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As the mother of four wonderful teenage boys Tsara spends a lot of time figuring out who she is so she can teach her sons to do the same. She also hears herself holler, "Stop Eating!" an awful lot! As her boys get older, she gets louder while sharing her beliefs and ideas. Again, as a way to comfortably ask them to do the same. Being the sister, daughter and mom of autism, much of what she has to say comes from what the challenges of living surrounded by so much difference taught her. Though her posts are rarely specifically about autism or parenting, they are always stories grown from the fertile and organic thinking soil that can be found where the two come together. Tsara is the author of the new book Spinning In Circles And Learning From Myself: A Collection of Stories that Slowly Grow Up.
Tsara Shelton is also a volunteer photo editor here on OEN.
She had the honor of being interviewed on the Envision This! podcast, hosted by Burl Hall (a contributor to OEN) and his wife, Merry. Follow this link to listen: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/envision-this/2015/07/08/tsara-shelton--the-trials-and-triumphs-of-a-life-lived-on-the-edge-of-society
No Means No - And Even More You Need Permission
"No means no. Even if you think it's a game, even if nobody is screaming, no means no. Every time. Not only that, you need to get permission. You need to be told yes. Every time."
That was the thing a judge said to me and my rapist.
It was an important thing. Because, you see, I hadn't known. My rapist hadn't known. We were equally surprised to learn it.
Sunday, January 15, 2017(3 comments)
When Our Uncles And Our Stories Are Murdered
Stories are powerful. The freedom to be who we are, to share our cultures, to tell tales to new generation, is necessary. When my uncle was murdered so were his stories. How many stories will we murder? Either at our own hands or by standing by and allowing it. I hope: No more.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016(10 comments)
For Our Youth - Not Clinton Or Trump
The things that have been said about Clinton and Trump, the memes that have been shared, the jokes that have been abused, are too cruel. At this point if either one of them wins our children will have seen that winner - the next president - abused and represented in unprecedented ways.
Walk A Mile In Their Shoes But Tell A Good Story
You can walk a mile in my shoes but you'll get more joy out of the journey if you tell a good story. It's up to you. Either way, you walked a mile.
Some thoughts about learning from experience via intentional storytelling.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016(2 comments)
Choosing a Leader
I have a permanent resident card and love my life here in the United States. I cannot vote, so I tend to engage in the election seasons a little bit differently.
I debate concepts, I have conversations with my sons, and I write articles.
In this article I share my thoughts on choosing a leader. Highlighting the value of taking the time to define for ourselves what we expect from them.
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee -- A Personal Book Review
I spent the last two days reading Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. This article highlights a few of my feelings and thoughts, personal in nature. In a nutshell: I loved the book, it made me angry, like Jean Louise, I want all of us to grow up a notch.
Thought Seeds and Insights from The Flower Project
My youngest son turned in The Flower Project yesterday. After helping three of my four sons discover and name up to sixty different Texas wildflowers, I have also learned a few things thanks to this school assignment. Here I share some wildflower seeds of thought with you.
They're so Big, These Small Silly Things
In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month I share a memory. The time my abuser gave me his apology scribbled on the inside of a drug store greeting card. It seemed like a silly small thing. And yet, it really wasn't.
Talk About Issues With Your Children (Not At Them) #BlackLivesMatter
When there are big things happening in our communities and in our world we sometimes wonder how to discuss them with our kids. I think the magic lies in following our child's interest and ability to understand, a willingness to play with the edges, and the important skill of talking with, not at.
Going for a walk. Simple? It should be. Yet I forgot it was okay. I forgot it could be safe. And when I forgot, I created and taught danger and a need for protection. I forgot, but then I remembered!
Saturday, September 6, 2014(3 comments)
The Genius of Comedy and a Comedy Genius~Joan Rivers
I'll be honest. I have found Joan Rivers to be hilarious, but I'm not her target audience. I don't watch television and care not for red carpets. But I do love to laugh, and grew up in comedy clubs--so I've certainly seen her, and comedians like her. Here I share thoughts about comedy itself and the comedian Joan Rivers.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014(23 comments)
Living Within My Means, And Loving It
A while back someone asked me why I'm happy living within my means. I had a blast answering her questions and thought it would be fun to share here at OpEdNews, a community that encourages actively seeking success with intention.
My Birthday Gift: Seeing Myself In My Sons!
It was my birthday the other day and my sons made me the most amazing gift. A song written by one of my boys, edited into a music video by another one. It's an example of everything I love and believe in, and I want to share it with the world!
Monday, December 2, 2013(8 comments)
You Miss A Lot When You're Colorblind
In the interest of integration we sometimes forget to respect diversity and difference. Expecting equality should never suggest a desire for assimilation. Admittedly, I've known many (including myself now and then!) to forget. It's so important that we not forget!
There is a Woman with a Suitcase
Lynette Louise aka THE BRAIN BROAD is kind of like a modern day Mary Poppins. Her umbrella is a plane (or car) and her carpet bag is a big colorful brain. In her suitcase she carries neurofeedback equipment, offering something Mary Poppins never had. A way to compliment and guide the brain. In order to help more than just one family at a time she has created a global internet reality series. She could use a little help! Series: The Brain Broad: International Mental Health Expert (6 Articles, 8987 views)
Friday, April 19, 2013(1 comments)
FIX IT IN FIVE with LYNETTE LOUISE aka THE BRAIN BROAD is now available for viewing on The Autism Channel
FIX IT IN FIVE with LYNETTE LOUISE aka THE BRAIN BROAD is an international reality series that highlights neurofeedback, family dynamics and fun for families struggling with brain disorders. The first episode, wherein Lynette helps a little girl with seizures and autism in Uganda, is now showing on The Autism Channel! The footage is beautiful, the people are beautiful, and the learning's are brilliant... and beautiful!
The Day I met my Husband: An Unromantic Romance
I've always considered Valentine's Day a slightly silly celebration. A romantic I am not! However, in the spirit of the season I got to thinking about the day I met my husband. It's surprising just how many lessons of acceptance and assumptions were offered that very first day! I thought it would be fun to share the learnings. Breaking it down unromantically, while falling for my hubby all over! Happy Valentine's Day!
Monday, January 28, 2013(6 comments)
Creating a Culture: The Validity of the "Everybody's Doing it' Argument
Equality, freedom and creating our culture with intention. Most of us believe in these things. However, most of us have different visions regarding what they mean and how such a world should look. It's important to insist on living our vision, without letting the differences distract us from the sameness.
Monday, January 14, 2013(33 comments)
Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself
We are all living and learning. Some of us start in one place, others in another. Some have challenges with poverty, others with disability and others with prejudice. There is so much we can gain from one another. Yet I find it much easier to learn from others once we've practiced actively learning from ourselves.
Sunday, December 2, 2012(3 comments)
A few years ago I entered an essay contest with the broad topic,"What's your real life story?" I didn't win. Yet, I did. Writing this piece unraveled so much about my life, changing me for the better. It's been just sitting saved on my computer- along with book outlines and random musings-almost forgotten. Until Rob Kall's recent article, asking us our ideas of success, reminded me. It's a bit long, but I would love to share!
Thursday, November 8, 2012(11 comments)
You See, to me, it's all about Value
We are all valuable, equally. Regardless of race, religion, sex, ability or orientation, not one of us is more valuable than the other. I believe that once we become comfortable and aware of that fact, once we are fully willing to see it as true of ourselves and others, we will be better equipped to tap into that very value and exceed all expectations!!
Tuesday, October 9, 2012(7 comments)
Safety vs Freedom
I love progress, but I think it's important to forge ahead with intention, honesty and a willingness to change course. This habit of making up new rules in an attempt to get rid of every problem, is obviously not keeping us safe, and taking away our personal freedom.
Sunday, September 2, 2012(4 comments)
It Takes a (Texas) Village: Our Story of Acceptance and Autism
My mom is heading to Uganda on Saturday. As an autism expert and hands on play/neurofeedback therapist she travels the globe often. This trip she'll be gone for most of September working with six families daily, filming a reality series and eating grasshoppers. My mom has helped thousands of families over the years, but only one of them has been there since the beginning. The first family she traveled the globe for. Ours!
Sunday, September 2, 2012(1 comments)
I don't know anything about politics-- besides what Jon Stewart shares with me on The Daily Show--and I can't vote for the folks who argue with each other about policies on TV. But I am part of America's story, and for my children and their freedom, I insist on playing my part with intention!
Thursday, July 12, 2012(54 comments)
Dear Poverty: It's not you, it's me.
This is my break-up letter to Poverty. I felt a need to share it, and my reasons, with others so that I wouldn't chicken out and go running back. Poverty is familiar and has given me much, but I feel as though we are holding each other back and it's time to take a different path. I'm a bit scared, but also a bit excited! New paths can do that to you.
My Kid did it: Where's the literature and dialogue when your kid is the bully?
I have four teenage boys that I am very proud of. Our home is filled with laughter and comfortable conversations, often about uncomfortable subjects. I'm happy that we have such a balanced home, but it's more than that. I see a danger in the world that wants to point fingers, blame the 'bad guy' and wonder about sending my men out into the world. Will they remember to forgive themselves when they are the 'bad guy'?
Sunday, February 26, 2012(1 comments)
The Importance of Personal Semantics: My Silly Little Example
Growing-up I labeled myself as 'the nice one'. It was easy for me and I was proud. But as I grew, the complexities and differing opinions regarding what is and isn't nice made life harder for me. Even dangerous. I began trying on labels and examining the importance of words. I also learned to allow others to discover the words that worked for them. Personal semantics have shaped my life. I've enjoyed choosing with intention!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011(3 comments)
Are you Autistic? Maybe, but Probably Not.
Crowded holiday malls and routines thrown out frosted windows for out of town guests and spontaneous caroling; a very challenging time for kids and adults on the autism spectrum. But isn't it somewhat stressful for everyone? How is it that these challenges are something that some of us have to buck up and handle, while others are given labels and special Santa's with short lines and tolerant elves? Let's see, shall we?