Friday, July 20, 2018

Success is scary

But not for the reasons you may think it is.

What is scary about success?

If you meet your goals, then what?
If you achieve your dreams, what is left?

Recent suicides by celebrities tell us repeatedly that suicide is not exclusive to failures.

Imagine, you are told all your life when you are Successful you will be Happy.

What happens when you become a success and you still aren't happy?

I've come across several famous people that clawed, scratched and climbed up the ladder of success only to find out it was leaning against the wrong wall.

My high school reunion years ago, I talked to one of my friends I lost track of when we both graduated.  She struggled and fought to become a successful lawyer only to realize she hates it.  She was in the process of selling her part in a successful business to move to the country and open a Bed and Breakfast inn.

Scary thing about success when you finally get their do you like what you got?

I am finishing projects that waited years to get done.  I'm still having nightmares.  I am stressing to new levels of anxiety.  I am doing the things I always planned to do.  They are becoming their own obsession.  Do I have my ladder against the wrong wall?

Have you told yourself before....

when I get this then I will be happy...…..
When I graduate I will be happy
When I get my own car I will be happy
When I get married then I will be happy...…….
When life is easy then I will be happy

All these success do NOT equal happiness.

A while ago I watched Jim Carry's speech to College graduates.  I looked up what he is up to now.  He hit the top......Now what?

I believe the speech is worth a half hour of your time if you are interested.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=12&v=V80-gPkpH6M



Monday, July 16, 2018

Reset myself

This summer is an opportunity to reset myself.  Several of the pages I visit offered assistance at a price to put myself on track to attaining my goals.  Summer time I am not working and no income so I can't afford these helpers.  However, that doesn't stop me from getting myself back on track.  Of course, I added prayer to my desire to see what I needed to do to get myself back on track and what do I get?  A lesson at Church that it is all about the people.  I was trained to be task oriented.  In fact, growing up efficiency reached godlike proportions. (Check out my sister's post: https://theprojectbyjudy.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/efficiency-falacy/)  I could get a job done but still get punished if I didn't do it fast enough.  My own kids, I let them take their time because they will figure out on their own they don't want to spend all evening doing chores so hurry up to do something else.  So back on track of the post.  This summer was unusual.  Life changes and a few choices on my part left me hanging out at home for most of the summer.  I am loving it.  I also discovered this year that the swelling in my legs was not caused by sitting at my sewing machine.  Instead I found out it was part of my reaction to soy.  So back on task again.  I needed to get myself reoriented to the original goals I set in January.

Exercising, not so much.  I love the meme about how long rabbits live, hopping around for 8 to 10 years, verses tortoises that move slowly for 150 years.  However, my main goal behind exercising is not extending my life but improving my core strength and quality of life.  Hmmm.  Part of my summer exercise is sifting and sorting gravel.....a mound of it.  It is requires the use of the core muscles and continues to challenge me.  I like it too.  I can see actual progress as I create little mounds of dirt that are headed eventually to increasing the depth of our flower bed.  However, on several occasions I stopped work not because I was done but a neighbor came over to say hi.  Less done, not efficient but I put people first.  It will take longer to move the dirt.

I am also cleaning by actually completing projects.  I have a room full of projects and I am actually doing them completed a host of baby blankets and crocheted baby hats that were donated to a local organization.  It feels good and hits on the idea that completing projects is about people.  How many times do I brush people aside to finish jobs, task and busy work?  So the projects are for other people and family.  It is getting me out and mixing with people.  I have plans for one or two more projects that might get delayed because I am learning that people are not efficient.  They take time.  They take energy and I think instead of resetting myself back on the track to getting task done efficiently, I'm going to plan to interrupt my busy work more and take time to spend time with people.

Yup, I am resetting all right but I won't be efficient or master every task because I am going to place my goals at spending more time with people.  A challenge for me because I still need alone time to recharge my emotional batteries.  Wish me luck as I slow down and take time to Say HI.  It just isn't efficient, maybe time for a rebellion against efficiency.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Power of Pause

Yes, you read that correctly.  Today I am sharing the power of pause.  One of the things that both my major abusers did to keep me hopping was instantaneous obedience to what ever they asked me to do.  No time to think it through.  No time to consider my options.  Obedience at once with no questions asked.  Life felt frantic and off balanced all the time. 

I brought this frantic life style into my marriage.  I worked and struggled constantly.  I was exhausted...I was beyond exhausted.  When I entered counseling, my counselor noticed how frantic I seemed all the time.  He would instruct me to breath and slow down.  He encouraged me to take time to think things over, consider my options, decide if I actually wanted or needed to do what I am being asked to do.  This was so counter to what I was taught as a child. 

Stop and smell the flowers....really.  In the grocery story that sells flowers, stop by the counter where they sell the flowers and sniff.  Breathe in deeply.  Slow down.  Frustrated on the freeway. Relax.  You can't drive any faster than the person in front of you.  If every one is stop, breathe, listen to your favorite music. Pause. When ever there is a break, take the break, pause, let your mind sort out recent input and events. 

I signed up for a crocheting challenge.  The guy on the video was rattling off instructions, in no time he was ten stitches ahead of me.  I pushed pause.  I caught up to where he was then started the video again.  I took my time.  If I started feeling frantic or off balance push pause and reread the instructions. 

I am working at applying the practice in other things.  If at work they start throwing instructions at me, I set down and start writing notes.  Check in along the way to make sure I wrote down the information correctly.  I noticed when my bosses are healthy, considerate people they don't mind me taking time to write things down and clarify instructions. 

The Power of Pause is me taking back control of my day.  I can't change many situations, rush hour traffic is not at my beck and call, I can decide that my mind set will be.  I can calm my mind.  Wait for my time to go and Breathe.  Breathing is good. 



Pause.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

New perspective on worry

I recently gained a new perspective on worry.  I lived my childhood with worry being a constant.  It simply vibrated from the walls of our house.  If I couldn't think of something to worry about a whole list would be given to me. Perfectionism and worry and efficiency all were dosed to us daily.  Flylady helped me to see that perfectionism was a distortion of self improvement. http://www.flylady.net/d/br/2018/05/07/ever-changing-goals-of-perfectionism/

Efficiency long ago bit the dust when I realized it was NOT my goal in life to be the most efficient person in the World.  Just because my mother obsessed about it, did not mean I needed to buy into the manic pursuit of efficiency.

Worry is hard to shake.  Main reason is when I worried about something I would prepare myself for the possibility.  I learned along the way that people that didn't worry quite often don't plan...Of course I was raised on "If you fail to plan you plan to fail."  Any who.....I gained some new perspective and shared it on my other blog.

https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2018/07/06/worry-is-a-bully/

Friday, June 29, 2018

Awesome time

Wizard's World of Harry Potter, Despicable Me, and Transformers crammed together into 2 days of awesome fun.  I planned and prepared and chose to go with the flow.  My daughter invited me to Universal Studio.  Grandson and I enjoyed the wilder rides.  We all enjoyed the less intense rides.  Both were lots of fun.  I worried and fretted over being able to eat.  I found out last year, I am extremely allergic to all forms of soy.  As my doctor said, "Soy is in everything."  Restaurants rely heavily on soy in all its forms, oil, lecithin, flour and protein.  Going out to eat is a real challenge.  I usually look up my choices in advance.  Universal Studios does not have that option.  I fretted.  Packed a full lunch.  We ate at the 3 Brooms in Hogsmeade....Oh my goodness.  I sent an email to Universal Studios and they recommended asking for what I needed.  I did. 

Back up a bit.  Over 15 years ago when I was in counseling my therapist gave me home work to ask for something that was not already given to me.  I remember going and asking for bread-sticks.  I was a nervous wreck but I did it.  My counselor was stunned at how difficult it was for me to ask for the simplest things.  Now I am asking for something that may add extra work and may not even be available.  Other restaurants had made it quite clear that accommodating my 'no soy' request was not likely.  So I gathered up my courage and walked to the guy taking orders and asked him what was available that was soy free.  He asked me to wait and he would get the chef.  I work at a school that teaches culinary so I know that the Top Chef has the tallest hat.  Yup.  Top Chef came out to talk to me.  I explained that I would like to eat something that was soy free.  He suggested a chicken sandwich.   I commented that most breads have soy.  Nope not his bread.  He made me a delicious chicken sandwich with salad.  Most dressings are made with soy oil.  In two little cups he placed lemon juice and olive oil.  What a fantastic experience.  He went above and beyond all my past experiences to make sure I had a delicious soy free lunch.  It was so yummy. 

If you have a chance to go to Hogsmeade at Universal Studio, stop in at the 3 Brooms for a delicious meal. 




Monday, June 25, 2018

Pattern

I am noticing a pattern when I read a book or follow a blog or get news letters from someone.  As soon as they starting telling me how following their instructions my life will be easier, I tune out.  Or they brag that they, and they alone, have the secret to healing. Or they start throwing around junk that after years of training and counseling that I know are faulty beliefs.  I was raised in a faulty belief system.  My mother did 10 times more work trying to find the efficient easy way to do something.  Watching all the remake of movies there aren't many new ideas.  Reading doing this or that to attract wealth, find the easy life or take a short cut in healing my "nonsense" alarm goes off.  I have dozens of books half read because I get part way through the book and I just want to pitch the book.  I'm not afraid to challenge my thinking.  Counseling tore up my entire thinking and belief system.  We got back to hard basics.  Tough task totally reformatting your own hard drive on the fly....so questioning my ideas is not the issue.

One of the basics....if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't.  Nothing new in the universe and there are few secrets left.  I believe strongly that the dinosaurs would have saved us all a lot of hassle if they had stepped on the easy button when they roamed the Earth.  There are patterns to living but this planet was designed to be tough and messy.  Check out the videos of what is happening in Hawaii to build their island bigger.  Hot molten lava is pouring across their country side devouring all in its path, making its way to the sea and enlarging the island.  If someone claims they have the secret or the easy way, they are selling you something.  My sister says, "If it can fit in a nut shell, it should probably stay there."  

What I do look for are the stories and the ideas of people that are healing, changing their lives for the better, and making a difference in the World.  Too often I heard the singsong, "Do as I say and not as I do."  I went into counseling because I didn't like my life.  I wanted something better.  I didn't know how to get what I wanted.  My counselor helped me work out a pattern but it is not an easy one:

1. Decide there is a problem.
2. Decide who's problem is it.  (Part of the difficulties I had was assuming every problem was my problem.)
3. Decide on a plan.  
4. Decide if I have the skills and resources to solve the problem.
5. Decide to get the skills and resources I need to solve the problem.
6.  Put my plan into action.
7. Review my progress....is my plan working.
8. Make adjustments as needed, continue to solve problems.

I realize there are two basic things I need to do DECIDE and ACT.

Anything else distracts me from these two basic ideas.  I do keep reading different ideas.  I learned that there are a lot of people that have solved problems similar to mine and either wrote a book or blog about it.  I'm not alone.  I can ask for help.  I can take breaks.  If something isn't working, I can change my mind and try something else.  

Another thing I learned is if there is no problem enjoy the break because a new problem will pop-up at any time.  I wake up in the morning, I swing my feet off the bed and BAM gravity is right their pulling me down.  I need determination and continued effort to over come the downward pull in life.  Have a beautiful day.



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Not always

As I read this I thought about my years with toddlers in the house.  The luxury of nap time and the heart felt desire to be in the bathroom for 5 minutes without the toddler screaming at the door like I murdered them.  I was desperate.  I would line up ten pennies on the bathroom floor for my toddler to grab from the other side....that was how much time I could have alone.  Life with a toddler let the World wait and explore the World with your toddler.  I wish I had played more and worried less. 

Indoor fun with toddlers: https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/sensory-processing-issues/8-sensory-friendly-indoor-games-and-activities



The World Can Wait

by DyanDiamond
Be sure to step outside and pause for a deep breath or two this weekend.  And don't forget to look up.
Take a few minutes to just be - to notice everything around you.   Just breathe.  Take a walk if you can.  Open up your senses and breathe in fresh air.
It's really good for us to let the week go and reset.  We can be much more effective in life when we regroup.
The world can wait while you reconnect with yourself.


Life slowed down after all our children moved out.  Reconnecting with myself is an ongoing process.  I noticed that sometimes when I am stressed I will hold my breath and not realize it, so I joke, "Feeling blue, BREATH." 


Monday, June 18, 2018

Ugly history

I will be getting on my soapbox about Immigration issues in the United States.  I sincerely wish things were different but I refuse to be part of the white washing and changing history to be more convenient for politicians.  

You've been warned.  


I noticed that on the issue of children being separated from families that politicians and media are trying to white wash our past history.  There are horrendous stories and incidents that happened on a national level.  Internment camps of Japanese families, divided and persecuted for their heritage.  There was the mass collection of children from the reservations of American Indians where they were stripped of their clothes and their heritage.  Beaten for speaking their native language and other horrors that people are trying to deny existed.  I remember those times.  People forget that in my life time people would cross back and forth across the Mexican and Canadian borders without passports or visas or any other papers.  It wasn't illegal to live in Mexico or Canada and work in the United States.  This is in my life time and my memory.  Not off of some distorted twisted media rewriting history.  Chavez and his posse fought to stop the migrant workers that came up from Mexico, followed the plantings then came back through for the harvest.  Their families worked together and farmer provided huts to live in.  Not good enough.  Protests, fights, demonstrations and the borders were closed without warning.  So many from other countries were here because until the 1970's and 80's it wasn't illegal.  Suddenly people that for generations had migrated with the crops were declared illegal.  It was a weird time and as a teenager I noticed the news about this.  The now illegal immigrants were scared.  They knew what the United State government had done to the American Indian children.  They didn't want the same thing to happen to their children.  Forty years later it is a mess.

I repeatedly voted for people that promised to 'fix' the immigration issues.   So many politicians lied and lied and lied.  I am sick and tired of the lies upon lies.  Obama had a fully democratic House and Senate......he could have been the leader to solve the problem.....he failed.  He put a band-aide over a compound fracture.  He did what I believe one of the cruelest gestures of all......he offered you want it, but didn't put into place the needed laws to actually follow up what he offered.  The rug was easily jerked out from under the Dream Students because it wasn't based in laws that stuck.  He created greater discord and from my perspective enjoyed creating it.  I heard the speech he gave to the students in our district.....some of them are children of illegals....Smoke and mirrors promises easily made because he did nothing to put into place the needed changes in unjust and wrong laws.  I believe when the smoke clears he will go down in infamy for creating discord and dissatisfaction that we the people could get our heads out of the sand and straighten out immigration laws.  To make the laws equitable and possible.  I work with many students from immigrant back ground.  It is a privileged to work with amazing, hard working students that want what every other person wants to be able to take care of themselves and their families.  I am so disappointed in the ugly way people are now blaming and pointing fingers at all the wrong people.  Immigration laws are a mess and they still need to be fixed.  The current rhetoric and backbiting and spread of half truths and lies for sensational news used to stir people up, not to solve the problem, but to be at each others throats.  I am frustrated that this is deteriorating into something that makes things worse and not better. 

Heavy sigh, these things are heavy on my heart and mind.  I am one small voice in a cacophony of discord that is do nothing to help those that are abused by an ugly system that is in desperate need for repair. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Integrity Sacraficed

On the alter of Positivity.

Recently I was reminded what is wrong with the constant quest for being positive.  People only tell half the story.  People lie to cover up problems.  People deny that problems exist.  Integrity is seeking the truth, the good, bad, and the ugly.  Some people say it calling a Spade a Spade.  I grew up this way and sadly encouraged my children to only tell me the good in their day.  When my kids grew up, we had conversations of how they thought their problems were not important enough to share with me. Now I am seeing another negative thing about only focusing on the positive, people start to believe that only the positive exists.  If you bring up the down side, they don't want to hear it. 

Imagine for a moment that you are out looking for a house.  You only look at the positive you ignore the evidence of termites or a cracked foundation or damaged roof.  All expensive items if neglected.  Yet people are condoning ignoring the imperfections in ourselves in the name of positivity.  More than once I read people writing how messed up they were then declaring, "This is just the way I am."  Really.  I will be the first to agree that every person messes up some time.  I am all for looking for the best in people.  But dog gone it, if I go to the doctor office and complain that I have a broken leg, I don't expect the doctor to exclaim in delight that my lungs are healthy.  I want my leg fixed.  I am not doing myself any favors by saying that the broken leg is just the way I am. 

Thorns and roses. 

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. 

However, if we deny that roses have thorns we will be painfully reminded.  I am an advocate of balanced integrity.  Not everything is all bad and not everything is all good.  There is darkness and light.  A picture with out dark areas is really boring.  The beauty is seeing how the dark brings out the beauty of the light.  I believe that I will evaluate my behavior.  Listen to feedback from others then working towards becoming my best self. 





The dark water accentuates the white water bubbling up. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Meditation

I try to sit quietly and all chaos breaks out in my head....I find process art far more effective at creating a place to explore inner peace.  My inner peace is more like crashing cymbals and fire works.  However, I know many people that find meditation a blissful way to zone out and find peace. 

Anyway, I came across this link that explains the workings and how-to for meditation.  I read it over and I may attempt it some day.  I need to be in very safe stable environment to try to mess with my mind.  For me, it is like the moment I hold still and try to quiet my mind all this 'stuff'  both positive and negative come screaming at me. 

Maybe I need to apply what I learned with coping.  I can do anything for 5 minutes. 



Japa Prayer  http://www.sonima.com/yoga/sanskrit-mantras/






Sunday, June 10, 2018

Description of depression

Shared by my friend on Facebook.....so this is from a friend of a friend.

A friend of a friend wrote this... Long ish but worth reading because it's a freaking brilliant metaphor for depression. They don't want credit. Copy, paste, and share.
-----
Now Anthony Bourdain.

When you have depression it’s like it snows every day.

Some days it’s only a couple of inches. It’s a pain in the ass, but you still make it to work, the grocery store. Sure, maybe you skip the gym or your friend’s birthday party, but it IS still snowing and who knows how bad it might get tonight. Probably better to just head home. Your friend notices, but probably just thinks you are flaky now, or kind of an asshole.

Some days it snows a foot. You spend an hour shoveling out your driveway and are late to work. Your back and hands hurt from shoveling. You leave early because it’s really coming down out there. Your boss notices.

Some days it snows four feet. You shovel all morning but your street never gets plowed. You are not making it to work, or anywhere else for that matter. You are so sore and tired you just get back in the bed. By the time you wake up, all your shoveling has filled back in with snow. Looks like your phone rang; people are wondering where you are. You don’t feel like calling them back, too tired from all the shoveling. Plus they don’t get this much snow at their house so they don’t understand why you’re still stuck at home. They just think you’re lazy or weak, although they rarely come out and say it.
Some weeks it’s a full-blown blizzard. When you open your door, it’s to a wall of snow. The power flickers, then goes out. It’s too cold to sit in the living room anymore, so you get back into bed with all your clothes on. The stove and microwave won’t work so you eat a cold Pop Tart and call that dinner. You haven’t taken a shower in three days, but how could you at this point? You’re too cold to do anything except sleep.

Sometimes people get snowed in for the winter. The cold seeps in. No communication in or out. The food runs out. What can you even do, tunnel out of a forty foot snow bank with your hands? How far away is help? Can you even get there in a blizzard? If you do, can they even help you at this point? Maybe it’s death to stay here, but it’s death to go out there too.
The thing is, when it snows all the time, you get worn all the way down. You get tired of being cold. You get tired of hurting all the time from shoveling, but if you don’t shovel on the light days, it builds up to something unmanageable on the heavy days. You resent the hell out of the snow, but it doesn’t care, it’s just a blind chemistry, an act of nature. It carries on regardless, unconcerned and unaware if it buries you or the whole world.

Also, the snow builds up in other areas, places you can’t shovel, sometimes places you can’t even see. Maybe it’s on the roof. Maybe it’s on the mountain behind the house. Sometimes, there’s an avalanche that blows the house right off its foundation and takes you with it. A veritable Act of God, nothing can be done. The neighbors say it’s a shame and they can’t understand it; he was doing so well with his shoveling.

-
I don’t know how it went down for Anthony Bourdain or Kate Spade. It seems like they got hit by the avalanche, but it could’ve been the long, slow winter. Maybe they were keeping up with their shoveling. Maybe they weren’t. Sometimes, shoveling isn’t enough anyway. It’s hard to tell from the outside, but it’s important to understand what it’s like from the inside.

I firmly believe that understanding and compassion have to be the base of effective action. It’s important to understand what depression is, how it feels, what it’s like to live with it, so you can help people both on an individual basis and a policy basis. I’m not putting heavy shit out here to make your Friday morning suck. I know it feels gross to read it, and realistically it can be unpleasant to be around it, that’s why people pull away.

I don’t have a message for people with depression like “keep shoveling”. It’s asinine. Of course you’re going to keep shoveling the best you can, until you physically can’t, because who wants to freeze to death inside their own house? We know what the stakes are. My message is to everyone else. Grab a fucking shovel and help your neighbor. Slap a mini snow plow on the front of your truck and plow your neighborhood. Petition the city council to buy more salt trucks, so to speak.

Depression is blind chemistry and physics, like snow. And like the weather, it is a mindless process, powerful and unpredictable with great potential for harm. But like climate change, that doesn’t mean we are helpless. If we want to stop losing so many people to this disease, it will require action at every level.

My Comment:
Adding a layer of guilt, ridiculing their lack of faith, underlining that there is something wrong with them are not helpful. I already beat myself other people do not need to add their 2 cents worth of "If you would only........"

My friend shared a link http://www.bethe1to.com/

Five steps
1. Ask
2. Keep them safe (if possible)
3. Be there
4. Help them connect
5. Follow up




 

Friday, June 8, 2018

Grudge or not

Ever been told to stop holding a grudge and do X, Y, or Z?  Ever noticed that the person accusing you of holding a grudge is trying to manipulate you? 

I like going to dictionary meetings.  I did copy this and shared the reference. 

1. noun
a feeling of ill will or resentment: to hold a grudge against a former opponent.
  1. adjective done, arranged, etc., in order to settle a grudge: The middleweight fight was said to be a grudge match.
verb (used with object), grudged, grudg·ing.
  1. to give or permit with reluctance; submit to unwillingly: The other team grudged us every point we scored.
  2. to resent the good fortune of (another); begrudge.
verb (used without object), grudged, grudg·ing.
  1. Obsolete. to feel dissatisfaction or ill will.

Origin of grudge

1400–50; late Middle English grudgen, gruggen, variant of gruchen < Old French gro(u)c(h)ier < Germanic; compare Middle High German grogezen to complain, cry out
Related formsgrudge·less, adjectivegrudg·er, nounun·grudged, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. bitterness, rancor, malevolence, enmity, hatred. Grudge, malice, spite refer to ill will held against another or others. A grudge is a feeling of resentment harbored because of some real or fancied wrong: to hold a grudge because of jealousy; She has a grudge against him. Malice is the state of mind that delights in doing harm, or seeing harm done, to others, whether expressing itself in an attempt seriously to injure or merely in sardonic humor: malice in watching someone's embarrassment; to tell lies about someone out of malice. Spite is petty, and often sudden, resentment that manifests itself usually in trifling retaliations: to reveal a secret out of spite. 4. envy.
 http://www.dictionary.com/browse/grudge


 I looked through a couple of dictionary meanings to find one that fit what I thought of as a good definition.  I was interested by one of the dictionaries using the word grudge in sentences saying, "He doesn't grudge......"  To me, that is telling me what it isn't. 
 
 
Grudge is a feeling.  It is how you feel and motivation for what you are doing.  As mentioned above it is a dark negative emotion.  Now, if you read my blog long enough you will note that I embrace all emotions including dark negative ones.  To me, if I am feeling like I am holding a grudge towards someone that is my emotions waving a massive red flag that I have unresolved issues that need my attention.  I want to resolve those issues.  Sometimes that takes quite a bit of work, time and effort.  

The thing that I learned that sometimes the reason I do not want to interact with or do what a person wants me to do is not about holding a grudge.  I may not want to do something because I am doing something else.  Or I have no desire to do what I am asked to do.  Accusing me of holding a grudge to manipulate me, yea I was trained by a pro, I'll spot that a mile away and say no. I learned that making decisions from a place of bitterness, resentment, and hatred I am rarely satisfied with end results.  I am choosing a life based on what I want to do.  Choosing a course of action based on a grudge is a reaction to their behavior.  I don't want to do that.  To me, emotional freedom means my abusers and negative past experiences will no longer control what I do or don't do.  

I'll share a life example.  I was told that my refusal to visit my mother was holding a grudge against her.  That could be true.  She did enough to certainly earn some fairly high levels of bitterness and rancor.  However, I worked a long time to resolve those issues with her.  Bottom line, my mother is not safe for me to be around.  I wish her no ill.  I know from my experience that for me to be around my mother is unhealthy for me.  She let me know more than one time she has no regrets in how she treated me and to my face justified why she did what she did to hurt me.  I can't change her.  I don't need to.  Her choices are hers.  However, my not visiting her is not about me holding a grudge, my decision is about respecting myself enough to keep a safe distance.  

Part of the healing process is to take control of my life based on my values.  I believe that if I allow my negative feelings to make my decisions towards those that hurt me, they are still controlling me.  No, just no.  My abusers controlled me long enough.  I am giving them their eviction notice out of my head....therefore, I will resolve the feelings of bitterness, rancor, and hatred I feel towards them.  I am thankful for the counselor that taught me forgiveness is NOT reconciliation.  I can forgive a person's action but if their attitude towards me does not change, I believe it is foolishness on my part to put myself back in harms way.  Walking away does not mean I am holding a grudge.  Sometimes it just means I have better things to do with my time.  







Wednesday, June 6, 2018

New Design

I shared a post an product vs.  process art on my other blog.....
https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2018/06/02/product-vs-process-art/



Art unleashes the mind to new areas yet unexplored.  Creating process art there is no such thing as a mistake, just a new design.  My friend told me about a Buddah Board.... Paint with water....water dries and paint again and again and again.

https://www.vat19.com/item/original-buddha-board


Examples of process art would be finger painting, sand castles, pour painting, photographic montage, abstract anything goes art, collage, corn meal in a pan, sand at the beach, the list is never ending.  I like the quote from the other blog:

 If a parent whispers to you, “What is it?” Then, guess what…it is process art!
https://geewhizeducation.com/process-vs-product-art-really-know-difference/ 

A few examples of my process art:








Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Drumming

One of the many avenues to reach inside yourself and pull out goop and process it is through music.  Some people moan....I have no musical talent...or I can play a radio or MP-player.....or a thousand other excuses.  OK...here is the deal. You can drum.  You can drum on line and put your head phones on and no one hears it but you.  The rhythm.  The sound.  The focus on something out side of your head. 

I used this more than once on a bad night when my thoughts were like crashing cymbals.  Actually crashing cymbals on this web page worked for me. 



http://www.virtualdrumming.com/drums/windows/drums-free-drumming.html





Ted Talks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYG2BrrzY54
 Shares the scientific back ground as to how drumming helps in multiple ways.
1. boosts the immune system
2. Reduces stress and anxiety
3. Fun

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usXJUWXj9zo
 Mostly drumming with some information

Amazing performances
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHXNaYoguNU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqJdzYY_Fas


Cool thing about drumming is I've taught it to toddlers.  Preschoolers love making their own instruments.  Bottom of pans is a favorite.  Empty oat meal boxes are instant drums.  Two sticks or wooden spoons or metal spoons for a different sound. 

Enjoy the Rhythm of the drum. 


Remember that Youtube uses cookies....that is why it gives you a suggested list based on your searches and watching.  I do not see your advertisements or choices. 




Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hello Summer

I posted the warning for a week.  I hope everyone had a chance to see it.  I also hope that I am in compliance to the laws that I have no access to.  I suppose I could do a search, but even if I found it I probably wouldn't understand all the legalese attempting to protect people's identity.  Heavy sigh.  This was a problem when the internet started and hasn't stopped being a problem.  I gave out my email to everyone.  Someone asked me if it was risky, "My employer published it all ready, doesn't matter."  Yes, I get spam.  Yes, people have anonymously written scathing comments which I deleted.  I figure anything I do on the internet is potentially risky, so is driving the freeway, which I do almost every day. 

Today was my last day of meetings.  I volunteered to help out with planning the school goals for next year.  I figured this way I feel like I have a part in what I will be doing.  I was impressed that my opinion was sought and considered.  But today that finished.  For the next 2 months, I will clean, play with grandkids, take a trip, play with grandkids, relax, play with grandkids, paint, take photos and clean.  My challenge is the awesome collection of projects waiting for my attention. 

On a happy note, my friend sold her dinning room table and I bought.  I love wood tables. 

There are 3 sections that can be added to the table.  I love it. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

No Data mining by me

Hi everyone,
You've seen the notices everywhere you go stating in one form or another how your information will be used.  Here is what blogger posted on my post page:


European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used and data collected on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent.
As a courtesy, we have added a notice on your blog to explain Google's use of certain Blogger and Google cookies, including use of Google Analytics and AdSense cookies, and other data collected by Google.

You are responsible for confirming this notice actually works for your blog, and that it displays. If you employ other cookies, for example by adding third party features, this notice may not work for you. If you include functionality from other providers there may be extra information collected from your users.

Learn more about this notice and your responsibilities.



To let you know, I see your email address when you comment using your name.  I do not post your email address.  I do not sell your email address.  I allow any person that desires to post anonymously.  I check every comment before approving it for post.  So if someone anonymously tells me what a horrible human being I am, I will delete it.  Just so you know. 

I also do not have any, I mean zero control over what ads show up on my blog page.  I cannot afford to go ad free so any ads you see are by Blogger/Google with their data collection and making ads suited to your browsing.  If you want to mess with Blogger, do a search for a friend or something totally random to change what you get for ads.  This can be quite entertaining. 

I do not use 3rd party cookies.  I do not collect data.  I appreciate comments and please be aware that Blogger collects your information to let me know how many people in each country visit my blog.  I learned from this that people all over the world view my blog.  Thank you.  The data collection is done by Blogger in compliance to whatever country you are from because they do not want a law suit.  I have no forms.  No contact information or anything else required to visit my page.  If you do not want blogger to collect your data you can send me a message through a comment and I will gladly send the post in an email.  But you will have to provide the email, I won't use the one that Blogger sends when you start following.  Just say in the comment you would like me to delete the comment instead of posting it, I will do what you wish. 

I respect your privacy.  I don't like getting a bunch of spam and I assume you don't either.  Sad thing about this, I do not have a degree in Cyber security.  I do not understand when Blogger says it is me gathering data when they are the ones making the ads not me.  Data mining is the process of using your log in information, your IP address and other personal information to learn more about you and sell your information to the highest bidder.  Facebook, Google, and many others......YOU are what they are selling to their investors.  Post pictures of your dog and you will get ads for dog food.  Post a rant about some political view you will get more of that too.  I post pictures, share pictures of art, nature and things I think amazing...My ads are about beautiful things.  Yes, they mine my data too.

This is more information from Google: I do not get any money from this blog.  Zip Zero Nada. 

http://www.cookiechoices.org/

What do I need to do?

While the GDPR is still very new, there’s guidance from data protection authorities and other groups (see below) across Europe on what is required to comply with both the GDPR and the e-Privacy Directive. We also recommend seeking legal advice on what’s right for your website or app, though we recognize that many publishers don’t have access to legal advice.
There are vendors that offer tools or solutions to add a consent function to your website, some of which are free of charge. For example:
These solutions can be configured in different ways, to address the needs of your site. It's important to note that such configurations won't control the data collection or cookies on your site automatically.
So if you're using third party advertising services, such as Google’s, you'll need to take steps to integrate your preferred solution with the advertising tags on your pages to make sure your users' preferences are respected. Each vendor offers instructions or support services for doing this.
For Google, you can find more information on the EU User Consent Policy help page. If you are a publisher and use Google services, you may want to consider the tools we offer to help our publisher partners with compliance:
  • AMP: User control components in AMP to support consent requests
  • AdMob: SDK updates and availability of new APIs
  • Funding Choices for user consent: Solution to help publishers gain consent for serving personalized ads to EEA users. (For more details, please contact your Google account manager.)
Test carefully any implementation of these tools on your own site.
I hope I covered all the bases and Blogger hopefully did its job in other countries.  I'll see if I can see what they posted.  Enjoy your day.  Ruth



Sunday, May 20, 2018

Hot buttons

I go along for quite a while then out of the blue someone lands on a hot button.  I can go from cool to white hot in about 10 seconds or less.  Heaven help the person that stepped on the hot button.  I go along thinking I have myself under-control, then I am rudely reminded just how precarious that hold is.  I work hard to keep myself and my thoughts in my domain and by my terms.  I am discouraged when I slip up and let my feelings take the driver seat.  Then I remind myself that I am oh so human.  It is the inhuman that are untouched and unaffected by emotions, tragic events, and life experiences.  I pondered this last few weeks that we are all born vulnerable.  Without proper care, an infant cannot survive on their own.  Meeting needs for food, shelter and human interaction are basic needs.  Infants cry to get them.  Denied over years, eventually a child stops crying for what they need.  Eventually, a child can be brutally trained to want nothing, hope for nothing, expect nothing except more hardship.  My counselor and I had a conversation how adults will dissociate temporarily when an emergency occurs then fall apart when the event is all over.  He expressed that he didn't know why some children stay dissociated.  I pointed out that on Monday I was going to go hungry at breakfast, and the same thing will happen on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  When was the emergency going to end?  I behave like a refugee, I hide food in my drawers at work, I hide it in cupboards at home.  I stash and hide food just in case.  One janitor pointed out that I could be locked in my office for a week and still survive.  Hot buttons remain, because when does injustice and cruelty end?  I'm writing this now to not say I was justified in being upset by someone's comment but to accept that such comments still upset me for a reason.  Somethings simply linger on much longer than we expect and accepting ourselves is kind and compassionate.  Doesn't stop me from trying to improve, just not beating myself to be reminded that some subjects are best left alone. 

Perspective can change but somethings remain the same. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Keep your best friend with you

I first read this maybe 20 years ago....I'm glad Judy found it again and shared it on Facebook....

(found a link to another similar version http://www.schnauzers-rule.com/man-dog-heaven.html)

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.

He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them. 

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble... At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.

When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.

When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?'

'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered.. 'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked.

Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up. 'The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

'Can my friend,' gesturing toward his dog, 'come in, too?' the traveler asked.
'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence.

As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
'Excuse me!' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'

'Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in.'

'How about my friend here?' the traveler gestured to the dog.

'There should be a bowl by the pump.'

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.
When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

'What do you call this place?' the traveler asked.

'This is Heaven,' he answered.

'Well, that's confusing,' the traveler said. 'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.'
'Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell.'

'Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?'

'No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.'

~Wendy Wendt & The Low Riders~
 
 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Value of Self

Warrior's Landing shared this video on Facebook.  My sister shared it so I could see it.  For too long, I surrounded myself with people that saw my value as to what I could do for them.


https://www.facebook.com/warriorslanding/videos/1705152732836407/UzpfSTEwMDAwMDU4NzE2MjA1NToyMDk4MjkzNjcwMjAwMTg1/

Counseling helped me to change my assessment of my value.  I struggled with this concept for a long time.  It is hard to see value in ones self when the first care givers saw no value.  I internalized their perception of me.  I had to break through several barriers in my thinking.  I first tackled my parents are right.  My parents were wrong.  I then tackled the hurdle that I am what I can do for others.  Then I worked through that I have intrinsic value simply because I exist.


The movie the Prince and the Pauper illustrated how we perceive our own value by those we surround ourselves.  In the slums, the prince was another bum.  In the palace, he was once again heir to the king.  Do we see ourselves as a bum or royalty?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Healing is messy

I follow a couple of PTSD facebook pages.  This poem showed up.  I am looking up the author and hopefully I'll find a link back to the correct page. 

YOU ARE A MESS AND YOU ARE HEALING
As you heal,
as you remember your true nature
(vast and powerful and present and free),
as you shed layers of the conditioned self,
as you awaken from the dream
of shame and self-abandonment,
you may find yourself weeping. Shaking. Raging.
Weep, friend. Rage.
Cry all the tears you never let yourself cry before.
The body needs to weep sometimes.
To release pent-up energies.
You need to grieve all the lives you longed to live,
all the lives that were never going to be lived,
so that you can return to this life,
and this body, and this moment.
Forget your image. You need to roar for your life now.
Sometimes healing is not pretty.
It's a death. It's a rebirth.
It's a letting-go and a coming-alive.
We weep. We shake. We shudder. We scream.
We feel 'worse than ever'. We make a mess.
We touch a despair and a doubt we never knew possible.
But we come to trust the process.
And we come to trust that these ‘dark’ feelings need to be felt.
And want to be felt.
And have been longing to be felt since we were very very young.
There is nothing wrong with you,
even if the mind says,
"There’s something wrong with me".
(And there's nothing wrong with you
for having that thought either).
Trust. And trust that sometimes
you need to doubt. And forget. And resist.
Yes, trust that you will resist your healing sometimes.
And you can celebrate your resistance now!
You can celebrate all of yourself now.
As you weep. As you shake.
As you roar like a lion.
As you beg God for mercy.
As you touch the Ground again.
Yes, you are a mess.
Yes, you are healing in your own original way.
~Jeff Foster~

Monday, May 7, 2018

Powerfully Nice



I am a member of Linked In.  This link might not work if you are not a member (basic membership is free.)


https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-dont-have-jerk-powerful-fran-hauser/


Fran Hauser

She is talking mostly to women that tend to start people pleasing in their preteens and sometimes do not get past this to take their place as leaders.  Fran calls people pleasing a disease, after years of counseling I agree.  People pleasing implies setting aside your own values and standards to please someone else.  In the article, she points out the double standard held for women that if they speak up they are overbearing and bitchy.  One of the examples she shares is Ana:


I recently spoke about this with Anna Chavez, the author, speaker, attorney, and former CEO of The Girl Scouts of the USA. As a strong, successful woman of color, Anna felt throughout her career that she was unfairly labeled as angry or aggressive when she simply voiced her opinion at work. Yet she also had to fight to be taken seriously — an almost impossible balancing act to pull off.

Anna told me about one situation early in her career. It was the first time she was sent out to represent a federal agency in an enforcement hearing. She was barely two years out of law school and looked young for her age. She walked into the hearing room in Aurora, Colorado, and found several men already seated at the conference table. One of the officials looked at Anna and asked her if she knew when the hearing officer would be arriving because he and his corporate colleagues were very busy and needed to get back to their office. He assumed that she was a secretary or paralegal. Anna paused and said, “Well, you're lucky. The hearing officer is here and I am ready to start the proceedings.”
All of the men were shocked that Anna would be determining the outcome of this federal hearing, and throughout the proceedings Anna found herself trying to prove her gravitas to these men while still coming across as likeable. In the years since then, Anna has learned to stay true to herself by focusing on the good she was trying to do through her job and always trying to act as a model to others by treating them in the way she wanted to be treated. It may sound like a cliché, but this focusing inward helped her display a quiet confidence that strikes that difficult balance between strong and kind, assertive and empathetic.

To me, Anna is living proof that we don’t have to give up our niceness in order to be powerful. We can make room for others and take up an appropriate amount of space for ourselves. It doesn’t diminish anyone else for you to stand up straight and speak with authority. In fact, it’s a gift to other women to take the space and air time that you need because the more women stop camouflaging themselves, the more we lead the way for every woman and girl to be as powerful as they can be.
 Men sometimes face similar challenges on how to be powerful without being overbearing or a jerk.  I pay attention to people around me.  I have seen people in positions of authority that learned that the best way to lead is to serve.  The thing people look for is someone that knows where they are going and encourage others to come along. 

Part of my path to healing is to stop hiding behind old ways of groveling to please others and recognize I enjoy helping others and can do this without losing myself. 





Friday, May 4, 2018

New appreciation

I have a new appreciation for my counselor.  He would give me reading assignments or movies to watch as I learned and grew.  Now I am on my own.  I am trying to find a good book about resilience.  So far I started 3 different ones.  I am frustrated because in there attempt to be clever, get the readers attention, or just the way they write the authors seem to be making things harder not easier to understand. 

One book claimed that you can raise a trauma free child, in the introduction they clarified that no one can avoid trauma.  It is difficult for me to keep reading when they start out misleading me by giving a title that isn't true.  The second challenge with the book is they assume the parents are emotionally healthy and know what resilience is.  The reason I am messed up is because of my parents.  Shaking my head over the double barrel gaffe before they get out of the introduction.  I'll use summer time to buckle down and read it. 

The next one starts out stating that you need to tell the truth and that will solve everything.  Great, rule #1 stop lying especially to yourself.  Then he goes on to explain how the brain rearranges information to make life more comfortable. Basically saying that the brain won't tell the truth if it had to.  It rearranges thing for our comfort.  Really....I am sorting out that the difference between lying and the what the brain does is that one is done intentionally with the intent of manipulating the other person.  The brain is trying to be kind and ease distress.  This book is a bit unsettling...another one for summer reading to mull over the points and figure out if it is worth  wading through the confusion the writer created. 

The third seems fairly reasonable, but after the first two I'm frustrated.  This is the best of the bunch so far.  I'll finish this one first then go back and tackle the other two.  Before, my counselor read the books then suggested the one that would be best, now I do the sorting, it takes time and effort.  Fortunately, my counselor trained me well and I know how to tell which is healthy and which doesn't help much.  That is a challenge for a person raised in an abusive environment.  Figuring out what healthy looks like, acts like, and feels like is a bit hard.  A little like trying to explain what salt tastes like without saying it is salty. 

Trying to figure out which is trash and needs to go here. 

No politics here

My life was hijacked by politics.  I will not benefit from the argument.  The government has behaved the same way for over 50 years I don't foresee one week changing that.  So I didn't post so I wouldn't write about how messed up our politics and education system are here.  We have amazing teachers and students in spite of a broken system.  At our school we have awesome administrators too.  They really do care about the students and staff.  I love where I work.

One of the things I did to help with my anxiety is to stop taking the paper.  Daily dump of woes and worries that I could do nothing about worsened my symptoms.  I miss the funnies but I sure don't miss the headlines.  Too often they go for the drama well before seeking out anything resembling the truth.  My brother calls TV news the death and destruction hour.  Every horrible thing they can find anywhere in the world to report on they do.  The cool, fun, interesting, nice stuff is nowhere to be found.  Not that it isn't happening, good stuff doesn't cut it in the news. 

Our good stuff....one of our students taking a state certification test got the highest score the test giver had ever seen.  Most of the students passed, they were competing with students from across the state.  Our students do amazing things.  They go to nationals for competitions.  Sadly, that isn't what is recognized.  The dedication of the teachers, the hard work done by students just doesn't make the news. 

Just a few more weeks then summer.  I need the break.  Hopefully, I'll come back feeling refreshed and ready to put up with the junk so the good stuff can shine through.  Thanks awesome teachers everywhere.  You do make a difference. 


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Motivated to clean

I read somewhere a meme that said, "I don't have clutter, I have projects waiting to happen."  I looked around my disaster sewing room and realized they were right.  I did have projects waiting to happen all over the place.  However, the disorganization hides half of what I need to do the projects.  For the first time I am approaching cleaning this area with the idea of how can I organize my space so I can paint, draw, pour paintings, jewelry making, sewing and other projects just waiting to for me to switch around my priorities. 

I built a book shelf that I already owned to accommodate my research into PTSD/CPTSD and the workings of the human mind and spirit.  I filled the shelves quickly.  I have so many on my to be read list and few that need to be reread.  I also found things I thought I lost...nope they were right there in plain sight unlabeled as to what they were.  This freed up space for things that needed to be put together. 

Now I am grouping my resources into areas.  Sewing, crocheting, painting, woodworking all jumbled together are being sorted out to their own space.  Wow, I have a lot of projects waiting.  I am doing projects too.  I have a crocheted blanket that went from lap size to almost a twin size blanket.  Completed pour paintings are sitting in front of books on my book cases.  I made progress.  Probably the most progress I've made in years.  I changed my motivation for cleaning.  Instead of cleaning to take care of this mess and throw away this trash, I am now arranging the things I gathered for various projects in a way that I can accomplish what I planned to do.  I know where my painting stuff is.  I have my colored pens boxed together and accessible.  Hard to do a project if part of the resources I need are buried under another project. 



Thursday, April 26, 2018

Considering new possibilities

One of the blogs in my email is about building families.  Today's email had suggestions on family summer activities.  I thought about it that perhaps living more intentionally I could benefit from something similar.  Take each day of the week to do something from an area of enjoyment.  The list below is just the starting point.  No need to choose these particular ideas but the idea of living intentionally.  Many times we get in the habit drifting through each day.  One day starts to blend into another.  Why not change it up a little?  Maybe  try a new recipe or explore the library.  These ideas are great for kids.  I think adults can benefit too.  When was the last time you intentionally changed up your day by scheduling time to try something new. 

DAILY ADVENTURES:

One of our readers sent in a great idea for having specified days for different things. We used her idea to group our long “bucket list” of brainstormed activities into categories for fun family activities each day after the kids finished their “must-do’s”:
  • Make-it Monday - Arts, building and creating
  • Take a trip Tuesday - short day trips visits the sights in the area
  • Wet Wednesday- summer means water - enjoy it. 
  • Thinking Thursday - learn something new, look up a how to, find answers to a question
  • Friend Friday - spend time with friends
https://poweroffamilies.com/do-it-yourself-summer-camp/