Good News of 2018 - The 6-second kiss

New Years Resolution for those of us married more than 10 years: End the day with a 6 second kiss.
Kissing does wonders for you; it releases oxytocin, which makes you feel a sense of comfort and bonding, and dopamine, which activates your brain’s reward center.
Those butterflies in your stomach? They come from epinephrine and norepinephrine, which increase your heartbeat and send oxygenated blood to your brain.
Some studies have even shown that kissing can cause a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol, which could help lower your blood pressure


Jonestown Update - Los Angeles Times Op-Ed

Excellent Op-Ed on Jonestown

"Jonestown victims drew public scorn, but now we know the story of their betrayal."



How to Make the Call and Begin Counseling

If you are considering counseling, here is what should happen once you make the call.
Phone a counselor (or several) and share in a minute or two what is going on:

I'm feeling sad I am breaking up with my fiancee and feel overwhelmed. My parent has died and I can't stop cryingI am feeling anxious and worried all the time. My spouse was caught cheating. I have been fired and feel lost

Ask if the counselor has experience in this area
Ask the cost

See if the counselor and you both have compatible schedules for future appointments
The counselor may send/email you forms in advance
If you have any special concerns or worries, voice them during this phone call

And like all other Licensed Health Care Practitioners, confidentiality, respect, and a standard of care that meets your needs and considerations should be expected


How to Stay Relaxed and Avoid Stress This Holiday Season

A friend and I made a list of ways to make the holidays more enjoyable. I think it’s a pretty good list of how to experience the next couple of “big days” as relaxing and joyful. For most of us, I think we’re looking at...

1) lowering expectations. Instead of trying to “be happy:” let’s try to “be well.”
2) saying NO more often. “I so appreciate the invitation but I just can’t swing it.” Spreading myself too thin is not a gift to anyone. 
3) pausing a few hours before saying YES. “Can I get back to you before I commit?” 4) attending events for a shorter period of time “We can’t be there for — but how about we swing by for dessert?”
5) It’s okay to NOT bring anything. If anything, there’s too much food/stuff/waste. 6) Cut the gift list in half. Spend less.
7) Aim high, shoot low. At some point, accept that the extra errand or the perfect finishing touch will just not happen. Let it go. 8) Maturity allows us to tolerate others displeasure. Don’t allow guilt to rule your life. Remember, internal stress releases cortisol, which holds onto fat. 9) Sometimes we cancel. “I’m so sorry to have to do this but for the sake of my sanity, I need to cancel. I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew and I’m learning how to make better decisions for myself and the needs of my family.”
10) Renegotiate. “I cannot bring a turkey but I am happy to bring rolls. Will that work?” 11) Saying yes, or agreeing to do more than we can handle, often leads to resentment. We have no one but ourselves to blame. Change the pattern. 12) Reiterate your personal commitment to enjoy the holiday season. Christmas really is just another day. It’s the beliefs, our day-to-day behaviors... that is the real spirit.


Larry Nassar, The Cut, by Kerry Howley

In my on-going interest with the Larry Nassar serial sexual molestation case, I am posting a recent and thorough story here. (see below for link to prior blog post on this subject) 

Like others, I have been horrified to hear of the systemic failure, multiple agencies that facilitated Nassar a conveyor belt of young females. There are lessons to be learned here. 

Six takeaways: 1) Victims usually know their perpetrator 2) Victims usually love their perpetrator 3) Family members of the victim often defend the perpetrator 4) Persons in authority roles are often blindly trusted, even in the face of reason to distrust 5) Abuse usually takes place in plain sight 6)Victims usually feel guilty for reporting, often forever 

  • ...In sports medicine the caliber of athlete one treats is taken to be correlated with curative power. Hospitals pay millions of dollars for the privilege of treating sports teams; UC–San Diego Health, for example, pays $1 million to treat the Padres.
  • Nassar’s accumulation of more than 37,000 images suggests an unusual level of deviance even among pedophiles. According to a sentencing memorandum issued by federal prosecutors for the Western District of Michigan, these images form a particularly “graphic” and “hard-core” collection, including children as young as infants and images of children being raped by adults.
  • It did not sound normal, for instance, that every week after practice, Jane had driven her daughter to a white three-bedroom house with green shutters, next to many identical houses in a development on a quiet street in Holt, Michigan, and taken her to see a man in the basement of that house. It didn’t seem normal that he never billed for these visits or that he always had hot chocolate waiting.
  • It has by the fall of 2018 become commonplace to describe the 499 known victims of Larry Nassar as “breaking their silence,” though in fact they were never, as a group, particularly silent. Over the course of at least 20 years of consistent abuse, women and girls reported to every proximate authority. They told their parents. They told gymnastics coaches, running coaches, softball coaches. They told Michigan State University police and Meridian Township police. They told physicians and psychologists. They told university administrators. They told, repeatedly, USA Gymnastics. They told one another. Athletes were interviewed, reports were written up, charges recommended. The story of Larry Nassar is not a story of silence. The story of Larry Nassar is that of an edifice of trust so resilient, so impermeable to common sense, that it endured for decades against the allegations of so many women.
  • If this is a story of institutional failure, it is also a story of astonishing individual ingenuity. Larry Nassar was good at this. His continued success depended on deceiving parents, fellow doctors, elite coaches, Olympic gatekeepers, athletes, and, with some regularity, law enforcement. 

And this on NPR, Gaslighting, November 12, 2018: 

"Instead of denying anything, he admits it; he says he did touch her breasts and vagina, but says it wasn't sexual. It was medical." This is Larry's playbook. He hammers his credentials and bombards the investigator with complicated medical terms about his techniques.


Christina Neumeyer's LinkedIn Page // Cultural Iceberg

Please visit my Linkedin Page for articles, posts, and tidbits.


New Movie Recommendations:

How to Overcome the Entrepeneurial Gap

Ask yourself: “Where were you two years ago?" Rather than being future goal-orientated, remember who you were two years ago. Celebrate how much you come over the last two years.


Getting to Better Know Your Partner - Pre-Marital Questions

The 36 Questions That Lead to Love

Modern Love

 "To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This."

In Mandy Len Catron's Modern Love essay, "To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This," she refers to a study by the psychologist Arthur Aron (and others) that explores whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions. The 36 questions in the study are broken up into three sets, with each set intended to be more probing than the previous one.
The idea is that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness. To quote the study's authors, "One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure." Allowing oneself to be vulnerable with another person can be exceedingly difficult, so this exercise forces the issue.
The final task Ms. Catron and her friend try - staring into each other's eyes for four minutes - is less well documented, with the suggested duration ranging from two minutes to four. But Ms. Catron was unequivocal in her recommendation. "Two minutes is just enough to be terrified," she told me. "Four really goes somewhere."

Set I
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
4. What would constitute a "perfect" day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Set II
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
14. Is there something that you've dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20. What does friendship mean to you?
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people's?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
25. Make three true "we" statements each. For instance, "We are both in this room feeling ... "
26. Complete this sentence: "I wish I had someone with whom I could share... "
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you've just met.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven't you told them yet?
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner's advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.