Join myself and author Diane Vukovic on Oct 15/20, as we talk about her new book ‘Disaster Preparedness for Women’. Some very helpful tips and some heart-wrenching personal stories about safety. Don’t miss it!
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to cry,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director
WE MADE IT!!! Twenty years of serving our communities and country through numerous life-changing outreach programs with 100% volunteer positions and no paid staff! What an accomplishment for everyone involved. On September 9th, 2019, Be the Star You Are!® is 20 years old. Yes, it has been a labor of love for me to trudge forward despite our numerous setbacks. There was a time when BTSYA had only 43 cents in the bank and I knew I would have to close the doors within a week because we just didn’t have the funds available to proceed further. Sadness filled my soul.
Then a miracle happened. Actually…THREE miracles in the same day.
- #1 I opened the mail from my 18-year-old daughter who had just started her first year of college and was also working to pay her expenses. Out fell a check for $100 with a note that read, “Mom, this to help Be the Star You Are!® continue its great work. I know I’ll always have you, but if you quit, the other kids won’t have you. You CAN’T quit.”
- #2 The phone rang and a restaurant offered to give a percentage of their proceeds for a full day to Be the Star You Are!®
- #3 A big envelope arrived from the kids at juvenile halls that we had been providing free books and reading circles to for several years. In the envelope were numerous hand-written thank you notes from these incarcerated youth. The hand-crafted cards were colorful and happy with mostly misspelled words and messages saying “thank you, gracias, or love you for caring”. One note read “Not only was this my very first book, but it was the first gift I’ve ever received.” But the note that tugged at our heartstrings the most said the following: “Thank you for saving my life. Without Be the Star You Are!®, I would have committed suicide.”
With those three “coincidences” occurring on my darkest day, I went outside at night to look to the heavens. “If I’m supposed to keep up this mission of empowering women, families, and youth, I need to see a sign. Please send me a shooting star.” Yes, I was praying for a signal. And miracle #4 transpired. A bright star shot across the dark sky going from the far left to the far right so that there was not a chance I would miss it.
It hasn’t been easy leading a non-profit but we are still here and we are always making a difference. I am honored to work with women, families, and teens. Their successes in life give me great joy.
I want to thank every person and business who has crossed paths with our outreach through two decades: volunteers, sponsors, beneficiaries, and donors. Be the Star You Are!® has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals across the globe. We donated over $2 million in resources with a 100% volunteer workforce. Read about our amazing accomplishments at http://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results . Special thanks to Lamorinda Weekly, Mechanics Bank, and Moraga Hardware and Lumber for recent donations and to Justine Christoff for creating our new logos.
BTSYA still struggles to get funding and we hope you will be generous and make a tax-deductible donation to help us celebrate our 20th birthday. You can donate through PAYPAL GIVING FUND with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504
We are not throwing a party or a gala, even though we wanted to, as we will use every donated penny to help others live and thrive.
No, I never quit. And I hope you will follow your heart and never quit either.
In the trilogy of Be the Star You Are!® books, I always include the poem, Don’t Quit. You can support the charity by buying books, at https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store .
But I leave you with the last verse:
For Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But, sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.
What I’ve discovered is that success rarely comes on the first, second, third or fourth try. Sometimes even the hundredth. Keep trying and don’t give up. Even when you are rejected unnecessarily, consider each rejection as character building. You are a miracle of life, and you can do it. Give yourself a break, but never quit. You are a star! Embrace each “no” and exclaim, “Thank you, I am now that much closer to a yes!”
Together WE CAN!
Thank you for being part of our galaxy. Make sure to visit http://www.BTSYA.org to see our gallery of photos from the past twenty years. In this newsletter, we share a few!
Our new motto is “Communicate, Collaborate, Innovate!” Hope you’ll join us.
Blessings and Gratitude,
Be the Star You Are!®
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
VOLUNTEER WRITES ABOUT BTSYA EXPERIENCES
Volunteering is a great way for teens to band together or to work individually to make a difference in the community. BTSYA offers the opportunity to become a leader and learn communication skills with its numerous volunteer opportunities. Brigitte Jia is a university sophomore interested in helping to bring the flaws of society to light. A volunteer with BTSYA, she is a host and reporter on Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio, artist, and published writer. She enjoys reading, playing the violin, and weightlifting. http://www.expressyourselfteenradio.com
Read Press Pass with the full story from Brigitte:
Read the newspaper article: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1314/Local-literacy-nonprofit-celebrates-20-years-of-service.html
COME SEE US AT THE PEAR AND WINE FESTIVAL
On Saturday, September 28 from 11-3pm, Event Teen Director Siri Phaneedra and BTSYA volunteers will be offering fun and free activities at the Be the Star You Are!® booth at the Pear and Wine Festival at Moraga Commons Park in Moraga. Henna, face painting, reading circle, pop up concert, teen radio reporters, and more will be available to celebrate our 20th anniversary. The canopy will have the name of our sponsor, The Lamorinda Weekly. Stop by with the family, enjoy the festivities, and make a tax-deductible donation. More info at
To aid with sponsorship, email info@Bethestaryouare.org.
FIND BOOKS AND HONEST REVIEWS
Be the Star You Are!® partners with The Reading Tub to increase literacy by offering first hand, honest reviews of books for young people. BTSYA Star Book reviewers read and write reviews which are published at The Reading Tub at https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star-you-are/
and also in our creative community at http://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.html . You’ll find more than 3000 reviews of books. We thank Founder and Executive Director, Terry Doherty, for her passion and dedication to books while collaborating with Be the Star You Are!®
“WOW! 20 years. That is awesome. Perseverance and passion … you have them in limitless supply.” Terry Doherty, Founder and Executive Director, The Reading Tub
‘Give yourself a boost of positivity by buying copies of our signature books in the Be the Star You Are!® series. 100% of the proceeds benefit the charity and you’ll treasure the stories for a lifetime. Buy now at https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store.
PPS: Read how BTSYA is Making a Difference: https://www.ibpa-online.org/news/460747/IBPA-Member-Spotlight-Cynthia-Brian.htm
“I Am Because We Are”
by Karen Kitchel
Photo from Wiccanbipolarforum’s Post
An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told them that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits.
When he gave them the signal to run, they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat in a circle enjoying their treats.
When he asked them why they chose to run as a group when they could have had more fruit individually, one child spoke up and said: “UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?”
‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: “I am because we are.”
Contributed by volunteer Karen Kitchel who is passionate about scattering kindness. Currently, she serves meals to the homeless, is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. She wrote the chapter, The Gift of Adoption, in our book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World and she continues to volunteer as a contributor to our newsletter. www.scatteringkindness.com
LEND US YOUR EARS!
Get inspired, motivated, and informed with our two upbeat, life-affirming, innovative radio broadcasts from Be the Star You Are!® Radio heard on the Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel. StarStyle® airs Wednesdays LIVE from 4-5pm PT with host Cynthia Brian as your empowerment architect bringing you edu-tainment that will change your life for the better. http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are
Express Yourself!™ airs on Sundays at 3pm PT with teen and young adult hosts interviewing a variety of authors, musicians, celebrities, and experts on topics of interest to the younger generation. https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself
Visit www.BetheStarYouAreRadio.com to see the descriptions and photos.
To sponsor or advertise on any of our programs, please email info@BetheStarYouAre.org.
DISCOUNTS & MORE
We appreciate a direct donation most of all via PAYPAL GIVING FUND at https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504
Checks can be sent to PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556
Other easy ways that assist our mission and don’t cost you a penny!
1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882
2. Discounted books at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity
4. Use GoodSearch to search the web & buy from your favorite stores. Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too!http://www.goodsearch.com/goodto-go/be-the-star-you-are
5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA
6. BTSYA Logo Store: http://btsya.rylees.net
7. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 3300+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA:https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc
8. Designer Clothes to Buy or Sell: https://www.unionandfifth.com/charities/be-the-star-you-are-moraga-ca/shop
9. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” T-shirts and tanks $19.99 at StarStyle® Store: https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store
10. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4
Direct Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®
Positive Results: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results
About Us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us
How to Help: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help
Contact us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact
GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/
We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504
A FINAL STAR SPARKLE
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
Be the Star You Are! 501 c3, PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556.
Celebrating 20 years of stellar service to the world!
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
All donations are 100% Tax Deductible according to law. Thank you!
Read the newsletter: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/250bd40a0e/288055965/ac7221bc2f/
Commitment to Civility
Phoenix, Arizona , June 18, 2019 – A true commitment to civility has become priority for a group of professionals and entrepreneurs taking Phoenix by storm.
Dr. Vernet Joseph, World Civility Ambassador, National Statesmen, recognizes the gravity of responsibility relating to public life and befitting a citizen. Not taken lightly a necessity to be solution influenced by shifting increased division coarsening our culture too often fueled by vitriol of politics and public discourse.
Vernet, entrepreneur productivity speaker, best-selling author and the Founder/CEO of Live To Produce Enterprises, LLC energized the city as a world wind this year. The 3rd Annual Productive Business Summit positioned in Phoenix, at the Salvation Army Joan and Ray Kroc Center was a game changer. Attendees were startled with awe when City of Phoenix Mayor, Kate Gallego, issued a proclamation deeming June 8th as Phoenix Day of Civility, presented by the Mayor’s Director of Community Relations.
This day filled event encompassed speakers ranging from the My Financial Home CEO from California – Dr. Cozette M. White – who stressed the five biggest mistakes business owners make, and Arizona Financial Planner Ashley Folkes, who provided practical tips about being mentally, physically and financial fit, to World’s Best Connectors’ founder Denise Meridith, Crown Life Enterprises Founder Marquez Hughley, whose talk focused on increased levels of productivity, Mindset Changer CEO Jamal Cummins, whose message was “Don’t quit!” and PITCH Investors Live representatives who introduced a new innovative way for business owners and entrepreneurs to gain exposure and obtain funding.
The Productive Business Summit & Golden Rule Global awards is a collaboration with Dr. Clyde Rivers, the Honorary UN Ambassador at Large of the Republic of Burundi. Rivers has earned innumerable awards, including, in 2017, the United States Presidential Life Achievement Award for over 4,000 hours of serving the nation and humanity. He is also the Founder and President of iChange Nations (ICN), which improves the quality of life throughout the world by emphasizing honor, trust, dignity, and civil discourse. Cities and states are encouraged to join the cause. For example, communities throughout Indiana celebrated their fourth Annual World Civility Day in April, 2019.
Award recipients this year from the Productive Business Summit were presented by Dr. Vermet Joseph and Dr. Wil Moreland of Wil Moreland International. The recipients were:
IChange Nations World Civility Award (Danielle Williams),( Dr. Aikyna Finch), (Tasha “TC” Cooper),( Houssam Makki), (Bennie Randall), and (Dr. Stacie N.C. Grant)
IChange Nations Challenged Champions and Hero’s ( Anthony Ameen)
IChange Nations Women Add Value ( Dr. Cozette M. White), (PeShon ALLEN), ( Dr. Robin Hollis), (Roslyn Williams), ( Diana Gregory), (Beverly VanTull), (Nisha Witt), (Nakisha Graves King), (Dionne L. Archibald), (Pollyana Neely), (Chelsea Mandello), (Tammy Phipps), (Suzie Mills), (Johnnie Lloyd)
IChange Nations Community Ambassador (Harry Garewal), (Abraham James), (Anthony Ameen), (Sheriff Mark Lamb), (Ghazi Muhammad), (Derrick Smith), (Diana Gregory), (Denice Williams), (Dionne L. Archibald), (Pollyana Neely), ( Johnnie Lloyd), (David Winkler)
IChange Women of Global Solutions (Denise Meridith), (Tammy Phipps), (Marchelle Franklin)
Productive Business Global Agent of Change (Clarence McAllister)
Productive Business Agent of Change (Tara Laurie), (Larry Ross), (Christie Ellis)
Productive Business Community Game Changer Award (Harry Garewal), (Cozette M. White),(Sheriff Mark Lamb), (Sheriff Joseph Alvarado), (Ron Williams), (Dr. Aikyna Finch), ( Ron Williams) (Dr. Stacie N.C. Grant), (Beverly VanTull), (Dionne L. Archibald), (Johnnie Lloyd), (Denice Williams), (Pollyanna Neely), ( Houssam Makki), (Marchelle Franklin)
Productive Business Warrior Hero’s Award (Anthony Ameen), ( Tammy Phipps)
Productive Business Sustainable Developement Award (Chelsea Mandello)
Productive Business Award (Nakisha Graves King)
Productive Business Innovators Award ( Nisha Witt)
Productive Business Media ICON Award (Daniel Williams), (Roslyn Williams), (Derrick Smith), (PeShon Allen), (Javier Soto)
Productive Business Economic Developement Award (Diana Gregory)
Productive Business Entrepreneures (Abraham James), (Ghazi Muhammad), (Tamala Daniels), (Pamela Slim), (Robin Reed), (Suzie Mills)
Productive Business Philanthropy Award (Diana Gregory – Black Philanthropy Initiative)
Productive Business Volunteer Service Award (Robin Hollis)
Productive Business Veterans Award (Quincy Milam), (David Winkler)
Productive Business City of the Year – City of Phoenix
Another highlight of the evening was an attendee making an impromptu decision from the audience to enlist in a real live pitch contest for $10,000.00. Three minutes later Darryl Gooden of www.keepteachersteaching.org pitched an initiative to support teachers around the world inside and outside the classroom. The vote was unequivocally unanimous to award Gooden the grand prize.
When Joseph was asked what were the aha’s or moments that took his breath away? Joseph proclaimed, “Experiencing the power of relationships and collaboration with partners flying in from around the world.” Topped off by “Mayor Gallego’s proclaiming June 8th Phoenix Day of Civility.”
Civility lives on.
There are times in your life when you simply must listen to your gut. When your instinct leads to an impulse to take a certain action that will change the course of your planned out trajectory for the better. For some people it leads them to find their soulmate. For others it leads to finding a lifelong hobby. For my business partner Sheila and I, talking about rejuvenating the “down down” lead to VoiceAmerica Internet Radio and we couldn’t be more excited! We will be launching our show Life: Flat to FABulous Wednesday March 6 at 3 pm Eastern time and thought we would share the fun video that got us here. We hope you enjoy our clip and be sure to grab a tasty beverage and #gabwithfab Wednesday afternoons!
In honor of Mother’s Day, we are thrilled to bring on Kristina Kuzmic as our Special guest to discuss keeping our sanity while navigating the years of parenthood.
Kristina is energetic, funny, and obsessed with creativity, Kristina has an in-your-face perspective on issues of parenting and life in general.
She has become an internet sensation with her “mom-centric” videos about raising children and juggling all of life’s challenges. With over 600 million views across media outlets and websites worldwide, and over 2 million Facebook followers.
Kristina has quickly made a name for herself as a creative, yet unpretentious parent, as well as a world-renowned motivational speaker/comedian. In 2011, Kristina was chosen from over 15,000 applicants and crowned the winner of Mark Burnett’s reality TV competition: “Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star.” Kristina’s first reality show titled “The Ambush Cook,” aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Kristina’s blog posts have been published on various websites, including Oprah.com and The Huffington Post.
Do you have a question for Kristina? Please submit them up until Monday the 14th at 1:00 MST to email@example.com OR call in live at 2:00 MST for a chance to ask her directly!!
In a recent episode from my radio show, Uplift Your Life: Nourishment of the Spirit, my guest Meriflor Toneatto and I offer guidance and encouragement for women to create abundance in all areas of life. In today’s blog, in addition to my tip of the week and my silver lining story, Marian Stephens shares how she is using the information in this episode to change her life. All my previous blogs are on my website, paulajoyce.com, and the first posts with Marian’s Story went up last week. Be sure to check them out and follow Marian’s progress.
Dr. Paula’s Tip of the Week
This week’s show on empowering women to stake their claim on wealth aired on International Women’s Day. When women are empowered to manifest abundance and wealth, they are a powerful force of good in the world. As Mother Teresa said: It takes a checkbook to change the world.
I wrote 33 Tips for Self-Empowerment because when you are self-empowered, you are connected to your limitless higher self, your soul, your intuition, your gut feelings, your guidance. In the spirit of this book, my tip for you this week is to manifest through love. Before you do a manifestation ritual or ask for what you want, remind yourself that Love is all there is by saying: “I allow my mind to be open to the limitless potential of my Higher Self, and that Love connects my higher mind with my conscious mind.” Money is just another expression of Love. We can have an abundance of love and of money in our lives. We do not have to choose between them. Since Love is limitless so is our ability to manifest Money. It is a gift from God, and as we open our hearts more, we can bring in more Money. We live in a world of abundance, not scarcity, and what a wonderful thing to be able to share our wealth and help others. It’s hard to be a philanthropist if you don’t have enough Money to donate. I often ask my clients what good they would do in the world if they had a million dollars?
Last Saturday, I held my workshop, Discovering Hope and Silver Linings. I was delighted with the attendance and the response from the group. They even stayed for an added manifestation bonus I offered after the workshop was completed. Because the workshop was on March 3rd, which in numerology is 3/3¸a powerful number for manifestation, I did a special manifestation ritual with them at 3:33pm. All of those 3’s added even more power. Many people thanked me after the session and one woman gave me a hug saying: “I’ve been listening to your show. I feel like I know you.” I loved meeting someone who has been listening to the show. Another woman, Amanda, came because she wanted people to know that God is always with them. And the next day, I got an email from Katrina saying: “I read this in a book last night and it’s really resonating with me right now. It’s in line with what you spoke of, Dr. Paula, at our workshop: ‘Don’t overlook all the healthy trees. Even while you have pain in your heart, you can enjoy the many wonders of life – the beautiful sunset, the smile of a child, the many flowers and trees. To suffer is not enough. Please don’t be imprisoned by your suffering.’” I was touched by her taking the time to email me, the synchronicity of her reading this right after the workshop, and confirmation that she had gotten the message I was delivering.
Dr. Paula’s Silver Linings Story
In 2016 women were generally paid 80% of what men were paid – a gender wage gap of 20%. Closing this wage gap would eliminate poverty among working women and their families. Traditionally, women’s primary role is caretaker or nurturer; putting this construct aside will allow women to rise up and create better lives for themselves and their families.
Last week when I ran into an acquaintance, she shared how much stress she was under due to the demands that someone was placing on her. She had even cancelled her vacations for him and the extra responsibilities were exhausting her. She felt obligated to put his desires over her own needs. It was clear that in doing so she was putting herself at risk physically and emotionally. I knew she had been in an abusive marriage and had had cancer a few times. I was seeing a pattern and shared that this might be a life lesson for her to learn that everyone else was not more important than she is. I reminded her that if the well is dry, you have nothing to give and asked if he was worth compromising her own health. She said others had told her she needed to serve him with gratitude, compassion and kindness because he was leaving her money. I responded that I didn’t believe this advice was in her best interest. Sometimes we must give to ourselves the love, kindness and compassion we so easily give to others. I suggested that she think about all she had done for him over the years and continues to do and that sacrificing her own well-being wasn’t a good energy exchange. I recommended that she continue to do what needed to be done and to draw boundaries at unreasonable requests. I learned later she appreciated my advice and was making new choices. Sometimes we must circle around and through a lesson several times until we finally see the pattern and choose to break it. Her silver lining in this very challenging situation was to finally choose self-love and set strong boundaries.
Marian Stephen’s Story
Before listening to this week’s episode, I had assumed that it would not really apply to me. I have been out of the workforce my entire adult life, and only briefly worked after I graduated from college. I have been a stay-at-home-mom for many years, and I am on disability for multiple sclerosis. The cognitive problems associated with my illness make office work a challenge, and the physical problems make manual labor a challenge. So, I have written having a full-time career off. Again, I am so grateful to have Dr. Paula and her show in my life because it is helping me to break through barriers and equipping me to become the best version of myself. Each episode gives me a new tool, and I find myself encouraged and uplifted. Meriflor Toneatto talked about mindset, and I realized that everything I described above is the mindset that I have had for many years, and it is very limiting. Maybe if I change this mindset, I can find avenues to earning money that I have never considered. It feels liberating to open my mind to the possibility of being creative and finding unique ways to work outside of traditional employment.
Do you believe you deserve to be wealthy? This is the question that Dr. Paula asks listeners this week. While it does not make me feel very good, my honest answer is “no”. And it is not that I do not feel worthy of wealth, but rather that it is not due me because I cannot easily or realistically obtain it within a traditional context. I realized I have rather antiquated views on women’s roles in the workplace and at home. I consider myself to be a feminist, but I do not always apply the tenets of feminism to myself. I am comfortable in my role as nurturer; it is easy to put everyone else’s needs ahead of mine and call that my role in life. In fact, being a nurturer of family at home is far less frightening than putting myself out into the world and earning money. But, it is not completely fulfilling to be primarily a caretaker, when I believe my gifts for nurturing and love extend beyond the boundaries of home. I think that I can and will expand my views on my role in and outside of the home and begin to envision a life of abundance.
My mentor, Angie, was so inspired by this week’s episode that she is buying Money Manifestation & Miracles and going to consult with Meriflor Toneatto. After listening, she was inspired to action and called her mentor for coaching. She is amid making a life change, part of which is building her own business. The main thing she gained from listening is realizing her worth. She often feels guilt when setting the price for her consulting services, but realized she is worth the price she charges. She said she is “worth every penny”. She is tenacious, creative, a joy to work with, and working hard to establish a business that will sustain herself and her dogs. Angie feels empowered to keep growing her business and to create a life of abundance that will enable her to care for herself and to help others – this show made it clear that the Universe offers abundance, you just must be willing to receive it.
For more shows on changing one’s mindset, please listen to:
- Your Words Matter with Robin Perry Braun
- Master Your Thoughts with Reverend Karen Fry
- The Power of Writing Our Personal Stories to Heal, Grow and Transform Our Lives with Sandra Marinella
FREE CHAPTER, THE ULTIMATE CREATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING PROCESS, FROM MY BEST-SELLING BOOK, NOTHING BUT NET
To learn more about my unique process that removes hidden blockages, helps you solve your most challenging problems, and achieve success with ease and speed, sign up for my newsletter and receive the chapter as my gift: http://paulajoyce.com/wpsite/newsletter-sign-up/
In this edition of LIFEadvice, life coaches Kim Giles and Nicole Cunningham share their top 20 tips for being a better parent.
Before we get into our top 20 tips, we want to caution you to not get overwhelmed by the long list. You don’t have to master them all this week. You might want to just work on one thing each week, or go through the list and pick two to practice this week. We are going for small steps of progress at a time.
The truth is, parenting is one of the hardest, most guilt-producing challenges on the planet. No matter how hard you try, you may always feel like it wasn’t good enough. So, don’t even try to shoot for perfection, just shoot for a little growth every day. Also, remember some children are a lot more challenging than others, and cut yourself some slack if you have a challenging child.
Here are our 20 tips to be a more awesome parent:
1. Teach your kids that all human beings have the same value and our value can’t change.
Make this the everyday language in your home. This will help all of you to be bulletproof, avoid judgment and have more confidence and self-esteem.
2. Trust yourself.
You are the only one entitled to know what is right for your child. Listen to your gut daily and follow your instincts.
3. Trust them and let them be different from you.
They will choose their perfect journey and it may mean making choices you wouldn’t make or approve of. When this happens, honor their right to be different from you and still have your love and admiration for the good soul they are.
4. Give lots of validation and praise on the right things.
Don’t praise their appearance, performance or property as much as you praise their kindness, honesty, love and other admirable qualities. Help them see those as who they are.
5. Do not compare yourself or your kids to others.
Teach them we are all incomparable and on a totally unique journey, so it makes no sense to compare.
6. Help your child learn to problem-solve.
Instead of solving their problems, ask questions like “Well what could you do? What options do you have?” until they figure out how to solve things on their own. Teach them to brain storm and to trust themselves that the answers will come, if we just keep looking.
7. Take care of yourself.
A happy parent is an awesome parent, so have a life and activities outside of being a parent (if you need them) and don’t feel guilty about that. The more fulfilled you are in life, the more balanced your parenting will be. Don’t make the kids your entire existence or you will lose yourself when they grow up.
8. Let most stuff go.
Choose your battles carefully, ignore garden variety annoying kid behavior, don’t create drama by getting involved in every little thing. Work on having thicker skin and more patience by trusting that things will work out.
9. Practice what you preach.
Kids lose respect for adults fast when we don’t do the very things we tell them they should do. Don’t yell at them for yelling, for instance. Watch the things you say and make sure you are teaching by example.
10. Let them fall, fail and be disappointed.
Your job is to prepare them for life in the real world and protecting them from all sadness does not prepare them. Let them make mistakes, forget things, lose things or fail now, while you can use the experience to teach them how to deal with emotions and the tough stuff of life.
11. Ask questions and listen more than you speak.
What your child needs from you most is to know he/she is important, valued and good enough. Spend time asking lots of questions about what they think, feel, see and experience. Help them have a place to process emotions and experiences, without advice or lectures. Just let them think things through and figure things out on their own. It takes more time, but it prepares them to be capable adults.
12. Treat them with respect and get respect back.
If you disrespect your children and what they think and feel, they won’t respect you either. Respect must be earned by modeling mature, kind, respectful behavior yourself.
13. Have one-on-one dates with each child regularly.
And do #12.
14. Work on being happier, more fulfilled and content yourself.
The single greatest thing you can do for your family is work on your own self-esteem and fulfillment in life. A happy parent is more patient, loving and wise.
15. Talk about uncomfortable topics often.
One conversation about sex, drinking or drugs won’t do it. Kids need to know you are a comfortable and safe place to discuss the hard stuff of life, all the time. If you aren’t comfortable, seek some professional help yourself.
16. Do one thing at a time.
Don’t try to help with homework while you cook. Do homework first and give them all your attention, then make dinner. You will not only make them feel important, but you will feel less stressed, too.
17. Limit screen time for everyone — even you.
Too many hours a day looking at a screen isn’t good for anyone. Plan outdoor activities and interact with real, live people daily.
18. Apologize and show them vulnerability.
When you make a mistake, react badly or lose your temper, own it and say you’re sorry. Kids learn great life lessons when adults are vulnerable and humble enough to apologize and then try harder. Don’t expect them to improve themselves if you aren’t, too.
19. See parenting as your classroom.
We often believe it’s our job to educated our children (which it is), but it is also their job to educate us. Your children are the teachers who will facilitate your greatest lessons in patience, forgiveness, tolerance, self-control, love and trust. See every parenting moment as your perfect classroom today, and you will be amazed how much more mature you behave.
20. Learn about your child’s core fears and values.
These are the factors that drive all their behavior. When you understand what they value most (people and connections, tasks and performance, things and money, or ideas and beliefs) you will understand their key motivator and your best leverage for discipline. Understand their core fear (either failure or loss) and you will understand their trigger and what brings their worst behavior out. While you are at it, learn about your own fears and values too, so you can understand how you are different. This level of understanding about each other is a game changer.
Also remember — you don’t have to be a perfect parent to be the perfect parent for your child. You may mess up a bit (we all do), but choose to believe it’s the exact way that they are supposed to learn, for their perfect journey to unfold. Trust that things will work out, and be patient and loving with both of you.
You can do this.
Breaking Free from Family Trauma and Drama
In a recent episode from my radio show, Uplift Your Life: Nourishment of the Spirit, my guest Jodee Prouse and I delve into the difficult and often painful topic of abuse. Please listen in order to become empowered and begin letting go of destructive relationships. In today’s blog, in addition to my tip of the week and my silver lining story, Marian Stephens shares how she is using the information in this episode to change her life. All my previous blogs are on my website, paulajoyce.com, and the first two posts with Marian’s Story went up last week. Be sure to check them out and follow Marian’s progress.
Dr. Paula’s Tip of the Week
One of the most difficult answers to give in life is often: NO. Sometimes our inner voice whispers “no”, sometimes it bellows “no”, however it is often our nature to disregard our first instinct. Use this tip to begin to take control of your needs and wants; doing so will only bring you closer to your higher self.
Your tip for the week from my e-book, 33 Tips for Self-Empowerment. I wrote this book because when you are self-empowered, you are connected to your limitless higher self, your soul, your intuition, your gut feelings, your guidance. Our limitless higher self is the wiser part of ourselves, the part that knows the Truth of who we are. Our logical mind is so loud, however, that it often drowns out the whisper that is trying to guide us on our authentic path. As you learn to listen to the still small voice within, you will begin to feel at peace. Because your limitless higher self has direct access to the Divine, it is through this connection that miracles occur, like unexpected healing, healthy relationships, peace and wealth. This connection gives you an inner foundation of love, which eliminates fear. It is through this love that you can heal the planet and yourself and make the shift into the 4th dimension. Our higher self helps us find safety and even save our own life and others’ lives. We must train ourselves to trust our higher self and never go against it. Don’t talk yourself out of something that feels right to you or let what others say or think influence what you do. Please use these tips. Strengthen Your Boundaries: Learning to say NO to what you do not want in your life is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself. Avoid acting when you hear the words “I should” and “I must”. Take action when you hear the words “I want to.” Many of us, especially women, have been raised to believe that we are responsible for everyone else’s happiness and success. We have been taught to put our own needs and desires last. To do anything else would be selfish. I remember watching my mother take her food last and to only refill her plate after everyone else had eaten their fill. I learned to do the same. No words had to be spoken. I observed what a mother was supposed to do. I also watched as she and her sister enabled their two alcoholic brothers. Neither sister was able to face the truth of their brothers’ alcoholism. One brother died of cirrhosis of the liver, although my aunt insisted that his death was due to bad medical care. The other brother was a binge alcoholic and during his sober spells, my mother would be convinced that he was not an alcoholic even though he always went back to drinking. The sisters cooked for the brothers, took care of them and put up with the rage and abuse thrown at them because that’s what family does. I learned from them to put up with way too much for way too long in my own family. I learned to live with false hope until I finally realized that if I didn’t take care of myself and set boundaries, nothing would ever change. I acknowledged that I couldn’t save them, but I could save me. That became my new goal. I vowed to change the family pattern by changing myself and showing the rest of the family, by example, that they, too, could make different choices and save their own lives. This was not a selfish choice in the negative sense of the word. It was a hard choice that was not welcomed by the other family members. Some stopped talking to me and others are still angry with me after 13 years. Breaking dysfunctional family patterns takes courage, strength and commitment. What keeps me going is the joy of the life I have now and the hope that my choices will inspire others to break away and create the life they deserve.
Dr. Paula’s Silver Lining Story
Abuse is an epidemic in the United States – a crime against humanity. By shedding light on the dynamics of abuse, empowering survivors with good self-help tips, and pointing survivors towards professionals who can help heal the damage they have endured, the cycle of abuse can be stopped in its tracks.
The legacy of abuse is a hard one, and at least half of the population has or will experience abuse in their lifetime. Sometimes it’s one incident and sometimes it’s on-going. The challenge for the victim is to wake up to the truth, give up false hope and expand the compassion they have for everyone else to themselves. Some of us are so busy trying to save other people that we don’t notice that we are the collateral damage.
My silver lining is that having gone through this process myself, I now get the joy of helping other people shed their pain and old ways of thinking and reacting and move to a place of self-love and healthy boundaries. This week one of my clients reached the point where she was finished being present for her family’s abuse. She has accepted that nothing she says or does will change their behavior toward her. The healthier she became and the stronger her boundaries became, the louder and crueler her family became until the entire extended family rallied around her abusive brother, shunning her and making her out to be the abuser. Her silver lining is that it got so big and outlandish that she was able to see the truth and remove herself from the drama. Now she can refocus her energy where it belongs, on herself, letting go of the pain, healing her heart and creating a life with purpose.
Marian Stephens’ Story
I anticipated this episode would be difficult to listen to because I am a survivor of domestic violence, but, instead, I found myself uplifted with a renewed sense of purpose. I was not in the abusive relationship for a prolonged period, but long enough to be life altering. The details are unimportant, but leaving the relationship meant moving myself and three (soon to be four) kids in with my parents. While I have done a great deal of healing, I still struggle with guilt. The guilt I feel is multifaceted and, at times, endless. I primarily feel guilty I exposed my kids to abusive behavior. Even though I know guilt is toxic and not truth, I still let it weigh heavily on me. I think if I can allow myself to let go of the guilt – maybe by transferring the feeling of guilt to one of regret as proposed in the episode – I can progress in my healing process.
In this episode Dr. Paula asks listeners: Think about something you are doing that you feel you “should” be doing but is actually hurting you. I feel like I should be able to do everything for my kids. I attempt to, and it is detrimental to my health. It is also hurting my relationship with my children. I feel beholden to them, and they feel resentful when I drop the ball. I realize after today’s episode I have felt so guilty that I am compensating by assuming most household responsibilities. As if I can erase what happened by making their lives as easy as possible.
A theme of today’s show is that each person is responsible for their own life. Even children. This helps me see that I am doing a disservice to myself and my children by denying them responsibility. We are in our own home now, so this is an opportunity to correct this imbalance. I want to empower my boys – to teach them how to navigate life with confidence. In trying to make them feel completely taken care of, I am stripping them of their ability to learn and grow – their autonomy. I can begin to give them each more responsibility and watch them blossom.
I regret that my kids and I had to endure such a traumatic experience. But, I want, need, to break free from the guilt. My purpose is to ensure that my boys grow into adults that would never abuse another person or repeat the behavior they saw. Forgiving myself for all that happened is no easy task, but to not is to never truly move past it. The support Dr. Paula gives her listeners gives me the courage to continue to find forgiveness for myself, to become more introspective, and to make real change.
Dr. Paula’s Response to Marian
I’m impressed with your self-awareness and commitment. When you feel guilt or regret, you can release that energy by:
- asking yourself: What did I learn? How have I grown? How do I do things differently now? How can I do them even better next time?
- focusing on self-respect for the courage and strength you have to leave abuse and be a good role model for your children.
- having self-compassion and forgiveness for the younger you who didn’t know any better. Love yourself.
Remember, we are all here on earth to learn and to grow in love and compassion, including self-compassion.
For more shows on healing from abuse, and trauma, please listen to:
- Healing Familial Trauma with Beilah Ross
- From Charm to Harm with Amy Lewis Bear
- Yes, Boys Must Cry with Gus B. Kaufman, Jr.
FREE CHAPTER, THE ULTIMATE CREATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING PROCESS, FROM MY BEST-SELLING BOOK, NOTHING BUT NET
To learn more about my unique process that removes hidden blockages, unleashes your creativity and helps you solve your most challenging problems, sign up for my newsletter and receive the chapter as my gift: http://paulajoyce.com/wpsite/newsletter-sign-up/
I wondered if you had any suggestions for making Valentine’s Day less painful, after just going through a divorce. I’m sure there are lots of singles out there who find this holiday a painful reminder about the fact they are alone. Maybe you could give us all some ways to make this week easier.
For many people this holiday is a Single Awareness Day, not a celebration of love. The important thing to remember is that your experience or the way you think and feel about this week is completely dependent on your perspective, and you can choose your perspective. A date of the calendar cannot make you feel alone or unwanted. It is your thoughts about the date that create your feelings and your thoughts are in your control.
The problem is that most of us are quite used to letting our subconscious programming (that comes from our past experiences) drive our perspective and how we feel. We think we can’t help feeling or thinking how we do, so we just accept whatever ideas or feelings show up.
The first step in changing how you feel about this week, is owning responsibility for your feelings and accepting that if you feel upset or sad, you are choosing to feel upset or sad. If you own the power to choose your thoughts, you have the power to change them.
But understand, there is nothing wrong with feeling upset or sad, lonely or discouraged. These feelings are part of the human experience and you may need to let yourself feel them and work through them. Just own that you don’t have to live there. You have the power to change your story around this day, anytime you want to.
There will be a subconscious story that shows up in your head automatically about Valentine’s Day. This subconscious story might be a fear-based victim story or one of self-pity or sadness. You can take some time to experience the story that shows up, but then ask yourself if this story is doing you or anyone else any good?
If it isn’t serving you, creating growth or joy, then you may want to create a better, more positive story. You have the power to do that. This day will be whatever you decide to make it according to the story you tell yourself. Here are some ideas that might help you create a more positive story:
1. Valentine’s Day is mostly a commercial occasion driven by stores that want sales. Keep that in mind.
2. Not having someone in your life right now does not affect your value as a person. At all. People in a relationship are not better than those without one.
3. Decide to see all human beings as having the same exact value, no matter what they do or what their relationship status is. Make this a principle of truth about all people, across the board, and you will feel it is the truth about yourself too.
4. Understand that nothing means anything until you apply meaning to it. The date on the calendar doesn’t mean anything. The fact you are single doesn’t mean anything. Choose not to apply meaning to meaningless things. If you choose to apply meaning that makes you more depressed and sad, that is your choice, but own the choice and be responsible for it.
5. You will create a story around the day, one way or another. If you don’t create a story consciously, you might create a fear-based one subconsciously. I recommend you choose to create one consciously and choose a story that serves you and makes you feel strong, loving, valuable and worthy.
6. Remember it’s not being single that is the problem, it’s what you tell yourself it means that you’re single on Valentine’s Day. Tell yourself it just means there is still something you are meant to learn right now that requires singleness to learn it. It’s not because you aren’t good looking or a catch, it’s not that no one likes you, it’s just not the right lesson for you right now.
7. Take some time to account for all the benefits of being single. Remind yourself why relationships are difficult and can be a struggle. It will help you stay grateful for the blessings about where you are. Gratitude for everything that is good in your life really helps.
8. Plan something fun to do on Valentine’s. Get together with friends and create a positive experience.
9. Make the day about pampering yourself. The great part about being single is all the time you can devote to taking care of yourself. What do you need to do for you, to be your own Valentine? Treat yourself great.
10. Make the day about service. There are always people in need, who have it worse than you. When you focus your energy on serving others, you take the focus off you and you will feel terrific about yourself.
You can do this!