Saturday, October 20, 2012
THE "I CAN'T" FUNERAL
Donna's fourth grade classroom looked like many others I had seen in the past. Students sat in five rows of six desks. The teacher's desk was in front and faced the students. The bulletin board featured student work. In most respects it appeared to be a typically traditional elementary classroom. Yet something seemed different that day I entered it for the first time. There seemed to be an undercurrent of excitement.
Donna was a veteran small-town Michigan schoolteacher only two years away form retirement. In addition she was a volunteer participant in a countrywide staff development project I had organized and facilitated. The training focused on language arts ideas that would empower students to feel good about themselves and take charge of their lives. Donna's job was to attend training sessions and implement the concepts being presented. My job was to make classroom visitations and encourage implementation.
I took an empty seat in the back of the room and watched. All the students were working on a task, filling a sheet of notebook paper with thoughts and ideas. The ten-year-old student next to me was filling her page with "I Can'ts".
"I can't kick the soccer ball past second base." "I can't do long division with more than three numerals." "I can't get Debbie to like me." Her page was half full and she showed no signs of letting up. She worked on with determination and persistence. I walked down the row glancing in student's papers. Everyone was writing sentences, describing things they couldn't do. "I can't do ten push-ups." "I can't hit one over the left hand fence." "I can't eat only one cookie."
By this time the activity engaged my curiosity, so I decided to check with the teacher to see what was going on. As I approached her, I noticed that she too was busy writing. I felt it best not to interrupt. "I can't get John's mother to come for a teacher conference." "I can't get my daughter to put gas in the car." "I can't get Alan to use words instead of fists."
Thwarted in my efforts to determine why students and teacher were dwelling on the negative instead of writing the more positive "I Can" statements, I returned to my seat and continued my observations. Students wrote for another ten minutes. Most filled their page. Some started another. "Finish the one you're on and don't start a new one," were the instructions Donna used to signal the end of the activity. Students were then instructed to fold the papers in half and bring them to the front. When the students reached their teacher's desk, they placed their "I Can't" statements into an empty shoe box.
When all of the students papers were collected, Donna added hers. She put the lid on the box, tucked it under her arm and headed out the door and down the hall. Students followed the teacher. I followed the students. Halfway down the hallway the procession stopped. Donna entered the custodian's room rummaged around and came out with a shovel. Shovel in one hand, shoe box in the other, Donna marched the students out to the school to the farthest corner of the playground. There they began to dig.
They were going to bury their "I Can'ts"! The digging took over ten minutes because most of the fourth graders wanted a turn. When the hole approached three fee deep, the digging ended. The box of "I Can'ts" was placed in a position at the bottom of the hole and then quickly covered with dirt. Thirty one 10 and 11-year-olds stood around the freshly dug rave site. Each had at least one page full of "I Can'ts" in the shoe box, four feet under. So did their teacher.
At this point Donna announced, "Boys and girls, please join hands and bow your heads." The students complied. They quickly formed a circle around the grave, creating a bond with their hands. They lowered their heads and waited. Donna delivered the eulogy. "Friends, we gather here today to honor the memory of 'I Can't.' While he was with us here on earth, he touched, the lives or everyone, some more than others. His name unfortunately, has been spoken in every public building- school, city halls, state capitols, and yes, even The White House.
"We have provided 'I Can't' with a final resting place and a headstone that contained his epitaph. His is survived by his brothers and sisters, 'I Can,' 'I Will' and 'I'm Going to Right Away.' They are not as well known as their famous relative and are certainly not as strong and powerful yet. Perhaps some day, with your help, they will make an even bigger mark on the world. "May 'I Can't' rest in peace and may everyone present pick up their lives and move forward in his absence. Amen."
As I listened to the eulogy I realized that these students would never forget this day. The activity was symbolic, a metaphor for life. It was a right brain experience that would stick in the unconscious and conscious mind forever. Writing "I Can'ts", burying them and hearing the eulogy — showed a major educational effort on this part of the teacher. And she wasn't done yet. At the conclusion of the eulogy she turned the students around, marched them back into the classroom and held a wake.
They celebrated the passing of "I Can't" with cookies, popcorn and fruit juices. As part of the celebration, Donna cut a large tombstone from butcher paper. She wrote the words "I Can't" at the top and put RIP in the middle. The date was added at the bottom. The paper tombstone hung in Donna's classroom for the remainder of the year. On those rare occasions when a student forgot and said, "I Can't", Donna simply pointed to the RIP sign. The student then remembered that "I Can't" was dead and chose to rephrase the statement.
I wasn't one of Donna's students. She was one of mine. Yet that day I learned an enduring lesson from her. Now, years later, whenever I hear the phrase, "I Can't," I see images of that fourth grade funeral. Like the students, I remember that "I Can't" is dead.
~© Phillip B. Childs, A Course in Miracles Online
thanks for dropping ....
blessings and hugs...............lita
Saturday, October 13, 2012
As You Travel Through Life….
As you travel through life there are always those times
When decisions just have to be made,
When the choices are hard, and solutions seem scarce,
And the rain seems to soak your parade.
There are some situations where all you can do
Is simply let go and move on,
Gather your courage and choose a direction
That carries you toward a new dawn.
So pack up your troubles and take a step forward -
The process of change can be tough,
But think about all the excitement ahead
There might be adventures you never imagined
Just waiting around the next bend,
And wishes and dreams just about to come true
In ways you can't yet comprehend!
Perhaps you'll find friendships that spring from new things
As you challenge your status quo,
And learn there are so many options in life,
Perhaps you'll go places you never expected
And see things that you've never seen,
Or travel to fabulous, faraway worlds
And wonderful spots in between!
Perhaps you'll find warmth and affection and caring
And somebody special who's there
To help you stay cantered and listen with interest
To stories and feelings you share.
Perhaps you'll find comfort in knowing your friends
Are supportive of all that you do,
And believe that whatever decisions you make,
They'll be the right choices for you.
So keep putting one foot in front of the other,
And taking your life day by day...
There's a brighter tomorrow that's just down the road -
Don't look back! You're not going that way!
thanks for dropping by .........
blessings and hugs.............lita
Saturday, October 06, 2012
By Tim Connor
It's only a word.
But it carries with it so much pain
and so little concern
so much frustration
and so little respect,
so much stress and so little
that people spend their lives
running through their days
in the hope of avoiding the long arm
of this little word.
To test our vision, you must risk
To temper your ego, you must attempt
To tell your story, you must
take a chance.
To see beyond the horizon, you must
spread your wings.
To be all you can be, you must
stretch, flex, try, and go beyond
your proven limits.
To bridge the silence, you must risk
To advance into the unknown, you must
risk the peril of all your
previous beliefs and emotions
that feel so secure.
Failure is not negative. It is a teacher.
It molds, refines, and polishes you
so that one day your light will
shine for all to see.
It isn't the failure you experience
that will determine your destiny,
but your next step and then the next
that will tell
the story of your life.
thanks so much for coming by.....
your support is greatly appreciated.....
blessings and hugs........lita
Sunday, September 30, 2012
My A to Z of Life
by M. K. Soni
Life is like a multifaceted prism, which gives different colored images, when viewed from different angles. Look how it appears to different people:
a. Life is a struggle, face it.
b. Life is a brief intermission, between birth and death, enjoy it.
c. Life is a lesson, learn it.
d. Life is not a joke, take it seriously.
e. Life is work, work is life.
f. Life is a dream, to be realized.
g. Life is to be lived, enjoy it.
h. Life, without a wife, is no life.
i. Life is not a bed of roses.
j. Life is an ocean, fathom it.
k. Life is an opportunity, don't miss it.
l. Life without love is desolate.
m. Life is a goldmine, exploit it.
n. Life is what you make it.
o. Life lies in optimism. Be a positive thinker.
p. Life is like a game of snakes and ladders; one faces many pitfalls before one reaches the top.
q. Life will be a pleasure, if you love your work.
r. Life without goals, is groping in darkness.
s. Life without trust is a life in turmoil.
t. Life is a journey; make it as pleasant as possible.
u. Life doesn't mean bread alone.
v. Life is meaningful, only if there is a mission.
w. Life is enriched by good friendship.
x. Life doesn't mean years alone: "IT IS THE LIFE IN THOSE YEARS"
y. Life is useful, if you contribute something, that will outlive it.
z. Life lies in diversity, not in monotony.
thanks for dropping by ....
blessings and hugs............lita
Sunday, September 09, 2012
100 Ways To Be Happy
1. Never put yourself last.
2. When you extend a helping hand to one person, be careful not to kick someone else in the teeth.
3. Always own a pair of old, faded jeans.
4. Count your blessings every day.
5. Acknowledge your successes along with your downfalls.
6. Burn the candle that has been in storage for the last two years.
7. Strive for progress, not perfection.
8. Remember, the voice telling you that you cannot do something is always lying.
9. At least once a day sit and do nothing.
10. Don't close your heart so tightly against life's pain that you shut
out life's blessings.
11. Celebrate all your birthdays no matter how old you get.
12. Examine your life for limitations and ask yourself why you put them there.
13. Plant a tree, pull weeds, or get your hands dirty.
14. Diminish your wants instead of increasing your needs.
15. Cry when you feel like it.
16. Rejoice in other people's triumphs.
17. Don't wait for someone else to laugh or express joy.
18. Forgive yourself for any mistake you make, no matter how big or small.
19. Keep good company.
20. Never take a pill for a pain you need to feel.
21. Use your enthusiasm to put yourself in forward gear and give yourself a spark to move ahead.
22. Look in the eyes of the ones you love when you are talking to them.
23. Remember that one is a whole number.
24. Walk in a summer rain shower without an umbrella.
25. Do a kind deed for someone else.
26. Keep your eyes and ears open to get the messages you need from people and events in your daily life.
27. Be patient.
28. Eat something green.
29. Change what you can and leave the rest alone.
30. Walk hand and hand with truth.
31. Make laughter and joy a greater part of your life than anger and grief.
32. Embrace solitude instead of running from it.
33. Be zealous, not jealous.
34. Forgive anyone you've been holding a grudge against.
35. Slow down and enjoy the present.
36. Walk in others' shoes before judging them.
37. Send yourself a kind message.
38. Remind yourself that the company you keep is a reflection of what
you think of yourself.
39. Go on a picnic.
40. Accept your fears, no matter how crazy they seem.
41. Don't let other people's opinions shape who you are.
42. Say a prayer.
43. Never attribute your accomplishments to luck or chance.
44. Know when to say no.
45. Look at the positive side of negative situation.
46. Remember that you are a spiritual being in a physical body.
47. Avoid seeking out other people for constant approval, because it make them the master and you the slave.
48. Go fly a kite.
49. Avoid fads and bandwagons.
50. Accept the things you cannot change.
51. Look inside instead of outside yourself for answers to life's problems.
52. Remember that all feelings are okay.
53. Shield yourself from bad influences.
54. Stand up for what you believe in.
55. Respect the wishes of others when they say no.
56. Seize every moment and live it fully.
57. Give away or sell anything you haven't used in the past five years.
58. Never downgrade yourself.
59. Take responsibility for what you think, feel, and do.
60. Pamper yourself.
61. Never say or do anything abusive to a child.
62. Let yourself be God powered instead of flying solo.
63. Volunteer to help someone in need.
64. Refrain from overindulging in food, drink, and work
65. Finish unfinished business.
66. Be spontaneous.
67. Find a constructive outlet for your anger.
68. Think about abundance instead of lack, because whatever you think
69. Think of yourself as a survivor, not a victim.
70. Cuddle an animal.
71. Be open to life.
72. See success as something you already have, not something you must
73. Experience the splendor and awe of a sunset.
74. When you score a base hit, don't wish it were a home run.
75. Learn to be in the present moment.
76. Instead of believing in miracles, depend on them.
77. Take a child to the circus.
78. Change your attitude and your whole life will change.
79. Never turn your power over to another person.
80. When your heart is at odds with your head, follow your heart.
81. Always remember that the past is gone forever and the future never comes.
82. Live your life according to what is right for you.
83. Acknowledge your imperfections.
84. Plant a tree and watch it grow.
85. See "friend" instead of "enemy" on the face of strangers.
86. Watch an army of ants build their houses and cities and carry food
ten times their weight.
87. Believe in something bigger than yourself.
88. Let the playful child within you come out.
89. Make haste slowly.
90. Work through your problems step by step and one day at a time.
91. Accept compliments from others so you can see the truth about yourself.
92. Sit on the lawn without worrying about grass stains.
93. Don't condemn yourself for your imperfections.
94. Do a humility check periodically by loving the truth about yourself.
95. Tell someone you appreciate them.
96. Never live your life according to what is right for someone else.
97. Talk less and listen more.
98. Admit your wrongdoing and forgive yourself for it.
99. Thrive on inner peace instead of on crises.
100. Affirm all the good things about yourself.
many thanks for dropping by....
blessings and hugs to all....
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