Free Motivational Topics in Chicago

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  • Go For It! Determine your dreams, Define your moments, Discover your destiny

    Lee Ann Piano, Keynote Speaker, John Maxwell Team Member

    Learn to live a No Limits life! It’s time to do more, see more and be more. Discover what is limiting you from living at full capacity. When you live with more success and satisfaction, you are able to deposit more value into others.

    Take A-Ways: MORE >

    • The power of a personal vision
    • Use obstacles to become
    mentally strong
    • The game changer of destiny-
    CHOICES
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  • Why Me? Achieving Success Through Change / Stress Management

    Stacey Jenkins, M. Psych, Founder, Adjunct Professor, Crux Conception

    Stacey’s lecture will give hope and inspiration as he recounts his recovery, and struggle with mental illness. He openly reveals his anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and his passion for psychology along with his care for the consumer. Stacey shares his story of, attempted suicide, trauma, shame, involuntary commitment and his road to recovery. His speech/lecture will reinforce to the audience the key measures necessary to shape and uphold a connected culture while inspiring the mental health community devoted to the effort of constructing better lives for those affected by mental illness. MORE >

    Note:
    The first segment of the will be a narrative of "My Story"
    The second segment will be the outline of my Speech/Lecture

    What happens to a 20+ year Homicide Detective, who had never displayed any signs of a Mental Illness in his life, who suddenly decides to end his own life?

    *Incarcerated by his own peers
    *Further Suicide attempt, while in his cell
    *72-Court Ordered Commitment
    *Clinically diagnosed with PTSD
    *Adapting, Overcoming
    *ACHIEVING SUCCESS THROUGH CHANGE/STRESS MANAGEMENT.

    Why Me?:
    On June 14, 2017, at approximately 3:51 am, I was found unresponsive, while seated in the driver’s seat of my unmarked FWPD vehicle. The responding Officer knocked on the window of the car until I woke up and rolled the window down. The Officer asked was I okay and what was I doing in that area so late. I told the Officer that was heading to KREAGER PARK, and I was immediately asked by the Officer; “what for?” I informed the Officer that I was heading to the park to kill myself. Did I fail to mention that I was traveling with my loaded .357 Smith & Wesson revolver, which was openly placed on my passenger seat; this was the revolver, I intended to use to end my life.

    Subsequently, I was told to exit the vehicle and soon after and advised to submit to a portable breath test (PBT), which I complied. I was asked if I had been drinking, I responded yes, and that I had a half glass of vodka to accelerate the effects of the painkillers/muscle relaxers I had taken to assist with my death.

    I also stated that I had received a total of four (4) injections from my family doctor (3 for back spasms and 1 for my diabetes) earlier that morning and had also consumed many prescribed muscle relaxers. Furthermore, I had lifted my shirt, to displayed bandages of the four (4) injections (3 for the pain in the back) and one (1) for diabetes, that I had received. Nonetheless, I admitted the consumption of several prescription pills and repletely stated that I wanted to end my life.

    Now, if you ask yourself; if I wanted to die at that time; the answer is a resounding, yes! As I repeatedly told the officers, “I want to die! I want, to kill myself.” I have never thought of taking my life before this incident. However, I was depressed due to discovering information I had received concerning my 18-year-old daughter who suffers from Bipolar and was recently arrested (at my request, to scare her straight); however, I later discovered that she had been the victim of sexual assault (a week prior).

    According to my Clinical Psychologist, the prescribed muscle relaxers that I consumed (BACLOFEN 20 mg) has been known to cause Bipolar reactions including suicidal thoughts.
    At this point and time, I should have been taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, which is FWPD protocol. Instead, the Officers informed FWPD-DISPATCH to cancel the ambulance heading to my location; stating that their assistance, was not needed.

    At the scene, were several Officers, Supervisors (3), a Lieutenant and Deputy Chief. These individuals neglected to secure my mental well-being. Instead, I was arrested and placed under suicide watch in solitary confinement; rather than obtaining me the medical attention needed (these acts ignored, written department policy/protocol).
    Note:

    The FWPD has a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT); of which I was a member of, the Program was implemented to provide an immediate response by trained law enforcement Officers to deal with persons who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

    Former Indiana Governor Mike Pence, signed a law in 2015 requiring the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy to instruct trainees regarding CIT protocol.
    According to the FWPD website: “The goal of the program is to divert persons with a mental illness from incarceration and to treat the mental illness as the priority.”

    According to the FWPD CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM POLICY #PD01-0125: If a misdemeanor crime has been committed by the individual, the mental health detention will occur, and criminal charges will not be filed. Criminal charges of any nature cannot be filed if the person has been held on a 24-hour or 72-hour hold (Obtained from the FWPD Intra-net).
    Situation cont.:

    During my incarceration, I was not allowed to make any phone calls to my family, nor did either agency; the FWPD or the ALLEN COUNTY JAIL (ACJ) did not bother to contact my family to inform them of the events, which had transpired. In fact, my wife was not notified until later that morning, that I had been arrested and would be transported to PARKVIEW BEHAVIORAL HOSPITAL (PBH); where I remained for five (5) days, under a court-ordered involuntary commitment.

    Lingering Questions:

    While housed at PBH under the 72-hour court-ordered hold; the FWPD arrived at my home and removed all my weapons, which were voluntarily relinquished to them by my wife.

    I am stating these facts, merely to point out that if the FWPD went to such great lengths to obtain a 72-hour court-ordered mental hold, and collect all my weapons; then why didn’t I receive adequate and immediate physical and psychiatric care?

    As stated above, this incident took place in June 2017. However, it was in November 2017 when I could read any of the Officers reports, to review the justifications for their actions; however, no matter how it was worded, there can be no valid explanation or rationalize as to why they delayed the care that was desperately needed?
    The Unjustified Conclusion:

    To date, all criminal proceedings are final; there are no more court dates or alcohol classes. Thus, I have satisfied all requirements regarding my sentencing. While I am no longer suspended from the FWPD (30-day suspension), I am on “admirative sick leave.” Because of this incident; I have been clinically diagnosed by Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Therapists with the following:

    PTSD
    Anxiety
    Paranoia
    Due to the clinical diagnoses, I was removed from Department’s Hostage Negotiation Team

    What Happens Now:

    I know what happened to me, could happen to anyone; yes, that is the question. But more importantly, the lingering question of what happens now is still at the forefront of “mental health” preparedness.

    Whereas I was at the top of “my game” professionally and personally, but this - no my situation (sometimes you must own, what you have earned) had me down so far, that I thought it was impossible to get-back-up; but I overcame.

    I once was angry, withdrawn, and wanted to blame others/the administration for what happened to me; but this ain’t no blame game, it's about lives in need of mental wellness.
    However, time and a team of mental health professionals allowed me the once again see the man God intended me to be.
    The Plan Going-forwarded:

    To work tirelessly to “make my mess my message.” By helping to establish laws or form a platform to the protect/acknowledge the “rights” of those in “in need of psychiatric attention.” Then and only then will “change” have a chance to make a mark in our society. To further educate Law Enforcement and Mental Health Agencies, to form workshops, inspire forms, and engage in speaking groups.

    Why Question:

    Law Enforcement’s inability to safeguard the mental wellbeing of one of their own.

    Career Background:

    As a twenty-plus years Law Enforcement veteran, I have tirelessly sustained the day-to-day operations as an honorable officer, with the Fort Wayne Police Department (FWPD); whereas during those twenty-plus years, I have served my community as a Homicide Detective and Hostage Negotiator, Profiler. In addition, I formally served my country as a Federal Agent with the Department of Homeland Security.

    As a veteran Law Enforcement Officer, I believe that education is the cornerstone of success in any profession. Therefore, I presently hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology, and currently, I am a Doctoral Candidate, working towards my Ph.D., in Forensic Psychology. I would be remiss not to mention; I have also served as an adjunct professor.

    Why the Inquiry:

    Because of situations that repletely happen and ultimately violate the rights of citizens that need medical/psychiatric attention. That citizen was me, and the situation surrounding what I believe violated my rights; if it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone. The inquiry is a necessary form of investigating efforts needed to establish a platform; which will serve to protect the rights of all who are marginalized, by the words “in need of psychiatric attention.”

    Goal:

    Inspire the audience to become influential by endorsing secure and humane actions to those suffering a mental health crisis, and to encourage civic alliance that will advocate for people struggling with mental illness and in crisis, needing psychiatric assistance.

    Stacey’s lecture/speech will display to the audience that when individuals are in crisis, the usage of Language awareness is reassuring and practical.

    During Stacey’s situation, he felt as if no one heard his cry for help. Stacey will share with the audience his Hostage Negotiator’s training regarding Active Listening Skills (ALS). The audience will see first-hand, by way of audience participation how these skills can be used in situations when aiding a Consumer.

    Stacey’s lecture will consist of his candid and emotional story regarding his suicide attempt, which leads to an arrest, attempted hanging in his jail cell, and a 72-hour court-ordered commitment, which lasted 5-days.

    To many individuals, their conflict with stress may seem futile. Through humor, sensitivity, and enlightenment, Stacey’s lecture will inspire the attendees to think creatively and channel the negative energy of:

    “The bills keep coming.”

    “I do not have enough time in the day.”

    “the demanding obligations of family and work never seem to end.”

    Key Takeaways:

    Overall Alertness- Regarding the Onset to Stress
    Stress at one’s place of employment
    Mentally Supporting Yourself
    Recognize the best method in a tense setting
    Stacey’s method of HUMOR and Affection titled the “DR. DRE METHOD.”

    Attendees will learn to:
    D. DISCOVER the cause of their Stress
    R. RECOGNIZE that the Stress is affecting their lives
    D. DODGE future Stress elements
    R. REGAIN self-esteem
    E. EQUALIZE the threat of Stress reappearance

    Additional Takeaways:

    The attendees will ascertain what lifestyle factors can be modified to decrease stress
    Utilize certain life habits to reduce stress
    Practices to increase physical and environmental entertainment
    How to use their everyday skills to deal with stressful experiences
    How to document, recognize indicators of stress and develop a strategy to eliminate or reduce
    Self-Awareness of ones’ control

    Life set-skills for:
    Adapting: Overcoming obstacles and Achieving one's goals
    Success: by restoring/keeping a positive mindset
    Motivate: by aspiring to inspire through strength and leadership skills

    Stacey’s lecture will emphasize the managing your Stress is all about securing control. Control of your judgments, existence, reactions, and the technique we use to cope with our difficulties.

    Attendees will ascertain the no matter how taxing life may appear; there are platforms we and utilize to release the burden and reclaim control.

    Stacey’s lecture/speech will display to the audience that when individuals are in crisis, the usage of Language awareness is reassuring and practical.

    During Stacey’s situation, he felt as if no one heard his cry for help. Stacey will share with the audience his Hostage Negotiator’s training regarding Active Listening Skills (ALS). The audience will see first-hand, by way of audience participation how these skills can be used in situations when aiding a Consumer.

    Followed by a concise Q&A from selected audiences members wanting to inquire further detail of his story.

    The end of the speech/lecture is designated for audience participation, which will engage in activities that will display the totality and need for continued understanding regarding our countries crisis and misunderstanding of the Consumer.

    Target Audience and Participant Expertise Level:

    The speech/presentation will engage all facets of our mental health community from;

    Consumers
    Advocates,
    Mental Health Service Providers,
    Practitioners,
    Family Members (of the Consumers) and more.
    Objectives:

    At the end of his speech, the audience will take with them:

    Communication tools, using skills they now possess and used to maximize engagement that will allow for Rapport amongst all surfaces of our mental health community from; Consumers, Advocates, Mental Health Service Providers, Practitioners, Family Members (of the Consumers) and more.

    How to individualize engagement leaving the consumer to feel as if he/she is NOT just a “number and unimportant.”

    Detailed steps to form a culture of culpability and measurement within our Mental Health Community.

    Exercises and tools to support and reward the desired behavior (for escalated situations).
    Tools and methods to engage family members (they too are facing a crisis).

    Steps to produce a motivational and innovative culture with both Consumers and Family members, Mental Health Professionals thus creating a productive team dynamic.

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  • Imagine the Possibilities

    Tinamarie Hernandez, Executive Director, Diveheart

    Discover Diveheart and how we use Scuba Therapy to help people with disabilities "Imagine the Possibilities" in their lives. Hear inspirational stories of courage, hope and healing.

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  • Goal Setting = Accomplished Dreams

    Ericka Glorious Moore, Author, Speaker

    Do you have big dreams that illuminate on the inside of you, but where you are is lackluster in reality? This presentation will give you simple steps to reach your goals and ultimately brighten your destiny in a fun and interactive way!

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  • Vision – See Yourself There “Before” You Get There!

    Cherise N Ragland, Producer, Actress, Public Speaker, Author

    Cherise Nicole speaks from a chapter in her book, "You Can Soar" on Vision! Vision is the faculty or state of being able to see. Cherise encourages participants to get a vision for their future. Without vision you can't see where you're going. When you receive a vision and idea, or a dream, it's BIGGER than you! It's for the betterment of others you're being entrusted to care for it and nurture it just like a baby. Her motto is, if you can "see" it, you truly can achieve it! MORE >

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  • How do you juggle career and motherhood and stay sane?

    Diane Moca, Television Reporter / Working Mother, OverAchiever Mom

    For years, my vision for my life was to HAVE IT ALL -- manage kids, spouse and work successfully and feel fulfilled, happy and healthy. But this was not just another assignment that I could complete by overcoming some challenges and obstacles. As a working, married mother who felt frustrated and overwhelmed every day, I had to change my way of thinking or risk continued erosion of my physical and mental health. MORE >

    From car crashes to murders to snowstorms, I’ve covered thousands of stories as a television journalist. But I began to realize the most important disaster I had yet to cover – the crisis that mothers everywhere are waging against themselves. The word that seems to sum it up is “OVERWHELMED.” I hear it everywhere, even from the moms who seem to have it all. They can’t keep up with it all. The pace of life in 2016 is beyond our reach.

    This is especially noticeable and stressful for those of us who are trying to maintain the elusive trifecta – Perfect Parent, Partner, Professional. I am speaking to you — to all of the women out there who are doing everything in their power and beyond to give their kids their heart and soul, to share with their husbands their secrets and passions, and to devote to their careers their smarts and savvy.

    Can we really have it all? How do those seemingly successful, married moms seem to stay sane raising perfect kids with the help of their nurturing spouses while rising up the corporate ranks? When you scratch the surface of the perfect female parent-partner-professional, you’ll find they have learned some key strategies and are living by some unique guidelines. I'd like to share those with your group.

    I am a mother to a 15-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl. I have been with my husband for more than 15 years. I have been a television journalist even longer than that. And during all those years, I have been searching for specific help that I can’t seem to find. My girlfriends are too busy to share their secrets, and half the time they don’t even know themselves how they are pulling it all together. My parents offer guidance but can’t relate to my hectic lifestyle. My husband is compassionate and understanding, but he’s a man. Sometimes he just doesn’t get it. And the answers I’m looking for are not on TV or in magazines or newspapers or even on the Internet. Nowhere do I see advice tailored just for the mom who also wants to keep her marriage and career as healthy and successful as her kids – all at the same time.

    There are an abundance of articles about how to raise happy and healthy kids, and I read as many as I can. But the advice doesn’t always fit my life, because I can’t make those organic kale chips while I’m still at work pulling a late shift. And there are tons of spicy stories about how to keep my marriage fresh and exciting, but those tidbits don’t necessarily work for two parents working different shifts. And I have listened to literally thousands of hours of books on tape about developing a thriving business, but I often feel they are talking to a man isolated in a quiet, clean office – not to a woman working from home amid the chaos of her cluttered house, loud children and constantly unfinished housework staring her in the face.

    Ultimately, it will be other women and their stories that help each of us confront the day to day struggles faced when balancing kids, marriage, career. It’s a juggling act, with the balls falling to the ground on a regular basis. And that’s a fail, as my kids would say. So are we failing? Many of us feel like we are. We need a voice out there to remind us that we are not -- a voice to tell us how to HAVE IT ALL AT THE SAME TIME AND STAY SANE.

    DOES THAT MAKE US CRAZY TO WANT IT ALL? IS THAT WHY WE FEEL LIKE LIFE IS CRAZY MOST DAYS?

    It’s not just making US crazy. It’s going to make the next generation crazy too, because they’re watching us. Can we have it all without being crazed, overwhelmed, harried, frustrated, and disappointed in ourselves?

    I explore that by sharing stories of the women who seem to have it all – the perfect moms, the ones with the great career, the caring husband, the polite and talented children. Don’t you want to know how you can get that? That's why I am creating a community of working moms whose stories provide inspiration and validation.

    So many of us feel we are coming up short. All of us who are trying to handle kids and spouses and careers at the same time seem to feel collectively overwhelmed, frustrated, and at our wit’s end. But we don’t have to. We can help each other. I have discovered the answers some of us have for making it work, and I have gotten those moms to reveal their secrets -- the times when it doesn’t always work as well as we pretend it does. I am creating a community of working moms who share and prop each other up, instead of competing. Mothers need a community of sharing NOT shaming. I am creating a unique media voice addressing those of us women juggling work, kids and spouse.

    Women like us – we know what we want. We want to be successful in all three areas of life. And while doing it all, we want to look good and feel good -- not tired and run down and in need of a trip to the gym, the salon and the spa. We want our home and family to look good and feel good -- not cluttered and chaotic and sick and stressed. We know it’s possible. We see other women around us achieving it. But even if it seems like we are achieving it, we feel like failures.

    One of my best friends who seems to “have it all” confides: “I am doing it all, but I am doing it all half-ass.” But is she really? Her clients know they can count on her. Her kids say “I love you!” to her every day. Her husband is with her through thick and thin. Another mom I know who is a doctor confided: “It’s too much. Things are falling through the cracks." To everyone else, she has it all. So how did she get that far, and still not be able to get beyond the feeling that what she’s doing is not good enough? How do any of us get there?

    By traveling the journey to get there, we realize there are many paths to grabbing that elusive trio and keeping a hold of it. Some do it by maintaining their career through part-time work or job-share. Some do it by running their own business from home. Some do it by working the opposite schedule as their husband. Some do it with the help of a stay-at-home dad or a work-from-home dad. Some do it with the help of their own parents or great child care. Some do it by earning or acquiring so much wealth, they can hire people to pick up the slack in so many areas – maids, tutors, chefs, chauffeurs, assistants, accountants, nannies, designers, etc! (Isn’t that what the rich and famous do?) There are as many paths to the successful trio of Parent-Partner-Professional as there are women trying to achieve it. All you need is the one that will work for you.

    I’ve spent more than a decade of my life studying how to do it all – taking in hundreds of articles and books about raising happy and healthy kids, about striving for career aspirations and running a successful business, about keeping a marriage fresh and lively yet deeply meaningful and long-lasting. At this point in life I have turned my study to the real-life female heroes living it. You will hear their stories – what they went through to hang on to all three threads that mean so much to them. When they doubted themselves, how did they get past it? You will see how they live the dream – or really, on some days, the nightmare. We have taken our cameras to their homes to learn how they succeed – and fail – every day -- and then they get up the next day and do it all again.

    Parenthood in the 21st Century is not your mother’s experience. It is profoundly different, especially for women balancing a meaningful career and modern marriage amid the pressures of trying to keep their kids away from the dangers lurking online, in our food ingredients, around the corner in our neighborhood, and on and on. With more women in the workforce than ever – and more women in college than men – women balancing all three are the future of America. And we need to be sure the women of America are on track to succeed in all three areas.

    We’re tired of articles that only address women who seem to be living in a vacuum – only discussing how to tackle a problem without considering the other two areas in our lives that constantly tug at our attention and keep us distracted and feeling out of balance. I want to help women focused on trying to be successfully performing the non-intersecting roles of powerful career woman, loving wife and stay-at-home mom all at the same time. Impossible? No. One of life's biggest challenges? I think so. If you think so, then reach out to me. I want to give those women going for that brass ring all the help they need.

    You don’t have to be a mom with a husband and career to appreciate my talk. Whether you are a mother on the verge of a breakdown because you can’t believe you missed the deadline for the piano recital after the sheet got buried under your mountain of clutter, or you’re a single mom just starting in your career, or you’re a father who doesn’t understand why your wife is always irritable and tired, you can benefit from a chance to learn how other mothers have turned their self-image from frazzled to focused one tiny step at a time.

    As a result of developing a one-hour TV pilot featuring profiles of successful working moms, I now have a greater understanding of the motivation that can enrich women’s lives every day! I am offering that insight to groups who would benefit by hearing specific details showcasing how local working mothers have molded their life to feel invigorated and successful on a daily basis.

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  • Awaken: How to Motivate the Unmotivated

    Susan Neustrom, Author, Speaker, Nonprofit Executive Director, Leading to Action

    Are you struggling with trying to motivate and inspire your team, employees, clients, or even yourself? Encouraging an unmotivated individual is a challenge and regardless of the reward, nothing seems to work. Based on years of experience working with challenging populations - jail inmates, the homeless, people living with developmental disabilities, Dr.Susan Neustrom teaches you how to motivate and inspire even the most unmotivated by sharing five new ideas for awakening, igniting, and maintaining self-motivation for long term success. MORE >

    Susan Neustrom, Ed.D. Nonprofit Executive Director, speaker, and author of “The Comfort Zone Illusion-Leaving your comfort zone is not so hard after all.”
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  • You Have Everything You Need To Succeed!

    Cherise N Ragland, Producer, Actress, Public Speaker, Author

    In This Session Cherise Nicole speaks from a chapter in her book "You Can Soar" on You Have Everything You Need To Succeed! Cherise encourages listeners that they already have everything they need for success RIGHT NOW! She encourages people to stop waiting for "perfect conditions" before moving forward pursuing their dreams. MORE >

    People are waiting on your creativity, your crazy invention, your amazing recipe, your book, and your home product solution. As long as you're convinced that you need more money, more time, or another degree you'll never get started. It only takes paper and pen to write a business plan, when you believe in yourself, others believe as well and you will attract everything else you need.
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  • Got a dream? Test It!

    Lee Ann Piano, Keynote Speaker, John Maxwell Team Member

    What is the difference between a dreamer and someone who achieves their dream? The answer lies in answering ten tough dream test questions.This presentation is pure motivation and provides a step-by-step plan that anyone can begin using immediately to see, own and reach their dream. MORE >

    Lee Ann helps participants raise the odds of achieving their dream by expertly guiding them through the ten questions. Don't leave your dreams to chance.This presentation is a must-have for those who are looking to achieve real success.
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  • Eliminate the Fear of Leaving Your Comfort Zone

    Susan Neustrom, Author, Speaker, Nonprofit Executive Director, Leading to Action

    Are you ready for change? Whether change is planned or unplanned, more than likely you need to step outside your comfort zone and do something different. However, leaving your comfort zone is frightening and fear can stifle growth, halt progress, and negatively impact behavior giving the feeling of being stuck. MORE >

    From her book, The Comfort Zone Illusion and with over 25 years of experience leading personal, professional, and organizational change, Dr. Susan Neustrom presents five breakthrough strategies to move through the stages of discomfort, transform fear to energy, and experience many Ah-ha moments that propel you into action.

    Susan Neustrom, Ed.D. author of “The Comfort Zone Illusion-Leaving your comfort zone is not so hard after all.”

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