Add to Flipboard Magazine.
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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sneak Peek Monday: Somewhere on Amazon dot com, Skies R Blue, & A Free Ebook Will Help All Your Dreams Come True

Sneak Peek at #FreeWakeUpAndDream Challenge Offer
Thought for the Day: Here's a Sneak Peek to give you a taste of what's in store for you over the next few days.The photo above is one of the ads.
     Here's one of the tweets:
Somewhere on Amazon dot com Skies R Blue, & an E-book Will Help Make All Your Dreams Come True
In conjunction with the #FREEWakeUpAndDream Challenge download, my team of interns & I have been preparing some funny tweets, posts, & photos. It is our version of a modern day #BurmaShave sign.The link to download a copy of the book is not active yet, but once it is, you will be able to download a copy to your computer or kindle for free. The promotion will begin on Sunday, August 4th & last till Tuesday, August 6th. So don't wait too long & download your copy as soon as possible. Please share, tweet, e-mail your friends about this offer. If you like the book, please post a comment on Amazon's site, it will help the book & all the nonprofits featured in the book! Thanks in advance. I will return to the regular format of the blog once the promotion is over & will share the results of the promotion as well.
    I hope you will enjoy this campaign. Feel free to share your modern #BurmaShave ideas, too!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Saturday and Sunday's Songs for the Soul: "Imagine" Playing for Change

Thought for the Day: I've had a very busy weekend so today I am posting for Saturday & Sunday! I am bringing a wonderful recording which is part of the Playing for Change project. The organization records the same song with street musician from around the world & then mixes the performances together. It is truly a worldwide effort to connect the world via music & creativity. The proceeds from the sales go to music programs around the world. The song I chose is John Lennon's "Imagine." Hear it like you have never heard the song before & imagine the possibilities for change. It is helping keep Lennon's Dream fro peace alive.
The free e-book download of The Wake Up and Dream Challenge is a part of a similar endeavor to help change the world one person at a time by helping them reach their dreams while helping 21 Dream Nonprofit organizations help others reach their dreams. It is just a week away so come back to find out how to download my book for Free.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday's Fabulous Finds: Giving While Living: Taylor Swift, Jacob Karam, Bethany Hamilton & Chuck Feeney

Thought for the Day: This week, the blog focused on the therapeutic benefit of books, in preparation of our FREE E-BOOK GIVEAWAY starting next weekend! This weeks finds show people giving while living. The celebrities, Jacob Karam, University of Memphis quarterback, Taylor Swift, singer songwriter, Bethany Hamilton, soul surfer, & Chuck Feeney, philanthropist, could be simply focusing on themselves & enjoying their success. However, they are going out of their way giving freely of their time & money to help others. Next week, be sure to take advantage of my gift to you & download a copy of The Wake Up and Dream Challenge for free on Amazon. You do not need to have a Kindle to take advantage of this offer. Please share this gift with all your friends.

Photo via U Memphis website
Jacob Karam, Memphis Quarterback, Plays Duet With 11-Year-Old [Video]  The first post proves that a little bit of time can go a long way. A University of Memphis quarterback truly passed on some joy to a young girl in the city’s St. Jude's Children’s Hospital through their love and musical talent.

Meeting Taylor Swift Is Dream Come True This month, country star Taylor Swift has been using her fame to spread music & happiness to children all across North America on her RED Tour. But, this one youngster got a dream come true when she got to meet her idol in the Vancouver leg of the tour.

Swift also made news recently by leaving a restaurant owner a $500 tip, as well as tickets to her tour for the owner’s eleven-year-old autistic son. Read more about that here. It is refreshing to see a wholesome celebrity using her fame to bring joy, rather than mayhem.

Photo via Fennel Photography
The Man Who Gave Away $7.5 Billion This man has spent almost all of his adult life secretly giving away to charities, & actually inspired Bill & Melinda Gates to set up the Gates Foundation. You know you have reached a great point in your life when you are inspiring one of the world’s wealthiest men.

Image via Jarvis Gray
Soul Surfing epitomizes how our lives can be. When Bethany Hamilton lost her arm while surfing, she not only became a muse, but a source of inspiration for screenwriter Kara Holden. If you do nothing else today, read this post. It can change your thinking about life.

This week, be sure to keep an eye out for posts about our free book deal, starting the first weekend in August! And let us know what you think about this week’s Friday’s Fabulous Finds. We always love to hear your opinions!

Photo Credits:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday's Psychology Trivia Answer: Can You Read Your Way To Mental Health?

Thought for the Day: when I first posted this article I was waiting for my car to be towed, today I'm still chugging along with the help of my cell phone and computers at public libraries to keep up with all my social media and blogging. At least my car is working! Here's the answer to the trivia question. What books have helped you with your mental health. Tomorrow in my Fabulous Finds I'll add some books that I recommend to my clients. Have a great day!

Thought for the Day: As I sit in my car waiting for AAA to come help me, I realized that I could work on my post from my iPhone. I can also call AAA, call a friend, or do other work from this amazing device. Perhaps my trivia question should have been: "Can you phone your way to mental health?" I doubt there's been any research on it yet but I will check and let you know! Has your cell phone helped your mental health? I'd love to hear your stories!
     Tuesday's psychology trivia question was:

             True or False: You can read your way to mental health.

The answer is true.  Bibliotherapy, i.e., prescribing selected books to read about the presenting problem is a common practice among psychologists & psychotherapists. I often recommend selected reading as an adjunct to therapy. Intuitively, I know it helps. Surprisingly, there has not been much research on the effectiveness of this technique. However, in a small but significant percentage of cases, in the UK bibliotherapy reduced symptoms of prospective clients waiting to be seen for an initial psychotherapy evaluation. By the time of their scheduled 1st appointment, they no longer choose to seek additional treatment. This does not actually prove that reading a book can cure a psychological problem, however, it seems to help relieve some people's stress for the time being. More research is needed before people can assume that just reading a book will cure them. If you would like to read more about this study take a look at "Bibliotherapy: Reading Your Way to Mental Health"  from The Wall Street Journal (2007) by Kevin Heliker.

Stay tuned for an important announcement soon about how you will be able to download my book on Amazon for FREE for a limited time only. I know it can help you & your friends improve your mental health, too! You will not need to have a Kindle device to take advantage of this offer.

iPhone therapy helped me pass the time & I was able to prepare everything but the photo by the time AAA arrive! Thanks Apple for inventing this "therapeutic" device. 

Photo Credit:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Why We Read - William Nicholson

*Photo Credit

Thought for the Day: “We read to know that we are not alone.”  William Nicholson
Nicholson surely knows how to write books & screenplays, like Gladiator & Les Miserables, that draw the reader or viewer of the movie in, share the full spectrum of human emotions & let them know they are not alone. You cannot view a film like the recent screen version of Les Miserables & not feel the emotions of the characters so powerfully performed by Anne Hathaway & Hugh Jackman.

William Nicholson is a British playwright & novelist born in 1948. He has been nominated for two Academy Awards. His plays for television which include Shadowlands & Life Story, both won the BAFTA Best Television Drama award. His first play, an adaptation of Shadowlands for the stage, was Evening Standard Best Play of 1990, & went on to a Tony Award winning run on Broadway. He was nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay of the film version, which was directed by Richard Attenborough. The movie Gladiator, starring Joachim Phoenix & Russell Crowe, based on Nicholson's screenplay, won the Oscar for Best Movie in 2000. In 2012, the movie adaptation of the musical Les Miserable was nominated for 8 Academy Awarrds. Anne Hathaway won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

 *Photo Credit

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Flashback Tuesday's Psychology Trivia: Can You Read Your Way To Mental Health?

Thought for the Day: Today's post is coming from my trusty iphone which is filling in for my ailing computer.  I decided to bring back an earlier post in case you missed it. Here is Tuesday's Psychology Trivia Question:

True or False: You can read your way to mental health.

What do you think?   Has a book improved your mental health? If so, what book was it? I'd ove to hear about it. Come back on Thursday to hear the answer to today's trivia question.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Motivational Mondays: HELP, Lessons From The Beatles

Thought for the Day: Last week I attended YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! Deconstructing The Early Beatles presented by Beatles expert Scott Frieman at the Jacob Burns Film Center and Media Arts La in Pleasantville NY.  Frieman travels around the country presenting little known facts about & clips of The Beatles. He is a composer, producer & educator who combines his skills to create Deconstructing The Beatles, entertaining multimedia presentations about the composition & production techniques of the Beatles. It was a wonderful presentation which I would encourage you to attend if he appears in your neck of the woods. What did I learn that applies to me & you? And why did I call today's Motivational Mondays Post: Help?

It's ironic that psychologists who spend their lives dedicated to helping others rarely ask for help publicly. To be honest, when I began thinking about writing this post, I was reluctant to ask for my readers' help. Before I do, I'd like to go back to the lecture & one of the lessons that stood out for me. 

Since the lecture had to do with the early years of the Beatles, it reminded me of something great hit songwriters always emphasized in workshops I organized for several years. The Beatles first great hits all revolved around personal pronouns: "She Loves You, " "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," "And I Love Her," "When I Saw Her Standing There," " Please Please Me (Like I Please You), " & "If I Gave My Heart to You." These songs are lyrical as well as melodic classics. The words may seem simple, however, they are ingenious. Part of the reason for Beatle Mania in the 60's was their abundant use of personal pronouns. When you listen to these songs, it is easy to imagine that the song is addressing you personally. Any song that pulls the audience in in this way, has a chance to become a hit. "I Will Always Love You," "Baby It's You" are just two of many hits by other artists that used this hit formula. The Beatles used it repeatedly early on in their career. 

A second lesson I learned from Mr. Frieman, was about the ambitiousness of the Beatles. They chose not to tour America until they had a Number One hit on the Billboard Charts in America. Although they had several hits in the UK before coming to the States, they waited. Once they did, the rest is history & Beatle Mania took over the USA.

You may be wondering what all this has to do with Psychology, my blog & asking for help. As some of you who have been following my blog know, I have reluctantly (see my post: Why We have a Love/Hate Relationship With Free Offers) begun preparing for a "Free" promotion of my e-book version of The Wake Up and Dream Challenge on By pushing myself to develop a promotion, I have discovered a few things about myself, & the complexities of & the book publishing process. When I 1st published my book, I innocently assumed that although there were 22 versions (one for each of 21 nonprofit organizations that benefit from the book & one that benefits all 21 NPOs), that every sale would impact on the book's overall ranking. I also thought that when someone wrote a review on one version of the book it would appear on all the other 21 versions. I was wrong! In preparing for the promotion, I tried to get Amazon to make that happen with no success till a few days ago.

Given the number of Self Help/Psychology books there are, you may be as surprised as I was to find out that one version of my book had reached the rank of 56 on Amazon Kindle in one category!  It was only when I discovered my rank as an author on Amazon that I inadvertently found a way to "link" all of my books. I had been using the wrong language to explain to the people on Amazon that all 22 versions were exactly the same, only how the royalties are shared is different. I am excited to let you know that by calling them "editions" they were able in a couple of days to link all of my books. 

Here's where you & my lessons from the Beatles early years come in! I need your HELP! Here's what you can do to help me:

1) If you have read my book, take a moment & go to my book's page on Amazon & write a review. It will no longer be buried & fail to show up on all of my editions pages. 

2) If you have not read my book, this might be a good time to follow this blog, either as a follower, by RSS feed (see the bottom of the blog to set it up), or via e-mail (see a prompt on the right). By following the blog, you will know when the free promotion will be starting.  It will only run for a few days. 

3) When the free promotion starts, please make everyone you know aware of this opportunity. You do not need to own a Kindle, Amazon has a free cloud reader you can download to your computer & grab a copy of the book. 

I guess I am not as ambitious as The Beatles were, but with your help, my book can move from #56 to a best selling book on Amazon's Kindle site (Today I don't see that number anymore, but I changed the categories & may need to switch them back!). The more people who read the book & recommend it to their friends, the more people I will be able to help & the more money will be donated to the amazing nonprofit organizations I am helping.

Photo Credits: 
Help: http-/ 
Heart of hearts: http-/

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday's Comic Strips: Don't Be Caught Sleeping Like This Cat!

Thought for the Day: "The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up." - Paul Valery
*Photo Credit
I had not seen this quote before I wrote my book, but really love it with the photo of the cat on the left. As my Dream Team of interns help me prepare a great promotion on, you need to stay awake & ready to take advantage of the free e-book promotion as soon as it is posted. We still have a lot of work to do, but hope you will help as well by telling all your friends once the promotion is live! I really appreciate your help!
                Have a great weekend & see you next week.

*Photo credit: 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: Unfinished Song (The Movie)

This week Saturday's Songs for the Soul Invites You To Go to the Movies

Thought for the Day: Last week I went to see a wonderful film, Unfinished Song. I decided to tell you about it this week. When I took a look at the movie preview, I realized that it does not do the movie justice. All I will tell you is that the acting is outstanding & the story is heartfelt & moving. There is a balance of comedy, drama & inspiration as the characters face the challenges of life, love & loss. I'm putting the trailer here, but you may enjoy the movie more if you simply go to the theater & see it 1st. The movie is all about the power of music, singing, relationships & taking second chances. Next week I will have more information to tell you about the free promotion I will be offering, so stay tuned, you do not want to miss this opportunity. Have a wonderful weekend.

Here's what the filmakers wrote about it on
"Published on Jun 18, 2013 - "Unfinished Song" - Official Trailer

UNFINISHED SONG is the funny & uplifting story of Arthur (Terence Stamp), a curmudgeonly old soul perfectly content with sticking to his dull daily routine until his beloved wife (Vanessa Redgrave) introduces him to a spirited local singing group led by the youthful & charming Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton). This unexpected friendship & his discovery of music revitalizes Arthur's passion for new adventures & shows us all life should be celebrated at any age.

Official Site:

Director: Paul Andrew Williams

Cast: Terence Stamp, Gemma Arterton, Vanessa Redgrave , Christopher Eccleston

Writers: Paul Andrew Williams

In theaters: June 21st, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Weinstein Company"

Photo Credit:

Friday, July 19, 2013

#FF Friday's Fabulous Finds:, 911, A War Hero's Advice, & Adoption

Thought for the Day: It's Friday & time for some #FF Fabulous Finds. I like to bring a mix of great resources, inspiration, psychology & education. Today's mix does just that! There's an amazing free web & mobile service where you can ask experts all your medical & psychological questions, the story of how a 5 year old used 911 to help her mother who was choking, what a former A Bomb test pilot wanted his grandson to know, & an interesting take on adoption & birth parenting issues. I hope you enjoy the finds & have a great weekend. 

Stay tuned for more information about the free e-book promotion I am preparing on I realized as I was doing preparations that my book was ranked #56 in Self Help/Dreams on the Kindle store!

Here are this week's finds:

1) Over a month ago, I was invited to join a new Interactive Health Network. Since I don't have a lot of time, I actually ignored the invitation until recently. When I finally did, I realized it was truly is a fabulous find. HealthTap is the world’s leading Interactive Health Network that provides patients free access to thousands of the best U.S. licensed doctors through all web channels & mobile devices. As a member of HealthTap’s Medical Expert Network, I am able help millions of people searching for my expertise online, help new patients learn about me, & better serve my existing clients through my convenient & free state-of-the-art Virtual Practice. I find it a fascinating & rewarding way to connect to people from around the country who want to improve their mental health. To join my HealthTap professional referral network or follow me as a patient visit my Virtual Practice:

2) Cloe Olson, 5 year old, Calls 911 Thinks Daddy is on the Other End  (Video)  of the line. Cloe remembered a talk by police & fire department & called 911 when her mother began choking. Take a look & be sure to share the 911 video jingle with your kids. You never know when they may need to call 911. (from Huffington Post Parents)

3) Clyde Shields, Chief A-Bomb Test Pilot, Sends Unforgettable Letter To Grandson
The Huffington Post  |  By What did the chief pilot for the A Bomb want his grandson to know & what can we learn from his experiences?
4) Lost And Found: A Birthmother's Secret Son, originally posted on 2013-05-15-NYCwoman150.jpg  by Claire Berman  (I found this on Huff Post Post 50) I have worked with both adults & children struggling with the challenges that adoption brings. This article shares both sides of the issue in an unusual way.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Throwback Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Marcus Aurelius on Inner Strength on 9/11

*Photo by Michael Baird

*Marcus Aurelius
Thought for the Day: You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. -Marcus Aurelius
As we remember 9/11, I decide that this post was appropriate. My computer is still ailing but this post may offer some solace.
Today's quote is a testament to the fact that although everything changes, some things never change. Our world continues to struggle with war, famine & strife. Wise men like Marcus Aurelius pondered the same questions we ask today. He found strength in recognizing the power of the mind & the peace that nature can give us when we face challenges. We are all like innocent children in contrast to the power of the ocean. We cannot move the ocean but we can change ourselves. Our minds can give us the strength to change our lives.

Marcus Aurelius was the last of the "Five Good Emperors" of the Roman Empire from 161AD to his death in 180 AD. He is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers. His reign was embroiled in 2 decades of continuous warfare & an internal revolt in the east. Marcus Aurelius' work Meditations, written in Greek, continues to be revered as a philosophy of service & duty. He describes ways to find & stay calm & sane in the midst of war & conflicts by using nature as an inspirational guide. The above quote which stands the test of time makes it clear why he was often referred to as Marcus "the wise." It seems very similar to the "Serenity Prayer" used in Alcoholics Anonymous: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time."

* Marcus Aurelius photo from on Wikipedia Commons
{{Information |Description ={{fr|1= Portrait de Marc-Aurèle. Marbre, œuvre romaine, 161-180 apr. JC.}} |Source ={{own}} |Author =Jean-Pol GRANDMONT |Date = |Permission = |other_versions = }

Girl at beach

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday's Special Edition: When Not Guilty Does Not Mean Innocent: A Nation Struggles With the Zimmerman Acquittal

Thought for the Day: I could not simply write a Motivational Monday post today as if the George Zimmerman acquittal had not happened. I must admit I thought about it & delayed writing till after 10 AM today. However, I felt compelled to share some thoughts on the trial from a psychological & personal perspective. Many people across the United States are struggling with mixed feelings about the decision in Florida that George Zimmerman was found to be not guilty of murder or manslaughter. The jury decided that they could not determine beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman was not acting in self defense when he killed 17 year old, unarmed Trayvon Martin. Although the jury may have had no choice other than the not guilty decision, it simply feels wrong. It makes me fearful this decision will reinforce the vigilante-like actions & racially profiling tendencies which appear to have motivated Zimmerman to go after Trayvon in the first place. Even if Zimmerman feared for his life at the second before he pulled the trigger, as a society are we reinforcing behaviors that increase the chance for violence, prejudice & injustice? What do you think? How can the system be improved? Did it work properly or is it flawed?

There have been protests around the nation calling for action by the Federal Government''s Department of Justice to try Zimmerman for Civil Rights violations. The government has reopened their investigation in light of the protests. Our president, Barack Obama, acknowledged the strong feelings this case has evoked, "but we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son." 

Both my parents were lawyers who taught me to respect laws & the legal system on which our nation was founded. They were also political activists, who ingrained in me a responsible citizen's obligation to do whatever I could, legally, to change a law if I felt it was unjust. Lawyers tend to see things in black & white. Psychologists, on the other hand, see all the shades of grey, in addition to the rest of the colors of the rainbow. In complicated situations like this one, the restraint of accepting the verdict as the law of the land, helps me. However, it does not stop me or any citizen in this great nation from speaking out to reform laws & procedures which may lead to unjust policies.

I believe that we all must acknowledge, reflect & speak up about our feelings. If we feel things are wrong, we can protest & search for creative ways to change the current reality in our society. Over the weekend I received an e-mail from Sharon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence. She wrote: 

"Today, we are all Trayvon Martin’s mother. Trayvon, a 17-year- old victim of gun violence, was sadly one of the children and teens shot and killed every 3 hours and 15 minutes in America. Gun violence is a public health crisis of epidemic proportions in our country and, unchecked by Congress and many state legislatures, continues to spiral out of control. The lack of regulation of guns in America is a grave danger to all of our children....It is time for the 80 million mothers of America to stand our ground and demand new, common-sense gun laws and policies that will protect our children and honor the tragic shooting deaths of youths like Trayvon Martin. Collectively, we can use our votes and our voices to change policies and laws that will help keep American children out of the line of fire."
One way to do something about how you are feeling about the verdict is to Join Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America TODAY

There are other things which you can do in response to the feelings this case has conjured up. If you feel that racial profiling played a part in this tragedy, get involved in programs that teach tolerance of differences & work to eliminate prejudice. I have written in the past about programs & organizations that are working towards this goal (see recent series of posts on bullying: Part IPart IIPart III,Part IV). Get involved & advocate for their inclusion in our schools & communities. 

I would love to hear your thought about the decision & any ideas you have for reform of the legal system, jury selection you may have.

Photo of Trayvon Martin from Moms Demand Action

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday's Comic Strips: Free Knowledge & Public Libraries

Thought for the Day: One of my favorite places in the world has always been public libraries. It is where I learned to love reading. Summer reading programs always remind me of the great time I had reading as many books as I could to get simple prizes. Today's Comic Strip is a reminder that public libraries are one of the great free things we still have in America. They offer performances, lectures, workshops for people looking for work, computer access, video rentals, children's programming & more! Need a great free place to spend an afternoon with your kids on a hot summer day? Your public library is always a great place to visit & instill a love of reading! The knowledge is there for the taking just bring your "container."

Did a public library or a librarian turn you on to reading as a child or help you find a job when you were unemployed? I'd love to hear about it. Feel free to share it here, it may give a librarian an idea for a program in their town!

Have a great Sunday!

Photo Credit:
http-/ Free Knowledge

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: Can You Guess the Musical "Free" Association: A Coke on a Hilltop to the Rocky Mountains to The Beatles

Thought for the Day: This week has been dedicated to the psychology of free & our love/hate relationship with free offers. My ambivalence about offering my e-book for a limited time for free on brought me to look at the history of advertising. When I thought about Songs for the Soul for today,  I went on a different journey. It led me to free associate to songs that brought up feelings about being free. It took me from an innovative commercial by Coca Cola set on a hilltop, to the John Denver's free spirited song, Rocky Mountain High &, finally, to "Money Can't Buy Me Love, by the Beatles. I had to leave out a few more songs that came up on my way, but wonder what songs conjure up feelings of being "free" for you. I'd love to here your selections. Enjoy the music & have a great weekend!

My Psychology Trivia answer uncovered the fact that Coca Cola was one of the 1st companies to introduce free giveaways. It reminded me that they were also at the forefront of the use of music in their marketing. The jingle in this brilliant "Hilltop" commercial (1971), "I'd Like to Give the World a Coke," felt like a flashback to the peace songs of the 60's. This memorable commercial made people associate Coca Cola with hopes for world peace & harmony. It was so successful that it was rewritten, leaving out references to Coca Cola, The song became a hit in both the US & the UK,"I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (in Perfect Harmony)" by both The New Seekers and  The Hillside Singers

In thinking about songs that give a sense of being free & in tune with the world, John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" came to mind. It certainly relays the feelings evoked when experiencing the beauty of nature, which is a free "high." It was written by John Denver and Mike Taylor about Colorado. It is one of two official state songs of Colorado. Although there was controversy for a while questioning whether there may have been references to drug induced highs, the song is a classic which rises above the controversy.
My third selection arose because I had to search for a less overused & obvious quote about things that are "free" for Words of Wisdom this week. The quote I found by Steve Jobs begins with the comment that "(His) favorite things in life don't cost money. " This part of the quote brought me to the 60's Beatles hit, "Money Can't Buy Me Love."

Stay tuned for more information soon to find out when the free download of my book will be available on

Photo Credits
Campfire: http-/
Musical notes: http-/

Friday, July 12, 2013

#FF Friday's Fabulous Finds: Free Psychology Classes, Books, & Excuses to Give

Thought for the Day: This week, the blog looked at the psychology of free offers (Why We Have a Love/Hate Relationship with Free Offers, Psychology Trivia, Steve Jobs on Time, Money & Free Offers). We did this in preparation for our free e-book giveaway of The Wake Up and Dream Challenge, by Dr. Barbara Lavi. The book teaches how to go out & capture your dreams. Often on Fridays we share fabulous finds that tell stories of people giving to others, but this week, in addition to stories about giving, we found some ways for you to capture free giveaways.

Patricia Celan, Miss B.C. Pageant Contestant
Our  first find from the The Huffington Post B.C (July 6, 2013) includes a video that shows a gift you would never expect at a beauty pageant. Immediately after beauty queens are crowned they usually walk up & down an aisle waving to fans smiling & wiping tears of joy. However, Patricia Celan who had just won the Miss B.C. Pageant did something surprisingly different to help others. See the pictures, which reveal the true inner beauty this woman portrays as she gives to a cause close to her heart.  Click here to see what she did...

Giving Blood, Giving Life By Brian Boyle  July 10, 2013
Have you ever found yourself making an excuse for why you can’t donate blood? You don’t have the time, or it makes you feel queasy. How about making excuses to donate? Here are two.

9 Free Online Psychology Classes By: David Arney
Have you ever wanted to take a psychology class at MIT, Yale or Berkeley? Would you like to learn about the psychology of happiness, new views of depression, abnormal psychology, gender differences or problems of communication? Did you ever think you could take classes like these for free? With the magic of modern technology & the generosity of many major universities, you can! Read more about these free offerings & go for it....

15 Web Sites for Finding Deals Online From Kiplinger By Cameron Huddleston,  May 2012
Ever wonder where you can find the best deals online? This easy-to-use guide can be your savior. Find the 15 best websites to shop for deals on the internet, sorted into categories for simple use.

Now, for a more personal giveaway opportunity that will definitely come in handy for those long summer days lounging at the beach. Every day, e-books are given away free on Amazon ( By simply logging online here, you can download countless books in minutes, ready to read just by connecting to the internet. You don’t have to own a kindle or a nook, you can download these books onto your computer for FREE! Check back daily to get some free books, & be sure to view The Wake Up and Dream Challenge. Free e-book promotions change daily & don’t last forever, but they are a great way to find summer reads. The Wake Up and Dream Challenge will be available for free in the next couple weeks.We will let you know in advance so that you can grab & copy & share it with your friends. More details will be announced soon!

Thanks to Dream Team Steph for helping find & prepare this post! Have a great weekend!

Photo from Creative Commons on

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday's Psychology Trivia Answer: Beer, Coke, Burma Shave & Free Offers

Thought for the Day: As a psychologist, I never thought I would be writing about beer, Coca Cola or Burma Shave advertising on my blog, but here goes! The last thing I want to promote since I help people recover from alcoholism is a beer company. However, the answer to the trivia question,
"Was Burma Shave, Coca Cola or the Anheuser Busch the 1st company to use free giveaways to promote their products?" is Anheuser Busch. Adolphus Busch was a savvy marketer who began giveaways in the 1880's. Technically speaking however, Coca Cola may have been the 1st to give coupons for sample tastings of their new product around 1893.

Burma Shave 's sign campaign came much later; however, you may enjoy the story of how they made good on their promise to send a fan to Mars when they turned in 900 empty jars of Burma Shave. I promise I will not make Burma Shave's mistake & offer you something that I will have difficulty proviing. I know my book will live up to all of your expectations. So get ready for the opportunity to grab a copy of my e-Book version of The Wake Up and Dream Challenge soon!

Here's the history of free giveaway campaigns:
According to Wikipedia, Anheuser Busch was the 1st to use a giveaway campaign starting in the 1880's & early 1890s, "Busch introduced a series of advertisements & marketing giveaways for the company, including bottle openers, calendars, corkscrews, pocketknives, postcards, & prints.[16]  Adolphus Busch pioneered the advertising technique known as the giveaway – inexpensive items like match safes or cork pulls that featured the Anheuser-Busch name or logo. The most well-known piece, the pocketknife, was used by Adolphus in place of a calling card and featured a peephole with his portrait."

Coca Cola which was 1st created in 1887 may have been the first to use couponing to give people free samples of the beverage. On a post of the Coca Cola Timeline, these promotions somewhere between 1893 & 1904. Coupons were considered an innovative tactic back then. The couponing was followed by newspaper ads & the distribution of promotional items bearing the Coca-Cola script to participating pharmacies.
 The first Burma Shave signs were put up in 1925. They remained as American landmarks until about 1963. Originally the signs did not rhyme, but were made up of four signs, each said something about the product. Travelers began requesting for the product after seeing the funny lines on the road. Sales went through the roof, & signs spread from Minnesota to the surrounding states. The company was virtually unaffected by the Great Depression due to their uplifting advertisements! 

They were not the first to make free offers, however, the sign I remember most from when I was a child was: "Free Free, a Trip to Mars, With 900, Empty Jars of BurmaShave." In a great article called, How Burma Shave Sent Frenchie to Mars,  by Cory Doctorow, I learned that this jingle was first posted in 1958. Burma Shave never expected anyone to take them seriously & send in 900 jars, but one creative druggist took them up on the offer. To collect the jars, he placed an ad & offered to pay $ 0.15 per jar (see ad below) & collected 900 jars. Imagine the reaction when he wrote to Burma Shave & asked them where to send the jars!! Burma Shave quickly found a solution to the embarrassing dilemma. Since they could not send him to Mars, they offered to send him to Moers (pronounced Mars) Germany if he would wear a space suit. He agreed & went to Mars!
I hope you liked this journey down the trivia of the psychology of advertising lane.

Photo credits:
Send Frenchie to Mars:

Wikipedia Commons
Anheuser busch Logo: A&Eagle.png
Early Coca Cola ad: 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Steve Jobs on Time, Money & Free Offers

Thought for the Day: This week we are focusing on our love/hate relationship with FREE offers. It is surprising that it is hard to find good research or quotes on this topic. This morning I had an e-mail from one of my intern, saying he had trouble & the only quote he found was a well known anonymous one, "The best things in life are free." It did not seem like the best quote to use for this post, so I set out to find a better one myself. I must admit, it was not easy. I found a few, but nothing to write home about! For example there was this quote by a model, Cindy Margolis: Makeup artists are always giving me their stuff. My favorite thing is free stuff. I'll take anything.. Then there was this one by comedienne, Aubrey Plaza: 

However, that did not seem like what I was looking for either. Finally, I found the quote featured above above by Steve Jobs: "My favorite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time." It needs no explanation & is even more powerful knowing of his valiant race against time when challenged by cancer.  He certainly used his time well. He will be remembered by his earth changing innovations & generous gifts to humanity.

Steve Jobs did not talk about free offers in any of the quotes I read. He did pay special attention to the importance of creating great innovative products which became the hallmark of Apple's success. What his words of wisdom add to my deliberations about a "Free" offer of my e-book is that any free offer must be worthy of the time someone spends taking advantage of it. Since I am sure reading my book will help you change your life, I am confident it will be a great opportunity. I know it is well worth the time you spend learning the techniques it teaches. I hope you will stay tuned & download it as soon as you can. Then, I hope you will share your comments, recommend it to your friends & encourage them to take the time to learn from my book as well. I will be sure to let you know before the campaign starts. Have a great day & spend your time wisely!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday's Psychology Trivia: Who Invented Givaway Advertising: Coca Cola, Anheuser Busch or Burma Shave??

Thought for the Day: Since I had trouble finding pure psychological research on free advertising campaigns, I searched for information on the history of advertising which led to today's trivia question. Certainly, psychology has played a large part in the advertising & marketing industry. Here's today's question:

Was Burma Shave, Coca Cola or the Anheuser Busch the 1st company to use free giveaways to promote their products?

Come back on Thursday for the answer.

Photos from WikiCommons
Set of signs promoting Burma-Shave, on U.S. Route 66.
Anheuser Busch Logo  A&Eagle.png

Monday, July 8, 2013

Motivational Mondays: Why We Have a Love/Hate Relationship with Free Offers

*Photo by Kevin Dooley on

Thought for the Day: Everyone loves a bargain. I must admit I am a yard sale addict. I cherish all the bargains I have found & recycled over the years. My finds become like family treasures. Last week we celebrated our nation's independence. The posts on the blog focused on freedom & independence: Saturday's Songs for the Soul American Pie, Don McLean & George M. Cohan, #FF Friday's Fabulous Finds on Independence & Veterans, Wednesday's Words of Wisdom:Khalil Gibran & Dr. Lavi on Freedom, & Throwback Tuesday Thank Someone Who Helped You Become Independent & Motivational Mondays Modern Parenting Parable. America is known as the "Land of the Fre," but it might also be called: The Land of the Free Offer! We seem to have a love/hate affair with free offers. In the new age of self-publishing, I have resisted giving free offers of my book, since I dedicate half of my profits to the nonprofit organizations featured in my book However, it appears to be an effective way to get the word out & may help the nonprofits as well. Therefore, I decided to consider breaking down & having a free offer. I asked one of my interns to research how to go about setting up a free campaign on

I also tried to see what other psychologists have to say about freebies. I found very little research but a slew of free offers for courses in psychology. It seems that psychologists simply believes that free offers work & have been using them in the field.

I did find an interesting article by an publisher, : Using the Psychology of Free. Slocum says that, "A free product comes with low expectations (“hey, it’s free!”) & neutral perceptions (“what’s the worst that can happen?”). If that product proves useful, expectations are exceeded & perception elevates from neutral to positive (“it’s free and it’s cool/useful/interesting, etc.”)." I actually think that free products sometimes carry negative expectation ("It's too good to be true, so I won't even take a look.") When offers are over sold, they tend to turn me off & I simply don't bother or assume they are scams. So a free offer needs to move some people from negative expectations, not just neutral ones, to a positive perceptions.

Recently, I received an e-mail from my nephew, a talented musician, with a clever use of a free offer. It went like this:
    "What if I told you there was a pill? A pill that would make all your troubles go away. A pill that would give you the intelligence of Albert Einstein, the athleticism of Michael Jordan, the charisma of Don Draper, & the ability to recall humorous quotes from popular movies. A pill that would bring you eternal youth, wealth & happiness. Would you believe me?
     Now imagine I told you that pill was FREE. And that it wasn't even a pill, at all, but a   Plushgun (My nephew is the drummer) show!
     Well, believe it, because it's happening, and it's happening this weekend:
        FREE Plushgun Summer Kickoff Show
        Saturday, June 29th at 10pm Spike Hill - 184 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn NY
       Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Well, if you don't leave the show feeling like a cross between Superman and Abraham Lincoln, I'll give you your money back, no questions asked.
       Also: SAVE THE DATE - Saturday, July 13th. Sneak preview of PREP - an indierock tragicomedy. Details forthcoming."

I loved the e-mail announcement & know the band is great (they have over 12,000 fans on Facebook who agree with me, since you may think I'm prejudiced (which I am as Matt's aunt), so I turned it into ta double tweet & sent it out for Matt:
                           from @WakeUpDreamNow
     1)WhatIfAPillEndedTroubles GaveUEinstein's IQ DonDraper's Charm &Was FREE?    
        @Plushgun Sat 6/29 10PM Spike Hill 184 Bedford Ave Brooklyn NY
      2)Sounds2Good2BTrue? If U don't LeaveFeelingLikeACrossBtween Superman & AbeLincoln, @Plushgun will give U ur money back, no questions asked.

Matt's e-mail captured both the skepticism & the love we have for free offers. With humor he encouraged people to come & have fun at the concert.

The fact that the Psychology of Free is not fully understood did not escape Mac Slocum, either. Slocum concluded that, "the equation of free + good enough = improved chance of success is often obscured by concerns over reliable revenue streams & clear business models (which is understandable since both are in short supply in the free universe)."

Although I still have a bit of atrepidation about setting up a free offer, I will be preparing one soon for you. So stay tuned if you have not purchased my book yet & would like to grab an e-book copy. How do you feel about free offers? Would you be more likely to recommend something to someone if you tried it for free or purchased it?

*Photo Credit:

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday's Comic Strips: Make Sure to Hide Your Pies

Thought for the Day: After yesterday's American Pie post, I thought this would add some humor to your weekend. Enjoy the tail end of the holiday weekend.

I was traveling & the internet connection was spotty, but here is Sunday's post. 

*Photo Credit

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: American Pie, Don McLean & George M Cohan

4th of July NYC 2014
Thought for the Day:  I have been trying to take it easy this summer & am reposting a 4th of July post from 2013 today. If you missed it last year, I hope you enjoy my selections and have a great weekend! I just added another video that I found on YouTube of Kate Smith introducing what almost became the National Anthem. We took this photo last night from a roof top in Brooklyn (Dumbo section). Happy 4th of July!

*Photo credits
Thought for the Day: Songs can capture the mood of a nation. When they do, they become classic hits. My 1st choice for today is a video which also tells the stories behind one such song. "Bye Bye Miss American Pie,"written  & performed by Don Mc Lean, captured the emotions of the troubling events spanning the 50's and the 60's. This video shares some very interesting images & explanations of the meaning behind the song that is as American as apple pie.  It is also remarkable that the song somehow is uplifting despite the difficult subject it addresses. Read on to hear the songs I picked

Friday, July 5, 2013

#FF Friday's Fabulous Finds: Celebrating Independence & Honoring Veterans

*Photo Credits
Thought for the Day: Here are some touching stories for this week. It is important to remember those who have sacrificed for our independence.  My intern, Steph Jacovino, found some wonderful posts that remind us what Independence Day is all about. She also helped prepare the image for the post (let her know what you think!)  I am fortunate to have my team of interns helping with the blog! Have a wonderful weekend!

Sad But Touching Story Found Online By Amanda (Proud Military Wife) From Marine Family Network  1/6/13  This week, while some of us are celebrating Independence Day with bonfires & barbeques, other families are wishing for their soldier to return home safely. Whether in life, or in death, our soldiers deserve to be remembered, especially on this holiday. This is for all of our fallen soldiers. We thank you for your sacrifice, so we can continue to celebrate our freedom.

Facebook Reunites Deployed Soldier’s Son with Lost “Daddy Doll”
By the Huffington Post  6/28/13
What happens when an entire Facebook community comes together to help a young boy? Last week, over 26,000 people came together online to share a photo of a lost “Daddy doll,” a stuffed figure of a deployed soldier. The doll was later reunited with its owner, young Judah Gossett. His father is currently serving his fifth tour overseas in Afghanistan.

Disney’s Madison Pettis Surprised on Talk Show [video] By Welcome Home Blog  7/9/10

Young actress, Madison Pettis, has been acting since age five. Since then, she has starred in Disney Channel shows, movies, & commercials. But the fame isn’t the only thing this young star is dedicated to. The young actress supports Trees for Troops a service that gives Christmas trees to military families and soldiers abroad. Watch the biggest surprise this teen has had in many years!

Kids sing for America: The Ultimate National Anthem [video] By Stephanie Bousquet  From Hooplaha  6/28/13 This compilation displays some of the best talent from our nation, in children from all walks of life. Definitely a must-see for anyone feeling patriotic this weekend. Great job, kids!

Marine and K-9 that Saved his Life Reunited By Walt Buteau From WPRI Eyewitness News, 6/25/13
Lance Corporal Bradley O’Keefe was reunited with the dog that saved his life. O’Keefe & Earl, the military dog, were reunited over three years after the explosion that separated the two. Now, Earl is safe at home with O’Keefe & his sister, who initiated the reunion.

*Photo Credits:
Earl from
Daddy Doll from
Madison Pettis from
Child singer from
American Airlines photo from
Airplane from

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Are You Free? Khalil Gibron & Dr. Barbara Lavi on Independence

“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.” - Khalil Gibran
"Dictators can imprison your body, but only you can imprison your spirit." - Dr. Barbara Lavi

Thought for the Day:
The above quote by Khalil Gibran, who lived from 1883 to 1931, is thought provoking & still applicable today. Gibran was a Lebanese-American artist, writer, & the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare & Lao-Tzu. He is best known for his 1923 book, The Prophet, a book of inspirational fiction, philosophical essays & poems. The quote tells us that life without freedom becomes meaningless. Are you your own dictator? Is your spirit free?

Surely, without physical freedom & independence, you cannot live life to the fullest. In our great nation, we are able to speak out against tyranny & injustice without the fear of being judged or condemned. When dictators try to take away freedom, people's thoughts & desires are forced to remain unspoken. Without physical liberty people live in a shell of fear, but thoughts cannot be taken captive without our compliance. Great leaders like Nelson Mandela, who is in critical condition in a hospital in South Africa as I write this, & Elie Wiesel are examples of the power of the human spirit to remain free even when held in physical captivity. The recent Arab spring uprising & riots in Egypt today are also signs that freedom cannot be quelled forever. Even in a free democracy, each citizen is responsible to protect their independence by keeping an open mind & free spirit. The citizens of Egypt are struggling to find leadership which will truly embrace democracy.

*Photo Credit
As a therapist, I work with people who often feel trapped in their lives & fearful that they cannot change. They are captives of inner dictators who tell them they are too old, too weak, not smart enough, or don't have the means to change their lives. I never cease to be inspired by the power of my clients to free themselves from these inner voices & live independently. Tomorrow we celebrate Independence Day. In a nation which protects our freedom & gives us the right to "life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness," we each have the obligation to keep our minds & spirits free.

On the eve of Independence Day, I leave you with a few questions to ponder: What does freedom mean to you? Are you imprisoning your spirit by fearing that you cannot change or reach your dreams? What holds you back? Are you living your life without liberty by listening to inner dictators & endangering your spirit?

I hope this July 4th will be the beginning of greater freedom & independence for all wherever you are in your lives & wherever you may live!

*Photo Credits

Cover The Prophet

Gibran Quote
photo credit: <a href="">Beverly & Pack</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Dr. Lavi Quote
photo credit: <a href="">Patrick Hoesly</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Throwback Tuesday: Thank Someone Who Helped You Become Independent

*Photo Credits

Thoughts for the Day: For today & Thursday, I'd like to share a few posts that I wrote a little over a year ago. They were written before & after a visit to my home state of Texas. As the posts reveal, I was pretty nostalgic. I even started a gratitude project for someone who helped me become who I am today.  Since this week is focused on independence & how we become independent, being from Texas played a big part in my development. For those of you who did not grow up in Texas, here's a quick history lesson. Texas was part of 6 different countries. It was even a country of it's own for a period of time. Although today is not a trivia post here's a bit of trivia many of you may not know. How did the Amusement Park Six Flags get it's name? Answer: It was started in Texas & the flags represent the six flags that flew over Texas. (In case you miss having a trivia post today: Who knows which countries Texas was part of?)

The series I'm throwing back today is called Deep In the Heart of Texas. There's Over the Rainbow Deep In the Heart of Texas. about an over the rainbow experience of a group of children; Part II: Over the Rainbow In the Winds of Texas, about my visit to a place that helped shape me;  Part III: Paying It Forward Deep In the Heart of Texas, about a chance encounter I had with a Veteran while I was in Texas; Part IV: Help Me Start A Gratitude Project Deep in the Heart of Texas,  tells the story of my visit my high school guidance counselor in Bellaire TX; & Part V: Deep In the Heart of Texas Gratitude Project Update, with the story of another person whose life & many other's lives were changed by my guidance counselor.

Who helped launch you into adulthood & independence?

*Photo Credits

Texas & US Flags
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