Make Room For The Stuttering

mirrorWhat do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see how great you are, or do you look for the things that need to be fixed?

Like many people, I often notice what’s wrong instead of what’s right. I lament over a new zit or a sudden sprung hair. I check to be sure my hair looks OK and look to see if I messed up my make up.

Rarely do I just look in the mirror and smile and say to myself, “you look great.” I have long struggled with thoughts that I’m not good enough and that often translates over to what I see when I look in the mirror.

I heard a powerful keynote speaker last month who reminded us that we need to like what we see when we look into that mirror. We need to tell ourselves that we like what we see and start our day off on a positive note.

That resonated with me, especially as I was working on a workshop about positive affirmations that friend Annie and I would present at a stuttering conference in early October.

Annie and I worked on our workshop for 6 weeks, trying out different affirmations that we would encourage people to use when looking in a mirror, both generally and about their stuttering as well. We caught ourselves saying things to ourselves and each other that were not affirming and found out how loud our inner critic’s voice can really be.

We did our mirror workshop on Saturday at the NSA regional conference in Anaheim. We were both a little nervous, worried that people wouldn’t get “into it” and that we were not well prepared enough.

We were prepared enough and people did get into it. We handed out small mirrors and asked people to look deep into their eyes while we took turns gently reading positive affirmations. We then invited people to come up and sit in front of a large mirror and say something aloud, affirming their self and their stuttering. Several people took the risk and we then shared out at the end how all of this felt.

It was a powerful workshop where we were present with each other. We ended by sharing this with the group, which everyone read aloud together.

I AM STRONG

I AM KIND

I AM BEAUTIFUL

I AM SMART

I AM IMPORTANT

I AM FEARLESS

I AM AMAZING

Pam

Episode 129 features LaShanda Lewis, who hails from Chicago, Illinois. LaShanda and her husband have three young children, who LaShanda will be home schooling.

LaShanda is also a singer, and has been singing since about 8 years old. She is working on a solo album of Christian music, which she hopes to release in a year.

And she doesn’t stutter when she sings!

Listen in as we discuss avoidance and shame, confidence and the importance of finding support with other people who stutter. We also discuss her children’s reactions to her stuttering.

The podcast safe music used in this episode is credited to ccMixter.

This is a clip from the 2014 movie, “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn,” starring Robin Williams and James Earl Jones, an actor who stutters in “real life.”

I think Robin William’s character expresses some of the impatience that listeners often experience when listening to someone who stutters.

What do you think? Do you find this funny or in poor taste? Personally, I found it funny.

Caution: adult language at the end of the clip.

If you haven’t seen this yet, check it out. It shows us that stuttering/stammering doesn’t have to hold us back and that we can achieve anything with grit and persistence.

ISAD 2014This year’s International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) online conference begins on October 1, 2014 and runs for three weeks through October 22, 2014.

Authors will present papers on a variety of topics relating to stuttering – attitudes and feelings, therapy techniques, research updates and personal experiences.

Presenters are a mix of people from the international stuttering community – people who stutter, family members of people who stutter, clinical therapists and scientific researchers. This is an exciting conference where different voices from all over the world are heard.

This will be a treasure trove of information on stuttering, and you will have the opportunity to interact with the contributors and ask questions of professionals in the field.

Plan to check out the conference and plan to learn a lot. Spread the word!

PamEpisode 128 features Farah Al Qaissieh who hails from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emerites. Farah works in the strategy department of a government office.

She is also the co-founder of a stuttering support group, called “Stutter With A Smile“, which began in July 2013.

Farah and a friend started the group through Meet-Up.com and advertised through social media and word of mouth. Their first meeting attracted 15 people, and has since averaged 10 people of all ages, including speech language pathologists.

Listen in as we discuss why she wanted to start a support group, the impact it has had on her and members and the group’s goals. We also discuss Farah’s own personal journey with stuttering and what it has meant to her.

This was a great conversation, where we hear a voice from another part of the world. Listen and feel free to leave comments. Feedback is a gift.

The podcast safe music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

This is the documentary that appeared in the UK about two weeks ago, featuring several people who participate in the 4 day McGuire program, an intensive stuttering management program.

All of the participants bare their emotions for us during the documentary, so we get a real glimpse as to how complex stuttering really is.

Thank you to Maria McGrath for sending me the YouTube link, so those of us outside the UK could watch the film, which is great.

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2014.
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