Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Long Haul

Okay, it has been 12 days since the lenten season has gotten underway. And I have spoken to many of my friends about this period of sacrifice. Some think it's trivial, some think it's routine and religious, and others just do what they are told. Okay, well I feel that this period of dedication and sacrifice will glean great fruit. Having said that, you may only reap what you sew. So, if you give up chocolate, cheese or soda, ask yourself: what do I hope to gain from my burden-bearing sacrifice? This is where the revelation begins.
First, let me share what I have chosen to sacrifice for lent. Initially, I decided that I would give up cursing, speaking negatively and arguing. These are all vices for me. However, giving these things up will only be accomplished by staying in close proximity with God. So, while I am trading my vice, I am increasing my commune with God. I am depending on him to direct my path and to assist me with placing my flesh under subjection. 
The first thing I noticed during this process is that these vices are not only habits, but a REAL part of my lifestyle. They were so imbedded in my life that they were permeating every facet of my being. Okay, what am I talking about? Well, I can recall when I felt crazy cursing in certain places, losing my temper at the wrong time or arguing with the wrong person. And now, I just feel like it is who I am and what I do, or at least that is the way I was behaving. So, now I think before I curse at work or lose my temper. I consider who might be watching and how that might affect others. After all, this is our first connect to God. People see other people that say they are Christians long before they see God. So, now I am more focused on how I represent God, more than I focus on simply being me. 

Think about it. Comment.    

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


The season of lent is upon us. So, let's talk about it. What is your passion? Most people do not realize that passion means pain. Literally, it means to be aroused to anger, to suffer. Hence, The Passion of the Christ. He suffered to save us from ourselves, to serve as an example of what it means to be compassionate. A word, which means to suffer along with and to have a desire to help alleviate some of the pain. So, again, I ask, where does your pain reside?
For those of you who are begging the question, and coming to the conclusion that this cannot be true. I would like for you to consider that when you have passion for someone, let's say for instance, in a love relationship, every time you are away from the beloved, you miss him/her. This is a nice way to say that I suffer when I am apart from you. And, what is more interesting is the idea that when you have strong feelings for an individual, when you do come together, something happens to release the "pain". It can be a kiss, a strong embrace and so on and so forth, but we need to have an outlet for our discomfort.
I never truly understood the practice of sacrifice that believers demonstrate during this time before Easter, despite having participated myself. I really thought of it as a religious pursuit that had very little to do with spirituality. And then, I realized that giving up something makes you aware of your pain and how it impairs your ability to function in life. So, this season I have decided to journal about the desires that I will give up for lent. Some of the topics will be the level of difficulty, how much effort/discipline does it take to maintain abstinence? How does this inner/personal struggle affect my ability to communicate, make decisions, tolerate the nuances of being around people? What am I hoping to gain as a result of my sacrifice? Will the outcome of this trial be apparent in my behavior, personality? What conclusions will I come to at the end of this journey?
If you'd like to join me, blog it here. If you wish, confess what you have decided to sacrifice. Give an account of what you are experiencing. Please feel free to share. I am looking for great testimony. Be blessed. And have fun with finding your passion.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Comments, Please....

Here I sit, at work, talking to yet another person who has read my blog, but did not comment. She says that she did not have "anything" that she is experimenting with, and I thought, that's odd. So, we talked about it. And, what I found is that when it comes to the self, many are unaware of what they think. Many of my friends have told me, on more than one ocassion, that they have read the blogs, wanted to think about their responses and then were going to return and post.
My response is, JUST DO IT. Unlike school, this is NOT a test. I say that with all the encouragement that I can muster. After all, it did take me months (perhaps years) to finally start blogging. There was always one reason or another, but, I can assure you, it was never because I didn't have anything to say & I know that there are plenty of you (my friends) out there that have things to say. Especially because I have had life-changing conversation, debates & discussions with most of you, to prove it.
I am always looking for feedback. If you guys are not responding because the subject matter is boring. Then, let me know. If you are not responding to protect your anonymity....sign on, post a comment as anonymous. Or, last but not least, personally e-mail your responses to and I will post them to the blog. However, please just help me to continue this endeavor.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Quit Smoking....Words from a non smoker....

Today I had a couple that came to me to discuss "Smoking Cessation". They both have been long-time smokers with multiple attempts to quit and no success. Now, due to health issues, they both NEED to quit. When I meet people who are trying to quit, usually the first question they ask is "do you smoke"? The answer is NO. I have never smoked. So, as a matter of course, the next thought (sometimes spoken aloud) is well, how can you teach me how to quit. and the answer is quite simple: Clarity.
Over 3 million people quit smoking every year. And yes, this is a difficult undertaking and some people return to smoking over the lifespan. However, what we believe about smoking is what keeps us smoking. So, I would like to take some time in this Blog to provide CLARITY.
There are two components to smoking...and usually the people that cannot or don't quit are the people that simply try to treat one component without addressing the other. The two areas are the need for nicotine (physiological affects) and the other area is behavior (which is the psychological affects). Simply put Smoking is NOT JUST a HABIT. Smoking is a LIFESTYLE. So, in turn, QUITTING is NOT an event. Rather, it is a PROCESS. It takes many steps, more than just one, to get to QUIT.
Until Next Time. Respond to this post. Participation is encouraged.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Data Continued

Okay. Today was definitely one of those "what the H E Double Hockey sticks" kinda days. It started with two school projects that were due today for my daughter's first grade class. Then, I had to get Valentine's Day treats and a we had to create a Valentine's Day Mailbox for her to collect all the treats that she would receive from classmates. Needless to say that we were awake way too long for a first grader and she had much trouble shaking the sleep off of her this morning. Then, she missed the school bus. I had to take her, which made me late for work. And...all the while, I was experimenting with "what is the next best thing"....question and I got an answer. I ran out of gas. I had to call work and tell them that I would be a lot later than I had anticipated. I was NOT happy to say the least. I was wondering, does this question garner a different result than the former question? I will continue the experiment. I was not satisfied with the data, or maybe it was a null set. Not enough info to make a formidable conclusion. Let's go with that answer.

When I got to work, I saw one of my favorite colleagues. He didn't look so good and responded with confirmation that it was not a good day. At the end of the day, I saw him again and he felt the same as he did this morning and it was a full eight hours later. So, keeping in line with this experiment, I suggested that he ask himself this question regarding the hindrances of his day. And trust, I learned this from someone else, but felt it was appropriate for this post. It is the 10-10-10 RULE. If you are worrying about something and feel that no answer is readily available for your dilemma, ask yourself the following questions: Will this matter 10 minutes from now, will it matter 10 months from now and will it matter 10 years from now? If you can ask these questions and you still feel burdened by the answers. You need a life coach or a counselor and I am both. Give me a call. I will be glad to assist. Please free to follow my blog, add it to your MySpace Page or simply post a comment, participation is welcome.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Collecting Data

Okay. Since I am new at this.....I shall continue to trudge ahead. I have collected much data. And, well, it has been difficult to face the facts when I really didn't like the process of going through the experiment. As I said in a previous post, we experiment with lots of things. If I purchase a new product, say for instance, the scrubbing bubbles, for my toilet. That's a new gadget that I thought would be quite spiffy. If it could really keep my toilet clean for a month and I had to do very little. I'd try it. And I did try it. Results: let's just say.....that data was discarded. Back to managing the cleaning of my toilet the old fashioned way.

So, I kept thinking and was looking for some area that was a little less superficial and somewhat more meaningful. And, I found that one of the most difficult areas of experimentation is anything that is abstract, but more specifically, spirituality, or as some like to say, faith. I am not sure if this is challenging because you cannot touch it or because you usually don't get immediate results. And, when you do get results, you might not readily understand them as a response/outcome from the intangible thing that is involved in the experiment. Or is it that we think spirit only manifests "good" and when the intangible results are not good, we abandon the experiment. Whichever way we think of this, we may still get a result whether we consider ourselves faithful or just not interested in this type of experimentation.

My experience with people, has taught me that this type of abstract gathering happens constantly among those that recognize their spirituality and amongst those that fail to acknowledge this idea at all. But anyhoo, we'll get back to that.....just something to start the ball rolling. How does an experiment with the non-tangible manifest? Of course, by asking a question? After all, that is what an experiment is....a question for which someone seeks an answer.

Say for instance, what ancestry recognizes as Murphy's Law. If you think it will happen, it will. And we usually activate this law when things are going really, really, bad for us. And, we do it out loud, whether we have an audience or not (think about that for a minute). When you have an unexpected flat tire, you're already late for work and anything else that could go wrong, has gone wrong. You then say, "what next, what else could go wrong today? and CA BOOM, you get the answer.

We never really realize that this is an actual experiement with the non-tangible. And, because the universe is alive. It participates in the experience and answers the question. What else could happen, that will mess up my day? So, let's redirect the question. Try this experiment and post your data here. When you are having a screwy day and you are just fed up....or just plain dog tired of a situation, try asking: What is the next BEST thing that could happen under these circumstances, in this situation? I hope you will participate.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I was teaching a class the other day, and stumbled across a simple and profound truth, experience comes from an experiment. And as humans, we experiment with lots of things. The most common, well known experimantation is with "drugs". And, because I specialize in the treatment of addictions, I discuss this topic a lot. Yet, I began to think, we experiment with many other things as well. We experiment with emotions, people, personal hygiene products and so on and so forth. However, unlike research, most humans don't keep a collection of their data and results. Which often leads to multiple trials and errors regarding the same experiment, which leads to insanity. So, I want to discuss it.

What experiments have you tried and what does the data suggest?