What Should A Networked School Counsellor Post on Twitter ?

 

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School Counsellors Education Leaders Follow us on Twitter  #SCCrowd and #scchat 

As School Counsellors who are educational leaders on twitter, we should first and foremost be professional. Everything on-line is public. Act as if it always is even if your privacy settings give you the illusion that it is private.

Click here to see my haiku deck The Illusion of Privacy

Twitter:

  1. This is a place and a space to connect with other educators and School Counsellors from across the world. It is a place that you can learn from others by growing your Personal Learning Network (PLN).
  2. It is also a place where you can eventually collaborate with others making a difference in your school and in your community.
  3. Share your resources!!! This is a place to share some of the great resources that you or others create, but also a place to get amazing resources that can impact the way you help your students.
  4. Follow and share blog posts of those people you respect.
  5. Twitter is an amazing space to share the wisdom of others. You can post or create your own quotes.
  6. Celebrate others. I think we should consider celebrating colleagues on a regular basis. There are so many people who surround us that are doing amazing things and all too often are not recognized for the fabulous things they do and the positive impact they have on others. So celebrate others today … celebrate them often.
  7. Thank those that help you.
  8. Retweet inspiring ideas.
  9. Live and let live. You aren’t going to agree with everything and everyone, but you can be the kind of leader you want to be. Find great leaders, and follow them.
  10. Help others get started on twitter. You recognize how much it has helped you . So pay it forward.

TO DO ON TWITTER:

  • Always be appropriate and professional and use common sense in what you share.
  • Surround yourself with positive people just like you do in real life.
  • Relationships are key on twitter , use the reply( @____ the name of the person)  to have discussions , ask questions and share ideas and resources with others.
  • Be a positive leader. In order to teach students to be good citizens ( digitalcitizens we need to model that every day) .
  • Listen and learn from the great educators and people around the world.
  • Act as if everything you say is heard by every student and family you have ever taught or worked with.
  • Be real , be yourself.
  • You can develop great friendships on twitter. Like in real life, use all the skills you have to meet people who enrich and enhance your life.
  • Think about the kind of legacy you want to leave.

NOT TO DO ON TWITTER

  • Never ever share confidential information , even if it looks disguised.
  • Never ever talk about others in a negative way.
  • Never say or do anything that goes against who you truly are.

If you are new to twitter check out this check list .

Thanks to @gcouros yet again for the inspiration. As George says don’t use profanity. You would not use it in the classroom, so don’t use it online. A lot of what I have said can be applied to Facebook as well. So think before you post applies to all of us who use social media. Social media should be used to learn, share and grow as well as a way to have a positive impact on the world. I look forward to reading your tweets.

There Is An Artist In All Of Us

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Five years ago I did not paint and now thanks to great friends and my experiences in ETMOOC  , I have more confidence and find it one of the most rewarding , therapeutic experiences that I can imagine. I take mini courses and I watch lots of youtube videos to get tips. It is so much fun.

I have keratoconus a progressive eye disease, ( I was diagnosed later in life ) so I think partly that diagnosis has driven me to create visually in case my vision ever gets really poor. Painting is therapeutic and healing for me. I have played sports all my life and I absolutely love to read,  both which can bring me flow , but nothing brings me the kind of flow that painting does.

Painting brings me flow the kind of flow that was discovered by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  Fifteen hours can feel like five minutes for me. I love that it brings me joy and that I am completely absorbed in the process. It is fun and easy and yes I think anyone  can benefit from art and painting.  If I can you can too.

 

I plan on using the painting that I did above,  thanks to the online instructions from theArtSherpa ( see below) with our students. Art and Counselling definitely go together . Paintings tell stories often times with hidden messages.

Process for students:

Today we are going to embark on a journey of letting go of any negativity and go with the flow. For the next two hours you are not allowed to say to yourself I can’t . If you hear yourself speaking those words take your note pad and write I can … I will.

So let’s begin this process by being mindful and breathing. Lead students through a short mindfulness process to begin. Let them know that they are going to create a special painting today and that there are no mistakes. They can create their trees and painting anyway they like even if it is different from the paining they see. Like mine birch trees do not produce multi coloured leaves , but I did just because I wanted to visually and I  love the effect.  This seminar is about being yourself and letting go.

If they would like to follow the step by step instructions here they are:

  1. Write messages of hope and their dreams for their future in pencil on their canvas.
  2. Ask students if anyone would like to share their hopes and dreams with others.
  3. The size of canvas it up to the student. Have students bring the size of canvas they want to work on.
  4. Divide your canvas into six equal sections. They don’t have to be exact and you don’t have to measure them. Tell students they can estimate.  So begin by saying Today we are going to create . We are going to start by painting a rainbow with trees, you can use any method you like to paint your colors on your canvas. I used upwards stokes, but really any would work. Start with red, orange , yellow, greens,  blue and purple.
  5. Guide students through the process being as creative as you like in explaining what they can do next. Constantly remind them it is ok to make mistakes ( really there are no mistakes, but they may perceive them as such). Remind them that their perceived mistakes lead to more creativity and it is ok to be as creative as they wish going with the flow and what their heart wants to paint.
  6. Trees can be very symbolic and you can discuss this with students.Trees are strong and unique just like each of them. Birch trees can mean new beginnings. You can discuss with students what they believe their trees mean for them. I chose nine trees, but they can choose any number that means something to them. I also chose to add flowers and really birch trees have no colorful flowers, but I like the effect. The lovely thing when you create art just for the sake of it is that there is no right or wrong . There are no mistakes. It just is … creative , how wonderful and freeing.
  7. The rest of the directions are below in the video. You can watch and create your own instructions.
  8. Most importantly have fun and trust the process.

Check out the video below for detailed instructions:

If you decide to do this process with your students , please share your creative ideas with me @sspellmancann.

Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life

Pablo Paccasso

How do you thank someone? … You can too …

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Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. It is hard to believe three years has passed since ETMOOC. I personally have learned so much in the last three years thanks to my ETMOOC PLN and especially Alec Couros. How do you thank someone who has made such a difference ? For us in ETMOOC it was by helping to create something that will hopefully make a difference for Alec, his family as well as future educators.

According to Harvard Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy people judge you on two criteria when they first meet you .

  1. Can I trust this person?
  2. Can I respect this person?

Alec Couros  @courosa has earned the  trust and respect of so many , but especially those of us in ETMOOC and as a result we wanted to do something special for him. Thus the Mario Couros Memorial Bursary .

Please take time to read the criteria below and if you feel like you too want to thank Alec by contributing to an award that honours him and his dad who meant the world to him, then please do so. Several of us plan to work hard this year to promote and get others to contribute to this award and we hope YOU will join us.

About the award :

The Mario Couros Memorial Bursary will help newcomers to Canada in reaching their dream of being one of tomorrow’s educators by providing financial assistance to pursue their Education Degree at the University of Regina. Mario came to Canada from Greece on December 14th 1957. He lived, worked and raised his family in Saskatchewan. He wanted to make a life and a difference for his family. Mario was a volunteer, a caring supportive father, grandfather, a loving husband and an extremely hard working man. He was a great role model for his children and others as he continued to be a lifelong learner with a fabulous work ethic until his passing. This award is dedicated in his memory.

It is also a tribute to his son Dr. Alec Couros who continues his father’ s legacy by inspiring and encouraging others to pursue their educational aspirations and follow a path to life-long learning.

The bursary will make a meaningful impact by breaking down the financial barriers to higher education and encouraging outstanding academic achievement. By contributing to this bursary you will enable Education students to focus on what matters most : their education.

The goal is to raise $ 25.000 to create an endowment that will allow for a permanent bursary at the University of Regina ‘s Faculty of Education. Your contribution to the Mario Couros Memorial Bursary will live on in perpetuity in memory and honour of Mario’s legacy. 

To donate online:

  1.                    Go to http://www.uregina.ca/giving
  2.                    Click the Donate Now button on the right side
  3.                    Click the In Honour/In Memory button

Enter your donation information and click add to gift basket.

Please ensure you enter Mario Couros under the second tab and continue to payment

If you would like any assistance with contributing please contact Erin Werner at 1-306-585-5432 or erin.werner@uregina.ca .  Those from other countries may wish to do so if they have difficulty contributing.  If you need a paper copy just email her.

You too can help !  Consider letting other educators know they can contribute to this important fund. Each contribution can and will make a difference. Alec has 99.5k followers . If each person following @courosa donated $ 1.00 we would have more than we need to keep this fund alive and help young people who want to be educators.

A very special thank you to all those in ETMOOC that have volunteered to promote this fund and all those who have already committed to contributing. I am so grateful for you . Kindness flows in ETMOOC ‘ers

I look forward to many more years of connecting , growing and learning with all of you. I think my heart is bigger today because of all of you.

Have you or someone you know been impacted by @courosa or @gcouros ?  You may want to really consider contributing. This post yesterday by @gcouros on “Has twitter changed our view?”  is very thoughtful and thought provoking. Twitter has most certainly changed mine for the positive. #lifechanging #friendshipsIneverwouldhaveimagined #grateful

REMINDER:
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE ! Truly think about donating, even if only a small amount and pass this on to someone who you think would contribute. TOGETHER we are better!

Please consider blogging about this award and sharing on twitter , facebook and google plus . YOU too can help to make a difference. Thanking you in advance. There truly are so many good people in the world and if you have taken time to read this blog post to the end and contribute. I know you are one of them.

Please let us know you have contributed by either DM ing me at @sspellmancann or by posting in the comments section so we can acknowledge YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TED Talks and videos for School Counsellors

The following TED Talks and videos are excellent for School Counsellors:

  1. Martin Seligman The New Era of Positive Psychology

Some highlights from Seligman. Psychology should be as concerned with strength as it is with weakness and in building the best things in life as it is in repairing the worst. It should also be as concerned with making the lives of normal people fulfilling and with nurturing high talent as healing pathology .

2. Shawn Anchor: The Secret To Better Work

Some highlights from Anchor. It takes 21 days 3 minutes every day to train your brain to be more positive. What are 3 things you are grateful for ? Write them down everyday. Journaling about one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours allows your brain to relive it. Exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters. Meditation allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we’ve been creating by trying to do multiple tasks at once and allows our brains to focus on the task at hand. Random acts of kindness are conscious acts of kindness

3. The Science of Happiness – An Experiment in Gratitude

Some highlights.  Take time to tell someone how grateful you are that they are in your life. Do it today!

4. My Philosophy for A Happy Life Sam Berns

Some highlights from Sam. Sam had progeria. Sam lived life fully while he was living. Always have something to look forward to. Accept life when you are feeling badly. You can change the world and he did. Never miss a party.

Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.

– Leo Tolstoy

5. My Last Days Meet Zach Sobiech

 

 

You don’t have to find out you are dying to start living. Most people live in the middle , but you don’t have to. What’s awesome about living in this world is that you can help . People we don’t really know can change our lives. Love makes life better.

6.  Educate The Heart 

Highlights : A child’s heart and mind are fragile. We have an enormous responsibility … we need to educate students from the heart. It can start today in our schools.

7. I renamed this to From the heart : What Real Winners Look Like.

 

Highlights: Watch and you’ll see.

If you have any great video’s you know School Counsellors should see please send them my way @sspellmancann.

 

 

Digital Leaders

Digital leaders are those who build others up. They are those who help other educators/people along their journey.

Digital leaders:

  • Know that when you help someone else you help yourself.
  • Are those who are not afraid to make a mistake and continually learn. You don’t need to be in the front lines to do that, you just need to share your experience and know that others have so much to teach you.
  • Are responsible digital citizens themselves and demonstrate this so that students and other learners can know what this truly means.

Every person has an opportunity to be helpful … every person has an opportunity to collaborate … to make a difference … to celebrate the good works of others (student, teachers, parents, community members) … to be a digital leader means to learn and be a responsible digital citizen yourself. To truly care enough to enter the digital world so that you can as Alec Couros says “think together” and I would add learn together. It is never too late to learn to be a good digital leader yourself.

photoCC image by Catherine Cronin

School Counsellors are in an amazing position to be digital leaders to help students and others know the importance of digital citizenship . At BCHS we start every year with a grade 10 retreat where the School Counsellors present on Digital Citizenship . Throughout the year we discuss digital citizenship through our School twitter feed as well as through our Facebook pages. We ask students if we can use their pictures before we publish making sure they have signed the required consent. There are many great School Counsellors who are digital leaders . Just check out the hashtags #SCCrowd and #scchat.

We want our students to be excellent digital citizens, but we know that takes time , effort , patience and great role modelling by all staff and educators in general.

Fortunately I know many great digital leaders (too many to list here)  which is a great thing , however I will list a few if you are just getting started :

Dr. Alec Couros @courosa

George Couros @gcouros

Dr. Erin Mason @ecmmason

#etmooc ‘ers

Want to be a good digital leader? You can start today. It is never too late.

Future School Counsellors … If I Can You Can Too

Technology is a very important part of students lives today and will be even more prevalent in the future. School Counsellors can find a way to incorporate exciting new practices into their School Counselling programs. These changes can inspire not only their students , but the School Counsellors themselves.

IF I CAN YOU CAN TOO

I’ve been asked by Dr. Chris Schimmel  @doc_schimmel an outstanding Counselor Educator to present to future School Counsellors on the use of technology. I love technology and think it is essential to future School Counsellors. Why? Because it allows us to connect with students in their space as well as allows us an opportunity to connect to the whole school population. Of course there will always be a place and a space for meeting and connecting with students individually, but it is also extremely important to reach as many students as possible  and that can be done through the use of technology.

Technology also allows us to develop a PLN  with people from all around the world. In my opinion this is one of the best ways to connect with not only School Counsellors who are passionate, but also with other educators who use technology to assist them in improving and reflecting on what it is they do for students. Dr. Erin Mason @ecmmmason  my friend is an amazing leader when it comes to School Counsellors utilizing and creating ideas with technology.

So, University of West Virginia Counseling students this blog post is for you. I look forward to meeting , connecting  and sharing and helping you in the Google Hangout organized by your professor Dr. Chris Schimmel.

The rest of this blog will be about the resources I think School Counsellors can use that make a difference.

#1 is Twitter so I encourage you to get an account today. It will transform your life and the life of your future students if used properly. Twitter is where it all began for me and then ETMOOC changed the way I offered parts of my School Counselling program. A special thanks to Alec Couros @courosa  Ed tech professor extraordinaire and social media expert at the University of Regina. You will want to follow him and his brother George @gcouros a leader and fabulous Administrator on twitter.

Advantages of twitter:

  • It allows for opportunities to connect, collaborate, share and learn from and with people from all over the world.
  • I have used Twitter and Google docs to collaborate with other School Counsellors and educators who have wanted to contribute to Mental Health in High School as well as many other projects.
  • Using the hashtags #SCCrowd and #scchat as well as some other great chats allows us to connect with School Counselling professionals who are more than willing to help us as we continue to work with and make a difference for students.

School Counsellor chat schedule

  • The instant anytime access allows me to get information or resources that I can utilize in an open manner which not only helps me , but may help others.
  • It also allows us a voice for reaching out to others to let them know that what we do matters.

University of Regina President Vianne Timmons saying School Counsellors Change and Save Lives

This post has had 9,458 people who have seen it in two days. Social media can reach people quickly.

  • If you’d like to start to follow and share on #SCin30 you too can have a voice. We’d love to know what you think as a future School Counsellor. Pose a question and answer it. Then share and we can learn from you.

The most rewarding part of my job as a School Counsellor

  • Twitter allows you as a School Counsellor to share and help other School Counsellors, School Counselling students and educators.

If you want to learn more about School Counsellors observe their twitter accounts. Please follow them using the hashtags above and you’ll get a good sense of how you too can be a positive digital citizen and model this for your future students.

Ask for help. Other School Counsellors and educators are always willing to help you. If you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to ask.

One of the best ways you can find the best tech tools to use as a School Counsellor is to check out SCOPE School Counselor Online Professional Exchange. Spend some time there. It will be worth your time and effort.

#2  Haiku Deck As a School Counsellor you will have to give presentations or you may wish to share ideas or messages with students that you think are important. Haiku Deck @haikudeck is my number one go to app. It has a creative commons license built within the app that allows a visual experience that is like none other.

Below you can see some of my haiku decks that I have used to share with School Counsellors and students.

The power of social media to touch others is absolutely amazing. This simple @haikudeck on Who Matters?  has had 79,769 views . One never knows the impact a simple gesture   can have online and off.

#3 Livebinders I love to use livebinders to organize and share useful School Counselling information. At Bishop Carroll High School we use livebinders to share large amounts of important information with students in a single space.

Here are two of our livebinders co-created by our School Counselling team Erin Luong  @ehordyskiluong ,  Peter Damen  and I   :

  1.  Post Secondary Planning
  2.  This Personal Wellness  livebinder is a work in progress.

#4  Smore

There are so many benefits for using smores. You can find a few ideas here.

Here is our Welcome to Student Services smore. It is an excellent way to share information with your future students , parents and staff. Also it is an amazing tool for gathering ideas to present to students as you can see in our personal wellbeing livebinder section .

#5  iMovie  / YouTube I use iMovie more and more to present to students information that I think will be helpful to them. Dean Shareski , a Canadian educator said once and it has stayed with me video trumps text, so I try to use video as much as possible to create information students can relate to and then upload the iMovie to YouTube. I do this all on my iPhone which makes things very easy for me.

Here are two iMovies ,  one  I made and one our students made as part of our student led wellness team.

Welcome grade 10’s

There Is More To me Than PSA

Here is one I made from haiku deck :

Ten Things You Should Stop Doing: Notice the attribution to Haiku Deck at the bottom of the movie which you should always do . Give attribution that is. That is where people can see where the pictures come from and who to attribute them to.

Ten Things You Should Stop Doing

#6  Blogs

Blogs are a great tool to create, connect and learn from others. For me creating blogs still requires a great deal of effort as I am still learning, but today’s example is a great way of sharing information with others from far away. I started my blog in May of 2013. It has had 15,113 views from 105 countries.

  1. SCOPE blog
  2. Blog roll of School Counselors

#7  Google docs are an amazing way to collaborate.  I collaborate with our students on our Wellness committee  and our Who’s Frank? team. Here are two google docs that you can collaborate on and I hope you do:

  1. Connecting with School Counsellors
  2. Mental Health in High School A Collaborative Project

One Tool At A Time Google Drive and Forms

#8 Pinterest is a fabulous way to collate information and gather information for future use. I love the visual aspect of pinterest.

Pinterest does indeed inspire creativity . I have used it for many things including creating School Counselling bulletin boards as well as for ideas for presentations.

#9  Google hangouts

Again, yet another great way to connect with School Counsellors and educators from across the world.

The Future of School Counselling Google Hangout

Post ETMOOC Google Hangout

For more ideas of why technology is important for you check here.

You can see that I use multiple tools in multiple ways to help me do a variety of things that help not only School Counsellors , but students as well. Three years ago I did not know how to do any of this so …  if I can you can too.

35 years in Education The Passion Continues

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I cannot believe I started teaching thirty five years ago. I have to say I am as passionate about my profession and even more so because of all the learning that has taken place over all these years. I am so grateful to learn with and from students , other educators , friends , my husband and our children.

I love what I do and I let students know that. I feel it is extremely important to care about what you do and remain passionate . If you are no longer passionate about being an educator or School Counsellor it is time to change as it is a major disservice to the students we serve. I plan on retiring (not now),but with passion for a profession that fulfills and will always hold a special place in my heart!

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Being a lifelong learner has served me well. I feel I still have sooooooo much to learn. Thanks to Twitter and my PLN especially those in #etmooc  #SCCrowd  and #scchat, I continue to learn and grow every day. It has actually given me new ways to do what I love to do.

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The use of technology has allowed me and our Student Services Team to share ideas and resources with the whole school.

Here is our Welcome To Student Services Smore.

We love to collaborate at BCHS and Peter Damen one of our School Counsellors took the lead in creating  a Post Secondary Planning livebinder to assist students with finding academic information. It is fantastic.

Erin Luong (another School Counsellor at BCHS ) and I are working on this Personal Wellness livebinder to assist students in finding resources related to wellbeing and mental health. We will eventually create a live binder just for parents. I am so fortunate to work with a School Counsellor @ehordyskiluong who loves using tech as much as I do.

I so look forward to this school year as I know I will find the extraordinary in the ordinary days and remind myself to be grateful for each and every day.

Please check out our student wellness team latest PSA There Is More To Me Than:

If you are looking to read any books this year try these two. Have a phenomenal year . I look forward to connecting and collaborating with you!

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You can find me @sspellmancann on twitter.

Privacy an Illusion

Too many people think that what they post on line is private. I was one of those people before #ETMOOC almost three years ago. I thought if I put on my privacy settings that I would be protected. Don’t be fooled. Act as if all is public always. I know that it isn’t easy for young people today because the world is watching. It makes me wonder if I would have acted any diffferent in my youth if I knew that. Teachers, School Counsellors and Administrators are increasingly posting on line and they most certainly need to be good citizens online and off. We are role models for all. Take a look at what Russ Sabella had to say during his session on Ethics at #ASCA15

If you scan Dr. Sabella’s QR code you can download the presentation into your dropbox files. if you are not sure how to scan go to the website on the tweet above.

I like the statement JUST BECAUSE YOU CANDOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD

One of the many great things I learned in ETMOOC was that you need to create your own digital footprint before anyone else does it for you. So flood the internet with the positives that you do and are.

School Counsellors you can and must be a leader. Google yourself often to make sure your presence is what you want it to be. Set up google alerts to make sure your footprint is positive. You can start today to create your digital identity. By you learning all the ins and outs of posting online you will better understand your students and how you can help them. Will you make some mistakes? I am sure you will, I certainly have, but I feel I am much better prepared today to prepare our students for tomorrow.

You can spread your positive ideas and make a difference in the world and as a result be a role model for students and encourage others to do the same.  So if you don’t know already complete privacy is an ilusion.  I ask you to please make your mark in the world a positive one. Think before you post.

Here are a couple of my haiku decks on Digital Citizenship and privacy:

The Illusion of Privacy

Digital Citizenship lessons

For our High School Students

Now it’s your turn. What will you post today?

Counsellor Thoughts

Thoughts From Your School Counsellors

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As school counsellors, there are some very important things we wish to share with you.

You are the reason we do what we do

We care; we mean really care about teenagers. We do our best to touch as many students as we can, being advocates for you in school. We feel you have a right to know why we do what we do. We are counsellors by choice. Some of the things we have to do are difficult, but we choose to be here.

We are here because we believe we can help

As your School Counsellors, we have several roles. Even if we get caught up doing several things at once, our hearts are always with you, the student.

What you do with your life is up to you

You are in charge of you. We are here to help you reach your full potential. We will insist that you learn. It is your ticket to absolute freedom.

Be all that you can be

It isn’t easy being a teenager; even we can get frustrated with your raging hormones. You are growing and changing. We understand that. Take responsibility for your life and your actions and your teachers and others will respect you.

We do care, don’t ever forget it

That’s why we are here

That’s why we choose to do what we do

We will help in any way we can. We may get you support with a mentor, another counsellor or whomever can help us help you.

Stop … Think … Speak

Remember, your thoughts lead to feelings lead to your actions. Change your thinking and you will have control of your life.

No matter what anyone else says or does to you, you are a worthwhile person

Truly  you are a gift

You are somebody

You deserve dignity and respect

 

There will be times during your school experience where negative things are said or done to you. You may experience painful times. Life can be difficult. It’s not what happens in your life that matters, but how you choose to respond to it and we are here to help.

What you put into school is what you will get out of it

With your help, we can make a difference. If you choose to share a part of yourself with us, we can work together to make changes in your life. Your school experience will become everything you hoped it could be. Get involved and you will feel better about yourself.

Give life a chance

One of the easiest things to say and one of the most difficult things to do are to live one day at a time. If you can master letting go of the past, not worrying about the future, but living each day to the fullest, then you will have lived a great life full of few regrets.

Be patient

Change takes time. Let yourself grow. We all can change if we have the courage and the wisdom.

We have faith in you

Never give up! Have Hope! Live every moment to the fullest! Become all that you are meant to be and you pay it forward to others.

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