoclonus-- full body jerks-- that occur mostly during or just preceding sleep.  Drugs don't help much. I'm wondering if you are familiar with this?


To be sure, I am not a doctor...


However, from an Attitude Reconstruction perspective, these body jerks are due to an excessive accumulation of the emotion of fear. I'd suggest doing literally two minutes of intense shivering before hopping into bed so that the energy can dissipate and the body can relax and calm down before drifting off to sleep. 


Read how to effectively shiver 


Scroll down to "Fear- Shivering Demo" on this LINK to see a video demonstration about how to shiver.


If your husband is game, give it a try -- do it hard, fast, and with abandon while just making sounds, and let me know if it helps.


Just last week I read an article about some research that proclaims that shivering offers some of the same benefits of exercise! Read about it!  

Lastly, I want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day. This is a day for love but it's not just about having a romantic dinner with your partner, complete with a rose, a box of chocolate, and amazing sex.  It's about experiencing an extra shot of warm, melty, inclusive feelings in your heart and sharing that good feeling by giving to others without a selfish motive. Give it a try!

Fear is the biggest emotion that is responsible for the Dwindle Effect. I know this because at those choice moments we "loose sight of what we know is true or real," which is one of the four core attitudes associated with fear. So give this shivering strategy a try and see if it helps you establish some new routines.  Wishing you many little victories as you wage your battle against those pesky old habits.