How To Be The Most Confident You

An Idea

When you were small did you feel out of place or different?  I have this idea that has been formulating since my late thirties (I'm gettin into my fabulous fifties now,) I have this idea that every person on the planet has at one point felt out of place and different. 

In any group of people, when I am feeling awkward, someone else in the group is feeling the same way. Maybe everyone in the whole group is feeling that way, at the same time. I think this happens in every gathering of people, at every every age, in every setting.

I think everyone feels like they are on the outside looking in.

When does it happen that we start thinking certain people never feel insecure, inadequate or imperfect? Famous people sometimes look like they have it all going for them.  We see them on t.v, watch their stories unfold, but even reality t.v. makes it look so much more perfect and comfortable compared to our own lives. I wonder if Kim Kardashian ever feels ugly or stupid. I wonder if  (insert famous actress of your choice here) ever felt like she wasn't worthy, wasn't good enough and didn't fit in.

Closer to reality there is probably at least one person at your workplace who looks like they have it all together.  Or think of church, sometimes there are entire families who seem to be living the dream of the perfect life.  Think back during the school years, college, high-school and jr. high and the first time you really became aware of social differences.

My theory is that every human being no matter how wealthy, beautiful or gifted she is, has felt different and inadequate many times during their lives.

Take a introspection moment here.  Look back at all those times where you were so uncomfortable with yourself and the situation that you wanted to peel off your skin, that you wanted to hide under a rock, that you felt  not good enough...

Add a few people who always look like they have everything together and they always know what they are doing...

Draw a mental picture for yourself.

Now see them with the same pain you felt. See that what is really happening underneath.

What Happened With Me

I remember feeling like an outsider the first time I stepped on school property.  I'd had a small social circle before Kindergarten which consisted of my older brother and some cousins.  A pattern of me feeling different within my own family had already been established and school did nothing but reinforce it from Day One.

After some really pain filled, emotional years as a child I became a Christian at sixteen.  Jesus revealed His love to me and brought me out of a very dark place.  I was filled with despair and hate. I had a hair trigger temper that was capable of very destructive rages.  I loathed everything about myself.  Stupid, fat, ugly, awkward, lost, different, not enough, not good enough.  And I hated everyone else.

And then I met Jesus, Son of God, God in the Flesh, He showed me a love so profound it literally changed my personality.  First He loved me as I was, stupid, fat, ugly, ect.  Then He showed me who I was:  Loved, Wanted, Good Enough to Suffer and Die For.  And then He showed me how He saw everyone else.

How I Became Confident

I think understanding these three things is the key to being the best, most confident person you can be.

Understand who you are
Understand Who loves you.
Understand who everyone else is. 

And once you have these three revelations, being the best, most confident You is so much easier.

post card for Canvas Corp Brands DT swap

When I share my art, it's not because I think it is perfect, professional or worth the big bucks.  It isn't perfect.  But very few artists are ever fully satisfied with their work plus we all stated at the same place and we are all on equal playing ground.

I share it because I want you to not be afraid to share yours.  I share it because it is a part of my story.  I share my story because it might make you feel like you are not alone, different, and out of place. I create fearlessly because it is so much fun, I am all most certain everyone on the planet should be doing it too.

Silly Glasses postcard - but it was too fat to send so it went in anenvelope! 

Okay.  Maybe not.  But if you want to make stuff---fearing what other people think about it should not be a reason for holding back.  They feel the same fear you feel and they do it anyway.  Some of them even create fearlessly and teach classes!

Art cards from the index card a day challenge at DaisyYello.com#ICAD2016
Confidence may not happen for you like it did for me.  And sometimes it is a process.  (Almost fifty, did I say?  I am still learning stuff.  Which is actually kind of wonderful when I think about it.)  But if you haven't started the process what are you waiting for?

Did you make any New Year's resolutions to be more confident?  Did you make any decision to become a better You?  Did you Pick a One Word this year that has been guiding you on a pathway to more positive wonderfulness in your life?

If you did , Yourdori.com & The Gratitude Girls Cheer League is hosting a Heart Check event on facebook. You are invited.  There are five daily prompts for comments and photo sharing.  (feel free to go back and do the previous prompts!)  Comments will get you entered to win a coffee gift card and a "flip book" made by me.

If we are to teach are children to be confident, we must learn the path for ourselves too.  Do you think my theory is correct?  How are you learning to be a more confident person?


You Know A Little Girl or Boy Just like This - Bread and Jam for Frances- The Nanny Reads

Published in the early sixties, Russell C Hoban wrote seven picture books about a precocious badger named Frances.

I remember these books from my childhood, in the same way I remember Winnie the Pooh.  There was always a Frances book around somewhere.

 I could very much identify with her and sometimes I was a bit jealous of her- But Frances, I knew would not hold that against me, because we were very much alike.

Except, I think, she is much more clever than I am. 

If you have ever met a strong willed and highly intelligent kindergartner, you have met a child just like Frances.  I can almost hear her mind ticking as she thinks through problems and develops her own ideas. 

Have you ever heard that ticking sound with your child? You know that sound, it's the thought process that brings them to a perfectly logical response to something you have said and done.  

Like when you tell the child not to pick the "green" tomatoes, so she goes out and finds a "yellow/orange tomato."  Because, what you should have said was, "Don't pick tomatoes that are not ripe." 

Author Russell Hoban allows the little badger girl something I don't see very often in current children's literature.  Frances, true to being a young child, is a little bit selfish.  Instead of being a negative thing, I love her more for this. 

Anyone who has ever been around children realizes they are not born empathetic, broad minded creatures - today's society expects children to be naturally loving and compassionate to all living beings while forgetting the life lessons that teach such traits. Frances acts just as a child would act, while her parents act just as they should, with wisdom, patience and clear boundaries. 

In the book "Bread and Jam for Frances,"  Mother serves breakfast for the family and Frances decides she doesn't like eggs anymore.  

Frances did not eat her egg.She sang a little song to it.She sang the song very softly:"I do not like the way you slide,I do not like your soft inside,I do not like you lots of ways,And I could do for many days

Without eggs." 

Naturally all the talk about eggs in the story made me want eggs along with some bread and jam. 

Frances parents don't argue with her food choices, instead they let her live with the consequences.  Now I know parents who have had food troubles with their kids. I actually live with some picky eaters who develop new smell and texture issues on the daily basis.  Sometimes the problem is not as resolved as quickly as it is for Frances. 

 However surprisingly, sometimes it is.  

Illustrated by Lillian Hoban, the Frances books have a sweet continuity of color and style.  She used soft pastels and details that perfectly match the writing. France's world is slightly old fashioned, I imagine they are more like my mother's childhood than mine, which for me is another positive.

I highly recommend all the books.  Bread and Jam for Frances is a good bedtime story, with a decent length, great little poems, and an engaging story.

It would also be great coupled with lessons about food and trying new things.  Nannies (and parents) might want to use the story as a starting point for time in the cooking kitchen where kindergartens help prepare a special egg breakfast, or pack a lovely special bento box.  One of the keys to having kids try new things is having them prepare it with an adult.  Frances just might provide a little inspiration.


How to Celebrate World Read Aloud Day

Passionate About Books!

World Read Aloud Day was last Wednesday February the 24th and I celebrated with some serious silliness.  

I love the written word and especially children's books.  The combination of art meets script, the sense of play and whimsy in books for children, all of it.  

And I quite enjoy reading aloud.  

Bunnies, Read Aloud, Read, Yourdori

I don't just read aloud to children either. I enjoy a good book with adults.  

Last year I read "The Secret Life of Bees" aloud to a client who is in her 70's.  We read the entire book together, and loved it so very much that we went on to read, "The Invention of Wings."  

Photo's By Nancy Gains

The two of us, me reading out loud as she lay in bed, as she sat on the patio, or in her wheelchair, these books changed our lives. The beautiful words shaped how I saw things and heard things for months afterwards.  

We shared that moment because I was reading aloud.

I don't have any trouble sharing this passion with the world, so when a day comes up where lots of other people are reading aloud -

Well, I made an event of it.  

Facebook kind of hides events after they happen, but no worries, I still have a link HERE

World Read Aloud Day Events

Using Periscope as a method of live streaming, several other women and I read aloud to each other, to children, to the world.

If you click that link you will find more links to photos of read aloud day, and people reading aloud.  Including yours truly. I did readings of Treasure Island and Green Eggs and Ham.  

Really.  Go see.  You might laugh.  

"And I dearly love to laugh."  - quote from Jane Austen that just popped into my head. 

It was Ah-MAZE-zING! 

I also wrote more about why reading aloud is important in this post at Yourdori.com.  Have you gone over there for a peek?  You should. You can also find out what the heck a YOURDORI is.  

Really.  Click over and look.  

I dare ya. 

Well, if you didn't check out the link.  Here is Green Eggs and Ham.  Let me know if you laugh, cause, well, I did. And hit the like button, will you please?  Or else people will think it was me who watched it ten times just so I could laugh at myself.  

And, if you want to hear a really fantastic reading from a former teacher who now writes books for children to help them learn to READ- you must check out my friend LUCY. 

Lucy Ann Jennigs blends action and brain power to connect the dots between letters and words.  She uses art (the action) to engage children in learning (the mind) how to read. It's a great idea because adding an action to the sight and sound of letters learning helps embed the reading concept in the mind of some children who are struggling with memorization. 

Read, Read Aloud

 Grab a child and listen to Lucy read aloud HERE.  She has a great voice.  

Who are you reading aloud to?  I'd love to know in the comments!