5 sound bites from the best exercise instructors

A strong body helps nurture your mind and soul. Even if you cringe at group fitness, inspirational teachers and trainers help improve your exercise routine. Remember the Karate Kid movies? Wax…Wax off.  —Mr. Kesuke Miyagi Mindful and strong attention while you clean helps rid the mess and work your arms. Engage your core and step into... Read more »

3 New Year observations

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” This year, we embrace Helen Keller’s wise words. We must collaborate, act, and be kind. Teamwork in families, communities, professional, and political environments help reach compromise. We benefit from others’ strengths to... Read more »

12 Days of Christmas with little ones

12 Days of Christmas with little ones
On the first day of Christmas, Star Wars fans gave to me an angel on our bright tree.   On the second day of Christmas, Star Wars fans sent to me: two cousins caroling and an angel on our bight tree. On the third day of Christmas, Star Wars fans sent to me: Three boys on... Read more »
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Gift books to those in need near Chicago with Bernie's Book Bank

“A House without books is like a room without windows,” said Henry Ward Beecher. Books help children dream and visualize a world of hope and promise. The most significant influence for early educational success is an introduction to reading at home, according to the National Commission on Reading. Grim statistics demonstrate that two-thirds of students... Read more »

Navigate your holidays with Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior

The integrity, etiquette, and discretion that guided General George Washington ring true today. The following highlights from the 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior may help you and yours avoid holiday drama. RESPECT Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present. In the Presence of Others... Read more »

How four Native American values may help our United States heal

Our United States of America struggles with divisiveness at the top of both major political parties. Regular new allegations reveal sexual harassment and discrimination from politicians, celebrities and business people. Each one of us faces personal challenges of different magnitudes. Thanks to our boys’ diverse school in Chicago, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy, we learned more about... Read more »
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History of Halloween, All Saints Day & All Souls Day

As a grade school student, I researched my family heritage. I learned Halloween dates back 2,000 years to pagan Irish traditions. The ancient Celtic festival of Samhain tried to scare ghosts with bonfires and scary costumes. The Celts lived in Ireland, Great Britain and Northern France. The Roman Empire eventually conquered most of the Celtic region. During... Read more »

Leverage routines for autopilot to improve performance

Leverage routines for autopilot to improve performance
Many adults self-identify as exhausted and busy. If you plan and practice simple routines, that may help conserve mental energy during mundane tasks. We try to pause and reflect for perspective. Lists help our family and professional teams function best — almost in autopilot for the recurring action items. We still need to review everything... Read more »

3 things to help inspire change post Las Vegas shooting

3 things to help inspire change post Las Vegas shooting
Many Americans feel sad and defeated in the wake of our country’s most deadly mass shooting in modern history on Sunday in Las Vegas. History such as our founding fathers reminds us of a better time. David Brooks wrote this week in anticipation of “somebody who has the guts to say no to tribe, yes... Read more »
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3 life lessons to embrace before turning 40

I dreaded turning 30. Almost a decade and many life lessons later, I embrace more humility, gratitude and perspective. As Julianne Moore says, aging is a privilege. Humility. While perfection is impossible, we may always learn more and do better. Our professional and family teams challenge us to stretch and grow.  We learn from people of... Read more »