A Between Seasons Funk~SOL#18~2017

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Well, I’m here again.

Not just here writing another Slice of Life (after four days of neglect), but here. . . at this mental state:

A Funk.

I’ve been here so many times before. I wrote about it last year in the 2016 SOL Challenge. And I’ve written about it here and here.

What can I say? I am a student of my own state of despair.

I’ve followed all of the prescribed remedies.

Yoga. CHECK.

A walk outside. CHECK. I even was able to convince by daughter, Gracie, who was home with the puppy, to walk with me.

Writing. CHECK. Filling a good 6 pages in my notebook, I still could not get to the bottom of my angst. I did get some good writing material though.

Shower. CHECK. I even shaved my legs, washed my hair and put on Aveda Rosemary Mint body lotion. Oh, it’s so heavenly.

Clean something. CHECK. I washed every dish that piled up in the sink from over the week. The dishwasher broke down. My husband and I pinky swore we would wash every dish that each of us used. That lasted about a week. I think we need a new dishwasher.

Take a nap. CHECK. This was the easiest remedy.

Connect with people. I went on Twitter and tweeted a storm about the tcrwp Saturday Reunion in NYC connecting with many teacher-writer-reader-people. I sat with my husband and watched a tv show about Wisconsin. I chatted with Gracie and puppy motherhood.

I know that when I am in this place of funkiness that something new is about to be born. This is God’s way to trying to get my attention to notice it. To be honest, I’ve been walking around in survival mode this month. . . automatic pilot.

He knows we are more than this.

We need these wake up calls.

I will pull out on the other side of this and I’ll make sure to write about what is unveiled. Certainly, there is something to look forward to after the fog clears. A calming meditation from by beautiful niece, Micara, might help me get there.

For now, I think I’ll put on my pj’s and read my new books by Abigail Thomas, recommendations from Elisabeth Ellingson, a dear writer-teacher-thinker-lady-friend.

But, only after I publish this blog post and put my laptop down for the night.

CHECK.

Shari 🙂

I’m participating in twowritingteachers March Challenge of posting a blog post every day for the month of March.  I have not been consistent, but I’m not copping out and throwing in the towel. To check out other writers, visit here.

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It’s Monday! What Are Your Reading? Summer of 2014

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Honestly,  this summer was one of savory reading.  My mind shifted to new galaxies of understanding.  My heart expanded beyond expansion and my soul soared.

There were a few books that had something to do with it.

Books have saved my life more than once, but there are some gems that push my being to places I did not know existed.

Let me give you a glimpse inside just one of my books of summer.

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I sought out a book on brokenness when I was feeling so much brokenness in the world.  You can read about this here on a post I wrote awhile ago.  Amazon guided me to Elizabeth Lesser and her book Broken Open.

Upon the arrival of my smily happy box from the UPS man, I ripped out Lesser’s book and immediately skimmed the back. These words stood out:

Elizabeth Lesser bravely and beautifully explores one of the most compelling questions of life: How do we emerge from suffering and challenge with real, encompassing wisdom and love?

These ARE the questions of life.  I know we keep transforming over and over, but what about the REAL challenges?  Like losing people you love, illness, and depression?  So many are suffering.  The world seems to be in a continuous state of hurt, confusion, lostness and pain right now.

I peppered this book with so many tracks of my thinking and sticky notes, that if I handed it off to someone else to read, they’d look at me like I had three heads.  It’s that good.  I wanted to memorize every word Lesser wrote — lodge it into my long term memory–I needed her words to latch onto in my own times of need.  And, to live them.

Is that crazy?  Have you ever wanted to MEMORIZE a book?

Here are some of the words that are stuck with me:

Lesser’s introduction grabbed me,

Issues I never thought I would face–of love and betrayal, passion and responsibility, loss and doubt—sprouted in the hidden places of my heart and led me into the dark words of real life.  It is those stories–the ones about the journey in and out of the woods–that I tell in this book.

Well, I’d been in that woods and felt guilty about it every time I took a road there.  Lesser writes~

To be human is to be lost in the woods.  None of us arrives here with clear directions on how to get from point A to point B without stumbling into the forest of confusion or catastrophe or wrongdoing.  Although they are dark and dangerous, it is in the woods that we discover our strengths.

I am reminded of Robert Frost’s poem, A Snowy Evening In The Woods, and how even he was tempted by the darkness.

How can one resist an invitation with words like this?  I didn’t know if I was more intoxicated with her use of language or anxious to hear about her plan for getting unlost.  I read this book as a reader and a writer through every line and paragraph. This little snippet was in the introduction in explaining how her stories were like “the teaching tales of older traditions.”

These small parables are sprinkled throughout the book, like tiny lights strung along a path.  Perched at the beginning of many of the stories and parables is a quotation or poem.  I realize that an opening verse is often regarded as ornamentation, but I mean for you to actually read these bits and scraps of poetry and prose. Some provide keys to the front doors of the stories; others are vehicles that can carry you all the way throughout the stories and back out into your life.

Captivated by the dance of language along with the wisdom of her journey in this book, I filled up my iced tea mug, grabbed my sun glasses and headed out to the lawn chair.

I’ll write about my lessons learned from this book in another post. . . or posts.

For now, if you are feeling a little broken, or know someone who is, this book is a gift to the mind, heart and soul.

Out beyond ideas

of wrong doing and right doing

There is a field.

I’ll meet you there.

~Rumi

 

Shari 🙂

 

 

How To Release the Brokenness We Carry in Our Hearts

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It’s interesting how a single event can shoot the gates up around our hearts instantaneously and the choice to play the old records in our minds shifts into automatic.  Entire albums even.  Over and over again.  Stuck on repeat.

We sometimes work really hard to throw out those old records, narratives, stories. . . convincing ourselves of their untruths and we attempt to rewrite new, more compassionate songs, in hopes to slowly allow the gates to be drawn in order to feel again.  To love again.  And, to live in peace.  To open our hearts.

However, when an event occurs that cause us to revert back to what we thought we released, we know there is more to unearth, more to learn about ourselves and who we are.  More to grow and transform.  We are never finished releasing.

We all carry deep pain in our hearts and souls.  All of us.  It’s an “Open Secret“, Rumi calls it.  The human behaviors we display (and probably are not very fond of) are a result of that pain.  The workaholic overworks because his father told him he’d never amount to anything.  The alcoholic drinks to numb the pain carried from a high school coach who instilled the belief that he was just not good enough.  A teenage girl exercises obsessively to block the pain of the words of a boyfriend  that said she was gaining weight.  An angry boss yells because in his childhood, he was expected to do things right and if not, punishment followed.  Whatever the undesirable behavior is that we unconsciously display, it’s rooted from pain.  We even tend to live out this story.  These lies.

The wonderful gift that we humans have been given that no other animal species has, is to be able to go back to that pain, feel it,  acknowledge it, release it and then find a new truth.  This is how we rewrite our stories.  We can reopen our heart to others this way and change our behavior, rather than to live with a blocked heart, a stuck flow of energy.

Michael A. Singer, in The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, writes that energy that comes into us HAS to keep moving.  He tells us:

Long term, the energy patterns that cannot make it through you are pushed out of the forefront of the mind and held until you are prepared to release them.  These energy patterns, which hold tremendous detail about the events associated with them, are real. They don’t just disappear.  When you are unable to allow life’s events to pass through you, they stay inside and become a problem.  These patterns may be held within you for a very long time. We are either trying to push the energy away because it bothers us or we are trying to cling to it because we like it.

When you resist that release, the energy gets packed up and forced into deep storage within the heart.  In the yogic tradition, this is called a Samskara.

These Samskaras end up running your life.

If they build up sufficiently, you will find yourself in a state of depression.  Eventually, everything appears negative because the world of the senses must pass through this depressed energy before it gets to your consciousness. Even if we are not prone to depression, it builds up over time and gets blocked.  This affects how we live.

Singer shares, in his book, the process for releasing these blocks, or Samskaras.  It’s quite amazing.

Imagine these blocks in your heart as thorns.  Visualize them penetrating your heart and protruding all the way to the outside of your body.  They stick out.  Whenever someone, something, or an event brushes up against a particular thorn, it hurts.  That Samskara is being disturbed.  You have a few choices when this happens.  Well, first, you can prevent it from happening by avoiding any situation that might disturb the thorn. If we do this though, we are not living to the fullest.  We are living in fear.

What Singer suggests we do is to just be centered, conscious enough recognize when a thorn has been disturbed and  just watch the stuff come up.  Be aware of it.  Accept it.   And, then let it go.

This sounds easier said than done.

He tells us:

Just relax your heart, forgive, laugh, shift to gratefulness, do anything you want. Just don’t push it back down.  It’s gonna  probably hurt, but hopefully not for too long.  And then, it’s over.  You’ve let it pass through you.

This process happens over and over all the time.  The result is a constant open heart that allows the energy of love to flow .  You live in love, and it feeds and strengthens you.  This purification is a wonderful thing.

How do we start?

It starts the moment you accept what troubles you’ve been given.  Acceptance.  Not resistance to them.  It starts when we shift to gratitude rather than to dwell on the wrongness of a situation.  There is a secret treasure that lies waiting for us at the bottom of our most difficult times.  It starts when we recognize that everything that happens is not happening TO US.  It’s just happening.  It starts when we let go of the expectations of what we think our lives and others’ lives should go like.  It’s a journey of a lifetime.

Every shift in our life comes courtesy of the friendly forces; every catastrophe can hand us exactly what we need to awaken into who we really are.  It’s a lot easier to blame someone else, to rail against fate, or to shut down to the hopeful messages carried on the winds of change.  Please forgive me when I say that everything that happens to us in life is a blessing – whether it comes as a gift wrapped in happy times or as a heart break, a loss, or a tragedy.  It is true:  There is meaning hidden in the small changes of everyday life, and wisdom to found in the shards of your most broken moments.  At the end of a dark night of the soul is the beginning of a new life.  ~ Elizabeth Lesser

What are your Samskaras?  Can you let them go?

Or, are you going to hang on to them for dear life.

 

 

 

How Energy Clearing Saved Me

 depression        Depression is not a cut that needs a band-aid.  It’s a cancer that needs a battle plan.        ~ Ann Voskamp  

I’ve battled depression and all over body/joint pain most of my adult life. 

“Something is wrong with me,” was my constant mantra.  

I hadn’t suffered trauma, loss, cancer, divorce or abuse.  95% of the world prays for the life I have.  That alone made me more depressed about being depressed because it brought on guilt for even feeling the way I did.

I have not confessed to many people about my bouts of depression because sometimes people look at you like you have a mental illness and treat you differently.  There are enough “real” problems in the world to think and pray about, I certainly don’t want people worrying about me.  I also didn’t want to be sharing my story for a desperate need of attention or to give excuses for why I am the way I am.  I’ve only shared with those who have opened their hearts to me because it’s their story, too.   And, to my dear closest friends.

Doctors said I should be tired and exhausted, I had four children and a job.  Tests always looked good, so they’d prescribe me iron, or more potassium, or magnesium, or B vitamins. I’d leave, relieved I wasn’t dying, but never felt healed.

Over the last 15 years, I became a student of my own depressed experience. I analyzed every possible cause for to find the root of this despair. Thinking it was physical, I eliminated bad habits of caffeine, coffee, Diet Coke, alcohol and processed foods.  I did detoxes and cleanses, exercised regularly, got into nature, conquered addictions and reduced stress.  I buried myself in books to learn about my mind – maybe I was crazy and it really was in my mind.  I devoured Eckart Tolle, Byron Katie, Penny Pierce, Wayne Dyer, Deepok.  I learned all about my ego, consciousness and how we are our thoughts.  I did daily devotionals, prayed, vowing to become more spiritual – maybe it was God missing in my life.  I thought is was my work, perhaps I wasn’t being true to who I was.  So, I began to write, filled art journals, and painted.  Of course, I figured it was my marriage – my resentfulness perhaps is what’s taking its toll on me. I sought therapy and tried depression meds, only to find I was in Fog City.  St. John’s Wart, the same.  Perhaps, it was midlife changes, so I sought out self-help books on mid-life, menopause, had a hysterectomy, and did some serious soul searching.  

Then the world of energy came into light.  I was introduced to Reiki, by my niece, Micara Link, as a way to heal ourselves, so I took classes and learned about how we can heal with energy, focused on releasing blocked chakras and worked on my subconscious blocks buried deep from childhood.  She introduced me to clearing, but I guess I wasn’t ready to embrace it just yet.  She also affirmed my belief of being a highly sensitive person.   This, just a dent in my quest for an answer.

I made strides – big ones.  

But, I was not cured.  

The Big D kept coming back.  Always, it followed me around like lost puppy.

I then met Bridgette. Bridgette and I met in a Facebook group of friends brought together by Kelly Ray Robert’s online class, Flying Lessons.  Bridgette is a  women’s empowerment coach, who also does energy work, intuitive coaching and is psychic.   We conversed online, became companions at a writing retreat and I later, continued sessions with her over the  phone to receive guidance in reaching my goals and learning about my mind, body, heart and soul and how it all needs to align.  

I didn’t know then, that she would be the one that would unlock the door to my depression/pain quest.

The most powerful gift Bridgette taught me was about energy and how it affects us.  I knew some of this, but not to the depths I needed to know.  You think you know – but really, you don’t.

I learned that I am not just a highly sensitive person, but I am also an empath.  Google that.

As a HSP (highly sensitive person) and an empath (I know-sounds like a real head case, huh?), we absorb the energies of others whether we want to or not.  I was not only absorbing the energies of any person I was with at the time, I was also absorbing the energies in groups of people, in my surroundings, in meetings, in my entire world.   And, carrying it with me, until my body felt heavier, more in pain and more depressed.  (I remember learning this with Micara, but I think I was at the surface of just learning about energy then and did not take in more than basic understandings.) This explained my agitation and exhaustion after being at the mall, large group meetings and gatherings and even in my working environment of an elementary school of almost 900 people.

I needed help.  A game plan.  I could not quit my job.

Bridgette gave me tools and taught me two main practices to combat this problem:

1.  Energy Clearing to clear all energies from others that I absorb on a daily basis

2.  Creating a protection barrier around me to protect myself from the energy of others.

Bridgette did my first energy clearing for me, over the phone!  I was skeptical, but I did believe in energy and the law of attraction.   The next day, I felt 20 pounds lighter, had a skip in my step, my depression and pain lifted and I was me again.  I honestly FELT “cleared”.  A peace and lightness flowed through me.  It was a miracle.  

But, it didn’t last.  By the next week, I was back in my bed again, barely able to peel myself away from bed to get to the shower for work.

I called Bridgette.

She said I had to learn to do these clearings on my own, and on a regular basis if I was going to survive my job.  I found that I needed them twice a week, usually over the weekend to clear from the week and again by Wednesday.  I also learned to create a morning ritual for myself before going into my work that consisted of meditation that focused on creating an imaginary protective barrier around me so these energies could not penetrate through my own energy auras.  And also, a disconnection ritual at the end of my work day. Yes, it all sounds crazy in a Cosmo-Rica-woo-woo kind of way.

But, you know what? It worked.

And if something makes me feel better and chases away the pain and depression I suffer, I’m doing it.

You know how I know that it was mainly the energies of others that was causing my depression and pain?

It’s July 2nd today.  We’ve been out of school for one month already.  I have not had ONE day of depression or pain and have not had to do an energy clearing or protection meditation since school let out.  I’ve been home.  Mostly by myself or with my husband.

I have never felt better in my entire life.  I still abide by everything else I’ve learned to stay depression/fybromyalgia free and healthy.  And, I do not believe I would have learned a fraction of all I now understand about our body, mind, heart and soul had it not been for the relief I was seeking. The daily, conscious effort and monitoring of where I am at is a commitment.  But, if I want to be of service and help for others, it’s one I refuse to stray from.  

But now, I’m at a fork in the road  and my question is, “What now?”

We are never fully “healed” and more and more is revealed to us every day about who we are, and right now I feel a new knowing that there is something more that I feel called to do.  I’m not exactly sure what that is, but I do know part of my purpose is healing, helping and teaching others and I can do that through sharing my story and  the workings of our body, mind, heart and soul, along with how energy affects us.  

Since discovering these newfound paths of healing that work for me, God has guided others my way that need this. Synchronicities has compounded and I am blown away every day. I certainly didn’t think that I would be here sharing with the world my depression journey and teaching others about energy even two years ago.  God unfolds for us in a very mysterious way.  I just followed the bread crumbs. I’m not exactly sure where the next crumbs will be, but I do know it’s time for me to open up and share with others the understandings, tools, and practices that I’ve been taught to battle depression.

If I can even help one person, then I know I’m on the right path.

Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.  ~ Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

Shari 🙂

Learning From The Struggle

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There is a lot of pain in the world right now.  Loved ones are hurting.  Entire communities are confused and in shock.  Others are feeling too much – from others and from their own hearts hurting.  Some are worried and fearful of what is to come.  A dear soul lays still, hopeless, stuck, and not knowing which way to turn. Everywhere I turn, someone is carrying some kind of heavy load.

The cause of our pain is a result of countless reasons: physical illness, thoughts we play over and over in our minds and can not let go of, negative energy we accumulate in our bodies from others and from ourselves.

Every single one of us have been in this place.  And, yet, somehow, we paddle through to the other side.  If we are growing as spiritual beings, once we arrive on this other side, we recognize that we are changed.  We are not the same human we were before.

As I hop online today, I receive similar messages everywhere.

“Sometimes not only do you have to fall. . . but you have to hit ROCK BOTTOM to find out who you are, and who you want to become.”   ~Beth Shoutler

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”   ~proverb

 

“Just when go through a hard period,  When everything seems to oppose you,

When you feel you can not even bear one more minute,  Never Give Up.

Because it is the time and place that the course will divert.”   ~Rumi

These were just a few subtle shouts that these words needed to be heard today.  Not only for my ears, but for these other souls who are hurting, to bring understanding about our journey here on earth and that there is hope, for this too shall pass.

The real shift happens when we recognize these heavy moments. This place of despair means that something must change. Something. It wakes us up to dwell inward and ask for guidance about what it is that is meant to learn.  What is the newness that will evolve and birth itself?  Challenges are brought to us to teach us more about the truth of who we are.  We spirits, in human bodies are never done evolving on planet Earth School.

This sounds all poetic and easy to say, especially when you are in a good place at the moment.  Sometimes, recognizing what we’ve learned does not happen until we’ve dug out way out of the hole. Sadly, this makes the time in the hole long, dark and scary. We can’t be deciding to stay down here in the hole or it gets darker and darker. . . and harder to come out.

Instead, to quicken the process and benefit from the learning, it’s important to train your mind to think differently.  By the way, there are lots of ways to pull out of darkness (get into nature, exercise, watch a funny movie), but it’s the new understanding from that challenging place that must evolve for it to benefit you. Otherwise, you will end up right back in that same place, in a different situation, and not know why.

Here are some ways that I’ve learned to help myself move through a challenge and transform into a higher level of understanding about who I am:

1.  Ask yourself,

“Ok, who is not happy here?  Mind, body, heart or soul?”

We first have to narrow our pain to where it is coming from.  I have found many times that the root of my pain comes from my mind in focusing on obsessive thoughts that are pulling me down. Our mind can be our worst enemy and we need to immediately recognize when this happens.  I call my mind “Bernice”, so that I can separate it from “me” and quiet her more easily.  I am not my mind.  Meditate. Still the mind.

Sometimes, it’s my body that is not happy.  My body is named “Joy” for the joy it brings me when it is at optimal levels.  We all know that lack of exercise and eating unhealthy are going to effect you.  Illness will swirl you into gloom (especially if you let your mind get it’s way and tell you that the pain will never end or you are going to die).  When our body is not ok, that means something is wrong and we need to fix it.  Paying attention to the subtle signs our body gives us will help us to prevent bigger challenges later on.

Meet “Rose”.  She’s my heart.  Maybe it’s your heart that is hurting. A person in your life has left and there is an emptiness there.  Or, perhaps your heart has been closed to stay protected.  Someone has hurt your heart too many times, so you think best not to open it and allow love to flow through. If it’s your heart, you will know. You feel pain there – or you feel nothing.  Sometimes the love we need to open our hearts to, is to ourselves.

It may be your soul.  Your soul is who you truly are (it makes sense that I name my soul “Shari”).  Your soul is your truth and purpose – what God put you on this earth for.  If your soul is not being heard and you are not living your truth, your soul suffers.  This purpose inspires us and feeds us.  Your purpose may be teaching, or healing others.  It might be creating beauty for the earth. Perhaps it’s to be an advocate for nature.  If you do not know what your purpose is, spend time with this.  If you do, analyze whether you have been living it or not.

Your mind, body, heart and soul (I call them my friends) need to agree with each other – or align.  My dear friend, Bridgette Doerr, a women’s empowerment coach, taught me this through our coaching sessions.  One of “the 4 friends” can not be overpowering all the time or you will find yourself in a state darkness over and over.

2.  Be an observer of your emotions, feeling, judgements or beliefs about a challenging situation and ask the question,

“What do I need to learn from this?”

This is huge.  Once we choose to allow our emotions and mind to take over, we spiral into a dark cloud uncontrollably.  This magnifies the moment we tell the story over and over again as it intensifies with each retelling and becomes harder to let go of to see the other side.  By being able to breathe through the emotions and ask ourself what the learning is, we can come to an understanding as to why God gave you this challenge.

3.  Again, be an observer of an event, words said, emotions felt and ask yourself,

“What do I need to let go of?”

This is the highest form of reflection and conscious awareness and takes practice (eternally).  I wish I could say I can always do this, but I am such a work in progress.

In Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul, Singer talks about making challenges and struggles a game, especially when we feel strong emotions or judgements surface. The goal is to release all old negative narratives that drag us down.  If we believe that each day is an opportunity to allow these old stories, or samskaras (in yogic terms), to be released, we can just be a silent observer of when the emotion arises and then determine if it is attached to a old negative story that we live by.  If it is, YAY!!!  All you have to do is to acknowledge it and breathe through it – let it pass right through you and release it forever.  I like to say a little good bye prayer when another one bites the dust.  Yes, it sounds easy.  It honestly is.  But, you have to pay attention.

Know that you are meant to learn about yourself every day through your trials, twists, turns, bumps and bruises.  If life was as smooth as cupcakes, how would we grow?

Shari 🙂

A song just for you ~ Press On 

A Pinterest Board just for you ~ Transformation

An after addition:  If you are in crisis, turn directly to God.  A Tribe Writer friend, Dayna Bickham wrote about this today in a very  powerful post about tools you need to survive in a crisis.

10 Tools for Pulling Yourself Out of The Blues

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We’ve had more than 65 days with below zero temps this winter.  Tonight? Another wind chill warning,  45-50 below zero wind chills with our actual temperature around 30 below is expected.  Yay.

This winter has been a hard one.  Not only on the heating bill, and the gas bill, and the extra food bill (we tend to eat more when we’re cooped up), but it’s been really hard on a person’s state of mind.  If it’s cold where you live, you know what I’m talking about.

I’m speaking of the Big D.  And, I don’t mean Dallas.  Or divorce.  Seriously, now.

The Big D (depression) has been following me around since I was a teenager.  I’m pretty good at keeping it under cover – gotta keep that smile on my face, you know, I have responsibilities.  There’s not time for sulking.  Years would go by and I would ignore it, even though I knew I was still carrying it around.   Blah, blah, blah. . .

Because this entry isn’t going to be my life story, I’m just going to say that I’ve come a long way in the Big D department.  It’s taken years.  I’ve also filled a monster truck with tools to combat the gloom when it tries to creep back into my days.  Some days I need tools 24/7.

Here are 10 tools that are the MUST HAVES if you are battling with your own dark cloud lately:

1.  You HAVE to recognize that YOU are not YOUR MIND.

Your mind is separate from who you are.  When you are depressed, your mind is mean to you. It tells you lies.

My mind gets so bossy sometimes, I decided to give her a name so I could tell her to shut up.  Bernice seemed liked the perfect fit.

I have down days when all Bernice does is yak away at how I’m not getting enough done, how bad my hair is, or that I should be working out more because my jeans are tight, or how pathetic the house is, or even worse, sometimes she goes on and on about how I’m a bad mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, teacher, writer, and person all together.   Basically, I’m doomed.  If I continue to listen to her, I get so bogged down that I don’t even want to get out of bed.

Now that I’ve named her, I can recognize her as separate from me.  I know her voice.  And, I can tell her to take a chill pill, a hike, or whatever else I’d like her to do.

Bernice is not me.  And, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

2.  Start your day with meditation.

I listen to Oprah and Deepok every morning.  I’ve downloaded several of their 21 Day meditation series onto my iphone and I keep listening to them over and over. They last about 10-15 minutes, if that.  As soon as I sit down to do my hair and make up, I turn it on and listen and breathe at the same time.  They help me begin my day with positive energy right from the start.

3.  Keep your car radio on a station that plays uplifting music.

Many a day, the song on my radio has lifted me up from the slums.  My car radio is set to “The Message”, a Sirius Satellite station.  I tell ya, God speaks right to me through music and his love penetrates into your being and dang, that just feels good.

4.  GRATITUDE

This is a BIGGIE.

You NEED to be committed to be conscious about being grateful for as much as possible in your life!  The more you are grateful, the more goodness comes to you.  Start out with gratitude first thing when you wake up.  If you wake up on time, then give yourself a thank goodness I woke up on time.  If you didn’t, well, thank goodness you got a little extra sleep!  Be grateful you have food for breakfast, your car starts, your milk isn’t sour, or even that the toilet paper roll is full.  There is so much to be thankful for and this alone can transform your life.

5.  Move. Your. Body.

Yes, you must do something besides sitting, or sleeping.  Even if you can get a 30 minute walk in, entire gray skies will lift from your being.  If you can do this with a good friend, that will give you a double boost of endorphins because the talking is good for the soul and releases some of that stuff building up in you that is bringing you down.  Some of my best medicine happens during walking and talking with my friend.

6.  Vitamins – get enough B’s

Make sure you are getting a good dose of B vitamins.  B vitamins turn the food we eat into energy and it boosts our metabolism.  If you are tired, sluggish, fatigued or can’t think clear, run out and get some B’s.  I’m serious.

7.  Create Art

Create something.  Anything.  Let the gloom come through your work.  Release it.

I art journal, write, or paint when I am stuck in a funk.  Literally, my muse shows up and works through me and sometimes I do not know where the stuff that ends up on the page even comes from.  All artists feel emotions deeply.  The great ones do something with it.  They create.

8.  Do something every day that you can be proud of.

This might be doing the dishes.  Maybe you were nice to someone.  Perhaps you made it to work on time (if you don’t usually).  Today, I made supper for my husband and I AND I did the dishes!

Remind yourself of this good thing throughout the day.  You really are amazing, you know. 🙂

9.  Do something you love every day.

I love to write.  I love to read.  I try to do them every day.  Even if it’s for 15 minutes.

Make a list of things you love to do or that you love  if you aren’t sure what you even love.  If you aren’t sure, then google “Things I love to do”.  People have lists out there and I’m sure what others love, you love too.  Make a Love List of 100 things.  Live by it.

10.  Laugh.

Oh my gosh, don’t you just love to laugh??  Laughing feels so good and instantly brings you joy.

Some ways to get my laughing fix is to be with kids.  Luckily, I work at an elementary school, so being around kids is my job. If I’m down, 10 minutes of being with kindergarteners will change that in a heartbeat.

Or, watch some Bill Cosby youtube videos.  He is so dang funny, I just cry watching him.  If you have not watched him talk about serving chocolate cake for breakfast to his kids, you have not lived.  Watch it here.  Now.

I have about a hundred more tools.  I’ll keep writing about them this month, perhaps until spring shows up.  I’m going to be using them anyway, I should be sharing them.

Until then, know that you are loved.

Shari 🙂