Give Soul Searching a Rest

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Much as I love to soul search, there are moments when you realize that perhaps today you are further complicating life by relentlessly seeking elusive answers to profound questions. Perhaps today is a day where you take what you already know to be true and apply it. Simple things we’ve had figured out for decades like the value of exercise, of dipping your feet in the nearest body of water, or having a good laugh with a few close friends. Fruits and vegetables are obvious in that way. Not too complicated, nothing really to fuss over, but simple, delicious, and just as good for you as they’ve ever been.      -Dallas Clayton

Sometimes I wish I could be the kind of person who didn’t think about the big questions. Today I’ve already questioned whether or not I’m living up to my full potential, what is the meaning of life, and why does my dog look like she’s wearing eyeliner ever since she came back from the groomer. Seriously, what did they do to her?

My friend, Jill, has a Sunday feature on her blog called Day of Rest. Today I am daring myself to give soul searching a rest. It’s not that the profound questions are “bad,” but sometimes all I do is spin in circles and make myself miserable. When I’m in the middle of such an existential angst tailspin, I need to remember to take a breath, pause, and ask myself, “Is this useful?” Today, the answer is no. Instead, I’m going to watch Parks and Rec on Netflix, dip my toe back into blogging, and remember that life and all it’s questions will be here tomorrow.

75 Hours Until What ! ?

Modeling my hiking backpack, my 70 liter dry-bag duffel, and my hula hoops which are my carry on item (they will be coiled down for the flight). My bags each weigh about 35 pounds- well under the 50 pound weight limit!My niece, Jody, has made an appearance on my blog before with her poem Yo Soy (I Am). And now she’s off to Panama to join the Peace Corps. I’m reblogging her post because I’m so proud of her!

The Journeys of Jodiva

Hello my dear blog followers!

I figured I would write one last blog post before I depart for Panama! Since my last post I have experienced a whole series of “lasts.” I had my last day of babysitting, my last day volunteering at ESL as well as Citizenship Literacy class, my last Zumba class, and my last time seeing a lot of family members and friends. Crazy to think that in less than a week I will be experiencing a whole new series of “firsts!” Pretty exciting.  With some of my free time lately I have been packing as well as having a couple going away parties. Thanks to everyone who came to my parties!!!

So on Monday, Feb 23 I am flying from STL to Miami. Peace Corps is putting us up in a hotel near the airport. On Tuesday, we have staging (orientation) almost all day. On Wednesday, we have to be ready…

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Just For Me

A poem on the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion Website. It just lists “Anon” under the title.

Thank you Anon. This is beautiful and powerful.

What if a poem were just for me?

What if I were audience enough because I am,

Because this person here is alive, is flesh,

Is conscious, has feelings, counts?

What if this one person mattered not just for what

She can do in the world

But because she is part of the world

And has a soft and tender heart?

What if that heart mattered,

if kindness to this one mattered?

What if she were not distinct from all others,

But instead connected to others in her sense of being distinct, of being alone,

Of being uniquely isolated, the one piece removed from the picture—

All the while vulnerable under, deep under, the layers of sedimentary defense.

Oh let me hide

Let me be ultimately great,

Ultimately shy,

Remove me, then I don’t have to…

be…

But I am.

Through all the antics of distinctness from others, or not-really-there-ness, I remain

No matter what my disguise—

Genius, idiot, gloriousness, scum—

Underneath, it’s still just me, still here,

Still warm and breathing and human

With another chance simply to say hi, and recognize my tenderness

And be just a little bit kind to this one as well,

Because she counts, too.

Self-Compassion Saturday: the eBook!

I was honored to be a contributor to this book. You can download it for free. What a great first read for 2015!

A Thousand Shades of Gray

Click on the image to download the eBook

It’s finally finished! The final post for this series was published December 2013. I had hoped to get it compiled into an ebook sooner, but life had other plans. It’s here now, and I humbly offer it to you, kind and gentle reader, this amazing time capsule of wisdom and compassion. Just click here or on the image above to download the ebook. May your new year be one filled with the freedom of self-compassion.

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Just Like Me

20374a03b025ee1a540c3a53b7022ea1I heard the phrase this week, “Just Like Me” in reference to not judging others. When we’re having a conflict with someone, try to remember these things:

  • The other person wants to be happy, just like me.
  • The other person loves and wants to spend time with their family, just like me.
  • The other person experiences pain and suffering, just like me.
  • The other person sometimes speaks before thinking, just like me.
  • The other persons sometimes procrastinates, just like me.
  • The other person sometimes does stupid things, just like me.

I know all too well, this is much easier said than done. I often end up writing what I need to learn, so I wrote this post for Psychology Today called, Love Yourself More by Judging Others Less.

What I Wish People Knew About Depression

This is so important, I had to reblog it!

Therese J. Borchard

robin-williamsSomeone recently asked me to write on what I wish people knew about depression, in light of Robin William’s suicide. Here’s my response.

I wish people knew that depression is complex, that it is a physiological condition with psychological and spiritual components, and therefore can’t be forced into any neat and tidy box, that healing needs to come from lots of kinds of sources and that every person’s recovery is different.

I wish people knew the depression doesn’t happen in a vacuum and is part of a intricate web of biological systems (nervous, digestive, endocrine, respiratory), that depression is about the gut as well as the brain, the thyroid and the nerves, that we would have better health in this country if we approached depression with a holistic view.

I wish people understood that untreated depression can increase the risk of developing other illnesses, that a 2007 Norwegian study found…

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Building Safeness: How to get intimate with our inner critic

I haven’t been blogging much lately, but wanted to share this article I found. I like this line, from it, “Like all relationships, our relationship with our inner critic is complicated.” So true!

Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic

chive heart

We all want to feel safe. It’s important. When we feel safe, we feel confident and more willingly open ourselves to new experiences. In fact, feeling safe leads to the willingness to take risks – to risk being known, being seen, loving and feeling loved. As we encounter the world in all its various ways of showing us what being safe means, we learn to open and close our hearts (and minds) when we feel respected or rejected. Paul Gilbert¹, the developer of Compassion Focused Therapy, uses the term “safeness” to describe the experience of being safe. It’s different from “safety” or “safety-seeking” which tend to be what we do when we are engaged in the threat evaluation/response processes.

There are many things in our environment that we have learned are safe and many we have learned are unsafe. Hot stoves, fast-moving traffic, dark alleys and the like are easy to discern in…

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