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Spam has finally forced my hand!  Beginning on Good Friday (interesting timing, eh?) my spam jumped up to approximately 3000 per day (OUCH!).  So, with great regret and several noble attempts to use spam filtering software, I am putting my overcoming depression email(s) to rest.  From now on when you click on any "email me" type of links in this newsletter, you will be taken onto my website where you can fill out a form to contact me.

The story below came from my friend Lee.  It's an incredible story.  Thanks Lee for sending it along to me.  As with all good stories I would love to know who wrote it so I can give credit.  If you know who wrote it please let me know.

The Daffodil Story

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over."

I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to
Lake Arrowhead. "I will come next Tuesday," I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all
the time, Mother."

"Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears,
and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.

"I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up
my car."

"How far will we have to drive?"

"Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to

After several minutes, I had to ask, "Where are we going?
This isn't the way to the garage!"

"We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled,
"by way of the daffodils."

"Carolyn," I said sternly, "please turn around."

"It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive
yourself if you miss this experience. After about twenty 
minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a
small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand
lettered sign that read, "Daffodil Garden."

We got out of the car and each took a child's hand, and I 
followed Carolyn down the path. Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain in peak and slopes. 

The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon, pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue.

There were five acres of flowers. "But who has done this?"  I asked Carolyn. "It's just one woman," Carolyn answered.  "She lives on the property. That's her home" Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline.

The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read.  The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain."  The third answer was, "Began in 1958."

There it was, The Daffodil Principle. For me, that moment was a life-changing experience I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop.

Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world. This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable (indescribable) magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.

The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time--often just one baby step at a time--and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one
bulb at a time' through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use today?"

So, stop waiting...

Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until you finish school
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until you retire
Until summer
Until spring
Until winter
Until fall
Until you die

There is no better time than right now to be happy.
Happiness is a journey, not a destination.  So work like you don't need the money, Love like you've never been hurt, and dance like no one's watching.



Dave Turo-Shields (email)
Veteran Psychotherapist, Trainer & Life Coach

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Ask Dave!


Hello Dave,

"How do I get myself in the depression that I feel?. I go for a while and feel ok but then slowly but surely here I am again.  I feel like I'm not doing something that will make me happy, but what?
I'm not sure where the feeling comes from.  Its almost like someone has died, like I'm grieving. Is that what others feel.  My heart actually feels like it is breaking, my stomach has that pitted feeling almost some days like I want to vomit. I pray every day."


I appreciate your reply,



Hi J,

First, I would ask you to ask yourself an important question.  Did you ask the question above in shame or with a clean desire to learn?  When a person beats up on themselves and lives in shame, it's an open invitation for the return of depression.  Depression loves a person who feels like they are worthless.  It empowers depression to continue, worsen and return.

On the other hand, those of you who experience chronic depression, know all too well that depression has the darndest timing, doesn't it?  At times it's easy to identify the trigger and other times it seems to come out of nowhere and for no good reason.

In cases of chronic depression the best defense is to have a powerful offense.  What I mean is that it's important to be consciously proactive in the future of the problem before the future comes.

All depression sufferers want depression to go away permanently.  This is normal, yet this mindset can lead to denial around the power and longevity of the depression problem.

 The result can be that individuals work hard at recovery for 'awhile,' and when they feel better they stop self-caring behaviors and depression returns again.

When I say this many respond disgruntled and are frustrated that recovery may take hard work for the rest of their lives.  But I look at it differently than that.  You see, a gift depression can bring is good self-care.  Everyone needs to have good self-care skills in their lives.  Many folks who do not suffer from depression struggle with taking the time and caring for themselves in positive ways.

It's important to be active and to know exactly what it is you do to be your best.  That way life doesn't just happen to you.  You take your best directly at life.

 There are times  when working an active recovery plan when you may still have 'breakthrough depression.'  When your recovery plan is firmly in place you'll find that the duration and intensity of the episode is much less. 

All my best,

Dave Turo-Shields

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