Tara's Thoughts

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Author & life coach Diana Weynand gets the touchdown
using football strategies to help you reach your goals.

I am likely the only person in the known universe who grew up in the United States and never saw a football game. No one ever explained to me that there is something to be learned about living a successful life built into the game of football.  In her book, Lipstick Football, Ms. Weynand has filled that gap.

 As a former player and manager in the Los Angeles Lasers professional women’s football team Ms. Weynand understands the game from the inside out. As a successful business woman who has reached for and achieved a list of impressive goals she knows how to make intentions into realities.

While she is teaching you the inner workings of the game of football Ms. Weynand is also offering you insights and strategies to get you closer to your life goals. Her descriptions of the physical world of football, the players on and off the field, how the game is played, and even some football history, are filled with action, clarity, color and energy.  

Lipstick Football opened a world to me that offers, not just a fun and instructive view of a previously unfamiliar sport, but a set of easily accessible tools to use in your personal quest for achievement.

Wynand’s method has proved so valuable that Antioch University has asked her to teach an online course this Fall based on her Lipstick Football Principles.

To get you started Ms. Weynand will be offering a FREE WEBINAR to introduce the course:

“Learn to Win & Achieve Your Dreams,

Using the Lipstick Football Method.”

** FREE WEBINAR:  Monday, October 24th, 4-5pm PT. **

Now is the time to jump in and find out what it takes to go from idea to reality guided by an award-winning entrepreneur, author, teacher, speaker and life coach whose book, Lipstick Football, is emerging as the tool of choice for her ever-growing audience.

Do you have a dream you’d like to pursue?

Take the leap!

REGISTER HERE

Every year The Climate Reality Project hosts 24 Hours of Reality, a day to focus the world’s attention on the climate crisis and the solutions within our grasp. This year will be our twelfth annual 24 Hours of Reality.

Each year we dig deep on a subject critical to the climate movement at the time and travel around the globe, sharing stories and inspiration. This year, as deadlines for action loom and extreme weather and other effects of the climate crisis hit home everywhere in the world, we focus on the powerful progress made by community activists where they live.

Join us and learn how you can make a difference on climate change.

People everywhere are taking the planet’s future into their own hands, working to leave fossil fuels behind and build a more just and sustainable tomorrow for us all.

On October 7, we’re telling that story, with 24 Hours of Reality: Spotlight on Solutions and Hope.

For one day, we’ll be traveling around the world hearing stories from activists about how they created real climate solutions in their communities and step-by-step to help you get involved and make change where you live. We’ll also be hosting Global Dialogues with former US Vice President Al Gore and other changemakers on the topics of:


Join us on October 7 to get inspired, learn more about what you can do, and take action to build the future we all want.


The San Fernando Valley Chapter of the Climate Reality Project has been advocating for nature-based solutions in the Sepulveda Basin, to support The River Project’s Sepulveda Basin Restoration Feasibility Study. That advocacy gained attention within Climate Reality Project at a national level and we have been invited to share our work on the  “Natural Solutions” panel.

Tune in – October 7th, 7am PT – as Diana Weynand, SFV Chapter Chair, joins three other Climate Reality Leaders from around the world to discuss our chapter’s advocacy for natural solutions in the Sepulveda Basin.

Former Vice President Al Gore will moderate the panel.

This post from Literary Hub should be of interest to any author, for that matter any artist of any kind, who wants to fight back against the current attempts to ban books in the US. The Author’s Guild has created a toolkit to simplify the process of speaking out against this attempt to quash self-expression and rewrite history.

We have to be on the alert because, if the attempt is successful, they won’t stop with books.

Read the post here: Want to stop Book Bans?

The San Fernando Valley chapter of the Climate Reality Project is very pleased to host, as our June 2021 Featured Speaker, Dr. Peter Kalmus.

Dr. Peter Kalmus is a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. He uses satellite data and models to study the rapidly changing Earth, focusing on biodiversity forecasting, clouds, and severe weather. He has also spent many years becoming an advocate for a fossil-fuel free society.

Dr. Kalmus’s award-winning book “Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution” offers real-life solutions to help you move away from a consumerist lifestyle. 
 

“Changing our lives shifts the culture and creates space for collective action.
Together, let’s explore a more meaningful life–without all the fossil fuel!” — Peter Kalmus

In his book Dr. Kalmus outlines a series of doable steps that anyone can adopt to bring us all closer to a sustainable society.  Join us on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, 7PM PDT,  for a free Zoom gathering where you can ask Dr. Kalmus your questions about sustainable living.

“I know I can change the world, indeed, I am changing the world. What I can’t do is save it. That I have limits is a fact, and I accept it.  I don’t expect my changes to have a big impact. … If what I do has impact, I know this impact arises only from an existing resonance, a resonance that grows through interacting with many other people in turn. We are like water molecules in a wave: we simultaneously transmit the wave and are moved by it. No one molecule causes the wave, but together an enormous number of water molecules carry the wave. It’s all of us together, carried by a resonance, that will affect great change.”  -Peter Kalmus

The scientific community tells us we have already passed the Climate Change tipping point.  It is critical for each of us to travel our own path to that place where, together, we can carry our dream of a healthy society into the wave of the future.

SFV Climate Reality Project Chapter Meeting

Tuesday, June 8, 2021; 7:00 pm PDT

CLICK HERE to REGISTER

words-matter

 

I have long been a fan of the short story form.  In fact, the short story form is far harder than longer forms of writing. Making your intention clear in a limited amount of words is not an easy task. There is a long line of authors whose work I enjoy but top of the list in this regard has always been Harlan Ellison.  There are many reasons I am a life-long, die-hard Ellison fan, but chiefly, my admiration is for his ability to select just exactly the right word for every moment in his stories with never a word wasted.

 Here’s a favorite example: 

 “A foot was planted between my shoulder blades and the fist let go of my shirt, and I was booted forward onto my suitcase, which slid a few feet, carrying me as on a raft.

I fell off, rolled over and tried to sit up. Conquest, Slaughter, Famine and Death were staring down at me.”

Quoted from All the Lies That Are My Life by Harlan Ellison

 There is no need to give the reader any more detailed description of the four guys who are about to beat up our protagonist. The phrase “Conquest, Slaughter, Famine and Death” tells you everything you need to know.

 Another master at choosing just the right words is Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, who sums up this thought beautifully:

 “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs is making a chore for the reader who reads.”

 

And another famous author offers clarity on the subject. When asked his opinion on cursing Mark Twain had this to say:

“The English language is a poor enough means of communication as it is. I figure we ought to use all the words we got.”

 Notice here that he did not advise using MORE words than needed at one time but choosing the RIGHT words for what you are trying to convey at that moment.

 

 Words matter.  They can offer great kindness but also great sorrow. They can build relationships or tear down entire communities. Words have weight and meaning and sometimes great consequences. 

When you are attempting to evaluate someone’s character listen very closely to the word they choose to use.  Their choices are not casual. They are a result of a lifetime of attitudes and perceptions and are evidence of the state of their inner psychology. 

 The speaker is telling you something about who he is and how he chooses to participate in this thing called Life.  

 Words matter.  Listen closely.

So I am one of the few oddballs who actually watches C-SPAN.  I find it to be a window into a very distant world. But a world whose actions and decisions affect us in ways we only begin to comprehend.  And sometimes those decisions have consequences that we, down here on the ground, only feel after it is too late to do anything about it.Image

In yesterday’s House Sub-committee Hearing on Copyright Regulations and Intellectual Property Law I had a moment of clarity that revealed why, when it comes to legislation about the arts, those mountain-top decision makers so often get it wrong.

The House panel was asking questions of a number of “experts” including Professor Glynn Lunney of Tulane University Law School. The question of the moment had to do with copyright restrictions applied to the music industry that used to exist but that had been recently eliminated.  The Professor was asked if the elimination of the copyright laws had any effect on “content producers” (meaning song writers, composers, music producers, etc.).

The professor cited a study that charted the amount of content produced before and after the elimination of those restrictions.  The study showed that the amount of content produced by the industry before and after the lifting of those artist protections had not changed. So the conclusion the professor and his ilk have come to is that those protections must not have been necessary!!

 WOW!! Talk about a major misunderstanding of your intended subject!!

 The inference here is that the additional protections the laws had been providing would motivate artists to produce more because income from your work is more likely. And conversely, without those protections artists will produce less music.

 This is stunningly wrong.

These conclusions are based on a business model that, I suppose, works for shoes or driveway pavers or plumbing pipe.  But artists produce because we HAVE TO!  Not just because we are getting paid to do it.  Don’t get me wrong, here. Getting paid for what you create is important.  I have always felt the creator of the art should be fairly compensated for each creation. But it is also true that we do not choose to become artists. We are called to it by something greater than ourselves.  And it is a demanding calling.

Whether you are a musician, a writer, a painter, a poet, a sculptor, a clothing designer, a novelist, a choreographer or any other type of creative spirit there is something within you that demands to be expressed.  Those who ignore that demand will pay the price, one way or the other, in personal anguish.

Artists will create whether or not we are fairly treated by society. And that is the crux of the misunderstanding of the politicians and industry experts who are creating the laws that either protect us or leave us to be taken advantage of.

As long as the politicians treat art the same way they treat widgets we will never have a system that truly understands why we create art or that values what artists contribute to society.

 If any of you out there are brave enough to contact Professor Lunney, please explain this to him.

Tara Sitser, Proud Singer/Songwriter 

Los Angeles, CA

January 19, 2014

The Sitser Siblings at 6, 9 & 10 years old

    “We don’t see the world the way it is. We see it the way we are.

Talmud

As small children we decide what is real based on what we learn from our parents, teachers and from the circumstances in which we find ourselves.  Those lessons transform in our minds to become what we perceive to be facts. Those “facts” become a map in our consciousness that guides us through future decisions.

The problems begin when circumstances change and the map in our head remains the same.  We begin to act on our assumptions about reality rather than on what actually exists.

When results don’t match our expectations it’s time to re-evaluate the map.

If you find yourself bumping into walls stop and take a fresh look around.  You may find the route you’ve been traveling is no longer there.  You might also find new doors in what use to be solid walls.

Don’t go through life with an outdated map.  You’ll miss a lot of great scenery.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”

Actually – not true.  This one phrase has been said so many times by so many people for so long that most people accept it without thinking.

Here’s the thing:  YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO AN OPINION ON A SUBJECT ABOUT WHICH YOU KNOW NOTHING !!

If a patient is about to have brain surgery you are NOT entitled to an opinion on which technique ought to be used unless you are a brain surgeon.  If your pet dog is chewing up the furniture you are not entitled to an opinion on why he is behaving this way unless you are well versed in canine behavior.  If the political pundits are arguing the merits of a proposed amendment to the Constitution you are not entitle to an opinion, pro or con, unless you study the facts, learn the history behind the amendment, research the possible consequences of it and understand the legislative process used.

I could come up with six more examples but you get the point.  Here is the corrected version of this all-too-familiar but incomplete phrase:

 Everyone is entitled to his own INFORMED opinion.

So the moral of the story is:  Don’t feel compelled to throw out an opinion just because everybody else is spouting theirs.  It is perfectly valid to say “I am not currently qualified to have an opinion on that subject. Let me do some research and I’ll get back to you.”

(With thanks to Harlan Ellison for the inspiration.)

This is an except from Tara’s upcoming book with co-author John Glass, “Speaking Truth: Words That Matter” which will be published later this year.

One of the most valuable sentences I have ever come across is this:

“Let me see what I can learn.”

When you feel resistance to doing something that you know you must do, say to yourself, “Let me see what I can learn.” If you are feeling bored and think there is nothing going on, look around and try this perspective on for size: “Let me see what I can learn”.  If you find yourself procrastinating because you are afraid to face a task, tell yourself, “Let me see what I can learn.” Maybe there is a reportImage: Fork in the road you need to read that you have been avoiding. Or you find yourself in a conversation with someone you don’t know well. Maybe you have to tackle doing something unfamiliar and are afraid you won’t do it well so you’d rather not try. Tell yourself, “Let me see what I can learn.”

This technique works especially well when other people are involved in the scenario. At a party or gathering of any kind if you find yourself seated next to someone you might not have chosen to speak with or who maybe doesn’t , at first glance, look like someone you wouldn’t find interesting, tell yourself this: “Let me see what I can learn.” (Everybody has a story. Try it. You’ll be surprised at the riches you’ll unearth!)

If someone asks you for information you don’t have just say, “Let me see what I can learn. I’ll get back to you.” Boy, oh boy! Do I wish all customer service personnel were taught to do just that!

This one sentence can help you push past your reluctance and fear. It opens up otherwise unseen avenues for exploration that will motivate you to plunge right in. Now you have a task in mind for yourself that will lead you forward in any situation. “Let me see what I can learn.”

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.”  — Martin Vanbee

 This little story came to mind today as I found myself, for the second time in two days, the lucky beneficiary of someone else’s experience. 

A small village had a system of plumbing pipes that had, for many decades, been maintained by one man.  Yacov had spent his years in the central control room learning the intricacies of the pipes and keeping the system running smoothly.

As is often the case, new technologies come along that interfere with the old ways.

One day the village elders came to Yacov’s house to inform him that they had decided to install a new, computerized system to run the town’s pipes. His services were no longer needed. Yacov smiled at them, accepted their decree and went back into his home to brew a pot of tea and enjoy the view of his garden.

Several days after the new system had been brought online the plumbing in the town failed.  None of the technicians could figure out what was wrong. Nobody knew what to do.  After a few days of listening to the townspeople’s complaints, the elders gathered at Yacov’s front door and begged him to please come fix the pipes.

With a small smile on his face and a glint of something in his eye, Yacov agreed.

Back in the control room the elders stood in silence watching Yacov as he stood very still for many minutes. He looked. He listened. Then he took a wrench in his hand walked over to a junction and tapped twice on the overhead pipe.  Lo and behold! the system began to run again.

Later that day the village elders received a bill from Yacov charging them $2000.12 for his services.  Outraged, they once again assembled at Yacov’s front door, this time shouting at him and asking how dare he charge them this enormous amount when all he did was to tap a couple of times on a pipe!

Yacov’s smile was wider than the village square as he said to them, “The 12 cents is for the tapping. The $2000.00 is for knowing where to tap!”


Tara Sitser - Leadership Member of Al Gore's Climate Reality Project

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