January 31, 2013
“All Aboard!”, I say as I greet you back to the LifeTrain with a hug, smile and a question, What does “living authentically mean?”. Well, kick off today’s mood setting clip and let me share…
To me living authentically means organizing ones life around answers to three fundamental questions. The first is, “What matters to you?” The second is, “Are your thoughts aligned with what matters to you?” The third is, “Are your behaviors aligned with what matters to you?” As my life enters into the final trimester as a baby boomer I often find myself looking into the mirror asking myself, ” Chuckie, has your life meant anything to mankind and do you accept and embrace the fact that you are the final arbiter of your life’s meaning. I find with this approach to life, each day is a project requiring existential engineering skills as I bridge my way from one meaningful experience to the next. I am trying to accept the realities of my life by asserting that I am the sole arbiter of the meaning of my life. Therefore I am looking for some sure footing as I actively make meaning [of my life]. It’s one of the reasons I blog (write). I am so afraid of dying without having said to the world, my life had meaning, depth of character and substance. And most of all the spirit indwelling this body knew Jesus.
I am like most boomers as soon as I employ the interesting linguistic tactic of calling every unwanted aspect of my life abnormal, I’m on the road to pathologizing everyday life. By making every unwanted experience a piece of pathology, it becomes possible to knit together disorders that have the look but not the reality of medical illness. This is what has happened in our “medicalize everything” culture. or, got a problem…pop a pill.
Part of this article, if you look deeply, is about depression. The word depression has virtually replaced unhappiness in our internal vocabularies. We feel sad but we call ourselves depressed. Having unconsciously made this linguistic switch, when we look for help we naturally turn to a “depression expert.” We look to a pill, a therapist, a social worker, or a pastoral counselor – even if we’re sad because we’re having trouble paying the bills, because our career is not taking off, or because our relationship is on the skids. That is, even if our sadness is rooted in our circumstances, social forces cause us to name that sadness “depression” and to look for “help with our depression.” People have been trained to call their sadness “depression” by the many forces acting upon them, from the mental health industry to mass culture to advertising.
I surmise that we boomers must learn to deal more effectively with the realities of human existence, including the realities of sadness, despair, and grief, we have take a giant step away from “medicalizing everything” and toward lives lived with renewed passion, power and purpose…even though that clock is tic…tic…ticking…
Admittedly, I might seem a bit abstract today. It’s by design, again I admit. But, I will also admit I wrote today’s article for my fellow baby boomers who might need a pep talk about renewed passion, power and purpose… Join me!
All Aboard…The LifeTrain!
January 29, 2013
Hey passengers, welcome aboard the train. Today we once again stop at the “Wisdom” station to collect on a couple of tips. All Aboard!
If we were to look at our bank statements, it would tell us that we currently possess a certain amount of money.
We would measure that amount of money in our accounts by the money that is present. Agreed?
Why, then, do we measure our lives by what we perceive to be lacking?
If we were to create a “Life Statement” listing all of our assets and blessings, it would run on for thousands of pages.
Let’s help each other here on the train to stop longing for and feeling slighted for what we perceive to be deficient.
The only way to enjoy the present is to focus on and be grateful for what is in our present.
Not a sermon, Just a tip!
Tip # 2,
Quick and simple: See Dejango.
All Aboard The LifeTrain!
January 28, 2013
ALL ABOARD!!! MERRY MONDAY!!!
So…as we are reading this we are well aware that the world did not end on 12/12. What’s the next date?
As far as I know God said…no one knows the day or the hour so, I’m just saying…
I am sure this has been written, stated, and joked about a lot lately but, the next announced date by man will in fact be…wait for it…wait for it… just another day on the calendar. And on that date, I will go about my day like I would any other day. I will go to work, run errands and get the Train ready for another day.
Today is definitely not just another day on the calendar. To me today [Merry Monday] is the beginning of something new and grand. It’s a shift in my own personal awareness. It is sort of like a new year’s resolution except its more of a new week, consciousness resolution. I feel as though in myself and in the world we are having a sort of awakening. Have you not noticed the intense life altering situations that have been happening in the world? Children being killed at school all over the world, kids taking guns to school more than ever before, people sort of doing things that are hurting us as a planet!
Is it the media buffing things up? Have these things always happened and they are just amplified now. Probably, but I think it is because we are looking through new eyes and a new awareness. We are changing and it is for the better in some ways. As these horrific things take place on our planet we are finally standing up and doing something about it. As a planet we are evolving. It is inevitable. We can not stay the same forever. Just by you reading this and many other blogs and post similar to it is showing that we are thinking and speaking differently.
For some all the drama may be annoying. You may be tired of reading about all the bad things and just want it to go away. Then make it go away! Shut the TV off and go outside. Take your kids to the park or on hike! Go through your closets, garages, and toy boxes and give all the things you do not need away to those in your own community who need it! Turn the media off and go about life by making a difference in your own and others.
Today is just another Monday on the calendar but it can also be so very much more. You have a power that is more grand than you can imagine so, how are you going to use it? Are you going to be the one sitting back watching the horrific
James Allen – Author of “As a man thinketh”
chaos in our world forcing others to change or are you going to be the one changing our world for the better, one step at a time? Today my consciousness shifts and I mark my calendar as the day I look at life in a more loving way. How about you? Like Ghandi said, become the change you wish to see. Merry Monday Passengers…make it a good week!
Before you de-board the Train let me leave you with a James Allen moment (one of my favorite authors…)
Mind is the Master power that molds and makes, And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills, Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills:
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:Environment is but his looking-glass.
All Aboard! The LifeTrain!
January 25, 2013
My Thoughts on “Helping a Homeless Friend”
It’s so “PAINFULLY” cold here. Hard for me to believe how growing up in Ohio I was so used to this but, well now…I’m such a punk! It’s just SO COLD! As I sit here tonight bangin away at my keyboard I must thank God that I have a warm place to complain INSIDE, about how cold it is OUTSIDE! I must pasue to thank God and to ask for mercy for those who are homeless. Even if they’ve found shelter for the night, one can only imagine how tough that must be. I want to help, thus I expound tonight for you tomorrow as you hop the train. Read on, give this some thought…and help if you can.
Hey Passengers for most of us Homelessness is a reality that could be upon us at any point in life…really…you just never know. That’s why I say pay it forward. Now, if you have a friend or relative who is homeless, you may be wondering how best to help them. There is an old saying: “If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Feed a man to fish, and he will eat for life”. Most of us try to apply that principle when helping someone who is homeless; common sense tells us that they need guidance toward education, jobs, money management, and in some cases, rehabilitation for drug or alcohol abuse. After all, solving the problems that led to their being homeless is obviously the first step toward getting them back on track. Sometimes, however, it isn’t as simple as that. Many homeless people suffer from I what I found out is learned helplessness. This is a set of psychological symptoms caused by repeated failures. In learned helplessness, the person who has it has learned that no matter what he or she does, the situation cannot be changed and failure will always be the result. This can be due to a string of bad luck or even just perception, but whatever the reason, learned helplessness can make someone completely give up and stop trying. If you know of a friend or relative who suffers from this problem then it will be even more difficult to help them, since they are unlikely to commit to any possible avenue out of their situation. Learned Helplessness can further be described as..
“a psychological condition in which people have learned to believe they are helpless in a particular situation. They believe they have no control over their situation and that whatever they do is futile. As a result, they will stay passive in the face of an unpleasant, harmful or damaging situation, even when they actually do have the power to change their circumstances.”
For example,when a person is in a relationship where he or she is physically, mentally or sexually abused. The victim knows the truth, but is unable to liberate himself or herself due to fear, guilt or any other feeling of despair. The same happens in a society, where the citizen is no longer called a citizen or a human being, but a consumer or a human resource. In a society filled with broken people, the truth no longer sets them free. Different from say, colonial times, when most members of a society still adopted the fighting spirit, today most citizens are conformists, laid-back or apathetic. Take note here please, If you want to help your friend, there are organizations that specialize in helping the homeless get back on their feet. Calling and speaking to a counselor who can give you some ideas and a starting point should be very helpful. Also, your friend may need counseling before other forms of action are going to be effective. He or she needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and have hope that their next steps will actually lead to real results, before he will be willing to commit to them. Remember that you can’t fix every problem someone else has, but you can point them in the right direction and support them emotionally through their journey.
I know that this has been a little deep for a Friday but, it’s cold outside…
All Aboard, The LifeTrain…
January 19, 2013
Hey Passengers, I hope your weekend is progressing well. I’m glad you’re sharing some time with me here on the train.
A girl asked a guy if he thought she was pretty, He said…no.
She asked him if he would want to be with her forever….and He said no.
She then asked him if she were to leave would he cry, and once again he replied with a no.
She had heard enough. As she walked away, tears streaming down her face
The boy grabbed her arm and said….
You’re not pretty you’re beautiful.
I don’t want to be with you forever. I NEED to be with you forever!
And I wouldn’t cry if you walked away…I’d die…
I am not a Poet…But, I am trying to be a poem…Chuckie
WASN’T THAT A SWEET THOUGHT! SO NOW I WILL SAY:
I like you because of who you are to me…True friends who ride this Train (The LifeTrain) with me.
Let’s not always go where the tracks may lead. Go with me where there are no tracks. Help me laydown new rails!
While we are here on earth let’s leave new trails…
All Aboard! The LifeTrain
January 18, 2013
All Aboard! …FRIDAY!!!
WEZ DONE MADE IT!
KICK IT! (The mood, the music)
Passengers let me share something with you as we “END” this week. Something that you may want to keep in your consciousness as we move on down the tracks;
There can be no beginnings without endings…
Stairway to Heaven. Life ends, life begins for the Christian.
When endings come, they are sometimes a shock. It may seem as if it is undeserved, without merit. The ending will always seem to come at the wrong time.
Just as a little bird never feels ready for its mother to push it from the nest, you will never feel quite ready to take the next step. The ending is what forces you to discover how truly ready you are.
The fledgling discovers that it can, indeed, fly but only after it has been pushed into the sky. The young bird has wings it has never used and the push is what allows it to discover flight.
You discover that you are ready for the next great adventure only once the current one has ended.
Embrace your endings for they are actually your beginnings.
Now, remember when endings come there is one thing in life that you can never lose besides yourself, it is the hope for a better day, because there will always be one. Just as there are bad times; there will come good times as well. And even though things may seem uncertain in the moment, and even though fear may be trying to cloud your mind, fill your mind with hopeful thoughts, and remember to keep stepping out on faith.
When you find yourself thinking negatively, stop yourself abruptly and think of things in your life that you have to be thankful for. Whether it be having a roof over your head, having a nice set of clothes, having good friends to be able to talk to you in your time of need. Or…how about the fact that you even have the freedom to pursue your dreams, even when your plans aren’t going as well as you have hoped. Be thankful, keep hoping,
…and keep praying (www.praying4you.org).
All Aboard! The LifeTrain!
January 17, 2013
Fellow passengers if you have been anywhere near a TV or a newspaper over the past months you cannot help but see how the “D” word is affecting our society. Life pressures, unemployment, etc. etc..
TOday we once again welcome Dr. Diedra Hayman. Dr. Hayman has provided online psychological consultation for many years. She has assisted many people from all walks of life, and with many concerns. Dr. Hayman has clinical experience, interest, and training in post trauma issues (sexual assault/abuse recovery, tragedy aftermath, sudden death of loved ones), psychological aspects of medical conditions (cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, pain management), depression, anxiety, stress, relationship issues, and sexual orientation issues, among other things.
Dr. Hayman works from a biosychosocialspiritual orientation. This means that she takes into account a persons physical, emotional, social (including relevant family history), and spiritual status in order to assist with presenting concerns. She believes that every concern a person experiences is impacted to a greater or lesser extent, by all these factors, and her suggestions may address any or all of them in order to help someone reach their stated goals.
CHUCKIE: You just published a website called Apples of Gold. What is the focus of your site?
DR. DEE: The website (applesofgold.info) is designed to provide free psychological consultation to people who may need some guidance on issues in their lives, and who may not be ready to actually go see a therapist face to face. Or they have questions that really don’t NEED an appointment with a psychologist, to have answered. The site also provides positive lifestyle encouragement so that readers will be encouraged to life more healthy lives.
CHUCKIE: Did you just say free?
Dr. DEE: Yes, free.
CHUCKIE: May God bless you…
CHUCKIE: Why did you call it “Apples of Gold?”
DR. DEE: That comes from Proverbs 25:11, which says that a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. I am hoping that the advice and counsel on lifestyle, as well as the personal advice and counsel I may provide to those requesting my service, will be wise and in harmony with the teachings of scripture.
CHUCKIE: When you talk about positive lifestyle encouragement, what exactly do you mean?
DR. DEE: Well, the body and the mind are in close sympathy with one another, and what impacts the one, impacts the other. So I advocate the use of the eight natural remedies, in order to bring the body, the mind, and the spirit into harmony. An easy way to remember the eight natural remedies is through the acronym NEWSTART. That’s not something I developed, but I agree with it. The remedies are: Nutrition, exercise, water, sunshine, temperance (moderation), fresh air, rest, and trust in God. If we take care to incorporate all these things into our lives, we will tend toward better physical, mental, and spiritual health.
CHUCKIE: What can people write to you about?
DR. DEE: People can ask about anything that has to do with mental health, relationships, spirituality, and even some physical concerns. I wont always have the answers, and I am careful to make that clear when I respond to a writer. However, I can usually point them in the right direction.
CHUCKIE: Is this like online therapy?
DR. DEE: No, its not. There are some issues that only require someone professional providing an educated response, and those are the issues best suited for my site. Online therapy is available on some sites, and it can be helpful for some issues, but it really isn’t appropriate for other issues. For instance, when someone is suicidal, they may want to share some things online, but really they need someone face to face who can assess them properly for risk, and take steps to prevent them from taking their own life, if possible. I don’t collect contact information other than an email address, so would have to encourage someone in that state to call the suicide crisis lines, and I provide those numbers on my site.
CHUCKIE: What kinds of things have people written about, then?
DR. DEE: I have had people write about relationship problems, sexual orientation concerns, and depression is another big one. The most difficult issue I have had to address was a woman who had dissociative identity disorder, what we used to call multiple personality disorder. That is an issue that must be addressed face to face over a long period of time, so my task with her was to build up enough trust so that she would listen to my encouragement that she get into a therapist. And sometimes that is the best service I can provide, because overcoming the hesitation to actually get into therapy is huge for many people.
CHUCKIE: How can a person tell if they are depressed? What are the symptoms?
DR. DEE: Major depression requires at least five of the following symptoms: sadness (but in men and in children that may look more like irritability than sadness), low self-esteem, changes in eating or weight (either increasing or decreasing), changes in sleep (either too much or not enough), thoughts of death or suicide, lack of motivation, loss of pleasure in anything, you may move more slowly or more quickly (psychomotor retardation or agitation), problems with concentration, feelings of guilt that are unreasonable. Some people can become so deeply depressed that they actually begin to hear or see things that others don’t hear or see, or they become delusional. And those who are depressed form the highest percentage of those who commit suicide, although not every depressed person becomes suicidal.
CHUCKIE: So depression is really very serious. How is it treated?
DR. DEE: The most effective treatment for depression is cognitive behavioral work. Basically you have to work on your thinking, and work on your behavior. This can be done with a therapist, but many people can do well getting a good self-help book such as The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression: a Step by Step Approach by William Knaus, Control Your Depression by Peter Lewinsohn, or my favorite, Depression: The Way Out, by Neil Nedley, MD. That last book advocates the use of the 8 natural remedies for bringing the life back into balance. Medications are also necessary to help some people manage their depression, and these can be obtained from a primary care doctor or a psychiatrist. Sometimes, a combination of medication management, therapy, and lifestyle change is necessary, and in severe cases, sometimes hospitalization is needed. But it’s the most common mental health disorder, and usually responds well to treatment.
CHUCKIE: Well Doc, thank you so much for hopping the train today…you know I love you gurl. Will you come back soon?
Dr. DEE: Love you big guy…Thanks for having me. …and yes I would love to hop the train again sometime soon.
All Aboard, The LifeTrain!!!
January 15, 2013
“EAT THE FROG!!!”
Check out the video
You should eat your frog first and get it out of the way before it gets fatter and more difficult to choke down because there’s no way it’s going to go away on its own.
Welcome back passengers to our next station stop on Tip Tuesday; The station stop: “Legally Speaking”. Let’s catch up with Attorney Ewing Carter III (www.ecarterlaw.com).
Chuckie: Attorney EC III OPEN UP!
EC III: Why are you yelling that at me? …do you really think the passenger don’t get that you are standing right before. But, for the sake of “MY” time…”HEY CHUCK D!!!” …Come on in!
Chuckie: Attorney EC, I have a really great question submitted by a passenger. I think this one took some courage to ask and there will probably be a few other folks that will be interested in this question and an your answer.
Chuckie: The question: I’m 38 years old and have made some mistakes in the past. I have two (2) driving while impaired (DWI) convictions on my record that happened more than 10 years ago. I have an “ok” job, but I’ve lost out on better job opportunities because I don’t have a driver’s license. Can I get some sort of waiver to drive to work?
EC III: Good question, one that does not have a “canned” answer. As I mentioned in earlier posts, driving is a privilege given by the DMV. I’m unclear what state this person lives in so I’ll use North Carolina as an example. Assuming that he/she has 2 convictions of Driving While Impaired within a 7 year period, and these convictions are over 10 years old. If that is the case, then there is no applicable driving privilege that the Court can award because he/she is considered permanently revoked. However, after a 3 year waiting period, a person can request a restoration hearing with the DMV to determine if he/she can be conditionally restored.
Chuckie: Good stuff as usual EC, thanks
EC III: Thanks dude…WHat’s that I hear? Is that the Train’s whistle…quick you better get back on board!
Chuckie: Do you really think the passenger’s believe you hear a whistle!!?? I’m out, catch you next week dude!
January 11, 2013
Dear Passengers of the LifeTrain…Do me a favor this weekend:
When no one is watching, live as if someone is.
Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable. Denis Waitley
All Aboard…The LifeTrain!