July 29, 2014

Staying positive with Optimistic Mondays

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By Phyl Newbeck

Observer correspondent

You made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or perhaps exercise more, and now it’s late February and you haven’t made one iota of progress. That doesn’t mean you should throw up your hands and give up. According to Williston resident Margie Dunki-Jacobs, “your new year starts when you decide.” Dunki-Jacobs is devoting four evenings to helping others realize their potential. She calls the series Optimistic Mondays.

The first two sessions took place on Feb. 10 and 17. The first one was devoted to helping participants learn what drives them and the second was entitled “Break Down or Break Through.” On March 10, the presentation will be about getting out of one’s comfort zone, and the following week will be devoted to helping participants create a plan for today and one for tomorrow. All the sessions are free and take place from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriot on Hurricane Lane. Although there is no charge, participants are encouraged to bring something for the Williston Community Food Shelf.

“This is an idea that has lived in my head for about a year,” said Dunki-Jacobs. “I really just wanted to start something that was optimistic. My focus is simply for us to help each other improve things in our lives.”

Dunki-Jacobs noted that people often talk about what they want to improve, but find themselves unable to get started.

“We need to change our reality now,” she said. “What I’ve found is most people can tell you what’s not working in their lives and what needs healing, but they don’t know where to start. I would like to offer some insight as to how to put a plan in place to get started.”

At this point, the sessions are only open to women.

“I wanted to start a group that was comfortable and see how it would go,” Dunki-Jacobs said. “Eventually I hope to open it up, but I wanted initial input from women who are strong. I want to see women empowering women so I’m doing this in an atmosphere where we feel safe. This is engaging conversation in a supportive environment.” Both February sessions had 14 attendees “from all walks of life,” according to Dunki-Jacobs. Some women attended only one session but several came to both.

Kathy O’Connell of Charlotte attended the Feb. 17 presentation and intends to return for both March sessions.

“The audience was so receptive to her (Dunki-Jacobs),” O’Connell said. “There was a positive vibe in the room and it was really well done. She did a beautiful job and made it a really nice evening.”

Dunki-Jacobs is a full-time real estate investor, but she has devoted a great deal of time to developing Optimistic Mondays. Over the last year, she travelled the country seeking out motivational and inspirational speakers, attending more than 25 hours of personal development immersion in 12 cities. She has taken the information she learned and is relaying it in her own words. Although the sessions are based around Power Point presentations, she wants audience members to be active participants. A resident of Williston for almost 25 years, Dunki-Jacobs wants to communicate what she has learned to her community.

“I have a responsibility,” she said, “to share things that have helped me. I want to give women an opportunity to find the beauty and strength in ourselves and one another to give us courage to propel us forward.”

“Optimistic Mondays is that part of my life that allows me to have fun and enjoy other people and stay positive about the ups and downs of life,” Dunki-Jacobs said.  “Most people think the most important thing is to get started, but the most important thing is to have a plan. All of us are capable of producing the results we want by creating positive thoughts and choosing optimism in every situation.”

Pre-registration is recommended since seating is limited. E-mail [email protected] to reserve a seat for either or both of the March presentations.

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