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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Wishes!!

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Person slammed for believing they are amazing. Oy

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A series of unfortunate answers to a kick butt great, and fun, question on “Yahoo Answers.”  Absolutely love the ‘asker’s’ response to answers.. this person IS freaking amazing!  Being ‘slammed’ doesn’t stop them:

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Why am I so damn freaking amazing?

I can’t help but notice how freaking amazing I am. Just yesterday, this guy on the radio sent a personal message to me; he was singing it “Because you’re amazing, just the way you are.” And I was like “Omg, I’m so amazing that even random people on the radio who I’ve never met just know I’m so amazing.” So why am I so amazing? Please tell me.
  • 3 months ago

Best Answer – Chosen by Asker

Shut the hell up
  • 2 people rated this as good
Asker’s Rating:
5 out of 5
Asker’s Comment:
Ahh, ok 🙂 Please join me in my journey to find the most amazing people in the world. I think You’d be amazing at being amazing. I would even ask that guy to sing his amazing song to you.

Other Answers (5)

  • Well the reason you are so freaking amazing is because of your many accomplishments.  Surely they eclipse those of Niel Armstrong or Mother Teresa.  Their accomplishments pale in comparison, probably.  What have you done again?
  •  OMG, since you posted here all of YA is so much more vibrant and alive, even all the trolls left because they can’t stand your amazing prrsance. I don’t know why but please stay here forever.
  • Why must you ask?? BASK IN YOUR AMAZING GLOW, YOU PILE OF AMAZING!!
  • You’re not
  • i have a friend just like you, he’s a bit of a douche as well

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Why does the general population still think it’s so  ‘absurd’ to feel frickin’ amazing and (OH MY GOD) ANNOUNCE it?

If the asker had asked “Why am I so damn frickin’ depressed and miserable?” they would likely have gotten a bunch of advice.. probably not good advice, but at least advice with some compassion.  They’d also have probably gotten a lot of “So am I”s.

It appears it’s okay to talk about being miserable and needing help (which I’m not saying is a bad thing, because reaching out is valuable)… but it is NOT okay to celebrate amazingness.  Isn’t there something innately wrong with that in the big picture of us becoming a more conscious self – actualized collective of humankind?

So, my request to all of you whom I believe are damn freakin’ amazing ( I doubt you’d be here otherwise), if you are in the UK or Ireland, I think you can still answer this person’s question.  The site won’t let me be a member.. probably the Canadian thing.

Just go here!  http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110925063551AAeevfb

ps. You are damn freakin’ amazing. So am I, gosh darn it.

 

 

No child is naughty.

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I posted this article a few of years ago. I’m delighted to see the naughty or nice quiz discussed below has been eliminated from the site mentioned, although there are still ‘checklists calendars.”  And there’s still other naughty or nice quizzes on the internet. Ugh.  I think it’s valuable for people to give some thought to this concept.. so here’s the article reposted.

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On the radio today the announcer mentioned www.northpole.com and the naughty or nice quiz.  When he listed the questions, the ‘advocate for children’ in me  fumed.  I went straight to the site and fumed some more. It’s not that the site isn’t well-intended.  It’s just that the naughty or nice quiz is 1.  sure to make all children feel guilty, especially those who already beat themselves up for not living up to adult’s expectations.. for reasons that are completely out of their control.  2. missed an opportunity to honour each child and actually build their self-esteem.

Below is the list of questions that came up when I did the naughty or nice quiz.  Beside each of the multiple choice answers I give scenarios from the ‘naughty’ child’s eyes.  And below that, I’ve added a few questions that I think are MUCH more valuable for kids!

Santa’s Naughty or Nice Quiz

Please answer the following questions to see how good you’ve been!

Do you listen to your teacher?

Always, you can learn a lot from your teacher (Does my teacher get to do this quiz? I wish my teacher would listen to me. I don’t think I fit into what the education system expects of me. I would like the teacher to help me cultivate my strengths.  I’ve  learned to devalue the activities I love and am good at. Like being creative, building, physical play, imaginative play, music.  I wish my teacher could hear what I have trouble saying. Maybe my teacher could learn a lot from me!)

•Most of the time, unless I get distracted   (I’m more of a  “right brain” thinker.  Even though the school system is set up by “left brain”, logical linear thinkers, I’m one of those who’s mind doesn’t process the same way. I get “aha’s” and excitable when a thought comes to me out of the blue, even while the teacher is talking. Then I get in trouble. So I try not to use my dominant side of the brain. But then I don’t understand what my teacher is saying anyway so I do get distracted.  I try to fit in, but I never feel like I do)

Sometimes, unless my friend is asking me something.  (That’s always tough, because we are taught to be kind to friends and to listen to teachers, and oh, it’s all so confusing the messages we receive)

Only when the teacher mentions my name  (Well, that is a good way to get my attention when I’ve been off in another world dreaming up a new invention that could solve many of the world’s problems.. if only I believed in myself enough to even tell someone about it)

How much time do you spend on your homework?

•At least an hour each night and sometimes more (I wish I could, but my mom works so hard, and I try to help her with the little ones and they mess up my homework, then I can’t sleep all night because I know I didn’t get my homework done and I have to think of an excuse, and then I’m grumpy all day because I’m tired, but I don’t tell my mom, because I don’t think she needs to worry about me too, and nobody has taught me yet how to know what I need to be happy and well, or how to ask for it if I do know. Because I’m only a kid and apparently the adults know best.)

 •As much as necessary to complete all my assignments.  (It takes me a long time to understand each assignment because it isn’t being taught to me in the best way that my mind can understand. I’m exhausted by doing only what is necessary.)

I do just enough to get by (I need play time, creative time, physical activity time, and time to do nothing at all.  So I do just enough homework to get by.  Then I feel bad and can’t sleep all night.)

Let’s just say I’m not the teacher’s pet  (Would you be teacher’s pet if you are grumpy all day and couldn’t sleep and are worried about being naughty and that Santa Claus is going to bring you a lump of coal?)

Do you do all your chores on time?

•Yes, every day I do my chores ( There are some things that I think I would be really good at.. like organizing the cupboards. I’d like my chore to be cleaning the cupboards or folding the towels.  But maybe I don’t do it the way my parents want, because the chores I’m given are just the boring things.  Sometimes I have really cool ideas about other ways to clean the kitchen, but I think people think they are stupid and they don’t help me cultivate my own ideas. Maybe they are stupid ideas.)

•Most of the time, I only forget on rare occasions.  (The part of my mind that knows what’s really best for me sometimes forces me to forget so that I will pay attention to creative time, play time, active time.  But those things seems to have little value in the world, and I’m starting to forget how to do those things, so I watch TV)

•Sometimes, unless I can pay my little brother/sister to do them.  (I’m learning to delegate and build a team and will one day be a great entrepreneur.  I sure hope this one doesn’t put me in the naughty category, because I worry that I might be given a lump of coal.  But then, there are probably some pretty creative things I can do with a lump of coal…I wonder if I could barter with it.)

Do you share your toys?

•Sure – if we share, then we all have more to play with. (I am so confused by this. I’m taught to look after things.  Then I’m taught to let others wreck them.  No matter what I decide, I’m naughty. And when I try to discuss this with an adult, they say I’m talking back.  So I feel bad about being too stupid to understand what I’m supposed to do)

Most of the time, but I’m very partial to some and won’t,( as above)

Sometimes, but only if they have one I want.(One day I will be a really great negotiator and entrepreneur.  Win Win for all.  Unless of course, I get a lump of coal for this, then I know I am naughty and the things I am good at are of no value.)

Only if they pay me 5 cents per toy. (Child’s response 1: I got my toys from a nice family who donated them to us for Christmas.  I don’t want them wrecked. So if other kids are going to play with them, then maybe I can get enough money to help us buy food and not go to the food bank all the time, because I think my mom is embarrassed by this.  Child’s response 2: I probably have the gift of being a financial genius, but I won’t learn about financial matters until I’m out of school and on my own.)

Do you remember to always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’?

•Yes, I make it a point to be polite (I’m so confused by this too. How come I get ordered around by adults but when I try to imitate their behaviour because that’s one way I learn, I get in trouble. Then I feel bad for being too stupid to understand my best ways of behaving in this world)

Most of the time, but I sometimes forget  (Me again.  My mind is off in the world of imagination, ideas, and creative thoughts and it doesn’t always remember to say please and thank you)

Sure, if my mom or dad just remind me (as above)

Why bother?  (I’m too tired. Nobody seems to appreciate me, anyway. I don’t seem to fit in this world. I can’t sleep at night.  I’m a grumpy mean stupid kid and I get in trouble whether I say please and thank you or not.)

Certainly there is value in being helpful, caring, sharing and to listening to adults. But seriously, given the possibilities of why a child might not get to pick the ‘good’ option – perhaps the whole concept can change so that each child will discover that they are good.  I’m not going to do a whole rewrite here, but here’s some thoughts that could be included:

What if the questions alone instilled a sense of self worth and gave value to a child’s personal well being, gifts and their individual best way of learning? What if we honoured that a child’s play is their work?

Here’s some ideas:

Dear Child, 
You’re on the Nice list.  If you answer No to any of the following questions, that’s okay. There’s no such thing as a naughty child in my eyes.  I, Santa Claus, grant you magic to find ways for your answers to be Yes in the future! 

Do you give yourself plenty of time to be creative? (imagining, painting, singing, dancing, role playing, banging on drums, creating drums, writing stories, drawing, that sort of thing?)

Do you often spend time being physically active doing things you love?  (favourite sports, hiking, climbing trees, running, swimming, exploring?)

•Have you had fun building or repairing anything this year?  (forts, cardboard castles, helping build shelves, helping to work on a vehicle?)

Have you ever thought about making things work better, or helping people get along better?  (Have you come up with some ideas about this, even if right now it might not seem possible?  That’s cool if you have.. have you ever told a trusted friend or relative about it to simply enjoy the process of discovering new possibilities?)

Have you played lots and lots and lots?

I, Santa, would love for you to list 5 things you are good at!  And then 5 more!  and even more!!  If this is hard for you, you can ask a good friend or family member or teacher to help you!

 

mmm… I’m liking where this is heading – let’s find ways to acknowledge the wonder of each child, and help them acknowledge that for themselves.  So much more fun than threats of coal for not keeping your room clean all the time.

Thank goodness the movie “Fred Claus” acknowledges that kids aren’t naughty.

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“Get to Do” is the New “To Do” List

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Tis the Season to Audaciously Cross Things OFF the Way Too Long “To Do” List.   “Get to Do” is the New “To Do”

Step 1:  Take out the To Do List

Step 2:  Take a big breath and start crossing things off.

“I can’t do that!!” you might be thinking. Let me convince you: Your TO DO List is likely a key factor in your not getting to enjoy the season nearly as much as you could be.  The list is long. It’s overwhelming. It’s full of unrealistic expectations.  It’s in your thoughts so much that when you are doing something you enjoy, you’re thinking of the TO DO List.
So let’s turn that TO DO list into an “I GET TO DO” list.

Step 3: Across the top of the TO DO List, write: How can I make this simpler?  Heck, how can I make this fun?

Step 4:  Cross things off the list – pretend you are an editor who must trim a 500 word article to 50 words..  Your list will start to look like this:

TIPS for CROSS OFFS:

The Baking List:  Cross off all but 3 or 4 favourites.  Cross off everything that’s complicated to cook.  If tradition has you building a gingerbread house that gets thrown away at the end of the season, cross it off.  Will it still be Christmas without Russian Teacakes or fudge that you burn three times before it turns out right? Yes.

Kids’ Gift List:  Still trying to balance the number and value of gifts for your kids?  Stop. You know you love them equally. “Balancing” just costs you more and more money.  If the list is already way out of balance – so much so that one child will be sure you don’t love them at all – cross the extra gifts off the list. Put them away for a birthday or return them after Christmas.  A tip to simplify gift giving for kids: Give them one thing they think they want, one thing you know they would like, a book, and if you love board games or movies, add that.  This could be the year that you’ve decided to reduce ‘stuff’ to help the environment.  Your kids might.. maybe.. buy into that, especially if ‘experiences’ like movies or skiing become a part of the gift giving tradition.

Gift list that has you going to 12 different stores:  Pick a theme like ‘books’ and spend a relaxing afternoon in the book store choosing a special book, magazine or journal for in-laws, parents, siblings and friends.  Or buy them movie passes… (we’re leading up to something here.)

Christmas Dinner:  Can you break tradition and make it simpler?  Premake side dishes?  Have others bring a side dish? One year, most of the family was out of town, and just my two daughters and I were going to be having Christmas together. They told me not to plan dinner. They had a surprise, they said. Do you know how hard that was? What? No Turkey? No preplanning all that goes into Turkey dinner? The surprise was that they had planned to cook us a Persian dinner! I hadn’t had persian food since I’d lived in Iran when I was in my 20’s… it was such a thoughtful and delicious present.  And look, here I am talking about the Persian dinner and not about all the other 50+ turkey dinners. We survived (thrived) doing Christmas dinner differently. So can you.

Events:  What events on the list make you smile and what ones feel like pressure?  Try really really hard to cross off the pressure events.  They might be events you ‘should’ attend, but remember you are trying to reduce the overwhelm.  Once you are done with all of the cross off’s, you might actually have time to do the things you’d adore doing.  Your list might start to look like this:

  • More story times with the kids.
  • Read a book.
  • Sit by the fire and do nothing.
  • Go Tobogganing.

If New Year’s Eve is more of an ordeal than a pleasure for you, do this:


Notice how your TO DO list is turning into an I GET TO DO list? Feeling some relief?

Once you’ve gotten through the Christmas Season, you can practise the art of “I GET TO DO” even more.

Do you keep repeating New Year’s Resolutions each year because you never actually do them?  Diet, go to the gym, spend more time with hubby/wife, visit relatives more, start and finish the book you’ve always wanted to write, get a new job?   Cross ALL of them off the list.  ALL.  Create an “I GET TO DO” list of things that you’d love to do and that are do-able.

I get to: go Hiking, take bollywood dancing, go to movies, play board games.   Notice how doing those things will actually lead to goals of getting fit, spending time with hubby, and you can invite the relatives to join you for board game nights.  Perhaps they’ll invite you to the movies with the passes you gave at Christmas!

I get to: “Write for 5 minutes 3 times a week.”  It may seem your book will never get done at that rate but taking tiny, almost infinitesimal, steps is a sure cure past procrastination, overwhelm and perfectionism that prevents you from even showing up to the page.  The tiny step philosophy works for all those big goals you never get to.

About ‘Get a New Job’:  Give yourself permission to immerse in those passions on the “I Get to Do” list. It is in this space of ‘playful and fun’ that clear and empowering thoughts arrive.  Don’t be surprised if a new job opportunity or business idea pops up while you are at bollywood dance class!

One more little spirit lifting tip: For the things that really must get done, playfully say, “I get to do” instead of “I have to do.” The phrase alone lightens up even doing the dishes!

By Janet L. Whitehead © 2010

Published in Kamloops Momma Magazine   The Free Magazine for Moms.. and Dad’s too.  Dec 2010/Jan 2011 edition.  (If you’re a parent or a grandparent or have ever been a kid yourself.. this is an amazing magazine!)

Evalee-isms. Always inspiring me. And Faeries…

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Evalee-isms.  My 4 year old grandaughter is my muse.. inspiring new forms of art, helping me find words to articulate difficult concepts, giving me brilliant life philosophies… you know, big stuff like that.

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“What do you want to do when you grow up, Evalee?”

“I want to be a nurse, and a teacher, Lady Gaga and a Plumber. I want to do lots of things.  What do you want to be when you’re .. uh… more grown up?”

“I want to be a writer and a sailor.” (surprised even me.)

“We can be lots of things!” Evalee announces.

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Today Evalee decorated a little tree outside  for the faeries.

Evalee:  “I WISH I could really SEE Faeries!”

GramaNana: “You know ‘love’, right. And you know how we don’t see love, we feel it?”

Evalee: “Yes”

Gramanana, “Faeries are like that.  We can feel when they are near.”

Evalee:  “OHHHH, Now I GET IT!!!” (slaps the side of her head in delight)

We talked about the magical feelings and seeing with imagination and how that can help us know faeries are near.  She said, ” I feel magical now…”   Big smile on her face.  Big precious moments.

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Just in case you don’t know.. I didn’t used to believe in faeries. Then a strange series of events led me to not only believing, but knowing.  Not your usual garden type faeries….  but you’ll see : That’s the book in progress.

Revealing my strangeness and bliss!! Pottery stories…

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As I blissfully get ready for the Muse A-Fair,
I thought you might like to see my late night antics.
I’ll add photos soon.
Each pottery piece has its own story:

Once Upon A Day in Fae
an Elfin kind dreamed.. of mortals believing.

A whisper to Potter: “One shoe I’ll leave there
for one who does believe…
Our magical bond will be even stronger,
since they know that I wear the other.

There is a message written in Fae-ish on this shoe.
They tell me it’s the answer to everything,
but I can’t translate it yet.

Made in Fae
Mud by Janet L.Whitehead

Hecate

This mystical Tea Ship is named “Hecate.”
The goddess, Hecate, is  most associated with
“magic, necromancy, and crossroads.
She is more comfortable on the fringes,
straddling conventional boundaries,
and eluding definition.”

The artist was inspired to seek out
places and stories of Hecate while
travelling Turkey and Greece, having
felt a strong affinity to the mysterious Hecate.

Know that the magic of the excursion and
the artist’s lifelong connection to ships
are embodied in this Tea Ship.

Mud by Janet L.Whitehead

Bag Wagon

Possibly Potter’s favourite piece of the season…
“Get on the bag wagon of bliss” it whispers.

Porcelain with fire-on gold
Mud by Janet L.Whitehead

On Top

Carved on Pot by the Being now on top:
“Sipping tea, she thinks of me.
Her thoughts become magic.
She discovers her grandness,
And I throw Faerie Dust to celebrate.”

Stoneware with fire-on gold
Mud by Janet L.Whitehead

All stories © 2011 Janet L. Whitehead  www.musingsandmud.com

I am having so dang much fun!!!

The Porcelain Process

Porcelain clay is dissolved to a slurry in a process that takes several days. I add a unique paper to the mixture, once again dissolving and mixing over a  period of time. The clay is then poured into  thin ‘sheets’ and moisture drawn out until the ‘sheets’ are workable. Each piece is hand created, and goes through 3 or 4 firings to achieve the final outcome. During the firing process, the paper burns out of the clay, resulting in the porcelain being ‘interwoven’ with itself.  This allows the pieces to be very thin, yet very strong. I use studio made glazes as the base for each piece and fire on gold to complete the process. The “Written Script” appears on many of Janet’s works. It’s a strange thing…  she’s been ‘told’ it holds the answers to everything, but it’s rather unfortunate that so far hasn’t been able to transcribe the messages.

More about the Muse A-Fair in Kamloops BC, Dec 2 and 3rd!

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