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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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Do You Hear What I Hear?

“Don’t be so sensitive.”

“Well, life isn’t fair, get over it.”

“You should feel lucky…”broken-Christmas-tree-ornament1

“Let’s stick to the facts.”

“You’ve got it all wrong.”

“I never said that.”

“You can’t do anything right.”

“Can’t take a joke, can you.”

“You owe me.”

“What did I ever see in you?”

“You will never amount to anything.”

“You just want all the attention.”

 

Fatso, lazy, good for nothing, stupid, idiot, worthless, loser, dummy, ugly….

Do you hear what I hear? Are these phrases and words heard everyday in your life? Is someone who is supposed to love you use these words daily?

We might have used one of these phrases a time or two in our lives when we were angry or upset. It happens. Abusers and narcissists use them daily and repeatedly against those they abuse and try to control. These phrases and words over time become like strikes against the mind and heart of the one being abused. These words are absorbed, cataloged and filed into the memory of the abused to be replayed over and over. The abuser tries to demean, insult, criticize, break down, pick apart, by use words instead of physical means to destroy any means of self-worth and self-esteem their victim has. The abused then also becomes their own worst nightmare with the replaying of these insults anytime they attempt to do something. Abusers want to make sure the abused does not stand up for him or herself. The abuser wants the abused to believe he or she is the true problem. The abuser wants to control as well as be worshiped.

The abuser wants the abused to beg for their love. They want the abused to be so controlled the abused thinks of nothing but the abuser, as in how to please, how to honor and cherish to prevent from hearing such hurtful words. The abuser wants to control all thoughts so the abused will only trust the abuser.  The abuser may show love and compassion from time to time, they will make it conditional in such a way the abused feel he or she must earn the love.

Emotional abusers do not leave bruises, they leave deep scars. A victim may only reach out for help once. Please listen and respond.

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy, “do you hear what I hear, ringing through the sky, shepherd boy, do you hear what I hear?”

December is Emotional Abuse Awareness Month for Creative Tidal Wave. Please catch the wave next week for more information.

 

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The Positive Impact of The Theater

The arts are healing. They carry the power to influence within a safe environment without taking on a permanent change.

Theater allows words and action of situations to come to life for a brief moment. We get to glimpse into another world from the safe distance of our seats. We are not required to engage at the moment, just listen and watch. We are voyagers privy to a peak into lives and worlds beyond our own. We leave pondering what we have witnessed. Some words and action might impact our lives while others are lost in the mental files of our minds.

What does a theater program offer besides the pleasure of attending? Community and school theater programs offer the opportunity to explore emotions, places and lives not our own. Improv companies allow people to step outside their limited thinking to explore responses to touchy subjects and emotions via comedy. Theater offers opportunities to role play situations before they actually happen in our lives to develop a better understand of our own responses. In some ways, role playing can be an agent for change. We can “walk a mile in someone’s shoes” via the theater. We can step outside of our being to experience a life of pain and sorrow, joy and ridiculous antics, within a safety zone without worry we might be labeled.

A shy child can develop social skills from exposure to the theater. The theater enhances reading skills in dyslexic people. Proof of this? Look how many actors and actresses are coming out about their dyslexia. If you have a change, check out Henry Winkler’s life story dealing with his GIFT of dyslexia. Being involved in plays can help an angry child learn control by being involved in theater games to prep the mind. Theater which includes dancing and singing helps children and adults to develop coordination and lung development in asthmatics. Singing, dancing, and acting, known as the triple threat hosts so many benefits. Theater, beyond the stage has unlimited possibilities for positive outcomes  for business, life and relationships.

You do not have to be an actor to enjoy being involved in the theater. Creatives are what make the performers look good, especially if not the best on stage. Costume designers, set creators, lighting specialist, musicians, make-up artist, dance instructors, voice coaches, graphic designers, technical support, and stage managers can make or break a production. There is a place for everyone in the theater arts. You can learn the trades and ways while actively working on a performance.

Quiet artist come alive while exposed to the actors and others behind the scenes. Lots of laughs and tears to be shed. Lessons learned dealing with deadlines and those sorts called directors, are life long skills we all need. The plus in the theater it is short lived and you can move on all the wiser. I cannot begin to list all the benefits of being involved in the theater arts as a game changer in life.

Support the theater arts in your community and schools. Become involved with local productions. Go see professional productions to gain insight into other worlds an cultures as well as explore emotionally difficult situations from a safe distance. Just go and be involved any way 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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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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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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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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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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