A Mindful Approach to the New Year

by admin on January 2, 2013

I’m starting the year off with two new intentions that I’m committed to turning into new habits.

My first intention is to experience at least one mindful moment each day for the next year – to be aware of and to accept that moment with clarity, calmness, and compassion.

My second intention is to share those experiences in a way that best serves our village of children, parents, teachers, and other child-serving professionals.

I’ll need your help, and feedback.

The way I’ll share with you will vary throughout the year – blog posts like this one, or email newsletters, Facebook, youtube, podcasts, online courses (and yes, maybe even a book!).  I’ll be giving you more frequent bite-size morsels that you can easily integrate into your busy lives.

I’ll be looking to inspire and guide you, as I have moments of inspiration and guidance from others.  I’ll just keep passing it on, and hope you’ll be invested in doing the same – for the well-being of children everywhere!

Regardless of the media, I’ll be staying true to the message: we all need more moments of clear focused thoughts, calm emotions, and compassionate actions.  And we all need to share such moments with our children and with one another.

This world can’t wait any longer for a higher consciousness to emerge.  I don’t need to remind you of the horrors of the past year.  With grieving, caring hearts, yet still with God’s grace and light, we now start a new year.  What will we do with it?

My intentions, and with your help, habits, will continue to be dedicated to creating a world of lovingkindness together – for all our children.

If not us, then who?  If not now, then when?

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New Year’s Wisdom from Dear Abby

by admin on January 1, 2013

It’s the dawn of a new day, and a new year.

The canvass of my life seems as fresh and clean as the new-fallen snow blanketing the earth outside my window. Now the challenge is, how not to trample it with confused, muddy footprints that wander around aimlessly, making a mess without really going anywhere.

I found great inspiration to guide me forward this year in the re-printed New Year’s Resolutions written some years ago by Pauline Phillips, the original Dear Abby columnist, which she adapted from the credo of Al-Anon:

Just for today, I will live through this day.  I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow.  I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once.

I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up.

Just for today, I will be happy.  I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me.  If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.

Just for today, I will accept what is.  I will face reality.  I will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot.

Just for today, I will improve my mind.  I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.  I will not be a mental loafer.

Just for today, I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable.  I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I’ll not speak ill of others.  I will improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking.  Just for today, I will refrain from improving anybody but myself.

Just for today, I will do something positive to improve my health.  If I’m a smoker, I’ll quit.  If I’m overweight, I will eat healthfully – if only for today.  I will get off the couch and take a walk.

Just for today, I will gather the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.

It’s the dawn of a new day, and a new year – which it really is, fresh and alive with possibility, every day.  Let us enjoy a mindful journey towards health and happiness, one day at a time, all year long.


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The Power of “Yes… And…!”

September 28, 2012

The two most powerful words in your parenting stress-reduction toolkit are “Yes” and “And.” This is an amazingly versatile pair of words, especially when you integrate the mindset they convey.  Watch, listen to the difference, and be amazed! Your son is arguing with you about doing his homework.  He wants to keep playing his video […]

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7 Mindful Solutions for Back-to-School Stress

September 18, 2012

Got your back-to-school routines rolling smoothly yet?  Are you and your kids flowing through the days with a nice, calm, even enjoyable rhythm?  If so, FANTASTIC!  Enjoy the blessings of a peaceful and productive time for you and your child. If, however, you’re starting to see signs of strain or struggle, then consider these solutions […]

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7 Sources of Back-to-School Stress

September 16, 2012

It’s mid-September – a truly beautiful time of year – when the air starts turning a little cooler and crisper, with the hint of autumn teasing us, and the lingering scent of summer whispering goodbye. It’s also the time of year when the back-to-school groove is starting to hit full stride. The initial “honeymoon” excitement […]

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It’s Time to Reconnect

September 1, 2012

I’ve missed you.  I’ve missed writing this column.  I’ve missed connecting with our community of conscious, caring parents and professionals.  It’s good to be back. You may recall, this time last year we were so full of hope and pride – sending our three oldest children off to college at Penn State University, where my […]

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Life Lessons at Penn State University

November 11, 2011

I received two graduate degrees in child clinical psychology from Penn State University.  I worked there full-time for almost a decade, supervising all child and adolescent services provided to the community by the outpatient Psychological Clinic there.  As a part-time faculty member, I continue to teach graduate student therapists in that Clinic how to assess […]

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Overcoming Homework Hassles

October 20, 2011

The biggest complaint I get from parents and kids around this time of year revolves around homework.  The honeymoon phase of the new school year has worn off, and now we’re in the thick of things long enough that “keeping up” is starting to turn into “slipping up.” To ease the burden for both of […]

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Peace Be With You

September 9, 2011

Ten years ago, on an early September morning much like this one, I was getting ready for work with my TODAY Show companions Matt and Katie chattering away in the background.  I’d just returned from getting my children off to school – 8th, 6th, and 3rd grades.  My wife, 7 months pregnant, was already at […]

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Mindfully Managing Back-to-School Stress

August 30, 2011

You’ve heard all about getting dialed back to a reasonable bedtime, packing the lunch or backpack the night before, setting up a work station with all the right doo-dads neatly organized.  Good advice indeed for student success. Now, for success in life as well as school, here are my Top Ten Tips for mindfully managing […]

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