Posts tagged ‘Michelle Stortz’

December 4, 2020

An Unusual Post for an Unusual Time

This is an unusual post for me. It’s not about fundraising or nonprofit management. Nevertheless, it’s appropriate for this unusual time. If you’re like me, 2020 has been a stressful year for you. Now, in the closing weeks of the year, that stress level is being ratcheted up. Professionally, we’re struggling to raise as much money as we can at year-end. Personally, we’re trying to make holiday plans while coping with ever-changing government directives concerning the pandemic.

To help you more effectively deal with the stress in your life, I want to tell you about two special webinars. Both of these programs will be taught by Michelle Stortz, C-IAYT. Michelle is not just a certified yoga therapist, she’s my instructor. So, I can tell you, from personal knowledge, that she’s experienced, compassionate, practical, and helpful.

While many of Michelle’s programs are designed for cancer patients and survivors, the following two programs are open to the general public and will benefit anyone experiencing stress:

Stress Reduction Through Yoga:

In this session, you’ll learn simple mind-body practices to reduce stress, get better sleep, and cultivate peace. Harness the power of your mind to stay calm in the midst of any storm! No prior yoga experience is necessary.

Date:  Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Time:  1:00 – 2:00 PM (EST)

Fee: This is a FREE event.

Register Now:  Click here to register now for this free Zoom event.

Winter Solstice Yoga Nidra:

The winter solstice is a special time of year. It’s the point at which the northern hemisphere is farthest from the strong influence of the sun and is more exposed to the vast universe. It’s the longest night of the year and, therefore, it’s a good time to work with your dreams … both your sleeping dreams and your deepest desires. Yoga Nidra is a guided, multi-stage relaxation/meditation practice that takes you to that sweet spot between wakefulness and sleep. Here you can hover near the subconscious, and allow your dreams to take the stage. No yoga or meditation experience is necessary. In this Winter Solstice Yoga Nidra event on Zoom, we’ll take time to:

  • write about our deepest desires and dreams
  • move the body and breathe a bit
  • then settle into the guided Nidra practice for quiet inward visioning
  • we’ll emerge and sit in simple meditation
  • then we’ll take time to discuss and write thoughts and/or action steps

Sink into the deep wisdom of the body and let your dreams have more playtime.

You’ll need:

  • a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted
  • comfy clothing in layers to adjust for body temp fluctuations
  • space to lie down, usually on the floor, but a couch, recliner, or bed will do
  • supportive props like blankets and pillows
  • a journal/paper and pen

Date:  Sunday, December 20, 2020

Time:  4:00 – 6:00 PM (EST)

Fee:  $20 per person plus a small processing charge

Register Now:  Click here to register now for this Zoom event.

My wife and I are planning to participate in both events. I encourage you to consider attending one or both of the programs. Self-care is vitally important. You can’t take care of others, professionally or personally, unless you first take care of yourself. Here is how I put it in an article for the Association of Fundraising Professionals:

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April 1, 2020

Stress Relief for Fundraisers: A Special Webinar for You

Help is on the way!

In the best of times, we all experience occasional stress. Sometimes, it’s personal stress. Sometimes, it’s professional stress. Sometimes, it’s both. Now, with the coronavirus pandemic, we are all dealing with a massive, new level of tension.

Most of us are working from home, many for the first time. We don’t go out much. We have personal financial concerns. We have loved ones we worry about and care for. We have anxiety about our own health.

Fundraising professionals are also concerned about continuing to raise the vital resources to help nonprofit organizations fulfill their missions, now more important than ever. As you know, we shoulder a tremendous burden.

If giving into stress were helpful, that would be fine. Unfortunately, stress itself is corrosive. It drains our energy. It erodes our immune system. Stress causes physiological and psychological damage. It makes us less pleasant to be around. It makes us less able to care for others.

To help you cope more effectively with the stress in your life, I’m hosting a special webinar for fundraising and nonprofit professionals:

Stress Relief for Fundraisers

Date: Monday, April 6, 2020, 4:00-5:00 pm (EDT)

Expert Instructor: Michelle Stortz, C-IAYT, ERYT500, MFA

Requested Donation: This is a donation-based webinar. Any contribution amount from $1 to $100 will grant you access. The suggested amount is $20. Your donation will help Michelle to continue to provide services for people living with cancer and chronic diseases at little to no cost.

Platform: This class will happen via Zoom. The link for joining will be sent 15 minutes before the session. Registration will end 15 minutes before the session.

You’ll Learn: Discover practices for managing stress in difficult times:

        • Learn simple breathing techniques to ward off anxiety
        • Get grounded in your body through simple movements
        • Quiet your mind with concentration practices
        • Cultivate a framework for seeing what’s really here

Register Now: Click here to register for this webinar at Eventbrite.

Despite the challenges we face, there are plenty of opportunities to learn and grow. Let’s start by integrating some helpful practices for managing stress. Join me in this one-hour class on stress reduction. When you take some time to take better care of yourself, you’ll be in a much better position to take care of others.

While the webinar will provide a number of techniques for coping with stress, I want to give you one simple technique right now.

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November 30, 2017

Do the Numbers Tell the Full Story?

I’m back! I haven’t written a new blog post in nearly eight months due to serious health issues. Now, as my recovery progresses, I feel compelled to return to my blog as I have much to share with you. Thank you for your support and patience.

I want to take this opportunity to update you about what the past several months have been like for me while making a useful fundraising point that I believe will be of benefit to you.

Like you, as the end of the year approaches, I’ve been inundated with direct mail, e-mail, and telephone fundraising appeals. Many of these appeals focus on numbers. For example, I’ve read about how one organization won several awards for its theater productions, how another has a $10,000 challenge grant, how another needs to raise an additional $50,000 to meet its goal, and how yet another has helped feed over 500 people during Thanksgiving.

On the other hand, I also received an appeal from the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, which brings justice and healing to the survivors of child sexual abuse. The appeal, which stood out from the pack, told the story of one child, 5-year-old Sarah. Reading about Sarah’s situation, I learned how PCA helped her. In addition to Sarah’s compelling story, the appeal mentioned that PCA also provided services to over 3,500 other children in need over the past year.

Which charity do you think I’m most likely to support? If you guessed PCA, you’re right.

While numbers can tell part of the story, they can’t convey the whole story the way that sharing the experience of one individual can. Sharing someone’s personal story can make a cause relatable, more real, and more compelling. Stories tap into emotions that statistics simply cannot.

Now, let me try to do a bit of both. I want to update you about my personal situation while using some numbers.

Regular readers of my blog know that I have suffered from the exceedingly rare Appendicial Carcinoma with Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (PMP). I’ve been open about my situation for three years so that readers would understand when I stepped away temporarily and so that others suffering with PMP would know that I am willing to be a resource for them. If you want to learn more about my journey, just search “Pseudomyxoma Peritonei” on this site.

I was diagnosed with late-stage PMP in 2014. My doctors suspect it had been growing in me undetected for nearly a decade. Two months after diagnosis, I underwent successful major surgery. Unfortunately, the cancer came back in 2015. While chemotherapy kept it in check for several months, surgery was again required in April 2017.

This time around, my primary surgery in April was 14 hours long. My follow-up surgery in June was two hours.

I was in the hospital for a combined total of 40 days from April to June. That includes my initial hospital stay, two readmissions for complications, and one follow-up surgery stay.

During my three-month treatment period from April through June, I read 10 books. Hey, I couldn’t always rely on television for good entertainment. I would have read even more books if it wasn’t for the painkillers.

Lisa, my wife, and I spent nearly one-quarter of the year in Pittsburgh, home to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Shadyside Hospital where I received expert treatment.

I went into the hospital weighing an already diminished 146 pounds. I exited at about 112 pounds. I’m now over 130 pounds and gaining toward my goal of 150 or more. (If anyone wants to help fatten me up, I’m available for lunches. 🙂 )

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