Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


5 Comments

Good News Tuesday: Support for The Tree of Life Synagogue, Signing Students, and a 94 Year Old Wise Guy

Tree of Life We are all one

Muslim groups raise over $125,000 to help Pittsburgh synagogue victims

People of many faiths are helping the victims and families of The Tree of Life synagogue where a shooting took the lives of 11 people in Pittsburgh Saturday. It gives me hope to know that among the helpers are two Muslim-American non-profits who have exceeded their fundraising  goal in the campaign, “Muslims Unite For Pittsburgh Synagogue.”
Below are two links for the story. The first is from nbcnews.com and the second is an earlier story from The Times of Israel.

 

https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-muslims-raise-over-100000-for-synagogue-victims/

Kindergarten Class Signs Happy Birthday to Custodian Who is Deaf:

Watch how this beloved custodian reacts to kindergarten students signing the Happy Birthday lyrics especially for him.  Happy Birthday, Mr. James!

 

94 Year Old Veteran Greets Students with Wisdom and Fist Bumps

Wally Richardson meets middle school students every morning with positive wisdom and encouragement. I love his motivational call/response technique. Take a look!

Good News Tuesday seeks to bring some balance to media, one Tuesday at a time.

Sunflower w address

 Feel free to share, YOUR good news in the comments!


24 Comments

#WATWB: Building Bridges with Respect

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

Abraham Lincoln

Better Angels is a “bipartisan citizen’s movement to unify (a) divided nation.” The organization builds alliances between people with very different beliefs. The goal is to reconnect through respectful communication. With the growing polarization in the US  (and perhaps other countries) we desperately need to listen with respect, listen to understand, and look for common ground. In the following video, we see people who are very different politically, yet they build bridges by listening with courage, respect, and patience.

(Note: There are some brief, unpleasant scenes starting 1 minute and 8 seconds into the video with ABC news showing the problem of polarization, so if you want to skip over that part, go to 1:48 to get back to the solution.)

It’s interesting that in a longer video I watched, the closing media commentary included the report that both sides blame the media for polarization of “hyper-partisanship.”

I appreciate this program because it shows we can do better. We can learn to communicate and listen with respect even when we strongly disagree.

 

To learn more about Better Angels, visit: https://www.better-angels.org/

#WATWB brings positive stories on the last Friday of every month.

Thank you to our hosts,  Simon Falk, Andrea Michaels, Shilpa Garg, Sylvia Stein, Belinda Witzenhausen.

For more information on #WATWB, click here

and visit the Facebook page!

We Are The World Blogfest in white


14 Comments

A Conversation with Worry

faith-that-things-will-work-out

“This worrying is not helping anything!”

“We’re not worrying, we’re planning. We have to be prepared!”

“Speak for yourself. You want to prepare for the worst. You seem to like to imagine the worst. What a waste of time! How many times have I prepared for the worst, got all stressed about it, and the worst didn’t happen. I’d rather prepare for the best! The best has happened, you know: a good husband, retirement, financial stability…. Good things do happen!”

“But what if  something bad happens? What about natural disasters? What about evil aliens? Zombies? Go ahead and roll your eyes. You took First Aid and CPR classes didn’t you?’

“Yes. It was required for my job.”

“You took those classes so you’d be prepared in case of an emergency. That’s just being smart.”

“Oh, Worry. That’s different. You’re trying to get me to imagine all sorts of bad things happening. I don’t even want to go there. Just stop it!”

“The truth is, I’m scared. Imagining how to handle a crisis makes me feel….stronger. Prepared!”

“I’m sorry you’re scared. But imagining the worst is bad for my nerves. And my heart. Stress is not good for the body you know, unless you can run it out – release it somehow. Hey! How about we go for a walk?”

“I don’t know. It might rain. And there are crazy people out there in the world…”

“Well, let’s just go out in the backyard and do some yoga.”

“Okay, but watch out for the dog poop.”

“A little dog poop never hurt anybody. But I will watch out for it.”

“You could pick it up, too.”

“Right. Maybe after the yoga.”

“If you pick it up first —“

“INHALE…………… EXHALE into forward bend.”

“Don’t throw your back out.”

“I’m being careful.”

“Thank you.”

This stream-of-consciousness conversation with my old friend, Worry, was inspired by Harlon at “A Patient Voice” and his post about worry.


15 Comments

Not My Circus, Not My Door

SOC winner 2017

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is the word, “door,” with the added direction to “Write about a door you walked through this week that wasn’t your own. Enjoy!

So many times, I’ve walked through figurative doors that were not my own. I’m talking about co-dependency. Getting into other people’s business when I have no business doing so. My intentions have always been good of course. I’m just trying to help, but codependent helping hurts me in the long run. It distracts me from taking care of my own business.

One of my tendencies has been triggered by people being negative and me countering with a positive alternative. This usually comes from people I care about. I’m not as likely to go up to a stranger who’s being negative and offer an alternative. That is definitely not my door. I can’t right off the bat think of a negative door I walked through recently, but I do remember that I did NOT walk through it the other night. I was sitting right next to someone who was making negative statements in a meeting. I’m learning, finally, I don’t have to try to fix someone else’s negativity. What I did do was got up and walked out of the room a couple times. I felt overwhelmed by the tension. But later that evening, I realized that the negativity was coming from a place of fear. That gave me a little bit of compassion. But I still don’t need to walk through that doorway to a potential argument. I don’t have to join the circus.

I will probably continue to present positive perspectives to people who I think might be receptive, and that includes my own self. Because I can get negative inside my own head. And it’s good to know that if I do walk into a door (ouch), or through a door, that’s not mine, I can always walk back out again and pick another door. But the doors I really want to walk through are the doors to new adventures!

For whatever reason, my stream of consciousness has brought me to these doors from the movie, Labyrinth. I’m not going to try to figure out or analyze why. Like most of the movie, it’s a wee bit scary in parts, but I admire Sarah’s perseverance and courage.

Here are the rules for the Saturday Stream of Consciousness:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


21 Comments

I’d Rather Be Positive, But Don’t Tell Me What To Do. YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME.

SOC winner 2017

Years ago, I went to a workshop where we make booklets about things we wanted to manifest in our lives. We were instructed to state everything positively. I also used this a lot in my counseling job and had read about it in a book on NLP,  Neurolinguistic programing, which is more complicated than positive language. One example in the book was that instead of saying, “Don’t spill the milk,” make a positive statement like, “Be careful and move your milk away from the table.” The idea was/is that people, especially children, will not hear, “don’t,” as much as they will hear “spill the milk.”

I wonder if my clients got tired of me asking them to restate negative statements as positives. Well, it got to be a thing with me.  Here are some examples:

“Don’t use drugs,” in other words, becomes, “stay clean and sober.”

“I don’t understand why anyone would not like dogs,” in other words, becomes, “help me understand why you don’t like dogs.”

“I don’t want to be around negative people,” becomes, “I want to be around positive people.”

When my husband and I started dating for the second time around, we asked each other about pet peeves. He wanted to know if there was something he could do that would really bug me, (so he could avoid doing it.) That’s how I remember it. But I probably asked him first. He was all about open and honest communication. So I told him:

“Don’t tell me what to do.”

In other words, “you’re not the boss of me.” But I didn’t say, “You’re not the boss of me.”  I wanted to say that to my previous two boyfriends, but never did. I guess that’s why “Don’t tell me what to do,” came out in our pre-marrital pet peeves discussion. I did not state it positively. If I had, I could have said,

  • “Let’s talk about options.”
  • “I’m the boss of me.”
  • “Ask me what I want.”
  • “Compromise and respect are important to me.”

But sometimes, you gotta say what you don’t want to be clear.

I just want to say, to someone, YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME.”

My husband, being conscientious and having a good memory, has not given me that opportunity in the five years we’ve been married. That’s a good thing.

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was to use the phrase, “in other words,” anywhere in our post. For more SoCS info, visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/02/02/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-3-18/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


21 Comments

Dream Message

morning drive rays of light (2)

I had a dream about the daughter of my former colleague. Ruthie was the most compassionate and best-loved counselor I’ve ever known. She always made time for clients who needed her in spite of the mountains of paperwork piling up, in spite of the extra hours of overtime, in spite of commendations that we “worked tirelessly,” yet we got plenty tired.

My colleague came down with cancer while serving in the trenches,  helping others fight the monster of addiction. For many months, she continued to work her heart out. But there came a time when the physical pain was too much. She put up a brave fight, but she had to go home. Ruthie died a couple of years ago.

Now, to the dream I had two weeks ago:

I was at a community event organized by Ruthie’s daughter, B.  I saw my former colleague in the background, beaming her proud mama smile at her daughter from across the room. Later, I went up to B, gave her a big hug, and handed her a package of disposable razors. 

After I woke up, I debated about whether I should tell B about the dream. I’ve run into her around town, and we are friends on Facebook. But why would I give her razors?

In spite of the weirdness, I sent B a Facebook message about the dream.  She responded with excitement because she’s in the process of organizing a community event in memory of her mother. She said she knows her mother is happy. And she told me she keeps forgetting to buy razors.

I think I’m supposed to help B with this event. We’re planning to meet later today.

I can still see her mama’s big, beautiful smile.


17 Comments

Animal Communication: Language Beyond Words

An animal eyes with wolf

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is, “language.”

The first thing I thought of was that animals have language though some snobs say they don’t. I didn’t mean to write snobs. But I wrote it right out of my stream of consciousness. (I don’t usually call names.) But I do love and respect animals.

In college, I wrote a research paper on the intelligence of dolphins and whales. There was plenty of research, even back then in the 1970’s, that suggested that dolphins and whales communicate in complex ways. This was based on their behavior. If you pay attention, you will see, hear, and sense things that you don’t notice when you don’t pay attention.  The songs of humpback whales are complex and change over time. Who’s to say that this is not language? Just because we don’t understand, just because it sounds different from human languages, doesn’t mean it’s not language.

Many animals have a keen sense and use of body language. They are more aware of it than we are as humans. My dogs have observed my body language very carefully. That’s probably the dominant way dogs communicate, but how do I know? They are probably way more complex than we realize. Who’s to say that a wolf’s howl is just a song? And song’s are language anyway.

great voices wolf pup

In Jean Auel’s book series that started with The Clan of the Cave Bear, the human-like tribes thought the Neanderthal-like tribes were animals because they did not speak. But we learned from the main character, Ayla (who I named my daughter after because I fell in love with these books), that this was not true. They did have a very complex language based on subtle body movements. Ayla knew this because the people of the Clan adopted her (even though she was one of the others) and she learned their language. Even though some of the Clan people thought she was slow and stupid because she did not have the “memories,” she learned healing from the woman who adopted her.

So, language is relative. Language is complicated and beautiful. Like The Five Love Languages which I’m mentioning in my May newsletter. There is the language of love that we communicate with our eyes, the windows to our souls, with no words at all. Perhaps a language without words (as we know them) has the potential to be even more powerful than simple words. Considering that, it’s pretty amazing that we communicate as well as we do, here on WordPress and other blog spots. I’ve made some good and meaningful connections with this language of words. So I’m not knocking language as we are accustomed to it. I’m just saying, there’s a whole lot more to language than just human words.

This video excerpt starts with lots of surface action which I recommend watching in full screen. The singing begins just after two minutes.

(The photos are from Pinterest.)

Linda G. Hill is our host for the Saturday Stream of Consciousness. Visit her blog to follow more streams at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/05/12/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-1317/

SOCS

Here are the SoCS rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!