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The Stress Doc Letter
Cybernotes from the Online Psychohumorist (tm)

July 1998, No. 1 Section 2

Dear Readers,

Here is your free Stress Doc Newsletter. Twice a month I include original or favorite essays and articles from my various online and offline writings, including my weekly Humor From the Edge and AOL/Online Psych <A HREF="aol://4344:972.doc.1264535.556723207">The Stress Doc @ Online Psych </A> columns.

When it's sweltering outside, what could be better than a summer cyber romance? Why the acclaimed, continuing saga of Miss Sun and Mr. Moon, of course.;-) In the second installment, our stellar heroine seeks professional guidance. She's ambivalent about Mr. Moon's proposal to elope and start a new galactic family. Actually, Miss Sun has her own radical ideas regarding future plans and pursuing her star. And again, as mailing list members, you get to read this cybertale first and in it's entirety. Enjoy!

Also, scroll past the essays to find information on my speaking and training schedule, the library of articles on my award-winning website - www.stressdoc.com <A HREF="www.stressdoc.com">STRESSDOC HOMEPAGE</A> - and any fastbreaking developments.

Please forward this letter to interested friends, colleagues and family members, or send along their email addresses. (Also, if you don't wish to receive the newsletter, email me - stressdoc@aol.com .) If you'd like free subscriptions to Humor From the Edge (email me) and/or to "The Death and Dying" Newsletter, click here, <A HREF="http://www.death-dying.com/">Welcome To Death & Dying...Where Life Surroun...</A> (See, this newsletter will make you die laughing ;-)

Miss Sun and Mr. Moon Reality Bytes Romantasy - II

By Mark Gokin, "The Stress Doc"

The first installment of "Miss Sun and Mr. Moon: A Romantasy," created a groundswell for a sequel. (Email if you missed the introduction and/or the groundswell - stressdoc@aol.com.) And, of course, dear readers, I am your humble servant and scribe. The opening of our tale depicted the vital roles of Miss Sun and Mr. Moon, especially for the inhabitants of planet Earth. Each celestial creature had their admirers along with legions dependent on their constant and variable presence and energy. People looked to our heavenly heroes for light and illumination, sensual heat and cool detachment, for a shade of vanity and a touch of lunacy. And while both bodies were glad to be a source of energy and inspiration, they also periodically felt burdened or exhausted (especially Miss Sun) by their sense of responsibility and endless giving.

Yet, despite their fans, both had long felt isolated. And then, in the latter part of the 20th century, with the aid of Earthling technology, Miss Sun and Mr. Moon made a celestial connection through cyberspace. They began emailing and Instant Messaging back and forth about their hopes and fears, their histories and fantasies. And over time, the cautions and doubts of these celestial bodies began to dissolve. They had discovered their cosmic soul mate. Waxing poetic, Mr. Moon's beams would fairly dance through the heavens when contemplating connecting their hot and cold, fiery and mysterious natures. The result would be unprecedented: SOULAR FUSION! But in less expansive, waning moments, Mr. Moon often agonized: "What was real? What was virtual?"

Lunar Vision, Solar Doubt

One day, Mr. Moon shared his plan for eloping during the next eclipse. It was time to fulfill their needs and dreams, to break out of the system and be together in real time. They had earned the right to choose and create a new intergalactic world. Initially, Miss Sun was excited. Getting up every day, before the break of dawn, was getting old. Yet despite her fiery nature, Miss Sun had been a more conservative creature than the variable and somewhat elusive Mr. Moon. Then, Miss Sun had vague misgivings. She promised to reflect on Mr. Moon's rather radical yet, nonetheless, alluring offer. Miss Sun knew there often was a fine line between lunar vision and hallucination.

Over the next few days, Miss Sun seriously considered the proposal. And she found herself getting anxious. She could not deny the signs of stress: Miss Sun was breaking out in a rash of sunspots and, if not running a high temperature, our heavenly heroine was feeling rather feverish. Why was she so concerned and confused? Mr. Moon truly seemed to be her celestial counterpart. With the development of virtual reality on Earth, they could safely leave behind a world in which they had given their all. No one could justly accuse them of recklessly running out on their cosmic commitments.

And what of Mr. Moon? Well he did have a reputation of roaming in space during his off-duty, daylight hours. Allegedly, he'd made rounds in more than one galaxy. (Miss Sun had asked Matt Drudge, the internet reporter, to do a brief background check on her interplanetary paramour. Miss Sun's motto: "I trust you, but I worry.") Of course, Mr. Moon claimed his wandering was just searching for his celestial cybermate. After eons of searching, he knew Miss Sun was meant to be his kindred cohort. Just the other day he had sent the following verse to his cybersweetie:

Well I'm looking for a partner Someone to share that celestial stage She's a gutsy fellow wanderer A traveling light for this New Age!

Like so many others, Miss Sun felt a mysterious, almost magnetic attraction to Mr. Moon's uncommon, almost contradictory persona of gravity, luminosity and lunacy. But with serious rumination and reflection, the clouds of self-doubt gradually began to burn off. Miss Sun had an epiphany! Yes, she needed a sabbatical from the demanding routine. But hitching her star to a moonshe thought it was supposed to be the other way around. But then Miss Sun caught herself. She was looking for more autonomy and less dependency. Our soular sister supported intergalactic gender equality and celestial liberation.

Actually, Miss Sun's reticence had less to do with Mr. Moon than with her own emotional and existential-celestial dilemma. She just wasn't ready to settle down and start a new intergalactic family. Miss Sun had been designing her own fantasy since surfing the internet and World Wide Web. She had become fascinated with the planet Earth's version of stellar creatures. Surprisingly, Miss Sun, despite her power and presence, could be quite starry- eyed. Maybe dissatisfaction with the routine, her fiery personality and fanciful speculations with Mr. Moon made her ripe for a bold career change with the approaching millenium.

Dreams and Docs

Whatever the reasons, it gradually dawned upon Miss Sun that she wanted to come down to Earth and live amongst its inhabitants. Miss Sun had discovered an analagous, out of this world, mini-universe; her idea of heaven on Earth. That's rightPlanet Hollywood! Miss Sun had been dreaming of becoming a movie star. She wanted to have the blazing lights on her this time around. Actually, Miss Sun really wanted to prove she could earn her stardom. She had a burning desire to nurture and express her own creative gifts and talents, not just have followers of her sensuous pastel persona and golden glow. She was tired of so many looking to her for their heat and light. For Miss Sun, her physical power and presence had definitely become both her corona and her cross. (You may groan now.)

While Eathlings harnessed and worshipped her, browned and basked in her rays, what did she get from this one-sided relationship? Had Miss Sun become a burnt out enabler? She was tired of being so in demand and drained, distant and detached. Could she relate to humans in a more mutual, personally vital way? And pushing her dreams one step further, could she become not just a celestial star but, also, an earthy one? (She was particularly intrigued by that Hollywood legend, the dynamic singer, actress and stage personality, Judy Garland. Miss Sun's two favorite Garland movies were her early work, "The Wizard of Oz," and the later classic, of course, "A Star Is Born." Miss Sun saw parallels between herself and Miss Garland: both had their fans and fanatics and both had, off and on, struggled with exhaustion and meltdown. She also sensed their destinies and dreams lay "somewhere over the rainbow." And like Dorothy, Miss Sun wished she could find a "Good Witch" to help guide her quest. And what do you know...;-)

One day, while exploring on Universe Online, Miss Sun stumbled upon the Online Psych page of "The Stress Doc," and then went to his website - www.stressdoc.com. His writings had sparks of luminous lunacy, which made Miss Sun think he could understand both her and Mr. Moon. Upon devouring a few of his "Humor From the Edge" essays, she thought, "Why not!" Miss Sun sent the Doc an email, detailing her ambivalence about Mr. Moon's proposal as well as her hopes of developing more satisfying, give and take relations with Earthlings. And while initially reluctant to address the issue, she even shared her creative career fantasy: to prove she could earn her claim to earthly stardom through talent and hard work, not just because she turned people on and got them all hot and sweaty.

The Stress Doc carefully read her missive and realized there was precedent for her dreams in the annals of human history. And there was also opportunity for fulfillment with the staggering advances in technology. First, the Doc suggested that Miss Sun do an internet search under Greek Mythology. He felt sure that the myths of Gods and Goddesses visiting Earthly mortals would further strengthen Miss Sun's belief in her quest. But before sharing his technological vision, the Stress Doc wanted also to affirm her psychological position. He strongly supported Miss Sun's desire to explore her own independent identity, to pursue her dreams and goals, to develop her creative gifts before making any final commitments to Mr. Moon.

The steam rising from her surface was a sure sign that this healer's words had touched her deeply. Miss Sun could not hold back her tears of both joy and sadness. Other than Mr. Moon, it had been such a long time - maybe never - that anyone had been able to see into Miss Sun's essence, to be able to look at this cosmic creature without being blinded by her brilliance and overpowering presence.

The Techno-Spiritual Challenge

Once convinced of her commitment, the Stress Doc now recommended that Miss Sun do online consulting with a colleague of his -- "The Cyber Doc." The Stress Doc was quite sure that this cyberwizard would be able to help Miss Sun. By using the latest tools and techniques in bio-engineering, bio-cybernetics, computer graphics and telescopic photography he would create a human- holographic-like clone using one of her sunspots. His creation would make her more than virtually human. She would be able to live among the Earthlings.

Miss Sun was excited, yet also apprehensive. She and the Cyber Doc would definitely be pushing the virtual reality envelope. The Stress Doc acknowledged that cloning was a controversial procedure for the human race. Many felt it was tampering with natural law and God's way. Some believed it raised profound questions about whether God even existed. The Stress Doc admitted he was a Jewish Atheist. (And that his biggest concern was that people would accuse him of being redundant.)

Miss Sun strongly believed in the need for scientific progress, but also had mixed feelings about the human race's capacity to fuse innovation and wisdom. Miss Sun still could recall her severe allergic reaction to all the nuclear testing over the past decades. And now, because of human ignorance and arrogance, the ever growing holes in the Ozone layer too often were turning her life giving solar energy into rays of disease, destruction and drought. Miss Sun told the Stress Doc that she would carefully evaluate all he had shared.

After another high-powered day, Miss Sun in her haven below the horizon pondered her previous exchange with the Doc. She decided to speak with Mr. Moon about her conflicting and far-reaching thoughts. Miss Sun wanted to be up front with him, even if this meant hurting Mr. Moon's feelings or risking Mr. Moon's wrath. Their friendship was too important not to be totally honest in this matter.

Confronting Mr. Moon

At their appointed cyber rendezvous time, Miss Sun frankly expressed her desires and plans: "Oh, Mr. Moon. I hope you know how much you mean to me. All the wonderful hours and laughs we've shared. You've helped me discover so much about myself, about the importance of nurturing my dreams. And, also, why I must personally harness my energy and gifts. Please don't think me selfish. Right now, I must pursue a life that reflects my individual essence, not just some universal cosmic order. While the thought of starting a new galaxy with you is tempting...I'm just not ready for another "Big Bang."

Our celestial cyber-ite then shared a quote of the Stress Doc's that had struck a hot button:

We are not what we believe. Is it because what we believe is not possible or because we refuse to become what we believe?

These words had immediately resonated deep into Miss Sun's core and had generated a sense of trust and soulidarity with the Stress Doc. Our restless star was determined to discover if she could build a career bridge between celestial and earthly possibilities and realities.

Mr. Moon could feel his heart freeze and the luminosity begin to drain from his face. He was about to type, "WELL I GUESS YOU'VE GOT TO DO WHAT YOU'VE GOT TO DO"...when he recognized his cool attitude and angry detachment as a cover for his pain. And Mr. Moon also realized that his friendship with Miss Sun had been too important to hide behind a persona of Mr. Macho Moon. He began to take on a reddish hue and tears started trickling onto the keyboard. Mr. Moon forced himself to be real.

Mr. Moon acknowledged feeling sad and empty, yet also shared that he understood having a compelling need to forge and express one's fullest essence. And once Mr. Moon connected to that burning need to discover and design his own persona and path, he could let go of his feelings of rejection and anger. Our cyber suitor could offer his genuine support for Miss Sun. Mr. Moon then said to his celestial sweetheart, "I have been closer to Earthlings than you. As you are navigating your path on Earth, if you'd like, I will be here for you in cyberspace as mentor and muse. My dark, intuitive side tells me we are destined to be celestial soul mates one day. But, alas, our timing is not right." (Mr. Moon also figured one of them better stay heaven bound, or all hell could break loose.)

Dear reader, before becoming unduly impressed with Mr. Moon's higher path response to Miss Sun's plans, rest assured Mr. Moon's noble offer will not be the last word. Remember, regarding matters of the heart, there's often a delicate boundary between lunacy and jealousy.

A Mystical Moon

Miss Sun was very thankful for having such an understanding, soulful friend. She too believed their celestial destinies were tiedbut before she could join Mr. Moon in his quest for Soular Fusion she must embark on her earthly mission.

Mr. Moon hesitated, then typed: "Miss Sun, have I ever spoken about my mystical-like experience? It was a rare cosmic unfolding that gave me insight into the potential for the oneness of the universe and the possibility for wholeness within our celestial beings. And it's why I understand the need to get closer to one's inner essence, one's gifts and talents, passion and pain as a foundation for the Soular Fusion experience."

Miss Sun was spellbound and excitedly asked Mr. Moon to continue. She sensed learning of his mysterious journeys throughout the universe would open up psychic and cosmic vistas necessary for pioneering her uncommon path.

Well, dear reader, we again have come to a natural resting point. I hope you, like Miss Sun, are sufficiently spellbound. The next installment will illuminate in vivid detail, "The Dark Night of the Lunar Soul." Until then, of coursePractice Safe Stress!

(c) Mark Gorkin 1998 Shrink Rap Productions

Mark Gorkin, the "Stress Doc," Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is a national speaker and trainer on stress, communications, team building, creativity and HUMOR. He is the "Online Psychohumorist" for the major AOL mental health resource, Online Psych, and for the internet newsletters Humor From the Edge and Financial Services Journal Online. Mark is also a Contributing Writier for the national publications Treatment Today and Paradigm Magazine. And, the "Doc" is a critical incident specialist for a variety of EAPs. For more info, call (202) 232-8662, check his website - recently featured as a USA Today Online "Hot Site" - at: http://www.stressdoc.com or email Stress Doc@aol.com. Email to receive his free newsletter: "Cybernotes from an Online Psychohumorist."

"The Stress Doc Letter" features and functions:

1. Psychohumor Writings. To provide you the best of my past and current online and offline writngs, including Humor From the Edge columns and America On Line/Online Psych special topical essays, e.g, <A HREF="aol://4344:972.docwork.1255066.562088752">The Stress Doc Interview @ Online Psych</A> and <A HREF="aol://4344:972.olpny3.1264502.565460680">Make Your Resolution A Habit With Help From Online Psych!</A>. For those not on AOL, if you'd like a copy of these popular series, just email - stressdoc@aol.com. Or check out my website - www.stressdoc.com - or my AOL/Online Psych Page - Keyword: Stress Doc, <A HREF="aol://4344:972.doc.1264535.556723207">The Stress Doc @ Online Psych </A> .

My writings now appear twice/month in Perspectives, the electronic magazine of Mental Health Net. MHN is a not-for-profit organization devoted to mental health information and education resources online. They are located at: www.cmhc.com/

2. Special Projects/Speaking Updates. Workshops, conferences and new or special projects that are flying around or about to be (or have been) launched:

a) Come on by for my twice a month "Shrink Rap and Group Chat" on AOL/Digital City - Washington. It's an online stress support group. We discuss your personal concerns on stress and wellness, relationship and family issues, loss and grief, career transition, creativity and psychological growth, etc., the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month, from 9-10pm EDT. Next session's on reality vs. fantasy in relationships: Monday July 27th. Here's the link: <A HREF="aol://4344:363.gorkin.5732839.568857121">Chat with the Stress Doc</A> .

This group replaces the Frequent Sighers Club which never quite got off the ground. (I still like the name.)

b) Team Building Series for Aeronautical Charting and Cartography/Dept. of Commerce commenced on June 5th and continues in high gear. A number of peer facilitated groups have been launched. This follows two highly successful Stress and Conflict Management all day workshops. For more info, call Melissa Hartman, Special Projects Manager, (202) 482-3026.

c) Overcoming Stress, Loss and Change; Managing Anger and Conflict - continuing series for Fairfax County Government, VA, Metro-Area Re-employment Project: for Displaced Federal Employees. Stress-Part II: Aug 5; Anger: August 17. For more info, call: Marilyn Manno, (703) 324-7390.

d) Rebuilding the Fire: Transforming Burnout into Your Creative Career Path; On June 8th and 9th, two highly successful half day programs for the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers Annual Conference. Rumor has it I was "the star of the conference." These comments from Ron Lambert, Director, Career Services, John Hopkins University/SAIS, (202) 663-5710: Once again, let me thank you for the outstanding job facilitating "Rebuilding the Fire; Transforming Burnout Into Your Creative Career Path."...From the evaluations submitted, clearly, it was one of our most successful workshops of the conference. While my own coordinating duties kept me from attending, every time I passed by your seminar room, it was clear that you were able to build and maintain a high level of energy and enthusiasm...In these frenetic times, yours is a gift that many organizations surely will find a great benefit.

e) Generating Creativity and High Performance; as a spinoff of the above Rebuilding the Fire EACE Conference, will be leading a 2 1/2 hour "Beginning Year Kickoff" motivational workshop on Aug 11th at Ithaca College for 80 Student Personnel staff members; for more info, call Gary Littlepage, (607) 274-3365.

f) These comments from David Odar, Program Chair for American Association of Healthcare Adminsitrative Mnagement on May's Practicing Safe Stress presentation: We want to express thanks for the wonderful presentation you made to our group last month. It was obvious that you connected with the group and provided us all with some fresh perspectives and strategies for dealing with stress...We look forward to having you be an integral part of our year end meeting that will focus on strategies for "career control."

3. Online Coaching/Training. To promote my Coaching for Consultants and Entrepreneurs Program:

Special Announcement: I am starting a Multi-Media Coaching for Consultants Program: ** developing, delivering, marketing workshop programs online & offline ** humor/speech writing services and website design with the Cyber Doc ** online consultation and participation in chat group

For information on the products and instructional services, email me at Stress Doc@aol.com. With questions, call (202) 232-8662 or mail me at:

Mark Gorkin Stress Doc Enterprises 1616 18th Street, NW #312 Washington, DC 20009-2530

4. Award-Winning Website. To remind you that there is a lot more material on my award winning, USA Today Online "Hot Site" website. It's also just been acclaimed a 4 Star, top-rated site, by Mental Health Net, the largest review guide of mental health, psychology and psychiatry resources online today. Go to www.stressdoc.com or <A HREF="http://www.stressdoc.com/">STRESS DOC HOMEPAGE</A> . Also, check out my AOL/Online Psych Page, <A HREF="aol://4344:972.doc.1264535.556723207">The Stress Doc @ Online Psych </A> or Keyword: Stress Doc. Over 100 articles are arranged in 15 different categories:

Stress Doc Bio and Philosophy Stress and Burnout Managing Anger with Authority Power Struggles: Dyads-Systems Depression/Teens, Parents... Cyberaddicts Anonymous Good Grief Searching for Love Career Transition Humor: Art and Science Creativity Unbound Achieving Peak Performance Spiritual Exploration Readers' Submissions

5. Readers' Platform. Please submit questions, comments, criticisms, cutting edge information as well as stories about how you've used humor to help relieve a client's, family member's or your own stress. I will gladly print your offering and credit you completely. (And thank you for using your spellchecker.)

Mark Gorkin, "The Stress Doc," Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is a nationally recognized speaker, workshop leader and author on stress, reorganizational change, anger, team building, creativity and humor. He is also the internet's and the nation's leading "Psychohumorist." The Stress Doc is a columnist for the popular cyber-newsletter, Humor From The Edge . Mark is also the "Online Psychohumorist" for the major AOL mental health resource network, Online Psych and Financial Services Journal Online -- http://fsc.fsonline.com/fsj . And he is an offline writer for two mental health/substance abuse publications -- Treatment Today and Paradigm Magazine. His motto: Have Stress? Will Travel: A Smart Mouth for Hire! Reach "The Doc" at (202) 232-8662, email: Stress Doc@aol.com, or check out his "Hot Site" website: http://www.stressdoc.com . (The site was selected as a USA Today Online "Hot Site" and designated a four-star, top-rated site by Mental Health Net.)