2021 First-Foot.

2018 First-Foot.

By David Joel Miller.

1st foot.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The first-foot through the door each year sets the tone for the rest of the year.

There’s an old tradition; they say it comes from Scotland, that the first person through the door each new year sets the tone for the rest of that year.  Because of that, I wanted this to be my first post for the new year.

If this is your first time reading counselorssoapbox.com, I hope this post will start off your year in a good direction.  Longtime readers will know that this blog’s premise is having a happy life.

Life can have its struggles.  At some point in their life, everyone is likely to experience a mental, emotional, or behavioral issue.  Because of this, I write a lot about mental health, mental illness, substance use disorders, and overcoming the bumps on the road of life.  Here is hoping that this new year will bring happiness to you and yours.

Throughout this year on counselorssoapbox.com I plan to bring you tips about having a happy life, coping with emotional and mental issues, and the impact that using and abusing substances might have on your mental and emotional health.

We will also present posts to help you with being a success. However, you define that success.  With over 1800 posts on counselorssoapbox.com so far, you’ll find plenty of tips in the past posts with more to come this year.  You might even want to consider subscribing to counselorssoapbox.com.

Thanks for being my lucky first-foot this year.

P.S.  If it takes you a while to get around to reading this post I will understand.  Whenever you get to it, please drop me a line.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seems like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and they want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

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For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Today is the Winter Solstice

By David Joel Miller

Sunrise at Stonehenge.

Winter solstice.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Today marks the time of another change – the Winter Solstice.

The Winter Solstice is sometimes called the midwinter, it marks the point when the sun, here in the Northern hemisphere is as far south as it will go. From here on out we wait for the return of the Sun.

Today marks the shortest day and the longest night we will experience this year. For some of us this realization will be a comfort and for others, it will be a reminder of the temporariness of our human experience.

For most of us, the worst of the winter storms remains ahead. All the while we should be reminding ourselves that the best of times is just ahead. Before long spring will return and then the cycle of life will renew itself again.

We all should take this time to reflect on how much of our lives here on this crazy planet is dependent on the Sun and the fact that our planet leans on its axis and turns once each year around the Sun. The result of this cyclical rotation is all those things that we may well take for granted.

Humans mark the time of our lives by these seasons. One trip around the sun and we add one more number to the sum of things we call our age.

Some of us will learn something each time we make that trip and others are content just to have returned each year to the starting place.

In ancient times this event, occurring at sundown on the day of the solstice, was a time for celebrations, festivals and holidays. Today we should be thinking of things that have ended and things that will begin as the cycle of the year advances.

The story is told that this day marks the beginning of the three famine months when food was in short supply and the grim reaper of starvation walked the land. Despite all out belief in the progress of man, this day and the three months to come mark the time when the poor are the neediest and food banks the most strained in their efforts to preserve the poor from another winter of hunger.

That tradition of marking the change of the seasons continues to this day in many places. In predominantly Christian countries the celebration of the Winter Solstice has largely been replaced by the observation of Christmas.

Some will take today to make the start of one last binge effort to accumulate gifts for the day of celebration that marks Christmas.

Personally, I take time on this day to reflect on things lost and things gained and the time for transition from one of life’s periods to another. I also remember on this day a dear friend lost and a new person who came into my life.

Here is wishing you a happy solstice and the hope that you will not lose the meaning of these last few days before Christmas to the roar of indulgence.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities.

If you would like to stay connected to the posts on counselors soapbox, hear about the progress of my book in progress or the flow of the conversation about mental health and substance abuse issues – please subscribe or follow counselors soapbox.

You will find the follow button at the very tip-top of the page, in the black area, next to the counselorssoapbox.com name. And don’t forget to hit the share and the like buttons at the end of each post.

Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving Day.

Post by David Joel Miller.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Today is the traditional Thanksgiving Day celebration here in America. Mostly it is celebrated with lots of food, some family, and assorted other traditions.

For some people, this is a time to eat a lot and watch sports. Other people are planning their “Black Friday” Christmas shopping for tomorrow. A few of us old dinosaurs are remembering that today was created to think about all the things that we have to be grateful for and how this country almost didn’t make it, a couple of times.

Below are a few quotes that remind me of things to think about today.

“After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”

― Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day. ~Irv Kupcinet

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy. ~Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often. ~Johnny Carson

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you. But these were all I could find. Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you please share them.

Celebrating Independence Day

Celebrating Independence Day

Statue of Liberty.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Today many of us are celebrating Independence Day. Officially it happens today July 4th here in America. It has not yet happened for everyone everywhere.

Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Have you thought about what Independence means to you?

Memorial Day.

Post by David Joel Miller.


Memorial Day.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Memorial Day.

“As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”

― Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln Letters

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

― Abraham Lincoln

“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves”

― Abraham Lincoln, Complete Works – Volume XII

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.


Happy Mother’s Day!


By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Mothers day

Happy Mother’s Day

To all the mothers out there who have given their unconditional love regardless of what your children look like or do here is wishing you a happy mother’s day.

If you didn’t have a mother like that, then work on giving yourself that love on this day devoted to the way a caring mother can make us all happy.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Quotes from Abraham Lincoln.

Quotes from Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

Abraham Lincoln

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

Abraham Lincoln

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

Abraham Lincoln

“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”

Abraham Lincoln

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

― Abraham Lincoln

Today on Presidents’ Day seems like a good time to look at the things Abraham Lincoln had to say.