Readers, please try this several times when you feel anxious and send me some feedback as to it’s helpfulness.  

Peace, John

c (used without permission but with gratitude!)



I think “angry” has a lot of other feelings that it tries to protect us from. I’ve called “angry” a bogus feeling, because it’s easier to say, “I feel angry,” stop there, and not bother to look at what’s underneath it.  Frequently the feelings that it masks include: disappointment, frustration, insecurity, depression and… [you can name the ones that it masks for you!]….

What would happen if you were to feel sad?  Or any of the other feelings listed above?  Do you really have to deal with the bodyguard?  Or can you cut to the chase, dive through the anger and deal with the real feeling beneath it?

Dealing with the feelings is relatively simple.  First you need to identify what you are feeling.  Second, you need to accept those feelings as they are, not as you would have them be.  That’s where it can get tricky.  We frequently have ideas about how we should feel.  When those come in conflict with the way we do feel, we often try to change the feelings to align with how we think we should feel.  This gets us in trouble time and time again.  If we just change our thoughts to say, “I should feel whatever it is I am feeling,” the need to fix something that isn’t broken goes away.  “I should feel sad” eliminates the need for the bodyguard.  If angry is sad’s bodyguard, sad can stand for itself and be okay.  If we accept sad as part of who we are we don’t need to protect ourselves from it!  It’s easier that way for us, don’t you think?

Today please remember those active, inactive, retired, former and deceased members of our Armed Forces, and their families and loved ones, who have served to keep us free to be who we are, feel what we feel, think the way we think and to exercise the choices we have.  Keep them in your thoughts or prayers and value their service for you, your family and our country.  I thank each and every one of them for their service.  

 Peace,  John


Image result for I embrace all of me, my positives, my negatives, my quirkiness, for I am the epitome of my own authenticity. I am free. ~ Darlene A. Austin

Tell me, why shouldn’t you accept yourself?  That critical part is still a part of you, isn’t it?    Surely you can accept that. Ask yourself, what about the other parts? What you focus on becomes paramount while all the things you don’t focus on recede.  They are still there but not in the forefront of your consciousness.

This affirmation encourages you to look at all of your parts and to embrace, i.e. own, them.  When you are genuine, you are who you are and you are free from your own expectations, and those of others.  In the words of Popeye, “I AM WHAT I AM!” Yes, you am!

Peace, John

PS – Remember to turn your clocks tonight!

Image result for “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” ~ Rumi

Or, as Kenny Rogers sings in his hit song, The Gambler, “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, and know when to run…”

 Is your life like a poker game?  You are dealt certain cards, right?  But what you do with them is your choice.  Which ones do you hold onto because they help you become a winner?  How do you decide which ones to risk letting go of?  How about your hopes of drawing some that are more favorable?  You do have to let go of some cards to increase the odds of having a better hand.  How do you play the cards you have in your hand?

 It strikes me the metaphor is limited because, in a poker game there’s a time to “call,” the hand is won or lost.  In life, it’s a continuous process of deciding what to let go of and what to hold onto.  Many of us have experienced times in our lives when we were “losing” and other times when we were “winning.”  We keep playing.  The game never ends, does it?

 What have you been holding onto that you should consider letting go of?  What are you going to keep and build upon?

 I hope that, in this blog post, you may have found “an ace you can keep!”

 Happy Halloween!

 Peace, John


Image result for “It’s not the drugs that make a drug addict, it’s the need to escape reality.” ~

All addiction is based on the irrational belief that “I shouldn’t feel what I am feeling.”  Addiction only offers temporary relief and, as the disease progresses, the relief usually lessens as the distress takes over.  

 Once the addictive substance/behavior is eliminated from the picture, true recovery is possible.  Recovery involves changing the irrational belief about always expecting to feel “ok” or “good,” and learning how to live with and accept feelings, some of them painful.

Recovery is possible.  With the help of treatment programs, self-help groups and knowledgeable professionals, recovery is possible.  I’ve coached it, counseled it and seen it!  It’s a joy to behold as I witness others “beating the odds” by their disciplined and hard work.  A new way of life also has its fun times and joys. Possibilities…..?


Image result for “5 Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship:


There is a high positive correlation between emotional abuse and verbal abuse.  Both are usually present when there is physical abuse in a relationship.  My comments below parallel each of the 5 items listed above.

#1 Placaters, the eggshell walkers, sell themselves out in the short run, but it doesn’t work in the long run.  Keep your sense of yourself, “say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it mean!”  

#2 Validate your feelings and your opinions for yourself and find those who will support you.  Remember abusers try to isolate you – have and keep friends.

#3 Remember, their suspicions and mistrust are their issues; you do not need to defend yourself or convince them of anything.  Stop trying – they ain’t buying!

#4 Open communication & the ability to agree to disagree are hallmarks of a healthy relationship.  So is the ability to compromise and negotiate.  If it’s their way or the highway, seriously consider the highway.

#5 If you feel stuck, confused, dizzy it’s because they spin you.  When you are confused, they avoid being responsible for themselves.  Don’t try to figure them out.  It won’t help you.

Be assertive.  Use “I” statements.  Seek help.  If it becomes physical, get to a safe place, call 911 and calmly tell the responding officers what happened and any risks involved.  Get professional and legal help.  If you need a safe place to stay, call Infoline at 211.  They can help you access shelter services.  Take good care of yourself.  You deserve it.  

Peace, John



Image result for only god can turn a mess into a message quote 

I believe that God can use our trials for something greater. He sees the bigger picture while I can sometimes only see what’s right in front of me. We can become stronger and wiser when we persevere through struggles. He gives us strength in the moment and hope for tomorrow. I can look back and see how in my life, God has guided me and provided for me through each trial and now I can help and support others who may be experiencing something similar. I am thankful that He can make beauty out of ashes.~KP 

Thank you KP for your mid-week thoughts that help us refocus and challenge us to keep perspective.  We appreciate your wisdom and your sharing and pray that many may be heartened in their tough times.  Peace,  John


Image result for So many of us grow up without the appropriate tools to speak to somebody we love. So instead, we fight, we cuss, we make threats, and we hurt each other just because we dont have the skills to be vulnerable and loving.

Wouldn’t it be easier to learn the proper tools?  If you grew up in a dysfunctional/unhealthy family without the tools, do you need to stay short-changed forever?  It takes a certain humility and openness to be able to identify your own need and to find the right people to ask for help.  You also have to stop shaming and guilting yourself.  Many others have successfully made this journey.  It can be some hard work but, as you learn one insight at a time and practice one new skill set at a time, it gets easier and you get better at it. 

Keep yourself in the emotional pain and ignorance?  Keep causing emotional pain to those you care about and care about you?


Learn new ways of dealing with old feelings and situations?  Repair the damage?  Live with less stress? 

The choice is yours. 

What do you choose today?  What exactly are you going to do to change or keep changing for the better.  C-A-N-I = Constant And Never-ending Improvement!

 Peace, John



Image result for Tell the Negative Committee that meets inside your head to, ‘Sit down and shut up!’”

Have you got one?  The committee, inside your head, giving you all the reasons why not?  It puts you down, automatically vetoes any new or creative ideas and makes you a loser in your own eyes.  Sometimes it’s just the voice of one person from your past; sometimes it’s a whole collection of voices feeding off of each other.  Sometimes it’s your own voice that drowns out your goodness, the value of your new, creative ideas and you’re winning abilities.  With all due respect, tell them to shut up.  Listen to the newcomer; you might be surprised by what you hear.  Give the newcomer a megaphone and cut ‘em loose.  Let ‘em lead the rebellion.  Form a new committee and put that newcomer in charge!  Listen to the newcomer as s/he tells you:

 “They told me I am too optimistic. I told them my blood type is:






Image result for throughout life people will make you mad

Today’s Guest Blogger, BP, is a long-time friend and former employee of Personal Growth Concepts, Inc.  I welcome her wisdom and willingness to share.  She chose the quote above and writes:

I spoke of this at a recent meeting:

Hate consumes my heart when I put other peoples’ needs and wants before mine. I develop resentments because, not only do I put myself second, third or fourth or not at all, and they are happy and content and I am NOT.  They also do not measure up to my expectations of what they should be doing to ‘re-pay’ me for everything I have done for them!  So, what I do is, ask God to show me how to take care of my needs and to handle the people who don’t like it that I now have boundaries!  😊

Thank you!  You, yes you, the reader, can become a guest blogger. Pick a quote that has had a personal impact on you.  Send me an email (subject line: guest blogger) at: with the quote, its source, if you know it, and a few sentences or a short paragraph of what the quote means to you or how you relate to it.  I’ll review and periodically share them with those following my blog. Thank  you.  

Peace, John

Related image

Sometimes, when I’ve had a busy, hectic day, I gather my concerns and worries, lump them together and tell God, “Here, take these from me.  You are going to be up all night anyway!”  I usually tack on the following: “Please give me the courage to accept whatever you put on my plate first thing in the morning.”  It helps. 

Peace,  John


Image result for “You can’t hate yourself happy. You can’t criticize yourself thin. You can’t shame yourself worthy. Real change begins with self-love and self-care.” ~Jessica Ortner

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  For many of us it feels like reversing the direction of an ocean liner.  If we keep telling ourselves negative messages, we’re going to continue to feel crappy about ourselves.  First thing you “gotta” do is, stop doing what isn’t working!  Stop hating yourself and putting yourself down.  Lose the negative self-criticism.  Also lose the self-blame.  They just keep you lost in that endless cycle of feeling miserable.  Why continue to do to yourself what you detested other people having done to you?

Start building yourself up.  Start saying nice things to yourself about who you are and what you are accomplishing.  If this is a struggle, try figuring out what you wished you could have heard from others and try saying them to yourself.  Then go and find, and hang out with people who send those kind of messages to themselves and are willing to acknowledge your uniqueness.  You are worth it and you can love yourself happy!

Peace, John



Image result for “When thinking about life remember this: no amount of guilt can solve the past and no amount of anxiety can change the future.”

The past just is.  It doesn’t need to be solved.  It needs to be accepted.  Guilt is usually just a wasted emotion and keeping you stuck in the past, i.e. “I should have….” or “They could have….”

No problem in the past – just challenges in the present…

And as far as anxiety goes – it’s much ado about nothing.  Most of the things we negatively project about never come to pass.  I believe it’s Mark Twain who once said, “A lot of awful things happened to me in my life… a few of which actually occurred!” 🙂  Worrying about the future takes you away from the present.  You can’t do anything about the future, you can only change today.

Instead of thinking about life looking back or looking forward, why not try living in today.  There is no guilt, depression or anxiety in the now.  Keep coming back to the now and enjoy its presence!

Peace,      John




Image result for to raise a child who is comfortable enough to leave you

Some of us are still raising our children, and others have launched them.  Some have yet to begin, and still others may be in the process of re-launching.  A few may even be in the process of sending their child off to college and facing the “empty nest.”

Is leaving ever comfortable?  It’s a transition for sure.  Sometimes it’s a sad occasion; other times it’s joyous.  Many times, it’s a mixture of both.  Were you able to identify and accept the feelings you were/are experiencing as you let them go?

Another idea might be to look at this quote from the perspective of yourself as the child.  Were you comfortable when you left your parents?  Did you think at the time that your parents had done a good job?  Were they good “life-skills” teachers?  How difficult was it for you to fly on your own?

And remember… “they are not ours to keep.”  They were “lent” to us. They belong to the world – may we be blessed by their journeys!

Peace, John


Image result for treat me good and i'll treat you better lyrics

Guest blogger J.T. shared this quote and this thought:

This quote struck me. So simple and true. It costs nothing to be kind and the world could use a little more kindness. So if you pay kindness forward, that kindness will come back to you!!  – J.T.

Thank you J.T. & blog friends – Why not send me a quote and your thoughts about  it?  You too can be a guest blogger.  Send it to me at:  with the phrase “Guest Blogger” in the subject line.   I’ll try to publish it and give our friends a mid-week bonus!   Peace,  John


Image result for “I didn’t know I had OCD until I watched my kids hang ornaments on the tree wherever they wanted.” ~@simoncholland

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as an anxiety disorder in which people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions).  The repetitive behaviors, such as hand washing, checking on things, counting  or cleaning, can definitely interfere with a person’s daily activities and social interactions.

Some with OCD can also have repetitive thoughts, or repetitive behaviors but not both.  It’s important to remember that it is an anxiety disorder and anything that increases anxiety can exacerbate the symptoms of OCD.

In the United States, the prevalence is about 2% in adults; women are slightly more likely than men to experience it. Children and adolescents can also have OCD.

OCD is treatable with medication and/or psychotherapy/counseling.  As with most disorders, it’s important to remember that there are degrees of intensity for many people who have OCD.  Milder forms have little disruption to a person’s daily activities; more severe forms can literally incapacitate people, making it impossible for them to function in their families and/or their workplaces.  Many with OCD are somewhere in the middle of this continuum.

Someone once told me that a good screening question for OCD would be to ask my client if they tended to count things. Apparently, a high percentage of people with OCD tend to count and repetitively recount things.  Since then, when I have suspected OCD in a client, I have asked them that question and then provided them with a pen & paper OCD screen. Experientially, I find that question highly likely to confirm my suspicions.

Help is available!  Most licensed and trained clinicians can screen for OCD and organizations like NAMI, The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and the OCD Foundation, among others, have information available.  Google is a good source as well.  If you suspect yourself, or someone you know may have OCD, reach out and discuss it with them and/or a professional.  You may need to persist if it’s a loved one – don’t antagonize and be careful that you don’t get labeled as OCD in your persistence!

And remember, not everybody can simply enjoy watching their tree be trimmed!




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