Anna’s Sandwiches

•August 6, 2008 • 5 Comments

Anna and Col

Anna is the light of my life and Anna has autism. I took a break from my graphic design career for three years in order to work with her and my life has never been the same (in a good way!)

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The first word Anna ever said to me was “sandwich!”

She wasn’t speaking and would sort of just wander around the classroom. I worked with her every day with books, counting ducks, asking questions about pictures and identifying objects.

She never spoke to me.

As a matter of fact, she’d be walking in one direction and if I went over to her, she’d turn and walk the other way, like a magnet repelling its identical pole. I felt pretty bad about that. Until the day the Anna’s physical therapist Christina told me it was actually a good sign.

She said Anna knew that if I was there, she’d have to communicate or something would be required of her and she walked away because she wanted to stay in her own little world and not face the challenge of me.

That made a whole buncha sense (and felt better). Even so, a small child running from you wasn’t exactly the ideal work situation!

Still, I knew that she was capable of great things so I’d read books with her anyway and keep trying to make contact. Each day I’d get Anna off of the bus, ask her to look up and talk to her about the weather, “Look up in the sky … I see blue sky … It’s sunny!”

I’d talk to her about what we were doing each step of the way so she could hear how sentences were put together, how ideas were expressed and how things were described. “What am I doing? I’m tying shoes.”

Never any response or sign of recognition.

One book had pictures of food objects all over the page so I’d point and ask, “What do you see?” No reply. I’d tell Anna, “I see sandwich … fries … apple … muffin …” pointing to each.

No response.

One day I went to get Anna from the bus as usual. I stood on the sidewalk and the doors opened. Anna appeared at the top of the stairs and as the attendant was putting on her backpack, Anna looked directly into my eyes and exclaimed, “Sandwich!”

I was floored, stunned for a second, and then I recovered replying, “Yes, yes, sandwich!”

Funny how a thing like that can make your whole day.

From then on, our conversations went something like this …

Anna: “Sandwich!”
Me: “Sandwich!”
Anna: “Fries!”
Me: “Fries!”
Anna: “Apple!”
Me: “Apple!”

(Pause as Anna’s eyes searched an imaginary page in her mind, deep in thought… )

Me: “What else is in that book?”
Anna: “Muffin!”
Me: “Muffin!”

(Another pause)

Me: “Burger!”
Anna: “Burger!”

When Anna would communicate this to others, they would often reply, “No, silly, you can’t have a sandwich now, it’s not lunch time!” and I’d tell them, “No, no, she’s telling you about a book she read.”

When we ran programs, I’d get all excited and happy if Anna got something right, I’d exclaim, “YAAAY!” and hold out my hands palms up. Anna would put her hands on top of mine and give me this gleeful look, like she was so delighted that *I * was so delighted. If she got an answer wrong, she’d look at me and ask, “yaay?”

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Carly: “ANNA is the CUTEST KID in the WHOLE school!”
Molly: “She’s cuter than a TEDDY BEAR!”

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Find out more about autism and what you can do to help children who have this puzzling disorder at Anna Rose.

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Share on Facebook :: Photo by Anna’s sister Maria, a loving, supportive and precious girl as well as a kick-butt photographer!

Gettin’ down with your bad self

•July 30, 2008 • 3 Comments

Sometimes y’just gotta get dooown with your bad self. I know, I know, we all are trying to be so good all the time and that is an admirable pursuit and tra la la and yaay for us. Trouble is, sometimes we make a mistake. Sometimes we trip and fall. Sometimes we’re just not looking.

Sometimes we are looking, only we’re looking waaay too hard.

This is me.

I want so bad to be good that I get all mad at myself when I falter. When I do something I didn’t want to do (stay up late when I intended to sleep) or don’t do something I did want to do (get something accomplished). I want to be there yet I’m here. Why am I still here? What’s wrong with me that I’m not there?

But getting mad doesn’t help. Matter of fact, getting mad is the perfect recipe for stuck.

When we set the GPS in the car, do we get mad at the car because it’s on the street it’s on? Does the GPS ask, “Where are we now? I need to know! Why are we here?” No. The GPS asks, “Where do you want to go?” It knows where you are. And it will tell you where to go.

Our guts are like that. They know.

Today I was doing something and I noticed this tension in my core. I thought, “Wo! Stop!” Pay attention to those feelings, they know. Are you forcing something which would be better off done later … or perhaps not at all?

Could be. Take a look. Check in.

And while you’re at it, give your bad self a break! Let go of the wheel and you’ll get where you’re going.

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Share on Facebook :: Very special thanks to Elyse Hope Killoran for the GPS metaphor :: Photo courtesy of Ian Britton (beautiful, huh? 😉

Bob Doyle knows how to get this party started

•July 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

So I joined Bob Doyle’s 45-day Boundless Living Challenge and holy-moley are there a lot of supportive people over there!

Introducing … [fanfare and joyous throngs celebrating] … my very first vlog ever … (EVER!) No, look, there’s a “v” at the start of that word, I am now officially a vlogger. How ’bout that? And my oh my, what a beauteous screen capture below! [rolling eyes]

My 45-Day Challenge? Looking for a fun-filled, sweet, soulful, supportive, contented, healthy, loving relationship grounded in trust and filled with positive energy with a special, affectionate, easy-going, loyal, supportive and loving man.

Someone who is just a tad spiritual-minded or positive in spirit … In other words, he knows enough not to sweat the small stuff! 😉

Wish me luck, it’s a jungle out there!

Follow the progress of my Boundless Living Relationship Challenge.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

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Please don’t vex the animals

•June 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Don’t Feed The Animals

Nothing needs fixing; everything desires A Celebration. You were made to bend so that you could discover all of the many Miracles at your feet. You were made to stretch so that you could find Your Own Beautiful Face of Heaven just above all that you think you must shoulder.”

Happier Than God, Neale Donald Walsch

I have been wading through some naaaaaasty shit this week, dang! I have been challenged by two specific people and each time I bring myself back to peace and love and appreciation, it’s rejected and another piece of nastiness is tossed at me … or so it seems, in this silly human experience I am having on this planet called earth!

 I do realize- all of this is my story about it.

And I know that, in truth, each is a gift … an opportunity to learn. Puh-leeeeease God, do I have to learn SO MUCH?!!! 😉 “Are we there yet?”

Ok so learning, learning, what did I learn? I realize each person is a mirror at best so when I’m ready, I will look at my judgment of what they’re doing to hurt me and see what truths lie therein for myself.

When have I been hurtful in that same way and what can I do to repair that?

I’m not quite ready to go there yet, still in pain mode. The closest to looking in the mirror that I can come at this moment is the acknowledgement of this all being a big fat Schoolhouse-Rock lesson to me and the knowledge that I need to not let the craziness of others affect me.

A friend of mine once sent me a sign, “Don’t feed the animals” … reminding me to be careful … sometimes when you respond and respond and respond to craziness and negativity, even in an endeavor to be kind and loving, you may be feeding into it.

Rich pointed out to me that, in an effort to not hurt the other, I keep replying and attempting to explain. But when you’re explaining into the void of someone else’s disease, you can talk until kingdom come and they’re not gonna hear you.

We’ll call that Lesson Number One.

One of the animals pointed out to me that I may throw in the towel on men too quickly. Aaaah, yes, the ring of truth. In this instance, I was not doing that but it is certainly worth noting … I do *definitely* do that and will be on the lookout for it in myself. Cool what you can learn from the animals.

You always need to look at what they’re saying to you, even the most heinous one, and ask, “Is this true?”

Therein lies Lesson Number Two.

And as for lessons three through twenty-three, I know that they will unfold all in due time. I celebrate the lessons and thank the teachers, maddening as they may be at times! Bring it on!

At the very same time that this madness was occurring, I received this e-mail from one of my clients:

“I am learning much from you! I really mean that. You are truly a role model for me, your clarity is honorable and I respect that so much … You are a power of example for me and I LOVE working with you!!!”

And so I remember …

“There is only one way to experience yourself as The Light, and that would be to find yourself in darkness. There is power in opposites. Endeavor to see the appearance of the ‘opposite’ as your first indication that Personal Creation is working flawlessly.

At every moment of difficulty and challenge in your life you have a choice: opposition or composition. To repeat: You can either oppose that which you are experiencing, or compose that which you choose. Compose what you choose.

Now, thanks to the Law of Opposites, you have a context within which to experience it. And that is the greatest thing the universe could ever give you.”

Happier Than God, Neale Donald Walsch

 Happier than God

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Share on Facebook :: Visit Rocks in My Dryer for more Works-For-Me-Wednesday ideas! :: Photo by Benjamin Partridge, of Londonist online

Workin’ on stuff, the right way

•June 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Meconopsis

A super-long time ago, I would always notice what was wrong and try, try, try to “fix” it. I was a worker. I thought that was good. Always “workin’ on” stuff!

Then, in an attempt to be a positive person, I began focusing on the good things. I tried to ignore, ignore, ignore the so-called “bad” stuff.

Ok so I was half way there.

Tony Robbins says, “If you go to your garden and say, ‘There are no weeds, there are no weeds, there are no weeds’ … They’re gonna take your garden!” He recommends looking at what is, but *exactly* as it is … without blowing it up in your head or overreacting … and from that place, you decide what you want to do.

We all know Law of Attraction, right? I wondered, “If I give a voice to something I don’t want, am I actually attracting it into my world?” If something not-the-greatest comes up for me, should I only look at good stuff?

I forgot all about what Abraham says about contrast. I got myself all confused! Look at it, don’t look at it, look at it, don’t look at it … ?

Scott Lewis clarified, “When a challenge arises, focus on what you don’t want BRIEFLY, using the contrast in order to find what you do want, with the purpose being to move through it.”

Aah, sweet! This finally feels right!

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Share on Facebook :: Visit Rocks in My Dryer for more Works-For-Me-Wednesday ideas! :: Artwork by the inspiring and prolific Don Li-Leger

Being with the monster

•May 21, 2008 • 5 Comments

Col’s monster

Once upon a time there was a girl who had depression. And it was baaaaaaad. He was a big, hairy monster that slept over every night and ate all her food.

RRRRrrraaAAWRH!

Ooh! y’scared me!

And he would not go away, no matter how hard she tried. I’ll tell you a secret. It hurt so much she wished she could die.

Craigie told me:

There are two ways of “doing” in life and they look the same but couldn’t be more different.

One is running away from the monster and the other is moving towards the light.

When you’re thinking, “I have to pay the bills, I have to do this, I have to do that” and that is pushing you and you’re going, going, going … that’s running from the monster. When you feel pain and you try to run from it, that’s running from the monster.

You’re running so it seems like you must be going somewhere but in truth you’re not getting anywhere. When you’re working at your computer and you begin to feel that stress in your belly … STOP.

Stop and do something. Go for a walk. Take a nap. Pick up the phone. Something which nurtures you.

Am I feeling …

  • Hungry?
  • Angry?
  • Lonely?
  • Tired?
  • If so, HALT … stop and go take care of that. Nurturing yourself is on the first floor and you can’t go rushing up to the thirty-eighth floor, you need to begin on the first floor.

    When you haven’t taken care of *you*, the monster starts whispering things in your ear and he’s a liar.

    He may tell you that you can’t deal with this. He may tell you you’re not good at living. The monster is lying to you, he wants you dead, the f*cker!

    So there are bills to pay. There are very few truly *big* things in life. Are you going to bed hungry? No. Are you living without a roof over your head? No. You’re safe. You’re ok. And if you’re not, then call me.

    When the pain and fear comes up, sit and meditate on it. Be with it. Don’t escape it, face it head on. It hurts but if you FEEL what the pain is like, you’ll realize that the FEAR of it was much worse and longer than the actual “labor pain” of hurt … it passes in about 30 minutes, I find, truly.

    At the end of the day, put a line down the middle of the piece of paper and ask yourself, “how much of this day was spent with the monster winning and how much of the day was spent moving towards the light?” and hopefully more than half will be the latter. That is your goal.

    Moving towards the light looks like doing things which feel right and good in your soul. Moving towards the light means taking care of *you*. Because if you don’t do that, you’re no good for anyone. You need to begin on the first floor.

    Feed, clothe, rest and comfort your mind and body the way you would an 8 year old you found in the rain in front of your house who had no memory where he/she belonged.

    Craigie wakes up in the morning and goes right down on his knees and thanks God in advance that more time is going to be spent today in moving towards the light. Then he reads something nurturing to line up how he wants his day to go. Before e-mail, before turning the phone on, before anything. Frame your day.

    When I hear the monster, it helps even just to recognize it as the monster and to know that the monster lies. When I hear, “there is so much to do, I can’t do it all, I can’t handle this” I know that there is only one thing to do and that is the one thing I am doing right now. Each moment there is only one thing. And everything is ok and everything will continue to *be* ok.

    my favorite little Depression Primer 

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    Warm hugs and a huge “thank you” to Craigie for requesting the *long* version of my story, for taking the time to listen and to care and for showering me with such strong language and empowering words of wisdom.

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    Share on Facebook :: Visit Rocks in My Dryer for more Works-For-Me-Wednesday ideas! :: Lil’ monster illustration by moi!

    On feeling first

    •May 13, 2008 • 2 Comments

    Proud, free, loved

    “Most people believe that if they ‘have’ a thing (more time, money, love – whatever) then they can finally ‘do’ a thing (write a book, take up a hobby, go on vacation, buy a home, undertake a relationship), which will enable them to ‘be’ a thing (happy, peaceful, content, or in love).

    In actuality, they are reversing the Be-Do-Have paradigm. In the Universe as it really is (as opposed to how you think it is), ‘havingness’ does not produce ‘beingness’, but the other way around. First you ‘be’ the thing called ‘happy’ (or ‘knowing’, or ‘wise’, or ‘compassionate’, or whatever) then you start ‘doing’ things from this place of beingness- and soon you discover that what you are doing winds up bringing you the things you’ve always wanted to ‘have.’

    The way to set this creative process (and that’s what this is… the process of creation) into motion is to look at what it is you want to ‘have,’ ask yourself what you think you would ‘be’ if you ‘had’ that, then go right straight to being. In this way you reverse the way you’ve been using the Be-Do-Have paradigm-in actuality, set it right-and work with, rather than against, the creative power of the universe.

    Here is a short way of stating this principle: In life, you do not have to do anything. It is all a question of what you are being.”

    – Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations With God (Vol. 3)

    Revelation! Wonderfully shocking, shockingly wonderful revelation!

    1. Question One: What would you like to *HAVE*?
    2. I would like to have abundance. (Duh 😉 ) You too?

    3. Question Two: If you had that, what would you *DO*?
    4. If I was abundant and prosperous, I would be generous with family and friends. I would go out for sushi absolutely *all* the time! I would eat all the yummy, healthy foods which I love. I would do what I wanted when I wanted to do it. How about you?

    5. Question Three: If you did that, how would you *FEEL*?
    6. If I was generous, ate my favorite healthy foods and did what I wanted when I wanted … I would feel free! Wow, if I as abundant and generous, my father would be so proud of me! I would feel sooooo proud, free and loved!

    Ok, so my key is: proud, free and loved.

    We typically don’t want things for any reason other than how we *think* we would feel once we get them. Now, bypass the need to know how it’s going to happen. Bypass the need for the “thing” … and become a vibrational match to the feeling. That is your key.

    Today, ask yourself, “What would a (proud, free, loved, fill in the blanks) person do?”

    Once I discovered this, I began taking inspired action according to the feeling state I was desiring. Yearning for, really. When I asked, “What can I do today that would make me feel proud?” it was so very simple and clear what action I wanted to take, what action called to me and what action would bring me that feeling right now. Today.

    Now, if Neale Donald Walsch and my new friend Elyse are right, the “stuff” will begin to show up … but by then, it’s icing on the cake.

    Conversations with God, Volume 3

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    A very special thanks to Elyse Hope Killoran for eliciting this light bulb moment! One little Prosperity Partnership call and >poof!< it all began beautifully and perfectly falling into place. Hugs and kisses, you are a gift, Elyse!
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