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


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.

I sat and I cried
the longest
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


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 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.