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Celebrate the Ordinary

November 18, 2004, Vol. II Issue 24

Dear Friends,

What a great time of year to “Celebrate the Ordinary.” It seems like so much emphasis is put on the fancy stuff, as we move into this season of overindulgence. I like to get back to the simple part of  it like outdoor lights that bring light and joy to this time of darkness. And to be totally truthful (and simple), I’ve left my outdoor lights up all year the past two seasons, so now all I have to do is plug them in again! Simplicity can be a matter of perspective (that’s for anyone reading this who is thinking about climbing a ladder to put those lights up!).

My sentiments this holiday season are to enjoy it. Friends, family, food, pets, everything! Give, give, give it your love and embrace its’ return.

Yours truly,

Celebrate the Ordinary

For the women of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, an evening isn’t enough. “Three years ago, we identified the need to find a way to reach our female population and let them know about all of our wonderful services here at Gundersen Lutheran,” Christie Skime, Wellness Education Specialist, told me. “The other need that we identified was that there really was no one place where women could go to find out about services in the area, whether it be financial, home improvement, fashion, etc. so we felt having a Women’s Expo was really a special way to reach women and allow them a day to celebrate the joys of being a woman!”

Now in their second year, they’ve altered their format by changing the timeframe from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and added in demonstrations to enhance breakout sessions, the exhibit area and the luncheon. The “Celebrating Women” Expo is held on a Saturday in October. Admission is $5 for the Expo only or $20 for the Expo and luncheon.

“To plan the day’s programming, we use evaluations and our women let us know what they would like to see covered and that is what we try to provide for them. We also let our speakers know that they need to encompass all ages into their presentations,” Christie told me.

This year’s luncheon, featured Sue Kirby as the guest speaker. Attendance increased from 360 to 460 women and the entire event reached 800-1000 participants.

Sue captivated the audience with her hilarious “life-in-the-trenches” stories of work, relationships and the American lifestyle scene. In her program, “Celebrate the Ordinary,” Sue showed them that it is possible to navigate through stressful situations in a way that brings out the best in our co-workers, friends, families, and ourselves!

Deftly wielding a glue gun, she created a gorgeous wreath as she talked, making the point time after time, as she seemingly haphazardly poked decorative stems here and there that, “It doesn’t matter.”

“So much of what we worry about and spend time on, simply doesn’t matter,” she says. It’s a trademark phrase that sticks. The end result, as in life, when we have things in perspective, is a stunning wreath that one lucky audience member gets to take home.

“We need to laugh at ourselves more often. There isn’t enough joy in the world today. Yet it’s crucial for coping with the stuff life throws at us.” Sue says. “My mission is to help people re-discover themselves and find the joy in the mundane, as well as the curve balls. Life is rich when seen through the eyes of humor.”

As the single mother of three, two foster children and now grandmother of 11, and with a sense of humor that never takes a break, Sue provides an example of her own talk. She has created a life that is rich in resources, from celebrating her kids’ momentous victories to travel trials with her current husband, Rod. Many of her stories, bordering on “tall tales” are captured in her book, Men’s Secret Camp. That’s the place where men learn to talk, think and behave the way they do, according to Sue. “There’s no need for a ‘battle of the se*xes,’ when you adopt my strategies for keeping the peace.”

“Humor is the key to comfort and connecting with others, to cope with and conquer any difficult situation,” Sue says. “My favorite quote from Henry David Thoreau is, ‘The question is not about what you look at, it’s about what you see.’ That’s what humor is all about.”

Christie was ecstatic about Sue as well as her program. “I have so many delightful things to say about Sue, not only as a person, but as a speaker as well,” she said. “She has a wonderful energy that she shares with her audiences, and she does a fantastic job of bringing the audience into her presentation as well. The ladies giggled and laughed. They left with a renewed sense of energy, knowing that the day truly is all about them. I, personally, will never use a toilet seat protector again without chuckling!”

NOTE: Since we’re coming up on Thanksgiving, I’ll give you a hint that the toilet seat cover is part of a costume. Think about it.

“While she was here, Sue also took the time to do a presentation for our Gundersen Lutheran employees as well. She worked her magic with her program, ‘Please Pass the Trophy!’ Her sense of humor truly is enlightening!” Christie said.

Sue couldn’t say enough about the folks at Gundersen as well. “They took me on a four hour guided tour of the hospital and I could have stayed a day in each unit. I found the passion of the people showing me around to be extraordinary. They have a 100-year history and three descendants of the founding family still practice medicine there. Their commitment to the community really moved me.”

The rest of the day’s activities included five breakout sessions and three demonstrations. Twenty-four service lines from Gundersen participated and there were 32 exhibitors ranging from chiropractic services, to home improvement and essential oils.

The event is promoted with paid advertising in magazines, newspapers, and on billboards. “Our main local newspaper believes in the program and is a major sponsor. The paper featured the Women’s Expo in a couple of news articles, speaking with staff and with past participants for a variety of inputs on last year’s event and what is new and exciting for this year. This event is done in partnership with one of our major radio stations in the area. They do a great job in getting the word out on their stations and adding excitement for the event,” Christie said.

“Coordinating a large community event is exciting, and it’s hard work, but it is gratifying to watch women accept a day that focuses on them. To hear the comments throughout the day helps put smiles on our faces,” she told me. “But, it is the positive feedback long after the event is over, when participants are asking for next year’s date, so as not to miss it, that makes us excited to start planning for next year! Ultimately, hearing the women really embrace and continue to reiterate your message, (Sue’s wonderful trademark) ‘It really doesn’t matter,’ is the most rewarding aspect of all.”

To learn more about Sue Kirby, go to our website.
For fees and dates, give me a call at 503-699-5031

Fast Food Guide: Make It Your Own

A few months ago, I wrote about Zonya Foco’s Fast Food Picks Guide and mailed a free sample to those of you who asked for it. We’ll make that offer again now. Simply reply to this e-newsletter, with your name and address. Write “Fast Food,” in the subject. We hear lots of good things from the people who are using it when they find themselves pressed for time, and pulling up to a fast food drive-up window.

In the guide, Zonya shares her favorite choices at six of the most popular national fast food chains. Sized to tuck in your car visor, there’re no excuses: You’ll find it!

A huge believer in Zonya’s Fast Food Guide is Health Alliance Plan (HAP) in Michigan. They’ve distributed 35,000 copies in just a few months. Did they buy 35,000 from Zonya? No, they printed them, and with their name on the cover. You can do the same. You can make Zonya’s Fast Food Guide your very own, print as many as you like and distribute it under your hospital or organization name, with Zonya’s licensing agreement. If you’d like all the details, simply reply to this newsletter, and write “FF Licensing” in the subject.

Thanksgiving in a Bottle, No Thanks!

Ah, Thanksgiving in a bottle. Can you imagine? No messy clean-up, no wafting aromas. No good china to wash by hand. No leftovers! Your only tool, a bottle opener. It’s true. You can get Thanksgiving in a bottle. Jones Soda Company in Seattle makes it – Turkey & Gravy Soda, and Green Bean Casserole Soda. How about Mashed Potato and Butter Soda? Oh heck, just get the whole five-pack, including Fruitcake Soda and Cranberry Soda. It comes complete with utensils: a straw and a toothpick. I’m not sure what the toothpick is for? These people really do have a sense of humor!

These soda meals are not only calorie and carb free, they’re vegan and Kosher, too. If you really dig novelty stuff, they’re available at some Target stores and proceeds benefit Toys for Tots. Don’t believe me? Honestly, I couldn’t make this up. Check it out.

As for me, I’ve been invited to not one, but TWO Thanksgiving dinners and, feeling exceptionally loved and prospered, I accepted both invitations. Thank goodness they’re on different days over the long weekend! Gobble, gobble.

Until next time, be good to yourself, for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,

My vision for The Speak Well Being Group is to be a connector for speakers I know, love and believe in, with the audiences who will be inspired, motivated, and transformed by their perspectives, knowledge, empathy, compassion, information and, most importantly, capacity to enjoy the process, laughing at themselves and with you along the way.

You’ll find many of our speakers on our website.
Or please call anytime and let us assist you: 503-699-5031

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