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Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

lange invited to join national association of professional women

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Shauna Lee Lange has announced her recent invitation to join the National Association of Professional Women.  One of the more exciting programs offered by the group is called “Rising Stars”.  The NAPW members not only promote career success for the women of today’s workforce, but also encourage the success of the future generation of professional women.

That is why, each year NAPW awards five aspiring young women a $1000 scholarship to use towards college tuition. The NAPW Rising Stars Education Scholarship is designed to help deserving students attain their educational goals, meet their professional objectives, and succeed to their fullest ability. 

Lange’s own mother (featured above) was an intrepidly bright National Honor Society Member in the early 60’s who never had the opportunity to continue her education but who overcame every obstacle ever met with aplomb and elegance.  In the words of  Lange’s confidential life coaching and professional organizing services in metropolitan DC and the Florida Keys, NAPW combined with continued education and lifelong networking helps promote all women to “Be Wholly You“.

Update 08/26/2010:  I received a helpful note from Bethany Ryan Ph.D, Director of the National Association of Professional and Executive Women (NAPEW) which is another independent association I am currently pursuing.  The two groups are presently in litigation with each other over, in part, officially lodged reports of complaints against NAPW.  The groups ARE NOT affiliated.  Anyone pursuing membership with any national association should be diligent in doing some background research and also be cautious about giving out financial information over the phone or web.  Women especially should be prepared to ask questions, stand your ground, and be on the lookout for high-pressure sales tactics or other manipulative sales techniques when they are employed – this would include the use of hidden-fees, multi-level membership packages, interviewing techniques (wanting to “feature” you or your business), and vague promises which often go undelivered or unrealized.

fear and change: flying and letting go

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2010 at 8:27 pm

If you can face your fear, if you can feel the fear and do it anyway, if you can recognize fear as false evidence appearing real, then you’re on the right road to conquering it.  Fear has a way of sneaking around the corner when you least expect it.  I don’t mind flying, but I very much fear dying in a plane crash because:  a) I want to be in my children’s lives (even though I do believe I am in God’s will, regardless); and b) I can’t imagine experiencing plane-crash horror trauma.

I realized the other day when I made flight arrangements that I hadn’t flown in quite some time and that I dread taking the risk.  But understanding the remote potentiality of my worse nightmare coming true is actually fear of living and I DO want to live all the days of my remaining life (you feel that way even more clearly as you age).  Now, I’m very excited about my upcoming trip for a host of great reasons, and that probably explains why even so, I spent hours figuring out how to reduce my flight time, get a direct flight, at the best time of day (when the pilots would be awake or less likely to be under the influence of alcohol – ha!), for the best price available.  I did choose to go with a lesser-known carrier and that little fact could gnaw its way into some pretty big worry beads if I let it.  Sometimes confronting our fear is like confronting a bull, where you simply feel you cannot do it!

When fear over internal events (like esteem or embarrassing oneself) is greater than fear of external events (airplane crashes or crossing a black cat) then it takes more time, more effort and more concentration to consciously overcome.   We can rationalize the external as being ridiculous, however the internal fears can grow to be very dark demons.  We don’t even want to broadcast our internal fears, we hide them, we hope no one will notice, and in doing this, we allow the internal fears to grow, to live, to breathe.  We all must work to actively negate the fears that hold us back in living an abundant life.

So I’ll be getting on the plane, and I’ll be praying that if the Lord takes me, that he’ll keep my (fearful) soul.  And when I’m on floating between clouds, I’ll be (false) smiling at my neighbor in the seat next to me and silently sending myself positive affirmations….I mean it IS only two hours for the love of God. And for that greater fear of not being present for my children, then I have no other choice but to trust and let. go.  OR not. to. go. at. all.  Remember, life isn’t meant to be lived in fear, so “Be Wholly You“.

Image Artwork Credit: http://caseytoussaint.wordpress.com/2008/11/18/chickens-and-grapes/

being a life change artist & eat, pray, love

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm

We’ve been reading Fred Mandell, Ph.D. and Kathleen Jordan, Ph.D. and their thoughts on Becoming a Life Change Artist wherein they outline the four phases of personal change and the seven creative skills necessary to reinvent yourself at any stage of life. About half way through the work what’s been the most interesting, other than the vignettes describing famous artists and the personal life changes they endured, is the section on creativity and the brain where the authors talk about neurogenesis and neuroplasticity – the idea that the brain is “plastic” and flexible and will either re-generate or not depending on our stress levels, our focus, and our rules of engagement.

Dr. Gene Cohen’s research is also cited wherein he concludes that the brain “actively grows and rewires itself in response to stimulation and learning,” regardless of age.  All of this is very exciting and timely as hoards of women are sitting on the precipice of life reinvention decisions after watching Eat, Pray, Love.  All I have to say about the movie is that it virtually transported me back to Italy (where I formerly lived for six years) and that the acting talents of Richard Jenkins in the India piece were in my humble opinion, unquestioningly worthy of an Oscar. Having attraversiamo’ed many times before, I took away the Sanskrit phrase for “being on the border” in the Bali piece.  The cinematography is noteworthy, some of the acting – not so much.  I was reminded that one of my best days ever (what I call a “my day”) on this planet so far was when my dearly loved friends Joy and Franklin Minty visited the Vatican City in Rome with me just before my daughter was born in Naples.

But I digress.  So Mandell and Jordan outline 11 triggers that will help YOU become a fabulous life change artist, too. And each of these is geared to generating ideas and solutions when we least expect it in activities that actually help the mind let go:  1)  Spiritual (prayer and meditation); 2) Musical (listening, playing, singing); 3) Cultural (viewing art or sculpture); 4) Water-Related (taking a shower or soaking in a tub); 5) Athletic (walking, bicycling); 6) Repetitive (needlepoint); 7) Nature (gardening, birdwatching); 8) Housework/Chores (doing the dishes); 9) Surrender (relinquishing control); 10) Animal (being with your pet); and 11) Altruistic (helping others).

So if you’ve already begun to dream about your alter-life and struggling with how to get there from here, know that much of what one can expect to experience (excitement, overwhelmed) is defined in predictable behavior stages. I took their “Creativity Calculator” exam and learned that I max out (in a good way) on my personal ability to take risk (acting without certainty of outcome), but scored the lowest in the areas of collaboration and preparation.  The latter took me by surprise, and now I’m working on creative preparation skills as a discipline.  We’re each all always growing and changing and if the changes you’re contemplating are for the betterment of YOU, then “Be Wholly You” and take the leap and JUMP.

Artwork and Image Credit:  http://alteredartandstuff.wordpress.com/

put your feet up: the importance of quality sleep

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2010 at 2:53 pm

We have a three-year old son who is experiencing three major bedtime temper-tantrums:  1) horror at the idea of the television being shut off (“just ONE MORE show, Mommy”); 2) wanting to sleep in his parents’ bed (“I sleep HERE tonight” followed by very loud and prolonged crying); and 3) not being able to fall asleep unless one of us stays with him for a good hour, maybe more, which may or may not involve reading, singing, throwing the blankets, being petted, or doing little dances until he tires himself out.  It’s a temporary problem that will eventually pass and our frustration with this day-to-day “torture” has not only nearly ruined any ability we have to interrelate in the evenings, but also led us to an in-depth Internet search on children’s sleep and in dire search of the counsel of noted authors Dr. Jenn Berman and Marc Weissbluth, M.D.

When my now adult daughter used to experience frightening night terrors, as many children are also apt to do, I wish I had then the advice and background of these two authors who are committed to raising healthy children through adequate and appropriate sleep.  Weissbuth’s book is a step-by-step program for a good night’s sleep and in reading it, one really comes to understand how interrupted sleep, sleeplessness, or simply not enough sleep lends to many problems for both children AND adults. His research demonstrates that restlessness, overactivity, excitability, impulsivity, short attention span, failing to finish things, constantly fidgeting, inattentiveness, distraction, frustration, mood swings, and explosive and unpredictable behaviors can all be directly linked to one’s quality of sleep.  Hmmm.

Berman’s book on giving your child a head start in the first 3 years, is a well-researched description of how we learn to sleep and how utilizing both daytime naps and nighttime sleeping are cure-alls for nearly any problem.  She quotes Spivak in saying, “A child who isn’t sleeping isn’t developing properly physically, cognitively and emotionally.  Once they start getting the right amount of sleep they start to thrive.”  Well, I’m here to tell you that THAT applies to THIS 47-year-old, too!  Doesn’t it to you?  Another great piece of advice, which I strongly advocate, is reducing stimulus in the sleeping chamber – noise, light, sensations, temperature – if you take a fresh look at your normal resting place, there may be small steps you can take to make your sleep environment more sound.  So whether it’s inside or outside on the lounge chair, take your naps, utilize bedtime rituals to help you self-soothe, and get some more SLEEP to Be Wholly You!

Image Credit:  http://christofferdelsinger.wordpress.com/

practice smiling and why you should

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2010 at 1:19 pm

When you’re in the midst of difficult circumstances, it can be an interesting experiment to try to alter your experience through conscious decision.  Because people generally react to us based what we put out in the world, and it is well-known that the smile is the most universally understandable emotional facial form of communication, I highly recommend “practice smiling”.

Particularly when you’re in a challenging mood, the discipline of practice smiling (at both strangers AND familiars) is guaranteed to make your head spin. The idea that you can effectively control, manipulate (I like the word “influence”) how other people react to you even when you’re hiding a true darker emotion is very convincing indeed. And let it be known that smiles beget smiles – the positive endorphins will start flowing, eyes will start sparkling, hell you may even get a laugh or two and pretty soon that darker emotion is made a little brighter – so while you may be doing it to make others days brighter, you’re really doing it for yourself!

Here’s a testimonial on the power of smiling by John Kinde.  Now, it used to really piss me off when my bosses (usually men) would say comments like “Why don’t you smile more?” because I used to feel that it was a statement on their view that my very purpose in life was to make theirs easier and that’s a very dark thought for a budding feminist at the time.  I can point to several people over the span of my life who simply wanted me to sit down, shut up, and smile while I was doing it.  But one grows and learns and considers new approaches like these:

Here’s an article on the Taoist practice of the Inner Smile (which I could have used then too).  Here’s an interesting article from GeofBloom on why people aren’t smiling as much these days, and why it’s doubly important that you do.  Lastly, my favorite article is here and has 33 little known reasons why the smile is so important, beneficial and contagious.  So practice smiling and “Be Wholly You“.

Image Credit:  http://artfulplayground.wordpress.com/

lange joins international coach federation

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm

The International Coach Federation (ICF) is the largest worldwide resource for business and personal coaches, and the source for those who are seeking a coach. The ICF is a nonprofit, individual membership organization formed by professionals worldwide who practice business and personal coaching. The ICF exists to Build, Support and Preserve the integrity of the coaching profession through programs and standards supported by the individual membership.

To Build … The ICF maintains a high visibility for the profession through public relations, publicity campaigns, marketing strategies and the Coach Referral Service (CRS). The CRS is an independent, non-profit ICF service which makes it easy for people to find the right coach for their needs.

To Support … The ICF develops and implements programs that aid in the professional development of its membership. In addition to the professional development opportunities of an annual conference, the ICF provides professional growth opportunities through its local, regional and virtual chapters throughout the world. Continual support is available through the ICF Web site and publications.

To Preserve … The ICF developed and promotes an industry-wide Code of Professional Standards. ICF also developed the first universally accepted Accreditation process which will preserve the integrity of coaching through standardized credentials that will assist consumers in choosing professional coaches.

ICF accredited coaching certification training programs meet or exceed the following requirements:

  1. Establish and administer minimum standards for credentialing professional coaches and coach training agencies.
  2. Assure the public that participating coaches and coach training agencies meet or exceed these minimum standards.
  3. Reinforce professional coaching as a distinct and self-regulating profession.

The ICF credential is awarded to professional coaches and coach training agencies who validate that they meet or exceed these minimum standards. Please visit www.CoachFederation.org or call (888)-423-3131 toll free for more information.