Sunday, January 6, 2013

Like to critique? ...I'm listening!

New Year Sunrise
New Year Sunrise (Photo credit: joka2000)
Hello, visitors: I would like your feedbackI value it. You can lay it on me, positive and/or not positive. 

If you're a writer new to this work, I want your ideas, too.
    • Hope you're having an idea-filled New Year!

"St. Augustine focused on the harmony needed between what we say and how we live. Anyone can write or say something profound or meaningful without in fact living it."
 Source: Author Support, beginning of New Year 2012      

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Writing to Spur Mentally Healthy Families

Institute of Mental Health 4, Nov 06
Institute of Mental Health 4, Nov 06 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You don't have to be a social worker, counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist to have something to say about mental health. Most mental health issues do not relate to serious illness like schizophrenia but to problems that develop within human contexts.
     Events over time, like multiple divorces or short-term relationships where one's basic identity is shared intimately, to whatever degree, can include a range of carry-over emotions. There are the related feelings of rejection or dissatisfaction that go with estrangement and that can build mental problems for adults over time. Distrust, suspicion, doubt, deeply hurt feelings, chronic misjudgments or misunderstandings, and other matters can become ingrained in the mind. They include feelings that go unexpressed over a long period of time or are not expressed in a safe, mutually respectful environment. 
     One of the main incubators for healthy or unhealthy minds (and, therefore, emotions) is the family. Adults that carry good disagreement or anger management skills, plus healthy identity awareness, into marriage offer more of the same to everyone, including any children they may have. The opposite is true, as well: aggression, demeaning words, neglect, and divorce are home experiences that can mar the emotional and mental health of children of any age. 
    You do not need to be a mental health professional to write about good family practices. If you grew up in a good family, or if you have worked through issues of a painful family environment, you can help others through your writing, without even mentioning "mental health." 
     Author Joyce Meyer comes to mind. She is a Christian who speaks to large audiences about healthy living, by biblical principles. She has helped many people through her books, having confronted major issues of a painful home-life when she was growing up. A loving home is an immeasurably important part of the development of a strong, healthy mind. For the Christian, the book of Philippians includes excellent truths for having "a protected mind."  
     Every good book about marriage or life together is, after all, showing what a healthy family life looks like. It is not perfect. It allows free expression under parenting boundaries set for the children and set by the adults for themselves. Good families do have disagreements, which they deal with in healthy ways. 
    I am not an expert, any more than are most of us who observe, experience, and acknowledge our own behavior and thought-patterns, without excuses. Yet I know, as I suspect that you do, that kindness and respect in the home, especially between the parents, set a beneficial tone at home that helps build healthy thinking reasoning, and emotions. Children of parents who provide a safe, dependable, and loving home become adults who are immeasurably better prepared for direct, honest lives than most.   
     As a writer, if others have commented positively on your help in such matters, then your words can continue to help readers. Writers, seeking to inform and reveal, need renewal in their thinking. We apply ourselves to what scripture calls "the renewal of your minds," a work helped by faith in God. As a Christian, I continue to seek to renew my thinking to embed God-given and inspired beliefs, attitudes, and reasoning...for a healthy mind. That kind of living is a life's work and we need not wait for perfection, which we do not have, to share what we know and have learned, up to today.   
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Say Good-bye and Get Ready...New Year is Here

Douglas Hamilton, Unexpected meeting with Tiger
Douglas Hamilton, Unexpected meeting with Tiger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"There will be unexpected opportunities to weigh and, perhaps, to grasp." 

January 1, 2013 
This day's beginning includes a reminder-to-self to help raise the likelihood of unexpected opportunities in this new year.  Crossing paths with a tiger would be exciting and definitely unexpected. It might require  travel to India! [Aren't there tigers there?]

Meanwhile, what can I recommend for today?
  • Make a list of your five (5) most memorable events of 2012. 
  • Note, for each, its memorable effect or meaning, to you. 
    You might consider doing this with a friend or loved-one, who will make a list too, of course. Reserve private time to share the list, if you want to do that, with other(s) making their own personal list. 

This new year has begun well for me. There was prayer with a loved one soon after midnight. Waking up a bit earlier than usual this morning, I enjoyed two cups of coffee and Texas toast with strawberry jam. 
Lucie-doggie had to go out. Now, to get ready for movie downtown that my hubby has bought tickets for, to see mid-afternoon. 
     Then, later I will make my list per the above items to share and reflect on out loud...before a fire....  

It's 2013!
Dwight David Eisenhower (President of the USA 1953-1961)
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