My journey in a new direction

Posts Tagged ‘direction’

The Time Has Come!

Posted by BarbaraZ on November 9, 2013

December 23, 2011 at 6:45 am

A New Day  ~~  A New Journey

Well. the ship has come in, or at least it is trying to. The start of a new beginning is on it way. The rest is up to me.

So why do I feel like a child facing its first day at school?  Why is my mind racing in circles?  Barb, time to take those deep breaths you have written about. You know, the ones you say to do in order to bring your mind to rest?  That’s right… breathe in now… hold it… now exhale slowly. Don’t forget to feel for that hint of a smile on your lips. My mind cannot feel rushed and scared when I am smiling, no matter how small the smile    Try it!

I am excited, I am nervous and yes, scared.  Me!!  Now to make a “Do Not Disturb, Genius at Work” sign to put on my ‘office’ door.  I finally made the decision to retire from teaching. It has been so much more than a job, it has been my passion. I have been a part of a team of teachers in an open classroom where students of all ages, all backgrounds, come to learn. Some need to learn how to enter the computer age. Others need to upgrade their Microsoft Office Program skills. We offer certificate programs for Office Administration, Medical and Legal Office programs also.

I am not retiring totally, but starting a whole new career. Freelance writing has been a part of my life for a few years, but in a low key sort of way. Now I need to approach it in a more determined way. I have met some great individuals in my freelance writing learning quest and also am writing articles in two areas. I have mentioned both BlogMutt and Catch My Pain before. They were mentioned in my Emerging post. That hiatus I mentioned for BlogMutt has to come to an end. This is where I need to post that “Do Not Disturb” sign on my door!

I also need to do a major over haul to this blog and get it back to the original purpose and that is posting articles that can help you find that inner peace, balance in your lift. I also will include articles on alternative options for pain and other health issues. Chemotherapy saved my life, but it made me hypersensitive to most medications.

I cannot leave without a quote from my favorite book, Readings from the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School: 

The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.        Aldous Huxley

Now for a closing photo of one of my favorite birds, the Blue Heron. I enhanced this in Corel Painter.

Blue Heron

Posted in Challenges, Concentration, New Directions | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Emerging thoughts, creativity and discoveries

Posted by BarbaraZ on September 2, 2013

Emerging from within

Emerging from within

Life goes on. It often does not turn out the way we plan, but how we adapt to the surprises and the detours that are put in our path, makes all the difference.  We will succeed or overcome these events if we are able to react positively. For some reason, I pulled this board of redwood out of hiding and started to finish a project I had started over 10 years ago. Not quite sure what I had in mind for the finished carving back then and even now… I am ‘playing it by ear,’ deciding on the next move only after seeing how it progresses.  Ah, a mystery is emerging!

It has been so long since I last added a post, I have had to relearn the steps!  Not good. This blog has been on my mind quite a bit. It too, has been altered its journey. I moved away from the original “restoring your inner self” to basically a sharing format of blog. This will be changing. I have work to do, learning to take place and I am looking forward to each step as it happens.

blogmutt logo

Right now I am on a self-imposed hiatus from another emerging journey that I have enjoyed so much. I discovered a wonderful site to write for, BlogMutt. There is no stress such as deadlines, except those that are self-imposed. Sure the edits can rub the wrong way, but if you have a positive attitude, that is not a problem. Questions? Just ask… The camaraderie that is found on the forum is super. You move up within BlogMutt by earning points for each post you write and also the rating given each post. For an incentive, writers are able to set as a goal, the number of posts that they say they will write each month. This is totally voluntary. Considering the number of writers they have onboard, it is hard to believe that BlogMutt is also an emerging force in the world of freelance content writing.

I just made Level 6 and I am so excited about that accomplishment. I was not even aware that I would enjoy writing! When all is lined up again, I will start writing once more. It is a great place. Maybe you cannot make a living income from it, but it is one way stay-at-home moms can add to the household income. Freelance writers who write full-time, find BlogMutt to be great for filling in the cracks of their often uncertain income. Here is a link to their blog. They also have a Facebook Page. Explore the links and who knows, it may become an emerging journey for you too!


I came across an app called Catch My Pain. It has given me a tool for dealing with my neuropathy. It is an app that is also emerging as the team develops new features. More are going to be added on a regular basis. Below is a synopsis from their site.

Pain can be very complex: Over time, it can move or expand to different locations of your body, the intensity may vary, or there might be various influences which increase or ease your pain. Keeping a diary helps you to get to know your pain and you might notice a pattern which will help you to adapt your lifestyle accordingly. Keeping a pain diary also helps you to explain and describe your pain to any care provider or a family member: By using CatchMyPain you can finally make your pain visible to others and you won’t forget the course of your pain or any other important information.

In a small way, I have been able to be apart of this, by writing some articles for use with the app. Two have been #1.published and #2.published. The individuals involved, out of Switzerland, are a super group with some major emerging ideas. Eventually it will be possible to be linked up with others and able to share experiences and survival tips. The information gathered through the responses by those using the app, will be studied by experts in the field of pain management. This app is not only for those with intense debilitating pain, but it helps anyone who has to deal with chronic pain that interrupts their daily life, their goals and dreams.

I use the app before and after certain activities, at the end of my work day, and it helps me to become aware of what brings on the severe pain that knocks my feet out from under me. It is my awareness tool. I use it to become more aware of my actions and how they affect my body. This practice of review helps me to have a sense of control over what is happening with my body and what I feel. I believe that now a more positive outlook is emerging in this area of my life.

Blue Heron

Another form of help that I have discovered is John F. Barnes Myofascial Release. I was getting all tied up in knots as the result of various habits and injuries from the past and was always needing therapy. I found therapists who used Barnes’ form of treatment and decided to splurge on the DVD as it would end up being cheaper than having to go for therapy on a regular basis. By constantly exploring new ways, listening to my body, new methods of survival are emerging and allowing me to move into a better way of life.

By following the stretching routines that are on the second DVD, I am now able to undo that unbelievable neck spasm that activates when I am not careful. Do not ever, under any circumstances, get in the habit of holding the phone, cell phone between your neck and shoulder, on a regular basis. I did that for 10 years when I worked as a unit secretary in the ER and I have paid for it over and over. This tender spot can be activated by poor posture, stress, and the list goes on. I can control this!  That is what is so great about all I have learned.

I am also able to loosen up from head to toe by using the unwinding routine found at the end of the second DVD. I have a sensitive lumbar area (thanks to an L1 compression fracture). My posture during sleep is an ongoing project of various pillow placements!  The first DVD is aimed at practitioners. The price may seem a bit high, but after looking at my co-pay for therapy, I have paid it off several times already.

Side by Side We Can Change the World

One thing I discovered yesterday, is that standing does not have to be a major pain source. My carving set-up requires that I stand next to my home-made bench and carving vise. I thought, as I was getting ready, “What can I try to prevent what I know usually happens when I stand without walking?” I mentally reviewed stretches that have been given to me by podiatrists, physical therapists and more. First, I did bilateral heel stretches several times while carving. Another stretch was to put one foot up on a brick and drop from the waist downward between my legs. With each breath my torso dropped further, keeping my lumbar area flexible. I did this bilaterally. Then I did another stretch, known in yoga as Uttanasana I. Now, I am not in any way able to do it as it shows it done in my yoga book, but I can almost touch my toes and that is quite a bit better than it was a number of years ago.

Life is definitely a journey of constant emerging. If you let your life become stagnant, there is no room for growth, for adventure. Find your own form for emerging at what ever stage of life you find yourself now. Explore new skills, seek out new knowledge. With the technology of today, the options are amazing!

Posted in Challenges, Health, Mindfulness, New Directions | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Thinking Out Loud

Posted by BarbaraZ on April 29, 2013

A new dawn, a new beginning

A new dawn, a new beginning… for the Netherlands and also for me and you!

The Netherlands and my Aruba heritage.  I was born and raised in Aruba. On April 30, 2013, the Netherlands will have its first king in many years. I am going to borrow the words of a former Lagoite, Susanne Gravendijk Wirth, in regard to the royal history:

“Wilhelmina was queen. She had been queen most of my grandparents’ lives, as well. She abdicated for her daughter in 1948. Juliana abdicated for her daughter in 1980. And, now, Beatrix will abdicate, tomorrow, for her son, the first king since 1890. It will seem so very strange, to me…koning, instead of koningin.”

There are only princesses on board for the next generation.. we shall see. I remember seeing Queen Juliana when I was a Brownie Scout standing in formation when her plane landed… I remember when Beatrix married and how I wrote a poem in her honor, but never sent it. Growing up in Aruba was a special privilege. The Aruban people and the Dutch,  are a friendly people. Very down to earth. I remember reading that as Queen, Juliana did not hesitate to ride her bicycle into town.  Here is the Facebook page of the Netherlands. Explore and enjoy!

This was the beginning of the new year. Dark clouds at first, but you can see the sun rising behind.

This was the beginning of the new year. Dark clouds at first, but you can see the sun rising behind.

Acceptance of Life There are a number of people who exist in my arena of life, who have to deal with great difficulties and they do it so very well! We have one student, Shern, who is in a wheelchair, and has many difficulties because of a history of seizures. I asked her today if she has pain. She said she is always has pain!  I was astounded as she is the most up-beat individual I know. I asked how she manages it and her answer was, “you have to adjust to it.” Well, I have been having pain and evidently I have not been able to adjust to it very well at all!  I better get my thoughts in order as of right now, as I have too much I want to accomplish, so many things to do! The main thing I must learn to do is do deep breathing. That makes things bearable.

Then there is a photographer I know only through the web. Her name is Cindy. She spoke today on Facebook how her hubby has to help her up once she gets down on the ground to capture some of her beautiful photographs. She stated she was not above crawling if needed. She has a beautiful dog, Phoebe, and the two of them need surgery now, but they both have to get better in order for it to take place.  Thinking of you both.  Your efforts keep me going!

The Calming Motion of Waves....

The Calming Motion of Waves….

I know what I must do and that is to go with the flow. I need to pace myself. This stiff body is not up to sitting hours behind the computer!  I love my writing for BlogMutt, but must realize that to do my best, my body and mind must be in sync. The mind wants to race ahead, but the body starts to stumble as it tries so hard to keep up. Going to use my Chime timer to remind me to stop and do a few yoga moves in the middle of it all. The waves keep going, but they are recharging all the time. Their motion seems endless, there is much back and forth motion… this individual must follow their example. I have to stop and recharge. It is the sound and the motion of the waves that help me recharge. I have an mp3 that I love to listen to when sleep does not want to come. I also have one of gentle rain….

Patiently seeking its prey

Patiently seeking its prey as I must seek knowledge and patience!! :-)

I will seek knowledge for my posts, looking here and searching there. Then I will find it and take it back to the word processor to be put into the latest and greatest of my posts.  I love research and can often get lost doing it. Must learn to cut it short!  Gather what I need, make notes as to where I can go to find more and just move on.  [edited.. several times!] I also promise myself never to write a blog post again… when I have gotten up out of bed because I cannot sleep! I keep finding typos!!  That is a no-no!

Me, posing

Me with my kayak

This will  be my other form of survival. My muscles have turned into a marshmallow consistency that does not do well when one tries to be active. I have been holding back because of pain and slow mindset that I have in this area. I have been resisting exercise as I have to enjoy what I do and plain old exercises just don’t cut it. Kayaking is fun and when done right, can give you a full body workout.  There is also the asanas of yoga. They are going to become my computer break time activity. I will set my mat up in the living room and get on it every 30 minutes. Whenever I go though a door-frame, I will try to take a moment to do a shoulder stretch for both sides. Have to stay balanced, you know!!

Elliot is making a skeg to put on my kayak. He made a super one for his. It looks like it came from an Erector set, but it sure does what it needs to do!  Elliot and I are partners. We are ready to help each other though this difficult age of being  senior citizens. The strange thing is… it is only our bodies that are senior-aged. Our minds are young and full of laughter and love. We will continue our journey as we have done since 2001…. Side by Side

Side by Side We Can Change the World

Side by Side We Can Face the World

I am ready Elliot… is my skeg done yet!!! It is supposed to rain this afternoon so we better get our butts in those kayaks now!!

Posted in Challenges, Concentration, nature, Our Future..., Thoughts and Quotes, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Surprises life can bring: the emergence of a different me!

Posted by BarbaraZ on February 21, 2013

It is absolutely amazing the surprises that life can bring, both good and bad. The one thing that I have learned over time is how to roll with the punches.

In an effort to regain control of my house and home, I attacked the many boxes and bags of ‘stuff’ that have been lurking in the various corners and back shelves of my house. I grew up in a home that was always immaculate and then in my teen years I embarked on a rebellion of such to not follow that example. Well, a person can accumulate only so much ‘stuff’!  My domestic genes decided that it was time for them to emerge and I started to attack the ‘stuff’.

The problem that emerged was that my body was not happy when it came to the explosion of dust that arose from this attack and responded with a ‘delightful’ and strong reaction of my sinuses!  Mega antibiotics and Prednisone have been required to settle my sinuses down. I had to investigate the various masks to wear during my future actions in removing the rest of the ‘stuff’. as the whole transformation is not complete. The salesman and I both become claustrophobic when wearing these masks and he showed me the one he uses that has the small vent!  Of course it was the one with the highest price tag!  So be it!

During this whole process of organization, elimination and sorting, I have found among the many items discovered some treasures that were long forgotten. I am going to share two photos. The left is of my bedroom with all my boxes that have been pulled out along with my abundant sleep apnea apparatus. The image on the right, is an almost finished living room. The stuffed tiger on the couch was not quite up to the job when burglars paid us a visit several years ago, but he is a good conversation starter! There is also a very large green frog around, who was my companion when I underwent Chemo.

Many changes were made.

Many changes were made.

When I look at all that has taken place, I find there is hope for that long forgotten organized person who has waited so long to emerge from within. This can be something that we all have… a part of us that has been lost, forgotten, and just wondering when it may have the chance to explore life as a reality. I doubt that I will ever equal my dear Mom in my neatness, but I have definitely taken a big step forward. “Thanks Mom”

Posted in Challenges, New Directions | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

New Technology in My Life

Posted by BarbaraZ on November 18, 2012

Here it is… with many new skills to learn

This is the new tool I have in my life. It is a joint birthday/Christmas present from both myself and my partner, Elliot. I had been interested in the iPad mini, till the price ended up higher than first anticipated  When the new iPad mini was introduced, I learned that there were some bargains to be found within the ranks of the older models. I found on CNet, a good review about the iPad, 3rd generation (refurbished). The price was right and I was ready. Since I have not experienced the technology of the iPhone, iPod or any other iPad, I am most happy with what I have ended up with.

I am learning about Instagram. Lost one and discovered it ended up on Facebook!  I was trying to enhance it and sent it instead. Tried a few apps in different categories, mainly art and photography. The ones I liked, I have kept. A few I got rid of. Luckily an app is not the price of computer software.  So many are free!  I downloaded Art Studio for iPad. It is a keeper. It reminds me of Corel Painter which I have always enjoyed working in. I also downloaded Camera+. It lets me do some enhancing before sending and or saving for later use.

While I was not going to use it for reading, I found that it works very well for that, especially when it comes to more serious reading. I can highlight multiple ways and most importantly… create a comment. While I often highlight hardback books I have never written comments in the margins. The reader program for Sony, now has an app for the iPad. I can re-read all the books I have purchased (no-thinking books) for my Sony reader on the iPad. When I read a no-thinking book, I do not read them word for word and therefore do not remember the whole plot etc. Going back and reading them again several months later is fine with me!  I keep hardback favorites for the same reasons.

What this marvel of technology is supposed to be for me, is a roving digital sketch pad. I cannot say that it was reached that level of use, but it will. I can draw from nature directly or take a photo and open it within Art Studio and work on it from there.

The effect of technology on our lives is being observed and studied in detail. Many negative and some positive aspects are being pointed out. A very humorous yet sad outlook can be found on Our Lighter Side. One of the serious books I am reading on my iPad is Spontaneous Happiness by Andrew Weil. He writes about the nature deficit disorder: the loss of nature in our daily lives and its affect on us, especially in the lives of children. Dr. Weil states:

 We simply are not meant to live as many of us do today: sedentary, alone, staring at glowing screens that keep us on perpetual information overload, eating processed food, and sleep-deprived as artificial light extends the natural day well into the night. Living this way undermines physical and mental health in profound ways.

He does not believe we have to withdraw from the modern world, but we do have to be aware of what is happening and take the means needed to counteract the negative aspects of this overwhelming use of modern technology. One of the strongest medical problems that has developed is depression. People are no longer interactive individuals, but are becoming isolated within their world of technology.

No. For most of us, that’s unrealistic. Instead, we need to realize that we must consciously follow behaviors in the modern world that reflect what our bodies and minds are meant to be doing. We need to move our bodies more; be truly (as opposed to electronically) social; eat whole, unprocessed food; and align our sleep more closely with the sun’s cycles. I also think that ancient spiritual traditions – particularly those that advocate various forms of meditation – can offer valuable opportunities for achieving emotional well-being. So can newer schools of psychotherapy such as “positive psychology,” which provides a wealth of specific techniques to boost emotional health.

As I have become absorbed in the use of my iPad, I can see how this might happen and I only have this one form of modern technology. It is enough for me. My cell phone is for basic communication and emergencies. It is not my main source for communicating. I have never been a big phone talker, ask my children. I prefer to talk face to face. Now that they are not close, I have had to learn to talk longer via the phone, any form of phone.

I have a long way to go before I really know all the iPad can do and will continue do pursue it. I am going to learn chess and play tennis with Roger Federer’s tennis app! No other games. I do play Mahjong on my laptop. That is enough!

Posted in Challenges, Health, New Directions, New Technology | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Thinking Cap is on… also, taking care of me!

Posted by BarbaraZ on October 24, 2012

Mud figure with orchid

Morning Prayer with Nature

Breathing deeply, stepping back, and looking inward… all this is being done for two reasons. One, I need to get this blog going in the right direction. I still believe in the title “Restoring Your Inner Self” but it is the direction it will go in the future that is changing.

Stepping Back, Looking Forward

My time that has been spent on the A-List Blogging Bootcamp has been great. I check the forum almost daily and see many good points to ponder when approaching the creation or recreation of a blog. My title is OK, as I mentioned. Now I need to study in depth the specifics that I will include. What areas will I link out to? Who will I seek for guest posts? I need to pinpoint my niche when it comes to self restoration. There are many directions, both traditional and alternative. I have studied and do use both.  I hope to include the traditional and alternative so that my blog will have information that many will find informative and helpful. There is also an ebook in there somewhere.

Layout and Content

From CopyBlogger I have received many informative articles. Here is a link to a guest article written by Pamela Wilson. She covers 8 good points and I will just list the headings here. Some may seem obvious, but do follow the link to learn more in depth information about each one.

  1. Embrace the line break
  2. Break up your content with compelling subheads
  3. Use bulleted list
  4. Use deep captions
  5. Add highly relevant links
  6. Use strategic formatting
  7. Harness the power of numbers
  8. Check your dual readership path

Do Your Research, Know Your Subject

That relative link paragraph means both internal and external. It is most important that your content is worth reading. People search to find information they feel is of value to them. You cannot post just any old topic. Your external links must also go out to sources that you have researched and feel will add to the topic.

Care of Self

Breathing: Back to the breathing, stepping back and looking inward. These are also needed when you are trying to restore your inner self. Yep, that is where I am right now. Why do we always seem to wait until we are almost down and out before we take the action we should have been taking all along? The deep breathing I have down fairly well. I just need to bring it to the forefront more often. A few deep breaths periodically throughout the day can break up the stress that is gathering in your neck and shoulders.. speeding up your mind unnecessarily.

Exercise: I know that the regular gym is not for me. I am lucky in that I can be a member of Silver Sneakers. There are some advantages to getting older besides the senior coffee at various places! I was able to locate a wellness center that is close to me that not only has the Silver Sneaker Program, but also has a pool! To be able to move freely without resistance that the machines like the treadmill have, is what I need. I do use some of the upper body machines because I do not need to stand to use them.

One with Nature

Breakfast at the ocean, lunch along the river, stepping outside at night to view the stars… with a quiet mind so you can hear the sounds of the crickets, the waves, the birds… whatever may be present at that time. Yes, be quiet, watch and listen while taking nice slow and deep breaths.

Brilliant Sun on the River

Posted in Challenges, Concentration, Life & Nature, Mindfulness, nature | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Moving Forward

Posted by BarbaraZ on August 13, 2012

The sun is above the horizon, behind the clouds

It is amazing, the direction our lives may take. It does not matter what stage of life you are in. The way I see my life right now… I am facing a new dawn each day. Yes, I still carry all sorts of ‘stuff’ from the past, but it is what I do with it that makes a difference. I am like the dawn in the photo above… the sun is there, peeking through the dark clouds. Those dark clouds are the ‘stuff’ in my life. I know the sun will rise above those clouds… so will I.

For many individuals that ‘stuff’ is like an anchor… it pulls them back to all they have gone through in the past, preventing them from moving forward. I am not saying that we must forget or leave the past as if it never took place, but do not let it stop us from moving forward.

If I were the same person I was in my teens, I would find dealing with my life as it is now to be quite difficult. I was shy, timid and ‘afraid of my own shadow!’  Now, because of the life experiences I have had, the challenges I have faced and still face, I am stronger… not physically, but within.

Somehow, I am going to regain some of that physical stamina too. :-)  They say, it takes hitting rock bottom, that makes an individual start to fight back. OK… the gong has sounded and I am ready. I am going to be drawing on all that I have gathered in my ‘tool box’ for survival. My Qigong, with my mindfulness breathing, self awareness, adapting. You name it… I am going to use it. If I can manage to get myself down on the floor… I will do some yoga following Iyengar’s method.  I need to make sure I have a way to get up too!!!

I am like the little engine that said:  I think I can… I think I can… I know I can!

The sun in its full glory, starts a new day

Here comes the sun!  I am on my way… join me!

Posted in Challenges, Concentration, Health, Mindfulness, Qigong | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

That was a learning experience….

Posted by BarbaraZ on May 12, 2012

Finding breakfast is not always a one dive shot. It often takes several dives to get the catch you want. I am like this osprey, stopping to think of new actions to reach my goal.

I learned after much effort that I am not able to put a PowerPoint on my blog. Getting a video is an option, but not for me at this time. So I decided to take advantage of my experience with a few fitting quotes from my book:  Readings from the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School. I am amazed at the number of clicks I get whenever I post from this book of quotes.

From the wisdom of Aldous Huxley:

The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.

Robert Frost said:

Something we were withholding made us weak until we found out that it was ourselves we were withholding from our land of living and forthwith found salvation in surrender.

A longer quote by Chapin Wright:

Mother nature has let us flounder all night in the fog. We fight our way: she is telling us with her fog that life is not always a direct sighting; you don’t always know where you are or where you are going; you can only keep fighting with a smile until it breaks and the new light is seen, then you are on your way again.  It may be a new direction, but it is a life. Thanks for the fog.

I cannot leave out the words of Walt Whitman:

Now understand me well–it is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.

Finally, Henry David Thoreau:

…If one advanced confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours…if you have built castles in he air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

Posted in Challenges, Life & Nature | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

An Oft Used quote from Shakespeare: To Thine Own Self be True.

Posted by BarbaraZ on March 21, 2012

We Must Walk Side by Side With our Youth

Today’s world bombards us from all sides, showing us the way to dress—to do our hair—what music we should listen to. If you do not go along with what is considered appropriate for your age group, you appear to be an outsider, a misfit.

It starts right out of the crib with parents being aware of specific expectations for their child. They read of methods to improve their child’s intellect, their learning ability. Some start to groom their child to be the person they wished they had become instead of who they ended up being. When any individual is forced, whether with good intentions or not, to be someone other than whom they really are, that child misses out learning what their own special skills and abilities are.

This pressure continues through elementary school, on up to high school and beyond.  There seems to be a need in the world today, to become an overachiever. To be the best athlete, have the top grades are expectations and goals that bring a feeling of being over-whelmed. It does not matter if these goals are self-imposed or through another.

When the individual falls short, even if they had given their all, it damages their self-esteem. Their image in the eyes of the one who had the expectations is tarnished… this is even if it was their own. It is seen as a ‘failure.’  What is forgotten here, is the effort and what difficulties might have needed to be overcome. Effort must count, it must be included in the final judgment.

A personal experience will be added here. I went to a school with high standards. I tried my best, but there were certain subjects that I found difficult, one was Latin.  When grades were given out, we were all assembled in the cafeteria and one or two individuals were called to stand and their grades were read aloud. One fateful time, I was chosen. Thankfully we were graded not only by the subject, but also for our effort. I did quite poorly in Latin, but it was noted that I got a high grade for my effort. That helped me somewhat, but it was still a most unnerving experience to have ones grades read out loud in front of the whole assembly.

This is harder on the pre-teen and teenagers than for others. What is happening is that these youngsters are looking for ways to deal with this pressure. They start to turn to alcohol or drugs. If they are an athlete, they try enhancements to help them achieve more. It does not stop here, it follows individuals into college and beyond. Those top students, when they enter the workforce, they often find circumstances that are totally different from what they expected. The competition is fierce. Again, they seek to block it out, one way or another.

How to change this? Our whole society would have to get a complete makeover. It can be done, though parents and teachers, accepting each child for who they are. To help them discover their talents and find their own direction. This is easy to say, but not very easy to make happen. Schools and teachers are now graded themselves, by the grades of the students on tests. Their jobs depend on the success of the students and the students are being taught to pass these tests.

Now what?  I wish I knew. I would love to hear from teachers and even those who were made to follow a path that did not fit them as individuals. We have to guide our youth, walk with them, side by side. We must help them learn who they really are as individuals, so they can be true to themselves.

Article first published as An Oft Used quote from Shakespeare: “To Thine Own Self be True” on Technorati.

Posted in Challenges, Helping our youth, New Directions | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Sharing with Technorati

Posted by BarbaraZ on March 4, 2012


My verification code for Technorati NYVWMHQEHCCE

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