10.31.2013

My husband has just begun using hear aids...one in each ear. A friend of ours had them as well, with "no luck." Our caring friend curiously asked how we were doing with them..."were they working?
I said, "Yes! About a 20% improvement!" 
To which he replied, "Only 20% huh?"

I wasn't surprised by this...for most of us, 20% improvement in anything is overlooked and minimized; we don't see that as a victory, and we should.
If I bring up my math grade, increase my marathon time, or lift more weight, by 20%...we would clearly see this as huge success. By scientific measure, anything over 5% is considered "significant."

If your child tantrums less in the evening by 20%, or your partner hears you more often, touches you more sweetly, by 20%, recognize the great progress!
For most of us, even 5% movement is energy, effort and a mindful channeling of a desire to change and improve. It's often the breaking of inertia. 
Ten minutes around the block is better than NO minutes.
Recognize your small steps and recognize it in others.



10.30.2013

Boobies Bracelet Against the School Rules

School Wants to Take 'Boobies' Bracelet Fight to Supreme Court Kat Stoeffel

Can you imagine Antonin Scalia saying “boobies” over and over and over? If one Pennsylvania school gets its way, you won’t have to imagine it. The Easton Area School District board voted 7-1 last night to take its ban on breast cancer charity bracelets that say “I heart boobies"I to the Supreme Court, the AP reports. In August, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the school could not ban these bracelets categorically, because they are “not plainly lewd and because they comment on a social issue.” The school rule was challenged in 2010 by teenagers Brianna Hawk and Kayla Martinez (with help from the ACLU), who testified that they merely hoped to raise breast cancer awareness at their school — and, presumably, write the best college essay ever.

10.29.2013


10.25.2013

What do kids really want?

 
The Top 10 Things Children Really Want Their Parents To Do With Them December 29 by Erin Kurt

What do you think matters most to your children? You driving them to lessons and practices, or is it the smile and hug you greet them with after school? If you guessed the latter, you are correct.
Sixteen years of teaching and giving the same assignment every Mother’s Day has led me to the exact same conclusion. You see, every Mother’s Day I would ask my students to give me advice on being a mother. They were to think about things their mother or guardian did for or with them that made them feel happy or loved. The classroom would go silent as the students wrote intensely for longer than they had ever written before. Often smiles would appear on their faces as they reflected on the happy experiences they were remembering. After reading their responses I would add to my list all the ideas they mentioned. Surprisingly, many of the responses were the same. Year after year, in every country I taught, and in every type of demographic, the students were saying the same things and had the same message: It’s the small things that their mothers did that meant the most and that they remembered.
Many moms today feel as if they are not good mothers unless they are racing around, shuttling their children from lessons, to practices and back to lessons again. I’ve had mothers tell me that they want to give their children every opportunity they did not have. While this thinking might bring the mother some comfort, it really does not do the same for their child who is potentially feeling overextended, stressed and tired.
After speaking endlessly about this topic with my students, it became clear to me that children today are involved in too many activities and are in turn becoming less in touch with themselves and their families. In addition, my students told me they really wished for more time to “just play”. Of course many of them enjoy their extra curricular activities, but it is not necessary they said to be allowed to do everything. What they enjoyed most, and what made their hearts happiest was when their mothers did simple things for or with them.
Here is a list of the top ten things students around the world said they remembered and loved most about their mothers.
  1. Come into my bedroom at night, tuck me in and sing me a song. Also tell me stories about when you were little.
  2. Give me hugs and kisses and sit and talk with me privately.
  3. Spend quality time just with me, not with my brothers and sisters around.
  4. Give me nutritious food so I can grow up healthy.
  5. At dinner talk about what we could do together on the weekend.
  6. At night talk to me about about anything; love, school, family etc.
  7. Let me play outside a lot.
  8. Cuddle under a blanket and watch our favorite TV show together.
  9. Discipline me. It makes me feel like you care.
  10. Leave special messages in my desk or lunch bag.
Children are incredibly wise and tend to see the world more simply than we do. Perhaps it is time we start taking their advice. Maybe we would all feel a little less stressed and be satisfied with the fact that doing little things really is… good enough.
Want some advice on what to stop saying to your kids and what to say instead? Try this article 5 Things To Stop Saying to Your Kids and What to Say Instead

10.24.2013

What does "emotionally unavailable" mean anyway?


"My ___________ is emotionally unavailable."
 or
"I know I'm emotionally unavailable."

     What does this mean, anyway? I often hear a client report this about themselves or their partner; it seems like an honest self-disclosure, or a revealing piece of an insight into why someone is displeased with their relationship.
     But, in reality, there's very little to do with this description. Upon further exploration, what I usually find is that a spouse is experiencing the other as closed-minded or rigid to new input. 
     If our mate "shuts down," walks away, or sits there silently, we feel ignored and unheard. In relationship terminology, this is called "stonewalling," and it creates a deep sense of loneliness.
     At the heart of this accusation (which sounds and feels a lot like, "you are emotionally retarded!") is really a much more meaningful, "I want to be closer to you."

     A  better comment to your lover is "I feel unheard. Even if we don't agree, I need to see that you are present for my experience." This will be met with more love and responsiveness than "you are emotionally unavailable."
     For the gal or guy who believes they suffer from this "condition" of unavailability, here's a healthy way to frame and resolve your firewall, aka as lack of emotion. 

 "I'd like to have a wider range of emotion. I want to feel your joy. I want to feel your suffering. I want to hear you better."

10.23.2013

Spilled Hot Coffee at McDonalds...And The Real Story

Documentary about McDonalds and the 

The elderly woman who became a punchline had 16% of her body covered in burns and McDonalds had ignored 700 earlier complaints about excessively hot drinks

  • Stella Liebeck was 79-years-old in 1992 when she was in her grandson's parked car and spilled coffee on her lap
  • She stayed in the hospital for a week while doctors treated her third-degree burns and they feared she would not survive
  • A jury eventually awarded her $2.9million and the case gained national attention- even though the final sum she was paid is still unknown
  • Her lawyers argued that McDonalds had to lower the temperature of their coffee from their standard 180 to 190 degree setting
By Meghan Keneally
|

Overlooked details in the infamous lawsuit that won an elderly woman was awarded $2.86million after spilling a cup of scalding McDonalds coffee on herself have been revealed in a re-examination of the case.
Stella Liebeck's lawsuit was turned into a punch-line as many news outlets overlooked the critical facts of the case including the nearly 700 other complaints that McDonalds had received about their hot coffee.
A new video produced by Retro Reports shows the graphic photos of the third-degree burns that then-79-year-old Liebeck received on her groin, saying that after viewing the physical damage that she underwent they decided to give her a hefty sum. 

Victim: Stella Liebeck was 79-years-old when she suffered third-degree burns to her groin after spilling a cup of scalding coffee on herself while sitting in a parked car



10.22.2013

The mental illness monsters: Artist visualizes what illnesses would look like if they were mythical creatures


  • Toby Allen says the monsters are not meant to make light of the conditions
  • He hopes that by giving them a physical form, he will make them seem more beatable - also hopes they will reduce stigma around mental illness
By Emma Innes
|

Depression has often been described as the black dog, but now one artist has taken a very different approach in visualising mental illness.
Toby Allen, a Cornish artist, has imagined what eight common mental illnesses would look like if they were monsters.
He drew what he believed anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, social anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, paranoia and dissociative identity disorder would look like as monsters.
Mr Allen's Depression monster is designed as one that floats around endlessly with its eyes covered to hide itself from the world. This monster wraps its liquid tail around its victim to share its depression with them
Mr Allen's Depression monster is designed as one that floats around endlessly with its eyes covered to hide itself from the world. This monster wraps its liquid tail around its victim to share its depression with them

Mr Allen said: ‘The artwork is not at all intended to make light of these conditions but instead is intended to give these intangible mental illnesses some substance and make them appear more beatable as physical entities.’
He told Suvudo he hopes the drawings will help to reduce the stigma around mental illness and that they will help bring an element of humour and understanding to the conditions.
Mr Allen says he started by designing the Anxiety monster as anxiety is something familiar to him meaning he found the design came naturally.
He says he designed the monster to be small enough to sit on the victim's shoulder and whisper things in their ear.
He explained that he made the monster a dark colour to reflect the oppressive feeling he associates with anxiety.
His Social Anxiety monster has pale anaemic-looking skin because it spends most of its life underground.
Mr Allen says he started by designing the Anxiety monster as anxiety is something familiar to him meaning he found the design came naturally
Mr Allen says he started by designing the Anxiety monster as anxiety is something familiar to him meaning he found the design came naturally

The Avoidant Personality Disorder monster is similar to the Social Anxiety monster except that it prefers to live above ground, mainly hiding in trees. Mr Allen designed this monster with leaf-like wings to act as camouflage so it can hide from people
The Avoidant Personality Disorder monster is similar to the Social Anxiety monster except that it prefers to live above ground, mainly hiding in trees. Mr Allen designed this monster with leaf-like wings to act as camouflage so it can hide from people

Mr Allen also drew the monster with hard plates that act as a means of defence.
He says that the Avoidant Personality Disorder monster is similar to the Social Anxiety monster except that it prefers to live above ground, mainly hiding in trees.
He designed this monster with leaf-like wings to act as camouflage so it can hide from people around it.
The Borderline Personality Disorder monster Mr Allen describes as 'the most delicate but perhaps the most sinister of monsters'.
Mr Allen's Schizophrenia monster is a 'vile creature' that manipulates its victims - it also uses hallucinogenic gases to control and influence others
Mr Allen's Schizophrenia monster is a 'vile creature' that manipulates its victims - it also uses hallucinogenic gases to control and influence others

Mr Allen's Dissociative Identity Disorder monster is able to alter its form into whatever it likes - it can change its physical form as well as taking on different personas
Mr Allen's Dissociative Identity Disorder monster is able to alter its form into whatever it likes - it can change its physical form as well as taking on different personas

These creatures, he says, gather in swarms around their victims to heighten their emotions.
He designed this monster as made almost entirely of ice so that it is clear and invisible.
Mr Allen's Schizophrenia monster is a 'vile creature' that manipulates its victims - it also uses hallucinogenic gases to control and influence others.
The Depression monster is designed as one that floats around endlessly with its eyes covered to hide itself from the world.
The Borderline Personality Disorder monster Mr Allen describes as 'the most delicate but perhaps the most sinister of monsters'
The Borderline Personality Disorder monster Mr Allen describes as 'the most delicate but perhaps the most sinister of monsters'

The Social Anxiety monster has pale anaemic-looking skin because it spends most of its life underground
The Social Anxiety monster has pale anaemic-looking skin because it spends most of its life underground

This monster wraps its liquid tail around its victim to share its depression with them.
At the same time, it also absorbs the victim's positive energy.
Mr Allen's Dissociative Identity Disorder monster is able to alter its form into whatever it likes - it can change its physical form as well as taking on different personas.
Finally, the Paranoia monster has long ears which it can use as radar to look for dangerous activity.
The Paranoia monster has long ears which it can use as radar to look for dangerous activity
The Paranoia monster has long ears which it can use as radar to look for dangerous activity

However, in reality, Mr Allen has designed the ears so that they are actually useless as they have curled cartilage and thick fur that confuses and muffles noise.
Mr Allen told Suvodu: ‘I have received so many wonderful messages from people who have one or many of the disorders I have drawn, each telling me how much the work means to them and how It has helped them to think about their condition in a different or more positive way.
‘It is such a joy to hear from people who really appreciate all the hard work that has gone into the project and I also received many requests from people that want me to draw their own “monster”.’
For more information about mental illness, visit www.mind.org.uk

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2449864/Artist-Toby-Allen-imagines-mental-illness-monsters.html

10.20.2013

habits...





"I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.”
― Warren Buffett

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
- Aristotle

10.19.2013

Cliches That Actually Mean Something?


look out window

These 10 Cliches May Sum Up Everything You Need To Know About Life


The Huffington Post  |  By Posted:


Universally feared and loathed by any writer who's taken a Fiction 101 class, cliches are, by definition, phrases so overused that they've become virtually meaningless. We tend to dismiss these groan-inducing turns of phrase as hackneyed and outdated, and often for good reason.
But while the value of many of the most cliched proverbs and idioms is undeniably questionable ("Familiarity breeds contempt" and "No pain, no gain," for starters), others have stood the test of time because they do reveal certain universal truths about human nature.
Here are 10 pieces of time-worn folk wisdom that can still tell us something important about who we are.
"People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
We've all used (or at least heard) the "people in glass houses" idiom to describe someone who criticizes others for faults that they themselves possess. We may call it hypocrisy, but it's actually a common defense mechanism: What we reject in others is precisely what we reject in ourselves. It's what life coach Sharon Lamm calls "You spot it, you got it" syndrome.
The cliche is also supported by Freudian psychoanalysis. In 1890, Freud first outlined his theory of psychological projection, which suggests that we unconsciously reject our own "unacceptable" habits and behaviors by ascribing them to people and objects outside of ourselves.
"Look not to the faults of others, nor to their omissions and commissions," the Buddha once advised. "But rather look to your own acts, to what you have done and left undone."
"Laughter is the best medicine."
happiness
The healing powers of laughter are no joke. Small studies have linked laughter with lower stress levels, reduced blood sugar levels in those with diabetes and improved sleep quality.
Regularly cracking up can even help you to live longer. In a 2008 WebMD survey of 100 centenarians, laughter was the third-most important aspect of healthy aging: 88 percent of those who lived past the age of 100 said laughter and having a sense of humor were "very important" to aging well.
"The early bird catches the worm."
early bird worm
Although there are many cases of wildly successful night owls, research has linked rising early with success and positive personality traits. One study found that college students who identified as morning people had significantly higher average GPAs than those who liked to stay up late (3.5 vs. 2.5), and a Harvard biologist found that early risers are more likely to have proactive personality traits, Forbes reports. Many of the world's most influential CEOs say that they wake up by 6 a.m. (which we wouldn't necessarily recommend, unless you're hitting the hay by 10 p.m.), proving that, as Benjamin Franklin famously said, "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." 
read More Here

10.18.2013

Waldorf Harvest Festival Carlsbad 10.26.13

I will be at the La Leche League booth.

10.17.2013

Suicides and the Golden Gate Bridge

Op-Ed

The suicide magnet that is the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco's iconic bridge continues to be the only major international suicide landmark without a barrier.


Golden Gate Bridge
A record 10 people jumped to their deaths from the
Golden Gate Bridge last month. Some have called for
a larger barrier to be erected along the bridge, saying
the current four-foot wall is too easy to climb over.  
(Chip Chipman / Bloomberg)


There were 10 confirmed suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge in August. It was the most suicides in any month in the bridge's history.

Monday, Tuesday, suicide. Thursday, Friday, suicide. Sunday, Monday, suicide. Over and over, a suicide every three days.
The 10th was a 17-year-old girl from Marin County.

This information doesn't come from the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. The district considers itself the official source of all information related to the bridge — except information on suicides. The number comes from the coroner who does the autopsies.
One reason the bridge has so many suicides is its magnetic appeal. Suicide sites tend to draw despairing people to them, and the numbers show that the Golden Gate Bridge exerts a stronger pull than anywhere else.
Another reason may be the mistaken belief that jumping from the bridge results in a quick, near-certain death with no messy clean-up. In fact, 5% of jumpers survive the impact and subsequently drown, their bodies retrieved by Coast Guard crews. A handful survive — miraculously — but they usually suffer permanent physical injuries.
A third reason is because access is easy. There are parking lots at both ends of the bridge and year-round walkways for pedestrians and bicyclists. One doesn't need to procure a firearm, stockpile drugs or learn how to tie a noose. One just needs to go to the bridge and jump.
The most important reason, though, is because the existing railing is only 4 feet high. Anyone can climb over it, from a 5-year-old girl — the bridge's youngest official suicide — to people in their 80s.
In 2008, Golden Gate Bridge District officials approved the addition of a net under the bridge to prevent suicides. However, they have never approved any funding for the net's construction. They did just approve more than $25 million in construction fees for a new median barrier even though there hasn't been a fatal head-on crash on the bridge in 12 years, and only 16 since 1970. As a result, the Golden Gate Bridge continues to be the only major international suicide landmark without a barrier.
In recent years, an average of three people a month have jumped from the bridge. Imagine if three people died every month in cable car accidents in San Francisco, or in falls from the bleachers at Dodger Stadium, or in traffic collisions at an unregulated intersection in Sacramento. The problem would be fixed immediately.
Now imagine that 10 people died in one month. There would be public outrage, harsh media stories and lawsuits — but not where the Golden Gate Bridge is concerned.
The No. 1 suicide site in the world — the Golden Gate Bridge — is in our backyard and no one seems to care. We're closing in on 2,000 suicides from the bridge and there hasn't been a peep, not from the public, the bridge district, city officials.
There are those who believe that a suicide barrier won't make any difference, that if people want to kill themselves and can't do it from the bridge, they will resort to other means. Though this makes sense intuitively, it's absolutely false. Research shows that most suicidal people fixate on one means of death. If that means isn't available to them, they don't choose another means. Instead, they choose to live.
Of the small number of people who have survived jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge, nearly all have said afterward that it was the Golden Gate Bridge or nothing. They didn't have a Plan B.
A UC Berkeley professor tracked what happened to 515 people who were stopped from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Twenty-five years later, 94% of them were still alive or had died by means other than suicide. Fewer than 6% went on to kill themselves.
This suggests that nine of the 10 people who jumped last month would still be alive if the Golden Gate Bridge had a suicide deterrent. At least 68 of the 72 people who died jumping from the bridge in the last two years also would be alive.
One explanation for the recent increase in suicides is that toll collection for the bridge has been completely automated. Many potential jumpers are seen first by passing motorists. They used to inform toll collectors, who alerted the police, who in turn sometimes could prevent jumpers from making the leap. This year, when the bridge converted exclusively to FasTrak, the motorists have had no one to tell.
There is no reason for another terrible month of suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge district should reexamine its priorities and press forward on the construction of the safety net. It would forever end the association between suicide and the world's most famous suicide span.
John Bateson is executive director of John F. Kennedy University's community counseling centers and former executive director of a 24-hour crisis center in the Bay Area. He is the author of "The Final Leap: Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge."

10.16.2013

Harvest Festival, Alta Vista Gardens


I attended a harvest Festival at Alta Vista Gardens this past Saturday.
What a nice piece of property, in the heart of Vista, behind Brengle Terrace.
I enjoyed seeing friends at the Tipuana Farms booth.

The coolest thing I saw on display was Solar Sun Oven....cooking potatoes!
I'm told the flavor of solar cooked food is outstanding.
Within an hour of sun baking, the inside thermometer read 300degress...with max heat soon to reach 450.  It cooks meat beautifully, as well.
Imagine, food cooked without electricity or fossil fuels.

Remote and rural villages, often impoverished, will hopefully begin to receive some human aid with Solar Sun Food Trucks.


Check out the Sun Powered Solar Clinics for rural peoples.