I am yearning for tranquility in my life. I would like a holiday from my emotions. I would like to think of them like the waves on the Oregon coast. I want to watch them wash up on the shore and then wash right back out into the roaring surf. I want to be able to pause while I see my emotions wash in and out of me. I want to give them a little attention and then let them go. I am grateful for the many ways I can look at my emotions and thoughts coming and going in my brain. I am grateful for all the people God has placed in my life that help me figure things out. I am grateful that I am driven to work for positive change. I have spoken to my patients at times about a friend of mine named Rachel Corey. She lost her life standing for change. Some may have felt she was foolish for deciding to go to Palestine many years ago to make a stand for peace. I don’t believe she was. Her life and her actions were not in vain. She was one person who made a difference in the lives of so many as an advocate for peace. Her story is now presented as a production all around the world. The impact that we can have in this life is can be magnificent and last forever. We see this in people every day. In the courage to forgive, to protect, to listen, to assist. We are all capable of living our lives with purpose and loving action. I am here to call you to action. I am here with HOPE for my own call to action. I would like to see a world with less fear and violence and more love and kindness. I want to see a world where people are not afraid to go to school, take a trip to another country or to help out a stranger. At church Easter Sunday our pastor talked about living like Easter Sunday-ers in a Good Friday world. Ain’t that the truth. I sang Bob Marley in the shower today. I would like to praise my daughter Lydia for her strength, her heart and her tenacity. She has fight in her little spirit and as much as I can’t stand that at times it will serve her in finding her purpose. I practiced a random act of kindness and meditated for 5 minutes. I gave all of my family a positive praise. Today my challenge is to create something positive, artistically to put in my home as a reminder of happiness.
I was watching Joel Osteen the other night with my wonderful friend Mary and he was talking about our lives being like a movie with several twists and turns that we are not expecting or ever ready for. He spoke about how our final scene is already written by God and that no matter where we are in our movie as long as we are here, thriving or struggling, the movie is still playing. It was very comforting to think of the fact that our final scene is greater than we could ever imagine. You would think that should be enough to give me HOPE for the struggles in my life and even in the lives of my children, husband and all those I love. The amazing positive and Godly things I have been celebrating in my life in the past few months are getting me through this tough stuff, but sometimes it can feel like it just keeps on coming. When will these dark and dramatic scenes in my life change to rainbows and blue skies for a while. Just a little reprieve? I know it will come just not on my timeline. The amount of post traumatic growth following all of this is huge and I do want to be a lifelong learner. I want to stay open. I am working on my group books and the other day did a group on change. We talked about the stigma attached to mental health and how most people do not want to talk about painful topics like depression, anxiety and bipolar. I HOPE for mental health to be as recognizable as cancer, diabetes, alzheimer’s and any number of other illnesses that our country does recognize, empathize with and promote awareness of. I am always amazed at how many people have never even heard of NAMI or the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I have talked about unity and not creating more division though things that divide us but many people may be surprised to know that 1 in 4 people suffer from mental illness in this world. If people could accept the mental health crisis as easily as they accept the daily exposure of fear, terrorism, pain and suffering when subjecting themselves to the news, it could bring us together. Our world is suffering in so many ways but that collective struggle, if embraced, could actually help us become stronger. I think Alanis Morrisette said it best, “Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think” Yes Alanis, I really do think. I am grateful for this soapbox post. I am grateful for the freedom to choose to spread mental health awareness. I am grateful for people in this world working to be the change they want to see. I would like to, once again, praise Ghandi for his words of encouragement and wisdom. I sang Ludacris in the shower today. I did more than 15 minutes of cardio in my tabata class today. I practiced a random act of kindness and 5 minutes of mediation. For todays’ happiness challenge activity I plan to give each of my family members an honest positive compliment. You may have been noticing that each of the challenges continue for the remainder of the 30 days once you start doing them. So, by the end of the 30 days I will be doing a lot of positive things in a day, at least 30. I credit this challenge to helping me get through some of the more negative scenes in my life lately.
I officially missed yesterday so tonight will be a double feature. I am struggling greatly tonight and need all the prayers possible for Lydia’s anger problems and my sanity. I am grateful for God and him carrying me through this life right now. I am grateful for good friends, sun, forgiveness, being able to ask what am I supposed to be learning from this heart ache? I am grateful for grace and HOPE. I would like to praise God tonight for the feeling of lightness that comes over me when I give my problems to him. I need to do as the zen proverb states “let go or be dragged”. We will weather this it’s just hard to be in the middle of the chaos. Mary, thank you, like my Goliath. He will give me all the strength I need. The dust is still clearing now but I know to say a little prayer and HOPE and wait. The sun will be shining in the morning. 5 minutes of meditation and sleep, here I come. Happiness day 6: sing in the shower (Pharrell) was my choice for yesterday, U2 today, Happiness day 7: perform a random act of kindness, Check!
I have always thought of myself as a leader in many ways but have come to find out quickly from our puppy, I am not a natural canine leader. I am currently reading Cesar Millan’s, (Be The Pack Leader). I am realizing that I need to transform my thinking to transform my energy to be a more calm and assertive pack leader. I have worked in human psychiatry for so many years my understanding of dog psychology is a little off. I guess this is to be expected. I am grateful for a wonderful Easter Sunday with my family and a relaxing rainy day. I am also grateful for Lydia feeling better and not running a fever anymore. I would like to praise Cesar Millan for his words of wisdom and understanding of dogs. He also seems to really understand how difficult it can be for us humans to connect with our canine companions in a more calm, assertive way. Today on the 30 day happiness challenge I began to meditate for 5 minutes a day. I can not think of anything more centering.
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
I am grateful for Jesus’ sacrifice for us. I am grateful for a day off. I am grateful for coffee. I think the most meaningful happening from today so far is my daughter commenting on how quiet it is in the house. Boys are playing outside and she is sick inside. The little times of quiet are so important and needed in our household. I would like to praise my sister Jo for her words of advice, wisdom and encouragement a couple evenings ago when I needed it to get through the 10 year old wrath. Still my sisters strength is a beacon of HOPE in my life and a demonstration of living grace. Thank you Jo! Day 4 on the 30 day happiness challenge calls for 15 minutes of cardio a day. I did that yesterday outside in the yard and intend to do it again today. I also need to get back into my running routine, my legs are hollering at me. Frequently at work we talk about HOPE and the acronym Hold On Pain Ends. This I know to be true in my challenges and especially when I can let go of the hold I have on that pain. So, I will continue to HOPE. This last little picture cracks me up every time I see it. Thank you RunningHumor.com!
I forgot to include three things I was grateful for yesterday but did accidently report the most recent memorable event that had happened within the hour. I am happy to report that my HOPE survived the night. Everyone has calmed down and Lydia has decided she is a little sick and tired. Now she has the flu. If the world war three behavior is going to be a routine thing before fever hits, no thanks. We had a family movie night and took it easy watching a little MIB tonight. I am grateful for getting through last night. I am grateful for the strength to stay calm. I am grateful for forgiveness. I am grateful for a calmer day. I am grateful for the sunshine and all the work we accomplished today. I am grateful for my husbands’ kindness. Today is about praising someone and that someone is my amazing husband. I know I have blogged about him before but he is a special gift, placed in my life that I am unbelievably lucky to have. I probably do not tell him enough or show him enough, just how much he means to me. If I am not giving him grief , which is rarely, I would love for him to know how I appreciate his love and kindness for me more than I could ever express. I love you Michael more every day and I appreciate all you do for me and my neurotic, guilty, depressed, passionate, silly, irrational, HOPE-FILLED and heartfelt self.
Honesty will set you free. The truth that we speak can be hard for others to hear at times. I am struggling with the hurtful things my 10 year old is screaming at me in the heat of anger. I did not realize asking her to complete 20 minutes of reading would start world war 3 but here we are again. I am also trying to keep my calm throughout her tirade as I know she is hormonal and irrational at 10 going on 25. I called my sister for a welcome distraction and some encouragement. Hers are all grown and out of the house now but that validation is just what I needed to hear. I am also saying a little prayer of calm during this writing to get us through tonight. We have a cycle of shout, scream, sorry. I wish we could just bypass the first couple horrible parts and go straight to sorry already. I am trying to remain calm with every love and logic fiber of my being and honesty really seems to be helping me here. I will love my children no matter what they choose to do with their anger and it’s HOPE, honesty and God who will carry us through.
I am ready to take the 30 day happiness challenge. I HOPE that my happiness can shine a little light for those trudging through the darkness. I will blog along the way about my happy-o-meter and how things are becoming more positive in my life. I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said,” most folks are as happy as they make their minds up to be.” I happen to agree but I don’t think deciding to be happy is where you stop. I need to start working on my happy-fitness. My happiness has become out of shape and needs a kick start to positive motivation. This morning I am grateful for my beautiful family, our warm house and a God who provides. I want to work on enjoying the happiness around me when its happy-ening. Visit the site below and take the challenge with me. I sure HOPE you will.
I am writing today about this amazing Ted Talk that I have utilized many times to aid in talking about recovery from depression and suicidal ideation. It seems to be a great connecting factor for adolescents or anyone who enjoys playing video games. Jane McGonigal is a wonderful inspiration as a game designer herself and someone who has struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts. She brings up another wonderful teaching point of post traumatic growth. We often do not hear as much about this occurring in our lives as post traumatic stress. Leave it to our culture to focus on the negative. Well I HOPE you enjoy her Ted Talk as much as I have time and time again.
I was surprised when I saw the perfect little cross icicled on my frosty window this last Saturday morning. It humbled me and showed me God was with me. I have been saying prayers every day before work due to the amazing amount of pain and suffering I walk into whenever I go to work. I don’t just mean the patients, I mean the people working in the hospital as well. Hospitals can be a very stressful place for anyone to be. For many they represent a place for healing but only after the fear from pain that brings them there. Hope springs up in recovery. “I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy, I woke and I saw that life is all service, I served and I saw that service is joy.” -Mother Teresa