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…

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Want to overcome being disappointed or overwhelmed - here's how! ~Spiritual Sunday

Ever feel disappointed or overwhelmed?  Yes, of course you have because life isn't easy for anyone. We will always have obstacles in our pathway and how we look at these obstacles helps keep us motivated and will reduce anxiety.  If you are feeling overwhelmed or disappointed than you are looking at the obstacle as something negative or problem that can't be solved.  This doesn't have to happen - we can look at our obstacles as positive things that happen in our lives that make us better - pushes us farther, and teaches us more.  

I know your obstacle is something that is so big you can't overcome or your disappointment is so big that you may never heal.  Let me assure you that you will overcome and heal from these obstacles even though you don't feel it right now.  

Here's one thing you can do help this process.  Think of the obstacle in your life that is causing you difficulty.  Now, think of all the ways this obstacle can provide you with some positive aspects to your life.  The obstacle can give you insight into something you need to change or improve.  Your obstacle is there to help you become stronger and independent.  These obstacles are not in your life to bring you down but to lift you up and be an active participant in your own life.  These are not actually obstacles but instead they are opportunities for you to become the best person that you can be and help you actually have a better life.  

If you are struggling with keeping your thoughts positive because you have negative thoughts taking over than stop them from happening.  You actually do have the power to make them stop - when a negative thought comes to mind counter that thought with a positive one.  It may be difficult at first but keep it up and beat those negative thoughts down over and over and eventually it will get better!  





















(Image: Dragonfly on stick with pink hibiscus flower behind blue and green dragonfly with J. Sidlow Baxter quote: "What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity?  Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.")

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Gift of Friendship - Toolkit Tuesday


Friends are important.  Personally, life without friends would be very lonely.  There's a saying about if you want friends that you should become a friend.  I don't think everyone really understands that concept.  We have all seen one person be mean to another person.  I would have to say that we have all done it too.  I know I have done this in the past.  Over the years I have gone out of my way to always be a good, kind person, even when others are mean to me.  It is a lot harder to be kind to people who hate and are mean, than it is to hate and be mean back.  It takes a lot of strength and courage to still be nice to people who do not have your best interest at heart.  

Sometimes people tell me that I am allowing myself to be taken advantage of or I'm being naive.  I'm not doing either of these things.  I am well aware of the intentions of others, I just choose to live my life by still being a person with empathy.  It takes great strength to have empathy for a person who is unkind or hurtful to you, but living life with empathy makes my life more joyful.  I don't want to be like the other person, I don't want to have negative feelings or hate.  Empathy is a choice, the choice to live a better life.

What people also need to understand is, I have a few definitions of friendship.   Friendship isn't one-sided where only one person gets their needs met.  Friendship is multifaceted and ever changing.  We need friends to help us in life and sometimes we need them there to teach us a lesson we don't really want to learn.  Sometimes we have friends that make bad choices but that doesn't make them bad people.  

Now, do not misunderstand.  If a person is physically, emotionally, or sexually abusive then that person is NOT a friend.  If the person consistently does not have your best interest at heart, than that is NOT a friend: friendship is NOT one-sided.  If a person's intention is to harm you in anyway then they are NOT a friend.  

A friend will be there for you in a time of need even.  They may not be able to drop what they are doing at that exact moment but they will still be there for you when they can.  A friend will want you to be successful, even though sometimes they may have to battle demons of envy and jealous. 

Here's another recent article I wrote about friendship: 5 Lessons about Friendship

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Spiritual Sunday - Wild lessons from Cheryl Strayed

My life has been full of chaos lately, hence the lack of posts! I've been caught up in the rat race and I've been stuck drowning in a river trying to get somewhere I cannot yet see. I'm so stuck that I have not be able to get out to the woods where I hike as therapy. Everyday I ache and long to escape in the woods so I love the movie "Wild" based on Cheryl Strayed's book and life.  

I love the movie (& book) because I get to live vicariously on Cheryl's journey for a few hours.  I cry, not just during the sad parts but because I'm still stuck here in this rat race aching to get out. If you know me, you know that I love nature, the woods, and hiking (especially alone).  

Here are 3 things I learned from Cheryl's journey:

1.  Don't regret the past.  I cannot regret that I did not venture on my journey earlier in my life.  I must make those plans now I must focus on going the direction I want to go- toward discovery.

2.  Life is hard.  Everyone has problems and life isn't easy.  I cannot focus on how hard life is or I will stay stuck in the pain. I must fight to overcome these obstacles and focus on the things I can do and I can achieve.  

3.  Knowing yourself is one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself.  I know the things I like and dislike.  I know who I am and love who I am.  I do get heartbroken that I have people in my life that do not really even know me and have no desire to learn about me even though they say they love me.  I know I'll be okay even though these people don't know me because I know me and I love me!  

People ask me why I love the woods and why alone ~all I can do is explain it by this quote from Henry David Thoreau:  

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.  I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms."         

You may not be obsessed with the woods and hiking like I am but you need to find some place in your life where you can be alone with yourself, your thoughts, and be your own friend.  

If you want to learn about some of my passions you can just watch the movie or read the book "Wild" because Cheryl and I have a lot in common - all the way down to the love of quotes.  






Thursday, January 21, 2016

You can change your brain!

Today I want you to think about your brain! Do you have control over your brain?  Do you know of ways to make your brain change so you can lead a better life? When meeting for coaching and counseling sessions I am frequently teaching about how the brain works so success can be achieved. This is one of my favorite things to do because we really do have the power to change our brain, emotions, situations, and our lives.  

As many of you also know - I struggle with understanding how the education system does NOT focus on educating students based on how their brains work. I also will NEVER understand how classroom teachers seem to be lacking an understanding that how they, the teacher, interact and teach influences the brain of each student.  I can only assume that teachers are not taught about the brain.  How can a person be in a profession where the brain is so vital in learning, not be taught how that brain works.  School districts are also not educating their teachers about the brain.  I just don't understand.  There is a major disconnect.

Often when I am attending a meeting at a school with parents to help the teachers learn about the student's brain, the teachers seems surprised that their own behaviors impacts a student's learning (or lack of learning).  When I explain that the student is NOT lazy but struggling with, avoidance, depression, anxiety or learned helplessness the teachers seem confused.  When teachers blame a student (or their parents) for the student's difficulties in learning I have to explain in details how the brain works.  I believe every educator needs to be taught about how the brain actually works and about learned helplessness (click to see article).  

Since I love teaching about the brain and learning about the brain I was thrilled to meet Dr. John Arden!  His books have not only been a positive influence in my life personally but also professionally. 

I recommend you read his books and start today on changing your brain!   The more you learn about the brain the more you can make positive changes in your life and the lives of your family.








Sunday, January 17, 2016

How to survive heartbreak~ Spiritual Sunday

People are going to hurt you; it's a fact of life!  You will trust someone with your heart, soul, secrets... and for some reason or another they will break this trust. Maybe they don't love you anymore or maybe they never loved you in the first place. Maybe they are too caught up in their own issues to care about yours or maybe they never really did care about your issues to begin with. No matter the reason you will be crushed and will feel like you can't move on~ but you will!  

It will be hard to move on at first because you are in deep pain because you allowed yourself to be vulnerable with someone. You showed your authentic self and were rejected. It will take time to heal ~ but you will.  You have a strong spirit in you that is full of love and nurturing.  When you experience heartbreak and disappointment you are learning more about yourself and your strength.  

You are learning that life isn't fair; we don't always get what we want; and not everyone we care about will care about us. You are also learning that you have a choice.  You can become cold and mean or you can open your heart and be a kind and loving person. 

What you focus on you will expand and I'm sure you don't want to focus on these negative feelings anymore so here is what you do...  

"Be the one who nurtures and build.  Be the one who has an understanding and forgiving heart.  Be the one who looks for the best in people.  Leave people better than you found them."  

By being a person who focuses on the good in others, gives love and support, and is understanding than you will have a more positive life. Don't let your pain taint you and cause you to be negative.  You have learned some valuable lessons and you need to focus on not repeating them but not allowing them to change you into a cold heartless person.  

When you are feeling the pain (and you will feel it for a long time) allow yourself to feel these emotions for no more than 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes is over than you must think of all the positive things you have in your life!  Contact people who make you feel positive, who support you, and accept you for who you are- feel their love!  Give love to others by helping out friends in need.  Focus on the gifts you have to give the world.  

Finally, if all else fails here's a post on how to let it go when you get stuck!!  High fives and hugs to you as you go through this difficult time!  

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Cartoon Saturday

Here are a few Calvin and Hobbes:  

Mr. Watterson was able to use a darling and creative 6 year old boy to make us think and put the world into a different empathetic perspective... Thank you!



Sunday, January 10, 2016

What would you do if you won the lottery? Spiritual Sunday

The multi-state lottery, Powerball is at a record high - one person could win over $900 million - 1.4 billion.  

My reaction~  WTF!  

Why does someone need that kind of money? I mean, don't get me wrong I'd love to be debt free, never have to worry about money again, and have money to make positive changes in the world. Most people however would buy material items with this money - cars, houses, jewelry.... I can't help but wonder WHY?

Sure, I'd buy some material items.  

But here are 3 things I would really think hard about spending my money on!

1~ I wouldn't buy new cars though, I'd just pay off the cars I have.  


Owning and driving an expensive car does not make you important.  Sure people will stare at you as you drive in your Lamborghini Veneno that cost $4.5 million. That's because they want to see who the person in the car who THINKS they are important!  Cars are really fun but there are people who could benefit from a car to help them just get to and from work - the cost of this car could help so many people become more independent and productive.


2~I also wouldn't buy a mansion.  I would fix up the house I live in now or buy something slightly bigger.

Owning a house with multiple rooms - some that will never be used and so vast you don't see people in the same house will not make you have a stronger and supportive family unit. Now, this mansion is beautiful but there is so much wasted space when people in this world have no home to live in and children have no bed of their own. 

3~ Finally, I wouldn't buy material items that are just not needed such as designer clothes, jewelry, and accessories.  

Owning designer disposable items will not make you have class or style! Class has nothing to do with the amount of money you have and style doesn't mean you have to pay outrageous prices for items you can buy for practical costs. This Gucci purse costs $32,000.  Really there is never any need to pay that price for a purse when children are starving.  Oh, it's made of crocodile skin... ahh... well that's worse because I have no idea if this animal was just killed for it's skin or if all of it's body was used in productive ways.

The point of this article is to make you think.  When the lottery get's to this high amount people are sharing their ideas of ways they would spend money.  How would you spend your money if you win this crazy amount?  It sure is tempting to go wild and get things you would never be able to buy.  Having money doesn't mean you have to waste it and to me because buying things that are outrageously priced will not make you a better person. 

They say you can't buy happiness and I agree with this because material items will not make you happy.  Although I do believe that money can bring happiness in your life as well as others when money is used to make the world a better place.  If I win - I will be helping change the world in positive ways for everyone!

So, what would you do if you won the lottery?


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Friday, January 8, 2016

Feature Friday Kerri Fuhr's Glass Beads


Today I'd like to share with you Kerri Fuhr's beautiful glass beads.  I came across a dragonfly bead online and it touched my heart (as do all dragonflies).  I was even more impressed by all the other beads that Kerri Fuhr creates.  I know I cannot be the only one who is impressed with this beautiful work and cannot wait for my beads to arrive!!  

I added one of her beautiful beads to my picture quote today!  





















"Kerri creates her distinctive focal beads, hearts, and vessels each created with the jewelry designer in mind.  While seemingly delicate, each glass bead and vessel is carefully annealed in a digitally controlled kiln to temper the glass and strengthen it for a lifetime of wareablity and enjoyment."
*from her website

Visit her website: Wearable Dragonfly Beads on www.KerriFuhr.com

Facebook page:  Kerri Fuhr's Glass Beads 

Want to buy one of these Dragonfly Beads (or one of her other stunning beads): Kerri Fuhr's Etsy Dragonfly page  

** I do not receive any financial gains for making this post I just wanted to share my dragonfly love with other dragonfly lovers.  






Tuesday, January 5, 2016

5 steps to a great year ~ Toolkit Tuesday!

Do you want a great life?
You still have time to make life plans for 2016.  What you focus on you attract (bring into your life).  So, if you want a positive, exciting, and wonderful life you need to actually make plans for this to occur.  You wouldn’t go on a trip or vacation without planning on where you are going and how you are going to get there.  You plan and take action. Live an active life, not a passive one!  Here’s how to plan your pathway to a great year:
1.     Decide on 1 or 2 areas of your life you will be focusing on this year (focusing on too many areas causes cognitive overload, especially for a Dragonfly and will lead to stress).  For example: abundance, love, money, friendships, career, family, fitness, health…  Notice these are just one words and positive.
 
2.     Write down the word on the top of a piece of paper (you will have two papers if you have two areas of focus).  Below the word, write a description of that word.  What does that word mean to you? Keep this positive.  For example: Abundance – having plenty of the positive things I need in my life.  Love – acceptance of myself and others as they are, for whom they are and/or having others accepting me as I am.  Career - A professional occupation that gives my life meaning and purpose where I am valued and earn a significant amount of money and happiness.
   
3.     Give your year a motto and write it down below your definition – something that you can use in a daily mantra to keep you focused on your end result.  For example, “I have abundance in my life.” “Loving myself and others.”  “2016 will be a Best-selling year.”

4.     Below your motto make a list of at least 10 things you WILL be doing to bring your focus word into your life.  A few examples for Abundance would be: Be grateful for the things I already have/ keep focused on what I have instead of what I don’t have/ determine if something is a want or a need…

5.     This is your road-map so read it every day (sometime a few times a day).  Make a copy and put it on the bathroom mirror you use in the morning so you see it first thing every day. 

Finally- read this quote every single morning as you start your day!  
"There are two rules for living in harmony: #1 Don't sweat the small stuff and #2 it's all small" by Richard Carlson




Monday, January 4, 2016

Letting go of the past! Motivational Monday


2015 is GONE so let it go!  The past is the past and you can't do anything about it!  You can't change it so stop reliving it (if you are -if not than good for you!!)

To stay motivated is to stop looking at the past and perservating on it because it will only waste your time.  

Why do you want to waste your time on things you cannot change? Go ahead and think about some of the things from the past but don't live in the past - good or bad memories only take away time from the here and now!  

Today's Motivational Monday pic quote is - "Don't let yesterday use up too much of today" by Will Rogers.  

Keep saying this today every time you get caught up on thinking about anything in the past! 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Are you being your authentic self~ Spiritual Sunday

Are you being authentic?  

Are you being your true self?  

Are you letting others influence you into being someone you are not?  

Make this the year that you stop doing this.  You deserve to be who you are and not feel pressured or shamed into hiding your true self!   

The other day I posted on The 2 things you need to do to make 2016 great one of those things was to make a short list of things you will NOT be doing in 2016.  I decided one of those things for me was I will NOT be bullied into silence this year.  This has happened too much in my past because I feared the consequences of speaking my mind. Have you ever not stood up for yourself because you were afraid of retaliation in some form?  Here's a past personal post on retaliation and what to do.

SO HOW DO YOU LEARN TO FOLLOW YOUR HEART?

~You need to work on learning who you are & we are going to work on that this year together.  

~Pay attention to the things you like and dislike.

~Notice how often you go against what you want to do to please others (this will be important to remember for a future post).  

Starting this very minute do something that your heart desires - even if it is only for a short period of time.  

This is just the start of discovering more about your authentic self!

Friday, January 1, 2016

The 2 things you need to do to make 2016 great

Here we go again folks~  Another year has begun! So are you full of hope and excitement thinking that this could be an amazing year?  Well, you should be excited it will be positive because what we focus on we will expand.  So, if you are focused on the positive in your life every day this positive will expand.  

Now remember this doesn't mean you will have a perfect year! It is important to make mistakes ~ check out this Resolutions post to learn why.  Don't think that if you focus on being perfect you will be perfect because there is no such thing as perfect and this only makes you have unrealistic expectations (which will only lead to disappointment).  

Here are 2 things you need to do today to get your year off to the right start~

1.   Reflect back on the lessons you have learned in 2015. These lessons may come from positive events and discoveries but most likely they come from events where things didn't work out as you expected.  Reward yourself for learning these lessons and acknowledge that you plan on living life based on these lessons learned (AKA: Don't repeat these mistakes).  Now, write down 1-3 goals you want to achieve this year - make them realistic goals. Everyday in 2016 you must do at least one thing to work toward these goals.  So for example, if you have a goal of building a stronger relationship or business than every day you must do something to make this happen.  The key is your intent everyday is to work toward your goals.

2.   Write down 1-3 things you will NOT do in 2016.  These can be things you already don't do such as ~ "I will not waste money on a gym membership."  This can be something more challenging such as ~ "I will not beat myself up mentally when I make mistakes."  This one may be harder but you will have to remember that when you do make a mistake and start belittling yourself you stop and say "nope, I'm not going to keep doing this."  The key to this resolution is to give yourself a different kind of power.  

I'm looking forward to our adventures together in 2016! On this journey together we will learn a lot, grow emotionally & spiritually, and eventually we will soar!  

Happy New Year my Dragonfly Friends~