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I believe I’m honing in on my ‘60s mission (my age, not the decade): to become the Dr. Seuss of Stress (for Adults). The below Shrink Rap ™ is the latest personification. In editing mode, I could hear and sense the Seussian rhythms and rhymes. Like so many others, as a kid I loved Dr. Seuss!

This is the first of a two-part “Poetic Essay/Shrink Rap.” It captures some of the challenges in carving out and communicating with civility and integrity in a TNT world driven by technology and numbers, money, ego, and power. It even has a poetic morality tale. Enjoy. And please share!

Mark
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Safe Stress Tools for Survivin TNT Heaven – Part I

Key communication tools, of great use for all but fools
Alas, never taught in primary schools.
So listen close and learn the rules
So listen close and wisely rule.

My initial suggestion, muse upon these suspicions
A real foundation for self-transformation:
Is it time to confess, when under duress?
Does “do more with less” bitterness breed like a virus –
From cutthroat chaos to mind games of chess.
The only norms: almost all can be pawns.

Flooded by noise the challenge is poise…
With all manner of gripes from ill-mannered types.
Clashing seas of memos to moats around silos.
The power tower's impressed as you shoulder all stress
Alas, data surfing and drowning in waves of b.s.
So grab hold, why don't ya…that new lifeline mantra:
"Turn your life over to Buddha Computah!"


Chorus:


It’s a long way from heaven when TNT-driven
By “Time, Numbers &Technology”
Has it become today’s trinity?
24/7, 24/7
Whatever happened to heart & soul livin?

When a leader avoids the smoldering baggage
How great the fear of collateral damage?
Does toxic anger have most walking on shells?
Are you entrapped in the office from hell?
Whether explosive, dismissive, or silently passive
Can a culture survive when folks are submissive?

One no longer grasps the depth of the scam:
“I am as important as I think I am!”
Well known for such all-consuming virtue
Is a towering ego now a bronzed statue?
Naturally, forever erect…
As others but humbly genuflect.


Chorus:

It’s a long way from heaven when mostly pride-driven
By status, power, and money
Has it become the supreme trinity?
24/7, 24/7
Whatever happened to heart & soul livin?


No matter the social-media venues
Those fiery texts no longer make news.
Still…blaming “You”s never fail to abuse
Giving people their due as the righteous just spew:
“What’s wrong with you!”; “You haven’t a clue!”
Or one takes from the vault: “Of course, it’s your fault.”
Is this salt on the wound or more an assault?

Some with sly tact say matter of fact:
You, my good man, just have no impact!
Beware being caught between a hard place and a rock
By folk’s using the Law of Loyalty Loop & Lock:

Those who never want you to answer back
Always want you to back their answer

With, “Yes, sir, No sir, No excuse, sir!”


Chorus:


It’s a long way from heaven when hostility-driven
By “just kidding,” scarcasm, and put-down irony
Has it become our snappy trinity?
24/7, 24/7
Whatever happened to heart & soul livin?


Please consider this true tale of e-caution:
About seething with anger and also exhaustion.
When battling an antagonist overseas
One he so wanted to slice at the knees
He composed a retort; oh, yes – cutting and short
It’s a real dagger, the foe he will stagger. However…
In a state of total frenzy…uh, oh, he overkilled the enemy
Hitting “Send All” by mistake now translates to a wake:
A thousand in-boxes a coffin does make.
Alas and alack, for a keyboard attack
Of frenzied “egoal” engagement a career is now buried
By mandated ANGER MANAGEMENT!

Even with conflict just down the hall
Why not fight behind a virtual wall.
If the “e” in email stands for “escape”
Why bother dealing up front with a scrape.
Now when you send a post that does bristle
Is it less email and more an e-missile?


Chorus:

It’s a long way from heaven when duplicity-driven
By gossip, back-stabbin, and sneaky enmity
Has it become the trusty trident trinity?
24/7, 24/7
Whatever happened to heart & soul livin?


One final query, as I am getting weary:
Was this creature simply born with the colic
Or has s/he over time morphed “blame-aholic?”

Part II Preview:
Whether sender or receiver, we’ll provide some clues
On how to refuse or defuse blaming “You”s!
So until next time, with more Stress Doc rhyme
Try not to regress…better Practice Safe Stress!

© Mark Gorkin 2013
Shrink Rap ™ Productions


Mark Gorkin, the Stress Doc ™, www.stressdoc.com, acclaimed Keynote and Kickoff Speaker, Webinar Presenter, Retreat Leader and Motivational Humorist, is the author of Practice Safe Stress and The Four Faces of Anger. A former Stress & Violence Prevention consultant for the US Postal Service, "The Doc" is a Team Building and Organizational Development Consultant as well as a Critical Incident/Grief Intervention Expert for Business Health Services, a National Wellness/EAP/OD Company. Mark leads highly interactive, innovative and inspiring programs for corporations and government agencies, including the US Military, on stress and brain resiliency/burnout prevention through humor, change and conflict management, generational communication, and 3 "R" -- Responsible, Resilient & Risk-Taking -- leadership-partnership team building.

Email stressdoc@aol.com for his popular free newsletter & info on speaking programs and phone coaching sessions.

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Sleeping, Eating & Gaming, Oh My:
The Blood Sugar-Blood Pressure-Out for Blood Triangle


Now don't be cheap with the need for “Sleep.”
You’ll just be snappy, make folks unhappy
Or you join the mob crashing on the job.
As your memory brain becomes a leaky drain.

And stop pretending, you’re just defending.
It’s hocus pocus: You cannot focus
As that caffeinated mind races through the grind:
Are you “lean and keen” or more a drama queen?
But my biggest stress: “All is fine” b.s.


Chorus:

Sleep deprivation, sleep deprivation
A Vampire sucking concentration
Sleep deprivation, sleep deprivation
The iPod for a Zombie nation.


Oft burning the candle is more than a scandal
A lack of sleep feeds body mass creep
As a sluggish mood screams out, “More food!”
Stepping on the scale, it too starts to wail.
Now is your fate a pre-diabetic state?

You need forty winkies, not all those Twinkies
Can fill the lonely part of a hungry heart.
So do that snoozing not quiet boozing
Or raiding the fridge for a late-night binge.


Chorus:

Sleep deprivation and food compulsion
When fried and fries forge a junk mood junction
Sleep deprivation and food compulsion
Heavy eyes “super-size” our population.


All night gaming is mind inflaming:
Does it inspire or trip a brain wire?
For Net addiction is not total fiction:
It’s pretty insane to deaden all your pain.

Excess e-violence and underground defiance
Sow impulse erosion with TNT emotion.
Are we turning a “fun” day into a Ted Bundy?
Alas, the danger goes beyond the stranger…
Bottled rage adds plaque for arterial attack!

Chorus:

Sleep deprivation and tech-obsession
A formulation for mental regression
Sleep deprivation and tech-obsession
Oh not another Newtown procession!


Does sneaking and snacking mean values are lacking, or…
Is a super-sized culture now the main vulture?
With a quarter on the border of a blood-sugar disorder
You’ll need more than Snickers or a kick in the knickers.

If the noble intention is dis-ease prevention
Then leading a nation means “Shrink Rap” ™ education
For moving brain and bone outside a comfort zone.
When life’s on the line work with folks to design
Daring images of self that will reject the shelf.


Chorus:

Sleep deprivation and weighty conditions
Means a decision for a new mission
Sleep education and weighty conditions
We must amend as a nation the US constitution!


See a health pro, begin to let go
Of those excuses and self-abuses:
To escape that rut, get off of your “yes, butt.”
Now exert self-control; start crawling from your hole
Exposing all the lies as you pump those thighs.

We’re at the starting gate…let’s learn to meditate.
Whatever is the matter, stop Mad Hatter chatter.
Within that wired riot discover peace and quiet
Without computer code or that pie ala mode.
Accept failing with grace; don’t fail to sculpt your space:
Do know your limits, don’t limit your “No”s!


Chorus:

Health education and self-examination
The amalgamation of mind-body connection
Personal reflection and witty expression
The articulation of a Psycho-humorist ™ mentation.


Don’t stare at your navel, contemplate mind travel
Via synaptic node down a pine-scented road.
Or let sounds of the ocean sing a lullaby potion.
Slowly turn self-censure into dreamy adventure
As old voices inside now drift out with the tide.

And a final thought, as a last resort.
To get seven hours at least sans an Ambien feast
When stress from your head crawls into the bed
As the shadows retreat…now a nightmarish beast.

Despite what you think you’ll need more than a shrink:
Just how do you find – without losing your mind?
Hey, it’s a snap, there must be an app
For a “multi-HYPER-texting ‘n tubeing-always on-Facebooking-
Skype-savvy” exorcist priest?


Closing Chorus:

Relaxation-visualization along with inventive combination
The fun-damental foundation of free-flowing association
Introspective meditation and cutting edge conception
The ingenious inception of Safe Stress ™ intervention.

I’m running out of time; also out of rhyme
So my last dime: embrace the sublime.
When running out of time; also out of rhyme
My one last dime: embrace the sublime!


© Mark Gorkin 2013
Shrink Rap ™ Productions


Mark Gorkin, the Stress Doc ™, www.stressdoc.com, acclaimed Keynote and Kickoff Speaker, Webinar Presenter, Retreat Leader and Motivational Humorist, is the author of Practice Safe Stress and The Four Faces of Anger. A former Stress & Violence Prevention consultant for the US Postal Service, "The Doc" is a Team Building and Organizational Development Consultant as well as a Critical Incident/Grief Intervention Expert for Business Health Services, a National Wellness/EAP/OD Company. Mark leads highly interactive, innovative and inspiring programs for corporations and government agencies, including the US Military, on stress and brain resiliency/burnout prevention through humor, change and conflict management, generational communication, and 3 "R" -- Responsible, Resilient & Risk-Taking -- leadership-partnership team building.

Email stressdoc@aol.com for his popular free newsletter & info on speaking programs and phone coaching sessions.
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24/7 SPEED/Stress Resiliency Shrink Rap ™:
Safe Stress Survival Strategies

By Mark Gorkin, "The Stress Doc" ™


Are you the “poster child” for stress and duress?
Should you try Prozac? Is it time to confess
To Ebay shopping – which may be a warning
When you're clicking madly at three in the morning?

But relax, have no fear...
The Stress Doc is here. So lay worries to rest…
Now listen and learn to Practice Safe Stress! ™

As you sprint to the wire with blood pressure higher
Timeless mind-body tips to heed
For slowing down, getting feet on the ground
And building Natural SPEED – Sleep-Priority-Passion-Empathy-Exercise-Diet.


Now don't be cheap with your need for “Sleep.”
Maximum learning must be REM deep
To be a beauty with mental acuity
Not that snooze-button bashing BLEEP!

For when it comes to daily slumber
All night gaming is dumb and dumber.
You may call me a grouchy old toad:
“Pull the d_ _n plug on ‘just one more’ download.”


Chorus: When it comes to stress – it’s a lock
Who you gonna get – the Stress Doc!


Do the shadows of consuming insomnia
Now mushroom into munching hysteria?
Does sneaking and snacking mean values are lacking
Or a health disease with vital criteria?

[To savor these “food for thought” questions
Digest this delicious digression:
A search for en-light-ened clarity
Imbued with lingual dexterity
Alas, settles for linguistic perversity –
The neologistic** “insomnobesity” ™.]

** Neologism: the combining of existing words to make a new, often clever term or buzzword
--------------------------------

But let us get back to troubles in the sack…
Always “burning the candle” is not just a scandal –
More a waxy attack fueling brain-clogging plaque
That may even nurture dementia!

Beware numbing at night with pie ala mode
Better mind travel down a pine-scented road.
Or let sounds of the ocean sing a lullaby potion
While launching a dreamy adventure.

So, can you get seven hours, at least
Without an Ambien or Bud-Lite feast?
When stress from your head crawls into the bed
And virals as a nightmarish beast...

Despite what you think you’ll need more than a shrink:
How do you find – without losing your mind…
Hey, it’s a snap, there must be an app
For a “multi-HYPER-texting ‘n tubeing-always on-Facebooking-
Skype-savvy” exorcist priest?


Chorus: Ready to confess – join the flock
Who you gonna get – the Stress Doc!


"P" stands for "Priority"
You can't do it all every day.
Urgent means now but important can wait.
Do you know how to "N & N"? –
Just say "No and Negotiate!"

Now I hope you’ll pardon my asking:
“Must you always be multi-tasking?”
Oh, it’s just me, honey, your Energizer Bunny.
Running from quiet, your life is a riot.
Hmm…what is that “ADD” masking?


Chorus: Is your life a mess? – you need a rock
Who you gonna get – the Stress Doc!


Another “P”-word is “Passion”
And we’re not talking sex, shoes, or fashion.
Don’t try to impress, better…
Learn to play chess
Or dig, dream, and dance in your garden.


"E" is for the "Empathy"
Found in a caring shoulder.
But all give without take is a big mistake
For now you shoulder a boulder.

Find a stress buddy who knows TLC
Someone honest and self-aware –
One who gives “Tender Loving Criticism”
Yet also takes “Tough Loving Care!”


Chorus: Doing more with less – better take stock
Who you gonna get – the Stress Doc!


The second "E" is for "Exercise"
Start pumping iron or those thighs.
You may not need SSRIs.
Try thirty minutes of non-stop spin
For your mood uplifting endorphin.


And, finally, "D" is for a healthy "Diet"
Alas, many would rather die than try it.
To manage foods so often craved
Grieve, "let go," and then be brave
Sending diet fads to an early grave.

So eat those fruits and veggies
Try fish oils and soy protein.
For too much fats and sugar
Excess alcohol and caffeine
Is a rollercoaster formula
For a brain-fogged and artery-clogged machine.


Chorus: When it comes to stress – you’re on the clock
Who you gonna get – the Stress Doc!


It's time to end this Shrink Rap
With final tips for you –
"A firm 'No' a day keeps the ulcers away, and the hostilities too."
So to lessen daily woes, "Do know your limits; don't limit your 'No's!"

Ponder this Stress Doc wit and wisdom
Try to live it day after day:
Burnout is not a sign of failure
You simply gave yourself away.

Remember, sometimes less is more
And more is really less.
Balance work and play, faith and love
And, of course...Practice Safe Stress!


© Mark Gorkin 2013
Shrink Rap ™ Productions


Mark Gorkin, MSW, LICSW, "The Stress Doc" ™, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is an acclaimed keynote and webinar speaker and "Motivational Humorist & Team Communication Catalyst" known for his interactive, inspiring and FUN programs for both government agencies and major corporations. A training and Critical Incident/Grief Intervention Consultant for the National EAP/Wellness Company, Business Health Services in Baltimore, MD, the Doc is also leading “Stress, Team Building and Humor” programs for various branches of the Armed Services. Mark is the author of Practice Safe Stress and of The Four Faces of Anger. See his award-winning, USA Today Online "HotSite" -- www.stressdoc.com -- called a "workplace resource" by National Public Radio (NPR). For more info on the Doc's programs or to receive his free e-newsletter, email
stressdoc@aol.com.
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Double-Edged Depression

Waves of sadness, raging river of fear
Whirlpooling madness till I disappear
Into the depths of primal pain...
Then again, no pain, no gain.

Depression, depression
Is it chemistry or confession?
Depression, depression
Dark side of perfection!

Climbing icy spires, dancing at the ledge
The phoenix only rises on the jagged edge
In a world of highs and lows...
Hey the cosmos ebbs and flows.

Depression, depression
It's electrifried obsession
High flying depression
Exalted regression?

So I'm pumping iron and Prozac, too
What else can a real man do?
In a life of muted dreams...
How about a primal SCREAM?

Depression, depression
Even inner child rejection
Depression, depression
Hallelujah for creative expression!

(c) Mark Gorkin 1994
Shrink Rap Productions
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The Stress Doc's Stress Rap

When it comes to feelings do you stuff them inside?
Is tough John Wayne your emotional guide?
And it's not just men so proud and tight-lipped.
For every Rambo there seems to be a Rambette.

So you give up sleep, become wired and spent
Escape lonely frustration as a mall-content.
It's time to look at your style of stress.
You can't just dress or undress for success.

Are you grouchy with colleagues or quietly mean?
Hell, you'd rather talk to your computer machine.
When the telephone rings, you're under the gun
Now you could reach out and really crush someone.

The boss makes demands yet gives little control
So you prey on chocolate and wish life were dull, but
Office desk's a mess, often skipping meals
Inside your car looks like a pocketbook on wheels.

Those deadlines, deadlines...all that aggravation
Whew, you only have time for…procrastination.
Now I made you feel guilty, you want to confess
Better you should practice the art of "Safe Stress."

(c) Mark Gorkin 1992
Shrink Rap Productions
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The Self-Righteous Rap

You didn't know life is all right or wrong
Your victor or victim…or just don't belong
There is no question; life's but bleak or white
Forget ambiguity when hooked on Freud-lite.

What happened to subtlety and shades of gray?
The world's drinking and shrinking its brain cells away
The rage that's stirred by mental oppression
Compels this shrink rap regression confession.

When others demand you follow their lead
(For they, of course, realize just what you need.)
Don't get upset over autonomy
Just ask where they go for a lobotomy.

Or, are you a martyr in self-imposed prison?
Denying your needs becomes heaven's vision.
When you've been hurt you just quietly pray
But wish you could scream, "Go ahead, make my day!" (Pow, Pow)

There's a real craft to fine confrontation
But first let go of those "acc-you-sations"
Like "It's all your fault" or "you drive me crazy"
All this reveals is a mind that is lazy.

Be thoughtfully outraged and learn to reframe
Make the strange familiar, the familiar strange.
We really are at a critical juncture
So little time…so many egos to puncture. (Pop, Pop)

To disarm those who intimidate you
Some self-defense lessons in the art of "tongue fu."
With an all-knowing boss who wants to be feared, hey
One more grad of the Institute for the Compassion-Impaired.
The Institute for the Compassion-Impaired.

Or, if you've had enough of that self-righteous scam:
"I am as important as I think I am."
You don't have to listen to this bovine fodder
Just say you're allergic; it makes your ears water.

And for those who demean with, "Grow up, act your age"
Here's some advice that's worthy of a sage
While only young once, it's true, however,
You intend to be immature forever.

So if life's a soap opera: "As the Head Swells"
No need to be walking on those ego shells.
When the righteous start ranting they're all of a kind
The bigger the ego, the smaller the mind!

© Mark Gorkin 1992
Shrink Rap Productions
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The Alchemy of Miss P

It was chemistry at first sight
More precisely, first bite
Between you and me.

How you muted the pain
Redesigning my brain
It's a mystery.

Such a shape sleek and slender
Can one befriend her
Without surrender
Emotionally?

If I trust you my Muse
To seduce those old blues
Will I still refuse
The valley and shadows of intimacy?

My eyes close and we're close
But where is your heart pulse?
Poof...Are you that real ghost
Of dependency?

Yet, dearest Miss P
When tears couldn't stop
With fear over the top
When I felt like a flop
About ready to drop...

You then rescued me
From that lonely black hole
You unearthed my true soul
Now is there self-control
Or more fantasy?

No, you mirror my eye
Look, sweet tears when I do cry
As you ground my sky high
At least let us fly high
Through poetry.

When rage couldn't stop
With fear over the top
When I felt like a flop
About ready to drop.

Oh my dearest Miss P
Despite all of the flack
From my manic attack
On your white or black track...Still

If I should wander
Angst-ridden and ponder
Just don't let us crack...up
Oh please take me back...up.

With your magical sauce
Is it you and me, boss?
My crown and my cross
Is there no going back?

Once making a pact
With that alchemical genie
A lily so dreamy
Will you ever wean me
Miss Lady Prozac?

(c) Mark Gorkin 2002
Shrink Rap Productions ™