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There’s nothing better than a book that speaks to your soul.

nostalgic_books_and_picture_2_166374THE MORE YOU READ, THE MORE YOU KNOW.
THE MORE YOU KNOW, THE MORE YOU GROW.
THE MORE YOU GROW, THE SMARTER YOUR VOICE,
WHEN SPEAKING YOUR MIND OR MAKINGCHOICE.


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There Be Magic In Those Red Rocks

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Sedona is a mag­i­cal place. Its breath­tak­ing beauty and artis­tic expres­sion are evi­dent at every turn. On Sep­tem­ber 20, I attended the Celtic Har­vest Fes­ti­val as a sto­ry­teller — my first out­ing as a teller that didn’t involve a class­room, school activ­ity or assign­ment. The fes­ti­val was filled with Celtic fun: from bag­pipes to Irish danc­ing, singing, red-haired lasses dressed in green, and of course, sto­ry­telling. It was a mag­i­cal.
One of my favorite pas­times is to observe peo­ple. I find them end­lessly fas­ci­nat­ing and I learn about them; not only by lis­ten­ing to their words, but in watch­ing their expres­sions and body lan­guage. Shar­ing with tal­ented sto­ry­tellers helps me to dis­cover where I belong as a teller, and reaf­firms that I have cho­sen the right avo­ca­tion. I watched peo­ple walk by who stopped for a moment to see what was hap­pen­ing — and then were drawn to a seat as the words of story took them to places unknown. I watched faces light up with delight, or look con­fused with a wrin­kled brow. I saw young chil­dren cling­ing to par­ents as a story fright­ened them; then the grin of relief at a happy end­ing. Magic was hap­pen­ing. It hap­pened because sto­ries trans­port peo­ple to won­drous places that ignite imag­i­na­tion and inspire a sense of com­mu­nity with lis­ten­ers and tellers.
The most delight­ful expe­ri­ence was observ­ing my peers. I saw trans­for­ma­tion take place before my eyes as the the power of the story, the audi­ence and excel­lent telling became won­drous to behold. I saw my friends “taken” by story as never before. They came alive with the words and the visual pic­tures they painted, and the delighted response let them know what they had done was mag­i­cal. I rev­eled in their suc­cess as they were trans­ported to the worlds they cre­ated. Their suc­cess inspired my own telling. I was eager to share as I too, get lost in story — allow­ing it to take me to dif­fer­ent places and times. I sense the lis­ten­ers jour­ney­ing with me, and their energy fuels my own. It leaves me crav­ing more — more sto­ries, more telling, and more com­mu­nion with magic.


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Put the devices away — share your stories. Make up new ones. Communicate.

When words become too remote from the liv­ing voice, we risk los­ing a sense of our voice’s value.” Yashinsky

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Show No Fear — The Substitute Teacher

James Van Praugh once said, “If you want to do good in your life, do good in your life. The energy you cre­ate is the energy that the uni­verse returns to you.”

Energy … a class­room is always burst­ing with energy. The big ques­tion is, “What will that energy do to me, the teacher? Will it inspire, ter­rify, or con­sume me?” The key to energy is to attempt to har­ness it for good, but beware — energy often is as unpre­dictable as the teenagers in the room!

My #1 rule for step­ping into a class­room — espe­cially now that I am a sub­sti­tute: SHOW NO FEAR! Teenagers can smell fear. It cre­ates a nat­ural “high” in the ado­les­cent brain. This “high” trans­lates into POWER. Power can be a good thing — unless it is in the hands of the inmates. It is impor­tant to remem­ber that the adult must main­tain the power in the class­room. One must learn to ignore the sweaty palms, shak­ing knees and swirling stom­ach. 35 pairs of eyes can strike ter­ror into the heart of the bravest of men — but a middle-aged woman wear­ing a pony tail can cause those eyes to look sheep­ishly at the floor, if the power is cor­rectly applied.

My secret? Keep them off bal­ance. Keep them con­fused. Keep them won­der­ing what will come next. “Is she for real?” they often say. That’s a good thing — it means they are more inter­ested in what I am going to do than in try­ing to destroy me in the first five min­utes of class. When in doubt — fake it. “Good morn­ing, Happy Fri­day (or what­ever). It’s your lucky day because I am your sub. I get to tor­ture you today. Oh goody, this will be fun!” Eyes will roll, that’s guar­an­teed, but they’ll also be caught off guard, and they may be a lit­tle scared. Bwa­ha­ha­ha­ha­haha — POWER!

OK — I am not sadis­tic or cruel — I love what I do and I have a good time 99% of the time. The point is to be gen­uine — even when trick­ing them into think­ing you are big and bad and a lit­tle bit of a crazed nerd. Once they see that I am “for real” we get along. And we learn. And we have fun. If you are not gen­uine — all of the “big bad­ness” in the world won’t work. Just like the smell of fear, kids can spot a phony a mile away! One must be real in their weird­ness and in the sense of fun. If you can’t believ­ably shout, “Come on down” from the class­room door after the bell — then don’t do it! Seri­ously — you may be trau­ma­tized for­ever if the kids dis­cover that you are a fake — and it’s even worse if you are a fake who is scared to death.

I can do this” should become your mantra — and it will serve you well. Good luck, sub­sti­tute teacher-to-be; have a great day. Oh, and remem­ber — you are doing this because you love kids and you love to learn and to teach. If you don’t, then run … very fast and very far. Don’t look back.


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Release to the universe …

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Try just for one day to release every­thing to the Uni­verse. You might be shocked by how much faster things will mate­ri­al­ize in your life when you get out of the way.

No mat­ter what has hap­pened in your past or what is going on in your life right now, it does not have the power to keep you from hav­ing a great life.

Time to burn those neg­a­tive tapes that keep play­ing over and over … all the “coulda, shoulda, woul­das” … it’s one thing to real­ize the neg­a­tive impact, it is entirely dif­fer­ent to truly let go. Par­a­digm shift … if you give so much of your­self to the uni­verse, you deserve to ask for some­thing in return. It’s about bal­ance. That is not weak­ness, it is growth.

If you don’t like your life, have a meet­ing with your­self, and think about what you have been think­ing about. Instead of blam­ing it on every­thing else, ask your­self if it’s time for you to get rid of your stink­ing think­ing. is it?


next page

There’s nothing better than a book that speaks to your soul.

THE MORE YOU READ, THE MORE YOU KNOW. THE MORE YOU KNOW, THE MORE YOU GROW. THE MORE YOU...
article post

There Be Magic In Those Red Rocks

Sedona is a mag­i­cal place. Its breath­tak­ing beauty and artis­tic expres­sion are...
article post

Put the devices away — share your stories. Make up new ones. Communicate.

“When words become too remote from the liv­ing voice, we risk los­ing a sense of our...
article post

Show No Fear — The Substitute Teacher

James Van Praugh once said, “If you want to do good in your life, do good in your life....
article post

Release to the universe …

Try just for one day to release every­thing to the Uni­verse. You might be shocked by...
article post