Sally's Guide On The Side Newsletter

September 23, 2009

Volume 1, Issue 6


6650 W. State Street, Suite 227, Wauwatosa, WI 53213

Feature Article: Wooden Bowl

Table of Contents:

A Note from Sally and Special Subscription Offer
Wooden Bowl
Stopping Verbal Abuse in Its Tracks
Monthly Speaking Tip for a Dazzling Presentation
Monthly Recommendations
Comment Corner
Reiki Circles in Milwaukee
November 17, 2009 Amazon Best Seller Day
About Sally

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A Note from Sally

Welcome to Sally's Guide On The Side specifically designed to help you improve your confidence, self-esteem, and communication skills. Please forward this newsletter to five of your friends, family, associates, and loved ones. Ask them to sign up for a subscription, mention your name, and you will receive a downloadable electronic copy of my book Love Offerings to the Universe sent to your email address. ($14.95 value)

Hello Sally,

Thank you for opening this newsletter. You are reading this because our lives have touched. This newsletter gives me the opportunity to now stay in contact and connect with you on the level you choose at least once a month. I received Wooden Bowl in an email about seven years ago and want to share it with you.

Wooden Bowl

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We must do something about Grandfather," said the son. "I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner, There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently lead him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

Anonymous (If you know the author please let me know so I can give him/her credit).

Stop Verbal Abuse In Its Tracks

Sarah is watching TV with her husband Erik. A commercial for a fast food company comes on and she picks up the remote and mutes it.

"Hey!" Erik yells. "Why the hell did you do that! I was watching it!"

"Oh, sorry," Sarah says, turning the sound back on.

"Well, it's too late now!" he rages. "I missed it. Youknow that I've been wanting a hamburger all day."

Sarah stares at him, shocked. She hadn't known that, and how would viewing the commercial satisfy his desire? She's trying to figure all this out, why he got so mad, what she can do to fix it, when he leaps from the couch and heads toward the door.

"Wait," she says. "I'm sorry. I thought you hated commercials."

He turns to her, calls her an idiot and an obscene name, then slams the door.

Now, she's even more confused, remembering all the times he's complained about commercials. Didn't he just say last week that he wanted to get a DVR so he could skip them? But Sarah's afraid to say that, to set him off again, so she just stares blankly at the screen.

Like many in verbally abusive relationships, Sarah thinks that if only she changed, she communicated more clearly, she explained things better, her husband wouldn't get so mad at her.

But as Patricia Evans, author of The Verbally Abusive Relationship, explains, abuse victims don't realize that the problem isn't theirs: it's in the abuser's need to dominate and control. When Sarah's husband yells at her for no reason, she thinks he's misunderstood her. She doesn't realize that he's not looking for understanding, he's establishing his power over her.

Sarah's story exhibits several of the hallmarks of verbal abuse:

Other common aspects of verbal abuse, according to Evans, are:

What Can You Do If You Are Being Verbally Abused?

First and foremost, Evans recommends, recognize that the abuse is not your fault, and that you can't debate or reason or understand it away. What you can do is refuse to play along. Specifically, Evans recommends:

When you stand up for yourself and refuse to be goaded into defending or explaining, the abuser will give up. That's because, as Suzette Haden Elgin, author of You Can't Say That to Me!, explains, abusers need a victim; if you won't play that role, he or she can't abuse. Elgin also recommends ignoring the bait, but then responding to the underlying assumption that often hides in abuse.

For example, Sarah could also have responded to Erik with, "How long have you thought I didn't care about you?"

Erik would have been flustered, thrown back on himself, this time staring at her in shock. Sure, he'd recover; he would use some of the common abuse strategies that the authors outline in their books. But it won't matter, because no matter what he says, Sarah will not be provoked.

Verbal abuse can't function without a victim, and with a lot of support and information and self-care, Sarah has learned to refuse that role.

Author's content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications

Monthly Speaking Tip for a Dazzling Presentation

Preparation/Image: Your presentation apparel color makes a difference to both you and your audience. "In red, you're ahead. Blue's for you. Green's in between. Brown is down. Black puts you in back."

© Sally K. O'Brien 2005 Copyright
Original text appeared as monthly column in Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce Newsletter 1995-1996.

Monthly Recommendations:

Quote to Remember:When you say, "I don't have time." What you are really saying is, "I have chosen not to make this a priority." Denis Waitley

No Matter What! 9 Steps to Living the Life You Love by Lisa Nichols

Lisa Nichols is best known for her inspiring appearance in the film, The Secret, and her motivational speeches and programs for millions of teenagers. In her book, she shares many personal disempowering stories, reflects on the lessons in them, devotes a chapter to each of nine major bounce-back character muscles, and gives action steps for us to implement immediately.

She breaks down the character muscles which significantly add to the quality of our lives as they become strengthened. They are the following: Your Understanding, Faith-in Myself, Take-Action, I-Know-Like-I-Know, Honesty, Say-Yes, Determination, Forgiveness, and Higher Choice muscles.

On a scale of 1-5, No Matter What! Is definitely a higher choice and is an inspirational book your teen will thank you for buying, taking the time to read and share with him/her. And I know you will find, as I did, some muscles are strong, and there is at least one that needs some additional consistent exercise to empower us so we are able to respond to life's adversities with positivity and confidence.

Next Month I'll review Averil Leimon and Gladeana McMahon's book Positive Psychology for Dummies. Gladeana McMahon is a personal development and transformation coach. She is one of the Top Ten Coaches in the UK, who I had the phenomenal privilege to study with for my certification as a Confidence Coach. Averil Leimon is a Leadership Psychologist and she is also hailed as one of the Top Ten Coaches in the UK.

Comment Corner:

Please share your comments about issues in the newsletter, and see them published here next month. To be printed, you must provide your full name and address and contact information just like the editorial requirements in newspapers and magazines. I look forward to your feedback and suggestions for improvement. My email address is

Reiki Circles in Milwaukee, October 10, 2009

Optimistic would be the one word I'd choose for the fourth month of Reiki Circles in Milwaukee on Saturday, September 12, 2009. Because of other commitments, we only had 3 Reiki Masters/ Reiki Practitioners present and our growing number sending from home. Although only one family participated, we did 15 minutes of distant healing for 59 families.

As co-founder of Reiki Circles in Milwaukee, I'm very excited to join with other Reiki Masters and practitioners to offer free of charge Reiki energy healing for all special needs children and their families beginning at 10 a.m. at 2534 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue in Milwaukee the second Saturday of the month. Please contact me at 414-257-1931 for more information or distant healing even though you are not presently living in the Milwaukee area. Reiki is not limited to time or space.

On the Friday evening before the monthly event, I co-host a half hour teleseminar for all Reiki energy healers, who will be sending Reiki energy healing in person or at a distance. During the call we set the intention for the healing for all that participate in the Saturday Reiki Circles. The teleseminar will be at 5 p.m. PST, 6p.m.MST, 7 p.m. CST, and 8 p.m. EST. Email me at to get the call in number and access code to join us on the call.

November 17, 2009 Amazon Best Seller Day

Please put Tuesday, November 17, 2009 on your calendar. On that day I'm going to make you an irresistible offer. Buy one copy of Love Offerings to the Universe on that day from, and receive almost $600 in bonus gifts. If you purchase three copies as holiday gifts for family and friends, in addition to all the bonus gifts, you will be in the Grand Prize drawing for a week's vacation at a four season destination, Spirit Lake Cabins located in Three Lakes, Wisconsin, which is approximately 225 miles north of Milwaukee in Oneida County, and 315 miles from Chicago. Go to to view "The Pine" cabin and read the description of this relaxing, stress-free, reinvigorating get-a-way for you and your family.

Confident Power, Presence & Presentation™

Confidence Coaching From The Inside Out

About Sally: Sally K. O'Brien is a certified confidence coach, life coach, professional speaker, and author of Love Offerings to the Universe and a contributing author to 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life, Vol. 2. Sally combines her 35 years as a communication skills expert, 13 years Reiki energy healing, and 20 years as a professional speaker to help her clients move through the life challenges and transitions with ease and joy. She helps them identify a life plan that is aligned to a soul level and practical in leading a purpose driven life. To contact Sally, go to

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