I was honoured to be asked to speak to a group of amazing women at Words of Wisdom this morning and you too can join in any Sunday. What personal wisdom if any I have is nothing new, but my experiences have helped shape me into who I am and how I became a person full of optimism and hope.
Here are the slides from my presentation:
I hope you can see that around the bend . There is much to be grateful for and the best is yet to be. Had I not had a worldview that felt and believed in hope , I am not sure how my life would have turned out.
My wish for you is that you can see the best is yet to be.
There are some therapists who contribute more than others to the helping professions and Donald Meichenbaum is one of them. I have been privileged to attend a couple of his trainings. If you ever get the chance I suggest you sign up for one. I love that he has so generously given us resources that are not only practical, but helpful. If you are a School Counsellor/ Psychologist or Psychotherapist I know you will enjoy his book the Roadmap to Resilience . Bonus it’s free.
Thank you Dr. Meichenbaum for all the work you do with the melissa institute to help othersl
- Anything goes, have fun.
- Be like a child and create.
- Create, don’t critique.
- Don’t give up … Don’t be afraid to try new things … pour and play.
- Experiment with different papers like Yupo and different inks.
- Forget about your worries and create art instead.
- Get your space ready to play.
- Have a blast.
- Imagine all the great things you will create.
- Just be yourself and create what makes you happy.
- Kindness matters when you start out. Everyone can do art and we all get better with time.
- Let go and let it flow.
- Mistakes make marvelous art pieces.
- Music brings out the creativity in you . Listen while you create.
- Practice , Practice, Practice.
- Quit saying you can’t … you can!
- Relax and let the paint take you away.
- Safety matters, ventilation and masks make for a safe work space.
- Trust the process.
- Uplift friends who are new to alcohol inks.
- Visualize what you’d like to create, then do it!
- Watch lots of artists’ YouTube videos.
- XO from me to you.
- You’ve got this!
- Zazzy that’s you and so will your paintings be.
As I put away my Christmas decorations for another year I reflect and acknowledge that although it has been a very quiet time with just my husband and I and not the Christmas I had hoped for; I also recognize that I have so much to be grateful for. So many have heartbreaks and challenges that are unimaginable at this time of year, leaving many families with much grief and sadness.
I need hope in my life. So I must look at each day expecting that the best is yet to be. That things will get better and even if this year brings more Covid and life challenges, I will look at what I can do not what I can’t to make this year the best it can be.
2021 was an extremely challenging year for me. Loss, Covid in many of my family members, eye issues (plenty of those), plus many other unpleasant life experiences, so I need a new story for this next chapter. I need to bring passion back into my life. Life will always bring us tough times, some years more than others.
- I will look forward to each day, creating new ways to find hope for myself.
- I will do new things.
- I will change my story to one of true acceptance of all the things I cannot change.
- I will focus on opportunities instead of obstacles.
- I will give more love to myself and those around me.
- I will remember to be grateful that I am alive and acknowledge that I have much to look forward to.
- I will choose to live fully as much as humanly possible each day.
- I will be a better version of myself.
- I will recognize that I am human and will have sad times, but I will not stay in those feelings.
I’m not finished yet and neither are you. It’s a new year … it’s a new day to really live. #walkalongwithme
This year has been challenging for so many reasons, but one personal reason is the loss of my eyesight and independence.
I started the year off great and then slowly I started noticing my vision was becoming blurry. More blurry than usual. I have pellucid marginal degeneration. In November of 2017 I had crosslinking and limited PRK. Afterwards I had amazing vision even without glasses for a year, Then I needed glasses again which was no big deal, but in December of 2020 , I noticed something was wrong.
My optometrist who I respected moved away and my surgeon and opthamologist was no longer seeing patients. So I had to find a new optometrist and opthamologist, no easy feat during covid.
Long story short over two months later, I got in to see a new opthamologist who diagnosed me with eye herpes. Who knew you could get herpes in your eyes? Not me or most people I knew. So began the treatments.
Then another twist I had to go to Nova Scotia unexpectedly and find another opthamologist and optometrist who could treat me there. Luckily that all worked out. I have been unable to drive since January and to say that has been difficult for me is an understatement.
Fast forward to today and I am getting closer and closer to better vision. I just got fitted for sclerals and I am feeling very hopeful, not only that I will see better ,but that I will drive and get my independence back.
I don’t always make a big deal about my vision loss so often people forget and think I can see things that I can’t like menus in fast food places,misspelling words in emails. I worked all throughout this time and luckily I work with very compassionate people.
I sometimes feel overwhelmed in big stores because of the lights and can’t find what I am looking for. Of course when I ask for help it looks like I can see so instead of telling my story I just manage as best as possible.
I continue to wear my glasses for now even though they don’t help one little bit , I just feel more comfortable with them on. It’s hard to admit to myself that I am visually impaired, but it is even more difficult to admit to others. I cannot see people or things at a distance and actually you have to be pretty close up for me to recognize you these days.
I end up paying for a lot of things related to my sight because it is not covered by my insurance. I am hoping in the future this is not so.
I am hopeful that this invisible disability I have will be more understood in time.. It is my responsibility to try and educate others as best as I can and do what I can to advocate for others.
Loss of sight affects more than 1.5 million Canadians. Awareness around the issue is still relatively small. You’ve got to speak up if you want to be heard. Not that doing so is easy, but I will do my part. My eyes matter and so do yours. I am hopeful that I will gain new eye sight and independence in the near future. I am hopeful technology will change things for me in my lifetime (it already has) and I know it will for the youth that are newly diagnosed with keratoconus and corneal related issues.
There is a wonderful website I have found during this time, hadley edu and if you need assistance with your vision they are amazing. More websites should use their contrast feature. Check it out , it is so helpful.
I remain very optimistic even though I cannot presently see clearly.
These eyes they have many stories to tell.Feel free to just ask me , and you may start to see things differently yourself.
2021 has been one of the more difficult times in my adult life. I lost a lot of my vision due to a virus. It is slowly returning, but, It will never be the same again. There is just too much damage. I am not at the point of corneal transplants yet so, I have a lot to be grateful for. I have also dealt with the loss of a beloved family member as well as having two close family members get Covid. Let’s just say it hasn’t been easy.
Fortunately for me I started with a full cup and while it is draining,my cup is not empty (far from it). So how do I remain positive? I walk everyday and moved it up to an hour a day from a half hour. I keep myself active by painting and working part time. I also belong to an amazing organization called Secont Chants, plus I volunteer. All have been a true blessing for me. They keep my mind off of myself and more on others and other things.
Although it is tiring and not easy to connect virtually after a day of work and other pressures , many of my closest friends have made it a point to connect with me. I have not reached out like I usually do. My husband has also made life so much easier for me, he always has I am fortunate.
I am tired and grieving ,but I also know how much good I have in my life and I remind myself that others have fared off much worse than I. Not to diminish my pain,but to recognize that no one gets through this life without struggles some so much more severe than others and yet people remain pillars of strength.
Each chapter in life brings us new challenges, some we can never anticipate or expect. So having a full cup with connections, caring people and coping skills makes it all that much easier, definitely not easy ,but it gives us strength to cope with what comes our way. At least it has for me.
So I remain positive that this too shall come to pass and I will fill my cup back up and maybe it will even run over. I hope that happens for you too.
There are so many creative people in the world and oh how lucky am I to be connected to such creative and fabulous people on twitter.
“Where The World Finds Gratitude in the Rhythm of Shared Writing” Kevin Hodgson
Thank you for the inspiration #DS106. Creating is so good for our mental health. I am always inspired by @grammasheri . i love that she nudges me to join in on her creative endeavours. I am also grateful to @wendtale who has also given me a nudge or two along the way. I have had the pleasure of collaborating with her on Humanizing Online Teaching and Learning before so connecting again has been great. So today I was inspired to create a remix of 106 lines of thought.
Here is my remix:
Collaborating on the 106 Lines of Thought poem with such fabulous people was so much fun. Here is the original.
- A bird, flying though the sky
2 Cuts through dark clouds
3 Circling on wind drifts
4 Your mind shifts to stars
5 Whose silver wings shimmer and shiver. And fade.
6 Cutting into thin air, exhilarating, hard to breath,
7 as you swim through the sun flooded blue
8 ignoring the green duckweed trying to get into your nostrils.
9 focusing on turquoise skies: the other side
10 until, until, there. You break through and for a moment,
11 you forget. (Go to line 106 option)
12 The dark clouds that touched your wings yesterday. Now replaced by light.
13 Invisibly lifted, you soar higher.
14 Higher and higher until you fear Icarus’ fate.
15 Looking down, you notice gratitude growing within you,
16 warming your bones just like the Sun’s rays.
17 wrapping wings of hope around the earth
18 observing the moment pass.
19 You glide, introspective,
20 Into a brighter light,
21 illuminating from deep within,
22 sparking something deep inside of you,
23 that reaches out to others
24 even animal friends, companions
25 share your brilliance
26 alive, living in the moment.
27 noticing the small things
28 celebrating the small things, because these give us all hope.
29 a child’s smile, a cat’s paw, a snowdrop peeking through the snow
30 a carousel of animated memories that light up receptors of gratitude
31 and trigger fond memories
32 captured, like snapshots, to browse through
33 a force keeping the dark clouds at bay
34 and allowing our inner strength to shine through
35 Wings rhythm beat is one of an ancient song
36 The sound of wings https://youtu.be/AzEZUofreU0
37 beats like hearts thumping in rhythm
38 like tribes gathering
39 on the plateau in late spring
40 reflecting on the past yet looking to the future
41 and still remaining warriors in the present
42 armed with love and compassion
43 To see ourselves as others see us!
44 It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
45 An’ foolish notion.
46 Of snowflakes drifting on the winds
48 the only flakes I see are dust
49 different zones, different moans
50 Crisscrossing echoes linger
51 from far away. While closer, chattering birds
52 with young in tow, peaceful sounds, rise in stark contrast
53 with sirens, ever circling. Human and nature collide
54 something of our song still songs, inside
55 wonder rises, can we still hear?
56 have we salvaged our hope to listen for joy?
57 Hope springs eternal, so we are told. Joy
58 cometh from the sounds of birds, the breath of wind, the tangible sense of nature
59 of hope
60 Where poems are seeds and stories are leaves
61 the Earth grows stronger, and the sunlight
62 shadows these trees, firm-rooted in ancient soil
63 and we, the people, we are always digging deep
64 thinking and feeling , listening as though we may be
65 on the ancient bows of trees rooting stories through and through,
66 reaching at once deep into the earth and high into the sky
76 past the places where we share words
77 that tumble past my lips, like a blessing
78 or a curse
79 far beneath, where stone melts and churns
80 then returns with smoke and fire
81 through cracks and crevices
82 new land cools and forms
83 greens, flourishes,
84 only to have the Poet surface, to ponder:
85 And what will we make of this place
86 where poems and voice and culture collide?
87 what digital fossils left embedded in stone?
88 Take this hammer, take this chisel
89 Take some time to work alone
90 Shatter the surface of intentions
91 Surface this collaborative poem
92 Grab it by the scruff
93 Wield the woven words
94 a weapon against hate
95 a tapestry of many colors
96 a harmony of many notes
97 will you knit our thoughts together?
98 will you help us fly?
99 I can fly beside you, soar with you
100 Share in the life of these words
101 Sit still in silence with you
102 What will it be?
103 When we come to these last lines
104 Who will we be? Will we
105 Remember to breathe and
106 To flap. The End.
The Jolt @AwoJolt
Prof Caritat @profcaritat
You may be inspired to remix one day soon and if you do you might connect with some inspiring people and create a state of flow for yourself which is definitely good for your mental health. Have fun!
Well 2020 was quite the year, but now it is gone and I will let go of it. I intend to embrace each day in 2021. A great quote from Zach Sobiech that I like to live by is ” You don’t need to find out you are dying to start living” No greater lesson to learn in life , but especially in a pandemic. LIVE!