Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Farming for Salt

We went to the salt farms to see some salt
Picking and getting into fights was not my fault
My high school ring is locked in a bank vault
When we stop we have to halt but a man's name
is Walt but I can learn to make a malt

-Poem by Tami Cohen

Thursday, November 6, 2014

To hear the Unseen

 Comics are a means of therapy, one can imagine to do whatever he or she wants to do, the focus is shifted and we no longer are told what we cannot do. We begin to see that we can do anything, as long as we put our mind to it. This is something that continues to get me through dark times, and people believe in me in that I want to share what I have learned to all comic lovers, even the blind.

A few years ago, a former Lifeworks employee helped me record my original disabled super human trilogy, so I can offer an audio version to the blind. Another former employee helped me find a company who would offer my audio files, and I called Learning Alley, formerly Recording For the Blind And Dyslexic, RFB&D, to see if people actually do comic book recordings. The answer was some, just like plenty of the vivid detail left out from the comic book and the actual comic book script.

My education about comic book script writing has expanded since furthering my education at Little Fish Comic Book Studio in Ocean Beach. Recently, my educator, Alonso Nunez, had a meeting with KPBS, and he exclaimed that a woman asked him if there are comics for the blind. My scripts are available for anyone and everyone, with visual or auditory problems. In reality there is no disability, we must focus on what we still have and use it to our advantage.

After the first year of the birth of Little Fish, Nunez lost his business partner. This led to new approaches, a new work schedule and new collaborated ideas.  Comic Invasion began actually meaning something, picked up new character graphic novel titles, such as: Lady G On Fire, Thy Kingdom Come, Round 2 and Kraken. The scripts are written and being edited.

An artist and funding is something I lack, but anyone's support would be greatly appreciated. This can be done at no charge to you, just simply log on to my site, and join the (ICN) Independent Comic Network for free. This network lets you write anything and everything about comics to any member around the world. Perhaps you can meet someone who knows someone who would be interested in funding Comic Invasion. You can also donate whatever you can afford to the PayPal button found at the bottom of the site's page. I thank you all for your generous donations in advance.

Written by Alan Wubenhorst

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Empathic Listening: Notes shared by Christy Tweedy

People frequently lose patience when listening to another’s problem. Empathic listening is incompatible with being in a hurry, or with the fast paced world around us. Such careful listening requires that we, at least for the moment, place time on slow motion and suspend our own thoughts and needs.

“Listen in ways that others can speak”

Potential Barriers to Empathy

1.     Intellectual understanding of the situation. Interrupting to understand at the thought level not at the feelings or heart level.
2.     Sympathizing or commiserating. Talking about your own experiences rather than giving full attention to speaker.
3.     Giving advice or trying to fix. Moving to provide solutions without fully listening to feelings and needs.
4.     Explaining. “Let me tell you why this is happening to you”.
5.     Correcting. Offering your own understanding of the situation. You are not fully listening to feelings and giving space for the speaker to express.
6.     Consoling. “I know you will be OK. You will do well”.
7.     Telling a story or one-upping. Telling about something that happened to you.
8.     Shutting down feelings by offering premature reassurance, before the person is complete. Not hearing their experience and jumping to response too quickly.
9.     Educating or evaluating. Remember- Empathy before education.
10. Interrogating. Asking questions to satisfy your own curiosity.
11. Believing you already know what the person is going to say.
12. Having a strong opinion or a belief that prevent listening to the speaker.
13. Interrupting. Do not take pauses as a time for you to interrupt. Fully give space for the other to express themselves.

Showing Our Listening Engagement
-       Respond it ways that show you’re engaged. “Tell me more” or simply, “Interesting!”
-       Try repeating the last word or phrase that was spoken “I feel like I wasn’t being heard…” Respond: “…wasn’t being heard”.
-       Empathetic Sayings: “I can see you are suffering” “I can see that you’re in pain”
-       Body Language: Sit with the person. Face them and allow your body and mind to focus on the person speaking.
-       Respect Pauses. Allow these pauses to take place. A simple “Mmmm” still shows you are present and engaged.

Responding After Listening
-       Ask, “Are you wanting to talk out your thoughts or explore some strategies?” Sometimes people just want to vent and don’t want help solving. Ask this and it will provide an understanding of what the need of the other person is.
-       Ask questions that promote internal reflection towards the end. “How do you feel when that happens?” “What are you feeling at this moment?” “Well, then, what do you plan on doing?” “What options are you leaning to, which ones do you like the least?”
-       If topic is repeatedly brought up, ask “what are you willing to change?” “If you don’t know, what would it look like if you did know?”
-       When people repeat themselves in their story, they are subconsciously feeling like they are not being listened to.

Ask Yourself These Questions
Am I…
1.     Allowing the person with the problem to do most of the talking?
2.     Avoiding premature conclusions based on my life experiences?
3.     Helping the individual to better understand himself/herself?
4.     Permitting the person to retain ownership of the challenge?
5.     Showing the party that we are listening without judging?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Look Through My Eyes
by Lamika Thomas

Look through my eyes
Past the color
Past the white
What do you see?

I have no pigment
I have not shape
I exist independently
Without this shell, you call me!

There are so many things I want to say
Opinions and outlooks that will blow your mind
Creativity, optimism, and uniqueness
But, do you see me?

I have no hair
I have no face
I exist independently
Without this body, you call me

There is so much to contribute
Much to share
If you would just listen and look past my eyes
Into my soul

Hello there, nice to meet you!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April News

Life Works Newsletter New #8 2