Monday, December 28, 2009

Today I will.




I have learned along the way that to speak about my feelings makes them a tad less scary and a lot less intense. So here goes.

I'm scared. Yup. Plain old scared. I'm scared of failing. I'm scared of the success that has come my way recently.

This journey of healing from the past is tough. It's a hard road to be on sometimes. But that doesn't mean that it's not worth it. But there is a price to pay I've found and that price is moving forward and facing and feeling the fear and the emotional pain.

I know that if I freeze up and don't do anything that life wont change today. It will stay pretty much same ole same ole. Bumping along, anxiety ridden, panic stricken. Fear has ruled my world for years; decades. No more.

No longer will I hide in isolation and darkness. No longer will I use my life to live in my head, playing over and over the movies of past pain or fantasizing about what I'm going to do "someday" or wishing for what might have been had my life been different. No. Today I am the author of my life; no longer will the past claim stake on my future.

Every day I have the same amount of time as those who have "succeeded" in life. Every day I can choose to view my life as something that I am in control of or to live my life as a victim feeling entitled and believeing that "if only" this or that would change then my life would happen.

And while every day - sometimes many times each day - I may struggle with the thoughts that can dredge me down and sap my soul...I know that I will come out the victor in the end.

So - today I will continue to put one foot in front of the other. Today I will live my best life, letting go of the pain and resentments of the past, taming the demons that haunt me. Today I will claim that I no longer live as a victim nor a survivor but as a victor.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

Twas the Night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Self discovery


Image source: http://www.art.com/products/p12195187-sa-i1569282/i-am.htm

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thought for today...opportunity may knock only once

I can't lay claim to coming up with this...but it was so good I had to post it - with credit to CSI on December 16th:

Temptation will lean on the doorbell but opportunity may knock only once.

So true isn't it?

How do you interpret this?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Callin' all you angels...

Pat Monohan "calling all angels"...


"Calling All Angels"

I need a sign to let me know you're here
All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere
I need to know that things are gonna look up
'Cause I feel us drowning in a sea spilled from a cup

When there is no place safe and no safe place to put my head
When you feel the world shake from the words that are said

[Chorus:]
And I'm calling all angels
I'm calling all you angels

I won't give up if you don't give up [Repeat x4]

I need a sign to let me know you're here
'Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear
I want a reason for the way things have to be
I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me

[Chorus]

When children have to play inside so they don't disappear
While private eyes solve marriage lies cause we don't talk for years
And football teams are kissing Queens
and losing sight of having dreams
In a world that what we want is only what we want until it's ours

[Chorus x2]

Calling all you angels [Repeat till fade]

Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Good enough", "doing it right" and my jammies

Tonight I realized just how far I've come.

For the longest time - like my entire life I suppose - I have lived under that shadow, that remnant of my childhood where no matter what I did or said it wasn't "right". There was always some criticizm or abuse that would come of it. A slap alongside the head, "boxing" of my ears, "dumcoft" (one of three words my father taught me in german; my "heritage"). "Shut up", "brat" and "idiot" was the norm in our house (you notice I didnt say "home").

There was probably just as much or more abuse from my older siblings as there was from my parents so the math would be 2 parents + 5 older siblings. In general some ridicule of my very existence every day regardless of the wistful wishes of being heard, hugged or loved in any not sexual or physical hurtful way.

This affected me my entire life to the point that no matter what I did or said even in the privacy of my own home as an adult ---years and decades after "getting away" from the battelground that was my childhood ---I could not be "ok" with just about any choice or decision that I made. I had become completely frozen. Afraid to speak. Afraid to take a step. I reached a point in my family that I would start to shake out of terror that one of the "wicked stepsisters" (half sisters) or my father would begin to question me which would always lead to some ridicule and eventually more verbal, emotional and psychological abuse if I even attempted to exert any kind of control or choice over my own life.

Tonight it was my PJ's. As I was pulling my old stretched out grey t shirt over my head and my bright blue stretchy comfy pant on with my old navy blue nike zip up sweatshirt with a hood along with my wool socks that have holes in them....

The thought went through my mind of how in the past I would have:

1. felt shame for not having "nice" or "real" pajamas, matching robe and slippers (god only knows what "nice" was because no matter how much I paid for it it was never "nice" enough) AND not going to bed with bright white teeth, picture perfect hair and the makeup that never seemed to wash off

And/or:

2. if anyone would knock on my door unexpectedly like a neighbor asking to borrow that famed cup of sugar from the Ozzie and Harriet type tv shows ---I would either hurriedly try to freshen myself up enough all the while apologizing for my drab not new at all sweats and tshirt (like they even give a rip?)

But tonight I realized that while those thoughts and feelings still lurk in the back of my mind as does the potential for that related anxiety...that I was ok with my frumpy not pretty pj's. Finally I dont feel as though I need to apologize for walking into a room or calling you on the phone --- or for the clothes I wear, the food I eat, the life I live.

Finally I can acknowledge the confusing feelings I've had as I vacillate back and forth between that love/hate feelings I have about my family. Finally I can put responsiblity on the adults in my life that hurt and neglected me instead of making excuses for them and their behavior. Finally I can let go and say that I wasn't bad, it wasn't my fault, I can't fix it. Finally I understand and accept that my thoughts, feelings, choices...my existance...are and always have been just fine... and so are my jammies tonight.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Quote of the day...Albert Einstein

A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be. Albert Einstein

Find your voice....John Mayer "Say"


Take all of your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all of your so-called problems,
Better put 'em in quotations

Say what you need to say [x8]

Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you'd be better off instead,
If you could only . . .

Say what you need to say [x8]

Have no fear for giving in
Have no fear for giving over
You'd better know that in the end
Its better to say too much
Then never say what you need to say again

Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open

Say what you need to say [x24]

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Nothing you can't do. Jay Z and Alicia Keys at the 2009 AMA's

While this song can be about any number of things the most oblivious being the great city of New York...what I'm taking from it today is there is nothing I can't do...




Yeah,
Yeah, Imma up at Brooklyn,
Now Im down in Tribeca,
Right next to DeNiro,
But I’ll be hood forever,
I’m the new Sinatra,
And since I made it here,
I can make it anywhere,
Yeah they love me everywhere,
I used to cop in Harlem,
All of my dominicanos
Right there up on broadway,
Brought me back to that McDonalds,
Took it to my stash spot,
Five Sixty Stage street,
Catch me in the kitchen like a simmons whipping pastry,
Cruising down 8th street,
Off white lexus,
Driving so slow but BK is from Texas,
Me I’m up at Bedsty,
Home of that boy Biggie,
Now I live on billboard,
And I brought my boys with me,
Say wat up to Ty Ty, still sipping Malta
Sitting courtside Knicks and Nets give me high fives,
N-gga I be spiked out, I can trip a referee,
Tell by my attitude that I most definitely from…
In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
Theres nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Lets here it for New York, New York, New York
[Jay-Z]
I made you hot n-gga,
Catch me at the X with OG at a Yankee game,
Sh-t I made the yankee hat more famous than a yankee can,
You should know I bleed Blue, but I aint a crip tho,
But I got a gang of n-ggas walking with my click though,
Welcome to the melting pot,
Corners where we selling rocks,
Afrika bambaataa sh-t,
Home of the hip hop,
Yellow cap, gypsy cap, dollar cab, holla back,
For foreigners it aint fitted they forgot how to act,
8 million stories out there and their naked,
Cities is a pity half of y’all won’t make it,
Me I gotta plug a special and I got it made,
If Jesus payin LeBron, I’m paying Dwayne Wade,
3 dice cee-lo
3 card marley,
Labor day parade, rest in peace Bob Marley,
Statue of Liberty, long live the World trade,
Long live the king yo,
I’m from the empire state thats…
In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
Theres nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Lets here it for New York, New York, New York
Welcome to the bright light..
Lights is blinding,
Girls need blinders
So they can step out of bounds quick,
The side lines is blind with casualties,
Who sipping life casually, then gradually become worse,
Don’t bite the apple Eve,
Caught up in the in crowd,
Now your in-style,
And in the winter gets cold en vogue with your skin out,
The city of sin is a pity on a whim,
Good girls gone bad, the cities filled with them,
Mommy took a bus trip and now she got her bust out,
Everybody ride her, just like a bus route,
Hail Mary to the city your a Virgin,
And Jesus can’t save you life starts when the church ends,
Came here for school, graduated to the high life,
Ball players, rap stars, addicted to the limelight,
MDMA got you feeling like a champion,
The city never sleeps better slip you a Ambien
In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
Theres nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Lets here it for New York, New York, New York
One hand in the air for the big city,
Street lights, big dreams all looking pretty,
No place in the World that can compare,
Put your lighters in the air, everybody say yeaaahh
Come on, come,
Yeah,
In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
Theres nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Lets here it for New York, New York, New York



Jay-z Empire State Of Mind lyrics found on http://www.directlyrics.com.com/jayz-empire-state-of-mind-lyrics.html

Monday, December 14, 2009

Write your own story...Natasha Bedingfield "Unwritten"



"Unwritten"

I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, oh, oh

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, yeah, yeah

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How do I?...I will.

how do I do this
how do I see
that I am not limited
in what I can be?

how do I go forward
leave the past behind
how do I get there
what will I find?

Somehow I have to
reach for that ring
Some way I'll get there
I'll be free and I'll sing

Standing at the top of that mountain
ready to reach for the stars
no longer fearful
no longer scared
I know that I will go far

this day I will get there
You know that I will
No longer a victim
I stand free and until
I let go of the memories
I grieve the past
No longer helpless
I am free at last


by Susan December 2, 2009





Monday, November 30, 2009

In a War -- a poem

In a War

by Susan 2009

You/I am/are in a war. Who will rule MY world? Each day - hour minute I we fight a new battle not in the world around us but in our minds. This is where the war will be won - or lost. Or the white flag thrown in.

Whatever your world looks like -whatever your label that you claim -own -take on whatever role you accept - whatever world you have chosen for yourself – this will determine if the battle is won…and you can now live in peace monitoring those outlying thoughts that can and will try to creep in to weaken your defenses, to plant the infiltrators ready to become insurgents at the right moment that moment of weakness when you are not prepared when you have rested on your laurels and said "I have won - there is no need to be on guard".

...for the first minor attack will not break your defenses or even cause you notice - but like the rain pelts the new paint on your home after a year - or two or twenty - your armor wears thin and cannot withstand when finally the enemy sees you are weak and the thoughts again overtake your days…and your nights.

No longer is it an occasional obsessive or depressive thought but now the floodgates are open and perhaps it is in this time that our defenses fail us… and we flounder.

Some of us won't survive this final battle for our soul...our being no longer can sit with the things of the past or the lost hopes of the future. Our minds become re-consumed with the ways of what is dead. Some die here in this battle. Some become wounded permanently a return to life in whatever it was before…or even worse. A few of us stumble and limp our way back saying boy that was close the battle we raged against the onslaught...ha! We got them!

A fewer of us slowly realize that it was not the world around us that had changed or even attacked us as it will - but it was our own self losing touch with the core values of our journey and our new chosen role in it to accept and let others to live of their own means and ways and to take care of the one thing I could manage and manage well - my own thoughts and actions.

Perhaps it was the sneaking nag of a voice that complained about the neighbors or the Bag boy at checkout at the market. Perhaps it was that voice of a childhood entertaining how it was my fault as that child believed in the magic of childhood. Or the bemoaning of the new shoes we couldn't buy because we wanted to or the meal and movie out - the old car we wanted to trade in.

Bottom line is - when we begin to accept those moanings and lose sight of being happy in this very moment - the only life that we have - we unwittingly opened the door to the Trojan horse to bring the battles to the war - we have given the front to the enemy and may not come out alive this time.

So. To be on guard. To protect your thoughts as though they were the fortress that held the thing dearest to you. This; this is the purpose for which we stand today. For this is the thing that can steal your today’s and murder your tomorrows as quickly as you can say …..”think”.

Protect your mind, guard your thoughts. Refuse to entertain the enemy or allow it, any ground. For you, I, we – are in a war and together we can stand facing the world as it is. Knowing the power to protect ourselves lies in the deepest trenches of our soul.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Word of the day: PROGRESS







progress

Function: verb [no object]

Inflected forms:
progresses; progressed; progressing

Meanings:
1 : to move forward in time
Example:
progressed. [=went on]>

2 : to improve or develop over a period of time
Examples:
progressing slowly.>
progressing and should be completed soon.>

3 always followed by an adverb or preposition, formal : to move forward or toward a place
Example:
progressed slowly across the desert.>


Too often in the journey to healing - or life in general - I think we focus on what we have not yet accomplished or the hard work we have put in yet still are not where we want to be.

Yet if we slow down for a minute and put things in a different perspective we can find the hope that keeps us moving foward.

How often have you felt "down in the dumps"?

Yeah - me too.

And when you're there in the dumps, what are some of the thoughts that run through your head? Does the focus of your thoughts seem to be everything that you don't have? Is it the missed opportunities or broken relaitonships? What about money? Do you go to the store focussed on all the bling that you want but dont have? And the car - as you drive down the street in your car that needs tons of work just to keep it on the road do you look at those who drive the latest and greatest?

Yeah - me too.

Focussing on the things you don't have or the hard work of healing or just living life in general can zap your energy and mood faster that anything. BUT - the secret is that you don't have to stay "down in the dumps" or "depressed".

And - the solution isnt going to cost you anything. It's completely free!

Here it is...drum roll please.....:)

Try looking at your journey as though you are moving TOWARD something instead of trying to GET AWAY from somthing.

So try it. Now. What is it that you think is keeping you where you are?

Are you making progress and moving TOWARD your goals?

Progress - somedays its those baby steps and some days it comes in giant leaps of sudden insight and awareness. But it is ALWAYS moving TO something v. trying to GET AWAY from something.

Interesting.

Try it. Good things are guaranteed!


#thatisall

Friday, November 13, 2009

How do I love thee...


Boundaries



Boy; this was a concept I knew nothing about coming from a superhypermagnifiedhorrendouslydysfunctionalabusive family. 

In fact, if I was going to draw you a picture of myself from back then - my "boundaries" were non existant. In an attempt to conceptualize this try thinking of goo. Slimy, slick, greasy glimy green goo. Goo that would become whatever you wanted it to be - presto! I could become what ever and who ever my environment needed me to be. "Chameleon" doesnt even begin to touch just how "fluid" I was to my environment. (song: "bend me shape me anyway you want me...who sang that??)

But then I begin this wonderful, magnificient journey of healing. I begin to realize that it wasnt "all my fault", that I'm brilliant v. stupid, that I have talents and gifts to offer the world. I begin to "define" myself - who I am, what I like and dont like. What my tolerance level is for unacceptable behavior in others. (Another story another day: why he hits, why she stays and what happens to the children) OOPs; got sidetracked....*blush*

So instead of being the worlds "doormat" and living life as that perpetual victim of circumstances I begin to take care of myself; I say no to things that in the past I might have done because I thought I "should" or "had to". I began to live a life of choice fueled by my own understanding of what I could do. I began to set boundaries.

At first (especially in my family) this hasnt gone over so great (a HUGE understatement). As it turns out - folks who are accustomed to having their way with you dont often appreciate the empowerment you feel when you are able to say NO.

The flip side of this enlightment is that I began to realize just how I had violated the boundaries others had set for themselves. OUCH!


HOW DO I LOVE THEE....

What I realized is that when I respect the boundary someone has set for themselves - I am showing them that I value them as an individual; that I value my relationship with them.

When others respect the boundaries that I set for myself they are demonstrating their love and respect for me.

Bottom line: when we set and respect boundaries we are respecting anothers - and our own - right to determine that they are capable of running their own life, making their own decisions, calling their own shots.

When boundaries are ignored (ok for some it may be more like they were shot down), or questioned (tell me again WHY you did that?), ridiculed (boy that was stupid) or any number of other violations - what we are in effect saying LOUD AND CLEAR is that "you cannot manage your own life and if you would just do what I say you would be ok, that wouldnt have happened etc etc etc. YOU ARE INCAPABLE.

But - when boundaries are respected and supported what we are saying is I TRUST YOU TO MAKE THE BEST DECISIONS FOR YOU. You are capable.

Boundaries. Not just a line in the sand but the defining magic of self.


How has establishing clear boundaries in your life affected your self esteem and/or healing journey? What are some boundaries you have chose to set that you had not had in the past? How did friends and family react?


Monday, November 2, 2009

The Greatest Gift


The greatest gift
we can give to another
who is in pain
is to let them have it
feel it
face it
the anger
over what was
the betrayal
the injury
the things lost
never to be recovered
the grief
the loss
of what never will be
to know they can face it
that they have all they need
inside of them
to overcome the past
and face the future




Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yes; you can



A Pantene commercial with extraordinary deliverance of a message for you today..

Yes.

Whatever it is that is your nemisis.

The message today is

Yes.

You can overcome it.

Yes

You can find your way.

Very simply.

Yes yes yes

You can.

I accept no label other than "human". ~Gianna Kali



Friday, October 9, 2009

"Knock Knock"

Sandy Grason of The Road to Fabulous posted this video today.

Sandy's dedication on her blog post:

This is for anyone who still feels the pain of the little girl or boy inside of you, longing for something....

This is for anyone who had a father walk out when she was seven, like me....

This is for anyone who longs to understand her life's journey and make sense of it all...

Bravo Daniel Beaty for your amazing passion and poetry. Thank you for giving the little girl inside of me this message.



"Knock Knock"

Who's there?

WE ARE.






Monday, October 5, 2009

CNN Hero's

Betty Makoni has saved over 35,000 from sexual abuse. I voted for Betty as my CNN Hero - go to www.cnn.com and vote for your hero.

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's MONDAY!!!!!!



Another week has passed and it's Monday again!

When you think of that what is your reaction? What are the thoughts and words that run through your mind? The typical - "oh crap. it's monday again.", "Monday; I hate Mondays" or some variation of that old broken record?

And how do your Monday's go? Lots of problems? Conflict? Drama drama drama? Depressed? Irritated? Anxious?

Same 'ole, same 'ole; right?

Our minds have thoughts - millions of thoughts - that we could grab onto and ride until the next thought impulse comes along.


So what do you think would happen if you started becoming aware of the thoughts you were focussed on - and - with intention - changed them to something positive?

"I love Mondays!", "I get so much done on Mondays!" Mondays ROCK!"

How do you think you might feel if you hung your hat on a few thoughts and comments like that first thing in the morning next Monday - or tomorrow?

Well, when I think those types of thoughts and say those type of comments I feel energized, excited - kind of like a racehorse dancing at the gate ready to run and WIN the race.

Now the old pessimist in all of us want to say something to the effect of "yea, right. This is crap".

And thats fine - if you are content with what you are getting out of your day.

But for those who are just plain tired of feeling sick and tired and hating to get up and out of bed in the morning - this might be just the trick for you.

With awareness, "listen" to those negative thoughts and with intent "catch" them, turn it around and feel the power.

Q: How do you turn your day around?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Morning Pages"


Here is an excerpt from a blog by Scott Davies called Finding your marbles on using journaling as a tool in your healing journey...


"...Morning pages take a while to work. It took me about 3 weeks of writing morning pages before I began to see a difference in my life, however once I got into the habit, I began to notice subtle changes in how I felt. I noticed a drop in my anxiety and I found it easier to manage stressful situations. As time goes by, you will begin to trust your morning pages as a safe refuge. No matter what is troubling you, you will know that next morning you can write about it in your morning pages.

In additional to morning pages, I also write in my journal every night. In the evening I usually try to review my day. I write a few words about what happened that day, how I feel about it, and any questions or concerns that are bothering me. I find that writing these evening notes helps me rest my mind before I go to sleep so that I’m not lying in bed awake, stewing over things, and when I wake up, I’m ready to write about the questions that I wrote down in my evening notes the night before. Together, morning pages and evening notes form a daily cycle that keeps me grounded and stable..."

You can visit Scotts blog "Finding your marbles" here

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Conundrum in this healing journey


This is a follow up to my post on the Emperor Moth story it's a good one. You should check it out.

Yesterday over at Michele Rosenthals blog Heal my PTSD we had an active discussion on the"Why"behind the issues of some folks perhaps resisting the idea that they can heal v. ruminating on their "issues".

Personally, I truly believe that whatever circumstances that life gives us, we each have all that we need within ourselves to become the majestic beings we were meant to be, however we choose to define ourselves.

When I was walking this part of my path, searching for my answers, trying to find my way I came to a realization similar to what Ellen had to say in yesterdays comments: The first part of healing it is feeling it...

And this is the conundrum we seem to face in this discussion. (((Conundrum: a difficult question, a riddle)))

Each of us who is on this journey of healing has their own story, their own pain, their own suffering.

Each of us has found in our journey different ways of coping, surviving, healing.

The one commonality seems to be that most of us agree on what Ellen so eloquently yet simply stated: The first part of healing it is feeling it.

This brings me back to the story of the Emperor Moth.

This is very similar to what it felt like to me as I was facing my own past experiences of trauma.

For years, I avoided it. I numbed it.

But then I got tired of it. Another great statement from Mike on yesterdays discussion: "I'm sick of this shit and I'm not going to take it anymore".

I had come to that place where I knew it was going to be difficult. In fact "weeping and knashing of teeth" doesnt start to describe the pain I went through in order to get out. Check out my post Was it worth it? HELL yes to see how I felt about this part of my journey.

This is the "hard work" that I have found to be the key to breaking free of the past. To face the pain was to finally let it go.

I also believe that each of us has our own path to follow and that in our own time we will find the way that works for us; we each walk our own journey.

Regardless of the "how" or "when" you choose your healing path doesnt matter. The point is - we don't have to walk this path alone anymore. Here is a varition on a "cadence" that I wrote for a local survivors group:

There is no difference, no good or bad
only experiences that we have had.

Walk by me, we'll take a stand
get out of that ole quicksand

Take a breath
and soon you'll see

life was meant for you to be
all you are and something more

We each
can walk right through that door

We are not alone

anymore.

The Emperor Moth story


"The emperor moth is the most majestic species among all the moths. It has wide wings spanning out majestically when it flies. Before it can become a full grown moth, it has to be a pupa in a cocoon. Now, the interesting fact about the moth’s cocoon is that the neck of the cocoon is very narrow.

In order that it become a moth, the pupa of the moth must squeeze its way out of the narrow neck.

One day a man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. He took it home so that he could watch the moth come out of the cocoon. He sat and watched the moth struggling to force the body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. It just seemed to be stuck.

Then the man being kind decided to help the moth. So he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He expected that the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. A few days later, it died.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening was the way of forcing fluid from the body of the moth into its wings so that it would be ready for flight. Once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle. By depriving the moth of a struggle, he deprived the emperor moth of health.

The only way out - is through. --Robert Frost

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Was it worth it? HELL yes.



Today
I sat and I cried
the longest
saddest
tears.
I thought
it would never stop.
But it did.
No longer scared.
No longer alone.
I can climb any mountain
sing any song.
Today I was set free.


I drew this "self portrait" a year and a half ago. I was in a very dark and lonely place. My world had been turned upside down - again. But - I knew that if I didnt give up and was willing to do this hard work that I would find my way out of that dark place.

Was it easy? Hell, no.

But ask me if facing the past and the pain was LESS painful than continuing to live in denial and avoidance?

Hell, yes.

Now - ask me if it was worth it.

HELL yes.




Random synronicity

Created by Holey Soles @ UGA in 2005 for Campus MovieFest, the world's largest student film festival. Though we all march to a different drummer, we all live by the same rhythm. When a kid randomly finds a record player in a field, it turns on by itself and begins to play. Simultaneously, random people begin to fall into rhythm with the music and their everyday situations are woven together in this one instance in time. Whether happy, depressed, irritated, or impartial, the music moves through the characters to show that life is connected through the simplest of moments.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Haiku


water of spring gives
the seed new life after sleep
tears wash the soul free

Friday, September 11, 2009

Living long, living well


"She told me that she owes her longevity to the Lord, that she never did drink, she never did smoke and she never did fool around," Witt said at a party marking her 115th birthday.

I caught site of this amazing article today while browsing around yahoo.com. Gertrude Baines lived alone until she was 107; her favorite things to do was to eat crispy bacon, fried chicken and watch Jerry Springer.

This article comes following the announcement this week about Albert Lea Minnesota being named the national model for applying the principles in the Blue Zone, a study of longevity and centenarians around the globe.

Here's a quick overview of the project - check out the program in its entirety at the AARP's website.

During the six weeks, participants in project will learn the key themes of the project:

• Week 1: An introduction to Blue Zones and the Vitality Compass

• Week 2: Creating and improving social networks

• Week 3: Rethinking how you eat: Making food choices that will extend longevity

• Week 4: Building physical activity and movement into everyday life

• Week 5: Identifying life’s purpose

• Week 6: Making your community healthier through changing the walkability, bikeability and food options.

I think that too often those of us who have come to that place in life where we can wear that badge of honor and carry the title "survivor" we may have lost sight of what we can do ourselves to improve our lives and lifestyles. We've been living in "Survivor" mode and forget that there is more to life than managing symptoms and fighting flashbacks.

These articles about Gertrude Baines and the Vitality Project are great reminders that there are plenty of choices to be made and actions we can take. Every day we have choices and opportunities to create the world and life we choose to live every day now, in this moment.

Maybe this is a good time to remember that we are survivors and take a minute to look at what our focus is and what we could do today to take back our lives...and start to enjoy the ride again.