Did I say that?

 Some of you may remember the adorable Steve Urkel. He is famous for this question! Sometimes we may say something out of haste, later regretting letting such words loose from our mouth! Yes, we all have had that experience, I would suspect. Stop and calm down. When you have a mouthful to deliver to someone, it is far better to stop and think. It is easier said than done, for sure. The following is a recent OM article I think you may find enlightening. To subscribe to their daily thoughts, email:


Beyond Reacting

Remembering to pause and take a breath before we react, can shift the energy of the outcome.

We have all had the experience of reacting in a way that was less than ideal upon hearing bad news, or being unfairly criticized, or being told something we did not want to hear. This makes sense because when our emotions are triggered, they tend to take center stage, inhibiting our ability to pause before we speak. We may feel compelled to release the tension by expressing ourselves in some way, whether it's yelling back at the person yelling at us, or rushing to deliver words of comfort to a friend in trouble. However, there is much to be said for teaching ourselves to remember to pause and take a deep breath before we respond to the shocks and insults that can come our way in life.  

For one thing, our initial response is not always what's best for us, or for the other people involved. Reacting to childish rage with childish rage will only escalate the negativity in a situation, further ensnaring us in an undesirable dynamic. Similarly, when we react defensively, or simply thoughtlessly, we often end up feeling regret over our words or actions. In the end, we save ourselves a lot of pain when we take a deep breath and really tune in to ourselves, and the other person, before we respond. This doesn't necessarily mean we don't say anything, although in some cases, that may be the best option. 

Some situations require a fairly immediate response, but even just a moment of grounding ourselves before we do so can help enormously. The next time you find yourself wanting to react, try to pause, and in that pause, take a deep breath. Feel your feet on the floor, the air on your skin, and listen for a response to arise within you, rather than just going with the first thing that pops into your head. You may find that in that moment, there is the potential to move beyond reaction and into the more subtle and creative realm of response, where something new can happen.



I could not have written this any better. Words are important. Sometimes we say things off the top of our head, just like a brainstorming exercise. Sometimes that rough draft should have been edited in our heads. We all deal with this every day. Perhaps we should start by looking inward and practicing uplifting speech. Permission to share was from: 

Words Are Energy

Each word we speak has a life of its own, a vibratory signature that creates waves into the expanse of the universe.

When we speak or write, we use the vehicles of words to carry meaning, as well as energy, from ourselves to another person or group of people. We may be speaking to our baby, our boss, or to an audience of 500 people. We may be writing a love letter, a work-related memo, or an entry in our own diary. Whatever the case, each word we speak or write has a life of its own, a vibratory signature that creates waves in the same way that a note of music creates waves. And like musical notes, our words live in communities of other words and change in relation to the words that surround them. When we are conscious of the energy behind our words, we become capable of making beautiful music in the world. If we are unconscious of the power of words, we run the risk of creating a noisy disturbance. 

Some of us know this instinctively, while others come to this understanding slowly. Most of us, though, speak without thinking at least some of the time, blurting out our feelings and thoughts without much regard for the words we choose to express them. When we remind ourselves that our words have an impact on the world at the level of energy, we may find within ourselves the desire to be more aware of our use of language. 

A fun way to increase our sensitivity to the power of words is to simply make a list of our favorite words and notice the energy they contain. We can write them down and post them where we can see them, or we can speak them aloud, feeling them reverberate in our bodies and in the air around us. This is like learning to consciously play an instrument that we have been playing unconsciously for most of our lives, and the effect can be startling and delightful. As we grow more comfortable and confident playing the instrument of language, we will begin to compose beautiful messages, creating positive energy every time we write or speak. 

Becoming the best you possible! Escaping FEAR!

Most of us are worried and fearful in today's culture. We worry about others. What they think of us. What they like or dislike about us. Sometimes this line of thinking descends into the depths of despair. We worry about our boss. Why didn't he smile at me? He didn't include me in his 'atta boys during the meeting....did he not like my last product? Is he worried I am not doing my job?

With friends it's the same - did she get her feelings hurt when I said that? Are they mad at me? Why didn't they include me?

Family stressors include worrying about being included as well, but also not understanding changing roles.....

Now those are issues in a normal world, but we do not live in a normal world. We live in a world afraid of socialism, afraid of capitalism, afraid of vaccines, afraid not to vaccinate, afraid to go out in public, afraid to eat at a restaurant...the list is endless. Where does it end? How do we enjoy life despite the world around us? What are we able to control? 

First, our jobs. Try to have a job where your leaders are supportive and empathetic. A place where you love to work. Not just a job, but a joyful place....After you listen, try to emulate that leadership in your life - in your family, with your group of friends, with those with whom you work!


Take 15 minutes to stop and watch the above url. It's amazing. This guy gets it. We need leaders with empathy. He states it so clearly. 

Secondly, pay attention to your body. Right now lower your shoulders. Did you realize that you were so tense? Try some deep breathing. Listen to some beautiful soothing music. Look at nature. Just focus. Be in the moment. 

Release the trauma from your body! Peter Levine is famous for somatic healing. Watch this video and understand a little more about yourself.


Watch as the psychologist explains what is going on with our bodies filled with trauma. You may not have trauma from war or battle, but  you may have trauma from an unhappy life or childhood or even just depression that becomes stagnant.

We know we need empathy in our lives. We know we have trauma we need to rid our bodies of... 

Strategies to Overcome Fear and Anxiety

  • Step 1: Learn More About Your Fear. This first step can be the hardest one, but it's also absolutely necessary. ...
  • Step 2: Use your Imagination in Positive Ways. ...
  • Step 3: Use Your Brain in a Different Way than Usual. ...
  • Step 4: Focus on Your Breathing. ...
  • Step 5: Practice Mindfulness. ...
  • Step 6: Use Nature as Your Therapist.


 Deep breath! I am shaking and angry and I want to share why. As a therapist and as an educator, I know that I am to keep my personal feelings and thoughts mostly to myself, especially around my students and clients. Today I received a blog from a large entity that supports counselors and I was triggered by one of the points the blogger was making: Trump caused irreparable damage to our country and world....Some synonyms for irreparable are irreversible and irrevocable. Are you serious??? You can't change things a president does? You can't undo laws, mandates, etc? Who says they are wrong? Who says that the current administration isn't even worse? Or, better yet, what if the Trump administration was on to evil and was trying to combat it? No matter what side of the fence you are on and how righteous you feel about your beliefs, the solemn duty of educators and counselors is to go where the client/student is and teach them from an unbiased viewpoint. 

Conservatives, liberals, middle of the roaders - call if what you may. There is no absolute. There is NO black or white in knowledge and. I believe in the little gray matter in my head, as Poirot might say. These little gray cells help me maintain a balanced position in life. 

Once, while teaching at a middle school (of course, public school, as if it were private I may have replied differently), a student asked if I personally believed in abortion. This kid was 12-years old. The age of my sweet granddaughter now. I told this child and the class that SOME people believed in abortion and some did not. They were to go to their homes and speak with their parents and decide what they believed. I left it at that. We did not have a discussion about it, but if kids had asked more questions, I would continue to be the voice of reason and balance. Developmentally, they were not ready for more in-depth discussion. They demonstrated this by not even asking any more questions. I am fairly easy to talk with, so it wasn't that they were afraid. They simply were satisfied.

We learn as counselors to ask, "Why is that important to you? Why do you want to know?" That's a great question that deals with the issue at hand. Perhaps the student/client is unsure of what to believe. Perhaps they want to be informed, in which case I would calmly (if it was the appropriate moment/time) share what prolife folks commonly believe and what pro-choice people believe. I would not take either side. I would be TEACHING. What a concept, huh?

Working on my own countertransference about this matter, I chose to write this blog. I feel a bit better. I don't feel superior. I simply affirm what I believe and I pray and hope that every educator, counselor, coach, adult, etc., realizes that we cannot brainwash our students or clients. We must allow for critical thinking and free speech. God bless America!

Quarantine & Increased Mental Anxiety

Coronavirus tips: How to deal with your anxiety | The IndependentWe, the human race, have united for a very dubious cause. Why dubious? No one knows exactly where this virus started (we have an idea, for sure) and no one knows why. With all the uncertainty and the plethora of news about the virus, people are told to shelter at home. Some places are more stringent in their mandates than others. For me, my defining occupation - that of teacher - has changed drastically. I feel overwhelmed by the amount of phone calls, computerized classroom, packets, and four classes I must juggle - well, there would have been 5, if I consider the independent packet some seniors are trying to finish so they can graduate.
If we had an idea for when this distance learning and living would end, perhaps then it would be easier on all of us. If I, an adult, am so stressed out, how do we think our students feel? I have spoken to a few and they are all overwhelmed. What is the answer? Is there one that fits all? I doubt it, but for me and mine, I am going to work on doing what I am able and doing it well. If I don't get to all the online meetings, so be it. I am responsible and will finish what I start and try to create some semblance of a schedule. For those of you working from home, especially kids, try to remember the following:
  • Create a flexible schedule. Emphasis on flexible.
  • Alternate passive with active times. For example, 20 minutes of schoolwork and 20 minutes of gonoodle.com!
  • Walk around the neighborhood and practice mindfulness with nature.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Eat a balanced diet - avoid sugary concoctions, but don't eliminate them totally! Give yourself a "treat" when you've accomplished something difficult (like vacuuming or doing the toilets???).
  • Improve your spiritual life.
  • Practice daily gratitudes.
  • Read a good book - not one for work or self-improvement - just a sweet story. How about trying the Mitford Series? Very relaxing and easy read.
  • Contact one person a day via Hangouts or by phone.
  • Smile- that very act creates a hormone release that helps you feel emotionally well!
  • Draw or paint - do something creative.
  • Listen to music or play music. Drum with your fingers on your desk!
Read, listen to, or tell jokes!
Find a good series to watch on Netflix or Hulu or whatever.... the list is endless. Try your best to be upbeat and positive and happy! May you have a peaceful spring and may you find joy in your life that you uncover through this crisis....Maybe one day we will know the whys....

Our World Has Changed and I AM CONFUSED

To tell the truth, I am confused. I don't know what or whom to believe anymore. The media is out of control. I hear one thing from one station and the opposite from another. On social media folks are outing those who aren't adhering to the government mandates and then there are those folks who are protesting the Machiavellian power seized by government. Where will this end and what can I do about it?

As an educator, I am influencing many young people. Fresh minds. Open minds. Minds I don't want to blemish with untruths and negativity. But if I am confused, how am I able to do that?

Anxiety thrives on uncertainty.
And, as the coronavirus spreads, our unanswered questions can make us feel vulnerable or fearful. "Will it come to my community" or "Am I at risk?'
"We've got national anxiety at the moment, a kind of shared stress, and we are all in a state of extreme uncertainty," says Catherine Belling, an associate professor at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, who studies the role of fear and anxiety in health care.
And here's a catch-22: The more you stress, the more vulnerable you can become to viruses, because stress can dampen your immune response.
Listen to this advice from a learned colleague from NPR:
So remember good health hygiene - something for now and for the future, no matter what!
1. Sleep at least 7 - 8 hours.
2. Increase your water intake.
3. Express gratitudes daily. 
4. Unplug from the news
5. Do something fun.
6. Exercise more - move, move, move!  
7. Don't isolate socially - use social media to connect with others.
Neighboring During a Pandemic — Neighboring Movement.org