July 30, 2014

If’n I only knew then…what he knows now…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 2:20 am

Hey passengers today we have a guest writer.  He’s a cat I used to know.  I am mad at him (LIL CHuckie) cause there is a few things he could have told me that would’ve saved us a lot of ….time, money and issues had we had a talk back then.    KICK IT!
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Sometimes it seems like the whole purpose of life is just to learn and grow. We learn from our mistakes. I have observed that most of us do not learn unless we have made some mistake and have suffered its consequences.

I have also noticed that the majority among us keep on repeating the same mistakes again and again and in doing so keep on attracting the same kind of circumstances in our lives and then keep complaining too.lilc

There are some of us who learn from the mistakes of others. The majority among us though must go out there, make their own mistakes, learn from them, change their thinking and behavior and move on. These are the wise ones.

So making a mistake unknowingly is not as bad as making it intentionally. Learning from your mistakes in incomplete without a change in your thinking patterns. Changed thought patterns bring about changed behavior.

Here are some life lessons I learnt after making mistakes. I am sharing them with you in the hope that you may be among the wise ones.

1. The most sincere and selfless people around you are your parents. They maybe wrong sometimes and maybe hard on you but don’t just rebel against them without trying to understand their intentions first.

2. Save some part of your money whenever you get some and don’t touch it unless you really really need it.

3. Spend most of your money on things whose value increase with time, rather than immediate pleasure. It won’t last long otherwise.

4. There is no shortcut to being rich. Anyone who tells you so is lying and most probably a cheat.

5. Time is more important than money.

6. Family is more important than career.

7. Pursue what you love to do and be great at it and find a way to make a living doing that.

8. If you are unable to make a living while doing what you love don’t stop doing what you love to do, and while you make your living doing something else keep thinking how can do what you love and still live of it.

9. Life is unpredictable. Make sure your loved ones know that you love and care for them, no matter how busy you are. Never assume they know. Even if they know tell them anyway.

10. Read good books instead of watching TV. You will learn more and waste less time.

11. Don’t buy what they advertise just on an impulse. Take your time to decide if you really need that thing.

tt312. Change your friends if they do not share your values. It won’t kill you or your reputation.

13. Take risks but calculate the risks before taking them to see that you can handle the failure.

14. Plan your life but leave room for unplanned activities too. Let yourself experience the element of surprise.

15. Remember that nothing lasts forever. Nothing. So appreciate what you have when you have it.

16. Find God The one true God. The one who gave his only begotten son.  Reach out for Him and He will hold your hand for sure.

17. It’s better to agree to disagree rather than trying to force your point of view on someone who doesn’t think like you do.

18. Accept your failures with grace and don’t bury yourself in depression when you don’t get what you want. There might be something better waiting for you to notice it.

19. Loving someone does not mean you have to agree on everything.

20. When you are doing something try to focus all your attention to just that task. Forget about everything else.

21. Be healthy. Exercise, eat healthy foods, sleep well and you won’t get to see very many doctors in life.

22. Don’t do things just because everyone else is doing them. Choose what you want to do consciously with specific reasoning.

These are the very basic lessons I learnt from life. You make your own mistakes and learn them or you can just be the wise one.

Oh and one more thing from Lil Chuckie before I call for All Aboard….

Live like you were dying!

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July 23, 2014

Barriers To Emotional Intimacy… (Mental Health Awareness Week cont.)

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:01 am

All Aboard!

Let’s head on back to the Doctor’s office, Dr. Diedra Hayman for another portion of the Doc’s wisdom.  Today we look at what are some of the hindrances to us’ins relating in a more intimate way. I really enjoy’d this particular session and my allergies (wink, wink) almost started flaring up as the Doc was bringing back some of my own stuff.  But hey, I am the Ultimate MACHO MAIN and that moment passed REAL QUICK; I recognized her tricks!

Note to self, I must say, she is good at getting one to open up…

CHUCKIE: What issues can cause one to struggle in the area of intimacy with the opposite sex?
Dr.Dee: Gosh Chuckie, there are so many issues that can cause problems with intimacy in general, as well as intimacy with the opposite sex, in particular. I think you did something on that issue a few months ago, and several people, including yourself, came up with some very good reasons why people struggle in this area. If you pop that in a search engine, you will find another hundred or so reasons. But the big ones seem to be related to inability to trust, mental health issues including active addictions, failure to cultivate intimacy (which can be an issue of priority), childhood issues, cultural influences (including gender roles and stereotypes) and negative past experiences.

CHUCKIE: Is it more prevalent in one sex?
Dr.Dee: I suspect its more recognizable in men than in women. Women generally are trained from babyhood, to talk, to share their emotions, to get close. Men, in general, are taught that the macho thing to do is swat someone on the butt, suck it up, and keep your business to yourself. And if they do share, its the bare minimum, whereas women want to go into all the gory details of whatever. The other issue is that men generally are more likely to feel vulnerable, which is what intimacy requires, by the way, and men just don’t care for that feeling of vulnerability.

CHUCKIE: What types of childhood issues could cause such barriers?
Dr.Dee: Well, how a person attached or failed to attach to a parent or caregiver can set one up for intimacy problems. If you grow up in a household where you could not trust the world (ie your caregiver) to meet your needs, it becomes very difficult to trust that people “out there” will meet your needs. Since the ability to trust is one of the necessary elements to intimacy, people who never learn to trust never learn to become intimate emotionally. Also, if a person grows up in an abusive household, or being abused by people they are supposed to be able to count on, intimacy becomes very risky. Its simply too dangerous to share too much of themselves, because often that information was used against the person to perpetuate the abuse. Low self-esteem can also pose a barrier to intimacy, and this is usually something that develops during childhood. If we never learn to love ourselves, its difficult to believe someone else will.

CHUCKIE: Have you found that divorce can lend greatly to this issue?
Dr Dee: That really depends on the person. Certainly, a divorce can cause problems with intimacy, but generally its safe to say that the problems that caused teh divorce are more likely responsible than the actual divorce itself. Some people are more resilient than others. They are able to understand within themselves that whatever happened in that marriage was something unique to that marriage, and it doesnt necessarily mean that the next partner will be the same. Others simply cannot bring themselves to separate the past from the present and future, and their damaged ability to trust will give them trouble with intimacy for years to come.

CHUCKIE: Should one seek help?
Dr Dee: Certainly one should seek help if they realize that they do in fact have trouble establishing intimate relationships. Problem is, many people who do have trouble, tend to believe its the other person! In fact, in many cases, people who have problems with intimacy, tend to be drawn to people who are emotionally unavailable. In other words, they tend to be drawn to people with whom they will NOT have to actually become intimate, while at the same time claiming to be seeking intimacy from that person. If the other person were to actually become emotionally available, then the seeker would probably turn around and find a reason why they cant be in that relationship. Its just becoming too close for comfort!

CHUCKIE: Doc, I came up with a Chuckism as I am so apt to do. I call it emotional impotency. For example, can a person be hurt by a spouse, lover, or church to the point of becoming emotionally impotent? One may want to love and be loved, or be active in the church, but due to catastrophic experiences, have trouble connecting?
Dr Dee: Absolutely. That really gets us into how people sometimes respond to traumatic events. If someone we trust hurts us deeply, damaging our ability to trust, sometimes, people are traumatized by that event. One of the behaviors associated with post trauma response is emotional numbing. We just don’t feel anymore. Another behavior associated with post trauma response is avoidance of anything that reminds us of the traumatic event…so we avoid relationships. We avoid connecting with others. We pretend to get involved, but we hold ourselves back emotionally. We become, as you say, emotionally impotent. Now another thing that can happen after deep hurt, is, you guessed it, depression and grief. If you remember, one of the symptoms of depression is lack of interest in things you used to enjoy…such as sex and close relationships…and also social withdrawal. You simply don’t want to be around folks. Or if you have no choice, or you are keeping up the front, you simply don’t get too close. You keep it all on the surface.

CHUCKIE: Well, we need to wrap this one up. Is there anything you want to add?
Dr Dee: Yes, emotional intimacy rests on emotional health. That means taking time to discover and address your own emotional needs, even if it means getting in to a therapist or pastor. Emotional intimacy also requires a good bit of courage and a positive attitude. It takes courage to allow yourself to become vulnerable to another human being, especially since we have all been hurt by someone at some time somewhere. And we do tend to draw the energy we send out. If we expect betrayal, we tend to draw people who give us what we are looking for. If we expect emotional distance, we tend to draw people who are emotionally unavailable.

CHUCKIE: Well Doc, this session is in the can. Thanks for stopping by the Train [again]. Is there anything you’d like to close with, is there anything else you’d like to leave us with today?
Dr.Dee: Well, yes there is as a matter of fact. Given that my practice is founded in Christianity,  I’d like to leave our passengers with a few scriptures from the Bible:

…and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it…Gen.2:2-3
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord…Ex. 20:11
…the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath. Luke 6:5, Mark 2:28
And he (Paul) reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. Acts 18:4

Go fellow passengers…and rest in God’s Peace!

All Aboard!  The LifeTrain!

July 21, 2014

This week…Be anxious for nothing…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:55 am

Merry Monday, All ABoard for another ride on the train!  Passengers, we all know that everyone worries sometimes. Everyone gets scared, except me…(LOL!)…well maybe every once in awhile.  But, I’m working on it.  And you should as well.  Kick it (Today’s wine with the meal…the song):

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I’m not saying that worry is an illness, it’s normal, even healthy, responses to threatening situations. But if you feel extremely worried or afraid much of the time, or if you repeatedly feel panicky, consider seeking medical advice. Anxiety takes many forms.  It can make you so uneasy around people that you isolate yourself, skirting social gatherings and passing up potential friendships.  It can fill you with such obsessive thoughts or w1inexplicable dread of ordinary activities that you cannot work. Anxiety disorders can be mild, moderate, or severe, but overcoming anxiety generally takes more than just “facing your fears.” Many people need help in dealing with these problems.

But getting help has always been easier said than done. As with many mental health issues, there has long been a stigma surrounding anxiety. People are ashamed to admit to phobias and persistent worries, which seem like signs of weakness. The shame, combined with the tendency of people with anxiety to avoid others, is perhaps the biggest obstacle to relief and recovery. Without treatment, many individuals become more fearful and isolated. In extreme cases, they are so imprisoned by their anxiety that they are unable to leave home.

Sigmund Freud regarded anxiety as the result of inner emotional conflict or external danger. While these factors often contribute to anxiety, scientists now know that anxiety disorders are biologically based illnesses. Indeed, the last 30 years have transformed our understanding of anxiety. Sophisticated brain imaging equipment has made it possible to trace the neural pathways of fear and anxiety. In the process, scientists have discovered certain abnormalities in the brains of anxiety sufferers. Research also suggests that genes may contribute to these abnormalities. While there are still more questions than answers, the growing knowledge about anxiety has already led to safer, more effective treatments.

w2Anxiety disorders, which include panic attacks and phobias, are among the most common mental illnesses, affecting about 19 million American adults and millions of children. For every individual with an anxiety disorder, many more are affected by it, including spouses, children, other relatives, friends, and employers.

On the other hand, never before have there been so many therapies to help control anxiety and preserve the relationships that can be undone by it. Medications can, in many cases, reduce or eliminate anxiety symptoms. Several types of therapy, especially cognitive-behavioral therapy, also help control anxiety by teaching people to adopt more positive thought and behavior patterns.  Some medications now being developed may even help prevent anxiety disorders in people who are genetically predisposed to them.

So this week…be anxious for noting…help is at hand!  Hop aboard the LifeTrain all this week as I share help and information on dealing with Anxiety.

Philippians 4:6
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

All Aboard, The LifeTrain!

July 14, 2014

Just Play…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:49 am

All Aboard!  Merry Monday!

As you board the LifeTrain I give you your weekly business card, it reads:

“Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.” ~Chuang Tzu

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Back when one of my many nieces (Porche) was three years old (now 25) she was the most pleasant person I have ever hung out with. What I loved most about her was that she didn’t care how I looked, what I was driving, etc. she just loved her Uncle Chuckie.   If you have children or are around children, you know exactly what I am talking about.  Anyway, her mother was frequently on-call (as a doctor).  Sometimes when she was called into work (all hours of the night),  in a pinch she would call me to baby-sit her daughter.  She was a single mom.

Question:  As I spent time with Porche I often wondered, could it be that instead of only teaching our children the lessons of life perhaps we should let them teach us the lessons of happiness?

Since I didn’t have kids and it didn’t seem to be in the cards for me… time with her was very important.  Most of our time was spent with my observing and playing.  It got me thinking about her abundant joy and how I should take these lessons to heart.

Here is what Porche taught me about the secrets to happiness:

Don’t think about playing; just play.

My niece didn’t think about playing or how to play, she just played. Just like a blade of grass doesn’t intend to grow, it just grows. But we get so caught up in thinking about doing something that we think that contemplation is action, but it couldn’t be farther from it.

Are you practicing making a change to your life so much that you forgot to make the change happen?  One of my mottoes is, “Ready, fire, aim,” because if I think about it too long, I will talk myself out of taking action.

Don’t think about playing, just play.

 

Stop and listen to the birds.

One of my niece’s favorite things was to listen to the birds in the morning. When was the last time you listened to the birds at dawn?  When was the last time you smelled a blooming flower?  When was the last time you took over an hour to eat a meal, savoring each bite?

This is mindfulness and it is so good for creating happiness. Part of mindfulness is practicing gratitude. It’s hard to be grateful if you don’t stop and notice all the good things in your day. Stop and listen to the birds.

Explore above, below, and everything underneath.

Like most children, my niece was incredibly curious.  Everything was new to her, so naturally it had to be explored. She had to explore every aspect of something new, no matter if it was chalk, the sound a bell made, or what ice cream tasted like. Her entire day was one big exploration of life.

As an adult I get set in my ways; don’t you?  We are so content in our ways we forget about new ideas, new perspectives, and new ways of doing things.

When was the last time you took a new route to work, tried a different restaurant, jumped in a pool, or danced?  Happiness is in the joy of the moment, and there is no greater way to create joyful moments than to explore new things.  Explore above, below, and under everything.

Bath time is a cause for major celebration.

For my niece there was no greater activity than taking a bath. Total happiness ensued as she got placed in her tub. Everything about the bath was full of joy—the water, the splashing, making bubbles, and time with her uncle.

When was the last time you reveled in something like a bath or even a hot shower?  Instead, we get in to get clean and spend the whole time rushing through to-do lists in our heads.  Use your bath or shower to cleanse your thoughts and enjoy the experience. Bath time is cause for celebration.

If it’s funny, silly, or exciting, then laugh.

I read that a child laughs an average of forty times per day. An adult laughs an average of fifteen times per day. If something is funny, silly, or exciting, then my niece was laughing. and thus we were laughing.  Some are small giggles and some are deep belly laughs. Both are full of present happiness and joy.

There is so much to laugh about.  Don’t worry about looking silly or being the one with the loud laugh. Laughter is contagious and immediately changes your mood.  If it’s funny, silly, or exciting, then laugh.

A side note, trust me…if you ever hang with your conductor…”you gonna laugh”.  Ask some of your fellow passenger who often call me:  STU-PID!  My goal is to make soda shoot from your nose.

Above all else what my niece taught me about happiness was to be present and enjoy the beauty of life.  There is much to be grateful for and enjoy.

Instead, like many, I can easily get wrapped up in deadlines, feeling bad about my body, relationship drama, or fear of failure. All of these are self-created.

If I really stop and just notice the world around me in that moment, I see trees and hear birds. I enjoy the sunrise and sitting with friends. There is no anxiety without anticipation. And you cannot anticipate the present moment; you can only be in it.

Have a great week…

ALL ABOARD!!!  The LifeTrain!!!