What’s The Best Chapter In Your Life (1) By Dr. Michael Brooks

What’s The Best Chapter In Your Life (1) By Dr. Michael Brooks

I was walking out to the chicken coop to take care of our livestock when I heard the radio in the coop playing a county song. I just caught a portion of it “what’s the best chapter in your book.” Then I thought wow, that gives me an idea on how to look at our lives through the chapters in our lives. We have a rich plethora of life’s greatest memories stashed away in the back of our minds and don’t even know it. What are some of those life’s experiences hidden in our minds? Thought provoking isn’t it?

I hear many people share some of their great experiences in all kinds of settings. The smiles, laughter and maybe some embarrassment it may bring. I see the giggles and grins, them staring off into space maybe reliving a memory they haven’t thought about in years. Just the thought of looking back at the best chapter in your life can bring healing to so many. I know I have done it when I have missed my parents. I think about our travels as a family in Germany or the vacations we used to take up to Minnesota. It’s a great mind getaway when I think about the great chapters in my life.

I can remember when I spoke with a friend of mine who shared some wonderful insights and memories of his wife who passed several years earlier. As he shared with me, he would look off into the distance and recount some of the things they did together. As he wiped his eyes thinking about her he said out loud, “Boy, I haven’t thought about our first meeting in years.” He shared how they met in high school at a football game. He said it was love at first sight, he knew that she was the one for him. For most of us, relationships are the number one “best chapters in our Life.”

For some of you, you’re still waiting for that best chapter in your life to happen. For others they can’t seem to find anything good about their best chapter in their lives and focus on the negatives. For others there are so many great experiences that you can’t seem to find one that would top that list.

I want to encourage you that if you are struggling with finding a great chapter in your life, do something about it. Start getting involved in other people’s lives. Try to make a difference in yours by being a part of their lives. Start creating good memories by getting out of the house or finding new healthy friends. The key to being happy with your life or situation is moving forward. If you’re expecting people to make you happy, don’t bother. It will never happen. You have to be the architect to create the happiness in your own life.

Do you have regrets looking back and would like to mend fences with a family member or friend and need help in making that happen?? Would you like to set a new course for your life and need help? If you answered yes to any of these questions please Dr. Mike a call he can help you make changes in your life.

Dr. Michael Brooks
Applicable Counseling & Coaching Services
Web: www.applicablecoaching.com
Blog: http://applicablecoaching.com/blog.php
Web: http://idontwantthisdivorce.com/
Blog:http://idontwantthisdivorce.com/blog/
E-mail: mike@applicablecoaching.com
Office: 303.456.0555
Cell: 303.880.9878

When Women Say They Want A divorce (2) By Dr. Michael Brooks

This week we will be going over the reasons why women file for divorce. Some of the answers may surprise you. If fact you may have even thought about divorce and never followed through with it and wonder why. These next several weeks will hopefully be an eye opener for men who don’t get it.

wistful autumn blond

Did you know that women file two-thirds of all divorce cases in the US. A more astounding statistic is when the couple are college-educated, divorces initiated by the wife is a whopping 90-percent! When women decide to file for a divorce it has been well thought out and considered for some time. For many women it’s been in the back of their minds for several years. I think most women would say they didn’t want to file for divorce but for the sake of keeping their sanity needed to pursue a divorce. If men will not change their bad behaviors something has to give and usually it’s their marriage.

Look at the roles of today’s women. They are the care takers of the children, they take care of the household. Nurturing their children while being housekeeper and running errands and taking the kids to school and social events all the while working a job. Sometimes I think men just don’t get it and the importance of the wives contributions to the family.
Many women struggle today with the roles they have to deal with-in their family. First of all they are a wife, mother, and work. Yet many if not most women place impossible demands on themselves as a wife and mother. Why? Probably because of overload and lack of help from the husband. There are many reasons why women file for divorce and most can be prevented if the husband became more involved on several levels in the marriage relationship. So let’s look at some of the reasons why women file for divorce.
According to a study done at Pennsylvania State University the following is the top 10 reasons why women divorce:

1. Infidelity
2. Incompatible
3. Drinking/Drug Use
4. Grew Apart
5. Personality problems
6. Lack of communication
7. Physical or mental abuse
8. Loss of love
9. Not meeting family obligations
10. Employment problems

Next week we will be going over some of the reasons why women file for divorce. You may have some of your own reasons why you filed or are thinking on filing. Regardless of the reasons, I hope the wives of the men they are thinking about filing papers share the articles with their husbands. If we can save one marriage from the divorce court then I’ve done my job!

Do you feel that your husband doesn’t care about your marriage and you want out? Are you constantly asking your husband to sit down and talk with you and he shows no interest? Do you want a divorce but want to give him one more try? Is divorce your best option and you’re needing help in your next steps? Are you a husband whose been told “I want a divorce” and you want to save your marriage? Do you and your wife want to give it one more try and need help working on your marriage? If you answered yes to any of these questions contact Dr. Mike he can help you sort things out.

Dr. Michael Brooks is the founder of Applicable Counseling and Coaching Services. His services are affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your own home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike or Dawne over the phone or via Skype. The convenience of this type of coaching is the most effective means of counseling and Life Coaching for those who live out of the Denver-metro area. Give Dr. Mike or Dawne a call! You’ll be glad you did!

Dr. Michael Brooks & Dawne Baird
Applicable Counseling & Coaching Services
Web: www.applicablecoaching.com
Blog: http://applicablecoaching.com/blog.php
Web: http://idontwantthisdivorce.com/
Blog:http://idontwantthisdivorce.com/blog/
E-mail: mike@applicablecoaching.com
Office: 303.456.0555
Dr. Mikes Cell: 303.880.9878 or Dawne’s cell 406.580.0857

Why Is Confession Good For The Soul?

Why is confession good for the soul?

Ok! Right off the bat, I’m telling you this article isn’t about going to a priest and confessing all of your faults and sins and your whole life story. This is about getting things right with someone you have offended or wounded. It might be a family member, a friend or someone at work you need to apologize to. A lot of resentment, anger, rage, misunderstandings, hurt, sadness could be avoided by you if we are willing to right our wrongs against those we have hurt.

Definition of confession:

confess [kənˈfɛs]
vb(when tr, may take a clause as object)
1.(when intr, often foll by to) to make an acknowledgment or admission (of faults, misdeeds, crimes, etc.)
2.(tr) to admit or grant to be true; concede

I remember a few years back when a woman and her husband were in my office for marital counseling. The woman was confessing that she had an affair with a co-worker. It was very difficult for her to share it and even more difficult for her husband to hear. The affair was eating her alive. Her insides were so on fire that she was taking medication for an ulcer from the guilt she was carrying. She shared the secrets of her affair with her friends who encouraged her to continue it. Yet, she knew it was the wrong thing to do was. The haunting visions of her family breaking up because of her actions and the pain her children would go through were too much for her bear. That’s when she called me. I told her that if she felt that she needed to confess the affair to her husband then she should follow through with her feelings. I also advised her that there was no guarantee her husband would want to continue the marriage. She knew her confession would rid the guilt she was carrying with her 24/7.

Do you want to be free from years of guilt? Do you want to fix relationships that have been damaged by your actions and you need to confess a wrong you have committed? Many people have a severed conscious and don’t care about fixing broken relationships. You don’t want to fall into that trap.

Many times I hear stories about someone who has passed on and a family member wished they could have said “I’m sorry” for something that happened between them. I can remember a friend of mine who had a great deal of animosity and hard feelings toward his father. One night he received the call about his dad being killed in a car accident on an icy road. That’s when the guilt overwhelmed him as he lay in bed and wept. He was planning to ask his dad to forgive him for the anger he had towards him. He just didn’t know how to and now it was too late. Sometimes we never get that chance to cleanse our hearts through confessing our faults to each other. So the million dollar question is…why is confession good for the soul?

I’d say most people are good to each other and treat each other with dignity and respect. We all want people to think we are good on the inside and care about others. For most of us we want to go to bed with a clean conscious that we purposely don’t want to hurt anybody. When you have done something to someone by accident (a remark, or action) and it hurt them, we generally want to fix the pain we have caused them. We each have our ways of doing that (apologizing, trying to make things right). For many of us in this age of texting and e-mails, people will ask someone to forgive them and confess a fault through electronic means. I suppose that works for some folks but a true face to face meeting is what is needed. It can be scary at times yet fulfilling if done with a true heart of resolving issues.

What if you’re on the receiving end of someone that comes to you to confess an issue they have had with you? How would you deal with it? I can remember when an acquaintance asked if he could talk with me about something. I met him for lunch and as we sat and talked he said he wanted to confess that he had been angry with me for something because I ignored him in a business meeting and didn’t respond to a question he had asked. He had held a grudge ever since. He said it had bothered him for several months and wanted to get things right between us. I didn’t know that I had done this to this man and asked him for forgiveness. We talked over what had happened and agreed it was a wonderful feeling of letting the grudge go. So you can see, confession is good for the soul!

Do you have someone that you need to go talk to and confess an issue with them? Do you need to let go of something that causes you anger? Are you confused about some of the hard feelings that you’ve been carrying for some time? If you answered yes to any of these questions give me a call.

Why Do I Dread The Holidays?

A friend of mine recently told me that he hates the holidays. In fact, he said he loathes them. I asked him why and he shot back, “Because of all the bad memories associated with them!” During the holiday season, his demeanor changes, he sulks and avoids his friends and family. I knowseveral people who dread the holidays and quite honestly, I used to be one of them.

Many walk among us hiding their fears and pain, especially this time of the year. How can you spot these hurting people? There are many signs that are easy to pick up on. They refuse to go to holiday parties, seldom answer their phone or respond to text messages during the holidays. They don’t want any gifts and they usually tell you in advance. They make excuses why they can’t attend holiday celebrations. Most of us have a hard time recognizing the excuses coming from someone who suffers from the pain associated with the holidays.

Over the years, I too have struggled with the Christmas season. My mother was an alcoholic and was difficult to live with especially around the holidays. She struggled with her own demons during Christmas and took it out on my younger sister and me. I never really knew what her issues with Christmas were, but my sister and I suffered during what should have been a magical time of the year for us. Being cursed at was something we both expected and telling us she wished someone would hurt us or take away our Christmas was common. She was so unpredictable. One night she would be ok and then the next she was just plain awful to us. With the cookies and holiday candies spread out on the table sitting next to the lighted Christmas tree, we were told not to eat them because they were for company only. At times these bad memories pop up and put me in a funk.

Not everyone knows how to deal with sadness during the holidays. They live with them from year to year and watch the calendar day by day, wishing the holidays away. I realized that I had to create my own fond memories during the holidays. I had to force myself to do the things I feared most. I didn’t want to go to holiday parties, so I had my own. I started with a few close friends and invited them to my house. I had a small tree with lights and small gifts for each of them. I even had some Christmas music playing when they arrived. I have to be honest with you, it was hard to do but I’m so glad I did. When everyone left, I felt as if I faced one of my biggest fears, and sat down in disbelief that “I did it.” The first step was the hardest for me, but I was a victor instead of the victim. I overcame the fear of the holidays.

Are you ready to take that leap and address the needless suffering the holidays bring you? The first step is the desire to be a victim of painful memories and stop allowing the holidays to control you. If this If you’re ready to start enjoying the holidays again, then you need take the first few steps to healing.
Here’s what mine were:
•    Forgave and move on. Yes, my mother hurt me but I realized I needed to move on.
•    Kept company with healthy people who cared about me.
•    Kept looking to my future and not my past. I had to forgive myself.
•    Planned a fun evening with family and friends and started a small group and grew it.
•    Had a small 12 inch Christmas tree decked out with sparkly lights.
•    Played holiday music quietly.
•    Looked at the positive interactions I could have with friends and family.
•    Planned a short, two-hour holiday party. It was a good place to start.
The first time I planned my holiday event, it went very well. I kept to my game plan and since then it has become a tradition that I now look forward to every year. It was hard at first, kind of like jumping off a diving board for the first time. We need to face our painful memories. I did with mine and now the painful past is, for the most part, a faint memory. Plan to move on and get the victory you need so you can once again, enjoy the upcoming holidays.

Do you need help during the holiday season? Are you dealing with the past that will not let you go? Are there hurts that you need to talk about but are afraid to? Do you want peace and freedom from your past? Do you need a game plan to get you through the holidays? If you answered yes to any of these question, give Dr. Mike a call, he can help you!

Colorado’s Day Of Reckoning

The video clip shown on the national news the morning of July 20th of people running out of the movie theater seemed like a clip out of a horror film. The blood spattered clothes, the running and screaming people that the cell phone cameras picked up was both reality and terror combined. When I found out it happened in my own state of Colorado, a collage of mind rendering video began to replay itself of past and awful events.

The horrific images of Columbine High School raced in my mind’s eye while watching the Aurora events unfold on television. I said to myself, “What is going on with these people who have to kill people who are minding their own business?” The video in my mind began to blend together – the students running out of Columbine;  students running out of Platte Canyon High School in Bailey and now the Century theater in Aurora. All this at 5:00 a.m. on a Friday morning. I flipped from station to station not believing what I was seeing! The images forever embedded in my brain.

The death of Colorado’s peaceful image began on April 20, 1999 when Columbine High School students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold planned to murder hundreds of students. They ultimately killed 12 students and 1 teacher and wounded 21 other students, and then each committed suicide. I can recall so very well the images of students running out of school in single file with hands held high into the air while the police had guns drawn looking at each student that passed by, as seen from the camera on a news helicopter overhead. The day was cloudy and fit the mood of our state and the nation. The news media began reporting the events while the nation looked on. My phone began to ring with friends and family asking how close the school was to our home. The news was slow in coming, and many waited anxiously by their televisions for any news. The news got worse and worse as the day progressed. None of us slept well that night.

I visited Columbine High school the following day. As expected, it busy with local and national news trucks, reporters and hundreds of people milling about. All of Colorado was in a state of shock. We mourned, wept, held and consoled each other while the nation watched and prayed for us. Those were dark days for Colorado and the nation.

Then several years later on September 27, 2006 Colorado had another tragic event happen, this time in the small mountain town of Bailey, Colorado. Fifty-three year old Duane Morrison entered Platte Canyon High School carrying a .40-caliber Glock and a back pack he claimed was filled with explosives. Morrison took 6 high school girls hostage. After several hours he released 4 of them. When the police broke into classroom to confront Morrison, he shot Emily Keyes in the head and then committed suicide.

How well I remember that awful day. I was one of the few photographers stationed with the other major news media outlets, CNN, ABC, NBC, FOX news who were stationed at the middle school in Bailey waiting for the bus loads of children to return from High School. Along with the press were hundreds of parents, family, friends, teachers, school officials, police, and deputy sheriffs, waiting for the students to exit off the bus. I wept tears of joy as I took pictures of kids reuniting with their parents. Parents wept, children wept, even seasoned news reporters wept. Word spread that one student was shot and was flown to Denver in critical condition. After returning home, I turned on the news to learn that Emily Keyes had died from a gunshot wound. I just stared at the television screen in silence.

This time it was a different time, a different room, a different day…yet, now I was focused on watching people running for their lives from a killer in a theater in Aurora, Colorado. I made a promise to myself after the Platte Canyon shooting that I would never again photograph such pain and suffering. It was too much to bear and caused many a sleepless night. I couldn’t forget the faces of parents weeping, the faces of children in shock, and the faces of the police who could do nothing after Emily Keyes death. Has Colorado lost her innocence? In some ways yes, but not due to the majority of peaceful people who grace this beautiful state. But from those whose intent is to rob us of our eternal peace from within. They want to suffocate us with fear, death, terror, and use terror to make it happen.

I, for one, am sick of what people are saying about us and our state. “What’s in the water of Colorado?” many have asked. “Colorado is becoming a gang state” said another. I love Colorado and all it has to offer. I love the people, the cities, towns, the mountains, the views and the wildlife. That’s one of the reasons I moved here. This is my promise to you who live in Colorado:  I will invite family and friends out to colorful Colorado. I will take them to local restaurants, to local gift shops and will show them the views of Colorado they will never forget. I will introduce them to you my fellow Coloradoans, my neighbors, friends, and let them judge for themselves. We who live here are good and decent people. Let’s uplift and encourage each other each and every day.

Where Did Whitney Houston Go Wrong?

Where Did Whitney Houston Go Wrong?

I was sitting at my computer when the phone rang. It was my friend, George, telling me that Whitney Houston had died. “What?” I said. “Where did you hear that?” I asked.He said it was just reported on the radio. “Wow, what a talented super star”, I said to myself and thought “what a waste of talent to be lost so early in life”. I have listened to many pundits over the last few days report stories about Whitney Houston’s troubled life. They have stated that when she married Bobby Brown her life and personality took a turn for the worse. During her marriage to him she began smoking, using drugs, and drinking excessively.

Bad apples (bad people) can and do corrupt the good people we know and admire. I have seen it happen numerous times with people I personally know and love. My sister, for one, had slipped into the party lifestyle of taking drugs, drinking and heavy smoking. She lost her life due to lung cancer two years ago.Smoking two packs of cigarettes a day eventually caught up with her and took her life. She told me many times that she knew what she was doing would kill her someday, but the overwhelming desire to smoke won out!

I also recall a high school classmate, Scott, who was an excellent athlete and played on varsity the baseball team. He was so talented, he was scouted by several pro baseball clubs. In fact, Scott was one of the best high school catching prospects available in the country that year. He was a great hitter, smart on the bases and could throw runners out in record numbers. I knew him as a shy freshman who was always was fun to be around and very likable. He was fairly innocent and naive throughout high school until he started to hang out with the wrong crowd his senior year. His whole demeanor changed once he started drinking and smoking pot. He went from being someone you would like to talk to, to someone to avoid. He began skipping classes, getting into fights and getting drunk on the weekends. The crowd he hung out with were the big-time drug users and drinkers and were always in trouble with the law. They saw an easy mark in this young man and helped destroy his potential career in professional baseball.

Whitney had been living a similar, innocent life.As a child she started signing gospel songs in her local church and then began a modeling career in her early teens. She experienced success early in her career and managed to reach the next level.She was going places and she knew it, her mother knew it, in fact, anyone that heard her sing knew it. She was beautiful and talented and was destined for stardom.

In 1992 all of that changed when she married Bobby Brown. That is when her life began to unravel. Brown had been in trouble with drugs, the law, and served time in jail. Although she and Brown eventually divorced, she continued to live the self-destructive life she had learned while married to him.In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, she admitted to using cocaine and smoking pot with her ex-husband. Even with all of her talent, awards and high-society lifestyle, her life was spiraling out of control.

Her reputation as a professional was called into question when she would show up late for her own concerts or would cancel a show shortly before it started. On several occasions she simply did not show up for radio or television interviews. She told Oprah Winfrey, “Doing drugs was an everyday thing. I wasn’t happy at that point in time. I was losing myself.” That’s when she knew she was in trouble; however, she did nothing to get control of her life. She had rejected the people who loved her and wanted to help her, including her family, her church and close friends. Instead, she allowed her’ handlers’ to help her.They simply told her what she wanted to hear and sadly, today she is dead.

We can’t lay all the blame on Bobby Brown for Whitney Houston’s lifestyle.Whitney made bad choices in her adult life. The lifestyle of the rich and famous isn’t always what it appears to be. The day before her death she performed one last time in front of a group of friends. Do you know what her last song was? It was the very fitting, “Jesus Loves Me”. In her last performance, she went back to her roots in gospel music and the church she loved.

In closing, if you or your children have friends that are not a good influence and you realize you need to make some changes, then take a stand, do the right thing and start today!Make sure your friends and your children’s friends have your best interest at heart. We all have been influenced by negative people in our lives and have learned we must be aware of whom we allow to come into our lives and that of our children.

I’ll close with I Corinthians 15:33 from the Bible.It is a scripture that reminds us that God knows all about the questionable people who come into our lives and warns us to be careful when we choose our friends.It reads, “Do not be misled. Bad company corrupts good character.”

Master Life Coaching, Divorce coaching and counseling is affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your own home. Avoid travel time and never leave the comfort of your home to meet with me. I have many out-of-state clients who prefer to meet over the phone or via Skype. The convenience of this type of coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching for those who live out of the Denver-metro area or are out of the state of Colorado.

Are You Courageous?

Are You Courageous?

In the latest Christian film “Courageous” I watched my life story play out. If you’re unfamiliar with the film it’s about four men with the calling to serve and protect. As law enforcement officers they faced danger every day. Yet when tragedy struck close to home, these fathers were left wrestling with their hopes, fears, and ultimately their faith. From this struggle came a decision that changed all of their lives.

Being a tough Norski I had no problem fighting back the tears; however, I was overwhelmed with the story line and felt at times like I was playing  parts of the movie in my mind’s eye. The movie is all about family life, difficult relationships, pain and loss. It reminded me of the loss of my sister Deb and the pain still associated with it.

My sister passed away almost two years ago from a painful throat cancer that caused convulsions and zapped her of her strength and energy over several months. Each phone call I received from my brother-in-law and my brother became less and less hopeful. I knew what was coming. The end of a sibling’s life is not easy to deal with. As I watched the movie a haunting question played over in my mind, “Was I a good brother?” I knew I was a caring brother but did I listen to my sister? In all honesty, I have to answer the question with a regretful “no”. My sister and I were so opposite in our personalities and the way we were raised that over the years we distanced ourselves from each other. How did that happen you may ask?

My sister was always fighting our parents, my older brothers and friends that stopped by the house. She seemed to be on a mission and that mission was to disrupt the peace we had in the house. I never understood why she seemed to enjoy causing general mayhem and pain. Our family was always trying to figure her out!  

The main character in “Courageous”  had the desire to do the right thing by being the provider, stable and a good man. I have to give him credit – he made a difference in the lives of many people at home and at work. I hope people can say the same thing about me. I know I can’t go back and make amends with my sister Deb but I can make sure that I ask those I have wounded to forgive me. I also want to work on repairing any damage I may have caused.

Now as I think about my daughter I know she has hurts that no doubt were caused by me. I plan to ask for her forgiveness and will begin working toward healing the pain I have caused. How do I go about this? I first have to look back and figure out where I caused her the most pain when she was growing up. At times I wasn’t there for her when she needed me. I remember her asking me to do some things with her but I declined because I was either too busy or too tired. Poor excuses for sure! I have a feeling the offenses I remember will be ones she never thought of, and the pain that I caused her will be ones that I never gave a thought to. That is what is called discovery. You get that by sitting down and talking face-to-face. It’s not always easy but probably the best way to begin the healing process.

“Courageous” challenged to be a better man, a better listener and to hold dear all relationships, big and small. We get one shot while here on earth and we need to make the best of it. When we are asked for help, let’s help those in need. When we’re asked to spend time with a friend or loved one, let’s find the time!

I highly recommend you take time to see the movie “Courageous.” It’s a great family film that will change the way you think about your parents, children, brothers and sisters.