Hear this a lot?

Well you just have it all set up, don’t you?

Your life is cush! What are you complaining about?

Quoting good Theodore again, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Well life iiiiisssss easy,

…like chaos.  chaos

Self-care tip: Whichever side of these statements you find yourself today, take notice.  Keep on.

Question:  Which side of these thoughts do you find yourself?

#Gratitude

Today was a great day to pick up sea glass.  My intent was to get the walk in, until I saw the glass.  Then my intent became intentions.

For all of you who are throwing these bottles into the oceans, I prefer blue.

Picking up sea glass is about as distracting to me as the weeds in my garden when I am “just trying to take a walk,” but it wouldn’t be, if I didn’t want the glass or the perty garden.  I am not a victim.

This morning, at Crystal Cove, the big number of other folk sharing space wasn’t expected.  Too funny how many of us were out there trying to walk as much as we could for the right to eat. As much as we can. True. I project.  Reality as defined by my perceptions. I ate a lot today. 

Walking on the beach, sometimes I feel proprietorial.  I think, “This beach is mine.  These shells, these rocks, nobody else gets the wonder of this.”  Then I remember, there are a shucking load of other beaches out there and walkers who call the sand under their feet of personal value.  And isn’t that useful.  

While walking, I came across an unfortunate bird. Fortune is a two way mirror, however. This Life, fishing wire and multiple hooks, ensnared. Fortune-Bird was discovered by other foot-stompers-for-eating. The fishing wire had encircled its right wing and throat. Fortune-Bird could not fly without choking itself I suppose. Bummer. Other more MacGuiver-like observers, on (My) beach, threw a shirt over the bird to allow handling.  However the hooks in the mouth required more extraction tools. We contacted the Rangers who shared what fortune would bring, and the bird was free free free at last. It was almost too much for my little heart. 

Here is Fortune-Bird. Fishing wire and hooks are around the neck space.  Not great lighting for visualizing them but you see Life and value.

Fortune-Bird

Sniff.

Later, thanks to Runmeter, Twitter captured: “Finished Run, Newport Coast, 564 calories, time 2:08:12, 5.07 miles, average 25:16 /mile, ascent 161 feet. ”  It didn’t explain the glass, or the effect of seeing hooks pierced through the face of Fortune-Bird, or the families who were clustered here and there – at least one member or more understanding at some level that they were with us just for the upcoming eating.

That little tweet did give enough though, for remembering, for connecting, for increasing presence – distractions included, and allows my experiencing, with you, gratitude for Life.

Self-Care Tip:  #Gratitude.

Question:  What are you thankful for?

Grass Stains on My Knees – Fresh words to speak about God and self-care…

you are where I go when I go home

grass stains on my knees, I return,…

ak-mak and saladI chewed despite the sensory scream to stop.  Stale ak-mak crackers.  Not much can compare.  These usually wonderful “sesame crackers made with organically grown ‘Whole of the Wheat’ flour stone ground crackers,” which my children love to eat like bread in peanut butter sandwiches, or like chips with guacamole, had been opened and left unsealed in the dark of our pantry.  What happens to crackers without preservatives?  Most of our packaged foods are preserved to last until Jesus comes, but not ak-mak.  They are good for about thirty minutes.  That is exaggerating it, but you see.  They are lovely and healthy and like a smile on any face, best served fresh.

ak-mak
Why did I chew on?  They were sucking up the saliva in my mouth faster than the spigot would allow.  I chewed, insisting the memory of ak-mak experiences would triumph over the current reality.

Exploring ideas about God and self-care has been sometimes fresh and sometimes not.  She is a smile that jumps on the face before the thought even comes out in words.  He is the energy we awaken with after depression lifts.  She is the space on Mother’s lap.  A sun-dress in a California winter.  He is not forgotten, oxidized, and dry supplement.  This I know.  So when the thoughts and the words contradict this Truth, I spit it out.  Or I hope to.  None of us need that.  But if I don’t spit it out, if I chew even after it is obvious to the rest of you, “Time to spit!,” would you, in your generous hearts, please pull the kindness forth and call it?  Stale.

This poem is my current humble effort toward speaking about God.

you are where I go when I go home

grass stains on my knees, I return…

More to come from poetry and thoughts on God and self-care.  How does God intersect with your self-care?  Please engage and speak.  We are designed for community and need you.  Keep on!

Dr. Q

More Good News on Increasing ECT Awareness

I so regret my distance lately from you here at Friend to Yourself!  Thank you very much for your presence and forgiveness.  I am not “gone” although quiet.  My brain has been working on this idea of God and how he intersects with self-care, which has been challenging for me.  I’ll start talking again soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to connect you with another wonderful article,

Investigating ECT

Sana Johnson-Quijada MD:

Excellent personal story, insights, and disclosure. Thanks for speaking out. We don’t hear enough about ECT. Keep on.

Originally posted on bi[polar] curious:

Yesterday I had a consultation with a local ECT specialist.

ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) is generally considered a last resort treatment for people in severe manic or depressive states whose symptoms have not responded to medication. The procedure works by producing a controlled seizure in an anesthetized patient by means of a low controlled electric current passed through the brain.

I can probably guess what you’re thinking at this point, and yes… it is a serious procedure. Though this form of treatment has undergone significant improvements since its early usage it is still highly stigmatized, even by many of those within the mental health community. At the same time, it is one of the few “proven” (i.e. studied) treatment options for people who experience severe symptoms that do not respond to medications (like mine).

I also feel inclined to note that I have not made any solid decisions regarding this form…

View original 1,048 more words

Get a clue – Community

Get a clue – Community

community

There are some things that must be experienced to have a clue.  If  you have never had a rebellious teenager, if you have never felt a full panic attack, if you haven’t grown old, been pregnant, been fat, if you’ve never, you won’t know.

If you have never been thin and beautiful, or large and virile, if you haven’t jumped from a plane and felt the free fall before the shoot, if you have never held a graduation diploma after working harder than you ever have, if you haven’t, you will never know.

So how can you?  How do we understand, give advice, and how can we be present.

There are common thoughts and common feelings, like the air we breath.  Rejection, hope, the intersection of thought with emotion with soul, our 6 senses; sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste, emotion, these we may be able to understand.  We may not be able to understand divorce but we will know rejection.

The sense of accomplishment, being the first in generations to graduate from college for example, is in each of us in our own context; picked for the team, sleep through night after days of preoccupied thought absorbing up the early morning minutes into hours, aware of self-value after chasing it over hills of bullying and comparisons.

Comparison is the thief of joy. – Roosevelt

There are going to be a lot of things that we will never understand in others.  But we will understand how to be present, stand beside someone, allow you to have your unique experience but although unique it is with commonality.   Everything we go through has commonality.  We are designed for just that point in time, for connection.  It is the pursuit of a lifetime.

Self-care tip:  Seek and engage in community.

Questions:  What is it that you feel alone in?  What do you believe is unrelatable?  Or Why not?  Please tell us your story.

It goes in both directions

caged

Say hypothetically that you or I achieved full health, that fount of youth that our heroes pursued on their lonely journeys, persons of La Manche. Say we, like Tuck Everlasting, or the marvelous “Lucy,” as performed by Scarlett Johansson and written/directed by Luc Besson, became well. Became every bit of our potential.  Say Fortune caught us finally in her gauzy fingers and we no longer were bound by the helix of genetic vulnerability, so much as to say that we are no longer a broken fly, indeed, in a web of inevitable need for salvation.  Would God who is and who is personal be friendly to me?  Or would God who no longer sensed “need” in Her subjects lose interest and wander off into the forest of other brokenness?
That’s a pathological relationship when its function is fueled by brokenness, thinking the brokenness allows for connection and Love.

How bout Me, then?  Would we forget about the One who had tended our hurts, a gentle Giver, like a child moving from one wrapped present under the Christmas tree to another.  Would God serve no purpose in our self-care?  In fact, would there be self-care any more?  Maybe in this hypothetical scene of the perfect human, we would lose connection.  Perhaps we would become like the girl in Hawthorne’s fantastic short story, The Birthmark, who without our imperfections would die, unable to breathe the air.  Unable to receive Love without our flaws.

No.  You and I are more than this.  We are not loved by a God who keeps us in misery for the sake of Her throne, for the purpose of saving us from sickness and suffering.  We are not sought out in a personal intimacy that is, in its own design, sick.

God isn’t afraid of perfection.  Our connection to God who is and who is personal is not threatened by our healthy selves.

Salvation goes in both directions – up and down, when we are doing well and when we are unwell, to our perfect as well as our imperfect selves.

Self-Care Tip:  Let us feel very good to include God who is and who is personal, when confidence lifts.  It won’t jinx Me or my connection to God to value oneself.  Keep on.

Question:  When do you want to connect with God?  Does staying connected with God improve your self-care, even when feeling great?  Have you thought that there is value in connection with God when doing well or poorly?  Is it either-or in any way?  Please tell us your story.