February 2011

Down To Earth Newsletter
Volume 10 – Issue 2 – February, 2011

FREE PRESENTATION – Caring for the Healers Heart: Preventing compassion fatigue in health care workers – February 14th, 2011, 11:30a-1:00p, Ottawa University – FREE brown bag lunch presentation. Sponsored by the Arizona Trauma Network and Ottawa University. Bring your lunch and learn. Trammel-Crow Conference Room, Phoenix Campus: 10020 North 25th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

Debunking Myths – 2daze kidz don’t no how to spel or rite

Parents and other adults in authority roles are becoming alarmed at the creative spelling that digital communication encourages. Twitter’s 140-character limit allows for greater communication the shorter you can make your words. “You are” becomes “ur.” “Two,” “too,” and “to” are all represented by the number 2 instead of letters at all. Homonyms are now chosen by length, rather than by meaning, with “rite” replacing both “right” and “write,” and standing in for the rare occasion that a Tweeter need to refer to an elaborate ritual. Phonetic spelling, when it can shorten a word, or the time it takes to type a word, is also preferable, with “whoz” replacing “whose” or “who’s” and “shooz pleez” replacing “shoes, please” not because “shooz” or “pleez” are shorter, but because they’re easier to type with only 4 different letters vs the 5 that are in “shoes” and “pleez.” Expletives are even suffering downsizing as evidenced by OMG, WTF, and POS. What about punctuation? Punctuation deemed unessential is omitted and excessive punctuation may be used in place of words such as “Packers!!!!!!!!!!!!!” to replace the more cumbersome, and completely archaic, “Holy Cow, I’m so excited, the Packers won the Superbowl! Aren’t you excited, too? We should talk about it!”

Parents and other adults in authority are stating, with increasing intensity, disdain for this new form of communication. They fear it will make our children less intelligent, less able to communicate and represent themselves in the work force, will limit their options, and hamper their future success.

Fact: I have been working with kids, teens, and parents now for about 20 years and although I continue to get older, the families I work with do not. That is, when I was 22 years old in 1991, doing my practicum in school psychology, the children I worked with ranged in age from about 3-18 and the parents I worked most with ranged in age from about 20-35. Thus, I was younger than most of the parents I worked with. Ten years later, at age 32, I was smack in the middle of the parental age bracket, and now, at 42, I’m starting to be older than many of the parents I work with. However, having had these three unique perspectives, I can tell you that every year, parents say the SAME EXACT THINGS.

Every single year, parents complain…. that kids today have it too easy. Kids today don’t value education like they did. Today’s kids are disrespectful, lazy, they act entitled. The music they play is appalling. Their language is obscene. If I would have talked to my parents like that, I would have gotten the crap beaten out of me. I would never have tried to get away with that when I was a kid. Who do they think they are? That’s not how we did it when I was a kid. My parents would have never stood for that. I would have never brought that to school. I would have known better. If it keeps up like this, society will crumble completely. He’s never gonna get a job looking like that. Who’s going to hire someone who doesn’t have the basic skills? Kids today have no common sense. I would have never, in a million years, done that.

Now, what I find really interesting is that the parents that I work with today who are in their 30’s are essentially the same teenagers I worked with when they were in their teens. When I remind them that their parents were saying the exact same things about them at the time, they don’t seem to make the connection. No, the stuff that’s happening TODAY is so much worse than what was happening when they were teens. Whatever they were doing when they were teens was “normal” and whatever today’s kids are doing is “outrageous.”

The truth of the matter is that technology is changing the way we communicate. All it is is change. It’s not good or bad, it’s just change, and most of us resist change that we didn’t solicit. Most 40-year-olds weren’t looking for a faster way to communicate, but today’s teens are and they’re proficient at it. There will be advantages and disadvantages that arise from this change, as there is with every other change. How do you think Shakespeare would feel about the way that you communicate? He would be appalled. We got away from that because it was too difficult to communicate efficiently using such elaborate language. Language is just undergoing another change. Resist it if you like, but like those before you, you will eventually be in the minority.

January Discussion Question: If you could live the rest of your life without a certain feeling, which one would you choose to get rid of?

Susan C., from Oklahoma, responds: Jealousy. Is jealousy a feeling? Well, if it is, I’d like to get rid of it. It gets in the way of my relationships and my goals. If I could live the rest of my life without jealousy, that would be awesome!

A particularly astute answer comes from L.A. in Wisconsin: I choose none. Though the years I have learned that every feeling is a valid feeling. You have the right to feel everything and none of them are bad or wrong. They define how we react to situations and people. I wouldn’t want to live without any of them.

Great Answers!  Your exclusive Dr. Marlo prizes are on their way!

February Discussion Question: If you could re-live a week of your life, without changing it, what would you choose to re-experience?

E-mail answers to: discussion@drmarlo.com and answers will appear next month. Your state of residence, your first name and last initial will be used unless you tell us not to use them.  Anyone who responds and also includes a mailing address will receive our fantastic information cards, RECOVERY REMINDERS, and a couple of temporary tattoos, just for fun.

Thought For The Day: A little bit of kindness goes a long way

To spotlight our E-Coaching services, our newsletter includes a personal growth exercise.  These exercises illustrate the kinds of activities our clients are asked to complete when they are using our E-Coaching services.  The exercises printed here are quite general in nature, but the exercises sent to our E-Coaching clients are individualized to meet each client’s specific needs.  E-Coaching Sessions are available for $50 each.

Mindful Moments

Almost everyone hates waiting. Waiting to buy something, waiting to cash a check, waiting to enter the theater, or waiting for the bus to come. We wait inside, outside, in our cars, in our homes, on the phone, and even in cyberspace. Waiting can make us feel helpless, since there’s little we can do to make whatever it is we’re waiting for come faster. Our frustration builds and stress accumulates and eventually we have headaches, stomachaches, tight muscles, and insomnia. Yuck! Well, if we can’t get rid of the waiting, what can we do with all that time? I encourage you to look at each one of those waiting experiences as opportunities to have a little mindful moment for yourself.

If you are forced to wait for something, you can use the time to get sick or you can use the time to maintain your health. If you’d rather maintain your health than get sick, take the waiting as an opportunity to get in a little relaxation for yourself. Get yourself as comfortable as possible. Use any furniture that is available or lean against something strong. If it is safe to close your eyes, do that. Take deep, slow breaths and focus on your own breathing. Any bothersome thoughts that enter your mind should not be met with anger or resistance, but rather, just calm curiosity. Just notice that you’ve had the thought and then let the thought pass right on through. Don’t try to dwell on it or change your thinking, just imagine it as a leaf floating in a river and let it float right on by.

Continue to focus on your breath and on the calm peacefulness of your own heartbeat. Just slowing down and taking a half dozen deep, slow breaths can do you a world of good. So, next time you’re stuck in line somewhere, instead of getting angry or frustrated, consider yourself lucky and take this little break for yourself.

For a FREE 5-Session Trial of E-Coaching, send us a report of how this activity worked for you!  We may share your report in our next newsletter with your name, last initial, and state of residence (unless you tell us not to).  Send to FreeSessions@drmarlo.com.  (Offer Expires 3-07-11)

E-Coaching!  Try it Now!
Not every problem is a mental illness.  Not every issue is a trauma.  Not every botherment is an emotional disorder.  For life’s daily issues and for personal growth, now there is E-Coaching!  Dr. Marlo Archer offers a 10-session consultation package for people who are not diagnosed with any mental illness who would just like some coaching, some guidance, or some personal growth.  We are offering the 10-Session package for $500.  Begin by calling 480-705-5007 to make a $500 payment, then send an e-mail to DrMarlo@drmarlo.com, expressing your specific area of concern to begin!

Publish Your Work – Promote your PracticeTwo ways to publish – for free as a semi-anonymous author (your state of residence, your first name and last initial will be used), or, for $25, as a professional promoting a mental health practice (your full name, with credentials, address, phone number, and e-mail address will be included).  We reserve the right to decline to publish any submissions.   Send creative contributions to:  articles@drmarlo.com.

Dr. Marlo in the Media

Dr. Marlo was interviewed for the documentary, “One More Thing Before You Go” by producer Michael Herst. For more information about this healing project, click here.

Read Dr. Marlo’s article, “Love Letters: Not Just for Lovers” in the February issue of Together Arizona Newspaper. Click here.

2011 looks like it’s gonna be spectacular! –Marlo J. Archer, Ph.D.

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