The How to: “Have It Out” With Others.

049. Mommies Face Off

049. Mommies Face Off (Photo credit: annagarcia)

1.  Speak in the “Me” tense.  (Read this post for more information.)

2.  If complaints toward others must be said, give stage.  Then “place” them in a bin so everyone knows that they are there, acknowledged, important and not ignored, even though everyone is talking about “Me” from here on.  Even though the complaints about others are not being talked about doesn’t disqualify them or minimize them.  They are just “binned” for now.

3.  Everyone is going toward their power, freedom and nidus of control – Me.    (Read this post for more information.)

4.  Pick one topic.  (Read this post for more information.)

Today I can’t count.  I believe that’s four self-care tips?

Questions:  What happens when you keep things about Me in the context of arguments?  How does this affect your connection with others?  How is this friendly to you?  Please tell us your story.

Anticipate Rejections – Normal And Part of Our Human Condition

Self-Care Tip:  Anticipate rejections and some in-between times, you will be chosen.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.

-Thomas A. Edison

Foto einer Glühbirne (an),

In today’s economic climate, we are given more opportunities to seek employment elsewhere.  Of course, “opportunity” is loosely used here and it might sound like I was playing Mad-Libs, a super game in fact so I’m okay with that.

But whether we are applying for employment or asking to be someone’s friend, or like Edison, playing – these various arenas of rejections are normal. They may feel particularly personal, but that’s a distortion.  They’re part of the human condition.  They come to us who do what we love, who do for well-evaluated intentions, who put out with courage and who put in 10,ooo hours.  They come to us who haven’t found what we love, who work for a martyrs salary or who do not have the privilege to go toward their temperament.

Rejections are.  They are like the surface tension, the space between water and air and they hold us together.

We love success and too often are like Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates.  We forget from sunset to sunrise what a day’s labor brought us before.  We forget easily.

But with Magic and Love, we can lose ourselves once again in the experience of doing what we love to do despite it.  We can remember better with the help of rejections.  Remember all sorts of things.  And without turning this into a script from Cheers, we can still say that rejections become the best parts of our life’s experience.

Those darn personalizations though, those distorted perceptions, those rejection-clots that cut off circulation – if it becomes that the space between water and air gets too thick, if rejections seem life defining, tell your physician about it.  It’s not “just the stress.”  It’s from the brain and might be a symptom of brain illness, much like achy joints and arthritis go together.

Questions:  How are you able to use the rejections you received to be friendly to yourself?  Please tell us your story.

Believe And Pursue Magic

Heart beat

Image via Wikipedia

Believe and pursue Magic.

Eternity frightens me.  When I go to see what stone is in my shoe, that fear, I find the absence of lines.  I am afraid of living without boundaries, without the beginnings and endings that bring so much quality to our suffering lives.

Time is a line that comforts me.  It gives form to my experiences.  However, to give eternity a “go” means to, in this dimension, allow myself that a (possibly) vacuous shapeless Me will still be a Me that I can live with.  It is to believe and pursue Magic.

Today while reading The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, I tensed over the beauty of it. What a mastery of language the author had.  How I wish to have enough time to carve a work like that out of my life.  But the awareness of what I have done, what I have already chosen to spend my life on, scolds me.  My thoughts are slower than they were.  I am half used up.  My time is parceled and I know that if it happens, it won’t be enough to satisfy me.  My container will seal closed.

מנא ,מנא, תקל, ופרסין

Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin

- Daniel at Belshazzar’s Feast

I never watched much TV but I remember a commercial about Tupperware.  The lid coming down on it and the corner lifting just enough to burp out the last bit of air, sealing it’s freshness.  I feel a lid closing.

My daughter, six years old has taken to grabbing my head and pressing my ear against her chest.

What do you hear, Mommy? 

Spoiled by medicine, I stupidly answer, 

Lub-dub, lub-dub.

Now my turn, she says.

I feel the pressure as she tries to hear.

Do you know what Love does?  Our lives are that something-of-value enclosed in plastic Tupperware – or Time you could say.

Our “Me,” surrounded by what seems to us undegradable Time, like plastic, comes down in waves of sunlight.  Layering us.  Containing us the moment we are conceived.  We walk the line of life toward the inevitable.

A Toad, can die of Light –
Death is the Common Right
Of Toads and Men –
Of Earl and Midge
The privilege –
Why swagger, then?
The Gnat’s supremacy is large as Thine –

  -Emily Dickinson.

But my daughter is teaching me that all that I know, my perceived reality, is just happening inside that Tupperware.  And because of Love, this other “inevitable” becomes apparent.  Me connected to Love with no lines.  Magic.

Suddenly time folds and I am a little girl myself, riding bike like this,

Look!  No hands!

Love is Time-corrosive, I’ve come to understand.  The particles lift off of me and I am in that space that I started out by saying I feared.

The sound my daughter is looking for is the sound of Love.  Something that is stronger than what separates us.  And although it scares me still, I can now believe and pursue Magic.  I know I can trust that even without Time, the Me that brings me pleasure in part because of the boundaries that contain it, will bring me pleasure even when Time is gone.  I can trust Love.  Intentionally being held by Love, I can say with more confidence than before to my girl, I will never leave you.  Because of Love.

My ear against my daughter’s drumming heart, I answered,

I-love-you, I-love-you, -

…Finally.  Took you long enough. –  She didn’t say it.  She’s too good of a teacher to have to.

I’m less afraid.  And I like myself better believing in magic.  And I’m less hurried.

Question:  What would connect you if there were no Time?  How does that affect your friendship with yourself?  Please tell me your story.

Self-Care:  Believe and pursue Magic.

An Introduction to Self-Care | Journal of Participatory Medicine

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I thank the talented editor and friend, Sarah McGaugh of birdinyourhandfor her untiring interest and excellence in helping me develop this journal entry.

An Introduction to Self-Care | Journal of Participatory Medicine.

Please join us in celebrating publication in this wonderful Journal.

“Participatory Medicine is a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health, and in which providers encourage and value them as full partners.”

Kathleen O’Malley, Managing Editor, turns out to be wonderful as well.

Keep on.

Social-Media as Self-Care

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Hello Friends.

Introducing you to mutually interested others in being a friend to yourself:

#MHON is a supportive Twitter chat led by credentialed Mental Health professionals around Mental Health issues. Every week or so, a different licensed mental health professional is featured, who discusses his or her specialty and takes questions from the participants.

#MHON runs weekly on Wednesdays  at 12 Noon – 1 PM EST. #MHON is co-moderated by Kathy Morelli, LPC, Tammy Whitten, LMFT, and Ann Becker-Schutte, PhD.  Contact them

via Twitter: @KathyAMorelli  @WomenAndStress  @DrBeckerSchutte

You can participate in chat and also as a host if you are a licensed mental health professional.  Since this is good for Me/you, yours truly put myself out there, and have happily been “invited” (okay, self-invited) to be a guest host on May 16.  Yay!

Join in in any way you like.  Also if you have any other sources of self-care like this that you’d like to share, please let us know.  More “Yays!”

Disclaimer: #MHON  is not intended to be a substitute for ongoing care by your personal doctor or therapist, but is informational and psycho-educational in nature.

Discover Your Sweetness – Value, That is To Say

English: Casimiroa edulis, White sapote fruit ...

Image via Wikipedia

My kids look at fruit as if they are inspecting a diamond for flaws.

Is this a good one Mommy? 

My daughter was pointing at a blemish that comes from fruit grown outside in dirt and not genetically engineered.

My huffing sounds are barred by something almost like maturity, just in time.  I pick up a different White Sapote with broken skin and beak marks where it is half eaten by whoever got there first.

After spitting out the seeds, I remembered bits of my filthy self as a daddy-chasing kid.  The words dusted off and important to me again, I heard Dad say,

Pick the fruit that the birds have pecked at.  They know what’s good better than we do.  Here Sana.  Take this one.  This is really sweet.

The fruit turning in my daughter’s hand, the cast-offs still in the basket, her anxiety about finding the best and my dad’s words came at me like the sounds between Broadway and 42nd Street.  And out walked Jean.

Jean was a patient I had known, particular to me despite common problems.

Abuse since at least my daughter’s age or younger.  Neglect.  Disgusting trauma survived.

Jean who, after getting picked on for the first thirty years of her life, came to me, insisting on living.  She resisted being a White Sapote in a bowl on the counter, inspected by passerbys.  Her community had tried to declare her value, her second chances and hoped to cast her off.

Pick the fruit that the birds have pecked at.  They know what’s good better than we do.  Here Sana.  

Jean’s face was in my memory.  Her white scar on her black skin shocked me; a large keloid.

Take this one.  This is really sweet.

I gave my daughter a squeeze and told her what Papa had said.  I’m so glad my daughter reminded me about this in we who have been hurt.  (Okay.  That’s all of us, see it or not.)  The way Jean grew, looked for light, the courage she answered to, the newness that came out of used up and shabbiness – Jean was teaching me about value.

Even when we are not behaving well, when we don’t look good and when we drop the market price, we have value.  Somehow, being chosen for life is more important than being chosen to suffer.  I wish I could explain why and how better but it’s just something each of us will have to experience for ourselves.  We will have to in humility and wisdom, like Jean’s or my dad’s wisdom, find the sweetness in Me.

Questions:  What is it about you that is particularly sweet?  Do you perceive your value?  Per what measure or qualifier? Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  Discover your sweetness.  Be a friend to yourself

Related Articles:

Purposefully Harness The Power of Social Influence

A piece of chocolate candy.

Image via Wikipedia

Hello Friends.

I’m starting the 4-week detox for sugar addicts.

I know I’m more empowered with your company, so join in if interested.  And because it is friendly to you/Me too, spread this around to others.

(#Obesity – Abstract of article: social influence affect #weight loss http://bit.ly/xn1Bjq #selfcare #community #service.)

This is my list of reasons re: my choice today as part of step 1:

Reasons why I am cutting back on sugar

  • inflammation,
  • clarity of thought and subsequent depth of experience,
  • #obesity and related illnesses (comorbidities,)
  • appearance and social stigma,
  • social influence,
  • self-esteem,
  • quality of life and
  • longevity

If you choose to participate, and are interested in what the power of social influence can do for you, please post your own reasons here.

Looking forward to connecting with you. Keep on.

Self-Care Tip – Deliberately and purposefully harness the power of social influence in becoming a friend to yourself.

Self-care is Not Selfish But You Might Feel Alone

Social circles of Influence

Many times I feel like a stranger because I don’t want to do what they want.  

Pilot was perplexed and sad. 

This is familiar to me.  There are lots of these times.  When I was a kid I didn’t know to call feeling like a stranger, “normal.”  I didn’t know I wasn’t alone.  I thought feeling like a stranger was qualified bad.  In the older Me, part of Me knows.  The rest of Me is conflicted.

Talking about self-care is like that sometimes.  I don’t know yet how to consistently teach others without hurting them.  

Self-care is not selfish, I say, but it doesn’t make sense.  

They hear me and the long anticipated enemy they knew would come suddenly wears my face and uses my mouth and voice.  People look at me in horror.  I watch their faces blanch and despair, as if they know they are holding a fork and knife to defend against magic and they will die a martyr’s death.  

No.  It’s not like that, I say.  

But they don’t hear more.  They crouch in a thicket.

Researcher, Jennifer Walters, describes how social influences such as team-based competition leads to a healthier BMI (basal metabolic index) and weight loss.  We may say, “Um, yah!?!” as if everyone knows that from Biggest Loser.  But just like holding an apple looks like crunchy food to Mary, John see’s a projectile.

It must be researched.  It must be said.

We don’t believe that taking care of Me is selfless.  We are scared.  To love ourselves means being alone and feeling the stranger.  Taking care of others “first” intuitively tells us that we are connected and right.  

I argue that this intuition is not our friend in some cases.  Cases, when we let fear of being alone, fear of being the stranger, keep us from taking care of Me.   At some point in the time line of selflessness to selfishness we find that we cannot.  We have ruined and thereafter cannot care, serve or do much for anyone but take. Now we, without getting consent from those same others, are in a place of being served.  We didn’t ask our loved one(s.)  

Would you like to take care of my wasted self? 

We didn’t ask if it was ok with them.  To answer their wants before our needs is an exchange for them taking care of our needs later when we cannot.  But we didn’t ask.  If they knew we were taking care of their wants before our needs or wants, if we knew, would we un-crouch, step out, hear and consider?  However, we responded before we felt alone.  We gave before we felt the stranger.  We didn’t ask, we didn’t consider and now we cannot.  

Growing healthy involves the sometimes happy journey towards a knowing that giving to self long enough becomes someone who gives to others; long enough a stranger to grow familiar.  And it isn’t selfish.

Question:  How does becoming your own friend separate you from those you want close?  How do you survive feeling alone long enough to know that you are not?  When the stranger becomes familiar, does it make that time and difficulty worthwhile?  Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip – Remember, self-care is not selfish, even when you feel alone.