Author Archives: Jennifer Chandler

Car Pool Karaoke with Paul McCartney – Thanks James

Car Pool Karaoke with Paul McCartney – Thanks James

ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!

WHEN JAMES CORDEN STARTED CAR POLL KARAOKE WHO COULD HAVE KNOWN IT WOULD LEAD TO A RIDE WITH PAUL McCARTNEY .

THIS INTERVIEW WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST INTERVIEWS I HAVE SEEN WITH McCARTNEY BECAUSE NOT ONLY WAS HE ABLE TO SHARE HIS INCREDIBLE STORIES – AND WALK LITERALLY DOWN PENNY LANE – BUT HE ALSO APPEARED TO HAVE A REALLY GOOD TIME WITH IT ALL. TO SEE JAMES EXPERIENCE HIS OWN EMOTIONAL MOMENTS WAS SO TOUCHING TOO.

I STILL CAN’T STOP SMILING. THE ICING ON THE CAKE CAME TOWARDS THE END AND WOW!… WISH I’D BEEN THERE.

I HOPE THEY BOTH KNOW HOW MUCH JOY THEY JUST SPREAD AROUND THE WORLD.

Have you experienced relationship or workplace violence?

Have you experienced relationship or workplace violence?

Have you experienced relationship or workplace violence, abuse or harassment?

I have to tell you about an amazing workshop series that I facilitate for Survivors of Violence. The personal transformations occurring through this workshop series is truly inspiring and I want to welcome you to join us!

The magnificent women who have attended consistently speak about how each workshop helped build compassion for themselves – especially given their circumstances – and increased self-esteem. Through self-reflection activities, and diverse conversation topics, participants have many “aha!” moments which positively shape what happens next both personally and professionally.

Many of our former participants refer other friends and family to the workshop series and I consistently hear,

“I wish I had learned this before – it’s life changing.”

Women of all ages, ethnicities and economic backgrounds attend our classes and this makes for very rich discussions in a highly supportive environment AND we have fun too!

You may be eligible to attend these special workshops and/or receive individual services.

If you live in the Richmond or Abbotsford, British Columbia areas, and want more information about upcoming Survivors of Violence workshops, contact me directly at 604.535.8761 or email jchandlerconsulting@shaw.ca        

YOU CAN ALSO CONTACT MY PARTNERS AT:

Back in Motion, Richmond, BC                                                                                778.732.0290

AGORA Employment Essentials, Abbotsford, BC                                                  604.859.6790

Would you like tools and strategies to help manage and overcome the effects of abuse?

Here’s what we cover:

  • Establishing Healthy Boundaries
  • Building Self-Esteem, Self-Awareness and Observation Skills
  • Managing Emotional Triggers, Anger, Anxiety and Depression
  • Recognizing, Understanding and Overcoming the Impacts of Abuse
  • Qualities of Healthy Relationships
  • Substance Abuse Relapse Prevention Strategies
  • Effective Problem Solving and Communication in the Workplace
  • Overcoming Barriers to Change and Reframing Negative Self-Talk
  • Post workshop: 1 individual touchback session with workshop facilitator
  • Eligible clients receive FREE counselling sessions with a qualified counsellor

Note: If you live outside the areas listed please feel free to contact me for referrals to an agency near you.

The Face of Suicide

The Face of Suicide

With the death of Kate Spade, a highly recognized fashion designer, the topics of suicide and mental illness come to the forefront of media yet again. For those that do not suffer from mental illness, committing suicide seems like an extreme act. But, for some people who have considered taking their own life it’s not extreme at all, it’s just an option.

In honest conversations with people who struggle with severe depression I have learned that suicide can be considered a relief – a way out of their discomfort. They see themselves as sparing self,  family and friends from all the problems that exist with their condition. Others say, they are trying desperately to suppress such thoughts and urges but find it difficult at times to control the voices in their head. Embarrassed by it all, they try to keep the talking about it to a minimum.

It’s tough to know what will act as the catalyst for ending life, the one thing or day that will make such a thought become an executed decision. Outside of those that make their suicide a public spectacle, it is quite likely a very lonely way to go. Somewhere – while drowning in the torture of one’ s mind – comes the drive to go through with it. It is so very sad.

I may be taking some liberty in assigning the word lonely to such an experience as we never will know what each person feels in the moments before death.  If notes were left, like allegedly in Ms. Spade’s case, there is some answered questions and feelings described to others but ultimately the last seconds are personal.

We have multiple therapies, medications and groups that endeavour to help sufferers of mental illness. Through such support they are heard, validated and given reasons to continue life. However, all our knowledge and compassion unfortunately can’t save everyone.

There is no face of suicide. It is found in the stories of all people, all ethnicities and age groups, regardless of economic status or gender.

I have witnessed people recover from suicide attempts who go on to lead their best life. I think it’s important not to judge what “a best or normal life” is but to support whatever that looks like for them.  We should continue to try to offer support, call suicide prevention hotlines for guidance, or contact professionals on behalf of someone in distress.

All is not lost,  hope can rise again and what seems insurmountable can be challenged. One more day might make a big difference.

Resource:

Suicide Prevention Canada

Thinking About Suicide?

Racist Ranter – Fire Her?

Racist Ranter – Fire Her?

After watching the video of a BC woman unleashing all sorts of racial insults at a group of men in a Lethbridge restaurant I understood fully why her employer was reported to have fired her. Whether their decision will stand remains to be seen, but I too would feel compelled to do something. If firing or a leave of absence (with an expectation of counselling to deal with her issues) is within my power then one or the other is going to happen.

I don’t care that she wasn’t at her place of work when she decided to be verbally abusive to these men. I also don’t care if she felt provoked or justified. It matters little to me that she may have been under the influence of alcohol or not. The fact is it’s unacceptable behaviour.

This woman needs help. She is consumed by fear which is the foundation for her racist rants, defensiveness and judgements. Her narrow view of people – who in her mind “aren’t Canadian” – is now played out for all the world to see.

When she rises up to declare, “I’m a Canadian woman who won’t be talked down to by you”, we are privy to another layer of her anger. In her mind all their women ( Syrian women) are mistreated, disrespected and without a voice and she’s not going allow them to do that to her. This may be her own experiences with being disempowered coming to light.

If there was any honor she thought she was defending it was not found in her rant. If at the core she doesn’t believe immigrants respect our country, traditions, values or even other people she has also not demonstrated RESPECT. She has become what she hates and looks outside of herself to find blame. All of this is not only self-destructive but has escalated to triggers experienced in public. She is fortunate that nobody responded with physical violence.

It is for all of these reasons that I go back to my point that until she receives assistance I would not want her at my place of work. We don’t live or work in a cultural bubble. We are both challenged and fortunate to live with diversity in this country.

I’m trying to see her through the lens of pain instead of a racist, verbally abusive person spewing profanity at other human beings. I’m also aware she was not the only one involved in this confrontation. So, to guide me towards that end I turned to a quote by Marshall B. Rosenberg,

When we listen for feelings and needs, we no longer see people as monsters.

In Memory of Dame Daphne Sheldrick

In Memory of Dame Daphne Sheldrick

A I write this I’m fighting back tears. Today, I learned that a woman I greatly admire has passed away – her name was Dame Daphne Sheldrick. She was the founder of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which has been rescuing and protecting wild Elephants and Rhinos since 1977. Her passion for wildlife conservation was nurtured alongside her husband David Sheldrick and after his death she remained committed to supporting wildlife in Kenya.

I wish I could find the perfect words to honor this woman but I’m afraid that will not be the case. I can’t capture the feelings fast enough in order to eloquently speak about her impact on my life.

My awareness about the plight of elephants came through an interview she did many years ago. After I finished watching her speak I was moved to find out more about DSWT and from that introduction I became committed to its success. Since that time I have continuously supported the charity and proudly sponsor two elephants.

A point of fact: When Dame Daphne Sheldrick began rescuing orphaned baby elephants it was difficult to keep them alive without their mother’s milk and loving guidance. It is through pure dedication that Dame Daphne Sheldrick managed to develop the right formula in which to feed baby elephants and developed a program in which a person would be assigned to each orphan. With this type of personal care and companionship these elephants thrived. Within Tsavo East National Park, and beyond, there are generations of healthy adult elephants who live because DSWT cared.

Now the tears stream down my face….

Dame Daphne Sheldrick had gentle hands caring for elephants and rhinos but a determined voice as their advocate. She knew that a world without these majestic, incredibly intelligent souls would not be right. She brushed up against their bodies and listened to the beating of their hearts. She looked into the eyes of an orphan and knew she couldn’t take away their tragic memories of loss but could lessen their grief with an introduction to a new family. Dame Sheldrick and her team knew all souls would not be saved but accepted this as their reality. She was incredibly brave to fight this battle and her final battle with breast cancer.

In 2009, one of my earliest blog posts was a two-part interview with Wendi Wendt – who’s picture you see on this post with a baby elephant – she was the Vice President of The US Friends of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. I was thrilled to speak with her. Wendi and I spoke about our first encounters with this project at more length than what’s written in my blog. I know I share with many people today a tremendous amount of sadness and a renewed sense of purpose to keep Dame Sheldrick’s vision alive. Please feel free to read US Friends of the David Seldrick Wildlife Trust Interview Part 1 and Interview Part 2.

I offer my condolences to her family, friends and dedicated colleagues.

Please help support their cause – For the Love of a Baby Elephant or Rhino. Donate

 

If Needles Could Talk

If Needles Could Talk

The needles lay scattered across the concrete, the only reminder that pain stood here. It came through the experiences of a human being and it lingers because up to this point Pain has nowhere else to go. A back alley, bathroom, locked bedroom or random space is all that is needed to accommodate self-medication and annihilation.

Dignity has long since disappeared and so to have the values that were once held close – no foundation exists. Uncomfortably aroused by traumatic memories it is difficult to escape and so today darkness takes over.

I was a compassionate Teacher, brilliant Lawyer, safe Truck Driver, respected Business Owner, top Sales Person. My role as a Husband, Father, Uncle, Brother, Son, Mother, Sister, Wife, Daughter, Aunt, wasn’t enough to keep me from falling.

When something triggers me I don’t know how to cope. I know you wish I could learn to manage myself better, and handle life like “other people do”, but my pain is too great. The grief, loss, trauma, voices, all the memories flood over me and I can’t keep my head above, I’m drowning. I haven’t shared all of this with you because….

I had good parents. I had screwed up parents. I grew up in Foster care. I’m University educated. I was on the honor roll but barely graduated. I hated school so I dropped out in grade 10. I live across from you. I work with you. We play on the same sports team. We’ve been at the same parties.  We vacationed together. We were introduced by a mutual friend.

It was one incident. I suffered from an undiagnosed mental health condition. I’ve survived multiple traumatic/abusive situations. I had an injury and was put on prescription drugs but then they stopped treatment. That sent me over the edge and though I’ve often considered entering rehab the needle exchange support is more accessible than a bed.

There are times when I float above to see me and that damn needle both lying on the ground. Its empty of what I thought would save me. My story is laced on its tip but discarded so easily.

I know you don’t want me in your neighbourhood but I’m here.

 

International Women’s Day Resources

International Women’s Day Resources

Leading up to International Women’s Day many people around the world look for ways to spark conversation or provide information about women’s role in society, our ongoing challenges and incredible contributions! In all of that we have a wonderful opportunity to explore what has transpired in herstory and dream big for the future. Inspiring young girls and boys to celebrate the accomplishments of women is so important to relationship building and from a career standpoint can open the door to more choices. Women of influence are everywhere and choosing a healthy life path may come through understanding other women’s experiences. So, let’s Talk Facts and appreciate our Role Models.

For all you Teachers and Facilitators out there here is a link to IWD’s 2018 TEACHING RESOURCES

Happy International Women’s Day!

Ironing out the Wrinkles

Ironing out the Wrinkles

I looked down at my hands,  Wow! That’s a lot of wrinkles, I thought. The hands are a dead giveaway that we are aging. We can plump lips, dye hair, nip here and tuck there. We can strap in and flatten out, shape eyebrows and pluck unwanted hairs. Clothes can make us appear younger or distract the viewers from challenging areas but hands, well they keep it real.

It was while I was ironing that I had this moment of self-reflection. I hate ironing. I let shirts and pants pile up in the to be ironed zone until I can no longer classify it as a new decorating style or art installation. If my stupid iron had the capacity to iron out body wrinkles then maybe I would show it more love.

My mother used to have a home in Palm Springs, California. Every year during the winter months I would fly down for a week or so just to bask in the sun and shop for new clothes. We would hit all our favourite stores and I would chat it up with the ladies who ran those businesses. These women were impeccably dressed and looked exactly the same way as they did the year before. Everlasting beauty was clearly something to strive for.

Palm Springs educated me about the quest to defy aging and remain youthful. There were women (and men) with faces so baby smooth and radiant I wondered if one more sanding might be the last. Their lips were perpetually in pre-kiss mode, which I’m sure could certainly be construed as an invitation and laugh lines… what are those? I could never figure out why in such heat there was a need to wear blouses or turtlenecks done up to their chin but to each her own.

It was my dear Mum who said one day, “You know hands are the one thing they can’t change, just look at the hands.”

It was a fair observation and comment. These were beautiful people who have the right to do what they like but all the exfoliation, surgery or injections in the world wasn’t going to iron out hand wrinkles. I best get used to that.