Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Autism Answer: So Many Ways To Fix It In Five with The Brain Broad!



Author's Note: This is an update I wrote for the press regarding my mom's show, FIX IT IN FIVE with LYNETTE LOUISE aka THE BRAIN BROAD. It occurred to me that you might want to see this update, too. After all, you love my mom almost as much as I do! So I figured I'd share it here on my blog - and because you're my friends you actually get extra links and videos, too!  It pays to have connections. tee hee! Please share this post widely. Hugs, smiles, and love!! ~Tsara


Purchase of the show goes directly towards funding editing of Season Three (Israel) now in process.



FIX IT IN FIVE with LYNETTE LOUISE aka THE BRAIN BROAD is a docu-series that airs on The Autism Channel, available with a Roku Box. Both season one (Uganda) and season two (USA) are available for viewing free of charge to Autism Channel audiences.

For people who prefer to own (or rent) the show (an important option for educators and event organizers) both seasons are now available worldwide via Vimeo On Demand.

WHAT IS FIX IT IN FIVE? Renowned international mental health expert Lynette Louise (aka The Brain Broad) takes audiences to work with her as she’s invited into homes around the globe to work with families who have a loved one with autism and at least one other brain dysfunction. Always, she helps. Always, everyone learns.

FIX IT IN FIVE, Season One (Uganda) was a groundbreaking success. Seizures, culture, and poverty played important roles while Lynette Louise worked with little Trisca and her mom, Milly. Audiences were brought to tears of understanding and joy while Lynette addressed each issue, introducing us to her unique candor and understanding. We watch (and learn) as it works and everyone begins to heal.


FIX IT IN FIVE, Season Two (USA) has impressed and encouraged viewers with ever-more information and support. Puberty, violence, and ferocious love are on display while Lynette works with Xavier and his authentic mom, Jody, alongside Xavier’s brilliant sister, Gina. Once again, show host and creator Lynette Louise taps into her unlimited ability to understand while campaigning for change. The family on screen is gifted with unprecedented and life changing teachings. So are the viewers.


The first two seasons (of what will be a five season docu-series) are now available in their entirety for people anywhere in the world. There are a few ways to watch:

The Autism Channel (FREE to anyone with a Roku Box)

FIX IT IN FIVE with THE BRAIN BROAD, Vimeo On Demand (Rent or Purchase full seasons or individual episodes) Season One (Uganda) & Season Two (USA)

FIX IT IN FIVE on The Woman’s Broadcast Network (Season One only, Available FREE on Roku Box or online)

FIX IT IN FIVE, Season Three (Israel) is now in the beginning phases of editing. By purchasing seasons one and/or two you are contributing to the efforts of editing season three. And you automatically become part of our ever-growing Fix it in Fiver family!

Owning FIX IT IN FIVE with THE BRAIN BROAD gives you access to a show that is already affecting lives in unexpected and positively world-changing ways. As a Fix it in Fiver we encourage you to hold events and screenings of the show so that more people can grow and learn about the attitude shifts, play tips, and brain science that are presented with such emotion and brilliance in this international series.

And please feel free to contact Lynette Louise herself to speak or run a workshop in your area!

Visit Lynette’s websites for more info about the show, Lynette’s books, podcasts speaking, videos, outreaches,  and more: 



Contact Lynette Louise aka THE BRAIN BROAD: Doubly Board Certified in Neurofeedback and working on her PhD in Psychology with a specialty in Psychophysiology at Saybrook University, ww.lynettelouise.com/ www.brainbody.net / EMAIL: mom4evermore@juno.com PHONE: 713-213-7682
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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Autism Answer: A Lovely World With A Dash Of Yucky



Dear Friends,

When we simply say things like, "these terrible times" or "in this cruel world" or "amidst all these horrors" or any other shrugged off assumption about living in a mainly hurtful world, we are solidifying and creating a story for ourselves and our loved ones about living in a hurtful world. 

Sure, we generally do this as a way to introduce something lovely, and in this way make our lovely story stand out while at the same time trying to sympathize and connect with people that struggle. We share memes and stories and say, "take a moment to enjoy this lovely thing since we are living in a yucky world," as a way to highlight the lovely by also highlighting the yucky. Contrast, I know, is valuable. And it's easy to do when we lazily refer to the world as horrible and our story as lovely. But the truth is, we're creating terrible horrors while we highlight them. We're making them bigger, we're replaying them, we're teaching our children to assume them as a given, and we're making a big mistake. 

The world has yucky in it, true. It's a dangerous and cruel idea to pretend it doesn't. But the world is actually mostly lovely. That is true. Seriously, it's true. Although it becomes slowly less true as we try to make lovely the exception. Yet, persistently, lovely remains more.

Look around with honest eyes, friends! Lovely isn't the exception, it's the rule! Over and over and over and over again I am greeted by, bumped into by, shined on and comforted by lovely. The yucky happens, and I figure out how to deal with it in the most lovely way, and then I'm surrounded by mostly lovely again! Sure, I can look specifically for the terrible world, hurtful policies, dangerous stories and see how much of it there is. Admittedly, sometimes I do that. And still, even though the ugly is very ugly, and there is much of it, there is still more lovely than yucky.

I honestly believe that if we shifted and introduced our stories from a place of assuming wonderful and seeing the hurtful as anomalies, we'd create less of it. We'd accept less of it. We'd teach our children that life is lovely although yucky happens. And that we must be willing to work at finding lovely ways to address - and change - those cruel and yucky things.

Our histories are filled with stories of tension, hurt, love, progress, reframing, renaming, growth, death, flexibility, and strength. Lovely and Yucky. While we tell the stories we create both our past and our future. So let's simply say, "in this exciting time of reframing" or "in this wild and weird world" or "amidst these clashing stories of strength," or any other fun introduction that doesn't presume we live in a time and place of mostly cruel horrors. Because, actually, we don't.

We live in an exciting time of reframing in this wild and weird world amidst clashing stories of strength, I think. A lovely place where there are some cruel and yucky things we need to address.

 
Let's take advantage of our storytelling power to shape it with intention, love, and an assumption of mostly lovely!

Yours Always,
~Tsara

Hugs, smiles, and love!!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook) 

 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Autism Answer: Worth Working (Not Fighting) For

 
Working together


I would love to suggest, in the interest of creating a culture of acceptance and love, that we see our hopes, dreams, skills, children, loves--our overall vision of what we want in the world--as worth working for. Rather than worth fighting for.

I think, if we see these things as worth fighting for, right there we automatically lose a huge chunk of what we hope to accomplish. Well, except for those that want to accomplish fighting. I'm not judging you, I just don't agree. 

For those of us working for a world where peace and acceptance are our foundation and diversity is our breathtaking beauty, "fighting for" already contradicts it. "Fighting" evokes a need for adversaries and side choosing. Sure, we have to work hard against currents and dangers sometimes, but working evokes a more innately inclusive mood, doesn't it?

If we know our beliefs are worth working for, we won't give up or give in (so, don't worry fighters, I'm not suggesting we throw in the towel!) we'll follow clues, invite ideas, ask for help, offer help, acknowledge our successes and never give up. It will be work worth doing, and because we're working not fighting, we'll never make the mistake of believing that it's okay for some people to get hurt, for some people to be marginalized, ignored, or beaten. Instead, we'll go back to the drawing board and invent new, fresh, brilliant ideas! All this while working together rather than fighting with or against. 

There are so many diverse and smart people using their time, money, and creativity to impact our world. Imagine if "harm no one" was always the axiom? The absolute? The deep understanding?

Just a thought.

Oh, also, let's remember to acknowledge and recognize how many of our hopes, dreams, skills, loves, and overall visions for our world have already been accomplished because of our work! Rather than live in a perpetual state of feeling like we must work, work work, all the time (who else heard Westley from The Princess Bride in their head?) let's be willing to work while living in a state of knowing we've done it and are doing it and can continue to do it!  

And that it is fun!

Just another thought.

Hugs, smiles, and love!!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook) 



 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Autism Answer: I Go Walking




What you might have seen:

A forty-something year old woman walking briskly, dancing and singing to herself wearing her brand new headphones and looking like she isn't aware that they're giving the music only to her. You might have seen her stop for a moment to experience the feel and look of a towering pecan tree, and then continue walking and singing happily. Suddenly she looks nervous and begins to cry a little. She trips and almost falls, her happy dancing turned into nervous clumsy crying in an instant.

What you might* have thought:

She seems weird but happy. Harmless, probably. But, whoa! Wait a minute. Her mood shifted so suddenly for no reason, and indeed it did clearly shift. It seems likely that she's unstable and more weird than happy. Wave as you drive by, but don't get to know her. What a strange woman.

*There are so many things you might have thought. Please know that I know my guess is purely invented out of only one of unlimited possibilities. 

What I saw:

The day is bright and cool, the streets are mostly empty except for all of the dogs. With music in my ears and happiness bouncing in my steps, I watch as some dogs bark at me nervously, some seem angry, some ignore me completely but bark and leap at each other. Most of the dogs are in fenced yards, a few roam free, a couple in cages, and some are attached to chains.

What I was thinking:

My heart hurts for some of these dogs but my fear of them is bigger. That one, the one tied to that chain over there by that dog-house, looks so much like the one that bit me last year. How sad that I know these animals are mostly harmless yet I am afraid of each and every one of them. How sad that I know they would be even more harmless if they weren't so often caged or tied up yet I'm relieved that they are. Focus on the music, dance to the tunes, don't let these thoughts or fears wreck your walk. I know! Take the main street home. Less dogs and more people. I gotta ask my brother - who walks all over town all of the time -  how he deals with all these dogs.

What I was thinking when you might have seen me:

This is better! People, smiles, oh look at that tree! I feel less nervous now, but I need to think about this. I should know how to go for a walk without having to babysit my feelings and thoughts so much. There is a bigger answer here, about society and stuff, that I can learn from these dogs. Oh, look! A feather! I'll take that home to Shay. Wait, that dog is pulling its way out of the fence. Shoot, I'll cross the street. Don't be scared, Tsara. Don't be scared. I can't breathe, but I'm passed the house. Peek behind you, make sure it's not coming this way. Oh, shit! It's out! It's looking at me. BAM: a couple of tears and uncontrollable shaking. Just get home. It's okay, the dog is standing there, staying there to keep me away from it's home; its family. What song is this? I don't even know this song, and I don't like this kind of music. How did this get on my playlist?

What I want us to remember:

When we see folks who are weird - happy or not - remember that they are so much more than weird. When we see folks who are different from us - in clothing, habits, beliefs - remember that they are so much more than different. They are an entire story. Stories, really. Unknown to us maybe, but unquestionably filled with emotions and reasons and memories and ideas that are as valuable as our own. No, we don't have to get to know every single one, and some stories are dangerous to invite into our lives, but remember that there is a life story, equally valuable as our own. Also, yes- there are answers about society and stuff, everywhere. And when we find ourselves struggling with extreme emotions - like fear - the answers are asking to be explored. My fear was real and relevant, based on personal experience. But it was also ridiculous and unfair. The dogs were mostly playful, fun, and harmless. Mostly.

Also, friends, please consider adopting a dog only if you're able to give it a fair amount of freedom. That's just a personal plea.

Hugs, smiles, and love!!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Smell Of Hope - Short Story



Hello, friends!

It's been a while since I've participated in a Flash Fiction Challenge. I honestly didn't expect to participate this time, either. Although I certainly planned on stalking - errr, reading - the comment section so I could enjoy the pieces other writers wrote. However, recently something sad happened in our real life and I found myself turning it into complete fiction after being triggered by Chuck's Flash Fiction prompt: Hope in the face of Hopelessness. Kind of deep, right? Well, turns out it was also kind of therapeutic for me. So, once again, thank you Chuck Wendig! 

To be honest this piece is more for me than for you. I do hope you'll read it and get something beautiful (and hopeful!) out of it, but I admit I can't be entirely sure. What I do know is that it has given me something important. I love that about the freedom in fiction! You get to take advantage, create what you need, without guilt. 

I invite you to read my short story. When you're finished feel free to join me in the comment section over on Chucks blog where I'll be sipping coffee and reading several other flash fiction stories! Hugs, smiles, and love!! ~Tsara

*

The Smell Of Hope


The pain is physical, deep, dark colors, existing everywhere, specifically nowhere, all-encompassing, too much; too much.

She can’t - it can’t -  please!

Her new husband must have taken the phone out of her hands because she’s using both of them to scratch deep marks into her skin. Nails digging deep into her upper arms with the intention of releasing blood like she used to. Arms wrapped around herself and holding her tight, holding her together, as her mom used to.

But never again.

How? Why? A car crash? After everything, and, well, everything, it was a car crash?

Deja pulls herself into the fetal position with great effort and feels, from far away, her husband lay a blanket on her as she holds herself, and their baby – fetal, inside her – together.

Dreams.

Dreams will be Deja’s comfort. Always able to use dreams selfishly, mixing memory with need for her purposes, a place where being blind isn’t disabling and her style of sight is perfectly suited. Dreams have always been Deja’s strongest sense. She calls to them now.

*

Her mom is standing strong as a brick wall blocking the doorway. Deja wants to smell the food cooking in the kitchen but it’s her own sour sweat and vomit that invade her nostrils. “Got drunk during the day,” mom said, matter of fact. Disappointed. “The world is dark to me no matter what time it is,” Deja retorted. Foolishly.

Usually black as night Deja’s mom turns pale when angry, people have said. Deja imagines she’s pale now.

Deja just wants her to give a little, to understand. It’s not as if she’s doing drugs and living on the street. She’s drinking, partying, just like other girls her age. It’s not so easy to pull off being like other girls her age. Why can’t her mom give a little?

Now she’s holding her, mom is. Deja is crying on the ground, cuts all over her legs, they’re in the yard. Even after she’d stolen from her mom, disrespected her with venomous sarcasm and lies – cleverly mixing in truth in dangerous and cruel ways – her mom is holding her, loving her, keeping her together.

The cuts, Deja gave those to herself. Cutting to avoid a pain she couldn’t identify or ignore. Nobody had hurt her really, she’d never been raped or abused or molested, there was no reason for her emotional anguish. Her disability wasn’t overly disabling. No, she didn’t have a reason. Deja felt a pain that came from herself but she wasn’t doing it to herself. It was just there.

So, she cut. She drank. She stole. She fought. She found ways to push the uncontrolled pain down by living on the edge or inflicting pain she could identify and explain.

Her mom wouldn’t allow it and stood strong and fierce. Yet this day, that day, certain days, she understood Deja’s readiness to feel love, to feel support, and she would give it.

Now they are in Deja’s rented room. Deja and her mom healing. Together. With the pleasure and power of dreaming, a year’s worth of connecting and revealing and explaining and admitting sit with them in that room. Deja knows now about her mom’s rape and the abuse she suffered before Deja was ever born. They have explored how, maybe, possibly, Deja’s mom had passed the pain onto her. Unwillingly and unknowingly. Insidious and subliminal. Deja admits that the unexplained pain has receded. Replaced with purpose. With love. With hope. With perspective.

She is getting married.

She is going to be a mom.

Dreaming still, Deja is holding her husband’s hand. His hand is holding hers. Her black skin and his dark brown skin complimenting and outlining each other; and though she can’t see it she has imagined it as he’s described it. The way they fit together is clear to her but more entertaining the way he tells it. She lifts their hands to her face and smells them; together.

Deja’s mom is standing in a doorway smiling; beaming. She’s a big woman but her expectations for the future are bigger. Filling more than the doorway.

This is Deja’s dream but she doesn’t recognize the doorway. It feels different, smells unusual. But her mom, her mom she recognizes.

*

Deja’s dreams are memories, filled in with a selfish need to stay with mom. Deja knows she can sleep forever. She’s considered it before; long before. Is now the time to consider it again? For her mom and her baby and herself? There’s no hope now for the future with mom. No hope here. It was snatched; stolen; killed; crashed.

*

Arden watches his new wife sleep for a few more moments. He feels lost and scared. His wife and baby are the future he is prepared and excited for. Only recently has he been man enough to love them for the sake of them, not only for how they make him feel about himself. Not only for how they fit into his plan of things. Creative job, check. Reliable car, check. Home, rented - but check. Wife, check. Kids, on the way - and check.

But this; can he do this? How? He is already feeling a need to talk about how this will affect him. He thought he was man enough, but now he wonders. He’s being tested too soon; too soon.

Arden steps into the kitchen and pulls his phone from the charger. He stares at it and considers the people he can call. Mom, dad, brothers, sister, friends – what can they say? What can they do?

Arden thinks about his mother-in-law who he barely knew. Would she even know what to do? What to say?

Well, he can’t call her now, can he?

Arden is not the type to get angry but he’s angry at himself now, for not feeling a deeper sadness. He’s mostly fuzzy and stressed. He’s nervous. He wants to do this right but, more than that, he doesn’t want to do this wrong. It’s tempting to focus on himself.

What do you do for your pregnant wife when her mom suddenly dies? How do you be a good husband, a good father, a good man, then?

Arden gets himself a glass of water and fills Deja’s favorite water bottle with sweat tea.
Gathering his art supplies from the tiny living room he heads quietly confused back to their bedroom.

*

The pain is too real and keeps waking Deja. Her dreams are beginning to feel like home and she wants to live in them. Mom is there. Her baby is born. Arden is showing his cartoons to the kids, describing them to her, reading the stories and jokes to everyone. There are several kids now and she dreams her family is growing. But then pain comes and informs the dream; influences it. Someone goes missing. One of the kids, her husband, a friend; interestingly, never her mom.

Her mom is gone in this world, not that one.

Deja’s eyes flit open and Arden feeds her water, tea, fruit, corn bread. Deja can’t see it and doesn’t taste it but she is nourished by it.

Sometimes Arden isn’t there. She guesses he’s at work. That’s when she knows she could do it. Sleep with her baby forever. When Arden isn’t there she imagines him crying over them and telling a sad story, a story of his blind wife and their baby-to-be, and getting comfort from his family and co-workers. She imagines him writing an award winning film, getting over them, remembering fondly while getting on with his life. She imagines it’s easier for him.

But then he’s there again.

She smells him before she hears him. He’s being careful and quiet but his smell is loud. He smells like outside. Like coffee and popcorn. Like soap and detergent. He smells like hope.

It bothers her. It comforts her. She’s sobbing again.

*

Arden has fallen asleep behind her, holding her and the baby; all three of them in the fetal position.

Deja is between sleep and awake, in that other dimension, not sure which direction she wants to travel.

The baby flutters in her belly.

Her mom laughs in her dream.

Deja hears breathing and smells hope.

Arden kisses the back of her head and sleepily rubs her belly. His beard scratches her neck and she smells his morning breath.

Her mom is over there; waiting in the dreams; in the other dimension.

Her mom is staying there.

And Deja will visit.

But Deja is staying here.

Where her vision is created out of sounds, tastes, energy, smells, touch, and imagination.

Deja will stay here with her new husband and their baby. They’ll build a distinctly different future than originally planned out of the pain and rubble of the car crash; they’ll be honest about what pieces to throw away and which ones to keep. They’ll try to be, anyway.

Deja is staying here.

Where it smells like hope.

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