It's been a long day for me traveling, speaking, and teaching.
But it's been a far longer day for the parents of the two young people in the Ohio shooting that lost their fight for life today.
I cannot imagine the agony of the longest prayer and deepest asking a heart can bear that a parent would do at the bedside of their child.
I never had children of my own. But to have a child, to dream of that child growing up, to send my child to school one day and then meet the doctor at the hospital in a fight for the life of my beloved son or daughter and feel the powerlessness that they must have felt...
To not be able to stop the hands of time as they slowly pulled my child from my arms and watch in unimaginable horror as my child slipped through the veil beyond my reach... Is beyond where my heart and mind can go.
I ask myself, "How could we not have seen it coming?" "Didn't anyone notice something, anything that might have signaled that something was wrong - something was out of kilter?"
We all need to be better at reading the symptoms, signs and signals. They were there. It's time to take a stand.
One more time a tragedy has hit our nations schools. The shooting of 5 students by A young boy who had been bullied makes every mother's heart break for the loss.
This is a tragedy of major proportions...for the children who were shot, for the child who will not see the light of another day on Earth, and for the student who saw this as the only means of expression.
My heart cries out, "Could this tragedy have been prevented?"
We need to get to the root of issue. Bullying is not an isolated incident! It doesn't happen one time and cause this kind of a reaction.
Up until now, I said that, 'Breaking Out of the World Game' (our anti-bullying program) is an intervention program. Maybe our intervention program needs to be called a prevention program and taught as part of the required curriculum in every school.
Let me say this in another way. Is it time to make an anti-bullying program a prerequisite in every school? If we have come to this, let's admit it and take a stand as parents and concerned community members. Let's not lose one more child to our paralysis. Let us act on behalf of every family in America.
It starts with the little abrasive things that we do and say to each other and builds up on daily. If not curbed it turns into teasing and taunting and mental and emotional abuse.
We cannot turn our backs any longer. It is you and I as adults who are on trial here.
I am asking for other voices... your voice to join the call. This is dedicated to our children and our children's children that they may grow up to live a full life.
My prayers go out to the mother's and families involved. But are we not all involved? Are we not of this nation and this world? Let the sacrifices stop. For every sacrifice belongs to us if we do not take a stand.
I haven't always loved mind mapping. During school, I was well trained in outlining and I was fairly good at it. Habits from childhood can run deep. So it took me a few years to let go of the old and embrace the new.
However, when I did let go of the old outlining method, I fell in love with mind mapping! It is the fastest, most powerful brainstorming tool I've ever used.
As a result, when I planned my first book, Learning to Learn - Maximizing Your Performance Potential, I mind mapped it. I brainstormed the entire book on a single page and I followed the map through the entire writing process.
In fact, when I thought that I'd lost the page somewhere half way through the book I freaked because I thought I lost the plot of the book. When I did find it, I made copies of it, filed the copies and finished the book.
Then, some years ago, I ran into Tony Buzan. He was the original author of mind mapping and he had developed a mind mapping program for the computer. I purchased it immediately and have been using it ever since.
Recently I upgraded to the iMindMap5 release and I love it. It is excellent for students, teachers, business people, project planners, and anyone who uses brainstorming as part of their planning process. Some of the new items included are a 3D view, presenter guides, greater ease of navigation, more templates and a lot more.
Below is a mind map that I did on Leadership for an executive team I'm coaching. The skills, skill sets and competencies I will include in the process are included on the right. The character traits necessary for success are on the left.
This is a comprehensive overview of everything I will cover in the coming months. And it gives the coachee a clear picture of where we are heading.
The map took me 15 minutes to do and the style I will present it in is 3D with various areas popping onto the computer screen as I highlight them.
I was channel surfing between the quarters on Sunday and happened to see Meryl Streep doing an interview on a talk show. Could I respect an actress more than this great lady?! So I stopped channel surfing for a moment and dropped in on her interview.
Meryl was talking about her role as the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher. She acknowledged the fortitude of Thatcher and all politicians for the ability to deal with the constant negativity that was thrown at them. She also said it was the hardest role she had ever played.
And.... and this was the AND I needed to hear... Meryl Streep said that she got nervous when she walked on the set for the movie.
Thank you, Meryl Streep! I'm free!! You have freed me from my Anxious Annie Critter that attacked me just days earlier. It was a major mental maelstrom and I hadn't had one of those in years.
Then I remembered that Katherine Hepburn always got nervous before a performance. And Barbara Streisand said she went through the same thing! Knowing that I'm not alone and that it's not just me that hit those slippery slopes, helped a lot.
But here's the rub, as Shakespeare would say - If I'm nervous, that's one thing. Entertaining self-defeating thoughts is another!
So my goal for the next time I have to do filming (which is in the very near future) is that even if I get nervous...
- Acknowledge the nervousness
- Recognize it for what it is
- Release all self-deprecating thoughts!
- Take a deep breath and visualize the positive outcome I intend
- Do whatever I need to do to have that outcome happen (which is usually to 'over' study)
I did everything except number 3 last time and it is that third one that sent me into a downward spiral. So I'm on my game again. I've learned something very powerful as I return to weeding my mental garden with more commitment to the process than ever before!
Here I am with this decision to be a sentinel at the gateway of consciousness, a mighty commitment indeed! And I suddenly found myself knee deep in the sludge that lies at the base of a new creative mountain.
I was going into the video studio to do a series of demos for our anti bullying program, Breaking Out of the World Game. And I was in a panic. I felt like a total failure. I didn't know my script (which I have taught in nearly 500 hundred schools).
Like the Magic Eight Ball where words keep surfacing out of the black ink, my feelings and thoughts exploded out of the dark onto my mental screen. My world spun out of control. "Not good enough!" "I can't do it!" "I feel lost." "Where do I start?"
Here I was touting mind management and I couldn't even manage one thought. What happened!? I hit the wall and I found myself back in my own ground zero.
The only viable thought in the whole thing was really, "Where do I start?" But it took me a while to get there.
When I finally did get there, I took a proactive stance. I went back to the creativity template I had burned into my mental hard drive 30 years ago.
- Preparation - Engage in the process. Be willing to concentrate fully on the subject. Struggle with it. Visualize it. This feeds everything into the sub-conscious mind. (In my case I had to review the material and think deeply about how to do the video without an audience.)
- Incubation - Let it all go. Relax. Change the subject. Play and sleep usually work for me. (In this case, I went to bed. I was going into production the next day.)
- Breakthrough - This usually comes as an 'AHA' experience, like Archimedes 'Eureka'! This breakthrough cannot be forced and arrives in its own time.
In my case, I got up on the day of the shoot and I was in 'the zone'. I had an extremely successful day in the video studio.
But I could have done it without all of the panic and the negative self-talk. I could have had more wisdom about it and caught it by the tail before it caught me.
I was reminded of Ashley in The Operator's Manual for Planet Earth. I had fallen asleep and lost the plot again!
I've recommitted to my initial goal. Staying awake on Planet Earth is a challenge, especially when the old deep habits kick in!
I'd love to hear you experiences.... I'm going to keep tracking mine and sharing the experience!