The Well-Being Guide

The Well-Being Guide is now officially out. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, you can here.

I’m writing today to explain why I wrote the book and to ask for your help. So here goes:

  • I wrote the book for people (most all of us) who are living much of their lives at work. You know much of my journey, so it’s probably not a surprise to read that. I want the book to be a tool to help, encourage, reflect, and even disrupt.
  • I need your help to spread the word. If the book resonates with you, then I need help in getting others to “get what you got.” The tools to do the spreading range from social media to a direct conversation with a friend needing some direction.
  • My main goal, is to get employers (small to large) to buy the book for their employees. I can provide a decision-maker with a copy of the book and the organization can buy the book direct for volume pricing.

Reach out to me directly (comments section of the blog, email or phone) with questions or to discuss how you can help.

I appreciate you all.

An Update on Me

Much has happened since my last post. Here’s an update on me:

  1. I’ve been seeing a counselor/psychologist since March. Finding and working with him, has helped me immensely. The work we’re doing together is producing clarity, crossroads and breakthrough. I will reveal more in the coming weeks
  2. I found out, personally, how dangerous stress can be. In my case, it was about carrying too much of it. Working with a counselor has helped. I also have had to be more “on-purpose” with self-care (exercise, time with God, mindfulness, etc.). One of the negative impacts coming out for me was my blood sugar levels (diabetes related). In my last check-up, my levels were the highest they’d been in 20 years. My doctor pointed to stress. She also expressed her confidence in my turn around as well. The idea that I would do something about my state. It was sobering to find out that many of her patients stay in the “tangles” and don’t come out.
  3. The new book is going through cover-design and formatting. It should be available for pre-order soon. This period of my life has made me more grateful for the gift of writing.
  4. I’ve learned, and learning, that not everyone can be allowed to continue on the journey. This includes those you love. For me, maybe it’s temporary, or it could be permanent. This is tough work. You want the person to stay, but they won’t let go of things that will only lead to heartbreak. My Rubicon.

I’m sure there is more to tell, but I’ll stop here. Stay well.

Getting Help

Getting help is a term we all are familiar with. The words inspire empathy, care and concern. Those sentiments can turn to surprise and fear, when the help is related to mental wellbeing. The subject has so many connotations.

I’m currently looking into therapy-for me.

The Strong One

Throughout my life, I’ve been perceived as the “strong one.” I could withstand what many would crumble under. Part of the perception is true. I have seen a lot and endured most of it. My relationship with God has helped. Until 2017, I would have thought I had a sound game plan.

By way of suggestion, here are some of the tools in my game plan:

  • Relationship with God
  • Yoga
  • Laughter
  • Music
  • Good Nutrition
  • Mindfulness

It’s not that any of my tools for managing my mental health have failed me. My shift is rooted in needing another tool. Strength is revealed in our weakness.

The Circumstances

As I noted in my last post, I’m fighting on multiple fronts. What I’m fighting is not out of the ordinary. Many of you probably have or are feeling me right now. The point is it’s a fight, and if you want to win/survive, you have to do something. I’m choosing to get help in a way I could have used almost forty-years ago. Better late than never seems like a fitting statement here.

The Stigma

I’m pleasantly surprised that getting help with mental wellbeing isn’t causing “stigma.” One key for me is knowing who really cares about me. If you’re walking, or thinking about walking, in my shoes. I would really get this one locked down. The people who love you will encourage and support. It’s that simple. Those who associate getting help, with stigma, don’t matter. In the big picture of your soul.

The Next Page

Stay tuned…

Looking Back

My absence here is an obvious and I hope my return is a welcomed fragrance for you. I wanted to give you an update, by way of this post, on looking back on 2016.

Things in my life unraveled a bit, mid-to-late 2016. It really produced silence in me. My life has been marked with extended times of silence. Sorry for this, but the majority of my time is spent listening. Writing in this blog is usually the recipient of the blow. One resounding positive in my chaos was the completion of my second book (manuscript). I’m am thankful about its forming. More to come on the book’s release. Promise.

So what’s gone on? Why the looking back? Well, it seems like the following made an impromptu appearance:

  • Crohn’s disease in my son
  • Alzheimer’s in my mother-in-law
  • Multiple job changes for my wife
  • Moving my mother and nephew into our home
  • Teen challenges (if you have teens, you feel me)
  • Me becoming the managing partner of our household

The above issues, sorrows, challenges have shown me a few things:

Preparation is Everything, Even When You Don’t Know It

In many ways, life is a laboratory. A place of experiments and discoveries. It also a place of deep pain with all that comes after. I can’t imagine if my mind was only focused on me and my interests (happiness, pleasure, acclaim, and more). The exercise analogy is so applicable here. If you don’t work on building strength, you won’t have any when you need it most. This reality sticks with me. I have to note as well, life can also sucker punch you. Sometimes the preparation is what helps you when you’re picking yourself off the ground.

God is a Constant

If you’ve read, or know me personally, this blog for a while you know my faith. When I look back, I see the constant of my relationship with him. No religion, no theatrics and no judgement. He’s just there. I need the “there.”

Giving is Key

A wise mentor told me in 2016 to give myself away. I took his advice, in the beginning, as a business move. Doing it in business would be fine, but I had no idea how it would apply to life and to those I love. I’ve been giving myself away, even when my energy was ebbing. The only reason I can find is; I have to. A good place.

 

A New Approach to HIIT

In the last month I suffered an injury to my left Achilles and it’s compromised my ability to run and do some other types of exercise I normally do. A few years ago I started doing high intensity interval training (HIIT) and it has made a measurable difference in my exercise habits. Much of the inspiration has come from the work of Dr. Doug McGuff. I found him by way of Peak Fitness. He was the catalyst for taking a new approach to HIIT.

I had tried Dr. Mcguff’s process with weights before, but I never tried it with full commitment. Funny how an injury can get your attention. Dr. McGuff calls his approach with weights, Super Slow. You can click here to review the transcript of an interview with Dr. McGuff where he discusses in detail his methodology and the science behind it. I just started this program about two weeks ago and I’m noticing that many of the indications he gives in his interview are true.

Dr. McGuff’s  approach is that you’re going to do high intensity interval training not more than two times per week, at 15 minutes a session. When I first read about this it made me scratch my head.  However, I’ve never had more of an intense workout than using this type of HIIT. Dr. McGuff has also written a book on the subject, titled Body by Science. As noted above, I’m early on, but at this point it’s kind of undeniable to me. Tim Ferriss’ book, The Four Hour Body is another source to look at on the subject. Dr. McGuff consulted on the content with Tim as well.

I will keep you updated on my progress and certainly I hope to it some point recover from this Achilles issue. I do want to continue my running at some level. This current frame has taught me that variety is best in exercise because things change, as they always do. HIIT is a great process to meet the changes head on.

Excerpt From the New Book

As I get closer to finishing my second book, I wanted to share an excerpt. I’ll save the details around the concept/premise of the book. The working title is;; Stop for a Moment: 60 Seconds to Look Around and Find What Matters Most.

Look for a late summer, early fall release. Enjoy!

Children

Eileen and I had been married for over 7 years before we had our first child. As is it is with life, some of that was planned, and some was not. We weren’t entirely sold on being parents in the beginning, so we decided to wait a few years. As the years passed, we began to feel the longing. We both figured it would be an immediate thing. It was not an immediate thing. We waited 3 ½ years before Lauren arrived. The process of waiting, medical testing and feelings of doubt was tough.

I stopped giving advice on parenting after our first. Especially, since I felt so ill-equipped to be a father. Later on you realize most parents feel this way. It was tough for me. My dad was the only model for human fatherhood and he never said much to me, so I felt alone to figure it out. Fortunately, my relationship with God helped immensely. One thing was clear then, and now, there is no such thing as a perfect parent.

After my son was born in late 2001, I started realizing the power of influence. I came to understand that often your kid’s behavior and view of the world is heavily based on what they see in you. That’s one of the biggest reasons I value forgiveness. You never know how important forgiveness is until you do something that you deeply regret. I’ve had many lessons in this area.

As my kids are now in their teens, I’ve discovered the need to let them know I’m listening. I make sure to verbalize my feelings for them, and to let them know that I pray for them everyday. I may miss the boat on college planning or a homework assignment, but they will know how important they are to me in the areas that matter most.

Questions to Think About:

  1. Do your children know they are loved? Does your home echo the sound of “I love you?”
  2. Do you spend too much time trying to teach, versus listen, to discover and encourage?
  3. Are you modeling behaviors that would produce light or darkness?

 

Elephants in the Room

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I had the pleasure and honor to shoot a part in Elephants in the Room a few months back. The trailer is above.

I’ll let you check out the trailer to learn more, but the subject matter is so timely and relevant. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to check out the full length when it hits full release.