Inspiring Reminders to Think, Live and Love Well

Inspiring Reminders to Think and Live Well

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Graduation Wish

Graduation Wish
We wish for you a joy-filled transition
from from the shelter of school
to the wide world
of your accomplishment and success.
We wish for you new, stimulating friendships,
while you cherish old friends,
who provide continuity and comfort.
We wish for you a smooth path
on your journey to your chosen destination,
and as much delight in your off-road adventures
as there is in reaching your goal.
Congratulations, graduate!
May the world embrace you, excite you,
and strengthen you in everything you do.
By Joanna Fuchs

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Your Thoughts

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." 
Eckhart Tolle

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Experience You Need

"Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment." 
Edkhart Tolle

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Something New

"Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge." 
Eckhart Tolle

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Live Well

 “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

To Be Yourself is the Greatest Accomplishment

 "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emmerson 

image credit: Mr. Fish's Cartoons

Monday, May 23, 2011

Follow the Course You Map Out

 "Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tomorrow is a New Day

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely...”           

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, May 20, 2011

Letting Your Mind Play


 “Letting your mind play is the best way to solve problems."


Bill Watterson

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Solving Problems


We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.


Albert Einstein

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Solution-Focussed Kids

What do we most want to give our children?   The gifts of love and respect will support their security and self-esteem.  Opportunities and activities will stimulate their minds and bodies.  However, if we really want to give them an edge in life, there’s a set of skills far more important than computer aptitude or athletic prowess.  Children (and parents, too!) who learn to focus on strengths and possibilities and to think in terms of solutions will be the best-equipped to confidently pursue their goals and experience joy.  

What we focus on creates our experience.  We can encourage our children to fine-tune and redirect their focus by the types of questions we ask.   What was the happiest part of your day?  What worked for you in making that great soccer pass?  Questions such as these ask children to closely look at the aspects of their lives that are working well.  Help your children to focus on these highlights, then watch them grow.

We can also teach our children to talk to themselves in supportive, positive ways.   “I’m stupid at math” leads to discouragement and anxiety.  “I’m really working hard on my times tables” validates the child’s sense of personal control and capacity for growth.  Making pictures or movies in our minds are also powerful tools to enhance confidence and performance.  Ask your shy child to imagine himself approaching a potential new friend on the playground.  What is he saying, how is he standing, how does he feel?  Do it with him, coach him a little, but let the ideas flow from him.  Encourage him to use all his senses so that he’s really there.  Let it be a fun and playful experience, and give him lots of feedback.  Mental rehearsal has been shown to be equally as effective as actual behavioral practice.

When our children encounter problems, we’re faced with wonderful opportunities to encourage a solution-focussed attitude.  Focussing on problems, we ask:  Why did you do that?  What’s wrong with you?  A solution-focussed model encourages a very different inquiry:  What can we learn from this?  What will we do next time?  What can we work on?  One of the key assumptions behind this approach is that our kids are resourceful and creative and already have ideas and skills to solve their problems.  Parents still need to be there to teach and guide, but we’re not the experts, we’re resources for learning and support.  When kids create their own plans, they’ll be most motivated to follow-through.  When we convey to them our trust in their ability to generate solutions, we help them to create a  strong, capable self-image.  Children will live up to our level of trust in them.

In order to focus on solutions, we need to shift away from the problem and define goals for change.  A parent could say, “If I were to wave my magic wand and suddenly this problem were to be solved, what would we be doing differently?  Elicit vivid descriptions of how everyone involved would be feeling and acting.  This is the positive picture of the future for which we’ll strive.  With any problem, let’s take temper outbursts for example, we know there are always exceptions, times when the problem doesn’t occur, or is at least minimized.  You might say to your daughter, “Yesterday, even though you were very angry with your brother, you kept your cool.  How did you stay so calm?  What did you tell yourself?”  Focus on what specific things she did, and therefore, can do again!  Your child could generate a list of their ideas or create a picture of themselves solving their problem.   A beanie baby could hold onto your son’s “sillies” so he would no longer be distracted from listening at school.  A special box could hold the anxious feelings that keep your daughter up before an important test.  A family that consistently searches for and reinforces creative solutions will enjoy the many benefits of positive optimism.

A very wise person once said that children need roots and wings.  Value them to let their roots grow strong.  Then, model and encourage a positive, solution-focussed attitude, and watch them soar.

Sharon Carlton is a  mother of three, and a Registered Psychologist who specializes in Marriage and Family Therapy, using a Solution-Focussed approach.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Bite of Optimism



“Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole!”

Oscar Wilde

Monday, May 16, 2011

Love is in the Air

Love is in the air
Everywhere I look around
Love is in the air
Every sight and every sound

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mother Love

Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.
- Unknown

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Joys of Motherhood

The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until the children are in bed. -Author Unknown

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Important in the Life of a Child

A hundred years from now... it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove... but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child. -Kathy Davis

Monday, May 9, 2011

First Steps

It is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings."
  -Ann Landers

Friday, May 6, 2011

Our Reactions to the Death of Osama Bin Laden


The death of Osama bin Laden marks a significant milestone in the fight against terror.  A huge event, in and of itself, it also seems to have generated a great deal of mixed emotional reactions.  As a source and instigator of great evil, yes, I am relieved and glad that he is gone.  I'm not secure that the evil will not continue however.  Tragically, his beliefs will last long after the man has passed, and unfortunately will continue to inflict terror via the hands of his followers. 
     There can be no doubt that the trauma and grief endured on 9-11 and in later tragedies needs our continued recognition, vigilance and determined efforts at healing and recovery.  My heart truly goes out to the far too many people who's lives were irreprepably altered.  I must admit, though, that I was really taken aback by the scenes of ecstatic celebration that I watched on tv:  joy in revenge and retribution.  A quiet and thankful expression of relief that justice was served seems to make sense, but the reactions looked more like a nation winning the World Cup.
     Instead, could we focus more on comforting those who were hurt, diplomatically finding solutions to our differences and recognizing our common humanity? These quotes say it better than I ever could:

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” unknown
“Look at your own reaction this morning.
Was there even a hint of vengefulness or gladness at Osama bin Laden’s death? If so, that is a real problem. Whatever suffering he may have experienced cannot reverse even one moment of the suffering he caused. If you believe his death is a form of compensation, you are deluded.
There has been an outpouring of misdirected jubilation, as if a contest had been won. Nothing has been won. Unlike winning a sporting event, this doesn’t mean that our team has triumphed. Far from it. There is only one team and it is us.” Susan Piver

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Making Choices

The trail starts here, where you stand right now, but where it goes next is up to you.  Do you take the easy, well-worn path, follow the footprints of those who have traveled before you?  Keep on with same old, same old?  Do you go off-road, and forge a new way forward, full of adventure, but risking dangers of the known and uncertainty?  Do you just pull up a comfy piece of grass, sit out and watch the other hikers go by?  Time out?  The wonderful thing is, maybe you get to do some of everything.  Maybe you get to change your mind and take another route if you don't like the scenery on the first path you choose.  Maybe you get to turn around completely and start over.  Maybe you've lost your compass and you just don't know which way to turn, so sitting out and chilling out is the best option.  It's all about choices, learning from your choices, and, here's the best part....... always being able to make new choices! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Make a New Ending


 “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Maria Robinson