Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Sharing and Preparing for 2018

I was watching a video of Oprah Winfrey winning an award where she talks about the power of telling one's story. I have mentioned parts of my story in various places, but perhaps it is time to share more for the simple reason that through writing one gains clarity. In addition, by sharing tools or ideas that I come across, perhaps I can reach my goal of really empowering widows and orphans.

Today I heard about an OT who had ended her life and then sadly heard about a few more. The knowledge made me think about those I have come across who attempted to take their lives and failed or who did actually take their lives. I think about the reasons that I know about. Sometimes the reason is not really known. Other times it can be total desperation that leads to such drastic actions. You'll need to sign up to become a Patron on Patreon in order to find out how these findings have something to do with my creative work.

In the meantime, I can share that I know what it is like to feel desperate and I know what it is like to feel alone. To answer those who ask what role can OT have to play with widows and orphans? Partly to help them to develop the systems they require to thrive. These can be support or financial independence. It can be grieving or making peace with the change in the family structure. It can also be figuring out how to have a meaningful relationship with a significant family member who is no longer in this world.

One area of OT intervention is the therapeutic use of self which means that the therapist is able to make a positive impact on the life of his / her client through sharing who they are and what they have been through or overcome. In an interview that was featured with me on OT Potential, I was asked what motivated me in the early years of my becoming an OT. I'm sorry if it is not the answer that most want to hear, but my answer was the potential to gain or attain financial independence. Having lost my father when I was still at school, I had put myself through university to obtain a degree that I thought would both help others and enable myself to earn a decent salary. I did not expect for the salary to be lower than I had considered it might be or for the added strain of paying off tuition and health expenses from a chronic illness that had developed.

In the years since I qualified, sadly my goal to attain financial independence has not budged much. I still have the same financial struggles. This year I am more determined than ever to change that. It is my goal too, that by researching what type of work can enable me to meet my financial goals and needs that I can help other orphans and widows to do the same as well.

In the video I had watched about Oprah, she had mentioned her mother working as a house cleaner. The comment reminds me of how many have told me here in Israel to give up my profession and just clean houses. I have no idea why anyone would want to limit another. If someone has the ability to obtain a university degree in a profession that is of benefit to others, why squash their abilities.

Even in the last few days I have had the hard struggle with a publication I had paid to publish and advert that I could promote my private practice take the money and not publish the ad. It is hard to know that the publication is linked to an organization that is supposed to help Olim, not crush them. whatever their reason was for doing what they did, the organization has no idea what hard effort went into coming up with the funds to pay for that advert. They do not realize the challenge of altering direction in one's work in order to level up to earn better so as to take care of an aging parent. They don't know the reality of having no family to turn to for help and needing to rely on one's skills not to pay for a holiday or a luxury but for basic survival.

The last few days have been a hard reminder that many out there are not interested in the real needs of others. There are many who lack respect for the essence of who a person is. There are many who will cut down ones goals and dreams with just go and clean houses as their routine instruction.

What if the housecleaning does not earn enough to meet one's financial needs? What if the person needs to earn better? Well, everyone has the right to set the financial goals that are realistic to their life situation. We have freedom of choice and I am quite outspoken against putting someone down by robbing them of their G-d given talents and forcing them into menial jobs.

The minimum wage syndrome is something that in Israel for sure has to change. It has been one of the hardest realities of my move to Israel. So join me in my search for how to earn the kind of income that is life sustaining while still using my skills and talents. For if I can figure out how to get from poor orphan to success, then you can learn along the way and become successful too.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Navigtaing the Same Old Questions

For years I have been quite frustrated at how few really understand what OT is. Yes, OK, I'll elaborate OT stands for occupational therapy. It's a profession that requires a university degree in most countries, a few countries have certification from a college. It's part of the medical team and yet, hardly known at all? However, it is an incredibly, amazingly awesome profession. I don't think there are enough descriptive words for just how special this profession is. It gives meaning to life, hope and so much more.

Do you ever hear someone ask what a nurse is? No, of course not! Even kids playing doctor - doctor or hospital - hospital, know what a nurse is. Most people know about a social worker, psychologist, physio, speech therapist (OK not everyone knows that a speech therapist works with swallowing too and some don't know that many also work with hearing. But for the most part, people understand speech therapy.) So what is so unique about OT? How come no-one knows what it is? And how come it is the ONLY member of the medical team that actually SAVES money, time, heartache, frustration and more. Yes, the stats in the research states the financial saving, I am extending that to the other savings that happen from OT.

As a student it was a little irritating but I kept thinking there must be more I need to learn or perhaps once I am qualified I will meet people who understand. 26 years later, I still get most people saying, "occupational therapy, what is that?"

Just a few days ago I was talking to someone about an advert I placed in a local publication. "Yes," she said, "I saw the advert. Very attractive nice advert. But," she continued, "I hate to break this to you, but no-one actually knows what occupational therapy is."

"Yes, I know," I replied. "That is why I have written a book to explain what occupational therapy is. The cover image even appears in the advert."

She nodded, shrugged and said, "but no-one knows what occupational therapy is."

Today someone read the blurb of the back cover and the 3 reviews up so far and said, but it does not explain what OT is. You have to explain in your blurb what occupational therapy is, who it is for and why anyone should know about it.

Sigh! That is what the content of the book is all about. The profession is vast. It can not be condensed into a sentence, with another sentence saying who it's for and another why you should learn about it. That would make a nice and tidy three sentence blurb but I just don't see how to do it. HM, is that a challenge? Actually, if it were possible, all I would need is a three sentence blurb and no book. If that were possible, we'd have ONE definition of the profession instead of numerous ones.

Did you know I spent hours with my editor working on the blurb that is currently on the back of the cover? Did you know that the first blurb had a summary and I was instructed not to cover the contents on the back of the book but to give enough of a tease to make people interested and hence they will open the book to find out more.

Oh well, so the profession of OT is not well understood. Well, that's why I have got into promoting the profession. Everyone needs to know what OT is, because everyone has to be active in life. Why? That is how the world was created and that is just how it is. This is the world of action and we all need to be active. Ok, so there are people who are in comas. Yes I do know that and guess what, OTs works with people in comas too! 

If you could see me now, you'd see I'm having a good chuckle. But of course that is not possible. So I'll love and leave you and hope that you discover enough reason to want to search out what occupational therapy is. Why? Well, it's awesome. It's holistic. It genuinely helps others in meaningful ways. It gives hope to those who have none (a sentence from the back of my book). OT is vast. It's dynamic and evolving and incredible and if that does not get your interest up, then I rest my case and move on to find someone else who will be interested.

Have a great evening and if you have any interest in finding out what occupational therapy is and what makes it so special, check out my book. Purchase a copy and let me know what you think about it. Oh, and sign up for my newsletter where you can find out when the next book will be coming out. It's coming along nicely and yes, it also has some info to help you to understand the profession of OT a little better. Just a tad.

Actually, before you go, I'm preparing to give a series of talks or webinars on occupational therapy. If you are interested, drop me a line, send me a message and I'll add you to the list. Some talks will be in person and others online so, where you live does not matter. Time zone might so let me know what time zone you are in and I can do my best to figure out a good time.

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer, author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story" and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom".

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Interview with Up and Coming Writer / Engineer

 This has been a very fun interview to do. It took a little time, began when our featured writer was a student and he has since completed a degree in civil engineering. Meet Efose an up and coming writer who is also an engineer.
Shoshanah: "Hi Efose, it's been wonderful to get to know you a bit from Bamidele's writing group and then via FB chat. I particularly enjoy hearing that you are studying civil engineering. Can you share how you came to begin working on freelance writing if you are a student for one of the major professions?"
Efose: "It’s been wonderful getting to know you too Shoshanah.
I got to know about freelance writing when my older brother showed me a post about Bamidele Onibalusi. I have always been a writer before then (I wrote little stories and poems for my consumption and shared with friends) and so I was naturally interested coupled with the fact that I loved the idea of being self-employed. I did some more research about freelancing and my interest has continued to grow since then. I was a writer before I began studying to be an Engineer and I love being both. They are both really about creating wonderful things, just in different ways."
Shoshanah: "How did you select your writing niche?"
Efose: "Already Established writers will tell you to write on things you are passionate about; I simply followed this advice."
Shoshanah:  "When did you begin writing or discover that you have the ability to write in various formats in order to earn an income?"
Efose: "After reading the piece about Bamidele and doing further research, I decided on giving freelance writing a try on Upwork. I remember the smile on my face when I saw my first online earning in my account. It was then I discovered that I had the ability to write and earn an income."
Shoshanah: "Do you have a role model for developing your freelance writing business? If so, can you share either how you find a role model or mentor or your favourite tip gained from your role model?"
Efose: "My role model remains Bamidele Onibalusi. For starters, he’s an amazing writer and the fact that he’s a fellow Nigerian makes it even more inspiring. He makes it his business to help other writers get better and I think this in a way has made him an even better writer."
Shoshanah: "What are your goals as a freelance writer?"
Efose: "I want to keep getting better as a writer, earn better, get featured in major publications such as Forbes Magazine and be a prominent authority in freelance writing."

Thanks Efose, for sharing about how you got into writing and freelance writing in particular. For any readers interested in Efose's writing, check out his guest post:
Efose Ikhalo is a freelance writer and editor currently living in Edo State, Nigeria. His  interests range from writing to reading about: internet marketing, business and entrepreneurship. His is also interested in technology and soccer. Efose writes at

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