T-shirt Designs


Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is essential at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Everyone experiences highs and lows throughout their lives and finding a supportive mental health professional to help manage those times is essential. One in every four people globally has some of the different types of mental illness at some point in their life. We seek medical attention and treatment for any form of physical illness or disease, but why do we neglect mental illness? 

Society is beginning to recognize the importance of talking openly about mental health and how stigma can affect individuals. Having this critical conversation about mental health is vital to decreasing this stigma and people to get access to resources that are needed. We have a responsibility to eliminate the stigma within our community associated with mental health. 

 Special thanks to my tribe with helping to educate everyone about the importance of addressing your mental health and reducing the stigma. Check out the link below to purchase your t-shirt and join the movement to educate people about the importance of treating your mental health. https://michaelgatson.com/store/

 

The Don’t Label Me shirt: Represents Don’t Label Me because I have decided to take care of my mental health. One great way to overcome the stigma is by acknowledging the importance of our mental health and well-being improving people’s attitude towards mental health and increase the willingness to talk about our mental health struggles with a licensed therapist.

 

The MaGnet shirt: Represents I have a purpose in this life. I am surrounding myself by those who make me better. I am a magnet for joy, love, and abundance. I am enough. Who are you attracting? Who is in your circle? Because your circle should want to see, you win. Your circle should be pushing you every day. Your circle should encourage your growth. 

 

 Therapist Notes: Take the first step towards eliminating the stigma and improving yourself by just talking to one person that you trust.  If the problem persists, start with your primary care physician and ask for a referral. Remember, mental illness is common and can be treated, and do not let the stigma stop you from getting and retaining your treatment. Success is kind of like The Dark: Nothing to be afraid of, but still a common fear. Investing in yourself is important because you get for free what everyone else is struggling for: love, happiness, acceptance, & energy. Permanence can only come eternally. Defining what you need externally to stay happy creates limitations, restricting your pleasure to those conditions. When you know your vision, nothing can stop you.

#mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #removingthestigma

Book Review


Latia expressed “Thanks Michael! I enjoyed your book very much! Congratulations again”!

Special thanks to Latia for wearing her shirt and helping to educate everyone about the importance of addressing their mental health and reducing the stigma.

The Don’t Label Me shirt: Represents Don’t Label Me because I have decided to take care of my mental health. One great way to overcome the stigma is by acknowledging the importance of our mental health and well-being improving people’s attitude towards mental health and increase the willingness to talk about our mental health struggles with a licensed therapist.

The MaGnet shirt represents I have purpose in this life. I am surrounding myself by those who make me better. I am a magnet for joy, love, and abundance. I am enough. Who are you attracting? Who is in your circle? Because your circle should want to see you win. Your circle should be pushing you everyday. Your circle should encourage your growth.

Check out the link below to purchase your t-shirt and join the movement to educate people about the importance of addressing your mental health. https://michaelgatson.com/store/ #removingthestigma #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #mentalillness #selfcare #selflove

Online Book Launch


Greetings,

I want to thank all of you for your support and joining the newsletter. It’s a new year, a new beginning, a time to reach new heights, new levels of prosperity and purpose. But first, have you taken some time to breathe and reflect? Take a few moments in the morning to sit quietly before moving into the day’s activity. This is your time for setting the personal agenda for the day or week, in a state of quiet attention. 

I have some exciting things I would like to share with you first. I have received numerous emails from family and friends who are overseas, and live on the west coast and will not be able to make it to the Book Launch on March 23rd in D.C. or my upcoming events in North Louisiana. I am working on adding autographed books to my online store. The price of the autographed book will be $20. I am also going to add a bundle package with an autographed book and a T-shirt for $35. When you place the order, please make sure you include in the order noted who you would like for me to address the book to when I am signing the book. Also, make sure you include your T-shirt size in the order notes as well. 

 If you would like to purchase the books from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, they are available on https://www.amazon.com

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/now-i-lay-me-down-to-sleep-michael-d-gatson/1130073786?ean=9781643500874 It is essential that you leave your reviews about the book on the major platforms. Search for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep by: Michael D. Gatson

Upcoming Events:

Black History Panel (Union Parish Library Farmerville, LA)

February 15, 2019

6-8pm

*I will have books and t-shirts for sale (limited quantity)

Meet & Greet (Book Signing Shreveport, LA)

February 16, 2019

6-8pm

*I will have books and t-shirts for sale (limited quantity)

Book Launch Party (Washington D.C.) March 23, 2019

Let’s party & Celebrate

Black History Panel


I have been listening, and I know that everyone will not be able to make the book launch party on March 23rd in D.C. I am excited and honored to share the panel with these incredible medical professionals from my community whom I have known since my childhood. Special thanks to the Union Parish Library Staff for sponsoring and hosting this event for Black History. I will be traveling from D.C. so I will only have a 100 books per event so it will be on a first-come, first served basis. I will have a limited amount of T-shirts available as well. Book prices are $14, and a T-shirt with a book will be $35. The books will be open to the public to purchase on all major platforms in all formats in 3-4 weeks. For more information please visit www.michaelgatson.com

Book Signing & Meet & Greet


I have been listening, and I know that everyone will not be able to make the book launch party on March 23rd in D.C. I am excited and honored to share the panel with these incredible medical professionals from my community whom I have known since my childhood. Special thanks to the Union Parish Library Staff for sponsoring and hosting this event for Black History. I will be traveling from D.C. so I will only have a 100 books per event so it will be on a first-come, first served basis. I will have a limited amount of T-shirts available as well. Book prices are $14, and a T-shirt with a book will be $35. The books will be open to the public to purchase on all major platforms in all formats in 3-4 weeks. For more information please visit www.michaelgatson.com

2018: Time of reflection


The end of the year is typically a time of reflection. This year has been all about stepping outside my comfort zones and allowing myself to become uncomfortable. It’s been a fantastic year. If my book sells like my t-shirts, I will be on the best seller list for 2019. Thank you all for the love and support!

It’s important to surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself. There is so much yet undiscovered in each of us so do not be afraid to leave your comfort zone. Greatness awaits in 2019!

Therapist note: The new year means nothing if you’re still in love with your comfort zone. Start where you are and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found along the journey we call life. I am learning that success and happiness are not the values you pursue; they are values you develop.

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. When it’s recognition that makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for the future. Thank you for supporting my dreams. Let’s make a choice to address our mental health, get mentally fit, and reduce the stigma. Check out the link https://michaelgatson.com/store/#mentalhealth #mental health awareness #removingthestigma 

Happy New Year!

Book Launch Party


Dare To Be Different


This morning I took my nephew to the airport, and while we were in the car, he said: “next year I am going to take Uber to the conference instead of you taking me to and fro.” I smiled on the inside because he is growing up and learning to make decisions for himself, but they will always be my babies. He was nervous about flying this morning, so I helped to check him in, navigating security with him, and walking him to his gate. I remember my first time traveling without my parents or siblings. It was exciting, but also it was anxiety producing as well.

It is important to encourage our youth to make their own decisions because it is necessary on this journey called life.  As adults, it is essential to foster our youth to begin decision-making skills in small doses. My sister and I do not see eye to eye on everything, but I am glad that she allows each of her children to be their authentic selves and pursue their passions. I am also grateful that she allows me to be a part of their lives.

I remember my stepdad “Clem” sitting me down at 19 years old and telling me always to remain faithful to yourself. Don’t ever try to conform to society’s expectations or people expectations of you. Receiving this advice from my father was a pivotal moment in my life.  To hear him tell me whatever you decide I am going to love and support you no matter what. It was an opportunity for me to make decisions for myself and regardless of my mistakes I made my family would always love and support me.

It is essential to be faithful to self, and if I can assist my babies in any way possible, I am going to make sure I support them regardless if I understand or not. When my nephew Elijah told me about the convention and expressed his interest in attending. I heard the excitement in his voice, and I wanted to do whatever I can to make it happen. Each child is here in this life to be their self. They are not here on earth to be like me or anyone else; they are not here to be as-good-as or better-than me or their siblings, peers or the children of other family members. When we make comparisons, we are telling them they are not as good as someone else. When you compare someone, it has the potential to undermine their motivation and make them feel a lack of their significance and authenticity. There is no comparison. You can only compare someone to themselves, and even then nobody is perfect, and we all have made mistakes in the past. As a society, we need to learn to start using compassion instead of comparing them to someone else or what we think society expectations should be.

As adults (teachers, parents, family members, or members of society) our roles are to teach them what is right from wrong, but it is not our right to tell them who we think they are supposed to be. It is important to realize when you are controlling, manipulating, and pulling them away from their goals, dreams, aspirations, and natural interests. We must allow them to explore their goals and ideas.  If we show disgust or disappointment over their choices because they aren’t the choices we would have made; then this is a form of manipulation. For someone to be genuinely happy and thrive in society, we need to live lives that we love, to have a purpose on this journey.

It is unfair to manipulate or control someone because we want to live our lives and all of our unrealized dreams through our children. It is not their responsibility to make up for what we did not accomplish in life or what we are missing in our own personal and professional lives.  Your passion is waiting for your courage to show up on your journey.

Family


The family is the most important and valuable gift that God has given us. It is the first lesson in relationships we have with others.

Yesterday, I spent the day with my 89 y/o aunt. She talked to me about growing up the baby in a large family.  We also discussed her leaving Louisiana, moving to Arkansas, and how she ended up in Chicago and living with my Auntie Ruby before marrying her husband. We discussed the importance of having family in our lives.

She reminded me that family is your DNA and they are the people who accept you for who you are, who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what. She explained to me that all of her siblings have transitioned and she knew this one would be the most challenging for her, so she has been praying for God to take her through this when the time came when her sister and best friend transitioned. She reminded me that so far he has been holding her up.

I feel fortunate to be born into a family where values are inculcated in our early childhood. Making a right choice in choosing the right life partner and our family values influences each walk of our life. When you become cognizant of how you spend your time and things you value the most. You become aware of the choices you make, and you spend your time differently.

Yes, I have a million things I could be doing this weekend especially with me hosting the family reunion next weekend, but I thought it was important to check on my family in Chicago this weekend. Life is short, never miss out on opportunities to create meaningful memories with family.

Keep the Faith and Taking the Risk


I haven’t posted anything on my blog in 2018 because it has been a hectic past six months. This blog I am going to catch you up to speed on things that have been going on this year. The past six months I have been learning life lessons about removing fear and stepping out on faith. For years I was hiding behind applying for things or engaging in specific opportunities because I did not have my Ph.D. A couple of years ago I applied to be on an editorial staff for a journal. The response I received was you have an impressive educational background, fantastic experience and would be perfect on the team, but you do not have your Ph.D.  I would like for to you to reapply once you obtain your Ph.D. and I’m confident we will have a spot for you.

After that experience, I was hesitant to apply or seek out certain things as a result. When someone asked me to apply for something my response would be: I need to get this & that off my plate before pursuing other things. In reality, I was scared to venture outside my comfort zone on a lot of things. There were so many roadblocks to getting here on my journey.  Having setbacks, failures, and receiving a few “NO’s” I realized the meaning of not my timing, but God’s timing is always perfect.

I admit I love working with my veterans, service members, and families as a therapist, but my job had become my comfort zone, and I could do it in my sleep because I’ve mastered it over the years. I was afraid I wasn’t ready, rejection, and the fear of the unknown, and allowed other people’s opinions of my destiny to paralyze me.  Examples of a few things I heard “why you want to open an agency in Louisiana? ” “You won’t be able to juggle everything from Maryland.” etc.

After celebrating passing my oral defense, being cleared to graduate, partying with my support system all weekend, and attending commencement exercises were over. I attended my friend’s Dana vision board party. While I was at the party, I had time to sit down and focus on my vision for my career, personal life, and love life.

One day while at work I was sitting at my desk. I received an email from my boss to write a summary for an article. At that moment I said it’s time for me to dust this CV off and start applying for jobs because I’m tired of helping others find their spotlight. It was my time for me to become uncomfortable with the familiar and stop dimming my light so others can be great and step out in faith. I’m am so thankful I decided to face my fears, and my mom told me to read (John 14:26) where God gives you the vision, he will also give you the provision. I’m not someone who is at church every time the door opens, but I would say that I am a spiritual person. The scripture spoke to me in so many ways that whatever I was lacking God will provide.

After applying for several federal jobs and interviewing for two of them, I was selected for both. This week I will be declining one with the DC National Guard, and I have accepted a position as the Annapolis Vet Center Director.  I applied for a few adjunct teaching jobs online because that was my motivation for obtaining my Ph.D. so I could teach while continuing to work fulltime.  I have a strong desire and passion for teaching, but I’m not ready to walk away from almost a 10-year career with the federal government. I had two great interviews and was selected to teach at Walden University and UMUC.

Two of my biggest fears was presenting on specific topics and submitting one of my manuscripts for publishing before receiving my Ph.D. One day I received a text from my cousin Annie announcing she had released a children’s book. I was extremely happy for her success and purchased two copies. While reading her book, I was so impressed with the plot and the quality of the book.  I decided to ask about the publishing company information. She shared the info for her contact. I decided to submit my manuscript for publishing. My script was accepted, and I’m currently working on illustrations for my book under my Dr. Doobie Children’s Book Series to be released this Fall or early Spring 2019. I am excited to share my first book with the world.

I believe in working silently and systematically towards my personal and career goals, but I think that sharing your testimony has the potential to bless someone else and it demonstrates growth and progress in your life.  In 2017, I decided to open a mental health office in West Monroe, and I was running into some issues, and I was contemplating about closing the doors for various reasons. I discussed things with Mike and my friend/mentor/business partner Yolanda. After having the conversations and praying about the situation I was able to get refocused on making this a success. I have put together an impressive team of 7, and we are continuing to grow.

Therapist Corner:

It is essential to face your fears and share your gift with the world. Success is about dedication. You may not be where you want to be or do what you want to do on your journey. You have to be willing to have a vision and have the foresight that leads you to an incredible end. It’s yours already, all you have to do is claim it. Your journey will have several risks along the way.

Risk- the possibility of suffering harm or loss; danger. Or can be explained as the failure of your expectations.

Free yourself of any limits or doubts. You can’t be afraid to take that jump or move. The fear of security holds us back from our full potential. Taking risk allows you to free yourself from being comfortable. One thing we are guaranteed to lose is time. Lose the negativity and habits that are limiting you. Keep the faith and take the risk. Take the time to open doors to your possibilities.  I can’t tell you how many trips, family gatherings, and parties I’ve missed in the past 17 years. If you want to be successful, you have to dedicate every part of your mind, body, and heart to your goals. You have to show up and be the hardest worker in the room and be willing to miss out on short-term pleasures for long-term goals. It is incredible how your vision of your future will align with God’s plan for your life. So stop wishing you had things earlier. What God has for you is for you!  When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning by dreams that need completion by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live this beautiful word called LIFE.

As I reflect on what a fantastic year 2018 has been thus far I think I’ve done so much I thought I couldn’t do in 6 months, but more importantly, I am in good health, a roof over my head, success, love all over me, and I am living my best life. I’ve cherished the simple things, and priceless moments. I presented my first workshop on LGBTQ clinical strategies in Louisiana, and my colleagues received it well. I had been planning and preparing for Mike’s birthday party for several months, and all of my close friends traveled to DC to help and make sure it was a success. He was able to enjoy his close family and friends while celebrating his 40th with plenty of pictures and memories.

I was able to attend Catholic University Social Work Commencement Exercises as Dr. G. I also, had the opportunity to witness two of my favorites students reach the finish line and obtain their MSW and welcome them in the field.

Being able to spend time with my family over the past six months has been amazing. I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago and spend time with my Great Aunt Ruby. Witnessing my nephew graduate from high school as Salutatorian and prepare for college in the fall are just some of the great examples. So I’m excited to see what the remaining of 2018 has to offer.

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