GG 40 Sharon Neiss-Arbess | Share Your Rainbow

Sharon Neiss Arbess: Share Your Rainbow After The Rain

GG 40 Sharon Neiss-Arbess | Share Your Rainbow

 

You may have had episodes of embarrassment, insecurity, and failure growing up. But it is from these difficult moments that you learn the best lessons, and you’re able to share your rainbow after the rain. Karen Pulver’s guest today is Goddess Sharon Neiss Arbess, author of Me & My So-Called Friends. In this episode, Sharon shares with Karen that whatever stumbling block comes your way, you can get around it. What’s important is knowing how to deal with the situation so you can come out on the other side smarter and stronger. Are you ready to conquer your failures and use them as stepping stones to growth? Don’t miss this episode! 

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Sharon Neiss Arbess: Share Your Rainbow After The Rain

Me And My SoCalled Friends, The Get Up Book

Thank you so much everyone for joining us on Grateful Goddesses. We are so grateful that you’re here. I have a story. When I was fourteen, all my friends in junior high had this parachute jumpsuit. It was white or black and it had a zipper up the front and it was a lightweight material. It was on MTV on some of the videos. They all had it and I wanted one. My mother refused to get it because it was expensive and she didn’t think that it was necessary. I was the one kid out of my friends who didn’t have one 

One day I went downtown to Yorkville in Toronto and I spotted in a store a parachute jumpsuit, half price. The only glitch is that it wasn’t white or black, it was peach, but that was okay. The girl in the store said it looked great and I bought it. I wore to school the Monday morning and I was feeling fantastic in my parachute jumpsuit. I straightened my hair because my hair was all crazy and I showed up to school. I opened my locker and I took out my gigantic stack of books and my pencil case and I turned as my friends started to walk up to me. They were saying, “Look at your parachute jumpsuit, now you have one just like us.”  

Mistakes made are incredible lessons. Click To Tweet

One of my so-called friends came up to me, let’s just say her name was Diane. Diane said, “Love your jumpsuit.” She grabbed my pencil case, unzipped it, and threw it down the hall. She tapped my books out of my hand and not only that, took the zipper to my jumpsuit, unzipped it down basically to my crotch. It opened up. I didn’t even know what hit me. I was feeling embarrassed. My friends were watching, she was one of my friends. They were laughing at me. No one was helping me until a teacher came out into the hall. It felt like hours but it was only a few seconds. The teacher came out, saw me and helped me gather my books. She even said to me, “It’s undone. I didn’t even realize. I zipped up my jumpsuit.  

Here I am at lunch sitting with my so-called friends and I look over at Diane and I’m speechless. In my mind, I’m saying to her, “How could you have done that to me? Why did you do that to me? What did I do to you?” Nothing came out of my mouth. just smiled and laughed along with my friends. That moment stuck with me forever. A few years ago, I went back to Toronto to my junior high reunion. Here I am at my locker again, thinking about this moment. I located that locker, I’m thinking about this moment, and honest to God, I see a few of my old high school friends, including Diane.  

She came up to me and I had the courage and said, “Do you remember that moment?” I started with joking and I was like, “Remember my jumpsuit and the zipper and the whole thing?” She said, “No, I don’t remember. All I remember about you is that I was jealous of you. I was having a hard time in my family. My parents were fighting and my brother was out doing crazy things. I remember seeing you and you had an older boyfriend and you look like you had it all. I saw you every day and I was feeling jealous, and I’m sorry.” It hit me like, “Wow.”  

What I’m excited about is our guest Sharon Neiss-Arbess grew up in Montreal and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University’s Communication Studies program. After working as a copywriter and advertising for several years, the writing bug bit Sharon on her right hand and led her to the local coffee shop to write stories of teen drama with a little bit of humor. Me & My So-Called Friends is a story that is entirely fiction, written with the hopes to teach young readers that no matter how bad it gets, you too will come out on the other side stronger and smarter with the help of the unexpected to get you through it all. 

Her second book, The Get Up Book is meaningful stories, practical exercises, and expert advice. It is a book by Sharon with David Newton. It is amazing what could affect you each day. A post that you saw, the way a person stands, and a test that you failed. It may be hard to realize now but the mistakes that are made in your life can bring incredible lessons that will shape who you are now. The choices that you make in situations that unfold all occur for a reason, as difficult as they may be. The end result is for you to learn from them. The best part, you will be able to share your rainbow after the rain. 

After Sharon wrote Me My So-Called Friends, which was published in 2015, she visited several middle school classrooms in Toronto and received tremendous feedback about the humorous and relatable storyline. Bringing the novel into the classroom was a natural fit, so a teacher’s manual called Brave The Waves was born. That is a program for building resiliency and the result of a collaboration between Sharon Neiss-Arbess, social workers, educators, and psychologists and was formerly written by Ms. Deborah Rogers BEd, MA. It is targeted towards middle school youth in Grades 6 to 8. 

GG 40 Sharon Neiss-Arbess | Share Your Rainbow
Me & My So-Called Friends

Sharon Neiss-Arbess, the author of Me & My So-Called Friends, one of her books has this beautiful story about a girl going through struggles in junior high and how resiliency and support helps her get through and see what’s on the other side of the rainbow. Had I known then how to have reacted well to that friend and how to have treated myself, I perhaps could have dealt with life a little differently and you can notice I’m wearing this necklace from my boyfriend. It’s interesting that’s how it was and that’s how I dealt with that situation. We’re going to dive in deep about situations that girls get into in school, etc., and how others can help them deal with that to get through. Welcome, Sharon and our Featured Goddess, Michelle, to Grateful Goddesses. 

I’m excited to be here. Thank you for having me. 

I’m glad you’re here. I would love to know, Michelle, did you have a moment like that?  

I have many moments like that. I moved around and not only did I have experiences similar to you, but I was the new girl and that was difficult for sure. 

Sharon, did you as well? 

Of course. Me & My So-Called Friends was my first book. A lot of people who read the book, my friends especially said, “I can hear your voice when I read the book.” I have to be honest and say that the book is not a biography. It is not what happened to me. Although it is an amalgamation of what I went through, what I saw, and my imagination. There’s a couple of instances that are similar but I had to push it further to make it more entertaining for the reader. Yes, I’ve been through a lot of drama like any other teenage girl.  

This passage here when I was reading it, this is how I felt that moment. I felt like I was deep-sea fishing among the sharks and being eaten alive. On the embarrassment scale of 1 to 10, this was about 66. It’s so true.  

What was that from? I forget what passage that was from? 

This was after the party. 

That was aembarrassing situation and a little bit of romance too. It’s always exciting to have a love interest in a book. I also want to demonstrate what a healthy relationship looks like. The relationship between Lizzie and Jimmy is a healthy relationship. It’s been a while since I’ve read the book and I wrote it many years ago, forgive me.  

A failure is the first attempt at learning. Click To Tweet

I was going to outline for the people reading if they haven’t read the book. The basic premise is a girl named Lizzie coming back from camp and seeing her friends in school. A rumor being spread around about her with a boy and more that embarrasses her, and how she reacts to her friend’s reaction to her and how they’ve treated her.  

Also, that the relationship has changed as they got older and how she feels with her friends. Maybe these aren’t the friends that she needs to support her as she’s getting older. She also goes through a psychological challenge that requires her to reach out for the proper support. 

As being a Grateful Goddess in our 40s50s, and up, we talk a lot on these episodes about making mistakes and how we can get back up. A mistake is like a happy accident, as Bob Ross says, the painter, and how important it is to have resilience. When I studied education, I took a class called adolescence and the young. We talked about the frontal cortex of a child’s brain is not fully developed until you’re 25. I don’t mean to get scientific. I’m wondering if that has anything to do with how girls and boys can react to each other like they don’t fully understand and they’re more egocentric. Did you think about that at all when you were writing the book? 

I didn’t think about that, although that is a pretty known fact that the brain is developed until age 25. However, in my world, I demonstrate pretty well to my children that it’s okay to fail. I demonstrate that by example. I look at the word fail as the first attempt in learning. Before I publish this book, first of all, it wasn’t an easy task to publish a book. I went through many rejections, I still have the rejection letters and posted it on Instagram years ago. It got a lot of attention. I’ve restarted and then where I ended and it’s not a straight line.  

My kids witnessed that, they saw my rejection letter from Scholastic and Penguin Books. I don’t know what other publishers I reached out to but they saw it all. I finally got the cover and then I finally got the book in my hand like, “That was a huge risk you took.” I took another risk by putting out art, my writing. Whether it’s a painting writing project, I put it out to the world not knowing what the result would be and that’s a huge risk. I’m glad I did that because I see so far in their short lives, they’ve taken risks and they’ve decided to, “I’m going to do that, I’m going to try,” and they’re not 25 years old yet. They’re learning that I’m going to do it anyhow even though I’m scared. I was scared to put something that I worked on for years. It’s creative and there’s no right or wrong answer but it’s my work and now the whole world is going to read it. That’s scary. 

It’s being vulnerable but you were determined, you persisted, and you took a risk. What could have been the worst thing? 

No one liked it. My goal was to have it published and then put it in my neighborhood bookstore and that’s it. 

Where is it now? 

It snowballed. May I go on to how it’s snowballed?  

GG 40 Sharon Neiss-Arbess | Share Your Rainbow
Share Your Rainbow: Drinking a big, tall glass of warm water with lemon in the morning cleanses and hydrates you.

 

Of course. 

I wrote the book and it’s all nice and good. People read it and it’s slowly caught on to a lot of grade seven girls and the parents came up to me and said, “My daughter doesn’t read but she loved your book.” The organization, formerly known as Jewish Woman’s Renaissance project, JWRP, which is called Momentum now, they take women to Israel to help empower them and educate them about Jewish identity and history. They had a mentorship like a fellowship program and one of the women who work for the organization said, “You have something in this book that should be in the classrooms and we’re running this program where we can help you get there.”  

I took the program, I went to Washington for a couple of days, came back to Toronto. I created an advisory board based on social workers, psychologists, and teachers. Together, we created Brave The Waves, which is a teacher’s manual that is a curriculum based on the book Me & My So-Called Friends. There are ten lessons that pull out certain excerpts that deal with the topic of subjects such as stress and anxiety, communication, relationships, and dealing with goals and it goes through the book. It helps you understand that life is hard and life is amazing. It is fun, you cry, you get through it, you find support and so it’s needed, especially now. 

I did notice that you do have a sample exercise with elastic around your wrist that when you feel anxious, you can snap it to kind of remind yourself it is going to be okay or to keep you grounded. 

It’s a sample lesson on my website. 

That’s wonderful to help individuals. Michelle, what would you like to ask? 

I was thinking that I’ve long believed that my kids are grown. I remember when they were younger in school, I believed that we should teach these things to our kids in the school setting. This is fantastic, Sharon. 

Thank you, Michelle. 

That and life skills and certain other things are not taught. It’s such a shame and a disservice to our kids. I love that you’re doing this, it’s amazing. My question is, is it a Toronto-wide program? Where are you doing this? 

We can control what we eat. We can exercise, go outside with our family, and see friends at a distance. Click To Tweet

It’s in six schools in Toronto. Before COVID-19, they’re doing mostly during the lunch hour. I have to say that the Jerome D. Diamond Centre is a private school part of JF&CS. They have used the program thoroughly. I was doing in-person readings before COVID-19. Now, I’m doing virtual meetings, book readings, and question and answers. I’m trying to get into more schools. However, I had to put that on the side burner because I’m working on my second book which is called The Get Up Book. I’m excited about that book. I’m writing it in collaboration with David Newton, who is a movement therapist and board of communications. It’s a series of short stories that have meaningful lessons. David Newton has written exercises to go with it. The stories will be penetrated and have a different perspective, especially following exercises. 

That’s exactly what people need, actionable steps. You can learn about a concept but then you need encouragement to take a step forward to try it and with support. That’s basically the Grateful Goddess mission that I have is learning from the podcasts and YouTube but then meeting us on GG TV to meet with the guest, interact and then try out certain exercises, certain experiences or have discussions. Hopefully, carry that over to your life and add it to your life, if you choose to. I’m so curious what motivated you to write your first book? 

I always had a story in my head. First of all, I used to be a copywriter in advertising many years ago and I love writing. It’s something that completely relaxes me. It takes me to a different place, almost like time travel. When I was backpacking through Europe and towards the end of my trip, my most memorable happy time was when I was sitting at a cafe by myself for the entire day and write. That to me is pure bliss.  

My first child, I would drop them off at nursery school and then I would go to my local coffee shop in the First Hill village, order myself a mochaccino. I had a notebook and I would sit and write for 2 to 3 hours. It was amazing. I would escape to Lizzie’s world and that was so much fun. I created all these characters and I do it 2 or 3 times a week. I didn’t do it every day, I would have less writer’s block that way. It was fun.  

It was pen and paper, not a computer? 

GG 40 Sharon Neiss-Arbess | Share Your Rainbow
Share Your Rainbow: Once the wife is happy, everybody else is happy.

 

It was pen and paper. I have to say with my second book, I am writing directly on my laptop. I’ve lost that pen and paper. I still write ideas in my agenda and on cocktail napkins. I have an idea, I’ll write something down but now I use a laptop. Back then, I was definitely pen and paper and it was a blast. 

I know the example offer in the new book with the elastic but how do you feel Me & My So-Called Friends will help especially teenage girls? 

That they’re not alone, for the story of your parachute peach outfit, I’m sure your mother could have told you that girl who’s driving you crazy has some stuff going on in the background that you don’t know about and that is 100% the case. By reading the book, it’s a fun way to escape the world we are living in, unfortunately, but also to realize that they are not alone. It’s okay to get support and to change friends and find someone that you feel comfortable with. It’s okay to strive for something that’s hard. She was having a hard time in math class and she’s just sitting there. She did whatever she could to pass that course and so she went to her teacher in the after-hours and tried her hardest so she could do hard things. Whatever stumbling block comes your way, there is a way to get around it, tackle it, and achieve a goal. 

To know that you have that inside of you but how are you going to tap into it and bring it out. I’ve talked to mid-50-year-old women about this and still struggling. I’m still struggling, I’m on this journey. Michelle do you too sometimes feel that way? 

Karen and I have talked a lot about what you mentioned about finding different friends. We’re in our mid-50s, a little older than Karen and we’re still doing that, I’m still doing that. It’s beautiful though because I feel like I’ve surrounded myself with top-quality people who aren’t mean. We are just giving and loving but it’s always a process. It’s important especially for young women, young girls and boys too, to learn these things. They don’t have to stay in that environment that doesn’t match where they’re at. 

I feel too, the teacher who helped me in my situation in the hall. She helped me pick up my stuff and said, “Are you okay?” I said, “Yes.” I feel that if teachers understand what your book is saying and demonstrating, especially if they’re using it in their curriculum, that will help them to be more empathic and take further action. I didn’t get into it. I acted like everything was fine. I didn’t tell my mom, my dad, or my sister. I wish I did to have that support. I acted like it is fun and I still was so-called friends with them until we left and went to high school.  

It was interesting seeing her again as an adult and I had that closure, which was great. Not everyone gets that closure and icrept up. When I go to therapy and talk about stuff and feeling insecure, that little moment in the hallway crept up. I would shove it down as an adult but I needed to release it and then to have closure. How beautiful was that? This book is an amazing thoughtful way of helping girls and teens to help them. I want to talk about the parents, about the mothers who have these teen girls because I’m a mom, I have two girls and a boy.  

Whatever stumbling block comes your way, you can get around it. Click To Tweet

I don’t want anything badmean, or anything bullying to happen to them. I was almost that helicopter parent with my girls because I was bullied and I did not want them to be bullied. I would ask them and go too much in their face like, “What do you mean she didn’t like your outfit?” “Okay, I’ll go get you the outfit.” I was making sure that they had all of the jeans that all the girls had. It was a bit excessive. My husband had to stop me and say, “They don’t have to have every designer and everything just to fit in. They should be okay with not.” I would turn to him and say, “You don’t understand that’s important.” What do you tell mothers or fathers that are helicopter parents who want to step in and fix things, whether it be with clothing, tests, essays, trophies, and all of those types of scenarios? 

I learned this luckily early on in my parenting career. I read the book Blessing Of A Skinned Knee, her name was Wendy Mogel. 

I heard her speak here in Chicago. 

I read it when my kids were toddlers and that was like let them fall, get a skinned knee, maybe give them the band-aid but let them learn, but it’s not easy. It’s also difficult when they’re talking to you and you want to give them the answer, “Here’s the free answer. Do this.” It’s imperative to let them fail because when they fail, they’re the best lessons. I guess I wasn’t the helicopter parent even though my daughter says that I am. I let her feel, I’d let my both boys fell like, “Just do it, take the risk and see what happens.” You have to let go and zip up the lip and it’s not easy. 

I’ve been through both. I’ve had the experiences that I mentioned and I’ve had the experiences where I have let them fail like failing classes or not handing things in on time. The only thing that I never changed was if they forgot their lunchI never forgot when my daughter said she had to eat the disgusting school food. I always brought their lunch. Other than that, I won’t do it now, they’re not young anymore. You can imagine, “Here’s your lunch honey,” for my 26-year-old son. No, that’s not happening. I will say that there have been times where I have noticed and I’m struggling like, “I have to fix this.” You feel so bad for your kids who are unhappy with the situation. As you said, you want to say the answer because you’ve lived through it. You can share your stories. I’ve told my girls about the parachute jumpsuit, they laugh at it and my older daughter was like, “Why didn’t you say anything mom? I would have told her to go away.”  

You’re so distraught, you don’t know what to do. Probably the next day, you had a great comeback line, right? 

At school that time, I didn’t. That’s what I’m telling you, I pushed it down. I went with the crowd and the flow. It surfaced out later, I realized, that feeling of not being secure. I had insecurity issues because even as an adult, I still feel insecure or I’ll be vulnerable and tell the world that. I wonder if it bubbles down to some of those experiences as a teen because I had braces and I had frizzy hair. 

You looked good.  

I didn’t feel great and I was dating this older guy who I’m wearing his number one necklace. I would think by looking at this, “She’s cute,” but I didn’t feel good at all. I was taller than all the boys. I had boobs and none of my friends had boobs. You don’t know what a teen is going through. In your mind as an adult, she’s tall, she’s pretty, she has boobs and has an older boyfriend, but I was not feeling that way inside. It’s important as parents, teachers, and friends to listen, zip it, and then provide support like this book and your program, which is phenomenal. Michelle, go ahead. 

I can’t help but think about this time of COVID and kids are quarantined and living from inside their homes and having to Zoom or see their friends at the distance. My first case is not far removed from me where sadly kids are committing suicide. Have you thought about how your book might be helping people during COVID? 

Any form of entertainment and distraction is beneficial for kids. Getting creative and thinking outside the box for entertainment is a great idea. First thing, the weather is improving. It’s sunny, people should be outside walking, oxygen and sunshine is the best medicine. Exercise is the best medicine. It gets your endorphins up and you feel amazing. It was September 2020, I’ve been feeling up and down like a roller coaster, just like everybody, I think.  

I saw this video online and I said, “That looks like fun.” Reese Witherspoon was demonstrating or showing her famous smoothie that she made every day and it looked weird but I said, “You know what, I have to look at what I can control. What can I control? I can control what I eat, my exercise, going outside, be with my family, seeing friends at a distance. I’m going to do that. I’m going to exercise as much as I can control.” For fun, I want to see what would happen if I made this smoothie every day for a week. I actually put it on Instagram for fun. It was an awful smoothie but I still had it every day for lunch to see if I‘d feel better. I did it and it was a fun experiment.  

I did that fun experiment because I can do that, it was in my control. You can do other fun experiments. You could have fun with science, you could read a new book, and you could pick up a new hobby. There are many things that are in your control that you should take advantage of instead of saying, I can’t do this, I can’t do that. I can’t do this. Think outside the box. What can you do? Who can you see? What can you eat? What can you experiment with? Do you know what I mean?  

GG 40 Sharon Neiss-Arbess | Share Your Rainbow
Share Your Rainbow: If you’re struggling with being bullied, please know that there is support out there

 

Yeah, I love that. As Karen’s interviewed my mentor and friendDr. Eger, she talks about the other thing that you can control is what’s in your mind. I wish kids did a lot more of that to default the negative thoughts and we all do it as adults. 

It’s your choice though. Your mind is manipulative that you can say, “Today, I’m going to focus on the positive.” You can’t always be happy and positive all the time. You can have your waves of, “I can’t see my friends and I haven’t been to a party in two years, this is ridiculous,” or you could choose to look at the positive of what you can control. It’s a choice. 

It’s a choice, as Dr. Eger’s book states every day. She taught us, goddesses, the exercise of looking in the mirror every day, which I told my girls and my son and say to yourself, “There’s only one you, you are beautiful and you are strong. You can handle today even more than that handle, you can be great and go on with your day.” Every morning, I have these little sticky pads on my mirror. I feel like designing a brand new mirror and etch it into the mirror. I have sticky pads saying about my health and about smiling. All the little anecdotes from guests that I’ve learned.  

I’m going to add yours on now about choosing as well. With that being said, I will say that I’ve had moments with my kids where I do feel hurt for them. I’ll take that step back but it will affect me and what I’m thinking in the day. I’ve been told the cliché of putting your oxygen mask on first, take care of yourself. I feel it is important to let parents know mothers that we need to take care of ourselves first and like you said, exercise, eat well, sleep well and do all the things that we can do before we can help our teens. Is that right? Can you elaborate on that? 

I have a whole list of rituals that I do with myself. 

Share them with us. 

The first thing I do in the morning before the coffee is I have a big tall glass of warm water with lemon. It’s so cleansing and hydrates me, gets rid of toxins so I can start my day. I’m a little bit of a coffee snob. It’s been a while ago, but I said, “I love coffee so much. I’m going to invest in a new coffeemaker.” That one broke. I got a beautiful Smeg one, I love it and it is light blue. I greet that every morning. I love that coffee maker. I get different coffees I try every week. I’m into Mofer Coffee which is a local company in Toronto. I also love Kicking HorseGrizzly Claw, and I just love my coffee.  

I’m also drinking more water, I’ve been drinking from it. It’s a liter, I refill it twice a day and it’s little motivation. Remember your goalKeep chuggingDon’t give up. You need to read this while you’re drinking all that water. I’m taking care of me and also, my kids are older. They’re in university and they’re busy with their schoolwork. My husband is a physician. He’s busy and working hard. I have time for myself. I carve out my work time, my me time, and going outside of getting fresh air. I try to see a friend twice a week for a walk outside. Once I take care of those things, I’m good to go. 

That’s so important to do that for yourself and then you can help to take care of your kids and your home. It can be a more harmonious environment. I know I’ve experienced that firsthand. You too, Michelle? 

Yeah, and I was wondering Sharon, what inspired you to do that? 

All those things? 

Yeah. 

It's not easy but imperative to let your kids fail as it is the best lesson. Click To Tweet

I’ve always been into self-care and putting on the oxygen mask on me first because if I’m not happy, no one’s happy. There’s this saying called happy wife, happy life and it’s true. Once the wife is happy, everybody else is happy.  

You’re only as happy as your unhappiest child. 

That is true too.  

I’m trying to change that to more of a resilient kind of comment. I have to say, the whole sorority thing here in the states is a big deal. I have two girls that went through it. Two different experiences. One picked the one she wanted, got in, and loved it for four years. One didn’t get the one she wanted and it was difficult, it was hard to hear. What was so amazing, I don’t want to take credit but I feel like I helped support this attitude in her. I do feel like it’s her positive attitude of her, genetically who she is, but she said, “Mom, it’s fine. I’m going to be sad. Let me be sad for a couple of days and then I’m going to do something.” I said, “What are you going to do?”  

Part of me was like, “Drop outTry again.” I didn’t say it, I zipped my mouth. She said, “I’m going to reach out to people. I know a girl who also feels the same way. I’m going to reach out to her.” She did and subsequently, they’re now going to be roommates in the house. It helped them to find their bigs, which is like they’re the sophomores who are their mentors in the sorority. She’s like, “I’m going to go to the parties with my other friends and that’s it. It’s not going to define who I am.” I was like, “Are you kidding me?” I do have to say, I feel that COVID and the experience that she had, not having a so-called proper American graduation in 2020, not having prom, and all of these experiences being online. Even though how difficult it was, in a way, it was a silver lining to helping her be so resilient. Yes, she said to me, “How many more things like this are going to happen in my life?” At the same time, she said, “I feel strong. If I can do this, I can do anything.” 

Good for her.  

She’s always been an old soul. She’s amazing.  

That being said, she told me girls that were hiding in their room and thinking of going back home because they can’t handle the pressure and the stigma or whatever it is of not getting the sorority that they think they wanted. She also told me girls that got the sororities that they wanted and now are regretting it, because it’s not the people that they feel relate to. As you said Sharon, when we make mistakes or things don’t go our way as we feel, we have to instill that grateful goddess inside of us and bring up those qualities. If our viewers and readers would like to reach out to you to read your books, your upcoming book, when is that going to be released, is it in the summer? 

The Get Up Book is going to be released. We’re aiming for some time in August 2021. 

Is it for adults and kids? 

It’s for adults, anyone over eleven. 

If they want to reach out to you, how can they best do that? 

They can go on my website and that is SharonNeissArbess.com and you can contact me through there. There’s a reach out like a newsletter and just reach out to me or contact me and I will definitely get an email. 

That could be for teens, for moms, and for educators. 

My book Me & My So-Called Friends is available on Amazon but if you want an autographed copy, I’m happy to set one too. I’m so happy you got yours early. 

I got it and I’m already halfway through. I kind of skimmed the rest but I can’t wait to go back. I was back to me being that teenage girl in the hallway. 

A lot of moms read it and said, “It brings me back.” When I wrote it, it was 2003, and believe it or not there were no social media back then. When I published it, people said, “There’s no social media, there’s no Facebook, there’s no Instagram.” I’m not going to go back, I decided to leave it as it is or I have to rewrite the entire book. I just decided and people still got it. 

Social media also has a part in bullying. By the way, if you were reading and you’re struggling with being bullied, I want you to know that there is support out there for you to contact. Don’t be like me and hide it and stuff it down because it comes out later. Try and tell a friend that you can trust or tell a parent or a teacher and you will hopefully get that support. As I tell my kids, you will find your people who may not be the people that you think that you want to be with but they are. It’s not always that so called popular girl or that popular boy because they might be having many issues themselves and feeling that they need to bully you. I want people to know out there that there is help. Thank you so much, Sharon, for teaching us so many incredible lessons. We’re so grateful to you for coming on Grateful Goddesses. We look forward to you and your husband coming on GG TV, which is the live Interactive Grateful Goddess TV network, you can register at Pulver.com where you will hear another interview live with Sharon. We will get a chance to do some actionable steps that she talks about in her new upcoming book. Thank you again. 

Thank you.  

Welcome everyone to favorite things with our guest, Sharon Neiss-Arbess. I will start with my favorite thing when I was thinking about this day and thinking about Me & My So-Called Friends, the very embarrassing situation in the hall. One of my favorite things at that age that brought me happiness and joy is my roller ball bubblegum lip gloss. The reason why I still have it, this is not the original. I ordered it because it’s so luxurious putting it on. It smells good and it tastes a little like bubblegum. It reminds me of the good times when I was that age and there were plenty of good times, don’t get me wrong. That episode in the hallway did not define who I was but probably this does. This reminds me of having fun and being sparkly and shiny. It’s like chewing a piece of bubblegum, adding some fun and folly to your life and I still love that and it brings me joy. Michelle, how about you?  

Karen, I’m wearing my favorite thing. It’s a blazer that I got. I loved the red against it and that I had made in Jaipur in India. I was wearing it and I was reminded about how much I love India. The experience where I picked out the fabric at 8:00 AM and they hand it to me made b3:00 PM the same day. I love it because it’s like a happy blazer and it gives me a lot of joy. It’s something I’ll have forever and reminds me of the most beautiful place on Earth. 

It’s like you’re wrapping yourself in joy and comfort and style. It’s stylish. Sharon, how about you? What did you bring? 

I mentioned before that I had this amazing water bottle that I got from Amazon, which is a liter and has encouragements every hour that you need to drink something. Don’t give up chugging, “Well done. I love this. However, in front of me, I didn’t realize this, I had my favorite thing in the world is called the Passion Planner. This is my agenda book. I guess I’m old school. It has a week at the glance and it has my to-do list and my work. I have some space where I can doodle and draw and think of things. Even though I have my schedule on my phone, I love also how to get on paper because I get to tick it off. It makes me so happy and productive and I take it with me everywhere I go. 

It's okay to change friends at any age and strive for something better. Click To Tweet

It’s funny because I’m an old school girl too. I have paper calendars everywhere and I left mine in a store one day. Michelle, I don’t know if you remember? 

I do and that’s why I’m laughing actually because I know you so well. 

I left it in a store. I bought a belt and then I left. I came home and where was my planner. I called the store and I said, “Please look for it. It’s my life. It has everything in it.” They said, “It’s not here.” I ran back to the store and it was sitting right there on the counter. I’m like, “This is gold.” That’s the only problem with paper, if you lose it, it’s gone. It’s nice to write with paper and pen and also what you mentioned earlier about writing stories, about writing them down with paper. It’s so cathartic as well. Thank you for sharing your stories and your lessons. I know this will help a tremendous amount of people reading out there and we can’t wait to work with you again on GG TV and learn some more actionable steps to tap into your inner goddess of resiliency and enjoy your day. Thank you so much. 

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About Sharon Neiss — Arbess

GG 40 Sharon Neiss-Arbess | Share Your Rainbow

Sharon Neiss — Arbess grew up in Montreal and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University’s Communications Studies program. After working as a copywriter in advertising for several years, the writing bug bit Sharon on her right hand and lead her to the local coffee shop to write stories of “teen drama” with a little bit of humour. My So-Called Friends and Me is a story that is entirely fiction, written with the hopes to teach young readers that no matter how bad it gets, you too will come out on the other side, stronger and smarter, with the help of the unexpected to get you through it all.
Neiss-Arbess lives in Toronto with her husband, Gordie and her three children, Josh, Adam, and Olivia. In addition to being an author, Neiss-Arbess is the the co-publisher of Day Ja View, The Ultimate
Family Calendar.
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