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Rafting the Colorado

Not quite twenty-six years ago, my wife, daughter and I rafted the Colorado River with an experienced river guide. The expectations were explicitly communicated by her advising us to “... remain in the raft at all times and follow my instructions to the letter without fail.” Also, if, by chance, we were ejected from the raft for any reason, the guidance was to “immediately assume a fetal position so your toes or feet won’t be trapped by the rocks below, otherwise, the surging river will then drown you.” It was exciting, if not, altogether, quite exhilarating as we donned our life vests ......
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Judo Lesson

No student was permitted to study judo by my martial arts grandmaster until they had earned a black belt in tai kwon do. The belief was that tai kwon do made you strong from the outside-in, whereas, judo made you strong from the inside-out. I can honestly say that my judo training was the most strenuous physical activity I ever experienced. One day, when I was a yellow belt (the color following white), we had a visiting red belt (the color preceding black) student from a sister-school, with whom I was partnered, as we learned a complex new leg and hip......
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Roses and Thorns

The task in the beginning is to learn to love self. This is accomplished by the provision of healthy caretaker inputs from outside-in. A child must first be loved, in order to learn how to experience love, in order to learn how to love. Learning to love your self is a crucial developmental task for love to have experiential personal meaning. The root word of the root word in meaning is the first two letters or the word formed by “m” + “e” = “me”. Meaning is often self-centered, self-absorbed and self-aggrandizing because the focus is on “me”. With me, myself brings me to I ......
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Foot-In-The-Garbage-Can

Have you ever found yourself deep into something besmirching which was really messy, icky or dirty in your life? If so, consider my counseling and mentoring visual metaphor of a foot-in-the-garbage can. In fact, I challenge you to actually do it right now! Find a garbage can to accommodate your foot and stick it as far down and as deep into the container as possible. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth several times in rhythmic fashion to calm yourself. Contemplate your predicament. Ascertain very deeply how you got into the situation in the first place. Give some considered......
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Late, Later, Latest… Too Late

Wait, wait, wait.Wait until it’s late. Soon it will be late.Now it is late.Late, late, late... LATE! Soon it will be later.Now it is later.Later, later, later… LATER! Soon it will be latest.Now it is latest.Latest, latest, latest… LATEST! Soon it will be too late.Now it is too late.Too late, too late, too late… TOO LATE! No need to wait.It’s too late. Author Note: Dr. Glenn 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 (......
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"Baby Adult"

I am indebted to my wife for instructing me how to view our then-24 year old daughter who, while increasingly more capable of fending for herself, might, on occasion have a transient meltdown, necessitating an assist, from either one or both of her parents, coupled with judicious application of just the right kind and amount of TLC. It seems that when we were her age, my wife and I were already grown-up. Well, sort of, because in retrospect, I can now better appreciate how long it takes to cook-up a healthy, mature adult. But when we were that age, we had......
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Just This Much!

I recall sitting in my third-grade classroom, looking at the other children sitting at their classroom desks and lazily wondering just what the critical differential was between poor, fair, good, excellent and superior outcomes. As fate would have it, some workmen were replacing drywall in our classroom that very day and I was immediately struck by how quickly the wall was going up with visible measures and cuts without particularly exacting precision. It was always a matter of great speculation for me about why some people seemed to perform better than others even when they appeared less natively gifted while others......
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Foundational Algorithm of Healing and Growth

Over the course of my career as a clinical psychologist, I have thought very deeply about progress, regress and stasis. Why do some people go forward, others go backward, others still go nowhere at all? Additionally, what is elemental about the process of authentic psychotherapeutic intervention, as well as, personal mentoring which is key for any meaningful healing and growth to occur and also for all healing and growth to be meaningfully sustained? Common sense suggests that relapse is ’hard-wired’ into the human condition and achievement-to-criterion on a given task or adaptive skills-competency results and obtains either from “single-trial” learning or, more li......
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"Time Heals" Absolutely Nothing!

It is said that “time heals all wounds...” But I know that “time heals” absolutely nothing! Time is a very clever hypothetical construct. It can be defined in a great many ways... But it must not be defined in all ways. There is a certain palpable relativity... To the absoluteness of the construct. If you think about it a little bit... I think you will see, perhaps, A little bit of what I mean. Because what passes with the passage of time... Is just time! That is to say, Time passes with the passage of time! But time, per se, Is only a ......
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Love Lessons

All of the circumstances, events and happenings associated with the gradual awakening that we are born, live and die, invite deep thought as to which developmental tasks are required of every individual to successfully navigate and integrate each of these rewarding and perilous passages. The first crucible that birth confronts us with is the Herculean task of learning to love our Self. This is complicated because, in order for us to succeed on this test, we require habilitative and rehabilitative inputs and reactions to tasks from “outside-in” over a very long period of time and also what happens during the pass......
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"RAWDEAL"

As a psychologist, if I have heard it once from my clients, I have probably heard it at least a thousand times, about the “raw deal” that many believed was unfairly visited upon them by an external agent for which they were injured or harmed with little recourse but to obsequiously accede and then to “bend over and take it!” After much thought, it eventually occurred to me that the “raw deal” lingo was really a conscious manifestation of an unconscious constellation of powerful ’affects,’ whereby, if the “raw deal” verbalization was viewed as an, heuristic, acronym, then by taking the first letter of eac......
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My Eulogy

As I confront my mortality, it occurs to me that when I die, there will probably be one or two individuals who may feel some compulsion “to say a few words,” in memoriam. While I have no plans of leaving this world soon, “anything can happen at any time for no good reason” and when my time is finished, those one or two individuals may need to give their voice to the life of my life in my death. I suspect that a eulogy serves several simultaneous purposes, insofar, as it allows the bereaved to reconcile their loss with “something nice to say” a......
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"Numbers Are Good!"

She started to panic.“Are you ok?” “No!”“Something wrong?” “Yes, I feel faint.”“What do you need?” “Do you have any sugar?”“How about some honey in tea?” “Perfect”, said she.“Crackers, too?” “That will do!”“Diabetic, are you?” “Yes.”“Last time you checked?” “Blood sugar?”“Yes.” “This morning.”“What did it show?” “Numbers are good!”“Could readings be wrong?” “Numbers are good!”“Could tester be flawed?” “Numbers are good!”“Could diet be an issue?” “Numbers are good!Could drug-interactions be a problem? “Numbers are good!”“But you’re clearly not!” “Maybe numbers aren’t so good?”“Hmm”, said I. “But the numbers said...”“Ah, the numbers said!” And then, I said: “Numbers are numbers...And good is good... But if you’re not good...Then you’re not good... Even if numbers are good.”“Hmm”, said she. Author Note: Dr. Larry B. Gelma......
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"I Ain't Got None"

My love of words was engendered by my mother. She was a master at feeding her three small children as a single parent with nary a nickel to work with and yet she always was able to cook-up a concatination (i.e., plethora) of etymologic sustenance. Words were requisite ingredients to cook-up lofty ideas and aspirational values associated with high hopes, dreams and good wishes. Interestingly, while her vocabulary was not particularly erudite she had a predilection for artful linguistic structure and, as an interesting aside, her penmanship was artful, too. I vividly recall one particular Saturday morning when I was just......
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