Category Archives: Recommended Reads

Power of Human Touch and Cuddling


When H. Melinda Krakowski, a customer service representative in New York City, was married, she couldn’t shake the feeling that she was alone, even when her husband was in the room with her. That’s because they almost never touched, and she felt starved for physical affection.

After Krakowski and her husband separated, she sought out group activities to curb her loneliness. That’s when she discovered cuddle parties: gatherings for people to engage in consensual, nonsexual touch. One facilitator of these events, entrepreneur Adam Lippin, was in the process of creating a professional cuddling agency.

Lippin had gotten into yoga and meditation and wanted to start a new business venture that promoted wellness. His co-founder, Madelon Guinazzo, also a cuddle party facilitator, had already been seeing clients who paid her for private cuddle sessions. So late last year, the two scouted out cuddle party attendees who might be interested in working with them. Read more at WASHINGTON POST. Contact CUDDLIST for more information.


Inspirational Mothers Day Contest

mothers day contest

Countdown to Mother’s Day!

Very seldom in life do we meet people with such amazing gifts that we are left stunned. Earnestine Robinson is one of those rare people. She is able to create music so intricate, many consider it impossible to do without a background in music. Despite no formal music training, with her faith and family, she rises from humble southern roots to become an unlikely composer of classical music that takes her all the way to Carnegie Hall and to a world premiere in Europe.

Earnestine does not  question her source. She trusts God to guide her and just continues to create extraordinary music that has taken her all the way to Carnegie Hall three times.
While some stories are interesting and others explore and push the reader to think, it is usually the inspirational stories that touch the soul. Her book “Driven by Faith” is a “must-read” for anyone who has struggled to answer the question, “Why am I here?”

Earnestine’s gift is more than just creating some of the most beautiful music you will ever hear. It’s also about family, faith and giving back. To this end, Earnestine and her family are holding a contest, one that could include you and your mother.

Join us for this very unique “Countdown to Mother’s Day!”

1. Submit in 500 words or less your special Mother’s Day story.It can be funny, sentimental, bold or all of these and more. Submit  HERE.


2. Each day, prior to Mother’s Day, come back and share special thoughts you have on the upcoming special day on Earnestine’s timeline on Facebook.

3. Share your thoughts with all your friends.

The first 100 people to actively post on Earnestine’s timeline will win the opportunity to participate in a special live, online Earnestine Robinson Master Class. She will discuss and take questions on how to find your purpose and the role of faith in reaching your destiny.

On Mother’s Day, three winners will be chosen and each receive a $100 gift card from Amazon and a copy of Earnestine’s book “Driven By Faith”. Each of the stories will be posted on Earnestine’s Facebook page.

Make this your best Mother’s Day ever!


Linda Thompson Shares Living With Bruce Jenner

linda thompson bruce jenner

The Huffington Post is the exclusive outlet for a compelling blog written by Linda Thompson, former wife of Bruce Jenner.


By now, Bruce Jenner has revealed his struggle with gender dysphoria.
I never would have dared to speak on this issue before he was comfortable enough to do so first. It is, after all, his truth, so I knew he should be afforded the dignity to reveal that truth on his own time and in the way he sees fit.
I have respectfully kept his secrets private and would have taken his confidences to my grave had he not spoken out.
But now, many years into his remarkable life, he has spoken out. His legacy will likely be sprinkled with references like “Olympian,” “decathlon gold medalist,” “world’s greatest athlete,” “son,” “brother,” “husband,” “father,” “grandfather,” “friend,” and, hopefully, “pioneer” and “trailblazer for the civil rights of the transgender community.”
Can you imagine Bruce and his family living with this secret for 30 years?
Read the entire article here.



Real Soulful Site Inspires People


A new social networking site to INSPIRE US!

Social Networking Entrepreneur Tiffany Cooper is spreading the news about a new online social network that promotes positive social networking and allows users to improve their emotional and mental well-being.

For the month of January, Cooper is inviting users to join the site for a different kind of resolution-setting: helping others. Beginning January 1st through January 31st, the new social network is challenging its users to find one kind act that they can do that benefits someone else.

“So many people spend this time of year thinking of ways to improve their lives, which is great.” says Cooper. “Whether it’s to exercise more, eat less, make more money, spend less – we start out strong, but often lose our way before Valentine’s Day. I believe these goals often fail because they lack true inspiration behind them.”

“It’s amazing, though, what we can do when we stop focusing on ourselves and set out to help others,” explains Cooper. “Performing daily acts of kindness has been sceintifically proven to benefit a person’s heart, reduce anxiety, allow for better sleep, improve relationships, lower blood pressure, and simply make people happier and more satisfied with their lives. Who could ask for more in the New Year?” launched in Beta-mode in February 2014 and has over 750 global users to date, with a demographic of 58% female and 42% males. Users are encouraged to share their stories of kindness on the site to help “promote positivity and inspire others.”

Found at, the “Soulful Networking” site is designed to go beyond sharing everyday happenings (like on most social networking sites) to connecting people on a higher level in areas such as personal growth, gratitude, inspiration and supporting one another’s dreams in a purely positive space.

Cooper explains that many social media sites deal with our basic extrinsic needs, which revolve around status, image and success. While those needs are valid, the idea behind RealSoulful is to connect people at a more profound level to help meet intrinsic needs such as helping others, discovering purpose and creating a better life.

On users create their own content. They can make a personal space, a “MySanctuary” page, and also post and make comments on a central forum called the “SoulCentral Stream.” In these ways it’s like other sites, but it is with a more soulful context and free of the negativity that exists on other sites. is a free site open to anyone who is willing to abide by the site’s “Playground Rules” which include checking your ego and judgments at the door; being kind and supportive, and saying something nice or nothing at all.


Nomad Peleg Cohen Travels the World

peleg cohen travel

He has never had a regular job or a car.

His education has come from the road and his inspiration from the people he has met along the way.

He has crossed West Africa, lived among locals, slept in villages and pitched his tent on endless stretches of white sand beaches.

He has stood in awe beneath the skyscrapers of Hong Kong and slept among the nomadic tribes of Mongolia.

From the north to the south of the America’s, Europe and Australia, he has fulfilled his dream of traveling to 100 countries.

I’m 30 and I’m a nomad. I’ve never held a job or had a home, I’ve never studied and I don’t have a car. Every week I meet dozens of people I have never seen before and I have friends in every corner of the world,” says Peleg Cohen about himself.

Cohen was born in Israel and after finishing the military service, he felt he wanted to see the world. His journey set out in Bangkok and Thailand, where he couldn’t help falling in love with the landscape and its beautiful people.

The thirst for getting to know new places and meeting people kept on growing and he kept on to Nepal, New Zealand, Australia, Lebanon, Mexico, Brazil, Ethiopia, India and Senegal, among others. And so he got to more than 100 countries in less than 10 years.

“It’s not easy to wake up in a different place every day, without the slightest clue of what the future holds. Nonetheless there’s nothing more stimulating and satisfying than meeting new people and discovering their stories, cultures, traditions and ways of life,” said Peleg.

Cohen developed a global conscience about ways of living of people, and he noticed that not everything was a bed of roses and he felt the need to start helping people he met on the road.


Read more  at  Sana Sana is a socially responsible company that wants to make a positive impact in the lives of orphaned children in Latin America. 


How to Live Passionately when Life Punches You


Motivational author and speaker, Shawn Anderson, has interviewed hundreds of people who have experienced tragedy, failure and setback. He’s also been witness to many who have walked through their toughest moment only to make it to the other side with an increased passion and purpose for living.

“It’s inevitable that at one time or another life will punch us hard in the gut; no one is immune to experiencing tragedy or failure,” Anderson says. “But when it’s our turn to feel life’s stomach blow, how will we handle it? Will we ‘go the extra mile’ and passionately keep on living, or will we just give up and go through the motions?”

In his interviews, Anderson learned that extra-mile people who transition positively through life’s toughest moments practice at least one of these seven regrouping strategies.

1. They don’t quit on life. “Tragedy might have happened, huge mistakes might have been made, but the world continues. People who have walked successfully over life’s hot-coal moments always keep going. They never quit living,” Anderson shares.

2. They live day-by-day. “It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the ‘What am I going to do now?’ feeling, but extra-mile people focus on the now. They don’t let thoughts of how they’re going to deal with tomorrow defeat them,” Anderson says.

3. They find support. “By forging relationships with positive, move-forward type people, survivors trigger positive energy to flow back into their lives,” Anderson points out.

4. They get involved again. “Extra-mile people transcend life’s tragedies by not choosing isolation when life knocks them down,” Anderson shares. “It’s easy to want to hide in a cave after something bad happens, but the longer we stay in the cave, the more challenging it is to ever leave it.”

5. They remain optimistic. “Extra-mile people support themselves with their own words and actions. They don’t let negative self-talk rule their brains, and they make sure not to surrender to negative, self-defeating emotions,” Anderson says.

6. They trust their faith and look for a higher purpose in their loss. “Extra-mile people believe that there is a stronger power at work in the world. Faith in a higher power…and yourself…works miracles in overcoming bad events,” Anderson quotes.

7. They seek to add value to the world. “People who have weathered a life storm recognize the opportunity to re-evaluate their own contribution to the world. They use their event not as a forever defeat, but rather as an igniting spark to do something meaningful,” Anderson says.

The author of six motivational books, including A Better Life: An Inspiring Story About Starting Over and Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose, Anderson is not only committed to support others in overcoming life’s toughest moments, he is also a leading voice on “going the extra mile” in order to maximize potential and contribution. Last year, his Extra Mile America organization led 444 cities to declare 11/1/13 as “Extra Mile Day”… a day recognizing the capacity we each have to create positive change in ourselves, families, organizations and communities when we “go the extra mile.”

“When something bad happens, we have the choice to either throw our hands in the air and give up or ‘go the extra mile’ and keep giving life our best effort. When we achieve that extra-mile distinction, we change our destiny.”


Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying: Enhancing The End Of Life

What if you were faced with a terminal illness?

How would you handle it??

The Amateur’s Guide to Death and Dying: Enhancing the End of Life
is specifically designed for terminally ill, chronically ill, elder,
and dying people from all walks of life. But concerned family and
friends, healing and helping professionals, lawyers, clergy, teachers,
students, and those grieving a death will also benefit from reading the

This is a workbook that offers readers a unique group/seminar format.
Readers participate in a virtual on-the-page support group consisting of
ten other participants. Together members of the group help each other
liberate themselves from the emotional, cultural, and practical problems
that accompany dying in our modern age.

The book helps readers dispel the myth that they are incapable of taking charge
during the final season of life. Readers face the prospect of life’s end
within a framework of honesty, activity, alliance, support, and humor.
And most importantly readers learn these lessons in the art of dying and
living from the best possible teachers, other sick, elder, and dying

The Amateur’s Guide to Death and Dying: Enhancing the End of Life
offers readers a way to share coping strategies, participate in
meaningful dialogue, and take advantage of professional information
tailored to their specific needs. Topics include spirituality, sexuality
and intimacy, legal concerns, final stages, and assisted dying. The
book does not take an advocacy position on any of these topics. It does,
however, advocate for the holistic self-determination of sick, elder,
and dying people, which can only be achieved when they have adequate

Facing your mortality with the kind of support The Amateur’s Guide To
Death And Dying offers does not eliminate the pain and poignancy of
separation. Rather it involves confidently facing these things and
living through them to the end.


Fourthcoming Book on Barack Obama Needs Funding

Hermene Hartman —  One of the most significant and influential
black women in American publishing, she is the publisher of N’DIGO,a
popular Black voice in Chicago. 

She is also a daily commentator on WVAZ
radio (“Views of the Heart”)
and NBC Chicago TV and writes frequently for The Huffington Post. She
is a poet (“Love Moods”), guest speaker, lecturer, political pundit, and
a former professor of sociology at City Colleges of Chicago.  Her
columns are written from a political/social commentary perspective.

2012 many books will be published on President Obama as he comes up for
reelection.  Hermene
Hartman, Bob Starks, and Derrick Baker have a unique perspective on the
man.  They were there from the beginning.  And Barack is their friend.

 Now the trio are using Kickstarter to fund the creation of The Barack Book and need your involvement to help cement President Obama’s legacy.

By making a $25 donation now, you get a free copy of the book in November!

the long-time publisher of N’DIGO, a weekly targeted at Chicago’s black
middle class, Hartman was the first to cover the young, black Chicagoan
rising in the political ranks.  First he was her friend, then he became
an Illinois senator, and then the President Obama we all know today.
 Hartman and colleagues Starks and Baker recognized the political
potential of Mr. Obama early on and since 2003 have covered him from a
unique black Chicago perspective. 

These columns had heretofore predominantly been read by a black Chicagoan audience, but with Kickstarter funding of The Barack Book
they will finally be available worldwide and in physical form.  

such provocative titles as “Should Obama Run for President?” (December
2007), “Barack and the Black Experience” (June 2007), “Senator Clinton
and Obama Race to Define Race” (January 2008), “Does Being Half-Black
Make Obama a Brother?” (February 2008), and “The Audacity of Barack”
(February 2008), The Barack Book is a fascinating look back at a now-legendary historical figure “before he was.” 

Please help bring this remarkable book to the public!


Obama Promises – His Long Tail Game Will Work -If Given the Chance

of what Obama inherited, and given what he explicitly
promised, it remains simply a fact that Obama has delivered in a way
that the unhinged right and purist left have yet to understand or
absorb. Their short-term outbursts have missed Obama’s long game—and why
his reelection remains, in my view, as essential for this country’s
future as his original election in 2008.

Andrew Sullivan has written a  MUST READ piece called,

How Obama’s Long Game 

                Will Outsmart His Critics

Former editor of The New Republic, weekly columnist for the Sunday Times of London, Andrew brought his hugely popular blog, The Dish, to the Daily Beast in 2011. He’s the author of several books, including “Virtually Normal,” “Love Undetectable,” and “The Conservative Soul.”

This is the best, most researched article, and everyone, Republicans too, should read it. A president in the last year of his first term will always get attacked
mercilessly by his partisan opponents, and also, often, by the feistier
members of his base.

FACT – When Obama took office, the United
States was losing around 750,000 jobs a month. The last quarter of 2008
saw an annualized drop in growth approaching 9 percent. This was the
most serious downturn since the 1930s.

Obama did several things at once: he continued the bank bailout begun
by George W. Bush, he initiated a bailout of the auto industry, and he
worked to pass a huge stimulus package of $787 billion.

these decisions deserve scrutiny. And in retrospect, they were far more
successful than anyone has yet fully given Obama the credit for. The
job collapse bottomed out at the beginning of 2010, as the stimulus took
effect. Since then, the U.S. has added 2.4 million jobs. That’s not
enough, but it’s far better than what Romney would have you believe, and
more than the net jobs created under the entire Bush administration. In
2011 alone, 1.9 million private-sector jobs were created, while a net
280,000 government jobs were lost.



Call 911 – Before It’s Too Late – Don’t Be Embarrassed to Death!

The good news about heart attacks:

Advances in technology over the past decade or so have dramatically lowered the death rate from acute heart attacks (myocardial infarction, or MI).

The bad news:

Many people never get to the hospital in time to take advantage of these life-saving advances. In fact, about 40% of the 1.1 million heart attacks that occur annually in the U.S. are fatal. That’s about 460,000 deaths from heart attack. Many more patients who survive their heart attacks do so with chronically damaged hearts.

Why timing is everything

When an acute MI occurs, there is a limited amount of time before significant and long-lasting damage is done to the muscle of your heart. If a large area of the heart is injured during the heart attack, full recovery becomes much more difficult. To obtain the greatest benefits of emergency care, anyone who thinks they are having a heart attack should get to the hospital within one hour of the onset of symptoms. The sooner you get to the emergency room, the sooner the appropriate treatment can begin, meaning the lesser the chances of permanent damage.

Sadly, only one in five patients actually gets to the hospital within this time frame. Therefore, many people who survive the MI are unnecessarily left with large portions of the heart scarred by the heart attack. This decreases the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively. Such patients may experience lifelong problems such as shortness of breath and angina (chest discomfort). Patients are also at an increased risk of developing heart failure, in which the heart weakens progressively over time.

Call 911 – not a friend

Calling 911 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they reach you. And they are trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Also, you’re likelier to get treated faster at the hospital if you arrive by ambulance.

If you are having symptoms of a heart attack, do not drive yourself.

What are the warning signs of a heart attack?

  • Sudden chest pain or pressure (also called angina) that worsens. This may be felt as discomfort, heaviness, or pain. May also be felt in the back, jaw, throat, arm or below the breastbone.

  • Feeling as if a belt is being tightened around your chest

  • Pain that spreads from the center of the chest to your arms, shoulders, neck or jaw

  • Sweating

  • Feeling sick to your stomach, nausea, vomiting

  • Dizziness

  • Shortness of breath

  • A fullness, indigestion or choking feeling (may feel like “heartburn”)

  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats

  • Extreme weakness, anxiety

Use of Aspirin with unstable chest pain: After you call 9-1-1, if you do not have a history of aspirin allergy or bleeding, emergency personnel may advise that you chew one full (325 mg) aspirin slowly. It’s especially effective if taken within 30 minutes of the onset of symptoms.

Why do people delay?

Many people don’t recognize the symptoms of a heart attack (see list). The image we get from TV and movies is that a heart attack is a dramatic, chest-clutching event, yet this is rarely the case. Arm pain may signal a heart attack. Or shortness of breath. Or even an awareness of sweating.

Some people mistake heart attack symptoms for heartburn, take an antacid and wait for it to work. Many people will call 911 for someone else, but not for themselves.

Many people feel they will be embarrassed if they call 911 and they are not in fact having a heart attack. But don’t be embarrassed to death – heart attacks are the leading cause of death in both men and women.

My father just went through this, and luckily family was nearby to get him to the hospital in time. And he was able to chew an asprin, while waiting for the ambulance.

One of our blogging buddies, Lyndon Evans, shares his recent brush a heart condition.