Ask the LifeQuake Doctor advice column in Vision Mag – Feb issue

Ask the LifeQuake Doctor
February Column
February is traditionally thought of as the month of love. Romantic love, to be more specific… Hallmark and Madison Avenue has sold us on the idea that if you aren’t in a relationship on February 14th, something is seriously wrong with you. There have been a few books coming out lately that are addressing the concept of being a force and source for love in your life and on the planet. Marci Shimoff’s book Love For No Reason: 7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love is one example. (I received no incentives for recommending this, by the way.)

So as we address non-traditional approaches to receiving more love in your life, I decided to choose a letter from a single mother, distraught over the bullying her child was receiving at school as a lesson for us all and a valentine to those unsung heroes raising children alone:

Dear Dr. Toni:
My 13-year-old son recently transferred to a new school. In a meeting with his teacher I discovered he eats lunch alone everyday and he isolates from the other kids. He shared with me that the kids don’t like him and they don’t pick him for sport teams. One kid bullies him daily with put-downs, instigating other kids to taunt him. I called the principal and he promised to look into it. I feel at a loss, what can I do to help my son?
Distraught Mom

Dear Reader:
It’s not easy being the new kid on the block. Each day that your son suffers rejection, he is building the belief, ‘No one will ever like me’ or the ‘I don’t fit in’ syndrome. You didn’t mention whether he experienced exclusion or bullying in his other school. If so, look into professional counseling to find out if he has social anxiety and needs to develop communication and coping skills.

Follow up with the school principal and find out what course of action he plans to take. Did he contact the bully’s parents or confront him personally? What tactics does the school have in place to deal with bullying? Find out if the teacher can enlist a compassionate student to befriend him. If your son makes one friend, that will start the ball rolling. The buddy system has been effectual in helping teens to integrate and mitigate the anxiety of being singled out.
What does you son like to do and what does he excel in? Inform his teacher and assist them in finding ways he can demonstrate his strong points.
He was forthcoming with you and that trust is vital to him at this time. Help him discover after school activities where he can thrive in other environments.

There are various groups and programs dedicated to the bullying issue. One stellar curriculum “Peace Smarts”, a 144 pg. reproducible manual for grades 5-12 that helps to create a peace culture in the classroom and community. It focuses on 0 tolerance for bullying, conflict resolution and communication skills, peer pressure, and positive solutions for teen issues. Their website is You might want to suggest that the school purchase it or offer to buy it for them and if the principal sees its efficacy, volunteer to support its implementation.

Dear Dr. Toni:
I am a 47 – year – old woman who has been divorced for ten years. In that time, I have dated a lot but have not met anyone I would want a committed relationship with. Men always end up wanting to just be friends. I don’t know what it is that I am doing that takes me out of the romance category and into the buddy space. I am attractive, smart, and I have a good job but seem to have lousy luck with men.
Can you help?
Desperate in Los Angeles

Dear Reader:
You don’t give me much information to go on regarding your dating behavior. How quickly do you become intimate with them? Do you go into fix it mode? Do you allow yourself to be vulnerable and share your feelings? Do you share what you’re passionate about or do you focus on them?

Men fall in love with a woman who are turned on to themselves and their lives not the men themselves. I know that sounds counter intuitive. We as women are raised to think that if we focus on them, are great in bed and are giving, that we will be loved. Wrong. Men love women who are passionate people: passionate about causes, foods they love and experiences that fill them with awe. Feel juicy about yourself and bring that juice to every encounter, not just the man you are dating. Bring it to the dry cleaner, the bank teller, and your co-workers. The more love you feel about yourself spills out to others and they respond to you in kind.

Start out with every man as a friend, but not as a buddy. The more you make it clear to them that you just want to be friends and are dating others as well and listen more and talk less, you build a powerful feminine containment. Practice enjoying You while you’re on a date and see what happens.

Readers, may you all experience more love in your lives by being love, this month, and for the rest of your lives.

To submit questions for Ask the LifeQuake™ Doctor, contact Dr. Toni Galardi through (no period after the Dr). For those seeking phone coaching, Dr. Toni can be reached at 310-712-2600. Her book The LifeQuake Phenomenon is available online through

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