Tag Archives: Life


Nervous laughter?  Not about you. Nor  is my Snorting Laugh when the idiocy of life or some people gets to me.  Rarely is it meant personally.Kids laughing nervously

Emotional Fitness Thoughts and Tip

Both my snorting laugh and nervous laugher  create the illusion someone is laughing at you. Way too personal and commits the twisted thinking flaw known as “The Curse of Personal Knowledge.”  That curse means you are not thinking, but using emotional reasoning, what you feel, not what is real.

Emotional fitness and emotional intelligence is all about not following your heart as so many of the happiness gurus preach.  Remember that “Love is blind” and that warning includes gut feelings and  intuition. The emotionally intelligent approach to passion feelings means partnering with your thinking cap before deciding what you need to do.

Emotional Fitness tip one: When a strong feeling tells you to act even in 911 situations thinking before acting remains wisest.  The feelings created by 911 situations urge you to either run, fight; 911 situations also cause you to freeze and faint.

Minimally you have to think where to run if that is when your feelings urge running;  when fighting is urged, you need to  think if you can win.

Emotional Fitness tip two: If the problem is not so hot laughter, either yours or someone elses, thinking is definitely the first strategy. Four things worth thinking about when you are not sure about the meaning of laugher:

  1. Am I taking some thing personally that isn’t personal? This is particularly important for parents, teachers, and bosses to think about. Nervous laugher is only made worse when not understood.
  2. If it might apply to me personally, is it worth fussing about?  The most extreme examples who want to kill  political cartoonists making fun of their religion.   Slightly less extremes are oversensitive feelings related to other people’s stupid, thoughtless, or prejudiced comments.
  3. Related to the above, but a bit different, you need to think if the other person thinks you are laughing at them.  My snorting laughter needs explaining if there is any chance the person thinks I am laughing at them.  Those who know me well understand my snorts. Those who don’t might need me to add to my snort. “Always gets me how some things are so predictably stupid.” or “Sorry, I laughed, it wasn’t at you, it was because life and others are sometimes so ridiculous it is laugh or cry.”
  4. If you feel action is required, then you absolutely must thinking about how to act wisely.  That is the subject of my soon to released eBook – Think Your Way to the Good Life.  Watch for its release so you can get a free sample.


No matter how busy you are, you need time outs to refresh and renew and a quick laugh often fills the bill.   A rule do not indulge aloud in hurtful laughs.  I laugh lots in my head, not always nice, but no real harm done as such laughs destroy my need to act.  Another rule: When such laughs  heat you up, do not indulge.

Even better is trying create laughs. Here’s today’s Free Poster Coach. Become a comedian:

How to become a comedian

As always, thank you for all you do to make the world around you more peaceful. Think of sharing this post as a way to practice kindness. All acts of kindness move the world a bit closer  toward peace.


How does this post fit in with Today’s Daily Prompt Uncanned Laughter: A misused word, a misremembered song lyric, a cream pie that just happened to be there: tell us about a time you (or someone else) said or did something unintentionally funny.

The above answers this but with a more serious discussion.


EFTI FREE POSTERS  Browse the EFTI store for free digital downloads of the posters shown. You will also see  nearly a hundred more designed to inspire, coach and teach you how to strengthen your #emotionalintelligence. Here is the link to the free poster attached to this blog.


Strengthen your health and well-being by stretching and wondering. Here’s how:

Think of all around you, above, you within you - know awe.

Here’s how to Be With Beauty:

Be with beauty emotionalfitness exercise.


No matter how busy you are, you need time outs to refresh and renew. The two exercises are quick ways to refuel. However, you and those you love need more than quick breaks throughout you day.

When God commanded the Jews to observe the Shabbat, the purpose was to force quiet time on this tribe of his children. You do not have to be Jewish or even believe in God to benefit from a day away from work and particularly electronic devices and stores.

Can’t bear the thought of a full day?  Start with a few hours, build toward a full day.  You will benefit.

As always, thank you for all you do to make the world around you more peaceful. Think of sharing this post as another way to work toward peace.


How does this post fit in with Today’s Word Press’s DAILY PROMPT:  Secret Admirers?  You return home to discover a huge flower bouquet waiting for you, no card attached. Who is it from — and why did they send it to you?

Only indirectly.  What it sparked in me was a reminder to build your #emotionalintelligence  by admiring beauty and nature and not so secretly.


EFTI FREE POSTERS  Browse the EFTI store for free digital downloads of the posters shown. You will also see  nearly a hundred more designed to inspire, coach and teach you how to strengthen your #emotionalintelligence. 


I live with Dysgraphia, so my writing is often error filled or erratic. This means I live often not knowing  if I am right or wrong. Many opinions help. But not all.

grammer nazi

What is dygraphia?  A lesser known learning disability than dyslexia which I am grateful I do not have.  It leads to errors in spelling mostly, but also grammar. Here is the National Center for Learning disabilities’  definition:

Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing, which requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills. Dysgraphia makes the act of writing difficult. It can lead to problems with spelling, poor handwriting and putting thoughts on paper. People with dysgraphia can have trouble organizing letters, numbers and words on a line or page. This can result partly from:

  • Visual-spatial difficulties: trouble processing what the eye sees
  • Language processing difficulty: trouble processing and making sense of what the ear hears

As with all learning disabilities (LD), dysgraphia is a lifelong challenge, although how it manifests may change over time.”

to shoe you wat my dygraphia looks liek ehre is a sentence that I worte without thought or care adnas you see it is replete with mistakes.  Sigh.

As I age it is getting worse. Probably my brain reverting to childhood.

Dysgraphia  is  not knowing how to spell.  It is a matter of knowing in your head the right way, but being taken over by some demonic process that wants to have their way with your writing. Moreover, spell check and grammar check do not capture all errors.

Here’s a kicker.  Go to Katherine Levine’s Author page and see how many books I have published, writing cripple that I am.

Truth be told, I made many teachers balder than they should have been, drove almost all my editors to switch careers.  I also miss out on things like Fresh Press Google ratings  and because of my errors. Finally, I get unfriended or negative comments from many who value form over content.

I hope you believe me when I say seeing some stupid error not caught before pushing the publish button hurts and shames  me far more than it offends someone who is a tried and true Grammar Nazi.

I feel sorry for most Grammar Nazis. Why?  I am sure they are dealing with obsessive compulsion disorder and suffer from that more than those of us freer from perfectionism. Moreover as texting changes our language and writing, the Grammar  Nazi’s are  probably going bald.

For those that think all such disabilities are beside the point, think again.  As a former therapist I am not in love with  efforts to attach labels to everyone. However,  Emotional Fitness Training, Inc. suggests  “yes/and”  instead of “either/or” thinking is more helpful and speaks for a broader #emotionalintelligence.

Here is why. I struggled for years with feeling shamed and stupid, then my oldest son was having trouble in school and we decided to get him psychological testing.  We lucked out both in our choice to see a psychologist and the one we chose.  (We did not choose the one the school picked and were lucky we had the money to seek someone with no conflicting ties. )

When my son’s dysgraphia was explained to me not only one light bulb went off in my head, but fireworks.  Finally, I understood my struggles, I understood the struggles of one of my brothers, an Uncle,  and I understood my mother’s family declining fortunes.   So I am not against any version of the DMS, but am against careless and unthinking of its application.

How was that?

Dysgraphia is a genetic mutation of some sort.  You can trace its effect throughout my mother’s family tree.  The first of her ancestors came over with William Penn, possibly as an indentured servant that is not clear.  What was clear was the family success as lawyers.  One even served in Lincoln’s House of Representatives; the town of Broomall, Pa was named for him and I swam as a child in Broomal’s Lake.

By the time I was growing up, however, the family was in decline. My Uncle Tom became somewhat like the hero of the movie  A Beautiful Mind.  I had to leave the theater when the movie took me  to John Nash’s office cabin in the woods and revealed that he was once again locked into the arms of his disorder.

Nash’s cabin reminded me of my Uncle Tom’s room, he lived with us for many years when unable to work or live alone because of his struggles. He was a loving and brilliant man, but haunted with the need to change the irrationality of English Spelling.  He ended up with several DSM diagnosis, but not dysgraphia and that to me was definitelypart of the mix.

So that was one of the fire crackers exploding when I learned of this particular DSM label.  Back to the family’s decline.  The family fortunes’ prospered as long as apprenticeships made lawyers, not college and law school grades and degrees.

How?  Because both their strengths and weakness were better weighed during the years of apprenticeships.  In addition to learning disabilities, my family inherited high IQs.  Now I know that it is not politically correct to suggest that some people are born with a greater talent for smarts than other people; however the fact remains – some people are smarter than others. More over there are lots of different kinds of smarts.  Despite what our equality based hopes want us to think, having  smarts does not depend as much on environment and schooling as the right genes.

When Oprah and others “Just do it” gurus preach follow your dreams, they are offering false hopes to many.  Watch American Idle auditions for proof  dreams do not always come true.  Oprah is brilliant.   She also had,  as I did, people in her life who had faith in her strengths.

Moreover, she probably stood out in school as student. Jerome Kagan, one of my gurus, points out that going to a small school where any talent is appreciated and needed by the community serves children better than being in an honor’s class in a large school.

When not part of a mass education effort, but involved in smaller teaching efforts, caring instructors tend to see the whole person and not just the stupid seeming errors.  I was fortunate that I had such teachers  in high school, college, and graduate school. These honored my brain, tried to help me with my difficulties and kept me trying to be what I wanted to be – a writer.

In time, I was also fortunate in coming to  understand that although not formally diagnosed, I was dysgraphic.  Finding that out was like the end of a July 4th fireworks display and the beginning of being better ablt to battle feeling stupid and ashamed.

Emotional intelligence building tips

Emotional fitness tip one:  Use rating scales to stay focused on what matters.   How?   Are you editing or writing something for a major paid publication or hoping to be the next best selling novelist? That should make you a nine or ten on the” Be a Grammar Nazi” scale.   Not paid?  Drop the rating.  A text message? That ‘s a one.

Emotional fitness tip two:  Strengthen your protective shield. Start  by resisting the urge to correct, point out or feel shamed by an error based on five and below rating scale of importance.  Tell yourself “Good enough” and move on.  The more perfection needs are ignored, the less their stranglehold.

Emotional fitness tip three:  Improve your self-soothing skills. See my Easy Emotional Fitness Execises some practice steps for soothing and strengthening that protective shield.

Parenting Emotional fitness Tip

Parening tip one: Learn and use all the skills suggested above. You and any child you care for and about will benefit.

Parening tip two:  Think about the possiblity of a learning disablity if a child seems to be behind others in school.  The time to start worrying is as s/he is moving into the second grade and not reading and/ or struggling with writing or math.  The sooner such problems are probably diagnosed the more useful.

Parening tip three: Do not let fears or worries about DSM labels rule you. Take an “What if” approach.  If  a child has an DSM disorder and his or her life is being impacted, the right diagnosis and treatment often makes the difference between  life long pain and the good life.

Parenting tip four: Think a bit about other common disorders that are missed and impact a child’s functioning include:

  1. Anxiety disorders – think excessive shyness, think perfectionism
  2. Trauma reactions – think astham and being unable to breathe; think inattention or impulsiveness, particularly physically striking out.
  3. Sadness without any apparent cause: think depression.

For more detailed thinking about diagnosis, incorrect or missed diagnosis go here: Symptoms Often Misdiagnosed in Children.


If you like this post share it with another.  That is practicing deliberate kindness which is another easy Emotional Fitness Exercise and the sublect of today’s Free Poster Coach.

As always, thank you for your support.


This post fits in with Today’s Word Press’s  Aug 10, 2014 Daily Prompt  Second Opinion :What are some (or one) of the things about which you usually don’t trust your own judgment, and need someone’s else’s confirmation?  Answered above and thank you Word Press for letting me educate some about Dysgraphia.


Practice Deliberate Kindness ass an Emotional Fitness Exercise.

All EFTI Poster Coaches are offered as free digitial downloads at the EFTI Store.



Some believe dogs are the devil, black dogs in particular.  Those who love dogs know that dog is god spelled backwards. #emotionalintelligence

Bad black dog

This woman knew bad behavior should not be rewarded, and that a bit of punishment does not hurt. Punishment is pain applied after doing something bad and can range from with holding a reward as above to harsh punishments that are abusive. That is the theme of another post - Treat Your Children Like Dogs. On with this post.

EMOTIonal intelligence thoughts and tips

This post is about prejudices. Although about black dogs it refers to all prejudices.  For this one, think way back to when wolves were around mankind consisted of all small  and sometimes violent tribes.  Doing so helps you understand how dogs and particularly black dogs got a bad rep.

Tamed wolves, often black at that time,  served as advanced  weaponry for  warriors making it understandable some would see them as evil and the devil.

That is where the “Curse of Personal Knowledge” comes in.  That curse involves twisted thinking of several kinds beginning with personal experiences that get generalized and carried forward to illogical extremes.

Think of being bitten by a dog as a child – a personal experience which could or could not lead to excessive fear of dogs or what the mental health experts call a dog phobia.  When other experiences with dogs are unpleasant, or a cultural cautionary myth supports the fear grows. Fear unfortunately breeds hatred.

Doubt the cultural part? Islam holds the belief black dogs are devil dogs and must be killed. I suspect Mohammed when first questing for power was set upon by some black dogs.  His personal experience morphed into a cautionary tale and then a law.

When I lived in an integrated neighborhood, many Islamists would cross the street and make the sign of the devil when I was walking my Whisper. Moreover, I suspect if they could get away with it some might have killed her.

Our blackest and the sweetest dog ever doing one of the things she loved the most. Swimming.

Whisper is no longer with us. The  blackest and  also sweetest dog we ever owned, seen here doing something  she loved – water play.

I can more easily forgive the cultures that eat dogs,  at least that arose from the need to survive. I have a harder time with any teaching hatred.  I think of the  fear of  black dogs and  sanctioning their deaths because of fur color as dog racism.

Emotional intelligence tip one: Examine your fears for the twisted thinking keeping such fears  alive and flourishing. The Curse of Personal Knowledge is one, but generalizing is most common and probably the root of all prejudice.

Fear is a signal something bad may happen. May happen is  key.  Turning may to will increases fear, and that is just what our brain does. Our brain’s warning system is always on 911 alert and preparing us for the worse, but the worse, meaning serious physical injury or death rarely happen.  When afraid we have to think seriously about if and how our thinking is being twisted.

Emotional intelligence tip two: Understand how fear and uncertainty lead to hate. Jerome Kagan, retired Harvard guru, believes uncertainty (fear) can turn to anger when we can find something or someone to blame.

When afraid we run or fight. We stay to fight if we think we are stronger than what we fear and will win.  When angry we always want to fight, but fear will rule when we think we cannot win the fight.

Moral: Deal with your fear before it turns to hate even if you are strong enough to win a battle. That is the only path to peace on earth for all.


If you like this post share it with another.  That is practicing deliberate kindness which is part of the skill of saying what has to be said without saying it mean. .

As always, thank you for your support.


This post fits in with Today’s Word Press’s  Aug 8, 2014 DAILY PROMPT   Sounds Right:  This is clearly subjective, but some words really sound like the thing they describe (personal favorites: puffin; bulbous; fidgeting). Do you have an example of such a word (or, alternatively, of a word that sounds like the exact opposite of what it refers to)? What do you think creates this effect?

Okay, I did a twist a bit on that, but still  it is what  this prompt inspired.

IMAGES BY Cartoon Stock and Emotional Fitness Training, INCl

If the free poster below is not yet up on the EFTI Store, practice forgiveness, I will get it up as soon as possible, but I am a business of one.  You might browse for all the digital downloads are free and many relate to today’s free coach.