Sunday, September 29, 2013

Born out of a life changing event, continued...


Photo of a piece of Lori's jewelry provided by Lori Cohn

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Lori Cohn continued the interview.

She shared, “My spirit has evolved greatly due to my survival and the creation of a new business. I am blessed to be alive and strive to share this gratitude, strength, and experience through my designs. Each piece is created to inspire and empower other women. I have a spiritual life that I never knew before that guides me every day.”

Lori talked about Charmed Design, her jewelry business, “My business is growing every month! It is my passion and I do everything I can to foster that growth through new creative designs, promotion, marketing, and of course, positive thinking.”

Check out Lori’s work on her website, www.charmeddesign.com, email her at: lori@charmeddesign.com or make contact through social media at the following links:


Being sad when life is right, continued...


Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC photo

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Examiner article

Here is the link once again to this really touching video about a teenager's struggle with depression:



It is by TEDx and Kevin Breel. 

I was touched by this because, as a parent, when your teenager is popular, funny, achieving good grades, (this list can go on), you never imagine there is a problem. He or she is really hurting inside and over-achieving on the outside to hide the pain.

Sometimes things can be too good to be true and this young man's testimony is helpful in educating all of us about the seriousness of depression and the fact that even the most "put together" person can be suffering tremendously.

It is a scary thought!

When is the last time you sat down with a loved one and looked him or her in the eye and really connected to make sure all is well? Sometimes we see only what we want to see because it seems to difficult to make room for anything else. Please tune into the people whom you love. It may be their only chance for survival.

What are your thoughts about depression? Help me spread Kevin's message. I applaud him for his courage!



Saturday, September 28, 2013

A dysfunctional pattern, continued...



Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC photo

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I am currently participating in a psychotherapy group, which is required for my Mental Health Counseling Master’s Degree. This is my 4th semester and, so far, this is my favorite class. I like this class because it is hands on for me. Yes, we are reading a textbook and we have homework but we are actually going through the therapy and, each individual within the group, brings in his or her own problem. This is far better than just reading and discussing a textbook.

Each member has his or her own unique response to others too. We also get to see how the therapist pokes and prods to get to the root of the problem tactfully.

It really is quite a magical experience.

I highly recommend it to anyone who is struggling socially; you gain critical relationships through this process. Give it a try!

Have you been in group therapy? If so, how did it work for you? I’m here to listen.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Achievement after tragedy, continued...

Photo from www.istockphoto.com; cover design by Jay Highum, Action Graphic Design, Rochester, MN


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Harriet Hodgson continued the interview.

In her words, “Because I’m a non-fiction writer, I searched for resources that might help me. But I didn’t find much practical information about coping with multiple losses. I wasn’t looking for someone’s PhD thesis, I was looking for information to help me make it to the next hour. Since I had experienced the death of my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends, I was familiar with bereavement and knew I had to start with the pain. I faced the pain of multiple losses head-on. One week after my daughter and father-in-law died, I sat down at the computer and made two promises to myself. One, grief would not be the winner of the joust; life would be the winner. Two, I would write my way through grief. Writing helped me identify problems, find solutions, and move forward on the recovery path.”

She discussed her busy life. “Raising teens while grieving for four family members has been the greatest challenge of my life, a challenge I accepted gladly. Still, providing healthy, made-from-scratch meals, attending gymnastics meets, high school concerts, and other events, required a tremendous amount of energy. Some of my friends told me I would have to give up writing in order to care for my grandkids. I loved to write and refused to do this. Instead, I got up at the crack of dawn, around 4:45 a.m., wrote for an hour, gave the twins breakfast, and resumed writing after they had gone to school. My husband drove them to school in the morning and I picked them up in the afternoon. After the twins had their driver’s licenses they drove their mother’s car to school."

Harriet is appreciative of her relationships with her grandchildren.

With a renewed spirit, she persevered, “The minute I said, ‘You’re coming home with us,’ I knew my life had changed forever. My husband and I realized that raising our grandkids was our new mission in life and it was, and continues to be, a sacred mission. Seeing life through a teenager’s eyes again has been an amazing experience. I don’t take a minute of life for granted. Though our guardianship was rescinded when the twins turned 18, we are still involved in their lives. Our home is the home they return to and now enjoy. I never had any computer training and it’s been wonderful to have two computer “technicians” in the house.”

Her advice for others suffering loss, “I think they have to start with the happiness decision and believe they can be happy again. People who have experienced tragedy also have to take steps to help themselves. In order words, they identify their “grief work.” Writing is one of the best ways to do this. You don’t have to be a professional writer, you just have to write regularly. Over time, this helps you see where you are on the recovery path and identify the proactive steps you need to take.”

Harriet’s advice for who are raising their grandchildren, “I think GRGs (and there are millions of them) need to remember that they are not parent substitutes or trying to replace parents. They are grandparents and doing what grandparents do – protecting and loving the next generation. Keeping a sense of humor also helps.”

Her closing words, “I’ve written hundreds of grief recovery articles and they’re posted on www.ezinearticles.com.  I also serve as a Forum Moderator and Contributing Writer for www.opentohope.com. I’m the author of eight grief recovery resources:

·      Seed Time: Growing from Life’s Disappointments, Losses, and Sorrows, in production now and available in late Oct. from Amazon.
·      Help! I’m Raising My Grandkids: Grandparents Adapting to Life’s Surprises, available from Amazon
·      Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss, available from Centering Corporation, WriteLife, and Amazon.
·      The Spiritual Woman: Quotes to Refresh and Sustain Your Soul, available from Centering Corporation.
·      101 Affirmations to Ease Your Grief Journey: Words of Comfort, Words of Hope, available from Amazon.
·      Writing to Recover: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life, available from Centering Corporation.
·      Writing to Recover Journal (with 100 writing prompts), available from Centering Corporation.
·      Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief, Lois Krahn, MD, co-author, available from Amazon.

           I also give grief recovery talks and workshops and have spoken at The
           Bereaved Parents of the USA national gathering, Association for Death
           Education and Counseling national conference, and The Compassionate
           Friends national conference.”

Harriet’s contact information:
Email: harriethodgson@charter.net    Phone: 507-252-5939   
Readers may learn more about my eight grief resources by visiting www.harriethodgson.com    

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Poop palette, continued...



Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC photo

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Dr. Oz has taught us that the perfect poop takes on the shape of the letter “s” or “c” with a consistency volume that holds this cylinder shape (not hard, not soft).

On his show he showed a visual of the Bristol stool chart that reflects stool samples in 7 forms: #1 individual small nuggets (constipated- plop when they hit the water),  #2 cobblestone cylinder (nuggets shapes attached to each other) #3 slight nugget shape contour in cylinder form, #4 long smooth cylinder (perfectly balanced diet), #5 larger loose nuggets, #6 several large chunks #7, loose stool (runny without shape- digestion is happening so quickly, the water isn’t getting absorbed).

Ideally it is healthy to have a bowel movement at least once a day. The key to this is all about fiber (you need 30 grams a day). You can find this in vegetables, fruits, popcorn, whole grains, beans, tomato juice and much more. You also need plenty of water to get the exact same healthy shape each time.

Poop might be a taboo topic but it really is a good way to assess your health.

What are your thoughts? Did I go overboard with this article?