J Simens.com

FIGT Board of Directors 2014-2015


FIGT15

Our friends flew in from around the world for the  Families in Global Transition board meeting. The  American Foreign Service Association  generously  provided our meeting space. Our day was full of  information and growth.  I am really excited about the  FIGT Board of Directors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have not met the FIGT board of directors – here are their snapshots.

Each person on the board dedicates their time and effort to bring together people around the world to share in the joy of ‘global nomads’. The Board of Directors provides the leadership for FIGT. These individuals are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of internationally relocating families. Directors are elected at annual meetings for a term of two years.

Our mission statement:

Families in Global Transition is a welcoming forum for globally mobile individuals, families, and those working with them. We promote cross-sector connections for sharing research and developing best practices that support the growth, success and well-being of people crossing cultures around the world.

 

David C. Pollock Scholarship

The David C. Pollock Scholarship Fund pays tribute to international educator, sociologist and co-author of Third Culture Kids, David C. Pollock. His tireless support, vision and dedication to families in global transition impacted countless people in every corner of the globe. Building on Pollock’s legacy, FIGT aims to attract, involve and educate emerging, global-minded, intercultural leaders.

The David C. Pollock Scholarship provides highly motivated individuals working or studying in the intercultural field the opportunity to attend the FIGT conference. The ideal Scholarship applicant will demonstrate how attending the FIGT conference will help jumpstart a project, profession and/or entrepreneurial endeavor that contributes to others in global transition. Each Scholarship recipient will have the opportunity to establish life-long professional connections and contribute his or her unique gifts to FIGT during and beyond the conference.

THE FIGT CONFERENCE

The FIGT Conference, often referred to as the grassroots “think tank” for families relocating globally, offers leading edge methods, research and cross-sector collaboration. It is the only conference in the world where representatives of the corporate, diplomatic, academic, military, mission, arts and entrepreneurial sectors gather to share their knowledge and skills. In an open and inquisitive environment, FIGT specifically addresses the developmental impact of international relocation on families and children, and the conference offers a fertile exchange of strategies toward realizing successful global transitions.

Put March 6-8th on your calendar!  See you in Tysons Corner Marriott!

 

Note: The Pollock Scholarship Application is coming soon for the 2015 FIGT Annual Conference.

 

 

 

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Global Family: Each child has a unique Identity


Balikpapan ExpatsWe are putting on a free webinar this week which would be perfect for anyone relocating anytime. The title is “New Country, New School.” sign up here.  Thursday, 21st at  10 AM BalikpapanTime.

 

What a wonderful introduction. 

PARENT WORKSHOP WITH JULIA SIMENS

We are very excited to have such a renowned author and specialist, Ms Julia Simens presenting a workshop for our AIS parents and friends, based on the title “Needs of Cross Cultural Kids”. (Being an educator, speaker, author and consultant, this has provided Julia the opportunity to work with over 8,000 families on five continents.  We are very fortunate in having Julia here in Balikpapan and we are thrilled she can share her expertise with us. It should be a very informative presentation. Please check out the link: http://indonesiaexpat.biz/meet-the-expats/meet-julia-simens/

So many of the families I work with want to know a few key things at every presentation that I give. They want to know the correct terms to use to describe their family and children. They want to know what and why transitions are the way they are and how to prepare for them. Then, they want to know how to relate it directly to their own issues.

I am excited to give this presentation to the Australian School located in Balikpapan. You can advance through the presentation below by clicking on the forward button. If you do not want the music, be sure to click the volume button on the lower left side of the presentation.  Videos that are imbedded will not play automatically so you will need to click on they to get them to start.

 

Activites to do:  Identity and Time Line

To understand why “knowing your child’s identity from his or her view point is important”, please do this activity.

List everything that makes up your child’s identity. Such as:

  • Gender – male or female
  • Cultural Grouping
  • National Identity
  • Religious Identity
  • Passport Country
  • Mom’s heritage
  • Dad’s heritage
  • Identify Identification

Here is an example of a student I used to work with:

He was a six year old male. He lived in a household that was English and Indonesia. His main cultural grouping was Indonesia. He was being raised a Christian. He passport was from the USA.  Mom was American, Dad was Indonesia. He identified with being a basketball player and really good at making jokes.

Then we did his actual time line:

He was six years old so we needed to account for his time and where he lived. When you are dealing with a young child try to keep track of moves by 1 or 6 month changes. Some global families go ‘home’ for 2 months over the summer and that should show up at 10 months in host country and 2 months in ‘home’ location.

Did his parents realize how much "Thai" influences were in their child?

Did his parents realize how much “Thai” influences were in their child?

Born in the USA , spent six months there. Moved to Indonesia and sent 1 year there, family moved to Thailand where they spent most of each year. They did try to spend a month in Indonesia and one month is the USA each year if possible. If you account for each month of this child’s life, his life chart looked liked this. 15% USA, 23% Indonesian and 62% Thai.

 

Some people quest why this type of break down is important or why they should even think about it in regards to their global family.  Here are the top five reasons why we need to know and understand our child’s own timeline.

  1. Parents might see their child’s cultural identity differently than their child does.
  2. Parents may impose an identity on their child, which many not be the way the child sees him or her self.
  3. Parents must not rely on a school to know the issues their child is having with cultural adjustments, unless they share them with the school.
  4. Many children moving to their passport country are not ‘moving back or moving home.’ Home is actually their parent’s home.
  5. Kids love to be unique so knowing how ‘special’ their own life or timeline is can be a very positive  understanding of  ‘self’  they can be proud of.
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Favorite Food: Indomei (still)

My own child is still less from the USA passport belonging – then where he lived abroad. His time in the USA was limited by a short stay when he was one year old and then summer holidays. He has never lived there for any length of time. This might have brought up the issue of where to go to college or university.  Some global souls do not pick their passport country to go to university. This can be hard to explain to grandparents and extended family.

Global Families should also be aware of this concern. 

(From – Erin Sinogba/Brice Royer/TCKID/ Expatica) Many CCKs also face challenges that unfortunately manifest themselves professionally. Many CCKs are schooled in educational systems that do not translate in their passport countries. A Korean student, who received her education in English while living in Malawi and Kenya, may not perform well at a university in Korea, where she needs to write papers and give oral presentations in Korean.

As a result, her professional opportunities in Korea will not be as wide as those for another Korean student who had been raised in the Korean educational system. This challenge is especially pronounced for CCKs who wish to pursue skilled professions such as medicine and law in their passport countries. Because of their highly specialized terminology, education and proficiency in the language of the passport country is essential for success. Unless CCKs receive supplemental education in these languages, they may miss out on opportunities in these areas.

jackie's time lineAs globalization becomes more and more a fact of life, CCKs are a model for tomorrow’s professionals. It has taken 23 years for our daughter’s time line to show that she is now more USA than any other culture she has lived in. As she heads off into the workforce, she will be equipped with wonderful things this global live has given her. She will continue to hold a special and unique worldview, where she can  self-identify with more than one cultural background.

 

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Aging Parent: Torn Between Two Worlds


Expat's World Full of Heart

Expat’s World Full of Heart

 

Having an aging parent is hard enough but with more and more families becoming global nomads and living abroad when an aging parent needs help the issue is compounded. As the month of July is over half over, I am painfully aware that I will not be seeing my Mom again this summer.

 

 

When to get your aging parent help

Look for the small things that give you a clue on how her daily life is going. We knew Mom needed more help when we went home for a summer holiday and her coffee pot was a real mess.  Mom was the type of person who drank hot coffee for breakfast, had a coffee at mid-morning,  coffee with lunch and coffee in the afternoon.  It had to be hot and it had to be black. Her coffee pot was dirty and the coffee grinds were on the burner, the side of the pot and inside her coffee cups.  Mom’s eyesight had gotten worse and no one had noticed.

Getting someone in to help clean was not news that Mom wanted to hear at first. We were lucky. We had to set up housecleaning and manage it from 8,000 miles away. The caretaker was used to working with the older population so she easily billed us for her services once a month as we were able to pay her directly from our overseas account so Mom was not involved in the money transactions.  The biggest benefit was this lady was an honest and caring individual so Mom actually got way more support than we paid for.  A blessing for so many people who find themselves living far away from an ageing parent.

As the author of “Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child” I am well aware of the issues young families have had living apart from their extended families and grandparents but now as many of this same group of people are having aging parents, I am finding that it is all too common to have to seek additional support for their own parents since they live so far away.

When the unexpected happens

Illness never happen when you are around for the holidays. They strike unexpectedly. I am amazed how many of my friends spent wonderful holidays with family, then traveled around to world to get to their home. Only to get back on a plane and head back to their parent’s house for an emergency visit. I wonder if a broken heart factors into these illnesses and deaths.

My mother has recently had to move to a full time nursing facility because she broke her back. I was recently back home to visit mom and wrote a blog about her community exercise that we got to watch. (DÉJÀ VU: DODGE BALL MAKES ME QUIVER)

After several times of a ball to human interaction, my Mom was not so lucky. The recreational director even called out her name before she threw the beach ball but wham, the ball hit my Mom directly on the face. With her glasses askew, the ball bounced off her face, hit her chest, then rolled down to the floor.  With one gallant last try my Mom flung out her foot and made contact with the big beach ball. The ball sailed across the community center out of the circle of chairs and wheelchairs. Mom would not be doing these exercises if she was still living in her own home.

Enjoy and share the positive things

Is it mentally harder to go from the bad to the good? Do you always ask your aging parent, “How are you feeling?”.  Why not start with a positive! “Mom, your eyes are really looking great today.”  Most people do not convert from one frame of mind to another very well.

Last night I went to a local talk called “Getting Stuck in the Negatives (and How to Get Unstuck)” by Dr. Alison Ledgerwood from UC Davis. She joined the Department of Psychology at UC Davis in 2008 after completing her PhD in social psychology at New York University. She is interested in understanding how people think, and how they can think better. Her research, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, investigates how certain ways of thinking about an issue tend to stick in people’s heads.

Why do bad things seem to stick in our minds so much longer than the good things? Is there anything we can do about it? Dr. Ledgerwood’s behavioral science research suggests that negative thoughts are cognitively “stickier” than positive ones— but with some effort, it seems we can retrain our brains to focus on the upsides.

Once we think about something as a “loss”, it seems to stick with us longer. I will continue to send my mother cards and notes sharing the positives in her life. If I can’t physically be there, I can be there with positive words of gratitude.

Expats are experts at this

How do we reach beyond our current experience? One of the most basic challenges that people face in everyday life is how to cross gaps—gaps that separate self from other, now from future, here from there, and us from them. Even the simplest activities, like having a conversation or planning what to do next week, would be impossible if it were not for the human capacity to get unstuck from current experience and relate to other people, future time points, and distant contexts. (according to Dr. Ledgerwood)

I agree. Expats face challenges every day on how to cross gaps in their lives. Communication is always an easy one to see and the possibility to negotiate this is easy for some. Hard for others. I am the mono-cultural one tounge type person. My TCK has the ability to pick up the local street slang in a new country the first week we are there. He then blossoms into an almost fully understandable speaker within a few months. He even has the ability to sometimes pick up other words in other languages because his friends come from a variety of places around the world.

Dr. Ledgerwood’s research centers around the social psychological tools that humans have developed to help them reach across these distances. 

Notes:

Related Blogs – SANDWICH AND A PIE – DOES LIFE GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS? and  WHO ELSE WANTS MORE ETHICAL DECISIONS IN THE WORLD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werner_projection#mediaviewer/File:Map-heart-054.jpg

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Remember the Music – Raise awareness of Alzheimer’s


Remember the Music – an evening of music by area musicians to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s.

alz association of coloradoI have seen a variety of Eagle Scout projects from around the world. Living as an expat for many years, I have gone to Eagle Scout events in Nigeria, Thailand, Indonesia and the USA. The majority of Eagle projects are construction-based. This one was different –  it had one huge key element: It meant something personally to the scout, Grant Martin.

Some project ideas don’t always present themselves so clearly. That makes Requirement 5 — “plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project” — the task that slows down more aspiring Eagles than any other.

Boy Scout

This evening was the first time I was so impressed that I felt I needed to blog about my experience and tell my readers about this powerful work done by Grant Martin of Conifer, Colorado.

First of all Grant was honoring his Grandfather so of course that touched my soul. His ‘Grampa’ died in 2009 had Alzheimer’s so this tribute was very heart warming I was impressed by the facts about Alzheimer’s  that Ms. Erin Leeper from the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association supplied to the audience.

Being a serial expat, I have had very few chances to hear our National Anthem. It was the trumpet solo by Will Buckles that made me truly realize that this Boy Scout project was really based in America. I was able to remember the music from my past where it was common to hear this song prior to events.

Musical Families are dear to my heart

Sigrid and Ianna Debrunner completed a very impressive piano number. When they played  “The Wanderer”, I thought of all my fellow global nomads, we have indeed been wanderers!  Stella Martin then brought it back home to me. Her spectacular rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was breathtaking. Imagine being that young and having that much pose as well as having that voice – Stella’s mom on the piano must have been very proud.

Stella was "Perfect"!

Stella was “Perfect”!

Kathleen Widland and Jeff Scarborough vocals and guitars really rocked the room with two songs, “Hard Times” and “For Mom and Dad”.  We were all very impressed. I am sure all parents related to the last song and for many families the first song as well.  I loved the bang-up performance of members from “Check”.  They were some members of the Heritage High School’s Show Choir.

Abe Martin’s informal mind-blowing ability to give us songs on the piano to help us complete the “Name that Tune Competition” was very impressive. I thought at times, it was a trick by the Alzheimer’s Association to help us get a real life experience of the disease.  I say this lighthearted, but I ‘knew’ so many of the tunes but was unable to come up with the title.  Or I knew the title but not the composer. Of course, when you are in a room full of musical people or parents of the musicians on stage, someone got eight song titles and eight composers right!  Not my group.

Nate Locke showcased from the back of the room a wonderful trumpet solo. All enjoyed this.

Parent and Child Interactions and Connections

The storytelling on how Grant and his mother, Jane Diamond-Martin created duets were priceless. Imagine the joy of a mom to be able to sit side by side with her child as they practice, learn and execute a duet. Jane has been able to do this with Grant on a variety of occasions. They treated us to three tonight, “Strolling at Loch Lomond”, “Sonatina in C” and “Songs my Mother Taught Me”.  They were executed flawless in my opinion. I have always been a huge believer in the magic of storytelling between a parent and a child.  Now I understand the magic of the musical storytelling with your child.

The theme of musical families was very apparent with Greta Gohring and Judy Gohring allows us a peek at how they can perform together. The Jazz Combo from the Conifer High School played “Standing on the Corner and “Song for My Father.”  The following people preformed the final numbers at the concert, Mike and Sandy Marek, Kristy and Nate Craig and Nora Oehrle.

I thought it was a nice touch that Grant decided to end the evening of music with the classic song ” Let There be Peace on Earth” where he invited all the performers and the audience to join in with this. I, of course, sang.  Loud and proud.

Grant Martin did indeed – “plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project”.

 

Notes:

Please note I am not an expert in Music, Boy Scouts, or awareness of Alzheimer’s, if there are mistakes above, I am sorry.

Special thanks to Robert Martin and Carol Martin who thought to include me in this special celebration.

Start the year off right – reading Expat Books!


If you don’t know Jo Parfitt – you should!

Jo Parfitt’s Expat Book Reviews

Jo Parfitt is the author of several books for global nomads, including Career in Your Suitcase and Write Your Life Stories. She currently lives in Malaysia. With the help of her students she has been invited to provide the reviews you find on these pages.

website www.joparfitt.com

These are my five favorite books


The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition
Tina L. Quick
Summertime Publishing
300 pages, paperback, €18

Tina L. Quick’s Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition provides crucial guidance for Third Culture Kids (TCKs) who are moving to their passport country for higher education. This guide is thoroughly researched and the American style and content makes it of particular use for a US audience.
Quick identifies the potential pitfalls of university transition and suggests how they can be avoided. As a mother of three TCKs who have experienced living a cross-cultural lifestyle, her knowledge of the topic is evident. Her current work advising international students and on the board of Families in Global Transition, means that the author is an expert in her field.
This guide is ideal for TCKs who are repatriating for university, as the transition process is dealt with step by step in the first five chapters. Furthermore, the inclusion of a chapter dedicated to parents makes this a worthwhile read for the entire family. The summaries at the end of each chapter make this guide easy to dip into, though this can lead to a little repetition. Any teen planning to repatriate for college will find the process easier, smoother and less daunting with this guide by their side.

by  Sian Witherden

Home Keeps Moving
By Heidi Sand-Hart
McDougal Publishing 2010
158 pages, paperback £10.99

 You own two or more passports. You boarded airplanes before you could walk. And you feel strange surrounded solely by ethnic majorities. If any of these statements ring a bell, you may well be a part of the third culture kids (TCK) phenomenon. Home keeps moving is the penned memoir of a childhood spanning continents, languages, school systems and multi-cultural friendships.

Heidi Sand-Hart’s journey is a touchingly personal account, and yet she stands as a universal voice for all of us who as youngsters knew more about training maids in the Far East than the latest MTV video clips. Combining diary format style writing with chapter headings on specific issues connected to the TCK syndrome generally works well, and is useful when wishing to refer back to certain observations at a later point in time.

Rather than a professional guide, this book rather feels like having a heart-to-heart with your closest girlfriend. We laugh, cry and sigh with Heidi through her frustrations and efforts to fit into each new environment, just as she has adjusted and coped with her current “home”. A must-read for any TCK – I was hooked till the early hours of the morning to finish reading a story so comfortingly close to my own reminiscences.

by Jennifer Reischel (a fellow TCK)

Big in China
My unlikely adventures raising a family, playing the blues, and becoming a star in Beijing
Alan Paul
Harper-Collins
262 pages, hardback, €19.02

This expat memoir is different. Its author is a trained journalist, one-time senior editor of Guitar World and recently crowned Columnist of the Year for his column, The Expat Life, at the Wall Street Journal. Not only is Alan Paul a terrific, acclaimed, writer, but he also has a fascinating story to tell. First, he is a househusband. An expat househusband, and thus shares my own nomenclature of Trailing Spouse. Second, he followed his highly successful wife, Becky, to Beijing on their first posting. Third, his hobby for playing blues guitar led him not only to join but to front a Chinese band and to be their singer too. Again, awards were forthcoming, and Woodie Alan was named the Best Band in China.

So, this is no ordinary memoir. Or is it? For Alan Paul is a modern kind of guy. He is father to Eli, Jacob and Anna and being a father comes first. He is in touch with his emotions and is frank about the difficulties he experienced, his isolation, his culture shock, the difficulty with which he handled his father’s cancer, at a distance and the deep sadness he felt on having to say goodbye and repatriate to America. His story is the story of any expat partner, male or female, musician or not. It is also, importantly, a story of hope and proactivity and will inspire any expat partner to make the most of their posting and become a rockstar in their own right.

by Jo Parfitt 

How to Be a Global Grandparent
Anne Huscroft and Peter Gosling
Zodiac Publishing
132 pages, paperback £9

 

For many expats, the fear of their children growing up without forming that ‘special’ bond with their grandparents is not to be underestimated. When there is a physical distance between grandchildren and grandparents the cost of travel and the time and stress involved in keeping a relationship alive can be an issue. This book, written by a global grandparent of 20 years, who has visited his own grandchildren in several countries at least twice a year and the parent of a global grandchild, explains how to create strong and lasting bonds across the miles and generations. Anne, however, has lived in Germany and the Netherlands with her family and is the mother of a global grandchild. Her work as a computer trainer meant that the technology of computers, email, Skype, Facebook and other file sharing and communication tools has made things much easier. Peter, who is an avid Skyper, interviewed relocation and counseling professionals to discover how best to forge those lasting bonds and conducted a survey of global grandparents from several countries. Anne is in charge of the IT section in the book. The result is a useful, inspiring book that will give hope and advice to expat families.

by Jo Parfitt

Third Culture Kids – The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds
Ruth van Reken and David Pollock
Nicholas Brealey
320 pages, paperback, €14.50

Two of the world’s gurus on cross cultural children and growing up as expatriates collaborated on this, undoubtedly, the best book there is on what it feels like to be a TCK (Third Culture Kid). Based on experience, research and case study, this is the kind of book that parents buy and then their children read. With stories that will resonate with expat kids the world over, it explains clearly and compellingly not only how it feels to be a TCK, but also what you can do about it. Subjects such as saying goodbye, unresolved grief and identity make this the leading handbook in this field.

Other great books can be found here. All of these reviews came from this great site.

 

 

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Every Webinar I Have Ever Know Has …


Given me some gems to tuck away. Many of these little gems end up on small sticky notes and thrown in my desk drawer to be revisited again and again.- Julia Simens 2013

 
I’m on a BIG mission to help military & expatriate families around the world have easy access to experts and resources to help transition from feelings of loss and overwhelm to flourishing in the life they dream of and deserve!” by Dr. Paulette Bethel, CMC
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It was fun being on the “Lost in Transition Global Telesummit” today.  I hope you have been able to follow some of the series! If you don’t know Havilah Malone, the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit Co-host, Television Star & “Publicity Magnet” you can get to know her at: http://HavilahMalone.com

Paulette Bethel, founder and host on the Lost in Transition Global Telesummit, CEO and Founder of Land on Your Feet, you can get to know her at: http://DrPauletteBethel.com

for blog

I have received emails about the topics I covered today so I’d like to expand on them here. I feel the top three needs for success in the 21st century for a global family is

  1. Filtering
  2. Connecting
  3. Choosing

Understanding your filtering – The filtering processes are key and often very hard to do. It takes a real knack to be able to zero in on what’s most important.

Stuff that makes your family successful

I ask families to focus on the stuff that success is made of: emotions, confidence, interaction skills, thinking and articulation, attacking and defending arguments, analyzing and problem solving and cultural knowledge.

I feel clients will have a real challenge deciding on what to focus on for real growth in their family.  Filtering will be paramount.  For example, a family might come in with the over lying concern about their child’s lack of friends. But the family is missing the larger picture of their own connection time with each other. A family must connect while the kids are young because it gets harder and harder to make authentic connections as children get older. Yes, they do have a concern about the child’s friend but they need to filter out things that are surface level concerns and not the real issues.

Social Media pros and cons

Unsure of how to connect – Social media for sharing is a continuous process in so many people’s lives, but it does not have the same effect as it does in a psychodynamic therapy situation. Many people might use face book or tweeter to talk about personal feelings or situations that would have been disclosed privately in the past only to people in their physical social circles. Online disclosures can make a person feel raw so it will be important to know where and how to move forward. There is no substitute for talking about issues with someone who’s an expert in the process. Many families will feel they don’t have time to make the personal therapeutic connection they might need in order to help their family thrive.

Ethical choices we make every day

Issues of choice – trying to instill values of kindness and decency at times runs up against the value of our culture to get the latest new toy, or push to get your child into an Ivy League school. As families absorb more and more cultural norms of other people they might move away from their core beliefs. The option of choices of values will clash if people are not careful.

If a child does not have a sense of ‘family’ this is a huge risk. The impact of a strong family identity and the connecters factor is often long lasting, giving messages to your child that they are loved and accepted and belong to a wider network of people who matter is important.

Know your emotions. I believe that emotions help us make more ethical decisions. If your child can’t understand their own emotions or tune into the emotions of others in the family or with peers – this is a huge risk.  If the child is unable to make ethical decisions, they are at risk to themselves and a risk to society.

 

 

Changing people’s lives : Afformations


 

the book of afformations

Thanks so much for all the emails about “Afformations”.  Here is more information about Noah St. John and his book.

 

Author Noah St. John, has just released his new book from Hay House, The Book of Afformations: Discovering The Missing Piece to Abundant Health, Wealth, Love, and Happiness and it is all about transforming lives.   The Book of Afformations, takes a new approach and is about asking ourselves positive questions to help direct our thought to finding positive answers and making changes when needed to help reach our positive goals.

One of the world’s most sought-after experts on personal growth and professional development, Noah St. John appears frequently as an expert in the news, including CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, NPR, PARADE, Woman’s Day, Los Angeles Business Journal, Huffington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Forbes.com, The Washington Postand now Family Focus Blog!  You can find out more about his book at afformationsbook.com

The Book of Afformations- 5 Success Stories

I was reading some of the success stories of people that have read the book and they are rather inspiring so I thought I would share a few with you here (reprinted with permission):

1.  Brandon was a struggling insurance salesman who’d spent more than $40,000 on every self-help program under the sun without seeing results. Using Afformations, he tripled his sales in 30 days. By the end of the year, his income had increased by 560% and he was named Agent of The Year.

2.  Michael from Germany was a chronic procrastinator. He and his wife Silvia had decided to get a divorce. In fact, the divorce papers were on the desk waiting to be signed. At the last moment, Michael decided to share Noah’s teaching of Afformations with Silvia. Something switched. They decided not to get a divorce, are best friends again, and share their list of Afformations with each other every day.

3.  Cecelia had been called obese since childhood. She would gain and lose weight, but could never keep it off. Then a friend told her about Afformations. Cecelia read the book cover to cover, started following Noah’s system, and dropped 163 pounds.

4.  Michael was very dissatisfied with his job. He often wondered why he bothered to come into work at all. Then he heard about Afformations and started using them. A few weeks later, Michael approached his company’s CEO with a proposal for a new position. The proposal was accepted and Michael created his own dream job at more than twice his original salary.

5.  Tim from Chicago is a long-time student of Noah St. John and Afformations. As a consultant for a communication company, he was in the home of an elderly woman who went outside for a smoke every ten minutes. Tim asked the woman if she had ever tried to quit smoking. She replied, “Every day for the last 20 years.” He asked her if she’d be willing to try one more thing and showed her how to use Afformations. Five weeks later, he went back to check on her. There were no signs of cigarettes and her smoking area was completely clean. She said, “I don’t know why it was so easy for me to quit this time.” Tim said, “Wow, this Afformations stuff really works!”

I chose those success stories to share because it shows how many areas of life his book is able touch. The Book of Afformations (not “affirmations”) is all about: Changing people’s lives.

Watch the trailer at http://afformationsbook.com

I was provided with information on the new book, The Book of Afformations, by Noah St. John, in the hopes that I would share my honest opinions.  I received no monetary compensation and the opinions expressed are my own.  I chose to share this book with you because I believe that our thoughts do form the outcome of our lives.

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Who else wants more time in their year?


I am sure I am like many of you, there is never enough time to do all that you set out to do.   I have my priorities right, I spend time with my family and share lots of communication with them.  But why does it always feel like it is not enough.

Is this just part of being in the sandwich generation?  Does an aging parent make you think of all the miss opportunities you might have had if you had taken a more traditional lifestyle and stayed near them.  I don’t mean that you had to live in their backyard!  But did you miss the small things that would have mattered to them because you choose to live a global lifestyle while they were aging.

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Best and Worse Countries to be a Child


It’s hard to measure a child’s quality of life. Is he or she being Fed/ Educated? Valued? Loved? It all depends on a number of factors, both tangible and intangible.

A UNICEF study sets out to assess the well-being of children and adolescents among industrialized nations by measuring the way each country protects and nurtures its youth, according to six dimensions of well-being.

#1 Material Well Being

#2 Health and Safety

#3 Education

#4 Family and Peer Relationships

#5 Behavior and Risks

#6 Subjective Well Being

I hope these six dimensions of well-being are not listed in the order that UNICEF feels is the most important but a overall grouping of things kids need.

I would want the following for my children:

# 1 How they feel about themselves – their own well being

#2 Family and Peer Relationships

#3 Behavior and Risks

#4 Health and Safety

#5 Education

#6 Material Well Being

Picture 21
Total Count for Top Countries

Would it surprise you to know that these countries were the top hit in each category?

#1 Material Well Being – Sweden
#2 Health and Safety – Sweden
#3 Education – Belgium
#4 Family and Peer Relationships – Italy
#5 Behavior and Risks -Sweden
#6 Subjective Well Being – Netherlands

Where was the USA?

12th in Education –  17th in Material Well-Being – 20th in Family and Peer Relationships –  20th in Behaviors and Risks – 21st in Health and Safety – 21st in Subjective Well-being

It would be interesting to see where most CCK’s or TCK’s find themselves in this list of things they need. Perhaps they take somethings for granted, like their material well being?  Or the fact that they will have a very good education at an international school?  Or that their embassy, company or etc. is always looking after their Health and safety issues.

To me the big question is where do these TCK’s (CCK’s) place their Family and Peer relationships!

Notes:

http://awesome.good.is.s3.amazonaws.com/transparency/web/1206/where-are-the-best-and-worst-countries-to-be-a-child/flash.html

Singapore: Parents and EARCOS Information (songs included)


 I felt very blessed today. Presenting to an audience of 200 people for 45 minutes = 2 weeks of human attention spent viewing my presentation.

Parents presentation can be found at this link: Parents September 1st.

Earcos presentation can be found at this link: EARCOS September 1st.

Julia’s top seven traveling songs for TCK’s

1. Travelin’ Thru – Jason Castro

2. World – The Bingo Kids

3. Photographs and Memories – Jim Croce

4. Home – Daughtry

5. Sesons of Love – Rent

6. Homeward Bound – Simon and Garfunkel

7. We may never pass this way again – Seals and Crofts

Sometimes traveling with kids and pets are not fun!

dog crate kids
Note: No pets or kids were harmed during my filming (these are not my kids) just a picture I found on the internet.

Thanks for spending the morning with us in Singapore – Live from Toronto!

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