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Take a Chance

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, I’m probably the absolute person in the world to talk about taking a chance.  In some ways, anyhow.  I am not what you would call a risk taker.  I like predictability.  I have my little routine, and I’m pretty happy to stick to it.  Okay, lets be real, I hate change – hate it.  I don’t like lots of foods, and I hate to try new things.  I am probably NEVER going to jump out of an airplane for fun, much to my daughter’s chagrin and dismay because she wants me to go skydiving with her.  Things like bungee jumping or tattoos probably won’t happen, either.  That being said, I will break up a fight between two teenagers with out breaking a sweat, and I’m not afraid to go toe to toe with a student that towers over me and outweighs me.  And this past summer, I really stepped out of my comfort zone and took a math class.   That may sound like nothing, but I hate math, and I’m really bad at it, so to do that was hard.  I have no problem getting lost while driving, yet I know people who get totally freaked at the thought of not knowing where they are.  Taking  a chance, trying something new, and stepping out of your comfort zone are scary as heck.  But if you stay the same, if you never take any chances, you’ll remain stagnant.  There will be no growth, no change, and as scary as change is, never growing and changing is even more scary in my opinion.  So step outside that box and try something new and take the chance.

Do What You Love

Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in it, and it will come naturally. – David Frost

This quote is funny – because first you have to define what success is.  If you ask my students, well their idea of success is automatically equated with the amount of money that they have.  That’s not success, at least not to me. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be filthy rich lol, but I’m not, and I have to work, so I’m doing something that I love.  Money isn’t always success.  True success is doing what you love and making a life out of it.  If you find what you love and do it, and give your heart to it, you’ll find that you are more than successful, you’ll be happy, and in the end, isn’t that what really matters, and what you really want?  I’m never going to get rich teaching at an inner city high school, or teaching at any high school for that matter.  I’m also probably never going to get rich when I finally write my book lol.  But again I’m doing things that I like – love actually, and they’re things that bring me great joy.  In the eyes of my students, I’m not a success because I’m not walking around throwing money around like I’m in a rap video.  But they’re wrong, I’m a success.  I’m touching lives, and hopefully changing them, and I’m doing what I love!

Live Your Dreams

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams. – Oprah Winfrey

I sometimes feel like I’m saying the same things over and over again.  I don’t think that what I personally have to say is super important, but these messages are.  I’m the Junior class advisor this year and I shared a picture with my officers that really sums up this quote in a lot of ways.  When we’re little kids, we have HUGE dreams.  In our minds, we can be anything and do anything.  The possibilities that are available to us are only limited by our imagination.  But as we grow up, are dreams seem to become more practical and useful.  We go from wanting to be explorers, astronauts and famous actors to more practical and mundane things like teachers and accountants.  Please don’t think that I’m dissing ANY profession because hello – I’m a teacher after all.  I actually decided I wanted to be a teacher in junior high, but before that, I wanted to be an author, and a lawyer.  They lawyer dream died when I realized how much all that schooling would cost, and if that isn’t a lousy reason to give up on a dream, then I don’t know what is.  Don’t limit your dreams and don’t think you can’t live the life of your dreams because it’s not practical.  This is it, it’s your one life, and it’s up to you to make it the biggest adventure you can.  So reach back and dig out some of your childhood dreams.  Dust them off and give them a whirl, or better yet dream up some new dreams and some new adventures and get out there and live your life to it’s fullest.  Because here’s the thing, when you’re old and grey and thinking back over your life, you’re not going to sit there and say woo hoo, I was super practical, wasn’t I?  You’re going to want to look back and say I lived a wonderful and amazing life and it was the grandest adventure ever.  So start now, and live the life of your dreams!

Dare to be More

Refuse to be average. Let your heart soar as high as it will. – Aiden Wilson Tozer

You’ve heard it before, that you were born to stand out.  And it’s true, you were, and I were, we all were.  We were all born to be different and to stand out, but standing out, and being different is scary as HECK!  We spend all our lives trying to fit in and be like everybody else.  It’s so much safer – especially when you’re in school.  Being different there can be a death sentence.  Well I used to think that, because I was different in school and I always struggled to be like everybody else.  But when I was doing that I wasn’t being real, genuine or true to myself, and I think people could sense that.  I see kids today where I work, and they blow my mind away!  They wear what they want, they do what they want to do in regards to clubs, sports and organizations and they hang out with who they want t hang out with.  They don’t care. They are different and they celebrate that.  They are not average, they are AMAZING, and that’s the way we all should be.  We should be the people we want to be and live the lives we want to live.  Don’t get stuck being like everybody else because you are indeed anything but average.  Celebrate the amazing wonderful person you are and let the world see it and celebrate with you.

No Fear

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure. – Paulo Coelho

Dreams are awesome.  To me they are the quintessential “what if?”  What if I do this, or what if that happens.  Dreams offer us endless possibilities.  Having dreams is amazing.  Taking a chance on your dreams, however, well that is absolutely terrifying.  I’m not going to lie, it’s scary as heck to take a chance and go after your dream.  What if you fail?  Well guess what, if you don’t try you already have failed.  If you do not try you will not achieve anything, and is that the way you want to live your life?  Taking that first step is very intimidating but you need to do it.  It doesn’t have to be a giant step, but whatever you do, take it.  Take a chance on your dreams, take a chance on your life. We’ve talked before about how anything you dream can be achieved.  You may have to tweak the dream a little, but you can do it, but only if you take that first step.  Don’t let yourself be held back by fear.  Start small, a small step, a small dream if you must, but start.  Don’t let fear of failure hold you back.  As Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”  Don’ t miss take your shot!

Life Got Crazy for a While

So my week got a little crazy at work, and it spilled over into my out of work life.  When that happens, something has to give (or in my case several somethings) and one of those things was my blog posts for the rest of the week.  I apologize, but as the saying goes, s*** happens.  But looking at the quotes I didn’t get to blog about, I kind of realized that they sum up my week perfectly.  Wednesday was a crazy day with school wide PSAT’s for the sophomores and some of the juniors.  This disrupted the schedule for the rest of the school as well as class placement.  Basically, it was a fly by the seat of your pants kind of day.  We did what we could with what we could with what we had, which wasn’t a lot.  A lot of the crazy spilled over into the next day and a lot of time was spent picking up the pieces of the crazy day before.  For me anyhow, I didn’t believe in the power of anything.  I was hanging on by a thread, but I made it through and figured the next day would be smooth sailing.  Oh how wrong I was.  The next day started with me down in the principal’s office with a student who was supposed to be suicidal the night before.  Thankfully, the reports were incorrect, but those are the kinds of things you don’t leave to chance.  However at the end of the day, it was the same story, different kid, and sadly that report was far more credible.  As an educator, my main goal is to help kids see how awesome that they are, and yet, sadly, we deal with situations like that far too often.  How am I supposed to help a kiddo realize their self-worth when the rest of society, including their family, is telling them they are worthless

We all have something of value to contribute to this world, and our job as parents, and as educators is to help our children and our students realize it.  Our job is not to tear them down and destroy their feelings of self worth.  Anyhow, needless to day, this week kind of killed me inside and there wasn’t a lot energy left over for writing.  What’s incredibly ironic is that I tell my students when they are faced with situations similar to this, when they’re feeling overwhelmed, or that nobody cares, I tell them to write about it.  Journal writing is a big part of my school day.  I tell them if they need to swear to get their point across, do it.  If they don’t want me to read what they wrote start off their journal entry by saying that, and I’ll stop reading.  Journal writing is an amazing way to let your feelings out and to sort through emotions that you are struggling with.  But I didn’t do it.  I forgot to look for the positives in each day and to try and turn things around.  Instead, I chose to wallow in the craziness of my week and it didn’t do me one bit of good.  So while I do know and accept that there will be days when I am just too out straight busy to write, I also know that on the days that are super stressful, I need to write!

Another good lesson I was reminded of this week is that I am NOT perfect.  I screw up, I make mistakes, and sometimes I fall off the positive thinking wagon.  It’s okay.  I’m not supposed to be perfect.  I’m supposed to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them, and the biggest lesson of all is that if and when I do get mired down in the negative thinking, is that it’s okay.  I just have to make sure I don’t stay there.  We can do this.  We don’t have to do it alone, we can do it together, just one day at a time.

 

Surround Yourself with Dreamers

Stand often in the company of dreamers. They believe you can achieve impossible things. – Mary Anne Radmacher

I think we all like to think we’re supportive of our friends and family, and they’re supportive of us.  And we are, sort of.  If a friend or family member came to you, or you went to them needing help, chances are, you would do whatever you could for them and they’d do whatever they could for you.  That’s the way it works.  Now imagine you went to one of your friends with an amazing idea for a business, or a book you wanted to write, or a new career path, or an around the world vacation.  Would they support you 100% or would they point out the potential road blocks or pitfalls?  They’re not trying to rain on your parade, or at least they don’t believe so, any more than you would try and rain on their parade.  They’d probably say they’re playing devil’s advocate.  And yes, maybe you do need someone to help you look at your dreams from all sides, but dreams are fragile, they need to be nurtured and cherished, not watered with a healthy dose of pragmatism.  So surround yourself with dreamers and bolster each others dreams, and do the impossible, because if you’re in the company of dreamers those dreams won’t be impossible any longer.

The Time is Now

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. – Eckhart Tolle

When I started thinking about this quote, and tonight’s post, the theme from the t.v. show One Day At a Time went through my head. I loved the show, and I loved the theme song. I always thought it was pretty catchy. But I never really thought about the words before. But even though I never thought about them consciously, I guess that they got stuck somewhere in my subconscious. It, like the quote, is all about living in the now, because now is all that you are guaranteed. We all know there is no point in living in the past, and tomorrow isn’t promised, so you need to make today count. I know that sounds kind of fatalistic, but honestly, it’s the exact opposite. Don’t waste your now doing stuff that you hate, or being miserable. You should be doing things that bring you joy, and if you don’t have things that bring you joy, start looking for those things. I was at the mall today, and I saw the cutest little girl there with her dad. She was maybe 2 or 3 years old, and she was running in circles around a pole, laughing and giggling. I watched her for a few seconds, smiled at her absolute glee and looked at her dad and said, “Life sure is good, isn’t it?” In that moment I realized that this little girl had found her joy, and she was the lucky one. If we all were as happy as that little girl was, our lives would be amazing. She was happy because she was having fun NOW. She wasn’t thinking about yesterday, and she wasn’t worried about tomorrow, she was strictly in her now and loving every second of it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t plan for your future, but I am saying you need to enjoy your now, as well.

This is it. This is it.
This is life, the one you get
So go and have a ball.This is it. This is it
Straight ahead and rest assured
You can’t be sure at all.So while you’re here enjoy the view
Keep on doing what you do
So hold on tight we’ll muddle through
One day at a time, One day at a time.

So up on your feet. Up on your feet
Somewhere there’s music playing.
Don’t you worry none
We’ll just take it like it comes.

One day at a time, one day at a time.

source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthemes/onedayatatimelyrics.html

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Fun Ways to ROCK Your Sober Halloween Party

Hey everyone – we have another awesome guest post from Constance at Recoverywell.org

Fun Ways to Rock Your Sober Halloween Party

 

Photo via Pixabay

 

Halloween is right around the corner, marking the first end-of-the-year holiday that millions of people across the country celebrate, with jack-o-lanterns, loads of candy, and an astonishing variety of spooky events to host and attend. However, for people in addiction recovery, particularly those who are freshly sober, it can be hard to figure out how to spend the holiday without succumbing to temptation.

 

The truth is, as many long-time sober addicts who still love to throw a festive party will tell you, celebrating without alcohol or drugs can significantly enhance your experience of Halloween, rather than make you feel like you don’t fit into the costumed holiday scene. Yes, alcohol doesn’t have to be part of the picture. And you really can throw a sober and fun Halloween bash of your own.

 

Here are five games to consider when hosting a sober Halloween party, for a howlingly good time:

 

  1. Pumpkin Carving Contest

 

Pumpkin-carving is one of the ultimate Halloween traditions. For your alcohol-free party, buy a load of small-sized pumpkins that guests can comfortably take home with them, and set out carving knives and small festive candles on a large table ready with bowls at the ready for pumpkin guts. Have your guests carve their own Halloween-themed designs, and at the end of the evening, give out prizes for the most impressive creation. Like decorating the Christmas tree or dyeing Easter eggs, no Halloween party is complete without a nod to traditional pumpkin carving.

 

  1. Costume Contest

 

It’s the time of year when you can dress up as anyone or anything you want, and some people take the task seriously. Why not invite your friends who are dedicated costume dressers and everyone else who “dabbles” in the art to come all dressed up to the party? Sponsor a costume contest to motivate the shy and bashful to go for the ultimate prize. You can have guests nominate the best costume, collect the votes, and give out prizes to the winners. To vary up the awarding segment of your party, give out prizes for most creative costume, scariest costume, best couples costume, and so on.

 

  1. Host A Murder Mystery Dinner

 

This one is for those who want a small, more intimate kind of party. The idea here, which will require a lot of planning – be forewarned – is to conduct a murder mystery dinner. Basically, each new guest that arrives is assigned a role, and throughout the dinner, players must guess who is the killer and who is secretly the victim. Variations include a Clue kind of theme to a Pretty Little Liars set up.

 

  1. Have Everyone Tell Scary Stories

 

A familiar pastime during Halloween of years past when you were a kid, was to swap scary stories while passing around the flashlight in your friend’s basement. Such stories probably scared the daylights out of you then, which can be fun to do to others. A tradition that spans centuries, swapping ghost stories is a terrific way to generate laughs and spine-tingling reactions, while entertaining guests all around.

 

The Takeaway

 

Putting yourself out there to throw an alcohol-free Halloween bash at your home takes a bit of courage when recovery leaves you feeling sensitive to the connection in your mind between partying and consuming alcohol. However, by inviting supportive friends and people who live a 100% healthy lifestyle and don’t imbibe at all, you’re giving yourself permission to try out a new kind of festive form of celebrating without dangerous substances present.

Though different, and only if the party is organized right, you should find it comparatively fun to the alcohol-laden parties of your past. If anything, congratulate yourself on trying something new and exercising that festive side of yourself.

 

Money, Tapping and the Law of Attraction

I just too a mini course on money mapping and working through your blocks about money. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t really think I had any money blocks. It turns out I was wrong.  I have blocks, and  I think we all do. This class focused on using tapping (EFT) to work though the blocks. I’d heard about tapping, i read about it, and I was interested, but I never really did it. I am now, and I’m loving it, and I’d love to hear about other people’s thoughts on tapping and success stories etc. But what i want to talk about are the blocks. Blocks can take many forms, and limiting beliefs can come from almost anywhere. I have a LOT of student loan debt, and even though I never realized it before, it makes me feel like a complete loser (talk about a block lol.) I’ve made money mistakes, but that doesn’t make me a loser.  I used to feel like getting out of debt was hopeless, but it’s not.  I just need to get rid of the blocks – that’s where the tapping comes in.  It may not be for everyone, and that’s okay, but it is for me, and that’s okay too.

But in the class we started talking about the Law of Attraction and attracting money into our lives. I commented that I can attract little things like a parking space with no problems but I struggle with the big things. I think a lot of us do. Well the instructor asked me something. What do I do when a friend offers to pick up the tab when we’re out, or invites me for a meal or something. Well, I automatically say no, or insist on paying for my portion. Guess what people, that is a block. You are NOT allowing money to come to you. You are NOT expressing gratitude. You are shutting down that money coming to you when you do this. Learn to accept things like this with ease and gratitude. Let them come into your life and the bigger things will start coming as well.

You deserve abundance, you deserve to live the life of your dreams, but if you continue to put up these blocks, its never going to happen.  Take a good look at who you are and what your beliefs are, and more importantly what those limiting beliefs are.  If your dad said things like “Money doesn’t grow on trees you know,” I promise you, that has worked it’s way into your subconscious and had become a limiting belief for you.  No, money does NOT grow on trees, he was right about that, but there is plenty of money in the world, and you need to be open to getting some. You can use the Law of Attraction, you can manifest the things into your life that you desire. You have to believe it, and you have to ALLOW it!  Once you take these steps, I think you’re going to find amazing things happening in your life.

I’d like to hear what you have to say on the topic, please weigh in with your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.

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