Author: Marisol Ramos

Is Your Head a “Safe Space”?

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Much attention has been given to current college students’ demands for “safe spaces” – areas where they are protected from uncomfortable ideas, concepts, philosophies, and opinions expressed by others. What those students are demanding is freedom from being exposed to new external thoughts, concepts, ideas; things that dispute, and even defy, what those students internally hold as true – what they consider as undeniable and unchallengeable truth.

These students are seeking protection from external ideas and points of views that threaten their own. For some of us, the threat lies within. Some need protection from their own judgements and criticisms that threaten and can destroy one’s worth, competence, and integrity. A “safe space” from one’s own Inner Critic.

Everyone, at times, judges and criticises themselves. We all need some internal guidance system to help us avoid bad decisions and actions. But for some that feedback is harsh, excessive, and unfair. Crushing our positive feelings about ourselves, damaging our self-concept and happiness.

We all have an IC. Some might think of it as our conscience, and it is similar, but it is much more than that; it is a sense within ourselves with which we constantly examine and judge every aspect of our own behavior, our actions, even our thoughts. Our IC is how think of and treat ourselves.

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Our Inner Critic is influenced by our treatment by others; it is learned, formed by the way our parents and family treat us. Parents who are kind and patient with us model such treatment as the pattern for our own self-treatment. Such fortunate children are usually calm, confident, free of anxiety, and self-doubt. Children whose parents are demanding, critical, never satisfied, learn to be as fault finding and dissatisfied with themselves as their parents were with them.

From those teachings, our Inner Critic is developed – observing, evaluating, judging, and in the worst case condemning ourselves every moment of every day. Depending on it’s origin, our IC can be positive or negative. What I want to look at today is how a negative IC can affect our lives and how we have the power to determine which kind of reaction our IC has to inputs from the outside, etc. Learning to better handle them can help us control the impact others have on our IC.

It’s been said that for some., their heads are a “dangerous neighborhood”; a place where they are routinely attacked by their persistent, unrelenting “Inner Critic”, ever alert for the slightest misstep to condemn both themselves and perhaps others as well.

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As painful as such judgements may be, some are reluctant to turn off the inner voice of their mom and dad. They believe that without that critic they would get nowhere and be no one. These individuals are often chronically anxious and depressed, trying to live up to impossible expectations, hopelessly feeling they will never be good enough. Some drown their IC’s voice in drugs, alcohol, or perfectionist work habits. Others may further develop their IC after a disastrous decision or action, believing it will protect them from repeating such mistakes. Often they fail to realize the painful emotional price such “protection” costs them.

Some of us need a different sort of safe space; one that we can take everywhere we go, available at all times, not just outside the college library. We need a safe space in the private world of our inner life; somewhere that we are protected from the merciless criticism and ridicule of our own self-judgement.

To silence that critic we need to understand how it functions. Here’s an example of how my IC was influenced by something someone said:

In just three words, she ruined my day. She said, “You’re a _____.” (Fill in the blank with the most painful possible criticism that someone can level against you; the one that hits your most vulnerable aspect of self.)

That hurt! I went over the incident again and again, not finding what I was seeking because I didn’t quite know what I hoped my ruminations should provide. Gradually, as my day became busy and I was preoccupied by other concerns, the urgency of my search declined and eventually disappeared altogether. I was involved with my day and slowly the sting of the rebuke was gone.

Until I was in bed at night.

Mentally I returned to the incident and realized I was looking for some justification for the action that had been criticized; some way to silence my Inner Critic which had the validated that woman’s criticism and judgement of me. I was looking for a defense of myself. Something that would silence the IC that said, “she’s right.”

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But I couldn’t find it. Because she WAS right.

And that was a blow to how I saw myself as a decent capable person. I had to own her judgement of me. It wouldn’t be honest, or demonstrate integrity, to deny it.

But she was also wrong. And I couldn’t quite say exactly how.

Gradually, I realized that she took one example of my bad behavior and in criticizing it, extended it to my entire being. “You’re a TOTAL ___________” is what I “heard” her saying. And my IC took her side.

She was right, up to a point. I was an “__________ …” in THAT moment. Then I found my safe space; I realized that I’m not like that in every moment of my life nor in every interaction. And, with that self knowledge I could accept that I did behave poorly at times – especially during the moment in question. But, I also understood that the criticism did not correctly portray who I am. It greatly exaggerated this failing of mine.

The good news? I could have integrity, self-respect, and growth by accepting her judgement of me in that moment as true. I could preserve the good parts of myself by realizing that she and my IC had overreacted and over-generalized about my character.

There was a painful-opportunity here. We all need a safe space; a way to own our shortcomings so we can overcome them and have a better sense of self and life. To avoid a HARSH Inner Critic, which does damage to some part of our sense of self, we need both: some inner guidance system which is a rational and fair judge of our behavior, keeping us in touch with our reality, and on track for a good life. A safe space where an inner supporter with an openness to the validity of the outside and inside critic, can be examined and dealt with.

Challenging Our Inner Critic.

Our inner critic has validity and power because it’s correct … to a certain degree. It hits home, even if we deny that. Think about being called “an asparagus”, we’d laugh it off as silly. But when the IC is partially correct, even when it exaggerates, we accept its judgement as totally correct. Our IC accepts both its kernel of truth, and its exaggerations, as valid.

So we often need to ask ourselves, “Is that REALLY true? Am I really THAT bad?” AND, “What’s correct about this criticism? Where might I need to face a painful reality and grow?” We can productively handle inner and outer criticism by owning the part that’s true and rejecting the exaggeration.

Lest You Think the Complete Elimination of the IC is the Best Approach….

I have a friend who, to put it delicately, has trouble keeping a job. He’s lost 5 in the last 5 or so years. And it’s always someone else’s fault. He never has any role or responsibility in his own setbacks. If it’s not a “demanding, tyrannical boss who expects perfection” (those do exist), it’s “jealous, envious coworkers who sabotage me because they can’t perform as superbly as I do!”

I’ve never heard him criticize himself in any way. So he may be the exact opposite of the harsh IC we’ve been discussing. And I THINK he pays an employment and financial security price for lacking any inner feedback system.

The IC and Its Role in Relationships.

You’ve heard that we tend to see in others what we refuse to see in ourselves. Remember “seeing the dust in someone else’s eye while failing to see the beam in our own”? At those times we may redirect our Inner Critic outward toward our partner who may share – in even the slightest way – the problem we have with ourselves. Not a good plan for a healthy and enduring connection. But it does work to direct our anger and disappointment with ourselves onto our loved one-momentarily; until they strike back. Ever go through that?

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The Inner Critic originates outside us, become internalized, and is disowned by projecting on others. And it goes on until we create relationship problems that come back to haunt us in bed at night.

Finding that balance between harsh and healthy self-criticism is good for us, our partner, AND our happiness!

(Photos of “safe spaces”.)

NEXT TIME: More on the self, relationships, and happiness.

Tony Johnson is a retired university mental health psychologist who lives and tries to learn from his mistakes in Ojochal. He can be reached for consultations at:

For Sale By Owner – 2 Properties (Farm with house and Big Lot with Fully Furnished Home) – Osa Península – USD $375,000

For any questions you have about this property click here to contact the owner.

The property you are looking at is two properties, a truck and a LLC being sold as a package deal. Owner financing is available to qualified buyers. Located in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, next to the most biodiverse place on the planet, Corcovado National Park.

The first property is a 50 acre organic off grid farm with a fully furnished rustic 832 square foot house constructed in 2015. The second is a few minutes walk away from the first and is a 7567 square foot lot with a fully furnished 1066 square foot main house, a 218 square foot cabina, and a 13,500 gallon in ground pool.

This is a perfect setup for someone looking to purchase a turnkey property with immediate income potential, as you can live in one and rent out the other. Accommodation is in high demand here, as many tourists come to visit Corcovado National Park. The entrance to the park is just steps away from the second property, and the trail borders the farm. This makes the farm a perfect location for someone interested in creating a boutique ecolodge or hosting farm tours. The second property would also be a great location for a restaurant, as currently there are only a couple of “sodas” in town(tiny “restaurants” with only a few seats) which serve a limited menu, usually some variation of rice and beans.

The property is hilly and the majority of it(around 44 acres) is primary rainforest. The rest(6 acres or so)was cleared in the past and now has a variety of fruit trees planted on it, with space for more.

The property came with a few mature fruit trees, and we have planted hundreds of different fruit trees since we purchased the property in 2014. Many of these trees are now producing. We use zero chemical fertilizers or pesticides, so everything is organic.

These are the current mature(producing) fruit trees: four cashew, five cacao(chocolate), many papaya, two coconut, three mango, numerous guavas and ice cream beans, one achiote(lipstick tree), one miracle fruit, several moringa, three rambutan, two soursop, two atemoya, several lemon, and one chili pepper tree.

Other trees that we planted in 2014, but have not produced yet: one fig, one almond, one finger(caviar) lime, two jaboticaba(should be ready anytime), five breadfruit(should also be ready anytime), many types of citrus, passionfruit, star fruit, many coconuts, green bamboo for building, many types of cacao, ice cream bean, cashew, avocado, morninga, and mango.

There are also many edible plants on the property. There are hundreds of mature banana plants(many different types), so there is a constant supply of bananas.

Other plants that are currently producing are: white pineapple(around 30 plants), many yucca/cassava/tapioca, tons of taro, pigeon peas, and many greens(katuk, bele, chaya, moringa, gotu kola, purslane, cranberry hibiscus). There is one vanilla plant that is old enough to produce, but we have not seen flowers yet.

Frequent animal visitors are: Squirrel Monkeys, Spider Monkeys, Howler Monkeys, Toucans, Scarlett Macaws, Coatis, Gray-Necked Wood Rails, Slaty-Tailed Trogons, Hummingbirds, Peccaries, Bats, Iguanas, a variety of various reptiles and amphibians and many species of birds too numerous to count. A park guide once found a tapir print on the property as well. We have been told they are attracted to the smell of bananas, and feel that if we didn’t have dogs we would likely have tapirs visit.

The properties are located in a small town of less than 400 people. The town is only eight miles away from the beach and a larger town(Puerto Jimenez) with all the amenities you could wish for.

We need at least a 15% downpayment but the other terms are negotiable. We feel 5% interest for a five year term would be fair with it going to 10% for a 10 year or longer term

For more information contact Callahan Roberts
Email: or Via the contact form on website:

Costa rica farm for sale limon 3

Price Lowered Self Sustaining Farm Located at Valle de la Estrella, Limon Property – USD $699,000 (Reasonable Offers will be Considered)

For any questions you have about this property click here to contact the owner.

Property in the Mountains of Valle de la Estrella (Valley of the Stars) for sale. The area was appropriately named because on clear nights you can see millions of stars. The farm is located about 1,000 feet above sea level and has an amazing view of the valley floor below. All the houses face the sunset so you can watch the colors change as the sunsets from each porch.

This secluded self sustaining farm has been maintained to be a peaceful, quiet retreat. There are 5 houses, carport, tilapia pond, chicken houses, large animal pastures, lots of fruit trees, and 360 cacao plants soon to be ready for the picking.

Land Size: 21 hectares/ 210,000 sq m
Construction Size
House 1 : 130 sq m
House 2 : 83 sq m
House 3 : 83 sq m
House 4 : 67 sq m
House 5 : 102 sq m

House 1: 3 bedrooms
House 2: 2 bedrooms
House 3: 3 bedrooms
House 4: 1 bedroom
House 5: 3 bedrooms

Each house has 1 bathroom

The view is the most astounding thing about the farm. There is lots of food that grows on the farm and has made my grocery bill so much less. Each house has something uniquely designed to make each house. My absolute favorite thing we grow are the bananas and pineapples. We have enjoyed raising farm animals and having our own fresh milk every day. The property is beautifully decorated with lots of varieties of flowers. The evenings are very cool and with little bugs. The floors are all ceramic and makes for easy clean up. Fresh spring water and fresh clean air!!!

Serious inquires can contact Lisa Airaudi at 512-713-4358 or email The property is under our corporation name and the corporation name is up for consideration to sell along with the property.

Reasonable Offers will be Considered

PRICE REDUCED For Sale By Owner – Beautiful House 2 BR, 2 Bathrooms Close to the Beach – Playa Bejuco – USD $135,000

For any questions you have about this property click here to contact the owner.

PRICE REDUCED. This like new, fully furnished, 2Br/2B beach house is the best deal on the market. Call today.

This fully renovated 2Br/2B house with full laundry and screened patio is just 600m from Playa Bejuco.

The house in Jardines del Pacifico carries a full title. The gated community was completed and turned over to the HOA in 2006.

The development has low HOA cost at $1500/yr which includes landscaping of the beautiful fully mature Jardines del Pacifico plus 24hr security, community pool, trash pickup.

I am represented by Abogada Silvia Vega in Jaco.

The registration number of your property is 6-132773-003.

The community has a strong rental history and the location has boomed recently as the Estorillos Town Center with grocery, gym, and multiple restaurants/small businesses is in full swing.

Playa Bejuco offers one of the best surfing beaches on the central Pacific with two hotels, scarlet macaws, spectacular sunsets and extended low-tides that open the miles of beach for walking.

Just 30km to Jaco for all amenities including the best dental and medical services, banks, etc. Only 14m to Parrita for much of the same.

The house is fully furnished with new items shipped from the USA including kitchen items and appliances, TV and recliners.

Full Cable Tica TV and internet are in place and sufficient for work-at-home USA jobs.

Every detail has been attended to ensure that new owners have absolutely no issues with any aspect of the property.

Brand new 2nd (master bedroom) bath & 3 new split-unit inverter A/C’s. New security fencing at the rear, Like new roofing (fresh paint and new screws), new patio screens, fresh paint inside and out, patio doors, tree-trimming, everything.

Contact Info

Ron Poppell
Phone: 772-979-0463

Why Do We Argue So Damn Much!? – It Didn’t Start That Way

As we all know, couples argue a lot. Often about money, in-laws, and household chores. But that only
tells us what we argue about, not why. Certainly partners take different positions on those issues and have
different objectives, but even that doesn’t explain why they argue, rather than discuss and negotiate.
Clearly something very important is at stake in these issues. But is it really the money, the relatives, or the
division of labor?

To understand what’s actually happening, we must go deeper than “that’s just the way it is” and make
some distinctions. What happens that turns a discussion into an argument? Let’s look at the mechanisms
that can trigger the transition.

First, let’s be clear, not every disagreement becomes a argument. An argument is a disagreement that
involves intense negative emotions and cause feelings such as hurt, anger, rage, and the desire to “get
even” with our partner. “Which Beatle was the cutest?”, rarely if ever arouses such feelings, until the
disagreement develops into a personal attack, (“How could you be stupid enough to think ‘Ringo was the
cutest?’”) Such judgmental statements can cause injury to one’s sense of self. (I’m using “sense of self”
here rather than the more common term “ego” because ego suggests a person with a grandiose,
exaggerated sense of importance, abilities, attractiveness, and so on. “Sense of self” is a more neutral term
and doesn’t imply egotism.) And that elicits a self-defense reaction.


The first step to an argument occurs when we feel our sense of self is in danger, to which we respond by
becoming defensive. You might be surprised to hear that our efforts to protect ourselves and end fights
often produces just the opposite effect. While we feel we’re “only correcting the record”, the person we’re
“setting right” may feel rebuked, scolded, and labeled as personally, not just factually, wrong, and that
makes them feel attacked. They definitely don’t feel heard by us, so they defend themselves, which we
experience as a counter-attack . . . and then we have a battle on our hands.

The commonly suggested way to avoid such fights, “don’t defend yourself, listen carefully to their
concerns” is very difficult to carry out because self-defense is innate, natural, reflexive reaction. This puts
us in a bind. We may avoid arguments by resisting self-defense and listening to our partner, but then we
suffer the slings and arrows of our partner’s attacks. And if we do defend ourselves, it’s likely to make
things worse.

A third way to reduce the need for defense is by developing a more secure sense of self. And, at the risk
of overpromising, partners with more secure selves will have a better relationship and happier lives. And
partners with better relationships will have more secure selves and happier lives. So, how do we do that?

What Exactly Is a “Sense of Self”?

Each one of us has a “self”, basically ideas about who we are as distinct, unique individuals. It’s who we
are and how we’re different from, and are the same as, “others”. It’s a collection of ideas, a kind of
summary of our history, traits, strengths, and weaknesses; a kind of personal brand that defines how we
see ourselves and how we believe others see us. It’s not just our personally held image of ourselves, it
also includes how others see us. It can be thought of as a “coordinate”, a spot where we are “located” on
the social map; “I’m important” or “I’m nobody”. The deeper we understand this essential element of our
lives, the stronger that sense of self can become.

A positive, favorable sense of self gives us comfort and security. We feel we belong, that we have value
and importance to others. They need us just as we need them. A negative self leaves us anxious and
insecure, feeling unliked, unwanted, shunned, rejected. The good opinion of others is crucial to our
opinion of ourselves, so we desperately defend our image to ourselves and others. Feeling good about
who we are and how we are seen by others is that important.

The “Parts” of Our Self

The self can be subdivided into key parts. A few of the number of conditions that are essential to feeling
good about ourselves are:

• worth (value to ourselves and others)
• competence
• integrity
• acceptability, (OKness)
• autonomy

We NEED to check off all those boxes more or less positively to have a secure sense of self. We must feel
that we have value/worth, or why bother to get up in the morning. Life, as we well know, demands certain
skills to at least survive, if not thrive. Such effective living requires COMPETENCE, a capacity to
manage our lives and relations well.

For example, the statement, “How could you be stupid enough to think…?” demeans and diminishes our
intellect, and, therefore, our ABILITY. If we’re so dumb as to select the wrong Beatle, then the
implication is that something is wrong with us; our opinion and who we are doesn’t have much VALUE
in the eyes of our challenger. That can make us feel that maybe we don’t even have the INTEGRITY to
see the “correct answer”, nor are we deserving of the AUTONOMY to think for ourselves.

When we know these things about our sense of self, then we can understand why that when that sense is
threatened or attacked, we become defensive (which means we counterattack.) And, if we don’t defend
ourselves against the attacker, we attack ourselves for being “weak”, for “letting them get away with
treating me that way.” We can’t win.

Finally, for now, when others criticize us they tend to extend our shortcomings; they extrapolate our
mistakes from a few examples to the entirety of ourselves. And we do the same to them, when we become
defensive. We resist admitting an obvious problem or shortcoming in ourselves because we feel it
indicates the entirety of who we are. We spill some milk and are accused of BEING ENTIRELY clumsy
and stupid. We defend against that same spill because we are afraid that it indicates something negative
about the entirety of who we are.

You’re certainly seeing how each of these areas are points of vulnerability and can be triggers for
defensiveness and fights, and how a negative judgements about those parts of ourselves creates pain and

Masters and Disasters

As I have mentioned in previous articles, marriage guru John Gottman identifies two types of bonds: the
“Marriage Masters” and the “Marriage Disasters”:

The “Disasters” are at Defcon 1, on the verge of nuclear war, feeling their sense of self is critically
endangered. This climate creates a climate filled with contempt, criticism, stress, defensiveness . . . and
big battles.

The “Masters” are calm, at ease around each other. They focus on each other’s strengths, avoid
pinpointing weaknesses and shortcomings, abstain from attacks, and are very considerate of each others’
feelings; there is ample safety and little need for defensiveness. The “Masters” feel their sense of self is
safe in each other’s hands. This improves both their relationship with each other and with themselves.

It’s easy to see which approach (safety or danger – security or menace) is the best for the evolution and
growth of the relationship and the partners.

Our goal should be to conduct our relationships as Masters. Living in the safety of a Masters’
relationship, we can admit our shortcomings because we know they refer only to a part of who we are, not
to our totality. We become not only more at ease around our partner, but also with ourselves.

It’s hard to be happy with our life while unhappy with ourselves, but much easier when someone is happy
with us . . . and we with them. The key to such happiness-with ourselves and with our partner-is how we

TREAT each other.
Did I over promise?

Tony Johnson is a retired university mental health center psychologist who has been married for 45
years…because he did make these changes. He can be contacted for consultations at:

grifo alto costa rica home for sale villas galavista header

For Sale By Owner – One of a Kind House at 3400 ft. – Grifo Alto, Puriscal – USD $209,000

For any questions you have about this property click here to contact the owner.

This one of a kind house sits at 3400 ft offering panoramic views of the Central Valley. One hour to San Jose and equally close to many Pacific Coast beaches. The home is located in a small new housing development called Villas Galavista, which was begun with this house in 2013.

This home is offered virtually turnkey with all appliances, furniture and most accessories to stay.

The home exterior is 80% glass on three sides which opens the panorama from every room in the home. And yet privacy is assured due to its unique elevation in relation to other properties.

The basics of the home:

  • Lot size approximately 1/3 acre (1100 sq. meters)
  • 1287 sq.ft. indoors (115 sq..meters)
  • Outdoor under roof spaces provide an additional 1000 sq.ft. (90 sq. meters), including a 15×16 ft. patio facing west giving perfect outdoor space for entertaining and away from seasonal breezes which are predominantly from the east.
  • 40 ft x 14 ft great room with kitchen centrally located between dining and entertainment areas at each end of the room.
  • Large granite island counter with ample cupboard space in island as well as above and below the rear countertop (also granite).
  • This kitchen is a dream for those who love to cook as it was designed for just that, as well as entertainment space on the island sit-up counter. All stainless appliances (Samsung) include microwave, gas range and twin door refrigerator with in-door ice/water. All new in 2013 and will remain with the house.
  • Utility room with stacked washer/dryer (LG) and utility sink, storage shelving.
  • All lorel hardwood construction of ceiings, interior doors, custom china cabinet, Murphy bed (2nd bedroom), large wardrobe unit (combination 18 cupboards/drawers and hanger closets) and 8 ft. long desk
  • 2 bedrooms, each 13×13 ft. (3 piece master bath additional)
  • 2nd bath (3 piece) adjacent to 2nd bedroom
  • Non-slip ceramic flooring inside and out.
  • Lots of large (5×6 ft approx..) windows – 15 in total, each topped by sliding windows to provide ample ventilation.

Grifo Alto is a small but friendly, no crime community located approximately 14km (8.7 miles) from Santiago de Puriscal, the largest town in the area. Basic grocery needs are readily available in Grifo Alto, known for perhaps the best drinking water in Costa Rica. Santiago hosts a wider range of shopping and service needs and “big city” shopping is an hour’s drive to San Jose.

The home is located approximately 900 feet (300 meters) from the main road and regular bus transportation.

For 360° Pictures click here!

Mountain Vista, Puriscal-Costa Rica from Louis Hernandez on Vimeo.

Contact Info

Bob & Linda Beavis
CR Phone:8902-4808
US Phone:937-732-8052

beautiful casita central valley 14

For Sale by Owner – Beautiful Casita in Costa Rica – Central Valley – USD $160,000

For any questions you have about this property click here to contact the owner.

A perfect property for a couple or single person located in the mountains at 3300 feet with Central Valley Views that really sparkle at night. This two bedroom/ two bath home is well designed to maximize space and provide great views with floor to ceiling windows. It is currently an income producing property for the owner who lives next door. Built in 2015 with concrete/steel A-1 Building Systems and built to a 9.0 earthquake standard, it has the conveniences that make it a very comfortable home such as a separate laundry room with a washing machine and room for a dryer, storage, stove, refrigerator, microwave. It comes fully furnished. $160,000 USD.

Where exactly is the home located?
This home is located in Grifo Alto, a short distance from Santiago de Puriscal

How long does it take to get to the nearest international airport?
Actual distance if I was a crow 15 miles but it is about 1 hour to drive

When was the house last on the market?
It has not been listed on the market

How far to San Jose in A: Miles and B: Minutes travel time?
San Jose is about 40 miles away and travel time is about one hour depending on traffic.

Do you know who designed your home?
We designed it with an architect/engineer

Do you know which builder built your home?
Yes, our local general contractor who built our second home and many others

Do you know which architect designed your home?

Did you do your own interior design or did you have a professional to help you?

What are the exact measurements of the land in square meters and square feet?
The property is 559 square meters (6,017 square feet)

How many square meters or square feet of construction in the house?
The house is 109 square meters (1173 square feet)

How big is the living room?
About 30 meters squared; 322.9 square feet

How many bedrooms are there? What sizes?
Two bedrooms, the master at 16M2 or 173 sq ft, guest at 12.2M2, or 132 sq.ft.

How many bathrooms?
There are two full baths

Is this an individual house or condominium?
This is an individual house

How much is monthly maintenance?
Not applicable

Is there a maid’s room?

How many floors?
One, no steps

How big is the garden in square meters and square feet?
There is no formal garden although there is a lawn

Is there a swimming pool? If so what size?

In what year was the home built?

What type of construction?
Concrete and Steel A-1Building Systems

How many telephone lines?

Is there cable internet access in your area? If so which company?
Yes, this property has DSL internet through the phone company

Is the owner of the property a person or a corporation?
Corporation although since corporation owns additional house on same property would not be sold or transferred. Resurvey will be done at sellers expense.

What is your asking price?
$160,000 US Dollars

Will you offer seller financing?

Has your home been featured in any architectural or real estate magazines?

What feature of your home have you most enjoyed?
The view

Please be as personal as you can when you tell us what are your top ten favorite things that you will miss about living in this home?
We have enjoyed living in this house prior to building our main home just next door (however with plenty of privacy). Many a day and night we spent sitting on the patio just enjoying the weather, the butterflies, birds, the quietness and views. It is close to the entrance to this development so often neighbors would stop by for a cup or just to chat. Our water system in Grifo Alto is contained for the community and is among the best in Costa Rica. We can drink out of the tap anytime without having to do anything to the water. On those days we don’t feel like driving into San Jose, we will take the public transportation which is excellent, timely and close by. Due to the elevation, we do not need air conditioning or heating as the daytime temps are warm while the nights are cool enough to sleep. Our Tico neighbors are among the best.

The best way to contact us via email to giving us your contact information and we will respond by either email, phone, FB, or text as you choose.

Costa Rica Timeshare Rentals and Resales IMAGE 1

Costa Rica timeshares offer a lavish, yet affordable way to vacation in this tropical paradise. With added accommodation amenities and plenty of fantastic resort features, Costa Rica timeshares can’t be beat. Most of these properties can be found in Guanacaste, an area known for its breathtaking beaches and unspoilt parklands. The most cost-efficient way to buy or rent a Costa Rica timeshare is to go through the secondary markets on websites like

Costa Rica Timeshare Rentals

16565765 - pool with a view of the green side of arenal volcano, costa rica.

16565765 – pool with a view of the green side of arenal volcano, costa rica.

For a one-time, low-cost vacation option, Costa Rica timeshare rentals offer the perfect solution. These rental units are made available by owners who are unable to visit their timeshare on the given year. In return, they advertise their units at a low weekly rate. Even if you don’t end up staying the whole week, you’ll still likely come out on top in comparison to the price of area hotels. Not to mention the added value of timeshare amenities that will make you feel right at home on your vacation, with plenty of room for everyone to spread out and relax. Additionally, Costa Rica timeshare rentals are a great way to try before you buy if you’re not ready to commit to ownership just yet!

Costa Rica Timeshare Resales

48539273 - outdoor restaurant table among the nature

48539273 – outdoor restaurant table among the nature

Owning a Costa Rica timeshare has many benefits. For one, it is a cost-efficient way to indulge in luxurious, annual vacations. When you buy on the secondary market, you can save upwards of 70% off resort pricing while also skipping the high-pressure sales pitch by shopping from your own home. Websites like are also able to refer you to reliable brokers and closing companies for the smoothest possible transaction from start to finish.

Typical Amenities in Costa Rica Timeshares IMAGE 4

65156646 – relaxing beach scene with reclining beach chairs and palm trees in costa rica

Timeshares make exceptional vacation accommodations because they are chock-full of great features and amenities to make your vacation great. While amenities vary by suite size and resort, properties like Condovac La Costa offer units equipped with full kitchens, living rooms, whirlpool tubs, dining rooms, and private terraces.

Costa Rica timeshare resorts also offer on-site services and activities to enhance your stay. Popular Costa Rica resort, the Villas Sol Hotel and Beach Resort offers a full-service spa, all-inclusive dining options with on-site restaurants, watersports, swimming pools, jacuzzi tubs, and complimentary Wi-Fi. A timeshare vacation gives you a full vacation experience without ever having to leave the property!

Find the perfect Costa Rica timeshare resale or rental that fits your vacation needs and budget by browsing the impressive selection on

Price Lowered For Sale by Owner – Casa y Casita – Main House 3 BR, 2 Bath – Guest House 2 BR, 2 Bath – Tronadora – USD$290,000 – Reduced Price to USD $279,000

For any questions you have about this property click here to contact the owner.

Live the dream! Nestled in the hills only 3 blocks from the small peaceful pueblo of Tronadora, (outside of Tilaran) and overlooking Lake Arenal, is a birder’s paradise (with an extra bonus of the occasional visit from howler monkeys and sloths). Awaken each morning to birds singing, cows lowing, and monkeys howling in the distance. This property is 6000 meters – 1.5 acres (including a small section of woods with trails), a 3 bedroom 2 bath main house, and 2 bedroom 2 bath guest house (both built in 2008).

The main house, (176 meters total, covintec/concrete construction) consists of a great room with glassed and screened front porch facing Lake Arenal, kitchen with dishwasher and garbage disposal; MASTER bedroom with lake view, own entrance, walk in closet, ensuite bath; GUEST room also with lake view, own entrance onto an outside porch, 2 closets, air conditioning/heating unit, and bathroom; and THIRD bedroom is being used as an office. The 2 car GARAGE is attached (electric opener and tiled floor). All doors, closets and cabinets are solid cedar; screening and ceiling fans throughout. There are 6 skylights and vaulted ceilings.

The guesthouse (casita) is a small (concrete block, 68 meters) 2 bedroom, 2 bath home with a layout similar to the main house but on a smaller scale, and located a little bit lower on the property. The guesthouse also overlooks Lake Arenal, has master bedroom with ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet, also second bedroom and second bath and laundry room. The extra home offers an income producing opportunity as well as a place to host family and visitors. Unlike most homes in Costa Rica, both the main house and guest house were made to U.S. standards and can actually flush toilet paper!

Total land is just over an acre and a half (6000 meters). Many trees, fruit trees and plants, including pineapples, bananas, lemons, mangos, jocotes, etc. The property perimeter is fenced, and there is an electric gate to enter the property, and a concrete driveway. Pathways through the small area of wooded property ensure a relaxing and easy walk, there are also stairs to the back of the property. On one side a neighbor has a small coffee and macadamia farm, and there are coffee plants and macadamia trees in our woods as well.

Both homes are supplied with excellent (treated) and plentiful city water supplied by the pueblo of Tronadora. There is also a tank of (potable city) water constantly refreshed. These two tank systems have supplied us with water when the pueblo was without water (for days after a bad storm).

There are solar panels (grid tie net metering agreement with the electric company), rainwater is collected in 2 tanks, and there is a simple option to use rainwater or city water for toilets (or watering). The 2 car garage has wiring and plumbing ready for solar hot water. Currently, there is an on-demand electric water heater connected to all hot water faucets inside the main house, and a hot water heater/tank supplying hot water in the guest house. There is garbage collection weekly. There is one phone landline, and high speed (DSL) internet is connected to both houses. The house is owned within a corporation (S.A.).

The distance from the road affords peace and protection for us and our pets, yet the property truly is within walking distance to downtown Tronadora (3-4 blocks). There is a well stocked grocery store, several restaurants, bars, the bus stop, small hardware store, churches and the soccer field. There is an unpaved road that runs beside the lake, and is no more than half a mile from the house, which offers fantastic hikes and sightings of monkeys, birds, an occasional sloth or coati, and other wildlife.

The property is about 5 miles from Tilaran, which has the district government, the 24/7 medical clinic, (there is a medical clinic about 300 meters from the property but not 24/7) and restaurants, supermarkets, post office, gas stations, hardware stores, banks, etc. The average temperature is in the 70s year round. This side of the lake has less rain (more wind in Jan and Feb) than the other side of the lake. Liberia international airport is about an hour 15 minutes away, San Jose (and international airport) is about 120 miles (3 – 4 hours away).

House and guesthouse are turnkey. Most furnishings are included, kitchen equipped, towels and bed linens go with the house; a awd 1996 RAV4 can be included. Leaseback is available. It’s time to make that change you’ve always been thinking about….to a warmer, more tranquil life!

More info at
Contact Tim Johnson at:
US phone: 904-638-5221
CR phone: 506-8839-4008

For Sale by Owner – Reduced Price House & Rental Unit 5-Bedroom, 4-Bath, 347 sq. meters – Puriscal – USD $185,000.

Located high atop Puriscal with panoramic views to Alajuela and San Jose, the 3-bedroom, 2-bath main house is partially furnished and the 2-bedroom, 2-bath rental unit is fully furnished. Lots of upgrades within the past year including new deck tiles and support structure, new septic system, new ceiling, totally new kitchen cabinets in rental unit and more. Over 2700 sq. ft. of space plus another 1000 sq. ft. of deck and patio space. Conveniently located within walking distance of Maxi Pali for all your shopping needs.

Available for your inspection, call WhatsApp +617 482 3707 or email

Where exactly is the home located?
Jonquillo arriba, frente tanque AYA

How long does it take to get to the nearest international airport?

When was the house last on the market?
Currently advertised on FSBO and Craigslist

How far to San Jose in A: Miles and B: Minutes travel time?
41 km, 1 hr 2 min

Do you know who designed your home?

Do you know which builder built your home?

Do you know which architect designed your home?

Did you do your own interior design or did you have a professional to help you?
Pre-existing house.

What are the exact measurements of the land in square meters and square feet?
471 sq. m., 5069.80 sq. ft.

How many square meters or square feet of construction in the house?
347 sq. m.

How big is the living room?
587 sq. ft. & 205 sq. ft.

How many bedrooms are there?
5 Bedrooms

How many bathrooms?
4 Bathrooms

Is this an individual house or condominium?
Multi family

How much is monthly maintenance?
Internet $30, water $20, electric $40 & $20

How many floors?

What type of construction?
Steel & concrete

How many telephone lines?
Currently 2

What is your asking price?

Will you offer seller financing?

Has your home been featured in any architectural or real estate magazines?

What feature of your home have you most enjoyed?
The view and patio

What is the ‘folio real’ property identification number?
(This will not be published but we must have this information which will be checked) The ‘Folio Real’ number should be a 6 digit number follow by a dash and three digits like as in 000.000-000 1597751-000

Please be as personal as you can when you tell us what are your top ten favorite things that you will miss about living in this home?
1. Beautiful panoramic views
2. Aerial view of city lights at night
3. Watching birds soar by
4. convenience to Puriscal center
5. Escape from cold Winters in the states
6. Warm days – cool nights
7. Central location to San Jose and Pacific beaches

Making Good Relationships Better – The Repair and Re-Pair Way to Happiness

It’s tough to be happy with life when you’re unhappy with yourself.

It’s tough to be happy with your relationship when you’re unhappy with your partner.

That parallel is deliberate. When a critical aspect of a situation is disappointing, the entire arrangement is also likely to be disappointing. Can such disappointment not only have similar causes but also similar solutions?

Let’s explore how that’s possible.

Many couples are conflicted about their relationship: feuding with their partner and conflicted within themselves about the value of their connection. They feel that something is missing, something is wrong, but their fights to correct the problems only make things worse. The partners also struggle with themselves about the costs and benefits of their commitment. They feel the relationship too good to leave, but it’s too unsatisfying to stay.

So they remain out of fear, feeling unhappy, stuck, and upset with their “disappointing” partner and with themselves for not having the courage to go after that missing “something”. and unhappy with their inability to make the relationship better. “Why can’t I make things better between us?”

Can we improve our relationship enough so we want to stay rather than fear leaving?

Can we improve our relationship with ourselves enough to become happier with our life?


To solve these problems, we will need to make changes in our expectations and attitudes about our RELATIONSHIP and ourself. Giving up our attempt to fix your partner, or transform ourselves. The solution lies in repairing how we see and treat our partner and ourselves. In how we RELATE to our partner and ourselves.


Let’s begin at the beginning. Why do we pair up in the first place? For great sex? For a larger combined income? Security? To fill the gaps in our sense of self? Love? All of the above and more? Sure!

Humans have a profound need for some deep, solid connection with another. A connection that leaves us feeling loved and lovable, safe, seen, accepted, secure. And pairing up with another promises to meet those needs. Having such a connection enables us to withstand and overcome many of life’s pains, disappointments and tragedies. And, ideally, our relationship can inspire us to become our best self.

So why then so many unhappy couples?

Often because few of us know how to actually create such a fulfilling, loving connection.

Some relationships (our unique pattern of feelings, interactions, history and meaning) grow love.

Other’s destroy it.

We want a good relationship, but what does that involve? What does it “look like”? It helps to have some “picture” of what we’re trying to achieve. And some concrete plan to get there. Fortunately for us, scientists have been carefully studying relationships that meet our deep needs and those that fail, looking for the distinguishing characteristics of each.

Probably the most well known, highly regarded relationship researcher is Dr. John Gottman. His studies have identified the “Marriage Masters” and the “Marriage Disasters”. Both type of bonds show us what to aim for and what to avoid in order to have a deep, satisfying bond .

Remember both types began their relationships with love and high ideals regarding how they would relate each other! But the “Masters” deepened and improved their connection, while the “Disasters” damaged or even destroyed it.

Both types may have started with the same aspirations, but how they actually treat each other when disappointment occurs is the key difference between these two kinds of marriages. (Note that these principles apply to unmarried couples and those considering marriage as well.)


In “Master” relationships, the partners deliberately strive to have regular positive interactions, rather than just enjoying such encounters when they occur. We’ve all heard, of course, that “marriage takes work.” The Masters regularly engage in that work by producing at least 5 positive exchanges for every negative contact. Especially during conflicts when it matters most.

Masters have high positive to negative interaction ratio because they deliberately act kind and generous, caring and considerate, showing fondness and admiration to each other. That’s what most of us were hoping for. But many think it occurs automatically and doesn’t require work

Since no person, no relationship is perfect (see Brad and Angelina), there will always be things that bother each of us about the other. Here, too, the “Masters” deliberately go positive by intentionally looking for things to praise about each other-rather than criticize. The Masters look for opportunities to show fondness and admiration for each other.

Is any of this missing from your relationship? Could the Masters’ approach could improve your bond?

No, this isn’t just a pollyannaish, “La La Land” denial of our partner’s reality. Nor is it an insincere show of “love”. The Masters give real love and get real love in return. They help each other grow. By giving their partner the benefit of the doubt rather than a “guilty” verdict.


Reverse the Masters’ picture and see the problems that the “Disasters” create in their relationships: more negative than positive interactions. Hostile, abusive, attacking, basically seeking things to criticize. Defensiveness and counterattacks. Ignoring or minimizing a partner’s positive qualities or efforts. Emphasizing their shortcomings.

This isn’t a hard-nosed, “honest” judgement of our partner’s imperfections, it’s an exaggeration of them. A strategic overstatement meant to crush our partner. The belief that WE know the “truth” about our partner.

The “repairs” such attacks are intended to produce in a partner may actually destroy their incentive to change. Creating resentment and defiance instead. And misery for both.


If we reduce the essence of each type of connection to one word, those words would be: safety and danger.

The Masters feel safe with each other. They’re not on edge expecting the next personal attack. They’re relaxed and at ease. They’re safe because they’re kind to each other.

The Disasters feel their partner is a lethal danger to their self-esteem and emotional well-being. They’re tense, wound up, on edge to defend against the next personal attack, because they’re cruel to each other. Absolutely certain they are right and their partner is wrong.

Which conditions create and nurture the relationship that you need?


How do things get so bad?

As already mentioned, all relationships begin with high expectations and a commitment to make things “truly wonderful”. But how we handle the inevitable disappointments and setbacks will determine the ultimate quality of our connection.

Some actually think that criticism and contempt will motivate change and improve things. Some believe that they can punish and coerce their partner into “growth”.

But that collides with our need to be fully accepted and loved as we are. And it deeply hurts when that acceptance and love isn’t given. Some expecting their partners to change for them, at first try persuasion. This double standard, “you change-I stay the same”, arouses hurt in their partner and more conflict between them.

And almost always, they have the same double standard, expecting us to change while they remain the same.

So when we try to improve the relationship by changing each other, we end up changing nothing except causing damage to our connection and to each other.

When our efforts to persuade a change fails, we escalate to nagging, criticizing, complaining. And they nag, complain, and criticize us in return.

Feeling we are entitled to better than they are giving us, feeling that WE ALONE are the injured party and THEY ALONE are the cause of all relationship problems, we feel justified in any and every attack we make on each other. We look for things to criticize. And we don’t hold back when the opening occurs. Tension grows. We feel anxious around each other and prepare to defend ourselves-rather than feeling the safety necessary to grow.


In conflict, we almost always focus exclusively on what they’re doing “wrong”, while we’re, typically, blind to our own part in the problem. What if that approach is the problem? That approach preventing the solution the original problems and creating more problems along the way?

We both tend to forget that we EACH contribute something to our unhappy situation. We’re both trapped in the delusion of our own “complete innocence” and their “absolute responsibility and guilt.” From such a perspective, THEY must change and we are ENTITLED to that change.

Since, typically they feel exactly the same we get nowhere. It’s an impasse. Who will back down and change? Who will “win”?

No one wins that way.

How would the “Masters” handle this dilemma? They might have prevented it in the first place by avoiding criticism and attacks. And by showing fondness and affection.

OR….since no one, no relationship is perfect, how would Masters “undo”and repair the damage and resolve the impasse?

They would end the self-satisfied delusion of innocence and…..gulp…face the painful reality of THEIR contributions to the problems and the conflicts.

Yes, WE FEEL the IMPACT of our partner’s part in the problem: the hurt, the disrespect, the dismissal, the sense of rejection, and more. So THEY MUST BE the cause of everything? Right?

What we don’t feel is the IMPACT of OUR actions on THEM: the hurt, the disrespect, the dismissal, the sense of rejection, etc that THEY feel. So we don’t SEE our part. They do.

They’d don’t see THEIR part. WE do.

And neither of us see the pain under the rage. “She’s just a b….” “He’s just a d….”

Both are hurt. And BOTH need to own their part of the problems. No one is an angel or the devil.

Repairing a damaged relationship will make us feel better about our partner, our relationship, and ourselves: all critical elements in the big picture of our happiness.

NEXT TIME: MIGHT repairing our relationship with ourself improve our overall happiness?

Tony Johnson is a retired university mental health center psychologist who has been married for 45 years….because he did make these changes. He can be contacted for consultations at:

Price Lowered For Sale By Owner – Contemporary American Style View Home near Puriscal – 3 Bdrm / 3 Bath – FURNISHED! – USD $430,00 to $399,9000

For any questions you have about this property click here to contact the owner.

Located at 3400 feet high in the temperate hills of Puriscal, this contemporary home, completed in 2015, boasts a spectacular foothills and ocean view from Puntarenas to nearly the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. Ideally situated within approximately 1 hour of beaches, airport, and Santa Ana/Escazu shopping, the house features loads of comfort and convenience features in approximately 3200 square feet. Friendly, social Gringo neighbors are also well integrated with the local Tico community. Owners only moving back to U.S. due to family commitments.

The main floor has an open floor plan with large kitchen featuring solid granite counter tops, plenty of storage with slide-out/pull-out shelving and soft close drawers, stainless steel appliances, Blanco granite composite double sink, dishwasher and disposal. Large island with eat-at bar.

Living/dining area has accent/ambient lighting, electric fireplace, floating wall shelving, built in rear surround speakers, floor outlets and double sliding glass doors with “disappearing” screen feature. Master suite consists of large bedroom area with reading nook, dual storage/linen closets, patio access, and walk-in closet with built-ins and floor safe for valuables.

Master bath has tons of counter space, dual sinks, vanity, enclosed toilet area, and fully tiled walk-in shower. Second bedroom/den has built in computer desk, file drawers, and book shelves.
Full guest bath is adjacent. Laundry room contains utility and clothes closets, lots of storage cabinets, sink, and sewing nook. Fully enclosed attached garage has automatic door and
separate storage room.

Huge patio with cantilevered no-pillar design and stainless steel railing is perfect for entertaining and enjoying the magnificent views and sunsets. Lower level consists of large guest suite with separate entry, private patio, and full bath, and extra attic storage.

Best of all, this home is offered FURNISHED! No need to spend thousands to ship containers and cars. All major furniture (except master bed), all
major appliances, all outdoor furniture, and lots of other items included.

Price from $430,000.00 to $399,900

This is your turn-key Costa Rican dream home! Just pack your suitcases and go!

Additional features:

  1. Motorized front gate.
  2. Imported Italian porcelain tile throughout.
  3. Ceiling fans in every room.
  4. Pre-wired for internet.
  5. All major appliances (Samsung, LG, Whirlpool) brought from U.S.
  6. Rinnai on-demand gas water heater with optional re-circulating “always hot” capability.
  7. Dual 100 lb. propane tanks with auto-switching valve for ultimate convenience.
  8. Concrete fiber roof tiles make house virtually sound-proof – no rain noise.
  9. LED lighting throughout means long life and low cost.
  10. Dimmable lights in kitchen, living room, and dining room.
  11. Reliable DSL internet.

Contact Steve Brink at:
US Phone: 480-409-1740
CR Phone: 506-8712-4012

For Sale by Owner – Ocean Plaza – 2 Story Commercial Center Constructed in 2006 – Los Sueños Resort and Marina

For any questions you have about this property click here to contact the owner.

Ocean Plaza, a beautiful, two- story commercial center constructed in 2006. It is located on the busy road to Herradura Beach and is the last commercial building and on the same side of the road as the entrance to the exclusive Los Sueños Resort and Marina.

* Location, Location, Location, Gurus in real estate will tell you this is the best possible location for a business which provides services to a major attraction such as Los Sueños. With two road entrances including a long road frontage of 140 meters, and ample paved parking, this Mall is an opportunity not to be missed.

* PROPERTY SIZE: is 6,430 square meters. The rentable area the first floor is 398.3 sq. meters, the second floor is 516.4 meters. The first floor is rented out completely with the exception of a kiosk of 13.3M2. The second floor has 283M2 of rentable space available.

* FEATURES: Awnings over parking stalls directly in front of stores aid accessibility, especially during the rainy season. The mall is disabled-friendly, featuring a Schindler elevator with glass panels overlooking the waterfalls and fish pond. There are quality, large-capacity public washrooms on each floor and private bathrooms in a number of the locals. A garden runs the length of the passage on the second floor, and there is an enclosed balcony with a suspended garden, a sign tower, concrete art in the floors and on the walls of the two women’s bathrooms. The mall has a new video surveillance system with multiple high resolution cameras located at strategic points throughout the mall.

* Additional revenue is realized with a thriving storage business.

* Parking: there are 45 parking spaces directly in front of the mall on the paved area with an additional 70 spaces available even after the potential development is constructed.

* PERMITS: Mall business license, health and environmental permits are complete and up-to-date.

* MAINTENANCE: Routine maintenance is done on all systems including but not limited to fire prevention systems, elevator, waterfalls and fish pond, treatment plant, and the water holding tank; water and sewage quality is monitored and approved by the ministry.

* DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY TO THE EAST OF THE MALL: An open area to the east of the mall is currently part of the mall property and has land use approval for additional commercial and or residential development of up to 10 stories. If someone is interested in the mall only or the lot only, the two could be segregated and sold separately with the services shared.

The new construction which could be a hotel, condo, or apartment tower with commercial space could be attached to the existing Mall at the first and second floors to match the current mall if desired.

Outline plans are available.

The closeness of apartments or hotel rooms to the services of the mall could be very appealing to potential residents of the tower, and the retail locals, especially on the second floor, are more rentable and at higher prices with clients living so close.

Herradura has the expensive Marriott hotel and also has cabins, but offers nothing in the mid-price range. There is a demand for accommodations for both short and long stays in this price range. Potential clients include several different categories of crew members from the marina, and both Costa Rican residents and permanent foreigners holding semi-professional jobs for both short and long stays. More specific information is available.

* SERVICES: Preparing the land for construction, and putting in the services is a major cost of any construction. In this case the majority of the work and cost has been covered as the well, water tank, transformer and public bathrooms were all designed with a future phase 2 in mind.

* FINANCING The Owner can offer up to 40% financing of the purchase price to an approved buyer.

Ms. Catherine Louise Whitehouse
Phone Number 1-705-243-9446
Mobile 1-705-868-5924

wlcr feature you don't know what you got till its ogne

Oh! You Don’t Know What You Got…

…till it’s gone…

Ever notice that you’re occasionally unaware of happiness until it’s gone?

“And I thought routine household chores were a major pain, until we had a huge hurricane and flood. Now that I’m rebuilding, I didn’t realize how good I had it before this mess. Didn’t realize how happy I was. What I’d give for those happy days now.”

How can that be? Afterall, happiness is the ultimate goal of all our efforts. We improve our lives, solve problems, and seek love for their immediate benefits and for their contributions to happiness. We never say “Yes, she’s happy, but is she rich?” But we always wonder, “She’s rich, but is she happy?” because we know rich is a means to happiness. Happiness is not a means to something else. Happiness is our ultimate goal.

So how could we fail to recognize the ultimate feeling when we have it? And why does it fade? Evolution provides some answers.

Nature “engineered” us to be able to feel happy. We can’t fly, echolocate, or live in ice water, but we can be happy. And unhappy.

Why feel both? Why not just happy? Wouldn’t that better serve nature’s goal of survival?
Actually both happiness and unhappiness, like pain and pleasure, better serve survival. We need both but, of course, prefer one over the other.

Yes, we’re able to be happy. But we’re “designed” by nature to focus on the negative, at the expense of the positive, because of the negative focus’s survival value. The positive doesn’t usually endanger us like the negative. So happiness can be ignored when we’re in danger.

Nature also “programmed” us to seek more. If one meal satisfied our hunger but not our nutritional needs, we’d starve. And while happiness is a reward, incentive, motivation to lead a happy life, like with hunger, permanent happiness would eliminate the drive to improve life and our survival. So we want more happiness and thus, we may overlook our current happiness in our quest for more.

costa rica landscape

Our “mores” include the resources necessary for our own and our species’s survival: air, food, water, shelter, security, and connection to others. We also want things that improve the comfort of our life and our sense of self, but are not necessary for survival. Take that Range Rover. Beautiful, superbly engineered, and we look SO GOOD driving it. But it’s way more than we need for reliable transportation. A BeGo can do that. But the Rover makes us feel so good about ourself.

So nature, evolution, it seems put us in conflict with ourselves. We crave and require happiness. But when we get it, we often ignore it or become dissatisfied with that level of happiness.

How can we be happy if we end up being unhappy with the happiness that we have?

Resolving a basic source of our unhappiness, a personal sense of inadequacy, unworthiness, helps a lot. Because that drives much of our craving for more.

No human is anywhere near perfect. Regardless of what was said about Sir Isaac Newton- “nearer to the gods, no man has come”, we are not “gods”. Not even close. But we can learn to feel good enough. And reduce the happiness canceling drive for more.


Remember that both happiness and unhappiness are eMOTIONS-feelings which put us into some necessary “motion”. “Programs” that move us to take survival enhancing actions. Happiness means we’re living a good, overall, life. It “says” to us “keep up the good work”. Unhappiness “says” something’s wrong with how we’re living: “make a change.”

You might argue that rather than “moving” us, unhappiness cripples us, immobilizes us.
How does that help? It doesn’t. We must be careful to distinguish between depression, a mental illness that does paralyze us and unhappiness-which moves us to improve our life.

We’re often unhappy because our conditions change. They’re continuously changing in ways both big and small. So if we hope to base our happiness on circumstances, we’d better prepare to face a lot of unhappiness.

By realizing that happiness and unhappiness are emotional, inner states not states of the world, we see where our focus must lie. Inside. But most of us focus almost exclusively on attaining happiness through external means. Sure, we can’t just feel good about a lack of water. We must HAVE the condition of water. But many conditions are experienced as “unhappy” because of our MINDSET. Our emotions are influenced by conditions MEDIATED by our mindset: by how we tend to see and respond to those conditions.

We Live in Two Worlds

We live in an external, physical, social, objective world and an inner, cognitive/conceptual, personal, subjective world. And we often mistakenly believe that the external one is the key to our happiness.

So we intensely pursue the “good life”: a prestige education leading to a high paying/high status career that provides a magnificient home, a luxury vehicle, and attendance at exclusive parties. Or so the movies tell us about the Western dream life.

But if it’s actually the source of happiness, we must ask why do so many leading such a life engage in drug and alcohol abuse, face criminal investigations, DUI’s, divorces, and bankruptcy? (See “Wolf of Wallstreet”).

And why might some rickshaw puller struggling through the heat and mud and degradation of life in a Mumbai slum, only to return, after a long, hard day, to a home made of plastic sheeting and a dinner of rice and salt, be happy? (See “Happy”).

Maybe happiness is more a matter of our inner emotional life than of our outer world?
And might how we feel about ourselves be a key factor in our happiness? How, afterall, can we be happy with our life if we’re unhappy with the person leading that life? Our life is not something separate and distinct from us. Our life is not like a wardrobe that we can take on and off. It’s something we DO. Something we create by our choices and actions.

If that life’s not going well, or more correctly, when we’re not living our life well, we’re unhappy with our life and it’s “liver”.

Unhappiness Implies We’re Not Enough

Just as we seem to always want more from life, we often want to BE more. Underlying that sense that “we need to BE more” is a BELIEF that we’re NOT ENOUGH.

So how do you see/treat yourself?

Consider a few questions:

Are you self-critical?
What part of yourself are you most critical of?
How severe is your self-criticism?
“I’m occasionally down on myself.
“I’m often harsh with myself.”
“I’m constantly brutal in my self-criticism.”

What benefit do you expect from your self-criticism?

What impact does it actually have?

Does self-criticism really improve who you are? Does it really promote growth and happiness?

Might it be a source of your unhappiness?

Even if you made hugh mistakes, made enormously wrong decisions, taken unquestionably bad actions, (join the crowd) will severe, brutal self-criticism undo any of that?

Will it really move you do do better in the future?

OR might it cause you to overlook your strengths? Might it prevent you from seeing what you’ve got till it’s gone?

Let’s Review…

YES, conditions do matter. Try to be happy when starved, parched, and exposed to searing heat.
And, since conditions continually change, we must continually adapt to restore and retain our happiness. There’s no “one and done” in happiness.
The best adaptation lies within, lies in modifying our mindset about those conditions. Happiness is, afterall, an inner emotional state. Impacted by external circumstances. But best managed by our inner response to the outer-by our mindset. For example, “Yeah, I’m miserable. But I’m still alive.”
Too often, our mindset is the source of our unhappiness. We diminish or eliminate our happiness by focusing on the negative and by wanting more.
Especially when we are negative about ourself. Try to feel happy when you’re negative, rejecting of who you are. When we’re “never good enough”, when we always must be “more” just to be OK, it’s hard to be happy.

Ready to explore better living through compassionate self-acceptance?

Tony Johnson is a retired university mental health center psychologist. He happily lives and learns in Ojochal. He can be reached at:

Avalon Country Club Condo Apartment For Sale PA1-306 in Santa Ana . Walking Trails, Lake, Swimming Pools, Restaurant, Tennis Courts, Gym, Panoramic City-Light Views. – USD $250,000

If you are looking for a luxurious, fully furnished, top-floor, executive type apartment with a fabulous view in a very convenient location, then you’ve found the right page for the Avalon Country Club in Santa Ana.
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Where Exactly Are These Luxury Apartments Located?

  1. – The Country Club project is located in Santa Ana (founded in 1658) and it is one of the fastest growing ‘executive’ areas in the Central Valley although you can still enjoy its small town friendliness.
  2. – Living in Santa Ana, Costa Rica means you are only 3-5 minutes to the main highway into San Jose.
  3. – 5-10 minutes to the Forum Office Park 1 & 2 and the Costa Rican Stock Exchange depending on the traffic.
  4. – You can drive from Santa Ana into the capital city of San Jose in about 25 minutes.
  5. – You don’t really need a car because there are regular buses that travel from Santa Ana into San Jose all day long for way less than $1.
  6. – There are several new shopping malls in the immediate vicinity. The Forum office park is about one mile away. Within a fifteen minute ride you shall find MultiPlaza, Plaza Itzkatzu, Automercado, Hotel Intercontinental, Comfort Inn, Marriott Courtyard and the residential developments of Valle del Sol, Bosques de Lindora, Villa Real and Puerta de Hierro.
  7. – The drive to the MultiPlaza shopping centre, the Plaza Roble and Trilogia Offices is less than ten minutes.
  8. – To get to one of the best hospitals in Central America – Hospital CIMA, will take you about 12 minutes.
  9. – According to the Santa Ana municipal website, the altitude is between 847 – 1,022 meters above sea level with hot, sunny days and cool nights.
  10. – Santa Ana is one of the best municipalities (ranked #2) for improved collection of taxes, using their resources more efficiently and providing better better services to those taxpayers.
  11. – The entrance to the new highway that takes you to the beaches on the Central Pacific Coast is only ten minutes away.
  12. – Living in Santa Ana you are minutes away from many international schools.
  13. – The Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose is only 30 minutes away

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Looking For Offshore Income?
This Condo Apartment Already Has a Long-Term Renter if You Want to Use It as an Investment Property.

If you have serious interest in buying this farm for sale by owner, please e-mail Allan Benjamin
for more information and phone contact.