The Bledsoe Firm - May 2020

The Bledsoe Firm | 949.363.5551 MAY | 2020

W ant to F eel M ore P ositive ? You Can Take Control and Make It Happen

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” –Jim Rohn

is ready to walk out on him. Then he compliments Carol, telling her: “You make me want to be a better man.” Carol then tells Melvin he just gave her best the compliment of her life. Look at the five people you spend most of your time with. Do they make you want to be a better person? Do they inspire

I belong to a group of attorneys from all over the United States who meet once a month and discuss self-improvement and business principles. I usually come away from these meetings invigorated and energized. I have made new friends all over the country. At times we get on the phone and share things we are doing in our businesses. Once or twice a year we get together for a summit in Virginia. I gain so much from these events. These are people who have worked hard to become leaders in their profession. We all share common goals. It is amazing how much inspiration and energy you can gain from being around positive people. Just yesterday we had another meeting on Zoom. One of the discussion leaders brought up the importance of controlling our environment. To illustrate this, he brought up motivational speaker Jim Rohn who famously said, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” This suggests that the friends and the environment we choose have a profound effect on our attitude and outlook on life. Those with whom we spend time greatly influence us whether we like it or not. Who are the people we listen to? Are they people who make us better? Do they bring out the best in us? I can watch a few movies over and over again. One of them is “As Good as It Gets.” Jack Nicholson plays Melvin Udall, a successful but dysfunctional novelist who has obsessive-compulsive disorder. Carol, a waitress and a single mother, is played by Helen Hunt. Melvin wants Carol to be his girlfriend, but he has failed badly at this. Carol has a hard time being around him. In one scene, they are on a date at a restaurant. Melvin has just clumsily insulted Carol’s dress and she

you to work toward the goals you are striving for? Do they challenge you to be better? If they don’t, then you need to act with intentionality and limit your contact with them. Acting with intentionality means deciding what you want and then choosing to do what is necessary to get it, and that includes removing negative influences. The messages we allow ourselves to be exposed to do have significant effects on our attitude and overall happiness. In this time of being largely limited to our homes, we are certainly spending time with our close family members. And beyond that, we may be spending time talking to friends on the phone or watching the news. I can get caught up in the evening news shows, and then I find myself spending my time with people who argue and bring a lot of negativity. Rarely do I walk away from watching these programs with a more positive attitude or outlook. Our group discussion leaders pointed out that we all have the ability to control our outlook and our attitude. Doing so is incredibly important — even to our physical health. We can act with intentionality and limit our exposure to negative people who bring us down or produce in us feelings we do not want to have. Even with close family members, we can still limit our exposure to them. If a discussion with a family member brings negativity, we can choose to walk away. With more distant relatives and friends, if associating with them does not make us want to be better, we can limit the time we spend with them. We need to cast off the people in our lives who do not make it better.

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Visit exhibits that will interest your kids.

Whether you’re at your local history museum or the Louvre, don’t try to rush through as many exhibits as you can. That will just make your kids (and you) tired and cranky! Instead, pick out a few exhibits that your kids will find interesting, like dinosaurs or electricity, and just visit those. That way, your museum adventure will be a lot more fun and relaxing.

MAKE MUSEUMS FUN FOR YOUR KIDS 3 Tips to Make Your Visit More Kid-Friendly

Make the visit interactive.

Just meandering about reading placards all day will leave even the most studious children watching the clock. If you want your kids to enjoy the museum, then you’ve got to make your visit engaging. Try looking at the museum’s exhibits online before going and creating a scavenger hunt for your kids to follow with fun directions, like “Find a painting with two babies making silly faces,” or “Tell me how many pterodactyls you can find in the dinosaur exhibit.” Your kids will be way more engaged in the exhibit, and they might learn something to boot.

Editor’s Note: While museums may be closed for the foreseeable future, we wanted to share this guide in honor of International Museum Day on May 18 to help you plan future adventures. Please check with your local museum for updates and safety precautions before visiting. School is out for the kiddos, which means that for the next few months, they’ll have six extra hours in the day and no idea what to do with them. Why not set aside some of that time for an educational and fun adventure? International Museum Day comes this month on May 18, making now the perfect time to plan your next visit. Your kids might think museums are boring, but we’ve got you covered. Here are some ways to make their next museum visit fun and exciting.

Take a food break or visit the gift shop.

If your kids aren’t too excited about visiting a museum, a little incentive to get them to go — like taking them to the museum’s food court or purchasing them a keepsake from the gift shop — never hurts. Even if that’s the only thing they enjoy about the museum, they will still have positive memories associated with their visit.

Navigating Divorce From a Narcissist

Many people may come across as boastful or self-absorbed, but in rare cases, people are affected by narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), a mental condition characterized by a pronounced lack of empathy for others. According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, approximately 7.7% of men and 4.8% of women suffer from narcissistic personality disorder. What are the symptoms of this disorder? According to the Mayo Clinic, people with NPD often exhibit:

Not surprisingly, narcissists tend to have a hard time maintaining a healthy marriage and often end up in divorce court. Although the ex- spouse will benefit in the long term by divorcing a narcissist, the process can be a nightmare.

• • •

an exaggerated sense of self-importance

a sense of entitlement

a need for constant, excessive admiration

There’s one thing you must know about those with NPD — they are “in it to win it.” They are extremely unlikely to seek compromise or an outcome that both parties can be happy with. Instead, they choose to use the legal system to terrorize and subjugate their ex-spouse and may do things like run up the legal bills for both parties or try to paint a picture of their ex as totally evil or awful. A narcissist will complicate the proceedings in one way or another. But there is hope. With the right legal team and the right strategy, you can defeat narcissistic strategies that can otherwise ruin your life. If you are dealing with a divorce from a narcissistic spouse, give us a call at 949.363.5551 and we’ll help put you on a path that works best for you.

• superiority, even without achievements that warrant it • exaggerated achievements and talents • a preoccupation with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty, or the perfect mate • a tendency to monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior • a desire for special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations • a tendency to take advantage of others to get what they want • an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others • envy of others and a belief that others envy them • an arrogant or haughty manner, which comes across as conceit, boastfulness, and pretension

For more informative articles like this one, be sure to visit our blog at!

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In this age of technology, so much information is available literally at our fingertips. We can read or listen to amazing information that will help and inspire us. We can choose what we read. We can tune out negative influences and focus on reading whatever we want. When you read or listen to a book, you spend time with the author. Reading and pondering books written by people who have overcome challenges and succeeded is inspiring and motivating. It makes me want to be better. Consistent and focused reading of scripture is an amazing way for me to renew my spirit and be inspired. We all have the ability to control much of what we let come into our minds. If we want to feel positive, we need to intentionally limit our contact with negative people and intentionally choose to be around positive people and influences. –John Bledsoe

SIMPLE WAYS TO MANAGE STRESS 3 T hings to T ry R ight N ow Stress can come at us from any angle. Sometimes, it’s triggered by something simple like dirty dishes in the sink. Other times it’s something more complicated, like your ex being late in dropping off the kids, that causes stress to arise. Or you might be experiencing stress from being cooped up inside all day and social distancing. No matter the source of your stress, you can find relief in some very simple things. While none of these is a cure-all for stress, every little thing helps. Watch a cat video. When that stress starts to hit or something’s bothering you, find a quick distraction. One great option is to watch animal videos, like cute cat videos. When we watch them, our brain releases the “feel good” hormone oxytocin. It’s the same hormone that is released when we spend time with our favorite furry companion. When oxytocin is released in the brain, levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) are reduced. Cat videos (and dog videos, too) boost our mood and our energy, helping alleviate feelings of stress. Shine on. Reducing stress can be as simple as sitting in the sun. Natural light has been found to increase the production of positive hormones in the brain, like those mentioned above. The bright light also triggers the release of orexin, a neuropeptide that helps control the feeling of being alert. All you have to do is take a brief walk in the sun and you’ll be left feeling refreshed! Plus, sunlight boosts vitamin D production. A lack of vitamin D can negatively impact your mood, so getting some sun can make a huge difference. If you’re stuck inside all day working, make some time to sit outside for a while every day. Drink up. One of the best things you can do for your body and your stress level right this second is drink a glass of water. When we’re dehydrated, our bodies become stressed. This stress leads to fatigue and confusion. And the more dehydrated we get, the worse the symptoms. Even minor dehydration can have a profound impact on stress. When you feel stress coming on, whether physical or mental, reach for the water. Staying hydrated every day is critical!


Inspired by Eating Well

Nothing is more comforting than a big bowl of cacio e pepe , which is Italian for cheese and pepper. This dish combines a wholesome flavor profile with fresh, seasonal ingredients to satisfy any craving.


• 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

• 6 oz multigrain spaghetti • 8 oz fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

• 1/2 tsp black pepper • 1 cup baby arugula

• 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp lemon zest


1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. In a large pot, cook spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of water before draining and put spaghetti in a covered pot to keep warm. 3. Line a 15x10-inch baking pan with foil and toss in asparagus and olive oil. 4. Cook asparagus for 5–7 minutes and sprinkle with lemon zest. 5. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved water, Parmesan cheese, and pepper to the spaghetti. Stir until creamy. 6. Toss in asparagus and arugula before serving.

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23101 Lake Center Drive • Suite 310 Lake Forest, CA 92630

Inside Feel More Positive by Taking Control



Make Your Museum Visit Fun for the Kids!

Navigating Divorce From a Narcissist


Extremely Simple Ways to Manage Stress

Springtime Cacio e Pepe


How to Help Your Epiphytes Thrive

ALL ABOUT EPIPHYTES H ow to C are for Y our O rchids , A ir P lants , and F erns

Perched high in the trees in the rainforest, epiphytes reach for the drops of water that splash down from above. The plants take what they need and let the rest drip down to the forest floor. While these organisms originated in the wild, epiphytes like orchids, air plants, and staghorn ferns have become popular houseplants because of the unique, delicate greenery they bring to your space. Epiphytes are part of the Bromeliaceae family, a group that also includes terrestrial species like pineapples. The leaves of the plants in this family are arranged in a rosette, or circular shape, and they have tiny scales that help the plant absorb moisture and protect itself from harsh sunlight.

also absorb water and nutrients through their leaves. Their roots don’t grow in the dirt, either. Instead, they help these plants cling to the trees or other plants they naturally grow on. If you've ever seen a tree with another plant growing off of it at a botanical garden in a warmer, humid environment like Florida, that tag-along plant is an epiphyte. Because they are unique, your epiphyte houseplant needs specific care to thrive. Submerge the leaves of smaller air plants in a shallow bowl of water once a week for an hour (times may vary depending on your area’s humidity). Then, remove the plant from the water and let it dry upside down to remove excess moisture. If you choose to house your orchid or staghorn fern in a pot, use a soil specifically made for them and add some sphagnum moss to keep the roots aerated. Mist your plant

every couple days and provide the leaves with a more thorough watering once a week to achieve the level of moisture they would receive in the rainforest while allowing the roots to breathe. You can also mount your epiphyte on a wood panel, as some orchid collectors do. True enthusiasts are very careful to match the wood with the type of tree the plant would grow on in the natural world, but driftwood, cork, and large pieces of bark work well too. Caring for your epiphyte properly will help your plant thrive and allow you to enjoy the tropical beauty of these unique organisms.

Unlike many plants, epiphytes don’t take in all the water they need from their roots. They

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