Monday, March 31, 2014

Quiet helps lower stress

Thanks to Evan for sharing the link to this article on Yoga helping to lower stress.

Yoga, meditation, many other forms or disciplines all emphasize the benefits of time to shut down and be at peace.  Nature itself works in rhythms of  action, calming, and peace.  Spring explodes with color and growth, Summer reaches this zenith of becoming, Fall becomes a time of harvest and completing the cycle, then turning into the dead of Winter where the ground slumbers until the cycle begins once again.  Night follows day but electricity altered the natural quiet times created by the revolving of the Earth from day to night.  Living in a climate with only two seasons further scrambles the feeling of quiet following growth.  I tried sitting quietly from time to of two things happen either my body is thrilled to hold still long enough to go to sleep and promptly does or my busy little brain thinks about all the things I should be up and doing.  I actually recite in my head, "Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man."  My need to keep going surfaces especially when memories try to catch up with me.  If I stay busy enough, distracted enough, and running hard enough those pesky memories can't catch up with me.  Many of my sessions with MyCounselor were spent discussing the value of 'sitting' with an emotion.  Not burying it.  Not distracting myself from it.  Not avoiding it.  Sitting quietly with what I am feeling and allowing myself time to quietly figure out what is happening.  Time to just be.  Time to stare at clouds.  Time to rest from worries.  Time to be quiet. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Be Still

 One of my struggles is that my abuser used scriptures to manipulate me.  I know many scriptures address quiet but I wanted to go back and read them in context and try to gain some insight about quiet.  

What I found today:
When we are still that is when we can know God.  He is not in the roaring wind but a still small voice.  Working in quiet is better than dwelling in strife. 
Patience has an element of quiet.    
Job's friends came and sat quietly while he grieved. I thought about the story of a little boy that went to his neighbor's house that was grieving the loss of his wife.  The little boy sat with the man quietly.  When his mother asked him where he was he answered, "I was helping him cry."  

There is quiet before the storm.  There is quiet in the eye of a hurricane.  It is in solitude and quiet that connecting with God is possible.  Distractions, constant noise, busyness keep me from contemplating quietly God's promises of peace.  I need to practice quiet....before my prayers that I may listen to my heart and after prayers than I may listen for God's answers. 



Psalm 46:10 (KJV)
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

1 Thessalonians 4:11

11 And that ye study to be quiet , and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;  

James 1:19 
19Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 

Lamentations 3:25-26

25 The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

1 Kings 19:11-12

11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

Job 2:13 
13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great. 

1 Timothy 2:1-2

1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Proverbs 17:1

1Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.
Ecclesiastes 4:6
6Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.

 Isaiah 30:15
15For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Quiet, Please


an untroubled state; free from disturbances

the absence of sound "he needed silence in order to sleep"; "the street was quiet"

a disposition free from stress or emotion

a period of calm weather "there was a lull in the storm"

of the sun characterized by a low level of surface phenomena like sunspots e.g.

characterized by an absence or near absence of agitation or activity "a quiet life"; "a quiet throng of onlookers"; "quiet peace-loving people"; "the factions remained quiet for almost 10 years"

free of noise or uproar; or making little if any sound "a quiet audience at the concert"; "the room was dark and quiet"

not showy or obtrusive "clothes in quiet good taste"

in a softened tone "hushed voices"; "muted trumpets"; "a subdued whisper"; "a quiet reprimand"

(of a body of water) free from disturbance by heavy waves "a ribbon of sand between the angry sea and the placid bay"; "the quiet waters of a lagoon"; "a lake of tranquil blue water reflecting a tranquil blue sky"; "a smooth channel crossing"; "scarcely a ripple on the still water"; "unruffled water"

make calm or still "quiet the dragons of worry and fear"

become quiet or quieter "The audience fell silent when the speaker entered"

with little or no activity or no agitation (`quiet' is a nonstandard variant for `quietly') "her hands rested quietly in her lap"; "the rock star was quietly led out the back door"; "sit here as quiet as you can"

I used a visual thesaurus that put quiet at the center then distributed all the words that are in the thesaurus around the word.  I emailed the very cool picture to myself and the computer trashed it.  The link is  I took a picture of it with my Mac so you can see it.  Very cool way to look up a word 

I begin my research by going back to the basic definition then examine the layers upon layers upon layers of emotional baggage attached to a word. 

Quiet is sought after yet repulsive to an abuse survivor.  I was terrified into silence.  My abuser knew it was critical for me to be quiet.  Quiet kept me under his control.  Silence, quiet, no voice is a terrifying way to live.  Once in counseling, I didn't talk about my childhood at first. Finally my counselor asked me, "Tell me about your childhood." 
"It was great, I went to the park and the zoo," I cheerfully responded.
I didn't know my own past.  
The work began in darkness of not knowing my past.  KavinCoach poked, prodded and persuaded me to break years of vowed silence. A brutal silence pact took every bit of courage and my counselor's training to break.  I would practice what I would say all week.  KavinCoach chastised me and encouraged me to speak freely.  We ventured into a topic I didn't practice.  I opened and closed my mouth but no sound came out.  My voice refused to create the words I craved to say.  Silence - oppressive - terrifying - suffocating silence.  Counseling provided a safe place to finally break my silence.  

Peaceful quiet is hard to imagine. 

Friday, March 28, 2014


I appreciate comments.  I get encouragement, new perspectives, and shared stories.  Today's post is a tribute to Jessie's comment:

This is interesting Ruth.

I wonder though, how does one know when they are stuck and when they are just needing a moment to be still? In your nature examples, a tulip may appear stuck as it rests through the winter. It is not moving. But it eventually begins to grown and bloom.

I ask, because I think it's important to be still at times and appreciate where you are at, but not remain stuck and it's something I'm trying to figure out for myself.

Thanks Jessie for giving me an example of a time to hold still.  Tulips are one of my favorite flowers.  Someday I hope to go to Holland and see them in their natural habitat and not in pots at the grocery store.   MyCounselor emailed me and suggested that I am really bad at knowing how to pace myself.  I spent years on a couch unable to be up more than 20 minutes a day.  I studied and worked and learned about things that my medical doctors couldn't tell me.  I then spent a number of years with teenagers in high school, working 2 part time jobs, and taking university classes.  As MyCounselor put it, anything under 100 mph (160 kph) seems a little slow to me.  I thought about this all evening.  I remember being punished for not doing my chores fast wasn't a matter of not doing them, my mother would set the timer with the expectation that I must go faster and faster and faster.  I was lectured on wasting time and Heaven forbid that I ever say I was bored, she would line up extra chores to make sure I was never bored.  To this day, I am never bored.  Then in my 30's my mind and body fell completely apart.  I couldn't be up more than 20 minutes a day.  Medical doctors tested me, inspected me, and declared there was nothing wrong with me.  That nothing wrong with me really sucked.  I passed out daily.  The idea that sitting quietly doing nothing is for the tulips.  I am thinking about several things that spin off of Jessie's observation. 

1.  Sitting quietly is not a waste of time.  Tulips need to sit quietly before blooming.
2.  Being busy is not a sign of accomplishing anything. 
3.  I never thought about the possibility that I need to better understand and study "quiet." 

Hmmmmm a new topic....
Google found a book on Quiet

Let the research begin. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I'm Stuck

Road blocks to your dreams

I've sensed for awhile that I wasn't going anywhere.  Last night I sat here looking at today's post and didn't know what to write.  Please understand, I have over 100 started post ideas that I just need to finish and hit publish.  I have tabs up on my browser of articles I want to comment on and share with you but I'm stuck.  I'm not moving forward.   I realized this morning that also means I am not moving backwards.  I am exploring the advantages to some negative things. MyCounselor would get very frustrated with me when I get stuck.  He would probe and prod until I would move again.  However, I am no longer in counseling.  I don't have someone probing and prodding me to keep moving. In the Lozilu Mud run, I had the experience of trying to 'run' through a pit with mud thigh high.  Sprinting was not going to happen.  I curled my toes so that my shoes wouldn't get sucked off and slogged forward slowly.  If I tried to move too fast I was in peril of falling face first into the murky bog.  I felt stuck.  However, the reality was my daughter and I finally made it through.  We were thrilled.  This morning I woke up with ideas bouncing through my mind about what happens when I am stuck.  The advantage is I am not spiraling out of control.  I am not sinking.  I am not suicidal.  I am not free falling into a pit of darkness.  So what is the downside....there is always a downside to every challenge.  If I were a pilot flying around in a holding pattern, I would eventually run out of gas and crash.  Life doesn't sit well with stuck.  If you sit on a railroad track, you eventually get run over.  Mother nature hates stuck....doing empty unused field is soon littered with sprouting weeds.  If I stay stuck, my life gets weedy and full of junk that I am really not interested in having around.  I got up this morning and browsed through my unused posts and found this article that I saved quite a while ago on Road blocks....that stuff that makes me feel stuck.

Top 6 Excuses Standing In The Way of Your Dream

Excuse #1: I’m not ___ enough
Have you felt that?  Have you heard the criticism blaring?  I know I have.  What am I feeling not_______enough about?  Criticism and discouragement tend to start up that tape that I heard many times before that I am not good-smart-strong-or fill in the blank enough to do something.  Yup, not enough can really have me feeling like staying stuck is all I am good enough to do.  Hmmm.
Excuse #2: I don’t have the money
I lived through a time in our lives with DH that we didn't make much money.  We rotate which bill we paid late to keep the letters from debtors down to mildly nasty.  Like not being enough, not enough money can become a state of mind.  Sometimes it is where I spend my money and sometimes it is unexpected bills like a medical emergency that can really suck away money.  I am also aware that some VERY wealthy people also live like the don't have enough money which they don't for how they are spending it.  When I feel like 'I don't have the money', I remind myself that the very best things in life are often free.
Excuse #3: I don’t have time
I had 3 teenagers in school at the same time, I worked full time, and took one class per semester that was not having time but was it?  Have you ever noticed that everyone, rich or poor, young or old, fat or thin, all have exactly 24 hours in a day.  How am I choosing to spend it that I don't have time?
Excuse #4: I’ve already started down one path, I can’t change direction
I hadn't thought of this excuse....but I suppose in a way I tend to do this.  I decide I want to follow a certain path and I get a ways down it I don't feel I can do something different.  I did this when I was working computers.  It wasn't until I was laid of that I realized, I really hated my job.  I loved what I did to fix computers but the environment I was in was sucking the life out of me.  Sometimes I need to review if the reason I feel stuck is because I don't want to go in that direction in the first place and it is my subconscious is quietly whispering, "Don't go there." 
Excuse #5: I’m too scared
Staying stuck is sometimes a reaction to being know that deer-in-the-headlights reaction.  You can see something terrible coming but too scared to do anything to stop it.  Yup, I get stuck when I feel that way.  Interesting to realize that being stuck is I'm scared.  Maybe I need to look around and figure out, what I am afraid of right now?  

Excuse #6: I’m not ready yet
I remember years ago watching a documentary that showed an African tribe ritual that a young boy to prove he was a man bungee jumped with a vine wrapped it around the foot.   The boy kept acting like he was about to go then just stood there....he was stuck.  Finally, one of the elders pushed him off.  The boy survived but I realized I hadn't felt ready yet when counseling kind of ended.  I also tell every new mother there is no such thing as feeling ready to be a mother.  Maybe feeling ready is an illusion, something that we don't actually feel.  Maybe why the slogan "Just Do It" is so awesome because I could spend a life time trying to get ready and never do anything....I think that I'm-not-ready-yet is just another name for fear of I can't do ____________ whatever it is that I am preparing to do.  Maybe, I just need to jump and figure out the rest on the way down. 

 This is a link to Bill Cosby's favorite line "How long can you tread water?"

I found a link to a little kitten hanging onto the end of a rope for dear life.  The kitten is stuck....sometimes stuck isn't a bad me time to consider my options.  The article with the picture gave me plenty of food for thought too.  Being in something for the long haul sometimes it is hard to see my progress.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Easter is coming

Easter Bunny Race Cars

Large Marshmallows, cut horizontally
Bunny Peeps®
Mini pretzels
Cream-Filled Cakes (e.g. Little Debbie® Cloud Cakes™)
Decorator Icing

Cut a small rectangle out of the top of the cream-filled cake about a third of the way back from the “front” of the car. Use the white decorator icing to adhere the bunny Peep®, mini pretzel “steering wheel” and large marshmallows in place. Use frosting and sprinkles to decorate your car. Allow to set.

 This is not my original idea....found it on Facebook and wanted to share.  I have the ingredients and just need about a half hour to put this together.   To me, Peeps are fun....adding a few more links to peeps: 

The official webpage....yup, heard me right they have their own home page:
Gallery of peeps:

Love of Peeps:

This years Peeps Diorama contest:

Need something fun to do?  Google Images - Peeps

However, the most disturbing thing I've ever done with Peeps was the year we roasted them over a fire to eat them as s'mores.  I decided that was a once....just wrong on so many levels.   As Easter draws closer, enjoy your peeps. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Not My Circus

Every time you feel yourself getting drawn into other people's nonsense, repeat these words: not my circus; not my monkeys....
I have some awesome Facebook friends, some I have never met in person, however they cheer me up, challenge me, and remind me how beautiful the whole World is.  

I raised 6 children.  There were many, many years of this was my circus and my monkeys.  They are all now raising their children and I get to visit their circus.  So many years of juggling schedules, walking a tight rope, and generally trying to keep things going in every ring.  I failed often.  My body couldn't keep the pace.  I don't miss the sunup to sundown race to get everything done.  I am not sorry I did what I did....don't get me wrong.  I like the stage I am in now.  I like playing and visiting and not being responsible.  Yup.  I like being a grandma.  I love my kids and my grandkids.  I am blessed with an awesome DH.

I honed my talents for juggling a million different things but at work when things are getting a little crazy, I remind myself, it is not my circus; not my monkeys.  I like being an assistant to teachers.  I am not responsible for their choices. 

I moved out of Arizona for many years.  When we moved back, my kids pointed out that I acted weird at my parents house.  (I love kids ability to cut to the chase and say exactly what is on their minds.)  For a time, I was sucked back into the craziness that I moved away from in the first place.  Took several years of counseling before I started to grasp that my parents were both adults and I was not responsible for meeting their unspoken demands.  I was not responsible for making them comfortable.  It was not my job to take care of 2 people quite capable of taking care of themselves.  I finally reached the stage of when a problem arises I don't feel a need to 'ride-to-the-rescue.'   I like the turn of phrase: Not my circus, NOT my monkeys....

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Nails

A couple of requests for pictures of my new gel nails.  The nails range from blue in warm weather to purple in freezing weather.  I won't see much change with Spring bringing temperatures in the 80's (Fahrenheit).  I was delighted to find out that my granddaughter selected the same color.  It is so fun.  I never had gel nails before and had to sit patiently through the multiple layers and curing time, however, I never had fingernail polish last more than a day.  I am now on day 3 without chips.  I appreciate my niece taking time to do this for me.  It really is quite fun. 


After a few seconds in the freezer

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Who needs to change.......

“If you’re waiting for others to change you may wait a very long time. Still, people make extraordinary efforts to modify the behaviour of others in an effort to make relationships work. But ultimately this is as futile as cleaning the mirror in order to clean your face. The mirror will just keep reflecting back the same image.”~from "The Buddha in the Mirror" 
Thanks to Facebook friend for sharing this

I was blessed with 6 beautiful, amazing kids.  I learned with child number one that they did not come as a clean slate.  They came preprogrammed with their own little personalities and that the most I was able to do was to modify them a little.  I made some very poor choices in trying to 'train' them into being adults.  When I better understood that parenting was more of a guide than a trainer, life went much better.  For myself, I couldn't wait for my parents to be different, or my boss, or a co-worker.  I discovered that I needed to train myself.  I needed to learn that people pleasing actually had a significant negative impact to long term relationships.  I needed to learn boundaries and how to create and protect my own.  I needed to to do the weekly homework assignments given to me by my counselor.  I needed to make the change. I also learned that the very essences of Christianity is Change.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Mahatma Gandhi — 'Be the change that you wish to see in the world.'   

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Power of Images

Kelley Marki The Body Love Conference Propaganda:
"Every day we, and the children around us, see more than 200 negative body image advertisements on television. If we read magazines, walk by newsstands, or engage in social media, that number multiplies exponentially. This is a direct extension of a historical marketing scheme that was created to encourage us to purchase perfection—to spend our money chasing an unachievable goal. While this earns the weight loss and beauty industries billions of dollars every year, the cost is much more than monetary for the rest of us. The majority of modern social ills can be, at least in part, traced back to that simple concept of selling perfection: depression, eating disorders, low self-esteem, poor relationship skills, hopelessness—even suicidal tendencies. Talking about this pervasive media message is a crucial step toward a healthier and happier society."
I know the power of a single image.  In photography, we discuss the trends and highlights of photographic world.  Combine these images with parents unreasonable expectations, peer bullying, and deterioration of basic values having importance we have a lethal combination.  I watched my grandmother starve herself to look 'beautiful.'  I wrote a paper in the 1990's on the growing trend of anorexia.  I grieved when I found out that Karen Carpenter died an early death from the complications of anorexia.  Boys take soy protein and steroids trying to beef themselves up in a way that can destroy their body.  Girls diet as teenagers.  Both men and women spend alarming amounts of money on food and products to 'look their best.'  However, it is not all bad.  Yesterday, I had a lovely time being pampered with gel fingernails that change colors and having my hair dyed to cover some of my gray hair.  I felt relaxed and special for the extra care I had done.  There is a certain amount of good feeling from self-care.  Healthy diet does make a difference in how I feel.  Exercise does improve how I feel and my self-perception.  I believe that the importance of meeting our needs gets muddled by the greed of industries trying to make more money.  I am an advocate of learning where the line is drawn for yourself between self-care and trying to meet societies image demands.  I love going to the studio to dance/exercise.  I enjoyed having my hair dyed.  I choose healthy food that is sometimes more expensive.  I got suckered into buying hamburger buns with 'fewer' calories only to find out I paid twice as much for only 10 less calories.  Self-care is vital for self-esteem, relationship skills, and feeling good about our selves.  Distortions of needs to meet unreasonable outside influences exist.  I am learning that the more emotional-healthy I feel about myself the easier it is for me to tell the difference between what I want and what others dictate I should do....did I mention how much fun I am having with my fingernails changing colors? 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Building a foundation

Been feeling a little down, so my wife gave this quote to me: "A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him.” (Sidney Greenberg)

I am interested by the concept of foundations.  When I started counseling, I had no memories of my childhood.  I really didn't know where my foundation came from.  Months were spent with me reading books and me reporting back my reaction.  Each book was an ever increasing abuse cases.  Each book I asked KavinCoach what he wanted me to learn from it.  I wasn't shocked or surprised by what I read.  Even Viktor Frankl's book Man's Search For Meaning only drew a response of, "Yes, I know people hurt each other, what do you want me to learn from it?"   KavinCoach explained that my foundation was built on lies, opinions and half truths.  I needed to rip it out and rebuild a firm foundation.  Imagine making major renovations on your house while you still lived in it.  Or changing a car engine while it is still running. Or heart surgery without anesthesia. Yup, counseling is kind of like that.  The day I had counseling sessions I didn't plan anything else since I would feel so exhausted talking about myself and how I felt.  Counseling is tough work.  Tearing down the lies and building up truths takes so much energy.  I would get homework every week. I would also give myself homework.  I started working so hard at restructuring my thinking I wasn't living my life at the time.  This is when KavinCoach restricted me to only one hour of homework a day.  Counseling I needed to pace myself or I could loose myself in the process.  I am a great believer in using counseling to change how I live.  I also learned that I still need to live.  After 10 years of counseling, I have rebuilt my foundation.  I am happier more frequently than any other time in my life.  I am thankful for what I have learned.  Have a beautiful and blessed day.

Putting together my 10,000 piece puzzle in counseling
Reflecting on a beautiful day

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Very busy

I'm very busy but wanted to share this website.  I like getting information from multiple sources.  I believe the ideas I see three and four times are the basic truths shared by like minded people.  I also find that I need to hear some information 3 and 4 times before I internalize a concept.  Sometimes, I need it refreshed over and over.  Zig Zigler was criticized because motivation doesn't stick.  He agreed with the complainer and added, "That is why I recommend motivation daily."  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


"As I have often said on this blog, the opposite of poor self-esteem is not good self-esteem. The opposite of poor self-esteem is self-acceptance. Learning to like and appreciate who you are is perhaps the meaning of life or at least the beginning of wisdom. There is nothing you can do about your shape, beyond cosmetic changes. Most of you are going to gradually lose the fight with gravity, the older you get. You may never be rich or famous or popular.
Are you ever going to be ok with that?"

My sister's post alerted me to this blog.  I read through it several times.  I kept going over and over the concept that the opposite of poor self-esteem is self-acceptance.   I was taught that self-acceptance was a bad thing since self-satisfied don't improve.  I don't believe self-acceptance precludes knowing that I have areas of improvement.  I think part of self-acceptance is accepting that I need to improve in some areas.  I also believe that nurturing myself in growth helps me more than beating myself up for every little imperfection.  KavinCoach proposed the idea that I cannot accept others until I accept myself.  Scripture backs up my thinking with the "as thyself" portion of the second great commandment.  Love of self and love of neighbor go hand-in-hand. 

Matthew Chapter 22:37-39

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Listen to the Rhythm of the Drum


Tyler Wardis is a new-to-me  blog that I found recently.  I enjoy getting his posts in my email.  Each one gets me thinking about how 'normal' everyone is effected type challenges.  One of the things that an abuser/psychopath/predator does to their victim is to convince the victim that their instincts/life rhythm/seasons are out of sync or wrong.  That the victims are the ones that need to change to be in sync with life.  However, Tyler writes that this is a machine age condition.  The electric light bulb extends our days.  Business demands pushes are limits to produce like a machine....only thing is that machines break down and are easily replaced....humans break down and not so easy to replace unless there is no emotional connection.  Business views humans as so many Xs on a spread sheet to be moved around without regards to who they are or what their strengths are.  Businesses have a need and expect the little X's to fulfill their roles.  Time - Seasons - Natural ability are all disregarded in this spiral of higher production/profits.  But this is not about businesses or abuser.  This is about each person recognizing that they personally have a rhythm, a body rhythm.  I neglected this until I became extremely ill.  I could only be up 20 minutes a day but no medical test showed that there was anything wrong with me.  No test showed that I wasn't sleeping at night.  No test showed that what I was eating threw my body out of balance.  No test showed that expending more energy to exercise would give me more energy to use.  To survive, I had to start listening to my own body and needs.  I needed to recognize when I had energy and when it would drain away.  No amount of counseling could change me until I took action to know who I was and what were my capabilities.  As a child I was held to adult standards.  When I complained and said something was wrong, I was told, "He who complains has too much."  I was punished for trying to meet my own needs.  I was punished for not meeting their needs.  Seasons/rhythms/needs were simply ignored or squashed.  No small wonder that when KavinCoach first asked me what I wanted I was bewildered.  He patiently took time to teach me to listen to my own inner voice that whispered what I needed.  Not the screaming voice that echos my abuser in my mind but the quiet one that says, "You know you really need to go to sleep now."  "You know those potato chips have no nutrition but a little is ok."  "You know that you really don't want to go to that activity."  "You know what you need but I so understand being afraid to admit it." 

I realize that part of the craze to "Find Yourself" is to get back in touch with that quiet voice that knows what I need.  Not only hear it but respond.  Tyler has several suggestions on how to get back into the rhythm.

Here are 4 things Chronobiology, and it’s different cycles, tells us about how to recover the natural rhythms of life.

1. Manage energy, not time.

I learned this as I struggled to have more than a half life.  I wanted more than 20 minutes a day to do things.  I realized dictating to my body when to do things was fairly useless.  My energy levels had an ebb and flow that I needed to allow function.  My time schedule is not like everyone else.  I learned that I really don't think all that well on complex problems until after 9 AM.

2. Daily Routines are more useful when designed to your body’s natural rhythms.

I bless my youngest son for asking me to not talk to him in the morning because he just wasn't social early in the morning.  I discovered I like quiet in the morning too. We would talk in the evening and enjoy the time so much more by recognizing and accepting our own social rhythm.  I tried following FLY Lady's routines but again it fell apart because I was trying to meet someone else's expectations of a day.  I am starting to work out my own daily routine that works for me.  I continue to adjust and change it as I recognize my own body rhythm.  In the afternoon, I really need to be up and doing something or I will fall asleep.  Yup, dozed off more than once at a keyboard for a few minute snooze.  However, if I get up and move I feel just as regenerated. 

3. Sabbath isn’t just a religious act.

I felt amused that Tyler had documentation that the body really does need a Sabbath day reset button.  I actually wear a dress all day (the only day I wear a dress) to remind myself that I need to rest from my daily routine. 

4. We can’t control the seasons.

Ain't that the truth.  I think for me I need to stop beating myself up for struggling with depression from Thanksgiving to Valentine's Day.  I believe that I just need to accept that there are so many triggers during this season that I need to cut myself some extra slack. A lot of extra slack.  Adjust my schedule rather than to demand on myself that I can 'just-get-over-it.'  The seasons come and go.  Remarkably Christmas is the same day every year.  The city here heats up to VERY HOT every summer.  Adjust for it.  The season won't change any time soon.  The seasons definitely come under the category of "Accept the things I cannot change." 

As Tyler points out I am not a machine.  As my counselor pointed out, I have needs.  As I am learning, I need to listen to my own body rhythm and meet my needs to be able to be myself.  I learned when I do this I am a much happier person. 

Poppy Posts taught me about drumming which I believe is an exercise in finding your own rhythm
App for playing drums

Monday, March 17, 2014


By Seth Adam Smith
"A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything." (Irish Proverb)

...and cake batter. Cake batter heals the soul. You can quote me on that! :D

Yup! Used all three at one time or another.  

Something fun to share:

Good Night. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Denial does not destroy them

Emotions.....I learned I could choose happiness.  I couldn't wrap my mind around the possibility that I chose depression.  For many years, one of my personalities simply felt no emotions whatsoever.  Denying their existence did not destroy my emotions.  During my years of dissociation, those pesky unwanted emotions like anger, jealousy, fear, the whole lot of them were buried under years of practiced denial.  For all my effort, they were still there.  Boxed up and ignored some emotions fermented becoming more toxic year by year.  Others stayed untouched as powerful and strong as the day I boxed them up.  The internal pressure of denied emotions built.  Depressing all those emotions became increasingly difficult.  The more emotions I attempted to depress, the deeper my depression.  The decision to change was the first step.  I started with a marriage class at church.  I felt totally out of my depth.  I asked a friend for the name of a counselor, she gave me 3 names.  I pondered and prayed then chose one.   My journey took an unexpected twist, instead of solving my marriage problems, my counselor taught me to feel my emotions.  Not good, since the ugly, toxic emotions demanded attention first.  I spent years unpacking stuffed emotions.  When I stopped counseling I wasn't finished with all the unattended baggage.  I learned the process.  My thoughts never stop day or night.  My emotions don't stop either.  A techno colored collage ranging from the mildest discomfort to the raging in your face anger, emotions marched into my life.  I also discovered that mild humor to overwhelming joy also demanded my attention.  The process I learned was to recognize the emotion I was feeling.  This was very difficult at first, since anger masks fear, hurt or frustration.  Happy could be triggered by humor, satisfaction, or love.  Other emotions I never took the time to identify wanted their time on my heart's stage.  Sometimes I needed to spend a lot of time with an emotion to find its origin.  Sometimes, due to pressing schedule or demands of other things, I had to set my emotional exploration aside but I needed to keep my promise and return to study why I felt what I felt.  Over time, practice and effort I am getting better at processing what I feel.  I learned that I can choose some emotions.  I learned that some emotions simply show up on their own.  Some emotions are very uncomfortable, not only anger, but happiness can cause discomfort with unfamiliar feelings of happy when I don’t expect it.  I learned that emotions add a richness and depth to life that I was denied as a child.  I felt angry towards those that wanted me to extinguish all the wonderful colors of emotions.  Why would anyone steal emotions from a child?  I then realized I did that too.  I told my crying children I didn’t want to hear it.  Suck it up.  Shut down, because crying was inconvenient for me.  I feel sad that I didn’t know how to allow them their feelings without feelings taking over and running their lives.  I decided that emotions are like a counselor, great for input, validation and encouragement, but not helpful if they are running my life.  Emotions don’t rely on facts.  Emotions don’t take other people’s feelings of needs into consideration. Emotions are felt by me but have their own sources and logic that takes sitting with them to understand.  I learned that not every emotion needs to be kept on stage.  Sometimes simply feeling it, identifying it, I can let it go.  Other times, especially when rage kicks in, it is critical for me to take the time to truly understand why I feel what I feel.  If I ignore it, those powerful emotions will come back again and again until I do something about it.  To me, they are a blessing and a curse.  I am thankful that my counselors wisely taught me how to sit with and process my emotions.  Emotions color my world. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Choosing a feeling

'I am choosing happiness' reminded me that not too many years ago I read the book Life's Uncertain, Eat Dessert First.  It introduced me to the concept of choosing an emotion.  I didn't believe it at first.  So, I put it to the test.  I decided that I would be happy the next morning.  I woke up to a cloudy day.  I hated cloudy days.  I always felt depressed on cloudy days like I needed a certain number of hours of sunshine to feel good.  I glared at the clouds for ruining my day before I even got out the door.  Then I thought about what I read and stared at the clouds....really looked at them.  The same clouds that moments before boded a gloomy day transformed with my new thoughts.  The clouds looked like a stunning oil painting.  The swirls and strokes through the clouds looked like Heavenly Father painted the sky just for me.  I felt happy.  I went on to the rest of my day.  The student I worked with was an absolute pain that day.  The thing that fascinated me was choosing happiness had nothing to do with the cloudy day or the ornery student.  It was all about me thinking about how I felt and choosing to be happy in that moment.  It didn't solve my depression.  That was a much bigger battle.  However, I started my first lessons on the power of thought and how it can effect my emotions.  By the way, I have learned to love cloudy days.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sharing an open letter

Know how it feels and there is hope

Seth encourages sharing this Open Letter he wrote to anyone suffering from depression.  I felt a strong pull from my past today and I was reminded of how dark depression can be.  My picture of the mine shaft gives a haunting glimpse of the depths of darkness.  Even in the darkest hole a single candle can bring light.  I remember my discouragement.  I remember the conversation with my oncologist when we discussed if I should take a recommended medication after having cancer.  The medication helps a person not to have cancer again, however, it has a side effect of depression.  I told my doctor that I already suffered from depression.  I asked him what were the risk factors of taking medication that would be depression on depression.  He told me not to take the medication.  He told me that I had a better chance at surviving cancer than surviving increasing my depression.  This conversation brought me face to face with how lethal depression can be.  People sometimes scoff at someone with depression with comments like, "Its just depression, snap out of it."  One may snap out of a bad day or a frustrating moment.  Depression takes that bad day times a 1000.  A place so dark that a single candle may feel intimidated by its oppressive presence.  But as surly as the worst storm has an end, so can depression through help with counseling, medication, changing life choices, and other various means eventually lift this dark cloud.  Unlike the world turning from night to day, fighting depression is work.  Sometimes I rest from the fight but continue to fight another day.  

The Empire State Building could be dropped down this mine shaft.
The smallest candle brings light into the darkness
Golden Hope

Thursday, March 13, 2014

mulderfan shared this before she closed down her blog. 

"There's a hero
If you look inside your heart
You don't have to be afraid
Of what you are
There's an answer
If you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know
Will melt away

And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you'll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you

It's a long road
When you face the world alone
No one reaches out a hand
For you to hold
You can find love
If you search within yourself
And the emptiness you felt
Will disappear

Lord knows
Dreams are hard to follow
But don't let anyone
Tear them away
Just hold on
There will be tomorrow
And in time
You'll find the way..."

credited Mariah Carey 

I found several versions

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Computers fascinate me.  I spent 9 years taking care of the computers in the animation department.  I love a cool video.  One of the teachers at work shared this one.  Enjoy:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What Defines You?

Over at LifebeginsAt45 she shared this post
I watched the video twice. 

The question was first asked of me by KavinCoach, "What defines you?"  I worked for weeks on an answer.  He kept sending me back to the drawing board.  He knew that if I could stop allowing my abusers to define me as ding-a-ling, stupid, fat, weird, difficult and all the other things thrown at me, then I had the starting point of thriving.  The essence of thriving to me is to take the bricks life throws at you and build a gazebo.  I love being outside and building something for fun and enjoyment feels like my idea of thriving.  KavinCoach encouraged me that there was more than just a little fun.  He believed and tried to persuade me to believe that I was worth so much more.  I struggle with believing him.  I used to call his answering machine from time to time because I knew that imaginary friends did not have answering machines.  His encouragement seemed so odd and out of place after years of criticism, bullying, and malicious intent of harming me as much as possible, I wasn't sure he was real.  For some reason, in my mind, he was real since he had an answering machine.  I struggle with believing I could experience happiness on a regular basis.  I knew I felt it on occasion but a steady diet of happy just seemed so out of reach.  Joy seemed like a deadly hook that he was just trying to reel me in.  My life experienced distorted my thinking so much I didn't trust my counselor.  I didn't trust my husband.  I didn't trust my co-workers.  I didn't have friends.  I defined myself as a failure.  I defined myself as worthless.  I defined myself as fatally flawed.  KavinCoach knew that the task he was facing was to convince me to totally change how I thought about myself.  He told me after 6 months of counseling that if he had known in the first month how seriously damaged I was, he would have recommended that I work with someone else.  He knew what kind of upward battle I would be facing.  He described the task at hand that he would need me to totally rip out my foundation and start over with the most basic fundamental life lessons.  I am still working on believing him but I glimpsed joy, I felt happy, and I believe I am worth fighting for.

Taking root in rocky ground

Splitting yet surviving

Heavenly promises

Desert Delicacy

Small yet determined
Hinting at a brighter day