Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“Worry is a misuse of imagination.”

— Dan Zadra

As we (my district and many other fellow educators) begin a new school year tomorrow, I am overcome with a myriad of feelings.

Excitement. Anxiety. Hope. Doubt. Joy. Passion. Worry.

With every good emotion, feeling, and memory comes the struggle that follows every educator. A few questions will always remain.

Will what I do be enough? Can I change my students for the better? Will my students be better people when they leave my class? Will they show what they know? Can I get them to reach their fullest potential and try their best?

As these questions float around, anyone can feel overwhelmed. (There’s a reason that so many teachers leave the profession within their first few years.)

But what if we let go of the worry? What if we gave ourselves more room to imagine the best of our students, our curriculum, ourselves. When we pause and leave room for this kind of thinking, the room that is necessary to imagine the best in all situations, we can transform our classrooms. We can transform our students’ futures. We can transform our lives as a whole.

Use your brain for good. Remind yourself that as we start a new year, new season, new part of our lives, worry drains all the energy we have to make ourselves great. Use your imagination and lift yourself up. Living fully requires everything you’ve got. Whatever you give to worry you can’t give to anything else.

Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow starts a new year. Tomorrow could be a new life for you.

Make it count. Imagine the possibilities.

Love and Light, Carly

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“Most obstacles melt away when we make up our minds to walk boldly through them.”

— Orison Swett Marden

While most of us hope to physically thaw out this upcoming week, take a moment to provide yourself with some powerful motivational imagery.

Imagine looking before you at all obstacles standing in your way. Ignite your passion and resolve to conquer these struggles and watch the obstacles themselves and the stress that surrounds them melt away as you press on.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

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“Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.”

— John F. Kennedy

While we may not control everything, but when we can take charge, we need to have the energy and the passion to go our there and get what we want.

Make it happen. Go out there and get what you want.

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Life Lessons One Year Later

I read this and thought I should share with everyone.  Have a great weekend, all!

BY GRETCHEN BLEILER

A year ago, I was working on double backflips with my coach and I had a very bad accident. While getting ready for the double, I threw my warm-up trick too hard and made a split decision in the air to keep rotating into the double, even though I hadn’t thrown for it. When I landed back onto the trampoline, my knees were still tightly tucked and the force and angle of my body caused my knee to come crushing into my face, shattering my eye socket, breaking my nose, splitting open my eyebrow and giving myself the worst concussion that I’ve ever experienced.

I’ll spare you the complicated and gruesome details of the next week leading up to my surgery, but it was hell. For anyone that’s ever had surgery, you know that everyone heals at a different pace and in different ways depending on who they are and what happened to them. Based on my competitive and pinpoint nature, I expected the fast track to recovery after surgery and it turned out to be a very humbling experience.

After a few post-op visits and debates with different care providers, the prognosis was that I had come a long way since my accident and the quality of my vision was good. It was possible and likely that my vision would continue to get better, but at the same time it was insinuated that if it didn’t, I was in a pretty good place. Thinking back on where my vision actually was at that point now is disturbing because I remember having an extremely short range of motion in almost every direction. Meaning that if I just looked up slightly, I would have double vision. And this was good? They did know that I was a professional snowboarder and that because of this I would need more range than the “average” person…right? In my opinion, though, the “average” person probably wants to look up at the stars at night just as much as I want to look up at that lip that is 22 feet above me and see one lip not two! So, as you can see, not having tangible solutions just didn’t work for me. And after a period of being extremely pissed, frustrated, angry and scared, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and work with my “A” team (the people who have helped me accomplish my goals in snowboarding and life) to collaborate on a plan to find some solutions and recover.

If I had learned nothing else from this entire experience, then just understanding that doctors are human and most of them are very specialized in very specific areas would have been enough. That’s something a lot of us fail to remember; for some reason we all grow up thinking that doctors know the answers to EVERYTHING in all subjects because they are doctors. Let me tell you my doctor was a super hero in what he did for me. He saved my eye, my appearance and my vision. People tell me all the time that I must have had a really good doctor because they would never have known what had happened to me based on aesthetics. But when the super hero has rescued you, and you’re ready to continue on with your life, you don’t turn around and ask the super hero what you should do with your life now!

And that’s why it’s important for YOU (or someone you trust) to take control over the entire big picture plan of your recovery, no matter how big or small your injury may be. Because at the end of the day this is your life and you get to live it to the best of your abilities. That means if you hear a comment directed towards you like: “this is the best it’s gonna get, so start getting used to it,” then you respond in one way or another with: “I understand that is what you believe based on your experiences and knowledge, and I respect you and your belief, but I’m going to choose to disagree and find someone who believes that they can help me.” It’s taking the initiative and finding a solution. It’s the hard road; it’s the road less traveled. And you may spend a lot of time looking and never find what you’re looking for, but I know that I would sure as hell rather try!

My one-year anniversary of this day has just recently passed and now that I’ve almost recovered, and am back on my snowboard and almost back to my full potential, it seems like this experience is almost behind me and I’m in a place where I can reflect and share the valuable things that I’ve learned. So here goes:

-Don’t let anyone tell you “this is the best it’s going to get” and put limitations on you, whether it’s an injury or life in general.

-S*!t happens. I had just come off a breakthrough season where I truly felt I was on the verge of grasping my full potential, and then I was knocked down to zero. I’ve asked the question, “why?” and tried to look for hidden or not so hidden meanings, but sometimes in life it’s as easy as “stuff just happens.”

-You can’t always muscle through challenges, obstacles and life. Once I got back on snow, I figured that because my vision was back that the level of riding I had been at before the accident would come right back. That just wasn’t the case, and the harder I tried on snow to get back to where I was, the worse it got. Only when I let go of the past and rode just purely for the enjoyment of what it was, without expectations or ulterior motives, did I begin to soften and naturally fall back into stride … which leads me to the next lesson:

-Let go of expectations because they will only hold you back. Being gently and easy on yourself may seem like taking the scenic route when you’re in a hurry, but it’s the only way to truly process and move forward in a true and healthy way.

-Do live in this moment. Comparing yourself to where you were is living in the past. You are a different version of yourself now than you were and living for then will surely rob you of who and what you are now.

-Be grateful for where you are right now. For me, having my vision back was the biggest victory that I could have escaped this experience with, but it took a long time for me to truly understand that concept. In the beginning I could only see what I wasn’t doing and where I was lacking. I just wanted to be back at my highest level of snowboarding. Then I found that beating myself up was actually draining my passion and love for what I was actually doing, which directly affected the way I would perform. Gratitude brings you back to being that witnessing awareness that is whole and unwavering.

-Don’t focus on time or a cookie cutter schedule.  Focus on what your body is telling you.  Your body knows best and intuitively knows how to heal, if you listen and are presently aware.

-Do the rehab every day; even a year after surgery you have the potential to break through any scar tissue or limitations. Just as in life, once you have found what is working for you, you want to apply that routine every day to break through old habits and patterns that are holding you back.

A lot of these lessons are similar concepts but just said or experienced in different ways. But what I’ve found is that we learn the same lessons in different ways throughout life based on where we are in our process. And where I am in my process is heading into summertime riding with a lot of goals that I’m eager to accomplish. And if I’ve learned anything at all from my own experiences, I’m going to go up to Mount Hood and, while I will be aware of those goals, I’m going to detach from their end results and enjoy sliding around on the snow in warm weather and that beautiful environment. I’m going to be grateful for my healthy body that lets me push myself physically and mentally to ride with style and meaning every day because that’s why I love to snowboard, but at the same time being presently aware and listening to my body as I do, and I’m going to laugh and I’m going to soak in being with some of my best friends and husband and dog all the while!

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“Failure is nature’s plan to prepare you for great responsibilities.”

Napoleon Hill

When you read about successful people, you’ll likely read about many devastating failures leading up to and intermixed with their wild successes.  And when you meet successful people, you start to learn that the reason they were successful in the first place is because they have a lot of practice failing and have matured and learn from their failures.   If you want to learn to be successful, you’ve got to put yourself out there and take chances.  You’ve go to apply for jobs you might not ever get and audition for parts you might not fit the role for exactly.  You’ll be disappointed and frustrated and angry, but keep pushing.  Then, you will find yourself with great responsibilities, great successes, and a heaping sense of fulfillment.

Napoleon_Hill_seated_in_chair

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“The road to success is always under construction.”

Lily Tomlin

A pot hole here. A new bypass there. Thick fog. Ice. Congestion. Rubbernecking. The road to success is often traveled but often abandoned and detoured. Maps of it are certainly crude, as the road is a unique route for each sojourner that embarks upon it, and the ease of passage depends upon many factors, from foes to fates. Don’t be discouraged when you find yourself doubled back to where you’ve already been, delayed by a family rest stop, or sitting in traffic behind other passengers on the route. Reset the odometer. Proceed confidently in the direction of your dreams. Don’t forget to take in the views. Most importantly, enjoy the ride.

Photo courtesy of Lifehacker.com

Photo courtesy of Lifehacker.com

 

 

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“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

— Harriet Tubman

As we return to work, let’s all remember that inside of us is the potential to do exactly what is necessary to succeed not only today or this week, but for the weeks and months that follow.

Be the dreamer. You already have all that you need to change the world, yours and mine.

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Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life

By David Ferguson, the Onion

I have always been a big proponent of following your heart and doing exactly what you want to do. It sounds so simple, right? But there are people who spend years—decades, even—trying to find a true sense of purpose for themselves. My advice? Just find the thing you enjoy doing more than anything else, your one true passion, and do it for the rest of your life on nights and weekends when you’re exhausted and cranky and just want to go to bed.

It could be anything—music, writing, drawing, acting, teaching—it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that once you know what you want to do, you dive in a full 10 percent and spend the other 90 torturing yourself because you know damn well that it’s far too late to make a drastic career change, and that you’re stuck on this mind-numbing path for the rest of your life.

Is there any other way to live?

I can’t stress this enough: Do what you love…in between work commitments, and family commitments, and commitments that tend to pop up and take immediate precedence over doing the thing you love. Because the bottom line is that life is short, and you owe it to yourself to spend the majority of it giving yourself wholly and completely to something you absolutely hate, and 20 minutes here and there doing what you feel you were put on this earth to do.

Before you get started, though, you need to find the one interest or activity that truly fulfills you in ways nothing else can. Then, really immerse yourself in it for a few fleeting moments after an exhausting 10-hour day at a desk job and an excruciating 65-minute commute home. During nights when all you really want to do is lie down and shut your eyes for a few precious hours before you have to drag yourself out of bed for work the next morning, or on weekends when your friends want to hang out and you’re dying to just lie on your couch and watch TV because you’re too fatigued to even think straight—these are the times when you need to do what you enjoy most in life.

Because when you get right down to it, everyone has dreams, and you deserve the chance—hell, you owe it to yourself—to pursue those dreams when you only have enough energy to change out of your work clothes and make yourself a half-assed dinner before passing out.

Say, for example, that your passion is painting. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and buy a canvas and some painting supplies! Go sign up for art classes! And when you get so overwhelmed with your job and your personal life that you barely have enough time to see your girlfriend or boyfriend or husband or wife, let alone do anything else, go ahead and skip classes for a few weeks. Then let those paint brushes sit in your room untouched for six months because a major work project came up and you had a bunch of weddings to go to and your kid got sick and money is tighter than you thought it would be and you have to work overtime. And then finally pick those brushes back up again only to realize you’re so rusty that you begin to question whether this was all a giant waste of time, whether you even want to paint anymore, and whether this was just some sort of immature little fantasy you had as a kid and that maybe it’s finally time to grow the fuck up, let painting go, and join the real world because, let’s face it, not everyone gets to live out their dreams.

Not only does that sound fulfilling, but it also sounds pretty fun.

Really, the biggest obstacle to overcome here—aside from every single obligation you have to your friends, family, job, and financial future—is you. And I’ll tell you this much: You don’t want to wake up in 10 years and think to yourself, “What if I had just gone after my dreams during those brief 30-minute lunch breaks when I was younger?” Because even if it doesn’t work out, don’t you owe it to yourself to look in the mirror and confidently say, “You know what, I gave it my best half-hearted shot”?

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Fear and Love

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”

— John Lennon

I’ll keep it short.

Fear or love: which one is it going to be driving YOUR decisions, YOUR mindset, YOUR life?

smile john lennon

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“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

-Albert Einsteinpassionately_curious_by_carnine9-d4wh7mc

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