Happy Soul Food Friday!
Have You Checked Out BizTown?
This week, after a prideful morning exercising my civic duty and being grateful to be able to vote on election day, I had the further good fortune to join my daughter’s 5th grade class at Junior Achievement’s BizTown in San Diego.
If you have never hear of it or been there, it is quite the experience as these 10 and 11 year olds invest many weeks at their respective schools prepping for “a day in the life of work”, in a real setting with real jobs getting real checks that get deposited at real credit unions (and of course banks).
5 years ago I was at BizTown as a parent volunteer with my son Arman, as Mission Fed launched our first ever Thank A Teacher Campaign with Cox and JA.
Here we are 5 years later on the 5th Anniversary of the hugely popular Thank a Teacher campaign, that has generated more than 25,000 thank you notes to thousands of teachers at hundreds of schools all over San Diego county, and now we have a gorgeous Mission Fed branch in BizTown, where half the 12,000 kids that attend BizTown every year do their banking and cash their paychecks all year long.
Here are some pictures memorializing and personalizing the occasion with our daughter Aysha:
- With her 5th grade teacher Sue Yant in front of the Mission Fed Thank a Teacher table
- Making her charitable contribution at the San Diego Foundation to help Animals
- With Joanne Pastula the President/CEO of Junior Achievement, San Diego
(Thanks Mission Fed, BizTown and Ada Harris Elementary)
For more information, here is a recent media story on the feel-good Thank a Teacher Campaign:
Thank a Teacher:
Be sure to spread the word as we share the love with our teachers!
(Thanks JA, Cox and Mission Fed and EVERY Teacher out there!)
Coping with Natural Disasters and Stress by Will Marre:
Last week one of Will’s clients asked him to develop a quick guide to help their employees deal with stress caused by hurricane Sandy. I thought you might be interested in what he sent out as I was.
Natural disasters are usually sudden, shocking, and stressful. You are normal if your feelings range from disbelief and anger to numbness so don’t get down on yourself for being human.
Symptoms of stress overload are:
Recurring feelings of fear, worry, and anxiety
Difficulty making decisions
Feeling powerless and depression
Achiness and stomach pain
If you are feeling this way, please consider some dos and don’ts.
Isolate yourself from others
Overeat, drink alcohol, or take drugs
Watch too much T.V. news about the disaster which may deepen your sense of helplessness and upset
(disturbing visual images are the most re-traumatizing)
Create a daily routine that includes 7-8 hours of sleep, light exercise, stretching, and healthy food.
Invest time with your friends, family, and co-workers.
Encourage people to share their stories and feelings but don’t dwell on them or repeat them over and over.
(Repeatedly retelling of terrible events causes your brain to create deeper, more disturbing memories.)
Encourage conversations about:
– What you’re grateful for in spite of the disaster
– Acts of service, help, and heroism
– Any positive things you’ve learned or will do differently
Watch (if you have power or internet access) humorous shows or movies that actually make you laugh.
Laughing creates feelings of optimism.
No matter how busy you are snatch 30 minute breaks to do something you enjoy—read an inspiring book, play a game, call friends who are out of the disaster oven and talk to them about the good things in yours and their lives.
Help others. One of the most stress resilient activities you can do is help others using your strengths and gifts.
We are each wired to offer help in one of five ways:
Teach: Teach the people you can touch these stress tips, how to make sure their water is clean, how to get their power back on, or any other helpful information.
Take Charge: Organize people so they can use their strengths, knowhow and resources to do the most good.
Create: Create methods, processes, and tools to help people get their lives back to normal.
Help: Directly lend a hand in helping others clean up their property, get an insurance adjuster, or any other direct way.
Fun: Spread joy. Encourage gathering, organize parties, be the activities director to get people re-engaged with their fun side.
So are you primarily a teacher, leader, creator, helper, or party planner? If you take a minute, you’ll see your gift among these five. It’s what you do well that brings you a great sense of satisfaction. Give your gift.
Enrich your private life. Take time to meditate on what you’re most grateful for now. Tell others what you’re grateful for. Stay fully present with others, hug, hold hands, enjoy moments of sacred silence where feelings of love are shared without words.
Every disaster is an opportunity to grow, serve, and love. The quickest way to heal is to both give of yourself and take care of yourself.
We don’t need to wait for a natural disaster to engage on some of these life enriching activates. Any time your life feels overwhelming is a good time to recharge your personal vitality.
Finally, the Gift of Dog:
These quotes will touch your heart!
Stay Soul-Filled Everyone!
There are two lasting bequests we can give our children.
One is roots. The other is wings.
~Hodding Carter, Jr.