Things Are A Moving!

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Follow me to my new website and my journey from screenplay to screen!  AFTERMATH was completed this spring and went through revisions this summer, thanks to the notes from two producers. Gratefully, it has now found representation and soon a home.

Go to my NEW website where I continue my journey toward finding my Path in this life, sharing all the bumps and bruises on the way.

A Message to My Dad

 

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My parents, Philip C. Holmen and Jeannine R. Calande on their wedding day.

I’m writing this as my father is preparing himself to transition from this Earth into the expansive form of himself.  I called him yesterday in the ICU to tell him how much I loved him.  I could tell by his faint whisper of a voice that it wouldn’t be much longer.  I had asked him several times if he wanted me to see him, and he said it was okay.  I knew that I wanted my last memory of him to be of him smiling and telling jokes, not the frail shell of a man he is today.

I hold those memories close to my heart.  I know I will be judged by my siblings of my decision not to rush to the hospital, but I have to do what feels right for me.  I don’t believe in doing things out of guilt anymore, but doing things because it is out of Love.   I chose to remember all of the things my father taught me over the years and it was because he loved me.

We all have a story to tell about our parents, though some may have a story of why their parents weren’t in their life.  I was lucky to have both growing up.  Being a writer, reflection is my pastime.  I often reflect where I was in my life to understand where I am going.  It’s within these reflections that I have grown.  Entwined in my childhood were the lessons that my father taught me.

It’s a surreal time for me knowing I am here at this juncture.  Knowing this is a normal process;  we all must die.  But to know someone’s time is bridging closer makes it all more clear to me.  Reflecting on our life while living is the most important thinking we can do.  I’m grateful for the times I’ve had to learn a little about this man and little more about me.  Continue reading

Leap and the Net Will Appear: Part II

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10,000 miles in seven weeks has brought me to my new life.  Leaving our 3,700 square foot home to our new 45 foot boat in Florida brings many unexpected challenges and joy.  Giving up the safety-net job of teaching was the first step, then it was putting all of my life into the back of my Dodge Avenger.  (That’s when I realized that everything in my life was truly temporary!) I also realized that picking and choosing items to keep in life and those to let go of can be emotional, yet freeing. 

Things to Keep

memories-last-foreverSome things were easy to keep.  The things that make life a little easier, as well as things that brought me joy.  It was the memories of friends I had made in the past 25 years living in Nevada. They were there for me for a reason or a season, though only a few were for longer. The memories of those that made me laugh or listened to my sorrows will always hold a special place in my heart. The memories of having groups of friends where monthly get-togethers were fun diversions, to watching their children grow making us feel a little older and wiser.  Also, the beauty of Lake Tahoe and the places that brought me happiness.  I often visit those places in my mind when I need a pick me up.

Things I Got Rid Of Continue reading

Saving Our Students, Saving Our Schools, Part 2: Could Semantics Kill A Proven Program?

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When I started teaching mindfulness based stress reduction with my 3rd graders, I worried there would be push-back from my parents thinking I would be teaching meditation, although the word was not used in the curriculum.

However, within the first week of practice, students would use the word meditation from their own background knowledge of the word.

Students practicing breathing techniques.

Students practicing breathing techniques.

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing this could be cause for concern, I briefly taught the students the difference between practicing breathing techniques to calm the brain and Meditation. Since then, in the nine years of teaching Mindfulness, I’ve only had one incident where a parent discontinued their child in the activities, due to religious choice.

The program I implemented was called The MindUp Curriculum by the Hawn Foundation.  I chose this program, because it is non-secular in its teaching of mindfulness using brain-based research in the 15 activities.

Students were taught in the first three lessons how their body responds to stress and how to regulate the stress through mindful breathing techniques called Core Practice.  For the rest of the twelve lessons in the program, the students learned how to be Mindful, practice Empathy, and to self regulate during stressful or excitable situations.

Continue reading