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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Slow Down-- Love Your Life

Life is Short

I received two e-mails on the same day containing the Slow Dance poem-- "written by a young girl dying of cancer."

Her dying wish --according to the e-mail-- is she wants to send a message out to all of us to live our life to the fullest--because life is short. 

Would You Listen If Slow Dance Wasn't Written by a Dying Girl?

A cynical side of me asked, 'What if this is a scam?' (The email includes a request for you to send the email to as many people as you can.) The trusting side replied, 'So what? The message is good--and we can all afford to listen to, and act on the message. 

So the old 'trust, but verify' ---turned into 'verify, but trust anyway' for me. I looked up 'Slow Dance Poem' on Snopes--and sure enough, this lovely poem wasn't written by a girl dying of cancer--it was written by a child psychologist, David L Weatherford. While I wasn't willing to forward the email to more people, I was willing to share the poem with you.

For me, the message in the poem is no less powerful. Slow down and enjoy your life NOW. Don't put off for tomorrow what you can appreciate and engage in today.

Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?

Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a
butterfly's erratic flight?

Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down.

Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won't last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?

When you ask "How are you?"
Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed

With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You'd better slow down

Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won't last.

Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?

And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die

Cause you never had time
To call and say,'Hi'

You'd better slow down.

Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won't last..

When you run
so fast to get somewhere

You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,

It is like an unopened gift....
Thrown away.

Life is not a race.

Do take it slower

Hear the music

Before the song is over.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Good Laugh is Sunshine in a House--A Lesson in Do It Yourself

Q'Art for the Soul

I love working with kids creating art. They're fearless, love bright colors and ignore imperfections.

Watch kids when they create.

They don't think about getting into a state of flow--they just naturally do it when engaged in creative activities. For those few short minutes, they concentrate as their heart rate and breathing become slow and regular. The outside world disappears as they focus on playing. And they love what they create.

We can learn from these pure and innocent souls. A few short minutes of mind rest is all we need to retreat and renew our spirit and soul.

You can create a few minutes to renew your spirit where ever you are just by having a black pen, a few colored pencils and some paper. These spirit survival supplies don't take up much room and they travel well. You can create your own Q'Art sitting by the pool or in the garden in the summer time, or while traveling on a business trip or taking a break at work.

A Lesson in Do It Yourself

This Quote Art (Q'Art) --'A good laugh is sunshine in a house'-- was created while I was working with a classroom of third graders to create and decorate their own poetry. It is easy and fun to dress up quotes to make your own Q'Art. Be careful--it's addictive!

1.  Develop a template. Use 'A good laugh is sunshine in a house' format if you wish--with a place for your quote in the middle and separate squares around to individually decorate. If you are a perfectionist, use a ruler; If you can live with imperfection, don't. Once you have a format you like, make copies of your template to take with you to play with.

2. Collect Quotes.   You don't need to use calligraphy to create the quote. Just play with the letters. If you don't like what you create you can toss it.

3.  Choose a Motif to Decorate the Border. I chose to use geometric shapes with a repeating pattern. Use black pen to create the pattern in each square.

4. Color and Embellish. Use the color pencils to color in your design. Embellish with gold or silver pen.

Rest Your Brain and Have Fun

Now don't just sit there---go play. You know you want to do it! You probably have some felt pens, black ink pens and paper at your fingertips. Go doodle and have fun NOW!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Turning Fear into Faith

Turning Fear into Faith Using Quote Art

I am compelled to learn by doing something with messages and quotes sent to me by others. I call what I do Q'art  (quote art) or responsoral art. It is a form of active meditation in which I let the messages seep into my being through playing with color, texture and words. It is my active response to the messages I want to lead my life.

Color Up Your World

Our minds love strong visual images--especially color. You do not have to be an artist to pick up some watercolor and color up a favorite affirmation or quote. All you need is patience and time. Dressing up your favorite quote or affirmation with color is a great way to quiet your mind, focus your attention on the positive, and get into a flow experience.

Turning Fear into Faith

Turning fear into faith was created by changing the color and size of the letters on the computer, and inserting an affirmation heart I created and scanned into the computer. Why not try to do this yourself---and turn your fear of using the computer into faith in your abilities to persist and figure it out. Once you get into the rhythm of playing with the colors and size of the letters on the computer it gets to be fun.

P.S. Thanks Alan!
Thanks to Alan Brown on my MBTI LinkedIn discussion group for asking  to see some of the responsoral art. Today's Q'art is dedicated to this INFP.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Secrets of Upbeat People

Happy Day
Lost Your Resiliency Lately?

  • Have you had more than your fair share of hardships lately?
  • Are you isolated and feeling discouraged about your circumstances? Have you lost something or someone important in your life?
  • Does it sometimes feel like you'll never get that job or relationship that seems to come so freely to others?
Life certainly brings plenty of difficulties to stop us in our tracks and leave us feeling discouraged. Everyone--even optimistic, upbeat people get sad, discouraged, lonely, and fearful. The difference is upbeat people know how to pull themselves out of the doldrums sooner.

How Do They Do It?

What are the secrets of upbeat people? Why are they able to maintain optimism in the face of difficult situations and exhibit resiliency in stressful situations? What do upbeat people do differently to bounce back?

The Secrets to Staying Upbeat

Upbeat people have faith in their ability to create their future. Through taking action they show themselves they are empowered to direct their lives--even when they're down.

Upbeat people understand the key to being empowered-- Knowing they have choices and acting on those choices. They always have one more action to take and one more card up their sleeve. This gives them power and a resilient attitude.

For upbeat people, their patience and persistence ultimately leads to payoffs. As long as we have options we can act on, we can move past disappointment and discouragement.

From Discouraged to Determined to Delighted

If you watch upbeat people carefully when they're in a difficult moment, you'll see them artfully wiggle out of being stuck. It isn't necessarily a conscious action; it's just a natural reaction to being stuck. They don't like it, so they step beyond it.

I got a call from a young friend who was discouraged that a job she thought she was going to get fell through. When she didn't get the call she was expecting, she went back to the restaurant to check on the status of her application and was told they gave the job to someone else. Discouraged, she called to talk. I listened.

 As she talked, she described what happened and acknowledged her disappointment. As I listened I witnessed her transition from being discouraged to planning her next step. Once she consciously named what happened and how she felt about it her eyes were clearly fixed back on the goal--to get a job. By the time she was finished talking she had gone from discouraged to determined.
"I'm going to print out 20 more resumes today and drop them off," she said.
The next day she called me to say the first place she walked into hired her on the spot.  She had regained her power and gone from discouraged to determined to delighted by taking action.
"I like the owner, my co-workers and the customers!"
This upbeat young woman was literally one step away from getting a job. By persisting after she was discouraged she bounced back and empowered herself to take the next step.

Like this young woman, upbeat people continue to step into life despite failure, obstacles, and getting hurt. The message is--sometimes that job or relationship is coming with the next step-- so keep taking action in a direction that leads to accomplishing your goal even when you have continuously failed.

Six Steps to Becoming Upbeat After Getting Discouraged

1. Acknowledge your feelings and what happened--then move past your moment of discouragement into a plan for taking the next step.

2. Find your questions and step into life to discover the answers. What are the problems you're trying to solve? What are your current life questions? What's the problem, and what do you want to do about it? Where are your options? What do you choose to do?

If you're lonely and want to be in a relationship, put time into studying what other people do to meet and be available for an opportunity. Where are you living? Where are you working? What do you spend your free time doing? When you examine your current life do you see opportunities to meet people through those activities or in those places, or do you need to rearrange your time and life?

3. Use distraction--sometimes when things just aren't going your way, you can  'act as if' at that moment of loneliness or discouragement. Go do something else--exercise, take a class, visit a friend--and act as if you really want to engage in this distraction to give your mind a rest.

4. Stay connected--call friends to talk through your current situation; join groups with similar interests, get involved in a cause--put your energies into caring about others.

5. Stay well-nourished, well-rested, and active—even when you don't feel like it.

6. Learn to laugh at your troubles. As Will Rogers said, "If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you're old."

Life is often challenging, and sometimes downright hard. Become an upbeat person-- accept the realities of life, and find a way to create pockets of hope through your actions.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ode To Daddy


In Honor of Father's Day

My 94-year old father is amazing. He is the original recycler, organic gardener, bee charmer, and grower of free-range, veggie-fed chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and squab.

Although he was a theoretical physicist, my father was never pretentious. One time, after a truck-driving friend spent an hour talking to my father he later asked me what my father did for work. I replied 'he's a physicist'--and he about fell off his chair.

"Wow," he said. "I took him for a retired trolley-car driver! What a nice man."

My father took an active role in making sure we were well nourished--including feeding each of us a tablespoon of cod liver oil every day before we took that long windy bus ride to school. With six kids, believe me; we all hoped he'd miss our daily dose and we could quietly slip out the door without notice.

We weren't allowed to use sugar when we could use honey to sweeten things, and we always ate whole grain bread. Boy, did we love it when we ran out of bread and my mother had to borrow Wonder Bread from a neighbor for our school lunches!

I have fond memories of greeting my father in the afternoons when he came home from work. I'd check his pockets for left over Brewer's Yeast tablets. I thought they were a tasty treat--much like the Chiclet gum he'd have in his pockets after a trip.

I learned about life--and how to be a scientist--from helping my father around the garden and with the animals. My first lessons in anatomy and physiology were at his side.

When we were growing up, my father surrounded us with lots of animals-- some raised for food and others that were pets. It was a very rich environment for learning about behavior, relationships and love. We had half moon parrots who cuddled up to us to sing us their sweet Chee love song. To this day I refer to loving people as Chee Birds.

In honor of Father's Day I'm sharing my Ode to Daddy I wrote for my Chee Bird father in 1998, while my mother, who we called Moo, and Fred and Wilma--a pair of geese mated for a lifespan of 30 years-- were all still living.

My wish for all of you, dear readers, is that you also have a Chee Bird for a father, and you are filled with fond memories to cherish and celebrate this Father's Day.

Ode To Daddy

The older he gets,
The softer the He.
His feathers don't ruffle,
His song is a Cheeee.
For a tough old bird,
He's aging just fine.
He mellows so sweetly,
With the passing of time.

Like a loyal old dog,
Choosing a bed with care,
He finds his own spot,
In his own special chair.

Positioned near the window,
And also the bed,
He has a view of all doors,
The dog and Moo's head.

Six kids he raised,
With his system in place,
His face like a bull,
Charging with strength.
He bellowed and snorted,
And you did what he said,
but you loved your sweet Daddy,
Who tucked you in bed.

"Who you analyzing now, Suz?"
He'd say to me.
Then with a pat on the head,
He'd slink away.
Garbage pail in hand,
He'd climb the hill,
To let chickens and ducks eat their fill.

"But-a-cock, but-a-coo,"
Called the chickens to you.
"Move aside," said the ducks,
"And quack, quack to you!"

The Depression and Science both influenced his life.
As he applied what he learned, he used everything twice.

Around the house stood his masterpieces galore,
Some in the pigeon pen,
Some on the floor.
Recycled radiators re-serving their time,
cooling the house in the hot summer time.
Reused toilets standing so tall,
A statue for pigeons and party guests who'd call.

And like Fred watching over his snowy white wife,
You've cared for your Rosemary all of your life.
Fred brought his wife a field with snails and such things.
You brought your wife children, love, and other practical things.

So Chee Bird, or Old Dog, or Silly Old Goose,
Sit down and rest.
Your children all love you,
And think you're the BEST!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Want a Good Case of the Self-Doubts? Compare Your Private Self with Other's Public Image

Yikes! How Did I End Up Here?

A funny thing happened on my way to polishing my public image the other day--instead of filling me with positive attributes and praises; I filled myself with self-doubt and insecurity.

It was certainly not where I intended to go. I woke up intending to update my bio and author's profile, and to jumpstart my thinking I began with studying the profiles and experience of other professionals to see how they presented themselves. I figured I could learn a lot from them. Let me tell you, there are some impressive people out there-- and you're probably one!

After spending the morning studying other's profiles I decided to take a coffee break and relax for a few minutes before going out to the garden to conquer the weeds. As I took that first sip of coffee and looked over the garden, my mind lazily wandered over what I had seen in the profiles of other amazing professionals. Suddenly a flash of self-doubt and insecurity about my own skills washed over me.

What was I thinking? These people were really professional---and with incredible skills. I was just me--currently sitting in my t-shirt, jeans and muddied shoes, ready to pull weeds and haul dirt. Not exactly what you'd call a polished image. Good thing this feeling hit me with a thud big enough to wake me up to consider how I got there. How I got there was by breaking one of my cardinal rules.

Cardinal Rule #1: Never Break the Cardinal Rule

Now usually I'm of the mindset that rules are to be broken--and with a smile. My younger sister calls me the 'system breaker' since I'm always looking for new ways to do things. But when I set a rule, it's  a cardinal rule and not to be broken.

A cardinal rule is a fundamental rule, upon which other matters hinge. I ended up with a momentary case of self-doubt because I broke the cardinal of all cardinal rules-- never compare your private self-image to other's public image.  It's an unfair comparison, and you will always find yourself lacking.

Cardinal Rule #2: Never Compare Your Private Self Image to Other's Public Image

When we compare our private self with other's public image, we see all our drab humanness and measure it against other's polish. It's the proverbial comparing apples to oranges.

Now perhaps you're saying to yourself--'there's no difference between my public and private self--what you see is what you get'.  It just isn't so. We all have a public persona and a private one. It doesn't matter how authentic I try to be to achieve 'what you see is what you get'. No matter how authentic I am, I still have that inner person who is the only one who sees the truth behind my eyes 24/7--and even I don't share everything I'm thinking.

We All Have a Public and Private Image

There is an interesting difference in perspectives when we're looking out vs. looking in.
We see ourselves for what we aren't; others see us for what we are.
We all want to be better than we currently are. This leads us to see ourselves for what we aren't--like when we look at a current photo of ourselves we want to tear up while others think it is a great picture. This isn't a bad thing--if we use it to nudge us forward. Where it gets us into trouble is when we compare ourselves to others and we see ourselves as static--forever stuck in what we aren't, and others as dynamic--forever putting their best foot forward.

Where Have You Been Doing Yourself a Disservice by Comparing Your Private Self to Other's Public Image?

What's giving you a case of self-doubt and a lack of self-confidence?

When you find insecurity inside, ask yourself:
  • Am I making a comparison between my private self and what I see in other's public image?
  • Am I assuming I'm not worthy since I'm looking from within and seeing what I'm not while looking out at others and assuming they are without insecurities and self-doubt?
 How Do You Like Those Apples?

Are you trying to meet new people in public places but finding yourself self-conscious because everyone else seems comfortable within their own group and they don't look interested in meeting you?

What you discover when you use your private self to understand the truth in others

Everyone wants:
  • To be attractive to others,
  • To be included in a group
  • To find someone to love and to love them
  • To feel they belong
  • To meet new friends
  • To be picked out of a crowd
  • To be noticed and appreciated
  • To be liked by others

Believe in yourself. Believe in others. Get out there and be your self-confident, fun-loving self!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Don't Wait for the World to Change for You, Change it Yourself!

"Don't wait for the world to change for you, change it yourself"  Kimonui Holgen

Kimonui Holgen is one of the most amazingly adventurous, caring and engaged people I know. I've rarely encountered someone who lives his beliefs as fully as he does. Kimonui embodies the belief, "Don't wait for the world to change for you, change it yourself."

Project Helping Hands Medical Mission

In less than 8 weeks, Kimonui Holgen is traveling to the Upper Amazon Basin with a Project Helping Hands medical mission.

As part of the Project Helping Hands medical team, he'll visit some of the most remote areas of the Upper Amazon Basin in towns without doctors or pharmacies. Hundreds of people come from many miles away seeking some type of care.

Could You Help? Contribute $5, $10, $25 or $100

The Helping Hands Medical Team must pay their own way and bring all medical supplies themselves. Kimonui has already raised $1500 of the $2500 travel expenses needed to make this trip. He needs to raise $1000 more for his own travel.

Could you contribute $5, $25, $50 or even $100 to support Kimonui's travel to the Amazon with Project Helping Hands medical team? 

No contribution is too small.  Monetary contributions collected above the actual cost of the trip are put into a trip-specific Project Helping Hands fund, used to extract people out of the jungle to the nearest town where they can get surgeries (cleft palate repair, appendectomy, etc) or other treatments that they're unable to deliver due to the rugged conditions on this trip.  Any excess funds at the end of the trip are used to buy medical equipment for local clinics that they would otherwise not be able to afford.

The deadline for contributions is June 30, 2011.  

How Do I Make a Contribution?

Contribute On-line. You can contribute online @ and designate how you want your donation used by typing in Kimonui Holgen in the space provided.

Send Check.  You can send a check to Kimonui, payable to Project Helping Hands:
Kimonui Holgen 221 N. Central Ave #105 Medford, OR 97501

Be part of the World Tribe. Reach around the world to provide care to families in need of medical care: Support Kimonui with your contribution for his trip expenses to work with the Project Helping Hands Medical Team.

If you have any questions, please contact Kimonui. Contributions over $25 are tax-deductible.

Make Check Payable to: Project Helping Hands

Mailing Address
Kimonui Holgen
221 N. Central Ave #105
Medford, OR 97501

Kimonui Holgen, MPH
'Be the change you wish to see in the world'.

Donations to Project Helping Hands Over $25 Tax Deductible
Project Helping Hands is recognized by the Federal government of the United States as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit charity. Our tax ID number is 81-0523954 and our legal name is "The Dakotana Fund." Donations over $25.00 will be receipted and can be deducted from income taxes as a charitable contribution.

And a Gift of Encouragement, Inspiration and Empowerment For You

This short movie from Simple Truths can help you set clearly defined goals, manage your attitude, embrace change, live with gratitude, and make a difference whenever and wherever you can. Watch it now!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

To Get More Done, Procrastinate!

How Are You Doing Engaging in Life?

~Are you spending more time doing things you want to do, or are you frittering your time away with tons of tasks?

~Are you spending more time with people you want to be with, or are you enslaved to completing daily minutia and being responsible?

Me? I get by with a little help-- or nudge-- from my friends. But today I'm wondering, why it's so hard for us enlightened folk to cut free from feeling enslaved by the mundane or habitual activities of life? You'd think saying 'Yes!' to fun, pleasurable or meaningful activities would be easy, but it's not.

We Have a Daily Choice: Go on an Adventure or Dive in to the Mundane

You know how you wake up and your mind goes to that place where you start fixating on the things you need to do today? That's where I was one Saturday when my friend, Deb called to invite me to a 'Happy Bird Day' event at a local park.

As I stared at my computer screen with emails to respond to, I could feel myself ready to take the path of least resistance--stay home and deal with the mundane minutia. But as I opened my mouth to decline the invitation, Deb said, "Sue, it would be an adventure."

Lately, Deb and I have been encouraging each other to say 'Yes!' to going on small adventures. Don't think about it, just say yes and go. So what could I say, but yes. I disengaged my mind from the day's trivia, turned the computer off and got up to get my car keys to join her at the park.

Frankly, I was glad to hear from Deb since I failed to call her on her birthday. (I know-- bad friend!) I was about to call to invite her to do something that day when she called me. So before I hung up, I extended the invitation to do something later in the day to celebrate her birthday.

She hesitated then replied, "Maybe. But I really have all these things I have to do---mow the lawn, pull the weeds, clean the house, and get a load of rocks. I guess I'm procrastinating on those things by going to the North Mountain Park event!"

"No you aren't," I replied. "You're applying effective procrastination."

A Good Technique 'Gone Bad'

The problem with most of us cutting loose to have fun is we learned long ago it was important to overcome procrastination in order to be more responsible getting things done. Mostly that's a good idea.

As adults, we learned in Responsibility 101 to get our work done in a timely fashion we should do our work before we play-- and to eat properly we should eat our vegetables before we eat dessert. We learned the ultimate lesson that in taking a responsible approach to life, the goal is to postpone pleasurable or fun activities until we've taken care of our responsibilities.

Where this good technique goes bad is when we take it too far--we forget life is to be enjoyed and we tie ourselves to a life of drudgery in which we're not really accomplishing anything of substance--we're just being responsible--at least in our minds.

Over time our reasoning can get a little hazy and our daily choices can become less about being responsible and making good choices and more about being stuck in the habitual rut of routine. Being responsible may have gotten us here, but it is no longer the reason we persist in the habits of today.

Effective Procrastination: When Bad Habits 'Go Good'

Let's start with a clean slate--by stopping and starting over-- and I'll show you how to make an effective use of procrastination to reengage in activities of importance and interest in your life.

Think about it--when was the last time you stopped to consciously set life goals for yourself? Has it been a while? What is important for you to have in your life right now? And at the end of your life what do you want to look back and see was part of your life?

Make a list of 10-20 things you want to do or feel you should accomplish in the next 5 years. Write them down. Now choose the three most important. Each day, engage in activities that allow you to incorporate some aspect of moving toward your three most important goals.   

And what about the other 7-17 items on your list? This is where you turn procrastination into a good and effective tool. You effectively procrastinate on things that don't add value to your life by starting each day by working on those 3 things that matter most in your life. When you change your priorities, you change what you engage in each day.

You've heard about the 80-20 rule? Well it applies here too. Eighty percent of what's important to us is found in 20% of our activities. That means, if we can unload 80% of our low value activities we can make time for our high value pursuits.

If your life is being frittered away by activities and tasks that lack value and importance to you, get a little help from your friends to apply effective procrastination in your life. As Helen Keller said, 'Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing.'  Get out there and live!

Where do you need to apply effective procrastination?
What are you fixated on that holds your attention more than you want it to? What is it you think you should get to--housework, yard work, playing video games? What is the never ending job or activity that you automatically move toward?

What do you truly want to make time for in your life?
What is it you really want to put into your life that you just don't have enough time for? Meeting new people, going on adventures, playing games with friends, going for walks with friends, meeting friends for coffee, finding the love of your life?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Learning Made Easy--Out of the Minds of Babes

Original Painting by Tracy Gibbons

A Reminder: How Our Minds Work

I love kids' art, don't you? Kids' art speaks to me, and allows me a peek into the inner workings of the innocent mind-- and reminds me how my own mind works too.

To Bathe~ To wash sadness from the mind was painted by my daughter, Tracy, when she was a young girl. I added the words to reflect what I saw in the girl's eyes. I love this picture because it always reminds me of my daughter.

This painting hangs in my bathroom where I see it daily. When my eyes light on the image, my mind freely flits from one memory to another and from one feeling to another, bathing me with good emotions.

Memories Associated with Images

Our brains are amazing in how easily they pull up memories associated with images. I have whole stories emerge into my consciousness when I see Tracy's painting.

One of the memories that emerged from the deep recesses of my mind is how Tracy first learned to read.

When she was four she attended a Montessori school where the teacher had the children draw a picture of an object and the adults wrote the name of the object next to the word. This picture became the flash card for the child to name the object. What amazed me was how primitive the picture was and how it held meaning for the child. Here, let me show you.

This is an Elephant

This was Tracy's picture of an elephant. Not much to look at for adults, but she drew it and she gave the image its meaning. That's all she needed to recall elephant when the picture was flashed.

Your Brain is Primitive too!

Have you ever played Pictionary--the game in which you draw a picture of the word or phrase you want your team to guess? If you have, I'm sure you've been amazed by adults guessing a word by a simple drawing, much like Tracy's elephant. No one needs to be an artist to play. In fact, it might work against you if you are an artist, and you're too concerned about what the picture looks like.

This is Good News!

Whether you're five, fifty-five or 100, you need to learn new things every day in school, at work, or in life. Sometimes you just need to have something stick to your brain that's just a bunch of facts or trivia--like the name and period of works of art for an art class, the pathway for locating the computer screen on the electronic medical record, or the location of a Costco in another town with a gas station.

By putting your primitive, non-artist mind to work for you creating images associated with what you need to remember and recall you can create easy to pull up images.

How Sylvia, the Wily, Wise-cracking Cartoon Character Helps me Find Costco

I recently visited my 94 year old father in my home town. With gas prices so high, I wanted to remember where the Costco with the gas station was located. Truth be told, I've visited and asked for directions to this Costco many times before and failed to put the directions to memory. This time I decided to use what I know and create an image that sticks.

Driving directions are a bunch of facts-- and the brain doesn't remember facts-- it remembers meaning and strong visual images. I needed to remember two roads-- highway 84 and Middlefield road-- and I needed a way to link them together in my memory.

I thought 84 was sort of like middle age, and that made me think of Sylvia the wily wise-cracking character. She certainly would think 84 was middle age. This made me smile....and I knew I was on my way to creating an image I wouldn't forget. I blazed the image of Sylvia riding a rocket down highway 84, holding a martini, and turning right on Middlefield road. As you can see, I haven't forgotten the image yet--and I won't.  I've used two of three keys to memory--imagination and association.

Make Learning Easy

What has been stressing you out? What do you need to get into your memory and be able to recall at will? How can you use your imagination and association to create an image that will stick?

Go ahead--have fun creating a picture story to help you remember and recall something you need to learn. Start with something small. You'll be amazed at what a boost in confidence it gives you.