Five Ways to Not Be Blamed Into Shame Every Time Your Grown Child Screws Up

Family-Where Life Begins   

          “It’s so easy to love our children when they are babies, toddlers, and little kids. They need us, they love us back, they tell the truth… such as, ‘I love you most of all when you give me cookies, mommy.’ But as we all know, our little ones grow into teens and then into adults. Over the past few years, I’ve listened to hundreds of people tell their horror stories of grown children who don’t have association with their parents any longer. I can’t imagine not having my parents in my life. They mean the world to me’’ ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

            When our children are small, they rely on us for everything. That’s how it is supposed to be. We take care of them, fill up their love cup until it runs over, and make sure they know they can run to us when they have a hurt or a ‘’boo-boo.’’ As mothers, we give them 100% of our love. As the famous Psychologist, Eric Erikson stated many years ago, this is when children are learning trust vs. mistrust and autonomy. If we do not provide this, the child will become afraid, unsure of himself, and not fully develop as he passes through each stage into adulthood.

            What happens when your grown children begin expecting you to continue to take care of them or their problems? What if you, as their parent, do not allow them to fall flat on their faces? What if YOU are the enabler to all of their money problems and rescue them every time they run out of money, find them a job when they can’t find one themselves, or babysit their children because they won’t hire safe, nor decent, babysitters for their own children?  Let me tell you what will happen. The first time you cut the cord and STOP bailing them out of their problems, you will be blamed for everything. And, eventually, they will cut ties with you. How do I know? As I first mentioned, I’ve listened to and coached hundreds of people through their heartbreaking situations. And, yes, I’ve had this happen to me. It hurts.

Five Ways To Not Be Blamed Into Shame Every Time Your Grown Child Screws Up:

1)      Do not offer to bail them out every time they can’t make rent or mortgage payments. If they can’t come up with the $, let them suffer the consequences.

2)      If they need a car, please do not buy one for them. I signed on one with the understanding I would be paid back monthly in full. Each month, I had to beg for the payment, only to be put off most of the time. In the end, I paid the bill in full so I wouldn’t have my credit ruined. I still am owed $2300. on the car they sold.

3)      If your grown child forges your name onto ANY document or uses your credit without your permission, let them suffer the consequences. Turn them in to the authorities. Again, do not bail them out. After all, they keep telling you how grown up they are, right?

4)      Dump the drama! Social media is a nasty bastard is many instances. It has caused more harm, than good. A huge lie was told about my family. It crushed my elderly parents and me. I’ve since then left my personal Facebook Page and haven’t missed it one bit.

5)      Disrespect? Step away before it kills you!  If you are the one who is constantly making trips to see your grown child during the course of 20 years, paying for those trips, taking time away from school and/or work, yet not even once has that same child ever come to your own home, analyze that. Why are you breaking your back to see your child when it all comes down to disrespect? Your grown child is completely disrespecting you by not coming to your home. Why allow that to happen when it is breaking your heart?

          The easiest way to love life and be happy is to surround yourself with those who truly WANT to be with you. Why be with people, even family members, who make you feel like crap or who blame you for all of their faults? When does one step up and take responsibility?

          Parenting is not an easy job. I gave it all I had and tried to do the right thing in each and every situation. There isn’t a handbook on parenting…perhaps there should be. With limited skills, we each try to do our best when we raise our children. I am proud to say that I unconditionally loved my children and still do.  I sought psychotherapy and counseling for the feelings of guilt thrown on me. Combined with much self-reflection and conversations with my life mentors, I do not allow the blame of any misconduct to shame me anymore.

©Copyright – Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author. 


You Blurted it Out…Now What? Five Tips for Slips

          What's a Girl to Do?

               “I’ll be the first one to admit this dreadful error. There I am, in a room full of my peers and others I’d like to know on a close, personal level. For whatever reason, my mouth has a mind of its own on this night. The words blurted out, as though I’ve not put one ounce of thought into what I am saying. Oh my goodness did I really say THAT? Everyone is turning around and staring at me in complete dismay. They can’t believe what they’ve just heard and what’s even worse, I can’t believe I’ve said it either! What’s a girl to do?’’ ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

            Have you ever found yourself in this kind of a situation before?  You know the kind of setting where you are speaking with a friend or a colleague and out of the blue, you say the most tactless thing in the world. One minute, the conversation is just flowing and glowing. You and your colleague are exchanging stories about the recent networking event you both attended a couple of weeks ago and then oops, you call her the wrong name. Now, it’s not like you don’t know her name, because you do. But, as a gentleman walks over, you present her as Betty, instead of introducing her correctly as ‘’Barbie.’’ You’ve blurted it out. Most women named Barbie do not look like women named Betty. Please don’t take this personally, but the Barbie ladies certainly do place value on their name. Oh my goodness, I undoubtedly discovered that!  I apologized and thought all was well. It just so happens that the man I knew and introduced to Betty, um, I mean Barbie, was Bob, an Insurance Agent. The high-end networking events held monthly at the Ritz are not kind to Real Estate or Insurance Agents. I’m not sure why, but I’m thinking the reason must be high inundation of the market. I left the pair to talk and moved on to work the crowd. After all, mistakes are mistakes, right?  

            I was there to network, make a few connections, and meet a couple of friends. The crowd is large, between 350-500 people in a very cramped room. The greatest thing about the Ritz is the outdoor Patio with the fireplace. That’s where I always end up finding people to speak with and gather business cards for lead generation.

            My car was being brought around for me by the valet, so as I was waiting, I ran back inside the Ritz to use the restroom. A friend grabbed me by the arm and told me that Barbie was on the hunt for me because I had slammed her with the “wrong” name. I replied, ‘’Are you kidding me? This is a joke, right?’’ Did I need to be scared, for goodness sake? I rushed in to the ladies room and when I came out, there stood Barbie. She grabbed me by the arm and gave me a tongue-lashing like I’ve never heard before. I told her again that I was sorry for forgetting her name momentarily. I smiled at her and told her to have a good night. I got in my car and drove home.

            Here are Five Tips for Saving Freudian Slips or Blurt-Outs (in most cases):

  • Apologize or rectify the situation immediately. Once you realize the slip of the tongue, correct your mistake on the spot.
  • If you have a difficult time remembering names, tell the person or people right up front. They won’t mind helping you if they know this is your weakness.
  • Alcohol is often associated with many personal calamities… from blurt-outs, to relationship issues, cheating, and more. Know your drinking limit and stick to it.
  • Communication is forever out there once you say it or write it. Always remember that once something is said, you can’t take it back.
  • Smile at the person or group you have offended. Be genuine. Be kind and generous with your smile after you have apologized. For most ‘’normal’’ people, they will forgive you for the Freudian slip, even if it was a big deal (and not just an incorrect name).

This mistake of the incorrect name was so minor, truly. I’ve been on stage before in front of hundreds of people and made a Freudian slip. When it happens, the best thing to do is to keep your cool, correct it on the spot, and continue on with your introduction, speech, or lecture. Life is short. Laugh at yourself and the world will laugh with you.

© Copyright – Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.


God’s Beauty is Everywhere

God's Beauty in Kauai-Sunset

          “I laid on the front sidewalk at 11:10 tonight with my long winter coat, hat, and gloves on (with my son) and gazed at the sky for 30 minutes. Taylor could not believe I would lay on the sidewalk in the dark-it was my idea! I enjoyed being outside in the dark, crisp, air, away from working at my desk, reviewing grant proposals. I saw four shooting stars. It was a beautiful night. There is beauty everywhere” ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

          When was the last time you took a break so you could enjoy natural beauty? I’m not trying to be a smart-mouth – really, I’m not. But, when was the last time you noticed what God has made for us? Every morning and every night, He creates a masterpiece that is completely altered than the previous day.

          If you stop and think of every renowned poet, author, or artist, each has his or her own style. And, for the most part, they stick to it. God doesn’t stick to any one panache or pattern. He switches it up diverse every day and night and it’s always a perfect picture. For man-made beauty, I’ll use art and canvas as an example. I love Impressionist art most of all. People, who know me personally, identify my love of Claude Monet. As his eyesight grew worse with age in his 80’s, his paintings of the water lilies and other groupings, beautifully blossomed into his best works of art. Van Gogh, Renoir, and Monet reproductions grace the walls of my home. I love beauty and beautiful things, especially in my household.

          In the dead of winter, no flowers are blooming, the trees look naked, and yards are brown, instead of their lush green color. Nevertheless, I see beauty. The silhouettes of the tree limbs dance against the sky when the wind is blowing. Birds are singing and calling out to each other as they work together building nests to lay eggs. Hearing the Cardinals sing their melodies delights me. When do these beautiful birds sleep? They sing even during the night outside my bedroom windows. Seriously, do any birds sleep? I have no clue.

          I am a late sleeper in the mornings, since I do not go to bed until the hour when many others are getting up. Therefore, I miss out seeing the sunrise most of the time. However, that was not the case in Kauai last November. As I stood on the deck of the rented B & B House, I snapped one picture after the other of the sun rising. The ocean was below the clouds, palm trees framed the sides of my camera lens, and for 20 minutes, I watched the sky as it turned from black, to dark orange, light orange, yellow, dark blue, and then light blue. It was definitely a gorgeous sight. The sunsets in Kauai were equally as pretty, but you had to have your camera ready to snap the shots quickly. I had been forewarned by the natives that the sunsets lasted only 10-15 minutes when the sun started to go down. I was thankful for that warning, because I found it to be very true.

          If you open your eyes and your mind to the wonders that God has placed before us, you will not be disappointed with His plans for us to enjoy all the natural beauty He has created. What beauty will you experience today?

©Copyright – Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

How to Make the Best of Cold, Crappy Weather

Don't forget to cover your head!

Don’t forget to cover your head!











         ‘’I lived in the Midwest for about 30 years, so I have experienced the four seasons, including cold weather. One of the things I miss the most about being gone from that region are the beautiful changing colors of the leaves on the trees every Fall season. I sure don’t miss the ice, snow, and dangerous drops into single-digit temperatures during winter. As children, we always bundled up and went out to play in the snow, had snow-ball fights, and built forts. Now, I don’t even want to see snow!’’ ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

         Moving to Texas was a blessing for me about 16 years ago. This weather just seems to help my body feel better.  I have a couple of chronic illnesses and warmer weather helps to not have my body be in pain like the cold weather does. When the temperature drops down to 50 degrees, it feels cold to me. I am not kidding! So, here are some ways we can deal with really frigid weather outside, regardless of where you live.


  • Dress, not to impress, but appropriately. Never plan on ‘’just running into the store’’ and not dressing for what the weather dictates. I have been guilty of this myself.  Wear the proper clothing to protect your skin.


  • Cover your head with a hat or shawl when you go outside and it is cold. Now, this seems really elementary and I know you are thinking I’ve surely lost my mind, but think about this. We tell our children to wear hats, we put hats on babies and old people, but we don’t think to wear hats ourselves. Did you know that 90% of your body heat escapes through your head? Well, it does. Go find the cutest winter hat (buy more than one!) and then wear it every time you leave the house when it is cold. Just do it. You will get used to it. I probably have 10-15 winter hats. I love them, I look good in them, and you will love yours also.


  • Keep emergency gear in the trunk of your car. I lived near the Canadian border for four years and this was a ‘’must-do.’’ It was one of the first things I was told when I moved there and very quickly, I found out why. During the cold and winter months, put two blankets in your trunk, a bag of kitty litter (to help if you get stuck), a shovel, a really great free-standing, flashing lamp or flashlight, a couple bottles of water, and some bags of fruit snacks or other non-perishable food. You never know what might happen.


  • Stock up and have extra food, toiletries, and medicines on hand at home so that you don’t have to get out and drive in bad weather unless absolutely necessary. Why take the risk and put your life in danger?


       Take advantage of crappy weather days and learn to turn those into ‘’loving to be at-home-lounging’’ days.  Make an afternoon of game day and play some of those old-fashioned games you used to love as a child. If that does not suit you, read a really great book, take a nap, call an old friend and catch up on the news, write in your journal, or just take time to think about what you can be thankful for. I bet as you reflect, your day won’t end up being so crappy after all.

 ©Copyright – Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.



”Why is There So Much Hate in the World?” by Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall


               ‘’I’ve been asked lately, by both clients and fans, why there is so much hate in the world. The simple, uncomplicated answer would be to say, ‘’Because there is not enough love.’’ I have a feeling this is not what my clients, fans, and followers want to read or hear. However, if I was teaching in the classroom or conducting a Qualitative Survey with clients, the answer would lead straight back to love’’ ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

               Everywhere we look, we see prejudice, hate, discrimination, and stereotyping. It’s on every street corner plastered on billboards, in upscale stores, and in schools. There is so much hate in the world. Heck, two weeks ago, the very famous Oprah Winfrey was turned away in a store in Switzerland for being black. The sales clerk told her she probably couldn’t afford to shop there because the store carried expensive items and clothing. I got a good laugh when I read this, as I’m sure many others did. Nonetheless, Oprah did not find it to be humorous. I did NOT laugh because Oprah is wealthy and got turned away. I did, however, get a kick out of it because she is famous…a face and persona that I assumed everyone in the world recognized. I was wrong.

              I laughed at the ignorance of the sales clerks. I can’t imagine anyone saying, ‘’You aren’t good enough to shop here because you are a color that I don’t like’’ to another person. No, the clerk didn’t say it just like that, but we all know that’s exactly what she meant. Shame on her! Then I thought of that scene in the movie, ‘’Pretty Woman’’ with Julia Roberts – you know, the one where she goes into an upscale boutique and the staff won’t wait on her because she is dressed like a whore. The next day, she walks into the same store carrying many bags and tells the snotty clerk that she made a big mistake by not waiting on her the previous day, especially since the clerk worked on tips. Julia Roberts was dressed to the nine and all eyes were on her. It was great. Color and race were not the issue, but socioeconomic status sure was.

              I’ve conducted my own social experiments by going out when I’m in my sweat pants and hoodie, with no make-up on, and shopped in upscale stores for my favorite, everyday handbag brand, Michael Kors. Usually, the sales clerks continue to stand around and talk, instead of trying to get my service and wait on me. Now, if I walk in there with my make-up on, wearing my nice clothing, I am treated completely different. Clerks dash up to me, offering their services. Again, upper socioeconomic status, or the appearance thereof, rules every time. Isn’t this sad? I think it sucks.

              If universal love ruled the world, there wouldn’t be any more of this petty nonsense. We would all love one another for who we are…not by how we are dressed, where we live, or whether or not our hair is perfectly in place with no gray showing. Women would stop gossiping about other women’s bodies, men would stop hating on the amount of income other men make, and as a result, we would harmoniously just love one another. But, is that possible?

              HATE is so big. The word is offensive, ugly, and just plain nasty. I especially can’t stand to see this action – yes, hate is an action, not just a word – carried out by adults and taught to children. You see, children model behavior. As babies, little ones will do as they see and speak as they hear you speak. If they grow up in a home filled with love towards people of all colors and ethnicity, this is what they learn to be love. On the other hand, if children grow up where they hear and witness foul language about the opposite sex or people of different race or colors than themselves, they will learn this also. Children are born without fear or awareness of prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping. This is taught in the home and in our schools by others.

              So, again, I am back to the original question posed to me in the beginning of this article, ‘’Why is There So Much Hate?’’ and my answer is still simple. We must learn to love more, at a deeper level, and teach this love to others without being afraid of what someone may say to us for doing so. Spread the love. Godspeed.

©Copyright – Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.







I’ve Never Been So White

Stellar Service Learning Psychology Classes - Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall at Trinity River Campus.

Stellar Service Learning Psychology Classes – Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall at Trinity River Campus.

I’ve Never Been So White


                ‘’I’ve never realized just how white my skin is until the Zimmerman Trial took place. Don’t get me wrong…I know I’m a white chic, but I’ve really never FELT this white before. The death of Trayvon Martin made me angry, sick, and furious. At first, I thought Zimmerman was doing his ‘’duty’’ as a neighborhood watch man. But, as the details of the trial came out, I realized this was all about race and hate. That my friends, makes me really pissed off’’ ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.


                Everyone has had their say about the Zimmerman Trial – I realize that.  Today is my day to deliver this message to the world or at the very least, to those who read my words. ‘’Damn, if ever I’ve been feeling white, this is the time.’’ Please let me explain.

                All my life as a child and as a young teen, I was bullied for having red hair and freckles. I was never part of any subgroup…I was not the most intelligent one (yes, smart, but not the smartest), not into drugs, not a cowboy, and not a cheerleader or into athletics. I was just me – the one who questioned everything and rallied as an underdog for others who were in similar shoes. I cannot stand to see anyone being bullied. When I finally started wearing make-up at the age of 15, I was not bullied anymore and even became ‘’cute’’ – or so it seemed. I had boyfriends.

                You see, when we are in our teens, the normal things to think of (if you are a white girl) are, ‘’Do the boys think I’m cute?’’ and ‘’Is my outfit hot?’’  Most WHITE boys are thinking of things such as, “I want to get that hot girl’’ and ‘’Man, that’s a really cool car…I want to go banging in it.’’  Okay, so what’s my point in all this?  Before a BLACK girl or boy leaves their home to go out for the night, they are reminded of what to do or not to do, just in case they are stopped because of their color. Forget the fact that one of us may be wearing a hoodie…I wear them every time I fly and I haven’t been a teen for decades. My opinion is this – it’s dangerous to be BLACK in our society, especially if a creep has decided to target you. So, how do I know this firsthand if I am so white?

                I used to conduct Race Discussion Panels in my college classrooms. These were not part of my written, dictated curriculum, but rather, something I did as a method of bringing awareness to all ethnicities with my students, while bonding and educating them. As the Professor, I set up the ground rules, but that’s it. I did no teaching – my students became the teachers. Quite often, the Panel Discussions became very heated and when they did, I would switch around the hot-seats. Students wrote to me in advance to be in my classrooms for my Panels, to participate, to listen, and to learn.

                One of the first and without a doubt, the most significant thing I learned during the Race Discussion Panels in my Psychology Classes was that if you are BLACK, you must be fearful if stopped by the police – just because you are BLACK. One of my black students explained this so eloquently and stated that the darker the skin tone, the more in danger you are.

                Interestingly enough, I referred to my students who were black as ‘’African Americans’’ and was quickly told by some that they were not that and had never been to Africa. They wanted to be labeled as ‘’BLACK.’’ I had several races in my classes including Hispanics, Asians, Blacks, Whites, and Latinos. There were also gang members in some of my classes, along with Skinheads. Everyone learned. My boss and Department Chair sat in on one of the most heated panel Sessions. She watched as I took control when it became escalated and afterward, told me she wanted me to teach other professors how to teach. That never came to fruition, unfortunately.

                When my WHITE son was 17, I never had to fear that he might be killed if he was stopped by someone and questioned. The only thing I worried about was that he would speed and kill himself, thinking he was invincible (most teens in the U.S. die of automobile wrecks).

                I already know that my article, ‘’I’ve Never Been So White’’ is going to piss off many people and you want to know what I think about that?  GOOD! I have never been part of any big crowd that just goes with the flow and I never will be. Nope, that’s not my style. I am so sick and tired of seeing people be quiet, not saying what they really think, not sticking up for the ones who are hated, who are stereotyped, and discriminated upon. How would YOU feel if it were YOU who was hated, just because of your skin color, your freckles, your hair, your size, your IQ, or your socioeconomic status? Yes, that’s what I thought. You would not like it. I know how my champion, Dr. Martin Luther King, would feel about all of this, and I feel the same way.

                Now, go out and do the right thing. Your comments are welcomed on my website: Go to the article, write your comment, and submit it for review.

©Copyright – Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.


How to Sympathize When We Are Traumatized as a Nation

‘’Today was the Boston Marathon, a true tradition in the City, run since 1897 on Patriots Day. There were 96 Countries represented with a total of 27,000 participants. The 26th mile-marker had been clearly denoted as a dedication for the 26 Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims from last December. Several parents from the School were running the marathon also. This was supposed to be a joyous day, happy for the City, prestigious for the runners, and meaningful for many. Instead, it turned out to be a bloody war-zone at the finish line when two bombs exploded within 20 seconds apart. Dear God, where are we safe in a land that touts freedom for all?’’

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall


how to sympathize when traumatized When the bombs blasted, sending 140 people to hospitals, killing three, and seriously injuring  many, people were left running for their lives just like on 9/11/2001.  Smoke filled the air and what was short-lived bliss had been replaced with complete chaos.

The scene was an ugly one, according to the reporters and all the photos streaming through the Internet.  I didn’t even know about the deadly incident until I sat down with my laptop and turned it on to start writing. Then, the news streamed in through CNN. My heart was sick, so sick in fact that I felt like puking.

Tents that had been set up to hydrate the runners were now becoming Triage Units until the ambulances could arrive. Several people, both runners and bystanders, had missing limbs. The sight was horrific. Hospitals later reported removing pieces of shrapnel and performing amputations.

So, what can us as friends and a community, do to help those who are suffering pain and loss from this or any other tragedy? 

The following is a list of the six most helpful things to offer immediately following disaster or traumatization:            

  • The first thing to do is to comfort your friend, co-worker, neighbor, or family member and let them know you will always be there emotionally for them. This is ultimately the most important thing for the one who has suffered a loss to know.
  • Assure the one who has suffered the loss that you will not leave or abandon them physically. You will stick by their side as best as you can.
  • Arrange for professional help, either with a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, or Life Coach for ongoing treatment. Group therapy and talks are very helpful in many cases of emotional or psychological trauma.
  • Ask the one who needs the help if you can accompany them or drive them to their physician or therapist’s appointments. It is not uncommon for those who suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD) to decide they no longer need help, when in fact, they do. One way to ensure they receive treatment and help is by driving them.
  • Remember that we as humans, all process information differently. This means, we will have our good days and at other times, those in need will have a ‘’bad’’ day for no apparent reason. The tiniest little noise, sound, or smell may set them off. Learn to recognize your friend’s triggers so you can help deal with them.
  • Self-care is of the utmost importance. Secondary trauma is very common when one has endured a hardship for an extended period of time with their partner, friend, or loved one.  You must learn how to care for yourself and give some tender loving care to your own self so you can be the best you can be for others. 

How do we stay soft-hearted through life’s turmoil and endless tragedies?  Do we become ‘hard’ around the edges, not caring about our brothers and sisters on the streets, and only think of ourselves?  I learned years ago that when we give of ourselves, we only have more and more to give. I remember explaining this concept to my youngest son when he was seven years old. I told him this is like love. The more love you give, the more love you have to give away again.

So, while the idiots or terrorists who want to harm people do their crap for attention-seeking purposes, let us pray, plan, and have a bigger vision that we will see sympathy towards others one day regardless of where they live, what they do, and what socioeconomic status they are.

I believe in love, sympathy, and compassion for all.  God bless you.

I Must Confess – I’ve Been Living a Lie and My Body Paid The Price

‘’Readers, I have been living a lie and I must confess. I have tossed and turned in my bed over this and come to the conclusion that I just needed to fess up. I have not been treating my body like a temple, like a goddess, like a beautiful woman, or like a person who needs to be in daily training so I can be healthy. I have misused food, eaten unhealthy snacks, and have been skipping many meals due to deadlines and time that has been overlooked. I guess I thought I could keep up this pace forever. After all, I have been running like this for the past 13 years. Well, it all came tumbling down on me last week in Charlotte. I got food poisoning and became deathly ill. Being sick at home is crummy, but when you are out on the road, being critically ill is super miserable.’’

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall


digestion-problems-are-tough Whew. I got packed in two hours for a five day trip, staying up all night to finish work deadlines and to make sure I had my clients’ needs taken care of before leaving Dallas. I pulled another ‘all-nighter’ as I like to call them – you know, the ones where you just do not go to bed – you stay up all night. I figured I would get some sleep on the airplane since I had my eye mask and earplugs with me. I knew I’d be at DFW in plenty of time before the flight took off. I also knew this trip would be a bit easier on me physically since I had just been released from wearing the arm sling from my repaired torn rotator cuff surgery. I opted to pack most everything, except for my meds and lap-top, in my big suitcase and have it checked all the way through, leaving me with virtually no carry-on luggage, except for an oversized Michael Kors Handbag. Yes, this trip was going to be my last one for this business mastermind, so I was super-excited to see my friends. Plus, I had a total of three additional business meetings before and after the main two-day seminar set up. I was pumped.

I landed in Charlotte, grabbed my 50-pound suitcase, hailed a cab, and arrived at the Blake Hotel in the downtown section.  It was beautiful. Since I arrived a day earlier than most others in my special mastermind group, I acquired all of my special requests…top floor room with a view and far away from the elevators, plus extra feather pillows. I asked if they had coffee in the room, but they did not. So, I was offered a small coffee pot that they keep on hand for special guests.  I was feeling quite exceptional.  I got everything unpacked, took a quick tour of the hotel, walked around outside for a bit, and then went back up to my room and got out my lap-top.  I did some work and prepared for two of my meetings that night. So far, everything seemed to be just wonderful. I even took pictures from my hotel window and posted them in a private Facebook forum to share with the world.  The hotel room reminded me very much of a hotel in Denmark with its European, sleek flair and furniture.

At 7:30 pm., I went down to the only restaurant that was open and had half of a Reuben Sandwich and a glass of cognac. The front desk asked me about my meal and I told them the meat and cheese on my sandwich were cold, but it tasted good to me because I had not eaten all day. As I walked up to my room, my stomach started to churn. Within 30 minutes of eating that half of a sandwich, I began cramping and running to the bathroom. I could not leave the bathroom for the first three hours. At 11:30 pm, I called down to the front desk and asked them to bring me up some Sprite and bottled water. They told me they did not have room service. I informed them I was sick and could not leave my room.  Two hours later, the same bartender brought me up a can of Sprite and a bottle of water. I drank the entire can of Sprite and then spent the night in the bathroom – the entire night. I finally took pillows in there and laid them on the floor at 6:30 am. I slept until 8:30 am. And it started all over again…explosive diarrhea, cramping, sweating, chills, and feeling very weak. This was not the flu…this was food poisoning. I called the front desk the next day and reported it.

Why did this happen to me? As sick and violently ill as I was, I posted on Facebook that I would at least ‘get to stay in bed all day long and do my work.’ I told that little white lie because I knew my parents would be reading my posts, especially while I was out of town (and sure enough, they did). Two full days later, I was so dehydrated and weak, I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital and get IV Antibiotics. I started making plans right then to get back to Dallas somehow so I could be here in the hospital, instead of in a city where I did not know the doctors. I went 30 hours without eating or drinking anything so I could get on a jet on the fourth day. I changed my flight and flew back home a day and a half early.

Somewhere in this mess there had to be a lesson for me to learn. I prayed a lot, asking God to help me get strong enough to fly home. Once here, I meditated, journaled, and went to my Zen Zone the first full day, but was only able to last for 30 minutes.  I went to bed and slept for 10 hours straight. I have changed my ways and you can, too.

Do you want to know what I learned from getting so sick? 

Here are five quick facts:

  • I cannot abuse my body. I cannot keep going for days on end with no sleep. The day I took the flight out of Dallas, I had not slept for almost 48 hours. Added to that the night I first got food poisoning, I ended up going nearly 72 hours without sleep. I became delirious.
  • I am eating healthier now. I refuse to eat anything fried, or at the very least, really limit my intake of fried foods.
  • Meal time is earlier in the evening. Very many nights, I was not having dinner until 10 pm. We all know this is just not healthy.
  • I am not putting junk foods in front of me – then I will not be tempted.
  • Continue drinking my green teas, avocado smoothies, and carrot juice. Learn to love more healthy green juices.

Our body can only hold on so long when we abuse it. I learned that I have been living on a very fast treadmill for a precise period of time…13 years. My doctor had been asking me about this every time he saw me. He would say, ‘’Wow, Gayle, you are going bombshells crazy, but you need to take it easy sometimes and learn how to relax.’’ I always remarked that this was why I took two vacations each year.

I will not abuse my body, nor take it for granted again. God gave me this body as the structure to live in and put me here for a mission. What service can I possibly be of or do if my structure wears out from abuse by me? I would have nobody to blame but myself. And, I know that is not in God’s plan.

A Herd of Hundreds and No Where to Sit

‘’I don’t know about you, but I have flown the friendly skies at least 500 times during my lifetime. Most of the time, I have had very pleasant experiences. The boarding and deplaning processes have gone quite smoothly, the pilots have not been drunk (to my knowledge), and the stewards and attendants have been pleasant. All in all, there have been rare occurrences of what I would declare trouble during flight. But, what happens on the ground? The waiting process in the terminal by the gate sets the stage for the reaction on board, quite commonly. Last Friday was not a normal waiting period in the gate areas. I almost became a rat in the race to stay at the front of the line and to try and remain calm while waiting to board my jet in Chicago’’

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall

crowded-airport-300x203 Chicago O’Hare was the setting for a most unpleasant experience last Friday as I was trying to get back to Dallas from Myrtle Beach. I had only been gone for three days on this business trip, but as it was, this horrendous gate bouncing and lies from the Spirit Agents, left the crowd and me feeling very frustrated, to say the least. For over five hours, in what seemed to be a script for ‘’How not to treat airline customers’’ hundreds of us were bounced from gate to gate, only to stand in line again and be told, ‘’your plane is on the ground. As soon as the pilot pulls up to the gate and deplanes, your group to Dallas will be next. We didn’t dare leave to use the restroom, for fear of losing our place in the terribly long line. We couldn’t go and have a nice meal, for fear of missing our flight that was soon to leave. Continuously, we were told that we would soon be leaving.

My arm was still in a sling because of a torn rotator cuff surgery, so I was trying to be careful and not get bumped in the crowd. That was not an easy task, with people pushing and shoving, becoming more and more hostile as the five hours wore on and on. Several fights broke out, with one white man who was overtly publicly intoxicated cursing at pilots, staff, and at the police officers themselves, still not getting arrested.

A brown man behind me took a simple photo of the pilots sitting on their butts, as it was announced over the intercom there were no pilots to fly our plane. One of the pilots jumped up and tried to grab his phone, stating that he would have him arrested if he took another picture. The pilot almost knocked me over in the process and left marks on the brown man’s hand. I asked why he was not offended as the white man had screamed obscenities at him and he did not answer me. I asked why it mattered that his picture was taken. No answer. I then told him, the pilot, that this was clearly a matter of racism and discrimination. The pilot told me that if I didn’t ‘’shut up’’ I would be arrested, too. I asked what I would be arrested for. MANY people behind us were videotaping the entire scene with their cell phones and told me they got the entire incident on video for YouTube if this were to go to court.

The Chicago police showed up. The white police officer told the brown man to not take any more pictures. I asked him if he was going to arrest the pilot for almost knocking me down and for threatening me. He said ‘’no.’’ I also asked him why the belligerent white, drunk guy was allowed to make an ass of himself, threaten the staff and pilots, and name call the pilots, without ever being arrested, and the police officer told me he was not a big enough threat.

Finally, I had my fill. I told the officer this was clearly a case of racism and discrimination. I told him I would testify in a court of law against the police officer and against the pilot. I told him that I was a citizen in good standing. The officer asked me why I cared what happened to the ‘’brown’’ man. I told him because it was wrong and I was not going to just stand there, witness it, and allow it to happen. The officer walked away, no arrest was made, and the brown man and I continued talking until the flight was finally cancelled. I don’t even know his name.

So, what causes most people observing a situation such as this to have the bystander effect? The bystander effect is when there are many people, but nobody will step up and do the right thing. The larger the number, the more unlikely it is that others will help. Social psychology is an interesting subject and one of my very favorites.

As if a hostile crowd of adults was not enough to deal with during a five-hour delay while changing gates, all headed to multiple destination points, one little boy standing two people behind me vomited. Yes, he sure did. He puked all over the carpet, big time. His mother yanked him up by the arm and spanked him. People were covering their noses and mouths, all horrorstruck, and rightfully so.

The smell was horrendous. I have a terrible gag reflex. But…unlike everyone else who pushed back from the little boy and mother, I got closer to them, squatted down, and asked the little boy if his tummy hurt. He shook his head ‘’yes.’’ I told him I was sorry and told him that sometimes my tummy hurt, too. Then, I tried to console his mother, instead of doing what I would normally do, which would be to speak to her about spanking her child. Who would spank a kid for puking? Did that mother think her little four-year-old enjoyed puking right there in front of everyone? He was sad, she was humiliated, and the crowd was angry. Once again, nobody came to their assistance. That made me very upset.

What does it take to get a herd of hundreds to come out of the mass and help someone in need? When does a fellow man or woman put another person before themselves? What does it take to make someone realize we are here on this Earth, not just for ourselves, but for helping others? What would you have done in either of the two scenarios I just painted? Anything? Nothing? Nobody else did anything…nobody.

To Leave the Herd of Hundreds and Do the Right Thing, Follow Three Simple Steps:

  1. The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  2. Listen to what your gut instinct tells you is right.
  3. Make your feet and mouth follow your heart and gut decision.

I did make it home that Friday night (actually, it was 1:48 am when I landed at DFW and my bag was lost). Flight 903 on Spirit Airlines was finally cancelled. I did not follow the herd down to the Spirit Counters as 284 of us were directed. I went to the closest American Airlines gate, paid a full price for a ticket, and then ran 27 gates to catch the last flight of the night headed for Dallas.

What was my lesson learned? To always do the right thing no matter what and to keep marching to the beat of my different drum.

Perfection Just Sucks: How to Progress in a Perfect World

“I am a real sickie. At least I know this about myself and admit it. As a young child, I would get upset if my school papers were less than perfect. I would do them over and over again to ensure that perfect A+ score. Most of the other kids in elementary and junior high school were more concerned with playing outside or hooking up by the time 8th grade rolled around. But, not me. No, you would find me at my desk, whether that be in school or at home, doing my school work for the fifth or sixth time. I don’t even think my parents ever knew this about me. Perfection just sucks – How to Progress in a Perfect World. I wondered if I was crazy, because none of my friends did this.”

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall

Know Your Truth!

It was a beautiful day today. I peeked out when I saw the sun and then took my laptop outside to work when I realized it was in the 70’s. The sunshine was raking through the trees, birds were singing, the wind chimes were clanging and dancing, and a slight breeze was blowing the day-lilies that have already come up for the spring season. I cleaned off the cushions on the patio furniture in the back yard and sat under the pergola. Time passed by, as I wrote an article for a joint business venture I am involved in. The afternoon was so pleasant. I looked up a couple of times from my typing at the keyboard and noticed some weeds that needed to be pulled in the flower gardens. Then I saw some leaves in the beds that needed to be picked up. The patio could have used a good sweeping, also. Just as easily as I had sat down, noticed the beauty of the day, and had gotten some work done, the ‘’perfection monster’’ and my OCD came sneaking in. Oh, how I hate it when that happens.


How much of our lives are spoiled or frittered away by neurotic insistence on perfection? Do you feel like you have to constantly be perfect in the most perfect world? Is this a ‘’you’’ thing, or is it that our world expects us to be perfect all the time? Haven’t you had enough of this crap?

Here are Three Quick Tips on How to Progress in a Perfect World:

  1. Learn to love the authentic YOU. Love your flaws, your freckles, your moles, your hair, your skin, your curves, your nails, your lips, your eyes, and those wrinkles you have earned on your face. There is only one you on this entire earth. Think about that. You were made just perfect, exactly like you are today. The very first step to progressing in a perfect world is to love yourself just as you are, because you are beautiful.
  2. Notice the beauty in simple things around you. Is there something about that one light fixture that is unique? Does a pillow in your home make you feel good? What about a certain blanket or old quilt? Does either of those two ‘comfy’ things hold special memories for you? Try this same task with a friend of yours. Go into their home and ask them what makes them feel good. Ask them what their comfort food is. Dream a little with your friend and ask them where they’d like to go. More than likely, it won’t be to the most perfect place on earth, but it will surely be the most perfect place for them. Do you get the picture?
  3. Learn to be less judgmental of those you spend the most time with. This is very important. The five people you talk with (even if it is on the phone), spend the most time with, and associate with are the same type of people you will turn out like. This means that if you constantly put others down, disrespect other people, or think you are better than everyone else, you will find yourself lonely very quickly. Learn to be humble and thankful for what you have. Be thankful you are NOT perfect. It is difficult and lonely to live at the top of the mountain and there is nowhere to go but down once you are there.


Think what it would be like to have to be perfect all the time. Movie stars, rock stars, and athletes have their lives and faces in the camera’s lens at all times. They are rarely shielded from us, the public. We are eagerly waiting for their screw-ups, like sharks, ready to attack them. We watch what they wear, what they eat, what they say, what they do, follow all of their actions, and even seem to know instantly when they have affairs. Perfection leaves little room for advancement, joy, or acceptance. I think I’ll stick with my life…you know…the simple one – writing articles under my pergola, while listening to leaves blowing, birds singing, and wind chimes dancing in the breeze.

How about you? Can you make progress in a perfect world and give up the life of chasing perfection?

©Copyright – Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.