2008-12-31

CONNECTION & CREATION

Waking up can be so hard to do....... (the kids and I playing Rock Band they got for Christmas at their mother's)

Watching this Steve Vai video on one of my profile pages to help get me going. It works because it makes connections with things that are important to me on the inside. The more I play it, the deeper and stronger my emotions become, and the more focused and energized I become on what my intentions are for this day. Coffee, my external source, can't do this for me. The more I drink it, the more my stomach hurts.

Steve Vai - For the Love of God


As I'm watching this video I see there's an incredible amount of energy in the world, but most of it is misused. It's wasted through worry (energy and thoughts directed towards what one DOESN'T want and not on what one DOES).

It's stored as potential energy (feelings of unworthiness or lack of self-confidence such as "who me?" and "one day I will...")

Or it's gathered in small or large amounts for the purpose of proving one is better than another (disconnection) or the elimination of another and/or their ideas (destruction).

How perfect is the timing of this as the giant hands are counting down the final minutes on the clock of 2008......

Tick, Tock
Tick, Tock

Time to make resolutions again
with another year coming round the block

All this potential
yet it's the same thing every year

Lose weight, stop smoking, make more, try harder
Oh yeah, and finally become unafraid of fear

Another year is coming
and it looks a lot like the one leaving

Will this year be the one where I make the changes?
Will this be the year I finally start believing?

I don't want to hope anymore
I don't want to pray for someone else to save me

I want to believe with every cell of my body
that in the end........

I'm the creator of who I become
I'm the one who can set me free

~ Adam Stuart (December 31, 2008)

Wishing everyone in the world the most empowering, incredible, and life-changing year they've ever created, with all of us using all of our energy to CONNECT with our inner selves and to each other to help make that CREATION happen.

2008-12-30

Not Now. Not Ever.

“A young and vital child knows no limit to his own will, and it is the only reality to him.

It is not that he wants at the outset to fight other wills, but that they simply do not exist for him.









Like the artist, he goes forth to the work of creation, gloriously alone.”

Jane Harrison

I still remember when Bella (age 3-4), just learning to speak in sentences, told her brother (age 5-6) who was stuck in a tree, "Face your feawrs, Bwosden. You can do it."

I love the great spirit that exists within all of us. The spirit to simply enjoy life or to give us the confidence to move mountains. Isn't it sad though that as we get older, this spirit decreases instead of increases, sometimes at a very early age.

No way! No more! Every child and person I know will know no limits. Not now. Not ever.

2008-12-29

Thrust Up Into the Night

Something magical happens when you becoming caring enough to share, without trying to get anything back from it or caring what the the response may be. You get responses like this:

I think that what you reveal (so very real) in the breadth of range and honesty that you share also creates a revelation in others that supports confidence, intelligence, truths, and allows for much needed "permission" to be passionate, fearless, and secure in being positive open-minded achievers themselves. These ideals are what we need that have been lost by commercialism... and to uphold again to bring our world back to being a caring and supportive home for all life forms. Honoring ignorance, fear, & destruction does not as a sustainable life.

Posted by Grace on Dec 28, 2008 11:52 AM


What is magical is that a response like this connects with you on a deep level and brings out even more of who you are.

Thank you, Grace. As I read your response, this is what I heard:

Each one of us
looking within to find our own light

Breathing in deeply
then breathing out with all our might

Igniting our torches
which we thrust up into the night

Using all of our courage
to stand strong and claim our right


Our right to live fully
our right to love fearlessly

Our right to become smarter
our destiny to become stronger

Our right to become great lovers
our right to become great fighters

Our right to fight for what we love
our destiny to rise above


And every time just one of us
chooses to shines our light,

Choosing to have the courage
to thrust it up with all his or her might

Hope is given to another,
who is lost,
lost in the darkness of night

~ Adam Stuart (December, 2008)

2008-12-28

Cool Quotes

Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.
~Jennifer Yane

The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.
~Harry Golden

Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.
~John Quincy Adams

Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.
~Author Unknown

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything
~William Shakespeare

It is not the cares of today, but the cares of tomorrow, that weigh a man down.
~George MacDonald

Always kiss
your children goodnight - even if they're already asleep
~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure there is one less rascal in the world.
~Thomas Carlyle

Most of our faults are more pardonable than the means we use to conceal them.
~Fran├žois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims, 1665

The best way to predict your future is to create it.
~Peter Drucker

He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.
~funny license plate sayings by Joseph Heller, Catch-22, 1961

Positive attitude is an amazing catalyst to success.
~Jose B. Cabajar

The only guy I have to get better than is who I am right now.
~M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter

and my favorite....

The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.
~Benjamin Disraeli

2008-12-27

THESE ARE ~ IS WONDERFUL

Sometimes you're tired, and nothing seems to get you going. Two cups of coffee and a walk in the cool morning air with the dog. Still tired. Maybe I should take a ride on my horse up in the mountains.....Ah yes, my next dream that is on its way to coming true.

So many dreams already have come true this year; staying close to my children, improbable student gains, getting a jeep wrangler, spending time with family at Christmas, etc.

The dream of keeping the magic of Christmas alive for my children by making sure it definitely looked like Santa had visited Dad's really wore me out, but Sofia's face alone was worth redoing it 100 times over.

Some (realists) say dreamers are fools. Reality tells us dreamers are creators. While realists are living in limited worlds of "how it is", determined dreamers are busy creating one new world of reality for themselves after another.

You just have to see it, what you want, to create it.

Well, the kids are still sleeping. My parents are at the hotel and won't be over for a few hours. Maybe it's time to just lay down on the couch and recharge by watching a good ol' black and white movie.

Ahhhhh, THESE times really ARE the good ol' days, and it truly IS, a WONDERFUL life.

2008-12-24

Fill The World's Stocking

Some people are filled with baloney,
and some are filled with strife.
Some are filled with fear,

while others are filled with life.

What you are filled up with,
you fill those around you with too.

So when you fill another's stocking tonight,

be sure to fill it with all the good stuff about you.

- Adam Stuart (Christmas Eve, 2008)

*Inspired after reading and commenting 2 my last post (which I usually hav no time to do, but like 2 do very much becuz of the interaction between what i felt and what the reader received....and I like the people who comment very much).

In the past, and when people meet me for the first time, not too many believe I'm really the way I am. I hear that they think I'm full of it (and the "it" not being good :-)

I don't worry about it or take it personally, because they don't know me from Adam (always makes me chuckle inside when I say that).

Even when those who do know me have criticized me, I assume they're saying it out of hurt or an absence of trust on their part. And in all reality if I were them I would say and do the exact same thing, because I would be them, with all their same experiences that have led to all the same thoughts.

But I have to say it feels good to be fearless in the my own expression, sharing thoughts and feelings for free, without trying to get anything back, and having what I do get back so very positive.

It actually gives back to me what I've given out......which I in turn give back to the world around me.

I think it was Ghandi or Emerson who said you must be the change you wish to see in the world. If you are willing to take on that responsibility, to fill yourself with all the good things you wish there was more of in the world.........then you can actually fill the world around you with more and more of the good stuff.

Enough of us do this, and the bad stuff doesn't have a chance.

(I had been invited into Sofia's reading clubhouse, and won the "Best Reader" award, beating out all of the other dolls and stuffed animals. I say to you, Who da' man?)

2008-12-23

MASSIVE Holiday SPIRIT

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising each and every time we fail."
- Confucius

I like this time of year. People are filled with that special holiday spirit...and I am certain it is this very spirit that is the key to a very special life.

You absolutely must overcome the challenges that come into your life. Each time you go after something and don't get it, you MUST keep trying, especially if it takes you becoming more in order to get what it is you're after.

From my own personal experience and the 1,000+ students I've taught, it's become clear that as you CONTINUE to try AFTER having failed in your 1st, 5th or even 50th attempt, you DO become smarter and stronger while holding firm to your dream and refusing to give up.

As you become bigger, so does your world, and the size of your world becomes the size of your spirit!

I wish all of you the most MASSIVE SPIRIT you've ever had this holiday; one that carries you all the way through the wonderful year of 2009!

2008-12-14

Creating Courageous Children

This morning Shanghai and I walked past the place where Brosden and I had been just a few mornings ago. I felt my son again, and saw him playing just like he did Thursday morning......and I thanked myself for having the courage and strength to say, "I'm sorry".

It's not about not making mistakes, but about being courageous enough to take responsibility for them once they're made.....and developing the strength to have this courage does make a WORLD of difference.

The very same day I so perfectly parented the, "Bossy Bella v. Bratty Fia" typhoon of tears, I massively mishandled something Brosden did wrong......the SAME day! I lost my cool and even had to walk away from him for a couple of hours.

I wanted to keep blaming him for my reaction, but I could still see the hurt look on his face and knew I had to own up to my part in causing that if I was going to be able to not bring the garbage of 2 hours ago into the present. After I cooled off I asked him how what I did made him feel, and he told me it scared him.

Outer strength and beauty means nothing if it doesn't translate to inner strength and inner beauty, and I apologized for being ugly and scaring him.

Then I apologized to him again in front of his sisters, stating that no matter how angry I let someone make me, I am responsible for how I react, and their brother didn't deserve my reaction.

If I love him, then I treat him lovingly even when I'm not in a loving mood.

.......and this is how relationships change, from bad to good, and from good to great.

This had happened last weekend, and on our "Dad & Son" walk Thursday before school, we felt closer than we ever had, instead of farther apart. Now we are doing even more things together.

Before we left he noticed how the trees were swaying in the breeze.

I pulled him to my side and placed my hand over his heart, and we swayed together with the rhythm of the trees. When he asked what we were doing I told him we were connecting with nature.

And I thanked myself for having the courage to say, "I'm sorry".

2008-12-13

Eating Out of the Garbage

Related to my previous post, "Our Questions Are Our Answer"; the quality of questions we ask determines the quality of answers we get back.

While I watched Sofia make breakfast and enjoy so much what she made, out of the corner of my eye I saw the trash can. I thought back to the night before when Sofia came to me crying about Bella being bossy. Bella came in frustrated and started crying about Sofia being bratty.

They both were reaching in the garbage of what the other was doing wrong and asking questions as to why the other was being so rotten, instead of asking themselves what they could be doing better.

I had to get them to open up the doors of their refrigerators and choose healthier, fresher food (questions and ideas) if they were going to make a better meal (solution). I asked them what they could do to help the other not be so rotten.

(The day before I had made them breakfast in bed. My slug, I mean son, was still sleeping)

Bella, woken up by the smells of breakfast, came down while I was remembering all this. As she sat in my lap I wanted to make sure she wasn't going to make the meal of "today" from the garbage of yesterday, and asked her what she got out of the previous night's conversation.

She said she could try and speak to Sofia in a less bossy way. Sofia said she could act less bratty.

That day ended up being a pretty good tasting day......and helped make the rest of the week good too.

When you learn how to cook for yourself you learn how to feed yourself food that tastes good to you, versus always having to accept what others feel like feeding you, good or bad, fantastic or just OK.

When you learn how to think for yourself you can feed yourself beliefs that empower you........that allow you to do what you've never done before, because you're eating "better food" or feeding yourself better thoughts..........thoughts that give you strength.

You don't have to accept or rely on what others' think of you to decide how to feel about yourself.

Bella and Sofia had hurt each other's feelings. By being honest with them, but no longer in a hurtful way, that hurt turned into healing.

Today is NOT yesterday. YOU get to decide what thoughts get fed into your head. Today is BRAND NEW.......and deserves FRESH, NEW, HEALTHY THOUGHTS.

NO MORE EATING OUT OF THE GARBAGE!

2008-12-07

The Question is The Answer

So all liquids are fruit? (making juice from concentrate) she's categorizing and classifying

Why are there bubbles on the eggs? (while making hard-boiled eggs for breakfast) - she's making observations

How do I get them out? - she's deciding which tool is best

What's the difference between scrambled eggs and hard eggs? (hard-boiled) - she's comparing and contrasting

These are all questions Sofia just asked while making breakfast together. They are proof that we are not only naturally inquisitive, but natural scientists. We don't need to teach them how to "be" scientists.

The appropriate response in not to answer her questions, but to ask her what she thinks the answers might be, and allowing her to discover through testing and reading (Let's go on the library and find out, or let's get on the internet right now. Here, what's it say under this video of "Why Eggs Boil"?)

Instead of taking her out of her natural curiosity by telling her, she is being allowed to make all sorts of connections in her brain as to the possible answers, while at the same time reading! You want to get your child or student to read? Find out what THEY want to know more about.

If you wait too long, they don't want to know about hardly anything because everything seems boring to them........because that's how everything pretty much has been presented. Either they're simply told the answer (which is boring to be told versus allowed to discover), or, they hear something like this:

I don't know.......Not now......Maybe later - at home

and

Just because.........Learn this.........Know this...........Do it this way - at school

It's no wonder why while our nation's test scores are going up our IQ s are going down. We can't think because we're not allowed to - at home or school.

When you do begin to pay attention to the questions they ask you begin to uncover what's important to them and why, as well as how their individual brain makes sense of things.

When I ask Sofia why she thinks something is, she is allowed to continue to wonder and think and develop intelligent reasoning skills v. memorizing what I or others say the answers are.

She becomes smart not by being given answers to memorize, but by being given questions to wonder about........and the time and space to wonder about them.

The questions are the answer.

We become smart not by looking for answers to memorize on how to improve our lives, but by giving ourselves permission to ask ourselves what would an improved life be to US, and giving ourselves the time and space to make it happen instead of giving up because we didn't get it right away....or the second, third, fourth or tenth time.

Maybe we're not getting it because we're not giving ourselves enough time.......And maybe we're are getting it, but it's the wrong answer, because we're asking the wrong questions.(Why can't I ever succeed? Why does this always happen to me? Why can't I trust anyone)

YUCK!

Our questions are our answer........Let's be sure to ask good ones.

2008-12-02

I LOVE

I love my self.
I love my family.
I love my students.
I love my country.
I love my world.
I love my life.

I love....my POTENTIAL

2008-11-29

Putting Zing in Your Yin Yang



I love this clip ESPN plays before their college games. The tremendous energy and great plays, especially the devastating tackles, fire me up to do the same in the game of life.

But instead of proving to another man I am tougher, smarter, stronger, etc. than him......what if I helped my fellow man tackle his limitations? What if enough of us had this attitude towards terrorism and poverty and world hunger? What if we could inspire enough people to stop creating these nasty things in their own lives?

We go back to school today, and I am looking forward to an incredibly fun day of slobber-knocking my students' current limitations and so-called disabilities to the ground. I will make sure every student achieves victory and scores at least one touchdown every day this week.

One student who can't help himself from messing with others' experiments had to be banned from all three lab areas before we left on break. His victory today will be sparked by emphasizing that he already is extremely curious, JUST LIKE A REAL SCIENTIST.

So he and I today will set up his own lab where he can plant seeds and pull up the sprouts to find out how the root system works to his heart's content.

And I bet ya that this will internally motivate him to read more to find out more answers to the positive questions that are forming inside his head more and more.

Instead of being forced to sit at his desk and ask "Why am I here? Why do I have to do this? Why am I so dumb?", he will be given a small area to move around in and allowed to ask, "How does a seed turn into a plant?", "What will happen if I pull up the sprout?", and other naturally-forming questions that EMPOWER HIM to form a hypothesis as to what the answer might be, and will WANT TO READ as he researches and experiments and WRITES down his observations. Heck, he'll even do some math as he learns how to create a chart to graph his plant's growth.

And once he does this, he'll be inspired to ask another scientific question....and have new confidence to believe HE CAN find the answer. His victory has been achieved, leading to another and another and another. All of a sudden, HE WANTS to come to school. He is EXCITED at doing more and becoming more.

HE BELIEVES IN HIMSELF.

Instead of school being one boring subject disconnected from another, he begins to see the interconnectedness of science and math and reading and writing.......and it is this experience that will enable him to see later on in life the interconnectedness between his thoughts and actions and the results he gets in life, between himself and his fellow man, between the economy and culture, and between man and nature. And his life will take on more meaning than wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed, wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed, rinse and repeat until you die.

It is exactly this system that allowed four Level 1 students last year to change their lives and no longer score at the bottom-of-the-barrel on the state tests.

Research shows that this type of real inquiry teaching makes an even bigger difference among the higher students. It is a place where "A" students learn to do something with all these facts they've stored as nothing more than surface knowledge (proving that knowledge isn't power, but the ability to use that knowledge is).

I see education as what it will be, a place where year-after-year the schools of the world unleash wave-after-wave of truly happy and courageous thinkers and problem-solvers. You take this vision and combine it with the passion and intensity you see on the football field.....and baby, it just might come true!

Because it needs to.......

“Tomorrow’s employees will be doing what robots can’t do, which means that their work will call for the exercise of sophisticated intelligence. What we now appear to need is not individuals trained for the hierarchical and mechanical workplace but individuals who can govern themselves. Tomorrow’s successful employees will have to be problem solvers, decision makers, adept negotiators, and thinkers who are at home with open-endedness, flexibility, and resourcefulness. They must be able to deal with uncertainty, complexity, the global village, the information explosion, other technologies, and many different cultures – and still maintain a set of values that foster an adequate degree of individual stability, integrity, and social harmony. It will not be enough for people to have acquired a store of nontransferable facts. They must have understood and internalized content, such as math, economics, and history, sufficiently to make it available spontaneously, appropriately, and in many different contexts.” (Making Connections, p.14)

We all need great energy if we're going to move mountains today. The mountain that needs moving is KNOWING YOU CAN WIN!

That is number one on my lesson plan today......and by God, by Buddha, and by Mohammed, my students WILL KNOW they can win, and they will achieve REAL VICTORY today!


Let's get jacked up and play it again!

NeverLand Does Exist

When I watch this movie I end up speaking to my own children in Depp's soft Scottish accent for days.



And I realize just how much I am similar to the real-life J.M. Barrie in that I too believe in a NeverLand. A place where the impossible of what we all can be, do, and have IS possible.

I am not bothered by what others think of me. I am not here to impress people with what I am, but to impress upon other people with everything they already are and everything they can become....especially children.

Children are bigger believers than adults. And it's not because they're young and foolish, unrealistic, and don't know any better. The scientific fact is that ARE realistic and THEY DO KNOW BETTER.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks because scientifically, every time one of our cells split (which happens many times every day) the new cell has more of the dominant receptors of the mother or sister cell (mitosis).

The new cell has more receptors for neuro peptides, or hormones, of empowerment or hopelessness, joy or sadness, creativity or dullness, love or hatred, intelligence or disbelief, depending on what our dominant thoughts have been prior to the mitosis.

(This video is great for understanding why even though we want to change, we often don't. Listen to how we are compared to dogs. It also explains how to change our current inability to change. It does contain some adult content.)



If you're in my class you are required to believe and to dream ....to Dream Big, Bigger than you ever have.

And you WILL Do Big, which is not just memorizing facts and formulas and getting an "A" on a test. Getting an "A" is just the beginning. Every time your cells split you will have more positive receptors than before. As this happens, you will become more powerful.

You are required to keep splitting your cells with the belief you can become unstoppable and are able to do and be more than you ever have. Last year it produced an average improvement 700 times greater than normal classes.

This year one failing student walked out of class, again....... giving up, again.......and creating failure for himself, again. When he's done this before I've spoken with him, hugged him, hollered at him, even told him I loved him.

This time when I found him crying in the stairwell I punched the railing, intending to break him out of this pattern of giving up. He stopped crying and stared at me. I asked him why he thought he keeps giving up when things get hard. He began telling me all the ways he's a victim and soon broke down crying again.

I punched the railing even harder, the rings I wear to keep my children close making an enormous banging sound on the metal. He jerked his head up and stopped crying. I told him to look at me, in my eyes, and asked him if he thought anything could stop me. He said "no". I told him he and I were one. For one year he and I were the same person. All of my strength was his. Everything I had, he had. Then I said. "Now get your butt back in class and let's change your life for good!"

And he has.

Later while eating lunch with my daughter, she told me she heard a loud banging sound and a deep voice through the walls of her classroom. She whispered, "That was you, wasn't it?" I said, "Yes. I was trying to help someone." She smiled and said, "I knew it."

For one year every student in my class will be in NeverLand, a place where there are no limits to what they can do or be. They will live in their imaginations of great possibilities and work on making what they imagine come true. After that, it's up to them to keep themselves there.

(Bella brought a bug that had been stepped on to this tree hoping it would be OK. It didn't make it, and why she had the look on her face 5 pictures above and why she's holding my arm in the 2nd picture below.)

And from what I hear when I run into former students and their parents, they ARE keeping themselves in NeverLand; in advanced classes doing very well, taking risks and challenging their fears by joining clubs and plays, and most importantly, are very happy. They are.....Forever Young



What makes me happy is not realizing that my life has meaning, but that the lives of those I've touched has meaning, GREAT MEANING. And it is an incredibly beautiful feeling, helping me when I begin to doubt and wonder if I'm a fool believing in an unrealistic world that will never be.

This "I Am Beautiful" song means we are beautiful not when we are seen as beautiful by others, or the media, or the church. We are truly beautiful when we are having the courage to be ourselves, beauty marks AND beauty warts - when we are being the person we feel we are in our hearts.....and not giving up on ourselves............

Not allowing our unique inner beauty to fade away before it is too late...........and having the strength to continue to believe in ourselves no matter what......THAT is beautiful.........and beautiful enough..........for you.

Although it's not allowed to be embedded, the link to this beautiful song and video is here, and is worth the few minutes to watch. Who knows, it could be the few minutes that change the few cells needed to change your life: Finding NeverLand - Beautiful