Category Archives: mental health well being love

Looking Within

It’s not always easy to look within. Sometimes I would rather not see or know what is hidden deep within, but I have a natural introspective and curiosity bent. A few years ago, I began a regular meditation practice because I wanted relief from anxiety and peace of mind. I got a whole lot more! I realized the areas of my life where I was faltering, I saw where I could improve but most importantly I learned acceptance. Prior to this, I was just angry, depressed, and confused. I blamed my parents for my f**ked up life. I blamed the cards I had been dealt. I blamed the people who had hurt me. I blamed everyone for the direction of my life and could not see a way out the darkness and confusion. I had no idea that I held the key to my own happiness. I didn’t know I could choose my own destiny. I thought I would just spend the rest of my life coping, struggling and surviving rather than thriving and living life to the fullest by my own will.

I realize not everyone is willing to look within. If I looked at just the external circumstances of my life, everything looked rather bleak. I was just a bad person with bad karma, and nobody loved me or cared about me. Yet, taking a peek on the inside of me, seeing that my heart hurt, yet had a lot of love to give was a bit of a shock. I could hardly believe that inside of me was a wounded little girl in need of love, acceptance, and compassion. This was a good starting point for me to turn my life around. It was a nice starting point to see where things had gone wrong or I had come to believe I was unlovable, unworthy, and dejected. It was an excellent place to begin to love myself. The more I loved and accepted that little girl, the more my love expanded to all of me, and the more I began to heal all the broken places within.

I’m very thankful I had the courage to look within. From outward appearances, I thought I would see just a dark and lifeless soul, but instead I met the loving, peaceful, and radiant woman I’ve become today. I had to go deep within to bring her out though. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s a beautiful gift to give to yourself, the gift of your true self. Look within, you’ll see the light that’s been hidden, you’ll find the true person under neath to accept, love and embrace. This is the person before you were wounded, the one before you were given a label, before you put on the masks, the one before you were told who you are supposed to be or how to look, your true essence of self. I always love and accept myself now.

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Freedom from fear!

I’m lying down in bed, propped up by two pillows, as I write this blog post. Sometimes life is exhausting, and no matter how much I want to participate in it, I might shrink back out of fear! I have to consciously break through the fear barriers almost everyday. Every new day, is an invitation from life to come out and work, play, enjoy the world, be alive! Life is constantly presenting itself. Maybe there’s a moment of laughter when you see something funny. Or there’s grief and sadness due to the floods and devastation around the world. Maybe there’s comfort and warmth when you see someone helping another. This is the stuff of life!

I ask myself from my bed, what can I do? Well I can pray. I can write notes. I can post encouraging stuff on mass media. Yet sometimes it’s a challenge to roll out of bed. I can send money or encourage others to send money or goods. It’s all in perspective. Everyone can do something. If you smile at a neighbor, help a friend or take a nap because you’re tired, loving yourself, it’s enough. It’s more than enough! You are enough!

Too many days, I’ve had inspiration come to me and I didn’t act upon it because I was afraid. I wanted to speak up. I wanted to say something nice and helpful or I wanted to speak against something horrible but I told my voice to be quiet. I told myself, “no you don’t do that!!!” Yet today, I’m kicking my fear out! I’m telling it to shut the f**k up! I’m telling it, “you’re not welcome here!” I’m not going to allow it to paralyze me anymore. This is all part of my journey. I appreciate all my friends, family, and fans who are patient with me. Those who loudly or silently stand by and cheer me on! Thank you so much! I appreciate those who understand my secret struggle to come out of my shell and be all that I can be, which is enough!

Anytime you see me posting something, that’s me giving birth to a new version of myself who is not afraid. It’s me shedding layers of fear and and holding back from being my true self. It’s me bursting out of the shell that has kept me in constraints! Maybe this post sounds a bit like I’m self absorbed but I’m really thinking of others. I’m thinking of others who have fears or anxiety of putting yourself out there. I’m thinking of people who doubt themselves or have low confidence.

My writing is really to inspire others. I share about my overcoming just to inspire someone else to overcome, too! It’s because I love myself and I love the world. I want everyone to feel empowered and special. I want everyone to not be afraid to shine their light and offer the gift of themselves to the world. I want everyone to experience this freedom from fear! Loving and accepting others is the best gift to anyone, to release fears, and live in personal freedom and empowerment. I love myself, and release all fears that do not serve my highest good.

Being Sensitive

Years ago, I went to see a psychiatrist because the dentist required it. I wasn’t taking psychotropics but I had honestly answered on the dentists questionnaire that I had been a psychiatric patient in the past. This sent red flags to them! I had to find a psychiatrist to see me to get clearance because my mouth was in pain and needed some dental work. I had to wait a couple of weeks since not many psychiatrists have immediate openings. Yes, I was angry but I was patient and understanding.

So there I was sitting across from the psychiatrist. I told her my story of all the medications I took in the past, the diagnoses I had, and how I was healed and no longer needing the medications. I told her I just needed a note to clear me for the dentist. Her comment to me was that I had many facial expressions! She said I was a bit animated. I was a bit puzzled by it. Was it a good thing?? I remember being on medication though, and being very much like a zombie! She said I didn’t look like I needed medications. She asked me if I felt like I needed them, and I told her I did not. She concurred and gave me the Doctor’s note.
Looking back on that moment, of being told I was animated or had many facial expressions makes me laugh out loud. Hehe. I’ve never actually had a poker face. For a long time, I did look very sad, angry and depressed. I remember a friend told me, “if looks could kill”. She said until she got to know me as the sweet wonderful woman that I am, she didn’t know because of my face!
This brings me to the topic of being sensitive. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. When I’m sad, I cry. When I am angry, I look angry, I might raise my voice or pout a bit. I have trouble expressing anger though. When I’m happy, you can just tell I’ve got a glow, smile and laugh. I have so many feelings and emotions which for a long time I hid from them. The medication numbed them which made it very easy to not have to deal with life. However, the fact of matter is that you must feel to heal. Let me repeat that, you must feel to heal!\

I now have a wide range of emotions which I allow myself to feel. I do not hide my tears. I cry easily. I see something sad, I cry. Sometimes, I cry out of joy and happiness! You really have to ask me sometimes if you’re not sure! But sensitive people will grieve for a very long time. A heart break, a sharp word, criticism, condemnation or anything will bring on sad tears.
For a very long time in my life, I didn’t know what was going on. I had so much love and compassion in my heart and these intense feelings. I thought I was going crazy. Or I’d see an injustice and I would get sad and mad, and would want to do something about it, but my voice, I had no voice. I was scared more than anything. How do I explain being sensitive without sounding crazy?
Many people are very sensitive and the people around them are not aware of it. They don’t understand that a gentle correction is more efficient and powerful than yelling, screaming and hollering. Yet, even the sensitive person may not understand what’s happening for them because it seems so out of the ordinary. People tell you to suck it up, grow some skin, or get a back bone. You feel like a little child inside and then people treat you like one as if something is wrong with you, but there isn’t!
There is nothing wrong with being sensitive. There is nothing wrong with seeing something sad and having compassion and feeling deeply about it. This is not a reason for a padded room, medication or shock treatment. It’s a very delicate situation that requires understanding, patience, lots of love and compassion. Yes, sometimes someone might need psychiatric or professional help when it gets bigger than one can manage. However, I suspect sometimes it gets big because we’re told to shut it down, to show no tears, no fear, nothing! Don’t let them see you “weak”.
I feel like it is a grave disservice to people who feel things deeply to be treated as if they’re crazy. Sensitive people don’t have thick skin. It’s not easy to just move on.  Crying is a sign of strength! It’s pure strength to feel so deeply and yet to get up everyday and face the world of people who have put on thick skin or wear masks to face the day. Tears are releasing of all the pain, frustration or sadness. A good cry is a healing balm for the soul. Holding them in is actually does more harm than good and builds up toxic feelings inside. Next thing you know there’s an explosion of feelings or maybe the person can seem to have gone postal or sometimes shut down everything; Or privately cry inside and unable to share the pain with anyone.
The world right now is need of gentler and sensitive people. Sensitive people do not need to adapt, it’s the world who needs to adjust how they treat one another or someone who’s just having an off day. There are times when I stop to think about my life, my direction, what I’m doing and whether it is meaning to me, whether it’s really my passion and lines up with my core beliefs. I really do stop, meditate, ponder and contemplate the state of my life and the world because love, compassion and peace starts with me. When you see me, however I present myself to the world, know that this is me! It’s really me! I’m not wearing a mask and not hiding from my feelings. It’s me and I’m a sensitive soul.

Zombie’s Hunger For Life!

I really try not to think about zombies but every now and then I see them on TV.  The zombie anomaly is very strange. Then one day I got to thinking deeply about it. I do think about things very deeply. Lol. It troubles me that this person who was dead not too long ago reanimates itself. In my opinion, it doesn’t come back to life. It simply muscle and tissues that have some knee jerk desire to seek out human flesh and blood. It has an insatiable appetite. It’s not really feeding itself, but what is it doing? I don’t think it’s really hungry. If it is hungry, it’s hungry for life! It’s hungry for what all of us who are living and breathing and have blood flowing through our veins, which has a consciousness. Zombies do not have a consciousness. They are not not deliberately
feeding on people. They’re not consciously choosing because if they were, they wouldn’t eat me and they’d go sit in a corner or something when done eating. No, instead, they just go look for their next live person or animal to eat.

This all got me thinking about my own life. Am I living consciously? Am I eating consciously? Do I live intentionally? What am I doing or not doing that I want to change? Am I happy with how my life has turned out? I think about these things but zombies don’t. These zombie creatures are hungry for the blood of life! What am I doing with my own blood? Am I experiencing life in all of it’s fullness, beauty, and glory? Or am I just following a knee jerk script that the world says I should be doing? I am a conscious person. I’m alive! I’m breathing! I can play! I can work! I can dance! I can eat when I want! I can sleep when I’m tired! I can daydream any time I want! I can love and be loved! I’m not a mindless machine, I have a soul, a heart and ability to choose. Today, my soul consciously choose love, peace, and harmony for myself and the world.

Seasons Change

I keep going back to the turning points in my life. I turn a corner and I realize there’s yet another corner to turn! I build my momentum and excitement to get to the next corner. Sometimes there’s a huge celebration, other times, I’m thinking, “why did I bother?” Every time I think I’m enlightened, I realize there’s more enlightenment or levels of awareness. Lol. Then I realize, I know nothing about enlightenment!

I’m just very excited. I’m excited about all the twists and turns my life has taken. I’m excited because I was stuck in a downward spiral and now I’m just constantly going upward and just when I think I can’t go any higher, I’m lifted even higher! I seem to be constantly gauging my reactions to the stimuli that life presents to me. I wonder if I’m over reacting, overly excitement, or if I’m not excited enough. I’m naturally analytical and introspective mostly towards myself and the things I’m engaging with in my life.

There have been some very defining moments in my life when everything changed. I’m talking about changing from someone who took numerous psychotropics to none; someone who was very depressed, psychotic, and suffering with post traumatic stress disorder. I have recently discovered that most of the changes in my life, although they came about from a specific catalyst, the biggest factor that took me to a mentally healthier version of me, was letting go of fears. I let go of the fears of the unknown. I stopped worrying about what others would think. I stopped worrying about being judged. I stopped wondering what if something went wrong and instead dreamed about things going right. I stopped the fearful thoughts that swirled around and around in my head. They certainly weren’t working for me!

I also decided to believe change is possible. I decided to bet on me. I decided to try anything and everything to radically switch the direction of my life instead of going with the same old status quo. There really are seasons of our lives. It’s important to recognize what season I’m in, in order to switch between seasons with grace and ease, and fearlessly. It’s nice to add a bit of inquisitiveness. What is around the corner? What is just around the river bend? Where is the bend in the road leading me to? Can I just peek a little bit as I hurry over there? I’m not afraid, simply because I’ve turned so many corners, despite sometimes not even knowing what to expect (although I did expect something good, at least).

The biggest factor which effected the direction I took, as the seasons changed, was questioning my fears, my self talk, and fear mongering. I especially like to question when someone else tries to tell me what is best for me. I definitely question prolific fear mongering in all of it’s forms. Pretty soon here, I’m going to start a rant about fear mongering. The biggest fear mongering that annoys me is the fear of judgement. I will be the first to admit that I used to be very fearful of judgement, especially judgment from God. However, I don’t live with this fear anymore. It was a very long season of my life, in which I feared judgement from God. However, the season has changed. I am happier and freer since I let go of this fear and many other fears. Every now and then, someone will do a little bit of fear mongering to suck me back into it, by telling me that God’s going to come judge me, but I don’t buy into it.

The final indication of the season changing is that I’m willing to write and talk about letting go of fears! I no longer fear what people will say about my changing my mind about fears. I changed my mind about God’s judgment. It’s a brand new season! This is a huge step because it’s sort of the precursor to another book I’ve been writing. The message here, right now, is that people change their minds about things, their beliefs and their ideas, and it’s totally okay! It’s okay to question my beliefs. It’s okay to say, “That sounds like bullshit!” I used to be afraid to question things, and I loathed myself.  Now, I love myself and I allow myself to have different beliefs than others. It’s about being true to me and what works for me. I live from the heart. I ask myself, “what would love to do?” I do this because I personally believe, love is the answer.   Seasons change.

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.