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At Exum Life Counseling, Mediation, & Training Services, Inc. offices in Plantation and Tamarac, Florida, your wellness is our chief concern. Don’t let life’s challenges weigh you down. We’re here to give you the support you need. Feel free to discuss with us your concerns. We’ll handle all your information with confidentiality.

 

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S.H.I.N.E.!!!!!

On October 23, 2016 I attended an event called S.H.I.N.E. Miami 2016; S.H.I.N.E stands for Spirit, Hope, Insight, and Networking Event. This was an event that was inspired by Oprah Winfrey’s “The Life You Want” tour in 2014.

 

I like many others attended Oprah Winfrey’s event and left feeling like we were on fire! It was such an inspirational event! People from all walks of life gathered in the hopes of grabbing a glimpse of encouragement to help them live their best life.

 

The S.H.I.N.E. Miami event was birthed out of how one woman found her voice and wanted other the feel the freedom of mind, body, and spirit as she did after being inspired to live her dream.

 

The theme of the day for S.H.I.N.E Miami 2016 was celebrating oneself, accepting, honoring, and loving yourself in all of your imperfections; even in times of pain and suffering!

 

It is rare that individuals even acknowledge flaws in themselves, let alone, embrace them and not feel less than others who are more than likely living with their own insecurities.

 

Living in the world today is hard enough! There is no need to doubt oneself and condemn each other for what we and many others are hiding or suffering in secrecy. It is time to take off our masks and realize that we are not alone!

 

Many people are living with anxiety, depression, and other mental torment or illnesses and they are ashamed because they feel that they are an anomaly. Please know YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

 

Bravo to Oprah Winfrey and many common place every day Joes, for giving people permission to be themselves; and kudos to S.H.I.N.E Miami 2016 for carrying the torch! I look forward to next year’s S.H.I.N.E. 2017!


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Walk a mile in my shoes

Posted on February 20, 2020 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Today I’m writing about an experience that I had this morning. One of my best friends visited my home this week; she left this morning. Her flight left at 6:00 am, I dropped her off to the airport just before 5:00 am. Work started for me at 8:00 am and the earliest the school doors open is 7:30 am. I didn't want to travel all the way home and risk being late because I knew I was going to fall back asleep and plus the morning traffic in South Florida can be horrific. Therefore, I decided to find a safe place near the school to close my eyes and catch a few more Z’s. The neighborhood in which one of my school is located is not the safest. But I wanted to find someplace near the school so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the morning traffic when it was time for me to report.

 

I thought I would go to the neighborhood Cracker Barrell because I thought it would be open with lots of people around. However, it was closed. So I went to the Extended stay parking lot next door. There were lots of cars and even a few people standing outside who seemed to be waiting for a ride. I find a somewhat secluded parking spot hoping that no one from the establishment was watching and would ask me to leave.

 

Once I was settled, I tried my best to get comfortable with no avail. I reclined the front seat, laid in the back seat on my back, my side and my stomach, nothing worked! I was finally able to sit up in the back corner seat with my legs laying on the console between the front seats. I set the alarm on my phone and dozed off. This had to be the worse nap I had ever taken! I was uncomfortable and I literally had three nightmares in the short time I was asleep. I dreamed that I witnessed a murder and was seen by the perpetrators so they were trying to kill me so that I would not call the police. I dreamed a man was trying to rape me; and a man was trying to bulldoze my car with me in it.

 

This experience got me to thinking about all of the homeless people living in cars and on the streets; many of them children. Can you imagine the psychological damage being homeless does to an individual? To a single mother? Children? Men? Yes, there have always been homeless people and I did not just notice them. I’m the one who stops traffic at times to give them cash. I am also the one who prays for them as I see them on the side of the road with their signs.

 

What I experienced was nothing compared to what homeless individuals must be faced with on a daily basis. The stress, pressure, and the pain. Many of their basic needs are not met: Psychological, Safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization (Maslows Hierarchy of needs). I realize that I am truly blessed! Many people are only a paycheck or a tragedy away from being homeless. We need to take care of each other because we are our brother's keeper. We must have empathy for each other no matter race, color creed or sexual identity. If we did, this world would be a much better place. We have to do better taking care of ourselves and others.

The poem says:

Walk a mile in my shoes…

See what I see,

Hear what I hear,

Feel what I feel,

Then maybe we will understand why I do what I do…

Until then, don’t judge me.

                                A version of Mary T. Lathrap Original

 

Until next time be well.

 

Dr. X

 

Financial Stress

Posted on February 20, 2020 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

People are riddled with all kinds of stress. Stress that is related to relationships, parenting, social, mental, emotional, work and a myriad of others. Today I want to focus on financial stress; it can be daunting, demoralizing and downright humiliating. Finances are one of the top reasons for divorce. It can also keep you isolated because you may not be able to afford to go on vacations or hang out with friends due to lack of funds. Depending on the level of financial stress and how you handle it; Depression may occur, which affects many other areas in your life. Some people struggle financially because they didn't finish school and/or do not possess vocational skills such as mechanics, cosmetology, construction, carpentry etc.

In some cases, others have not learned to manage their money and they overspend or live well beyond their means. In addition, financial crisis such as medical issue, natural disasters, divorce-loss of income and loss of employment or the inability to continue to work, and unexpected expenses related to family, illness, death can also hit your pockets hard. There are many causes for financial pressures too many to mention. But whatever the reason, it doesn't have to be the end of the world. Many times, people are hit with several of these situations at once. So, what do you do? The first thing you do is hold on because you are about to experience a lot of turbulence. Some things that you can do to change your situation.

1. Cut back in purchasing things that you can do yourself i.e. hair, Mani, Pedi, cut your own grass, clean your own house

2. Shop at stores that have discounted items like: Walmart, Aldi, Save-a-lot, Ross, Didi's discount store, etc.

3. Use coupons

4. Only buy necessities

5. Check your insurances to see if there are some items that are not needed.

6. Look for a higher paying job.

7. Pick up a part-time job.

8. Sale items that you are no longer using via online offer up, let go,

9. Craig's list or have a garage sale.

10. Rent out a spare room.

11. Use a section of your home for an Airbnb

12. Make something you can sell desserts, dinners, clothing, crafty artistic items. Sometimes we must get creative and think outside of the box.

At the end of the day, if you have done and are doing everything that you can just wait, things can change suddenly for the better and in your favor. The most important thing is to protect your mental health. Nothing is worth your sanity. Do not allow a temporary situation to take your peace, compromise your happiness, or dictate your future.

Until next time be well

Dr. X


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