Tag Archives: mental-health

Sometimes Shadows

 

Sometimes shadows

fall over my heart

and into my mind.

 

© Julie Rehnelt 2015

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It’s one of those days…

 

The good news is – if there’s a shadow, then there is surely light too.

Wishing you light today, and…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Of Flowers And Chocolate Messes

Well, I think I did a pretty good job of staying positive and not giving into my worries yesterday.  Shortly after my post, I got the idea of going to the little local farmer’s market down the street.  I didn’t really need any veggies (if you’ve been here with me a while you know I already have quite a few of my own things growing here in my tiny garden), but I thought I’d go take a peek to see what they had anyway.  And besides, going there is just a festive thing that I enjoy doing sometimes on Saturday mornings during the growing season.

Mainly though, I was sort of thinking about picking up a bundle of fresh-cut flowers there.  One thing I like to do for myself when I’m feeling a bit low is buy myself fresh flowers.  I don’t do it very often, it’s a bit of an indulgence that I can’t always rationalize spending the money for, especially when finances are tight, but the fresh flowers they have at the farmer’s market are very reasonably priced.

Plus, they’re gorgeous!  See…

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And this bright pink Zinnia was just begging for a close-up…

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So lovely.  ♥

~

Sadly though, they’ve wilted quite a bit already and I’m really disappointed.  That’s the thing about flowers… once you pick them, they start to die.  😦

Bringing me to this morning’s mood…

Death.

Just kidding.

It’s just that I’m still struggling here with things.  I’ve been sitting here thinking “How the heck can a person have such a contrast of conflicting emotions inside?”  Cracking jokes one moment and then crying the next.  I feel like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!  Is it hormones, the waning moon?  Calgon take me away!  I did buy myself some wonderful handmade lavender soap at the farmer’s market yesterday, so maybe I need to just go and take a good long soak…

But unfortunately aromatic baths and fresh cut flowers are only temporary remedies and can’t fix the deeper issues going on inside.  *Sigh*

The thing is… I know all the right stuff to tell myself (and do, like buying the flowers for instance), but sometimes I feel like I’m just full of crap with all my sappy, feel good, mumbo jumbo rhetoric.  I pride myself on always keeping it real, always being honest with myself and with others, but sometimes, the fact of the matter is… I’m really hurting inside, and I cover it up.  I say it’s because I never want to be a downer to others, and that’s very true, but it’s also because I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it.  And I’m embarrassed to admit that.  I sincerely do have so much in my life to be thankful for.  I mean, I really, really do.  And so sometimes when I’m feeling down, I feel guilty, like I’m not appreciating all my blessings, or that I’m feeling sorry for myself.

Then I tell myself to stop over-analyzing everything and just fricken settle down.  Go pray, go putz around in the garden, listen to some music (take a lavender bath) etc.  But the problem with that is then I’m not really ‘dealing’ with whatever it is that’s bothering me.  Well, I sort of am by praying, but the rest of it is just stuff to soothe me.  Don’t get me wrong though, we need those soothing coping mechanisms, to do whatever it takes to calm us ~ sometimes they make all the difference and help so that we can approach the things that are bothering us more rationally.  And I truly believe that.

But gosh this is just so hard.  I’m hurting and I’m frustrated, the things that are bothering me right now are things I have absolutely no control over, and I’m having a really difficult time with it all.   I can’t seem to find the solution, and I feel like I’m fumbling around in the dark looking for the Light switch.

But yeah, so anyway…

I’m feeling like a bit of an emotional chocolate mess here.

So now… whether to actually post this or not, to risk being a downer, to risk exposing this part of myself?  I should probably just stick with my gardening posts.

Ah what the heck…

My Saturday Morning Self Pep Talk

I love being up early in the morning hours, before the rest of the world awakes, quietly sipping my coffee, listening to the birds.  My best inspiration comes to me then, before I’m fully awake, while sleepy dreams still linger in the back of my mind, while I’m still feeling the aftereffects of the cozy comforts of my bed.

But sometimes as the day creeps in, it brings with it the worries and cares of this life, and those peaceful morning moments slowly disintegrate.

I’m faced with a choice then.

I can’t control my circumstances, but I can try to control my attitude toward them.  Some are very painful and distressing, and a battle of the mind wages a war within me.  Sometimes it’s hard and I want to give in… give up… just let the waves of despair pull me under.  And sometimes I do…

But most times, I don’t.

And today… I won’t.

Because despite the difficulties of my circumstances, there are far too many other beautiful things in my life to focus on, and I won’t let the negative ones steal the Joy and the Light from me.  Not today.

~

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~

And don’t you either…

Choose Happiness

I came across this lovely little gem on SoulPancake’s YouTube channel and thought I would share it…

I don’t know about you, but just listening to her accent makes me feel happier.  😉

~

She’s got a wonderful little website as well, check it out…

tryhappy.org

😀 😀 😀

Thinking Thoughts About Thinking

During my quiet time this morning I had a few random insights come to me.

I found myself feeling a bit scrambled, my thoughts were kinda bouncing all over the place.  As I sat there taking my first sips of coffee, I began feeling more and more anxious, and I could sense some underlying feeling of worry or dread.  And as I contemplated it all, trying to analyze where it was coming from, that feeling increased, more thoughts came crashing in, and as a result they produced more unsettled feelings.  Sometimes I get too much up inside my head, but I sort of like being that way though because I like to feel like I’m in touch with everything that is going on with me, and I like to try and understand myself.  Hah!

Well, while this all was happening I was also acutely aware that I was the one allowing my thoughts to run amuck.  I don’t have to think whatever just pops into my head, and I don’t have to let my thoughts dictate to me what mood I’m going to be in for the day.  I can direct my thoughts, take control over them and not let them control me.

The thing with thoughts is that they produce feelings, whatever you are thinking will affect what you’re feeling.  I want to feel happy and good (heck, don’t we all?), but in order to do that I have to get my way of thinking to line up accordingly.

People talk about not being ruled by your emotions, well that’s all fine and good, but the simple fact is that we usually are.  What I think is that we need to take control of our thoughts, and not be ruled by our thoughts.  As we rule them, we will also then inadvertently have control over our emotions as well.  Bingo!  Lightbulb!

And not only do our thoughts produce feelings, but our thoughts give off energy too.  And I believe we draw and attract things to ourselves based on what sort of energy we are giving off.  I have seen the manifestation of this theory in my own life.  I’m not going to elaborate any further on that right now though because I’m writing about something else.  😉

Once the feelings get involved it’s much harder to take control of your thoughts, emotions can be so powerful, but even as hard as it is, it’s also simple and basic… you just choose.  But once you choose, the next thing you need to do is start taking action that helps you make that choice.  Find something that forces a shift in your way of thinking, causes a conscious effort on your part that demonstrates your decision.  For me this morning it was a quote from the Bible that came to mind that helped me take action.  Now, regardless of your own personal beliefs, you’ve got to admit this is some pretty good advice…

“… whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”

Incidentally, the preceding verses to that one are all about rejoicing, not being anxious, being thankful, and having peace.  Which indicates to me that by doing this ~ changing the way you think and choosing to think about good things, is part of the answer to obtaining those.  So I did just that.  And as I reflected on what is true, what is lovely, what is praiseworthy etc., I wrote it down in my journal and I slowly began to feel better.  I directed my thoughts toward good things and that resulted in changing my emotions, which then also produced more positive thoughts, and then at the end… a deep sense of gratitude for everything in my life.  I must say that I’m feeling pretty darn good right now in comparison to how I was feeling earlier.  🙂  And gratitude is the key.

I may go even further and possibly do a study on each of those words ~ true, honorable, right, pure, and lovely, so that I can fully grasp their meaning and apply them accordingly with regard to my thoughts.

But not today, because in a little while I’m going to head out to a few garden centers and peruse among the “lovely” things, to get those creative gardening juices flowing.  The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, spring is coming, and I’m feeling excited about being able to get back out in my garden ~ in spite of the fact that it’s only 20 degrees outside right now.  😉

One other random thought that I had this morning is a bit on the silly side.  I received a set of four beautifully handmade crocheted snowflake ornaments from a friend for Christmas, and they are so pretty that I couldn’t bring myself to pack them away with the rest of the Christmas decorations, so I hung them on a plant that I have in my bedroom.  Well, I got to thinking… maybe having these still out is somehow prolonging winter.  Haha silly I know, but I took them down just in case.  😉

But not before I snapped a picture.

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Farewell pretty little snowflakes, it’s time for spring

and time to think of gardening things.

~

When The Light Breaks Through

Clouded heart so reluctant to part,

break away dear beloved, make a new start.

For Light has come and filled the skies,

 now dry your tears, lift up yours eyes.

This time of sorrow is no longer for you,

there is joy and hope when the Light breaks through.

© Julie Rehnelt 2013

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A Buddha Board, Pink Brains, and Chinese Flutes: Hey, Whatever Works Right?

My daughter had her birthday recently and one of the gifts I gave her was something called a Buddha Board.  We saw it on display while we were out shopping together and thought it was a really cool and unique thing.  The philosophy of it according to the description on their website says “The Buddha Board is based on the Zen concept of living in the moment.  You simply paint on the surface with water and your creation will come to life in bold design.  Then, as the water slowly evaporates, your art will magically disappear leaving you with a clear slate and a clear mind – ready to create a whole new masterpiece.”

What I have found in “playing around” with it myself is that it’s a very helpful and therapeutic activity to do when I’m feeling worried, anxious, or having other things troubling me.  There is something very freeing in painting certain words or pictures that portray/describe my troubled thoughts and feelings and then watching them evaporate and disappear into nothing.  It just gives a wonderful sense of letting them all go.

Many years ago my sister gave me a ridiculous looking pink plastic brain shaped container that had gumballs in it.  It was during a time in my life when my mind was feeling especially overloaded with thoughts and worries, many of which were things that were completely out of my control.  She said that after I finished all the gumballs that I should use that pink brain container as a sort of “second brain” to use when mine got too full.  To write down all of those thoughts and worries that I couldn’t do anything about and place them inside my “second brain” as a way of clearing my head.  And that when afterward if those thoughts tried to creep back in I could simply look at my pink brain and say “Nope, I have already let those go, they are my pink brain’s problem now.”  I know it might sound a bit silly, but it really did work.  For me it was a type of “Let go, and let God” mindset in addition to carrying out a deliberate, physical act, as well as adding my prayers of surrender.  I’ve long since stopped using it, but after all these years I still have that ridiculous looking pink brain, it’s sitting on my desk stilled filled with all of those little slips of paper inside. One day perhaps I shall open it and read them.  It might be interesting to look back at all of those things that troubled me so much that are no longer an issue in my life.  You know, we worry about so many things all the time and it never changes anything or does us one bit of good.  “And who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”  “…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.” 

So anyway this Buddha Board is the same sort of idea as my pink brain, only in addition it also provides the added benefit of a wonderful, creative, artistic way of doing it.  And it isn’t only good for that purpose, it’s just really enjoyable in general.  Even the bamboo paintbrush feels good to hold in your hand.  I’m probably going to end up buying one of my own so I don’t have to keep using/borrowing the one I gave my daughter for her birthday.

The motions I use are much more fluid and I paint my words in a calligraphy style, but this video gives you the basic gist of how it works.  I like the lyrics to the music they put with it.

~

Several nights ago I was looking around on YouTube for some relaxation music to listen to and I came across a lovely little gem.  It’s so peaceful.  And I find it not only very soothing, but also somehow hopeful and even cheerful at the same time.  I absolutely love it and I feel so good listening to it.  I’ve went to sleep with it playing nearly every night since.  Music combined with sounds of nature… it doesn’t get much better than that for me.  Music truly is such a beautiful, wonderful thing and I’m so thankful for the ears to hear.  The original version I found doesn’t allow for embedding so you have to click this link if you’d like to listen to it.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YCAcXiHEdk

But I did find a portion of that same selection on this one

~

I also took a picture of my pink brain…DSCF0081a

Silly looking isn’t it?  Hey, whatever works, right?

~