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No Fear?

The whole secret of existence is to have no fear.

– The Buddha

On the surface this quote seems so cool – have no fear.  Here’s the thing though, fear is a good thing, and we need it.  If we didn’t have fear, we’d find ourselves in all sorts of predicaments which could prove quite dangerous. So fear has a purpose.  I don’t think the secret to our whole existence is to have no fear – because without fear, we may cease to exist.  What I THINK this quote is saying is that we can’t live our lives IN fear.  If fear becomes such a part of our lives that we don’t do anything, then we could cease to exist. Think about Dr. Jenner, he was the pioneer of the smallpox vaccine.  He noticed that dairy maids, who’d been infected with what was called cowpox, were virtually immune to smallpox.  You have to wonder though, what was going through his mind when he thought “Oh, if I take some of the goo from this girl’s icky red lesion and inject it in me, maybe I won’t get smallpox!”  Seriously he looked past his fear and because he did so, countless lives have been saved.  So while having some fear is a good thing, we can’t allow it to control our lives, either.  It’s all about balance, and the trick is to find your own.

Failure and Success

Men’s best successes come after their disappointments. – Harry Ward Beecher

So I’m not going to lie, today was the Mondayest Monday in all the Mondays in Mondayenium.  Translation, it was not a super great day.  Nothing bad happened, which in itself is great.  But there were lots of little petty annoyances that built up until I felt like I was sinking under the weight of them all.  I skipped the gym, ate like crap (I’m still doing that, actually) and was going to skip writing tonight because…..meh.  Then, while I was downstairs making my popcorn (my junk food of choice) I pulled the quote up on my phone and looked at it and it was like getting hit over the head with the ACME anvil Wiley Coyote tries to brain the Road Runner with.  Today was honestly just one disappointment after the other, and tonight, I had a choice.  I could choose to snuggle under my covers with my popcorn and a trashy romance, or I could take a few minutes, apply myself to the blog post and turn myself around and turn my disappointment into success.  I guess you can figure which route I took.  Now I realize that in the grand scheme of things, writing one blog post probably won’t go down in the annals of super success but maybe, someone who is having a worse day than me will read this and it will help, or someone will find a previous post that really speaks to them.  And you know what?  Maybe neither of those things will happen – and that’s okay.  Because I took my Monday blahday and took some time to turn it around and write this post, and I actually feel a lot better for doing so.  So chalk up the disappointments you face to learning experiences, and  move on in search of your successes.


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.




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