Schuelke Law - October 2023

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October 2023


A Powerful Insight Into Mental Health and Spirituality

I’m an avid reader and regularly read books about leadership, management or other topics that interest me. Every month, I send a book summary to a group of colleagues, setting out a few points I learned in a book. A few months back, I read a book that truly opened my eyes. Since October hosts World Mental Health Day, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share insights from this book with you.

spiritual. Spirituality could also come from an experience or belonging in nature. And maybe my favorite, sometimes a spiritual experience occurs when you’re in a big crowd at an athletic event and feel like you’re part of something bigger than yourself. But having some type of spiritual life helps with mental health. Another thing worth mentioning is that this book takes a scientific approach to the idea of improving one’s mental health through spirituality. Dr. Miller doesn’t just tell you that becoming more spiritual will help one’s mental health; she uses research, technology, and scientific methods to prove her point. As technology advances, there are new capabilities with MRI, fMRI, and DTI to see the brain work. I’ll spare you the details, but studies show that when people are having spiritual events or thinking about spiritual things, it lights up the parts of the brain we now know are related to depression. For

“The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and Our Quest for an Inspired Life” by Dr. Lisa Miller, a professor at Columbia University, is a critically important book, especially for those parents and guardians of children and teens. Those of us with young adult kids know how serious the depression and suicide epidemic has become. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for young people, and a recent study on college students found that 20% reported they had engaged in self-harm, 24% reported suicidal ideation, and 9% had attempted suicide. So, what’s the solution? In “The Awakened Brain,” Dr. Miller argues science shows that having a spiritual life is one of the best defenses an adolescent or young adult can have against depression and suicide. One study even showed that a spiritual life could reduce the risk of suicide in young adults by up to 80%, and Dr. Miller notes that if we had a suicide vaccine that was 80% effective, we’d approve it in a heartbeat. Now, I want to stress that spirituality is not necessarily related to religion. Dr. Miller defines spirituality as feeling like you’re part of something bigger than yourself. Sometimes, that comes through religion, though there are also religious people who are not

example, neuroimaging shows that just thinking back on spiritual memories and contemplating them can have the same effect on the brain as when we initially experienced those events. This is just one of the many examples Dr. Miller provides throughout the book. I admit the book can be a difficult read, but I think it can be beneficial for anyone struggling with depression, PTSD, or another mental health issue. If you’re interested, I recommend starting with the podcast “The Spiritually Awakened Brain with Dr. Lisa Miller” in the Igniting Imagination podcast. Or you can email me at, and I’ll provide you with a copy of the full book summary I wrote.

- Brooks Schuelke | 1

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FROM APPLICANT TO ARRESTED: The Fugitive Who Applied for a Police Job

Even most criminals need traditional employment to pay the bills, but Zyeama Johnson looked for work in all the wrong places. Perhaps Johnson imagined her previous experience with law enforcement would give her a leg up in her application to the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office in New Jersey in 2022. But unfortunately for her, all of Johnson’s past and future involvement with the police would be on the wrong side of the law. Johnson was looking for a legal way to earn a living when she applied for a job as a security guard at the sheriff’s office. But her past money-making ventures

check before hiring — or that this office specializes in resolving outstanding warrants. When processing her application, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office discovered the active bench warrant in Pennsylvania. The routine investigation also found 10 additional active bench warrants in Jersey City, New Jersey; Johnson had allegedly failed to appear on traffic charges. Most employers in this situation would probably move on to the next applicant, but the sheriff’s department decided to call Johnson in for an “interview” instead. Unsurprisingly, they had no

question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” a new meaning. After taking Johnson into custody, the police proceeded to search her property. Incredibly, they found two credit cards in her possession they believed were stolen. Police added credit card theft charges to Johnson’s already considerable rap sheet. To make matters worse for her, the sheriff’s office also contacted Johnson’s former employer, the United States Postal Service, which launched its own investigation into her conduct. As of October 2022, Johnson was being held in a Hudson County jail awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania for the most serious charge against her. It’s unclear why she thought applying for a law enforcement position with outstanding warrants was a wise career move, but at least she made her would-be coworkers’ jobs easy that day.

allegedly involved fraud, and she had failed to appear in a Pennsylvania court on the charges. Presumably, Johnson did not realize

intention of hiring her and arrested the fugitive on the spot. It gave the standard interview

a police station would perform a background

Unlock the Secrets of a Calming Bedtime Routine

Does it always seem like your kids get a burst of energy right before bedtime? After a jam-packed day, your child’s pent-up stress and energy will likely spike when it’s time to head to bed. The key is implementing a consistent bedtime routine to help them transition into sleep mode. Try therapeutic techniques to soothe your child for a full night of shuteye. Squeeze ’em tight (add pressure). Just like you would swaddle a baby, you should wrap your kids up like tiny burritos! When you add pressure that squeezes them tight, your child’s tactile and proprioceptive senses are activated, which creates a sense of calm and relaxation. You can also do this with weighted blankets, tight cuddles, or by tucking them in nice and snug with pillows placed around them to add more pressure. Get them warm and cozy. Warmth is another element that can increase calm and signal bedtime! Put their

blankets in the dryer so they’ll have them nice and warm when it’s time to lie down. Additionally, you can give them a warm drink with a straw, as the warmth not only relaxes them but the straw also encourages sucking motions, which are incredibly soothing for children. Create gentle movements. Repetitive and rhythmic movements like rocking back and forth generate vestibular input for the nervous system. This will help your children feel comfortable and ready to sleep! You can try these motions by rocking them on a yoga ball for a few minutes, reading a bedtime story in a rocking chair, or sitting with them in a porch swing or hammock right before bed. Turn the screens off. We already know that looking at screens harms our sleep, so why would that be any different for children? Decrease screen time as the day advances and completely turn off any screens at least two hours

before bedtime. Not only do you want to cut these harsh lights, but you should also add comforting ones! Unwind in dim lighting as the day ends, and place lava lamps or a night light in your children’s rooms to help soothe them. Also, adding a white noise machine or playing calm music can do wonders! Combine these therapeutic methods to create the perfect bedtime routine that will have your energetic kiddos in bed without a hitch.

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THE REVENGE OF THE RONIN Unveiling the Historic Massacre of Kira Yoshinaka

Never has there been a tale of revenge so blood-filled and epic as the 47 Ronin. Honorable and loyal to the end, these samurai warriors proved their dedication to their master in an incident that would become immortalized in Japanese literature, theater, and film. So, what led these samurai on a vengeful rampage? It started in April 1701, when nobleman Asano Naganori, also known as the lord of Ako, was treated with complete disrespect and arrogance by Kira Yoshinaka, a court official. After holding back his anger, Asano finally snapped. Asano revealed his sword and attacked Kira in the middle of the palace’s main hall. Although Kira lived to tell the tale, Asano broke court rules and was ordered to kill himself. Following the court’s ruling, Asano ended his life on April 21, 1701. After his demise, Asano left behind his faithful 47 samurai, whose status was lowered to ronin (samurai with no leader). Crushed by his death, the ruthless men created a plan. The 47 Ronin laid low for two years by dispersing and living in “retirement.” The years passed, and the men were able to lower Kira’s guard. At this point, one of the ronin had reached his 80s and could not participate in the vengeful plan. However, the remaining 46 men raided Kira’s estate on an early January morning in 1703. They fearlessly battled Kira’s samurai and decapitated Kira. The ronin then carried his head in a basket for miles to their deceased lord’s grave.


Inspired by

Save money this October with this delicious homemade pumpkin spice latte that will taste better than any store-bought coffee. Ingredients

Authorities were intensely conflicted on how to treat the vengeful massacre. While it broke the shogun’s rules,

• 2 shots espresso (or 1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee)

• 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice • 1 tsp vanilla extract • Whipped cream for topping (optional)

the act followed the respected samurai warrior code. Yet, in the end, all 46 men were ordered to kill themselves via self-

• 1 cup milk of choice • 3 tbsp pumpkin purée • 1–2 tbsp maple syrup

Directions 1. In a small pot on medium heat, heat milk until simmering but not boiling. 2. Make your espresso (or coffee) and pour into a large mug or Mason jar. Add pumpkin purée, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla and stir until well combined. 3. With a milk frother, froth the heated milk until foamy. Then, pour into your pumpkin espresso mixture and top with whipped cream. For decoration, you can sprinkle more cinnamon or pumpkin spice on top!

disembowelment, hara-kiri . The ronin ranged in age from 15 to 77 years old.

After their deaths, the ronin became legends and were buried alongside their master, Asano Naganori. You can visit this famous site at Sengakuji Temple in Tokyo. | 3

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3011 N. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 200 Austin, TX 78705


Is Spirituality the Secret to Improved Mental Health?


Criminal’s Job Hunt Backfires: Arrested During Interview!


Tips to Soothe Your Energetic Kids Before Bedtime

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte


The Legendary Tale of the 47 Ronin

The Troubling Saga of Sherri Papini’s Disappearance



Sherri Papini vanished out of thin air in November 2016. The day she went missing, her husband, Keith Papini, came home expecting to see his wife and kids but found the residence eerily empty. Keith called the children’s day care to ask when his wife picked them up, but they informed him she never did. While the kids were safe, Sherri was missing. Three weeks passed before Sherri was finally found alone on a freeway nearly 146 miles from her home on Thanksgiving Day. She was cut and bruised, her long hair chopped short, and her back branded with a Bible verse. When the police questioned Sherri, she was hesitant and frightened. She claimed two Hispanic women abducted her, took her to an unknown location, chained her up, and tortured her before planning to traffic her. The story horrified

the community and made many Hispanic women fear wrongful persecution. At the time, male DNA was found on Sherri’s clothing, despite her insistence no men were involved in her kidnapping. Years later, in 2020, the authorities used genetic DNA technology to track down the man, Sherri’s ex-boyfriend, James Reyes. This was when Sherri’s tale began to fall apart. Reyes was questioned by police, who exposed the truth about Sherri’s vanishing act. He revealed that Sherri told him her husband, Keith, was abusing her, and she needed his help to escape. She convinced him to brand her, but all her other injuries were self-inflicted. Reyes had no idea about Sherri’s fabricated story involving two Hispanic kidnappers. At first, Sherri stuck with her story when questioned again but eventually admitted it was all a hoax.

In 2023, Sherri Papini was charged with false statements and mail fraud and sentenced to 18 months in prison for her long-winded lies that wasted police resources and federal financial assistance. Her story resulted in numerous innocent Hispanic women being wrongly questioned by authorities. But now, these women can rest easy knowing the case is finally closed.

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