What Grows in Your Life-Garden?

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Negative experiences happen, but we do not have to let them move in and hold as much of our life space hostage, as they tend to often times do.

We experience a myriad of both positive and unpleasant moments each and every day of our lives.  Due to the way our minds work, we are naturally inclined to squirrel away, cling to, continuously drudge up and often carry around some of the unpleasant moments in a somewhat protective space, as if our lives depended on their existence.  As if these unpleasant moments make up so much of who we are, we cannot bear to part with them. Since we scientifically know this inclination to be true about the human race, and knowledge is power, how do we work to overcome these natural tendencies to live in a negative space?

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Authenticity ~ A Collection of Choices

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Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day.  It’s about the choice to show up and be real.  The choice to be honest.  The choice to let your true selves be seen. ~ B. Brown – The Gifts of Imperfection

The idea of being authentic was first introduced to me in graduate school.  The first few times I heard the word, it was not honestly all that impactful, but it did peak my curiosity. What does it really mean to “be authentic?”  In truth, I think it is more difficult than standing physically naked in front of a room of people, strangers or not, and letting them pick apart your physical form in all of its perfect or imperfect ways.  Why?

Because being authentic is about being emotionally naked.

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Grow Your Wings on the way Down

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Brene Brown – Boundaries, Empathy, and Compassion

This is by far the best definition I have ever heard of what boundaries are, why you want them, and how you would use them successfully.

Believing that people are doing the best they can, makes our lives better, as the first life we change is our own.

 

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Call To Arms – Veteran Gets Real About PTSD

PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation(s).  I would be more worried if I didn’t have it!  Then, I would just be a sociopath. 

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Lessons Learned ~ About Dissociation and Good Therapy

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Why would my brain want to dig up something so tragic and force me to relive it, as though it were happening again in the present moment?  I put a lot of energy and effort into shoving the memory as far down as I could.  If my mind were a big house, with many rooms and hallways, I wandered down to the deepest depths of the basement.  I found the darkest hallway, with the darkest corner to bag the memory up and leave it in.  I wanted to keep it from ever surfacing and hurting me again.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  So what was the purpose of digging it up and reliving it?  Why would anyone purposefully do that?

Well after much thought, this is my opinion.  We humans are natural problem solvers, we do it from the day we are born.  We think, therefore we are human.  

Our brain has a natural tendency to solve and resolve whatever is happening in our lives. If it is particularly difficult, we will chew on it over and over in an attempt to grind it up small enough, so we can “swallow it and move on.”  Sometimes we put an immense amount of effort into this process, whether we want to or not.  You know how it goes.  Why can’t I stop thinking about this!  Ughh….!!!

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Dissociation ~ What Happened Next

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I left my therapist’s office and as soon as I hit the hallway, where she could not see me, tears began to flow.  Head tucked down in embarrassment, I strode quickly to the parking lot.  I wished to be invisible.  Fumbling with my keys, I unlocked the doors and jumped inside.  “Safe” inside my car, I began to sob uncontrollably.  I sobbed for two hours.  The kind of cry which makes your eyes swell, your face red and makes you feel like you cannot breathe.  I could not drive and all I wanted to do was go home.  I reached out to my husband, who thankfully came to my rescue, physically at least.

The hurt and pain of the memory swelled up inside of me.  I felt as though at times, I could not possibly contain it and I did not want to share it ever again!  Hurt cascaded into anger, then anger into shame.  I was ashamed of myself.  I must be honest and admit to you things got much worse before they ever started to get better.

You see, inside I am a gentle soul.  I am pro-life.  What I mean, is inside and out, I have a huge respect and zest for life.  For me, death and the idea of dying, has always been in my view……the greatest tragedy of living.  I have a hard time killing anything…..except spiders. My fear of the spider is great.  🙂

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When Nietzsche Wept

~You have your way.  I have my way.  As for the right way, the correct way and the only way, it does not exist. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

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Magical.” –Washington Post Book World

“The best dramatization of a great thinker’s thought since Sartre’s The Freud Scenario.” –Chicago Tribune

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Into the Midst – My Experience with Dissociation

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It took me a moment to realize, the rumbling in my mind was my own heartbeat. Insistent….strong and unrelenting.  Sweat began to mist up on my skin, sliding down between my shoulder blades.  I could hear her voice, out on the edge of my awareness as though she were standing very far away.  I titled my head.  I could not see her…

something was wrong.

Suddenly the room went stark white and I was there….with him.  I could see his face, feel his disgusting touch, smell my fear mingled with his breath.  My body went rigid, as though rejecting the very idea this was happening.  Not again…I thought….please not again! I was strikingly hot, my breath was racing to catch my heartbeat.

Thud…thud…thud…. 

I wanted to run, but my legs were not working.  I needed to lash out, to get him away from me.  Yet, I was rooted as if in a nightmare, or a horror film and I was its star character. Like bait.  I felt sick….wait I think that was her voice again.  What is she saying?

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Leaning in to discomfort…

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Brené Brown – shares with us the concept of leaning in to discomfort.  Sounds uncomfortable, doesn’t it?  So why would you do it and what are the benefits?

What does it mean to “lean into discomfort?”  Why would you do it?  What are the benefits of it?  Will it hurt?

Of course, I am not talking about leaning in to physical or emotional discomfort to the point that it causes you harm.  Rather, leaning into situations that make us uncomfortable, sometimes even highly uncomfortable.  Depending on how committed you are to “leaning in to your discomfort” it may potentially have some physical side effects. For example, it may cause anxiety and feeling anxiety may cause physical discomfort to a certain extent.  Anxiety will not kill you, but it may make you want to walk away or give up.  So that is the downside, yes?  Will it hurt?  Probably….

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