1. Of Barrenness and Burning: When Life Seems Bleak

    As far as the forest is concerned, the season has switched from fall to winter.  The branches are bare, and the forest floor is evidence of a year gone by.  The other day, as I arrived at the trail I like to run on (first time since fall was in full foliage), I was surprised to see a dozen firefighters spread out in the woods.  Surrounding these yellow uniformed warriors, like little monsters u…Read More

  2. Mental Health and Running

    It’s a chilly Oregon spring day, and an 11-year-old boy is about run his first competitive race, in all his 6th grade glory; the 800-meter-dash. The short shorts and tank-top barely cover his slight frame which is subsequently covered in goose-bumps caused by chill and nerves. Through the crackly bull-horn comes, “Runners take your mark…” BANG! As his blonde mop bounces on his head, what h…Read More

  3. Shame, Part 3

    As we continue on in this series on shame it is important to know that shame and guilt are two different things.  Sometimes they overlap and we can get them confused.   But here is the difference, Guilt: “I did something bad.” Shame: “I am something bad.” Sometimes our guilt causes us to feel shame.  But guilt is something we can get over.  We can fix what we did wrong.  We can apolog…Read More

  4. Shame, Part 2

    When was the first time you felt shame?  Do you remember an instance when you began to feel shame?  Maybe you didn’t know it was shame, maybe you would categorize it as embarrassment.  That is where shame starts, with embarrassment.  Maybe you did something and were criticized for it.  Maybe something happened to you such as bullying.  Maybe you carry shame around from some form of physica…Read More

  5. Shame

    Welcome to our series on shame.  Shame is powerful and if we let it, it can take over.  Maybe you are wondering if you have ever experienced shame, or maybe you are struggling with shame right now and you are wondering how to break free from it.  Most of us have experienced shame at one time or another.  Throughout this blog series we are going to take a closer look at shame, where it comes fr…Read More

  6. Vulnerability

    Whew…that is a scary word!  Who wants to be vulnerable?  I don’t think many of us would elect ourselves to be vulnerable.  Lets look more into this world of vulnerability. The definition of vulnerable is “Susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.  (Of a person) in need of special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect.” Okay, I…Read More

  7. Waiting…

    What do you do when you don’t know what to do? This question might be a bit of an odd question to some people.  To others you might be dying for an answer to that question.  Unfortunately I do not have the exact answer to this question.  There have been countless times in my life when I have been at an utter loss of what to do.  I felt stuck.  I felt hopeless.  I felt confused.  I felt de…Read More

  8. HOPE – A Four Letter Word

    While out on a run recently – tunes blasting in my ear, my aging muscles screaming for me to stop, the heat and humidity of the Chicago summer draining the life from me one drop of sweat at a time – I heard a phrase through the earbuds, as if sent straight from the running gods, that resonated with me distracting me from the exhaustion for a moment… “HOPE is a four-letter word” I can’t…Read More

  9. Is “Mental Health” an Oxymoron?

    Does mental health sometimes seem oxymoronic? Think about it, who doesn’t have mental health days?  Don’t we all have anxious thoughts, depressed feelings, confused direction… like all the time?  The answer, far from moronic, is duh.  Is it possible to achieve a healthy mind?  That would be awfully nice. Are we not people who live in clearly confusing times?  We are called to be the bes…Read More

  10. When The Pain Is Too Great

    What do you do when the pain is too much to handle?  When people come into counseling that are hurting, their first question is, “How do I release this pain I am feeling?”  They are looking to me to help them feel better.  Unfortunately I cannot take their pain away, even though I wish I could.  Some people release their pain in very unhealthy ways; I try and give them healthy alternatives…Read More