Tag Archives: Self-help


Think what you buy, how you look, how smart you are, where you live, or the kind of work you do matters? Think again.  The Sages of the Ages know better.

What matters? Kindness to all.

This Poster Coach is available as a free download at the EFTI Store. If this is your first visit to this Free 101 Emotional Fitness Course, go here to catch up.

All the research agrees with these sages. What matters in the long run are caring relationships. Such relationships get created by being kind and generous, forgiving others for their flaws, forgiving yourself for not being perfect, and working together to make the your world and all the world a better place.

Here’s an exercise many find revealing:  Think about being told you have a day to  live. Who will you call? How will you spend your last few hours? What do you hope will be said about you in your obituary or at your funeral?

Find that uncomfortable. Of course. Maybe this will be a bit better.  Think about the date changing to a year from now and asking yourself the same questions.

Still not a happy thought. Understood. So give yourself five more years.  If you are under thirty that might be enough. After all a common motto among the young is “Live fast, die young, and leave a pretty corpse.”

Reality check: The Grime Reaper sets his own schedule and visits when he wants, never when we want. The young die too soon, and the old almost all want a longer life.

How can facing this fact help calm you? By keeping you from  sweating the small stuff and focusing on living the life you have  given with gratitude and kindness; then you can  say when facing death, “I did it my way and the right way.”


The first? Print up a free copy of the Remember What Matters Poster from the  EFTI store.  Post it where you will see it.  Seeing it will remind you to stay focused on what matters.

The second?  When you see the poster, think  for at least a minute or two about your personal life mission. A mission is not about things you want, it is about the kind of person you want to be.

Steven Covey, author of the best-selling book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People says”  “Writing a personal mission statement connects you to your own unique purpose and the profound satisfaction that comes in fulfilling it.”

In time, I will ask you to write a personal mission statement, but now it is enough to think a bit about what you want your life to stand for.

The third? Learn to set SMART goals. As Mark Twain noted, “I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life.  The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.”

SMART goals help you get serious about what you want. If you cannot take the time to set a SMART goal, it says you are not very serious about what you think you want.

How to set SMART Goals

Remember being asked to write a paragraph or two about the feeling bossing you the most and getting you into trouble?  Now is the time to set a SMART GOAL using what you wrote.

If you are not taking the course seriously, just read on. Any time you want to get serious, you just start the course again from the beginning.  For now, keep reading as the information will help you better move toward any goals that are important to you.

 God gives every bird his worm, but he does not throw it into the nest.

                                                                                                                            Swedish Proverb

SMART Setting

Ninety percent of the goals people set are not met.  Not a high success rate.  The ten percent  that are met are the ones the person finds important enough to take seriously.  Taking them seriously, means writing them down, tracking them, and sometimes, getting help from others.  If you are taking the course to get certification or to teach others, you need to do the above.


Session Twelve shows you how to use sloganeering as a tool against negative self-talk.



I often use these prompts to spark my posts.  They can also be used to improve your critical thinking is the heart of emotional intelligence.

You can think about them as they are stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. Most can be related to Emotional Fitness. How? Well here is the prompt that connects to this post. I’ll answer it and tell you how I relate it to Emotional Fitness. Here is the challenge that relates to this post.

Custom Zodiac: You’re tasked with creating a brand new astrological sign for the people born around your birthday — based solely on yourself. What would your new sign be, and how would you describe those who share it?

How this relates to emotional fitness and today’s post? If you are emotionally fit, you STAR in your life meaning you Stop, Think, Act Wisely, and Reap rewards.  So that means your are a STAR Reaper.  And of course, I want everyone to be a STAR Reaper.


All the handouts for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free. You will find lots of other  offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.


Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings.  This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful. One star – Reinforced my knowledge. Two  Stars –  New  information.   Three stars – New useful information; Four stars- Very good.   Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and stay strong, I have to work at it constantly, but am grateful I have figured out how.



Self-soothing skills remain the most popular part of this course. Testifies to how stressed we are. Most of us have healthy and unhealthy ways we use to find calm.

Health ways to self soothe

Remember if this is your first visit to the course, you can go here to start at the beginning. Not necessary, but advisable to get the most from it.  

Meditating got left off the list. That was not on purpose but gives me a change to highlight its value. Done properly and with practice it works. Think of the Dalai Lama who almost never gets ruffled.

That’s the good news.  The bad news? The Dalai Lama practiced years and years to be a star meditator.  The hyperactive or more impatient among us often find traditional meditations hard to learn. That  describes me. That is also why I developed EFT’s One Minute Meditation or OMM. Here it is:

A one minute meditation

If you have been taking the course, you are already familiar with the first four steps of the OMM. Guessed it was a  Calming Breath? Right.

Some words about all breathing exercises.  We breathe naturally, but there are  revving up ways to breathe and  calming ways to breathe. Both are useful.  Learning to use both wisely improves your self-soothing skills,

 Revving up breaths –  These often happen normally when we experience a negative feeling.  It starts by more or less holding our breath and breathing using our upper body.

Think of the last time something happened that really frightened you. Most likely, you caught and held your breath for a few seconds. When you began to breathe again, you took  quick, short breaths. Called thoracic breathing this does not fully expand the lungs; it decreases the flow of oxygen and so increases tension and revs you up.

Most call do not see why this is useful, but the body uses such breathing  to increase the flow of energizing chemicals and there lies its usefulness.

Calming down breaths –  this is the way babies breathe when sleeping and involves drawing a complete breath from deep in your belly, the way singers do.  Doing so gets more oxygen to your whole body and that is calming.

Not sure you know how to breathe from your belly? Try this:

  1. Stand at ease.
  2. Place both of your hands on your stomach.
  3. Imagine your stomach is a balloon.
  4. Breathe in and imagine you are filling that balloon with air.
  5. Breathe out and imagine the balloon collapsing.

Very hard for some, so here is another way to learn this one.  Do this in bed before falling asleep.

  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Put a book on your abdomen.
  3. Breathe as you normally do.
  4. Watch the book and see if it raises as you breathe in or out.
  5. Experiment with learning to raise the book as you breathe in.

Parenting tip: Instead of a book, use a small stuffed animal to teach a child how to breathe calm. You can start doing so when s/he has conquered language.

Using the above  to self-sooth and stay calm: Becoming  attuned to how you breathe alerts you to the need to switch to from one way  to the other. Mostly you will need to switch from revving up breaths to calming breaths.

Homework: Use bed time to practice learning both ways to breathe and how to switch from one to the other.  Switch several times, then practice the OMM until you fall asleep.


More self-soothing skills with a focus on turning negative self talk into positive slogans that calm and keep you focused on what matters.)


I often use these prompts to spark my posts.  They can also be used to improve your critical thinking which is the heart of emotional intelligence.

You can think about them as they are stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. Most can be related to Emotional Fitness. How? Well here is the prompt that connects to this post. I’ll answer it and tell you how I relate it to Emotional Fitness.

Doppelgänger alert: You step into an acquaintance’s house for the first time, and discover that everything — from the furniture, to the books, to the art on the wall — is identical to your home. What happens next?

How this relates to emotional fitness and today’s post.  I laugh gently, which is an emotional fitness exercise, then thank my friend for finding so much of me to like and then admit, I also miss what was special about him that could never be me and suggest the next time  I visit, I hope to see more of him and less of me.

If you think deeply, another emotional fitness exercise, hopefully, you realize the beauty of our world lies in its variety. A world inhabited by copies of you would soon become very boring.


All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free  (Handouts are in Black and White while Foster Coaches are in color.)

Some might not be up yet.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If a handout isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises.

Subscribe to be notified of new additions.



Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.




SESSION ONE: Anger, shame, guilt, fear, desire, pain, sadness, jealousy, or lust bossing you?  Take this EFTI course and boss the feelings trying to boss you.

EQ instagrom intro to efti

Emotional Fitness tRAINING’s 101 Course

I am offering this course  on my blog and Emotional Fitness Facebook Page. The course puts you in charge of the feelings that boss you and create problems.  Being in  charge of your feelings keeps you on the path to the good life.


Emotional fitness is about managing feelings. We can own our feelings or our feelings can own us.  Anger is a feeling that tries to own us: “I was angry; I couldn’t help myself.”  Sadness is another feeling that can own us. “I couldn’t do my work, I was so sad, I just sat there and cried.”  When we own our feelings, we are in control.

We are in charge of some feelings, not in charge of others. Sometimes we soar; sometimes we can’t get off the ground.  Everyone’s ability to manage one or another negative feeling can be improved.  Taking control of your feelings requires mastery of six skills

  1.  Feeling awareness: knowing when a feeling starts and how accurately name various feelings.
  2. Feeling measurement: knowing how to measure the growth of negative feelings so you can take action before the feeling controls you.
  3.  Self-soothing: calming the body so feelings do not take over.
  4.  Focusing the mind on what matters: knowing what is important—having a life affirming mission, setting positive goals
  5.  Feeling management: strategizing or thinking about how to act on what is important.
  6.  Acceptance and letting go: dealing with what cannot be changed.

EFTI  programs are based on the fitness model.  Even if born with a great athletic talent, you need practice and training to become a star.  So it is with emotional fitness;  emotional fitness levels and needs vary as widely as physical fitness levels and needs.  To star at managing feelings, you need training and practice.

 WHAt You need to know about the course

The course is based on courses I taught as a professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Social Work, on my experiences as the director of New York City crisis teams before, during and after 9/11, on my years as a foster parent caring for teens in trouble with the law, and on the growing interest in Emotional Intelligence.

My unique experience as a foster parent, lead me to want to turn clinical knowledge into  practical tips and exercises. There are six skills, and twelve daily exercises to review or  learn, and then strengthen.

The course is also designed to take at several levels. You can just scan the posts and take what you want or need when you can.

You can obtain a certificate of accomplishment  for adding to your resume by taking the course as you would a college course. Doing so involves taking  several mastery based tests as you work through the course. The mastery approach involves a self-graded testing system. When you take the test, if you fail, you simply review the material and take the test again. Few fail as the course is specifically designed to answer the questions. When you complete the course this way, you need to pay a small fee for the processing of your tests and issuing the certificate.

If you need  a certificate of completion for anger management, please contact us at emotfit@live.com for more information.  Taking the course may be enough, but more might be needed if you are court referred mandated to take anger management.

Finally, those  with credentials as a therapist or coach can use the course as the springboard for licensing as an Emotional Fitness Trainer.  If that is your interest contact me at emotfit@live.com.

To start you off, here are some feelings facts you need to know and think about.

Feeling facts

One of the questions on a test would be to state Feeling Fact Number Seven as that is the essentially Emotional Fitness Training’s Game Plan.

If you are a parent, taking this course, buffers you against the slings and arrows involved in raising children. Most importantly, however, the more emotionally fit you are, the more emotionally fit your children will be.

I hope you will share this information. As always, thank you for your support.




IN TRANSIT: Train stations, airport terminals, subway stops: soulless spaces full of distracted, stressed zombies, or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories?

Life is always in transit and most of the magic comes from you and your willingness to connect kindly to others.  Emotion Fitness Training makes that more possible.


Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.  Eventually, all the course handouts will be there.

How To Forgive Others and Yourself – Five tips

As a Jew this is the time of year to examine your behavior, seek forgiveness when you have failed go follow the right path, forgive others, and move forward.

Forgiveness quote

Emotional fitness thoughts

A guilty conscience is the first line of punishment. Forgiving others begins with realizing your need for forgiveness and examining your guilty conscience.  Why? Doing so connects you to what Judaism calls your  “Evil Inclinations.”

We all “Evil Inclinations”  These are the  selfish parts of each human that seeks personal needs without regard to others. Knowing our capacity for evil builds empathy, not just for yourself, but for those who do evil.

The second of the ten commandments prohibits  Idolatry.   The simplest way to think of the sin of Idolatry is to see it as “I Idolize I.”  I put my needs and wants above all others and do not care how others are hurt when I am seeking to meet my wants and desires.

Judaism’s  central premise of ethical  behavior is not to hurt others in ways you do not want to be hurt. The central mission of Judaism is the practice of Tikkun Olam, repairing the universe – trying to bring about a just and kind world.

Sins are not just personal faults or mis-doings according to Judaism.  On Yom Kippur all observant Jews will gather to confess not only their personal sins but all sins.  I have not murdered, but I will confess to murder; I will confess all sins whether I have personally sinned or not.

Why must I confess other people’s sins? Because when a member of the community sins, all in the community have failed, and therefore, all have sinned.

Emotional fitness tips

 Tip one: Make practicing forgiveness a daily exercise.  Here’s one of my Poster Coaches laying out an easy forgiveness exercise. It starts with forgiving yourself.

forgiveness exercise

 Tip two:  Find a community to support justice and mercy. We need justice in the world because evil takes over individuals and then evil individuals come together to overrule justice and kindness. We need a community because we need support in our efforts to practice justice and kindeness.

Tip three: Stay safe and keep other’s safe.  Forgiveness does not mean allowing yourself to be endangered or physically assaulted.

This is why I want  karate Peace Dojo’s to part of every educational facility. The world would be better if  all  students were taught what Peace Dojo’s teach.

Tip four: Grow both your self-awareness and your understanding of why others behave as they do. As one sage said, “To understand all is to forgive all.”

Tip five: Do not be swayed by evil beliefs dressed in fancy clothes. Here are five examples:

  1. Your parents, friends,  teachers, preachers, celebrities, journalists, politicians,  world leaders all speak the truth and nothing but the truth. Truth is in the eye of the beholder at least when spilled forth from a human mouth or pen or brain. You need to read oppositional points of view and even then your biases will often lead you to simple but not complete views of the truth.
  2. Things will make you happy: Despite all that the admen want you to believe, things cannot make you happy. Nor can winning the lottery, becoming a media star, being prettier, or having more money in the bank.
  3. You can have it all:  Just not possible. You can have lots, but no one has it all.
  4. You can just do it: Oprah says if she became a star anyone can. She lies. She demeans her talents and drive. She also sets a side luck meaning she had people who believed in her and she was in the right place at the right time. Imagine if she had been born before Lincoln freed the slaves.
  5. Follow your heart, your gut or your intuition.  Love is blind, murderers follow their guy, intuition only works some of the time. Marrying thought and heart, gut, intuition works best.

Stay STrong

At the moment of our death,  some say, our  lives flash before our eyes. Getting stuck in the viewing the evil we have done is my personal idea of hell.   We know deep in our hearts all we have done wrong.  Not just the stuff of our personal consciences which are dictated by our culture, our families, and our personal experiences, but the stuff  viewed by the eyes of the Creator, the Higher Power, or what most of us call our God.

One of the thoughts about Yom Kippur, is that is the day God judges humankind, but then leaves the throne of justice and sits on the throne of mercy.  From that throne forgiveness is given all who see they have sinned and seek to sin no more.

Knowing what matters and knowing that is being kind, makes forgiving all th more possible. My Mission and Goals E-book elaborates on that concept.

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.




Word Press’s Post of the Day:   Howl at the Moon – “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” Do you follow Ginsberg’s advice — in your writing and/or in your everyday life?

Yes, I howl at the moon, but I try to remember what matters and to behave accordingly.


Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.