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Boundaries vs. Barriers

Boundaries mark the healthy space we put in between ourselves and other people in normal daily social interaction.   We share an understanding of our boundaries with other people we encounter by giving them verbal, nonverbal and visual cues.  Shared and communicated boundaries enable us all to feel comfortable within the definitions of our particular relationships. People who do not learn to set, share and express boundaries often have problems with other people overstepping, taking advantage and literally walking all over them.   People who are reluctant or reticent to set their own boundaries often invite into their lives just the kinds of people who can be invasive, inappropriate and even abusive.  It is good to be a door-opener, but not a door mat! Some people are challenged by being unable to detect social … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blessings, Featured, gratitude, parenting advice, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips, Relationships, self confidence

Dear Mom

Dear Mom, I am so grateful you are my mom, and that you are still on the planet with us. I love you. I appreciate your wisdom, and respect your deep intuition and care. Thanks for giving me life, caring for me, walking me through the stages, getting me a toy after each of the many shots the doctor gave me. Thanks for helping me to be an individual by dressing me in cute and awkward clothes. Thanks for rescuing me from my bad dreams and night terrors. Thanks for unconditionally accepting me. Thanks for all the thousands of chats on the phone, and for still being able to give me a pep talk in a moment of adversity. Thanks for all of my birthday parties. Thanks for grandma and grandpa and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blessings, Common Ground, Featured, gratitude, parenting advice, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips, Relationships, self confidence

Gratitude; Noticing things that went right today

We tend to focus on the things that go wrong each day.  We often obsess on our plight as the victim, the recipient of such bad luck.  Did you ever stop to make a list of the things that went “right”.  It is more  mundane, less dramatic but significantly more important, and better for your soul and the souls of those that have to listen to your story.  Here is my list for today! I woke up alive and well. My MRI was negative. I found my car keys just in time My car started. My power didn’t go out. I didn’t get in an accident. I didn’t drop my cell phone in the toilet. I didn’t lose my credit cards. I have all of my appendages. My mom and dad are okay. My granddaughter called. I have enough money for today. My … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blessings, gratitude

The Young Man with the Missing Hand Part 2

We are all missing something.  Some of us are fortunate enough to know what it is and will be able to learn the lesson that lives in its place.  It must be more painful for someone to know something is missing but to not know what it is.  It must be even more painful to find out that the thing that you will soon be missing is your life.  That is my not my story for now.  The lesson that is mine to learn now is illusive and beautiful and revealing and true.  The truth has a perfect juxtaposition of joy and sadness.  I get to go on and bring more lessons to myself and others.  That is my gift. And so, I walk forward in anticipation, trepidation, hope and glory … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blessings, Common Ground, gratitude, Relationships, self confidence

The Young Man with the Missing Hand Part 1

I saw one being, my angel walking in the mall yesterday.  I was on the way in; he was on the way out.  Or was he on the way in and I was on the way out. He wore a baseball Cap and all the attire. He wore baggy pants low and had a tight logo shirt on his showing his” six pack”.  He was perfect. Perfect in every way.  He had the look.  He seemed confident, happy and perfectly content. He walked with a gait of strength. He walked proudly as if he had a left hand. His arm ended in a perfect shape, proudly displayed as if he had a hand.  I imagine he never had a hand and yet he proceeded with elegant composure, directness and determination. If … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blessings, Common Ground, Featured, gratitude, self confidence

When Things are Bad and you Have a Challenge

When things are bad or you have a challenge or even just a bad day you might tell yourself that it could always be worse.  Look for the silver linings. Try this exercise: Make a list of all the items that are silver linings and gifts from your challenge. It may seem silly. It may seem fruitless. It may be hard. Simply state your challenge and all of the challenges it creates and all of the challenges that are created by the challenges that it creates. Describe how you feel about it. Cry, if you need to, or if you haven’t in a long time. It feels good afterwards. Here’s how I did it! State your challenge out loud: “I have a right hand that will not open up by itself due to arthritic issues in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blessings, Common Ground, Featured, gratitude

Parenting our Teens; Helping them with their Stress- Part 1

This article is about how stress causes problems in our teens like self harm, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and suicide In case you don’t have time to read this, but want the information, here you go: Spend enough quality time with your teens and pre-teens so that you continue to know them and have healthy attachment through these difficult years. Have a clear view of what the parameters of “normal” are for your child, and pay attention to behaviors that call out for help. Sometimes these behaviors will seem like they are intended to alienate you, but don’t fall for it. Not being a therapist or a clinician, I see it as appropriate for me to refrain from description, diagnosis, analysis or suggested remedy for these challenges, and for the rise in their … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blessings, children's music studies, Common Ground, Featured, gratitude, Jewish Community Events, Oakland A's, parenting advice, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips, Relationships, self confidence, summer camp, teen driving

Beautiful Blessing

“Today may there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”   Mother Teresa (but perhaps the original author was St. Thérèse de Lisieux – whom Mother Teresa greatly admired).   … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blessings