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Big Changes

YES! Creative Tidal Wave lives and is taking some might big turns and swirls. I have been raising the bar in life coaching the past few months. Creative Tidal Wave is all about you, bringing creative and life altering techniques from a wide variety of successful sources. As we all know, one size does not fit all. Lots of great new innovative resources from global sources.

I am very excited about adding Points of You to my business. It is unexpected but precise… don’t you just love that? I bring to the table games that will challenge the way you think about everything, including yourself. You know it is good if GOOGLE, INTEL, Cirque, IKEA, and L’Oreal are using it in their business. Some innovative companies are using it as an interview tool as well. Yes, a game can be a tool to explore team building, problem solving, leadership skills… the possibilities are endless. So what kind of game can be used in businesses, life coaching, counseling, schools, and at home? It is a game based up photo therapy with intriguing words, questions, quotes, and stories. You will laugh, ponder, explore, and learn more about yourself and others playing with you. More on the Coaching Game and Punctum in another blog moment.

Due to seeing common trends in clients and disturbing events happening in the US almost weekly, I decided to branch out to provide for veterans, first responders, and government workers who have PTSD and other trauma related challenges. The Green Cross and the Mental Health groups have created Mental Health First Aid. This provides responders to come in and help during crisis, work with people you may know and  suspect have a suicidal risks, and other mental health issues. A First Responder for Mental Health First Aid can refer clients and families to supports and other community groups to help. By September I will be a certified Trauma Professional.

Now for some really great events. I will present a workshop for the 25th  Georgia Mental Health Consumers Conference in St. Simons Island, GA on using photo therapy with clients to encourage communication. Earlier in August, I will present a creative workshop at the Burson Center in Carrollton, GA on stress management. Lots of great things to come as well.

Creative Tidal Wave is a positive forward moving life coaching service. Whatever it takes, it will happen to move you from the deepest oubliette to the dream castle in the sky. Do not let stinking thinking and trauma stop you from living the life you desire. Catch the wave, and ride it to new heights and wonders you dream of. CTW makes life flow.facebook_May_2015f

 

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What are YOU waiting on?

I am a known Nickelback fan. The song, What Are You Waiting For? spoke to me. A good friend sent it to me during a trying time in my life. I find I refer this song to many of my clients and friends. Here are the powerful lyrics:

What are you waiting for?
What are you Waiting for?

Are you waiting on a lightning strike?
Are you waiting for the perfect night?
Are you waiting ’til the time is right?
What are you waiting for?
Don’t you wanna learn to deal with fear?
Don’t you wanna take the wheel and steer?
Don’t you wait another minute here.
What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

You gotta go and reach for the top
Believe in every dream that you got
You’re only living once so tell me
What are you, what are you waiting for?
You know you gotta give it your all
And don’t you be afraid if you fall
You’re only living once so tell me
What are you, what are you waiting for?

Are you waiting for the right excuse?
Are you waiting for a sign to choose?
While you’re waiting it’s the time you lose.
What are you waiting for?
Don’t you really wanna live your life?
Don’t you wanna love before you die?
What are you waiting for?

….

Everybody’s gonna make mistakes
But everybody’s got a chance to make
Everybody needs a leap of faith
When are you taking yours?

What are you waiting for?

For the complete lyrics, please check various favorite sites and download a copy of this inspiring song. I listen to each morning to inspire me to not drag my feet to get stuff done.  I am in the business of creating and living dreams. Once I found myself in a very dark place unable to believe dreams could come true. Life likes to toss you in dungeons or oubliettesfacebook_july-7 with the false notion we can never find our way out. We find ourselves waiting with thousands of excuses. But why? False realities and excuses leave us in a dark place. Life can change if you ask yourself, what am I waiting on? What am I waiting for? The answer… you are waiting on you to decide to move forward on the path to your dreams. Make them happen, only YOU can. 

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Rethinking Change and Compassion

The world is changing. We are changing. Recent events have caused a stir in our thinking and judgement patterns. It has stirred fear, anger, and restlessness in many. Adult emotions and reactions do influence children. Be mindful of your words around growing minds. Hate is learned. Judgement is influenced by parental reactions.

For a moment, let us think about the refugee children and what might be going through their minds. Life was pleasant. Homes, be they small or large, were safe havens. Life had order and routine at all social and economic levels, pretty much. Then, the terror starts. Gun fire, bombs, death, destruction, and loss of everything which symbolized safety, trust, and security in human lives is gone. In a child’s mind these are game changers, nightmares becoming reality which will forever haunt their daily lives and dreams. Mass hysteria sets in. No one is safe. No place to call home just chaos. Parents and family members are stressed because there are no answers. Life is centered around running for their lives in places they have never been to before. The sounds, sights, and smells of destruction fill their minds, they cannot be avoided. The memories are stored for a life time never erased.

Now, they hear their parents say no one wants them. No one wants to take on the burden to save them or help. There is nowhere to go. No place is safe, not even the woods or random buildings they hide in. Hate and resentment sets in the emotions of their care givers. Anger manifests. Children become second level victims of the rage and fear manifesting in those trying to care for them. No food, water, or shelter, the basic needs which we all seek are not available. Can you see how these terrors will affect the young adult mind as this child grows up?

I wonder if those causing the terror were child victims of war. Where does the hate start? Why would someone feel the need to harm others? Were their parents victims and pass down the hate via bias and judgement? We need to look at what happens to a young mind to cause such acts as adults.

What can we do? How can we help? I do not have the answers. What I ask is that we rethink what is happening and our reactions. How can we empower a nation to fight back instead of fleeing? How can we influence the next generation so they do not hate or lash out with weapons of mass destruction? How do we create change in our own homes so if this happens in our towns and cities? How can we prepare our children to be positive empowered survivors instead of angry hate revengeful adults?

First, let’s develop an understanding of different cultures and beliefs. Let’s learn about them not run from them. In schools in the US now, parents are refusing to allow their children to be exposed to the teaching of world religions. Please know, children do not decide to run to a religion based upon the 10 minute lecture in a middle school class. The attitude of exclusion brings on curiosity more so than the brief exposure. Secondly, let me refer to quotes from one of my favorite books, The Art of War.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“Foreknowledge cannot be gotten from ghosts and spirits, cannot be had by analogy, cannot be found out by calculation. It must be obtained from people, people who know the conditions of the enemy.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Educate yourself. Understand the nature of those you do not understand. Create a space of knowledge before you judge and attack. This not only true in war but in our daily lives. Our workplace, our homes, and in all relationships, know the other party before engaging in battle or, engaging in alliance. Create a hunger of knowledge in your children at a young age so they will be victors instead of victims.

A third thing, create an atmosphere of mindfulness and compassion. This does not mean to be weak but to listen and understand as not to create mass unnecessary chaos. Teach your children  self reliance. Create a means of self-regulation and comforting in various environments and situations.  Help your children as well as yourself to find positive in the least likely of places. We are never guaranteed a stable tomorrow. Life throws curve balls and monkey wrenches when we least expect it. Build a working tool box of life skills and supports when times turn into the unspeakable.

We create the future within ourselves and those around us. Let’s be game changers for our children so their future may become a more positive environment. No, we can never rid the world of all hatred and violence but we can reduce it. We can also prepare our children and ourselves emotionally, mentally, and physically to be survivors not victims. It all lies in our actions and reaction. Children are influenced by those around them. Let’s be the positive change for the future of our children, and their world. It just takes a spark, make it positive to set the fire a blaze in their hearts to spread to others.

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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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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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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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Fill the page… will you pass this challenge?

“Fill the page.” Those were the only words spoken by the professor in the first assignment in my first master’s class. In front of me was one of those manila drawing sheets of paper I remember so well from my elementary school years. Surrounding the paper were an assortment of creative goodies I was told I would need for the class. Of course being at artsy sort I went a wee bit over board. I had colored pencils, crayons, glue sticks and a bottle of glue, PostIt notes in assorted colors and patterns, a regular pencil. markers, and  my beloved gummed eraser. Oh. MY. GOSH. So many decisions and no clue what he wants!

If you asked a child back in 1968 to fill a manila sheet of paper, the child would not hesitate. In fact, the child might jump right to coloring and drawing before ever being told what to do. Creativity and excitement of the manila piece of paper and coloring tools was an invitation to indulge in a fantasy moment of wonder. Asking a child in 2015 to do the same assignment anxiety and an endless string of questions will flow. What happened over time?

It is a sad fact that individualism and creativity has been stifled. As adults we have become a society of pleasers, followers, and suck ups. Our ability to creative and dream without judgment or guidance is a thing of the past. And we wonder, why are so many people frustrated and cannot seem to make decisions.

Manila paper is a thing of the past. Very few adults and fewer children than in the past, have drawing tools such as crayons and markers. But you can draw  with anything, even a stick in the dirt if you must. I challenge you to “fill the page.” Discover what is hiding in that creative mind of yours that so wants to come out and play upon the paper. This is a wonderful exercise if you are at a roadblock in your job or life. It might help if you turn on some music to encourage your creativeness to flow upon the paper. You will never know until you try. Stop by the store and grab some crayons or markers. As an adult, there are no rules. You can even buy those scented ones if you want.

I would love to see your “fill the page” challenge results.

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Word Party

Was always a huge fan of word walls as a student. Despite what some might think there are times, mostly in school, I was at a loss for words. Word walls helped me to collect my thoughts to focus on the topic. I still use word walls. Now they say more about my feelings and direction I wish to focus on as I move forward. I metal mess cube sits upon my desk. It is filled with an assortment of magnetic words. I collect them. When I get stuck or hit a road block in thinking I start moving my words around the cube. One side might be negatives while another reflects my current state of mind yet another side filled with aspiring dreams and emotions I want to experience. There are endless possibilities of sorting through the words. It also frees my mind of actually stating the words I feel. Sometimes it is hard to say the words. It is so much easier to pick and chose them to create a visual which reflects that which I cannot admit or say out loud. There is power in the words, even unspoken onesword wall.

What would your word wall say about your thoughts?

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Getting the Purple Paperclip

So what’s up with purple paperclips? How often do you see them? To be honest, it is bigger than just purple paperclips though there is something very special about those.

What is a paperclip? By definition it is a bent metal object which holds things, particularly papers together. I focus on the, “holds things together” part.  During legal meetings it is easy to “fall apart” emotionally. One might lose their edge needed to make a point or reflect upon the subject being discussed. The likelihood of seeing paperclips in legal meetings is high. Staples are not often used because they mess up the corners of the papers, and it is much easier to pass papers around when not stapled. Paperclips are just so much better for legal and high-end meetings for paperwork. I use the visualization of paperclips to symbolically to remind my clients to breath, they are not alone, and that they are happy reminders to maintaining balance. When a paperclip appears it is a positive mental reminder of things we have discussed.  There are many other uses of paperclips in my practice, this is just one.

Now for the purple paperclip, it has a meaning. When you see a purple paperclip it means wealth and prosperity are heading your way. I know, it is an old fortune teller’s thing but just seeing one reminds me to keep focused. To not let frustrations and challenges get me down, forward thinking and a positive attitude bring wealth and prosperity. Creative Tidal Wave uses the purple paperclip as a symbol of how the principles and alternates presented can bring a positive impact to businesses. Positive bosses create positive employees which present positive atmospheres to clients creating a productive and prosperous business environment. This moves the business from a negative to a positive in many ways.

What objects remind you of positive thoughts when they mysteriously appear?

Find the purple paperclip

Find the purple paperclip

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Castles Built in the Sky

Do you have big dreams folks have told you were unattainable? Does dreaming the impossible seem impossible? Are your dreams so lofty you need to hop a ride on Pegasus to get there?

Think my original castle was being constructed somewhere near the planet…star…whatever it is now, Pluto. It was such an unheard of dream. It was a concept so foreign yet very needed but no one was quite sure how to interrupt it. I bet creator, Gene Roddenberry,  of Star Trek  series had the same experience in 1966. Can you imagine the idea of flip phone communicators, voice activated computers, and the GPS being introduced in the 60’s? Totally rad science fiction but the reality is, in 2015, some of those way out scifi devices are now old news. Gene Roddenberry’s wild imagination of high-tech gadgets and gizmos are common everyday things we use now. I doubt he thought toddlers would have handheld iPad like devices found on the Enterprise. Dream he did! Maybe his imagination sparked some young watcher to bring those neat devices to us today.

There will always be dream snipers. Their  words and negative reactions can be like an atom bomb exploding a dream into zillions of micro particles becoming space dust. But like in Star Trek and Star Wars, you can create defense shields. There is a learning curve and timing involved. The number one dense is to surround yourself with positive folks who believe in you. During a massive negative lasts you can seek affirmation and encouragement. Yes, use that communicator device to relay your need with a faster than light response! Use symbolic objects to remind you of your dream. My two are lighthouses and starfish.  I also read, The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley almost daily to remind me why my dream is so important.

Remember, your dreams are yours, no one else should take those from you.  My castle dream on Pluto is now in Carrollton, Georgia. Few believed it would ever find roots on the planet Earth. Many moons ago I told a friend of mine that by the age of 50 I wanted to see my dream come true. It is a week from my 51st birthday so I am still within the 5-0 timeline. Thank you, positive believer friends, Loren Eiseley, lighthouse, and starfish for being my deflector shield all these years.

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