16 November 2016

Impact of Mental Health on the Canadian Economy

There was a report released in early September that said that the Canadian Economy loses $50 Billion annaully due to mental health.

The losses are from employees missing work due to mental health or showing up but are still suffering from mental health impacting their productivity. They even separated out the mental health concerns and their costs
The Conference Board of Canada said in the report that depression costs the economy at least $32.3 billion annually, while anxiety costs another $17.3 billion a year.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada which oversees the delivery of Mental Health First Aid shares these numbers:

  • 23% of workers experience physical health problems caused by stress, anxiety, and major depression
  • 1 in 5 workers experience fatigue, sleeping problems, headaches and anxiety
  • 20% of all sick leaves are related to mental health

09 November 2016

Sex Before Kissing?

In a survey of 600 Australian young women aged 15-19 titled: "Don't send me that pic" came a lot of information about how teenage girls are dealing with their porn-informed boy-friends.

You can read the full report here, or an opionated summary of the findings here.

But if I may share one paragraph that stands out to me as we have a societal shift from "selfie before hi" and "sex before kissing"
When asked, “How do you know a guy likes you?,” an 8th grade girl replied: “He still wants to talk to you after you [give him oral sex].” A male high school student said to a girl: “If you [give me oral sex] I’ll give you a kiss.” Girls are expected to provide sex acts for tokens of affection, and are coached through it by porn-taught boys. A 15-year-old girl said she didn’t enjoy sex at all, but that getting it out of the way quickly was the only way her boyfriend would stop pressuring her and watch a movie.
Now of course I realize not all teen boys are like this, but it is a growing trend. Definitely calls for shift in understanding sexual health.

02 November 2016

Difference between being Rude, Mean and a Bully

A fellow Author, Signe Whitson, in the Notes on Parenting community wrote an excellent piece on the difference between being Rude, Mean, and a Bully. Because usually all those terms get lumped together with Bully.

I'll share the primary definitions, but read the full article on Huffington Post for more insight.

Rude = Inadvertently saying or doing something that hurts someone else.

Mean = Purposefully saying or doing something to hurt someone once (or maybe twice)

Bullying = Intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power.

01 October 2016

Book Review: Creative Interventions with Traumatized Children

Title: Creative Interventions with Traumatized Children
Author: Cathy A. Malchiodi
Publisher: The Guilford Press (New York)
Audience: Therapists, Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Social Workers
Subject: Creative therapeutic interventions when working with traumatized children.
Summary: Malchiodi did not write the book, instead she worked with 15 contributors to compile this book. After establishing the theory, the book is broken into three sections: Interventions with Individuals, Interventions with Families and Groups; lastly, Intervention as Prevention. For me this isn't a book that I recommened to read cover to cover. It is more of a book that you pick up and find the chapter that fits your current needs. It helps to think outside of the box for interventions. I own the first edition, but there is a second edition.
Score: 8/10 - This is a must own for clinicians working with traumatized children.
Amazon: $43.62

24 September 2016

Book Review: What's The Big Deal About Pornography? A guide for the internet generation

Title: What's The Big Deal About Pornography? A guide for the internet generation
Author: Jill C. Manning, PhD
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Audience: Teenagers, Young Adults, Parents of Teens and Young Adults
Subject: Pornogaphy use
Summary: Manning defines what pornography is and than it's impact on the brain, and than the inlfuence on intimate relationships. The highlight (for me) is the comparison to a Friends episode where two main male characters have their perceptions changed on how a pizza delivery woman should interact with them after watching pornography. There are tools and recommendations for parents on how to talk to their teens about pornography and how to safe gaurd against it.
Score: 9/10
Amazon: $12.87 on Kindle

18 September 2016

Warning Signs of Suicide

Suicide is the tenth highest reason for death amongst Canadians, according to Statistics Canada. The highest rate of suicide is amongst Canadian adults aged 40-54, with about 17 suicides per 100,000. 

That number may be a surprise to some, because we focus so much on preventing suicide amongst teenagers. And the focus is understandable; we expect our youths to live long full lives. Suicide is the second cause of death for those aged 15-19, but at a rate of 9, nearly half of our middle-aged Canadians.

While it is important to be aware of the signs of suicide, it is not just applicable to teenagers, but for all Canadians.

The new acronym that Mental Health Clinicians are using as a tool to assess for suicide is: “IS PATH WARM.”

Let’s look at what each letter stands for:

Ideation – Warning signs that are being communicated about the idea of suicide by threating to hurt/take own life, looking for ways to hurt/kill self, or talking or writing about it.

Substance Use – An increase use, or excessive use of drugs and/or alcohol.

Purposelessness – Losing the sense of purpose or reason for living.

Anxiety – The anxiety, or agitation, begins to interfere in daily life, such as being unable to fall or stay asleep.

Trapped – Feeling stuck and that there is no way out.

Hopelessness – A loss of hope for the future

Withdrawal – Withdrawing from friends, family, and usual activities.

Anger – Uncontrollable anger, rage and/or revenge.

Recklessness – Participating in life-risky activities without thinking

Mood Changes – Increased, unexplained dramatic changes in mood.

Discussing suicide is heavy and discouraging. It is important to listen and respond with empathy.

Recently the author of Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton, tackled the topic of suicide with a message of hope: “Pain comes and goes like clouds. Love is the Sun. If you’re struggling right now, tell the monster to shut the hell up and listen to me for a minute: You are loved.

“No matter who you’ve hurt, you deserve forgiveness and you belong to us. There is a place for you here that was created for you before the world began that no one else on Earth can fill.

“You are a child of God and everything you have ever been or are or will become has already been approved. Please, please stay. Stay. First the pain, then the rising. You must stay for the rising.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicide, visit suicideprevention.ca to find help or support.

17 September 2016

Book Review: Stand For The Family

Title: Stand For The Family
Author: Sharon Slater
Publisher: Inglestone (Gilbert)
Audience: Advocates for traditional family
Subject: The role and purpose for supporting traditional families
Summary: This is a conservative organizations, Family Watch International (who Slater is the president of), flagship book as they supply evidence and stories for supporting the traditional family while arguing against dismantling it. The book covers a range of highly political and sensitive topics such as motherhood, parental rights, life, gender, and marriage through a right-wing lense.
Score: 6/10
Amazon: $9.99 on Kindle

15 September 2016

Fight vs Flight vs Doll

I found this gem in the Twitterverse, it is a great example of the difference between the Fight and Flight response. Same trigger, different response:

14 September 2016

Delaying entry to Kindergarten may lower risk for ADHD

This is a controversial topic because for many reasons:

  • There is a push to have children school ready younger and younger
  • Child care is expensive, enrolling in school provides free child care
  • Many have had positive experiences enrolling early
  • Many have had negative experiences in enrolling later
And let's keep in mind this study was conducted by Danish National Center for Social Research, so their findings may not be applicable to North America, nonetheless, this one section stands out to me:
"In addition to improved mental health of children who are not enrolled in kindergarten until age six, instead of age five, emotional and social skills show improvement, as well."
Read the media release in the Inquistr.

12 September 2016

The key to marital success: be humble

Adam Galovan who works for the University of Alberta's Faculty of Human Ecology told the Edmonton Journal “In our results, [the perception of humilty in your spouse] was the strongest predictor of marital satisfaction.”

He further said: “Humility is thinking less of yourself and thinking more of others, so the focus should really be focusing on being caring and compassionate for one’s partner,” he said. “In the end, this likely would lead to them reciprocating and doing things that would make you satisfied about your relationship.”

Read the full article from the Edmonton Journal here (which also has a nice video clip that I was unable to embed)

10 September 2016

Book Review: Violence Against Women: Vulnerable populations

Title: Violence Against Women: Vulnerable populations
Author: Douglas A. Brownridge, PhD
Publisher: Routledge (New York)
Audience: Front-line workers, Social workers, Researchers/Academics in Social Sciences
Subject: Women at risk of violence
Summary: Brownridge is a family violence expert and he outlines, through research, women that are most at risk for violence: cohabitation, post-seperation, step-families, aboriginal, immigrant, disabilties and renting. While he acknowledges that not all women in these situations may be abused, they are at higher risk; and adds that any woman could be the victim of abuse. There is a lot of information and graphs condensed on each page.
Score: 7/10 - highly recommended if working with vulnerable women. (I am biased because Brownridge was one of my professors at the University of Manitoba)
Amazon: $40.62 on Kindle

08 September 2016

Tips to help with panic attacks

Here are ten tips, some may work for you, some may not, to help when an anxiety panic attack hits:
  1. Have an exit plan
  2. Have someone you can count on ready to call
  3. Spend time with your pet
  4. Interact with water
  5. Have a tranquilizer with you
  6. Give yourself a massage
  7. Forward bend
  8. Stare at yourself in the mirror
  9. Go for a walk
  10. Laugh

Read the full article at Healthy Place.

06 September 2016

Conversation starters about technology use in a current or forming relationship

Katherine Hertlein, associate professor of psychology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and co-author of The Couple and Family Technology Framework urges couples to have an explicit conversation about how to manage tech use. The ideal time to do it is when two people become serious about their relationship. Since technology is always changing, however, it's necessary for all couples. Here are discussion points:

  • What are your expectations about tech use by your partner and by you? 
  • Exactly what kind of contact does each partner regard as cheating? 
  • What is appropriate to disclose about the relationship; about your spouse? 
  • Do you exchange passwords or not? 
  • Do you tell your partner whom you are texting? 
  • When is it OK to be anonymous online? 
  • What, if any, places in the home are off-limits to electronic devices? 
  • What are rules for use in the car? 
  • When is it OK to post photos of your children? 
  • How much checking on each other is OK?

From Psychology Today.

03 September 2016

Book Review: For All Eternity: Practical tools for strengthening your marriage

Title: For All Eternity: Practical tools for strengthening your marriage
Author: John L. Lund
Publisher: Covenant Communications (American Fork)
Audience: Dating or Married Latter-Day Saints, Mormons
Subject: Tips on improving your marriage on a daily basis
Summary: In a marriage guide book tailored to the Latter-Day Saints, Lund shares the differences found in a marriage and recommends ways to create common ground. In particular his book circles around his defintion of Love Languages that we seek acceptance, affection and appreciation through either physical touch, verbally or visually (different from the 5 Love Languages). He is practical in how to learn your love language and style, while then being able to communicate that language and other languages to a spouse.
Score: 7/10
Amazon: $2.58 on Kindle

30 August 2016

Another 10 signs of burnout & 7 ways to fight back

10 sings you are burning out, from Globe & Mail.

1. Health problems.
2. Cognitive difficulties.
3. Difficulty with work and personal relationships.
4. Taking your work home with you.
5. Fatigue.
6. Negativity.
7. Decreased satisfaction.
8. Losing your motivation.
9. Performance issues.
10. Poor self-care.

7 ways to combat burn out from the same article above.

1. Disconnect (digitally/electronically).
2. Pay attention to your body signals.
3. Schedule relaxation.
4. Stay away from sleeping pills.
5. Get organized.
6. Take regular breaks during the workday.
7. Lean on your support system.

27 August 2016

Book Review: Dating Game Secrets For Marrying A Good Man

Title: Dating Game Secrets For Marrying A Good Man
Author: Alisa Goodwin Snell, LMFT
Publisher: Bonnevile Books (Springville)
Audience: Women and Men dating, Counsellors, Therapists
Subject: Dating tips for recorgnizing an abusive or manipulative personality
Summary: Goodwin-Snell goes through the dangers and risks of dating, but also discusses ways of being confident and successful while dating. The goal is being able to wade through the emotions and hormones of dating and look at a potential partner logically: risky behaviour, manipulative thought patterns, abusive traits, emotionally immature, etc. While tailored for a female audience, it is a fit for men too. I frequently use the appendixes to open discussen about taking responsibility and being emotionally mature.
Score: 9/10 - Very helpful, hands on and applicable.
Amazon: $7.50 on Kindle

25 August 2016

10 Things You Could Learn in Home Economics

1. Make Soup Stock
2. Cook Great Soups, Braises + Stews
3. Ferment Your Own Foods
4. Churn Butter
5. Grow Food
6. Sew (Simple Things)
7. Make Vinegar
8. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
9. Make Yogurt
10. Bake Bread

Read the whole story at Rodale's Organic Life.

23 August 2016

Dementia is more than memory loss

My mom shares her early experiences with dementia with the Alzheimer Society Canada.

My diagnosis of young onset Alzheimer's has helped me become better acquainted with my expressive side.
Surprisingly, I've started writing poetry. It's not something that's going to get published, but for me this has been amazing.
My form of Alzheimer's is particularly aggressive. I likely have no more than 10 years. You know how people say to live life as if you were dying? I get permission to do that.
Read the rest here.

20 August 2016

Book Review: The Art of Happiness: A handbook for living

Title: The Art of Happiness: A handbook for living
Authors: The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, MD.
Publisher: Riverhead Books (New York)
Audience: Anyone looking at increasing or understanding Happiness
Subject: Happiness in daily life
Summary: Cutler shares his experiences and insights he gathered from the Dalai Lama. So while the book was not penned by the Dalai Lama, it is his insights and guidance into the purpose of life, intimacy, compassion, suffering, and so on, that Cutler shares. While I believe in reading a book through, I often recommend Chapters 8-14 depending on what the struggle is: suffering, pain, anger, anxiety or self-esteem.
Score: 8/10
Amazon: $20.99 on Kindle

16 August 2016

12 ways to teach emotional intelligence at home or school

  1. Learn about the science of the brain. 
  2. See a live performance and talk about emotions. 
  3. Read related non-fiction books.
  4. Use an app like Happify. 
  5. Dissect the memory process. 
  6. Write about emotions and memory. 
  7. Talk (and listen!) with your kids. 
  8. Compare humans and animals. 
  9. Read fiction and talk about emotions. 
  10. Help kids recognise what they can and can’t control. 
  11.  Make memories your kids will draw from. 
  12.  Eat about it.

13 August 2016

Book Review: Between Husband & Wife: Gospel perspective on marital intimacy

Title: Between Husband & Wife: Gospel perspective on marital intimacy
Authors: Stephen E. Lamb, MD; Douglas E. Brinley
Publisher: Covenant Communications (American Fork)
Audience: Married or dating Latter-Day Saints, Mormons; Counsellors, Therapists
Subject: Marital intimacy in Latter-Day Saints
Summary: Dealing with intimacy amongst the Latter-Day Saint population is always difficult, as it is not a topic that is discussed openly and typically left to couples themselves to figure out. Lamb and Brinley take on the task of discussing the honeymoon phase, sexual intimacy, sexual dysfunction, and the mechanics of human sexuality; all with a doctrinal and scriptual backing. Concluding with 20 questions that they are frequently asked.
Score: 6/10 - A good read for the engaged and newly wed couple to open up the discussion of sex (which may have been a taboo subject for years)

Amazon: $4.12 on Kindle

12 August 2016

The Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) defines counselling

Dr. Glenn Sheppard wrote an article in the latest CCPA magazine, COGNICA, that contained a definition for counselling which was adopted by the CCPA:
Counselling is a relational process based upon the ethical use of specific professional competencies to facilitate human change. Counselling addresses wellness, relationships, personal growth, career develop, mental health, and psychological illness or distress. The counselling process is characterized by the application of recognized cognitive, affective, expressive, somatic, spiritual, developmental, behavioural, learning, and systemic principles.
The following is also the scope of practice. The counselling profession:

  • Is attentive to and responds to diversity and inclusiveness;
  • Works in the best interest of individuals, couple, families, groups organizations, communities, and the public-at-large; and
  • Works in the domains of cognition, emotion, expression, somatics, human development, behaviour, learning, and interactive systems.

09 August 2016

Core principles of attachment parenting

  • Stage 1: The Need to Be With
  • Stage 2: The Need to Be Like
  • Stage 3: The Need to Belong
  • Stage 4: The Need to Matter
  • Stage 5: The Need for Emotional Intimacy
  • Stage 6: The Need for Psychological Intimacy
Read the full article by Kids in the House here.

06 August 2016

Book Review: Weakness Is Not Sin: The liberating distiction that awakens our strength

Title: Weakness Is Not Sin: The liberating distiction that awakens our strength
Author: Wendy Ulrich, PhD
Publisher: Deseret Book (Salt Lake City)
Audience: Latter-Day Saints, Mormons, Christians, Psychotherapists, Counsellors, Therapists.
Subject: Distinguishing the role of shame and sin.
Summary: I appreciated the way that Ulrich tackled shame, by helping to identify it and the ways that shame can be replaced with humility and godly sorrow. Ulrich shares insights and provoking thoughts that help challenge our beliefs about weakness and sin, in a comfortable non-shame-based way.
Score: 8/10 - highly recommended for the LDS population.

Amazon: $12.39 on Kindle

05 August 2016

BlackBerry shows how a wifi kettle could compromise your network

IMO - while it is great to have many things connected to your wifi for ease of use, this shows that without proper security, those extra gadgets may be an access point for hackers.

02 August 2016

5 Tips to break your screen addiction

I love the one line: "Addicted to Distraction"

Here are Jon Krop's 5 ways to quit your screen addiction:

1. The next time you take the subway, try not to pull out your phone, a book, or any other distraction from the time you board until you reach the next stop.

2. When you need to walk somewhere, experiment with leaving your headphones in your pocket.

3. Let's keep it real: You probably read on the toilet.

4. Make your morning device-free.

5. Speaking of notifications, do you really need to hear about it every time someone Snap-grams your Yik Yak?

14 July 2016

How to respond to your child's negative self-talk

Empathize: Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand what they may be feeling. “That writing assignment’s pretty challenging, eh?” or “Wow, sounds like you’re feeling frustrated!” If you can’t think of what to say, try a simple response like, “That’s tough” or “Need a hug?”

Get curious: Some kids have a hard time verbalizing the problem. When you start to explore the situation together, they may be able to understand what’s really bugging them. “I wonder why this assignment is tripping you up today.” or “Is it all writing assignments or this one in particular?”

Rewrite the script: Once you’ve explored, you can work together to create some new phrases to try. Instead of “Writing is hard. I’m stupid,” your child could say, “I’m working hard on writing” or “Making mistakes is part of learning.” Or even, “Mom, I’m so frustrated with this assignment.”

Problem-solve together: Resist the urge to suggest a solution to the problem or lead them to an answer that seems right to you. Work as a team. Sometimes, there is no easy solution or quick fix because the answer is, “I have to keep practicing” or “I am working toward the goal.”

Challenge thoughts and feelings: Feelings come and go, they do not define you. Your child may FEEL unloveable, but feeling something doesn’t mean it’s true. Someone can struggle and not be stupid. Talk about times when your child has overcome something difficult and felt confident or excited

Read the full article by Nicole Schwarz.

29 May 2016

Jairus' Daughter: Waiting (im)Patiently For A Miracle #LDS #Mormon #TwitterStake

I gave this talk on May 22nd 2016 at my church. If Latter-Day Saint (Mormon) Church is your thing or of interest continue reading! If not, it's up to you to continue.


Before I get started, I want to encourage you to listen with your spiritual ears, that is pay attention more to what may not be said but is felt.

In my family we are still reading the junior version of the scriptures. You know, the scripture stories with pictures. I have found this quite refreshing as I have learned simply the stories contained in the Bible, Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants.

There is one story that we have read over, and over, and over again; 1) because it is my daughters favourite New Testament story 2) because I as a father struggle with this story because it pulls at my heart strings. It reads:

"One day, Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, fell at the Savior's feet. Jairus said that his 12-year-old daughter was very ill. He begged Jesus to come and bless her. He believed that Jesus could make her better. Jesus started to follow Jairus home,"

Up to this point, I am in full agreement with what is happening.

Jairus was a man of rank and prestige whom the Jews looked upon with great respect, because he was a ruler of a synagogue, not just one of the elders that presided over a synagogue, but the chief or the ruler that directed the elders.

Reading in the ADULT scriptures, no pictures, we learn more detail about what Jairus' reaction was. In Mark it reads: “And when he saw him [that is, when Jairus saw Jesus], he fell at his feet.”

What an unusual reaction for such a noble man. This was a ruler, the highest level one could attain in a synagogue, we might even say in our LDS church language a Bishop or Stake President, kneeling and falling at the feet of the Saviour. Did you notice that no one else has?

And what has driven this man of rank and prestige to his knees? His calling as father, the love for his daughter, he is in desperate need for help for his cherished 12-year old daughter. In this moment, nothing else matters, just his daughters well-being. You can tell, by just listening to his trembling words: “I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.” As President Howard W. Hunter said, he is a father torn with grief.

But let's take the Lord's perspective here too. Quoting President Hunter: "The Master had [just] come back across the sea where the multitude was waiting on the shore for him to teach them. … He was interrupted by the plea of a father. He could have ignored the request because many others were waiting. He could have said to Jairus that he would come to see his daughter tomorrow, but “Jesus went with him.”"

Just imagine the jubilation Jairus is experiencing right now, this learned man who knows Jesus' capabilities and has expressed faith in His ability to heal, now has the Saviour of mankind following him to his house to heal his daughter. Prayers have been answered, my daughter is saved.

Then we read in the children's version: "but he stopped to heal a woman." Wait what? Were we not already on our way to save a 12 year old girl, and Jesus stops to heal someone? How infuriating. We can't stop now.

We read in Luke the following account: "But as he went the people thronged him. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,"

Wait, I know this story. This is the story of the woman who touches Jesus' robe, this story is embedded here, interrupting Jairus? Why now? The Saviour and His disciples have already altered their plans to help Jairus.

We continue reading in Luke: "[that she] Came [up] behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. [she was cured] And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?"

I can see why Peter is frustrated. They have already changed their plans from teaching to following a ruler to his house. Then they are swarmed by people as they try to get there, and Jesus is asking "who touched me?"

I'm going to take some scriptural liberty here as I use my own fatherly reaction to try to understand Jairus' reaction, which is probably similar to Peter's. "Look, you have already agreed to help me, my daughter is on her death bed, and you are asking in this mob of people, who touched me?!"

Jesus responds while looking around I'm sure, "Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me."

And then a woman steps forward. "She declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately"

Jesus responds "Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace."

Can you see Jairus vibrating in fury? Not only did Jesus stop to find out who touched Him, But it was a woman who has a issue of blood that touched him. She is considered unclean, has been socially excluded, and is not allowed in a synagogue, but now he is conversing with her.

Suddenly someone from Jairus' house came and said "Thy daughter is dead." Now I can see Jairus loosing it as he is emotionally flooded. How could this happen? Did the Saviour forget that Jairus is a ruler, a Bishop/Stake President, living worthily, doing everything he should be doing, and yet, the Saviour stopped to heal someone, a random citizen, a commoner, someone who wasn't as noble, prestigious, or as high ranked. Plus she has been unclean for the past 12 years! And now, because of this dodling, Jairus' daughter is dead!

And how did Jesus respond when he heard this: "Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole." Comforting, but if I'm Jairus, my faith tank is running low. I'm now even more grief stricken. I can't help but hear the plea of "It's too late" Saving her while she is ill is one thing, saving her from death is another, if not impossible. And all your telling me is to "fear not" and "believe"?  However, “Be not afraid, only believe” is powerful counsel for people in need of a miracle.  Fear and faith do not mix together well.

I want to pause here. Because I know I am guilty of this, consider it the Jonah effect, that is that I am more deserving of the Lord's blessing than those that are hidden and not practicing their faith, and therefore they are not deserving of the Lord's Atonement. Well, that thinking wound Jonah up in a whale until he realized ALL are eligible for the Saviour's Atonement. Every one on the earth, regardless of what they do, can have faith in Jesus Christ, repent and then come unto the fold by being baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost.

Or maybe it is the other side. That we question why those all around us appear to receive blessings and not us. Then we question, are we even worthy of blessings? In C.S. Lewis' book The Horse & His Boy (part of the Narnia series), Aasland, the Lion who represents the Lord, says "Child... I am telling you your story, not [theirs]. No one is told any story but their own." - I take from this, that we can't look at our life story and compare it to someone else's, and then judge for ourselves who should get blessings and who shouldn't. We each are starring in our own life story, and we don't get all the details of others, we only know ours.

When I question if I am worthy, I personally tell my wife, and my children, that we know we are worthy if we are holding a current temple recommend. However, current worthiness does not equal immediate blessings.

Regarding the woman with the blood issue of 12 years, we know very little of her story, we don't even know her name. But yet she is a crucial part of the story.

Back to Jairus and his daughter. This has certainly been a delay, and a faith tester for Jairus.

When they got to Jairus' house, Jesus asked everyone to leave because they were creating a scene that was not appropriate or conducive for a miracle, except for Peter, James, John, Jairus and his wife. Talk about a special moment, the Lord and the "First Presidency" (Peter, James & John) alone in your house. Jesus tenderly "took the [girl] by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha Koum; ...Little Girl, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the [girl] arose, and walked."

In the last moment, when all things are seemingly hopeless in the 5th watch, Jesus came, blessed Jairus and his wife by performing an astounding miracle of bringing their daughter back from the dead.

How relieved Jairus must have felt in this moment. How much love and joy.

The Saviour will always bless us, if we but reach out to him. It doesn't matter if we are a ruler over a congregation or a struggling saint on the street. Jesus is there, waiting for us. The Savior’s compassion and power to heal are extended to all, regardless of social standing.

The main principles to take away from this is that: 1) Acting on our faith in Jesus Christ can make us whole. 2) When our faith in Jesus Christ is sufficient to move us to action, we too can receive His healing power, both spiritually and physically, in our lives.

In closing, I want to end with the words of Elder David A. Bednar, who said: “In a moment of weakness we may cry out, ‘No one knows what it is like. No one understands.’ But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens, And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy."

23 April 2016

Put the smart phone down, stop p-phubbing me!

P-Phubbing is known as paying attention to your smartphone while ignoring your family or friends in front of you. And the article, suggests that this can impact your mental health.

Ladies and gentlemen, put the smartphone DOWN.
Do we really need research to validate the complete anger and disrespect we all feel when someone we're dating, a friend, or a new acquaintance reaches into their pocket, pulls out their cell phone and responds to someone else’s text, while we're mid-sentence in conversation with them?

If you need the research, it’s all here. A recent study found that p-phubbing, otherwise known as ignoring friends and family in favor of a smartphone, has a negative impact on relationship satisfaction, life satisfaction can even contribute to depression

24 March 2016

#KimberleyBC is an apocalyptically good place to be!

As Emergency BC's tagline says: "If you're ready for zombies, you're ready for a disaster" and after reading The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, I've come to realize that Kimberley is a good place to be, even if a zombie apocalypse should strike. Here's why!

Zombies typically operate like water, taking the path of least resistance. According to Brooks mountains are the second most desirable place to live during a zombie apocalypse. He emphasizes the higher the elevation the better, so fortunately Kimberley is very well situated, being the highest city in Canada!

Brooks also recommends cooler climates, so our modestly frigid winter temperatures could freeze those zombies in their tracks, or at least our abundance of snow would make things difficult for them to tread through.

We are lucky too that Kimberley is hidden away nicely on highway 95A, surrounded by slopes, and concealed by trees. Plus, there is plenty of wildlife out there! Fleeing birds and scurrying small creatures would surely signal a potential attack, and bets are we could also rely on the bears, cougars, coyotes, deer, and moose to do their part to fight and scare the zombies.

And if the undead did try to infiltrate by taking our North or South entrance, our roads in Marysville and Meadowbrook could quickly be barricaded. Fortunately too, the community of Kimberley has proven in the past that they can work together and respond to any disaster. Whether there have been floods, mudslides, or forest fires, the community has speedily responded, working well together to provide the necessities, such as food and shelter. And, as is usually the case during a disaster, our schools, community centres, and churches could become temporary places of refuge, and our SunMine could assure us of a steady supply of electricity to our primary resources.

And even if we were contained to our downtown core and the surrounding neighbourhoods only, we'd still be able to maintain our morale! We'd have many great restaurants still to go to, and several outlets for our creative and recreational passions, and even a few parks and gardens to stroll through. We could also use the Kimberley Underground Mining Railway to safely transport resources and residents from the Ski Hill to the downtown area if necessary, and Kimberley's many trails could provide us with several alternate and well hidden routes, keeping us safe from any zombies that are roaming the streets.

And if our final stronghold was narrowed down to just Townsite and the Ski Hill, Kimberley would still be sitting pretty I think. Those hairpin turns would surely prove to be intimidating heights for the walking dead, and we would still have our medical and fitness facilities, plus we'd still have plenty of ski hill accommodations for us to hunker down in.

And this is why I do believe, should a disaster ever threaten, residents can take comfort in knowing that Kimberley is an apocalyptically good place to be!

*This was published in Go Kimberley*

08 March 2016

Telling the difference between ADHD & Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

"Children with sensory processing disorders need occupational therapy intervention to help them train their brains to manage sensory stimuli that seems overwhelming. Or they need to train their bodies to connect with the sensory signals they are receiving because they are under-responsive.

"Children with ADHD often need medication to help balance the chemicals in their brain to allow them to comfortably function. It is generally accepted that only children with ADHD or ADD will respond to medication. A child who strictly has sensory issues will not respond to medication."

Read more here.

03 March 2016

Strategies For Living on Less from Home & Family

Many people want to s-t-r-e-t-c-h their dollar so they can live on less. Unfortunately there is no simple solution for everyone so trying to do with less can be a challenge. How one person chooses to cut expenses may not suit the time or the expertise of another individual. Spending less involves assessing and balancing one’s resources.

The first step in developing a strategy for living on less is to analyze how the dollars you have are currently spent. If you have been keeping track of how money was spent by the month and year, analyze the expenditures. List expenditures in three groups: Necessary, Nice-to-have, Foolish.

Read the rest at Home & Family

29 February 2016

Black & Blue by Patrick O'Sullivan

I have been a fan of Patrick O'Sullivan for years because of the sole reason that we share the same birthday.

I have often, what happened to O'Sullivan, where did he go? Well, unfortunately, this article explains it. His own essay on his life of abuse and how an unhealthy path to the NHL led to confusion. It's sad.

The article is blunt, and starts off with: "My father used to beat the shit out of me."

Read the full article here.

10 February 2016

Could a new wave of talking therapies replace CBT? YES!

This article struck a nerve for me because I am not a one-size therapy fits all type of person. As a generalist, I rely on many therapeutic approaches and hone in on one (or two or three) that best fits my client and their needs. CBT tends to be a commonly talked about therapy because it has been around for a long time, has a simple understandable flow to it, and has helped many people. But as this one client said "It (CBT) was all about changing my thought patterns which I just couldn’t do – my thinking was the way it was." Therefore, CBT is not for all.

Have a read of this UK based article to see more resources on new wave CBT therapies, such as Compassion Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.

09 February 2016

Ex-dean explains why helicopter parenting is ruining a generation

While I like to focus on the positive over the negative, this article discusses a serious topic that I have seen myself when I used to recruit for the Faculty of Human Ecology at the University of Manitoba. But to stay positive, here is a helpful quote from the article.
And how can parents help their children become self-sufficient? Teach them the skills they’ll need in real life, and give them enough leash to practice those skills on their own... And have them do chores. “Chores build a sense of accountability. They build life skills and a work ethic.” 
Read the full article here.

07 February 2016

#LDS resources for managing depression #Twitterstake

"As a Mormon who struggles with chronic depression, I’ve spent a lot of time searching for LDS resources on depression and suicide prevention. Listed below are some of the most helpful talks and articles that I have found. Before you read or listen to them, I want you to know that I have used these resources in conjunction with proper medical and professional help. Please understand that there is absolutely no shame in seeking outside help."

See the full list of resources in this LDS Living article.

06 February 2016

After A Disaster, Kids Don't Want To Talk About The Disaster

Ever read an article that just gets stuck in your belief system? This one did it for me. Kids don't want to talk about the trauma, they want to deal with current issues.

To quote straight from the article:

"A lot of the kids were like, 'We don't want to draw. We're not interested in talking about our Katrina experience,' " says Powell, now at the University of Illinois. "They said, 'We want to talk about all the other issues we're facing. There is a lot of scary stuff going on in our community. We don't know how to keep ourselves safe.'
"We realized these kids don't need to reprocess the storm over and over again," she says. "They need to talk about other adversities related to the storm."
Read the full article here.

And just to highlight one other piece:

What can parents do to help their kids cope with traumatic events?
If a parent is really stressed, the child will see that and have higher anxiety. That's just one of the things to recognize. Also, parents need to provide information to kids about what happened in the disaster, but not so much that they're terrified. Say there's a school shooting. Tell kids that, yes, this happened, but tell them what kinds of measures are in place to keep them safe. You also want to limit media. A lot of kids get secondary traumatic stress all over again. Listen to them, and don't minimize what's going on in school. Kids are so smart and so resilient and so creative. Most kids will overcome a traumatic event, given they have strong support networks and are in a safe environment.

05 February 2016

Home Economists Launch Best-ever Homegrown Cookbook

What better way to celebrate Canada than with delicious home-cooked food? It connects people to their roots, unites families at the heart of the home and welcomes friends to the table.
From coast to coast, the goodness of Canada shines in Homegrown: Celebrating the Canadian Foods We Grow, Raise and Produce – an exciting new cookbook from the Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA), written by witty, award-winning author and TV personality Mairlyn Smith.
With 160 easy-to-follow recipes triple-tested by Professional Home Economists and students from OHEA, plus helpful tips galore − this book is a winner to give or to receive.
‘Professional Home Economist Mairlyn Smith proves that Canada can be the key ingredient in any meal,’ writes Publisher, Whitecap Books. Shortlisted favourites include Borscht, Herb Stuffed Pork Loin Roast, Turkey Tourtiere, Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Stew, Gluten-Free PEI Potato Lasagna, Festive Fruit & Nut Coleslaw, Caramelized Onion & Cheddar Scones, Pumpkin Muffin-Top Cookies and Blueberry, Pear & Hazelnut Crisp − to name a few.
Tagged to each down-to-earth recipe is a wealth of nutrition information and a carb counter to assist people living with diabetes.  Update your knowledge of wholesome food produced in Canada and enjoy the convenience of seasonal menus ready-planned for you!
Explore Canada by travelling the pages of Homegrown. Discover foods that are unique to each geographic region
Look for family and regional favourites in this showcase of Canadian cuisine.
In stores, Dec. 1, 2015, Homegrown is an ideal gift for beginners, seasoned cooks and collectors.
For more information, please contact:
OHEA Public Relations Coordinator, Mary Carver, P.H.Ec. (613) 599-7341 / mcarver@ohea.on.ca Recipes and photos available upon request.

The Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA), a self-regulated body of Professional Home Economists, promotes high professional standards among its members so that they may assist families and individuals to achieve and maintain a desirable quality of life. (www.ohea.on.ca)

04 February 2016

Caregiving for Older Adults with Disabilities: Present Costs, Future Challenges

Fellow Human Ecologist, Dr. Janet Fast's latest research on caregivers was published in the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

The summary from the article reads (read the full article here):

Being an unpaid caregiver for one’s adult family members is increasingly common in Canada as growing numbers of disabled individuals need help with tasks such as housekeeping, meal preparation and transportation. Although the amount of care most caregivers provide to adult family members and friends is modest, the responsibilities can be demanding and can present financial risks.
The number of people requiring care is forecast to rise dramatically in coming years, while families’ capacity to meet those demands will decrease as a result of demographic and socio-economic factors. In this study, Janet Fast assesses the financial and other challenges faced by caregivers and their employers. She also examines what employers and governments are currently doing, as well as what they should do, to mitigate the negative effects of caregiving.
The vast majority of working-age caregivers are employed and work full time. Many experience conflicting demands between paid work and caregiving and have to miss days at work or reduce their paid work hours. Those who provide many hours of care, who reside with the care recipient or care for someone with a cognitive disability are more likely to quit their jobs, and they may even be fired. As such, they are at greater risk of experiencing poor social, economic, physical and mental health outcomes. Clearly, caregivers bear a disproportionate share of the costs of caring for those with long-term health problems and disabilities.
The issue also presents challenges for employers, for example, increased turnover, absenteeism, reduced productivity and more demands on employee benefit programs. Some employers offer supports such as flexible work hours, direct compensation and information for caregiver employees. However, there is a marked discrepancy between the way employers treat new parents and how they treat people with care responsibilities.
Although over the past decade governments have introduced new policies to enhance work-care reconciliation, there is no comprehensive public policy strategy to support caregivers and to mitigate the negative consequences of caregiving.
We need to correct this urgently, Fast argues. Canada should follow the example of the United Kingdom and Australia, which have recognized caregivers’ contributions, introduced an allowance or wage to help cover caregivers’ income security needs, and explicitly codified caregivers’ rights in legislation. Policy-makers should also extend care service providers’ mandates to include caregivers as clients, introduce compulsory assessment of caregivers’ needs and recognize caregivers’ right to have those needs met.
She calls for a comprehensive caregiver policy strategy based on four pillars: (1) recognizing caregivers and their rights; (2) adequate, accessible and affordable services for care receivers and caregivers; (3) work-care reconciliation measures; and (4) measures to protect caregivers’ income security.

03 February 2016

Parenting a child with ADHD

From Counselling Connect
The Canadian Counsellors and Psychotherapy Association has a blog, called Counselling Connect, that receives frequent updates, not just for counsellors, but for everyone.

There was a recent post, Parenting Children with ADHD that stood out. The author focused on recent research (within the past five years) to help us understand that parents are not alone in their exhaustion of parenting an ADHD child, and that there are helpful resources out there. Have a read.

02 February 2016

Nomophobia: that feeling you get when you're smart phone is not nearby or connected

The CBC recently covered work from Timothy Caulfield from the University of Alberta, regarding what our cell phones do to our brain. The article discusses how mobile devices can be a Brain Drain and how no one is immune.
Studies show that people in the developed world are now spending upwards of eight hours per day staring at their smartphones and other screen devices — more time than they spend sleeping.
Read the full article here.

01 February 2016

Screen time, in moderation, not linked to youngsters' depression

There is a lot of fear around parenting in the digital age, and technology has often been given a bad rep when looking at exposure for children. While I believe in moderation, it was great to see this article from CBC encouraging parents to limit their children's screen time to two hours a day, because under that amount of time there is limited impact, and even a positive.
Overall, in smaller doses, screen time appeared to be a good thing. Compared to children who had no screen time at all, those who got a half hour daily were 8 per cent less likely to be depressed and kids allowed an hour a day had 12 per cent lower odds.
Read the full article here.

30 January 2016

15 Things Therapists Want You To Know

In a great gif article from buzzfeed, they list 15 things therapists/counsellors wish the public knew about them. They are very generalized and may not be true for every counsellor. But these two resonated with me:
  1. We don't give advice
  2. We don't know all the answers

12 January 2016

Goal-Setting. Tips for what helps and doesn't help #LDS #mormon #TwitterStake

The following is a talk I gave in church on January 10, 2016. If religion is not part of your spirituality, then reader beware.
Since we are 10 days in to 2016, it is a common occurrence this time of year is to make New Year’s resolutions. You know, the goals to lose weight, to not do this and to not do that.

Plus, we as Latter-Day Saints are asked to improve through the Atonement daily, by setting and keeping goals. Elder M. Russell Ballard taught: “I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”

It is so unfortunate that 85% of New Years resolutions fail by Valentine’s Day. A mere 45 days or six weeks into a year with 52 weeks or 366 days (in this leap year). That’s not a great success rate.

The reason is, as Elder Ballard said, that we have not learned the techniques and principles of goal setting. So let’s look at some reasons why goals are not successful, and what we can do instead.

If I may also add, don’t just listen to me, pay attention to what you may not hear and that you are feeling as we discuss making changes through goal setting.

One reason goals are not successful is that they are simply not made properly. We just identify one single item and don’t make a plan, or do anything about it.

There is a common acronym that is used to help with goal-setting, and that is SMART, or SMART goals. Which means make your goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Specific, what exactly will you accomplish. Measurable, how will you know you have reached this goal. Attainable, is achieving this goal realistic with effort and commitment, plus do you have the resources to achieve the goal, if not, how will you attain them. Relevant, is this goal attainable and of value to you. Last is time-bound, when will you achieve this goal.

It is really important to use SMART correctly, if just parts of it are used, chances are the goal will not be successful. For example, we may want to do said activity, have it done by this date, but what we fail to take into account is the A & R, attainable and relevant. Usually because said goal does not fit in with our current value and belief system and it is not a priority for us to commit effort to. The best example I have experienced with this, is someone who was pregnant and wanted to lose weight, not really a congruent goal given life’s current situation.

President Thomas S. Monson taught: “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” – Which is what makes SMART goals so useful, especially when shared with a trusted individual.

While it is important to formulate a goal the SMART way, many times this process alone will not work.

Motivational Interviewing
Another reason why goals are not achieved is they are not tied into motivation.

We need to know what motivates us, and how we are motivated. That is finding the internal or external motivators to accomplish a goal.

There is a process to this, called Motivational Interviewing, where you Engage with your issues/concerns and hopes and then Focus on how to bridge the gap in daily habits from where you are now to where you want to be, to then Evoke the confidence and the importance of making changes, to then Plan how to make the changes.

If I may share a scriptural reference regarding motivation, or a lack thereof: Laman and Lemuel. When Lehi asked his sons to return a get the brass plates, Laman and Lemuel were less than thrilled compared to Jacob and Nephi. They murmured, as it is said. And even after an angelic intervention, promising success, the first thing Laman and Lemuel did, they murmured, saying “How is it even possible?” Despite having a spectacular spiritual experience, they were still unable to find the motivation because they could not engage with, focus on, and understand the importance of getting the brass plates.

Later, Lehi received a revelation that his family should not be alone in the wilderness. Lehi essentially said to his sons, go find Ishmael and bring his family back so that you will have someone to marry. Laman and Lemuel went with Nephi to go get Ishmael, and you know what, there was absolutely no murmuring reported! Laman and Lemuel were able to find the motivation this time! What is interesting with this moment in time is that on the way back with Ishmael’s family, two of Ishmael’s daughters murmured, you have to wonder if those two became the wives to Laman and Lemuel?

I think it's also important to remember our temperament when talking about motivation. This, same with motivation, is different for everyone. If you are someone who needs to slowly wade into the pool, that temperament impacts your motivation. If your someone who just jumps in the deep end to get in the pool, that impacts motivation as well.

Time Management
So many times goals are focused on not doing something. It is really hard to remove a behaviour, action, or pattern in life without finding a replacement for it. We need to find something else to invest our time in.

All of us have been given one common resource, time, that we can invest in any way we want.

President Brigham Young said: “Time is all the capital stock there is on the earth; and you should consider your time golden, it is actually wealth…”

Did you know there are over 300 hours of videos uploaded on YouTube every single minute? And if we stopped all future YouTube video uploads it would take 60,000 years to watch all the videos currently on YouTube.

Did you know there are an estimated 130 million books worldwide? And if you read a book every week for 40 years, that is only 2,080 books.

Did you know according to Internet Movie Database (IMDB), there are over 1 million movies and 3 million TV episodes? And Netflix offers just over 13 thousand of those titles, which is less than one percent of all titles worldwide?

Did you know the average Canadian spends just over 4 hours per day on their cell-phone and computer? And that they spend nearly 3 and a half hours watching TV? Another two hours listening to the radio/music, and 30 minutes spent reading printed materials? That means in an average day, a Canadian spends almost 10 hours with some sort of media, 75% of that is screen time.

So what are you doing with your time? If you are going to do something else with your time, what is it going to be?

John Longden a former Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve shared: “Mere ‘busyness’ is not necessarily evidence of the wise use of time. There should be time for mental and spiritual development as well as relaxation: time for worship and time to express our thankfulness for our ability to work, and think, and pray, and read, and help, and dream, and laugh, and plan, and learn.”

Elder Dallin Oaks added regarding decision making: “As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best.”

Next reason why some goals are unsuccessful is they focus on balance, doing all things equally. The goal of balancing spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical growth with the demands of work, family, church, community and other obligations.

While it is noble to strive for balance, I’m beginning to understand that the notion of “balance” in all aspects of life is an ideal. It is more about what our priorities are. It is simple to make changes in your life, and will be easier to do so if it is a current priority.

Elder David Bednar shared the following during a training in the Philippines: (and I think on our continent as well): “Balance in doing all things doesn’t exist. You cannot be perfectly balanced in doing all things. The principle is over time were you able to give sufficient attention to all things that you need to attend to. Prioritize. The Holy Ghost will help us to focus on the things that need attention at a time. There are nice things that are not very important – don’t attend to those. You have to determine what you need to do according to the will of God. Don’t neglect the things that really matter most.”

Now, I am not here to tell you what your priorities should be, that is up to you to determine. But know that through prayer you can learn what your individualized priorities should be. And also that it is one less barrier to reaching a goal when it is a priority.

Change Model & Relapse
Another reason why goal making is unsuccessful is that the stages of change are not understood. I will draw a lot from AA and ARP principles here.

It’s important to know that making changes is difficult. There are stages of Pre-contemplation and Contemplation before you even consider making the plans to change! There is a lot of thought preparation before action is taken to implement the change and then to be able to maintain it.

What is annoying is this thing called relapse. It’s not bad, it is crucial to making change, it helps find areas of weakness that need to be strengthened in order to maintain changes.

But at times we can be more vulnerable to relapse than at others. Alcoholics Anonymous uses an acronym called HALT - hungry, angry, lonely and tired. If you are experiencing any one of those you are more vulnerable for relapse and returning to your pre-New Year’s resolution habits. Imagine experiencing all four, how much more vulnerable you would be!

Consider the brain like a forest. As we have grown from infancy we have built pathways from one section to another. Some of these pathways have become four lane highways, while vegetation has grown over the less used pathways. When we are making changes, especially drastic changes, we are forging a new path, or using a less travelled path, and trying to travel on it enough to become a side-walk, then a gravel road, then a paved single lane, to eventually a four lane highway. It takes time.

This also means that when implementing a new goal, or making changes, it is sometimes, if not often, things become worse or chaotic before they become better, because of the effort needed to make a change.

So it makes sense when one is Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired it is just much simpler to travel on the four-lane highway of thought instead of forging a new path.

Let’s go back to Laman and Lemuel, they are great examples of relapse. Nephi’s bow broke, they got hungry, they murmured. They were angry for many reasons: getting the plates, leaving Jerusalem, building a ship, the ship not going fast enough; they murmured. They felt lonely many times in the wilderness, on the ship, and in the promised-land; they murmured. Tired from traveling, they murmured. Noticing a theme? (And by the way murmur, murmuring or murmured is mentioned 16 times in all of the Old Testament, 12 times in the New Testament and 15 times just in the book of 1st Nephi, 20 if you include 2nd Nephi – shows just how much murmuring happened.)

Don’t look back
Another reason goals get stuck, is that we keep looking to the past. Whether this is because we are looking for inspiration in the past, or that something from the past is preventing us from focusing on the present.

Sometimes there is also this thought that we need to resolve the past, or dig up the past in order to be able to focus on the present. The only time, I am learning in my work, to focus on digging up the past is if it is impacting your daily ability to function, such as sleeping and going to work or school, and then it is important to work on healing. Other than that, the past should be in the past. I’ll share two pieces of insight regarding this.

First, let’s look at research from the University of Illinois on looking forward after a tragedy. The lead researcher was a crisis social worker for children and teenagers after the Katrina hurricane in New Orleans. She shared that the children and teenagers started saying “We are not interested in talking about our Katrina experience. We want to talk about all the other issues we are facing.” She realized that “these kids [didn’t] need to reprocess the storm over and over again, they need to talk about other adversities related to the storm” This is true in our lives, where we will have a storm, physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, impact us. When the storm is over, and we are beginning to deal with daily life again, we need to focus on the future and its struggles, not talking about the past over and over again.

Second, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland shared this about looking back: “If something is buried in the past, leave it buried. Don’t keep going back with your little sand pail and beach shovel to dig it up, wave it around, and then throw it at someone, saying, “Hey! Do you remember this?” Splat! Well, guess what? That is probably going to result in some ugly morsel being dug up out of your landfill with the reply, “Yeah, I remember it. Do you remember this?” Splat! And soon enough everyone comes out of that exchange dirty and muddy and unhappy and hurt, when what our Father in Heaven pleads for is cleanliness and kindness and happiness and healing. … Perhaps at this beginning of a new year there is no greater requirement for us than to do as the Lord Himself said He does: “He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” … then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future.”

I hope for you that as you go through the stages of change as you make your New Year’s resolutions, that you invest your time in priorities for your life, using your motivation, SMART goals, and that you look forward.

And I know that as we include the Lord in our plans, He will guide us.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.