Sale on Books, Book Coaching, and all kinds of Tutoring. ENDS JULY 31!

All sorts of specials on Books, Book Coaching, and Tutoring! Sale ENDS July 31 so DON’T DELAY! Here are the details:

BOOKS – Through July 31, All books are BUY ONE GET ONE FREE! Here’s an excellent chance to stock up on books for yourself and to give as gifts including to friends, family, schools, etc. https://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneFreundship

COMMUNICATION TUTORING AND BOOK COACHING – Do you want to get that book written and published? How are your listening skills? Do you want to improve conversation with your children, friends, or family? Through July 31, My Communication Tutoring and Book Coaching services are BUY ONE HOUR GET ONE FREE! You can buy as many hours as you want and they DO NOT EXPIRE! https://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneFreundship?section_id=19698541

MATH, WRITING, TEST ANXIETY AND OTHER TUTORING – I tutor in math, writing, English, study skills, test anxiety, and the GED. I work with students of ALL from preschool through adulthood. On August 1, my rates will go up to $35 per hour or $300 for 10 hours. But through July 31, my rate is $25 per hour or $200 for 10 hours. You can buy as many hours as you want and they DO NOT EXPIRE! https://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneFreundship?section_id=19698541

No coupons or codes necessary. Email me at jane@janefreund.com with any questions.

Jane Freund is an author, encourager, speaker and book coach who has written 19 books and CROPPED - Jane's watercolor picturehelped over 140 people achieve their publishing dreams. Her latest book is “A Life-changing Journal for Changing YOUR Life“. In addition, Jane taught Communication for ten years at Boise State University. Her books, tutoring and coaching packages (book, forgiveness, self-sabotage, etc) can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneFreundship.  Jane’s books can also be found on Amazon and Smashwords. In addition, Jane can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and smoke signals. OK, she is kidding about the smoke signals!

So now what?

This week’s election results showed that the USA is a deeply divided country. When one candidate wins the Electoral College and the other wins the popular vote, that can indicate a nation that is split. But the 2016 election  goes deeper than a mere division as the tone of anger and hatred has been quite obvious. Let’s face it: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” would not be the theme song of this election. So now what?

I turn to thefind-the-helpers wisdom of Mister Rogers who said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Now you might be saying to yourself “I am not scared” and that’s good to know. But a lot of people are and we need to do our part. I believe that whether your candidate won or lost on Tuesday, ALL Americans have a responsibility to help heal the division.

I know that I can’t make anybody else do anything as the only person I can control is the one I see in the mirror every morning (and even that is hard sometimes). But what can I do is follow my friend’s very sage advice: We can live life from a point of fear or a point of love. I choose love.

Now if you’re NOT feeling the love right now, look to what Ellen DeGeneres said earlier this week. Her message of unity points to a reality: We are more alike than we are different. CLICK HERE to view Ellen’s message.During this recent Cubs-Indians World Series, I had friends who were adamantly opposed on this election but were all cheering fervently for the Cubs. Our similarities and differences are part of what weave us together.

So now what?

One of my favorite authors is John C.Maxwell as his work continues to have a significant impact on my life. His book, “How Successful People Think”, changed my life as it greatly influenced my thinking process. His recent book, “Intentional Living”, has taught me the importance of making intentional change in my life each and every day. Thus, I have integrated that philosophy into living life from a point of love.

So that means doing SOMETHING EACH and EVERY DAY to show love. What that means is to get through grieving your candidate’s loss or celebrating your candidate’s victory and get busy. What does that look like? At this point, let me quote James 2:15-16 (NIV):

15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?

Please understand that I believe love can be shown by saying nice things and encouraging others.Many years ago, I learned the power of doing so when I was speaking at a women’s shelter and encouraged a teenage girl to go onto college. I had forgotten about that comment until several years later when the then young woman posted on my Facebook page that she had just graduated from college.

But actions beyond words are important too. If you have the capacity to donate food, clothes, money, time, etc., then please do so. I recognize that few people could do so every day. Since I am not in such a position, I use a multi-faceted approach. I donate as I am able. In addition, I strive to give as many compliments as I can as well as smiling and saying “Hello”. I write notes, share puns and motivational quotes, and text greetings to friends.

However beginning just the other day, I started a very specific daily intentional habit: Since I have been blessed with a large network of people and a knowledge of social media, I  am using Facebook to share a way people can help out. I may share a local need and ask people to think about how they can do something similar in their communities. Also, I add the hashtags #SpreadTheLove and #IntentionalLiving (since my Facebook and Twitter accounts are connected). Feel free to use those tags as well and connect with me by clicking on the links in the previous sentence.

A couple of final thoughts about showing love each and every day:

  • I make a point of loving myself as I am no good to others if I am drained. Oh and self-care ROCKS!
  • Showing love anonymously is also good to do as getting credit isn’t necessary.

What impact will you have? As my very wise high school English teacher, Sue Mousseau, said “You’ll never know whom you’ll influence nor when nor how.”

So now what?

CROPPED - Jane's watercolor picture

Jane Freund is an author, encourager, speaker and book coach who has written 19 books and helped over 140 people achieve their publishing dreams. In addition, Jane taught Communication for ten years at Boise State University.  Jane’s books can be found on Amazon , Etsy and Smashwords. In addition, Jane can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and smoke signals. OK, she is kidding about the smoke signals!

 

A Special Thank You to Educators

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Marge Brewer, Dawn Craner, Ramona McLain, Elizabeth Melton, Debbie Woodard, Bob Rinker, Melanie Reese, Helen Reynolds, Nina Knapp, Sue Mousseau, Bev Crouch and the list goes on and on! I can’t possibly name all of the teachers who have touched and changed the 50+ years of my life (so I provided a partial list).

I have a special affinity for educators as I taught at the college level and continue to teach i my passion pursuit of being an author, speaker and book coach. In addition, several dear friends and family members teach at all levels of life.

Whether in a formal education from kindergarten to college, a Sunday school classroom or through life lessons they have taught, educators are making a difference in countless lives all over the world.

But I know that educators don’t make a lot of money so I want to provide a tangible benefit to them and anybody who wants to support them. Through December 31, 2016, visit my Etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneFreundship and use the Coupon Code: TEACHERS to get 20%  OFF your order. You can use the code as many times as you like by December 31, 2016.

This is on the honor system so no proof that you are an educator is required. If you want to purchase something for an educator or even yourself, go for it! For example, you could buy a set of children’s books for a classroom or day care. All sorts of possibilities including coaching and you’re welcome to it!

If you have any questions, please let me know by responding here or at jane@janefreund.com. Feel free to share with others using this link: http://bit.ly/ThankYouEducators. Thanks much!.

Jane Freund is an author, encourager, speaker and book coach who has written 19 books and CROPPED - Jane's watercolor picturehelped over 140 people achieve their publishing dreams. Her latest book is “A Life-changing Journal for Changing YOUR Life“. In addition, Jane taught Communication for ten years at Boise State University. Her books, tutoring and coaching packages (book, forgiveness, self-sabotage, etc) can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneFreundship.  Jane’s books can also be found on Amazon and Smashwords. In addition, Jane can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and smoke signals. OK, she is kidding about the smoke signals!. O

If you care to help Jane with her unexpected medical and related expenses, visit https://www.gofundme.com/PleaseHelpMeJane. Offline donations may be sent to PO Box 9171; Boise, ID 83707. Thank you.

Changing the things I can

A few months ago, I acquired a bracelet with the phrase “Changing the things I can” stamped on it. That bracelet has stayed on my wrist ever since with the exception of when I took it off earlier today to take the above picture. However, those words and the shortened version of the Serenity Prayer stay with me regardless:

“God grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.”

Last Sunday morning, I had plenty of time to look at that bracelet at I waited to be readmitted to the hospital just over 12 hours had been released. I had spent nearly a week there recovering from multiple blood clots in my lungs. However due to a problem with one of the prescription drugs I was to take, I had to be readmitted.

As I lay on a bed in the emergency room waiting for a room to open up, I was thinking about the whole series of events that had been involved in my being hospitalized and re-hospitalized. Some parts of the journey were very positive while others left me scratching my head. Changes needed to be made but what could I do?

I was raised by parents who taught my five siblings and me to make a difference. Mom had survived the Depression and Dad escaped the Holocaust and they believed in giving back. But what I particularly appreciated was that Mom and Dad would most often do so quietly and as a way of life as opposed to loudly and on rare occasion.Furthermore, they would do seemingly little things. Mom sewed handmade puppets for kids who were victims of abuse or otherwise might not have such a gift. On the other hand, Dad would serve on committees and boards of directors and donate his incredible analytical skills.

Mom and Dad’s examples have manifested themselves in concrete ways in my life: I collect personal hygiene items from trips I take and donate them to shelters. I keep granola bars in my car and hand them to homeless people. In addition, I give compliments to people in stores, on the street or wherever I can. Simple actions with real impact.

So as I laid there on that hospital bed, I thought about what change I could help make. I zeroed in on a simple problem that had been a major reason I was readmitted: After a certain time of night, the nurses on the discharge phone line did not have access to my medical records. Imagine trying to land a plane with no instruments or instructions; that’s exactly where she was at and it wasn’t her fault.

I knew I couldn’t make the change itself but I could communicate with those who could and I’ve already started that ball rolling. If that change occurs then it will be another good thing that has come out of a pretty amazing and life-changing last couple of weeks. But that’s the subject of another blog post.

Jane Freund is an author, encourager, speaker and book coach who has written 19 books and CROPPED - Jane's watercolor picturehelped over 140 people achieve their publishing dreams. Her latest book is “A Life-changing Journal for Changing YOUR Life“. In addition, Jane taught Communication for ten years at Boise State University. Her books, tutoring and coaching packages (book, forgiveness, self-sabotage, etc) can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneFreundship.  Jane’s books can also be found on Amazon and Smashwords. In addition, Jane can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and smoke signals. OK, she is kidding about the smoke signals!. O

If you care to help Jane with her unexpected medical and related expenses, visit https://www.gofundme.com/PleaseHelpMeJane. Offline donations may be sent to PO Box 9171; Boise, ID 83707. Thank you.

I don’t have children that I’m aware of…

OK yes as a woman, I would be aware if I have children so that’s what is called a joke! So let me finish my statement by saying “I don’t have children that I’m aware of but I do have some thoughts for how to improve communication with them (particularly in terms of listening). Yes, I taught Communication for ten years at Boise State University, tutor young people on a regular basis and have a natural interest in people. But the foundation of my child listening skills began with an amazing woman named Winnie.

I grew up in a family who was marinated in politics (Idaho and beyond) with a variety of relatives having held or currently holding elected office (Republican, Democrat and nonpartisan). A key figure in our early family political involvement was our dear friend, Winnie Hearn, who was my uncles’ legal secretary and thus involved in my Uncle Orval Hansen’s political campaigns. His legislative campaigns began before I was born but I remember his 1968 race for Congress when I was only five years old. My siblings, cousins and I (about 20 of us at that point) began knocking on doors and helping on Uncle Orval’s campaign. We knew where Preston (Idaho) was before Napolean Dynamite revealed it to the world.

My earliest memories of Winnie were and remain how she treated children with the same respect with which she treated adults. Winnie would listen as intently to me as she did any adult. Consequently, I felt safe asking her questions about things I didn’t necessarily ask other adults (particularly in the political arena). That feeling of safety led me to seek her out that August election night in 1974 during the customary Election Night party at our house.

The mood was definitely different as the adults were holding hushed conversations and had panicked looks on their faces. I remember knowing something was wrong and realizing I was pretty much invisible to the adults. However, I knew that Winnie would tell me what was going on so I sought her out. I remember where I was standing in our family room when she told me that Uncle Orval was going to lose his re-election bid for Congress. Winnie was very calm which helped me stay calm as well.

Over the 40+ years since that hot August night, I have found and honed some additional techniques for communicating with children:

  1. Spend time communicating with the purpose of building relationships. One of the best ways I have found to build relationships with children is to come with the purpose of being educated. NOTE: I did NOT say to educate. I was STUNNED to discover that the Jackson 5 and Partridge Family are not the coolest on the music scene. So, I ask my younger friends to tell me about music and other current parts of our culture.
  2. Ask open-ended questions including my personal favorite: Why? Children and young people have an amazingly clear view of life because they don’t get caught up in to-do lists and other “busyness” makers as we adults tend to do.
  3. Avoid coming to the conversation with an agenda. The first key phrase is “conversation’ and not monologue or lecture. Those one way forms of communication scream “I don’t care what you think or feel because what I know is right and you’re wrong!” i think back to when I was younger and adults would do it to me…not fun!
  4. Strike the balance between my ears and mouth. Most all of us were born with two ears and one mouth so strive to listen twice as much as you talk. My mother was a master listener and was another major influence in my communication style. One of my brother’s friends actually brought his girlfriend (now wife) over to meet Mom before he took her to meet his Mom.
  5. Check to make sure your nonverbal communication says “I’m engaged in this conversation.” Up to 90% of any given communication is nonverbal so check to make sure you’re NOT talking down to the young person by your body position, tone, pitch or other form of nonverbal communication.

I’m thinking of more to share but I will save that for another day. If you have topics you’d like to see covered in future blog posts, please send them to me at jane@janefreund.com or post a comment below. Thanks much!

One more thought: These techniques work in communicating with adults as well.

Jane Freund is an author, encourager, speaker and book coach who has written 19 books and CROPPED - Jane's watercolor picturehelped over 140 people achieve their publishing dreams. Her latest book is “A Life-changing Journal for Changing YOUR Life“. In addition, Jane taught Communication for ten years at Boise State University. Her books, tutoring and coaching packages (book, forgiveness, self-sabotage, etc) can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneFreundship.  Jane’s books can also be found on Amazon and Smashwords. In addition, Jane can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and smoke signals. OK, she is kidding about the smoke signals!

If you care to help Jane with her unexpected medical and related expenses, visit https://www.gofundme.com/PleaseHelpMeJane. Offline donations may be sent to PO Box 9171; Boise, ID 83707. Thank you.

“If you had waited…”

I shared in a recent blog post that patience isn’t my strongest character trait..Sometimes lacking patience is a good thing such as when a life is on the line. No need to form a committee when somebody is in danger. However, a recent event in my life taught me that what seems to be patience can actually border on stupidity.

On Sunday, August 20, I began experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath. Having had a family history of heart problems. I was paying attention to it but clearly not enough. By the next day, the pain was much worse and had spread to my back. To understand the pain at its worse, imagine an elephant standing on your chest and kicking you in the ribs. When I couldn’t walk 20 feet without stopping, I knew I had to go the emergency room.

When I arrived in the ER and explained what was going on, I was quickly taken to be examined and tests were run. I was thinking heart attack. Well, that’s what I get for doing my own thinking. The results came back: I had multiple pulmonary embolisms (AKA blood clots in my lungs).To say I was stunned was an understatement but then came an even more shocking piece of news.

The message from the doctors was very clear: If I had waited any longer to come in, I wouldn’t have needed to do so. No, that didn’t mean the clots would have dissolved on their own but rather the opposite: the clots would have killed me.

Now I have previously had some close brushes with death: a driver ran a red light and hit my front driver’s side wheel where a few more seconds would have caved in my door and me instead; an emergency vehicle with no sirens on went through a red light (despite my having a green light, intuition said to stay put). Add being a thyroid cancer survivor and I’ve had enough of death painting brush strokes on my life canvas.

But this most recent brush with death was different; much deeper and much closer. Perhaps it was because the injury to my body was much more real as if the car had broadsided my driver’s side door. But what was also deep was the realization of just how fortunate I am to be alive. As I lay in that hospital bed for several days last week, I recited several Alphabets of Gratitude, prayed a great deal and let go of a lot.

As I was beginning my journey to recovery, a dear friend of mine visited. We discussed how blessed she was that her stroke which  happened a few years ago was caught very early and she made a full recovery. Her son noticed she was having a stroke and intervened quickly.

I too am on the road to a full recovery. While I was originally thought to have suffered a minor heart attack, the injury to my heart is a strain and will heal with time and care. My lungs are continuing to improve and the intense pain is gone ans replaced with a lesser version of its evil self.

As opposed to being done soon, the cataract surgery to repair the blurriness in my left eye will have to wait six months or so until I am off blood thinners. As a result, I will have to alter how I do my work as an author and book coach (can you say talk-to-text). These are prices I am willing to pay in order to still be alive.

But what remains to be seen are the other corrections in the course of my life. While I am the captain of my life ship, I am not the Navigator as I don’t have the perspective of seeing the bigger picture. I leave that job to the Lord to give me direction. I have found that the greatest and most sustained changes in my life has come NOT from my trying to figure things out but rather waiting on the Lord’s navigation.

But believe me I still have definite opinions about what is best so this is going to be “interesting” (which is the word my grandma said when she was trying not to be critical). I have a feeling my patience will grow so stay tuned…

Jane Freund is an author, encourager, speaker and book coach who has written 19 books and CROPPED - Jane's watercolor picturehelped over 140 people achieve their publishing dreams. Her latest book is “A Life-changing Journal for Changing YOUR Life“. In addition, Jane taught Communication for ten years at Boise State University. Her books, tutoring and coaching packages (book, forgiveness, self-sabotage, etc) can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneFreundship.  Jane’s books can also be found on Amazon and Smashwords. In addition, Jane can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and smoke signals. OK, she is kidding about the smoke signals!. O

If you care to help Jane with her unexpected medical and related expenses, visit https://www.gofundme.com/PleaseHelpMeJane. Offline donations may be sent to PO Box 9171; Boise, ID 83707. Thank you.JANE - B&N Collage

An Alphabet of Gratitude

I have a confession to make: I am NOT the most patient driver in the world. Some days, I think every driver who is going three days under the speed limit, pulls out in front of me or otherwise drives in a way I don’t like is  doing it to me!

Well then as I get honest with myself, I realize two things:
1) Their driving is NOT a personal attack about me.
2) The problem is in my attitude at that moment.

So then I take two steps in response:
1) Acknowledge and feel (don’t stuff or deny) my feelings about the situation
2) Make a decision about my attitude.

I have a choice: marinate in my bad attitude or change my attitude. My attitude is MY choice and nobody makes me choose it. To say somebody else sets my attitude is a failure to take personal responsibility and gives my power to somebody for no reason

When I have a bad attitude, I try to change it. If I can’t do it on my own, I ask God for help. But I know that the key is redirecting my thinking (which is often easier said than done). However, a dear friend of mine gave me a GREAT tool that is working wonders in my life: An Alphabet of Gratitude!

Alphabet of lettersThe idea is simple: Start with the letter ‘A’ and name something that begins with that letter and why I’m grateful for it. I find I am grateful for specific people as well as other examples of God’s creations. Also, I find gratitude in cancer, adversity and other challenges full of life lessons. I have found that when I get to ‘X” that I have hit the wall at xylophones, x-rays. Xerox and Xena Warrior Princess!

But what I have found is that an Alphabet of Gratitude is an EXCELLENT tool for changing my bad attitude into an attitude of gratitude! In addition, I use this tool when I am trying to find focus during meditation or when my mind is otherwise racing.

So give an Alphabet of Gratitude and let me know how it works for you. If you already use this technique or know of other ones, please share them as well. Thanks very much!

 

Jane Freund is an author, encourager, speaker and book coach who has written 19 books and CROPPED - Jane's watercolor picturehelped over 140 people achieve their publishing dreams. Her latest book is “A Life-changing Journal for Changing YOUR Life“. In addition, Jane taught Communication for ten years at Boise State University. Her books, tutoring and coaching packages (book, forgiveness, self-sabotage, etc) can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneFreundship.  Jane’s books can also be found on Amazon and Smashwords. In addition, Jane can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and smoke signals. OK, she is kidding about the smoke signals!

A different kind of Big Bang!

Yesterday morning, I was driving to a small town near Boise to help some clients/friends with their QuickBooks for their business. They had taken a workshop from me several years ago and I have made several trips over the years since then to help them. In addition to doing QuickBooks, we take time to have lunch and catch up on our lives. They are truly wonderful people!

As I enjoy driving, I was looking forward to the 30 minute drive to have some peace and quiet. But that serenity disappeared about halfway through the trip.

I was going about 60 miles an hour when I heard a big “BANG” that at first I thought was a gun being fired. Then came those surreal seconds where I realized that the noise was coming from my car. In what seemed to be slow motion, I saw pieces of my front left tire flying into the road and careening off my vehicle.  Thankfully, I did not panic but calmly managed to slow the car down quickly and pull off to the side of the road. I didn’t have much room as going any further would have put me in a ditch..

I called my clients and they arranged for somebody from a local tire store to come help me. I explained where I was and they took down the information to pass along. After taking a few minutes to calm down and catch my breath, I stepped out of my car to survey the damage.Blown tire

The “BANG” I heard was the tread violently separating from the tire and shooting out in all directions. The debris separated the corner of my front bumper from the body of my car and broke the plastic underneath the bumper. The pieces of tire glanced off the bumper above and behind the wheel. The picture to the left shows the damage and the new tire.

I was shaken all over again as I got back into the car to wait for the tire guy. But as I assessed the whole situation, I realized how God was looking out for me.For example although my driver’s side window was open, none of the debris came into the car. In addition despite the tread coming off so quickly and almost totally, the tire did not lose much air which is why the car did not roll and I was able to pull it off to the side of the road.

After a few minutes, I called my afternoon appointments in Boise to reschedule and waited for the tire guy to come. Several people stopped to help and I thanked them with the explanation that the tire guy was on the way. Well ‘on the way” went from one hour to two hours as he ended up going down the wrong road to the wrong place. At first I was mad but then I realized I had an excellent opportunity to relax and have even more quiet time.

So I spent time praying and thinking about various concerns I needed to discuss with and hand to God as He has a much better perspective than I do. By the time the tire guy arrived, I was more serene and calm than when I had started my day. We chatted as he changed the tire and I gave him a couple of my books for his children.

As I got into my car to finish the drive to town, I was both amused and amazed at how a blown tire had blown up MY schedule and how much better I felt as a result! After all, the time is NOT my time bur rather God’s time. My job is to stay close to God and listen to and follow His direction for the life He as given to me.Easier said than done but yesterday morning was a terrific reminder of the benefits of doing so.

Jane Freund is an author, encourager, speaker and book coach who has written 19 books and CROPPED - Jane's watercolor picturehelped over 140 people achieve their publishing dreams. Her latest book is “A Life-changing Journal for Changing YOUR Life“. In addition, Jane taught Communication for ten years at Boise State University. Her books, tutoring and coaching packages (book, forgiveness, self-sabotage, etc) can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneFreundship.  Jane’s books can also be found on Amazon and Smashwords. In addition, Jane can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and smoke signals. OK, she is kidding about the smoke signals!

Brown Eyes remembers

My brother Tom, who is the funniest member of our family, was fond of saying that “the only members of the Freund family with brown eyes are Jane, Dad and the dog.” Come to think of it, I think all of our dogs had brown eyes. However, I was the only one of Mom and Dad’s six children to inherit his brown eyes. Consequently, his nickname for me was “Brown Eyes”.

Dad was born in Vienna, Austria in 1927 and his life began on a tragic note. When Dad was just six weeks old, his mother died from complications of his childbirth. He was raised by his father who suffered complications from being gassed in World War I. Realizing that he was not well, Grandpa Freund sent Dad to live with his late wife’s parents when my Dad was about seven or eight.

His grandparents, Alois and Marie Goldmann, realized that Dad was at incredible risk as a young Jewish boy in an era where a monster named Adolf Hitler was systematically attempting to eliminate entire ethnic groups. They made the painful and amazing sacrifice to send Dad, their only living descendant, to live with relatives in America. Because they did not have a sponsor in the U.S., the Goldmanns were not allowed to accompany Dad. They were ultimately murdered at Auschwitz.

Dad arrived in America at the age of 11 not knowing any English but quickly dove into his education. At the age of 18, he went to MIT and became a chemical and nuclear engineer. Ultimately, he moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho, and met Mom. They spent time in the Chicago area as well and had six children.

Why am I choosing to tell you all of this information? Ten years ago today, I held Dad’s hand as he took his last breath. I did the same thing three years later when Mom left this world. Something very life-changing about the privilege of being at the end of life with those who brought me into this life.

But today, I am focusing on what Dad taught me through his words and actions. Let me share some of the most important lessons:

Knowing technical information is not enough as you need to be able to explain it in layman’s terms. Dad could explain nuclear energy to children and do it well. One of his old co-workers and a dear family friend told me that Dad was “the most patient scientist he ever knew.” He said that Dad would explain an idea or concept at a meeting and then connect with each person to ensure that they understood what he was saying.

Think and act systematically. Dad thought in and implemented systems in his work and his life. Dad developed election analysis and targeting strategies for his brother-in-law, Orval Hansen, during the latter’s Congressional career. In addition, Dad taught me how to keep a thorough family medical history which saved my life when an alert doctor used it to diagnose my thyroid cancer (although I had no symptoms).

Teach and learn from the next generation. At gatherings of the immediate and extended family, Dad would always spend time with us kids. Perhaps it was part of filling the gap in his lost childhood but Dad was fun to be around and treated us with respect.In addition, Dad coached COUNTLESS young people and taught several of us how to be coaches ourselves.

Face your medical issues head on. Dad suffered from chronic depression and had a couple of nervous breakdowns over the course of his life. He was open about his struggles in an effort to learn from and to help others. Turns out Dad had advanced thyroid cancer that was diagnosed when he was 70 which was likely a major reason for his depression and breakdowns.

Community service is a duty not an option. Dad believed in giving back to a country that gave him, a young refugee, an opportunity to start over. He and Mom taught all of us the importance of helping others and each of us has been involved in various organizations and causes over the course of our lives. Incidentally in that same action oriented mindset, Dad and Mom created a scholarship in memory of Alois and Marie Goldmann who were murdered at Auschwitz.

I could go on but I’d rather stop with this memory. At his funeral and in the weeks and months afterwards, people came out of the woodwork (to borrow on of Mom’s favorite phrases) to share stories about how Dad had touched their lives. The patient scientist with the twinkle in his brown eyes touched more lives than I can even begin to imagine. But most of all, I am thankful for how he touched this Brown Eyes’  life.

Jane Freund is an author, encourager, speaker and book coach who has written 19 books and CROPPED - Jane's watercolor picturehelped over 140 people achieve their publishing dreams. Her latest book is “A Life-changing Journal for Changing YOUR Life“. In addition, Jane taught Communication for ten years at Boise State University. Her books, tutoring and coaching packages (book, forgiveness, self-sabotage, etc) can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneFreundship.  Jane’s books can also be found on Amazon and Smashwords. In addition, Jane can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and smoke signals. OK, she is kidding about the smoke signals!

Looking for a sanctuary

The other day, I was chatting with an old friend of mine who is joining me in recently boarding the USS Health Challenge (AKA facing new health issues). Several years ago, he had a stroke and recently was diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately, the cancer was caught early and is very treatable. I too have had cancer which was caught early and was very treatable. Five years ago, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer by an eagle-eyed doctor who found it before I presented any symptoms (score one for having given her a thorough family history which prompted her into action).

As many of you know, I have been dealing with issues in both of my eyes (blurriness in the left eye and cyst in the right eye socket). Until Friday of last week, the problem was thought to be MS but that has been taken off the table. While I don’t have answers for the eyes, I am thankful that MS is not the problem.

Having both been given another second chance (also known as a third chance) via two major health issues, my friend and I were talking about appreciating life more and all of those realizations that come when one sees how precious the gift of life truly is.

I remembered the months after my cancer surgery spending hours in solitude trying to regain my center. I did a lot of praying, writing and other self-care as I began in earnest my Journey to Jane. I learned a great deal about myself and did some of my best writing and thinking to date.

Now I find myself in that same place of needing to focus on getting centered in my personal and professional life. The difference from five years ago is that I have more tools in my tool chest than I did then. Now, I know the importance of striking a balance between solitude and processing with others. I have learned that marinating in my own “stinking thinking” doesn’t help me much so I get insights from others.

In addition, I am in the homestretch of implementing a business plan that allows me to do more writing. The operation is based on passive income and systematically expanding the reach of each book I produce into different formats. The key is having processes that can be tweaked as needed as everything is an art and a science. These systems will be put into place in the next few months so they’re ready to go for the holiday season.

Now this is where the sanctuary comes into play. In the midst of my recent health challenges, my housing changed six months earlier than I had anticipated. So, I need a place to rent about six months. I would like to find a place that can serve as a sanctuary for me as I honor my third chance on the way to improved health and doing more writing. I feel God all over this situation but that’s another blog post/chapter in a book.

I joked with some friends at church that I would live in a grass hut if it had a good Internet connection and I could bring my two cats. I am open to renting a tiny house, trailer, cottage, whatever to fill in this six months. Also, I do want to stay in the Treasure Valley and that doesn’t mean only Boise. I would even throw in some book or other coaching as an additional “thank you”as I will be very grateful.

So if you know of any options, please EMAIL ME at jane@janefreund.com. Don’t leave a comment with suggestions either here or or social media as I’m quite likely to miss them. As always, thanks so much for your support through this latest life chapter.

Jane Freund is an author, encourager, speaker and book coach who has written 19 books and CROPPED - Jane's watercolor picturehelped over 140 people achieve their publishing dreams. Her latest book is “A Life-changing Journal for Changing YOUR Life“. In addition, Jane taught Communication for ten years at Boise State University. Her books, tutoring and coaching packages (book, forgiveness, self-sabotage, etc) can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneFreundship.  Jane’s books can also be found on Amazon and Smashwords. In addition, Jane can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and smoke signals. OK, she is kidding about the smoke signals!

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In case you missed it, here’s the original post about my current health issues: http://bit.ly/HealthUpdateMoreThanBlurryVision

UPDATED: How you can help:

  • Prayer – Please pray as you’re led and ask others to pray as well.
  • Gofundme campaign – As a single person and a sole proprietor business owner, I am my only breadwinner and eyes issues impede me.Here’s the direct link: gofund.me/JanesEyesNeedHelp
  • Resources – If you have ideas for books, professionals or other resources, please pass them along. Please know that I am not going to use all of them but will appreciate what you share with me.

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