Monday, December 29, 2008

80 Days - Did You Make Them Count?

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn2008 has whirled by, it seems... although, when I look back on the events of the past year, I marvel that I was able to accomplish so much in 12 short months. As the 80-Day Challenge winds to a close, I want to share with you the secrets that made these feats of goal attainment possible - in the hopes that you will soon be able to make the same kinds of strides, and on a consistent basis. So here is my short list of success boosters and some key nuggets of wisdom to go along with each item on the list:
  1. Great mentors. I had the awesome privilege of meeting and working with some amazing people who mentored me through the process of creating positive, lasting change in my own life: Gerry Visca, Jack Canfield, Paul Copcutt, Lisa Nichols, Richard Elmes, and John Assaraf. I must also credit my pastors, Ken Pollard and Steve Barber for their positive influence on both my spiritual and business growth. Now mentors are great - coaches are wonderful. But their advice only works if you IMPLEMENT it. Lesson learned: Knowledge acquired is useless unless it is APPLIED.

  2. A wonderful support system. There were times during this last 12 month period when I felt completely lost. Despite the help of great mentors and a clear vision of my goals, my emotional baggage often got in the way of me doing what was necessary to realize my own success. Now, remember my mom passed away in February of 2007 and I did not grieve for her all at once - in fact, I think I did my grieving in spurts - that is until about December of last year, when it all came to a head. The work that I had to do emotionally as fallout from my mom's passing took time and the support of good friends. You know as well as I do, that any kind of emotional self-work takes time and support. So my thanks go out to my family, my husband Steve, my children (Cayla, Dylan and Thomas), Tom Caswell, Sandi Harmer, Tracey Turavani, Ivana Frajdenfeld, Shane Flannagan, Christine Eaton, and many others, who held my hand, made me laugh, prayed for me, reassured me, and even kicked my butt - always just at the right time. Lesson learned: It is OK to ask for help. When we turn people away in our time of need, we teach them to NOT help us. Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. It took me a long time to learn that - hopefully, you'll take my word for it.

  3. An accountability network. Much like a support system, an accountability network is invaluable if you want to achieve success. Accountability buddies remind you of the things you said you would do, and make a point of asking you if you followed through. They help you to stay on track and in so doing, are your partners in success. My accountability network includes Lisa Nichols, my Rise and Shine Coach, my husband Steve, Carolyn Hoxie (thanks again, Carolyn!), Tom Caswell, and Tracey Turavani. You all have played a very valuable role in the successes that were achieved this year! Lesson learned: No matter how self-directed you are - it still helps to have someone to be accountable to. Without accountability it is too easy to slack off, to do something easier, to skip the tough stuff, and to just give up when the going gets tough. Even the best in the world have coaches - why shouldn't we?

  4. The last success booster I want to list here is my journal. Those of you who know me well know that I carry a journal with me everywhere I go. Notes from my meetings go in there. Rough records of my coaching sessions go in there too. Appointment dates and times; my crazy ideas - and the not so crazy ones; my brainstorming ideas, and my hopes and dreams all go into my journal. When I get a great idea, I jot it down. Sometimes it goes no further than that, and then other times, that fleeting notion becomes the next big thing for my business or for my personal life. Lesson learned: If your life is worth living - it is worth recording! I once heard it said that a dream is a wish until you write it down - then it is a goal. Write stuff down! Follow through on some of those great ideas - who knows where they might take you?

Just this year, I have begun sharing more of my goals with others - I used to keep them locked in a vault. I have found that sharing my dreams and goals with others inspires them to dream as well. Another great side effect of sharing my goals is that people have enlisted to help me achieve my dreams - no strings attached - just because they want to be inspired and to have a part in accomplishing something great. To me, that is true inspiration, and I am grateful for the opportunity to enable others to fulfill their personal aspirations as we travel this road together. Part of this incredible journey has led to the formation of a new company - one which I believe will continue to promote the values and principles that have been presented by BRC for the last 11 years. I also expect this new company to be the vehicle by which Anger Solutions and our family of exceptional life changing programs will be carried not just across Canada, but to the world. More on this will be revealed in the New Year, but suffice it to say that I am excited about the days to come and the strides we will continue to make in 2009.

What about you? Do you have some emotional self-work you know needs doing, but you need a little help? Are you in need of an accountabilty partner to give you a swift kick in the pants every now and again? Consider joining the first 2009 TransformED Coaching class starting Jan. 5th for 8 weeks. You can find out more by visiting our website: This is an incredible way to start the year - especially if you have been sticking with the 80 Day Challenge so far - with gathered momentum to propel you into 2009 - so you can hit the ground running.

As this year and our current 80 Day Challenge both wind down to a close, my wish for you is your continued success in life, love, faith, health, and wealth.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is Sean Avery Angry or Just Rude?

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedInThis Just In from Mark Zwolinski SPORTS REPORTER for the Toronto Star:
Even if the Dallas Stars aren't ready to pardon Sean Avery for his behaviour, there are those in the NHL who are slightly more sympathetic.
"North America is all about forgiveness. If you ask, if he (Avery) asks, he'll be back in the NHL," Leafs winger Jamal Mayers said yesterday at practice.
Word spread quickly after the Stars parted ways with Avery, 13 days after the forward made disparaging comments about his ex-girlfriends who are currently dating other NHLers.
Avery will continue to collect his $3.85 million (all figures U.S.) salary this season, but won't return to hockey until the Stars find a suitable place for him to play – after he completes his league-mandated anger management counselling.
No one has publicly commented on what Avery's future holds, but in private, there is widespread condemnation in the NHL, leading to the belief Avery's chances of playing again in the NHL are slim.
While no one knows what the future holds for Avery, Mayers said he expects there is an NHL team willing to give him a second chance.
"If he asks for forgiveness, that, and time, will probably get him another chance," Mayers said.
Avery's chances ran out in Dallas yesterday, after co-GM Brett Hull announced the Stars' intention to "move on" without the forward.
The NHLPA is expected to conduct their normal conference call with player reps today, and Avery's situation will almost certainly be a topic on the agenda.
"Obviously we as players are going to support all players and make sure they are treated fairly," Leafs rep Matt Stajan said. "Things were said that shouldn't have been said, and that's happened a number of times ... but I don't think we've seen the last of Sean Avery, he's a good player and he'll be back in the league."
In private, though, some Leafs wondered if anger management counselling was appropriate for Avery because they believe his repeated exchanges with players and fans, were pre-meditated and not anger related.

This is where the difference between Anger Solutions and anger management can be made clear. Anger Management implies that Avery has issues controlling his temper or his behaviour. Anger Solutions operates on the assumption that whatever Avery has done or said is a function of his choice. He may not like the way things are going - and he may well have "anger issues"; however, the way he has expressed his ideas to the media are most certainly pre-meditated (responses to feelings of anger are not always spontaneous, thoughtless acts - they are often, if not always, pre-meditated).
My thinking is that from an Anger Solutions perspective, Sean Avery would not only learn how to safely and appropriately express his anger, but he would also have a new decision making model to help him discern which responses will net him the best outcomes. I'm sure, that with hindsight being 20/20, if he had known that spouting off about his ex-girlfriends to the media would get him kicked off his team and perhaps out of the league, he would have kept his mouth shut. Anger Solutions would have taught him how to see that freight train coming before it hit him square between the eyes and knocked him out the game - perhaps permanently.
Interested to know how we would accomplish that? Call us at 1-866-754-6169 or visit our website:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

28 Days Left - The Final Push in the 80 Day Challenge

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn
I'm curious to know how many of you have been sticking with the 80-Day Challenge that I started with you at the beginning of October. We are quickly winding down, and I have another installment in the process to help you continue to build momentum as we approach January 1st, 2009.

But first a review:
Our very first exercise came to us courtesy of Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series as well as several other great works including The Aladdin Factor ( a must read for anyone wanting to set and achieve goals). You will remember that this exercise was about finding your "YOU ARE HERE" dot for your life. You asked yourself some key questions: what did achieve in 2008? Are you healthier? Happier? Wealthier? Wiser? What challenges were you still facing at the time of doing that exercise? What about now? Have you faced and overcome any of those challenges during this process? Have you created any wins for yourself over the last 60 days? What situations still exist in your life that you know you need to address in order to move forward?

Our second exercise was from the brilliant Morgana Rae, and focused on your relationship with money. What did you learn about yourself and your limiting beliefs around money? Have you re-defined what your relationship with money will be like from now on? Have you decided to make money a welcome visitor in your home - perhaps one that will take up residence in your business on a more permanent basis?

Our third lesson in the 80-Day Challenge focused on The Law of Seed and Harvest - and provided you with some tips on how to make the most of the time, energy, and money that you invest into your life or your business. What seeds have you decided to plant? What "gardens" are you currently nurturing, and what kind of fruit will they yield in the harvest? Have you begun thinking about the natural growing seasons in your life, and how you can make the best of the time you have to work with? Remember that the Law of Seed and Harvest relates to all aspects of our lives: work, love, family, pets, money, business, health, spirituality and faith. Nothing happens "instantly". You need to build skills to get that good job. You need to be willing to love and be loved in order for romance to blossom. Kids don't grow up overnight although it seems that way sometimes. Pets need to be trained and acclimatized to your family's routines. Money must be invested in order for it to grow. Businesses all start somewhere - none of them become overnight successes - there was work, planning, and investment of time, energy, and money long before the success came. If you want to be healthy, you have to sow good seeds - if you sow rotten seeds (drugs, alcohol, junk food, nicotine, etc.), you will reap a rotten harvest. And of course with spirituality and faith - to develop a relationship with your creator also takes time and attention on your part. Nothing comes from nothing - you have to plant, water, and nurture the seeds for the harvest you hope to reap.

That brought us to our T quadrant in the most recent lesson: Taking Stock. This is about isolating where exactly you want to plant those seeds as you move forward either in your career, job, or business. I have always believed that one should do what one loves, and the money will follow. I still think this is true. However, I have recently re-framed that concept - if we do what we love by following a proven SYSTEM, and sticking with the PLAN, the money will not only follow, it will FLOW. The Law of Seed and Harvest is about following a universal system that will lead to a harvest every time. The T quadrant is about clarifying your vision so that you can plan ahead to do more of what you really love - the stuff that is FUN and makes you money.

Where do we go from here?
With only 20 something days left in the challenge, it is time to move into action steps. By now you should have a clear concept of what you want to accomplish (work wise) in 2009. You have re-framed your ideas about money, and you know what challenges you are currently facing. You understand that you need to plant something in order to reap a harvest, and that what you plant matters. So I have TWO assignments for you to follow through on in order to get yourself moving into action.

First: Make a list of the things you want to accomplish in 2009. Break your list down into categories -
Spirituality and faith

Now - Narrow your focus down to the first 90-120 days of 2009. Which of these goals must you begin working on immediately if you are to reach your major milestones by the end of the year? What seeds must you plant, and how long will it take for them to convert into a viable harvest? For example: if you want to find true love, what steps must you take NOW in order to be able to say, "Happy New Year Honey!" to your dream lover on Dec. 31st 2009? If you want to land that "whale" account for your company, who do you need to contact? How will you build the relationship with that potential customer? What limiting beliefs must you shed in order to make this desired goal a reality?

Lastly - make a list of action steps you can begin within the next 20 - 28 days so that when 2009 rolls around, you will already be on your way to materializing the vision you just described through the goal setting process.

I can't wait to hear from you! Please feel free to post you comments on this site, or email me directly with your results. There will be one final installment in this 80-Day Challenge - the wrap-up. Look for it closer to the end of the month.

Friday, November 21, 2008

40 Days Left - Time to Take Stock

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedInThere are only 40 days left in our 80 Day Challenge. Are you still with me?

This time, I want to turn your attention to a great little exercise that will help you to begin planning out your 2009 year with purpose. I first began doing this at the end of each year, about three years ago after I had worked like a dog all year, with very little to show for it financially or emotionally in the end. I wish I could remember where I first heard of this exercise - I want to say I learned it from one of my colleagues from back in the day when I worked for Pryor Resources Inc., but in truth I can't be sure.

In any case, the exercise works like this. Draw a T quadrant on a sheet of paper (you may need more than one sheet) - an example is here for you to look at. In each quadrant, you will place a different heading:

1. What was FUN and made me money

2. What was NOT FUN and made me money

3. What was FUN and didn't make me money

4. What was NOT FUN and didn't make me money

Go back over your year. What tasks or projects did you participate in? Were they fun? Were they lucrative? What was not fun at all, but was seemingly necessary in order for you to earn a living? What was incredibly fun - that you would do again for NO PAY?

Prioritize your 2009 plans accordingly. For me, there were some things I did in 2008 that were amazing FUN, but didn't make me any money - this time. I already know what needs to be done differently, and the wheels are already in motion to make this fun time a profitable one as well. There were some things I did for free because I believe in the value I can bring to the process (e.g. teaching self-esteem programs in the schools, participating in the National Bullying Awareness Week, etc.), and others that were strategic marketing efforts. I balance that out with several projects that are also fun and profitable, so that I can be fiscally responsible to my company and to my family.

What makes the difference for me is going through the annual (and sometimes quarterly) process of evaluating what I'm doing, asking if it is working, and making adjustments as needed. I find myself doing less and less of the stuff that is just NO FUN at all - and spending more time doing what I am most passionate about and having a blast doing it.

When you complete your quadrant, pay close attention to those things that you want to do more of, and begin asking, "What can I do differently to ensure that I am filling more of my time with the FUN and PROFITABLE activities?" Focus on what you want - because energy flows where the attention goes.

I want to hear about your breakthroughs as you go through the 80 day challenge! And guess what - starting in January, we will begin another process to keep us all in forward motion. I encourage you to stick with me on this journey.

I am so excited to bring Transform[ED] Coaching to you beginning January 5th, 2009. What a great way to start the New Year! We all make resolutions about what we want to change, and what we will do differently, but very soon into the first few weeks of January or February, we revert back to our old ways. Do you ever wonder why it is that way? Is it possible that the change we seek is too far outside of our comfort zone? Perhaps, we see what we want to achieve, but we don’t have the tools or the roadmap to get there. Most definitely, we lack the skills to make change sustainable over the long term.

With the help of Transform[ED] Coaching you can finally cut through all of that, and begin making those all important steps towards your goals. I will be your partner in success, accountability, and in effort – guiding you through the processes required to Get Past Your Past, Stress Less, and to acquire the Anger Solutions you need to move forward.

Transform[ED] Coaching is an 8-week group process that you can participate in from the comfort of your own home. All you will need is your telephone, a journal, and a pen. I will provide you with the roadmap, the tools, the insight, and the leverage you need to make the changes you desire. You can be assured that your personal information will remain confidential, and your self-work will be seen only by me. Each hour-long session will focus on a particular task or issue, and there will be an opportunity for question and answer at the end of each call. Those questions that cannot be answered within our time will be covered in an e-mail. Because I want to be able to give each participant the personal attention they deserve, registration in these sessions is limited to the first 20 who sign up.

The investment in this process of creating radical, lasting, positive change in your life is only $579 – a fraction of what I normally require from individual coaching clients. Because you are a valued customer and friend of BRC, I am pleased to offer you a $100 discount when you sign up for our January 5 class. Tell a friend about this class and have them sign up with you, and we will extend the $100 savings to them AND take another $25 off your registration fee.

Are you ready to be Transform[ED]?
Call today 1-866-754-6169 to get your name on the list.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The SIX Principles of the Law of Seed and Harvest

[photo: John Assaraf, Author of The Answer holding his new copy of Stress Less in 27 Days, with me at The Phenomenal View - Oct. 25]
View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn

As the next installment of our 80 Day Challenge exercises, I want to introduce you to a concept that will help you engage the Law of Attraction in a more tangible way. John Assaraf calls it "The Law of Gender" - I call it, "The Law of Seed and Harvest".

The law of seed and harvest is something that I have taught and embraced for many years, but within the context of current teachings about the Law of Attraction, I believe this concept has real value. There are certain elements of the law of seed and harvest that I believe you must understand and apply in order to get the results that you want.

First, you must understand and have a clear concept of WHAT YOU WANT TO GROW. If you want roses, you're not going to plant dandelions. Choose wisely, and focus your attention on the harvest you want to reap.

Second, you must apply what John Assaraf calls, "The Law of GOYA". This stands for "Get Off Your ____". The Bible tells the story of a sower and the story begins this way, "A sower went out to sow..." You actually have to get off your butt, and sow the seed. You will never reap a harvest if you don't do the work that is required first.

Third, You need to sow your seed on good ground. The biblical parable goes on to say that some seed fell on stony ground, on bad soil (weed infested), and some on good ground. Why not bypass the bad soil and focus your energy and attention on good ground? This is a topic that we could spend hours on, but for now, I just want you to think about what qualifies as good ground in your life or your business? Make a list. Now make another list of everywhere that you have been "sowing" - have you been using more of a scatter gun approach rather than focusing on your vision?

Fourth, You need to nurture the seeds you sow. Plants and crops require a certain kind of favourable environment in order to bring forth a good harvest - things like sunlight, rain or irrigation, fertilizer, and time. What can you do to cultivate the seeds you have planted?

Fifth, Remember that everything that grows has a cycle - a growing season if you will. Nothing - I repeat, NOTHING happens overnight. The other day a good friend to me said, "Wow, things are really happening for you - change is coming overnight!" My response to her was, "It's not really an overnight success story - It is more like a 10 year process - it is just that now, we are building momentum and change is happening more swiftly. In life and in business, you can find ways to shorten your growing season, or lengthen it as need arises; however, every growing thing has a natural growth cycle. Know your growing season, and work within it.

Last but not least, understand this: The more seed you sow, the greater your harvest will be. This in effect is the principle of working smarter, not harder. Sowing takes the same amount of effort if you sow 50 seeds or 150, or 1500. The degree of your success will relate directly to the amount of work you put in at the beginning, and what you do to cultivate the seeds during their cycle of growth.

What can you do to create an abundant harvest - the one you really want for your self, your family, or your business? Do me a favour, and write in. Let me know how this has helped you.

In our next newsletter I'm going to give you a great exercise to help you quickly evaluate every activity you engaged in this year - to help you clarify your vision of where you will focus your energy and attention in 2009.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Added Information for the 80 Day Challenge - Money

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn
Hello all - I hope that you are sticking with me on the 80 Day Challenge - I know that for me, it has been a real exciting journey, watching as I make huge strides, building momentum that will carry me into 2009.

The exercise "Money and Me" that I shared with you a few posts back was created by Morgana Rae, and it is only fitting that she should be credited with this amazing exercise. Morgana Rae, the Charmed Life Coach and Money Magic Queen, helps entrepreneurs attract more than they chase and RADICALLY change their relationship with money. You can find her at

Check out her website the next opportunity you have. In our next post, I'll have another challenge for you to work on as we continue our 80 day countdown to the end of the year!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Anger Solutions Philosophy to Reach Grade 10 South African Students

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn
NB Publishers in South Africa (, a publisher of English language educational textbooks for high school students, will be publishing my article, The Psychology of Procrastination in their Grade 11 English Home Language textbook.

The publisher's aim is not only to provide interesting English language selections for the students to study, but also to help them develop useful life skills as they work on improving their English reading, writing, comprehension, and oral language abilities.

I am very and honored by this opportunity to share even a small piece of Anger Solutions(TM) philosophy with these students. Perhaps this will lead to other opportunities to take AS to various parts of the world!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lessons from the Masters Part 3 - Coaching Distinctions

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedInThis week I have been watching closely as I continue to make little shifts in my thinking and behaviour - and the results that follow. Last week I taught my students how to create a vision board as part of an extensive goal setting exercise. My vision board is not yet complete, because I want to be sure I am clearly visualizing my goals before I place them on the board. However, I put some key goals on the board around selling a certain number of books per year, and as a means to that end, to gain more exposure via radio, television, and print interviews. That was Thursday. On Friday, I received a call from CTS Television's "On the Line" saying that their Monday guest had to bow out due to an emergency, and could I be their expert guest for Monday's live show. Of course, I said yes. I sent out a quick email to my contact list to let them know that I would be on the show. On my arrival home from taping the live show in Burlington, I opened my email to see a note from CHCH TV in Hamilton asking if I would like to do a guest spot on one of their programs. The producer saw the email I sent out to my e-list, and thought that the topic of stress management would be a good fit for their show! How cool is that? The power of intention coupled with focused action created another opportunity for me to fulfill that goal of booking more interviews to promote my books.

Another cool thing that happened this week, also happened while I was taping "On the Line". I had an epiphany right in the middle of a conversation with a caller and it was this: All stress is FEAR-based. Think about it - we become stressed when we feel afraid that we lack the resources we need to meet the demands of a circumstance or event. Example: If I get stressed over an interview, it is because I am afraid I will sound stupid, or make a mistake, or say something that doesn't make any sense. I am afraid the host won't like me and won't ask me back on the show. If you get stressed over a project at work, it is because you are afraid you won't get it done on time, the boss won't like it, your peers or colleagues won't carry their end and you'll end up doing all the work, and so on. Knowing that our stress is based in fear gives us tremendous freedom because by tackling and subduing the fear, we in effect, subdue our stress. You can read more about Facing Your Fears in one of this blog's back entries, or in my book, Stress Less in 27 Days.

Last distinction I have made since beginning coaching with Lisa Nichols: In our first session she talked about "exposing the lies" - those things we have been told, or we have told ourselves that hold us back, keep us down, and prevent us from being our authentic selves. I was taken back to a time when I was much younger and I had struggled with a LIE put on me by a woman who had offered me a job, and I turned her down for a better opportunity. She told me I was irresponsible, and that I would never make anything of myself because I couldn't stick to a decision. What she said hurt me for a long time, and worse - it haunted me. Then, somewhere around 1995, began to dig deep through the layers of negative self talk, and I realized that I had been believing this lie she had implanted in me. So I wrote a poem about it, and in doing so - released the weight of the lie that had been on me for close to 10 years. Here it is... maybe it will help you to let go of a weight that ties you down.

For the Manager of Rockland Textiles, June 1986
This is for you who told me
I was making a mistake.
You were angry
But not at me.
I did not understand it then
But I do now
Someone must have failed you
Disappointed you miserably
And I, in the wrong place
At the wrong time
Stood silently, tearfully
The lamb before the slaughter
As you whipped me with your words,
Stripped me with your gaze,
Destroyed me with your vote of non-confidence.

Now for the record
Let it be known that you,
You made the mistake,
Not I.
The choice I made was right
For me and for you.
We cannot see
What lies ahead -- we must but
Trust our instincts as they
Lead us toward our destiny.
The mistake was yours
For resisting fate,
For shaking your fist at the
Heavens in defiance
For robbing another human being
Of her self-esteem
For contracting her self-respect.

I am beyond that now.
I understand.
You were angry but not at me.
Someone failed you
Disappointed you miserably
And I, I was there for you
In the right place
At the right time
We cannot see what lies ahead
We must but trust our instincts
(I have followed mine)
As they lead us toward
Our destiny.
(c) 1996, Julie Christiansen

Friday, October 03, 2008

LIVE October 24th - Time Management and Overcoming Conflict

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn

On October 24th, 2008, join international speaker and author, Julie Christiansen for two dynamic interactive workshops: Time Management for Real People, and Overcoming Conflict and Negativity. Both workshops will take place at the Holiday Inn St. Catharines, 2 South Service Road, near the QEW and Lake Street. You may register for one session only ($99 each includes refreshments, workbook, and a free E-Book), or attend both and pay only $180. Click on the image at the left to see a full-sized registration form - you may print, complete and fax it to the number provided to reserve your spot. Space is limited to the first 15 registrants, so don't miss out!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ahhhhh - Time to Breathe

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn
It was Steve's and my great privilege to spend 4 glorious days in Sault Ste. Marie this past weekend with my dear friend and colleague, Tom Caswell and his beautiful wife, Sandy. I couldn't possibly list all the details of the trip here - but I will say this... there is nothing like a good dose of raw nature to help you put your life in perspective. This past weekend was one of FIRSTS. I facilitated my first workshop under the banner of Transform[ED] for professionals in the human services field in the Sault. I also had the great honour of sitting down with some of the Canadian Mental Health Association's Anger Solutions graduates to hear first hand how the program has impacted their lives, and to share additional insights with them about how they can continue their personal transformation process.

I can't tell you the range of emotions I have experienced this weekend - but just in those two events, I must say that I am continually humbled by the effect that this work (Anger Solutions, Stress Busters, Getting Past Your Past - aka Transform[ED]) has on those who come in contact with it. My husband Steve asked me how it felt to have "celebrity status"... my only reply is that I couldn't care less about it. What is most important to me is the fact that in some small way, I am helping others to help themselves. If being somewhat of a celebrity helps that along - so be it... however, my passion is the work itself - and I am honoured to be gifted with the ability to serve others.
Another emotion or state of being that I experienced this weekend was that of "letting go". It is something that I encourage people to do via our various programs; however, I have been "holding on" to too much for far too long. This weekend away in the bush was as much about de-compressing my mind as it was relaxing my body. The "letting go" occured in stages - first just sitting on the dock in the quiet with my honey, admiring the serene beauty of Devil's Lake; then, canoeing around the pristine waters as the sun ducked low behind the horizon... Then, standing on the shores of a rocky point, lithely casting a lure out into the lake, hoping for a catch - and then again as I experienced the euphoric thrill of barrelling through the forest on the back of a 4-wheeler for the first time in my life... Every aspect of the experience was fantastic - and as I took in everything around me, I found that the burdens and cares I had carried to camp were quietly slipping away.

At the beginning of September at the CAASP retreat, I was given an "inspiration card", which encouraged me to "pray in solitude" in order to quiet the myriad of thoughts constantly running through my over-active brain. The weekend in the Sault allowed me to do just that - to get back in touch with who I am (without celebrity status, parenting responsibilities, business obligations, new programs being created in my head, and all of that). It was my opportunity to just breathe.

I am sure that in the days to come, as I review the hundreds of photos that were taken, and as I think about the many adventures we packed into one short weekend, that there will be some key lessons learned that I can share with you. But for today, please indulge me as I just bask in the after-effects of a wonderful time away from the everyday...

Our many thanks to the Canadian Mental Health Association of Sault Ste. Marie for inviting me to come and share my vision with their community. And of course, Steve and I cannot thank Sandy and Tom enough for their kind hospitality. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not say a special thank you to Taz (pictured here with Steve) and Wiley for making our stay at camp a warm and friendly time. With a little help from your friends, it is possible to slow down and catch your breath.

Monday, September 08, 2008

CAASP Retreat a Great Success! Highlights on Video

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn
Thank you a thousand times to the folks who joined me for the first annual retreat of the CAASP (Canadian Association of Anger Solutions Professionals) in Barrie, Ontario. What a great time! We had loads of fun amidst the more serious discussions around business building, branding, marketing, and of course - best practices in Anger Solutions. The creativity and laughter workshops rounded out our sessions, and we all had a fabulous time. Here is a video summary of the retreat - save the date - the FIRST week of September 2009, we're going to do it again!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Work Rage - Time For Companies to get out of Denial

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn

Anger management in the workplace: Raging bull
01 September 2008 00:00
The traditionally curmudgeonly British character shouldn’t lead us to overlook the risks anger at work can pose to staff health and wellbeing, writes Virginia Matthews.
And the anger isn't restricted to road, shopping or Naomi Campbell-style air-rage either.

Work rage

According to recent research from employment law firm Peninsula, eight in 10 of us suffer from 'work rage' triggered by anything from lazy colleagues to ill-defined job roles. As many as seven in 10 report that verbal abuse and shouting is common in their place of work.

Seeing a colleague hurl their BlackBerry at the wall or square-up to an unpopular boss may be diverting at the time, but according to Dirk Hansen, director of clinical and service quality at Employee Advisory Resource, a persistently angry colleague can be highly disruptive in a team.
"Anger makes people say hurtful things and it triggers insecurity and lack of trust. Staff may become tentative in their approach to a colleague with anger problems, obstructing the work process and flow, and in the case of explosive anger, may become fearful of violence."
He advocates a zero-tolerance approach when the red mist comes down. "Line management should directly confront any individual who exhibits anger in the workplace and HR should not hesitate to deal with it in a disciplinary context."

Mike Fisher, founder of the British Association of Anger Management, says most organisations are in denial over work-rage, making it "the hot potato that nobody wants to touch".
He argues that while stress, anxiety or low self-esteem are already familiar territory to managers, the gnawing rage suffered inwardly by some staff tends to be hidden under a veneer of self-deprecation and sarcasm.

"While HR has come to embrace the problem of work-induced stress, the anger that invariably follows it is still the elephant in the room," says Fisher, a self-confessed 'passive-aggressive'.
"Yet this is a problem that will only continue to rise along with the country's current economic problems," he adds.

Although most flare-ups at work are minor – an oath, a phone banged down or a slammed desk drawer – work rage can, on occasions, be dramatic.

Paul Dubois, senior anger management instructor at Reed Learning, talks of the two senior surgeons referred to him after they set upon one another with scalpels and knives in an operating theatre: Ivan Robertson of occupational psychologists Robertson Cooper, remembers seeing a colleague coolly smash every single window pane in his office with a metal waste basket.

Calculated subversion
In Fisher's view, though, the problem of "calculated subversion" is far more of a danger to most employers.

"Although it is still deemed acceptable in our society for senior directors to blow their tops and bawl out colleagues, overt aggression is very rare among the lower ranks."

For those workers who feel they don't have a voice at work, undermining the organisation at every possible opportunity can be a far more subtle and deadly way of fighting back, he says.
"Spending extra time at lunch and on breaks is a favourite, as is lying on expenses forms. Angry staff will also spread malicious rumours, phone in sick when it's most inconvenient, be less caring towards customers and be downright obstreperous towards new members of staff," Fisher says.
"You won't even realise what they've been doing until there's a wave of resignations or you lose your biggest customers or contracts."

When it comes to figuring out why we are so angry in the first place – and the rage appears to affect teachers and doctors as much as call centre or sales staff – the consensus of opinion is that lack of autonomy and control, as well as ill-defined work roles, are the number-one suspects, along with mounting workloads and smaller staff numbers.

In the Metropolitan Police, which recently launched 'Shrinking Clouds', a toolkit that aims to combat absenteeism, it is stress, not anger, that receives the most attention.
"I've never yet seen a doctor's note that says: 'Mr So-and-So is off work due to anger problems'," says chief medical officer Dr Eileen Cahill-Canning. "I consider stress to be a far less pejorative word than anger and far easier for people to talk about, even though the two are inextricably linked."

She adds: "Our officers are highly trained not to react emotionally or angrily when faced with highly stressful situations. While it is possible that repressing anger in this way could lead to severe problems later on, we believe our concentration on stress, together with our falling absenteeism levels, speak for themselves."

The right target
For many organisations, anger management only hits the radar when there's been 'an incident' – a shouting match in the middle of the accounts department, or wilful damage to company property.

Yet the individual chosen to receive lessons in managing their anger is not always the right one, says Dubois.

"In many cases, employers are happy to blame individual members of staff for the outburst against a manager, without examining either whether their treatment at work has been fair or finding out whether there's another reason – perhaps a deeply personal one – for their display of anger."

"Although our courses tend to be filled with staff, not their managers, in nine cases out of 10, I would argue that it is actually their bosses who need to manage their anger better too," he says. "Ultimately, we teach people how to say 'no' to their employer, but to do it in an assertive, rather than aggressive way that avoids both manipulating others and resorting to threats or violence.

Virginia Matthews (About this Author)
Tuesday, 02 September 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

How to Discipline an "Angry" Child

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn
I was asked just recently what to do about a child who has begun to act out aggressively when he experiences frustration. Here are my thoughts:

First - a child needs to be taught, and reminded, that feeling angry is OK. Anger is an emotion and should not be judged as "bad" or "wrong". If we as parents do this - we are teaching the child that it is "wrong" to feel.

Second - separate the emotion from the behaviour. Validate and respect the emotion - identify the behaviour and explain why it is not acceptable. My policy with my children has always been to acknowledge that they are feeling angry, and that is fine - however, I describe the behaviour they are using to express that anger, and let them know that it is inappropriate.

Third - give alternatives to the unacceptable behaviour. It's like this - when my twin boys were little and they got frustrated they would hit me. This is not acceptable behaviour. And while I do not have a problem with spanking as discipline (in certain situations only), I realize that spanking a child in this scenario, only teaches them that hitting is ok - but only if you are big and the other person is little. So, I provided an alternative so that my little ones could release the negative energy of their anger. "Here - hit this pillow because it is not ok to hit Mommy. When you are not feeling so angry, we can talk about the problem." They would smash those pillows, and give me dirty looks the whole time, and I would smile back and ask, "Are you feeling better yet?" Eventually, the intensity of emotion would wear off, and they would come sit on my lap and we would talk about what they wanted, why Mommy said "no", and what we can do instead. We also talked about why hitting one's mom is not ok - event when you're feeling really angry. This taught my kids several things: 1) they know that they can tell me when they're upset with me, and that I won't judge them for their feelings, 2) they have respect for their parents, authority figures, and for their peers, which to me is most important, and 3) they understand that while they might feel angry sometimes, that aggression is not an appropriate way to resolve their issues. They don't always make the best choices despite this - but, their choices are more informed, and they get better outcomes because they think before they act.

Next - offer choices. Many years ago, my husband and I decided that we would allow our children to choose their form of discipline for the really BIG stuff that they got in trouble for. When they were younger, most times it would be the choice of a spanking (a temporary stinger) vs. losing a privilege like TV or the computer. Sometimes they would choose the spanking - sometimes they would give up a privilege. If they defaced a piece of furniture or broke something valuable, they could work for the money needed to replace it, or work with their dad to repair it. If they made a mess, they could clean it up themselves or they could lose out somewhere else. Sometimes, we just asked, "What do you think is an appropriate punishment for what you have done?" They never copped out and said, "nothing at all..." They always chose something that was fitting, and we always walked away feeling really proud of our kids. What did we teach them through this process? 1) That every choice you make has a consequence - sometimes positive, sometimes negative, but those consequences are a direct result of YOUR choices - it isn't anyone else's fault. 2) They learned how to take responsibility for their mistakes. Too often, people want to pass the buck and lay blame elsewhere - taking responsibility is almost a lost art now - but a value that is desperately needed if we hope to raise socially responsible, contributing members of society.

When in doubt, always ask yourself, "What do I want my child to learn through this experience?" If your answer sounds like you want them to know who is in charge, or that they can't get away with _________ (you fill in the blanks), or that they should know their place - chances are that your motivation is control and dominance vs. teaching your child to be responsible. When your objectives are to ensure that your child learns from his/her mistakes, makes good choices, and learns how to take ownership for his/her behaviour, your choices for discipline will move towards effecting those positive outcomes.

To learn more about our Anger Solutions(TM) for Kids program starting in Port Colborne this fall, please contact us at

Friday, August 15, 2008

Angry Kids - Angry Schools: What Can Be Done?

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn

How to Help Kids Resolve Anger

As I write this, I am putting the finishing touches on a new program: "Anger Solutions for Kids", which will be launched in Port Colborne this fall.

Why? Because over the last 12 months or so, I have been moved and troubled by the rash of schoolyard violence taking place in playgrounds across Ontario, Canada, and indeed, the world. Take for example, the story from last winter of the 12 year old girl who puched an 11 year old boy in the chest after he defended his "girlfriend" to her. The boy, suffering from a congenital heart disease, died from the blow. With simple conflict/anger resolution skills in place for both children, this tragedy might have been avoided.

Over recent days, I have noticed several articles addressing the issue of anger in children. In this article, I'd like to share snippets of these pieces, and add the Anger Solutions philosophy into the mix. James Lehman, famed MSW and author of the Total Transformation Program writes, "The next time your child acts out, instead of asking him why he did it, try saying, “Let’s look at what you do when you get angry.” That way, you’re teaching him that he’s angry and getting him to look at what he’s doing with the anger. The primary goal of behavioral change is to get people to do something different when they’re upset, angry or afraid. The next step is to ask, “The next time this happens, what can you do differently?” Don’t try to tell him, “You shouldn’t feel this way,” or “Those feelings aren’t valid.” Just say, “The next time you feel this way, what can you do differently?” It’s a very different process than the one that begins with “Why do you feel that way?” or “Why did you do that?” When you ask those questions, you’re going to get all the excuses and justifications which are so detrimental to actual problem-solving."

I must agree with James in this respect. Too often children are grounded to their rooms by well-meaning parents, with the instructions to "think about what they have done." Rather, it would be much more effective and educational for the child to be asked to "think about what they could have done differently." Children need to be taught how to resolve their emotions - all emotions, positive and negative. Parents and Educators must begin to make the distinction between emotion and behaviour. Children can be taught that it is ok to feel angry, but their choices of how to express it may sometimes be poor ones. We can then teach them how to make better choices. The Anger Solutions program offers simple, practical ways to work through decision making - so simple a child as young as 6 can understand it.

Another anonymous writer on the web has some intersting but faulty concepts about childhood anger. He writes, "As early as birth and infancy, children use their frustration or anger (by screaming or crying) to get the proper attention from adults since they can not speak. Thus we deduce that it is an emotion that comes naturally to everybody. The key however, is to learn to control and manage it right from the beginning. Even though the emotion comes naturally, the ability to manage it well is really an art and is learnt through a very long time.If you notice, only children around an year display the ability to pretend emotions like fear, happiness, sadness. Meaning that they are not really feeling them but only pretending them as in a game. Which shows that it is fruitful to teach anger management only once the child is an year old and not before that."

I have to say that this does not make much sense. If emotion comes naturally, then how is it that one-year-olds can only pretend emotions? When an infant cries, that is because crying is the only tool the child has with which to communicate! It is true that emotions come naturally, but to say that a child uses frustration and anger is misleading. The child uses the only voice he has to express himself.

Now - if we follow that notion through early development, if the only voice the child uses is screaming and crying - AND that is the only voice that is rewarded, the child will continue to use that mode of communication. However, we know that children will learn how to communicate using language, body-talk, tone of voice, etc. from the examples around them. I do not believe it is possible to teach a one-year old "anger management". However, I do believe that we as parents can begin instilling proper values and concepts into a child as s/he develops so that when s/he is ready for learning emotionality (or for developing emotional intelligence), s/he will be prepared to incorporate appropriate problem solving and anger resolution behaviours.

This writer also mentions that, "When a toddler learns to walk, he wants to explore the whole world and we adults keep him from doing this. It could be the first example of frustrating the child and it is from right here that we need to teach him to control his anger and learn to behave in a good manner instead of throwing a fit." Here again I must disagree. Parenting is not designed to "frustrate" a child, nor is setting boundaries for a child's safety. Firm but loving parenting can and will be perceived as such, and should not be blamed for unruly behaviour in children. My second point of contention here is the notion that we must teach children to control their anger - I do not believe in anger control, anymore than I believe in "happiness control", or "love control". The notion is ridiculous! Anger as an emotion is just that - an emotion. Teaching children to make right choices about how to express anger is, in my opinion, the only way to go.

Anger Solutions for Kids will begin running in Port Colborne the first week of October. Children aged 9-12 are welcome to attend. There is a minimal fee associated with this program.

If you would like to learn more about Anger Solutions for Kids, please visit for details.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Interview on Blog Talk Radio!

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn Listen to Julie's Interview with Cathy Holloway Hill, Host of Living by Design - Visit to hear the archived interview, or tune in tonight at 6:00 p.m. (EST) to hear the interview LIVE!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Band-Aids Don't Stick: Why Anger Management Doesn't Work

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn
Last weekend I was approached by a survivor of Indian Residential School abuse - who wanted to know if the Anger Solutions and Getting Past Your Past programs would be useful in helping her to heal from her past trauma. We had a very interesting discussion about anger management (which she had participated in before), and why it was not helpful for her.

I believe anger management often does not work because it is viewed as a band-aid solution. I cannot tell you how many newspaper articles I have read from around the world, that indicate that a sports figure, actor, or politician was mandated to attend 6 hours of anger management classes. Why 6 hours? Why not 8, 10, 12, or 15? Why is 6 the magic number? When you think about it, it doesn't really make any sense. We all know what happens after you attend a one-day workshop or seminar - after approximately 72 hours, you will have forgotten over 80% of everything you were so excited about on the day of the workshop. This is why with our programs, we strongly encourage our participants to devise a plan of action that takes them beyond the first 72 hours after the workshop. We encourage them to write it down - and to share their plan with a partner so that they become accountable. If you want something to STICK - you need to apply the right kind of adhesive. (More on this later)

The second reason I believe anger management doesn't work is that people attach a faulty BELIEF to it. They go into the workshops expecting that anger management will fix them - they are not participating with the intention that they will create the change they desire. And even more often, they do not wish to create that change - they only want to satisfy the mandate of the courts.

I liken mandated anger management to giving a fat person a gym membership and expecting them to lose weight. Better still, imagine trying to sculpt your ab muscles into a perfect six pack in 6 hours! Everyone knows that physical fitness must be a LIFESTYLE in order for it to be effective. Body sculpting takes time, effort, and a proven system for success. It can be done, but no one in their right mind would expect that peak physical fitness or the perfectly sculpted body comes at such a low price as 6 hours. OK - back to anger management then... when you mandate someone who is habitually violent, or is a miserable drunk, or who has "anger management" problems to "take a class" - what you're really saying is - "it isn't a big deal and it's easy to fix. Just go take a class and you won't have anger issues anymore - and God knows, you shouldn't re-offend..."

What a way to set people up for failure! Is it any surprise that most of the people I see have attended at least one such "anger management" class, and they uncategorically say that it doesn't work! Now before all of you anger management counsellors pounce on me for voicing my opinions, I feel your pain. In fact, I have been working in Anger Solutions for 15 years or better, and only recently have I come to the new appreciation of this distinction. Anger Solutions is about making positive, radical, and lasting change - HOW? Through incorporating its principles into one's LIFESTYLE. Our several clients who are now living testimonials to the program's value all have this in common; and here is the big secret to why Anger Solutions will work - every time. Over time, these people acquired the skills, and then applied them until they were fully assimilated into the clients' lifestyles. Note that they did all the work - Anger Solutions does not FIX anybody. All we do as facilitators is provide the knowledge, the skill-base, and the tools with which to apply those skills, and we guide our clients along their learning path until they can navigate their journeys on their own. On average, this takes about 12 weeks - NOT 6 hours.

I have always (and will continue to do so) told my clients that my goal is to "coach myself out of a job". By the end of 15 weeks of coaching, I fully expect that if the client has followed through the program and has done the work required, that s/he will be able to function independent of a coach (outside of the requisite follow ups), and I will be out looking for new work. Anger Solutions is not - and never has been - a Band Aid fix. Band Aids cover up the wound. Anger Solutions teaches people how to treat their own wounds, and to prevent further injury as they travel the road of life.

Want to know more? Visit my website at or call 1-866-754-6169.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Anger Lady to Share Anger Solutions Tips "On the Line"

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedInPress Release

Anger Lady to Share Anger Solutions™ Tips “On the Line”

July 8, 2008 – St. Catharines, Ontario

Watch CTS Television Monday, July 14, 2008 as Julie Christiansen (the Anger Lady) joins host Christine Williams to discuss dealing with anger. “On the Line” is classic talk TV, in which guest experts are interviewed live by the host. Viewers can also call in to the show, to talk with the guest in real time. Julie is pleased to be invited back to “On the Line” as a repeat guest. In previous appearances, the show topics were, “Dealing with Anger”, “Getting Past Your Past”, and “Coping with Anger and Rage”.

About Julie A. Christiansen:
International speaker and author of Anger Solutions, Julie Christiansen (the Anger Lady) brings over 15 years of counseling and training experience to your board room. Branded as “Oprah for the Office”, Julie’s personal mission is to leverage people and organizations into open communication so that they can live free of conflict, tension, anger, and fear. Julie’s new book, Stress Less in 27 will be officially released on July 21, 2008 at White Oaks Conference Resort in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

About CTS Television:
Television viewers are faced with many choices when it comes to choosing programming they want to watch. CTS TV believes that television is a powerful medium that can educate, entertain and inspire through quality television programming. CTS can be viewed province wide on Bell Express Vue Channel 651, on Star Choice Channel 355, in Niagara on Cogeco Channel 18, and via various cable providers. To find the channel that carries CTS in your local community, visit

Event: Television Interview
Date & Time: July 14, 2008 at 2 p.m.
Location: CTS Studios, Burlington, Ontario

Book Release Event
Date & Time: July 21, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.
Location: White Oaks Conference Resort, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Contact: Julie Christiansen


Anger Lady to Share Anger Solutions Tips "On the Line"

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn
Press Release

Anger Lady to Share Anger Solutions™ Tips “On the Line”

July 8, 2008 – St. Catharines, Ontario

Watch CTS Television Monday, July 14, 2008 as Julie Christiansen (the Anger Lady) joins host Christine Williams to discuss dealing with anger. “On the Line” is classic talk TV, in which guest experts are interviewed live by the host. Viewers can also call in to the show, to talk with the guest in real time. Julie is pleased to be invited back to “On the Line” as a repeat guest. In previous appearances, the show topics were, “Dealing with Anger”, “Getting Past Your Past”, and “Coping with Anger and Rage”.

About Julie A. Christiansen:
International speaker and author of Anger Solutions, Julie Christiansen (the Anger Lady) brings over 15 years of counseling and training experience to your board room. Branded as “Oprah for the Office”, Julie’s personal mission is to leverage people and organizations into open communication so that they can live free of conflict, tension, anger, and fear. Julie’s new book, Stress Less in 27 will be officially released on July 21, 2008 at White Oaks Conference Resort in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

About CTS Television:
Television viewers are faced with many choices when it comes to choosing programming they want to watch. CTS TV believes that television is a powerful medium that can educate, entertain and inspire through quality television programming. CTS can be viewed province wide on Bell Express Vue Channel 651, on Star Choice Channel 355, in Niagara on Cogeco Channel 18, and via various cable providers. To find the channel that carries CTS in your local community, visit

Event: Television Interview
Date & Time: July 14, 2008 at 2 p.m.
Location: CTS Studios, Burlington, Ontario

Book Release Event
Date & Time: July 21, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.
Location: White Oaks Conference Resort, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Contact: Julie Christiansen


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Comments from Belfast...

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn
This interesting commentary comes from TJ MacLean in Belfast who is a "retired" teacher. His observations about the rise in unruliness in the schools could well translate to what is happening here in North America. What I found most interesting about the referral to evening anger management classes - is that he was the one receiving the referral rather than his unruly students! Check it out. I welcome your comments... especially from teachers - what do you think?
This article can be found at:
Thursday, July 03, 2008
I was not surprised by the recent headline '320 teachers off sick each day' (Belfast Telegraph, June 25).
Speaking as a retired teacher of 30 years experience, forced out of teaching due to stress, I feel that the well-meaning comments of Frank Bunting, northern secretary of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, and the DUP's Michelle McIlveen fail to pinpoint the main reason for these alarming numbers.
Yes, effective teaching is made difficult by large class sizes, additional administration, new initiatives and so on, but teaching remains bearable and even with these added burdens, good teaching can take place.
This does not hold true when classes are blighted by disruptive behaviour from a small, but vocal, minority.
Today's teachers are expected to face unprecedented levels of classroom indiscipline.
In my experience many teachers, particularly in the secondary school sector, face a daily routine of loud confrontational pupil 'situations'.
The use of violence against teachers is not unknown.
Worryingly, due to the availability of the mobile phone, more and more parents are prepared to arrive unannounced at school, to angrily pursue any teacher who dares to 'pick on', their 'totally innocent' child!
In our 'I know my rights society' there are few effective sanctions that headmasters can use against disruptive pupils.
Remarkably, the Department of Education's answer to rising school indiscipline has been to cut special school provision and merely repeat the mantra that schools need to be all inclusive.
In effect, schools and teachers are very much left on their own to deal with the problems.
Five years ago, as a teacher I faced rising classroom indiscipline, affecting my health. When I sought help, I was laughably offered a place on an evening anger management course.
With management answers like this to a situation where good pupils and their teachers are both suffering, is it any wonder that the average number of sick days that teachers take is rapidly rising?
These figures represent a loud wake up call to the Department of Education to come up with effective measures that will protect the rights of teachers to teach and pupils who want to learn, thus cutting to a minimum days lost due to teacher sickness.
T J McClean

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fake it Till You Make It!

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn

Stress Less in 27 Days is now available! Order your copy today at

This entry is courtesy of Jack Canfield, sharing his pointers for achieving and maintaining success.

Act to Create It

by Jack Canfield
If you want to live a dream life, not only must you decide what you want, turn your dream into measurable goals, break those goals down into specific action steps, and visualize and affirm your desired outcomes -- you must start taking action!

I recommend making the commitment to do something every day in at least three different areas of your life that moves you in the direction of your goal.
If one of your goals is physical fitness, make a commitment to do some sort of exercise -- aerobics, weight training, stretching -- four to five times a week for a minimum of twenty minutes.
I read recently that if you simply go for a 30 minute walk four times a week, that would put you in the top 1% of those people getting physical exercise!
If your goal is financial independence, start saving and investing a portion of your income every month with no exceptions.
If your goal is to write a book, write for a minimum of one hour every day.

Most people never get what they want because they let their fears stop them. They are afraid of making a mistake, looking foolish, getting ripped off, being rejected, being hurt, wasting their time, and feeling uncomfortable.

Fear is self-created by imagining catastrophic consequences that have yet to happen. It is all in your mind. In fact, you can actually scare yourself by imagining negative and harmful images. But simply stop the catastrophic thoughts and images, and the fear goes away.

One of the biggest fears that stops people from asking for support, guidance, advice, money, a date, a job, the sale, or anything else is the fear of rejection.
In fact, it's been known to literally paralyze people. They become tongue-tied and refuse to reach for the phone or get up and walk across the room. They break out in a sweat at the mere thought of asking for what they want.

I have come to realize that the whole concept of rejection is false -- that rejection doesn't really exist. Think about it for a moment. If you asked someone to join you for dinner, and they said no, you could tell yourself that you had been rejected. But think about it. Did you have anyone to eat dinner with before you asked them? No! Did you have anyone to eat dinner with after you asked them? No! Did your life really get worse? No. It stayed the same!

One of the secrets of success is to start acting like a success before you are one. Act as if.
If you had already achieved your dream, what kinds of clothes would you be wearing? How would you act? How would you treat others? Would you tithe a portion of your income to your church or favorite charities? Would you have more self-confidence? Would you take more time to spend with your loved ones?
I suggest that you begin to do those things now.

When I decided that I wanted to be an "international" consultant, I immediately went and applied for a passport, bought an international clock that told me what time it was anywhere in the world, printed business cards with the words "International Self-Esteem and Peak Performance Consultant," and decided I would like to first go to Australia. I bought a poster of the Sydney Opera House and placed it on my refrigerator. Within one month, I received an invitation to speak in Sydney and Brisbane. Since then, I have spoken and conducted trainings in over 30 countries and continue to expand my business around the globe.

Start acting as if you already have everything you want.
Most people think that if they have a lot of money, they could do the things they want to do, and they would be much happier. In fact, the reverse is true.

If you start by creating a state of happiness and abundance, then do the things you are inspired to do from that state of being, you will end up having all the things you ultimately desire.
You may not be able to fill your closets with expensive Italian suits and designer clothing, but why not invest in one or two really great outfits, so that when you do need them, they are there. When you dress like you have already made it, you will look the part, and successful people will naturally be attracted to you and invite you to participate with them.
The Law of Attraction states that you will attract to you those things that match your state of being. If you focus on having gratitude for what you do have, you will feel rich, and you will attract more abundance into your life. If you focus on what you don't have, you will send out a message of lack and you will attract more lack into your life.

Remember, the proper order of this is to start now and be who you want to be, then do the actions that go along with being that person, and soon you will find that you can easily have everything you want in life--health, wealth and fulfilling relationships.
© 2008 Jack Canfield
* * *

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is the founder and co-creator of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul and a leading authority on Peak Performance. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Does Anyone Know Naomi Campbell's Number?

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn
Seriously - She's at it again... 2 days of anger management didn't do the job - here's the latest on Naomi: published online today.

Her stint in anger management therapy does not seem to have done much good, for Naomi Campbell was again spotted in a fit of anger, shouting in rage after a recent night-out. Initially in good spirits, posing happily for pictures after a meal with friends at London's Cipriani restaurant, the supermodel was back to her irate self and suddenly started shouting and gesturing angrily. After pouring out her anger on snappers outside the restaurant, she again hurried back into the Mayfair eatery. "Suddenly Naomi flipped and started swinging her arms about manically. No one could work out what was wrong with her,” Contactmusic quoted an onlooker, as telling The London Paper. However, Naomi’s erratic behaviour didn't end there, as she again emerged out of the restaurant with three of her friends trying to control her. But while going to the car she managed to get out of their grasp and again started shouting. "She was shouting and screaming as her friends desperately tried to get her into the car. She was ranting incomprehensibly,” added the source. The court ordered the 38-year-old star to attend a two-day anger management course last year (07) after she pled guilty to reckless assault against her maid Ana Scolavino. Now, the Catwalk Queen is facing a possible prison sentence after being charged with allegedly assaulting a police officer following her arrest at London's Heathrow Airport in April (08).

Just give me 15 one-hour sessions with Naomi - please! No guns, knives, phones, or otherwise launchable objects allowed. (just kidding). All joking aside, I do believe that Anger Solutions(TM) has tried and true tools that would create lasting and radical change for Naomi, IF she decided to learn and incorporate them. Our past clients can testify that after living their lives in a pattern of repeated aggressiveness, they have made a complete 180 turnaround and are experiencing a quality of life they had not thought possible. Does Naomi want to change? If so... my offer is still out there... Call me!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New 1-800 number is now active

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn
It is now easier than ever to contact us at BRC. Up till now, you could reach us via E-Mail, comments on this and our other blogs (, or , the request form on our website (, and of course by phone. We are happy to add a 1-800 number to the mix, in response to requests from both our clients, potential customers, and certified practitioners.

You can reach us now by calling: 1-866-754-6169. Use this number to place orders, to register for upcoming events, or just to inquire about our services.

By the way, Stress Less in 27 Days is on the countdown for delivery... 7 more sleeps! Order your copy today! Call 1-866-754-6169. See? Easy.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Zzzzz’s – Catch some!

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn
(This is it, folks! Stress Less in 27 Days is finally ready to go to press! Have you ordered your copy yet? Go to and click on the link on the main page to print your order form for faxing or mailing. Our official book launch will be in July - I'll keep you posted!)

Sleep these days seems to be overrated. Do you remember that famous sitcom episode in which a member of the ensemble cast decides he can get so much more done if he only takes a few short naps throughout the day rather than sleeping a full night? As it always happens in sitcoms, chaos ensues. The character finally succombs to exhaustion in the middle of a make-out session with his girlfriend, who assumes he has died, and when he wakes up, he on his way down to the bottom of the Hudson River, rolled up in a carpet! It is a hilarious commentary on the dangers of sleep deprivation, and though humourous, it isn’t too far off the mark.

According to the website,, sleep deprivation can have serious effects on one’ health in the form of physical and mental impairments. Inadequate rest can impair your ability to think, to handle stress, to maintain a healthy immune system and to control and appropriately express your emotions. In fact, sleep is so important to our overall health that total sleep deprivation has been proven to be fatal: according to this site, lab rats that are denied the chance to rest die within two to three weeks.Without adequate rest, the brain's ability to function will deteriorate rapidly. The brain will work harder to counteract the effects of sleep deprivation effects, but will operate less effectively: concentration levels drop, and memory becomes impaired.

Under the effects of sleep deprivation, the brain begins to lose its ability to problem solve, make decisions, or to perform acts of simple logic. In other words, without sufficient sleep, you will not be able to do simple math like 8x7… what’s that? Insufficient rest can also cause people to have hallucinations, slower reaction times, slurred speech, tremors, irritability, and driver fatigue. Other typical effects of sleep deprivation include depression, heart disease, and hypertension.
While North Americans enjoy the benefits of sufficient sleep, studies have shown that as many as 47 million adults may be putting themselves at risk for injury, health and behavior problems because they aren’t meeting their minimum sleep need in order to be fully alert the next day.
Sleep deprivation causes dangers such as drowsy driving, stress, anger and road rage. But beyond all of this, sleep deprivation can adversely affect all areas of your physical and mental health.

People who suffer from sleep deprivation due to sleep disorders- sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, etc. may also suffer from other problems including diabetes, asthma, diabetes, cancer, illnesses that thrive on a weak immune system, or a second sleep disorder.

Sleep deprivation also contributes to stress and, again, stress weakens our immune system. So a sleep deprived, stressed individual will experience a double whammy effect on his/her ability to fight off illness and disease. To add insult to injury, sleep deprivation and stress, can upset your mental processes. You may experience confusion, memory loss, irritability or emotional highs and lows. If you already have a mental health disorder, sleep deprivation only adds to the problem.

Sleep deprivation is not just an issue for the young to middle-aged working class that is consumed by Hurry Sickness – madly rushing to and fro, trying to make ends meet. Many elderly people also suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders. For the elderly, sleep deprivation can prove to be even more dangerous. Sleepy people are less focused on what they are doing or where they are going. Disorientation could lead to falls or getting lost in a neighbourhood that is unfamiliar. Add to this the other problems that may be found in the elderly such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, or memory loss, and sleep deprivation presents a serious issue.

What can we do then, if we want to stay healthy? Start by getting the sleep you need. It may require you to change your lifestyle by altering your schedule, cutting activities, or making changes to your sleep habits. If you suspect you may have a sleep disorder, or you already know for certain that you do, talk to your doctor and ask about a sleep study.

While there is some disagreement about just how much sleep we really need, most experts agree that a night of seven to nine hours of restful, uninterrupted sleep is a good estimate for what we need, especially during times of high stress and anxiety.
Here are some general guidelines to help you fall asleep and stay asleep:

1. Spend your last hour before bed collecting and organizing your thoughts. Write in your journal or at the very least, make a list of the things that you need to do tomorrow – tell yourself you are clearing your mind so that you can rest without worrying about what will happen tomorrow.

2. Maintain a ritual to prepare yourself mentally for bed (e.g. washing face, brushing teeth, locking doors, etc.).

3. Limit your caffeine, nicotine and alcohol consumption. Do this throughout the day, and be sure not to consume too much of these substances at night.

4. Exercise vigorously each day. Do some gentle stretching before bed.

5. Listen to relaxation tapes.

6. Save your bed for when you are tired. When you feel sleep coming on, go to bed – don’t try to hold off, or decide then that it’s time to brush your teeth.

7. Do deep, slow, rhythmic breathing. Breathe slowly as if you were asleep.

8. Stop watching or listening to news programs at least an hour before trying to go to sleep. Don't expect to fall asleep immediately after hearing or watching disturbing news. In fact, you should leave all the bad news from television or radio in the living room or den and keep it out of the bedroom.

9. Create a sleep-promoting environment that is quiet, dark, cool and comfortable.

10. Get professional help. If sleeplessness is becoming a problem for you, talk to your family doctor. S/he may be able to prescribe natural or medical assistance that can help you fall asleep without feeling hung over the following day.

As one who has witnessed first hand the extreme ill-effects of sleep deprivation, I urge you to take this aspect of your stress management plan very seriously. It’s funny when it is portrayed in a sitcom, but not so amusing when played out in real life. Think of the “accidents” that could have been avoided, the lives that could have been saved, and the millions of dollars that would not have been paid out in lawsuit settlements if over the years, people were fully rested, and alert when driving, operating dangerous machinery, or making important decisions.

Think about your own sleep patterns and check out the vast array of resources we have available to help us determine if we are engaged in healthy or unhealthy sleep habits. Learn what you need to do in order to get a good night’s sleep, and then act on it. Your brain, your stress response, your body, and your immune system will be eternally grateful.

“If a man had as many ideas during the day as he does when he has insomnia, he'd make a fortune.”
Griff Niblack

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

When a Third Party says, "Fix Them Fast!" - Anger Solutions Crash Course

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn

I have had requests from counsellors for information or guidance on how to "cram" Anger Solutions into a shorter time frame to suit the needs of agency time budgets, EAP providers, unions, and Probation/Parole. This is a tricky question because we know that Anger Solutions can attribute its success in part to its format: 10 to 12 one-hour group sessions (or 15 sessions in one-on-one coaching), with time in between to practice and assimilate new skills. So when the funder, agency, or judge says - "You have to do this in 3 or 6 sessions", what do you do?

Here are some basic guidelines:
  1. First, get to know as much as you can about the situation. Why does the client need Anger Solutions? Is s/he motivated or mandated to participate? What can you learn about his/her background? Use this information to decide what components of the program might be most valuable.
  2. Second, advocate for as many sessions as you can. The more time you have with the client, the more you can accomplish.
  3. Lastly, utilize your skills of customization. Begin with a program that will cover at least the basics (always start with challenging beliefs), and then add whatever else you can to fill it in.

Here is a sample outline of a program that I tailored for a client who was mandated for 6 hours of anger classes. Because of his busy schedule, he opted for 3 two-hour sessions. It is tricky, but do-able. In italics, you will see what I amended from week to week as I got to know the client better.

Week One: (2 hours)

Guidelines and expectations
Anger Myths and Realities
Feelings (did not spend much time here, because client was resistant)
What's Your Style
How Anger develops and the choices we make
Introduce the Self-Awareness Wheel (see earlier blog entry) and talk about E+R=O, and introduce the TSA model.
Homework: read Steps 4-6 in Anger Solutions book. Do homework exercises and be ready for discussion.

Week Two: (2 hours)

Re- introduce E+R=O and talk about choices we make and talk about the choices he made which led him to being mandated for anger counseling.
Verbal and Non-verbal assertiveness
Listening skills (added two components from Emotionality program, Empathy, and Interpersonal Skills. Spent a lot of time here, talking about the four-part feedback technique and how to let people know you are listening)
Forgiveness and acceptance (this included a bit of discussion about forgiveness from a faith-based perspective, as initiated by the client)
Homework assignment as session dictates it. (Read the last three chapters of the book, and do the Dickens Pattern as it relates to forgiveness for homework)

Week Three: (2 hours)

Releasing Residual Anger - then do the Anger Solutions System in Review.
Go back to the choices we make. Discuss the ABC chart as a tool to monitor Events, Responses, and Outcomes.
Discuss next steps – how will he determine what course of action to pursue in order to achieve outcomes.
Tying up loose ends, celebrate successes.
Answer outstanding questions and finish any discussions that carried over.
Complete exit assessments (Exit survey, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Clinical Anger Scale).
Complete report for Probation Officer.

This is not as much as could have been done, but certainly is plenty considering the time frame we had to work with. If you'd like to see some of the other coaching tools I used for this particular client, please send me an email or leave your comment on this post, and I will forward copies to you.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Where Childhood Trauma Begins...

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedIn
A little humour on this Thursday:
This hilarious video puts me in tears everytime - I just can't stop laughing... I've never seen a toddler say something with such passion and conviction (and animation). Poor little guy obviously doesn't see the humour in it, and can't understand why his father is laughing like a hyena while his brother has "buluhd". Perhaps this is where our dysfunction really begins... Enjoy!