Friday, September 24, 2010

Natural Living Expo

Join me Saturday at 5:00 p.m. for a free workshop on "Living A Flourishing Life" at the Natural Living Expo in Sturbridge, MA.

Sturbridge Host Hotel, Cheshire Ballroom.

And while you're at the Expo, please stop by and say hello....I'll be at the Adam Beck Institute booth #607.

Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A 24-Hour Creative Blitz

I am thrilled to be participating again in the CreateAthon, a 24-hour blitz on Thursday–Friday, September 23rd & 24th, aat Smith & Jones.

This year’s CreateAthon clients include: Dunbar Community Center, People First Food Pantry, Special Education Surrogate Parent Program, Rainbow Child Development Center, The Bridge of Central MA, Inc., Habitat for Humanity, Males Advocating Change, Music Worcester and Central MA South Chamber of Commerce.

About CreateAthon: CreateAthon is a 24-hour creative blitz in the name of charity — Smith & Jones is one of the select few New England agencies to participate in this annual event, offering their marketing and creative services to local non-profit agencies.

Have a joyful day everyone...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It Will Distract Them?

I usually tend to stay out of the political fray on this blog, but this one I can't pass up...

Regarding the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT), Marine General James Amos told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday, "I'm concerned that a change now will serve as a distraction to Marines who are tightly focused at this point on combat operations in Afghanistan."

Does he really think that these remarkable, brave men and women who serve our country, who face gunfire, IEDs, airstrikes, and Lord knows how much more horror on a daily basis can actually be knocked off kilter -- thereby negatively impact troop morale, unit cohesion, and order -- all because a fellow soldier could live truthfully by openly acknowledging he or she is gay?

Please....give our brave men and women more credit...Honestly...

Enough said...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Effective Communication and Conflict

Conflict is a critical event in the course of a relationship. Conflict can cause resentment, hostility, and perhaps the ending of that relationship. However, conflict can be productive and lead to deeper understanding, mutual respect, and closeness.

Do you shy away from conflict? Which of the following statements may reflect your approach to conflict?

• My underlying anger may get out of control.
• To me, conflict is an all-or-nothing situation.
• I find it difficult to face conflict because I feel inadequate.
• I have difficulty positively asserting my views and feelings.

*Excerpt from Live A Flourishing Life

Have a joyful day everyone...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Launch Saturday, Sept. 18

Join me on Saturday, September 18 for the official book launch of Live A Flourishing Life, at Alternatives For Health Herbal Apothecary, 426 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Hope to see you there!

Can't attend? You may order signed copies of the book directly from The Reed Edwards Company!

Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Book Launch Event

Join me on Saturday, September 18, from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Alternatives For Health Herbal Apothecary located at 426 Main Street in Sturbridge, MA for the official launch of my new book Live A Flourishing Life.

I am thrilled that Sarah and Bill Widmeier have generously offered their fabulous store for this event.

What is this new book about? To live a flourishing life is to live an examined life. To do so, you begin by exploring, recognizing, and understanding the habits and attitudes that serve you, and those that do not serve you. And then, step-by-step, you make a determined effort to change those attitudes and behaviors by developing a doable action plan.

I've melded my three professions — philosophy instructor, resilience coach, and writer — to create Live A Flourishing Life. The workbook includes numerous exercises and quizzes to help you dig deep into your life story to uncover and discover long-standing attitudes and habits that influence your life.

If you cannot attend the event, the book is available at their shop and online exclusively through The Reed Edwards Company.

Have a joyful day everyone.

Friday, September 10, 2010

September Is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

On September 1, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Proclamation declaring September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. In his proclamation, President Obama stated, “One of the greatest responsibilities we have as a Nation is to safeguard the health and well-being of our children. We now face a national childhood obesity crisis, with nearly one in every three of America's children being overweight or obese.”

That statistic is staggering. Childhood obesity has been a growing problem for decades, afflicting children nationwide with certain racial, ethnic, and regional kids more severely affected. And research has shown that obesity can be influenced by environmental and behavioral factors, such as unhealthy eating and too little physical activity. (To learn more about the effects of nutrition on behavior, see our webinar, Nutrition and Behavior Problems in Children and Adolescents presented by Dr. James M. Greenblatt, M.D.)

Earlier this year, the First Lady Michelle Obama announced the "Let's Move!" initiative to combat childhood obesity. The President, too, created a Task Force on Childhood Obesity to, as he stated, “marshal the combined resources of the Federal Government to develop inter-agency solutions and make recommendations on how to respond to this crisis.” The Task Force produced a report containing a comprehensive set of recommendations that “will put our country on track for solving this pressing health issue and preventing it from threatening future generations.”

During his statement, President Obama added that the “report outlines broad strategies to address childhood obesity, including providing healthier food in schools, ensuring access to healthy affordable food, increasing opportunities for physical activity, empowering parents and caregivers with better information about making healthy choices, and giving children a healthy start in life.”

The web site, offers detail information about these recommendations and as well as information and resources on how to help children eat healthy and stay active.

“Our history,” said the President, “shows that when we are united in our convictions, we can safeguard the health and safety of America's children for generations to come…. When we work together, we can overcome any obstacle and protect our Nation's most precious resource -- our children. As we take steps to turn around the epidemic of childhood obesity, I am confident that we will solve this problem together, and that we will solve it in a generation…. I encourage all Americans to take action by learning about and engaging in activities that promote healthy eating and greater physical activity by all of our Nation's children.”

Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.

Written for KidsTerrain, Inc. Reprinted here with permission.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What's New at Reed Edwards

News About The Reed Edwards Company

My publishing company has widened its focus. Along with book publishing, Reed Edwards is
now distributing select authors' books and related products and we are
expanding our editorial and publishing services.

In addition, Reed Edwards is now offering the Live A Flourishing Life lecture, workshop and coaching series. Visit and bookmark the web site to stay up-to-date on the schedule of programs.

Have a joyful day everyone...

Come Armed With Fire Extinguishers

I believe freedom of speech and freedom of expression are fundamental and sacred rights.

In "On Liberty" John Stuart Mill wrote "...there ought to exist the fullest liberty of professing and discussing, as a matter of ethical conviction, any doctrine, however immoral it may be considered." However, Mill also introduced a concept that became known as the harm principle: "...the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." In essence, the basis of the harm principle is making good, moral choices.

Perhaps Pastor Terry Jones skipped morality and ethics class that day....

His plan to hold "Burn-A Koran Day on Saturday, September 11 defies clearly moral judgment and the harm principle. Jones and his band of misguided followers actions will be detrimental to the safety of our troops, to our citizens, to people around the globe. Recall the international outrage those Danish comic strips caused a few years back.

Those who wish to protest Pastor Terry Jones' horrific Burn-A-Koran Day should come to the event armed, not with guns or hatred in their hearts, but with fire extinguishers.

Heck, let's go one step further and hold "Put Out The Fire" rallies across the nation.... Organize a rally in your community...organize a march of folks armed only with fire extinguishers and peace in their hearts.

Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Why Is It That...

Why is it that...
  • Superman could stop bullets with his chest, but always ducked when someone threw a gun at him?
  • if man evolved from monkeys, we still have monkeys?
  • buttered bread always lands on the butter-side down, and a cat always lands on its fee?
  • it is necessary to nail down the lid of a coffin?
I'm just wondering, that's all...

What are you wondering about?

Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.

Friday, September 3, 2010

About Friends...

Friendship is an art, and very few persons are born with a natural gift for it.
~ Kathleen Norris

My grandmother used to tell me that if I had one true friend in life, that was the ultimate blessing. My life, then, is truly blessed for I have several wonderful friends.

Aristotle wrote there are three kinds of friendship....

1. Friendship based on utility. This type of friendship changes according to circumstances. With the disappearance of the "usefulness" of this friendship, the friendship breaks up.

2. Friendship based on pleasure. These friendship are regulated by feelings, and the chief interest is in momentary pleasure. As affection changes, so does the friendship.

3. Perfect friendship is based on goodness and mutual knowledge and respect. These friends spend time with each other, contribute to the other's happiness and vice versa. Friendship of this kind is permanent.

The Roman philosopher Cicero believed that in order to have a true friendship with someone one must have complete honesty, virtue, and trust...and friends do things for each other without expectation of repayment.

Ask yourself, who is that one friend in your life who meets Cicero's standards? How much love do you carry in your heart for that person?

Now ask yourself, when was the last time you spent quality time with this friend? When is the last time yo spoke, rather than texted, IM, or communicated through social media?

If the answer is less than 3 days, pick up the phone. Call your friend. Hear his or her voice...and make a solid date to see one another within the next 10 days.

"There was a definite process by which one made people into friends, and it involved talking to them and listening to them for hours at a time." ~ Rebecca West

Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

School Lunches and Childhood Obesity

Earlier this year, Food Network’s chef Jamie Oliver launched a televised food revolution about saving America’s health by changing the way you eat. Oliver stresses that parents must find out what their child is eating at school, and urge schools to switch from processed to fresh food.

Alarmed by the rising obesity rates and the amount of junk food being served to kids at school in his native Great Britain, Oliver met with then-prime minister Tony Blair back in 2005. He issued a challenge: Fix the dismal state of hot lunches. The School Food Trust was born, with its motto, “Eat better. Do better.” By 2008, the British government initiative swapped fried fare for wholesome vegetables, and began providing ongoing training to school kitchen staffs, slowly transforming how British kids eat.

Oliver saw parallels to the United States, with its epidemic of childhood obesity, “the increase of Type 2 diabetes being diagnosed among young adults and even children, and the vending-machine mentality of many school lunchrooms in this country. What we eat affects everything: our mood, behavior, health, growth, even our ability to concentrate,” said Oliver. “A lunchtime school meal should provide a growing child with one-third their daily nutritional intake.”

To drive the point home, this year at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, findings were presented comparing school lunch vs. lunch from home. The results were eye-opening. Compared with kids who brought lunch from home, those who ate school lunches:

* Were more likely to be overweight or obese (38.2% vs. 24.7%)
* Were more likely to eat two or more servings of fatty meats like fried chicken or hot dogs daily (6.2% vs. 1.6%)
* Were more likely to have two or more sugary drinks a day (19% vs. 6.8%)
* Were less likely to eat at least two servings of fruits a day (32.6% vs. 49.4%)
* Were less likely to eat at least two servings of vegetables a day (39.9% vs. 50.3%)
* Had higher levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol

New research funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that children who eat school lunches that are part of the federal government’s National School Lunch Program are more likely to become overweight.

Now, the USDA is partnering with First Lady Michelle Obama to fight this childhood obesity epidemic among America’s school children. The First Lady released the results and recommendations of The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity report, which stated that more than 30 percent of American children, ages 2 to 19, are overweight or obese. The report recommends serving healthier foods in schools.

The National Student Lunch Program supplies meals to about 30 million children in 100,000 public and nonprofit private schools, according to the USDA.

The fact that federally funded school lunches contribute to the childhood obesity epidemic is disconcerting, although not altogether surprising,” said Daniel L. Millimet, whose research expertise is the economics of children, specifically topics related to schooling and health.

Joy Bauer, MS, RD, CDN, best-selling author of Joy Bauer’s Food Cures: Treat Common Health Concerns, Look Younger and Live Longer, agrees. “Without a doubt, balanced nutrition is key for kids to maintain concentration academically. Every school lunch should offer both complex carbohydrates and lean proteins-a turkey-breast sandwich on whole wheat bread is a simple and perfect example of this — to boost brain and staying power, level moods, and keep blood sugars on an even keel. In other words, a plain bagel, with nothing else, can produce volatile spikes in blood sugars and can set up kids for a crash.”

Have a joyful day everyone. - Rita
Visit my website at

*Written for Reprinted with permission.