Designing the Mind: The Principles of Psychitecture is a new book by Ryan Bush.
This book is for those who find the idea of building a better mind thrilling in and of itself. Who are impassioned by the thought of cultivating greater wisdom, self-control, or tranquility. Who are drawn to the philosophies of Buddhism and Stoicism, or the fields of humanistic psychology and psychotherapy. We all want to be happier, healthier, better people. But only a few grasp that all of our highest aims can be reached by placing our focus directly on our minds.
“The way your mind is structured will determine the person you become, the life you live, and the fulfillment you realize. When you modify your mind, you edit the operating system at your core and change your personal trajectory. And when you make a persistent occupation of this endeavor, you become the architect of your own character.” – Ryan Bush, Author of Designing the Mind: The Principles of Psychitecture
Designing the Mind: The Principles of Psychitecture is a psycho-philosophical self-development book that makes the bold claim that the human condition as you know it – is optional. That it is possible for you to unplug from your own mind, examine it from above, and modify the very psychological code on which you operate, permanently altering its limiting default patterns.
Whether fear prevents you from pursuing your ambitions, jealousy ruins your relationships, distractions rule your life, or you have an inner critic whose expectations you are never able to meet, the psychitectural framework will enable you to understand and rewire the hidden patterns behind your biases, habits, and emotional reactions. DTM will be your handbook for mastering your behavior, cognition, and emotions, and terraforming your mind into a truly delightful place to reside.
DTM integrates the wisdom and insights of ancient mystics, practical philosophers, and cognitive scientists into a modern, rational mindset and method for reprogramming your own psychological software. Though it is based on the puzzle pieces of ancient philosophical insight, it comes together to form the new picture of psychitecture.
“Any man could, if he were so inclined, be the sculptor of his own brain.” – Santiago Ramon y Cajal
“There is no more reliable proof of greatness than to be in a state where nothing can happen to make you disturbed.” – Seneca
Resilience has become a pop-psychological buzzword, and for good reason. Learning to quickly recover from inevitable setbacks is far more practical than attempting to avoid them all. Highly resilient people are better at coping with stress, have fewer depressive symptoms, live longer, and have greater physical health. But why don’t we aim higher? If emotional resilience is getting back up after getting knocked down, emotional robustness is not getting knocked down in the first place.
A robust mind is one with a powerful immune system – one which can bear more without bending. And we fortify our minds, not by circumventing threats, but by preparing for them. By exposing ourselves to difficulties so our minds learn to deal with them effectively. By identifying and reprogramming the emotional algorithms likely to be triggered by the events in our lives.
Emotions are precision instruments. They can be used to achieve great things, but your conflicting passions will only undermine your efforts if you have only little or moderate control over them. If your emotions are the reactive default reflexes they were originally built to be, only luck can help you in achieving your goals.
Believing an emotion to be useful is one thing. But if you are unable to control the emotion, you are not using it. It is using you. If you are unable to keep from getting angry, you have a major weakness, no matter how hard you punched that wall. If you are unable to keep from getting jealous constantly, your partner’s mind is not necessarily a problem – but yours is. And as counterintuitive as it may seem, if you are unable to control your empathy for others, you too have a weakness, and it isn’t doing anyone any favors. You have to learn to stabilize your emotions before you can use them proficiently.
The central idea we’ve covered in the last three chapters, that you can simply reprogram a negative emotional response with which you may struggle, may seem overly simplistic. But over the years, I have repeatedly proven to myself that by viewing emotional algorithms as the root of my problems, these reactions can be eliminated entirely. Each unwanted emotional response poses a unique challenge for creative problem solving. Some are more challenging than others. But I cannot emphasize enough that resignation to negative emotions is the greatest obstacle to a tranquil mind.
Undesirable emotions are bugs in your software. Each emotional category which causes you to feel or act against your values reveals a vulnerability in your psychological code. Culture is keen to remind people that it is okay to feel hurt and upset. This may be important for people to understand, but it’s a bit like telling a programmer it is okay to have errors in his code. Sure, it’s okay. Taking it personally will only create more problems. But now it’s time to debug it. Your thoughts and emotions can be trained, whether or not you have committed to the endeavor of training them. Every problem you have is a part of your own software that hasn’t been optimized.
As we aim to optimize our emotions, we must attempt to cultivate the ancient ideal of equanimity. Equanimity is a state of undisturbed tranquility and psychological stability, with equivalent concepts in nearly every practical philosophy and religion – apatheia in Greek Stoicism, ataraxia in Epicureanism, and upekkha in Buddhism. Someone with this state of mind was someone whose balance of mind could not be shaken, even in the face of great adversity. Equanimity is the pinnacle of psychological robustness and control.
“It is evenness of mind, unshakeable freedom of mind, a state of inner equipoise that cannot be upset by gain and loss, honor and dishonor, praise and blame, pleasure and pain.” – Bhikkhu Bodhi
Although it is easy to view this state as a spiritual aspiration achieved only by ancient sages, you likely underestimate how attainable a state like this is for you. Think back to the problems you were dealing with five years ago. Chances are these problems are largely irrelevant to you now. Whatever circumstances were causing you anger, fear, anxiety, or sadness then have likely shifted, and they no longer cause you the suffering they once did. From where you stand now, it is easy to look at these problems and see that most of them were trivial; it may even seem laughable that the majority of them ever caused you distress. The problems likely worked themselves out, or better yet, weren’t really problems in the first place. You may even be thankful for the struggles you went through.
Equanimity is about feeling the way you feel about your five-years-ago-problems right now, about your current problems. Meaning they either aren’t problems, are problems that will sort themselves out, or are problems that are good to have. And this state is attained through the gradual process of identifying the emotional reactions that hold you back, using the restructuring and modulation tactics to correct them, and reprogramming each one until you are left with nearly total stability in spite of your circumstances.
“Be like a headland of rock on which the waves break incessantly; but it stands fast and around it the seething of the waters sink to rest.” – Marcus Aurelius
Once you have learned to cultivate tranquility and keep your mind still, you will be ready to learn to masterfully maneuver it in the right direction. We will now turn to the control and mastery of our behaviors, actions, and habits.
About the Author:
Ryan A Bush is the founder of Designing the Mind LLC, a self-development organization focused on providing wisdom education and expanding human potential beyond the norm. Ryan’s background is in the design of systems – he works with tech startups to design and develop everything from patented physical products, to software, to buildings, to business models. But his most relevant credential is a lifelong appetite for introspective investigation, ravenous reading, and obsessive self-optimization. For more than a decade, he has been studying the insights of ancient teachers, practical philosophers, and cognitive scientists. In his first book, he aims to assemble these puzzle pieces to form a new vision for psychological growth and self-mastery.
To learn more, go to https://designingthemind.org.
For media inquires, to request a review copy or an interview with the author, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.
Trading Secrets, by Rachael Eckles, is a Romantic Suspense. It was released in May 2020 and is available for sale on Amazon. (Warning: Explicit Sexual Content. Ages 18+) This is the first book in the Trading Secrets trilogy. Book 2 is set to be released in Spring 2021.
Celeste Donovan, a high-powered finance executive, seems to have it all–the penthouse apartment, the supermodel physique with a mathematician mind, and a trail of beautiful men she has loved and left behind.
But when her boyfriend Theodore is killed in a mysterious accident, she discovers Omar, her abusive ex she had hoped would never resurface, is behind his death.
Now she’s caught in a game of cat and mouse, trying to anticipate Omar’s next move, as she realizes he will stop at nothing to get to her. She sets out alone on a whirlwind journey to entrap him, determined to put an end to Omar’s destruction.
Soon Celeste is thrust in the middle of the largest financial scandal in decades. This time, however, powerful government officials are in bed with some of the world’s most dangerous men.
When she discovers that those she thought she knew best are involved in a secret society warring with Omar and his coconspirators, she must decide how far she will go to avenge Theodore’s death and whether she is willing to risk her own life to save everyone she loves.
The moment the blues walked into her office, Celeste knew something was wrong, terribly wrong. Her heart pounded, and her throat tightened. The two nondescript men in NYPD uniforms exchanged somber glances. The shorter one cleared his throat and began talking, but Celeste’s hearing was muffled. She replayed the words in her head, struggling to make sense of the situation.
“Ms. Donovan … listed as his emergency contact … accident while flying in the Berkshires … rough patch … plane down … body badly burned … next of kin identified him … truly sorry for your loss, ma’am.”
Then they were gone, and she was alone on her sofa with no recollection of how she had gotten there. Was it the same day or a week later? Her face was streaked with dried tears, her tongue heavy and coated from her vices. A near-empty Macallan and overturned Xanax container taunted her from the coffee table. She reached for the prescription bottle and emptied the last two pills into her hand, washing them down with a gulp of scotch. Fred Warren’s warnings all those weeks ago were legitimate, she was in danger, grave danger. But she had failed to realize the love of her life was in danger as well.
Theodore’s gone. And I could’ve stopped it.
“A stylish, fierce, globetrotting crime thriller that fans of Janelle Brown and Kimberly McCreight will fall for… an absolute page turner… Eckles’s prose is crisp, her dialogue crackling, witty and withering… In Celeste, Eckles has created a fascinating and highly memorable character. Sure, she’s a dysfunctional powerhouse, largely despised by other women, who has surrounded herself with morally ambiguous men. But when pitted against the diabolical Omar, it’s impossible not to root for her.” – BestThrillers.com
“Eckles provides a fast-paced thriller that takes readers on a wild ride of revenge and intrigue. Vivid descriptions of stunning clothes and opulent locations pack the pages, as do steamy encounters… that will please fans of contemporary romance… readers will find this to be a compelling and satisfying page-turner.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Eckles engages readers from beginning to end with this tale of betrayal, love, and international intrigue. She creates a strong, likable protagonist. Though Celeste’s lifestyle may be foreign to many, it is still very relatable. For those who enjoy a great love story, the relationship between Celeste and Theodore delivers. Likewise, for those whose tastes lead toward the thrill of clandestine encounters and hair-raising escapes, this novel has plenty to offer. A well-written, descriptive narrative and a fast-paced plot keep the action moving along nicely… this is a very entertaining read that should keep readers turning the pages with its exciting plot twists.” – RECOMMENDED by the US Review
“Reminiscent of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Eckles’s complex thriller grips the reader from the opening prologue. A tale of high-stakes Wall Street espionage and manipulation, the hunt for the ultimate evil opponent, an around-the-world, whirlwind adventure and a journey into the heart and soul of an extraordinary woman. Trading Secrets is, at once, a spellbinding, heart-stopping thriller and an exploration of the complex nature and vulnerability of the human heart.” -Traci Medford-Rosow, USAToday bestselling author of Unblinded and Inflection Point.
About the Author:
Rachael Eckles grew up in the Midwest. After graduating from law school, she followed her heart and moved to the east coast. Trading Secrets is her first novel. She currently lives in Manhattan with her puppy, where she is working on book 2 in the Trading Secrets trilogy. Readers can connect with Rachael on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to https://www.rachaeleckles.com
“The Girl with the Magic Ponytails” hopes to take the young and young-at-heart on magical journeys fueled by a young dreamer’s extra-long, chocolate-brown ponytails. This empowering children’s picture book aims to spark the imagination of children, families stuck at home during COVID-19 showing you don’t need to leave home for adventures.
“The Girl with the Magic Ponytails,” written by Karen J. Young, was released on October 6, 2020, published by Huqua Press. This new title offers colorful imagery and engaging prose for children ages 4 – 8 designed to unleash their vivid imaginations as they discover their own unique magic.
The full-color, hardcover book, illustrated by award-winning artist Yoko Matsuoka, tells the story of a little girl named Riley with “magical” ponytails that have a hidden power: With a flip, a swoosh, and a twirl, they can transport her to spectacular adventures and even different places and times.
Thanks to Riley’s magical hair, she is empowered to experience a world of possibilities while helping neighbors and animals in need, tending to self-care and learning to embrace the magic within.
Karen J. Young is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor specializing in food, tourism, and human interest stories. Her career includes roles as a newspaper editor, book editor, website founder, public relations/social media consultant and food festival curator.
The Girl with the Magic Ponytails was inspired by the author’s daughter, Rachel, who was born with a full head of dark brown hair that from early on was styled into two symmetrical ponytails. As Rachel grew, so did her ponytails. Up until elementary school, Rachel would rarely leave the house without them.
“She could never really say exactly why she was so attached to her ponytails,” Young said. “I always thought that for Rachel, the ponytails held some kind of ‘magic.’ The kind that spurs imagination, lifts the spirit, and ultimately, strengthens identity.”
View the promotional trailer for the book at https://youtu.be/2XpE1k8N7XM.
For more information about The Girl with the Magic Ponytails, go to http://thegirlwiththemagicponytails.com/.
Learn more about Huqua Press at http://huquapress.com/.
Heidi Herman will be at Books N’ Brewz Pizzeria in Sioux Falls on August 13, 2020 from 6pm-8pm. It’s a party to celebrate the launch of her new book On With the Butter! and you’re invited. Prizes and giveaways include free book copies plus some surprises, and of course, pizza!
Author Heidi Herman will host a chapter reading followed by Q&A. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and you can have them personally autographed. If you pre-order now, you can pick up your autographed copy at the event and receive a special gift. (Use promo code PARTY so you’re not charged shipping.)
Early reviews rave about this fun, motivational book that’s sure to appeal to anyone looking to add activity to life, but especially the 50+ crowd.
“The adventures of many daring challengers, including the author’s mother and herself, are expertly documented in this book. These intriguing stories should prove an inspiration to all. At the end of each chapter, there is a list of more robust challenges for readers to try. Herman’s inspiring work offers a fresh perspective on living well at any age.” – US Review of Books RECOMMENDED
“On with the Butter is a delight to read. There are so many good suggestions for anyone considering retirement or already retired. This is not a book like so very many that only consider money and financial matters. Just the opposite. A good retirement is about so much more and this book addresses that.” – Del Lowery, RetirementTalk.org
“An inspiring book for us “retired” people. Fifteen chapters explore many avenues of life where we can find new challenges to enable us to: “Keep Moving, Keep Doing, Keep Living.” It’s a delightful, fun read. Everyone who is about to retire or is retired should read this book. You won’t regret it.” – Vic Broquard, Author & Retired Professor.
Book Synopsis: Carry on, keep doing what you’re doing, forge ahead, and keep moving. Icelanders have a saying for it: Áfram með Smjörið – on with the butter! If you’re looking for new ways to add zest to your life or have free time in retirement, this book offers a wide variety of activities and challenges, along with inspiring and heartwarming stories. Discover ways to explore, play, take chances, try new things, make a difference, and have more fun in life. You’re the activities director, and On with the Butter! is your guidebook. So keep moving, keep doing, and keep spreading more living onto everyday life.
The event is free, but due to limited capacity and to ensure social distancing, tickets are requested. (Masks are encourage and will be provided if you need one). Click on REGISTER on eventbrite to reserve your ticket and join me to celebrate!
Bunco: A Comedy About The Drama of Friendship is a new book by Robin Delnoce. Recommended for fans of Bridesmaids, Desperate Housewives, and Bad Moms. Bunco was released in August 2020 and is available for sale on Amazon. Genre: Women’s Fiction / Women’s Humorous Fiction
We all have “those” friends. Maybe you’ve known them since childhood, or met in college, or while waiting for a child’s practice to end. Maybe you found yourself living on the same street. There’s no single path to friendship. Relationships don’t follow a script and neither do the lives of smart, funny, complicated suburban women.
Jill, Anne, Mary, and Rachel met years ago through a neighborhood group that regularly got together to play a dice game called bunco. Although players have come and gone, they continue to use bunco as an excuse to abandon their day-to-day responsibilities and enjoy food, drinks, and the company of their best friends.
When new neighbors move in under the cover of night, the foursome sees an opportunity to expand their bunco circle. But within hours, suspicions run rampant as the odd behaviors of the newest residents are interpreted differently. Are they quirky, or kinky? Diabolical, or misunderstood? Time after time, as the truth sheds light on some secrets, more emerge. Each woman finds herself shocked by the friends she thought she knew.
Through the friendly banter, intimate confessions, and tongue-twisting insults, you may see yourself or your friends in these characters. Wipe away tears of laughter and loss as you join the four metaphorical rounds of bunco, and feel part of the conversation. Whether engaging in playful exploits, providing unconditional support, making uncomfortable sacrifices, or winding up in handcuffs again, these ladies are those rarest of friends who become true family. Of course, families don’t follow a script either, unless it is a plot-twisting, slightly off-color comedy about the drama of friendship. And bunco, sort of.
EMERGENCY AREA WAITING ROOM – DAWN
The early morning daylight begins to fill the foyer of a hospital waiting room packed with police officers.
ANNE HUTCHINSON, an athletic, petite woman in her early 40s, is sitting dazed and exhausted in bloodstained clothes.
JILL MICHAELS stands behind Anne with her phone to her ear. Over a decade has passed since Jill’s tenure as Miss South Carolina ended, but she currently reigns over the local elementary school as parent council president. She masks her anxiety with her polished manners and pleasant southern accent.
Good morning Miss Lowe, this is Mrs. Michaels. I hope your morning is going well. Would you be a dear and let Mrs. Kaiser know I won’t be able to attend today’s parent council meeting?
A police officer watches Jill closely as he patrols the room. She reads the judgment on the officer’s face.
Actually, I may not be able to attend tomorrow’s fundraiser either. I’ll call y’all back as soon as I know. Thank you so much, Miss Lowe.
Jill ends her call, sighs heavily, and takes a seat next to Anne.
RACHEL EASTON, a mid-40s, Midwest-born, and Irish-proud woman, is asleep on the opposite chair. Handcuffs dangle from one of Rachel’s wrists. When awake, Rachel harbors a deep and painful secret that manifests itself in belligerent and self-destructive behavior.
A NURSE passes by the three women. The aroma emanating from Rachel’s general vicinity stops her in her tracks.
How long has this homeless woman been sleeping here?
She’s not homeless. She’s with us.
The nurse shakes her head in disgust and continues on her way.
MARY HUESTON approaches the women with coffee in her hands. Now in her early 40s, Mary has traded her Hollywood acting auditions for youth soccer games, and her figure has become less “soap opera star” and more “community bake sale.” She hands Jill and Anne the steaming Styrofoam cups.
Here. Should we wake Rachel?
Mary begins to take a seat next to Rachel but quickly pivots to allow more breathing room. They each deeply inhale the cup’s contents to mask the aroma.
She’s been through a lot. Let’s let her sleep.
We’ve all been through a lot.
Mary notices Anne staring off in the distance.
How ya doing Anne?
Anne slowly brings her attention to Mary.
Anne silently examines her bloodstained clothes, contemplates her predicament, and shakes her head in disbelief.
(Under her breath)
About the Author:
Robin Delnoce has the kind of sense of humor that would crush any political aspirations. Her off-color humor amuses most but offends a few, and she has been known to issue a post-party apology or two. After twenty years of being caught in her verbal crosshairs, her husband kindly suggested she shift her energies to a more constructive outlet.
To learn more, go to https://buncothebook.com/
Huqua Press announced the upcoming release of a new children’s picture book ‘When We Stayed Home’ for Fall 2020 publication. Written by Tara Fass, a Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist, and Judith A. Proffer, ‘When We Stayed Home’ was inspired by Proffer’s five year-old nephew, who navigated the quarantine with imagination, adventure, heart, and tears.
“We hope to help children ages 3-8 deepen the capacity to see themselves in our hero, to cheer themselves on to get out of their own way, and make the most out of a bad situation,” says Tara Fass, who currently works with families and individuals via telemedicine to maintain mental health during this complex time.
“We know that when a child experiences any kind of trauma, and this pandemic certainly qualifies as such, the best action is to create an environment where they can openly share all they are feeling. We wrote this book for children to help them navigate these great big emotions. And to remind them that they’re resilient, and they’re not alone,” says co-author Judy Proffer. “We’ve included some whimsy and reminders that the creativity, indoor fun and abundance of family time have all been a salve in a sea of uncertainty.”
When Covid-19 traveled the globe, we were prompted to stay home, wash our hands frequently, socially distance and wear masks to remain safe and help the helpers. For children who don’t yet grasp the concept of time and haven’t weathered enough life to understand the art of endurance, it’s been a particularly complicated and sometimes trying time. When We Stayed Home looks at one young boy’s pandemic journey and through colorful illustrations and heartfelt prose we see how he has used his trusty imagination and childlike creativity to navigate the trials of staying home day after day, becoming a super-helper in the process while missing family, friends, school and the “normal” life he once knew. From decorating adorable toilet paper-shaped sugar cookies, building forts, painting and doing puzzles to frequent screen dates and dance parties with family and friends, young children will relate to his joys and sadnesses and how they too found connection and even serene moments of happiness while isolating. The book will comfort, entertain, and stir conversation about feelings and experiences the youngest stay-at-homers have experienced during these improbable times. Written by Tara Fass, LMFT and Judith A. Proffer, the book was inspired by Proffer’s five year-old nephew, who continued to find big moments of mirth in home, nature, adventures and activities while at times tearfully longing for the virus to go far, far away. Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist Fass has worked with families during the pandemic to navigate its bumpy road with tools, optimism and hope. This is their second book collaboration.
About the Authors:
Judith A. Proffer founded Southern California based and award-winning Huqua Press in 2010 as an independent publishing house to nurture talent and creativity. Previously Proffer spent twenty-five years in newspaper publishing, including nearly two decades with the alternative press (LA Weekly, OC WEEKLY, VILLAGE VOICE MEDIA) where she was Associate Publisher and Publisher, followed by co-ownership of the Sun Community Newspaper chain in the San Fernando Valley. Huqua Press publishes a diverse catalogue that includes culinary, juvenile, fiction and popular culture titles. Proffer seeks authors and works that uplift, inspire, inform and engage.
Featured titles include Caroline by Brandi Carlie, Dog & Butterfly by Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart), The Wit and Wisdom of Gracie by Patti Davis, Our House by Graham Nash, The Lotus Kitchen by Gwen Kenneally and Places by Thaao Penghlis. She is the editor of I Hope You Dance, The Power of Spirit and Song (and co-produced the I Hope You Dance documentary), and is also the Vice-Chair of Meteor 17, overseeing literary and charitable efforts for the media company.
Proffer was honored by the Los Angeles Business Journal and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal as one of the leading “Women Who Make A Difference” in the Southern California Community. Additionally, she was honored by Friends of The Family for her many charitable endeavors. In 2010 she teamed with Hollywood caterer Gwen Kenneally to create Magpie Mini Pie Gourmet Pies, a pop-up bakery with proceeds from the artisanal pies going to charity. The pies remain part of the event menu for Gwen’s Back to the Kitchen Catering Company. Proffer has taught writing workshops to children, adults and incarcerated at-risk youths. She is launching The Word Garden in 2021, a non-profit writing resource for non-writers. She’ll host monthly writing workshops, offer templates and writing tools on The Word Garden website and will provide writing workshops for at-risk students in underserved communities.
Tara Fass, LMFT has treated the walking wounded of Los Angeles for twenty years as a therapist/mediator and co-parent educator through her clinical work and private counseling. She was a Huffington Post contributor for six years and blogs for “It’s Over Easy,” an online divorce support resource. When We Stayed Home is her second book.
“The work I am doing during covid through telemedicine is an attempt to sharpen inner listening, to accurately name and express pain, and thereby better regulate emotions. The impact of Covid and quarantine on families and children today is something we’ll be discussing for decades to come, attempting to make sense of it all. It’s essential to talk about the ‘tough stuff,’ about real feelings. If we’re having awkward conversations, chances are we’re acting out less that which is not understood. By not shutting down what feels unspeakable we get out of our own way sooner and are the better for it.”
To request a review copy or an interview with the authors, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.