Wednesday, January 18, 2017

April Koontz ~ Special Guest


Common Threads by Jan Steinle

"This is a reminder that there are common threads of love woven through our Caregiver journey that connect us, while navigating the emotional journey" 

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Introducing Special Guest Blogger ~ April Koontz ~ Founder of Daughters Unite
Entrepreneur, Marketing Consultant, Social Worker & Song Writer


What? I’m a caregiver? Hmm…I thought I was a daughter.

Are you a female who checks on an aging parent or disabled loved one in your life? Do you provide rides to appointments, manage finances and/or keep up with their medications? Do you worry about your loved one’s safety? Welcome to being a daughter and being a Caregiver. It’s amazing the immediate understanding women share when the ‘plight of the daughter’ conversation occurs. The energy the conversation evokes is truly palpable. A stranger becomes an immediate ally. An introvert talks for hours on end. An extrovert is initially speechless and then immediately suggests ‘getting the girls together’. It’s an instant connector that breaks through any and all superficial masks and reaches deep into matters of the heart.

Unfortunately, daughters don’t typically see themselves as ‘Caregivers’ until they’re well into the Caregiver journey and have been told they’re a Caregiver by a medical professional. How and why does this happen? To me, it’s simple. We’re not born with this identity or term in our consciousness. We’re born a daughter (or son). We’re born a niece (or nephew). We’re born a sister (or brother). ‘Caregiver’ is a temporary identity suddenly thrust upon us at some point in our adulthood (that is, unless you’re one of the 1.4 million young caregivers out there under the age of 18). The result? Unimaginable stress. Finding oneself faced with a sick parent or other adult loved one is stressful enough. Not knowing where to turn for help makes it a million times more stressful. There are layers and layers of grief and financial and legal paperwork and a healthcare system so complex that most healthcare professionals can barely navigate it. When the inevitable crisis hits – the fire hose of emotion and incoming medical information sprays us into a state of paralysis; we’re not sure where to go, who to talk to or what step to take next. We don’t know what we don’t know and we don’t know we’re a Caregiver. 


Here’s the good news: Since launching Daughters Unite across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, I've had the honor and privilege of connecting with some amazing daughters. For example, Anne Tumlinson, founder of Daughterhood and Liz O'Donnell, founder of Working Daughter are both incredibly talented women working hard on our behalf to bridge the gap between the ‘daughter’ and ‘caregiver’ identity. Other daughters like Denise Brown, founder of www.caregiving.com, Connie Chow, founder of www.dailycaring.com and Elizabeth Miller, founder of www.happyhealthycaregiver.com are working to build safe and supportive online communities for Caregivers to connect. Finally, a host of authors and Caregiving consultants such as our own, Carole Brecht of SanGenWoman, share their experience, strength and hope through the books they've written, the posts, tweets and images they share on a daily basis and their own social media communities they’re building. We’re everywhere. And every one of us has a story. All we need to do now is become visible much earlier in the process to those who haven’t yet identified as a Caregiver.

What are your thoughts on how we can best reach those who haven’t been exposed to the term, Caregiver yet? We’d love to hear your comments here and/or at www.daughtersunite.com. We’re claiming 2017 as The Year of the Daughter and we’re incredibly grateful to the SanGenWoman community for your support! Happy New Year!







To follow and contact me:
Website: www.daughtersunite.com.  

Thank you April for being my guest blogger today! I appreciate all that you're doing to bring us together under your Daughters United social media platform. It's been great getting to know you! You continue to inspire me daily. 

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Check out my book The Artistry of Caregiving: Letters To Inspire Your Caregiving Journey on Amazon in Paperback & Kindle - A book to read on the go, your daily companion, letting you know your understood and not alone~




A recent review of my book page on Amazon from April:

“Heartfelt, inspiring and amazingly creative. This book is an intimate and poignant work of art that speaks directly to the different attributes of a person who has stepped into the privileged yet painful role of Caregiver. Thanks, Carole for welcoming me into your sacred Caregiving journey. I’m in awe of your artistic genius and the joy she’s bringing to so many others who are facing the often lonely, scary and demanding job of primary Caregiver. Thanks also for the introduction to Zentangle Inspired Art. It’s like meeting a new friend. Well done!”

Thank you April, so glad you enjoyed!

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FREE Kindle app on my book page~
-To get the most accurate preview of the Look Inside feature on my book page - view on a computer. 



Best Wishes, Carole
cbrecht4@gmail.com


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To read my recent interview with www.nextactforwomen.com

To read my recent interview with www.ellensmithwrites.com 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book: The Artistry of Caregiving bit.ly/ArtistryofCareCBrecht

Instagram: bit.ly/SanGenIN

Twitter: bit.ly/SanGenTW


Sign up to stay connected on TangledArtBoutique.com


Copy right 2017

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Kathryn Harrison ~ Special Guest


Just Wing It by Jan Steinle

"Not sure what to do next...just wing it!"

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~Introducing special guest - Kathryn Harrison~
Artist, Author, Publisher & Marketing Consultant

“Anything that is of value in life only multiplies when it is given.” --- Deepak Chopra

My mother’s spectacular garden enriched my world. But when my mother became afflicted with dementia, it didn’t take long for her garden to reflect her changed state. Neglect and overgrowth quickly covered the beautiful blooms. Still, the garden offered great gifts; a relaxing place for my father, an adventuresome place for my kids, and a quiet, safe place for my mom. One day, my young daughter made the connection between the weeds in the garden and my mother’s dementia. She remarked that like the weeds taking over the flowers, the disease was taking over her Nana’s brain. This clever observation was the inspiration behind my children’s book about Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias called Weeds in Nana’s Garden. Following our family’s journey with the disease, I decided to use my art and communication skills to create this illustrated children’s book, set in a garden like my mother’s. My wish is that the book is able to extend beyond our backyard to give understanding, comfort and support to many families all over the globe who are touched by dementia. It will also help raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of Canada – an organization that supported us greatly during my mom’s illness.*

After almost a year since it was first published, I am happy to report that my book has spread to many places around the world. I have customers throughout North America, the UK, and even as far away as Australia and Singapore. But what has astounded me the most has been the immense number of people all over the globe who have helped with it! Getting the book into more hands has been significantly aided by the hard work of many generous individuals! A huge force of Bloggers, Podcasters, Dementia CafĂ© Operators, Care Home Staff, Teachers, Bookstore Owners, Reviewers and Purple Angel Ambassadors have embraced my book and then made great efforts to raise awareness of it. These giving and thoughtful individuals have played such an important part in getting the word out…but it doesn’t stop there! Soon, the book will be available in other languages like French, German and Portuguese, due to the generosity of my helpers! Being exposed to this vast group of selfless people has been extremely rewarding. I think the strength and number of these new supportive relationships has been my biggest unexpected gift from this whole experience! Thank-you!

My belief that the world is full of open, giving people has been reinvigorated. Almost every day I encounter another stranger who has lent a hand to lift my efforts up further! I had gotten cautious with people over time but this kindness has opened up my heart tremendously, and as I give more, I am rewarded with further benefits. What an important lesson for me! Not so long ago, I connected with Carole Brecht after we were both featured on the compassionate online book resource blog, AlzAuthors. She is tirelessly working to support dementia Caregivers and thus invited me to be part of her blog today. I am thankful to be included in her efforts. Joining together, we can be even more effective at helping people.  My friendship with Carole and all the special new relationships I have formed in the last 12 months have very firmly further enriched my world! Let my sharing be inspiration for you too!

And if you interested in forming a connection with me, I’d love to hear from you! I’m a Canadian living just outside of Toronto but you can find me easily on Instagram (kathryn.harrison.art), Twitter (KathHarrisonArt), by email (kharrison@flipturnpublishing.com) or through the website, http://weedsinnanasgarden.com.
*$1 from the sale of each book will be donated to the Alzheimer Society of Canada

Happy New Year to all! Best Wishes, Kathryn




I highly recommend Kathryn's book - a joy to read with her beautiful illustrations. Need help explaining what's happening to a youngster, check out this book! Thank you for being a guest today my friend.

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Check out my book The Artistry of Caregiving: Letters To Inspire Your Caregiving Journey on Amazon in Paperback & Kindle - A book to read on the go, your daily companion, letting you know your understood and not alone~

Best Wishes in the new year!
Carole
cbrecht4@gmail.com





To read my recent interview with www.nextactforwomen.com

To read my recent interview with www.ellensmithwrites.com 

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To follow on Instagram: bit.ly/SanGenIN

To follow on Twitter: bit.ly/SanGenTW

To follow on Facebook: facebook.com/sangenwoman

Sign up on TangledArtBoutique.com to stay connected.


Copyright 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

~Bye-Bye 2016 ~ Hello 2017!~



~Order Out Of Chaos~
by Jan Steinle

"I think of creating ‘order out of chaos’ when I look at this…with focus, structure and intention, we can bring order to a chaotic world."

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Looking over this past year and the new year approaching, we can reflect and see how far we've come from where we were a year ago. How well were you navigating through 2016? Did you meet your most pressing goals - personal and professional? 

There is no denying that life hands us challenges and circumstances that may not be of our choosing, or to our  liking, but we keep on. The last ten years of my life have been riddled with situations that I had no control over. I look back and realize I discerned what was important to me by where I directed my energy. 

Some questions I ask myself: What does purpose look like? Do I have a reason to get up in the morning with bright eyes, seizing the day with a warm heart and a purposeful agenda. What will I do that is productive in my day, serving others? Is my attitude aligned with my goals? What makes my heart beat a little faster, brings out the passion in me and directs me to where I am meant to be? Where am I meant to be? How do I figure it out? 

I ended up in Dr John Stanko's classroom in 2014, (purposequest.com) trying to figure out what path to take next after Mom died. By the end of that year and only two months from Mom's life ending, I decided to, no I needed to write my book - The Artistry of Caregiving: Letters To Inspire Your Caregiver Journey - a book of comfort, hope, peace, love and recovery that includes support and affirmations through my words and Zentangle Caregiver Art. I had tunnel vision for two years until I completed the book project. It was my heart, my soul, my being, that the book became my sole focus - to help others while living in the slippery slope of Caregiving. I'm happy that I completed that project and I feel good about what I've shared with others. I hope I make a positive difference in the reader's life. There is nothing more for me to do with that project, other than sharing with you that my book is now available on Amazon in paperback and kindle. A labor of love ~ a song to sing to you in a hopeful, affirming way, to compel you to pick up my book and read the words and see the images that speak to your heart, letting you know you're understood and not alone. 




In October of this year I won lst Place for the TAZ - The Authors' Zone Award in Pittsburgh, PA, under the self-help category. It was a thrill and the icing on the cake for this project. I also noticed just prior to that event on the Proof page of the book (last page), Mom's birth date is the time stamp! The book had been in my possession since August and I never noticed it. The night I discovered it I had biG tears of joy - Mom gave us her blessing in black and white! My sister Jan designed the book cover and my Dad was my original editor. The book is a beautiful reflection of my family life. Truly a blessing to behold. 


So, what's next? I'm currently working on a new launch for Caregivers with a new partner. We are all about Caring for the Caregiver, Nurturing the Nurturers. We're projecting to launch by mid-February and we're so excited to share something new that we think will have a positive impact in your life and your Caregiving Journey. Stay tuned... As the new year approaches and new horizons present themselves, grab hold of the support and resource we will be supplying with great motivation, passion and heart to share with you in the coming months. For now, it remains a secret, but soon enough we will start our joint venture together with bright eyes and big dreams, sharing from our hearts.

Take some time the next few days to determine what will take place in your life in 2017. Time marches on and there is no stopping time, no matter how we are feeling. Seize the day and open your mind and heart to where you will be lead, how you will be lead and who you will impact in the coming year. 

If you don't know right now where you want to focus your energy, give yourself some room to breathe. Read some books on purposeful living. Check out purposequest.com and pull up the free survey to help you get going and figure out where you want to spend your time. Time is our most precious commodity. We can't recapture a moment, an hour, a day, a month or a year. All we have is NOW. 

Make an outline or a list or grab a journal and start writing away so you can see on paper what your next move is. And, if you don't know now, keep digging, go deep inside and ask the important question - what is my life's purpose? Do the work you need to do to find the answer/s you need to move on and make a difference in your life and those around you. 

You have everything it takes to make a life worth living. I believe in you!

Cheers to a very Happy & Healthy New Year coming your way:)

Best Wishes, 
Carole 


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~If you're interested in being a guest blogger, please reach out and let me know.~ cbrecht4@gmail.com




To read my recent interview with www.nextactforwomen.com

To read my recent interview with www.ellensmithwrites.com 

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To follow on Instagram: bit.ly/SanGenIN

To follow on Twitter: bit.ly/SanGenTW

To follow on Facebook: facebook.com/sangenwoman

Sign up on TangledArtBoutique.com to stay connected.


Copyright 2016




Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Carmen Buck ~ Special Guest


Heart to Heart by Jan Steinle

"Connections of the heart...how we experience love, self worth, validation and so much more."

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~Introducing Special Guest Carmen Buck~
Photographer, Nurse Practioner & Creator of Love Still Lives Here



Have you thought about your legacy?   How will you leave the world a better place?  The older I got the more I wondered about the legacy I would leave the world. I was a holistic nurse practitioner in a busy neurology clinic caring for people with dementia and their families. I didn't have a lot to offer by way of medications, but I had attention, kindness, and my presence.  My patients and their families comfortably shared their stories, their worries and the darkest moments of their lives. I listened with awe and learned from them, because dementia has also entered my family. Their situations were often unimaginable yet the love and devotion were palpable. I often thought that in this time more than ever, their inspirational stories needed to be shared with the world. After years of being in reverence of my patients, I realized these so rarely heard stories of love and devotion in the face of fear would be shared with the world, and I would help to make that happen.  I left my clinical work to tell those stories and build a photography business.  

Creating images that tell stories, have meaning and to become a part of a family's legacy is my passion.  I am a nurse practitioner and photographer specializing in bringing beautiful art and memories to families.  At first glance, it may seem like nursing and photography have little in common, but in truth, healing happens at the bedside, in the clinic and even from behind the camera.   Love Still Lives Here is my upcoming book (Spring, 2017) and is a book of powerful love-based stories and photographs demonstrating the devotion of families and loved ones impacted by dementia.  Their stories tell us the importance of connections with others, giving and receiving love, hope, trust, faith, exclusion and how to come out on the other side of grief.

I launched a Kickstarter Campaign for Love Still Lives Here a few weeks ago.  

Kickstarter is specifically for CREATIVE PROJECTS.  It helps artists and authors like myself find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality.  Love Still Lives Here is a creative project.

Tens of thousands of creative projects - big and small - have come to life with the support of the Kickstarter community.  I want to be one of those!  

People who specifically want to pledge to creative projects venture to Kickstarter and share their favorites with their friends.  This continues to raise awareness of dementia and family Caregiving  and this is good for all of us.

It’s all or nothing- if 100% of my goals is not attained by December 16, 2016 at 1:56PM, the project will not be funded.  No pledges will be collected unless I reach my goal.  

Click  Love Still Lives Here to go to my page.  You can continue to help us raise awareness and share it to your own social media pages.

I am grateful to Carole Brecht for all she does for Caregivers, making the world a better place.  I’m sure if we lived near one another, we would be meeting over coffee in person to encourage each other along our respective journeys.  The 12 families who contributed their stories to my book continue to delight me with their updates and their tears of joy as they clutch the photos I’ve gifted them.  They give me the fuel to continue my work with legacy photography.  I spent years with families and patients who faced the most difficult times they could imagine.  I offered suggestions, made referrals, spent countless hours on the phone and in person, but I received so much more than I gave because there is nothing so honorable than to allow someone into your heart and home.  I have so much to be grateful for.

I live just outside of Austin, Texas but have been known to travel with my camera in hand.  Here are some of the ways to find me:

Carmen with Carmen Buck Photography
Legacy Photography
Round Rock, TX  78665
512-920-2825

Social Media Links:
Facebook-Business
Twitter  
Carmen with Carmen Buck Photography~Legacy Photography




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Check out my Paperback/Kindle on Amazon - The Artistry of Caregiving: Letters To Inspire Your Caregiver Journey -bit.ly/ArtistryofCareCBrecht - May my book bless you as you navigate the emotional journey of caring for your loved one. I hope you're inspired, find peace, connection and community. 33 Letters written from my heart to yours. Designed to read on the go, in no particular order. Your daily companion letting you know you're understood and not alone. Too tired to read or focus? Get supported and affirmed by 35 Caregiver Zentangle designs throughout the book. You inspire me. You are my hero. <3

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A recent review on Amazon about my book:

"This beautiful book combines art and poetic text as a collection of letters, mixed with a biographical narrative. It is a breath of fresh air to start the day of any Caregiver. I think it would be fair to call these letters “love” letters because each is filled with honest admiration for Caregivers. Plus the letters are quite brief, so you can read just one each day, easily and quickly, and feel empowered! In them, she creatively addresses the Caregiver differently each time, calling the Caregiver “Protector” “Pillar”, “Air-traffic Controller” and “Peacekeeper” to name a few, thus bringing attention to the vast and multifaceted role Caregivers are called upon to play.

Although original in format, this book is a very honest take on the Caregiving experience and doesn’t hold back on the sometimes cruel realities of the situations you could encounter. But it is also tenderly personal, with writer Carole openly expressing her feelings and occurrences directly to the reader. There is a slight focus on caring for an Elderly parent because Carole references her experience of caring for her mom quite regularly. Yet much of it is relevant for any Caregiver! It almost felt like a conversation just for me! I was able to genuinely connect to Carole and her uplifting and supportive words.

I think what I loved most about this book is how much it makes Caregivers feel so incredibly valued, building a solid sense of pride as you read through and are acknowledged again and again. As Caregivers are still not given as much recognition in our society as they deserve, this book is a welcomed companion – a cheerleader really that all those managing the constant and complex demands of this unsung role will benefit from. 
Thank-you Carole!" -K.H.

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FREE Kindle app on my book page~
-To get the most accurate preview of the Look Inside feature on my book page - view on a computer. 





Best Wishes, Carole
cbrecht4@gmail.com


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To read my recent interview with www.nextactforwomen.com


To read my recent interview with www.ellensmithwrites.com 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


To follow on Instagram: bit.ly/SanGenIN 

To follow on Twitter: bit.ly/SanGenTW

To follow on Facebook: facebook.com/sangenwoman

Sign up on TangledArtBoutique.com to stay connected.


Copyright 2016