Wednesday, September 26, 2018


I love my friends on Facebook that share cool stuff.  It is a post about judging others with a short video.

I work at a school where it is real easy to slip into the mode of thinking I am better.... These kids are amazing.  They are working against tough odds.  My goal this year is to make my presence a positive event.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


I did not grow up with the feeling of peace.  Tension oozed from the woodwork.  Any peace attempt to enter in was exited out within moments.  So if I am seeking peace and I have no idea what it looks or feels like, how will I know if I found it?

Michael is an amazing poet and art photographer.  He blends amazing pictures with beautiful words.  Somedays he shares beautiful words and the pictures created in my mind from his inspiration are amazing.  He agreed that I could share his perspective of peace....

As I sit here dealing with my sprained knee, I came across some old writings of mine from back in the day. This one caused quite a stir online and offline about 12 years ago. CNN had an "arts corner" that it was featured on, and it was recited on a number of other television and radio programs. The resultant storm of recognition caused me to retreat even further into the woods.......
I am the warm gentle breeze
To cleanse ravaged land,
Where foe is now friend
That walk hand in hand.
I am the glory of dawn
O'er bloody red fields.
I am the force that descends
To bring all wars to heel.
I am the rest of the warrior
The calmer of rage.
I am the carillon call of the
Strong and the Brave.
I am the song of cathedral bells
Heard clear 'cross the land.
I am the tears of the mother
In clutch of son's hand.
I am the prayer of the child
For God safe to keep.
I am the sweetness of rest
For the weary to sleep.
I am the light from the darkness
The path through the fire.
I am the glorious wind
Of all earthly desire.
I am the steadfast resolve
Flag proudly unfurled.
I am the heart lit afire
The hope of the world.
I am the covenant foretold
To the lost and the weak.
I am the strength of salvation
In the solace they seek.
I am the voice of the millions
Whom liberty calls.
I am the trumpets lament
Of the last man to fall.
I am the yearn of the haunted
The white dove serene.
I am relief from the madness
The maker of dreams.
I am the promised tomorrow.
The tears of relief.
As she runs to your arms,
Behold....I Am Peace.

Thank you Michael. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Destruct to construct

This is an on going process.  Right now I am totally destroy my sewing room with the purpose in mind of having shelves for my projects that will fit the containers that I have.  First I am pulling everything out to make room for the building project.  This means there is stuff every where in our living room.  Almost finished one set of shelves then realized if I complete them as they are, I will not be able to reach the pull chains for the fan and light in the middle of the room.  Bummer.  I allowed myself to put it on hold until Monday.  I am feeling anxious but I remind myself that I am setting the due dates to have things done.  They are mine to change as needed.  I am so excited to go through things.  Some haven't been touched in years.  I also took courage in my hands and give a few things away.  Please understand, this is a huge success and I am so excited about it.  DH offered several times to help but I want to be able to say I DID IT! Step by step I am making choices to control my life.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Inside Job

I felt sad today when someone criticized Elizabeth Smart for sharing her video on choosing happy after her ordeal of being kidnapped.  It was an awesome video that she shared but the person making the complaint expressed that it was 'easy' for her since she had support from family and friends.  The reply I wish I had written but didn't because I pointed out the uselessness of comparison instead,

Dear complainer,

Happiness is an inside job.  A person can have no trauma, family and community support and still be unhappy.  Happiness is not about circumstances or the people around you.  Those things influence but I learned from reading both Viktor Frankl Man's Search for Meaning
And Corrie Ten Boom The Hiding Place

that even in the most wretched places people found hope, happiness, and a reason to live.

Begrudging Elizabeth her happiness will do nothing to improve your own and does not diminish her progress.  Like crabs in a pot, pulling others down does nothing to rescue you out of your mess.

I am not going to say the journey to happiness is an easy one.  I don't believe that it can be turned off and on like a light switch or if you can you might be dealing with severe dissociation.  What I do believe it is something we learn to see, create and share.  If pursued exclusive to all else, it is never found.  Happiness to me is a byproduct of living a life filled with sharing, caring, creating, and serving.  It is built on resolving past hurts.  It can be accomplished in the most wretched places.  Betsy, Corrie Ten Boom's sister, asked her to thank God for the fleas.  Corrie was dismayed but grudgingly thanked God for the fleas.  At a later time, Corrie learned that the guards for the most part left their barracks alone because of the fleas. Betsy had a gift for finding happiness in the most unlikely places.  I'm not an expert on happiness, depression dogs me most days.  What I learned painfully and thoroughly, happiness does not come from someone or something else.  It is not a thing to be found tucked under a rock.  It is not required for living.  It is not what many people expect it to be.  It is sometimes fun but many times linked with sadness and grief.  The light shining through the clouds is my best description of happiness to me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Hearts still hurt

Today I visited the Field of Healing.  A flag flying for every person that lost their lives during the attack on September 11, 2001.  It is a day I always remember.  I take pictures and cry.  I feel the pain of thousands of loved ones missing those that they loved.  I feel the pain of thousands of dreams ended in just a few hours time.

I write about this every year.  It was a turning point for me.  I will never be the same again.  That is why it is called a life changing experience.

Today I am sharing another person's perspective of that infamous day.

Again I am crying.  I believe that crying is a sign of healing.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sometimes the answer is not right now

I am over my head and taking in water fast.  Last night I dreamt that a dam was blown up.  Yea you get in over your head very fast in that situation.  It is hard for me to back down and say, "This is too much for me right now."  I noticed that some of the same problems come back into my life.  I want to be able to conquer all challenges.  I went on a mud run with my daughter several years ago.  There was a muddy obstacle course.  I climbed nets, scrambled under barriers, and slogged through mud.  But when I got to a wall my whole body started shaking.  I couldn't do this one.  I would say I did 95% of the course but not that one obstacle that day.  It is still difficult for me to call "Uncle" and give up on a task.  However, sometimes that is something I need to do.  Not this challenge not today.  Maybe another day as I grow and strengthen but not today.

I could give you many quotes about quitters.  You know them, "Quitters never win and winners never quit."  However, painfully I learned that sometimes I need to say, "Not this challenge, not today."  Many times I didn't have an opt out choice.  When I found out I had cancer it was about this time of year 17 years ago.  I was devastated.  There was no back out and not do this option.  The only way I had was through.  But there are times when I can say,  "No."  What comes to mind is the song The Gambler.

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run

I realized I am a situation where I made progress, a lot of progress, but the situation is still much bigger than me.  I am allowing someone else to help me.  I am making plans of approaching things differently.  I am not sticking with the status quo because the status quo isn't working for me.  Be creative, be courageous, and be willing to say, "No."  I don't know how things will pan out.  I will encounter these challenges again I am creating a plan to shore up and strengthen me and accept that we all need a healthy team working together to succeed.  I learned team building from counseling and Team Froglogic.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Spiraling down

The advantage I have now is I know the symptoms.  I understand the causes, most importantly I know how to find the solutions.  I noticed a trend in my blogs of things aren't fun.  I'm not happy.  I'm stressed out.  I was exhausted driving to work this morning.

STOP THE BOAT!!!!!!!!!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has a scene in a boat where things get more and more intense until Willy Wonka shouts, "STOP THE BOAT."  Everything stops.  When my counselor first told me I could do the same thing, I didn't believe him.  I felt so out of control and so baffled where all the anxiety was coming from.  STOP is a powerful word.  Sometimes I use distractions like computer games or art to help my mind slow down and finally come to a stop.  Why stop?  During stop I can sit with my emotions the hurt ones, the scared ones, the frustrated ones, the angry ones, all clamoring for attention.  When I stop I take the time to pay attention.  My emotions no longer need to scream to get my attention.  Some people call this paying attention to the inner child.  In some ways that spiraling down frantic feeling is my inner child throwing a temper tantrum trying to get what she needs because I ignored her for too long.  Stop.  Listen. Stop spinning all the problems together and breathe...take apart all the separate pieces.  Stop trying to solve all the different problems at once.

Part of my spiraling down is a reaction to too many problems coming at me at once.  I need to stop and sort things out.....

1.  Which problems are actually my problems? Part of my past behavior was taking on my abuser's problems trying to please them by 'fixing' things for them.  Of course, I can't fix someone else's problem so I failed and felt more frustrated.  Learning to recognize a problem not being mine to solve is a big help.
2.  Which problems are bigger than I am?  These kind of problems I turn over to Heavenly Father, big problems are His department.
3.  Which problems need more information?  Sometimes I need more information to solve a problem. Or maybe a new perspective will resolve the issue.
4.  Which problems need to be broken down into smaller problems?  No one eats an elephant in one meal.  Break down problems into more manageable pieces.  SMART goals come in handy for this.  I wrote about SMART goals in this post
5. Accepting that I am not going to solve all my problems in one night.  Be kind to myself as I tackle different problems one or two at a time.

STOP my downward spiral. STOP my spinning thoughts.  Use my self-care tools, art tools, and planning/creativity tools.  I have options.  Thriving is not a problem free life.  Thriving is tackling problems and finding a way through each challenge.

Rocky Theme song played here.

I found my fight song.

Plants can split rocks to survive and thrive. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Brain Fog

Whining, complaining, and thinking about fun or lack of it got me to realize when brain fog sets in nothing is fun.  Brain fog can come from several sources emotional distress, illness, sin, tiredness, depression, trauma, and many other sources.  I am starting to learn that when brain fog sets in I need to pay attention to what is happening in my life.  Something is off.  It is like running a temperature when sick, it is a general alert to the body that I'm not feeling well.  Not feeling well can mean body, mind, emotions or spirit.

A quick search on the Internet machine and this popped up:

Brain fog, also commonly known as brain fatigue, can be a mild to severe episode of mental confusion that can strike without warning. When this occurs, it is common to experience a lack of focus, poor memory recall and reduced mental acuity.

That is a fairly good description in my estimation. The article added a few more things that can cause brain fog.  It listed several solutions more sleep (I wish), better nutrition, quit smoking/drinking, less stress and increased antioxidants mentioning one of the products they sell.  Generally brain fog is an early warning sign that I am neglecting myself.  Need to get back on track with self-care.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Sharing Fun

Today I shared my joy of pour painting with someone else.  Her ideas are way ahead of mine.  She plans to use the pour painting as a background to other paintings.  It is a beautiful idea.  We had a great time exploring pour painting.  Different colors and techniques led to a total of 5 different paintings.  It was fun sharing what I enjoyed.  I realized that fun for me is sharing something beautiful.

My sister reminded me to stop being so hard on myself.  The other thing I learned that some of the games I play are not about having fun.  They are either distractions or road hazards to slow down my racing mind.  Life is too much, 5 minutes playing a mindless computer game puts a check on my thoughts and brings them back into a more reasonable pace.  How do I know this?  A meme online shared the joke and it struck a cord with me.

I spent 5 minutes alone with my thoughts, remind me to never do that again....very scary.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

My talent

I can make a chore out of fun.  Yup.  I try to have fun and it ends up becoming a competition with myself or another thing I "have" to do or I have to do X amount of work before having fun then I am too tired to do the fun thing.  I did a mystery crocheting project for fun.  Now I am at the last to weeks instructions and it is big and the instructions are confusing.  It is not fun.  I fall asleep working on it.  I dread trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing and how I am going to make it look like the picture.  Crumbs I feel like I am the only person that can mess up having fun.

Then my sister writes about her struggle with having fun.  My friend talks about her struggle with taking time to relax and have fun. I read the post on the 2 Facebook groups for PTSD and guess what my talent is not special.  Many survivors struggle with fun, relaxing, vacations, free time, and all sorts of things that are supposed to help reduce stress actually add to the stress.  How mixed up is that?

So now I added the drawing to my relax/fun struggle.  I am fascinated with what I am learning.  Yes I did day 2 four times because it wasn't looking right.  Stop - just Stop.  This is supposed to be fun and I don't need to produce a museum worthy can even look like a Picasso for that matter.  It is supposed to help me regroup and realign my thinking in a more positive way.

Heavy does one cope with failing to have fun?