Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have


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Maybe I have Mice…

So I thought about it and decided I may have been hasty in my assessment of having rats. I looked up the size differences between mice and rats and viewed pics of house mice and it seems more like I have house mice. This is still bad but I feel slightly better because I figure (at least psychologically anyway) mice are somewhat less disastrous to have. They are still going to have to go though.

mouse_vs_rat

Image from: DoMyOwnPestControl.com

 

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A House Mouse.

House Mouse CC-BY-SA Wikipedia user 4028mdk09 Image copied from paws.org (https://www.paws.org/wildlife/having-a-wildlife-problem/mammals/mice-and-rats/)

©Natalya, Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2016.

 

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Rats!

Life is testing me right now because after months of letting the housecleaning get put on the back burner it’s caught up to me. We have rats (roof rats) and I am really p*ssed off because I am the one doing all the cleaning now. My dad is not tidy and rarely cleans up after himself. Maybe I should cut him some slack but it feels like he doesn’t care about the clutter and dirt and he leaves it for me. In fact if it were not for the rats I likely would not have been motivated to clean up and declutter. So in that respect I am grateful for the rodents.

I’ve been trying to trap them humanely (catch and release) but they have evaded capture

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Roof rat on top of a bird feeder. Pic is public domain.

thus far. All I hope for now is to eliminate the food sources and clutter so they will find somewhere else to live. Cleaning up rat poop is not fun and makes me feel worse about how slack I’ve been in keeping house these past months (prior to when I spotted one late in May). It’s like this is my punishment for being depressed and not having the motivation for keeping a clean, tidy home. Now I have no choice but to clean and declutter if I want the rats to go. Technically I have only ever seen two but I am sure there are likely more. Why do they have to be so cute? It would be easier to hate them but even now I am only angry over their unsanitary practices (i.e. pooping in places that are not the toilet, or leaving food they found before I smartened up and put the food in sealed glass containers). Honestly, I am really grossed out by their poop and have trouble falling asleep because any noise I hear makes me think of the rats. It’s wearing me down.

 

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Roof rat. Public domain pic.

There’s just something about having a rat problem that makes me feel horribly dirty. I wish they would just leave and not return. They are making a lot of cleaning work for me and I do not like it! The grass, trees and rose bushes have to be trimmed too since they likely hide in such spots. Gosh, I feel like there is an awful lot to do so they will hopefully leave. Even if I was alright with killing them (I’m not) it would still be necessary to do the cleaning and decluttering so they don’t come back. As it is though I don’t want to kill them because they are dirty and messy but not any worse than humans. Plus they are cute and it’s awfully hard to murder a small furry creature that simply wants to live somewhere and have something to eat. I just hope they don’t damage anything important like pipes or electrical wiring.

 

©Natalya, Reflections on Life Thus Far, 2016.


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Nine Lives?

Yesterday when I was out my dad and I came upon a dead cat lying on the road. S/he was on their side and hadn’t been driven

Cat bliss

Not the hit cat. (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

over but I imagine hit and killed. It was an 80 km/hr zone on that stretch of road so hard to stop to move him/her. I felt bereft because the cat looked so defenseless and vulnerable lying there void of life. The thought came to mind what would his/her “owners”/humans think when their cat didn’t come home? Would they find out s/he had been hit and killed? I wanted to go back and move the cat’s body before s/he got run over and was unrecognizable. But I didn’t go back because I didn’t have gloves and there were cars to think about-I didn’t want to join the cat!

What do you do when you find animals on the road that have been killed? I don’t mean the ones that are no longer identifiable but the “intact” ones. Sometimes I think about moving them but they’re always on busy roads/highways so I can’t move them unless I want to be hit too! 😛

©Natalya, 2013.


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A Soul Is A Soul

I agree! Love this pic and quote 🙂 Haven’t quite managed to extend it to mosquitos yet though 😛 Apparently this poor baby’s mother was killed so the man is offering comfort 😦


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Day 3 of the 30 Day Challenge

Question/Discuss: Your top 5 pet peeves (These aren’t necessarily in order)

  1. Small talk or ‘idle’ talk, as my dad likes to call it. People who engage in this kind of
    Pet Peeve (Xanth)

    Pet Peeve (Xanth) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    communication peeve me because I think it’s a waste of time and my brain cells. Why do people need to fill silence with a waste of empty words? Social media is getting rid of this form of communication to some extent in the sense that it has switched to texting more often than speaking. This at least provides one with a bit of peace but has the unfortunate consequence of also making many heavy texters ill mannered when they encounter people.

  2. Disorganization. This peeves me because you can’t find anything easily and it makes people late. It also makes a space seem unnecessarily cluttered. In terms of people’s thought processes it is also a peeve because who wants to follow someone’s train of thoughts if they aren’t going anywhere?
  3. Rudeness and lack of respect for one’s fellow human and other life forms.
  4. Close talkers and other personal space invaders. Have these people never learned how to tell the difference between intimate relationships, friends and strangers with their corresponding space allowances?
  5. Unethical behaviour. I am not simply referring to shopping at large stores that practice poor standards for employees and those providing the merchandise, although I do dislike them I can’t always afford more ethical merchants. The unethical practices I dislike are anything from someone taking someone else’s paper that has been delivered to that person’s doorstep to conning people. I very much loathe when I hear someone has abused someone in any form too as I consider abuse to be not only unethical but damaging to a person. Personal scrupulousness is important to me.

©Anya of Finding Health After Illness for Natalya, 2013.


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Teach the Children Peace? (April’s B4Peace Topic)

  • Publish a post on how to teach children peace. How do we raise children to be peaceful? What do children need to know about peace? How do we teach them what peace means?

How do we teach peace to children? By living and breathing it everyday of our lives. Children learn by watching adults so if we want peace we have to behave peacefully. We’re role models as adults so it’s our job to make sure children understand everyone deserves to be treated equally and with compassion. Of course many adults do not treat others as equals or with compassion so this is where problems may arise. Do as I say and not as I do is a phrase often said by parents but what if parents and adults alike decided to not be hypocritical and walk the talk? Children are very sensitive to incongruities and learn that if you say one thing and do another they will understandably be confused.

As adults we must understand the concept we wish children to learn. How can you teach something if you don’t understand it yourself? Or you understand it but don’t value it enough to live it? Peace is a value a lot of people say they have but they don’t necessarily behave peacefully. Adults commit crimes and acts of violence on other adults and even children and animals. To teach peace to children is not hard if all you are doing is talking. But peace is not only words but our actions too. Our actions will always speak louder than our words. We are responsible for doing our part as parents or aunts, uncles and/or grandparents, ensuring our children see us behaving peacefully. If we are shouting, hitting, or hurting others in some way then we are not conveying the message of peace.

Peace is not just a symbol on a T-shirt or something “hippies” subscribe to. It can and should be something everyone sees the value of. Unfortunately there are many awful things happening in our world that go against peace. Murder, rape, genocide, racism, sexism, child abuse, animal abuse, torture of any kind, and more. All of these things damage the goal of peace yet we can still do our best to let children know that those things are wrong and unacceptable. Maybe it’s as simple as explaining each time the news reports on something bad happening that those responsible were doing bad things. I think we need to differentiate between the person and the action since people are not all bad; their behaviour may be terrible but not them as a person. Likewise, when children misbehave they are not bad but their behaviour is. Peace is living non violently, respecting all people and animals, and eschewing intentionally hurting others.

If we are to achieve a state of peace we have to treat everyone and thing we come into contact with in a compassionate, humane and respectful way. Animals deserve to be treated kindly and humanely. Ideally, everyone would stop eating animals and exploiting them for their own gratification. Exploitation of animals, children and women is a problem we need to deal with if we are to ever live in a peaceful world. Our hearts must open to others as though they are our family because they are our family! They and we belong to the Human race so there is no reason to not value and respect people because they came from somewhere unfamiliar to us. Similarly, those living with radically different values and beliefs from us deserve our compassion and tolerance. We cannot all live the same and think the same but we can all learn empathy and compassion. If you’re compassionate and empathetic to everyone then violence is less likely. Understanding other people is an important step on the way to peace.

Children need to learn other people may think differently from them so should try understanding when someone does something they do not like. By acknowledging our own beliefs are not everyone else’s and don’t have to be we stop feeling frustrated. Believing everyone should think like we do creates conflict especially if we try overtly imposing our beliefs on others. We must accept differences even when they violate one of our values. So long as the belief or value is not harming anyone or thing then it should not concern us. Even if the belief or value harms but is within the law we should either try to tolerate it or try to change it by petitioning government and/or law enforcement. That way we are not creating more harm and are attempting to act peacefully to invoke change.

Writing and illustrating children’s stories on peace would be a good way to easily teach the concept. Most children enjoy books with imaginative stories and illustrations thus it would reach many children. Make the books accessible through public libraries and schools so that it is widely available. Teachers could incorporate peace into their curriculum at the appropriate developmental level for the child’s age. If school boards took the initiative they could ensure peace was on the curriculum for sure.

Violence is a theme prevalent in our T.V. shows, movies and video games. Children watch and play these forms of entertainment and become desensitized to it. If we want children to learn peace they will have to understand what they choose to play and or watch has ramifications. Parents or guardians must be willing to explain to children the significance of  what they watch on T.V. or in movies as well as their games. Letting children witness these forms of gratuitous violence without responsibly providing a disclaimer will teach them to think violence is acceptable. I know some children are quite intelligent and can figure this out on their own but erring on the side of caution is best; better to explain to them about the violence they’re witnessing than be sorry later.

Peace is not hard to teach in theory but we as adults destroy the message of peace when we condone various forms of violence. In practice peace is difficult for a lot of adults to teach to children because they may not be living with peace as their primary intention. Using violence to try eliminating it is like trying to put a fire out with gasoline or another flammable substance. Peace begins within us and is up to each of us to BE peace. We cannot change others but we can change ourselves. If we really value peace we will find peace inside ourselves then embody it and show children what peace looks like.

Ways to achieve peace (in no particular order):

  1. Meditate regularly
  2. Practice yoga or Tai Chi regularly
  3. Love yourself (in a non narcissistic way!)
  4. Learn to enjoy your own company
  5. Be compassionate to yourself
  6. Be compassionate to others
  7. Respect yourself and others too
  8. Live ethically/ sustainably
  9. Play and/or have innocent fun
  10. Laugh regularly
  11. Appreciate differences
  12. Love
  13. Breathe fully
  14. Live simply
  15. Live with intention and integrity
  16. Spend time in nature

©Natalya, 2013.


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Ant Murderer

Yes, that’s me. I murdered a large quantity of tiny black ants today because I got sick of having my kitchen overtaken by them. When there were only a few I could handle it but when they started coming by the dozens I got fed up and vacuumed them up. So I murdered them and may have created a lot of negative karma for myself. But then I decided I ought to see if I could repel them naturally without having to be a murderer (guess I ought to have done that in the first place!). Apparently cinnamon is good to repel them because they dislike the smell. I was so desperate to keep them away I covered my counter top in cinnamon! At first they kept coming but soon they discovered the cinnamon was staying so they left! WOO HOO!!! Now I feel like the worst person ever because of all the ants I killed. What a shameful person I am. My head hurts. I think I’m having remorse finally. Before I was too intent on getting rid of the ants to feel shame but I feel very ashamed now. Why couldn’t I have just used the cinnamon at the start? Why was I so annoyed at seeing so many ants crawling around my kitchen counter? It’s natural yet I chose to forget I am generally compassionate and instead went for the vacuum sucking up the tiny creatures cold heart’d-like.

Okay, that’s my confession. So much shame 😦

©Natalya, 2013.


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Domestic Fatigue

I feel very tired after the day I had yesterday. Yesterday I decided to clean and tidy my dad’s room since he was out for the day and his room needed help. As he has mobility issues tidying up is problematic for him. Also, he never really did much in that way anyhow so it’s just worse now. So I vacuumed, dusted, sorted and washed until I was unable to do anything else unless I could throw things out. But I didn’t want to have to do that because that is another major undertaking with everything he hangs on to. Thus, after all my domestic efforts I find myself feeling slightly worse for the wear and lacking in vigour.

Monday and Tuesday were my portfolio workshop and counselling sessions, respectively. Being a total vegetarian and trying to live vegan, Monday was interesting. A group member brought in her collection of animal pelts she’d acquired through hunting and roadkill. She skinned the animals herself. I love animals and want them to have a life free from such outside human influences but decided to take a more tolerant view so as not to be disrespectful. The reason she’d brought her animal pelts in with her to our workshop was because we were given permission to talk about anything we wanted to for five minutes. No one else had anything prepared so she got half an hour to talk about how she’d acquired the animal’s skin/fur and passed them around. Only two of us didn’t want to touch the furs. I behaved myself admirably though and respectfully listened without interjecting my ideological views into the discussion/ showing. Have you ever managed to sit through an uncomfortable discussion/showing of something you disagreed with and didn’t say anything to be polite?

Tuesday was better as I had my counselling session where I decompressed my experience from Monday. I also talked about other stuff but was glad to get a few things off my chest. My counsellor asked me where I get my hope from these days after I told her I have always been a hopeful sort of person. Well I didn’t really want to say because I feel ridiculous so I just said I try to live one day at a time, which is true but not totally. I’m not sure why I didn’t want to share but it may have to do with the fact I only have one session left with my counsellor so didn’t want to bring up anything requiring  too much discussion. That and I feel like maybe if I say the thing that gives me hope won’t come true or happen. I’m superstitious in that way. Anyway I felt really anxious having to talk about what gives me hope since I don’t lie well and omitting facts is a form of lying. So there I was sitting thinking do I divulge that which gives hope to me or pretend I am simply living day to day? Well I chose the latter but if she’d have asked me a few sessions ago I might have shared because there would be time left to really investigate my belief. Unfortunately, I just felt there was too little time so didn’t say anything. Have you ever lied to your therapist/counsellor before? Lying can be by omission too as was the case for me.

I’m rather anxious thinking about next week being my last session for both the portfolio workshop I’ve been taking and the counselling. Fortunately, I can continue with the counselling but it will have to be with a different person. The counsellor I have had for the past three months has been an intern so will be leaving the end of April. Sometimes it is hard to leave behind a therapist or counsellor but I don’t feel like I’ve had a deep relationship built up to break here. Thus, it hopefully will not be too emotional for me-or her, LOL! Now getting adjusted to a new counsellor/therapist is always challenging for me, at least the lead up to it anyway. The counsellor I have now I luckily connected with very quickly. I hope that will be the case with whomever I am seeing next.

Once my portfolio workshop ends I will feel the need to actively look for a job again. These past few months I’ve more or less put job searching on the back burner whilst participating in the workshop and regular counselling sessions. But I think I have more confidence in myself so hopefully will think about applying to more jobs than I would have prior to taking the workshop. It’s not that I’ve necessarily gained more skills through taking the workshop so much as I’ve learned to see skills I didn’t recognize before. I realized how easily it is for me to discount my skills thinking they don’t matter but I am capable of doing things once I believe in myself. It’s terribly easy for me to think little of my skills/abilities even when applying for jobs requiring less skill than I have. My Achilles heel is to believe in myself and have self confidence. Without them I never take action.

I hope the day is treating you well! 🙂

 

©Natalya, 2013.


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When the News Overwhelms Me

“Although you appear in earthly form, your essence is pure consciousness. You are the fearless guardian of Divine Light.” RUMI

I have to be careful what I allow myself to read because I am easily affected by violence; it makes me feel pain and sorrow. Then I get angry that humans are still hurting others (human and non human animals). The thing is I know there are a number of positive things happening in the world but only the worst stories get reported on. When I read about the tragedies I just want to scream. I can’t stand it. Feeling is so immensely painful at times like this when I have been reading and watching too many negative stories happening around the globe. What do you do to handle the pain? I don’t like being ignorant of what is going on in the world but it really hurts me knowing the horrors in detail. Maybe it’s better to be ignorant in this case.

Ever since I was a child I have felt too much. Then I learned how to dissociate and not feel at all. But therapy has given me back my ability to feel and I find it can get overwhelming for me. Why does the news have to share such negative stories? I think if there were more positive stories being shared people would raise their own vibration level to match and lower vibrations contributing to negative stories would diminish. We are perpetuating the negative incidences occurring by disseminating them on a global scale. What would happen to our world if we stopped reporting every negative story and started reporting only the positive? Would the world become more positive? How do you feel when you hang around happy people? Good? Then negative/miserable people? Low? I believe we need to focus on what we wish to cultivate in our world. By focusing on violence and injustice that is what we cultivate but that does not need to be the case!

I am not saying depressed people or people going through hard times have to pretend they are happy; what I am talking about is the widespread cultural obsession in the press to circulate negative events. We need a cultural shift that focuses on everything positive and beneficial that is happening so we can contribute to that energy level. Our own personal vibration will increase the more we think and do positive things.

Trust me when I say I have not always believed these things I’m saying here but I believe them now. These ideas I am sharing have presented themselves to me and I trust them to be true-I KNOW they are true. Oh how I wish I could influence more people so that the news we listen to/watch or read would be good news! You don’t need to live in a fantasy world either to believe what I do. I don’t think my thoughts are fantastical. In fact I know there are more people besides myself who believe the same things. Good stuff happens all the time but we close our eyes to it and only watch for the bad because that is how we have been conditioned. It need not be this way though.

If you believe, as I do, that what we “feed” is what “grows” then you’ll see how I came to my conclusion. The more we feed our media/press with horrible news the larger it becomes. It “spreads” and takes over. But imagine how nice it would be if we could start seeing only positive news? I know I’m repeating myself but it’s important to reiterate my message. I want our world to be a happy place. Maybe you don’t think it’s possible with everything that is going on now but that’s just because we never get to hear about all the wonderful, good news happening in every corner of our globe.

What do you notice when someone does a kind act for you? You feel nice and maybe want to do a kind thing for someone else, right? Well, likewise, with our media/press we would start feeling compelled to act in more positive ways if we noticed others doing so. Although it may be unpleasant to think we are so easily influenced by others it remains true that others definitely do influence our actions. There may be a few of us who are less influenced but it doesn’t mean we aren’t influenced at all. So I think now is the time to start spreading positive messages to counteract the negativity in circulation.

Now don’t misinterpret what I am saying here. I am not saying we cannot share our feelings and thoughts if they are less positive, just that we need to be careful what we are “feeding”. Even very optimistic people have their low moments but they tend not to put much focus/energy into them. By simply acknowledging our feelings or thoughts and accepting them we are demonstrating some compassion for ourselves. Learning compassion will greatly benefit you and everyone around you. If we can show loving kindness to ourselves we’ll be kinder to others too; it will be a ripple effect.

This is how we will change the news because we won’t tolerate endless negative stories from our news sources. The public will demand more positive news be included and not just as a token piece at the back of the paper or at the end of a news report. I know I might sound slightly mad here but I am pretty sure my ideas aren’t so ‘far out there’ really.

Think about it.

How do you cope with the endless onslaught of negative news everyday?

©Natalya, 2013.