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Sanity SaversTM and More...
May 2012

Greetings for the upcoming holidays!

In Join the Club, I discuss how life's journey causes us to become associated with people and groups that we may never have dreamed possible and how we can benefit from those "club memberships."

In Tips for Creating Rituals and Traditions with Mindfulness, I ask you to consider creating meaningful, personal rituals or traditions to share with family and friends.

WE CAN ALL ADDRESS THE LITERACY CRISIS IN THIS COUNTRY. Jumpstart is a national early education nonprofit organization that pairs well-trained, caring adults with underserved preschoolers who live in poverty in year long mentoring relationships. I was honored to be Jumpstart's Read for the Record's National Spokesperson on NBC's Today Show this past Fall and to have moderated a panel of Jumpstart's founders on February 22nd at the Yale Club in NYC. Jumpstart's Scribbles to Novels www.jstart.org/scribblesnyc, event will take place on Tuesday, May 8th at 6:30pm at Cipriani Wall Street. Join Tina Fey (who will be interviewed by Gayle King) and other acclaimed and entertaining authors to celebrate the written word and support Jumpstart's programming in the tri-state area and around the country. For more information, contact Melissa Gordon: 212.868.2526 212.868.2526 x16 or melissa.gordon@jstart.org.

Thank you for helping to spread the word about the mission of Jumpstart and the remarkable strides being made in low income neighborhoods every day. We need your help, so please, if you can, contribute by clicking on www.jstart.org/donate www.jstart.org/donate. There is something that every single one of us can do to help those less fortunate. Over one million children live below the poverty level in the U.S. This shameful situation must change. Each of us has a responsibility to repair our world. Let us eliminate the 2-year achievement gap that exists between children from low income and those from middle income neighborhoods when they begin kindergarten!

Visit www.jstart.org to learn more about Jumpstart initiatives - such as Scribbles to Novels; Playdate With A Purpose; and Read for the Record.

You may be interested to visit Marlo Thomas' website, www.marlothomas.com, where I discuss psychology and relationship issues. Marlo Thomas and I talk about families and the holidays (and we surely have a lot of holidays!). Tune in for some sanity saving ideas for YOUR family gatherings.

Once again thank you for continuing to read and talk about Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life.

Check my website, www.drdaleatkins.com for updates on my appearances and use the Quick Links sidebar to access ongoing articles. I am available to speak to your group or organization. Please contact me directly at dale@drdaleatkins.com or contact the Speakers' Bureau at HarperCollins.

I appreciate you sharing this newsletter with your friends, loved ones, and colleagues by clicking Send to a Friend button below.

Wishing you health, peace and balance.

Dale

In this issue
  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • Sanity SaversTM
    Join The Club
  • Happenings
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Tips For Creating Rituals and Traditions with Mindfulness
  • A Thought

  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
    SS Book Cover

    SANITY SAVERS: Tips for Women to Live A Balanced Life is filled with suggestions to save your sanity every day of the year.

    A must for any woman seeking to find her balance!


    Sanity SaversTM
    Join The Club
    birds on beach

    For many of us, the thought of becoming a member of a club involves anticipation, applications, interviews, assessments, dues, and a fair amount of socializing in order to join. For others, there is some dread associated with it, wondering if they will be "accepted" by the group they want to become a part of.

    Having neither applied for nor joined a club, I have not experienced the "club world" first hand but I remember laughing at the now infamous Groucho Marx comment, "I sent the club a wire stating, PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT ME AS A MEMBER."

    But what happens when you become a member of a club you never wanted to join? Never submitted a membership application? Never wanted to be or see yourself among its ranks? Yet something happens in your life, and bingo, you are a member of a club you had no idea existed or had no desire, or maybe even feared, joining.

    Within an instant you become a (reluctant) member of the orphan club, the breast cancer survivor club, the young widow or widower club, the parent of a child with special needs club, the divorce club, the partner of someone who has Alzheimer's club, the battered woman club, the sexual abuse survivor club, the spinal chord injury club, the parent of a deceased child club, and countless others.

    Not only did you not want to join, you never thought it possible that this new position would define you. Before you may be ready to identify as a member, others either enlist you for membership or refer to you as a member. You may feel stripped of the rest of your person-hood - your identity - other roles and functions you assume.

    Yet when we experience life to the fullest, being present during our journeys, we see that we are, indeed, members of many clubs. Those we make an effort to join and those we had hoped to avoid. Initially, despite the way we entered the club, we may believe our person hood is defined by our membership; that our status is enhanced or diminished by that membership. In fact, it is neither elevated nor reduced. It just is.

    Belonging to clubs where others have experienced similar life challenges can be comforting in unexpected ways. We feel an association with people we may never, otherwise, have met. We feel we share nothing in common, except this one, deep connection, which others in the clubs we worked so hard to get into, may not be able to relate to; may even avoid referencing when in our company. Asking, "how ya doing?" for awhile but then, over time, for any number of reason, moving on and praying that we do too.

    Being a member of the club we never wanted to join can help us immeasurably during tough times, knowing we are not alone; that others have survived the "unthinkable" and they are there for us to observe, learn from, lean on, emulate, rail against, challenge, get through, perhaps transform as a result of knowing they did it, are doing it.

    It helps as well as allows us to stay a part of the other clubs, the ones we tried so hard to join, if we want to. Because in the end, we are the sum of all of our experiences and we have many aspects. We integrate it all and go on. Sometimes we need to go to the movies or participate in life without focusing on our loss, and feel "normal" even though we are in the midst of trying to get our minds and arms around what will be a "new normal." With reasonable expectations, we don't expect members in one club to give us what members in the other clubs can give us, and we are less likely to be resentful. It is up to each of us to determine how we get what we need to live our new life fully.


    Happenings

    TODAY Show (NBC)
    May 4th: 10AM hour: Mothers and Daughters.
    Check www.today.com for Dr. Atkins' article about Mothers and Daughters.
    Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for latest updates, including changes of time.

    Dr. Atkins is a frequent commentator on breaking news for CNN's HLN. Please check HLNtv.com for updates.

    Workshop for Parents Dealing with the Complex Challenges of Raising a Child with Listening Issues
    May 1st: 6-8PM.
    Center for Communication and Hearing.
    50 Broadway, 6th Floor, New York, NY. Please call (917) 305-7850 for details.

    Darby and Friends
    May 4th: 5-6PM. Topic: The "Right" Way vs. "My" Way.
    wgch.com, 1490-AM radio.

    Jumpstart's Scribbles to Novels www.jstart.org/scribblesnyc
    May 8th: 6:30pm;
    Join Tina Fey (who will be interviewed by Gayle King) and other acclaimed and entertaining authors to celebrate the written word and support Jumpstart's programming in New York City and around the country.
    At Cipriani Wall Street. For more information, contact Melissa Gordon: 212.868.2526 212.868.2526 x16 or melissa.gordon@jstart.org.

    Volta Voices Cover Story
    Connect with Dr. Dale Atkins, written by Susan Boswell. January/February 2012 issue.
    Published by Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

    TC Today Magazine
    Dr. Atkins is the focus of Work - Life Balance, written by James Reisler in the December, 2011 issue. A PDF of the article is available on www.drdaleatkins.com.

    About.com
    Topics by Dr. Dale Atkins:
    Tips for Getting Along with In-Laws: http://video.about.com/marriage/Tips-for-Getting-Along-With-In-Laws.htm;
    Warning Signs of a Troubled Marriage: http://video.about.com/marriage/Warning-Signs-of-a-Troubled-Marriage.htm;
    Issues to Deal with before Marriage: http://video.about.com/marriage/Types-of-Issues-to-Deal-With-Before-Getting-Married.htm;
    Warning Signs of Cheating Spouse: http://video.about.com/marriage/Warning-Signs-of-Cheating-Spouses.htm; Tips for Maintaining Interfaith Marriages: http://video.about.com/marriage/Tips-for-Maintaining-Interfaith-Marriages.htm;
    Tips for Growing Old Together
    :
    http://video.about.com/marriage/Tips-for-Growing-Old-Together.htm;
    and, Most Important Questions to Ask Before Getting Married: http://video.about.com/marriage/Most-Important-Questions-to-Ask-Before-Getting-Married.htm
    .

    Visit Marlo Thomas' site to access my relationship column and Mondays with Marlo video stream. http://marlothomas.aol.com/search/?q=dale+atkins

    Read Dr. Atkins' chapter, "Therapeutic Issues with Recipients of Cochlear Implants," in the new text, Psychotherapy With Deaf Clients From Diverse Groups, Second Edition.
    Edited by Irene Leigh, and published by Gallaudet University Press.

    Read Dr. Atkins' chapter, "Family Involvement and Counseling in Serving Children Who Possess Impaired Hearing," in the new text, Introduction to Aural Rehabilitation.
    Edited by Raymond H. Hull, and published by Plural Publishing.

    I invite you to visit my website to access archives of articles and interviews on line.


    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
    laughter

    Laugh

    Do something that makes you smile and feel really good. Watch your pet play and get on the floor and engage each other. Buy a couple of your favorite comedies and watch them, even if only for ten minutes at a time, to remind yourself to have fun.

    Nothing feels quite as good (or is as good for you) as a true belly laugh. If you have not had a good laugh today, now is the time to make that happen.


    Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Tips For Creating Rituals and Traditions with Mindfulness
    tai chi

    Mindfully creating rituals and traditions can be a beautiful way to honor people who mean something to us. Most of us continue rituals or practice traditions because it is the way things are done or have been done by "our people" for generations. There is great value in that practice. One such value is that families pass important lessons and legacies to younger generations.

    By participating in rituals, we have opportunities to feel connected to others as well as to our ancestral roots or larger community. Also, their predictability and continuity can help us through challenging times. We can also create our own rituals and traditions that are personally meaningful to us. These address where we are in life, grow out of a particular experience, and we can meaningfully share them with others. Not only can we address where we are at a moment in time, we can also honor friends by adopting or adapting their rituals or traditions in our own lives. We can include others who may not be related to us, expanding the concept of continuity, legacy, and "community as family."

    Consider what may be appropriate rituals for you at this time of your life as you reflect on some of the ideas and examples below.

    Sharing a Blessing. - Rooted in his religion, a father, now a grandfather, "blesses" his children (who are adults living all over the country) every Sabbath by phone. Whether traveling or in their homes, they look forward to and expect this special connection with their father.

    Reflecting on a High Point with Friends. - A single woman discovered and adapted the ritual of sharing when she dined with family friends. To find a moment of connection in overly busy and scheduled lives, "highlight of the week" was central to this family's weekly dinner. Each person focuses on the week gone by, sharing one highlight (or low point). This opening of communication, keeping one another informed about what's happening in their lives focuses on appreciating the value of reflection and sharing without judgment. She included it in dinners she hosted and when she married, it became an integral part of her own life as a way to connect with family and friends.

    Honoring A Loved One. - As a tribute to her best friend's teenage daughter who underwent chemotherapy, a woman and her daughter grow their hair. Once a year they cut 10 inches of hair styled in a ponytail and donate it to Locks of Love so a hairpiece can be made for another child undergoing chemotherapy.

    Volunteering Together. - After divorcing his children's mother, a father arranges for himself and his children, all of whom love animals, to volunteer at a horse ranch for a weekend. Every year for 15 years, they have returned to that ranch.


    A Thought

    "People seem to forget that play is serious."

    David Hockney


    DALE V. ATKINS Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist, lecturer and commentator in the media who appears on the Today show.

    She has more than twenty- five years of experience and focuses on living a balanced life, parenting, aging well, managing stress, life & work transitions, family connections and healthy relationships.

    Dr. Atkins is the author and/or co-editor of several books including:

  • Sisters
  • From the Heart:
    Men and Women Write Their Private Thoughts about their Private Lives
  • Families and their Hearing-Impaired Children
  • I'm OK, You're My Parents
    How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger and Create a Relationship that Works
  • Wedding Sanity Savers
    How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day.
  • And her newest book . . .

  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • .

    Find out more....
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