Every one of us, at one time or another, has hit a brick wall. There are always a few options - come to a dead stop (give up the dream) or find a way - over, under, around, or through those bricks.
But what are the key characteristics of those folks who persevere - no matter what? Some would probably claim that grit, willpower, and discipline are the most important.
To a very small degree, I would agree - however, I believe the following four traits are even more imperative:
Weekly Creative Meditation
Exciting news! The DRC merch shop is open! I am in the process of populating it with all-new designs for t-shirts, hoodies, and hats. Let us know if there is a particular item you would like with the DRC logo. Check it out here: https://deep-root-center.printify.me/products
You get great-looking swag, and your purchases support DRC.
DRC Board and Fundraising Committees
DRC is looking for folks who are happiest when they are creating and exploring outside-the-box ideas to join our board or sit on our fundraising committees. We need help sustaining and growing our unique presence in the NoCo. Our flexibility and commitment to diversity generate an ideal environment for folks who value collaboration over competition in our community. Please get in touch if you would like to help.
Summer Program - Register here
I have been contemplating the concept of legacies since the Supreme Court ruled against affirmative action, and during my children's visit home for the first time in a very long time and while I was writing a grant with the potential to be a game changer for DRC.
I thought about it on the macro level - how birthrights are the root of gross societal inequity and injustice (as evidenced by the judges of the high court who gutted the precedent of the past 60+ years); and, more importantly, on the individual level - how each of us leaves a legacy that is often the direct opposite of entitlement.
In terms of the latter, for the past five months, as one of her caretakers, I have been a direct witness to a matriarch who, despite her (terribly unfair) illness (which has literally taken her voice and much of her mobility), still retains her enduring spark of life as evidenced by her contagious humor (and giggles), generosity, gratitude, intelligence, positivity, and familial devotion. Her children, grandchildren, and friends are abundantly aware of how fortunate they are to receive these beautiful gifts as their living legacy.
While writing the grant, I had to explain DRC's value to our wider community and why we consider ourselves successful. I realized in the midst of laboring over the concise 150-word answers that these could be defined as our legacy - and it is embedded in our commitment to being the only non-coercive, safe, flexible educational environment in the NoCo that works with any child who needs us, no matter their family's financial situation, which has created a diverse community to be proud of. Our success is defined by our ability to take their interests and aspirations and use them as the basis for their learning plans - which ultimately leads to happy kids excited about learning and exploring new possibilities.
It sounds cheesy and unrealistic when faced with our current reality; nevertheless, we all have the opportunity to consciously and purposely, with gratitude and humility, find (be) the good in every situation and work toward making the world a better place.
How would you define your legacy if you had to explain it in 150 words or less?
Weekly Creative Meditation
Fifty-three weeks ago, I wrote an intensely personal blog post entitled A Love Letter. In that post, I documented my journey of discovering that I am neurodivergent - specifically autistic. (I now understand that ADHD is a large part of the mix too.) During this past year, I have spent a goodly amount of time coming to terms with what this delayed discovery meant to my past self and how it affected that person. And what it means now and to my future self.
As mentioned in previous posts, I have always felt like an alien in this world - I have masked (or tried to) all my weirdness - all the eccentricities, all the sensitivities, and all the internal chaos. I can't say I was trying to be accepted or "normal" - cause that isn't the case. I simply didn't want to be noticed - ever. Invisibility was my life-long goal.
Masking became my "normal" - I didn't know how to set boundaries or ask for what I needed - mainly because I didn't even know what those boundaries or needs were. My internal landscape was as much a mystery to me as it was to everyone else.
What I know now is that binding yourself so tightly within a facade of OK-ness can only lead to overwhelming feelings of frustration and irritation that simmer and boil over to hurt the people you love most.
With that knowledge, I am trying to be more conscious of being truly authentic - allowing myself to tell folks when I am feeling overwhelmed, asking for what I need, and removing myself from situations that make me what to crawl out of my skin - without apologizing.
The funny thing is, the more I embrace all those wild eccentricities that inhabit this incredible neurodivergent brain, the more confident I am in being myself and showing all my wondrous weirdness to the world.
Circling this concept back to my life's mission, every child deserves to feel like they can fully express themselves without masking, hiding, or feeling shame for simply experiencing the world differently. They should not have to wait fifty-seven and one-half years (or forever) before they, too, feel free to joyfully say, "What you see is what you get," without remorse or fear of ridicule or punishment.
Weekly Creative Meditation
There are only a few spots left for each week. Register your child today.
Fundraising & Grants
We are always seeking innovative ways to raise funds for DRC. Our needs are many. We require funds to: hire and pay staff a living wage, pay off the mortgage and renovate and expand the Canton Center, find and purchase a new home for the Massena Center, and all of the other things on the list of any other not-for-profit.
If you have any ideas for grants or other fundraising endeavors, or are interested in joining the fundraising committee, please get in touch. We are also seeking dynamic, energetic, outside the box thinking folks to join our Board. Thank you!
Did you just read the title in that whiny child voice that echoes through every parent's head and strikes fear in their hearts? It is such a dreadfully annoying utterance many cave and become the ringmaster of their very own three-ring circus for two months - simply because those cranky, fractious voices send them over the edge. And they are afraid bored kids lead to dull minds and laziness. (Or, maybe our Puritanical roots are to blame - we fear that "idle hands are the devil's workshop.")
What if I told you there was a way to increase your child's creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills without managing an over-the-top, exhausting schedule that only serves as a stop-gap?
It is really quite simple - try saying "good" as your only response to "I'm bored." And then walk away, turn up the volume on your earbuds, or bury yourself in your own creative activity.
Here's the layman's explanation of the science behind that one-word reply: our brain needs downtime - it allows the gears in the background to begin turning and the accumulated experiences, thoughts, and stored knowledge, time to coalesce into really cool ideas or solutions to a problem it is working on. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as an "aha moment."
Kids don't require "canned" (pre-chewed activities) or busyness to survive. In fact, they are better served by slowing down, being "bored," and allowing their extraordinary brains to run rampant - giving them time to experiment, explore, and play. That, for some, is a scary thought. Because all that untethered creativity is quite often unpredictable and really, really messy.
We tend to forget that uncertainty, chaos, and disorder are where creativity and learning collide, leading to unbound innovation and discovery.
Let them be bored and stand back to watch in amazement as their creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills soar. It is well worth the mess and those few moments of cringy discomfort upon hearing that dreaded two-word declaration this summer.
Weekly Creative Meditation
,Stay tuned for Fundraising News - we are planning a Craft Fair in Massena in August. We will have details within the next week. In the meantime you can help keep DRC alive by contributing on our donation page or purchasing an item on our Amazon wishlist. It will be sent directly to us.
Happy 4th of July!
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