Archives for category: Expression


Benevolence.

Something wonderful happens when we give from the heart. True monetary philanthropists give freely in exchange for an experience in helping others achieve their financial goals. But not everyone has extra money lying around. Even so, we can give freely what we do possess: A smile will warm someone’s heart. A good thought or an offer of blessings helps the giver feel a gratitude that seems to transcend throughout the universe. A hug can be received and given since human touch is a necessity for each of us. Share a laugh by telling a good joke. Perhaps you can offer a service of some kind like walking a dog or providing a nutritious meal to an ill neighbor. A merciful act toward someone in debt to you for a favor or monetary transaction releases the bondage debt creates.

Whatever we can do without looking for reward is benevolence. Aren’t you grateful for people like this in your life? Sometimes, even a random act of kindness to a stranger will brighten the giver’s and the receiver’s day.

Pay it forward with random actions of kindness. Buy a coffee for the person behind you in line, or offer to pay for someone’s groceries. You never know who might need your offering that day. Have you ever been the recipient of such a kind, unexpected gift? I hope you have. The experience can be most humbling, yet inspiring. Gifts come in all types of packages; they don’t have to cost much at all, they just need to come from the heart. Make someone’s day by showing some gratitude for the things you possess and sharing them with another.

Joy,

Cheryl

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy. ~Anton Chekhov

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Longing for a break?  Stress Away Essential oil to the rescue!

The stress that comes with the demands of the classroom and life can wreak havoc on the immune system. Chronic stress, the flight or fight response present without an actual physical threat, does more damage to the sympathetic nervous system than we think. Perhaps it’s too bad a real threat doesn’t show up on occasion; at least then we can expend that adrenaline for the cause. Without an imminent threat that is dealt with once and for all, we simply remain tense and stressed out to the point of exhaustion. This condition leads to inflammation and a weaker immune system.

Thank goodness there’s an oil for stress. Stress Away is the bonus oil in the Young Living Premium Starter kit.  The company even throws in a free roller-ball for use on the go. Just roll onto the wrists or the back of the neck and let it go to work.

Stress Away is a blend of Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Ocotea, and Lavender. Each has its own job. The Copaiba relieves muscle aches and pains, helps with inflammation, and lifts the mood. Lime is uplifting and aids in feeling refreshed and lively. Cedarwood has a calming effect on the nerves. Ocotea balances emotions so you do not lash out at others. Lavender promotes well being as it relaxes the body. Simply, this oil blend brings us back a more relaxed state to enable the body to cope with moments of stress.

Since we cannot often control stressful situations, we can change how we respond to them. Keep a bottle of Stress Away on hand at school, at work, in the car, and just about anywhere else to ease the body through even the most stressful times. It’s like Zen in a bottle. Ahhh.

Joy,

Cheryl

Artistic expression is the epitome of a thriving community. Whenever ancient artifacts are found, a glimpse into the past presents itself. Visions of prosperous individuals, imaginings of communal events, and evidence of the past help the modern person understand the importance of expression. After all, any artistic expression indicates the value of human events, the struggles of mankind, and perhaps the desire to demonstrate the beauty in everyday things. Sophocles’ plays are indicative of the time they were created for a certain purpose in his society. Acting out the order of events often helped the people around him see, feel, and maybe even change their minds about controversial issues. Petroglyphs, and the like, leave impressions for the viewer to ponder the thoughts and realities of a past culture. The pictures, while primitive, display man’s early need to create. Proof of this desire is demonstrative in music formed to prepare or educate those around the performers. Musical patterns are fascinating to the human ear. Our nursery rhymes are based on repeated patterns that stimulate the brain and help people learn. A past discovery of musical vibrations enabled many deaf students tremendous opportunity for growth. Recently, taking theater, art, and music out of schools has been a heated debate. Educators of these genres fight to continue these programs while others see less significance. What is troubling is a possible future without the modes of self-expression established early in life. Individuals in these fields currently bring delight to many and fulfill basic needs, especially through catharsis, an emotional cleansing. Solid cultures rely on human expression and emphasis must be made to help developing students by teaching them the basics of theater, art, and music in school all three of which enable students to learn efficiently, serve as an invest in people, and establish a sense of pride in individuality that transcends into the future.
Proficiency in any area of the current curriculum is brought forth when the style learning and application suits the students. At an early age, the brain is attracted to patterns, rhythms, and geometrical shapes engaging attention. As people grow older, established patterns of language in stories or in music trigger what is known as anticipatory skills. When one hears a pattern in either story-telling or in music, one anticipates what comes next. If what is predicted follows, the brain is further encouraged. The same happens for students who are involved in dance or performing arts. They tend to learn anatomy much quicker because they associate the movement with function. Younger students learn motor skills integral for early development. The math classroom engages a student more when she can learn time signatures when playing the drums. One of the fundamental truths about music beats and rhythms is that makes people move. “It is as important to have music in the school as it is to have clean windows, adequate ventilation, and sanitation. A half-day in school without music is like a face without a smile, or a desert landscape” (Winship 508). When something is as essential to the early development of the brain, it makes better sense to endow its abilities to continue. If schools understand and utilize the concepts here, learning becomes natural and less of a chore.
Engaged students express their individuality as they learn to become self-directed. The usual banking based education is less a problem when valuable skills are learned through discovery and not just on facts. While details of the past and present are needed to fully grow, autonomous students gain meaning when they seek out the answers on their own. A study at the Chicago High School for the Arts indicated that students became individuals during their four years: “A key part of an artist’s development comes from an acceptance of oneself and one’s point of view” (Brown 18). Maturity is useful in any situation because it prepares the student for life. It is not to say those who “embrace an artistic identity” are less likely to be team players (Brown 18). Collaboration is taught within performance, whether that performance be in the orchestra, or a single singer on a stage. The painter, sculptor, or photographer builds community as well. She understands the human condition, feels her own completeness, and aims to demonstrate her views: “Esthetic perception of art is associated with the development of personality and disposition” (Lese 184). Art in schools enables students to embrace and grown into their individual natures. The world outside the classroom needs people who are confident in their abilities and who know which temperaments they possess. A common complaint among employers is the lack of team players who can bring new approaches to difficult situations. The foundation built by allowing students creative outlets aids within the work-a-day world even if the individual does pursue a career in the arts: “Special relations of friendship were established among the students […], which in turn lead to a better collaboration between the departments” (Lese 184). The Lese study also indicates that no matter which medium a student is familiar, lessons learned in the arts establishes adaptability. Those who enter the workforce with this background are able to direct individual skills and function well across any discipline.
Empowering students should be the main focus of any school’s curriculum. Students who are allowed to express themselves creatively attain the well-rounded attributes often looked for by colleges and society. A high school transcript that reflects the grades is helpful, but it does not assess a person’s capability after receiving a diploma. True investment in students builds self esteem and establishes certain coping mechanisms. A student taught to have integrity, along with humility and balance is more likely to adapt to the ever-changing situations in life. Art allows students to learn self-calming techniques because it “brings a chance to talk, relax, get out any blocking social dramas, or forget their doubts” (Brown 16). When students unlock and focus on the task at hand, art becomes constructive, similar to the means of therapy. Concentration becomes an outlet while the student builds on his talents and confidence. Often the appropriate allotted time immersed in artistic activities, whether through movement or creative thinking, allows for stretching and attempting new things. Because disparity is rarely seen within the arts, students are free to partake in the beneficial aspects of self-expression without artistic or societal boundaries. Remember, society receives what it puts out: “A work of art triggers emotion, admiration and appreciation in the onlooker, thus revealing the author’s comprehensive view as he moves through various stages in knowing and comprehending art” (Lese 183). Schools that allow art programs authorize students to take ownership of the contributions they will make to the world.
Society needs people who are not afraid to express themselves through art. Artists and onlookers appreciate the role education plays in the world. Without the values placed on former and newly built cultures, life would seem dull. Seeing a play, watching or listening to a musical performance, or entering a gallery are some the many pleasures of the human experience. The foundation built in schools enables the new artist a position in a circle of expertise. It fulfills a human need that spans all backgrounds. Art education in the school unlocks unique abilities in all students whether or not they choose to pursue a path of artist expression as form of income. It must be emphasized again that those abilities are established because the art of learning is individual. When the schools can teach that individuality is recognized and praised, students are given the chance to learn specifically what they need to flourish. It is when the students’ ideas and talents are invested and groomed that society gains its most useful resources.

Joy,
Cheryl

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Without the arts, we would not have Harper Lee’s latest publication. Get it here:

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If you’re into Georgia O’Keefe, take a look here:

Works Cited
Brown, Tina Boyer. “A High School for the Arts.” Journal of Education 195.1 (2015): 15-19. Education Research Complete. Web. 13 Aug. 2015.

Lese, Ana-Cristina. “The Importance of Artistic Creation Resulting from the Collaboration/Interaction of Arts.” Review of Artistic Education 9 (2015): 182-5. ProQuest. Web. 13 Aug. 2015.

Winship, A. E. “The Vision of Public School Music.” The Journal of Education 77. 19 (1913): 507-508. Jstor. Web. 16 Aug. 2015.

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Henry David Thoreau

Where are you headed? In life, in your career, where you’ll spend your time? I imagined my recent vacation would be one of excitement and wonder. I, for as long as I can remember, had always wanted to see a redwood tree due to the pictures I viewed as a child. I am amazed at the height and vastness of the species. Living on the east coast all my life, I knew I’d have to visit the west coast to do so, and last week I had the most wonderful opportunity to see and touch one of these magnificent trees. The experience was a spiritual one for me; I noticed great feelings well up inside me and I shed a tear of gratitude as my friend snapped this picture.
What I learned about dreams that day inspires me to follow more of them as a way to feel like that again. A life lived in this manner would be quite a journey. Imagine if we all gained success by being adamant about attaining our dreams. Be confident, Thoreau says, in the manner of pursuit.
Press onward.
Lean into your dreams.
You may just live the life you really want.

Joy,
Cheryl

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How often have you grumbled through the day in the hopes it would end soon? The day just didn’t start well. You slept through the alarm, stubbed your toe on the bed post, spilled coffee on your new shirt, et cetera. Down hill from here? it seems so. With mornings like these it’s a wonder we can even leave the house at all, let alone get in the car to drive to work where we become outraged by others on the road, and find ourselves wanting to take hostages and shout out a list of our demands… Sound familiar?

Ok. So just because I smeared my mascara while brushing my teeth, I should feel it’s my right to take my frustrations out on others? Nonsense. But it would seem that Bad Day Syndrome strikes without warning. Are we really subject to the ebb and flow of life’s troubling lows and high points just like that? Wow, what a roller coaster. Let’s take a moment to think about this. Does the bad day come strictly from external sources or does it come from within?

If a bad day comes from external sources, that means that stubbing one’s toe, and the like, are certainly cause for one of these days, silly as it seems. If a bad day comes from within, it simply indicates that we are all over worked and exhausted. Forgive yourself for being overwhelmed by life’s challenges. We may need to get more sleep. This way, we can wake up refreshed instead of wishing for another hour or more. And each day is open to suggestion. Yes, we can decide how we’re going to feel. *Ask: How am I going to feel today? *Answer: Generous, loving, joyful, sexy, focused, ambitious, steady, or many of the other good feelings we have within that can trick a bad day into a good day. Now, there is no such thing as good or bad; there is, however, perception. Decide to respond rather than react to days like these. Yes, there will be disappointment from time to time. That’s part of life. Coping with the not so wonderful events does not mean we have to fall into a myriad of other tempting behaviors just because of them.

Here’s a suggestion. Smile. Yes, I said smile. Oftentimes, just the act of smiling will help fool the bad day syndrome away. You may have to start with a grimace, but in time, a smile on your face will seep into your heart. You can start to look at the reality of life, the what is, and begin to accept certain situations. Remember nothing is permanent. You’ll get through it.

My mother has a great smile. I think you’ll think so too. I’m sure she’ll appreciate my having shared this with you because hers is a smile that is absolutely contagious. You see, she started out using her smile when she was young and continues to use it today. I find that just looking at this picture melts my heart. I hope you’ll think of her smile, use your own, and sweep away the bad day for yourself.

Joy,

Cheryl

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