Thursday, 31 October 2013

Submission by Lisa Schiftan : Sometimes It Is Too Much To Bare

Sometimes It Is Too Much To Bare
The house feel so empty, so lonely.
Music playing, just so there is noise to hear.
The phone, it never rings, random unknown emails come by.
Sometimes it is too much to bare.

The thought that life will always be this way.
That I will always feel the room is too big.
Then filling the room, to make it feel warm, in a way
Sometimes it is just too much to bare.

At times now it tends to get hard to leave.
Spending hours prepping myself to go out the door.
And… the hopes that someone would come into my life, a gift              gratefully received.
Sometimes it is all too much to bare.

     The door knocks, the phone rings...
Reality kicks in, and I realize that I am not alone.
I have my family and friends who love and support me,               Oh ... my loved ones.
Most important of all, I have all the love for and from my              Daughter ... I am not alone.
Sometimes it is too much, but I am happy to bare.

Submission by Lisa Schiftan : For Only One Day!

For Only One Day !

If for only one day,
Could you be free,
Free of the chronic pain,
Free of the anxiety.

If for only one day,
Could the shoe be one the other foot.
And you didn’t hear the
Belittling words, the
Negative prods at your humanity.

If for only one day,
Could you choose the shoe’s you wanted to wear,
And shed the weight of the pair you wear,
Would you ever truly
Feel free.

Written by Lisa Schiftan

Monday, 7 October 2013

My Story - This Is My Life ..Submission by Lisa Schiftan


Why is it such a hard road? The "Wagon" so to speak, gets full and bumpy, and someone falls off. To fight that devil within, and be tempted by the one thing that ruins not only you life but those around you. The ones you love and the ones that love you.
Recovery, always within it. Never, truly able to say that I am fixed, that I have recovered. Ah, what a joy that would be. to remove the shackles and be free of that title, "Recovering Addict".
I have prayed all the time, that I had never discovered that thing that took away my physical pain away, and then for some reason, the mental the pain was gone. It made life bearable again with the physical pain better, so to speak. It was not making the cause of the pain better, just making it disappear for a short while. In time mentally it seemed that it repaired that too. Reality, it was only numbing the memories, so that I could forget. Forget, a memory in my brain and block them and made life bearable again. So I thought.
I was 17 years old, it all started because of an accident that happened to my neck, and I am two inches shorter now. That year in my life seemed to be very crucial year. The year that I was 17, that was the year of my life which I made some choices that would unknowingly affect my whole life . I am now 20 years older and I fight the battle everyday and I will for the rest of my life

For more by Lisa Schiftan go to:

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Submission by : Lisa Schiftan Post Partum

Post Partum

It is a terrible mental illness, and I, Lisa Julie Schiftan, got it. After giving birth to, or should I say as I felt, having my beautiful daughter, who I refer to as “My Sunshine” taken out of me, I felt detached from my perfect little angle. Deep down I loved her but I was incapable of showing it to her or anyone to be truthful. And it only got worse. I started seeing myself doing things, horrible things, and then the anger came. So, I looked for help and I got help. Help they called it. Medication, that’s what I got. It did stop the thoughts, and the anger was under control, but I was sedated most of the time and not being able do all of my motherly duties, though I tried my very best. By that I meant my daughter was well taken care of but when it came to myself, well I wasn’t.

After having my daughter, I went from a weight of 242 pounds, down over the period of a year and a half, to a weight of 105 pounds. The wind could literally knock me over, and so could my daughter.

It happened, the weight lose I am referring to, very slow in the beginning, but then when she was 10 months old I became a single mom. We moved to Mississauga, in a 2 bedroom basement apartment. I however, never slept in mine. I slept on the couch in the living room, which was located right outside her door. That way I could be right there when she needed me. I forgot my needs, and focused completely on hers. When it came to breakfast, lunch and dinner, I would only have one plate, ours. I call it that because she would only eat off my plate for some strange reason. So, she would eat and I would help her, and when she was full, I would finish whatever was left on the plate.

And that started the rapid weight lose that I went through over the period of the next year. And it was fast, I was dropping pant sizes 2 to 3 a month. Until I was 105 pounds and a size 3.

I waited for months for things to change. To feel what I said to the people, especially my little sunshine. To feel, such a strange hope, but to me that was unattainable.

Now two years later, yes two years, I can honestly say I am free of that title “Post Partum”. I can say I love you and mean it whole heartedly, and my little angle means the world to me. Not that she didn’t before, but now I can feel it, where as before I couldn’t. And that is what people don’t understand, you love and would die for your child, but your illness doesn’t let you feel it. Now I do and I am the happiest mommy in the world.

Lisa Julie Schiftan.
June 2009

Follow Lisa for more at the link below.  

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Inspiring Partnerships Luncheon

Inspiring Partnership Luncheon with Guest speaker Frank O'Dea the co-founder of the Second Cup.

An afternoon of Hope, Vision and Action.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Up and In, Down and Out: World of Work

Up and In, Down and Out: World of Work
Column by Keelin Carey

Since the economic downturn in 2008, the global economy is on the teeters with unpredictable stock prices, debt defaults, and fluctuating unemployment rates. Although the labour market gradually improved in Canada, there are people still looking for work. There are people who are employed and struggling to deal with workplace dilemmas and achieve optimal level of job satisfaction. Ultimately, when it comes to work, they all have questions: What makes a productive job search that results in gainful employment? What makes a satisfying career with good relations with the boss and co-workers? Read on to read common questions employment counsellors usually field in their line of work regarding job search.

I have been looking for work for over a year with no luck. What should I do?

There are numerous factors and suggestions that cannot be covered in this column. The first thing will come to my mind is your employment goal and the qualifications you possess. The second is your research on the labour market.

Grab five different job postings and read the requirements. Check off the ones you possess. Do you see all items checked off? If the answer is yes, review your marketing documents (i.e. resume, cover letter) and job search techniques. Seek assistance for revisions. Obtain a second opinion. Revise again. Many applications were discarded because of one or two grammatical or spelling errors. Pay attention to details in black and white. What about your job search skills? Maybe they need to be updated. Visit libraries and Employment Resource Centres. Sign up with employment / job development services. Talk with friends, family, and professionals. Take out books on job search. Surf the Net for articles on specific topics. Explore ideas and possibilities.
Suppose the items are not checked off, re-examine the requirements. If the first three requirements are checked off, then there is some hope. Options you may want to consider are: Taking a course; registering with a governing body or an association to receive a designation that is essential in your field; or, lending your time to an organization to acquire experience using specific skills. To pay bills, it might mean going off-track in taking an interim position – survival job - until you build up your skills-set to achieve your employment goal.

If you do not meet the requirements, then do not lose hope. What other jobs are similar to your employment goal that you can start off first? You might want to consider an apprenticeship or take out an OSAP loan to attend college or university or visit your local Employment Ontario organization to discuss Skill Development. An investment in time and education, along with a little elbow grease and positive attitude, will pay off in the future.

It is critical that you become proactive, not passive, in your quest. Desire and conviction in what you do will lead to a great job.

Should I disclose my Deafness in the cover letter?

The safe answer anyone will tell you is not to disclose any details regarding race, religion, ethnicity, age, marital status, sexual orientation, and disability in your cover letters. The reason is that resumes and cover letters are to focus on merit – skills, experience, education, and accomplishments, thus prospective employers’ biases will not come into play when choosing who to contact for interviews.

Of course, such disclosure may be used to your advantage if it is a Deaf organization or an organization – business or non-profit – that has a hiring motto of being an Equal Opportunity employer. 

Some job seekers decided to disclose because they want to be upfront, especially when they rely on email and text-messaging for initial contact and need ASL interpreting services for the interviews. Few have said that some managers know “a friend of a friend who has a Deaf cousin” and, because of their familiarity with Deaf individuals in the past, they are willing to interview Deaf candidates. This is clearly in opposition of what Human Resources professionals and employment counsellors are trained to say in regards to disclosure of Deafness, but disclosing has been an advantage for some.

To disclose or not to disclose, that is the question. Which action are you comfortable taking? To decide, trying both will not hurt. Just make sure that you place the strongest emphasis on your MERIT above anything else in the letter and let your optimism shine through.

I have been offered interviews, but no job offers. What am I doing wrong?

Clearly, you are qualified for the positions applied. Resumes, cover letters, and job search techniques are not a concern, which leaves me to wonder about your appearance, interviewing style, preparedness, and understanding of etiquette. In a nutshell, this is a make-or-break where the interviewers decide if they like you or not within the first 20 seconds of meeting you.

20 seconds?

Yes, twenty, 20, two-oh seconds to decide if you are worth their time or not. Even less than 20 seconds. First impressions count. It is not say that first impressions define and cement our personalities and the outward appearances we present to the world, but they do define the moment when prospective employers take you in their eyes and make snap judgments. Make sure you are dressed appropriately, groomed to a T, and smiling with sincerity. Let your best qualities shine. And, mind your manners, too.

Did you ask someone to practice common interview questions with you and to throw in unexpected ones to keep you on your toes? Read about the interview process and appropriate interview behaviour and style? Research the company? Grasp the true context of the duties and required skills of the advertised position? Make a list of stories demonstrating key skills to wow the interviewer? Find out the best route of arriving on time for the interview? All of this PREPARATION is crucial to interview success.

Suppose you have done the above and still struggle to obtain job offers, what are the other possibilities? One person I know was so nervous when preparing for an interview that she became increasingly anxious and overwrought. As a result, she became mentally fatigued during the interview and was lacklustre. Oops. Know when to stop and get a good night’s sleep to absorb everything in. Another person dragged his answers too long that the interviewer interrupted him to move on to the next question. That was feedback, and he didn’t get it at the time. The interviewer may have perceived that as an inability to accept feedback and change direction – one of the key soft skills to be successful on the job.

Sometimes, it is not during the interview that impacted the decisions of the interviewer, but what happened afterwards. Following up with a thank-you note is important as it shows your graciousness. The thank-you note can address concerns of the interviewer or short-comings you may have, ending on a positive note.

It is vital to remain grounded during the interview. Staying in the moment will help you to be conscious of your body language and attitude. Be aware of the hidden messages the interviewer delivers between the lines. Determine if you truly want to work for the company. Do not forget the purpose of the interview: It is an opportunity to sell yourself as someone the company must have as part of its team.

Last Words:

In this column, everything is easier said than done. Learn from your achievements and mistakes and share them with others for insight. Know that you will get the hang of it with some faith and conviction in what you do, the doors will open. Even just a crack is enough.

Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude. - Zig Ziglar