Feeling Stuck? Here’s a Free EdX Course on Unlocking the Immunity To Change

untitledHow many times have you tried and tried again to lose the last ten pounds or change a bad habit or acquire a new habit that might help you achieve your goals, but you can’t seem to make any progress?  This FREE course on EdX might be for you!  I’ve read the book.  I’m taking this course and really look forward to learning more.  Here’s the link to the Free EdX online course:


And if you just want to buy the book, here’s a link on Amazon to the book!

More to come!





Gaining Inspiration from “The Roosevelts: An Intimate Portrait” on PBS

promo-rooseveltsBiographies of great people who embody some of the values I admire – always energizes me!  The latest PBS documentary series from Ken Burns is “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.”  It goes into depth about the backgrounds of President Teddy Roosevelt, his fifth cousin President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt in a very captivating way.  I highly recommend!

Teddy Roosevelt helped negotiate a Coal Industry Strike settlement between Unions and Management, and fought for the establishment of some our most popular National Parks. Interestingly, Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican, although his views seem pretty different from the Republican party of 2014. When Teddy was in office, the Republicans were more “progressive” than the Democrats. Teddy Roosevelt stood for the “SQUARE DEAL” for everyone – government policies that were fair and even for everyone and did not favor either the rich or the poor, but gave everyone an opportunity to succeed.

Teddy Roosevelt said: “I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules. These aren’t Democratic values or Republican values. These aren’t 1 percent values or 99 percent values. They’re American values. And we have to reclaim them.”

The Square Deal was “formed upon three basic ideas: conservation of natural resources, control of corporations, and consumer protection.” These were the days when there were more “Moderates” in public office, although corruption and attempts to “buy” elections and political favors was at least as common then as it is today.  Teddy accepted contributions but could not be *bought.*

Teddy’s 5th cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was elected around 24 years and 5 Presidents AFTER Teddy left office. While he was still President, Teddy gave Eleanor away at her wedding to FDR. FDR and Eleanore were both inspired by Teddy’s philosophies and commitment to serving EVERYONE, not just the rich. But it’s interesting to note that FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt were Democrats, not Republicans. FDR was so popular that he was elected to 3 4-year terms although he died in office after serving 11 years. I’ve already written a post about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt and their great accomplishments in a previous post.

No matter what political party you affiliate with today, these Roosevelts are people who stood for values that almost everyone can agree on.

Here’s a famous Teddy Roosevelt quote that resonates even today:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

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The Science of Happiness (free online course on Edx.org)

Smiley_Face_Buttons_Horiz_Crop-smaller2I just started taking the free online EdX course, “The Science of Happiness,” taught by faculty from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. It will ensure that I spend at least 3 hours a week for the next 8 weeks – focused on Happiness-related topics and practices. Anyone can sign up for free at https://www.edx.org/course/uc-berkeleyx/uc-berkeleyx-gg101x-science-happiness-1497#.VA-N4GNXBRg

The course can be started anytime, but if you want to participate in real time with other students, then start now or check the schedule for the next time the course is offered in real time.

The Science of Happiness is taught by Dr. Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology and Founding Executive Director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Science Director at the Greater Good Science Center.  A few years ago, I met Dacher Keltner while working on a project to help the Greater Good Science Center with their Strategic Planning.  Click here for more info on the Greater Good Science Center.  Their website is full of great information on the latest scientific research on the benefits of Positive Psychology topics such as Empathy, Gratitude, Compassion and much more.

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The *Gratitude Challenge*

imagesNZHYGID4There is a *Gratitude Challenge* that has been going around Facebook recently, where you are supposed to make a post every day for 7 days on Facebook, listing 3 things that you are grateful for that day, and then nominating 3 new people each day to accept the same challenge.  It’s sort of like the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, except no ice bucket, and you have to do it every day for 7 days and nominate a total of 21 of your friends (3 people x 7 days).

When I received the “nomination” from one of my friends to accept this challenge, my first reaction was “Uggh!  I don’t like being pressured to participate in the equivalent of a chain-mail!”

But then, I realized that I really didn’t HAVE TO nominate anyone else to do this.  But I really DO like the idea of writing down and sharing 3 things that I am grateful for – every day for 7 days! Having a daily “Gratitude Practice” is actually a really good idea.  It helps you focus on what’s GOOD and POSITIVE in your life, every day.  And when you realize how many good things there are to be grateful for, you have less time to focus on the negative things.  There really are so many wonderful things that you can notice if you choose – from the plain and obvious ones to the very small and mundane things that we often take for granted.  You can be grateful that you are still alive and breathing, or that the sun rises again in the morning, or that you have a comfortable place to sleep, or a that a tree provides you with shade.  The big things that I am always grateful for are my good health, my family, my friends, and my good fortune to live in a beautiful place where I can run in nature to my heart’s content.

Writing down 3 things per day that you are grateful for really does increase your feeling of Positive Energy!  You can do it every day, or you can do it whenever it fits into your schedule.  You can share you gratitude list(s) with others, or keep it to yourself.  It’s your choice!  You don’t have to follow anyone else’s rules or suggestions, or challenge 3 people a day to do the same.  I’m doing it my way.  You can do it your way.  The point is – being grateful for whatever is good in your life – makes you feel better whenever you do it!  So I’m going to keep on doing it!  Try it sometime!


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Links to Guided Meditations

s919038651619013719_p22_i1_w257This is just a quick update to let you know that I have been assembling links to free recordings of several Guided Meditations from several sources, that you can always find by clicking on the link Guided Meditations in the top Navigation of this site.

I have found that taking 20 minutes a day – usually when I wake up in the morning – is a great way to help me focus on what really matters and have a better mindset for the rest of the day.   For me, listening to these recordings before I get out of bed in the morning is best because once I get up and start moving around, it is more difficult for me to sit quietly and focus again.

Topics for these guided meditations include: Creating Abundance, Being Grateful, Finding Wisdom, Safety and Stillness, Prosperity, and more.

Many of these Guided Meditations are from Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra’s 21-day Free Meditation Challenges, which provide a new 20-minute guided meditation on a particular topic each day for 21 days.  You can sign up free at Chopra Center Meditation.  Other recordings are from sources like UCLA, Tara Brach, and Abraham/Esther Hicks.

Click her to go to the Positive Thinking Diet’s page on Guided Meditations.