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blog

How to Hover


I look forward to offering brief thoughtful content. The most recent entries will be displayed first. You may decide to just read the latest. Perhaps you will decide to scroll the titles until you find a topic to hover and dip into for a few moments. 


Humor Helps


An additional goal of many entries will be to provide a way to enjoy a smile or even a laugh. Then you can go on about your day. 


Follow Your Curiosity


If an entry has you wondering - how lovely. Satisfy your curiosity with a web search, or a field trip to a book store or library. Best of all, start a conversation with a friend.


Hummingbird photo - Erwan Hesry via StockSnap.io 

Blog Started Spring 2017

Menninger Clinic - Menninger Minute March 2020

Tips on Helping Clients Cope with Anxiety, Isolation During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sent to health professionals - these tips, strategies suggestions are not a big secret. They are found in all sorts of resources. The Menninger Clinic happens to have done a nice job in rounding up the best of the ideas and putting them into simple , clear language. Take an inventory - remind yourself what you are already doing in your best interest. Talk with someone if these feel difficult or overwhelming.

It is a changing world.

Mental health clinicians are doing their best to help clients - new and existing - cope via tele-health visits, appointments by phone and in office when possible.

I do want to paraphrase and repeat the last and most important suggestion. We are in this together. Relying on each other, helping each other and encouraging each other to do the best we can.

Encourage clients to set up an online support group with family and friends.


Encourage them to think of others who are particularly vulnerable and reach out to them regularly.


Ask them to double check if they have enough medication on hand. If they don’t, ask them to contact their prescription provider to see about getting an emergency shipment.


Inquire about their eating, sleeping and exercise habits. Remind them that it’s important to take care of these aspects of life in order to think clearly, solve problems and manage emotions.


With so many people now working from home, work-life balance can get, well, out of balance. Remind clients to think about this so they don’t spend too many hours at work as a way of avoiding life in the time of coronavirus.


Encourage clients to start a new hobby if they can. Alternatively, encourage them to pick up a hobby they may have put on hold in the past. New and different activities can engage the mind and the creative spirit while keeping one’s mind off the news.


Remind them that we are all in this together … and that we will get through it together.

off topic & always timely

Group Learning

Professional conferences are wonderful places to learn many fine and helpful things. You can load up on all the latest research and most effective treatment approaches. Then meet new people and extend connections. 


Some fine and helpful things do not require degrees and licenses to recognize as useful. Immediately useful. The presenter offered the following as an “early bird special” - a tidbit for the people who showed up early. The early crowd starts smiling and sharing how they are champs at losing things. Clever people still lose and misplace and forget stuff. Who would have thought? We felt like we had an advantage over the people coming in later. 

"Safe Place" Frustration

You know how you can sometimes wander around fretting and fuming where you put something? I have a personal habit of putting things in “a safe place” and then promptly forgetting where that safe place is. Thus becoming a treasure hunt without the map or puzzle-solving riddles. 

Here is the suggestion to end frustrating searches.

Before you put something up and away take a deep breath, focus on the object and ask yourself, “Where will I find this later?” Wait for the answer then put it there. Then tell yourself that you will find it there later. When you need or want it again. 


Sounds silly at first and it sure beats wandering around the house, office, garage, basement, attic and another place with “hidie holes.” Especially when you do not have the time or a map.  


It is a fine thing to learn something immediately useful in an intensive learning environment. 


Compass photo - Barby Dalbosco via StockSnap.io 

put down the phone & look around & other dating tips

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Put Down the Phone & Look Around

Stop swiping. Seriously. Swiping left or right is the loss of connections at sub-sonic speed. “Everybody is doing it” is not a reason to do it. Honestly, if everyone was actually playing “picking by swiping” the sites would crash with the sheer volume of participants. Truth is, people are feeling even more alone. There are many fine and interesting people are out there busily being who they are and absent from the apps. So look around. Be one of the interesting people out in the daylight. 

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Wear an Inviting Smile

Be an interesting person out and about engaging the world. Greet the world with a smile. An inviting smile begins with an open heart. Dating is about opening your heart to what is possible. Possibilities are not just with someone else but also within yourself. An easy open smile lets in the world in general and, more specifically, lets those nearby know that you are welcoming. 

Have a smiling open heart.

  

Put the First (few) Dates in Motion

Put the first few times together into action. Do something entertaining, explore something, be casual and curious. Maybe agree to do something neither one of you have done before - this puts both of you in “discovery mode”  

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Skip the Usual Resume Review

This is the most important suggestion. If you do have the first date or two across the table from each other please, please, please do not go through your resumes. This is a tired and overly practiced routine that rarely results in anyone feeling “a connection” by the end of dinner.


 Have some unusual questions ready. Questions you really do want to know the answer to. Such as:

“What are some treasured mementos?”

“What show tunes, or any tunes, do they sing in the shower?”

“What would they stand in line to do?”

“Still cry at Disney or Pixar?” And if they say they never did, they are fibbing.


Wading Flamingo Flock photo - personal photo

Group Flamingo photo - Ganapathy Kumar & 

Drinking Flamingo photo - Gaetano Cessati

 via StockSnap.io

it's your wall

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Colorful Content

There is no shortage of color or content. No one is at a loss for words to spread. If not their own, then someone whose words are selected to speak for them. 


Be bold and bright with your content. Be graceful in the words you choose to share. Then expect the same courtesy from others. 


There are many ways and words to explore differences. Beginning and ending with respect. Respect does not mean agreement. Respect and grace create space for thoughtful discussion. Decide your colors of respect and use them with abandon.


What could be more vivid than bright bold 

engaging conversation?


Boxes of Spray Paint photo - Keven Moll via StockSnap.io  

Your Wall... or Window

Walls protect from the elements. Identify space. Define shelter.  Provide a canvas of expression.  When the expression is yours - thoughtful  deliberate  - the message provides connection and clarity. Your messages become a window into your ideas, opinions, hopes and dreams. 


If your wall is randomly or recklessly altered from your intent then you have been "tagged." No matter recent social media expressions. It is just uninvited graffiti. Clean it off and keep on doing what you decide for your wall.


Maybe even offer views of the silly wonderful things you do. Complete with puppies and "best ever" cookie recipes.


Brick Wall photo - Ricardo Gomez Angel via StockSnap.io

how & where to give

When the world is hurting.

News of disasters compels us to do something, anything. For most events the only possible action is to give money, less likely donate some useful goods or time. The further away the disaster - the more useful cash becomes over helpful items. Imagine the logistics of getting a bag full of jeans and sneakers over a thousand miles away and into an area that is at least partially destroyed. Then there is the whole next organizational challenge of getting the sneakers to fit someone. Cash may be a bit impersonal as a gift for your niece and it is imminently personal to give cash to a distant area in need.

So who can you give cash to?

The news is also covering the names of familiar organizations doing what they do in times of crisis. Then there are the less familiar organizations that contribute to recovery efforts. Unfortunately, there are also “charities” that are created to take advantage of people’s generosity. These groups rarely serve any real recovery purpose. 


GoDaddy doesn’t allow enabled links. 

So just copy and paste or type it out.


How to decide where to donate your money after disasters by Nira J Chokshi in Boston.com has some common sense advice on donating after a disaster. I especially like the advice from Jacob Harold, the chief executive of GuideStar. “If the organization is only talking about the problem, but not talking about how the work they do leads to solutions to that problem, that is a red flag,” Harold said.

 

GuideStar and Charity Navigator both offer clear and useful information and ratings. Spending some time on either site is part of a thoughtful response to the tragedies and disasters filling the news.  


Umbrella Photo - Adrianna Calvo via StockSnap.io

Giving isn’t just so you can feel better - it is to assist in someone someplace or something becoming better.

self-help books

Help Yourself

Yes - there are plenty of tips and suggestions and quizzes available on the web. There are plenty of mediocre books. 


Then there are well thought out books and workbooks that explore a topic at length offering greater understanding and solutions.


The trick is to find a book that speaks to you. A book that offers suggestions that contribute to your own solutions. 


Book Selection Strategies

Bookstores are actually better than on-line booksellers when it comes to self-help books. You can hold the book. You can compare the book to others covering similar terrain. You can take it home with you and begin right away versus waiting for delivery. You have already, actively begun to do something real and tangible to manage your distress or difficulty.


If you do choose to use an on-line bookseller then take the time to read the samples provided. Next read the user reviews. Look for reviews that have specific comments such as, “I found the inventories at the beginning of each chapter helped me organize my thinking before starting the next section.”


Too many self-help books fill the majority of the pages describing the problem or concern. Then the last few chapters contain fairly common strategies or tips that can be found in much shorter resources. Look for books that provide just enough information to explain the scope and limits of the topic then spend a lot more space on exploring solutions.


If the title is “too cute” and the book is full of jargon - the book will probably be more frustrating than helpful. Flip through the book to read various sections. Is the language clear? Is the tone encouraging?  

It is now your book. Make notes, underline or highlight.

If after careful reading and thoughtfulness, you are unable to resolve the difficulty, then it may be time to seek out a therapist. You will already have a better understanding of what is troubling you. You will also have some useful experience in “what doesn’t work” to discuss. A therapist can begin working with you from a much more informed and motivated place.


Sign photo - Erik School via StockSnap.io


surprise Redbook reading

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How to Be a Total Boss Bitch by Nicole Lapin

I was waiting my turn in a lovely room provided for waiting. This waiting room included a stack of fresh magazines. A recent copy of Redbook was top of the stack. How long had it been since I had looked at a Redbook? And when had I ever seen the word “bitch” in an article title in Redbook? 


Time to read Redbook again. 


What a fine and useful article for women. 


I like the way Nicole Lapin writes for women. Women are too often tripping all over their need to be perceived as polite and nice and considerate and trying to do whatever they think it takes to, horrors, not be considered a bitch. 


At least read the article, it is available on line from Redbook. I am buying the book. Nothing really revolutionary in the content and I like the way she writes about the ongoing struggles women have between being effective and successful and the social training to be nice and never ever be considered a bitch. The more help and strategies and support women can muster in the pursuit of being a better boss of self the better and more effective women will be. At the very least in being the boss of their lovely self. 


Thank you, Ms. Lapin.


Screen Shot of book cover

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myth of multi-tasking

Tend to the Task at Hand

How did such a notion of doing all sorts of things virtually all at the same time ever gain any credibility in the first place? If everything arrives on the Thanksgiving table hot (or cold) and tasty  at the same time then that is successful multitasking - directing multiple tasks and time to one clearly defined goal. Deciding to start making your Christmas cookies while the gravy simmers or paying your bills is “multi-distraction” and bound to up the chance for errors or a lousy time at the holiday table.


Ready to challenge the myth of multitasking?


LARRY MAGID: Struggling With Information Overload


I used to think I could manage my own often-interrupted life by "multitasking." But except for things like walking and chewing gum, multitasking is a myth. When it comes to cognitive tasks, our brains aren't really capable of competently doing more than one thing at a time.


Painted Hands photo -  Lisa Fotios via StockSnap.io

knowledge to wisdom

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PARAPROSDOKIANS

Seventh on this this list of Pararosdokians still makes me laugh. It also makes me think. Just to save you from counting and reading down the list until later, the seventh is: 


“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”


You know it is funny. And then you begin to have your own thoughts. 


Here are mine. Turning knowledge into wisdom is a process with a price. Sometimes the price is no more than the cost of putting together a fruit salad. Other times there is a higher price. Knowledge needs to be tested with experience before it can become wisdom. There is so much that we know. Our brains are crammed full of knowledge. We all still have plenty of storage capacity for wisdom. 


Here’s hoping that earning wisdom won’t cost you more than a bag of fruit.

  • PARAPROSDOKIANS Definition: "Figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation.""Where there's a will, I want to be in it," is a type of paraprosdokian. Enjoy the rest of the Pararosdokians! 
  • Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. 
  • The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list. 
  • Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. 
  • If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong. 
  • We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public. 
  • War does not determine who is right - only who is left. 
  • Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. 
  • Evening news is where they begin with 'Good Evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't. 
  • To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research. 
  • A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my  desk, I have a work station. 
  • I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks. 
  • Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'DOCTOR.' 
  • I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you. 
  • Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy. 


  • Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman. 
  • A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory. 
  • I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness. 
  • You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice. 
  • Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with. 
  • There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away. 
  • I used to be indecisive... Now I'm not so sure.
  • You're never too old to learn something stupid.
  • To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target. 
  • Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
  • Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
  • Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. 
  • A diplomat is someone who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip. 
  • Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were. 
  • When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water. 


Words of Wisdom         

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.   - Jon Hammond

Mask photo - personal photo

sand castles - ephemeral art

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The sand art photos are of the winners of the RGIS Sand Castle Competition. The competition was held in Oregon on June 19, 2010. The photos went viral. Turns out there are all sorts of competitions in many places with lots of sand.

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I am still enchanted by the wide range of wit and subjects in the winning collection. Not sure how such sand art could be constructed. Already knowing it won't last for very long even if started well above the tide line. 

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So I went searching for information. 


Oh my.

As I continue to add content I will try to use a few more. 


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dandelion determination

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Be as Determined as a Dandelion

Dandelions are the designated scourge of suburban lawns. Many beautiful days have been dedicated to rooting them out with special tools and herbicides. Nevertheless, they have persisted. Often the first cheerful bit of color in a still sleeping winter lawn. A surprise in a crack in the sidewalk. That bit of blown-around fluff. A seed hidden in the fluff insisting on growing against all odds. How remarkable is that? 


So easy to wait to be awed by nature. Requiring the undeniable majesty of the Rocky Mountains or the vast expanse of the Grand Canyon to notice. The persistent determined cheerful little dandelion and all its future fluff is right around us. Flourishing in the sidewalk or even in the most tended of lawns. The dandelion persists. 


Dandelion photo - Aaron Burden via StockSnap.io

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photo credits

Hummingbird Photo - Erwan Hesry via StockSnap.io  Compass Photo - Barby Dalbosco 

Wading Flamingo Flock Photo - personal photo  Group Flamingo Photo - Ganapathy Kumar via StockSnap.io  Drinking Flamingo Photo - Gaetano Cessati via StockSnap.io

Boxes of Spray Paint Photo - Keven Moll via StockSnap.io  Brick Wall Photo - Ricardo Gomez Angel via StockSnap.io  Umbrella Photo - Adrianna Calvo via StockSnap.io

Sign Photo - Erik School via StockSnap.io  book cover - from Amazon

Painted Hands Photo -  Lisa Fotios via StockSnap.io  Mask Photo - personal photo

Sand Castle Photos - viral source in 2010  Dandelion Photo - Aaron Burden via StockSnap.io  Balloon Release photo - Luca Upper  via StockSnap.io