Sally's Guide On The Side Newsletter

October 23, 2009

Volume 1, Issue 7


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

Table of Contents:

A Note from Sally
A Pebble in the Water
Legacy: What Are You Leaving Behind?
Monthly Speaking Tip for a Dazzling Presentation
Monthly Recommendations
Comment Corner
Reiki Circles in Milwaukee
November 17, 2009 Love Offering to the Universe 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 your friends, family, associates, and loved ones

Hello First Name,

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.

"A Pebble in the Water" was first published in Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work in 1996. Recently I was struck by a story on Milwaukee television, a city drive to send holiday cards and care packages to the men and women currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan much like our Illinois high school did in 1990 for the military in Saudi Arabia...

Please offer your teenage children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and godchildren an opportunity to read this essay. Imagine, If only one teenager becomes inspired after reading the piece and decides to make a difference in his or her high school for our military during the holidays, what an impact that will make on so many lives. Thank you.

A Pebble in the Water

The events leading up to the proudest moment in my twenty-eight year teaching career began on Monday, December 9, 1990. Our troops were engaged in Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia.

I was in an after-school faculty meeting in the high school cafeteria. The computer coordinator told us about Project Desert Shield, created by the former Chicago Bears football great, Walter Payton.

She explained that he had chartered a plane for Sunday to fly to the Persian Gulf to personally deliver gifts and donated items from the Chicago metropolitan area. We were asked to invite our students to sign Christmas cards, and to write pen pal letters to cheer up our soldiers during the holidays.

As I was driving to school that Tuesday, I remembered spending Christmas in the Philippine Islands when I was in the Peace Corps in the 1960's. I had received cookies from home. What a difference they made! I had left loved and cared for. I started thinking that if each student contributed fifty cents, we would have sixty dollars to buy cookies to send on the plane on Sunday.

When I asked each of my five classes that Tuesday about contributing fifty cents, I got total support. As the day progressed and word spread about our cookie project, the National Honor Society volunteered to contribute paperbacks. Then the work program coordinator said her class would fill up Christmas stockings with candy.

On Wednesday morning I went to the main office and told the principal's secretary about my students raising money for cookies and what the other classes were doing. I asked her if the administration would make a donation. The principal agreed. I was so delighted that I then asked if she would call the district office and see if the central administration would also contribute. They, too, agreed to support our project.

When I gave my class a running total of what we had collected, we decided that we were going to have over one hundred fitly dollars to spend, so we could purchase more than cookies. We compiled a list of items that family members were encouraged to send overseas, and three students from each class volunteered to form a shopping committee.

On Thursday, I went to the faculty lounge for lunch and enthusiastically shared the news of the school's involvement in Project Desert Shield. One listener said that sand insects were getting into packages sent overseas and suggested I call a popcorn company to see if they would donate empty containers.

In addition to empty containers, the popcorn company offered to donate several cases of popcorn. When I gave my daily report to the classes and told them the response from the popcorn company, my students started brainstorming about other ways they could help through their parents' workplaces.

By the end of the school day on Thursday, we had collected two hundred dollars. Armed with an official letter telling about the school's involvement in Project Desert Shield, our shopping committee members left to make their purchases.

When I got to my classroom on Friday morning, I was surprised to find the custodians unloading flats of boxes. The fifteen committee members came in, one by one, with their purchases. They were very excited. They told me that had difficulty paying for anything because the merchants wanted to make donations.

We were so overwhelmed with boxes and cases; we couldn't fit them all into the school van. The principal had to call central administration and request a truck. We filled that truck with over two thousand dollars in products. Then we all gathered at the back of the truck for a picture with a banner that read, "Elk Grove Cares...Merry Christmas!"

I went back to my empty classroom, where a few hours before the room had been filled with animated and purposeful students. I thought how fulfilling this project had been and how much support and encouragement I had received. I remember sitting there in the silence, thinking, "Okay, God, I get it. I know now why I'm in the classroom."

The following Monday, I asked each of my students to write a paragraph on Project Desert Shield. Some wrote that they would get involved in the community when they grew up. A few mentioned how one person can make a difference, and one said it was like the ripples that form when you throw a pebble in the water.

But the response that touched me the most was the one by the student who wrote, "Mrs. O'Brien, I was ready to kill myself this week. Then I got on the committee and saw I was accepted by the others, and...thank you."

© 2004 Sally O'Brien, Love Offerings to the Universe, pp. 32-35.

Legacy: What Are You Leaving Behind?

Many of us are asking ourselves the question: "What am I here to contribute?" But we can take that question still further: "What is the legacy I want to leave behind when I'm gone?"

Leaving a legacy is not just a practice reserved for the wealthy. It's a common human trait to want to leave something of ourselves behind. For some that may be leaving their mark in business or in the arts; for others it's carrying on the family name through children.

Types of Legacies

Your legacy might include a combination of some of the following:

  • A business or non-profit organization that carries on your work after you're gone.
  • Beauty, inspiration and wisdom passed on through creations such as books, music, and art.
  • Money, goods, and property, including endowing scholarships or creating a foundation.
  • The "ripple effect" of your daily impact on friends, family and your wider community.

Components of Legacy-Building

Begin with the end in mind. The old saying goes: "You reap what you sow." Accordingly, it's criticall to know what end result you want to achieve so that you—and those who come after you—reap what you deem to be of highest value. In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey says it's imperative to first have a clear vision of your destination. He recommends developing a "personal mission statement." Based on your core values or principles, the statement focuses on what you want to be and what you want to contribute or achieve.

Clarify your values. With a coach or on your own, explore your values. What do you value most deeply? This is not about "morals" imposed from outside, but reflects what you believe at your core is of greatest importance.

Determine your arena of impact. To clarify your desired impact, ask yourself:

1. Who do I want to impact? What people or community? (My town, Alma Mater, the environment, teens, victims of war.)
2. What gifts do I have to share?
3. What is the best vehicle for sharing my gifts?
4. Who can help me reach my goals? Who do I want on my dream team?
5. What's my next step to go from where I am now to where I want to be?
6. How can my impact be sustained after I'm gone?

Imagine your funeral. As a final step to motivate you into action, imagine your funeral. The speakers include your family, closest friends, and business associates. What do they say about who you have been and the impact you've had on their lives and your world? Are you satisfied with what you hear? Is this the legacy you want to leave? As Martha Graham said, "There is only one of you in all of time." It's up to you to leave a legacy that reflects your unique expression.

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

Monthly Speaking Tip for a Dazzling Presentation

Delivery: Begin your presentation with a question, quotation, story, or an attention getter. Use short sentences, active voice, contractions, you and we, and tell stories to illustrate your points.

© 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:"Self Confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings."-- Dr. Samuel Johnson

Positive Psychology for Dummies by Averil Leimon and Gladeana McMahon

Averil Leimon is a Leadership Psychologist and international business coach. She is also hailed as one of the Top Ten Coaches in the UK. Gladeana McMahon is a leading transformational and personal development coach. She is one of the Top Ten Coaches in the UK, who I had the phenomenal privilege to study with for my certification with as a Confidence Coach.

Positive psychology is a new branch of psychology that focuses on helping patients or clients create happiness and positive emotions rather than fixing problems. In 1998, Martin Seligman inspired a movement to concentrate on the positives in human behavior. In their book McMahon and Leimon provide information on the origin, theory, methods, practitioners,results of positive psychology, and how to use positive philosophy for success in both our personal and working life

As in all For Dummies books, The Part of Tens provides the reader with ten top positive psychology exercises and activiities.that are aimed at helping the reader develop a positive mindset. These activities have been designed by many different psychologists in the field of positive psychology, and many have been the subject of research projects which have demonstrated their effectiveness. The authors say even if we only did those and didn't read another word in the entire book, we would probably be happier. Included in this section are also inspirational books, songs, and films to raise our moods.

On a scale of 1-5, this book is a 5 and a great resource for those wanting to get more out of life. In the 20 page Index at the end of the book, we can easily find a topic to explore to make a positive improvement in our thinking and feeling in any situation.

Next month I'll review The Won Thing by The New York Times Best-selling author Peggy McColl.

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, November 14, 2009

On Saturday, October 10, 2009, we celebrated our six month anniversary. I am grateful and appreciate very much the 15 Reiki Masters and Reiki Practitioners and all the families who have participated in Reiki Circles. Because of other commitments, we only had 3 Reiki Masters/ Reiki Practitioners present and our growing number sending from home. Although only two families participated, we did 15 minutes of distant healing for 61 families.

As co-founder of Reiki Circles in Milwaukee, I'm very excited to join with 15 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.

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 Amazon Best-selling book, Love Offerings to the Universe, on that day from my website, 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. 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. which is approximately 225 miles north of Milwaukee in Oneida County, and 315 miles from Chicago.

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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