Wish You Were Here

Thinking of my mother today. Technically I think of her every day, but today she’s more prevalent than most. Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” played on my Pandora list and I was instantly trasnported back in time to being 16 and riding in her teal Ford Ranger down I-15 to the stateline casino Whiskey Pete’s where she worked. I remember it like it was yesterday even though it was 19 years ago. She and I used to sing together when we’d drive places, she taught me how to harmonize, she took higher notes so that I wouldn’t strain my voice. I miss her. She taught me how to read and write when I was 4, she was so enthusiastic about books that I couldn’t help but fall in love with them too- I’ve been an avid reader ever since. I read so much as a child that I received awards through the first 3 years of elementary school. I blame her and I miss her.

I wonder what she would think of my life now? I wonder if she would have ever embraced technology enough to read my blogs that I’ve written over the years. She was always a fan of my poetry when I was a kid. She was also sometimes the subject of my poetry. She taught me many good and many not so good things. I learned quickly how to be resilient and how to not be silent about things taking place in our home. I learned about domestic violence. I learned about drug abuse and addiction. I learned what I didn’t ever want to experience or become. I am better for it because of her.

I miss her. It will be 6 years this summer. I keep thinking it will get easier and in some ways it has, but I find myself saying that every year. Maybe one day it will finally be true.

 

Acceptance

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely”- Carl Jung

 

I sit here staring at this screen thinking about waxing poetic about acceptance, when the truth is- I have no idea what that even means. I pretend too though, I pretend to accept myself every morning when I glance at myself in the mirror. That’s the truth of it. We all walk around showing a face to everyone, showing a personality to everyone, showing a side that seems to win approval. Fear stops us from showing all of ourselves. Or at least it does for me. When I think about who I am, the thoughts, actions, decisions, wants, needs, desires- the things that make me- me, I look around at the world, the people in it- how do I fit? I can barely stand myself, but I push through it by grasping the positives that sit in my brain. 

It’s a fight isn’t it? Accepting ourselves- faults and all. Sometimes I win and other times I give up. I give up on accepting myself because the part of my brain that can’t accept the mistakes I’ve made tells me that all hope is lost. And then there’s the resilient side of my brain that slams the door in the face of the other, yet there’s a shadow you can see lurking just beyond. Why is it hard to accept that we make mistakes, that we are not perfect, that we are just human after all? 

I speak about empathy for others, yet I rarely show it to myself, which makes sense really considering I’m already in my own shoes. I suppose maybe sympathy would be better, but then that feels like self-pity? I don’t know how to be okay. I spend a lot of time thinking about how to help others be okay and here I am coming to the realization that I don’t know how myself or to give myself permission to be okay. Fear that the moment I give in to that feeling it’ll be removed some how. 

So, my plan- to learn how to forgive myself, accept that I am allowed to be human, and to be more understanding of myself. 

Good Exists

(Image courtesy of sandiego.edu)

In this great big world it is sometimes hard to find the good in it. We are normally inundated with all the things that are wrong- global warming, war, poverty, addiction, FEAR-FEAR-FEAR! Sorting through the fear mess we can catch glimpses of hope- brief encounters with others, stories of the triumph within the human spirit, love prevailing over all. These moments are so precious to me, they fill my heart up and I feel overflowing with gratitude for the good that exists.

My  husband and I try to contribute to the good in the world. We have begun going to our home town to assist with helping the homeless during the holidays. We are doing what we can for the area we are in as well. Our friends are doing the same. One story that I came across today had me bawling my eyes out at work while trying to read it aloud to my co-workers- the best part is a friend of mine is the reason for it. The story is this- she works in Phoenix at a Best Buy and every day she sees a man on the corner who is homeless. A few weeks ago he came into the store and asked if there was any water that is not for sale, she promptly showed him their water fountain. For the rest of that week and into the next he came in 3-4 times a day to drink water, my friend decided to help him out and buy him a water container that  he could fill up once a day and carry it with him. Shortly after this she goes to lunch one afternoon and asks him if he would like anything. He declined, stating she’d done enough already. She bought it for him anyway- when she gave it to him he cried and thanked her. From that day forward she packed a lunch for him everyday and sat with him to eat and chat.

She learned during this time that he has been suffering from addiction and lost everything just as he was trying to get his life together, she learned that he had a daughter, and that he has been sober for 8 months now. She talked to him about getting back on his feet and ended up helping him get dress clothes so that he could go to a job interview. He showed up at her work in his nice clothes and informed her today that he got a job at Wal-mart. He invited her to visit him and when she did today she saw him surrounded by co-workers doing training.

Sometimes people just need to be given a chance. Because even within the bad- GOOD EXISTS. We have the power to change lives for the better. We just need to remember that.

20 Quotations from Writers about Happiness

Such a great post!! Happy, happy, happy International Happiness Day!!

Interesting Literature

Today is International Day of Happiness, so we’ve compiled 20 of our favourite quotations from writers about happiness, joy, pleasure, and related emotions. We hope you enjoy them!

‘Happiness in the ordinary sense is not what one needs in life, though one is right to aim at it. The true satisfaction is to come through and see those whom one loves come through.’  – E. M. Forster

‘One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.’ – Jane Austen

‘What is there given by the gods more desirable than a happy hour?’ – Catullus

‘Happiness, to some elation; / Is to others, mere stagnation.’ – Amy Lowell

‘There may be Peace without Joy, and Joy without Peace, but the two combined make Happiness.’ – John Buchan

‘There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.’ – Samuel Johnson

‘The…

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3 a.m. mind cage

Lately my brain has taken to waking me up at 3 a.m. and it keeps me up until 5:30-6. I toss and turn and tell it to shut up, it laughs at me. I ruminate over all the little things that I try to block out during my waking hours. I’m beginning to think that’s not the best idea.

My mind is trapped in it’s own cage. Words form like prison bars, each bar chasing away precious minutes of sleep. I only find reprieve when my body finally wins and I succumb to the chatter, sleep overtakes my body- but my brain gives way to dreams. Now the thoughts are animated, full of color and form. When I awake I am even more tired than before ever going to bed. Psychology will tell me that I am not processing everything and that is why I wake up and the cage forms, I have tried relaxtion and counting sheep- to no avail.

Anyone else experience this? Thoughts always welcome.

Embrace Each Other

I was asked by a wonderful friend of mine if I would share a blurb about hugs. I had already been contemplating sharing my thoughts about affection so apparently the universe has decided that I really need to write about this. I  believe in the power of touch, it can both be harmful and helpful depending on the intention behind it. A simple gesture such as a hug, has the power to transform us. I’ve been saying for years I wish I could have a full time job just hugging people. I know that for some people it’s an invasion of space, but when you look at the psychological and physiological benefits of it, well I believe it can break down even the toughest of walls. The studies on the power of touch have shown that even a six second embrace can release the hormone oxytocin which is a natural stress reducer, mood booster, and bonding agent. So those quick little encounters in which we share our space gives us the chance to change our outlook on our day- even if it’s just for a moment.

In my experience, when I am embracing my husband I get the sensation of the world melting away and the troubles of the day fade into the distance. I can physically feel myself changing in those moments. When embracing my friends and family whether it’s the hello or good-bye hug, there is a brief moment when we have the chance to uplift each other. The times when we are low, just the act  of putting our arms around another or being embraced by another can help us feel less alone. The power to change a life in such a small way should never be taken for granted.

Something to keep in mind the next time you embrace someone- be mindful for a moment and remember the power of that embrace. Ya never know- you may have changed or possibly saved a life. It may sound hokey or unrealistic, and if you don’t believe me- google it 😉 The studies to back me up are plentiful. So go out and try it for yourself- embrace someone you love or if you’re brave enough- ask to embrace a stranger.

{{Hugs}}

Perception, Beliefs, and Reality

My husband and I are seekers of truth. In a world filled with many different versions of truth and reality, how do our perceptions and beliefs play a role in defining what is real? 

We are exploring these topics in our new documentary called “Infinite Mind Network”. We believe that our brains are a lot like a network of sorts, there are hubs of information where we store information i.e. memories, language, emotion. Our brains are capable of billions of connections, and when you think of an idea and then share it with another brain that is also capable of billions of connections, well now you’re creating a network. We base most of our lives off of our perceptions, which in turn create our beliefs, which influence what we think our reality is or should be. We are constantly creating networks based off of the information we are taking in, as well as outputting. 

The question we want to know is why? Why do we choose to perceive and believe what we do? How do our brains determine what to believe and what to throw out? We are pattern seeking humans, we look for meaning in things that may not hold any- why? We are looking for people who would like to share in this journey with us, those are asking these questions about truth. If you’d like to contribute or share or post ideas of your own for us to explore please feel free to comment and share! Our current interviewee line up is as follows- Michael Schermer, Paul Bloom, and Donald Hoffman.

For more information you can visit us on our Facebook Page- https://www.facebook.com/infinitemindnetwork

A Voice In the World

Seven BILLION people inhabit this Earth. That is 7,000,000,000 voices. Each of us has one, even if we can’t vocalize, we still find a way to communicate. We all want to be heard, in big and small ways. Whether it’s being heard in a relationship, at work, in school, or by the other 6,999,999,999 people we coexist with. I think we forget sometimes that we all have a unique story to tell, we may find others that we have things in common with, but ultimately we are all unique. We all can contribute something in this world, but more often than not we let fear get in the way. At least I know that I do. The reptilian brain- the amygdala- kicks into high gear when facing something we perceive as dangerous, ya know like sharing how you really feel about something. As I type this I can feel the effects of this sliver in my brain, kicking my senses into overdrive, palms sweating, increased sense of hearing, and all the while- my thoughts saying “why do you think you have any right to speak about anything?”….. Ah yes, good old fear with a mixture of self-doubt.

But I have a voice. I have a story. I am making the choice to use it, in every good way I can think of, and you should too. I am pushing past my comfort zone of fear, I am breaking out of the prison of self-doubt. The freedom in that choice allows my body to gain back it’s sense of lightness, there’s power in speaking- even if it’s just written words.

I come from a family of addicts. I saw what anger can turn people into- monsters. I witnessed the near death of my mother- twice. I came out bruised, broken, and strong. I am not my past, I am not my parents, I am not the things that people have said I am in their voices used in anger. I am me. I am a unique combination of all those things, I am not unaffected- I am empathetic and compassionate because of it. I am using my voice to give hope, I am using my voice to remind myself that I am not alone. It would be so easy to fall down the rabbit hole of negativity, to use the past as an escape route and hide from life. I refuse to be a victim of my mind, I choose to see life as something worth living, as a place to be with others as different and the same as me. I don’t know you- the you reading this. What I do know is that you have a voice in this world, and you have the choice to use it, to find something that moves you and speak on it.

I choose to speak to out about addiction, domestic violence, homelessness, cruelty against humans and animals- all of these things are representative of perception. We can choose to see them differently, to use empathy instead of apathy. I believe my voice has power and so does yours. Let’s learn to use it.

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