Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dr. John Stanko ~ Special Guest


Hugs by Jan Steinle

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Introduing Special Guest Blogger ~Dr. John Stanko 
Pastor, Counselor, Author, Missionary, Publisher & Creator of PurposeQuest.com

Afraid: Who? Me?

It is an honor to be a guest blogger for my good friend and fellow author, Carole Brecht. I have watched with great pride and joy as Carole has embraced her creative calling, a work that emerged out of the painful but rewarding experience of being a Caregiver for her beloved Mother. 

Carole did not tell me what to write; she just asked me if I would be a special guest blogger, and I was only too glad to comply. Carole has enriched our lives and made important contributions not only to the art of Caregiving, but also to the art of writing, blogging, and artistry, specifically her genre of choice, Zentangle. All those expressions did not just happen; they took dedication and the ability to deal with fear, for fear is the great enemy of creativity — and just about anything else you and I will attempt to do in life.

The challenge with fear is that it never shows up as fear like we see in the movies. Our fears do not appear in some grotesque shape or form, chanting and making sounds like, “Mwa, haha, haha! I am fear!” No, instead our fears show up and sound quite rationale. They say things like, “I don’t have time to write, or paint, or blog, or take care of grandma.”  In fact, you may have said that just this morning or yesterday when you groped for some excuse that would ease your guilt that you were not doing what has been in your heart to do for quite some time.

Truth be told, you have all the time in the world: 24 hours every day. You may not have as much money as Bill Gates, but you have as much time as he does. Time is the great equalizer among people, so it is not quite true that you don’t have enough time. A more accurate statement is that you are afraid you don’t have enough time. What are you afraid of? You are afraid you don’t have time to do it right, or the way you want it done, or the way that will keep people from laughing, mocking, or dismissing you as a creative lightweight. 

You are afraid that you will waste the time you have on a stupid expression that is not nearly as good as Hemingway, Monet, or Martha Stewart could produce.You are afraid that somehow you will leave something out, or will put too much in, or reveal too much, or too little, or that Aunt Millie will be offended when you tell the story of how she walked through the screen door when it was closed because she thought it was open. 

I have watched Carole and others like her twist like flags in the wind when they stood face-to-face with their creativity, which means they stood face-to-face with their fears. Carole and her fellow creators have had to face the fear that “I can’t do this regularly; it’s not good enough; the blue is not blue enough; the red is not red enough; the story is not long enough,” and on and on and on. The difference between Carole along with her creative cohort, and those who only talk about creativity, is that she and they stared down their fears and did something with their creativity, even when it wasn’t convenient or perfect. We would have to say the world is a better place because she and they did. If that’s true (and it is), then the world is less of a better place if you have not expressed the creativity that is in your heart to display.

I would argue that if you are involved in any kind of Caregiving role at this time, you need to find time to be creative in order to keep your mental equilibrium. Let me restate that: You need to have a creative outlet to stay sane! Even if it is 15 minutes every other day, you need to create. You will need to face your fears to do so, for the creative excuses will flow if you don’t: “I’m too tired; I have nothing to give; what’s the use — no one will notice anyway.” It’s remarkable how often we siphon off the best of our creative energy to creating and making excuses of why this is not the right time to create.

So thank you, Carole, for setting such a good example, and thank you, dear reader, for brightening your world, and thus our world and consequently my world, with your love and creative care for those around you. Now, I urge you to be a Caregiver for and to yourself as you face your fears, and produce something wonderful not in five years, not next year, not next month, not tomorrow, but today. I know you will not only be glad, but also relieved that you did.


In Africa with the local children.


Owner of Urban Press, a Publishing Company. Dr. John has authored over 20 books!

To reach out and follow Dr. John:

office 412.646.2780

Thank you Dr. John for being my guest blogger today ~ it's been great getting to know you! You continue to inspire me daily as you live your purpose-filled life, helping people around the globe!

- Dr John and I met approximately 4 years ago. I scheduled a visit with him when he was employed by Allegheny Center Alliance Church. I needed some help during my Caregiver journey with Mom to adjust to major changes with her memory impairment due to Alzheimer's disease. I was not doing well that day and was pretty teary-eyed during most of our visit. I gave him a run-down of what was happening in my life and how distraught I was at the time. As I was sharing with him, I mentioned I was an Artist by trade. He stopped me in my tracks when he asked: "When is the last time you created something in the art world?" and I said: "It's been so long, maybe decades ago, I can't remember." He told me to go home and create some art and then come back and talk to him. I left there feeling calmer, I know that for sure. 

He planted a seed in my mind to do something artistic. At the time, I didn't really 'get' his advice, but low and behold, it wasn't much later that Zentangle showed up in my life and I immediately fell in love with that art form and have since become a prolific Zentangle Artist. I was also in Dr. John's classroom on and off in 2014. At the end of that experience, I got the idea for my book and the rest is history! 

Dr. John is a very special friend to me. Since we met, he's had a strong, positive influence in my life. He's the Publisher and Editor for the first edition of my Kindle book in April 2016: The Artistry of Caregiving. I learned so much from him, always do. I want to get back to his classroom because the energy and positive vibe is so great. He's a wise, wonderful teacher, person and friend. Logon to: purposequest.com to learn more about him, his mission and how you can donate to his cause. If you're struggling to figure out what your purpose-driven life is, there's a free assessment on the homepage that will help you narrow it down. 

Best Wishes,
Carole
cbrecht4@gmail.com

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



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

“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!”

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Stay tuned: Elizabeth Miller, creator of Happy Healthy Caregiver social media platform and website, and I are partnering, creating a new launch for Caregivers. Something lively and fun! We'll be making an announcement very soon on social media for the launch date. :-)




Want to feel connected and inspired, logon to:


Twitter: bit.ly/SanGenTW

Instagram: bit.ly/SanGenIN

TangledArtBoutique.com - Sign up here to stay connected

You can find all the links on www.SanGenWoman.com

Copyright 2017
















Wednesday, February 8, 2017

~Color Your World~


Hidden Treasure
by Jan Steinle

"Sometimes what we need or looking for is partially hidden from view...peek 'around the edges' or dig a little deeper, and we may be surprised at what we find."

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When you walk through my home, you will see my walls covered with art. Some of it I created from years gone by and some of it's current. Some of it is by other artists and some of it my Mom created. I also have Zentangles all over my kitchen that my sister Jan and I created over the last couple years. Keeping a fresh bouquet of colorful flowers year 'round in my dining room keeps it lively and brings something natural into the mix.

Our visual world is so important. Whether in your office or at home, a space with framed art, photographs or any variation of mixed media makes for a stimulating environment.

We don't think in words, we think in pictures/color. 

Take a look around and decide if you're pleased with your decor. Do the colors make you feel alive? Are the walls bare or are they beaming with images you love? 

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The top 5 reasons why color is important in daily life:

-We think in pictures, not words
-Color generates feelings and emotions
-Looking at an image you love is a good way to stay focused
-Having color in your space connects you to the room
-Being surrounded by colorful decor and images makes us feel alive


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After you assess your living space, review the list of why color is important to determine if your room reflects the 5 reasons. If you're limited in color or feel like you don't have the flare it takes to do some decorating or reinvention in your space, ask a friend to go shopping to see what you're drawn to. If you like your decor but would like a change, research online to generate ideas. If you're in a great place in your space, then you'll understand why I've devoted a blog to this topic. Maybe you'll consider the possibilities...


~Color Your World~ and be amazed by the impact to your well-being. Decor and art that include color (neutrals don't count) are a mood/game changer. 

One other thought on color for today - take a look in your closet. What colors are you drawn to in your wardrobe? Do you pick out the same shirts, pants, dresses or skirts because you love the color? That's a good exercise to see how color makes you think & feel, and how powerful color is and what colors you like best if you don't know already. 

Taking time out for you is all about self-care. What do you think and how do you feel when you look at the color in your life. Colorizing your world is one way to implement self-care. Embrace the process and enjoy! :)

Best Wishes, 
Carole
cbrecht4@gmail.com

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Pick up your copy of The Artistry of Caregiving on Amazon in Paperback or Kindle (free Kindle app on my book page). A book of inspirational letters, letting you know you're understood and not alone. If you're too tired to read or focus, the Caregiver Zentangle Art will affirm and support you too. Not meant to be read in any particular order, you're daily companion, as you navigate the emotional journey. Check out the reviews on my book page to learn more:


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Not sure where to shop for some cool wall art, check out TangledArtBoutique.com for some ideas. There's a variety of home apparel to chose from. Jan and I created all of the tangles in the store. There are approximately 200 Zentangles to chose from!




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Want to feel connected and inspired, logon to:


Twitter: bit.ly/SanGenTW

Instagram: bit.ly/SanGenIN


You can find all the links on www.SanGenWoman.com

Copyright 2017



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

...::::Trail Blazer::::...


S​et Your Sails by Jan Steinle
"Plan and prepare, ready or not, just go for it & embrace the challenge."

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 ...::::Trail Blazing::::...

Life is always moving forward. 
Time is our best friend. We get to start over every day.
Find your peace of mind and share your heart out.
Connect to those who lift you up. 
Surround yourself with people and things that make your heart beat a little faster.
A creative life with purpose gives us hope. Hope is our lifeline.
Free will is our key to living a drama-free life, if we learn how to manage our emotions.
Emotional well-being is the cornerstone & vantage point of our outlook on life and living.
A purpose-driven life is always at our beckon call.
Where do we focus and what and who do we allow in our lives?
Living a life on purpose, with love, is a powerful decision. Then we 
have to be responsible and not place blame.
Always take the high road. 
Seek & find silver linings daily.

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Examples of making changes to impact our well-being & those around us: 

Pick up the phone to say hello. The personal touch is so sweet. 
Put a new picture on the wall where you'll see it everyday.  Something that recharges you every time you look at it.
Get a notebook, to make notes about people, places & things that inspire you. 
Get some sticky notes for reminders.
Be a blessing in daily living - ex: generous in speak & actions.
Are  you merry in your heart? Does joy live there?
Mail a greeting card. Make the effort.
Be You. No holding back. 
Make a decision and stick to it.
Get out of your comfort zone to learn what you're capable of.
Stretch yourself.
Practice the Pause. 
Draw a doodle and show someone.
Say hello.
Say goodbye.
Take the time. 
Be a giver.
Be positive.
Love without judgment.
.....:::Be a Trail Blazer:::.....
Think outside of the box.
Don't settle, go for it.
Be true to you.
~Live love.
~Laugh daily.
~Celebrate.
~No regrets.
*.....:::LET GO:::.....*

Having a challenge figuring out what your purpose is in life, logon to: purposequest.com and take the free assessment on the home page to help you discern what it is that you're called to do. It's so worth it!

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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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From a recent reader: "I love how brief each letter is so you can read just a short piece each day, easily and quickly, and they always leave you feeling empowered! -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

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To read my recent interview with www.nextactforwomen.com

To read my recent interview with www.ellensmithwrites.com 

My recent audio interview with Agewyz.com http://bit.ly/2igXvLz
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To follow on Instagram: bit.ly/SanGenIN 

To follow on Twitter: bit.ly/SanGenTW

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Copyright 2016









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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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