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Bullying & Beyond…Improve your Listening Skills!

 

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Time and the right conditions not only preserve but bring about something of beauty – Marie Clancy.

 

In my previous post…Bullying & Beyond…2.Really Listen!…I wrote about the importance of Listening.  When somebody, be it a child or an adult, is distressed as a result of bullying, just having somebody who is willing to listen to them can make a huge difference to how they feel.  Your first reaction may be to rush in and immediately solve everything but instead be patient and listen.

Here are some simple tips I found helpful,

1.Acknowledge your child’s emotional state -say that you can see how upset, angry etc., they are.

2.Remove or resist any distractions.

3.Make sure you can clearly hear what your child is saying.

4. Focus your attention and concentrate.

5. Be patient, listen to the whole story.

6. Make encouraging, agreeable sounds to show you are paying attention…’mmm,’ ‘I see,’ ‘oh right’.

7. Avoid making judgements – take time to consider before offering solutions.

8. Ask questions to clarify.

9. Keep an open mind.

10. Summarise or sum up what you heard, ‘so the main problem was’ or ‘if I understand properly you feel…’to let them know you understand exactly.

Remember to pay attention to their tone of voice and observe their body language, which can give you insights or hidden messages which they may not be able to voice.

If you agree on any particular course of action or efforts to address the issue, be sure and follow through.  Listening needs to be followed up with evidence of action, even if it’s only arranging follow-up conversations.  If you fail to follow-through, your child may get the impression that what they have confided just goes in one ear and out the other.

For any victim of bullying, building and maintaining trust is so important and this can’t happen unless you stick to your word.

I hope you find this helpful.  Please feel free to share any experience you have had which would have benefitted from active and effective listening.

Alternatively please share some effective approaches you have used. I would love to learn what worked for you.

Much love,

Mindfully Marie xx

 

Bullying & Beyond… Whose expectations?

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Time and the right conditions not only preserve but bring about something of beauty – Marie Clancy.

 

Have you ever expected or wished for the easy path?  I know I have on many occasions!

 

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The Path of Life or The Easy Path at The Japanese Garden, Irish National Stud, Kildare and in life!

 

Life is easy if as a parent/teacher your children/students excel at sport, are the high achievers, are highly academic or simply, functioning!

But that’s not always reality and as a parent or teacher you’ve noticed your child/student disengage and opt out of school and fail exams. Your dreams and expectations are fading in front of your eyes.  You’re upset, disappointed maybe even embarrassed.

Your child/student ‘should’ be independent, ‘should’ be academic, ‘should’ be functioning… but they’re not!

They’ve just ruined all your well laid plans and you feel bad!  Now, spare a thought for how bad your child/student feels and that’s before you opened your mouth and added insult to injury.

So now what?

Well now is the perfect time to review YOUR expectations!

If your child/student had just been diagnosed with a major heart complaint, what expectations would you have?  I bet you’d focus on what they can still achieve.  You’d admire them for getting out of bed.  You’d be pleased they pushed through their health limitations and managed to attend school!

So please, also take mental health into consideration and revisit YOUR expectations .  The verbal and non-verbal messages you give your child/student, can be life-defeating when they struggle with mental health issues, bullying or what may even seems like an uncomplicated adolescence.

So if your child/student manages to turn back in for class…

1. Start by acknowledging that there is some issue.

2. Next acknowledge the fact that your child/student is in attendance TODAY.

3. Note the possibility they may not make the grade… but look for the bigger picture.

4. Practice unconditional, non-judgemental love and see the effort they are making, no matter how small.

5.  Acknowledge their presence.

6.  Recognise their engagement. Tell them you see that they have pushed through their health limitations to attend school and mix with their peers rather than self-isolating themselves in their bedroom!

Now you’ve realigned YOUR expectations!  Now you’re telling them they are good enough, exactly as they are!

This approach will help your child/student learn to accept themselves as good enough.  They may even let themselves feel happy!  This very powerful feeling is addictive and soon they will want more.  They will, in their own time, step into the driving seat and begin to empower themselves.

As a parent/teacher, try to understand, what is run of the mill and easy for one child/student, can be very challenging for another child/student.  Placing value on their efforts not their achievements can be a game changer.  (If you can see no effort, review your expectations again.  Maybe just breathing and staying alive is taking all their effort). Love them even more, they need it more!

Watch them as they engage with life on their terms, at the level they are able for, at this precise moment.  Now you’re encouraging them to pass the more important and real test – the test that is not the easy path but the path of life!

Have you ever had your expectations dashed?  Have you realigned your expectations and seen your child/student flourish?

Le grà,

Mindfully Marie xx

 

 

 

Hello from Ireland!

Hello Norway,

Welcome on board! And thank you…

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Welcome to Create Space http://www.ree-creates.com

 

Actually, I’d like to take a minute or two to thank everybody!

I won’t start naming Countries or individual names because you know I mean you, and all because you stopped in to visit and share such kind and encouraging words this past week, since Andy joined our family.

The thing is you will never know how much of a difference your words have made to both myself and Emma!

And of course to Andy…as you can see he’s under so much pressure!

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I don’t know what we’d do without those frequent “dog-naps!”

 

Emma has just started an Instagram account and she would love you to visit her and Andy @reallyhandyandy where she will document and share their journey towards improved mental health and where she hopes to fulfill her dream and goal of paving the way towards the availability of Psychiatric Service Dogs in Ireland.

This post explains in more detail… Bullying & Beyond… 10.Painting the Pain, part two.

Do you have a dog or other amazing pet? What difference does your pet make to your life? Have you heard of Psychiatric Service Dogs?

With heartfelt wishes,

Le grà,

Mindfully Marie xx

Keep trying… Disconnect…reconnect Sunday.

I find it hard to believe that it’s been three months since I published this post,

Disconnect…reconnect Sunday

In that post I tried to set myself a goal of taking time away from technology on Sundays.  I have to admit that it hasn’t been easy!  I’ve had some successful Sundays and some not so successful ones!  But that’s ok because in my world, it’s about the sustained effort, not the outcome.  I keep trying and that’s the main thing!

I’m popping my phone aside again today and I’m going to make rhubarb and apple tart for my extended family.

Then I’m off to The Clancy Festival, read a little about it here https://clancybrothersfestival.com/

I’m going to connect face to face, in real-time, with like-minded writers and artists in

Art with Voices, check it out here,
https://clancybrothersfestivalarttrail.wordpress.com/installations/art-with-voices/

Don’t worry, I’ll fill you in…

Ps…the tarts are made (vegan & non-vegan).

Much love,

Marie xx

Remember to Forget…

Remembering to forget is probably one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

Whether it is that you need to…

Forget that they weren’t there for you,

Forget that they didn’t understand,

Forget that the system failed you,

Forget that they told you that you needed to be more resilient,

Or

Forget that they didn’t think before they spoke unhelpful words…

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Emma’s little piece of handiwork, a new-found talent. Being lost in flow is a great way to forget about having to remember to forget!

 

Just know that you were good enough as you were and that likewise it was also the best they had to give at that time.

Accept the situation as it was and look deep inside to adapt and improve yourself.  Don’t live on your expectations of them…

Enhance your now…remember to forget.

Just forget!

Much love,

Marie xx

Daily Prompt: Snippets of Love & Laughter!!

via Daily Prompt: Laughter

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Laughter is an amazing thing…image-0-02-01-0b40d48e98d4439ddc336804fe9f7d38c5ddd33b449a4b1f2d62bcf9fe2d17dd-V amazing that it’s in short supply!

 

Older generations had a lot less… but a lot more laughter!

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Set yourself a new goal…not monetary, not commodity… but to fill your life with love & laughter!

Much love & laughter!

Marie xx

 

Sing your ‘Song’!

via Daily Prompt: Song

I’m always amazed by the talent and creativity of song writers.  They have the ability to lift our spirits and transport us to the most amazing and far away places without leaving the confines of our kitchen or car.  Their lyrics tell inspiring stories that teach us a wide variety of lessons.

Bloggers also have the power to lift others with their words.  When we write from our hearts we can say something that speaks to others.  It can resonate with what somebody is experiencing at that very moment.  When we take a few moments to comment on someone’s blog, to compliment a wonderful post or share words of encouragement we can have a positive impact on somebody else’s life. I believe we can provide the motivation somebody needed just at that very moment. Maybe it can be the song their heart needed to hear!

I know one thing for sure, your comments and feedback often makes my heart sing… such as,

“That’s an amazing story! Inspiring!”

…thank you Proftombot

@ https://broadspectrum.life

Or

“You know what I think Marie? I am glad you are in the club, because not only can you share what you love, but you embody love and kindness, which might pass to one person. Hugs my friend.”

…thank you Donna @ https://windkisses.com

Or

Marie, I love how you write “My illness does not define me as a person.” So powerful. And empowering! The way you share your challenges, gives me perspective about my own. You are teaching us all. And for that, I will always be grateful. (This is who you are! A teacher. A writer. A muse.) Andrea xo

…thank you Dr.Andrea Dinardo, Thriving Under Pressure

@ https://drandreadinardo.com

Or

I’ve also found that blogging has boosted my confidence in my writing ability, and connected me to other terrific writers! Thanks for this post, I think it spoke to many of us!

..thank you Ann Coleman

@ muddlingthroughmymiddleage.com

And to all of you who take time to read, like and share encouraging comments…thank you!

And above all continue to sing your song among the blogging community and beyond!

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Much love,

Marie xx

‘The best gifts we have to give…’

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A life changing book.

 

I now know what I did not know back then, back in the summer of 2016, when I first tentatively decided to put my thoughts and words out there by creating a blog; I now know that I was looking for something more in my life, I was searching for a sense of purpose, I was unfulfilled and lonely.

Starting my blog, Create Space, has made a difference to my life.  Being part of our online community, reading other blogs and sharing some of my writing whether from the daily prompt or other random ideas has helped me to find my voice; a voice that I now know was silenced because of the bullying endured by both our children.  Blogging has helped rebuild my confidence while also building my writing practice.  It has helped me realise, thanks to all the bloggers I’ve connected with in the comments section, that all of us have so much to offer each other!

Over the next few posts I would like to share quotes and writing tips from one of the most influential and informative books on writing that I have read, that book is…

 ‘Writing Alone and with others.’

Pat Schneider says,

‘We are all connected to one another and to the mystery at the heart of the universe through our strange and marvelous ability to create words.  When we write, we create, and when we offer our creation to one another, we close the wounds of loneliness and may participate in healing the broken world.  Our words, our truth, our imagining, our dreaming, may be the best gifts we have to give.’

If you are looking for something more in your life, searching for a sense of purpose, feeling unfulfilled and lonely then reach out, blog, share the best gifts you have to give and connect with others!

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Pg. Xvii, Pat Schneider said…’If I were this book’s reader, I would write in the margins, underline what I liked, and argue with the author where I disagree. I’d mark favourite exercises with a star, so I could find them again…’ Well I guess I did exactly as Pat suggested to my well read book!

Much love,

Marie xx

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Prompt: Betrayed by Self?

via Daily Prompt: Betrayed

Betrayed…To show (something, such as a feeling or desire) without wanting or trying to.

Have you ever felt betrayed?
How many times have you felt betrayed?…
not by others…but by yourself?

How can you tell if you’ve betrayed yourself?

Have you ever dismissed how you look?
Have you ever denied yourself rest?
Have you ever trashed your writing?
Have you ever compared yourself to others?
Have you ever believed your negative self-talk?

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Look deep into your soul…identify examples of self-betrayal

Well now that you’ve thought about it and gathered some evidence, pause and examine your self-betrayal!

You don’t deserve to be mistreated, you deserve respect and to get it from others you have to get it from yourself first!

Stand up to your inner bully…
reveal, uncover, expose and “embrace the infinity that is your true self!” (thanks TheBlackHobbit, https://theblackhobbit.wordpress.com for your excellent comment.)

Much love,

Marie xx

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