The Importance of Psychosocial Development in War-Torn Regions

How Psychosocial Development in Afghanistan Heals War Torn Communities

Yesterday my sis and I were talking about the different adverse impacts of war. A lot of times, the main focus in the news, etc. is on the loss of human life and the somewhat abstract concepts to those of us living in developed countries of “regime changes”, e.g. “the politics”.  Almost never is there a widespread discussion around the mental health of survivors or the aid workers who go in to clean up the mess (or the environmental impact, which I also find important). Yet many are finding there is an urgent need for psychosocial development.

I remembered a TED video I watched in my Positive Psychology class featuring Jungian analyst Inge Missmahl. She traveled to Afghanistan and saw the inner wounds of war on the faces and in the body language of the people.  Despair, trauma and depression were epidemic.

What made her care to take action was learning that despite over 30 million people in the country, there were only approximately 24 psychologists. In this TED video Missmahl talks about her work helping to build the country’s system of psychosocial counseling. In so doing, some speculate, she has done a significant service of promoting both individual and, perhaps, national healing in Afghanistan.

Inge Missmahl brings peace to the minds of Afghanistan through psychosocial development objectives.


Sweet New App Creates Digital Business Model Canvas

Score of the Day: ‘Strategyzer’ App

The need to create a business model canvas app has been tasked to yours truly. At least our team has established doing the canvas over a business plan. Doesn’t the idea of writing a plan for a business just bore you to tears? A newly minted MBA shouldn’t be saying that I know. I’m only being honest.

When I was still in the program, our class received a PDF file of the business model canvas (about a year ago). You know, like where I could print the paper out and write in my canvas notes.

Uh, no.

That might work for some people and/or teams. Pas moi, mon cherie.

These days, before I do “grunt” work of any type I stop and first ponder “Is there not already be an app that just does that?”

People talk about me being so “tech savvy”. Maybe it’s because I love tech, or maybe because I’m lazy and I’ve already done a lot of chopping wood and carrying water in my day… more likely a combo of the two.

Today I’m pretty stoked about something I found in that beautiful space that is the world wide web. It’s called Strategyzer, an “app that does that”. And then some. Score.

If you happen to be working on developing a business model and you would rather do it digitally, use this tool. Don’t worry if you need the business model canvas explained, there are helpful tutorials all around the app, making your work and learning fast and efficient.

Create Business Model Canvas Charts On The Fly

Strategyzer allows you to quickly map your current business model worksheet online and you can even work with team members in real-time. Yes!

There you have it! I recommend all entrepreneurs, mompreneurs, businesswomen, businessmen, MBA students and graduates go and check ’em out – business model canvas app:

business model canvas

I’m excited because I love it when my practice of having an empty mind ends up delivering me with exactly what I need when I need it.

This is the gist of the practice:

  1. Firstly, do not carry information around in head if can be helped. Pursuit is for Quiet Mind, not noisy mind filled with “information”.
  2. Secondly, use the internet to brainstorm research (e.g. hunt around on Google) until what you’re looking for is found.


Death Valley + MBA Studies: The Struggle is Real

At the encouragement of not one but two new acquaintances met while “vacationing” (ha ha, we’ll get to why that’s funny in a moment) in Death Valley, California, I am taking a break from my mba studies and writing this post.

Pretty Views in Death Valley & My MBA Studies Finish Line – Where is the Balance?

They thought it fascinating that I, a chaperone on my 8th graders class trip to Death Valley, am in fact a dedicated enough student that I will post up on the porch of the Furnace Creek General Store with my laptop (and Samsung Galaxy Note plugged into it for maximum device charging on the one DC plug that’s available for my usage) and study late hours into the night to meet the requirements of my classes.

I’m sitting cross legged with my laptop perched on the side of my foot on a stone cold floor next to the wall reading and typing and thinking and trying to hold studies

You don’t even want to hear about the 10 hour drive down to Death Valley and my moment of desperation charging my laptop in the ladies room of the Flyers gas station off CA-99 S. We stopped there so I could upload a PDF version of my text book to my phone so I could get some reading done on the trip down.

I’m at Negotiating with Myself

Honestly, I don’t know if its fascinating or outright crazy, but with 2 months to go there are two things I promised myself:

  1. To not question my sanity until after I graduate
  2. To drink as much coffee as much as my little heart desires, day or night.

The truth is, my professor’s likely don’t care all that much if I’m sitting on the moon. They warned us during orientation to “kiss our lives good-bye” for the next 2 years of mba studies. And my colleagues (all 32 of the others in my cohort) likely are going through their own flavor of the struggle to hold on — “through thick and thin” and finish out UH’s dlE-MBA program strong (OK maybe not strong) themselves.

Sometimes to Find Balance, We Must Juggle

So the point here isn’t to argue that I deserve any special treatment, favors, pity or sympathy. Merely, to record this experience of being at the base of a large challenge and seeking to overcome it through the power of perseverance. Must not stop, must not give up, must be OK with the seemingly endless juggling of my life.


Juggling others expectations, opinions, desires and frustrations with me. I have never felt more limited, never felt I had to let so many down to simply not let myself down. Maybe “juggling” is the wrong word. Maybe “mba studies fire dancing” would be a more accurate term.

On a positive note, it’s a 10-year “super bloom” of wildflowers in Death Valley, and the scenery is fantastic. Read about the super bloom here. And my son is pretty happy I’m here to go rock climbing the canyons with him.

Thanks for reading and if this didn’t scare you out of attending graduate business school, maybe you’re ready for the experience. Or maybe you’re just crazy.

‘Til next time ~ A hui ho

Help! I’m Caught in a Bad Yoga Class & I Can’t Get Out!

Apparently, Bad Yoga Class Can Happen

How About You…Ever Been Caught in Bad Yoga Class?

You know the feeling if you’ve ever attended any event where you have an irresistible urge to bolt out the door. You’re not in danger, per se. It is just you simply do not gel with the people, place or atmosphere.

All you want to do is leave but for one reason or another, you don’t, hoping it will get better… or maybe you would feel too guilty if you just got up and walked out. While tempting, doing so would not be demonstrating social diplomacy, which is important when you live in community.

bad yoga class
So you force yourself to stay, trying not to look bored, annoyed or miserable. Once it is over, you get the heck out fast as you can, promising yourself you will do everything in your power to not have to sit through another class, seminar, or conference that just is not up your alley.

That was me two days ago. It all began with me getting back on track with my yoga routine. I discovered a new yoga studio in town, and just one day earlier, had enjoyed a fantastic Hot Vinyasa I yoga class. It was so awesome, I returned to the studio to try out another (different) yoga class the very next day.

“Happy 🙂 Anticipation” Leads to…

I love yoga. If I had a religion, yoga would be it. It is as my antidote to a the stresses that can build up in life. For every new town I visit, “yoga studios near me” is the first thing I look up on my Google Maps app after the place I’m sleeping that night.

I am not afraid to try out a new class or style of yoga. Geographically, classes attended include Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Alaska & Hawaii. Styles I’ve practiced include Hatha, Ashtanga, Bikram, Restorative, Yin, Acro-yoga, Iyengar and what I like to call “hodge podge”, where the teacher mixes it up and does their own thing.

Blessed to have been taught at a young age by my god-mother, my appreciation for the experience, Art & Science of Yoga is profound. For years I have been blessed to never be in a yoga class I didn’t like.

All day at work I looked forward to yoga class. I just knew it was going to be great… I even sang a little happy song to myself as I left work and drove to the studio, never anticipating I was going to experience a bad yoga class instead.

Sad Disappointment ;'(

I know, that subhead looks melodramatic. I apologize. However, those were my feelings as I quickly gathered my yoga mat, water bottle and towel and walked out, head down, at the end of what could (should?) have been an awesome class. Needless to say, ‘should’ had become the operative word. PHOOEY!

“REALLY…What was that? And how do I prevent myself from taking another unsatisfactory yoga class again?” I asked myself as I swiftly met the exit. During class as I half-attempted to “go through the motions”, I made best use of class time by taking mental notes about all the factors I felt were determining my level of satisfaction.

By this point you might be thinking one of two things:

a.) Yes, so what are the factors, please do tell! And provide in list format if can.
b.) Geez lady, what kind of OCD high maintenancediva picky perfectionist / fill in blank person are you anyway? (Note:We won’t go there right now)

Well, if you’re an “A” type, keep reading, list is just below. If you’re “b” type… well, you’re probably already gone anyway.

So, without further ado, I present to you my list of factors to consider (hint:ask!) before taking a new/unknown yoga class… if you are not in an adventurous mood.

How to Avoid Getting Stuck in a Bad Yoga Class Ever Again

List of Yoga Class Factors that Significantly Influence Ambiance

  1. Music or no music. If there is music, what is the genre?
  2. Essential oil diffuser / scents or no scent
  3. Coed or Gender Specific
  4. Hot yoga or Room temperature
  5. What branch of yoga practiced in class
  6. Talking / instruction or follow silently
  7. Qualifications / credentials of yoga instructor
  8. How many years teaching
  9. Loud noises, e.g. sighs, groans and moans, encouraged?
  10. Handling of sick, coughing or otherwise noisy participants
  11. Mindful of body alignment in positions (e.g. asanas)
  12. “Hodge podge” sequence or true to a specific school of yoga?
  13. Room air – aired out occasionally, or locked in (what if someone rips one)?
  14. Class demographic…

And if you’re paying attention, the last item might raise your eyebrows. I don’t have time to go into it now, so perhaps I will expand upon that further in a future post.

Did I miss anything? If I did, please share in a comment below so we can all benefit!

Mahalo nui,

Yours Truly