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Newsletter Vol. #71 Thats how I see it!

Once again, would those folks who received a free copy of my newest book, Communication & Relationships and who said they would do a review or write a testimonial about the book, please forward their work to me at or call me at 204-299-9399.

Communication And Relationships,--checkout my newest book

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Wellness: Dimensions and Definitions

Recently, more organizations, agencies, and educational institutions are becoming increasingly more concerned about the health and well being of their employees. Apparently, healthy employees make the difference between success and failure, and ultimately the survival, of many workplaces. Sick and absent workers make it very difficult to compete on the world market stage, whether it is goods or human resources. The effects of poor health are not only felt at the workplace but also in the home where relationships get strained and broken.

Health as defined by Molinsky is "The absence of disease or infirmity", whereas Wellness defined by the World Health Organization is "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being". Wellness is more than health and definitely more than not being sick!

How then do we define wellness? Some institutions have developed programs based on the dimensions of exercise, nutrition, stress management, environmental awareness and self-responsibility. Other organizations insist that wellness should include the dimensions of cognitive, sensing, connecting (with others), emotions and sense of purpose. The National Wellness Association* describes wellness through the following dimensions: physical, spiritual, social, emotional and intellectual.

Regardless of which system you value most in defining wellness; the majority seem to support a holistic approach. Human beings are made up of parts but function as a whole. Any decision or program to be healthier must take into consideration all the dimensions of wellness for it to be truly meaningful and successful.

*National Wellness Association -definitions of wellness:

Wellness     is a choice-a decision you make to move toward optimal health.
Wellness     is a process-a developing awareness that there is no end point, but that
                    health and happiness are possible in each moment, here and now.

Wellness     is an efficient channelling of energy, energy received from the
                    environment, transformed within you, and sent on to affect the world   outside.
Wellness     is a way of life-a lifestyle you design to achieve your highest potential for well being.

Wellness     is the living acceptance of yourself.

Wellness     is multidimensional embracing physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social and
                  work dimensions.

Wellness     is a process, not a solution. It is a journey, not a destination.

Did you know (wellness)

Today, almost 95% of the things we spent our money on (necessities) were not even around when many of us were born: television sets, airline travel, Disneyland vacations, high fashion clothes, DVDs, air conditioners, personal computers, day care, movies, fast food restaurants, dry cleaning, Internet.

In 1933 the average American lived in 136 sq. ft. of living space, today it's in excess of 750 sq. ft. per person.

Telephone: 542-6073 or was it 706-6037?

Why bother memorizing phone numbers? What's the point when they are stored in your smart phone, and that's with you wherever you go?

90 per cent of people surveyed, according to the Kaspersky report, reported they used the Internet instead of their own brain. A journal article in Science stated when people expect to have access to information online they are less likely to remember the actual facts, but are more likely to remember how to find them. We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools, growing into interconnected systems that remember less by knowing information than by knowing where the information can be found.

I don't suppose that's all bad seeing as there is just too much to remember. I read that the volume of information being produced every two years equals the current total amount (don't quote me on this statistic-but its close). Apparently, the new way of looking at information is not how much can I know or remember, but rather where can I look to access this information.

Humour (I hope)
Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.
Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.
Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

Cell phones and Integrity

Dr. Stephen Franson in his blog makes an interesting point concerning cell phone usage and the integrity of your word in making commitments.

I am a big fan of the easy communication afforded by my mobile. I admit that I have made this steady climb up the ladder of telecommunication offerings from a standard phone, to a blackberry and now an iPhone. I catch myself fingering the heat sensitive screen to check my mail more often than I thought I would. I even "text-message" regularly now. So please, do not dismiss my concerns as the irreverent ranting of a technophobe. I love my cell phone.

The problem is the way we use them. I can't believe that I am using this analogy, but, like the old saying goes, "guns do not kill people; people kill people." Cellular technology in itself is not evil, but if we're not careful, you could promote the death of personal integrity.

I know this commentary may seem uncharacteristically dark or overly dramatic, but I'll suggest that there is a new communication dynamic that threatens to erode the very foundation of relationships--reliability.

In years past when plans were made, dates were set, times were agreed upon and destinations were decided. You would consider "the plan" an agreement between two or more people and the expectation was that there would be follow-through. Typically, the experience would match the plan; everyone who was physically able would show up, on time, at the place to do what everyone had agreed to do. It was nice. You would spend more time enjoying what you were doing than planning what to do instead. However, it seems that plans today have morphed into mere plastic suggestions as to what might happen if nothing else at all comes up between now and then.
We are now a microsecond away from altering an entire day with one phone call. We can change times, destinations, even participants with an instant message. We can even cancel our plans entirely with 140-character text message. This drives me crazy!

People often rely on voicemail to dilute the sting of accountability to a commitment. "Sorry, something came up." No face-to-face apology. No visual feedback. No sense of disappointment. If 93% of communication is unspoken, what are we actually saying in all of this digital exchange?

So, be mindful of your commitments- when you make plans the and how you keep them. Do not fall into the cyber-trap of making temporary plans with the intention of changing them as you go. This is a slippery slope. Create a reputation for making commitments and sticking to them. By no means does this imply being rigid and inflexible. Flexibility is a critical character trait. The key is to be flexible when flexibility strengthens a situation. Let your Yes, mean Yes.

Did you know (wellness)

Drinking five glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45% and the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and the risk of bladder cancer by 50%

Cell Phones           (Previously printed in the newsletter-but relevant to present newsletter)

Is it just me? I get very upset when I observe someone driving his or her car and talking away on their cell phone. They don't seem to realize they are putting lives in jeopardy. But it's not only these dangerous situations that bug me-I think that makes sense. I am also irritated when they invade my ear space with their private conversations that I couldn't care less about. They don't seem to realize how rude they are being and once more, they don't seem to care about other people's feelings. They don't seem to be embarrassed when talking about personal family issues or where to meet after sneaking out of work early. I recently observed a person holding a conversation on a landline and texting on their cell at the same time.

Pamela Eyring, director of the Protocol School of Washington, which teaches social manners to corporate and government clients, views public texting as "rude". It isn't professional. It's saying, to hell with all of you. Eyring has identified the "Four Stages of Blackberry Abandonment": confusion, discomfort, irritation, and then, if texting continues, outrage (you lean back and you just stare at them). It's an addiction, she says one that puts personal and business relationships, both of which rely on making others feel valued at risk. (In a recent survey by dating site Zoosk, a third of singles said they'd left a date early because the other person was "constantly glancing" at their cell). The consequences are dire, Eyring says: We're losing our one-on-one people skills and ability to engage in uninterrupted, focused conversations.

It's paradoxical isn't it? That the communication devices of today really can bring together people from all parts of the world and at the same time they are limiting the development of skills that are fundamental to face-to-face communication. The cell phone does have a great positive benefit to our society but we had best be careful that we don't lose the ability to communicate face-to-face and that it doesn't become more dangerous and more irritating than the positive benefits. Balance is the key in all things!

A City University of New York study found that, "Social Networking Obliterates Etiquette": thumbs drum in rise of multi-task rudeness, "68% of those surveyed thought it was disrespectful to conduct a real-time conversation while texting someone else; 32% didn't. 10% of people under age 25 didn't see anything wrong with texting during sex. Yikes, so much for focusing on what you are doing.
Kevin Spacey, became a cultural hero when he yelled out, "Tell them we're busy," when a cellphone rang during a London performance of The Iceman Cometh. (Anne Kingston and Alex Ballingall, Maclean's)

Cell-fishness certainly seems to me an appropriate description of the newest group of communication inventions that most people don't need (in my opinion) and everybody wants. I must commend the communication industry on a great job of marketing. However, along with each product they sell could they please include a pamphlet on proper etiquette, so that people like me and those I love, aren't killed, or have to listen to their inane ramblings.
What are your thoughts on rude and thoughtless people who use their cell phones/text whenever, whereever?
Do you have any personal experiences like Spacey did? (E.g.: asking someone to shut their phone off at a movie theatre)

                      In a national-sample study of 2,143 American families, 12 per

cent of the husbands and wives had attacked each other physically in the past year. In half of these violent families, both spouses attacked each other with equal frequency; in one-fourth, only the husband was abusive and in another fourth only the wife was. But wife abuse commands the medical and political attention for important reasons: male violence inflicts more injuries than female violence does, largely because men tend to use fists, guns and knives, whereas women slap, punch, or throw something. Point here, though, is that women are not "naturally" less aggressive when they feel angry than men are, especially on home ground, but they do less damage.

Typical forms of women's "indirect" anger include: pouting, whining, temper tantrums, manipulative attempts, backbiting gossip, sarcasm and anger.These are the classical ways women express anger.
Carol Tavris's , Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion

"Being Mortal"

 When I finished reading, "Being Mortal" by Atul Gawande the first thought that occurred to me was, "I am only 10 years away from all of this--this being the process of aging and eventually my death. I was very sad as I realized my life, as I have come to know it, would change dramatically as I entered the final phase of my life.
In the first part of Dr. Gawande's book, he talks about how medicine has really failed the aged and sick. He says, we no longer keep people at home and look after them when they get old and sick, but rather, institutionalize them. Institutional goals seem to be to keep the old folks safe and alive; to free up hospital beds; to take the burden of responsibility off families, especially if poverty is an issue.
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, Independent Living and Homecare all do a great job of keeping people safe and alive to the best of their ability. However, according to Gawande, what doesn't happen in these institutions is that they do not take into consideration what the aging person wants. This is the same with medical staff- they deal with the problem that may make the person's life safe but not with what may motivate them to stay alive.
The author takes us on a journey from the early, most desperate forms of nursing homes and the history of why they came about, to the present where there are communities designed to assist people in their last years/months to be autonomous and in control of their lives (with help) and to feel worthwhile and that their lives still have meaning right to the end.
We are introduced to the Hospice philosophy:
The terror of sickness and old age is not merely the terror of the losses one is forced to endure but also the terror of the isolation. As people become aware of the finitude of their life, they do not ask for much. They do not seek more riches. They do not seek more power. They ask only to be permitted, in so far as possible, to keep shaping the story of their life in the world- to make choices and sustain connections to others according to their own priorities.

Gawande shares with us many examples of people choosing to have the fullest possible lives in the now; freedom from pain and discomfort and mental awareness for as long as possible, rather than extreme measures of medical interventions. Interventions that may or may not prolong life but often have severe side effects that definitely limit one's quality of life. Not a peaceful way to end one's life!

 I highly recommend this book and encourage you to let me know of other great books that you are reading. A brief summary or testimonial would be great.

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