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Newsletter Vol. #100

Thanks once again to all you fine people who have signed up for my newsletter, "That's How I See It". I hope you enjoy, learn something, and are entertained by the content.

This is the second grouping of #100 newsletters, separated by a three-year hiatus. So I guess this actually makes it newsletter #200.

I really do enjoy putting the newsletter together, researching articles, expressing my thoughts on various topics, and finding humour in what is sometimes a dark world. So, if you're inclined, feel free to voice your opinion on the issues presented and remember, it's really okay to share the newsletter with your friends.

I have decided not to declare a definitive date for the book launch, but rather it will depend on when I have 1000 E-mail addresses to help me launch the book at the McNally Robinson bookstore.

I will ask you several times in the future to comment on the book by writing a short testimonial or a review of the book. In fact, it is said that a testimonial of even one line is worth 5 sales of the book. A review is worth 10-15 sales. Are you getting the idea of the importance of testimonials and reviews to the success of the book at launch time? Why wait; do a review or testimonial now. For examples see newsletter #94 or see Testimonials under Menu on my website

In the weeks just before the launch, I will be asking/cajoling you to share with your social media lists what you think of the book and when and where people can purchase their copy. I will be sending you 'copy ready' material from time to time that you can send to your lists as you see fit.

You are my Internet presence and are absolutely necessary for any success the book will have when it is launched. I also hope you will come to the launch, whenever that happens, and will absolutely fill McNally Robinson's bookstore. More about that later but for now--read, enjoy, comment and share the newsletter.           Dan

Fade to Black---Was This the End or the Beginning of Something New?

I had taken all my materials into the school that morning; my overheads, my PowerPoint presentation, handouts, and several boxes of my book, Finding Balance. I drove my car back home, 4 to 5 blocks from the school where both my children attended high school--Kelvin-- and I was about to do my last workshop of my 40 year career in education. I had a quick bite to eat and walked back to the School Counsellors Conference to finish off this last piece of business.

I remember looking out at the audience that afternoon; they looked so young. In actual fact, they were young, many of them hadn't even been born when I started teaching way back at Sansome Junior High in 1966. Just what was this old guy (who certainly didn't feel old) going to say that would be relevant to these young and eager counsellors. I just launched, no pressure, this was my last one, good or bad I was done.

I started my presentation in my familiar way with a few questions: "What is happening in your life that makes this presentation so relevant?" "If you were old and wise, like me, (laughter) and had all the answers and were asked to speak to a group of counsellors, what would you tell them? Would you tell them to take care of themselves, about setting boundaries, about living a balanced life, about investing in their health and wellness so that indeed the 'Golden Years' would be golden? What advice would you give them? (Oh yes, I know that good counsellors don't give advice.)

I am aware that education has changed- the curriculum, teaching methods, technology, etc. But has the human body really changed that much, or are we still affected by the stressors in the same old way? When we perceive distress in our lives, do we not respond in a physical and psychological way as we always have?

The challenge, as I see it, is still to find and maintain a balance in our lives. Balance between work and Real Life (that time when the workday is finished and we are with our family, friends, hobbies, etc); between self and family, friends, colleagues and various responsibilities. We definitely take excellent care of our students and school responsibilities, but often do a very poor job of taking care of self.

Some individuals do hear the message about taking care of self. The message makes sense and they heed it for a while, but then life gets in the way and the time you were using to take care of yourself gets reallocated to other people, other projects and sometimes legitimate crises. And we just don't get back on "our" track.

If we don't maintain a balance in our lives, that is between work and play, if we don't make the time for those activities and events that fulfil us as individuals, after a while we begin to think that something is missing in our lives. Oh yes, our job can be somewhat fulfilling but only up to a certain point. As Hans Selye states, "We need variety and spice in our lives to be healthy." Apparently the grind of "sameness" is what eventually does us in and leads to burnout.

I talked for over two hours that day. I gave them many reasons why they should take care of themselves and that they should be guilt free in doing so. I told them how important they were; "You are working with the future and what you model and stand for will be reflected in your students' behaviour. Be sure you're modelling a balanced approach to life. Take your work with our youth very seriously, but make sure you give to yourself as well. Remember, teaching is a marathon, not a sprint. Stay happy, healthy and full of energy - you have much to give, but to do that it means taking care of the vessel.

As I looked out at the audience for the last time, seeing many colleagues and old friends, I finished off the workshop with the words I had used in hundreds of my workshops,
                      Take care of yourself first, then take care of others!

I switched off the PowerPoint, looked up. They were all standing and clapping and it seemed to go on forever. My career had started with being a member of the School Counsellors Association and it finished with them. I thanked them with tears rolling down my face! I walked home from Kelvin feeling relieved and elated but also with a sense of loss.

Here is what reporter Shayna Wiwierski wrote after conference.

Keep Calm and Carry On

"Take care of yourself, then take care of others," says Dan Rosin, a Winnipeg-based counsellor and therapist, as well author of the book, Finding Balance: 101 Concepts for Taking Better Care of Self.

Rosin's book, originally titled I Can Have Fun on a School Night, is currently in its fifth reprint with a new title. Author House in the United States will publish the new edition. The original book was directed towards educators and counsellors, others in the helping professions, and women - all of whom do a great job of taking care of others but not themselves.

"It's about permission to take better care of yourself. There are 101 concepts in the book. I write in short, concise concepts, not chapters", says Rosin, who worked for the Manitoba Teachers' Society in the Employee Assistance Program for 18 years. "The best way to use this book is for partners to read a concept and discuss it. It gets them talking about important things other than kids or finances. 

Rosin goes on to say, "Remember, if you get sick, there is no one else to do the job. If you aren't physically or mentally healthy, it isn't going to work for you or your family, so take care of yourself."

Finding Balance... will be released on October 20, 2011 in Winnipeg at McNally Robinson and you're all invited to the launch, says Rosin. Rosin's book (by the original title) sold over 7,000* copies. For a book to become a bestseller in Canada, 5,000 copies have to be sold.

"I sold all these books and was amazed.  I thought I would get 100 or 200 printed and give them to my friends and relatives and say I wrote a book, yahoo!  Except the guy at the print shop said it would cost this much for 500 hundred, and for a few hundred dollars more you can get 1,000, and for only this much more you can get 2000 printed books. I thought, ok I'll get 2000, give out 100 to my friends and relatives and have Christmas presents for the next 1900 years. Miraculously it sold out in three months."

Rosin says that there is no easy way to achieve balance and wellness, but he does recommend a healthy dose of exercise, eating properly, and having fun.

"There's a concept in [the book] that says the Key Hour is 5:00-6:00 pm.  If you work past 6:00, not only are you fatigued but your blood sugar level is so low and you are so hungry that you then overeat. By then it's 7- 7:30. It's already dark (Oct.-April) and you hit the chesterfield and that's the evening. Not really very healthy or exciting.  So, know when to start and stop your workday and have a Plan for your Real Life (all the other time when you are not at work). Many people don't know how to have a life, but they sure know how to work."

Rosin doesn't give tips to those who ask how to improve their wellness. He says that we already know what to do-we just don't take the time to do it!  Exercising doesn't necessarily mean joining a gym or buying a brand new machine, browsing Kijiji and finding a used elliptical, or going for daily walks.  Eat better with portioned meals filled with foods that are good for you, and make sure you plan a fun evening.  Don't just sit on the couch and watch TV; make plans and do them.

Save your best energy for yourself and your family. "Stop giving your best energy to someone else's kid". Not easy for a teacher to do.

The October 21 SAG Conference on stress/wellness is the last conference Rosin will be participating in.  After presenting his concepts to a variety of different audiences throughout his 45-year career, he has decided to concentrate on his private practise, writing books, and his passion - music ("bluelight").         Shayna Wiwierski

"This will be the last conference I will be doing.  Unless you can have a conference on a nice sailboat going to Tahiti and want insights on something I know about, then I am not available.  I thought it was fitting to do this last workshop with counsellors, where it all started for me.  I have come full circle."                               Dan Rosin

*To Date, Finding Balance has to date sold over 10,000 copies and is available at McNally Robinson, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Taking Better Care of Yourself        
If people are to survive and, even more so, if they are to thrive in their professional lives, new ways, better ways, more consciously decided upon ways of living their lives, need to be considered. A person who understands that to have a "good" year this year, next year, and in future years, it will take a conscious effort and a great deal of self-love and personal commitment to being in the best shape they can conceivably be. They/we definitely need to be in good shape physically, psychologically and emotionally to withstand the rigors of being a citizen/worker in this decade. We need to consciously look after ourselves to the best of our ability. Otherwise, with our pressured lifestyle, we will not survive. We will burn out and eventually we will want to get away from our chosen profession.
                                                                                              Dr. Dan Rosin

Reader Response

Hi Dan,

Re: the question about the length of your newsletter (which btw I enjoy immensely and usually send parts or the whole on to others to enjoy as well):  my first thought was omg c'mon people!  The newsletter is free advice from a psychologist!  It's funny, informative, offers up to date info on all sorts of issues that are completely relevant to our lives - why in heaven's name would you want less of it?  If your life is so busy that you think you can't take 5 minutes out of your schedule to read a newsletter, you have obviously taken on way too much and you must be completely stressed out.  All the more reason to stop, mindfully read Dan's newsletter to get some free advice from a trusted source on how to de-stress and manage your life more effectively.
Lol - keep up the good work ?

Grant & Wilton Coffee House
1077 Grant Avenue

 Saturday, June 16, 2018
Doors @7:00pm, Concert @ 7:30pm
Tickets: $17 | Advance $15
Tel: (204) 488-0207 | (204) 895-1719
Also @ Venue: Weekday Mornings

 Classical Concert
Bariah Penner ~ Violin
Cadence Penner ~ Cello
Sam Goertzen ~ Piano Accompanist
Special Guest
Indra Egan~Composer / Piano,Vocals/Guitar
Sven Buller ~ Baritone
Ashley Rees ~ Soprano
Geneva Halverson ~ Mezzo-Soprano
Katrina Tempagi ~ Soprano
  Megan Dufrat ~ Piano Accompanist

 Sensitivity 101
The room was full of pregnant women with their husbands.
The instructor said, "Ladies, remember that exercise is good for you. Walking is especially beneficial. It strengthens the pelvic muscles and will make delivery that much easier. Just pace yourself, make plenty of stops and try to stay on a soft surface like grass or a path."
"Gentlemen, remember -- you're in this together. It wouldn't hurt you to go walking with her.  In fact, that shared experience would be good for you both."
The room suddenly became very quiet as the men absorbed this information.
After a few moments, a man, name unknown, at the back of the room, slowly raised his hand.
 "Yes?" said the Instructor.
 "I was just wondering if it would be all right, if she carries a golf bag?"
Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?!?!? This level of sensitivity can't be taught!

Have a great week and remember to hug yourself!