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Trust is Something you Give

A clean and sober alcoholic reaches out to save a homeless alcoholic who later breaks into his house, attempts to rob him, and ends up stabbing him to death… A long time trusted  church bookkeeper is found to be stealing hundreds of thousands from the church that trusted her…. A “benevolent” man approaches a homeless mom and her children begging for money outside of a department store.  The man befriends the family, takes them inside the store, buys them all kinds of things they need, and wins their trust. During shopping spree he offers to run out for some burgers for the whole family. The naïve and innocent daughter offers to go with him and the desperate mom has a moment of ill-fated trust.  The child is later found dead, the registered … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, 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

The Problem with Losing Weight

The problem with losing weight is that under most circumstances, with the exception of illness and eating disorders, we view it as positive, even though it contains the word losing.  It is peculiar how we use words.  A similar situation is occurs with the phrase falling in love.  Aren’t we really rising to love? Falling seems so helpless. Here is how I turn losing weight into a gain that actually helps the pounds stay off. In my family there is a prevailing tendency to gain weight easily. It is in our genes, and to make matters more difficult, we are stress eaters, recreational eaters and we so often love what we shouldn’t eat. Many of us are continually putting on weight, taking it off, putting it on again, and the losing it.  It is a … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting advice, parenting help, parenting teens, parenting tips

When Someone Dies

I just came home from the funeral of a parent of former students of mine – a friend, and a member of my community.  As I arrived at the synagogue at 1:30 pm on a Friday afternoon, I found a full parking lot and the sanctuary to capacity. We all dropped what we had planned to be there to remember Barbara and support her family.  Young adults should not have to bury a parent so early in life, and a mother should not have to bury her daughter. On the way, I had called my brother in LA and left him a message, “Hey Bill, we should get together, go to a game, catch up.  How about we spend some time together soon?”  We are both busy, doing similar work in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Relationships

Some of the best advice I ever got “Feel your Feelings”

So much of what I bring here has come from and through others in my life.  Mentors, advisors, teachers, family members, friends and yes, even “teachers” I wish I hadn’t had at all. It was fall, three years ago, the beginning of my self-given sabbatical year.   I had everything: love, health, income, friends and a new professional path.  Yet, I was sad, down, full of melancholy, and a bit lost, as if something was missing.  “I shouldn’t be feeling this way…” I shared with a dear friend.  “I should be happy”, I added.  My friend explained to me the challenge with the statements I had just made.  At the moment I make the statement, “I should” or “I shouldn’t”, I create a wall which stops the feeling abruptly, and buries it.  … Read entire article »

Filed under: Relationships

Perfectionism—An issue for all ages–or 80/20!

I was one of those kids who would be upset that an A- was not an A or A+.  I feel frustrated and annoyed at a 780 credit score, balking at the things that I “got marked down for”.  (780 is a very high score, sufficient for any loan) I used to get up each morning with the intention of having a “perfect day”, of never saying “the wrong thing”, showing up on time, and doing it all right. When I got home, I asked myself the question “Was I the best and did I do the best I could do today in all situations? How close to perfect was I?” The answer was usually no, as I poured over the few things that I “messed up’ during the day, thus … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting tips, self confidence

Success and confidence: Which comes first?

As inspired by a like comment made by Tony La-Russa, Long-time Major League Baseball manager and lawyer I love baseball!  I love baseball quotes! I Iove baseball analogies!  Baseball is like life, hero one day, goat the next, and yet everyday you reset the score to “0-0”. Tony La-Russa, current Cardinals and past A’s manager gave an interesting interview on the topic of success or confidence, which comes first?  In the interview, he suggested that they actually have to be cultivated at the same time to support each other. As it relates to baseball, think of the striving minor league baseball player who is a power-hitter in AAA, coming up to the big leagues and going 0 for 42. When will he get his first hit?  Will he break the curse?  What will … Read entire article »

Filed under: self confidence

Inflicting Our Past on Others; Trying to Change Others; Changing Ourselves

Years ago I read a fantastic book entitled “The Drama of the Gifted Child”, by Alice Miller, who deals with many issues including how children cope with and survive child abuse. The lesson I learned from this book, I carry with me each day.  You cannot change the past.   You can forget it, ignore it, or come to terms with it, and then move forward. Inflicting our Past on Others; Trying to Change Others There is, however, one disturbing way in which some people attempt to change the past.  Alice Miller explains that the most damaging and extreme form of “inflicting of the past on others by trying to change it” is when a person who has experienced abuse and mistreatment in their childhood transposes a group of people into “helpless, victimized him/herself” … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting advice