Guilt: The Monster That Needs to be Vanquished

via Daily Prompt: guilty

Depression is like a water vortex. If you get too close to its edge, it spins you down with a violent rapidity that even the strongest of swimmers find difficult, nearly impossible, to fight against.

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The key is to not get too close to that edge.

Sounds easy, right? Not so. There are many anchors that we carry through our daily lives that weigh us down and remove that innate buoyancy that would keep us afloat and able to get away.

One of the most powerful anchors is guilt. It gains its power from having a grain of truth attached to it. It can manipulate that grain to seem so large and overpowering that it just propels us right up to that vortex edge.

What can we do about it? How can we overcome it? How can we lighten the load that guilt uses to weigh us down and push us right to that edge of oblivion?

I have been battling this monster, guilt, recently. We’ve waged war before and I’ve won many times. However, recently, it’s been grabbing at me with its teeth, pulling me ever closer to that vortex that is depression. I know the only way out is to fight. But it had me in a strong hold this time. My usual battle strategies were only minimally working. I needed something else, another plan of attack.

So I started scouring the internet for clues. For for anything that could help me combat it this time.

In my search for an answer, I came across a blog post. Its title sounded too good to be true: New Neuroscience Reveals 4 Rituals That Will Make You Happy. But, I read it anyway.

Well, what do you think the first step suggested in this blog post was?  It was to ask the question: What am I grateful for?

That question made me realize that this was the place that I was led to–that I was meant to find.

I’ve often said that the Attitude of Gratitude is powerful and it can help you steer towards good things. I practice it daily. This resonated with me so much that I read on.

The second step was to label negative feelings. Well, the next time that wave of sadness pushed me closer to that edge, I remembered that step and I called out the monster’s name defiantly. I mentally shouted, “You are just guilt. That’s all you are.” And, sure enough, I started to have a lightening in my heart.

This strategy started to work to help me feel better. So, I kept it up. I didn’t try to counsel myself out of the other negative emotions with reason and logic. I didn’t try to squash them after a good cry. This time instead, I labeled all the other negative emotions I was feeling that go hand-in-hand with guilt. I looked at them and called them out one by one.

It took a little while. And, slowly, that lightening increased. I started to think about all the good things in my life, all the good moments, the memories I was grateful for. And I was able to swim away from the edge of the vortex.

As those of you who fight against depression know the vortex doesn’t simply evaporate. However it does grow smaller with each successive win. So, it’s important to keep winning. To not let the vortex grab a hold of you. To not give up. Not ever.

The post New Neuroscience Reveals 4 Rituals That Will Make You Happy was based on a book by Alex Korb, PhD, titled The Upward Spiral. It’s written by a neuroscientist and outlines steps to take to battle depression. I fully intend to read it when it’s available from my library. It will definitely give me more tools that I can count on in my arsenal against depression.

The Daily Prompt is “Guilty.” Everyone has something they feel guilty about. It’s a part of life. But we shouldn’t let the monster, guilt, goad us into thinking that it’s more than it really is, that we are somehow less than who we are because of it. We should call it out by name, label it for what it is, take steps to see it and decide if it’s something we need to atone for or a monster that needs to be vanquished.

via Guilty

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Just for today, I will be thankful/grateful for my many blessings. As a perk for Patreon pledges, I’m offering a bullet journal page for recording daily Attitude of Gratitude moments. If you feel so inclined, Become a Patron!

Thank you ūüôā

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What we can gain from …

via Daily Prompt: Premonition

When I was growing up, I had a huge fascination with spirituality, in my religious beliefs as well as my collective consciousness beliefs.

I read, researched, attended masses all in the hopes of discovering the secrets of the universe. Ok, I was a very imaginative and curious child. I learned to pay attention to my world and with mindful attention, there were secrets to discover. I learned to allow those insights and hints from nature and the almighty to guide me pretty much wherever I needed to go. I put great faith in things happening for a reason and was willing to continue exploring how to make myself receptive to information most people ignore.

However, somewhere along the road, as I grew up, I became a skeptic. Sure, I knew that women’s intuition was spot-on at times and that the human brain can take in so much more information than we humans realize and are aware of. And I was certain that intuition could totally come from unseen brain processes. I let some of that mindfulness go in exchange for the work-a-day world’s necessary focus. I had responsibilities. I had to earn a living. I let go my exploration of “unexplained” phenomena. And life moved on.

One day last year, after driving my mom to the emergency room and helping her out of the car, she blurted out, “I had a premonition.” Immediately, I sighed and prepared myself for a recounting of one of her hallucinations.¬† She said, “They put something in my neck,” and she rubbed her neck to show me where it was. I told her that her neck looked ok to me and that there was nothing there. And, we let the conversation go.

At the time, I didn’t know that would be the last ER visit she would have. We all thought it was only a simple infection that would clear up with antibiotics. But, while she was there, it was apparent that her breathing wasn’t very good. The doctors wanted to start her on IV fluids and antibiotics. They searched for a vein in her good arm and couldn’t find one. They tried many times. Finally, a doctor came over and together with her attending physician, decided to do an EJ. I’d never heard of that medical term before. So I stood back and watched as they put in an IV into her jugular vein.

It was much later in the evening that I remembered my mom’s words, “They put something in my neck.” She had indeed had a premonition in the car that morning. And what was even more amazing is that it had been so very accurate.

We brought her home the next day on hospice after subsequent tests discovered that the cancer had “bloomed” in her lungs and the immuno hadn’t worked after all.

That day, and her premonition has stayed in my mind. I think about it practically every day. It’s something she wanted to share with me. Something I’ve only shared with my family until today. I probably never would have posted about it in this blog if it hadn’t been for today’s Daily Prompt: Premonition.

Sometimes, life gives you a wake up call, a reminder that there is more than just what we can see. My mom’s premonition has renewed my faith in nature and the higher power that guides us. Since her death, the reminder of her premonition has helped me to begin to restore the knowledge I had as a child–that with careful, mindful attention to the guidance that life gives us we can be led to where we need to be. What we can gain from listening to those cues is priceless. But first we have to be willing to listen and then to hear.

Premonition

Learn for Free? First Enroll.

via Daily Prompt: Enroll

One of the best ways to expand your knowledge and brighten your horizons is to learn something new. I don’t know about you, but I’m on a very tight budget. I can’t afford what colleges charge for classes these days. Let me tell you how I enrolled in a class I wanted for FREE.

I was perusing my local library’s online catalog for a book I wanted to check out. I wasn’t sure if my library carried it. So, I was just checking. And, they didn’t. Which was disappointing.

However, I noticed one of those annoying adds in the side bar. Ordinarily, I’d have ignored it and moved on. Except, it was blinking at me about taking free online classes. Now I love to learn. In fact, adding to my skills bank is one of my personal goals. Of course, I followed the link.

I checked the classes available and there were many that interested me. I decided to try one to see how the learning platform worked. I already know the basics of coding my own webpages but it’s been a long time and I wanted to learn the current HTML5 standards. I decided to enroll and I’m currently re-learning how to build web pages from scratch for FREE!

My course’s learning platform is easy to navigate and there are forums to participate in to discuss lessons, get help and share ideas. My instructor is pretty good at posting to the forums by addressing questions and offering help on assignments.

And you know what? Many libraries now partner with similar educational sites. All you need is a current library card. The courses vary from library to library so you if you look at different libraries you might find the right course for you … for FREE.

You’re online with me right now. Why don’t you check your local library’s website and find out if you can take some classes and learn something new. It’s easy. All you have to do is ENROLL.

 

 

Doing the things that you love doing will…

Yesterday, I was watching online tutorial on an educational site. I needed a break so I decided to browse the site to see what else was available. It wasn’t long before I found a video by someone I haven’t seen since high school.

Let me preface by saying that I was pretty shy in high school. I didn’t have many friends but there were a number of people that would be kind and say “hi” to me or stop to talk with me now and again. Rays of sunshine: This woman was one of them.

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She was an ultra talented artist. I always admired her gift and her tenacity for choosing to pursue developing it.  And here she was, all grown up, presenting a video about her history, her growth, her successes and how she got to where she is today.

I smiled through the entire video. Because I always felt that she would go places and do great things. She had that mindset, even in high school. It was good to see her both proud of and happy with her accomplishments.

It also reminded me of what I used to love to do back then, and how I had chosen to set my “hobbies” aside to focus on my education and to prepare so that I would get a good job so that I could support myself. Back then, in my household, my joys were “hobbies.” And, to tell you the truth, I didn’t have it in me to push to succeed in them. I couldn’t see art or writing being my “ticket out of there”– “there” being my life of poverty.

They were decisions I don’t regret because they led me to where I am today. My life isn’t perfect but my experiences were crucial to my self-awareness and spiritual development.

Truthfully, I wish I hadn’t let them fall away entirely. And after watching that video I’m even more determined to, in some way, write and to draw every day. They are parts of me I don’t want to lose. They bring me joy and to put them aside to make room for some preconceived notion of what an adult is supposed to do to be a productive citizen is inconceivable to me right now.

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a small work in progress

Doing the things that you love doing not only brings joy to your heart, it affects how you are in the world. If more people experienced joy in the work that they do or the activities they pursue, the world would be very different than it is right now.

Is there anything that you’ve been conditioned to believe you had to give up to become an adult? Think about it. Perhaps a person can be an adult and still do the things that he/she loves doing.

All that is…

We as human beings seek to label and define things. It’s what we do. We can’t help ourselves.

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In our quest for knowledge and understanding, we name the things in our lives to derive meaning from them.

The Big Bang, the¬†Creator, G_d, Allah, the Father, Spirit and Holy Ghost, Jesus, Muhammad, the Powers that Be, the Aliens, the Universe, the Nothing, All That Is…. In our quest to define things so we can understand them, we’ve given names to the energy that created our world, ourselves and everything around us.

In this climate of mean-spiritedness, must we assert that our words, our labels are the only correct label and that everyone else is “wrong”? Can we not, instead, see how we as human beings are so very similar in our need to understand our world that we name things to gain understanding?

We are all humans, living and breathing, with hopes and desires and dreams, with concerns and fears, with a need to belong, to feel loved and to feel protected.

What if we could see that all these names and labels for the creator of the universe and all within as simply words of a different language, a dialect or colloquialism? Not one of them wrong, just different.

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Because after all, the energy of creation that was here before any of us existed is what it is and will always be what it is, regardless of whatever label we humans place on it. It’s not a matter of right and wrong, only different. Our labels don’t affect it in any way.

What if we embraced the differences, instead of calling them out and rallying against them? What if we could see and understand, that despite the names and labels we give things, that we are all human after all?

What if we all rebelled against this current climate of xenophobia, hatred and distrust and instead embraced the tenets of our collective faiths? What if we helped lift one another up, rather than knocking each other down? What if we truly treated one another as brothers and sisters in this journey of life together?

I can imagine a world where this would be true and it is not only beautiful, it is what we should have. It’s all that should be. And …

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Living in the moment means…

 

This morning, as I was bundled up in my comforter fast asleep, my beautiful dog came into the room. Concerned that I was still asleep (it was after 8am and she’s an early riser), she came over to the bed and gently pawed at my comforter revealing my hand. She put her paw into it and gently nudged me.

“Mom wake up,” she was whispering. “It’s a crisp clear day. You’re missing it. Come on!”

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OK, I know dogs don’t talk.

But what else could she have said? Little D is a dog, yes. And as all animals know, the place to be is in the here and now. It’s a beautiful day, she could be having breakfast, and going on her walk in the sunshine, sniffing the grass. She could be hearing the birds, searching for her nemeses in the trees (aka squirrels) and she felt the need to remind me that this precious moment was passing us both by.

To her, each moment is a moment of opportunity to be savored and sleeping it away is something she just doesn’t understand (unless of course she’s tired and wants to sleep :)).

This morning, my Little D was a reminder of how important it is to not only be in the moment but to live in it. To find joy, hope, beauty and adventure every day. It is there, however subtle it may appear to us humans, to be recognized, savored and reveled in.

So, after Little D put her paw into my hand, I smiled and joined her in reverie. After all, the sun was shining and it was the start of a beautiful, crisp winter day.

As naive as this sounds, you have to be willing to be receptive to the good around you. Living in the moment means being willing to shed the grumpiness, the preconceived notions of how things are supposed to be and to see the good that is around you, one moment at a time. Once you start being aware of the good things, more good things will follow. One after the other, after the other.

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The Outcome of the System of Reiki is …

In our society, many individuals feel that the reason for taking a course or attending a school is that ultimately it will provide you with either an increase in status or the knowledge necessary to further you in your career and, as a result, an increase in income.

 

Reiki is different. I’ve said before that the study of Reiki is a life path. It’s not a course to¬†complete¬†and be done with. It’s a continuing way of life that not only benefits the person studying it but the world around them as well.

 

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The tenets of Reiki bear a striking similarity to tenets of other spiritual paths in that they’re meant to further the evolution of the soul, to help one be the best person one can be.

While I was looking for some inspiration this morning, I looked to a source I could count on. Although I haven’t studied¬†with the founders of the International House of Reiki, I’ve found a wealth of information and inspiring articles on their site. When I found this wonderful reminder of why I began studying Reiki in the first place, I wanted to share the link to that article with you all.

So, without further ado:

The Outcome of the System of Reiki | International House of Reiki

Source: The Outcome of the System of Reiki | International House of Reiki

Professional Reiki training classes by Bronwen and Frans Stiene authors of The Reiki Sourcebook & founders of the International House of Reiki.