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…

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tackling your FEAR~ Worthy Wednesday!

FEAR - that is a major problem in our lives.  We can be afraid of success, afraid of failure, afraid of being hurt, afraid of hurting others, afraid of ... well just about anything.  Fear can stop you from having the life you want to live.  Fear can prevent you from being happy.  

You must look at your fears directly.  Shine light on your fears.  You can do this by talking to someone about your fears.  Expose your fears and share them with a person you trust!  Your fears get bigger when you avoid them so tackle them and challenge them. You have more power than you believe.  You will survive if take risks and taking risks will reduce your fears and you will feel empowered!  You will grow stronger each time you conquer a fear! You are amazing and you are worthy of being strong enough to face your fears head on.  Don't hide from your fears or you will make them worse!  Here's a great quote I love from the book "Life of Pi."  Read this quote to yourself when you are feeling that fear has power over your choices.  

(Image: Red dragonfly with blue water in the background and a quote from Yann Martel's book "Live of Pi" ~ “I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always ... so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.” )

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Words from Parents & Dragonflies Wednesday - my words regarding bullying and suicide

Today on Words from Parents and Dragonflies I want to discuss bullying again.  I just heard of a recent suicide and this needs to stop!  I have written a number of times on this topic empathy the antidote to bullying; lessons from the Breakfast Club; and stop the shaming!  

As a parent what frustrates me is I know these things happen in schools and that it can be stopped by teachers.  We need to teach students empathy!  We need to stop teaching them "Bullying Prevention" because that focuses on bullying.  Why schools continue to create a culture of us vs' them is beyond me.  Why can't schools create a culture of inclusion?  Even when schools think they are creating a culture of inclusion by having "diversity" clubs they are still often missing the kids that really need to feel they belong.  Just because a student is an athletic, honor student, or "well liked" doesn't mean they are not struggling emotionally.  If you ask a student who has emotional challenges how they are they will tell you "fine."  This is not true but only a mask to hide what is really going on inside.  A person with empathy will really check to make sure the person is "fine" instead of just buying the outside image the student is projecting. 

So I beg you all to start practicing EMPATHY!  Start reaching out to others so we can make a difference in this world for ALL people.  Don't take "fine" as an answer if you think a person is struggling emotionally.    I have posted this before but here it is again - ways to have a positive school.  I have heard that competition is important and necessary but it is NOT!   A school setting should not be a place where we set up kids to compete to see who is smarter, prettier, stronger, better...  It should be a safe place to grow and learn all while developing a positive self-esteem.

"Suicide isn't cowardly.  I'll tell you what is cowardly; treating people so badly that they want to end their lives."  Ashley Purdy

Make a difference to stand up and fight for EMPATHY!  Please I beg you to give a darn about other people in the world.  Focus on how to make the lives of other people better!!  RIP Kelsey

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The start of feeling worthy ~ Worthy Wednesday!

Wanna know what most people have in common?  Well, it's the belief that they are not worthy.  They may feel that they are not worthy to be loved, to be with a specific person, have a certain career, or even that they are not worthy of happiness.  

You are worthy!  You matter!  You are unique and special!  You have so much to give the world and others!  If you don't feel these ways than this is something you should work on!   

At least one time a month I will address worthiness on what I will now call "Worthy Wednesday."  This post will be dedicated to helping you work through your feelings of not being worthy and validate you on your own worthiness.  

So, keep posted and print/save this picture quote so that you can look at it and remind yourself that you are on your journey and we will gain the power of worthiness along the way!  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

3 tricks to develop persistence- Toolkit Tuesday

Yesterday the focus was on 3 tricks to get motivated and stop procrastinating.  Today's focus is on the importance of persistence. 

Here are 3 tricks to develop persistence:

1: Have a plan.  It's great to get on the road to a goal but if you don't have a plan on how to get to that goal you will just be driving around with no direction wasting a lot of energy.  Eventually you will quit because you will discover you have not made much progress.  So make a plan.  Your plan should include a lot of mini goals to keep you on track.  For example, if you were to drive across the United States you wouldn't do it without stopping for fuel, food, or sleep would you.  No you would have to make stops along the way.  True, you could just wing-it and stop as needed but it is more effective and efficient if you make at least rough plans on when you will need to stop and the routes you will take. 

2: Get support from family or friends.  Share your goal with some close family and/or friends.  Remember not everyone is your friend some people may not be supportive and sabotage your plans. You want to share your goal with people you know will cheer you on and keep you moving in the right direction.  These people will lift you up when you get stuck and guide you back when you go off your path.  You should also have at least one person you trust to hold you accountable.  You must trust that this person has your best interest at heart and someone you can count on when times get tough.  Agree with this person that you will seek them out when you want to quit and their job is to convince you not to quit even if you have every reason to quit.  We all need at least one person in our life that doesn't give up on us when we are ready to throw in the towel.  

3: Battle through the challenges!  You will be tested along the way! There is no doubt that you will have to face many challenges and obstacles.  There will be road block, brick walls, naysayers, and your own personal demons interfering with your progress.  You will get hung-up and even set back often but this is when you need to dig in deeper and push on.  Make a list of all thing things that might cause you difficulty along your path to your goal and then think of the tools you may need to conquer them.  You will still have these obstacles in your way but you will have some tools and strategies in place and will make the battle a little easier.  There will also be times you are blindsided by something you never expected and at this time is when you get support from your friends and family (or your go-to friend) to give you strength to keep moving forward.  

Put these 3 tricks into place and you will be on your way to success!  

Monday, February 8, 2016

3 tricks to get motivated and stop procrastinating! Motivational Monday

I'm often told - "I just can't get started"  or "I can't seem to finish what I get started."  These are common for everyone but especially someone who has ADHD or other learning disabilities.  Here are 3 things you can do to get started and keep going until you are finished:

1: Know why you are procrastinating!  Most people procrastinate because they have a terrible concept of time.  We often want instant gratification and think that we will deal with something later.  Our brain is easy to convince that it's okay to eat that cupcake now because it wants to have its pleasure center touched.  We tell ourselves we will work it off later at the gym or it's just a few extra calories we will eat less later...  Or we have to get a project done and we tell ourselves we have all week to complete the project thinking we will start later on - we have time.  Also, some people procrastinate because they are afraid of failure or success.  They believe if they start something it won't be good enough.  So, you need to really think about why you are procrastinating and be very honest with yourself!  

2: To get started give yourself a set time limit or goal.  So you want to workout and lose weight.  Set up a 10 minute time to just do it! Tell yourself it's only 10 minutes.  If you need to clean a room set a goal for cleaning up for 20 minutes or picking up/cleaning 20 thing. You can do this same thing for a project you need to get started or studying for a class/test.  The key is to set a time limit and or goal for how much you want to accomplish.  Don't set these too high - make them manageable.  Once you get started you can keep going if you want but don't make the time limit or goal so high you are overwhelmed and don't start at all.  

3: When you are starting to have the desire to quit tell yourself these two words: STOP IT! Watch this video clip below of Bob Newhart telling a client to "STOP IT" and talk to yourself the same way! This will do a few things.  It will hopefully make you laugh every time you tell yourself to "Stop it" and it will make you keep going until you reach your time limit or goal.  See, sometimes we procrastinate because we have a negative inner voice telling us our work isn't good enough, we are not good enough, or other negative comments.  I want you to tell this negative inner voice to "STOP IT!"  

Now, tell yourself you can and will get things accomplished! You may not complete everything but you will get things started and finish what you start.  I believe in you so now you need to believe in yourself!  

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Why it is good that life is pain ~ Spiritual Sunday

I wish I could tell you that life will be easy, but it's not!  Life is not easy and we are not perfect.  I find it interesting that many people have the belief and desire to have a perfect easy life.  I don't know anyone who is problem free and never failed at something.  

What you must understand is you need to have problems, challenges, and failures in your life to make you better and stronger. They are there to test you and teach you lessons. 

For example, look at the people you admire and learn about their lives.  You will learn they had many obstacles.   What you will also discover is that by learning lessons from their difficulties and failures these people became successful.  

You will also discover this same pattern in the characters of most books and movies.  Remember we all have to go though our Hero's Journey.  Here's one of my favorite lines from the Princess Bride:  "Live is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."  
The thing is about books, movies, and the life stories of others is we are seeing it from an outside perspective and often in hindsight. We know that things turn out but when we are living in the moment of the challenge it doesn't feel like everything will turn out - it maybe scary, overwhelming, anxiety producing.... But trust me, things will get better and someday you will look back on this moment as the catalyst for giving you strength.  You will see that this moment was there to help you know what you want and don't want in life and to make you achieve your own success!  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What is the impact of video games on the brain!

Researchers such as, Daphne Bavelier, are analyzing the brain and video games.  This is a great video you should watch to answer the question "What is the impact of video games on the brain."  

So are you surprised?  I'm hoping that there are some researchers out there doing longevity studies so we can see impact over many years!