Leave a comment

For Those of You Dealing with Depression

Some years ago, I was in an accident that could have easily ended my life but I walked away from it with only minor injuries. After my accident, my wake up call, I slowly began to realize that I had all along been giving depression a home. I’d been letting it in as I would let in a familiar neighbor and feeding it like a hungry child. Depression didn’t have me, I had it, and I was hosting it without a fight.

Depression is sneaky, it manipulates you into thinking it’s ok to feel sorry for yourself and you let it take residence in your mind, in your heart in your LIFE. My friend, depression is a thief. It steals away hours, days even years of your life if you let it. Fight it off as you would a thief trying to get into your home. Depression is there to steal your life, your heart and soul. We think of our homes as the place with a roof where we lay our heads at night, that is not the only home we have. We have a home within the very bodies and minds we inhabit while on this earth. Fight off intruders even if they present themselves to you as someone you’ve known for most of your life.

My life, while by no means perfect, is so much better having fought this battle and at times, I still fight. For me, it gets easier with time and for me it has taken some time to get where I am now. We are all different, we don’t know how long it will take to get to a more comfortable state of mind. Start now and arm yourself with the tools you need the same way you would protect your home with security systems and weapons or whatever is within reach.
Learn to hear/feel the intruder approaching and start your guard right away, don’t wait until he’s taken up residence. If he all ready has then fight! You are fighting for not only your life but for those around you who are affected by your mood and by your energy.
These are good tools:
-Realize that you can control your thoughts. Not always easily, but YOU are in CONTROL – TAKE IT. So many of us tend to lay down and let the pain beat us to pieces. If you need to cry, cry, get it out. Then MOVE ON. Don’t let it become a part of who you are and if you all ready have, move on, it’s not too late.
– When you get upset, simply stop, pay attention to how your body is reacting. Take control over yourself and your mouth. Close your eyes, breathe slowly in and out. (I sometimes will go off to a room by myself, even if it’s a bathroom stall, anywhere where I can have privacy if possible.) Feel the breath in and out of your lungs and realize that this is the moment you have and hold. Right now. Not the past or what has happened to you – that is gone. Not the future and what may or may not happen. Right now just be in the moment until you are more at peace, more calm.
-You need to stop negative self talk immediately. STOP saying “I’m not pretty enough” skinny enough, smart enough, whatever. Realize you ARE enough, it may sound corny but who freaking cares? This is your life and it works, it doesn’t sound too good bashing yourself all of the time either. What good has negative self talk ever brought you? Are you doing it because you want other people to say “Oh stop, you are not that?” Quit seeking reassurance through others. You are the only one responsible for your happiness, not your spouse, not your children, not your BFF. You. Quit making excuses and do what YOU need to do to make you healthy.
While we are only responsible for our own happiness, at the same time, our energy, our negativity/positivity affects our spouse, our children, our co-workers, everyone you come in contact with, so why would you want to spread that dark cloud? Instead, fight against the thief of your life. You can be the victor and truly LIVE.
-One other surprising tool that I’ve found, is stop the gossip. Do you talk about people in your life/ at your employment a lot? This causes more problems than we even realize. Gossip is poison and for some people it is such a part of life that they don’t even realize how it can spider out and cause pain, not only in the life of those who are the subject of the gossip, but as the gossiper as well. If you are the gossiper, (and you have a heart) at some time you may end up feeling guilty for things you’ve said and you may worry about how it could affect you later on. It is also one of those negative things that causes us to lose our compassion for others. Go by that rule from long ago, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
-Start being grateful. Keep a daily journal of what you were grateful for that day. Write in it as you wake up and before you go to sleep. Even if the only thing you have to be grateful for is the air you breathe and the life you have in you at this moment, be grateful for it. As the other old saying goes ‘Change your attitude and you will change your life.’

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure this is all more difficult for some people than it is for others. It is also more difficult in the beginning than it becomes later on. Don’t focus on how difficult it is, focus on the fact that you CAN control it. If you lose focus, don’t beat yourself up, just re-focus, practice makes you better at it.

Stop right now and close your eyes. Picture yourself at the end of your life, in your mind, move into the moment in the future where you know ‘the time’ is coming soon.
Look back and don’t focus on the things you did wrong. Look at what you have the luxury of changing now and don’t procrastinate.

As far as most of us know, we have one go at this thing called life. Don’t spend it in front of your tv or computer or with the intruder sitting on your chest.
Get up, get out, help people, and learn to live again.
It’s ok, you deserve it.
No one else can do this for you.
Only you can do it.
Bless your journey, bless your life.
I wish you peace.

1 Comment

I Am the Film

I’m not the kind of person who normally deals out opinions on movies, film or documentaries. Today though, I’m going to recommend you see a documentary called ‘I Am’. It’s witty and funny and informational and most of all it will have you thinking about the world we currently live in.

Tom Shadyac produced this film. If the name isn’t immediately familiar to you, maybe you’ll know some of his other movies like Ace Ventura, Evan Almighty, The Nutty Professor and many others. If you aren’t a fan of that kind of movie, don’t let that turn you away from the power of this film. He’s probably not someone who you would think would create a documentary that could actually speak volumes to the way we as humans live today, but he does in fact, do just that.

Taken from the I Am website:

“Armed with nothing but his innate curiosity and a camera crew, Shadyac embarked upon a journey to discover how he as an individual, and we as a race, can improve the way we live.”

This documentary gathers some of the great minds of our time, from religious leaders, to scientists, historians and others to ask the questions “What is wrong with our world?” and “What can we do about it?”

I hope you take the time to seek this documentary out and I hope that you are moved as others have been to do more. You as an individual, or with other like-minded people can make a difference, you have that ability.


Not So Random Act of Kindness

There have been at least two times in my life that I have been blessed with not so random acts of kindness that I can honestly say affected the rest of my life.  Today, I’ll tell you about the first one.

It was a cold December weekend morning and I had promised my 7-year-old daughter the night before that we would wake up and put up the Christmas tree. That morning she ran into the bedroom as her father & I were still sleeping, and chirped “Mommy, Daddy, when are we putting up the tree?” the excitement was pouring out of her. I, on the other hand, was still sleeping when she crossed the threshold to our room. I, still half asleep, told her to give us a few minutes more to wake up. She then pitter-patted back down the stairs to watch her morning cartoons while I unintentionally drifted back off to sleep.

Very soon after that, her father & I were awakened by a big BOOM. Startled, I sat up and asked “What the Hell was that?” My husband guessed it was from outside, someone had dropped something big, like a trash truck dropping a dumpster or something. Figuring he was probably right, I started to relax but only seconds later, the smoke alarm started screaming and immediately we knew the boom had been no dumpster. My husband flew out of bed and down the stairs, he was going so quickly, I don’t think he touched a stair on the way down. When he reached the bottom of the stairs he could see that there were flames licking the ceiling, streaming out of the utility room, across the kitchen, and into the dining room. Our oldest daughter was in the living room unharmed. He scooped her up as he screamed up the stairs, “Get Out! Theres a fire!”

I always liked to think of myself as the mostly calm, level-headed one who would know what to do in the case of an emergency but there I was, walking around in circles in my bedroom trying to figure out what to do next while an unseen fire was creeping across the floor under me. After a few seconds my panicked brain cells started to work together and I threw on a robe and bolted out of the bedroom toward the stairs. As I exited our bedroom, my youngest daughter, our 3-year-old, waddled out of her bedroom rubbing her sleepy eyes. I had assumed the whole time that she was all ready downstairs with her sister watching their morning cartoons, if it hadn’t been for my few seconds of walking around in circles, I’m not sure I would have had the where with all to check the bedroom for my baby. I scooped her up as I flew down the stairs and outside to the parking lot and our car.

 It was a cold frosty morning and none of us had shoes on, nor the keys to our car. My husband was banging on the door to our neighbors and one at the far end was awake and let our daughters in as his condo was out of danger at the current moment. Not much time had passed at this point although it seemed to be moving so very slowly. After we knew our children were in safe hands, we rushed back into the condo to grab car keys and anything else we could. The smoke was all ready getting thick. Luckily my purse was near the door and I grabbed it, my shoes and the girls shoes and we got out. Neighbors had called 911 and we stood there, looking at our home feeling helpless. At one point my husband tried to go back inside to save more stuff but as he opened the door a cloud of extremely thick black smoke bellowed out and he closed the door in surrender.

There were many things that then happened, firemen, neighbors, family all arriving, hugging, supporting. My parents took the girls to their house as we stood by. The fire department put out the flames fairly quickly. A faulty furnace ignition switch had ignited small explosion in the condo we were renting. We had no renters insurance because “For goodness sakes, nothing like that would ever happen to us”! Ah yes, we were young and naive.

If you’ve ever had a fire you’ll never forget the smell that permeates everything. It’s a strong, offensive odor that tickles the back of your throat and clings to everything you may still own. Walking through the aftermath was so surreal and sobering. Tears streamed down my face as I looked upon belongings that just an hour or so before we had relied on but were now either scorched or covered in a thick black soot.  At the same time, I was ever so grateful that my loved ones were still safe and physically untouched. It could have been worse. Life can change in an instant.

We temporarily moved in with my mom and dad and as I sent my oldest to school the next Monday with a grocery bag for a book bag, I wrote her teacher a note explaining what had happened and asked her to be understanding if my daughter was a bit out of sorts or more talkative than her usual chatty self. During the next week, I took an attitude that was very usual for me to take back then, “Why me?” I was feeling very sorry for myself and my family and started sinking into a depressed state.

What happened next, I will never forget.

My daughters teacher organized a fund-raiser for us. I didn’t want charity, it was our fault we didn’t have renters insurance. I was willing to take that responsibility even though I didn’t know how we were going to do it. I didn’t have to though.  Just a week or so after this, my brother-in-law took his large passenger van up to the school not once, but twice to load up donations that poured in. As I sat with my mother and went through them, tears once again streamed down my face. There were Christmas presents and notes and checks and wishes of hope and good things for my tiny little family from people we didn’t know. There were baskets from the girl scouts & boy scouts filled with the little things you don’t think about losing in a fire like tooth brushes and tooth paste. There were checks from underpaid teachers for not huge amounts, but surely more than they could easily afford during the holiday season.

Let me tell you one thing I know for sure. The things we received meant nothing and everything all at the same time. What could I possibly mean by that? Well, the material things were not what touched me as much as the thought,  the concern and the sacrifice given to my family by way of these ‘things’. This act of kindness made my heart swell and my spirit so very grateful. It has touched me forever, not just for that day, that week, that year.

It has touched my spirit FOREVER.

The sense of humanity, community and the larger family hit home at that moment.

How has a random act of kindness affected you as a participant, whichever side you were on?


Build It and They Will Come

I want to help build a better society.

Our current society stinks. We need to continue a discussion that has started on how we can reconfigure how we think as a society. There are so many of us out there who know this world is headed in the wrong direction. The economy, famine, war, and the isolation that technology is causing, is polluting not only this spinning orb we live on, but our minds and spirits as well. There are many of us out there who want change. I know I do. But what do I do? How do I do it? Who can I do it with? I’ve done Google searches for gathering places of like-minded people. I find nothing. Google is supposed to be the answer all isn’t it? Yet I can’t find people gathered in E-Space to carry on this discussion with.

I laughed out loud when I thought of the title for my first post of this blog but I want you to all know, I’m part of the problem at this point. I’m an ordinary Midwesterner who is overly dependant on oil, consumes more than my share, watches too much TV., needs to exercise more, but Hey, I recycle and I’m kind to others.

I know it’s not enough, I want to be part of the solution and I believe there are many more out there just like me.

I feel as though lately, I have become more conscious, more awakened to the reality of what it means to live and exist. I’ve seen the changes just little things like positive thinking and choosing kindness over retaliation can create. I started out wanting to believe it, then started practicing it only to have it speak volumes to me to the point that I know I’m on the right track. It’s time to take the next step. I owe it to my children and their children and all living things.

My immediate ‘people’, you know, my family, friends, co-workers, as wonderful as they all are and I’m truely blessed with the people in my life, they aren’t yet awakening so I have no one to discuss how change can really happen and how we can all be a part. I want a place for others, just like me, and sages and visionaries to come and to discuss and to think-tank. I don’t want to form a religion or a cult or anything, just a more sustainable, kinder way of living as a whole. So many of us know it’s necessary but we live our lives the same way we did yesterday because we don’t have support. I hope that this can become a vessel of support for all who understand that change HAS to happen. This is my small part to continue the discussion that this earth, we as humans need to coexist not only with each other, but with the animals and the plants and the air that we are blessed with to live, exist and love.

For those of you who may read this and think I’m some hippie idealist, I promise you I’m not. I do however, choose to take my head out of the sand and open my eyes. Our current way of doing things is not working, it doesn’t take a hippie to see that. It takes a human who is willing to face the truth.

Are you out there? Will you join the discussion?

Whether you are like me and don’t know where to turn, come on aboard!

If you have ideas that you’d like feedback on, join in!

If you’re an expert on recycling, kindness, the enviornment, new ideas, awakening or anything else that you think would fit this kind of subject matter, we’d love to hear what you have to say.