Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mental Floss

By Julie Rahm
This video was mental floss for me! "Two dogs dining..."

Dental floss is a bundle of thin filaments for removing food and plaque from teeth. It is usually made from nylon, polyethylene or Teflon. Even silk can be used. As you know, dental floss can be waxed or unwaxed. And, it can be flavored or unflavored. In the Victorian era, and before dental floss, toothpicks were all the rage. Charles Dickens owned a toothpick inlaid with ivory and engraved with his initials. It retracted into its own handle like a tiny spyglass. Then, along came Dr. Levi Spear Parmly. Dr. Parmly was a dentist from New Orleans and is credited with inventing dental floss. As early as 1815, he was recommending people should clean between their teeth with silk floss. But, silk was expensive and not readily available.
It wasn’t until 1882 that dental floss became commercially available to consumers. In 1882, the Codman and Shurtleft Company started producing human-usable unwaxed silk floss. Then in 1898, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation received the first patent for dental floss. Other early brands were Red Cross, Salter Sill and Brunswick. Still, there was not much flossing before the 1940’s. However, it was during the 1940’s that Dr. Charles C. Bass developed nylon floss. Nylon floss was found to be better than silk because of its greater abrasion resistance and elasticity. Now, due to environmental concerns, dental floss is biodegradable.
Dentists and Hygienists urge frequent tooth brushing and flossing. Nearly all Americans brush their teeth. However, studies indicate only 10 to 40 percent of Americans floss their teeth on a daily basis. But, my intention this week is not to “wow” you with the comprehensive history of dental floss! To learn more, you could vacation with your family to the National Museum of Dentistry located in Baltimore, Maryland. (Yikes!) But, back to my point, I tell you all about dental floss to set the background for another useful metaphor: mental floss.
Mental floss is perfect for removing unhealthy plaque from your psyche. As an example, the holidays are here. And, perhaps the holidays arrive with some unhealthy memories of previous holidays gone bad. Even further, these memories can produce bad moods or depression. For these maladies, I advocate the use of mental floss for your mind. When unhealthy memories encroach on your holiday happiness, take a good long strand of mental floss and start working it against those bad experiences. Get those bad memories and their triggers loose from your mind so you can rinse them down the drain. One bad memory at a time, work your mental floss back and forth. Realize the past is over and now is the moment to move on. Resolving the past ensures your brighter future. One of my clients actually flosses her teeth and bad memories at the same time. Simultaneously, she uses dental and mental floss! 
For more, visit my website at and learn why I am a “Resultant” not a consultant.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Take a Punch

By Julie Rahm

     A thousand years ago, when my husband John went through the Navy flight school, they taught boxing! I don’t understand the thinking that supports teaching boxing to Naval Aviators. I suspect it builds confidence, toughness and physical fitness. The darker side of me believes the Navy thought their aviators were destined to participate in a few bar room brawls and the boxing instruction would help protect their investment. I don’t know if they still teach boxing at flight school. But, back in the day, prospective Naval Aviators squared off against one another. Unfortunately for John, he was matched against an individual who was a Golden Gloves boxer from Detroit! John says his opponent hit him at will. This individual, who possessed superior skills, hit John when and where ever he wanted. This boxer went easy on John. Even though a lot of punched were pulled, John still took a good beating during the daily training sessions. Everyone wore boxing headgear and sixteen ounce gloves. But, John still would get knocked down on a regular basis. John says he tried not to blink his eyes closed when hit. If he blinked, he usually got knocked down by the next forthcoming blow! John sported black and blue all over Naval Air Station Pensacola. The training lasted two weeks. I am sure it seemed like years to John. To his credit, John always got back up after being knocked down. He literally learned to take a punch. When he first told the story, I thought; there it is, yet another metaphor for a successful life. To lead the life you desire and deserve, one needs the ability to take a punch and get back up.
     Life offers many blows. Loved ones depart the earth. Hurricanes come ashore. Divorce or infidelity arrive unannounced and suddenly. Mix in the challenges of unemployment and some lives can be a real struggle. Like John’s flight school boxing experience, it seems some are matched against impossible odds. My point is this; getting punched by life is inevitable. Everyone gets bruised. Most important is the determination to get up off the canvas and get back into the fight.
     One of my best friends lost his wife to sickness. He was left with three daughters; ages nine, thirteen and eighteen. He is the poster child for the ability to take a punch and get back up. Everyday, for him, contains a challenge. But, he continues to persevere and do well enough. Another of my friends lost her husband in a house fire. He was an alcoholic and abused her. One tragic evening, he passed out while smoking and perished in the subsequent fire. Even though they were separated, he left her thousands of dollars in debt. There was no insurance. She took the punch, paid off the enormous debt and is doing well enough.
     If you’ve been punch by life and need help getting up off the canvas, contact me by visiting my website at 
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