Fix It

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bump signEvery time I pass a sign like this, I wonder what stops us from just “fixing it”.  This idea is something that I believe can be carried to all areas of our lives.

How many things in your own life need “fixing”?  Perhaps we add “it” to our list promising to do “it” later.  There are always priorities and things that become more important or that will take precedence.

As I sit here writing this, many of my “to do’s” are popping into our mind.  I find there are many personal “to do’s” for my list like making time to exercise, or that appointment for the doctor or dentist, or emailing back a colleague or potential client, or there’s always that list of chores…

But, like the sign, I also think of the “to do’s” that we’ as a community, could work together to address that could improve quality of life for us all.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the studies that are done that just tell us information with no plan of correction.  Recently I read an article about the hardest places to live in the United States in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/upshot/where-are-the-hardest-places-to-live-in-the-us.html). What frustrates me about an article such as this is that it’s great someone took the time to collect this data, but what are we actually doing about it?  When you look at the map in this article, it is evident that there are more states that appear to be “doing worse” than “doing better”.  I can only hope that someone, somewhere, saw this article and has started a discussion in their community.

I find so many things we do to be in a reactive manner or in a crisis situation.  Working in a quality improvement mindset for much of my career makes me see  all types of areas where we should do something – together—to make things change.  I think that’s the key word.  Together…  Together we definitely get further faster.  Together…  Many hands make light work.

What’s happening in your community?  What is your wish list?  Who needs help?  I find that many times we know there are issues or problems but think, perhaps, the issue is too big; we just have no time to address it; someone else will take care of it; or how many times have we just thought “it’s just a shame” and then go back to whatever we were doing.  I have found, again and again, that people don’t pay attention to stuff that doesn’t directly affect them.  But, guess what.  In some way, everything eventually affects all of us.

Not one of us can single handedly “save the world”, but together… imagine what we can do.  I believe it’s time for us to band together to take action; not wait for others to do it; not wait for legislation to change it; and especially not just be a Facebook warrior.

This is the big idea behind the Enjoy Life Community Project, a way for us to work together in our own communities to make things change – for the better – for all of us – so we can all enjoy life.   I believe every one of us has something to offer that can help someone else.  Nothing is insignificant or too small.  We have all had experience or have some type of expertise to make change happen.

People helping people; Collaboration = success:  These are the principles that drive the time to play foundation.

It’s time to enjoy life.

Love,

Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life.  Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

Why Do You Do What You Do?

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why do you do what you doIn May my son Nicholas graduated from our community college with a degree that will help him in his pursuit of a position as a fire inspector.  In a community college there are a variety of students. Those who just graduated from high school and enroll hoping to find the spark of what type of career they will pursue throughout their lives; those who are returning students who may have never had an opportunity to attend college; those who are pursuing new careers or skill sets.  There are many reasons a person may attend college, take classes, and learn more.

As part of the graduation ceremony, one of the speakers asked a question… “Why do you do what you do”?  He said he had pondered this question as part of an application he was completing for a four year college he was applying to.  He said it took him three days looking at a blank computer screen before he could come up with an answer.

Stop and think about that for a while.  Why do you do what you do?

It’s a defining inquiry for each and every one of us.  Why do we do what we do?  It’s a question that could provide us with a root cause assessment that can answer the WHY behind our actions, purpose, vision, and more.

Why do you do what you do?  Are you happy, healthy, have money, or a work life balance (this is the time to play philosophy, by the way).  Do you love your life?  Do you love your job?

Answering the question of why you do what you do can give you the right path, the next step.

Do you do what you do because you are fueled by love and passion?  Or is your answer something like that you do what you do because you just need to get by; or just need to make the bills; or because you feel obligated.

Are your actions fueled by love, passion, purpose, or by hatred? Are your reasons for doing what you do good and right reasons or are they fueled by wrong reasons?  Is what you do helping make this world a little better than when you got here?

Look inside. 

WE are the only ones who make the decisions on our own behaviors.

Why do you do what you do?  Does it bring you pleasure or pain?

If you answer pain, how can you make a change?

I believe EVERYTHING we do is a choice.

I am so proud of my Nicholas and so grateful that he had a memorable graduation day.  I was grateful this question was part of the graduation ceremony and I hope that those present, not just the graduates, but everyone, actually listened and heard what the speaker asked.

I hope that they not only heard the question but took it with them to think about.  I hope they use it or have already used it to make decisions on how to move forward or a change in what they are doing in their life; to keep going in the same path or not.

Every day is a new opportunity.

Why do we do what we do?  Life is short.  Choose to do what makes you love life.  It’s time to Enjoy YOUR Life.  It’s Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life.  Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

Is Positivity Contagious?

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Unquestionably, Undeniably, Palpably, Transparently, Emphatically -”YES!”

I love to spread and receive positive energy equally! My salvation has always been my keen ability to attract positive people into my life! Most recently, with Doreen Guma, founder of Time to Play. We both realized we share passions based on helping others channel the best versions of themselves. I go where I get good feelings. This allows me to teach, learn, share and grow every day of my life!

Another recent experience of positive contagion occurred just last week, and the three weeks prior. I score standardized tests for New York State each year. I usually meet a few nice people. This year I was at a table with seven incredible woman! We all connected strongly on so many different levels; intellectually, spiritually, and socially. Most of us worked 8-11 hour days scoring hundreds of essays and math equations for three weeks. We were so eager to help one another and share lots of traditions, habits and successful tools that we acquired over the years. We all brought treats to share everyday. We talked about having reunions and staying in touch. Our ages fluctuated with a thirty year span. Some retired teachers; others currently working. We tried to figure out what made this bond between us so strong. In the end, we decided it was our hearts that all synergized on some common level. I can’t wait to get together with them! This is uncanny, but I truly just received a group text from them as I’m writing this!! I haven’t heard from them in days! “Wow!”

As a special education teacher, field coach and addiction counselor, positivity has always been my strongest tool. I’m able to convey my confidence and concern for my students and clients through my own body posture; greeting and smiling at the onset of my classes and sessions. My chalkboard always read “Happy Monday! Tuesday etc.” with a happy face. I greet everyone at the door with the same verbal antidote. My smile, along with steady eye contact, meshed with my own enthusiasm; allows me to evoke interest in others. In return, I usually receive long, lingering smiles, and enthused, attentive students and clients. Warm gestures can turn boring or frustrating interactions into fun, progressive scenarios. My classes and sessions would culminate with me at the door telling each and everyone leaving to “Shine On!” I know this positivity was contagious because my students would shout out to me when they passed me in the corridors, or run into me in public places: “Happy whatever day it is!” or “Shine On, Mrs. G!”.

A physical example of positive energy contagion that I experienced first hand, was last year in a hot yoga practice. When I shared my frustration about mastering a few  poses with my instructor, she suggested that instead of placing my mat in the corner, that I should try positioning it more in the center of the room, so that I could pick up on others’ energy. Low and behold, my postures improved from that day on. I have learned to gravitate to those I want to mimic.

I can observe these aspects of physical results from energy contagion while watching my 15 year old son play baseball, basketball and football over the past ten years. When there was a positive, enthused coach at the helm, the boys banned together with a higher percentage of enthusiasm, teamwork and wins.

I remember hearing about a Global Consciousness Project at a Louise Hay Convention in Tampa. One of the science authors- either Greg Braden or Bruce Lipton spoke about coherent consciousness on the morning of Sept. 11th. Researches from Princeton University looked at a period beginning 10 minutes after American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower at 8:46 a.m., and ending four hours afterward. To visualize the data, they plotted the cumulative deviation of a chi-square test.There was a proven fluctuation deviation throughout the moments of the five major events, during which ever-increasing numbers of people around the world were watching the news in stunned disbelief. It was calculated that the odds of this happening by chance was 35 to one. Another interesting peculiarity in the data included one of those measures starting 4-5 hours before the first plane hit. This eluded to the possibility that humans possess not just a collective consciousness, but also some degree of precognition. This data calls for us to reconsider the relationship between the mind, the heart and the physical world.

I remember the amount of camaraderie that existed among people everywhere in the world for years that followed the devastation. This was another example of positive contagion with the massive amounts of helpful hearts involved in the recovery process.

Starting each day with a gratitude list, prayers to be the best version of myself; along with prayers for others, allows me to channel positive energy to embrace a new day. I ask my higher power to place someone in my path that I can help or inspire. I read my Louise Hay Calendar affirmation. I repeat it out loud ten times. I read positive books, poems and material for twenty minutes. My favorite authors include Louise Hay, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Doreen Virtue, Deepak Chopra, Greg Braden, Anthony Robbins and Joel Olsteen- just to name a few. I take a Hot Bikram Yoga class or do a rushed cardio session depending on my schedule.

I use my positive energy in all facets of my life. It helps my media sales tremendously.

It was a blessing when I owned a restaurant with hosting, public relations and staffing.

I remember telling Doreen Guma that I always wanted to start a “Happy Hotline”. She told me that I can experience this by hosting and co-hosting Time to Play’s “Empower Half Hour” which I enjoy doing very much.

My life is best described as the ‘highest of highs,’ and the ‘lowest of lows.’ It wasn’t always easy. When times get dark or challenging, and really, everyday- I always surround myself with people that are positive and support my dreams. I give the same in return. What a great “Pandemic!!”

 

 

 

 

5 QUESTIONS YOU MAY BE ASKING ABOUT MEDIATION

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1. How long is it going to take?

On average, the mediation process will take anywhere from 2 to 6 sessions. From start to finish, it will take anywhere from 3 to 9 months, which includes the filing of all papers with the court and final Judgment of Divorce. Both timelines could be more or less, depending on the couple and the issues that have to be resolved.

By comparison, the litigation process takes years. If it goes to trial, you will be lucky to get there within 2 years. Again, depending on the couple and the issues, it could take 3-5-10+ years and a lot of $$$.

2. What will this cost me?

This is probably the most commonly asked question. If you go through the litigation process in New York, you are each going to spend a minimum $15,000-$20,000 retainer. That’s not going to be all inclusive if your case proceeds much past a month or two. In total, you will easily spend $40,000-$50,000+ each.

The average cost of mediation, on the other hand, is less than $6,000 and that includes filing everything in court. It could be as high as $10,000 if there is a need for experts to evaluate a business, pension or financial evaluation.

Would you rather have that extra money to send your children to college, or help your attorney’s children through college?

3. What if my ex doesn’t comply with the agreement?

Whether you choose mediation or litigation, the question remains the same. The answer is, you take them back to court.

The benefit of mediation, however, is that both parties have input into what the final agreement says and are more likely to comply with the agreement they crafted.

In the litigation process, a judge tells you what to do based on the law and does not take into account the realities of your financial and/or custodial situation. In this case, one party may be disinclined to adhere to the agreement because they simply can’t afford what they have been ordered to provide as child support and/or spousal maintenance.

4. What if the other party isn’t truthful regarding assets and financials?

Again, this is a very common question and concern whether mediating or litigating. The expectation is full disclosure, but nothing can really prevent one of the parties from hiding something.

If there is a suspicion that one of the parties is not telling the truth, then your mediator or lawyer would suggest you go to a forensic accountant or a financial planner.

5. Does a mediator have to be a lawyer?

This is a very, very common question and people are misled by answers they receive, especially from lawyers. The simple answer is no, a mediator does not have to be a lawyer. That doesn’t mean that a lawyer cannot be a mediator, but a lawyer who is in the role as a mediator must be acting in that role of a neutral third-party. Therefore, an attorney cannot give legal advice or represent the best interests of any one party during the mediation process.

If you are thinking about mediation and have any other questions, please feel free to give us a call. We will be happy to help.

Jeffrey Bloom
Jeffrey Bloom
Creative Resolution Services
jbloom@mymediationservices.com
516-308-7808

How to Eliminate Disappointment and Heartbreak

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mendingheart“He cheated on me. I’ve been through anger and grief. Now I am feeling intense pain, like a knife being twisted in my heart.” ~Anonymous Facebook Post

A broken heart is probably one of the most painful experiences this life has to offer. Think about it. How many times have you experienced a broken heart? How many times has someone disappointed you? I know if I had a dollar for every heartbreak and disappointment I’ve felt, I’d be able to finance a cruise around the world…well, maybe a cruise halfway around the world.

Yes, we’ve all experienced countless disappointments and heartbreaks throughout our lives, and if you keep living, it’s guaranteed you’ll experience even more—unless…

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to eliminate all heartbreak and disappointment. The secret is not well-known and hardly ever practiced…unless you choose to prioritize happiness.

Before a heart can be broken or a person can be disappointed, there is a learned behavior we all engage in that needs to be unlearned and eliminated. I’m sorry to say this behavior is considered “normal” but in reality it’s not. It is the reason for all disappointment and heartbreak.

Are you ready for the answer? Are you ready to eliminate heartbreak and disappointment in your life forever? I know I was.

People with broken hearts and disappoints have one thing in common: They have expectations of other people. Expectations of how someone else is supposed to act, feel, think, speak, and behave. If you never want to experience a broken heart, eliminate all expectations from your relationships…and, quite frankly, from your daily life as well.

Now, I’m not pretending that this is an easy practice. In fact, it’s taken me years to eliminate expectations from my own life. What I can promise you is that once you begin eliminating expectations, you will be happier. Think about it. Unless you have expectations, there is no reason to be disappointed. It took years, but today I don’t expect anyone to do or be anything other than themselves.

An added bonus: Make it a daily practice to eliminate all expectations from your life and you will be happier. I promise.

$103 Billion spent by Medicare on pharmaceuticals in 2013

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Interesting article — $103 billion was spent on pharmaceuticals in 2013.  $103 BILLION!  Check out this article.

Not to say that medications do not have a place in our society — I know many things are necessary to keep people healthy and maintain quality of life.  BUT after working in healthcare for 28 years, chairing a pharmacy committee in a healthcare facility, I can’t help but wonder if there are other ways to treat things like heartburn…

“The heartburn drug Nexium cost the most: $2.5 billion for 1.5 million Medicare patients, who filled 8 million prescriptions and refills. The total cost included what was paid by Medicare, beneficiaries and third parties such as supplemental health plans.”  Check out this article for the listing of the top 10 drugs and the suggestion for patients to get more involved in their care: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/05/01/403506160/brand-name-medicines-dominate-medicares-103-billion-drug-bill

Mother's Day

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Make Someone SmileSo, today I reflect on Mother’s Day, an annual day of recognition and celebration.

First, I’ve got to note that I am a mom of three wonderful children, now all young adults.  I fully recognize that being a mom is probably one of the most important responsibilities and functions in our society.  I certainly can’t say life wasn’t hard or challenging when they were younger, especially during a time when my husband and I worked opposite shifts in order to care for them when they were younger. Certainly there were days I could not even imagine how I could accomplish everything that needed to be done, but somehow we made it through.

Being a mom has been a most rewarding experience, and I am so proud how all three of my babies have grown up to be the most amazing, caring, responsible and civic-minded individuals.  I could not have hoped for anything better and am absolutely so grateful.

Something does trouble me as I reflect on Mother’s Day.  I did read about the origination of Mother’s Day by a woman named Anna Jarvis.  She began her work to make Mother’s Day an official National holiday in 1905 after her mother died, and it took until 1914 when Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation to make the 2nd Sunday in May the national holiday.  You are welcome to read more about her, but it had been noted that she was very upset about the day being exploited by organizations to make profit, and even brought lawsuits to try to end the commercialization.

So, here’s the part that might make people angry at me.  I don’t believe anyone has to buy me a gift because I’m a mom.  I believe that people should appreciate each other every day.  I believe we should recognize and thank our loved ones, friends and family every day, not just once a year.  Every day should be a people appreciation day.  What a better world this would be if we thanked everyone we came into contact with, appreciated their service, time, assistance, or love.  Celebrating once a year is just not enough.

That brought me to thinking about other holidays like Veteran’s Day.  Personally, I thank our veterans every day.  If I see a veteran, I always thank them for their service.  I know my life would be quite different right now if these brave men and women did not sacrifice so much to protect our freedoms.

So, happy people day.  I appreciate all of you who contribute to our society and to the lives of others. I salute our soldiers and veterans, our teachers, our police officers, our healthcare workers, our civil service workers, and the rest who make contributions to our daily lives and making our lives the best possible.

As a mom, I am proud of you.  As a person who has a mom, I am thankful that she gave me the opportunity to be here to make a difference, the best way I can, in the lives of anyone I can.

Today I celebrate you and hope to make you smile.

Pass it on.

Love,

Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life.  Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

"You're as Beautiful as You Feel"

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Carol KingI’m still exhilarated from experiencing “Beautiful,” the Carole King Musical on Broadway yesterday. The incredible music that magically touched my soul is not the only aspect of the performance which is causing me to feel this way.  A powerful factor in my excitement is that her story completely brings to life the exact concept that I encourage my coaching clients with every day.

This show brings us Carole’s answer to the empowering question that I often pose to my clients: “What did you feel held back from in your previous relationship that you can now accomplish?”

The amazing musical genius, Carole King, lacked the confidence to write the lyrics and perform the incredible music she composed during the younger part of her life. She depended upon her husband’s talent for lyrics, was blinded by her love and admiration for him, and didn’t expand her self-confidence.

When Carole went through the painful, disappointing, and frightening demise of her marriage, she was vulnerable and weak, wondering how she could possibly endure personally or professionally. Somehow, she intuitively found her inner wisdom and her courage which led her to compose, write the lyrics, and sing for her platinum Grammy winning album, Tapestry, and to make her mark on the world forever as an iconic female rock star.

What did YOU lack the confidence to accomplish during your previous relationship? If you can identify that significant answer, challenge the beliefs that continue to hold you back, and break out of your comfort zone, you too can reach the stars that you were meant to reach. Your voice can be heard whether you sing or not, your talents can be recognized, and your gifts can be appreciated by all those who you share them with. Use the enormous power you possess to make it happen. Then, much like Carole King, you will create a new life that is truly “Beautiful.” How would that feel?

Why an African Safari Should Be on Your Bucket List

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On our African safari, Chris and I watched a lion and her cubs (from the safety of a Range Rover) … walked the property of a five star hotel among zebras, giraffes, impalas and monkeys … listened to wild Africa awaken at sunrise … even sipped champagne next to Victoria Falls.

I think you get the picture that on this safari we didn’t rough it by sleeping in tents, or slogging through the jungle like in an old movie. We enjoyed beautiful accommodations, gourmet food, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences that we are still talking about today. And this is coming from very experienced travelers!

2006-09-18 11.17.20We went to Africa for almost three weeks and visited four different countries. One of the highlights was a stay at the beautiful and serene Royal Livingstone Hotel, a 5-star resort on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls.

We walked over to breathtaking Victoria Falls through a private entrance and watched wildlife wander around right on the hotel grounds. We were offered amazing adventures like river cruises and helicopter rides, or just relaxing in a hammock and getting a massage overlooking the river.

If you have ever toyed with the idea of your own African adventure, you should know that this type of trip takes a lot of planning and expertise. We can guide you through the fine points to make your experience one-of-a-kind.

2006-09-19 03.22.26Africa is a huge continent, and we will advise you on where you should go, countries to avoid, what you need to bring and what you should leave at home. We can arrange all the details, including flights between countries, and we have other African experts on speed dial to help make your trip worry and stress free.

There are many options to fit your budget, from moderate to high-end luxury. Some of the special reasons to add an African safari to your bucket list include:

· Romance: What an amazing place to honeymoon, celebrate an anniversary, special birthday, or even pop the question!

· Wildlife adventure: If you are an animal lover and photographer, you will be in heaven.

· Family memories: what an unforgettable, special learning experience to give to your children or grandchildren.

· Unique experiences: from jogging with Maasai warriors, balloon rides over the Serengeti Plain, whitewater rafting, even golf – we can arrange your custom itinerary.

Chris and I went on our safari in September and Africa was absolutely gorgeous at that time. Give us a call and we can start planning now for your Fall safari. Korte Travel (631) 893.4232

Coming in next month’s blog: Cruising French Polynesia.

CHRIS & SHEILA KORTE, ACC
skorte@cruiseplanners.com
Winners of Best of Long Island Travel Agency 2014

www.kortetravel.com

Toll Free: (631) 893-4232 ~ 866-81-KORTE (56783)
Local: 631-893-4232

Babylon, NY 11702