Source: Instagram Gives Entrepreneurs a Visual Voice in Their Industry
From Flab to Fab!
Source: From Flab to Fab!
The Nutkracker Files
He has very irresponsible parents! This was great Donna!
Freedom of the Press/Freedom of the People
Well said! The good thing about the USA, no matter how much Trump tries to stifle our Press- we have a strong Press in our Country and I think Trump’s Anti-Press stance has united more of them. They will dig deeper because of his attitude. Having freedom of Press/Speech in our country makes me feel safer because he can’t govern like Putin no matter how much he’d like to!
The Changing of the Guard
Agree with your sentiments my friend!
The Pros and Cons of Traveling Cross Country on Amtrak
Two years ago I decided I wanted a new experience so I decided to take Amtrak from Erie, Pa to Denver, Co. My son and his family live in Colorado and I could have flown but the idea of taking a train cross country sounded exciting.
We left Erie, Pa at 1:50 am and arrived at Union Station in Chicago, Il at approximately 9:45 am. I was so happy to get off the train from Erie. When you’ve never ridden on a train long distance the bumps and what seems like jumps can feel a bit alarming, especially when you can’t see outside because it’s dark. I also rode coach but I was lucky to have 2 seats to myself the entire trip to Chicago. When I walked outside, this was my view- A photo of Union Station.
I had a 6-hour layover in Chicago, which was relaxing. Union Station is quite large and has quite a few restaurants along with shops on the top floor. It was also a very nice day, the temps were in the low 70’s when I walked outside. At 3 pm it was time to board my next train- The California Zephyr which is a double decker train. Here is a photo of the observation car, which was a great place to see the many wheat and corn fields we passed along the way! Did I mention we passed corn fields? All kidding aside, it was a great place to read, listen to your music and meet others. I met so many interesting people on the train. We were also warned when leaving Union Station that we would feel the train begin to sway. I thought they meant it would ONLY sway when leaving. Because the train is a double decker it swayed the entire time. I think I was sea sick (excuse me, I meant I felt motion sickness) for almost an hour until my body acclimated.
We did not stop often and most of our stops with regards to scenery were absent. However, when we had half hour break in Burlington I snapped this photo.
I believe it was 95 degrees outside on this particular day in April. During breaks, it’s easy to meet more people. I met one man and we were talking about trains versus planes. He was a businessman and I asked him why he didn’t fly anymore? He confided in me that he had not flown since 1979. He was waiting to board a DC-10 and took a bump back allowing another passenger to board. That flight crashed on take off and there were no survivors. He told me that fate was on his side that day but he was never able to fly again. He spoke to many of the people prior to that flight taking off and it forever changed his perspective on flying. I met so many people who told me so many interesting stories on the train. If you ever want to write an interesting book, take many trips across the country on Amtrak, your pages will fill up quickly with stories.
One of the Pros of taking Amtrak
The meals were phenomenal! I had a sleeper car from Chicago to Denver and your meals were included- breakfast, lunch and dinner. You had to make reservations and they would seat you with other passengers. Each table sat 4 people. I was a bit uncomfortable with this at first but I realized the others were too, so we ended up chatting a lot and after a few glasses of wine, giggling too.
Pros from my Amtrak Trip:
- Excellent food
- You’re able to roam freely and meet many people
- I had a room (albeit small) to escape to for privacy and sleep on the Zephyr
- We crossed the Mississippi River- that was a cool site to see, considering the majority of the sights are fields, did I mention that already?
- Most of the people are extremely friendly and want to share stories with you, so if you enjoy listening to others- this makes the journey that much more fun
Cons traveling Amtrak Cross Country
- It’s a very bumpy ride and many times the train must change tracks because freight trains take precedence. The freight train tracks are not smooth at all.
- Sleeping car rooms are expensive and very small. It’s hard to fit one suitcase in your room.
- The beds are not comfortable.
- If you do have a sleeping car room you have access to a public shower and restroom within your designated car- When I went in to take a shower at 6 am on my morning of arrival to Denver the shower had at least 20 dirty towels on the floor and water had not drained. There must have been at least a 1/2 of water. Needless to say, I did not shower, I washed up at a sink.
- Carry light baggage. I didn’t realize I would have to tote my heavy bags from the train to the terminal in Chicago, and up 2 very narrow flights of stairs in order to get to my sleeping car. It’s a LONG walk from the train to the entrance of Union Station.
- No wifi! So make sure to load movies to view offline, music and anything else it is you like to do on your phone or PC.
- Can’t make calls from your phone as well.
- The interior, including the seats, are not the cleanest. The porters have very little time to do major cleaning due to the train schedules.
- My most critical complaint- Our rail system is in desperate need of repairs. It was quite obvious with all the changing of tracks and certain noises that the tracks themselves, are very old.
Would I consider taking Amtrak again? Probably not unless I had a lot of time to do so. My trip one way was 31 hours. When you travel for that amount of time a sleeping car room is almost a necessity but they are costly. Plan on paying approximately 400.00 more round trip if you do not ride coach the entire trip.
Once I arrived in Colorado, I was in awe! Estes Park, Co
Photo Images on page: All rights reserved- Lisa Gallagher; Article-Amtrak Image provided by Google Images- Geno Daily
Suffering From Anxiety Disease and Social Implications
Warning- This post will be bluntly honest.
Many of you that follow me know that I suffer from Anxiety and Panic Disorder. My mom passed away in January and it seems my Anxiety has been full blown for the past 4-6 weeks.
The only way I can describe anxiety is to compare it to being in a dark parking lot alone at night. Picture yourself walking to your car and getting ready to enter when out of nowhere a stranger grabs you. What sensation would you feel? I’m going to guess you would feel your heart pounding very fast, palms would become sweaty, legs feel like jelly and your mind would be circling with thoughts of- “Will I survive this?!” Let me state for the record, I hope no one would find themselves in a horrific circumstance like this. I would not wish that on my worst enemy. People with Anxiety Disease experience the same symptoms but for no apparent reason.
When anxiety hits and lasts for any length of time- you feel like your in an abyss that you’re unable to climb out of. It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Generalized Anxiety Disease (which is what I have been diagnosed with) appears out of nowhere and leaves when it’s ready. You wake up with your heart beating 100 mph and go to bed feeling the same. Anxiety disease, when full blown is a vicious, relentless cycle of symptoms. Another issue that arises when anxiety stays with you for any length of time are racing thoughts, which are referred to as intrusive or obsessive thought patterns. I worry about money 24/7. I thought most people worried about money issues just as much as me, until I began therapy and I was told that even with debt people without anxiety disorder don’t worry constantly.
Another issue when anxiety is at it’s worst- concentration and memory problems. I swear my short term memory is about 5 seconds long lately. Concentration isn’t much better, which has made it hard for me to write. Writing always came so easily to me but it’s dwindled because my anxiety is trumping!
I’m currently back in counseling and my counselor is using a newer module of therapy called EMDR.
“Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a powerful new psychotherapy technique which has been very successful in helping people who suffer from trauma, anxiety, panic, disturbing memories, post traumatic stress and many other emotional problems. Until recently, these conditions were difficult and time-consuming to treat. EMDR is considered a breakthrough therapy because of its simplicity and the fact that it can bring quick and lasting relief for most types of emotional distress.”
I’m feeling hopeful because I have a psychologist that is well trained in EMDR and feels I will be able to re-train my brain to help offset the anxiety I’ve been plagued with for years. One thing to remember as I was reminded, the negative thought patterns began years ago and the brain will not re-wire itself overnight. It also takes a lot of self-practice (dedication) to the therapy if you are hoping to see results. As I was told, It’s like exercising and trying to build muscle. This doesn’t happen overnight and re-training your brain to adapt isn’t a quick fix either.
I do know that social interaction is vital to my well-being. This is not the case if you suffer from social anxiety disorder. When I was working, I was much more focused because I had something to keep my mind busy other than the disruptive thoughts that occur when I’m home. I also had an income which helped to defer my worries. I am very pro-active with my husband’s business but most of the work I do is done behind the scenes with little social interaction.
I live in a small, rural town and the job prospects are slim. I also feel I reached an age that allows me to be a bit picky when it comes to finding my next job. I have a diverse background and I learn fairly fast. Every job I’ve ever had- I had to learn how to do after being hired. So it’s funny (not in a ha-ha type of way) that I’m so anxious while at home, yet focused and feeling a sense of calm when I’m working for an organization that values their employees.
The good news- Anxiety Disease is something you can live with if you find out your triggers and divert your attention in a positive direction. You can live with Anxiety Disease but it’s vital to get professional help if it’s consuming your life. Working outside of the home can be beneficial because you are focusing on something outside of yourself. Going to work gives you a sense of purpose and builds positive relationships outside of your home life. The key is finding a job that is conducive to your mental health. Actually, finding a job that’s conducive to your mental health is wonderful in any scenario.
I won’t lie, life seems tough right now but I’m holding on to hope that ‘this too shall pass,’ because I’m getting treatment and actively seeking employment. It’s been over 2 years since I worked outside of my home and I miss it. I put a lot of things on hold when my mother was terminally ill. It’s time to keep moving forward. Tomorrow always brings with it new beginnings and that’s what I’m counting on.
Please feel free to share your own stories. I know it’s hard for some people to share openly because they fear the stigma that is still attached to talking about ‘brain disorders,’ ( I don’t like the term, mental). Anxiety disease is more prevalent than people are aware- it’s not selective. It’s my hope with more discussion about anxiety disease and panic disorder the more we can learn from each other! Remember, you are not alone.
It’s also my hope that employers become more educated because people should not have to hide the fact that they are afflicted with anxiety. Many times trying to hide the disease from others just makes it escalate. It’s just as real as diabetes and many other illnesses.
Header image: from google images- original image can be found: http://www.emdr-therapy.com/emdr.html
The Kardashian Brand- Good Marketing?
Old story, old news already – but let’s delve into it once more. Who am I speaking of, The Kardashians of course!
The latest which Kim Kardashian posted a photo to her Instagram account, baring her nude body again.
As Kim faced a backlash from not just outsiders but celebrities as well, she said she is proud of her body and wants to be a role model for females (paraphrasing). How is bearing your body over and over again being a role model for females? Let’s not forget, a sex tape was leaked prior to Kim’s media fame. Personally, I feel that wasn’t an accident, after all, she was friends with Paris Hilton and even appeared on Paris’s reality show- remember a sex tape was leaked of Paris too? Do you think the leak was accidental or good, yet sleazy marketing of her brand, the Hilton name, and her image?
Seriously, I find it appalling that Kim is trying to promote her ‘brand’ by saying she wants to be a role model for other females because there is nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to your body (again, paraphrasing). Let’s face it, sex sells and Kim Kardashian knows this. Yet, Kim wants other females to believe she is promoting her body image to help others that have a negative body image. How many females have a body like Kim Kardashian’s to begin with? How many females have personal trainers? If I were younger and saw her body, I would feel even worse about myself. Do you feel Kim Kardashian is a good role model for females? Do you feel her body image is realistic as a goal for other females to strive for? Personally, I did some homework and compared her butt pictures over a period of years and in my eyes it’s quite apparent that Kim has had work done on her bunns. A bum just doesn’t grow and plump up as Kim’s has.
Which leads me to the Kardashian Brand
According to the Huffington Post, the Kardashian’s never had to work a day in their life. “According to the Trust Advisor, their father, Robert Kardashian, left his wife and kids a rumored $100 million estate in trust when he passed away from esophageal cancer in 2003. And while Kris Jenner is often accused of exploiting her family in the name of her 10 percent cut as their manager, it’s not exactly as if she has ever been hard up for cash since Bruce Jenner is reportedly worth $100 million on his own.
And with this enormous wealth, the Kardashian-Jenner family has gone on to make even more money. In fact in 2011, a rep for their lifestyle brands told Women’s Wear Daily, “the Kardashians could easily be a billion-dollar business worldwide in the next two years.”
While it’s impossible to know exactly how much the family is worth, Trust Advisor puts the Kardashian collective net worth at around $80 million. While that number seems a little low given that Kim herself is estimated to be worth $40 million alone, they also like to live large.”
Great Marketing or pure luck?
Caitlyn (formally known as Bruce) Jenner’s net worth is estimated to be around 100 million dollars. Understandably, Bruce earned his money in an honest manner, well that is until he became a reality TV *star* with his Wife Kris Jenner and their children. I realize all the Kardashian’s have their own businesses/brands now but would that have been possible without inheriting money from their father’s estate? Is the Kardashian lifestyle a reality for most people or a fantasy in which many wish they lived? I admit I have watched their show out of pure curiosity- I wanted to find out what made them so appealing. I found nothing appealing about the show and quite frankly, insulted. Yet, they have been able to market their name, bodies and yes, some fly by night clothing shops, Kim’s newest game, along with other side businesses they own. So maybe it’s better put that the glamor of a lifestyle and the beauty of a person’s body do sell. Would you follow their marketing ploys if you knew you could make mega millions on top of what you inherited?
Kardashian Reality and why it insults
Most of us do not make a million dollars a year, forget 100’s of millions. Most of us work long, hard hours and are hoping we have enough money to pay our bills each month. Most of us do not own Multi-Million dollar homes, let alone more than one multi-million dollar home. Most of us started from the ground on up and will never in our lifetime see an income that resembles that of the Kardashians. How many of you are working to pay down credit card debt, saving for a vacation, sweating income tax time, holding on to that second car long after it’s paid off, robbing Peter to pay Paul just to get by each month? How many of you can watch this show and say, wow- I’m so impressed because the Kardashians are so business savvy and I would like to model my own business after them? Is it even a reality to think, “If the Kardashians can continue to build their net worth,” I know it’s possible for me to become this rich too? Which leads me to a few final notes- Keeping up with the Kardashians is not a reality TV show, it’s a fantasy that many people wish they were living. That’s the only reason I can come up with when it comes to fans who loyally watch their show. Any ideas why people would watch the show, other than it takes their mind off of reality and allows people to dream for a future they will most likely never experience? I would love to hear your thoughts. I would also love to hear your thoughts about Kim Kardashian posting so many nude photos and then claiming she wants to be a role model for females?
Please note- It was next to impossible for me to find articles linking back to Kim Kardashian and the story of her most recent nude photo she posted on Instagram without linking to a page with naked photos.
One last note- As long as people continue to buy the Kardashian propaganda and tune in to “Meet The Kardashians,” it’s no different than watching a sports game, that’s how they make their money. It’s no different than paying constant homage to a news show, they too, make their money from the masses who are addicted. Our society is so media driven today and the media knows how to take advantage of this in order to line their wallets more.
What are you thoughts? I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.
*UPDATE* Please read the entire article. I have only watched the show 2 times out of pure curiosity. I do not seek them out, weed them out- yes! My Facebook and twitter timelines were flooded the past 2 days with news of Kim Kardashian’s latest nude photo posted on her Instagram account. Curious to hear how others feel about shows like this and the manner in which they conduct ‘business.’ Thanks!
Photo sources provided by: Google Images
I originally posted this on Linkedin.
All Rights Reserved Copyright © Lisa Gallagher 2016
Will We Ever Move Forward- Mental Health
This is a very tough personal story for me to write. I find this tougher than writing about myself.
I have a sister who was diagnosed with the Schizo-affective disorder in her late 30’s. Actually, she’s been given many diagnoses but I think the Pharmaceutical slaves, her Doctors finally settled with this label. My sister was a high functioning person until she became ill. She went through a prolonged postpartum depression after the birth of her second child. We all felt something wasn’t right but we were not able to pinpoint what was going on. We all received a call one afternoon that she had tried to commit suicide. From what I remember, my sister dropped her daughters off at school and the babysitter then proceeded to drive to the Lake. She parked her car and swallowed a ton of pills. When she began to feel the effects of the pills she panicked and she rushed herself to the Doctor. They called an ambulance. My sister was in ICU for 3 days and then sent to the Psychiatric Ward. Things just got worse from that day on.
After my sister was discharged we found out they had her on at least 4 different medications. At the time, we were just hoping the meds would help her to climb out the deep abyss she had been in for quite some time. Sadly, her symptoms began to escalate. My sister was beginning to hear voices and see ‘things’ that weren’t there. My sister developed psychosis and became suicidal again. Luckily she was able to confide in her family that she was suicidal. Back to the hospital she went and came home on even more medications.
My sister has been in and out of the hospital for the past 15 years. Her psychosis has increased, she has trouble with her fine motor skills, cognitive impairment, receives IGG infusions because her immune system is shot, and is depressed most of the time. She stutters when she’s nervous or tired. I swear she’s on enough medications to kill a horse! She is unable to work because she can hardly function. She’s also gained a lot of weight along with other health issues.
As I write this tonight, she ended up back in the hospital a few days ago due to her psychosis increasing. I am her health care power of attorney and I requested a family meeting with her Doctor and Social worker. They are poisoning her with drugs and these drugs will eventually be her demise, not her illness.
She told me she is on 8 psychiatric drugs, AND the Doctor increased one of her medications today. 8 drugs, REALLY? What is wrong with these Wacka-Doodles?! She sounds like a zombie but that’s all good because the staff doesn’t have to deal with real strong emotions and the Doctor can discharge her faster if she ‘appears’ emotionally stable. Nevermind that she doesn’t appear physically stable.
The goal for calling a family meeting?
As a family we all have concerns. We want to know WHY she is on so many drugs, and bring it to their attention that many of these drugs interact severely with each other. We want them to know the drugs are causing her more physical issues. We want to find out if the Doctor has ever looked into alternative answers for her? She has currently been in IOP (Intensive Out patient therapy) for over a year because I requested something long term after her discharge last year. Unfortunately, it sounds as if the group has a wide range of illnesses and is fairly generic with the therapy the use. They need to understand that she functions fairly well for the first hour after waking- that is until she pops her drug cocktail. My sister was also diagnosed with PTSD years ago and I don’t think the Therapists she’s seen have ever focused in depth on this aspect of her illness.
Pharmaceutical Companies are winning!
According to the Washington Post (2012) “The US spends $113 Billion on Mental Health Treatment and most of the dollars go towards prescription drugs and out patient therapy.” Many of the psychiatric drugs have side effects that are worse than the illness itself, not to mention they are dangerous when combined. Most of these drugs are highly addictive, even those which claim they aren’t. I’ve seen the withdrawal, and it’s not pretty.
So, what is the answer?
I’m stumped. I want to see her improve, but what I am witnessing is a continual decline. I would like to see her receive intensive one on one therapy which would include focusing on her PTSD. I want to shake her doctor and Therapists- asking them if they could function on this many drugs? I understand she needs medication because of the psychosis, but 8… I repeat, 8 psychiatric drugs?!
Sadly, my sister gained labels years ago and now they treat her in a robotic manner instead of understanding she’s human with emotions, a good heart, has dreams for a better future just like those who treat her do. She’s just a number to them- she’s become part of the system instead of keeping her individuality.
I would love input from anyone that has experienced something similar with a loved one and had much better luck? I would love to know what we are missing as a family, so we can be of more help to her.
Are you able to talk to your boss about your depression?
How many Employers or those in leadership roles recognize that depression and anxiety disorder are highly prevalent? Do most employers think of depression and/or anxiety as a medical issue? Have you been stigmatized on the job because you do suffer from depression or anxiety? If you’re afraid of the stigma, do you suffer in silence- making up excuses for days missed on the job?
I won’t be in today because I have the stomach flu
According to the NIMH in 2013, an estimated 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. This represented 6.7 percent of all U.S. adults. If you view the graph on the NIMH’s site, you will see that depression is on the rise, not decline.
Hi, I won’t be in to work today, because I’m suffering from depression. I need to leave work early, because my anxiety disorder is making it impossible for me to function.
I’m curious just how many employers have actually received a call from one of their employees stating they can’t work because they are ill from depression? If you did receive that call, how did you react? Has anyone felt they were able to express their need to leave work because their anxiety disease and/or depression is causing them to feel ill enough not to function? If I were a gambler, I would stake a bet that the stats are very low when it comes to employee-employer relations, and sharing the truth about these illnesses. I would love for others to prove me wrong- yes, seriously!
I was talking to someone today about this issue, which prompted me to write this post, and one thing we deduced- the brain is an organ just like any organ in the body. Without your brain, many of your vital organs would cease to function. So, why is there is still such a stigma attached to mental health issues? I would love to read one day that the term ‘mental health’ has been replaced with a more appropriate term like- MEDICAL HEALTH. Until that day arrives, if it ever does people will continue to be stigmatized, misunderstood, and possibly retreat from ‘treatment’ that is vital to their physical health. If your mental health goes untreated, it will affect your physical health.
Depression Costs U.S. Workplaces $23 Billion in Absenteeism
These findings are based on Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data collected between Jan. 2 2011 and Dec. 30, 2012. Gallup surveyed 237,615 full-time employees (those who work at least 30 hours per week) and 66,010 part-time employees during this time period.
For leaders of organizations, proven strategies for improving the mental health of employees generally involve the allocation of resources
According to the gallop poll early identification and treatment, employee assistance programs, efforts to culturally de-stigmatize depression and its treatment in the workplace, and management education for addressing depression and its causes are proven strategies for improving mental health within an organization. If more employers utilize these strategies, they may find employees are missing less time on the job.
How important is destigmatizing mental health issues to your Organization?
The 20 million dollar question, at what point do employers recognize that getting treatment for mental health is just as vital as getting treatment for kidney disease as one of many examples? Wouldn’t validation from your employer make you feel as though it’s OK to seek out treatment just as quickly as one would with a bonafide medical illness? Wouldn’t this drive down medical costs, and time lost at work if people were embraced to seek treatment early on?
We all get depressed from time to time, and everyone experiences anxiety, you just need to learn how to deal with it.
I’m going to bet (well I’m fairly certain) most people would not be told they need to ‘learn to deal with it,” if they had cancer, heart disease, a lung disease, shingles, diabetes and on the list goes. I’m fairly certain the few physical diseases mentioned would be viewed by an employer as a legitimate illness. Mental health ILLNESSES, on the other hand, are viewed by many as a weakness and the person should ‘just suck it up’, and nothing more. I’m sure there are some companies/employers who are educated enough to know the difference.
DO YOU HAVE VALUABLE, INTELLIGENT EMPLOYEES YOU WANT TO RETAIN?
Learn more about mental health issues, and how it affects those who suffer in silence because many do! Many suffer because they don’t want a label attached to them. They don’t want to be viewed as the ‘weak link.’ The point is- they shouldn’t have to feel as though they are the weak link. It’s time to stop the stigma attached to mental health issues that affect so many in our society today.
“Shit people say to people with Mental Illness”
I’d like to leave you with a video that’s not only enlightening but a parody of things people say to others who are suffering. The gal who put this video together also suffered from depression and anxiety. She’s young, highly educated, and wants to stop the stigma. I hope others can take a moment to view her video. After you view this you’ll either be extremely amused or have a deeper understanding for those who suffer in silence.
If you are suffering in silence
I strongly recommend following Rachels blogs on WordPress, she’s extremely intelligent and doesn’t mince words. If you are an employer overlooking the fact the fact that in 2015 one out of 4 people suffer from depression, I also recommend reading some of her blogs.
My goal- to enlighten & empower. I hope in some way I’ve been able to do one or the other. My hope is that one day employees feel as free to share that they are dealing with a sucky brain illness, and their employer understands. Why should anyone feel ostracized for being ill, think about it?!
If you use twitter and hope to lessen the stigma attached to mental illnesses, please use the hashtag #EndTheStigma or #WeHaveApples.
If you work with someone that is dealing with a ‘brain illness,’ please try to empathize, and understand they are not in control of their illness. Treat them with kindness as you would with someone that has diabetes. Encourage your co-worker to seek medical help.