Thursday, October 30, 2008
THANKSGIVING DAY ETIQUETTE
(I'm repeating here one of my most requested articles. Yes. Emotional intelligence is about etiquette.
The days of dining by plucking fruit from trees and roasting small animals over the fire, eating with fingers, and perhaps fighting with others over the scraps are long gone. Or are they?
More and more we swing our car through the drive-in, grab our food from the window, and proceed to eat with our fingers, so perhaps you need a brush-up on the basics of formal - shall we say "civilized" dining - before the great Thanksgiving feast.
Rules of civilized dining evolved because, according to Margaret Visser ("Rituals of Dinner"), "animals are slaughtered and consumed, the guest-host relationship is ... a complicated interweaving of the imposition of obligation and the suspension of hostility, and the ordinary table knife is related to actual weapons of war."
Utensils were to be handled delicately, so as not to alarm. For instance, the knife was not to be held in the fist, like a weapon, nor pointed threateningly at anyone, and conversation was to be gentle, not provocative.
Now for a review of the basics on how to be the consummate Thanksgiving guest.
1. Respect time.
Arrive on time with a smile on your face and plan to have a good time. Leave on time. If it hasn't been stated, you will have to use your EQ--your intuition. Watch the host.hostess for subtle cues - the more formal the occasion, the more subtle the cues, i.e., changing position in his chair, sighing, and talking about "what a big day we have tomorrow." As you say you must leave, expect protesting, and expect to leave anyway. It's a "formality."
As our visits in the homes of others become more rare, the #1 complaint of hostesses seems to be that the guests won't go home. One woman told me her guests arrived at noon and had to be jettisoned, finally, at 10 p.m. That's not a get-together, that's an ordeal.
2. Wear your uniform. Do your job.
Yes, as the guest you have responsibilities. Dress appropriately and festively, and prepare to make it a happy occasion. Note "make." It doesn't just happen; those in attendance must make it happen. Eat, drink and behave in moderation - and be merry. Leave your problems behind for the day. Focus on what it is -- a day of GRATITUDE.
3. When summoned, obey the summons.
As a long-time PR person, you can't imagine how we appreciate the "leader type" who, when we say, "It's time to take you seats," heads for the dining room and beckons her friends to come along; and when the hostess says, "Shall we retire to the living room for coffee," does the same.
4. Observe protocol.
Age before rank. "Special" people would be the great-grandmother, then if you've invited your boss, or there's a guest of honor. The most special person "sitteth on the right hand" of the host and hostess, who are seated at opposite ends of the table. If there are not place cards, it's appropriate to ask, "Where would you like us to sit?"
5. Once seated, stay awake!
Look to your hostess to lead. At this meal even the most unsuspecting people will say a grace, for instance. The hostess will indicate when to start passing things, and when she starts to eat, you may eat. Facilitate the meal for others - start passing the shared items, the salt and pepper (both go together), the butter, the cranberry sauce, and the gravy.
6. The passing of things.
If your plates are served, then when someone asks for the salt, pick up both the salt and pepper and place them down beside the person next to you. They are not passed hand-to-hand, and only the requesting party may use them. Inefficient? Manners are not about efficiency.
7. Make conversation.
It's an active thing! At a smaller seating, there may be one general conversation; in a larger group, talk with the people across from you and on either side of you. If you're conversation-challenged, work with your coach and come up with a list of conversation-starters, i.e., Did you see that great special on PBS last night? What are your plans for Christmas this year? How was the traffic at the airport? What football team are you rooting for? Start training your children young. Help them come up with a list of things to talk about. They'll love it and feel included.
Your hostess will appreciate if you keep the conversation going, spend some time with the shy people or the octogenarian, and help with awkward silences. At formal dinners, businesses lunches and other dining occasions traditionally when the food is served, everyone starts eating and there's a silence. Someone needs to "break the ice." Plan for this and be prepared with a confident and cheery, "It sure gets quiet when the food comes," or "Marcella, where did you find fresh arugula this time of year?"
8. What about all those utensils and glasses?
The general rule is work from the outside in. Go here to review: http://www.cuisinenet.com/digest/custom/etiquette/manners_intro.shtml
9. Beginnings and endings.
The napkin. When you're seated, place your napkin in your lap. When you're finished, place your utensils on your plate; don't push it away. Place your napkin loosely to the side of your plate.
10. Odds 'n' Ends
Sit upward in your chair; don't lean back. Don't rest your elbows on the table. It's permissible to lean forward slightly and rest part of your upper arm on the table. If you take medication, do it discretely and neither mention it nor notice it in others. Something in your mouth you don't want? The way in is the way out. Spit the olive pit into your palm and place it on your plate. Deposit the turkey bone back on the fork and place in on your plate.
What can you eat with your fingers? Artichokes, plain asparagus, bacon, bread, cookies, corn on the cob, chips, French Fries, hors' d'oeuvres, sandwiches, small fruits, berries, and cubed cheese. When in doubt, wait and see what your hostess does.
And ... while it's important children learn etiquette, it's also important they enjoy themselves. The gravy will come out of the shirt when you wash it - or plan clothes where it doesn't matter so much.
P.S. Be sure and thank the host and hostess when you leave! It's hard work.
Want a quick review? Call or email me with questions and mini-session. email@example.com, 817-741-7223.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
David Rakel M.D.
What we pay attention to, grows.
What heals? Love.
What do you say? See clip from Little Miss Sunshine.
2nd biggest cause of heart disease - stress. An emotion that is physical.
Touching that which gives life meaning.
Job of doctor - to help you define your absolute.
Spirit is the life
Touch hearts as well as minds
Love what you teach. The topic doesn't matter as much as your passion and love.
It motivates ... it gives us information ... it can keep us safe ...
To take the most sophisticated ANGER MANAGEMENT COURSE available, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about The EQ Course/Anger Management.
Only if you're serious about stopping this behavior that undermines your relationships, your self-esteem, your health, and your success in life.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
It seems to me that this election has caused several political divides that have changed into a consensus due to recent events. The issue is the fact that the public more than ever is not just looking for leadership in a broad sense, they are looking into the emotional intelligence of a leader. Will this new president provide a stable administration based as much on common sense as well as real knowledge about broad-based issues affecting our economy and our place in the world? This seems to be an awesome task for our candidates to live up to, so this has changed much of the criteria for the job. Moreover, since our country has had an economic disaster within a short period of time, people are looking to a visionary leader who can solve the problems in the here and now, as well as for future generations. Some people are realizing the presidency needs to be filled by someone who is more of a strategist than a politician.
Email me for programs, coaching and Internet courses on emotional intelligence (EQ).
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, 'Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over.'
I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead 'I will come next Tuesday', I promised a little reluctantly on her third call.
Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren.
'Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!'
My daughter smiled calmly and said, 'We drive in this all the time, Mother.'
'Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!' I assured her.
'But first we're going to see the daffodils. It's just a few blocks,' Carolyn said. 'I'll drive. I'm used to this.'
'Carolyn,' I said sternly, 'Please turn around.'
'It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience.'
After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, 'Daffodil Garden.'
It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.
'Who did this?' I asked Carolyn.
'Just one woman,' Carolyn answered. 'She lives on the property. That's her home.' Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.
On the patio, we saw a poster headlined:
'Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking'
3. 'Began in 1958.'
For me, that moment was a life-changing experience.
That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time--often just one baby-step at time--and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world . .
'It makes me sad in a way,' I admitted to Carolyn. 'What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!'
My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. 'Start tomorrow,' she said.
She was right. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, 'How can I put this to use today?'
Use the Daffodil Principle.
Until your car or home is paid off
There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
Work like you don't need money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like no one's watching.
If you would like to increase your self-awareness and emotional intelligence, and WIN, email me for coaching, email@example.com. Take THE EQ COURSE for better emotional intelligence, stability and self-awareness.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
This is the most beautiful love poem I've ever read. I got it from Nancy Fenn's blog. Check out her blog HERE. It's the hottest blog on the net.
You've no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean?
Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.
It's no good giving you my heart and soul because you already have these.
So - I've brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself and remember me.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
HALLOWEEN SAFETY ALERT from the EQ Coach: Four times more children are killed in pedestrian/automobile accidents on Halloween night than on any other night of the year.
10 Important Safety Tips for Halloween
by Susan Dunn, MA, Professional Coach
Halloween is an exciting night for children and a
busy time for their parents. With such
excitement, it's easy for children to forget
basic safety rules.
When emotions are running high, it's a good time
to remember to "use your head." Plan ahead and
plan to have a safe Halloween. Raise safety
awareness with your family before the festivities
begin. We do the right thing, but we don't always
explain it to children. As you place a saucer
under each tea light, or "stop, look and listen"
at street corners and in parking lots, tell your
child why. They don't always connect the dots
unless you point it out.
HERE ARE SOME HALLOWEEN
SAFETY TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND:
1. Stay sober and alert
It's amazing how many family Halloween
celebrations involve adults drinking. It's
impossible to monitor children's safety or your
own when you've had too much to drink, so don't.
2. Avoid cuts and burns when decorating
Carving the pumpkin, placing luminaria in the
driveway, and hanging spooky skeletons all
present opportunities for injury. If you're
decorating with candles, observe fires safety.
Have a good fire extinguisher handy and make sure
everyone knows where it is.
3. Observe ladder safety regulations
According to the NASD, accidents involving
ladders cause an estimated 300 death a year in
the US, and 130,000 injuries requiring medical
attention. Go here to read about how to use a
4. Make sure "treats" aren't "tricks"
Many people these days choose to go to fairs or
private parties instead of trick or treating for
safety reasons. If your child is going trick or
treating, go with them. Make it a rule that
nothing is to be eaten until it's first been
inspected by you.
5. Caution your child about strangers and dogs
Keep your children with you and remind them to
avoid people and dogs they don't know. Many
people are taking their dog companions out in
costume these days, and even the most gentle of
family pets can do something unexpected with all
6. Accidental falls is the number one cause of
injuries on Halloween night (National Safety
Choose your child's costume with this in mind.
Hem up the hemlines. If you choose a mask, choose
one that doesn't obstruct sight. Stay sober and
observe safety rules when decorating.
7. Four times more children are killed in
pedestrian/automobile accidents on Halloween
night than on any other night of the year.
The CDC suggests these factors make it a high
risk: short stature, inability to react quickly
enough to avoid a car or evaluate a potential
traffic threat, lack of impulse control, and all
the exciting distractions.
8. The holiday syndrome
The excitement, more candy, more parties, less
sleep, less nutritious food, and getting off
schedule all mean less attentiveness and also
possibly illness. Keep routines as normal as you
can. Add to the above, a visit from Granny who
has heart pills in her purse, and you have the
recipe for a tragedy. Pay attention!
9. Choose safe and sensible costumes
Choose fire retardant costumes that allow
children free movement and good visibility. Be
careful about accessories. Even toy knives and
swords can cause harm. Give each child a
10. Set a good example
Show that you care about safety and make it a top
(c)Susan Dunn, www.susandunn.cc,
Susan is the author of "Developing
Your Child's EQ" and other ebooks, available at
She offers individual coaching, Internet courses,
and seminars for your personal and professional
development. She trains and certifies coaches
(no residency requirement). Email for information.
Acadia National Forest - an EQ Tale of Trial by Fire
"Rustification" it was called, when the very wealthy came to Bar Harbor Maine and Maine's Mount Desert Island, a little under 200 air miles Boston, to spend their summers. One of these was the philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who contributed along with many other people (including the tens of thousands of volunteers who care for it today), to developing and preserving Acadia National Park.
At 47,000 acres, Acadia National Park it's one of our smallest, yet one of the most visited. From these photos, you will see why.
From our cruise to Bar Harbor (and beyond)
Map of Acadia, Map created by en:User:Aude
At first, the forest looked like this (evergreens), though it included the granite ledges of the Schoodic Peninsula across Frenchman Bay, and a number of smaller offshore islands, notably Isle au Haut in the Gulf of Maine. But Mount Desert is where most of it is. It contained more than 20 lakes and ponds, and an extensive network of gravel carriage trails, 17 granite bridges, and two gate lodges, thanks to the Rockefellers, most of which is there today.
Here is what it looked like back then:
Or perhaps even a tree of color here and there, like this:
THE GREAT MAINE FIRE OF 1947
Then, on October 17, 1847 a fire broke out, during a dry year, that destroyed much of Maine's forests, including 10,000 acres of Acadia National Park. Now here's the miracle. As is nature's way, the regrowth, allowed to occur naturally, included a host of maples and other colored trees, changing the appearance entirely, and for the better, most of us would say.If you have gone through a "trial by fire" and find yourself to be, shall we say, more colorful, more enriched, more beautiful, you can relate to this, for this is what we see today, "after the great fire."
Our trip to Bar Harbor included a tour of the Acadia National Forest, ending in a lobster bake at Bar Harbor Inn.
In Halifax, Nova Scotia, they are proud of their British heritage and also their Scottish heritage.
Friday, October 10, 2008
I said, "I wish they wouldn't report it this way."
He said, "Perception."
On that note, watch your emotional reaction to the falling stock market and economic crisis. Notice what pulls it. Notice how you react and manage it.
If you want to learn more about your emotional intelligence, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
"...the common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and reads the heart and the soul, finding there capacities which the outside didn't indicate or promise, and which the other kind couldn't detect."----Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
"One frequently only finds out how really beautiful a really beautiful woman is after considerable acquaintance with her; and the rule applies to Niagara Falls, to majestic mountains, and to mosques--especially to mosques."-----Mark Twain
Thursday, October 09, 2008
More and more people are adding coaching to their life.
If you'd like to become a certified life coach, contact me and let me tell you about the different options I offer. I have trained and certified coaches all over the world and also offer intensive seminars in the Dallas area. Core material is on the Internet, and is self-paced. Various payment plans are available.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
As the headlines continue announcing worldwide economic turmoil, millions of dollars lost to retirement funds and IRAs, photos of The Great Depression, continued falls in the US stock market, it's hard not to feel anxiety.
Combine this with whatever else is going on in your own individual situation beyond the financial -- fear of layoff, decline in business, mother-in-law problems, divorce, mri, new boss ... and you have layers of anxiety.
A full-blown anxiety attack includes body aches and pains, headaches, upset stomach, chest pains, tingling sensations in the extremities, changes in eye patterns, dizziness, disturbed sleep, inability to concentrate, the urge to run ... and more.
We know that there is overwhelming evidence that our state of mind (emotions) affects our immune system, blood pressure, our ability to heal well after an accident or surgery, and our health in general. 5 minutes of anger suppresses the immune system for up to 8 hours. What does chronic, unending anxiety do?
The old and venerable (1967) Holmes and Rahe study on stress (which, incidentally, does not list many of the stressors we have in 2008), observed that if your stressors hit a certain level, you are likely to experience a serious illness.
Miller and Rahe (1997) observed that cancer is more prevalent among divorced, separated individuals that for married adults. I would add, from experience, that is may also be more prevalent among unhappily married individuals.
During anxiety and stress, the white blood cell (our immune system) count goes down.
This would be a good time to learn more about emotional intelligence. As Candace Pert, Ph.D., said, our emotions live in every cell of our body.
What can you do about it? Let me help you. Come and find out.
Email me at email@example.com to learn about various EQ programs, options, coaching and Internet courses. Ways to help you get through this tense time ... and next one, and the next one.
If you become paralyzed in the face of fear, and freeze, you're likely to make it worse than it is.
One thing you may have to cope with is being laid off -- of the fear or possiblity of it.
If you were a coach and had your own business, think how different this would be. That's one reason I went into it. First, because I wanted to help people. But at the same time, I didn't like the uncertainty in the workplace. Who would be fired? Who would be laid off? Would my job be there, be the same, be eliminated? Might I be transfered to some city I didn't want to live in?
Now's a good time for change. Want to become a certified coach and be your own boss? No one can fire you.
email me for information on my certification programs (firstname.lastname@example.org). All long-distance, or training seminar in Dallas area.
I have trained and certified coaches all over the world.
I don't usually send you an email except for my monthly newsletter, but having just returned from several weeks abroad and having tuned in to the news I have been away from, I have been surprised by the level of fear that grew in such a short time.Since I have traveled quite a bit all over the world, one thing that I have learned is how resilient and creative people can be. But not those who are paralyzed by fear. They hunker down and let others (the news media; "experts") tell them what is possible and the way things are.We all have some capability for creative action and change.