Category Archives: mental health well being love

Everybody’s Crazy

Many years ago, I was very depressed and taking numerous medications for my condition. It was complicated by personality disorders and PTSD. One time, my sister called me around my birthday and asked me what I wanted. I told her, “what I want, you can’t buy.” She asked, “what is it?” I told her I wanted a right mind. She said to me, “Oh, Sophie, everybody’s crazy!” I quietly cried feeling very misunderstood. She didn’t know how bad I was feeling. She didn’t know I just wanted to die. About 20 years later, I finally understood what she meant! This is about how long it took for me to get myself together, too, in order to start making changes in my life so I could heal. I started to realize everyone was crazy so I wondered, What the hell am I trippin’ on???

There is a difference between someone who is going through a chemical imbalance of some sort and the normal everyday crazy.  However, many people don’t understand this. They don’t understand a person who feels they are not in their right mind feels crazy, out of control, like something has taken over, as if they are lost without a body, just wandering around like a lost soul. So many people throw around phrases like, “that’s so crazy” without understanding how it effects people who think they might be crazy. I used to just go “crazy” when people used phrases like, “that’s so schizophrenic” or would cavalierly call something crazy. It would embroil me and get me all worked up. I try not to use the word “hate” ever because it’s a serious word and I hardly truly hate anything or anyone, but I do hate the “crazy” word. Although, sometimes, I’m known to sing, “boom boom, ain’t it great to be crazy!”

Once I woke up to the reality of everyone’s general craziness, it wasn’t so bad. I could relax and not try so hard to be “normal” whatever the hell is normal! Lol. Relaxing, I’m able to be a bit more objective, understanding and compassionate towards myself instead of constantly striving to be something or someone else to fit in.

Today, many people strive to be themselves, start their own trends, wear whatever colors they want, do what they want, without checking to see if it’s the current fad or craze, nor seeking anyone’s approval. Everyone is not striving to fit into some category or box. There is a bit of chaos and craziness involved! However, in my mind, trying to look like others or fit in, is a bit of craziness, too! There’s just no other explanation. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to be outspoken or quiet. It’s okay to be upbeat or sad. There’s nothing wrong with being human! There’s nothing wrong with feeling your emotions deeply. There’s nothing wrong with not feeling your emotions. Why must we constantly look at someone and judge whether or not they are behaving normally? Normal simply doesn’t exist. I realize there may be some signs that someone’s life is off balance and maybe they need assistance with it, or not.

What I know is that many people suffer in silence out of shame or guilt. They don’t want to be pointed out, don’t want to be judged, don’t want to be called, “crazy” or “insane” so they keep their own opinions and preferences to themselves. I know I did. Starting from when I was little, someone would ask me what I want, I’d say, “I don’t care.” I was afraid to make a choice or to state my preference for many reasons, but that was my general answer. Mainly because I had seen others teased for liking something different. I’d seen people ridiculed, laughed at or picked on for wearing different clothes, liking other music, choosing other foods, etc…

Nowadays, the “c” word doesn’t bother me so much, but back when I was struggling with my mental illness, it was very disheartening. People who are different are not crazy. People with different perceptions of reality are not crazy. People who choose to live their lives on their own terms are not crazy. People who dance to the beat of their own drum, even if you can’t hear the drum beat, are not crazy. People who are sensitive, delicate, or don’t fit into a boxed category are not crazy. People with a mental illness are not crazy. Oh, yet, everybody’s crazy!

Personal Responsibility

I was inspired to write this today after watching the presidential inauguration today. I really didn’t appreciate much of the commentary remarks by the reporters. I just wanted to “see” what was going on. It’s all pretty obvious though isn’t it? I mean, if you look at the scenes, some were happy and others were down right angry! The most profound thing was when President Trump talked about giving the country back to the people. I heard him say that we are each responsible and not the government! The government really can only do so much as the people allow it to lead anyway. We the people are responsible.

I remember years ago, a member of a church asked the Pastor why they didn’t have a surplus of food for those who were hungry. The Pastor said it was because the government has programs and resources for the poor. I was a bit outraged by this mentality. Someone comes to your church hungry and you’ve got nothing for them but some scriptures? How does that work? Why relinquish this to the government? Is the government more powerful than God, or anyone, for that matter, who is able to help someone in need?

I am personally responsible for how I behave and conduct myself, not the government, not my family, not my community, not anyone else! It’s up to me to live my core values based on what I have chosen for myself and not to try to force them upon someone else for my own level of comfort. It’s always an individual choice. Look at mob mentality, many people join together as a mob to protest and sometimes do damage, some join the act just because they were there and have no idea how they really feel about the situation. However, the mob mentality works the other way, too. The mob mentality can be used to get people to also join together for good and peace. It doesn’t always have to be about an angry outburst, wrecklessness and destruction. Everyone can stop and decide for themselves to behave in peaceful and constructive ways.

I am challenged this year to be a little more compassionate, less judgmental, more forgiving and loving to myself and others. I am doing this regardless of who is in Office right now. It’s always an individual decision! It’s my personal choice. It’s not because of God, religion, social mores, or standards of conduct, but it’s how I feel inside. I choose to present myself with integrity and honor because it just feels good! It makes my heart happy. I lead by the heart. It feels good to my body, my mind and my soul to be a nice and considerate person. Love and compassion is a choice!

Wild Compassion

This year, I’m focusing my attention and energy on more compassion for myself and others. The other title for this blog post was going to be “cut the bullsh*t!” I’ve been cutting out all kinds of BS from my life and belief system lately. I just don’t believe the “I have to”, “need to”, and “should” messages anymore. It’s just that in this world there is judgment, lack of empathy, and impatience towards others and ourselves. If we’re not where we wanted to be or where we think someone else “should” be, it’s easy to be harsh, critical and judgmental. I don’t believe it’s my place to do this for anyone, including myself. It’s my responsibility to love myself, and to love others.

Wild compassion is forgiving others, letting them off the hook, being kind, gracious, and loving because I’ve received compassion, patience, forgiveness, kindness, grace, and love. It’s letting people be who they are without trying to fix them. It’s letting people grow and learn in their own time and in their own way. It’s being there when someone asks for help, but not insisting on my way. It’s letting people have their own belief system and not judging it. It’s recognizing we’re all at different stages of growth and evolution.

I used to be so hard on myself. I was critical, judgmental, and easily frustrated because I wasn’t where I wanted to be, I didn’t achieve my goals, and perceived myself to be a failure or sinner bound for hell. That’s just a bunch of bullsh*t and doesn’t help me to grow, but wallow in pity and helplessness. I was so miserable, sad, depressed, angry and unforgiving towards myself and others. I had no dignity for myself. Now I know better. I know to lighten up, be easy on myself, gracious, merciful, forgiving, patient, compassionate, and loving. Now I love myself. I love all of me, all of my flaws and imperfections. It’s okay to be human. I love my mind and body by giving myself unlimited and unconditional wild compassion.

Christmas gifts

Many years ago, my family had all been very sick right before Christmas. Someone had strep, another had the flu and I had a bit of a cold. Another had pneumonia. We were sick and the only time I left the house was to get food or medication. We all managed to go to Christmas Eve service. Afterwards, we stopped at the only open store, Walgreen’s. We only had a few little presents for each other. Looking at all the cutesy gifts and Christmas candy, I passed by a woman several times. She had a cart full of games, toys, and other little stocking stuffers. I tried to smile at her or say Merry Christmas but she avoided eye contact. Looking back, she actually looked worried, nervous and afraid.

Later, we heard a loud commotion coming from the front of the store. As I walked over to see what was going on, the manager came inside the store out of breath. He said the woman ran out of the store without paying for the things in her cart. He had run outside to get her license plate number.

I felt really terrible for the lady. I could tell she loved her children. She wanted to get them all something special for Christmas, but didn’t have the money. If she had asked, I would have made a contribution. I’m sure any of the people in the store would have helped out. The store may have even helped. I just know running out of the store without paying wasn’t a great solution because the police would be searching for her and she would end up in jail. I imagined the look of shock on her kids’ faces as the police took away their Mommy in handcuffs!

It left quite an impression on my mind as I thought about how I hadn’t done much of any shopping either. My kids already knew the situation and were totally okay with it. I didn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed to not have anything for them. I still loved them! When I was growing up, Santa Claus didn’t come to our house. I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t know who Santa Claus was. We were poor. I didn’t look forward to Christmas because I didn’t know about it! It doesn’t mean I missed out on anything though. It just wasn’t my reality.

Many stores invest lots in advertising at Christmas time to get people to buy. Still, I wish people would not pressure themselves to buy their kids expensive gifts they cannot really afford for their children. I wish they would simply say, “I love you” and spend time having fun with their families. It doesn’t have to be the huge thing our society has turned it into. I wish it was more about celebrating one another, being kind to one another and just loving on each other rather than buying expensive gifts. Giving gifts are nice but the reality is that not everyone is going to get one and that’s just the way it is. We should tell the kids the truth that Santa Claus is not real! Some say, “Oh it’s fun though!” It’s fun to tell kids a lie? I don’t think so! The truth will set you free!

Let yourself off the hook if you don’t have the money! It’s okay. No one is going to jail if you don’t have a Christmas present for anyone. We lose the joy of Christmas time by stressing out over buying the perfect gift. If you want to give, give out of the love in your heart and what you have. It is nice giving and receiving gifts, but it’s unnecessary. When people are stealing and fighting in the stores over gifts, we’ve forgotten the true meaning of gift giving and Christmas time.

Self Help

Self help isn’t just a classification of books! For me, it’s about helping myself instead of waiting on someone else. I have read many books on self help, spirituality, scriptures, reinventing the self, motivation, and inspiring stories. None of these will ever help if you don’t take the information and do something about your life. It took me a very long time to realize this. Okay, I was slow to learn! It wasn’t until I questioned my beliefs about myself and life that I began to pay attention.

I let go of false beliefs and questionable theology more so than adopting new beliefs. Of course, it was easier to accept new beliefs and practices once I had an open minnd and let go of rigid belief systems. I went to lots of therapy, which helped tremendouly, but in helping myself, I was able to grow by leaps in bounds just by meditating, and getting honest with myself.

I had to get seriously honest with myself. I had to tell myself the truth of how I had messed up my own life. I also had to stop waiting on someone else to come save me from myself. No, I had to acknowledge the truth of where I had strayed, and where I had adopted others’ beliefs without question. However, I found that once I stopped believing dogmatic messages, I found I wasn’t so bad after all. I did more of what lifts me up. I hung out with positive people. I started taking charge of my own health and mental well being. I did things that were good for me without asking permission of anyone.

I’m allowed to make changes and adjustments in life that I see fit and that are good for me. And you know, when I did this, not only did I get better mentally, physically and spiritually, but it changed the dynamics of my relationships, too. I would say the best self help is to stop waiting on someone else to tell me what to do or how to live and just get very honest with myself!

Other people, who are not objective, will tell you how to fix your problems based upon their perception of your problem or how they solve their own problems. They can offer suggestions, but really at the end of the day, I have to decide for myself what’s good and right for me. I’m a good and kindhearted person. I can trust me to make good decisions. I can help myself. I can consult with others or ask for advice, but in the end it’s up to me what I choose to do. I’m in charge of myself.

When I am honest with myself, I check myself to see if I am living in integrity with my core belief systems or whether they need to be altered or released. And since I check myself, if I make a mistake, I don’t wallow in guilt, shame, blame, or fear. I correct it. I forgive myself. Self help is loving yourself!

My blog posts, and my book, Dear Sophia, Love Yourself, are primer’s to get people to start thinking about issues differently. To look at them from a different perspective to learn, grow, or change mindset. They are especially written to spark an “aha” moment! It’s works for me! Comments are always welcome.

Truthing

“…the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” It’s the oath we make when we’re in court. But what about everyday truth? Who do I bear allegiance to then? Usually it’s me! We all have different versions of truth. When I’m talking about something and someone absolutely cannot see it happening or refuses to believe it, it doesn’t change my truth and I don’t change it to make them feel better! Or do I?

Many times, I’ve watered down something to help someone accept what I’m trying to say because they just could not hear it! However, I found this to eat away at my core. It bothered my conscience. I would feel empty inside and misunderstood. I couldn’t tell the whole truth! It’s very uncomfortable. It’s not authentic. I have learned to be careful with who I’m sharing my truth with. I don’t just tell anyone because not all are ready for it. It’s okay. It’s not for everyone either.

Everyone all around the world have different versions of truth. I believe everyone has the innate ability to hear, discern, and know truth. There’s an internal guidance system called our intuition. It really depends upon our early teachings, our impressions, and what we personally believe that leads to interpretations of truth. This is an undeniable fact. So many people hear the exact same story, but based on their filters and personal beliefs will interpret it in their own way that makes sense to them. Whatever you hear me NOT saying or between the lines has more to do with you than me! Think about it…

It is good for your mental health to question truth every now and then!  What are you believing or telling yourself?  Is it really true?  Is it true today, right now, or is it something from the past?  Is it your belief or someone else’s?  Do you water it down for  someone else?  Do you exaggerate it?   It is written, “the truth will set you free.”  What is truth?

My blog posts, and my book, Dear Sophia, Love Yourself, are primer’s to get people to start thinking about issues differently. To look at them from a different perspective to learn, grow, or change mindset. They are especially written to spark an “aha” moment! It’s works for me! Comments are always welcome.

Happiness

In times of trouble and unrest, it’s hard to think about happiness, yet, that’s exactly what I’m blogging about today. Because, in life, we go through a myriad of emotions and states of being, and it’s important to know nothing strange is happening to you. It’s simply life! When I used to be clinically depressed, I thought I would never ever be happy again. Boy was I wrong! However, once I got over the depression and other symptoms, if I ever felt down, I thought I must be slipping back into it. It’s simply not true! There will be events in our lives that brings elation and there will be others that will bring us down. And here’s another point, I learned to make peace with the waves of emotions that I feel each day. Peace is similar to happiness but you can have peace even if you’re sad for a reason.

Happiness is a state where you feel elated, free and light. You’re on top of the world. If you’ve ever had a runner’s high, you’ve got endorphins bringing you into a state of ecstasy running through your body. Laughing brings on a steady stream of happiness. Happiness is in a hug, a kiss, a smile, a job well done, a new birth, a new beginning, an ending, and so much more! Happiness is different for everyone and an inside job. However, surrounding yourself with happy and positive people will generally help you to feel good inside.

I am big believer in living life authentically and within my power by looking on the positive side. I strive to see each day as a brand new one to live fully, explore life, and look for the good. My childhood and much of my adulthood were some my worst days, and now it’s my mission to live the rest of days as my best days. I put the past in the past by confronting it, feeling it, processing it, releasing it, and moving on. I had many reasons for depression and now I have discovered even more to be happy. In order to be happy, I engage with life, do things that matter to me, I speak up, sing, dance, sleep, show compassion, experience and express all of my emotions in a healthy manner. See, it’s being authentic and not suppressing so called “bad feelings.”

I do my work with happiness. I can see work as drudgery or embrace it as a means to eat and live. I can sing and listen to upbeat music or be angry and complain while doing it. It’s all a matter of choice and perspective. Happiness is unique for each one and everyone has different things that brings in more happiness. These are some of the things that I do:

Attend laughter club

Meditate

Sing

Dance

Exercise: bicycling, walking, hiking

Read

Writing/blogging

Play with my grandkids

Crossword puzzles, sudoku, cross sums, anacrostic

Jigsaw puzzles

Listen to music

Spending time with others

Collect crystals

Hospitality

Watching birds

Daydreaming

Watching favorite TV shows

Think about what makes you happy, and do it. Make time for it. It’s the best way to balance out the chaotic lives we live. If there’s not enough happiness in your life, you may need to cut out some activities that are draining you or ask for help with it, like if you’re grieving. Let’s not be lone rangers when there’s a hard job to do or situation you’re dealing with. Life is meant to be easy and done within community of others. Find a group of people who mutually lift one another up, to share positive energy and bring more peace and happiness in our lives.

Some good books I’ve read about happiness:

Happiness Is A Choice by Barry Neil Kaufman

Happiness For No Reason by Marci Shimoff

Life Is Short, Wear Your Party Pants by Loretta LaRoche

The Healing Power of Humor by Allen Klein

Releasing…

I spent many years working on myself in therapy, and now that I’m done with it, every now and then I find myself dealing with an old issue but in a new way.  I do meditate and it’s in this quietness, a memory might come up of someone I need to let go, forgive or even forgive myself for the issue.   Anyone who has ever had some type of physical, sexual or mental trauma knows that your  body remembers.  There will be vague aches and pains in your body with a memory or emotion attached.  I’ve found the best way to release these things is as I’m showering.

I love to use water to cleanse my mind, body and soul in this releasing process.  I make a statement like, “I forgive you and release you of……with grace and ease.”  I let it go.   I then make an affirmation of, “I am forgiven”, or “I am loved”, or “I let you go, (the person’s name) with love and peace”.    Recently, after doing this with some major issues, I felt like a huge weight was lifted off of me.  I got out of the shower feeling more clean than ever!  Then, the next night, I had some other issues come up.  I’ve noticed that as you release things and you feel clean or good on the inside, it’s easy to notice where there are other areas that need to be dealt with.   I didn’t get to shower, but I did meditate and did the same releasing with energy healing.  When I was finished, I felt all sparkly and clean on the inside.  I felt better than I ever!  And you know what else?   I never knew I could feel this good!

The most important thing, I want to say about all of this, is that when an issue comes up in your life either from your own memory, or someone brings it up, it’s an opportunity to heal it and release it.  Memories will come and sometimes people will remind you of something to make you feel bad or guilty.  It’s okay.  It’s just an invitation from God, the Universe, Life or your Soul to heal this issue, relationship or let it go.  Go ahead and cry, feel whatever you’ve been holding inside, and then let it go!

Do your body and mind a favor by loving on it and releasing all of that old stuff.  New issues come up and then it gets all backed up and strains your body because of carrying or holding on to things that you could have let go!  Remember how good it feels to take a bath or a shower?  Use that time to ask yourself:  What am I holding on to?  What am I ready to release?  Then release it and see how good you will feel.   This is part of loving yourself, healing yourself, and setting yourself free.    And if you’re really stuck, I recommend you find someone to work with you.    A counselor, couch, friend, or energy healer.  Lay your burdens now.   Release them.  You’re meant to be free!  I never knew I could feel this good….

 

 

 

 

I like to inspire others to take actively participate in their own healing.

Love Yourself!

Someone recently reminded me that many people believe loving yourself is selfish.   This is absolutely not true!  It is perfectly normal to have compassion upon yourself, to take care of yourself first before you can serve someone else.  It is not intended to ignore the needs of others.  It is merely understanding that in order to help others, you must love yourself first.

I was taught to put others first, to self sacrifice, and basically ignore my own needs.  Living like that, I was very ill.  I could barely help myself.  I could not function and felt guilty for having any needs.  I felt guilty and bad for being sick.  I could hardly stand to ask for help because I felt so unworthy and guilty; therefore, I didn’t receive the help with a positive attitude nor gratitude, which greatly hindered my healing progress.   The greatest barrier to my mental wellness was the lack of love for myself.

In loving yourself, it’s okay to say no when you’re tired and just can’t give anymore.  It’s okay to take a break and put your feet up or go sleep.  It’s okay to eat when you’re hungry.     It’s okay to make choices that are good for your soul.   It’s even okay to pamper yourself!    Let no one judge how you love and take care of your mind, body, and soul.  Be true to you.  Love yourself!

Love is free and unconditional.   When you love yourself, you show others how treat you, and to love themselves, as well.  We are able to heal our emotions, body, and soul just by loving ourselves.  Loving ourselves, first, actually fosters better communication, unity, and service to others.  It brings in more love to share with others.   It brings peace and harmony to the community when we are coming from a place of love and compassion from our own hearts, which, naturally expands to those around us, and the world.   There is no guilt nor shame in loving yourself, only freedom.     Love drives out fear which makes us more accepting and giving to ourselves and others.     Love yourself!

Tai Chi In The Park

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8

 

Before I learned of today’s blog challenge, I had already planned my adventure.  I started attending Tai Chi sessions about a year ago, and this was my fourth time.  It’s at a park about 30 miles from home, and I love it, but I just haven’t fully committed myself to the drive.  I leave early so that I don’t have to rush up there.   I mean, what’s the point if I speed through traffic to do an exercise that is slow and gentle?   Besides, I generally like to drive at a slower speed.  Every time I go, I say to myself, “I really wish I would do this more often!”  I really love the park.   I love being outside.  It’s the nicest experience of exercising slowly.  I love the people and the leader, too.

I know the first time I did it, I thought, “Oh my, I knew we were going to go slow but this is slow (in a good way)!”   The movements are slow and deliberate, easy form, gently moving your energy, and lots of breathing!   It has a surprising relaxing and peaceful effect on my mind and body.   It feels soothing to  the soul.   It makes me smile and shine from the inside out.     The entire experience served as great reminders to:   Relax, take it easy, make deliberate choices, spend time with people who brighten your day, love your yourself, and just breathe.