College Degrees and more Degrees


A thirst for knowledge.

A passion for learning.

An obsession with exploration.

A delight in discovery.

A plan for the future.

Gaining skills for a career.

These are all part of going to college and earning degrees. 

Many interests lead to pursuing many avenues in college, some leading to degrees, some just to learn.  Also the many interests can be a distraction and limit a focus.  Very seldom is there guidance in choosing an avenue to pursue.  Usually the academic guidance is to help you check off the required courses for specific degree requirements.

The decision to graduate is made.  A degree is earned.  Employment is explored.  Industry standards for entering different fields are discovered or further understood.  Earning potential is identified.  Jobs are tried on for size.  For many different reasons, further education becomes the next step.

Another degree.              Off to work.

Is there the possibility that you do not fit in?  Is there the possibility you are bored?  Is there the possibility that the field is changing?  Back to college and another degree?

Multiple degrees can provide options.  Multiple degrees can be seen as “overqualified” and thus a disinterest by employers.  Degrees in a variety of fields can be a jumping off place or a barrier to a “focused” (maybe ‘traditional’) career path.

Industry standards – degrees, certifications, licenses — where will lead?  What does it offer?

Many decisions,

 Many frustrations,

Opportunities and barriers.

Undertone of wanting to learn and learn some more.

The ability to put the knowledge from the many degrees together or avidly pursue each one separately.

 Yes, revisiting school can be a lifelong process.

Decluttering


Clutter accumulates in our space and in our mind.  The mind finds way to file things and close doors.  Other times the clutter of the mind leads to overwhelm.  Lots of decisions to make and responsibilities to manage contribute to clutter and overwhelm.  The amount of input we receive from our observation and connection abilities lead to clutter.  Our emotional intensities lead to clutter.  It piles higher and higher, enveloping the space within the mind.  What can we do to declutter?

Physical space reflects and has an effect on the clutter of our minds.  Thus, decluttering our living and work space, creating organization and clear areas, helps to declutter the minds storage banks and processing centers.

Morning pages (Julia Cameron); Journaling; doodling; are ways to clear the mind and declutter.

Meditation – formal/structure, walking, music, a format that works for you; also clears the mind and declutters (provides the space for the brain to reorganize the information).

Physical exercise allows for release, clarity – and thus decluttering.

An idea book is a place to write down (electronically record) all the ideas, connections, solutions, questions that come to mind and one does not have to try to remember freeing space and energy.

The emotions and intensities are facilitated by the above methods.  Another method is identifying the emotion and using such things as acupressure and flower essences to integrate and formulate the experience.  And remember conscious breathing is of great value for all of the above.

Understanding your values and their priority at this time in your life helps to bring clarity, focus, organization of the data input, experiences, sensations, decisions, etc – thus minimizing the clutter.

How do you experience clutter?  What are you doing to declutter?  What happens for you with decluttering?

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Edith writes at Howtoinlife.com  – sharing thoughts, experiences and resources for personal development of multi-talents.

Summer Fun – a change in pace


summer play

summer play

Summer provides the opportunity to be outdoors with sunshine, warmth, and longer days. It is a time for a change in pace, either more or less, faster or more leisurely.

I enjoy moderate temperatures and walks in nature and time to set by a stream or climb a mountain.  It is also a time to enjoy childlike play and watch the children play.

Summer is a natural time for exuberance – jumping for joy, turning in circles, dancing in the rain, running across fields, looking under rocks, or splashing in the water.

Summer is a time for the hard work that leads to new growth resulting in a fall harvest.

Summer is the time of the butterfly dance, the birds’ song, the crickets’ music, and the new borns’ frolics.

Summer continues to involve the day to day routines of working, eating and sleeping and yet oozes with plan and new discoveries.

Summer says it is ok to chase your tail in circles, step right in the middle of a puddle, or lay on your back and watch the clouds pass by.

Summer is Fun – a change of pace.

Adult Enrichment and Creativity


We focus tremendously and appropriately on providing enrichment and stimulating creativity in children. What about us as adults?

Our soul, our intensity, our internal drive thirsts for creative expression and cultivation through enrichment.  This means times for play, pursuit of something new as a result of curiosity, delving into something that seems irrelevant because it caught our attention, getting our hands dirty, listening and daydreaming, excusing ourselves to be with children, and….

Without enrichment and creative expression we lose our ability to make leaps, experience the flow, manifest ideas, identify multiple solutions, or…  We are also grouchy, less energetic, feel lost, withdraw, or become numb.

Part of the process is giving us permission.  Knowing it is OK to have a day that nothing is planned, nothing needs to be accomplished, to have a few minutes of wistful thinking or daydreaming, to indulge yourself in puttering, or to walk beside the river, set on the grass, see pictures in the clouds.

Next what have you put off trying new or did often when younger and do not any more (‘not enough time’).   Yes make a list – your loves, your bucket list, your wishes.  You need to feed your soul with enrichment and opportunities to create.  You’ve made the list now be sure you put it on your schedule.  Do it, enjoy it, allow it, experience it – you, the child, coming out to play.

What will it be to today – doodling, making mud pies (either with dirt or luscious chocolate delicacies), exploring subatomic matter, staying up all night to see the various astronomy wonders or …?  What will bring a smile to your face, a twinkle in your eyes, relaxation to shoulders and at the same time bring you to the excitement and enthusiasm of being on edge?

Embed in your daily schedule (yes one more thing) to put that bounce into your step – enrichment and creativity.

What do you do for enrichment and creativity?  Let us know you could stimulate someone else to pursue an adventure.

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Edith meanders through various thoughts and experiences at her howtoinlife.com blog .

Love, the Heart, and Gifted


So as I try to decide how to write this post and complete the month’s topic, I sift through the various ways to approach the subject.  I have many different ideas – the connection between the heart and the mind; the passions and pursuit; the ideas and the emotions; the delights and tribulations; relationships with others /with self; introspection or connecting with the world around.  All of these are aspects of love, the heart and being gifted.

The fascination with many ideas and seeing various perspectives is at the heart of being gifted.   I love to look at something from many points of view or brainstorm to create multitude possibilities.  That is the working of the mind and yet brings the emotion of delight in the process.

Relationships are intense.   There is no doubt the heart is involved as a whole or in the resulting many pieces.  The caring for significant others, our children, our family and friends … and yes the kindred spirit of all humans is so much at the heart of being gifted.  We want to joyfully embrace those in our lives and reach out to all in the world.

Passions… what is there not to be passionate about?  Maybe that is an exaggeration.  We do each have individual passions.  However, living life, exploring the world, making new discoveries, playing in the sand, dancing on the roof tops, playing or listening to music…are all done with great passion and sincerity (which many find hard to believe).  These are all from our heart and done with love.

How often do you wear your heart on your sleeve?  How often are you frustrated because there is not the right emoticon or enough emoticons to express what you are feeling?  It does not matter whether it is delights or tribulations – it is a roller coaster ride with all the fireworks.  That is at the heart of being gifted.

Now dear mind, dear heart – still yourself.  Breathe, follow the breath, slowly in and out to the depths.  Time to go inside and be one with your heart and mind.  Feel  the calm.  Know the center.  Understand the multitude of your being.  Accept your love of being gifted.  Namaste.

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Edith shares more at howtoinlife.com  

New for today


I started in 2012 with a promise to myself to do something new – either never done before by me or not done for a long time.  I have made that a life time process now.  Last year I made it indoor skydiving, horseback riding,  a road trip to an Opal Mine and Yellowstone-Tetons, rented a forest service cabin in the La Sal National Forest, spent a weekend at Vapor Caves and Spa —– well you get the idea.

I am continuing this year already with returning to Tai Chi, Qi Gong classes.  Planning the basement remodel (yes out of necessity, yet it will be NEW).  Some plans include joining some groups I am a member of for their conferences, hiking to see the wild horses, and whatever else I can come up with.

Doing something new brings vitality, release, excitement, discovery, adventure, thrill, relaxation… many emotions and experiences.  New beginnings bring growth and opportunities.

Each day is a new beginning with a fresh attitude and potential to look at things differently.  I can write a new page of my story.  Oh, there are days and moments that I cannot see beyond whatever muddle I am stuck in.  However, with the intention of looking for a new beginning the rebound comes quicker and a new chapter begins.

Experiencing the newness in relationships, on the job, different activities, goals, learning and playing is very much a part of life.  Many times we neglect to be aware of that newness.  We become stuck in a rut, routine, familiarity, complacency, or maybe our own intensity.  Similar to breathing – we do it automatically (and not always well).  However, when we become aware of our breath and consciously breathe in and out, our energy changes; there is a different awareness; there is a letting go; there is newness.  And with an awareness of the moment we see the flower blooming (not just in bloom); we hear the melody of the birds singing (not just the chirping); we feel the emotion, including the intensity, of the interaction.  We are new.

We are new – literally – (someone – provide the details again of how we change every day with the replacement of all the cells in our body).  We are new – our thoughts and experiences are constantly changing.  We are new – there has been no other person like us and no other moment like this.  Be conscious of the newness and have fun!

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Edith blogs regularly sharing her thoughts and tools for personal development of multi-talents at www.howtoinlife.com

Emotional Intensity – It’s a New Day


Emotional Intensity is a daily experience.  Questioning my sanity and normalcy is a recurrent question.  There is the need to blend in.  Survival requires developing the ability to deliberately detach.  Yet the moments of ecstasy, even relative to little things is marvelous.

I do treasure quiet times.  Walks in nature even urban trails is moderating and rejuvenating.  I also have found other ways to manage the rapid moving roller coaster.  Flower essences and acupressure are tools I use to moderate the intensity.  To get further in touch, drawing mandalas is helpful.  And movement, various kinds, is oh so helpful both as a release and a stimulus.

Emotional Intensity covers the full spectrum from pain to joy.  I know no other life.  I embrace the intensity now with greater understanding.  I also, know to live the diversity present in my life I need to manage the intensity as not to have it manage me.  Constant containment is not the answer.  Flowing within a channel with periodic gentle excursions over the bank, works.  Water absorbs and reflects, as to the emotional intense.

The experience of the most brilliant rainbow and the darkest night are important.  Knowing there are subtleties of color in between expands the experience of management of intensity.  To know I AM (intense) and CAN BE (balanced) adds to the adventure and enjoyment of each new day!

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Edith shares further her experiences and resources at howtoinlife.com blog.

Living Life Out Loud; Emotional Intensity and the Adult


So, it’s confession time.  As you all know by now, I was a gifted child.  And I’m an emotionally intense adult.  So I thought I’d paint a picture of a typical emotionally intense day…

The day started as any other day -  productive, satisfying, good.  I came home from work and decided to try to pound out a chapter or so in a book I am working on.  A friend had done some edits, so I read through them first, deciding to do a little editing before moving forward.  Her suggestions were minor – easily fixable things that would definitely make the story stronger.

No big deal.

Or was it.

You see, it was one of those “a whisper is a scream” moments.  And the minor edits grew in my head to insurmountable obstacles.  Things that made me question the entire novel.  Is this good enough?  Maybe it is just garbage?  What was I thinking?  Etc.  And so the spinning, obsessive nature of emotional intensity began.

Now, I am very clear on my “issues”.  I know all about the weird moodiness, the affective memory, the over excitability - all of it.  I am comfortable with it.  But man, some days, it is really hard.

Like really really hard.

I have spent weeks paralyzed by my own self-inflicted fear – a consequence of my own emotional intensity. Yes weeks.

I have learned over the years how to combat my issues.  I know I rationalize things when I am stressed or afraid, finding logical reasons why I can or can not do something.  And of course, that is what I did in this situation.

I also know how to call myself on the carpet when I do this.

So, as I wrote this post,  I emailed my crit partner, committed to a deadline for another chapter or two and got back on the proverbial horse. I overcame the negative aspects of my emotional intensity.

Not all of my particularly intense moments are bad.  They are also the moments that enable to craft a story.  Or counsel a troubled and confused child.  Or inspire a friend.

For me, the intensity is a natural as breathing.  I cannot imagine a life NOT lived out loud.  I cannot fathom a world not full of bold colors.

And I wouldn’t want to.

How about you guys?  Any stories to share?

Practice makes better


How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Take a cab. Trust me.

I’m coming up on 25 years of being a flutist. No, wait, make that 30. Aaaaand…now I feel old. Please pass the support hose and ear horn.

So as I was saying, I’m coming up on (sigh) 30 years of being a flutist. It doesn’t feel that long, mainly because some ten years ago I pretty much burned out. I still played, I still taught, but it wasn’t as enjoyable as it had been. Actually, nothing was enjoyable as it had been, something directly connected to the fact that I had a very high-intensity firstborn and was pretty much wiped. I’m just now getting back into playing more seriously, and with that comes daily near daily as often as possible practice. Hold this in one hand of your brain, I’m about to jump to something completely different.

The aforementioned firstborn is my 2e son. I spend a lot of time fretting over how the hell he’s going to make it in life. While intensely bright, the other half of the “e” makes life, well, challenging. Executive function skills are poor, he’s a perfectionist who’d rather not try than fail even a little bit, his resiliency level is somewhere under the Mariana Trench. (And if I read one more study claiming that resiliency is the one thing a child must have in life to succeed, I’m having a marshmallow bonfire with it) Hold this in the other hand of your brain.

When things went south years ago and I burned out on my flute (and everything else), I stopped practicing with any regularity. I would work up music for the occasional gig, but I had to time it just right. If I attempted to practice with the boys around, nothing-and-I-mean-NOTHING got accomplished. I’d have one kid running for our trumpet to “play along,” with the other alternating between climbing my leg and climbing the music stand. Not exactly conducive to concentration. In addition to losing the skills I’d worked so hard to gain, something else happened.

They never got to hear or see me fail.

And when I practice, OHHH is there failure. There is very loud and obvious failure, over and over and over. Repeat ad infinitum. There is also struggle, and work, and forced patience, and even the occasional creative profane utterance. Ok, more often than occasional. But then there is improvement. There is very loud and obvious improvement, over and over and over. And then I repeat the cycle again and again and again.

I’ve been practicing more lately. There’s a new wind ensemble starting up this fall, and by God I will be in that ensemble. So I practice, both flute and piccolo (my dog and my neighbors just adore me right now). The boys have been hearing me fail nearly every day, and returning to do it again and again. They’ve also been hearing me work on tiny little sections of music, with great patience, over and over and over until I get it better. They’ve been learning the occasional creative profane utterance. And they’ve been hearing me improve (when there’s more music than creative profane utterances, they know I’ve made it better). They are unconsciously learning that failure often must happen before things improve, that hard work doesn’t always show immediate results, and that mom can worm the dog simply by practicing full range scales on her piccolo. And they are learning that hard work and failure and patience and struggle are not only necessary to get ahead, but can even be a little bit fun.

Neither boy plays an instrument nor wants to (excuse me while I…sniff…get this dust out of…sob…my eye), so I hope they learn these skills in another area. They won’t learn them by direct instruction from me, simply because it’s mom talking. But it’s my hope that in the meantime they’ll pick them up simply from exposure to me failing daily, picking myself up, and doing it again and again and again.
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Jen writes over at Laughing at Chaos, where she really should post something new and interesting and fun, but summer schedules and flute practicing keep demanding attention. She’s also the author of If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional, to be published Summer 2012 by Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Press.

Rest and Restoration


Intensity and Life in general requires rest and restoration.  When you give yourself in totality for a committed period of time the inner resources can be drained.  Withdrawing and changing  directions becomes a necessity.  This allows for the opportunity for new discoveries, new adventures, time to do what has been put aside. So to the delight of my inner child it is time to play and escape from the day to day reality.  The adult in me calls that a vacation.  It is also time to regroup and feed the creativity so it may be expressed.  Time to explore nature and soak in the peace and energy.

The mystery of light

Going within

Simple Beauty

Path to new adventures

A bit of tranquility.

What is your favorite way to revive your energy?  How do you relax and rejuvenate?

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More of Edith’s writings can be found at HowToInLife.com Blog .