Productive vs “busy”

Recommended Podcast: Dan Harris interviews Jocelyn K Glei on ABC’s Ten Percent Happier. I came across this in 2019, and listened to it again with my teenage son on January 2, 2020.

I think you’ll like the useful tips for busy professionals. I borrow ideas and tailor some of the advice (giving credit of course) that I learned in this podcast. It’s been especially useful for teachers, educators, social workers, and mental health providers.

Here it is on Spotify:

Here it is on Apple Podcasts:

– Make haste slowly (hurry slowly).

– Good advice on wellness and setting limits amid landslide of email, text, iMessages and advances in technology.

– Productivity vs being busy.

– Align your actions with your values and beliefs

– Stand up for equity. There is no “neutral position.”

– Pursue wellness.

– Define who you are vs. who you are not.

– Oh yeah.

Daruma – Goal Setting

1. Have a resolution, intention or goal for the year.

2. Paint in one eye.

3. Place the Daruma somewhere special in your home or office.   

4. When your dream is achieved, paint in the other eye.  

5. At the end of the year, reflect on your goals with compassion for yourself and others.

6. Achieved or not, bring the Daruma to the fire on New Year’s Eve.

7. Join with others in your community as Daruma burn together in the fire.

8. Support others to achieve their goals, and ask for support to achieve yours.  

It furthers one to have destinations in mind. Establish new dreams and goals each year.  Some dreams you share with others, some you may decide to keep for yourself, sharing only after you have accomplished your goals.

When I lived in Japan 🇯🇵 I had the good fortune to join a new year’s celebration in Fujinomiya, at the foot of Mt. Fuji. It was there that I learned about Daruma. 

HOPE Mother & Children

Ah’nesty is age 5. Size 6-7 in clothes, Size 11 in shoes.  Ta’noa is age 3. Size 5t in clothes and size 10 in shoes.  Their wish list is clothes, sneakers, teddy bears, warm 🧥 coats, blankets, toys of your choice.  “We are just appreciative of anything we receive😊. “    Shared w/ permission from mother, Nakía.   “Ya gotta risk it to get the biscuit and you give me HOPE.” Nakía is women sizeL.  #giveback 

Paypal Directly to Mother: Click here to donate:

Srry, not a nonprofit so no receipt for tax purposes.   This is just a family we know who has been homeless (they slept in a car), they now have stable housing (whew).   Former foster youth with “invisible disabilities.”   

PayPal email:

#HOPE Help donation as the holiday season approaches.    Every little bit helps.  

Parenting Therapy (esp. for Fathers)

Interns, trainees and social workers who I supervise toward licensure sometimes feel insecure when working with parents and family dynamics. “How can I support someone with parenting when I don’t have kids myself?”

In Tokyo, Japan I led parenting classes for parents from all over the world 🌍. We used the “STEP” curriculum as a launch 🚀 pad.

The parents brought the experience of raising children; I brought perspective from developmental psychology, and listening to children.

Once a week for eight (8) weeks, the parents connected with each other, and we shared a sense of community. We normalized disagreement as an opportunity to learn, and acknowledgement of our different cultures and countries interacting with each other.

Life goes in circles, now I’m a father, supporting men to be the father who they would like to be.

We all need someone on our side.

Ichi go Ichi e

Ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会) is a concept connected to Japanese Tea Ceremony. It expresses the ideal and impermanent way of tea. Some expressions are beyond translation, 一期 一会 roughly means “one encounter; one opportunity,” or as it was said to me when I lived in Tokyo, “one meeting; one chance.”

In Japanese tea ceremony we honor those with us in the garden and ancestors who have been here before us. We respect the moment because it can never be recreated. Like tea, spending time together may be familiar, but each encounter is unique.

And here we are, in this moment.

With love ♥️,

James Wogan, LCSW

Photos courtesy of google images. Let me know if they’re yours. + s/o to artist and Ink Slinger Marissa Walker

Love what you do

Yesterday, I had the chance to take a HOPE (aka formerly homeless) father grocery shopping.
My kids would call this “flexing” or a “humble brag,” but I have to say, this was the best part of my day. I really didn’t have the time or the bandwidth; but I created a carve out. Hunger is real. At the Berkeley Bowl grocery store, we loaded him UP.
He spoke openly his traumatic brain injury (TBI) that exacerbated his health issues and “learning to ask for help, or to accept it when it’s offered.” His son (10) also has special needs, autism. We met last school year when his anxiety and other mental health conditions were flaring up, and he found himself sleeping in a car near Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, CA. His extended family would take in his son, but on most nights, he slept in his minivan. Three (3) days ago, he moved in to stable housing in Oakland, CA. What a relief.

I appreciate the opportunity to help others. Giving back is good for my mental health and wellness. Dowhatyoulove photo courtesy of someone on google, let me know if it’s yours 🙂

Giving Back: Children helping other children

Would you like your children to know what it’s like to make a difference in the lives of two other children who live nearby? The two adorable kids (photos below) are the children of a local mother trying her best to make ends meet.

The Social Emotional Learning curriculum SELFY names giving back, generosity, and compassion as important aspects of emotional wellness. Helping others and giving back does more than raise awareness, it improves the emotional health of our children.

Some ideas : You might take kids, students, or your nephews and nieces shopping, write a card, and send gifts to children in need.

Young children can understand good fortune and why we reach out to help those less fortunate than we are. You can also sit together and order new items on, such as children’s clothes that fit, or a pair of shoes for school.



Begin forwarded message:

From: Wogan Date: July 2019 Re: Homeless Children & Foster Youth

This is from a Bay Area mother named Nakía, shared with permission.

Nakía grew up in foster care group homes in Concord, CA. We are trying to help her lift her family out of poverty.

“My boy Ta’noa is a 4t and a size 8 in shoes. My daughter Ah’nesty is a size 6, and 11 in shoes. Anything helps. Thank you so much. You’re a blessing.”

Shared with permission, photos of beautiful children. Nakía recently got a new job as a home health assistant for the elderly and people with disabilities. She loves her new job. She mentioned that having disabilities herself, and growing up in foster care, helps her to be patient and kind with her clients.

Nakía also mentioned that she needs clothes (shirt Women’s L) and sneakers sensible shoes 👞 (size 10) for work.

Second-hand items are not accepted.

Thank you.

You can PayPal:

Please remember that James is no longer affiliated with a nonprofit, these are children who my wife and I support privately. We don’t offer a receipt for tax purposes.

James Wogan, LCSW


Email from my dentist.

On Jul 24, 2019, at 9:08 PM, dentist wrote:

Hi James!!

So very nice to see you today.

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to me today about some possible ways that my family and I can help the community.

I am most sincere in my want to help – and my desire for my children to understand the importance of giving back and helping as well! For their souls and in service of others!

Truly if you have a list of items / clothes and food of some things that the children and families you work with I will do my best to help fulfill those needs. Several of my friends in my children’s school can also help.

Sincerely always,

Jennifer (your 🦷 dentist)

On Jul 24, 2019, at 3:31 PM, James Wogan <> wrote:

Hi Dr. T.

It was good to see you today.

Yours truly,


James Wogan, LCSW

Helllllla rewarding 💫 Foster Youth & Students Homeless – Graduation 🎓

Hellllllllla rewarding to hear names of #fosteryouth & students who r #homeless – names called out at graduation 🎓 🎶🎼🎶

– S/o to #caregivers #educators ♥️ oh yeah


#graduation #celebration Association of California School Administrators SSWAA School Social Work Assn of America


Parent Mental Health Q: What % percent?

What % of students have a parent or guardian with a mental health condition?

What % of parents and guardians will have a mental health condition at some point before children are in 12th grade?

Among high school students, answers vary, range 25% – 50%, depending on who you ask.

What % of students live with a parent or guardian who will have a health condition, need to see a doctor, at some point between the years Kindergarten – 12th grade?


Wow; 109% vs. 25%, there’s a big distinction between health and mental health in the United States.

Let’s work together to reduce stigma and increase understanding of social, emotional, and behavioral health, in children, youth and adults.