Sunday, March 31, 2013

To those of you celebrating today
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

SUNDAY SMILES- DRIVING LESSONS

It was time for me to learn to drive a car. 
Piece of cake, right?

Not if like me, you waited until age 21... 
There’s just something about all that teen-age bravado, and okay let’s face it – recklessness – that might be an important ingredient in tackling 4000 pounds of metal…

So, my Dad, loving man that he was, decided this would be a healthy father/daughter bonding exercise…  After a short trial period he re-thought the concept… Men of a certain age get heart attacks too easily!

Next in-line was my brother.  He was certain that he could accomplish what my father could not… Hah!  After a particularly short but heart-stopping lesson, he instructed me, in one of those super calm, you- know-you-are-about-die voices, to pull off the road…

The final act of this play was my then boyfriend who was really certain that it was just a lack of some super skill he had and they didn’t that was the problem…  Besides he had one of those famous tank-style Volvos that would be impervious to harm…

Yup… Fifteen minutes into this one he gave up, shuddering at the damage I was doing to his precious car…

Did I learn to drive?  Yes, indeed!  The three men in my life chipped in and bought me driving lessons… 

It was a perfect match!  The instructor showed up so drunk that nothing bothered him…

And yes, I did get my driver’s license.  Piece of cake…

 
Have any fun driving stories to share?



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Friday, March 29, 2013

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING – LOVING YOURSELF AT ANY AGE

Before the mass media existed our ideas of beauty were limited to our own communities. Today we are inundated with images that are foreign not only to our communities but to human beings!

If you have ever seen a model or movie star in their natural state you probably didn’t recognize them! 

The images we are brainwashed with are altered by bizarre procedures (sucking fat from one area of the body and injecting it into another…), air-brushed and photo shopped. 

Take a look at this link for a real wake-up call!   check it out 

Reality check, anyone? 



DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...


Answer the following questions to look beyond the fake images and find your own beauty:

PART I

1)     A.   What don’t you like about your face? 

              Eyes  Nose  Mouth  Chin  Hairline  Eyebrows  Neck
     
B.     Who are you comparing yourself to?  How real is that image?

     2)     A.  What don’t you like about your body?
             Size  Weight  Shape  Legs  Butt  Arms  Torso
          
B.  Who are you comparing yourself to?
PART II

Now imagine that you are an artist asked to create a portrait of the person you see in your mirror.  As this famous artist you find your subject fascinating and wonderfully attractive. 
Take a minute to see this portrait developing before your eyes…  What does this artist see? 
Remember:  they have the gift of seeing beauty. 
Do they focus on your skin, your smile, the sparkle in your eyes? 
Do they appreciate the uniqueness that is your body – not a photo shopped image but a truly amazing structure that carries you through your daily life?
Allow your inner artist to train your eyes to see the real beauty in yourself and those around you!

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

HOW OLD DO YOU WANT TO BE? AGE 15 AND COUNTING…


Have you noticed that all the models in the magazines – male and female – look like they are about age 16?

The other day I was in a fancy NYC department store and my eyes were drawn to a large glossy image above the cosmetic counter.

The make-up guy noticed me staring.

“Pretty, huh?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said.  “She looks about 16…”

“Nope,” he replied.  “15 – and it’s not one she – it’s two!  They took the nose of one and the lips of another…”

I thought he was joking.

“Not on your life!” he assured me.  “I was there for the photo shoot…”

Is it only me or is there something really twisted here apart from the obvious cheating…

Why do we want to look like we did at 15?  Did you think you were beautiful at that age? Know anyone who did?

Maybe that’s it!  Are we looking for a chance to do a re-play?

Whoa!  Is that a scary thought or what?!


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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING – NEED AN ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT?

Our attitudes are made up of our beliefs about how things are and the feelings and emotions these beliefs create. 

Although there is a propensity to think that attitudes are relatively enduring, in reality we have the power to choose to re-adjust both our beliefs and the behaviors that we base on them!  (read more)

The early 1980’s brought us the Hank Williams Jr. country song “Attitude Adjustment” and while the methods are not what we support the phrase came into our vocabulary as a great reminder that it only takes a little shift to make a big change…
(read more) 



DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...
 
Need an attitude adjustment?  

Too many external things we can’t change …
But we can re-set the dial on our
Attituda-meter!     


Make a list of the things that are causing you grief – include people, places and things.

Possible candidates:  rotten neighbor, rotten friend, rotten kid, rotten parent, sib, day, pain, job…

You get the drift.

Now next to each of these things jot down your attitude: 

This list might include:  anger, depression, despair, sadness…

Again, you get the drift.

Now, imagine that you can re-set that Attituda-meter.  Just turn the dial to a new position…

These might include: 
Compassion “poor dears can’t help themselves…”
“I’m rubber you’re glue whatever you say bounces off me and sticks on you” (an interesting and early life version of a famous Feng Shui cure)…   
and then there’s always: “Whatever…”

The idea here is to step back from the emotional attachment to the external trigger and empower yourself by creating an emotional distance and sense of internal control.


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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

WHAT'S YOUR ATTITUDE?



“Can you imagine what it’s like to have rotten neighbors,” she asked me in a voice pretty close to screeching.

“The people, right across the hall from me, are truly evil and every time I leave my place – BOOM! – I see their door and I feel like screaming!”

Then she told me some of the things she felt like screaming… Seriously X-rated!

Interesting isn’t it?  Just seeing a closed door triggered the desire to – well let’s call it like it is – kill!

Not an actual interaction – just a closed door!  Whew!

Are our minds powerful or what!

If you deconstruct this one you have to be totally awed by the amazing creativity of the human brain!

One closed door = a whole complex story and all the emotions that go along with it!


What do ya think?  See any ways to play with this one? 




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Sunday, March 24, 2013

SUNDAY SMILES - SPRING FORWARD!


Spring began a few days ago – and here on the East Coast we are still expecting snow…

But Spring is our season of hope – a release from the dark of winter into a time of renewal.

We await those first miraculous touches of green with a deep conviction that things can and do change.
         
          Following the bleakness of winter when everything  is covered with the shrouds of snow, spring marks the rebirth of the earth with the bursting forth of green life.”  -Michael Strassfeld



Both the holidays of Passover (Pesah) and Easter, celebrated during this season, remind us that hope, our ability to overcome adversity, is always with us!



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Friday, March 22, 2013

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING – How do you Learn?

‘Learning Style’ is the individuals’ way of acquiring and assimilating information.  We all differ to some extent in how we learn.  This is not one size fits all!

The trick to learn about anything successfully is to identify your own style and then find and choose appropriate modalities that match how you learn.

We are all constantly learning – sometimes consciously (I want to learn X) and sometimes by accident (I didn’t even realize I was learning X).

Throughout our lives we are picking up data through our senses and processing it – and being the practical beings we are – we also  find ways – whether we are aware of it or not – to use this data!




DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...



WHAT TYPE OF LEARNER ARE YOU?

It’s fun to identify your own learning style. 


Choose from the following menu – mixing and matching is fine:

1)      Are you a researcher?  Do you hit the internet and explore sites to get information?

2)     Are you capable of doing this research while you talk to friends and listen to music?

3)     Do you need lots of quiet and lack of external stimulation as you learn?

4)     Do you acquire knowledge through written words?

5)     Do you need to hear what you are learning?

6)     Can you observe and then mimic perfectly as you internalize and assimilate new ideas?

7)     Do you need tactile input for your learning?

8)     Do you sequentially build one idea on top of another?

9)     Do you intuitively jump to new concepts…

All of this is learning and none is better than any other!

WHAT’S YOUR LEARNING STYLE?



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Thursday, March 21, 2013

FEAR OF FLYING - A FABLE

The 12 year old girl hated gym class!  (Ok, I’ll fess up this one is about me…)

It was torture!  Especially this tumbling stuff!  We lined up and the evil gym teacher (if you’re still out there – you know who you are…) blew her whistle and counted:  1  2  3  GO!  

The first kid in line ran up to that thick roll of canvas and flew over it, rolled and landed on her feet. 
Yeah, right… give me a break!  Which is exactly what I was afraid of!

As the line moved in its inexorable forward momentum, I would sneak backwards – one kid at a time – until finally the evil fiend would blow two loud blasts on that whistle and we’d be on to another task – You know, something easy – like walking on water!

Years later – another gym, another teacher:

This one was a tiny, Japanese Aikido master.  As I watched, intrigued, he stood in the middle of a large circle of students who ran around him – throwing themselves into the air, somersaulting, and gracefully landing on their feet as they continued around the circle. 

The teacher caught me as I inched towards the exit.  I explained my background as a failed – and terrified – tumbler.  He grinned, nodding his head.

“5 minutes,” he promised,” and you can do… I show you!”

And amazingly he did.

All that summer as I fearlessly flew through the air, I thought about teachers.

How much of what we believe about our ability to learn is about the skill of the teacher and their ability to understand the pathway to each students learning style?

What do you think? 


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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WHAT MAKES US SMART?

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING

Musical training in childhood has been found to correlate with higher than average IQ.  (On standardized tests) 

A 2004 study indicated that a 6 year old child who received musical training had an average increase in IQ of 7.0 points. read more 



DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...


My dog knew 72 words of English (yes, I counted…) I only knew 2 or 3 words of ‘Bark’.
So, which of us was more intelligent?

Think about this concept – smart – and how it affects your interactions with the world. 

Try answering the following questions:

1)    How do you define smart?

2)    Who are some of the people you think are smart?

3)    What makes you think this about them?

4)    Do you think you are smart?

5)    What are the things about yourself that makes you believe this – or not?

Would your world change in anyway if you revised some of these beliefs?


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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

DO YOU THINK YOU'RE SMART?

“I’m not really very smart,” she explained.  “My sister was the smart one…”

I have to admit this statement intrigued me. 

The young woman who was making this pronouncement was what you would call a quick study. 

I could toss a new concept her way, watch her eyes scan back and forth like a quick moving curser, and Boom! 

She’d be off and running, building on that previously new idea… 

So, what’s this about? 


Do you think these labels might have more to do with the beliefs of the ‘labelers’ than the capacity of the ‘labeled’?

Maybe we need to re-think how we define ‘smart’?


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Sunday, March 17, 2013

SUNDAY SMILES – THE COOPERATIVE LIFE –NYC STYLE

I guess the ‘package’ of invasive information necessary to even be considered to live in a co-op apartment in NYC should have clued me to the lurking dangers... 

And then there was the mandatory interview… 
The small torture chamber was rank with the sulfuric odor of perverted power that co-op boards enjoy.  

A police murder interrogation could not have been more brutal.  True, I wasn’t chained to a chair and I don’t think that there was a two-way mirror…

My tormentors seated me in the perfect ping-ping position, lobbing questions with the speed of torment (Oops!  I meant tournament) players.

“Who are your friends?  Do you listen to music?  Has your dog attended training?”

I mean give me a break!  What did they expect me to say?

“I have wild orgies, listen to ear shattering Metal and Hip-Hop, and about my dog, he might look like a fluffy poodle, but it’s really a disguise.  Underneath all that fluff lurks a vicious 200 pound Rottweiler.”

It takes a certain kind of person to ignore all the warning signs and lunge brazenly into the future?  New Yorkers are known for being brave…  Determined?  Try pig-headed!   

What do ya think?  Have any city stories to share?



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Friday, March 15, 2013

WHAT MAKES US PUSH PAST OUCH?

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING

Perhaps this is another one of those hang-overs from our prehistoric days when we had to keep going and endure or risk being eaten by the lurking saber-toothed tigers?

It is believed that this type of perseverance had a necessary role in preservation of the human species.

Like many of our early behaviors, understanding its role in today’s world is challenging.



DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...

WHAT MAKES US PUSH PAST OUCH?

Do any of these fit for you?

·         It’s embarrassing to say “I can’t”…

·        I used to be able to do it…

·        I don’t want them to think I’m a wimp

·        I don’t want to feel like a wimp

·        Everyone else is doing it

·        Just this one time…


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Thursday, March 14, 2013

MACHO MACHO (WO)MAN

Ever find yourself doing physical feats that you know you shouldn’t do? 

It started in school in the early 60’s with President Kennedy’s Physical fitness Program.  We set out to do a 25 mile hike (or was it 50?) with no previous conditioning…

Good, huh?  Real good… The next three days limping around with serious cramping good…

And half a century later I am still doing it… And still limping.

Don’t you just hate it when the pain is your own fault!

What’s up with this one?  Any stories to share?


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