Tag Archives: life

Second Chance

One of my favorite pastime is self reflection, introspection, and gratitude for all I’ve been given through the years whether pain, sadness, loss, happiness, triumph, and gain. I spent a good amount of time in self contemplation on my birthday this last weekend. Self reflection is a great way to improve upon my life to learn and grow from missteps and to break cycles. During my 52 years of life, I have had many rebirths and restarts. My greatest rebirth, and truly second chance, was losing the label of mental illness. Now I wear the label of mental health and mental wellness.

Without looking back on what it meant to have mental illness, I want to share about being given a second chance at life on my terms, in my own unique style, in total consciousness, and knowing I get to choose each step of the way. Before, I used to live like a zombie, all of my emotions shut down, I felt so dead since I was heavily medicated because life felt so bad and painful. I couldn’t face the feelings of all the bad things that had happened to me. I was numb to life.

Now, post medication, I live with all the feelings and emotions I want to feel. It’s like a smorgasbord of feelings! Woohoo! It feels good to be alive, even when I cry, it feels good to cleanse my soul! I love a good cry. I don’t cry like I used to. I cried like it would never end (when the medication wasn’t working). I cried like my soul was eternally broken and fractured. Now I cry just because something is beautiful, happy, or sad. I’m a deep feeling soul in a human body that is touched by life as I allow it into my conscious awareness through daily experiences. I allow in as much as I want to, participate when I want to, and how I want to.

It’s never too late for a second chance. There are many opportunities for a do over, if you are willing to recognize it, willing to accept where you are then find a way to move forward. One of the most important lessons I learned in therapy is I always have choices. Wait, no the most important one is to love myself. I don’t know, those two are very big lessons for me! It’s hard to say which was the most important lesson. Lol.

I’m just saying life is full of second chances. There is always another choice, pathway or decision to make. Life is full of experiences and I don’t want to miss a second of it. I consciously choose where I’m going, who I’m going with, what I’ll be doing, and how I will interact with my environment. This is the ultimate power anyone can have over one’s life. To live life consciously and passionately and in love with every single moment whether it’s a positive one or challenging one. Everyday, every moment is an opportunity for a second chance to do life differently, and on your own terms. Let love lead the way. Listen to your heart.

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Reading & Writing

From a very young age, I’ve always loved the written word. I loved to read and I could not get enough of it. No one had to tell me to read, in fact, no one did. I just enjoyed getting caught up in an adventure. I was a very lonely and shy child. We moved around, a lot. I rarely went to the same school each year. When I went to a new school, I had to take tests to see which grade to put me in since I didn’t have records. I also had to get new immune shots for every new school as we didn’t have those records either! I was a very sensitive child, and I hated those needles. I cried every single time. We were poor so I didn’t have very many of my own books other than what the school gave me. My life was very traumatic and so I just used reading to escape from it. For many years, I really didn’t talk a lot about the trauma because it made many people feel uncomfortable. I learned to keep my mouth shut which was not a very empowering choice.

I needed to tell my story. For the most part, I learned to talk about my trauma in therapy or with very close friends. My story really isn’t meant for everyone but I now know it was not good to shut down around people. I walked around with a general feeling of rejection and self loathing because I didn’t feel accepted. I didn’t realize this wasn’t true, I simply had shut down because some people didn’t like my stories. Not everyone would have rejected me telling the stories. Sometimes people didn’t want to hear them simply because they couldn’t accept another version of reality, they could not comprehend why I hurt so badly.

At some point, I learned to write my feelings down. I didn’t dare share the writings with anyone. What would happen if anyone knew what I was really thinking or feeling?? My thoughts were private and hidden. I felt better getting it out though. Writing is a very powerful tool for people who especially have a hard time expressing themselves. I didn’t talk much but I sure could write. Now that I’m on the other side of my healing, I did learn to effectively share my experiences in therapy, I am able to talk about whatever. I am able to share with others without breaking down in tears, severe anxiety or unable to function afterwards because the telling was so traumatic.

Writing has been very therapeutic for me. It has been an effective tool for my own healing. I feel like I’m writing a good friend, which is me. You can write yourself anything you want, exactly like in the reading where you can go on any adventure you choose. Hehe. I have not written much lately which I realize I was missing very much. I miss the daily visits with getting thoughts out of my head onto paper or the computer screen. It’s one of the ways I connect to myself like in meditation or going on a long walk.

I’m a very deep thinker and introspective. I think about life, people, and the state of the world. I think about heavy topics, my family, and how to make a difference in the world. I think about things that are important to me, but don’t we all? The most important thing I want to say in this post is that people want to be seen, they want to be witnessed and heard; it is a common trait in humanity, especially in children. If you don’t get this as a child, you grow up feeling invalidated and having an inferiority complex that needs years of therapy to heal! This is at the heart of why I learned to love myself. I learned to read, write, witness others and myself. I learned to give myself my own ear, my own heart and my own time. I learned to speak about it, write about it, and heal myself.

Today, I share my stories, not because I want to be witnessed but to uplift someone else. I share to bring light upon a subject or raise awareness. I share because it might help someone get a different perspective. I share to heal because I’ve been there. I share to let others know it’s okay to talk about it. I share to inspire and give hope. It’s okay to be open and vulnerable. I share because I can. I share because I care. Remember, love yourself always!

Experiencing Life!

Over the last week, I’ve been on a wild adventure to Australia! It’s so amazing here! I worried about the 15 hour flight but I managed it alright. I meditated, read, listened to music, and slept most of the way. I was also sneezing a lot. When we got to Australia, I was sneezing and my nose running almost nonstop so I had to pop antihistamine medication. I was just a freaking nose of a wreck! Knowing I have severe allergies and even allergies back home, I wondered if this was even a good idea! I worried I would not adapt to the environment here in Australia.

However, after two days, the owner of a cottage we rented, told me to try the local honey. She said the local honey should help with allergies. I had no idea where I would get some local honey, but she offered to get me some. She brought over 1/3 cup of honey. I took a couple of spoonfuls. It didn’t work right away. I went to bed tired and still sneezing. I also took another antihistamine because I didn’t know if the honey would work. The next day, I woke up to no sneezing and no running nose! I took another large spoonful of honey just for good measure. Literally, over night, walla, I went from sneezing around everything to nothing! I was so amazed at this wonderful turn around! I didn’t have to carry boxes of tissue paper with me everywhere. Hehe.

One day, I was walking through the forest looking for wallabies, koalas, and birds when I suddenly was very emotional. I’m a very emotional person, and highly sensitive. I was filled with gratitude that I had healed from my mental disorders. Years ago, as many of my readers know, I had very severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, and a dissociative disorder. I was a mess. My life revolved around medications, therapy, and doctor’s appointments. I was on so many medications, I was like a zombie. There’s no way I would have gone on a trip like this. I was also very fearful. Just the flight alone, I would have had to be medicated with extra anti-anxiety pills. I had child alter personalities that would have presented and been very scared and crying. People would look at me strangely and wonder why I was acting this way. I just didn’t go many places during a very dark period of my life. Anyway, I suddenly said to my husband, “I’m so glad I healed because I can take trips like this now!” It’s not that I couldn’t experience life, it just took a lot more effort, and it was very stifled.

It was many years ago that I got better, but I still marvel and am amazed at the wonders of my new life. Since I got better, I’ve taken many trips around the U.S. I went to Canada one summer, and now we’re in Australia. What’s next? Oh we’re definitely coming back here again. Two weeks is just not enough time to take it all in but just the experience of being here, taking in new sights, experiencing another culture, and way of life has been absolutely exhilarating. The more I take in life, the more I experience life, the more I want to take in life and the more I want to experience it! Life is truly amazing and it’s a wonderful gift. I love myself by taking in more life. I intend to make the rest of the years of my life, the best years of my life!

Conscious Living

Years ago, I was in a support group for people who had suffered various childhood traumas.  I had severe depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder.   Frequently, we’d all share how we spiraled down due to the negative voices going on inside.  One woman, called the voices, “The committee.”  The committee would call her names.  The committee would say she’s ugly, not trying hard enough, a failure, dirty, embarrassing, unlovable, evil, unworthy, and so on.  We all were fighting our own negative messages.   To a certain extent, everyone has to fight negativity, even those who don’t have a mental illness or have not been abused.  We each have a shadow side to contend with.

Since I have healed from my mental illness, I have learned to live consciously, and  set up a new committee in my head.  This committee tells me to keep going when I feel like giving up.  This committee reminds me I am loved, I am beautiful, worthy, and I am strong when I start to feel otherwise or life is getting me down.  This is the beauty of living consciously, I set my own messages and I disregard any that do not agree with me nor serve my highest good.  Any messages now, that brings me down, they’re instantly tossed away.  In doing so, I don’t spiral down.  I use the positive committee, instead, to spiral up!

This is the essence of conscious living whether you are struggling with mental health issues, negative influences or messages from relationships and society in general.  There is negativity all around, but I don’t let it bring me down, instead I consciously choose where my thoughts will go, because thoughts direct our actions.    It means I’m choosing where I go, who I spend my time with, what programs on TV that lift me up and which ones take me down.  It’s choosing what I eat, where I live, and what I breathe!  There clearly are negative influences in this world and then there are the lifegiving ones.  I choose the lifegiving ones that support me, my lifestyle, my personality, and quirks.  Remember, there is always a choice to react to negativity or respond with grace and compassion.

So when the dark clouds come, and sometimes they do, I listen to my new committee, who I sometimes call my higher self, my inner self or soul.  I listen to the voices that give hope, life supporting and ultimately leads to my freedom from darkness, and into the light.  I spiral up, instead of down.    Another aspect of conscious living, is trusting in my heart.    When I’m sad and feeling unlovable and unloved, I place my hand on my heart.  I feel it beating, and tune into it  The heart knows a lot more than my mind.  My heart’s message is, “You are loved.” “You are worthy.” “ You are strong.”  “You are enough!”  “Love yourself!”  As I love myself, I spiral up even higher!  Live consciously by loving yourself, and trusting your heart.

What We All Want

I was standing in my kitchen, sipping on a fresh cup of coffee, when I glanced outside my kitchen window.  I saw my two granddaughters outside laughing and swinging.  I smiled and went outside to have a closer look.  The lawn had been recently mowed and looking fresh.  However, I couldn’t help but notice the dog had recently done his business!  So I got the doggy doodie tools and went to pick it up.  I noticed a couple of others.  I just wanted my grandkids to play in safety without slipping or falling in dog poop!   Just wanted them to have a grand time and not worry about getting poop on their shoes.  I wanted their play experience to be pleasant, even though there’s the occasional fall or cry when someone’s feelings get hurt.  I am well aware of the little trauma moments that children can experience.

As I went around the yard, making sure it was clean, I thought about the recent fear of my granddaughter going to school.  I worry that she could be caught in the crossfire of someone’s shooting spree.  I thought, what has this world come to?  What are we doing to our kids?  Why is everyone so sad, angry and stressed out?

Learning is supposed to be fun!  I remember teaching my kids to use a crayon because it was fun to color a picture.  I remember teaching them to hold a rattle in their hands so they could hear the funny sound.  I remember giving them different toys to see what they would do with it.  Yes, naturally they progressed but still the best learning atmosphere is one of fun, lightness and curiosity.  These children nowadays aren’t having fun!  They are worried for their lives.  They are worried about stresses that they should never ever have to experience.  Let’s not forget adults also work in toxic, stressful and competitive work environments.

Why have we forgotten the meaning of life?  Why have we forgotten to have fun?   Why have we forgotten to laugh at the silly worries of life?   Life can be serious, but the seriousness should not permeate our hearts and souls.  We should be able to relax, knowing that we are safe from harm.  We’re safe from bullying, and we’re safe to be ourselves.  We’re not under judgment, condemnation or an unfair grading system.

The goal in school is not to produce human working machines, but happy and confident young adults who can stand on their own two feet, make tough decisions, and create a life of meaning for themselves.    In order to do this, we must change the environment of our schools, homes, work, and institutions.  It’s not enough to recognize when someone is having a problem, it’s important to intentionally raise our children to be sensitive, mindful, compassionate, and caring human beings, not in competition with one another.    The quality of our lives depends on it.  We all want to live happy lives.  We all want to live in safety and security, but not at the expense of another!  Remember to love one another.  Treat others the way you want to be treated.  It is very simple.

We can do so much better.  We can create the life we want for our children, and future generations.  It starts now with consciously choosing to be the difference, to be the peace, to be the love and compassion we all need right now.   It starts by living from the heart.  The heart knows the way.   Let your heart direct your thoughts and actions to love one another.   Just be love.

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.

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.

In The Driver’s Seat

Many years ago, I was in such a mental state that someone had to drive me to my counseling appointments. The therapist was about an hour away and sometimes it was a very distressing appointment and I was in no condition to drive home so she made a rule that someone had to drive me. I had forgotten all about that period in my life until recently when I’ve been driving people here and there, and all over the place! Suddenly, I remembered and thought, “I’m in the driver’s seat now!” It was a wonderful aha moment of recognition. Of course, I’ve been there for a while now, but something in my soul wanted me to recognize how far I have come.

There are many people who choose to ride in the back seat for various reasons. Yet, it’s important to know regardless of who is driving, you’re still in charge of your life, you still get to choose the path, and the means of getting from one place to another. Yet there are those who idly sit by and let someone else dictate what they are going to do with their lives. Maybe it’s a parent’s dream for you to be a Doctor, Lawyer or pro basketball player, but you want to have nothing to do with those things. It’s okay to choose a different path
for yourself.

I love to tell people, your past does not define who you are today. It doesn’t define who you are becoming or where you’re headed either! Everyone can choose at any moment who we’re going to be, right now, today. We don’t have to be bound to our past decisions and choices. We also don’t have to believe or do everything our parents did. It’s my life. It’s your life! Make it a good one!

Government bullying

This morning, sitting around the kitchen table, we were all discussing the silly laws our government has created. Not too long ago, a guest, from out of state, was fined for falling asleep at the bus stop! There are serious abuses of power within the government, who believes what they’re doing is to serve and protect. However, some of the very laws created to protect one group of people ends up hurting another.

We all have numerous examples of government bullying. Laws were created to establish order and keep people safe, yet all too often, ordinary human behavior becomes defined as criminal activity. An organization wanted to feed the homeless at a park but were fined because they didn’t have the proper permits. It’s a very sad state. Why doesn’t the government feed the people, then? They have the permission to give the permits, then they should do it, right? I’m not here to bash the government or to rile up anyone, but we do need revolution.

We shouldn’t have to jump through government hoops to feed people. I believe people have also become too dependent upon the government for help and direction. Everyday citizens can lend a hand to someone in need. We live in this great country of abundance and yet so many are barely getting by. In my own case, many times, I’ve been afraid to ask anyone for help. I was afraid of being judged, or turned down. I didn’t risk asking for help, and then the government had to step in to take care of me. The government may have programs to help people, but it’s the compassion from our neighbors, or family that makes a huge difference.

I believe we all want the same thing. We want to live in peace, safety, and harmony with everyone. We want a safe place to live, jobs, and healthy food to eat. We want what the constitution offers which is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. However, everyone has different ideas of what that means for them and how to accomplish it. Therefore, if we want to see change, we each must get involved in changing the way the government operates. We are the government because we elect those in power.

Call or send your letters of concern to your representatives. And while we’re at it, let’s write them about what they’re doing right as well as what can be improved upon or needs a major overhaul. Let’s thank them for their service. Appreciation for the little things go a very long way. Be the change. We are all responsible for our lives, and our future, take back your power, and speak up for what is right, decent, and humane. Love and peace.

Depression

It’s been a long time since I was diagnosed with major depression with psychotic features. I also had PTSD which amplified the depression. I am very far removed from the disorder and this in itself is quite the description. It is very insidious, you don’t feel like yourself, a dark cloud has covered over you and there is no escape. Many days, it was a struggle to just get out of bed and participate in life. I became a shell of a person that I no longer recognized. I certainly didn’t want friends or family to see me this way. Then the haze with medication and feeling like a zombie who can’t feel a thing. I went from feeling everything and deep sadness to numbness and apathy about anything and everything. It was hard to even look at myself in the mirror. I’d see someone who I barely recognized.

People went on with their lives. They had to keep going. Not many people knew what to do or how to help. Even the professionals would ask me out of courtesy, “What do you need?” Gee, if I knew that, I’d not be here, now would I? I can look back now and laugh but at the time, it scared me because I really hoped they had the answer for me. There is not a simple answer for those who struggle with depression or any mental illness because people get it for different reasons. However, there are some ways to lessen it’s impact:

Talk about it
Spend time with loved ones
Do the things you enjoy
Laugh
Sing
Dance
Exercise
Eat healthy
Watch silly shows
Lighten up
Attend support group
Attend laughter clubs
Be authentic
Show up for life
Be thankful
Spend time in nature
Meditate

My biggest mistake was allowing the mental illness label to define me. I wore it like the finest dress. I didn’t realize it took more than just taking meds and talk therapy to get out of it. I had to do some deep thinking about why I had gotten here in the first place. Life is a great balancer. Sometimes we take on too much stress and it stops us in our tracks to get our attention. It’s just temporary stop though, like a red light, it’s not meant to stay parked there long term. Find out what’s missing in your life to bring it into balance.

Some of my suggestions will seem very difficult because at times it feels like you’re wearing weighted boots. It can be hard to get moving. However, it’s one baby step at a time. Be grateful for each one. Also, practice gratitude for the people in your life and the opportunities that come way. By all means, let go of toxic people who bring you down. Above all, love yourself! Honor your life, be true to you and keep believing in you! You are worth it.  There really is a light at the end of the tunnel.

My next blog post is going to be on happiness and what’s on the other side of that tunnel!