Monday, May 21, 2018

Commitment And Exercise

You don’t need to be a “gym rat” to reap the mental health benefits of exercise. Start with 10-15 minutes a day and slowly increase your time with weights (or your aerobic routine). The more you exercise, the more energy you’ll have. The “key” to all of this is commitment. As your exercise regime becomes more consistent, you can slowly add minutes to different types of activities. If you keep at it, the benefits will pay off.


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Monday, May 14, 2018

Out of the Closet

Whether you  know it or not. We ALL have a dark side. These secrets keep us sick. They keep us feeling ashamed and unworthy. If we don’t talk about them, we can’t be healed. This is something that I’ve learned in counseling. Although, I learned it many years ago, I have to put it into practice. I don’t want my secrets to destroy my body and bring me any illness.

The above was reinforced when I read Two’s Company  by Suzanne Sommers. She came to notoriety as “Chrissy Snow” in the popular sitcom Three’s Company. Her character put her on the “celebrity map.” Her situation might sound familiar – catapulted to stardom BUT keeping a secret. Her father was a raging alcoholic. It affected everyone in her family. When you’re touched by family alcoholism, it stays with you. You develop coping behaviors that you think help you cope. In fact, they hinder you, and push you into a closet.

In Sommer’s book, she realizes that her inability to talk about her secret, led her to breast cancer. She learned that her hiding (literally) in a closet, stayed in her system, and eventually came out as cancer. Why? Her secret was that she was the daughter of an alcoholic.

Throughout my life, I’ve seen how “secrets” destroy a person’s spirit. Some examples include, abortion, AIDS, mental illness and homosexuality. Each person held one of those secrets until their mortality (health) was challenged. Once their health was in jeopardy, they deduced it was due to the secret they carried. In turn (just like Sommers) they came out of the closet and revealed their secret. I was raised in a home where what happened there, stayed there. At first, keeping those secrets seemed “right.” That is, until I saw the long term effects of them. In a safe, counseling environment I was able to talk about them and heal. I don’t want to be like Suzanne Sommers. I want a life unencumbered by secrets.

I urge you to do the same!

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Focus: Family, secrets, spirit


Questions for you: 1) What secrets are you keeping? 2) What kind of a toll has it had on your body and spirit? 3) What steps can you take toward healing?

Monday, May 7, 2018

Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise

Regular exercise is good for the body. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can have a PROFOUNDLY positive effect on depression, anxiety, ADHD and more. In addition, it relieves stress, improve memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood. You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a difference. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better.

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Monday, April 30, 2018

ViewPoint: RISK



Stephen Covey has a central theme to his books: win-win and work from the inside-out. The
two ideas go hand-in-hand. It’s an easy concept but very hard to put into practice. The hardest part is making the commitment to dig deep and understand your stuff.

When you communicate, you have to understand what drives you – why do you act in the way that you do. In many cases, fear is present and creates an obstacle. When you are involved in any type of communication situation, you have to take a risk. Without risk, there is no movement. That risk may be asking your boss for a raise or confronting an employee or a colleague, or just being vulnerable. The bottom line is you will never know the outcome, until you try it.

When you understand the inside, the outside comes naturally. And when the inside matches the outside, you are in a win-win situation … everytime!

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Forgiveness (Maria Shriver)

What is forgiveness? It’s letting go of resentment, giving up feeling harmed or damaged. That doesn’t mean the harm or damage didn’t happen. It means that you’re not going to keep revisiting it over and over again, staying stuck in your resentment of the person who caused the harm. Even, if it’s you.

I’ve prayed for help with forgiveness. I’ve tried to talk myself into it. And often, I’ve pushed myself to the forgiveness finish line before I was really ready to take the action of actually forgiving, only to find myself right back where I started: resentful and feeling bad.
So to truly get to the place I wanted to be – which was to be a steady, solid, peaceful, forgiving person – I started with myself.

When I found myself berating myself for choices I made, opportunities I missed, people I misjudged, behaviors I condoned, the whole thing – I stopped. “No more.” I started being kind to myself. Over and over again.

Once I started easing up on myself in this way. I found myself being able to ease up on others. I realized that what I needed, so did they. If I made mistakes and deserved to be forgiven, so, too, did they. If I had hurt another and could be forgiven and move on, so too, could they. If I had been critical and judgmental of someone and could be forgiven, so, too could they.

In other words, If  I could let go of my resentments and judgments of myself, I could and should let go of my resentments and judgments of others and just plain move on, instead of staying stuck. I had to give what I was seeking for myself.

Forgiveness is letting go of the need to feel like a victim. Work on it. You’ll lighten your load – the load of negativity you carry around.


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Monday, April 16, 2018

A Good Idea: Theme Songs and Confidence

Want to be EMPOWERED? Get yourself a theme song and play it when you need a
boost! Back in the 70’s, Helen Reddy wrote the song I Am Woman (Hear Me Roar). It became an anthem for women, and won a Grammy Award! We all need encouragement and a song can do it! What lyrics inspire you? The next time you are stuck and need to move out of a rut, play your theme song and see what happens!

IT’S JUST A GOOD IDEA
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Sunday, April 8, 2018

How Zumba Saved Me!

I’ve  ALWAYS believed that testimonies are tools for personal growth and transformation. They “speak” to what’s possible and how to triumph over adversity. Here’s mine about how I did it!

Three years ago, I was in a bad space. My house went into foreclosure. I was evicted and I lost a teaching job that I loved. Prior to this experience, I attended zumba 3-4 times a week. Being in class brought me so many positives. That all went away when I just “gave up.”

The depression was overwhelming. I couldn’t concentrate. It was hard for me to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom. I dropped from 180 to 155 pounds. I averaged 2-3 hours of sleep per night. (That was with sleep medication.) My friends dropped out of sight. Many of them  couldn’t be bothered. I felt like my life was over. I thought about suicide. That seemed like a viable solution since nothing I did worked.

One day, I turned on the television. Joyce Meyer, the Christian evangelist said, I need to stop what I’m saying and preach to my television viewers. If you’re thinking about suicide, STOP! That is the enemy. God has a better plan for you.  That moment  wasn’t an accident. It was God telling me to move.

At this point, I was away from my Zumba routine. A friend of mine suggested I return. It helped her overcome fertility issues. In her words, Bob, you’ve got to come back and enjoy the music and fun. I told her I’d think about it since coming back to my local gym was 40 miles, round trip. I said to God, Your plan is better than mine. You know my circumstances and my limitations. I started one day a week. It took me about six weeks to get back into the groove and enjoy dance.

This is my tenth year doing zumba. When I was in the midst of foreclosure, eviction and job loss. I lost myself and  ALL its benefits (i.e. endorphin rush, lower blood pressure, positive camaraderie with others). Now, I’m better. Life is picking up. My weight is back, my blood pressure is lower and I no longer have suicidal thoughts.

For me, zumba is not just a class. It IS a lifestyle that incorporates wellness and restoration of spirit.

Focus: Exercise, Spirit, Joy


Question for You: 1) What exercises can you do to replenish your spirit? 2) What physical challenges are you experiencing that warrant an exercise plan? 3) What is stopping you from an exercise regime?

Monday, April 2, 2018

Family Roles: Problem Child or Addict (End)

The Problem Child or Addict

This family member has an unconscious need to be the center of attention. They may have
felt that they didn’t get the kind of attention they desired when they were young. On the outside, they can be entertaining and intuitive. On the inside, they are addictive and manipulative. In order to BREAK FREE from this role, you will need:
1)   Awareness of situations that “trigger” the need for attention.
2)   A game plan that helps break addictive behaviors
3)   Support in the area of counseling


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Monday, March 26, 2018

Family Roles: Helper or Enabler

The Helper or The Enabler

The helper role develops to help out the parents. The helper develops at a young age. They
fix family problems. They make take on more of a parental role than the actual parents. On the outside, they are helpful and caring. On the inside, they are controlling and enabling. In order to BREAK FREE from this role, you will need:
1)    Change the family pattern of “helping” others.
2)    Tell family members that they need to be responsible for their behavior.


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Monday, March 19, 2018

Family Roles: Mascot or Slacker

Mascot or The Slacker

The comedian plays the role of the family jester. They see the problems in the family and they provide levity. They entertain to distract the family from the emotional intensity. They find that if they can be funny, that they get attention from other family members. On the outside, they are funny and positive. On the inside, they are terrified, needy and left-out. In order to BREAK FREE from this role, you will need:
1)    To be taken seriously,
2)    To hear that your opinions count,

3)    Garner support of your feelings.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Family Roles: Lost Child or The Ghost

Known as the quiet one, or the dreamer. He is rarely in trouble. On the outside he looks
quiet and creative. On the inside, they are disconnected and emotionally dead. They can be depressed and suicidal. In order to BREAK FREE from this role, you will need:
1)    Positive attention,
2)    Encouragement to take chances,
3)    Stay connected to other people.


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Monday, March 5, 2018

Family Roles: Scapegoat or Black Sheep

They tend to be the scapegoat for family problems. They are sometimes held responsible for other family members issues. They can be emotionally vulnerable and depressed. They pull attention to themselves. On the outside, they are rebellious and defiant. On the inside, they are hurt and afraid to trust others. In order to BREAK FREE from this role, you will need:
1)    Permission to be successful,
2)    Supportive confirmation,
3)    Structure and consistency.


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Monday, February 26, 2018

Family Roles: Hero or Good Child

We each have family roles that we've taken on. In this piece, the Hero  or Good Child is explained:

Hero or Good Child
They often see it as their responsibility to “have it all together.” They are achievement oriented and want to be the one that brings honor to the family. They are hard working. They may dissociate from other family members who are problematic. The family hero is sometimes called “perfect child.” On the outside, they look perfect. On the inside they are anxious, and terrified of failure. In order to BREAK FREE from this role, you will need:
1)    Permission to play and not be perfect,
2)    Opportunities to play,
3)    Opportunities to express feelings and needs.


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Communication and Leadership

I am so proud to have this book (Communication and Leadership) in the library collection (State of Illinois). Here's the link: Communication and Leadership

Enjoy!

Bob Roza, President
Integrative Speech, Inc.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

ViewPoint: Hearing vs. Listening


Do you hear what I hear? is a classic Christmas carol. If you really listen you’ll understand its message.

Your day can get crowded with information – talking on the phone, making appointments, taking people to lunch. You can start off listening but as the day progresses, fatigue enters and now you’re  just hearing.

When you step back and listen, you gain something – understanding. Listening brings understanding and the chance to see something that you didn’t see (or hear), before. It’s a second chance to get it “right” and make things better.

The next time you get frustrated with someone, step back and ask, What did I miss?
When you go back, you’ll “get” what you missed – the understanding, and the opportunity to make things better!


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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Don't settle . . . NEGOTIATE!

Compromise can make work a better place. Negotiation is a life skill and process.
One of the most challenging places to handle conflict is at work. Conflict at work can create deep resentment and poor productivity. And if it continues for months (even years), it can affect your health.

As a manager, you need to look at your efforts. You may have to give a lot and get back only a little in return. If you don’t “budge,” you remain stuck without a resolution.
There is a way out – negotiate, negotiate, negotiate ( or compromise).
It can be very effective at work (and can relieve a lot of your stress), but it takes some commitment and you can do (and survive), it.

The following steps can lead you to being a great negotiator.

1.       Be aware: Why are you there – to change a company policy or ask for a raise? You need an awareness of the situation. You also need to know your strengths and weaknesses. What do you do well? What do you need to work on?

2.      Be prepared: Don’t walk into a situation without doing your homework. It will be a disaster if you don’t! You need to research your “topic” before you negotiate or compromise anything.

3.      Talk to the right person: Make sure you’re talking to the right “decision makers” or authority figures. Don’t waste time talking to people who can’t help you resolve the problem.

4.      Don’t assume: This may be your first time. Take it seriously and treat everyone with respect. Don’t take things for granted.

5.      Be flexible: Nothing kills compromise (or negotiations) more than being rigid. You want to make sure that you “hear” all sides. Looking at all the pieces to the puzzle will create a better negotiation and will make you a better negotiator.

6.      Don’t be competitive: This isn’t the Olympics (or a race). You’re not competing for a gold medal or a prize. Competition equals rigidity and if you think the rest of the team can’t sense “competition,” you’re dead wrong. People sense rigidity. It comes through in your body language.

7.      Listen: Very important! Focus on what is said so that you understand all the parts of the situation, and take all views into consideration.

8.     Don’t be critical: Are you a whiner or a perfectionist?  Guess what? This type of person(ality) kills compromise almost immediately. If you walk in being critical or showing a “my way or the highway” mentality, you will turn off a lot of people and make the negotiation harder and tougher.

9.      Work as a Team: Remember, everyone has a viewpoint and ideas that are important. You can learn from anyone! Listening to a different side can give you energy and the chance to settle something quickly, and painlessly.

10.  Think “simple”: Have you ever watched three and four year olds play? They know how to share without a lot of fuss. They put things in perspective. They’re not inhibited. They know what they want and feel. They “simplify” cause they’re little. Learn from them. If things get hard and confusing, make it easier and simplify it.

11.   Take a breather: Negotiating takes time. Sometimes it takes longer than you think. When you’ve reached a dead end or brick wall, take a “breather” to regroup. Go for a short walk, call a friend; whatever you need to change gears. When you’re stuck or blocked, you can’t do more, so why push things further? Taking a break gives you the chance to get things in perspective for the next round.

12.  Get it on paper: You’ve spent a lot of time with this negotiation and you’ve agreed to the details. Get it on paper to make sure both sides agree. Think of this step as a contract. Whenever you are doing something “formal” (making a credit card purchase, opening a bank account), you’re asked for signature. Your signature acts as closure to the business deal. This is a business deal and needs the same kind of closure.

13.  Shut up: Have you reached the end? Are both sides happy? Then, you’re done! When you’ve covered all your points and both sides are happy, shut up, close shop and leave.
Just follow the steps. You’ll get there. Remember, small steps are better than none. You build from small steps and learn from them. Negotiation takes time and is a process. There is no doubt about it!


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Monday, February 5, 2018

Being "Seen!"

Was that O.K.?

Those three words reflected the guests of The Oprah Show early on in its heyday. They were asking Oprah if what they said was quality. Inevitably, it was a YES, but those three words stuck in Oprah’s head. It was what was under the surface, that led her to understand, that her skills as a talk show host would show us all, the importance of validation.

As her show evolved, she recognized that ALL of her guests were secretly saying, Did you see me? Did you hear me? Did what I just say, matter?  The theme was universal. For Oprah, it became apparent  that ALL people need to be validated and acknowledged for who they are. Every show she did exemplified VALIDATION. One of the many reasons she landed  exclusives was because her guests knew that whatever their situation, she would bring validation to them and to others.

It’s amazing how when things  (i.e. home, job, etc.) are taken away, or you face mortality, things become crystal clear. You long for quality and validation with others.

I’ve been in counseling for over a year now and I’m redefining myself. I’m taking steps to “speak my mind” with, and without, filters. The first time you speak your mind, it wakes people up! It doesn’t matter if it’s family or friends. Speaking up and telling people your viewpoints, leads to Did you see me? Did you hear me? Did what I just tell you, matter?  In turn, it leads to a catharsis that is unprecedented for self-discovery and emotional healing. Why? Because, many times we want to be liked. We don’t want to rock the boat, or piss people off. Inevitably (when we don’t speak up), we squash our authenticity. This  leads to a squashed spirit. Nothing is sadder than keeping your mouth shut; especially  if it leads to a change or validation. I URGE you to find your voice and speak up. You might piss people off and inevitably lose them in your personal/professional life but you’ll gain something more important – an opportunity to own your voice and show people who you really are!

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Focus: Validation, Self-esteem, Self-confidence


Questions for you: 1) What issues require you to speak up? 2) Are you addressing them or not? Why? 3) What’s the worst thing that can happen if you show others who you are?

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Prayer Process

The Prayer Process is that it grows as we grow. It can be used as a starting point for beginners, those first trying to forge the habit of prayer in their lives. But it can also be used by those most advanced in their spiritual life. Its structure is such that it celebrates where you are in your journey.

The Prayer Process

Gratitude: begin by thanking God in a personal dialogue for whatever you are most grateful for today.

Awareness: Revisit the times in the past twenty-four hours when you were and were not the-best-version-of-yourself. Talk to God about these situations and what you learned from them.

Significant Moments: Identify something you experienced today and explore what God might be trying to say to you through that event (or person).

Peace: Ask God to forgive you for any wrong you have committed (against yourself, another person, or him) and to fill you with a deep abiding peace.

Freedom: Speak with God about how he is inviting you to change your life, so that you can experience the freedom to be the-best-version-of-yourself.

Others: Lift up to God anyone you feel called to pray for today, asking God to bless and guide them.

Finish by praying the Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

From: Rediscover Jesus, An Invitation  (Matthew Kelly)


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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Listening IS Important!

You spend about 80% of your day communicating. Of that time. 45% is spent listening, 30% speaking, 16% reading and 9% writing. A manager may spend up to 60% of the day listening to people.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

A Good Idea

Build up your self-image by making a list of your positive qualities. Ask your friends to list things they like about you.

IT’S JUST A GOOD IDEA!  
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Actions And Words!

You know the phrase, “actions speak louder than words?” Well, in order for people to trust you, they have to trust your actions. What you say is connected to how you follow up. And every time you say something (and don’t follow up), you waste time and energy!


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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Creative Resolutions In Communication


Creativity is a part of communication.  Jump in and see what you’re made of!

Do your communication skills make or break  you? Creativity helps in communication. And we can all use ideas to communicate better --- personally and professionally. Try the following and see where the ideas take you.

1.       Identify Issues: Is there something going on that needs your attention? You know what I mean – fear of confrontation, standing up for yourself etc. Well, the only way you move through something is to identify that the issue is. You have to give it a name before you can work on it. As Dr. Phil McGraw says, You have to name it to claim it.

2.      Creative Visualization: Each of us has an imagination. Use it to visualize how to handle something. Close your eyes and see the situation “as it is,” and then how “you want it.” With your imagination, you creatively visualize the end. Don’t forget, you’re the writer, producer, director of this scene. Be creative and have fun with it.

3.      Be Optimistic: Are you someone who sees the glass as half  empty or half full? You show optimism when you see what’s favorable.

4.      Brainstorm: Is your company in need of a plan (i.e. training classes for foreign speakers, etc.)? Get a group of co-workers in a quiet room to brainstorm for a half hour. Write down the ideas and then pick out the names that the group feels are most important.

5.      Be Open-Minded: Also known as trying new approaches and playing with ideas. Go with the flow and try new ideas. Sometimes, what seems  “odd” or “off the wall” might be exactly what the company needs. Don’t dismiss any ideas.

6.      Keep An Idea Bank: Are the ideas flowing too much? Did the brainstorming give you more than you could handle? Put the other ideas on cards and use them for later. Use the most  immediate  ideas and leave the others for later. It’s important to replace, add, and delete ideas as you need to.

7.      Observe And Understand: You know the phrase, “walking in their shoes?” Well, when you observe and understand someone, you relate to their ideas and where they’re at.

8.     Simplify: Keep things simple. Creative resolutions should be fun,  not a back-breaking job!

9.      Summarize It: You’ve done the work (and hopefully had fun); now summarize what needs to happen and go for it.

10.  Do It: O.K. You’ve outlined your blue print for successful communication, now do it. Watch how things seem “effortless and seamless.” Watch how you go places.

Resolving issues in communication – creatively; isn’t hard when you’re organized and are committed and are willing to “go with the flow.” 

Keep these points handy the next time you’re stuck and need a blueprint.

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