Dear Dr. Ding

Dear Dr. Ding: How Do I Clear My Mind?

First of all I want to say superb blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.

I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?


Dear Person:

I took your question from a comments section, and wasn’t sure how to address you. I was going to call you Quilts McGee but decided that sounded corny! Anyway, thanks! I love getting reader and viewer mail.

Here at the Dingatorium, the answer to your question varies a lot, according to my mood, energy level, and whether or not my pants are bunchy. Bunchy pants are right out, I tell you. Don’t even try it.

I’m all-too-familiar with your dilemma, that of the blank page.

Those first 10-15 minutes can be mined for treasure that may not be obvious until later. What I have to literally force myself to do at times is to just write a bunch of gobbledegük, a page of literal nonsense, until something useful comes out. It’s akin to priming a pump; at first all that comes out is dust and sand, then silt, and then finally clear, drinkable water. It’s a bit like stretching or doing warmups before a sportsballing or whatever Curves is or a basketball game.

Some days it feels like it’s all sand. And those days really suck. But the nifty part about it is that you’ve still written something. The author Julia Cameron has a similar exercise called Morning Pages, where you write your stream of consciousness into three handwritten pages each and every morning like asap after you get up. And this works for a lot of people.

Dr. Ding, however, is not a morning person. Dr. Ding not even a functional, recognizable human being until at least two cups of coffee, a shower, the application of triple-scented freesia lotion, some sage burning, at least five solid minutes of dog snuggles, a buncha invocations to higher beings, a Lesser Banishing Ritual to get rid of Donald Trump’s nasty ass, a brief inspection and watering of my sorry It’s A Charlie Brown Christmas-lookin garden, and something to eat. Fact.

I don’t do mentally strenuous tasks first thing in the morning – that’s just madness. I wait until I’m fully powered up, that’s what works for me, and therefore my best writing time is usually late afternoon to early evening.

Dr. Ding hand wrote a megaton of progress and chart notes over the last 25 years of clinical practice, and can no longer read her own handwriting, so it’s very little handwritten stuff for me. Fact.

Therefore, I spew out via MacBook whatever effluvia float to the topmost layer of my mind first. Gotta prime the pump in order to get things going. I just start typing.

That said, some days I do re-read what I wrote the day before, but I’ve found if I do that too much, I end up kinda getting stuck in these endless editing loops and not really generating much else. Turd polishing, basically. For me it’s usually an avoidance mechanism. So sometimes if I catch myself doing too much of this, I’ll just get to that next blank spot and write nonsense until my conscious mind gets out of the way.

This is the last part; if I can remember to zone out while I’m writing the gunk out of the system, I think I produce my best writing…when my subconscious mind is free to just roll because the conscious mind tends to get in the way. Whether it’s fiction or blog posts or short eBooks or whatevah, staying in that kind of relaxed, neutral cognitive and energetic space really helps.

Those are the main things: just start writing, avoid editing, relax into a near-trance state.

I hope you enjoy your writing and that you let me know what you’ve written!


Dr. Ding

Dear Dr. Ding – How Do I Talk To My Nephew?

The following letter just came in earlier this week, from GirlsNightOut:

Dear Dr. Ding: Hola chica! I have a nephew who apparently talks to people but when asked he denies it and goes on with whatever he is doing. I told him in front of several family members that it used to be seen as being a weirdo but in all actuality it isn’t so you’re special in a very special way. He thinks I’m a lil on the weirdo side to begin with. I need help asking him about any and all the intuitive stuff. I can be very straight forward and I don’t want him shying away cuz he is a very shy young fellow. I know his lil brother saying that he heard him talking to someone made him shy away, but he too was like me – very close to my grandmother who was a curandera herself. Please help a sista out thank you. Love you!

Dear GNO:

Love you too, momma! Great question, and I’m so glad you wrote! And here’s my answer: just ask him. Seriously. The more straightforward you are, the better. Since there’s a common belief in many spiritual and psychic communities that the ability to naturally connect with the Unseen is often inherited, you can also reassure him that he comes by his gift honestly. And you can also tell him stories about your grandmother and anyone else in your family with intuitive gifts as a means of normalizing his experiences. Talking in a direct manner also makes it seem less “woo woo” and will help reduce his anxiety.

I’m assuming here that he’s pretty well-adjusted otherwise? Because talking to unseen others can definitely be a symptom of certain types of psychological issues, as you know. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the case here – usually with a mental health issue there will be things like odd behaviors, social and emotional withdrawal, and/or actual hallucinations, and it doesn’t sound like any of these are happening. He’s just talking to people who don’t have bodies, is all.

I sympathize with this fella; we live in a society that doesn’t approve of sacred healing traditions that fall outside the allopathic fundamentalist/medical model norms, and therefore when healers emerge as they’ve emerged for thousands of years, it can produce crisis. The thing that cheers me is that he’s got you; an adult who takes him seriously and who will encourage him to develop his gifts if he so chooses. You’re a safe person for him to talk to, even if he doesn’t feel much like talking right now! You’re offering him reassurance that he ain’t nuts, and also giving him a way to understand his experiences. Curanderos are in short supply these days, and the world sorely needs more of them.

I’m encouraging you both to check something out, as a kind of safety measure. My friend Crystal, has a truly bitchen psychic training program and has created a huge catalog of free videos available on YouTube. In particular, I’d like you both to check out this one on the issue of dominion, which is essentially a “how to” on psychic protection when dealing with disembodied entities/energies. She has a gift for taking these esoteric concepts and making them understandable without losing their beauty, and I think your nephew will feel a lot less like a “weirdo” after watching even just one!

Lastly, as far as those making fun of him – they’re totes jelly! Yup. Jelis bigtime. He’s just gotta brush that kind of dirt off his shoulder and keep stepping forward, secure in the knowledge that his abuela is watching over him, helping him learn and grow when he’s ready.

Love ya’ll!




Dear Dr. Ding: How can I better sense time frames?

Here’s my video response to the question a reader/viewer/enthusiast asked me yesterday on the Facebooks. In a nutshell, you have to detach from outcomes and already have some type of symbol-system in place that allows you to get specific intuitively-derived answers to your questions. Sound confusing? It’s actually not too bad.

Thanks for asking, gentle reader V.S.!




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