Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

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How Does the Online Idea Party Work?

You have a dream or a wish, and an obstacle to getting there. (If you don’t think you know your wish, work through my kick-starter and read this post. To learn why you must put logic aside to find your dream, read the following.)

The online Idea Party is here to help you – and the other fellow party goers – with your wishes and obstacles.

Voices from Success Teams and Idea Parties:

Having a team to report to and hearing what everybody did each week is very exciting. It’s kept me moving all year. In the past I made some good starts on my own, but found, every time, when the energy ran out, I ran out. Now it doesn’t run out.
Jade G.
Children’s Playroom Therapist, New York Hospital

I would do a painting a year, a sketch a year. If it was only me I know I would never do it. Having to tell you makes all the difference. It’s crazy why I didn’t do this years ago, it’s so easy all of a sudden.
Caroline R. Personnel Executive, Macy’s Dept Store

Post Your Wish and Your Obstacle Here!

And help your team mates out when you can. Use the Reply link to help, the form below the comments to add your own Wish and Obstacle.

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4,006 thoughts on “Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

  1. i hope that i can be clearer but I am still interested and persist in tweaking my dreaming and manifestating. Not easy to get a clear picture but one thing for sure i see tropical foliage.
    I can bring my business anywhere i guess. I developed my own unique protocol to solve a condition and its well-proven. I call it self-healing approach to massage therapy. I can bring to the world and do like very much to work with the body s innate abilities. I just need to be more firm into finding the right country and right healing clinic…I am thinking of Mexico. And to make it the center for this kind of healing which i can teach too. Its a form of medical tourism but i am licensed practitioner.
    I just don t want to leave this earth plane without more bold actions and a leaving a legacy.

    Wondering if there is a place, group who can facilitate this desire.
    Any idea or like-minded is welcome. I hope that i did not think it but not write it and it confused you.

    Staying in canada honestly depresses me and stupifies me and that can be motivating even though i am still penalized with my travels. i continue dreaming that i can honour my dormant powers.

  2. i hope that i can be clearer but I am still interested in dreaming and manifestating. Not easy to get a clear picture but one thing for sure i see tropical foliage.
    I can bring my business anywhere i guess. I developed my own unique protocol to solve a condition and its well-proven. I call it self-healing approach to massage therapy. I can bring to the world and do like very much to work with the body s innate abilities. I just need to be more firm into finding the right country and right healing clinic…I am thinking of Mexico. And to make it the center for this kind of healing which i can teach too. Its a form of medical tourism but i am licensed practitioner.
    I just don t want to leave this earth plane without more bold actions and a leaving a legacy.

    Wondering if there is a place, group who can facilitate this desire.
    Any idea or like-minded is welcome. I hope that i did not think it but not write it and it confused you.

    Staying in canada honestly depresses me and stupifies me and that can be motivating even though i am still penalized with my travels. i continue dreaming that i can honour my dormant powers.

  3. Dear Louise,
    My dream now is the Center for Indigenous Wisdom. In its full-blown version, it is a major business with many functions, but its mission statement is, “The mission of the Center for Indigenous Wisdom is for the presentation, preservation, and promotion of the spiritual and cultural values of indigenous cultures, worldwide.” This includes but is not limited to Native American cultures. There are many things that it does. In the full version, there would be an auditorium where world-class speakers could come, and where Native American dance performances could happen. The people on staff could be presenters, too. I don’t think the Dali Lama travels anymore. He’s getting very old now. But, it would be a place where he could come and give an address if he wanted to, and could, and he would be entirely welcome. So would Malidoma Some, the African holy man. It would be part healing center. In the Vision of this, there was a massage table in the room where I saw myself teaching, and the massage table wasn’t mine. The main building had a large swimming pool on the lower level. It was used for hydrotherapy, or you could just swim or float in it.
    There would be an art and photo gallery with rotating exhibits that changed at least quarterly. Some of my own photography would be there, and Native artists could display their art, weavings, and wonderful carvings there. The place would have some very nice log cabins which would serve as retreats for those who wanted to just retreat from the world for awhile, and not have to be participating in the ongoing programs and events of the Center at all. There would be language preservation projects going on, and ways found to support tribes in getting their cultures back and flourishing. In the Vision, I saw a mixed fruit orchard and there was an herb business, and a very large organic vegetable garden. This was all out in the country, but there was a restaurant in town which served food that was grown at the Center. Near the edge of town, there was also a campground with showers and a launderette, and there was a public broadcast radio station, operated by the Center. There was a fish pond at the Center, which was raising the fresh water equivalent of prawns, which are salt water large shrimp. I guess these are crawdads. Part of the workings of the Center was to put people out on Wilderness Rites of Passage in the summer months. There were events and teachings going on all the time. The presentation, preservation, and promotion of the spiritual and cultural values of indigenous cultures, worldwide. First Nations cultures and others, from other parts of the world.
    That is my Dream, my Vision. I have held this for a very long time. I keep asking, over and over, what I need to do to get this up and running. I know where the land is. It’s in Canada, and not in the U.S. At the time that this Vision came to me, I didn’t know why. But now, I do know why.
    So do I have to go back to school and get an MBA so that I can know how to launch such a big thing? Do I start a Foundation? Or what?? I have been told to start small for years, and I have, and that isn’t working. If you had a big business to start, how would you do it? I am reminded of Findhorn, in Northern Scotland. I was there once, and it is utterly amazing. And amazing how it came together, as well. So I plug along from day to day. The Vision has been coming together a little bit here, a little bit there, in my life, throughout my life, in little dribs and drabs. I can’t do it alone, that’s obvious. And I don’t have an MBA. Or megabucks. Or very many bucks at all. And right now, I’m scared of Trudeau. I used to really like and trust him, but lately, he seems to have run off the rails, in my view. He doesn’t seem to believe at all in due process, which is a crucial cornerstone of any democracy. So he really scares me. And anyway the ferry through the San Juans from Anacortes to Sidney, B.C. isn’t running on account of COVID. On the one hand, he keeps inviting people to immigrate to Canada, but on the other, the border is still shut–Tight. On account of COVID. Hmmmmmm . . . . And no one seems to know how to start this dream, and really get it going. I have a small mailing list, and a huge legacy of ceremonies and teachings, and connections to Medicine People and several tribes. I am a Metisse Grandmother myself. Being a Grandmother does not have to do with chronological age. It has to do with saving lives. I started doing that when I was 35 years old through a spiritual group that I was running. From what little I know, Canadian attitudes towards Native First Nations people have not been very chipper, shall we say. They just quit having the way beyond hideous boarding school system in the 1990’s or so. In the U.S, these were abolished in the 1930’s.
    With COVID, about the only thing that I’m doing these days is attending monthly meetings at a Longhouse where we meet with a Native Elder, who gives most wonderful Medicine Wheel teachings. I am doing ceremonies alone that I used to share with a group, and group meetings have been pretty much suspended. My drumming group has been suspended. My teachings, which used to meet in a store, have been suspended. Healing gatherings have been suspended. The Inipi, the Stone People’s Lodge, has been suspended, although I keep hearing rumors that some of the Lodges are starting back up again. I have been meeting with a Native Medicine Woman on Zoom. What times we’re living in!
    Trudeau scares me, but not enough to give up. The thing is, I’m not getting a day younger. And I’m not a spring chicken any more. Far from it. If you had a big business to build, how would you do it? In Canada?
    I received this Vision in 1984. This is 2022. I am married to this Vision, and I do not want it to die with me. Got any ideas?

    • Dear Mary Ann,

      I’m not sure if I am supposed to answer, nor if it is appropiate for me to answer.

      What I hear from you, your idea and details are very very clear, you also have the connections and people for the operating part of your dream/business too. That is wunderfull and fantastic.

      Seems to me that even without these covid etc obstacles it would be a hughe thing to realize this dream from a distance in another country.

      The first thing that comes up in my mind is to find a Canadian businesspartner/investor to build a bridge. Someone who is a full blown Canadian, who, first: knows all ins and outs of business in Canada, second: who has the right papers (MBA) and the money (or knows who has)

      This way you can build a bridge and closed borders will not totally stop the flow because one of you will be in Canada to proceed with your project on site. If travels are possible you can start now with finding/getting to know a new business partner that loves to share your dream and tresures your investment in detailed ideas, real and valuable connections and is willing to invest his part in business and money. In this first travel you can also look if you can find the place, sounds like its a matter of fast intuitive travel to find this place that you know is there. (Maybe your new businesspartner has founded ideas about where to look best/first for business, so you can outline a search atea to find the exact matching place)
      To have your target for the development of your dream.

      Second option I thought of is simplify the canada part to just a move as soon as your business is established (partly online is a possibility) . Meaning start to build your business where you are now, then make a move to Canada. Migrating something that exists is sometimes more do-able than building it up from a distance with large obstacles to face.

      That is what I can think of. Investors probably love investing in interesting detailed ideas more than you like studying for an MBA.

      Well..
      See where the possibilities are for a (short) travel, maybe you can do an official work trip to get there, do a speech or workshop in Canada which is allowed for travel and plan your business activities around that (meeting business partner, finding location for new centre)
      And go on from there…

      Or start your “startup-centre” close to where you are now and get ready for migration!

      Or do both and see what your best options are for the next step to take

      Hope I understood your request well, just not wanted to stay silent when I read your words on your vision and ideas. Who knows it can be helpful. Would be so great if you can realize your centre.

      Sara

      • Dear Sara,
        Thanks for your reply. I think we reply around here when we feel moved to do so, more or less, so it isn’t wrong. At least I guess not.
        I really like your reply. I do have a connection or two or three in Canada. I’m glad that the Vision is clear. That’s a big plus. I’m not well connected, but there’s a friend of mine whose son is an international business man. What kind of business is really something I don’t know. I think he’s a Computer Wizard. He does most and possibly all of his business with China. But he may be able to help clarify what to do, what first steps to take. I can try to develop my role in the “operations” part more. That, in fact, is what I know that I need to do. Do some programs here and then move it there has been on my mind for some time.
        My father lied about his family heritage and said he was directly related to William Ogilvie, a famous Canadian who was sent out from Ottawa in the 1800’s to explore Yukon Territory. He did, and he surveyed the international boundary line that forms the straight line between Alaska and Yukon, and he surveyed the Klondike gold rush claims. It turns out that my dad was not directly related. He said that William was my grandfather’s brother. If he had’ve been, my path would have been easier, for it would have been a lot easier to obtain dual citizenship.
        I don’t think that travel to Canada is possible right now. Certainly not tourist travel. The ferry from Anacortes through the San Juan Islands in Washington to Sidney B.C. is shut down, and look at the mess that Trudeau just got himself into with the truckers! Besides the protest in Ottawa, that involved blocking various border crossings. I did know some Canadian friends who are both dead, and I still love them dearly, and miss them very much.
        I know just where the land is. It may or may not be for sale at this time. But I have actually laid eyes on it. And when I did, I bawled and bawled. I couldn’t believe it! There I was, right in front of it.
        I don’t know if retreat centres are closed down in Canada as they are here in the U.S. because of COVID, but I do know of a lovely one where I went once in the Gulf Islands of B.C., and it’s on my mind to do a presentation there.
        I guess I need to see what really is going on regarding Canadian travel at this time. All I know is that it has been a royal mess on account of Trudeau and the truckers. There are rumors, at least, that he is going on trial for his actions, and the first thing I know about the web is don’t believe anything you see or hear on the web.
        A few months ago, he was smilingly welcoming immigrants into the country, but I have also learned that if you want to rent an apartment there or get a job there, you have to have Canadian references! What a Catch 22 that is! And nobody will check foreign references. And now, what a mess! But, I know that, as the Buddhists say, this too shall pass.
        In this country, the Congress oversees the President. Does anybody oversee Trudeau? It seems that he doesn’t believe at all in due process, and that scares me mightily. Although not enough to give up completely. I think starting here and moving it there makes sense. At least then, I can do something!
        And, I might be able to possibly meet some Nuu cha Nluth First Nations people by affiliating with some Indian Centers around here. There is one which wants volunteers. Hmmmm . . . . There is a Tlingit carver associated with one of them. Of course, he is Alaskan, but he may know of something or someone.
        I think you did understand my request well, and what’s more, you are the first person ever to take my request for developing a big business successfully respectfully and seriously. Just doing that much makes a major difference. I have been told to “start small” for 40 years, and that isn’t working.
        It is good to have spoken.

        • Dear Mary Ann,

          Happy to hear that you see some openings in realizing your plans.
          As for the covid restrictions, here in the Netherlands there are no restrictions anymore for months.
          With that I just wanted to say that things/obstacles are not forever and not everywhere.
          I understand in the US you still have strong limitations in society.

          It might be wise to ignore the news (as a matter of speaking) and stay well informed on the latest official restrictions provided on goverment websites. Very closely. In my experience every restriction also has acceptions. That might just be the little opening for you to do your travel.

          And remember restrictions will probably go away one day.

          In case restrictions for traveling, meeting up with more people, welness activities, block your activities to start up in the U S, you can try organizing online meetings (here in my country yoga centres, welness centres did that alternatly in covid periods)

          Or organize it like a retreat/holiday in an other foreign country with less covid restrictions. Where meeting up and wellness activities are free to do.

          Well hope you will have fun in your proces of getting your vision realized.

          Oh and studying for you MBA is still an option ofcourse if you love doing it. You might meet new people of a totally different interest and background, and who knows one of them will get enthousiastic about your plan and will join you.

        • Note: Are you absolutely 100% sure your father did not just misinterpreted something and for example it was not the grandfathers but great grandfathers that were related?

          • Dear Sara,
            No, my father, who wanted to be heavily connected to Canada, for reasons of his own, lied. William Ogilvie was supposed to be my grandfather’s brother or my grandfather’s uncle. Since your uncles are supposed to be your parents’ siblings, and since William Ogilvie was born about 20 years after my grandfather was born, it’s a bit of a mind-twister to think that he was my grandfather’s uncle, although I guess that’s not a complete impossibility. At any rate, my father lied, because his ancestors arrived in Virginia in 1728, and from there, over 100 years later, were in the Oklahoma Land Rush. They were not the Canadian branch of the Ogilvies.
            COVID is very virulent here, and the vaccinations don’t seem to be making any difference. Last August, a couple of my friends, husband and wife, went to a family gathering in Montana. They both came back sick with COVID, the wife moderately so, and the husband very seriously ill with a fever of 105. She said that he was unconscious and muttering incoherently about the land of the dead! About a week later, I called up to check on him. He was better, and said he was standing at the gates of the land of the dead, and talking to the gatekeeper! I said I was glad that he is still with us! They had both been vaccinated twice, and had had booster shots as well.
            In December, right around Christmas, one of my neighbors here at the apartment complex came down with COVID and had to be hospitalized. She had flown to Tucson, Arizona, over the holiday, and possibly caught it from being on the plane. She never wanted to wear her mask, and was always wearing it wrong. She had to be hospitalized and ended up in the ICU. I thought she’d never get out. She had been vaccinated twice and had a booster as well. So much for the efficacy of the shots!
            In the more rural counties of Washington State, there are about 95 new cases to 113 new cases per week. In the three most populated counties, there are 2247, 7874 (around Seattle) and 1867 where I live, within the last 7 days. I never pay attention to the “news,” just to the Washington State Department of Health statistics, which get updated all the time. After my friend got sick and almost died, COVID began to spread like wildfire throughout the apartment complex. There are a lot of Ukranian immigrants living here who don’t speak English. They won’t wear masks and they don’t want to practice the 6 foot social distancing. It has been alarming. You don’t want to meet up with one of these, as they come down the walkways or enter the mail room while you’re trying to get your mail. The masking and the social distancing are still being practiced in grocery stores, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, dentist’s offices, hardware stores, and generally wherever people have to go and line up to buy something.
            I know that the EU has restricted travel of foreign visitors, and as far as Canada goes, although at least 90% of Canadians are vaccinated, there was this proclamation by Trudeau that all Canadian truckers had to be 100% vaccinated to cross the border into the U.S., which resulted in the recent furor, and the people are still making an uproar. And Trudeau, so help me, has gone off the rails with his confiscating of fuel, freezing of bank accounts, and God knows what else, all without due process. It looks from here like he’s just being a tyrant, and a foolish one at that. If you want somebody to “Just Go Away,” you certainly had not better be confiscating their fuel containers and freezing their bank accounts, so that they can’t. He justified this, saying that the protest was illegal, but in fact, it was legal, and the truckers even had the cooperation of the police, until Trudeau ordered that things get ugly. Good Grief! All of this over COVID and the Canadian border! What a mess! Now the bikers have come roaring into Ottawa in support of the truckers, and I don’t know where it’ll end. If Trudeau thought that the truckers were noisy, with their honking horns, his ears ought to be about blasted off of his head by now with all those roaring bikers. Good Grief!
            Stay the heck away, at least until the dust settles, eventually. I don’t know if Trudeau is going on trial or not. There are rumors. After these tyrannical outbursts, he had the unmitigated gall to go to Europe and in a meeting there, declare that he was all for democracy. They jeered him and shouted him down.
            The scary part is the utter lack of due process.
            Mandatory masking is still required here in doctor’s offices, but the governor of Washington State has lifted mandatory masking statewide. People are still doing it though, and cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID are still on the rise. I know that nothing lasts for ever. Everyone here is sick of the masking and restrictions, but to pretend that COVID isn’t with us is a very gross error. The more population, the more COVID.
            I need to get serious about learning how to be a Zoom host. That is one important thing.
            I don’t love the idea of studying for an MBA. The stuff I’d have to study makes my toes curl up in my shoes. But, it’s expedient. It’s a means to an end. And then I’d have the right papers and have an MBA.
            And you’re right . . . new people are around the corner all the time.
            About all I can do is to check on travel restrictions, keep on working on program material from here, make contact with Canadian contacts, and get ready to immigrate, God and Trudeau willing and the creek don’t rise! But what about apartment rental which takes Canadian references? Good grief! They want immigrants, they say, but they act like they don’t want them! You’re right, though. I need a first target that I can focus on for this dream.

        • Hi Mary Ann,

          I have much info to share with you about Trudeau’s actions in Ottawa. Suffice to say people carrying around the Canadian Ensign flag tend to belong to white supremacist groups, which are outlawed in Canada.

          The internet has highly skewed algorithms, making unbiased research very difficult. I’ve often talked to people from other countries online to get a better idea of their living conditions, but of course that is still not always accurate.

          Canada’s laws derive from English law, which allows a heavy police presence in only a few very specific cases, one of which is a domestic terrorist threat. The other is a public health threat, such as in the case of the airborne Covid virus, which is why the borders temporarily shut down.

          Life is back to normal now in Canada, masks are no longer manditory and the borders are open. 🙂

    • Hi Mary Ann,
      I have a few ideas…would you be able to attend a summer Pow Wow in Vancouver, Canada? I would arrange free accomodation for you. Are you in Tacoma? Do you have a car? Are you fully vaccinated?

      You will not be anywhere near Mr.Trudeau! He is okay, he’s a typical Liberal, remember that it’s very hard to get accurate info online due to set algorithms.

      America has more individual freedoms, for sure. Where we clamp down on them hard is whenever domestic terrorism is a real threat. In that respect, we are like some Scandinavian countries.

      There is racism in every country and that would include ours, so yes, there is racism towards Native ppl here but it’s often the subtle type, just as bad, but you will be in no danger. You will be safe with me. (I used to work in Security 🙂

      In the meantime I have a Native friend, and a relative living on a rez, I will get some feedback from them if you like? Let me know. I am not myself into spiritual things but I do respect Native visions..they are different.

      I’m Acadian and the M’ikmaq taught my ancestors how to hunt, trap lobster and where to find the world’s best blueberries in this country. We wouldn’t have survived without them.

      If you prefer to communicate with me privately let me know how to do that.

  4. There’s no place to reply to Sara, but I want to. Yes, the envelopes are for the 4 categories of Gas and Oil for the Car, Health Out-of-Pocket Costs, Miscellaneous, and Wants. You Always, Always pay yourself first. The very first thing is to build a thousand dollar emergency fund, so 10 to 15% of your monthly income goes there. Then 10% apiece goes into the next 3 envelopes. Every month, I know just exactly, down to the penny, what it’ll take to pay the rent (utilities included), renters’ insurance, car insurance, phone, and internet. I reserve this much in the bank, to cover those things. And then I take the rest, and this is what I have to play with. So before I actually pay anyone, I pay the savings I’m building, and I pay those envelopes. Not more than 10% gets put into “Wants.” This budgeting system, for that’s what it is, keeps financial nightmares and panic from happening. And there’s actually a fund for a few wants! Wowee! I can actually have wants! This system, devised by Dave Ramsey, is very, very liberating! And it eliminates a lot of anxiety, panic attacks, nightmares, and things like that, around money! I have really begun to feel peace. And a sense that my life isn’t utterly out of control. Wow! Siiiiigggghhhh!! (Deep and very relaxing sigh.) For an irregular or erratic income, you figure things based on your leanest, skinniest month. Some months are bound to be leaner than others. And then, apply the same principles. Reserve enough in the bank to cover the rent, utilities, car insurance, phone, and internet. Those 5 things. Nothing else. Then, you take the rest and start paying yourself, before you start actually paying anybody else, including the landlady, anything. Remember, even in these crazy, inflationary times, housing costs should never be more than a third of your income. Or you’re shooting yourself in the foot. And we can’t have that. Anyone who is paying 80% housing costs per month is in a Blind Trap, and this Trap is a Setup for Disaster! ALL it would take would be for the vehicle to require some sort of repair, and whammo! The person wouldn’t be able to pay the rent! And having a roof over your head is basic survival. But this doesn’t mean endangering life and limb to do it! It means living sustainably. Barbara’s definition of a “Good Enough Job” is: It is something that you can at least stand to do. It does not contain any toxic bosses or co-workers. It does not demand more than 40 hours a week out of you. For if it does, then you won’t have time to pursue your dreams. And, it pays well enough that you can cover your bills and not be getting insomnia over whether you can pay the rent or not. A good enough job keeps the Four Walls up: Shelter, utilities, food, and transportation. Your emergency fund is for the big car repairs, if they come up. Regular oil changes get taken care of by the monthly “Gas and oil” fund. I tell you, it’s very wonderful to know where the money is going, instead of wondering where it went, and running myself ragged over it all the time!

  5. Hi people,
    I have mentioned that both Success Teams fell apart shortly after the Certified Success Team Leader left.

    I’ve been wondering how often teams actually stay together, because quite honestly, that was a lot of money I paid and I got nothing out of it that I could use: a team of action and mutual help, commitment to ourselves and to others.

    Don’t get me wrong; I do believe in the idea, very much so, but when I consider all the books written about group dynamics and how complex it all is, I wonder is the idea a lot more difficult than I realized?

    Groups are only as strong as the “weakest” link and in both groups, we had…how can I say…one person who would periodically get up and look around corners-okay someone not well.

    One member insisted she wanted to meet a very famous author. This same author, a serious recluse, wants nothing to do with meeting strangers, the few interviews she has done expressed this. This same group member wanted a carpenter in the group to spend days working for free fixing the steps of her house. She has money but wanted him to do it for free.

    We had someone well-known in our city, on our local tv station who was a member. The week after our Team Leader left, he felt we didn’t need a timer. No one went against him because I assume he was seen as socially “important”. That same session, another member got reeled into a known multi-marketing scam and spent 30 minutes discussing it. Someone else in this small group of six, would for some inexplicable reason, simply never make eye contact with another man in the group.

    Clearly the Team Leader picked anyone for these teams and in fact when we needed her advice she told us once “I can’t talk now. Mercury’s in retrograde.”

    I am not making this up. You can’t make this up. I emailed Barb myself and she was not happy to hear one of her chosen Team Leads was a bit loopy. Not her fault! She was very kind about it.

    Ideas are certainly an important beginning step for ADDers like me, but action is exactly what most of us have trouble with, thus the team.

    Thanks for reading this. If I ever run a team I will simply do it for free and if the team “sticks” then maybe we could chip in and hire a sort of kickbutt facilitator idk! 🙂
    Cheers everyone, thanks for any input. In another post, I’d like to share some info about how to run your laptop cheaply and never buy any tech ever again! 🙂

    • Dear Louise,
      Horrors!
      After sitting in a highly successful Success Team for three and a half years in Seattle, and it was dynamite, and trying to run one later that crashed, I found out that there’s a lot more to being a Success Teams leader than there is to just being a Success Teams participant. The leader whom we trained with would send new members our way when one of them achieved their goals and left the group, so that our numbers would remain stable. Stability of participants is a major factor in success or failure of the team. The use of the egg timer is Mandatory, so that no one can filibuster. And so that the time is divided equally between the participants. This is absolutely vital, crucial, and key, and there are no exceptions to this, even for the King of the Universe! Period.
      The purpose of a Success Team is explicit, and very structured, and must be adhered to if it is to succeed. Or it won’t, as you experienced.
      First 3-5 minutes or so: Briefly describe what you did during the previous week for your goal. Describe the obstacles you ran into, or challenges you’re currently facing in dealing with accomplishing your goal. Next 5-10 minutes or so: The group brainstorms, in a practical and helpful manner, ideas for you about how to overcome the obstacles. They may render practical support like connections to someone, or just good help. This gets boiled down into practical steps that you can take, in the coming week, to move ahead with your goals, and you record these steps. In Barbara’s book, written in the 1970’s, the steps were recorded in a pocket calendar. This was to be a pocket calendar with times of the day for each day, and not just days of the week. You get deadly serious about accomplishing these steps. As Barbara said, “These are Doctor Appointments! You Do them!” And then the dinger goes off, and it’s the next person’s turn.
      What is a goal? A goal is a major unit of life design. It’s not a Caribbean vacation, or the ownership of a sports car. It’s a major unit of life design. Like being a department store clerk and becoming enrolled in medical school to become a naturopathic physician. Or writing a book about finances, and becoming a successful independent financial advisor. Or moving from a career in sales to becoming a professional rock drummer. Or being a waitress and becoming a pilot. Or meeting the man of your dreams and marrying him. (It doesn’t always have to be a business goal.) The waitress who became a pilot was someone Barbara helped. The others were all ones that I have helped, or that people in our Success Team helped. When the format and the principles that Barbara intended are followed,. it’s dynamite!
      What a Success Team isn’t is a place to moan and groan about the problems of the world, or the problems you’re having. It’s not a gripe club! It’s a Success Team, and it’s a business meeting, that meets once a week at the same time every week, to work in a highly structured manner on achieving your goals that are major units of your life’s design. And that’s it! That’s All! Period. Or else it degenerates and falls apart. This structured method and approach levels the playing field between the stronger and weaker members of the group, so that “stronger” and “weaker” don’t seem to matter anymore. What does matter is that here are a group of people, all working together, in a highly organized and structured manner, to achieve their goals, and to help each other do just that.
      If someone wants to meet a famous author, then what relevance, if any, does this have to that person’s life design? You can’t just be meeting an author to be meeting an author, and counting notches, keeping score, and crossing it off your Bucket List. That ain’t a major unit of life design! And if you want to be an author, get out some paper, curl your fingers around a pen or pencil, and start writing. If you want to become an author, then that’s a major unit of life design, and the group should happily support you in achieving that goal. See? Getting someone to carpenter your steps shouldn’t even be coming up for discussion. This is a business meeting whose express purpose is to meet each week to develop practical steps to implement for the coming week in furtherance of each person’s life designs in the group. And That’s All! Period! Are we clear, now? You don’t need a kickbutt facilitator. Past the first 8 weeks. You just need to follow Barbara’s explicit plans. They Rock, if they are followed. They did for us! But if they’re disregarded, the group, as you’ve found, rapidly degenerates and falls apart. It is a business meeting, period. That’s all. And if anyone gets off track, then it’s time for someone to intervene, stop them dead in their tracks, do not permit them to go on, gently but firmly assert what the group is for, and then get them back on track. They probably didn’t do anything for their goals, or don ‘t have any goals, and are trying to cover up for it! Sounds like it to me!
      So that’s my rant for tonight! Our Seattle group was dynamite. I left in 3 1/2 years, and I don’t know how long they went. They were still going when I left.
      And now a sidebar about my nemesis–Computers!! My technology consists, at present, of a desktop computer and a land line! On Purpose! People jeer at me, and are horrified, but I like it that way. I bought this computer when COVID hit. It’s a dear little gem, when I’m not busy screaming and cussing at it. It definitely has a mind of its own. I bought it from a small business down the street run by three guys who are Computer Wizards. The name of their business is Last Stop Computers, and their logo is a cartoon of Donald Duck, with a large wooden mallet raised over his head. He is about to whack his computer to smithereens with it! And I think their motto is something like this: “Before you do this, see us.” These guys are geniuses. There isn’t a thing about computers they don’t know. Their dog, Buddy, helps to run the shop too. Last summer when I was in there in a pair of cargo shorts, and was describing a computer problem earnestly to one of them, my leg was being tickled. Buddy was licking the sweat off my leg! “He’ll cannibalize you, you know! Buddy! Knock it off!” one of them said. Seriously, these guys are just tops. They fix computers, they rebuild computers, and there isn’t anything they don’t know concerning computers. I wouldn’t dream of going for help anywhere else. And they do things remotely, sometimes, too. And if ever I’m in there, and I say, “Well, now, what do I owe you?” The answer is always the same: “Nothing! We sold that computer to you, you know!” They’re amazing. I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else. I have heard that people actually travel within a 50-mile radius of their shop just to patronize them! To heck with the Geek Squad! If a person needs computer help, in my estimation, they need to find a small business like this. And I hope they get as lucky.

      • Dear Mary Ann,
        You just rock, you’re amazing you know that? I mean you tell it like it is and I really like that!

        I agree whole-heartedly with what you’ve written and yes, it’s all there in Sher’s books, the formula for what works in groups. I was willing but some weren’t and it does come down to seeing this as very important, period.

        I remember the leader had to remind people many times that “it’s not a therapy group”! I really like that you described it as a business meeting. It sounds more serious that way.

        I didn’t question that woman about why she wanted to bug a famous author. I didn’t have the guts but I would now. You worded it so well: life design. As opposed to an ego trip!

        Anyway none of that matters now. Today does.

        I’m glad you found some geeks to deal with the computer!! Essential. I’m of a certain age, and have a 10yr old cell phone I bought second-hand. Works fine. I also have a landline and it will be working during the next earthquake unlike the cell phones!

        Thanks so much for your response. It is much appreciated!

        • Dear Louise,
          Thank you for Your response! It helped much to pull me out of a Blue Funk that I am in. The Barbara Sher work is so healing. It always has been.
          I think Barbara, in her writings in Wishcraft, made it clear that a Success Team is a business meeting, and nothing else. I didn’t coin the term “major unit of life design.” When we first trained with our leader for 8 weeks, she met with us one night and said, “Tonight, we need to talk about goals. A goal is a major unit of life design. ” And then, she went into it about why things like fancy vacations and sports cars aren’t. They are just things. And that business of “major life design” really stuck with me. It made such total sense. When people come into a Success Team and start training with a leader for the first 8 weeks, these distinctions need to be pointed out to them. Think how much more powerful it is to be working on a goal as opposed to getting your stairs done!
          I called Buddy “Woofie” when I first met him. He likes to greet people who come to the shop. He’s very friendly, and gets bawled out for talking inside the house. But that’s all he’s doing–talking inside the house. He’s the cutest dog–I think he’s part miniature collie and part Scottish herding dog. Buddy’s a good name for him.
          I love my land line. If I drop it, it doesn’t smash. I don’t have to have special anti-theft, anti-smash insurance for it. It didn’t cost me a fortune in the first place. It never gurgles like it’s coming from underwater. It never drops calls. It never has to be recharged. The batteries never go dead, because there are no batteries to Go dead! And it has been delivering the same dependable service for decades now. I can always get a signal. So help me, I think the American public has been sold a bill of goods! I was attempting to talk to some friends on their “smart” phone the other night. It was cutting out every other second, not every other minute. The sound, when it was on, was breaking up in the audio version of pixels. I wondered out loud if they were driving somewhere. They weren’t! They were sitting in their living room. One of my friends thought the phone was being hacked. You can’t hack a land line! I’m going to try to hazard calling them again, because they had no way, that night, of calling 911 if they needed to. And you have to describe what’s going on when you call 911. A dog chasing a cat up a tree is a different priority, with a different response time, than an attempted murder or your house on fire. And they couldn’t even call out. So much for these pieces of junk! That’s my opinion. And you’re right about the earthquakes. Do you live in California? We’ve got a monster quake that we’re waiting for up here.
          I think it’s beautiful that Patty has invited you to consider being a Success Teams leader. I think she’s right. You know the bad parts, which is one of the pieces of being a good leader. Another part is being able to call people on it and straighten them out when they’re not being businesslike. We were very businesslike all the time, and this is why things went as well as they did.
          I tried to run a group that crashed. It staggered on for a year before it crashed. I was able to attract people to the group, via an Idea Party held in a library meeting room, initially. But, people would keep dropping out constantly. One member of the group kept bringing new people in from her circle of friends or from work every week, and it meant that you couldn’t make any real progress on goals, because you had to always back up and explain to the new people what your goal was. And you only had 15 minutes or so! It was crazymaking! New ones every week didn’t help the group, it sabotaged it. One person in the group who did stay for awhile was severely mentally ill, although this didn’t show up at first. She wanted to start an alternative school for young children–a worthy goal. When I challenged her to go visit a Waldorf school, she somehow kept avoiding doing it. But, then, there got to be a very large K-Mart store that went out of business. She came back to the group just bubbling over with happiness. She was going to get that K-Mart store and turn it into a school for elementary school children. When questioned as to how, she hadn’t the foggiest idea, and neither did we. When asked to contact the people who owned the property, she quickly withdrew. Dreams usually come in small steps, not grandiose leaps like that. That’s how you build a foundation under them. Her husband was utterly opposed to her working outside the home. So if she was going to proceed with any goals, she was going to need marital counseling, but we’re not marital counselors. I said I would try to come up with some referrals for that for the next meeting, trying to be practical, but she didn’t want them. I met her again a few years later. She was at a psychic fair, trying to do readings of some sort that were proceeding according to some sort of “paint by numbers” formula. They weren’t working and it was clear that she had no psychic ability. And she was broke.
          I found out that it is a lot harder to lead a group and simultaneously be working on your goals than it is to merely be a team member. There was a lot that I did wrong, as a leader. I still not only want, but feel that I really need to be in a Success Team, at this time. That’ll be my first goal. But I’m working on other goals simultaneously, because I’m a Scanner.

    • Or maybe, Louise, you could become a Sher Success Teams leader, because you’ll be great at spotting problems and fixing them. You’ll tell them during the 8 weeks how important the timer is. And why they need to announce the week ahead’s steps to the rest of the team. You’ll tell a member who just isn’t fitting in that they need to leave. You’ll find the folks willing to continue pursuing their dreams after the 8 weeks and invite them to join up with another team that’s lost members. Some teams have “stuck” for 20 or 30 years. My team is down to just two people now, but we’re still going strong after 14 years. I would love to have you join us as a leader.

      • Hello Patty,

        I have considered being a team leader…will need to save a bit for the money it takes. It seems the current most difficult thing is getting people offline and meeting in person. I suspect the whole process may be a bit more powerful in person and also, walking with someone to go to their destination (pep-talking them all the way) be it a job interview or whatever has to have more effect.

        I could be wrong about all of this! I just know it makes a big difference to some people, myself included. It’s also more private than being online.

        Don’t remember if I gave this example but a woman who just hated exercise-I physically went over and we walked up a huge steep hill together near where she lived. I brought up all kinds of controversial ideas on route. It worked. She was so caught up in the emotionally-charged convo that she couldn’t believe it when we made it all the way to the top!

        The idea was to get her through the first miserable part of exercise for a week and after that, the body adjusts, energy increases a bit, and you just want to move!

        Thanks so much for your input, Patty. I’m not sure how I would join you online but I suspect I should focus on starting my own team here..open to suggestions though. Always.

  6. Hello All,

    So happy to have found you here. This Sunday morning I red three Barbara Sher books, and love it!!
    So here my first wish from the Netherlands, as a scanner I do have tons more, but as of now I can put my logic a side to point out my dreams.

    My first wish is the following:
    A man: rich, nice, fun and attractive. To make lots of loving memories towards marriage
    (Need one, totally done with being alone)

    Now what…

    My obstacles are:
    -My age,
    -my energy level at this moment (temporarily, caused by not scheduling enough fun and applying for jobs)
    -My house is not ready (new built house, needs somewhat finishing work on floors and walls)
    -In between jobs (scanner, impressive cv, only hard to find a employer that sees an exact fit or is willing to adjust the job outlines, jobdescriptions are always conventional, my cv is lateral)
    -At this moment no budget for new elegant clothes or beauty/wellness boost
    -Weight (would look soo much better with less weight)
    -No budget to go out and meet new people

    Oooh my list is much longer than I thought… can think of more obstacles but this will do for now

    Looking forward to hear from you and to experience what will happen next.

    Thank you for reading my “secret” dream and hopefully for helping me out with your ideas

    “Sara”

    • Dear Sara,
      I don’t pretend to be a Relationship Guru, but I do have some ideas.
      I hear you about being totally done with being alone, and I’ll say more in a minute about that.
      I have no idea how old you are. Last year, I had someone chasing after me, and good gracious! I am 75! My point is, if it’s really meant to be, love will happen at almost any age.
      Fun needs to be scheduled in, at least one day a week. This is absolutely vital, for your physical health, your mental health, and your overall wellbeing. And you don’t let anything interfere with this day off. Get out there and get involved with something that you love to do, and take the entire day off. And just do it for the fun of it, not because you’re trying to meet anyone. They can smell that coming, and they’ll run like hell if they know that you’re after them. So just get involved in things that you love doing, for the sake of it. Then, while you’re involved in something or other, you may meet someone–but this may not be a romance at all, it is just someone you are interested in getting to know better and hang out with. This could be a friend, and so the two of you agree to exchange contact information. And you both want to spend time together outside of the activity were you met. So you go to dinner together, and you have other occasions for hanging out that are mutually agreeable to you. You talk a lot and begin to get to know each other. The familiarity grows, and this takes time–maybe up to a year or more. During this time, trust is growing, too. You are deepening the relationship during this time as well, to the point that you have shared even the difficult things about yourself with the other person, to the point that you have attained true, deep friendship. You have reached the point where you have no more fear of one another regarding rejecting you. They won’t. They know all about you, and they won’t.
      You won’t reject them either. You have both reached a beautiful and deep place of trust where you can both be totally candid with each other–not critical, not at all, but candid–and you do it without hurting the other person, and it’s wonderful. Now this could be a best friend, and not a romance at all.
      Out of this stage, comes the romance stage. And in getting to here, you don’t sit up talking until 4:30 in the morning. That doesn’t accomplish anything, and all it demonstrates is a level of craziness that’s not worth giving any attention to. You have already been through stage 3 and have reached deep friendship and that total, beautiful candor.
      The final stage is the stage where two people in a romantic, committed relationship are working together on a mutually held dream.
      The trouble is, people want to dive in at Stage 1–when you don’t know a person at all, as on these Ghastly dating websites! Stage 1 is “Hi, How Are You, I’m Fine,” which is what you say to the person at the convenience store whom you pay when you pump your gas, and you don’t interact otherwise. Stage 2 is when you get in touch with activities that you’re interested in, not people. You won’t mourn if you don’t see the person for a long time; it doesn’t affect you. And the conversation consists of “What’s new that’s good.” No psychodrama. No intimate stuff. No dramatic family history. Just “What’s new that’s good,” and it’s fairly shallow. It isn’t supposed to go anywhere. You’re just out there being yourself and enjoying doing something that you love doing.
      And, you’re never alone. Not at all. I bet you’ve heard the Ecopsychologists and Ecotherapists–and I am one–say over and over that we are connected to everything else. Except that this needs to say, we are connected to everyone else. And that means all rocks, all trees, all members of the plant and animal kingdoms. And, on another level, we are always connected to the Creator. We are never alone. This is the reality. If you don’t believe me, do this: spend a part of a day near your home, walking in a park or a natural area for a good long time, at least for an hour. See who you encounter, and who encounters you. Spider? Beetle? What kinds of trees, flowers, shrubs, grasses–all that grows?
      These aren’t whats. They are whos. Entities. The trees are the wise ones, and they have been Watching for a very long time. Try putting your forehead on the bark of a tree, and encircling it with your arms. Try just being with it this way, for about half an hour. If you can, try an evergreen tree, and then try one with leaves. See what wisdom the tree wants to share with you. Also, if you can, try sitting on a large boulder and see what it wants to say to you. The Earth and her children are alive. You are never alone.
      How long would it take to get the house fixed up? I just got an idea, and it’s kind of a wild card. Who says things have to be perfect for him before he ever enters your life? The wild idea is maybe he would become intrigued, or at least willing, to help you finish the house, and it turns out that he not only has a willing heart and soul, but has the requisite carpentry and other building skills.
      Instead of thinking that an employer needs to adjust to you, start thinking the other way: We are born to be of service. So let’s say you find a job that you like, or at least think you could stand and want to try to get. You get ahold of a copy of the job description in advance, and you go through it with a fine tooth comb. Then, you sit down and you draft up a resume which addresses every point that the job description is about. Say, for instance, that the employer says they need someone who can type at least 50 words per minute, for a secretarial or office assistant job. So, without exaggerating, you let the person know that you type 60, very well. Let’s say they say that accuracy is important. You tell them that you have prepared reports, and say something about your skills as an accurate proofreader. Say they want you to be able to do some bookkeeping, and you say that you have kept a ledger with 17 columns of categories, and that you handled $35,000 per year in over the counter sales. Say they have a busy office, and they want to know how good you are on the phones. You say, without exaggerating, that you have handled 350 phone calls and visitors per day. You get the picture. You pitch it so that you are being of service. And you address the points that they want point by point, in a written resume, tailored just for them. That’s how to get into an interview. Which is what a resume is supposed to do. That’s it’s purpose. It’s purpose is not to detail all about your life. You are presenting an answer to “Here’s how I can fulfill your needs for this position” with it. You do the same, pretty much, in the interview.
      New elegant clothes or beauty/wellness boost: I guarantee that unless you have something like thyroid disease, which makes you very weight loss resistant, that if you start going at a goodly pace, say at least 2 miles an hour, for at least an hour, several days a week, and you aren’t eating a steady diet of French fries, onion rings, coca cola, hamburgers, and gallons of chocolate ice cream, and aren’t emotionally eating, besides, that your weight is bound to go down. And when I met my former husband, I was leading a trip for my hiking group. It was a chilly, rainy, wet day. I was dressed in my hiking boots, a raunchy old pair of jeans, a shirt, a baggy wool sweater, my hiking parka, and an old wool hat. And meeting someone was the furthest thing from my mind. But that’s the day I met him. And I met him in that condition. On the hike, he followed me around all day like a puppy dog. The following Tuesday, I was skipping graduate school to go climb a mountain with him, and there, in the snow and ice, he stopped and asked if he could be my boyfriend. And, of course, we were breaking all the rules and jumping in at stage 1! Man, was he handsome!! Whew! We went on our first date, to a movie, that very same night. One thing led to another, and a little over a year later, we were married. Love at first sight. Foolish, but real.
      I don’t believe the “no budget” bit. I live on what I jokingly refer to as “Social Insecurity.” It’s Social Security, what elders in the U.S. get paid each month. Mine comes in at around $1100 every month. Out of this, I pay at least a third for rent and renters’ insurance. Then, comes the car insurance, which is almost $80, and out of pocket health care costs, which usually come to about $100 each month. And gas and oil for the car, and car repairs, and the phone bill and the internet. By the time I’m done with that, I usually have about $400 or sometimes only $300 to get through the month on. In January, just after Christmas, I was clear broke. But I began stuffing money away in a sock, to the tune of $175 per month. I never spent it for anything. This is my emergency fund, in case the car does something catastrophic. By the end of April, I had $800 stuffed away. And then the car did do something catastrophic, and I had a major car repair of $400. But instead of this being a barn-burning emergency, it was an inconvenience, and I handled it without resorting to plastic, or begging from friends.
      The thing is, you Must pay yourself first. Absolutely first. At least 10% of gross income goes into the sock. First before food, rent, utilities, or anything. 10% gets put away. Then next month, the same, and the same, and it adds up quickly. Without this, you are teeter tottering on the brink of disaster all the time. Then, you pay the rent. Housing expenses, rent plus utilities, should not be more than 1/3 of your income. Inflation is horrible here. I have no idea what it’s like over there. But I live in some low income apartments, and so that’s what my rent is like. There are then four envelopes: Health Out of Pocket Costs: $100. Gas and Oil: $100. Miscellaneous: $100. And Wants: Whatever is left over, not to exceed $100. Every dollar has a place to go, and a purpose. I know where my money is going, instead of wondering where it went. When those envelopes are empty, I’m done. That’s it! So I have to be careful how I spend money. Using this system provides me for a few wants, and I am not panicked about money, or the lack thereof. And I’m steadily building my Emergency fund to at least $1,000. These ideas have come from Dave Ramsey, the popular “financial guru.” These savings principles really work, and I’ve been applying them to my life long before I ever heard of him. Pay yourself first. Period. Part of the good that he does is that right from the beginning, he helps people to budget, as I’ve illustrated, too.
      If you have no work at all, you must have some income, or you wouldn’t be alive. If you have no job, see about working temp. That is a good way to get experience and to build up references, also, if you don’t have any.
      I know this has been long, and I hope these ideas have helped.
      I am “long in the tooth” because I am a “shrink,” an Ecotherapist, a life coach, and I have been involved with Barbara Sher more decades than I care to admit.
      So: Tailor your resume to the job description, and make it short.
      A page or two is short. Anything else isn’t going to get read.
      Work temp if you have no work, or invent your own job. Sometimes being your own boss makes sense. Be of service to others, in any job endeavor. This attitude will not only get you hired, but it will tend to get you promotions. Realize that you are never alone. Get to walking, and go from three times a week to daily. Get onto a healthy, organic as much as possible diet, and consult with a good doctor or nutritionist if you can. Avoid these crazy fad diets. Diet is a four letter word! And see who you can meet, in the other-than-human kingdoms, on your walks. We are never alone! Get into something that you love to do, and that involves talking to others as you’re doing it. And life will start to improve! Fun once a week, de rigeur! No exceptions! No excuses! And get outdoors and get happy. Remember to dress for the weather.
      The 5 stage outline that I have given you about relationships comes from Terence Gorski, a brilliant therapist who wrote a book about it called Getting Love Right, available on Amazon.
      So, this is what I suggest. I do hope it helps.

      • Dear Mary Ann,
        thank you so much for taking the time and love to give your impressive answer on my wish. I’m very impressed not by the length but by your depth, accuracy, very interesting thoughts.
        It gave me some clearification and hope.

        Love to hear about your life experiences sounds so loving and interesting.

        I do have 3 men chasing me a little, two of them I really really like (unfortunately) but till now they do not follow through and keep on going back and forth and back and forth for the past 4 years (chasing me, dating me of and on, have been following
        dr P. Allen advice). But they are not really building a real connection. I do feel very sad about them sometimes.

        In short some status info for you to know where Im coming from:
        I’m in my early fifties now. One teenager still living at home, raised several children and always been the provider and caregiver on my own (no financial or care support in this 20+yr marriage). Always manage to grow my career with having my own business mostly in IT and teaching, but lots of other commissions. Divorced 10 years ago, that hit rockbottom in health and because of that in finances (not enough income to pay all the bills). Still struggle with finances due to this “6 months financial crash” 10 yrs ago.

        Ooh I feel so relieved by your advice to be of service… that is exactly spot on and what I want in life but was missing in my communication. I’m rewriting my last applications to send additionally. Pointing down all they want and what I can provide for them.
        These are positions in IT, next to this, (because of your advice) I decided to apply for a side job aswell, as a host in a design furniture experience store. This because I love comforting and accompany people and just to meet people low profile and get paid for it. That is a bonus that my IT jobs dont give me.

        About the budget part. I will rather not go in detail here. But it is a bit complicated because of the inconsistent income and variable expenses. I live quite frugal. Im trying to figure this out with your information that brings a new light and perspective on this. As for now last month was my last payment and if i would apply for social security it will only be enough for the rent payment.

        Feeling of lonelyness, what an intriuging description of being in nature. This sure opened up my eyes. I have a very very old oaktree in front of my house. Moved here because I felt a connection with this tree. Never outlined this. Till I read your tree passage.

        The one day fun part, I do have some trouble thinking of something to do that I like that is for free. For example I like dancing, took a free salsa class two weeks ago loved it, but at this moment I can not afford the costs of weekly classes. That goes for more options. Right now Im thinking of ways to pass this without begging or getting caught up in a payback project that is worth of 2 years classes instead of 2 months.

        Reading your beautiful, wonderful letter, I feel very thankful and comforted that someone like you is there and connect. Like a little miracle..
        Thank you!!

        Sara

        • Resume:

          Outlill nes of obstacles :
          -age,
          A: Should not matter
          -my energy level at this moment (temporarily, caused by not scheduling enough fun and applying for jobs)
          A: Schedule fun> what and how?

          -My house is not ready (new built house, needs somewhat finishing work on floors and walls)
          A: Should not matter
          -In between jobs (scanner, impressive cv, only hard to find a employer that sees an exact fit or is willing to adjust the job outlines, jobdescriptions are always conventional, my cv is lateral)
          A:adjust more to job description and to be of service to others

          -At this moment no budget for new elegant clothes or beauty/wellness boost
          A: should not matter
          -Weight (would look soo much better with less weight)
          A: should not matter
          A: eat healthy start walking up to 1 h a day on 2m an hour
          -No budget to go out and meet new people
          A: budgeting > bit complicated investigation that
          A: what fun to do and meet others that is for free

        • Dear Sara,
          I don’t pretend to know all the ins and outs, but there’s one thing about medical bills–I’ve had to do it for myself, when I was almost destroyed in a freak slip and fall accident and couldn’t walk for 8 months, and I had to do it for a client who had old outstanding medical bills, March a year ago. There is a well-kept secret in the medical profession and with all hospitals. And that is, that in every hospital across the country, there is a social worker. And sometimes you have to dig this person out by starting the digging operation with the billing department. And you go at it with the persistence and the voracity of a badger digging a tunnel. (Nobody can dig like a badger. They’re the quintessential digger!) ( I told you I was an ecotherapist. It permeates everything that I do. ) Anybody who has medical bills piled up and making life onerous, miserable, and impossible, is eligible to apply for charity care. In some places, this is called indigent care, which sounds horribly demeaning, but it really isn’t, because this can happen to anyone of moderate means when they have thousands of medical bills that they can’t pay. So you dig like a badger, starting with the billing department, and you apply for charity care. You probably will have to go there in person, and you fill out the application, and you will be notified within 10 days that you are accepted or not. And chances are, you might be. The point of all this is that you get these bills mitigated–written off, and that misery is removed from your life. The medical establishment doesn’t want anyone to know this. When I couldn’t walk at all for 8 months, I had to do this, and I got thousands of dollars in medical bills mitigated this way. I didn’t have to pay them.
          So there’s a way to deal with this, possibly. Most people who are low income and at least some who are moderate income probably qualify. It’s worth a try, if this hasn’t already been tried.
          January, a few months ago, I was flat broke. I began paying myself up front, first, before I even paid the rent. I skimmed $175 off the top, which is more than 10% of my income, but I was interested in making rapid progress toward a $1,000 savings goal. This was not to be spent for any reason whatsoever except for a true emergency. Huge car repairs come under that category. By April, I had it built to $800. And I was looking forward to having $1,000 by the beginning of June. But then, my Iron Pony decided to kick up a fuss, and I had to haul it into the shop for a repair of over $400. So my emergency fund had to be half used up, but at least I had the $$$ without having to scream to friends for help. It was an inconvenience and not a rip-raging emergency. The rest of the process, is that there are 4 envelopes: Gas and oil for the Iron Pony, 10% of monthly income. Health out of pocket costs (Not those ghastly medical bills!!) 10% of monthly income. Miscellaneous, 10% of monthly income. Wants, up to 10% of monthly income. In hard, cold cash. There are these four envelopes, each one labeled with one of these categories. That’s the $$$ you have for the month for each one of these. And that’s how you manage to get some money for wants. Because that’s not a want, that’s a necessity! Then you pay the rent, or mortgage payment, utilities, car insurance, phone. (My phone is cheap–I get it from Consumer Cellular for under $26 per month–unlimited talk anywhere in the U.S. And this isn’t a special rate for seniors. Anybody can get this, by calling them and arranging it.) I have long since had to learn to squeeze the presidents’ faces until they grin and scream for mercy! In other words, be a tightwad. Housing expenses should never be more than a third of your income. Even in this crazy housing market. It’s starting to crash, now, in parts of the country already. So maybe there’ll be some relief in housing prices, for many are sorely afflicted.
          I am nature oriented, and I’m a musician, so my fun list goes like this: music, reading fiction, storytelling performances (which I did at Open Mics before COVID, walking in nature, going to the beach (I am lucky to live close to the salt water), talking to friends on the phone, going camping where it’s very cheap or free, baking things, reading favorite nonfiction and pursuing my spiritual life. I have recently volunteered to help with the production of a play at an outdoor theater. Nothing like some yummy hot biscuits or a couple of good loaves of bread coming out of the oven, and I’m sad that this posting doesn’t have smell-o-rama! Those are some fun things I like to do. I like to get up and get out and do things, instead of watching other people do them. I don’t get involved with classes and that sort of thing, or with any gym memberships. I get all the heavy lifting I need toting groceries up the stairs! And a beautiful wooded park is near by with miles of trails in a virgin forest of old growth trees. Parts of it have never been logged. It’s just about 40 blocks from my house. There’s a plant conservatory nearby, with a beautiful waterfall going into a pond full of small fish, and amazing tropical trees and plants from all over the world, including orchids that have magical smells. Admission? $3.00, by donation. There is a botanic garden nearby, with very easy trails, and a beautiful water feature. Admission is $8. There is the Museum of Glass, with art pieces on display by the nationally renowned glass artist, Dale Chihuilly (I don’t know how to spell it!) and you can go in there and watch glass blowing artists blowing glass and turning out magical things. Admission? $15. Maybe once, at least. There are ferry boat rides across Puget Sound. The longest one takes an hour, and goes from downtown Seattle to Bremerton. It is a very beautiful and scenic ride. If one rides the bus to the terminal, it costs about $5.00 round trip, and the ferry ride for a walk-on passenger is under $5, last time I checked.
          Tacoma, where I live, has an Accordion Club. I happen to love accordion music. They meet for 3 hours, once every 2 months, in a church sanctuary on a Sunday afternoon. The first half of the program is for amateur accordionists to make 10 minute performances. Then, there are refreshments. Then, there’s a professional accordionist who plays for the second half. Vunderbar! I take along a friend, and we’re sitting in the front row, and we can’t sit still. We’re dancing, sitting down! When those polkas and schottishes start going, whooo – hoo! Cost of admission is $5.
          And sometimes I like to treat myself by cooking Asian. I’ve been a professional cook. Or, once or twice a year, I go out to an incredible Chinese restaurant, and sit there in the wonderful atmosphere, and order something scrumptious from their menu that I can’t usually find the ingredients for at the store–and this usually involves the more exotic seafoods. So, this is some of the things I love to do, when I’m not busy hiking or taking my ice axe and sliding down a glacier. Or playing on my snow saucer. Glissading is amazing fun, but you have to climb the glacier first. Oh, and I forgot to mention–eating huckleberries when they are in season. We have some of
          the most glorious mountains in the world here in Washington State. I am so glad I live here. But no matter where, there’s always free fun stuff, or cheap fun stuff to do. A Chinese dinner at the awesome restaurant usually costs me about $10. And I’m a violist and a violinist. And I just love to read. I’m always reading about 4 or 5 things at a time. Right now, it’s Neill de Grasse Tyson on astronomy, The Dali Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s book about joy, and an Ecopsychology book called Nature and the Human Soul, by Bill Plotkin. I read something each day.
          I would like to be able to take pottery and weaving classes, but that ain’t in the budget. So I do what I can. With what I’ve got. But there is an envelope, every month, labeled “Wants,” and up to 10% of my money goes in there.
          Before I pay anybody anything, I pay myself. This is vital.
          I’d go nutz if I didn’t feed my soul! You should see my Bucket List! Near the top of it is “Find another violinist and play the Bach Double Violin Concerto.” I get goose bumps all over just thinking about it! Or, have a slide night. I’ve got a movie screen, a slide projector, and about 4,000 slides from a lifetime as a mountaineer who is also a wilderness photographer and a photographer who takes close-ups of wildflowers. Going to a gem and mineral store, and just oohing and ahhing. I have a couple of favorites that I visit fairly often. These are a few of my favorite things.

          • Dear Mary Ann,

            First of all thank you so much for your advice to pitch to be at service when applying for a job. I did send an additional resume to the two most interesting companies. One of them called me today and invited me for a job interview on sight. That will take place in two weeks. So thank you, so happy with this first step in succes
            And next to that, looks like I got an offer for a sidejob today as well… made my wish for a fun sidejob today in my craft women group today, the owner of the store where our group is meeting overheard me saying what I wished for and wat my obstacles are. And she came to me and sais she was interested, she was just figuring out how to make her husband work less hours and she thought I might be perfect for the job. So I will hear more from her soon…

            As for the budget part, do I understand correctly that the concept of “paying yourself first” is not reffering to monthly emergency savings only, but also to all personal expenses you mentioned?
            I did keep everything in envelopes like you do, but only during periods with a steady monthly income. So lately not anymore. I never payed myself first, that could be a hughe relieve to unwanted emergency stress and prevents lots of adhoc troubleshooting.. this kind of moneystress eats me alive and is an of and on combat just as you discribe. So puzzeling my way through this to get the money part in place from now.

            Lot of things I like to do only involves women, still trying to find mixed group things I like to do that is to me more difficult to figure out. (Finding things to do on my own is very easy for me, baking cooking reading crafts, fabric stores (just to touch and feel different fabrics an guess their components right) perfume stores, just to smell different scents, my nose is too sensitive for most of them so rarely find a new scent to buy but I feel so good and fascinated by experiencing components in scents. It is until now that I realize doing these things, never given any serious thought on them.

            Well anyway, during the past few days a whole new dimension, whole new world is opening for me thanks to the words of Barbara and this ideaparty.. with taking my interests seriously I remember what “crazy” fascinations I had had during my life, a lot that I totally forgot about or never given a serious thought. Today I saw a picture of a balletdancer in some newspaperadvertisement, that took me to a fascination of ballet as I was about 9/10 yrs of age. Not de dancing class fascination, but I got books from the library, large heavy books on ballet choreography. It endlessly explained a professional “writing language” in symbols for all the classic poses and moves… I was sooo intrigued, I studied them all and one of the books had choreographies of classic famous ballets written. Like amusic piece on paper. And I loved to read each ballet in “choreography language”. Never danced these parts from these books, just loved to read the ballet as a novel and imagine the dance and what was happening in the story

            So that is just one example of many memories that came up for the first time in the last few days. These revelations make me feel happy and at the same time terrified because I have no idea what is waiting for me and I had never before looked at where I was coming from in soooo many colors…

            So happy you all are here!

            Sara

          • Looked the ballet-thing up, it must have been Benesh Movement Notation (Keep in mind that my parental environment was NOT at all interested in ballet or ballet classes like other little girls in my class who were pushed by their mothers to do ballet.) I had to put some effort in it to get the support to go there. I only took the classes for a short while, spent faaar more time studying and dreaming my balletbooks at the time.

    • When someone told Barbara that she longed to sing opera, but could do that until she lost weight, Barbara said, “Sing fat!” Otherwise, there will always be another obstacle, because it’s all resistance. And I would add that meeting someone who loves you at this weight bodes well for a long and happy marriage without torturing yourself about your weight. I would say the same for finishing your house. Do you really want to marry someone who cares so much about finishing touches on a house that he couldn’t adore you even in a tent? And are you sure those are what you want in a husband: is rich or attractive really more important than caring or generous or courageous or a great team player? If it is, go for it. But if not, maybe get clearer on what will really matter to you over the long run. And not much you can do about your age. If you don’t get out there and meet lots of men now, you’ll be older when you deem yourself good enough to start looking.

    • When someone told Barbara that she longed to sing opera, but could not do that until she lost weight, Barbara said, “Sing fat!” Otherwise, there will always be another obstacle, because it’s all resistance. And I would add that meeting someone who loves you at this weight bodes well for a long and happy marriage without torturing yourself about your weight. I would say the same for finishing your house. Do you really want to marry someone who cares so much about finishing touches on a house that he couldn’t adore you even in a tent? And are you sure those are what you want in a husband: is rich or attractive really more important than caring or generous or courageous or a great team player? If it is, go for it. But if not, maybe get clearer on what will really matter to you over the long run. And not much you can do about your age. If you don’t get out there and meet lots of men now, you’ll be older when you deem yourself good enough to start looking.

      • Dear Patty,

        Thank you for your fast reply!! Love what you say “Sing Fat” a little note with these words on it are on my bathroom mirror, to remind to pass resistance at any time!!

        You are so spot on on quality of men, relationship and life. Noooo I dont want a men that only accepts surficial perfection and not me… I love the qualities you point out makes me feel good and say “yay!!” I sure would not want “just a rich man” or “just attractive”
        I had my feelings going over my words in my wish.. I would love to love a men that makes me feel at ease.. supported, takes away the stress that I have to fix the big “everything” my self, a man that makes me feel wanted the way I want him.. probably that will not be closed with a million or billion dollars
        Sofar the welth and attraction part.
        To be honest I dont know what kind of a man I would want. Ofcourse with integrity, empathy, cherishing, teamworker, caring, protective, providing

        Lots of resistance and obstacles there… thank you so much for pointing that out. Never realized this was so evident…
        Wow

        Thank you

        Sara

        • After I was widowed at 34, I paid a lot of attention to my list of which character traits mattered most to me. I was 45 when I finally found him. We are so different in so many ways that we would have fought like cats and dogs had we met in our 20s. Now, 25 years later, I am so thankful that I chose someone so interesting and so challenging to my thinking but still in tune with me on the most important character traits, some that match mine and some that complement mine. Superficial stuff changes. Character doesn’t. It only gets better. (By the way, I briefly dated an incredibly handsome man in college. Even though he stayed fit and healthy and made lots of money, I would not find him good looking today at all.)

          • Thank you for your insight. I’m sorry you had lost your husband, that is sad.

            How wunderful that you have found your man and your man found you, I can Imagine that at a younger age there can be much more conflict between extremes…

            My choice of men had not been good in the past, this is much better now… well maybe not, since I have not encountered the right one yet..

            Characters dont change… sure thing… and a mighty good thing in case of good character.

          • Patty I can not reply to you latest answer underneath I can here: Thank you that is so sweet of you to say…, hopefully he will find me, a new man or one of the current men to stop “circkeling around” back and forth and start consistently courting me.
            But till now I don’t seem to be interesting/nice/lovable/attrative enough to them to do that. This makes me feel sad…

          • Sara, there is no reason to make yourself more interesting/nice/lovable/attractive. Anyone who cannot see your best qualities is just not the right person for you. If you reel them in by changing yourself, your relationship will last only as long as you are willing to abandon the real you. It may take time, but your best strategy is to just keep meeting people until two of you really click while being your true selves.

  7. Hello Everyone! Glad to be a part of this wonderful group!

    Here’s My Wish:

    I would like to launch a regular online event where I offer Impressionistic Art Museum Tours and Painting Classes. This will all be done virtually (online).

    I want to focus on planning, facilitating, and hosting the event. I would like to feature a tour guide either from the world-famous Marmottan Monet Museum in Paris or an experienced local Parisian.

    Same with the painting, I want to hire a Parisian artist who specializes in teaching impressionism painting, at least for beginners.

    My desire is to draw folks together to create an unforgettable experience and make it really interactive. I will be there to chat with everybody, having cheese and wine while we paint and learn together. I want this event to be as immersive as you can possibly get while keeping it virtual!

    To start, I would like to approach this first as a project, to see if this would actually feel right for me and to test its viability. (Are people willing to pay for this?) I would charge a small fee just to cover any costs.

    My Obstacle:

    How can I create this project in 30 days, where I launch this event (a very bite-sized version or beta), on a smaller scale?

    What would that look like?

    What should I focus on?

    Should I go ahead and feature a famous impressionist museum for my first project?

    How would I attract people to this event?

    My apologies as I always tend to make things more complicated than they should. I simply have no clue how or where to start.

    Thank you all so much in advance for your help!

    • Dear Connie,
      I don’t exactly know how to help you, but I think I know someone who might. She is the Hawaiian artist and workshop leader Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici and she runs creative workshops on line for women called Woman Unleashed. She’s very famous and very popular. If you contact her or at least contact the people who surround her, who help her with her website, and especially say that Mary Standing Bear sent you, you may get some helpful advice and pointers. It may become necessary to join her group to get all that you want, because she has an extensive on line library with many topics that include how to run a workshop. It takes days and days to get through all the library content. And you have to be a member of her group to do it. I spelled her name right, and the computer can’t spell. She really knows how to organize things and events around art. The motivation for her purpose is that women get stuck in the “littleness” of their lives, with all the chores they have to do, and they don’t create. So her purpose is to help women come alive and start creating, whether it’s art, or writing, or whatever. So because she is an artist, and she knows how to organize and put on events, I think this would be a good bet.

  8. Oh hi …is this the right way to do this? I’m new. I’ve been in two Success Team groups a long time ago and both fell apart right within a few weeks after the 8 week sessions. I guess I kind of gave up after that, realizing there’s more to group cohesiveness than I thought. It was so hard to get people to commit and I wondered if it would have lasted if we paid for a facilitator, idk..

    But I’m not here to be negative; I’m here because Sher’s ideas still make sense to me and I’d like to try again! 🙂

    We do not have a success team here and I don’t know if I want to “lead” one, but I’d like to join one in person. That is my first dream goal.

    The reason I want to do it in person is because we can help each other concretely, for example, if someone is hesitating to approach an HR person, I could go with them and provide a good pep talk just before they go in the office door. I know I work well this way!

    I was diagnosed late in life with a severe case of ADHD, which explains part of why none of my work dreams came true. What’s strange about this is, I once gave a highly educated and accomplished friend a pep talk about why she was qualified for a senior position she wanted even though she did not meet all the criteria in the job description. She got the job. I continued working a job I hated…weird eh?
    Thanks for reading this!

    • Dear Louise,
      Boy, I really resonate with what you are saying about Success Teams. I really want to be in one, too. I feel it is a “Must” for where I’m at with my life at this time. I led one for about a year, with me in it as a participant, but it wasn’t working well. It never did. I think it takes more to lead one than it takes to just be in one. I still want to be in one, like you. I had 3 1/2 years of experience with one that I was in once, and it was dynamite! When they’re good, they’re really good, and it was.
      There is this putrid myth going around that those of us with ADHD cannot succeed. Barbara had ADD and look at what a success she was! There’s a book on my shelf called “Driven to Distraction” by Dr. Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D. Partly, it is a book that documents Dr. Hallowell’s own struggles with ADHD, and look at him! He became a physician! So that’s why it’s a rotten rumor that people with this cannot be successful.
      One of the good things about us is that we have vivid imaginations. I have had, ever since I was a little kid. But I struggle all the time with “Where-did-I-put-that-itis” And, it is an itis, a disease! It’s horrible. “I can’t find it itis!” It drives me nutz!! And I’ve got a million sticky notes all over the house. Everything always seems to be screamingly urgent, and it all has to be done right now! And you should see it when I ever get ready for a camping trip or even a day hike! Horrors! And I always forget something vital, like the lunch I made the night before, so it would be there for me in the morning! And then I feel like such a damn fool!
      Dr. Hallowell has another book out–I haven’t bought it, but I think it’s in Barnes and Noble. I’ve seen it there. And I think it’s called “Delivered from Distraction.” Oh, man, I’d sure like to get my hands on it! The other day, I couldn’t find my glasses. I was ransacking the house. All the time, they were perched on my head. Things like that happen all the time. And it’s been that way all my life, ever since I was a little kid.
      Yep! I’ve got ADHD. But, guess what? Late in life, I went to grad school and I Aced it. I got straight A’s. And now, I’m getting ready to start up a private practice in psychotherapy. I just discovered affordable office space.
      Maybe it was because no one was there for you. Barbara always said that isolation is a dream killer, and she was right. It’s not attitude that holds people back from their dreams; it’s lack of support.
      So you’re on the right trail. See Karla’s comments below. She has managed to get along with a creative buddy, even though they live in different parts of the country. I do hear what you say about being in person, and that’s important. But I think it can work the other way too. You give the person the pep talk just before they go in. Over the phone. Then they go in, and they call you up just afterward to say how it went, and get support. Weekly sessions, over the phone, with a creative buddy, can work if the people involved really want to work it. Patty is really good about troubleshooting the things that can go wrong in a Success Team and giving suggestions for changes that will make it run right.
      Where in the country are you, anyhow? And might you be open to considering a creative buddy even though they might live somewhere else?
      What is it that you love doing, that you’re good at, that excites you, or inspires you? What is beautiful that you can do? These are the kinds of things to start paying attention to. When our self esteem is low, and goodness knows, with ADHD, it takes a beating, it’s hard to accomplish anything! But Barbara kept insisting it wasn’t attitude that holds people back. It’s lack of support. And I’ve seen her methods in action, and I know that they really work.

      • Louise and Mary Ann,

        I also have ADHD. I only figured this out a few days ago and it explains everything! Having support is crucial and the only reason I didn’t reach my goals early in life is because of lack of support. If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know.

        • Dear Preshus,
          When I was in graduate school, I knew that there were some things that had bothered me all my life, and I simply decided that before I got out of school, I was going to get some answers. So I went for it. I went to a psychologist, a guy with a PhD in Behavioral Health, and I asked him to diagnose me.
          He did. He came up with three things, that when combined, really get in the way. They are learning disorders. These were ADHD, dyscalculia (the mathematical equivalent of dyslexia), and a slow processing speed. My brain doesn’t process information at the same pace as most people’s. Which explains the huge test anxiety I’ve had all my life. I tend to panic on tests, not because I don’t know the answers, but because they are timed, and I’m always nervously worrying that I won’t be able to complete the test on time, thereby leaving a lot of answers blank and flunking the test. So I panic and get a certain number of answers wrong that I really knew. Happens all the time. It was such a great relief to know the truth. And, in New Mexico, when I graduated, there was an enormous exam that I had to sit for, if I intended to be in the profession. It takes the average person 4 hours to complete it. The dear doctor wrote me a letter, which I keep on file, stating that I have this disorder, and need to be allowed extra time to complete the test.
          It Saved Me! I was allowed an extra hour, and in 5 hours, I completed the test, and passed it with flying colors. I would’ve royally flunked, otherwise. A slow processing speed is very often the case with people with ADHD. I always wondered why I was such a mathematical dunderhead. I just thought I was stupid. No, I’ve got dyscalculia. And wow! What a difference in self esteem! It went up a lot. I even went for a second opinion to another PhD, who confirmed the first ADHD diagnosis. It was a relief, because it has explained a lot of my troubles.
          And I am a behavioral health professional, but I went to others for diagnosis. So getting properly diagnosed is the key, I believe, in dealing with this. It is mega-important and can make a huge difference in one’s life. Look at how I was gifted, and how it saved my career and my very life! I think it takes more than just figuring it out. There are distinctions between ADD and ADHD, and there are other reasons for being distracted which can mimic the functions of ADD or ADHD. It takes somebody helping you to sort it out and get a proper diagnosis. It really does.
          All that having been said, there is this pervasive rumor that some people believe in, which is that ADD and ADHD are children’s disorders, and they fade into insignificance or go away in adulthood. This is an absolute untruth. But, in my region, there are NO support groups that I have ever been able to find for adults with ADHD, and I have really investigated and asked and asked. I think one of these would have to be run by a professional or possibly two professionals, with specialties in that area, and not just be a peer support group. I think a peer group would tend to degenerate rather quickly into moaning and groaning about problems, and not be coming up with lots of support and useful solutions, which is what we need.
          I am a Scanner, and Barbara has written a wonderful book called Refuse to Choose. I am a multitalented person, who has struggled all my life to try to put my life together in a meaningful way, and has often despaired of it. In my teenage years, I called my life “shards of a broken mirror.” I just didn’t see how the pieces could ever fit. Being a performing musician and doing 9-day wilderness expeditions just didn’t fit together. I’d get back to town after 9 days in the mountains, and I’d have some great photography, but my music would stink, from lack of practicing. And if I do just one thing, like being a doctor, for instance, the rest of my soul starves and is dying. I have struggled with this all my life. Thank God for Refuse to Choose.
          There are a few–a very few–therapists who specialize in treating people with ADHD. My health insurance allows 12 visits in a year. And therapy, at private pay rates, is extremely expensive. That’s why I don’t do it. And that’s about all I’ve been able to find in this region. I live in Western Washington.
          And here’s the main thing. Karla has said that she has a support buddy, even though they live in very different places, far apart from each other. And it has made a big difference to Karla as she works to get her dog hydrotherapy business going.
          I have not yet learned how to become a Zoom host, although I participate in Zoom meetings all the time. I keep wondering how a group of 4-6 of us could be organized, even at a distance. Zoom, I guess, maybe. I am not a computer tecchie person, and I don’t know how to set up a forum like this, which would be ideal. I’ve had trouble with Facebook, and I can’t use it at this time. It’s going to take time to iron the trouble out. I was thinking about a conference call, but although it might work, I think it’s kind of the wrong idea. Over half the people on my mailing list don’t want any messages coming to them over their phones. I can only email them. I don’t have ready answers. I know that I really need to be in a Success Team. Recently, one was organized, and I didn’t have the spare $500+ that it took to get into it, or otherwise, I would’ve dived in headlong.
          But, I know the value of a Success Team, and I know I really need to be in one. There’s an old pioneer saying, and it goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!”

      • Thank you so much for your thoughts, Mary Ann! My head is blowing up…however…I would like to reply further after the weekend as I’m house/pet-sitting an elderly and very bossy little dog and I won’t be bringing my laptop. Thanks again!

      • Thanks for your thoughful response, Mary Ann! I’m in Canada and I think a local team is what would work best for me but I’ll be travelling a bit as summer is coming so I guess it will be later rather than sooner.

        As for now it’s always great to share ideas so I’ll look forward to more of this. :-).

    • Most of us are better at encouraging others than encouraging ourselves, Louise. Even a single Success Buddy is a huge help.

  9. Hey, Mary Ann!
    I couldn’t find a button above to your question about me living in Florida. I have lived in the Panhandle near Pensacola for over 22 years (long story, but I prefer and miss the west), but have been spending a month in Vermont every summer for the last 15. This summer we are going on a shorter vacay in Alabama, so I can hopefully spend time starting the canine hydro service. I spent time out your way, doing my hydro courses (Sequim, and then Vancouver Island). Hope you are doing well!

    • Hi Karla and Mary Anne,

      It sounds like you are both into canine hydrotherapy. Have you heard of this man from (I think) Winsconsin, John Unger, who took his arthritic dog out into the waters of Lake Superior? The dog’s name was “Shoep”?

      • Louise, the photo of John Unger in the lake was what got Karla to dreamily say she wished that were a job, to which several people replied, “But it is!” And they sent links to more information, and the rest has been a happily ever after with a few bumps in the road story.

      • Dear Louise,
        Karla is the one who is becoming a canine hydrotherapist. I am a psychotherapist, ecotherapist, and musician, with a strong love of nature and of all things to do with mountains. Over the years in HO, Karla was working hard on her goal, and some of the rest of us were cheering her on. That’s the connection.

        • Hi Mary Ann,

          Well you seem to do so many things, I’m amazed. I’m a nature freak as well but mostly in the summertime. Yeah a real baby. So what is your dream now? Also what is HO?

          • HO is Hanging Out with Barbara (now Patty). It is wonderful….you get three emails a week, each with a different purpose, and you get to “Hang Out” with wonderful people. It is where I got the idea for canine hydrotherapy and started training years ago. Patty can give you more information. Best of luck!

      • Barbara told me about John Unger and I immediately got a picture of him and his dog and framed it for my home office. <3

        • Hi Karla,
          Glad you have a business doing that, how cool!
          I do some pet-sitting and I love it. We grew up with a Sheltie and no way was she getting in the water, but I looked after a Malinois and I couldn’t get her out!

  10. Wonderful Team Barbara!

    Special appreciation to agronomist Mr. Wole Fajinmi for the:
    ‘Jack of all trades master of ONE!’ concept – He is one of my
    most brilliant friends and heros!

    Thanks be to our Most Wonderful Lord God – and God Bless!

    Jeremy Fajemisin.

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