Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

Are You Willing To Make A Difference?

June 11, 2014

Being a professional motivational  speaker has its ups and downs just like any otherAHA indiana - audience job……but unlike other jobs there is one MAJOR plus to speaking in front of audiences like these 450 attendees at the Go Red for Women luncheon in Merrillville, Indiana recently:

Instant gratification.

My program was “Fifty Shades of Red: Keys to Living Life Large!” and one point is about taking risks to experience new people and things to live a vibrant healthy happy life. The audience consisted of stroke survivors, people with heart disease, their friends and families, together with supporters of the American Heart Association who hosts this annual fundraiser.                                                                     AHA Indiana - Theresa acknowledging audience applause

Long after I left the stage in a state of high energy exhilaration from the enthusiastic response, a woman approached to talk to me alone. Her demeanor was somewhat shy and hesitant as she said:

Thank you for making a difference in my life. Your words seemed like they were meant especially for me. I suffer from panic attacks when I have to be around a lot of people and I nearly didn’t come today. But I made it. And now I know why. I was meant to hear what you said about being fearless in taking risks to live fully and be happy. I’m so glad I came.” There were tears in her eyes.

And that’s why I do this.

You may not be so lucky as to reap immediate rewards for your work but you CAN make a difference in someone’s life.

You can reach out, uplift, encourage, praise, compliment, help, smile at one person each day. You may never know how much they needed something nice right at that moment.

Making a difference is a win/win deal…..you reap what you sow.

How To Stay Forever Young

April 22, 2014

Easter bunny with little girl Variety is the spice of life and I’m   
convinced it helps slow the aging process … if only mentally. As both a motivational speaker & piano entertainer I get to wear different hats that keeps life interesting. I hope you gain inspiration from this blog to keep trying new things to live healthier & happier…..and look good too!

Easter Sunday saw me and a large rabbit entertain 500+ people at the Sugar Creek Country Club in Sugar Land, Texas where in between sets I lunched on lobster, oysters, smoked salmon & cheese cake (not at the same time). Think I’m born to live in luxury ‘coz it feels natural. Yeah Baby.

Sure. This is me in a bikini………………not !!!!Cartoon - frisbee throwing girl in bikini
However I did learn how to play frisbee golf last Saturday. Having never thrown a frisbee in my life this was a totally new experience and a whole new way to have fun and be frustrated. Who knew there was an actual art to tossing a flying saucer thingy?

Another first comes up this weekend when I attend a tennis boot camp at the ranch of famous Aussie champion John Newcombe in New Braunfels, Texas.We’re in for a heckuva time with tennis drills, cocktails, karaoke (no kidding!) and people from all over the USA participating. Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire!

Chicago city skyline

Chicago city skyline

Next month I’m off to speak in Chicago, Austin and Indiana so I’m busy customizing speeches for Itasca Bank, Texas Electric Cooperatives & yet another program for The American Heart Association in the mid west. Busy bee!

With the news of two friends  funerals in a week, the one year anniversary of the Boston marathon bombing and hearing of yet another acquaintance with cancer, I’m wondering how much time any of us have.

Get out your bucket list. What’s the next new thing you’re going to cross off? Tick tock.

Hmmmmm……where do I sign up for sky diving?

Going Red for Women

February 25, 2014

Go Red for Women logoThis Friday 400 women will attend an annual luncheon hosted by The American Heart Association to raise awareness of heart disease – the #1 killer of women in America. As the keynote speaker, I’ll be addressing “three shades of red” that can help you live life LARGE:

 1. RED is the color of passion

Is there something you’re passionate about? Family, golf, travel, work, chocolate? If you ask a stroke survivor they’ll say they’re passionate about living a healthy life. Don’t wait for an illness to start taking care of yourself. Work your bucket list NOW!

2. RED face embarrassment can
    be a great life lesson
Have you ever opened your mouth and inserted BOTH feet? Me too (big surprise, right?) Our words have the power to boost someone’s self esteem, encourage strength and instill confidence – or – destroy it all. Watch what you say and think before you speak!

3. RED stands for risk 

If you don’t take risks in life, you risk living a life of regrets. When are you going to take that trip, begin zumba classes, learn how to paint, join a club to meet new people? Staying in your comfort zone = mediocrity.

Music to your Ears or Cheap Healthcare?

September 3, 2013
nullIt never ceases to amaze me how people  are transformed by music…..
 
As a professional piano entertainer, I perform a lot of one hour musical programs for seniors in retirement homes in Houston. When I walk in they are usually sitting waiting with blank expressions on their faces. Two minutes into the program you can sense the shift in energy levels.
 What happens?
 
 Healthcare studies have long since recognized the healing effects of music on the brain….something to do with those funky little chemical thingies releasing feel-good stuff that results in a case of the warm fuzzies all over.   

null
         Tambourines added extra excitement for this group! 

Donning my other hat as a motivational speaker, I’ve presented at many conferences and meetings for people in the healthcare industry and one time speaking to a group of nurses, I learned that music was used in the operating room to soothe both patient and doctors.  

Questions are being raised about music and Alzheimers among medical researchers: Does playing a musical instrument stave off dementia? What about just listening to music?   

Frank Iacono still plays the violin. He is the concertmaster for the Providence Civic Orchestra of Senior Citizens in Rhode Island and says: “Music keeps my mind active, and gives me a lot of pleasure.”  

Frank is 101 years old.  

As scientists race to figure out how to promote healthy aging of the brain, and prevent dementia, their preliminary advice for senior citizens has become a chorus of voices: “Stay active! Have hobbies! Be socially engaged!” 

Playing music, for some people, is a natural answer to all of those recommendations.

If someone you love is at risk for Alzheimer’s, consider gifting them with easy-to-learn classes for an instrument they would love to play. You just may give them five more years of quality living.
 
Now THAT’S music to everyone’s ears.

Want More Happiness? Try This.

August 22, 2013
 

happyness
        Jaden & Will Smith:     
     “Pursuit of Happyness”

Two funerals and a birthday in one week and I’m questioning life.

 Every August 20th I take an introspective look at what’s happened in the past year and ask myself:      Am I happy? 

 The answer is yes – most of the time (computer problems can kinda lead to a hissy fit) 

What about you? 

In doing research for a motivational speech, I read that one of the top 5 regrets of the dying is not spending enough time with friends and family. Studies show that time spent with friends & family makes a big difference in how happy we feel in general – even for introverts.

Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert explains:
“We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.”

A 72 year study of 268 men discovered that men who were thriving at age 65 had been close to a brother or sister when younger. It concluded that “the only things that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”

 In other research it was found that relationships and how we help others were important factors in living long, happy lives. People that helped friends & neighbors tended to live to a ripe old age. 

lion
Furry friend
Leo the Lion
 
As I sit in contemplation on my birthday Number ??? I realize the reason I’m happy most of the time is because I’m blessed with wonderful people around me. Even though my real family is 12,000 miles away Down Under, the friends I’ve made here in Houston ARE my family. 

Color me happy and grateful.

Say Cheese, Get Hired?

August 8, 2013
WHAT YOUR CHOPPERS SAY ABOUT YOU

Poor people in the US often have bad teeth. Wealthier people do not. If you have crooked,yellow, missing or irregular teeth, ugly teeth bride it is often a sign to many people that you are either poor or you are low class.

Some people spend more money on making the teeth appear whiter than they do on learning the basics of their career.

And then there’s those people having veneers cemented over perfectly healthy teeth.

Whassup with all this obsession over perfect teeth?

If you have less than perfect teeth in the US, people will believe you are of a lower class status than you may be and they will treat you accordingly.

Would you hire the bride pictured?

Everyone wants healthy teeth, but “perfect” teeth has little to do with healthy teeth. 
The clark1920s and early 1930s saw the birth of Hollywood and Americans became obsessed with the people they saw on screen.  Black and white film exaggerates teeth coloring.  If the teeth aren’t very white, they appear gray.  The big studios like MGM immediately began to require that their stars get dentures.  American audiences saw those beautiful white choppers and wanted their own “perfect” teeth.
 
The somewhat neglected and feared dental industry realized that they had been given a marketing dream – they could offer Clark Gable or Myrna Loy‘s mouth to the average American.  And they could con and guilt the public into thinking it was about health.

Ovegiraffer the last few decades the practices have escalated so that teeth are veneered and bleached until they look like chiclets.   Take a look at Joe Biden‘s teeth – they don’t joe  resemble organic teeth at all. 

Take a look in the mirror.

Smile – you’re on candid camera.

Would YOU hire you?

And yes, all my front teeth are crowns.

As a motivational speaker and professional pianist I’m on stage  to pay the bills. The minute someone commented on a black gap in my smile I was off to the dentist faster than a speeding bullet.

Now I’m smiling all the way to the bank.  

Rhoda’s Rules For Dying and Why You Need to Know

March 14, 2013

You’ve heard the news. actress Valerie Harper aka Rhoda Morganstern on the Mary Tyler Moore show has been diagnosed with a terminal rare form of brain Imagecancer and may have only three months to live.

What would YOU do? How would you act if you knew your days were numbered? Would you begin crossing things off your bucket list?

1. Find the positive. Instead of bemoaning her lot asking why me? Valerie has found the joy in her situation. Yes, that’s right. Joy. She has been overwhelmingly touched by the outpouring of love and support from thousands of people everywhere. In her own words: “I want to tell people how supportive and loving and exciting it is to feel this in the here and now and that’s it.  This is the joy of it.  If I was gone you’d be having memorials.  This way we can share back and forth.”

2. Move through fear. As a professional motivational speaker I get to speak to all kinds of groups about being fearless: from professional admins, healthcare workers & nurses, to HR directors, corporate employees, and small business owners.  I talk about taking risks and one small step towards a personal or professional goal i.e. make more money, change careers, take up a hobby, get healthy, make new friends. It’s about overcoming fear and self doubt and adopting an attitude of  ‘I can’ –  learning new ways of working and living to be happy. Valerie Harper decided to go public with her illness because I want people to be less scared.” I want them to know the new realm of cancer: that you can die with cancer but not of it.” Valerie Harper & Mary Tyler Moore

3. Never lose hope. I recently spoke to the American Heart Association at their Go Red For Women fundraiser in Montana and the common thread among survivors that spoke before me and the audience that contributed generously was: hope. There’s always hope of a cure, a new opportunity for success, meeting your soul mate, losing the weight, winning The Voice (OK, you need some singing talent for that one) Valerie Harper’s  doctor said her cancer is  incurable “so far’” and she said “I love that, not a shred, but a possibility.  We all need to live in infinite possibility.”

Take Rhoda’s advice and live fully NOW. Quit waiting for the kids to graduate, social security to kick in, the dream job fairy to wave her wand. DO something!

Live like you were dying…….because you are.

Is this your idea of a whale of a good time?

March 5, 2013
                                                                  whale
No. The diver is not headless. His head is below the bubbles inside the wet suit and I wonder what he was thinking right at this moment? 
My guess is it had nothing to do with world peace, the price of gas or the latest on Jay Lenno.

During my motivational keynote speeches on being fearless and taking risks to experience more success and happiness in life, I talk about the worst day of my life when I was laid off from an office job living far away from my home town in Australia as a young woman. I was petrified. The country was in a recession and the economic outlook was as bleak as it’s been here in America for the past four years.
Go Red laughing side on
My first instinct was to call my parents 1,000 miles away.
george Halfway through dialing I realized they would just tell me to come home and I’d be right back where I started. My hopes and dreams of traveling the world, working on a professional stage and dating George Clooney would be dashed.
(OK, so one of those dreams was a fantasy)I hung up the phone and that pivotal moment changed my whole life. 

Long story short, I grabbed an opportunity to play the piano in a posh Sydney hotel with no experience, a repertoire of 50 songs (mostly Beatles) and a tummy full of nerves. And poof! A star was born (lol)

Last week on TV’s reality show The Biggest Loser, there was a man afraid of swimming because of all the unseen dangers lurking below the water. After shedding many pounds and gaining considerable confidence, the man decided to face his fear and go swimming in the ocean (with a guide in nearby boat). He emerged on shore a changed man.

LESSON: Let go fear of things you can’t control.
Whether it’s the economy, other people or big fish.

Take small steps towards things you CAN control to realize your dreams/goals:
Lose weight, change jobs, venture out, meet new people,
Take a class, join a club, learn a language,
Swim with sharks.

Have a whale of a good time.

You & George Clooney: Heart Throb or Heart Stroke?

February 20, 2013

Go Red for Women Montana standing front audience smiling

The American Heart Association’s fundraiser in Montana was a day to remember. Who needs 50 Shades of Grey? This was 350 Shades of Red!

February is heart healthy month. Did you know heart disease/stroke is the #1 killer of women in America – more so than cancer?

Being the keynote speaker for the annual Go Red For Women Go Red for Women logoluncheon in Billings recently was a real eye opener. The audience ranged from late 20′s – 50′s working professionals in banking, healthcare and the oil industry. The eye opener was how young the survivors were that shared their story of having a stroke.

Thirty-something year-old’s with babies aren’t supposed to have strokes.

We talked about being fearless: using passion and fear as tools to live a more fulfilling successful life NOW vs someday in the future. I shared the story of the worst day of my life laid off from my office job and how scary it was for a young womanTheresa at piano blue sequin jkt croppedliving far away from home. After grabbing an opportunity to play piano in a hotel for two weeks with no experience, a limited repertoire and a tummy full of nerves, I discovered a passion for performance that motivated me to tour the world on a piano bench ending at the 2006 Olympics.       Olympic Rings small                     

The worst day of my life became the best thing
that ever happened.

The young women that survived the strokes now have a passion for life like never before. They learned a big lesson: Take care of yourself first so you can take care of others.
          
What makes your heart throb? (besides George Clooney) George Clooney
Is there a small business you want to start? A destination you’d love to explore? A class you’d like to take?
Have you taken a step towards it? If not, why not?

All things come to those who wait.

So does death.

 

“Theresa made our Go Red For Women Luncheon a HUGE success with her energetic enthusiasm & uplifting performance!  Our attendees left feeling inspired about taking risks to succeed and really happy they attended our event.”

– Nina Hernandez,  American Heart Association

Aha! For A Second, Change For A Lifetime

February 5, 2013
 
                                                 HADOA
I’m off to speak in Montana….
where I hear it’s a tad chilly.
OK. It’s freakin’ freezing!
Out with the faux fur.
 
February is national heart month and the American Heart Association is hosting a slew of Go Red For Women events across the country. I’m the luncheon speaker at the Billings chapter where 350 women are attending the fundraiser.
 
Did you know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the USA? (yes, more than cancer)
 
The half day event includes workshops on healthcare, exhibitors and survivors sharing their stories. Then it’s my turn….
 montanaThey hired me to supercharge the energy in the room and close the event on a positive note.
 
For 30 minutes the audience is going to forget their problems and focus on possibilities. For 30 minutes they’re going to be uplifted, entertained, inspired and educated. After 30 minutes they’re going to leave happy they attended and hopeful for the future.
 
Thirty minutes isn’t very long to plant seeds for a lifetime – but it only takes one aha! moment to be a game changer for one person.
 
Gotta be grateful for my life, my health and my gifts that I get to share in such awesome ways.
 
Look out Montana……you’re about to get a whole lot of hot stuff!