Category Archives: My Posts

In Spite Of… #InSpiteOf

In Spite Of… #InSpiteOf


We so often live our lives as victims of others. #inspiteof  Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We so often live our lives as victims of others.
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Guest Blogger Wendy Whitmore MS LMFT & LIFE COACH

As a survivor of neglect, abandonment, rape, molestation, racism and discrimination,I stand firm in my belief that you can overcome your tragedies, trials and tribulations. I am a firm believer that #INSPITEOF the barriers put into place, failed marriages, partnerships and relationships; it is still possible to succeed at love, your career, and everything in between. Many times when barriers have been put into place, your marriage fails, or your partnership dissolves, we find ourselves wanting to blame the world for our unhappiness.

Many of us will choose to play the victim role and not hold ourselves accountable for the part that we played in the things that are bringing us so much unhappiness. When tragedy strikes we naturally have a tendency to “fall apart”, and when trials and tribulations cause barriers to pop up in our lives, hindering us from being successful at love and in our careers, we look to place the blame on our partners, co-workers, mates, friends and family.

#inspiteof We can blame others or accept our roles in our life's situations. Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We can blame others or accept our roles in our life’s situations. Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet the truth is we are capable of withstanding all the negative, hurtful and disappointing things that may come our way. We have to choose not to be the victim. As a young woman I consciously made the choice to succeed and triumph #INSPITEOF the tragedies, trials and tribulations that occurred in my life. I chose to not label myself as a victim and to stand tall and proud in the fact that I was a survivor of neglect, abandonment, rape, molestation, racism and discrimination.  I chose to focus on my strengths instead of my weaknesses. I chose to embrace my flaws, imperfections and shortcomings and use them as a learning tool for both myself and the people around me.

You can choose to win and not be a victim! #inspiteof Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You can choose to win and not be a victim! Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I learned that choosing to live my life to the fullest meant that I had to accept my past and my mistakes and not allow myself to play the ‘blame game’ or to be hindered by the barriers, tragedies, trials and tribulations that occurred in my life. Choosing to triumph #INSPITEOF all the bad that may have taken place in your life, is the true definition of success and happiness.

 

Wendy Whitmore M.S. LMFT & Life Coach #inspiteof

Wendy Whitmore M.S. LMFT & Life Coach#Inspiteof

Wendy Whitmore MS LMFT & LIFE COACH

www.truthhealingevolution.com


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Liz Obert’s The Secret Lives of People Living with Depression

Liz Obert’s The Secret Lives of People Living with Depression


The Secret Lives of People Living with Depression

The secret lives of people living with mental illness Photo courtesy Liz Obert www.lizobert.com

The secret lives of people living with mental illness
Photo courtesy Liz Obert www.lizobert.com

I recently read Katherine Brooks’ op-ed on the Huffington Post “Exploring the Double Lives of Everyday People Living With Mental Illness” by the photographer who chose to open the curtains and expose the dual world people who struggle with mental illness live in.

I struggle with depression and have the meds to help me get through life with a smile, but there are days when darkness covers my life.  I am normally a happy, vivacious person; I’ve learned to find joy despite child abuse.  However, there are days I wake up and don’t care about anything that is important to me — my beloved husband, my sweet dogs, my writing or artwork, my garden —- nothing.  I have what most of the world would consider incredible success —- I have a 20 year marriage, own a home, have my own business, control my time.  Yet on those days I tell myself I am a loser and hate my life.

Photo Courtesy of Liz Obert  http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Megan_large.html

Photo Courtesy of Liz Obert http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Megan_large.html

When I try to explain this to others they just can’t grasp it.  How could such a positive person have days of self-loathing and sadness? Well, it happens, it’s true, and depression is an illness, not a moral failing.

So I was thrilled to learn that Liz Obert is courageously illustrating through her photography the darkness that hides within your friends, children, parents, colleagues and loved ones.

photo courtesy of http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Marie_large.html

photo courtesy of http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Marie_large.html

Liz Obert has been an artist since she was a child. She worked with painting, mixed media and installation work until a photography class transformed her artwork.

I asked her why she decided to do a photo series on the duality of depression, and she said “I wanted to do something personal with my photography and I’ve always lived this double life of holding a job and then going home and dealing with the depression.  Then the idea came to me to photograph both sides of my personality” She told me that she is inspired by the world around her, whether it is by objects or personal issues.

Liz Obert’s work can be seen in Portland in June at the Olympic Mills Commerce Center and in McMinnville, Oregon  in September at the Linfield College. Her work “The Secret Dual Lives of People Living With Mental Illness” recently won the top spot in the Top 10 most popular Photography Posts of 2014 in Slate Magazine

http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Wil_large.html

http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Wil_large.html

I am glad to see that more people are “coming out” and acknowledging they suffer from depression. For too long it has been looked at as a personal failure, an inability to suck it up and be happy, a self-indulgent habit of weak-minded people.  Depression is anything but that.  People who struggle with depression yet get out of bed on the good days, suit up and face the world and contribute to is, truly are spiritual warriors.  They struggle with an incomprehensible inner pain that provides no warning before it arrives, and they get through the dark days anyway.  In many ways, people who struggle with depression and then work in the world are probably some of the most optimistic people you will ever meet.

I’m glad I had a chance to connect with Liz Obert, and I look forward to seeing more of her work.  You can find Liz at www.LizObert.com

Now it’s Your Turn!  Go to Liz’ site, and tell us which photographic montage speaks to you the most, and why.




 


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Hockey and Healing

Hockey and Healing


photo courtesy of www.theepochtimes.com-

photo courtesy of www.theepochtimes.com-

Hockey games are not quiet, civilized affairs. They are noisy, fast and hard games played on ice-cement and require not just skating skill but also strategy, physical stamina and a warrior’s will to win.  The audience becomes another player on the team, cheering the wins, groaning over losses and screaming to kill the referee over unjust penalties.

Hockey games are punctuated by loud music. Blaring horns on a goal. The thump of bodies slamming against the fence. Hockey games are fierce rivalries of warrior factions. This is not a dignified polo or baseball game. Blood is drawn and there penalties for tripping, high-sticking, and unsportsmanlike conduct,. The audience becomes the voice of the team, screaming in jubilation and crying in defeat.

Hockey is a fast game requiring insane athleticism and lightening fast hand-eye coordination. Hockey is the one sport I can sit and watch with undivided attention.  Even if there are no points being won, the movement on the ice is mesmerizing.  I know from the very small ability I have to both roller-and-ice-skate how much training and practice went into these men becoming world-class hockey players.

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty throws off Coyotes winger Shane Doan after they tackle each other at center ice late in Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference Finals.photo courtesy of framework.latimes.com-

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty throws off Coyotes winger Shane Doan after they tackle each other at center ice late in Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference Finals.photo courtesy of framework.latimes.com-

One of Ernie and my first dates was a hockey game.  I had no idea how to react; I had never been to a sports event.  My father was very anti-sports, so I didn’t know the rules or what to do. He thought sports was a waste of time.  I had no idea how to get involved in this communal event and was fascinated watching people get so worked up over a game. I felt phony rising up from the bench with everyone else….kind of like I did when I went to church with friends and they would rise to sing hymns.  I didn’t know how to react.

private box photo courtesy of www.nba.com-

private box photo courtesy of www.nba.com-

Fast forward 15 years of marriage and an invite to a private box at Staples center to watch a Kings/Flames game.  I was not feeling well (ended up with the flu) but I still got caught up in the excitement of the game.  I felt a part of the community. I understood how the game was played. I understood the language. I belonged.

Saint George slaying the dragon, Unterlinden Museum, Colmar. Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org-

Saint George slaying the dragon, Unterlinden Museum, Colmar. Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org-

My father was wrong.  We no longer have dragons to slay or marauding armies at the castle gate.  We don’t barn-raise or have quilting circles.  But we do have sports teams, and that’s the closest many of us in the modern world get to that feeling of community.

Now It’s Your Turn! What is your favorite sport, and why?




 

This entry was posted in Musings and tagged , , , , , , , , , by Susanne. Bookmark the permalink.

About Susanne

I am a 45 year old married woman who is a survivor of child abuse, addiction and low self-esteem. I hid it well and battled it privately. I spent 10 years reading self-help books, watching videos, going to therapy and seminars, and as I healed, I was able to guide my friends through their own healing journey. I have been compelled to start this blog in the hope that, if you are reading it, you are looking for answers I may be able to provide, guidance on how to walk through the spiritual quest we call healing.



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Healing Journey Blog – Part 4

Gardening as a healing tool

 

I love inviting butterflies into my garden. I love the way they float on the air

I love inviting butterflies into my garden. I love the way they float on the air

Gardening is one of the most effective healing tools I have ever discovered.

It’s interesting in a way that I love to garden, because my father acted like a prison guard regarding gardening.  I grew up on a half-acre lot in the San Fernando Valley. My father loved to garden, and he loved having his own unpaid work force (me and my siblings) to work for him.  We were required to dig, hoe, weed, mulch and water the garden, but he was the only one who had the priveledge of picking any of the fruit and vegetables.  My mother loved to make lemonade, and I would go to the lemon tree and look for fruit on the interior that he might not notice me picking for her. This was done right after school before he came home. For decades I hated Brussels Sprouts because my father would let them grow until they were large and tough, and then my mother would boil them. Blech.  It was only a year or so ago I learned about the delicious nuttiness of roasted Brussels Sprouts with garlic.

Imagine rows and rows and rows of these and having to eat them boiled. Blech

Imagine rows and rows and rows of these and having to eat them boiled. Blech

Other parents take their children to soccer, ballet or karate practice, watch them play little league or their first piano recital. My father would wake us up just after dawn, feed us breakfast, and then put us to work in the garden all day on the weekends.  It wasn’t that we needed food and we were saving money; my father owned 5 houses and had two paid-for Mercedes in the driveway.  He wanted to garden and he demanded we help him.

 This is the kind of garden I worked in during childhood. photo courtesy blog.northerngardener.org

This is the kind of garden I worked in during childhood. photo courtesy blog.northerngardener.org

I can remember working in the garden in the overwhelming 110-120 degree heat of the valley. I would be so tired and dehydrated but would keep pulling weeds and watering. So I really am surprised that I enjoy gardening to this day.

I’ve heard it said that gardeners are optimists.  Who else would put a seed in the cold spring soil, anticipating lush flowers or delicious vegetables?  Some small part of me that refused to be destroyed by the other abuse he and my mother inflicted on me found solace in the garden.

My backyard explodes in color in summertime

My backyard explodes in color in summertime

caterpillar

I love finding caterpillars in my plants. They can eat all they want, there’s plenty to share

IMG_1365

Catanache is one of my absolutely favorite flowers. They bloom and bloom and bloom!

I found a certain peace working with the soil and tending the plants. I enjoyed the weeding, enjoyed seeing cleared space and a blank canvas to paint with plants on. Today I can choose what to plant.  I plant tomatoes because my husband loves them, and I love to rub my fingers on the leaves to release their scent.  That scent kicks me back to some of my happiest days of childhood. I plant flowers for their beauty (we never had flower gardens as a kid, only vegetables) and plants that attract hummingbirds, butterflies and orioles.

in 2014 we had Orioles visit for the first time. They are very shy.

in 2014 we had Orioles visit for the first time. They are very shy.

I added a small fountain and wind chimes to my garden for sound, and hang Christmas lights and firefly lights amongst the plants.  I also have solar tikki torches and a firepit.  This garden has helped heal me and helps calm me when I am stressed or my depressive rage kicks in.

What part of gardening do you like best? [contact_form]

Finding Myself

I love seeing new things and places

I love seeing new things and places

Every new experience shifts my center, expanding my understanding of life and enchanting me with a new appreciation for life.

Like many people, I was abused by my parents.  It was largely emotional abuse; my parents loved to belittle me and my mother was a schizophrenic, so I never knew who I would be coming home to.  I was frightened my entire childhood.

I used to live a small, interior life.  I never tried anything new, for fear of making mistakes.  I was always anxious, didn’t want to offend anyone, and morphed into what others wanted me to be.  At some point the real me ceased to exist, it was so smothered under the expectations of others.  I lived this way until my late 30s.

It was not easy to find myself again.  I had to chip away at the shell I had covered myself in.  I was afraid to think of my secret desires because I had accepted the belief that they were either worthless or unattainable.  I had accepted those beliefs because I had been taught that artists and writers starve, so go to business school and get a ‘real job’.

I was afraid to be a photographer and now have a small note card business

I was afraid to be a photographer and now have a small note card business

With those thoughts I packed up my dreams and closeted them away.  They fought for release and I expended large amounts of energy keeping them hiding from my ‘real life’ thoughts.  I went into the business world and faced rejection on a daily basis.

If you have had the opportunity to read Don Miguel Ruiz’ amazing book The Four Agreements, you will understand when I say that I had been so well trained as an emotionally abandoned child that it was no surprise I chose sales as my occupation.  What better way to continue my parents’ abuse than to face multiple doses of daily rejection?

Rumi says “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” I kept chipping away at my outward persona until something cracked opened and light could not only enter but also flow out.  I started reclaiming my life in small steps.

I have always had an urgent desire to write.  I wrote a novel as a teenager that my father trampled on, so I had buried that dream extremely deeply within my soul.

I love the energy in handwriting. I think it's sad it's no longer being taught in school.

I love the energy in handwriting. I think it’s sad it’s no longer being taught in school.

I started reclaiming myself as a writer by journaling.  Daily pages that were sometimes thought-provoking, other times gibberish.  But they allowed me to get my words out of my soul and onto the page.  As I continued to write, my soul blossomed, and I found it easier and easier to claim myself as a writer. I made a new agreement with myself (back to The Four Agreements) Yes, I AM a writer, who happens to work in the business world.

It was not easy to change myself and I had to get used to the new internal me. Change, even if self-imposed, is not easy. But it’s worth it.  Each step I took forward allowed me to come further into my real self.  I also that claiming my real self allowed me to forgive my parents for their abuse, and also to forgive myself for continuing their abuse by my own actions.

I’d love to hear from you. What have you done that has helped you discover yourself?[contact_form]

 

 

 

Children’s Holiday Magic CD

Jeff Gelder Children's Holiday Magic CD

Jeff Gelder delivering Children’s Holiday Magic CDs. Photo courtesy of www.thenewhollywood.org

Children’s Holiday Magic CD is a program created 12 years ago by a dear friend of mine, Jeff Gelder. He was tasked to create something that would help the world and live past him, and he has succeeded!

Children’s Holiday Magic CD is a music and story CD that Jeff puts together with help from Phillip Tanzilo, masses of volunteers, and caring musical talent such as Ashley Fox Linton, Jennifer Knight, Kurt Michael, Lele Rose and Jordan Lamoureux, to name just a few. His generous supporters include Team Kia El Cajon, Welk Resorts, Evelyn Ascough DDS and Mance Creative.

Ashley Fox Linton Children's Holiday Magic CD

The talented Ashley Fox Linton shares her gifts with Children’s Holiday Magic CD Photo Courtesy of www.qpicture.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff delivers his Children’s Holiday Magic CDs to local children’s hospitals over the holidays and delivers them to bedridden children and their siblings.  He and his band of elves sing songs, tell stories, and bring joy to families who are struggling with horrible diseases in what should be a joyous time of the year.

Terri Wilder Children's Holiday Magic CD
Terri Wilder is one of the voiceover talents in the Children’s Holiday Magic CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had the pleasure of being at the Children’s Holiday Magic CD fundraiser this year.  It was held at Martinis Above Fourth in the Hillcrest area of San Diego. There was a raffle, a silent auction, delicious martinis and wonderful people who came together to support Jeff’s cause.  There was fantastic music, a fun, free photo booth, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were there to help raise money for Jeff.

We all throw $5 away on coffee, snacks, jewelry, tchotckis we don’t really need and may forget we have until it’s time to clear our closets for charity or we are moving.  How much better to take that $5 and give it to a cause that helps children in our own neighborhoods? $10 buys four CDs. Now there’s a great Secret Santa gift!

Children's Holiday Magic CD

Children’s Holiday Magic CD

Children’s Holiday Magic CD started out as a grass-roots San Diego project, but it has grown to cities all across America.  The more donations Children’s Holiday Magic receives, the more children can have their holidays brightened.  Please consider a small donation to Children’s Holiday Magic CD. You can donate at http://holidaymagiccd.com/donations/

About the Children’s Holiday Magic Project: Since 2003, the Children’s Holiday Magic Project has created an annual compilation CD of unique songs and stories that feature characters. It is handed out free-of-charge to children who are hospitalized during the Holiday season. Generous contributions from singers and actors providing the custom songs and stories have made the task possible, along with the support of sponsors and non-profit partners. The reach for the project increases each year with over 7,000 CDs supplied to children in U.S. cities, London and Singapore in 2013. The goal is to produce and deliver 10,000 CDs to children’s hospitals this year.

www.HolidayMagicCD.org (619) 795-1740

Now it’s Your Turn! Tell us how Children’s Holiday Magic CD has helped your family.

Travel as a Healing Tool

When I first saw a metro map I was terrified

When I first saw a metro map I was terrified

Travel can be an incredible healing tool. I was afraid my entire childhood, and long into my young adulthood.  I wanted to see the world, but I was afraid of making mistakes, taking wrong turns, missing planes.  I wanted to be an archeologist or travel writer, but I was terrified I would get on the wrong train, would get lost somewhere in the outback, that I would forget my tickets, my passport, my house keys.

Dupont Circle is lovely. Amazing row houses.

Dupont Circle is lovely. Amazing row houses. Travel is amazing

All this fear stemmed from an extremely abusive childhood.  My mother used to tell me “I wish you had never been born.” She was a paranoid schizophrenic, so I was never sure “which” mother I was coming home to.  One day she was the loving, cupcake-baking mother; the other she was the angry mother taking a butcher knife to my father. My father was no prize either.  Let’s just say he was an incestuous sadist and leave it at that.

Safely at the Washington DC Union Station. Now, where is the Metro?

Safely at the Washington DC Union Station. Now, where is the Metro? Travel adventures!

Stability was not a keyword in my childhood, and that fear bled into my adulthood.  I so desperately wanted to backpack across Europe, take a road trip across America, visit Africa. The furthest I ever travelled until I was 37 was the United States, Canada and Mexico.  Mostly by car.  I was terrified to go to an airport because I was afraid to get lost and miss my plane.

I used to be terrified to fly.  I don't particularly like it now but I'm used to it.

I used to be terrified to fly. I don’t particularly like it now but I’m used to it.

So how has travel become a healing tool for me? The simple answer is I just started traveling.  The more complex answer is I learned to make wrong turns, learned that the world doesn’t end if you miss a connecting flight, or you have to ask someone how to get onto a train (where do you wait? In the depot? At the train track?) My most recent trip to Baltimore and Washington DC testi my travel healing to the absolute maximum.  In order to save money and to feel more like a traveler and not a tourist, I didn’t rent a car.  I looked online and tried to figure out how to get from the BWI airport to Baltimore, and then from Baltimore to Penn Station, and from Penn Station to the MARC train that took me to Washington DC.  From there I hopped on the Washington DC Metro and used that for a week. I was terrified.  But I was also exhilarated.

travel as a healing tool

I waited on the tracks until Ernie asked and we went back upstairs to sit in comfort in the train lobby

I have learned the easiest way to minimize fears is to ask strangers for help. I know, that sounds counter-intuitive.  Especially for someone like me who couldn’t trust her own parents, approaching strangers should be hard.  And once it was.  But I have learned that most strangers are very kind, especially if you appear lost. I learned that instead of taking a $30 taxi ride from BWI airport to the Embassy Suites in Baltimore Harbor, I could spend $3 and take the light rail from the airport. It dropped me off about 4 blocks from my hotel.  Easy-peasy. To navigate Baltimore harbor, I asked the concierge at our hotel, and he encouraged me to use the Baltimore free Circulator. Nice.  Leaving the hotel I was told to take the same circulator to Penn Station. At Penn station I went to the train track but then learned you had to wait upstairs in the lobby.  Okay, I can do that.  Once on the train my fears kicked in and I stood up for the length of the entire stop instead of sitting.  As if no one else was getting off! LMAO.  I shrugged at the other passengers and freely admitted “This is my first train ride here.” They smiled. The Washington Metro is a simple system. You just look for the station the train ends at, and your stop is somewhere along the way.

Travel Selfie in front of the White House....the secret service said "Ma'am, no photos!" Glad we didn't end up in jail!

Selfie in front of the White House….the secret service said “Ma’am, no photos!” Glad we didn’t end up in jail!

I have learned that being afraid is okay.  It’s staying afraid that stops me from living life. I encourage you to make wrong turns, miss airplane connections, take the wrong bus for a stop or two….and live life.

How has travel changed your life? What are your favorite travel mishaps that in retrospect made for great stories? I’d love to hear from you! [contact_form] or [contact_form lang=en]

 

Healing Journey Blog – Part 3

Travel as a Healing Tool

When I first saw a metro map I was terrified

When I first saw a metro map I was terrified

Travel can be an incredible healing tool. I was afraid my entire childhood, and long into my young adulthood.  I wanted to see the world, but I was afraid of making mistakes, taking wrong turns, missing planes.  I wanted to be an archeologist or travel writer, but I was terrified I would get on the wrong train, would get lost somewhere in the outback, that I would forget my tickets, my passport, my house keys.

Dupont Circle is lovely. Amazing row houses.

Dupont Circle is lovely. Amazing row houses. Travel is amazing

All this fear stemmed from an extremely abusive childhood.  My mother used to tell me “I wish you had never been born.” She was a paranoid schizophrenic, so I was never sure “which” mother I was coming home to.  One day she was the loving, cupcake-baking mother; the other she was the angry mother taking a butcher knife to my father. My father was no prize either.  Let’s just say he was an incestuous sadist and leave it at that.

Safely at the Washington DC Union Station. Now, where is the Metro?

Safely at the Washington DC Union Station. Now, where is the Metro? Travel adventures!

Stability was not a keyword in my childhood, and that fear bled into my adulthood.  I so desperately wanted to backpack across Europe, take a road trip across America, visit Africa. The furthest I ever travelled until I was 37 was the United States, Canada and Mexico.  Mostly by car.  I was terrified to go to an airport because I was afraid to get lost and miss my plane.

I used to be terrified to fly.  I don't particularly like it now but I'm used to it.

I used to be terrified to fly. I don’t particularly like it now but I’m used to it.

So how has travel become a healing tool for me? The simple answer is I just started traveling.  The more complex answer is I learned to make wrong turns, learned that the world doesn’t end if you miss a connecting flight, or you have to ask someone how to get onto a train (where do you wait? In the depot? At the train track?) My most recent trip to Baltimore and Washington DC testi my travel healing to the absolute maximum.  In order to save money and to feel more like a traveler and not a tourist, I didn’t rent a car.  I looked online and tried to figure out how to get from the BWI airport to Baltimore, and then from Baltimore to Penn Station, and from Penn Station to the MARC train that took me to Washington DC.  From there I hopped on the Washington DC Metro and used that for a week. I was terrified.  But I was also exhilarated.

travel as a healing tool

I waited on the tracks until Ernie asked and we went back upstairs to sit in comfort in the train lobby

I have learned the easiest way to minimize fears is to ask strangers for help. I know, that sounds counter-intuitive.  Especially for someone like me who couldn’t trust her own parents, approaching strangers should be hard.  And once it was.  But I have learned that most strangers are very kind, especially if you appear lost. I learned that instead of taking a $30 taxi ride from BWI airport to the Embassy Suites in Baltimore Harbor, I could spend $3 and take the light rail from the airport. It dropped me off about 4 blocks from my hotel.  Easy-peasy. To navigate Baltimore harbor, I asked the concierge at our hotel, and he encouraged me to use the Baltimore free Circulator. Nice.  Leaving the hotel I was told to take the same circulator to Penn Station. At Penn station I went to the train track but then learned you had to wait upstairs in the lobby.  Okay, I can do that.  Once on the train my fears kicked in and I stood up for the length of the entire stop instead of sitting.  As if no one else was getting off! LMAO.  I shrugged at the other passengers and freely admitted “This is my first train ride here.” They smiled. The Washington Metro is a simple system. You just look for the station the train ends at, and your stop is somewhere along the way.

Travel Selfie in front of the White House....the secret service said "Ma'am, no photos!" Glad we didn't end up in jail!

Selfie in front of the White House….the secret service said “Ma’am, no photos!” Glad we didn’t end up in jail!

I have learned that being afraid is okay.  It’s staying afraid that stops me from living life. I encourage you to make wrong turns, miss airplane connections, take the wrong bus for a stop or two….and live life.

How has travel changed your life? What are your favorite travel mishaps that in retrospect made for great stories? I’d love to hear from you!

or

 

How to Easily Create Healthy Habits

By Samantha Hua, Nutritional Coach

How to Create Healthy Habits Easily
Do you struggle to eat healthy and exercise?  Wonder why some people do it so naturally and you have to struggle on a daily basis counting those stupid calories, resisting temptations, and becoming increasingly frustrated that you keep failing to “stay on track?” Here are some steps to help you get started.  Make sure you seek support as we are social creatures and need support in order to succeed. Let me ask you one question….how often do you brush your teeth?  Are there days that you forget?  Of course not!!  That would be gross!  It’s automatic that you never wake up forgetting.  You’ve built an ingrained habit.  That’s what we do at Happy Food.  We make healthy lifestyles automatic.  Here are just a few tips to get you started before we start working together for true success:

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of stock images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. Set realistic intentions.  What do you want to accomplish?  Everyone wants overnight results so as an example, we go from never moving to hitting the gym 5-7 times a week for 45 minutes.  That’s unrealistic and you WILL fail!  Baby steps. Celebrate small successes.  We always focus on our downfalls and fail to see where we actually succeed so we unintentionally feed the wrong fire, making it feel like being healthy is impossible.  Actually, it’s trying to be perfect that is impossible.  Being healthy is easy!

 

 

2. Create rituals.  Without rituals, our brain would literally explode because we make thousands of decisions per day.  Just like brushing your teeth takes no thinking, what is your eating and exercising ritual

3. Trust in time.  Our society is always looking for short cuts.  True transformation takes time, then it becomes your natural deposition.  Instead, there’s always someone out there wanting to make money by selling us the latest weight loss product which not only dis-empowers but doesn’t solve our problem.  We’re stuck with being fatter, sicker, and feeling even more defeated.

Image courtesy of tiramisustudio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of tiramisustudio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Learn nutritional, mental, and spiritual techniques to help you reach your goals with ease.  Stop dieting and get a free health consultation to see if this is the right match for you. http://www.happyfoodhealth.com/ or (619) 876-2655.  Weed through the fad diets and do what truly works in the long run for you and your family. www.HappyFoodHealth.com/blog

Unpacking Your Past — To Share or not to Share?

Often when beginning a new relationship you want it to be built on honesty, love and respect. So you now begin to ask yourself  “How honest should I be? Do I share everything? Do I share my past hurts? Betrayals? Disappointments? Do I share the nature of my last relationship; i.e. how it began & ended? Will they judge me based on my past and look at me differently if I share too much? Will they end things prematurely, before we even really get started, because they feel that I am not who they thought me to be, now that I have opened up and shared my past with them? And will I lose out on what could be THE love of my life because I’ve shared too much?”

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key to when sharing your past, is that you must be cautious with who you share it with. Before you open yourself up and share some of your most vulnerable moments and experiences in your life, know WHO you are sharing it with. Be sure that they will handle your past with care and not use what you share as COLLATERAL. Be sure that before you open up, you know where their heart lies. Ask yourself if they are capable of empathizing with complete strangers? Are they quick to judge others? And how comfortable are they with allowing you to witness their vulnerable side? Once you determine that they are slow to judge, capable of empathizing with others regardless of their personal connection (to them) and are comfortable being vulnerable in your presence; you can then begin to “UNPACK YOUR PAST”.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet remember, to be careful not to share too much all at once. As time progresses and your relationship grows, share a little more. You’ll find that the give and take method (you share a little, they share a little) is very useful when “UNPACKING YOUR PAST” with your partner. You’ll discover that your willingness to share your past betrayals, indiscretions, and disappointments strengthens your bond. You’ll also discover that being willing to give of yourself and expose your vulnerabilities and short comings with THEE right person will lead to a relationship built on trust, care, compromise and compassion.

The key, is to know your partner before you take it to the next level and feel comfortable, so that you can begin to “UNPACK YOUR PAST”.

 

Truth, Healing & Evolution Counseling Services

www.Truthhealingevolution.Com

Text Journey2TRUTH to 22828 to Connect

Previously published on authenticwomancafe.com

Pedestalizing

Placing Them On A Pedestal Doesn’t Make Them Perfect

Pedestalizing – The act of placing your mate, loved one, child, friend, co-worker or acquaintance on a pedestal; only to discover that they are not Perfect.

When we gain enough courage and open up our hearts to new friendships, relationships, and partnerships, we are making the conscious choice to love/trust again. In the beginning everything is picture perfect and the honeymoon phase is in full bloom. But for some instead of engaging in healthy, productive relationships, friendships or partnerships, they pedalstilize their new mate, friend or partner. And during this time we ignore truths, turn a blind eye to the obvious and walk in ignorance. And for those of us who have endured many heartbreaks, let downs and disappointments, we tend to place our new mate, partner or “friend” on a pedestal. By placing our new mate, partner or “friend” on a pedestal we run the risk of being bamboozled and hurt, let down or disappointed yet again.

So the question is why do we pedalstilize or new mates, friends and partners? Is our fear of being let down, hurt, rejected and disappointed so deeply imbedded within, that we are willing to accept anything and live with lies? Are we so broken within that we tell ourselves that we will not endure another failed friendship, relationship or partnership, so we choose to live in ignorant bliss?

The problem with Pedestalizing someone is that we accept anything b/c of our fears. When we choose to place our new friend, mate or partner on a pedestal we are doing it for our own benefit. It allows us to keep running from our fears and keeps us from facing the truth about ourselves; which is perhaps we are not yet ready to engage in new relationships, partnerships or friendships. Perhaps we have not yet dealt with why our previous relationships, partnerships or friendships did not work and the part that we played in their demise. And perhaps we are not yet ready to love/trust again and instead should be focused on conquering the fears that have our hearts & emotions bound.

Wendy Whitmore MS LMFT & Life Coach
www.truthhealingevolution.com

Healing Journey Blog – Part 2

Hockey and Healing

photo courtesy of www.theepochtimes.com-

photo courtesy of www.theepochtimes.com-

Hockey games are not quiet, civilized affairs. They are noisy, fast and hard games played on ice-cement and require not just skating skill but also strategy, physical stamina and a warrior’s will to win.  The audience becomes another player on the team, cheering the wins, groaning over losses and screaming to kill the referee over unjust penalties.

Hockey games are punctuated by loud music. Blaring horns on a goal. The thump of bodies slamming against the fence. Hockey games are fierce rivalries of warrior factions. This is not a dignified polo or baseball game. Blood is drawn and there penalties for tripping, high-sticking, and unsportsmanlike conduct,. The audience becomes the voice of the team, screaming in jubilation and crying in defeat.

Hockey is a fast game requiring insane athleticism and lightening fast hand-eye coordination. Hockey is the one sport I can sit and watch with undivided attention.  Even if there are no points being won, the movement on the ice is mesmerizing.  I know from the very small ability I have to both roller-and-ice-skate how much training and practice went into these men becoming world-class hockey players.

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty throws off Coyotes winger Shane Doan after they tackle each other at center ice late in Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference Finals.photo courtesy of framework.latimes.com-

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty throws off Coyotes winger Shane Doan after they tackle each other at center ice late in Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference Finals.photo courtesy of framework.latimes.com-

One of Ernie and my first dates was a hockey game.  I had no idea how to react; I had never been to a sports event.  My father was very anti-sports, so I didn’t know the rules or what to do. He thought sports was a waste of time.  I had no idea how to get involved in this communal event and was fascinated watching people get so worked up over a game. I felt phony rising up from the bench with everyone else….kind of like I did when I went to church with friends and they would rise to sing hymns.  I didn’t know how to react.

private box photo courtesy of www.nba.com-

private box photo courtesy of www.nba.com-

Fast forward 15 years of marriage and an invite to a private box at Staples center to watch a Kings/Flames game.  I was not feeling well (ended up with the flu) but I still got caught up in the excitement of the game.  I felt a part of the community. I understood how the game was played. I understood the language. I belonged.

Saint George slaying the dragon, Unterlinden Museum, Colmar. Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org-

Saint George slaying the dragon, Unterlinden Museum, Colmar. Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org-

My father was wrong.  We no longer have dragons to slay or marauding armies at the castle gate.  We don’t barn-raise or have quilting circles.  But we do have sports teams, and that’s the closest many of us in the modern world get to that feeling of community.

Now It’s Your Turn! What is your favorite sport, and why?

 

3:30 AM

3:30 AM

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is anyone else awake? Anyone else up, fully awake at 3:30 AM?

I’ve actually been up since midnight.  Made the mistake of falling asleep watching TV after dinner, and got enough sleep apparently.  Read half of Anne LaMott’s Bird by Bird and my eyes are scratchy.

Tried taking a sleeping pill at midnight.  Nothing.  Took some Robitussin with Codeine with it (I”m recovering from the flu).  Normally that combo will work.  Nope. Not tonight. Or rather, not this morning.

Took another sleeping pill (melatonin) at 1:30 in desperate hopes. Nope.  Still awake. Tried to wear myself out by playing innumerable games of Candy Crush, Candy Crush Soda, Farm Rescue, Pet Rescue, Cookie Jam.  Nothing.  My eyes are even more itchy and scratchy now.

I’m punchy because I need to sleep, but it’s 3:30 AM and the alarm goes off at 6:30 AM. If I actually fall asleep now it will be worse than powering through the alarm and the workday.

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3:30 AM.  The hour of existential angst.  The world outside is quiet. No cars are rushing by, no children are calling out in the park behind my house.  The only sound is from a wind chime as it flutters in the very slight breeze.  It’s not even making a wind-chimey sound.  It’s just dinging; just one chime is chiming.  Is chiming a word? It must be, because my spell checker didn’t get upset.

Two of my dogs are with me.  LeeLee because she is my limpet, attached to me wherever I go.  She is huddled in her cave underneath the table at my feet.  Maggie (my favorite, don’t tell the others!) lays next to me.  She gazes up at me.  She can’t figure out why I left the cozy bed to come work on the computer.  But as is the loyal way of dogs, she follows me.

3:30 AM. Man I’m tired.  I have a woozy headache, probably from one too many melatonin pills.  Did you know that in Europe you need to have a prescription to get melatonin? But in the States you can just buy it over the counter.

Image courtesy of Liz Noffsinger at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Liz Noffsinger at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3:30 AM. Am I the only one awake?  I check Facebook but no one else seems to be awake.  Lots of requests for Candy Crush lives though. I troll through my newsfeed getting updated on friend’s lives.  One friend is at dinner, another is buying wind chimes made of tea pots and spoons, another is being installed as PSAR president. Another is whale watching and yet another was surfing.

Oh, and it’s Girl Scout cookie time.  How many boxes of Thin Mints shall I buy for the office? I will have to avoid grocery stores in the afternoons for about a month now, as I am committed to a neighbor’s child and a vendor’s daughter as well.

These are the random thoughts I have at 3:30 AM.

Now it’s Your Turn! What do you do at 3:30 AM when you can’t sleep?

Liz Obert’s The Secret Lives of People Living with Depression

The Secret Lives of People Living with Depression

The secret lives of people living with mental illness Photo courtesy Liz Obert www.lizobert.com

The secret lives of people living with mental illness
Photo courtesy Liz Obert www.lizobert.com

I recently read Katherine Brooks’ op-ed on the Huffington Post “Exploring the Double Lives of Everyday People Living With Mental Illness” by the photographer who chose to open the curtains and expose the dual world people who struggle with mental illness live in.

I struggle with depression and have the meds to help me get through life with a smile, but there are days when darkness covers my life.  I am normally a happy, vivacious person; I’ve learned to find joy despite child abuse.  However, there are days I wake up and don’t care about anything that is important to me — my beloved husband, my sweet dogs, my writing or artwork, my garden —- nothing.  I have what most of the world would consider incredible success —- I have a 20 year marriage, own a home, have my own business, control my time.  Yet on those days I tell myself I am a loser and hate my life.

Photo Courtesy of Liz Obert  http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Megan_large.html

Photo Courtesy of Liz Obert http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Megan_large.html

When I try to explain this to others they just can’t grasp it.  How could such a positive person have days of self-loathing and sadness? Well, it happens, it’s true, and depression is an illness, not a moral failing.

So I was thrilled to learn that Liz Obert is courageously illustrating through her photography the darkness that hides within your friends, children, parents, colleagues and loved ones.

photo courtesy of http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Marie_large.html

photo courtesy of http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Marie_large.html

Liz Obert has been an artist since she was a child. She worked with painting, mixed media and installation work until a photography class transformed her artwork.

I asked her why she decided to do a photo series on the duality of depression, and she said “I wanted to do something personal with my photography and I’ve always lived this double life of holding a job and then going home and dealing with the depression.  Then the idea came to me to photograph both sides of my personality” She told me that she is inspired by the world around her, whether it is by objects or personal issues.

Liz Obert’s work can be seen in Portland in June at the Olympic Mills Commerce Center and in McMinnville, Oregon  in September at the Linfield College. Her work “The Secret Dual Lives of People Living With Mental Illness” recently won the top spot in the Top 10 most popular Photography Posts of 2014 in Slate Magazine

http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Wil_large.html

http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Wil_large.html

I am glad to see that more people are “coming out” and acknowledging they suffer from depression. For too long it has been looked at as a personal failure, an inability to suck it up and be happy, a self-indulgent habit of weak-minded people.  Depression is anything but that.  People who struggle with depression yet get out of bed on the good days, suit up and face the world and contribute to is, truly are spiritual warriors.  They struggle with an incomprehensible inner pain that provides no warning before it arrives, and they get through the dark days anyway.  In many ways, people who struggle with depression and then work in the world are probably some of the most optimistic people you will ever meet.

I’m glad I had a chance to connect with Liz Obert, and I look forward to seeing more of her work.  You can find Liz at www.LizObert.com

Now it’s Your Turn!  Go to Liz’ site, and tell us which photographic montage speaks to you the most, and why.

 

In Spite Of… #InSpiteOf

We so often live our lives as victims of others. #inspiteof  Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We so often live our lives as victims of others.
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Guest Blogger Wendy Whitmore MS LMFT & LIFE COACH

As a survivor of neglect, abandonment, rape, molestation, racism and discrimination,I stand firm in my belief that you can overcome your tragedies, trials and tribulations. I am a firm believer that #INSPITEOF the barriers put into place, failed marriages, partnerships and relationships; it is still possible to succeed at love, your career, and everything in between. Many times when barriers have been put into place, your marriage fails, or your partnership dissolves, we find ourselves wanting to blame the world for our unhappiness.

Many of us will choose to play the victim role and not hold ourselves accountable for the part that we played in the things that are bringing us so much unhappiness. When tragedy strikes we naturally have a tendency to “fall apart”, and when trials and tribulations cause barriers to pop up in our lives, hindering us from being successful at love and in our careers, we look to place the blame on our partners, co-workers, mates, friends and family.

#inspiteof We can blame others or accept our roles in our life's situations. Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We can blame others or accept our roles in our life’s situations. Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet the truth is we are capable of withstanding all the negative, hurtful and disappointing things that may come our way. We have to choose not to be the victim. As a young woman I consciously made the choice to succeed and triumph #INSPITEOF the tragedies, trials and tribulations that occurred in my life. I chose to not label myself as a victim and to stand tall and proud in the fact that I was a survivor of neglect, abandonment, rape, molestation, racism and discrimination.  I chose to focus on my strengths instead of my weaknesses. I chose to embrace my flaws, imperfections and shortcomings and use them as a learning tool for both myself and the people around me.

You can choose to win and not be a victim! #inspiteof Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You can choose to win and not be a victim! Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I learned that choosing to live my life to the fullest meant that I had to accept my past and my mistakes and not allow myself to play the ‘blame game’ or to be hindered by the barriers, tragedies, trials and tribulations that occurred in my life. Choosing to triumph #INSPITEOF all the bad that may have taken place in your life, is the true definition of success and happiness.

 

Wendy Whitmore M.S. LMFT & Life Coach #inspiteof

Wendy Whitmore M.S. LMFT & Life Coach#Inspiteof

Wendy Whitmore MS LMFT & LIFE COACH

www.truthhealingevolution.com

%%name%%, Author at Healing Journey Blog

Author Archive

Oct
10

Transformation

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In today’s society the word and the meaning of the word transformation has been used and misused to discribe a spiritual person that’s into transformation.  Let’s begin by disecting the word, the first part (trans) has to do with something or someone that’s in transit or on his way.  The second part (formation) has to do with acquiring a form.  Therefore it means someone in trasit to a different form.  It must not be confused with the word change, when someone changes there is always the possibility to  come back to the original form , while with transformation the change is permanent.   Think of it as when the caterpillar emerges from its cacoon to become a beautiful butterfly.  It can never go back to being a caterpillar.  Transformation is evolutionary and not revolutionary,  one would wish that it could be as simple as transforming instantaneously as a genie, but no, the process can be long and trying.  It can also be short and smooth depending on your level of consciousness.  The important thing is to begin the process and to like the caterpillar, “Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, it became a butterfly”.

Categories : Bariatric
Comments (1)

Susanne, Author at Healing Journey BlogHealing Journey Blog

About Susanne

I am a 45 year old married woman who is a survivor of child abuse, addiction and low self-esteem. I hid it well and battled it privately. I spent 10 years reading self-help books, watching videos, going to therapy and seminars, and as I healed, I was able to guide my friends through their own healing journey. I have been compelled to start this blog in the hope that, if you are reading it, you are looking for answers I may be able to provide, guidance on how to walk through the spiritual quest we call healing.

Live the Life You were Meant to Live

It’s been an insane year, in a good way! Book published, workshops, caregiving and bringing my business back on an even keel. So I’ve been dormant on my blog and want you to know I am moving to more normal time-line postings!.

This post was written on February 24, 2015

I’ve really been struggling with my depression recently.  It seems to take more and more of my emotional energy to get through the day, so by the time I get home, I am emotionally drained and don’t have the energy to be happy. Tears seem to be always threatening, and there’s a heavy pain in my heart that doesn’t go away.

I.   Just.   Don’t.   Care.

I’m not suicidal (I’m much too interested in what’s going to happen next), but I am feeling that my life is pointless.

I was talking to a friend today. Her daughter wants to be a writer, and is attending Tulane University in Louisiana. She is studying creative writing, and her mother encourages her.  But her father, more practical (Like you, my friend says, pointing to me), thinks she needs to get a degree in a field where she can make a living.

It’s a reasonable thought.  Engineers, scientists, lawyers, doctors make more money than writers, unless they are Ann Rice, J.K. Rowling, or Stephen King.  For me to make the same money I do selling insurance, I’d have to sell 10,000 books….a year!….just to equal that. At this moment that seems a bit daunting.

It’s funny, my friend sees me as practical.  I have learned to be practical, but it’s broken my heart in the process.

You see, I listened to my father, and I got a business degree.  I don’t regret the business degree in that I met my beloved husband Ernie at Pepperdine, and it has helped me with my insurance agency….but it’s not what I dreamed of.  My dream was to go to Columbia and study writing.  I wasn’t strong enough emotionally, nor did I have the backing of a parent telling me to chase my dreams, and my parents made too much money to get any kinds of grants or scholarships, so I took the money path.

After all, in my childhood, money was our family’s god, our idol.  I’ve written about my father’s insane chase of money, and how it in the end destroyed him and our family.  In the end he was abused by a woman who wanted his money and married him when she thought he was dying.  She took everything and he missed living life.  The last words he ever spoke to me was “I regret my life.”  He spent his life craving money yet left it to a stranger.

So I’m a little warped by money.  I make good money, but I’ve created a golden trap for myself.  There are bills to pay, mortgage payments, vacations I like to take.

I want to run away and join the circus, but the reality is I can’t. Or at least, I have chosen not to. (See how we speak to ourselves?)  I have married a man with tap roots deeply entrenched in the soil, and he wants to stay put.  I want to stay with him, so I am tethered by a love-chain to the ground when I want to fly.

This is the kind of typewriter I used to write my first novel when I was 14.  Image courtesy of Just2shutter at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is the kind of typewriter I used to write my first novel when I was 14. Image courtesy of Just2shutter at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I was in elementary school I have wanted to be a writer. I devoured books, and loved to escape into different worlds. It made childhood easier.  I wanted to create those magical worlds myself, and scribbled furiously on my novel while driving around the country in our camping trips.  Being a writer seemed to be the noblest calling I could think of. Writing allowed me to vent onto the pages what I was unable to verbalize in my family. But I didn’t. I chose the safe path, the predictable path, and it has crushed my soul. I love my Ernie, but I yearn for the gypsy wanderlust life.

Ernie is good for my soul. He lets me be me.

Ernie is good for my soul. He lets me be me.

I tell my friend to let her daughter take the creative path.  Don’t smother her daughter’s soul in business, or engineering, or law, if her heart is not in it.  That’s a deadly trap that takes 40 years to kill you.  Maybe she won’t make as much money as she could being a professional, but hopefully she will be happier.

And in the end, isn’t happiness what we are all really chasing?

Now it’s Your Turn! Tell us how you find happiness.

 

Khalil Gibran and Healing

Khalil GibranOut of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. —- Khalil Gibran

I have always resonated with Khalil Gibran’s words. This quote helps me get through the darkest days that I have while I continue to heal and forgive.

Most days I am happy; I have learned to forgive those who have harmed me, whether physically or emotionally.  By forgiving them I do not condone their actions, but I allow it to not affect me as much.  I have found it is impossible to hate or be angry with someone you have forgiven. Forgiveness allows the light of happiness to enter your soul.

Just because I am mostly happy, this doesn’t mean the wounds are not there, and that my soul is not pock-marked with scars like the moon is.  I’ve weathered too many emotional meteor showers for my soul’s skin to be smooth and glossy. But like the moon, I reflect the light of the healing. There is the dark side of my moon, the side very few people see when they look at my smiling face. That is a big reason why I started writing this blog — to share the dark side so others could realize that even someone who seemingly ‘has it all’….a great marriage, owns a business, owns a home, has lots of friends —- can be silently struggling behind the smiling face and big smile.

Going into nature helps me heal. www.HealingJourneyBlog.com

Going into nature helps me heal. www.HealingJourneyBlog.com

I seem to write best at 3 to 4 AM. Perhaps my ego is still sleeping and the words can flow out of me faster and easier than when I sit down at an appointed time to write.

I write because I must.  I write to be a witness to life.  I write to help you with your journey.  I am always hopeful that my words help you overcome your own struggles, give you courage to explore the dark places, allow you to cry, to grieve, to mend.

You are stronger than you think you are.  Your soul may be seared with scars as the amazing Khalil Gibran says.

Much like these Pioneer Trail ruts are still here, my scars will always be there. But as with this field, beauty can cover the scars

Much like these Pioneer Trail ruts that were created over 100 years ago are still here, my scars will always be there. But as with this field, beauty can cover the scars

I will never be a woman who was not emotionally and physically abused by both her mother and her father.  I will never be someone who had a happy childhood. I will never be a child who wasn’t afraid and did her best to be good, fit in, and be invisible.  The things that happened to me are a part of my history and will always taint my perspective. But I have learned to remove some of the filters my family placed upon my vision and see life as the wondrous and beautiful thing it is.

I have been reading a book by Cheryl Richardson The Unmistakable Touch of Grace. Just as I am writing this I realize that Grace is what led me to Khalil Gibran. I was given a wedding planning book and in the suggestions for vows was a passage from Khalil Gibran’s book The Prophet on marriage. I immediately read The Prophet and was profoundly affected by this book.  Khalil Gibran’s words have always helped me. Now it’s Your Turn! Tell me how Khalil Gibran’s words resonate with you.

Essential oils and Pets

I am training my dog Molly to be able to travel with me amongst large groups of people, and part of her training is getting her used to the noise, stress and confusion  large events essentially create.

Molly dog

Molly dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

To this end I took her to the San Diego Pet Expo, held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar, CA.  I forgot to take either a stroller or her front-backpack with me (I’m learning as we go too!) and ended up carrying her quite a bit as the room was crowded, and with Molly being black and small, she is not easy to see, and ended up getting stepped on.  Not a pleasant experience for either of us.

Molly suffers from acute separation anxiety, to the point where she will froth at the mouth until she is soaking wet.  I had her up over my shoulders to give her a good dog’s-eye view of the happenings, but she was not a happy camper and I felt like a terrible mother.

Then lo-and-behold, I stumbled across an essential oils booth.  I use essential oils myself to calm myself down and help me breathe but I had never thought  about using oils on dogs.

The woman at the booth said yes, you can use essential oils for dogs, and she specifically recommended lavender.  Molly was a hysterical mess at this point, ready to jump and run into the crowd, so I had nothing but $20 to lose.dog vita flex points

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I rubbed the oil on the tips of her ears, and more between the pads of Molly’s feet.  I’m not kidding, it was almost instantaneous the change that came over her.  She calmed right down, and stopped straining at the leash.  Ah-mazing!

I think it’s interesting that the oils absorb faster into the bloodstream in dogs from their feet, just like with humans.

Now, a caveat. Not all essential oils are made the same.  “Pure” is a relative term, as is ‘Organic’.  “Pure’ means that if at least 10% of the bottle has pure oil in it, it can be called ‘pure’.  Hmmmm…. In Califormia, when the weatherman says there’s a 10% chance of rain, we go out in flipflops and no umbrellas.  Not even at 30% do we worry about rain.  So “Pure = 10%” doesn’t cut it for me.

Also, never, ever, ever use Melaleuca tree oil on cats or terrier-type dogs. Ever. Always check with your vet or dog health-care provider before using essential oils.

Now it’s Your Turn! What essential oil is your favorite, how do you use is, and why?

 

Hockey and Healing

photo courtesy of www.theepochtimes.com-

photo courtesy of www.theepochtimes.com-

Hockey games are not quiet, civilized affairs. They are noisy, fast and hard games played on ice-cement and require not just skating skill but also strategy, physical stamina and a warrior’s will to win.  The audience becomes another player on the team, cheering the wins, groaning over losses and screaming to kill the referee over unjust penalties.

Hockey games are punctuated by loud music. Blaring horns on a goal. The thump of bodies slamming against the fence. Hockey games are fierce rivalries of warrior factions. This is not a dignified polo or baseball game. Blood is drawn and there penalties for tripping, high-sticking, and unsportsmanlike conduct,. The audience becomes the voice of the team, screaming in jubilation and crying in defeat.

Hockey is a fast game requiring insane athleticism and lightening fast hand-eye coordination. Hockey is the one sport I can sit and watch with undivided attention.  Even if there are no points being won, the movement on the ice is mesmerizing.  I know from the very small ability I have to both roller-and-ice-skate how much training and practice went into these men becoming world-class hockey players.

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty throws off Coyotes winger Shane Doan after they tackle each other at center ice late in Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference Finals.photo courtesy of framework.latimes.com-

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty throws off Coyotes winger Shane Doan after they tackle each other at center ice late in Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference Finals.photo courtesy of framework.latimes.com-

One of Ernie and my first dates was a hockey game.  I had no idea how to react; I had never been to a sports event.  My father was very anti-sports, so I didn’t know the rules or what to do. He thought sports was a waste of time.  I had no idea how to get involved in this communal event and was fascinated watching people get so worked up over a game. I felt phony rising up from the bench with everyone else….kind of like I did when I went to church with friends and they would rise to sing hymns.  I didn’t know how to react.

private box photo courtesy of www.nba.com-

private box photo courtesy of www.nba.com-

Fast forward 15 years of marriage and an invite to a private box at Staples center to watch a Kings/Flames game.  I was not feeling well (ended up with the flu) but I still got caught up in the excitement of the game.  I felt a part of the community. I understood how the game was played. I understood the language. I belonged.

Saint George slaying the dragon, Unterlinden Museum, Colmar. Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org-

Saint George slaying the dragon, Unterlinden Museum, Colmar. Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org-

My father was wrong.  We no longer have dragons to slay or marauding armies at the castle gate.  We don’t barn-raise or have quilting circles.  But we do have sports teams, and that’s the closest many of us in the modern world get to that feeling of community.

Now It’s Your Turn! What is your favorite sport, and why?

 

%%name%%, Author at Healing Journey Blog

Author Archive

Oct
09

The Perfect Diet! Which One Is It?

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It does not exist.  Let it go.  Stop looking for it.  Let me explain why.  Our body is constantly changing and so is our lifestyle.  I recently read that:  “Each second, ten million red blood cells are born and die. The stomach lining completely regenerates in a week, a healthy liver in six weeks, and the skin surface in a month. Scientists postulate that 98 percent of all atoms in the body are replaced within a year, 100 percent within seven years.”  The only constant we have is change.

We all have different bodies.  My clients all eat very differently because we work towards finding the combination that’s best for that person at that time.  The best thing to do is learn how to listen to your body.

So, where does this leave us?  How do we get healthy and thin?  First thing we have to do is get rid of barriers that get in the way of success and often lead us to make poor choices.  The common barriers I see in my office are stress, imbalance, lack of boundaries, years of bad habit, over-worked, and most importantly—a lack of pure pleasure.  We don’t do enough to include joy and excitement in our DAILY life.

When we live our life full of joy and we understand how to feed our body, the weight drops off automatically.  That’s my definition of a true, sustainable diet.  NOT calorie counting, point system, discipline, torture, or exercises you hate.

Get support and learn how you can become successful like these people:  http://youtu.be/UG4do6iA-Lc.

Categories : Bariatric
Comments (1)

%%name%%, Author at Healing Journey Blog

Author Archive

Here is a post from a guest blogger about a different way to get in shape!

 

I never come home from the gym feeling sexy. I’m sweaty, hot, tired, looking for a shower, leaving my poor man to his own devices and watching the new episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Once more, gym work is so repetitive and regimented that the only source of entertainment is my iPod. Music was the only thing that made the gym bearable and I realised it was the ONLY thing I looked forward to. I sought a solution to my problem that centered around my love for music. There’d been many times I’d felt the need to bust out a move in the gym, sometimes the music just takes over!

Though I’ve always restrained myself. Until now.

My work colleagues and I decided on  some pole dancing lessons at Pole Fetish. While hesitant to begin with, I attended with the feeling that gyrating around a pole would be a bit uncomfortable for me. This is a skill that developed around objectifying women, that didn’t sit well with me. I eventually told myself that it couldn’t be too bad and well… to lighten the hell up.

I found that the whole experience made exercise so enjoyable. The staff were brilliant and I was never made to feel uncomfortable, I was in a room full of people in the same position as me, some of those positions were pretty uncomfortable too, but they had me working pretty hard! I never considered myself a great dancer, but with the teacher’s guidance, I was actually working up a sweat. It was a great way for me to stay fit, healthy and have fun!

This might sound strange, but I felt like I’d reclaimed part of my femininity by actively turning pole dancing classes into something that could build my strength, my cardiovascular health and lose weight all at once. I’d too quickly and easily characterised the type of women that did this, and it turned out I really enjoyed the experience. I’m still sweaty when I come home from a workout, but I guess I am feeling that little bit sexier. I’m still going to watch Grey’s Anatomy though…

Categories : Bariatric
Comments (0)

Khalil Gibran and Healing

Khalil Gibran and Healing

Khalil GibranOut of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. —- Khalil Gibran

I have always resonated with Khalil Gibran’s words. This quote helps me get through the darkest days that I have while I continue to heal and forgive.

Most days I am happy; I have learned to forgive those who have harmed me, whether physically or emotionally.  By forgiving them I do not condone their actions, but I allow it to not affect me as much.  I have found it is impossible to hate or be angry with someone you have forgiven. Forgiveness allows the light of happiness to enter your soul.

Just because I am mostly happy, this doesn’t mean the wounds are not there, and that my soul is not pock-marked with scars like the moon is.  I’ve weathered too many emotional meteor showers for my soul’s skin to be smooth and glossy. But like the moon, I reflect the light of the healing. There is the dark side of my moon, the side very few people see when they look at my smiling face. That is a big reason why I started writing this blog — to share the dark side so others could realize that even someone who seemingly ‘has it all’….a great marriage, owns a business, owns a home, has lots of friends —- can be silently struggling behind the smiling face and big smile.

Going into nature helps me heal. www.HealingJourneyBlog.com

Going into nature helps me heal. www.HealingJourneyBlog.com

I seem to write best at 3 to 4 AM. Perhaps my ego is still sleeping and the words can flow out of me faster and easier than when I sit down at an appointed time to write.

I write because I must.  I write to be a witness to life.  I write to help you with your journey.  I am always hopeful that my words help you overcome your own struggles, give you courage to explore the dark places, allow you to cry, to grieve, to mend.

You are stronger than you think you are.  Your soul may be seared with scars as the amazing Khalil Gibran says.

Much like these Pioneer Trail ruts are still here, my scars will always be there. But as with this field, beauty can cover the scars

Much like these Pioneer Trail ruts that were created over 100 years ago are still here, my scars will always be there. But as with this field, beauty can cover the scars

I will never be a woman who was not emotionally and physically abused by both her mother and her father.  I will never be someone who had a happy childhood. I will never be a child who wasn’t afraid and did her best to be good, fit in, and be invisible.  The things that happened to me are a part of my history and will always taint my perspective. But I have learned to remove some of the filters my family placed upon my vision and see life as the wondrous and beautiful thing it is.

I have been reading a book by Cheryl Richardson The Unmistakable Touch of Grace. Just as I am writing this I realize that Grace is what led me to Khalil Gibran. I was given a wedding planning book and in the suggestions for vows was a passage from Khalil Gibran’s book The Prophet on marriage. I immediately read The Prophet and was profoundly affected by this book.  Khalil Gibran’s words have always helped me. Now it’s Your Turn! Tell me how Khalil Gibran’s words resonate with you.

Live the Life You were Meant to Live

Live the Life You were Meant to Live

It’s been an insane year, in a good way! Book published, workshops, caregiving and bringing my business back on an even keel. So I’ve been dormant on my blog and want you to know I am moving to more normal time-line postings!.

This post was written on February 24, 2015

I’ve really been struggling with my depression recently.  It seems to take more and more of my emotional energy to get through the day, so by the time I get home, I am emotionally drained and don’t have the energy to be happy. Tears seem to be always threatening, and there’s a heavy pain in my heart that doesn’t go away.

I.   Just.   Don’t.   Care.

I’m not suicidal (I’m much too interested in what’s going to happen next), but I am feeling that my life is pointless.

I was talking to a friend today. Her daughter wants to be a writer, and is attending Tulane University in Louisiana. She is studying creative writing, and her mother encourages her.  But her father, more practical (Like you, my friend says, pointing to me), thinks she needs to get a degree in a field where she can make a living.

It’s a reasonable thought.  Engineers, scientists, lawyers, doctors make more money than writers, unless they are Ann Rice, J.K. Rowling, or Stephen King.  For me to make the same money I do selling insurance, I’d have to sell 10,000 books….a year!….just to equal that. At this moment that seems a bit daunting.

It’s funny, my friend sees me as practical.  I have learned to be practical, but it’s broken my heart in the process.

You see, I listened to my father, and I got a business degree.  I don’t regret the business degree in that I met my beloved husband Ernie at Pepperdine, and it has helped me with my insurance agency….but it’s not what I dreamed of.  My dream was to go to Columbia and study writing.  I wasn’t strong enough emotionally, nor did I have the backing of a parent telling me to chase my dreams, and my parents made too much money to get any kinds of grants or scholarships, so I took the money path.

After all, in my childhood, money was our family’s god, our idol.  I’ve written about my father’s insane chase of money, and how it in the end destroyed him and our family.  In the end he was abused by a woman who wanted his money and married him when she thought he was dying.  She took everything and he missed living life.  The last words he ever spoke to me was “I regret my life.”  He spent his life craving money yet left it to a stranger.

So I’m a little warped by money.  I make good money, but I’ve created a golden trap for myself.  There are bills to pay, mortgage payments, vacations I like to take.

I want to run away and join the circus, but the reality is I can’t. Or at least, I have chosen not to. (See how we speak to ourselves?)  I have married a man with tap roots deeply entrenched in the soil, and he wants to stay put.  I want to stay with him, so I am tethered by a love-chain to the ground when I want to fly.

This is the kind of typewriter I used to write my first novel when I was 14.  Image courtesy of Just2shutter at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is the kind of typewriter I used to write my first novel when I was 14. Image courtesy of Just2shutter at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I was in elementary school I have wanted to be a writer. I devoured books, and loved to escape into different worlds. It made childhood easier.  I wanted to create those magical worlds myself, and scribbled furiously on my novel while driving around the country in our camping trips.  Being a writer seemed to be the noblest calling I could think of. Writing allowed me to vent onto the pages what I was unable to verbalize in my family. But I didn’t. I chose the safe path, the predictable path, and it has crushed my soul. I love my Ernie, but I yearn for the gypsy wanderlust life.

Ernie is good for my soul. He lets me be me.

Ernie is good for my soul. He lets me be me.

I tell my friend to let her daughter take the creative path.  Don’t smother her daughter’s soul in business, or engineering, or law, if her heart is not in it.  That’s a deadly trap that takes 40 years to kill you.  Maybe she won’t make as much money as she could being a professional, but hopefully she will be happier.

And in the end, isn’t happiness what we are all really chasing?

Now it’s Your Turn! Tell us how you find happiness.

 

Hockey and Healing

Hockey and Healing

photo courtesy of www.theepochtimes.com-

photo courtesy of www.theepochtimes.com-

Hockey games are not quiet, civilized affairs. They are noisy, fast and hard games played on ice-cement and require not just skating skill but also strategy, physical stamina and a warrior’s will to win.  The audience becomes another player on the team, cheering the wins, groaning over losses and screaming to kill the referee over unjust penalties.

Hockey games are punctuated by loud music. Blaring horns on a goal. The thump of bodies slamming against the fence. Hockey games are fierce rivalries of warrior factions. This is not a dignified polo or baseball game. Blood is drawn and there penalties for tripping, high-sticking, and unsportsmanlike conduct,. The audience becomes the voice of the team, screaming in jubilation and crying in defeat.

Hockey is a fast game requiring insane athleticism and lightening fast hand-eye coordination. Hockey is the one sport I can sit and watch with undivided attention.  Even if there are no points being won, the movement on the ice is mesmerizing.  I know from the very small ability I have to both roller-and-ice-skate how much training and practice went into these men becoming world-class hockey players.

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty throws off Coyotes winger Shane Doan after they tackle each other at center ice late in Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference Finals.photo courtesy of framework.latimes.com-

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty throws off Coyotes winger Shane Doan after they tackle each other at center ice late in Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference Finals.photo courtesy of framework.latimes.com-

One of Ernie and my first dates was a hockey game.  I had no idea how to react; I had never been to a sports event.  My father was very anti-sports, so I didn’t know the rules or what to do. He thought sports was a waste of time.  I had no idea how to get involved in this communal event and was fascinated watching people get so worked up over a game. I felt phony rising up from the bench with everyone else….kind of like I did when I went to church with friends and they would rise to sing hymns.  I didn’t know how to react.

private box photo courtesy of www.nba.com-

private box photo courtesy of www.nba.com-

Fast forward 15 years of marriage and an invite to a private box at Staples center to watch a Kings/Flames game.  I was not feeling well (ended up with the flu) but I still got caught up in the excitement of the game.  I felt a part of the community. I understood how the game was played. I understood the language. I belonged.

Saint George slaying the dragon, Unterlinden Museum, Colmar. Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org-

Saint George slaying the dragon, Unterlinden Museum, Colmar. Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org-

My father was wrong.  We no longer have dragons to slay or marauding armies at the castle gate.  We don’t barn-raise or have quilting circles.  But we do have sports teams, and that’s the closest many of us in the modern world get to that feeling of community.

Now It’s Your Turn! What is your favorite sport, and why?

 

This entry was posted in Musings and tagged , , , , , , , , , by Susanne. Bookmark the permalink.

About Susanne

I am a 45 year old married woman who is a survivor of child abuse, addiction and low self-esteem. I hid it well and battled it privately. I spent 10 years reading self-help books, watching videos, going to therapy and seminars, and as I healed, I was able to guide my friends through their own healing journey. I have been compelled to start this blog in the hope that, if you are reading it, you are looking for answers I may be able to provide, guidance on how to walk through the spiritual quest we call healing.

3:30 AM

3:30 AM

3:30 AM

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is anyone else awake? Anyone else up, fully awake at 3:30 AM?

I’ve actually been up since midnight.  Made the mistake of falling asleep watching TV after dinner, and got enough sleep apparently.  Read half of Anne LaMott’s Bird by Bird and my eyes are scratchy.

Tried taking a sleeping pill at midnight.  Nothing.  Took some Robitussin with Codeine with it (I”m recovering from the flu).  Normally that combo will work.  Nope. Not tonight. Or rather, not this morning.

Took another sleeping pill (melatonin) at 1:30 in desperate hopes. Nope.  Still awake. Tried to wear myself out by playing innumerable games of Candy Crush, Candy Crush Soda, Farm Rescue, Pet Rescue, Cookie Jam.  Nothing.  My eyes are even more itchy and scratchy now.

I’m punchy because I need to sleep, but it’s 3:30 AM and the alarm goes off at 6:30 AM. If I actually fall asleep now it will be worse than powering through the alarm and the workday.

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3:30 AM.  The hour of existential angst.  The world outside is quiet. No cars are rushing by, no children are calling out in the park behind my house.  The only sound is from a wind chime as it flutters in the very slight breeze.  It’s not even making a wind-chimey sound.  It’s just dinging; just one chime is chiming.  Is chiming a word? It must be, because my spell checker didn’t get upset.

Two of my dogs are with me.  LeeLee because she is my limpet, attached to me wherever I go.  She is huddled in her cave underneath the table at my feet.  Maggie (my favorite, don’t tell the others!) lays next to me.  She gazes up at me.  She can’t figure out why I left the cozy bed to come work on the computer.  But as is the loyal way of dogs, she follows me.

3:30 AM. Man I’m tired.  I have a woozy headache, probably from one too many melatonin pills.  Did you know that in Europe you need to have a prescription to get melatonin? But in the States you can just buy it over the counter.

Image courtesy of Liz Noffsinger at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Liz Noffsinger at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3:30 AM. Am I the only one awake?  I check Facebook but no one else seems to be awake.  Lots of requests for Candy Crush lives though. I troll through my newsfeed getting updated on friend’s lives.  One friend is at dinner, another is buying wind chimes made of tea pots and spoons, another is being installed as PSAR president. Another is whale watching and yet another was surfing.

Oh, and it’s Girl Scout cookie time.  How many boxes of Thin Mints shall I buy for the office? I will have to avoid grocery stores in the afternoons for about a month now, as I am committed to a neighbor’s child and a vendor’s daughter as well.

These are the random thoughts I have at 3:30 AM.

Now it’s Your Turn! What do you do at 3:30 AM when you can’t sleep?

This entry was posted in Musings and tagged , , , , , , , , , by Susanne. Bookmark the permalink.

About Susanne

I am a 45 year old married woman who is a survivor of child abuse, addiction and low self-esteem. I hid it well and battled it privately. I spent 10 years reading self-help books, watching videos, going to therapy and seminars, and as I healed, I was able to guide my friends through their own healing journey. I have been compelled to start this blog in the hope that, if you are reading it, you are looking for answers I may be able to provide, guidance on how to walk through the spiritual quest we call healing.

Liz Obert’s The Secret Lives of People Living with Depression

Liz Obert’s The Secret Lives of People Living with Depression

The Secret Lives of People Living with Depression

The secret lives of people living with mental illness Photo courtesy Liz Obert www.lizobert.com

The secret lives of people living with mental illness
Photo courtesy Liz Obert www.lizobert.com

I recently read Katherine Brooks’ op-ed on the Huffington Post “Exploring the Double Lives of Everyday People Living With Mental Illness” by the photographer who chose to open the curtains and expose the dual world people who struggle with mental illness live in.

I struggle with depression and have the meds to help me get through life with a smile, but there are days when darkness covers my life.  I am normally a happy, vivacious person; I’ve learned to find joy despite child abuse.  However, there are days I wake up and don’t care about anything that is important to me — my beloved husband, my sweet dogs, my writing or artwork, my garden —- nothing.  I have what most of the world would consider incredible success —- I have a 20 year marriage, own a home, have my own business, control my time.  Yet on those days I tell myself I am a loser and hate my life.

Photo Courtesy of Liz Obert  http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Megan_large.html

Photo Courtesy of Liz Obert http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Megan_large.html

When I try to explain this to others they just can’t grasp it.  How could such a positive person have days of self-loathing and sadness? Well, it happens, it’s true, and depression is an illness, not a moral failing.

So I was thrilled to learn that Liz Obert is courageously illustrating through her photography the darkness that hides within your friends, children, parents, colleagues and loved ones.

photo courtesy of http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Marie_large.html

photo courtesy of http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Marie_large.html

Liz Obert has been an artist since she was a child. She worked with painting, mixed media and installation work until a photography class transformed her artwork.

I asked her why she decided to do a photo series on the duality of depression, and she said “I wanted to do something personal with my photography and I’ve always lived this double life of holding a job and then going home and dealing with the depression.  Then the idea came to me to photograph both sides of my personality” She told me that she is inspired by the world around her, whether it is by objects or personal issues.

Liz Obert’s work can be seen in Portland in June at the Olympic Mills Commerce Center and in McMinnville, Oregon  in September at the Linfield College. Her work “The Secret Dual Lives of People Living With Mental Illness” recently won the top spot in the Top 10 most popular Photography Posts of 2014 in Slate Magazine

http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Wil_large.html

http://lizobert.com/dualities/content/Wil_large.html

I am glad to see that more people are “coming out” and acknowledging they suffer from depression. For too long it has been looked at as a personal failure, an inability to suck it up and be happy, a self-indulgent habit of weak-minded people.  Depression is anything but that.  People who struggle with depression yet get out of bed on the good days, suit up and face the world and contribute to is, truly are spiritual warriors.  They struggle with an incomprehensible inner pain that provides no warning before it arrives, and they get through the dark days anyway.  In many ways, people who struggle with depression and then work in the world are probably some of the most optimistic people you will ever meet.

I’m glad I had a chance to connect with Liz Obert, and I look forward to seeing more of her work.  You can find Liz at www.LizObert.com

Now it’s Your Turn!  Go to Liz’ site, and tell us which photographic montage speaks to you the most, and why.

 

In Spite Of… #InSpiteOf

In Spite Of… #InSpiteOf

We so often live our lives as victims of others. #inspiteof  Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We so often live our lives as victims of others.
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Guest Blogger Wendy Whitmore MS LMFT & LIFE COACH

As a survivor of neglect, abandonment, rape, molestation, racism and discrimination,I stand firm in my belief that you can overcome your tragedies, trials and tribulations. I am a firm believer that #INSPITEOF the barriers put into place, failed marriages, partnerships and relationships; it is still possible to succeed at love, your career, and everything in between. Many times when barriers have been put into place, your marriage fails, or your partnership dissolves, we find ourselves wanting to blame the world for our unhappiness.

Many of us will choose to play the victim role and not hold ourselves accountable for the part that we played in the things that are bringing us so much unhappiness. When tragedy strikes we naturally have a tendency to “fall apart”, and when trials and tribulations cause barriers to pop up in our lives, hindering us from being successful at love and in our careers, we look to place the blame on our partners, co-workers, mates, friends and family.

#inspiteof We can blame others or accept our roles in our life's situations. Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We can blame others or accept our roles in our life’s situations. Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet the truth is we are capable of withstanding all the negative, hurtful and disappointing things that may come our way. We have to choose not to be the victim. As a young woman I consciously made the choice to succeed and triumph #INSPITEOF the tragedies, trials and tribulations that occurred in my life. I chose to not label myself as a victim and to stand tall and proud in the fact that I was a survivor of neglect, abandonment, rape, molestation, racism and discrimination.  I chose to focus on my strengths instead of my weaknesses. I chose to embrace my flaws, imperfections and shortcomings and use them as a learning tool for both myself and the people around me.

You can choose to win and not be a victim! #inspiteof Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You can choose to win and not be a victim! Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I learned that choosing to live my life to the fullest meant that I had to accept my past and my mistakes and not allow myself to play the ‘blame game’ or to be hindered by the barriers, tragedies, trials and tribulations that occurred in my life. Choosing to triumph #INSPITEOF all the bad that may have taken place in your life, is the true definition of success and happiness.

 

Wendy Whitmore M.S. LMFT & Life Coach #inspiteof

Wendy Whitmore M.S. LMFT & Life Coach#Inspiteof

Wendy Whitmore MS LMFT & LIFE COACH

www.truthhealingevolution.com

Frankincense

Frankincense

Frankincense

Frankincense is harvested from this tree

Frankincense is harvested from this tree

When I struggle with depression, the first thing my therapist recommends is trying another med. What amazes me is that there is no blood test available to determine the level of serotonin in my brain. My thyroid can be monitored, as well as my blood sugar levels, but there is nothing that says “Here’s the level she’s at, so this is the appropriate medication to put her on.” For over 10 years it’s been a patchwork guessing game. I think I have tried every anti-depressant in my medical plan’s program. It’s ‘Take this for a few weeks and let’s see how you do.” Sometimes the results are good; other times my depression has worsened.

So, I have looked for other ways to help myself. I have explored acupuncture, sound healing and yoga. Now I have discovered healing oils from Sandy Bredeson. I am so taken with these oils that I have decided to start blogging about them on a regular basis. Remember, I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, so this is just my opinion. You need to talk to your own doctor before you jump off meds!

I am starting with Frankincense since it has been a healing oil for over 5000 years and is mentioned in the Bible as one of the gifts of the Magi. It is called the “King of Oils” because it has been shown to be a powerful health booster, helping with mood swings, cellular health and maintaining a healthy immune system.

This is what Frankincense looks like before it is processed into oil

This is what Frankincense looks like before it is processed into oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I asked Sandy to tell her story about Frankincense and cancer. It is anecdotal but powerful.

One morning I awoke with a dime-sized ulcer on my left hand. My GP cut it out and sent it to Pathology. It came back as squamous cell cancer. I was told not to worry, they had removed all of it. A month later the dime-sized ulcer was back in the same spot.

I was referred to a dermatologist because the cancer was “aggressive”. The dermatologist said I needed MOHS surgery and they needed to remove moles on my arms. They went down 4 levels of tissue. I am a professional photographer, but I could not grip my camera for 8 months because my hand was so weak.

There was no guarantee that I would not have more ulcer-spots.

Since I am the only parent my kids have, I needed to be proactive. I Googled “What are cancer institute’s looking at as the up and coming “thing” for curing cancer?” I was surprised it was Frankincense. I thought Frankincense was unavailable in today’s world.

I needed to find out not only where to buy it, but make sure I was buying the best quality. I learned the FDA doesn’t regulate oils and treats them like supplements. With supplements you can add fillers, so you have to be careful on the quality. For example, I came across a site stating the oils were put through certain tests but nowhere did it say they actually passed these tests!

Frankincense doTerra oil

Frankincense doTerra oil

I found doTERRA. I liked that they had 3rd party testing and stamped their bottles to show they had passed the tests. I liked that they follow international guidelines, which are stricter than the USA’s.

I used Frankincense every morning and night, dotting my moles with a little bit of oil. In about 3 months the moles on my arms had turned gray and crusty. I scratched at one and literally scratched my mole off. There was healed skin underneath. Since I never thought this would work it didn’t occur to me to take a picture. I sure wish I had the “before and after” now.

Frankincense Sandy Bredeson

Frankincense Sandy Bredeson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can reach Sandy at 619-507-5354 or her website www.bredesonoils.com

Now it’s YOUR Turn! Tell us about your experience with Frankincense or other essential oils.

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One thought on “Frankincense

  1. I, too, was introduced to essential oils by Sandy Bredeson. I have added them to my diet of mainly fruits and veggies and have felt wonderful. Every night I select an oil to put on the soles of my feet (where they can do the most good) depending on what I feel I need. I have enjoyed the journey and am happy to refer doTerra to my friends and family!

Pedestalizing « Healing Journey Blog

Pedestalizing

Quantity:

Placing Them On A Pedestal Doesn’t Make Them Perfect Pedestalizing – The act of placing your mate, loved one, child, friend, co-worker or acquaintance on a pedestal; only to discover that they are not Perfect. When we gain enough courage and open up our hearts to new friendships, relationships, and partnerships, we are making the […]

Placing Them On A Pedestal Doesn’t Make Them Perfect

Pedestalizing – The act of placing your mate, loved one, child, friend, co-worker or acquaintance on a pedestal; only to discover that they are not Perfect.

When we gain enough courage and open up our hearts to new friendships, relationships, and partnerships, we are making the conscious choice to love/trust again. In the beginning everything is picture perfect and the honeymoon phase is in full bloom. But for some instead of engaging in healthy, productive relationships, friendships or partnerships, they pedalstilize their new mate, friend or partner. And during this time we ignore truths, turn a blind eye to the obvious and walk in ignorance. And for those of us who have endured many heartbreaks, let downs and disappointments, we tend to place our new mate, partner or “friend” on a pedestal. By placing our new mate, partner or “friend” on a pedestal we run the risk of being bamboozled and hurt, let down or disappointed yet again.

So the question is why do we pedalstilize or new mates, friends and partners? Is our fear of being let down, hurt, rejected and disappointed so deeply imbedded within, that we are willing to accept anything and live with lies? Are we so broken within that we tell ourselves that we will not endure another failed friendship, relationship or partnership, so we choose to live in ignorant bliss?

The problem with Pedestalizing someone is that we accept anything b/c of our fears. When we choose to place our new friend, mate or partner on a pedestal we are doing it for our own benefit. It allows us to keep running from our fears and keeps us from facing the truth about ourselves; which is perhaps we are not yet ready to engage in new relationships, partnerships or friendships. Perhaps we have not yet dealt with why our previous relationships, partnerships or friendships did not work and the part that we played in their demise. And perhaps we are not yet ready to love/trust again and instead should be focused on conquering the fears that have our hearts & emotions bound.

Wendy Whitmore MS LMFT & Life Coach
www.truthhealingevolution.com

Self Help

Robin WIlliams

Robin Williams & Depression

Depression is on the world’s mind right now with the tragic suicide of Robin Williams.  Robin William’s hid his emotions behind a seemingly joyous exuberance for life. His longtime friend David Letterman said “I had no idea the man was in pain.” That is sadly more common than you would think.  It’s quite easy to hide depression if you have struggled with it your entire life.

One of my favorite Robin WIlliam's movies, Jumanji. Photo courtesy of www.pandawhite.com

One of my favorite Robin WIlliam’s movies, Jumanji. Photo courtesy of www.pandawhite.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No one knows the pain you are in. That is the tragedy of depression.  It is easily hidden behind a smile, a laugh, a joke.  When you struggle with depression but must go to work, you exert all the emotional strength that you would normally use for joy and happiness, into creating the outward persona you need to face the world.

People who don’t suffer from depression don’t understand how your brain can shut down. People who understand unhappiness cannot understand the despair woven throughout depression.  For someone who is depressed, it is not so simple to ‘recover’ by going for a walk to ‘clear your head’ or going to a party to cheer yourself up.

Image courtesy of www.coolchaser.com

Image courtesy of www.coolchaser.com

Robin WIlliams had ‘everything’ but in the end he felt he had nothing.

I am depressed as a write this.  I have been struggling for about a week now, off-and-on.  My depressive episodes seem to be coming more frequently and lasting longer, much to my despair. All the projects, books, blogs, my business, friends and even my beloved Ernie, don’t matter.  The dogs I love and rescued? I don’t care about them right now. I am teetering on the edge of weepiness.  Ernie hugged me as he left this morning, and the hot droplets fell despite my best efforts to remain calm.

I can see the things I love through an invisible fog.  I can see them but I cannot touch them. My body is sluggish and my brain is tired. I just….don’t….care….about anything.

I’m not talking about situational depression; the kind created by tragedy, death, divorce, a business failure.  I’m not talking about depression that actually does go away as it is more a deep-seated sadness based upon an event.  The depression I write about is biological in nature, possibly hereditary, and can be controlled by but not cured by, medication.

Usually my medication works. However it does not work every day. On days such as today I hide from the world, weeping for no reason.  There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with my life.  I am happily married, I have friends who truly love me and wish they could help me.  I own a home and have my own business. I travel and take more time off than the average American. So on the surface I have nothing to be depressed ‘for’.

Fun things with my beloved Ernie don't matter when I'm depressed

Fun things with my beloved Ernie don’t matter when I’m depressed

Tomorrow if I feel better I will ‘regret’ the day I just ‘wasted’, which of course won’t help me move towards happiness.  So I chose to write today.  At least I am doing something that I can look back upon and feel constructive about.  Later today I may drag myself out to the store.  I have some things to buy for a business I am starting.  I will work on some of my insurance client challenges.  I won’t talk to anyone, but I will focus on getting something done.

Will it help? Maybe.  But then again, maybe not. Depression is odd that way.  You can accomplish amazing things and they seem worthless in the moment.

When I'm depressed, even my dogs can't help me.

When I’m depressed, even my dogs can’t help me.

I understand in a way what Robin Williams was going through.  He had different demons to battle than I did, but we were fighting similar wars.  I feel the pain for his family and friends.  If they do not suffer from clinical depression they will never truly understand why he took his life. Only he knew why, and why the tidal wave of pain that he had been surfing, finally engulfed him.  R.I.P. Robin Williams.  You are and will be forever beloved.

If you know someone who is suffering or you think may be suffering from depression or mental illness, reach out to them, no matter how often they rebuff you.  They still need to know you are there and you love them, even as they reject you in their pain. They are not rejecting you; their disease is.

 

This entry was posted in Depression and tagged , , , , on by .

About Susanne

I am a 45 year old married woman who is a survivor of child abuse, addiction and low self-esteem. I hid it well and battled it privately. I spent 10 years reading self-help books, watching videos, going to therapy and seminars, and as I healed, I was able to guide my friends through their own healing journey. I have been compelled to start this blog in the hope that, if you are reading it, you are looking for answers I may be able to provide, guidance on how to walk through the spiritual quest we call healing.

Robin Williams and Depression

Robin Williams and Depression

Look closely and you can see the sadness. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Look closely and you can see the sadness. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Robin Williams has shocked the world by committing suicide. His comedic genius masked a searing battle of the soul that he tragically lost.

We are stunned and disbelieving. Here is a man who seemingly “had it all”; An Oscar, fame, fortune, a staggering comedic talent. And yet deep inside himself he lived with an insidious pain that can be masked with a smile.

Struggling with depression and mental illness is like having third degree burns and everyone thinks a hug will ‘cure’ you.  Medicine can minimize the symptoms, self-help books and therapy can help you understand why you struggle with this firestorm in your head; family and friends can provide a safety net of sorts.  But in the end the person suffering with depression and mental illness fights a lonely battle with themselves.

Depression can break past medication and overwhelm you.  Things you love to do, people you love, cease to matter.  You can look at the beauty in the world and not see it through the film over your soul.

Loving friends and family want to be there for you when you are depressed. They think that all you need is a little cheering up. What they don’t understand is the very nature of depression is an inward journey.  This isn’t a case of the blahs, or situational depression. When you are depressed, the last thing you want is someone near you. The thing that might help is the one thing you can’t stand to be near.

Depression often hides behind a smile.  Photo courtesy of www.giantbomb.com

Depression often hides behind a smile. Photo courtesy of www.giantbomb.com

Depression is a cancer of the soul.  Many times people suffering from depression die in their late 20’s and 30’s.  Think Kurt Cobain, Lee Thomson Young and Mindy McCready. In some ways, for Robin Williams to have made it to age 63 with this disease, is in itself an enormous success.

You are fighting the voice in your head that insidiously whispers “You’re not good enough”, “You’re a fraud”, “If they really knew who you are they would reject you”. These painful thoughts occur despite any material success, and cause wounds that never heal and create mental scars. The scars may be invisible but look closely into the sufferer’s eyes and you will see despair behind the smiles.

We need to start looking at depression differently. Many times people abuse drugs and alcohol in an attempt to outrun their negative thoughts. Some end up in rehab to remove the drugs from their system; as if a 60-90 day stint will ‘cure’ them. This is not a disease that you recover from.

We need to become more aware of depression and mental illness, and stop treating it like a shameful thing that a person can ‘get over’.  Maybe a person can quit smoking, lose weight and stop taking drugs, but there is no cure for the voice inside your head.  You do battle every day. Let’s look past the headlines to the disease and give respect to those suffering from it.

 

This entry was posted in Bariatric and tagged , , , , on by .

About Susanne

I am a 45 year old married woman who is a survivor of child abuse, addiction and low self-esteem. I hid it well and battled it privately. I spent 10 years reading self-help books, watching videos, going to therapy and seminars, and as I healed, I was able to guide my friends through their own healing journey. I have been compelled to start this blog in the hope that, if you are reading it, you are looking for answers I may be able to provide, guidance on how to walk through the spiritual quest we call healing.