Gifted Classrooms and the Big Debate Discussed

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Are we making a mistake when we allow marginally gifted kids to enter a class with super intelligent kids in a gifted program? This often occurs when parents demand that their kids are allowed to take classes at a higher level than they’ve actually tested for, but the school administrators okay it, because it is easier than dealing with the conflict of denying entry and having irate parents.

There was an interesting article recently in the Wall Street Journal titled’ “Do ‘Gifted’ Classes Work” which was published on June 4, 2011 in the “education category” which discussed a research paper by Sa A. Bui, Steven G. Craig, and Scott A. Imberman titled; “Is Gifted Education a Bright Idea? Accessing the Impact of Gifted and Talented Program Sustainability” – an NBER Working Paper.

In the article it noted a couple of studies, one where 2500 students were put into a gifted classroom, and due to being “barely” or “almost” certified brilliant in grade 5, then given really a tough teaching curriculum, and by grade 7 were at the same level as the other kids not in the program, also in grade 7. Another program had 550 students selected by lottery for the elite gifted classes which had extra space; “those student had done better in science than their peers not in the program but the same in math, reading, language, or social studies.”

The researchers “speculated” that the increased competition from super talented peers may have been a self-esteem challenge due to substandard grades in the tougher classes, as these kids were no longer amongst the smartest in the average classrooms. That is interesting because over the years, yes, we’ve heard a lot about fostering self-esteem and trying to keep everyone equal, but it gets pretty impossible when the levels of academic achievement and IQ are so vast.

Of course, if the marginally gifted student is in a regular class wouldn’t it also cause the below average students in that class to feel the lesser? Yes, but then where does it all end, that is to say we can’t keep everyone puffed up with happiness and high self-esteem, and to do so defeats the purpose of training and educating our children to compete in the real world, because the real-world does indeed have winners, and losers.

So, with regards to the above research, one should be asking if the challenge is with motivation and self-esteem, and actual “gifted-ness” or with the student’s lack academic discipline, perseverance, and application of self in the learning process. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this.

Lance Winslow is the Founder of the Online Think Tank, a diverse group of achievers, experts, innovators, entrepreneurs, thinkers, futurists, academics, dreamers, leaders, and general all around brilliant minds. Lance Winslow hopes you’ve enjoyed today’s discussion and topic. http://www.WorldThinkTank.net – Have an important subject to discuss, contact Lance Winslow.

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Crystal and Indigo Children

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Indigo Children
Indigo children are teenagers and young adults. They are naturally intuitive, perceptive, and sensitive. Many of them are psychic, creative and although they don’t usually do well in school, they seem to “know” everything. Unfortunately most Indigo’s are diagnosed with ADHD and put on medications to control their hyperactivity and attention deficit. Sadly when they are medicated they lose their unique personality traits and spiritual gifts. They do have trouble focusing and need to channel their energy into their passion and gifts. They do not do well in the traditional educational system, they do not conform well and have a rebellious spirit.

These kids have strong personalities and are warrior spirits here to pave the way for the new world. They are “system busters” and here to quash systems without integrity that are not ethical and productive such as our current governmental, educational, and healthcare systems. To do that they need to have hot tempers and fierce determination. If you are the parent of an Indigo, like I am, your job has probably not been easy. You can throw out the rulebooks when it comes to parenting an Indigo. They definitely have minds of their own and like to be in control.

Many of these kids are gifted and will be our future artists and healers they just need help focusing their energy and finding a creative outlet. They have extremely strong bonds with children, animals, and nature. They connect easily with the spirit realm and sense spirits and angels. They are sensitive to energies and it is not unusual for them to have the need to shower often. They can be extremely messy and disorderly because they have a difficult time focusing. They have personalities that are bigger than life and because of their sensitivities it is easy for them to fall into addictive behavior. Their brains functions differently and theses kids are actually wise beyond their years and misunderstood. We have a lot we can learn from these special and gifted kids.

Indigo Children are very responsive to love and love others very much. They are open, non-judgemental and love without prejedice. They see the beauty in others. They know what is right, have strong convictions and beliefs, and will stand up for them. If they feel they are unfairly disciplined, they will stand up to the parent or authority figure. Fighting for what they believe is right is a common trait of Indigos. These kids are here to teach us the basics of true unconditional love.

Crystal Children
The crystal children are the children usually born since the year 2000. In contrast to the Indigo children, these children are loving and peaceful spirits, incredibly gifted and natural healers. They radiate love! The first thing you will notice about a Crystal child is their eyes, large, deep, and penetrating. They are extremely kind and sensitive. These children are connected to the spiritual realm, many of them see and talk to angels, they are usually picky eaters preferring healthy foods, fruits and vegetables. They prefer whole foods of the earth over junk food. Of course they will indulge ice cream and treats too, they are children!

Many of them have delayed speech patterns and many are diagnosed with autism. They have the ability to communicate telepathically and can do quite well. These children are extraordinarily gifted, many child geniuses are being born in this group. They are multi-talented, creative and our future healers. Many Crystal Children have the gift of healing even as a child. They are so full of love and have such pure hearts that their mere presence on earth lifts the vibration and helps us to raise consciousness. Crystal Children have more activated DNA strands than adults. It’s not uncommon for Crystal Children to be fascinated with crystals and rocks. Crystal children intuitively know about the magical properties of crystals and how to use them for healing.

Indigo and Crystal Adults
As our consiousness rises many of us adults are become more Indigo and more Crystal. As our consciousness evolves, we become more full of love and light and our hearts become purer. As we purify our hearts and hold more light, we activate more of our DNA and devolop more of our talents and gifts and become more “Christ like”. In some ways we are all becoming more Crystal and Indigo. Our world is making an evolutionary leap into consciousness and as we as a group raise our own vibration, we raise the vibration of the planet and create a better world.

Healing for Children
I have conducted many Healing Sessions for children. I see in my sessions how early children pick up limiting beliefs from parents. Judgements, divorce and custody disputes can affect them. Children are precious and its unfortuante to see their beliefs clouded by disapproval and lack of affection when they are so full of love. Many Indigos suffer a from a lot of rage from having to fit in to a traditional system and not being able to fully express themselves. If they have suffered emotional traumas it always helps to release those before they become adults.

They can also greatly benefit from an Intensive Healing session. I know how frustrating it can be to raise and Indigo and the countless hours spent in doctors offices and with counselors. Many of these kids can also end up in the juvenile system and spend a lot of time in the counseling office at school. Many of them don’t finish school but don’t let that worry you too much. They are full of potential!

The sessions can help them release rage, reconnect spiritually, and have a sense of purpose and direction that will help them get on the right path. For older children I prefer to always have their permission. Healing is always the most effective when someone wants it for themselves. http://rainbowremotehealing.com/remote-healing

 

Rebecca Jenkins is an Intuitive Energy Healer. She performs remote healings successfully around the world. Her goal is to help others attain health, happiness, and love in all areas of their lives. She can be reached at http://www.rainbowremotehealing.com

 

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Is It Good to Be Gifted? Optimal IQ and the Flipside to Giftedness

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Is it good to be a gifted? This may sound like a strange question – of course being gifted is good… isn’t it?

It’s true that kids who score higher on IQ tests will have an advantage academically. After all, these tests are designed to predict school success. The skills tapped by IQ tests, including memory, problem-solving, and language ability are also important for doing well on college placement tests and succeeding in a career. So there’s definitely an upside to being gifted. But how gifted do kids need to be to reap these benefits – and is there a flipside to having a high IQ?

Optimal IQ

It may seem reasonable to believe that the higher our IQ, the better off we are. Yet, it turns out that’s not necessarily true. Those with higher IQs will have an advantage over those with lower IQs – all else being equal – when it comes to ease of learning and having the cognitive skills necessary to succeed in certain careers. However, researchers have found that beyond an IQ of about 120 there is little relationship between IQ and personal achievement. (And please note that an IQ of 120 does not even meet the cutoff score of 130 used by most districts as selection criteria for entrance into a gifted education program.) Beyond this level, achievement appears to be related more to things like creativity, leadership ability, and personal motivation than to IQ. Those with extremely high IQs (in the 145 to 180 range, for example) do no better than those with IQs in the 120s when it comes to career success and creative accomplishments. And having a higher IQ is certainly no guarantee that you’ll zip through life effortlessly accomplishing great things.

I’ve seen this myself. I’ve met many people who don’t appear to be particularly bookish or intellectual, but are very successful in what they do. Then again, I’ve known lots of academic types who have scored extremely high on an IQ test but lack the “people skills,” personal motivation, or whatever it takes to translate their abilities into outward signs of success – a college degree, a rewarding career, a fulfilling family life.

Maybe you’ve noticed this, too. Consider people you know and admire for their accomplishments – those who make everything look easy and always seem to be getting ahead. It’s likely that these people are not all “brainy” types. Rather, most are probably of average intelligence but know how to use their abilities to connect with and lead others, to stay focused on their goals, and to work hard to get what they want.

Of course, that’s not to say that those with an exceptionally high IQ won’t do well in life. Many do, and some of them contribute great things to our society in part because of their unusually high intellectual ability. An exceptionally high IQ may also be useful, or even necessary, in certain professions that require more isolated cerebral types of work, such as theoretical physics or mathematics.

So what is the optimal IQ? It’s arguable, but some would say around 120 and no higher than 145. Why? At this level, you’d reap most of the advantages of having enhanced abilities in some areas but might be spared some of the potential downside of being too “different” from the rest of the world.

The Flipside to Having a High IQ

Just as it’s unfair and unrealistic to make generalized statements about any group of people based on similar traits they share, we shouldn’t oversimplify our view on the effects of giftedness on children. In fact, having a high IQ doesn’t necessarily come with any particular disadvantages. The research in this area is mixed, at best. And much of it is based on interviews or anecdotal evidence, which makes it hard to come to any firm conclusions about the findings.

Yet, all children are susceptible to struggles at some time in their development and gifted children are no different. A common belief is that they are more prone to certain developmental problems due to being perceived as different by others, or because they see themselves as being out of touch with most of their peers. And this makes sense. A primary need of most kids – and maybe, to a lesser degree, of most s as well – is to “fit in.” Anyone who’s been through school understands how important it is to dress like, act like, and be like everyone else. Or at least like everyone else in your own little subgroup. We seem to have a need to be folded into a crowd with whom we can share certain interests – a social connection, an identity. Yet gifted kids are, by definition, different, at least when it comes to certain skills or talents they possess. Yes, giftedness is arguably a positive difference – at least from an perspective – but a difference, nonetheless. For kids and teens, the pressure to conform is often so great that any deviation from the norm can be distressing. We’ve all heard terms like brain, nerd, geek or worse applied to kids who seem too bookish, or too “into” school.

Of course, the potential for social problems is not unique to gifted kids; all children are susceptible to teasing, bullying, or social isolation when they don’t fit in, for whatever reason. The school years can be tough for all children. Gifted kids, though, do share some unique pressures and developmental issues that others may not.

A Disconnect Between the Brain, the Body, and Emotions

Most six-year-olds look, act, and think like six-year-olds. They use six-year-old words, think six-year-old thoughts, and react emotionally like you’d expect a six-year-old to react. Gifted children, however, are often described as showing “asynchronous development.” That is, while much of their development may be typical for their age (their size and emotional reactions, for instance), cognitively they are out of sync. Gifted children’s advanced cognitive skills allow them to process what’s going on around them at a different level than most of their age peers. An outcome of this is a sophisticated and heightened curiosity about what’s going on in the world, and a desire to “fill in the gaps” of their understanding.

All children are curious about the world and how it works. But for most, their curiosity is satisfied by simple, concrete answers that allow them to move on to other thoughts and emotions. They may see s as the “experts” and not feel a need to question or seek elaboration on the answers provided by them. Gifted children, however, may not be satisfied with simple answers. These children often have a need to delve deeper to satisfy their advanced awareness and heightened curiosity.

For example, while most young children who lose a family pet may be satisfied with parental reassurance such as, “Your hamster is going to Heaven to live with his friends,” a gifted child may not be content with such a simplistic response and want more information before moving on: “What is Heaven?,” “Why do we have to die?” “Will you die someday?”

Gifted children may also have a tendency to want to discuss “adult” issues – such as , spirituality, and the afterlife – at a deeper, more involved level than most kids their age. Other potential topics may include uality, birth, money, relationships, and divorce. While discussing these types of issues calmly and openly is not necessarily detrimental to a child, there can be drawbacks. A child who is excessively concerned about these things may become overly focused, frightened, or “grossed out” by knowing too much about issues they lack the life experience or emotional maturity to fully understand.

A seven-year-old whose father loses his job, for instance, may become anxious because he knows enough to understand the potential negative outcomes associated with the lack of a steady income. He may be concerned about the possibility of having to move out of his neighborhood, or not having enough money to get by. A five-year-old who knows “where babies come from” may find the whole subject so fascinating that he shares his expert knowledge with all who will listen.

In short, there is a certain bliss in the innocence of childhood that may be lost on gifted children who are enlightened too quickly concerning life’s mysteries.

Emotional Sensitivity

Gifted children are often thought to be more emotionally perceptive and responsive than their peers. Some people have described them as having finely tuned antennae when it comes to picking up and responding to emotional signals that come from within themselves or from those around them.

Some researchers have reported that gifted children may:

o Be overly empathetic to other people’s problems or situations. They might show a tendency to make the problem their own, and mirror the moods or emotional state of the person they are concerned about.

o Overreact to frustration, rejection, success, or any situation that triggers an emotional response – for example, sobbing over an outwardly minor disappointment.

o Be overly sensitive to criticism or disapproval, or respond strongly to minor suggestions or comments about their work or performances.

o Worry too much about global situations such as poverty, war, and natural disasters over which they have no control.

o Read too much into other people’s comments or body language.

Friendships

Friendships are often based on similarities. We tend to connect with others who are like us in some way. That is not to say that two people need to be clones of each other to bond – differences are often what make a relationship interesting and may be what initially attracts one person to another. But it’s fair to say that long-term relationships are often kept going because the people involved are somehow similar. And arguably, mental similarities are one of the most – if not the most – important ways that people connect and stay connected. We tend to become close with those who think like us, not necessarily people who have the same opinions or outlook, but rather those who understand our ideas and perspectives, share similar interests, and with whom we can carry on a mutually meaningful conversation. Children and teens form meaningful and lasting relationships in much the same way.

A potential problem for gifted children is that they often think in a different way than most of their age peers – those they are likely to spend a great deal of time with. They have the physical appearance and probably the emotional maturity of their classmates, but may have the vocabulary, interests, and reasoning ability of those much older than themselves. They don’t really fit into either group. Consequently, developing meaningful friendships can be more difficult for gifted children, and this problem can become more pronounced as cognitive ability increases. Put another way, the pool of potential same age “mental mates” shrinks as IQ rises.

Self Esteem

Self-esteem can be thought of as the opinion we hold of ourselves. So where do we get this opinion? As children, we begin to develop a mental picture of ourselves in several different areas, including how we look, how we act, how popular we are, and how good we are at learning. This mental picture is formed from early childhood through feedback we get from others and from comparing ourselves to those around us. The picture becomes clearer and more fixed as we get older, since our ideas about who we are get reinforced over time. As we mature, we also develop a concept of an “ideal person,” or how we “ought to be.” These ideas are likely formed through messages received from sources around us like our parents, teachers, peers, and the media.

Our self-esteem, then, comes from comparing our mental picture of who we are to who we think we should be. Our feelings about ourselves can differ greatly according to what area of our lives we are considering and how we measure up to the ideal.

While studies show that many gifted children have high global self-esteem (how they feel about themselves in general) and high self-esteem when it comes to academics, it is also known that they are not immune to having poor opinions about themselves. Self esteem issues may be particularly troublesome for gifted children who are prone to perfectionism – the desire to do everything just right before one can be satisfied with the outcome. Realizing their own potential and capabilities, these kids may get the feeling that they should be able to do just about anything, and then become frustrated when they don’t perform up to their own expectations. For example, getting less than perfect grades, not making the varsity sports team, or not winning an award for the best science project may make the gifted child feel that he has let himself down. Self-esteem may also be negatively affected when gifted kids feel that they are not measuring up to other high-achieving students, or to mentors whom they see as role s or intellectual equals.

Depression

Gifted children who are not able to live up to their own unrealistic or perfectionist expectations, or those who feel alienated from the rest of the world because of their intellectual differences, may develop feelings of sadness or depression. This is particularly true for the highly gifted child or teen who may develop the sense that the world they live in is a foreign land where everyone thinks and acts differently than they do. As they get older, these children may begin to question the meaning of a world that is seemingly run by those whose values and interests are so different from their own.

Becoming caught up in academic competitiveness can also lead to depression and other serious consequences. It is known, for instance, that attempts occur more
frequently among young people who excel academically, are highly creative, and attend highly competitive schools.

School

The very traits that help gifted children excel in learning can make it difficult for them to participate in many school programs.

For example:

o Because they are usually able to complete tasks quickly, they may become disinterested in a subject once they feel they have mastered it, and then begin to tune out the teacher while they move on to different things in their own minds. These children may be perceived as unfocussed or as “daydreamers.”

o They may be more focused on the big idea, rather than the small details of a school task or subject. The organization of their school work may appear to be lacking and attention to detail may be missing. They may be perceived as disorganized, inattentive, or defiant.

o They may not need as much structure and teacher guidance as most and prefer to guide their own learning and move at their own pace. Teachers may become frustrated with students who are always moving ahead or getting “off topic.”

o Because they learn and complete work at such a fast pace they could spend much of their school day with little to do or nothing to engage their attention. Some become bored, apathetic, discouraged, or rebellious.

o Their thoughts may come faster than they can write – so there is often a disconnect between how they think and what they produce on paper. This could lead a teacher to group gifted children with students of much lower ability, thus frustrating the child further.

Teachers that are not skilled at adapting their instruction to meet the needs of gifted learners may feel threatened by how quickly the child learns, or by how much they know. Such teachers may try to make the gifted child conform to the pace of the classroom through reprimands or discipline techniques that create hard feelings or a poor working relationship between the teacher and the student.

Ways Kids Cope

Gifted children are as diverse a group as any other, and no two children are alike. How they navigate through the social world and cope with the stresses of growing up may have more to do with individual personality traits, or the type of emotional support they get from others, than with their IQ.

Yet there are some common themes when it comes to how gifted kids cope. Because of the social isolation and negative feedback they may encounter, there is some evidence that, as they get older and have more of these experiences, some gifted children start to downplay their abilities, becoming guarded or holding back when they are around children their own age. Others may disguise their abilities in other ways – like focusing on nonacademic-related talents, or simply choosing to isolate themselves from others kids, preferring to be alone or choosing the company of s.

Many though, as they mature and gain the insight that comes from experience and maturity, learn to accept and appreciate their differences without any long-term negative consequences.

Whether or not a child is dealing with any of the issues outlined in this chapter, parents can help their kids through the school years by:

o Being there to listen, understand, and support them emotionally when they are going through a stressful period.

o Providing them with opportunities to develop and explore their interests and connect with others who hold similar interests.

o Avoiding pushing them to excel or compete – or excessively praising them for their accomplishments.

o Encouraging fun, playful activities and downtime.

Most importantly, research (and common sense) tells us that all children benefit from having at least one caring, supportive in their lives who provides structure, consistency, and a sense of unconditional love, warmth, and encouragement.

Reframing the “Problem”

Again, the research is mixed when it comes to gifted kids and social adjustment. Being gifted certainly does not mean that a child will have a rough time growing up. Many of the potential negative effects of a high IQ may never arise, particularly for those children who measure in that “optimal” range of around 120 to 145. Many studies have, in fact, shown that most gifted children are well-adjusted and have no more social problems than most.

It’s also true that the denser and more efficient neural connections that some believe are related to gifted children’s emotional sensitivity and other issues can also help them in social relationships. Many of the same characteristics that seem to create problems for some gifted children can lead to positive outcomes in others – and many of the possible drawbacks associated with giftedness can also be viewed as potential advantages.

For instance, highly developed sensitivity and emotionality may help gifted children develop social insight, enhance their capacity to understand and connect with others, and boost their ability to adapt to different social groups. Instead of causing them to overreact or have melt-downs over little things, being highly sensitive may allow gifted children to be more responsive to others’ needs, and give them an advantage in reading others’ body language, feelings, and emotions.

Similarly, having fewer social contacts, or true friends, could certainly be viewed as a negative aspect of giftedness. But for some children it may just mean that they are more discerning when it comes to choosing who they hang out with. And preferring to be alone at times does not necessarily mean the child is suffering from social isolation. Gifted children are often highly introspective, and choose to be alone to develop their gifts through solitary activities.

Other gifted characteristics with possible negative implications, such as boredom with school routines, bossiness, and questioning of authority, can also be viewed as early signs of an independent thinker or a natural leader.

Editor’s Note: David Palmer’s new book, Parents’ Guide to IQ Testing and Gifted Education: All You Need to Know to Make the Right Decisions for Your Child (2006) is available online and through Barnes and Noble and other fine book sellers.

 

David Palmer, Ph.D., is a parent, award winning researcher, and educational psychologist currently practicing in Orange County, California. He has served as Assistant Professor of Education at California State University, Los Angeles, and has lectured on university campuses, including UCLA, in the areas of counseling, assessment, and education. Dr. Palmer has personally administered hundreds of IQ tests to child of all ages and ability levels andn has helped many families find the right school program for thier child.

Dr. Palmer’s new book, Parents’ Guide to IQ Testing and Gifted Education: All you need to know to make the right decisions for your child (ISBN 0977109852), is avaialble at Barnes and Noble and other fine booksellers. It can also be purchased online at parentguidebooks.com, amazon.com, bn.com, and other internet outlets.

 

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Laugh When it Hurts – Using Humor to Cope With the Downturn

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The time it’s most important to be able to laugh is when things look worst. Economic downturns can get pretty bleak when you’re trying to stretch a fixed income or watching hard-earned dollars wither as investments. But this really is the time to remember how to laugh. Humor can be incredibly therapeutic.

Before we go any farther, there’s an important distinction to make as to the kind of humor I’m advocating here. The only person you should be laughing AT is yourself. At your foibles, your shortcomings, your predicament. It’s all fodder for jokes if you are the one making them.

However, laughing at other people isn’t therapeutic. It’s mean. Also juvenile and short on creative genius. All the great comedians know this, but you don’t have to do stand up to benefit from that insight. Laugh with other people. Laugh at yourself–even if you are looking at bankruptcy, foreclosure, or having to live with your impossibly messy younger brother because of this pesky economic downturn.

Why?

Because laughter really is good medicine. Norman Cousins was facing an incurable spine disease when he chose this strategy. Instead of staying in the hospital, he moved to a hotel and administered dose after dose of humor to himself every day in the form of classic movie comedies. He wrote about the experience in Anatomy of an Illness, reporting that if he laughed for three hours in the morning, he would be pain free the rest of the day. Laughter can be even more effective with emotional pain.

So find some ways to laugh. Martha Beck dedicates a whole chapter to laughter in The Joy Diet–and her writing is definitely laugh therapy. As one option, she suggests silliness. I am so pleased. I’ve been a personal fan of silliness my whole life, but it gets a really bad rap. Silliness in this culture is construed as flightiness, naiveté, and a lack of appreciation for the seriousness of the situation. What a waste of a good tool.

Silliness can do more to help you let go of intense emotions than anything else you can do upright. Silliness requires that you relinquish your problem, at least temporarily, to the ridiculousness of the moment. That’s why my brothers spent their time in the waiting room while Dad was having quadruple bypass surgery inventing a goofy card game with impossible rules. That’s why I cross my eyes when I can catch a friend’s attention in the middle of a long-winded presentation.

Silly is not just for kids. It’s your right and responsibility. Do something silly today and make the world a better place.

One way to be silly when times are tight is with games that make cutting back more fun. At one point when my then husband and I were coping with an economic gap, we started a contest to see who could use their paper lunch bag more times. Right, the idea is to be able to throw them away when you are done with your lunch. But how much fun is that? He won–I think he made it all the way to the fourth week, something like 21 consecutive lunches out of that same bag. Mine developed a terminal tear on Day 16. Dang.

There are benefits beyond the fun to this kind of silliness. Have you noticed that “going green” and saving money often involve the same behaviors? “Use it up. Wear it out. Recycle it.” is good for both the environment and the pocketbook. And if you can find fun ways to do it, it’s also good for your sense of well-being.

If you are willing to work on it, you can learn to laugh at nothing. Just “Ha ha has” for the therapeutic value it offers. There are clubs that meet to do this. Really. I haven’t progressed this far. Even when I try to just laugh, I end up thinking about something funny and laugh harder.

You’ll have your own style on this, for sure. But only if you put some effort into developing it. “Style” requires action. Refining and polishing your sense of humor is a great action step for a downturn. Beck advocates at least thirty laughs a day and recommends a hundred. (Did THAT make you laugh?)

When things look awful, find a way to laugh. It can change your mood in a heartbeat, costs only the energy it takes to do it, and has no negative side effects. Maybe we should make it our first treatment for everything–even before a band-aid.

Copyright (c) 2009 Mary Lloyd

 

Mary Lloyd is the author of Supercharged Retirement: Ditch the Rocking Chair, Trash the Remote, and Do What You Love, released April 2009. She offers seminars on how you can create a meaningful retirement for yourself and consults to help your business attract and use retired talent well. She is also available as a speaker. For more on how to use the downturn to improve your retirement and your life go to =>http://www.mining-silver.com

 

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Living With Gifted Extremes

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Extreme. Intense. Sensitive. Hyperfocused.

These are the kinds of words that describe the everyday experiences of gifted adults.Whether it’s the swing of strong emotion, or the desire to perfect everything we do, or the need to have things move 10 times faster than they are, extremes are often the way we live.

Having high sensitivities in general means that we perceive the world in way that appears more intense that the way the rest of the world does, so that by itself creates a separation between us and a lot of other people we know. Add to that the active inner world we experience and living with extremes is part of our daily life.

Extremes for us in and of themselves aren’t bad. They provide us with a way of looking at the world that is varied, rich and unique, and when you’re gifted that’s a pretty good thing. The hard part comes when we have to interact with others.

We tend to come across far too strongly for everyone else. They don’t understand why we’re ‘so emotional’, as they might put it, or why so many things ‘bother’ us. They simply get bowled over by our overwhelming needs and expressions.

The first step in dealing with this situation is just recognizing that it exists. If we can’t understand that others don’t see, hear, feel and know the world the same way we do we’ll get very frustrated with them. The gap between our perceptions and theirs becomes a gap in our relationships if we aren’t careful.

So if we live with extremes and so many other people don’t how do we cope? We learn to notice the ways that we respond that are uncommon to others. Then, with this awareness, we tone down the way we express ourselves to others. Not shut off our emotions, because that creates a whole new set of problems, but to share them with a little less intensity, kind of like turning down the volume on the radio. That way we can still say what we need to without stressing everyone else. This takes some time and practice but we can do it.

But turning down the volume can’t be done without another step – finding people to connect with where we can be fee to be ourselves in our fully-intense form. If we have to restrict ourselves all of the time for the sake of others we’ll find too much building up inside us that we can’t express and that will be way too damaging for us. So we need an outlet, or even several of them, that will allow us to be truly and fully who we are.

So in what ways can we be fully expressive?

Through:

 

  • connecting with other gifted adults
  • writing, or making media productions
  • finding challenging work that allows expression
  • finding focus groups that permit expression in a specific way (e.g., art, drama, skydiving)
  • spending time alone doing freely what we love to do
  • enjoying and appreciating our exciting inner world
  • dancing (even if no one is looking)
  • participating in sports you love

 

and…

What have you found that works for you?

 

Sonia Dabboussi is the founder of Gifted for Life, a groundbreaking community of empowered gifted adults who maximize their unique abilities, sensitivities, experiences and insights to make a remarkable world impact.

For over a decade and a half, her diverse experience in academic and personal development through positions in education, educational administration and success coaching has led her to conduct seminars, workshops and one-on-one trainings for exceptional people in local, national and international regions.

She is a gifted adult.

To connect with gifted adults and other outstanding people at Gifted for Life, go to http://giftedforlife.com.

 

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