Your Soul Food for Friday July 22nd 2016: Who are YOUR Own & Can YOU Flip the Script?

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:

We Take Care of Our Own

When you think “our own” what is your definition?

Both mind-sets have their virtues. The “particularists” emphasize the intimate love and loyalty that is the stuff of real community. The universalists are moved by injustices anywhere, and morally repulsed by inaction and indifference in the face of that suffering…”

Flip the Script: Why Non-Complimentary Behavior, as Difficult as it is, Can Model a Better Way…

  • attempted robbery was foiled by… a glass of wine and some cheese
  • police officers combat the growing problem of Islamic radicalization with… love
  • a man who flipped the script on… finding a mate

What a Deep Dive on How Silicon Valley’s Best Will Fix Education?

Lessons in Life:

Pick one that works for you!


Thanks this week go to Rex H, all my friends and thought leaders putting the LOVE back in Education and Larry H.

Pay it forward please…



“There are two educations: the one that teaches how to make a living

and the other that teaches how to live”

—Anthony DeMello

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Our Soul Food for Friday July 15th 2016: Anniversaries, Positivity, Business, Sport, Wellbeing and Smiles

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:

Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary Barb!

Barb and Neville

Real World Education-

The Positivity Blog: 16 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School$DmLDZ/


8 Ways Business Can Help Tackle Unemployment

From the World Economic Forum

  • Collaborate with education and training providers to help people develop the skills they really need in the world of work, and promote lifelong learning
  • Foster entrepreneurship by supporting start-ups and smaller enterprises
  • Connect talent to markets by closing the gap between jobseekers and employers


Gold Medal Science and the principle of: “The Aggregation of Marginal Gains” that we can apply in many aspects of our lives

Enjoy the growth inflections!


MAYO Clinic – DRINKING WATER and Aspirin

A cardiologist determined that heart attacks can be triggered by dehydration. Good Thing To Know. From The Mayo Clinic. How many folks do you know who say they don’t want to drink anything before going to bed because they’ll have to get up during the night?

Heart Attack and Water – Drinking one glass of water before going to bed avoids stroke or heart attack.   Interesting…….Something else I didn’t know … I asked my Doctor why people need to urinate so much at night time.

Answer from my Cardiac Doctor:  Gravity holds water in the lower part of your body when you are upright (legs swell). When you lie down and the lower body (legs and etc.) seeks level with the kidneys, it is then that the kidneys remove the water because it is easier.

Correct time to drink water… Very Important. From A Cardiac Specialist.

Drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body:2 glasses of water after waking up – helps activate internal organs.

1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion.

1 glass of water before taking a bath – helps lower blood pressure.

1 glass of water before going to bed – avoids stroke or heart attack.

My Physician told me that water at bed time will also help prevent night time leg cramps. Your leg muscles are seeking hydration when they cramp and wake you up with a Charlie Horse.

Mayo Clinic on Aspirin – Dr. Virend Somers is a Cardiologist from the Mayo Clinic who is the lead author of the report in the July 29, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Most heart attacks occur in the day, generally between 6 A.M. and noon. Having one during the night, when the heart should be most at rest, means that something unusual happened. Somers and his colleagues have been working for a decade to show that sleep apnea is to blame.

  1. If you take an aspirin or a baby aspirin once a day, take it at night. The Reason:  Aspirin has a 24-hour “half-life”; therefore, if most heart attacks happen in the wee hours of the morning, the Aspirin would be strongest in your system.
  1. Aspirin lasts a really long time in your medicine chest; for years. (when it gets old, it smells like vinegar).

Something that we can do to help ourselves.  Bayer is making crystal aspirin to dissolve instantly on the tongue. They work much faster than the tablets. Why keep Aspirin by your bedside? It’s about Heart Attacks – There are other symptoms of a heart attack, besides the pain on the left arm. One must also be aware of an intense pain on the chin, as well as nausea and lots of sweating; however, these symptoms may also occur less frequently.

Note: There may be NO pain in the chest during a heart attack. The majority of people (about 60%) who had a heart attack during their sleep did not wake up. However, if it occurs, the chest pain may wake you up from your deep sleep. If that happens, immediately dissolve two aspirins in your mouth and swallow them with a bit of water. Afterwards: – Call 911. – Phone a neighbor or a family member who lives very close by. Say “heart attack!” – Say that you have taken 2 Aspirins. – Take a seat on a chair or sofa near the front door, and wait for their arrival and ……..DO NOT LIE DOWN!


Unusual Friends

I hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I did.  It makes it difficult  to figure out why humans and nations can’t get along like this.

If You Are Local:

P3SD Conference Friday July 29th in San Diego

Closing the Achievement Gap before it Opens

2016 P3SD Conference Invitation v2

Thanks this week go to Barbara for her ongoing support, the Positivity Blog, John C & Larry H.

Pay it forward!



“The greatest good we can do for anyone is not to share our wealth with them, but rather to reveal their own wealth to them.”– Zig Ziglar



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Your Soul Food for Friday July 8 2016: A Worth Destination, Tapping Quiet Kid’s Superpowers, Kindness Meters, The Deep Questions of Life and Some Happy Pictures


This week:

San Diego a 2016 “Worth Destination”:

San Diego is among 15 cities lauded for civic leadership, quality of life, business climate, sustainability, entrepreneurial community, cultural offerings and urban innovation.

How Teachers Can Help ‘Quiet Kids’ Tap Their Superpowers:

“There are expectations on our kids to … be a charismatic extrovert,” says Kasevich. Even if it’s unconsciously, she says, teachers tend to give more attention to the louder students…

The Internationally Growing Trend of Kindness Meters?

Kindness Meters in Schools in North County that make it easier to promote kindness in schools…

Linking The Deep Questions of Life with the Challenges of Work, Business and Leadership:

& Then Enjoy Some Happy Pictures!

San Diego a 2016 “Worth Destination”:

As we follow up on the 4th of July, we’re reminded that living in San Diego truly is a dream.

But it’s more than just the weather that makes San Diego a “Worth Destination.”

The Worth Group announced that San Diego had been named as a 2016 “Worth Destination.”

Featured in the June/July issue of Worth magazine, San Diego is among 15 cities lauded for civic leadership, quality of life, business climate, sustainability, entrepreneurial community, cultural offerings and urban innovation.

To learn more about our dream-like city, check out The Big Picture San Diego Blog from San Diego Regional EDC

flag painting

How Teachers Can Help ‘Quiet Kids’ Tap Their Superpowers:

“There are expectations on our kids to … be a charismatic extrovert,” says Kasevich. Even if it’s unconsciously, she says, teachers tend to give more attention to the louder students…

The Internationally Growing Trend of Kindness Meters?

Kindness Meters in Schools in North County that make it easier to promote kindness in schools…

Linking The Deep Questions of Life with the Challenges of Work, Business and Leadership:


Some clients tell me they consider me an expert in helping people discover their purpose in life.  Of course that’s very affirming, so I like it.  And I really hope it’s true.  After all, I’ve been helping people find their life’s mission since 1983, when I started working with Stephen Covey. That’s over three decades of nearly daily engagement linking the deep questions of life with the challenges of work, business and leadership.
I have also been the beneficiary of life’s rough stuff. I became well acquainted with many of life’s I-never-thought-this-could-happen-to-me-catastrophes and persistent gut wrenching stress. I have swum in the stormy ocean of life’s great disappointments.

I find that the juxtaposition of my idealism and my life’s reality has pushed me hard on issues of faith, purpose and reconciling the existence of evil . . . all the big gnarly questions.  I spent the better part of a decade submerged in introspection and angry meditation.  Okay . . . I know real meditation doesn’t allow for anger yet I found that anger, frustration and despair are powerful motives to drive deep persistent meditation on the purpose of life.

Over the years I’ve also found the time to study the big thinkers from Plato to Whitehead, as well as the world’s most persistent religions.  Through workshops I have helped thousands of people draft inspiring mission statements and I’ve designed and conducted research with over 30,000 people to discover what they find most satisfying as well as what’s most difficult about modern life.

Well, a few days ago I gave a TED-length talk to a group of 50 leaders who direct ecology based nonprofits.  I was told they wanted something inspirational.

As I thought about my work with nonprofit leaders I consistently found that many are chronically stressed and upset.  Their frustration stems from being overmatched by the wealth and power of people who care so little for the environment that they take no responsibility for polluting, eroding and destroying our living spaces in the name of commerce.

I empathize with that anger yet living life as a permanent underdog or even worse, a victim, is self-defeating. Shaking your fist at a mad world is initially good to awaken you but over time it will make you weaker.

I also find some nonprofit leaders burdened by their noble cause. It’s as if they’re doing what they think they should even though they would rather be doing something else.  I found that people who try to use their personal guilt or even sense of duty as a primary motive will soon lose their good judgment and creativity as well is their zest for life.

I felt that what I wanted to do in that short time was to lift these leader’s inner burdens, melt some of their frustrations and help them find their inner sources of optimism and joy.  So I began my remarks by saying “If people I love asked me on my deathbed what I have learned that was really important, this is what I would tell them.”

  1. All of us long to be valued.  I believe that is our primary human motive. Some people are really good at creating honest to goodness value in this world, but many are not.  Many people seek to be valued in all the wrong ways.  They want to be famous or rich or powerful or beautiful.  Insecure and selfish people still long to be valued and when they’re not they often act in awful and even evil ways.  I have found that viewing someone’s bad behavior as either an attempt to be valued or a reaction to not feeling valued helps me to stay calm and wise.  Believe me, understanding people’s universal core motive doesn’t let anyone off the hook for being a stinker.  It just makes you wiser in how you respond.
  2. The purpose of life is to be compassionate toward all, all the time.  I believe this to be the core truth of all 17 enduring major religions.  When the great authority on world religions, Dr. Huston Smith, was asked what he learned over his lifetime of studying world religions he answered, “To be a little kinder.”  The Dalai Lama has said “Kindness is my religion.”  Loving kindness meditation is one of the most powerful personal tools to become free of biases, past hurts, and persistent self- criticism.  It is simple to do.  Take a meditative position and with deep rhythmic breathing you simply create an inner intention for yourself, your loved ones, your circle of acquaintances and coworkers, and your enemies.  Thinking of each one of these groups in turn you simply use your inner voice to pronounce your positive intentions.  You can simply say to yourself, “I desire________________ to experience love, health, wisdom, success and happiness today.”  Then you express the exact same intention for each group ending with your enemies.  My experience is that you won’t have some room-shaking epiphany. Rather, slowly, over time your view of everyone will change. And you will feel new level of connectedness and contentment that will make you more calm, resilient and powerful.
  3. Your ‘mission’ is to create value by expressing your gifts doing whatever you’re doing right now. There are 7.4 billion people on earth today. I am convinced no one is extra and no one is the same.  Furthermore all our circumstances and opportunities are different.  Our mission is to use our unique personalities and talents to create value in every situation. I’m convinced that you do not need to do something amazing to be amazing.  Every honest profession needs talented people who are excited to do their work in their own best way.  Consider this; Abraham Lincoln wasn’t a glamorous lawyer.  He litigated over 5,000 cases, most of which were land disputes in rural Illinois. What set them apart was the way he approached his profession.  He was honest. I won’t make any lawyer jokes here but being honest was a very distinctive quality. He refused to represent clients who wanted to plead innocent even though they were guilty.  Lincoln got so famous for his honesty that he was elected President during our country’s darkest hour.  My point here is critical to understand.  Lincoln’s personal mission wasn’t to become President like so many of the politicians we see.  His mission was to create value by amplifying his values in the circumstances he found himself.

I am convinced it is not so much what we do as it is how we do it that matters. We need excellent janitors and flight attendants and retail clerks and doctors and nurses and engineers and cartoonists. We also need moms and dads and aunts and uncles and sons and daughters and good friends and neighbors . . . well, I think you get what I mean.  Every honest profession and every role in life is a chance to create value for other human beings.  We create value when we don’t go to through the motions but when we express our highest, authentic selves to make things a little better, a little lighter, a little more enjoyable.

The key is to be your best self. Use the good and virtue that’s inside you to energize your gifts.

We all have different gifts.  Some of us are analytical, some are visionary, some are optimistic, some are prudent, some are leaders, and some are supporters.  Most of us are many of these things depending on the circumstances.  The key to fulfilling your mission is to not wait for the right opportunity to be awesome. Just be awesome all the time.  Don’t make excuses and don’t apologize. Just give your gift to create value. That’s your mission.
What I’ve learned is this.  You’re designed to make your difference.  When you make your difference every day in a hundred little ways the future shifts.

What if the true purpose of life was not to change the world but to change yourself?  And what if by doing that the world actually changed?

Please don’t wait to become a compassionate person. Please don’t wait to fulfill your mission.  Just love all and give your gift.

Enjoy these Happy Pictures

With so much crazy stuff going on in our world today, we need to periodically stop, take a deep breath & consider what’s truly important & then smile!!!

Thanks this week go to Meg M, Carla and Jackie, Will M, & Larry H.

Pay it Forward!



“The greatest good we can do for anyone is not to share our wealth with them, but rather to reveal their own wealth to them.”– Zig Ziglar

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Your Soul Food for Friday July 1: Comedy, Tragedy, Democracy and Finding Your Spot

Happy Soul Food Friday!

We all need a laugh…


Enjoy LEONARD COHEN LIVE IN LONDON: Democracy is Coming to the USA

The Future of Manufacturing in the World is on Display. It is amazing with many implications…

TESLA  Assembly plant, Fremont , California  

Watch this and you’ll better understand why manufacturing jobs will never be what they once were. Once upon a time this was science fiction.

Dis is my spot…


Thanks this week go to Larry H and Hillel K

 Hope you ALL find your spot!




“A designer knows s/he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” –Antoine Saint-Exupery

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Your Soul Food for Friday June 24th: Getting out of Your Comfort Zone, Why Bravery is Your Greatest Power and a Good Example of Living These Values

Happy Soul Food Friday!


“Sensitivity is a sign of life. Better hurt than hardened.

I bow to those who keep their hearts open when it is

most difficult, those who refuse to keep their armor

on any longer than they have to, those who recognize

the courage at the heart of vulnerability. After all the

malevolent warriors end each other, the open-hearted

will inherit the earth.”

~ Jeff Brown

This week…

Leadership: Comfort Zone or Cul-de-Sac?

I crave physical and mental comfort – no pain, maximum delight, effortless patterns, and easy decision making. If fact, all my colleagues, clients, friends, and strangers crave comfort, and consumer companies promise us comfort through food, drugs, home furnishings, cars, travel, you name it. Who doesn’t want to be comfortable?

But what is the price of comfort?

Why Bravery Is You Greatest Power


I just interviewed Oscar winning activist Patricia Arquette on stage at the Women in Technology Summit in Silicon Valley. If you don’t know, Patricia is the powerful and appropriately radical voice for equal pay and equal opportunity for women. She won an Oscar for her role as a mother in the movie Boyhood. I will tell you more about all that in my next blog but my wife and I just took a few days off to climb around Yosemite so I am going to make this short.

What I learned from Patricia is like almost all of us, she was afraid to do what she most wanted to do. She wanted to be an actress but she didn’t believe she could act. So at a very tender age she decided to be BRAVE for one year. She told me that the way she would know if she was being brave was if she was willing to try harder when she failed.

That year she went ‘all in’ in terms of acting classes, auditions and building a network of contacts. She nearly emotionally drowned in a river of failures but she finally got a movie part and put her whole self into the opportunity. The result . . .  well she said she “stunk.” But nevertheless she ignited a 20-plus year run of steady parts in movies and TV series.

She is still a committed, working actor but today she is being brave by being an activist. She founded a non-profit, Give Love, that is saving children’s lives all over the developing world through an innovative method of transforming sanitation and access to clean water. She is also forcefully stimulating companies to do equal pay audits and it is actually equalizing pay in big companies like

The lesson I wanted to pass on that I learned from Patricia is bravery works!

Allow yourself to dream of a better life and a better world and just start doing what is uncomfortable but obvious. And don’t quit. Failure is expected. Failure is essential to breakthrough.

What do you really, really care about? Be Brave . . . do something. Just start, the way forward will appear if you do not stop because of initial failure.

We need to re-invent our future. To do that we all need to be BRAVE.



Irena Sendler

Thanks this week go to Maurice C, Eric K, Will M and Jeanie L

Live YOUR Values & Pay it Forward!



“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~ Buddha

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Your Soul Food for Friday June 17, 2016: Celebrate Me Home Kailee

Happy Soul Food Friday

“The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life

that nothing else can bring.”– Oscar Wilde

This week…

Celebrate Me Home:


Recently, we had to say the long goodbye to our 11 year old canine companion for independence-trained, kind, smart, sporting and loving black lab Kailee. If you are an animal person, you know the joy these wonderful creatures can bring to our lives with their unconditional love and big hearts. You might also know the absolute pain and heartbreak we feel on their loss as an integral family member.

Today, rather than mourn Kailee’s loss, I choose to celebrate her life and love.

Grief is a  real bitch!

Here are some resources for coping with one of life’s most character-building experiences…

Puppy 2

Tom Golden’s article, although it’s about human loss might be helpful in affirming what you already know..

Stewarding Children’s Grief/Helping Families Heal Together

by Tom Golden, LCSW

There is tremendous diversity in the way we choose to heal from grief. We each have our own path, and gender is, of course, just one of the many factors involved in the direction that path may take. The question arises, “How can we honor such diversity within a family unit at a time of great loss?” Each person within the family may very well have a different way of healing themselves. Some persons may have a great need to talk, others may need to connect their grief with action, while another might be quietly healing in his or her own private manner. This diversity can often lead to trouble in the family, with barbs being thrown or held in consciousness about some other family member not grieving in the “right” way. This article is meant to get us started in examining some ideas about healing grief within our family.

My son and I were playing a friendly game of catch. As I tossed him the ball, I noticed the mitt he was wearing. It had been my father’s baseball glove which he had used when I was in Little League. I remembered the many times my father had gone to Little League games and coached or hit fly balls us. Sports was not really his forte, but he made sure to be a part of my life. A scientist and researcher with NASA, he was a dedicated father who enjoyed spending time with his three children and involving himself with their separate interests.

Luke, my seven-year-old son, had chosen that particular glove as his own, perhaps because it was old and very flexible and perhaps it was due to it having been his grandfather’s. This glove has given us many opportunities to talk about my father and his recent death. As we toss the ball back and forth, it is a link into my father and his history. Luke and I have had many of these conversations, usually quick and to the point. Luke might make a particularly good catch and then say it was the glove that helped him with such a spectacular play. I the might say, “Yeah, that’s a special glove. I sure do miss Granddaddy.” Luke agrees and points out that he misses his sense of humor; the game goes on. These short interludes serve us both as a way to remember and honor our pain at the loss of my father, and his grandfather. Healing grief is a matter of chipping away at the potent feelings over and over again. Taking small chunks during an activity such as playing catch is certainly a valid form of healing.

“We need to be open with our kids about our grief in a way that helps them to see that we are grieving. When we allow our kids
to see our grief, we give them the best teaching we could give: a role model. This can be helpful to both parents and children.”

My daughter Julia (13 years old) has a very different way of approaching her pain. Julia will approach me and request “special time,” meaning we are to sit and talk about something. She says, “I miss Granddaddy,” and proceeds to talk of her feelings of loss. She already has the agenda and will happily orchestrate the conversation. This, too, is a valid form of healing.

A part of the reason for the difference between Julia and Luke is their age. Julia is more developed physically/psychologically and has a more sophisticated understanding of her emotions. But there is also a difference that has to do with gender. Luke loves to do things and maybe talk some while we are actively participating together. I learn more about Luke and his life while we are wrestling than any other time. We will be grunting and groaning as we push at each other’s body, and all of a sudden, he will stop and say something about his day. Just as quickly we are back at it again. This pattern continues with brief flashes of self-disclosure during activities. Julia, however, doesn’t seem to need the activity. She needs the emotional contact and attention. Both ways are healing; both need to be honored. Although I believe this is a gender difference, it could easily go the other way, with my daughter preferring activity and my son more inclined to talk. It is not that boys do it one way and girls another. It is that as parents we are responsible for finding our children’s individual gifts in healing themselves and then helping them use it. Grief is a potent force, and we need to find ways to steward our children’s connection with feelings of loss and their healing.

“Make sure that the name of the person who died is spoken in your household.”

Make sure that the name of the person who died is spoken in your household. If the name is not spoken, it sets up a situation where it seems that the topic of this person is not one that is open for conversation.

Grief is no different than any other process that children learn. As parents, we steward our children’s anger, homework, sexuality, social skills, bathroom behavior, and a long list of many others. We tend to be more active in our assistance with the younger ones and expect more from children as they grow and mature. We make decisions about what the child needs to know at any given time and find ways to teach them the next level when they are ready. Homework might be a good example. Think of a very young child and how you help them with their studies. Usually we tend to be more active in finding an appropriate place for them to work and are also active in our help with their learning. As the child grows older, we expect and teach different things. We do less of the actual work and more teaching skills in how to work. This is stewardship. We give to them what they need at any given time based on our understanding of their individual qualities and their level of development.

Stewarding a child’s grief is the same.

We adjust our approach to their pain based on their level of development and our assessment of their needs. But stewarding grief is a tough task for parents who are actively grieving. It is often a time when our “parent” energy to teach, help, and engage our kids is at an all time low. We too are in need of healing. The saving grace, however, is that by stewarding our children’s grief we ourselves heal. Each time I have a burst of a conversation with Luke about my father or each time Julia asks me for “special time,” I get in touch with my grief and loss. By stewarding I am also healing. Sometimes parents want to hide their feelings of grief and loss from their kids. Occasionally this can be appropriate, but usually if the parent holds back it stops the healing for both parent and child. The kids sense that there is something not being said and will pick up that this “holding back” must be the adult way to do things. We need to be open with our kids about our grief in a way that helps them to see that we are grieving. When we allow our kids to see our grief, we give them the best teaching we could give: a role model. This can be helpful to both parents and children. With this said, let’s look at a couple of ideas of ways families can heal together.

Suggestions: How to Steward Your Child’s Grief

Eduardo and Son Bautista – Argentina

ONE: The first idea is to make sure that the name of the person who died is spoken in your household. Speaking the name of the person has a powerful effect. If the name is not spoken, it sets up a situation where it seems that the topic of this person (or pet) is not one that is open for conversation. Saying the name out loud states clearly that the topic is indeed open. Children will respond to this in their own way. Watch carefully how they respond and you will learn their ways of healing.

Speaking the name can manifest in a number of ways. It does not have to be on a rigid schedule or formally spoken. The best ways I have found are to bring up my father’s name in spontaneous situations. For example, as we are having dinner I might mention my father’s love of something related to what we are talking about. This gives a green light for the kids (or the adults) to speak up if they wish, or to remain silent; both are acceptable. Sometimes kids have very introverted ways of healing and can benefit from listening to another’s conversation. We need to honor all ways. Another way of speaking the name is to include the person’s name in the prayers you use, such as requesting special blessings for this person or using a prayer that may have been a favorite of theirs.

TWO: A related idea is to have pictures of the person who died in different places in your home. In my house we have pictures of my father on the refrigerator, stuck to some cabinets, and in some other spots. This has a similar effect as speaking the name. It includes and honors the person who died and gives a similar green light for discussion and healing.

THREE: Creating family activities in honor of the person who died is a great way to accommodate all of the differences within your family. The activity allows both a place to talk about the loss and an opportunity to connect one’s action with the grief. Let’s say the person who died loved fishing. In this case you might plan a family activity for everyone to go fishing. You make it clear that this trip is in honor of the person who died. On the trip you make sure that the person’s name is spoken and that the participants know the nature of the honoring. If conversations come up about the person, then that is great; if not, that is okay too.

Doing something together as a family in honor of the person who died is healing in itself. What generally happens is that the kids get into it in their own ways. In my family Luke would say that he is going to catch the biggest fish for Granddaddy. In that way he connects the trip and his action (fishing) with his grief for his grandfather. There is healing in this. The activity provides a “ground” in which the entire family can plant the seeds of their grief in their own way. Some family members may talk and cry about the loss, while others may connect their pain and tears with their goal to catch the biggest fish. This same idea is important with regard to holidays and anniversaries. There are many ways to honor the person who died, and you can use your creativity to find an activity that fits your family.

FOUR: A traditional form of the activity idea is that of visiting the grave. But often this is impractical due to distance or other reasons. The kids lso sometimes think it is “dumb.” A variation on this is to create a place that becomes linked to the person who died. Maybe that person had a favorite spot, or maybe your family has a beautiful spot that everyone enjoys visiting. As a parent you can link that spot with the person who died. You can declare it a spot that the person who died loved (or would have loved), and your family visits there can include the memories of this person. It might be a waterfall, or like a family I know, an amusement park. No words need be spoken as long as the family knows the link has been made. Most times I think you will find that the person becomes a topic of discussion when visiting that place.

Another family I know created a needlework (counted cross-stitch) memorial in honor of a family member who had died. The father laid out the pattern, and the mother and children did the sewing. With the help of the kids, the father made a frame, and the needlework was dedicated to the person who died and put in a place of honor in the family home. It was a family project that used everyone’s energy and involved everyone in the healing process. The examples could go on and on: one family put together a video, another created a sculpture for their yard. The important point is that these families found a project that could be used as a means of honoring the person who died while at the same time giving the family a joint space to honor their grief. By doing things together as a family in honor of the person who died you are creating a healing space for the whole family. As parents we need to find a variety of ways to help ourselves and our family heal our grief and pain.

By doing it together, we not only heal,
we come closer as a family unit.

Tom Golden LCSW, is an author, speaker, and psychotherapist and wrote the book Swallowed By a Snake. Tom’s area of specialization is healing from loss and trauma. Tom has been working in the field of death and dying for over thirty years. Tom’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report and also on CNN, CBS Evening News, ESPN and the NFL Channel. He is a member of the newly created Maryland Commission for Men’s Health. Tom presently lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland with his wife of thirty years. He delights in both his daughter and his son.

Also check out,,,

There are also articles on Small Print of Life blogs at about pet loss and loss in general you might find helpful…

Dog Wisdom

May I Always be the Person my Dog thinks I AM!

Thanks this week to our loving family that is growing through this together, our extended family and community network that have been great supporters, and to Larry H and Ken D for the resources and smiles!

Pay it forward!



“When you can see God in small things, you’ll see God in all things.”—Donald Hicks


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Your Soul Food for June 10th 2016: Promotions to Graduations to Jobs, Careers and Ultimately Callings Driven On Purpose

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:

In this season of promotions and graduations, may we all grow as resilient life-long learners that find not just jobs (work),

or even careers (stepping stones to advancement),

but callings (lives and work filled with meaning and PURPOSE!)

Congrats to our newly promoted to High Schooler Aysha and our freshly minted High School graduate Arman

We are so proud of you both!!

Aysha          Arman to use

Don’t Forget the Whole Person!

‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Author Candidly Explores Conformity, Mental Health In New Teen Novel

Welcome to The Struggle to Pay for College:

Like Other Immigrants, Many of Us are Trying to Live the American Dream:

American Dream, Greek Yogurt

Thanks to my entire extended family and friends for leading the way.

May you and yours have a blessed summer!

Pay it Forward with Purpose!



“The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be
honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have
lived and lived well.”
 – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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