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HeART Songs

Ever notice how your mood changes when you hear a song from your past? Happy memories associated with songs have a huge impact on emotions. It might be a song you sang as a child. It maybe one associated with a past relationship or friendship which reminds you of a fun time. Maybe it is a song from a special holiday. Who doesn’t giggle a bit when “Frosty the Snowman” is blasting over the speakers in a mall or on the radio. Even instrumentals can have a huge impact on your mood. Whatever sparks a positive chord in your heart make sure you tap into the tunes which make you smile daily. The next time you find yourself in a bad mood, turn on the radio or find your favorite cd to listen to some up beat tunes. Find your groove and strike some moves. Let the music fill your mind and soul. The key is to feel the music.

Ma White’s Bottom Radio Show was a live performance production in the town of Rockmart, GA. Between sets an announcer would provide commercial spots highlighting local businesses. The production set up was based upon common radio shows  back in the 1930’s. Many wonderful evenings of live music with a community connection spotlighting rising talent in the region.

Rockmart Theater, stage set up for the Ma White's Bottom Radio Show

Rockmart Theater, stage set up for the Ma White’s Bottom Radio Show

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HeART in the woods

Mossy heart Have you ever taken the time to see beyond the obvious when you are strolling in the woods? Lots of wonderful messages can show themselves when you take time  to think outside of the box. This just isn’t a patch of moss, it is a heart. Heart signs make me smile.

Tree soul heart I am willing to bet if you look close enough and add a touch of imagination you can see hearts everywhere in the woods. Sometimes, even in the wood you can find a heart. They are not perfect. Just like our own hearts are not perfect in thought and mind. Sometimes our hearts are not perfect physically either but they continue to supply a life force within us to continue on. Sometimes our heart breaks. Sometimes they need a boost. Other times, they over flow with love and compassion. Our heart can become cold. They are ever-changing based on our moods and experiences. Hearts in the woods do to. The environmental changes causing growth or decay, animals and people passing by who nibble or stomp on them, and the cycle we know as live also impacts them. When you see a heart in the woods, think about what it has weathered to reveal itself to you. What does your heart reflect to others when they pass by you?

Tree spirit smile There are other things in the woods besides hearts. I think this tree spirit is smiling because he knows you had no clue you were being watched.  More on these wonders later.

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Happy HeART Day!!

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Creative Tidal Wave wants to wish you a Happy HeART Day! Join me on a week-long journey exploring HeArt in nature. It is a slight obsession of mine to find nature formed hearts while out on hikes. I know I’m on the right path when I find one.

Do you have any visuals you seek out? Please take a moment and share your visual signs with me. I am curious what others seek out in their daily lives. What emotions flood you when you find your visual unexpectedly?

When I find a heart I am reminded to smile. I might be struggling on my journey when a sudden nature formed heart appears. At that moment I stop to enjoy and document the incredible find. I often take a moment to reflect on being grateful for the struggles, ability to feel such because I could be so much worse off not being able to wander about in the woods, and to ponder what other great wonders might be a head if I keep moving forward.

Paperclips are another “heart sign” for me. When not in the woods I seek paperclips. I do not take photos of them like I do the nature hearts. I do take a moment to remind myself that such appear when I need inspiration and encouragement. Paperclips hold things together. When I see paperclips they are like little virtual hugs. I smile and know I can continue forward and am not alone.

More HeArts to come!!

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Scooby Doo, where are you?

Where did he, Bugs and a few other great cartoon characters go? I sure miss the cartoon friends I grew up with. I have tried to watch the latest cartoon sorts but none bring the giggles and belly laughs I got from those from the 1960’s and 1970’s. I remember laughing a lot on Saturday mornings when I woke early just to catch the cartoon runs because they all disappeared shortly after lunch time. I want those days back.

You know, there is nothing wrong with adults watching cartoons. There is comfort in revisiting those TV friends who taught us more than we thought at the moment. Also they brought is comic relief. You know laughter is the best medicine. I truly believe that is true. In fact, I suggest to my Life Coaching clients they revisit their favorite cartoons. Yes, they might be a bit cheesy now but overall, they still make us laugh.

Life today is full of stressors. Take a few minutes when you are down or stressed beyond belief to youtube or Netflix or whatever means you have access to for some laughs. I promise it will change your outlook a bit.

Eeeeeeh, watch me paste that pathetic palooka with a powerful, pachydermous, percussion pitch. – Bugs Bunny

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Warning, suicide is contagious

Yes, it is true. Scary thought but I have personally witnessed this in a residential school. One student attempts suicide and then there is an outbreak of attempts. Check the research, plenty out there but few speak of it. Yes, suicide is contagious.

Robin Williams’ suicide has brought on massive media attention. From a television special to constant flows on Facebook and Twitter, the suicide theme cannot be escaped. A few will seek out the attention factor. Some will identify with the torment experienced justifying if it worked for such a famous person then it must be my solution as well. Some… well, it is an endless list of reasons why this event might lead to others in a copy cat situation.

If you know someone who is depressed or is dealing with a crisis and their behavior has changed, don’t wait, react. The behavior change might seem to be a positive swing from the usual down mood. People, that can be a warning sign. Sometimes if suicide is well planned the person will have a false state of comfort. Often they will exhibit overly nice behaviors such as giving treasured things away, calling to mend relationships, or send letters. Then again, others might become very withdrawn and isolate themselves. It is different for everyone.

Depression is not extreme sadness. Depression is an altered state of irrational thinking based upon perceived ideas or extreme torment which is constantly replaying in the person’s mind. This is one of the reasons I stand up for extreme bullying. Bullying can bring on depression. I read a good humorous explanation. ‘Depression cannot be cured by chocolate or a pint of ice cream like sadness can.’ Very true! Do not try to understand another’s depression. It is deep-rooted based upon experiences you may not be aware of. Also, depression can be physically painful. It affects the body at times. If you have constant pain, relief is your primary focus. Some think there is only one way to relieve it. The pain is so intense the thoughts of how the decision to stop it becomes stronger than the reality of how it will affect others. Yes, it is a self-inflicted selfish act but in the mind of the tormented personal relief is all-consuming.

Limit media exposure during a celebrity suicide media frenzy. Keep the positive flowing. If you know someone suffering from depression, keep tabs on them. Visit, call, and try to keep a positive dialogue flowing. Let them know you are available to talk or just hang out. Help prevent a copy cat moment. Extra time spent now might prevent a loss of life later and stop the cycle of others thinking about this ultimate escape.

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My Captain, My Captain… why?

No passing of a famous person has effected me like the passing of Robin Williams. I am a huge fan of his. He was also an example of success I used when speaking to others who struggle with ADHD and Learning Challenges. His wit and unstoppable motion made him the star and in my belief, a philosopher. He used his challenges as gifts to rise above.

But there is a dark side to ADHD and learning challenges. Often the struggles lead to addictions and depression. Many fail to treat the side effects of ADHD and LD. I often wonder if when we identify children and adults with ADHD why we do not address the side effects as seriously as do assigning the label. If counseling and positive alternatives to medications were added to the treatment and educational component to strive for success, how many lives might avoid the torment?

Depression is a reality when performance is a challenge. When a person is faced daily with perceived failures, bullies who pray upon such frustrating moments, and authority figures who demand nothing less than impossible unrealistic perfection. It isn’t unusual to find ADHD and Learning Challenged types to seek humor and comedy to combat the frustrations and depression. Laughter we are told is the best medicine.

Laughter can divert others from the pending embarrassing moment at hand. A quick wit can cover a multitude of oops or blonde moments. It often becomes a coping mechanism for many ADHD and learning challenged sorts. Though it is often a quick fix or a means to recover from a potentially worse embarrassing moment, the reality of what happened will be revisited. I believe this was the case with Robin Williams. He used his coping mechanism to its fullest yet it never gave complete resolve to the frustrations and challenges of his disability. Yes, I said it, ADHD is and can be very disabling.

ADHD and Learning Challenges cause the mind to be in constant motions. It rarely stops or slows down. It is the human mental processing form of the internet, a Google search engine on overdrive which is Yahooing on top of that mixed in with a touch of Bing.Trying running the 3 of those all at the same time and see how happy your computer is not. I can easily delete, cancel, and shut down my computer but the brain isn’t so easy to stop even one of these search engines. Plus the brain’s filing system isn’t as organized as a search engine. As I work with more and more adults with ADHD I am understanding why they chose drugs and other forms of distraction to stop the madness taking place inside of their heads.

Take time to seek help and support to help find outlets and non harmful ways to quiet the madness if you have ADHD. Let’s not lose another brilliant shining star to the emptiness of suicide as the only means to quiet their tormented soul. Let’s start implementing safe guards early on when ADHD is diagnosed. Educators, take depression seriously when you suspect a student is suffering. Parents, take your child’s mood swings seriously if they suffer from ADHD and struggle to maintain balance in their life. Friends, don’t let depressed friends suffer, help them seek help.
“You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I’ll guarantee you’ll win.” – Robin Williams
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1406611/remembering-robin-williams-10-greatest-robin-williams-quotes/#bimzHjlOQAzJgyLY.99

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Why I Write

That is a good question, why do I write? I accepted the challenge to answer this question but found it not a simple answer. Never thought of myself as a blogger. If you know me well you are probably wondering the same thing. I am a proof reader’s worst nightmare. My spelling issues are beyond the dyslexia level, I think I was just passed over then that gene was being handled out. And, there is this weird writing style I have. I would like to say e e Cummings was my English teacher and I acquired it from studying from the master but that would just be a lie. I know the rules but… When writing like this I prefer the flow method then to edit. Well, that’s a dyslexic nightmare. I am the worst choice to go public with my ramblings according to English majors and editors.

I do have a message and greater purpose. To narrow down the list, there are two main reasons I write. The first would be to offer hope to those who struggle with challenges. From personal experience and as an educator, I write about trends and solutions I have found to work. I blog about solutions anyone can try which are practical. The other reasons I write is to promote the healing factor found in the arts. I firmly believe the reasons students are failing and behavior is getting worse is due to the exclusion of the arts in all aspects of their lives. Sports are important too but the arts have a broader spectrum of meeting needs to all regardless of age or ability level. Creative Tidal Wave is about solutions, life long ones. It is about healing. And, it is about creating new pathways to integrating the expressive arts as a tool for success.

I would like to introduce you to two fellow bloggers I enjoy following.

Shannon Barrett is a Martha Beck certified Life Coach, a student of Positive Psychology and an energy wrangler. She uses all these tools plus her intuitive abilities to help her clients rediscover their focus. She is also a certified Level Two Crystalline Consciousness Technique teacher. Shannon writes about the synchronies that show up in her life, the things that fascinate her and the lessons she learns from her clients. You can find her new blog, “What I Have To Say,” at http://eshannonbarrett.com/say/. You can also find her on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/shannon.barrett2.

Eddie Snipes: I am a writer, gardener, and father of five. I manage a tech support group by day, and write by night.

Visit my site @ http://www.eddiesnipes.com
Just east of Crazy
Twitter: @eddiesnipes

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I can’t, my ears don’t match

It is true, my ears do not match. One is pointed. I must have faery blood somewhere in my family. The other is… well, I think I must have troll blood in me as well. It has been a life long issue. The first thing my husband did after my children made their grand entrance in this world was check their ears. I can report neither has my ears. I feel sure he would have scheduled plastic surgery that very moment to have something done.

The school bells are ringing along with the cruel words and actions of bullies. It might not be mismatched ears but each of us has something we are taunted about. I remember not wanting to go to school on days my mom made me wear my hair up in a ponytail. I would get sick. I would find every excuse to not go. I would take the pony tail down wearing mess hair just so my ears were not exposed. Those days still haunt me. The bullying which wasn’t handled well caused a life long self-esteem problem.

Let’s change the attitude. I am. Yes, they are an odd pair, the faery and troll ears I am blessed with, but they make me unique. The media has warped our sense of beauty and has created a false illusion for the need for visual perfection based upon unrealistic models which are enhanced. We allow bullying, in fact it has become a way of life. Stop the cycle now. Teach your kids not to judge or make fun of folks due to outward differences. Appearances fade but a good heart stays true to the end. If you must judge a person, do so by their actions not appearances. Being unique is not a bad thing. I am now embracing my inner faery, though I am told I have troll moments when angry. Now if I can just get those faery wings to grow.

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The Secret of the Paradiddle

For those of you who are not drummers, this is the definition of a paradiddle from Webster’s :a quick succession of drum beats slower than a roll and alternating left and right-hand strokes in a typical L-R-L-L, R-L-R-R pattern.

In the 9th grade I went from an oboe player to a mallet player on the drumline for the marching band. Oboes do not march. There was a huge shift from being in the wood wind section to becoming a drummer. Wood wind sections in the early 80’s were made up of predominately quiet and polite female sorts. There is one exception, when fighting for chair placement or rank there could be a cat fight. What can I say about the drumline? They had a reputation for being wild and not so polite but very driven guys who owned their rank and had the mindset they were the greatest of all drumlines. (I need to note that to my recollection, during 4 years on the drumline, we only received top ratings. So the guys lived up to their reputation.) Here is this quiet, reserved freshman entering her worst nightmare, so she thought. And, my first assignment was to learn to paradiddle.

Like all music sorts, I did tap out rhythms and beats but not like drummers. First lesson I learned was as a drummer your drumsticks never left your side. And, nothing was a forbidden drum. If I only knew then what I know now, I could have capitalized on the fame STOMP and Blue Man group has by creating endless drumming sources. In my case and my fellow mallet player, we had our mallet sticks with us. Yes, I was rapping our drum things as I called them on tables, chairs, on people who stood still too long, and even on a bag of Cheetos. None of which was producing the results I needed quick enough. Growing up in a family of teachers I knew the best way to learn something is to teach someone else. But who would want to learn to paradiddle?

I have the most remarkable cousin. He is 3 years older than me. He has taught me more about life and learning than any professor or teaching guru in the 34 years since I left high school and pursued a career in education. In fact I think he should have an honorary doctorate for the impact he has had on not just my life but others as well. Brad never attended college. I think the IQ label he was given is very misleading though he must have constant care. Downs Syndrome is interesting. Folks sporting genetic issues sure enlighten the lives of us who are suppose to have our genetic codes in order. Brad’s eagerness to learn any crazy thing I came up with made him the perfect candidate.

Thirty-four years later, Brad and I are still paradiddling. The paradiddle held its magic all these years. When he was basically unresponsive in the hospital the word paradiddle created a response. During a trying family time when I returned to spend time with him, what does he want to do? “PARADIDDLE, DONNA!!” When there is stress he looks at me and I know, we need to paradiddle.

Over my life time, the paradiddle has followed me. Out of the frustration to learn play the mallets a single word and rhythm pattern has brought only happiness at the mere mentioning of the word. I have paradiddle with my students. I have paradiddle with friends. But most of all, during personal times of challenges and heartbreak, I have paradiddled alone. The rhythm brings me back to the moments of happiness. The paradiddle reminds me I can rise above if I just get with it. I also need to share it. When I find I am challenged to learn something I remember the paradiddle. To be able to teach another means you must know it well enough yourself. I reach out to others to teach them the lessons I need to learn myself. It hasn’t failed me yet.

As freshmen on the drumline, one of the pro drummers told me if I just learned to paradiddle the rest would be easy. Thank you, Paul Pendleton! I need to give this guy another shout out. After 34 years he agreed to teach me to drum again. This time he had a much harder challenge since there was some slight neurological challenges as a result of an incident. Due to his magic of Pendlejam, drumming has been the rehab I needed not only for my left hand and brain but for my life. So once again, the paradiddle has come to my rescue. I am empowered, got my groove back, and conquering the impossible.

So what is the secret of the paradiddle? It is a wordless means to bringing a positive rhythm back into a dull broke silent moment in life. It is timeless and ageless. Anyone can learn to paradiddle. Just the word brings on a smile.

PARADIDDLE!! I challenge you to learn to paradiddle.

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Paradiddle

Welcome back to Creative Tidal Wave! Lots of awesome things have transpired during the break. Cannot wait to blog about my adventures and new developments.

One of the oldest means of music and communication can be traced back to drumming. Recent studies have shown there are great benefits from listening and taking part in drum circles. Drumming effects alpha waves. Drumming is also an excellent group leadership and community uniting activity. The magic of a drum circle to unite bring all the participates in unison is a phenomenon worth experiencing. It is an ageless activity that people of all backgrounds and levels can take part in together to create one flow of positive energy.

This summer I reconnected with my drummer past. In high school, I was a mallet player on the drumline in the marching band. If you have never been around a high school drumline you may not be able to fully comprehend the magic that occurs when the drummers gather. It is a tribal inner connection which is brought about while drumming. It doesn’t matter which percussion instrument you play, it is being a part of the rhythm and beat created as a unit which brings upon the magical trance of the vibrations which radiate through out your body and soul. Yes, I guess one can say it is somewhat of a spiritual experience.

Over the past years I have experienced some trauma. I was aware there was some neurological damage which manifested on the left side of my body. Very slight but still I was aware something wasn’t right. It was very notable when I started back drumming. Over the past 4 months I have experienced a remarkable change. I do owe some of this to my fantastic drum instructor who has amazed me on inventing ways to work around some of my quirks. Working with the drums I have developed confidence, rehabbed my mind by rerouting the messed up wiring, and I have reset my inner rhythms. Now I cannot go very long without the need of chiming in by hand drumming various beats I hear in my every day life. This has been such a calming effect as well as one which has heightened my focus and awareness. The problems with my left hand are returning back to normal as well.

I was pondering what the outcome would be if drumming became a part of the school curriculum. I remembered back to my early childhood days when the arts especially music was a part of my weekly routine. Rhythm sticks, rhythm bands, listening to drum music and learning to tap out the beats, and the field trips to hear orchestras were all a part of my curriculum. In most schools today this doesn’t happen. I dug into more research to find early drumming experiences can have a positive effect on reading and behavior. Hmmm, could the solution to help struggling students be this simple?

Stay tuned to learn the secret of the paradiddle.

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