Everyone Can Use a Pep Talk!

Everyone Can Use a Pep Talk!

Mary Speaking Closeup

It’s Time for a Pep Talk!

As a life and wellness coach, spiritual advisor, and simply as a friend, I have given lots of pep talks. And there are times when I need a good pepping up myself.

I always say, I teach what I want to learn. And I learn from everyone.

Everybody needs pep talk sometimes. We all get down on ourselves, have upsets with life, and generally as normal human functioning human beings, lose our sense of motivation and energy. That’s when like all people on a playing field, we need a good Pep talk.

So here goes:

>You are doing great even if you feel like you are faltering. You are doing your best. Reward yourself for functioning at all.  Sometimes in these dark winter months, we feel like a blob. Half the day may go by and your still in your pajamas-that’s okay sometimes. We all need a day to do nothing but wake up and breathe. If you give yourself a pajama day without guilt, you may feel a burst of energy and productivity the next day or week.

>Be grateful! When you are stressed it is always good to take 10 deep breaths or even 3 if that’s all your mind can focus on, but if not then think of at least three things you are grateful for right now!!

>Life will present plenty of opportunities for you to be negative. How about looking for something to shift your mind to a more positive view point even if it feels or looks like sh_t. You know the story of the little boy who said he smelled something-it was horse manure and rather than say yuk! He said there must be a pony around here somewhere.

>Quit over thinking everything. It all may be good and there you go trying to figure out what could be wrong. The ego analyzes. The spirit accepts. Stay in the moment and enjoy it. If something feels off, listen all around you to see if there is anything you need to do about it or learn from it.

>Tame your inner critic and listen to your inner cheerleader. We all have an inner critic, but we also have an inner voice that guides you to living a life that flows. One of my favorite cheers was:

Jumpin in the grandstand, beatin on a tin can, Who can? We can? Nobody else can! Standing on our hands, standin on our feet, the Rockets the Rockets can’t be beat!

Well try that one in the morning when you wake up less than excited about your day.

I tell my grandkids-Can’t died in the cornfield.  YOU CAN!

And here is a pep talk from a young man aspiring to be president:







TED X Cincinnati, My Reflections on an Awesome Speaking Conference

TED X Cincinnati, My Reflections on an Awesome Speaking Conference

When I heard that there was a TED X conference in Cincinnati,  I signed up right away. I was so excited. I first became familiar with TED when I was researching alternative ways to create interesting presentations. I wanted to learn to be more creative with Power Point and Keynote, if I had to use them at all, and to see how speakers from all over the world shared their talents. I found Presentation Zen and that led me to TED.com, the site where you can hear speakers present on almost any topic you can imagine.

There is a national TED conference every year in Long Beach, California, which always sells out. The price to get in is $6,000.  People like Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, and other famous names are the speakers.

TED X is an offshoot of this conference, except with less well-known names, more local and at a much more affordable price. TED X Cincinnati was $55.00 and I jumped at it without disappointment.

The conference was held at the Aronoff Theater all day on Thursday, October 7, 2010. It was open seating and I sat right up in front.  The conference is all about networking in between listening to the speakers. This event was full of interesting people –both the presenters,  the audience, and the topics were as varied as the people.

David Kuehler was the Emcee. David is a Harvard Business School trained brand builder and business innovator. He is the founder and director of the Clay Street Project at Proctor & Gamble. When he came out on stage he reminded me of a country singer or longhaired movie star. He had a quiet presence that kept the show going and engaged each speaker for a brief set of questions after each presentation.

The Speaking Sessions were divided into four themes.


Dr. Victor Garcia spoke in between his duties as a pediatric surgeon from Children’s Hospital. Dr. Garcia was passionate about healing Cincinnati of its worsening trends in violence using effective power of systems thinking and appreciative inquiry. He left you with the key word IMAGINE. He was not just about healing children, but also about healing neighborhoods. It was neat to hear a physician with such global energy and passion.

Claire Thompson is a clothes designer and artist from the DAAP program at the University of Cincinnati. What was amazing about Clair was that she almost lost her eyesight. She recovered from extensive surgery and then went on to live in France and continues to draw and journal through her painting. She was willing to take risks and said, “taking risk is contagious.”

Adrian Parr, an associate professor of women’s studies in the DAAP program at UC, spoke about climate change and sustainability. She shared photos of creative ways to make the earth and communities more livable and green. I loved the idea of not only eating organic but wearing organic clothes.

Carlton Farmer is a young man who is passionate about history, especially the roots of American and African American History. He is the assistant curator to an exhibit called “America I AM” which is now at the Cincinnati Museum Center and next will be in Washington DC.

Brad King was one of my favorites. He is a seasoned speaker and assistant professor at Ball State University where he teaches journalism. His topic was about the importance of telling stories and how technology is changing rapidly. His power point used one to a few words to move his ideas along. The bottom line is that stories will continue to be told on paper in books and traditional media, but we can’t ignore the opportunity to share our stories through Twitter and social media online. His energy was fun. He wore a beret and I remember him wearing orange. It matched his spirit, smile, and savvy style.

Jeff Edmondson was all about supporting children through innovative ways to use sophisticated data collection tools. He shared the idea of a “child dashboard” to track their education and personal lives. This information would be used to create a plan of success and support the child through the process of education and life. He is the executive director of Strive Together, a non-profit philanthropic initiative to increase educational achievement throughout the region. He reads Hermann Hesse. I like that.

Margy Waller, a non-practicing lawyer, and photographer is all about serendipity. She surprised us with dancers in the audience and then went on to share photos of “serendipitous art” which included graffiti and organized street painting projects.

It left you thinking that art is all around us and to appreciate that.

Mary Pierce Brosmer has been one of my teachers in life. Mary started Women Writing for a Change, a writing school for women that fosters inner healing and spiritual connection with the self and others. Mary has broadened her work to included organizational consulting and she shared how our stories help to balance us at home and at work.  In typical Mary style, she read a poem about her mother.

Mary is so non-pretentious and natural. She did well with her power point even though this is not so natural for her. Mary was a guest on my 1999 radio show and will be a guest of my Blog Talk Radio show in November.


Dr. Herman Mays, an evolutionary biologist, pulled out two test tubes of DNA from his shirt pocket. We learned a little bit more about the structure of the cell and DNA. His topic was the amazing work of the Human Genome Project that continues to progress and evolve; making it more and more likely that “personalized medicine” will become part of the medical model. By having analyzing your DNA you can find out almost anything about your medical history and that of your ancestors, making it easier to diagnose and treat disease in a very personalized manner based on your own genome. He made DNA very exciting and easy to understand.

Willie Carden, the CEO of the Cincinnati Parks Foundation invited us to celebrate color beyond black and white. He used the colors Yellow, Blue and Green as symbols of joyful feelings and emotions as the result of experiencing the global value of green space. I, for one, am a big fan of our parks and how the colors and changing seasonal experiences support joy.

Grant McCracken is a cultural anthropologist who writes and speaks about the importance culture plays in corporate boardrooms and organizations. He suggested that every company needs a Chief Culture Officer with the credentials of understanding productivity and business. It is the culture of the organization that drives its success.

Dr. Benjamin Passty is an economist; one of those guys we think can explain the mess we are in. Actually Dr. Passty does do research on the impact income has on health, education, and marriage. He is a research assistant professor at UC. I do remember him talking about value investing and referring to the best selling book Freakonomics.

Ben Nicholson is an expert in motion design and definitely a creative type. He spoke on media and love and I suspect he has a way of loving life. He feels that love is the answer to healing conflict in the world and that “those producing, designing and creating our visual world respect us and walk in love.” What I remember about Ben is Love.


John Eckberg, a one-time journalist for the Cincinnati Enquirer surprised me with his shift to the medical world and shared his passion for innovative medical devices, specifically the antimicrobial catheter. The talk was a bit of a shift from the other presentations and I wondered about the impact on this audience. For me, being a nurse, and familiar with how urinary catheters cause infection, I could understand and relate to his topic. He was an example of choosing speakers based on passion.

Shasta Bray brought the Cincinnati Zoo experience to us on stage. She is the interpretive media manager at the zoo and shared her experience of connecting emotionally with animals and nature. Referring to Willie Carden’s emphasis on Yellow, Blue and Green, she brought us back to Black and White by having one of the baby penguins from the Zoo brought on stage. An inspiring talk using nature.

Joe Rigotti had a dual role at the conference. He performed a yoga like routine as “Mirror Man” dressed in a metallic body suit made of tiny mirrors. He then was one of our last speakers sharing that Life is a Party, appropriate since he is an event planner. His message was that we need to relax and enjoy life by appreciating everything we have.

Patricia Van Skaik who manages the Genealogy and Local History Collection for the Cincinnati Public Library shared early photos of Cincinnati. The technique is called Daguerreotype, a new word for me. Her presentation was different and interesting.

She was a very professional presenter and showed another form of audiovisual-the photograph.


Peter Chamberlain, another professor in the DAAP program at UC used his presentation to call to action progress on the new streetcar and transit system for our city. Peter has lived in Japan and is a big supporter of Tranzizorum and sees Transportation as important as religion. I guess you could say he has a desire named Streetcar.

Dave Knox is a “Social Media Superstar” using Facebook and Twitter for both communicating ideas and marketing. He moves us to ideate and create. He reminded us of the great marketing done in Cincinnati based on P&G and products like Jergens and Summerdelight and super retailers like Kroger and Macy’s, who both are headquartered in our city. He feels we are a great place for start-ups to succeed and said if you have an idea, run with it and get there first.

Mark Jeffreys, another P&G brand manager is passionate about Cincinnati becoming one of the healthiest cities in America in 2020. We have a long way to go but his goVibrant program about health and fitness may help energize other organizations to be a driving force for change.

Dhani Jones, Bengal football player and founder of Bow Ties For a Cause came on stage with a huge smile and one of his signature bow ties. He claimed he never wore a bow tie and now that’s all he wears. His organization is a non-profit endeavor to support charities around the globe. He expresses the need for collaboration. He also talked about energy and motivation using the term VMG-Velocity Made Good. Most of all Dhani reminded us to take the path of resistance instead of the path of least resistance. Resistance fosters growth and learning. He was a great ending to a very inspiring day.

If you were there, I would love to hear your takeaways. If you weren’t, I hope you go next year. I know they are planning to have another TED X Cincinnati next year.

Who knows! Maybe I will apply to speak.

TED X Cincinnati, My Reflections on an Awesome Speaking Conference

There’s Something About Mary

What’s “The Middle Way” and Who am I?

This morning I took an early walk in Sharon Woods with a friend I met at a networking event. He wanted to share some ideas about future projects and ideas that he and I are both interested in-community, healing, organizational and personal development, change, and targeting the nursing profession. We had a great walk and talk and may collaborate in the future.

Before we departed, I said one way to stay connected is my newsletter/blog and I asked him if he subscribes? He said he had not had a chance to subscribe since I updated to Feedblitz. He also said, “You know, I am still not sure what Promoting Health: The Middle Way is all about.

That made me think that many of you may be wondering the same thing. Although I am multifaceted and ever evolving, I thought I would share my "About" page of my website.

Although this is post is about me. My purpose is to be helpful to YOU. I welcome your questions, comments, and feedback.

Briefly introduce yourself and your business.

My name is Mary Claybon, owner of Promoting Health: The Middle Way LLC, a business dedicated to deep health and wellness. My background is nursing and health education. After directing a health promotion program for 3500 employees I went on to get my Masters in Health Education. I have also been a Staff Development Specialist and Professional Speaker. I have been a yoga and fitness instructor, taught meditation and stress management in addition to clinical and nursing education. I currently offer telephone and web based coaching in the areas of stress, nutrition, fitness, health and life. I love it because it is a career that uses all of my nursing, wellness and life skills and experiences to help people change and attain their life vision and goals.I live in Cincinnati, Ohio with my husband of 35 years. Together we have three grown children, a wonderful son and daugher-in-law and two granddaughters.

What do you think you most have to offer your clients in the area of health and wellness?

Deep understandings of what it means to be human, confused, stressed and then look out at world and know you want to change but it’s difficult. Compassion, excitement and inspiration. My work is all based on my education and my own journey.

Why do you stress “deep healing??”

We think of healing as feeling better mentally or physically and so we look for a quick solution or exciting solution but it goes deeper. We hold on to negative thoughts and behaviors because of the pain in our hearts and souls. In coaching, we listen mindfully and help you come up with answers you already know and have deep inside. We don’t tell you what to do, we get to what you really want to do. We help you clear away what has gotten in the way to prevent you from being the person you want to be.

What have you learned about motivation and change in your 34 years of experience in this field?

That it has to come from the inside not “you should and here’s how” or even “I should because…”.  It has to be “I will and I must because it really matters to me.”
How does wellness coaching differ from life coaching?

We do both but begin with looking at health and wellness. Our assessment includes questions on physical health history and lifestyle issues that affect health and promote or inhibit wellness. We are trained to ask open ended questions and listen mindfully, and promote inner motivation and can help with relationships, career, etc. but we always include physical and mental health – fitness, nutrition, weight management, stress management and then add life issues.

Why did you call your business Promoting Health: The Middle Way-What is the Middle Way?

The Middle Way is actually a Buddhist philosophy of balance because the Buddha learned that he could not heal the world by leaving it but by living in it with compassion and detachment. I have done everything to extremes only to realize that the path to health and healing is moderation and balance-not perfection.

What changes have you made in your own life?

I am changing all the time. My body, and with menopause it is changing on its own. My mind, less and less judgments and know everything ness. Although I am perceived as an expert I am learning all the time and love listening to others figure it out. Understand stress so much more – no drugs just relax, retreat, meditate, yoga- My spirit- broader understanding of God and the universe- more spiritual less religious –Teach A Course in Miracles.

Initially when I was younger I didn’t see things so deeply. I changed my physical lifestyle by exercising, eating healthy and quitting smoking. Later I became more interested in how I did that long term and it had to do with what I believed about life and health. Now my changes are more about healing emotionally and spiritually without it being a cliché.

What changes in our current health care system do you see as necessary and how do you see these changes being implemented?

All players communicating and wanting to heal the system so we can truly heal people and the world. More understanding of deeper healing and wellness. More teaching about long term change. The healers working on their own healing – recognizing we are all on a journey together and nobody’s physically or mentally perfect. Spiritually yes!!

Two key points to leave you with:
• Health goes much deeper than how you look or how long you live-you can be healthy on your death bed.
• You change what you deeply desire to change. Motivation must come from an intrinsic desire to change and not an extrinsic source.

This photo was taken in Petra, Jordan. It is the camel pose next to a camel.


Pin It on Pinterest