What a Time to Be Alive!

That expression, usually uttered sarcastically, often while shaking one’s head, has long amused me. I thought that perhaps I should have a category of posts here to which that expression could apply. This category might have also been labeled ‘just when you thought you had seen it all’ or maybe even ‘someone’s got a little too much time on their hands.’ But since it’s mu blog, I’m going with a head shaking, ‘what a time to be alive!’

Without further delay, here it is a category where you may find random or surprising, ‘stranger than fiction’ things. May these posts distract you on a day when you need a distraction (because some days we do.)

Yes, I know this is silly and sometimes silly is just what the Doctor ordered!

And who knows? Perhaps some of the peculiarities here will inspire YOU to try something random or surprising!

Lots of folks agree that at times in our lives, a new hobby can be really beneficial. Perhaps you should consider THIS new hobby!

What a time to be alive!

You’re welcome!

#WhatATimeToBeAlive!

Remember

This cactus developed was feeling droopy, but the prognosis is good!

Remember that you aren’t alone on this journey and there’s no shame in asking for help. Remember that this site is searchable. Just click on the magnifying glass at the top of the page.

There are over 450 posts here, so whether you’re on a specific quest or if you’re just filling time, there’s something positive here for you. And for private answers to specific questions, remember that you can CONTACT us!

Change is challenging and you don’t need to do it alone. DFTYA!

#Superbowl 2020!

POTENTIAL SILLY POST WARNING: On the day after millions of people tune in to watch the SuperBowl I thought we might look at things in a slightly different way. So here are some photographs, each of which draw attention to a superb owl!

#SuperbOwl2020

First, this might remind us that there at least two ways to look at any situation or set of circumstances. Second, these are some awesome creatures and we ought to be awed by nature on a regular basis. It’s good for us!

#SuperbOwl2020 Eaurasian eagle owl in flight
#SuperbOwl2020

Please don’t forget that there at least two ways to look at look at things – Super Bowl or Superb Owl.

#SuperbOwl2020 Ural owl

And please be sure to make time to spend time in nature. You’ll surely see something awesome or maybe superb!

#SuperbOwl2020

Thanks for taking a few moments to enjoy these photos and thanks for taking good care of you.

I Pressed On

Perhaps you have also recently seen this on a social media platform. If you rearrange the letters in the word DEPRESSION, you can spell I PRESSED ON.

I love words and scrambling or jumbling them. So, this post caught my attention immediately. My first impression was that it was clever and perhaps significant that those letters could be arranged to form that word and that phrase.

I quickly shared it on at least one social media platform. And I probably felt clever for posting it (though doing so requires no special skills.) We do tend to “keep score” on social media and it feels good to get lots of likes or shares.

A few weeks later I noticed the post again and I experienced a different feeling. This time, I saw the post while I was feeling depressed. Rather than feeling encouraged by the post, I felt as if my depressed feelings were being invalidated. I was quite surprised and immediately wondered if other depressed folks felt that way when I shared the post.

I was tempted to remove the post, but it had been a while and it was no longer near the top of my feed. So, I guessed that chances were slim that anyone was going to see it now. I also realized that, like so many things in life, the action – in this case the post – shouldn’t be judged in a vacuum.

Every comment, action, word, or deed can only be fairly understood in context. The intentions of the speaker, writer, doer, or poster change significantly influence the message or action. So, I am going to hope that other folks would give me the benefit of the doubt and assume that I meant no harm or judgment. I only intended to encourage and support.

Assuming best intentions can drastically reduce strife, stress, and probably even blood pressure! If everyone can try to consistently pause and assume best intentions, we will find ourselves less likely to be offended (and less likely to be unfriended!)

Thanks for listening and DFTYA!*

#IPressedOn

#Depression

#DFTYA

#AssumeBestIntentions

*Don’t Forget That You’re Awesome!

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

I don’t review books, but I canNOT stop talking about this book. The images and the words are all created by Charley Mackesy. If I hit the lottery today (and that’s unlikely since I almost never play) I would buy a warehouse full of these books and distribute them to adults and children everywhere.

I fell in love with a few pages of the book that I found on social media and started sharing them while I waited for my copy of “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” to arrive. I’ve shared the pages at seven treatment groups in three days. I’ve shared the images on social media and with co-workers.

Last night when I arrived home I discovered that the book had arrived and even after a 15 hour day, I had to read it before I went to bed. I smiled and wept and wiped my nose from cover to cover.

This book is a new “Pooh,” a claim I wouldn’t make lightly. And while the characters are a curious and clever boy and his animal companions, this book may be even more obviously written for adult readers, too.

After you read it, you will likely agree that it ought to be “prescribed” to plenty of people you know. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse speaks to the child who wanders within each of us. You will likely find yourself relating to each of the characters over the journey of the book and perhaps different characters each time you read it. (Yes, you will surely read it more than once!)

I’m certain that I am not yet ready to read it aloud to friends. simply I think it will take a least a few more readings before I can maintain my composure all the way through. But these are soul-filling and happy tears.

May I suggest that you save time (and reduce your carbon footprint) by purchasing a few copies. You will surely think of people who “need to read this” as you first encounter the simple sketches, hopeful moments, and powerful truths. So, save extra shipping or extra shopping and stock up now.

Charley Mackesy has brought us an instant classic and so very much more. He has brought us hope, a kinder world into which we can retreat, and quite possibly a kinder world in which we can all live outside the covers of his delightful book.

I guess I need to buy a lottery ticket.

#TheBoyTheMoleTheFoxAndTheHorse

#CharleyMackesy

BESOCHEMPS

If you haven’t yet heard of the 5-Headed Dragon, BESOCHEMPS, you’re either new here, or I haven’t been doing my job. (Please don’t scroll away yet – we aren’t a cult and this discussion about a 5-Headed Dragon is neither frivolous or foolish.)

Over twenty years ago I began serving brave folks intent upon reclaiming their freedom from their hellish relationship with tobacco. It seemed logical to asked the group to share their personal experiences and I attempted to recall mine. I had been “smober’ for over 10 years but it took more than 25 quit attempts before I found a quit that I could live with. I had started smoking (despite already being asthmatic) at age 12 at church camp. (Holy smokes?) Eventually I developed a 3-pack per day habit. (And on days when drinking or other drugs were in play, I could smoke 4 packs per day.) So I had plenty of experiences to share with the brave folks in my groups.

I had always been a fan of Creature Double Feature and a great friend turned me on to Dungeons and Dragons when I went away to college. And so the beast was birthed – a Dragon with five heads, one representing each of the five motivators:

A depiction of BESOCHEMPS, the 5-headed dragon. This is a very helpful way to look at and better understand the complex relationships we often call addictions.
This stunning and sobering depiction of the 5-Headed Dragon, BESOCHEMPS, was created by the very talented Santiago Bautista. Each of the heads is different and influential to varying degrees. Subsequently, each person has a unique relationship with their substance of choice.

Around the room I started to see eyes open wide as people started to see their foe more clearly. This BESOCHEMPS model was a better way to help people see their relationship with tobacco. Anecdotally, lots of folks started having more success quitting smoking. This “fictional” beast was real enough to help thousands of smokers. They were able to use it for their own good and for the good of the people who loved them.

When compared to the US unassisted quit rate (people quitting on their own) people using BESOCHEMPS had a quit rate six or seven times higher! And for some of us “soot-suckers,” adding medications can boost quit rates even higher. Please remember that this site is searchable and you can learn more about each of the “heads” of the “dragon.” And depending upon where you are located, you can attend QuittersWin groups where folks “speak dragon.”

PROLOGUE: The BESOCHEMPS model of addiction has been used to successfully address every sort of illicit substance use, and even compulsive behaviors that aren’t directly related to a substance (gambling, binge-spending, cutting, etc.) The dragon has helped brave folks reclaim their freedom in substance use treatment settings, hospitals, faith-based organizations, mental health settings, academic institutions, community based groups, and correctional facilities. For more information or to request a private response to questions, please feel free to CONTACT me.

BESOCHEMPS has helped countless individuals break out of the prison of addictions.

You deserve to be free.

You don’t need to do it alone.

 

Solstice and Solace

Some people say that today is the “shortest day of the year.” Technically it’s the day of the year (if you live in the northern hemisphere) when there are fewer hours and minutes of daylight than any other. So in actuality, today will be neither longer nor shorter than yesterday. And while this cold and dark time may seem bleak or even lifeless, this is a season of great hope.

Today, and in this season, everything around us – the cold, the dark, the quiet – speaks of the cyclical nature of all things. Our memories of the cool crisp autumn air – just a short time ago makes us reach back to the time when those brilliantly colored leaves, dancing on a breeze, were mere buds on their branches, glowing a bright green. Ah, and there we are again reminiscing about a season past when life burst from the cold earth; a season past and sure to come again, the spring just around the corner, waiting to thrill and intrigue us once again.

Especially in the stillness and cold of the season, may we each find peace in the darkness, hope in the certainty that brighter days are absolutely ahead, and generosity of spirit to share our warmth and light with others.

Tidings of comfort and joy to you and yours at this wonder-filled time of the year.

Blow Away Your Stress?

Some of us carry a “stress-buster” in our pockets every day. In fact some of us would NEVER think of leaving home without them. Most of them come in a handy pack of 20 – some with a flip-top box! In order to use these alleged reducers of stress, one generally needs to light them on fire, which necessitates the carrying of matches or lighters.

Yes, I’m talking about cigarettes and to be clear – the TRUTH is that they don’t reduce stress. They increase heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure, while delivering thousands of chemicals to through the lungs into the circulatory system where they are delivered to cells throughout the entire body.

But that’s more about cigarettes than I really want to say. What I really want to suggest is an alternative stress-reducing behavior that really works, costs less, smells better, and is not linked to any negative health conditions. In fact the regular use of this stress-buster has actually been associated with lower blood pressure! They can also fit neatly into a pocket so we can always have them with us. They are drastically less expensive, too!

There is even less of a social stigma related to the use of my suggested stress buster. In fact, people who use my suggested stress-buster will generally be perceived (even by complete strangers) as fun, interesting, and even youthful! Widespread adoption of this stress-management practice could prevent premature death of millions of individuals.

While insurance coverage for this product isn’t likely in the foreseeable future, it’s so affordable that cost will not be a factor for any current user of those other supposed “stress reducers.” If you or someone you love is using cigarettes to manage their stress, these tubes of bubble stuff are a bargain! I can get 100 of these little vials for $15 at a craft store (look in the wedding section.)

Each of these tiny tubes of bubble stuff can support approximately 30 minutes of deep breathing (which is an FDA approved treatment for stress and hypertension.)

Each of these little tubes of bubble stuff can be used for approximately 30 minutes of deep breathing practice. Deep breathing for 15 minutes a day (5 sessions of 3 minutes each or 3 sessions of 5 minutes each) has been shown to lower blood pressure. Do the math! A 15 cent vial of bubble stuff covers two days of deep breathing (without any annoying child-proof lids!)

No, I’m not saying you should stop taking your blood pressure medicine. No, I’m not practicing medicine without a license. No, I’m not offering this suggestion as an alternative to seeing your medical professional. But this intervention is simple, affordable, portable, and let’s face it – FUN! And yes – deep breathing is an FDA approved treatment for stress and high blood pressure! In clinical trials it has also been shown to either amuse or annoy 73% of cats. (I may have made that last part up, but it sounds plausible, right?)

WARNING: Blowing bubbles may cause you to smile, smirk, or even laugh out loud. In some cases bubble blowers report feeling less stress and occasional bouts of apathy in regards to things they used to freak out about. Don’t blow bubbles while operating heavy machinery or juggling chainsaws. Contact your Doctor if you think he or she could benefit from blowing bubbles.

Fact or Fiction: What to Know About Smoking Cessation Medications

I know that lots of folks who visit this page are on the journey to reclaim their freedom from tobacco. If that describes you, you may want to take a minute and a half and see how you do on this quick quiz.

Here’s the YouTube link:    YouTube Watch

Knowing the facts about proven methods to quit smoking will improve your chances of success. To learn more, click here.

And if you want some more support around quitting, QuittersWin offers free groups, phone coaching, and even motivational text message support. Stay in touch to stay on track!

Quitting smoking (or taking back your freedom from ANY addiction) isn’t easy, but it’s always worth it! (Because you’re worth it!) Thanks for taking good care of you.

 

fact fiction

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