Life's Challenges

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they're supposed to help you discover who you are. ~ Bernice Johnson Reagon, Singer/Composer

Sunday, December 11, 2011

8 Sleep Myths

Sleep deprivation adversely effects us in a whole variety of ways. Too many of us in these days of endless activities, long work schedules, physical tension and emotional stress often fail to get enough sleep. Our bodies remain in a perpetual state of weariness. Here are some common myths about sleep that may help you get a better night of sleep. 8 Sleep Myths | Yahoo! Health

Friday, December 9, 2011

The stronger pull...

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of that which you really love.” ~ Rumi, Persian Poet

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What is success, really?

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to Stay Flu-Free for the Holidays

This all sounds a bit extreme to me, sort of like we can't really have human contact any longer without conscious rules of guarding ourselves against germs. But the flu is nothing to laugh at so maybe all of these tips are necessary. See what you think: How to Stay Flu-Free for the Holidays - Health News - Health.com

Monday, December 5, 2011

We are all here for a reason

"I'd imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason." ~ Hugo Cabret, from the movie "Hugo"

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The sometimes drain of always giving to others

Encouragement needs to be reciprocal.  If you are always encouraging, affirming, supporting, giving pats on the back, but never receiving any of your own, then it's easy to wear down and begin to feel emotionally depleted.

We don't encourage others just so we can be praised for it or told how great we are.  We do it because we care, we love, we empathize, we identify, and because we want something good for that person.

But caregivers, people who give of themselves to others, also need their own good feelings of affirmation, acceptance, and appreciation.

Find ways to be available to good feelings of acceptance, appreciation, and gratitude for who you are, how you give of yourself to others, and for the love you share.  Be with those who offer these affirmations to you.  Be open to the generosity and care of others.  Freely accept smiles, warm embraces, encouraging words, loving touches, and grace from the friends and people who love and appreciate you.

Be willing to treat yourself in ways that fulfill some of your own needs for acknowledgement and care.


© 2011 Timothy Moody

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Finding meaning in life

“By declaring that man is responsible and must actualize the potential meaning of his life, I wish to stress that the true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system. I have termed this constitutive characteristic ‘the self-transcendence of human existence.’ It denotes the fact that being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself--be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself--by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love--the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself.” ~ Viktor Frankl, Man in Search of Meaning

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Inner Wounds

“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.” ~ David Richo, Psychotherapist/Teacher/Author

Sunday, November 27, 2011

6 Ways to Sit Less Every Day

Work can often be the worst place for sedentary routines. Unless your job requires a lot of indoor or outdoor activity you may then forget how much you sit each day. Here are some simple easy ways to keep moving during work even if you spend most of your day in a cubicle or small space. See the tips here: Health.com

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ten Thoughts to Help You Avoid Discouragement .

"Judge no one, and disappointment and forgiveness won't be an issue. No one can let you down if you're not leaning on them. People can't hurt you unless you allow them to." This is number 9 from the article below. Good thoughts for all of us. See the rest of them here: Ten Thoughts to Help You Avoid Discouragement .

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Black Friday - Seriously?

I do not comprehend the Black Friday phenomenon.  What is the allure of that wild masochistic activity?  Fair minded marketing experts who stay with just the facts say that a couple of weeks, sometimes just days after it's all over those great prices people fought the insanity to get drop significantly.  Why put yourself through all of that?  Supposedly, if you don't subject yourself to that stampeding, frenzy abuse you might miss getting that prized gift at a bargain price.  Most of it will be junk in a year or two.  Do we realize the value we are putting on things?  How many of us give that much energy and time and expense to our relationships?  Our job?  Our health?

Shopping can be a fun, useful, enjoyable experience.  But waiting in long lines outside some mall or giant store in the middle of the night and then once in elbowing your way through narrow aisles packed with angry, pushy shoppers seems somehow strangely messed up.  It may be good for store owners, and it might provide some kind of boost to the economy, but is this just another way of contributing to the collapse of our society?  Giving so much of ourselves to this orgy of spending at the expense of our social order, how we treat others, and what we consider really important, is worth thinking about.

Forget Black Friday.  Stay home and bake a pie.  Take your dog for a long walk.  Play with your kids at the park.  Watch a good movie.  Spend the day with someone you love.  All that stuff in the stores will still be there and probably be cheaper next week.  And if not, so what?  There will always be something else to buy.

(c) 2011 Timothy Moody

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A place of quiet in the madness of the season

It is a hectic time. People are getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Relatives are coming in. There is the food list to carry to the store and check off down the aisles. Gotta get the house ready. Kids are out of school and the long break has the potential for exhaustion. Take a moment to read this brief essay. See if you can find your own place of quiet in the midst of all the season's chaos. Disappear here: The Golden Hours

Monday, November 21, 2011

The New Secret to Being Emotionally Healthy, Fit, and Happy for Life

Most of us have times when we catch ourselves in very critical self talk. If we fail to go to the gym, eat a sugary treat, have too much to drink, miss a deadline at work, for some of us, it's very easy to start in on ourselves. But health experts say negative self talk is counter productive and ruins our motivation to stay fit, make healthy choices, and be more responsible. Here is a brief article with some excellent thoughts on how to give ourselves some slack even when we mess up. See it here: Self-Compassion

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Thanksgiving is for

“Whatever you appreciate and give thanks for will increase in your life.” 
~ Sanaya Roman, Writer/Mystic

I am not a believer in seed faith and the popular prosperity gospel that has almost completely taken over modern Christianity in this country.  These TV and other preachers who tell you that if you give a seed gift of $1,000 you will be changed forever and God will send you a harvest of money rolling endlessly into your life is just old fashioned circus barking.  

I do, however, believe there is something to appreciating life and showing gratitude for the gifts we are given.  I think Roman's quote above is good but it needs another line.  One that says the increases in the things we appreciate and give thanks for come from our personal acts of appreciation and gratitude.  In other words, when we show that we are grateful, the things/people/circumstances we appreciate, most often respond in good and receptive ways.

In this Thanksgiving season, find ways to demonstrate your appreciation and gratitude for the people you love, for the gifts you have been given, for life itself.  Skip the easy e-card route and send an actual greeting card with a personal note to someone you appreciate.  Give a thoughtful present.  Pull out your cell and make a call.  Stop by and visit an old friend or a lonely person.  Order someone flowers.  Make an anonymous contribution to a charity.  Share a smile with a passing stranger or one of those tired sales associates at the end of the grueling lines at the mall. 

Just being glad and showing it, for what poet Mary Oliver called "a little cup of sun," is what Thanksgiving is for.

(c) 2011 Timothy Moody







Friday, November 18, 2011

The Birds’ Thanksgiving

I like this author. She captures visual images in her words, images that are common and simple but so instructive. As we move into the last days of autumn and prepare soon for Thanksgiving, enjoy this brief essay. See it here: A Happiness Tale

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Connecting to others

"Only through our connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self.  And only through working on the self can we begin to enhance our connectedness to others." ~ Harriet Goldhor Learner, Psychologist/Author

Monday, November 14, 2011

Want a healthy family?

We all want healthy families. But today's families are faced with packed schedules, a thousand distracting gadgets, easy access to unhealthy foods, and a dozen other things that keep families stressed, worn out, and apart from one another. Here are some excellent tips on how to avoid all of that and make time for each other. See them here: Health.com

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Why My Kids (Mostly) Don't Watch TV

There is still much to be learned about children and TV/Videos. The facts seems clear, however, from health and behavior experts that children under the age of 2 should not be sitting in front of the television endlessly watching TV or videos. Older children, though, do gain benefit from TV and videos. Here is a great article about all of this. See it here: Her.meneutics

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What you do every day matters

Do you buy stuff you don't need? Do you talk about exercise and a good diet but rarely do either one? We're all guilty. Here is a terrific little article that helps us see that what we do every day is really more real and actually who we are than what we do every once in a while. See it here: What%20You%20Do%20Every%20Day%20Matters.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Clinging to the familiar

"And now I understand something so frightening & wonderful- 
how the mind clings to the road it knows, 
rushing through crossroads, sticking 
like lint to the familiar.
~ Mary Oliver, Poet (Lines from "Blue Pastures”)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

10 Ways You Put Yourself at Risk for Flu

The cold and flu season is here and there are many ways to protect yourself against getting a nasty case of either of them. Here are some simple and maybe surprising tips to help you stay healthy this winter: Health.com

Monday, November 7, 2011

I am what I seek

"Here is some graffiti for the soul. 'I am what I seek.' Write it up and stick it in your wallet.  Truth is here, love is here, inspiration is here, peace is here, help is here.  Truth is a pathless land, and happiness is a journey without distance."
~ Robert Holden
(c) Positive Thoughts



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sick-Proof Your Winter - coldflusinus -

After a summer of withering heat here in Texas we now face the approach of winter. Predictions are it will be a cold and maybe wet one. We will all be prone to the usual illnesses during the winter season: colds, sinus infections, flu, bronchitis, sore throats, etc. Here are some simple tips to help you sick-proof your winter: Health.com

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Regrets

Eliminate Regrets

by JANE POWELL on OCTOBER 26, 2011
“Anything that you should have done, but didn’t, ties you to your past.”
Is your mental and emotional clutter getting in the way of a fulfilling life? It’s time to clean out the “need-to’s,” “have-to’s,” and “ought-to’s,” from your past. When you have regrets it’s tough to move forward and grow.
Put the past in the past. Return anything you borrowed.  Make apologies where needed. Get your bills up to date. Send the card or gift you forgot to send. Make the phone call you need to make.
Taking care of these things cleans your mental slate and eliminates any regrets or resentments you may harbor.
Now, take a deep breath; look ahead. Both your conscience, and your future vision, is clear.
©Jane Powell – Meditations for Women
Today’s Affirmation: I have put the past in the past, and I’m now looking ahead with optimism.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Soul Has Different Concerns

"It's important to be heroic, ambitious, productive, efficient, creative, and progressive, but these qualities don't necessarily nurture soul. The soul has different concerns, of equal value: downtime for reflection, conversation, and reverie; beauty that is captivating and pleasuring; relatedness to the environs and to people; and any animal’s rhythm of rest and activity." ~ Thomas A. Moore, Psychologist

Saturday, October 29, 2011

6 Ways to Sit Less Every Day

Autumn and winter are times when the weather makes us want to stay in the chair at work or remain on the couch at home. It's easy to add unnecessary pounds that way and to miss out on regular exercise. Here are some nifty tips to help keep us moving this time of year. See them here: Health.com

Friday, October 28, 2011

Treasure your relationships

Relationships are often difficult. Whether it's a friendship, a marriage, a partnership, a dating relationship or parenting, they each one require a lot of effort if they are to be healthy and loving. Here is a brief essay to remind us how to make them work well. See it here: Treasure your relationships

Thursday, October 27, 2011

7 Ways to Stop Eating Out of Boredom

Now that cooler weather is here and we find ourselves indoor more it's easy to start snacking around. If you find yourself spending extra time in front of the TV and reaching for chips or other no so healthy snacks, here are some tips to help: Health.com

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Everyday Epiphanies

The call for awareness is a need within each one of us. In the midst of our hectic lives we often miss the "everyday epiphanies" that appear before us. In this brief essay we are reminded to stay open to life, to our heart, to beauty and goodness. They are all there each day if we take time to feel and to look. Awestruck Happiness

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Life's best moments

"Don't bulldoze over life's best moments. You won't notice the little charms that adorn each day, nor will you ever transform the mundane into the extraordinary. The only way to do that is to take your time." ~ Edward Hallowell, M.D.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The best way to get even

“Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday. Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with people...but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.” ~ from, Life, the Truth, and Being Free, by Steve Maraboli

Saturday, October 22, 2011

5 Types of Headaches

Headaches can be more than an uncomfortable nuisance they can also signal other more serious things are going on. Here are 5 types of headaches we commonly experience. Health.com

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Happiness of Flowing Gently

Rushing about, endless tasks, nagging deadlines, never catching up--these are the things that wear us down and suck all of the life out of us. Happiness is what we want. Not shallow living that demands nothing, but real honest to God contentment, peace of mind, consistent feelings of worth and purpose. Some answers to these needs are in this brief essay. See what you think: The Happiness of Flowing Gently

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

5 Surprising (But Easy) Ways to be Good at Sex

We often forget what a wonderful gift lovemaking is. It's easy to take sex for granted in our hectic, often emotionally shallow, sexually saturated society. But it is an amazing part of healthy living and it should be celebrated. Here are some great tips for having good sex. See it here: 5 Surprising (But Easy) Ways to be Good at Sex

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Have you discovered your life purpose?

Have you discovered your life purpose yet?  Your role?  What it is you love and are good at and want to spend your life doing?  Below is a brief but terrific essay on how one person discovered all of this for herself in her mid-fifties.  It's never too late to be who you want to really be and do what you truly love.

http://www.meditationsforwomen.com/artman2/publish/featuredarticle/featuredarticle.shtml

Friday, October 14, 2011

When you're having a bad day, a bad month, or a shitty year

This is an important lesson to remember when you're having a bad day, a bad month, or a shitty year.  Things will change: you won't feel this way forever.  And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most.  I believe you can't feel real joy unless you've felt heartache.  You can't have a sense of victory unless you know what it means to fail.  You can't know what it's like to feel holy until you know what's it like to feel really fucking evil....This was when I learned...that sometimes you need to let go of everything you're clinging to and start over, whether because you've outgrown it or because it's not working anymore, or because it was wrong for you in the first place. ~ From, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You, by Kelly Cutrone

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Boost Your Mood

Sometimes we all need a little lift in our moods. The stresses of life today can be a bit overwhelming at times even if you are in a healthy marriage or relationship, eat right, exercise, and like your job. Here are some simple tips to help boost our mood when we do get bogged down and begin to feel our spirit sag. See them here: Health.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Road goes ever on and on

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began,
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many path and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

From, The Lord of the RingsThe Old Walking Song sung by Bilbo Baggins

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Step by Step

Process is what life is really all about. And taking our time to move within it. Here is a brief essay to remind to stay steady in the flow: Step by Step

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stop a Cold in Its Tracks

As the weather changes and the fall season advances we are all prone to getting colds and sinus problems. Here are some easy helpful tips on how to get early relief from the typical cold and help prevent it from becoming something worse. See them here: Health.com

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Refuse to fall down

“Refuse to fall down
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
Refuse to stay down.

If you cannot refuse to stay down,
Lift your heart toward heaven,
And like a hungry beggar,
Ask that it be filled.

You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you from lifting your heart
Toward heaven
Only you.

It is in the middle of misery
That so much becomes clear.
The one who says, nothing good
Came of this,
Is not yet listening.”

© Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Go get a massage!

Stress continues to be a huge factor in many illnesses today: hypertension, migraine headaches, stomach ulcers, and even cancer. New studies now show that a good massage can effectively reduce stress hormones in all of us. See the article here: Go Get a Massage!: glamour.com

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The process and advantages of high levels of energy nearly everyone can achieve.

Here is a fascinating, informative, and helpful article on how to actually relax and enjoy life even in the midst of our daily hassles, frustrations, hurts and obstacles.  It's a long article but well worth your time to read.  Print it out if you don't have time sit through it and read it later when you can concentrate on the message.

http://www.meditationsforwomen.com/articles/Article/The-Rejuvenating-Power-of-Relaxation/402

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dr. Oz got it wrong on apples.

On a recent Dr. Oz episode he shook the apple eating world by stating that high levels of arsenic were found in apple juice imported here from Chile. As this article shows his information was wrong. Keep eating apples and drinking apple juice. It's a wonderful natural health food and drink! See the information here: Sharing Rocks!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I wonder why no one ever told me

As a child
I was told and believed
that  there was a treasure
buried beneath every rainbow.


I believed it so much
I have been unsuccessfully
chasing rainbows
most of my life.


I wonder why
no one ever told me
that the rainbow
and the treasure
were both
within me.


(c) Gerald Jampolsky

Monday, October 3, 2011

Once we connect with people, we stay connected.

Once we connect with people, we stay connected.  It's a quantum physics thing.  Anyone who ever saw your potential, who saw your strengths, who admired your honesty or creativity or determination, believes in you still, is cheering you on and wishing you well. ~ Susan K. Minarik

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Be Happy with what you have.

Happiness is often more of a choice than a consequence. Life is just hard, okay? We want it to be so easy and comforting and successful. It can be. But there will always be bumps along the way. Here is a brief essay to remind all of us to simply: Be Happy with what you have.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Teaching Recovery, Rather Than Treating Addiction

I have often wondered if a more personalized, human approach to addiction recovery would be better than shaming people into giving up their addictions. Here is an article on how just that kind of program is having positive results. See it here: Viewpoint: Teaching Recovery

Friday, September 30, 2011

Put your magic glad on, baby.

“Put your magic glad on, baby.  The world needs your sun.  You just could be the one, you know, who saves somebody’s day—hauling it out of the gloom pool—setting it on its feet again.  It wouldn’t be the first time.

Don’t give me your aw c’mon.  I know your power.  I’ve seen it in action with my very own eyes. 

Why just last Tuesday, you turned it on that old dude up on 4th and Vine, giving him that sly wink as if you shared some precious secret just between the two of you.

‘Hey, Pops,’ you said.  And he lit up like a Christmas tree just because you knew he was real.”

© Susan K. Minarik

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No-Cost Strategies to Fight Depression

Mild depression is something more and more common in our dysfunctional society. The bad economy, people out of work, the endless heat wave in Texas, floods in other areas, illness, addictions, marital problems, ended relationships, kids in trouble; the list can go on for a while. But here are some effective tips to help you fight off mild depression and the nagging blahs that often overwhelm us these days. See them here: Health.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Simple Acts = Happiness

Sometimes we just make life's good experiences too complicated. Happiness, contentment, a sense of inner peace, those things don't come from a new car or a fat bank account or owning the biggest house on the block. We come to know the really good stuff -- emotional growth, inner strength, profound joy -- as a result of so much more simple experiences. See some here and give them a try: Happiness

Monday, September 26, 2011

Get Fit Where You Sit

Not everyone can go to the gym every day or even every week. Schedules, the economy, kids activities, and other less reasonable excuses often keep us from exercising and attempting to stay fit. Here are some simple exercises nearly anyone can do both at work and at home. Try them: Health.com

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lasting Happiness

Here is a beautiful essay that reminds us of all the essentials in life. Finding a way to stay in touch with each of them is the secret to a fulfilled life and to knowing a kind of ongoing happiness and inner peace even in the midst of life's tough challenges. See the brief essay here: Lasting Happiness

Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's Always Uncomfortable to Grow

Many of the things that are required to build and maintain healthy self-esteem can be uncomfortable, but the truth is they are essential.  The good news is, with practice, uneasiness subsides and they become part of who you are.

Saying ‘no’ and asserting yourself, asking for what you want, expressing your true feelings, saying positive things about yourself, letting someone love and nurture you…these may all be the things that are uncomfortable.  But, only at first.

One sure way to conquer discomfort is to simply do what is uncomfortable.  Step away from complacency and dare to grow and develop yourself today.  Start by choosing something that you have been putting off.  Then, just do it!

© Meditations for Women

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rise Above It All

Rise Above It All
by Jane Powell on September 22, 2011

“Reality is something to rise above.”


Great things are accomplished when you believe that what’s inside of you is superior to your circumstances. Believing you’re more important than any of your problems, that you’re bigger than anything that can happen to you, takes courage.


You may have to dig deep for this courage, but it is there. Rise above fear and doubt. Remind yourself that you are in control, that the time to live is today!


©Jane Powell – Meditations for Women

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Life doesn't ask much of you, considering all it does for you.

 "Life doesn't ask much of you, considering all it does for you."  What a great thought from Susan K. Minarik in this helpful little essay.  Sometimes we just need to stop complaining, take a deep breath, look around, and be grateful for all of the beauty all around us.  It's there if we'll just look and see and appreciate it.  See the full essay here: Gifts of Beauty

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Allowing the Wildness

I love this thought.  It's practical, human, meaningful for all of us. Stepping away from whatever is bothering us today and reaching for some treasure in our possession is such a great exercise in life.  See if you agree: Allowing the Wildness


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We have more potential than we might know.

"Although talent feels and looks predestined, in fact we have a good deal of control over what skills we develop, and we have more potential than we might ever presume to guess."  ~ From, The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle

Monday, September 19, 2011

You look good today.

We all need to know we matter, that we are confident in our talents and skills, that we are smart, loving, attractive, worthy. Here is a site that offers some excellent resources for helping us feel good about who we are and what we have to contribute to life: Self Esteem

Sunday, September 18, 2011

There is no real power in intention

“Listen carefully to me. Despite popular belief to the contrary, there is absolutely no power in intention...There is no difference in the person who intends to do things differently and the one who never thinks about it in the first place. Have you ever considered how often we judge ourselves by our intentions while we judge others by their actions? Yet intention without action is an insult to those who expect the best from you.” ― Andy Andrews, Author/Speaker 

Friday, September 16, 2011

To get the most out of the relationship you are in...

"To get the most out of the relationship you are in, it won't be helpful to listen to the ego's stories about it.  They will only bring separation and conflict.  Essence (our true nature) would tell a different story about your loved one.  It would probably be something like this: 'This person is in my life for me to love to the best of my ability.  Let's see what happens if I do that.'  As Essence, we are here to serve others and serve Life.  The ego, on the other hand, is all about serving self." ~ From, What about Now? Reminders for Being in the Moment, by Gina Lake

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to Love Your Crazy Life

Sometimes life goes haywire for all of us. Too many schedules. Not enough sleep. Wrong diet. Kids out of control. More expenses than income. On and on it goes. Here are some practical thoughts on how to take a deep breath and make it all sort of seem to work. Read them here: Your Crazy Life

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

You don't need negative thoughts

"Try giving up all the thoughts that make you feel bad, or even just some of them, and see how doing that changes your life.  You don't need negative thoughts.  All they have ever given you was a false self that suffers.  They are all lies." ~ From, What About Now? Reminders for Being in the Moment, by Gina Lake

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Choice, not Chance

"Excellence is never an accident.  It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.  Choice, not chance, determines your destiny." ~ Aristotle, Greek Philosopher


Monday, September 12, 2011

A Drink a Day Linked to Healthy Aging in Women - Health News - Health.com

A new study shows that moderate drinking could improve your health. Women, especially, who have a glass of wine or a drink a day were seen as having generally better health including better cognitive function than those who binge drink or who don't drink alcohol at all. See the results here: Health.com

3 Steps to a Longer Life

Here are some easy, interesting tips on extending life for all of us. See them here: Sharing Rocks!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Focusing on negativity doesn't make any of us better

"The moment is never improved or helped by negativity, although we are programmed to think our negative thoughts, worries, and fears serve a useful function.  When you really examine this idea, however, you see that negativity doesn't serve.  Focusing on negativity and fears doesn't make anyone a better person, nor does doing that help us function better in the world.  In fact, the truth is quite the opposite." ~ From, What about Now? Reminders for Being in the Moment, by Gina Lake


Saturday, September 10, 2011

The demise of guys?

Psychologist Phillip Zimbardo says boys today are learning all the wrong things from video gaming, porn sites, and other isolated Internet programming. The results are disastrous in terms of their social development, emotional maturity, their sense of self, and their ability to relate to girls in any meaningful way. See his brief, alarming, and fascinating presentation here: Video on TED.com

Friday, September 9, 2011

Life, Clutter, Mess

"Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up.  But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived." ~ Anne Lamott, Writer/Novelist

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Love Everything

Love all Creation.  The whole and every grain of sand in it. Love very leaf, and every ray of light.  Love the plants.  Love the animals.  Love everything.  If you love everything you will perceive the Divine Mystery in all things.  Once you perceive it you will comprehend it better every day.  And you will come, at last, to love the whole world with an all embracing love. – Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

8 Tips for Boosting Your Energy RIGHT NOW.

Who doesn't need more energy in these busy times? We all do. Increased energy helps us get more done, builds self-esteem, creates confidence, makes us feel better. Here are some simple but excellent tips on how to do it: 8 Tips for Boosting Your Energy RIGHT NOW.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ignore the odds and go for it

"There will be a few times in your life when all your instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans, and may seem crazy to others.  When that happens, you do it.  Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else.  Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications, and just go for it." ~ Judith McNaught, Novelist

Monday, September 5, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Living Beyond the Comfort Zone

"Struggling and suffering are the essence of a life worth living.  If you're not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you're not demanding more from yourself -- expanding and learning as you go -- you're choosing a numb existence.  You're denying yourself an extraordinary trip." ~ Dean Karnazes, Author/Marathon Runner

Friday, September 2, 2011

Your present circumstances...

"Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go they merely determine where you start." ~ Nido Qubein, Author/Consultant


Thursday, September 1, 2011

"I've come back from the colorless world of despair..."

"In my own worst seasons I've come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window.  And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress.  And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon.  Until I learned to be in love with my life again.  Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again." ~ From, High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never, by Barbara Kingsolver

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We all need a friend, and need to be a friend, just like this...

"Are you upset little friend?  Have you been lying awake worrying?  Well, don't worry, I'm here.   The flood waters will recede.  The famine will end.  The sun will shine tomorrow.  And I will always be here to take care of you." ~ Charlie Brown to Snoopy, "Peanuts" cartoon


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

‘Gimme’ Kids Often Grow Into ‘Gimme’ Adults

A new study shows that children who have not learned self-control and the ability to delay gratification often become adults with the same tendencies. See the information here: Health.com


Monday, August 29, 2011

Being human my way

"There is a certain way of being human that is my way. I am called upon to live my life in this way, and not in imitation of anyone else's life. But this notion gives a new importance to being true to myself. If I am not, I miss the point of my life; I miss what being human is for me."
—   Charles Taylor, Canadian philosopher

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What's going on inside of us always directs what we do outside of us.

There is no question that our inner life directs, guides, and impacts our outer life. Author Brian Tracy offers some helpful insights on how to keep the right balance. See the article here: As Within,So Without.

Friday, August 26, 2011

How would your life be different...

"How would your life be different if you were conscious about the food you ate, the people you surround yourself with, and the media you watch, listen to, or read?  Let today be the day you pay attention to what you feed your mind, your body, and your life.  Create a nourishing environment conducive to your growth and well-being today." -- Steve Maraboli, Author/Speaker



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Supermom Myth Can Make You Miserable

Moms today carry a lot of responsibilities. Stay at home moms are inundated with endless schedules and activities for their children. Working moms often have that and their ongoing tasks at work. It can sometimes be overwhelming. Here is an article that addresses ways for moms today to deal with all of their challenges without getting discouraged or depressed: Health.com

Monday, August 22, 2011

If other people do not understand...so what?


"If other people do not understand our behavior—so what? Their request that we must only do what they understand is an attempt to dictate to us. If this is being "asocial" or "irrational" in their eyes, so be it. Mostly they resent our freedom and our courage to be ourselves. We owe nobody an explanation or an accounting, as long as our acts do not hurt or infringe on them. How many lives have been ruined by this need to "explain," which usually implies that the explanation be "understood," i.e. approved. Let your deeds be judged, and from your deeds, your real intentions, but know that a free person owes an explanation only to himself—to his reason and his conscience—and to the few who may have a justified claim for explanation."  From the The Art of Being, by Erich Fromm

Sunday, August 21, 2011

No-Cost Strategies to Fight Depression

Feeling blue, stressed into emotional and physical exhaustion, being depressed, are experiences all of us face now and then. Life can be difficult, confusing, and painful at times. If you are severely depressed, unable to work or maintain your daily tasks, then please seek professional help. Talk to a doctor, a therapist, your minister, or perhaps a counselor provided by your workplace. But if you are going through times of feeling a bit down or discouraged, here are some excellent tips to help you fight mild depression: Health.com

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I have learned that no matter what happens...

"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad itseems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned thatyou can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things:a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned thatregardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them whenthey're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" isnot the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that lifesometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go throughlife with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throwsomething back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an openheart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I havepains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach outand touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people willforget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will neverforget how you made them feel." — Maya Angelou, American Poet/Author

Friday, August 19, 2011

Our Deepest Calling

"Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic self-hood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human being seeks--we will also find our path of authentic service in the world." ~ Parker Palmer, Educator/Author

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hopefulness Is Better Than Happiness for Diet Success

We all want to make as healthy choices as we can when it comes to our diet. These days health experts are nearly all in agreement that what we eat and how we take care of ourselves are critical factors in good health. Genes play a huge roll of course, but still, you can't go wrong in sticking to a healthy diet. Keeping a positive attitude helps as well. See why here: Hopefulness Is Better for Diet Success

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Purpose in Life is Not to Win


"The purpose in life is not to win. The purpose in life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people's lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them." – Harold Kushner, Rabbi/Author

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Planning Ahead Can Reduce Back-to-School Stress

Starting school or returning to school for children can sometimes be a bit overwhelming after a summer of fun and no fixed schedules. Here are some ideas to help you prepare your child for going back to school. Be sure to click on the "back-to-school" link at the end of the article for more very helpful information. See the article here: Health.com


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why Love Is Good For Your Health

Is marriage necessary to good health? In some ways it is according to various health experts. But marriage and long term relationships have their challenges and require work and commitment by those who enter them. Here are some interesting facts and ideas about both the benefits and the challenges facing couples today: Your Health

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Only Thing I'd Really Like To Be


"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be." — From Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fitness Cardio Workout - Fitness at Home

This is a heck of a cardio workout all in the privacy of your home. No gym. No fees to pay. No gazing onlookers. Just you and your willingness to do some physical movement. See the workout here: Fitness at Home - Health.com

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Remembering an inspiring teacher

We've all had those special teachers in our lives who had a significant impact on us. Someone who guided us into ways of learning that changed us forever. Or who became an ally in our battle for self-worth, acceptance, and independence. Here is a thoughtful tribute to just such teachers: Remembering an inspiring teacher

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Do as Little Harm to Others as You Can

"Do as little harm to others as you can; make any sacrifice for your true friends; be responsible for yourself and ask nothing of others; and grab all the fun you can. Don't give much thought to yesterday, don't worry about tomorrow, live in the moment, and trust that your existence has meaning even when the world seems to be all blind chance and chaos." ~ Dean Koontz, Physician/Novelist

Friday, August 5, 2011

Talking to Strangers? Rewriting the Rules of Childhood

I cannot think of anything more terrifying than having my child or grandchild lost in a crowd somewhere. Responsible parenting includes preparing our children for all kinds of circumstances. In spite of all the goodness around them our children still live in a very dangerous world. Toddlers are not given cell phones and even many younger preteens do not have one.  Do they know what to do if they get separated from you at the mall, at a busy outdoor event, or any place where there are large crowds?  Here are some useful tips to share with your children to help them find help if they are ever in such a situation: Rewriting the Rules of Childhood

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Transcending Ourselves = Meaningful Living

"A sense of life meaning ensues but cannot be deliberately pursued: life meaning is always a derivative phenomenon that materializes when we have transcended ourselves, when we have forgotten ourselves and become absorbed in someone (or something) outside ourselves"   Irvin D. Yalom, Physician/Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine
            

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Emotionally Intelligent Relationships

Emotionally Intelligent Relationships
By Sally Connolly, LCSW, LMFT

What is it about some people who just know how to be a part of a healthy relationship? For them, relationships seem to be so easy.

Oftentimes, it is that hard-to-identify-quality of emotional intelligence; the ability to recognize and control their emotions, that some people have that gives them the ability to be successful in relationships. Emotional intelligence involves the ability to understand and accept ones’ own emotions and manage them in ways that enhance relationships with others.

Don is someone who has a high EQ. He can identify when he is angry about something and is able to give it a voice in his head and body but to also slow his response to the anger down so that he can calmly and thoughtfully determine a way of handling the situation that caused him to become mad.

Sandy is very perceptive. She can recognize emotions with others and carefully asses how those emotions are affecting her or the relationship. Sandy can talk openly and ask questions in ways that do not invite defensiveness but rather invite others to talk with her calmly.

Ben’s parents are teaching him to recognize his feelings, accept that they are real and, in and of themselves, are not bad or good. They are helping Ben learn how to slow himself down enough to determine productive ways to handle them.

Emotionally intelligent people are able to:

Identify their own emotions. They can recognize when they are hurt, disappointed, sad or feeling vulnerable and do not always immediately respond in angry, confrontational ways.

Emotionally intelligent people know the difference in the nuances of feelings and are able to be insightful enough to figure out what is really going on with them. People who understand their own emotions are better able to make good decisions about their lives from whom to marry to how to handle problems with an employer.

Answer these questions about yourself.
1. I am able to identify my feelings accurately. Yes/No 
2. I am not quick to react without thinking or understanding what is really going on with me. Yes/No

Manage their emotions and exhibit emotional self control. Emotionally intelligent people are able to be pro-active rather than reactive. They can slow themselves and their responses down rather than jumping into a quick retort. They know how to soothe themselves when upset, angry or anxious.

Emotionally intelligent people can reason with their emotions. Their minds are not clouded by their feelings. They recognize that their emotions give them information and they are curious about the meaning of that information. They bounce back from life’s challenges far more rapidly than those who are not emotionally intelligent.


Answer these questions about yourself.
1. I am able to remain calm when having a disagreement with my spouse. Yes/No
2. If I find myself starting to get upset when we disagree or he or she is talking with me about a problem, I can find a way to calm myself down, even if it means that I need to take a break. Yes/No

Recognize emotions in others. Emotionally intelligent people are empathetic and able to correctly identify others’ emotions and keep from taking those emotions personally.
For instance, if a spouse seems preoccupied and distant, an emotionally intelligent person will not immediately jump to a conclusion that there is something wrong with them or the marriage; but rather respect the fact that there may be any one of 10 different reasons for the distance.

Answer these questions about yourself.
1. I can give my partner the benefit of the doubt. Yes/No 
2. My partner would say that I really understand his or her feelings and thoughts about issues and concerns. Yes/No

Utilize these skills in their relationships. Emotionally intelligent people are able to handle complaints and criticism in appropriate ways. They can soothe themselves, think clearly and productively. Emotionally intelligent people are able to recognize others needs while also taking care of their own.

Answer these questions about yourself.
1. My partner, friends and co-workers would say that they feel respected and appreciated by me. Yes/No
2. Even when confronted by someone, I can keep my cool and try to understand their concerns. Yes/No

What did you learn about yourself in this brief questionnaire? If you answered 7 out of the 8 questions with a “yes”, then it is likely that you show emotional intelligence and have a high EQ.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Beat the Heat: 7 Hot-Weather Survival Tips for the Whole Family

The temperature continues to climb to record highs and it's just now the first day of August. Here are some tips to help you and your family watch for dangerous signs of heat exhaustion and other heat related conditions that could adversely effect your health. See them here: Beat the Heat

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Many of our problems come from within our own minds.

The self-help, positive thinking industry is often criticized for being too simplistic, too glib about real problems we all face in life. Fair enough. Sometimes they are guilty of that. But there is clear evidence that what we think very often does influence how we act. Take a moment to read this brief challenge to better thinking and living: Many of our problems come from within our own minds.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us

"Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't strike them all by ourselves; we need oxygen and a candle to help. In this case, the oxygen for example, would come from the breath of the person you love; the candle would be any kind of food, music, caress, word, or sound that engenders the explosion that lights one of the matches. For a moment we are dazzled by an intense emotion. A pleasant warmth grows within us, fading slowly as time goes by, until a new explosion comes along to revive it. Each person has to discover what will set off those explosions in order to live, since the combustion that occurs when one of them is ignited is what nourishes the soul. That fire, in short, is its food. If one doesn't find out in time what will set off these explosions, the box of matches dampens, and not a single match will ever be lighted.  From the novel, Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Boost Your Mood Naturally

All of us from time to time get a little down, worn out, frazzled. Life is often carried on at a hectic pace. Financial woes, family conflicts, work irritations, health issues, all contribute to days when we feel drained of energy and good feelings. Here are some easy tips to help boost our moods and enjoy each day a little more. See them here: Health.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Three Tips to Protect Your Family Now

Here are three very simple and easy things you can do to make sure your family is taken care of in the event of illness, death, or other emergencies. See them here: Protect Your Family Now


Monday, July 25, 2011

Jackson Browne: "If I Could Be Anywhere"

Master musician Jackson Browne reminds us of just how important it is to live here and now. Not in the past in some other time in history, or in some other life, and not out in the future in some assumed happy place we long to know. To live today is our task. To make the changes we want and need now. To be the person we have always wanted to be now. Listen here: "If I Could Be Anywhere" | Video on TED.com

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How Disney Invaded American Childhood to Shill Worthless Crap to Our Kids

What are our daughters being told about themselves and their world in the movies, books, and merchandise from Disney? The author of a new book about Disney's powerful influence on the culture of girls in this country is provocative and disturbing. Read an interview with her here: Books | AlterNet


Saturday, July 23, 2011

More Evidence that Exercise is Key to Brain Health

Although a lot of exercise and dieting in our culture borders on unhealthy obsession there is no doubt that a reasonable and consistent workout routine offers amazing physical and emotional benefits to all of us. Here is a brief article with the facts. See it here: Health.com

Friday, July 22, 2011

Adversity is a natural part of being human.

"Adversity is a natural part of being human. It is the height of arrogance to prescribe a moral code or health regime or spiritual practice as an amulet to keep things from falling apart. Things do fall apart. It is in their nature to do so. When we try to protect ourselves from the inevitability of change, we are not listening to the soul. We are listening to our fear of life and death, our lack of faith, our smaller ego's will to prevail. To listen to your soul is to stop fighting with life--to stop fighting when things fall apart; when they don't go our away, when we get sick, when we are betrayed or mistreated or misunderstood. To listen to the soul is to slow down, to feel deeply, to see ourselves clearly, to surrender to discomfort and uncertainty and to wait."  Elizabeth Lesser, Author/Cofounder of the Omega Institute

Thursday, July 21, 2011

When Will I be Happy?

The following article is by Shawn Achor and appeared at www.huffingtonpost.com

When Will I be Happy?
"I will be happy when..."
This innocent comment is the very reason that happiness is so elusive for us in the modern world. We think: I will be happy when I have a successful relationship. I will be happy when I find a job. I will be happy when I'm out of this relationship. I'll be happy when I get that job promotion. I will be happy when my kid gets into the right school. The formula is clear: arbitrarily-defined success, then happiness.
Based upon the research in the new book "The Happiness Advantage," that formula -- success then happiness -- is scientifically backward. Over the past several years, I have been researching the relationship between happiness and success, only to discover that the problem is not that we forget to pursue happiness, but that we are pursuing it with the wrong formula.
Think about how some people conceive of relationships: "I am unhappy being single, so I will be happy when I am dating the person of my dreams." I had a friend in high school tell me that he would never be happy until he met his other half. This is exactly the formula of "I will be happy when..." While researching for an online dating website, I found that people who use this formula actually decrease their chances of finding a date. We have found that happiness and positivity are attractive traits. When the person we date is positive, it raises our own happiness, improves our immune system and lengthens our lives. So we are biologically attracted to happiness. Thus, we are turned off by the desperation which often stems from believing that happiness exists on the opposite side of success.
We don't quote Freud much anymore, but he did get one thing right: Freud said we leak information through every pore. Our brains are designed to look past things we control consciously (like what we say) to look at how we unconsciously say it. Negativity, uncertainty and desperation leak out through our non-verbals: our eyes, lines on our face, the tone of our voice, etc. So if a person wants to start dating, the key is to not wait for happiness. The key is to cultivate happiness first, which shines through on first encounters, instead of wallowing in the discontent of delayed happiness, waiting for some arbitrary success point in the future to trigger happiness.
This is true in every aspect of our life. I have worked with some unemployment service providers who wonder whether it is okay to have an article about happiness research in a newsletter about unemployment. Absolutely. If we think, "I will be happy only when I have a job," then we are putting happiness after success, which significantly decreases the chances of that person getting a job. Job interviewers, just like potential relationship partners, are looking for positive people to work with and to create a good environment. We leak optimism or pessimism through every pore.
So how can we pursue happiness right now? When I was counseling overwrought Harvard students, one of the first things I would tell them is to stop equating a future success (dating) with happiness. Dating does not mean you will be happy. If that was true, then everyone in a relationship would be happy. Look around and you'll see enough empirical proof that relationship does not guarantee happiness. The same is true with success. Is everyone with a job happy? Then stop thinking that finding a job, getting a promotion, etc. is the only thing that can bring happiness. Success does not mean happiness. Check out the entertainment section of The Huffington Post to look for examples to disabuse you of thinking that being beautiful, successful or rich will make you happy.
Second, we need to break the belief that our external world (how much money we make, are we in a relationship, what the economy is doing, etc.) is predictive of our happiness. Only 10 percent of our long-term happiness is predicted by the external world; 90 percent of our long-term happiness is thus how our brain processes the external world. This is why we find people at the same job who are positive and love their work, and others see it as drudgery and stress. This is why some people love being single and others cannot stand it. The external world does not predict your happiness, which is a freeing scientific realization about how much control you actually have over your happiness.
Third, happiness is a work ethic. You have to train your brain to be positive, just like you work out your body. Doing one positive habit, like eight minutes of meditation a day, journaling for two minutes about a positive experience (it backfires if you write about negative ones!) or writing a two-minute long positive email to a friend once a day -- all have been found in research over the past decade to significantly increase happiness, whatever your current life circumstances. Training your brain for gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to accomplish this. Gratitude is the recognition that the present can make you happy instead of waiting for a future event. Thus, if you think of three things you are grateful for over the course of 21 days, your level of optimism in life significantly rises.
The other half of the research in "The Happiness Advantage" is the good news: if you reverse the order of the formula, you end up with greater happiness and greater success rates. Happiness is the precursor to greater success. Every single relationship, business and educational outcome improves when the brain is positive. If you cultivate happiness while in the midst of your struggles, work, at school, while unemployed or single, you increase your chances of attaining all the goals you are pursuing, including happiness.
(c) 2011 Huffington Post