Tag Archives: Uncategorized

Thoughtful Thursdays #150 – Talking To Myself

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It is my opinion and experience that there are many parts to me. In a schizophrenic way we are all made up of many internal parts to greater or lesser degrees. We have the part that we show to the everyday world, a part that is the child, the part that is wounded, the love seeker, the angry one and many others. How do we know who is out and who isn’t?

If you feel stuck and frustrated there is probably and internal conflict going on between your inner parts.

The fastest way to figure out what you are thinking is to write. Sit down with a pen or at your computer and bang out what you are thinking and feeling. This will allow your inner parts a voice. At some point you will experience a window of space, of expansiveness where you will be insightful. This happened because you allowed your inner parts a voice and they get quiet. This type of writing is done frequently. The more you write from your inner parts the better you feel and more likely to change for the better.

You are worth the time and effort it takes to learn about yourself. It’s time to grow.

Thoughtful Thursdays #141 – Control

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This election has been quite a surprise. Some citizens are happy, some citizens are sad. And that is OK. We have lived through many questionable presidents.

There is nothing you can do about who is president. Not even your vote counted because the Electoral College is the one who really picks the president. Don’t believe me? Check for yourself. The only reason you vote is to express your opinion to the Electoral College. Therefore, how much control did you really have when you voted. Not much. That was an illusion.

Control of others is an illusion. Period. You can influence but not control. I am talking adults here. How frustrating it is to know that you mostly can’t control conditions  outside of you. You are probably shouting at this post right now saying she doesn’t know what she is talking about. But you can’t control what I write nor can I control how you view my writing.

Controlling yourself is the best way to effect your own life for the better. You have control over your effort, lifestyle, job, relationships and any other choice you make for yourself. That is the power you have right now that can be used at anytime.

Focusing on your own life is vastly more important than who is president. Focus on what is in your control not what is outside of it.

Thoughtful Thursdays – # 129 Trying To Live In Peace

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I like to mind my own business mostly unless I am dragged into situations where I have to defend myself. I like being friendly and accommodating except where I am being taken advantage of. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect my life to have good times except when it doesn’t .

Most of us want to get along and live in reasonable peace. However, we don’t all have the same awareness. Which shows up when we are interacting with others.

We meet each other at these different levels and that’s where the problems begin.  We can’t understand someones indifference or cruelty or insincere remark. Why did they gossip or take belongings or leave with no warning?

How is it that some things are so obvious to us but not to them?

Simple yet not so simple. Awareness. Some of us are simply more aware than others. It’s impossible to know where the other is coming from completely. But it is possible to know about yourself. And that is all that matters because you end up being open to those who resonate with you. You become a light of awareness for others. You have a better set of boundaries. You gain unshakable confidence to live the life you want.

You can’t stop others from being who they are.

Others can’t stop you from being who you are.

So carry on with your bad self.

Peace.

 

 

Thoughtful Thursdays #118-Income Tax

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I have just spent the whole day gathering the majority of my information to file income tax. It was grueling and I am still not done.

I procrastinated for one year and I am feeling the pain now. Why did I procrastinate for a year knowing full well that it would be torture to get this work done.

I am sure I am not alone in this. We all procrastinate because of going out of our comfort zone, basic laziness and fear.

I’ve learned my lesson. I’m done procrastinating.

Back to work.

Thoughtful Thursdays #117 – Recognizing Resistance

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It’s easy to recognize resistance in someone else. You watch them hem and haw, twitch and bolt, lie and freeze. You don’t understand the problem in them. No matter what you do you can’t show them their resistance.

It’s the same with you. You will resist that which is uncomfortable, threatening and revolting. Your own resistance is based on fear. Your own history makes these fears. This resistance is based on the false belief that you can’t take care of your self. Which is not true. You can handle anything. You are brave, give yourself some credit.

The moment you recognize resistance it is the signal not to hold back. It’s the compass pointing true north. It’s where you need to go.

Recognizing resistance is part of everyone’s journey. It’s a resource and teaching tool that is in everyone. It’s part of how our brains function to show us where we need to go next.

What are you resisting, where’s your next adventure?

Zoom – Zoom

10 Ways To Tell The Truth About What is Bothering You

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We all tell little white lies in order to avoid a confrontation or not to hurt someone’s feelings. When that no longer works we must fess up and tell the truth. Here are some ways to do that.

1. Say what you have to say peacefully with caring.

2. Before speaking be honest with yourself and what you have to say. Respond don’t react.

3. Write it down first to clear your mind.

4. Trust yourself and your ability to speak truthfully.

5. Expect the other person to get angry. Don’t say anything if you are angry.

6. It will feel uncomfortable to speak the truth at first. But stay strong. Don’t buckle under to anger or guilt.

7. Follow your heart.

8. Feel the sensations in your body. This is where you feel the surrounding energy.

9. Talk it out with someone first.

10. Ask a question to start a conversation about the subject.

Ignoring what bothers you has a band-aid effect on problems. It doesn’t last.

Don’t wait. Find a way to say what you need to say. It will clear the air and allow for positive movement.

 

 

Death

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From Pema Chrodon

Death is Certain

The hour of Death is not Certain

Pick what is Important

Contests I Have Won So Far

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7/14…. 6 e books about being a better writer by  Linda Formicelli of Renegade Writer.

 

8/14….1 Kindle copy of Low Country Bribe – The first in the series of the Carolina Slade Mysteries by C. Hope Clark.

 

 

 

Into the Light ——————Here we go again.

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Out of the darkness into the light

let the love for us shine bright

we are bound to each other
from this night

As the heat of fire

The coolness of the sea

we are bound to each other

just you and me.

Be my sweetness,
be my destiny,
be my loving kindness,
be my heat, my healing, my longing, my fire
my sea, my joy, my pain,
be my demon just loving me.

I will be your lightness,
I will be your savior ,
I will be on your side,
I will love you forever more
I will struggle with you
and struggle for you
I will be your savagery.

No two alike has gained like this
no two as us are likely to miss
the life of darkness of shadows and light
we are the two that will shine so bright.

As the world may see and not understand
how two strange creatures can take a stand
in a life that is hard
and weakness prevails

it is our journey and
belongs to no one else
where ever we land
we will have each other
through valley and glen
to forge forward together
hand in hand.

g.piazza

Martie McNabb – Personal Historian – Memories Out of the Box

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Martie McNabb Profile Picture

 

I met Martie McNabb at one of the local chapter Association of Personal Historian meetings last year. She owns and operates a business in Brooklyn, NY She is a visual artist who tells personal history stories in books (& other display products) using only photos & memorabilia. Her books are created to let the reader tell the story in their own words. Which makes for a better story. Martie has been in business for over nine years and she is graciously going to share her wisdom and insights with us today.

Purelysimplewords (PSW): Welcome Martie. I know you are really busy so thanks for your time.

Martie McNabb (MM): Not busy with a lot of paid work.

PSW: It’s like that everywhere.

MM: It’s a standard thing. It’s the three stages of building a business. Visibility, Credibility and Profitability. Memories Out of the Box is heading into the Profitability stage but we are not there yet.

PSW: How long have you been doing Personal History work?

MM: We are coming up to 9 to 10 years.

PSW: That’s a long time!

MM: Personal Historians in general have a difficult time selling our services. At least people know what to do (as a memoir writer). There are no words (text) in the work I do, except those that are in documents or memorabilia. Occasionally if a client wants it but then they have to do the work. But the majority of my clients don’t have the time to caption anything. They look to what I create as an opportunity for storytelling. They pull the book off the shelf and sit down with their family and they go through it and reminisce and remember and reconnect with one another and that’s where the words come in as part of an individual, family or organizational oral tradition.

PSW: How did you get started as a Personal Historian?

MM: I was a high school Biology teacher in the city here for 8 ½ years. I wasn’t burnt out but I was crispy around the edges. I knew I couldn’t stay doing it. Mainly I love the kids but got burnt out by the administration and politics of education. As we know all the money is going into testing. Companies like Pearson Testing and curriculum companies are making a fortune off of it but the reality of it is you need to train teachers really, really well then you give them all the support they need to become excellent teachers then leave them the Fuck alone.

PSW: I agree with you on that one.

MM: No administrator would go into a cardiac surgeon’s operating room and tell them what to do. Teachers need the same respect. It’s not the money. The money is really good but it was all the other stuff. Anyway I had to leave there and I was just trying to figure what to do. I went back to my first career which was sign language interpreting. Which I still do occasionally if I need cash. Then I said, “What’s next?”

I decided to take a 16 week business class called Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO) which met once a week, we had homework. It cost me $99 and they had a curriculum they taught you and had different people who came in and taught you about different areas of building a business. It was an opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs too. I was not thinking of one business and around that time I went to visit a friend in North Carolina. I hadn’t seen my friend in 6 years . When I saw her she felt it was so important to tell me that she had become an aunt in that 6 year period. Her twin sister had two girls and all she wanted to do was show me pictures of her nieces. She spent half the visit going back and forth to her bedroom trying to find the right dresser drawer with the right envelope with the right picture in it. It occurred to me, why do we document the heck out of our lives. We take photos, we collect all kinds of stuff that document the things we remember. Touchstones that really make a difference for us. We hold on to them but so rarely do anything with them. They just sit in a box, mainly that’s how Memories Out of the Box came about.

I wondered how many other people have this problem. Needless to say it was a very informal marketing search. There is no known research about it at this point. All I can tell is we can see hundreds and thousands of old photographs at tag sales and flea markets and antique stores, the problem of what do you do with your photos have been around for a very long time. Because they are ending up in tag sales and flea markets and auctions. Someone in whatever family did nothing with them. You find old scrap books from the 20’s and 30’s and even earlier that have nothing in them. Perhaps the first couple of pages have photos in them and the rest nothing. I think the challenge of what we do with our photos, documents and memorabilia of our lives has been going on for a long time. But again I don’t have hard and fast truth of it. I started to think about it and ask people about it and said OK what valuable service can I offer because there seems to be a big need for it. Let me try opening this business. And so I did.

PSW: What do you enjoy most about doing this type of work?

MM: The most difficult part of this work is getting more work. It’s getting the word out to people to say I can do this work, people don’t understand that they can hand me their boxes, bags or key to their storage unit or whatever and I can do the majority of the work all by myself. Without them being there.

The next thing is I don’t spend enough time actually doing the work, because the clients are motivated to do it but it is not on the top of their priority list, especially for my clients basically since they handed it off to me and given me a check. It sometimes takes a little while to get back to me so I can move forward on these projects.

But the best part is when I am finally getting into my studio and start to work on these projects it’s pure joy. Time just stands still and I just get into this space of loving to be a part of telling this story. Of this visual narrative and I get to know the characters, I see where they go and what is important to them, what they do and who are their friends. I see children grow up and the weddings that have been in boxes for 22 years. They finally get into a beautiful book and get delivered to a husband and wife for their 23rd wedding anniversary. It’s the joy of creating the finished display product that is what I love and also it’s just being able to know that when I hand these projects back to my clients they are so thrilled. Many of these people thought about what to do with these boxes for years if not decades. Here when I say it is not a priority. I say it is not a top priority, but it is in the back of their minds and they think they have to do something with these. I have to find those wedding photos, the trips we took or my daughters baby book that I never finished and now my daughter’s is graduating from college. All of these things that were in the back of their minds but they have not done anything with it. The sense of relief they have when it’s done, they can sit down and look through it, share and reminisce. I have had some that were so excited to get the finished book, sit with some wine and go through each page and relish every moment. These are some reasons I love doing what I do.

PSW: Do you put the actual pictures in a book or do you scan them and put the scan in the book?

MM: It all depends on what my clients want and what the end product is. 1. I can take the original photos, documents, postcards, letters cards, teeth, locks of hair,. brochures, maps and all of that put them in a photo safe scrapbook with adhesive that is photo safe and archival quality. This is called a one off. A big challenge for the client is what to do with the originals if they want a digital book. There is still a preservation issue to that. Many of my clients don’t have a lot of storage space so they may never do anything with the originals. 2. I can scan each individual photo and document to create a digital book that can be printed. Either way is fine but I often ask what the clients plan on doing with the originals.

Many clients just want one copy because they know they are not going to do anything with the originals. The best protection for the items is to be in a book. That gives the archive the most probable chance of surviving and being preserved.

PSW: What is digitizing?

MM: Scanning and digitizing is the same thing, most of the books I create are large. Most are 12 x 12 or 14 x 14. They can’t be scanned in a typical scanner. I have a friend who is a product photographer and takes high quality photos. His studio is set up so that he can photograph each page which creates a digital image. I can then have a back up copy to send off to a book publisher or printer and have a copy made.

PSW: You have been in this business for a long time. From where you began to where you are now what has not worked and what have you learned from it?

MM: Needless to say I have had many failures. This is my first forte in owning a business. No one in my immediate family has ever owned a business. My great grandfather and his six brothers started a company back in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. Other than that it’s been hit or miss on my side. I am primarily on my own. Because it is a new industry and concept even before I knew anything about the Association of Personal Historians I started Memories Out of the Box. There was no road map. There could be other companies out there that do the work I do but I can’t find them. There is one that is similar by a woman in Oregon. Also Taylor Whitney in Albany, NY. But no one does the visual story telling as I do.

My clients are not the type to send their precious items out to be organized/scanned so I decided to open an store in Brooklyn, NY that sold photo albums and scrapbooks and frames, I had classes, workshops and studio space for those who had these projects in mind but no room in their house. Some people worked with me on a coaching basis. I got great feedback from people in the area. As a result I got over 400 email addresses. If I got a nickel for every time I was told this store is a great idea I would be rolling in it now. I did acquire a great client who I still work with. I am working on book 9, 10 and 11.

Unfortunately, the store did not work out for various reasons like the economy and my lack of business experience. It was in essence a “failure”. So what did I learn from it. By living in this neighborhood for 20 years having a store increased my visibility and credibility. I was smart enough to adjust my path to continue the work that I do. Which is all I want to do. I did not give up. I continued to offer my services I learned I hate retail. I learned I can fail, learn from it and make better mistakes next time. I learned to take my financial life seriously. Being CFO of my financial life is new to me and I am learning to handle that.

PSW: Who would you say is the most interesting client you have ever had?

MM: This is a woman I met when I opened my store. She is like a hurricane and has a huge heart. She takes the time to sit down and really listens and connects with you . As I mentioned I am working on book 9, 10 and 11 for her. She inherited a box of stuff from her mother dating back to the 18 and 1900’s that I organized, curated and placed in a book. When her son was 13 I made a book for him. I have seen her family grow. I have taken trips with them, and she is welcoming, friendly, and trusting. She makes me feel I am part of that family and I really love that about her. Hopefully I will be there to do wedding albums for her sons and daughter as we move forward. It is wonderful to be a family’s visual narrator.

PSW: What advice would you like to pass on about having your own business and being a personal historian?

MM: First is you learn important things about yourself, deep things. Having your own business is not like having a job. It’s about starting and growing a business you believe in.

In terms of a personal history business there is no question that it is in the beginning stages and it will grow. We are the life story people after all.

I just connected with Story Corp. They say that they make recordings that go into the Library the Congress so your great great great grandchildren can listen to your story. Sadly I think this does not happen though because Story Corps doesn’t help the individuals preserve the DVD they are given &/or create a tradition that makes sure the family knows that this recording even exists. When I come across CD’s & DVD’s in the boxes I work with I make sure they are included in my end product and backed up in some way so these ancestral voices aren’t lost. Personal Historians are not only concerned about telling or recording stories but also about preserving them for future generations that know that they are there.

PSW: is there anything else you would like to add?

MM: I encourage everyone to check out our Show & Tell events. They are great opportunities to share lives and legacy. It’s a fun event. The events are free too.

Join us online:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/showandtellit
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Show-Tell-it/

PSW: Thank you Martie for sharing your world with us.

Martie is talented and generous with her expertise. Her visual narratives are unique and each one of her creations is one of a kind. She is passionate about everyone not leaving the story of their lives stuck in a box.

To find out more about Martie McNabb, her portfolio, the process she uses, adult show and tell events and her work go to: memoriesoutofthebox.com. (718) 398-1519 Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, NY