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Thank You!

Your SAFEty pin is on its way to you! Thank you so much for standing in love and spreading unity, caring and kindness. If your community is in need of the money raised by these pins, please let us know by filling out the form below. Select “My Community”. We’ll get in contact with you as soon as we’re able and get you the proceeds as quickly as possible. Thank you! First Name E Mail: Subject: Contact SarahMy CommunitySubmit a StorySend us your FeedbackRequest Technical SupportSpeaking EngagementsPress InquiriesOther...

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SAFEty Pins of Love

Here’s what I know: We’re in the middle of a massive call for love. I will raise my hand first and say that I didn’t always listen. I haven’t sought to understand before being understood. I promise to stop that now, and start to get curious and give up convincing. I’m committed to doing my part to help us heal, help us become more united and help us learn from this experience so we can truly become our United States again. And part of that healing is understanding that many of our fellow citizens are scared. My daughter came home from school scared because a friend told her that all of the kids with “brown skin” are now going to have to go “bye-bye”. This is not in any way to shame anyone who voted one way or another. Not even for a second. This post is to talk about how much we are a kind, loving and caring nation. There is a fear pulsing through the veins of our beautiful country, and I would like to do what I can to help honor that fear and comfort those who are experiencing it. After Brexit, people would wear safety pins to let immigrants and minorities know that they were safe with them. Without saying a word, people knew they were safe. It’s beautiful. The second I heard that I couldn’t wait to tell my daughter. “Look for those wearing safety pins. You’re safe with them.” Instant comfort. And as we see each other wearing pins, we can stop with the accusations, the hurt, the anger and recognize the goodness in each other. There will be more work to do to heal, and we’ll do that. But for now, this is a great first step. So with that, I would like to offer these gold safety pins. They’re gold so we remember the Golden Rule. But their symbolism to our frightened fellow citizens is, “I’m safe. I’m a source of love. I’ve got you.” The money raised by the pins purchased on this site will go directly into communities who are experiencing vandalism, so the vandalism can be removed, windows can be repaired and churches can open their doors again. Every single penny. So feel free to order your pin and we’ll get this movement of love and “safe”ty going! With all my love,...

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I Had Plenty of Reasons Not To Do It

I Had Plenty of Reasons Not To Do It

Let me introduce myself. My name is Ally and I’m an immigrant. I moved to the US about 8 years ago and my mother tongue is not English, (guess what it is… the answer is at the end of this post). Even though my language of birth is different, I decided to write books and become a published author, and my choice was to do all that in English. The decision to do so wasn’t easy for me, and nor was it rational. I had any number of excuses at the ready giving me reasons not to write. In fact, let me be more specific at this point; I actually heard voices (not those kind of voices, don’t worry!) running through my mind. All giving me these kinds of messages: “It’s not your first language, there’s no way you will succeed”; “who do you think you are?”; “why bother trying?” etc. I’m sure that you too, have probably heard those ‘voices’ at least once in your life. Think of them as though someone else has implanted them into your brain (the ‘voice’ could be that of a parent or teacher,) and they are now ‘burned’ onto your hard-disk. These long-held beliefs may be hard to erase, but they’re not impossible. Okay, long story short time: When I eventually managed to listen to my true inner voice, (instead of the other voices which were telling me it was impossible,) it vehemently told me to write a book and publish it on Amazon. And when that happened, I didn’t question it. And my inspiration was sitting right there in front of me – my children. I won’t get into the technical details of what I went through in producing the book, finding an illustrator and editor etc. But I will tell you one thing: It scared the hell out of me. I was doing something that was 100 miles away from my comfort zone, which necessitated me to put my thinking out there, and make myself available for others to judge. Can you imagine anything scarier? What I did is to take a few small steps each and every day. It was easier for me to deal with the fear when it was in small doses. I made a list of things I needed to do: write two pages a day, read the story to my children and ask for their...

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Five Ways to Make Your Divorce Easier

Five Ways to Make Your Divorce Easier

Divorce presents one of the most stressful situations that we endure and some attorneys will promise to make it easy. The truth is that even the best attorney has limited ability to do that. You, on the other hand, have the power to significantly improve your opportunities for a divorce that is easier on you and your children, shorter in duration and less expensive.   1. Parent first; litigate second. There are two components to custody agreements: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to making major decisions about a child’s medical care, education, religious upbringing and any other issue that parents specifically designate as having such significance that either one parent makes the decision, or they somehow make the decision jointly. If both parents have the ability to participate constructively in such decisions, authority to make those decisions is usually shared or divided between them. Physical custody concerns the child’s schedule with each parent, including weekly parenting time, holidays and vacations. Keep control of the outcome of your custody arrangement by committing yourself to reaching an agreement instead of asking any Judge to make the decision for you. Variations on custody arrangements are innumerable, and best decided by the parents themselves without abdicating that authority to any court. Even the most experienced and well-intentioned Judge will lack the level of detailed knowledge about your child that you have. Your understanding of your child’s needs enables you to create a better solution than any stranger can, even if you have to compromise with your co-parent to get there. Similarly, when consulting with your attorney, keep control of that conversation and prioritize your child’s needs over any litigation strategy. Identify your convictions about what parenting arrangement will promote your child’s best interests. Then, ask your attorney to strategize around those needs; never blindly follow a litigation strategy instead of your knowledge of what is best for your child. 2. Declare your priorities. If you don’t ask for what you want, you can’t expect to get it as part of a divorce settlement or from any court. Start with a wide view of the issues that need to be resolved in your case: custody and parenting time, division of property, division of debts, protecting assets that are not marital, spousal support, child support, funding the litigation. Literally make a list, a chart or an outline of your priorities. Then, talk...

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Does Hot Water Come Out of Your Tap?

Does Hot Water Come Out of Your Tap?

Many of you know I’m pretty serious about my daily gratitude lists. I find this practice to be important and grounding. And there’s a reason for this. I know it works. And well, it is Thanksgiving week, so why not spread the gratitude. *smile* When I was growing up, we were poor. Not just a little bit poor. Seriously poor. We would have half a loaf of bread and some honey in the cupboard, and that was it. Regularly. I remember one night when my mom called a representative from our church because she was worried about how to feed us. I thought he was there to just say hi. My older brother filled me in on the details of their conversation several months later. But I just didn’t realize just how little we had. In looking back, I believe that one of the reasons I didn’t notice was because my mother always seemed so grateful for everything. She would always focus on what we did have. “Isn’t it amazing that we can turn on the tap and have hot water?” “I am so happy that I can make you such beautiful clothes.” “We are so blessed that someone wrote hymns for us to sing at church. Can you imagine life without songs?” Seriously. She spoke like that. Almost always. And as I grew up and learned more about our circumstances, I’ve experienced my fair share of anger and resentment. How could someone let kids live like that? Why didn’t she get a job? And I’d be lying if I didn’t say that those moments still come and go, but I know that she did the best she was capable of in the moment. But even more than that, I know that her attitude of gratitude shaped a great deal of how I view the world. When I was little, I thought we had a lot. She was constantly focusing on what we did have, not pining for what we didn’t have. And honestly, if I compare what we had to what many have around the world, she was right. While we had a little bit of food, it wasn’t spoiled and it was safe to eat. I never went without clothes, and she took great care to always do my hair, and make matching clothes for me and my dolls. (That picture up there? That’s me on Christmas...

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Your Relationship to Money…

Your Relationship to Money…

At a recent presentation for the Bergen County Professional Women’s Network, psychotherapist Loren Gelberg-Goff, LCSW, posed an interesting question: If money was a person, how would you describe your relationship? Is it a friendly relationship, or one marked with tension and anxiety? The concept arises constantly in family law litigation, concerning alimony, child support, equitable distribution of assets and debts. Every family has its own method of managing assets, debts, expenses. When spouses divorce, it frequently comes to light that they had dramatically different ideas about money that were not properly addressed during the marriage. Money might have been the issue causing strife, even if there was enough to go around. Discussions about dividing assets and debts, and making appropriate arrangements for the support of the whole family, forces husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, to consider how they have spent and saved their money, and how they think they should be entitled to spend or save it in the future. That’s where we come in. Educating every client about his/her economic rights and responsibilities in a family law case takes time and careful attention to the financial details surrounding that client. When one party owns his/her own business, the details matter a great deal because it is not always simple to determine the value of that business, or the full economic benefit that the family unit obtained from the business income. Laws differ from state to state but in New Jersey (where this author practices family law), all assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage can be divided as part of the divorce process. There are some limited exceptions, including gifts received by one party from someone other than the spouse. Businesses owned or operated during the marriage, however, are joint assets regardless of which spouse is actually named as an owner or worked at the business. This frequently baffles the business owner, whether she is a professional, an entrepreneur, a franchise owner or self-employed in any capacity. We often hear an objection that the business does not have value, because “without me” it is “worthless.” Business owners often produce an income tax return as proof of his/her income, usually without realizing that in Family Court we look far beyond the first page declaration of “adjusted gross income” when the taxpayer is self-employed. What this tells us about the speaker’s own relationship with money, is that we as...

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