What is Loneliness and Why are We Lonely // Depressed?

Loneliness: The most common ailment in the modern world
Collecting friends like stamps...quantity and not quality.



Where Are The Journalists?

I've been receiving the LA Times newspaper for over 30 years. As a San Diego resident, this has taken a real commitment on my part: hard to find, expensive, and rarely delivered promptly.

With the loss of printed news publications we have lost an important arm of our society; the branch that investigates local politics, corrupt government agencies, community representation. Accountability of those in power has always been the primary drive and wide social benefit behind journalism‎. It reaches way beyond our reality TV daily dose, delivered electronically. The quick online reads, that I love, as you do, are 4 second blips. As I read powerful stories come over my Facebook feed, I usually don’t sustain the material beyond a moment or two, like crack: a big wallop and gone in an instant.

If we are only willing to consume that bit of news, then that's all we'll be offered.
When the Bell, California, Council Members, Mayor and City Manager were caught and convicted for bilking the city of multi-millions, referred to as a "reign of fraud," I was again thankful for the reporters who functioned as gum-shoe detectives, spending exhaustive months to verify and uncover. 
Every large scandal that you can recall was most likely discovered and ultimately reported by a journalist. 
It's unlikely that I will first-hand see Chernobyl or the Fukushima Plant in Japan. Reporters are our eyes and ears. Sebastian Junger's embedded reporting of Korengal and Restrepo is a tribute to those who served overseas, and the closest most of us will get to experiencing wartime conditions.
Photojournalists are equally critical to implore us to move beyond lethargy. An unbiased, non-verbal capturing by someone without a horse in the race. Pure and holy.

My grandfather was born in the U.S., yet given a name reflective of his immigrant parents: Orlando Delfino. because he wanted to be a copy writer, he changed his name to something "more American" - Del Rogers. He started the first Italian newspaper in Phoenix, Arizona, La Italiana Tribuna. Perhaps because I had my early years walking around his musty old shop on Central Avenue, I have always carried along something to read...a newspaper, magazine, book, anything that I can get my hands on. When I have lived abroad for extended periods of time, twice now (Cambridge, England, and Guadalajara, Mexico), I paid a small fortune every Sunday to purchase an English-language newspaper.

The picture of the burning "Napalm Girl" in Vietnam1972, by an AP photographer, or more recently, the dead Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, aged 3 washed ashore in Turkey. Pictures change us and demand social action.

As a young girl, several decades ago, I came across a startling book about Bellevue Hospital, a well-known psychiatric hospital in New York (nicknamed “the last resort for the unwanted.”) The detailed accounts of mental illness, from a reporters perspective, stirred my fascination in mental health patients. 
Humanitarian and US Naval physician Dr. Thomas Dooley died two years before I was born while serving in Vietnam, an expose on his humanitarian efforts fostered volunteerism in me that I hope has only grown.
While I'm nose to the grindstone in my little world over here, reporters are reporting, telling the stories, not of billionaires losing coastline in Nantucket or quarterback injuries, but of dirty politics, systemic crime and corruption; listening to whistle blowers; they are our collective boots on the ground.

I can only wonder where the journalists were for the residents of Flint, Michigan, to suss out the stink. Maybe laid off a year or or two ago, now writing for trendy blogs. 

Sunday, buy a newspaper. Don't worry about which mega-hole owns it...just buy any old one.


I Share, Therefore I Am - Sherry Turkle

 "How do you get from connection to isolation? You end up isolated if you don't cultivate the capacity for solitude, the ability to be separate, to gather yourself. Solitude is where you find yourself so that you can reach out to other people and form real attachments. When we don't have the capacity for solitude, we turn to other people in order to feel less anxious or in order to feel alive. When this happens, we're not able to appreciate who they are. It's as though we're using them as spare parts to support our fragile sense of self." Sherry Turkle 

Gottman's Four Horsemen - Marital Distressed Patterns 

Divorce Workshop - North San Diego County

  Free Divorce & Mediation Workshop

An informative, no-cost workshop focusing on the divorce process, specifically divorce mediation, from a legal, financial and mental health perspective.

January 23rd, 2016 | 9:00AM - 12:00PM


"Home is not where you are from...

Home is where you are wanted."   

January's Book Recommendation

 The Law of Attraction



Women Who Abuse

The STOP Program: For Women Who Abuse
Long disregarded and downplayed, female domestic violence is rapidly gaining awareness as research proves not only that it exists, but that-according to multiple incidence studies-the frequency of women actually initiating abusive behavior is about equal to men. The STOP Program: For Women Who Abuse, by David B. Wexler, executive director of the Relationship Training Institute, is the most innovative and comprehensive manual to address domestic violence treatment specifically to female offenders, with a program targeted to engage women in their own healing process. 

Officially publishing February 15, this book, and the accompanying homework and handouts, are available now directly from the Relationship Training Institute (RTI). To receive 10% off and free shipping, place your order today. This offer is for U.S. customers only and ends Friday, January 29.

RTI will be hosting a two-day training workshop on "The STOP Program: For Women Who Abuse" in San Diego Oct 28/29 2016. Please go to for more info.



My Next "Meditation For Everyone" Class 

Starts in February

(Only Five Spaces Left!)

Join Christina Neumeyer and learn this simple, affordable, and ancient technique of focused relaxation, a perfect class for both new and experienced practitioners. Research has consistently shown that meditation can reduce symptoms related to chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety. Breathing exercises, soft music and quiet contemplation help to reduce stress hormones and improve well-being. Each class will offer skills to increase calmness, self-soothe, and engage more deeply in life’s daily tasks. 
Christina offers a wealth of resources, book recommendations and handouts, keeping the class momentum interactive. All adult ages and physical conditions welcome. Please bring a mat or towel. This is just what the doctor ordered!

Begins February 1st, 6:00-7pm, at Encinitas Sunset High School  
Class meets three times and cost is $32.00. 


Teens on Instagram

As a mom of a teenager, it's my right and my duty to peep in on my child's instagram account from time to time - if you don't do this, I suggest you do!

Anyhoo, I am convinced of a pattern: the boys post differently than the girls.
Looking at male adolescent teen posts, I see a range of "here I am surfing" catching a fish, riding a skateboard, kicking a goal, hiking, shooting hoops, preparing breakfast. Even my son's least athletic peer posted a picture of himself walking sideways on a steep hill.
These are performance or action-related behaviors.
Nothing wrong there, in fact, it's great stuff; clean healthy fun. 
But girls do not post, or represent, themselves in the same way.
Instead, females posts with an emphasis on body imagery
There's lots of eye-ball closeups, cascading hair, legs on the bed, fuzzy socks on feet - and a large volume of backside/behind/bottom photos.

Girls also emote: I miss my bestie! Can't wait til you get home. I love you more than I can say. I have the very best Mom in the world! Couldn't have done it without you. You made my birthday perfect!

I'm not drawing any diagnosis here - just stating observations.
In our home, I've chosen to simply share such thoughts with my kids: any awareness is a step in the right direction, right?

And I can't be sure that I'm not speaking to a larger sociological issue that has been perfected, reinforced and socially modeled - hit repeat mode  (i.e. girls have learned at a very young age that their physical appearance trumps their athleticism, or that looks are everything‎).
Or, are these innate pro-species maintaining behaviors, predictable gender trends that differentiate masculine from feminine psychology?

Do we just, still, unconsciously value different characteristics from each gender, with all of our education and awareness, is it so unconscious that we still propagate gender stereotypes?
Are we unaware of our own affirming, or rejecting, ‎of traits? Can we overcome the initial (animal) response to a coquettish and seductive young female?

My unscientific, purely anecdotal, impression is that these dramatic differences neutralize post-adolescence. In other words, adults begin to post more similarly. Men in their 20's start to post their body-building pecs, Studley Dudley's appear more often, and young women begin to promote their educational or professional advancements.

I suppose by mid-age, we are even more similar than different. Maturity is the great leveler. We recognize in ourselves, and others, the more mature and meaningful activities, praising those collectively, either on Facebook or Instagram.

A nice balance of power, doing with being, settles in for those developing in a healthy and forward motion over the normal lifespan continuum.
 As we fuse towards gender-neutral characteristics (losing our sexual edges with the waning need to procreate and sustain ourselves) we begin advice-giving posting: recipes, positive affirmations, exercise tips, political tidbits.

While I don't "follow" my child on Instagram, I have eyes and ears doing some of that for me. I suggest a trusted Auntie, or another beloved adult, to be standing calmly nearby. In my case, my son's old sitter is more close in his age-group, and she follows his posts. She would be a gentle and non-reactive adult, unlike Me, as Mom,  to let me know if there was something off color. 

Like what, you might ask? Well, our family had an object lesson when a schoolmate, a teenager that we know and love, had posted a picture of a woman. Interesting comments arose online as she was a famous (gorgeous) model, in a bathing suit. The language devolved - the word I recall most clearly was "TITS."
My child was not a part of this language, but his thoughts were important to me as he observed, and potentially was learning from, his peers in this arena. 
He told me that because she was famous, he felt the language was acceptable. 
So, the take-away here is that we had an open discussion that allowed for my adult input - and not just teenagers setting the norm for themselves .
Establish your own Instagram account and make your own observations.