Posts Tagged ‘helping’

The Words of the Buddha in Action

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Click here to read my English usage blogs.

The Buddha said, “If you knew what I know about the power of generosity, you would not let a single meal go by without sharing it.”

Last October, I made a promise to the people in New Orleans that I would keep their needs in the forefront. Then Kim Nance, Assistant Principal of James Weldon Johnson Elementary School, called me when she read that I was offering free copies of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation to New Orleans public schools. I asked her what else she needed to help her 400 schoolchildren, their families, and her teachers. She asked tentatively, “Do you really want to know?”

As sad as it was for me to hear her incredulity, my resolve to bring attention to these kids’ plight strengthened as Kim spoke. She told me about her preschoolers who, after having “accidents,” had to sit the rest of the day, embarrassed and smelly, in their soiled clothing. Gratefully, a social worker took money out of her own salary to buy extra clothing for these young children.

Then Kim’s tone changed as she proudly shared that her school’s girls just won their first basketball tournament but had nowhere to display their trophy. When I asked, “What else?” she described having to shout through a bullhorn at assemblies because the school has no microphone or amplifier. And the cafeteria, where assemblies are held (There is no auditorium.), doesn’t have tables or chairs, forcing families who come to watch their children perform in a play, poetry reading, or musical event to stand.

Kim, who lost her own home in Katrina, aches for these children, many of whom are living in overcrowded conditions (15 to an apartment with one bathroom!) or homeless under freeways, often with distant relatives or even strangers. Like war victims, these young children are suffering from post-traumatic stress. Kim says that what will heal them is what heals any of us: to know that they matter and that people care about them enough to help.

Kim has this to tell us:
Reaching out to us softens the jarring, daily experiences that our students and teachers suffer just to work and learn. By donating, you are giving our students the belief that they are valued. Your efforts help me to exhale a little and your contributions are allowing us to do what all teachers and administrators desire to do—teach our students. Thank you!

So if you feel compelled to help donate for needed supplies to Kim’s school, call Robin Fox at, 1-866-619-5320. Just tell her how much you want to put on your credit card for supplies for James Weldon Johnson Elementary School. She will keep a list of donors that will go both to me and to the school. In a few weeks, I will publish what I trust will be a long list of donors’ names in this newsletter.

Supplies Requested Supplies Donated Still Needed
500 folding chairs ($11.95 each) 200 chairs 300 chairs
1 trophy case 1 trophy case
7 lg. rectangular tables ($85 each) 7 tables
Chair dollies ($287 ea.) 1 dolly (holds 84 chairs) 6 dollies
PA system PA system

I wrote this poem today as an ode to the children of New Orleans.

Note to Self

Words matter
With their power to soothe or batter
But so do actions
Not done in small fractions
I pray for the courage not to ration
My compassion

What do I want at the end of my story
Except to know I’ve lived out my glory?
Able to look in the mirror and tip my hat
Not having wasted time on tit for tat

The hokey pokey says it true
For me and maybe for you
You put your left foot out, not just your toe
‘Cause that’s what it’s all about
Don’t you know


“Coffee Talk”: A Fundraising Event for James Weldon Johnson Elementary School

Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 10:00 AM, Northpoint Cafe, 1250 Bridgeway, Sausalito
Remember Lucy in Charlie Brown? She put up a sign offering “Advice: 5 Cents”
Well, the price for that sage advice has just been lowered by a nickel!
Sip your latte and have an Aha! FREE (Donations for Johnson Elementary School gratefully accepted) with popular Life Coaches and Bestselling Authors Jane Straus (Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life) and Diane Conway (What Would You Do If You Had No Fear? Living Your Dreams While Quakin’ in Your Boots).
Talk with Jane or Diane about whatever concern/issue/decision is foremost in your mind. Be ready to get a new perspective, be inspired, share a laugh, find your courage, or let go of an old, painful thought—before your coffee gets cold! Take this opportunity to declare what you would do if you had no fear. Then be ready for results!

Create Your Abundant Life NOW!
at Club Med in Cancun!
June 21-28, 2008

Enjoy the beautiful beach, delicious food, and luxurious setting while experiencing enriching programs by renowned self-help leaders, including a NEW program that I am offering:

Create Your Abundant Life NOW!

How do you know if you have limiting beliefs around abundance?
Just ask yourself:
Do I believe that abundance is that which already exists?

If you can’t answer that question with a resounding YES!, then don’t waste any more of your life suffering in lack.

Here’s another test of your abundance quotient:

Do you feel that you don’t have enough:

* Time
* Money
* Energy
* Love
* Intimacy
* Fun
* Self-esteem
* Inspiration, or
* Direction

There is a Buddhist saying that no enemy can harm us as much as our own worst thoughts. Three kinds of negative thoughts stop us from manifesting abundance:

* Fear
* Self-judgments
* Limiting beliefs

Any one of them can sabotage us, keep us stuck in a rut, stress us out, cause us confusion, or make us want to give up.

You will experience cutting-edge strategies and intriguing processes so that you will begin immediately to manifest your spirit’s deepest desires.

Price: Get your Friend of Jane discount $1999 (regular price $2600)/$1000 for children under 18, which includes lodging, meals, airport transportation, and all programs. Check out this beautiful, newly renovated Club Med for yourself.
Luminaries Joining Jane as Presenters:

Cameron Johnson: You Call the Shots

Maybe you’ve watched Cameron on the Big Give with Oprah – now meet him in person. Cameron is recognized as one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the world. Over the last eight years, Cameron has given hundreds of speeches worldwide. Cameron is also the author of the international bestselling book, “You Call the Shots.” Cameron will inspire you with his story and motivate you to the next level of success.

Teresa Rodriguez Williamson: Build Your Personal Mission Statement

Teresa is the creator and founder of—a worldwide online social network and travel magazine for women. She is also the author of “FLY SOLO: The 50 Best Places on Earth for a Girl to Travel Alone.” She has appeared on hundreds of TV shows, magazines, and newspaper articles around the world. Teresa will teach you how to create and build a mission statement that can guide you to success.

Chet Holmes: How to Double Your Sales

Super Strategist of the Fortune 500, Chet Holmes had more than 60 of the Fortune 500 as clients, taking his place as America’s top marketing executive, trainer, strategic consultant, and motivation expert. He is the author of the NO.1 bestselling book, “The Ultimate Sales Machine.” Chet will teach you how to double your sales – no matter what your business is.

Stephen Pierce: The Art of More

For many, Stephen Pierce’s name is synonymous with success. Recognized as one of the world’s leading Internet marketers and Business Optimization Strategists, Pierce wears several hats when it comes to his businesses. He will teach you how to expand your business in a competitive world.

Spike Humer: Consciously Creating Your Future

Dedicated to the passionate pursuit of creating joy, excellence, and positive abundance in life, health, relationships, and business throughout the world. He will help you create a clear and compelling vision for your life.

Joe Polish: From “Real World” to “Real Money”

Joe Polish is the founder and President of Piranha Marketing, Inc. Considered to be one of the most effective direct-response marketing experts in the world, Joe made his name teaching other entrepreneurs the marketing techniques and business strategies that came directly from his own “real world” work experiences. Joe Polish is a business strategy consultant and marketing expert who has helped thousands of entrepreneurs become successful. And during your week at Club Med, he will teach you his secrets to success.

Greta Remington: Innovative Thinking for Growth

What is the next “big idea” for your company? How do you know which ideas to pursue? Based on the greatest creative minds in history and the most innovative companies of today, Greta’s proven methodology for identifying market opportunities has generated millions in incremental revenue for her clients from the Fortune 500 to start-ups. Greta will teach you her step by step methodology for improving your innovative thinking and creating actionable ideas to grow your business.

Contact Teresa Williamson at for more information and to register. Put in your Subject Line: Club Med w/Jane Or call Teresa @ 650-759-1005 or Raha @ 925-915-1515

Dear Jane Podcasts

I’ve got 32 podcasts available for listening so enjoy!

Jane’s Coaching and Training

For over 20 years, Jane Straus has coached individuals and groups, facilitated organizational retreats, conducted training programs, and presented keynotes for corporations and nonprofits nationwide.

To get exceptional results from coaching and training, you need someone who knows how to assess blind spots as well as enhance strengths. Jane’s coaching helps individuals and groups maximize their potential and improve their productivity and work relationships. Jane works to ensure that each client receives the wisdom, skills, and support he/she needs to succeed and often co-facilitates with industry-specific leaders who have chosen to mentor the next generation.

Contact Jane directly at to discuss your coaching or training needs or visit for more information and testimonials.

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 10th Edition Now Available

Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Three Categories!
#1 in Reading
#1 in Lesson Planning
#1 in Vocabulary

An indispensable tool for busy professionals, teachers, students, home-school families, editors, writers, & proofreaders. If you buy the book through Amazon, please write a customer review. Reviews are immensely helpful at letting other consumers know that The Blue Book is a valuable resource.

What’s New:

* 60 additional pages at the same low price
* More quizzes
* Spelling / Vocabulary / Confusing Words

View entire contents online

* Spelling / Vocabulary / Confusing Words
* Grammar Rules
* Punctuation & Capitalization
* Rules for Writing Numbers
* More than Two Dozen FREE Quizzes in interactive format with answers

Discounts available for schools, bookstores, and multiple copies.

Empowering vs. Enabling

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Click here to read my English usage blogs.

Dear Jane,
What is the difference between empowering and enabling someone?

I’ve struggled with this in my own life. I want to be compassionate, but how can I know whether I am helping or when I am supporting someone in believing they’re helpless? How do I combine a belief that we are 100% responsible for our thoughts and behaviors at the same time that I increase my awareness of our interdependence?

A few years ago a family came to live with us. They had been evicted from their apartment and because our eight-year-old daughters were friends, when the knock on the door came, we opened up, not just our door, but our hearts. They stayed with us for three months rent free…until at 6:30 one morning, the police banged on our door, arresting the mom for parole violation and theft. Two weeks later a credit card bill arrived totaling $3000+ on a card we had never used and that we thought was still in our desk drawer.

Some details I left out of that story: I knew something was amiss when I was shown the mom’s “ankle bracelet,” her house arrest monitor. On the first day of their stay, she admitted that she had embezzled $32,000 from her employer. She and her husband also admitted that they had defrauded their roommate, making her think that they had used her rent to pay the landlord when they had actually kept it.

So what did I do with this information? I counseled them; I fed them; I drove their daughter to school and events; I cooked for them. Clearly, I was enabling, not empowering, them. Why couldn’t I see that?

I have a habit of assuming the best in people. In other words, I’m gullible. But sometimes seeing something in someone that they don’t see in themselves can bring out the best in them. Hasn’t someone seeing something in you ever made you believe in yourself more?
I also cared very much about their little girl and couldn’t imagine throwing her out into the streets for the sins of her parents.

So, yes, I was an enabler. Yes, I was foolish and disillusioned for a while. I admit fully that I not only didn’t empower her parents; in fact, I made it possible for them to commit further crimes. I could have done more by insisting on their helping more around the house or getting a job or getting drug counseling. But I’m pretty sure that insisting would have made them feel too exposed, and they would have left looking for their next suckers. If I didn’t care about their little girl, this would have been just fine.

Empowering vs. enabling is often distinguished by how people receive our help. When people want to be empowered, not enabled, they don’t ask for pity; they ask for clarity. They don’t give excuses; they overcome obstacles. They show a willingness to change their thoughts and strategies. They take responsibility for their actions. They don’t try to get away with things; they want to get out of their ruts in order to thrive.

Because life is complicated, I still don’t always know ahead of time how my help will be received or if I’m being foolish, throwing away money or energy. I can always hope that good intentions will sow their seeds, even if I can’t know where they’ve been planted or when they will germinate. Maybe, just maybe, this little girl, basking in some unconditional love and living in a safe and secure environment for even a short time will help her not re-create her parents’ life. That little girl is now 15. She still calls us. That feels great. I’ll live with being a fool.

Join Jane at Club Med in Cancun
June 21-28, 2008.
I will be teaching a new, exciting program on Creating Abundance everywhere in your life.
More about this in next week’s e-newsletter.

Handle Stress to Boost Immunity presented by Jane at the KCBS Health Fair in San Francisco with Keynote Speaker Dr. Mehmet Oz
I was honored to be invited as a panelist, along with Melina Jampolis, M.D., host of Fit TV’s Diet Doctor and author of The No Time to Lose Diet; and Dr. Jacob Leone, Naturopathic & Integrative Medicine Practitioner, to discuss Boosting Immunity: Nutrition, Supplements, and Stress. I promise to have the contents of my presentation available for you on my Web site shortly.

About Jane Straus
Jane is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.

She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation,, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes. Contact Jane at

Being the Light, not Shining the Light

Monday, September 10th, 2007
icon for podpress  .: Play Now | Play in Popup | Downloads 209

Dear Jane,
I’ve done a lot of healing work and want to help others, but I sometimes get discouraged. I think, “What can I, as one person, do to make the world better? I’m not Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa or some brave whistle blower.” I guess I’m overwhelmed. How can I get over this hurdle?

We are not beings apart. We are not made to ignore suffering in the world. As we tend to our own wounds with compassion, we are naturally drawn to reaching out to help others. So what stops us from giving more of ourselves?

Our guardian self, which I talk about in my book, Enough Is Enough!, keeps us playing small by convincing us we are powerless and comparing us unfavorably to our heroes. Why? Because the job of the guardian self is to help us avoid disappointment and pain. And it’s true that when we open our hearts and reach out, we will experience others’ pain.

But what happens if we don’t reach out? The only alternative is to shut down, imprison our spirit, and spend the rest of our days making excuses for our fears.

The last words of the Buddha were, “Be a lamp unto yourself; make of yourself a light.” Not “carry a lantern”; be the light. Your spirit has boundless energy and bottomless compassion. It longs to express your values and aspirations. It longs to give. As your numbness dissolves, your spirit’s voice is rising above your guardian self’s chatter asking, “How can I help?”

In his inaugural speech, Nelson Mandela calls for us to see ourselves as the powerful beings we already are:

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some of us,
it is in everyone,
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people
Permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

One final thought: You cannot notice in someone else what does not exist within you. If you experience admiration for Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa, it is not because they are different, but because your spirit resonates with theirs.

Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation,, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
Contact Jane at