Lucero Speaks

A Friend for Those Forgotten

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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“A Friend For Those Forgotten” is a humanitarian project for alleviating the suffering caused by human loneliness, and to promote compassion, kindness and respect for every human being.

Through the belief that compassion turned in to action can positively impact the world of every individual, I conduct heartfelt visits of friendship for human beings who feel lonely and forgotten.

Briefly describe your project:

A few moments after exiting the train in Oslo, it began;

“Lady, please give me something, PLEASE, TAKE THIS!” The gypsy girl forced a small magazine into my chest. Six others had done the same within minutes. “No thank you”, I politely replied. I took a deep breath and remembered, “I am neither beneath nor superior to anyone.” After repeating this in my mind the irritation evaporated and I continued, through the crowd. The experience caused me to seek eye contact with those who were available. As I met the eyes of others I honored their worth. This simple exercise was powerful and connection took place instantly, many people nodded and smiled as they passed. I was enjoying this game when one man caught my attention, causing me to pause. His weathered face captured me and he did not release his gaze. He was a beggar, but in that moment he was not asking me for anything. I stood there looking at him, he looking back at me; seeing him, and being seen by him. After a bit, I sat down next to him. I said, “if you don’t mind I’ll just sit here with you for a while”. I didn’t know what language he spoke, but he grinned and scooted a little closer to me. As we sat I told him I was from Hawaii and I had just completed my immigration appointment. I said it was funny that people were wearing shorts and t-shirts yet, in my jacket, pants and cap I still felt chilled. He chuckled yet said nothing. Soon somebody dropped coins in his tattered cup. He looked at me with surprise, a moment later some more coins appeared and he made a “Whoop” noise, shaking his boney finger at me and grinning. We were laughing as his next customer made a deposit, and he slapped my back like an old chum. Time passed. I gave him a hug, said goodbye and stood to walk away. I felt a tug on my ankle. My companion stood to his feet, and in English said, “that was more kindness than I have received in years. Will you do something for me?”
Touched, I asked, “what do you wish?” He said, “Get yourself a big ice cream as a gift from me. You’ve healed my loneliness”
Tears flowed as I walked back toward Central Station and I was no longer irritated by the gypsy girls and their work.
As I ordered the ice cream my heart was exploding with gratitude.

“A Friend For Those Forgotten” is a humanitarian project for alleviating the suffering caused by human loneliness, and to promote compassion, kindness and respect for every human being.

Through the belief that compassion turned in to action can positively impact the world of every individual, I conduct heartfelt visits of friendship for human beings who feel lonely and forgotten.

 

Why does this idea matter to you and the city of Oslo? 

I was initially inspired by an elderly man who wandered alone in the street near my home. After forming a friendship through mutual respect and simple conversation, I noticed a transformation in his demeanor, alertness and level of joy. My belief that every individual should feel valued and cared for prompted me to take action. That action has led to hundreds of visits with the elderly, disabled, incarcerated, homeless and has prompted the development of “A Friend For Those Forgotten”. This idea matters to me because compassion, kindness and time is a gift that can be offered by anyone to anyone and I am willing to be a person who offers these things and who leads the way for others to do the same.

The city of Oslo benefits by the empowerment of human beings offering themselves to those who need to be seen and loved. The ideology of kindness spreads and increases the quality of life and general positivity within a city. In addition there are health benefits to addressing the epidemic of loneliness.

According to a new study revealed in Perspectives on Psychological Science: “Social isolation — or lacking social connection — and living alone, respectively increase mortality risk by 29% and 32%.”

Some of these potential health consequences include heart disease and stroke, increased stress levels, decreased memory and learning, alcoholism, and altered brain function. Because loneliness disrupts the regulation of cellular processes in the body, it also predisposes those suffering from it to premature aging.

 

How will you use the micro-grant funding to realize your concept? 

The micro-grant funding will be used to further develop my personal mission and services into a legitimate “start-up” foundation. This will enable the creation of needed aspects such as website development, consultations, event planning for awareness, outreach programs and education for those interested in participating. In addition funding would greatly increase the possibilities in making an impact during individual friendship visits. My goal is teach others how to affectively participate in visiting the lonely.

I often take supplies to those I meet and I have a vision of not only sitting and talking with those in need but doing activities with them that help them to feel more integrated within their world.

Taking a lonely elderly person or homeless person to lunch at a restaurant instantly changes their self-perception and can lead to increased feelings of acceptance… which leads to ever more feelings of belonging, the possibility for life changes, better societal involvement, improved health and ultimately participation as a visitor for someone else.

 

What specific elements of community and/or sustainability are being addressed in your concept? 

Many elements of community are addressed by this concept.

The participation of those willing to offer compassion to the lonely and forgotten members of our society will be bonded by a strong sense of community consciousness.

Unity and solidarity are derived from living in a definite locality, such as Oslo. By understanding some of the complexities, complications, and confusions within the life of just one member of a community, insights are brought into the collective emotional identification of its members.

This project includes all aspects of social life. Participation welcomes everybody regardless of color, age, race, prior community involvement, level of education, occupation, personal relation, handicap, religion or any other factor. “A Friend for Those Forgotten” actively reaches out to all citizens, encouraging their participation.

In addition this project promotes community health. Experts report that when you focus on someone other than yourself, it interrupts usual tension-producing patterns.

Moods and emotions, like optimism, joy, and control over one’s fate, strengthen the immune system and create more opportunities for positive social interaction.

 

 

 

When your mind gives you lemons…

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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Not long ago I auditioned for a TEDx jury in front of a live audience.

There were 14 passionate, intelligent speakers vying for the chance to present their “idea worth spreading” for the 2017 season.

My topic was My Unrealistic Reality.  Each time I share my stories and how I view life, many people ask, But HOW DO YOU STAY SO POSITIVE AND HOW CAN YOU TELL THESE STORIES WITH SUCH EASE AND HAPPINESS?

I offer my viewpoint throughout my presentation, with examples such as:  After my body was crushed in the car accident and the doctor came to offer his prognosis for my recovery, he stated, “Your injuries are extreme, your body will not fully recover and your athletic career is over”…. and I WAS DELIGHTED…. because what I heard him say was, “You have a completely different body now, so you get to choose interesting, new and exciting things to BECOME!”  I did choose new and exciting things to become, and so, there was nothing wrong with the circumstances, and, after some time I also healed decently and DID return to my athletic career.

Although I give these examples and live my life with this kind of thought process, not even I realized how my personally trained way of thinking is such an engrained part of me, until a gentleman named Oliver, spoke on the subject of happiness.  His focus was about how our thoughts, rather than our circumstances can help us to create our own level of happiness.

Toward the end of his presentation he said, I am going to quickly demonstrate just how powerful your mind is.  Please close your eyes.  Imagine a big, yellow, juicy lemon.  It is on a plate in front of you. You have a sharp knife and you cut the big, yellow lemon in half.  It is glistening in front of you.  You see the juice dripping from the slice.  Now you pick the lemon up, and you take a big, juicy bite.  Now open your eyes.  

He then asked,  Raise your hand if you had a physical reaction of some kind during that story.

Everybody in the room raised their hand…  Except for me.

Oliver then chuckled and said, That’s how powerful your mind is.  There was no lemon.  I was just saying words.  Yet, your mouth was affected wasn’t it? Everybody laughed and nodded, yes.

I had no physical reaction to Oliver’s story.

Here’s why.

The moment I heard Oliver say the word lemon, I chose to re-imagine a lemon as the most sweet and easy thing in the world to taste.  I did not know where his story was going, or that he would ask us to take a bite in our mind.  I did know that the thought of a lemon causes my mouth to have an unpleasant reaction, and I like pleasant things…  so, I just made it pleasant.  When he asked us to taste it, I took a completely different bite than everybody else in the room.

I did not think about the significance of this until I was on the train home after the event.

When life gives me challenges I re-imagine them into advantages and when my mind gives me lemons, I make butterscotch fudge!

 

 

Meet Harold

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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Hello Annetta,

My name is Harold Newcomb and I purchased your video with the training skills and I really love it.   I purchased it for my grand daughter, but she wasn’t interested.

As I tried learning all these tricks and drills I found out it is a very good way to exercise while doing something very fun and enjoyable.  It is no easy task for me even though I’m a good athlete. I have several problems learning and performing the tricks. I’m 6′ 2″ and I’m 80 years old, but I’ve got heart and determination.

I am an inventor.  I mow lawns and use a zero turn Cub Cadet mower.  I’ve invented a special mower and I can use the feet to steer the mower, so I am free to do many things with the hands.

I also must alter some of the tricks because of the seat on the mower and can not use my legs because I’m using them to steer the machine.  The zero turn circle enables me to use the baton to perform many of the neck rolls, continuous elbow rolls, mouth rolls, elbow pop rolls, as well as many other  functions.

I am still learning to do all these tricks and would like to someday make videos for you tube.  I would much prefer teaching you to steer the mower and allow you to do the baton tricks. I do have the patten on the invention and these videos would help in selling the idea to some huge manufacturing company.

I had thought that it would be much easier to teach you to operate the zero turn mower than me to do the tricks.

Please let me know what you think of the ideas.

I play your videos every night and imagine myself twirling the baton to some wild James Bond music.

Lots of Love!!!

Harold

My Unrealistic Reality Example #1,111

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 1 Comment

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The colorfully chaotic painting hanging in the gallery caught my eye through the window.

Without hesitation I entered the small establishment and began absorbing and appreciating the creativity of the artists whose work adorned the walls. Styles ranged from sophisticated oils, to quirky, multi-media pieces.

I thought, my creations will look great in here, as I admired the painting that drew me in.

A young lady appeared and lingered behind a work counter.

What is the process for having one’s art displayed here? I politely inquired.

She began her discourse, There are a lot of artists who want in here, we have ten show galleries in Norway, it is very difficult….   as I registered her demeanor, my most valuable life skill kicked in.

I immediately and completely checked myself out from her reality and into my own, self-sculpted, great feeling, unreality.

She went on for quite some time, and when she took a pause to think of more reasons why she believed things were so dismal, I enthusiastically asked for web information on applying for my work to be shown.

She was thrown off balance by this. She repeated, it is very difficult.

I said, I am an absolute master at navigating difficulty, what a perfect situation for me!

She nervously laughed and dropped her pen.

I happily returned home and applied for my art to be shown.

Contentment is not rocket science.

You simply have to not buy in to the limitations of those who are not YOU.

 

 

 

Practice Improves….. EVERYTHING

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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Fact: Focused practice causes improvement.
So, what is it you want to “get better” at?
What is it that you would like to practice and expand in your reality?
Twirlers, would you like to always perform “No Drop” routines? No drop… No DROP… NO DROP… DROP DROP DROP DROP DROP DROP.  
If you approach performance routines with the focus and fear of dropping you will pound that DROP right into your experience. Or…
You can shift your mindset to the CATCHES.
Place focus on the FEELING and JOY of the baton landing centered in your capable hand.
How about mentally celebrating every catch, and training yourself to stop responding to errors with negativity? Adopting a mindset of gratitude for being talented, and having the ability to pursue an athletic, artful activity will enhance your practice sessions.
How about not worrying, talking and obsessing over the story that Betty Bigtricks is doing a triple Hoo-Ha, and just focus on what is special about YOU? And YES, there is something supremely special about you that can easily be discovered when your focus changes from Betty to YOUR GIFT, your style, your strengths, your contributions.…and SURPRISE…. this goes for every aspect of life.
You get better at what you PRACTICE.
“Oh did you hear about Fanny Fake-Face? What a JERK!”
Practice improves EVERYTHING. If you practice speaking poorly of others, you are going to become a MASTER. And guess what the result of that skill will be? Yep, YOU get to receive exactly what you offered Fanny, from others.
What is it you desire from this experience we know as life?
Whatever it is, practice the highest and best potential of THAT thing.
Do you want more love in your experience? PRACTICE love.
Acceptance? Tolerance? Kindness? Joy? Prosperity? Generosity? Friendship?   
PRACTICE those aspects, and you will become a master of THOSE things. The things in life that are focused upon not only expand, but that expansion draws more of that very same thing to you in a variety of ways.
So….  No Drop, or ALL CATCH?  SHE is a jerk or I AM UNIQUE?
It’s your choice.
Choose, PRACTICE, Change, Expand….
LOVE!

What I learned from my son’s last breath

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 1 Comment

My son Jaidon lived a short and powerful life.
He was 16 years old when he took his last breath.
He was my teacher while he was alive.
There was one brief moment that affected me more than any other…
This is what I learned from Jaidon’s last breath:
If I am still breathing, I have to try.
I must live fully.
I must laugh.
I must see things lively.
I must notice beauty.
When he took that last breath, time stood still.
Energy shifted.
Love and sorrow mingled as all of the make-believe mind dramas of this manufactured world melted away.
Then, there was no more Jaidon.
“He” was really gone.
 There was no more struggle or trying.
When I am most distressed over life’s scenarios,
When things seem too heavy, overwhelming, impossibly complicated or hopeless;
I think of my son’s last breath.
His life was such a gift.
My life is a gift as well.
I will eventually experience my last breath.
But, until then…
I’ll try.
(Read Jaidon’s Story HereThe only answer that matters)

Relationships that Complete do not Fail

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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I no longer expect others to “make” me happy.

It has become obvious to me that what I perceived as the shortcomings in previous relationships, began with me. I chose partners that embodied my own strengths, deficits, entrenched patterns and limitations. The illusory emptiness, confinement, and privation in those relationships, and the pain of ending them, caused me to seek more in myself.

Many consider the ending of a relationship to be a “failure”. I now believe that some relationships are mutually propitious for a lifetime and some are not. Learning what is possible from one another, and then releasing the dependency on the familiar no longer equates to failure for me. It simply means that some relationships can be concluded once all of the benefits and lessons that it had to offer have been experienced. Once there is no more for the participants to lovingly give, do or receive, it is wise to consider that rendition of the relationship complete and move on.

I stayed in some relationships due to the bromidic belief that it was “the right thing to do”.  The drudgery of forcing a relationship for reasons outside of myself, (societal expectations, familial or financial pressures), leaves all involved dissatisfied and miserable with themselves and one another.

Coming to this place of personal understanding has generated fortuitous consequences in my own life. I am able to more acutely see myself as the architect of my own being. The relationships I now nurture are more stable, honest and indelible. The expectations and responsibilities I formerly placed on others have been reintegrated in to a keen awareness of my own self and self-worth.

Releasing the thoughts, habits and compulsions that conscripted others to be responsible for my fulfillment, has brought about the emergence of a ME who is fully capable of loving with ease and grace, and in return I am now receiving the same.

 

 

 

Foundation

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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FOUNDATION.

I believe that a strong foundation creates the base for the highest, most solid, qualified, incredible results.

Is it easy?

Not usually.

Does it take take time and patience?

Yep.

Is it worth it?

A B S O L U T E L Y ! ! !

A mere year and a half ago I met a young girl who had a very poor foundation in baton twirling. She had been what I would refer to as, “mis-taught”.  In the world of baton twirling this means, she had an incorrect “thumb-flip”, horrendous “pattern”,  remarkably misdirected choreography and ZERO rolls. In fact, the first words she ever spoke to me were, “I can not roll, I hate rolls”.

Hhhmmmfff.

I took note, and ignored reality.

After all, this poor soul was Norwegian. Norwegians are not usually recognized in the sport of TWIRLING.

….I have chanced upon a champion.

I KNEW it the moment I saw her.

Ingerlinn Sundby is a Champion.

Aside from Baton Twirling, this young lady possesses a spirit that can change the world. She may not yet know it, but SHE IS SPECIAL.

Ingerlinn has endured ME for some time now. She may not always like the direction I am leading her in, but she has trusted my seemingly “wacky” guidance.

Ingerlinn is humble. Ingerlinn is quiet. Ingerlinn has fears….

I am not humble. I am not quiet. I have nearly no fear.

This Kid Is A Gift.

With patience, sensitivity and guess-work, Ingerlinn and I have blazed our path. We KNOW when it is okay to push and when I need to back-the-heck off.

It’s been a HUGE life lesson for me.

My favorite twirler in history is Janae Dorn, and I find it quite amusing that this kid is the physical reincarnation of Ms. Dorn.

I love this child beyond words.

I am, (and I NEVER use this word), “Proud” of her resilience.

Ingerlinn and I continue to work for her highest potential. Competition is a secondary aspect. HOW GOOD can she become from her effort? This is the only question that matters.

What do I believe?

I believe I have found the result of my life’s work. I believe I am engaged in an important mission to heal the small part of the world I am engaged in. I believe I have been gifted the possibility of hope, through a metal stick and a beautiful young lady who has dreams of becoming a champion.

Ingerlinn…. YOU are already a champion.

I love you.

PS. Ingerlinn has the most vertical, impressive, non-cheating, breath-takingly-amazing rolls I have seen since the 1980’s.IMG_3100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s ALL in the Name

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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When I was pure bliss, among the bright stars, I floated in knowing for eternity.
At some point I chose to have an adventure.
I chose to experience the illusion of splitting myself into what would seem like a countless myriad of colorful parts.

I chose to ride in a separate vehicle called a human body and to be given a name, and a life.
I knew life would pass as a near invisible blip on the radar of everlasting beauty, yet, I desired to feel, see, absorb, know and expand.

In the creation of my own adventure I thoughtfully chose one particular part of myself.  I asked it to help me more than any other.
I said, “when I am separate, and have forgotten that I am only ME, and that the “I” ME is YOU, as well, I would like YOU to remind me of WHO I AM.”

The part of me playing YOU asked, “how might I do that?”
The “I” ME was very creative and bold.  The “I” excitedly painted a picture that would provide the most opportunity for expansion, adventure, growth and wisdom.

“I” asked YOU  to deliver life, to love ME, and to stay with ME throughout the journey.
YOU said, “Yes, of course I will do these things, I love ME.  I can agree to anything “I” desires.”

“I” was pleased and continued.  “I want YOU to offer ME pain, darkness, sadness and oppression as well….”
“What?” YOU exclaimed.  “Why does “I” ask for such things?”
“I” smirked and breathed deeply. “I asks for an experience that will provide the most opportunity to remember “ME”.
The place ME is going has many variables. I want the highest possibility to feel ALL of the emotions, to see ALL of the contrast, to absorb ALL of the beauty and horror, to know ALL of the pain and glory, and to expand ALL of the ways I desire…  Can YOU provide ME these gifts?”

Without hesitation YOU confidently stepped forward.  “Not only will YOU provide all of these things, YOU will give ME clues in this adventure to help uncover ME’s magnificent and whole origin.”

“What will the clues be?”,  “I” excitedly asked.

YOU now looked pleased and mischievous.
“”I” shall be named, ALL.”
“Oh! That is lovely!”, “I” exclaimed.

As the ME separated and YOU began the journey to Earth, “I” waved with joy and lovingly called out…

“and “I” shall name YOU, Mom!”

Thank you for ALL of it, Mom.
~Annetta Louise Lucero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trappings of Control and Abuse (It happens to men)

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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I am compelled, through personal stories, a desire for truth, balance and an opportunity to educate, to write this today.

Due to my own incredible history of familial and spousal abuse, my studies, research, lectures and conference presentations, I have developed a keen sense for recognizing controlling and abusive patterns in the lives of others.  Many friends and “strangers” have shared their own stories and sought my advice, knowing that I am someone who may identify issues, and listen without judgement. Surprisingly, some of these people are men.

Research demonstrates that the same abusive tactics and behaviors demonstrated by men (physical, verbal and emotional threats and intimidation) are also demonstrated by women. The resulting shame and fear of being abused, as well as the excuses made to cover up the abuse, are not gender-specific.

Men who are “trapped” by control and abuse have the same denial issues as women. Humans of either gender are adaptable to familiar situations, patterns and lifestyle, and in my experiences as an observer and listener, I have seen men deeply struggle with the possibility that their circumstances fall under the category of “abuse”.  The concept of victimhood does not often make sense to a construction worker, martial arts master, or firefighter. I see my former self in their shock and denial every time.
When I was court ordered to a Victims of Domestic Violence course after a dramatic escape from my husband, I was stunned.
I remember telling the instructor, “there’s been a mistake, I’ve never been a victim of anything in my life. I am a well-oiled machine.”  By the third class I was even more surprised, realizing that my situation was blatantly abusive, meeting every physical and psychological category of behavior, patterning and conditioning presented.

There are many reasons people stay in abusive relationships, ranging from believing abuse is normal, to embarrassment, abuse/why-do-people-stay/, Cultural and societal pressures condition many to believe that relationships are to last FOREVER, regardless of the circumstances. Many people tough it out, even in the midst of escalating pain and entrapment.

Of course both the abuser and the one receiving the abuse become unhappy and dominated by the patterns of control. I do have compassion for all involved, as those who act out with abusive behaviors are suffering as well, and often times will never learn to recognize or seek help for their conditioned outrage.  Gender is not indicative of who is dominated and who is subdued.

Whether or not you are a tiny woman or a burly man, if you call your partner 14 times in a row, making up stories in your head why they are not answering, and intently hit them while they are asleep, you have a serious issue that needs addressing.  If you are accepting this behavior, it is important to seek an education in the area of pattern changing and get the hell out of Dodge.

We all have experiences throughout our lifetimes as being perpetrators, victims, hero’s, failures, and everything in between. Recognizing these attributes, admitting they are a part of us and keeping it all in check, regardless of what side we may be on, is the key to growth and expanding the best possibilities for ourselves.

Here are some very common traits that present themselves in those who are abusers, these traits are not gender specific.  It is not the purpose of the listing to imply that every person with some of these attributes is an abuser or potential abuser.

Jealousy
At the start of the relationship, an abuser will equate jealously with love. The abuser will question the victim about who the victim talks to, accuse the victim of flirting, or become jealous of time spent with others. The abuser may call the victim frequently during the day, drop by unexpectedly, refuse to let the victim work, check the car mileage, or ask friends to watch the victim.
Controlling behavior
In the beginning an abuser will attribute controlling behavior to concern for the victim (for example, the victim’s safety or decision-making skills). As this behavior progresses the situation will worsen, and the abuser may assume all control of finances or prevent the victim from coming and going freely.
Quick involvement
A victim often has known or dated the abuser for a brief period of time before getting engaged or living together. The abuser will pressure the victim to commit to the relationship. A victim may be made to feel guilty for wanting to slow the pace or end the relationship.
Unrealistic expectations
An abuser expects the victim to meet all of the abuser’s needs, to take care of everything emotionally and domestically.
Isolation
An abuser will attempt to isolate the victim by severing the victim’s ties to outside support and resources. The batterer will accuse the victim’s friends and family of being “trouble makers.” The abuser may block the victim’s access to use of a vehicle, work, or telephone service in the home.
Blames others for problems
An abuser will blame others for all problems or for the abuser’s own shortcomings. Someone is always out to get the abuser or is an obstacle to the abuser’s achievements. The victim or potential victim will be blamed for almost anything.
Blames others for feelings
An abuser will use feelings to manipulate the victim. Common phrases to look for: “You’re hurting me by not doing what I want.” “You control how I feel.”
Hypersensitivity
An abusive person is easily insulted, perceiving the slightest setbacks as personal attacks.

 

If you are in an abusive situation that you feel you can not safely leave, seek help.

*Tell Somebody.  If you have covered it up for so long that it is hard for those around you to believe, tell it anyway.
*Contact a Domestic Violence Prevention Advocate or call the HotLine:  1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
*If you are monitored by your abuser go to the library or use a friends computer to view the Domestic Violence Website:  http://www.thehotline.org/help/
*When you escape file a restraining order ASAP.  The piece of paper cannot protect you from physical attacks, but if you are threatened or attacked and you have the piece of paper it can cause a quicker, easier conviction and jail time for your abuser.  If you are killed by your abuser the restraining order points the police in the right direction.
*Attend meetings for survivors of domestic abuse.  Swallow your pride and go to these meetings.  Every city has domestic shelters and classes.  They are free.  I was court assigned to a 12 week course.  It was mortifying at first because I did not view myself as “one of those women”.  The class ultimately changed the course of my life by giving me information and tools to step away from patterns of abuse and victimization.
*If you are abused you have nothing to be ashamed of.  You are not weak.  You deserve your freedom and your own voice.  Please leave the situation.  You can do it.  I did it.