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This might sound like a surprising claim but the ability to control your emotions and the way you respond to a situation is not only the secret to happiness, but also the secret to being able to get whatever you want from life.

Why? Because it’s our interpretation of events, more than the events themselves, that dictate our happiness, mood and performance. Not only that, but our emotions and the neurotransmitters that control them are what alter our ability to focus, to remember information and to be creative.

The reaction of your body is in response to your belief and your perception then – not the reality.

Several studies point to disorganization as being one of the main reasons people suffer from anxiety at work and at home.

Clutter is a leading cause of anxiety or at least your inability to focus according to several psychological studies. It makes sense, because one way to free your mind from anxiety is to have more free time to just think without interruption.

You can’t do that if you’re wading through your clutter.

If you could gain control of your emotional response then, you could prevent that stressful response and instead stay calm and focused.

But the power of controlling your emotions is much more profound than that. As you will learn in this course, the ability to increase your confidence can actually lead to all kinds of changes in your life that result in you being more productive, more successful… even wealthier.

And it doesn’t stop there! Controlling your emotions also means you’ll be able to overcome stressful situations and even phobias! Say goodbye to a fear of public speaking… And likewise, controlling your emotions can help you to avoid arguments and shouting matches in your relationship – which will result in a more harmonious and happy home life.

One of the best ways to simplify your life is to declutter. There are numerous ways to go about doing this and I have included 10 different approaches to the journey of decluttering your life.

Then there are the ways that your emotion can make you more powerful and more efficient. Did you know for instance, that you can increase muscle fiber recruitment and potentially tap into superhuman strength by getting into the right mood? Did you know that the correct combination of neurochemistry can give you perfect


This course will show you how to tap into all those things and at the same time, it will show you how you can simply get some peace and quiet by calming your mind and taking a time out.

See you in the course and learn how powerful Mindfulness and Simplicity can be in your life.

Who Is The Course For:

This course is for anyone looking to improve their life.


Did you know that clutter is a leading cause of anxiety according to several psychological studies?

In this course you will learn step by step in simple terms how to declutter every room in your home.

If you finish the course and work hard at implementing what is taught you will find your daily tasks much easier to accomplish

You will find your relationships much more meaningful and your general well being noticeably improved


This course was designed and produced to give you a broad overview of mindfulness and yet contains the tools you will need to include the power of mindfulness in your daily life.

You're reading Living A Mindful Life Amidst Clutter

What Is A Living Wage?


If you’re considering raising your employees’ compensation to a living wage or higher, run a cost-benefit analysis to see what you can reasonably afford before running payroll with dramatically increased amounts.

What is the current minimum wage landscape in the U.S.?

Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. States and localities also have their own wage legislation, sometimes mandating more than the federal standard. Washington, D.C., boasts the highest minimum wage in the U.S. at $16.10 per hour, followed closely by California at $15 per hour and Washington state at $14.49 per hour. 

On the other hand, some states maintain no minimum wage, including Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. In these places, the federal minimum wage applies.

However, it’s worth noting that if the minimum wage had tracked inflation since 1960, it would have been roughly $21.50 in 2023. Today, 29 states plus D.C. and more than 20 cities have raised the minimum wage beyond the federal minimum to account for the inflation-driven decline in minimum wage value.

But minimum wage doesn’t represent average wages, which have risen over time. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of a U.S. worker in the final quarter of 2023 was $56,628 for men and $46,800 for women. For a full-time, year-round worker, that breaks down to about $27.23 and $22.50 per hour, respectively. 

The overall value of those wages, though, has remained level since the 1960s; in other words, while the nominal wage has risen for the average American worker, the purchasing power of those wages has remained largely stagnant.

Did You Know?

There’s a nationwide movement to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. More than half of U.S. states have higher minimum wages than the mandated federal minimum wage.

Should you offer a living wage?

Once the legally required minimum wage has been met, businesses can choose to set compensation at any rate they’d like. 

In general, there are two primary schools of thought: 

Let the market set compensation levels.

Strive to offer a living wage.

1. Let the market set compensation levels.

Some experts believe wages and employee compensation packages are purely a consideration of supply, demand and profitability.

“It is reasonable to assume that most employers, particularly small businesses, want to pay their employers a fair and sufficient living wage; however, with or without this motivation, this becomes a function of basic economics,” said Rob Drury, executive director of the Association of Christian Financial Advisors. “To attract, maintain and motivate quality employees, a business must compensate appropriately, and I use the term ‘appropriately’ rather than ‘fairly’ to emphasize that the living wage figure eventually comes down to a natural market equilibrium of supply and demand, rather than a subjective evaluation of ‘fairness.’”

In other words, the market will set the appropriate level of compensation. Pay too little, and you won’t be able to attract the right talent; pay too much, and you could find yourself hemorrhaging money. 

2. Offer a living wage to benefit businesses and the economy. 

Sklar and her organization believe offering a living wage (and indeed raising the mandated minimum wage) will yield the most positive outcomes for individual businesses and the economy at large. 

Sklar points to the long-term benefits of paying employees more, which she said might result in lower growth quarter over quarter but would be more effective in retaining employees, boosting morale and increasing long-term productivity.

“One of the things our business members stress is looking at the whole picture,” Sklar said. “Low pay often means high turnover, and with a reduced turnover [due to higher pay], businesses often see substantial savings in recruiting and training costs. There are also savings from managers able to spend time on more productive tasks, as well as less product waste through lower error and accident rates.”

Sklar added that customer service tends to be significantly better when wages are higher, resulting in a happier, more loyal customer base.

“We know that frontline employees often make the difference between repeat customers and lost business,” she said.


Strategies for ensuring repeat business include personalized customer service, offering freebies, and soliciting and valuing customer feedback.

Turning A Personal Tragedy Into A Life

Turning a Personal Tragedy Into a Life-Saving Mission SED alum launches nonprofit to prevent dating violence

Malcolm Astley (SED’82) and Mary Dunne with their daughter, Lauren, at her high school graduation. She was murdered by an ex-boyfriend weeks later. Photo courtesy of Malcolm Astley

Malcolm Astley spent his childhood trying to understand what makes people tick. His parents were mental health practitioners, so dinnertime at the Astley house touched on such difficult questions as, “What makes people violent?” Astley (SED’82) continued to pursue these questions at the School of Education, where he earned a doctorate in counseling and human development. “My solution was to aim toward prevention, with the view that if educational institutions could be shaped appropriately, they could head off a lot of problems,” says Astley, a former Lexington, Mass., elementary school principal and a member of the Wayland School Committee. “It’s ironic that I’ve ended up in this position.”

Heartbreakingly ironic, because on the evening of July 3, 2011, Astley’s 18-year-old daughter Lauren paid a visit to her ex-boyfriend and never came home. Nathaniel Fujita, who Lauren’s friends said was struggling after the couple’s breakup, is serving a life sentence for murder, and Astley is left grappling with how his only child could be dead, why Fujita killed her, and how to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening to someone else.

In response to Lauren’s death, Astley and Mary Dunne—Lauren’s mother—established the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund shortly after her murder. The nonprofit works to promote educational programs and legislation that raise awareness about healthy teen relationships and that prevent dating violence. “It was an effort to put something in the place of something so dear that had been lost,” says Astley, his voice catching. “And that’s what humans rightly do—try to keep creating in the midst of destruction.”

The fund’s top priority is developing and passing legislation that requires K–12 education on healthy selves and healthy relationships in Massachusetts public schools. Such education can have a significant impact: research from the National Institute of Justice shows that classroom- and school-level interventions, including teaching about healthy relationships and encouraging students to report incidents to school officials, led to a 32–47 percent reduction in sexual violence victimization and perpetration in 30 New York City public schools. In Massachusetts, funding for healthy relationship education was cut following the recession in the early 2000s, Boston magazine reported. In cooperation with state legislators, Astley’s fund proposes incorporating safe relationships education into existing anti-bullying legislation. “The schools’ plates are so full,” Astley acknowledges. “But this ought to be number one, in my view.”

The fund’s second and related priority is to support awareness and prevention by training guidance counselors, helping boys and men find positive solutions to dating violence, and sponsoring related arts presentations in Massachusetts schools and venues. Two of these presentations are “You the Man,” a one-man show depicting various male characters’ responses to a partner violence situation, and “The Yellow Dress,” a one-woman show about a high school girl murdered by her boyfriend.

The fund also sponsored a performance of “You the Man” at Wayland High School. Assistant Principal Allyson Mizoguchi says the show hit the mark where previous performances and assemblies on the topic hadn’t. One male student told her, “I liked how the performer told the story; it was much better than being lectured to.”

Repeatedly talking about Lauren’s death isn’t easy, but Astley says it’s good for him. “It’s a way of grieving, and trying to heal and prevent agony for other young women and their families and communities. That in some way helps balance Lauren’s death and absence.” Looking back on all that people have achieved in human rights over the centuries, he told Rothman’s students, makes him hopeful about saving other young people from Lauren’s and Nathaniel’s fates. “I’m quite optimistic,” he told them, “despite the edge in my voice.”

Julie Rattey can be reached at [email protected].

A version of this story was originally published in the fall 2013/winter 2014 edition of @SED.

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Top Tech Helping Seniors Achieve A Higher Quality Of Living

As our population ages, more and more seniors are looking for ways to maintain their independence and live a high-quality life. Thankfully, there are many different types of technology that can help seniors do just that! From medical alert systems to GPS tracking devices, read on to learn about some of the top tech helping seniors achieve a higher quality of living.

Medical Alert Systems

One type of tech that is becoming increasingly popular among seniors is the medical alert system. Medical alert systems are wearable devices that allow users to immediately call for help in the event of an emergency. Many modern medical alert systems also come equipped with GPS tracking, so loved ones can always know the wearer’s whereabouts.

GPS Tracking Devices

Speaking of GPS tracking, another type of tech that can be extremely helpful for seniors is the GPS tracking device. GPS tracking devices can be worn as jewelry or attached to keychains, and they allow loved ones to track the real-time location of the user. This is especially helpful for seniors who may have dementia or Alzheimer’s and tend to wander off.

Pill Reminder Apps

For many seniors, taking medication is a vital part of maintaining their health. Unfortunately, it can also be easy to forget to take pills or take them at the wrong time. Pill reminder apps can help solve this problem by sending alerts to remind users when it’s time to take their medication. These apps can also track whether or not pills have been taken, which can be useful information for caregivers or family members.

In-Home Care Systems

In-home care systems are designed to provide seniors with the assistance they need to live independently. These systems typically include a base unit that connects to various sensors placed around the home. The sensors can track things like movement, temperature, and door usage. The data collected by the sensors is then transmitted to the base unit, which analyzes it and sends alerts if anything unusual is detected. In-home care systems can provide peace of mind for both seniors and their loved ones by helping to ensure that seniors are safe and healthy.

Also read:

Best Online Courses to get highest paid in 2023

Wearable Devices

Wearable devices like fitness trackers and smartwatches are becoming increasingly popular with people of all ages. However, they can be especially useful for seniors. Wearable devices can help seniors stay active and connected by tracking their steps, monitoring their heart rate, and sending notifications about incoming calls and messages.

As the population ages, there is an increasing need for technologies that can help seniors maintain their independence and quality of life. From simple pill reminder apps to more complex in-home care systems, there are a number of assistive technologies that can make a difference in the lives of seniors.

By staying informed about the latest developments in senior care technology, we can all do our part to help make aging a little easier for everyone involved.

In Beijing, Living The Story

In Beijing, Living the Story COM prof talks about teaching journalism in China

Anne Donohue and her daughter, Katie, at the orphanage from which Katie was adopted in 1998. The plaque acknowledges a playroom Donohue and her daughter helped build there in 2005. Photos courtesy of Anne Donohue

Anne Donohue, a College of Communication associate professor of journalism, recently spent six months in Beijing on a Fulbright award, teaching her craft at the People’s University of China. She was accompanied by her 11-year-old daughter, Katie, whom she had adopted from China. Now back at BU, Donohue shared with BU Today some of her thoughts on the unrest in Tibet this spring, on the catastrophic earthquake in Sichuan province, and on the 2008 Olympic Games.

This trip was my second chance to visit China on a Fulbright. I’d been awarded basically the same deal four years ago, and three weeks before I was set to leave — boxes shipped, kids set up for private schools — my father was diagnosed with cancer. The trip was off. My father died three months later.

In the summer of 2005, we visited the orphanage where we adopted Katie in a small city in China’s Hunan province. We went to help build a playroom for the kids there. It was like summer camp for Katie, and she had a blast. We visited the town of her birth again this summer, and we went into the villages and talked to pig farmers and rice farmers. And this time, being a little older, Katie was a bit more aware of herself and her story. It was more real for her. She had, in fact, hoped to try to trace some connection to her birth family. But that wasn’t possible. And, in the local dialect in my daughter’s town, they say that Americans come to buy children and that Chinese sell children. That was disturbing, but that’s the reality.

Most of my time, of course, was spent in Beijing, where we were living on the 17th floor of an 18-story graduate student dorm. We had a three-bedroom apartment with a hotplate and no oven, no hot water, and a toilet that successfully flushed maybe three times during our six-month stay. It was a step up from camping, but maybe just half a step. Still, it was a palace compared to the dorms where my undergraduate students lived. They were packed in, six girls to a room. They move into this room as freshmen, and they stay there until they leave as graduating seniors. The girls have their computers on a sort of hospital tray that swings over their bed. Their rooms have no closets, so the hallway is the closet for the entire floor.

The thing that was the most lovely to me about Beijing was the outdoor life. People are out from 6 a.m. to midnight, dancing, playing music, strolling, or exercising. It was very calming to walk around the campus. It just seemed like a much more socially cohesive place to live, as opposed to the very atomized suburban experience of our life in Belmont.

On the other hand, the idea of personal space is very different over there. I never got used to the pushing and shoving and line cutting. In fact, the thing that made me the most crazy was going to the grocery store. It was just so incredibly noisy, with hawkers everywhere and the onslaught of the pressure and the noise and 50 people all with their hands on the same cantaloupe, and who’s going to get it?

I taught an undergraduate course on writing and reporting American-style and a graduate course on issues in American journalism. The graduate course covered a lot of interesting stuff: journalism history and legal and ethical issues that I was aware of as a working journalist, but had never looked at in depth. In that class, I realized pretty early on that a lot of things didn’t quite translate. For instance, if I talked about the McCarthy era, with Edward R. Murrow as a hero — well, McCarthyism seems like such small potatoes compared to the upheaval of the Cultural Revolution in China.

Naively, I was hoping my students would be leftovers of the Tiananmen Square students — you know, dissidents simmering quietly beneath the surface. But, in fact, most of these kids think their government is doing a very good job and are pretty pleased with things in China today. I mean, 10 percent economic growth every year for 10-plus years means a lot in your everyday world, especially compared with the history of upheaval and struggle in China in the 20th century.

The students can read the New York Times and accounts in Western media of human rights abuses in China, but they say, “That’s just the West beating us up because they’re afraid of us.” And the fallout from the unrest in Tibet sharpened the edges of the West vs. China theory. I felt a little bit under siege at that time, as a Western journalist in China, when the headlines every day were about how Western journalists hate China. I’d never anticipated how heartfelt and right-on-the-surface the emotions would be.

A few weeks later, the earthquake happened in Sichuan. We could feel it here in Beijing. Our building swayed a bit. I’d never been in an earthquake, so I didn’t realize it at first. But everybody else got out and filed out onto the street. And then the death count just kept going up every day. I think the final tally was about 80,000 killed. It was just this slow drip of horrible news. It was a national period of mourning. A week after the quake, there was a three-minute moment of silence for the victims. It was extraordinary to see this city of 20 million people just stop. Everybody just stood still. Trains stopped. Cars stopped. It was really chilling.

Exactly a week before the quake hit, I had been in Sichuan. And I signed up to be a volunteer there this summer, but I was never called. By the time I was available, they were looking for engineers and medical people. I think the initial feeling was huge support for China worldwide, and it kind of put all that Tibet stuff back in the box. But slowly this story about the schools emerged — thousands of the buildings that collapsed were schools, and thousands of parents around the province accused local officials and builders of having cut corners in school construction. This was getting front-page coverage in the New York Times but almost no coverage in the Chinese media. And so again, it was me talking to my students about what was right to cover and what wasn’t. It was their opinion that it wasn’t right to criticize the government during this period of mourning. Or they felt only Chinese could criticize China. They were very civil and polite all the time, but I do think they felt it was inappropriate for me to come to their country and criticize any aspect of it.

Meanwhile, Olympic mania was going full bore the entire time we were there. We went out to the westernmost province in China and those Fuwa mascots were still everywhere, on every corner, on billboards. In Beijing, it was building, building, building, and the day the games began, 8/8/08, was electric. The city was on pins and needles. Are they going to pull it off? And they did. They’ve been pretty much flawless games. From a journalist’s point of view, it’s a pretty dull story. They managed to pull everything off without any major drama.

I applaud the Chinese for a successful Olympic Games — not necessarily the government, which took draconian measures to make it happen, but average Chinese citizens who wanted to show off their country to the world with pride. I am glad that the world got to see some of what is wonderful about China, and I hope it will give the Chinese the confidence they need to continue to move forward and become accepted in the world community. But the veneer of the Olympic gloss needs to sink in deeper, and the Chinese government needs to do for its own people what it did for the Olympic tourists: clean up the air, improve living conditions, and treat its people with the respect, fairness, and dignity that every human being deserves, not just Western tourists.

In addition to teaching, Anne Donohue wrote articles about China for the Christian Science Monitor and contributed pieces on Olympics-related topics to WBUR and WGBH radio, including stories on the Olympic organizers’ claim that 90,000 taxi drivers in Beijing would be able to speak English; on the history and culture of sport in China; on the so-called wu shu schools, which groom very young children to be future Olympic superstars; and on whether the Olympics would be a democratizing force for China as it was for Korea after that country hosted the Olympics in 1988.

Chris Berdik can be reached at [email protected].

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Shiba Inu Sees Slight Growth Amidst The Cryptocurrency Bloodbath

Shiba Inu investors might experience some rays of hope after Shibarium’s launch

Cryptocurrency prices are stalling on their recovery path and so is Shiba Inu. The crypto prices have been slaughtered due to various changes in the economic and financial markets. And since the crypto market is uncannily following the global stock market, any financial and economic upheaval in the global markets is drastically affecting the price movements of the cryptocurrencies. To make matters worse, investors are gradually drawing out from the market and moving towards more traditional and centralized forms of assets. Shiba Inu became a popular option for investment among Ethereum whales when the crypto market crashed massively at the beginning of 2023. But even after SHIB’s popularity in 2023, the crypto did not acquire the support of analysts and experts, who generally prefer investing in other major cryptocurrencies which are not created out of memes. The development of SHIB remained stagnant for quite some time until the market denied the fact that there would be any developments for the network. But finally, SHIB developers have come through to fulfill investor expectations and now we might witness some growth and development in its market stature.

The Shiba Inu price continued to trend lower as trading activity on the network, and in the crypto market as a whole, had significantly declined. The decline in Shiba Inu’s price momentum has considerably wiped out investors’ trust in the investment and experts claimed that things are not looking good for the meme coin. But it seems like not all hopes are lost! Recently, SHIB’s lead developer Shytoshi Kusama tweeted that the long-awaited Shibarium may be soon coming! The SHIB community has been eagerly awaiting the launch of Shibarium because of the number of benefits that it will provide, especially for the number of profits that investors can make.

What does Shibarium aim to serve?

The information about the launch came from a post by Shytoshi on the Welly’s Discord server. The developer confirmed that the Layer 2 solution will be available quite soon enough and has also clarified any discourse about moving into a more active pre-release phase which has already begun. The exact details of the project have not yet been released yet, but according to all the previous claims by the developers, it can be said that the network will provide immense facilities to the investors and make investments more efficient and transparent.

So, in technical terms, the Shibarium blockchain layer-2 solution is a work-in-progress blockchain that focuses on scaling its current host chain, Ethereum. The new network promises faster transactions with lower costs and aims to become a development field for blockchain programmers. Besides, the protocol will also ensure that investors are able to access the Shiba Inu NFT gaming and metaverse applications.

The SHIB investors are also eagerly waiting for the Shibarium burn mechanism. There are presently over 549 trillion SHIB tokens in circulation. The only way to reduce this is to burn existing tokens. Even though the burning procedure is on-process, the launch of the new protocol will likely accelerate the growth and development of SHIB’s price.

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