Friday, 30 December 2016

Five Photographs to Showcase Our New Arrival

I'm having fun being creative. I probably should set up the scene a little better. What are your thoughts of the images below. Which of the images below do you prefer and why? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image number 1. Teared with a very slight spiral and one book propped up to see the full image.

Image number 2 is a lovely spiral design. Works beautifully with paper napkins, what do you think of this with books? Should the spiral be more pronounced?

Images 1 & 2  are taken with wood surface and background.

Image number 3 is taken in a different location. The lighting is not the best as it was taken at night. Having a bit of fun with grouping the books. This image shows two distinct variations. Notice what they are?

Image number 4, same location as number 3 is. This time I decided to arrange the books between a set of bookends. The bookends are butterfly bookends, designed and made by me. I like the metamorphosis that takes place with a butterfly and in the therapeutic process. It could be this one needs a bit of work, perhaps photographing a little more from above to show the butterflies more. What are your thoughts?

And the images taken so far inspired the last one. I'm not sure if the book title can be seen enough. What are your thoughts?

I really should be preparing for Shabbat, but some creativity is stirring since our latest arrival which happened less than 24 hours ago. 

If you are interested to know more of what this is about, you can take a look at the video below.

I'm thinking this has the potential to become a competition. Hm, post your comment below and I'll contemplate what the competition will be and share soon.

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Waiting to Hear from my Readers

I am waiting with eager anticipation to hear how the non-OTs reading my book are enjoying it. I have heard from one that she received her copy, loves the cover and was looking forward to starting to read it. It is so wonderful to hear that people are enjoying the cover. A lot of thought and discussion went into the cover design. The title of the book was changed too.

I have just heard from another non-OT that she is about to begin reading the book after 2 weeks of being ill. Winter certainly can be a time of illness. Stay warm, drink plenty of hot drinks and I wish you a healthy winter.

On my end though all I can say is "Oy, the waiting can be hard!"

What about the OTs reading the book? Well, one of them had a busy schedule and was about to begin. One has begun reading her copy and so far describes the book as "Compelling reading!" Not that is encouraging to hear. Another OT I am waiting to hear from.

These are not the only sales though. There are a few who have purchased without letting me know who they are or if the book has arrived. For these I can only wait and hope to hear from them. I do enjoy hearing from my readers.

It is slow beginnings but every interaction, every positive comment, every OT or non-OT interested in reading the book helps me to have the motivation to strive to get the word out and to continue to write further books. 

Do you have a question related to Occupational Therapy? Please send in your comments / questions. I will be happy to answer them either in a blog post, an eBook, in my newsletter or another book. 

Have you purchased your copy of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"? If not, it is easily available online:

It is so amazing to see more and more online retail bookstores stocking this book. So hurry along to get your copy today. 

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"



Tuesday, 27 December 2016

My Goals for Healing Your Life Through Activity

Yesterday I was chatting to a wonderful new graduate of occupational therapy who has shown interest in my new book "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story". She mentioned in a Guest Post of mine on her blog, how she hoped to receive a signed copy of the book. My heart sank. On the one hand I would love to be able to give out free copies of my book and the fact that someone wants a signed copy was really wonderful to hear. That is really the reason I ran a crowd fundraiser ahead of launching my book. Sadly, I had very little response and hence, do not have the means to order and ship free copies. Quite simply there are costs involved to do so. The expenses are totally understandable I just lack the means to cover them.

We chatted a bit about my OT journey and the fact that despite all the challenges and let downs, I still have this inner drive to do something to improve the situation. So I decided to share my goals for the book as part of a process towards setting up another crowd fundraiser, one that I aim to make far, far more successful.

Here are some of my goals for this book:

- I would really love to see the profession of occupational therapy properly recognized and appreciated. Since coming to Israel I have had a few experiences that to me should never take place. Not if there is appropriate respect given to a profession that makes a difference in a tangible way. If you have heard these stories, I apologize for repeating myself, if you have not, then let me share:

When I first began doing a job search in Israel I was offered some jobs and turned down for others. Those who were offering me work thought that ₪25 on average was a really great offer. Now the rate of minimum wage was around ₪20-22 so I would not be earning too much more. However, I also had come with about 12 years of experience so this low salary offer was not much fun. But now came the part that really distresses me and that is the amount of people who would tell me I did not need a profession but just to go and clean houses, something that would give a salary of ₪ 40 - 55 an hour. This knowledge distressed me. But more than this, over time I began to discover teenage baby sitters or house cleaners will earn more than a qualified OT. Those jobs that offered a better salary expected one to be prepared to forfeit ones pension and benefits. Why should anyone do that? Everyone needs a pension. To me, this kind of scenario can NEVER take place in a world or a country where there is respect and appreciation for those who have taken the trouble to go to university and obtain a degree that has the potential to improve the lives of others in very meaningful ways.

- Occupational Therapy needs to be understood by doctors, other health professionals and business people. It does not make sense to me the extent to which I see people posting about an illness, accident or other issue where OT intervention can assist only to hear that OT was not considered not by the doctors, not by the rest of the team and not by those asking for prayers. Why is OT not featuring? As for business people, I often recall my many attempts to obtain assistance from the business consultants at small business development organization here in Israel. Every time I would mention I am an occupational therapist and my goal is to build a treatment centre we would waste time in explaining what OT is or how my vision is completely ALL OT. No I am not doing too many different things, I am doing OT. A full centre all of OT. What does that mean? Well now we come back to the need for my book, that you can learn what the profession is all about and exactly how my vision is all my profession.

- Recently I was interacting with an OT who gave up being an OT after 18 years of practicing in order to move on to better things. What did that mean? A job with better pay and better conditions that were conducive to good mothering. That has to be one of the saddest pieces of information I have heard. After 18 years of being an OT, an OT should be loving her profession and sharing more of it with the world. It should be possible to write books, give talks, teach, develop, enhance the profession. If one is tired of a profession, fair enough but due to not enough pay and too many hours or unrealistic demands on one's time, those should not be happening, not in a world where occupational therapy is being respected and appreciated.

How do you show respect for a profession? Number one is to pay better. A god salary has far more chance of keeping experienced therapists continuing to progress in the profession. Pay on time. Give the benefits that are owing to the worker and respect their personal time as their own. Being an occupational therapist does not mean being a slave to the place of work, it means using ones professional expertise to assist ones clients to attain their specific goals in the best possible way according to our profession, level of expertise, mix of skills, evidence and clinical reasoning. Which brings me back to the sad reality that too many places will turn down a therapist who has years of experience. That to me is shortsighted. If those with years of experience are given work, they can offer their skills, knowledge and experience to help to build the next generation of occupational therapists into even better OTs than the ones that are retiring. But by missing out a group of therapists due to refusal to pay their salary? Well that just shows lack of appreciation for what goes into obtaining experience.

I hope these goals make sense to you. Occupational Therapists are focused on finding solutions. So if one main key to the types of problems listed above is lack of understanding of the vast and incredible profession of occupational therapy, well then a book is in order to make the necessary change. What do you say? How much do you know about the profession?

Please join me to increase appropriate understanding, recognition and appreciation of occupational therapy through this book, further books (I have at least 10 that are in the process to being written), video presentations, talks and more.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please purchase your copy. Oh and if anyone is feeling generous, please be in touch to sponsor that signed copy for this enthusiastic, wonderful OT who has taken an interest in the book. The cost is really affordable, be in touch if you would like to make this happen. And if you are willing and able to come on board and share the crowd fundraiser, make a contribution, book me to give a talk, share this blog post, please do be in touch. I am currently developing a list of those who are willing to help.

Thanks for your interest.

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

Monday, 26 December 2016

Being Active at 90

Every day that passes we age a little more. If you follow a healthy balanced lifestyle that promotes health and well being, your chances of a longer, fulfilling life are stronger. Part of  a lifestyle that promotes health is one that includes adequate exercise 2-3 times a week. The most effective form of exercise is one that you enjoy.

The video that follows shows what is possible. Watch this wonderful 90 year old as she enjoys some twists and turns on the dance floor.

Many erroneously believe that when one reaches retirement age of 60 or 65 years that your years of activity have come to an end. What do you do to maintain your endurance, agility and zest for life? This woman is an inspiration and certainly shows that being active is possible beyond 60 and all the way up to 90 years of age.

Let us know in the comments below what kind of exercise you prefer and what you do to help you to reach a ripe old age as alive and healthy as this 90 year old has. 

Slow Progress of My Virtual Book Tour

As I was working on bringing my book "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story" to print I started working towards having a virtual book tour. Our train seems to be on a very long journey with stops of days or weeks apart.

Thus far we have:
I would really love to have a few more stops in this virtual book tour. So if you have a blog and post on occupational therapy, health and healing, parenting, inspiration or books of benefit to others, please do be in touch to host a post on your blog too. Anyone interested in doing a Q&A of the author? I don't have one of those posts yet. 

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Connecting to my University Days

The above image is of the stunning University of Cape Town, where my late grandfather was the first full-time dean of engineering and where I studied occupational therapy. The occupational therapy department was part of the medical faculty and hence we were located on a different campus right next to the main teaching hospital. However, we did get to have lectures on this main campus during first and second year and visiting the main library was always wonderful. 

Aside from sharing the beautiful setting where the university I attended is located, there is another purpose to this post. Over a month ago, I sent a copy of my book, "Healing Your Life Through Activity" to the first head of the university occupational therapy department, Miss S.W. Mountford. I hope that she will write a letter to go into the book.  

I called her a short time ago to find out whether the book had arrived. After a month it certainly should have. I was delighted to hear that yes, the book had certainly arrived. Miss Mountford shared her initial impressions and in her first few sentences commented on how I was as a student asking if I remember. Well, with such a beautiful setting, who can forget? Here are a few of Miss Mountford's impressions thus far:

- She very much enjoyed the title of the book
- The cover she praised very highly. When I mentioned that my husband had designed the cover her response was that it is brilliant.

Phew, 2 good comments, but she has not yet opened the book.

Yes, she has taken a brief look. She said she has some commitments with the holiday season but was very much looking forward to getting into reading the book from cover to cover. As for her initial impression of the content, so far she says it is compelling reading.

Well now I sit and wait on tenterhooks to hear what her impression will be after reading the book in detail. I do hope that it is still as favourable as the initial impression has been.  

Have you obtained your copy of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"? If you have, do be in touch and let me know how you found it. If you purchased it online please do leave a review as this helps other potential readers to find the book too.

The book is available on the CreateSpace eStore, on Amazon in US, UK, Canada and has just come up on Barnes and Nobles and Book Depository too. So it's easy to obtain for those who shop online. 

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Preparing a Series of eBooks


I've been toying with writing an eBook or a few for some time now. Most of the time I do admit, I have avoided getting into eBooks for the simple reason that I just prefer print books. But I do see that eBooks are popular. As a result, I'm taking the plunge and doing the necessary research. It is amazing how much there is to learn.

There are similarities and differences between the print book and the eBook. Formatting differs in many ways. First obvious difference is that the print book has a cover that wraps around the book resulting in a need for information, detail and design on the front cover, the spine and the back cover. The eBook only has a front cover. This makes the process interesting. What does one do about the blurb one would usually put on the back cover? On the other hand, it does mean one does not have to worry if the book get's longer or shorter as there is no spine to be altered. Also, one only has to think of one design not two or one divided into two.

Inside the book, it seems the title page is missing in the eBook and the copyright page goes at the end of the book and not the beginning. But the biggest challenge is how to convert the Pdf into eBook and where to sell the book. I am busy doing some research and discovered that there are 50 options or more. No wonder I am overwhelmed and unsure which to select.

In one article that I am busy reading, the author stresses getting to know one's audience and their needs as much as possible. As a result, before I go any further in my research as to how to format the book. And, before I go any further in writing the book. I would like to hear from you, what kind of eBook or print book for that matter, would you prefer. What kind of information would assist you in achieving your life goals and life roles.

Do you understand about setting life goals? Do you know how to set life goals?
Do you need help in revising or in formulating your goals?
Do you understand about life roles?
Do you need any information on either of these?
Do you need help to develop suitable action plans?
Are there specific skills you feel you would love some pointers on?
Do you have questions about occupational therapy that you would like explained or addressed?

Please let me know what your needs are either in a comment below or by sending a message via my website.

I look forward to hearing from you

This Book Review was written by:
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Book Review of A Damaged Mirror

Book Review of "A Damaged Mirror - A Story of Memory and Redemption" 
by Ovadya ben Malka and Yael Shahar.

I have just completed reading A Damaged Mirror. It is a book that one can not put down and yet other responsibilities dictated that I had to limit the amount of time I would devote to reading it. In a certain sense, reading the book over a period of time rather than in one sitting, did enable a certain process to take place. Before I continue, I have to say that this book is not easy for a sensitive reader. There are details that are not easy to read and I can imagine must have been even harder to write.

A Damaged Mirror is a remarkable book. It is very well crafted, alternating information from the life of Ovadya ben Malka and that of Yael, gives the reader the opportunity to have a break from the enormity and very difficult material being presented by Ovadya to read of events of more recent times. The book also includes quotes from various sources that are very appropriately selected and also give the reader a breather from the difficult material and subject matter. I enjoyed the way that these verses helped to bring the reader back to focus on the bigger picture and the reality of truth from Torah and other writings.

The book reminds me of the work of Brian Weiss who discovered regression therapy or working with helping a patient to heal from a past life and how this work enabled his patient(s) to live their current life more effectively. Aside from the work of Brian Weiss, there are many alternative therapy techniques that teach that ones memory is stored in ones DNA and very often this memory requires healing in order for a person to achieve a specific goal in this life. This memory can be from earlier in the day, from yesterday, from a week ago, a month ago, a number of years ago or even a previous life time. Some alternative therapy techniques work with the actual details that hold the person trapped and others will use them as a symbol, becoming a stepping stone for other work to release the trapped energy.  

Some of the content of the book and the types of experiences or exercises that Yael describes in her recovery from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) very much confirm the teachings of these therapies. However, this is where the therapies end and the Damaged Mirror continues to address an area of healing that following Torah achieves that I do not believe other therapies can touch. This is the power of Torah learning, prayer (Tefillah) and Teshuvah, the path of return to G-d. The book has a very powerful message. That of the path of the Jewish nation, the fulfilment of certain prophecies and redemption or the promise of redemption combined with the need and power of Torah, Tefillah and complete Teshuvah.

This is a very lengthy book of, interestingly enough, 613 pages including the Glossary. It's worth reading and the journey / transformation that goes with reading a book of this nature.

Having completed reading this book I feel a sense of wonderment at having been a witness in a certain sense to a certain part of history that I would rather had never taken place. It is a very humbling experience. The book helps to answer some questions of relatives or family friends of mine who either survived the horrors of the holocaust and even of Auschwitz  or of those we knew of who had perished. The information is hard to digest but the power of Teshuvah stands as a reminder that healing is possible and that redemption is promised. The book also serves to attest to the fact that despite all kinds of terrible attempts to eliminate the Jewish people, G-d's promise that we (the Jewish nation) will survive is stronger than any plan of any group of people. 

This Book Review was written by:
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Book Review of Cosmic Dreams Colouring Book

Cosmic Dreams: Adult Colouring Book by Timothy and Theodore Ashford is a colouring book with a difference. I love the way it begins with a story to give the reader / artist permission to enjoy being creative. Creativity and using one's imagination is very important for health and well being and to improve important life skills such as problem solving. It's a wonderful stress release.

I love the fact that the drawings include stars and the luminaries as a means to waken the imagination. The author / artist has given some ideas for those using the drawings to colour in the images provided. The images actually lend themselves to being creative on several levels. It would be rather fun to sprinkle glitter or coloured sand where the stars are, probably after colouring the sky in whatever colour you choose. Use stickers or other crafty items to enhance the picture.

As an Occupational Therapist, I could very much envisage a fun creative group with teenagers or young adults combining drawing / colouring with creative writing, discussion and possibly some mime or drama. What a wonderful way to increase creativity in one's life, or as a warm up for a personal development group.

Some of the images are a little busy, but the fun of this colouring book is that you can choose which images to colour or not to. Some images are wonderful just as they are, and still tell the story of this interesting book.

This Book Review was written by:
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"


Monday, 5 December 2016

Upcoming GoodReads Give Away of Tuvia Finds His Freedom

As Chanukah approaches, we are very excited to announce a competition coming up to win a copy of our children's book "Tuvia Finds His Freedom". The competition will be happening for ONE week ONLY so hurry along to secure your chance to win a copy of this fun, nature story. Find out what happened to Tuvia. Find out why he needed to find his freedom. What exactly does that mean? How does he find freedom? What help does he need and who comes to his rescue?

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tuvia Finds His Freedom by Shoshanah Shear

Tuvia Finds His Freedom

by Shoshanah Shear

Giveaway ends December 15, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
We had a lot of fun writing the book, preparing the photographs.We would love for you to have the opportunity to share this book with your children, grandchildren, class if you are a teacher.

The GiveAway begins on 7th December, so, hurry along, enter your chance to win. Let your friends know about it. The offer ends on 15 December. Now is your chance to win a signed copy. Who will be the winner?

Shoshanah Shear

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...