Dr. Suess

"And will you succeed? Yes indeed! Yes indeed! Ninety Eight and Three Quarters guarenteed!"

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mindfulness and Self Care

My therapist is good. Really good. She's managed to get me further toward recovery than either previous therapist. Oddly enough I felt more closely connected, emotionally, than with her.

Two things she is always talking to me about is Mindfulness and Self Care.

I've not done very well with wrapping my brain around those concepts. In the last 24 hours I've had 2 conversations where I saw people struggling and realized the hints given to me would be of help to them. In explaining it to them .. a switch was clicked in my brain. I got it! (guess that's why the say teachers tend to learn more than students?)

..keeping your mind in the here and now. What is in front of you. Mindfulness is being researched a lot these days. UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center has much to say about Mindfulness.

What is Mindful Awareness?

Mindful Awareness - the moment-by-moment process of actively attending to, observing and drawing inferences from what one experiences. Mindful Awareness (also known as mindfulness) is an ancient concept with over 2,500 years of history and development that has recently been brought into health settings and has shown to have a powerful role on overall health promotion and healing for a variety of physical illnesses including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, auto-immune disorders, chronic pain, depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

My therapist has given me a few exercises on it but it wasn't until today, explaining it to a friend just what it's meant. How to do it. I was reaching for a way to explain it, realized I needed to find something she could relate to ..ironically, it was also something *I* could relate to and it 'clicked' for me.

Coffee ... she and I both love coffee.
So, I told her to

Pick up the coffee cup.
Observe the coolness of the empty ceramic. The smoothness (if it is in fact smooth) of the cup, the texture, how heavy it is, what it FEELS like in the hand.
Fill the cup with the coffee. Notice the sound of the liquid pouring into the cup.
Pick up the mug, now feel the changes in the warmth of the mug. It's warmth escaping the mug to your hand, the steam warming your face.
Smell the coffee it's rich brew. What color is it? Dark, medium or maybe what my husband refers to as "newspaper coffee" (so weak you can read a newspaper through it)
Take a small taste (yes, even if you don't drink it black. Or maybe, especially if you don't drink it black)
Feel the liquid as it makes it's way down your throat
What muscles are used?
What does the bitterness taste like, pleasant? Unpleasant?

then go ahead and flavor the coffee with whatever you use to flavor it. Pay attention to the sound of the spoon in the cup as you stir it in.

Then taste it, what makes it different than black. Feel it warm your mouth and your throat as it makes its way into the stomach.

Breathe deep while doing all this ... Breathing in to the count of 4, holding for 4 and breathing out for the count of 8.

Paying attention to each step, each sensation (involving all of your senses) keeps you in the here and now. Not worried about if your child got off the bus with all their homework. What is for dinner 12 hours from now? Did I get everything done on yesterday's to do list? How can I possibly do everything on today's to do list?

For that few minutes ... you're there with a cup of coffee and nothing else matters.

It's calming
It's healing for the mind
It's refreshing
It's renewing

Try it ... you'll be pleased with the result.
If you find yourself in the muddle of day to day worries or in a crisis ... you'll find that participating in a few minutes of mindfulness ... a few times a week ...or a day ... will bring peace.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Before The Morning ~ Josh Wilson

Do you wonder why you have to
Feel the things that hurt you
If there’s a God who loves you where is He now

Maybe there are things you can’t see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending

Someday somehow you’ll see you’ll see

Would you dare would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It can’t compare to the joy that’s coming
So hold on you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning

My friend you know how this all ends
You know where you’re going
You just don’t know how you’ll get there
So say a prayer

And hold on cause there’s good for those who love God
But life is not a snapshot
It might take a little time but you’ll see the bigger picture

Once you feel the weight of glory
All your pain will fade to memory

It’s just the hurt before the healing
Oh the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning

Friday, March 12, 2010

Me Poster

Made this for therapy. Monday, we begin talking about sadness ... and the begin the process of trauma therapy. If you've read my blog for any length of time you know this is long over due. (and probably assumed I'd started it long ago ..but I didn't ..and now circumstances have pushed me to finally doing something about it)