YOU CAN be the CHANGE in THE WORLD

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It’s been a crazy world lately, huh? It’s hard not to feel something about all the terrifying happenings around the globe. Personally, I’m trying so hard not to be too affected by current events, but when these occur close to home, I cant help but feel like I need to DO something about it.

Sometimes just breathing through our worries, staying calm and keeping close to our loved ones is the only action we can do.shutterstock_225298123

The important thing to remember is that we are loved and have people in our lives that we can love too. Spreading this love and kindness to our extended family, friends, to the people in our community and throughout the world is also helpful.

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It feels good to show love, compassion and kindness to other people, doesn't it? At times like this everyone needs to feel loved. In a small way, this changes the bad things in the world and that is a really big thing! 

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One very important thing YOU can also do when awful events happen around you and in your world is to make sure to talk about your feelings.

How do YOU feel about all this crazy stuff going on in the world?

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If you're having a difficult time with all the violence in the news lately, here are some tools* to help you deal with the feelings you're having:

Talk it out and share your feelings with others.

You may be feeling different emotions at different times. Sadness. Anger. Fear. Confusion. Even numbness — not feeling anything at all. These feelings are normal reactions to a tragedy or scary event. Don't be afraid to express how you feel and listen to others as they share their feelings with you. Your parents, friends, teachers, and others can help you and help them.shutterstock_192828905

Take care of yourself.

Losing sleep, not eating, and worrying too much can make you sick. As much as possible, try to get enough sleep, eat right, exercise, and keep a normal routine. It may be hard to do, but it can keep you healthy and better able to handle a tough time.

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Take a TV break.

Although it's natural to want to know what's happening, don't spend hours glued to the television set. Taking a break from watching what's going on in the world is OK. Read, play board games or go outside.

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Get creative and express yourself.

Drawing pictures and writing letters can help you feel better. Maybe you'd like to send a letter or homemade card to rescue workers, doctors, and others who cared for people who were hurt. You also can start a journal and record your thoughts and feelings. You can share this with others or keep it to yourself.

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Be respectful of others.

You may have heard certain countries, religions, or political causes blamed for terrorism and other scary events in the world. But it's important to remember that very few people believe in killing and hurting innocent people to make their point. Don't give in to prejudice by blaming a whole group or by disliking people just because of the country where they were born, the faith they practice, the way they dress, the color of their skin or for who they love.

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Help out and be with others.

In times of tragedy, people find comfort in being together and supporting each other. Find ways to show you care and that the community is sticking together. Hold a friend's hand or give someone a hug. It will make you both feel a little better.

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Above all...just know that YOU ARE LOVED and try to be the best and most awesomest you that you can be!

* Adapted from: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD

2015-07-06 13.39.04Hi, 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.

If you want to learn more about me, read the blog all about me 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!

Put Away Your Phone! (Part of The Awesomeness Blog)

shutterstock_193745954Have you ever noticed that everywhere you go, people are always on their smartphones or some other electronic device? They’re talking on them, looking into them, playing or in someway fidgeting with them? shutterstock_270963242 I think you might like the new book I’m working on then. This will be my first fiction picture book-it's totally fun and made-up! It's called ‘Put Away Your Phone!’ The story is about a girl who's so annoyed by grown-ups who are always on their phones, but isn’t quite sure how to deal with her frustration. Her name is Emma and she has a bit of a temper.   shutterstock_134453168One day she goes to the zoo with her family, but continues to see grown-ups everywhere on their phones. Instead of ruining her day by getting frustrated, Emma tries to be mindful and decides to count how many grown-ups she can see on their smartphones. shutterstock_15856954-2   Emma encounters more than just people and animals as she counts her way through the zoo. Lets just say that she gets so frustrated with grown-ups that she gets herself into a pretty “wild” situation! Will Emma find her way out of this situation? How many grown-ups does Emma count? Does Emma discover that there is an importance for smartphones? shutterstock_136072976I won’t give away any more details because I really think you should check it out when it's completed. Plus, I usually use photographic images for my books, but this one will have hand drawn pictures by a professional children's Illustrator! Even though this book is recommended for kids aged 4-8, it will be a fun read for all ages-kids, teens and even adults. Put Away Your Phone! will be out Spring 2016! Keep your eyes open for its release day!shutterstock_96269153I wrote this book because I’m getting tired of seeing people on their phones all the time too! Smartphones are really handy sometimes-to get important work messages, to contact family and friends, to look up information, to use as a camera, map, game or other fun and helpful app. They are especially useful in an emergency.shutterstock_295081580     shutterstock_19526839   However, it seems that so many people lately just look at their smartphones and electronic devices because they're bored. It’s right there in front of them, so why wouldn’t they pick it up and have a look at it? Just to check their email messages, to see if they have a new text or Facebook notification, browse the internet or even play a game with it... ...just because they have nothing else to do. Unfortunately, sometimes all these devices leave everybody feeling frustrated! shutterstock_174227450Emma's not the only one that gets annoyed when she tries to talk to someone, and can't get their attention because they are looking into their electronic device! Has this ever happened to you? Or have you ever been distracted from paying attention to someone else because your using a device? I have...I love my computer and sometimes I'm on it a lot! I'm sure sometimes I seem very distracted!  shutterstock_339905630This is okay sometimes and everybody everywhere does it with some kind of electronic device. We live in a very technological world that relies on electronics in it so it can function properly. But...maybe we need to learn to pay attention more to what is happening around us. It’s difficult to do this when we're looking into our electronic devices. Maybe, everyone could practice “noticing” more, don’t you think? Adults, teens and kids. Maybe all the kids can teach everyone something about using electronic devices in a more balanced way. Sometimes, we have to know when to turn off our devices. We should all pay more attention to what or who is in front of us-other people and animals!shutterstock_113942491       Here’s my idea… From now on, to find more happiness in our lives we can all try to follow this simple rule… shutterstock_192837389If you absolutely don’t “need” your electronic device… Put away your phone, game, and anything else that distracts you from noticing the happiness that might be right in front of you. Simple right? Just put it away at least for an hour, then maybe two or three. Just try it. You just never know what awesomeness you might notice… shutterstock_89261605   shutterstock_54538534   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 first post of The Awesomeness 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!  Did You Know?shutterstock_274007783   About half of U.S. smartphone owners check their devices several times an hour or more frequently, including 11% who say they check it every few minutes and 41% who check it a few times an hour. Another 20% of Americans claim to check their phones about once an hour, leaving 28% who check them less frequently. http://www.gallup.com/poll/184046/smartphone-owners-check-phone-least-hourly.aspx

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

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! shutterstock_288954527 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. shutterstock_160759913 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

shutterstock_264389000 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 Spruce-Creek-Airpark-Real-Estate   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?   DSC_0245   Adam (my husband) is a pilot and we fly our airplane all over the United States and Canada.   2015-09-24 20.48.09   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.  q3aJYbVQC7nn7rh1vJmn1KmK9PkpunyrGDGELjAul-Y 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!  shutterstock_180809027   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!)