A Day at the Beach with William V. Pietsch (April 2022)

Hello Everyone.

Welcome to another post for the Priorhouse APRIL 2022 series. Yesterday’s post (here) was about reading Drucker at the beach, for a week, back in June of 2021. Today’s post is about a different beach reading adventure. 

Last month, my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with a short trip to Norfolk, Virginia. The weather was cold, but we still enjoyed being beachside for a bit. 

I brought a few gag gifts and two books. One book for him and one for me. 

  1. The book for my husband was Appalachian Trail: A photographic Journey (1999) by Carol Highsmith and Ted Landphairand. My husband has hiked a handful of trails and he liked this book. The authors provided historical details with some fantastic photos. They also provided ideas for anyone wanting to be a “thru hiker”- which refers to those folks that hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail (which takes about six months). (Appalachian Trail is available here on Amazon)
  2. The book for me was HUMAN BE-ING: How to Have a Creative Relationship Instead of a Power Struggle (1974) by William V. Pietsch. I grabbed this book at the last minute and took a chance that it would be engaging. It was engaging and it was a fast read (so thankfully I didn’t have to go and find brochures or something else to skim- ha).  I think this author, Pietsch, was ahead of his time with succinctness and minimalism. This book delivered very practical wisdom about communicating, understanding perceptions and expectations, and learning how to “BE” human – with drawings and perfect wording. Now I need to mention (again) that for many of us today, these topics are quite familiar. They are buzz words and wellness topics are all around us. However, I think in 1974 when this book was first released, so much of this wellness and intrapersonal skill information was just starting to emerge. I am curious to check out the 2000 version of HUMAN BE-ING, which is here on Amazon 
The author did note that there were some challenges with getting the diagrams/drawings into the book – but the author had a vision for the flow and he knew precisely how he wanted to present his helpful material. He brilliantly presented relationship information in small chunks so that it was easy to grasp. 

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Some of Pietsch’s Practical Advice 

  • Formal education is heavy on teaching objective facts (and knowledge) while it provides very little about subjective feelings and how to manage emotions (p.94).
  • Being human means that we grow and reach maturity in stages. 
  • Potential maturity exists when a human being has balanced life branches. Those life branches are: LOVING, TENDER, HUMBLE, CREATIVE, SEXUAL, INTELLIGENT, INDEPENDENT, ACTIVE, ETC. (p.55).
  • Pietsch argues that all branches need to be tended to and allowed to grow across the life-span.
  • If people have an imbalance (it can lead to harmful drives) and it might from imbalance.
  • Imbalance if life branches is called “cutting off growth” – like a tree that is pruned too much on one side – causing it to have too much growth on the other side. This imbalance makes it vulnerable to problems (p.57). So the goal is to allow our branches to grow and make sure there is balance with loving and being loved, with having empathy and tenderness, with humility and not getting too cocky, with tapping into one’s creative side, having physical needs met and sexual expression, feeding one’s intelligence and having challenges, staying active and moving while living a full life, and and then having the right amount of independence so one does not feel smothered. 
  • The effect of pressure on human emotions can make some emotional areas out of proportion. If emotions are held in, that adds to the pressure and intensity. Pietsch used a balloon to show how emotions can get out of proportion and then noted that a garden hose can have an explosive release if the water is held in (imagine the water being held back with your hand and then when you remove the hand, water spurts out). Rather than hold in emotions and let them build, humans use dialogue and safe spaces to share their emotions and problem solve. 
  • Pietsch noted that in order for people to relate effectively in ways that are “human” – we need to be trusting, listening, and clarifying.
  • Sometimes we need to withhold judgment so trust can build.
  • People who stay phony (and keep up a front of an image) are pretty much saying they want your cooperation but do not “trust” you enough to let you inside the true them. (This was super helpful because we have a distant family member who doesn’t let people in and she never will risk letting there people see her for who she really is – and whew, we don’t take it personal because we do understand how layered it is – and it is also quite miserable to live in that mode). 
  • We need to ask what is the purpose of a certain feeling and try separating the action from the feeling. 
  • Growth involves risk (and mess); don’t be afraid to fail (p.186). 
  • People see what they expect to see – and so find ways to clarify and communicate while being aware that we all have different perceptual filters. 
  • Set boundaries and limits for what must be worked with and then make sure the meaning of an issue or problem is made clear for each person (p.234).
  • Because people see what the “expect to see” – is everyone making sure they are staying open to new and unfamiliar ideas or solutions. 

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Beach Cactus 

There were many beautiful cacti along the beach and right outside of our patio. I actually shared a photo of this cactus with blogger Donna (here) because that same day, she was sharing cacti on her blog. Anyhow, looking at the beachside cactus reminded me of some of the points Pietsch made in his book: Human beings have much beauty – and we also have protective thorns. We have seasons of being fruitful and providing while we also need to stay nurtured and balanced so we don’t dry up and die. We need sunlight, nutrients, and dormancy.  

“Those are Santa Rita prickly pear cacti. Edible.” Thanks, Donna!

 

Closing questions.

  • Which book would you have read from the two listed here – the Appalachian Trail or Pietsch’s Human Be-ing?
  • Have you hiked the Appalachian trail – or been on any good hikes or walks lately?

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40 thoughts on “A Day at the Beach with William V. Pietsch (April 2022)

    1. Hi – thanks for sharing – and it is amazing that this trail runs through 14 states – I bet the NH area is breathtaking

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  1. I loved this. Honestly, I would enjoy both books. The Appalachian Trail was a dream for me. Last autumn we did bit and pieces of it along the Blueridge, Shenandoahs, and Smokies. It was beautiful and I am sure you husband enjoyed the read. My family is from NH so we have been through a few trails up there as well. It’s an interesting culture, the folks that thru-hike.

    Your book about BEing was interesting. Sometimes it’s amazing to see how something’s stay the same… as they should. The 2000 addition would be a worthwhile read too.

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    1. Hi – thanks for your comment. I am going to get the updated edition of the Human Be-ing book because I liked it that much and I know a few folks that could maybe take away some tips. I also want to see any changes so I will keep you posted. (and you are so right – some things do not change much with us humans – nope – decade after decade – lol)
      and wow, you sure have explored the Appalachian Trail – thru the Blueridge, Shenandoahs, and Smokies – wow.
      oh and the culture along the trail is truly unique.
      There are some people that hang out near a trail head and offer food and snacks.

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      1. That’s funny you said that. I had no idea how cultural experiencing the trail would be. I figured it would all be scenic roads, views and trailheads . It was all so extra.

        I would enjoy reading the book. I usually only read these days when we travel or on the beach. Donna

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        1. Hi Donna – if sounds like you have enjoyed so much nature throughout the US

          And the book is rather dated – as it was published in 1999- and so I would not suggest anyone use it if they were planning to schedule hikes – I bet a lot has changed in the 20+ years since it was assembled.

          Wishing you a nice Sunday and thanks again for identifying the cactus for me!
          That was a fun connection

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  2. I’m guessing I would prefer the Appalachian Trail. However, I’m a fiction gal and probably read a book a week. I like clean mystery/adventure books. And I love to read at the beach!! I’ve read a couple of Mediteranea Diet books in past years. I need to read one again. I’m working hard to reach a goal and that might give me a boost of inspiration!

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    1. Hi – well of course “Lisa on the beach” likes to “read on the beach” – hahah
      and the mystery/adventure books sound like a good genre to enjoy weekly.
      Oe book related to diets and food, that you might want to check out is The Dirt Cure by Dr. Maya.
      Such a good read.

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      1. Interesting!! I bought the book “Twinkie, Deconstructed”. I got about 1/2 way through (it was a little deep). But I don’t intent to ever eat another Twinkie as long as I live! I am an avid ingredient reader now.

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        1. That sounds like a good book and when I was in high school we heard the Twinkie had the ingredients of plastic !
          So
          Sad and I am
          Glad I did not have a lot of chemicals growing up (my mother knew about staying away from aspartame and nitrites in meat)
          Anyhow – The Dirt cure is one lady’s story about coming back to eating meat for the huge nutritional value – and valuing it more because a life was given – and I just like it because I really believe that grains and some veggies are NOT meant for human consumption – especially in the way GMO comes in!
          Also –
          I am shocked at how people continually put down meat (and for a little while I believed the lie that fat caused heart disease but it is chemical seed oils and sugar that hurt immune health and carp like HFCS)
          Anyhow – an example
          We have a friend who “got off sugar” and he eats steak for dinner (took enzymes for a while
          To make sure because many say that carb eaters or vegetarians have less enzymes and ver low stomach acid – which is another huge problem)
          Anyhow – his wife raised an eyebrow one day and asked if he was going to eat the whole
          Steak! But she never spoke up when he ate three bowls
          Of cocoa crispies for dinner?!!
          He feels amazing and downs have sugar crashes anymore and so I think we all need to listen to our body and eat for our heritage
          And so if the Mediterranean diet works and helps you thrive / it might be what your body needs
          My heritage had red meats and potatoes and cabbage and it just so happens that those three items make me feel amazing

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        2. Interesting! I made note of the book. Yeah, I eat some meat, but I feel much better in recent years after changing what I eat. I look up ingredients too, to find out what they are. My husband does the shopping now (he retired), and he’s actually a great job! But he’s with you on the meat and potatoes 😊

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        3. Right in that Hubs is decent at cooking – I bet that is a treat!
          And it is crucial
          To look at ingredients because avoiding a few bad chemicals can make such a difference

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  3. Although I don’t hike any trails I’d choose the photographs snd history. The human book seems seriously challenging this time of night or maybe I’m reluctant to consider the work it would take to change?

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    1. hahah a- well I bet that in the evening the Human Being book does seem heavy or challenging – but it was more of a lighter read than it looks (although it still can be heavier to some) and the good news found in that book was not making change as much as it was applying strategies for clearing things up and trying new approaches – so it was less about china (even tho change was the goal) and it was more about understanding power struggles – what puts someone on the defense – and then remembering the filters.
      Okay, enough of that!! time for some sleep and so let’s imagine the blue skies and trails taking us into our dreams.
      ha

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  4. You might have guessed that I would go for the Appalachian Mountain Trail book 😉 I do love to hike in the mountains… On the other hand, that Human-Being book does sound interesting and full of little nuggets of wisdom.

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    1. Hi Trent! I would have guess you would like the trail book – and also I like how you said the book had little nuggets!
      I am still pondering what I liked about the book and realized that some “communications” courses (or social psychology etc) can get to wordy with terms and long explanations – and so the author had so many years of experience it seemed like he came to the writing table and said – “okay – here is how I have learned to explain things to thousands of people – many of them with thick heads and pressure – and her is my simple approach to help them understand”
      Thanks for the comment!
      ☀️😊

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  5. Hi Yvette, I don’t think I would chose either of these books to take on holiday as I usually read fiction. However, I would read Pietsch’s book, it sounds very interesting.

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    1. Hi Robbie ! Well I can easily see you devouring some fiction on your holiday.
      And I almost grabbed a Louis L’Amour paperback because I have more than 100 to tackle – but took a chance on Human Be-ing and it was perfect for that trip and amount of time I had for reading
      I appreciate your comment

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    1. Hi Cindy – trying to do at least one per month – once in a while I might need to double up – but monthly seems ideal right now!
      Hope your Sunday is off to a nice start and also hope the tub measurements work out! Ugh

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      1. It’s impressive and a lot of work but awesome.. good job. Thanks darling.. it’s going. too fast haahaah you have a good one to. I got it so i can sit at the edge to get in so that’s huge.. thanks my friend! 💖💖

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    1. Hi – well
      The most recent version (the 2000 edition ) is still more than 20 years
      And not sure what tiu meant with your comment? Should i add a review ?

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  6. I like those cacti – hard to imagine they are edible, but I think I have read that before. I think I would like the Appalachian Trail book Yvette. I had never heard of this Trail until the Gabby Petito story broke and there was speculation that her missing boyfriend had hiked portions or all of that rugged trail in the past, thus he might have returned there, or at the very least was a survivalist and accustomed to the rigors of such a trail and could hide anywhere. No hikes ’round these parts right now as we’re either flooded or muddy – it’s looking like another wet Spring, if we can get rid of the snowy mornings. I went to Heritage Park yesterday and had to detour on the trails as there was still massive flooding and/or mud.

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    1. Hi Linda A sure hope the flooding eases up!
      And I remember you mentioning Fanny’s story to me when the search was active – and we actually took two hikes during those active search weeks and on one the overnight hikes we noticed some unusual vehicles and a “runner” that seemed like an undercover agent – really! I think they had various things set up all along the trail because of what you mentioned – the boyfriend was hiding there – and at night there was a chopper that went by like three times and we had never heard that on previous trips.
      Anyhow – sad sad story of Two young lives robbed – and a road trip idea gone sour! Ugh

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      1. We had rain a good part of today Yvette – it is getting very old with this gray and gloomy weather, I didn’t realize you were actually on the Trail at the same time the surveillance and manhunt were in place. Yes, it is very sad how an argument turned into two lives list.

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  7. As important as relationship are, I love exploring new trails, which is even more fun with a friend or friends to share the adventure with. I’ve not hiked the Appalachian Trail. Although, I did go in on a white water rapids trip somewhere in northern Georgia. I was with friends and they picked the river.
    I’ve been to the subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, The Great Smokie Mountains.
    I hope to make it to the Appalachian Trail someday.

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    1. Hi myth rider– white water rafting can be a serious thrill
And adventure and scary challenge – northern Georgia is quite beautiful and what a great place to explore
Thanks for sharing and I remember hearing a speaker talk about white water rafting – a good lesson for life – he said that their guide seemed wrong when he was going into a huge crest of water in the river – everyone on their raft was like huh?
The guide said it looks like we are in danger but we are gong with the flow and actually by doing so – we will smoothly ride it and end up through it!
Ooooo – lesson for living there – ha

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