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Monday, February 1, 2016

Motivational Monday: Is The Key To Happiness Hiding In Your Closet

Is The Key To Happiness Hiding In Your Closet?
Thought for the Day: I never cease to be in awe of the creative process. Inspiration often comes in strange ways. Today's post proves that even mundane chores or tasks we dislike can be inspiring. I've always struggled with trying to keep my closets in order. Every few months, I get frustrated when things get disorganized and I try to rearrange things. The order lasts for a while but the disarray inevitably returns. In drawers, I can't see what I have, so when I pull things out my order becomes a mess. On shelves things never seem to fit properly. Eventually, what were neat piles start falling down. 
     Therefore, about a week ago when I saw a teaser on Facebook that said, "A video on how to organize your closets will change your life," I was intrigued and clicked to view it. This is not a post about how to organize your closets, but the 3 minute clip taught the viewer to fold clothes so that you could store them tightly stacked them so you can see every item, even in drawers. I watched and decided to try the technique.
       Now, not only can I now see all the clothes I have, I was able to consolidate things and have more room in my closets. You may be wondering, "What does cleaning and organizing a closet have to do with psychology, inspiration, motivation or happiness?" Read on and you see that the key to happiness may have be hiding in your closet. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

#FF Friday's Fabulous Finds: New Toys That Can Help Solve Some of Society's Problems

Thought for the Day: I have been neglecting my blog and decided to start posting again. Life has been busy, but I will try to make time for writing. Play is undervalued in our fast paced competitive society. Child psychologists are acutely aware of the importance of play both as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool with children. Throughout life, play is an important means of reducing stress. As I see it, today's finds may play a significant role in solving some of society's serious problems. Their impact will take time, but what children play with and how they play with one another can influence what kind of adults they become. 
       Perhaps we need some robots to solve our political problems like the one above that can put the rubic's cube together in seconds. If some of our politicians (without naming names) had played with the new lego toy, they might be less critical of differences. Do you have any suggestions of toys that might help reduce prejudice and open conversations about disabilities? Feel free to offer your ideas.

        I am personally glad to see the new Barbie dolls. Growing up, I was adamant to be called "Barbara," not Barbie. The Barbie doll image embarrassed me even as a child. Maybe they should give the dolls a few different names as well. Will these new dolls help reduce the numbers of girls worried about how they look? Or the number of women unhappy with their appearance? 
       The practical simple suggestions by a parent who is also a teacher may be helpful to you as well in disciplining your children at home. 
       Finally, as the snow from the last storm is melting, snow art with kids seems like a great way to think positively! Do you have any positive games or art projects that have helped you parent your children? I'd love it if you would share them here (photos welcome, too).

#FF Friday's Fabulous Finds:

Lego brings us the 1st figure in a wheelchair This is a great way to help children learn about disabilities and open conversations with them about how they can help one another. 

Barbie's got a new body. Hope this will help girl's develop more positive self esteem,  & reduce diagnoses of body dysmorphic disorders, anorexia and bulimia in our society: 

Here's an article with some helpful ways to discipline your children. 6 Tips from a teacher on how to disciplining children:

A creative way to think positively during snow storms from Oasis Advanced Wellness
Here's a list of ways to help your kids get published:

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Ron Clark Academy - Kids who enjoy going to school (CNN)

Here's a great initiative to bring joy and enthusiasm back into our children's lives. It reminds me more of what my experience was like at camp every summer. Those summer experiences helped me become a socially conscious person and a leader. I would love to see more programs like this around the nation in our schools. What do you think? Could school be filled with joy, music and excitement?

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday's Song for the Soul: High School Choir Gives An Impromptu Performance in a Hotel Pool

Thought for the Day: Sometimes the best experiences in life are the ones that happen by chance. In this day and age they may get recorded. Here's what happened when a The Stillwater High School Chorus from Minnesota began to sing in a hotel pool.
Have you ever sung in a great place with friends. I did it when I was just 18 in Jerusalem. We realized it was Christmas Eve and the group of Jewish kids from around the world on a leadership training course sang Christmas Carols on a public bus. The Israelis applauded our impromptu concert as well!
I hope you enjoy this and the rest of your weekend!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day Special Edition

My Mother, Ethel, in her younger days
Thought for the Day: Mother's Day wasn't the same for me for many years when I lived abroad. I left after finishing high school when I was 17 and did not live in the United States for many years. I was not a rebellious teenager, but as all teens, I did not always see eye to eye with my mother. Since Mother's Day was not celebrated nationally in May where I was living, I often forgot about the holiday. I was busy working, studying and raising my own children. Usually there was a Mother's Day celebration in my children's schools, but it did not coincide with American Mother's Day. Phone calls cost a fortune and I was not the best correspondent. I regret that I did not pay too much attention to American Mother's Day over those years. When I remembered I would wish my Mother a Happy Mother's Day, but she never seemed to mind.
     When I moved back to the Boston, my mother lived in Houston. Every Mother's Day, we would speak. Somehow, I tried to let her know how grateful I was for all she had done for me, whenever we spoke or saw each other throughout the year. It was not until after she moved to Boston that in addition to Mother's Day steak dinners and orchid corsages, which she loved,  a new Mother's Day tradition developed for me and my mother. It wasn't officially Mother's Day, but it became my personal holiday with her.
     My mother was getting older and had more and more dietary restrictions. She liked to go out, but she also enjoyed visits at her apartment in Arlington. It started with my feeling a strong desire to simply spend time with her on my birthday. Her apartment was on the bike path from Bedford where I lived which stretched to Cambridge. First, I would drop by on my bike. She would offer to take me out, but often we simply spent several hours together just enjoying each other's company. Even after I moved from Bedford, I would drive to my mother's apartment and spend time on my birthday with her. Throughout my life, she, and my grand mother were my biggest fans, even when she disagreed with me. On my birthday, I felt such immense gratitude that spending my birthday with her seemed like the perfect "Mother's Day" gift I could give to her. Every day, I miss her and wish I could share with her all the joys (and sorrows) that life has continued to bring to me and all her children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren. She would be so proud of them all. Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: The Hidden Dangers of Not Hearing Apologies

Thought for the Day: Earlier this week I reposted an article, Sorry May Be The Hardest Word In Any Languageon why learning to apologize is vital to healthy relationships. One of my readersMarĂ­a Gilbert 

noted that 
"there are some apologies that we don't hear, and yet they're the loudest." 
Maria was speaking about times when people's remorseful behavior is an attempt to apologize. However, her comment made me think about the times when someone apologizes to us, but we fail to hear them. My previous blogpost addressed the importance of owning your mistakes and apologizing, but what are the hidden dangers of not hearing apologies? The title of this post is intentionally ambiguous. In addition to the possibility of not hearing a sincere apology when it is given, it also refers to holding a grudge when apologies are not forthcoming. Both can cause serious harm to our mental health. Read on to see the hidden dangers of not hearing apologies...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Rollo May & Dr. Barbara Lavi

(Photo from Dr Rose in Bloom on Facebook)

Thought for the Day: Although it's Thursday, I saw this quote by Rollo May today and it inspired me to write some of my own words of wisdom related to Dr. May's statement. Somehow, while I am busily preparing for the start of the Passover holiday tomorrow, it struck a chord for me. Here's my interpretation:

"If we can learn to embrace our uniqueness and encourage our children to value their own uniqueness and respect it in others, the world would be a better more peaceful place." Dr Barbara Lavi

The recent news of racism on college campuses and insensitivity of some police officers to minorities saddens me. As the spring holidays of Passover and Easter approach this weekend, I hope you will find the courage to promote nonconformity, tolerance of differences and fight prejudice. Happy Holiday and hopefully, finally a happy beginning to spring.