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The Love That Lives Here

There is nothing that blesses more than to be surprised by the love of the people who you serve. Yesterday was my birthday and I was honored by my team with decorations, cakes, gifts, laughter, and the best of all...love. There is a saying, "It's lonely at the top" when you run a company and this is very true when it comes to making decisions that affect the running of the business. Seldom does it feel as if you've impacted the lives of others who work for you as information tends to flow from the top down. Yesterday, I was blessed more by the kind words that they shared about their appreciation for their work and the environment that is the Encouragers difference. You see, the team in the

Walk Softly

There is a saying, "Walk softly, and carry a big stick." I don't know where it came from but I conger up images in my mind of someone who is preparing for battle and is cautiously approaching the "enemy." We have been hiding from Covid-19 as we sheltered in place, isolated, and self-quarantined. Now that the number of deaths attributed to the virus are declining across the nation and around the world, people are considering what their next steps will be. Some people believe it is too soon to return to work and want to continue to feel safe in their homes. Others feel a need to return to a resemblance of normalcy and are rushing back to find it. Still others are taking steps to move cautiousl

Cloud Clearing

Good morning Sunshine! When I was a kid, my father would walk through the house playing taps (with his mouth) in order to roust us up for school. It was both annoying and kind of endearing as I grew older and had my own revelry with my daughter. Today, we are all hearing the call to be rousted out of our comfortable place of home where the "new norm" has settled us. Isn't it funny that only a few short months ago the messages on social media were complaints about having to adjust to being home and breaking our routine of work and family? Half of our routine was removed without warning for most of America as businesses were shut down and everyone was on hiatus from work. Quietly we waited for

Alive and Free

We are flying at 20,000 feet and at Mach-1 speed. Whoooo hooooo ain’t the ride fun! Scary, but fun! What a high it is having you in the passenger seat with me on this ride! What am I talking about? Well, life. Yes, life is happening all around us. Life is racing us through time and we have a choice to avoid it or live it and enjoy the ride. You still don't know what I'm talking about? Consider this... This photo is of an US Navy F/A 18C Hornet breaking the sound barrier https://www.businessinsider.com/fighter-jets-breaking-sound-barrier-2016-3. Every day people are facing life head on. They are our military who defend this country and fight in lands far away to protect those abroad and us he

Glory Waves

Pride. Honor. Respect. Love of God and County. Family. What do these words mean to you? To me they represent America. I was born in America at a time when these words were synonyms representative of the USA. I remember being a child and saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning in school with my hand over my heart. I looked forward to that simple gesture of respect that started my day. I remember going to sporting events where we all said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the National Anthem before the game ball was thrown out. And I remember standing at attention in my law enforcement uniform saluting the flag as it waved above our heads. I remember when the country came together when 9

Surthriving

I love words. I love the unique words that I made up as a kid like Eva-lators...the combined elevator and escalator. Or my brother Mike's version of inquiring how a family member was doing, "Sut-Chu-Way-Ray," which was Coffmaneze for "What's going on?" Many of my Blog titles are made-up words I've combined and twisted to have a meaning of its own. Comedian Kevin Hart recently published a book of encouragement for today's Covid-19 world: The Decision: Overcoming Today’s BS for Tomorrow’s Success. One of the words referenced in the book is "Surthriving." What a great word! You can be both a survivor and thrive. Recently, I spoke with a woman who is in recovery. Circumstances for her choices ha

Times Are A Changing

There is a saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." Another lesson for our time is reflected in other sayings of the past, "If we don't learn from history, we're bound to repeat it" and... “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” ― Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol Recently I saw an example of what a woman born in 1900 would have seen in her lifetime and it was amazing the reflection on a life lived. Here are just a few of the things she would have experienced: wars (WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf War, War in the Middle East), attacks on American soil (WWII, 911), and more recently cyber attacks through technolo

Which Way?

Can you remember what life used to look like before Covid-19? Did you have a system in place, a rhythm to your life, a method for the madness? When the Stay Home Orders were in place did you feel protected or more vulnerable and fearful? Now, several months later, do you still feel vulnerable? We can often feel vulnerable when someone else holds control over us. When we recognize some things in life are outside of our control it can make us anxious and if it persists for too long, we can get depressed. There will always be situations where we are not in control of the outcomes, but we can be in control of our choices. If you look at the photo it identifies several things we can control durin

Mares-e-dotes

I remember growing up learning an old Irish song but I didn't understand the words. It started out, "Mares-e-dotes..." Then one day I heard the words as an adult and realized I was listening wrong: "Mares eat oats, and does eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy. A kid will eat ivy too, wouldn't you?" How many arguments would stop if we just slowed down long enough to really hear the words of the person we are fighting with? How many times do we explode, rant, blow things out of proportion only to later hear that the other person never said or meant what you understood as truth? How often do we act out, lash out, and defend relentlessly until someone sits us down and forces us to listen. Then t

Hope Barista

How much does it cost to receive one hour of encouragement? The average cash pay mental health provider in Los Angeles County receives upwards of $250. In Orange County the numbers are similar. Many therapists in private practice quit taking insurance as they can make more money helping those who have the cash to pay. Imagine working for $250 an hour; you could work less and see less clients while still being able to afford an amazing life style. What a great gig! Why don't I do it? Well, let me tell you why... One night in February 2014 I had a vision. I call it my God moment. I saw people who were starving for help, broken and wounded. So many people were homeless living on the streets nee

Solitary Confinement

It's time to prepare for the next threat to society following the Covid-19 pandemic: Death of Despair A report came out yesterday on the CBS News, "Coronavirus pandemic may lead to 75,000 "deaths of despair" from suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, study says." According to one of the study's authors, Benjamin Miller, they anticipate the fallout of the economic shut-down is that many will die from, "Death of Despair." Those who have been forced into isolation because of the government mandatory shut downs, now are finding out they are still unable to return to work and provide for their family. Bills are piling up, the savings account is empty, and options are few-and-far-between as to how to f

Give Selfishly

I was watching The Property Brothers and they were working with singer/songwriter Michael Buble' on the remodel of his grandfather's home (https://thescottbrothers.com/episodes/ciou-104-michael-buble/). Michael wanted to keep his grandfather's wish which was to give the home to his grandfather's caretaker, Minette, who was there for him in the end. On the new fireplace mantle the brother's engraved one of Michael's grandfather's sayings, "Today's curse is tomorrow's blessing." As we move away from the curse of the Corona-Virus/Covid-19, let us look for the blessings. I was touched by Michael's tenderness when he reminisced with Minette about holding hands with his grandfather in the end and

Gratuity Delivered

Covid-19 created an epidemic of gratitude. Family members, friends, and neighbors have been reaching out to each other to "check-in" on them. Several people have posted on social media that they are available if anyone needs to talk. People are delivering food, clothing, and other things to people who are "the most vulnerable." Out of the curse of the Corona-Virus has come love. One of my clients said she has learned to "smile with my eyes" because our smiles have been hidden under the masks. Elbow-shakes have replaced the hand-shake, and even toe tapping has replaced the hug. All in all we've learned to overcome and adapt to our circumstances, but we also know the healing power of physical

Heaven Cent

I recently have been paying attention to the comments people are making about returning to work, receiving money from the government, and the thoughts of their children returning to school. The reactions vary tremendously. I have heard some parents say with joy that they are ready to get back to work because they miss the focused attention that has been getting sloppy sitting around the house. I hear others complain that they had begun chores (painting the house, etc) and they are not quite ready yet to go back to work. Others want to receive government funds indefinitely as they have enjoyed the time home with their families. I've heard some parents say they are now considering home schooli

A Wave's Coming

I have been saying for the past month that the consequences of the Stay Home Order and subsequent economic shut-down will cause an unprecedented wave of mental health issues. With the increase of reported incidents of Anxiety and Depression amongst our youth and young adults prior to the pandemic, I feared if the SHO continued too long we could anticipate things getting worse. In an article titled, COVID-19's Psychological Toll: Mental Distress Among Americans Has Tripled During the Pandemic Compared to 2018 published yesterday in TIME my fears were confirmed, "Last month, roughly 70% of Americans experienced moderate-to-severe mental distress—triple the rate seen in 2018."https://time.com/5

Do Good

This Sunday is Mother's Day, so fathers, what are you going to do for your wife and mother of your children? I know, she's not YOUR mother, but she is the woman who gave you the title of father. And if you have small children, you need to help them show mom their appreciation for all the hard work she does. I wonder, do you show her appreciation for all the hard work she does? When? Valentines, Christmas, her birthday? Do you tell her every day of her life how much she means to you? Have you ever considered your life without her? Does she still hold any place of love in your heart or has your heart grown cold and complacent toward her? There are reasons why we have celebrations throughout th

Rise Up

Now that you've gotten used to working from home, how are you preparing to return to the workplace? Do you have feelings of excitement to reengage face-to-face with coworkers and your boss, or are you anxious about returning because you never liked your workspace in the first place? If you have enjoyed working from home so much why don't you make an offer to continue to work from home? If you were self-motivated and trustworthy to produce a excellent product through these difficult times, your boss may consider this option after the Stay Home Orders are lifted. After all, if you've been trustworthy and produced for the past 2 months from home what argument would your employer have to you con

Gaining Momentum

This photo is of the cover of a recent publication put out by the LA Sheriff's Relief Association and is titled, "A tough Spring for everyone." The situation here seemed so perfect for the situation we all are facing with the Stay At Home orders. The children are forced to sit next to a big scary bunny and they are crying hysterically. They don't want to be there yet someone else is making them. Many people have been feeling this way lately and it's beginning to wear on us. Researchers are actually watching us to see how we will react. On a smaller scale, researchers watched individuals who were incarcerated (jail) or families imprisoned against their wills (Nazi Germany) to see what pattern

Change Abuse

Why do women and men fall into domestic violence and stay with the abuser even while they are being beaten, broken, and often to the point of death? Why do they protect the one who is causing so much pain when police are called to save them? It's a simple 3-step process of cultural change called the Hegelian Dialectic: Problem, Reaction, Solution. Every relationship has a culture affiliated with it that defines the boundaries and guidelines for the relationship. The way abusers change the relationship culture is through gradually creating a problem, manipulating a response, then creating a solution. First, they begin to create doubt about other people's intentions and falsely accuse the inno

What Can...

It’s risky living. From the moment you’re born every day is a risk. When we learn how to walk, we fall down. We fall down hard enough we can die. The things that we do to enjoy life are risky as well. If you ride a motorcycle, drive a convertible, heck just driving at all is risky. Your job can be risky as well. If you’re working as a police officer or firefighter, airline pilot, bus driver, or even working in construction, that’s risky business. I remember a few years back the most risky job of all was working at a 7-Eleven. If you work as a teacher, you’re at risk of a student coming to school with a gun. Even staying at home is not always safe because domestic violence, child abuse, and m

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