27Aug

    Variations in Life Coaches

    Life Coaching Purpose and Variations

    Regardless of the variations of Life Coaches, they all set out to better the lives of others in one way or another.

    There are many variations in life coaches, from the training they have received, to the experiences that fuel their practices and the fees they charge for their services.  According to an article recently completed by the Fort Myers Florida Weekly, Bob Riley is one such variation.  He has added the labels of PhD and MBWA to the end of his name, although he acknowledges that he has no formal degrees or training; the letters, instead, represent his experiences, as a “paper-hanging degree,” and that he earned a “masters’ by walking around.”  These titles are meant to represent his various work experiences over the course of his years, where he has worked as an aircraft electrician in the Navy, as an operator for the suicide and crisis hotline and a brief time spent running a child care center.

    With these experiences, Riley is able to help his clients on a path to self-help, moving forward through talking, not through use of medications.  Through meager talking, Riley, and other life coaches are able to help their clients find a much-needed boost in self-esteem and self-confidence.

    However, not all life coaches thrive solely on their decades of work experience in other fields.  Some life coaches hold certifications, degrees and trainings, particularly in fields related to domestic abuse, finance and addiction.  This is the case for Rebekah J. Fero, a financial life coach and certified financial planner based in Port Charlotte.  She holds strictly to holding her clients accountable for their own goals.  Fero also says that her methods of carrying out regular meetings with her clients is common for coaches; she places calls, which allow for her clients to remain in a comfortable setting while facing the proposition of change.  For Fero, to accurately coach someone, the life coach must immerse themselves in their client’s life—a deep understanding of their insecurities is needed to fix the faulty thought patterns evident in the minds of the client.

    Another fluctuation between life coaches is salary and fees charged for services.  According to statistics provided by the International Coach Federation, the average salary of life coaches worldwide is fifty thousand four hundred dollars.  However, the mean salary is closer to thirty thousand dollars, indicating a wide variety in fees offered for services.

    20Aug

    Nantucket Vets Receive Medical Services

    A map of the Island of Nantucket

    Veterans of Nantucket will no longer have to travel off of the island for primary care, speciality visits, or emergency treatment.

    In a recent article by The Boston Globe, it is said that Veterans will now be able to receive services on the island of Nantucket. It has been ten years but now veterans will be able to receive medical services on the island rather than making a journey to places like Virginia in order to receive care. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has worked alongside the Nantucket Cottage Hospital in order to put together a range of services that include primary care, speciality visits, and emergency treatment, according to officials. This arrangement would also benefit veterans by removing an expensive and time consuming issue that they have been dealing with for many years. Many people have neglected receiving any type of medical treatments because the travel is such a hassle. Officials hope to change this.

    In a recent statistic only 2% of Nantucket’s veterans are frequent visitors of the Vetran Affairs medical system. This number is very low compared to anywhere else in the United States for veterans. The problem officials want to solve is that many veterans are struggling to receive care and there needs to be a better system in place where all veterans receive care – not only the ones on the island of Nantucket.

    While receiving care through this veteran health system is mostly beneficial, it can sometimes present many obstacles as well. According to the VA officials, only 24% percent of the veterans are eligible for health care compared to the 72% veterans across New England, as stated by outreach specialist for the VA New England Healthcare System, Mike McNamara. Moving forward, there are also prospects of there being more regulations and obstacles in the way for Nantucket Veterans to receive health care.

    13Aug

    The Organizational Influence of Chefs

    A great chef is extremely organized and prepared with only the necessary tools and ingredients that he or she needs for that specific dish.

    A great chef is extremely organized and prepared with only the necessary tools and ingredients that he or she needs for that specific dish.

    If you are seeking a more “ordered” life, then maybe you should think about adopting some of the organized behaviors of a chef. In an article by NPR, we are made aware that  Americans have been enjoying following and eating like celebrity chefs. They have even been interacting with them on social media websites, like Twitter. People try and learn as much about food and cooking from their favorite celebrity chefs, but could they actually learn more from them than just food? What about how to be more organized?

    According to recent research of consumer habits, Americans have been spending a great deal of money, $10 million to be exact, on self help books. This has made the market huge and very profitable. People speculate that the market is so big because most colleges and grad schools don’t teach their students about organization and how it should be used in their day to day lives. One place that does teach these types of life skills is in culinary schools and in professional kitchens.

    One way chefs and kitchen workers organize themselves in the kitchen is by planning and setting out ingredients and supplies before they need them. This saves time and energy for later when they actually need the supplies. The system or mantra that kitchens use is a French phrase “mise-en-place” translation “put in place.” It means to the French, gathering and placing the ingredients in an order for cooking. However, for many chefs and their staff in America, the phrase has a deeper meaning. They view this phrase as a way of life and a way of “concentrating your mind to only focus on the aspects that you need to be working on at that moment and to rid yourself of distractions.” This is according to Melissa Gray, a senior at the Culinary Institute of America. This is a skill that many students take with them to their daily lives and into their work lives. For example, after Melissa was taught this phrase in class, she was able to go home and reorganize her home office in such a way that the items she used the most were in arms reach for her.

    It is apparent that when you apply organization in one aspect of your life, it becomes natural to apply it elsewhere. Careers as chefs and kitchen workers are of course not the only careers in which organization is necessary or executed, but it is a solid foundation to refer to when it comes to the day to day logic.

    24Jul

    Touch the Secret to Healing?

    The genuine, comforting touch of a persoin can make all the difference in the healing process.

    The genuine, comforting touch of a persoin can make all the difference in the healing process.

    In recent years, the word ‘touch’ has been developed and been assigned negative connotations.  The word is associated with items of sexual harassment and abuse; mostly negative affections are acknowledged, and positive reaffirmations often get thrown to the wayside.  However, according to an article for The Huffington Postcompleted by a life coach, the removal of this negative viewpoint on the word is crucial to finding true happiness in one’s life.

    The article was prompted by feedback received from one of the life coach’s clients.  The client indicated that the coach’s regular physical contact in accompanying their sessions helped heal even more than the words and advice the coach issued.  Prior to this, the coach didn’t really notice the persistent touching they issued; it was an unconscious effort, which resulted from growing up in a physically affectionate family.

    As soon as this realization was found, further thought was pursued.  Based in Los Angeles, the coach shortly realized that most individuals automatically apologize if they even get too close to someone else in their travels about the city.  The coach found this sad, as they recalled the benefits they received from the physical contact pursued by their parents.  A simple stroking of the back could ease stress and increase a healthy understanding of the individual’s sense of self.

    But touch and physical contact has shown to be little more than a dirty word to the general public, in the opinion of the coach.  It seems that society—particularly in the United States—has developed a fear of touching.  Apologies are issued before physical contact even occurs, based in the conception that it is an invasion of privacy.  The term is now most often associated with sexual harassment or abuse.  However, in the coach’s childhood, touching was associated with connection and unity; it was a means of communication and a gesture of caring and friendship.  When the coach first arrived in the United States, this disconnect between their definition of touch and the general public of the nation was brought to attention.  The coach’s lawyer had originally believed the coach was hitting on him, as their inclination towards touching was obviously perceived as uncommon.

    However, that was not the case; the coach had simply been raised that touch is the first and most important language we learn to express.  As infants and children, we demand to be held.  With time, as observed by the coach, some are told to stop reaching for touch, as they are a big boy or girl now and should no longer require that validation.

    For the coach, this is a completely incorrect message to send.  Through the power of touch, individuals can decode emotions; touch is more versatile and sophisticated than verbal communications.  To ignore it is to let some part of a person’s individuality behind.  To truly find happiness, we must become comfortable with reaching out for others and encouraging reaching out in return.  Caving to the fear of touching due to a concern of having affections returned inappropriately leads to a shell of a life.  Actions speak louder than words—a message of love will be received much quicker through a hug than through the uttering of the words—and, therefore, touching should not be viewed as a negative, but as a pursuit of health and happiness.

    13Jul

    Knowing Values Key to Fulfillment

    Practice positivity by listing the values that are most important to YOU and trying to live them out each day.

    Practice positivity by listing the values that are most important to YOU and trying to live them out each day.

    One of the most pulling subplots to the travesty that was the Holocaust is those who risked their lives to shelter the Jews.  Some took this a step further, using their positions of power and authority to find ways to allow Jews to escape to locations of safety. One such man was Aristides de Sousa Mendes, a Catholic diplomat who served as the Portuguese counsel general in Bordeaux, France during the war.  As Portugal was neutral in the war, de Sousa was in a unique position to grant visas for Jews looking to escape.  Despite a law that was in place requiring prior permission before travels were approved, de Sousa and his staff managed to grant thirty thousand visas in the course of three days.  For his actions, his superiors with the Portuguese Foreign Office dismissed him of his duties and stripped him of his rank, salary and pension.  Regardless of all he lost, even years after the fact, when de Sousa spoke of his actions, he was clearly proud of his decisions.

    De Sousa’s example raises a question of the decisions leaders make and the possible actions and reactions.  According to an article recently completed for The Huffington Post, leaders face difficult decisions like de Sousa’s every day; granted, not all of these choices are a matter of life or death—and, as a result, the gap between competing values can be less wide—and, therefore, the better choice between the two can become less clear.  An everyday application of this gap is provided in the article, as leaders of a family struggle with how to provide sufficient monetary funds for their family and still find time to spend valuable quality time with said family.

    The article advises a common practice encouraged by life coaches to help in navigating the gap between competing values. Often, coaches will suggest their clients create a values list, which contains ideals and principles most important to the individual. Some examples provided include caring, decisiveness, being family-oriented and loyal.  To develop this list, coaches often guide the author through decisions and times of contentment experienced in the past.  Which decisions have provided a sense of pride? Which experienced accomplishments resulted in the most contentment?  From this, the client can often discern what their priorities in life are—what they value the very most out of life.

    08Jul

    Head of Honolulu VA Vague in Statement about Guam Clinic

    It is important for all veterans to have the timely and efficient health care that they deserve.

    It is important for all veterans to have the timely and efficient health care that they deserve.

    According to a recent statement by Sloan Gibson, the Acting VA Secretary, Veteran Affairs wishes to be nothing but transparent and accountable to the veterans in the nation in need of care.  In Gibson’s opinion, veterans should be able to trust their system for health care.  However, according to an article recently completed by Guampdn, one VA official appears to not be living up to Gibson’s mandate.

    Guam’s Community-Based Outpatient Clinic is under the command of the Honolulu Veteran Affairs; overseeing the clinic is Wayne Pfeffer, the medical director of the VA Pacific Highlands Health Care System.  Pfeffer released a statement recently that was very vague in assessing and declaring the state of affairs for the VA clinic.  In the statement, Pfeffer claims that the Guam clinic appears to have no issue with excessive wait times.  However, Pfeffer’s statement did not provide any facts or statistics to back this claim up.

    According to the article, this is information that Pfeffer should have and be able to relay to the general public.  Veteran Affairs has mandated each clinic report figures for a bi-monthly data update to track improvements and continued shortcomings of the clinics across the nation.  If Pfeffer is fulfilling his obligations to the VA, this information should be collected regularly and be on hand for comments such as the one Pfeffer released earlier this month.

    The question then becomes what the cause is behind this vague statement.  Does Pfeffer have these statistics, and is simply displeased with the findings?  If this is the case, he could purposely be choosing to hide the information from veterans and the general public.  If, however, he does not have this information on hand, he is not fulfilling his duties by the standards set forth by officials serving the Veteran Affairs clinics and organizations.  Either way, it is clear that Pfeffer is not fulfilling the edict of Gibson, as his vague and misleading comments have only sprouted distrust and worry, not comfort, reassurance and trust.  If Pfeffer cannot be upfront and transparent in his statements on the state of affairs of the Guam clinic, he will be seen as anything other than accountable.

    02Jul

    Vets Who Fence Together, Grow Together

    Veterans On Guard provides a bonding experience as well as a healthy outlet to work through frustrations.

    Veterans On Guard provides a bonding experience as well as a healthy outlet to work through frustrations.

    Veterans returning from service often struggle to readjust to the life of a civilian.  However, finding a way to bond with fellow veterans has been proven to be a successful technique of reacquainting with everyday life; veterans going through the same struggle can work together to ease into normality.  Knowing this, Liz Cross set out to create a free program that would allow veterans to meet and bond, while receiving a fair bit of exercise to help work through the frustrations of previous experiences.

    According to an article recently completed by ABC News, when designing this program, only one sport came to mind that could meet all of her requirements.  Fencing, which relies heavily on a combination physical activity and mental agility, would be the perfect solution for struggling veterans and active duty members.  To her, the sport’s emphasis on strategy, focus, determination and a strong honor code just naturally meshed well with the existing traits of those who serve; in essence, to Cross, the sport was a sort of natural extension on a veteran’s abilities.

    The group she formed, often referred to as Veterans On Guard or The Fencers Club, began last fall and now holds twenty veterans and active duty members.  Participants are of all ages and come from a variety of wars and branches of the military.  They meet twice a week to study the epee style of fencing.  In a typical session, participants engage in conditioning, the study of footwork and techniques, as well as lunges, jumps and arm work.  Cross’s goal with the group was to engage disabled and able-bodied service members to integrate into the broader community, through a variety of experiences, both involving in the actual study of fencing, as well as through the sharing of stories and knowledge from their time in the service.

    Most participating veterans, such as Alberto Cruz, first heard of the program through the VA of New York Harbor’s Healthcare System.  Cruz, a United States Air Force veteran, has found the club to be very beneficial; focusing on fencing allows for a return to something familiar—discipline.  Through the community of veterans, he has also learned so many new things, from vets that served in a variety of different battlefields and wars; it has been a very positive means of getting out frustration and helping others at the same time.

    10Jun

    Bad Mood Isn’t Inherently Bad

    Being sad or in a bad mood can actually help you in the long run. It is best to feel your feelings.

    Being sad or in a bad mood can actually help you in the long run. It is best to feel your feelings.

    A conception that bad moods are bad for you has taken society by storm.  Keep smiling, experts urge—smile through the pain and it will suddenly vanish.  This is the absolute opposite of the truth, according to an article completed by The Huffington Post to summarize The Depths, a new book by mood scientist Jonathan Rottenberg, PhD. Rottenberg claims that, instead of pushing the bad mood down and ignoring it, individuals should seek to learn from the experience.

    According to Rottenberg, bad moods can provide a sense of X-Ray vision, enabling individuals to see through certain social ploys and tricks.  In essence, being a bit glum takes the focus off of ourselves and allows individuals to become instantly more perceptive of others.  Rottenberg discovered this after a series of experiments, wherein he showed a short, depressing film and then allowed participants to engage in a debate.  Those who considered themselves to be sad structured arguments superior in analysis and set in concrete details.  This allowed those who were sadder to become more persuasive than those who described themselves as happy.

    Similar studies have shown that glum attitudes can improve recall, reduce errors in judgment, raise awareness for lies and help the individual to be more polite, enabling those who are sad to get along with others better.  In essence, this research indicates that garden-variety sad moods can allow people to become more deliberate—skeptical and careful in how they process information and the actions of others around them.

    Many seem to believe that sadness or reflection on shortcomings is too focused on the regrets of the past—that time would be better spent focused on moving forward.  Rottenberg argues that this is an incorrect interpretation of the “coulda woulda shoulda” mindset, which has an inherent forward momentum to it; the individual uses this thought process to understand why bad things have happened in order to prevent a future recurrence.

    Finally, Rottenberg argues that bad moods, although troubling at the time, will help the individual feel better in the long run. Spending a bit of time in the trenches of a garden-variety bad mood could work miracles towards evading the sinkholes of major depression in the future.  In essence, in order to keep the past from continually affecting the individual, one must wallow before they can move forward into the future.  Being able to accept negative feelings is associated with feeling better, not worse; attempting to avoid the issue altogether would, in fact, be the step backward.  People cannot reach peace with their past without first focusing in on the sadness it rains down.

    22May

    Smaller Portions in America Could End World Hunger

    This portion control cheat sheet can help you eat and waste less food.

    This portion control cheat sheet can help you eat and waste less food.

    According to an article recently completed for Chef 2 Chef, most professional chefs are far more focused on feeding people and forget all too frequently the prevalence of world hunger.  Members of any branch of the food service industry cannot deny that, on the path from the delivery dock to the customer’s plate, a lot of aspects of foods and products go to waste.  For further proof of this, the article references a study completed by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United States, which indicated that approximately one third of the food that gets produced for human consumption in the world is lost or wasted.  In the United States, this statistic increases to one half of the food created.  The amount of food wasted could go towards feeding the millions in the world who have far too little food.

    The first issue addressed by the article is why the United States is particularly guilty on this offense.  According to Civil Eats, a blog completed by Amber Turpin, the food grown and farmed in the United States is done in massive quantities and trucked all over the country.  This process naturally leads to surplus and spoilage due to travel constraints; often the food is thrown out before it could have been safely consumed.  In addition to this, in relative terms to the rest of the world, food is cheap in the United States.  When the consumer can upgrade to the large fry for only one dollar more, they are inclined to do so; however, buying more doesn’t increase what we can eat and often results in more thrown away food.  Alternatively, in nations where food is expensive, waste is a far less common problem on the consumer level.

    The article also offers up its own explanations for the heavy reliance on waste in the United States.  Often, consumers seek to make recipes that involve odd ingredients.  The ingredient is purchased and only used rarely to repeat the recipe.  This process results in the rest of the product being thrown away once the expiration date has come and gone.  There is also a cultural expectation that food must be visually appealing to be consumed; the slightest sign of imperfection results in further unnecessary waste.

    Several solutions are presented, most of which are to be taken on the part of chefs.  Developing relationships with local farmers could work symbiotically, with fresh produce no longer going to waste.  Reasonable proportions should be presented in every meal; or, as an alternative, allow customers to choose their own portion sizes.  Composting should be engaged and education should be sought on how to store food to get the maximum usage out of it.  Solutions are offered from the Environmental Protection Agency, where sustainable practices are encouraged.  Feed hungry humans and animals with any leftover or unnecessary food.  Compost can also be sought, to meet the needs of soil.

    12May

    PBS Addresses Struggles of Veterans

    PBS' Coming Back with Wes Moore.

    PBS’ Coming Back with Wes Moore.

    For the first time in over a decade, the United States will not have an active Army preparing to either enter or continue to hold the ground of a war.  With conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, many questions have been raised as to the future of returning veterans.  According to an article recently completed by The Washington Post, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have made it their initiative to create and broadcast more programming addressing these very concerns.

    Beth Hoppe, chief programming officer for PBS, believes the particularly unique reach of the network and the deep, compassionate nature of their employees and their individual stations will allow for outreach on their part for veterans.  Hoppe, after the recent event to premier their first attempt at a veteran focused miniseries, was overjoyed by the reception of the veterans in attendance. However, most veterans did express that, although the gratitude they receive for their service is fulfilling, they often wish the conversation could continue past this mark.

    As a result, Hoppe has made it her initiative to increase veteran programming on her broadcasts.  She has two target audiences in mind with her programming—veterans leaving behind the support system of their combat units and civilians with a bit of a knowledge gap about military experiences.  Coming Back with Wes Moore will jumpstart this process; the documentary, which is a three part miniseries, focuses around Moore, an Army captain, who looks to answer the question of “what now?” for those returning from the service.  In Coming Back, several issues with be addressed, including unemployment issues for veterans that are a result of a still struggling recessive job market and social media’s impact on the traditional meeting places of vets, such as American Legion halls.  Injuries will also be a focus, as medical marvels allow veterans to survive attacks that would’ve killed them in the past, resulting in a heavy reliance on spousal and medical professional assistance.

    After the debut of Coming Back, PBS has already commissioned a Vietnam series by Ken Burns which will be entitled Stories of Service.  In addition to this new and increasing list of programming, the corporation is providing grants to their specific stations in thirteen cities that statistically have high concentrations of veterans, as a means of reaching out and connecting more directly with veteran organizations.