Day 22 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

Fear of Flying

If this photo makes your heart race and your palms sweat, you might have a fear of flying.

If this photo makes your heart race and your palms sweat, you might have a fear of flying.

I have always been afraid of heights, but when I think about any time that I have flown in an airplane, I know that I don’t have the fear of flying. I have been on big 757s and I have been on small prop planes. Statistically, flying on planes is safer than riding on a school bus.  I have never felt uncomfortable flying. For me, the lift off and landings remind me of riding in an elevator. I love looking out the window and seeing clouds beside me and patches of green below. I especially love seeing the irrigation circles when flying over the great plains.

However, not everyone is as confident flying as I am. About 25% of Americans are afraid to fly. Some people feel paralyzed at the thought of flying in an airplane, but Captain Ron Nealson, retired Air Force pilot turned “plane whisperer”, host of classes to help people deal with the anxiety of flying states that several techniques can help make flying less stressful for the most timid flyer. He has several suggestions concerning how to overcome the fear of flying.

First it helps to realize that airplane maintenance is highly regulated. I remember several years ago when I was supposed to catch specific flight and it was canceled. The reason the flight was canceled, I was informed was because of a problem with one of the wings. Who could get upset with that? I would much rather wait until I could get on a plane that didn’t have problems with the wings. Some people would have felt anxious about the fact that a plane had wing difficulties. I felt reassured that the maintenance crew were paying attention to detail.

The second thing you can do to help take your mind off of the anxiety during the flight is to bring something to do on the flight to distract you from the idea that you are in the air. Have audio or print books, music, watch a movie, or do something else that will distract you from the fact that you are on an airplane. It almost goes without saying that not sitting in a window seat would also be very helpful.

Third, avoid drinking alcohol and don’t take any pills that are supposed to take the edge off. Many times these substances increase the anxiety rather than decreasing them.

The final piece of advice that Neilson offers is for any person suffering from anxiety of hyperventilating while on the plane is for that individual to breath through a straw for a couple of minutes. By breathing through a straw for a couple of minutes when a flight first takes off, for about 90 percent of individuals, the panic lifts and anxiety is diverted. the straw artificially restricts the air inhaled and exhaled and slows the breathing naturally. It reduces the chance for hyperventilating in the first place.

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 22 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 21 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

The Greatest Pain in Life

According to statistical studies, the fear of death is second to the fear of public speaking. The fear of death is the fear of dying, but there are many aspects of that fear. For instance, a lot of people are not so much afraid of passing from this life as they are of the fear of the pain that is involved. I don’t think that the physical pain of death is the worst pain a person can have however. I believe the worst pain involves not just our physical bodies, but it permeates the depth of our spirit.

One of the last pictures taken of my brother Allen and my Dad together.

One of the last pictures taken of my brother Allen and my Dad together.

Most people who will tell you that they are not afraid to die have not truly come face to face with the concept of death. For most of my life, I never knew death in my immediate family so I had no reason to fear death. My parents were both alive and outlived their siblings. All of my siblings were alive. We never really had to face serious illness or injury in our family. We lived relatively healthy lives. Then last October, my father died. It wasn’t as if it weren’t expected. He was 91 years old. He had lived a long life. Most of the friends he had grown up with had passed, but he still had many friends and relatives who had wonderful memories of him. It was really my first glimpse of death in my immediate family. Inside I had a gnawing feeling that I had allowed too many years pass by that I had not been living in my purpose.

Six weeks after my Dad’s funeral I got a call from my sister Carol that my brother Allen had been taken to the hospital and was not expected to live. He died November 29th of last year. His funeral was on December 4th. I took his death much harder than I did my father’s death. He was my eldest brother, but younger than me. Allen was born a year after I was. He was the only one of my siblings that I don’t remember having been born. As far back as I can remember, he was my first playmate and now he was gone. At his funeral, he too had numerous friends and relatives who celebrated and would miss him.

Carol and her husband Jim.

Carol and her husband Jim.

Earlier this month I got a call from my brother Marvin telling me that my sister Carol was losing her bout with cancer. Carol was just a week shy of having been a year younger than Allen. She had said that she hoped that she would live until she was the same age as he was when she died, but she was afraid that she wouldn’t make it. She spent her last couple weeks in a hospital bed in her own home under hospice care. She was surrounded by family and friends when she took her last breath late in the evening April 16, 2014. The church where her funeral was conducted was packed with people who loved her. She always offered a smile and sometimes a joke. She left behind a husband, four children, and six grandchildren upon whom she doted.

I took her death harder than I did losing Dad or Allen. Partly because she was my only sister. The other reason was that I promised to be there,  but I wasn’t there when she died. We were far closer than I realized. I cried more the few days before she died than while in Pennsylvania for the funeral. When I returned home, however, my mourning turned to depression and again the tears wouldn’t stop. The tears were not just because I had lost my only sister, I realized that I had a dream that was unfulfilled and if I didn’t do something with it soon, I too might die without ever having done what I knew I was destined to do, and my funeral would be attended by far fewer people. I didn’t want to die regretting the One thing that I was destined to do.

My Dad, my brother, and my sister all had one thing in common. They had lived what they believed was important to them. They valued friendship. Their dreams had been to love and be loved by their friends and family. They were. I have to admit that I am made of different cloth. My dream in life is to serve others differently and in a broader sense and I have recently felt that I fall far short of that dream and that goal.

If you’ve never felt the pain of knowing that you’ve lost track of what you wanted your life to be, if you have lived to let the dreams that you had a child slip away into the abyss of wasted days, then you have no idea the pain I was in. As I said, there is one fear that is greater than the fear of death, but there is no pain greater than the pain of realizing that you have lived your life without fulfilling your dreams.

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 21 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 20 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

Getting Rid of the Victim Mentality

faith-is-not-believing-that-god-can-quotes

We hold ourselves hostage when we allow fears to dictate how we will conduct our lives. The biggest problem with our fears is that they are often entrenched in our daily habits. To add insult to injury, we have family and friends who tell us why we are unable to do the things that we dream about doing. Whenever we hit a snag in our plans, these same people are quick to say “I told you so.” rather than offering genuine service toward helping us determine our next course of action. Because the thoughts inside our heads are telling us that we can’t and our family and friends are reinforcing that victim mentality, it is no wonder we are stuck in the frustration that nothing is working. So what do we need to do? How do we break free of this cycle of being stuck because of fear?

First thing we have to do is to exchange our negative fearful thoughts with thoughts of faith. The important thing is however is to take baby steps. As much as we would like to, we cannot change over night. Habits of negativity have to be exchanged for habits of positive action a little at a time. We determine what is our toughest daily challenges first and then do what remains with the time left.

We need to begin raising our standards on a daily basis and become more self-reliant. We need higher personal and professional standards than the negative people around us. Begin by taking the best care of yourself possible. We should put our best foot forward in everything that we do. Think quality rather than quantity. Think excellence rather than just doing enough to get by. When getting ready to take risks, acknowledge your fears. We need to recognize that true security does not originate in others. Weigh the benefits against the risks. Know that you have a plan and that by taking the risk, you are becoming more independent. Like a swimmer at the end of a diving board, jump in head first.

 

Next we need to exchange the time we spend with our negative family and friends for people who encourage us and help build us up. We need to prepare ourselves for the knowledge that those negative people are not going to change simply because we change. If anything, they are likely to become more resistant to our growth. Some people we will need to eliminate entirely. Others, we will need to simply learn to tune out until it becomes clear to them that they really were wrong about us. We need to have faith in ourselves that someday we will become their role models.

 

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 20 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 19 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

What Choice Do I have?

choice signWe always have two choices, and only two choices. Either we accept things as they are or we can make the choice to change them.

Statistically, the happiest most adjusted  individuals are the ones who believe that they have a strong measure of control in their lives.They see themselves as victors.

The opposite is true for the people who believe in luck, fate, voodoo, and chance. These people are likely to give into their fears and doubts. They suffer from more physical and emotional problems. They see themselves as victims rather than victors.

One good way to overcome fear is to recognize that each one of us are created by a “power greater than yourself”, but we also must recognize that we are also  self-molded. It seems rather paradoxical, for sure, however, we must recognize that both are in effect for fear to lose it’s grip on us. We are given spiritual leadership, love, and natural laws that help us recognize the effects of every decision that we make, but we ultimately make our own decisions.

We have to replace our fear with knowledge and back that knowledge up by acting upon it. Failures should not be looked upon as the end result, but they should be looked upon as stepping stones.

We need to recognize that fear can be seen as False Evidence Appearing Real. A University of Michigan study from a number of years ago concluded that 60 percent of our fears are unwarranted. 20 percent come from past activities and there is nothing that we can do about them. 10 Percent are so minor that they really don’t matter. Of the remaining 10 percent, Only 4-5 percent are justifiable. The remainder of the fears that we have, we can do something about. We can minimize their effects if we simply stop worrying and start doing something about them.

In his book Seeds of Greatness, Denis Waitley suggests that we set aside one day every 7 weeks and mark it with a big F which will be our fear-in-disguise day. Eventually, it will become what we will call our follow-through day. On that day we will write down everything we can think of that we have anxiety or fear concerning. They can be current or future events, they can be problems in the world; they can be problems with family members. Include anything that might possibly be related to your business. Next we will write down any ideas that we might have toward reducing or eliminating that fear. choose things that you can actively do. Next, either telephone or arrange to have coffee with someone that we respect who can cast new light on your anxiety. (Be certain to look to someone who has a positive mental attitude. That you choose someone who will not wallow in it with you,)

 

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 19 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 18 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

Deepening Our Faith by Showing Gratitude

piccinni roland opera

 

Our faith is deepened when we express gratitude for what we have. spending some time in a gratitude journal helps. However, too often maintaining it can become unfruitful or even nonexistent. We begin doing things like writing in gratitude journals and then one of three things happen.

1. Another thing that happens is that before we develop the habit, we stop doing it because other priorities took its place. That’s why it is very important to begin creating small habits that involve very little commitment to do them. It is counterproductive to beat ourselves up for not spending a lot of time right at the beginning thanking our creator for his many wonderful it is much better to be grateful for the time that we did offer thanks that day. Set your timer for 5 minutes and write thank yous until the timer dings and you’re done. Remind yourself when you finish that anytime you can see something to be grateful for, you will express your gratitude in some way.

2. As they become habit, they involve no emotional involvement and are simply something that we do because they are mindless habits.To mix things up and keep this from happening, in addition to writing a daily journal entry, a good idea is to include additional activities every month. This way we can further inspire our gratitude and deepen our faith.

Here are things we can do:

  • Do something for someone who you know can do nothing for you in return.
  • Recall the three most influential people in your life. Write a letter to them telling them how they have influenced you and how grateful you are of their influence. If that person has passed, write the letter anyway and burn it and imagine the smoke of that letter being received by that person.
  • Every day when negative influences enter your thoughts, somehow turn it around so that you see the silver lining in that storm of your life. Then express gratitude for that silver lining.
  • Look for ways that others are doing something nice for you and thank them for their service. It will not just make you more observant of things to be grateful for, but you might make someone else’s day in the process.

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 18 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 17 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

Develop Faith That Overcomes Fear

Faith is not something that once you get it you can put it in your wallet, stuff it into your back pocket and say that you have it. To have faith you must develop gratitude. You develop gratitude, you must work at making it a habit. The only real way to work at making gratitude a habit is to take the time for gratitude every day.

river meditation

I started a gratitude journal so that I will become focused on gratitude first thing every day. For fifteen minutes I focus on writing down all the things and that I am grateful for. This I do in addition to meditation, doing a Spanish lesson, yoga, and daily hygiene. It happens every day whether I feel like doing it or not.

It has not been easy for me being grateful every day. Since my last post, I lost my sister after she lost a year and a half battle against cancer. Less than six months ago, my brother died of a heart condition, and my father died from a stroke. I am older than both my sister and my brother who died and during the process I realized just how little I have done to accomplish those things that I know I am to do before I leave this life. I have a sense of urgency that I never had before. I have things to do, and I have a limited time to do them.

I think what I find that is difficult for me in having gratitude every day is that I have difficulty understanding why my sister who always seemed to have only kind words to say to people, who showed positivity every day of her life, should have died the painful death that she had to die. Yes, she was surrounded by family and friends and she was loved. The problem is, those family and friends who surrounded her are forever scarred over the hell she went through during her last days. I am having difficulty understanding how a loving God can let someone he loves suffer like that.

I know that gratitude is the right thing for building faith, but for me right now, it is a struggle.  I struggle everyday to remain grateful. It is very difficult for me. I can’t help but feel as though I am pitiful and unlovable. I have gotten to the root of my fear. The fear that I am not worthy of being loved by anyone including God and certainly not myself. I have not been faithful in giving the gratitude for what I have been given. I am not worthy. What scares me is the fact that if someone like my sister should suffer even when she was so friendly and so giving, then what chance to I have for ever being good enough or grateful enough. It is a hard thing to face, but definitely a fear to be reckoned with. I will not stop the struggle until this fear and the pain associated with it are no longer an issue.

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 17 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 16 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

What is Faith?

earthWhat is faith? Faith seems like an intangible, but in fact is is a real as fear is real. You can’t say that fear is not real because its substance paralyzes. Faith, on the other hand, motivates and encourages. It is the power and the passion that keeps us going even when the circumstances around us say that what we are wanting is impossible to get or achieve. Faith is the opposite of Fear. Fear and Faith cannot exist in the same space and time. You cannot be fearful and faithful at the same time. Now that we know what faith is, the question next that needs to be asked is: Where does Faith originate?

We get Faith Through the Mind of God

Yesterday we said that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. It was the word of God that created the universe. It was something that was thought up in God’s thoughts and spoken into existence. Scientists today call that the “big bang”.  How literally someone wants to take the creation story has little significance because the results are the same whether an individual believes in an old or a young earth. Most miss the more important part of this dramatization is that an idea that became words came the creative force that brought the universe  into existence. That is faith in its purest form.  According to the Bible, we were created in the image and likeness of God. We were created to be like him. We were designed to exude this kind of creative faith. We were designed to expand with the universe and to ever increase. It is through this voice that created the universe that we too can do great things. The question then becomes: How do we hear the gentle reassuring, creative,  prodding voice of the one who created us? In other words, how do we become in harmony with Creator of the natural and the universal laws upon which all life is grounded?

We Get Faith Through Gratitude

In Philippians chapter 4:6-9 the Apostle Paul explains how we get this kind of faith.

  1. Set aside specific times to think about all the good things that are in your life and put your wants and dreams into God’s hands (verse 6).
  2. If you’re in the right place, you will sense God’s peace in your heart and your mind will feel rested (verse 7).
  3. You focus on the good things around you. Feel the gratitude for all that you have been given.  (verse 8).
  4. You acknowledge the negative, not so good things and then put them into God’s hands (verse 6).
  5. You must begin doing the things that involve faith which include creative projects and giving to others who are not able to give back to you. Be grateful that you are able to create. Be grateful that you are able to give. Do whatever it is that you can do to make the world a better place.
  6. Your gratitude must not be given in order to get something in return. It must given freely and without expectation.

 

 

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 16 Overcoming Fear Challenge, What is Faith? ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 15 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

The Opposite of Fear

Once fear is recognized and asked to leave, fear must be replaced by something more powerful than itself. The best way to fill that void where fear was is to fill that void with faith?a_place_to_meditate

What is faith exactly? According to Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the substance of things hoped for. What is this substance called faith and how do we get it?

Although faith is often considered a religious term thrown around in religious circles, faith is not as esoteric and many people seem to think that it is. In many ways it is as substantial as the wind or your breath and in many ways just as powerful.

Fear paralyzes, but faith empowers. Faith sees the vision of what we have hoped for. It creates the details of our imagination. It fires the motivation and action that follows. It dominates the human willpower and makes things happen.

How do we get faith? The Bible says that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Too often people think this means that we need to read our Bibles, but I don’t think that is what this verse is really saying. I think that what it is actually saying is that the voice of the creator is whispering ideas of great creative service into your mind. Listen to that voice and recognize the spark. Kindle that  spark of inspiration with the power of faith and act upon it.

Faith without works is dead. Faith without action is as good as the fear it replaced. It has no value at all. If we want our faith to grow, we must act upon those God-given (some people would term them universe-given) breaths of inspiration. What inspirations have you been given? Fan them today with the power of faith. Fear will flee. The life that was so small in the darkness of fear will ignite into an inferno once a spark of faith has touched it.

 

About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 15 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown

Day 14 of the Overcoming Fear Challenge

Our Favorite Excuse

Yesterday on this blog, we saw a YouTube video talking about how excuses prevent us from getting what we want. Excuses are akin to fear.  They are fear’s greatest ally. In the video, he mentioned that we use our relationships as excuses for not doing things. Here are a few others and with them some good reasons why they are irrelevant reasons.

Excuse: I’m too old.

Back in 2008, many people over 50 lost their jobs because of cut backs, their jobs have never returned, and now they face the task of looking for more work. What they used to do has been taken over by technology or through a business structure change. Many of them feel as though they are too old to start over. However, that is often further from the truth. What older adults have that a young person doesn’t have is experience and the wisdom of time. What experiences do you have to bring to the table? How can you re-spin those experiences into a new purpose? Make a list of your experience in the area in which you are using that excuse. Focus on the value that you could bring to the situation rather than letting fear get the better of you. older_workers_chart1

Excuse: I’m too young.

This one comes in various forms. It could be I’m not old enough. It could be I don’t have enough experience. It could be I haven’t worked here long enough. To overcome this excuse, focus instead on what you as a younger, newer person have to bring to the table. You’re young. You’re educated in the latest technology that many older people don’t understand. You probably have more energy than older people. Because you’re younger, you can recover more quickly so you can take more risks.

Excuse: My Health Isn’t Good Enough

If health issues are on your list of excuses, start doing something to help improve your health. There are very few of us in this country who have perfect health habits, so if bad health is your excuse, find ways to improve it. Talk to your doctor about ways that you can improve your health.  Quit smoking, eat healthier foods, get more rest at night, cut down or eliminate alcohol, and exercise. Don’t try to do it all at once, but incremental changes start showing results quickly. If you have physical problems that prevent you from doing certain kinds of exercises, see a physical therapist to find exercises that are appropriate for your condition.

Excuse: I’m not Smart Enough

Never underestimate your own intelligence. We all have areas of our lives where we have intelligence that others have. True common sense does not exist because no intelligence is common to everyone. What do you know that your next door neighbor does not know? I learned a few months ago that I know a lot about gardening that many people don’t know, and that with the price of food going up every day, gardening has become a hot topic. I started sharing that knowledge with others even though I am not an official master gardener.

When I started my college education, I thought that I would have to study hard to learn a lot, but what I learned most was that I didn’t have to learn that much. I already knew a lot of it, and what I did not know, I could look up. Since the advent of the internet, this excuse is out the window. If you don’t know the answer to a specific thing, my simple answer is Google it. Find someone who is doing what you want to do and emulate them. If you don’t know how to do something, look up someone through Google who does. Whatever it is that you are wanting to do, write down the questions that you feel you must ask and find someone who has the answers.

Excuse: I’m Just Not Lucky Enough

leprechaun

To parody a song by Tina Turner, “What’s luck got to do with it?” Luck is what happens to people who are good at what they do and do the right things to get into a position where when the climate is right, they take advantage of it. Take, for instance, my friend, Laura McHugh. She spent a year writing her book: The Weight of Blood and once she submitted the book to publishers, there was a bidding war for her book! That’s unheard of in this publishing climate and most people would put that down as “a lucky break”. What most people don’t realize is that she has been honing her skills since grade school. She has a master’s degree in Librarian Studies. She has numerous short stories under her belt. Her book may have had over night success, but she’s worked hard for a number of years to get there.

If luck seems to be holding you back, take good long look at the circumstances in which you believe that luck has played a factor.  Were you really as prepared as you could have been? I am one of those who are guilty of trying to take the shortcut by taking what I think is an easy way. I’ve done it with diets, get rich quick schemes, and I have done it in my writing. I had to learn the hard way that shortcuts do not lead to success. It is said that luck is when opportunity meets preparedness and that saying is very true. I have had to stop blaming luck for my own lack of success.  I am responsible for my own destiny.

Excuse: I Can’t Because. . .  (you fill in the blank)

Although these are a few of the most common excuses, I’m certain that you can come up with more that fear has adopted to prevent you from getting what you want out of life. Look for your excuses, examine them carefully and find you need to do to prove their irrelevance. I would love to know what your excuses are, and what you intend to do about them.

 

 About the Author

2014-04-07 07.07.08Cygnet Brown has recently finished her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga Cygnet Brown resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Get a free copy of her newsletter and a free pdf copy of her e-booket: Vegetable Gardening in the Shade.

Day 14 Overcoming Fear Challenge ©2014 Donna (Cygnet) Brown