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What’s your name? Really! No way! Come on! Really!!?

nametagHow often do people question you about your name when you introduce yourself?

If you sensed I had doubts about your name upon meeting you, how would you feel about me?

If after knowing you for some time, I say, “You know, I don’t really know your real name.  What is your real name?”  How would you feel about me?

Imagine life where eight out of ten people doubt your birth name even after getting to know you.

Welcome to my world.

A person I’ve known for over five years, tested our friendship when she point blank said, “You know Soul, one day, I’d love to know your real name.”  In that moment, I decided to play a little game.  I said, “I’ll tell you my real name when you tell me what your real name is.”  When she took offense to my questioning her integrity and honesty, I asked her to stop and realize what she felt in that moment.  I asked her, ‘do you want me to feel those same feelings?” We continued our chat by acknowledging how what could be a question born out of sincere desire to know someone well, can also be a question that ignites ego to raise its defense shields.

SouldancerAloha!  Soul Dancer at your service.    To be of service is to experience honor. To experience honor is to open more fully to grace and unconditional love.  To learn how to share endless grace and unconditional love fuels my passion to be of service.

My passion to serve is rooted from childhood days of attending weekly knitting classes voluntarily taught by mother at Cedar Rapids, Iowa Jane Boyd Community Center.  The joy Mom experienced from her volunteer work inspired me to volunteer my time and talents to many causes over the past four decades.  To explore causes near and dear to me, click here.

Another reason I blog came to light after a lovely chat with a friend who’s known me for over 20 years.  Over dinner, he said, “Soul, for as long as I’ve known you, I’ve come to realize, I really haven’t a clue who you are!”  I laughed as I said, “You know, at 56, I’m still learning about who I am!

Learning who I am is a lesson I plan to savor every day for the rest of my life.  When I encounter souls who need to wrap me up in labels, titles or professions I’m mindful of the label trap  Traps include expectations, beliefs, assumptions and related social norms related to how and what I’m supposed to be.

So!  Time to demystify who I am, what I do as well as the mission I feel compelled to carry out.  We’ll start with this disclaimer.

After reading my disclaimer if you want to keep up with my blogging bookmark (or favorite) this site.  Check back when curiosity itches.  In the meantime, I bow in gratitude for your time, attention.

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If you what read, listen or watch in any post triggers feelings of doubt, guilt, shame or worry, kindly note this disclaimer:

Own your feelings.  Own your choice to feel any feeling you wish.

How you CHOOSE TO FEEL about what I write or say is YOUR CHOICE.

I have no desire to trigger unhealthy, stressful feelings in you or anyone.  What that said, be mindful of what feelings you choose to feel each time you visit this site.

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Caregiver Support Marathon

Are you a caregiver? About to be a caregiver?  Know a caregiver?

Need help?  

Join us for a six-part caregiver support marathon.  Primary caregiver experts share how to gain and maintain stable health.

Our guest expert(s) answer these questions . . .

  Neuvirth1. How do you prepare to be caregiver?

Expert: Michael Neuvirth

Michael is the Founder of Caregiver Reviews. Starting out as a caregiver for a loved one with Dementia while juggling his practice as a Patent Attorney, Michael tried to find technology based solutions to help him in his role as a caregiver. He searched for a resource to learn more about products for caregivers. Since he didn’t find such a site, he created CaregiverReviews.Com from scratch!

MacLellan2. What can you do as a caregiver to remain physically healthy?

Expert: Christopher J. MacLellan

Chris is the Founder of the site The Purple Jacket.  He studies Leadership and Communication at Gonzaga University. He has a diverse background in Social Work, Ministry, Senior Care, Arts Management and Professional Sports. Chris earned a B.A. Degree in Child Family and Community Service from Sangamon State University in Springfield, Illinois and studied Theology at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.  Chris also hosts a weekly, lively, LIVE talk radio show titled Be A H ealthy CaregiverClick to listen, any time.

Snelling3. How do caregivers remain sane when faced with the added stress of being a caregiver?

Expert: Sherri Snelling

Sherri Snelling is CEO and founder of the  Caregiving Club and author of A Cast of Caregivers – Celebrity Stories to Help You Prepare to Care.  She is a nationally recognized expert on America’s 65 million family caregivers with special emphasis on how to help caregivers balance “self-care” while caring for a loved one and was recently recognized as one of the Top 10 Influencers on Alzheimer’s by Sharecare, the online health and wellness experts site created by Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Seebo4. When should caregivers seek help?

Expert:  Donna Seebo 

Donna Seebo is an author, publisher, lecturer and renown mental practitioner and counselor. Donna also produces insightful, inspiring live-talk radio show, The Donna Seebo Show

Using her personal experiences, Donna has created a program to teach individuals to develop their own mind powers to enhance their daily lives and personal relationships. Donna’s program involves a lively display of her own mind skills and then begins to explain, in easy to understand terms, how anyone can develop their own mind’s abilities.

Donna is the author and publisher of a successful children’s book series. Believing that constant development and change is not only important but exciting, she has begun this new adventure with an award winning first book called, “God’s Kiss.” The book is a heart warming story of a young boy and his adventure through a world of talking animals, magnificent mountains and valleys to a place where young people gather on Christmas Eve to seek the special kiss of life. The book is filled with exquisite illustrations by the renowned artist, Ed Gedrose. Click this link to order your copy of God’s Kiss today.

chapel5. When you ask for help, and no one responds, then what?

Expert:  Hal Chapel

Hal Chapel is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lotsa Helping Hands, a social entrepreneurial company powering online caring communities to help restore health and balance to caregivers’ lives. He earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Harvard University. He later returned to Harvard to pursue multidisciplinary studies in education, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience, receiving a Masters of Education in 1996.

Hal lives his lifelong commitment to the idea that the power of community empowers the individual. Having grown up in a town where neighbors looked after each others’ children, where his parents’ household was the center of the extended family’s activities, where the school community was the foundation for his own development, he has continued that commitment through various experiences including once living in an intentional community and presiding over various local nonprofit organizations, and of course, leading Lotsa Helping Hands.

laBey6. How do you recover from being a caregiver?

Expert: Lori La Bey 

Lori La Bey is the Founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks.  Her mission: Driving Change in Our Dementia Care Culture

Lori started her formal career working with the developmentally disabled.  For nine years she thrived on organizing and streamlining systems to improve the quality of life for her residents.

Lori’s second career was a twenty-five year journey in residential real estate. There she identified the senior market long before others accepted the demographic facts.  Lori developed The Classic Lifestyles™ Program a one stop educational and support services for seniors, their families, and the professional working with them. The program focused on removing the fear wrapped in later life transitions. It was here Lori began her speaking and training career.

Producer: Soul Dancer

Click to listen to Donna Seebo interview Soul about his mission and vision:  CareGiver LifeLine.