Tag Archive | depression

Looking for a New Normal…Continued…

Welcome to A New Normal and Loving Yourself!

Welcome to A New Normal and Loving Yourself!

When disaster strikes, be it a hurricane, tornado, tsunami, job loss, illness, addiction, depression, accident, disfigurement, death, divorce…the aftermath is always about finding a new normal.  That’s it in a nutshell as they say.  You need to find a new normal and keep living ~ taking baby steps forward in life.  And I don’t say it’s easy to do because I wouldn’t lie to you, but I will tell you that it is do-able because there are people who have done it before you…and there will be those who will come after you who will triumph as well.

Right now, it’s you who I’m thinking of…you, who in this changing world, has to change as well whether you want to or not, whether you like it or not, because it’s required in order to continue to live.

They say water finds it own level…so like water, you will find your own level, your new normal…but it takes practice, it takes courage, it takes trust and endurance.  Sometimes it takes asking for and being open to receiving help ~ having a hand to hold as you endure this journey of life.  We are all connected here…if you look long enough and not give up, you’ll find a trust-worthy person to help you.  But you must be willing to help yourself…you must take that first step…and watch out my dears…it’s a LULU!  It’s going to change your life for the better! 🙂

Because once you’ve taken that first decided step towards helping yourself, whatever the situation is, you open yourself up for change to occur.  Most people shy away from change, if not run like hell from it.  It’s most likely human nature as the unknown strikes fear in many of us.  However, that’s when the most growth occurs and when that golden ring that you’ve been reaching for, finally comes into grasp!  It’s taking that chance into the unknown that leads to the next step for the better!

The key to all of it ~ the absolute key to making the new normal easier to live,

to accept and to transition to ~ is one simple ingredient.

Love yourself.

Whew…right?  You thought it was going to be hard.  But love yourself…heck that’s easy, isn’t it?  Perhaps you’re thinking that I”m off my rocker…well, you might be right 🙂  but certainly, if you take a moment, quietly, calmly when you have a few minutes to yourself with no distractions…slowly, repeat aloud in a mirror to yourself, “I love you” 3 times and notice how it makes you feel.

How do you feel?  In the depths of your soul, how did stating, “I LOVE YOU” to yourself make you feel?

Truly, I hope that it made you feel elated, that you hugged yourself and smiled.  I hope that repeating that powerful statement gave you a warm fuzzy feeling right down to your core!  I hope that you feel comfortable saying it and that you can repeat it 3 times a day everyday!  Because as Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral used to say, “God loves you and so do I.”

On the flip side, if saying “I love you,” aloud to yourself made you feel anything else, then we have some work to do so that you can embrace the new normal!  You think that you love yourself, but when you have to actually say it in a mirror and watch your face as you repeat this powerful statement, sometimes uncomfortable feelings come up.  For me, I know that I shy away from saying it to myself because I feel unworthy, I don’t feel like I’m enough and I feel uncomfortable, like I’m being selfish or egotistical.  It’s distracting to hear myself say those words and yet, I say and mean them all the time to my family and friends.  But loving myself ~ well, that’s been a tough one for me.  What’s helped me is an author whom I’ve talked about before named Louise Hay.  Below is Louise Hay’s Love Yourself, Heal Your Life Workbook.  A simple, no nonsense way of doing just that ~ healing your life ~ Louise gives step by step exercises which are easy to understand, for anyone needing a new normal ~ for those who want a new chapter in their lives ~ and for you who wants a brighter day!

Just Love Yourself…and if you don’t know how…then pick up Louise’s book for yourself!
Make it your own holiday gift ~ it’s a keeper ~ a life changer ~ and you deserve it!

Click on the picture to read all about it!

What about you?  How do you feel about yourself?  Do you love you?

Let’s start there!

Shine On!

xo

Shining Soul

Pick a star up in the sky and pretend that star is me.

Shining bright with love for you, so all the world can see…

Yesterday I told you a bit about my life and how it feels to be a woman without breasts because they were taken due to breast cancer.  This is my 3rd foray into trying to have breasts again and I am blessed to have found such an amazing doctor who has changed my life with her dedication to women who have endured more than their share of heartache, pain and emotional/physical anguish.

I will honestly tell you that the road to the ‘new normal’ after having breast cancer and multiple surgeries (10th breast cancer related surgery scheduled for December, but #14 in my life) with one more for 2013, is not an easy road to endure.  It’s a road full of pot holes, disappointments, pain and yet triumph as well.  It’s a road that is best when shared with others ~ easier to share with those of us who have traveled it or are traveling it with you.  It’s not for the faint of heart although I am still known to faint at the sight of a needle even after all of the needles I’ve endured over the years.

It’s no different than life for everyone else for we are all on this journey together.  None of us escape heartache, pain and sorrow.  Perhaps you’ve not had breast cancer, but you’ve been shouldering an illness, abuse, depression, a different type of cancer or some other difficulty.  It may not be the same, but the choice is ~ you can endure it and keep taking baby steps forward or you can allow it to rule your life and not move forward.

It’s your choice my friends.  What I’ve learned though is that it’s a choice that I make everyday. 

I can choose to allow my situation bring me down and epitomize the victim role/attitude by feeling sorry for myself, by crawling inside and not taking the helping hands which are offered to me.  Or I can choose to rise from it and shine like a star!  I can use my experiences (there are many beyond breast cancer but that’s for another day) to help others, to be kind, to be understanding, to have patience…to help, to support and to guide by what I know and have gleamed from my own life.

Learning to love your own body is a lesson we all need to learn, breast cancer or not! 

Learning to love yourself for me is a life-long process.

As I thought about my post yesterday, I realized that I have old tapes playing in my head of not being enough and perhaps that’s why I’ve been having such a terrible time lately ~ and perhaps that’s why Dr. Phil and Oprah’s magazine struck such a chord in me yesterday.  My inner voice, you know, that inner strength broke free yesterday from the bonds that I’d imposed on it.  Today I feel freer, I feel more like the girl I love to be ~ the one that may give you TMI (Too Much Information), but will do so willingly if it helps even one other person because that’s my goal here on my blog.

If I can touch just one of you, help one other person to feel that they are not alone, that yes, I have experienced the same as you and I am still here…inspire you to keep taking baby steps…then I feel like I am living according to my divine purpose.  Because that’s why we are all here ~ to help each other on this journey of life.  Helping hands can be found everywhere.  We all have a story to tell…it’s up to you how you write your story!

Breasts or not, I am still a woman who can say she is blessed to have seen the darkness of life and has chosen to search for the light and found it! 

You can’t appreciate the stars if you’ve never endured the darkness! 

Shine on my friends!  Shine on!

xo


Hope in the Year of the Dragon

in all things it is better to hope than to despair. —johann wolfgang von goethe

We’ve all had troubles ~ some bigger than others ~ and how we deal with them in the long run ~ makes it a long run.  Know what I mean?  That’s why when I saw this card, I thought it was a good one!  I recently was talking with a new friend I met through blogging who told me that this is the Year of the Dragon.

In researching the Year of the Dragon, I found the following:

Year of the Dragon Overview 

Chinese New Year: Year of the Water Dragon

“In a Dragon year, everything is magnified tenfold. And after the rather meat-and-potatoes Metal Rabbit year we just lived through in 2011, we are in for the ride of our lives. Commotion, turmoil and general hullabaloo will characterize the Dragon year ahead. As of January 23, 2012, better get ready to rock and roll — or else crawl under a rock until it’s over.

Think of the Water Dragon year as a 12-month-long, bumpy road with interludes of elaborate and joyful festivity. Fortunes will be made and lost with lightning speed. All events will be charged with a rare intensity. In short, 2012 will be a year of derring-do, hell-raising and exorbitant fun.

Dragon years are favorable for the enterprising and ambitious. If you want to succeed at something major, start early in the Dragon year. Don’t give up. Express yourself openly. Show no fear. In China, it is said that the Dragon year brings luck to those who dare to speak out, to take charge and even to take over.

Dragons are fearless and direct to a fault — but they are not without ruse. They’re clever go-getters who are always in the running for first place. They want to excel at every endeavor. Dragon years, therefore, are propitious for people who have the courage to take risks, to stand fast in the face of danger and hold firmly to their principles. For those among us who are timid and shy, who shrink in the face of challenge and who daren’t speak up for what it is they want, Dragon years can be rigorous and even a little bit frightening at times.

If you are a Fearful Freddy, you won’t need tranquilizers. The Water Dragon won’t charge into your kitchen and grab you by the throat. But the months ahead will be tumultuous, stormy and chock-full of rebellion. Dragons may be despotic, but they’re also benevolent and sentimental. In this coming Dragon year, anyone who’s hurting is going to hoot and holler until they get their fair share.”

Your astrology in the Dragon Year  exclaimed:  “Welcome to 2012, the year of empowerment! Fasten your seat belt because the days ahead are all about accelerated risk-taking and breaking through outmoded paradigms. To thine own self be true — no exceptions! Can you handle it? Of course you can! Just follow the guidance for your Sun sign below and discover how to make the most of all the amazing opportunities ahead. It’s all in the timing, baby!”  See link for more info from this source!

I don’t know about you, but after reading about this Year of the Dragon, I’ve got my lifeline of hope all set!  I’m ready to rumble (storms-a-brewin)  and I’m thinking of going for it!  Heck, after the grasshopper-help experience, I think forward is the only way to leap!

What about you?

Ready to Dragon wrestle with me?

xo

Spirits in the Night…

While we are mourning the loss of our friend,

others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil. – John Taylor

Years ago, I awoke from a dream that was so real that I called my parents to tell them.  My Mom’s brother was like another father to me growing up.  He was a special man in my life and I loved him very much.  My dream was brief, but I saw him as clear as day in my dream and I heard his voice which I hadn’t heard in over 20 years.  I knew the voice immediately and recognized him in my dream as well as he looked ‘fit as a fiddle’ and happy.  I spent many weeks visiting him in South Carolina as a child and he always made a big deal of my visits.  When I told my parents about my vivid dream, my Dad told me that it was my Uncle’s birthday (which I didn’t know).  I felt very blessed that he had come to visit me and I was smiling all day thinking of him.

Truth be told, I thought it was a strange coincidence, but went on with my life, never thinking another thing about it.

Then a few nights ago, I awoke in the middle of the night, startled from a dream that was so real that it took me a few minutes to shake the cobwebs from my brain and realize that I was in my own home, in my bedroom and it was 3am.  In my very vivid, realistic dream, I was talking with my Dad and my Aunt Gloria.  We were in a house which I know I’ve visited before in my dreams and we were in the kitchen, talking and laughing.  It felt so good to see the two of them looking healthy and happy.  They looked as I remembered them 20 years ago and not as I had last seen them which had been at their recent deaths.  I remember that there were others milling around, but the three of us were talking in the kitchen of the home and we were teasing my Dad and laughing heartily over something funny.

My Dad passed away 6 weeks ago and Aunt Gloria passed away 6 months ago, but they were great friends and I can easily see the 2 of them whooping it up in Heaven together.  In fact, the more I’ve thought about my recent dream, the more I suspect that perhaps I did really visit with the 2 of them for the duration of my brief dream.  Now I just wish I could remember what we had been talking about as it was very funny.  Surely they shared a dilly of a joke or story with me because I remember feeling so lighthearted when I awoke.

Whatever happened that night, I know that it was a confirmation to me that they are doing well on the ‘other side of the veil’ and I am happy to see it.  I am just so grateful that the two of them found each other and deigned to visit me.  What a beautiful memory to enjoy for days to come!

Has this ever happened to you?  Am I the only one?  Have you ever gotten a visit from someone who’s passed?   I’ve never told anyone but my family about these dreams so I’m interested in knowing if I’m just delusional or if you’ve had similar experiences?  If you would, please let me know…

Happy August 1st to you!

xo

Face the Sun!

Strength. Turn your face to the sun and shadows fall behind you.

Many of us have had tough times.  By a certain age, most of us have endured moments or longer of hard times and with that, have some experience in disappointment, sadness, fear, loss and such.  What I find most interesting though is how some people have endured hardships and yet they don’t allow those moments to define them.

Having been dealt the hand of breast cancer at age 34, I have experienced sadness, fear, loss and disappointment among other things…but that’s not to say that I haven’t been able to enjoy every sunrise, every cloud formation, every season and the precious moments of spontaneous hugs from my sons and family.   I’ve seen the darkness and I’ve seen the light.  Perhaps you feel that it’s not easy living on the roller coaster of life, a sentiment which I understand.  However, what brings me comfort is that with every nightfall, I know that in a few hours, there’s a sunrise waiting for me and it’s that sunrise I choose to concentrate on and ‘turn my face to’ everyday.  I feel grateful that I am here to experience it all ~ for without having experienced the darkness, how would we ever know how spectacular the sunrise is?

You own the power to choose everyday how you are going to face the day…

Turn your face to the sun and shadows fall behind you.

You’ll be glad you did!

xo

5 Minutes of Solitude…

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence

that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us,

as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. K.T. Jong

For those of you who are energized by a challenges, I challenge you this week to give yourself 5 minutes of uninterrupted silence a day ~ not multi-tasking silence where you turned off the radio while driving to work ~ that doesn’t count nor does taking 5 minutes on the toilet and instead of reading, you sit quietly ~  nor does the 5 minutes before you actually fall asleep and have your head on the pillow ready for sleep to envelope your mind ~ but 5 minutes where you are conscious, quiet, without doing something else and you just sit.

I recently started doing this myself and at first it was hard for me as I like to either zone out in front of the tv if I’m going to be quiet or I like to read if I”m not chatting.  However, sitting quietly for 5 minutes without doing anything is a challenge.  I started making lists in my head of what I needed to do, wondering what the noises I heard downstairs were (did one of the kids drop something?) and the continuous thought of  ‘oh man, is 5 minutes up yet?” looped in my head.

So what I’ve done is started free writing during my 5 minutes which is akin to meditating, but offers my busy body a way to keep quiet for 5 minutes while doing something.  I am not quite sure if 5 minutes of solitude allows for free writing, but for now it’s working like a charm for me and perhaps it will for you as well.

Free writing for me has been me typing on my computer for 5 minutes uninterrupted, just allowing whatever words that begin to show in my head, a space on paper.  It’s just typing (or writing if you prefer) the stream of consciousness or unconsciousness that exudes from my fingertips without constraint.  And boy oh boy has it been interesting to read.  In fact, there have been times recently that I’ve gone over and beyond the 5 minutes as the words simply type themselves on the paper and continue to roll out in long, waves of sentences and paragraphs.

Sometimes it’s been just drivel that my fingers have typed, but some of the words/meanings that have come to fruition have been quite meaningful to my life and present situation.  The thoughts have had insight to my experiences and have been able to give proper responsibility where its due.

My Monday post today is simply to TRY for 5 minutes to be quiet and just listen to yourself…take a few moments for you.  Use it as an experiment.  You have nothing to lose except 5 minutes of worry, work or multitasking…give it a week and let me know how it goes…I’d love to hear if you already do this as I’d love the feedback…and if you’re just starting, let me know if you’d prefer I keep my challenges to myself!  Ha!

Happy Monday to You!

You’re worth 5 minutes…and more!

Be good to YOU!

xo

GROW through Life…

Don’t go through life. Grow through life.

Sometimes I think we mindlessly go through life, continuing the habit of work, eat, sleep, awaken repeat…we get into the routine of doing what needs to be done during each day because it needs to be done.  Taking care of ourselves sometimes gets pushed aside in order to take care of everyone else’s needs and we allow routine and the easy thoughtless unmindful ways to take over.

Being that it’s Sunday, I thought this was a good time to broach the subject of taking care of ourselves ~ “the Sabbath is a day of rest” as my Mom puts it ~ is just the ticket to change the routine.  If it’s an excuse you need to use in order to allow yourself some time to just ‘be’ and relax, well, then here it is!

Let me remind you that there are 24 hours in a day…and you can spare 10 minutes for yourself.  The idea is to start at 10 minutes for you and then add minutes as you go.  Perhaps a little meditation could be in order…or some free writing where you can just allow your thoughts some flight…or just taking a little time to look up at the sky and notice the beauty in nature that surrounds you.

Just going through life isn’t a life…you need to GROW through life so that you can experience all that life has to offer!  I don’t want to look back at my life and wonder where the years went…I want to stroll down my own memory lane with many stops along the way, enjoying the laughter and even the tears of moments which impact my life and my family…I want to remember fun times and silly moments…I want to smile and feel peaceful for how I lived, how I treated others and even how I treated myself.  I want to remember stretching out of my comfort zone to breathe happiness into my soul.

Enjoy this Sunday!

Grow through your life!

You are worth it!

xo

A Single Courageous Step…

Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin,

and a single courageous step

would carry us clear through them. -Brendan Francis

Lately I haven’t been sleeping as well as I’d like.   I don’t know about you, but sometimes I go through periods of time where sleep evades me more often than not and right now I’ve not been sleeping well.  I wake up in the middle of the night, unable to fall back asleep because my mind continues to whir and mindless chatter of what I need to do and what needs to be done by others plagues me.  And then there is the fear of not getting everything done properly as I’m in charge of a lot these days…that fear alone can put me over the edge.   But what I’ve found is that the fears are usually paper thin and unfounded…but in the middle of the night, they feel like I’m carrying heavy bricks.

So what I’ve begun doing is imagining that each brick is one of my fears and I begin to walk ~ baby steps of course ~ and as I do, I let go of a brick with each step.  I simply drop it and allow my mind to tick it off the list that plagues me.  I drop the brick of named fear into the abyss below me and I imagine that it goes away into nothingness ~ that it simply evaporates.

Sometimes I imagine that Universe/God catches it and turns it into dust as well, but that’s only if simply dropping it doesn’t actually make it go away.  Sometimes those fear bricks have been known to not easily be released and that’s when my stepping out takes control because I’m still walking as I drop them and as I continue to walk, they are further away from me.

We all have fears which is sad because when we allow those fears to manifest, they can take over…which is why, I adore my baby steps!  Do you carry fears?  Do you sleep well?  Can you see that much of what we fear isn’t anything more than worry emphasized?

Join me in our stepping away from our fears and into the light…drop your fears, make them a kite and fly those paper-thin thoughts right out of your head today!  Let me know how it works for you ~ and what works for you!  I’d love to hear more options for my nightly episodes.

Happy Monday to you!  It’s the start of a new week!  Enjoy!!

xo

Strength…

“STRENGTH does not come from winning.

Your struggles develop your strengths.

When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender,

THAT IS STRENGTH.” —Arnold Schwarzenegger

Although I’m not a huge fan of Arnold, I do like this quote because it’s true…to look at me, to know me, to love me, is to know that part of ‘my charm’ is that I am not a big fan of pain and I have been known to yelp with a paper cut!  I am also a fainter at the sight of a needle which you would think after all of the needles that I’ve seen through my 1/2 closed eyes with fingers splayed across my face, I would be over that fear by now, but nope…again part of my charm.  Which by the way, my darling husband would love it if I were less charming (ahem), but I can’t be anything but me, so charming it is ~ much to his chagrin!

But what I lack in muscular strength, I have in spiritual and it is what gets me through life.  I would never win a prize for athleticism or physical endurance (although I do think there should be a prize given to those of us who have endured more than our share of illness/surgeries and all around ick), but the middle of the nights, all alone spiritual challenges may leave me weakened, but never completely without endurance.

I have endurance…it’s a small seed of endurance filled with love, laughter and an amazing amount of support from my family, friends, loved ones and even strangers.  I have faith which has increased over time…and I am HOPE above all.  I just never surrender.

So if your strength is waning these days, I’ll lend you mine…because that’s what friends are for.

We are all connected…you may be the weak link in the chain at the moment,

but the chain of love will protect you.

Never surrender!

Love you lots!

xo

Before the bloom fades…

Capture it before the bloom fades…

My friend CAngel took this picture for me and sent it to me yesterday and because I love it, I thought I’d share it via a card so here it is…a blue hydrangea!  Her comment resonated with me ~ “I thought you might like this photo. I thought it was so pretty that I wanted to capture it before the bloom faded.’

And then it struck me, ‘capture it before the bloom faded’ and this post was born…

Because that’s what we are always trying to do, aren’t we?  Capture life before it fades…but do we?  Can we?  Like the photo she took for me, we have snippets of moments that glisten in time for us, moments that perhaps we capture on film, on video, on tape or on paper.  Are we the sum of those moments?

On my home answering machine are 2 messages from my Dad which I keep saving.  They are the last vestiges of his voice that I have on tape and they are in fact messages that he left when he was in the hospital.  They are precious to me because of that fact but also because of what he said…he said he loved me.  Although I knew it, hearing how he felt has helped so much these past 3 weeks.  He appreciated my helping him with his business while he was unable to work and it is those 2 thoughts that hold my heart captive.

So today, before the bloom fades…

take a moment to let those around you know how you feel about them.

Send a heartfelt message in a card…

We only have today…

http://www.sendoutcards.com/126830