Awesomeness Blog: I’m Thankful For…My Breath!…by Tracy Bryan

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shutterstock_94681153            Thanksgiving is now over and Christmas is just around the corner! Sometimes it feels like the days go whipping by and I want to just stop, breathe and take a moment to notice what is going on around me.shutterstock_42169441

It’s always a good time to pay attention to all the wonderful people, animals, nature, and places that are in the world. Even just to stop and become aware of our breathing, every once in a while, helps us to feel good!shutterstock_195617927

It’s amazing how much we forget to focus on our breathing. We breathe every second of every day, but breathing is something we forget to FEEL in our body, as we’re doing it- our body just breathes by itself. When was the last time you stopped and took a deep breath in and out slowly and continued to do this for a few minutes? I’m going to do it right now…

Ahhh…that does feel so much better! My body is calmer, my head is clearer and I feel like I can face anything!

 

Most people forget to practice their breathing because their bodies just do it automatically- as humans, we don’t NEED to control our breathing. Imagine how awesome you’d be if you did control your breathing! Well…YOU CAN!shutterstock_7790236

You can’t stop breathing and then start again whenever you want. We have to breathe non-stop to stay alive! But…if you practice enough, you can control HOW you breathe and use this breath to control your feelings! Yep, pretty awesome huh? YES, YOU ARE! I am too!

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It’s okay to remind ourselves of this-in fact, we really don’t remind ourselves how awesome we are enough! It’s silly how most people grow up with the idea that it’s not right to say that you love yourself…it IS totally okay to do this! It’s absolutely okay and necessary to remind yourself that you are a good person, you are beautiful (on the inside and out) and that YOU being in the world… makes it a better place!

I try to remind myself of this as much as I can. I mean, I don’t brag about myself to others and think I’m better than everyone else. What I try to do is wake up every day, look in the mirror and remind myself that I matter, I am loved (at least by me) and I also try to share this love with those around me. I try to be kind, compassionate and fair. This means not judging other people about what they do and say. Even though this can be really difficult sometimes, I try to quiet my mind chatter and just feel kindness and compassion for everyone that I interact with throughout my day.shutterstock_289467146

The most important part of all this is taking some time for myself to just “be”. Besides, eating, drinking and sleeping, most days, I spend time with my family, walk, do yoga, read, watch a favorite movie, play with my dogs, meditate and of course, write. All of these activities give me a purpose in my life, allow me to relax, and fill me with happiness.

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I also remind myself daily of how much I’m loved, and most of all, I try to notice my breath. I take the time each day to pay attention to my breathing. If it’s a little shaky, I know I have to calm down and try to breathe deeply through these difficult feelings in my body. If my breath is too slow or fast, I know I need to take a rest. Like, when I’m finished a long walk, I try to rest awhile afterward. During this time, I always sit and remember how great my life is-even on the not so great days.

I think I’m going to go practice my breathing right now. Why don’t you try too! If it helps, close your eyes and imagine how you are going to feel Christmas morning…hopefully, these feelings are filled with lots of happiness and love for yourself and the people you love!shutterstock_63713899

                                                                     Happy Breathing…Trace

 

 

frf                  Hi, I’m Tracy Bryan…

I’m a self-published author for kids aged 4-12. I write whimsical picture books about emotions, self-esteem, values, and mindfulness. I also like to write about social issues and other important topics that affect kids and their families. If there is something that you would like to know more about and you wish there was a book about it, email at the address below.

I live in Central Florida (near Disney World) with my family-my husband, son and two dogs named Jack and Rusty. I also have a daughter who lives in Canada with her boyfriend (who is also like a son to me). If you want to learn more about me, read the blog just below this one. There’s pictures too!

You can visit my website by clicking on any heading at the menu above. This will redirect you to tracybryan.com. You can also email me at tracy@tracybryan.com. Hope to hear from you and look forward to blogging and reading with you!

A Bit About Me…by Author Tracy

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Welcome to the first official post for The Awesomeness Blog (For Kids Only!)…

 

shutterstock_201568913  What is a blog, anyways? It’s really kind of a silly word, but basically a blog is a regular entry or post from a writer (ME) on a website. A blog is written for a specific group of people/readers (YOU). To make it not sound so silly, let’s just call it a post. So, why would I want to write a regular post to you? Mostly, just for fun and also to keep you updated on my new books for you to read. Hopefully, as time passes, you’ll look forward to checking my website for new posts, from me to you!

Since this is the first post, I thought I might tell you a little bit about me… 

…Author Tracy Bryan!frf

 

 

 

I live in central Florida with my husband Adam. 2015-04-05 12.53.32

and our son Jordan.IMG_5265 

 

We have two dogs in our family named Jack and Rusty.

They are Jack Russell Terriers and love to eat treats and bones.2015-08-23 12.55.05

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We live in kind of a unique community-it’s actually an airport too, with a runway. Most of the homes have hangars beside them, so people can fly their airplane into the community and park it right beside their house! That’s what my family does. Cool, right?

 

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Adam (my husband) is a pilot and we fly our airplane all over the United States and Canada.

 

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We visit Toronto, Canada a lot because my daughter, Jade, lives there. This is Jade with her boyfriend Salim. Salim is part of our family too. 

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Here’s me and Jade on her apartment rooftop patio. She made a Surprise Birthday Tea Party for me that visit!   

 

 

 

 

 

 

At home, I have a desk in the kitchen and this is where I do most of my writing.

Here’s Rusty sitting on my desk! 2014-02-26 08.34.29 Hi Rusty!

I also have a pink studio where I like to do yoga and make miniature faerie gardens.

Jack and Rusty have beds in all of the rooms in my house because they like to follow me around wherever I go. This is Jack looking up at me when I took his picture.

Hi Jack! 2012-03-15 20.28.25

We get around our community on our golf cart (because it’s such a big place) and we walk everywhere. Twice a day we go for walks to Eagle Lake. It’s really a small pond, with a path that goes all the way around it.2014-02-09 16.25.10 I wrote a book about it called The Sharing Pond.    

*You can read this book if you click on Tracy’s Bookshelf in the main menu of my website. Scroll all the way down, until you see the heading Nature & Wildlife Books. Click on that and it will direct you to this page. Scroll down to the bottom and The Sharing Pond is the last book in this catalogue.

Click on the book cover to preview the book.the sharing pond

 

 

shutterstock_251090083When I’m not writing books, feeding, walking or snuggling with my dogs or doing crafts and yoga, I like to spend time with my family.2015-08-24 14.04.45

 

 

 

This is all of us on vacation. We had an old-fashioned picture taken of us where we had to dress up in vintage clothes!

 

A lot of the books I have written have been inspired and about my family. My kids, who are grown up now, both had pretty typical childhoods. They did have some difficulties though, just like every kid and adult. When I think up ideas for my books, I try to remember about my own childhood difficulties and those of my kids. There are so many issues that everyone has to face and hopefully overcome in their life. I hope to make your life just a little bit easier for you by providing information and tips for you in my books. So, the best thing that I can tell you is…thank you for reading my books and KEEP READING! 

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Now, if you want to tell me a little bit about YOU, write me an email at tracy@tracybryan.com or leave a comment below this post anytime.

I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can! Take Care, Trace:)2014-07-29 16.11.09

                                  (This is me in our airplane in the co-pilot’s seat!)

Coping Faster Than A Speeding Bullet! by Tracy Bryan

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If I had to choose a super power that I could have, it would definitely be SUPER COPING SKILLS!

shutterstock_211501525Sure, flying or having x-ray vision may be pretty cool. If I needed to get somewhere fast or look at something from far away, these might be great. However, the ability to cope in any situation would be pure magic!

 

 

Every human gets into situations where they feel they may not be able to cope. There are so many times in everybody’s life when they interact with something or someone in someplace, that they feel they just can’t deal with. shutterstock_208757590

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the times that I would use my super power. I would confront the situation, ready for battle and I’d get through it unscathed.shutterstock_115465735

If I had an IT problem because my device was acting up and I was frustrated? Super Coping Skills to the rescue…I’d stop, breathe, notice my feelings and respond calmly. Problem fixed! Or, if a person cut me off while I was driving and it upset me? Super coping skills to the rescue…Again, I’d stop, breathe, notice my feelings and respond calmly.

                                                               

                                  Pure mindful magic!shutterstock_86882638

 

shutterstock_255336910Many of the kid’s books I write are about coping skills through mindfulness. Based on my own experiences, those of my children and from the extensive research I’ve done on these topics, no one person can have too many skills in coping with their life. Usually, we hope to gain a lot of our abilities to cope during our childhood. From our parents, siblings, friends and teachers, we gather little tidbits on how to deal with most of life’s situations.

 

“Humans are born with instinctive coping IMPULSES, but we have to learn coping SKILLS.”(1) shutterstock_156696101

 

The basics of coping skills we obtain from observing those around us, trial and error, education and other forms of social conditioning. As we grow, we hope to develop even more skills, as our life becomes more complicated, busy and stressful. Eventually, towards the end of our life, we have it all figured out and have mastered the art of coping, right?shutterstock_90453484

Who knows! What we do know is that a child, if taught a proper set of coping skills early on, can use the basis of these skills, throughout their life to manage just about anything!

 

Our ability to effectively cope with challenges and upsets requires learning and practicing these skills, so they can become everyday coping tools. Just learning about these principles is not enough. Coping skills become stronger the more we use them to overcome challenging experiences.(2)shutterstock_100012277

 

So, essentially, our coping skills improve and become stronger if we use them everyday to overcome stressful situations. We all have stress in our every day and some of us deal with it more effectively than others. We all want to get through these situations no matter what though, so why wouldn’t we practice using our coping tools, so they’ll be sharp when we need them? More importantly, why wouldn’t we want every kid to have a chance at learning the necessary skills, so they can cope and continue to deal better and better in every situation they face too?shutterstock_136885256

 

Coping is a necessary tool in our lives. If we are unable to cope, this causes problems with our brain and the healthy functioning of our entire body. More coping skills should be taught in schools, don’t you think? We only have one brain and I’m going to strengthen mine by focusing on learning more effective ways to cope in everyday situations. I don’t have to be a super hero, but this skill is far more valuable to me instead of wasting that space in my brain with irrelevant subjects like…algebra and geometry! Yuck!shutterstock_305406038

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Tracy Bryan is a self-published author for kids aged 2-11. She writes whimsical picture books about emotions, self-esteem, values and coping skills. Tracy also likes to tackle social issues and speak directly to her readers about important topics that affect everyone.

Tracy lives in Central Florida with her family and two dogs Jack and Rusty! Please visit Tracy’s website tracybryan.com or email her at tracy@tracybryan.com

 

(1 & 2) Adapted from copingskills4kids.net

 

Look Mom…No Hands! written by Tracy Bryan

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shutterstock_65556871I received two literary awards recently. I feel honored and surprisingly pleased at this acknowledgement from my colleagues, for all the hard work I’ve done. Validation is so essential to all of us, regardless of how old we are.

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From the gold star I received back in elementary school, to the time I rode my bike without training wheels, and then later when I did a back flip off the diving board. These are all times in my childhood when I needed validation for something I had achieved. It was thrilling to receive praise for my accomplishments and this praise left me with a feeling of pride for what I’d done. We all need these little reminders from other people as a child, a teenager and all throughout our life. 

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The independent mental health social network source I frequently use, called Psych Central, defines Validation as; the recognition and acceptance of another person’s internal experience as being valid. Self-validation is the recognition and acknowledgement of your own internal experience.

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Before anyone else, it’s a parent’s responsibility to introduce and instill the concept of validation within their child and to inspire the development of self-validation inside their child. Both of these attributes received and acquired by the child, give them an opportunity to be understood by others and to understand themselves.shutterstock_129995633

 

 

shutterstock_70171102Validation and a child’s own self-validation also gives them a chance to recognize their behaviors and it establishes a foundation to help them regulate their emotions related to these behaviors. These are fundamental skills all people need in order to successfully live and feel a connection with other people. 

shutterstock_78394249Above all, validation helps us feel accepted and important. Everybody needs to feel part of some kind of a group (family, friends, work and/or public organization). Connection within a certain group is a constant reminder that we fit in and are part of something.

shutterstock_32848684Getting recognition for our work and successes is part of this and without recognition, we would have no motivation to succeed further or achieve more. Without self-validation, we would lack the necessary emotions it takes to prevail in everyday life because we wouldn’t feel worthy or capable of this.

 

shutterstock_218767141Feeling worthy and full of purpose is really one of the primary achievements most people hope to accomplish in their life. It’s amazing how essential the simple acts of praising someone or simply letting them know that they did good can also increase their value in this world!

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I say try it with someone you love or even a stranger. Try to do it everyday if you can and keep in mind that everyone needs to remember that childhood feeling of being validated by someone they care about.

 

Close your eyes and imagine a time when someone watched you ride your bike without training wheels. Remember that feeling you got when receiving their smile of validation? Maybe you even yelled, “Look mom. No hands!”

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shutterstock_96453209Tracy Bryan is a self-published author for kids aged 2-11. She writes whimsical picture books about emotions, self-esteem, values and coping skills. Tracy also likes to tackle social issues and speak directly to her readers about important topics that affect everyone.

Tracy lives in Central Florida with her family and two dogs Jack and Rusty! Please visit Tracy’s website tracybryan.com or email her at tracy@tracybryan.com

 

*Definition Adapted from: blogs.psychcentral.com/emotionally-sensitive/

 

ANTI-BULLYING MONTH

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October is National Bullying Prevention Month 

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Every October, schools and organizations across the country join STOMP Out Bullying™ in observing National Bullying Prevention Month. The goal: encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children of all ages.          

(from stompoutbullying.org)

Scroll Down to view essential ANTI-BULLYING LINKS!

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To contribute to the Anti-Bullying Movement, I have created several books on this topic.

All my books are available in softcover and kindle format from Amazon and hardcover from Blurb. 

 

 

CLICK ON BOOK COVER TO PREVIEWdreamstime_xl_19524309

Ages 5-8

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There are people in the world who make us feel good about ourselves… but then there are also people who go out of their way to make another person feel hurt, afraid or uncomfortable. These are the BULLIES of the world! Have you ever had someone bully you? What did you do? Have you ever bullied yourself? Learn what’s really important underneath it all about yourself and other people…and start to STAND BOLDLY and SHINE BRIGHTLY!

READ REVIEW

Stand Boldly & Shine Brightly! A Kid’s Guide To Facing Bullies- Softcover

Stand Boldly & Shine Brightly! A Kid’s Guide To Facing Bullies- Hardcover

Stand Boldly & Shine Brightly! A Kid’s Guide To Facing Bullies- Kindle Format

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   Ages 8-11

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What is a CYBERBULLY? Have you ever been cyberbullied? Learn what a Cyberbully is, why they cyberbully and what happens to them if they get caught. Discover how to prevent cyberbullying and… UNPLUG THE CYBERBULLY!

Cyberbully Unplugged! Preventing Online Bullies-Softcover

Cyberbully Unplugged! Preventing Online Bullies-Hardcover

Cyberbully Unplugged! Preventing Online Bullies-Kindle Version

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ONLINE PREDATORS are lurking in chat rooms and other social media sites. Find out WHO they are, WHAT they do and WHY they do what they do. Help prevent an Online Predator from reaching you and your friends and say… BACK OFF CYBER CREEP!

Back Off Cyber Creep! Preventing Online Predators-Softcover

Back Off Cyber Creep! Preventing Online Predators-Hardcover

Back Off Cyber Creep! Preventing Online Predators-Kindle Version     

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CLICK ON STORE ICONS ABOVE TO BE DIRECTED TO TRACY’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE & HARDCOVER ONLY BLURB BOOKSTORE

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Essential Anti-Bullying Links

 

****FOR KIDS****
kidzworld.com/advice
pacerkidsagainstbullying.org
pbskids.org
stopbullying.gov/kids

 

For Parents

familysafecomputers.org                 dreamstime_xl_35879030                    

fbi.gov

governing.com

internetsafety101.org
netsmartz.org
nobullying.com

pacer.org/bullying

safekids.com

stompoutbullying.org

stopbullying.gov

unh.edu/ccrc/internet-crimes/safety_ed.html
virtualglobaltaskforce.com

wiredsafety.org

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shutterstock_250766686Tracy Bryan is a self-published author for kids aged 2-12. She writes whimsical picture books about emotions, self-esteem, coping skills and mental illness. Tracy is currently working on a series of inspiring books for kids about mindfulness, a chapter book about ADHD and an educational series about addiction. Tracy lives in Central Florida with her family and two dogs Jack and Rusty! Please visit Tracy’s website tracybryan.com or email her at tracy@tracybryan.com

 

 

 

Take Two Tablets Every Six Hours For Life Pain…written by Tracy Bryan

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shutterstock_275787230The past few weeks I’ve been focused on a spotlight topic I’m featuring on my website –addiction and children. I’ve done a lot of research on this topic and wrote four books about it for kids. What have I learned? Aside from the colossal amount of information about addiction, people still continue to abuse substances and get addictions, to the drug of their choice, as they search for comfort and a way to feel better. Better from what? Anything uncomfortable.shutterstock_29548753

No judgment here! I am the first one to turn to the nearest source of relief from the day to day grind. Relief from pain, discomfort and emotional turmoil. shutterstock_182377055You know, life.

A day in the life of the average person can be pretty stressful and even depressing sometimes. Even if we look at the glass half full, some days can still be quite challenging.  

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We try not to burden kids with this stuff though. If we told them our adult woes, they wouldn’t want to grow up! Why would they want to inherit the anxiety, grief and pressure of their elders? We’re not fooling them though, by not telling them-they know. They have their own degree of these emotions too. We are all humans-they are just littler ones. In fact, kids these days seem to be even more aware to the stress of everyday life. Technologically, Socially and  Economically.shutterstock_282033368

Besides, they can see stress on our faces. They can see it in our behavior and they can feel it when we are around them, feeling our pain. So no, we can’t hide it from them, they know adulthood brings more stress and pain in life, and eventually they too will need to go through it. They know this!

 What we can do, is prepare them. Give them tools they can use to confront the difficulties of adult life. They can start now and practice using these tools to be more aware of their challenges. To deal and overcome them, so they can focus on more productive pursuits towards happiness within and around themselves.shutterstock_230760523

 

How do we give them the tools necessary to confront pain?

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Educate them. Even if that means educating ourselves first to gain knowledge of proper coping skills.

shutterstock_274618856Inspire and Show them. Be great examples to these kids so they can witness how to cope with the un-pleasurable surprises life throws at us.

Empower them. Make sure to reinforce how proud we are of them when they overcome their own obstacles.

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Finally, Remind them how all pain, in whatever form, is worth it. It’s worth going through the pain to get the feeling of pleasure that soon follows after. It’s worth confronting pain head on, in a mindful way, deep within ourselves, because we know we can.

For the most part, remind them and ourselves daily that quick fixes and pain relievers, that are so readily available for our use, may be the easiest release from our pain, but not necessarily the best way.

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The best way is found…well, that’s up to each of us to find within ourselves.      

shutterstock_124940081Tracy Bryan is a self-published author for kids aged 2-11. She writes whimsical picture books about emotions, self-esteem, values and coping skills. Tracy also likes to tackle social issues and speak directly to her readers about important topics that affect everyone. Tracy lives in Central Florida with her family and two dogs Jack and Rusty!

Please visit Tracy’s website tracybryan.com or email her at tracy@tracybryan.com

Protected: Finding Hope… written by Tracy Bryan

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Protected: Noticing Myself… written by Tracy Bryan

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Take A Breath, Smile & Pass It On…written by Tracy Bryan

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shutterstock_54416050It’s Labor Day Weekend in the United States, US Virgin Islands, Canada, Bermuda and Puerto Rico this weekend. While most of these nations will be barbecuing, partying and enjoying their last days of summer, hopefully they’ll also be remembering to stop and feel grateful for this holiday.

shutterstock_6677980With all the negative current news about same-sex marriage ruling backlashes, European refugee and migrant crises, LGBTQI community hate crimes, political candidate grandstanding, escalating childhood obesity and so on and so on…it’s exhausting and all this negative news can bring us down… sometimes we forget what the heck we are working for!

shutterstock_128678312We’ve worked hard to get where we are. We have so far to go still, but we’ve made progress. Time for a holiday. It’s time to catch our breath, take another deep breath in and smile. What is there to smile about?

DO WE NEED A REASON TO SMILE?

Yes we do. Okay here goes…

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Smile for… Equality

Sweden approving same sex marriage legislation and South Africa becoming the fifth nation to sanction gay marriage, after the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Canada. In 1960, interracial marriage was still illegal in 31 US states out of 50. What?

 

Smile for… Familyshutterstock_288508532

CEO Helps 3 Moms See Hero Sons Honored in Paris, Lends His Jet. Three American heroes were scheduled to receive the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award, last Monday. Their moms were invited to the ceremony, but had no way to get to Paris on time.

And for animal activism…Rare Sumatran Rhino From US Zoo Moves to Asia to Save His Species… and Therapy Wolves Become Guides for Troubled Teens.

 

shutterstock_101375866Smile for… Health & Wellness

An unprecedented expansion of trans-inclusive protections, the Obama administration proposed a new federal rule to ensure trans-inclusive health care. Also, adding to much gay pride worldwide, the Great New York State Fair celebrates first-ever LGBT Pride Day.

 

Smile for… Saving the Planet (instead of trying to run it)

Paris will go a day without motorized traffic, giving the city over to pedestrians and bikers. Free of traffic congestion, noise pollution and vehicle emissions, the Day Without Cars will transform the physical and auditory landscape, enabling views and revealing ambient sounds. And in other news that holds this world together… Homeless people planted a massive organic garden to provide food for an entire shelter. shutterstock_235032418

 

shutterstock_283669454Smile for… Kids

Recent studies show that the rates of obesity among young children ages 2-5 years has declined in the last decade, while another study found that obesity is declining in low-income preschoolers in 19 states. These results suggest that we are making progress in our efforts to improve the health of our next generation!

 

Many reasons to smile. Now let’s go enjoy our time off-we’ve worked hard for it!

And… Remember to take a deep breath, smile and pass it onshutterstock_88265581

 

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

“laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” (In from a letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1810)
 shutterstock_103611593Tracy Bryan is a self-published author for kids aged 2-11. She writes whimsical picture books about emotions, self-esteem, values and coping skills. Tracy also likes to tackle social issues and speak directly to her readers about important topics that affect everyone. Tracy lives in Central Florida with her family and two dogs Jack and Rusty! Please visit Tracy’s website tracybryan.com or email her at tracy@tracybryan.com

 shutterstock_79106035Thank you to the following websites that were uses as resources for this post. News stories courtesy of goodnewsnetwork.org, sunnyskyz.com, lgbtqnation.com, huffingtonpost.com, blogs.usda.gov, glaad.org

 

A bit of Labor Day history…

shutterstock_213493150European…History has a lot to teach us about the roots of our radicalism. When we remember that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day; if we acknowledge that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend; when we recall 8-year old victims of industrial accidents who marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labor only to be beat down by the police and company thugs, we understand that our current condition cannot be taken for granted – people fought for the rights and dignities we enjoy today, and there is still a lot more to fight for. The sacrifices of so many people can not be forgotten or we’ll end up fighting for those same gains all over again. This is why Europe  celebrates May Day. (iww.org)

United States…Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events. (History.com)

Canada…While most Americans likely consider Labor Day a uniquely American experience, but in all reality, American Labor Day has its origins in Canada. Stemming from 1870’s labor disputes in Toronto, in 1872 a parade was held in support of a strike against the (ready for this?) 58 hour workweek. As a result, 24 union leaders who were responsible for organizing the event and were arrested under anti-union laws. (huffingtonpost.com)

Internationally… The Labor Day holiday, or Labour Day, is celebrated in the United States and countries such as US Virgin Islands, Canada, Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Australia at different times of the year than most of the world. May 1 is a national holiday many European countries including (but not exclusive to): Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.  It is also celebrated in countries in Central America, such as Costa Rica and Panama, and in some parts of the Caribbean, including Cuba. It is also a national holiday in Mexico. In South America, it is observed in countries such as: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. May 1 is also a national holiday in the Russian Federation and Asian countries such as China, Thailand, and Vietnam. (timeanddate.com)

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Why So Sensitive?  written by Tracy Bryan

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As a writer, I’m constantly browsing the internet and other sources to find information about different topics. I try to research the who, what, why, when and how of a diverse range of subjects and I apply this material to my books. Being a children’s author, I need to take the information I find and filter it through my writing in a way that kids will understand- challenging, but also very therapeutic. It’s a great process, not only do I educate myself, but I also get to create something that will educate and hopefully inspire children and adults.   shutterstock_250898245

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of research on the topic of Sensory Processing Sensitivity. This is a fairly current and mainstream school of thought about an innate personality trait condition. Quite a mouthful for such a simple attribute. Or is it so simple? As described by the renowned founder of this condition, Psychotherapist Dr. Elaine Aron; “A Highly Sensitive Person or HSP is someone that is born with a nervous system that is highly aware and quick to react to everything. HSPs are incredibly responsive to the people and situations they experience.” So basically, HSPs feel more deeply, have more awareness with their five (and sometimes even six) senses and react more intensely to their surroundings.

Boy, can I totally relate to this! shutterstock_133248710

 

 

 

 

Some history of this research shows that Dr. Aron first began studying this personality trait in people in the 1990’s. Backed by extensive field studies (1) and her own medical practice, Dr. Aron continued to document the results of these studies and wrote the groundbreaking novel called ‘The Highly Sensitive Person’. (2) A breakthrough, because as studies report “…even though almost no thought had been given to a general trait of sensitivity prior to 1997, it would be present in some way within the vast amount of high-quality research on human personality and temperament that has accumulated for decades.” (3)

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shutterstock_113651569The earliest research before 1997 suggests that many doctors tried to find a link between how certain people formed a “introversion” to the stimulus in their environments when interacting with it. Prominent Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung, who founded analytical psychology, actually seemed to have come the closest to describing a central role of sensitivity in introversion. (4) A quote by him of his findings sums it up better as to what he found; “A certain innate sensitiveness produces a special prehistory, a special way of experiencing infantile events, which in their turn are not without influence on the development of the child’s view of the world. Events bound up with powerful impressions can never pass off without leaving some trace on sensitive people. Some of them remain effective throughout life, and such events can have a determining influence on a person’s whole mental development. (5) In a few words, Carl Jung would describe a highly sensitive person (HSP) as someone who has high sensory processing and an “innate sensitiveness.” (6)shutterstock_115941898

In the current medical community, National Institutes of Health documents that; “Theory and research suggest that sensory processing sensitivity (SPS), found in roughly 20% of humans and over 100 other species, is a trait associated with greater sensitivity and responsiveness to the environment and to social stimuli.” (7)shutterstock_227760100 shutterstock_124425262

 

 

 

 

This greater responsiveness to other people and situations causes HSPs to be more empathetic and compassionate, but also more prone to crying and they find it more difficult to make decisions. So…are you feeling a little more sensitive towards people with this condition? Feel like you can relate to this personality trait description? Take the test hereshutterstock_262849058

 

People are a complicated species, yet humans can be so primal, not unlike their animal friends. There are millions of reasons why we behave a certain way in certain situations. Some people may be more sensitive to these situations and some may not. Next time your trying to understand why a person acts the way they do, consider that they may just be feeling a little sensitive…and that’s a good thing!

 

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logo_header_SensitiveTheMovie-tmClick here to watch the trailer for Sensitive!

(A PBS movie about High Sensitivity)

 

shutterstock_69053353Tracy Bryan is a self-published author for kids aged 2-11. She writes whimsical picture books about emotions, self-esteem, mindfulness and mental health. Tracy also likes to tackle social issues and speak directly to her readers about important topics that affect everyone. Please visit Tracy’s website tracybryan.com or email her at tracy@tracybryan.com

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shutterstock_212523580Thank you to the following websites that were used as resources:

(1) http://hsperson.com/research/

*click on link to view research

(2) http://www.amazon.com/Highly-Sensitive-Person-Elaine-Aron/dp/0553062182

*click on link to view book

(3) http://scottbarrykaufman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Pers-Soc-Psychol-Rev-2012-Aron-1088868311434213.pdf

*click on link to view research

(4) Jung, 1913/1961

(5) Jung, 1913, para. 399)

(6) psychologytoday.com

(7) http://www.nih.gov/

*click on link for more info