How to Revolutionize Your Relationships

This week I realized that there is a difference between thinking someone loves us versus feeling loved, and that this difference can be what separates marriages that last and friendships that don’t simply fade away.  My fiancé, Alyshia, has a very special dog, and I “mean” special in every possible way.  He’s now afraid of stairs after several occasions where he forgot how to walk down them... that’s not a good thing to forget.  It might not have been so traumatic for him if the bottom step was some type of foam product or marshmallows (not a wise choice for flooring) and not hard ceramic … [Read more...]

Using Cake to Overcome Fear

After a long day, late at night I remembered there was a piece of cake left in the fridge.  I had missed dessert earlier... a staple to every dinner... so I decided to reward myself… this is not the best way to lose weight: (dumb dieter) “I didn’t eat anything unhealthy today, so I should reward myself with dessert right before bed, the worst time of day to eat bad food.”  When I grabbed the piece of cake I realized it was way too big a piece to eat in one sitting, so to be somewhat responsible I cut it in order to save half for another day.  To be honest, I didn’t cut it exactly in half; I … [Read more...]

Make It a Memorable Holiday Dinner

Are you tired of the same old family meal conversations: “This weather is really (insert adjective),” “How did the (insert holiday representative) treat you?” “Did grandpa put his false teeth in the (insert location) again?”  I am about to give you the most amazing tool for creating a unique conversation experience at your next big family meal that will forever make it stand out as the most memorable meal you’ve ever had together.  This is not something for the faint of heart, but if you want to spice things up this is what you do: When people have started eating and things have settled down … [Read more...]

2 Keys for Being a Good Friend

I was going to title this blog “Under the Surface”, but that sounded too much like a poem by a melancholic teenager who can’t get a date: “Under the surface/ Something unnoticed/ Is it real?/ I don’t know/ What is it?/ A shadow? A skin coloured mole?/ No, it’s me... or is it just my heart?”... you’re welcome for that poetry treasure.  ‘Under the surface’ is an important idea to remember, however, because as we’re often told, things may not always be what they appear (a line from Beauty and the Beast), so don’t judge a book by its cover (a line authors use when they hire a crappy artist to … [Read more...]

Are Suicidal Thoughts Normal?

This week I was asked by a very ashamed looking individual if suicidal thoughts are normal?  Suicide has become a lot like cancer insofar that we all know someone who has been affected by it, especially in light of the tragic loss of Robin Williams.  Unfortunately, unlike those who suffer from cancer, people who experience suicidal thoughts end up keeping it to themselves because there’s typically a level of shame to it.  As a teen, suicidal thoughts seem to be more acceptable, and there are a number of resources to help when this is an issue whether parents, peers, teachers, and organizations … [Read more...]

How to improve your relationship &/or your life

Words are powerful.  The right words can put an idea into our head that can lead to success while those like loser, ugly, useless, mistake, pig, and stupid can continue to haunt us for life.  Fortunately, because of this power, we can effectively change the state of our relationships with just words.  In my therapy practice I have found there are 5 main categories of words for building up relationships.  Each category will resonate with us in a different way.  For instance, one category will stick out as something we really want while another will be something that we can take or leave.  … [Read more...]

Do you have an addiction?

If you were to ask a child ‘what do you want to be as an adult?’ I highly doubt you’ll hear something like “When I grow up I want to be an alcoholic,” or “I want to be a slave to my job because I’m a workaholic.”  It’s very unlikely you’ll ever meet someone who wants to have an addiction, so why do we all have something that’s reducing our quality of life or tempting us? Please Note: An addiction is anything that takes control over our minds and lives; it’s something we feel we “have” to do, but it hurts us.  Addictions can be one of the standards (i.e. drugs, drinking, food, gambling, … [Read more...]

The Downside of Jesus

After growing up in a Christian home going to church almost every week all my life, being a youth pastor for 8 years, and having two of my Masters Degrees from seminary, I am well acquainted with Christianity.  As much as I enjoy and appreciate being a believer I had a realization this week: There is a downside to Jesus.  In all honesty, I have no problem with tithing, volunteering, or going to church; some people hate these things, but I’ve found they’ve helped develop my self-discipline and character.  I don’t even mind the fact that the Church has a history of screwing up, and we know how … [Read more...]

Does God Provide?

Growing up a Christian I always struggled with World Vision commercials because I was continually told that God provides, but if that was true, why are there starving children?  Does God care?  Does He care, but unable to fix the problem?  I know the standard answer is that God provides a world with enough resources to feed everyone, but He also made people with freewill, which means we have the freedom to make bad decisions that hurt both others and ourselves.  For instance, greed leads to certain leaders keeping food from being distributed to those in need while selfishness prevents … [Read more...]

7 Tips to Find a Boyfriend or Girlfriend

1.  Do what you love: Because I do weddings I often meet happy couples.  The last three started their relationship after meeting doing what they love.  One met bowling; another played darts; and the other met playing Bingo.  Now, each of these couples can enjoy doing their respective activities together for many years to come... and I can tease them for it at their wedding.  2.  Joke about it: Being able to joke about being single can be fun and help reduce and shame or anxiety you may have towards it.  This increased confidence will make you more attractive.  It’ll also help get the idea … [Read more...]