Pattie Parsnips Ft. Canadian Health&Care Mall News - Part 4

Do you have a plan?

Do you have a plan? Recently, I interviewed a 67-year-old woman who wants to get her GED (grade 12 equivalent). I asked, “Why is this so important to you? She said, “Because its the one thing in life that I want more than anything.”

Leaving school in the seventh grade, Maggie (not her real name) has lived her entire life in poverty. She worked odd jobs in her 20’s and 30’s as a dishwasher in restaurants but gave up because she couldn’t escape the constant abuse and harassment that followed her everywhere she worked.

Lets Celebrate Girl Power!

Lets Celebrate Girl Power! Real change occurs – one determined woman at a time.

This past weekend I had the privilege to attend my first ever International Women’s Day Luncheon. I left all expectations at the door and walked into a room filled with women of all age, race and background – mingling with those who live in poverty to those who are of great power and influence. We come together to celebrate the spirit of women – working together to bridge the gap in equality – social, economical, political and in health.

Keeping It Real

Keeping It Real “The true self does not need to be defended.It just needs to be expressed.”

As my clients walk into my office and sit at the small table, I pay attention to their reaction and body language. Often seeing slumped shoulders as they shift nervously in their seat and stare at their folded hands rather than make eye contact with me.

Within minutes of beginning our session, I start to see their transformation. Bodies start to relax, shoulders go back, eye contact comes easily and enthusiasm slowly starts to show. Why the sudden shift? I begin each session with “Tell me about yourself? And, What makes you happy? I ask these two questions because I truly want to make a connection with the person I’m sitting next to. The questions catches people off guard because they aren’t used to having someone take such a vested interest in what they have to say.

Choosing The Right Path

Choosing The Right PathLast September I was reading one of the gazillions “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books, called Tough Times, Tough People. Half way through the book I came across a short story about a 15-year-old girl who grew up in world filled with addictions and abuse.

In the book she talked about the pain and anger she feels towards her birth mother, asking the question, “How could a woman who gave birth to me and my three siblings put us through the worst possible things that no child should experience?”

She is strong in her convictions – telling us that she’s determined to take her life in a different direction then that of her mother and siblings. In her own words, “Recovering from the abuse, I have grown stronger. I am not going to follow my mother’s steps. I’m going to be who I want to be, not who everyone else wants me to be. I can’t change anyone else but myself so I’m changing the path of my family history.”

Happiness Matters Now!

A person will be as happy as they make up their minds to be – Abraham Lincoln
Happiness Matters Now

I find myself in the midst of being in a transitional state of the unknown. I’m literally hanging in limbo with absolutely no control over a situation and can very easily let it consume me and hold me prisoner.

I allow myself to feel and acknowledge my frustrations and anger but during this time of uncertainty I made a conscious decision to isolate the incident and continue enjoying my life’s journey without letting this challenge contaminate my happiness.

I’ve learned that no matter what life’s challenge crosses my path, I have the choice to either be happy or unhappy. It’s that simple.

Walk In Courage

Walk In Courage The dictionary defines courage as “the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.”

“I did it! Today, I gave my landlord a 60-day notice that I’m leaving! I’m scared to death and don’t know what the future holds for me but I’m ready to face whatever comes my way.” These are the words I heard over the phone from my brave sister who finally mustered up the courage to leave behind her big city life after more than 30 years.

Never Too Late

Never Too Late “I’m too old to start over” is what I constantly hear from a 58-year-old woman who is currently taking GED (grade 12 equivalent).

I recently met with Susan (not her real name) to help her figure out what career would be perfect for her. With tears running down her face she says, “By the time I get my GED and complete college, I’m going to be in my early 60’s. Who the heck is going to hire an old woman?”

Up until last year, Susan was able to hide her dirty little secret of not completing high school. Having an amazing career in the hospitality/food industry – managing hundreds of people and working directly with a well-known airline. A few years ago she had to give it all up because she was suddenly overcome with severe allergies and sensitivity to fragrances.

Life’s Turning Points

Life’s Turning Points A few days ago I received a call from a client who shared with me the great news that she has reached a Turning Point where she has decided to start a new chapter in her life by moving 4000 miles away from her comfort zone to live with her son and his family.

The decision didn’t come easy to this 56-year old woman who has been living in a black hole for the last 10 years. Tired of living in her misery and pain, she knew she had to make drastic changes in order to break out of her negative cycle. She is longing to fill the gaping hole in her chest from many years of living in a state of constant fear, anxiety and panic.

Ageless Attitude

rearview mirrorI recently read the book “I feel bad about my neck” by Nora Ephron. I chuckle as I study the cover and remember hearing about this book when it first came out in 2006. I guess it just wasn’t my time to read it until now.

From the first page, my laughter started and hit its peak when I read the line. “If you want to get really really depressed about your neck, sit in the backseat of a car, behind the driver and look at yourself in the rearview mirror”. At that moment I collided with her words – it was a true déjà vu moment.

My Lost Asset

My Lost Asset A few weeks ago I did my usual saunter past my husband in my snug jeans before I headed out to meet with my friends for dinner. I do a little wiggle, then say, “So how does my ass look in these jeans?” He says, “Nice and flat”

“What? I’ll have you know I was voted ‘nicest ass’ in high school.”

He laughed and said, “Are you sure you didn’t leave it there?”

Don’t get me wrong; my man loves my tushie. It’s just that we will do the banter dance whenever we learn something quirky about each other. It’s our way of keeping each other grounded. So in this case, he likes to throw it back at me whenever I mention my “high school badge of honor”.