a good word revolution

From our vantage point, one positive word can make all the difference in the world. One positive view possesses the power to transform. It is our forever hope that among the thousands of words we illuminate, one will resonate and shift the vantage point of the receiver to a view of the world that vaporizes for at least a brief moment any and all negative emotion they ever could have visualized. l o V e!

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

t r u e north

Newsflash!


Most fantastical discovery- How Language Shapes Thought

We already know this, or else we wouldn’t be here playing with positive words. 

Lera Boroditsky has taken this theory to a whole notha level. In her exquisite language on cognition research, she located an Australian Aboriginal community that speaks in cardinal directions. 


Speaks in North, South, East, West! We SAY cardinal directions, but not SPEAK. 


I get super incensed (in a positive word way) when people insist on telling me how to get from point A to point B with words like Southwest. 


Sounds like static seconds after I hear, “Head out West on… shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhherrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr." 


I DO have a G.P.S., Farmer Guy. 


I would lose my lovely mind if someone instructed me to place the glass to the Northeast corner of the plate!

Unless… in my formative years I was taught with those spatial references as opposed to left and right??? 

Fascinating! Even the youngest of the young can point North with accurate ease sans compass. I don’t even know which way I’m facing right now as I type this post.

Their language mandates acquisition of specific directional knowledge; their brains and perception adjust!

What if we required that our language mandate more positive words of truth and love? Would our brains and perception follow?

love
 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

d r e a m s

Desire. At p i c t u r e l e s s, we dive into our dreams. Could a word, just one word, change a day? Bring a little lift to the dreary? We don’t doubt that discovering delightful d words is a pretty darn quick way to fulfilling our greatest desire: bringing delectable dancing deep within our reader’s hearts and minds.

r e e v e s r e v i e w

W is for Walnut (w e l l n e s s)












"I have always considered positive words to be food for the soul, now even more so. In a world of fast and pre-packaged foods, wholesome, unadulterated ingredients often leave novice cooks stumped. W is for Walnut makes it unpretentious and easy. What to do with that gorgeous eggplant? Stir fry with garlic. And that scarlet winter beauty the blood orange? Bake it on fish. This gem of a book reveals that what is created in the kitchen is limited only by your imagination. There aren't 20 complex steps to follow, just a wholesome mental image to get your creative juices and tastebuds flowing. In the end you learn that when using food from the precious soil that the Earth gives us, it is nearly impossible to go wrong.

I also appreciated the comment about these books being useful for those who are deaf. As a former ESL instructor, I see much value in the pictureless book series. Imagine the fun that could be had with W is for Walnut, English Language Learners, and a bag of farmer's market bounty. Buen Provecho!" -E.M. Reeves

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

r e a d feed l e a d

word p o w e r


I started teaching in Fifth Ward, Texas. My life modeled any movie that you have ever seen when the new teacher goes into a rough neighborhood to begin their public school profession-- only a 1000 times worse. I cried every day.

I cried not because my students behaved badly. I cried because I had students that didn’t have food. I had students that didn’t have shelter. I had students that couldn’t make it to school because they needed to care for their children. I had present students that had absent parents.

I cried because in my self-contained mulch-disciplined remedial classroom- I no longer believed that education was as important as my professors told me. I wasn’t prepared.

One day during those first months I saw an interview of Maya Angelou. Ms. Angelou talked about the importance of words. The words we said stuck to the walls of the rooms in which they were uttered. I remember thinking words could make almost anything better. If I can’t teach my students, I can at least share wonderful words with my students, and maybe I won’t cry. 

There were no instructions. I made words a game. When one exited our classroom- they had to say a positive word. The kids made extra rules as we went along. 

You couldn’t say the same word twice. You couldn’t repeat a word someone else had said that day. Except for me I could say what I wanted and 99% of the time- my word was fabulous. I realized that words had taken on a life of its own. 

My male students got pretty competitive. Some of my students would enter the classroom knowing what their word for the day would be. Even better-- if the word were more obscure with lots of letters. 

We were learning words, sharing words, and loving it.

I hadn’t even realized that I didn’t cry after work anymore. I did realize something more interesting-- the question. 

What’s the question?

“Ms. White, what are you on?” Different variations of that question are posed to me weekly, with my most favorite being, “Ms. White, why are you sooooooooooo happy?"

Words! I’m on words. I was on words and I didn’t even know it.

In an inner-city classroom there was the occasion of a student being arrested. I made the promise early on that I would not entertain any part of that dynamic. We could still be cool, but I would not write letters to you or on your behalf or visit you if you got yourself into a situation. Then one of my favorites did just that got himself into a situation.

Weeks went by and I still missed this student. It was odd that he had not returned, because in my experience, at that point, they always returned-- sometimes even the following day. One day his mother came to visit me. I was ready to give my speech- I will not be writing any letters, nor will I be visiting your son. I was not ready to hear what she said.

You see, this student told his mother- that while he was in solitary confinement the w o r d s saved his life. When his situation got too unbearable to think about, he would repeat the positive words from class over and over and over again. Until he felt better.

She came to my classroom to thank me.

We continued to say the exit positive words. We learned tons that year. This was quite pivotal in my career as an educator. Administrators from the school district would visit my classroom, and leave happier than when they arrived.

Ms. White why are you so happy?

Here’s the lesson. You ready? Are you listening? Words ARE things, and I have proof. 

Would you answer yes to the statement, “Every sentence has a noun?” “And what is a noun?”

Thank you. Person, place or thing. I would include an idea, But tomato, tomahto. I have a sentence. Words are fabulous.  What’s the noun in that sentence? Words. And is it a person, place, or a thing?

When I was researching for this last class, I came across a research article online by Jenna Pope. She reported that, “seventy years ago, a study was done on the value of positive words. The test subjects were a group of nuns who were entering the same convent. The nuns were all close in age, subjected to a similar environment, conditions, and diseases as they were cloistered, living together, separate from the rest of the world.


Each nun was asked to write an essay describing her life before she entered the convent. Each positive word, such as "good," "contentment," and "happiness," was given a plus one. Each negative word, such as "sad," "unhappy," and "difficult," was given a minus one. Then the essays were tabulated and assigned a score.


The essays were then divided into four groups, based on their number of positive and negative words. The most negative essays were in the bottom group, and the most positive essays were in the top group. The essays in between were either closer to the top or bottom based on the number of their positive and negative words.


Seventy years later, the nun study was revisited. All of the nuns in the bottom three groups were dead, but EVERY SINGLE NUN in the top group was alive, in her 90's, and still going strong!

That evidence kind of disproves the childhood rhyme of, ‘Sticks and Stones my break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ Not only can they possibly hurt you, but they might just kill you or they can help you to live a happier and longer life.  Yes, it is my belief that a word can change your life.


You can use a single word to change your day. It won’t take money, or another person. Just a word. I guarantee this.

When you want to strengthen a relationship or uplift someone that is down- give a compliment. 

When you to change how you’re feeling- Name that feeling, pick an opposite word and focus on it. Find things that remind you of that word.

I give you words. Use them wisely.

My words for you on this day.


Joy
Yolo
Resilience
Energy
And Fabulous.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

MDFM Local Author Day!


I will be at Midland Downtown Farmers' Market this Saturday from nine to one. Stop by, if you are in the neighborhood. Let's chat words, food and books! #realtime

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

k i n d l e

the flame
the fire
the love to read anything - ANYWHERE

The Kindle. Gosh, for us, not just a device, a way of invigorating a whole audience, a whole new world! And the Kindle does not limit itself, something we wholeheartedly support. Our treasures can be downloaded to the Kindle itself, but also the Kindle app can be downloaded to just about any device… PC, MAC, iPhone, iTouch, iPod, iPad, Blackerry and for FREE! Amazing! Gooooo Kindle! We appreciate you!



love

n o w.



Can we be happy with how things are right now?

It seems super torturous to look at the other side. The grass is greener over there, you know.

When I breathe in and focus on the word n o w. I can actually feel gratitude (just for breath).When I ponder about how magical it all really is- my life. It’s weeping material.

Focus is everything! Enjoying the n o w. No matter how petite or grande- the ability to enjoy it is imperative.

Right n o w I am listening to Pandora classical while staring at a mini laminated faux Van Gogh.

Once I read that constant self assessments were important for a wonderful life. The writer urged people to ask themselves often, “Could I be any more content in this moment?” Worth a try for the n o w.

Q:   Could I be any more content in this moment?  

A:   My toes are nippy.

I edged my little twin ceramic space heater that sits dormant next to my desk closer to my piggies. Flipped the switch. Voila! I’m n o w sitting in perfection.

I love the question and the results. I am in control of my own happiness without wondering what the rest of the world thinks. Who cares if it’s near 2000 degrees outside this September West Texas day? I have a heater touching my toes facilitating more joy for me right n o w.

Right n o w, I’m happy.

I think I may need a self- assessment post- it note reminder.


What can I do right NOW to make this moment more fabulous?

Focus on NOW. Ask the question. Listen for the answers. Take responsibility. Act.
#betheword 

n o w W is for Walnut will be FREE until Sunday. love
 

Monday, September 10, 2012

j o y


In my quest to become super knowledgeable of words positive, I’ve happened upon a great find. 


Osho authored a line of positive one word titles that expand and expound obtaining that word.
Joy: The Happiness That Comes from Within (Insights for a New Way of Living)

Awareness

Compassion

Courage

Creativity

Freedom

Intelligence

Intimacy

Intuition

Maturity

I’m reading Joy.


“Happiness is always a by-product. It is not the result of a direct pursuit. It happens when you are not even thinking of it.” –Osho

Love

#betheword