The power of positive thinking in Star Wars

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I’m am a mother, which means I’m naturally drawn to things that encourage and improve children’s learning. I’m also a child of the 80’s and had a mom that was a huge fan of Star wars, which means I grew up surrounded by the original Star Wars trilogy – Episodes IV, V, and VI, respectively. I’ve watched all 3 films literally dozens of times on top of the prequels.Believe it or not,  these movies got me through some pretty hard times during my youth. It really does reinforce positive thinking. For example here are a few  Inspirational Quotes From ‘Star Wars’ and George Lucas:

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” -Yoda

“Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.” -Obi-Wan Kenobi

“You have to find something that you love enough to jump over hurdles and break through the brick walls.” -George Lucas

“You will know when you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.” -Yoda

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.” -Yoda

. “Remember, concentrate on the moment. Feel, don’t think, use your instincts.” -Qui-Gon Jinn

“The ability to speak does not make you intelligent.” -Qui-Gon Jinn

“Your eyes can deceive you; don’t trust them.” -Obi-Wan

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I will be using a version of this chart in my home:

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MY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!

                                    ~DarcSunshine~

 

 

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True creative thinkers tend to be outsiders, non-conformists, rebels. This is clear. In order to think differently than others, one needs to be apart from others sometimes. In order to question established assumptions and find better alternatives, one has to be willing to rebel against the norms rather than unquestionably embrace the norms. Within groups, members are expected to conform to the rules and ways of the group, whether this is formalized in writing or silently understood by the members. Those who question those rules, or worse, break them, are likely to find themselves on the edge of the group, if not ostracized. Indeed, many of the most creative thinkers I know say that they feel on the outskirts of numerous social groups, but not a true member of any of them.  Most of my life I did not conform to ordinary rules and have always been bashed for it.  Though it is good to heed the advice of our elders and teachers I used my creativity and confidence to better myself. I learned that it is always more unique to be yourself and live by what makes you happen rather that conforming to society. In other words, I’m not going to let society transform me into being ordinary and out-of-touch with my true personality.   I started to understand that “different” can be positive, not negative.

The story of self medicating

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No one decides to get addicted to prescription pain pills. So how does prescription painkiller abuse progress to full-blown opioid addiction? Many individuals are prescribed these medications for pain management, but unfortunately, can build up a tolerance and misuse the medications prescribed by self-medicating.  Can someone know if their brain is vulnerable to opioid addiction? Unfortunately, “there’s no blood test, no scan of the brain that can predict who will become addicted,” says Petros Levounis, director of the Addiction Center of New York and an associate professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. While certain genes have been associated with the risk for drug addiction, “no one gene is responsible, and we’re a long way off from genetic testing to identify people at risk.”  When you have both a substance abuse problem and a mental health issue such as depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety, it is called a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. Dealing with substance abuse, alcoholism, or drug addiction is never easy, and it’s even more difficult when you’re also struggling with mental health problems.

Addiction is common in people with mental health problems

According to reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association:

  • Roughly 50 percent of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse.
  • 37 percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness.
  • Of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29 percent abuse either alcohol or drugs.
Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness
 

It can be difficult to diagnose a substance abuse problem and a co-occurring mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. It takes time to tease out what might be a mental disorder and what might be a drug or alcohol problem.

Complicating the issue is denial. Denial is common in substance abuse. It’s hard to admit how dependent you are on alcohol or drugs or how much they affect your life. Denial frequently occurs in mental disorders as well. The symptoms of depression or anxiety can be frightening, so you may ignore them and hope they go away. Or you may be ashamed or afraid of being viewed as weak if you admit the problem.Just remember: substance abuse problems and mental health issues don’t get better when they’re ignored. In fact, they are likely to get much worse. You don’t have to feel this way. Admitting you have a problem is the first step towards conquering your demons and enjoying life again. I personally am not against treating chronic pain or mental health illnesses with medication. I just want people to be aware that it is very easy to fall into the “self-medicating trap”. Check out video below:
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                                                         ~STAY STRONG~

Dare To Be Different

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Your life experiences thus far have made you the person you are today. It is the combination of the way you were brought up on top of everything that you have learned and the various things that you have done that make you truly different from everyone else on this planet. Others may share some of your talents and abilities, but there is no one who is identical to you. It is rather like an artist painting a picture; even if another artist were to copy the picture as closely as possible it would never be identical. Different brush strokes or combinations of paint would have been used, and each masterpiece is its own. Don’t let other individuals bring you down. Why do you care? Really take a moment to reflect on this: why do you concern yourself with what others think about you? You are a unique, gifted, and special individual. That is a fact. Now let that be your starting point and your living point.

“There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.”

~Martha Graham~

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take action against bullying

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FOR PARENTS, CAREGIVERS, AND TEACHERS:

Help Kids Understand Bullying

Kids who know what bullying is can better identify it. They can talk about bullying if it happens to them or others. Kids need to know ways to safely stand up to bullying and how to get help.

  • Encourage kids to speak to a trusted adult if they are bullied or see others being bullied. The adult can give comfort, support, and advice, even if they can’t solve the problem directly. Encourage the child to report bullying if it happens.
  • Talk about how to stand up to kids who bully. Give tips, like using humor and saying “stop” directly and confidently. Talk about what to do if those actions don’t work, like walking away
  • Talk about strategies for staying safe, such as staying near adults or groups of other kids.
  • Urge them to help kids who are bullied by showing kindness or getting help.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with kids often. Listen to them. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns
  • .kids to do what they love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behavior.

FOR CHILDREN/TEENS:

The group of kids who witness bullying is really important. This group may not be getting bullied, they may not be bullying, but their reaction can make a big difference. Bullying doesn’t affect just those who are bullied and those who bully, it has a huge impact on those who see the behavior! Learn what you can do so that you have a positive influence!

Witnesses – What Can They Do?

If you see someone being bullied, speak up!

  • When students are willing to say they think something is wrong, they can make a difference.
  • Let others know that you don’t accept bullying at your school, and others will be more willing to speak up, too.
  • If you see bullying, you can tell a grown-up. Telling is not tattling. It’s okay to tell. Reach out!
  • Tell the kid who is being bullied that he or she doesn’t deserve to be treated that way. Nobody does.
  • Ask friends to join you in being a kid against bullying.

Telling vs. Tattling

A lot of kids say that they don’t want to tell an adult about bullying because they don’t want to be called a tattle-tale. But there’s a big difference between “telling” and “tattling.”

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It’s okay to tell an adult when you see bullying. In fact, it’s a really smart thing to do!

PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO HIT THE LINKS BELOW WHICH INCLUDE VIDEOS AND INFORMATIVE WEBSITES:    

     

    Pearl Jam – Jeremy

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Bullied Kid Turns Survivor

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   ~DEDICATED TO MY CHILDREN~

When tragedy strikes a family

I am so sorry that Youth of A Nation has not been posting lately. Unfortunately my family and I lost someone very special to us recently and another one of our family members had been hospitalized for sometime. Because of what has been going on in my life I wanted to share this post with all of you.

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In all tragedies, families deal with immense and unexpected grief, loss, and uncertainty about the future.

It is important for families to help one another after a tragedy by talking, listening, and expressing their feelings and concerns. Feeling down and grieving are normal reactions to loss. However, sometimes tragic events can trigger a more serious depression, often as soon as 6 to 8 weeks after the loss has occurred. So, it is important for families to understand the symptoms of depression and how to help someone who is depressed.

What families can do

  • Acknowledge and share your feelings. After a tragic event, you may have feelings of shock, denial, and intense sadness. Later, you may feel anger, resentment, irritation, and grief. These emotions can fluctuate rapidly. Strong reactions to a tragedy are to be expected and vary greatly among people. Even within a family, reactions and emotions to a crisis can differ and change over time. Talk about the fears and emotions that you have openly. It is important to be supportive of one another even if your reactions are different.
  • Be supportive and listen. Let your family and children know that you care and are there for them. Be an ‘active listener’ by listening empathetically and without judgment. Allow your family to talk, while you remain silent, nodding and maintaining eye contact to show that you’re listening. Summarize parts of what has been said to show you understand, and allow the person to express emotion. Be careful NOT to minimize what has happened by saying things like ‘things could have been much worse’, ‘we are all upset, you need to stop dwelling on it and continue on with your life.’
  • Expand your support system. Many families find it helpful to reach out to others in their community, such as a church or support group, to help cope with their feelings and reduce the isolation. Families need extensive and unconditional support in the wake of a tragedy.
  • Ask for help. Let your family know that they can tell you when they need help. Be available and ready to listen when asked. Remember that mental health professionals, including social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists, are there for you if you need help processing your feelings.
  • Understand your own limits. Recognize that you will not have unlimited ability to help and take care of others. You need to take care of yourself as well. It is OK and advisable to reach out to friends and medical professionals to get through tough times.

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~Dedicated to my family and loved ones~