Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Gentle Curiosity and Genuine Joy

Wilm climate strike sheet (4)

A parachute set up by students for all to sign

The following is a meditation written and read by a student leader at our local climate strike last Friday. I’m grateful that she let me take a photo of her notes. I offer the last line for One-Liner Wednesday

I ask that we all take a moment to be present in this space. Close your eyes if that’s comfortable. Notice the ground you’re standing on, the feel of your feet on the earth beneath you. Your breath as it travels through your body. The smells in the air…..

Thank you, Mother, for this day.

With each breath, I honor my life and all those that I encounter.

With each inhale, I accept the Mother’s wisdom,

her compassion, her strength, and her kindness.

With each exhale, I release my own ignorance, selfishness, expectations, and apathy.

I commit myself to gentle curiosity and genuine joy.

Noelle Powers

 

“I commit myself to gentle curiosity and genuine joy.”  _Noelle Powers

 

 

One-liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda Hill. For more information, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/09/25/one-liner-wednesday-phew/


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Program Nurtures Young Men in Baltimore #WATWB

Project Pneuma strives to teach young men and boys “the art of forgiveness, self-control and discipline while giving them exposure to a new world of endless possibilities.” I was intrigued and encouraged by this program’s holistic approach incorporating martial arts, yoga, meditation, and love.

“The Mission of Project Pneuma is to Breathe New Life holistically into the young men we serve by challenging them intellectually, strengthening them physically, nurturing them emotionally and uplifting them spiritually.”

For more information, visit: http://www.projectpneuma.org/

This post is part of the We Are the World Blog Fest which takes place on the forth Friday of each month. #WATWB is hosted by  Andrea Michaels, Damyanti Biswas, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Susan Scott and Sylvia Stein.

We are the world white badge


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Breathing Meditation in Rictameter

God's hand with sun coming through

I leaned about rictameter from Linda Wolff at Urban Poetry: https://urbanpoetry2017.com/2017/03/20/poetry-venture-into-the-wild/ 

This type of poetry uses 9 lines and a syllable count of: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 with the first line repeating itself in the last line.  Here’s what came to me:

 

Inhale

Love that won’t quit.

Gaze into  ancient  eyes.

Let wisdom and peace fill you well

Flowing to every cell and every thought

Until you love yourself so much

Joy dances in the wind

of your exhale.

Inhale.

I took the photo which reminds me of God’s hand holding bright light. There’s also a wing peeking out below the thumb, so who knows what that big hand is holding.


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Time and the Toilet Paper Roll of Life

socsbadge2016-17

This is the busiest time. No, wait. It’s not that busy. Maybe this is the busiest time since I started semi-retirement in June. Was that this past June? No way. I have to check that. Time is so strange. I think this is the fastest time has ever moved. It moves faster and faster the older we get, and also the busier we get. Just like the toilet paper roll goes faster as you get closer to the end. But then someone will hopefully replace that toilet paper roll with a full one. Usually a mom type person does that. Does God replace our roll when we get to the end of our life? Do we get another assignment? I like the idea of taking a rest for a while, in my idea of heaven being a cabin in the woods, running around with all the dogs I’ve ever loved…and then getting an assignment, as an angel or whatever God wants me to do. I just really want a rest for a while and to see my dogs.

I had no idea I was going to go there. That’s what I love about the Stream of Consciousness.

Though theses are the busiest times lately, they are also the best times. So I want to stop complaining and have some gratitude already!  My busyness has been writing, a little art, feeding feral kittens, puttering around the house in the never-ending busyness of things like replacing toilet paper rolls and de-cluttering.

The best things about this busy weekend are:

This afternoon, I get to read one of my two stories which will be published in the public library’s e-book about our coastal county. I should say, I get to read it out loud, in front of people! I’ll send you a link to the e-book when it is unveiled.

Tomorrow afternoon, I get to lead a guided meditation at a coffee house celebration of Recovery Month. That’s right, September is RECOVERY MONTH. We need to celebrate recovery because so many people don’t get how much work it is. We need to applaud people in recovery from addiction and other illnesses.

Both of these events are related to my work. The first, reading my story, is about my new work and my new creative life. Sunday’s event is about my old work as a counselor, which I continue to do one day a week. So this weekend is sort of an affirmation, that for now, I can do both.

Next week could be even busier. It might be the busiest week!

Monday I need to go cut my father’s hedges. And visit him which is more important. And then I need to go the old job on Tuesday as I get ready for a reunion trip with my high school girlfriends in Mississippi!

One thing’s for sure, I’m not bored.

And I am grateful.

 

Linda’ prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness post was, “-est” to be used as a suffix.

Read more SOC posts, and join in the fun at Linda’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/09/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-1716/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


13 Comments

Placebo Effect (or More Fiber?)

granola-787997_960_720.jpg from pixabay

I’ve had annoying, but relatively mild, pain on the right side of my abdomen for the past four days. The four days part is unusual, because I’m used to my body working through things faster than that.

So, yesterday, I finally scheduled an appointment at my doctor’s office for this afternoon. Wouldn’t you know that I’m starting to feel better now. Does that ever happen to you? You schedule a doctor appointment, then  get better before the appointment. Maybe it’s the fiber I’ve added to my diet. But this NPR story, about the how the mind influences the body, makes me wonder if there is some kind of placebo effect going on.

The article is full of interesting explanations about the placebo effect, how distraction can help us cope with pain, and the power of mindfulness meditation. I knew a lot of this stuff, but it helps to be reminded. I’ve been telling my clients, “What we practice, we get better at.” So, I really like the example, at the end of the article, about how practicing the violin for 8 hours a day is going to make a person better at playing the violin. (I’m trying not to think about potential neck pain. Quick, move on to something else! Like beautiful violin music!)

If we’ve practiced worrying enough to get good at worrying, it’s going to take some times to  strengthen the hopefulness (or mindfulness) pathways in the brain, so that we get better at hopefulness, positive thinking and enjoying the present moment.

I’m definitely feeling better – not 100%, but better. I’ll probably keep my appointment, because I’ve blocked out the time, and I like my PA. I bet she tells me to eat more fiber.

Now, back to that beautiful violin music:


16 Comments

Temper, Trek, and the Stream of Consciousness

SOC badge with butterfly

They say red heads have bad tempers. My hair is not as red as it used to be, but I’ve never had a bad temper. I don’t even remember any other red heads having bad tempers. Not that there are a lot of us around. I have a reputation, mostly on the job, of being a calm person. Yet, I don’t always feel calm inside my head. I have a considerable amount of anxiety. That’s probably why I like to teach meditation to my  clients, because I need reminders. I don’t like feeling anxious or angry. The times I’ve felt angry enough to lose my temper feel alien to me. Alien like going into a temporal anomaly. Where did that come from? Oh, my stream of consciousness.

Sometimes I’ve been tempted to let myself get really angry and blow up. It seems like fun for other people, or else why would they do it? I believe anger can be addicting. But I don’t like it. Not one bit. Except the cussing alone in my car, but that was last week’s SOC post….

Where was I?

Losing my temper, as tempted as I might be to try it, almost always feels wrong to me. I can feel anger, but I don’t like to yell a lot. I get shaky and feel slightly sick in my stomach, when I come close to losing my temper. Maybe it has something to do with Spock. That’s right. I’m going to sci-fi again. I think I need a Star Trek fix. It’s been so long. Spock, my first crush back when the original Trek first aired, almost never got angry. He kept his emotions under control with meditation and logic. I admired that in him because my life at age 11 was chaotic. That’s another story that must be somewhere on this blog.

So, what does this have to do with Anything Is Possible?

It’s possible to control our emotions, and not let our emotions control us.

It’s possible for me to feel and express anger without losing my temper. (My daughter would tell you that I have lost my temper plenty of times, but it’s really only a couple of times that I’ve really lost it.)

It’s possible to find a video clip of Mr. Spock losing his temper:

I feel better now.

 

Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday post prompt for today was “temp.”

 

If you’d like to join in the fun of the Saturday Stream of Consciousness visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/09/11/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-1215/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


6 Comments

Coping with Pain

sunset w bird soft

Pain just spilled out of  Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness post and  got me thinking about my frustration with prescription pain meds. I know some people legitimately need Rx pain medication at times, but after 27 + years as a substance abuse counselor, I’ve watched addiction to pain pills torment more people than addiction to any other drug, except maybe alcohol.

Add to that my experience of every time I’ve had  minor surgery or an injury, I’ve been given way more Rx pain medication than I needed. The last time, I didn’t even bother to get the prescription filled and did fine with ibuprofen.

Now, before you start thinking I have a high pain tolerance, think again. I wanted to birth my babies naturally, with no pain medications, but after twelve hours of labor with my firstborn, I was asking for a second shot of stadol. They said, no, it was too close to delivery. I moaned in acceptance, but would have gladly taken a second shot, even though I hate needles. With my second delivery, I made a feeble attempt to forgo pain meds, and caved again.

My second born, now an adult, also has no special tolerance for pain, but only used one third of the pain meds prescribed after her oral surgery. I waited for months to take the leftover 20 pills to the bi-annual Rx drop off.

So why are all these extra pain meds being prescribed, and why are the extras so hard to get rid of?  Why are we so quick to want to take a pill, rather than try alternatives? Part of the problem is that alternative therapies, like acupuncture and massage, are rarely covered by insurance.

If you’re prescribed pain medication, take it as prescribed, for you, and ask your doctor if you have questions. For example:

  •  Can I take less than what it says on the bottle?”
  • What else might help besides the pills?
  •  Can I try a heating pad, or ice pack?”
  • What alternative therapy can we try, like physical therapy or massage?
  •  Do you know people who’ve handled this with over the counter medicine?
  • I have a family history of addiction, is there something else we can try?

If a person takes opiate (sometimes  called narcotic) pain medications long enough, tolerance develops and the medication doesn’t work as well. Withdrawal happens when the body stops making natural endorphins because the pain meds tell the body it doesn’t need to make the endorphins. The receptors are full. And that’s just the physical explanation.

Addiction is sneaky.

I’ve seen it in action.

Most people have no idea how much work it takes to fight it.

Here are some things that have helped me and others cope with pain, both physical and emotional:

1. What’s the message?  What is your pain trying to tell you? Go to the doctor? Get some rest? Stop eating junk? Pain exists to let us know something needs our attention.  About thirteen years ago, the post-divorce relationship I was in was stressful (to put it mildly).  This showed up with increased heartburn, abdominal pain, and mysterious female ailments. My body was trying to tell me to ditch the person who was making me sick.

2. Prayer: Ask God to  show you the reason for your pain and to help ease it. For me, the answer doesn’t always come right away, but it comes in one way or another.

3. Positive Distraction: It’s probably not going to make the pain go away completely, but it will decrease your focus on it. Be aware of  things that don’t hurt. Watch funny movies, do puzzles, listen to music, or color in a coloring book. Focus on something other than the pain. My dad seems to feel better when he’s telling a story about his youth.

4. Meditation and/or Guided Imagery. This is not a substitute for medical care, and generally takes practice. I’ve had clients come to my group with a headache and tell me it was gone after practicing relaxation skills with guided imagery. It tends to work better for stress induced symptoms if we catch them early. I usually start with mindful breathing, focusing my awareness on the breath, without judgement.

For example, see:  Jon  Kabat-Zinn:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5Fa50oj45s        

Then, I move into muscle relaxation by imagining a soft wave of healing light starting at my head and moving slowly down my body, releasing tension with each breath. I imagine the breath softening the tension (or pain) to help it dissolve, allowing it to become easier to release. I repeat this wave as many times as feels right. Sometimes I imagine breathing in healing energy or God’s love and letting it flow throughout my body with the exhale.

Belleruth Naparstek is one of my favorites when it comes to guided imagery. Here’s one of her exercises for stress management :  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhTSaNwnip8

Thanks for reading this longer than usual post. I hope it helps somebody. Do you have other ways of coping with pain?