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…

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cartoon Saturday - Calvin & Hobbes snow in November

Don't know where you are living but it's cold & snowy here where I am but I'm not ready to give up yet either!  Enjoy~ Jill

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Want to know what I'm thinking?

Well, today is Wednesday & I just felt like saying HI!  Have you ever had so much to do that you don't even know where to start so you just procrastinate?  Yep, that's what I'm doing right now! Wishing I was somewhere else but hey, that's not going to happen so am posting a video of where I want to be.... 

Who wants to go with me? No takers?  Oh well...  Sigh... back to my work!  I guess this will only be in my dreams.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Life Lessons from The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings: Must See Movies

*Reposted from December 29, 2013 with new video added to the bottom~

I was finally able to squeeze “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” into my schedule.  Those who know me, know that I LOVE everything about The Lord of the Rings trilogy & The Hobbit movies and books (btw I ‘ear-read’ most books- which means I listen to them on audio, usually while driving).  

What you probably don’t know is why I love these adventures.
These are perfect tales of the Hero’s Journey.  One of my favorite things to do is coach others on their own Hero’s Journey and these movies & books are great examples of the lessons we all need to learn. 

Here are a few of those lessons: 

~~We should focus on a person’s strength not weaknesses. Hobbits (be it Frodo, Sam, or Bilbo) may be small but they are cleaver, courageous, and know the value of friendship.

~~We should value mentors and become a mentor to others.  Gandalf is a perfect mentor.  He can see the strength and potential in Bilbo and Frodo.  Gandalf not only tells them that he believes in them but also pushes them out of their comfort-zones so they can reach their potentials.  By having a strong mentor like Gandalf, both Bilbo and Frodo begin to have faith in themselves.  Everyone deserves to have a mentor in their life so go out there and be a mentor to someone; it makes the world a better place. 
~~Too much of something isn’t good for you.  Dwarves are obsessed with gold (& jewels) and King Thror is so obsessed that he ends up losing his whole kingdom (& thousands of people) because another obsessed creature, the Dragon Smaug.  These are examples of how an obsession causes negative events: Gollum and his precious; Thorin’s desire for the Arkenstone Gem over the lives of others; and Saruman and his quest for power.

~~Being vulnerable makes you strong, not weak.  When we believe that helping others causes us to be vulnerable we not only lose support but we also lose trust.  The Elves didn’t want to risk losing some of their own kind to help the Dwarves so later the dwarves refused to support and help the Elves.  Sam doesn’t want to be vulnerable to Gollum but without his help Sam and Frodo would not have been able to complete their adventure.  This does not mean that you blindly trust others.  Keep your guard up but allow yourself to be vulnerable once in a while so you can become successful.  Don’t be so full of yourself and think you can do it all alone. 
~~It is the experiences we have in life that build our self-esteem and our confidence.  When we overcome an obstacle, hurdle, or quest we change and become stronger.  Sometimes the most difficult challenges are the most rewarding in the end.  There are so many examples of how the characters (Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pip, Bard, the Dwarves…) become better and more self-assured after each challenge.  We need to remember these examples when were are in the middle of one of our own battles because it is often hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but there will be a light if we keep moving forward. 
~~The way to obtain success when in the mist of chaos is by having tenacity, girt, and perseverance.  Giving up and quitting will not allow you to conquer your demons whatever they may be.  Again, there are countless examples of how each character used tenacity, grit, and perseverance to achieve goals and become successful. 

I use this story (and many others) in my life to help me stay motivated on my own Hero’s Journey.  When times get tough I seek inspiration and guidance in quotes.  Here’s one of my favorites from each film:

Tell me, when did we let evil become stronger than us?” ~ Tauriel (The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug) 
Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love.”  ~Gandalf (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) 
 “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” ~ Galadriel (LOTR – Fellowship of the Ring) 
That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.” ~ Sam (LOTR- The Two Towers) 
This day does not belong to one man but to all. Let us together rebuild this world that we may share in the days of peace.” ~ Aragorn (LOTR – the Return of the King)

**Yes, I had to add Viggo!

I know that each movie is long but trust me they are worth watching.  Here’s the trailer of the most recent Hobbit:
(the direct link if you do not or cannot see the video here)

**Update- here's the most recent movie trailer: 

(The direct link of you do not or cannot see the video here)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Joe and his Split Brain Understanding the Right and Left Brain with Alan Alda

I always explain to client, students, friends, and well just about anyone who will listen how our brains work.  Sometimes I can tell that some people either don't believe that we have two hemispheres of the brain or they just can't imagine how each part of the brain does something different (how the right side of the body is controlled by the left hemisphere of the brain and so forth).  Here is a great video of Joe, who had his brain divided/split because of his severe epileptic seizures.  Watch this 10 minute video with Joe and Alan Alda and you will be amazed by our wonderful brain!     

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

5 Ways a parent of children with special needs can reduce the pressure

This post is targeted to parents!  

As parents we have a lot of weight and responsibilities on our shoulders!   We have to work so we can afford to live and raise a family (job duties & responsibilities).  We run a household ~ shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, maintenance, organizing, and juggling the finances.    We raise children to become positive and productive citizens, as well as, spend quality supportive time with each of them.  Unless we homeschool our children we are sending them off to school to obtain an education.  Yes, we are there to help with homework but for the most part we as parents expect the teachers will be providing our children with a solid educational foundation.

This doesn't always happen however when your child has a learning disability.   We now have even more responsibilities that add extra stress to our lives.  As parents we have to spend countless hours researching evidence-based programs so our children can learn; we become experts on our child’s disability; emailing teachers and special education coordinators to make sure our children are learning; spend extra money and time on private tutoring and therapies; devote extensive time re-teaching the class material and subjects that were not learned in school; providing emotional support since our children know they are different; and limitless other responsibilities.   
Normal life causes us as parents to break but there’s even more weight when you are a parent who has children with learning disabilities.

I love this video as an example of what our children expect from us and how as a parent we sometimes just can’t handle the pressure. 

So, what can you do?  Here are 5 things you can do to reduce this pressure.

1.  Take care of yourself first!  Yep that is right, I said it – you must take care of YOU.  Just like in airplanes you need to put on your oxygen mask prior to taking care of your child’s-- the same goes for here.  If you are not able to breath, you will fall apart and what good is an unconscious parent, especially for a child with a disability?  Plus, if you don’t take care of you then who will?

2.  Have a support system!  This support system needs to be made up of others that have similar lives, children, and experiences.  It feels terrible to have to listen to parents go on and on about their “perfect” children when we just spent 3 hours battling with our child about homework, chores, eating, and so on.  When overwhelmed call someone from your support system and complete the next step.

3.  Put a time limit on your venting and make a written list of the positives.  The more we vent the more we feed negative feelings and emotions so tell your support person you are only going to vent for 10-20 minutes and then that’s it, no more.  Once the time is over you can only talk about solutions not problems.  After you have vented you need to reframe life back into positives.  Write a list of positive things in your life.

4.  Keep your list of positives with you so you can look at them when you are feeling depressed or anxious.  Remember what we focus on expands so focus on the positive things we have in our lives whatever they may be.

5.  Find ways to mentally escape!  As parents of children with learning disabilities we take on a lot of extra responsibilities and need time to mentally escape so we can relax.  Make a list of ways that you like to mentally escape: Songs that make you feel good and/or pump you up; books that have nothing to do with parenting and disabilities (eye-read and/or ear-read); TV shows or movies; exercise activities such as walking in the woods, aerobics classes, biking…; or other activity that reduces your stress level.

Remember that you don’t want to be like Frankie from the TV show “The Middle” shown here in this video where you snap.  If you can take care of yourself then you can reduce the chances that this will happen to you.  

Finally, know that you are doing a great job!  You have the hardest job in the world and just by showing up everyday fighting the fight you are a great parent!  Kudos to you!!!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Feature Friday: Words of Paul Hugh Ross

Words have a lot of meaning for me.  I write my own blog posts, poetry, and quotes but I also collect the words of others.  When I eye-read or ear-read words that touch my soul and connect with me in some way-- I must keep them.  I store them in notebooks and fill my bookshelves.  Today I want to share with you the words of Paul Hugh Ross. 

I have shared with you before about Paul Ross – here in aprevious post

Well, I just received Paul’s book and I’m excited to present this to you today as a Feature Friday, especially because Paul will be launching his book tomorrow in London at the Festival of Dyslexic Culture. 

I don’t live in London, I’m clear across the ocean in the United States but I wanted you to know about this book and know that just because you cannot attend this cool event or meet Paul as he launches his book you can visit his website: Dyslexic Thoughts In Words and watch cool videos like this the following on his YouTube Page.

I made a picture quotes of one of my favorite poems: 

I’d like to say Thanks Paul for opening up, being vulnerable, and sharing some of your soul.  I hope you have great success at your book launch!