Archive for May, 2010

ABC News and The Thoughtless Headline…

May 21st, 2010 | no comments

I always turn to the sports section first. The sports section records people’s accomplishments; the front page nothing but man’s failures. ~Earl Warren, quoted in Sports Illustrated, 22 July 1968

I had planned to write on a different topic this morning, but after reading an article online, I knew I had to blog about it.

The article in question?

Really ABC news? Really? You couldn’t find a better headline, or should I say you decided to choose one that would grab at the attention of people like me.

The story itself talks about the recent announcement of John Travolta and Kelly Preston pregnancy. They are expecting a new baby in November.

But instead of celebrating some good in the lives of two people who deserve a little happiness, this article talks about how bereaved parents can sometimes “replace” their lost children. Questions like, “Is it too soon?” “Why are they having this child?” The title itself implies that you have an intimate understanding of the inner workings and motivators of their family. Do you?

I know you felt like you had something here, bringing in the experts and quoting their statements on bereaved parents. But did you really have to do this? Did you really have to title an article like that? If you wonder if you missed the mark on this one, read your 140 comments at the end of the article. For once, I am on the pro side of the fence for online commenting.

As a bereaved parent myself, I send congratulations to their family as they prepare to welcome a new life. I don’t know them, but I do know as any mother knows, your child cannot be replaced. No matter how many years pass, no matter how many other children you bring into this world. The uniqueness of your creation, your baby can never be replaced.

Gone to walk this one off on the treadmill….


Book Review-Louise Hay’s “Experience Your Good Now”

May 18th, 2010 | no comments

Every thought we think is creating our future. -Louise L. Hay-

Happy Tuesday…..

Today, I am writing a book review for Louise Hay’s new release,

Before I begin my review, I want to quickly go over some housekeeping items. I received a copy of this book free of charge from Hay House, as they reviewed my blog and thought my readers might like to hear about the book. I want to make sure I am compliant with all FTC regulations, and let you know that although I received this book without charge, the review is my own personal opinion after having read the book from cover to cover.

Okay, let’s talk about Experience Your Good Now..

The book is all about affirmations. What they are, the power of them, and how you can apply them to your life at this very moment.

To quote Louise, she describes an affirmation as:

a message to your subconscious mind saying, I am taking responsibility. I am aware that there is something I can do to change….consciously choosing words that will either help eliminate something or help create something new in your life.

The book is a practical guide for using affirmations in your own life, no matter what the situation. In fact, each chapter focuses on different aspects of life that you would use affirmations: for health, critical thinking, fear, addictions, forgiveness, love, aging, and prosperity to mention just some of the topics covered.

The book includes a free affirmation CD, which reinforces the teachings within the pages if the book.

I loved every page. It was simply organized, and easy to read. The CD was very helpful as well, as sometimes, putting affirmations into practice in your own life can be challenging. The hour long audio CD walks you through the powers of affirmations and how to bring them into your own life.

I think it is important to note that Louise Hay has played a big part in my decision to grieve this way, and to even share my story in my book, Gratitude in Grief. I had been listening to her audio books prior to the loss of my son, and I continue to do so as I grieve. She may never know it, but she helped me understand that I could make a conscious decision about my thoughts, and I could choose to make my life whatever I wanted, even in the loss of my child.

I know that the general public sometimes hears the word affirmations, and thinks about some new age thinking, some practice that may apply to others, but not them.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is everyone on this planet is using affirmations daily already, without this book. But, the difference? Most of us have a steady negative affirmation running through our heads day after day. We look in the mirror and see physical imperfections, we look at our finances and see what we lack. We look at loss and we see that our life is over, even though we are still breathing.

Louise, in a simplified presentation, shows us how to turn those negative affirmations around, harnessing the power of your belief system to change your life.

The book is a practical guide for anyone who is ready to end the negative self talk that they live with daily. But, as my blog discusses finding gratitude in grief, I believe there could be a special value in this book for anyone who is grieving any type of loss.

My decision to choose happiness in the face of loss has been one big old affirmation. Each day, I wake up and I confirm that goodness surrounds me, even when I miss Stephen.

Finding resilience in your life requires beliefs. Beliefs come from information that you feed your mind and soul. Do you feed your mind and soul good thoughts, or negative ones? Do you tell yourself that you will get through this, or that you will never recover?

Louise Hay has spent her lifetime helping others find joy and heal their lives. I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to make a change in their thoughts so you may make that change in your life.

Louise makes it simple. Feeding your mind the right stuff.

One last thing!

In celebration of the release of Louise Hay’s book, Hay House is offering the chance to win a spot on their I Can Do It! at sea Caribbean Cruise, January 28 to February 4, 2011. Enter for your chance to win at :

You can purchase the book by visiting Hay House. Today I am thankful for Louise Hay and her new book, Exerience Your Good Now.

Wish you a positive affirmation kind of day,


Raleigh News and Observer Weighs in on Online Comments

May 16th, 2010 | no comments
“People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-
If you’ve been reading along with me, you know how I feel about anonymous online comments. In earlier posts, I have expressed my concern and displeasure with the ability of the anonymous to verbally eviscerate the people in the news and their families. In the comfort of their own homes, they can, without consequence, pass judgment on any event in the news.
Earlier this spring, I travelled to Raleigh to speak to the News and Observer staff on this very topic, having experienced the hurt of comments written in response to articles published following the death of Stephen. Here’s a link to my post talking about that visit.

Following that meeting, I have periodically heard from the Mr. Drescher/News and Observer. They have grappled with this issue and tried to, as a staff, come to a solution as to how to handle the issue of negative online commenting, while still providing an open forum for people to express their opinion. I appreciate that they listened to my concerns and have taken the time out of their busy schedules to discuss the issue further.
On Saturday, John Drescher, Executive Editor wrote a column on the topic:
After reading it a few times, I wanted to share some thoughts.
It appears that no immediate solution has been reached, no committee came back with a unanimous solution to this problem as I had hoped. But as I read this a second time, I could understand why. You see, the second time I read the article, I also took the time to read the three pages of comments.
Raleigh News and Observer readers like the ability to comment on articles, and pass their opinion. They feel they are entitled to do so as part of their rights and freedoms as a citizen of this country. Others like to read the banter back and forth, and, in some cases, that banter is truly a productive dialogue about current issues.
So, how do we protect the individuals and families that newspapers write about from unnecessary hurt and anguish? Is it right to police a system to protect everyone from just a few people, knowing that the majority of comments are thoughtful and appropriate? It’s kind of like an elementary school situation, where the whole class is punished for the behaviour of a few individuals who wouldn’t fess up and tell the teacher that they were responsible.
Mr. Drescher said he does not want to have a staff person full time monitoring this situation, when they could be reporting.
Well, he has a point. But, on the flip side, one could say by not monitoring, he is allowing the anonymous to represent his publication. Because on the day I read the comments about my child, that anonymous person represented his newspaper as much as he did . One of the comments on Saturday’s column said that parents like me just shouldn’t read the comments. No offense lady, but walk a mile in my shoes for a week or two and see how passive you would be about words written about your baby, when all you have left to protect is his memory.
I have two solutions, and they are both based on a society that encourages free speech, but it is also a culture that respects its fellow citizens.
1. Disable comments for sensitive stories, especially involving the death of an individual: Perhaps the solution lies in disabling the comment sections for those stories covering sensitive topics only, like the death of individuals. Other publications have already decided to do this, and I applaud their forward thinking. Perhaps it should become a standard practice before posting something that a staff person goes through an established set of criteria to determine if a story should have a comments section or not. Don’t assume that bereaved families will not read these stories. When you lose someone, especially suddenly, you look everywhere for some explanation, even in your publications. Some may say that they have a right to comment, and they do. But it does not have to be in this forum.
2. Have readers take personal accountability: I don’t think this is only the job of the newspaper to fix this problem. I believe we are all responsible to make this world into what we want it to be. Each one of us could tell a story of heartache and loss. Unfortunately, none of us are immune from pain, nor will we live forever. Tragedy comes and goes, and no family ever breezes through life without being touched by loss, it is part of the journey. So, my second solution is for each reader of the News and Observer or any other publication to speak out. Start reporting abuse and make it a point to have those comments removed. When I reported my concerns to the News and Observer, they quickly removed the abusive remarks. If enough individuals did this consistently, we could make a difference. If enough individuals made this commitment, the anonymous commenter may eventually understand that they live in a society that does not support that sort of behaviour.
I am not against online comments. On the contrary, I believe in the power of free speech. Censorship is not a solution. I believe in my right to post my blog posts daily, and express my own unique and personal opinion. I am not against anything.
I am for kindness. I am for respect and dignity for those who are hurting. I am for a culture that understands that free speech is not the same thing as hate speak. I am for a society that thinks about how their words will be received. I am for a world that realizes we all have a responsibility to make this a better place.
In Mr. Drescher’s column, he presents us with two different online commenting situations. The two instances are great examples of how this new way of communicating and sharing our lives online can be a wonderful thing and a hurtful thing all at the same time.
At points in all of our lives, we will need the world to just be kind to us, if only briefly. Let’s stand up and take responsibility for ensuring that happens. Let’s make a change together, and not let another mother or father have to read anything negative about a child they have lost, no matter what the circumstances are surrounding their death.
If you have other suggestions, I would encourage you to let me know, pass them along to the Raleigh News and Observer, or your own local publication.
Wishing you a stand up for what’s right kind of day,