Sunday, 1 July 2018

Shoshanah with Bear Sharing Some Thoughts about Wool

Some years ago, a few events in my life inspired me to change focus as to how I was using my occupational therapy. Though I have had a dream for years of developing an occupational therapy centre, a number of details have changed over time.

We have much work to do in order for this service to become sustainable. We hope and pray that the products we are developing will be of interest and that the sales will enable us to meet our goals in creating work for widows and orphans.

I hope you enjoyed this short video. Please let me know what your needs are both in terms of products and in terms of videos. We have a number of ideas for videos, but are always eager to hear your ideas, suggestions and needs.

Please become a member of my Patreon page to assist us in using our creative skills to develop this service and our centre. To give a little insight, producing this video took over 3 hours with the filming, selecting images, editing etc. Other stages in process that delay our products from coming into our online store include:

  • the need to print the insert and information for two products that we have made and are virtually ready for sale.
  • the time to illustrate, edit and format a series of workbooks.

As you can see we have some exciting products in the making. You can become a part of it by signing up to be a Patron on our Patreon page or by purchasing a product on our online store.

Thank you so much for your support.

This post is prepared for you by

Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator,
certified infant massage instructor, freelance
author of "Healing Your Life Through
Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story
and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom".

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Please think of those who need to use a ramp

Do you have a pet peeve? I know I do. The image above illustrates one of them.

In the apartment we are currently in, I often walk down the street and into a short pedestrian walkway or path. The street is a cul-de-sac and there are parking bays that are marked for cars to park on either side of the street. However, there is a section where the pavement / sidewalk is ramped. The ramp is supposed to be to enable anyone with any kind of mobility problem to navigate this transition from the path to the road with ease. It could be someone with a walker / walking frame. It could be someone with a stroller or shopping trolley. It could be someone in a wheelchair. But most of the time some or other car is blocking the ramp.

Today I decided to do a blog post with images of what is happening here.

Notice that there are actually two cars involved here today. This section of the pavement / walkway is supposed to remain clear for pedestrians in general and those with any kind of special need in particular. The selfish drivers have not only blocked the ramp but parked right up on the pavement too.

Notice how little space is left between the corner of the car and the low wall the supports a fence.If one is thin and able-bodied, you can of course get through. But what about someone who is larger in size and build? What about someone in a wheelchair? What about someone with a double stroller? There is no way for them to get through at all.

Here you can see the path for pedestrians that connects this cul-de-sac to the adjacent street. Take a look at just how far the car has extended onto the section that is for people to walk, not for cars at all.

If you take a look from the other end, it might make more sense as to what is happening.

I get really upset to see this kind of parking. It shows total and utter disrespect for everyone, other than the driver of the cars that have parked so badly.

Today the problem is illustrated with these two cars. However, sadly, every day we see something like this. A car that could park in a parking bay a minute or two walk down the street. What would be so bad about them walking two steps or a few?

I should have photographed the empty parking bays behind. There are always vacant bays a tad further down the street. It would really only take about 10 steps or so to see the empty bays. Not a problem for anyone who can walk to walk a few steps or even a hundred steps and leave the area where the ramp is free and open for those who require use of the ramp. If you take a good look at the cars, they do not have any disabled parking disc, so there is no reason to think they might have need for the ramp, or to be as close as possible to the school. In truth, if they had a disability, they most probably would need to use that ramp and therefore would not be parked over it.

If you are old enough to be driving, you are old enough to think about the needs of others. Please respect those who need to make use of ramps and park in the bays that are allocated for cars.

Baffled, flabbergasted by the inconsiderate behaviour of the modern driver. Please think of the needs of others. Someone who needs a wheelchair for mobility has a right for the ramps to be left free for them to use when they need it.

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational therapist, healing facilitator
Author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity"

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Sharing and Preparing for 2018

I was watching a video of Oprah Winfrey winning an award where she talks about the power of telling one's story. I have mentioned parts of my story in various places, but perhaps it is time to share more for the simple reason that through writing one gains clarity. In addition, by sharing tools or ideas that I come across, perhaps I can reach my goal of really empowering widows and orphans.

Today I heard about an OT who had ended her life and then sadly heard about a few more. The knowledge made me think about those I have come across who attempted to take their lives and failed or who did actually take their lives. I think about the reasons that I know about. Sometimes the reason is not really known. Other times it can be total desperation that leads to such drastic actions. You'll need to sign up to become a Patron on Patreon in order to find out how these findings have something to do with my creative work.

In the meantime, I can share that I know what it is like to feel desperate and I know what it is like to feel alone. To answer those who ask what role can OT have to play with widows and orphans? Partly to help them to develop the systems they require to thrive. These can be support or financial independence. It can be grieving or making peace with the change in the family structure. It can also be figuring out how to have a meaningful relationship with a significant family member who is no longer in this world.

One area of OT intervention is the therapeutic use of self which means that the therapist is able to make a positive impact on the life of his / her client through sharing who they are and what they have been through or overcome. In an interview that was featured with me on OT Potential, I was asked what motivated me in the early years of my becoming an OT. I'm sorry if it is not the answer that most want to hear, but my answer was the potential to gain or attain financial independence. Having lost my father when I was still at school, I had put myself through university to obtain a degree that I thought would both help others and enable myself to earn a decent salary. I did not expect for the salary to be lower than I had considered it might be or for the added strain of paying off tuition and health expenses from a chronic illness that had developed.

In the years since I qualified, sadly my goal to attain financial independence has not budged much. I still have the same financial struggles. This year I am more determined than ever to change that. It is my goal too, that by researching what type of work can enable me to meet my financial goals and needs that I can help other orphans and widows to do the same as well.

In the video I had watched about Oprah, she had mentioned her mother working as a house cleaner. The comment reminds me of how many have told me here in Israel to give up my profession and just clean houses. I have no idea why anyone would want to limit another. If someone has the ability to obtain a university degree in a profession that is of benefit to others, why squash their abilities.

Even in the last few days I have had the hard struggle with a publication I had paid to publish and advert that I could promote my private practice take the money and not publish the ad. It is hard to know that the publication is linked to an organization that is supposed to help Olim, not crush them. whatever their reason was for doing what they did, the organization has no idea what hard effort went into coming up with the funds to pay for that advert. They do not realize the challenge of altering direction in one's work in order to level up to earn better so as to take care of an aging parent. They don't know the reality of having no family to turn to for help and needing to rely on one's skills not to pay for a holiday or a luxury but for basic survival.

The last few days have been a hard reminder that many out there are not interested in the real needs of others. There are many who lack respect for the essence of who a person is. There are many who will cut down ones goals and dreams with just go and clean houses as their routine instruction.

What if the housecleaning does not earn enough to meet one's financial needs? What if the person needs to earn better? Well, everyone has the right to set the financial goals that are realistic to their life situation. We have freedom of choice and I am quite outspoken against putting someone down by robbing them of their G-d given talents and forcing them into menial jobs.

The minimum wage syndrome is something that in Israel for sure has to change. It has been one of the hardest realities of my move to Israel. So join me in my search for how to earn the kind of income that is life sustaining while still using my skills and talents. For if I can figure out how to get from poor orphan to success, then you can learn along the way and become successful too.

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