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Tip of the Week

GrandparentsMake A Big Difference in
Today's Challenging World

By Nancy Carlsson-Paige

Our adult children don't alwayswant to hear parenting advice from us, their own parents. Theywant to do it their own way, which makes a lot of sense to me. Ithink where we grandparents make a difference is in the relationshipswe have with our grandchildren. How we interact with them, whatwe do together, and the activities we encourage them to do can make acritical difference in their lives, especially today.

Our grandkids are growing up in a world vastly different from the oneour own kids grew up in. These days, a host of social forces and trendsis putting tremendous pressure on children: Here are just a few.

1. Entertainment media are too often replacing active, child-centeredplay and social time with peers and family. Constant depictions ofviolence, aggression, and disrespect towards others are immersing kidsin a world where "might makes right."

2. Aggressive marketing campaigns aimed at kids are pushing a host ofproducts, toys and values on children, teaching them to value "having"over "being" from an early age and to grow up too fast.

3. Economic and time pressures on parents are leading them to quick-fixapproaches to discipline and to rely on "electronic babysitters" likeTV's, Game Boys, and X-Boxes.

4. An overemphasis on standardized tests in our schools is robbingchildren of genuine learning opportunities and resulting in the loss ofunstructured play, arts activities, and social time, all of which areessential to their well being.

Childhood is eroding out from under our grandkids, but we grandparentscan do a lot to get it back. When we have time with our grandchildren,we can offer them activities and relationships that will help restorethe healthy aspects of childhood they are losing out on. We canbring out things to do that will encourage their creativity and healthyplay: open-ended materials like building toys, paper and markers,playdough, collage materials and found objects.

We can scrap the toys linked to media, the Bratz dolls, the coloringbooks--all of the activities that encourage our grandkids to imitatethe scripts they've seen in the media that limit their imaginations andinhibit the telling of their own stories.

We can be mindful too, of the nature of our relationships with ourgrandchildren. We can be a presence in their lives, a person whoaccepts them deeply, without judgment or expectations, someone wholistens completely with an open mind and compassion.

We can take time to ask our grandkids questions that encourage them totalk and to show us more deeply who they are. When we need themto do certain things, we can approach these tasks like players on thesame team: "We have to get the playdough off the table now. How can we do that?" In this way, we can engage our grandkids insolving problems with us,showing them an alternative to the coercive approaches they see allaround them, inviting them to experience with us a more mutual way ofbeing in relationships.

NancyCarlsson-Paige's most recent book is TakingBack Childhood: Helping Your Kids Thrive in a Fast-Paced,Media-Saturated, Violence-Filled World. For more informationvisit Permission granted for use

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Tags: Marriage

Fire Season is Here:
Is it Time to Evacuate?

By Larry Koman

On August 30th, 2009, 5 people were stranded in the Station Fire area in Los Angeles after they refused to obey an evacuation order. The Sheriff Helicopter was unable to reach them to pull them out before fire roared through the cannon. This could happen to you. It's the California Fire Season, and if you think it's over, guess again. The Santa Anna winds normally start toward the end of September and can go on into November. With not much rain last year and a long hot summer, thousands of acres are potential infernos. These people were eventually rescued at after the fire passed and other resources were diverted for their recovery but others may not be so lucky.

So, what should you do if you're told to evacuate? The answer is simple. GET OUT! If you disobey an evacuation order and get stranded, you unnecessarily put a lot of Firefighters lives at risk and there is no guarantee that they will be able to rescue you. Your family can replace things. They can build a new home; get a new car, by new furniture. They can't replace you.

We all understand the desire to defend your property. But when an evacuation order is given for your neighborhood, you need to pack up and get out. Take only what you can reasonably and safely transport. Focus on pictures, important documents, i.e. birth certificates, social security cards, marriage licenses, deeds, etc. Take clothes for all family members for at least several days. Take medications for anyone in the family that needs them. Take personal care items such as toothbrushes, hair and shaving supplies etc. Take any mementos that cannot be replaced. Don't forget the family pets and their food. Dogs and cats may be hiding from the smoke, heat, and noise. Look for your pets where they might hide. If you can't find them and have to leave, leave them food and water where they would look for it.

The Fire Management people will do everything they can to protect your home but if they have to dedicate resources to finding people that violated the evacuation order; it takes away from other firefighting efforts that may help protect homes. Yes, you may lose your home. The weight of that is enormous but we have to think in terms of survival and recovery. Make sure your family is safe. Make sure your kids know what's going on and what is being done. Try to be strong for them. If you are upset and worried, they will be upset and worried. If you are strong and courageous, they will be too.

Here are some things you can be doing during the long hours of waiting and not knowing.
  • Get to shelter. If you can, you should get to a hotel or family or friends house. Reduce the demand on emergency shelters.
  • Check in regularly with the Command Post for your area for updates and announcements
  • If you have a list of you're the contents in your home, review it and make sure it's up to date. If you don't have a list, sit down and start making one. This can be a good family project.
  • Contact your insurance company. If you have a local agent, let them know where you are and what the status of your home is. There should be some provision for helping you with the extra expenses associated with being barred from your home.
  • Care for your family. This is a horrific time for all of your family, especially kids and pets. Take time to comfort them and insure that they are dealing with the crisis
Don't be a statistic. Be prepared. If a fire looks like it might impact you, get a head start. Be prepared to go and be safe until it's time to go home.

Larry Koman is a Certified Property and Casualty Underwriter and a Licensed California General Contractor with more than 20 years experience inspecting and rebuilding homes damaged by fire, earthquake, and other disasters. For more information visit Permission granted for use on

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Character First; Designer Jeans Last
By Anne Leedom

Kids today are very fortunate. They have so many activities to choose from compared to what was available thirty years ago. However, parents might be cautioned to take a moment and decide#133;.is it really in your child's best interest that she take on the next round of activities? Does your child need the expensive items? Do you really have your child's best interest at heart? Let's take a look at what the experts say.

Research is very clear on this one. Kids who are taught the virtues of empathy, compassion and self-control#133;those are the kids that succeed. They succeed in relationships, academically, and financially. So, next time you are thinking of what to nurture in your child, think character first. These guidelines can help your child get the most of their activities without compromising the most important goals parents have#133;.teaching their kids to do the right thing.
  • Set limitations in your household. It's all too common to hear what other kids have or get to do. However, we each need to decide in our own homes what is appropriate and best and then stick to it.

  • Have your children earn their own spending money. They will scale down their wish list to affordable quantities and bargains. Children will reason: 'I can't afford this, but I can afford that#133; Life is about learning to make wise choices.

  • Fill Kids Up From the Inside Out. Your children may be telling you that they feel empty inside, that they need artificial stimulation because they are hungry#151;hungry for you, the strong family unit. Talk to them more. Do activities together (not shopping). Make sure to have a family dinner hour to listen to them- try to listen more and only speak unless asked to. The best gift is yourself and your time.

  • Do volunteer work with your children. Let them see the internal side of life, not merely the external, and how they can make a positive contribution

  • Exercise with your children. Exercising will help children get rid of stress, raise their endorphins and make them happier.

  • Encourage creative expression. This can be through writing, painting, music, sculpting, carving, cooking, etc. Original thinking will encourage children to become nonconformists, take the road less traveled by and therefore not need the validation of looking like everyone else. Fashion and materialism are expressions of personal style; encourage your children to develop their individual style.
I will be the first to say that money is a nice thing to have. It's a wonderful thing to provide well for your kids and enjoy the perks of life if you can. Just remember to incorporate a steady and consistent dose of gratitude and self-control, or the benefits you many be trying to give your child can actually come back to haunt them#133;and you.

Anne Leedom is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Permission granted for use on

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Tags: Military, Regarding Dr. Laura, Values

Organize Your Communication

We all know that organizing your day will increase your productivity. It allows you to keep a record of things that you need to do and prioritize them to make better use of your time. It keeps you on track and helps you to organize your day. A planner is an essential tool for the busy woman whether she has a business, a career or an active household!

But, how many times have you had to return a phone call and forgot to mention an important point? Have you ever had a hard time formulating your thoughts in a letter? Did you ever email anyone and come to find out that they didn't quite understand what you were asking? And then, how much of your time was spent trying to clear up that communication?

We all know that effective communication is important, but what does that really mean in practical terms for busy women? Here are some tips that I use to help me make the most out of my communication.
  1. Phone Calls
    Before you dial that number, make some notes on a piece of paper to remind you of the points you wish to address. Don't write complete sentences, but rather write a bulletized list so that it is easy to refer to while you are talking.

    Write the person's name at the top and, if this call is for business, some notes about that person that you remember. Have you ever called someone and, while it was ringing, forgot who you were calling? This technique helps with those 'senior moments . Good communicators are great listeners and your notes can help you communicate that you were listening to them when they mentioned that their Aunt Sally was in the hospital last week. How? Because you will remember to ask how Aunt Sally is doing!

  2. Use an Outline
    Before you write anything (a letter, an email, a report or an article), you must organize your thoughts. The best way to do this is to use an outline. This ensures that your thoughts are complete, presented in a logical order and are easy to understand before you begin to write. You will notice that the writing goes much more smoothly when you do this too! An added bonus for those of you who don't like writing as much as I do!

    I can always tell when someone didn't organize their thoughts before hitting the keyboard or picking up that pencil because their communication is a jumble of disjointed ideas that hit you from all angles and leave you wondering.

    A confused mind will not act. If you have confused your Uncle Edward, he might not understand that you want him to watch the kids next Tuesday night. If you have confused your boss, she may not give you that project or that corner office you were trying to ask for. And if you confuse your customer, he will not buy from you!

  3. Email
    Now that you have organized your thoughts, make your email posts easier to read by organizing their appearance! Remember that we live in a microwave society. People don't want to read a 6000 word essay on what you have done today#133;especially if it is all one big paragraph!
    • Keep in mind to whom your email is going. If it is to an entire group of people, make sure that this is something you wish to release to the general population. As you type, keep in mind that the group may be diverse in their religious or political beliefs so tailor your message appropriately so you can say what you mean!
    • Remember that your words are the only things your audience will have to help them understand what you are trying to say. They cannot see your smiling face or hear your sweet voice to help them understand where you are coming from. Choose your words wisely.
    • Make each new thought a new paragraph.
    • Use bullets or numbers in list format to make it easier for people to scan- because they will scan!
    • Watch your spelling, grammar and punctuation to make sure that you are not asking your reader to strain a brain cell trying to figure out what that word is.
    • Read over your message before you hit the send button to make sure that you haven't missed something that might make your communication confusing or that doesn't represent the tone you wanted your message to have.

  4. Presentations
    It is generally acceptable to carry notes or index cards up with you when you are making a presentation of almost any sort. What is not acceptable is to read it verbatim while holding the cards up in front of you obscuring your face. Organize yourself for your presentation.
    • Know your audience. Consider what they value most and what they would like to know about you topic before you begin. Tailor your presentation to the average audience member, but leave room for the feelings and values of the others to whom you will be speaking.
    • Make sure that your notes are written like we talked about earlier for your phone conversations. Don't write complete sentences or you will be tempted to read them instead of refer to them.
    • If you use index cards, please number them. In case you accidentally drop them, you can quickly re-order them and go on with your presentation.
    • Prepare for your presentation by going over it several times until you become familiar with the flow without having to refer much to your notes.
    • Make sure you have any props or charts ready before hand and that you have worked with them during your preparation. Many is the time a presenter rushed out the door without the manuals they were going to hand out during the meeting or found that the had a hard time working with the 3 foot by 3 foot rice paper poster they planned on standing up on the table during their talk.
    • Walk the room. If you are unfamiliar with the room in which you will be speaking, arrive a few minutes early and walk through it to get a feel for how you will be presenting. Does it have a microphone? Does it need one?

A little organization and preparation goes a long way toward making your communication more clear! It will be less stressful for you, less frustrating for your audience and give you the best chance over-all to say what you mean. Happy communicating!

JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication and is the author of the Say What You Mean series of studies on effective communication skills. JoJo is a frequent speaker in the homeschool community, teaches seminars/classes based on her work, and has written various articles for publication. She has just released a new e-book written just for small business owners called Say What You Mean When You're in Business. JoJo lives in Southern California with her husband and two children. If you would like more information on JoJo or her studies, please visit Permission granted for use on

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Tags: Military, Values

Our Kids Love Being The Water. How Can We Make It Safe?
Armin Brott

Dear Mr. Dad: My kids, who are 3 and 5, absolutely love being in the water#151;swimming, boating, floating, soaking. And with summer just around the corner, I know they're itching to get into their swimsuits. What can we do to make sure our house is as safe as possible?

A: Any activity in or around the water, whether it's swimming, water skiing, or even wading, can be a huge amount of fun for little kids. But activities like these are potentially dangerous too, especially for kids.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 350 children under five years of age drown each year in swimming pools, many at their own homes. Another 2,600 children under age five are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year following some kind of submersion incident. Sometimes the result is permanent brain damage.

There's no way to make the water 100% safe for small children, but there are some steps you can take to significantly reduce the risks. Let's start with a few general rules:
  • Watch your kids (and everyone else's) closely when they're playing near any unfenced water-filled area.
  • Never allow them into the water or into a boat without a life preserver. Life preservers should have a floatation collar to keep the head upright and the face out of the water.
  • Learn CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) and know how to get emergency help.
  • Anytime you're around water, whether it's the bathroom, a swimming pool, a spa, a hot tub, or even a big puddle, always stay within an arm's length from the child. The water does NOT need to be deep for a child to be able to drown in it.
  • Don't leave your bathroom door open if your child is old enough to stroll in by himself. If possible, lock the door from the outside so it can't be opened by a child.
  • If you have a baby who can't sit by herself, make sure you have a supporting ring device for your tub. But even with a ring, NEVER leave your baby alone#151;even for a second.
Swimming Pools and spas
  • Teach your kids to swim. A good time to start lessons is when the kids are about five. If you want to start earlier than that, do so only if you're absolutely sure the instructor is trained to handle toddlers. Don't make the mistake of thinking that once your child has learned to swim it's okay to leaver her alone. Constant supervision in and around the water is a must, no matter how old the child or how good a swimmer she is.
  • Never throw your child into the water (or let anyone else do so either). It may be fun, but it can also be disorienting#151;and dangerous#151;for small children.
  • If you have a pool at home, put up a fence at least around 4 feet high around it. Use gates that self-close and self-latch, with latches higher than your kids can reach. And keep stools or anything else a child could climb on away from the fence.
  • Anyone watching your child around a pool should know how to swim and know how to perform CPR. Keep a life preserver, hook, flotation devices, a telephone, and emergency numbers near the pool too.
  • Always make sure that children with long hair either wear a bathing cap or pin their hair up. Hair can get sucked into drains and drown a child faster than you might think. If a drain cover is missing or broken, don't use the pool or spa until you replace the cover.
  • In the off season, keep the pool well -covered, even if it's empty#151;falling into an empty pool can be as dangerous as falling into a full one. And check the cover for water build-up too. Spas should also be covered and locked.
  • Always empty your baby pool as soon as you're through it. Store it upside down to dry, but keep an eye on your infant to make sure he doesn't crawl underneath and get trapped.
And finally, before you or anyone else gets into a pool or the open water, have an action plan ready in case of an emergency. Know how to get help and what to do until it arrives. Enjoy your summer!

Armin Brott, hailed by Time as 'the superdad's superdad, has written or co-written six critically acclaimed books on fatherhood, including the newly released second edition of Fathering Your Toddler: A Dad's Guide to the Second and Third Years. His articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, American Baby, Parenting, Child, Men's Health, The Washington Post among others. Armin is an experienced radio and TV guest, and has appeared on Today, CBS Overnight, Fox News, and Politically Incorrect. He's the host of 'Positive Parenting, a weekly radio program in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit Armin at Permission granted on

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Pets On A Budget
by Jonni McCoy

Getting a family pet can be one of the most rewarding things for a child. The pet provides companionship, entertainment and exercise. But sometimes the wrong pet for the family style and needs can be disastrous.

Many pets require a certain type of care. Some dogs, for example, require more money as well as physical interaction and attention. Without proper attention, they can start to act strangely, chewing up things and sometimes even biting or growling. Some other mammals, especially the small ones, don't demand as much and may be better suited for certain people. The smaller mammals, such as rats, rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs, are not only less demanding, but also less expensive to care for. Food can be homemade healthy items such as vegetables, grains and fruit. And vet bills are usually minimal.

How does one decide if they can afford a pet?
When deciding if you can launch into this addition to the family, don't forget to factor in the pet's love it will provide in return. This is something no one can put a price tag on. After deciding what the initial purchase fee will be, the prospective owner must look at food, vet bills, cage (if required), and any accessories that may be needed.

Another consideration is if your family is away from home much. Will pet sitting be a regular expense? A dog can cost $13,000 over it's lifetime. A third of that goes to food, and another third for the vet bills. The other third is spent on training, collars leashes, toys, etc. A cat will cost significantlyless, with small mammals, reptiles and fish trailing behind.

Vet bills can be an expense we forget to plan for. The average family spends between $100 and $350 per year on their pet. Those unexpected expenses like broken legs, etc. are just things we have to plan for.

There are ways to cut some of the routine vet expenses. Here are a few:
  • Ask around at pet stores if they host a mobile vaccine clinic in the area. These are usually 75% cheaper than a vet office visit.
  • Ask around what vet prices are. They vary greatly.
  • Practice good health and hygiene. This preventative measure can save hundreds of dollars.
  • Healthy food is one of the most important items pets need. Cheap food may not have the right amount of protein or essential oils that theyneed. Do some research on your pet's needs.
  • Get videos from the library on dental cleaning grooming, and clipping at home.
  • Get books at the library on simple home remedies for common ailments.
Food can be an overwhelming expense if you have a large and active animal, such as a dog. There are ways to get around this expense if you are creative. These have helped us in the past:
  • Buy in bulk quantities at discount pet superstores.
  • Avoid buying food from the vet. Their brands are good, but the mark upis high. Excellent quality pet food is available for less at most large pet stores.
  • Don't over feed the animal.
  • Learn to make some of their food - this is easier than you think. Most recipe are simple and can be made in bulk. That last suggestion may surprise you. When we lived in Nigeria and Pakistan we didn't have the luxury of a supermarket, or canned pet food.

    Instead, we made all of our pet's feed. It is simple, healthy and very inexpensive. It sometimes is better food than store-bought pet food.
For dog food, we boiled some meat and a bone with some rice and herbs. We would add some healthy oils (olive oil, etc.) to the mix for the dog's coat and skin.

For a cat, we chopped a few teaspoons of fish, chicken, or egg yolk and mixed it with a tablespoon of cooked rice or oats, a teaspoon of milk or sour cream and a little oil for its coat.

There are several recipe books in the library with various meals to make for pets. You can even make your own dry pet food. Whichever pet you choose, taking care of them shouldn't break the bank.

Good basic feeding and loving care should help them go a long way.

Jonni McCoy and her family live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is the author of Miserly Moms, Frugal Families - Making the Most of Your Hard-Earned Money, and Miserly Meals. You can visit her website at Permission granted for use on

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Tags: Family/Relationships - Family, Morals, Ethics, Values, Parenting, Relationships, Relatives

Finding Closure When aRelationship Suddenly Ends
By Dalma Heyn

Charles left Miranda one day after a six-month love affair, with nosatisfactory explanation. He just announced, during a good solid startat long-term love, "Sorry, Miranda, I guess this isn't working" -- saidit not even kindly, at that. He wasn't interested in hearing whyMiranda thought that in fact it was working, quite wonderfullyactually; that it was a relationship and relationships needed a littleworking out now and again. No, he didn't want to hear it. For him, itwas over. So was all discussion on the topic.

It always seems unthinkable, this scenario in which a lover leavesabruptly; runs you over like a train, as if you were just something tobe left on the side of the curb like road kill. How do you everfind closure with a guy who heads for the hills and never tells youwhy? It's gut-wrenchingly hard, but you have to find closurewithin yourself. Here's how.

Cut your losses. You pickyourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. You don'tdecide that because he didn't tell you anything, the cause of hisdeparture are your thighs, or a fight you had, or your bad mood lastmonth. A man who is too withholding and cowardly to explain himself hasto be excised as brutally as he excised you. You tell yourself,"I don't want to spend my precious time with someone who doesn't wantto spend it with me." When all is said and done, isn't that the truth?

Do not call him. Hedoesn't want to talk? Then believe him. No quick texts; no trying tolocate him; no flaming e-mails; no late-night calls begging for areason why you were so unceremoniously dumped. (Do you really want tohear, "Oh, it's you. Um, yeah, right, hi.") You remind yourself#151;athousand times, if you have to-- that while you still want him, you donot NEED him. You have a roof over your head. (I remember, eons ago,when women literally needed men to have a life!) All that you need isgood food, rest, exercise--and some calm downtime to get yourself upand ready to meet someone who wants you.

Do not idealize him now that he's gone.We all tend to turn people into saints once they're gone, but thisperson didn't die; he bolted. Resist the urge to make him moredesirable simply because he's unavailable. And resist the correspondingurge toward self-blame. (The thigh thing again.)

Take your power back. Remember what it felt like--really felt like--to be with him. I don'tmean how you thought it could be if he loved you more; I mean most ofthe time. Were you exhausted? Walking on eggshells? Pushing to getcloser? If so, you were at your worst and will never be at your worstagain. If it was truly wonderful.....then the man isn't just cowardly,he's psychotic.

Don't think, "I should have knownbetter." You couldn't have known. You can't spot one ofthese guys; he doesn't wear a sign saying, "I'm a disaster." The onlyway to avoid a man who can't love you is to remember what it felt likein the past. When you're with someone the next time, you'll have asense memory: a feeling of being exhausted, off-balance, nervous....and you'll run.

Meanwhile, lay low. Nurse your wounds--the way a hurt animal would.Don't date; you're not ready. But one day, you'll meet an earth guy wholoves being intimate; who wants to please you; who gets you, who makesyou feel comfortable in your own skin#133; a man who can express hisfeelings. And that man won't sap your energy--he'll make you feel aliveagain.

Dalma Heyn, M.S.W., Founder of The Love Goddess, is the author ofseveral bestselling books on marriage and relationships. Dalma is awidely read columnist and sought-after speaker. She hasappeared--without her wings--on national talk shows including Oprah, The View, Charlie Rose, GoodMorning America, and Larry King Live. For more information visitwww.thelovegoddess.comor;2009 Robbin Montero Permission granted for use on

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Six Sound Strategies to Stress Less

By Ellen Simon, M.S., M. Ed., LPC

Stress happens in your body but starts in your mind. In addition to the perception of danger or life threatening events, there are two thinking habits that activate the stress response in the body.

The first is negative attention, or focusing on what you don't want/like, rather than what is good, right or challenging in a growth producing way. The Law of Attraction will bring into your life that which you focus on and play on the movie screen of your mind.

The second common habit to induce stress is an insistence and needing that things be a certain way, rather than preferring the same. Insistence on things being a certain way implies an attachment to a particular outcome, and thus sets you up for disappointment. If instead you prefer an outcome, you still identify your wishes and desires, yet this attitude contains energy of letting go. Preferring carries an element of trust in the unfolding of life and the confidence that whatever happens, you have the resources and ability to handle life.

It's better to have what you need than to need what you want.

The 6 strategies to stress less and enjoy life more follow:
  1. Thinking healthy - focus on what you do want rather than what you don't want, let go of insisting or clinging to a particular outcome. Where are your thoughts? Are you focusing on what is wrong? Or is your awareness on the solution or even on the blessing that if often revealed down the road? Are you turning your wants into needs? When you NEED what you WANT then you create unnecessary stress. Try shifting your needs into preferences, relaxing, breathing and looking at the big picture.

  2. Breathing - breathe in fully and completely let go of your breath. Breathing is a metaphor for life. Take it in fully and let go of what you do not need.

  3. Moving - stretch your body and keep it flexible and resilient like your mind.

  4. Awareness - maintain a consciousness of your habitual patterns. If something is not working, cease the pattern and make another choice.

  5. Communication - be assertive, state your truth with harmless intention and allow another to have a truth that may differ from yours. Respect your needs and celebrate diversity in your loved ones.

  6. Sound Sleep - crucial to managing stress and feelings of well-being. If needed, create a routine for yourself that includes a soothing and calming ritual before bed. If there is something on your mind, talk to a friend or journal - get those feelings out of your body and onto some paper or into a friend's ear! Meditation prior to bedtime can create a nice transition to sleep. A spray of lavender or nutritional supplements may be considered to support a healthy sleep.
Keep in mind these six strategies as you remember that you are the choice maker. One of the few things you can choose is what thoughts you entertain and how you respond to life!!

copy; 2009 by Ellen Simon Permission to reprint if left intact.

Ellen Simon is a nationally recognized expert in the field of mind body health. Ellen's unique brand of audio programs is in use in hospitals and health care facilities across the country. Author of over 25 titles this article is adapted from Food for Thought(r) a 6 audio CD set. For more information visit Permission granted for use on

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Tags: Marriage, Men's Point of View

Are You Addicted toFear? Learn How Not To Be!
Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's new book "Emotional Freedom:
Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life"
(Harmony Books, 2009)
By Judith Orloff MD

If you don't make it your business to overcome fear, you better believeit'll try to overcome you. Most people are subservient to this emotionthough they may not know it. I define fear as the emotional response todanger, perceived or real. What underscores fear in all itspermutations is the feeling that you won't be all right.

Emotional Action Step from "Emotional Freedom". Harness Your Biology toQuiet Fear.

To short-circuit fear and turn off your flight-or-flight response,you'll need to train your brain to send chemicals to counteract them.Otherwise, fear and its hormones will make you crazed. In contrast,with a calm biology it's easier to find courage by practicing thecombined techniques below to quiet your system.

To achieve immediate and longer termresults:
  • Eliminate caffeine, sugar,and other stimulants--these fuel the fight-or-flight response.
  • Avoid people who reinforceyour fear--they are biological irritants; stick close to emotionalnurturers.
  • Stay away from violentnewscasts, traffic jams, arguments, or other stress inducers.
Whenyou're in the grip of a fear-driven adrenaline rush, try these quicksolutions.
  • Use this ProgressiveRelaxation Technique: In a comfortable position, sitting or lying down,take a few deep breaths while letting your body go as limp as possible.When you're ready, begin by tightening the muscles in your toes...holdto a count of ten... then relax. Enjoy the relief of tension melting.Do the same with flexing your foot muscles, and move slowly throughyour entire body: calves, legs, stomach, back, neck, jaw, face,contracting and releasing each area.
  • Immerse yourself in hotwater to relax muscular tension as soon as possible.
These practical changes, whichallow you to take control of your body, can be tremendously effectivein restoring calm. You don't have to be passive while battered byfear. The victim mentality takes many forms. It requires courage toassume control, to say, "I'm going to be responsible for my biologicalself-care." Educating your body how to respond makes you emotionallyfreer.

About Judith Orloff MD
Judith Orloff MD is author ofthe new New York Times bestseller EmotionalFreedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform YourLife (Harmony Books, 2009) upon which this article is based. Dr.Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edgeknowledge of intuition and energy medicine. An Assistant ClinicalProfessor of Psychiatry at UCLA, she passionately believes that thefuture of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieveemotional freedom and total wellness. Permission granted for use

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Tags: Family/Relationships - Family, Morals, Ethics, Values, Parenting, Relationships, Relatives

Five Ways to Market Using Email

There are many ways to market a home-based business. But one of the simplest ways is to use an every day business tool - email. By using these five easy tips you'll see how easily your business can grow without much effort on your part.

1. Use a Professional Signature - This is an important tip to use on every email that you send. Even your friends may not always remember your website address or business phone number and will quickly look to an old e-mail to look it up.

When preparing an email signature it's important to include Your Name, Company Name, and your Physical Address or Website Address. You may also include your phone number. Below is a sample Email signature:

Jill Hart
Christian Work at Home Moms

The signature is simple, easy to read and includes a link directly to my website. It is very important to include the http:// before the website address because many email programs will not link the text to your website without this (it will appear as text - not a link).

Also, make sure that you double check that you have your website correct. Often times I've found that people have their website wrong by inverting a letter or two and aren't aware of it. It cannot only lead to a loss of a sale, but it shows less professionalism on your part.

You can also use a virtual business card as your signature. You can design and purchase your own virtual business card at is a very small cost - less than $2.00 for this professional looking virtual signature file.

2. Find a "Signature Buddy" - This is an easy and cost-free way to spread the word about your business. Ask a colleague or friend if they will "swap"a line their signature with you. You will add a line at the bottom of your signature with a link to their business and they will do the same.

Jill Hart
Christian Work at Home Moms

Publishing and book marketing -

The signature "swap" can be as simple as a line (as above) or as much as a 2- 3 line testimony of why you're recommending this link. You can find a permanent signature "buddy" or change it weekly or monthly.

3. Send Email Coupons - This is a great way to network using email. Send a special coupon by email that is available only for those that receive your emails. You can also extend this to a newsletter if you have one. Offer a special coupon for anyone who signs up for your newsletter!

You can send other specials by email as well - special offers, free gifts, ebooks, etc. There are many ways that you can utilize your email to bless your customers and colleagues.

4. Create a Custom Background for your Email - This is easier to do than it sounds. If you are using Microsoft Outlook or a similar program, you can find directions on creating your own custom signature online at places like

Custom email stationary can take a plain email and make it look professional. I include my logo and my website name in my custom background.Be sure to make the picture "light," so that it does not compete with the text of the emails you'll be sending.

5. Send Thank You Emails - In this day and age it is very acceptable to send a Thank You card via email. This is an easy way to thank customers, advertisers, and even newsletter subscribers.

You can create you own Thank You or use a program like Yahoo! Greetings.Many of these programs have free e-cards that you can send as well as a paidversion with additional designs. Another great place is whereyou can get customized greeting e-cards for any occasion, free. It's a great way to remember your client's birthdays or perhaps a special day in their business.

You can even set up an auto-responder to send the Thank You automatically.There are many auto-responder programs for you to choose from and many website hosting companies will provide you with one, you'll just need to go in and set it up.

One great thing about an auto-responder is that you can set up when the email will be sent, what will "trigger" the auto-responder and what the email will say. This way, any time you receive an order, the customer receives an email immediately, even if you're not available.

One downfall to auto-responders is that they can seem impersonal. However, you can overcome this by taking the time to write a personal note to your customers and use this as the auto-responder email.

Can you see how beneficial e-mails can be for your business? When you use a professional looking signature, find a "buddy" to swap lines in your signature, personalize your email background, use auto-responders and any other items that you are able to customize, you'll never look at email the same way again. Marketing can be inexpensive and effective when you know the right ways to do it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Jill Hart is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms, This site is dedicated to providing work at home moms with opportunities to promote their businesses while at the same time providing them spiritualencouragement and articles. Visit for additionalinformation. Permission granted for use on

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Tags: Family/Relationships - Family, Parenting, Regarding Dr. Laura, Relationships, Relatives