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Do You Know What I Know?

December is Emotional Abuse Awareness Month for Creative Tidal Wave. I have been asked why I chose to feature this and my reason for doing so this particular month. There are many reasons, both personal and business wise. I found during the holidays often folks show their best side but will quickly in the shadows turn and unleash upon victims. It is difficult for emotional abusers, narcissists, and bully types to maintain their “charming” disposition during the holidays without a means of releasing their torment to regain their balance. Also, I wanted people to start a new year with new awareness in hopes to start identifying and getting help for family and friends who might be victims. Abusers need to be identified as well so they, too, can seek help.

Do you know what I know? Well, I do know some ways you can stop the chaos in your head from being a victim of emotional abuse. First though, please seek professional help from a counselor or a life coach. The process towards healing can move faster with professional help.

When the inner voices of your tormentor/abuser play in your head, take a moment to rethink. You are now aware that the things they said to you were to control you and to take your inner power away from you. You know you are not those terrible things. Rewrite the words into a positive. “You are so ugly, no one will ever marry you,” to “I am beautiful both inside and out with a heart full of love and compassion. I will find the person of my dreams someday.” The power of positive thinking is magical.

You did not ask to be abused. This person came into your life by no fault of your own. Now you can chose to move on and consider this a learning experience on how to recognize the words which cause pain. We cannot chose our parents, coworkers, bosses, and family members. Sometimes our friends and significant others change after they have gained our trust. It is okay to walk away. Hard it maybe, but necessary to gain your life and health  back. Change your path’s course. Be brave and take a hike to freedom. 

After you dismiss the abusers from your life, I know it is hard, set boundaries. They will try to win you back over. DO NOT FALL FOR THEIR CHARMING WAYS! You do not need to travel back down their path, rarely do they change.

It’s YOU time!! Rediscover old hobbies. Take time to rediscover you. Emotional abusers instill fear as a means of control. Go out and face your fears, try something new. Healing comes the more time you focus on rebuilding your self esteem and empower yourself. Trying new things! Let out old emotions and illogical fears embedded in your mind by the abuser via the arts. Dance out your anger! Paint out your frustrations! Write a poem about the empowered you. Write a book. Sing songs of happiness and write some about your sadness. Hey, you may have a hit in the making. Country music is full of them. And, Taylor Swift has made a fortunate each time she breaks up with a guy. You just never know so give it a try.

The most important thing is to move forward. Leave the abuser behind you. If you struggle with leaving, get help. Don’t walk on eggs shells any longer. Chose to run in grassy fields free from the torment. Look for local hotlines to call if you need help. Ask friends and other family members to help out. Tell your doctor. Seek help.

If you know someone who is being abused emotional and verbally, please step in to help.

This is part three in a four part series on Emotional Abuse Awareness, the Silent Killer of souls.

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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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Why I Write

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

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

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

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

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

Visit my site @
Just east of Crazy
Twitter: @eddiesnipes

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The Secret of the Paradiddle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PARADIDDLE!! I challenge you to learn to paradiddle.

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Rethinking the healing process

Music guitar

Music guitar (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Having spent the later part of the month of September in the hospital with my mother, I have come to the conclusion that the healing process can be enhanced with a few changes. Many things have changed over the years. Many hospitals have become art galleries. I have enjoyed the beautiful works filling the hallways and the various sculptures in the nooks and crannies. It is a positive pleasure to see such when a life is hanging on by the thread.

What I noticed was the lack of other positive sensory stimulation directed towards the patients. One night Mom could not get comfortable. The pain medications did not seem to work. Nothing could comfort her. I happened to have my Kindle which is loaded with a variety of calming music. I chose a Native Indian flute CD with nature sounds. I led her through a very short visualization. Had her close her eyes and listen to the music to help her envision a peaceful place. It wasn’t long before she drifted off to dreamland. The nurses and techs came by to comment on the peaceful music. Such an easy technique which works more often than not. With such a wide variety on the market I am certain there would be something to appeal to any and every patient. It also drowns out the beeps and whirls of the support systems. It drowns out the moans and other vocal noises of others which acts as a reminder to other patients of the pain and discomfort.

During my 8 night stay, I noticed my mother would ask for more pain medications when she could hear others in pain. She also would ask for pain medications when she got bored. Don’t get me wrong, she had some major surgeries which result in some ongoing pain but there were some patterns. She had a difficult time at night sleeping due to knowing the floor was short-staffed. She feared something would happen and no one would respond. Adding the calming sounds and tunes, she seemed to relax more with less fears.

In discussions with the nursing staff, people who have been in ICU for long periods of time have time awareness problems. Mom also had this confusion once she was moved to a step down unit. Of course rooms have information boards but the black and white set up is often confusing for patients who are on heavy medications. Every hour for several days Mom would ask me what day it was and what was important for that day. Knowing I was to leave her for a few days I was concerned how her constant need to know would affect the understaffed nurses. Being a believer in the Right Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee, I quickly drew out a creative calendar with visual cues in the drawings. Mom was missing certain activities because of the confusion. When Friday came around the date had a little football as the tittle, or the dot in the lowercase letter “I.”  Mom remembered to watch her beloved football games on TV that evening as well as stayed up to listen to the high school team scores on the news. These are things which make her happy thus keeping her focused on positive things not the pain. Each day a little icon represented  something she looked forward to on that particular day. So far it has been a big hit and helped her get her concept of time back without bugging the staff or causing great frustrations trying to figure it out on her own.

Maybe with a bit of expressive arts interventions recovery time could be enhanced. Reducing the need for pain medications is a big plus. Reducing mental and emotional anxiety makes for a peaceful floor for the nursing and tech staff. Do not wait on the hospital to carry out such, take the initiative to explore options trying different ones to see what works. You cannot take the pain and hurt away but you can take the attention away from it reducing frustrations.

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Facing fears hopefully without the tears

On A Dark Trail

On A Dark Trail (Photo credit: bogenfreund)

We all have them though often not open about them… fears! Some developed early in life, others from traumatic events we still struggle to grasp the reality. Others cannot be explained they just appeared without rhyme or reason attached to the most unlikely of events or things.

Common fears are spiders, snakes, clowns, and heights. Working with children and adults over a 30 period I have found there is not a single thing or event that someone has not formed a fear to. Fears can limit personal growth and progress towards positive outcomes. Some fears are self-defeating leading to unhealthy briefs about oneself. If fears hold you back, find a way to face them to resolve the root of the problem. You might need some help in tackling this at the beginning.  It is as  simple as enlisting the help of a friend to tag along with you when you decide it is time to head to the circus to confront the clowns, from a safe distance. Or a group of friends to tag along as you go to the zoo to handle snakes with a trained professional. I do not recommend anyone to go into the woods and snatch up a snake as means of facing this fear. Please use precautions! Seeking out professional counseling is another option. Just start the process. A confident and empowered person resides deep within you, it is time to bring that person to the surface so life can begin to open up more possibilities in the future.

Creative Tidal Waves is about finding alternatives to overcoming struggles. To prove my philosophy and belief in what I do I am tackling a plethora of fears in one major undertaking. Applying all the CTW techniques and ways so you can follow along my journey. My hope is that through my own personal trial and error, you will find creative options to help you as well as I work through the process to embrace the torment.

The official journey to face my mixed bag of fears will open with a linked blog named, “The ATventure.” Look for it the first of May as I prepare mentally and physically to tackle on the Appalachian Trail on my 50th birthday. My fears, reasons for chosing this particular event, and much more will unfold each week in the year-long process to prepare.

What do you fear? How would you tackle it if given the opporunity? Or, you you chose not to?


Without words

Puzzling words, Soul Collage

Puzzling words, Soul Collage

If a picture paints a thousand words, so why can’t I paint you? The words will never show the you I’ve come to know,  the opening lyrics from a popular song sung by Bread back in the 70’s. Though words can say many things the true meaning may not be expressed. Working with the deaf I found that signing can paint a 1,000 words. The emotions, body language and the flow say so much more than mere words. Learning to sign was often confusing because it is a language of the self. No two people sign the same. Guess that is true of the hearing if you have a New Yorker and a South Georgia Southern Belle in the same room together, those two do not sound the same. Hearing people sometimes do not speak in the way the message was intended. It can shew the meaning. With the deaf, you know exactly the emotion behind the message. I appreciated their free flow of emotion during conversations because I was never confused about their intent.

Did you know that there are over 48 different meanings to the word, “run?” You can run for office. Run your hose. Run to the store. I think you get the idea. In sign language there are 48 different signs unless you are using Signed Exact English. I could speak the sentence in the same tone every time and the context my shew the meaning of which “run” I was using if the listener wasn’t familiar with the situation. In sign the body language and expression make if very clear which one I was using. Just got to love ASL!

If you are not familiar with Soul Collage, please investigate. It is a wonderful process of allowing the mind to grab pictures to paint thoughts. My experience with Soul Collage has opened a new world of understanding of my inner thoughts. I cruise magazines and the internet with no real intention other than grabbing imagines of interest at that moment. They come together on a card in what ever fashion seems to work. Afterwards I look to see what story my collection has to tell. Often I am very surprised because I go at it with a blank slate. The one featured came about one day after my ASL assessment. I was having a very frustrating moment with my signing. The deaf could understand me fine but the ASL evaluators who were hearing had issues. Have decided that hearing folks should not evaluate other hearing during assessments of ASL. The deaf were surprised at my score. No doubt my inner most emotions were at play when this Soul Collage was created.

Explore sign language. Babies as young as 5 months can learn to sign. It will reduce a lot of frustrations. Also, explore Soul Collage. You will be surprised how the pictures will communicate your inner thoughts you could not put into words. This too will reduce frustrations.


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The quantum mechanics in relation to the wave

Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night. Oil on can...

Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night. Oil on canvas, 73×92 cm, 28¾×36¼ in. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before I go ahead, my disclaimer note is as follows: I am not in any way a scientist nor am I professing I totally understand the theories I mention in the blog at the level one might assume. I am a weird  sort who hears about such and researches it only to find that there are these correlations to life theory based upon my simple working knowledge within my understand. In finding myself in such a tangle of the quantum mechanics, I had a moment where the string theory, the parallel universe theory, and a touch of the wave theory all sort of made sense in a social means. Do I totally understand the scientific details of any of these? no, so please do not send me lengthy correctional summaries of my wayward notions. This is just a moment with the little information I have which created a tidal wave of … well. here it goes.We all are connected in ways beyond our comprehension. Sitting in the hospital while my dad had surgery opened a can of mental madness on how small the world is and these invisible strings that we unravel at such unexpected times. So we are connected by these weird connections and then the ripples that radiate out from the discovery to reveal more connections. But we also find that these connections show a parallel universe we live in. Some strings are attached to those things which we chose to hide in a world we do not wish to share except to those on the “flip-side.” But those worlds can collide. Just like in the quantum mechanics, when two such particles come together unexpectedly, this impact which can alter the universe. In Donna’s theory, that altered universe is when two strings’ and their ripple waves bring two opposite universes or parallel lives come face to face. Yes, emotions can have a nuclear sort of reaction which can change the path or even worse destroy a particle or person as known in some one or two of their flip-side worlds. But as in quantum mechanics, in my very brief and I mean very shallow understanding of such scientific wonder and magnitude, sometimes it is not always as bad as it seems. In rare occasions, such a colossal collide results in a totally new creation, often only in theory and  undefinable but out of the ashes rises a fresh new path which never would have been discovered if by some freak of nature two flip-sides yank their ties that bind and radiate in a way that changes their paths for the good.

It is rare to meet people who do not have a duel life, or a flip-side. Once discovered we are so shocked, but should we? We go to many places and discover connections with people we have never met before yet we have this invisible line of events we discover that links us.  It just dawned on me this isn’t a new theory on every day life. Kieffer Sutherland’s TV series, “Touched,” definitely plays into this.  Maybe we need more Asperger’s, autistic, selected mutes, artists, and weird geek nerd guys to expose the true pure ways of human connections, they might be the black-hole we can explore that holds mysterious clues we cannot explore within safety in space. These sorts do not have the means to recreate and alter thinking patterns, they seek what is and react to it. Life is scary, we all need to alert others when we see things they do not, those invisible strings. When we feel waves we do not understand but know they are unnatural in nature and harm is coming, we should react. When life gets so out of whack, we need to seek the calming links and allow those to have a ripple effect.  We need to allow certain particles to collide and bang together so the parallels can run as one path.

A brief connecting point, autistic and Asperger’s folks cannot filter, they are hit daily with the realities of today. Often they are at peace with the pure forms of life, not dealing with those with so many flip-sides. Mutes have no way to express but I assure you they see a world of decent and both sides of all.  Don’t you think that artists, in whatever form is their reality, capture the essence of their big bang moment in their masterpieces? When reality goes expressive, that is when connections make waves and BANG…. maybe a museum is really a warehouse of quantum mechanics as well as an iPod of such in music. Hmmm, another thought to ponder, but for another day.

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