Archive for the ‘About Teresa Jade LeYung aka Teresa LeYung Ryan’ Category

January 16, 2020

Who inspires me this month?  In addition to dear friends, colleagues, mentors, relatives, neighbors, clients . . .

Artist Chandra Garsson  Photographer Chandra Garsson

Her photographs / arts inspire wellness for the heart.

https://www.facebook.com/butterflybonesandhummingbirdsongs/  and  https://www.facebook.com/chandra.garsson

artist Chandra Garsson with her "Fiddlehead Fern" photo by Teresa Jade LeYung

 

The members and volunteers at Western Service Workers Association

http://www.wswaba.org/

WSWA members and volunteers mobilize to a hearing at the California Public Utilities Commission, successfully blocking billions of dollars in PG&E rate increases.

http://www.wswaba.org/

WSWA is a free and voluntary membership association built by and for our membership of low-income service, domestic, in-home care, part-time and temporary workers since 1975. WSWA is entirely volunteer run, without a dime of government or other “strings attached” funds. WSWA’s self-help 11-point membership benefit program – including emergency food, clothing, preventive medical care, non-emergency dental care, legal advice and “Know Your Law” sessions and more – helps meet immediate needs while we pursue solutions to the cause of low wages, lack of benefits and unsafe working conditions.

Thank you, Wisdom Teacher Marie Elena Gaspari https://www.linkedin.com/in/marieelenagaspari-94798747 , for introducing me to the folks at WSWA!

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Everyone at  California Clubhouse in San Mateo, CA

https://californiaclubhouse.org/

“Our Clubhouse offers hope, encouragement and opportunities to people who live with mental illness.”

https://californiaclubhouse.org/

Thank you, mentor Diane Warner, for introducing me to the folks at California Clubhouse!

Clubhouse International has succeeded in creating something that didn’t exist before a worldwide community that is changing the world of mental health. Through local Clubhouses around the world, we offer people living with mental  illness opportunities for friendships, employment, housing, education, and access to medical and psychiatric services in a single caring and safe environment- so they can recover and fully participate as valued and respected members of society.

Awarded the 2014 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize for extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering.

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Cynthia Tom, creator of A PLACE OF HER OWN

https://www.aplaceofherown.org/

https://www.aplaceofherown.org/

MISSION
A PLACE OF HER OWN (PLACE) is an art making-based healing organization dedicated to sparking and sustaining the well-being of women. The transformation series of workshops culminate in an art exhibition for women.

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Michael Larsen, author coach

https://larsenauthorcoaching.com/

Michael Larsen Author Coach

Mr. Larsen says: “My experience as an agent and the author of successful books on proposals, agents, and marketing  and co-founder of San Francisco Writers Conference and San Francisco Writing for Change Conference helps me provide you with the customized advice, encouragement, and mentorship you need to succeed.”

Look for Michael Larsen who will be at San Francisco Writers Conference 2020.

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Mary Tang  doing business as  SolutionsBAC

https://www.linkedin.com/in/solutionsbac

Ms. Tang consults for startup companies, privately-held corporations and sole proprietorships – helping them solve typical business problems as well as plan for sustained profitability and future growth. She’s assisted client companies with hiring technical, marketing, finance department staff; advised on headcount and HR-related matters. She also coaches individuals on career development, job search and interviewing techniques, managing workplace issues, life/work choices. She possesses degrees in Business and in Education.

 

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Mary E. Knippel, founder of Your Writing Mentor

http://yourwritingmentor.com/

Mary E. Knippel 2019 jamienease-com

 

Ms. Knippel says: “Let’s talk about where you are now…where you want to go…and how I may support you in the process.”

Look for Mary E. Knippel who will be orchestrating Independent Editors at San Francisco Writers Conference 2020.

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Victoria Sweet, M.D. and her book SLOW MEDICINE: The Way to Healing

https://www.victoriasweet.com/

Good medicine takes more than amazing technology; it takes time–time to respond to bodies as well as data, time to arrive at the right diagnosis and the right treatment.

Medicine, Dr. Victoria Sweet makes us see, is a craft and an art as well as a science. It is relational, personal, even spiritual. To do it well requires a hard-won wisdom that no algorithm can replace–that brings together “fast” and “slow” in a truly effective, efficient, sustainable, and humane way of healing.

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Frans de Waal and his book Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves

https://www.ted.com/speakers/frans_de_waal

Frans de Waal studies primate social behavior — how they fight and reconcile, share and cooperate.

Dutch/American biologist, ethologist, primatologist Frans de Waal draws parallels between primate and human behavior, from peacemaking and morality to culture.

Thank you, mentor Diane Warner, for gifting me this eye-opening book!

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Francis Bellamy (1855-1931)

https://www.ushistory.org/documents/pledge.htm

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Story Theme Consultant Teresa Jade LeYung says: “I am inspired by big hearts and humor.”

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Brilliant and prolific writers, comedians, entertainers, sages:

George Carlin

https://georgecarlin.com

George Carlin on Our Similarities instead of our differences – things that make us the same.

Thank you, CappyNJ, for https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgps85scy1g

George Carlin on little things we share. From his 1992 special Jammin’ in New York.

I learned two words from Mr. Carlin  – entropy; discography. Thank you!

 

John Cleese

https://www.johncleese.com/

John Cleese on Creativity In Management  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb5oIIPO62g

Thank you, John Cleese training company  www.videoarts.com !

Wanda Sykes !

https://www.wandasykes.com/

COMEDY SPECIAL: Wanda Sykes: Im’a Be Me
COMEDY SPECIAL: Wanda Sykes: Sick and Tired
COMEDY SPECIAL: Tongue Untied
BOOK: Yeah I Said It

 

Teresa Jade LeYung 2019 Paris, photo by Mary E. Knippel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a story theme consultant, award-winning writer, and platform-building coach for pre-published and published authors, Teresa Jade LeYung helps her clients identify their core themes and transform their manuscripts into novels, biographies and memoirs. http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog

 

 

January 3, 2020

To Everyone,

Happy New Year !

I wish you excellent health, wonderment, and 20/20 vision to peace!

Sincerely,

Teresa Jade LeYung

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Luxor Obelisk and The Iron Lady of Paris, France - photo by Teresa Jade LeYung

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 The Water Garden at Giverny – Claude Monet’s Water Lily Pond – photo by Teresa Jade LeYung

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Lady Liberty at Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France – photo by Teresa Jade LeYung

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The Water Garden at Giverny - Claude Monet's Water Lily Pond - photo by Teresa Jade LeYung

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Oh my! An Eiffel Tower Christmas tree (Thank you to the folks who displayed this) in Berkeley, California - photo by Linda A. Harris

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Teresa Jade LeYung 2019 Paris, photo by Mary E. Knippel

 

As a story theme consultant, award-winning writer, and platform-building coach for pre-published and published authors, Teresa Jade LeYung helps her clients identify their core themes and transform their manuscripts into novels, biographies and memoirs. http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog

 

 

published December  14, 2019

Reading Victoria Sweet, M.D.’s new book SLOW MEDICINE The Way to Healing https://www.victoriasweet.com/ and watching/listening to Carole King (“A Conversation with Carole King” – Veteran journalist Mike Barnicle talks to Ms. King about her memoir A NATURAL  WOMAN at John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on April 12, 2012) https://www.jfklibrary.org/events-and-awards/forums/2012-04-12-a-conversation-with-carole-king motivated my completing Part 2 of Author Teresa Jade LeYung’s New Monologue “What The Man In 17-B Wanted”

In my blog post http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/blog-post-3-of-3-papa-makes-decision-while-in-nursing-home-again-by-teresa-jade-leyung/  my father was coping with his circumstances – as a reluctant resident at a nursing home.

This is what happened in November and December 2018.

Remember that piece of paper that I needed to fill out for the nursing home staff? The one about naming a mortuary.  Every resident must fill out that form http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/author-teresa-jade-leyungs-new-monologue-what-the-man-in-17-b-wanted-part-1/

Well, there is another form to deal with – “Notice to Terminate Lease” -  the agreement between my father and the apartment building property management – that a tenant must give up his lease after six months of absence and vacate his apartment.

I waited for a “good” day to show this second document to my father.  Only his signature would be accepted by the property manager.  That day, Papa appeared to be cheerful, the sun was shining. I said to him: “Papa, remember you went to the hospital in July? You’re safe here with nurses and CNAs who care about you. Your Social Security money is paying for you to be here. There is no money to pay for your apartment too. Also, the lease says that you have to give up the apartment by end of December. I will help you. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of everything. You just have to sign this paper.  Okay?”

He signed.  I don’t know what happened after I said “Goodnight” to him. He probably cried when no one was watching.

What I didn’t have the heart to tell him was that every object which represented his life had to go away – to a storage unit , to a recycling center, or to the dump. If not for my brother’s first wife and four other precious friends, I wouldn’t have been strong enough to take on this job.

What irony for a writer – I (narrator) wanted to give my father (protagonist) what he wanted (to be able to return to the place he called “home”) but he was a fall risk and could no longer live alone.  Because he was relying on me to be his advocate, and,  because he didn’t get what he wanted most, he probably viewed me as an obstacle as well.

Like the son in the movie Garbo Speaks (written by Larry Grusin), I was the daughter who was worn out chasing after something that seemed impossible to obtain.

Back to that first piece of paper that I needed to fill out for the nursing home staff.

I need to do the right thing when Papa dies. Mrs. Chu, the oldest resident at the nursing home, is 107! My father is only 85. He has a long way to go.

Does my father want to be buried or cremated? He won’t talk about illness, certainly not about funeral.  I cannot read his mind.

Thanks to Amy Grace Lam who said to me “Teresa, you will get your answer not by asking your father but by finding the right person to ask your father.”

The right person would be someone who speaks fluent Cantonese and is the archetype to ask such a question.

On the day when all three Cantonese-speaking team members (nurse, social worker, chaplain) showed up at the nursing home to meet my father and me, Amy Grace Lam’s words replayed in my head.

I showed Chaplain Yuen the piece of paper  and told him: “I want to honor my father’s body and need to know what he wants.”

I did not need to explain any further; the chaplain nodded, and took the paper from my hand.

While he was chatting with my father, I stepped aside to talk to the nurse and social worker.

Fifteen minutes later, I hear Chaplain Yuen telling my father that he would visit again.  As though a director was in the room and we were all rehearsing a scene, a CNA comes into the room to distract my father. The chaplain says to me: “Your father wants burial, not cremation.”  The social worker tells me that she’ll get me a list of mortuaries which will include those catering to families of Chinese heritage.

I got what I wanted – the answer to my question. What more can a daughter ask for.

 

photo by Teresa Jade LeYung 2018 November 20

 

I wish you, dear Reader, excellent health.

Sincerely,

Teresa Jade LeYung

Teresa Jade LeYung - photo by Sharon Leong 2019 May 10

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a story theme consultant, award-winning writer, and platform-building coach for pre-published and published authors, TERESA JADE LEYUNG empowers her clients to identify their core themes in their manuscripts and career mapping.
http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog

TERESA JADE LEYUNG (formerly Teresa LeYung-Ryan) is the author of:

Love Made Of Heart

Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW

Talking to My Dead Mom monologues

 

 

 

 

 

October 28, 2019 , 00:13, 18:50, 20:34  Paris times

November 5, 2019, 12:00pm; November 6, 2019, 4:33am California time

To Everyone Who Has Helped Me or Someone I Care About,

Acts of kindness come in countless forms, oftentimes given anonymously.

I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart.

This blog post containing images of Parc Monceau, 8th arrondissement, Paris, France is to Thank You, the benevolent angels in all realms.

Today, October 28, 2019, my plan was to walk through Parc Monceau (enter at the grand gate at Avenue Van Dyck, exit at the grand gate at Avenue Velasquez). Well, Beauty distracted me. Twenty-eight minutes later, I realized I had walked a circle.

That is what I wish for you – may Beauty be with you always – may She lead you to where you need to go or come back to.

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http://www.mariechristinecornet.com/ Marie-Christine Cornet says: "I offer a body-based approach for healing and wellness. I believe that any step towards healing is a step towards evolution." photo by Teresa Jade LeYung

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All photographs taken by Teresa Jade LeYung on October 19,  24, 28, 2019, Parc Monceau, Paris, France

 

“Merci beaucoup to You,” says Story Theme Consultant Teresa Jade LeYung

(formerly known as Teresa LeYung-Ryan).

Teresa_Jade_LeYung_in_Paris_photo_by_Sasa_et_Nan

 

 

As a story theme consultant, award-winning writer, and platform-building coach for pre-published and published authors, Teresa Jade LeYung empowers her clients to transform their dearest dreams into reality. Whether Teresa is in Paris, France or California USA, she helps writers identify their core themes.

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog

 

October 1, 2019

HAPPY DOG GIVES COMFORT TO MIA, A CHILD IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, FAMILY IN SAN FRANCISCO

Maria Kawah Leung's new book LITTLE HEROES OF BAY STREET: AND HOW THEY STAY STRONG IN AN UNHAPPY HOME

 

Theme Consultant Teresa Jade LeYung loves MARIA KAWAH LEUNG‘s new children’s book LITTLE HEROES OF BAY STREET: AND HOW THEY STAY STRONG IN AN UNHAPPY HOME

Children’s book author MARIA KAWAH LEUNG shows how a girl named Mia and her loyal companion Happy Dog (he’s much much more than a stuffed animal) use their imagination to cope in an environment they have no control over – domestic violence. 

Together, they learn that friends do not have to always like the same things, and, that love means protecting and comforting each other. Author’s messages save lives – “When you’re scared or sad, talk to grown-ups you trust.”  and  “It’s not a child’s job to make parents happy.”

May all adults be like Ms. Chavez who notices a change in her student’s behavior and takes appropriate action. Heroes come in various shapes and sizes – in this story, they are a little girl, a fuzzy toy who is a beloved friend, and a school teacher.

While the story is set in San Francisco, the theme of family violence is worldwide, one that ought to be discussed openly without stigma. Empower children, give them a chance to blossom into healthy adults. Thank you, author and artist Maria Kawah Leung and illustrators Sandra Elyse Chavez and Maren Sleire Aasgaard, for shining the spotlight on dynamic duo Mia and Happy Dog and providing helpful resources.

Cheering for Mia, Happy Dog, all children and their loyal friends and advocates!

Your BIG fan Teresa Jade LeYung

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Get your copy of the book now  – only $1.99 USD – You can read LITTLE HEROES OF BAY STREET on your own device, on Kindle Cloud Reader (download from Amazon), or on your Kindle.

https://www.amazon.com/Little-Heroes-Bay-Street-Unhappy-ebook/dp/B07Y829C3M/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=Little+Heroes+of+Bay+Street&qid=1569965313&s=books&sr=1-6

Mia's Happy Dog gets hugs from loyal fan Teresa Jade LeYung, photo by author Maria Kawah Leung

 

 

 

As an alumna of A Place of Her Own 2018, Teresa Jade LeYung of Love Made Of Heart says: “When I’m in Paris, I know I have come home.”

As an award-winning author,  theme consultant and writing coach, Teresa empowers writers to transform their dearest dreams into reality.

Teresa_Jade_LeYung_in_Paris, photo_by_Sasa_or_Nan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog

 

Author Teresa Jade LeYung’s New Monologue

“What The Man In 17-B Wanted”  Part 1

When my papa was admitted to the nursing home, the folks in Social Services asked me to complete a half-inch-thick packet. A lot of it was reading material. There was this sheet of paper asking for name of mortuary.

Why? In straight language, when a resident “expires” (dies), the nursing home must remove “the remains” (the dead body) out of the facilities within four hours of death.

Since there are three residents in a room, you just can’t leave a deceased person in his bed as though he were in a private home.

I remember the night when my papa called me, to tell me that his roommate died, that he was afraid to sleep in the room and wanted me to go over there and take him to a hotel. I explained that he himself is a fall risk, I couldn’t just put him in a taxi and send him to a hotel. I suggested that he stay near the nurse’s station. Later that evening when I called his nurse, she said that he was in the hallway, fell asleep in his wheelchair. Later after his deceased roommate had been taken away, his CNA helped him back to bed.

Back to this sheet of paper … If this document isn’t filled out, then, at time of death, the dead body would be transported to the mortuary that the nursing home has a contract with. If that mortuary is not the one that the deceased or the deceased’s representative wanted, then, the representative would have to pay the “transfer” cost (moving dead body from first mortuary to second mortuary) in addition to the transport cost (the original ride from nursing home to the first mortuary).

The dollar amount of the transportation cost would come close to about 50 taxi rides to go half-way across town in San Francisco; double that if a “transfer” fee is incurred.

Every three or four months, the kindhearted staff would remind me about “that” sheet of paper.

Truthfully, I would like to know what my father wants. Does he want to be cremated or buried?  I can’t ask him.  The look on his face – when I dare to utter any word related to the subject of death – says: “Aah, daughter, so, that is why you are leaving me here.”

Most days, I say to myself: He’s so afraid of dying, he’ll be around another 15 years. I’ll probably die before he does.

[ Separate matter – regarding “Arbitration Agreement”  Thanks to two friends and the honesty of a staff member at the nursing home who spoke frankly…”If you don’t want to sign this…just write ‘decline to sign’ and date it.” http://www.canhr.org/arbitration/index.html  California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) says: “Don’t sign Arbitration Agreements in nursing homes and residential care facilities” ]

Sincerely,

Teresa_Jade_LeYung_in_Paris_photo_by_Sasa_or_Nan

Teresa Jade LeYung

an alumna of A Place of Her Own 2018

Teresa Jade LeYung of Love Made Of Heart says: “When I’m in Paris, I know I have come home.”

As an award-winning author,  theme consultant and writing coach, Teresa empowers writers to transform their dearest dreams into reality.

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Hungry Ghosts” Exhibit   August 10, 2019 – September 15, 2019

Marin Museum of Contemporary Art “Marin MOCA”

“Hungry Ghosts: the intersection between chronic heartache and prescriptions for resilience”

Art Talk: Saturday, August 24, 2019  1:00pm – 4:00pm. Artist Talk and Q & A with the artists who will share their personal journeys and art process.

500 Palm Drive, Novato, California 94949 415 506 0137

Museum Hours:
Wednesday – Friday  11am to 4pm
Saturday – Sunday  11am to 5pm

Hungry Ghosts

“Experiment D15” by artist Irene Wibawa

 

The Marin Museum of Contemporary Art presents “Hungry Ghosts,” an exhibit that explores the intersection between chronic heartache and prescriptions for resilience. Produced and curated by “A Place Of Her Own” Founder Cynthia Tom and Assistant Curator Maggie Yee, the show includes mixed media works by 14 women artists who examine their ancestral family patterns and stories through their artwork.

Ms. Tom explains: “PLACE is an organization with a powerful mission to support and promote the heartfelt aspirations of vibrant women. In order to change, thrive and lead, women must first acknowledge their significance in the world. Out of radical self-care comes a growing sense of power and clarity of one’s priorities. To have a place of one’s own is to proclaim that each and every woman matters.” MarinMOCA invites the public to engage with the powerful narrative and artwork in “Hungry Ghosts”

Participating Artists: Angela Bau, Frances Cachapero, Grace Hwang Lynch, Irene Wibawa, Julie Anderson, Lisa Rodondi, Manon Bogerd Wada, Natalie Sacramento, Paz Zamora, Reiko Fujii, Cynthia Tom, Maggie Yee, Sue Tom, Tomo Hirai.

Funded in Part by: California Arts Council, Do A Little Foundation and individual donors.

https://www.marinmoca.org/exhibitions/

https://www.aplaceofherown.org/events

I CHEER FOR THESE AWESOME ARTISTS WHO HELP HEAL OUR PLANET WITH THEIR WORKS OF BEAUTY.

Sincerely,

Teresa Jade LeYung

an alumna of A Place of Her Own 2018

Teresa Jade LeYung of Love Made Of Heart says: “When I’m in Paris, I know I have come home.”

Teresa_Jade_LeYung_in_Paris_photo_by_Sasa_or_Nan

As an award-winning author,  theme consultant and writing coach, Teresa empowers writers to transform their dearest dreams into reality.

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog

 

 

 

Hungry Ghosts image from Artist/Curator Cynthia Tom on her facebook page

WHAT:

Hungry Ghosts: Exploring the intersection between chronic heartache and prescriptions for resilience

Curated by Cynthia Tom and Maggie Yee for A PLACE OF HER OWN (™)

Funded in Part by: California Arts Council, Do A Little Foundation and individual donors.
Admission to the exhibition and programs is free and open to the public.

WHO:

Angela Bau, Frances Cachapero, Irene Wibawa, Julie Anderson, Lisa Rodondi, Manon Bogerd Wada, Avotcja, Natalie Sacramento, Paz Zamora, Reiko Fujii, Cynthia Tom, Maggie Yee, Sue Tom, Tomo Hirai.

WHERE:

Marin Museum of Contemporary Art (MMOCA), 500 Palm Dr, Novato, CA 94949

DATES:

Saturday August 10, 2019 - exhibition opening reception - meet the artists 2:00-7:00pm; Cynthia Tom – Curator’s Talk: 3:30-4:00pm; MMOCA Reception 5-7 pm; gallery opens 11am – 7pm

August 24, 2019, 1:00-4:00pm Artists’ Talk (artists onsite 11:00am – 5:00pm)

September 15, 2019, 12:00-5:00pm  Last day to meet the artists

 

Hungry Ghosts:

Exploring the intersection between chronic heartache and prescriptions for resilience

Exhibit Dates: August 10 – September 15, 2019
Location: Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, 500 Palm Dr, Novato, CA 94949
Hours:  Wednesday – Friday  11:00am to 4:00pm;  Saturday – Sunday  11:00am to 5:00pm

 

July 30, 2019 California USA

Dear Writers and Readers,

If we are able to read and write and not be persecuted for doing so, we have the responsibility to speak our truths, as well as the truths of those who cannot speak for themselves.

I was lucky to be invited as an exhibitor at the 2019 “Hungry Ghosts: Exploring the intersection between chronic heartache and prescriptions for resilience” show, curated by Cynthia Tom and Maggie Yee for A PLACE OF HER OWN (™). Due to illness, I was unable to work on my piece, therefore, I will not be an exhibitor this time. I shall be there as a fan of all the artists, supporters and advocates.

Theme Consultant and Writing Coach Teresa Jade LeYung Supports Artists Who Face Hungry Ghosts

If curators Cynthia Tom and Maggie Yee invite me again, I shall exhibit:

Teresa Jade LeYung says:

“Hungry ghosts eat, I spit nails.

Let Self speak, I prevail.”

Special thanks to Coach MaryT for word-magic!

Teresa_Jade_LeYung_in_Paris_photo_by_Sasa_or_Nan

Teresa Jade LeYung of Love Made Of Heart says: “When I’m in Paris, I know I have come home.”

As theme consultant and writing coach, Teresa empowers writers to transform their dearest dreams into reality.

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog

Blog Post 3 of 3 “Papa Makes Decision While In Nursing Home Again” by Teresa Jade LeYung

photo by Elley Chu

As writing coach and theme consultant Teresa Jade LeYung, I ask my clients: “What does your main character want?”

Sometimes, the client’s response is: “I’m  not sure.”  Other times, the reply is: “Nothing.”

If the protagonist in a story wants nothing, then, what is the story?

There is always something!  Could it be that your Hero cannot accept what is happening to her/him?  Does he/she want life the way it was, not the way it is?

That is my father’s dilemma. He has lost control over his day-to-day activities. Ever since the hospitalization for Aspiration Pneumonia and urinary tract infection in July 2018. Ever since he could no longer live by himself.

No more going to the hallway or balcony with his walker to exercise or taking the elevator to go to the mailroom whenever he wants to. No more watching his Cantonese television programs with his girlfriend who lives in the building. No more telling his caregiver to stop by the grocery store and bring him a particular fruit or a Chinese pastry he is craving.  No more quarterly appointments with his UCSF neurologist or UCSF hi-tech physical therapy for movement-disorder.  What irony – the appointments he had labeled “unnecessary” and “there’s nothing wrong with me” are now out of reach and “Why can’t I go?”

When nursing home staff members ask him “Do you want anything? Do you need anything?” he raises his left hand to gesture “No” and smiles.

When I am with him, occasionally he will tell me in Cantonese: “I don’t want to stay here.” (I think to myself Oh, Papa, of course. You were independent, in spite of Parkinson’s Disease, in your studio apartment.  Aspiration Pneumonia and urinary tract infection created your decline and now you are in a nursing home, in a room with 2 other residents, no furniture of your own. I am sad for you. But, I know that you are safe and well cared for by dedicated staff.  You are a lucky guy.)

I do not lie to him. I say: “This is your home now. Nurses and CNAs take excellent care of you. You are safe here. You have friends here. If you exercise and get strong to the point that you can live on your own again, then, I will help you find another one.”  I reinforce my words by taking out a green exercise band from the top drawer of the nightstand.

I had bought the green band when I was getting physical therapy for my plantar fasciitis. Last month, I found the band, and used a thick permanent marker to write my father’s name on it.  [ If you don't put your name, room and bed number on an item, that item is likely to disappear.  Even if everything were labeled, staff and residents would still experience "missing items."]

Papa is in good hands with the nursing home staff. And, since November, he’s been receiving visits from a nurse, a chaplain and a social worker from Hospice By The Bay.  Also, he gets visits from former caregivers (with help from my sister, I can afford to pay them to visit), his daughter-in-law, his grandson, his girlfriend, a few other people, and me (his representative and advocate).

Who else feels loss of control?  Me.  When I see Papa not practicing safe eating behavior.

What is safe?

- Papa sits upright and is fully awake (should not be putting food or drink into his mouth if he is slouching or sleepy).

- Eat slowly.  He uses a teaspoon to put food or thickened liquid into mouth.  Chew.  Swallow. Swallow again.  Say “AAH” twice.  If you don’t hear a clear AAH, that means food/drink has not cleared past the throat.

-  Do NOT tilt head backward when swallowing (head-tilting increases risk of choking and aspiration)

Oh, how I get exasperated when I find out that someone gave him food that hasn’t been pureed by dietician or liquid that hasn’t been properly thickened by his nurse.  Last month, two other residents gave him something to chew (Chinese chew); the nurses explained to the two nice people that my father cannot just chew, that he has a swallowing problem, that he could accidentally swallow the food. The residents don’t understand that another episode of aspiration-pneumonia could be fatal. They can’t empathize.

That’s another question I ask my writing-clients – “Which characters are sympathized and which ones are empathized by your narrator?

I am indeed grateful that my father likes the staff at the nursing home, and the meals served to him, and that he gets to walk with his walker about 5 times a week with the CNAs who are especially trained.  I am indeed grateful to everyone in his life and mine.

HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR 2019!

I wish everyone safety, abundant joy, and excellent health.

Sincerely,

Teresa Jade LeYung

 Teresa Jade LeYung – founder of Love Made of Heart (aka Teresa LeYung-Ryan) says: “When I’m in Paris, I know I have come home.”  Teresa speaks openly through her writing and advocacy, her immigrant experience, and her knowing beauty.  As author, publisher, theme consultant, and a found-object artist, she empowers women to transform dreams into lifestyle. http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog

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Saturday, February 16, 2019, 11AM – 3PM

at Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco, CA

Stepping Into Your Story: Artmaking to Access Your Identity

Workshop with visual artist / curator/ teacher Cynthia Tom

Go to  https://chsa.org/event/stepping-into-your-story-workshop-with-cynthia-tom/ and click on [ BUY TICKETS ]

Cynthia Tom, visual artist / curator/ teacher / founder of A PLACE OF HER OWN

Location

Chinese Historical Society of America
965 Clay St., San Francisco, California 94108

Seating is limited – admission to Cynthia Tom’s workshop on February 16, 2019 includes entry to CHSA galleries & exhibits.
$15;  $10 for Seniors over 62 and students with ID

Dress to be a little messy, collage workshop and lecture.

Go to  https://chsa.org/event/stepping-into-your-story-workshop-with-cynthia-tom/ and click on [ BUY TICKETS ]

“Stepping Into Your Story: Artmaking to Access Your Identity”

Workshop

with visual artist Cynthia Tom

Who are you? Why are you here and what for?

We provide an experiential workshop using intuitive artmaking techniques to access your inner stories in order to begin or continue your journey. In this workshop, using hands-on artmaking we begin to Explore, through discussion we learn how to Identify, and see how others Claim and use art to Proclaim their identity for healing and social change in the community. Our identity is forged by many seen and unseen forces. Take the time to discover, define and direct who you are with love and intention. While we can’t write your story in four hours, we can provide you with experiential and creative tools and next steps in defining and owning the power of You.

For Cynthia Tom’s website:  https://cynthiatom.com

For Cynthia Tom’s A PLACE OF HER OWN:  https://www.aplaceofherown.org

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Sincerely,

Teresa Jade LeYung