Inspiring Women... 10 Quotes from Chondra

I am a Musician, Designer, and Online Marketing & Success Coach. My passion lies in connecting with others at a deep level and helping them gain new perspectives with the end goal being to positively impact their lives! I've been an ongoing contributing author to my church's state newsletter and regularly share insights in this blog!

“The best way to predict the future is create it.”

Whether you attribute the above quote to Peter Drucker or Abraham Lincoln, there is no doubt it's a powerful statement. This especially resonates in the female community as there has been a movement toward empowerment in the last several decades to level the gender playing field.

To realize we can create this aids women in discovering and wielding the tools to produce that desired future. Born and raised in Iowa, I appreciate the simple life of rural areas and small towns but love traveling extensively, learning much from the many countries I have been blessed to visit. The true connection in life is celebrating both our similarities and our differences!

Helen Keller said it best, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all!"

I know that it is vital to share my story with others; to show them they are not alone in their struggles and circumstances.  Someone out there needs to read it!


I was priviledged enough to be included in a recent anthology called "Conceived To Lead."  This collection of stories from 35+ women created powerful statements on each of their roles in and toward leadership.  

Women with many different journies toward leadership.  Bursting through so many challenges, but with the same result... women that rose above, who are now an inspiration to others!

Women who were CONCEIVED TO LEAD.

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The Kindle version the paperback version are both available now!  You can grab the digital version below!

(No worries if you don’t have a kindle!  There's a free app for any of your  devices that gives you access to this book.)                                👇👇👇


If you want to know more about it, please check out this post!

I'm feeling so full of gratitude as I contemplate everything that has gotten me to this place.  My heart is full from embracing all that has taken part in this journey!! 😍

Following are 10 quotes from yours truly, showing some perspectives in life!  Most of these are from my chapter, entitled Death Begets an Awakening in our book, Conceived to Lead.

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These days, I hold my breath a little less and walk with a little more swagger.CaZ. Conceived to Lead- Dismantling the Glass Ceiling Mindset (Kindle Locations 2811-2812). CZI Publishing . Kindle Edition..png
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Take whatever life has given you and create the best life you possibly can - you have no excuses, nothing can hold you back...  but you.  Discover how amazing you are... and settle for nothing less than giving it your all!


Do you KNOW you have a story within??  One that will empower others???  You do.  You deserve to be your best self and you owe it to those you may help.

Make sense?

Contact me to chat about your story and how you can positively impact others!

Did This Help You? If so, please let me know in a comment below!!  Please also feel free to check out my business page on Facebook!  

See you next time!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hi, my name is Chondra Rankin!  My passion is teaching and inspiring YOU how to become prepared to grasp the luxury of designing your life well - so you can live your life... your way!

CLICK HERE to kick-start your life!

Death Begets an Awakening

Whoa.

Kind of a heavy title today.  But, it's not all Doom and Gloom, I PROMISE!

It's the title of the chapter I recently wrote...

This weekend...  I became a published author!! 😲

In early August, a woman  leader & author reached out to me to see if I would like to take part in a project she was coordinating...

I REALLY didn't have the time...  at the time.  I was being pulled in a million different directions, was just leaving for a huge company event in Austin, TX, and there was NO WAY I had time to write a chapter for a book, let alone put together the thoughts that would make it compelling enough for someone else to want to read!!!  

BUT...  I knew I HAD TO DO IT.  (What was I thinking?!?!)  Well, I had to tell my story (even if it was only a portion, condensed to 2000 words or less - give or take!).  I could help someone else out along the way, and that propelled me.  I also had to continue to work through issues that had been following me through life - holding me BACK from being the best self I could be.  

"Once you awaken it's hard to go back to sheep."

If I couldn't be my best self, then I really couldn't impact  others, right?!  Some things in the past may be terrifying to face head-on, but it's something you need to do, to release their grip on you!  You have to WAKE UP to acknowledge what may be uncomfortable - but in the end, it's worth it!

I always felt that I didn't fit in. Like a square peg trying desperately to fit into that round hole. But I was never meant to conform - like I thought I was supposed to. I realize that now.

So I sat down and WROTE.  Tears and a sense of strength accompanied me as I put pen to paper - emotions rose to the surface from decades prior...  Realizing some of the moments in time that helped to mold who I am today, but that they also do not define me.  

I was fortunate to join with over 30 women authors from ACROSS the GLOBE...  Coming together toward one goal: 💥To create a book which would INSPIRE the World!💥

On Saturday, it hit the #1 spot on the Amazon Best Seller list AND

became a #1 International Bestselling book! 😲😲😲

💥Yes. I'm still pretty excited about that!💥  It's an unbelievable feeling. 🙌

Women with many different journies toward leadership.  Bursting through so many challenges, but with the same result... women that rose above, who are now an inspiration to others!

Women who were CONCEIVED TO LEAD.

I am SO HONORED to be counted among these warriors, to have included a portion of my story 🙏 , and we finally arrived at its birth into to the world!

It's both terrifying and empowering to allow yourself to be this vulnerable, but I truly do believe everyone has a story to tell...  And there is someone out there that needs to read your story. 📚  It has sparked a desire to share MORE and possibly create a full-length book myself - in the hope that others may be positively impacted by my story.  And to also create the desire within themselves to share THEIR story.  

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The Kindle & paperback versions are both available now on Amazon. 

(No worries if you don’t have a kindle!  There's a free app for any of your  devices that gives you access to this book.)                                👇👇👇


I'm feeling so full of gratitude as I contemplate everything that has gotten me to this place.  My heart is full from embracing all that has taken part in this journey!! 😍


Do you KNOW you have a story within??  One that will empower others???  You do.  You deserve to be your best self and you owe it to those you may help.

Make sense?

Contact me to chat about your story and how you can positively impact others!

Did This Help You? If so, please let me know in a comment below!!  Please also feel free to check out my business page on Facebook!  


See you next time!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hi, my name is Chondra Rankin!  My passion is teaching and inspiring YOU how to become prepared to grasp the luxury of designing your life well - so you can live your life... your way!

CLICK HERE to kick-start your life!

3 Reasons You Must Attend Events!!

WHY SHOULD YOU GO TO EVENTS??

I've been going to events my ENTIRE life.  Certain types of events.

You see...  I'm a PK.  

A Preacher's Kid.  

Growing up, we went to retreats, campouts, & conferences many times throughout the year.

(As a very shy, introverted kid, it was sometimes challenging, but that's a topic for another day!!)

As an adult, I still go to some of the same, and this year, I am also going to my VERY FIRST LARGE company event!!  

The next two weeks are going to be SUPER BUSY, as I have not only ONE event to go to, but TWO major events within TWO WEEKS!!

I wanted to touch on both of those and also share with you...

3 Reasons You Must Attend Events!!


The first event I will be attending and taking place in, this week through the weekend is our Iowa church state conference.  

This has actually been taking place at the same location in Iowa since 1887 - so, this will be the 130th Annual Conference!!  (At that time, the state of Iowa would be turning the tender age of 41...)

A BONUS 4th reason (see 3 other Reasons...  BELOW!) to attend church or non-profit events is an opportunity for...

SERVICE.

This is a time when you can volunteer of your time, money, effort, or other resources, as needed for the event.  There will be a lot of volunteer work at this event!!

The day will be FULLY PACKED from Devotions prior to breakfast to a campfire service just before heading to the dorms to sleep!  The rest of the day will be packed with 2 classes, lunch, recreation, an evening service and choir practice!  

Food will be prepped & cooked.  Music played (and you just never know WHAT will be played...  one year, my sister played the Shofar, or ram's horn!), puppet shows performed, and on Saturday, the kids will put on a program.  

We choose a theme and the lessons for the duration are centered around this  - sometimes including decor, food, photos, and whatever else we can think of!!

There is a lot of FUN stuff going on, fellowship with others, including the guest speaker (typically from out-of-state) and his wife, but there's also serious time.

Time of prayer, quiet, learning, and our board meeting (at which I am the state Treasurer).

So many roles.  Many people wear multiple hats, but everyone pitches in for the closeness of the 4 days.  

I'll be playing the piano.  Teaching classes from 2nd grade, to teens, to the adults!  And create a delicious and healthy breakfast on Friday!  (I don't think I'll be bored at all!)

It is a place to go to nourish your mind and heart, become refreshed and rejuvenated!

And this brings me to the SECOND event I'll be attending within a 2-week time span!


I am highly anticipating this event - it will be different than anything I've experienced (I'm pretty sure!).  

First, I have never personally met ANYONE THAT WILL BE THERE (even my 3 roomies!!), but have created friendships over the last year with MANY...  and I cannot WAIT to meet these beauties (inside and out) in person!

Second, I HAVE been involved in watching webinars, hangouts, FB Lives, chats with groups and inevitably after any of them - I have a heightened sense of PURPOSE, EXCITEMENT, LOVE, DRIVE (should I go on??)...  So, I can only imagine what this will be like IN PERSON, IN THE SAME ROOM...  I mean *mind blown.*

Third, this is a very important step for my business as well!  It proves my sincerity, that I will INVEST of myself, my time and resources to attend this event over 1000 miles away.  Have those impromptu conversations with mentors I've only communicated with through a computer screen - those are priceless.  

{You better believe I'll be posting an update on this AFTER I return from this event!}

So, check out this video, then see the below 3 Reasons You MUST Attend Events!!

(If you want to JOIN in on this AMAZING EXPERIENCE, make the decision today!!)

➡️➡️  chondrarankin.livethedreamevent.com  ⬅️⬅️


3 Reasons You Must Attend Events!!

MASTER MIND

In 1925, Napoleon HIll wrote The Law of Success in 16 Lessons and it is NO coincidence that the VERY FIRST lesson in the course is named Master MInd, due to its importance.  A Master Mind, according to Hill's own definition:

"a mind that is developed through the harmonious co-operation of two or more people who ally themselves for the purpose of accomplishing any given task."

Hill first coined this term, unable to find it in literature or textbooks at the time.  

Because the mind is made from particles, just like everything else in the Universe, and vibrates at various frequencies - just like everything else in the Universe...  some minds invariably are more harmonious than others.  

It goes to reason that a group of people gathered at one location for a particular event will be more harmonious (have a similar/the same purpose).  Therefore, these minds, vibrating at the same frequencies create a Master Mind, capable of something much higher than each individually.  

Certainly in this case, the WHOLE is greater than the sum of its parts.  

(Have you ever left an event "on a high," just to be rudely jolted when you encounter the "real world"?  I attribute this to leaving a place of compatible vibrational energy and moving to areas where that frequency is incompatible and clashes with those around you.)


YOUR BELIEF LEVEL WILL SKYROCKET

When you are fully immersed in a situation, you will soak it up in ways you couldn't otherwise.  You will see and experience {inexplicable} happenings.  The Reticular Activating (filtering) System in your brain, or your R.A.S., will work to support what you are learning.    

Your BELIEF will only GROW BIGGER because of attending this event!


YOUR KNOWLEDGE WILL SKYROCKET

"Never be the smartest person in the room."

When you attend events, this should not be a problem!  There will be various experts, no matter the subject (or what type of event you are attending!!) - I know at the Bible conference I will be attending, if I added up the decades of study that will be there, it would be many lifetimes!  

The business event I will be attending will include SO many types of social media and marketing experts, a chiropractor/neuro-scientist (yeah, I will definitely NOT be the smartest person in the room!  LOL), and a marketer that has helped to generate Billions of views on YT.

Not only sharpening the ax for these skills, but also of heightened mindset.  The awesome thing is I can use these skills for personal, spiritual, or business - in the end, it's really seamless and part of my lifestyle!  

Events pull together high levels of talent, knowledge and drive to create the Perfect Storm of learning!

I. Cannot. Wait.  

The next two weeks are going to be EPIC.  


GO TO EVENTS.  

YOU WILL BE CHANGED.  

DO NOT MISS THIS CHANGE TO CREATE A NEWER, BETTER, MORE UNBELIEVABLE VERSION OF YOURSELF!!


If you'd like to enjoy an amazing Audiobook by Dr. Joe Dispenza  (Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself), check out this link:  bit.ly/2t0rBsn

Are you now in a position to achieve the mindset of a champion??  To Step into the Shoes of Success???  Become a part of a community that is a great support on this journey and will give you a WEALTH of tools to use to improve yourself and your business!  This will give you the ULTIMATE in building your business!

Go ahead and take the 10-day trial for $10 bucks. (You know you want to.)  This will allow you unlimited access to begin learning and implementing the business building strategies to grow your brand, your clientele, and increase your profits.

Still Need Help?

Contact me to chat about how to get started today!

Did This Help You? If so, please let me know in a comment below!!  Please also feel free to check out my business page on Facebook!  

See you next time!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hi, my name is Chondra Rankin!  My passion is teaching and inspiring YOU how to become prepared to grasp the luxury of designing your life well - so you can live your life... your way!

CLICK HERE to kick-start your life!

UNLOCK your Attitude for Gratitude!

Gratitude

Gratitude is such a building block of having a successful life, that I truly believe without it...  true success and happiness are not remotely possible without it.  

That may seem like a strong statement, but this is SUCH a powerful mental shift - if Ego is put aside.

I may be getting ahead of myself a bit, so let's start from the beginning!

What is gratitude?

My nature tells me to go back to the definition as the beginning point of knowing "What Gratitude IS"...  so that's what I did!  In leveraging my time & resources (I LOVE relying on others with expertise, and LOVE to give others credit) so...  

I've used some quotes and information on this, for my first segment, from the Positive Psychology Program B.V.  The Merriram-Webster Dictionary is a "go-to," but the definition is very dry - and not too inspiring!

"the state of being grateful"

So...  yeah.  I think we all knew that one!

I do love the more emotion-evoking definition from the Harvard Medical School, which says that gratitude is:

“a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.”

Robert Emmons is a leading researcher on gratitude in psychology - he says that gratitude:

“has been conceptualized as an emotion, a virtue, a moral sentiment, a motive, a coping response, a skill, and an attitude. It is all of these and more. Minimally, gratitude is an emotional response to a gift. It is the appreciation felt after one has been the beneficiary of an altruistic act” (Emmons & Crumpler, 2000).

He and coauthor, Robin Stern, say in another writing that:

gratitude has a dual meaning: a worldly one and a transcendent one. In its worldly sense, gratitude is a feeling that occurs in interpersonal exchanges when one person acknowledges receiving a valuable benefit from another. Gratitude is a cognitive-affective state that is typically associated with the perception that one has received a personal benefit that was not intentionally sought after, deserved, or earned but rather because of the good intentions of another person” (Emmons & Stern, 2013).

We all may be programmed, from a young age, to say "please" and "thank you" for someone else providing for us.  But, in an understanding of it - feeling the emotion from it - it's very far from superficial.  Showing and/or stating aloud our Gratitude really causes us to FEEL that our cup is overflowing!  

A well-known Law of the Universe is that what we give, we get.  Therefore, Gratitude begets Gratitude....   not that we're doing it for that purpose.

Being Grateful is simply acknowledging goodness.  Validating that LIFE is good.  

Gratitude CANNOT come from a place of "I."  We must put away Ego, or self, to truly come from a place of Gratitude.  In doing this, we can then be fully focused on someone ELSE.  The goodness present is outside of ourselves.  

Showing Gratitude is, in turn, very cathardic.  It releases strong emotion - such as overflowing joy!  

Gratitude is an important building block, which first spurs our own growth, touches our inner, then social circles - and ultimately touches society as a whole!  A successful society is not possible without this beginning as a character strength.

My philosophy on Gratitude:  You can be grateful for something you paid for or something you just receive for no reason, but it's more meaningful, it's more pure, if it's something unexpected.  That you were not owed.  An altruistic act!

For some additional definitions, catch the replay on the vid below!


Why is it important?

There are many reasons WHY Gratitude is Important (and I actually mentioned a few in the paragraphs above, oops! 😀), but 4 reasons stood out in my mind.  

LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE

Plain and simple, you will attract the type of person you are.

Jim Rohn really put this best:  "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."  

RETICULAR ACTIVATING SYSTEM

Your brain WILL LOOK FOR whatever you decide will be your main focus.  I won't go into the RAS in-depth here, but I have touched on this before.    

PERCEIVE THIS

This is a concept to be aware of, because it validates that how we spend our thoughts is of utmost importance!

IMPROVES YOU!!

The presence of Gratitude will manifest itself and improve ALL areas of your life!  

  • Relationships
  • Personality
  • Career

BE GRATEFUL!  It's EASY!  It's FREE!  (Just do it!)

IT'S A SELFLESS ACT

In order to have TRUE Gratitude, emanating from the innermost, pure heartspace...  it cannot be dependent on YOU or how YOU feel.  Ego must be displaced.  The spotlight is put onto someone ELSE in an altruistic way.  In this act, you take on the role of Servant, the role of humility.   


There are, of course, MANY more reasons you may want to or SHOULD show gratitude.  These were the top that resonated with me as I move along my journey.  


I'd love to hear more comments below on why YOU feel Gratitude is important!!



1o Ways to Show Gratitude

1) Tell someone face-to-face how much they mean to you.

Put DOWN the PHONE!  I love utilizing technology and my phone (use it for good!  LOL) BUT there is a time and place to just have a good, old-fashioned face-to-face chat.  This can be a great way to reconnect with a friend, old or new, and reinforce what is important to you.

Their body language and the look on their face when you tell them why/how you are grateful for them will be a huge boost for you!!


2) Pack a lunch or goodie bag and give it to someone you meet.

I LOVE this one!  I was recently in Chicago and passed a homeless man on my way to grab a bite to eat - whilst in the pub, I placed an extra order that would be ready to go as we finished up.  The bag of hot food was given to the homeless man as we again passed by - I share this, not to brag that I did something great, but to share a possibility of a token you may give someone.  

The concept of creating something to hand out - such as a Blessing Bag - is a unique way you can give to another person.  That can be as simple as placing some common items into a Ziploc - such as chapstick, socks, granola bars, beef jerky, hand wipes, etc - that anyone could use.  And, hand them out to someone you may see that is in need.  

You might ask how giving someone else a goodie bag shows your gratitude??  You are acknowledging your abundance by giving to someone else.  And not expecting something in return!


3) Put a sticky note somewhere random, so someone will be impacted by your gratitude!

LOVE this one!  This will DEFINITELY put a smile onto someone's face! 


4) Smile!

Smile at someone!  It's contagious!  It's free!  You will never run out!

Most of the time, you will get a smile in return, but if you don't...  it was not wasted.  If someone cannot muster a smile, they may be dealing with issues you cannot even fathom - a death of someone close...  exhaustion from working an extra shift so they may feed their family...  being brought to their lowest point by any number of reasons.  

But your smile may just be that beacon of light they needed today - even if they could not yet give one in return.


5) Call someone you know is going through a rough patch, then… LISTEN!!

Listening is a lost art.  This world moves so quickly that we are POISED to give the next answer before the question is hanging out in the air (like in one of those cartoon bubbles!), quickly, faster, ahead of the next person...  

But...

Slow down.  

Put aside yourSELF and fully concentrate on someone else.  Think of someone that may really benefit from you calliing them up (or visiting in person!) and BEING. HEARD.  

With no expectation of giving them that soluton you think they desperately need.

With no expectation of you speaking at all.

But empathizing.  Hearing.    


6) Call, email, or write to the 5 people that are closest to you to let them know how they have impacted you!

You got to the place you are, because of mentors.  These may be family members, friends, business associates, or someone you have never met!  Think of the 5 (or 2, or even just 1) people that have impacted you the most and let them know.  

It might come as a complete surprise to them!  

Your mentor may not be living.  You can still write a letter - get your thoughts onto paper and it will provide you with a lot of clarity.  💜


7) Give an anonymous donation.

I actually did this, this week!  It feels really great.  It could be $5, or giving your time.  But know that it's a Law of the Universe that the more you give, the more you gain.  This isn't the catalyst for giving, it's...  just a bonus!

In taking this another step further, give to a charity/cause regularly that resonates with you.  


8) Pay for the person in line behind you! (Toll, coffee, drive-throughs!)

My aunt used to live in the San Francisco area and when she would pay toll for passing over the bridge, she would sometimes pay the toll of the person in the car behind her.  

There are stories of this, often around the holidays, where people in a coffee drive-thru pay for the person behind them.  It's fun to see this keep going!  

Who can you surprise today?!


9) Send a video or post to someone you know could use the inspiration!

Do you know of someone that can use more Gratitude in their life?  Or would love some tips about Inspiration?  Send them an appropriate video or blog post!  

Sharing is caring (and that's not just a rhyme, it's TRUE!)!  


10) Leave a huge tip! Wait staff and service employees often have a thankless job – surprise someone today!

Leave someone a larger than normal tip!  No, a HUGE tip!  Service jobs can be very thankless, so surprise someone today!!


There are literally as many WAYS to show Gratitude as there are people on this planet!  However you do it, SINCERITY is the Name of the Game.  

How do you show others Gratitude?


What is needed with Gratitude?

Gratitude is great.  Awesome.  Life-changing.  

BUT.... 

You need to do something WITH it, for it to really work.  

I should back up a bit...  I've been listening to "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself" by Dr. Joe Dispenza.  This stuff is backed up by scientific data.  Like neuroscience.  #science

 This is a concept brought up in the book.  

You must pair an elevated sense of Gratitude with your Intent.   A focused Idea.  Your Goal.  Your Vision.  

Neither will work on its own.  

You cannot only have Gratitude.

You cannot only have a Vision.

These two elements paired WILL PRODUCE a desired result.  

Meditate on it.

Check out this video for more!


Vital tip about Gratitude

VITAL.  

That means it is NOT OPTIONAL.  

How do you speak of being Grateful?  

Is it mostly (or entirely) in regard to something from the past?  Something you have receivED, someone that HAS BEEN brought into your life, or something that catapultED into your life?

Notice above, everything is IN PAST TENSE!  

You are being thankful for the past.  In stating your gratitude, you are asking for more of that.

In order to make a change, you MUST state your thankfulness IN PRESENT TENSE for what you have not yet received.  

😲

In doing this, you are re-wiring your brain.  

"The neurons that fire together, wire together. "

You are moving your brain into the space of thinking this has already happened!  

And, in effect, changing your world!

Start doing this today!

ACTION:  

Clearly realize your Vision.  Then begin to focus on that Intent, stating your Gratitude that it has already happened!

TIP:

Realize that your brain and the Quantum Field hear this and they will product what you ask for.

There have been many instances of people asking for JUST what they NEED.  And they are given EXACTLY THAT.  

So, don't be afraid to ask for what you WANT!!

*You get what you ask for.*

Check out the video on this VITAL TIP below!


I really hope you loved this post on Gratitude!

If this was the first time you've heard of some of these concepts, they may seem a bit foreign.  

They are resounding Laws of the Universe, and if you are true to these, you WILL be catapulted into a dream life you cannot even fathom - I promise you!

Blessings and Abundance to you!


If you'd like to enjoy the Audiobook I referred to above (Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza), check out this link:  bit.ly/2t0rBsn

Are you now in a position to achieve the mindset of a champion??  To Step into the Shoes of Success???  Become a part of a community that is a great support on this journey and will give you a WEALTH of tools to use to improve yourself and your business!  This will give you the ULTIMATE in building your business!

Go ahead and take the 10-day trial for $10 bucks. (You know you want to.)  This will allow you unlimited access to begin learning and implementing the business building strategies to grow your brand, your clientele, and increase your profits.

Still Need Help?

Contact me to chat about how to get started today!

Did This Help You? If so, please let me know in a comment below!!  Please also feel free to check out my business page on Facebook!  

See you next time!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hi, my name is Chondra Rankin!  My passion is teaching and inspiring YOU how to become prepared to grasp the luxury of designing your life well - so you can live your life... your way!

CLICK HERE to kick-start your life!

In Memoriam

A Tribute to my dad on this Memorial Day

Many people don't know...  my dad was drafted during the Vietnam War – he opposed war due to his religious standpoint, taking a stance as a conscientious objector.  A conscientious objector, or CO, is an “individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service” on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, and/or religion.   Other options to serve the State are available if that claim is upheld, and he chose the option of a different form of service. 

He and Mom lived in Illinois at the time, since that is where they had both attended Bible College and he took on a service role to the state to become a worker at the Dixon State School in Dixon, IL.  This choice had its own difficulties – Dixon State School (previously Dixon State Hospital) was created to be used for those that were epileptic, but through the years its use expanded and came to be used to also house the “feeble-minded.”

In 1899, the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities were instructed to prepare plans for the establishment of the Illinois State Colony for Epileptics, appropriating funds for the construction – which did not happen until 1913.  The colony opened on May 1, 1918. 

The purpose of the facility soon expanded to include care for the “feeble-minded”, being renamed Dixon State Hospital in 1922 and changed again, in 1952, to Dixon State School, and Dixon Developmental Center in 1975.  This facility site is now the Dixon Correctional Center, which has become one of the largest prisons in Illinois. 

The population at Dixon State School was a mix of those with mild to severe mental retardation, standard mental capacity with varying degrees of physical ailments (such as hydrocephalus and spina bifida) to those that were psychotic & dangerous.  It was a mentally and physically challenging job, working with the range of those living at the facility, and also being physically threatened at times by being thrown against the wall by those too large to easily manage. 

The conditions were nothing that any of us would want to visit, let alone live in.  Many would have required a one-on-one nursing ratio, but that was not available.  There were many problems with keeping up with the cleanliness in regard to feces and vomit because of the limited number of staff vs residents.  Some residents were not mobile and others immediately removed their clothing after being dressed. 

The plight of these institutions was beginning to gain exposure through media sources, such as the Chicago Sun-Times, drawing the conditions of facilities like these to the attention of the public.

PHOTOS ENTITLED THE MENTALLY ILL IN ILLINOIS

1971 Pulitzer Prize, Feature Photography, Jack Dykinga, Chicago Sun-Times

“Jack Dykinga’s photographic portfolio, based upon the particular manner in which he experienced being face with the overwhelming images of utterly discarded human beings, the mentally-ill who were warehouse in the back wards of state mental hospitals, represented a step toward an understanding of co-constructed meaning, a sense of which is embedded in ‘Because He is, I am.’”

The book, Inventing the Feeble Mind: A History of Mental Retardation in the United States by James W Trent, Jr. shows and contrasts the images shown by Dykinga with other happenings in the institution.  He discusses the social problem with the way in which these individuals have been treated through the years, on up through the ranks to the administrators. 

Food served in the cottage lobby instead of the dining room, during flu epidemic at Dixon State School for Mentally Retarded.  Photo credit Time Life photo archive.

Other interior and exterior photos credit www.asylumprojects.org .

This was an era when people were sent to facilities such as this when doctors didn’t always know what to do with a diagnosis and often the thing to do was send the patient away to an institution.  Sometimes, this was due to a lack of community resources, and also to deal with subjects that at that time were taboo. 

An archived article in People, dated October 8, 1979, outlines an article in which a girl named Karen Boldt sues her parents and doctor for an incorrect diagnosis.  She was written off at the age of 3 months and committed to Dixon State School thereafter.  A nurse remembered her admission charts reading “imbecile” while today, she has a higher-than-average IQ.  Read more here.   

While strides have been taken in this field, there is much to learn about the mind and the causes of various issues.  Care facilities are increasingly more capable of caring for those with mild cases, all of the way to severe.  But there is still a social stigma associated with any type of affliction that causes mental issues, and even more strides that must happen so those who need care get the best possible. 

On a day such as today, I remember and feel proud that Dad always was stood up for his convictions, even if it was not an easy thing to do! 


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hi, my name is Chondra Rankin!  My passion is teaching and inspiring YOU how to become prepared to grasp the luxury of designing your life well - so you can live your life... your way!

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