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…

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Who to trust....

Information you need to understand and remember!  
Have you ever met a person or professional who thinks they know everything and has all the answers?  These kind of people don't admit that they could be wrong and never would admit a mistake.  Well, these are the people you should not trust because what they are presenting on the outside is just a cover.  

~No one is perfect!  

~~Everyone has problems and obstacles in their lives. 

~~~Learning is challenging and the lessons we learn from the most challenging experiences and events are the ones that are the most beneficial.  

~~~~ If someone tells you they have everything figured out than do not trust them because they are either fooling themselves or they are fooling you.  

There are people out there that want you to believe they have all the right answers but that isn't possible.  They may have some answers that are correct but they cannot know everything. They may be experts about some things but they cannot be experts on everything.  An authentic person will be honest that they don't know everything but they are willing to peruse the answers.  An authentic person will admit mistakes, make apologies, and make amends.  

So don't blindly just believe and trust others-- do your own research, walk your own path, and trust your own instincts. 

You are the expert on your life, your problems, your children, your family, your experiences.... 

Never let someone tell you that you don't know what you know or know what you are feeling, talking about, or experiencing.  

So stay strong no matter what you are battling - doctors & health care practitioners for a medical/health problem;  a school district regarding your child's education; or a co-worker/family/friend who acts better than you or attacks your integrity.  

Finally, this is YOUR Hero's journey and you must be the one in the lead!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lessons from Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra passed away on September 22, 2015 at the age of 90 years old.  He will be missed not only for his dedication to baseball but because of his great attitude and memorable quotes.   

Here are a few I LOVE!  
"Ninety percent of this game is half-mental." 

"If you can't imitate him, don't copy him."

"Little things are big."

"The future ain't what it used to be."

He had great insight into what makes life worth living - a good attitude.  

"I think your life depends on your attitude.  How you face things says a lot about you and about how people treat you, a lot about what you can do and can't do, a lot about your happiness or unhappiness.  You are what you think: maybe that's why some people need attitude adjustments."

We should take some time to appreciate life and know that we are more in control that we really think.  We are in control of our own attitude and behaviors!  

So here's one final quote I think is a great lesson learned from Yogi:

The video below is the dragonfly on Shaun Marcum's Mets hat - and YES I really did know it was a Mets hat when I made this picture quote - I'm pretty sure that Mr. Berra will forgive me!  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Anxiety and hope!

At times in life we have to battle something for so long that we are used to living in the atmosphere of emotions and anxiety.  Then we come to the point that we are about to overcome this obstacle, yet not 100% sure we will win- we still have some hope.  Our strength increases but so does the anxiety and fear.  What if we don't actually conquer this challenge.  What if we fail?  I always try to think of "worst-case" scenario and ask myself "will I survive worst-case scenario?"  For the most part the answer is usually "yes, I can survive- it will suck but I'll eventually be okay."  This helps some but it does nothing to reduce the acid that builds in my belly - the acid that has been sitting there for so long.  So I try to focus on hope - the hope that all this will be over with soon.  The hope that I will be better and have less stress for overcoming this specific event.  The hope that I will get my life back on track as a result of tackling these feelings.  My hope is building!  

So here's the quote I made to go with my feelings today.....

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Cartoon Saturday - Fun with Calvin and Hobbes!

Calvin & Hobbes my all-time favorite cartoon character!  Kudos to Bill Watterson!  Here's a past post about if Calvin is ADHD or not: Is Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes ADHD?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How technology impacts your brain!

The world we live in is different than previous generations.  One of the reasons is because our brains are different then our past ancestors due to technology. 

Technology gives us instant gratification but the research demonstrates that those who are able to delay gratification are more successful in life (Walter Mischel’s research & the Stanford marshmallow experiment).   Our brains are now conditioned to wanting everything immediately and frustration can occur when we have to wait.  We have instant access to news, information, mental stimulation, and even food.  We watch television shows where there is a quick resolution and people often complain if a movie is over 2 hours long.  Computer games are designed to provide us with just enough rewards to keep us addicted to playing.  Research by Simone Kuhn provides evidence that the brain changes when people play video games.  The left side of the brain called the ventral striatum is the reward and addition center and when stimulated with video games increases in the volume of gray matter making people more likely to continue to play these games.  Changes in this area of the brain also affect decision making and goal setting.  We also have an addition to social media via technology.  We carry our phones everywhere constantly checking emails, twitter, and facebook.  When we do not able to connect to these types of social media we are often thinking about them, what to post, what someone else posted, and if someone commented on our posts.  These are not only addicting and changing our brains but also creating us to be much more egocentric. 

Technology provides us an outlet to be self-centered.  We are often using our phones while waiting in lines, walking around the park, or as we are shopping in a store.  Are we so important that we MUST have these conversations at these times?  When we post on social media it is often related to our own personal feelings, experiences, and opinions.  We are driven to make sure the world know our stance on political or religious beliefs, sometimes to the point that we shove our own point of view into the faces of “friends” on a daily basis!  We all have friends who must post over and over that they are pro this or that!  Enough already, we get it!  Your values are more important than ANYONE else’s; unless they agree with you!  Technology also makes people so egocentric that they think they can say (or type) anything to anyone.  We feel so safe that we often have no filter and therefore no compassion.   When playing video games we feel so empowered that we can demean another person, kill them and then verbally abuse them stating things like “you suck!”  

Technology has created an entitled, addicted, instant gratification, and egocentric society.  We need to realize how our brains have changed and know that we need to make personal changes.  We need to build the empathic centers of our brains.  We need to use technology for good (because it sure isn’t going anywhere).  We need to be mindful and aware of how our brains are changing and make conscious decisions to disconnect for a while.  We need to make purposeful intentions to connect to other human beings face to face.  We need to ask others how they are doing instead of always focusing on ourselves.
So today, when the world is spinning out of control go out and have a real conversation with another person.  Talk about what is going on in their life and what are their hopes and dreams.  Be compassionate, have empathy, love, and work on being addicted to living life fully aware and conscious! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Understanding shame

We don't always understand another person's perspective because we do not live the same life or have the same experiences and emotions.  Sometimes we may not even agree with another person's choices due to our own experiences and beliefs. 

What we still need to do is work on accepting others unconditionally so the other person feels understood and not shamed.  

Shaming happens often even when it is not intended. Shame is very powerful and we need to work on stopping the shame.  

I've shared this video before a few times but will share it again here- Brene Brown discusses shame with Oprah...  

(Direct link: Shame is lethal
So thinking about your own shame and that others may be dealing with.  It may help you understand yourself and others better!  Here are some other past posts on shame: Shame and why it needs to Stop & Shame it needs to stop and how to help

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Spiritual Sunday - Be proud of yourself!

One of the things I learned the hard way is how you can't depend on others to be your cheerleader and support.  For the most part people are egocentric and are caught up in their own feelings and issues. As a person with strong empathy and a care-giving nature I spend a great deal of my time effort and energy taking care of others.  I get disappointed frequently when I expect others to do the same for me and it doesn't happen.  Remember as discussed before - disappointment happens when our expectations are not met!  

I don't want to focus on how lonely and depressing it is to give so much to others and receive very little support in return.  When I have shared this with the people in my life I often get told that they had no idea I needed support and I should have asked or told them. What hurts the most with this is I do tell them.  I do ask for exactly what I need and it doesn't often happen.  So as I stated before - frustration and disappointment occurs when expectations are not met, so I'm working on not expecting much from others anymore.

Here's what I'm going to do instead! You should do this too!  Focus on yourself.  Be proud of yourself.  You have come a long way in this world.  You have overcome some challenging obstacles and survived.  You are stronger and wiser because of what you have lived through.  You are beautiful!  You are stunning and amazing! You have purpose in this world and are worth getting to know. You are learning who to trust and who not to trust so you can keep yourself protected.  You are realizing that not everyone is worth your time, effort, and energy but YOU are worth every bit of your time, effort, and energy.  You are worthy of self-love!  Tell yourself today how great you are and know that your opinion is the only one that matters!!!  

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Students don't fail the educational system is failing our students!

So are we going in the right direction with education? 

I have said it before and will continue to say this until the education system changes - when a teacher gives a student failing grade (D or F) then that teacher is FAILING the student.  A school district should never accept that a teacher will allow a student to end the school year without knowing the necessary curriculum.  A student who has received a D or F in a class is NOT learning the curriculum.   A teacher is NOT doing their job if they are allowing students to leave their classroom without knowing the necessary information.  If the student is resistant then find out why and get extra help for that student so they can LEARN the subject matter!  Why are student's in school?  Why are we as a society allowing teachers to get paid and not teach so all students are learning and being successful?  Granted there are some great teachers out there and this post is NOT directed toward them.  This post is directed toward school districts that have even 1 student that is receiving a D, F, or has dropped out!  Changes need to occur!!

Watch Ken Robinson's video "How to Escape Education's Death Valley."

If you made it this far - check out a previous posts on grades & learned helplessness