The Dragonfly Forest

They have been given names such as devil’s darning needle, ear sewer, horse stinger, skeeter hawk, and the snake’s servant. Actually, Dragonflies are beneficial, peaceful, and stunning. You are a Dragonfly if you are: ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, dysgraphic, Asperger’s, NLVD, autistic…

Friday, February 28, 2014

What does diversity really mean?

We need to accept diversity- this means ALL kinds of diversity!  

I have not been on over the last few days because I have a lot of anger built up inside of me and was not sure if I would be able to be appropriate.  See, I was at a "Diversity" meeting for a school district recently and in the meeting they were planning to have a "Diversity" conference that consisted of discussion on the following topics- Race; Gay/Bi/Trans/Curious; Culture... but there was nothing planned for Learning Diversity.  Wow, this is a school setting and they still cannot talk about learning differences.  

This makes me very frustrated because this is one of the issues that is causing a big problem in all school districts with students who do not fit into the school "academic" environment because they are different.  This needs to be address.  I'm so frustrated right now that it didn't even cross the minds of the leaders of the "Diversity" committee that I can't continue this post.  When people lack empathy it breaks my heart.

Let me just say that "Diversity" is more than just black and white.  For those of you who do not know, I have biracial children (White & Asian).  There is very little discussion in the "Diversity" meetings about this topic either but it is also important to discuss.  

I think a great way for students to express themselves is via Poetry Slams - Here are great videos to watch about diversity from Poetry Slam 

Alex Dang's "What Kind of Asian Are You?"  

Neil Hilborn - "OCD"

Matt Robertson - "Traditional Learning"

I posted some other wonderful Poetry from Suli Breaks!  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Words from Parents and Dragonflies Wednesday!

"I may have a learning disability but I'm very smart in many ways.  If you take some time to get to know me you will see how smart I really am."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Words from Parents and Dragonflies Wednesday

Words from Parents and Dragonflies Wednesday
** To the new followers:  Every Wednesday I share quotes from parents and clients with their permission (although I allow them to remain anonymous).  Sometimes I add my own informational articles that are important.  The goal of these posts on Wednesday is to share thought, ideas, opinions, and experiences we would like others (teachers, family, friends, and school districts) to know.  Please feel free to email me or message me on my FB page The Dragonfly Forest.

~ “I'm not against teachers, really!  I just wish that at least one teacher really cared about my child.”  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Motivational Monday with Kid President from SoulPancake!

Motivational Monday:

Today is President's Day so I'd like to share some great videos from Kid President!  Oh you don't know him... Well you are in for an exciting surprise!  

See.... Isn't he just great!  Hope you are more motivated, have a smile on your face, and a spring in your step!

Want to see another video go to my Facebook page: The Dragonfly Forest

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Why people are mean and what you can do about it

I’ll confess, I have a major problem.  The problem is I’m a helpless fixer, problem-solver, and cheerleader of the “underdog.” 

How is this a major problem?  I want everyone to be the best that they can be.  I have a passion for helping others achieve self-actualization.  Why?  Because I live in the light and know the world is a great place when we are caring, supportive, accepting human beings.  I know that negative behaviors are symptoms of problems, insecurities, issues…  So when others are mean, hateful, nasty, or rude to me or my family; it triggers my inner helper. 

I’m not saying that it doesn’t hurt when others are mean to me, I’m human.  When someone does something mean or hateful to me (or my family) my initial reaction is to feel pain but my emotional intelligence (EQ) kicks in and I start to see the situation in a different light.  People are mean because they are hurt, they are experiencing their own inner turmoil and issues.  We all experience emotional pain from others but not all of us are mean.  People who understand in life that we are not in competition with each other but only ourselves and that we are each on our own Hero’s journey toward our own quests and enlightenment are the kind of people who have empathy, kindness, compassion, and support of others.  People who believe that it is a ‘dog eat dog’ world out there, have insecurity issues, jealousy, have inferiority complexes, and often attack those around them, especially if they feel threatened in any way (socially, professionally, intellectually…).  I’m not saying these are bad people, I’m saying they are broken people with immature emotional development.  If they knew themselves better, accepted themselves more, and understood that it is hurting themselves not others to be mean and rude, than they would be able to walk a path of enlightenment and joy. 

People who are emotionally mature and enlightened are not saints, we have stressors and breakdowns.  It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable (Remember Vulnerability is a Good Thing!) and really see ourselves in the mirror.  I know I’m a “Looney Tune” at times (our family term for when you lose it).  Heck, I’m very similar to the TV mom, Frankie Heck from the TV show The Middle…  Here’s a quick view of me in a “Looney Tune” moment! 

I hope you are laughing because I am.  We laugh all the time in this house how this is me – The Middle is our life!  The kids also point out how I am also just like Sue Heck (the positive daughter in the show).  Yep that’s me too (see below)…

The thing is, when people are rude or mean to me, I find it as a challenge.  I see it for what it is; a person who is in pain (over-stressed, insecure, jealous, afraid…).  It triggers my desire to want to help them overcome these issues.  It is not about getting them to like ME, that is very different and honestly I have enough people who accept me, I don’t need haters in my life to “like me” to validate that I’m a good person.  I know I’m a good person.  I know I have good intentions, find humor and positive insights in things that happen in my life, and live my life with ethics and integrity.  So when a person interprets an email or Facebook post differently than what I intended I know it is based on their issues not mine.  People project their own tone and issues into emails and FB posts/messages because they cannot see the person.  So if I write “Thank you” the reader is the one who determines if it is said with sincerity or sarcasm and that is based on THEIR issues not mine.  To help the reader understand my tone I often put in qualifiers (“said with a smile” or “said in a tone of sadness”…).   This doesn’t always stop the misinterpretations because when people have issues they often have trust issues, so they assume their interpretation must be correct.   

I’m on my own Hero’s Journey and spend time helping others along the way-I see it as an exciting challenge.   For example, not long ago, while waiting on a flight to arrive in the airport (one of my favorite places to people watch) I noticed a male airline worker getting snapped at by passengers about a scheduling delay.  I watched as this man was degraded over and over by rude people and transform into a person who, in turn, started snapping at others (innocent people).  When we were called up to the gate, I was pleased that I was near the front of the line and was able to lean over to him and tell him that I was impressed how well he handled those rude passengers, I thanked him for his service, told him good things will happen because he was so patient, and gave him a genuine warm smile.  My heart melted as he reached over to me, touched my arm and said “Thank you that was so nice to hear.”  His whole body language changed, he took a deep breath and held his head higher.  This was NOT about me, I was just on my journey, saw someone in pain and stopped to help.  He just needed to be validated that he mattered.  Everyone wants to matter, they want to feel important and valued. 

Want to make your life better?  Want to feel good about yourself?  Then start living consciously, working on your own issues, stop being in competition with others and focus only on being the best YOU that you can be.  Know that when you are mean or rude to someone you are showing others that you are insecure, self-conscious, jealous….  These will not bring you joy as you travel on your Hero’s journey.  To conquer them you must be vulnerable and willing to battle against these.  When you have empathy and stop projecting your issues on others your life will be better! 

Here’s the character Sue Heck’s report on “Is smiling contagious?”   I have found this to be true and love watching the smiles spread because it makes a better world!  

P.S. Oh for those who don't watch The Middle here's their original trailer from years ago - it is still on and the kids have gotten older but the same chaos occurs.  The really is my current life (I say current because this is only one chapter of my life on my Hero's Journey) Enjoy!

**P.S.S okay one more for those who, like me sit through all the credits of a movie just to see anything the directors add at the end - of I love those!!  I hope this makes you smile!  Go Dragonflies of the world!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Words from Parents and Dragonflies Wednesday

Words from Parents and Dragonflies Wednesday

~ “I always knew that my son was like me but I never knew it was because I'm also ADHD and have dyslexia, I never knew.  Everything makes sense now!"  
From a parent of a student with  ADHD and dyslexia

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Spiritual Sunday with Maya Angelou

Most of us have experienced oppression in our daily lives. How we choose to deal with this oppression is vital.  Do not cave in and accept that you are less than.  Rise up and know that you are of value, you have worth, and you matter in this world!  

Maya Angelou wrote a great evocative poem that is so powerful!!

Do not settle for being oppressed and do not oppress others. Remember that we need to demonstrate empathy and stop judging others! 

Here's the beautiful Maya sharing her poem "Still I Rise."

"Still I Rise" should be our daily mantra!  


Friday, February 7, 2014

How to get started living you dreams

Sometimes we believe that we can't do something because we are small, weak, or only one person but this is not true.  We can do many things because we have passion and drive.  Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do something.  If you have strength in your spirit you will achieve what you are after. So never give up, believe in yourself, and go for it!

Great idea right?  You have good intention to make a difference and go for it but you just can't get started right?  Well, getting started isn't easy! 
So what you need to do to get started is give yourself a set time to start something.  Then do the activity for set amount of time.  Once you get started the tough part is over then you just have to keep going. In order to finish you must have a set deadline and stick to it!  

Remember, that you are great so don't ever let anyone make you feel that you are not good enough.  Get started today on the path toward your dreams!  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Words from Parents and Dragonflies Wednesday: a parent's experience with the school and dyslexia

Words from Parents and Dragonflies Wednesday

~ “I never knew that a free public education for my child would be so difficult to obtain.  Who would have thought that I would have to fight just to get a school to teach my child to read? When I share my challenges with parents whose children are not dyslexic they often think that I'm over exaggerating or being over dramatic, but I'm not I really do have to fight for my child....  Maybe I should bring some of these parents to meetings with me so they can really see how their great school district really is for students with dyslexia."  
From a parent of a student with dyslexia

Monday, February 3, 2014

Motivational Monday with Kara Tointon

Today I want to share with you some wonderful motivating videos from the BBC documentary: “Don’t Call Me Stupid.”  This is a documentary of Kara Tointon, a British actress and model that also is dyslexic.  Kara wants to educate the world about what it is like to be a person with dyslexia. 

This documentary was one that I related to the most because Kara is so open and honest about what it is like for her.  I am just like her, we have very similar symptoms and I commend her for being so vulnerable.   She is very motivating and someone you should know!  She also takes the viewer on a journey of what it is like for others with dyslexia. 

Kara Tointon and all those in this documentary are my heroes!