Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Save this Cookie!


Make a cookie of this website -- bookmark it, because we have lots of ideas for handling the emotional turmoil of the holidays, which has hit in full force, judging from today's mailbag!

Cooking can be very relaxing and fun to share with family and friends. It takes the focus off shopping, spending money, and rushing around. And the smell from the oven is wonderful. Is there anything more soothing?

This photo is a cookie my son and I entered in a Christmas cookie decorating contest. It was sponsored by a lovely and small antique shopping mall, and culminated with a nice buffet with Christmas music, cookie sampling, companionship and good cheer. We were thrilled to win FIRST PRIZE! It was a great bonding experience all around, and not very materialistic either, something I try to de-emphasize over the season, how about you?

The holidays are all about sharing, so let me share the recipe with you. It could equally well be cut into the star and decorated in blue and white for Hannukah, or shaped (smile) to fit your own winter celebration and focus. Enjoy my recipe and pass it on!


1 cup margarine
1 cup sugar]2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 2/3 cups sifted flour
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda

Cream sugar and margarine. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Blend in dry inredients. Chill dough for 3 hrs Roll out and cut cookies. Bake on ungreased sheets at 375 for 6-8 minutes. Then decorate! (Buy a set of tubes are Hobby Lobby, Crafts, etc.)

Got kids in your life? Let them join in.

P.S. Be sure and buy PASTE food coloring. Liquid coloring will make the frosting too runny. And don't stress, just buy a tin of frosting. Works just fine. We don't like to add extra stress over the holidays.

Join Club Vivo Per Lei / I Live for Music, and get some great music going while you bake. Go HERE. Invite your friends to join as well. It's FREE, of course, my gift to you and yours!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Time to Have a Good Laugh

HUMOR IS VERY HARD TO CARRY OFF. You know this if you've ever heard a comedian bomb. But it's magic when it works. Here's a good article about humor in marketing.

Laughter, by the way greases the brain for problem-solving. You'll often hear the people in the marketing dept. laughing. Understand it's what makes it all work. Laughter allows us to relax, release toxic chemicals, generate alternative, be flexible, resilient, and think much, much better.

Now here's a trick -- put a pencil crosswise in your mouth so your mouth is forced into the musculature of a smile and observe what happens in your body.

Always Leave Them Laughing: Integrating Humor into Your Trade Show Marketing Campaign
By Susan Friedmann

One of the major objectives of any trade show exhibit is to create a lasting impression in the attendee's mind. After all, if a visitor can't remember you, how can he give you his business? You also want to create a positive impression, and unfortunately, that's harder to do than the negative equivalent.

Which brings us to humor. People love to laugh - and they like other people to laugh with them. Witness the almost constant flood of jokes and cartoons that flit across the internet: Proof that humor cannot be stopped. You'll often find that people go out of their way to remember great jokes, where they'll never, ever stop to jot down the details of an eye-catching graphic. This makes humor an invaluable marketing tool --if you can make it serve your corporate objectives.

Some of you are dismissing this idea out of hand. "There's nothing funny about my product!" I can hear you saying. Well, what's funny about rental cars? Beer? Car insurance? None of these items are inheriently funny, yet companies in all three sectors have effectively used humor to fix their products in the public eye.

It is important to remember that your trade show campaign should be fully integrated into your marketing plan as a whole. If you are using humor in your television and print media, bring it to the show floor. However, if you are known as a stoic and conservative company, playing for laughs at the convention center will fall flat. Consistency in corporate image is key.

What can we learn from companies that have successfully used humor? There are four key lessons.

Avis Rental Cars "We try harder" campaign centers on humorous scenarios highlighting what would happen if a rental car company wasn't willing to go the extra mile. They film ridiculous situations, such as an attendant handing out books to customers waiting in long lines, and contrast them with the bright, efficient service a customer could expect from their company. It gets a chuckle - but you'd better believe that when a weary traveler is eyeing the rental car company kiosks at the airport, an image of that book-toting attendant flashes through his mind.

Key #1: Exaggerate the norm.
Contrast exaggerated examples of industry 'norms' with how your company excels. A restaurant chain that serves large portions could highlight the much smaller servings to be had at the competitor's. Wendy's did this very effectively with
the "Where's The Beef?" campaign in the Eighties. Be careful not to explicitly or implicity identify your competitors, or you'll be hearing from some very angry

Remember the Budwiser frogs? How about the lizards? Or the donkey that wanted to be a Clydesdale? Each of these campaigns was phenomenonally successful, yet only
tangentially related to the product at hand. Each approach was slightly different. Frogs croaking Bud - wis - er can be inheriently funny, especially if you've already had a few brews yourself. It also appealed to the coveted young drinker demographic, as studies have shown an intense brand loyalty among drinkers, generally established in the early twenties. The lizard campaign capitalized on the wry, sarcastic humor enjoyed by Budwiser's target audience. The donkey campaign tied into the traditional Clydesdale imagery, a strong if staid marketing tool.

Key #2: Know your target audience.
Jokes that appeal to one demographic may not work with another. Gen Y shoppers have especially sharp funny bones, and may appreciate dry wit. Tie in your classic marketing efforts whenever possible.

Geico and AFLAC have recently done very well with their talking animal ads. By using the same animals over and over to reinforce the marketing message - after all, that poor duck could surely use some disability insurance of his own by now! - both companies have created a brand awareness second to none. Ask the random person to identify a disability insurance company, and chances are that they'll tell you about AFLAC. Ask them about another disability insurance company, and you'll be lucky if they can name even one.

Key #3: Create a character.
Create a 'character' as part of your brand image. This character should show up EVERYWHERE - including television commercials, on the literature you distribute at the show, in your signage and graphics, and potentially as stuffed animals. The Serta Sheep toys have taken on a life of their own, and each and every one of them goes out with the company name blazoned on the side. That's humorous marketing at work. Consumers buy these secondary products because of the laugh-factor, and bring a constant advertisement into their home. The influence on subsequent purchasing decisions may be minor, but it is in fact there.

Humor can be a great way to convey your marketing message. Geico has done this very well with the "I saved money on my car insurance by switching to Geico!" series of commercials. Exercise equipment salesmen, politicians, animated characters - all have been pressed into service to recite those ten words. Using different settings keeps the audience engaged, while constant repitition drives the message home.

Key #4: Repetition counts.
Remember, consumers need to hear a message at least six times before they'll recall it easily. The trick is to keep the presentation fresh while the message remains constant.

Comedians world-wide will tell you that humor is a tough business. It's hard to tell what will make one person laugh and another roll their eyes in disgust. However, if a joke falls flat for a comedian, they simply move on to the next joke and keep moving. If you've invested tons of time and money in your humor campaign, you need to know these three things:

1. It must be funny. Test the campaign on objective people. Lots of objective people. If the majority laugh, you're golden. However, if less than half the people get the joke, drop it.

2. It must be quick. There are great funny jokes that take half an hour to tell. That's nice. Inflict them on your relatives or when you've got a whole room full of trapped subordinates. Customers aren't going to give you that much of their time. You've got half a minute tops to get them laughing.

3. It must reflect well on your company. Ethnic, racial, sexual, and gender based humor has absolutely no place in the corporate world. Perceived slurs - even if they are made in the guise of a joke - will travel around the world as fast as the internet can move, and suddenly your company will have all kinds of attention they don't want.

Laughing is a lot of hard work, isn't it? But once you've found the right balance, you'll have an advertising campaign that will draw the crowds into your exhibit - and more importantly, toward buying your products and services.

Written by Susan A. Friedmann,CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, Lake Placid, NY, author: "Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies," working with companies to improve their meeting and event success through coaching, consulting and training. Trade
Show Marketing by "The Trade Show Coach" - Susan Friedmann, CSP. For a free copy of "10 Common Mistakes Exhibitors Make", e-mail:; website:
Laugh with someone today. Laugh even if it's a little job to yourself. Thank heavens for the Internet, where we can always find some good humor.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanks Be to the Teachers of the World


~ GO GET THE KNOWLEDGE ~ of the difference between good and evil, or whatever else captures your fancy. Check out REPLAY: Knowledge you've always craved, deliciously peeled, cored, seeded, diced, sliced and served up to you by the greatest teachers in the US. Gently used tapes and CDs you can finally afford from The Teaching Company.


About today's story, Garrison Keillor's "American Gratitude"

My Schwimmfuehrer ultimately threw me out of the row boat to make it back to shore. Or not.

Yes, I cried. Yes, I was mad. Yes, I made it. Yes, I was proud of myself.

In this way, he taught me something more vital than just how to swim. He taught me how to know when I knew it well enough ... when to quit hanging on and take off ... when to quit asking head-questions and live the answers ... when to quit pretending I don't know how/am too young/too old/too dumb/too smart/too hurt/too confused/too little/too scared, and just do it. In other words, how to remove myself from the horns of my own dilemma.

GO TEACHERS! Some of the greatest are ready to teach you at THE REPLAY STORE.

There's a great anecdote in EQ-land, about that bastion of brainiacs, the University of Chicago. Not that there's anything wrong with brainiacs. For some unknown (but lovely) reason, it still remains a requirement for graduation from that venerable institution (which has produced some of the best economists we have) that one must pass a swimming test. Sing ho! for the classic education.

The "final," of course, takes place in Lake Michigan.

Simon showed up one fine day last year to take the final, jumped into the water on cue, and proceeded to flail, flounder and sink. Fast forward to when the ambulance crew had succeeded in resuscitating him, and the dean put forth the obvious question: "Young man, what made you think you knew how to swim?"

Simon's reply: "I'd read all the books about it."

Now our article . . .
American gratitude
We bellyache, we kvetch, we get our undies in a bunch. But we still have so much to give thanks for.
By Garrison Keillor

Nov. 23, 2005 | Family, friends, good health (knock on wood), lots to be thankful for, including this $1.59 Rollerball pen and its flowing cursive line that makes me feel as elegant as Michel de Montaigne.

Gratitude makes sense for an American. We occupy a bountiful country of great civility (yes, really) and robustness and freedom, and if not the No. 1 Country in the World, nonetheless it has some great stuff, including Lake Superior, the Supreme Court, the Greatest Show on Earth, the Four Tops ("Baby, I Need Your Loving") and the World's Largest Ball of Twine Ever Rolled by One Man (12 feet in diameter) in Darwin, Minn. Cawker City, Kan., claims a bigger one, but it's more oblong and was done by committee.

Truly we should be thankful.

And we do try to be. But the English language is so rich in terms of complaint and insult and groaning and rather sparse in the Exaltation Dept., so the Lord doesn't get praised as He should. Instead, we bellyache, we kvetch, we get our undies in a bunch. After all, we're descended from people who considered rejoicing to be bad luck: It tempts fate. So they grumbled about the weather, politicians, children, popular music, new cars, anything modern, and complained about their health year after year until they died and went to heaven, where no doubt they are a little edgy even now -- nice place, paradise -- a little surprised at who else is here, harrumph, harrumph, but never mind -- plenty of bliss, no tears and so forth -- not sure how long it can last, but we shall see.

As for me, I am grateful for the functional. In our home, we are going through a series of malfunctioning coffeemakers that sputter and vomit quarts of hot brown sediment on the kitchen counter and floor, and that makes me grateful for things like this pen, which really is a pleasure.

Or Google, which can bring up 2.3 million references in .03 seconds, none of which sheds light on the subject, but they distract you so that instead of writing about "The Mill on the Floss" by George Eliot, you get interested in dental hygiene.

I'm glad for the E-ticket, which frees us from standing in line at the airline counter so that we can swiftly go stand in line at the security check.

And for the chat room, which frees everyone from inhibitions so that we can find out how much we'd rather not know about other people.

And let us all be thankful for the newspaper, a truly useful object. The press is the watchdog of a free society, and while TV reporters are styling their hair and practicing winsome facial expressions, newspaper reporters are on the phone, knocking on doors, doing the work, holding power accountable. And you read their work and absorb something from it, or not, and then you spread the newspaper out on the floor and it absorbs paint drips, or you pack it in a box around fragile objects, or you roll it up and swat cockroaches, or stuff it into cracks to keep the wind out, or stuff it under the kindling and light the fire -- one simple thing with six distinct uses. Or you can recycle it and it will transcend into cardboard. You can't do that with images on a screen.

These days I am grateful beyond words for a swimming teacher, Alyssa, who is a functional person of a very high order. Twice a week, she takes my sandy-haired, gap-tooth daughter in tow and puts her through her paces. Alyssa is young, blond, brimming with confidence, with broad shoulders and a car horn voice. She hollers, "Kickickickickickkick" and "GOGOGOGOGOGOGOGO" and the little girl puts her head down and swims for all she's worth. A few months ago, she was timid in the water, like me, and now she is a fish, all thanks to her wonderful teacher, a taskmaster with a sense of humor, who is in the pool with her pupils, unlike the Schwimmfuehrer of my youth who strode alongside the pool and showered us with contempt and ridicule. Alyssa's gift is enormous to us. My daughter gets a taste of discipline and success and this makes me very happy. So much that is dismal and destructive in the world, but for me, the joy of a 7-year-old girl putting on her swim goggles almost makes up for it. Thanks be to God for the teachers of the world.

Happy Thanksgiving.

um, how could he forget the bottom of the bird cage??
THE REPLAY STORE. Gently used tapes and CDs you can finally afford from The Teaching Company.
BABY YOURSELF WITH ARBONNE PRODUCTS - - pure, natural ingredients designed with your health in mind. Shop with me online at My Arbonne.

Looking for some charms and crystals for the New Year? Go HERE.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Mastering this Thing Called Living

This painting is called "Gut Feeling"


Some good EQ points in today's guest article, framed somewhat differently. For instance, with the basis of neuroscience in EQ, we separate the "mind" ("brain") into emotions and thinking. (And more than that - take The EQ Foundation Course!) Consider The EQ CheckIn - How are you feeling physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually as indicative of the balance attainable through the study of EQ. Mastery, in this sense, means almost "flow." When you are neither thinking nor feeling, but acting from your true self. How much faster you operate, and how much more effectively. You don't have to think about it, because you already have; and your emotions facilitate, they do not interfere.

Read on!

by guest writer, Steven Barnes

The most elusive quality of excellence, of peak performers worldwide and throughout history is that thing called "Mastery." What is this thing, and is it possible for ordinary people, however committed, to touch this exalted state?

The answer is "yes," but I've got good news, bad news, and more good news. The first good news is that the path is deceptively simple. The bad news is that it is hard, and can be painful. The last, good news is that those on the path have no real
competition - very few people are actually willing to be excellent in life. They want to talk about it, and dream about it, but are unwilling to actually pay the price.

And this, as I've said, is very good indeed for those of us who are.

The first thing we must do is devise a useful definition of "Mastery" whether we are talking about this quality in the domain of writing and the arts, of interpersonal interactions, of intellectual pursuit. Then we must throw light on a pathway to this quality that will enable us to reach our peak potential.

Try this description: "Mastery is the ability to perfectly match energy and attention to the task at hand."

In other words, if every task has a perfect "profile" of attention and ability necessary to complete it, if you bring either less or more of yourself to the task, you may well complete it, but you will struggle and waste energy-or not perform properly at all.

Or try this description: "Mastery is the ability to perform instinctively and instantly in the manner you would perform had you a month to consider your actions." In other words, to have instant access to your own deepest capacities.

In other words, Mastery is the place where intellectual or physical or emotional preparation meets pure instinct. The reflexes of an animal, the emotional purity of a child, the intellectual focus of a scholar. An incredible goal, designed to create incredible results.

And the achievement of that goal is exactly what I.D.E.A. is about.

Instinctive Designation of Energy and Attention. The deliberate cultivation of instinct, energy, and intellect to maximize your results as a writer, athlete, businesswoman, human being, whatever your goal. The theory is both childishly simple
and devilishly difficult, but is your key to accessing your deepest wisdom.

Basically, I.D.E.A. says that you develop your instincts by giving yourself deep feedback about the way you are currently operating in the world. To strip away illusion, and operate in a "truth zone" about the person you are and the world you live in. As the ancient Samurai Musashi Miyamoto once put it, "Do not think dishonestly." A commitment to total truth will tear the blinders from your eyes, possibly for the first time in your life.

Sounds simple? Just wait. Here's the bad news. In order to be certain that you are accurate in your assessments, you must take responsibility for your life, and the results you have achieved (or occasionally endured!) in all three major arenas of your life: body, mind, and spirit.

1) Body is fitness and health. Your body should be in alignment with your own values, or you should be engaged in a daily process of cultivating the physical health and beauty and performance that WOULD reflect your values. Want to know if you
are? Strip to your underwear and look in the mirror. If you are attracted to what you see, you are in alignment with your values. If you aren't, you aren't. It's as simple as that.

2) Mind. Mind manifests most clearly in our education and career. Any worm will move away from pain, and toward pleasure. Believe me, if you aren't working at a career you enjoy, it isn't due to lack of intellect. In such a case you may have emotional conflicts, value confusion about safety, freedom, and responsibility, and it would behoove you to commit to healing them. The core question: if you won the lottery next week, would you still be at your job next year? If not, you should accept the challenge of crafting for yourself a career path that IS that attractive.

3) Spirit. Just as grass bending can signal the presence of wind, the relationships we have with other human beings in THIS world can help us understand our connection to the divine. The most important relationship to address is the one with our most significant other, our husband or wife, or lifemate. The history of this aspect of our lives tells us an enormous amount about our inner world. The most important question: If you viewed your partner (or the average of your partners, over your relationship history) as being your mirror image, what would that say about you? And don't protest that they aren't, that there's no connection between you and the most important person in your life. What a joke! Our relationships measure our honesty, passion, intelligence, self-respect and general energy Take responsibility here. If you're happy with your relationship, pat yourself on the back! And if you're not, you have work to do.

You need not tell another human being what you learn if you look at these three arenas, but YOU need to know. You need to come to some conclusions about how and why you are in the life space you are in. The answers to these questions must be consistent: in other words, you are willing to judge other people by the same standards you hold yourself to. In all likelihood, engaging in the I.D.E.A. process will give you vast compassion for other human beings: we are all battle-scarred, we
are all magnificent, we have all failed, we have all succeeded.

And we move on, toward the light. For an artist, and we are all artists, this process opens the door to a level of understanding most human beings never approach. If you walk this path, it's important to avoid guilt, blame, and shame-these emotions have no place in the evaluation of our lives. They merely cloud the issue. Meditation, dream diaries, therapy, or talking with good and supportive friends might be valuable to help move through the pain and confusion. What I promise you is that if you walk this path, you will be one of the very very few human beings on this planet who are actually committed to excellence. Mastery can be lonely, but as you climb that mountain, moving toward a more and more rarified level of Performance, you will begin to meet the other climbers. And they will extend their hands to you, and welcome you into an extraordinary bonded not by blood, but by spirit.

About The Author: Steven Barnes is a NY Times bestselling writer, hypnotist, and peak performance councilor. Creator of the LifewritingT high-performance system for writers and readers, he has lectured on story and human consciousness at UCLA, Mensa, and the Smithsonian Institute. Learn more about Lifewriting at:

P.S. We are all doing the best we can under the circumstance, even when clearly we are not.

GM and Ford to Lay Off More Workers

HERE'S AN IDEA. WHY NOT WORK FROM HOME? ARBONNE COULD BE JUST THE THING YOU'RE LOOKING FOR ... IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE. All products are manufactured in the US, keeping jobs here at home, though they benefit from stringent Swiss research.

When you have a home business, you can't be fired, and you get to call the shots.
Today's guest article is "It Happened Again: GM To Lay Off Significant Numbers," by Michael Ochoa

It has happened again, and again in a very big way. I am sure you have heard the news that General Motors has announced they are closing plants and letting some 30,000 people go. Some they will be able to relocate, some they won't.

Ford announced they are laying off over 4,000 people as well. This is all devastating news that we should all be concerned about.

The manufacturing sector of our economy is the one sector that provides for our society a "ladder" to allow us to move from lower class economies to middle and upper middle class economies. Without manufacturing, it becomes more and more
difficult for families to pull themselves up and obtain the Great American Dream.

Most manufacturing jobs provide up to nine other jobs in the local economy. Think about the local drug stores, dry cleaners, car washes, gardeners, fast food restaurants, independent auto mechanics, and so on, that are going to see their customer base diminish and their services not used as frequently. This will be a direct result of their local patrons no longer have the discretionary income they once had. Most of those that are being laid off will now start to learn how to get it done themselves. After all, they will now have the time. Many will begin working on their own cars, taking care of their own lawns, cooking and eating "in" more often than not.

And with fewer "end" products being produced, suppliers and their employees are affected in the same fashion.

What of our younger generation that is coming up through high school? What direction do they take upon graduation? What field do they now study in college? And to learn a trade is still a good bet, but unless they move to an area where there is more discretionary income, what do they learn a trade in?

These are tough situations and difficult questions. These actions affect us whether we live nearby or not, were laid off or still working. How much will the government be able to do to help us? I spoke with some friends who live in Marathon Florida who were devastated in the last hurricane and they related that FEMA has notified them that they are temporarily out of money due in large part to hurricane Katrina. They indicated that FEMA told them tehy [sic] need to go back to congress to get more moneys approved.

There were some individuals who had some foresight and started a home based business that provided them residual income. It may have sounded kind of corny then, or out of vogue, but there are those families, husband and or wife: single parent, or head of household that DID do something way back when and have been enjoying discretionary income month after month from their home business. To those who were prepared, you will have a little less worry and frustration than those that did not.

For those that did not have a home based business and consequently no monthly residual income, it is never too late to start one. You can start one up for relatively little cost, and it will not dig into your new budgeted spending pattern if you start a business where the products would be those that you consume in your household each month (all businesses need to have products or services sold. If not, then they are a scam and turn away as fast as you can).

As independent adults that are getting caught in this layoff trap and having less and less security, there are some analyses that may be difficult, nevertheless, need to now take place. For those of us not directly caught (yet), this analysis process would still be good for us to examine as well.

First, hopefully those employees getting laid off have put back some savings. After all, this has happened before, so hopefully there was foresight that something like this could happen again and there was at least some preparation.

Second, take a real hard look at what areas you would be able to trim, immediately if you have to, in order to slow down the cash outflows every month. Look at these areas closely. If you have teenage children, you might want to involve them in the process. Have them help to contribute ideas that will help the family weather this storm. Explain to them that as parents, you will do everything you can to make this temporary situation and explain to them you appreciate their help and input.

Third, "write down your plans". This is so important. Set some short term goals that will help you to get through this time. Also make sure to include your "written" finances from step 2 here as well. One technique to use is to sit down and write out where the money is currently being spent now, and keep in mind that most of us don't have the patience to do this, or are not honest enough with ourselves when we write it down.

This is an important enough step that it is worth repeating. Look at the list and decide what, if any, areas you can trim down for the interim period. Don't look at it as "I can go without this" because this will begin to breed anger, after all, you worked hard for X amount of years and you deserve this (whatever "this" is). And anger will do you, and or your family and friends, no good at all.

This is not the end of the world and you and your family will survive it. YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT! But if you have the wrong mindset, it will make the process you are getting ready to go through much more difficult than it needs to be.

Once you have it all written down, talk to your spouse, or if a single parent, talk to your children and try and solicit their support in "making those new plans happen". If the family has goals, and "everyone" in the family participates, this temporary setback will be brief and the family will remain intact. If there are no goals, or they are not specific, then everyone does what they think they should do and in reality, nothing gets accomplished except feelings of contempt and frustration for one another.

Keep in mind that this has happened to people and families in the past and it will be experienced by people and families in the future. You may find that your life begins moving in a direction you had not originally intended it to, or the changes that take place in you or your family are changes you would not have thought possible before. That will be ok. Again, the most important thing to remember is that you did just fine up to this point and you will do just fine after this. There is a life after (insert you company name here).

Sometimes many believe that a power greater than they are found it necessary to challenge them to learn and experience new situations that will further develop their true selves, or the people they were intended to be. Some will shrug their shoulders and say ok, let's move on.

Situations have a way of correcting themselves in time, but usually not without some direct input from us. What this means is if we are to have a positive outcome, we need to have positive input. If we experience a negative outcome, then we obviously have input negative actions, feelings and or emotions.

Remember, this is not the worst thing that could have happened. If you were not ready for this one, then get ready for the next one. Seriously examine your spending patterns. Take a hard look at where your money is going. Employ a technique called delayed gratification, meaning wait and save the money for the item, or do what is necessary now, in order to have the item or pleasure in the future.

And if you do not have a side business, a home based business, or a part time business, realistically pursue that. There are too many opportunities that are out there for bright people that are hard working in nature, to sit on the sidelines and not be able to participate in the "Great American Dream".

About The Author: Michael Ochoa operates several websites and is a Success Coach to help people accomplish their dreams of financial success and independence. Michael has worked in professional management for over 20 years and operates, a website that shows sound home business information.
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Thursday, November 24, 2005


HAPPY THANKSGIVING. Please visit MY WEBSITE for articles, resources, quotes beautiful holiday music, inspiration and more. And take a look at Club Vivo Per Lei / I Live for Music while you're there, as we'll be cruising on into the holiday season from here.

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others." (Cicero)

You are listening to We Gather Together to Ask the Lord's Blessing

Do you love music? Do you LIVE for music? If a holiday wouldn’t be a holiday without music, join CLUB VIVO PER LEI / I LIVE FOR MUSIC - DEDICATED TO DR. JOHN J. ALIFANO, JR., TO WHOM MANY PEOPLE OWE THEIR LIVES AND THEIR EDUCATIONS. Click HERE to join.

Brought to you by Susan Dunn, Your EQ Coach.
I am grateful for your support, affirmations, the chance to serve you and the pleasure of your company on our mutual journeys. Thank you for your referrals and for making our EQ Alive! the #1 coach certification program!

We celebrate gratitude in our daily lives.


God, when I have food, help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work, help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home, help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain, me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
Help me to destroy my complacency;
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed, those who cry out for what we take for granted.


"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was 'thank you' that would suffice." Meister Eckhart

"The Pilgrims built 7 times as many graves as they did huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving." H. U. Westermayer

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words; but to live by them." -John F. Kennedy

For more quotes, articles, resources, musics, anticipations of Christmas, tips on enjoying Thanksgiving more, and inspiration, go HERE ( ).

Thanksgiving, the only remaining holiday we celebrate in the US with no commerical, materialistic overtones. We give thanks, not gifts.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Children at Thanksgiving


"How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age. Thanksgiving opens the doors. It changes a child’s personality. A child is resentful, negative - - or thankful. Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people."
~ Sir John Templeton
Email me - - for my special Thanksgiving gift, "Thanks" in words and art. Put "thanks" for subject line.
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O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
Our Thanksgiving hotline will be open again this year from the hours of 10 am CST till 10 pm CST to serve your coaching needs. Give us a call - 210-496-0678. We're here to serve. It's free of course. Happy Thanksgiving! (If you're international, you can call me on skype. for free number)
ARBONNE: Physical healing requires neutraceuticals; we can no longer get the nutrition we need from the food we eat, even "fresh" produce. We recommend Arbonne's DEFENSE BUILDER and GET WELL SOON DIETARY SUPPLEMENT, scientifically proven to nutritionally support the immune system. The immune system is our health, and our ONLY LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST VIRUSES. Antibiotics can cure bacteria, but we have no known cure for a virus. Get proactive and build up your immune system now.

It's a good time to become an Arbonne consultant. Click HERE to register. Email for assistance.

And if you're working on your Emotional Intelligence, you'll want to be sure and supplement with those great Arbonne neutraceuticals. Today's BBC segment on BBS talked about violence prevention. A research program in Mauritius (due to the rich ethnic diversity there, and being an island, followup was easy) has traced children for 30 years after an enrichment program. The first focus was NUTRITION and they found, not surprisingly, that good nutrition increases good brain functioning (and impulse control). Then more physical exercise. Then cognitive enrichment.

If you're having trouble with negative emotions, get an ARBONNE SUPPLEMENT, study EQ, get more exercise, and enjoy enrichment, such as CLUB VIVO PE LEI / I LIVE FOR MUSIC - TO JOIN GO HERE.

For holiday meltdown, see GOLDEN KEY.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A Prayer at Thanksgiving

From a client ...
"Thank you very much for all the time you spent with me on the phone, and thank you for being so understanding and caring. I can tell that you truly care about people and helping them with their lives." Warmest aloha, M.E.

For coaching, email me at or call 210-496-0678.
The holidays can be excruciating for those who are suffering, in pain, or surviving recent losses. We offer ...


God, make me brave for life;
oh, braver than this.
Let me straighten after pain
as the tree straightens after the rain,
shining and lovely again.

God, make me brave for life;
much braver than this.
As the blown grass lifts,
let me rise from sorrow with quiet eyes,
knowing Thy way is wise.

God, make me brave --
Life brings such blinding things
Help me to keep my sight,
help me to see aright
that out of darkness
comes light.
ARBONNE: Physical healing requires neutraceuticals; we can no longer get the nutrition we need from the food we eat, even "fresh" produce. We recommend Arbonne's DEFENSE BUILDER and GET WELL SOON DIETARY SUPPLEMENT, scientifically proven to nutritionally support the immune system. The immune system is our health, and our ONLY LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST VIRUSES. Antibiotics can cure bacteria, but we have no known cure for a virus. Get proactive and build up your immune system now.

It's a good time to become an Arbonne consultant. Click HERE to register. Email for assistance.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Thanksgiving Pet Care and Safety


Things change at the holidays. New people come to your house with strange new things, you rearrange furniture, you come and go more. You’re distracted, more tired, and more emotional than usual, which means you can fail to pay attention to important things.

At the same time, all these things confuse your animal companion, causing them to do things they ordinarily wouldn’t do that can bring harm to them.

The most important thing is your pet’s health and life. Second to this, your time and money are precious, and trips to the vet and extra bills aren’t pleasant with Christmas coming up.

Here are some precautions for the safety of your animal companion:

1. Keep careful track of visitors’ possessions.

People bring all sorts of things in their suitcases and purses, like nitroglycerine and sleeping pills. Keep purses and luggage up off the floor, closed and latched. Cats can climb, as you know so nothing’s really safe. Ex Lax, Chew tabs, and other items with chocolate in them might be in a visitor’s suitcase or purse. Chocolate contains theobromine which can be fatal to animals, even in small doses.

2. Keep your animal companion on their regular regime and diet.

It’s tempting to carve the roast beef or turkey and throw scraps to the dog. There’s their weight to consider, but also, if you’ve done this they usually end up vomiting. Happy Thanksgiving!

3. Protect your animal companion from new people and vice versa.

Guests can agitate and excite your pet so they get in trouble, do bizarre things, and also harm people.

Consider for instance your Macaw. You know all about your bird, but many people aren’t familiar with their habits and may, as I once did, stick my finger right in the cage to get friendly, and … “the Macaw uses its bill to score and then, in steel-cutter fashion, shear the nuts in two so cleanly that the cut surfaces resemble the work of a metal-cutting saw or laser …” and it’s ho-ho-ho, off to the emergency room we go.

4. Don’t let your pet eat all gifts that are presented!

The houseguest from hell, I brought homemade dog biscuits for a friend’s dog once, which gave it terrible diarrhea and we were all up all night. People often bring chocolate and plants or flowers that might be poisonous. Holly and mistletoe are poisonous to both humans and animals, and poinsettias, though not technically poisonous, don’t sit well.

5. Rabbits like to chew electrical cords.

You’ll be getting out more extension cords this time of year. Cover them with duct tape and get them out of the way as best you can.

6. Tranquilize your pet or tranquilize their environment.

This is an option that may be best for your animal companion. Some animals are innately high-strung, just as some people are. Consult your veterinarian, or secure the animal in a quiet room, or put them oudoors if they’re the excitable type.

8. Watch carefully the animal that isn’t used to children, and vice versa. Children do not naturally know how to behave with animals, and the excitement can lead to injury of either party. Animals can bite when agitated. Children can let the hamster or snake out of its cage, forget to close the cage, leave doors open so the dogs and cats run out, give animals food they shouldn’t eat, pull ears, step on tails and otherwise torture animals because they haven’t had the opportunity to learn pet care.

9. Guard against escapes!

The holidays are greatly loved by the pet who loves to escape. Your guests may not be used to closing doors quickly as they exit. If you have such a knave in your house that shoots for the door at every opportunity, explain to kids and houseguests, don’t count on it working, make sure the pets have tags, or take the animal to the vets for a couple of days. Sometimes that’s the only safe course of action. Older visitors with bifocals who may also be forgetful of instructions, can step on small pets, or rock on their tales while sitting in the rocker.

Your animal companion counts of you for food, shelter, and safety. Be there for them at Thanksgiving and all the year.

Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach,, . Coaching, Internet courses, and ebooks for wellness, success, and personal and professional development. #1 rated EQ coach certification program – fast, affordable, no-residency requirement, work at your own pace. Neutraceuticals for your health, to support your immune system – . Email for fre* ezine.

Nobody's more miserable. Don't let another year go by without doing something about it. Call me for coaching and get the new year started right. 210-496-0678.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Gratitude at Thanksgiving

Gratitude is so easily expressed through the eyes of children. I love Grandpa Tucker's THANKSGIVING POEM.

Pum-Pum Pum-Pum Pumpkin Pie

I like turkey—the dressing's cool
With potatoes round a gravy pool,
The thing that really makes me sigh
Is pum-pum, pum-pum, pumpkin pie!

When it is Thanksgiving Day
Aunt Edna comes from far away.
I kiss her cheek, it makes her cry,
I do it all for pumpkin pie.
Oh! Pum-pum, pum-pum, pumpkin pie!

The table's set, I bow my head,
Then my private prayer is said,
"Thanks for your blessing from on high,
This pum-pum, pum-pum, pumpkin pie!"

The time is close, I start to stutter
And stick my finger in the butter.
As mom asks, "Now?" "Oh! Yeah!" I cry,
"A big HIGH FIVE for pumpkin pie!
Yes!!! Pum-pum, pum-pum, pumpkin pie!"
—Grandpa Tucker
Copyright ©1996 Bob Tucker

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Give Thanks ... Per Favore ... Si'l Vous Plait ...


There we were, newly married, living thousands of miles from either of our homes, in Durham, NC where he was in medical school. My husband was from Texas, and I was from the North Shore of Chicago. We came from two different cultures ourselves, and now were together in a new one. It turned out to be culture shock on top of culture shock as we adjusted to each other, and to the cosmopolitan student body at Duke Medical School.


Culture is something we learn. It isn’t related to race or ethnicity, religion or anything else, but it pulls from all those groups, and, especially if we’ve only lived in one place, moved only in one social group, and/or haven’t been exposed to other cultures, we tend to think of our own culture as sacred. However, so does the other person!

As we move into an exciting new world of global interaction, there are going to be culture clashes. Let’s continue looking at this through my Thanksgiving Tale.


The first Thanksgiving came around and friends from New England invited us over along with 6 other couples. Guests included a man from the Dominican Republic married to a woman from Spain; a couple from Missouri; a New York man married to a woman from Brazil; two French Canadians from Quebec; and two Australians who were not medical students, but neighborhood friends. Religions represented were Protestant, Catholic and Jewish. And, I should add, it included men and women.

As friends do, we all talked among ourselves both before the event, during and after. A lot of it had to do with figuring out what was going on with all these nationalities represented. We split into factions about what was “right” and what was “wrong,” often changing sides with different issues.


“Why noon?” my husband asked. “When are we eating?” My husband liked everything organized with no surprises. I was more flexible, but willing to dive in and explore, so I called the hostess. “It’s buffet,” she said. I fished around for more information, like when were we expected to leave, and could I bring anything, hoping she’d reveal the menu. Her answers were typically New England, short and terse.

“You didn’t find out anything?” my husband asked, when I returned empty-handed.

“She didn’t volunteer anything,” I said. “I did the best I could.”

“Why didn’t you just ask her the questions outright?” he said.

“Because that’s rude,” I said.

“You’re too polite,” he replied.

“Then next time you call,” I said.

“That’s the woman’s job,” he replied.

We and the Missourians arrived at noon:11, which was our cultural dictate; a few minutes late to allow the host and hostess to make last minute adjustments, but no more than 15 minutes late. The French Canadians and the Australians arrived about 30 minutes later. The couples that included a Latino arrived an hour or two after noon.

“How rude,” said the New Yorker. “How are we supposed to be able to plan? What do you do when you invite the Gonzalezes over?”

“Relax,” said the Australians. “We’ve all got kids. Things happen.”

The French Canadians spoke to each other in French, obviously disliking tardiness, then smiled and told us, “Isn’t this a wonderful Thanksgiving,” avoiding dissension.

The Latinos didn’t appear to notice their wandering in was anything out of the ordinary They were busy hugging everyone and having a good time!

How we treat time varies greatly among cultures. We had had our cocktail hour by the time the Latinos arrived, and were ready to eat, but felt they should have time for a drink and some chatting also. It was an awkward moment. Somewhere also there was a football game involved, the timing of which got messed up.

“Don’t worry about the football game,” said the Dominican. “This is Thanksgiving.”

”Thanksgiving IS the football game,” my husband said to me, soto voce, angry over that and also because he hadn’t had any food.


Everyone from the medical school contingent was dressed up, and in festive apparel. The Australians were in blue jeans. The social group also has a pull.


At last we were invited to the buffet table. To me, it’s a big part of the event, and I was aghast. Boiled onions in a cream sauce, a turnip casserole, a ham, tart cranberries just crushed and sitting in a bowl … where was the turkey, the stuffing, the sweet cranberry jelly? I don’t even remember what the dessert was, but it’s for sure it wasn’t the Ambrosia my Texas-mother fixed, or the Mince Meat pie my British-ancestored father demanded.

A conversation ensued about who has what for Thanksgiving, some of us trying to convince the non-American participants of what Thanksgiving was “really” like, i.e., not like this, but also not agreeing among ourselves.

My husband and I went home feeling we hadn’t had a Thanksgiving. I didn’t get the meal, he didn’t get the football game.


Approaching the table, someone suggested a prayer of Thanksgiving. The host (the highest status male present) looked surprise so we all turned toward the most known-religious man in the room. However, the host evidently decided it was his job, and began a grace. I looked around. Some had their heads bowed in prayer; others were looking around the room, ill-at-ease.


When they first walked into the house, the US participants looked around as if something was missing. What was missing? There were no Thanksgiving decorations. Nor was there a host; the hosts’ child opened the door and we went hunting for the couple.

“I miss my dad,” the Missouri woman told me, an oblique reference to the greeting-situation. “He always greeted guests so warmly, with a hug and a big smile at the front door.”

The Dominican-Spain couple missed music and dancing. “In my country we dance after dinner,” he said. “Here, you sit and fall asleep.”

He and the gentleman from Australia also stayed in the room where the women were after dinner; the rest of the guys went off to the rec room.


Conversations continued after the event. The upshot was we’d had a good time, good company, and didn’t wish to appear ungrateful, but we all were left feeling “homesick.” Next year we’d do our own Thanksgivings, we agreed.

However, the next year my husband and I found ourselves in the car Thanksgiving Day, on the way over to the house of a Pakistani couple.

“Why on earth would they invite us over for Thanksgiving?” my husband asked. “It’s an American holiday.”

“I think it’s nice,” I said. “They’re going to live in the US and they want to join in and learn new ways. I just hope we have turkey.”

“I just better get to watch the game this year,” he added, ominously.

Over the chicken makhani and ras malai, unfortunately served during the last quarter of the football game, the Japanese woman on my right said, “So this is how you celebrate Thanksgiving here.”


Interacting with other cultures is challenging, and requires a lot of emotional intelligence. It requires flexibility, creativity, empathy and interpersonal skills, plus a lot of understanding and a sense of humor. It forces us to focus on what’s really important – the people or the details? It also brings us to a greater awareness of what our own culture is.

Emotional intelligence relies on self-awareness and then other-awareness and finding the common ground, with optimism. Global emotional intelligence relies on own-culture-awareness, then other-culture-awareness, and then finding the common ground with optimism.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

How to Teach Your Child To Be Grateful


The holidays are approaching. Another year has blown by. Our children have grown miraculously before our eyes. As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we pause to reflect on our blessings - what we're thankful for. For many of us, we struggle with the concept of blessings as it requires that we take a long hard look at our lives and acknowledge our strengths, as well as our struggles.

As adults, we have the emotional maturity to engage in quiet introspection. Children, however, require mentoring around the abstract concepts of giving thanks and acknowledging the bounty in their lives. Though difficult to communicate in terms that children, especially young children, can understand, it is essential to provide guided introspection around the holidays so that children learn these valuable skills and can begin to appreciate how different our lives would be without good health, love, and family.

Some children will not have the maturity to understand introspection and reflection but they can be taught that “bounty” or “plenty” does not refer to material things.

Meet Tom:

Tom is 6 yrs old. His mom and dad separated 4 months ago. This will his first big holiday with his parents living apart. Tom lives all week with his mom and his dog Charlie. He goes to his dad’s every other weekend.

During a recent visit with his father, Tom awoke several times during the night – on both Friday and Saturday. Dad shared the change in Tom’s sleep pattern with mom and both agreed to watch Tom to determine if it was a temporary change or an indication of a deeper problem.

Tom continued his nighttime awakenings over the next 10 days and exhaustion was catching up with him. Mom received reports back from school that Tom exhibited uncharacteristic behavior. Formerly a bright and sunny child, he seemed more irritable and moody.

Uncertain how to handle the change, they called upon expert help. After several discussions with Tom and his parents, it was clear that Tom was reacting to having his family split for the first time during a holiday.

His parents were educated on how to show Tom to see change in a way that would be more accepting. They were also taught the value of the concepts of thankfulness and plenty as a tool to accept change.

Together they worked to instill these values in their son, showing Tom that having plenty did not mean having all the coolest toys, that the things that matter are family, good health, and feelings. Tom was guided to change his perception of his parent’s separation and focus on their abundance of love for him rather than on the fact that they did not live together. He was shown how to be thankful for his family and all that they shared. As Tom began to understand the true meaning of what it means to be thankful, his nighttime awakenings stopped.

This holiday season, keep in mind the following tips:

1. Awareness: Of those things that are plentiful in your life

2. Teach: Your children the concept of plenty in terms of non-material stuff.

3. Strengthen: ways to draw upon the bounty in your life and build upon it.

Dr. Charles Sophy, Beverly Hills, CA, USA Dr. Charles Sophy currently serves as Medical Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), which is responsible for the health, safety and welfare of nearly 40,000 foster children. He also has a private psychiatry practice in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Sophy has lectured extensively and is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California Los Angeles Neuro-Psychiatric Institute. His lectures and teachings are consistently ranked as among the best by those in attendance. Dr. Charles Sophy, author of the “Keep ‘Em Off My Couch” blog, provides real simple answers for solving life’s biggest problems. He specializes in improving the mental health of children. To contact Dr. Sophy, visit his blog at

This article doesn't go into the how-tos. To learn real examples of what exactly to do, read my ebook "How to Develop Your Child's EQ."
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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bird Flu and Your Kids


Many parents are concerned that their children do not consume the proper foods they need to stay strong and healthy. The truth is children can be picky eaters. Some children will go through stages where they will refuse to eat anything other than a favorite food, while other children will try new foods, but do not take to them.

Children's vitamins are available to parents who want to ensure their children are receiving the necessary nutrients he or she eeds to grow strong and healthy. Even parents who have children who eat well are supplementing their children's diet with vitamins. The fact is the earth's soil is rapidly being depleted of nutrients, and the rigors of food processing also leaves many foods deficient in vitamins and minerals.

Children's vitamins are packaged in such a way that they are attractive to children. Most children's vitamins come in colorful and fun shapes. Many manufacturers of children's vitamins are packaging their vitamins in lollipop, gum ball and gummy bear varieties. Because these vitamins resemble candy, it is important that you keep them away from a child's reach and that you monitor their intake. If you find your child has taken extra vitamins, you should consult their pediatrician or your
local poison control center.

There are instances when a pediatrician will prescribe vitamins for a child. If a child has a vitamin deficiency, does not have access to fluoridated water, or has anemia or other illness or disease, vitamin supplements may be prescribed for a child. However, in general, many pediatricians believe that children do not need vitamin supplements if they are being fed properly. They feel that children can receive all the vitamins and minerals they need if they eat according to the Food Pyramid. Consult with your child's pediatrician before starting them on a vitamin.

Vitamins are supplements and not replacements. Children's vitamin supplements should never be looked upon as a replacement for healthy eating. Encourage your child to eat the foods they need, and do things to make nutrition fun and flavorful for them. For instance, letting children add grated cheese to their vegetables will make some children more interested in eating them. Allowing a child to drink calcium fortified orange juice over milk works well for a child who does not like milk. Let your child participate in making a vegetable pizza, or let them pick out fruit at a market and place it in their own special area at home. All of these tips can go a long way in helping a picky eaters overcome their fears so they consume the vitamins they need.

Raquel is a writer for,, a website aimed at providing clear, simple, easy to understand information about health.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Eco Bra

BRRR ... Baby it's cold outside ... so what do you do for insulation? Well the Eco Bra and EQ both work!N

Have you read about the new Japanese prototype Eco Bra? I love looking at some of their new "inventions." Sometimes I'm not sure whether they're for real of not, for instance, the overalls for crawling babies that have dust pads attached to them so the baby cleans the floor as he crawls along. Real or not real?

Okay, Eco Bra ... real or not real? It is furry and comes only in white. The Eco Bra comes accompanied with, if you like, a white furry boa, white furry shorts and very heavy furry knee socks, more like booties.

The Japanese are apparently asking everyone to keep their thermostats set at 68 all winter, and the Eco Bra is supposed to help keep women warm. It comes with little pads you can heat in the microwave and then stick inside the cups of the bra. You can see it modeled HERE.

The Eco Bra will certainly make the women resilient against the cold. It will be good insulation.

That's what emotional intelligence does for you -- gives you good insulation against the "shocks that man is heir to." It bolsters you against rejection, for instance. In studies, the best predictor of a salesperson's success is his or her optimism or ability to handle rejection.

It's as ridiculous to think emotional intelligence can keep you completely INSULATED as it would be to send that poor Japanese model out in the snow in the white furry shorts and Eco Bra ... but it's a start, and in the case of EQ, an excellent. one.
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That ... emotional intelligence, social support, music and if you're female, maybe even an Eco Bra, and you could sta warm all winter!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Your Guy Won't Take You on a Cruise?

NOTHING CAN BE AS ROMANTIC AS A CRUISE, AND MOST WOMEN I KNOW WOULD LOVE TO GO ON ONE WITH THEIR HONEY. (Guys, you read this too, to see what you've been missing.)

Just the thought of having your guy all alone surrounded by all that romantic ocean, looking up at the moon and stars, or all to yourself in your cozy stateroom with a “do not disturb on the door,” doesn’t it make you weak in the knees?

Now we all know we can’t tell our man what to do, so how do you get this to happen? What you need to do is start dispelling the MYTHS about cruising.

Let's use our EQ. It's not about emotions only, it's the interface between thinking and feeling. Most guys like facts (and here you have information), but many decisions are made on an emotional basis (you know how to sweeten the pot, so to speak). Dispel some of the fears and misconceptions, and then give it your own personal spin. You know your guy!

MYTH #1: Real guys don’t go on cruises.
REALITY: Well, there’s my friend who loves to cruise who’s a doctor. He owns his own airplane and yacht, with licenses to pilot both, and has an active lifestyle, jogging several miles each morning, playing competitive tennis once a week, and bicycling any other time he can. Why does he like to cruise? Because – doh – it’s romantic. In the guy sense. He’s got HER all to himself in that cozy little stateroom. Actually he prefers a room with a private balcony. He knows if you want the kisses, you can’t just be romantic, you have to seduce, and that means pleasing his lady. He knows how to set the scene, and cruises work.

MYTH #2: You have to wear a tux.
REALITY: It’s quite possible to go on a cruise and never dress up. If he hates to dress up, he doesn’t have to. Many people don’t. There are casual dining options for every meal, where the food is just as good, but you don’t have to wear a suit, and you don’t have to sit for a long time. There’s also room service. Nor do you have to dress up to dance.

MYTH #3: It’s all about food.
REALITY: Cruise lines these days offer healthy alternatives, and there are always fruit and salad bars. On my last cruise, a river cruise in Russia, I actually LOST weight.

MYTH #4: It’s sedentary.
REALITY: ROFL. Consider the length of a cruise ship. Elevators they have, but not down the corridors. I would imagine you walk miles a day. There are also fitness centers on most ships, a deck used for a track, aerobics, yoga and dance classes, and the option of active shore excursions. You will only gain weight on a cruise if you want to.

MYTH #5: It’s confining.
REALITY: Again, these ships are huge. Try and find someone! You need a walky-talky. There are libraries, conference rooms, hundreds of rooms, numerous dining areas, lobbies, stores, crew areas, the infirmary, and numerous decks. Yes, the rooms are small, but here, more than any other vacation, you won’t want to be in it. If you want to read, watch TV, or share a drink with your honey, there are 100 nooks and crannies, bars, lounges and conference rooms where you can be alone, or feel alone.

MYTH #6: It’s too expensive.
REALITY: I’ve got a cruise coming up that costs $350 for 4 nights. You couldn’t stay in a good hotel and eat anything for that price. On a cruise you can have steak every night, food available around the clock, and Broadway-style entertainment. If you shop for cruise bargains, there’s no better value. Price it out for him.

MYTH #7: I can’t use my computer. I’d be out-of-touch.
REALITY: Most ships have computer rooms; most docks have Internet cafes. You can always be reached on the ship, and cell phones work from most of the ports.

MYTH #8: It’s boring.
REALITY: There are casinos, entertainment, people to talk to, games, and antics around the pool that keep the men captivated, shore excursions, movies, and crew maneuvers to watch such as docking and tendering.

MYTH #9: It’s all girl stuff.
REALITY: Really? How about gambling and drinking, risqué poolside contests, and shore excursions, some of which are rated “strenuous,” such as: All terrain eco adventure; snorkeling and SCUBA; Atlantis submarine; ATV and horseback riding on the beach; certified 2-tank dive; cave adventure by jeep; cavern dive; kayaking; climbing park; golf at country club; deep sea fishing; dolphin swim; rent a powerboat and escape to private beach; Hobie catamaran challenge; and motorbikes?

MYTH #10: It’s dangerous. There are hurricanes.
REALITY: Rather than give statistics, I’m going to share a personal experience, the best testimony there is. I was speaking on a cruise ship during Isabelle, and here’s what happens. They aren’t going to risk lives or that multi-million dollar ship. Hurricanes only go about 5 miles an hour, and you’re not a stationary object like the state of Florida, you’re on a moving vessel that can easily outrun it. It’s exciting, but not scary. You may get re-routed, but you’re safe on a ship, and will have a great story to tell back home.

MYTH #11: What if we get sick?
REALITY: Think of a cruise ship as a small city; after all there can be thousands of passengers and crew on board. They have a doctor, a nurse, and protocol for emergencies. (Do buy the special health insurance they offer; most policies don’t cover you in international water or outside the US.) That ship where everyone got sick? What about that flu that went through your office last year? Those things happen, but if you’re immune system is up (take an Arbonne neutraceutical like Defense Builder to keep it built up) you should be okay. The first thing that will happen once everyone’s on board is muster, where you learn what you’d do if there were a fire. There’s a safe in your room. They think of everything, and the crew isn’t there, highly-trained and in uniform, just to look pretty.

MYTH #12: I’d miss the kids.
REALITY: Being them along. The “camps” for kids have the latest toys, games and computers and are well-supervised. Babysitters are available at night.

MYTH #13: I get seasick.
REALITY: Read about the stabilizers on these ships. In fact the equipment and technology on a cruise ship are always fascinating to men, and one of the draws. Watching from the top deck when the ship docks, is a great favorite, as is tendering. Probably the biggest thrill of all is a lock. On the Russian river cruise we must’ve gone through 15 locks, and the men never tired of it.

A cruise has something to offer everyone, and to accommodate to all lifestyles and ages.
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Friday, November 11, 2005

What Kind of Food Are You?

I talked with someone today who had just found out someone else thought he was "intimidating." It's something he had never considered. I was chuckling as he talked, because everything he was describing I'd seen him do, and, in fact, had felt intimidated by him myself on more than one occasion. Typically, until we get mindful, people tell us things all the time that are "true," and also useful things to know about ourselves (some of which need correcting for more effective living!) but never make it on the radar screen. Then ... "When the student is ready the teacher will come."

These little personality quizzes can help us raise our awareness about ourselves, which is what EQ is all about. It starts with self-awareness. I took it and it turns out I'M A NACHO! I am, indeed, dependable ... as night follors day. Therefore I therefore never think to tell someone that I am. Of course actions count the most, but I tend to assume people know I'm dependable because, well, I am! This little quiz reminds me that the "spiciness" might make someone who doesn't know me think I'm not dependable, and that's a good thing to know. Impression management!

Take the quiz and see what kind of food YOU are.

You Are Mexican Food

Spicy yet dependable.
You pull punches, but people still love you.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Want a New Emotional Lifetsyle?


Who Is Deciding How You Will React To Your Feelings?
Copyright 2005 John Halderman

Are your emotional reactions automatic or on purpose?

Are you frustrated with how you continue to react the same way every time a specific situation or feeling comes up? Have you desired less stress and anxiety in your life, and more pleasure and happiness?

If you had a choice, would you choose anger, resentment, fear, worry, and jealousy to be a consistent part of your life? More likely, I think you want more happiness, joy, fulfillment, understanding, and love to be present.

Well, you can choose, you can change yourself one small step at a time in all areas of your life if you choose to. Your personal growth is up to you; you can cease allowing your automatic reactions to guide your life.

You can react to your feelings any way that you want?

CHANGING HOW YOU REACT TO A FEELING Just because you have reacted in a certain way does not mean you must continue to do so. You can actually change your reaction any time you choose.

We all react to the specific feelings that come up when something occurs. And how we react is based on how we perceive the occurrence. If you can change the way you
perceive something, you change your reaction to it. And changing your reaction will alter the outcome of your feelings and actions.

NOTICE, ASSES AND CHANGE The first thing is to just notice how you are reacting to a given feeling. This may seem difficult at first, as most likely you are accustomed to living on auto-pilot, allowing whatever thoughts come up, to rule the moment.

You can start by thinking about your reaction after the fact, then gradually as you become more aware of this, you will notice while you are reacting. After awhile, as you become more aware, you will find that you can easily notice your reactions right as they are coming up. Then you will be able to quickly analyze how you would prefer to react and do so.

This can take time, as your habitual reactions will want to slip in as they always have. With persistence and determination you can take command of your reactions.

VALUES AND DESIRED LIFE Look at your personal values when deciding how you would rather react. What reaction would better serve the values you want to live by? How would you rather behave in certain situations? Could you reduce negative effects and increase the more desirable?

If your present reaction is one of anger, is anger what you want in your life, or would there be another reaction more in line with how you want to live your life? You can change much of what your experience in life by changing your perceptions

THIS IS CHANGE You can eliminate the experience and results of your anger if you choose not to allow anger to be a part of your reaction in a given situation. Getting command of your thinking and choosing to direct it how you want, will
gradually bring more of what you want into your life. You will open yourself to a new life with every reaction you alter to more align with how you desire to be.

You don't need to continuously be subject to undesirable automatic reactions that are not beneficial to you. Start noticing your reactions, and see them as something that can be changed. Determine what you DO want in your life. Search within yourself for what you DO want your life to include. What are your values, your purpose, and your mission?

"Our reactions to our feelings are our passport to rebirth." - Ayya Khema, "Being Nobody, Going Nowhere"

About the Author:

John Halderman is a writer, speaker, and trainer intent on helping people with getting real results from their personal growth efforts. He supports methods, tools, and knowledge that bridge the gap between information and effective results. For self-improvement tools, tips and resources to assist you with living an effective, satisfying life. Get the newsletter "Effective Personal Development", along with the special 5 part series "Continuous Personal Development". Click Here.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Where Are All the Suitable Men

There's a lot of EQ wisdom in this article whether you're a woman looking for a man, for someone looking for anything you don't seem to be able to find ...

"Where are all the suitable men?"
by Michael Myerscough

Recently one of my e-zine subscribers emailed me about an experience that she and three of her friends had. It seems they went out speed dating and none of them found anyone of interest. Which resulted in the question 'Where are all the suitable men?' Well generally I try to keep that kind of information for my paying clients but given it was such a direct request I'm going to share it with you.

The suitable men have a special club that they belong to. It's a club that requires a suit and there are no women allowed. If you're looking for them you're out of luck because they've realised life is a whole lot easier without a woman looking for the perfect man. They have passwords, secret handshakes and everything else necessary to keep their club well hidden. You're never getting in. So thanks for asking ;-)

That leaves you with the rest of us!

The real answer to 'where are all the suitable men?' is simply this. That suitable man is wherever you are, he's walking in the same park you're in, he's in the same coffee shops you're drinking in, he's standing next to you in the supermarket. You may not meet him today or even tomorrow but I know for a fact he's out there.

So how can 4 women go to a speed dating event and not manage to find at least one suitable man? I even spoke to the woman that wrote to me. It turns out that 15 guys ticked her box, which means they're eager to date her. She only dated one of them who
turned out to be too young for her.

I attend dating events in a professional capacity and I know that they can attract the worst kind of men, but generally 75% of them are presentable and you can side step the rest. So worst case scenario this woman got ticked by 5 social liabilities which leaves her with ten at least reasonable men. So she picks the guy that's too young. Does that strike anyone else here as interesting?

One of the earliest things my clients do, male or female, is draw up a list detailing their 'Perfect Partner'. There is a tendency for some people, and this generally applies more to my male clients, to be totally unrealistic. So point number one is that if you're looking to get with someone who's a ten you better be at least an eight or they're not going to approach you or allow you to approach them.

The second issue, and I think this is where the initial question really comes from, is that a ten will rarely be found at a speed dating event - finding people to date isn't something they struggle with. Your job is to find the places where they do spend time. This is the tricky bit for some people but it's easily fixed. There are so many different ways of meeting people. The thing is it takes perseverance.

One of my clients started going to Toastmaster's because she wanted to meet some quality men and figured that an organization dedicated to learning how to speak up in public would be a great place to start. Initially it was hard work, the group was fairly closed but over time things started to warm up and before long she was dating the Vice President.

If you start dance classes then you need to persevere to the point where you stop looking like a dork and then people will get a lot more interested. It's a phenomenon referred to as
'social proof'. Once you start being accepted in a group your value goes up and suddenly you have chemistry.

Potentially the truth is that our suitable men really are hanging out in clubs, you've just got to get access and figure out how to get their attention. If the people you meet are below the standards you've set then you need to look in a better environment. I once worked with a guy who worked as a bouncer in a strip joint and wondered why all the women he met there seemed to be a little out of balance.

So I have two answers to the question.

One possibility is that some of the things you're specifying as essential qualities are unrealistic and either you, or your love interest, are never going to measure up. The second possibility is that you're hanging out in all the wrong places. If this is your issue it's time to stop being lazy and generate some much better ideas about where to find these 'suitable men'. A relevant quote by Edwin Lowes Cole that I like is 'You don't drown by falling into water, you drown by staying there.'


FOUND! - 1 Set of Keys to the Door of the "Suitable Men's Club"

Yes. If you want access to the club for suitable men I've found a set of keys! Find out how to get into the rooms packed full with suitable men, just waiting to date you. Claim your keys now, before every other woman gets there first!

* One of my favourite examples of looking in the wrong place is women going to aerobic classes. There are three men in an aerobics class and twenty eight women, what are the odds for a woman looking for love? Unless you've got a total fixation on the teacher and you've got something special to offer you're probably wasting your time there.

* Build up a picture of the kind of man you are looking for and then start to ask yourself where he might be found? If you really have no idea start asking your friends for ideas. There are 101 places people can hang out doing things you may have absolutely no idea about at the moment. I recently went to a fancy goldfish auction and discovered a whole new sub-culture I had no idea existed. Your world is a lot bigger than you think!

* Look at your perfect partner list and make sure it really is your list. Sometimes the things we think would make us happy haven't but we continue in the same vein hoping next time it'll be different. Some things make no sense - women excluding guy's because they can't imagine walking down the aisle with a guy an inch shorter than her ideal, guy's rejecting women because they're not blonde and built like Barbie. The unexamined list is
not worth living! (Sorry Socrates.)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

By Michael Myerscough, professional speaker and relationship success coach. Michael has lots of great tips, tools and articles on his website that you can use. Visit him at and sign up for the fr*ee relationship information.
P.S. If you're dating online, not all men are suitable. Check them out first by going to TheCloser. Discreet information, articles, resources, tips, coaching and more.
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