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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm Glad I'm Me: An Interview with Sheila Aron

Sheila Aron is a native Houston, Texan. In 2008 her children's book, I'm Glad I'm Me: Weaving the Thread of Love From Generation to Generation, was published and it will soon be available in Spanish. Sheila is also on the art committee with the Holocaust Museum Houston and was on the board of The Center for Hearing and Speech for six years.

Sheila’s most recent endeavor is a 501(3) (c) called The Thread Alliance. Its mission is to weave the thread of love and end the cycle of child abuse by bringing child abuse awareness to the forefront in hopes of preventing it before it happens.

I was really excited to learn more about Sheila's book, and the great work she is doing to help children!

Shelly Rachanow: Tell us more about your book, I’m Glad I’m Me.

Sheila Aron: I’m Glad I’m Me is a parenting book disguised as a children’s book. It teaches parents and children together how easy it is to say “I love you” and how to express their heartfelt feelings. I began writing this book as a way to help parents, children and grandparents make connections through trust, acceptance and respect. Knowing that every child deserves to be loved and every parent wants to be the very best parent they can for their child, I wanted to create a book that would allow both needs to be met. I feel that I have done this in I’m Glad I’m Me by showing how easy it is to tell your child “I love you” from the time a child wakes up in the morning until he goes to sleep at night. There are so many opportunities that a parent can say “I love you” and my book gives a few examples and shows how simple it is and how often it can be said. All anyone wants is to know that he/she is loved. It helps raise self esteem and confidence while building strong bonds that last a lifetime.

Shelly Rachanow: How does your book help parents and children communicate their love for one another?

Sheila Aron: My book shows parents and children together that love can be expressed anytime, anywhere, for any reason. For those who have never heard the words “I love you,” saying them to their own children can seem difficult or maybe even impossible. I wanted to show how easy it is to say what is in your heart in very simple words because saying “I love you” is really so easy to say and means so much to someone. I wanted it to be a win/win situation by showing that parents benefit from the book as well. When a child hears these words of love he repeats them back to his parents. What could be better than hearing “I love you, too.”

Shelly Rachanow: You often talk about the importance of “weaving the thread of love from generation to generation.” What do you mean by that and why is that so important?

Sheila Aron: The subtitle of my book is Weaving the Thread of Love From Generation to Generation. The significance of these words are emphasized by the multicolored thread that runs throughout the book weaving in and around the family members showing the importance of expressing our feelings through words of love. The “thread of love” leaves memories that last a life time and should be strong, unbreakable, never ending and passed on to future generations.

Shelly Rachanow: How can parents best remember to communicate in a loving manner in those moments when they are angry, frustrated or overwhelmed?

Sheila Aron: Life has a way of throwing us a curve on a daily basis. When situations come up that create chaos and cause us to feel out of control it helps to consider the importance of the situation at hand and ask yourself if it is really all that important. Try to see things from your child’s point of view and remember that you set the tone by how you cope with this situation. Getting angry rarely accomplishes anything besides making matters worse. By keeping your emotions in tap you give your child reassurance of your ability to handle the problem at hand and move on. You are the role model for your children - how you interact with them is how they will interact with their children when the time comes. Try to be calm and teach your children valuable life lessons that they will be proud to pass on to the next generation.

Shelly Rachanow: What are some simple things parents can do everyday to express more love to their kids?

Sheila Aron: I show only a few events that could take place in a child’s life - there are so many more. Make everyday a day to celebrate your child by reminding him how much he is loved, how important he is to your life and how proud you are to have him in your life. Especially during emotional moments when he or you might be feeling unappreciated take this opportunity to say “I love you.” Teaching your child loving life lessons includes the unhappy times as well as the happy. Turn an unpleasant moment into a pleasant one by simply saying “I love you.”

Shelly Rachanow: And last, the 'If Women Ran the World Blog' question for everyone - What would you do if you ran the world?

Sheila Aron: If I ran the world I would make sure that every child enjoyed a childhood free of abuse of any kind. All children deserve a childhood filled with love, acceptance, compassion and respect. To take this one step further I have started a nonprofit, to go hand in hand with the message in my book, called The Thread Alliance. The mission is to weave the thread of love and end the cycle of child abuse by bringing it to the forefront and hopefully preventing it before it begins.

For more information, visit http://www.sheilaaronbooks.com/.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Living the Life of My Dreams: An Interview with Caryn FitzGerald

Caryn FitzGerald is a mother, wife, friend, writer, healthy foodist, nature lover, teacher, blogger, entrepreneur, coach, and overall lover of life! She holds a masters degree and her formal training is as a mental health therapist. She spent many years working in both the prison system and the community sector assisting those facing challenges on redirecting their life’s path.

Caryn has been writing in several genres for over thirty years. Some of her recent work includes: Tulips in the Sand: A Riley Matthews Mystery and Fish Sticks, Books and Blue Jeans - Teaching kids to be thankful for everything (yes, even Fish Sticks) everyday! which she co-authored with her daughter, Sami.

Caryn recovered from a decade long struggle with bulimia and anorexia and is a domestic violence survivor. She shares her personal story and assists others by providing encouragement and guidance in overcoming adversity. Caryn’s belief is that a full, abundant life can be created and enjoyed regardless of one’s past. Today she enjoys the blessings of playing from home as a writer and speaker, fulfilling her passions by assisting others in learning the techniques required to create the life of their dreams. I was really excited to talk more with Caryn about this.

Shelly Rachanow: You write a wonderful blog called Embracing My Journey. Tell us more about that.

Caryn FitzGerald: I spent the first half of my life going through the motions and being bored with life. Over a decade ago, the Universe stepped in and in an instant I found myself moving in a different, more exciting and meaningful direction.

EmbracingMyJourney.com was created out of my desire to share my passion for living a life full of purpose while encouraging others to do the same. My goal is to share real-life stories from those who have transitioned, connecting them with those who are seeking something better. To inspire and encourage people to take a chance on themselves and go for what they really desire in life. Several times a week, I highlight and share the stories, guidance and wisdom from people who are living a life full of passion and purpose. Doing something meaningful each day and paying it forward. My intention is to contribute to the world by connecting those who are seeking with those who have the guidance to share.

Shelly Rachanow: I love the following quote on your web site: “A full, abundant life can be created regardless of one’s past.” Why do you believe that’s the case?

Caryn FitzGerald: Because I’m living proof it’s true. So often people are caught up reliving the drama of their past and the bad things that happened in their lives. It’s this cycle that keeps them grounded in negativity, lack and self-doubt. I’ve been there. I spent a decade struggling with anorexia and bulimia and abusive relationships. I could have easily continued to feed off of those negative experiences. I made a conscious decision not to. Instead of festering in it, I chose to use what I learned from those experiences to assist others and to contribute to the world instead of take away from it.

A perfect example is when something bad happens and instead of learning from it and releasing it, a person calls their seventeen friends and tells them each the story all over again, relishing the drama over and over again. It’s a slippery slope, and yet, it’s one anyone can avoid falling over by making one simple decision. The decision to live focused on the positive and letting the negative float on by.

Shelly Rachanow: I’m honored to be part of your Living the Life of My Dreams project. Tell us more about it and what’s so exciting about it this week especially?

Caryn FitzGerald: Several years ago I began writing my blog, EmbracingMyJourney.com. The blog is all about living a passionate and purposeful life. I knew I was not the only person who had turned their life around and was living like this, so I put out some feelers and asked people to share their stories. The response was overwhelming. Hundreds of people emailed me to say they were living the life of their dreams. After two years, I was asked if I would consider putting together a series of interviews and essays in ebook format. It felt right and that is how Living the Life of My Dreams: Essays & Interviews with 30 Ordinary People Living EXTRAordinary Lives was born.

On March 9, 2011, Living the Life of My Dreams: Essays & Interviews with 30 Ordinary People Living EXTRAordinary Lives will be released online at: http://www.livingthelifeofmydreams.com/ available for immediate download. Thirty people are sharing their personal stories, the lessons they learned along the way and their how-to suggestions for people who are ready to move out of the boring and mundane and into the exciting life of their dreams. The ebook has been met with rave reviews and on launch day, there are partners from all over the world joining us in spreading the word. Our goal is to reach over 1,000,000 people and encourage them to decide and take action, moving into the life they truly desire.

Shelly Rachanow: As someone who was once in a career that wasn’t my dream, I know how hard it can be for people to take a chance and pursue what they love. What are some things you’ve learned from the interviews you have done?

Caryn FitzGerald: The common theme that runs through all of the interviews I have done and from my personal experience is that one must make a choice to go for what they really want. Too often we get caught up in the path that others set up for us. Whether it be our parents, our spouses, school counselors or friends, it is common to rely upon external people or things to guide us. The issue is that when someone chooses to follow the guidance of others, they are making a decision. Then when things don’t work out well or happiness isn’t achieved, it’s easy to blame others.

The key factor I have learned is that it is important to follow one’s heart and move forward along the path that brings you joy. It is a lot easier to take these chances and move step by step towards one’s true destiny than it is to remain stagnant in a place that doesn’t allow for true happiness to radiate through.

Shelly Rachanow: What advice do you have for people who aren’t sure what their purpose is...or who aren’t feeling passionate or inspired about the life they are currently living?

Caryn FitzGerald: Give yourself a break. Take time for yourself, do something that makes you feel alive and excited. Reconnect with nature. Read a book that really catches your attention. Do something different. There are times when you won’t know exactly what your calling or destiny is. And that’s okay. If you are set up to do something that really causes a pit in your stomach or that nagging feeling of distress, don’t do it. Make small changes. Find new places to spend time, donate to others, add more laughter to your life. Begin removing the people and things you find not bringing you pleasure from your life. Then focus upon what you do what in your life and watch how the space will begin to fill in with these goodies.

Remember that you are responsible for how you fill your days, who you surround yourself with, what you contribute to the world. You don’t have to make all of the changes in one day, just take aim at what you’re seeking and continue to move forward, one step at a time.

Shelly Rachanow: And last, the 'If Women Ran the World Blog' question for everyone - What would you do if you ran the world?

Caryn FitzGerald: I would make it a requirement for everyone to learn about the power of intention and the Law of Attraction from childhood. I would like to see meditation as a daily practice, a time when the world goes silent and inward as a community for 10-15 minutes and people receive the peace, calm and clarity that accompanies meditation. I believe when people are at peace with themselves, it is reflected in their daily lives and in the way they treat others.

To learn more or contact Caryn, visit:

Blog: http://www.embracingmyjourney.com/

Website: http://www.carynfitzgerald.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheManifestingQueen

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/caryngf

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Teen Wisdom Inc: An Interview with Tami Walsh, M.A.

Tami Walsh, M.A. is President of the San Diego based teen and parent empowerment company, Teen Wisdom Inc. Tami is the first life coach for teen girls in the country and has personally impacted the lives of over 10,000 teenaged girls. Tami is committed to impacting 10 million teen girls by training 1,000 women worldwide on her cutting edge life coaching program.

A recognized expert in the teen community, Tami has appeared on both local and national radio and television shows including KUSI and SD 6 News, as well as TLC's 10 Years Younger and NBC's The Other Half. Tami has been a featured expert on the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.com website, has spoken to over 10,000 teens nationwide, and is the author of the top selling “Did-Wells Journal” for teen girls and popular audio series for parents, “Communication: Turning Battles Into Bridges With Your Teen.”

Currently Tami can be seen in the feature film, “The Compass” with other world renowned speakers and authors including Joe Vitale and Brian Tracy. Tami is a graduate of UCLA and received her Master's Degree from Loyola Marymount University. I was really excited to hear her insights about things we can do for teens today.

Shelly Rachanow: Teenagers often face some major pressure and stress in their lives. Tell us more about your program Teen Wisdom.

Tami Walsh: We are the world leader in teen life coaching and have helped over 20,000 girls in the last 11 years. Teen Wisdom Certified coaches worldwide are empowering girls to know and honor themselves, and to make decisions they can be proud of! We also focus on helping girls create a future they can be excited about!!

Shelly Rachanow: From cliques to drugs to boys to wanting to be accepted, it can be tough for teens to enjoy their teen years. But you’ve got some secrets to help them do just that. What are a few that you can share?

Tami Walsh: One of the key principles the Teen Wisdom Program is based upon is the importance of having a strong sense of self. One way we do this is through a tool we use called, “The Did-Wells Journal” which teaches girls how to define their worth based on the inner vs. their outer qualities. It is a tool girls use for at least 30 days and it transforms the way they see themselves. Teen girls today need to have an inner voice that is louder than that of the media, their peers, and oftentimes themselves. We also focus on teaching girls how to STOP the negative competition and comparison going on amongst them through our Oneness4Girls program which is one of my favorites!

Shelly Rachanow: What can parents do to better communicate with their teens, and to help them move through these years with self-love and self-respect?

Tami Walsh: I get asked this question a lot and the one thing I can say is: LISTEN, LISTEN AND LISTEN SOME MORE…oh, and WITHOUT JUDGMENT. This is not always easy but listening is the #1 need teens have from their parents, who often make them feel lectured and misunderstood.

Shelly Rachanow: You have a new program called Oneness4Girls that specifically addresses the gossip, rumors, and exclusion teen girls sometimes face. How does this program help tear down the walls girls can build around each other?

Tami Walsh: Yes, the Oneness4Girls program focuses on helping girls see each other as allies and ASSETS to one another vs. adversaries or “frenemies” It is time to empower girls to treat each other with respect. We don’t EVER want to see or read about one more girl who takes her own life due to bullying or cyberbullying by other girls.

Shelly Rachanow: You have a quote on your web site, which I love: Your Life = Your Habits. Your Habits = Your Life. What are some of the most important habits you encourage teens to adopt today.

Tami Walsh: “Get out of yourself” by helping someone else…daily.

Say “please” and “thank you” to your parents everyday!!

Find one thing you like about your body every time you look in the mirror. Yes, every time!

Dream big by making a list of your Top 100 dreams and take action on at least one of your dreams everyday.

See your mistakes as lessons. Just like you have tests in school, you will have tests in life.

Shelly Rachanow: And last, the 'If Women Ran the World Blog' question for everyone - What would you do if you ran the world?

Tami Walsh: I would have a large council of teen girls advising me on exactly how to run the world to make it a more harmonious, peaceful and equal place for all. Their wisdom, humor, and passion for living in the moment would ensure that I’d not only be the hippest dressed world leader, but the most relevant and inspired one, too!

To learn more about Tami’s Certified Teen Wisdom™ Life Coach Training Program and other programs to empower teen girls, please visit http://www.teenwisdom.com/. You can also find Tami on Facebook: Teen Wisdom, and Twitter: @TamiWalsh.