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I spend a lot of time working with young people. In understanding the young person, I have a lot of interaction with the adults that are in their lives. I hear complaints like: she or he is just lazy; she or he has no motivation; she or he just doesn’t care; she or he has no respect. When I speak to the young person the complaints sound more like: she or he never listens to me; you have to earn respect to get respect; school is drag, when am I going to use any of this stuff in life; why should I care? The thing that bothers me most however, is the young person today doesn’t know how to dream.
When I ask what they like to do, most of the time they state, I just like to chill with my friends. What does chilling mean? It can mean just hanging with friends. It can mean sitting around playing video games. It can be hanging at the park or walking the neighborhood. It never looks very productive but it’s the time when they are most happy. No demands from the adults who call them lazy, no expectations from the adults thinking they are not motivated, no judgments from adults, and being part of a group of friends. The adult world doesn’t like the way chilling looks. There is always a large group. They can be loud, cursing, and carrying on in a way the adults don’t think is appropriate. But the fact is, that most of the time, they mean no harm; they really are just “chilling”, letting off steam and experiencing that feeling of belonging in a world that is very confusing to them.
What worries me more about young people today, is when you ask them what they hope to have happen in their lives, what they hope for the future, they have no idea. They don’t have any dreams. They don’t know how to dream. What have we done as a society that has taken away the child’s ability to dream, to look to the future and to fantasize about what a great life they will have? How did we take away the young person’s right to look to a bright future and how do we get that back?
It’s very difficult for a person to be motivated when you don’t see the effort will lead somewhere. If you don’t have a dream, you may not have a direction or a goal. You do a lot of floundering without direction and goals. If you believe that no one believes in you, it becomes difficult to believe in yourself.
When you’ve grown up watching people jumping out of buildings because the building had been bombed in the name of religion, you wonder what life is about and what to have faith in: you wonder who will have a future. When your siblings and their friends go through college only to graduate and find there are no jobs, you wonder why bother. When your parents work long hours to provide for you and your home is destroyed in a hurricane, you wonder, what the heck is going on? When politicians run campaigns that degrade their opponents, you wonder if you should even bother to register to vote. It goes on and on. Watch the news. Read the news papers. Listen to the messages they are getting about life.
We wonder why young people are not motivated or seem not to care. Look at what has gone on throughout their formative years. How have we taught them to dream? What are the values we have raised them with? What messages are they getting from the media, their families, schools and their institutions of faith? How have we as a society grown to become dream stealers and nay sayers? How can we turn it around? How do we help young people believe in themselves and believe in their future?
Let’s not judge young people and put them down. Let’s build them up. Let’s give them values. Let’s teach them that hard work does pay off. Let’s teach them to rely on themselves and to develop their interests and talents. Praise them. Teach them to develop their strengths and talents. Encourage them to have faith in themselves and their ability to develop into successful adults and encourage them to be the creators of their own destiny. Help them create a plan, set some goals, and demand of life success and well being. Believe in them; they are our future.
Life offers challenges and often we may feel we are on a roller coaster. Some days we feel great and we are offered, positive, wonderful experiences and other days we experience events that bring us sadness and strife. Each day brings us an experience to learn from and grow from: yes, even those difficult days.
I like to believe we are placed on earth to school ourselves for the next dimension: that experience of everlasting, eternal bliss. However, there seems to be many lessons we have to learn before we get there. Each time we think we are reaching a state of happiness, something will come up to challenge that state: illness, death, crime, divorce, pain and so much more of what life has to offer. Hence the roller coaster of life. Stuff happens. Life happens. Pain happens. So, what’s it all about? I think it’s about forgiveness. I think that stuff offers us opportunity to forgive.
It’s so easy to get angry. It’s so easy to blame. It’s so easy to feel hurt. It’s so easy to think things are happening to you by others.You are driving, heading toward work and someone cuts you off. You get ticked off and curse or engage in “sign language” you are not proud of. You feel so angry and blame the driver for being willfully obnoxious. Meanwhile, the driver was also driving to work. The driver was actively engaged in thoughts about work. The driver simply was not thinking about his or her driving and made a mistake. Was he really guilty of willfully cutting you off. The driver was literally unconscious. The intent was not to cut you off; the intent was simply to get to work and resolve whatever issue was causing the driver to not concentrate on driving. But you become angry and upset and the whole experience can set the tone for your day. Why ruin your day. Forgive the mistake and continue with your day.I think we often convict others of crimes they really had no intention of committing.
How many times do you get upset with your boss, or your boss gets upset with you or a fellow worker and you don’t understand how the boss can possibly be blaming you or your coworker for something done or not done? You get together with colleagues and create a whole scenario about the situation, with everyone contributing a factor. Ah, but is the factor a fact or have you all just created a story?
It easy and quick to get angry. But, what if you took a step back, took a deep breath, and thought to yourself, relax. Don’t jump to conclusions. Sometimes it sounds insulting and accusatory. Most often, it’s not really about you. It’s usually about an internal struggle of the other person. So relax, take a step back, take a deep breath and think. Forgive the situation. Often, it’s really not about you as much as it is about other conflicts. If it is about you, what is the conflict within you? Forgive and let go. Don’t create stories. Stick with the facts and don’t judge. Forgive and let go and give yourself an opportunity to grow.
For every drop, there is a lift on this roller coaster of life. No matter what the situation, step back, take a deep breath and relax. Find the point in the ride you enjoy and concentrate on that. Learn to enjoy the ride and let the bumps along the way just go by the wayside. Take your seat, open your eyes and enjoy the ride.
I have been working on this site for over 4 years. I have much to offer and am willing to put my all into this. I am a therapist with life strategies that make sense. I’m not into analysis, long term therapeutic interventions, or figuring out why we do what we do. I want to help people figure out what to do to get the results they want out of life.
I put on the news to find out that we have reached the point where six year olds are murdered! How does that make sense? Twenty, six year olds, were murdered! The killer was troubled. Really? And no one thought it could get this bad? No one saw the signs? We seem to be going through life, blind, as bystanders. Everyone sees, but no one does anything. And now, twenty, six year olds were murdered. No one knew? No one saw there was a serious problem?
Some parents say, no,not my child. I reach out to say, your child is showing signs that concern me. I tell parents, their children are in pain to get the response, ” not my child.”
We are responsible for what we do in life. We are responsible to respond to the signs. We are responsible to evaluate our pain and to move forward in life. We are responsible to ask for help when we don’t have the answers. We are responsible for our children. We are responsible to get the help they need.
Don’t wait for tragedy. Get the help you need now. Life is a struggle and it is not easy to get through the challenges. ASK for help. You don’t have all the answers. No one has all the answers. Just don’t go it alone. Get the help you need along the way. Contact Madelynan Doyle at mdoyle@yourexcellence within.org.
For those readers who have been enjoying my blogs, I hope you realize I have lots of life strategies posted on my pages. Check out strategies for relaxation, how to deal with anxiety, how to think about life challenges, how to think positively, strategies to deal with depression and so much more. Life offers lots of ups and lots of downs. Utilize my posts to find ways to think differently, to focus on the positive and find strategies to get more joy out of living your life.
If you are interested in finding products to help reinforce some of my strategies, feel free to go to my product pages. Surround yourself with positive energy. Put positive thoughts into your mind. Cultivate all that is good within you. Use whatever helps you get in touch with your strength, your inner wisdom and connect with your power.
Life is short. Make the most of it; make the most of you. Appreciate all that’s offered you through living and most of all, appreciate you……
Do you ever get amazed by life? Today is an absolutely exquisite day in New York. It’s probably in the seventies with a nice breeze, not really cool but also not warm like you get in the spring and summer. A lot of the leaves have turned colors and many of them are falling to the ground. You still see a lot of green but there are oranges, browns and reds along with yellows and various shades of green. It has a fall look but almost a spring feel. The birds are singing and the squirrels playing. It’s one of those days when it’s just great to be alive! It’s also one of those days when you are aware there is a power greater than yourself. You feel the change in the universe. It may be one of the last really comfortably warm, gorgeous days left before we see the colder air come in, the trees become bare, and watch the earth appear to go dormant through the winter season. It’s a day calling you outside saying, “Come and enjoy. Soon it will change and you will be inside escaping the cold.”
I love living in the northeast and enjoying the change of seasons. It makes me aware that change always comes. Change occurs in nature; it occurs in relationships; it occurs in careers; it occurs throughout every aspect of life. I believe that change is good. Change helps us to know we are alive and that no matter what is going on in your life, change will come once again. It always does. And because of this, there is always hope for the better. There is always the expectation for a brighter day.
No matter how happy, rich, intelligent, creative, or whatever, we always reach for more and reach for the better. We know that change comes and from that, we always want more, we always want better. We always want to move forward. Once we have achieved a goal, we automatically set another. This is helpful to think about when you are in a slump and feel you are stuck. The reality is, you are never stuck. Change always occurs. You may think you are stuck, but that thought is an illusion. No matter what, change is always happening. Expect good things to come.
We are vibrational beings. We are energy, just like the trees. They may be loosing their leaves preparing for winter. And in the winter when they are looking barron, they are simply storing their energy to bloom once again in the spring. We may feel stuck, but perhaps we too are storing our energy so that we too can bloom when the time is right. We change like nature. Sometimes our energy ebbs and then flows. Be patient with whatever state you may feel you are in and have faith that the state will change. Change always comes. There is a rhythm to life. Enjoy and appreciate the rhythm. Enjoy and appreciate each day. Enjoy and appreciate you. Expect the best from life and then, demand it! And most of all, enjoy it!
This week has been one of the longest weeks of my life and that is because one of the young men, thirteen years old, that I work with, DIED !!!! When this happens, lots of questions surface; ” What is life all about? Why did this happen to him? How could he die at thirteen? How does this make sense?” On and on….. This truly is a heartbreak. This young man was a well adjusted, smart, kind, sweet young man who never got involved in the early teenage “drama”. He was respectful, caring, intelligent and happy. He was also an ONLY child. How devestating is that? How devesating is the whole thing.
When a young person dies, we all feel like something is wrong in the universe. It’s like life has been turned upside down. It is not the natural progression. A parent should never bury his or her child. Other children, their peers, try desperately to find an answer for why this could happen. In this case, there was a dirt bike accident. Sal, this lovely young man, loved going to the country and riding his dirt bike. He was a child who always used his helmet and followed the safety laws, however this time, it was extremely hot, and he went without his helmet. His peers want to think that it’s because he didn’t wear his helmet that he is dead. They want something to blame so they can understand the tragedy. The fact is that whether or not he had worn his helmet, he would not have survived this accident. His bike hit a rock that sent his bike into a tree. His neck was broken on impact. Helmet or otherwise, he would not have survived. Sal had made this trip hundreds of times before this final ride. He simply hit this rock in such a way that the rest lined up and on impact, his life was over. No one could have set this up. It seems so clearly that this was fate. So sad, so tragic. How do we understand?
I’ve been speaking with his classmates and teachers all week. Each person grieves according to his or her own style. One young man, one of his closest friends, couldn’t eat for several days. Another young girl, who considers herself his best friend, put on a stoic look, listened to what everyone had to say, held all feelings in and waited to go to the bathroom, alone, to sob uncontrollably. She prefers to pretend he is still alive. She doesn’t want any reminders of his death so she can pretend he will walk in the door any minute. Another young girl is upset that we can’t sign and paint the handball court where Sal would play every day and is desperately trying to find a way to leave a permanent, artistic display to remind all children, now and in the future, of Sal. She is desperate to not have him ever forgotten. Some cry. Some make jokes. Some just talk about their memories. Others remain quiet displaying their sadness in their facial expressions. How do we make sense of such a tragedy?
These tragedies force us to look at our beliefs. Who had this plan to take this beautiful, bright, wonderful young man? It was certainly no plan of anyone on earth. It has to be the plan of a power greater than all of us. In a moment of time, his life was ended. How does this make sense? How can God let this happen? Is there a God at all? Our minds go in the direction of doubt, anger, confusion, and pain. What is life all about?
I believe that we are put on this earth to learn life lessons. We are born, and eventually we all die. What we do in between those events is what counts. How we learn our lessons and how we apply those lessons determines how our life will go. Sal was sweet, kind, loving and happy. He always lived by the golden rule: do unto others as you want done unto you. He treated everyone with respect and caring. He never got into drama and was never unkind. He lived a life of loving. At thirteen, he knew that happiness came out of goodness and love. Many people live many years and don’t learn that the secret of a good and happy life. They don’t learn that the secret of life is all about love. Sal fulfilled his life’s purpose in thirteen years!
I truly believe that life is all about learning to love one another. I believe everything happens for reason, usually a reason to teach us a valuable life lesson. This young man lived a life of love. He judged no one. He was always happy. He was always caring and loving. He understood what life is all about and lived by love. At thirteen he knew what many don’t get until they are old and grey. He knew how to forgive others and love them no matter how difficult they could be. He loved and everyone loved him back. We all need to learn to love, to forgive those we think have wronged us, and open our hearts to love. That is what I think life is all about and in Sal’s short, thirteen years, he understood what life is all about and lived by it. It was an honor to have my life touched by Sal and I hope we can all learn by his example. Live a life of love. We miss you Sal.