Reducing Stress Through Boundaries

There is a saying that good fences make good neighbors. This is a blog about creating effective boundaries.

Foundational Principle for this Conversation: To explore how the effective use of influence can bring greater love, wealth, and freedom into our lives.

Definition: Boundary – something that indicates bounds or limits; a limiting or bounding line.

STUDENT: Is there a specific academic discipline that deals with boundaries?

LEWIS: No, however everything we do in life and every choice we make is influenced by the concept of personal and group boundaries.


STUDENT: How are boundaries addressed in groups?

LEWIS: Through the exploration of social behavior and cultural behavior. These are expressed in the concepts of “society” and “culture”.


STUDENT: Is culture and society different?

LEWIS: Most anthropologists believe so. Whereas society refers to a group of people; culture refers to the inherent genetic based human capacities as well as all of non-genetic human activities.


STUDENT: Was this distinction first noted within anthropology?

LEWIS: Most anthropologists would believe so, however Nicholas Roerich the great Russian Painter/Philosopher wrote extensively of primary differences between culture and society.  Roerich pointed out that while culture best refers to the spiritual intentions of man in creative self-expression, a society (what he called civilization) is an external arrangement of human life in all its aspects – political, material, or civil.


STUDENT: Please discuss the distinctions between boundaries in a society and boundaries in a culture.

LEWIS: When you are part of a group or society you will seldom have the opportunity to create defined boundaries unless of course you are an authoritarian leader with the ability to define boundaries by force. In a group setting boundaries tend to be set and specifically defined. Though they can change over time, they tend to be understood among members of the group, and those who cross those boundaries risk minor or extreme sanctions.  In groups many of these boundaries are written into law.

Cultural boundaries are different in that, unless imposed through a theocracy culture, they are more flexible, constantly changing, and mobile.  In this setting the boundaries are actually an expression of the group intention, reflecting shared practices, attitudes, values, goals, and an integrated pattern of human knowledge, beliefs, and behavior.  In such an environment there exists some capacity for symbolic thought and social learning that would not be easily available in imposed group boundaries.


Lewis Harrison offers stress management and corporate massage programs through in New York City.


What Does Self Help Mean?

A student of mine who is also studying positive psychology asked me what the terms personal development and human potential referred to in relation to self help books, self help CDs and such?

I explained it in this way. There is a specific, ever-evolving definition of what it is to be a human being (a homo – sapien). There is also a peak level, a maximum level of potential as well as the actualization of that potential that can be achieved (“realized” [see glossary for definition] and “actualized.”). Part of what it means to live a full life, one’s best life, is to have an intention to experience self-actualization and sustain that realization moment to moment.

Definition: Self-Actualization: Full self -knowledge and the total experience of who an individual “Is” spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.

STUDENT: Please go into greater depth concerning your definition of self-actualization?

LEWIS: Self-Actualization means different things to different people. To Socrates one of our greatest philosophers, a self-actualized individual is one who is aware of every aspect relevant to his/her existence. To understand self-actualization one must have a passion for knowledge, hunger for wisdom and a willingness to be accountable for his/her personal actions.

STUDENT: Why is it important to be or become self-actualized?

LEWIS: Life is filled with all forms of unnecessary struggle. Much of this struggle is a direct result of ordinary thinking. To be ordinary is not enough. To think in ordinary ways is just not acceptable if we wish to live a life filled with freedom, love, and wealth.  Each of us has the potential to be extraordinary. Until we are committed to that intent we are incomplete. Without that intention we are only human in the biological sense. I do not say this with any moral judgment or through any sense of self-righteousness. Without that intention we are not truly being a “human being.” A human “being” is a human who is intent on realizing his/her inherent potential or has already done so.

To explore these ideas in greater depth see: the Glossary entries for an “Ordinary Person” and an “Extraordinary Person”.

STUDENT: Is it possible for an unhappy person to also be self-actualized?

LEWIS: Again it all depends on how you define self-actualization and how you define “happy”. When an individual experiences frustration, unhappiness and general discontent, what they are usually experiencing is the result of living inside their own being with unrealized potential. The result is more than just unrealized goals and an unfulfilled life. The person who wishes to have emotional balance in their lives (See the Conversation “Emotional Balance”) will experience what I like to call a “psychological itch” – a pain of longing that constantly tugs at them to think, speak and act differently than they are presently doing.

STUDENT: How do you define happiness?

LEWIS: On the purist level it is a state of contentment in spite of circumstances.

STUDENT: How does a person achieve happiness?

LEWIS: If we wish to have joy, contentment, freedom, and happiness it is imperative that we act in alignment with our essential nature. One way of doing this is to become conscious of our latent gifts and hidden talents. According to the great Taoist Sages Lao Tsu and Chuang Tsu; all other things, such as wealth, power, and influence, are no more than a means to the end.  It is self-actualization: the awareness and experience of one’s authentic nature, and the development of one’s given talents that is the most desirable path to peace and happiness.

STUDENT: How can a person become aware of their authentic nature and develop their natural talents?

LEWIS: Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher said “Nature does nothing in vain.”  The easiest way to become aware of one’s authentic nature is through self-assessment (See the Conversation on “Self Assessment”). Through proactive self –assessment a person may come to live a self-actualized life, fully in spirit and with passion. This is called “Living Your Bliss”, by the great anthropologist, Joseph Campbell (See the entry on Joseph Campbell in the Level: “Standing on the Shoulder of Giants”).

STUDENT:  Where does Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theorycome into play concerning self assessment?

LEWIS: Through the exploration of the Nineteen Strategic Resources (See the Level  on ‘The Nineteen Strategic Resources)

STUDENT: If one engages in self-assessment what comes next?

LEWIS: It is a multi-layered process. Self-Assessment for the most part is an intellectual, left-brain process. To achieve self-actualization one must engage in intuitive right-brain processes as well such as contemplation, introspection and meditation. This, in my experience, is the most desirable path to peace and happiness and self-actualization. To explore the ideas presented here please see the Conversation “Right Brain/Left Brain Thinking” and the Conversation “Transcending the Non-Linear Factor Through Contemplation, Introspection and Meditation”.

STUDENT: What is the best technique to employ to find one’s “bliss”?

LEWIS: You can cannot “find your bliss” by doing any one specific technique. It requires a consistent intention and daily self-assessment. As we learn more about ourselves and achieve greater awareness we continue to redefine ourselves (See the Conversation on “Wants and Needs”).

STUDENT: What changes take place as you redefine yourself?

LEWIS: As your awareness of who you are expands, there is a natural decrease in your interest in status symbols and those things that will impress others like a large house, expensive clothes, cars and jewelry. Instead you will begin to focus your energy on a personal level.

STUDENT: Are there specific levels or standards of awareness that one passes through on the way to self-actualization?

LEWIS: No. Each person is on his or her own individual path. In fact many of the individuals listed in the Level: “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”, would probably disagree with each other on certain key ideas and points concerning what made them extraordinary. No one has all the answers.

STUDENT: There must be some way to give more form to these concepts. Is there a particular theory on the process of self-awareness and actualization that you personally connect with?

LEWIS: One of my favorites is the “Three Planes of Thought”, articulated by E.F. Schumacher; considered by many to be one of the most visionary and influential economists of the last half of the twentieth century. (See the entry on E.F. Schumacher in the Level: “Standing on the Shoulder of Giants”).

In May 1957 Schumacher gave a talk entitled ‘The Insufficiency of Liberalism’. In this talk, unrelated to 21St century definitions of liberalism or conservatism, he described what he termed the “three stages of development”. The first great leap, he said, was made when man moved from stage one of primitive religion to stage two of scientific realism. This was the stage modern man tended to be at. A few move to the third stage in which one can find the lapses and deficiencies in science and realism, and that there is something beyond fact and science. He called this stage three. The problem, he explained, was that stage one and stage three appear to be exactly the same to people stuck in stage two. Consequently, those in stage three are seen as having had some sort of a relapse into childish nonsense. Only those in stage three, can understand the differences between stage one and stage three.

STUDENT:  What are your thoughts on Freud, Marx and Einstein and their ideas on self-actualization?

LEWIS: These three are among the most influential thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth century. I am not a psychiatrist, an economist or a physicist, so my opinion would not be authoritative in any sense. However; Schumacher who strongly supported the idea that we need to be personally responsible and accountable for our actions, felt that Freud, Marx and Einstein were negative agents to certain aspects of human potential. Mainly because, he felt; their ideas reinforced the increasingly common pattern where people felt less and less responsible for their actions.

STUDENT: Was Schumacher specific in his thoughts on this?

LEWIS: Yes. Schumacher saw Einstein as overly influenced by boundaries established by realism and science. Schumacher believed that there were some unchangeable and fundamental “truths” in life, and that Einstein, by undermining belief in absolutes through his concepts on relativity, also undermined personal morality, absolute moral codes, and personal responsibility for immoral actions.

STUDENT: What did Schumacher have to say about Freud?

LEWIS: Schumacher disagreed with Freud’s beliefs that perception was subjective and saw these ideas as overly self-centered. For Schumacher a self-centered reality inevitably led to a shift in attitude in human relations; from creating community and serving the needs of others to a reality where self-fulfillment was all that seemed to matter.

STUDENT: Being an economist Schumacher must have had strong opinions concerning Marx and Marxism?

LEWIS: As for Marx, Schumacher saw Marx as someone who sought scapegoats and created a philosophy that replaced personal responsibility with a victim mentality, built on a foundation of hatred and blame, accusing others for problems with society.

STUDENT: Why do you focus on Schumacher’s ideas? Certainly there are many thinkers, including Freud, Marx and Einstein who are better known and more influential than he was?

LEWIS: Schumacher’s ideas are more important today (2010) than ever before. This is particularly so due to the radical changes in the world economy, especially the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of China as an economic power in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Schumacher does not diminish the importance of Freud, Marx and Einstein. He recognizes that each of these individuals offered the world something of great value. All he is saying is that each of what they had to offer us has flaws. It is these flaws that fuel the question for human potential and self-actualization. This is why the best of who we are will become apparent only through our willingness to question and explore important ideas, as we also stand on the shoulders of the giants who have preceded us.

STUDENT:  Where does the concept of self-actualization connect to our own mortality?

LEWIS: Human life is limited, but wisdom expressed through the actualization of our full physical, emotional, and spiritual potential is virtually limitless.  To be attached and focused on the pursuit of the limited when presented with the limitless is foolish.

STUDENT: Are there certain things an individual needs to be aware of as they walk the path to self-actualization?

LEWIS: Yes. Learn to balance your wants and your needs and beware of ideologues and purists who will kill off the new just to maintain the old.

STUDENT: Is there a place for tradition and old wisdom in the process of self-actualization?

LEWIS: Yes, but not tradition just for tradition’s sake. This requires a balancing act as well. The self-actualized person is a reflection of the best in any tradition while transcending the worst in the same.  Such an individual is wary of those who will discard tradition and ignore “the Elders” who hold the truths hidden in these traditions, just so they can appear radical in behavior or visionary in thought.

STUDENT: Do you have any final thoughts on self-actualization?

LEWIS: Nothing definitive. Meditate daily, practice self-assessment, remember that there is a large distinction between what you want and what you need. Be kind, serve others, and live in Love.

Create love and freedom in your life. What else is there to say?


Lewis Harrison is the Director of the Harrison Center for Personal Development and is the owner of a Corporate Stress Management Company

Problem? How to Protect Your Personal Information From Digital Hotel Thieves

Protecting Your Personal Information From Digital Hotel Thieves

I have a chair massage business in NYC. We offer corporate chair massage as well as chir massage for meetings and for event planners.

Many of these events are held at hotels. I always wondered how safe my personal information was when I stayed in a hotel like this It’s important to Keep Your Personal Information Secure When in A Hotel. Many people are interested in security systems and internet security but they never consider something simple like their personal information on a hotel magnetic key card.

I never considered that a hotel key card contains alot of my personal information in addition to the access code for the room!

No one knows what is stored on the card or how much and I have heard an urban legend that all your personal information is stored there. Well the legend is wrong but not by much.


Ever  wonder what is on your magnetic key card? Answer: a.  Customer’s name b.  Customer’s partial home address c.  Hotel room number d.  Check-in date and out dates e. Customer’s  credit card number and expiration date!

All this may be on your key card.

When turning them in to the front desk your personal information is right there. In fact any employee can access this information by simply scanning the card in the hotel scanner.

It is possible that an employee can take a hand full of cards home and using a scanning device,  access the information

onto a laptop computer and go shopping at your expense. Did you know that most hotels do not erase the information on these cards until an employee reissues the card to the next hotel guest. Then the  new guest’s information is electronically ‘overwritten’ on the card and the previous guest’s information is erased in the overwriting  process.

But  until the card is rewritten for the next guest, it usually is kept in a drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION ON IT!

So to keep your information secure  Keep the cards, take them home with you, or destroy them. NEVER leave them behind in the room or room wastebasket, and NEVER turn them into the front desk when you check out of a room.

Don’t worry, it is illegal for them to charge you for the cardand you’ll be sure you are not leaving a lot of valuable personal information on it that could be easily lifted off with any simple scanning device card reader.

For the same reason, if you arrive at the airport and discover you still have the card key in your pocket, do not toss it in an airport trash basket. Take it  home and destroy it by cutting it up, especially through the electronic information strip!

If you  have a small magnet, pass it across the magnetic strip several times. Then  try it in the door, it will not work. It erases everything on the  card.

Information  courtesy of:  Metropolitan Police Service and my friend Safeer.

0000000000000000000000000000000000 Lewis Harrison a bestselling author and writes and speaks about stress management, corporate chair massage, and massage for events in NYC He is the owner of Catskill Bed and Breakfast and Spa 000000000000000000000000000000000

Who is Wilhelm Reich?

If you have an interest in Qi Gong, Corporate Chair Massage, Reiki, The Body-Mind Connection, equal rights for women, Tantra, Deep tissue massage, Rolfing, Personal Development, NLP, acupuncture, Polarity Therapy or anything thing related to mental health then it is important that you know about Wilhelm Reich.

This is a short history lesson on a major pioneer in psychiatry, bodywork anbd energy healing.

Wilhelm Reich (March 24, 1897 – November 3, 1957) was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, known as one of the most radical and controversial figures in the history of psychiatry. Reich worked with Sigmund Freud in the 1920s and was a respected analyst for much of his life, focusing on character structure rather than on individual neurotic symptoms. He attempted to reconcile Marxism and psychoanalysis, arguing that neurosis is rooted in the physical, sexual, economic, and social conditions of the patient. His work influenced a generation of intellectuals, including and shaped innovations such as Fritz Perls‘s Gestalt therapy, Alexander Lowen‘s bioenergetic analysis, and Arthur Janov‘s primal therapy. He was one of the first psychoanalysts who explored the concept of Qi calling it primordial cosmic energy, which he said others called God, and that he called “orgone“.  As he aged he promoted more and more controversial ideas, many that later became part of mainstream thinking including the availability of contraceptives, abortion, and divorce, and the importance for women of economic independence.  He began to violate many of the key taboos of psychoanalysis, including using touch during sessions. His work was so radical in thought and scope and such a threat to the status Quo that in August 1956, several tons of his publications were burned by the FDA, arguably one of the worst examples of censorship in U.S. history. He was the author of several notable textbooks, including The Mass Psychology of Fascism and Character Analysis, both published in 1933. Reich’s work and ideas are among the most influential in the formation of the human potential movement of the last half of the twentieth century. His ideas on Orgone, sexuality, and the link between, energy medicine, natural healing and bodywork is core to many therapies related to alternative and complementary medicine including my own and has had a powerful influence especially in the work of Fritz and Laura Perls,  Alexander Lowen, Ida Rolf and others.

If you are a wellness professional or seek to move beyond superficial ideas in your work I recommend exploring Reich


Lewis Harrison, the author of the ebook “Healing Depression Naturally”, available through Amazon-Kindle.  He is a pioneer in the personal development movement and was one of the first individuals to offer chair massage at events and meeting through The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers seminar, workshops, retreats and phone based coaching. He is creating a series of ebooks entitled “Ask Lewis…” which will be available on line

Lewis offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and created the course on Life Strategies. He is the Director of the Healing Academy. Learn about Holistic Nutrition and health Coaching at – a simple system for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.


What Does “Scientific” Mean?

I’m always hearing people use the word “Science” in ways that are not accurate. The social sciences, the esoteric sciences, science fiction etc. Clearly science education is not doing it’s job when so many people do not know what science.


I wanted to use this blog to clarify what the word “science” actually means as in “biotech and science”. For instance when you are exploring or searching for science technology news you don’t want information that is not based on solid science.


The word, “Science”, refers to a system of gathering knowledge (research) so specific, that one can correctly predict a reliable outcome consistently. It is through this definition that the outcomes of research form a scientific body of knowledge.


On the Wisdom path it is important to recognize the value of logical scientific thought while appreciating its limitations. Many respected thinkers and spiritual materialists use the term “science” loosely, especially in attempts to merge mysticism with quantum physics but these ideas are not in alignment with the classical definition of science. Let’s explore how the term “science” is often used.


  1. Natural Sciences.  These are organized categories of information that involve the study of the laws of the physical world.  Examples include physics, and chemistry.
  2. Formal Sciences.  Formal science uses words and terms with very specific definitions and combines them with deductive reasoning for creating a system by which some well-formed specific formulas, rules, and codes can be derived from others that are more general.  Within the category are mathematics, logic, statistics, and theoretical computer science.  The importance of this approach is that it sets a pattern for definition and frees us from the need to examine every computer to see how it works.
  3. Social Sciences.  The term “social science,” is an umbrella term for many different systems of organized knowledge and information.  The value here is that one can explore aspects of human society in ways that cannot be easily explained mathematically.  Among familiar social sciences are; anthropology, psychology, economics, and history.
  4. Pseudo-Science – Anything defined as scientific that does not match the specific definition of what science is.


Interestingly many of the formal sciences lack any real-world experimentation to support their conclusions. On the Wisdom Path, science becomes a tool for understanding and applying information. Science is not “truth.”  It is just a reliance on apparent physical evidence, rather than a reliance on faith, hearsay, or superstition.


Lewis Harrison – Professional Problem Solver

Mentor, Success Coach, Futurist

Lewis Harrison

Author “Healing Depression Naturally”

A comprehensive manual on massage, stress management and on the proper diagnosis and Non drug treatment of depression

Available as an ebook Through Amazon Kindle

He is the owner of


Chop Wood, Carry Water: Zen and Artificial Intelligence


Many of the computer pioneers at MITs Lisp artificial intelligence lab in the 1950s had a fascination with Zen Buddhism and Zen Koans. One of the most popular ideas was “Chop Wood, Carry Water”.  What does this mean?”  It means doing what needs to be done with joy and detachment.


On a daily level I am a student of what I like to call the “Wisdom Path” and which is known in Zen as “Chop Wood, Carry Water.” I have been influenced by many teachers and many traditions but I am drawn to one  of the most commonly stated ideas in Zen, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” This is a reminder that there is nothing that one must do in life other than the joyous experience of doing what must be done.  With an open awareness of the tasks in our lives they cease to be tasks.  Work is no longer a burden it is simply what needs to be done. What’s the difference between a job and a burden? The tasks may be the same. The need is the same. What about the frame of mind? Who is chopping? Who is carrying water? Who is in joy? Who is bored?


“On the Wisdom Path there is no great benefit to thinking about being disciplined just for the sake of being disciplined.”  You Chop Wood, Carry Water because that is what needs to be done, not because you convince yourself that it needs to be done or that you “should” be joyous while doing it.


The best discipline is not to think about being disciplined. The idea of self control is wonderful but it is seldom something that can be sustained over the time without a deep sense of what “Is.”


This self awareness comes in time through regular meditation practice. When one becomes self aware one begins to become more conscious of what one does, how one acts and how one interacts with other people and environments. For there to be sustainable change from a life of regret, expectation, psychological agony, and short term gratification requires a life where want and need have merged to create an authentic sense of meaning.


This is the key to knowing what needs to be done and doing it.  Here one embraces “discipline” in the service of joy and love. This is what is commonly known in Zen as “Chop Wood, Carry Water.” There is no manual on how to “Chop Wood, Carry Water”. Each person has their own lifestyle, their own unique emotional, physical and spiritual needs. In the early stages of the Wisdom Path we will struggle to do the right thing at the right time all in the service of getting somewhere. However over time Chop Wood, Carry Water will show us the way to do things by doing nothing, and get somewhere by going nowhere. In time, want and need, expectation and regret, who we are and what we do all shift for us as our own sense of self shifts.



Lewis Harrison is a best selling author, radio talk show host, success coach, life strategies mentor and contemporary spiritual teacher specializing in human potential and personal development.  He is creating the “Ask Lewis…” Series of ebooks


He created the “How To Solve Any Problem” a course  is presented in  three levels that teaches focused and practical strategies for solving a multitude of basic and complex problems as well as exploring a wide range of disciplines.



Lewis conducts online trainings and coaching programs as well as residential retreats at the Harrison Center for Personal Development


His most recent book is “Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Times


You can learn more about Lewis’ work at




Lewis Harrison is a best selling author, radio talk show host, success coach, life strategies mentor and contemporary spiritual teacher specializing in human potential and personal development.  He is creating the “Ask Lewis…” Series of ebooks


He created the “How To Solve Any Problem” a course  is presented in  three levels that teaches focused and practical strategies for solving a multitude of basic and complex problems as well as exploring a wide range of disciplines.



Lewis conducts online trainings and coaching programs as well as residential retreats at the Harrison Center for Personal Development


His most recent book is “Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Times


You can learn more about Lewis’ work at