Keys To Happiness #3

Do you want to be happy?  If the answer is yes, then identify your passion and then do it, enjoy it, LIVE IT!  And what I mean by identify your passion is figure out what you really care about, what you really enjoy, find that thing that makes you feel totally alive and energized. You may have to learn by trial and error. For example, I learned the hard way that I am not good at accounting. I’m not great at working in the church nursery. I just can’t get passionate about anything that involves details and requires attention to detail. A big, fat, clue to what is NOT your passion is how you feel while and after you’re doing it. If you get a headache every time you do something, it’s probably not your passion.

When you find your passion (or stumble upon it like most of us do), you’ll be so engaged in it that you’ll lose track of time. You may forget to eat. When you find your passion, the challenges you face will fade into the background. It doesn’t mean they aren’t there, but they are no longer the most important thing. You can face those challenge with renewed energy and new creativity after you’ve spent time in your passion. In other words, the challenges are no longer your main focus. Finding your passion truly is the key to finding your happiness.

Finding and living in your passion doesn’t mean that nothing is every going to go wrong. Of course, stuff still happens. And life isn’t perfect. But once you know what you’re passionate about, you can go to it when the challenges get too big.

For some people, their passion is connected to artistic expression like painting, sculpting, dance, etc.  For others it’s cooking, gardening, creating computer code, or working on a complicated mathematics problem. Everyone is wired differently and beautifully, and within all that wiring and woven-in strengths, talents, abilities, and learned skills are unique passions. THIS is where we flow. This is where we shine. This is where we find and fulfill the good purposes for which we were born and perfectly matched. This is where our authentic happiness and REAL SUCCESS can be found.

My hope for you is that you find your passion, because when you do, you’ll find the source of your positivity. You’ll know you’re valuable and worthy. You’ll be actualizing, which leads to a sense of happiness and satisfaction that cannot be attained any other way.

Check back for more happiness tips.

 

About the author:  Rhonda Sciortino, author of Successful Survivors , used the coping skills from an abusive childhood to achieve real success which she measures by good relationships, good health, peace, joy, and financial prosperity. Through her writing, speaking, and media appearances, she shares how others can use the obstacles in their lives as stepping stones to their real success. Rhonda can be reached at [email protected]

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Keys To Happiness #2

Do you want to be happy? Some people complain so much about all that is wrong and all they don’t have, that I sometimes wonder if the act of complaining meets some need inside them. Or if having others listen to their complaints making them the center of attention is what they’re truly after. If either or both of those is true, then their bar for happiness is set very low. How sad.

Happiness Tip #2:  Be grateful. Period. And what I mean by be grateful is intentionally think about the fact that you have air in your lungs, you have a brain that functions well enough to see this, you have eyes that are reading this…you get the idea. Being grateful is an intentional action. It’s not passive. I suppose some people are naturally grateful, but most are not. In our culture especially, with marketing constantly barraging us with advertisements for things we aren’t supposed to be able to live without or that we’re a loser if we don’t have, it sometimes requires great effort to be grateful for what we have without the vague sense that we aren’t supposed to be whole or happy without the subjects of those advertisements.

I’m all for achievement and goal attainment, but if you don’t stop to recognize and celebrate what you have, what you’ve already achieved, and what you’ve already acquired (both the tangible material things and the priceless intangibles like good relationships with good people and good health), you’ll find yourself on a hamster wheel of living for the next goal or acquisition. The problem with that is that it never ends. There will always be another goal, the next acquisition, and the next challenge to overcome.

To pause the non-stop roller coaster of goal attainment, create a “reset” for yourself. STOP for a moment. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes.  Notice that you are able to continue breathing without a new car, bigger house, that new outfit, or whatever it is that’s the subject of the most recent thing that you feel is a condition to true happiness. When your mind starts to wander to what you think you must have, notice that thought and then refocus on your breathing. Think of the many things you can be grateful for. Focus for a second or two on each thing before going on to the next. The highest value items on this list should be those that have a heartbeat.

Think of being grateful as a verb. It must be actively done. Generate gratitude for the priceless things that cannot be bought like good relationships with good people and good health. Make gratitude a goal to achieve.

You may be surprised at how much happier you will be when you have a sense of gratitude—gratitude to be alive, gratitude that you can see, can read, can get around, etc. The feeling of gratitude with increase your positivity, and positivity will increase your happiness. And when you’re happy, you model for others how to be happy.

Check back for more happiness tips.

 

Rhonda Sciortino, author of Successful Survivors , used the coping skills from an abusive childhood to achieve real success which she measures by good relationships, good health, peace, joy, and financial prosperity. Through her writing, speaking, and media appearances, she shares how others can use the obstacles in their lives as stepping stones to their real success. Rhonda can be reached at [email protected]

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There’s a lot of talk about positivity and happiness these days. There are books and documentaries about it. Research has been done on it. There are even doctoral degree programs popping up in the areas of positivity.

The license plate on my car since 1986 has been a derivative of “Being Positive.” I chose “being” rather than “be” because I wanted to encourage people to make the effort required in being positive. In a world where societal ills are constantly blasted at us on a 24/7 news cycle through radio, TV, internet, and social networking, there is a natural tendency toward negativity. In fact, the percentage of Americans taking some form of anti-depressant is supporting evidence of a prevalence of negativity. Therefore, a herculean effort is necessary to choose positivity.

Positivity is possible, but for the overwhelming majority of us, it doesn’t come naturally. What most articles and books on happiness and positivity talk about are attitudes, which is extremely helpful, but where they seem to stop is in the basic “how-to” of daily life. Having spent decades making the effort to attain happiness through positivity, I have some basic tips for anyone who is serious about doing what’s necessary to being happy.

Happiness Tip #1

Don’t gossip. Period. And what I mean by gossip is talking about someone who is not in the room and who has not given you express permission to speak to others about him or her. The ONLY exception to this is when an intervention is needed for the person’s own good. And even then the conversation should only be had with someone who is able to DO SOMETHING about the problem.

Don’t talk about someone behind their back under the thinly veiled disguise of asking for prayer for that person or because you are concerned about them. If you want to ask someone to pray for someone else, just ask them to pray. If you’re worried about someone else, pray for them, offer that person your assistance or a listening ear, then keep their confidence as though your life depended on it.

Don’t share what you know about other people’s business unless they have given you express permission to do so. If someone confided in you that he is having financial trouble, or conversely, that he just won the lottery, keep it in confidence. Without permission, it is NOT okay to tell others what’s been told to you, whether it’s good, bad, or neutral. If it’s bad, it’s definitely gossip, and gossip is wrong, always. If it’s good, don’t steal the other person’s big moment by revealing the great news before they’re ready. Consider also that some people may not want to tell everyone what just happened. In the analogy of winning the lottery, some people wouldn’t want the unsolicited requests that inevitably accompany a windfall.

It is not gossip to praise someone or to recognize and celebrate their character or accomplishments with others. Feel free to do that. In fact, the more of that in our culture, the better.

Psychology tells us that behavior that is recognized and rewarded is repeated. In other words, when we “catch people” doing something good and let them know that we value and appreciate what they did, and then tell others about the good that person is doing, that person (and everyone in our influence) is more likely to repeat the recognized good behavior.  In business, we say that, “what gets measured, gets done.” In other words, when people know that we are paying attention to their good character and their good deeds, they are more likely to do good deeds that show their good character traits.

So, the first step in being more positive and enjoying more happiness, is to eliminate gossip and other negative talk from our lives. Determine to replace those conversations with talk of “catching people” doing good. Watch for acts of kindness by people in our lives, by people with whom we interact, by total strangers, and by the people we hear about who are doing good in the world (you have to actively watch and listen for bright spots in the torrent of bad news).  In so doing we’ll be eliminating the negativity and increasing the positivity in our lives, and thereby increasing our happiness and the happiness of others. Increased positivity = increased happiness = better world.

Check back for more happiness tips.

 

About the author:  Rhonda Sciortino, author of Successful Survivors , used the coping skills from an abusive childhood to achieve real success which she measures by good relationships, good health, peace, joy, and financial prosperity. Through her writing, speaking, and media appearances, she shares how others can use the obstacles in their lives as stepping stones to their real success. Rhonda can be reached at [email protected].  

 

 

 

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Who Will Hold Your Hand?

I’ve been with several people in their last hours of life. I’ve watched a young mother say goodbye to her two young children. I’ve watched an elderly lady ease into the sleep that she looked forward to for relief of her chronic pain. I’ve watched a dying man perk up and start talking with invisible people who had been dead for years. I assumed that they were the welcoming committee to ease him into eternity. I stopped by to say hello to someone I did business with, only to find him on the floor gasping for air. After I dialed 9-1-1, I put my jacket under his head, held his hand, and held eye contact with him until his spirit left his body. I held my grandmother in my arms and felt her take her last breath. And I whispered a song into the ear of my best friend as she lay dying.

One thing all these people had in common was that none of them would likely have been able to predict who would be there to hold their hands in their last hours on earth.

The young mother slipped into eternity in the peaceful presence of her father- in-law who sat at her bedside praying for her for hours. Think of that. Many people had streamed in and out of her hospital room, some of them staying by her side for hours. But it was as if she waited for those closest to her to go down to the cafeteria before she breathed her last. Her father-in-law wasn’t there when she was born. He didn’t know her when she was a little girl or even when she was a teenager. She met him for the first time in her twenties. Little did she know when she first met him, that this gentle soul would be there for her in a way that her own father, who had left when she was a little girl, never was.

The elderly lady who hoped for relief from her chronic pain was accompanied by the son whom she had left at age 14 to care for his two younger siblings when she left them all to be with a man who didn’t want children. Despite the fact that she had left her children homeless, hungry, and alone many years before, her oldest son, now a father and grandfather himself, was there with her, making sure she was well cared for by the hospital staff. It was that boy she abandoned who refused to abandon her, who held her hand as she slipped into eternity.

The dying man who perked up as though old friends had walked into the room, was a fragile, old man, scared about what lay beyond this life because he hadn’t been a very nice guy. In his last hours, he accepted the forgiveness of Jesus, and slipped out of this life holding the hand of the child he had abused throughout her entire childhood.

My colleague died holding the hand of a client he barely knew. My grandmother died in the arms of the child she had beaten and burned. And my friend was sung to by an outcast she had befriended when few others would.

All of this makes me wonder who will hold my hand in my last hours. Who will hold your hand? Will it be someone you least expect? Someone you barely know? Or will it be someone into whose life you’ve sown seeds of love? My wish is that I be in the presence of someone who I have helped to love into wholeness.

Someone who is capable of loving because of planted seeds that have taken root.

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What do you do about angry outbursts?

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 4.01.03 PMFirst, manage your expectations. Don’t be surprised when children in your care do something impulsive in anger. The more trauma a child has experienced, the more likely he or she is to act out in anger. The good news is that when children show their anger, it’s because they feel safe enough to do so.

Here are some suggestions for healthy responses to angry outbursts:

  • Calm yourself before you speak to the youth.
    You may feel angry or betrayed by their behavior.  If you exhibit      your anger to the youth, you will trigger their flight or fight response and they will not process your message. Pause and take a deep breath before you do or say anything. 
  • Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 4.01.10 PMIf the outburst has put anyone in immediate danger, deal with that first. Eliminate or mitigate the danger before responding to the outburst. Make sure that the angry child knows you are not ignoring them, and are not mad at them but have to help the person in danger. 
  • Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 4.01.17 PMCreate a space between the event and your interaction with the youth.
    If either you or the youth cannot calm down or if you believe that a conversation at the time of discovery will cause flight or fight do not undertake the conversation. If the outburst prompted anger in you, put off dealing with the child until your anger has subsided. Responding to anger with more anger models the wrong behavior.
  • Defuse fear that the child may be feeling, a fearful child cannot pay attention to what you have to say. Physically lower yourself to the child’s level so that you’re not a scary adult towering over the child.
  • Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 4.01.25 PMAlways use words that let the child know you are concerned about their safety and the safety of others. Say something like, “what you did could have hurt you or someone else.
  • Never ask “Why” questions. Asking the youth, “Why they were breaking the rules,” or “Why they were responding in an abusive fashion” are hard questions to answer and may lead to them lying. Instead ask “How and What” questions. For instance “How did the response you got from the other person make you feel? “ What were you feeling that caused you to act that way?” 
  • Do Not Lecture. Listen. Teach the child critical thinking skills by asking the child for ideas on what he or she could do differently in the future.Listen to what the youth has to say. Reflect back to them  your understanding of their thoughts and needs in a value neutral or sympathetic fashion. Do not tell them you know how they feel. Tell them you hear what they are saying. Never use the word But. Remember your job is to teach them how to be safe, NOT to judge their behavior. 
  • Empower The Youth To Create A Safer Way to Deal With Their Feelings. Collaborate with the youth in exploring creative ideas to safely deal with the feelings, and needs that caused them to act in an angry and abusive fashion. If an idea is the youth’s (even if you guided them to it) they will embrace it more strongly than if it came from you. 
  • Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 4.01.42 PMMake sure the consequence for the youth’s rule breaking is not larger than the size and scope of their offense and is directly related to their behavior and their safety.  For example, if the child broke something, you could have the child clean it up or pay out of allowance to replace it. If the child refuses, don’t force the issue. Make sure they understand they are not being punished but that your actions are to help them remain safe. 
  • Understand that children who have been traumatized may look and be chronologically one age but are psychologically a much younger age. A child of eight or ten may be acting in a fashion you would expect a five or six year old to act. Teach them how to  control their anger and use non abusive words to express their feelings act in situations that frustrate them.

 

  • Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 4.01.50 PMRealize that one interaction probably will not end the youth’s inappropriate behavior. There are deeply rooted psychological reasons a youth acts out sexually. Some of these reasons may be tied to their feelings about or their experiences with their birth parents.

It will take time, patience, and a commitment to love and listening to heal the youth in your care.

They are worth it.


Printable Cheat Sheet: Click Here

Video series available on YouTube

Provided by Successful Survivors Foundation

Affiliated with Successful Survivors Foundation Parenting Video Website

Sponsored by Markel Specialty Commercial, a business division of Markel Service Incorporated

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 What do you do about sexting?

sexting 1First, understand that the young people in your care are “digital natives.” They are growing up with abilities and the tools to use them that some of us aren’t even aware of. New apps and programs are being created that allow kids to secretly access information and communication that is hidden from the adults in their lives. Prevention is optimum. You can do that by clearly addressing use of electronics before there is a problem.


Here are some suggestions for healthy responses to sexting:

  • Calm down. Pause and take a deep breath before you do or say anything.
  • Never shame the young person. Instead, explain the dangers of sending pictures that can get into the hands of anyone and that can never be retrieved off the internet.sexting 2
  • Respond in terms of safety of the young person, saying something like, “This kind of behavior could result in terrible pain for you. I care about you and want to help you stay safe.
  • Put some time between the event and the correction. When everyone  is calmed down, explain how the behavior can lead to dangerous and painful situations.
  • sexting 3Teach the young person critical thinking skills by asking for ideas on what he or she could do differently in the future.
  • If you issue consequences, make sure they are directly related to the offense. For example, if the young person’s inappropriate behavior involves a phone, restrict use of the phone.

    sexting 4

    Thank you for helping to create successful survivors!


Printable Cheat Sheet: Click Here

Video series available on YouTube

Provided by Successful Survivors Foundation

Affiliated with Successful Survivors Foundation Parenting Video Website

Sponsored by Markel Specialty Commercial, a business division of Markel Service Incorporated

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Tips for Parenting Kids who have been Mistreated

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 4.13.08 PMEVERY RESPONSE should start with, “I care about you, and I want the best for you.” Take a deep breath and calm down before responding. If necessary, tell the child you’ll talk about it later, and put some time between the action and the response so that you can respond rationally without anger.


Here are some suggestions for healthy responses:

  • Make safety your first priority. Kids feel safer when they are in a safe and stable environment, and live within a consistent schedule for meals, quiet time, playtime, arise and bed times.
  • Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 4.13.16 PMFind something you like about the young person, and tell him or her about it. Caveat: avoid complimenting physical appearance. Rather, you can teach the young person the importance of positive character and personality traits like tenacity, courage, determination, indomitable spirit, resilience, resourcefulness, and so on. Kids receive advice and correction best when they believed you care about them.
  • When kids gets loud, lower your voice and get softer.
  • Respond at eye level with the child, never towering over him or her.

Here are some suggestions for consequences:

  • Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 4.13.25 PMMake consequences relevant and directly proportionate to the misbehavior. For example, if the child steels or intentionally breaks something, he or she has to give it back or replace it. If he or she hurts someone, an apology should be suggested along with a question asking how he or she can make it up to the one who was  hurt.
  • Instead of taking things away, try a reward system for good behaviors. Ex: have a jar of quarters that add up to $10 (so it looks like a lot). Tell the child(ren), “this is your money that you can spend on [a toy, music, etc.]. The only condition is that if something gets broken or taken, it gets replaced by the money in this jar. Any leftover money is yours to spend.” This empowers kids to do the right thing. The more money that’s in the jar, the more incentive they have to not do whatever it is you don’t want them to do.
  • Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 4.13.40 PMEstablish regular, non-controversial, routine happenings at which family members can connect. For example, consider planting a garden, letting each child choose which vegetable he or she wants to plant. Tending to the garden can be a place where conversation can be had around something other than points of contention. There are lots of life lessons in the garden, like reaping what you sow, that give you an opportunity to share wisdom that can take root in the life of the children within your influence. These routine events happen whether things go well or badly so that there is Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 4.13.49 PMstability and consistency AND so that there is an established routine that brings you back together after a “blow out.” For example, “Tuesday Taco Night,” “Friday Night Movie Marathon,” etc.  These are events that are NOT TO BE EARNED. They communicate to the child that he or she is included, belongs, and is part of the family. No one is to be excluded from these opportunities to nurture relationships through normalized activities.

 

  • Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 4.13.59 PMConsider establishing traditions that can be fun ways to reconnect after a sad event or a “blow out,” like having a small helium tank, from which you fill up a balloon, write with a felt tip marker the behavior or event that you both want to put behind you, and then together release the balloon and the past with it. This could be a weekly or monthly event where every family member writes something on the balloon that is to be let go. It could be one of those routines that brings everyone together.
  • Consider having a weekly or monthly family meeting where everyone comes together and has an opportunity to speak. You might have an object that gets passed around. The person with the object gets to talk while everyone else has to quietly listen. Each person gets up to 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, the object gets passed to the next person. To wrap up, the object is passed and everyone says one thing they are grateful for, or one good thing about one other person, or some other positive statement.

It will take time, patience, and a commitment to love and listening to heal the youth in your care.

They are worth it.


Printable Cheat Sheet: Click Here

Video series available on YouTube

Provided by Successful Survivors Foundation

Affiliated with Successful Survivors Foundation Parenting Video Website

Sponsored by Markel Specialty Commercial, a business division of Markel Service Incorporated

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What do you do about lying or stealing?

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 3.45.29 PMFirst, don’t be shocked. Despite doing all you can to make clear your expectations about the guidelines for acceptable behavior in your home, the young people who have been entrusted to your care may have come from environments in which it was totally normal to steal to get their needs met. They may have been raised watching parents lie and steal, so the concept of ethical and moral behavior may be new to them. Of course that doesn’t mean that you should allow them to do wrong, but it is important that you not only tell, but show, them the right way to live. For example, when the phone rings, don’t say things like, “tell her I’m not home.


Here are some suggestions for healthy responses for dealing with lying or stealing:

  • Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 3.45.21 PMCalm down. Pause and take a deep breath before you do or say anything.
  • Always respond in terms of safety of the young person. Explain how the behavior can lead to bad results, saying something like, “Lying or stealing can land you in jail. I care about you and want to help you stay safe and have a good life.

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 3.45.13 PM

 

 

  • Put some time between the  event and the correction. It’s ok to say, “We will talk about this later. Let’s both take some time to think about what we need to do about this.”  Then when you do talk about it, ask the young person what consequences he or she thinks should be imposed. Ask what he or she can do to earn your trust back.

 

  • When everyone is calmed down, ask what the young person is trying to achieve from lying or stealing.
  • Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 3.50.25 PMAsk the young person for ideas on what he or she could do differently to feel better, fit in, or whatever other result he or she hopes to achieve.
  • If you issue consequences, make sure they are directly related to the offense. For example, have the young person return or replace the stolen item. If the offense is a lie, ask the young person to apologize and promise to be honest in the future.Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 3.51.50 PM

It will take time, patience, and a commitment to love and listening to heal the youth in your care.

They are worth it.


Printable Cheat Sheet: Click Here

Video series available on YouTube

Provided by Successful Survivors Foundation

Affiliated with Successful Survivors Foundation Parenting Video Website

Sponsored by Markel Specialty Commercial, a business division of Markel Service Incorporated

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BE UNSTOPPABLE

keep-calm-and-be-unstoppable-22The availability of self-help books, and seminars that claim to be able to help you find your real self, your identity and your true mission in life, is almost overwhelming. They can’t all be right, right? And although they offer different methods of solving that mystery, they still fall short. Maybe because what works for one person is of no help to another. Good news for the people selling those books, not so much for the true seeker who would really like some answers.

What if the true way to get those answers is through asking an entirely NEW question— one that you haven’t considered until now? So far, the reoccurring theme in most self-help programs on the market is that to start any project that will tell you where to go, you must first know where you are. That sounds like two projects to me (or advice from the Auto Club). Certainly, there will be steps that prioritize how to make your dream happen but if we start with those steps, we miss the true flavor and excitement that only a dream elicits.

fight-for-your-dreamsAcknowledging the importance of those elements of flavor and excitement of your dream life, your authentic success, is exactly why the answer to the new question, can produce tangible results and jump start the new you. A bonus is that your answer to the new question eliminates a lot of other questions that focus on your current circumstances—questions that would only waste your time and distract you from what could be the most significant step you can take.

Think of it this way: You’re not all that crazy about what your life looks like today. Any hope of it being significantly different just doesn’t seem to be available. You’re just going through the motions. Nothing excites you. You might even be doubting that you’re capable of living any other kind of life.

The hope of changing that, will start to develop when you answer the following question:

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 5.25.31 PM

The trick here is to open your mind and not discount whatever it is that comes into your head. When you first begin to consider the question, don’t try to think of an activity or specific task. Instead, let the feeling of being unstoppable fill your mind and flow over you.

248026c7fa12f45ee41e8fffb51c9708Try to vividly recall a time you felt confident and happy. You were you then. In fact, you were probably the best possible version of you at the time. And if you think about the details of your life at that time, you will recall that despite the great feeling you experienced, your life was not exactly perfect. No one’s life is ever entirely perfect, despite fond memories of “the good ole days.”

There were surely circumstances that you wished were different, but those areas for improvement fade into the background when we’re on top of your game. The wish to be taller, shorter, slimmer, to have curly hair (or straight hair) to have thinner thighs, or whatever we perceive as our flaws were all still there on the day we felt unstoppable. But that day, in that moment, your faults, failings, disappointments and pain were all suspended. You felt strong, safe, in control, capable and whole, and yes, unstoppable.

previewSo carve out time to sit quietly, alone, without distraction, and remember the feeling, and the activities that led to the feeling. The activities could be something as simple as a doodle that you started when you were bored that grew into a frame-worthy masterpiece. It might have been the admiration on someone’s face as you shared a recipe you created. It could’ve been the day you aced a final you never thought you’d pass, or when you made your biggest sale, or survived your worst fear.

Feel the feeling and allow yourself to sit with that feeling. Recall your facial expressions, body language, and attitude. Remember what you were doing at that time. Write, record, or video the thoughts that come to mind. Once you have a clear sense of that unstoppable feeling and a clear picture in mind of what you did that led to the feeling, your possibilities are endless, because you have the power to recreate those activities which result in your power. You can be unstoppable again.

Don’t feel left out if you have never felt unstoppable. You can feel that way for the first time, and afterwards, recreate that feeling. To create the feeling of being unstoppable, think of someone you know or know of who seems to have experienced that feeling. unstoppable-infinityPerhaps it’s a professional athlete who just won his or her most important game. Perhaps it’s someone who received an accolade or nailed a performance. YouTube is full of videos of people who just “nailed it.” Watch those videos and notice the body language, the facial expressions, the posture, and the attitude of those people. Imagine what it felt like to experience their unstoppable moments. Allow yourself to imagine the feelings of exhilaration of winning a marathon you didn’t think you could complete; of being recognized as a leader in a well-respected field; of receiving a diploma, giving birth, receiving a standing ovation, or whatever else looks invigorating and empowering.

Find your individual formula for creating the unstoppable you, and you will find and fulfill YOUR REAL SUCCESS.


rhonda-sciortinoRhonda Sciortino, author of Successful Survivors and the 8 character traits of survivors and how you can attain them, used the coping skills from an abusive childhood to achieve real success which she measures by good relationships, good health, peace, joy, and financial prosperity. Through her writing, speaking, and media appearances, she shares how others can use the obstacles in their lives as stepping stones to their real success.

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What do you do about drugs?

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 5.20.00 PMFirst, don’t be shocked. Despite all the precautions we take to protect our kids, drugs are pervasive in our culture. Kids who have been mistreated can be trying to medicate their pain. For kids who have come from families where drugs were part of their norm, they likely don’t have a healthy understanding of the danger of drugs.


Here are some suggestions for healthy responses for dealing with drugs:

  • Calm down. Pause and take a deep breath before you do or say anything.
  • Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 5.20.46 PMAlways respond in terms of the safety of the young person. Explain how the behavior can lead to dangerous or even deadly results, saying something like, “Drugs can result in terrible pain for you. I care about you and want to help you stay safe and have a good life.
  • Put some time between the event and the correction.
  • When everyone is calmed down, ask what the young person is trying to achieve from using drugs.
  • Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 5.20.58 PMAsk the young person for ideas on what he or she could do differently to feel better, fit in, or whatever other result he or she hopes to achieve.
  • If you issue consequences, make sure they are directly related to the offense. For example, if the drugs are connected to a friend or group of friends, consider taking away privileges to be with those friends.

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It will take time, patience, and a commitment to love and listening to heal the youth in your care.

They are worth it.


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