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Retreat Reviews: "I thought my dreaming days were over, but since leaving my teaching job, I have started a new career and my husband and I are exploring China for two years!! Dream Positioning works for both of us as we move forward together..." -Shulah S. Retreat Participant "My wife and I attended a retreat run by Dr. Lavi years ago. Things we learned still help us keep things exciting!" -Bill and JoAnn H., previous participant

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Join Sunday's Kindness Offensive: Would You Stop to Help a Stranger?

*Photo taken by Garry Knight at March for Alternative (2011)
 Thought for the Day: I have been posting Sunday's Comic Strips for quite a while. I like sharing something lighter on Sundays. Today, however, I decided to try something a bit different & may include this type of post on some Sundays. Since all week (Motivational Monday: Do You Have What It Takes to Be A Superhero?, Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: On Life Choices, Thursday's Psychology Trivia: Are Humans Instinctively Selfish or Cooperative?, & Friday's Fabulous Finds: Everyday Heroes) we have been addressing psychology's perspective on whether people are cooperative or selfish by nature & how to foster cooperation. I thought this video was appropriate.

There has been a grassroots movement to promote random acts of kindness. This 58 second video shows a random act of kindness by someone going out of their way to help a stranger.

What would you do if you saw this happening at a busy intersection? Has something like this ever happened to you or someone you know? I'd love to hear about it.

Also, please let me know if you would like to see more posts like to join me here on a Sunday's Kindness Offensive series. Thanks in advance for your comments & suggestions.

Have a wonderful end of the weekend.

*photo credit: <a href="">garryknight</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: Nancy Griffith & Rodney Crowell: "I Still Miss Someone"

Thought for the Day: Today it is June 21st and in 8 days it will be 3 years since my brother Larry passed away. This week, an old friend of my older brother, Bill, called. She was noticeably upset. I had never met Harriet, since I had lived in Israel when she and Bill were close. Harriet had gone to a movie about James Joyce, "In Bed With Ulysses." The movie was created in 2012 by Alan Adelson and Kate Taverna, close friends of Larry and my sister-in-law, who is also a film maker. At the end of the film, Harriet noticed a credit in memory of and thanking Larry Bogdanow. She had not heard of Larry's passing. She searched online and found my blog. Moved by what I had written she tracked me down to share her condolences and tell me how moved she was by what I had written. She reminded me that Bill had died on June 25th many years ago. I realized that even though I am more than aware of how anniversaries impact on us, I was already beginning to think about both of my brothers and how I miss them.  (In case you live in the NYC area, the film will be playing at Symphony Space tomorrow at 5 PM & I plan to be there as part of remembering them.) So today,  I am also reposting this song & post in their honor. Here's what I wrote last year:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday's Fabulous Finds: Everyday Heroes

*Photo Credits
Thought for the Day: Last night I received my intern, Steph Jacovino's suggestions for today's post, but did not have time to read them. Since this week's posts have been addressing topics like: Motivational Mondays: Do You Have What It Takes to be a Superhero?, Thursday's Psychology Trivia: Wednesday's Words of Wisdom:  Are Humans Instinctively Selfish or Cooperative? & Denis Waitley & Dr. Lavi on Life Choices, Steph's assignment was to search for finds that highlight the superheroes among us who put others' needs before their own. The common theme is the joy of giving to strangers by everyday heroes.

Larry Bogdanow
This morning, I opened the 1st find & read it. It made me cry, but it also my day. I have been in a pensive mood & very busy this week. The article made me stop. Since tomorrow is the second anniversary of my brother,  Larry Bogdanow's death, I had been trying to find ways to remember him that would feel right. The post pushed the envelope & made me look back at what I wrote last year. As i did, I realized that in contrast to a year ago, I can feel not only the sorrow, but the joy when I think of my brother.  Larry was one of my heroes who gave generously of himself to others.

 If you read nothing else this weekend, take the time for "The Cab Ride I'll Never Forget." It will touch your heart & soul. The other finds are uplifting examples of everyday heroes putting others needs before their own & giving to the community.  Thanks Steph for doing a great job! I hope you enjoy these finds. Come back tomorrow for Saturday's Songs for the Soul (the 1st entry from February 2013) which I started last February in honor of my brother.

The Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget  By Kent Nerburn, from his book: Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace: Living in the Spirit and Prayer of St. Francis, posted on Zen Moments  Author Kent Nerburn tells of his most memorable experience as a taxi driver. It shows that a little bit of patience & consideration can go a long way.
By Kent Nerburn
By Kent Nerburn
Super Caden

Tiny Superheroes [Video] By Aaron Olson & Diana Bull  In four short months, Robyn Rosenberger has made over 500 children with illnesses feel like superheroes. Then she posts their stories online, & gives a face to their medical conditions.

Dwight Orchard
Toronto College Student Saves Stranger from Subway Tracks From The Star, By Niamh Scallan 
Would you jump onto train tracks to save the life of a man, whom you never met before? College student Dwight Orchard says “I had to.” Read more about his life-saving deed.

Police Officer’s Touching Gift for Girl From Yahoo! Shine, By Elise Sole We expect policemen to be our heroes when they put their lives in danger, but a California police officer went above & beyond the call of duty in a different way while responding to a report of a stolen bicycle.

Boston Marathon Winner Returns his Medal to City from The Associated Press, By Tracee Herbaugh,
Lelisa Desisa, winner of the Boston Marathon, returned his medal to the city of Boston on Sunday to remember the victims of the Boston bombing. Through a translator, he said, “sports should never be used as a battleground.”

Who are your everyday heroes? I'd love to hear about them. They may be an inspiration to my readers. Please share their stories!

*Photo Credits


Photo Policeman Above & Beyond Call of Duty Nina Sanchez/Oxnard Police Department/Facebook

Superhero Caden from Tiny Superheroes website

Boston marathon Fay Foto
Photo: Taxi Union Square 2007 by Thomas Hawk
Photo: Taxi Union Square 2007 by Thomas Hawk

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday's Psychology Trivia Answer: Are Humans Instinctively Selfish or Cooperative?

*Photos from Frits
This is a repost of an earlier Trivia question from 6/2013 with an updated photo:
Thought for the Day: Yesterday, I talked about superheroes & how to change the world. Today, Tuesday's Psychology Trivia Question asks whether people are selfish or cooperative by nature. What do you think? With so much strife, crime & greed in the news, do you think human beings are innately selfish? When given the choice to act in one's own interest or to help others, which do people choose? Read on for the answer...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Throwback Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Denis Waitley & Dr. Lavi on Life Choices

*photo by Mike Baird
Thought for the Day:  Since I am having some computer problems, I decided to do a Throwback Wednesday to post from last June. I hope you like it & have a great day!

"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or the responsibility for changing them.” Denis Waitley

"There is one more choice in life, even if we accept the conditions as they exist, we can change how we handle them." Dr. Barbara Lavi

I agree with Denis Waitley's quote. He is a bestselling author, keynote lecturer & productivity consultant on high performance human achievement. It is surely is an inspiring call to action. It suggests that as humans, we have the choice to accept the way life is or push ourselves to change the conditions if we do not like them. Although I agree with Waitley, I would take it one step further. His take feels a bit like the photo above. If you accept the conditions as they exist, it may feel as if there are only exit signs & no real choices.

I'd like to offer an additional option. Even if we accept that conditions as they exist, we can change how we handle them. In doing so, we may find alternative ways to alter them that we might not see if we simply accepted them. We don't have to just accept & tolerate them. We can make fun of them, protest against them or search for others who want to change them.  Often when people assume that the conditions are too difficult to change they simply give up & do not take steps to even try. Sharing responsibility sometimes makes it easier to dare to take action.

What conditions do you accept as they exist because you feel you are unable to take on the responsibility to change them on your own?  What helps you take action when you feel that way?

*Photo Credit
photo by Mike Baird,

creative commons by marfis75

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday's Psychology Trivia: Are Human Beings Selfish or Cooperative by Nature?

Are Human Beings                   Selfish...

                                             or cooperative by nature?

Thought for the Day: Yesterday, I talked about superheroes & how to change the world. Today, Tuesday's Psychology Trivia Question asks whether people are selfish or cooperative by nature. What do you think? With so much strife, crime & greed in the news, do you think human beings are innately selfish? When given the choice to act in one's own interest or to help others, which do people choose? Come back on Thursday for the answer.

Both amazing Illustrations By Frits
 Bottled Up
Photo credit: <a href=""></a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Ladder Photo credit: <a href=""></a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Monday, June 24, 2013

Motivational Mondays: Do You Have What It Takes To Become a Superhero?

*Photo Credit
Thought for the Day: This weekend I was fortunate to overhear a conversation between three teenage boys. They were discussing the benefits of having different super powers. They were trying to decide which super power was the most beneficial. The influx of movies about super heroes like, Superman, Man of Steel, The Amazing Spiderman & Iron Man 3, prompted the discussion. If you could choose any super power, what would it be? The question prompted me to think about what I would want & I realized I already had created my "super power," but I need your help to make it work!

Personally, the concept of having endless physical strength or the ability to fly or climb tall buildings does little for me, although I must admit that being able to fly without paying the cost of airfare or having to wait at airports is appealing! The ability to make a difference in the world to help others is  what makes a superhero in my eyes. When I wrote my book, helping others accomplish their dreams, from wildest dreams to the simplest ones, was my objective. Having discovered & created techniques that enabled people to reach their dreams while working as a psychologist was what motivated me to write & self publish my book, The Wake Up and Dream Challenge.

After I thought I had completed the book, I realized that I wanted to do more. That was when I decided to feature 21 nonprofit organizations in the book that help people accomplish their dreams. These organizations & their founders are real superheroes. They do things like rehabilitate wounded warriors, Higher Ground, rebuild communities after hurricanes & other disasters, New York Says Thank You, fight prejudice, Eliminate Prejudice & teach blind athletes to compete in judo, the Blind Judo Foundation, to name just a few.  Their stories offer examples of ways to help people accomplish their dreams at any age regardless of their physical, emotional or financial handicaps.

If you want, you too can become a superhero, you can. By purchasing the book you can help one of these organizations help others while learning how to accomplish your own dreams.  I hope you will take the time to read about the nonprofit organizations on my website before purchasing a copy of the book on Then, when you purchase a copy you can donate half of the profits to a specific nonprofit & become a superhero. Thanks in advance for taking the time & for your help!

* Photo credit: <a href="">Rob React</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday's Comic Strips: Charlie Brown's Take On "One Day At A Time"

*Photo credit

Thought for the Day: I doubt that Alcoholics Anonymous developed the concept of "One Day at a Time" with Charlie Brown's philosophy in mind, but I like the way it makes fun of the human tendency to worry & takes it to a different level. As a psychologist, I help people confront their anxiety & worries every day. I usually advise people to skip the worry & dread & focus on constructive problem solving tasks to address their concerns. This week, in my private practice,  I helped some of my highly creative clients understand & handle their anxiety. Some creatives obsess about all the possible negative outcomes to interpret & predict the events in their lives. This type of creative process is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it can lead to amazing ideas for creative writing. However, it can also lead to isolation, increased anxiety & excessive worry when taken too literally. Other creative clients who look at life through a comic lens are able to find a way to exaggerate & laugh at all the their situations. Instead of worrying about all the negative possibilities, laughter makes their worries smaller & more manageable. Charles Schultz was a master at making fun of our human insecurities.  His legacy continues to help us laugh at ourselves. Have a great Sunday!

*Photo from
http-/   Charles Schulz

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: Brad Paisley Singing "He Didn't Have to Be"

Thought for Today:  Tomorrow is  Father's Day. Often we neglect the step-dads who filled in for their step-children day in, day out as the dad they didn't have to be. They are like the beautiful shining light in the above photo. Many children of divorce or who's fathers have passed away are afraid that it is disloyal to their "biological" fathers to give them any love, respect or gratitude. Often they don't seem to notice or appreciate that constant light they have received from their step-fathers until they are grown & have children of their own. I decided to make this e-card & play a song for them.

Friday, June 21, 2013

#FF Fri's Fab Finds: 3 Yr Old & Teen Heroes, Autism-Friendly Haircuts, Championing Disabilities, & A Medical Miracle

Thought for the Day: I don't know about you, but I am very glad today is Friday. It is amazing how much I rely on my computer to get things done. On Wednesday, my computer screen went blank. It had been acting up, but it's an older Mac & seems to keep on running despite it's quirkiness. This time I had a hunch that the charger had stopped working. Luckily, I had completed my Wednesdays Words of Wisdom on fatherhood before it died. I had a busy day with clients but during my only break, I was looking forward to getting some exercise. Tuesday night I arrived at my health club after work only to find that they were closed due to a power outage. I had been in New York City on Monday, so I was not a happy camper when I realized I had to go get my computer checked out instead. I won't go into the details, but last night after a trip to the library & some work on a borrowed computer,  I was finally able to get back onto my computer.

My new team of interns really saved the day! Yesterday I edited & posted a wonderful guest post by Claire Freeman looking at the Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy from a different perspective. Last night, I received an e-mail from another new intern, Steph Jacovino, who has been helping find great articles for Friday's Fabulous Finds. This was her second week helping out & she aced the task! All but one of the finds are thanks to her work. I had a couple more, but will post them next week. You will be hearing more about my Dream Team of interns soon! I am so fortunate to have them helping me. Here are this week's finds:

Jameson Kessler, 3-Year-Old Indiana Boy, Donates Bone Marrow to Sister Samantha, 1, To Save Her Life The Huffington Post By Ron Dicker A 3 year old boy from Indiana volunteered to donate bone marrow to save his 1-year-old sister’s life. This boy, who calls himself, “Marrow Man,” says he is “going to make her feel better, & then I’m going to save her when she’s in trouble.” This young boy is a true superhero. (Video & text)
Nicole Kelly Facebook

Nicole Kelly, Born with One Arm, Wins Miss Iowa By Eliza Murphy ABC News Nicole Kelly is certainly an inspiration. She was crowed the 72nd titleholder of Miss Iowa, & she did it all with only one arm. This January, she will compete for the title of Miss America. To learn more about her click on the title of this find. (text)

Teenager’s Inspiring Father’s Day Billboard by This is not your average Father’s Day story. Kiana Deane, 16, designed a Los Angeles billboard asking fathers to “step up” this Father’s Day. Kiana, who grew up in foster care, asks all fathers to be a parent, especially to young daughters. (Video)

Snip-Its tries to make haircuts easier for children with autism By Mari-Jane Williams A new salon in Washington has opened, which allows children with autism to get quick, professional hair-cuts without the sensory overload that a normal hair salon can bring. (Text)

How One Dad Inspires Teenagers to Make 33,000 Burritos for the Homeless What started off as a lesson in humility became a life-changing charity. When two parents asked their children to feed the homeless one morning, they never knew it would turn into a non-profit organization, feeding over thirty thousand hungry stomachs. (Video & Text)

Toddler Hears dad's Voice for the First Time By Staff at Charlotte News Watch a video of a toddler who thanks to a new medical procedure hears his father's voice for the 1st time. (video)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Sandy Hook Revisited: Where Were You Last December 14?

Thought for the Day: As I mentioned, I have a new Dream Team of Interns helping me this summer. As I begin training them in the various tasks connected to my social media & event planning for my book, I have had them read my blog. I asked for their Input. They suggested Throwback Tuesdays & Thursdays as a way to showcase some of my past posts & revisit some of the events that I have written about before. Claire Freeman, my Human Resource Intern, who is also a psychology student, offered to write a piece for today. I was going to re-post one of my stories as well. When she said she had some personal experiences, which she could share, I encouraged her to write it. It was not until later that day when she forwarded me her story, that I understood why she had volunteered. Although I edited it, this is her story & I think you will appreciate it. I am fortunate to have Claire as a member of my Dream Team. Her sensitivity & concern for her camper & his family shine through. Here’s her guest post:

It was 2 PM on just another Friday afternoon In December. My hardest final was four hours away. Before making the trek from my dorm to a conference room to study for finals, I got a text from one of my friends. She wrote, "My school is in a lock down. I don't know what happened, but I'm okay." I brushed this off, thinking a lock down was not a big deal since at my high school lock down drills were routine. I met my friends, plugged headphones into my computer, & started studying. My only worry was how hard It would be to ace my research methods exam.

At around 3:30, I took a break. I opened Facebook to find a frantic message from my friend, "An armed man has opened fire in a classroom at the Sandy Hook Elementary School!" She & I had worked together at a day camp in Redding, CT for the past 4 years. My friend was in lock down at Newtown High School where she is a student. She also forwarded a link to a news website.  I watched in horror as one of my campers described what had happened on a news clip. I began counting how many of my campers went to Sandy Hook Elementary School. I asked my friend if they were okay.  My heart sank when she wrote back, "All but one are accounted for."  That camper was the son of one of the camp staff. His mother was the music & drama counselor. Not only was she was like a mother to all the campers, but she was also a maternal figure for the counselors. As the anxiety-filled hours crept by, I could not concentrate on my studies. At about 5:30, my friend sent me a three-word text, “He passed away.” In disbelief, I stared in shock at the words. I could not move.  

Somehow I forced myself to take my exam & drove home, but I could not keep my mind off my camper, their family, & the other victims. The next month felt like a bad dream. My fellow counselors & I met at one of the schools in Newtown to discuss what we could do for the family. Over the next few weeks we met, talked, went to vigils & attended our camper’s funeral. Driving through the center of Newtown was eerie. The sidewalks were lined with flowers & teddy bear memorials. This small quaint town was filled with camera crews & news teams from across the country & around the world. The entire town was in shock & mourning.

It has been six months since December 14th 2012. Camera crews have packed up & gone home. A stoic kind of a peace, or should I say a new normalcy, has been restored to Newtown. People go on with their day-to-day activities. There are soccer games, dance recitals & school graduations, but the events of 12/14 are still in the back of everyone's minds. The town has not really moved on, they are just trying to cope with what happened. Life goes on for me as well, but it has changed me. I still think about him & that day, which made me want to write about it on Dr. Lavi's blog.  Gun control has become a prominent issue, however this is not what I choose to focus on. Instead I want to keep my camper's memory alive. Although I will never forget this tragic day, I want to always remember how he thrived in life. He was such a sweet, energetic little boy who loved to sing Beatles' songs. He always made everyone smile & laugh. I hope you too will always remember the 14th of December. When you do, take a moment, hug your loved ones & remind yourself to live every moment to the fullest.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: On Fatherhood

Thought for the Day: I decided to do more for fathers this week & made this short video clip using photos I found for Sunday's photo montage & quotes on fatherhood. I wanted to give the photos better exposure! Do you have any favorite quotes about fatherhood? Please share them. They may show up in another post. Have a great day!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Motivational Mondays: 5 Ways to Jump Start Your Week

*Photofrom Creative Commons
Here's a Repost from last June. Hope you are enjoying the summer!
Thought for the Day: Somehow weekends always seem to pass too quickly & Mondays arrive sooner than we expect. i choose this photo of brightly colored Fiesta® Dinnerware coffee cups for this post because they hold the key to some of my tips on how to get motivated & jump start your work week. I'm sharing some of my tips based on psychology research, which i won't share here, but would be happy to share later if you would like some references. I would also love to hear your tips as well. Feel free to post a comment with your best tips.

 Tip 1) Add color to your Mondays. I find this to be helpful especially on rainy or stormy Mondays when the weather puts an additional damper on everyone's mood. It can start by choosing a colorful mug for your coffee. I love my bright red coffee mugs for almost any day, but especially find them helpful on dreary days. (The coffee in the mug also helps!) I also tend to choose my most colorful outfits for rainy days. It lifts my mood & tends to do the same for people who I run into who often comment on my colorful outfit. Try it & see what happens!

Tip 2) Add some uplifting music to get you going on Mondays. Radio stations know this trick. If you are a songwriter, you may know that publishing companies are always looking for uplifting up beat songs. Although we all love a good ballad, Monday mornings call for some upbeat music. Pay attention & you will find that morning radio shows play almost exclusively upbeat songs. So turn your radio on or make an uplifting playlist to start your workweek. (Some of my posts from Saturday's Songs for the Soul may help you find some Monday morning music.)
Tip 3) While you are listening to that upbeat music why not dance? Get some exercise. Move to the beat even if it's just for a few minutes, it will improve your mood & make you feel more enthusiastic about getting started.
Tip 4) Spend some time on Sunday or Monday planning some fun activities for the rest of the week to look forward to. Make a date with a friend for lunch or coffee. Choose a movie to see or a museum to visit on a week night or for Friday. Make a plan to connect with a friend that you haven't been in touch with for a while via the phone, facebook or skype. Looking forward to activities over the course of the week will also boost your mood.

Tip 5) Make sure you are finding ways to make your work enjoyable. If you are unhappy with what you are doing at work, you won't feel like starting the week. First, come up with some ideas of things you would like to get involved in at work. Then, speak with your manager & see how you can enhance your experiences at work.  Most managers will encourage workers who have creative suggestions.

What helps you get motivated on Mondays? I hope reading my Motivational Mondays posts every week helps brighten the start of your week as well!  

Coffee Cups
Photo from

Colorful shirts

D Sharon Pruitt

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Sunday: Photo Montage, Freud on Fatherhood & a Funny Video

*Photos from Creative commons

Thought for the Day: For Father's Day, I found some wonderful photos of fathers with their children & a quote from Sigmund Freud. Last year I posted a question for all my readers & gave my answer. The question was, "What is or was your most special moment you had with your dad?

Which photo from the above montage do you like the best? It's hard for me to choose, but I love the one in the center. Was Freud right? Is a father's protection the strongest need a child has? Are there other needs, like encouragement to explore the world? For all the fathers, have a Happy Father's Day!

I was ready to post this & found a pretty funny Father's Day mashup video on Huffington Post called Dad Fails, so I decided to share it with you. Call it the Sunday Comic Strip part of the post.

Surfing lesson photo credit: <a href="">mikebaird</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Dad Swinging Girl in the Air in the air photo by D Sharon Pruitt photo credit: <a href="">© 2006-2013 Pink Sherbet Photography</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Father Tossing daughter in the air D Sharon Pruitt  photo credit: <a href="">© 2006-2013 Pink Sherbet Photography</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Newborn Baby in Father's hands photo credit: <a href="">rumpleteaser</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Father & son batting practice photo credit: <a href="">mikebaird</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

On Dad's shoulder photo credit: <a href="">mikebaird</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: A Musical Feast: "Take Five" with a World Beat

Take a Bite of this Musical Feast 
Image credit:

Thought for the Day: Today's musical selection is a discovery that came from my online social networks. Last week on Saturday I posted a very funny rap remix of Mr Rogers. I don't post very often on a Facebook group from Bellaire High School in Texas where I went to school, but somehow I felt people in the group would like it. One of the members of the group, Jim Simpson, liked it. He shared a link to this rendition of “Take Five,” written by Paul Desmond & made famous by The Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1959. The jazz instrumental has been performed by countless great musicians, but this one is like no other I've ever heard.

Brubeck Room at Wilton Public Library

Before he died last year, Brubeck called this innovative cover by The Sachal Studios Orchestra, based in Lahore, Pakistan, the “most interesting” version he had ever heard. Brubeck lived in Wilton CT & donated a wonderful  listening room to the Wilton Public Library. I have had the pleasure of seeing multiple concerts & movie screenings in this beautiful room. If you are in CT it is well worth visiting, catching a concert or renting for a reasonable fee. Social networking brought you music from Pakistan via Texas to here in Connecticut & out to wherever you are in the world via this post. If we learned to communicate to resolve world conflicts as well as we do about music perhaps we could bring world peace.

If you have an unusual musical cover or an inspirational piece of music, please feel free to share it with me. Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 14, 2013

#FF Friday's Fab Finds: Cyberparenting, Royal Tweetsters, Mark Zuckerburg, Philanthropy & The New Yorker Cartoons

Thought for the Day: I am excited to let you know that I have a new Dream Team of interns who are starting to help me with my blog & other activities connected to my book. Today, I had the pleasure of reviewing leads for #FF Friday's Fabulous Finds from my new team member, Steph, a rising Junior at Pace University studying Applied Psychology, with minors in Sociology & Criminal Justice.(There will be more about Steph & the rest of the new team on my newsletter soon.) I combined some of the posts she found with some I found over the week. In time, my interns may guest post or co-write posts with me.

Today, in conjunction with the week's theme about the impact of online social communities, there are a few posts that show some of the wonderful things that social media can make possible & even how the 85 year old Queen of England is realizing that Twitter can help the monarchy's ailing brand. There's a touching profile & video of an 8 year old philanthropist & a project also with a video raising money for a documentary film about the Comics of The New Yorker Magazine. Here's the fabulous finds Stephanie & I have for you today:

Cyberparenting and the Risk of T.M.I  Here's an article by Pamela Paul from the NY Times, on May 3, 2013. Does being friends with your children on Facebook lead to T.M.I (Too Much Information)? Or is it safer to be friends with them, & bare the consequences?

The Royal Family
Corinne Purtill's article for the Globalpost Press and Guide: The Queen’s Tweets: English Royal Family Embraces Social Media appeared on June 9, 2013. The English Royal Family has acquired a twitter handle, as well as one dedicated to the princes & their families. The Royal Family is trying to appear “like normal people.” They want to rebrand the royal family & keep the monarchy alive. One wonders if they actually compose the royal tweets or it they have a royal tweetster, the modern equivalent of a royal jester!

Mark Zuckerburg Facebook Founder

Mark Zuckerburg announced that  Facebook (is) Encouraging Organ Donations. CNN writer, Steve Almasy, reported  about new Facebook applications that will allow users to share their willingness to be organ donors, support medical organizations, & learn more about organ donations.


Sunny Skyz Happy News
On June 10, SunnySky shared an inspiring story, Eight-year-old raises $1200 for paralyzed man’s physical therapy sessions, by Sarah Mervosh of An eight year old has raised over $1200 for 21-year-old Luka Da Cruz’s physical therapy sessions after he was shot & paralyzed last year. She did not meet him until recently. Her positive generous outlook will touch your heart (video & article).

Very Semi-Serious by Leah Wolchok and Davina Pardo is a project with 14 days left to reach their goal. On my Sunday's Comic Strip Posts & other posts I have written about the healing power of humor.  If you love the cartoons in The New Yorker Magazine, you will want to help make this offbeat documentary about humor, art & the genius of the New Yorker cartoon happen. They are accepting donations from $1 up. 

In case you missed Motivational Monday's  Post: A Twist: A Psychologist Needs Your Help, "We Need to Talk!" I really would like your input to help me improve this blog & make sure it is informative & useful for you. Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions.

Have a wonderful weekend! I hope you will come back for Saturday's Songs for the Soul & Sunday's Comic Strips.

Mark Zuckerberg photo by Guillaume Paumier from Wikipedia
Guillaume Paumier, CC-BY.

The Royal Family
photo credit: <a href="">Jon's pics</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a> 

New Yorker from Kickstart Campaign

Sunny Skyz Happy News from

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday's Psychology Trivia Answer: Does Facebook Change Us for Better or for Worse?

Does Facebook Change Our Personality, Make Us Happier, More Outgoing? *Photos

Thought for the Day: This week the blog has been exploring the impact of online "community living" on our work, lives, & relationships. Yesterday's Words of Wisdom brought renowned psychologist, Howard Gardner's view on online communities. On Monday, I asked for help from the people behind over 43,000 page views to understand what they would like to see here on my blog. (If you missed the post, I hope you will visit, since I really need some help!(A Twist: A Psychologist Needs Your Help, "We Need to Talk.") On Tuesday's Psychology trivia, I asked this psychology trivia question:
            Facebook & Facebook profiles, photos & posts have been found to change our personality by:
                   a) Predicting a couple's happiness
                   b) Contributing to breakups of relationships
                   c) Impacting on Self Affirmation
                   d) Increasing narcissism
                   e) Increasing extroversion
                   f) all of the above
                   g) b), d), & e)
     Now, it's time for the answer. Drum roll please! The answer is f., Facebook (and other social networking sites) have been found to impact on users in both positive & negative ways. Although the negative findings like option b) strain on marriages, option d) increases in narcissistic tendencies & an exaggerated sense of option e) self-importance among teens, get more publicity, there are studies showing positive effects of participating in online communities as well. According to a study reported by Reuters there appears to be a correlation between the number of Facebook "friends" & the size of some parts of the brain. Could online social networking change our brains? Some studies seem to indicate that more extroverted people post more often & are happier than those who post less often. Is not clear yet, if extroversion, increased size of the brain or nacissism come first & lead to being active on virtual communities or increased social networking leads to option e) increased extroversion & d) narcissism.
     An article by TARA PARKER-POPE, Does Facebook Turn People Into Narcissists? in The Well Column reports the findings of a CT study. The study found that frequent Facebook users tended to be more open & less worried about privacy. They therefore do not think that all those who post frequently are narcissists.  Lynne Kelly, director of the school of communication at the University of Hartford & one of the study’s authors, believes, “It’s a huge oversimplification to say Facebook is for narcissists.” She believes that sharing information on facebook is a way to maintain & develop relationships. Privacy concerns which need to be addressed may keep some people from sharing & using online communities. 
      Catalina L. Toma from the University of Wisconsin & Jeffrey T. Hancock from Cornell University found Facebook profiles are (c.) self-affirming in that they enhance users’ need for self-worth & self-integrity. They also found that often promoting a Facebook profile helps people feel better about themselves "after receiving a blow to the ego, in an unconscious effort to repair their perceptions of self-worth." 
     In  Can You See How Happy We Are? Facebook Images and Relationship Satisfaction results of a study by Laura R. Saslow, University of California; Amy Muise,  University of Toronto, Emily A. Impett & Matt Dubin  Claremont Graduate University were cited. They found that couples who posted pictures of both members of the couple in their profile pictures on Facebook, reported (a) "feeling more satisfied with their relationships & closer to their partners" than people who did not share joint photos on their individual profiles. They also found that "on days when they felt more satisfied with their relationships, they were more likely to share relationship relevant information on Facebook."   
     It seems to me that the jury is still out on how Facebook (& social networking) impacts on our lives & relationships. It can be detrimental, beneficial or neutral depending on how you choose to use the communities. Online connections can develop into offline relationships. Relationships can be maintained & enhanced or severed & hurtful in "virtual" online or in "real" offline life. What seems to be clear, however, is that virtual communities are growing in all age groups & are here to stay for better or for worse. My suggestion is that we should learn how to use online communities for social good, since the potential benefits seem worth it.  
     What do you think? Do the benefits outweigh the risks? How can we enhance the benefits & reduce the negatives of online communities?  
Facebook logo (top right)
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Photo Painted girl
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'Makeup Design for Film & Television - Final Projects'

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Psychologist Howard Gardner on Online Communities

Thought for the Day: This week I am wondering about how social media impacts on our lives & personalities (Motivational Monday: A Twist: Psychologist Needs Your Help, We need To Talk!" & Tuesday's Psychology Trivia Question: Does Facebook Change Personality?). Therefore, Wednesday's Words of Wisdom address these questions as well. Today's quote: “The biggest communities in which young people now reside are online communities,” comes from developmental psychologist, Howard Gardner.  A community is a unified group of individuals that share a common interest, location or characteristics. Gardner was right when he said it, but, his quote already needs to be updated. The demographics of online communities are increasingly populated by people of all ages not just the "young." In a comprehensive analysis by Pingdom in 2012:
  • 55% of Twitter users are 35 or older.
  • 63% of Pinterest users are 35 or older.
  • 65% of Facebook users are 35 or older.
  • 79% of LinkedIn users are 35 or older.
 My version of Garner's quote would be: “The biggest communities we live in today are online communities.”

**Howard Gardner, Contemporary Psychologist
Howard Gardner was born on July 11, 1943. Most notably known for his theory of multiple intelligences, Gardner was Professor of Cognition & Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. His theory of multiple intelligences describes how humans learn & process information in seven independent & different ways as opposed to a singular general IQ factor.

Dr. Gardner's  multiple achievements earned him awards for his contributions to psychology & education. In 1981, he was the recipient of a MacArthur Prize Fellowship. He became the first American to receive the Grawemeyer Award in Education in 1991. He was selected by Foreign Policy & Prospect magazines as one of the top 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world in the years 2005 and 2008. In 2011 he was the recipient of the Prince of Asturias Award in Social Sciences.
*Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Since virtual communities are becoming increasingly important, psychologists & all professionals are studying how to communicate effectively online. It is a vast uncharted territory & we all have a great deal to learn. The largest online communities are sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, & LinkedIn, however blogs, like this one, are not only an alternative interactive newspapers, they are also online communities where one can learn about topics of interest, & share thoughts, theories & observations about their common interests. It is truly a "brave new world" we are all exploring. We can meet & stay in touch with people from across the street or around the world without leaving home

What online communities do you belong to? Do you feel they enhance or complicate your life? What do you like or dislike about living in a world filled with online communities? How do you feel about sharing online? Would you consider skype, e-mail or online therapy sessions?

*Photo from
**Photo from a great article about Garners on Harvard's website:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday's Psychology Trivia: Does Facebook Change Personality?

*Photos from
Thought for the Day: I had a busy day yesterday & posted my Motivational Monday post late last night. This morning I had a wonderful comment from a psychologist in Australia responding to my request for help. It only shows that online, it may never be too late to post somewhere in the world! I hope you will take a peek at Monday's post since I need some help as I try to understand how to make my posts suit your needs & interests better. In keeping with my attempt to understand how social media impacts on my readers & our modern world my trivia question relates to how Facebook impacts on our lives & personalities. How does your profile reflect on you, your personality & your relationships? What do you think? Here's the question:

            Facebook & Facebook profiles, photos & posts have been found to change our personality by:
                   a) Predicting a couple's happiness
                   b) Contributing to breakups of relationships
                   c) Impacting on Self Affirmation
                   d) Increasing narcissism
                   e) Increasing extroversion
                   f) all of the above
                   g) b), d), & e)

What do you think the answer is? I hope you will come back on Thursday for the answer & my reflection on the answer.


Man (top left)
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Woman (bottom right)
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Woman Taking Photos (Right top)
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Couple (bottom left)
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Facebook (top)
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Monday, June 10, 2013

Motivational Mondays: A Twist: A Psychologist Needs Your Help, "We need to Talk!"

 Thought for the Day: As Comedienne, Joan Rivers says, "We need to talk."  After all, a blog is a conversation, though often it feels like a one sided conversation. In the office, I'm often on the listening side of the couch. I spend my life listening to people and acting as a catalyst to help them live meaningful lives. On the blog, I do all the talking, and often wonder is anyone listening?

Despite having close to 5,000 page views a month, it often still feels like I am writing into a vast anonymous blogosphere. What do these clicks mean? Where do they come from? Who are the people behind the over 43,000 page views since I started blogging a little under a year & a half ago? According to Google analytics, the majority of page views come from the USA followed by Russia, Ireland, UK, Germany, France, Canada, India, & Australia. Many of you have found me through Twitter @WakeUpDreamNow, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest & Google+. Most of you a silent. So, today, I need your help! I want you to do the talking!

**Photo credit found on
I'm conducting a small survey. It's Motivational Monday & this is an experiment of sorts. I want to hear from you! I would like to see if everyone who clicks on this Monday morning's post, will be motivated enough to leave a comment. Please take two minutes & drop a comment.

It's easy! What should you say? Tell me how you found my blog, which of my daily prompts do you like best, or just introduce yourself. Be sure to leave a link to your blog if you have one!

Your comments will help me offer the best material I can to suit your needs & interests. All ideas & suggestions are welcome here! Thanks in advance for your input!

*photo from
'introspection' http-/

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday's Comic Strips: Psychology Experiment: How Smart Is Your Right Foot?

*Photos from

Thought for the Day: Here's a funny neurospychology experiment for you to try. Do you control your right foot? You may be surprised!

*Photos from

Have a great weekend!

*Photos from
'How Smart Is Your Right Foot?' http-/