Monday, November 30, 2015

cOme OuT & pLaY! yAy!

LeT's pLay! . . . 4-eVeR!
dEar aLL of yOU(s)!

One thing I love about my job as a mom and a teacher?  Kids all playing together! Amazing! We bIg kIdS have a lot to learn from the little ones . . . or, I should say, we gRoWn uPs have a LoT to LeaRn about ReMeMBerINg to be KiDs!

This might be weird, but one thing I notice and celebrate is that kids have to continue working things out if they want to keep playing together. Like, for example, there is a flow of communication that naturally happens as a result of the kids wanting to CONTINUE to PLAY! 

So, there's this amazing cycle in no particular order of:
  • GIVE AND TAKE & SHARING: "Here's a watermelon Jolly Rancher for you..." or, "Do you want to share my blankie?"
  • TAKING EACH OTHER'S STUFF ("That's my shovel", "Hey! I wanted the last piggy in a blanket!")
  • TESTING LIMITS & BOUNDARIES (aka...what can I get away with!)
  • SETTING BOUNDARIES (e.g. "I don't like that!" or "You can't say shut up to me"
  • MESSING UP: "Oops. Mom, I spilled the nail polish on the table..."
  • feeling whatever the he(l)k they feel LIKE--BEING MAD (like, throwing a tantrum with no apologies)...SAD ...and SUPER DUPER HAPPY & ECSTATIC (but mostly the good stuff)
  • SAYING "I'M SORRY"... and actually meaning it...
  • FORGIVING: "That's okay. I know you didn't mean it..."
and again...
and again
  • and, 'cuz playing is way more fun than fighting, there is a natural move toward communication and collaboration with the kiddos
  • and, when things get too tough, kids take a break, ask for help from a grown up or another kid, simply find another more suitable kid to play with . . . or, move entirely to another playground!
(do you know where I'm going with this yet?)


What if grown ups took lessons from kids about how to keep playing together? You know, no drama, say what ya gotta say, renegotiate, and MOVE ON? That's what I want to do with my friends & loved ones . . . KEEP PLAYING!

LiFe is gO(o)D! Just sayin'
dana, the great
(tiara, please . . . )

Sunday, November 29, 2015

a rEciPe 4 hApPy!

Gratitude is the single most important ingredient

to living a successful and fulfilled life.

~Jack Canfield

Dear Readers;

I know I've written about it before, but this Personal Code of Truth I wrote last summer has absolutely gotten my attention againI live in love and gratitude.

So the first part--I live in love--means that I don't live from a place of fear anymore. Like, for example, not saying stuff 'cuz I'm afraid of what people will think of me, and I have KNoCkEd OfF not being true to myself 'cuz of what others may say. It's kinda weird, but lately I've been learning a lot about fear--

I've now know that my fear isn't really an all-powerful
scary crEEpaliscious monStEr--
it's simply (not so scary)
information. . . 
So, like, if I'm scared of something . . . 
that means I sUcK iT uP & DO IT, danggitt#@$%!

Crazy stuff, huh? I used to shrink back away from the stuff I was scared of instead of facing it head on--but guess what? Facing the stuff I'm scared of gives me confidence, independence, strength, and power!
The second part of my PCT--I live in gratitude--simply means that I look to life with awe, thanks, and humility. I have gratitude for even the smallest things in life (like, for example, taking a breath, seeing a beautiful flower, a smile from a stranger . . .). And, (this is trickier, yo) that means that I am also thankful for the yucky crap-aliscious stuff--'cuz when it feels crappy, it means I just can't see the sparkly gifts in the experience yet-- 'cuz I can't see the super amazing, delicious, 

bIggEr and beTTer pLan
the You-niverse has for me!

. . . so there you have it! That's my second mantra! What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know how YOU live in LoVe and gRaTiTuDe! If you're interested in some more quotes about gratitude, click on this link:

GrAtiTuDe QuOteS: OWN

Have an amazing and magical day!
;0) dana

Saturday, November 28, 2015

iT's beTTer to gIvE thAn reCeiVe . . . !

By: Chloe
Hello You! 

A few years back my daughter wanted to post this special message for the Thanksgiving holiday season, so here goes! Here's what she had 2 say!: 
Hey tIckeTy tock cLoCks!

So, as you know, Christmas is coming up... well, you know a great thing I have learned? --a great lesson... it's better to give than receive!
Soooo don't expect someone to give you a gift, 'cause you know what? 
Even if you don't have money, who cares? 
At least you're alive, and you have Jesus and God, and family!
Oh!! And especially LUV!!!!!! 

Luv yalls, peeps!

Friday, November 27, 2015

a hUmbLe attiTuDe of (gr)attiTuDe . . .

Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to 
living a successful and fulfilled life.        
--Jack Canfield, writer

Good day funfree Pps!

Since Thanksgiving is a time when many people focus on the idea of gratittude, I though I'd devote the next few days to one of my favorite tOpIcs: beiNg tHank-FULL! It's tOtes tRuE that when we are thankful for the good stuff we already have, we send out amazing positive energy that can bring us MORE good stuff. It's called the Universal Law of Attraction.
(positive or negative)
It's tOtaLLy contagious! 

When we want something to become a habit it takes prACTice
(NOTE: prACTice has the word ACT in it!!).

So how do we do it? 
I have a couple of ideas.
BEWARE: they take ACTion.

oNe iDeA: I personally like to write (duh . . .), so I keep a couple of different journals. Here's one I got from one of my besties:

 Sometimes, I write things I'm grateful for before I go to bed, and I end my day on a positive note,---I actually think I sleep better! Here's what one of my grATTITUDE journals  looks like . . . note the hearts on the left! . . .
aNothEr IdEa: Sometimes, when my daughter and I say our prayers, we take turns naming things we're grateful for in our lives. This is especially wonderful 'cuz we share together what makes us grateful, and that reminds each of us of MORE good stuff in our lives. Remember:
(in the form of gratitude)
It's tOtaLLy contagious!
So, Count your blessings, y'all! 

It'll make you feel amazing! Have a beautiful day!
Smiles ;)

p.s. check out this awesome message from Marie Forleo about the "downs" of gratitude. It's only a few minutes long, but so worth it!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

foLLoW uR hEART . . .

Max's bestie has a heart-shaped mouth!
(aPpLe sLiCe sMiLe!)

Saving the World

Today may my prayers help me realize
I cannot control everything.
To put the world in order,
We must first put the nation in order;
To put the nation in order,
We must first put the family in order;
To put the family in order,
We must first set our hearts right.
-- Confucius

GooD dAy aLL!

Happy WEdnesday! Well, it's no coincidence that this poem landed in my inbox this morning . . . just what I needed to read! The poem basically says that the only stuff we can control is within us . . . like in our own hearts and our own thoughts and behaviors. And, even if we want to have a HuGe gInorMous iMpaCt on our beloved planet, we have to begin with ourselves! As Gandhi encouraged,

"You must be the change 
you wish to see in the world."

Having company in my home sort of threw me for a loop last week, which isn't a bad thing at all--
even if things felt a bit, well,
tOpSY tUrVY--
it made me look at myself in a new way, and I was actually reminded of this important stuff:
  • I am not in control of everyone else (duh . . . only me)
  • Others do not have to be like me (like, in their personalities, habits, or timelines!)
  • If I am upset about my situation, only I can turn it around and change my own mindset--
  • Others cannot MAKE ME FEEL a certain way, how I interpret situations cause me MY OWN distress! My feelings are my own business!
  • I can look at stuff and complain about it (VICTIM), or I can see the blEssIngs and gifTs (POWER) in whatever life presents me . . . you know, like, as in presents?
Which, as usual, brings me back to GrAtiTuDe (yay!). SO here are 3 (my magic number!) things I feel grateful for about my bestie and her family staying with us for a week:
  1. My kids had sosososos much fun with Luigie the Yorkie and Coco the miniature Alaskan--we played and played in the yard and had doggie kissy parties!
  2. I had a chance to spend wonderful heart time with my friend . . . 
  3. We had yuMmY food! We barbecued, went to Perkin's, ate Bruegger's bagels everyday, and ordered Chinese takeout! Yum!
  4. My kids loved having friends in the house--built in playmates and chums!
(ooPs . . .) that's 4. Oh well!

Anyway, I was able to turn around my super slumber party and make it AmAzIng! That's my (NEW) stoRy and I'm sticking to it! What story have you turned around? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Have a bEaUtiFul day!
;0) dana

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

aCCepTance is bLiSS!

Dear fun & free folk!

Here is the message I got from the Universe the other day. It reminded me that I need to accept all the people in my life, perfectly & exactly as they are:

For as long as you wish to keep them in your life, 
Dana Lynne, whoever they may be, 
understanding them, as opposed to changing them,
will wildly improve the chances that they'll wish to keep you in their life.

Oh wow, how I love you -
    The Universe

I have spent a lot of time and energy in my life trying to change the people and circumstances around me. What I would like to do is work on accepting the people and challenges around me without fighting it all.

Truth be told, when we can accept everything in our lives as if we had consciously chosen it, we can be grateful for it ALL . . .the go(o)d feelings and what we perceive as yucky stuff.

Generally what happens, as in the case of one of my besties today, is that when we are open, we can see that the yuck is sometimes the most awesome reminder of our growth. What if we totally trusted the Universe to give us EXACTLY what we need? No questions! And we look for the blessings in it ALL?

What tremendous shifts might occur if we ask ourselves the question: "What is the gift in this crap?"

We are responsible for the meaning we assign to our life events; we can look at our chalenges as opportunities for growth, or we can crawl into our victim stance and blame others and project outward for what is happening to us. Personally, I'd rather take responsibility for it all ('cuz it's all in our heads, yo . . .)


It is all good; and, All is well...

I love life! All of it . . . the good stuff and the not so good (crappy) stuff!


Monday, November 23, 2015

eXpEcT it ALL . . .

Have you learned the lessons
only of those who admired you,
and were tender with you,
and who stood aside for you?

Have you not learned great lessons 
from those who braced themselves against you,
and disputed the passage with you?
--Walt Whitman

Dear fun & free Peeps!

Have you ever noticed that a lot of times we really want life to be easy and our relationships to be harmonious and smooth? And when things aren't that way, we can sometimes freak out?

What if we decide that even the lumpy stuff and the difficult people in our lives were sent for a reason? That is, to learn some stuff from them?

I'm not sure where I learned that stuff should usually go my way . . . no bumps or whatever . . . but I'll tell you one thing:

ThIngS moStLy doN'T go thE way,
I, dAna LyNNe cUrrY bRadach,
eXpeCt tHeM to gO.

And then, I ask myself the question: Why sHouLd they?

top secret incoming confession: I think maybe the real problem is that I get attached to my expectations (of people and other things), and then I feel disappointed when my expectations aren't met.

What if I change my expectations and open up to whatever life brings me? And, just accept WHAT IS--positive or negative--and decide that WHATever IS going on OUTSIDE of me doesn't necessarily have to affect WHAT IS my own experience on the INSIDE?


 . . . sounds good, doesn't it? 

It means that no matter what happens, ALL IS WELL.

cOoL bEaNs!
;0) dAnA

Sunday, November 22, 2015

wE R gReAt-fuLLy gRaTefuL!

"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you,
and to give thanks continuously. And because all things
have contributed to your advancement,
you should include all things in your gratitude."
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hey fUn frEE pee(haha)ps!
Happy Thanksgiving! Many of you know I'm a grateful teacher (and a wIfE & MaMa), and yesterday I asked some of my 8th grade kids about what they are thankful for. Here's what some of them wrote:
  • I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends. Through rough times we help each other even thought we don't have to. I am thankful most for my family. My mom can always make it work even though she's single. I love them all.
  • I'm thankful for love and chocolate!
  • Being able to be myself.
  • I am thankful for my amazing friends. They are amazing, funny, and I can tell them anything. I am also thankful for my family. They are very supportive of everything I do, and they're always there for me.
  • I am thankful for everything and everyone I have ever met!
  • What I'm greatful for my family and getting loved. I know so many kids have familys but sometimes I think about the kids who dont have familys to live with or they get abused and i feel so thankfull that i have a family that takes care of me and loves me . . . And thats what im greatfull for.
  • I am thankful for my family, friends, and my new house.
What are you thank-FULL for? Leave me a message & let us know!

ManY ThaNkS! I lOve YoU!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Be ReAl!

Hi All. . .
I alWaYs want to be really cool, and available . . . and I want to have an amazing stuff on my blog...but I don't. Just not feeling amazing today. Sometimes stuff just doesn't work out like I want. Today, I'm tired...and lonely...and I need to just chillax (as one of my best friends says . . .).
Today, I need to spend time with me--and sometimes, even that's super hard.
So, I had big plans for my blog today
. . . and they are not happening...
I am taking care of me. 
Love yOU!

Friday, November 20, 2015

aMaZinG YoU!

hEy aMAzing yOu!

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I was blogging about the made-up STORIES we create in our minds about what other people think? (cuz, you all know we can't crawl up inside people's heads or read their minds)
 . . . and that we can choose NOT to believe the stories?

And also, that we don't have to listen to our gross, yucky, mean inner (s)ELF?--we can tell him or her to shut the front door and take a hike (or, in a more loving fashion, we could send your (s)ELF on an all-expenses paid vacation to Bermuda!) 

What if . . . (mind boggling thought coming on . . . disregard in advance if too scary. . .) the stuff we make up about what EVERYBODY thinks about us is actually the same stuff that we FEAR everybody thinks about us---and the same stuff that our mean inner (s)ELF beats us over the head about? (so, it's all actually, really, and truly about how we feel about ourselves... sorry! I know cuz I've been there, believe me!)

So, like, for example, other people are, like, YOUR personal big huge movie screen--and YOU project the scary stuff YOU feel about YOURself on their screens and view it, and go, 

"OMG! THEY (note you are not focusing on yourself here) are sOsOsoSo mean (or rude, or ______ fill in the blank), I can't believe they (note you are not focusing on yourself here) would think that about me!"

Hmnnn. . . and Yike-eys! What if it's always about you? and the meaning you put onto the people and things that happen to you in your life?


And that's the point. . . 
Go(o)D News and bAd nEws: You are in charge of you! You get to cReAtE yOuR liFe! Problem is, it's easier to blame others for what is going on, how we are feeling, and the general circumstances of our existence.
QUESTion: Would you rather be the hero(ine) of your own journey (in charge)? or, the victim (everybody does stuff TO you? sad...)

Personally, I want to be the super sparkly heroine with the short yellow orange peel cape, the pink high-tops, and the yellow-dangly, multi-flowered tiara!

All bow down! nOw! (jK!)

lOvE and LuVe,
;) pRinCesS dAna

Thursday, November 19, 2015

sInK or sWiM? jUsT bReAtHe . . . .

"When in deep water, 
become a diver."
~Ralph H. Blum~

BlOOp bLoop (fiSh sOuNd . . . )!

Have you ever started something, and you really didn't exactly know what they heck you were doing or where you were going? But you knew it was the right thing to do, anyway?

It's not so easy to continue on a path when you're not sure where you are headed. 
It takes 
and it takes
 (which is the subject of this blog).

Sometimes we have nO iDeA what we are doing, but in our hearts it's the right thing and we can feel it! Has this ever happened to you?...It's kind of like listening to your gut, which I don't always do . . . at least I do it more than I used to!
Sometimes, we just need to tell ourselves
"stop bugging me!!!!!!!!!"
about why I 
can't or shouldn't 
(fill in the blank).
stop listening to kids and other stuff (like the media!) that could discourage us.

Yep!#%?  I know that's tough stuff when your a kid or a teenager, and guess what? It's also tough for grown ups!
 Living from the 
IN:SIDE OUT and not the OUT:SIDE IN 
takes courage and faith.

Ram Dass (a super cool spiritual leader) once said that belief is up in your head (be careful about listening to your thoughts? ...WATCH OUT! they might not be true!); he also said that
on the other hand, 
comes from your heart.

What do you want to listen to: your head? your heart?
Imagine they could have an ice cream together and actually have a real conversation!

I don't know about you, but I have spent a lot of my life up in my head thinking...and not always trusting my heart (aka feelings). My head sometimes talks me out of listening to my heart, and I am sick of it! I am learning how to tell my head to 

As Carl Jung once wrote: 

“Your vision will become clear
only when you look into your heart … 
Who looks outside, dreams
Who looks inside, awakens.”

PICTURE THIS's a super sweaty day... and you are dying of heat! Would you rather stand on the end of the dock for hours thinking about the whether you should jump in? Or, would you rather just jump in and get your booty into the
cool water?

Just sayin' . . .
;) DiVe In!

Lots of LoVe,