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Blessing in the Flood

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floodI’m just taking a few moments right now to think about how blessed we are.
We have just experienced a 1000 year flood in Columbia, South  Carolina on October 5. It was amazing to see how quickly the situation went from bad to worse to devastating. People lost their lives. People lost everything they’ve worked for for many years. Some people’s lives will never be the same. Some families will never be the same.  My family and I are just so thankful to be alive. We are thankful that we did not suffer great loss.

All I can say is continue to pray for us. Although the storm is over, the devastation is not. Many people are still homeless after two months.  Although FEMA and other organizations came in to help, there are so many that will go under before that help that they need arrives.  Food and a place to stay are the immediate needs of individuals and families. But many of my counseling clients are still traumatized.  Some are still trying to figure out why they are depressed and anxious.  One women stated that when she went to open her front door, flood waters came rushing in.  All she could do was grab her children and run.   She is still dealing with the floos while others are just interested in moving on as quickly as possible.

We have a rallying cry:  South Carolina Strong!  It sounds good and give us hope while we try to find our new normal.  Mean while some of us are still experiencing the Great Flood of 2015.  The blessing is that we are still here to talk about it.

Review: Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore

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Debbie Doesn't Do It Anymore: A NovelDebbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore: A Novel by Walter Mosley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, I am a big fan of Walter Mosley and in my eyes he can do no wrong. Maybe I am biased but still this book had me all in. Who wouldn’t love this story of a famous porn star who finds her world shaken apart when her husband dies.

Sandra Peel, known in the video porn industry as Debbie Dare, is now a widow. Her husband Theon, was electrocuted in the bathtub while having sex with another woman. Sandra soon finds out that Theon owes some very nasty people a lot of money and these people want Sandra to pay up.

Sandra decides that now is the time to make some life changes, like reuniting with her son and getting out of the porn business. You know early on in this story that Sandra’s journey will not be easy, but Sandra handles herself with street smarts, intelligence and the help of a few unexpected friends.

This is a great book to add a little excitement on those cold fall and winter evenings. The language and some scenes might be a little explicit for some but it doesn’t take away from this well-written story of a woman determined to re-invent herself.

View all my reviews

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I think we all have done enough for other folks,

Trying to get them to

Do more

Be more

Care more

IMHO,

It’s high time we did something for ourselves

Something big and positive

Something awesome and explosive

Something to be remembered for a long time

Let’s do something selfish

Really selfish so that we can leave it as a legacy for our children and theirs

Not the selfishness but the magnificence

Let’s do something earth-shaking world-changing unimaginable

And then pat ourselves on the back and smile

Something that will make everyone else who is not doing it sad that they didn’t join us!

Come on, let’s do it for real just for ourselves

We can start right now and love each other all the while

I’ll go first if you promise to follow

And we can motivate each other to

Do more

Be more

Care more.

OK?

Get Back in the Game!

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The social scene can be intimidating but you can get back out there.

The social scene can be intimidating but you can get back out there.

In my psychotherapy practice, I often run into folks of a certain age who want to make changes in their social life.  Some say that while raising kids, working, going to school, paying bills and making ends meet, they just kind of let their social life slide.  Now after years of neglect, the social skills feel rusty or out of shape. 

After a certain age, one client said, its hard to make real friendsFriends I made in college and when I was single have now moved on or away.   The friends I had when I was married know me as half of a couple and I am not that anymore.  Its scary out there and I am having a tough time.  How do I get back out there?

That is a very real challenge for many over 40 year olds.  Our kids are beginning to develop their own social lives or we are becoming emptynesters.  That partner or spouse that we thought we would grow old with is no longer in the picture but we still want to get out among folks and socialize or even date.  How do we make that happen without seeming to be desperate fish out of water?

My suggestion is to put your life in project mode.  Whatever it is you want to accomplish, meet people, date, try out new interests, or reinvent your life–approach it with a plan.  Take a few moments to really think about and write down what your social goal is.  Do you want to meet friends for travel, leisure or pure socialization or are you looking for a potential mate?  Decide what it is you want.

Then, keep the plan going by identifying some concrete resources.  Are you a member of a social or professional organization?  Get involved.  Attend meetings and join a committee or two.  Working alongside others puts you in a position to meet people and it gets you out of the house and talking to folks.  Does your church need volunteers for community projects?  What other volunteer opportunities interest you and the people you would like to get to know?  Join a group at work for lunch a couple of times a week if that is an option for you.  Maybe you could start a walking club or a lunch bunch.  Do you like reading?  There are several bookclubs around that do more than just read books.  Some meet for dinner or take booklovers cruises together.  What about an art or cooking class?  If those things interest you, you might have an opportunity to meet someone else with similar interests.  Don’t forget to use your family resources.  Ask family to think about you when they participate in interesting activities or events. 

Lastly, don’t be afraid to attend events alone.  It might seem intimidating at first but try this.  Walk in with a warm smile on your face.  Have 3 or 4 standard opening lines and a couple of followup questions ready. Walk up to someone and say:  This is a great party, have you been to one of these before?   When I attend a party or reception alone, I look for a small group of people who seem to be enjoying themselves.  My standard line is this:  Hi, I’m Taviaz.  You all look like you are having a lot of fun and I am here by myself.  Do you mind if I join you?  Usually the group takes me under their wing and I always meet a couple of people that I keep in contact with. 

We live differently today.  Life is fast and you can find yourself feeling lonely and left behind.  If that is something you want to work on, try these suggestions.  Let me know how it works out for you.  Contact me at Taviaz@aol.com.

Dream My Dreams

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I have been thinking a lot about dreams today. I was listening to a TV show last night and a young woman was on the cusp of realizing her professional dream to become a model. The only thing standing in her way was her own fear and anxiety. She broke down into tears and moaned, “I don’t to see someone else take my dream!”

She was sincere but my “corny radar” went into overdrive. I sneered a bit and turned the channel. A few minutes later, I changed the channel back because I couldn’t stand it. Corny or not, I wanted this sister to have her dream and I wanted to believe
that she could have it. It took me a few moments to realize that I was rooting for her because it seemed that if she could have her dream, then there was hope for me too.

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