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Let’s Talk “Holiday Blues” with Dr. Emily Hath Ph.D.

All Aboard!  Welcome back to the Train, The LifeTrain.  As you board today I do the usual, hand you a business card to start your ride.  It reads:

Love is the ocean which accepts all manner of rivers without questioning their origin.

My friend, Dr. E !

My friend, Dr. E !

I want to re-introduce you to one of my many MIND Doctor friends, Dr. Emily Hath PhD.  Dr. E as I affectionately call her, and I know that there are people that tend to be more prone to the holiday blues. People who have lost a loved one may be flooded with unresolved grief and painful memories of a once joyful time of year. For people with strained relationships with family members, this time of year can be filled with stress and conflict. Some people are not able to join their families for the holidays, which can bring on  feelings of guilt and loneliness. And for people and families that are struggling financially, stretching the wallet or debt even more can trigger feelings of shame and depression.

For many people, the next 6 weeks are often filled with anything but holiday cheer.

So, each year the good Doc and I sit down over a cup of tea and discuss this very issue.  If you’re feeling stressed or anxious during the upcoming holidays, make the time to check in with yourself.  Putting on a happy face to “get through the holidays” isn’t doing anyone any favors, especially not for you. If this time of year is usually more stressful than festive, figure out what you need to do to alleviate that stress and make some changes.  Over the next few Weeks Dr. Hath and I will be here to offer tips so hop bak aboard and listen to what we discuss.  Listen in as we start our initial discussions about dealing with the holidays.

KICK IT!

Chuckie:  Dr E!
Dr.E:  My main man, Chuckie the conductor!

[Hug/Laughter]

Chuckie:  You knows I loves me some Dr.E!
DrE:  And you knows I loves me some Chuckie!

[more laughter]

Chuckie:  Dr.E A lot of people get anxious or sad around the holidays. For some people, the idea of getting together with family is stressful.  I actually talked with a very dear friend last week who lamented about that very same thing.  Having to put on a game face for the holidays.  For others, having no family to share the holidays with is stressful. And this year in particular, many people have lost their jobs and their homes!  So, Doc what can we offer to our ridership that may help restore true holiday cheer?

Dr.E:  Well Chuckie, unfortunately we just might not be able to cheer up anyone who has lost so much, but if some of our riders have the garden variety seasonal blues, here are 5 ideas I think we should offer up:

If you are feeling sorry for yourself because everyone has a significant other and you don’t, get out your phone and call or text some old high school friends — people you are already in touch with through Facebook or long-lost friends — just to say hello and wish them happy holidays. They will feel great that you thought about them during this season and you, in turn, will feel appreciated and connected.rout

You can use use the holidays as an excuse to contact a lost love, too. Have you always thought about contacting a “special someone,” but were afraid to? Send a simple e-card, and maybe add, “Thinking of you this holiday season and wondering how you are doing. I’d enjoy hearing from you when you get a moment.” If your old flame responds with an email, there you go! If you get no response, it was only a generic e-card so you won’t feel foolish about the contact.

Some people won’t respond because they are married, not because they aren’t interested in you, so don’t assume! And your lost love may surprise you and write later. But never do this if you are married; you have no idea how devastating these reconnections can be for you, a lost love, and your families!

Attending a holiday party? Worried about greeting guests you haven’t seen in a long time? Break the ice before you get together. Send some cute e-cards (or even snail mail cards, which can be more impressive to some recipients): “Looking forward to seeing you again!” That will make them feel special, so by the time they arrive, it will feel like you were together just yesterday.

This is a good time to heal an old rift. Is there someone you were once close to (a former friend, ex-spouse, coworker, estranged relative)? The holiday season is a great time to heal old wounds. Send some cookies or a small
box of candy — aren’t Internet gift sites convenient? — with a simply note that says, “It’s been a long time. Let’s put the past behind us. Happy holidays.”

A sure way to feel better is to stop thinking about yourself and go out and do some volunteer work. Right now. Help your elder neighbor with the yard work, serve meals at your local food shelter, go to a park and feed the ducks. Leaving your own concerns and thinking of others is a real day brightener.  We will delve deeper on a more clinical level but for now think about giving to get through the holidays.

Do you see the pattern here my man?: Reach out to people!

Chuckie:  Gotcha!
DrE:  Merry Christmas Chuckie and same to the passengers on this Train!

Hey fellow passengers, may I be the first to give you a Christmas gift…this story before you depart…A very DEEP story for you!  May it touch and enlighten the inner most you…

Kick the mood (Music)

A man is driving down the road and breaks down near a monastery. He goes to the monastery, knocks on the door, and says, My car broke down. Do you think I could stay the night?

The monks graciously accept him, feed him dinner, and even fix his car. As the man tries to fall asleep, he hears a strange sound; a sound like no other that he has ever heard. The next morning, he asks the monks what the sound was, but they say, We can’t tell you. You’re not a monk..

The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and goes about his merry way. Some years later, the same man breaks down in front of the same m onastery.

The monks again accept him, feed him, and even fix his car.

That night, he hears the same strange mesmerizing sound that he had heard years earlier.

The next morning, he asks what the sound was, but the monks reply,

We can’t tell you. You’re not a monk.

The man says, All right, all right. I’m dying to know.

If the only way I can find out what that sound was, is to become a monk, how do I become a monk?

The monks reply, you must travel the earth and tell us how many blades of grass there are and the exact number of sand pebbles. When you find these numbers, you will become a monk.

The man sets about his task. Some forty-five years later, he returns and knocks on the door of the monastery. He says, I have traveled the earth and devoted my life to the task demanded and have found what you had asked for. There are 371,145,236,284,232 blades of grass and 231,281,219,999,129,382 sand pebbles on the earth.

The monks reply, Congratulations, you are correct and now you are a monk.

We shall now show you the way to the sound.

The monks lead the man to a wooden door, where the head monk says, the sound is behind that door.

The man reaches for the knob, but the door is locked. He asks, May I have the key?

The monks give him the key, and he opens the door.

Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone. The man requests the key to the stone door.

The monks give him the key, and he opens it, only to find a door made of ruby. He demands another key from the monks, who provide it. Behind that door is another door, this one made of sapphire. And so it went until the man had gone through doors of emerald,…

…silver, topaz, and amethyst.
Finally, the monks say, This is the key to the last door.

The man is relieved to no end. He unlocks the door, turns the knob, and behind that door he is astonished to find the source of that strange sound. It is truly an amazing and unbelievable sight

… Sorry Passengers But, I can’t tell you what it is because you’re passengers not monks.
All Aboard, The LifeTrain!!!

Hey Yo! There’s no profanity allowed on this here train!

Roll Credits!

“Pass the keys”…. with Attorney Ewing Carter III,

Hey Passengers we need to visit with our LifeTrain resident Lawyer Attorney Ewing Carter III (www.ecarterlaw.com)!  And just what train do you know of that has its own legal car!  Boy I tell you, I just love being the conductor of this here Train!  Today we find out what Attorney EC III advice is on driving this Labor Day holiday weekend!  All Aboard!

Well, the long holiday season is now upon us.  For many folks that means driving to family get-togethers, social outings, etc.  So, let’s not ignore that white elephant in the legal car, Drinking and driving!  This is especially high during the holidays, thus the reason for this discussion.

Chuckie:  Attorney Ewing Carter III, good day my good man.
EC III:  You trippin…as usual.

Chuckie:  What for-uth does thine sayth thine kind and knowledgeable sir?
Ewing:  Guess you want one of these snickers huh? [passing me a snickers from the bowl on his desk]

Chuckie:  Well, it will transform me back to the athlete you wish you could’ve been!
EC III:  In your dreams dude, now what’s the question?

Chuckie:  Well this holiday when you are in the Lexus driving home after “The Law office of Ewing Carter III annual holiday, how will the law know you’ve had too much to drink before you drive?

EC III:  Well, first of all, I will be glad when that snickers kicks in you non-athelete!  I can assure you I will be the last person on earth caught drinking and driving.  Trust me, as part of my job I see

Save lives, pass the keys…

the repercussions up close and in person.  Anyway, in most all fifty states, if a person is operating a motor vehicle and their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher, they can be charged with

driving while impaired (DWI) / driving under the influence (DUI).  A key consideration is that you can be impaired by any substance you ingest (alcohol, illegal drugs, and even prescription drugs).  Generally, the “Officer of the Peace ,“ (policeman, Sheriff, DMV officer, Park Ranger, etc.) can make the decision to stop and investigate a person, if he/she has a “reasonable suspicion” to believe that the person is driving while subject to an impairing substance. Tell-tale signs are: weaving, speeding, driving too slowly, making too wide of a turn, just to name a few.

Chuckie:   What should I do or say if I am stopped for DWI?
EC III:  Well do what you did the last time, start crying and call me.
[LOUD LAUGHTER]
EC III:  Seriously though, be as cooperative as possible.  The officer will ask for your driver’s license and vehicle registration.  He will be developing an opinion about “you

Not worth the chance....

Not worth the chance….

to determine to whether further investigation is warranted.  Noted signs of impairment are:  slurred speech, obvious odor of alcohol, disheveled clothing, and bloodshot eyes.

Chuckie:   If the officer asks me to take a breathalyzer test, should I comply, or refuse?

EC III:  The decision is totally yours to make.  However, there are some facts you should consider:

  1. Driving is a privilege, and not a constitutional right.
  2. Because driving is a privilege, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) determines under what circumstance a person can operate a motor vehicle along the road and highways of their state.
  3. If you decide to refuse to take the breath test, the DMV will revoke your privilege to drive for a certain    period of time.  This revocation is generally for one (1) year.  However, obtaining a Driving Privilege in order to drive back and forth to work can be obtained from the Court.  In North Carolina, if you refuse the breath test, there is a 6-month waiting period before becoming eligible for the Driving Privilege.  Conversely, if you take the test, and your BAC in not excessive (.14 or lower), then there is no waiting period for the Driving Privilege.

Chuckie:  Whew, I guess the best thing is just not go there in the first place.
EC III:  Let me record this time and date.  The first time you ever said something that made sense.

Chuckie:  I’m about to roll the credits on this interview.  We taking this to the Racket ball court!
EC III:  I’ll drive, you’ve obviously been drinking!

And the answer is: Pa·tience

Welcome aboard passengers!  I have a question:  What gives us the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset?

PATIENCE!

Problems in life can be solved if we take our time to figure out the best solutions. Patience allows the two differing parties to think about the issue at hand and to develop a workable compromise.

Wisdom…

Force escalates the situation and causes people to react out of anger, frustration, and fear. Force takes the focus off of the positive dialog that can be used to have each side express its wants to solve the problem. So, instead of using the fist to make your point, use your brain to figure out the best way to fix the situation. Both sides will be grateful in the end.

Give patience a chance…

All Aboard!~  The LifeTrain!

 

Focusing on the positive side of life…

It is truly difficult to be happy these days with all the negativity that surrounds us. The television news brings the horror of today’s reality right into our own homes. You can have nightmares from

Try to see the humor…and irony.

the ugly images that we see daily in the worldwide media. Yet amidst all of this tragedy, we must strive to remain sane and happy. We can’t allow outside circumstances to dictate the condition of our hearts.  Let’s do our best to focus on the positive side of life as Henry Miller does. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is where you are. And the way to be happy is to make someone else happy today. Be thankful for your own blessings and be willing to share the gifts you have received. Try it – you will like it!

All Aboard, the LifeTrain!

Make this an autumn of self-kindness.

All Aboard!  As I help you up onto the train today I give you a business card (white with black raised lettering)  It reads:

 

Take care of yourself.

 

I’d like to simply share two of the most powerful and useful tips that have helped me to take care of myself in the past few years.  I hope they will help you to make this an autumn of self-kindness.


Stay away from the grey zone.

When you get stuck in thinking and worrying about your job when you are at home or your private life then you are stuck in the grey zone.

Mental rest required…

And as you may have noticed in your own life, it can be a very destructive mental habit. It robs you of so much energy and creates huge amounts of stress and worries. It can leave you so unfocused that you cannot do your work well or spend quality time – time when you are mentally 100% there – with the people closest to you.

I have had quite a bit of trouble with this in the past and what works best for me to stay out of this mental zone is to set up very firm limits.  To take a 15-minute break for every 45 minutes that I work. To not work after 7 o’clock in the evenings. To keep my weekends workfree and disconnected.  It is not easy in the beginning and if you’re like me you’ll slip during those first weeks.  But, after a while, it becomes easier and easier to keep these areas and your thoughts about them separate and to keep your attention and energy focused in the right place.

 

Be your own best friend when you stumble.

Take time for you…

When you make a mistake, fail or stumble in life then it is so easy to start beating yourself up.  When that happens this fall, promise yourself to not fall back into this old and destructive habit.  Instead, take care of yourself by asking yourself: How would my best friend/parent support me and help me in this situation?

Then do things and talk to yourself like he or she would.  This simple habit can keep you from falling into a pit of despair and it helps you to be more constructive after the first initial pain of a mistake or failure starts to dissipate.

Hey passengers have a self-kind week!

All ABoard!   The LifeTrain!

SIMPLIFY!

Welcome back aboard Passengers. as I’m helping you up onto the train I’m also giving you a white business card with raised black lettering.  It reads:

“When I die, I don’t want to be remembered as a know it all but, rather a share it all.

 

Today I’m sharing about a spot where I have been stuck in.  And that is in planning and in trying to create the perfect and super-polished plan to reach my goal quickly as I could and not risk any failure or setbacks.  In this case my online shopping mall.  I want to be a little AMAZON.  I thought it sounded like a smart approach.  But here’s the thing: it works a lot better in theory than in real life.  So I’ve moved away from that approach that I was so fond of during much of my professional life.

Now, it might feel like a perfect plan is the right way to go about things.  But, in my experience at least, it’s better to just focus on coming up with a simple and good plan and then to start executing it one small step at a time.

Why?

Keep it simply…

Well, because the perfect plan that is polished and polished and revised tends to just lead to weeks or months – or in my own experience sometimes years – of continued planning and of not going anywhere when it comes to actually taking action.  Also, as your plan is confronted with reality you’ll realize that things will never be or go just as you had seen them in your head before you got started. Such is life and that’s OK because you can adjust and adapt your plan along the way anyway.

So if you’re working on the perfect plan for making a change in your life – or have a tendency towards that – then simplify.

Think things through and don’t take unnecessary risks. But at the same time keep things simple and aim for just a good plan.  Break that plan down

That’s the plan…

into small or very small action-steps. And then get started with the first one as soon as you can.  This change in thinking has made a big difference in my own life.

Without making it and focusing on good plans – or sometimes honestly just OK plans – that I actually took action on rather than perfect ones that stayed daydreams I would likely not have JUST launched the sell of my TEEs and things.

Take care and have a simpler week ahead!

By the way, send me your email address in IM here and I will send you a list of my current offerings with prices.  Also, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a FREE LifeTrain Tee shirt.

All Aboard!  The LifeTrain!!!

Women are made to be Loved…

Welcome Passengers!  Thanks for hoping aboard today!

I’ve made a discovery!  Took me long enough.  Women are different than men in many ways, and that is a good thing. Each gender has been provided with traits that are important for necessary tasks to be completed. Together, men and

Believe in Love…

women are equally gifted and can work in tandem to create marvelous things. Men do not always understand women, and women do not always understand men. A man’s mind and body do work differently than those of a woman. It is important for each one to respect what talents are offered and to encourage one another to develop his/her own positive traits. Understanding and appreciation are important elements to apply in any given situation where men and women are working together. So, value one another and embrace “la difference!”

Thank God for the WOMAN!

All Aboard, The LifeTrain!

Fall Down Seven Times, Stand up Eight!

Hey Passengers, Welcome back!

let’s have some real talk about something we’ve all experienced and will again, SETBACKS!

When you have a setback it’s easy to start doubting yourself and what you do. To believe that this current setback is something that will simply become your new normal.  It’s easy to make it very personal and to start seeing yourself as the failure because of what happened.

Dark CLoud of Self-Pity…

This is a destructive way of looking at things that can drag you down and get you stuck under a dark cloud of self-pity.

So I’ve learned to look at it this way instead:

A setback is something that sometimes happens. It can be helpful and it’s just temporary.  Now, here’s how I usually break that down into three steps.

1. A sobering reminder.

Take a few deep breaths to calm down and then remind yourself: You’re not a failure just because you failed.  Setbacks happen to everyone that take chances. It’s simply a part of living life fully.  Sometimes things go well and sometimes they don’t. So don’t make a failure into this huge thing or into your identity.

2. Get something helpful out of it.

Ask yourself: what is one thing I can learn from this setback?  Use the mistake, stumble or setback to your advantage as you go forward.

3. Get going in some small way to make it temporary to yourself.

GET GOING!

I know it’s tempting to sit still and feel sorry for yourself, to beat yourself up or to just do nothing.  I’ve done it more times than I can count.  But I’ve also found that the best way to convince myself that this setback is just temporary is to start moving again.

So I take one small step forward. Or I take what I can learn from what happened and make a small action-plan that I can use to avoid making the same mistake again.

Just taking one or a few small steps might not sound like much.  But it can work wonders for your optimism and confidence.

That’s at least been my experience.

All Aboard, The LifeTrain!!!

 

“The Best Things In Life Are Free” True?

ALL ABOARD!!!

Welcome Passengers, welcome aboard the LifeTrain.  As I help you up into the train off the Platform I hand you your free boarding pass and a greeting card.  It simply says:

“The best things in life are free!”

This post serves to confirm Isabella Scorupco’s quote that the simplest things bring the most happiness. What brings happiness to your heart? The acquisition of

Truly…

material things will never bring you true happiness. The more you get,  the more you want, and the more responsibility you will have to maintain that materialistic life style. You will ultimately be totally disillusioned. What does bring happiness you ask in bewilderment? The answer is simple – a smile from a co-worker, a hug from a friend, a call from a family member, and/or an evening shared with a loved one. Human dignity, respect, and compassion are all reflected in these most genuine, simple acts of kindness. What is your state of mind right now? You can be happy if you choose to be. Look around you more closely to find the ordinary, everyday happy moments!

So I’m designating this day as Choose-day, not Tuesday.  Choose to be happy for the best things in life are free.

All Aboard!  The LifeTrain!

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