Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Synopsis of Virtual Book Tour: Going Gray

Yesterday we introduced you to the subject of Virtual Book Tours and the more recent books we've reviewed. Now here's a list of the other books we've featured so far:

September 20,'07 - "Mothering Mother"
February 21,'08 - "Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)"
March 13,'08 - "The Frugal Book Promoter"
April 11,'08 - "Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children"
April 17,'08 - "Lovers' Hollow"
May 8,'08 - "Going Gray"

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Why don't you scroll back to May 8, 2008 and read about our interview with Anne Kreamer. And here's a sampling of the comments we received over a year ago about Anne's Going Gray Virtual Book Tour:

I hear you and appreciate what you found in your research. But I'm a 55 year old representative in a pharmaceutical company and in competition with women much younger than me. I hate to admit it but I think that coloring my hair is one way to stay in the game.

When I started to go gray in my early 40s I decided to keep it natural. It saved me so much time and money and my husband loved it. It may sound silly but I'm proud of my decision.

It was never a problem for me. I love going grey - not only does it keep me out of the beauty shop and saving money but it reminds me of my mother whom I see every time I look in the mirror.

I put coloring my hair in the same category as buying hip new clothes - it's just one more way to keep myself looking good as I age.

Bravo to Nourishing Relationships for presenting this topic and to Anne for writing the book and going grey. If one has the hair, the confidence and the belief system that grey is not old, it saves time, money and attracts attention. Besides, most women and men are more stunning au natural. Go for it!

I just happened upon this blog yesterday and what a delight. I never imagined that this subject would be so interesting. I'm still going to color my hair because it makes me look younger and my husband likes it this way - but I'm sure I'll be thinking more about it during my time at the beauty parlor.

Now that you've heard from others, it's your turn - share your personal opinion about this colorful topic.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Learn About Virtual Book Tours

We've been keeping our Virtual Book Tours a secret for too long. Over the past year and a half, here at NourishingRelationships.blogspot.com, we've featured more than 15 authors and their recently published books. You may be wondering why this sort of event has come to be known as a Virtual Book Tour. Because it's like the old book signings, but you don't have to take off your bunny slippers.

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Do you see "Archives," to the left of this post? Scroll down to the month you want and click, and then click once again on the specific date of the Virtual Book Tour that interests you. Here's a list to get you started.

2008:

May 22 - "Distress Free Aging: A Boomer's Guide to Creating a Fulfilled and Purposeful Life"
June 19 - "Too Young to Retire: an off the road map to the rest of your life"
July 31 - "A Journey Well Taken: Life after Loss"
October 23 - "Live your Road Trip Dream"

2009:

January 21 - "You Want Me to do What? Journaling for Caregivers"
January 29 - "Wild Things"
April 30 - "Super Granny: Great Things to do with Your Grandkids"
May 28 - "The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's Memoir"
June 11 - "The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, A Daughter and the Town That Raised Them"
July 23 - "Second Chance at Your Dream"

Enjoy your reading - and we'll keep you posted on when the next Virtual Book Tour is coming up.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sarah Palin: Superstar or Everywoman?

It looks as if Sarah Palin's supporters still see her as a superstar. And there's no doubt she has family-oriented appeal, often describing herself as a regular hockey mom.

Sarah Palin Attends Autism Awareness Walk And Fundraiser

One reader's observations reflect many others, regardless of their political persuasion: "I think Sarah Palin somtimes puts her foot in her mouth. Maybe it's just who she is, to get attention or that she's naive. But that doesn't excuse the media from how they treat her."

Yes, Sarah Palin speaks her mind, but she's not always upfront about what she says. With her departure, perhaps she doesn't even know herself what she wants to do. But, when she ran for election, she did ask for her voters' trust. And she violated that trust by quitting midstream - that suggests her voters simple didn't count.

So like so much in life, it's a complicated issue. Palin thinks her family has been singled out. Like a grizzly with her cubs, she's trying to protect them. And she is facing ethics violations. She has cited the investigation's financial toll both on her and the state of Alaska. As if she's stepping down for the benefit of others.

But quitting because you feel like a lame duck and can't get anything done, or you can't stand the criticism you're receiving, isn't a good resume with which to run for the President of the United States.



The poll numbers are conflicting with regards to Palin's political future. And so the mystery continues. Sarah Palin is not likely to disappear, and I don't think we've heard the last of her yet.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mixed Comments about Sarah Palin Stepping Down as Govenor of Alaska

I'm sure you won't be surprised that the remarks we received about Sarah Palin were mixed. Being so controversial, that sort of reaction is typical.

Governor Parnell

One reader was concerned about the moral issue related to quitting: "Whether Sarah Palin goes on to host a radio or TV show, write a book, launch a speaking career or seek higher office in Washington, I think she went about it the wrong way."

Another pointed out the potential consequences to Palin's future in politics: "If she wants a career in politics, I think she's shot herself in the foot. I don't see how she can quit her term and expect to be elected to any office again. A TV talk show might be the right venue for her."

While other readers were more focused on how powerful women are treated differently by the media:

"There was finally some excitement in the Republican Party when McCain chose Palin as his running mate. But once it was revealed that the party spent $150,000 on a designer wardrobe for her, the jokes began. I must say that her lack of sophistication contributed to that."

"We've seen many male politicians leave their elected jobs because of infidelity or criminal actions. Who knows why she left hers, but it's a nice contrast - she's chosen to leave her position as Governor willingly instead of being forced out because of any behavior. I don't support her politically but I do think she's been unfairly treated by the media - and certainly by late night comedians. Do men feel free to make fun of her because she is a woman?"

It seems more complicated when women enter the playing field. Do male/female differences cloud some of the issues? Are women held to a different or higher standard? Is ambition still seen as unladylike? Do concerns about balancing career and family continue to hold us back? Let us know what you think.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Sarah Palin: Star Power or Quitter?

Sarah Palin's star power was evident as the governor of Alaska stepped down yesterday. She left her long-term political plans unclear and refused to address speculation that she would seek a 2012 presidential bid. Is this mystique part of what makes her so appealing?

Sarah Palin Hands Over Power To Alaskas Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell

For sure she's created quite a buzz. Palin did say she's taking her political battles to a larger if unspecified stage and avoiding an unproductive, lame duck status. "With this decision, now, I will be able to fight even harder for you, for what is right, and for truth. And I have never felt that you need a title to do that."

Palin said she wants to campaign for political candidates and continue to speak her mind on the social networking site Twitter, one of her favorite venues to reach out to supporters. Free speech was a theme of her farewell speech, as the outgoing governor scolded those "hell bent on tearing down our nation" - she warned Americans to "be wary of accepting government largess. It doesn't come free." She also took aim at the media, saying her replacement "has a very nice family too, so leave his kids alone." Apparently she was frustrated with media focus on her family and felt unfairly treated by reporters and bloggers.

But the truth is she did step down before her term was over. Her quitting rescinds the mandate of the people, and quitting anything stirs up a whole lot of feelings.

Sarah Palin continues to be controversial and evoke passion from pundits and the public. Why not put on your Palintologist hat, too? Weigh in on this issue and share your thoughts. And we'll discuss your comments on the blog tomorrow.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Wrap-up of the Virtual Book Tour

Yesterday we interviewed Dr. Dorothea Hover-Kramer about her book, "Second Chance at Your Dream," for our Virtual Book Tour. She kicked off the comments by sharing a tip about energy psychology and self care:

Most of us are busy and need quick ways to release stress and tension. Here's one I'd like to invite you to use as often as needed today. When you notice a strong unhappy feeling or negative thought, treat it quickly by repeating a reminder phrase such as "I release……" while tapping several meridian 'acupoints,' which are where the eyebrow meets the nose, at the outer eye, below the eye, under the lip, at the collarbone and at the side of the hand. Each of these points relates to bone, connective tissue and your body's information messaging system.

Yoga Positions

A reader asked about the similarity between the yoga practice of deep breathing and what is taught in energy psychology.

Dorothea:

Yoga is wonderful and I do some every day, but energy psychology is actually an approach to psychotherapy that utilizes the body's energy system - meridian acupoints, biofield and energy centers - to bring relief to emotional distress. It has proved to be highly effective in relieving trauma, both recent and past.

Another shared that journaling has helped her stay centered, on top of her feelings and tap into her creativity.

Dorothea:

Thank you for sharing how you value writing your thoughts and feelings down. It's so important that we pay attention to our needs. Women are most often the family caregivers and it's all too easy to become distracted from the need to nurture ourselves so we CAN give to others.

One useful question for the beginning of the day is to ask what you really want for yourself today. At the end of the day, take stock and explore how you paid attention to your goal. While gently rubbing the mid-chest area, affirm: "I deeply and profoundly accept myself with all my gifts, talents and abilities."

Readers had questions about how to learn more about energy psychology and begin to apply it. "I am the poster woman for the sandwich generation and I like the idea of honoring myself. How do I find the time to do that?" And "If I have very little free time, what's the one best thing I can do to take care of my aging self?"

Dorothea:

About having enough time to honor yourself, think of the reality that we have 5,000-8,000 thoughts an hour. If those thoughts (the inner self talk) are in any way self-depreciating, the body will feel that and respond by limiting gene expression and repressing immune function.

If you can change even 5 of those thoughts to those of self-appreciation, there will be a change. The human psyche is wired for growth, self-healing and joy. As we align with those energies, we shift our environments within and outside of ourselves.

Thank you for asking about what approach from energy psychology might be best for taking care of yourself with limited time. I suggest starting by taking note of inner self-talk which might give a clue to beliefs that may be limiting to you.

For example, telling oneself " I have very little time" could perpetuate a sense of never having enough time for anything and feeling anxious. In contrast, telling oneself, "I now take the time I need to release negativity" (as suggested in my earlier post with the tapping) may free up emotional energy.

I always encourage taking time to affirm yourself by gently holding the heart area and affirming, "with each breath I increase my sense of peace, with each breath I increase my vitality, with each breath I enhance my coping skills." Positive self-affirmations attract the desired qualities and allow them to resonate within.

One of Dorothea's loyal readers said:

I have shared your book with several friends and family - of all ages. I just want to put in a plug that your book, while aimed at the second half, is also helpful and can be quite useful for those in the "first half" as well. This book is a wealth of useful insight and information that can benefit anyone who is willing to apply it.

Dorothea:

Thank you for spreading the good news about the book and with your friends of all ages. While the book is certainly for anyone, the needs of boomer women and people in the sandwich generation are especially challenging because of time pressures and juggling so many roles at once. Conscious self-care is essential and I would like to share as much as possible to ease others' burdens.

Readers, if you have a favorite book that you think others would enjoy, email us a brief description at Mentors@HerMentorCenter.com. We'll see if we can arrange a Virtual Book Tour and we'll definitley share the titles with all of you.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Virtual Book Tour: Second Chance at Your Dream

We want to welcome Dr. Dorothea Hover-Kramer, our featured author for this Virtual Book Tour, who is here to discuss Second Chance at Your Dream. Her book provides clear guidelines on how to establish a positive framework for the second half of life, using "energy psychology." This new field works directly with the human energy system to reach body, mind and spirit. And Second Chance describes over fifty specific self-care techniques for counteracting worry and anxiety.

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Nourishing Relationships: What is "energy psychology?"

Dorothea Hover-Kramer: Energy psychology is a new field within psychotherapy in which the practitioner works with the human energy system to bring about emotional relief. Specifically, the therapist may help clients bring balance to their entire biofield, or release stress through one or more body energy centers, or relieve emotional distress by tapping or touching meridian acupoints. At times the therapist may engage all three components to assist clients, and the methods are ideal for client self-care.

Research about the effectiveness of these techniques is ongoing and has already demonstrated the efficacy of the work in reducing trauma reactions, anxiety and phobias. Hundreds of clinician's reports also substantiate the reported outcomes for both mind and body. The website for the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology is www.energypsych.org. It shows national and international conferences, practitioners' listings as well as published and developing research studies.

N R: Why is maintaining your energy level important in the second half of life?

D H-K: The second half of life brings unique challenges such as dealing with changes in the body, mentoring others, finding a lifestyle that supports our beings, losing family members and friends, and ultimately facing our own transition to the next stage of life. Unlike the cultural belief of “It’s all downhill after 20 when the physical body ceases growing,” the second half of life is really an opportunity to expand our mental, emotional and spiritual capacities. To continue growing into full maturity and elder wisdom we need to maintain our energy levels with self-care methods from the new science of energy psychology.

N R: How can we best release stressors quickly?

D H-K: Stress is cumulative, so the older we become the more stress we are inclined to carry unless we have mechanisms to release negativity or distressful events. One effective method from energy psychology is to take a deep breath and brush down from head to toe as you exhale.

The "Brush Down" allows the client to release stress from body and mind by literally bringing the hands above the head and brushing downward accompanied with several strong exhalations. The intention is to relieve congestion which is often felt in tense muscles or constricted breathing due to stressful situations. Repeat this several times while shaking out tension from your body and mind. After brushing away tension from all around your body, allow new ideas or perspectives to come to you with each in-breath. Continue to release tension with each exhalation and allow inspiration and new options to come to you with each intake of new vitality.

N R: What are the best ways to stay well when we are family caregivers?

D H-K: Being a family caregiver, especially the “sandwich generation,” can be challenging and fully time-consuming. Allow time for yourself even if it means hiring someone to stay with the person in need. Affirm your own strengths daily by working with your body’s energy system.

Here is one way: connect to your body while rubbing gently at the heart center while stating, “Even though I have this problem/feeling (state it), I deeply and profoundly accept and honor myself.” Repeat as often as needed and allow yourself several nice, deep breaths while recognizing the emotion is temporary but you are permanent.

The heart center is located in the mid-chest, close to the physical heart, but it also has energetic and psychological significance. Many people intuitively bring their hands to this area when they feel the deep joy of connecting with another person or when they seek to comfort themselves.

N R: Why is creativity so needed in having a meaningful later life?

D H-K: Creativity means connecting with our innate potentials. It does not necessarily mean art-making but rather is about finding ways of self-expression that are satisfying to you. Examples of creative processes are singing or toning, writing or journaling, reaching out to others, following an interest just for your pleasure of it, learning more about a subject, organizing your life so you have time to think and going within.

N R: What are the best ways to connect with our innate creativity?

D H-K: A time-honored way of establishing a sense of purpose in your life is to center yourself. Coming back to center in the midst of our many distractions is not easy. It requires choosing to stick with centering or peaceful meditation as a daily goal. During these quiet times, ideas can best come to you. I enjoy writing them down in the moment because it is so easy to lose the train of thought.


Thanks so much for joining us today, Dorothea. We’re also grateful to all the readers and sandwiched boomers who have dropped by. Many more ideas for centering and creativity are in Second Chance at Your Dream, the first book to apply the breakthrough insights of energy psychology to optimal aging, creativity and health. Click on the title at the top of this post - that will take you to Dorothea's website, www.secondchancedream.com, where you can learn more about her, the book and her work.

If you have questions for Dorothea, please click on "Comments" just below and let us hear from you. Log on again tomorrow - we’ll be summarizing your questions and Dorothea's feedback.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Enjoying Your Boomerang Kids

When your adult child boomerangs back home, it can be a win-win situation for all of you, rather than a cause for alarm. If you follow our tips, your new arrangement opens up the opportunity to see each other through fresh eyes. You can let go of the old hurts and old memories of conflicts between you. Experience first hand how your offspring have matured and let them see you as more than just parents.

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One mother recounted how the richness of her relationship with her son and daughter-in-law developed and grew during the year the kids moved in with her and her husband. "We all agreed we wouldn't make any assumptions about spending more time together. They didn't want to be asked if they were coming home for dinner and I didn't want to include them in my dinner preparations every night. With their work schedule and ours being so different, we often didn't see each other for days. But when we did, it was delightful to be with them. On weekends, my daughter-in-law likes to cook and sometimes we hung out together in the kitchen - one day we baked and iced dozens of cupcakes, just for fun. And my son even kissed me good-bye when he left for work, if I was around. Now that they are back on their own, I miss those days of camaraderie. During the year, I learned to treat them as the adults they had become and they learned to look at me as a real person, not just a mother. It was a great experience for all of us."

How about you? What have been your experiences when a child boomerangs back, either alone or with his/her family? What did you do to make the situation work better for everyone?

What other challenges have you been dealing with? Click on the title of the post to take you to an interactive site on HerMentorCenter.com, "About You." Here you can express yourself about concerns you may have at this time of life transitions and what coping skills are most helpful to you in dealing with them.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Communicating with Your Boomerang Kids

Once it looks like you are going to have an adult child move back home, planning with you family in flux is the name of the game. After all, you don't want to duck or get hit in the head when a boomerang flies back toward you. Use these tips to help you get started.

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Have a family meeting where all of you can be open about your needs and expectations. Listen to what your offspring, and their partners who may be moving in too, say about what is essential to them. Express your own set of values and what you require to make the change work for you. You can set the tone for the meeting by agreeing to create a list of your family C. C. & R.'s.

Boomerang C.C.& R.'s. These are not the tedious covenants, conditions and restrictions that comprise the C.C. & R.'s of homeowner associations but rather the guidelines that will help you structure a compatible framework for living together in your household.

Just as in real estate the most important characteristic of a property is location, location, location, for a boomerang family, the first "C" is communication, communication, communication. Make it a must to keep the lines of discussion open between you as you work through the issues that come up.

Cooperation is the second "C," as you remember to come from a place of love. You are more than just a landlord - you are a parent who shares with your children their desire to succeed. And your children are more than just tenants - they have grown up with you as their role models. And don't forget other "C's" as you decide on the specific "rules and regulations" of your new relationship - courtesy, consideration, competence.

The "R" is respect - as we know from Aretha Franklin, that's spelled R-E-S-P-E-C-T and it's needed on both sides of the generation gap. Discussing the boundaries you each want to set ahead of time, and making sure to adhere to them, will avoid hot button issues from developing later.

Have a Plan B to use when you are readjusting after your initial arrangement does not work out exactly as planned. As a Sandwiched Boomer, you know the importance of being flexible. Few plans can be put into place exactly as we expect. Both you and your boomerang need to accept that nothing is set in stone and your changing relationship is a work in progress.

To find more tips to help with sensitive communications with your boomerang kids, click on the post title above. It will take you to HerMentorCenter.com and our article, "How Politics Can Teach the Sandwich Generation a Lesson in Communication."

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Refreshing the Relationship with Your Boomerang Kids

Robert Frost wasn't thinking about boomerang kids when he wrote in his 1915 poem, Death of the Hired Man, "Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in." But he sure might have been.

In this economy, adult children are moving back home in record numbers - for many different reasons. Some are doing frugal planning ahead of the curve. They want to put aside money to buy a house or other large purchase and arrange to put the money they save on rent into a special account. With unemployment hovering around 10% in many areas, others may find that they need to move back home after a job loss. Still other adult children have faced the credit crunch, foreclosure and loss of their own home, causing them to move back to their family home because they have no other place to live. Some young adults are forced to declare bankruptcy and move back home until they can get a handle on their finances and build up credit again.

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While the reasons for moving back home may be different, the means of making the situation work for everyone are variations on the same themes - familiar ones to Sandwiched Boomers. And what are those themes? The recognition of change and the need for respect for the rights and autonomy of everyone involved.

After spending years without the day-to-day responsibilities of mothering, you probably don't want to pick up your old role where you left it. And your adult children likely do not want to be mothered in a childish way - they would be smothered by it. So you can each begin the process of refreshing your relationship with the understanding that things will not be as they were in years past. Everyone is free to change and be creative with fresh eyes and design a new relationship, recognizing you can enjoy the maturity that each of you has gained.

When you make respect your mantra, you all have the opportunity to take each other's opinions and needs into consideration. It's not always easy. The social values of young and older adults may be vastly different. In fact, The Pew Research Center recently reported their findings that the generation gap in the United States is the biggest it has been in the past 40 years. To help you get started with your new perspective, tomorrow you'll find specific techniques to implement with your boomerang offspring as you set the stage for rich and rewarding relationships with them.

And click on the title above for more tips on how to help your boomerang children regain their independence. You'll find helpful advice on HerMentorCenter.com, in our article, "How to Launch Your Boomerang Kidult."

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Michael Jackson and the Media Frenzy

The media frenzy around the death of Michael Jackson was polarized, just like his life. From some there were eulogies of love and devotion. From others there was tabloid sensationalism. You wonder if the speculation about what led to his death will ever be put to rest.

There's something wrong when our society sees fame and celebrity as core values. The intensity of the public spotlight can be traumatic in and of itself. And it's sad that the power to create and destroy is in the hands of pop culture and the media. A gentle soul and vulnerable, Michael Jackson's life was open to public commentary and scrutiny. It looks like perhaps it was just too much for him.

Michael Jackson waxwork in London

Don't let anything like that happen to you. If you're having a hard time coping, develop the tools and strategies that can make a difference in your life. And trust yourself as you look inside for greater self-understanding and answers to your problems. Use any emotional discomfort you may feel as the signal for a chance to grow.

Focus your thoughts on what you can accomplish rather than on what you cannot. Release your mind from worries and try to work on feeling more empowered. Be grateful for what you have by getting outside yourself and focusing on others in need. Set goals and then begin to follow through with your plans by taking small steps.

Clicking on the title of this post will take you to HerMentorCenter.com and more information on How to Manage Unhappiness.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

On Stage, Michael Jackson Felt Alive

Yes, being on stage made Michael Jackson feel alive. And his love of dancing and singing - obvious to anyone who saw him perform - thrilled his fans. In efforts to savor the memories, fans worldwide have bought more than 9 million of Michael Jackson's albums since his death.

Michael Jackson 1958-2009

Try to think about what makes you feel alive - especially if you or loved ones are struggling emotionally at this time. Implement some of these ideas and see if they help:

Honor your body by noticing what makes you feel better, both physically and emotionally. Pay attention to your exercise routine, what you eat, your sleeping habits and what gives you pleasure. Reduce the situations that cause stress and increase the ones that make you feel healthier and more alive. Spend time relaxing and rejuvenating as you counteract burnout. Attend to your mind and your spirit - set aside quiet time to practice your own form of meditation.

Implement what you know about resiliency. Recognize how your character strengths support what you do. Integrate your values and ideals into how you view the world. Knowledge is power, so use it to your advantage. Gather information about ways to deal with how you are feeling - explore Internet search engines or the self-help section of bookstores. Release tension through laughter and watch yourself begin to bounce back.

Clicking on the title of this post will take you to HerMentorCenter.com and more tips on How to Nurture Yourself.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Michael Jackson and Family Loss

Michael Jackson's death was a loss to millions but those most affected were his family. If you are struggling with emotional or drug issues, you owe it to your family and yourself to find support.

Get the help you need now. Work with an individual therapist or a life coach who will guide your healing as you decide how to move forward. It's important to develop positive self-regard, confidence and the life skills for this. The therapy should focus on areas like anger management and stress reduction. Stay in treatment as long as you need in order to figure out why you're having these feelings and what to do about them.

Michael Jackson memorial service held at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

For a problem with drug addiction, get help through a treatment center. Abusing prescription drugs can be medically dangerous, so be sure to find a center that specializes in prescription drug withdrawal and rehabilitation. A treatment program that confronts addiction directly will also address other problems you face and help you find solutions that will prevent a relapse.

If you feel overwhelmed by it all and don't know where to begin, click on the title of this post and read an article on 7 Tips to Fight Inertia.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Michael Jackson: A Life of Fame and Pain

Michael Jackson was living proof of the emotional cost of a life spent in the public eye, often experiencing the psychological turmoil that can accompany global fame. He was fragile and, because of his sensitive nature, delicate personality or preexisting emotional problems, it was hard for him to handle the pressure and stress.

Fans Gather At Michael Jacksons Star On The Hollywood Walk of Fame

You may not have experienced the artistic stature or personal trials that Michael Jackson did - nor have a star dedicated to you on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But the emotional turmoil you feel may be just as painful.

Give yourself an emotional break. Perhaps you've built up feelings of frustration, anger or disappointment, even despair. Take a deep breath and free yourself from negative thoughts. Although you can't necessarily change what happens to you, you can change how you handle it. Reframe pessimistic ideas into neutral or optimistic ones. By learning about constructive responses to difficult situations, you'll have access to more choices about how to react.

Want more tips on improving your frame of mind? Clicking on the title of this post will take you to HerMentorCenter.com and an article about How to Sing Rock and Roll instead of the Blues.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Michael Jackson and the High Cost of Fame

Coming from a family of entertainers with a demanding stage-dad, Michael Jackson had been in the limelight since he was a young boy. Super stardom was all he knew. Although talented, famous and adored, his was a lonely life - one full of contradictions. He tried to create his own private reality around castles, theme parks and pet chimpanzees. In his own mind he was a modern-day Peter Pan. In the mind of others he was "Wacko Jacko" and his bizarre behavior often overshadowed his musical brilliance.

Universal CityWalk Becomes Universal MoonWalk

You may have been entertained by Michael Jackson, as so many were. But, more important, you may understand how he could be affected by the strain of it all. Are you feeling pressure about finances, work, family or health? That can really get you down. All this week we'll be offering tips about what to do when you feel your life is spinning out of control.

Want to start right now? Just clicking on the title of this post will take you to HerMentorCenter.com and an article entitled Seven Stops on the Less Stress Express.

While you're there, spend some time on the site. Click on 'Newsletter Library' and 'Nourishing Relationships' on the menu at the upper left hand corner of the homepage. You'll find lots of ideas about how to begin taking more control of your life.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Video Tips for Keeping Your Perspective in a Recession

Redefining a crisis as a challenge gives you the power to begin, step by step, coping with the situation. See the changes you need to make in this recession as the opportunity to create a more fulfilling life for yourself and your family. Recognizing your strengths and resources keeps you optimistic and resilient. Click on the video for 10-second tips about keeping your perspective in this recession.

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For more tips about how to stay positive during this economic recession, click on the title above. It will link you to www.HerMentorCenter.com and our article, "Five Ways Sandwiched Boomers Can think Positive in Tough Times."

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Video Tips for Getting Support in a Recession

In these times of economic instability, when you may be feeling insecure and powerless, friends and family can buffer these negative conditions. Reach out to those who care about you and let them know how much their caring sustains you. Expressing your gratitude for their support is good for both you and them - each of you will grow stronger and more powerful. Watch our video today for 10-second tips about gaining support.

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You can learn more about getting support when you find your stress levels increasing as your financial stability decreases - click on the title above. It will link you to www.HerMentorCenter.com and our article, "The Economy and Domestic Violence: What if You are the One with a Short Fuse?"

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Video Tips for Taking Care of Yourself in a Recession

You have probably noticed that the economic downward spiral has affected more than your pocket book. For most of us, it has also taken a toll on our feelings of well-being and security. Reports indicate that mental health calls due to financial pressure have increased more than 100% in the past months. If you are feeling signs of distress, check out our video tips for today to learn how to take better care of yourself.

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To read some tips about how to create a healthier lifestyle for yourself and your family during the current financial downturn, click on the title above. It will link you to www.HerMentorCenter.com and our article, "Recover from Financial Panic by Investing in Yourself."

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Video Tips for Regaining Control in Financial Chaos

With the stimulus package having little effect and the continued loss of jobs, the recession appears to be continuing unabated. Still, you, and other Sandwiched Boomers, can regain some control over your situation by educating yourself, evaluating your finances and making the hard decisions that lead to changes in your lifestyle. Watch our video for more coping tips.

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To read some tips about how to maintain and even strengthen your family relationships during this time of financial belt-tightening, click on the title above. It will link you to wwwHerMentorCenter.com and our article, "Marital Harmony Despite Financial Woes."

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Video Tips for Coping in a Recession

Thriving during any crisis may seem impossible to achieve, but you can learn techniques to help you deal with these uncertain times. All this week, we will be featuring tips to help you cope with our current economic downturn. Our video today lets you get started.

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For more suggestions about how to cope with this difficult economy, click on the title above to take you to our website, www.HerMentorCenter.com and the article, "How to Achieve Family Flexibility in Times of Financial Flux."

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Support Helps Your Marriage Get Back on Track

Support each other. Instead of focusing on the negatives or going your separate ways, spend time discussing what you want from one other. Think about what would demonstrate true emotional commitment to you. Prove that you are on each other's side by deciding to change your attitude and behavior. And begin to invest in your marriage's emotional bank account. Create excitement, pleasure and fun together - then take advantage of the dividends.

Back view of man and woman standing on beach, arms around each other

You and your partner are individuals who each have a mind of your own. What you want may have changed since you first tied the knot. And the present economic meltdown probably adds to the pressures in the relationship. But that doesn't mean you can't make shifts that will relieve some of the stress. And you don't have to accept the possibility of divorce. By taking the first steps, you can help strengthen your partner's trust in you - and the future of your marriage.

Clicking on the title of this post will take you to an article on HerMentorCenter.com with some practical tips on how to get your relationship back on track.

And this Fourth of July, as you celebrate with cookouts and fireworks, be grateful for all that is good about the United States of America and all that is right about your marriage.

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Conflict Resolution in Your Marriage

Need some help with conflict resolution in your marriage?

Limit your arguments. If the situation between you and your partner is tense, small annoyances can seem bigger than before. When you argue, allowing bad feelings to fester only makes it worse. Don't turn your quarrels into something more or attach your reactions to another issue. Agree that you will together explore the problems in your relationship. And spend time learning about conflict resolution, direct communication and active listening skills. There's a lot of information available through relationship workshops, on the Internet and in the self help section of the bookstore.

Man and woman shouting

Begin a process of serious talking. Can't do it alone? If you really want to work out your differences, you might consider consulting with a marital therapist or joining a couples' support group. When you each understand more about the other's needs and capabilities, you'll be clearer about the compromises you have to make. Then it will be up to both of you to decide whether or not you're willing to do the hard work. That may include efforts to change your current expectations, redefine what marriage means to you and create new goals for the relationship.

In the meantime, if the conflicts and arguments are getting you down, click on the title of this post to read an article from HerMentorCenter.com on Six Ways to Beat the Blues.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Challenge of Improving Your Marriage

As you begin to work at improving your marriage, think back to when you first met your partner. Do you remember what originally attracted you to him? Was it a strong character, fierce independence, a decisive nature? Now, these qualities may suddenly be getting in the way of getting along. You may want to take a look at what has changed in your relationship so you can come to terms with your negative feelings. But that's not all there is to it. Try to recognize your own role in what's happening in your marriage. If you want to stay together and there's a glimmer of hope, accept the challenge of turning it around.

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Begin by not focusing on the problems of the past. Identify the hot button issues that are standing in your way and make efforts to resolve them. Your initiation of changes can be an encouraging sign to your partner. And the sooner you let go of the past, the quicker you can move forward to improve the goodwill in your relationship. It may not be easy to forgive, but it is a gift that you can give to both your partner and yourself.

Clicking on the title above will take you to www.HerMentorCenter.com and an article about How to Turn a Crisis into a Challenge.

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