05 Jan How to Make 2017 a Success (Strategies Supported by Science)

Research shows that about 40-some percent of Americans typically make New Year’s resolutions, yet less than 10% are successful in achieving their desires. Here are some tips to be successful and sustainably so: Start with the end in mind - - What do you want to be thinking and feeling next December as you reflect back on the year? Take the time to imagine how it would be if you accomplished all of your heart’s desires. Consider your career, health, finances, romance, family, friends, community, fun and personal growth. If you need a writing prompt, try this: What do I hope to...

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18 Nov The Goodness of Gratitude

Gratitude is sense of thankfulness and joy in response to receiving a gift whether the gift be a tangible benefit from a specific other, a moment of peaceful bliss evoked by natural beauty, or a general awareness that there are good things and good people in our world.  Gratitude is something you feel not just something you think.Research shows gratitude has many profound effects on our mental and physical health. So, this week especially as we come in fellowship to celebrate thanksgiving, be mindful of taking a pause to notice and savor all of the good things in your life. Focus your attention...

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June 21 First Day of Summer

01 Jul Strategies for a Successful Summer

This is a piece I wrote for the faculty of a school I've been working with to instill positive education principles and practices. The message is for anyone who wants to have a mindful season. Here we are at the precipice of summer, a great time to bloom and flourish. Just look outside! I encourage you to do what Dr. Barb Fredrickson, a leading researcher from University of North Carolina says about “prioritizing positivity”—a strategy for incorporating daily doses of intentional wellbeing-building into your life, just as you would eat daily portions of fruits and vegetables. Positive emotions serve as nutrients, too,...

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20 Mar Hi My Name is Louis and I’m an Addict

I spent the past 3 days in a digital detox by eliminating all email, Facebook, Twitter, and insta-anything from my diet. It was a very intentional effort to unplug and restore. Instead, I went old-school and even drafted some of this by long hand! Can you imagine? What I learned is just how addicted I am to these mobile and screen-based technologies. I don’t use the addict word lightly. It had come to the point that even before getting out of bed, I’m checking my emails and social media accounts as part of my morning ritual. Half-hazed or on the toilet or...

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17 Jan Mindfulness is more than meditation in the morning

This piece was first published on Positive Psychology News Daily. The alarm goes off in the morning. You may think: I didn't get enough sleep last night. I am super excited to start the day. Most people, whether they are conscious of it or not, think (a) “I didn’t get enough sleep last night” as they hit the snooze button for eight more minutes of sleep. In fact, it’s a thought like this that causes an action of inaction which keeps you staying in bed, missing your workout, and being late to work. Further, this thought of “not enough” is the first in a slew of...

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10 Mar awareness, delusion, + gratitude [working draft]

[caption id="attachment_1192" align="alignleft" width="150"] Me and my twin sister, Christine at age 3. Monkey heads![/caption] I've been looking through old photos lately -- pictures of Little Louis, a little monkey whose head was always slightly larger than his body -- until his body became larger than anything else. I was a fat kid. (That's largely my story.) I remember being age9 and not fitting in the GAP jeans mom wanted to buy me. I was devastated. We had to go to the "special store." Not long thereafter, I went to Weight Watcher meetings with my Aunt Mary Ann at the VFW in...

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26 Jul Signing Off!

[caption id="attachment_888" align="alignright" width="300"] My family - Mom and Dad look too young to be married for 50 years, right?[/caption] Here I go -- off an a two-week Italian adventure with my family to celebrate mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary.  I am so grateful to my parents for this trip (it was a good year for basement waterproofing,  my parents' business for  30 years) -- and with all of us, no less. Twin sis Chris and her new fiancé and older sis Lisa, her husband and their three kids (20, 17, 15). Two weeks may be an awful long time to spend...

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21 Mar If God Invited You To A Party by Hafiz

If God Invited you to a party And said, ‘Everyone In the ballroom tonight Will be my special Guest…’ How would you then treat them When you Arrived? Indeed, indeed! And I know There is no one in this world Who Is not upon His Jeweled Dance Floor Khwajeh Shams al-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi was a Persian mystic and poet. He was born sometime between the years 1310-1337 in Shiraz, Persia (now Iran)....

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