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The Dandelion and the Rose

As a young child, I was extremely curious about why so many of the adults around me considered dandelions to be a weed, especially, when dandelions seemed pretty-enough, in my opinion, to simply be a flower of a different kind. Another intriguing observation for me was that many of my neighbors appeared to become frantically obsessed with pulling weeds whenever new weeds reared their youthful stems and shoots, either on their grassy lawns or gardens. To digress, momentarily, an esteemed colleague recently provided me with a fascinating education about the old practice of “walkin’ beans,” which she claimed to have done...
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“2nd Hardest Thing”

“The 2nd hardest thing that any one of us will ever have to do in our lives is to get up out of bed each morning!” When you get up out of bed, you have made an affirmative choice to pursue a pathway to engage in self-agency as your own prime agent. The first pathway is to be passive and dependent with you watching and waiting to see what will happen. The second pathway is to be active and independent with you doing something to make something happen. The third pathway is to be a frozen sculpture in space and time...
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“, for now.”

No matter what major, moderate or minor crisis, challenge or conundrum you face in any area of your life, please consider adding the words “, for now” to the end of any thought or communication about your problem or concern. The phrase, “, for now” is a constant reminder that when “stuff happens,” it is usually reasonable to expect that any “hope, wish, and prayer” for both people and circumstances to change are likely over time, space, and perspective. “Nothing lasts forever” even though it may seem, otherwise, so whatever may appear to be the case in a particular moment of...
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How to Be a Good “Crazy” Person!

Many years ago I stumbled upon the ‘secret formula’ of how to be a good “crazy” person:Simply live your life in such a way that you “know you know and know you mustn’t...”Then whatever follows can only remain a compensatory adaptation to living your life a lie! The ‘antidote’ is equally straightforward:When you “know you know, and know, and act accordingly and consistently with that which you know...”Then whatever follows can only result in living your life a truth! I suspect that most of us “know” what we “know” even when we don’t “know” how we “know.”In addition, we often “know”...
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32 Edits

I recently wrote a very short article which required 32 edits. My written work, I thought, was substandard and the message, I thought, was unclear. When I write, consistent excellence is my minimum standard and my point must be sharp and penetrating... Unless, “journalistic license” wins-out and I choose to implicate my meaning by intentional design. All works of art, I suspect, are perceived, interpreted and experienced in the subjective eye of each beholder. My writings, much like a famous inkblot test, provide the reader a standing invitation to see whatever they wish to see. It is not my intent to...
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Safe, Healthy, Happy

What do parents really and truly want for their children? We want them to be “safe, healthy and happy.” Everything else is “frosting on the cake.” Parents can survive anything save for the loss of their child. If a child is dead “all hope is lost.” If a child is alive “anything is possible.” It is my contention that we best protect our children from life by inoculating them with life... In doses commensurate with their readiness, willingness and ability... To navigate and integrate the experience. Along the way, our kids will get their fair share of “boo-boos” and they will...
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Child's Lament

Is life so dear Or death so near That victories are our food? Competition is tough And winning is rough And our mannerisms are crude. Is striving for gains Or wracking our brains For wealth and ugly power... All that we are living for In these rugged Uncomfortable hours? Author Note: Dr. Larry B. Gelman is a Clinical Psychologist and a Personal Mentor PMS Blog Comments Policy | PMS Copyright | PMS Disclaimer | PMS Citation Information www.personalmentoringservices.com © 2016 Northern Illinois Counseling Associates, P.C. (NICA), Personal Mentoring Services (PMS) Dr. Larry B. Gelman, Dr. Glenn B. Gelman, All Rights Reserved.
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The Cause of Death

There is an old joke that “the cause of death for everyone is life!” It has also been said that “the moment you are born, you begin to die.” Admittedly, some people are living to die while other people are dying to live. Is life the cause of death or is death the cause of life? The physicists remind us that “nothing is created and nothing is destroyed.” Matter and energy are supposedly completely interchangeable. At least, they become the other when each cease to exist as they were before. The seasons provide one powerful model for the circle of life...
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Robbed at Gunpoint

Robbed at gunpoint by only three men.Three against one seemed like overkill then. Money they wanted and demanded it now.If I refused, they promised to shoot me...pow! I said, if you please, a moment will I need.Assessing if I ought to acquiesce or bleed. Surprised were their faces when asked I for time.We got the gun, sucker; can drop you on a dime! Gun pointed directly an inch from my chest.Heart pounding furiously unable to rest. Thought crossed my mind, I might fight my way out.But then quickly realized I could not even shout. Said gun grew larger, a real Colt...
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Simple!

It is a simple error of logic to think that with the passage of time and the scientific assertion of evolution as a positive consequence of “natural selection,” that modern day human beings are so complexly different from our prehistoric ancestors. Comparison of our respective limbic systems would likely reveal not all that much substantive difference between us. Does anyone honestly believe that if modern man, or cave man, was confronted with a hungry saber tooth tiger, a “40 day and 40 night” long flood or an unremitting toothache that either would react emotionally all that differently? Our emotional fight-flight...
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Pain

On November 8, 2010 I had an L2-S1 spinal fusion with multiple discectomies and multiple laminectomies to address degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and spinal scoliosis. Orthopedic experts were uncertain as to causality, however, I suspect that my sitting for 10-to 14 hours a day as a clinical psychologist for almost four decades coupled with rigorous martial arts training for almost twenty years may have played a contributory role in my affliction along with inherited and constitutional factors. The surgery reportedly required more than 10 hours to successfully complete and surgical staff were quick to apprise me that “there were...
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Three Questions to "Know Thyself"

In my opinion, there are three questions to ask and to answer, as honestly as possible, in order to “know thyself.” #1. Who are you?#2. What is important to live for?#3. What are you doing about it? The apparent simplicity of these three questions belie the true complexity of the life-long self-discovery process to reveal the three answers which are correct, at core, for you. “Who are you?” is a deceptively inviting three-word interrogatory for “who are you and how did you come to be the unique person you are today.” The question obliges the respondent to think very carefully on...
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