De-Stress Your Self-Talk

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screamOh my God, now I have to put up with this too. I can’t believe the nerve. What does he expect?! He never thinks of anyone else. It’s damned if you do or damned if you don’t.

Feeling better after reading this? Of course not. But each day many of us inflict barrages like this on our poor adrenal system voluntarily.

We can do ourselves and our nervous system a huge favor by recognizing the top three categories of stress talk and replacing or releasing them to the fiery pit from which they came.

Extremes:

In this sample, extremes are pushing you off a cliff fast. Phrases like “OMG”, can’t believe” and all-inclusive generalizations or abstractions box us in. There’s a reason for the phrase “two horns of a dilemma”- it’s a false choice.

We have probably been exposed to those tests where we have to make forced choices, Continue reading

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Eat or Spend? The High Cost of Insecurity

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Almost anyone who struggles with an eating disorder or really any addiction is familiar with how we can switch obsessions. If we are not drinking, we are eating. If we are not eating, we are smoking. If we are not working, we are drinking. On and on.money-fly

Spending is one of the favorite “go to” switches for those with eating disorders. In fact, some studies show that many seeking recovery from eating disorders have either alcoholism or sexual abuse in their childhood experiences. Because of this, poverty can be a stressor from growing up in an alcoholic family or, on the flip side, a family member may use gifts to secure illicit favors from their child victim. Compulsive spenders report feeling in power, getting a “high” as a stress relief, or needing to “escape” – all of which can be effects from feeling powerless as children. One woman said that, unlike gambling, at least she knew what she had spent the money on and had something to show for it.

Even when these are not factors, in our consumer based materialistic culture, money is probably one of the most misunderstood and emotionally charged experiences Continue reading

Blogger Recognition Award

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Thanks to Paardje of SnailMail, Books and Vanities who nominated me this award! You can find Paardje at WordPress. Paardie is fun from Indonesia! Knitting and whatever else pops up. Paardje reached 1,000 followers last March and also received the Versatile Blogger Award.

https://ofsnailmailbooksandvanities.wordpress.com/

My blog actually got started some time ago but finally got more active when….guess what?….I started devoting time to it!  It’s a little like a buffet….a sampling of articles, stories, humor, poetry and whatever else strikes my fancy at the time.

I will ramble from Women’s Spirituality, Writing Services, Academic Success, AgingWell, Compulsive Overeating, Emotional Recovery, Small and Home Business and whatever.

Your comments intrigue me so please submit lots! And follow too.

For new bloggers, I say find the ones you like, take what you want and leave the rest. By that I mean, there are all sorts of tips for blogging out there, from fast money at Blogging High to fun but no profit and in between. I was lucky that Paardje and a few others encourage me with their lighthearted approaches. Their formats are fun.

I keep checking out fellow swimmers in the stream,  because, well, it’s so rich out there. I hope you will visit some of these blogs as well:

BeautyBeyondBones   – recovery from anorexia but not what you might think – I nominate!

QWF Writes – fellow writer journeys

The Naked Networker – always a new twist on work

The Smiling Pilgrim – not syrupy in the least

 

 

 

Four Factors of Stress Management

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Americans’ levels of stress are among the highest in the world. Our national ethic of incessant striving with no measureable way to say, “I’m at the peak”, strains our bodies, hearts and minds. Our media reinforces constant dissatisfaction, a necessity in a consumer based economy. While there are worlds written about it, here are the four major ways that I have gleaned from most of the material out there over the years I have been reading about it. Feel free to let me know if any of this has worked for you or enlighten us on other ways you’ve come down from being stuck on a red alert button.

Kaieteur-Falls-Guyana Continue reading

Schools Support Small Businesses

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Note: I published this article previously  in Small Business Monthly. 

SMALL BUSINESSES CAN ORDER SUCCESS WITH SCHOOL TO CAREER PROGRAMS

Facts about these programs open your access to improving current employee morale and securing qualified new talent.

businessman blasting off on rocket clipart

School to Career programs structure links between companies and students that result in improved performance for business owners and schools while increasing levels of employability for students. Connecting activities such as mentoring, internships, job shadowing, and teacher externships are reshaping the relationships between employees, employers, students and educators. These programs extend beyond the ususal “manual” skills that some businesses have historically used and beyond the usual “co-op” arrangements between schools and a few select businesses. STC is the potent, state-of-the-art way to tap into the people small business needs to maintain competitive profitability.

Return on Investment                                                                       $$$$$$$$$$$

The Learning Exchange reveals that three of four companies studied experienced cost benefit ratios of .40 to 3.21 with their School to Career (STC) programs (dollar value of benefits divided by dollar value of program costs). A National Employer Leadership Council report considers these partnershps “intelligent investment of resources” rather than “risky business.” Programs are flourishing nationally, from Miami to New York. Philadelphia programs, for example, have resulted in a 10% increase in grade point averages (GPA) of students, over 8% decrease in dropout rates, over 8% increase in attendance and a higher percentage of students employed and continuing education. Similiar results have been achieved locally. The Grain Valley, KS district believes the STC programs have contributed to an 8% reduction in dropout rate. Their persistence to graduation rates have increased as well. Employers cite reduced training, recruitment and supervision costs, increased retention, productivity and morale, favorable publicity, and increased workplace diversity.

Traditional hiring computes the cost of benefits, wage, and training. STC programs change that equation by reducing training, recruitment, supervision, turnover rates and increasing productivity through investing in students while in school programs.   Business owners have known that academic achievement translates to better employees, but a direct vehicle for making that translation has not been structured until the STC movement. Youth apprenticeship, for example, can reduce costs by 50% through tax credits and set asides. Additional savings have been measured in lower absenteeism and increased loyalty. The employer has a chance to “prove” the candidate for a longer period prior to hiring than the normal 60 days. In addition, the employer gains an advocate not on his or her payroll: STC liaisons.

Harmon Industries in Independence, MO is excited about the benefits. Harmon has been able to recruit exceptional talent, improve their own in-house engineering training, provide low-cost professional development, improve worker image and obtain state reimbursement for training costs. Their many programs include internships in shipping, machine tool, computer programming, drafting and other skills. One student actually designed the floor plan of the new corporate headquarters off I-70; another helped ease a drafting vacancy. Harmon has used job shadowing, mentoring, teacher externships, and internships along with a Career Institute. The company collaborates with Grain Valley, Independence, Raytown and other districts. Students who formerly may have shown a lack of engagement or a sense of belonging now report as seniors that the business principles and team training they received in the STC programs invaluable. Harmon hires directly from these proven participants.

Other smaller companies report similar results. Pat Meyer of Meyer Music has participated in shadowing. Small businesses have been able to interview better workers who know about business manners, customer service, communication and calculation skills. Claridge Court, General Reinsurance, Interim Technologies, Goldblatt Architecture, Timberlake Care Center, and Platte Woods Animal Hospital are just some of the companies who have participated in teacher externships and other connecting activities. Technical assistance is available for business owners.

Customized Training

The win-win STC partnership between schools and companies provide low or no cost training for employers. The Business and Technology College (BTC-part of the Metropolitan Community College system), Johnson County Community College, Kansas City Kansas Community College as well as professional associations such as the National Tool and Machining Association have developed articulation agreements with schools. These agreements provide for credit for coursework and experience while in high school. The BTC cooperates with small businesses to assist in recruitment and customize training of these prospective employees. Every articulated credit means training that the business owner does not pay for. These students are often hired in full time jobs before they complete the courses because of demand. They then finish their coursework on a part-time basis. Because there is a clear path between high school coursework and employment, between student and employer, these students are motivated to perform and will continue to improve through advanced coursework and training.

The Business & Technology College (BTC) is a local leader in STC initiatives and a variety of career development professionals. Martha Boyd, Director of Training for the BTC, can introduce employers to job and task analysis, organizational needs assessments, hiring, promotional and gap analysis or one-person, as-needed training. Blue Bunny routinely sends one support person every year or year-and-a-half for software training. The Center offers one day seminars with an open entry and exit lab for certain skill needs. A big advantage to small business owners is an applicant screening service which complies with ADA, EEOC, and other legal requirements. The BTC also offers ISO training.

Plugging In

A sampling of high school coursework in area school districts and area vocational technical schools (AVTS) shows the broad range of skills being provided with tax dollars. This exclusive survey attempts as accurately as possible to cue employers into specific skill programs and students. Small businesses can begin to develop mentoring, job shadowing, internships and other programs in the skills they need by working with the STC Coordinator or designated liaison in the district. For a list of contact persons at area districts, contact the district or the author. The Institute for Workforce Education in Columbia and the American Federation of Teachers also provide informational materials. Employers who want more business than usual take initiatives that are more than usual. Order your success soon by plugging into STC programs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Customized Journals

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Have you ever had a pressing problem or issue that you thought journaling might help? But when you go to look at journals, they are confronting you with terrifying blank pages? Or you browse the topic journals but come up empty?

With my broad background in education, counseling and personal development, I can customize a 30-day journal for you. Here’s a sample of one I developed recently for a friend of mine who was struggling with money issues:

Day One:  Write about the messages you received growing up about money.

This is an important activity because we all carry often mixed messages about money into our adulthood. These beliefs may or may not be borne out by our actual experiences with money.

For example, my mother thought my father was extravagant when he would buy me something. My father thought my mother was a harpy because she was never happy with the amount of money he made. I was shocked to discover, years later from my older sisters, that my father was too tight to send my sister to the Catholic parish school when they wanted 10 cents a week tuition (yes that’s not a typo) and that was why we switched parishes. Or finding my mother’s little brown book years later with every     single    penny   spent recorded.  Or that my mother was still paying her father back for loans even when I was out of high school.

So I received many messages that impacted  how I viewed money, what I thought of myself in relationship to money, and how I used money. None of them were positive.

Beginning at this journal entry, I unscrambled these messages. After I had excavated them, I could begin to compare them to my experiences and see how they have removed me from the adult status I needed around this issue.

I would love to assist you through a customized journal. Let me  hear from you! or, if you liked this post,  just leave a comment about how journaling has helped you with your issues.

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