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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Uncle Jimmy Parking Spots

unclejimmyandauntsue

Everyone I know has some manner of parking angel who assists them in locating a spot in a lot or the street. In my family, my mother’s brother Jim played that role. We would refer to them as “Uncle Jimmy Parking Spots,” in his honor. I have found them in the most challenging of locations. Center City, Philadelphia, South Street (made famous as the ‘hippest street in town” with the musical query “Where do all the hippies meet?  South Street, South Street) and in Manhattan, during rush hour, at 5:00, right in front of the building where I was to teach a class, for FREE. How do you like them apples?  They aren’t always as convenient, but always just right. A few years ago, I was working at an event featuring Michael Beckwith and Rickie Byars Beckwith who sing, preach and teach about The Law of Attraction. I had parked six or so blocks from the church where it was held and when I got out of the car, I found a penny next to it. I let it hang out and intended to pick it up on the way back. Following  loooonnngg day during which the presentation had a lot to do with manna-festing our dreams and desires. Around 11pm, I returned to the car and saw that it had invited a very good friend …. a $20 bill. I glanced around, looking for Candid Camera. Nope. Wondered if I was being set up to be mugged. Thank goodness, I wasn’t. I picked up the windfall and thanked the generous Spirit and Uncle Jimmy. He died more then ten years ago and I visited him in the hospital. I told him that he was a legend among my friends and that I often loaned them my parking mojo. He reminded me “I will always find you the perfect parking spot.” He has never let me down.

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My friend Lisa who often invokes the parking powers of Uncle Jimmy, wanted to know what he looked like. I told her I would search through family photos and find one for her. Today, as I was doing much needed sorting, cleaning and organizing, I came upon this picture of Uncle Jim and Aunt Sue who had been sweethearts for many years. She died a few years before he did and he missed her terribly until he joined her.

I am grateful that he remains a consistent traveling companion.

 

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Facing Life- A Ten Week Journey Week Three

“Meditatively enlivened,” were the words that repeated themselves in my mind throughout the third session of Facial Reflex Therapy created by Lone Sorensen in which I was engaged, offered by Deva/ Debra Troy. I knew immediately what that meant, since I often receive guidance in bits and pieces from Spirit. I was deeply relaxed as her hands worked their magic and felt energized at the same time. A pleasantly buzzy sensation.

I informed her that over the past week, I had challenges sleeping, due, in part to so many ideas barreling through that insist on being written, so I was glad to be taking the time to surrender to the experiences in the time we had together. Adding to the wee hours in the morning insomnia is the ongoing concern about my sister who is in the hospital again due to a cardio-pulmonary condition. I am acutely aware of my own health and the need to be mindful of choices I make, when a little more than a year ago, I had no idea what was brewing under the surface. We don’t know what we don’t know, until we do.

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During our session, I made that comment, as Deva pointed out that my GI system was speaking to me and calling for attention, so she worked those respective points on my face.  I have also been drinking probiotics to assist in supporting my digestion when it gets wonky.

Another very sweet happening. As Deva pressed points above my ears, I had a lovely memory of a time when, as a child, my mother would run her fingers through my hair and around my ears, like a Ferris wheel. I smiled at the recollection. Although the modality is not considered body psychotherapy, it does evoke emotions, since we, as human beings, are body, mind and spirit combined.

As I am engaging in this weekly experience, I am aware of deeper delving into my psyche’, unearthing memories and their meaning for my current frame of reference.

Feeling tuned up and a few years more youthful, I waltzed out into the bright sunshine of the day, with energy to write, clean, take a brisk walk and spend time with friends, facing life full on.

 

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Who’s Your Gladys?- Book Review

Who's Your Gladys?: How to Turn Even the Most Difficult Customer into Your Biggest Fan

You may have heard the adage: “People do business with those they know, like and trust.” Business really IS about relationships. Reputation matters. The ways in which the owners treat their employees, contractors and customers/clients makes all the difference in the world. Companies thrive or dive based on those factors. Loyalty is earned. Smiling at the easy going clientele is a no-brainer. What happens when a company has one (or more) challenging folks on their roster?

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Who’s Your Gladys? offers answers to that question in detailed and delightful ways, by co-authors:

Marilyn Suttle (Novi, MI) is the founder of Suttle Enterprises LLC, through which she has taught thousands of people across the country how to have happier, more productive relationships with customers.

Lori Jo Vest ( Troy , MI ) has been involved in relationship-based sales and customer service for over 20 years, most recently as a conversation manager at Organic Inc.

These two women joined forces to create Who’s Your Gladys? How To Turn Even the Most Difficult  Customer Into Your Biggest Fan. It is a comprehensive template for professionals in any field to engender trust with that tough cookie customer without  crumbling themselves. ‘Gladys’ was just such a one who had a reputation for being challenging. The owner of Professional Movers went what some might consider above and beyond the call of duty to woo and soothe her, but it really is their way of working with all who hire them. As a result of melting her heart, she now hardily endorses them.

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The book profiles numerous companies that offer sublime customer service. One is The Canfield Training Group whose CEO Jack Canfield created the Chicken Soup For the Soul Series. They are known for responding to unusual requests that included a mini-fridge so that a training participant could have snacks throughout the day.

Another is Preston Wynn Spas that caters to high powered, uber-stressed clientele who desire the ultimate in pampering. They use ‘secret shoppers’ to keep services up to standards that those who walk through their doors have come to expect.

ISCO Industries who install piping products that are used in golf courses and manhole covers has a defined approach to maintaining a satisfied customer base. Personal dedication by management is one key that opens doors to exemplary service.

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At the end of each chapter are what the authors call Practical Points that allow the reader to determine what worked for these businesses and by extension, what could benefit their own. They are then followed by Lessons Learned, that provide additional food for thought.

When those who use services feel as if their unique needs are met, they know that they matter. When companies don’t take a cookie cutter approach and tailor their services, customers spread the ‘good gossip,’ and others want in on it.

A list of the  Practical Points review the concepts expressed earlier on. Some include:

Be fully present.

Value and learn from your mistakes.

Establish trust.

Do what you love to do.

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Think and act like a champion.

Strive to exceed expectations.

Feel compassion when your customers vent their emotions.

A list of resources at the back of the book rounds 0ut the guide that is destined to be a classic in the entrepreneurial genre and ought to be in any successful business person’s tool kit.

 

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Inside Out Movie Review

Anticipation grew as I sat in a darkened movie theater with my friend Yvonne Kaye, waiting for the film to begin. Ever since I saw the trailer a few months earlier, I knew it was a must-see. Inside Out is a brain and heart child of the creative geniuses at Disney Pixar. The movie has been hailed by clinicians who work with children as a primer into understanding the developing young mind. Having been a therapist for three decades and alive on the planet for five and a half, I am familiar with the importance of emotional fluidity. Does that mean I always give myself permission to experience all the feelz?  Nope. I tend more toward glowing, rather than glowering.

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The movie begins with the baby’s eye view of her parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) gazing adoringly at their new born daughter Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), calling her their “little bundle of joy,” and then takes the audience on a journey through the tiny tot’s budding years as a happy go lucky kid with friends, fun, hockey and a close bond with mom and dad. We get to see what goes on behind the scenes in Riley’s mind through the anthropomorphized emotions of Joy (Amy Poehler), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). All seems to be going well in the life of Riley until her parents uproot her from her Minnesota home and trek cross country to San Francisco where a new job awaits her father. When they arrive, she is less than thrilled by the circumstances that await her; from the dingy apartment into which they move, to feeling like a fish out of water in her new school, to missing her BFF, to overhearing how her father’s new job brings with it unexpected stressors. As a result, she is encouraged by her well meaning mother to maintain her happy persona.

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Those in Riley-Central are busily working the controls, headed up by the predominating emotion of Joy. It is an exhausting job keeping Riley happy. She does her best to manage the other emotions; especially the literal and figuratively blue self deprecating Sadness who inadvertently touches Riley’s memories and dims the previously bright light. These are symbolized by variously hued marbles that match the colors of the characters- red for anger, green for disgust, yellow for happiness, blue for sadness, purple for fear. Each time that happens, Joy attempts to jolly everyone into a more positive state so that Riley can maintain cheerfulness. It is when something goes awry as Joy and Sadness get accidently sucked out of the double entendre’ named Headquarters, that for the rest of the film, they are on a mission to return and save Riley from falling into a pit of despair from which Joy fears she will never emerge. The other emotions are left to fend for themselves in their absence. Dark and light, loss and love, chaos and calm dance together, sometimes in precarious teeter tottering balance. An imaginary friend named Bing Bong, voiced by Richard Kind adds comic appeal as the wildly pink mish mosh critter who cries hard candy and rides a red wagon with broomstick engines fueled by singing a special song he and Riley created together helps to get Joy and Sadness back on track.

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One of the most enjoyable aspects of the film was observing the ways in which each of the characters, from mom and dad, to Riley’s teacher and the other kids with whom she interacted had all of their own emotions personified and interacted with each other in the same way that hers did. So as not to spoil the ending, I will leave the rest to your own vivid imagination.

As I watched the movie, I became acutely aware of my emotional landscape as well. In my life, I had let Joy run the show nearly all of the time, while shuttling aside the other less savory emotions, that frankly, I have sometimes held in contempt and with impatience. I repressed sadness in the service of not wanting to make anyone else feel it. I pushed back fear since I wanted to bravely take on the world. I barricaded the door behind which anger dwelled, because I had seen the destruction it wreaked in the world. I do my best to avoid stepping into anything literal or figurative that my son used to refer to as ‘asgusting’ when he was young. It has been when I have fully embraced myself in my entirety that I can safely arrive back home.

Inside Out is an insider’s view of the emotional landscape through which we all traverse.

Previous Posts

Uncle Jimmy Parking Spots
Everyone I know has some manner of parking angel who assists them in locating a spot in a lot or the street. In my family, my mother's brother Jim played that role. We would refer to them as "Uncle Jimmy Parking Spots," in his honor. I have ...

posted 3:09:49pm Jul. 06, 2015 | read full post »

Facing Life- A Ten Week Journey Week Three
"Meditatively enlivened," were the words that repeated themselves in my mind throughout the third session of Facial Reflex Therapy created by Lone Sorensen in which I was engaged, offered by Deva/ Debra Troy. I knew immediately what that meant, ...

posted 9:02:04am Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Who's Your Gladys?- Book Review
You may have heard the adage: "People do business with those they know, like and trust." Business really IS about relationships. Reputation matters. The ways in which the owners treat their employees, contractors and customers/clients makes all ...

posted 10:09:07am Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Inside Out Movie Review
Anticipation grew as I sat in a darkened movie theater with my friend Yvonne Kaye, waiting for the film to begin. Ever since I saw the trailer a few months earlier, I knew it was a must-see. Inside Out is a brain and heart child of the ...

posted 9:50:40am Jun. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Love Rules Supreme
I cried when I read the news. Happy tears for friends whose unions are now officially recognized in all 50 states. Some were legally married in their respective states, but could now claim to be 'legit' wherever they go. The Supreme Court ruled ...

posted 10:14:06pm Jun. 26, 2015 | read full post »

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