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Friday, March 30, 2007

How to photograph a new puppy

  1. Remove film from box and load the camera.
  2. Remove the film box from the puppy's mouth and throw in the trash.
  3. Remove the puppy from the trash and brush off coffee grounds from his nose.
  4. Choose a suitable background for the puppy.
  5. Find the puppy and take the shoe from his mouth
  6. Place the puppy in the designated spot and go back to the camera
  7. Focus with one hand and fend off the puppy with the other hand.
  8. Get a tissue and clean off the nose print from the camera lens.
  9. Try to get the puppy's attention by squeaking a toy in your hand.
  10. Replace our glasses and check the camera for damage.
  11. Jump up quickly to take the puppy out the door and say, "Bad dog!"
  12. Clean up the spot on the floor.
  13. Resolve that you must teach the puppy to "sit" and "stay" tomorrow morning.

Happiness and Peace

When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.
~The Dalai Lama

Can You Remember? Boosting Your Capabilities

As we get older, one of our greatest fears is losing our memory. In fact, in a recent survey 69% of Americans expressed this fear as their number one concern.

We know that as we age we lose some of our cognitive functioning, but are there things we can do to preserve our memory?
• Exercise your mind (do things like crossword puzzles, Sudoko, or play games—anything that challenges your mind)
• Continue your education (people who continue to learn have proven to develop lower loss of cognitive functioning.
• Try something new (like learning to use a computer program, joining a book club, volunteering or traveling to a new destination).
How do these things help preserve our memory?
Learning creates new pathways and connections between our brain cells. The more connections or pathways you have the better it is for your memory function.

Are there any other things we can do to boost our memory?
• Try visualization. If you are trying to remember where you parked then try to visualize the location by something that is memorable in the area (a big tree, a sign, etc)
• Use association. Using the same example of the parking place you could look for the number posted and come up with an association. If you are parked in 4 A- think of perhaps the 4 people in your family and the grades your daughter always gets in school—A’s.
• Chunk things down. Try to break down things into smaller pieces. This is helpful if you are trying to remember a license plate number or a phone number.
• Stay active. Research indicates that those who walk 2-3 times a week have better cognitive functioning than those who do not exercise.
• Eat right. Try to eat more fish, leafy greens and foods that are rich in antioxidants like fruits and vegetables)
• Stay connected to others. People who have an active social life tend to be involved in more challenging activities and notice less cognitive decline.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

10 Tips to Enhance Your Life

1. Laugh more often
2. Remember that everyone makes mistakes
3. Manage your anger
4. Slow down and enjoy the moment
5. Do it now versus waiting
6. Let go of your guilt and shame
7. Be "grudge free"
8. Follow your dreams
9. Pick your battles carefully
10.Remember your work does not equate with your worth

and of course... play with a dog whenever possible!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Office Romances: Beware!

With employees spending more and more hours at work, co-workers often have the opportunity to build stronger relationships at work than at home. In addition the “perks of power”-- travel, fine dining, camaraderie, and unquestioned authority, can be very seductive and exciting compared to what’s waiting at home.

What are the 6 rules to remember in office romances?
• Realize there is no such thing as a secret office affair or relationship.
• Realize you only see one side of the person at work. Too often romantically involved
employees forget that people tend to act differently outside the office setting.
• Never get in a relationship with an employee before knowing more about the person. Too
often new hires date other employees without knowing the history of relationships within
the facility.
• Avoid relationships with people in your own department. If something goes wrong the
lowest person on the totem pole will suffer.
• Never finance an office romance on your expense account or allow others to use the
company budget for enhancing their love life.
• Generally the junior level person is more damaged by alliances which fail. Remember that
few romances survive one partner’s departure.

If you can’t resist an office romance…here are some helpful tips for success?
• Be prepared: Realize that co-workers may be hostile and there can be difficulties in the
workplace. Create a plan if things don’t go well in the relationship.
• Be direct: If the attraction is serious, speak directly about your interests and intentions.
Make every effort to keep your personal relationship from interfering with your work
• Maintain appropriate behaviors: Keep romantic gestures and intimacy away from
• Watch favoritism toward your partner and never bring fights to the office.
• Be professional: Continue to maintain a high level of work performance, and don’t lose
sight of your professional responsibilities.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

"Happy Landings"

Ever heard of Kokology? It is a fun little Japanese game of self discovery.
Want to try one? Here goes!

Imagine you are jumping out of a plane (come on it is just imagining). You are floating and half way down and you see the canopy of your parachute flying above you. What do you imagine below you?

1. A field of grass and a pasture filled with flowers
2. A rocky landscape

3. Wild animals with their mouths open

4. A flowing river.

Pick one quickly and don't mull this over.

Here's the Kokology version of self discovery...
1. The field of grass: You are an optimist. You see life as beautiful and might get lost in the view because it is so wonderous. Sometimes you forget to "tuck and roll."
2. You believe in the law that something will always go wrong. You might want to look at the bright side of life-- your parachute did open!
3. So the world is out to get you? You see that fate might get you, but you have a sense of humor.
4. You take things as they come. You deal with things as they arise. You seem to concern yourself with the "here and now."

So what do you think? Was this on-target?

~ Special thanks to Kokology 2 (Fireside Books) 2001.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Secret

Perhaps you’ve heard about it. Oprah’s is talking about it. Ellen is talking about it. People are talking about it. It is called “The Secret.”

What is the premise of “The Secret.”?
• It is a best selling, hard to find book that is sweeping the country. In a nutshell, it is about the “Law of Attraction.” The book contends that people’s thoughts and beliefs actually can attract things to them. For instance, if we live in negative thoughts and fear, we will see only negative things in our life. If however, we look for opportunities, are grateful, or search for positives, we will attract good things into our life. The book reports this “secret” is a concept that has been used by successful people throughout history.

Why is this a secret?
• People believe in the principal of scarcity (there isn’t enough for everyone)
• People believe they must look at what needs to be fixed vs. what is going well, or what they
can do
• People are unwilling to face their destructive and negative thoughts and beliefs.
• People do not view their own personal power to create changes.

What are the techniques of “The Secret?”
• Ask-- You are asked to clear out limiting thoughts and become aware of what you do what to bring into your life.
• Believe-- (what you believe is what you create. You need to really see this is not magical
thinking, but about actions you are making to opening up)
• Receive –act as if you will receive what you manifest. Feel the change.

So is this a reality or a hoax?
• The reviews are mixed, as you might imagine. People from all over the country are firm
believers in the concepts of “the secret,” and there are those who say it is nothing but
magical thinking and hopeful wishes.
• Some say it is just a magnificent marketing & great hype to sell a book.
• What we do know for sure is that your thoughts do create your reality.
• We do know that negative thoughts DO effect your psychological well-being
• The decision is yours, but you just might be surprised by what you can manifest.

Here’s the Challenge: Utilize the three techniques (ask, believe, receive) of “The Secret” and do a little experiment. Tomorrow morning when you awaken, before you leave your bed, imagine how you want your day to be. See different parts of your day, and see it in a positive light. Then believe you can make today just as you visualized. Then start the day and see if your day mirrors your manifestation.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Shopping or Addiction?

How would you describe the difference between “normal” shopping and an addiction?
Normal shopping is something that all of us do, but compulsive or addictive shopping is described as a behavior which is inappropriate, excessive, and out of control. It is excessive shopping in which the person becomes impulsive and that impulsiveness leads to addictive shopping (shopaholic) behavior. Many helping professionals believe this addiction has a strong emotional basis.

What are some of the signs of shopping addiction?
• Spending more than budgeted. People who have a shopping addiction make excuses for their impulsive buying, or they don’t recognize the boundaries of a budget. Some people get into financial debt, well outside their income limits.
• Buying is compulsive. This means instead of buying one pair of shoes, the person will buy 3-5 pairs of shoes at one time.
• Buying is excessive. Purchases are like binges… they are excessive and continue until the “emotional fullness” is felt.
• Hiding the problem. Shopping addicts hide their addiction by storing away the evidence in closets, car trunks, or under beds. All of the sudden a spouse may discover a $20-30,000 credit card balance or secret accounts.
• A vicious circle. Addicts buy and then return the goods, but later purchase again. What remains for the shopper is the shame, the inner blame, and the guilt.
• Relationship destruction. Excessive shopping tends to destroy relationships because of financial burdens that are placed on the couple.

Suggestions for shopping addicts?
• Admit there is a problem. The first step to making a change is taking responsibility.
• Make a budget and stick to it.
• Get rid of the credit cards. Only use cash and take a limited amount of cash each day to
maintain that budget.
• Know when it’s time to cut up the credit cards
• Get credit counseling before it’s too late.
• See a counselor to learn the basis for your impulsive buying and the basis for your
emotional purchases.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


~The Dalai Lama said, "My religion is very simple. My religion in kindness." ~

Teen Depression /Teen Suicide

A recent survey of over 900 parents reported that 90% felt they were confident they could tell if their child was suicidal or depressed. But a team of researchers from Columbia University stated that only 1/3 of all depressed teens were diagnosed by their parent, doctor or teacher.

Why is it hard to diagnosis teen depression?
Many of the symptoms of teen depression are similar to “regular changes” of teens during their adolescent years. Signals for depression include:
o Radical change in your child's identity
o Radical change in grades
o Radical change in attitude (sudden burst in anger, dangerous behaviors)
o Sudden, radical change in friends
o Loss of interest in what was previously enjoyable activities (apathy)
o Isolation from friends and family
o Increased use of drugs or alcohol

What are some imminent danger signs?
o Talking about death or wanting to die
o Suicidal thoughts, plans or fantasy
o Previous suicide attempts
o Friends who have attempted suicide
o Giving away personal possessions
o Telling a friend about suicide
o Writing a suicide note
What are some things parents can do?
o Be curious. Know what's going on in your teen's life.
o Talk openly about the deaths of friends and have a candid discussion about suicide and it's effects / consequences
o Let teens know about crisis intervention and suicide hotline
(the Peoria suicide line: TeensNeedTeens at 309.673.7373)
o Model healthy behaviors for problem solving. Teach your teen how to deal with stressful events and minimizing depression
o Ask about your teen's friends-especially what they admire or like about their friends.
o Find opportunities for group support (school programs, teen groups, etc)
o Stay involved in their lives. Keep the communication going.
o Call a licensed mental health clinician if you have any concerns

Friday, March 9, 2007

How to deter bullies

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently stated that 1/3 of students in the United States experience bullying either as a target or a perpetrator. It is estimated that bullying and violence cause 160,000 to miss one or more days of school each month.

What is the definition of bullying?
*Bullying is an aggressive behavior in which a child is targeted by repeated negative actions.
*This can include name-calling, making faces, obscene gesturing, malicious teasing, threats, rumors, physical hitting, kicking, pushing, or choking. *Victims usually feel they don’t have the power or strength to defend themselves.

What are some typical characteristics of bullies?
*They can be boys or girls… gender is not an issue, but boys typically are more physical and girls tend to be more likely to use rejection and slander.
*Bullies usually pick on others out of frustration with their own lives.
*Bullies tease their peers as a means of going along with the crowd
*Bullies sometimes suffer from depression and generally come from homes with harsh discipline and inconsistent discipline.

What can parents do to help stop bullying?
*Start early. Communication is the key – the first step is teaching your child to respect others .
*Speak out. Extinguish teasing when you see it and explain how this is inappropriate behavior.
*Teach your children how to be assertive. Encourage your children to say no when they feel uncomfortable or pressured. Teach them how to stand up for themselves without fighting or violence. Also teach them how to walk away in dangerous situations.
*Teach your children to take action if they see bullying. Teach your children to speak out if they witness bullying or to inform a teacher.
*Communicate rules and consequences. Send out a clear message that you expect your school to have consequences for bullying behaviors.
*Work with your PTA or mental health associations to develop prevention programs for school children.