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Surviving Blonde Moments

Disclaimer on the topic: I can say this because back in the day before grey hair and this weird dark shade that crept in around the age of 40, I was legally blonde. Some folks who knew me might totally agree on multiple levels about my blonde behavior as well. No insult to those who are blonde but we all know the altar meaning I am referring to.

It wasn’t a pretty morning. Actually, outside it was the most beautiful fall morning ever, but inside life was not so much fun. The dog, bless her cute little heart, needed a bio break at 4AM. Somehow between the back door and her “favorite spot,” she lost her collar. I swear I was watching her the entire time, still cannot figure how it disappeared.  Ever put clothes in the wash the night before that you needed in the morning and forget to put them in the dryer? Yep, change of plans on the outfit of the day. My breakfast of champions, morning PB & J (peanut butter and jelly sandwich) was not to be, no bread. I forgot to get it on the list the night before that I lost on the way to the store. Keys? Where are my keys? I was certain I put them… oh, heck. On the way to work I made a stop at Wally World. Walked inside to totally forget why I was there. Took the tour to trigger what it was I needed which took way too long. Got to work. Unloaded my techie stuff to find I left all the power plugs at home. Right now, I am feeling a few of those grey hairs sprouting. My brain totally shut down from about 9PM last night until about 11AM this morning. At 10:50, I decided I had had enough.

How to  survived those ditsy, brain fog days? Well, I should have applied these things at first notice of the blonde invasion but I am only normal and let those days sometimes get the best of me far too long.

Blonde Invasion Defense:

  1. MUSIC!! Turn on your favorite upbeat tunes to get your brain moving out of slow elevator music mode. Today’s menu for me: Pompeii by Bad Blood, Breathe of Life by Florence + the Machine, Dark Horse by Katy Perry, for starters.
  2. Hand Fidgets: Stress balls and flying frogs! Squeezing those squishy stress releasers really helps. Flying frogs, well, those are these rubbery creatures which are for shooting like rubber bands but do not go as far. I wrap them around my finger and sometimes shoot them at various things in the office when no one is looking.
  3. Fiber optics lamp toy. Best $1 find ever! This small lamp has hundreds of tiny fibers with green lights shining out. It is fun to twirl it to see if I can make it look like shapes. With my office fan going it dances about my desk which makes me happy.

These were my choices today but I have quite the list to choose from. Within about 10 minutes my mind was back out of the fog zone. I was busy cranking out meaningful work with fewer mistakes and mishaps due to the black hole of nothingness that had invaded earlier. Sometimes, it is just that simple. Playing with odd things and music helps kick-start the brain. If you bosses out there are reading this, please know employees need access to such things when stressed and out-of-sorts. You will find employees far more productive if they have go-to things to help gather their senses back. Parents, kids need these things while doing homework, too. And for anyone out there having a blonde zone day, put that phone to good use, crank up some tunes! Find a paperclip or anything you can move around in your hands until you can raid the store for hand fidgets. Oh by the way, the birthday party trinket kits are the best. Small plastic Slinkys are wonderful! Check out that section for a huge wonderland of hand fidgets.

Find your focus, get out of the fog, and get your creative productive groove back on!


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Uh, You Really Do Not Understand ADHD

A teacher would not make a deaf student listen to Mozart with out their hearing aids or assign a blind student to read the daily newspaper without accommodations. So why is it that teachers, parents, and school administrators believe ADHD/ADD students should be super organized once diagnosis?  DUH, disorganization is the a HUGE problem for ADHD/ADD students and adults. Yes, you can give them agendas like you do all your students. Yes, you can write assignments on the board for them to copy like everyone else. Yes, you tell them twice like you do the rest of the class but you know what? They are not like the rest of the class.

Invisible disabilities cause more anxiety and depression issues because the visual clues are not there. ADHD/ADD and Dyslexia folks look just like everyone else. People with invisible challenges try harder than all the rest to hide their disabilities because folks just have a hard time believing they have such struggles. It might be easier if all such folks had a star on their right hand.

“Oh, okay. I see you have a star on your hand. Let me write these directions down for you so you can have a copy. I will also give you an outline of the chapter along with the assignments. Sue, who sits next to you, will be your study buddy to make sure you are writing down the facts you need. If you feel I rushed through a topic, please let me know so I can schedule a study review time for you.” That is what would happen if teachers saw a visual of ADHD/ADD or Dyslexia. But reality is, this will not happen in most schools or situations. If students heard this, the anxiety would reduce and I am willing to bet so would the teacher’s come time for assignments due and testing.

ADHD/ADD has the following characteristics:

  • Highly distracted
  • Disorganized
  • Excessive body movement
  • Talkative
  • Social interaction issues
  • Impulsive
  • Difficulty in settling down to focus

There are many classroom modifications which can reduce these often disruptive behaviors. First, everyone needs to understand these are not all horrible traits. Some of these traits can be gifts. Highly distracted people notice details others often miss. I do believe I would want a crime investigator with such skills. Disorganized students often make discoveries in the chaos OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) people do not. Many artist are inspired by what I call organized chaos. As a saying I love goes, a clean desk is often an unproductive desk. Allow students to find an app on their smart phone to remind them of assignments, track timelines and alert for events. Assistive technology works so much better for these students. Excessive movement can be reduced by using hand fidgets and sensory integration techniques. The brain needs outward movement to keep it focused. Yoga balls are great for such. Lots of research has been done of the use of yoga balls in school settings instead of chairs. By the way, yoga balls as seating help improve hand writing. Go research that. Talkative students can actually relay understanding and help other students who struggle. Be creative, put that kid’s motor mouth to good use. Social awkward students need social skill classes. With all the excessive technology and lack of face-to-face interaction, all students might need social skills training. It was actually a part of the kindergarten curriculum years ago. Also, recess was a huge classroom experience on social skill but that is not pretty much gone. Fight to get recess back in school. Impulsive behaviors can benefit from sensory integration and by making a student aware of the behavior in positive ways. It isn’t happening to bug you, it is part of the disability or challenge. You would not punish a blind child who accidentally grabs you trying to find his way around the classroom. You should not enforce excessive punishments for impulsive behavior of an ADHD child either.  Focusing is another difficult task for ADHD folks. Preferred classroom seating can make a difference. Use of aromas therapy or essential oils can help. Sensory integration tools such as hand fidgets can redirect the mind. Also soft lighting and low playing calming music.

Seek creative solutions or a person such as a life coach who specializes in working with people with ADHD. Not all school personnel understanding the options or know how to implement them. It all looks good on the IEP but is it being done effectively in the classroom? Some solutions might sound weird but the ADHD/ADD and dyslexic brain functions weird. Do not balk it until you have tried it. Have a sensory diet plan, have many options to chose from because not everything works all the time.

Please check out ADHD/ADD blogs on Creative Tidal Wave about Shark Like Focus and other neat tips for helping reduce the frustrations.


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Let’s PLAY!!

Promoting Lively Adventure for Yourself!! Isn’t that what kids do? Play is active. It is adventuresome in nature because the results are often a surprise and challenging. Negative life experiences have often caused us as adults to lose the wild abandonment of wonder and curiosity to escape us. Best of all, play is all about you!

Okay, I am hearing some humbugs out there. No, you are never too old to play. No, it doesn’t require fancy toys or a playground. No, you won’t break bones or have an ER visit if you remember safety rules. No… well, yeah, you might look silly, so what? Is being silly bad? Is laughing until your sides ache harmful? Oh, there are health benefits for play such as cardio and core strengthening, if you laugh long and hard enough.

Why play? let me count the ways…

  • It reduces stress. As adults, excessive stress is deadly. Why not find a fun way to kill stress not you?
  • Brain stimulation is the result of play. Ever get stuck on a problem at work? Try playing to kick-start it up again. Nothing wrong with pulling out the old yo-yo or the hidden stash of Lego’s for a few minutes of fun.
  • Boosting creativity leads to success in business and life. If you keep doing the same thing you will get the same results. Get your play on and discover new ways to tackle old boring habits. Scoring baskets with all the old memos in the corner trash can could lead to a serious break though you have struggled with. Oh, it s important not to hit the boss in the head while doing so. That could be counter productive if he doesn’t have a sense of humor.
  • Improves relationships. Group play can bring a team together on work projects. Playing with friends or family can open blocked communication pathways.  This will date me a bit but taking all the video cases from various classrooms and the.. library (no, you really did not read that) creating a domino trail takes team work. Watching the fruits of our labor travel round the classroom and down the hallway was inspiring as well as bonding. Just like when I was a kid, we had to have a lookout. During my early days of teaching, school administrators were not so versed in the act of play among teaching staff as a good thing.
  • Promotes youthful feelings and energy. It is true, one is only as old as they feel. Well, at 51 years old, I have days I am feeling 100+. The old wives tale about joints aching on rainy days is no longer a wives tale but a fact for me. On those cold rainy days it is helpful to explore the crayons and color pages to escape reality. I revisited playing jacks the other day. I really suck at it but was once quite good. After a few moments chasing the ball and grabbing air, I managed to get my grab and go reflex back into the swing. I forgot the aches and pains because I was laughing so much.
  • Heals emotional wounds. As adults, we carry lots of emotional baggage with us. Playing helps unpack those emotions with laughter and fun in some cases. Jumping in rain puddles is one of my healing childlike past times. Got those yellow rain shoes splashing in some of the biggest puddles I can find. Do I get messy and wet?  Yes, I do. Sometimes messy and wet is fun. I loved it as a child, why can’t I love it as an adult? I can jump in bigger and deeper puddles now that I am taller.

Time to get my play on! Where are those bubbles? Yes, I think it is a bubble blowing kind of day today.

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Singing the Blues

I got up this morning.

Couldn’t jump out of bed.

Felt like a ten ton weight, upon my head.                              old phone 076

The doggies all happy.

And, I’m feeling crappy.

I just need one more,

weekend at the shore.

How to fight the Monday morning blues? Do something creative. This morning, I celebrated the blues. Listened to my beloved “I’m Blue,” by Eiffel 65. Spent a few minutes playing tug-of-war with the waggle tailed mafia. Then made me some, horchata, my new favorite drink. While grabbing the morning nutrition, I messaged my power crew buddies and sent out client positives. To up the fun level because it was not where I needed it to be, I listened to the all time wonderful and motivating, Blue Man Group. By the third song I was ready to tackle my day.

Sometimes you must reprogram the brain to find your happy place. I did fail to mention it was pouring rain and overcast outside. I had a Santa Claus list of things to do while my text message kept pinging sending me more to add by the minute. It could have been a disastrous day but I kept adding powerful mood lifters in a rapid fire until I got my brain in the right mindset. Oh, and I wrote a silly little poem to boot. I know what works for me. Staying in tune to how my body reacts to stimulus helps me add music, power friends, visuals, and sometimes physical activities to my sensory diet of motivators.

This is an activity a life coach can help you create. It isn’t a difficult task but it takes some exploring to find those things which are constant pep-ups. Everyone’s list is different. If you want to try the Creative Tidal Wave method to developing your sensory diet for success, please contact me. I would be glad to help you create yours as well as develop a back up emergency kit as well.

Now, it’s back to dancing my Monday away to Nickelback.



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PTSD : Parent /Teacher/Student Disorder, let the school bells ring terror

Ok, so I know that PTSD  official stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Actually. many students, including myself before I even knew what PTSD was might say that the first day of school brought on many symptoms of PTSD. Some of those might include: flashbacks from trauma of being bullied in the hallways, test  and performance phobias, the day you fell in the lunch room sending your food everywhere and all laughing at you, on the bus, the mind goes wild anticipating what could happen this year. Or, during home room when asked a simple question, the fear overcomes you, you become speechless frozen in that deer-in-headlights position or worse, triggers an anxiety attack.  Yes, I do believe some students, especially those with labels do develop PTSD.

Working with challenged students over the years, and being one myself, I realized there was another PTSD issue: The Parent Teacher Student Disorder.  When parents place too much pressure on their child along with teachers who do not believe in ADHD, LD, or other invisible challenges, and other students who constantly joke about the stupid things we, unique sorts, do, creates its own disorder of such. It is hard being a “double coded” kid. You are intelligent yet you do some of the stupidest things which brings negative attention. Folks forget about those brilliant moments but remind you daily of your oops ones. Teachers say you are lazy when it is really a mass of action in your brain going through the files looking for the connections and facts you know are there but have gotten shuffled in the vast files. And, the dreaded test time when everyone has finished but you. The whole class is glaring at you because you are holding them up from the fun.

The Parent Teacher Student Disorder creates a false reality which over time creates a learned helplessness in some and a rebellion in others. The message is “I am not good enough.” Some figuratively  crawl under a rock or become wallflowers. Others feel they must fight the system earning worst labels to add to their collection. Too much negative causes mass destruction to the ego and soul of a child who cannot help but be a bit different. Not the child’s fault processing works on DSL speed and everyone else is on  Wi-Fi.  And, we all know too well that sometimes brilliant dyslexic have autocorrect issues in regard to word choice, spelling, and pronunciation. I refer to it as the “Archie Bunker Disorder” because the words just come out are not what you intended though close but enough to cause massive hysterics and embarrassing moments. I think autocorrect oops are to give others a moment in my life at times. Though I think Siri and the other text gremlins are far worse than some of my moments.

Solutions to the Parent Teacher Student Disorder issues:

  1. Empower your child. Build confidence in him/her by remembering and reminding him/her of the brilliant moments more so than the negative ones. Discuss positive traits. Doing their best is good enough. Never stop trying.
  2. Enroll your child in a great theater program. This might take some investigating because some programs can have witchy directors. Theater can teach your child how to rebound via Improv. Your child will develop confidence via  role play. Theater can help build reading, speaking, and social skills.
  3. Make teachers aware of your child’s unique abilities, not so much his/her disabilities. Dyslexics are blessed with gifts to be discovered. Help your child’s teacher to develop an understanding of the unique qualities. Give the teacher a list of gifted challenged famous individuals. Google it, the list is ever growing. He or she maybe teaching the next Tom Cruise or  Walt Disney, both gifted and challenged
  4. For those who do not have “double coded ” kids, teach your children and those around you not to bully. Just because someone is different doesn’t mean they are stupid or less of a person.
  5. Encouragement, a listening ear, a pat on the shoulder, and a hug can mean more than you know. Be mindful, present in the moment, and find the positive amongst the negative. Help be that person who makes someone’s day not tear it down.

Share your oops moments from school or even at work. Let your kids know we all have such moments. Teaching to recover and move on. As a parent, intervene at school if you suspect teacher or student bullying.  Yes, even administrators and other staff bully students as well so be alert to negative folks in your child’s life. Help your child learn who is a good  friend and those who are not. Let’s turn PTSD into Positive Time Spent Discovering instead of a negative disorder.

Let the bells ring and bring on smiles instead of terror.

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Money Maddness

ACT Summer 2012 216       Being the wacky mom and aunt that I am, I took on the challenge over the years to give both art and the most beloved gift of all, money, to my kids and nieces and nephews. This is what happens when a creative wants to make a statement. Just a few of the money masterpieces I have creative. No, none survived very long. So, my challenge to you is to push the limits, shock a few folks with an outlandish creation, and have fun while making it. Memories last forever even if the masterpiece doesn’t.

trail and football 030 trail and football 096 farm 066

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To INFINITY and beyond!!

Got to love Buzz Lightyear. But this time I am not talking Toy Story, I am talking focus. I know your mind races on an infinite journey to nowhere yet everywhere. Tapping back into my Shark Like Focus work again to give solutions for those moments when you cannot find your focus. Here is a simple solution to help you get your thoughts collected from the vast chaos flowing in your mind. It can be done in a variety of ways. You can even get creative after a while developing your own personal methods, the possibilities are endless or should I say… infinite. So, what is this magic which can help you focus?

Infinity sign      Yes, it is just that simple lazy 8 looking symbol. Ok, so I see puzzled faces. Drawing the infinity sign or a lazy 8 helps trigger balance in the brain by engaging both the left and right brain. There actually is a lot of information and scientific stuff on this but you can “Google that” if you want to know the in-depth details. You can air draw this sign. You can be extra creative and get your whole body in motion to do figure 8s. The best is when you are in a boring meeting and need a focus brain boost. You can use your fingers to draw it on the table top or you can get your pen and paper out and doodle them everywhere. Retracing the sign over and over has a meditative like effect on the brain. It is rather magic.

There is a certain path you need to follow to enhance the power of the 8. in the diagram below you see an X, that is the starting point. Move your pen, finger or whatever you choice to use, up towards the left to complete the first loop. Follow the arrow pattern to complete your first ….TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!!!

infinity how to



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Sunny In Seattle and Definitely Not Sleepless

WOW, just WOW! My first visit to Seattle was one of the most amazing ever. First off, it is hilly, looking a bit like San Francisco. I’ve never been there but movies gave me a good idea about street cars and monster hills. And stairs, and more stairs, and more stairs and some I was certain were leading me to a heaven visit after 48 hours of stairs. OH, there is this awesome place called Pike’s Place Market. Was it named after Pike’s Peak? I was thinking after all the stairs on all the levels I had reached Pike’s Peak but discovered even more stairs and more market venders. I truly believe there is no peak to Pike Place Market. What a wondrous goldmine of a place!  There is nothing you cannot find in the market except the mammoth cashew nuts I heard legend of. I must have come at the wrong season. But there are miles of fruits, veggies, fish, places to eat, superhero everything one can imagine a super hero to be on, and stuff, lots and lots of stuff. In speaking of the market, there is one across from Pike’s, the Sanitary Public Market. Not sure I want to know the reason for the naming of that market.

I am a huge fan of The Fish! Philosophy and guess who I found in the market place? The home of this incredible book and way of doing business and life style. YES, huge fish fly across the place as well as smaller ones. It was an amazing site to see folks practicing what they preach. A bonus was that the workers take the time to talk with you all the while they are throwing fish orders and shouting out fun stuff. I felt I was apart of their business sans tossing grouper. I had all but forgotten this was their home place. I am a firm believer and practitioner of The Fish! A SHOUT OUT TO THE PIKE PLACE FISH MARKET guys!! A special hoorah to the guy from Kentucky!

Another great place was the Biscuit Bitch. Yes, I spelled it right. Those folks serve up the best biscuits ever. Don’t avoid it because of the name. Brave it and walk in to a true biscuit wonderland of YUM!! Not the traditional southern type I’m use to but, OMG!! delicious. It is a must go to!

My roots run southern to the core of the earth. Good old southern hospitality runs in the family. My Granny, her sisters and cousins were and are the essences of the old south southern belles. Sugar flowed from their mouths and actions towards others; so not talking about the, “Bless your heart,” negative sort. These ladies were the sweetest of sweet, like their tea. I must admit to y’all that the south has been replaced as the most hospitable place in the USA by Seattle, Washington. Those folks, no matter where we were or situation, those folks are friendly to the core. I hate my home state of Georgia has lost its southern charm. I do whole heartedly believe Seattle has sucked it all up and is truly living it. People were honestly just nice folk.

Ok, now for something else I wasn’t sure about and would not have believed it if I hadn’t experienced it. It was sunny while we were there. Twilight followers, it was certainly a time the Cullens would be nowhere to be found sort of sunny. I understand that was a rare time we experienced as well as the heat wave of high 80s to 90 temps. Was not too bad on us southern folk who were in heaven with the temperature range without the humidity. We even survived without out air conditioning during our stay, though the fan was a nice welcome. Back to my unbelievable part, the sun doesn’t set in Seattle. I was up at 11:45pm and it was just twilight. Yeah, even our long summer nights in the south are not that long. But guess what? I swear the sun was back up at 4am!! (Or there close in time.) I was shocked. Yes, blackout curtains are nice. I could see why people are sleepless in Seattle, there is very little official night-time in the summer.

Flying into Seattle I was gazing out the window to look at the clouds when I spied this unusual site of a mountain rising above the clouds. No, I didn’t drink those mini bottles of fun on the plane but I did a double-check on my cola. My first thought was it was Mount Olympus and Zeus would appear shortly walking among the clouds. My gosh, Mount Saint Helen is larger than huge. I was in awe of this mythical volcano sighting I had only seen in National Geographic. The pictures do not doMidnight in Seatlle this place justice in the massive formation which rises above the clouds. Someday I hope to venture to the foot of this marvel. It was in view everywhere in Seattle. I felt like it was watching over me. Glad it was pleased with my presence in Washington. I would hate to witness it grumble or blow.

Touring the city I felt I was viewing a place designed around IKEA. The buildings, interiors, and even street décor was an IKEA explosion of style. I think the locals were IKEA models if there are such. I now am thinking my southern abode needs a more modern touch.

I could write a novel on Seattle. It was a creative’s paradise of visual delights, unique street musicians, aromas from a market of more variety of eats and treats than imaginable, and wonderful textures. All I can say is if someone needs a creative restorative coach in Seattle, Washington, please give me a call. I think I found my soul’s home.

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From Brain Matter to Conscious Thought

While watching the movie, Words and Pictures, a quote hit me profoundly, “Could it ever be explained, how matter becomes conscious?” by Ian McEwan’s book, Saturday. As gross as this sounds, we can touch and hold a brain. We cannot touch or hold a thought. How do thoughts happen? How do all those electrical impulses in a wet dark environment happen? Because we all know wet and electricity do not mix but some how it does up in our noggin.

After much research and noggin knocking, I have decided there are miracles I will accept as is. But, what I will continue to do is make every effort to help those who get stuck in the translation from physical matter to conscious thought. Ok, so that was a stretch there or maybe not. I am not a brain scientist nor am I some sort of therapist. What I am is a curious creative who enjoys nothing more than helping others get past brain blocks and looping situations. FYI (for your information), working as an special education teacher and as a mom, I have had to deal with such occurrences on a daily basis not only for myself but for the masses. Another reason I developed Creative Tidal Wave, to help unclog the flow and find the magic within all brains.

Did you know you can trigger thoughts and side step other not so pleasant thoughts by simply smelling something? It is true. Citrus smells stimulate alertness as well as minty ones. The smells of apple pie and spices bring about a calming sensation. Yes, aromas mess with the brain a good bit by triggering memories, sensations from past experiences and exciting or calming those weird electrical impulses which go from matter to consciousness. Color can effect us the same way. Music also impacts thought patterns and reasoning. Add a touch of movement in the blend and you can trip out on your own mind games. How it works and triggers is a complicated nightmare of scientific jargon but what I know is it works. Whatever it takes to turn a frown into a smile then that’s what CTW will do for someone via these quirky brain triggers.

Another side note about the movie, Words and Pictures, the war between the English teacher and the Art teacher to prove which has more impact, words or pictures which included the students is well worth the watching. If you are a literary sort or an artist, you will appreciate the battle.

The brain is an amazing thing. Look around your home and office. Everything surrounding you came out of that big hunk of grey mess inside someone’s head via thought. Kind of an amazing thing to ponder isn’t it? And, no one really knows how it happens.

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Hi Ya’ll!!

DonnaDuffATC Love Chinese food. My favorite part is the Fortune Cookie. I keep the fortunes as reminders. Some make their way into my art. This is an Artist Trade Card. It is the size of a baseball card. Quick little art pieces I trade with others. Most of the time I hate trading them because I am amazed how awesome they turn out. This little fortune was ironic. I live in the Great Green South. We in Georgia are known for a slow laid back ways and accents. Each area of Georgia has their own flare to the southern ways and sound. But overall, we have this need to gather and laugh at each other. Nothing like on a hot summer’s day to kick back on the porch with a tall glass of sweet tea, some friends, maybe a few guitars or corn hole to pass the time. We are expert story tellers. Nothing like a gathering after a fishing trip. The small bass on the hook will become a life threating experience to reel in the whale out of the local creek. And, heaven forbid you get the privilege to hang out at a family reunion. The stories will flow ! Storytelling is an important part of life. We pass along important information in the form of stories. Life experiences, helpful hints, family histories, and much more find their way into the story telling format. There is nothing better than a great storyteller. I bet you know a few you enjoy listening to when they are around. A great storyteller’s stories will live on in your mind for eternity. What are some of your favorite stories? What stories do you enjoy telling? If you have children, it is important to share stories with them as well as encourage them to create their own. Well, maybe not ones to get out of trouble but some of those are rather comical to parents. There is a difference between lying and storytelling. The art of storytelling is slowly disappearing. Revive it. Bring storytelling back into your daily life. There is a storytelling business model which creates great results. Boring meetings can become lively using this strategy. Believe it or not, the Harry Potter books started as bedtime stories the author told her kids. Big things can happen if you have a great story to tell. Explore the many options and uses of storytelling in your personal life and business environment. “Let me tell you about the time….”

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