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.