Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Finding your voice...artist John Mayer and "say"

What's Your EQ?

Something fun...follow the link below to check out what your EMOTIONAL INTELLEGENCE (Emotional Quotient) score is...

"(EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while other claim it is an inborn characteristic."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

@tonyrobbins (think about it....)

tonyrobbinsWorking on NBC show: "It takes less than $5,000 a year to educate a young person, but $33,000 a year to incarcerate someone. "BillCosby'd think we'd come up with a bit of a better plan by now....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dancing in the storm...

Life’s not about waiting for the storms to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain. ~ BJ Gallagher

Friday, August 21, 2009

Change is inevitable...

In this journey, change is inevitable - although for us who have come from not so healthy backgrounds, those from our past may not appreciate it as we change and grow.

As we learn to treat ourselves with respect and practice setting personal boundaries, we might begin to hear some "change back messages" and find ourselves having to grieve a new loss as we realize that some of those relationships may not grow with us.

Anytime a ghost from the past insists that you do something - or not do something - or risk some consequence....or if someone calls you out on your mental health issues and says they are "worried that your (mh) is causing this change in your behavior"....and they want things to go back to the way they were....are examples of "change back" messages.

Or maybe it becomes all about them and their right to do or say whatever they want without regard to how it affects you. In other words - they believe it is their right to abuse you and you are not allowed to say that you dont like it. They may call it "taking care of themselves" or "being assertive". I call it being rude, insensitive and aggressive when others attempt to barge into my personal space or bully me into submission.

These are the old "dont think, dont talk, dont feel" messages that a lot of us grew up with. This is one way that we learned to accept unacceptable behaviors in others and stay in abusive relationships as adults - because we were not allowed to say "I dont like this" and be heard.

Another good one is when it is along the lines of "if you cared about me you would....". In a healthy relationship you are free to be who you are without this type of emotional blackmail.

Or maybe they throw a good dose of emotional abuse in the mix and say things like "you may be doing ok, but I doubt it"....these kinds of statements are from an abusive past and can fuel self doubt, shame and anxiety.

It's sad when relationships change like this - when we realize that not everyone likes it when we begin to heal from the damage of childhood "issues". This is another part of the "hard work" of healing from a broken past.

I found a good quote on the subject that gives me encouragement when I have to stand up to those "change back" messages and be true to myself...

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.

What is a "change back" message you have heard in your journey?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Psychiatric medications?

What do you think?

DaveMSWRT: @staroversky: You are not a victim of your genes. Behavior can change brain structure, resulting in changes that overwrite genetic code.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

This is the "hard work"

In this journey, sometimes the pain is huge. Somedays are better than others. Some nights are longer than others. What I have found is good though - by feeling this pain instead of avoiding it - "it" no longer consumes my life.

I don't have to analyze it or understand it. It is. It hurts inside. I sob and shake. I let it roll over me but no longer do I have to say that it doesnt matter. What I was given as a child and adolescent that I didnt need was not right. The life I got as a result of this and coping skills that I didnt get have made my life a game of trying to "figure out" where I stand in this world.

But I cant change it and trying to avoid "it" and what "it" gave me in life has served only to steal many todays as I lived in the pain of my past. Dissociation, depression, drugs, alcohol or any number of the other "addictions" that I used to shut it all out - avoiding "it" did not make "it" go away.

But then this is the "hard work" - the facing of "it" and what I got from "it" and how "it" affected my life and life choices - to face it and feel the pain doesnt make "it" go away; but it does help me to find some freedom in today as I try to put this all to rest and become who I choose to be today.

So, while this is one of those moments where the pain is such that I would rather shut down I know that if I choose instead to face it - to feel the feelings - it will no longer own me. It's "hugeness" becomes managable, I dont have to "go away" to get away from it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My window, flowers and a smile

This week I am "babysitting" my sons dog, Zeus. We were out for a walk yesterday afternoon and ran across these bright yellow flowers near a construction site on the river (another bridge going up here downtown)...and they were just begging to be plucked and taken home! *wink* They brighten up the room a bit and make me smile - I just had to share them here...
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Baby steps...

It's Wednesday already this week - but the good news is that I am not waiting until the last minute to get my work done this week. ahhh...progress!

I was visiting Ellen over at her blog Shy and blue today. Her post on "Layabout" got me thinking about my own journey...

Baby steps as a friend of my son's says. "But no!" is what I hear the voice in my head yelling at me - "I want it and I want it now!"

But - alas. That is not how I have found that it works for me.

The journey that I have been on is one that has its bumps and turns in the road. There are bright days, dark days, days filled with thunder and lightening. There are hills and valleys....and some days I just plain run out of gas.

I have often thought what a wonderful thing - if anyone deserved a "miracle" healing - or to win the jackpot lotto - wouldnt it be me? After all - I have been through the darkest of times and not given up; I have perserveered; the powers that be should shine down on me and heal my mind, my body and my soul from the things from my past that have "broken" me. Right? No.

The journey of healing takes time; I learn as I go which side of the road to travel on, which potholes to avoid, where the gas stations are. I have a map, a plan to get where I am going - but there are no shortcuts. Damn.

So I keep taking those baby steps. I keep believing that I have all that I need. I keep trusting and hoping. I keep searching for the answers that may have eluded me in the past.

It takes time to calm those demons of the past - those lessons that I learned that make me feel "less than", "bad" or "inadequate". It takes practice...each time those wicked voices chase me like the evil witch from hansel and gretal I become more aware of it and with practice I learn to recognize it easier and sooner.

And I keep taking baby steps; each day. One foot in front of the other. Each day is a new day and like the storms of nature the storms that pass through in this journey no longer cause me to hide and be "frozen". Little by little I learn. Little by little I grow and change. And in time - those nasty voices from the past I have found, affect me less and less as I recognize them and leave them on the side of the road.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Brindle and Jack

Brindle - is my American Staffordshire Terrior; she is almost 4 years old in September. Jack is a Bassett Hound/Beagle who is I think 4 or 5 years old. My daughter rescued him from a local shelter this year. He is the most amazing dog - if you begin to "howel" he will of course howl with you - his nose pointed straight up in the air...the two of them will run up and down the hallway when we visit each other - full of energy and life; I adore them both.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

To believe

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anais Nin

To believe is the beginning.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Walk on

A few years back I spent some time volunteering with an organization that connected persons with disabilities like cerebral palsy with the healing power of horses. My job was to walk with the horse once my rider had mounted the saddle. When we were situated and the rider settled, I would stand tall beside the horse and give the verbal cue to "walk on".

Since that time I have often used this as a "cue" to remind myself that even though I had no control over what happened to me in the past - I have the power today to choose how it will - or will not - affect me. When it seems the darkest I can picture myself standing tall and taking back my power; refusing to give the past any power over me today.

So today, I choose to stand tall - and walk on.

Friday, August 7, 2009

"I Am Free"

This is the final card in this storyboard series. This part of my story reflects how my view of myself as this new, free - and beautiful - strong but gracious being, poised as though in a flight of freedom in dance. This card is the epitomy of the words that I have clung to as I walked this dark path of healing from my past as I took that step "into the darkenss of the unknown and believed that one of two things would happen....and I began to fly..."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Grieving what was...and wasn't

I call this one "Grief". At this stage of my journey I was ready to face my past and accept what was my reality of abuse and neglect. I was ready to face that ambivelance that I felt toward my parents and other family members. I began to let go of that fantasy/dream of the happy family and especially the "daddy" that I never had.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fragmented....but free

This is my 3rd collage card of the 5 series that I call my "story". This one has two main ideas. The first is that I felt completely fragmented, like the many tiles that are the construct of this one building - yet I knew that I was one distinct person. For a long time I didnt seem to have a stable "self", but rather I had many different ways of being and interacting with the world. But - I always believed that I would find my solution to this feeling of fragmentation and was ready to take that scary step into the unknown (the door at top right) and believed that I would find something on the other side to stand or or I would begin to fly...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A shadow...

This is the second of my 5 cards in my storyboard; I call this one "A shadow". I still find it difficult to talk freely about what happened to me - but the result after a lifetime was that I had no sense of "me". I had become a shadow of who I could have been, a chameleon to situations, circumstances and other people...but this was also where I made the choice to never give up, and believe that I would find my solution. This is where I was when I made the choice to do the hard work of facing my past, learning to heal and becoming the person I choose to be today...

Monday, August 3, 2009


This picture is one of 5 collages that I did in an art therapy group. I didnt start out with any plan or agenda - but at the end of the group I discovered that I had created a storyboard of my journey - what it was like, what happened and what its like now...
This card is called "disconnected" and portrays my life's struggle up to the point where I became completely isolated and riddled with feelings of shame and guilt...

Tomorrow...a shadow