Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Four weeks ago tomorrow...

One month ago tomorrow I entered the Riverwoods Surgical Center and awoke several hours later with just one question on my mind.

"What the hell did I do to myself?"  Then I remembered. That's right, I had my abdominal hernia repaired, my breast augmentation (touching my chest it was indeed larger), and then I felt the pain of my abdominoplasty or deep tummy tuck if that sounds better to you.

Surgery and childbirth both cause memory loss. How did I forget how painful surgery is?  I guess like birthing a child it's good to forget otherwise doctors, like plastic surgeons, would make a lot less money....perhaps.

I am getting better but it's not the recovery I had in-visioned and meditated about. Still I am thankful to God to be healing even if my incision feels so tight I can only imagine that it is going to burst open. Yet Dr. Rose reassured me again yesterday that all is well. Yes, I do have swelling along the bikini incision line that wasn't there 2 weeks ago but he says it will go away and I'm going to love the results. Frankly the results are great right now though I can not yet stand fully upright. Dr Rose says it's going to take me longer to heal then average with how much he took out from my abdomen. So patience is what's on my plate.

There are some things that I wasn't aware of. Several of the post I read did not mention just how tight and restricting the abdominal incision feels as I'm beginning to heal more.  My hips are still sore from the 3 drains I had. No one tells you that your going to be looking like the borg from Star Trek.  I never thought of taking a picture...rats,  Of all the readings about breast augmentation no one talked beyond that initial first week of pain. My peck muscles are still weak and I find it hard to open medicine bottles though not impossible like the first week. The biggest change with my breast is the change to my armpits. Perhaps this will improve as my muscles relax but I didn't read of any complaints that armpits became con-caved. I now can not shave. I can't get a razor into this new sunken rounded area. I'll figure it out in time but still in the recovery phase it isn't easy.

As far as my surgery, Dr. Rose said he removed 4 pounds of skins and tissue (not muscle but fat). He then added 2 pounds for the breast.  I was surprised 2 weeks ago when I stood on the scale thinking I probably gained 2 pounds since I'm not moving and just eating. Instead I reached and was below my goal weight of 135. Currently at 134 I will gain that back once I can eat full meals again....I imagine.

The abdominal hernia repair along with the tummy tuck seems to prevent me from eating full weighed and measured meals right now. This is okay as I heal. I pretty much am eating cream soups that Gove and Pam have made.

This afternoon I decided to go to the Provo Mall and I slowly walked through Dillards just to stretch my legs and to look at clothes. Nothing really caught my eye. I certainly began to feel sore after an hour so I am now home with ice on the front and back side of me with my legs elevated.

My whole family has been very supportive and I now see that this was the best time for me to have the surgery especially with the added time I need for recovery. We are going to have a very quiet Christmas season. Gove has a huge amount of programming and the girls are totally excited to spend time with Eliza.  Gove has been great through this whole thing. The first 3 weeks he tried to be with me in the evening just vegetating in front of Netflix. I thought I would read and meditate every day but that has not happened. Most often I fall to sleep but I'll get there again.

Having my adjustable bed has been a life saver and the bedside commode and even the walker that first week was wonderful.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It's a go...

I'm still going at it...like the energizer bunny I guess. Or maybe like the song, "just put one foot in front of the other..."  Anyway I'm trying to say that I am still working at being mindful and using breathing as meditation and being present.  I'm still reading my new story each and almost every day since the 28th of October.  I'm still trying to make amends via step 10 as the need arises which it id yesterday evening.

Yesterday, I returned to Dr. Rose with my good husband in tow.  I reviewed my surgical plan for the hernia repair and for the abdominalplasty and then I became nervous about the breast augmentation. I think it was a combination of several factors. My husband had just been home 24hrs and we had not yet seen each other with his work schedule and science project he helped a child with. And then I had also had a slip into fear, and I was feeling the tension of previous surgical memories and lastly a lack of sleep over the 4 days that Gove was absent from home. So all of these factors contributed to my confusion but Dr Rose talked to me straight forward about his wife and her implants and what he likes about them and what I and my husband will like and how my tummy tuck is going to work. In the end I felt better but by then the office was closed and I felt rushed so I took all the paper work home and I returned this morning. I had a peaceful experience. I read all the papers and signed them and I requested to try the 2 sizes on one more time. I like the 355cc implants and not so much the 415cc high profile implants. However, as I considered the look which is beautiful bty, I heard in my head to try the 385cc size which may not work but I really liked that look too. So I am requesting either of the two and not the high profile type. I left peaceful and happy about this and about my surgery and hernia repair this Friday morning.  I had no idea that the tummy tuck started just under the xiphoid process of the sternum. My tuck may have a little issue with the old hernia mesh but Dr. Rose will encourage Dr. Rasmussen to really tighten that hernia muscle.

I'm using positive imagery and affirmations along with preventative ointments in preparation for this exciting event. No doubt I'll be in pain but I can recall long ago being in very little pain after using such techniques.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

quote of the day...from The Prophet by Kahill Gibran

"...And stand together yet not too near together: 
For the pillars of the temple stand apart, 
and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."

I too am learning to no longer live in another persons shadow. It feels strong and hopeful for me. And we are going to be healthier for it.

This is my new story...

Dear Friend, 
After attending the Forgiveness retreat last month, I struggled with the
writing of my new story, until one day I knew I needed to check out from society and remain in my room of peace where I sang songs to my God and prayed, and read and then I suddenly was ready to write.  What I wrote is below. Written 7 days ago, I have reviewed my story each day except 1 and yesterday I was moved by what I wrote. I felt this was the correct wording for me.  I am sharing it here only to give encouragement to you as you write a new story for yourself. What I have written may not make any sense to you which is probably good because it's written for me and my benefit. Yet here I go and post it here.

Draft 1 10/28/14

     Forty-six years was a long time to carry the core message of "I'm not good enough". Yesterday I really surrendered that old unfaithful message. I ran to the bathroom and looked into the mirror and I told me that I am enough, that I have always been enough and I am not those old negative messages. I came out of the bathroom determined to share and not hide behind shame. To my happiness I felt relief after sharing. So today my newest story is beginning to take shape.

I Veronnica Lynne Bush-Allen was born of goodly parents who did the best they could with what they had available to them. Today my positive intention is to thank my parents. I now accept that their pains are in need of healing just like my own. Today we are each free to become our own personal hero.
I start my journey with a new list of positive messages; they are as follows:
  • I am present
  • I am good
  • I belong
  • I am  helpful
  • I am sane/ I am serenity
  • I am unique
  • I am enough
  • I am a success/ I am successful
  • I have much
  • I am important
  • I am significant
  • I am visible
  • I am loved
  • I matter
  • I am powerful/ I am strong
  • I am safe
  • I am just right
  • I am worthy
  • I am wanted
  • I live and breath in the now
  • I am right
  • I am creative
  • I am beautiful
  • I have much to offer

My biggest positive message is that I am enough. Because I remind myself that I am enough I am able to go to the mirror and quickly comfort my inner child with the assurance that I am enough and that to think otherwise is only a mistake that can be corrected.  I breath deeply of the realization that I am free to change and I am free to practice loving kindness towards myself and towards all others.

I am grateful to accept the 10th step which involves daily inventory of my thoughts and actions. This is providing me with the opportunity to make amends now which is freeing my positive energy to work in a way that goes beyond my current understanding.   I am grateful for the light that is upon me, that is within me, and for the light that is coming towards me; full of love, truth, and support. God continues to support me. He leads me to new learning that I am accepting with humility and a willingness to learn because I am excited about living my new life.

I find myself and many people around me excited for my change and the hope it leaves others feeling. MY love is infused with the love of God whose love is HUGE. Love is pulsating through my body and I keep taking daily deep breaths to remind myself of the full potential that is within me just under the surface of my skin. The pulsation of the life force to do good is within me. Tapping into this source of truth and hope I am bringing others to the source of love. It's called forgiveness of self.

There are no enemies any more. All family members, all people are messengers of love. I give love back freely with no strings attached. I do step aside from the emotions I experience and I am able to speak about the emotions without becoming the emotions. This is GRACE, a true gift of God. I reach daily for the compassion and hope that grace and love will lend to me. I am full of hope, faith, and trust. I give my vulnerability to my higher power and I am able to accept pain with gratitude for the new lesson that will come from each and every experience. I am grateful to say this because I am all about loving.  Giving and receiving love.

Because I care so much, I go to my place of quite reflection and I worship my Creator daily with prayer and words of thanks. I trust God to lead me into experiences and that all is for my own good. I do hard things. I am loveable, I am teachable, I am kind, I am a seeker of truth and I hope in that which I can not yet see.


I am my hero and I am your hero while you go through the steps necessary for your refinement. I am here to offer my support. I am not alone and neither are you. Thank you to all my friends known and unknown who are helping me to see the truth and reach for the light of love.  This is the story for today. I might slip and make a mistake yet I'll get up and I'll keep trying. This is how it works for me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

‘The Journey’ by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice – – -
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
‘Mend my life!’
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations – – -
though their melancholy
was terrible. It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do – – – determined to save
the only life you could save.

Dear Ego, I'm learning who you are and I'm working to let you go.....

Part 1

Part 2 

Part 3 

Part 4 

Part 5 

Part 6 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

opening to more...

8 weeks have come to an end...

My first exposure to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction has come to an end but the learning and meditation will continue in my life and journey as I discover my future place in what God wants me to do.

I have years before me in which to learn so I need to get going. Here are some of the ideas I am coming to think about and feel impressed to learn and use within my nursing skills arena.

1- Pick a program to renew my RN license in Washington state and then renew in Utah....1 year in which to complete the state requirements.
2- Find a yoga program to start certification in. I hear SLC community College has a certification class. http://www.slcccontinuinged.com/yoga
3- Learn about therapeutic dance like biodanza....3 years for certification...http://www.biodanza.org/en/formacion/formacion-para-facilitador-didacta-de-biodanza
4- Learn about the use of musical glass bowels in treatment...life time...http://www.tibetanbowlschool.com/
5- Certification in MBSR through University of Massachusetts...this will take many years...http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/stress-reduction/
6- And pursue earning a Masters degree in nursing education focusing on trauma healing ...4 years
7- Develop loving kindness skills
8-Continuing my journey with A Course in Miracles

All of these are over a great amount of years and I'm okay with that. My small steps now will add to great leaps in the future.

As I talked with Gove last night after our class about some of my above ideas he suggested maybe I am finding my mission.  He seemed supportive and he was wonderful to support me in going to the weekend retreat and welcomed me home yesterday by leaving work right in the middle of the day to send some much needed time together.  Thank you good husband.

The path of forgiveness....

Over this past weekend, October 16-19th. I drove to Petaluma Ca. to the EarthRise Center for a woman's retreat. The theme was "The Path of Forgiveness".  Twelve women were in attendance and Eileen Barker was our mentor. She invited 5 guest speakers. Zora introduced me to the beauty of music and eye contact while dancing and moving your body. Zora runs Biodanza in the San Francisco area. You can find her at zorabiodanza.com  How do I explain this healing art of music and dance?  The first evening of dance was painful but I put on a smile and went for the opportunity to learn and see what would happen. I like eye contact but to have constant eye contact and dance in front of other women!  Wow was that hard. Some  women stopped and left. I was glad to have stayed and Looking back now, staying made all the difference to opening my heart to love these women and to love the contact of our hands and eyes and by the end many of us were crying while we dance together.  Below are 2 of many hand picked songs for our forgiveness retreat experience. The Endangered Species song was used on the 3rd night and felt very empowering. Karen Drucker's song was our closing song and very fitting for the 4 hours we spent together in dance.






Was it worth the money? Every cent and even $100 more if I had to have paid it which I didn't so that was nice.  I liked the checking in with our buddies and our small group settings. I liked the guided meditation and the celebrations 3 times a day.  I liked that the pace at times slowed down because someone was on the verge of a breakthrough and Eileen wanted to let the process happen.

I was delighted to learn about the messenger and the message idea.  I was delighted with Sharon who came to share her talents with singing Tibetan bowels and glass/crystal bowels. That was beautiful sounding and vibrated into your body.  Sharon's chanting was interesting and mixed with many different sounds.

My roommate was Anne from San Francisco. She is a popular photographer. I need to go find her work as she has been in Time and Newsweek and many other magazines. I made several friends. One beautiful woman came to realize that her almost ex-husband did her a favor bringing her back to the states. She was suddenly able to see that blessing and her gratitude came to life and there was less hatred towards her spouse. She was so excited. It was healing to witness this in her and to rejoice with her in her new freedom.

Now, the real work begins for me. I need to write my new story.  I realized that I have sent years...since age 3 is what I was able to see in my heart and with my inner child that I have somehow internalized that I am being attacked, the victim, and that I was not good enough.  Not good enough was the core message I was hearing.  I have heard other messages but this is the big one for me.

The closing ceremony was very special for me. I was able to take my situation and write a new letter and then place it in the burning box and I felt much support from my Lord as I was doing this. I felt lifted and ready to fly. Sadly no wings sprouted.

This was a truly spiritual experience even though it had nothing to do with structured religion, there was love, peace, forgiveness, and in my heart and mind God was also there.

Thank you to all the women who came to EarthRise and who helped me to see my love and my growing potential to soar.  You are are missed by me.

Monday, October 13, 2014

7 Hours of silence and no eye contact...

First I learned that the all day meditation class would be silent. I got over that initial fear by telling myself that I would connect with people by looking into their eyes and saying with my eyes that I love them. I went to the class yesterday only to discover that not only would we not be talking, we would not be looking into each others eyes!  What!? I said to my little self. I decided I better talk to one of the leaders about this and how uncomfortable it is to not have eye contact.  Turns out that's kind of how it's done at these silent retreats.

It also turned out that after 7 hours, the whole thing was a good experience for me and in time I would like to take the opportunity to attend a 5-7 day silent retreat and see what I'll learn.
We did a couple of hours in total sitting meditation, walking meditation, plant observation, eating lunch as mindfully as you could, which I didn't do so well because I wanted to go out into the garden area of the Red Butte Gardens and wander the paths and be present with nature.

A guest yoga instructor lead us in 75 minutes of restorative yoga and he ended his time playing very moving deep clarinet music and it just so happened to be that I and Gove were laying right in front of the yogi and the music was peaceful, moving and light yet deep in sound. It was lovely to relax that way. We then listened to a prayer about sending love to another person, then to a person you feel neutral with and then to a person you experience difficult emotions. As I entered this difficult emotions person, I started to cry.

I really wanted to let it all out but I didn't want to break silence so I let the tears come quietly. I sort of wish I had opened all the way. There is certainly something that needs to be healed deep within my heart.  In time I hope to heal.

While listening and being present I realized that I can look forward to going to the forgiveness retreat this weekend as well. That I am open to learning, I'm open to forgiving myself and perhaps it isn't about asking others for forgiveness as much as it is starting new with these people. With news eyes and with the curious question of why. Why is this person like this? What can I learn? I can observe and step aside from my emotions and from my ego's thoughts and just be me, present and breathing and letting go of being sucked into what is not there.

Our last experience was to sit back to back with another class member. I sat against Dawn's back. Dawn is a psychologist and friend of our leader Vicki. She was the back up person and the person I spoke to about the no eye contact, the meaning of walking mindfully and then at the end I told her about my crying. She thought I am on good learning ground and that the cracking of my heart is opening to the gold that is hidden within and in time I will arrive there.

I am renting a car for my drive to San Francisco this Thursday. Really an hour north. What I will find I do not know but I will be bringing my love and God's love to share through my eyes and body. I will be attending 2 yoga sessions and I hope my meals will be manageable in such a situation.

Here I go...entering new chapters of the journey in my life.

Friday, October 10, 2014

from Atlas Shrugged

"No one's happiness but my own is in my power to achieve or to destroy."


I'm such a slow learner of this idea but good news folks, it's beginning to take root. Now if it can only stay rooted when I needed most. :)

Today...by Marianne Williamson

"Any thought we hold about anyone, we hold subconsciously about ourselves."

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

thank goodness...

ETTV logoettv-image
weekly
"What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.”
Eckhart Tolle

Today...

From the wisdom of Viktor Frankl:

"Your deepest wounds are the source of your greatest contributions.
From the ashes of your pain emerges the radiant torch of your greatness and that torch is fueled by trials.
That which would give light must endure burning."


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

today

"May my selfish nature melt away, dear God, 
and compassion come to take its place.
May everyone I meet or even think of today be blessed by the love I send their way.
I will receive as I decide to give, and today I choose to give love."
-day 26 A.Y. O. M.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Today...

From Day 24 of A Year of Miracles:

" May I not be tempted by the darkness of the world to think that God is gone, or lured into the thinking of the world to ever doubt love's power. God is here, love is real. and I am safe. These things I know and will not forget. And so it is. Amen."

Taking a few minutes to volunteer...

Meals on Wheels can always use more substitute drivers for their routes.  I and the kids have done this is the past and I thought I might like to offer myself as a sub for the coming year.  You use your own car and bring a meal and a happy face to someone who doesn't get much contact for the most part.  It' simple and you've done something nice that helps you to feel better too.

Miracle of miracles...

There is a way!  Last week, God placed a tiny seed of an idea into my mind and yesterday I followed with the thought. It suddenly occurred to me last week that maybe the nursing school I attended in Washington might have a refresher course.

I called and learned that they do not. But the receptionist was so nice she got on line and looked at the Department of Health for Washington and found that the state has a refresher programs for registered nurses.  Okay, I stayed calm, called on of the programs and sure enough I can do the theory from home and then I will need to come to Washington and work for 160 hours which is about a month in a hospital or nursing home.

Today I talked with the licensing department here in Utah to verify that if a reactivate my license in Washington I can actually receive an endorsement in Utah. Good news! I can! Hot dog.

I'm pausing to shed a few tears because God put that thought into my mind and now I can go forward and not start from scratch again. This is a miracle for me and a tender gift from God....thank you.



Other good news.  I want to learn about energy healing and mindfulness based stress reduction. I have found courses in both. The energy healing sounds so interesting and I will look into The
Simply Healed program created by Carolyn Cooper and see if that is for me.  The mindfulness plan will take several years of learning within myself and attendance at retreats but I have had interesting experiences with asking pains to leave my body and many have and others I have learned are emotional pains (which is why I want to learn the energy work). I think the Un. of Mass program is doable over time and I will need the CEU's because this time I am not going to loss my license in Washington nor Utah.

This is my good news for the day.  I was feeling sadness this morning but there is always a way out to hope and light. Now for lunch which will be weighed and measured.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday

"Forgiveness means letting go of the hope of ever having a better past."
-a course in miracles

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Just keep breathing...today

I was visiting with my therapist yesterday afternoon. It is always nice to visit with Amy, she reminds me of things I want to do or say with my husband that I have forgotten and not even thought of.
I was sharing my insight about charity having boundaries and once I explained my idea to her she said to watch Elder Holland's talk from April 2014 General Conference that he too was saying there are boundaries without saying 'boundaries'.  I listened to his talk and he talks of love or the pure love of Christ which is charity as the love that is the only thing that works.

It's so everywhere now that I am looking. "Love works, and it's the only thing that does."- thank you
Kathy Miner for opening my eyes, ears, and heart to this truth that often feels scary to me...vulnerable.

Amy and I also talked about my experience with the MBSR course and how I want to become certified and how I probably will need my nursing degree again to add credit to my abilities. We imagined that I could work with Addo Recovery in offering woman additional healing by becoming aware and living in the now.  Mind you I am just a novice but I truly hope to acquire the skills to respond to emotions and not react to emotions. I really like living with peace and after listening to Elder Holland this morning I do want to be a messenger of Christlike love all the time. I do want to be forgiving and uplifting towards my husband. He is doing a good job (I do believe) on his road to recovery as well. I see little choices he is making to perhaps bridle his eyes and mind and for that I am deeply appreciative. Which means I need to make sure I tell him that too. However, saying that appreciation out loud does involve vulnerability and should I discover that what I think and what is really happening to not be the same then there is shame if I allow to be shamed.  I think I rather take the vulnerability direction. There is the chance for deeper risk but I think Heavenly Father will always be here to help heal me and I want to trust and believe in my husband and in other people who come into my life. I believe God wants me to be a forgiving person and to extend my hope and faith to my husband and to my children and perhaps to others like my sponsee's at times as they grow to trust the 12 steps leading to recovery and to a richer life.

As a family last night we did the 15 minute body scan and will start to invite our children to participate...I hope daily just for 15 minutes and for me I will be observing for noticeable changes as part of my personal research into this thing they call mindfulness.




Here is the talk, start the timer at 8:50 if you want to get right to the point.



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Today's mindfulness thought...

"By definition, stress reactions happen automatically and unconsciously.  As soon as you bring awareness to what is going on in a stressful situation, you have already changed that situation dramatically, just by virtue of not being unconscious and on automatic pilot anymore.  You are now fully present while the stressful event is unfolding.  And since you are an integral part of the whole situation, by increasing your level of awareness, you are actually changing the entire situation, even before you do anything.  This inner change can be extremely important because it gives you a range of options for influencing what will happen next.  Bringing awareness to such a moment only takes a split second but it can make a critical difference in the outcome of a stressful encounter.  In fact, it is the deciding factor in whether you go the path of the "stress reaction" or whether you can navigate over to the path of the "stress response."  pages 265-266


"...awareness is the critical element in learning how to free yourself from your stress reations at those moments when your first impulse is to feel threatened and to run or take some other kind of evasive action or to fight."   page 255

"Precisely because perception and appraisal or the lack of them play such a major role in our ability to adapt and respond appropriately to change and to pain and to threats to our well-being, the major avenue available to us as individuals for handling stress effectively is to understand what we are going through.  We can best do this by cultivating our ability to perceive our experience in its full context, as we did with the puzzle of the nine dots...In this way, we can discern relationships and feedback that we may not have been aware of before.  This allows us to see our life situation more clearly and thereby influence the level of stress associated with our habitual reactions in difficult situations.  It also frees us from the tight grip of our many unconscious beliefs that ultimately inhibit our growth.  SO it can be particularly helpful to keep in mind from moment to moment that it is not so much the stressors in our lives but how we see them and what we do with them that determines how much we are at their mercy.  If we can change the way we see, we can change the way we respond. page 241

- from Jon Kabatt-Zinn

Monday, September 22, 2014

What I want, what I do, and what I get are not often on the same line of thought...

Because of shame that I can sense is still within me, I find today's thought a much wanted quality within myself but in which I lack a great deal.
"I will no longer be careless with the working of my mind. Rather, I will use it as it was created by God to be used, as a conduit for love and a gateway to peace. May everyone, including myself, feel the tenderness of my approval and not the harshness of my unkindness." day 21 A.Y.of M.
Two of my most adamant character defects get in the way thing 1 is elf-justification and thing 2 is self-righteousness. Ho hum. Yet I can say that I'll just keep trying. That's the good thing about me; I keep trying when when it hurts and I have to eat my mud pie.

On a lighter note I am going to share right here, right now, that I need to have a hernia repaired again and so I'm going to make arrangements to have the hernia repaired while I have a tummy tuck and my breasts lifted and enhanced after going from a c cup to a a/ flat b cup. How exciting is this? It's great!  There is much I have yet to learn. I'm doing my research about smooth verses textured implants, my hernia mesh needs to be placed under the abdominal muscle instead of on the top where it is now and because the muscle wall was stretched with my last pregnancy I did not know until I released these 84 pounds that a hernia was back. That explains why when I eat a meal out goes my upper abdomen. I do not need any liposuction and I will have the lose skin which was the result of my fairly large pannus removed. I plan to keep a record of my experience. Though I don't think I can do this until January because of the time for recovery and insurance issues. But I can wait and keep my exercising going strong along with 2x a week with yoga.

Now I'm not hiding anything. Thanks.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Update related to mindfulness based stress reduction class

Big News Today!  I was able to stay awake and focused for the first time in 3 or 4 weeks since starting this class while listening and following the instructions for the 30 minute body scan. It was a wonderful experience.

First I had just finished a 30 minutes hot bath soak and was wrapped up in bed trying to sweat out as much toxins as I could.  I had awoke with a frontal headache and thought the sweating might be helpful...it was. 

Secondly I decided to tell each area of the body scan how much I appreciated it. So as I started with my toes I said how I loved them and thanked them for balance, how the bones are so beautiful (which they really are) and I encouraged all my bones to make red blood cells and to let the blood circulate deep into all my tissues. I did this for my whole body. 


And then as I was finishing with the head, I decided to offer all old memories of hormonal imbalances to leave with my exhales and to breath in new memories of balanced hormones, of blood circulating and oxygen going to every place to feed my brain. I finished feeling love for my body and all the parts I was able to acknowledge during the scan. My mind only left in the last 2 minutes to think about sharing this technique and becoming certified to share in Utah Valley because no one seems to teach it here in the county with such high depression and suicide rates.

Anyway, I think practicing mindfulness is going to hold lasting benefits for my physical, emotional, and spiritual well being provided I use it and practice daily.

I am still using mindfulness to eat my breakfast meals and my prayers are including more mindfulness for the hands that create, the animals that give, the harvest and shipping and the opportunity we have to buy, create and consume.

Here is a link to guided meditation: http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22

Here is Jon Kabatt Zinn which you can listen to while learning to relax and do the body scan: 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Here is Elder Holland's message on charity/love

What will this say?

 A line from day 18 of A Year of Miracles says, "...I pray that when I am tempted to speak or act without charity, that God's spirit will correct my thoughts..."

Charity has several qualities. It suffereth long, it's kind, envieth not, not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, and endureth all things. Yet I came to see this morning as I read these words in Moroni chapter 7 that charity has other qualities not listed in scripture but are listed in my mind. Such as the fact that charity sets boundaries, or that charity doesn't let the person who is still sick to take advantage knowingly, charity may be hurt and feel several emotions but charity has learned to name those emotions give truth to the feelings and then speaks with love.
Charity is indeed the pure love of Christ. All others things will fail in time except one and that is charity. And that is LOVE. This love is the only thing that will endure forever. 
Therefore I will continue to pray with greater willingness that I might be filled with LOVE. 

Christ did not receive a fullness of his Father all at once. He did finish receiving that fullness at his baptism so I am reminded that as I ask and act on charity which is love of Christ I will progress in the fullness a little at a time until I am full of the love of Christ completely. I guess it's going to take longer than my earthly journey time. 


Charity works,
And it's the only thing that does.

Love works, 
And it's the only thing that does.

A wonderful talk on charity and love was given by Elder Holland on the 15th of February 2000 entitles How Do I Love Thee.  I have used his ideas on many occasions to help combat the black dog.

Speaking of black dog. I was not aware of any threats yesterday. 

Speaking of threats, I am listening to a research book on the power of the female brain and how our brains need to be taken care of differently than a male's brain. I think it's going to be very interesting and useful.

I find myself wondering about my future education. I find that I am feeling easier going over these pass 3 weeks that I have been attending the mindfulness course and doing the meditations daily. I find the muscle testing and change or resting of pained muscles in my back interesting and yet I am cautious too but thinking about how I may help in the future and what Father will have me do that may be an alternative in the world of medicine. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

reading today

From my reading in A Course in Miracles:
- You who want peace can find it only by complete forgiveness.
-No learning is acquired by anyone unless he wants to learn it and believes in some way that he needs it.
-A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct.
-The real purpose of this world is to use it to correct your unbelief.
-All aspects of fear are untrue because they do not exist at the creative level, and therefore do not exist at all.

Perfect love cast out fear.
If fear exists,
Then there is no perfect love.
But:
Only perfect love exists.
If there is fear,
It produces a state that does not exist.

-Believe this and you will be free. Only God can establish this solution, and this faith is His gift.

How many times can I look back on my fear notions and now see how my perception of fear did not come to pass but that it did make my life for a time feel like some form of hell? Interesting, a state that does not exist.

today

"Through Him, 
for Him, 
because of Him, 
I can."
-day 16 A Year of Miracles

“To recognize one's own insanity is, of course, 
the arising of sanity, 
the beginning of healing and transcendence.”
-Eckhart Tolle

Monday, September 15, 2014

today...

from day 14 of A Year of Miracles:

"... I forgive myself, and others, for any mistakes we made before this moment.
 I choose not to drag the burden of my past into the promised land of each new day..."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

today

"I vow to be a better person now, 
that I might rise where before I had fallen, 
and shine where I had dwelled in darkness."
-Marianne Williamson

Bitten...

by that black dog of negative thoughts yesterday and I'm trying to keep my head above the water today. Back stroking to the safety of the shore line. Prayer is what I'm needing yet prayer doesn't seem enough either at this moment so writing is what I do now.

I thought of an acronym for Love:
                                                          Letting
                                                         Out
                                                         Vulnerable
                                                         Emotions

I'm feeling emotional hard work ahead of me over this month and next as I prepare for a forgiveness retreat I will be attending in San Francisco in October. I think it is no coincidence that I am again struggling with the same steps I ran from in the spring of 2013 and now in preparation for this woman's retreat I need to do some detailed Step 8 work. I think I need to show love to myself and talk myself forward. I am really a nice person except when I'm not or when I feel threatened.

Just last night I felt threatened. And this morning I am grateful to at the very least realize that my beliefs at tinted and I need help seeing what is truth in conversations and in events because my beliefs add certain levels of emotional pain when I encounter some of my loved ones. So the good thing is that I can realize thanks to my Higher Power that my core ideas are not healthy on all levels. I pray for change and surrendering.

And now I go one. Trying to live in my now and not my future or past.

-Thank you Jesus for loving me even today in my weaknesses.

P.S. The first lessons of A Course in Miracles may help me if I can remember to say twice a day, using objects within my field of vision that this or that ______does not mean anything....interesting now that I'm saying it in my mind. ...that note did not mean anything. Okay. I'm going to go on now in the Now.

From Marianne Williamson Day 13  "...I pray for forgiveness, that my heart might be free from shame and guilt...I pray for those who I may have hurt (I know I have hurt) and ask that they be healed of any pain I might have caused them. I vow to be a better person now..."

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In my Now...

Now
-Learning to use mindfulness through the body scan and breathing awareness.
-Reading daily from the words of God and the prophets of God. 
-Learning to read A Course in Miracles: today I will look around me and state without any judgement that "this or that ______does not mean anything". Once in the morning and again in the evening. I am not going to think about what this means I'm just going to do it. "Each day should be devoted to miracles..."
-Beginning to learn from reading A Return To Love. 
"The alter of God is the human mind. To 'desecrate the alter' is to fill it with non-loving thoughts." 
-Ouch. 
-Luckily, "Love in your mind produces love in your life." So there is still hope.
- I love hope.
-Bathroom readings will always be a part of my life. People come to my home and are surprised that I keep so many books in each of the bathrooms. I wonder why? I've always thought books are a great way to relax in order to take care of your business. Any way I am reading a little almost each day from the following two.
first: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. I am relating to many things she is discussing involving vulnerability. Just yesterday I was considering trust and how it isn't easy for me to just start trusting when my trust has been violated. Why do some people just want you to drop what has occurred and trust them to be honest from here on out? I think it's because we each see trust differently.
For me, trust is a big vulnerability in my heart and eyes and mind. It requires work, attention, and full engagement. It's that engagement that Brene shared with me last night. She says, "Disengagement triggers shame and our greatest fears-the fears of being abandoned, unworthy, and unlovable. What can make this covert betrayal so much more dangerous than something like a lie or an affair is that we can't point to the source of our pain- there's no event, no obvious evidence of brokenness. It can feel crazy making."   So my trust is going to develop as I make sure i and we are actually engaged and not just going through the requirements of daily living. It means talking and spending time together, asking questions and more questions and then simply being side by side. And I'm sure a lot more I don't yet know how to articulate or understand but it will come to me.
-Second is Marianne Williamson's daily devotions called A Year Of Miracles. So far, each day has something I can take into my life if only I could keep so many things going through my mind.  Today this is what she said to me: "Happiness is the choice I make today...I surrender to God any emotional habits that lead me down the path of unhappiness, and pray for guidance in shifting my thoughts. In cultiviating the habits of happiness, I attract the people and situations that match its frequency. I smile more often, give praise more often, give thanks more often, and am glad more often. For such is my choice today."
Okay, so, there you have it... for Now.

for today...

"Father, please help me. Heal my mind. Wherever my thoughts have strayed from love-if I've been controlling, manipulative, greedy, ambitious for myself-whatever it is, I'm willing to see this differently. Amen"
-A Return To Love pg 25

Monday, September 8, 2014

today...

"Help me to use the gifts You have given me. 
I want to use them to help others through making my own world better and brighter." 
-One Day At A Time In Al-Anon

"Today I listen to my feelings, and I am gentle with myself. I know that all of my feelings are my friends."
-I Can Do It

While listening to one of my sponsee's this morning I was inclined to share what Elder Uchtdorf recently said about praying when it  feels as if there is no light about you and only darkness. He said to first lift up your soul in prayer then to explain to Heavenly Father what you are feeling. Next to acknowledge your short comings then pour out your heart and express gratitude. Then he said to let Father know of the trials you are facing and then to plead in Christ name for strength and support (I am adding courage). And lastly to ask that your ears maybe opened to hear His voice and that your eyes maybe opened that you may see His light.
I also mentioned that I read that Winston Churchill had a battle with depression that he called the Black Dog. I too have my black dog and I think I mentioned it in an earlier post. I hope that offers her some hope. Plus when one is feeling the pull of their addiction it is or rather it has been helpful to me and countless others to get down on our knees and pray for a willingness to surrender the desire over to God who is my higher power in all things.


I am finding more peace in my days of last week as I give my mornings to the development of my spiritual self. 
 

Susan Boyle - Britains Got Talent 2009...I needed this reminder today...I hope it lifts you too.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Breakfast mindfulness...

In taking Jon Kabat-Zinn's mindfulness based stress reduction class there are required activities to do during the week while preparing for the next class. This week we are to strive to eat a meal mindfully. I take this to mean one meal each day. I tried this with breakfast yesterday. No reading, writing, talking on the phone, just looking and tasting and thinking about each bite. Boy! that was hard to do and I decided one meal a day to focus on is enough right now because it takes energy to be mindful. I used my breakfast meal and it was not easy to stay on track with eating. My mind wandered to list of things, places or to people. I was surprised how much attention it was taking to stay with my meal.  I going to do the same thing with this mornings meal just so I can practice and in time I will grow in the ability to be mindful...that is my hope anyway.

We are also asked to attempt 45 minutes each day in doing the body scan technique with audio downloads. But if 45 minutes doesn't work to try for 30 minutes. I like the 30 minutes mp3 because it is Jon himself speaking whereas the 45 minutes mp3 is designed with greater lengths of no speaking and I get lost with that and fall asleep. So I am striving for the 30 minutes each day.  I like this experience because I am offering love and gratitude for each body scan level and I have never thanked God for my beautiful toes, and body parts like I have in the past 2 days. It's nice and I feel hopeful just because of being thankful and with gratitude. This morning I am going to try the 15 minutes body scan and listen to the mp3 and get a feel for how this format works for those times when I need to get going out the door sooner. I do however want to have 30 minutes to offer and to work my way to 45 minutes of mindfulness each morning.

With my daughters now in school, my morning dynamics have certainly changed and opened to new possibilities for me.  I am thankful to accept and feel directed in the way which I am currently going.

I Can Do It!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Be still and know that I Am...

Since Education Week, I have been practicing mindful deep breathing exercises while repeating the words, "Be still and know that I Am".  I like thinking about Jesus Christ in this fashion because sometimes I get an idea to do something but mostly it just prepares me to say my prayers and bring my mind and heart to center on my morning ritual which is my spiritual journey into becoming the queenly daughter of God and slowly turning from slave-girl mentality.


I continue to think about love since education week as well and about Kathy Miner who taught us about love. She kept saying, "Love works and it's the only thing that does".  I'm beginning to believe her. Kathy is the first person in my life to evoke an emotional response that I have never felt before. When I left her class on Friday morning of that week, I started to cry because I really did not want to leave this woman. She is the queen I want to become. She was love. She was herself, she was learning to remember when she forgets, she is beautifully powerful, and was constantly flowing with love. I miss her. I realized that this is what it will be like to be with Jesus. I wont want to leave Him either. I want to reach out to Kathy but I also realize I have some other things to do over the next 2 months maybe until the end of the year before I am to reach out to her. Kathy is the founder of Mother's without Borders and I know I will be going with her or with other volunteers to Zambia in the following years of my life. I know she is going to mentor me in time ...well actually she already is because I am reading the writings of Marianne Williamson which Kathy quoted each session.


"Don't Feed The Black Dog" I'm not sure if this is true but I read yesterday that Winston Churchill dealt with depression and called depression the black dog. He worked to not feed this dog and thus tried to starve the black dog.  I liked this idea. So now in my kitchen I can read Don't Feed The Black Dog, starve it.  For me the black dog is not depression but rather negative thoughts, negative ideas, negative assumptions and illusions.  For several weeks I have been carrying a piece of paper in my bracket (bra pocket) on which I write a quick note of a negative idea, image, thought, anything that is negative and I give it the name of coming from Satan and not from God because God works in the present not the past and future and not with negative stuff. Then I let the idea go and almost every time the idea leaves me especially when I say it belongs to Satan and not God. This paper is helping me to quiet my black dog.


Sherrie Johnson is the other person from Education Week who is staying in my mind and I think about some of what she shared.  Mainly the fact that I need to know the truth. I am very capable of seeing illusions of the truth but being able to get to the truth of what is, is truly freeing and allows for truthful communication with myself, with God, and with the person or persons involved. And she has much to share on should sharks. I'm going to be visiting with Sherrie in time. Perhaps before Kathy but it isn't clear at this point.

Last night, I attended my official first class of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.  We did  a 40 minutes body scan and although I had practiced the 30 minutes scan 2 times before, I found this scan liberating because I experienced a wonderful sensation of loving my body and feeling very thankful for the beauty of my toes, the bottom of my feet, my thighs, hips, my hair, my eyes and on and on with every part and now this morning, I love my body at the moment and it is young and vibrant and I feel peace for the present time. I plan to use the 45 minutes scan this morning and to attempt this each morning this week to see what happens. Mainly just to practice the skill of mindfulness.

Friday, August 29, 2014

thought for today...

When my sponsees call each morning, we start with the Serenity Pray which goes like this. 
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
I haven't thought this thought until this morning but might I see things I can't change as being a burden to me? Do I? Do my sponsees? I am thankful to realize that if I do see the things I can't change as a burden then I am changing my mind and heart and accepting what I can't change as an opportunity for my learning and willingness to be with greater humility in my daily life.  Will you?


Thursday, August 28, 2014

thanks twain...

"Dance like no one is watching. 
Sing like no one is listening. 
Love like you've never been hurt 
and live
 like it's heaven on Earth."
-Mark Twin

today...

One thing I have going for me is the fact that I have always been willing. Willing to improve even when I keep stepping backwards. Willing to try again even when I hated having to try again. I want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and I am and have been willing (though not wholeheartedly all the time) but willing nevertheless to become a changed and improved person. It's a very slow change that is taking place within. I wonder if perhaps God needs me to change slowly for others to have encounters with my weaknesses in order to help them with their own weaknesses? So it is and so be it. 
I experienced a change Tuesday night (when I was having feelings of deep disappointment of being stood-up by my spouse and disrespected by not receiving a call to let me know 1.5 hours later then when he said he would be home.) I laid in bed realizing that these feeling of hurt were not what I wanted to keep and that the feelings needed to be given names of emotions and that I wanted to speak with my husband about the hurt and how to communicate being late instead of ignoring me, when I took a deep breath and suddenly just like that the emotions lifted and I smiled and felt the negative weight in my chest lift and I instantly knew I could talk to my husband and care and love myself and say what I needed and hear what he needed without having emotions get in the way. 
For me, this was a gift and a miracle from God the Father....no it was a gift from the Godhead. I bet it took all 3 to help me. But however it came it did come and we communicated. I stood for myself in love and wanting to explain, he explained his side and I came away with greater understanding. Oh how I hope this can happen again to me.
I start taking an 8 week course in Mindfullness Based Stress Reduction next week. I have no idea what to expect except I am offering my morning to study, meditate, pray, read and be authentic as best I can as I learn these skills of peace, joy, and freedom.
After the open conversation with my husband Tuesday night I had a dream early Wednesday morning that involved a bear.  I have had a few dreams of being attacked or followed by bears and I have associated them with stress and trauma in my life. Well this dream was of a very large stuffed bear being used in a play of some type. And, at the end of the play, I found myself caught under the bear and I needed to get out and as I looked into the eyes and face of this bear I started to get scared but I told myself that the bear is dead and can not hurt me. I was able to remove myself out from under the dead beast and when I awoke I realized that this was a significant dream for me. First because of the communication of the night before, Second because I stayed calm and talked to myself that this stuffed bear was not able to get me, and thirdly that I am becoming a stronger daughter of God and I am less fearful, less stressed, and more open to love and light and truth. The bear is dead. It can no longer hurt me and I am stronger. STRONG. I love and like this word. I like it so much I have a necklace that says so.