Monday, November 24, 2014
"The strains if violin in India", Venetian music for solo violin, broadcasted by La Fenice Channel
Happiness is something that we all strive to attain. As human beings we can accept the fact that: (a) life is short, and (b) unhappiness makes our lives difficult. As is common knowledge, our habits have a big impact on the quality of life that we live; specifically, these habits directly impact our happiness (or lack thereof). To make a clear distinction, there is a strong difference between clinical depressionand chronic unhappiness. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, while unhappiness is a disposition that is often acquired through how we choose to live our lives. Similar to depression, however, unhappiness can be diagnosed and treated.
Here are 12 habits that can cause unhappiness, all of which can be avoided.
1. Chronic Complaining
Happy and successful people do not complain much. On the other side, it seems that chronic complainers always have something negative to say… even when those around them are happy! The bottom line: we all have different circumstances that we are given in this lifetime, but in the end these circumstances are ours – fair or unfair, wanted or unwanted. Instead, seek solutions to problems instead of complaining, which leads to nowhere.
2. Being critical – of self and others
How we talk to ourselves shapes our self-image, for better or worse. Self-worth is an essential component to our happiness, and feeling good about ourselves is a right that we all have. Realize when mistakes are made, accept them, and move on…don’t engage in negative self-talk. Further, respect the inherent differences of others and recognize their right to live happily and without undue criticism.
3. Living beyond means
We live in a materialistic society, one where we are constantly bombarded with advertisements for the latest car, gadget, or credit card; all promising an easier, more fulfilling existence. Don’t believe it for a second. While purchasing a new product may provide a needed emotional boost, it doesn’t last. Ever heard the term “buyer’s remorse”? It exists for a reason. Instead, seek out something to do that doesn’t involve whipping out a piece of plastic – exercise, reading, sightseeing, etc. – anything brings satisfaction without the debt.
4. Negative addictions
Most things are good in moderation – food, a drink or two, entertainment… it’s when these things take center stage in our lives that it becomes a problem. Unfortunately, many good people have met their end through addictive habits, especially through dependence on alcohol and drugs. A great preventative measure and remedy to these addictions? Finding and living our passions to the greatest extent possible (see #8).
5. Regretting the past
Regret is not only useless, it can be extremely harmful. Research continues to show that repetitive, negative thoughts about decisions made in the past in often a precursor to chronic stress and depression. According to Psychology Today, there are four ways to cope with regret: (1) learn from mistakes but don’t dwell, (2) if nothing can be changed about the situation to let it go, (3) make sure too much blame is not being undertaken, and(4) reframing the situation more positively.
6. Worrying about the future
We only have so much say in what our future holds. This is not meant to disempower (quite the opposite); rather it is stating simple truth. What we can do is live in the present while fully exercising our God-given abilities and talents, enabling andempowering us to live a happier existence. There’s that phrase again: living in the present. Face difficulties as they arise and let them go. Enjoy the beautiful things in life and experience them fully…be present.
7. Being driven by fear
Yes, fear can be an enabler to unhappiness. To fully understand this, we have to again go back to being present. Quite simply, we can’t allow fear of the unknown (and/or the unavoidable) to cripple our quality of life. Fear is a negative thought process that is often on auto pilot. Remember: we are not our negative thoughts. We are not fear, worry, anxiety, or any other negative thought process.
8. Delaying goals and dreams
It’s relatively easy and effortless to get caught up in the routine of life: working, eating, sleeping, maybe even a day or two of doing something fun or relaxing. But here’s the thing: by not directing our talents and passions toward a positive and tangible goal, we potentially discard something great before its realization. The hardest part of living out our goals and dreams is taking the first step. After building a game plan taking that first step, only then can we see the possibilities.
Nothing exudes unhappiness and insecurity more than negative small talk about someone else. After all, why would a happy, confident person engage in something that is of no benefit? They wouldn’t. Gossip is something to be left to the kids at recess, not to adults attempting to make their lives (and others!) better.
10. Holding grudges
Similar to other negative emotions, animosity is a needless weight on our backs. We are all witness to the negative behaviors of other people and can become (sometimes justifiably) angered as a result. But remember: this isn’t about their ignorant behavior; it’s about your happiness. Either forgive, forget, or ignore… and move on with your life.
11. Eating poorly
Ingesting nutritionally-bankrupt food is all about immediate gratification. It’s certainly not about feeling good long-term, as eating poorly can result in bad health, weight gain, depression, lack of energy and decreased productivity; while having a well-balanced diet results in an entirely opposite effect – more energy, a healthy weight, mental alertness, and increased productivity. Eat right, look great, and feel great.
12. Expanding our problems
When we experience unhappiness and discontent, our first reaction is almost entirely emotional. In other words, we blow things completely out of proportion. After all, we still have that darned “lizard brain” (amygdala) – the epicenter of negative emotions. Instead, just take a step back, look at the problem objectively (with minimal emotion), and focus on a solution!
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Report of the activities held on November 13th, at Kdm, Jakarta
Participants: 12 kids
Trainers: Sotar, Mette, Mara, Benedetta, Martina,Stefania, Nancy.
Start song: Name song. Kids participated well. O. and a. helped holding up the papers with the names. Then we moved around in a circle while singing, to make it a bit more interesting.
M. and f. were not very motivated.
Mette and Nancy already discussed the possibility to have them join the activities of the yellow class. We feel that they are bored with the activities of the blue class.
A. was lying on the counter, playing with a ball, while f. was complaining. Sotar tried to get m. involved, but when he came into the circle he started messing around with a.,Sotar told them they should go outside. Eventually Sotar took them out. It was easier to work with the other kids when the 2 boys were gone.
5. Saving Benedetta: Happiness potion must be given to Benedetta who is very sad.
They have to bring one glass of water each to Benedetta and fill a bottle with a funnel. Little by little Benedetta will feel better until the last glass will be poured, and then she will be very happy.
To fill up the bottle they have to:
-Slalom on 4 small obstacles walking on the heel
-Walk on the rope, holding the cup above their heads
-Pass under the scarf tthat Mara and Mette hold upwhithout spilling water
We added later some extra obstacles to make it harder.
The children really liked this game. It looks like the combination of competition and teamworks works quite good for them. They kept asking to continue the game, even after the bottle (and later a bucket)were filled.
Kids were late to come in. It’s sometimes difficult to get them together in 1 place. Some of them like to keep playing on the football table in the pendopo.
After Musica Musica, Mara gave all the kids snacks. We tried to find out why a. was crying. She said she didn’t have a chance to join in the ‘savingBenedetta” game. F. said that a. went out of the line and then for some reason didn’t come back.Sotar told the other kids to make a. happy (as in the saving Benedetta’s game) and share their snacks. The children happily did so and eventually a. smiled again.
It might have been a cry for attention, Sotar said the absence of Ibu Uut affected a..
Participants: 11 kids
Trainers: Sotar, Mette, Mara, Benedetta, Martina,Stefania, Nancy
We tried to let the ball make several rounds, it wasn’t easy because some kids were moved the parachute too early or too late, sometimes too wild. The ball would move in a wrong direction or would fall off the parachute.
Number Run: Number all the children within the game. With the children raising the parachute high over their heads, shout 2 numbers and the children immediately have to run under the parachute as it falls to swap with the other number. Variant: catch the kids who run underneath with the parachute.
One Handed Run Around: The kids hold the parachute tight with 1 hand. The other arm they keep straight on shoulder height. The children run around as fast as possible, on count of 3 (they have to assign leader amongst themselves for the sign) they let go and try to let the parachute float.
They really like the parachute games. They were all laughing out loud. We asked them if there were leaders. The kids said they appointed d. and r. because they are disciplined kids. We asked the two what they thought about leading. D. said it was very difficult because not everybody followed the instructions.
Mette: she saw many smiles and kids were very supportive to eachother. Nobody gave another a thumbs down. They did good teambuilding.
Stefania and Nancy: it is important to listen toeachoter when you are in a team. Look at what the others are doing.
Benedetta: also important to have fun and enjoy the game.
Mara: After playing kids should clean up and be careful with the materials they are using. That is also part of the activity.
Report of the activities held on October 22nd, Kdm Jakarta
Wednesday 22 October 2014
Beads and string (Nancy)
Laptop for music (Sotar)
Blue class: 9am-10.30am
1. Name song (5 minutes)
2. "Follow Me" Game (10 minutes)
Kids are in a circle, one is appointed to start a movement on music, all the others follow. Then another one is appointed, and so on.
3. Bead activity (see attachment) (60 minutes)
4. Musica Musica
Start and finish with Emoticons
1. "Whispering Game" (15 minutes)
We make 3 groups in a circle.
Mara and Benedetta make a sentence in Italian that says: " Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another". ( or a shorter sentence about being happy/content)
Stefania says in her language :" Happy people plan actions, they don't plan results" (or something in that sense)
They will whisper that into the ear of one of the kids. He/she will try to repeat /pronounce it as best as he/she can to his/her neighbour .
The last child will say out loud what he/she thinks he/she has heard.
Then Mara, Benedetta and Stefania will then say in their language what they say and we'll tell the kids what it means in Indonesian.
It's a message about being happy.
2. Bead game.
3. Song: Little Green Frog
Report Wednesday 22 October 2014
Sotar, Uut (blue class), Mette, Mara, Benedetta, Stefania, Nancy
1. Almost all kids are complete, only s. is absent. We do the namesong first.
Kids participate well. Only f. doesn’t want to join and keeps reading under a table. F. seems to be in a bad mood.
The kids like it very much. Especially a., he keeps smiling. M. and s. play and Indonesian song. Kids sing with a lot of enthusiasm.
2. Follow song: all kids participate well . A. is most expressive. I think this is a fun activity to do again for a future session.
3. Bead activity.
* Ibu Uut starts with giving the kids their first beads. Kids are attentive. They listen carefully to what Uut says to each child. They seem a bit shy when they receive their bead, but happy.
The boxes of beads dropped a few times. A. was very helpful with putting them back.
G.: helped younger sibling when there was a fight
G.: good boy
A.: sweet girl
A.: good boy
A.: shares food
R.: sweet boy
F.: shares food
G.: helps with math
B.: likes to give an answer
B.: can teach f.
Kids start to get noisy
G.: listens when studying
A.: sweet girl and cute
F.: wants to study with UUt
M.: wants to play with m.
A.: wants to play with everyone
F.: is a good friend
B.: good soccer player
A.: best friend
A.: can work well together
A. and a.: play well together with d.
B.: nice to a.
G.: although g. is annyong, he’s a good football player
E.: he reminds f. to do things
A.: good boy
A.: likes to borrow pen/pencil
M.: likes to share
M.: likes to share pencil
G.: likes to help
D.: nice boy
F.: cute girl he likes to tease her
A.: nice boy
R.: he likes to tease f.
A.: helps a.
A.: funny and helps
M.: nice girl
M.: helps at school
A.: likes to play with a.
M.: likes to help in class
D.: likes to play together
D.: eventhough he irritates f., he also likes to help
F.: likes to help in class
Note: we didn’t divide the kids into 2 groups, because they stuck together in a big circle. But because they had to wait too long, they got noisy. They seemed to enjoy the activity and want to do it again.
3. End: ‘Musica Musica’
Introduction Martina. She sings an Italian song, the kids learn the chorus. They are very interested in learning what it means.
Mara and Benedetta are the 1st in each group and say a word or sentence in Italian. It’s passed on until the last child who says out loud what he/she heard.
Kids in group 1 got upset because they have it wrong a few times. They start blaming eachother.
Kids in group 2 have the words correct most. But they cheated a lot. A., moved over to Benedetta when she whispered the word to i. and the rest also tried to listen in.
They seem giggly and a bit shy to say nice things to eachother, but overall seem to enjoy it. They cooperate well.
Note: especially the older kids like to trade the beads they received into another they like better. We explained to them that the beads they receive were especially picked for them by their friends, so it’s not a very nice thing to trade them in.
* Emoticons: We did the emoticons in the beginning of the session with the yellow class.
Most of the kids wrote either ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’. Only a. wrote: ‘sad’ and ‘angry’ and g. wrote ‘tired’’.
Exercise Blue class: ”A bracelet of beads from my friends”
Goal of the exercise:
The goal of the exercise is to teach the children to show appreciation (e.g all the children choose beads for each other ”This bead is for you because…..”) and to give them a sense of belonging to a group who cares about them.
The exercise also practices the young children´s finer motor skills and concentration/focus skills.
How the exercise goes:
Beads, divided in to 2 bowls for 2 groups (Mette and Nancy)
Elastic thread (Nancy – please cut the thread and tie knots in the end beforehand)
16 Cups to gather the beads (Sotar)
Start up and instructions:
The instructions are given in plenum and the group is afterwards divided in to 2 groups. Every group has at least two helpers.
Instructions that are to be given in plenum:
This is a special exercise where you make a bracelet for your self. The beads that you use for the bracelet are chosen by your friends. Everyone chooses 1 bead for everyone in the group. We will show you when you go to your group.
IMPORTANT: You have to say something nice when you give your friend a bead, something you like about this friend, something that makes him/her special.
Instructions in the group:
(given by Nancy in one group and Sotar in the other)
A child is chosen to start. Child A sits in the middle of the circle and the rest of the group make a ring around the child.
The bowl of beads start with one of the adult helpers, the helper chooses a bead suitable for the child and hands it to the child while saying why this bead is for this child.
“This bead is for you because I like you”
“This bead is for you because you are my friend”
“This bead is for you because you have a nice smile”
“This bead is for you because you always hold my hand”
“This bead is for you because you are kind”……
IMPORTANT: please encourage the children to say things that are not connected to appearance or the “outer-self” but more to something special within the child.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Report of the activities held on October 15th, at Kdm, Jakarta
- Report 15 October 2014Blue classTheme: Team building, showing appreciation to othersParticipants12 kidsTrainers:SotarUutMetteBenedettaStefaniaNancyThe children were very excited to start with the session.It became a bit chaotic when some of the kids discovered we brought beads to show what we would do in the next session and wanted them. A. and s. got into an argument because s. wanted a lot of beads and a. told het she was not supposed to.The kids were a bit hyper at first. Especially m., who couldn't stop jumping around and roll over the floor.1. Name song:The kids from last year's blue class commented that the sequence of the names was wrong, but I told them that we made a new sequence because some kids moved up to the yellow groups and there were also new kids in the blue class.I was amazed that after so many months, they still remembered how the song went.F. was upset because I forgot to add his name. He left and didn't want to join the activities anymore. Occasionally he peaked inside, but couldn't be persuaded to join.2. Shark game:A mat is in the middle of the room, that is the safe place. Mette, Benedetta, Stefania start being the sharks. The kids are the fish. Sotar plays a song and when he stops, the sharks have to try and catch as many fish as they can. The fish have to get as fast on the mat as possible. The fish that are caught become the sharks.Each time before the music starts again, the mat will become smaller.Goal: kids have to work together to fit all on the mat.We discuss first the 3 Golden Rules:1. Dont hurt yourself2. Dont hurt others3. Don't break things.M. knows all the rules and is very proud to explain them to the other kids.A. and a. get into an argument during the explanation and have to be separated. For now they can't join the game.The kids really liked the game and worked together quite well. M. was proud again because he won the game.3. 1,2,3 Bintang1,2,3, bintang: first like it's played usually. Ibu Uut called out 1,2,3, Bintang with her back to the kids. They moved fast towards her before she turned around, then they had to freeze. Then we told the kids to move slowly, without noise. Especially for M. difficult, he was rolling over the floor again.A. and a. were very focused.There were 3 winners who each got a plate with cookies. They had to share it wit the rest of the group. D. almost forgot to take a cookie for himself. Ibu Uut said that he is a very helpful boy who likes to help her in class.4. Explanation Bead activity for October 22The kids were crowding around the bead containers first, but soon settled down. As practice, we told them to make a bracelet for Ibu Uut and show her their appreciation.D.: He can study with Ibu Uut until he moves up to the yellow classB.: (pink-blue bead) pink for the times that ibu Uut translated when Sara gave instructions, blue because he was in the blue classS.: She's happy to study in Uut's classA.: (green bead): Uut is kind to her in classA.: Uut is a kind teacherS.: Kind teacherA.: Uut is always kind to himA.: He can stay in Uut's class until he goes up to YellowD.: feels peaceful in Uut's classA.: happy because he's in Uut's classF.: feels calm with UutSome observations:A. is very focused and participates well during activities (except 1 or 2 incidents)A. seems to really enjoy the activitiesF. can be very moody at timesS. enjoys the activities and likes to be near BenedettaA.: friendly and shyS. and a.: seems to have fun but very quiet---------------Yellow ClassTheme: Positive thinking.Sharing a positive memory.Message from Mette: positive memories make you strongParticipants12 kids1. Dihina dan malu2 song"dihina dan malu-malu ragù-ragù yakin ragù-ragù yakindihina dan malu-malu ragù-ragù yakin segan bingungdiper-malukan kikuk disalakhan puas yakin spesial puas yakin spesialdiper-malukan kikuk disalakhan puas yakin spesial puas yakin"(Meaning: "humiliated and inhibited, hesitant, confidenthumiliated and inhibited, hesitant, reticent, confuseddis-honored, awkward, blamed, satisfied, confident, specialdis-honored, awkward, blamed, satisfied, confident)At first the singing went a bit chaotic, but the 2nd time went more smooth. Kids seemed to enjoy it.2. draw your happiest memoryMette explains the activity to the kids.She brings a drawing about a memory she has, when she spent a night out with her sister, looking at the stars and catching fireflies.Kids can draw anything they like, big or small happenings, whatever memory makes them happy.Note: when kids show their drawing, don't say: it's a nice drawing, or nice colours. Just focus on the memory and thank them for sharing.It seems hard for some of them to think of something.W. can't think of anything for almost 30 minutes. Only when we're back in the circle he remembers something.He was a bit afraid to share, seemed very nervous and insecure.A.: river and trees: he went on holiday in Banten and swam in the river. He made new friends. S. asks him why there are no people in the picture.A.: thinks his drawing is ugly, but s. tells him it's ok.In the sawah in Banten. there's a farm. He liked the view and he liked the bright colours of the surroundings.W.: volcano that is erupting. Talks about a ghost and his friend Aan. His house is there where his mom lives. and a bird.D.: tells about a dream he had. He dreamt he went up the Mount Everest. It was very cold and he's on the top of the mountain. When he woke up he had peed because in his dream it was cold.T.: In the village. Going to the mountain with the family and make pictures.S.: House: When they left Banten after 10 day holiday. It's both a happy and sad holiday.A.: Before KDM, she played with her friends. Her friend is far away now, she feels a bit lonely, but the memory of her friends is nice.F.: makes small speech. Tells his whole name.Plays with m. at waterfall. They were the only ones who dared to jump from there.Since then, never feel afraid. Feels proud.N.: played with friends. the drawings is about 2 different outings. He liked to see the birds and be in the bus.A.: The night before they left Banten. He's in the field in the dark, by himself. Then his new friends came and they shared their experience.S.: In the kampung in Banyumas. His friends were swimming in the river. He can't swim, but liked to watch. When he had to cross the river, his friends helped him.R.: During the holiday: It was his first time go out and travelling with friends. He really enjoyed the new environment.Background music: mix classical music. Some found it really nice, a few others said it was sad.3. Body percussionAll in a circle. 3 ways of tapping + loud/soft. Sotar walks behind circle and the child he touches changes the way of clapping.Notes: kids were very focused and respectful towards each other.The group seems very tight.S. and a. kept touching Stefania's hair. Stefania indicated a few times that especially a. was a bit invasive, but she didn't stop. Something to work on.Kids sometimes seem a bit irritated with f.. Especially when he doesn't understand the instructions as fast as them.