Category Archives: Words of Wisdom

Watch What You Say

This morning, as I was looking through my Facebook newsfeed, I stumbled upon a Huffington Post article titled The Day I Stopped Saying ‘Hurry Up.’  I was more intrigued by the title of the article than anything else, so I clicked it and began reading.  This article was not what I was expecting, and it fits in perfectly with what LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! is trying to shine a light on: parental abuse towards children.

This mother, in short, talks about how she likes to stick to a schedule and be timely.  Her young daughter, however, is not like that at all.  She likes to take her time, and never seems to be in a rush.  Time was never of the essence for this little girl, who was trying to enjoy the simplicity of what we like to call life.

So the beginning of the article is going through how the mother was living her life vs. how the daughter was.  She then brings up the day that she stopped saying “hurry up.”  She was picking her daughters up from school, and all of a sudden, she saw a reflection of herself in her older daughter…and realized that she had been bullying the younger daughter into rushing through life so that she could keep to her schedules.  In the article, this was a powerful moment to read.  After the incident, the mother ultimately realized that this was no way to raise her daughters, and changed her outlook on life.  Readers, I highly encourage that you read the article.

So, what’s the lesson behind all of this?  Watch what you say to your kids and how you say it.  Even though you think your approach is the logical one, you won’t know how your child is reacting to it, unless it’s evident.  Luckily for this mother, she was able to see a reflection of herself in her older daughter and was able to fix the solution.  Kids are impressionable, and rely on their parents to be their role models.  Parents, set good examples for your kids, and treat them the way that you would like to be treated in return.

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Learn, Forgive, and Let Go

Learn, forgive, and let go… such short words, yet so powerful at the same time.  While working for Gayle and promoting LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER!, I’ve been able to learn the true strength behind these words.  Everyone has overcome certain obstacles in life, and these words hold true to helping someone move forward in their lives.

For example, Gayle’s relationship with her mother, which Gayle has highlighted in LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER!, did not start off on the right foot at first.  When Gayle was younger, her mother treated her poorly, along with her siblings.  Over the years, Gayle and her mother Mildred have worked hard to rekindle the failed relationship.  Although they are still working out issues, they’re best friends.  Learn, forgive, and now let go. In my opinion, this is exactly what Gayle and her mother went through.

While working for Gayle and managing her social media platforms, I’ve done my fair share of research about various topics, which Gayle covers in her new documentary.  I previously wrote a blog about sibling bullying and different types of relationships.  Tying everything together now, I realize that when we are kids, emotional traumas will always be something that we will hold close to us.  If we don’t heal properly, we will have a burden on our shoulders for the rest of our lives.  It’s best to cope with whatever pain we have as soon as we are ready, that way we can understand what happened and know what to do to make it better. Although series of unfortunate events will still occurred in life, we can view them as a learning experience and let them travel further into the past.  This is what Gayle and her mother did through therapy and healing, and their relationship is now stronger than ever.

Back to learn, forgive, and let go.  Situations, incidences, etc. will happen to us throughout life, it’s not meant to be simple.  The best thing to do is cope with what life throws our way, find inner peace with yourself, find it in your heart to forgive, and let go of the poison that caused the incident in the first place.  Imagine if we hung onto every little or big bad thing that has happened to us…where would we be and what would happen?  Learn from events, forgive whoever inflicted the pain, and let go.  Simply move on.  It will be hard at first, that’s expected.  Life isn’t easy, and we must accept that.  Everything, in the end, will be alright and you’ll feel like this guy, below.

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Happiness

Happiness is something everyone desires to achieve, but many have trouble finding it. People can go on for years trying to be happy, believing that they were maybe not meant to be happy or that people in their lives or certain misfortunes prevent them from being happy.  However, according to an article in the Huffington Post, “Happiness Tips: 13 Experts Weigh In On The Pursuit Of Joy,” you don’t have to look too far to find it. There is no specific key to happiness, but there are a few attitudes and mindsets we can have that will lead us there.  Several experts contributed their ideas, secrets, and beliefs to obtaining this desire.

Many of these experts believe that acceptance, forgiveness, and trusting in yourself and others are a large part of reaching happiness.

‘”Trust yourself. If you don’t learn to trust yourself, you will never be happy. You’ll always be deferring your authority to someone or something outside of you.” -Paul Selig, author of I Am the Word: A Guide to the Consciousness of Man’s Self in a Transitioning Time’

Basically, happiness starts internally. You can’t let certain outside situations or people affect how you want to feel. This can tie into another idea that several of these experts believe: happiness is our choice.

‘”My one piece of advice to anyone who is on the pursuit of happiness is to know that you have a choice -we can always choose to be happy. No, I am not talking about some saccharine, superficial ignoring of what is hurting attitude. In every situation we can decide how we regard the circumstances and our perspective then determines how we move forward or not.” – Marilyn Tam, author of The Happiness Choice: The Five Decisions That Will Take You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be’

Happiness is not about merely ignoring negative situations or people that are hurting us; it’s about not allowing them to hurt you in the first place. How you react to certain situations is completely up to you, and as Marilyn Tam stated, these reactions can help us move forward.

‘”Count your blessings … pray every day … honor God by taking care of your body and mind … remove all negative people from your life … learn to forgive yourself and others … watch as many sun rises and sunsets as you can.” -Richard Simmons, American fitness personality and motivator’

I think that we should take a minute every day and think about how fortunate and blessed we are. There are so many people in this world that are suffering, and we complain when our cellphone breaks or our internet goes out for a day, or our favorite television show gets cancelled. Think about how some people lose their homes in natural disasters, some don’t even have homes or these luxuries that we have to begin with.

We can also prevent these negative situations from happening by removing the negative people, taking care of ourselves physically, and taking a breath to enjoy the smaller and beautiful things around us. We should not dwell on the bad, but we shouldn’t simply ignore it. We should remove it entirely. If we used the energy we used focusing on the bad things, to trusting ourselves, forgiving others, choosing to react to things in a more positive and powerful way, making others happy, and appreciating what we have, we will realize how much happier we can be.

 

Source:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/28/happiness-tips-pursuit-of-happiness_n_2759073.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living#slide=2158008

 

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Working for Family: A Job you Can’t Quit

Imagine that you have worked at the same job for several years. Imagine that for all those years, you have worked under the same person. Imagine that this job has given you large workloads and strenuous deadlines, and your work is never good enough the first time around, so you have to start over, only to end up going back to what you originally started with. Now imagine that it’s the holiday season, and you’re sitting next to your boss for Thanksgiving dinner.

For my family, this is not something that we need to imagine. This has been everyday life for as long as I can remember, because my mother works for my aunt’s (her sister-in-law’s) website-building business.

The problem here is not that my mother dislikes my aunt or the other way around. In fact, our family has always gotten along quite well. Although, due to the very nature of being in a boss-employee relationship, there is naturally going to be some animosity at times. This makes things difficult for my mother, because if she complains to my father, she would be complaining about his sister. If my father takes one side or another, he’d either be against his wife or against his sister. As a result, we have this complex web of anger tinged with not wanting to hurt each other’s feelings.

Things get even more complicated when the thought of getting another job arises. My mother now has different passions than when she originally chose her career. However, she feels as if she cannot quit her job. My aunt’s business consists of just her, my mother, and the occasional intern. The way it works is that my aunt brings in clients, and my mother makes the website. Because of the nature of the business, my mom feels that if she quits, she would be dooming my aunt’s business. Basically, the business will fail unless they are both in it. So, my mother cannot quit without having to bear the weight of having destroyed her sister-in-law’s business.

This complicated situation has been building up ever since I was a little kid, but I never realized that it was happening until high school. It is now very clear to me why so many companies have a policy against hiring family members: to combine work and family is to create a power imbalance within that family. And while you don’t need to worry about losing your job, you may not even be able to leave it.

So to all those looking for work, take this advice and DO NOT hire or TAKE A JOB from a family member! It may seem like you’re being nice or doing a favor, but one’s livelihood should not be a favor to others. It is for your own sake and you should consider your own happiness first in this regard.

Have you ever worked for family? Or know someone who has? If you’ve had a similar or even a different experience, tell me your story in the comments below!

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Forgiveness Is More Than Saying Sorry

A major theme that Gayle focuses on in her seminars and her upcoming feature length documentary, Look At Us Now, Mother, is forgiveness.

Being able to forgive is an extremely important skill to have and a great message to promote.  Why you ask?  Well, did you know, holding a grudge can cause an enormous amount of physical stress on the body.  That’s right, not only can it cause mental symptoms such as anxiety and depression, but symptoms can manifest themselves physically as a serious detriment to your overall health as well.  Being able to let go of those negative emotions and forgiving is one of the healthiest things a person can do after being wronged.  For more information, check out The Healing Power of Forgiveness

There are a ton of theories on how to forgive, but according to Br. Ryan Howes article Four Elements of Forgiveness, there are four commonalities in the multiple theories of Forgiveness that make up his four elements and must occur in order for someone to fully forgive.

At some point, the person must express their emotions.  Releasing the negativity and venting that hurt are extremely important and that person must deal with those emotions in a constructive way.  The person must also find some way to come to and understanding of why they were wronged, not agree with the reason, just understand its existence.  It is also important for said person to come up with a reasonable way to ensure themselves that they wont be wronged again.  This could include creating distance or building up a stronger defense.  Once all three are achieved, only then can the person truly complete their final step and let go.

Many people say that they have forgiven someone, but more often than not, it is just denial of the full situation.  Saying sorry is sometimes not enough, if the person is still angered at times by the incident (or incidents) or silently holding their grudge or experiencing any sort of stress from it, they haven’t fully let go and therefore have not fully forgiven.  This also means they are still suffering!

When someone wrongs us, it hurts, absolutely, but there is no reason to let yourself hurt longer.  You can regain control by forgiving and you can end your own suffering.  That’s why it is important to spread this message; learn to forgive fully and let go.  And that is what you will see in Gayle’s work and her upcoming film.

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Thanksgiving: A Time to Focus on the Positive

With Thanksgiving only 2 days away, I felt it was only appropriate to do a post about focusing on the positive, and being thankful for the good in your life.

Positive thinking has an insanely large amount of health benefits.  Studies show not only the positive short-term effects (such as lower stress levels and higher resistance to the common cold), but long-term effects as well.  Positive thinkers and optimists have lower rates of depression, less risk of cardio-vascular disease and even reduced frailty during old age! (For more information on Positive Thinking, check out Kendra Cherry’s articles on about.com)

With all of these benefits considered, I think its fair to ask everyone to drop their worries & their troubles and focus on positives, at least for this weekend.  After all it’s Thanksgiving and that is what this holiday is all about!  As amazing as turkey & stuffing & mashed potatoes & pumpkin pie & … (oh boy, now I’m getting hungry… you get the point) all are, there is something more to this holiday.  Its about taking the time to appreciate what you do have, and looking at your glass half full.  The more you do that, the more your glass will fill up.

When I was younger, my mother (a teacher) always made all of the kids at our table for Thanksgiving dinner go around and say what we were thankful for.  I’m not saying you have to be as open and elementary school as that, but for me it definitely formed a habit of taking a moment to reflect on the things in my life that made me happy.  That is what I am asking you to do.  Take a moment and focus on the positives; what is going your way right now, who makes you happy, even look for the good in your loved ones who get on your nerves.  Find the good and focus on it.  If you do, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll have an amazing holiday.

Thanksgiving is also the perfect time to strengthen your relationships.  In an article by Dr. Susan Heitler on psychologytoday.com, she provides 10 ways to strengthen the bonds between you and your family/friends.  The perfect time to implement these strategies is this weekend!  Dr. Heitler mentions expressing appreciation, cooking together, eating together, laughing together, and many other simple activities that all occur (or can occur if you let them) on Thanksgiving.  Even cleaning up together would do the trick!

So from all of us at Kirschenbaum Productions, we wish you a Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving!!  And we hope you take the time to reflect positively on your life and appreciate all the good in it.  I know I am thankful for growing up in a big loving family whom I can still surround myself with whenever I’m feeling down & for good friends who have stuck with me through some of the most difficult times and some of the best.  What are you thankful for?

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How Much Can A Running Routine Really Do?

While experienced runners from all around the country are preparing for the upcoming New York City marathon, **SPOILER ALERT**: the staff here at Kirschenbaum Productions took it upon themselves to get in shape for all the work we have going on, and documented it for our upcoming behind-the-scenes video!

Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself, Why are they making a workout video? Don’t they just do office work? It must be a joke and well, you’re right.  We may not be running a marathon, or even a 5k any time soon, but the question I have for you is this: Can running regularly still help your performance in an office?

This topic is personal to me for a variety of reasons, but I’ll try to stick to only the relevant ones.  Over the past year and a half, I have been pushing myself to run as often as I can, and surprisingly to myself most of all, I have been pretty successful.  Believe it or not I’ve suffered from my own assortment of self-image and self-confidence issues so getting in shape had been on my to do list for quite some time, specifically going beyond lifting some weights at the gym every so often.

After moving back home from college, I decided it was time to finally start running.  I wanted to do this for myself. I wanted to take control of something during a time where everything else was changing all around me.  So long story short, I would say I’ve been pretty successful.  I’ve had my on and off periods but overall, I have watched myself get into better shape, and run longer, faster, and harder as I go on.  Most importantly, I feel healthier.  I FEEL BETTER about myself from running.  I’m not a marathon runner, I can still barely complete a 5k, but I can run a few days a week, and I feel great about it when I do.

So if you’re still with me, you’re probably wondering how this ties into my question.  Well, I’ve lost count of the days where I’ve been stressed or upset or in some form of a terrible mood, then gone for a run and turned my whole day around.  Running is actually an amazing medication for improving mental health.  You can clear your head, release the stress of your day, and uplift whatever negative mentality had been nagging at you. Runners can experience something called the runners high.  While running, the body releases endorphins, a natural chemical that enhances your mood.  When going at optimal speed and power, you can get a physical sensation of happiness that carries over after the run!

According to an article on imnotfittorun.com, running can be a great natural way to lift your spirits and release negative energy associated with feelings of sadness should you suffer from depression or stress.  In Jesslyn Cummings article, The Mental Benefits of Jogging on running.about.com, she mentions how long distance runs can be great for clearing your head, should you have a problem that has been nagging at you, whereas short, speed runs are great for tearing through aggression or anger.  Running can also help with fatigue!  When the body releases endorphins, adrenaline and other natural chemicals, it increases energy! (For more information you should of course check out the actual articles linked above).

At Kirschenbaum Productions, we are all about promoting positive mental health.  Look At Us Now Mother! is meant to inspire people to overcome emotional abuse and take steps in the right direction to improving their mental health.  Do something that is positive and healthy for you.  Go for a run!  And hey, wouldn’t someone who runs regularly and has a positive attitude and higher energy levels perform better around the office?

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Social Media Rant

Am I the only one overwhelmed by all the social media that is out there and how much to stay on top of?  Remember, when there was only My Space.  Really great place for musicians where they uploaded their music and then filmmakers, like myself joined and then everyone else.  So, next there was Facebook. Got on there to share photos with family and friends. Before I knew I had well over 1400 FB friends, with many other requests waiting. Do I know all these people? NO. Okay, so I will FB friend this person because we have 30 FB friends in common. Why not?  And then, the numbers kept growing and growing. Okay, so I will add this person because as a filmmaker and speaker I need to have an audience and spread the word. This is necessary to promote.

Then, I started Facebook groups then pages for each of my films: A Dog’s Life: A Dogamentary, My NoseLook At US Now, Mother! (formerly My Nose: The Bigger Version). Oh, and yes, a FB page went up for my web series called On the Trail with Gayle. And our TV show Melting Pot has/had a group page.  It migrated. Where did it move?

And yeah, I forgot to mention when I started speaking and doing seminars, I, of course, needed a Gayle Kirschenbaum public figure page on Facebook, right?  So, my wonderful, young, smart staff, has told me, keep all those going but create a new page for the production company, Kirschenbaum Productions and let’s focus our social media efforts, there.  Okay. Done.  Oh, no, we’re not done. Yes, I am on Twitter, too.  Even with two accounts, of course. One is not enough, right?  @glkirschenbaum and won’t tell you the other because it will be retired. When we ran a Kickstarter (crowdsource funding) campaign last summer, I was advised to create a Twitter account just for that film.  So, I was finally getting settled into managing FB and all the pages and Twitter when suddenly I was alerted that’s not enough.  You need a Pinterest account.  That’s visual. Put up your images and chose other categories that you like and start “pinning”.  Wait, I have to get back to my real work.  My little brain can’t handle learning another social media interface. “Okay, can you handle this?” I ask a smart, young intern.   “I must get back to work.”  “Hey Gayle, you really need an instagram account. This is for photos and it will link to all the other social media.”  “Okay, let’s do it.” I love photographs. Love taking them and sharing.  “Oh, one more thing, sign up for “followgram”. What’s that?  Okay, signed up.  Just uploaded a couple of pictures. Not sure at all how this is connected to instagram and why the hell when I made a posting is it showing up twice on my Facebook page. AAHHHHH!

I think the only thing I don’t have is Tumblr.  I forgot to mention LinkedIn. That’s perfect for corporate and business contacts and there are even groups to join.  So, I ask you, who’s got time to work?  Just learning and staying up to date with your social media is a full time job. In fact, I think three people would be perfect to handle this job.  Who has got that in the budget?   So, it’s finding wonderful interns time. They are new to you, new to your company, need to get up to speed in order to get your message out. And then they are gone in a few months time.

Can someone remind what I do for a living?  Right now, I am fantasizing about being on an island with no Internet or phone connection.

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