Inspiring Reminders to Think, Live and Love Well

Inspiring Reminders to Think and Live Well

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

Have you read "The Book of Awesome" by Neil Pasricha?  I just got it for my birthday, and I've been really enjoying it.  Here's another one of his "things that make us smile":

The Universal Fry-Sharing Policy
     The Universal Fry-Sharing Policy states that if you are eating a meal with someone who ordered fries, and you didn't order fries, you're entitled to grab one of their fries as it's landing on the table as long as a) you ask first, b) you make eye contact and raise your eyebrows until they nod, or c) you just know them really well.
     Also, since you're getting first dibs on their sizzling stick-pile of delicious hot, oily fries, it's only fair that you purposefully avoid any obviously amazing fry in the pile.  You know that really, really long McDonald's fry sticking out of the box?  Probably shouldn't touch that.  But the thin, crispy short ones, the oversalted ones, and the regular limp n' floppy ones?  Those are all fair game, my friend, all fair game.
    But be careful out there because this policy can be abused.  Some people might start pecking away at the fry-pile, then just start gaining momentum, unbale to sop gorging themselves on your plate once they get started.  They just keep testing the waters, pushing the envelope, snacking away until you move your plate out of reach or ask them politely how their food tastes.  I'm serious- you need to watch out for these people because they'll dent your fry-pile if you're not careful. 
     Secondly, keep your eyes peeled for greasy diner plates that come with only a dozen or so baked-potato-tasting fires.  You know what I'm talking about.  Those piles are off-limits! Sorry, but the Universal Fry-Sharing Policy simply does not cover extremely small piles of chunky-style fries.  It would be too much to take one of those fries.  The percentages just don't work. 
     Finally, there is one appendix to The Universal Fry-Sharing Policy.  Conveniently it is called Appendix One, and it simply states that after somebody who ordered fries finishes their meal and pushes their leftover pile of dry, cold, ketchup-smeared fries into the center of the table, first dibs go to people who didn't get fries.  Second dibs go to those who already demolished a stack of them but just want more.  And third dibs go to the guy washing dishes in the kitchen. 
     So thanks, Universal Fry-Sharing Policy.  Your existence is a win-win, balancing the table by helping us fry guys trim down the calories and helping the "Can I sub salad for fries?" folks enjoy some guilty pleasure while still meting their eatin' healthy goals.  AWESOME!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Awesome Smells

 Bakery Air
     Bakery air is that steaming hot front of thick, buttery fumes waiting for you just inside the door of a bakery.  And I am just going to tell you straight up:  That is some fine air. 
     Bakery air immediately fills you up with the sickly sweet smell of rising cupcakes, crisping croissants, and the distinct aroma of globby oatmeal turning into a delicious tray of sugary-brown cookies. 
     It's a powerful and intoxicating smell that rivals some of the best smells out there:  late night summer barbecue, new car smell, gasoline, fresh baby, or even, dare I say it, campfire in the woods.  Yes, I went there.
     Now, is it just me, or do you ever feel sorry for the people working in the bakery?  You know, because they might just get used to the smell and stop enjoying those hot bakery whiffs all the time?  I really hope it's not like that.  I really hope working in a bakery never turns into a regular job full of early mornings, oven-scorched eyebrows, varicose veins, and floury underwear.  No, bakery air is just too good for that.  It can't become another day at the office, it just can't.  So let's make sure we all enjoy it.
     Catch some of those sugary vapors next time you're running past a cinnamon bun place at the train station.  Suck back a noseful of hot fumes when you walk the dog by an open bakery door on Saturday morning.  And make sure when you stop to smell the roses, you stop to smell the croissants and cookies too.  AWESOME!

From "The Book of Awesome" by Neil Pasricha.....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Recovering from Perfectionism

The Perfectionist really has perfected a skill - the ability to focus.  Unfortunately, she has used the skill to focus exclusively on her own automatic, rigid and irrational beliefs.  Becoming more aware of these beliefs is the first step in the path toward Imperfectionism.  It can be extremely useful to RECORD THESE THINKING PATTERNS.  What she'll discover is that her self-talk looks something like this:
  • I HAVE to do the BEST presentation.
  • I NEED to get a 90% on the exam.
  • First is the ONLY option.  Second ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH.
  • I CAN'T BE HAPPY until I've lost those 10 lbs.  
Next she need to objectively and realistically look at the downside of these beliefs.  Do they work consistently?  More likely, an honest answer will lead to the conclusion that striving for perfect just makes her feel stressed, self-critical, exhausted and stuck.

The next step is to CHALLENGE THOSE PATTERNS.  How else can she talk to herself to work towards achieving goals with a gentler, more positively realistic attitude.  Maybe her inner voice could sound more like this:
  • I will work hard to prepare a really good presentation.  I'm also going to focus on learning something, and enjoying the process!
  • I'd like to strive for a 90%, but I can only do my best.  What do I need to review next?
  • First would sure feel amazing, and I'll work for that, but I'll feel proud of myself for giving my best, whatever the result.  
  • I'll focus on eating healthily and exercising, but I'm also going to work on doing the things that make me feel good about myself and my life right now, while I'm on that path toward weight loss.  
It's all about CHANGING FOCUS
  • Breaking down goals into smaller, more manageable chunks - baby steps!
  • Ensuring that goals are reachable and realistic
  • Enjoy the journey, not just the end result
  • Be gentle with yourself - be encouraging and supportive, not critical
  • Learn from mistakes, don't dwell on them.
  • What happens if you put in for 85% effort rather than 100%?  I'll bet (and studies prove this to be true), that you'll accomplish just as much, but you'll enjoy the process with greater wellbeing, and much less distress. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Being Perfect: Is it Worth it to Even Try?

"I'm a Perfectionist" is the "perfect" weakness to admit to at a job interview.  It makes you sound like a high achiever, a super-hard worker with attention to detail and dedicated focus on getting it done "just right".  So, why, then, is it seen as a weakness also?  Quite simply, it really hurts, and in the long run, doesn't work anyway.  While a "perfectionist style" may actually seem to lead to success, it actually differs dramatically from the more successful "high achieving style". 
  1. All or Nothing Thinking:  The Perfectionist will only accept a perfect result in meeting his sometimes unrealistically high standards.  Close is not good enough, it might as well be failure.  The High Achiever sets high goals too, but can be satisfied with great, or excellent.  
  2. Negative & Judgmental:  Perfectionists are more critical of themselves, as well as others.  They focus on their own mistakes, and tend not to be supportive of others either.  High achievers are able to look more constructively at their mistakes, and act in more encouraging ways.
  3. Product vs. Process Thinking:  While both set high goals for themselves, the High Achiever is much better at enjoying the process of getting there, and is able to more easily change the direction of her goals as she attempts to meet them.  The Perfectionist is much more likely to tell herself, "I can only be happy when I've achieved my goal, not until".  
  4. Learning from Mistakes vs. Wallowing in Failure:  The High Achiever is more able to objectively look at what went wrong, and plan strategic learning from his experience of failure.  The Perfectionist is much more likely to become mired in depression by beating himself up.  
Perfectionists may also suffer from:
  • Fear of Failure:  When failure holds such dire consequences, it becomes terrifying to contemplate.  This often results in:
  • Procrastination: Just starting a task may cause so much anxiety, that the Perfectionist stays stuck in doing nothing at all - paralyzed by not finding the perfect first step.  
All in all, striving for perfect leads to stress, anxiety and low self-esteem.

The good news is that real change is possible.  Treatment for perfectionism involves cognitive behavioral strategies - basically moving from a rigid thinking style to one which is more solution-focused, realistically positive, and encouraging.  Tomorrow's blog will explore tips to overcoming perfectionism. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Today, another of my babies turns 18!  Happy Birthday Darling!  Another day to reflect on the powerful love of family, the absolute joy of sharing my life with my wonderful husband and children, and the incredible optimism and hope of watching them venture forth confidently into their futures.  How grateful and blessed I am!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Have you taken care of your heart today?  Have you told your loved one how you feel? It will be good for both of you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Family Happiness

When you look at your life, the greatest happiness is family happiness.
Dr. Joyce Brothers

Monday, March 21, 2011

Family: The Foundation of Self Esteem

Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible -- the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.
-- Virginia Satir:
image credit:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Feed your Brain Well

 This is a really wonderful comprehensive article by Emily Deans, explaining why our brains need to be fuelled by Omega-3 fats, not the highly processed trans fats or saturated fats and Omega-6 fats that we tend to consume way too many of.  So what has this got to do with Positive Psychology?  Plenty!  We're learning more and more everyday about the positive benefits of Omega-3's on improving focus, concentration and memory, decreasing anxiety and mitigating depressive symptoms.  So, go get yourself some wild salmon fillets for dinner tonight.  Serve your salad with an olive oil based dressing.  Make it a habit to feed your brain well and you'll be rewarded with a happier brain!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Just Breathe..... to Reduce Stress

  Thank you to my friend, Marcia Katz ( for sharing this link:

Just Breathe: Body Has A Built-In Stress Reliever

There are plenty of ways to relieve stress — exercise, a long soak in a hot bath, or even a massage. But believe it or not, something you're doing right now, probably without even thinking about it, is a proven stress reliever: breathing.
As it turns out, deep breathing is not only relaxing, it's been scientifically proven to affect the heart, the brain, digestion, the immune system — and maybe even the expression of genes.
Mladen Golubic, a physician in the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine, says that breathing can have a profound impact on our physiology and our health.
"You can influence asthma; you can influence chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; you can influence heart failure," Golubic says. "There are studies that show that people who practice breathing exercises and have those conditions — they benefit."
He's talking about modern science, but these techniques are not new. In India, breath work called pranayama is a regular part of yoga practice. Yoga practitioners have used pranayama, which literally means control of the life force, as a tool for affecting both the mind and body for thousands of years.
Take A Breath
Judi Bar teaches yoga to patients with chronic diseases at the Cleveland Clinic. Bar uses yoga and modifications of traditional yoga breathing exercises as a way to help them manage their pain and disease.

What Happens In The Body When We're Stressed?

The physiological stress response is actually designed to be an asset. It speeds the heart rate and diverts blood away from the gut and to the muscles so we can run away. It constricts the pupils of our eyes so we can focus on our attacker. It dilates the bronchi of the lungs to increase blood oxygenation, and converts energy stored in the liver into fuel for strength and stamina. In short, it keeps us safe, says Esther Sternberg, physician and author of several books on stress and healing.
It's in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which makes a hormone called CRH, or corticotropin-releasing hormone. Sternberg says that when you are stressed, you are bathing yourself in a whole soup of other nerve chemicals and hormones. But if they hang around too long, those same nerve chemicals and hormones can impair the immune system.
Eventually, stress hormones make the adrenal glands release another hormone called cortisol. Cortisone, which is the drug form of the hormone cortisol, is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory drugs available.
"What's happening when you're stressed is that your own body is giving itself multiple shots of that anti-inflammatory hormone, and so that tunes down your immune system's ability to do its job to fight infection," Sternberg says.
— Gretchen Cuda
"Our breaths will either wake us up or energize us. It will relax us, or it will just balance us," Bar says.
She demonstrates a "firebreath."
"So, at first we pant like a little doggy, and then we close our mouth, and then the nostril breath starts right after that. OK, here we go," she says.
Bar then begins to pant, first with an open mouth and then through the nose. It almost makes you feel lightheaded just watching. Afterward, she says she feels a little dizzy but energized enough to run around the block a couple of times.
Putting On The Brake
Research has shown that breathing exercises like these can have immediate effects by altering the pH of the blood, or changing blood pressure.
But more importantly, they can be used as a method to train the body's reaction to stressful situations and dampen the production of harmful stress hormones. Esther Sternberg is a physician, author of several books on stress and healing, and researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health. She says rapid breathing is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. It's part of the "fight or flight" response — the part activated by stress.
In contrast, slow, deep breathing actually stimulates the opposing parasympathetic reaction — the one that calms us down
"The relaxation response is controlled by another set of nerves — the main nerve being the Vagus nerve. Think of a car throttling down the highway at 120 miles an hour. That's the stress response, and the Vagus nerve is the brake," says Sternberg. "When you are stressed, you have your foot on the gas, pedal to the floor. When you take slow, deep breaths, that is what is engaging the brake."
Changing Gene Expression
Harvard researcher Herbert Benson coined the term "The Relaxation Response" in 1975 with a book of the same name. In it, Benson used scientific research to show that short periods of meditation, using breathing as a focus, could alter the body's stress response.

More From NPR

In his new book, Relaxation Revolution, Benson claims his research shows that breathing can even change the expression of genes. He says that by using your breath, you can alter the basic activity of your cells with your mind.
"It does away with the whole mind-body separation," Benson says. "Here you can use the mind to change the body, and the genes we're changing were the very genes acting in an opposite fashion when people are under stress."
Of course, breathing is not the answer to every medical problem. But Benson and others agree: The breath isn't something Western medicine should blow off. It's a powerful tool for influencing individual health and well-being. And the best part is all the ingredients are free and literally right under your nose.
image credit:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

"LUCK OF THE IRISH" - Kind of a funny phrase isn't it?  Have the Irish really been on the receiving end of Good Luck?  Their history may say otherwise.....  Maybe this phrase is more about an ability to really land solidly back on one's feet after experiencing a bunch of Bad luck?  Does green beer help with that kind of positive psychology?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tears can lead the way to Happiness

Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in awhile, so that we can see Life with a clearer view again.
Alex Tan

Yes, tears are a part of striving for happiness.  When we feel sadness, tears are a real expression of our feelings.  When we experience grief ourselves, or even the connected feeling of universal grief when others around the world are hurt, it's important to feel what we feel.  Feelings are never wrong, and even the most uncomfortable or distressing feelings are a normal and healthy part of our psychology.  Experiencing and expressing our pain also allows us to create more room for pleasure and the full experience of joy. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Overcoming the pain of an Earthquake

As we watch the images of destruction in Japan, we can feel for the many people who are suffering and will continue to suffer losses and devastation at the hand of Mother Nature at her worst.  While we continue to go on with our daily lives, there will unfortunately be more and more "aftershocks" for our Japanese friends.  For many, these effects will last longer than it takes to rebuild and move on in their physical lives.   The psychological repercussions of trauma are well documented, and common after natural disasters.  Untreated, these can endure as debilitating mental illness symptoms far into the future. Fortunately, there have been many advances in our ability to successfully treat the negative mental health effects of trauma.  Most important is to provide support, an outlet for expression, and strategies to deal with anxiety.  An old Japanese saying is "Put a lid on anything smelly" and has been a good description of that country's approach to dealing with psychological problems.  I hope that this time they'll do things differently.  Here's more....

The Chronic Pain of Earthquakes

When aftershocks of an earthquake are not just aftershocks of an earthquake.
The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan reminds one of the chronic pain that will invariably be suffered by the survivors long after the rebuilding of residences and infrastructure will have been completed. Survivors are at high risk for behavioral and emotional pathology. Psychiatrists report high rates of "nervous reactions" and "reactive depression" as common afflictions in the aftermath of major disasters. Post traumatic stress disorder has been estimated to occur in 32% to 60% of adult survivors and 26% to 95% of the children of survivors who have been evaluated after earthquakes.
It would thus appear that the aftershocks of an earthquake are not just the aftershocks of an earthquake.

Persistent or recurring disruptions from an earthquake contribute to the continued mental health woes of survivors. While the general psychological stress after an earthquake may stabilize after 12 months, the post traumatic stress reaction may not stabilize until 18 months after the temblor.
And there is a high probability significant numbers of survivors will suffer some form of permanent psychological symptoms, most likely proportional to the degree of personal loss suffered.
It will be interesting to see whether this latest earthquake in Asia will produce the same post-disaster psychopathology documented following other Asian earthquakes:
A study following the Yunnan, China earthquake of 1988 found that in the most severely affected regions, the psychiatric morbidity rates doubled. More telling was the fact that those rates were documented 6 months after the disaster, indicating that the researchers were capturing more chronic psychiatric morbidity, and not simply the acute distress one would expect to encounter following a major disaster. Much of this morbidity expressed itself as somatic symptoms, such as muscular tension, fatigue, sleep disturbance, bodily aches and pains, to name but a few.
Most of the victims of the quake in Kobe, Japan of 15 years ago experienced emotional numbness. During the first week after the disaster there existed the expected fear and anxiety vis-à-vis possible aftershocks and grief for the loss of loved ones. Years later, many victims reported continued chronic pain and depressive symptoms.
It is generally considered that Japan treats mental illness with the attitude found in the old Japanese adage, "Put a lid on anything smelly", thereby ignoring the psychological suffering, and avoiding the treatment of this suffering for fear of bringing shame to the family.
As we meditate upon the current suffering in Japan, let us also be hopeful that the tsunami that resulted from that huge earthquake will bring a sea change in the deployment of mental health care to the victims. The psychological analyses that will surely follow will tell us whether that change has occurred.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Inner Peace

Inner  Peace:    
If  you can start the day without caffeine,
If you  can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains, 
If  you can resist complaining and  boring people with your troubles,
If  you can eat plain food every  day and be grateful for it,
If  you can understand when your loved  ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can take criticism and  blame without resentment,
If  you can conquer tension  without  medical help,
If you can relax without  liquor,
If  you can sleep without the aid of  drugs,   
...Then  You Are  Probably  The  Family Dog!      

 And  you thought I was going to get all spiritual didn't you..?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Moments of Mindfulness

I was hanging out the washing in the backyard yesterday, mildly annoyed with having to do this chore, when I happened to glance over my shoulder.
This butterfly filled my vision…
And suddenly the mundane became exquisite.
Have you had one of those moments lately? Where something small sort of awakened you and seemed to elevate whatever you were doing, bringing it richness and depth.
It’s this ‘small stuff’, and the paying of attention to it, that mindfulness embraces. The everyday, yet miraculous, stuff that we see, hear, sense, feel, are.
So instead of glossing over something that you might already have encountered before (like your trip to work, or hearing the sound of rain, or hanging out the laundry), mindfulness asks you to remember that that’s actually impossible.
That ‘you can’t step into the same river twice.’*
That you’ve never lived this particular moment before.
That it’s different from all the others you’ll ever experience.
And your whole life is made up of these moments; these little universes unto themselves…
Yet how often are we really in them?

How often do we sort of sit back  and live our lives at the distance of intellectualization or rationalization or busy-ness or boredom instead?
How often do we ignore this life, this moment, that we’re actually in – instead, daydreaming about what we might wish would happen, or wishing that this present moment wasn’t happening? Or projecting ourselves forwards or backwards in time, remembering past pain or imagining future plans. Ignoring our present.
It seems a pretty risky deal in some ways – to trade all that you have right now (this moment, this piece of your life) for something already gone or perhaps never to be. To exchange a fragment of you and of the world for something else which is quite possibly unattainable.
(Especially as, just like the butterfly in my backyard, we have such a limited time here).
Maybe that’s why so many therapies, like Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) are bringing mindfulness into their work.
So what would it be like to try it for a moment?
For this moment.
To just delve into the life you do have.
Just here.
Just now.
Just into whatever is
To see what’s around you.
To hear it.
Feel it.
And perhaps to notice if these ‘small’ pieces of your life can also illuminate the bigger picture…
*’You can’t step into the same river twice’ is from Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher.The title of this blog post draws from Jon Kabat-Zinn‘s book: “Coming To Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and The World Through Mindfulness. Photo: Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar
Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar (Grad Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy) is a writer, blogger and Sydney psychotherapist in private practice at One Life Counselling & Psychotherapy. Gabrielle also co-facilitates telephone support groups for people who are living with cancer, for their carers, and for people who have been bereaved through a cancer experience. She was the former editor of a journal on counselling and psychotherapy and she provides regular therapeutic updates on facebook and Twitter @OneLifeTherapy.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Who Do You Want To Become?

"You are now at a crossroads. This is your opportunity to make the most important decision you will ever make. Forget your past. Who are you now? Who have you decided you really are now? Don't think about who you have been. Who are you now? Who have you decided to become? Make this decision consciously. Make it carefully. Make it powerfully."  Anthony Robbins

Friday, March 11, 2011

Take a Silence Siesta

Unplug and Recharge: Taking a Silence Siesta

Perhaps you've heard the fable about the two frogs. One accidentally hopped in a pot of boiling water. When he felt the heat, he immediately jumped out. The other frog hopped into a pot of cool water that was slowly being heated to a boil. He swam happily around as the pot got hotter and hotter, oblivious to the rising danger.
Sound familiar? It should. We too are swimming in a pot under slow boil, unaware of the rising danger; and that danger is the rising decibels of noise. Our lives are permeated with sound: our iPod music, the blare of televisions pundits, the ringing of our cell phones, e-mail alerts and tweet notices -- noise that over time, we don't even realize is there.
While we may think it harmless, constant noise is a very real danger. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, for example, reports that the effects of excessive noise can include difficulty concentrating, stress, muscle tension, ulcers, increased blood pressure and hypertension.
Humans aren't the only ones vulnerable to its dangers. Scientific studies have shown that human-created noise causes a similarly destructive response in wildlife, interfering with core life functions, such as foraging for food, mating and tending to the young.
While human beings don't seem to care, thankfully action has been taken on behalf of the ecosystem. According to a recent article from The New York Times, the National Park Service (NPS) has implemented steps to restore quiet to some of its major parks.
For example, in Muir Woods, the great redwood forest outside San Francisco, a sort of "silence siesta" has been imposed: Parking lots have been moved farther from the entrance, electric maintenance vehicles now glide silently through the park and a decibel level meter now hangs outside the gift shop measuring the sounds of visitors' voices. The forest appears to be responding, as two spotted owls were recently observed, an endangered species once believed lost to the area.
What if we followed the NPS lead and took a "silence siesta?" What if we unplugged the iPod, silenced the cell, turned off the television, the radio, the alarms and the timers? Even if only for half an hour a day, our blood pressure and stress levels might lower for those few precious moments. With continued effort, maybe our concentration levels would sharpen. With consistent time away from the daily "noise," perhaps our relationships with our partners, our spouses and our children might improve. It worked in Muir Woods. Why not in daily life?
Don't live your life in a fog of noise and distraction. Don't, as James Thurber warned, lead a life of "noisy desperation." Give yourself a little silence siesta. Who knows? A little peace and quiet might bring a renewed sense of healing, growth and possibility in your life -- things, like those Spotted Owls, once believed lost.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Feeling Secure?

 Feeling Secure?  You may Value Possessions Less

By Psych Central News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on March 4, 2011

New research suggests that people with greater feelings of interpersonal security — that is, a sense of being loved and accepted by others — placed a lower monetary value on their possessions than people who did not feel as secure.
The research was conducted by Edward Lemay, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at University of New Hampshire, and colleagues at Yale University.
In a set of two experiments involving 185 individuals gathered from an Internet discussion forum and 68 college students, the researchers measured how much people valued specific items, such as a blanket and a pen that had the university’s logo on it.
In some instances, people who did not feel secure placed a value on an item that was five times greater than the value placed on the same item by more secure people.
“People value possessions, in part, because they afford a sense of protection, insurance, and comfort,” Lemay says. “But what we found was that if people already have a feeling of being loved and accepted by others, which also can provide a sense of protection, insurance, and comfort, those possessions decrease in value.”
The use of the blanket was thought to be associated with warmth and comfort, while the use of the logo pen was associated with belonging to a valued group. The researchers suggest that the use of these specific objects can readily generalize to other possessions that fall into similar categories.
The researchers theorize that the study results could be used to help people with hoarding disorders.
“These findings seem particularly relevant to understanding why people may hang onto goods that are no longer useful. They also may be relevant to understanding why family members often fight over items from estates that they feel are rightfully theirs and to which they are already attached.
The researchers also suggest that their data may help explain why a person may be reluctant to part with possessions for money, because the person’s existing ownership of the good gives the person this sense of interpersonal security. They suggest this is often likely an unconscious feeling, hence the reason a person may not be able to verbalize it.
The study also points to why people often may over-value a possession that provides them with a sense of security.
“Inherited items may be especially valued because the associated death threatens a person’s sense of personal security,” Lemay says.
The research is published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Source: University of New Hampshire

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Seeds of Solutions


Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds.
Norman Vincent Peale

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You Go, Girl!

March 8 is International Women's Day - a day to celebrate the wonderful achievements of the many women who have paved the way for greater rights and freedoms of girls and women today and for future generations. This is the 100th year of celebrations.  Let's make sure that the progress continues so our daughters all over the world can grow up in an atmosphere of  safety and security, hope, optimism and equal opportunity!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ten Rules for Being Human

Ten Rules for Being Human

by Cherie Carter-Scott
1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it's yours to keep for the entire period.
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, "life."
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately "work."
4. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.
5. Learning lessons does not end. There's no part of life that doesn't contain its lessons. If you're alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned.
6. "There" is no better a place than "here." When your "there" has become a "here", you will simply obtain another "there" that will again look better than "here."
7. Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
9. Your answers lie within you. The answers to life's questions lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
10. You will forget all this. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I am Thankful for Laughter!

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose!
Woody Allen

Friday, March 4, 2011

You are You!

Today You are You, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
Dr. Seuss.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Be Nice!

One of the first lessons our mothers and our teachers always taught us was to "Be Nice!"  Being nice to others seems an obvious way to connect and build relationships.  It also appears to be common sense that the one whom we're being nice to will benefit from our kindness.  A recent study in the Journal of Happiness Studies may give us even more incentive to "be nice".  Participants who were assigned to the study group directed to enact a "compassionate" behavior over the course of one week showed significant sustained increases in self esteem and happiness, over the control group.  These changes were still apparent after six months.  The participants who acted compassionately towards another also had the unexpected benefit of a decrease in negative feelings of anxiety and depressive symptoms.  It's just more evidence to support what we intuitively know - Being Nice Feels Good!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Does Your Life Feel Meaningful?

The two greatest days in your life are the day you were born and the day you realized WHY you were born.   William Barclay