Posted in Mental Health, Psychology, Self Help, Story

Growth….

So I have this tree. Bought the tree a couple of years ago. Was it Home Depot with my wife. After a long Span in our marriage of great loss, death of two children, Financial bankruptcy and homelessness, and clawing our way back simply to Ground Zero, where we were prior to such that bank, took quite a while. Sometimes when I’m out and about I say to my wife today is a just say yesterday. Meaning we give ourselves whatever we want.

On that day, in that Home Depot, I saw a hibiscus tree. I looked at it, I walked around it, and I started to walk away when I heard the sweet and soft voice of my wife say, “Today, Bob, is ‘YES Day'”.

God love her! I picked up the small tree and put it in our basket. We checked out.

For the first several months of its life with us it lived on my back deck. Bathed in sunshine half the day, wrapped in the warmth of a Midwestern summer, the tree flourished. Then Fall came. We brought the tree inside, my wife treated it for some kind of insect-infestation and then slowly all of the leaves fell off of the damn thing. It had a true Charlie Brown moment.

I found that the following summer I would bring it back. And so in late spring and early summer of last year, I reported it and put it once again on the deck. It was once again bathed in sunshine and wrapped in the warm and sometimes human blanket of a Midwest summer.

It flourished! It flowered. All the leaves came back. Then Fall came but again. What did happen again? What that other shoe drop? Would like so many things in my life I’d have to go through a second set back after working so hard to re-establish, recalibrate, rebuild? I truly detest these moments in life when you have to once again risk everything you have worked for, Hope for, wanted and more.

The tree has been inside since the fall and as we enter early spring I can say, and as the picture shows, the tree is flourishing! It is grown, maintained its leaves, it has truly bounced back. Which gave me cause for pause to ask myself have I done the same?

Being the cynical son of a bitch that I am I sometimes wonder, “Have I?” Have I truly grown? Have I truly overcome, persevered, developed character, develop strength? Have I grown?

Being fair, balanced, making sure that I don’t intentionally beat the shit out of myself because it feels good, I say yes I have and there’s a long way yet to go. That’s the way it is for many of us. The road to Healing is long. It can be difficult. It can be arduous. But it can be glorious. It can be full of moments when we grow. The question is do you continue on the road when things get tough or do you stop?

Posted in Entertainment, Mental Health, Story

Dreams on Fire

Ragin’ Racin’

There is nothing like the raw power, heat and allure of a fire. Or racing.

Friction, controlled and uncontrolled destruction, passion, flickering hope dancing toward the sky and dreams envisioned in the glow and breathing of red hot embers and white ash.

Checkers or wreckers is the mantra for the underdog racer trying to ignite a career from a burning passion. White knuckles on a worn steering wheel praying a metal machine right while physically turning left; praying for one more drift in a final turn toward glory on worn tires.

As the flames fan, flicker and fade, the fate of the racer blazes ahead toward infamy.

Posted in Mental Health, Psychology, Self Help

Imagination Holiday

Halloween is an imagination holiday.

You can be whatever or whomever you want. The only limit is your imagination.

As a kid we are Cinderella or a Pirate. As adults we are sexy nurse or a zombie stumbling though a lost, dead world. Fitting ‘eah?

As kids, our imagination is set loose and a world of possibilities opens. As we become adults and record all of the risks and fails life serves up, the outcomes of our imagination shift. New masks go on. Horror stories replace fairytales and fantasies.

Kids allow their Imagination to run wild creating endless possibilities of success and joy. Sdult imaginations create horror stories of failure and loss. These mind-based narratives fuel anxiety, panic, peril, procrastination and a lack of living.

Kid’s imaginations create narratives of impossibilities, drive hope and lead to triumph.

Try being a kid today and imagine all of possibilities life can bring and create hope in your world. If only for a single day.

Posted in Entertainment, Mental Health, Story

Curtain Call

Making a Last Stand

Fall is looming. Won’t be long now before brown, red, yellow and orange leaves blanket the ground like a patchwork quilt and snow flurries.

Time for one last stand.

One final day of sunny glory and beauty before the mandated curtain call.

A partners time has already come and gone. So alone the final bow occurs yet is not without ceremony.

Ah, the moment is lurking.

Standing as tall as ever.

Fully bloomed and exposed. Glorious. A story quietly trumpeted.

Then, fall. Cold. Snow.

A spring, summer and final fall moment close the book on this natural beauty.

Posted in Mental Health, Psychology, Self Help

Dealing with a Bully

We all have bullies in our lives. We all have those jerks and a-holes who, for some reason, because their life sucks like a vacuum, need to come in and wreak havoc in ours just to make themselves feel good. Loosers.

When dealing with a bully, I encourage people to engage in a two-step coping, problem solving and communication psychological fitness routine known as Empathize then Pivot. This particular skill allows you to maintain a sense of self-esteem, self-advocacy and, at the same time, control the situation not allowing the bully to get away with all of their crap and leave you feeling as though you’re a complete wimp.

The next time someone starts to blame you, shame you, attempt to make you feel guilty, attempt to make you jump through their Fiery Hoops I want you to empathize. Empathizing with someone is a basic and vital psychological fitness skill that helps us communicate to another person our awareness and understanding of their emotional state and why they feel that way. When a bully is blaming or shaming, say to the jerk in your life, “Sounds like that’s very painful.” Or perhaps you might say, “that seems like it would be very frightening.” The goal here for you is to focus on the bully so that you can reflect back the emotion you believe they are genuinely feeling; which b6 the way, is actually fueling their aggressive and often annoying behavior.

Once you have empathized with the bully, pivot. Empathizing with the bully will throw them off their game, bewildering them. You’ll see it written all over their face. Once you have empathized and thrown them off balance now take control of the situation by pivoting the conversation away from their agenda to your agenda or something completely benign such as the weather, sports, politics, or one of my personal favorites, movies.

Once you pivot you have gained control of the conversation. The bully may try to take control back from you by siezing the proverbial Talking Stick. If this occurs do it again, empathize than pivot. And keep in mind that your pivot can also be walking away. Empathize then excuse yourself and walk away.

When you engage this particular psychological fitness skill, you will see your general and overall mental wellness skyrocket. You will feel a sense of confidence and your anxiety will diminish.