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Magazine

Jeane Coyle: Questioning Authority Is Not A Bad Thing

Choosing Happiness


Jeane Coyle: Questioning Authority Is Not A Bad Thing ........................5 CEO & Founder Sisters U Foundation, Inc.

Stefanie McKeever ...............................................................................7 Copy Editor - U Magazine Sisters U Foundation, Inc.

Finding Passion After Tragedy: MOMS Demand Action ......................... 8 Creative Editor and Designer- U Magazine Sisters U Foundation, Inc.

Exercise = Happy! ..............................................................................10 Executive Director Upper Bucks Campus Bucks County Community College

Owner Heart and Soul Portraits

COO Combined Resource Solutions

Facts about Happiness ........................................................................13

Depression, Anxiety, and ADD: How I Got It Together ........................14

Choosing Happiness ...........................................................................18

A Recipe for Happiness ......................................................................20

Winter Trends ...................................................................................22

What Movies Make You Happy? ..........................................................24

Keeping It Diplomatic When Child Custody Is At Risk .........................26


Happiness is one of the most universal sought out emotions. is fact shouldn’t be a surprise since the four basic emotions, according to the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow, are happy, sad, afraid/surprised and angry/disgusted. So, we can go further to say that “All of the things we want are because we believe we will be happier in the having of them.” Our forefathers even sought to preserve our right to the pursuit of happiness when penning the Declaration of Independence. Knowing this may give any one of us reason to pause and ask ourselves “What makes me happy?” “What is my happy?” I remember a time in my life when I became so entrenched in day to day living and so completely unaware of my emotions, that I remember saying to a friend, "I wouldn't know happy if it smacked me in the face!" at moment I claim as a de ning moment in my life. I acknowledged that I was

not living with intention or with an awareness of my wellbeing. I began to question myself then. “Why do I get up every day if I cannot be aware of and appreciate those people and things in my life that de ne happiness for me?” Fast forward a bit after time spent setting my intentions to a consistent awareness and acknowledgement of all that makes me happy. Ahhh, what a difference a little mindset brings. I wake up every morning speaking my truth and my happiness. My happy is my family, my life's work, my community, my health, a kiss from my granddaughter, a telephone call from my kids, a sun ower, dancing to music in my car, a funny joke, the smell of freshly mown grass, that I have slept straight through 6 hours without waking up! e list goes on and on. ese are just a few of the things that now de ne my life and my happiness. We bring this issue of U Magazine to you with hopes that it lifts you up, inspires you and helps you to inspired to acknowledge and appreciate all that makes you happy. e articles in this magazine are written by women

in your community sharing their stories and bringing their own perspective of happiness. From Jeane Coyle’s challenge to embrace and connect with yourself to our highlighted Sister who means so much to Sisters U, allow yourself to become immersed in this wonderful feeling of happiness. We welcome your feedback, and your story too, as we continue in our mission to connect, inspire and empower. We hope you’ll enjoy and nd value in what you read here. Also, please check out Sisters U® online at www.sistersu.org. I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback via email at Karen@sistersu.com

Karen Chellew

CEO & founder of Sisters U®


Questioning Authority Is Not A Bad Thing rom an early age  questioned author ity n middle school  challenged a substitute teacher who was babysitting for us saying the class was boring he said if  knew how to teach the material to get up and do so and then  did nd then  got kicked out and sent to the principals office nd then  got detention hen the regular teacher returned she used the surname s ack in  she sat me down he said ou are very bright ou show some real power and a lot of energy ut if you do not channel this in a good way you are going be a train wreck ears later after graduating

from uhlenberg ollege and landing a job at a bank in downtown llentown  saw this teacher when  was on the street during my lunch break  was dressed in my bankers suit with a little bow tie and a fantastic perm and she had the biggest smile on her face  guess  avoided the train wreck ver the years  have found a way to respect authority while  question it n fact many managers want team members to help them see what they might not see ear of authority does not create a path to success in the work world in my opinion f you sincerely

communicate things that might be of concern in the spirit of improving such things you will be recognized as a problem solver not a trouble maker Figure Out What You Do Really Well and What You Enjoy f you listen to feedback from very early on you will discover what your talents and gifts are  am a quick study  synthesize different types of material very quickly and create ideas plans and solutions ather than being a sequential thinker  am seeing the beginning middle and the end and


not always in that order o when  was bank teller  rarely balanced my teller drawer–  was too busy talking with the customers gain being fortunate enough to have someone recognize my gifts  was promoted to a service representative where the bank wanted me to communicate with customers ou would not want me to operate on your brain or to be your accountant ut  am good at guring out the course of action for a business motivating a team and getting things done ook inward rst and recognize your best skill set before you create your life plan and you will be most happy with what you do Making Peace with Men  was very fortunate that  could work with an executive coach while being considered for the resident and  role at the former irst ederal of ucks ounty t rst  was annoyed when she kept challenging me to tell her why  should get the job he wanted to know that  saw myself in the role and that  could sell her on it iece by piece we had to address some concerns  had because she said they would show to others even if  tried to hide them  big one was that  felt that to be in the big job  had to be more buttoned up more pro fessional and less genuine s women we often feel that we need to take our authenticity out of our personalities in our business life he worked with me to let that go his led to her other recommendation which was to take gender off the table he explained that people want to work with people they trust – that trust is the foundation to connecting with others  realized that if  am holding a grudge against an entire segment of the population men that it would show too  have two sons  have men who work with me and for me  needed to be sure that  gured out how to be comfortable with men ne by one  worked with each board member to build rapport and trust hen the time came to

vote for me to become   received a unanimous vote – from  men and  women he key takeaway for me is that it always comes back to yourself rst xplore your attitudes and beliefs and work on your own issues t is the path to personal ful llment and success

Speak Up, Find Out and Make Choices  am sure that you have had bad experi ences at work or school related to gender issues  am not suggesting you do not speak up  suggest that you try to deal with the offending individual rst f you need to use proper channels in the workplace to use your voice ut at the end of the day the responses you receive will give you clear messages ou will either be satis ed with the answers or you wont f you arent happy or you cannot change the workplace take yourself somewhere else xercise your right to choose f you have your skills and desires and plan in place you can gure out what to do next peak up and go for what you want o not wait to be given a special project assignment or a promotion ake your own plan and be frank to others about it lways remember to ask for help feedback and opportunities nd again when you do the responses you get will give you clear messages about your place in the organization f over time you are not seeing a path get on a new path his is the point where many women get disappointed hey say  asked and they said o –  thought if you speak up you get what you want peaking up means you get more answers not always the answers you want ut why waste years without progress when you can get on a new path and keep moving It’s All Personal ou know the sayings – eave your

personal life at home ts business  it is not personal ont take things person ally k  get it e need to manage our feelings our reactions and how we respond to others when we are at work ut never forget that work satisfaction starts with personal satisfaction o your own personal work xamine your life – with or without assistance from a counselor igure out what you want what makes you happy nd when things do not align with your values your ethics and your sense of personal respect – speak your mind nd out and make choices nd remember the more you personally connect with your coworkers your customers and your prospects the more progress you will make –  can guarantee it Embrace Being Imperfect  call it being optimistically dissatis ed  am ok with where  am at right now and  want to do better t does not help to beat yourself up over mistakes and imperfections reate a plan to work on a few things in your life and accept the rest ften others think that for me to become a   had to do most things perfectly – not so  need to know what  dont know and make sure  get help to cover all the bases  do not need to know it all or do it all nd when  started to share more of my personal story with others  came to find out that we all have some challenging things in our past ain is part of existence t is how we navigate through hard times and how we connect with others in meaningful ways that determines our journey ook inside and then connect –  wish you joy eane oyle is the resident and hief xecutive fficer of enn ommunity ank  rm believer in servant leadership and community service eane represents enn ommunity ank on the boards of several local organizations he recently was the key note speaker at est oot orward a isters  community event


Meet A Sister: Stefanie McKeever Tell us a little about yourself: I’m a 52 year young mom of one college student, one extremely active puppy and one cat who wishes we never got the puppy. I grew up most of my life right here in Perkasie and have stayed put. I graduated from Pennridge High School and went to The Boyd School in Pittsburgh for travel. I’ve done lots of different things for a job but am loving the flexibility and peace of being a personal assistant to a Transcendental Meditation teacher. There’s something to be said for driving up a long driveway to tranquility! How long have you been involved with Sisters U? How has being a part of SU influenced your life? I have been involved with Sisters U since day one. Karen Chellew is my neighbor and close friend and had invited me to the very first meeting and I immediately loved it - So many different women in a room, but yet a unique bond of strength, support and friendship. It doesn’t matter your age, you will find many women to connect with who have been through what you have and are willing to help lift you up if you need it. I love the speakers we have and what they are willing to share to help other women. I love listening to the story that our sister of the month has to share of where she’s been, where she is now and where she is going to. Their stories help you to connect even more with them as you get more of an understanding of who they are and why they are the way they are. How do you like to spend your time? I love spending my time: singing and dancing in the car with my teenage daughter Kendall, listening to music, traveling - especially to Hilton Head, reading books - mostly ones I don’t have to do any thinking about, doing volunteer work and helping others, spending time with my large family, and planning gatherings and parties. If you were a character in a book or movie, who would it be and why? If I was a character in a book or movie, I would be Mrs Doubtfire. She’s comical, fun and loving, but yet her other side is serious Daniel Hillard just trying to live each day doing the best he can for himself and his kids. What makes you smile? That’s an easy one. Kendall McKeever. That girl has a mission and she’s gonna do whatever she has to to get it done. From the time she was in Kindergarten she was totally focused. I never really had to parent her. Sometimes she has to parent me, as I’m a child in an adults body! Kendall is fun loving and caring and will give you everything she’s got, but she is also very serious. She knows right from wrong and she will let you know if you are walking in dangerous territory. I admire her always standing by her values and what she believes in. If there is anything else you would like to share, please do so! I’m very thankful to be a part of an organization that encourages and helps women to grow Thanks to my friend Karen for the initial invite and for continually making this a great place to be.


Finding Passion After Tragedy: I am an accidental activist. Believe me, this is not what I thought I would be doing ve years ago. en on December 14, 2012, a deranged gunman went into the elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, where my family and I used to live, and killed 20 rst graders and six educators.

four was an island searching for sanity surrounded by an inexplicable acceptance of the status quo. Family members and friends either didn’t know what to say or we were greeted with a “get over it” attitude. It seems there is no proper response or etiquette when 20 rst graders are killed.

We had moved back to Pennsylvania to be closer to our family, but if we had still lived in Sandy Hook, our daughter would have been across the hall in a second grade classroom. She would have heard the sounds of bullets red and the screaming as all of the children in the building did that day. Our friends and neighbors there were all affected in one way or another. e granddaughter of our attorney was killed. Our neighbor was a teacher in a classroom across the hall. A wrestling teammate of my best friend’s son was killed. Our former pediatrician lost many patients. We grieved for the families of the victims and for the innocence lost in our beautiful little town

en I found Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. I went to an event not far from our house in Bucks County, PA for Sandy Hook Ride on Washington. We cheered on Team 26, twenty-six bicycle riders who were stopping in Buckingham on their way to Washington, DC. Afterwards, someone from Moms Demand Action called to see if I would be willing to volunteer. I told her my story and said I would be willing to do anything because it really could have been my child in that school.

Sandy Hook is not very different from the small towns speckled throughout Bucks and Montgomery Counties. It’s a community with good public schools that is about the same distance from New York City as I live now from Philadelphia. e rst two years after the tragedy happened, my husband and I grieved alone. We learned the facts about gun violence in America and became dismayed that nothing was changing due to the gun lobby’s in uence on our politicians. We sheltered our kids from the news and complained to each other about the country’s inaction to curb gun violence. It felt like our little family of

I think I was just waiting for that call. I had been following the group online, but wasn’t actively involved. ey asked me to be their Philadelphia Events Lead. Since then, I have been very active, planning meetings and events. is past summer I helped plan an Angels’ Picnic for Wear Orange Day on June 3, 2017, when we all commemorated our third National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Several Philadelphia moms who have had children murdered helped to plan the picnic along with community members and other Gun Violence Prevention groups. It has been a great honor and a privilege to work along side them, do my small part to help lift them up, and to help share their stories. Moms Demand Action is not anti-gun. We respect the Second Amendment but acknowledge that with gun ownership comes responsibility. We have many gun


owners and hunters in our group. I am originally from a hunting community in the western part of Pennsylvania. I took hunter safety training when I was a child. My son and husband hunt and my father-in-law is a retired Wildlife Conservation Officer. Moms Demand Action is anti-gun violence. irty thousand people are killed by gun violence in America each year. is is a public health crisis. We must do better. e inaction of our government to pass common sense gun laws is staggering. A signi cant majority of Americans (including most gun owners) agree that we should have universal background checks, yet here in Pennsylvania it is legal to sell any gun over 16 inches long in a private sale. at includes an AR-15 style ri e. e same gun that was used to kill 26 people at Sandy Hook School in less than 10 minutes and the same gun that was used to kill 49 people in the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, FL. rough Moms Demand Action, I have met the most amazing people. We are a passionate, dedicated, resilient group. I have met many leaders, including PA Senator Bob Casey and his wife, Terese, and PA Attorney General, Josh Shapiro. I have spoken with many survivors including Richard Martinez whose son Christopher was killed at the shooting at Isla Vista, California; Andy Parker whose daughter, Alison, was a reporter that was killed on live TV in Virginia; Colin Goddard, survivor of the Virginia Tech shootings; and Sharon Risher, whose family members were killed at the Mother Emanuel Church in Charlotte, SC. eir resilience gives me strength. I have also met our Moms Demand Action founder, Shannon Watts, who is a hero who stands up to constant threats of violence from bullies on the other side of the debate. My MOMS friends have become my tribe. We have formed bonds that go well beyond our Gun Violence Prevention work. We are family and support each other through good times and bad. And we have discovered that no one is immune from gun violence.

Last year, one of my close friends from the group was caught in the middle of a shooting while on vacation with her family in Florida. A man pulled a gun in the middle of the street during an assault on his wife and started shooting. An innocent bystander near my friend was shot, along with two others. One of the bullets missed my friend by only a foot or two. Gun violence has become so prevalent in our country that we are all at risk. Every day.

Moms Demand Action encourages responsible gun ownership through better laws and campaigns like our BeSMART program. is program promotes safe gun storage and child access prevention in homes with guns. Please, check it out at besmartforkids.org. We have recently started a Bucks County Group. For more information please go to momsdemandaction.org and JOIN – It’s free! More facts and data can be found on our parent organization website: everytown.org.

Disclaimer:

e views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the

author and do not necessarily re ect the official policy or position of Sisters U Foundation.


Exercise = Happy!

Long before I became a trainer and weight loss coach, my weight and eating controlled me. Even as a girl of eight or nine, I felt ruled by temptation and doomed to cravings, plus sizes, and even fat shaming--some in icted by others but most by myself. irty years of failed diets left me a hundred pounds overweight and convinced that my body was my mortal enemy. Despite the fact that I had been weighed, warned, and written off by more doctors, gym teachers, and diet reps that I can possibly recall, none of them taught me that instead of being at the mercy of my physiology, I could literally use my powerful, predictable, and somewhat adaptable biochemistry to turn the tables on obesity. Even though creating a calorie deficit through eating and exercise comes down to the math, for me and most of my clients, making the right choices about eating and

exercise in the moment isn’t driven by logical calculations. e trick for my permanent weight loss wasn’t intellectual. It was and is neurological. Since childhood I knew that I was “wired” for food. I looked forward to it too much, indulged too much, hid too much and regretted it too much. I think it is safe to say there is a dopamine-junkie inside most obese people; there is de nitely one inside of me. I just didn’t know that I could meet her needs with exercise, and no one told me I should try. Like most people, I recognized that exercise helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, strengthens bones and muscles, improves balance, and extends life expectancy. But the key for me, and I believe for many of my clients, is that exercise changes your mind in every way from cell to thought to behavior. And, more of us would bene t from the entire array of exercise advantages if we prioritized these powerful mental effects instead of reducing exercise to an exchange for our calorie surpluses. Not only does exercise generate dopamine, the neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy, we also experience a boost in serotonin and norepinephrine with exercise. ese chemicals affect our perception of pain. People who regularly exercise can expect a boost in mood (via dopamine) and a decrease in the physical and emotional stress of the day (via endorphins); however, exercise does much more. Exercise stimulates neurogenesis-the creation of new neurons. By stimulating a protein called BDNF (brain derived neurotropic factor) regular exercise helps generate new neurons, protect existing ones, and repair damaged ones. In fact, the potential for exercise to heal and protect our neural pathways is so dramatic that BDNF is being studied for medical applications in treating depression, trauma, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.


e brain chemistry of exercise has so much positive appeal, researchers are actively investigating why more doctors don’t formally prescribe it and why more weight loss candidates fail to transfer food-related stress management to exercise-based habits. One explanation is that although endorphins bind chemically the same way that opiates like heroin and morphine do, the process takes about thirty minutes to work and lacks the instant grati cation typical of addictions. Unwittingly, the majority of people are quitting just shy of the timing their endorphins require. If my personal experience is any indication, I’d swear on a stack of cast off self-help books and videos that this is the crux of overcoming obesity and inertia. I confess, I fell into this feat of biochemistry completely by accident. But, you don’t have to. e science is there. You can leverage it deliberately not accidentally as I did.

You see, my exercise habit coincided with using onsite child care at my gym. Suddenly, I had the addiction-transfer clincher—immediate grati cation. e payoff of working out was no longer some distant result weeks in the making. e payoff was instant—45 minutes to listen to my own music and get a real shower. A reward, which any mother of a newborn and toddler will tell you, is more precious than gold. Instead of abandoning that gym membership and the unfamiliar uncomfortable physical and emotional reactions new routines provoke, nally I had instantaneous positive reinforcement that could subvert my old ways, allowing results and new behaviors to materialize. For me the instant reward was alone time, but I’ve had members use tness trackers, inspiring music, a shower gel reserved just for the gym, even nancial incentives for that immediacy. Ultimately, my success came from working with my inner dopamine junkie. Her brain chemistry wasn’t her downfall: it was the secret to adapting exercise as a more constructive coping mechanism than food. Because of it exercise equals happy. Tricia Glodowski, NASM CPT, CES is the owner of Find Yes: Fitness and Nutrition.

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15

Facts About Happine

1. Your childhood and gene cs account for only half of your happiness levels. 2. Happiness has a scent. Clinical experiments on body odor have shown that your scent changes between when you are stressed or happy. 3. Your outlook on life, and what you choose to do with your life accounts for 40 percent of your happiness levels. This includes who you choose to be friends with, what you choose to do for work, and par cipa on in your community. Volunteering can increase your happiness levels. 4. You get happier as you get older. A 2005 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preven on study showed ages 20-24 are sad for 3.4 days per month. Those aged between 65-74 are sad only 2.3 days per month. 5. 20 minutes of exercise, three days each week will increase your happiness by 10 to 20 percent. Par cipa ng in exercise in a community center or workout facility can also increase your happiness. 6. Happier people can produce up to 50% more an bodies, increasing your immune system. 7. The more you hug your children, the happier they will be as adults. Make sure to cuddle with them! 8. Happy people generally earn more than unhappy people. 9. Women are unhappiest in their life around the age of 37; men around the age of 42. 10. Dancing improves happiness. Have a dance party a er work with your kids. 11. Educa on and intelligence do not make you more happy than anyone else. 12. Money buys happiness. Those who can aord to have their basic material needs taken care of are happier than those who cannot. 13. Money does not buy happiness. A er having your basic material needs met, addi onal money does not have any impact on your levels of happiness. 14. People in rela onships are usually happier than people who are single and happier people are more likely to retain rela onships. 15. The most powerful way to increase your long-term feelings of happiness is to understand your strengths and talents, or life purpose, and to work on sharing those parts of yourself with others.


Depression, Anxiety, and ADD: F

H I G I Togr

or the first twent y-four years of my life, when I was sad, I was told, “Stop being a drama queen.” W hen I was hurt/upset/confused (pick your adjective) I was told to “Get over it.” W hen my anxiety would kick in, I was told I was “over–exaggerating.” or “It ’s not that bad.” W hen I couldn’t focus, I was told, “Stop daydreaming.” I felt like I was in a hole and I couldn’t get out. Depression, anxiety, and ADD (attention deficit disorder) are three mental illnesses that are difficult to deal with separately. I deal with them all togethe r. I ne ver thought I was “sick” and I just wa sn’t awa re how t hes e s er i ous conditions were affecting my entire life. Then, I began dating my husband. He helped me recog ni z e th at so m et h i ng wa sn’t r i gh t a nd t hat I ne ed e d h e l p. O nce d i ag no s ed, I b e g an t ak i ng medication. Wow! Could I focus on a task! We got married, and within three and a half years, we were the proud parents of two beautiful boys. W ith only se ven months separating th e birt h of my first and the pregnancy of my second, my body, hormones, and mind couldn’t catch up. The hole I spoke of earlier? It got deeper and bigger since I was off all medication for my pregnancies. Then reality hit. There was a never-ending pile of laundry. The housework was not a priority. The mail would pile up until we had company, then it would end up in a box in the laundr y room. W ith two boys under two, who saw that coming? I needed to find balance, which was difficult. For the next t wo years, I lived in chaos. I would tell myself to “Just tackle one small project.” Then I would start one project and decide that for this

project to be successful, I needed to start another. Multiple projects were started, nothing was finished. I created a bigger mess for myself. For example, I wanted to store my craft supplies in the laundr y room so they could be c lose to where I would use them. As I began to bring my supplies from the attic, the hall closet, and my bedroom, I needed to clean out the shelves in the laundr y room. But, to move all the kitchen stuff into the kitchen, I needed to create room in the cabinets and drawers. Picture If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, but on an adult scale with a lot of cr ying. I was too proud and embarrassed to reach out for th e e mo tional suppo r t th a t I neede d t o get one project done before tackling the next. Needless to say, there were craft supplies and kitchen supplies ever ywhere. I ended up just cramming things onto shelves to get it all off the dining room table and ki tch en co unt ers, and walk ed away feeli ng o ve rwhelmed and cr ying. By the time my youngest was two, my medications were finally in check, and I found more focus, less cr ying, and a ton of motivation. I couldn’t handle the craziness of two toddler boys, the c lutter, and the disorganiz ation. Essentially, I couldn’t handle my home. I began doing some home projects with a weeken d dead line; if by S unday I didn’t t hink a p ro j e c t c o u l d b e fi ni s h e d, I ne ede d t o c al l i n reinforcements. No stopping. No quitting. No cr ying. I star ted with the coat c loset. I took off the old, 70’s, metal bifold doors, added a bench and hooks, and made it a more welcome space. The rush I got from finishing a project on my own was exhilarat-


ing! Next I tackled my laundr y room: a fresh coat o f pai nt, ne w sh e l ves a nd s t or ag e made m e not dread l au ndr y so muc h. And, m y cr af t s up pl i e s were finally organized and stored! Now, I needed to get other parts of my home and life organiz ed. I created a grocer y shopping system that saves my family time and money - a system that I still use today and teach others to use. Fast forward three years, and we were moving. I created an incredible system for packing and organizing of all our stuff. Each room in the new house had a color, and I labeled the boxes accordingly. W hen we got tied up at the closing and the movers were on their own to bring our stuff into the house, they did it successfully without us. W hen we arrived at the new house, I was flattered by the mover’s kind words about how easy it was to move us in because ever ything was organized and labeled.

I’m more productive. People are shocked to hear that I suffer from depression, anxiet y, and ADD. They think I’m so put together. Oh, if they only knew me before my schedules and lists! If I can do it, anyone can. Baby steps can lead to a sense of calm. Th at ’s t he mission of Get It Togeth er Mom: To help other people to take those baby steps and to develop organizational practices to alleviate the stress and anxiet y that we all feel. To bring the skills I have de veloped to any mom, home, or business in need of assistance. From paper clutter to garages, and ever y thing in betwe en, I work with families to create organiz ed and functional spaces. These things don’t just help people with mental illness, but help anyone with stress to “Get it Together Mom.”

5 Easy Tips to F inally Clear the Clutter : 1. Donate Household Stuff on a Weekly Basis

I decided in our new home, I wasn’t going to be o ve r w h e l m e d . I c re a t e d s y s t e m s a n d s c h e d u l e s - l a u n d r y, c l e a n i n g, p a p e r w o r k , e t c . f o r m y s e l f. Making a routine f or my self made my life easier and I felt more in control. Being in control helps the anxiet y. Get ting things done a nd not seeing pile of c lot hes, papers, etc, helps my depression. Having schedules helps the ADD. It keeps me on track. Friends were so impressed that they wanted to hire me to organiz e their homes. So, I thought, I can do that. And I did. I started “Get It Together Mom,” a home organization business.

Don’t wait for things to pile up. If you donate 10 things every week you and your family will be living a life under less clutter. 2. Organize Your Closet Create a system in your closet to save time during your morning routine. Whether it is color coded or by out t, a system will save you from searching for that speci c black shirt. 3. Reduce Junk Mail

Just about ever ything in my schedule is flexible. I have got ten better about being f lexible. I used to freak out if my schedule needed to change (ok, sometimes I still do). I love my schedules and I find that I have an extremely difficult time when I’m not on one. I always feel like there is something I should be doing. I know it sounds crazy, but I even schedule my down time. I schedule the first Monday of the month as my “Shawna Day.” After the boys get on the bus and I get the grocery shopping done (bec ause that ’s on the Monday schedule), I take the rest of the day to do things for myself. For my depression, I need this day ever y month. Does it always go as planned? No way! I’d be living in a dream wor ld if it did! Sometimes things come up where my day gets moved. But, I always make sure that I take that one day a month for myself. If I don’t take it, I feel over whelmed and that triggers the depression and anxiety. When I’m calm, I’m a better wife, mother, and friend.

Ecocycle.com gives tips for reducing the amount of junkmail that comes into your mailbox. For the mail that does arrive, toss it in the recycle bin before it even comes into the house. 4. Five Minute Rule If you can take care of a task in 5 minutes or less, just do it and don’t let it linger on your desk or counter top. 5. Organize

e Entryway

Create an organized area for keys, coats, shoes and other items you need to leave the house right by the door. If you have these items handy, you will save time looking for lost items. Shawna Boell is the Owner and Creator of Get It Together Mom, an organizational company aimed at helping home owners organize their spaces. She lives in Telford with her husband and two sons and is an active volunteer with Sisters U.


Thank You To Our Business Members


Why be happy? It’s important to identify the many reasons happiness matters. Achor explains, “Positive emotions ood our brains with dopamine and serotonin, chemicals that not only make us feel good, but dial up the learning centers of our brains to higher levels. ey help us organize new information, keep that information in the brain longer, and retrieve it faster later on. And they enable us to make and sustain more neural connections, which allows us to think more quickly and creatively, become more skilled at complex analysis and problem solving, and see and invent new ways of doing things.”

I

s your happiness genetic? Can you make yourself happier? Interestingly, the answer to both questions is yes. Scientists have known for decades that a large part of our temperament is genetically pre-determined; by studying the personalities of identical twins, they’ve found that about 50 percent of happiness -- or unhappiness -- can be traced to genes.

However, in e How of Happiness, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky explains that as much as 40 percent of our happiness “is left for the intentional activities that we can choose to engage in -- the things that we do and think every day of our lives.” She says, “If we observe genuinely happy people, we shall nd that they do not just sit around being contented. ey make things happen.” What is happiness? Shawn Achor, Harvard researcher and author of e Happiness Advantage, says scientists de ne happiness “essentially, as the experience of positive emotions -- pleasure combined with deeper feelings of meaning and purpose.” Happiness is not one size ts all, however. What causes pleasure for one person might cause pain for someone else. According to happiness researcher and author Gretchen Rubin, “You can build a happy life only on the foundation of your own nature, your own interests, your own values. Your happy life will look very different from the happy life of someone else.”

In addition to making us smarter and better problem solvers, happiness can make us more successful and healthier. Achor cites a study of 272 employees over their rst 18 months on the job; those who were happier at the beginning ended up receiving better evaluations and higher pay later on. Achor also cites a study in which researchers gave subjects a survey designed to measure levels of happiness, then injected them with a strain of the cold virus. A week later, the individuals who were happier before the start of the study had fought off the virus much better than the less happy individuals. ey had fewer objective symptoms of illness as measured by doctors -- less sneezing, coughing, in ammation, and congestion. Happiness can even make us live longer. In a longitudinal study, 20-year-old Catholic nuns were asked to write down their thoughts in autobiographical journal entries; over 50 years later, researchers coded the entries for positive emotional content and found out that by age 85, 90 percent of the happiest quartile of nuns (at age 20) were still alive, compared to only 34 percent of the least happy quartile. When will you be happy? Happiness often feels like a far-off goal, something we will achieve when we get the new job, get married, win the lottery, lose the extra weight, or retire, for example. Some people believe that happiness comes after success. But as Achor reports, happiness is the precursor to success. Happiness and optimism fuel performance. “Waiting to be happy limits our brain’s potential for success, whereas cultivating positive brains makes us more motivated, efficient, resilient, creative and productive which drives performance upward.” You owe it to yourself to nd ways to be happy right now, even if you haven’t achieved your goals. In fact, if you are happy now, you are far more likely to achieve your goals. How can you increase your happiness right away? One way is to look for the positive. According to Achor, when our brains constantly scan for and focus on the positive,


we pro t from three of the most important tools available to us: happiness, gratitude, and optimism. What about when bad things happen? With some practice nding the positive is relatively easy when life is going relatively well. But when bad things happen, Achor explains, it’s important to practice an optimistic (rather than a pessimistic) explanatory style. People with a pessimistic explanatory style believe adversity is global and permanent, thinking “It’s really bad and it’s never going to change.” And those with an optimistic explanatory style view adversity as local and temporary, thinking “It’s not that bad and it will get better.” Happiness is about adjusting our brain so we see the ways to rise above our circumstances. And in some cases negative experiences can actually lead to growth. Posttraumatic growth is defined as the “experience of individuals whose development, at least in some areas, has surpassed what was present before the struggle with crises occurred” according to Lawrence G. Calhoun and Richard G. Tedeschi, pioneers of the concept. “e individual has not only survived, but has experienced changes that are viewed as important, and that go beyond the status quo.” Research suggests that between 30-70 percent of individuals who experienced trauma also report positive change and growth coming out of the traumatic experience, as cited by Stephen Joseph and Lisa D. Butler. Stephen Joseph and P. Alex Linley have found individuals have described profound changes in their view of “relationships, how they view themselves and their philosophy of life.” Many people who have experienced trauma “describe that they come to value their friends and family more, feel an increased sense of compassion for others and a longing for more intimate relationships.” ey also develop their own “wisdom, personal strength and gratitude, perhaps coupled with a greater acceptance of their vulnerabilities and limitations.” And nally, “people describe changes in their life philosophy. For example, nding a fresh appreciation for each new day and re-evaluating their understanding of what really matters in life.” What can you do to increase your happiness? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Smiling tricks your brain into thinking you’re happy, producing neurochemicals that actually make you happy. And we’ve all heard many times how much exercising and meditating can increase our happiness. Here are some additional tips to consider: 1. Watch what you are consuming. According to Graham C.L. Davey Ph.D. in Psychology Today, “ e emotional content of films and television programs can affect your psychological health… by directly affecting your mood, and your mood can then affect many aspects of

your thinking and behavior. If the TV program generates negative mood experiences (e.g. anxiety, sadness, anger, disgust), then these experiences will affect how you interpret events in your own life, what types of memories you recall, and how much you will worry about events in your own life.” 2. Find something to look forward to. According to Gretchen Rubin, “studies show that having fun on a regular basis is a pillar of happiness, and anticipation is an important part of that pleasure.” She suggests, “Try to include friends or family as well; people enjoy almost all activities more when they’re with other people than when they’re alone.” at leads us to the nal strategy... 3. Strengthen your relationships. Countless studies have proven relationships are the key to a happy life. Shawn Achor’s own study of well-being among 1,600 Harvard undergraduates found social support was a far greater predictor of happiness than any other factor, including GPA, family income, SAT scores, age, gender or race. According to Achor, “investing in social connections means that you’ll nd it easier to interpret adversity as a path to growth and opportunity; and when you do have to experience the stress, you’ll bounce back from it faster and better protected against its long-term negative effects…. Individuals who invest in their social support systems are simply better equipped to thrive in even the most difficult circumstances.” Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, “Most people are about as happy as they make their mind up to be.” Happiness is within reach for all of us. Make the choice to be happier and then take action. hristin mith yers inspires individuals and teams to recognize the connection between positivity productivity and pro tability earn more about her hoosing appiness speech at httpwwwchristinsmithmyerscomspeaking


V April 2017 marked the anniversary of World Health Day developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). eir members include more than 7000 people working in 150 offices around the world. eir main goal is to help combat diseases such as cancer, heart disease, in uenza, and HIV. ey achieve this by improving the safety of our air, water, food, medicine, and vaccines. is year, the theme of World Health Day involved a campaign for depression with the overall goal focusing on informing the public of the causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment of this disease. e core of this campaign includes talking to family, friends, professionals, social media, schools, and the workplace about depression. Depression is a devastating disease however Suicide is currently the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds. It is especially important to recognize some of the overt signs such as anxiety, reduced concentration, difficulty sleeping, loss of energy, and change in appetite. According to Harvard Health Publications, depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain. Antidepressant drugs increase serotonin levels in the brain, but depression may be more complex than that. Other factors include in ammation, elevated stress hormones, immune system suppression, nutritional de ciencies, isolation, low self-esteem, lack of exercise and poor diet. ere is no doubt that children, teens, and college students experience a great deal of stress and pressure. Can proper nutrition hold the key to happiness and provide an alternative treatment for depression?

“Food Is A Great Way of Communicating” --Jan Karon-From the moment a baby enters the world, she latches onto her mother or cries out for a bottle, and once the baby is satis ed, her tears dissipate. e cries can be due to lack of sleep, a bellyache, or separation anxiety, but we immediately respond with breast milk or formula. As the baby grows older and begins to experiment

with solids, it does not take long before they attach a feeling to a speci c food. roughout the lifecycle, we use food to satisfy an internal or external feeling. e hypothalamus is a portion of the brain that perceives feelings of hunger and appetite. Hunger is the physiological need for food driven by internal feelings. ese include stomach contractions, secretions, and hunger pangs. Our nervous system integrates signals from various hormones and enzymes secreted by the digestive system. Hormones are chemical messengers that can make us hungry or full. Enzymes help speed up reactions in order to break down food & obtain nutrients. Chemical imbalances in the gut or brain can in uence intake. Appetite is the psychological desire for food. Environmental cues and our senses greatly in uence a person’s appetite. e smell of fresh baked cookies can serve as a reminder of that rst day of school when your mom rewarded you with a sweet treat. e sight of turkey with gravy can remind you of thanksgiving and happy memories with family. We also associate some foods with frustration or anxiety. e taste of salty, sweet, or fried foods can be comforting to a college student during nals week.

Laughter is Brighter Where Food Is Best --Irish roverb he leveland linic oundation identi ed two speci c neu rotransmitters found in food that effect appetite and can lift a persons spirits  erotonin  chemical released after eating carbohydrates may improve mood and lesson depression igh levels of serotonin control appetite keep us satiated longer and satisfy cravings  opamine and orepinephrine hemicals released after eating protein hese help us focus concentrate and break away from feelings of apathy or hopelessness


“Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food” --Hippocrates--

Although there is no speci c diet proven to relieve depression, there are certain foods that may help as part of the treatment. When people eat well, they generally feel good, look good, socialize more, and move more. Additionally, their immunity increases, in ammation decreases, and blood work improves. e following foods may serve as an adjunct to therapy and medications: • B-Complex Vitamins- e brain needs B-vitamins to make neurotransmitters. It is best to obtain these from whole grains, potatoes, beans, chicken, wheat germ, eggs, and dairy. • Essential Fatty Acids (DHA & EPA)- ey are found in cold water sh such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, tuna, and herring. Omega-3 researcher David Mischoulon, MD, PhD, director of research in the Depression Clinical and Research Program at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital says EPA and DHA “are thought to be active as antidepressants” in the brain. • Antioxidants- Prevent free radical formation & cell damage. Studies show that our brain is particularly at risk and consuming foods rich in Beta-Carotene, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E may help. is includes carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, broccoli, oranges, kale, strawberries, peppers, almonds, avocado, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oil. • Vitamin D- According to the Vitamin D Council, there seems to be a direct relationship between low levels of vitamin D in the blood and depression. You can obtain Vitamin D from fatty sh, forti ed milk, cheese, and egg yolks. Exposure to sunlight allows our body to make more. • Dark Chocolate- Helps to release endorphins- those “feel good chemicals” our bodies produce. You can treat yourself to 1.5oz of dark chocolate (~1 bar) per day! Overall, it is important to consider nutrition a preventative form of medicine. It can help us make better choices about what to eat & how to improve our physical and mental health. Davida Kleinman works at Bucks County Community College. She is an adjunct Nutrition professor at Upper Bucks Campus in Perkasie, Pennsylvania. She also counsels patients at Eat Right Bucks County in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Davida is the mother of two children, lives in Doylestown and is married to Dr. Michael Kleinman.


TARTAN PRINTS &

omantic Florals

Romantic joyful orals are not new to winter fashions but add in some gorgeous ruffles and your out t is instanly Insta-worthy. Some designers are so enthralled with floral this season that even the shoes are in full bloom.

is winter there are mention, plaids and

two stand out trends to romantic orals.

Check-mate! Call it tartan or plaid, this pattern is back this season and better than ever. I would recommend trying this style staple with something subtle like a nice pair of plaid pants for work with a solid black top and black boots. Want something bolder? Check out this cape from ModCloth.com. Perfect for cooler weather and sized from XXS to 4XL (like most of the clothes on ModCloth) this cape will t ladies of all sizes and shapes.

I love wearing a capeand this blends another trend popular this season, vintage styles. Doesn’t it put you in the mood for the feeling of a crisp winter afternoon and the smell of a latte?

Make sure to include some tiered maxi skirts, a ruffled dress and volumious sleeves if you want to update your wardrobe this season. ese oral prints are easy to wear and hide a multitude of sins so head on out and grab something romantic to wear this winter. Emily Goble Smith, U Magazine Creative Editor


Hallowed Ground Design www.hallowedgrounddesign.com

Kathy Walsh Beveridge 215-262-1372 // kathy@sparknpc.com www.sparknpc.com

info@illustrateddesigns.net // 610-847-2058 // illustrateddesigns.net

Ch i

DP

Empath. Intuitive. Energy Healer. www.christinedipilla.com


What Movie Makes You Happy & Why? Emily Smith says, “I love sitting on a rainy afternoon and watching The Philadelphia Story with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. I keep it on my DVR just for those occasions. Between the quippy dialogue and the vintage clothing, I can’t think of a better way to waste away a drippy day.” Kim Rabago shares, “I love watching Under the Tuscan Sun. It doesn’t matter if I catch the beginning, middle or end...I stop what I am doing and watch the rest of it. I love the story, but especially love the scenery of Italy!” “I will drop everything to watch Moonstruck. Even though I have probably seen it at least 40 times, I can’t get enough of being part of each character’s inner monologue, the feel of Brooklyn and the dynamics of this Italian family. The performances are brilliant. I could watch Olympia Dukakis say “Who died?” over and over. Every little nuance is so perfectly captured. I know these characters beyond the movie itself,” says Kim Arnold. “When I have an afternoon of cooking or cleaning, I put on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. It’s zany, bawdy, slapstick, and there are even a few songs. I know the dialogue by heart, so I can tune in and out as my task requires, but I’ll stop for a few gigles along the way,” shares Tracy McGinty. Robin Coppinger tells us, “I enjoy watching, You’ve Got Mail with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. I love how their relationship develops throughout the film. I have seen it many times, but whenever I see that it’s on TV, I just have to watch it!”


Keeping It Diplomatic When Child custody issues are some of the most diffi cult to deal with no matter the marital status of the parents. When custody is part of a divorce or just the amicable split of an unmarried couple, most parties hope the child custody arrangements can be agreed upon quickly and amicably. Unfortunately, child custody can become contentious. In the event that custody has to be decided by a judge or arbitrator, you can help your own position by following these tips.

3. Document, document, document everything. Keep a diary or calendar of any communications, events, incidents, or even confrontations with the other parent, particularly if they involve the children or their schedule. In a contentious custody dispute, it’s difficult to know ahead of time what information might be relevant to a domestic relations office or a family court judge.

1. Don’t badmouth your ex out of anger. Verbally airing your grievances with the other parent may be emotionally satisfying in the moment, but ultimately, it has the potential to be very damaging if it’s not for the safety of the children. Unpleasant sentiments about your ex are particularly damaging when they’re said within earshot of your children – that’s still their father or mother who you’re talking about, and they may remember the worst of your outbursts for a very long time. In addition, these feelings have an uncanny knack for nding their way back to their subject. Particularly extreme ideas, even if they were said in the heat of anger or pain and not intended to be taken seriously, can be taken out of context, with potentially dire consequences for child custody. 2. Ditch social media. Or, at the very least, start thinking very carefully about what information you share on social media and who can see it. Even if you’re no longer “friends” with the other parent on Facebook, Snapchat, or other platforms, others who know them might be willing to share your social media activity with them. Even if the information that reaches them seems harmless, it’s easier than many realize to take social media posts out of context and use them to put their author in a bad light – in front of friends, family, and oftentimes family court judges.

4. Encourage your child(ren) to have a relationship with the other parent. One of the most unfortunate choices that one or both parents can make is to attempt to place the children in the impossible role of arbitrating the custody dispute. is happens when one or both parents asks the children effectively to choose sides in the split by pressuring them to express a preference for one parent or a dislike for the other. ere are reams of psychological information on how damaging this is to a child’s sense of familial belonging, but it also has the effect of making the custody dispute an order of magnitude more adversarial. Please encourage your children, through words and actions, to have a relationship with both parents. Clearly, there are exceptions to this guidance, particularly in cases where the other parent may have committed abuse. In these situations, consult with your attorney about the options which may include supervised visitation. 5. Develop a custody schedule. Be speci c. e custody schedule should spell out the days, times and locations of when and where the children will transfer from the custody of one parent to the other. At a minimum, in addition to the routine custody transfers, there should be language that covers major holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and the coordination of vacation travel with the custody schedule.


Is At Risk 6. Speci c doesn’t mean rigid.

your children develop a sense of identity around the home they share with you.

Well done – you’ve worked out a custody schedule with your ex. Now that you have, though, be exible. e schedule should be a guideline, not a hard and fast rule. Life is often chaotic and unpredictable. Work schedules change on short notice. Cars break down. Illness strikes. When your ex asks you to make an adjustment to the schedule, look for reasons to accommodate rather than to obstruct. When something unexpected happens to you, you might need them to be exible. Laying the foundations for practical cooperation in the early stages of your child custody arrangements will help the entire family’s relationships over the long run.

e division of your marital home can affect your children profoundly, even if they appear to be “doing ne.” Seek information and support to assist your children in coping with separation and divorce. Many children, however, will not be completely comfortable discussing all their feelings with either of their newly separated parents. Try to ensure that they have another trusted adult who they can talk to. is may be a grandparent, a family friend, a teacher, a coach, or a paid counselor.

7. Support family traditions (even if they’re not your own).

10. Families can survive the end of their parents’ relationship.

As mentioned, trying to enlist your children’s support in your side of a custody dispute is a no-no (see #4). at said, ensuring that they’re comfortable and happy in your home will help your case in the view of any third parties examining the child custody question. One of the best ways to do this is by ensuring the continuity of any family-speci c routines to which the children have become accustomed. If the other parent read them a story or sang them a song at bedtime, it’s time for you to pick up the routine. e same goes for any practices or traditions associated with birthdays, holidays, religious observances, etc.

Even when there are disputes over the speci cs of child custody, it’s the fortunate truth that most parents have a genuine, heartfelt interest in the well-being of their children. Used as a basis for common ground, rather than rivalry, a sound and sustainable child custody agreement can help a divided family maintain a modi ed form of unity that will provide the children with a sense of security and stability until adulthood and beyond.

9. Give your child an outlet outside of home.

8. Welcome new traditions.

When parents split, they don’t need to drag their children through the mud along with them. If you are part of a custody dispute, remember to put your children rst by setting the best parental example possible. And know this, family courts are very intolerant of sel sh antics.

Even as you’re working to preserve the routines and traditions to which your children have become accustomed, it’s important to create a new and diff erent family unit from what came before. It is possible – and encouraged – to celebrate that unity without disparaging the past. Create new traditions and routines that help

Melissa Boyd, a partner at full-service law rm High Swartz, concentrates her practice on family law. She advocates in various areas including, but not limited to, divorce, pre-nuptial and post-divorce agreements, child custody and support, equitable distribution, alimony, adoptions, protection from abuse and juvenile law. She has dedicated much of her professional career to preserving the rights of children and their families.


U Magazine - Winter 2017 Issue  

The Winter issue of Sisters U's U MAGAZINE is here, featuring Penn Community Bank CEO, Jeane M. Coyle. Take a moment just for you and get in...

U Magazine - Winter 2017 Issue  

The Winter issue of Sisters U's U MAGAZINE is here, featuring Penn Community Bank CEO, Jeane M. Coyle. Take a moment just for you and get in...

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