Self help – “Elf-help books” (Indiana -> Ireland)

IMG_2523Life is interesting, we come across certain things when we need them. For example, I was reading a Blog called, “It Starts with Me,” where the blogger had a personal post called, “Anxiety of the Unknown.” She tells the story of her fiancé who signed a sports contract that led them to a move across the world to the UK. After getting adjusted to a new life in England, her fiancé suffered a sports injury and as they await the results of the MRI, she is faced with the “unknown” of their future, which is worrisome.

When I went walking, I had her story on my mind.

I came upon a bookstore in Limerick (Ireland). I was amused when I saw these “small” books with little Elfs on them. Turns out they are “Elf-help Books” that have been around since 1987. They are illustrated by R.W. Alley, who is known for his Paddington Bear illustrations.

Imagine my surprise to learn that these books are published in Indiana, not Ireland. Sadly, Abbey Press Printing closed in June 2017. Not clear if there is a new Publisher, but books are still being sold on Amazon.

The “Worry” book caught my attention. This would be PERFECT for my Fellow Blogger who is concerned about the “unknown.”

Here are a few pages to read.

We all have worries in life. Somehow, I was brought to these books by a “little Elf.” They have adult and children Elf-help books.

If you were able to zoom in and read the pages I’ve shared with you, you can see that the worry message is simple, short and motivating. The illustrations are adorable in an innocent old fashioned way.

You can visit “Elf-help Books” at 

I just read on Wikipedia that Abbey Press Printing was started in 1867 by Saint Meinrad Archabbey, who are Benedictine Monks in Southern Indiana. They’ve been marketing their products around the world and can be found in 25 English speaking countries. More than 20 foreign companies are licensed to print books in other languages.

So, the big question is “WHY, after 150 years, did they have to close their printing press this year?”

100 Days of Rejection…

yes_no-is-lifeIt’s January and I am moving along full speed ahead. With this in mind, I decided to download some inspirational podcasts that I could listen to while I am walking. I am training for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day/60 mile breast cancer walk in September, so I have to get moving!

For any of you who are training for an athletic event, you know that good music or podcasts to listen to make the exercise routine fly by. While I was on the TED website, I came across a really interesting talk called, “What I learned from 100 days of rejection,” by Jia Jiang.

This talk really hit home for me. It’s about 15 minutes long and you’ll be hooked from the “get go.” Jia Jiang starts out with a classroom story of when he was 6 years old and learned what rejection felt like. I don’t want to give the entire story away, but rejection is tough and can carry on with us through our adult life.

In order to deal with his fear of rejection, Jiang decided he would find 100 ways of being rejected, so he could deal with his fear “head on.” Some of his stories are really funny. I remember having his “same fear of rejection” and it wasn’t until I started working in sales and got rejected constantly that I realized rejection was not about “me,” but about the situation being rejected, i.e. no budget, no response from advertising, etc.

This could be fun!  Let’s all share a story of a rejection that turned positive.  

I’LL START. The reason I got the job in sales was because the Hiring Manager “rejected” my application for a Managing Editor position. He said I was extremely tenacious and because of my humor I would make a great copy writer. “We’ve already hired someone, Good luck,” he said!

WHAT??  GOOD LUCK??  I wasn’t going down without a fight. Since he was nice enough to compliment me, I took the chance, wrote him back and asked if he’d meet me for an “informational interview.”  HE SAID, “YES.”

At the interview, we talked and he asked me how I was so tenacious. I explained it was my family, but also going to boarding school. Turns out he had gone to boarding school too. So, he said to me, “If you stay on the editorial side, you’ll never make money; however, if you go into Sales you can make a lot of money and I happen to have a sales position available.”

Well, you guessed it!  I decided to try sales. It was a powerful experience. There was “one special day,” where I realized rejection was NOT about me, but the situation. I had been pursuing different customers for advertising. I started thinking I was not cut out for the job, because of no response when I would call, submit proposals, etc.

Then one day, I called a fellow that I had been pursuing and found out he had not called me, because he was in the hospital, he had had a heart attack! This was a game changer for me!  I realized that if customers didn’t get back to me there could be a “valid reason” and not just because they were “tired” of hearing from me. Moral of the story, NEVER assume anything, go by the facts.

The Taming of the Muse (a fellow blogger), shared a good rejection story called, “Opportunities – Sometimes, things have to fall apart so they can fall into place.” 

Like Jiang says, “Rejection, if tackled head on, can turn out to be a good thing!”


Conquer your FEARS!

So, I have a question…

When you are faced with FEARS, how do you respond?  Like this cartoon of the man, do you charge ahead ready to fight?  OR…  Do you become immobilized like the cat?

challenge-73325_960_720Here is the BIG question. How long do you allow yourself to stay immobilized?

I was thinking about this, because I got laid off from my job. Of course, for anyone who has been laid off, you know our first reaction is HOW that cat looks!  It’s fear of the unknown!

Aren’t all fears comprised of the “unknown.” If we are afraid of flying, it’s because we don’t know if the plane will crash. If we are afraid of heights, it’s because we might fall. In general, we want to know the outcome, then there is no fear.

cat-fearSo fear, like seen in the cat’s expression, can immobilize us. The goal is to conquer our fears as quickly as possible. As soon as we do that we are not in “self pity mode” anymore and instead we are focused on “our goals.”

When does that shift from fear to taking charge happen? It’s different for everyone, but we need to recognize the positive signs that our energy force is shifting. For me, this might sound silly, but as I was exercising, I started finding “lucky pennies” in the strangest places. Then a recruiter who was sending my resume in for a job, boosted my confidence by sharing her journey of her recent job search. She made me laugh, because she started out by saying, “interviewing sucks,” especially when we think we have the job and we don’t. I appreciated her willingness to share her feelings. By making me laugh, it changed my day!

Next, I was at the library and came across this book called, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway,” (Dynamic Techniques for Turning Fear, Indecision and Anger into Power, Action and Love) by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.  YES, I did have that feeling of “wow” perfect timing for finding this book. I got home, downloaded the audio version, and listened it to while I job searched. Very motivational! I would hope I wrote my best cover letters that day.

One more, my sister happened to forward me a job fair event for Amazon. That was “out of the blue.” I went and they were talking about a new initiative to attract applicants who need flexibility in their work schedules, which was in the news the next day!

What is the “moral of this story?” Make an effort to get out of your FUNK as soon as possible! Once you do, the Universe makes things HAPPEN!

AND… Be willing to share your story with others, similar to the recruiter sharing her story with me. She made me laugh and changed my day!

How have you gotten out of your funk?

We motivate each other!!