Wednesday, December 31, 2014

3 Steps to Make Your New Habits Stick this Year


Whether we like it or not, this time of year cues our minds to reflect and think about habits we want to change.  If you’re reading this blog,alive possibel odds are one of those habits are bringing mindfulness into your life more and allowing this to be the year where it sticks. Or maybe you’re also looking to change other habits that run alongside your values like being more self-compassion, living alongside your values, playing more or creating more mastery in life. All of these are basic elements that help uncover happiness.

Whatever the habit is that you want to make, here are a few practical tips to help make your changes stick.

  1. Know the practice – If you’re trying to integrate the ability to become more present in your daily life, choose what you want to practice. You may want to integrate more formal practice that would come in the form of a sitting meditation or mindful yoga. Or maybe you want to integrate more informal


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

About Kelly Clark (deceased)

UPDATE:  Sadly, Kelly passed away on December 17, 2013 while being treated for serious medical issues at the Mayo Clinic.  He was 56 years old.
“The opportunity to advocate for abused children and for adults who were abused as children, and to walk alongside them as they heal from their abuse, is one of the great privileges of my life. To see these people go from victims to survivors to thrivers never ceases to amaze and inspire me,” said Kelly Clark, a partner at O’Donnell Clark & Crew LLP and one of the leading child-abuse lawyers in the nation.

Kelly was a trial and appellate lawyer representing individuals, families and businesses against large or powerful institutions, public and private. He was recognized for his courtroom skills, for his knowledge of public, constitutional and child-abuse law, and for his tenacious and creative litigation strategies. A former two-term Oregon legislator, as of 2009 Kelly practiced before or against some 85 federal, state and local government agencies. He brought cases in state and federal court on civil rights, voting rights, education rights—including pioneering wins for charter schools—as well as cases on religious liberty, free speech and property rights. He had been the legal counsel to numerous political campaigns, including legislative, congressional and gubernatorial candidates.

Most centrally, for nearly twenty years Kelly Clark was a leading advocate for victims of child abuse: first while in the Legislature, co-authoring Oregon’s child-abuse statute of limitations and the ban on child pornography, and then representing hundreds of children and adults abused as children by trusted adults, including Catholic priests, ministers, coaches, Boy Scout leaders, teachers and police officers.

Kelly’s 1999 win against the Archdiocese of Portland in the Oregon Supreme Court changed the law in Oregon and gained national attention for its landmark theory of liability for “institutions of trust” whose employees abuse children, and his 2008 win in the Supreme Court against a local police agency operating an Explorer Boy Scout post was significant for its elimination of special immunities in the law for governmental child abusers and their employers. In 2010, he was lead counsel in a Portland trial against the Boy Scouts of America that featured, for the first time ever, the so-called “Perversion Files” kept by the BSA about known pedophiles within their ranks.
Kelly P crop(1) About Kelly Clark (deceased)The result of that trial was a jury verdict of nearly $20 million against the Scouts, including $18.5 million in punitive damages—as well as an eventual Oregon Supreme Court ruling in 2012 requiring that the Perversion Files be publicly released as evidence of the history of abuse in Scouting.  In September 2012, he argued to the Oregon Supreme Court that the Oregon laws giving special protection to public school teachers in cases of child abuse should be struck down as unconstitutional and is currently awaiting that decision. Recognized by his peers for his expertise in this area, he wrote and spoken widely on child abuse topics to professional audiences.

Mr. Clark was active in his community and charitable endeavors, a sometime-adjunct Professor at George Fox University, and in 2012 received a Master’s Degree in theology from Australia’s Melbourne College of Divinity. Often asked to lecture and teach effective public speaking, Mr. Clark was frequently in demand as a speaker and writer on the topics of child abuse, law, public policy, faith, and recovery from abuse

He prosecuted the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Catholic Church as well.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How to Approach the Holidays When You’re Depressed



It’s a myth that suicide rates skyrocket between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The truth is that the month of December has the fewest number of suicides than any other time of year (Karr, 2012). What is interesting to note, however, is that there is a significant increase of suicides right after Christmas — a 40 percent increase.

From the studies that have been done on depression, suicide, and the holidays, it seems that the winter holidays insulate many from suicide, but there is a sort of rebound effect that occurs once the holidays have passed (Karr, 2012).


There are several reasons why we might see an increase in suicide after the holidays, but isolation and loneliness seem to be the most obvious ones. A Canadian study of patients treated at a psychiatric center during the holidays suggested loneliness and lack of family as stressors (Karr, 2012).

Loneliness is a modern-day epidemic. Neurologically and emotionally, humanity is wired for human connection, yet we often don’t experience it in a fulfilling way. Sometimes we even sabotage or run away from true connection. Loneliness is a signal that we need to reconnect. But often that signal goes ignored because the possibility of being hurt or rejected is scary.





Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014

       Coping Skills

 There is a story about a lion cub that was born among a herd of sheep.  His lion mother was killed, so the herd of sheep took him in and brainwashed him into thinking he was a sheep.  Did they tell him this maliciously to trick him?  No, they were ignorant.  They knew how to be sheep and that’s all they knew.   Although they did not mean to hurt him he grew up thinking he must be a sheep.  The skills he learned were garbage and did not help him cope with his difficult life.  Being a lamb was not his true identity.  As he grew he heard a tiny voice and had a feeling he was not a sheep.  This tiny voice told him to “Eat the sheep.”  He did not listen to this inkling in his head.  Eating the sheep went against everything he had been taught.  Then there was another tiny voice that said “Don’t eat the sheep; they are your brothers and family.  They raised and taught you.  They love you.” 
 The two conflicting voices and instinct were his real internal Self and his environmental external Self.  Since his external Self (what he was taught) does not match his internal Self (what his instinct told him), the lion cub became very anxious.  In fact, he became quite neurotic because he believed he was a sheep, but the voice to “Eat the sheep” kept driving him crazy.  He was trying to believe the lie.
 When the lion goes out into the world, away from the herd, what will happen?  Will he be nervous?  Of course he will be.  It’s quite silly though!  The lion has all the coping skills to deal with the world he will meet.  Out in the world away from the herd is where he belongs, but he was brainwashed with lies.  The lion is very worried because he knows lambs can’t survive living with a lion.  If he covers himself up to look more like a lamb he thinks he will gain confidence and help him overcome his fear.
 Perhaps he could roar loudly—like a lion with a bad temper—or talk too much.  An even better cover-up would be to put on a real lion skin fool everyone into thinking he’s powerful—like a person who has a superiority complex.  But who would he really be fooling.  How ridiculous, a real lion wearing a lion skin!  Why, because he believes the lie about his true identity and tries to fool everyone with cover-ups.
 This is how we were taught—to be a lamb when we were and are a lion.  The long road lies ahead and Dr. Ellsworth (my therapist) and I took months and months before I was committed to finding out who I truly was and re-teach the lion how to be a lion without eating any lambs.  It was hard finding out for myself with--Dr. Ellsworth’s help—what lions eat, what do lions do and where do lions sleep.  It was well worth the difficult path, but well worth it.  I just now need to keep honoring myself as a proud, beautiful lion (human spirit) by treating myself well, nurturing my inner lion—the lion raised as a sheep—and nurture her the way she was not nurtured as a Supreme Being.  No, I’m not getting cocky.  We are all supreme beings at different levels of knowing that and treating yourself as this Supreme Being, the lion.  Reading Dr. Ellsworth’s book has shown me that I am a lion too.
 This story from Dr. Sterling Ellsworth’s book. How I Got This Way and What to Do About it, points out how we have all been taught bad information by our parents, friends, other family members, anyone who wants us to think we are less than what we are.


Please click the link below to order the book:

How I Got This Way: And What To Do About It [Kindle Edition]

Sterling G. Ellsworth

Kindle Price: $4.99

Monday, November 17, 2014

Adult Survivors Continuing Relationships with
Abusive Family

A lurid and rather sensationalistic book about murderers that I recently read featured the case of Mary Bell, who committed two murders as a child of ten. In the years since, Mary has disclosed horrific child sexual abuse committed and/or facilitated by her mother, Betty. The author, Paul Roland, finishes with the following observation: “However, one has to wonder, if all Mary has claimed is true, why she invited Betty to live with her and her daughter in the latter years of her mother’s life (2008 p. 165).”

Perhaps, in a book of this nature, sensitivity and knowledge about the many effects of child sexual abuse were hardly to be expected, but what concerned me was the using of Mary’s ongoing relationship with her mother as a reason to doubt her disclosures of abuse. One thing survivors don’t need is people acting out of ignorance discounting them and fuelling myths about the unreliability of people who say they were sexually abused.

And yet, the question, “Why would a person who experienced sexual abuse want to be close to the very people who did it?” is genuinely puzzling to people who may never have experienced incest or other parental abuse. Partners of survivors may feel disgust and confusion or a natural protectiveness towards their partners – and it is very concerning when children are exposed to danger from an abusive grandparent. Some survivors themselves are baffled as to why they feel drawn to keep going back to their abusive parents.

Why does this happen? Why would a woman raped by her father let him give her away at her wedding? Why does the son subjected to sexual abuse by his mother continue to submit to demands for his money? Why would incest survivors eat Christmas dinner with people who continue to degrade them? This article will look at some of the reasons.

Damaged Self:
Many of us will have encountered children that cling tenaciously to parents who have hurt them terribly, and sadly some of us were those children. Judith Herman (1992 p. 103) writes that child abuse causes children to form a core image of themselves as “bad.” This is essential for their emotional survival. At the expense of their very selves, children rationalise that they caused the abuse in order to preserve an image of mother and father – those people on whom they must depend for care and protection - as their caregivers.

© 2010 Pandora's Project

Friday, November 7, 2014

Embedded image permalink

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Pushing Aside Daily Mental Health Triggers is ToughAn outsider may not understand how difficult it is to avoid and ignore the angry mental health triggers surrounding you. Those outsiders, especially those without mental illness, may not even understand what a "trigger" really is. In truth, everyone struggles with triggers; the elements of daily life that bring forward intense emotions and can sometimes lead to unsafe behaviors. These are things that everyone experiences – not just those with mental illness.

The question is: how do you push aside the mental health triggers that haunt your every move? The answer is not simple and depends on everyone's personal struggles and coping skills. For those who struggle with eating disorders, triggers can grow from the mere sight of food or a pound on the scale. For those who self-harm, any sharp object can trigger the urge to self-injure.

Since triggers are imprinted into everyday life, there really is no true way to avoid them. However, if you can find ways to replace those triggers with a positive activity or diversion, there is a greater possibility of successfully moving forward. You can use music or writing or being surrounded by supportive people as positive replacements. When those replacements are actively used, the mental health triggers may not affect you as much.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pull the Covers Up Over My Head: A Depression Poem

A Depression Poem: Thoughts From a Depressed Mind
Suck it up, you say?
Get over it?
If only it were that easy.
I know it’s not rational. It doesn’t make any sense. But that doesn’t mean I can stop it.
A very small little part of my brain tells me I’m in a bad mood for no reason. But there feels like there should be a reason!
I just want to pull the covers up over my head.
I don’t want to try. I don’t want to get dressed or get going or put on my happy face for anyone.
I don’t want to say “fine” when someone asks how I am.
I want to hunker down.
I want to cry for no reason.
Is my depression upsetting you?
Me too.
Are you tired of hearing about it?
Me too.
I don’t like it. I didn’t ask for it.
I don’t understand it.
I do want to feel better. But it feels like a weight is holding me down. I can’t move. I can’t try. I want to. But it’s just so hard.
I wish it would rain healing energy on me right where I am and wash this away forever. I don’t want it anymore.
It is an invisible illness that people don’t understand. Heck, I deal with it every day and I don’t understand it.
I want to tell you how to help me.
I want you to tell me what I need.
I wish I could.


By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Clinical depression goes by many names -- depression, "the blues," biological depression, major depression. But it all refers to the same thing: feeling sad and depressed for weeks or months on end (not just a passing blue mood). This feeling is most often accompanied by feelings of hopelessness, a lack of energy (or feeling "weighed down"), and taking little or no pleasure in things that gave you joy in the past. A person who's depressed just "can't get moving" and feels completely unmotivated to do just about anything. Even simple things -- like getting dressed in the morning or eating -- become large obstacles in daily life.
Depressed? Take the Quiz Now We've compiled a library of depression resources for you to explore. We encourage you to take your time with these resources, print out things you'd like to read more carefully, and bring anything you have additional questions about to your family doctor or a mental health professional.
Depression is readily treated nowadays with modern antidepressant medications and short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy. Don't be put off by the number of things written about depression -- because it's so common, a lot has been written about it! Read what you need, and leave the rest for another day. Continue reading this introduction to depression...

What's Depression Feel Like?

Certainty that an acute episode [of depression] will last only a week, a month, even a year, would change everything. It would still be a ghastly ordeal, but the worst thing about it -- the incessant yearning for death, the compulsion toward suicide -- would drop away. But no, a limited depression, a depression with hope, is a contradiction. The experience of convulsive pain, along with the conviction that it will never end except in death -- that is the definition of a severe depression.
~ George Scialabba


Thursday, October 16, 2014

7 Ways to Say Strong When Life Inflict Pain



At some point, you will come to realize that living the good life involves some amount of necessary pain, and that there are more flavors of pain than ice cream and coffee combined…

There’s the little empty pain of leaving something behind ‒ graduating, taking the next step, walking out of a familiar, safe situation and into the excitement of the unknown.  There’s the giant, whirling pain of life upsetting all of your big plans and expectations.  There’s the little sharp pains of making a mistake, and the more obscure aches of success, when it doesn’t make you feel as good as you thought it would.  There are the vicious, backstabbing pains of betrayal.  The sweet little pains of finding others who are worthy of your time, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn.  There’s the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend or lover and help them face their problems.

And on the best of days, there are the subtle, tingling pains you feel throughout your body when you realize that you’re standing in a moment of sweet perfection, an instant of great achievement, or happiness, or laughter, which at the same time cannot possibly last ‒ and yet will remain with you for the rest of your life.

Everyone is down on pain, and when we experience it we usually say we’re having a bad day, because we forget something important about what were going through: Pain is for the living – for those of us who still have the chance of a lifetime.  Only the dead don’t feel it, because their time is already up.

So with this in mind, here are seven smart ways to stay strong when life inflicts pain:

1.  View every challenge as an educational assignment. – Ask yourself:  “What is this situation meant to teach me?”  Every situation in our lives has a lesson to teach us.  Some of these lessons include:  To become stronger.  To communicate more clearly.  To trust your instincts.  To express your love.  To forgive.  To know when to let go.  To try something new.

2.  Remind yourself that you are not alone. – To lose sleep worrying about a friend.  To have trouble picking yourself up after someone lets you down.  To feel like less because someone didn’t love you enough to stay.  To be afraid to try something new for fear you’ll fail.  None of this means you’re dysfunctional or crazy.  It just means you’re human, and that you need a little time to right yourself.  You are not alone.  No matter how embarrassed or pathetic you feel about your own situation, there are others out there experiencing the same emotions.  When you hear yourself say, “I am all alone,” it is your mind trying to sell you a lie.

3.  Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t. – You are who you are and you have what you have, right now.  And it can’t be that bad, because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to read this.  The important thing is simply to find one POSITIVE thought that inspires and helps you move forward.  Hold on to it strongly, and focus on it.  You may feel like you don’t have much, or anything at all, but you have your mind to inspire you.  And that’s really all you need to start moving forward again.

4.  Emotionally separate yourself from your problems. – You are a living, breathing human being who is infinitely more complex than all of your individual problems added up together.  And that means you're more powerful than them – you have the ability to change them, and to change the way you feel about them.

5.  Consciously nurture your inner hope. – A loss, a worry, an illness, a dream crushed – no matter how deep your hurt or how high your aspirations, do yourself a favor and pause at least once a day, place your hands over your heart and say aloud, "Hope lives here."

6.  Find a reason to laugh. – Laugh at yourself often.  Find the humor in whatever situation you’re in.  Optimism is a happiness magnet.  If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.

7.  Ask positive questions. – If you ask negative questions, you will get negative answers.  There are no positive answers to, “Why me?” “Why didn’t I?” “What if?” etc.  Would you allow someone else to ask you the demoralizing questions you sometimes ask yourself?  I doubt it.  So stop and swap them for questions that push you in a positive direction.  For instance, “What can I do right now to move forward?”

And again, if you're struggling with any of these points, remember that you are not alone.  We are all in this together.  Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and keep our lives on track.  This is precisely why Marc and I wrote our book, “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.”  The book is filled with short, concise tips on how to do just that.  And believe it or not, Marc and I are always re-visiting and re-reading our own material, just to center our minds on these positive principles. I hope you are finding it helpful too.

And finally, I saved the BIG NEWS for last:

Marc and I are thrilled to announce that our first video course—Getting Back to Happy—is coming November 4th!

We developed this course to be the go-to resource for anyone serious about taking action to reclaim their happiness and realize their potential.

It is filled with our best advice - advice gathered from firsthand experience, nearly a decade of studying and writing about the psychology of happiness and success, and through coaching thousands of people just like you. From proven ways to foster stronger relationships, to actions engineered to help you let go of toxic behaviors, to scientifically proven methods of making progress on your personal and professional goals, the learning modules in this course will inspire and equip you to become your strongest, most effective self.

Join our early access list to be among the first to learn more about the course. Doing so guarantees you the VIP opportunity to enroll at the front of the line.

As a bonus, when you join our early access list, you'll receive:

- A free early sneak peek at three course video modules.
- A free 1-hour coaching session with Marc and I once you enroll in the course.
- High-value bonus content, including audio versions of all the Getting Back to Happy course videos once you enroll in the course.

And note that when you sign up for the early access list, you’re under no obligation to enroll when the course is ready. You’re merely reserving your spot at the front of the line. I hope you will.

Questions or comments?  Please don’t hesitate to email us or leave a comment on our blog.

And finally, please share this email with anyone else who could benefit from it.

Sincerely hoping your 2014 has been inspired thus far,

Angel Chernoff


Monday, September 29, 2014

20 Things to Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

10 Things to Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

          Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is simply
                     believing you’re worthy of the trip

Truth be told, you can’t berate yourself into a better version of yourself.  And even though I know this, I sometimes still fall victim to my own negative thinking.  Sometimes I’m downright rude to myself.  I make a mistake, or fall short of my own expectations, and instead of treating it as a learning opportunity, I beat myself up about it.
I’m sure you can relate.  We’ve all been there.  We all have bad days and moments of self-doubt.
Sometimes the pressure coming from peers, family, work, and society in general is enough to make us feel completely broken inside.  If we don’t have the “right” job, relationship, lifestyle, and so forth, by a certain age or timeframe, we assume we’re just “not good enough.”  Angel and I hear about this kind of self-defeating mindset from our coaching clients and blog subscribers (subscribe here) on a daily basis, and like I said, we aren’t immune either.
So what can we do about it?
Here’s how I handle it: Every time I catch myself thinking I’m not good enough, I immediately write down an opposing thought that debunks my negativity.  I’ve been doing this for the past several years and it’s made a tremendous difference in my life.  I challenge you to do the same.
If you need a little extra inspiration, here are some things I’ve come up with – 20 good reminders when you’re feeling “not good enough”:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What is the profile of a sexual predator/perpetrator?

  1. Sexual predators include women, men, and older youth.
  2. The profile of a sexual predator is generally very kind.
  3. Sexual predators hold themselves in the light of being a “pillar of the community”.
  4. In order to get their needs met, sexual predators will most likely “find themselves” working around children.
  5. Sexual predators are the last people you would expect to commit a sexual abuse crime because of how good and responsible they make themselves look. They work overtime to be charming and nice.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

 Pediatric Nurse-Molestation story
  • R

  • SAN DIEGO (AP) — In an Aug. 27 story about a pediatric nurse being charged with molesting a 2-month-old baby in San Diego, The Associated Press, based on information from the FBI, reported erroneously that Michael William Lutts had pleaded not guilty to the charge. Prosecutor Alessandra Serano says that Lutts appeared in federal court on Wednesday but did not enter a plea.
    A corrected version of the story is below:
    A pediatric nurse in Southern California has been charged with molesting his 2-month-old foster child, and investigators are asking for the public's help to find other possible victims.
    Michael William Lutts, 50, appeared in federal court Wednesday on a charge of sexually exploiting a child.
    He did not enter a plea, said Alessandra Serano, the federal prosecutor for the case.
    Lutts was in federal custody.
    Lutts is a pediatric nurse in San Diego County. He was given custody of a 2-month-old, prematurely born foster baby Aug. 4, according to the FBI's criminal complaint.
    He began molesting the boy the same day and recorded images and video on a cellphone that was seized during a search at his San Diego home Tuesday, an FBI agent stated in the complaint. Time stamps on the images indicate that the boy was molested for at least 10 days, according to the document.
    "In my 28 years of being an FBI agent, it's one of the more disturbing cases," said Darrell Foxworth, an FBI spokesman in San Diego. "You look at the age of the victim here. This is a helpless child."
    The FBI began investigating Lutts after he was linked to an email account that authorities believe was used to send child porn images to a suspected distributor, Foxworth said.
    FBI investigators found more child pornography on computers, hard drives, CDs and other media, according to the criminal complaint.
    Investigators planned to examine that material to identify other possible victims, Foxworth said. Because Lutts' job gave him access to children, investigators also were asking anyone with information to come forward.
    Authorities also intend to look at the process by which Lutts was given care of the foster baby, who is now in protective custody, Foxworth said.

    Saturday, September 6, 2014

    Monday, September 1, 2014

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

    Protect Your Children
    from 2 years old about Body Safety.


    Rotherham child abuse scandal: 1,400 children exploited, report finds

    Prof Jay said: "No-one knows the true scale of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham over the years. Our conservative estimate is that approximately 1,400 children were sexually exploited over the full inquiry period, from 1997 to 2013."

    Revealing details of the inquiry's findings, Prof Jay said: "It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered."

    The inquiry team found examples of "children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone".

    Five men from the town were jailed for sexual offences against girls in 2010, but the report said police "regarded many child victims with contempt".

    District Commander for Rotherham, Ch Supt Jason Harwin said: "Firstly I'd like to start by offering an unreserved apology to the victims of child sexual exploitation who did not receive the level of service they should be able to expect from their local police force.

    "We fully acknowledge our previous failings."

    Ch Supt Harwin said the force had "overhauled" the way it dealt with such cases and had successfully prosecuted a number of abusers.

    But he admitted: "I accept that our recent successes... will not heal the pain of those victims who have been let down."

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    Dr. Sterling Ellworth's book incredible and enlightening

    Please click the link below to order the book:



    Man who sexually abused 5 sisters for 20 years sentenced to long prison term


    Five sisters who were molested as children by Eric Michael Freeburg were in Clackamas County Circuit Court Tuesday morning to see him sentenced to 25 years in prison.
    The abuse lasted for 20 years, starting in 1992 and ending in 2011. The victims, now all adults, were unaware that each of them had been abused until the oldest sister came forward last year and reported the crimes.
    Then, said prosecutor Bryan Brock, "the dam broke."
    Oregon law regarding the statute of limitations has changed over the years. Under the current law, some sex crimes committed 20 years ago can be prosecuted.
    In Freeburg's case, the abuse of the oldest sister, now 28, occurred when she was about eight years old.
    At one point in 2002, Freeburg was molesting four of the girls.
    One of the girls said she was fondled or engaged in sex acts with Freeburg more than a thousand times. Some of her earliest memories involve Freeburg violations, Brock said.
    Freeburg, 57, was charged with 30 sex crimes and pleaded guilty to six of them as part of a plea deal.

    "It's not often I charge 30 counts but in this case, it's hard not too," Brock said. "This happened hundreds of times, if not thousands."
    Freeburg pleaded guilty to first-degree sodomy, second-degree rape and four counts of first-degree sexual abuse – all Measure 11 crimes that carry minimum mandatory sentences.
    Freeburg faced as much as 40 years in prison. The plea deal called for 27 years.
    Circuit Judge Eve Miller decided on a term of 25 years.
    Freeburg was convicted of taking indecent liberties with a minor in Washington in 1984. He was 25 and in the Navy when he spent the night an acquaintance's home. He was caught fondling a 10-year-old girl. He completed a treatment program as part of his sentence, according to court records.
    Freeburg made a brief, contrite and tearful statement.
    "I do take full responsibility for my actions," he told Miller. "I deeply apologize to the people I victimized."
    Miller said Freeburg's empathy rang hollow, coming long after he was caught.
    By the time you came into the five sisters' lives "you had been through extensive treatment ... and it doesn't seem to have mattered a bit," Miller said.
    Your actions caused "life-long harm and it takes its toll in many ways," Miller said.
    One of the victims said she feels unrelenting guilt. "Maybe I should have said something sooner," she said in a written statement. "My childhood was single-handedly ruined by one person."
    "I've been looking forward to this day for 20 years," said the oldest sister.
    Twenty five years behind bars is a long time, she said, "but it won't compare to the prison I was in."

    -- Steve Mayes


    Monday, August 25, 2014

    10 Toxic Habits that Drain Your Energy

    10 Toxic Habits that Drain Your Energy

    It’s time to break the habits that have been holding you back.  Respect yourself enough to let go of the mindsets and routines that have been sucking you dry.

    Bear with me for a moment.  You know when you’re driving to an unfamiliar place, blasting the radio while simultaneously watching your GPS spit out directions?  Then you suddenly get to that one part of the route that’s ridiculously confusing, so you lower the volume even though it has no direct impact on the way you read the directions?
    That is your life.  The radio noise you need to cut out to concentrate?  That is the needless, energy-sucking noise in your head.

    Turning down the radio in the car re-energizes your mind and offers you clarity when you need it most.  You don’t really think about how or why this makes such a huge difference, you just know that it does.

    Now it’s time to apply this same principle to all the other noise in your life, starting with the noise in your head.

    But how?


    Sunday, August 24, 2014

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    Are you being Verbally Abused?
    Understand their disease. Stop the hurt. Heal the damage.
    (this essay adapted from Tears and Healing Reflections)

    Are you being verbally abused?
    You may not know how to tell, but even worse, you may be thinking that you are the crazy one. Abusers work hard to distort our reality to make their reality feel safer.
    So what is verbal abuse? Ask yourself this: does your partner hurt you repeatedly with words? Does he or she do it to satisfy their own emotional needs, or because they're out of control? Does she or he use the situation to lock you in so you have to tolerate it, or make a huge sacrifice to get away? If you see these three elements in your relationship, you are being verbally abused. The hurt of abuse can come in many ways, including physical attacks, verbal attacks, sexual attacks, withholding things we need including affection, sex, money, or contact with friends and family. Verbal abuse uses words, and often the abuser uses other types of abuse as well.
    What is this Disease? Verbal abuse is a behavior, not a disease. But verbal abuse, like all kinds of abuse, is caused by an underlying disease. Healthy people might occasionally lose their temper, leading to an outburst, but a consistent pattern of hurtful verbal abuse can only be the result of a deeper problem. I help a

    Sunday, August 17, 2014

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

    toxic behaviors

    12 Toxic Behaviors that Push People Away From You

    12 Toxic Behaviors that Push People Away From You
    Your behavior is a little thing that makes a big difference

    In our line of work, Angel and I hear from hundreds of coaching clients every month.  Through this experience, we’ve come across scores of toxic behaviors that push people away from each other.  And we’ve witnessed the devastation these behaviors cause – to relationships, to personal and professional growth, and to the general well-being of both the individual behaving negatively, and to everyone in their life.
    Let’s be honest – we’ve all acted in toxic, damaging ways at one time or another.  None of us are immune to occasional toxic mood swings, but many people are more evolved, balanced and aware, and such occurrences happen only rarely in their lives.
    Whether your toxic behavior is a common occurrence, or just a once in a blue moon phenomena, it’s critical for your long-term happiness and success that you are able to recognize when you’re behaving negatively, and consciously shift your mindset when necessary.

    The twelve most common toxic behaviors we see are:

    7 ways to help someone stop thinking of suicide

    When people talk about suicide, it stirs up something deep in us.

    It is incongruent with our biological instinct for survival. We know that something is wrong.
    If we love the person, or even care about him, we may start to panic.
    What if I lose him?
    We may not trust ourselves to help lift him out of the pain. We feel worried and helpless up against darkness that he is facing. We don’t know what to do or what to say.
    But we know we have to do something.
    As a therapist, I have talked to thousands of people about suicide over the 20 plus years that I have been practicing. I haven’t lost anyone to suicide, but I stay vigilant and meet each new disclosure with my full attention. Each person is incredibly valuable and I don’t want to lose anyone.
    I’ve seen people in the most intense pain that you can imagine and I see them afterwards, when they feel better. Seeing this process so many times, I have the retrospective view of the next person coming in. Things change. People get better.
    I know you want to help your friend/child/lover/parent get to that “better” place. And there are things that you can do that will be invaluable to helping them and bring the two of you closer together. Thanks goodness.

    robin williams quote

    Here are 6 ways to respond when someone tells you they are thinking about suicide


    Saturday, August 9, 2014

    some days I won't do it and
    then other days I will do it!

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

    10 Things Not to Say to a Depressed Person

    Associate Editor

    10 Things Not to Say to a Depressed PersonCBS News and published a nice gallery listing what you should and shouldn’t tell a depressed love one.
    I have my own list. Here are 10 things you definitely don’t want to say, a collection of the gems that I heard when well-intentioned people opened their mouths and said
     something really stupid to me the two years I was in sorry shape.

    1. It’s all in your head. You need to think positive.
    Upon hearing this, I wanted to throw a life-size figure of Tony Robbins at them. Because, while optimism is certainly important in training the brain, studies have shown that people who are severely depressed or acutely anxious only activate their amydalas (fear center of the brain) by forcing positive thinking.

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    Monday, August 4, 2014

    I thank God every day for
    bringing writing into my life.

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

    10 Choices You Will Regret in 10 Years

    10 Decisions You Will Regret in 10 Years
    “If only…”  These two words paired together create one of the saddest phrases in the English language.
    Here are ten choices that ultimately lead to this phrase of regret, and how to elude them:

    Click on link to compare your answer with other people's answers!


    Saturday, July 26, 2014

    Friday, July 25, 2014

    A real gentleman accepts your past, supports your present, loves you and encourages your future.

    Embedded image permalink

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

    12 Things You Need to Remind Yourself of When You Wake Up

    12 Things You Need to Remind Yourself of When You Wake Up
    Each morning is a brand new opportunity.  What you do today is what matters most.  Today is another chance to get it right.
    We may not always love everything about our lives, but deep down we do love and appreciate the magic of life itself.  Some part of us believes that everything and anything is possible.
    Sadly, though, we don’t always believe these possibilities are within our reach, even when they are.  The problem is we choose to believe otherwise.  We choose to believe we are incapable of living our lives the way we want to live them, at our full potential.  We choose to accept our reality as others have told us it has to be.
    Wake up!
    We don’t have to do this to ourselves – none of us do.  We have a choice.  We don’t have to be complacent.  We don’t have to fall into line.  Why not stir things up a bit and live by better rules?

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014


    See all 2 images

    Recovery of Your Inner Child: The Highly Acclaimed Method for Liberating Your Inner Self Paperback – March 15, 1991