[Own Your Life] Grab a Shirtsleeve

Dear Difference Maker,

This is such a humbling classic …touching hearts everywhere.  Grab a hanky or shirtsleeve and ‘take 5’ to watch this!

Reaching out …
0000 mary-3

Grab a Shirtsleeve
Excerpt from Make A Difference Power of Acknowledgment UTrain Curriculum  

One of the unexpected surprises of the Teddy Stallard Story movie was the response we received from people working in the entrepreneurial, organizational and corporate environments.

While it was obviously perfect for teachers, parents and grandparents I had failed to realize that the most amazing value of this story is the emotion it stirs up in us all; it makes us want to be better people and treat each other, not just children, more affirmatively and compassionately.

And that’s the why the answer for us all lies in the transforming Power of Acknowledgment!

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
– Albert Einstein

Once, when I showed the Teddy Stallard movie to an audience of five hundred junior high and high school students, the groans, coos, ooos and ahhs were heart connecting.

When I asked for the students insights afterwards, they said that the movie:  1) made them realize that no one can ever really know what goes on in someone else’s house, and 2) in the words of many: “I realized that I really can make a difference.” I choked back my own tears. I had no idea how deeply and profoundly students of this age would experience this story.

stanganelli1_web.jpg.454x454_default“Mary, I just dropped my son at school after a very difficult morning … one of many. Patrick and I have one of those ‘clashing’ relationships where we are constantly bickering with one another. Your email arrived just in time and I watched the Teddy Stallard story. A box of tissues later I realize that ‘I Am’ the problem. I hear myself talking and that’s all I hear sometimes. Thanks for reminding me that if I want change, I need to create an environment of gratitude, laughter and encouragement. I know that, but today I needed the reminder and recharge. This time I won’t forget. Rather than respond to ‘my Teddy’s’ sarcastic tone, I’ll stop jumping in with an answer. We fight for independence. The mirror is a powerful tool and a very scary realization. Patrick is a wonderfully kind, sensitive, creative young man who has much to offer the people around him, including me. I just need to give him a chance to share that. I see more laughter in our household. That’s a good thing. Just need to keep it going. I learned something the other day …. the word ‘listen’ when you change the letters spells ‘silent’. Thank you.” – Terri Stanganelli

Also in …

Pelicula Cambia Vidas


This story is about so much more than a child being lost in the school system; it is truly about the Power of One Educator to change a life forever, through the power of compassion.

When I’ve shown the movie to adult audiences, it still amazes me at how quickly it softens so many tough exteriors people believe they must project.

It’s been reported to me by others using the movie that when it has been shown to men in corporations, most of whom were directors, managers and owners, time after time many of these men openly admitted that they had to stop the movie to collect themselves.

One Fortune 500 company owner told me personally that, while he had heard the story many times before, he still ended up using his shirt sleeve to wipe away the outpour of tears.

Conversely, when women in corporations watched the movie, the reports came in that they did not initially admit to being emotionally affected by it.  Only with a little additional prodding would they admit that they were deeply affected and that they did in fact (silently) cry!

I’ve had a “director” personality style woman come up to me and say, “I knew at the start of the story what you were going to try to make me cry, and I was determined not to, but when Teddy said, “You smell like my mom used to” you got me!  I cried buckets and it felt long overdue.

When I was traveling around the country speaking in the late 90’s, one of the things I was asked most often at Women’s Conferences was, “How do I not get emotional—or cry—at work?”  Men, on the other hand, are now learning how to access – to healthier degrees – their emotional selves, and this is generating vast improvement in how we treat each other.

Men and women alike are all products of our childhoods and our environments. There are a lot of lost and lonely people moderately functioning in our places of work and community. To generate a home and work environment that brings out the very best in people, you simply keep acknowledging people like they really matter.

Compassionate connection does this in the face of any kind of undesirable behavior or absence of healthy relating and fulfilling productivity.

Which is exactly why I’ve included this and other heart opening movies in my UTrain program so that you can be the difference maker where you live and work…

This movie is a GREAT way to KICK OFF the new school year …

You can get this movie individually or in our Make A Difference UTrain Program.

Click here to download it to use for your fall In-Services.

Click here for site-licensing.

I understand that there are those who are concerned that a DAY, WEEK, MONTH or YEAR long program will be overwhelming. As an educator and business woman I can tell you that this is exactly why I designed Make A Difference with the Power of Acknowledgment UTrain Program the way that I did.

It is an extremely flexible program with a simple system that you can bring to your people one of many ways for your theme:

Make A Difference DAY
Make A Difference WEEK
Make A Difference MONTH
Make A Difference YEAR

Now, you can take my ideas and create your own program which will cost you a lot of time and energy that you could be putting toward the other demands coming at you at this time of year OR you can grab a cup of coffee, sit back and relax.  I’ve got this covered.  I’ve done all of the heavy lifting for you.


Because it’s that time of year when leaders are thinking about their THEME for the fall and winter seasons just ahead, today I’d like to do something I haven’t done before and that is lay out what a 12 month Make A Difference YEAR can look like with just doing 2 a Quarter:

August:  Kick off In-Service with your top tier leaders setting the theme of Making A Difference with the Power of Acknowledgment Movie and I Make A Difference Ceremony.   Your leaders then take the session you just did with them out to their people and they take this session out to their people, etc…

September:  Make A Difference with the Power of Connecting Personality Styles with Grades K-4, Grades 5-12 & Teachers Styles.
October:  Make A Difference with the Power of Owning Your Greatness.

November:  Make A Difference with the Power of Compassion with the Teddy Stallard Story:  both in English and in Española.
December:  Make A Difference with the Power of Positive Self-Talk.

January:  Make A Difference with the Power of the Simple Gesture.
February:  Make A Difference with the Power of the Made Up Mind.

March: Make A Difference with the Power of Your Dreams in Action.
April:  Make A Difference with the Power of Making Your Own Luck.

May:  Make A Difference with the Power of Goal Setting.
June:  Make A Difference with the Power of Peace Today.

July:  Make A Difference with the Power of Giving Back.

=> Each Session has it’s own movie, discussion and building community (team) activities all laid out for you step by step.

=> You don’t even have to prepare ahead of time (I would but that’s just me).

=> You open up the designated Session and play the movie and follow my directions.

=> When time has run out, you wrap it up and save back whatever you haven’t used for another In-service when you need it.

Now, let’s say for example you want to Kick-Off your Make A Difference Year with the Teddy Stallard Story Movie instead of the Acknowledgment Movie.

Then you get to decide!  Move it up into your first Session and go ahead and launch.

Then you can move the Acknowledgment Movie back to September which will coincide with National Suicide Prevention Month.  This movie is a true story about how a very simple and heartfelt Acknowledgment Ceremony caused the actions of one teacher to dramatically altered the life a business man and his 14-year old son.

YES!  You Can Do This …

You will see that this program …

– Everyone just gets smarter! Increased EQ – (Emotional Quotient) & IQ for ALL.
– Reduces the discipline issues by getting disconnected people CONNECTED within a compassionate community of their peers.
– Increases productivity, performance and results.
– Creates the type of “safe to connect” site wide working environment in which every one will THRIVE.
– Shifts perceptions and creates innovative solutions for problematic behaviors.
– Engages a diverse group of people in thinking, understanding and developing compassion and extending it out to others as well as themselves.
– Causes people to make the 12 inch move from the heads to their hearts to better understand their impact on one another and that they DO Matter and the DO Make A Difference.
– Helps every one take more ownership over their choices in every area of their developing lives.
– Increases an inner sense of one’s life purpose, one’s connection to others and one’s sense of purpose in the world to be reaching to make a difference each and every day.
– Develops highly empowering LISTENING skills.
– Encourages every one to embrace their dreams and become self-motivated and collaborative in purposeful endeavors.
– Greatly improves internal self-talk, motivation and communication with disgruntled colleagues and friends.
– Helps people “find their voice” in ways that they can be heard.

Is today the day you really grab a hold of your life and own it!?

Thank you for the difference You make!
Reaching out …

0000 mary-3

Click here to read last week’s blog: [Own Your Life] Learn Stuff!

530677_10151333084944909_1120763158_nMaster’s in Educational Psychology Counseling and Development K-12 from the University of Nebraska; demonstrated expertise with every imaginable label awarded childhood behaviors, physical attributes and learning styles. This includes: Youth At-Risk, Substance Abuse, EBD, Suicide Prevention, GT, ADD, Special Ed, i.e. Intensity, Academic and Behavioral. Extensive experience teaching educators the key to “connecting” with students and adults based on their attitudinal energy, labels and expressed (as well as non-verbal) expectations.

PS … Do-It-Yourself with UTrain OR bring me in to speak and train for your team! Questions? Just call me at Heart Publishing 603-997-1908

PPS … Let’s not forget that if you have been feeling like there’s something more that you want to do, you can take this program beyond where you currently work by becoming a Certified Make A Difference Facilitator.  For those who feel the pull to make a difference and a living at this, I will give you 1:1 time every step a long the way.

Heart Publishing, the Great Northwest

[Own Your Life] September? Plan now …

Dear Difference Maker,

I’m writing you today to share a true story about how a very simple and heartfelt Acknowledgment Ceremony caused the actions of one teacher to dramatically altered the life a business man and his 14-year old son.

This short movie has been viewed millions times. I have watched this movie well over 50 times and every time I do, I still get hit in the gut with sense of urgency when I see the gun in the father’s hands, to reach more and more people. If you have already seen it, I invite you to watch it again and then reach out to whoever comes to mind who could use a word of encouragement from you.

We welcome you to use this movie and Acknowledgment Ceremony in whatever ways will be of greatest service to your community. It is our hope that this movie positively impact as many lives as possible – please turn on your speakers and “take 5” to watch:

So what do you do with this?

It is important to know that: No single therapeutic approach is suitable for all people considering suicide or suicidal tendencies. The most common ways to treat underlying illnesses associated with suicide are with medication, talk therapy or a combination of the two.

PREVENTION is about bringing transformational programs into our schools, places of work and churches that effectively build skills and much needed understanding to create a sense of community and belonging. KNOWING that we are here to Make A Difference is essential!

As you may remember, September is National Suicide Prevention Month so plan ahead now.  Be an Agent for Change with this field-tested, step-by-step program that’s already been designed to be flexible to your needs. 


Thank you for the difference you are making.

Reaching out …
0000 mary-3

September is National Suicide Prevention Month: A Time to Focus On Family, Friends & The Cultural Diversity Of Our Community
Written by Janice S. Ellis Ph.D.

Mental well-being is a matter of degree.

Mental health professionals will readily tell you that most of us at some point in our lives will experience some level of depression. And, few of us can totally escape stress and anxiety.

But one thing is certain: A sense of connectedness is vital to our overall well being.

Where we fit, how we fit, our relationship with our parents, spouse, sibling, cousin, neighbor, community, and city are very important variables in the equation of mental wellness at any given time.


How do we assess our place, our sense of belonging, in the world we live in daily? The answer plays a crucial role in our physical and mental health – the quality of our lives, and in many cases the longevity of our lives.

I recently revisited a book by Dr. Edward Hallowel entitled Connect. Dr. Hallowel makes a convincing case of how our relationships with others and the communities in which we live make all the difference.

Studies have repeatedly shown that a child does better in school when he or she has a strong feeling of being connected not only to his family and the home environment but also when he or she feels a sense of belonging, relating to his or her teacher and fellow classmates.

Studies have also shown that, often, married people live longer healthier lives – physically and mentally – than single people who live alone. The elderly are better off living in a communal setting or having pets rather than living alone in isolation.

Along with staying connected with family and friends, it is also important to know our neighbors and allow our neighbors to get to know us. It is equally important that we become “connected” with our community by getting involved in those issues that impact it even if those issues revolve around race, ethnicity or cultural diversity. While many neighborhoods have organized associations and block clubs, many more do not. Many exist in name and dues only. Many come together only when there is an issue or an occasion.

The need to be connected and stay connected with people and causes that are important to us will become even more important as we continue to integrate the ever-emerging advances in telecommunications to “reach out and touch.”

With the options to do all of our shopping and visiting (video telephones) electronically, even worship, staying connected in a personal way will become ever more challenging.

But it is real important that we not allow the convenience of technology to broaden the gap in maintaining and nurturing the warm and caring qualities that is so needed for our physical, spiritual and emotional well-being.

We would do well to remember that staying connected is also good for society. We have only to think of the many signs of disconnectedness – homelessness, gangs, family violence, random violence, suicides – that we read about or see on the news all too often.

No technological convenience can ever replace a hug, a pat on the shoulder, a smile, sharing a meal, engaging in a vigorous debate about something for which you care deeply, taking time for a lost or confused soul.

Perhaps one of the best ways to make technology work for us is to use the time saved to spend more time getting to know people who are important to us – our family members, our neighbors, our friends.

Virtual connectedness is not the same as the real thing.

– See more at: https://www.usaonrace.com/publishers-note/727/september-is-national-suicide-prevention-month-a-time-to-focus-on-family-friends#sthash.tPuC7rQu.dpuf

Reserve suicides up 23 percent — active-duty count remains steady
Military Times 5:22 p.m. EDT April 4, 2016 Patricia Kime

The number of active-duty personnel who died by suicide in 2015 declined slightly from 2014, but the reserve component, including the National Guard, saw a 23 percent increase, according to Pentagon data released Friday.

The Defense Department’s fourth-quarter suicide report for 2015 said 266 active-duty service members committed suicide in 2015,  down from 273 in 2014.

The number of Reserve component members who died by suicide — including those from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps reserves as well as Air and Army National Guard troops — rose to 209 from a four-year low of 170 in 2014.

Figures for the active component have remained relatively steady since peaking at 321 in 2012, but they are nearly double the number before the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

In-depth analyses of military suicides and attempts in a calendar year are issued annually by the Defense Department.  The 2014 Department of Defense Suicide Event Report, which examined the rate of suicide in the services, demographic trends including age, gender, rank and marital status, as well as known or suspected causes of suicide behavior, was released in January 2016.

mdpa suicide prevention

So what do you do with this?

It is also important to know that: No single therapeutic approach is suitable for all people considering suicide or suicidal tendencies. The most common ways to treat underlying illnesses associated with suicide are with medication, talk therapy or a combination of the two.

PREVENTION is about bringing transformational programs into our schools, places of work and churches that effectively build skills and much needed understanding to create a sense of community and belonging. KNOWING that we are here to Make A Difference is essential!


PLAN NOW to get this “Make A Positive Difference” Program on your In-service agenda for the very first part of this new year and you WILL see a synergizing effect over the entire school.

People who learn to acknowledge others will feel good about themselves. When we teach our students, faculty and staff “how” to safely and effectively become more authentic through learning how to genuinely acknowledge others during a week, month and/or year long experiment in human kindness… they WILL do outstanding when it comes to being able to relax and “think” when learning together and doing so, productively.

Why? Because in an emotionally calm state of mind, the LIGHT IS ON and somebody is in there able to do their work… with purposeful intent!

If you haven’t already watched my newest Video Training Series for Education, I hope you will grab a cup of jo and come join me in discovering just how DO-able this program is for your place of work.

Click Here and watch the Education Video and then click the UTRAIN™ Program for Business graphic below the video.

Thank you for the difference you are making…
Mary's Signature
Co-Creator of the Acknowledgment Movie

mary5_140x180Master’s in Educational Psychology Counseling and Development K-12 from the University of Nebraska; demonstrated expertise with every imaginable label awarded childhood behaviors, physical attributes and learning styles. She parlayed her phenomenal success with at-risk youth into Continuing Education Courses for Portland State University on how to be energetically effective educators. For the past two decades, she has taken her exceptional programs to educational professionals, business leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate managers and administrative assistants conducting training and consulting on how to be effective in creating improvement in their organizations through the power of Team Synergy.