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

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:

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:

Monday, August 22, 2011

If other people do not 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:

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:

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 -

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