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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

7 Tips for Writing Your Autobiography

Writing your autobiography can be a scary thing to think about. Where do I even begin? Here are several tips to help ease the process. You'll have your own personal autobiography in no time!

1. Set a goal for completion. Life is busy and complicated, and you may find yourself putting it off. Set your goal to be an upcoming holiday, or the end of the year. You'll find that a deadline helps keep you motivated.
2. Decide the template you want. There are so many ways you can put your life story together. Decide on a set of questions to use, or just go chronologically.
3. Find a friend you can share the process with. Having a friend or a group of people to complete your life stories with can make the process more enjoyable. It's fun to share what you've written, and to learn about your friend's lives.
4. Look at photo albums. Pictures can be a great way to remember some of your favorite stories. We tend to take pictures of what we love the most. Jot down some memories that come to mind from the photos you look at.
5. Make a list of your favorite memories. You've done so much in your life. It's probably too much to write in one book. Write down your favorite things that you've done. Call some family members and ask them what they'd like to know.
6. Answer a question a day. Making an autobiography can be a daunting task. Just write one answer for the day. When you're done, read over the questions for the next day and take awhile to ponder over it.
7. Do the best you can. Don't let one question trip you up. You can skip over it, or you can avoid it completely if you don't want to talk about it. Just keep going until you complete it. It'll be worth it!

Lifebio.com has a wide variety of memory books that can make this process so much easier. It greatly simplifies making your autobiography, freeing you up to think about your memories! Check it out!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Importance of Life Stories

When my grandmother died a couple of years ago, my family and I spent a couple of days going through her things to either get rid of them or keep them ourselves. As we went through her house, I found a couple of photo albums. There was a picture of her at seventeen with my grandfather right before he went off to World War Two, and there were several of her and him as teenagers sitting in a car. She was so young and beautiful, and I found myself thinking. What was she like as a teenager? How did she feel when my grandfather went off to war? Where exactly were they going in that car?

I found myself filled with regret that  it was now too late to ask these questions. My grandma was eighty-five when she passed; most of the people who had known her then were now gone as well. The whole experience made me realize how important it is to ask about life stories from the people you love before it's too late. Now, I will never know the answers to those questions, but other people don't have to make that same mistake. Lifebio is dedicated to helping people collect life stories and memories so they will still be remembered and known for generations to come. Wouldn't you want someone to do the same for you?

Marie Coon, Lifebio 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Keep Family Stories Alive

Sharing stories encourages a closer, more meaningful relationship with your children and grandchildren. Family's stories are worth telling because you may be able to describe people, times and places that no one else in the family knows about. Lastly, you can help the next generation—inspiring, teaching and modeling strength and courage for them.

You're Unique!

You are unique! No one out there is exactly like you. I don't care if you have an identical twin; you are the only person in this entire world who has experienced what you've experienced, thought what you've thought, and accomplished what you've accomplished. This makes it important for you to share your life story with others! People can learn lessons from you that they couldn't from anyone else. You may not know what lesson can be learned from the time you climbed up a tree looking for snipes and got stuck, or from the time you went on a roadtrip to see the world's largest ball of twine. Maybe the lesson is just that you need to be able to laugh. Regardless, your life story is important to tell. Be proud of your uniqueness! Don't let it go to waste.
Visit lifebio.com for great tools to help you tell your life story.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Make sure you wear green today; you might get pinched if you don't! As we celebrate St. Patrick's Day today, it's time to get our Irish pride on!

According to the Dictionary of American History, around 200,000 Irish immigrants came to the United States between the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, more than 56.7 million Americans can claim Irish ancestry. Our Irish ancestors have survived diversity and hardships over hundreds of years. They were persecuted for practicing Roman Catholicism, and they overcame the hardships of moving from the Old Country to the sometimes harsh conditions of American cities. Our Irish ancestors brought to America a heritage that we can be proud of.

Whether or not you have Irish ancestors yourself, today I challenge you to discover where your family fits into the great map of American history. The family that came before you is important to your life story. They've helped make you who you are today. Be proud of them!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Meet John -- Show car driver for Richard Petty -- Eden's Voice of the Elder with LifeBio

You can meet ordinary, extraordinary people everywhere you go.  Today, meet John.  John was interviewed recently by LifeBio by phone.
John lives at Pickett Care, an elder community that follows the principles of the Eden Alternative, realizing the importance of each person being deeply known. 

Listen to John's voice as he shares his own unique and exciting life experiences. 

You'll hear about John’s hometown of Morristown, TN. Enjoy his advice which is…  “Have all the fun you can!”  He talks about family, his beautiful white Corvette (T-top), his experiences drag racing, his work at Magnavox (assembling electronics) and later he worked for Richard Petty and drove his Dodge Charger show car. He drove the Charger 186 miles per hour at the Daytona Speedway!  He has a degree in accounting.  You’ll hear about a scary motorcycle accident he had….a vacation to Hawaii…and about his favorite TV shows, movies, and his love of country music. 

No matter one's age or health issues or background, John reminds us that EVERYONE has a story to tell.  Let's talk....and listen to each other more.....and "Have fun!" too!   

Listen to John's life story. Click Here.





Want LifeBio's help interviewing your clients or residents?  Call us at 1-866-LIFEBIO or email us at info@lifebio.com





 

Thursday, February 06, 2014

5 Outcomes of Social and Emotional Education

When young children connect with each other to share their life stories, they get more out of it than you may think. This form of interaction gives them social and emotional education. They're learning...
1) To talk with people that are different from themselves. Children grow up with their family, who is alike them in every way. Sharing stories with other people allows them to have empathy for that person.
2) To have a face-to-face conversation. Kids are so focused on their social media sites and cell phones that sometimes they don't know how to have an eye-to-eye conversation with someone. It's a skill!
3) To work their brain.  Human beings are complicated things. When kids learn to understand other humans, it's the best form of brain fitness.
4) To be good people. When kids learn to listen to other people, they're preparing themselves for their future. This world needs people who are willing to truly listen to other people and compromise, not just do things for their own gain.
5) To be open to emotions. When kids talk to other people about their life stories, these talks almost always involve laughter and tears. Kids need to be open to letting emotions show and be a part of their lives. Otherwise, conversations can be dead, and emotions can be locked up inside. That isn't healthy.

Schools that not only focus on academia, but focus on emotional and social education will be preparing students for the future. Students will never have to find the third derivative of an equation again. They will, however, have to interact, communicate, and understand people for their entire lives. Sharing life stories can become extremely relevant for students. They'll learn to get off their phones and start participating in the real world. As a result, the community will be a better place.
Go to lifebio.com to find out more about great resources to aid in sharing life stories.

Celebrate your Heritage

February is black history month! It's a month where people of African American descent can celebrate their heritage and the great accomplishments of their race. From the Emancipation Proclamation to the Civil Rights movement of 1964, there is so much to learn.

Whether you're of African American descent or not, let this month be a reminder to discover your past and the accomplishments of your ancestors. Your ancestor's past is as integral to your life story as everything you have done as well.

Talk to older family members or do some research. Figure out your history! It's a part of you, just as much as your children and grandchildren's stories will be a part of you. Did your ancestors participate in the Civil Rights movement? Did they fight in the Civil War? Go back further! Did they come through Ellis Island? On the Mayflower? The possibilities are endless.

Celebrate your heritage. Write your life story. Someday, your life story will be part of your descendant's history. They'll be fascinated to know the things your generation accomplished, just like we're fascinated to learn about our ancestors. It's a beautiful, endless, cycle.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Oral History Projects or Autobiography Projects in Retirement Communities

We're hearing from retirement communities that are seeking ways to capture the life stories of the older members of the community. Senior living communities, assisted living, long-term care / skilled nursing settings are the perfect setting for oral history projects. Even in memory care or with those who have early-stage Alzheimer's, this is a goal that can be accomplished.  

There can be autobiography classes or online autobiography licenses on writing life stories. In fact, communities can become LifeBio Authorized Organizations to extend LifeBio to all members of the community (or just one area of campus).   There are great ways that intergenerational projects can happen in care facilities as well. For example, youth can help create Storyboards for older people. Again, the local retirement community is a great setting for bringing people of all ages together for recording life stories--hear history from those who actually lived it!  Even video recording can be employed to help retirement communities create simple but powerful videos of the older members of the community.  LifeBio.com makes it easy to type forming small groups using a memory book as a guide for discussion to help neighbors become friends. Communities are also the perfect place to store the stories gathered for safe keeping now and in the future. In fact, we see a "legacy library" of LifeBio Legacy Books ( hardcover books of community members' life stories) being archived in senior living communities or in their local libraries across the country and around the world. We encourage retirement communities to seek grant money and donors to support the project. LifeBio has the tools to make it easier to bridge together the generations and promote better communication with Volunteer Orientation already written by LifeBio....to help as you are training youth or adult volunteers to record the life stories of seniors. After all, everyone has a story! Everyone could really write a book!
biographies, while LifeBio Studio app is now available---to video record using any iPad, iPod, or iPhone with video (download from the Apple App Store). Autobiography is a natural extension of the work that senior living communities do with building relationships and

Questions?  Call 937-303-4576 or 1-866-LIFEBIO  or email info@lifebio.com   for more info!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

5 Reasons Life Stories are Lost

1. You may not think anyone wants to know your life story. Sometimes, when I look back on my life I think, "Wow. I was so boring." We have to stop looking at ourselves negatively and start thinking about the fact that future generations will want to know about us. We've lived in a time that some people, especially teenagers, can't even imagine. What was life like before cell phones? You mean people actually talked to each other? However boring you think your life is, it will be endlessly fascinating to so many people, especially your children or grandchildren. You'll be surprised at how many people want to hear about the younger you.

2. You may think you'll do it someday-procrastination is not a good idea. Over the years, I've thought I was going to do a lot of things. I was going to ride in a hot air balloon, travel the country, and ride a horse into the sunset. Did I ever do any of those things? No. Do I regret them? Yes. Capturing your loved one's life stories may not seem important, but it is infinitely more important than you know. Yes, people have jobs and obligations, but make time for this activity. We don't live forever, so do it before it's too late.

3. You may think you have nothing to say. It may not seem like it from your perspective, but you do have something to say. With a little prompting and structured questions, you can pour out your wisdom and guidance for generations to come. You may be able to share insight into things no one has ever really thought about it. Each and every one of us is a creative individual with something new to say. Maybe your life stories can help someone else get through theirs.

4. You may think your family already knows you. Of course your family knows you! They know the person you are right this very second in time. But what about before? What about when you were growing up? Do they know about how you met the love of your life? What you did for your first job? Do they know your feelings and thoughts when they were first born? They probably don't. Your family will be so excited to learn about your life and the events that shaped you to be who you are today.

5. You may think that you're not a good writer. It doesn't matter if you haven't written the next Harry Potter series. Do what you can. If you can answer a question, you can write down your life stories. You don't have to sound eloquent and formal- your family will appreciate the natural sound of your "voice" coming through. Lifebio has tools that can help make the process easy and enjoyable. Just get it down on paper! Your life story will last for generations to come.

Go to lifebio.com for more information about how our tools can help make your life story become more than just memories!