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Do You See What I See?

December is Emotional Abuse Awareness Month for Creative Tidal Wave. I feel many are not well-educated in identifying and finding help. The song, “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” spoke to me as a good theme for the series. In the first part of the lyrics, “Said the night wind to the little lamb, do you see what I see?,” triggered within me, do we really see the outward signs of emotional abuse?

Physical abuse and neglect often have very visual signs which make them easier to report and recognize. Emotional abuse is not so easy to see the signs and symptoms plus victims learn to hide them. According to some studies, emotional abuse is more harmful than physical abuse. Physical abuse is not a daily event like emotional abuse. Belittling, bullying, shaming, intimidation, threatening, as well as constant criticism can cause outward behavior changes in those suffering from emotional abuse, both now or in their past.

Behavioral signs which send up red flags that someone has been abused:

Depression

Anxiety

Post Traumatic Disorder

Drastic behavior changes from outgoing to being quiet, withdrawn and shy

In some cases, victims will have a drastic shift to abusing others.

In children you might see these outward signs:

Lack of emotional attachment

Low cognitive or educational ability

Poor social skills

Depression

Trust issues

 

Doubt and fear move in. A victim often apologizes for everything because the emotional abuse has made the person feel as if they can do nothing right. Stripping a person of their pride and self-worth causes significant damage to their ego and ability to function in society. Victims often fall prey to other emotional abusers due to their behavior. Abusers seek out others which they can control and manipulate which causes people who have been past victims to often be re-victimized. Often victims become “super pleasers” to reduce the emotional pain abusers cause. This sets them up once again to fall prey to those who seek out pleasers to empower them and abuse their helpful nature.

Look around your office, classroom, Sunday School class, or among family and friends.  Has someone’s behavior changed? Do you see a significant other overpowering or constantly talking down to their partner or child? Do you see someone shying away from social contact where before they might have been the “life of the party?” It might feel awkward but approach someone you might suspect is being abused to offer help or at least acknowledge you are seeing some signs the person is in distress. The person will most likely deny or offer up an excuse but please know, you have planted a mental seed of awareness that others are noticing. Sometimes it is just as simple as someone asking if you are okay which causes more thoughts of getting help in the future. Be that one who changes a life. Caring matters.

Just a side note in regard to current events happening in

whispers in the wind collage2015:

With all the horrible events of late, I wonder how many of the violent people creating these acts were emotionally or physically abused as children or in relationships? Does their rage stem from past horrors done to them? If someone, anyone… a teacher, friend, coach, or even a family doctor noticed and said something to stop the abuse, would they have committed the acts we are seeing now, happen?  Can a random act of kindness or concern change the future of a killer? Not sure we could actually track the results but I feel sure one act can change a person. I would like to be that one who stopped someone from becoming a monster because they endured torment to create the hate and need to do such horrible acts. As a teacher, I have seen lives turned around due to someone confronting and helping a child seek help. Turn fear into compassion, do not allow it to continue to fester and grown into hatred and violence.

Next week, “Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy, do you hear what I hear?” What does emotional abuse sound like? Check back in next week to find out the answer.

 

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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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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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