self-help

New Month, New You Monthly Check-in – July 2020

 

Hi blog fans,

I’m just checking in on you to see how your month is going as you cultivate a new you!  How is the technique that I introduced at the beginning of the month working for you?  What changes have come in your life as a result of using any of the techniques that I have introduced in this blog segment?  Share your responses in the comments section.

 

I look forward to hearing from you!

 

Don’t forget to follow this blog page and also like my writer’s page on Facebook at ML Childs Writer and join the Infinite Consciounsess Ascension group on Facebook group.

 

Sincerely,

 

M.L. Childs Writer

P.S.  My latest e-book, The Missing Link, is now available.  This e-book covers topics similar to those introduced in the “New Month, New You” blog, designed to help you get out of your rut and get on with your new life.  For more details, click on the cover image below:

 

 

 

Image courtesy of ID 102927287 © Viktor Gladkov | Dreamstime.com

*Announcement* – Blog Segment Addition – New Month, New You Monthly Check-in

 

Hi blog fans,

I am happy to announce that I am adding an additional segment to the “New Month, New You” blog series called “New Month, New You Check-in”  Each month I provide the “New Month, New You” blog article that introduces a mystical technique that drives success.    This new segment allows you – the reader – to share with me and the rest of the community how the technique introduced at the beginning of the month is allowing you to reach your goals so far this month.

Each month on the 15th of the month, look for the check-in article and post your comments on how you are leveling up this month.

 

See you soon!

 

Don’t forget to follow this blog page and also like my writer’s page on Facebook at ML Childs Writer and join the Infinite Consciounsess Ascension group on Facebook group.

 

Sincerely,

 

M.L. Childs Writer

P.S.  My latest e-book, The Missing Link, is now available.  This e-book covers topics similar to those introduced in the “New Month, New You” blog, designed to help you get out of your rut and get on with your new life.  For more details, click on the cover image below:

 

 

 

Image courtesy of ID 102927287 © Viktor Gladkov | Dreamstime.com

New Month, New You – Declutter and Spruce up Your Mind

ATLANTA – Written by M.L. Childs, Author, Screenwriter, Copywriter and Historian

 

First things first, your conscious mind runs the show. Your conscious mind is the king/queen and the subconscious mind is the servant. However, some people have been operating so long with the subconscious running the show that they don’t realize that they have more power than they realize. When the subconscious runs the show, your life is probably out of control because it does not take instruction from you; instead, it’s operating on all the instruction that has been placed into you your entire life. It’s no wonder people are confused and depressed.

The conscious mind will have to work hard to reclaim its reign over this out of control subconscious mind.

Declutter the mind and fill it with new “furniture”

There two parts to gaining control of the subconscious mind. You will literally have to start eliminating thoughts that aren’t working for you stored in your subconscious mind. Then, replace those thoughts with better ones.

Have you ever seen what a hoarder’s house looks like? They collect tons of random stuff until it is piling up and drowning them. That’s what your mind has probably been doing over the years without you being aware of it. You have stuff from when you were in preschool in your head, and you have insults from when you were a teen still floating in your head, you have anger from a past relationship still lurking there. If you have never removed this stuff from your subconscious, you have lots of unnecessary thoughts floating around in your head that are getting in the way of you manifesting a better life.

Think about it: if you are still ticked off about the coach never choosing you to be on the winning team and instead placing you on the mediocre team, this single thought could still be attracting mediocre experiences. That coach thought you weren’t good enough to be on a winning team, but you don’t have to keep embodying this thought. This could make you feel like a loser in the deep recesses of your mind, and you are attracting mediocre circumstances into your life.

But guess what? That thought was put there by someone else. Politely take it and put it in the pile of other drama that you are collecting over in the corner of your mind and preparing to toss out in the trash. You are about to replace that thought with winning ones to get on the winning team of your choice in life! No longer will you drift automatically to the mediocre team because someone else felt you belong there.

Get a piece of paper out. This activity may take more than a few minutes because you will have to dig deep into some of your past traumas and write them down. This may be as simple as a bully taking your cookie from you when you were in preschool. If you remember this, then trust me, you are still secretly ticked off about this. This one thing has made you comfortable with folks taking stuff from you, and so you are subconsciously allowing people to take things from you in your adult life, or you may be terrified of standing up for yourself. Write all of these things down that you can remember and look at this list. That list can look like this:

I remember the time when I was laughed off stage when I goofed during the Shakespeare tryouts

I remember the time when someone pick-pocketed me

I remember when my little sister beat me up

I remember when my girlfriend left me for my cousin

I remember when I knew the answer to the question and Mrs. Smith called on someone else to answer even though she saw me raise my hand

Think back to those events in your life and get ticked off about it for the last time. Then pile these things up in that clutter pile and prepare to toss all of this mess out of your life. It’s over! You don’t have to be haunted by these thoughts anymore. However, before you toss them in this pile, really reflect on why this bothered you then and what behaviors you may be drawing into your life due to the trauma from this memory.

For instance, if your girlfriend left you for your cousin, this may be the source of your feeling terrible about your looks and maybe driving an eating disorder. If you goofed during the Shakespeare tryouts, this might be the source of you shying away from leadership roles out of fear that people will not take you seriously. After you reflect on these things, then pile them up in the toss out corner. These things may take some time to recall, so don’t rush this exercise. You may need to take this entire month or even longer remember these things that are tearing your life apart without you realizing it.

Now that you have your substantial list of things and you have reflected on them, and you have piled them up to be tossed out, its time to either reflect on great experiences that have happened in your life. It can be the most insignificant thing, but it brought you joy.

I remember when my grandma used to give me extra snacks

I remember when I got a massive collection of GI Joe action figures for my birthday

I remember when I was chosen to be the crossing guard

Recalling these things will allow you to reflect on the things that make you feel good and draw more of those experiences. Now go a step further and reflect on why those things made you feel good. The first sample feels good, probably because you like being treated specially by someone you love or someone in authority. The second example probably feels good because you like having more things than the average person. The third example probably feels good because you like being a leader.

The whole purpose of this technique is to get down to the bottom of what you don’t like and what you do like so that you can recognize the difference between the two when these things show up in your life. When you realize the experiences that make you feel inferior, your mind will begin to repel that. Likewise, when things that make you feel great show up, your mind will accept that. You are probably on autopilot allowing all these things into your life, and that’s no way to live!

One last thing is to look back at that list of bad things. From that bad seed, you are not about to plant good seeds. For instance, the time when you were ticked off for being pick-pocketed. The new seed you are going to plant is being more aware of sketchy folks hanging around in your surroundings and making sure that you keep appropriate boundaries with people, whether you know them or not. Your little sister beat you up, and you felt like a loser for letting someone younger than you beat you. But you are no longer going to carry the grudge around about young people getting promoted at your job while you stay stuck in your role. You are going to try instead to learn some of the ways that they are remaining competitive.

Declutter the junk from your subconscious and replace it with new beautiful, orderly things so that you can manifest your desired life instead of this prepackaged dull life that you have been living for far too long.

Try this method over the next thirty days in order to make it a habit.  Then, come back and share what your experiences have been in the comments.  By then, I will have another mystical technique for success in the next post for New Month, New You.

 

What are your thoughts on using this method?  Post a comment in the comment section.

 

Don’t forget to follow this blog page and also like my writer’s page on Facebook at ML Childs Writer and join the Infinite Consciounsess Ascension group on Facebook group.

 

My latest e-book, The Missing Link, is now available.  This e-book covers topics similar to those introduced in the “New Month, New You” blog, designed to help you get out of your rut and get on with your new life.  For more details, click on the cover image below:

 

 

Image courtesy of ID 60088994 © Alexander Kharchenko | Dreamstime.com

 

Disclaimer:  This blog article is the opinion of the author and is meant for entertainment purposes.  It is not meant to take the place of professional advice.  

Word of the Month – Perseverance

Chalk Board Image of The Word Perseverance

 

 

There are millions of words in the English language.  Why only use the worst ones?

In my Word of the Month blog segment, I extract simple, positive words from the English language and these words become the basis for improving your life — one month at a time.

Remember, to incorporate this word into your vocabulary throughout the month so that it becomes habitual in your word usage.

 


Definition – (noun) steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement

Use of the word in a sentence:

The project manager showed perseverance during the project despite all the budget and time constraints.  

 

 

Definition from Dictionary.com

Chalkboard image courtesy of ID 85824976 © Leonid Belov | Dreamstime.com

*Announcement* – New Book – The Missing Link

 

“If you don’t grab life by the reigns and ride it where you want to go, then life will ride you where it wants to go, and you may not like where it leads you.”

M. L. Childs, Writer

The world has officially collapsed due to this Covid-19. There are so many people whose lives have been left in shambles, and we are all left, not knowing exactly how to move forward. The new normal is here, and now we are charged with the responsibility of picking up the pieces. The Law of Attraction will be more critical than ever in rebuilding the lives that have been destroyed by this virus.

What if you don’t know what the Law of Attraction is? There are many videos and books on the market that will help you to learn more about it; so, I suggest you start there.

What if you have been using the Law of Attraction but keep getting stuck? Then this book is for you.

I have known about the Law of Attraction for over a decade, and I know that it does work; however, it has worked for me in autopilot, bringing all types of catastrophes my way and some good things, too. I always thought that using the Law of Attraction to my benefit in a focused way was impossible because I would still lose faith somewhere between the believe and receive phase of Law of Attraction until recently.

For some, like me, the Law of Attraction doesn’t work because there is a lot of terrible baggage in the way preventing manifestations from occurring. This eBook helps readers to discover what may be causing faith blocks and focuses on how to remove them so that you can get past the hurdles and start living the life of your dreams.

Learn More

 

Evolution image courtesy of ID 45811830 © Petrovich11 | Dreamstime.com; book cover arrangement by ScottHillDesign.com

Word of the Month – Accomplish

Chalk Board Image of the Word Accomplish

 

 

There are millions of words in the English language.  Why only use the worst ones?

In my Word of the Month blog segment, I extract simple, positive words from the English language and these words become the basis for improving your life — one month at a time.

Remember, to incorporate this word into your vocabulary throughout the month so that it becomes habitual in your word usage.

 


Definition – (transitive verb) to bring to completion

Use of the word in a sentence:

This month, I will accomplish my sales goals. 

 

 

Definition from Merriam-Webster.com

Chalkboard image courtesy of ID 85824976 © Leonid Belov | Dreamstime.com

New Month, New You – Auto-Suggesting Your Way Out of Stinking Thinking

Image of someone whispering

ATLANTA – Written by M.L. Childs, Author, Screenwriter, Copywriter and Dramatic Historian

 

I have been receiving a lot of positive feedback on the article that I posted last month entitled Journaling From the Vantage Point of the Future; however, I realized that writing goals might not be everyone’s thing.  So this month, I want to focus on another mystical technique that will help you to transform your life and get on the road to success.  This technique is called auto-suggestion.

Some of you may have heard of subliminal techniques.  It is basically hypnosis.  There are a lot of apps available that help you to hypnotize yourself right before you go to bed at night.  If you like, you can disregard what I tell you in this article and opt for those techniques to hypnotize yourself.  This technique that I am introducing to you will involve more of your time and effort but it will be personalized to you.

If you are not familiar with what I am talking about, there are apps and YouTube videos that place you in a hypnotic state using music or repetitive sayings to influence your subconscious.  I have used these and I still do use them whenever I feel like I want to focus on a specific thing like wealth building or being happy.  However, one thing that I have found to be as equally useful as these techniques is auto-suggestion.  If you are wondering what auto-suggestion is, it is simply things that you are telling yourself.  Literally, you are telling yourself stuff all day long.  It’s that little voice in your head that helps you think or be creative or remember things.

This auto-suggestion technique is a focused way of putting things in your own mind, using your own voice to clear the clutter in your subconscious and begin to improve your thoughts.  For instance, you may be walking around all day long telling yourself things like “I’m fat” or “I’m unattractive” or “I’m broke” or “I’m stupid” or “I hate that” and so on and so forth.  You are technically hypnotizing your mind into bad thoughts that are bringing more of those things into your reality.  What good is it to focus on bringing real desires into your life if you are only going to “shoot yourself in the foot” by saying terrible things to yourself in your mind all day? For those who are still not seeing your desires manifest, it may be that your mental conversation is not aligned with success.

You have to get a handle on what your brain is whispering to itself all day.  The way to do this is to do focused auto-suggestion so that you can start to gain control of your thoughts.  The journaling technique that I introduced in the last article is a form of auto-suggestion because you are writing something repeatedly until you begin to feel and believe it.  Another type of auto-suggestion is recording your voice telling you to do something repeatedly and playing it back.  This doesn’t have to be in the past tense.  It can be in the present tense; however, as I stated in the last article, past tense does seem to give a little more power to the thing that you desire.

Start Recording Your Voice

Start by getting a voice recorder.  This may be an app on your phone so, if you have it stored there, you can start recording.  If you don’t have that as an option, then download it or go and purchase such an item from a technology store.  What is it that you want to improve about yourself?  Whatever it is should revolve around a theme like, self-confidence or wealth or intelligence or happiness.  Once you have a theme, then it is time to get out a piece of paper and list the associated themes. Let’s take self-confidence, for instance.  Start to ponder things that you admire about self-confident people and make a list of those things.  The list could look like this:

  • self-confident people are happy
  • self-confident people are not afraid to talk to people
  • self-confident people speak well
  • self-confident people smile a lot
  • self-confident people are leaders

Write down as many things that you can think of as you brainstorm.  Then go back and look at this list and pick the most powerful of these things on the list. Now, you will take the most significant items on the list and write those things like this:

  • I am very happy
  • I am not afraid to talk to people
  • I speak very well
  • I smile a lot
  • I am a leader

After writing down these things, you are now going to record your voice saying these exact things with conviction and enthusiasm as if you own a self-confidence business.  Once you record these things, you will play back these things every night and/or every morning.  These recordings should be the last thing you do before going to bed or the first thing you do when you wake up.  This practice will begin to make you take control of your mind.  When you start to feel that your mind is wavering throughout the day, recall the positive things that you stated on your recording.  If you find yourself saying rotten things to yourself like “I’m sad” or “people make me nervous” or “my leadership sucks,” think back to your recordings.  If you have a portable recorder and some headphones, play the recording again.  Play it in your car on the way to or from work. Anytime you feel that you’re slipping back into “stinking thinking,” play your recorded voice so that you can drown out the voice in your head that makes you feel unsuccessful or fat or stupid.

 

Try this method over the next thirty days in order to make it a habit.  Then, come back and share what your experiences have been in the comments.  By then, I will have another mystical technique for success in the next post for New Month, New You.

 

What are your thoughts on using this method?  Post a comment in the comment section.

 

 

Image courtesy of ID 58599524 © Antonio Marí Planells | Dreamstime.com

 

Disclaimer:  This blog article is the opinion of the author and is meant for entertainment purposes.  It is not meant to take the place of professional advice.  

Word of the Month – Gratitude

Chalk Board Image of the Word Gratitude

 

 

There are millions of words in the English language.  Why only use the worst ones?

In my Word of the Month blog segment, I extract simple, positive words from the English language and these words become the basis for improving your life — one month at a time.

Remember, to incorporate this word into your vocabulary throughout the month so that it becomes habitual in your word usage.

 


Definition – (noun) the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful

Use of the word in a sentence:

“I would like to express gratitude for all of the great things that are happening in my career,” said the speaker to the audience as she accepted her award.

 

 

Definition from Dictionary.com

Chalkboard image courtesy of ID 85824976 © Leonid Belov | Dreamstime.com

New Month, New You – Journaling From the Vantage Point of the Future

Someone writing in a journal

ATLANTA – Written by M.L. Childs, Author, Screenwriter, Copywriter and Dramatic Historian

 

Are you tired of setting goals that you don’t ever seem to achieve?  Have you been using the Law of Attraction but don’t seem to be manifesting results?

When it comes to the Law of Attraction, you can say that I’m the poster child for failing to manifest.  The Ask, Believe, and Receive technique seems to fizzle out on me somewhere between the Believe and Receive part.  For many years, I’ve had this problem until recently.  I was watching a YouTube video and the video covered the topic of “feeling” your way to manifestation.  It also alluded to Neville Goddard’s technique of acting how you would act if you actually had what you want.  Most refer to this tactic as “acting as if.”  I also watched a Youtube video on journaling in order to manifest.  For a few days, I watched these two videos interchangeably and something clicked in my head.

I admit, this tactic is hard to grasp so if you have to read this article over a few times until something clicks in your head like it did in mine, by all means please read the article again.

When it comes to journaling, most LOA advocates will tell you not to write goals in the future tense.  For instance, don’t write that “you will get a job promotion” because each time you write, read or repeat the affirmation aloud, you are affirming that the thing that you want is going to come to you someday in the future.  Most LOA advocates tell you to write your goals in the present tense to get a feeling of having the thing that you want now.  Don’t get me wrong, this is great advice but I will tell something that seemed to give my goals more traction than the current advice on the market.  This method includes Neville Goddard’s approach to “acting as if you have the thing that you want” which adds even more power to the manifestation.

My method of journaling and goal setting involves writing goals in the past tense.  Yes you read that right but I’m going to say it to you again.  Write your goals in the past tense!

I know you might be thinking that this is nuts and trust me your conscious and subconscious mind will think the same thing but let me break down why this works.

As you know, the subconscious mind is the servant and the conscious mind is the king/queen.  Whatever your conscious mind is receiving and processing in your brain, typically ends up being carried out by the subconscious mind.  If your consciousness is receiving messages constantly that you are poor, then guess what?  The subconscious is going to keep bringing you things to make you feel poor.  Likewise, if you want to be wealthy, you don’t keep “poor” messages pouring into your conscious mind.  You start to read, watch or listen to material in your conscious mind that makes your subconscious mind bring you “rich” reality.  For better understanding, some people refer to conscious mind as the lower self and the subconscious mind as the higher self or the “genie within.”  The subconscious mind is the part of you that gets in touch with the universal power and brings you your reality.  Think of the subconscious as the intercessor between you and God.  If your conscious mind is constantly dwelling on broke, then the subconscious is going to go tell God “hey this person likes being broke because they keep talking about it, watching it, and reading about it all the time.”  Then what happens.  God keeps sending you more broke.  The subconscious, or the higher self, is a loyal servant that doesn’t think or process.  It just delivers the experience that you are feeding it.

With this being said, now I will explain to you why writing goals in the past tense works well.  The conscious mind is telling the subconscious mind “I bought that new Mercedes that I want” or “I closed that $500,000 real estate deal that I was working on” or “I received that promotion that I was seeking at work.”  This message that you tell the subconscious will throw it completely off and as the loyal servant that it is, it will think that your king/queen conscious is completely delusional but this is part of the magic.  The subconscious must deliver so it’s going to go tell God “Hey, my conscious mind is crazy and seems to think that we already have a Mercedes.  I know that we don’t have a Mercedes but you are going to have to make this Mercedes appear before we both go crazy.  I’m just the servant; I have to deliver this so, can you make this happen?”

I’m exaggerating and adding a little humor but realistically, this is what is happening with the brain.  Conscious mind is saying it is done and subconscious mind is completely baffled by the goals that you have written and keep repeating to yourself; but, subconscious mind is in the business of delivering not questioning or analyzing.  So, yes, you will feel downright wacky when you try this method but in time, it works.  Why?  Because you are consciously tricking the subconscious to believe that you already have the thing you want.  Isn’t that a form of “acting as if” you already have something?

You are technically placing yourself in the future and speaking as if you have accomplished the thing that you want to arrive in the future.  You are no longer a wisher, but a chronicler recording your desires as if they are historical facts.  This minor paradigm shift, places your want behind you instead of in front of you.  I know that is a lot to take in but let me explain.  When you have a new car, do you still yearn for that new car you want?  I certainly hope that you don’t.  You are usually happy and satisfied so you no longer yearn for it.  You have to develop your goals in the same way.  Get rid of the feeling of desperation for some future act and instead look at your goal as if you have it.

If you doubt this technique, start with something achievable but uncertain.  This technique can be best implemented if you are a sales person but you don’t have to be in sales to try this.  Let me share one of my many experiences.  I sat down one day with my journal and I used Abraham Hicks 17 second rule to focus fiercely on what I wanted to achieve.  I was working in retail at the time and if you have ever worked in retail, you already know that selling store credit card accounts is the life blood of that world.  I usually achieved 0-1 credit accounts opened each shift and my ability to open accounts was never consistent each shift.  So, this time before my shift started, I grabbed my journal and wrote several times the amount of credits I wanted to open this shift.  I started with three because I wanted to test if this method would work.  I set my timer and I wrote, “I opened 3 credit card accounts today.”  I reset the timer and kept writing it until I felt that my subconscious would “follow my instructions.”  Guess what?  I got three accounts.

So, I got bolder the next time.  Mind you, I rarely am able to consistently do this each shift so deep down, my expectation was to make no credits at all.  But I pulled out my journal and wrote “I opened 5 credit card accounts today.”  Guess what?  I made 2 credits and I had about 45 minutes left on my 6 hour shift.  Panic set in.  I started to doubt the process.  But I had to reiterate to my subconscious mind:  “You opened 5 accounts.”  Now, of course, deep within, I felt there was absolutely no way that I was going to pull this off in 45 minutes but over the course of that next 45 minutes, this is what happened.  Four customers walked up to me ready to apply for credits.  I technically had 6 customers interested in applying for credit accounts during my shift; however, one customer didn’t have the criteria necessary to apply.  So I ended up with what – 5 credit applications.

Isn’t that creepy how that panned out?  When this miracle unfolded before my eyes I realized that the subconscious is, indeed, an obedient servant and will deliver as long as you believe and don’t give up.  I could have started to doubt the process but when doubt crept in; instead, I kept the faith and kept repeating to myself “I opened 5 accounts.”  And bada-bing bada-boom — it happened!

This wasn’t the only thing that this technique worked on for me; but, it was one of the quickest.  There were countless other things that I used this method on and received.  By the way, I’m still using this method because I absolutely believe that for those who are having a hard time manifesting, this is the method you can use to start to see results.

Start Your Journaling Process

So now, it’s your turn.  You are going to start to journal your way to a new life, starting today.  Go to the bookstore or shopping center and get a notebook or a really nice journal if you really want to immerse yourself in this experience.  Decide on one thing that you want to do this month that can realistically be done this month but is slightly uncertain.  In the future you can choose more challenging desires but for now, I want you to “test the waters” of this methodology.  As I said before, this method seems to work best when you work in sales because you can easily see results.  But, you don’t have to be a salesperson to accomplish this feat.  Each day, set aside time to do your journaling in a very focused manner with no TV, children crying, or spouses nagging.  Do this when you know that you will be completely undisturbed by outside influences.  Pick the one thing and write it in your journal as many times as you need to in order to feel as though it is real to you.  I usually write it about ten times but remember, this is about what you need to convince you.  If you need to write it 100 times to convince you or 5 times to convince you, then go ahead.

I received an extra $600.

I received an extra $600.

I received an extra $600.

I received an extra $600.

I received an extra $600.

I received an extra $600.

I received an extra $600.

I received an extra $600.

I received an extra $600.

I received an extra $600.

Notice the desire is in the past tense because you are speaking it into the universe as if it has already happened.  The subconscious will think your nuts, but it is OK because it will graciously go out into the world and find a way to get this desire to you because you are the king/queen and it is the faithful, dutiful servant.  You will set aside time to do this at least once a day.  However, if you want you can do it more often.  Remember, no desperate energy while saying it.  You are simply programming your subconscious.  You should be completely focused and faithful as you write it in your journal or say it to yourself because, it has already happened.   Each day after you say it, let it go.  Then things will start to happen to make this thing come into your life.  I can’t necessarily put a time stamp on the thing because it depends on what you are asking for and how completely faithful you are at obtaining it as to how long it may take to arrive.  One thing I can say is that clues will start to show up in your reality that the thing is coming your way.  These clues could come in the form of people talking about it, TV commercials advertising the thing,  someone else receiving a similar thing too, and so many other clues.  Be vigilant because these clues will help build faith.  Keep journaling until you have the thing and then once you achieved it you can do one of two things:  1) tear those pages out of the journal and move on to the next thing or 2) keep it there as a memento to build more faith in the future for other desires you are seeking.   I would suggest that you try to achieve a goal one at a time.  However, if there happens to be something that you think you can acquire faster than your first intended goal, then aim for that too.  I would say, don’t try to manifest no more than 3 things when first trying this method.

Try this method over the next thirty days in order to make it a habit. Then, come back and share what your experiences have been in the comments. By then, I will have another mystical technique for success in the next post for New Month, New You.

 

What are your thoughts on using this method?  Post a comment in the comment section.

 

Image courtesy of category – Office Work © energepic.com | Stocksnap.io

 

Disclaimer:  This blog article is the opinion of the author and is meant for entertainment purposes.  It is not meant to take the place of professional advice.