Even Wonder Woman Needed Saving

WonderWomanWonder woman had put down her cape. The rain poured. Life had knocked the wind out of her. Drenched, her eyes filled with tears. Focused on saving others she forgot to save herself. She threw her hands in the air. Who knew that even she needed a bit of saving herself?! “I don’t know how to do that,” she thinks as she stands looking at her war torn cape

Up to her knees in disappointment. Wonder Woman realized that even though she may not know how to save herself. She can try again. She can scrub out the dirt. Throw it in the wash. Toss it in the drier. She can grab a needle and thread. Stitch strength and courage back into her cape. She can ask for help. Even though her cape isn’t brand new it doesn’t matter.

She isn’t the super-hero the world told her she should be. She totally messed up and life socked in the stomach. Yet she is a brave woman who wakes up the next morning and tries again. That, ladies n’ gents sounds like Wonder Woman to me. She can still be proud of the cape in her hands. The stitches tell stories of pain and hurt, of winning some and losing some. The real story is about the woman underneath the cape and that makes her a super hero.

She is stronger now. Sliding the red cape proudly around her shoulders she stands tall. Her fingers carefully tie the string around her neck. Her cape is bright red from being washed in the rain. Complete with stains and stitches. This cape tells her story of resilience.

Standing in her house. She walks to the front door and throws it open. Her feet planted firmly into the ground, shoulders back and heart up. Experience laden red cape around her neck. She’s ready to face the world again. To save those willing to be saved and yes, perhaps even save herself.

 

3 Benefits of Yoga for Florida Autistic High Schoolers

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Autism affects many lives. It greatly impacted mine. I had the opportunity to teach six yoga, breathing and anger management workshops for autistic teens at Nathan B. Forrest and First Coast High Schools in Jacksonville FL. These 60 Florida autistic high schoolers and I experienced how effectively yoga works. In 45 minutes we noticed marked significant change in mood, behavior and cognitive abilities. Incredible!

3 Benefits of Yoga were easily observable. Each one was instant, tangible and experienced based.

1. Change in Mood – Increased Happiness. We laughed a lot! Celebrated our successes. It’s awe inspiring to see how celebration like clapping hands and high fives make a difference. Celebrating produced increased willingness and ability for the teens to learn faster while having fun. Together we invented the “high thumb” it’s like a high five except you give each other a thumbs up and push your thumb into theirs. As the yoga practice progressed we observed collective and instant innovation taking place among the students. Finishing a pose they were proud they’d lean forward give me a thumbs up and press their thumb into mine and smile. The smiles just melted my heart.

2. Change in Behavior – Calmer. Yoga helps you to calm you down. At one point we had a heighten sense of nervous energy in the room. One teen demonstrated his nerves by hopping around the room without noticing people or the desks in the room. I began to teach them to breath through their nose. He stop jumping, listened to the other teens breathing and he quietly sat down. His nerves were calmed by hearing the breath and soon he was joined the crew in breathing. Amazing! In fact they were all quiet. Soon they also were able to communicate clearly and help each other to follow along. The standing and balancing poses created a sense of calmness. You could feel it in the room. We all focused on one thing, balanced on one leg and took deep nostril breaths. Which for those of you who have and/or work with autistic high schoolers is a monumental task in and of itself. This is from only 45 minutes with a group! The longer we practiced their behavior became increasingly calmer with gentler body movements and softer voices. Some of these kids had severe range of motion limitations and were so calm they were able to focus enough to practice with us. If you think you cannot practice yoga because you’re not flexible enough. Think again!

3. Change in Cognitive Abilities –  Easily Able to Demonstrate. They learned to use yoga and breathing to help them feel better while in school. Some were able to tell me what they could do if they were having a bad day at school. One guy sat up tall when asked how to handle a bad day and said, “Take three breaths.” Touched his nose, closed his eyes and on his own demonstrated nostril breath. Remember this is new information. I’d only been working with them for 30 minutes at this point.  The kids were thrilled to show or tell me how their body felt after taking just three breaths in child’s pose. Their retention of new experienced based  information was groundbreaking. They remembered names of poses and easily demonstrated them. On their own they began to teach each other to breath through their nose!

In essence yoga works! In 45 minutes these kids now have a chance at being able to calm themselves down. We saw significant change in mood, behavior and cognitive abilities. These teens are smart! They each have their own way of seeing the world. Their own challenges to live with that are unique to them. Yet in the midst of all their living with, they smile. Willing to try new exercises like yoga. We worked together as a unit and cheered each other on. These kids are shining examples of pure spirited human beings. They are now empowered to create their own happiness, calm and shift their thinking. May we ever strive to smile no matter what. Give high thumbs. Try something new and take deep breaths.

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The Happiness Question – What Makes You Come Alive?

ImageHave you ever felt dead inside?

Like a machine that’s only clicking it’s way through time without thought or feeling. No meaning to life. Click, click, click…the machine that perpetually moves along. Why are you staying in a space that makes you feel dead? Stop trying to fix and force what isn’t working. It’s time for a new question.

What makes you come alive? 

What makes your toes tap without even thinking about it? When are you smiling ear to ear and don’t even realize it? For me it’s yoga and salsa dancing. When I land warrior II pose, getting deep into my legs and ground into the mat, I feel alive and powerful. When I stretch out my arms and reach, with an energy that shoots out past my fingers, I feel alive. Salsa – oh where do I begin?! The movement touches my soul like nothing else does. It feels like heaven when one smooth turn flows into another. When I’m in synch with my partner – when our hands, arms and feet flow seamlessly. I could dance until my toes are swollen and legs too sore to move the next morning.

This is not about me and what makes me come alive; ultimately, it’s about all of us. The world – each person across our globe doing more of what makes us happy. That’s why asking the happiness question is important. Imagine with me a world where each person smiles every day all day long. Where people are applauded for their craft and what they bring to the world. That happens when each of us are brave enough to fall in love with brings us alive. To practice our craft, to fall in love with it again and again. To play with it and make it ours.

What makes you come alive? Tell me. Now that you know, go do it! Practice it and make it your obsession. We want to experience you when you’re at your best. Share it with us – the world. We want to see you come alive.

How a Homeless Man Helped Me Get Home – Keys to Being Alone & Not Lonely

ImageHave you ever had a mind full? Thoughts whirling through your head like a tornado, round and round? Yeah, that was my mind tonight. Everything from groceries to life changing questions. They wouldn’t go away. Worry, doubt and fear slowly started creeping in. Frustrated and in an effort to clear my head of the thought tornado I decided to go for a run.

Keeping it light the only thing I took with me was my house key tied it to my shoe laces. I chose the scenic route, the river. Peaceful. Nice breeze. Relaxed pace. As my pace quickened my thoughts dropped onto the pavement. With each step my mind was becoming quieter and quieter.

I fell into a pace. Soon all I heard was the pounding of my feet on the pavement. Then the rhythm of my breathing was the only thing I heard. My mind became clearer and clearer. I forgot everything else. It was a dance between my feet and my breath. I was so engrossed in the dance that I didn’t even notice my shoe laces coming loose. Unknowingly they loosen more with each mile until it was too late. Clink! Tripped over my laces and face down in the pavement.

“Perfect timing” I thought to myself, “I don’t where it is and it getting dark”. I searched all over the sidewalk, grass and even the cracks between the sidewalk. No key. Worry began to set in. Woman, alone, in the dark city, without a key and no cell phone. Not a good combo. I kept looking. Now it was dark and still no key. Crouched on the ground nearly eye level with the pavement an older shabbily dressed man on a bike rolled up. His  front basket was full of odd things I couldn’t identify. Dirt was all over his face. I knew instantly the bike was his home. Yet, something inside of me told me it was okay to talk to him. This is how the homeless man helped me get home.

He got off his bike and asked if I was alright. I told him I was looking for my house key. Quickly he joined the sidewalk search. He pulled his head light of his basket of odds and ends and handed it to me. “Here”, he said shoving it in my direction, “a bright light helps in the dark”. Together this man and I searched. Finally between the sidewalk and the grass, I found it!

Happy, I placed my hand on his shoulder. “Thanks! You’re the reason I’m gonna make it home safe tonight.” He told me he was homeless and asked for $1. I would have given him $20 if I’d had some cash on me. Smiling he placed his hand on his heart and said gently, “Young lady I’m glad I helped. Many people have helped me before. I’m just glad to return the favor.” Tipping his hat, he jumped on his bike and took off.

The encounter made me think. I ran alone tonight. I could have let loneliness set it. Being alone and lonely would have been easy. I could have let the fear and doubts from my tornado mind swirl me into feeling lonely. Lonely wants to focus on what you don’t have at the moment. Like I didn’t have a running buddy.

What I know now is that I did have running buddies. I just couldn’t see them, because they were flying next to me. Angels, I must have had angels watching me, because there was no one else around. No cars. No other people walking or even biking. I learned that the key to being alone and not lonely, is to remember that there are unseen forces working for you and with you for your good. To give you help because you’ve helped someone before. I couldn’t have planned this man’s arrival. It was perfect timing!

I had no idea that me loosing my key would remind me that I’m not alone in this world. That there are many people that I’ve helped along their way to finding what they needed to find. This stranger became a friend because he asked a question and helped me when I needed some light. His time and kindness touched my heart. I’m sitting here at my desk. Safe and warm, because he helped me find my key. A man with no home and no place to sleep tonight helped me get home.

~ Sarah Suero

How to Make Your Dream Happen – Be Simple

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When you want something go get it. Period.” – Will Smith

This hit me between the eyes this morning. I realize it’s easiest to give up on an idea when the money is low. When you’ve lost your train of thought and you haven’t been able to find it for years. What I love about this line from Will is that there’s no conditions in it. He didn’t say go for it for 10 years. When you get tired then stop. He didn’t say, keep going until the going gets tough and then stop. He said it’s simple.

The power is in the simplicity. If you want it, go get it. It rings true even to the weariest of souls. Sometimes we want to make things complicated, because why would it be that simple? The choice is that simple. There’s freedom and boundless energy in that choice. When you know what your prior commitment is, it makes life easy. This is my dream. I’m going for it. All in. We just have to wait for the world to see the vision. The late and sleepless nights don’t matter. The amount of time it’s takes to make it happen no longer matters. Who thinks it’s a bad idea sure doesn’t matter. It’s the small voice within that powers you up out of bed. Feet hit the floor and you do whatever it takes because it’s that important. You hobble sleepily to the coffee pot. You read the same sentence 15 times over because you don’t want to miss a thing. Passion.

It’s that passion. Choosing (again) your dream. When the bed seems to wrap its arms around you and when the comforter is tucked under your chin. Your dream has you throw your covers back and it’s on! The day begun. It’s the drive to continue even though your toes are sore and your head fuzzy. It doesn’t matter, nothing else matters, because from fuzzy determined heads brilliant dreams are born. Companies are created. Lovers united. A finished line crossed. Yes, even within fuzzy is brilliance. I love how Will brought it home, “If you want something go get it. Period.” Single focus. Raw. Determined and making it happen.

Law of Attraction: who do you say you are?

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We attract what we are.

Yes, we attract what we are, not who we look like. Since I believe this to be true, the statement begs the question, “Well…who are you?” That’s not a big question, right, ha?! Yes, well what if it isn’t a big question at all? What if you don’t even need to know? Perhaps you can declare who you are without evidence.

Start by noticing what’s here now. Become an observer. Being an observer will show you who you are and what you are attracting. Look around at who and what’s in your life. Notice everything. What and who’s here now will tell you what you’ve been attracting. It’s easy to observe and judge. Don’t judge, just notice.

Typically when I ask my clients, “Who do you say you are?” They tell me who they were or what other people think. I’m not interested in who you were or what people have told you, you are. What I’m interested in is, “Who do you say you are now?” Tell me who you are becoming despite who you’ve been in the past. You are not your past. Since you are not your past let’s not focus on it.

Focus on what you’re noticing. Is it lining up with who you say you are? If it does keep going and if doesn’t perhaps a few changes are needed. This law of attraction is working, usually it’s behind the scenes whether we recognize it or not. Yes, even if we work with it or not. To work with it line up; who you say you are, with what you’re thinking and what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid. You can do it. Go ahead, tell me, who do YOU say you are?