Finding Balance

I have been working extremely hard at school.  As most of you know I am working toward earning my Doctorate degree and it has been beyond mentally draining!  As part of the program I have to write a dissertation.  Most students struggle with developing a dissertation idea and have a hard time even getting going on the research for their dissertation.  Not me.  I have a zillion ideas and I could explode!  However, while I was printing a number of previous research articles (I know it is not eco-friendly, but I am so old-school with some things) I realized that I was not honoring myself.  You see, the concept I have for my dissertation is related to creativity and the work place.  Sounds fascinating, right?  As I watched my printer print the word “creativity” over and over again I had this ephiny…I was not honoring my creative instincts.

At some point this past winter I lost myself in the winter blues – which was a long period of time since it was an extremely long winter in the North.  I moved throughout a day doing what was expected of me; completing my housework, schoolwork, and loving my family.  Notice how I didn’t mention taking care of my creative me?  I had no balance.

I have discovered that life is about balance.  Too much of something is never good.  Whatever you have too much of you eventually become tired of.  It was like my Special K bar kick last summer.  I loved those things.  I got into the habit of eating one everyday…now I can’t stand the sight of them!  I had TOO MUCH!  I believe balance is one of the most important pieces to living playfully and peacefully.  Honoring all parts of yourself and caring for each one creates balance.  Sometimes one part of you might need a little more attention than another part.  Give that part of you what it needs.  Don’t question or hesitate.  Honor and balance.  Live playfully and peacefully each day!

A relaxing night on the patio.  Creating a little balance in my life!

A relaxing night on the patio. Creating a little balance in my life!

Magical Me Makeover Day 6 Questions

Today we are digging a little deeper into ourselves…I want you to explore your inner child.  What does your inner child look like?  What is his/her name?  What does your inner child like to eat?  Hobbies?  How does your inner child feel?  What makes your inner child scared?  Angry? Sad?  Happy?  What does your inner child fear the most?  What does your inner child daydream about?  What does your inner child want to be when he/she grows up?

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My Favorite Superhero/Villain

I am not a big fan of superheros or villains.  My children, however, love them.  I have always been drawn to one character, a villain, Poison Ivy.  Poison Ivy has always had a mysterious way about her.  She is sexy, seductive, and an eco-terrorist.  She uses natural resources versus manufactured items as her weapon.  At one point, Poison Ivy creates a beautiful island full of botanical plants, and plans to live there is happiness until it is destroyed.

Poison Ivy strikes me as a villain who is looking for something in her life, but continues to fail at finding it.  When she does, it is destroyed, indicating she is doomed to fail.  She continues to fight back, and never gives up.  Poison Ivy is often betrayed by her “friends,” but continues to care for them (by not killing Harley Quinn).

Interestingly enough, Poison Ivy was created by her professor, named Jason (my hubby’s name), and she is best friends with villain, Harley Quinn (Harley is my daughter’s name).  That is strictly coincidence and not planned on my part.

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My Favorite Cartoon Character

I have never been a big cartoon lover.  Even when I as a child I did not get up early on Saturday mornings to watch the cartoons.  It wasn’t until I had my first child did I fall in love with a cartoon character – in fact five cartoon characters.  My daughter began watching “The Backyardigans” when she was 16 months old (yes I let my child under the age of five watch TV).  They were on everyday at 11:00 am, and they were like her best friends!  She made up a dance, and she cried when the show was done.  She loved them – and so did I.

The concept of “The Backyardigans” was fabulous!  There were five friends; Tyrone, Tasha, Uniqua, Austin and, my favorite, Pablo, who all met in the backyard to play each day.  Their backyard transformed into whatever their imaginations created!  They were pirates, deep-sea divers, astronauts – you name it they imagined it!  The show integrated dance, creativity and, of course, a life lesson into every episode.  When they were done playing it was time for a snack.  I loved it!  The concept was great!

So in answering my question for the day…what I liked about these cartoon characters was their ability to freely imagine, play, and learn – exactly what a child (and person) should be doing!  They were caring, friendly and excited – except Tasha – she was always the friend who had to have her way (who doesn’t have one of those), but was quickly taught that wasn’t how to behave.  These cartoon characters believed in themselves, and that they could accomplish anything.

“The Backyardigans” is no longer on a regular viewing schedule, but when I am flipping channels and happen to run across it all three kids, and even my husband, run in to watch it.  We love that show!  It will always be a part of our household:)

picture taken from www.tvlistings.zap2it.com

picture taken from www.tvlistings.zap2it.com

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Magical Me Makeover Day 4

The big question today is….who is your favorite cartoon character?  Why?  What attributes do you like about your favorite cartoon character?  What are areas of growth for them?  Why do you relate to that cartoon character?  Is there any lessons you have learned from your favorite cartoon character?

image from dan-dare.org

image from dan-dare.org

My Favorite Music/Band

I struggle with identifying my favorite band.  I have liked a large variety of music for different reasons throughout my life.  The first music I remember listening to was Queen.  My father played “We Will Rock You” while I rocked on my rocking horse when I was only three years old.  I loved the beat of the music while I whipped back and forth on that rocking horse.  It felt so freeing – almost like I was flying!

When I was eight or nine years old I remember my twin uncles playing “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard, which has become an iconic song.  I loved that song.  It had that awesome rock feeling that made you want to wear ripped jeans, red bandanas, and use a lot of hairspray!  Hearing it now brings me back to that feeling of anything goes.

When I began to discover my own types of music I first enjoyed the New Kids on the Block.  They were my first band I loved.  I had posters, big pins, all the tapes, books, pajamas – yes, I was a “blockhead.”  I still enjoy the music of NKOTB on my ipod, and when I listen to it I am reminded of the power of my decisions.  I made the decision to like NKTOB, and it was the first major decision in my life.  I was committed as a fan.  I now  realize that not all decisions are good decisions;)  I send a huge apology to my mom and dad for having to listen to the New Kids on the Block for hours on end.  You have more patience than I do.

As I grew through adolescence I enjoyed a variety of music.  I liked, and still like country music, rap, R & B, rock and hip-hop.  My ipod consists of so many different types of music.  I am the queen of impromptu dance parties and spoon (or hairbrush) microphones.  Whenever I play music I feel empowered, free, and energized!  Various songs bring back memories from the past years of my life; some good, some bad and some painful, but no matter what the song I have the chance to be lost in a daydream for just a few minutes, and take a break from real life.

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My Favorite Toy

Growing up I remember my favorite toy as my Barbie dream house.  My mother still has the dream house, intact, in her basement.  My children play with it when they visit grandma’s house.  What I loved about the Barbie dream house was the ability to set the furniture up however I wanted.  I could put the couch in the kitchen and the bed in the bathroom.  There were no rules or boundaries.  It was my house and I made the decisions.  I lived in a world of creativity and originality.  The Barbie dream house had its limitations, however.  It was a two-story house, and there were no stairs or elevator.  I was frustrated at times because my dream house wasn’t a reality.  I was reminded that even though it was called a “dream house” it still had its imperfections.

Last Christmas Santa left my daughter a Barbie dream house.  It is still just as magical to me…..and Santa’s elves even put in an elevator:)

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This is what my Barbie dream house looks like. Mine is a lot more played with. It is missing 90% of the outside plants!

 

Magical Me Makeover Day 2 Questions

Day 1 of the Magical Me Makeover has been exciting!  Let’s move on to Day 2!  Here are the questions for your reflection!

What was your favorite toy as a child?  What did you like about it?  What happened to it?  Do you still have it?  What were the positive aspects of that toy?  Negative aspects?

My girl with her American Girl doll...she loves that doll so much!

My girl with her American Girl doll…she loves that doll so much!

The Magical Me Makeover Purpose

The Magical Me Makeover begins now.  Since we live in a crazy, spinning, stressful world I thought it was time to bring some simplicity back to our lives.  When I think of a simpler time I reflect on my childhood.  Maybe that is why I am a play therapist – because children have a right to live freely.  Think about it – for a majority of us as children you had no concept of work or bills; clothing magically appeared in your closet, dinner was on the table.  As a child you could be whatever you wanted – often changing your mind on a daily basis.  There was no stress.  There was no running from appointment to appointment.  I was tea time all day!

The Magical Me Makeover is designed to bring out your true loves, and then use those true loves to rejuvenate yourself.  For the next ten days I will post a question.  You can choose how you want to reflect on it – or if you even want to (you don’t have to answer all the questions – it’s not graded;).  Some people may journal, some may paint or draw, some may just think about the question.  There is no right or wrong way to do this – just like when you were a kids – anything goes!

I will post the question in one blog post, and later in the day I will post my reflection to the question for you all to see.  If anything, I hope this journey will inspire you to feel the freedom of a child – even if it is only for five minutes a day!

Here we go!!!

My ruby red slippers all ready for the Magical Me Makeover journey!

My ruby red slippers all ready for the Magical Me Makeover journey!

In 2 Days….

In two days I will be blogging the “Magical Me Makeover” (Nicole Ross, 2013).  The Magical Me Makeover will consist of 10 days of interactive blog posts designed to take a deeper look at yourself.  The Magical Me Makeover is self-paced, private and free of judgements.  You choose which topics you want to explore about yourself, and can answer all or none of the questions.  In the end it is hoped you will have discovered some new, exciting aspects of youself that can be implemented immediately into your lifestyle.  Check back for the Magical Me Makeover!

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My little one’s Magical Me Makeover!  Not afraid to be himself!