Uncategorized

Do The ROT Thing!

do the ROT thing

This weekend was amazing and I hope that yours was too! As many of you know, I write, speak, and research on the topic of identity, grief, and purpose. I have been writing books, designing community programs and online courses, and speaking at conferences for over ten years now. Something amazing happened this weekend and I hope that you’ll keep reading to find out what it was……..

Since she was born, I’d always imagine how I would explain to her what Mommy did in her line of work. Wondering if when she became of age would she ask me over and over, “Mommy, what is death, what is grief, and why do you care?” I asked God to teach me to teach her once she was of age how the cycle of life works and how we could use things around us including nature to explain the cycle of life.

Last summer, I began teaching rain barrel and composting classes within the  City of Atlanta and really enjoyed the process of seeing people get excited about how we could use nature to resolve refuse and excessive water overflow. I remember coming home and talking about the process with my daughters and husband and I would get an occasional nod of interest.

Fast forward……..

Talmer-Marie is an amazing student at Arnold Elementary School in Jonesboro, GA. She is actively involved in her school as a Girl Scout and a student within the STEAM (STEM) Science program. This program has been an amazing blessing to her this year as it was her first introduction into the public school system. Talmer-Marie excelled in this program while being exposed to Legos, robotics, coding, and other forms of art. Several months ago, we were informed that the program was soon coming to an end and the students needed to prepare a science project.

After sitting down with Talmer-Marie to peak her interests, she mentioned to me that she wanted to work with slimy worms. Researching sites like http://www.sciencebuddies.org and other sites, we begin to explore her options and she had previously done a recycling project on sorting and took an interest to composting. Putting the two together, we talked with Darcy, and begin to draft the plan.

It was particularly important that Talmer-Marie was able to understand and know full well what the topic that she chose was about as well as the ability to explain the topic. We drafted an outline and began to shop for the project contents. It was such a fun time watching her respond to slimy worms and making the food to put in the food scraps bin. Talmer-Marie is working on a video for you which explains her project named, “Do the “ROT” Thing ” and I can’t wait for her to share it with you. The project saught to understand how to compost food scraps using worms. It was such a hand-on and messy yet rewarding experience to watch and to see Talmer-Marie involve herself in!

The competition was this weekend and in short, Talmer-Marie came in 1st place for the First Graders within the STEAM program. It was such a wonderful accomplishment for her and to watch her accept her first award. I was so proud of her that she could see the benefit of working consistently on  goal. She is an exceptional young lady who is destined to change the world. I am so glad that she sees a need to assist her environment and connecting to nature to do so.

Stay tuned for more information on her project. Congratulations Talmer-Marie Ogandaga on your win and to all of the winners and participants within this awesome program!

Happy Composting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emotional Healing, Uncategorized

Overwhelmed by His Love

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From My Family To Yours!

These last few months have already proving challenging in many ways growing our business, ministry, family schedules, product creation, and a worldwide client base, but at the whole of it all, we have learned that the more we take the time to fall into the embrace of Father God and let him love on us, it was there where we found solice and rest from the weary hustle and bustle of life. We wanted to write and encourage you to know that God loves you and he is absolutely concerned with EVERYTHING that concerns you.

I wanted to send you this quick video link and encourage you in your time of worship or reflection to review the clip and let the love of God overwhelm you. This song made me grateful and thankful for each of you for taking the time to purchase our products, pray for us as we travel, and entrust us as contractors over your projects. We want you to know that we keep you in prayer as well that Father God will keep you in the center of his care.

Until next time…….let his love overwhelm you….

Listen to this: https://youtu.be/_nEqtD1yfl0

Darcy, Danita, Talmer-Marie, and Boutou Sudie Ogandaga

Uncategorized

Coping Through the Holiday Funk- Danita Ogandaga, MSW

coping

This article is about World Class Funk: Holidays, Loss, & Intensified Feelings.

A client once told me, “Danita, if I could, I wish that I could become a bear to hibernate from Thanksgiving to New Years”. I have heard this statement so many times in my work as a grief recovery coach. The holiday season is naturally a time for persons to be of good cheer but not everyone is reeling from the turkey preparation, fall colored leaves, lines at Starbucks getting your red cups, or frequent trips down neighboring subdivisions to view holiday lights.

My therapist once told me shortly after the loss of both parents that the feelings that we carry and often have are not pasted on watch so they do not obey time and they certainly don’t obey the calendar we follow ritually. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), according to an article published by CNN affects approximately 20% of Americans and are due in part to the cold weather, lack of sunlight, to name a few followed by financial pressure for some. As much as we’d like to drag the Grinch or the person sitting in tears, the stark reality is that grief is real and it takes time. Martha Beck, who writes for O Magazine and is an amazing transformation coach in her own authority, it is important to remember that if we are going to be there for someone during their season of grief that we not try to rush them along. Healing takes time.

Just as water travels through the river, there are people that are walking the streets, working beside you at work, or pushing their cart in the grocery store with you that may find themselves in the first 48 hours of their loss whether that loss is a loved one, foreclosure or loss of house due to fire or other circumstance, prolonged illness, abandonment, rejection, or any other situation. This past week, I encountered what felt like a surge of personal emotions that all seemed to come at once:

  • My sister was rushed into emergency surgery
  • My aunt lost her husband and love of her life
  • I wrapped up a month-long course on Miscarriages and had a moment to remember my own

Although these moments dealt with a person, there are also griefs that are associated with non-persons. Whatever the grief may be, I want to encourage you that you must go through the process and in doing so, ultimately find the strength to place the memory of the things or person that you have lost in a place where you can continue to function.

Here are a few ways that you can begin to make through the days ahead:

  1. Make time to remember- Maybe it was a picture you posted on Facebook  or your favorite memory of the place you loved to attend, make the time to share those experiences with your friends and family.  It may be a simple trip to your favorite ice cream store of a long-distance trip to the island. No matter where it is, make the time to make time to remember. The engagement and the act of giving voice to the memory will provide a connection deeper than you could imagine.
  2. Open up for glimmers of joy- The feeling of guilt can cause you to believe that you are not entitled to laugh in the midst of crying as you mourn or grieve but I want to assure you that this is the best thing for you to do. Your memories can hold the joys as well as the pains associated with losing your loved one and when you remember deep down, you know that your loved one would want you to find glimmers of joy even in a painful time.
  3. Set clear expectations- It may not always be easy to set clear expectations especially when you are crying your eyes out, but it is ok to know that when you have lost someone or something, no one expects you to jump up and down and cheer. Let’s face it, you have just lost something or someone dear to you so of course you are going to cry. Death is a separation until we are reunited again. When couples and family members embrace each other after a short departure or reunion, they cry, right? So, if there is no immediate reunion in site for those things or persons that we have lost, of course there will be tears. Talking to people who are perfect strangers in a support group or grief recovery group can always assist your process.

No matter what you decide to do, maintain your peace that you are doing what is best for you. This is what we want grief to look like and in fact, it is something quite different.

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I encourage you to stay tuned for our February 2016 GriefTalk Recovery Group event that will be held online. For more information, read here.

In the days ahead, stay encouraged. For more products to assist your grief journey, please visit our store.