Thursday, April 28, 2011

Your opintions requested

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

A person asks you to donate to an organization that you don't like or wish to give to for your own personal reason.
So you politely decline saying, "No, I don't want to donate to that agency because...(insert reason)"

That person then goes ahead and, without your knowledge, donates some of their money in your name to that organization anyway.

What do you think about that?

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

need some change?

The question that has been rolling around my noggin this week:

What are you willing to change today?

As a mental health counselor, I am constantly working with people to help them find the means of change in themselves. They often get overwhelmed by the tasks at hand: Reducing severe depression, dealing with auditory hallucinations, coping with family discourse, dealing with intense mood swings, handling emotional reactions in a rational manor or improving their life situations. These are all common topics that can feel like insurmountable tasks.

Empowering people (including myself) to change for the better is never an all or nothing task. Small changes really do add up to eventual larger scale changes. And, yes, there are often setbacks. Life is usually not a straight, smooth path. A minor setback does not equate to failure. The realization that we didn't become (depressed, anxious, overweight, disorganized, frazzled...fill in the blank) overnight and we are not going to change completely overnight.

What are you willing to change today?
Can you replace a self-deprecating phrase with a positive one? No? How about start by recognizing when you are putting yourself down which many people do unconsciously?

Can you make an effort to smile at a stranger and brighten their day?

Are you willing to eat one piece of fruit today than you did yesterday?

How about taking five minutes to do some deep breathing or enjoy something in nature?

Would sorting through a desk be too much? Then how about just one pile of papers?

Can you track your hallucinations to become aware of when they happen and what might be triggering them?

Are you unhappy with a body part (i.e. my thighs are too big)? Can you find the positive traits of that body part (my thighs help me walk through the park)?

Can you go for a stroll instead of napping on the couch for just ten minutes?

Change is stressful for many people, but it is also inevitable. Are you willing to take control of something today and make a change for the better? If today is too much of a time frame, how about this hour? This moment? Something small, something attainable. Then tomorrow, ask yourself the same question. Before you know it those overwhelming tasks will become manageable.

So, what are you willing to change today?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

love you life and it will love you (most of the time)

These past couple of weeks seem to be filled with intensity.

Health scare/health scare not existing
Connecting with people/hearing about the death of an amazing person
Being in an unfulfillable place/doors opening
Being asked to be a godmother/not having a church to certify my holy-roliness

It fascinates me how energy seems to find balance, whether it is some mellow medium or at extremes.

What also fascinates me, sometimes in a scary way, are religious extremists. I'm not even referring to the ones you see on the news, as scary as they are with their violence and hatred. What I am talking about are people that have found Jesus/religion (not a bad thing) but then take it to the extreme as if it were an addiction. That's the part that I find scary. I have seen self-proclaimed saved people spew hatred for others because their belief system is the only right one and the others are wrong, wrong, wrong. Seems to me that if your belief system truly is the only right one, then why worry about other peoples' beliefs if they are not directly harming yours? Their beliefs do not make your beliefs untrue, why do you get so upset about it? It's not good for your blood pressure and it certainly isn't good P.R. for your religion: "Our way is right, your way sucks. Hey, you wanna convert?"

I am all for faith, spirituality and religious freedom, but I am against hatred towards others because they don't call their god God. And why attack a holy book based on what you think it says, why not read it and judge for yourself? Reading another religion's holy book does not mean you agree with it. At the very least, read Aldous Huxley's Perennial Philosophy and maybe you will start to realize that there is a common truth throughout all the major religions so there really is no need for ire.

Then take the positive energy you have from your beliefs and help your community. Don't waste time on hatred, it's unproductive. Be a mentor, donate time in a food pantry at a time other than the holidays, visit an elderly neighbor, donate money to a cause you believe in, walk a shelter dog, become a foster parent, start a neighborhood clean up, or smile at someone on the street that may even have a different faith than you. Positive energy can balance out as much as angry energy in a much nicer way.

Do good in this world and it will all be good, no matter what god/God/goddess/Yahweh/spaghetti monster you pray to...

and always....Om Puppy.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

i'm gonna do it! aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh

What makes us move forward? What motivates us to jump in with or without fear to any task that is in front of us? What is the catalyst that propels us into the abyss? As those of you who read my other blog, finding maitri (send me your email address to be able to gain access), you know I am dealing with some "stuff." And though this stuff is by no means positive, I have noticed it has really prompted me to treat myself with greater lovingkindness.
Over the years, I notice that there are different motivating factors in my mind. In my youth, being the first girl in predominantly boy-filled activities was a huge factor. Tell me that girls shouldn't do something and I'd be damned if I didn't prove you wrong. I've been motivated by love by trying to be the best me I could be to help the "us" be better. Anger has prompted me to be proactive. Both anger towards myself (not very "maitri-like" I know) at not doing whatever the task is and anger towards injustices put upon others. I suppose the motivating factor now is a combination of "wake up call" and fear. Part of me enjoys sitting with the uneasiness of the unknown and anxiety and I have cleaned up my diet tremendously.

The positive thing is the moving forward, being proactive and getting things done. I believe that no matter what the motivation, anything that prompts positive action is a good thing.

Now it's time for me to jump! I will let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

wonder if that sign said no dumping

I never understood the idea of dumping trash. What makes it so difficult to leave things at your own curb, make a phone call for pick up or take things to the local dump. Selfishness and inconsiderateness must be the top reasons. But what I really want to know is, how do you combat it?

I love my new neighborhood more so than I had ever anticipated. There is beautiful scenery, fantastic houses and lovely people living here. Is it possible for those of us who take pride in the area to combat those who do not care?

We are trying to do our part as best we can. Graffiti removal has cleaned up our stop signs, Boddington always gets picked up after (and is leashed) and trash that is dropped or blown near our house is disposed of properly. We are even contemplating posting random "pick up after your dog" signs in front of unoccupied lots, though the loose dogs can read them. I am not seeking a pat on the back for I believe everyone should do what they can to keep the neighborhood clean. What I want are ideas on what more can be done?

Monday, April 18, 2011

i usually like roller coasters

Roller coasters: Seriously love them. The feeling of motion, speed and zero g's. Amazing. However, roller coasters in life, errr not really. The past few weeks have had moments of elation and love of life, potential opportunities of the good kind, and serene, contemplative moments, but there is also some potentially negative events occurring on a bodily level that have sent me reeling. (I will write about this on my finding maitri blog. Email me for permission for access to this blog if you care to read more)

It is just so amazing that us humans can experience so many concurrent emotions. The up and down kind, I am not a fan. The concurrent and dichotomous emotions amaze me. I have written before about the underlying pervasive joy of which I still experience. With the not-so-good stuff happening: one day I am at ease and acceptance, the next it hits me and gives me a feeling of overwhelm. At these moments, I tend towards introversion and withdrawal. I find this is how I recharge myself with introspective thinking and solitude. I know this is only temporary as I will have a deeper knowledge of what is or isn't going on with my body next week. Until then, I will just have to ride the roller coaster over each summit and dip.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

tea study

tea study by misslissa13
tea study, a photo by misslissa13 on Flickr.
I am very much a coffee drinker, but sometimes a cup of tea can conjure up passion from deep within my soul.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

oh deer!

So here is my next post about Mastic Beach, the town with the negative reputation.  We've been residing here for a couple of months and keep finding reasons why we are glad we moved here. Case in point: wildlife. Today on an early morning walk, Boddington and I were greeted by this lovely and curious deer just two houses down the road. As soon as we spied her, we stood still and observed. Curiosity brought the deer about 10 feet from us and I was able to snap a few photos with my blackberry. 

So here is this town that people would respond with halfhearted congratulations when they heard we bought a house here. I am finding more and more proof that it is an amazing place to live. Not only do we get greeted by deer but our bird feeders bring such a vast array of feathered friends you would think you were in a Disney cartoon and the symphony is about to begin. The woodpeckers keeping rhythm, of course.

Just as I don't believe in pre-judging people before knowing their character, I will no longer judge an area until I experience it first hand. If I had gone with my original feelings about this town, I wouldn't have seen the wonder and joy contained within.

Off to our next adventure! Happy Saturday, everyone.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

perhaps i need duct tape?

185.365 does it? by misslissa13
185.365 does it?, a photo by misslissa13 on Flickr.
I think I need some duct tape to help me stick with things longer. Now don't get me wrong, many things in my life I have stuck to long term: joy, friendships, relationships, my love of spaghetti squash and 80s new wave music. However, there are things in my life, many of which I love partaking in, that I cannot seem to find the motivation or time to continue. I have been exploring the reasons why and have the intention on changing this behavior (as long as I can stick with that commitment, of course).

Example one: Blogging

I love blogging. I enjoy writing, expressing myself and sharing a variety of topics with the world (however near or far). I tell myself I am going to commit to writing more frequently...and then I don't even log on to the computer for anything. I know this is a good thing since I prefer real activities over virtual ones, but I still find joy in the virtual world as well.

Example two: Healthy Habits

I LOVE veggies, I LOVE exercise (seriously), I LOVE LOVE LOVE yoga. I get into the swing of these yummy habits...and then stop like I hit a brick wall. I feel wonderful all around when I am engaging in these, then stress happens and I let them all go. In my mind I know that continuation of good habits is the best way to deal with stress but it still gets thrown out the window.

Example three: Art

Getting back to creative expression has been a long-time struggle. This one I am finally getting back to within my heart. It has been a long time since I was an art major. My path in life has taken many twists and turns but I truly need to get this back and keep it in my life in order to feel whole.

Perhaps duct tape isn't strong enough. Maybe Krazy Glue? I did hold that construction worker to the ibeam really well. Now, to see if I post again tomorrow... (to be continued)