Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How to Show Kids You Care- When We Change Our Words, We Change Our World... Experts!

"How do I talk to my child?" "I haven't ever taken a parenting class. My parents never really talked to me. I don't know what to say."  "I turned out okay." Suggestions? 1. Ask their advice. 2. Ask them to show you how to do something. 3. Offer to tell them the "Top Ten Things I Love About You." And... just in case, here are a few more... straight from the REAL experts :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hook, Line, and Sinker: Recognizing and Combating Highly Evolving Phishing Techniques

As of January, 2014, there were 33,000 phishing attacks per month, worldwide.  Phishing is defined as trying to access information by pretending to be a trustworthy source through an electronic transmission. (Think of it as that wolf dressed up in the red hooded cape standing at the door saying "I am little Red Riding Hood! Please open the door?") 
It has been suggested that most of us are only slowly waking up to how terribly vulnerable we are to "spammers," "scammers," "spoofers," "phishers," "smishers," "spearphishers" and "whalers." Yes, those are the REAL names, which vary by the route and/or the target of the cyberattack. The key scary "fun fact" is that these attacks are evolving every single day. This site (iSecure on YouTube) is a great place to learn all about it. 
By the way, Sophos is the security product that I have been using for the past 5 years. Last month, on a flight from Boston to SFO, I sat next to a woman who had a "SOPHOS" logo on her phone and we chatted. She is from the UK and was recently transplanted here, with her family, as a SOPHOS employee. She was surprised that I knew about their company. I was surprised that they historically have spent virtually NO MONEY on marketing in the US. I love their products.
I also happened to run across Norse Corporation, which tracks worldwide cyberattacks. They have a very pretty "LIVE" map of these cyberattacks and I follow them on Twitter. I use Hotspot Shield Elite for my computer, tablet and phone. I started using 1Password after my laptop got lost at a security checkpoint for a terrifying "moment" a few years ago! AND I do REGULAR BACKUPS  with SuperDuper (because it is BOOTABLE) after the crash of my hard drive a year before THAT! (I felt very persecuted by the Computer Worst Case Scenarios Universe!) Yup, that was loads of fun, too. As the guy at the computer morgue said "Valerie, it's not "IF"... it's "WHEN."
So, these are a few places to get you started and keep you tracking the attackers. By the way, Sophos tools are designed for PC's and Macs and many of the Sophos tools are FREE. Happy Monday!!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Maya Angelou Recites Her Poem "And Still I Rise" - Her Voice Warms My Soul..... As My Southern Soul Sisters Would Say.... "Just Like Buttah!"

What a beautiful woman with a magical spirit, who overcame such atrocities and eventually emerged, her self and her voice intact. She has been an inspiration to men and women and children, everywhere. Just the sound of her voice spreads warm syrup over my heart... every single time. Sharing this with you on a Sunday morning... hoping it warms your soul and you can share in her tenacious and joyful message... :))  As my Southern sisters would say "Just like buttah!!"

Sunday, June 29, 2014

"A Good Man" Is A Short Wonderful Video About LGBT Youth Aftermath & Healing :)

This is a beautiful short animated film made by StoryCorps, about the conversation between two brothers who shared an evening of conversation. They and their 6 other siblings had survived a difficult childhood and had all become completely estranged from their parents. The narrator was the oldest brother who had been cast out of the family the night his father had discovered a love letter exchanged between his son and another guy... This son was literally abandoned in the forest... Somehow, he survived.
Years later, the phone rang...
This film gives us a glimpse into the unspeakable horror with which some children and teens are treated when their families discover that they are "gay" or "lesbian" or "bisexual" or "transgendered." 
Reach out, be sensitive, be kind and be open. PFLAG is an amazing organization and this is an amazing animated short film. Thank you guys. May the dialogues begin... :))

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Conflict Resolution Expert Elizabeth Bader Speaks On "The Self of Peace"

Elizabeth Bader presents "The Self of Peace" at the 2012 Self and Duality Conference (SAND) and describes how the issues of the self and identity are "front and center" in the mediation process. Over the course of her legal career, she observed the worst in people: greed, envy, destruction, entrapment in patterns of perpetuation of what people saw as "necessary" in the service of "the self." This coincided with a crisis in her own personal and professional life. She reflected on a prayer she had read: "Bless me into usefulness." 
Ms. Bader began to study the work of others, including Peter Levine (in his work on the trauma of people) and Stephen Porges (in his work on neuroscience.) She learned that through disappointment, the human sense of "self" and "identity" shift in a definable, predictable manner. Disappointment creates the doorway in order to move past the "ego," (which is the limited sense of the self) in order to ever be able to come to any sense of compromise and resolution. "This cycle is what I eventually called the IDR cycle." (Inflation-Deflation-Resolution)
In the first stage, people are inflated (in parallel with the involuntary neurological response to danger "the optimism bias," which is the psychological correlate of the biological shift.) The second phase is one of  deflation. The third phase is realistic resolution and recognition of truth. Impasse is the point at which both sides know that unless they get past this point, there will be no resolution (and what they ultimately seek; which is peace.) "Peace never happens because of another person." It happens when one  surrenders to the truth of the situation and says to oneself "yes, the war is over. I finally have resolution." What a beautiful video. The video clip containing "Blessed Are the Peacemakers" by medicine is the cherry on top! Thank you, Ms. Bader.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

NBA: Great Man In Basketball! Kevin Durant's MVP Acceptance Speech! Happy Mother's Day!

         After weeks of humiliating headlines about a lot of reprehensible behavior in people in the field of professional sports, Mr. Durant's acceptance speech for his award as Most Valuable Player washes over the viewer like a fresh spring shower!" What a proud mother she must be. What a lovely and humble son... Wow! Sharing this as a hopeful treat to all mothers and sons everywhere... just in time for Mother's Day. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Brain Flight: Happening TODAY! Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day National Launch


National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day National Launch 1:45 p.m. EDT.

Please join us and watch live via

Use Hashtags and Twitter to Join the Conversation. The Instructions Will Be Right There... 

                               (along with the support chat link, too! See you there?) 

Kind regards
- Valerie

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Drownings: 10 Per Day: Water Safety for 6-Month Old Infants on Up- Thank you to

This beautifully produced video delivers the powerful message in which the Collingsworth family shouts out a tribute and a call to action, in the loving memory of their young son, Josh. Kathy and Blake Collingsworth established a foundation in Josh's name. They have also developed a growing campaign which is designed to teach babies as young as 6 months old to "become the otter" and flip over onto their backs if they encounter a body of water. It only takes a few seconds for our children to elude our supervision- and it only takes a few inches of water in which they can drown. All of the latches, alarms, gates and cameras cannot guarantee that a child cannot elude them. They are mighty ninjas and it is our daunting task to outmaneuver  them. Are we up for the challenge? Deepest gratitude to Kathy and Blake Collingsworth for all of the lives you will continue to save.