Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Can You Think Away Chronic Pain?

posted by Linda Mintle

neck painSusan’s leg injury was healed more than two months ago, so why is she still having chronic pain? Her family thinks it is all in her head, but is it? Her doctor can’t find a reason for the pain and questioned her about stress in her life. Susan admitted that she is going through a contentious divorce and work situation. She has little hope for her life to improve in the next year.

Pain is complex. It is both a sensory and an emotional experience, influenced by our thoughts and beliefs, stress and other social factors. Chronic stress and psychological issues can develop and exacerbate pain. If you are dealing with chronic pain, consider the mind-body connection.


1) Distraction. Pain demands attention. But when we focus on the pain, it worsens and amplifies. Distraction can be used to decrease pain intensity.

2) Check your thoughts. How we think about pain influences our experiences with it. If you believe you can mange the pain and cope with it, you will. Confidence improves functioning. If you believe your functioning depends on other people doing things, you will do worse than if you believe you have some control over the pain. And if you dwell on the pain and think catastrophic thoughts like, “I’ll never get better,” your pain will worsen. Your expectations about the pain can worsen or improve your functioning.

3) Fear and avoidance: The more you fear and avoid doing things because of the pain, the more the pain will worsen. Consequently, this reinforces avoidance. Fear can actually be more disabling than the pain itself. The fear of pain can also lead to depression and depression makes pain feel worse.


4) Anger: Anger from chronic pain is often unrecognized. When anger and hostility are present, they can reduce the body’s natural pain killers and increase the body’s sensitivity to pain. Work through that anger and release it to feel better.

5) Being passive: People who are passive in response to pain threats show greater distress and disability than people who attempt to solve problems.

The mind can exercise power over the body when we are dealing with chronic pain. One of the strongest predictors of work outcome for patients with pain is recovery expectations. So check your thoughts, emotions and behavior.

Could you be adding to the pain by not understanding the power of negative thoughts, expecting the worse, organizing your life around the pain due to fear and not addressing your emotions? If so, use this information to make changes in the way you think, behave and deal with your emotions.


Abortive Body Parts Only About Politics?

posted by Linda Mintle

Like most of you, I was horrified to see the video of the Planned Parenthood women having wine and food  while discussing abortive body parts for sale. The lack of a moral compass should outrage all of us, but yesterday, as I  listened to Juan Williams on The Five say that this was “gorilla theatre” by the person who shot the video and simply an attempt to politicize abortion, I was also grieved. The discussion on the video is clear, and no amount of editing could soften the harshness of those spoken words.

Political, Juan? Yes, since 1973 with the passage of Roe v Wade. But politics were not the point. We all know the law.

Address the CONTENT of the video, Open your eyes to the truth. The very accusation you make toward the Right is preventing you from being outraged. Your own political lens won’t allow you to say, “This is horrific human behavior.” Drop your politics and simply cry, ENOUGH! WRONG!


This is so wrong. And when we as Americans have to listen to media people defending behavior that is clearly wrong, it’s time to ask, how much do the politics of the day get in the way of truth? Why aren’t women shown graphic videos of how abortions are performed in the offices of Planned Parenthood? This would truly be informed consent. And why do people continue to defend Planned Parenthood as if abortion isn’t part of their services? It is. If it is so right, then come out of the dark and allow women who have the legal right to choose, choose based on real information, not political information that assures their funding and speaks to one side of a moral issue. But that won’t happen because it is all about politics.


So Juan, how dare you accuse the right of making this a political issue? Because of political correctness,  you could not even bring yourself to speak to the content of the video.  When a culture loses its moral compass it is in trouble. These women lost their moral compass and let’s pray they are in the minority. Moral people should be outraged and nothing less.

Who will speak up for the little ones, helpless and half abandoned? This question was asked by songwriter Phil Keaggy back in the 1970s. It’s still a relevant question and yes, Phil, I will.


What Ben Carson’s Single Mom Did Right

posted by Linda Mintle


Dr. Ben Carson, renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and now presidential candidate, was raised in poverty to a single mom who lived in a tough neighborhood. Ben’s mom worked two to three jobs in order to put food on the table. She didn’t want to be a victim. Instead, she instilled a work ethic into both of her boys.

Ben’s mom didn’t have an easy life. She grew up in foster homes as one of 24 siblings and married at the age of 13. When she learned that her husband was a bigamist, she made the difficult decision to divorce and go it alone. When raising her sons, she paid attention to the habits of the high achieving families with whom she worked. She made her boys read books even though she couldn’t read. She believed they could be great.


Single moms have a lot on their plates when it comes to raising strong teens, but the job can be done.

Here’s what one single mom had to say about raising teens. “I have three pieces of advice. Depend on the Lord because you need His strength, wisdom and guidance. Don’t make your child the little man or a second mom. And finally, stay positive, tapping in to support and help when you need it.”

Research supports this mom’s advice. Single moms fare best when they…

  • Have an optimistic attitude about the future and themselves
  • Have reliable support network
  • Have supportive relationships with family members and ex spouses
  • Have firm rules and consistency in values
  • Work at financial and job security
  • Have reliable child care
  • Don’t bad mouth their teen’s father

So if you are a single mom, be encouraged. God will equip you to do the job and raise strong kids! Dr. Carson is just one  of many children who came from a rough beginning, but was positively influenced  by his mother and her faith. With God, all things are possible.



5 Practices of Healthy Leaders

posted by Linda Mintle

leaderAre you a leader? You don’t have to be a CEO or President of an organization. You can be a leader in your family, school, church or in the community. One definition of a leader is someone who has followers.

We see and hear a lot about unhealthy leaders, but what about leaders who get it right? Can we identify practices that make a leader healthy?

In their “Leadership Practices Inventory,” Kouzes and Posner (1997) propose that exemplary leaders evidence five essential practices. They:


1) Challenge the process (seeking opportunities to challenge themselves and their organizations to improve beyond the status quo). Challenging the process can be threatening in organizations headed by insecure and unhealthy leaders. Challenge is not viewed as an opportunity for growth and creativity, but as a threat to the existing status quo. The healthy leader welcomes challenge, believing that new and innovative ways to see and do things only leads to growth.

2) Inspire a shared vision (a passionate belief in making a difference and creating a living breathing future direction for themselves and the organization). Inspiring vision is critical to providing meaning and direction for the future. Vision is where you begin, but has the end in sight. Vision creates clarity of purpose which is why the Bible says without it, a people perish. You lose sight and often lose heart when a vision isn’t clear or articulated. What is the vision for your family, your community, or your organization. Clarify it and then inspire others.


3) Enable others to act (fostering collaboration and team building) Empowering others to buy in, feel a part of the team and work together marks a healthy leader. Those who micromanage, refuse to delegate and create a top-down organization create an unhealthy dependence and paralysis in organizations and groups. Empower vs. do for!

4) Model the way (providing examples of the standards of excellence they espouse). Your parents said it and it’s true of any leader, “Actions speak louder than words.” No one likes to work for a hypocrite who says one thing and does another. Lead by example.

5) Encourage the heart (an element often also associated with a high EQ leader – emotional intelligence). Emotional intelligence requires awareness of your own emotions as well as the emotions of others. EQ leaders are more successful according to research. They foster a climate that  produces high performance. They have empathy, compassion and understand the needs of those they serve.


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