Reflections on Life Thus Far

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


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Day 2 of the 30 Day Challenge

Question: Where would you like to be in 10 years?

This is a hard question for me to answer. I hardly know where I’ll be in a year, let alone 10! Actually, I just try to take each day as it comes and focus on being as present as possible; after years of dissociation from childhood trauma I appreciate ‘the moment’ more so than the future. Mindfulness has really taught me to slow down and be aware of how I am feeling NOW. So right NOW is important to me but I do consider the future sometimes. However, when I do it tends to make me anxious because I haven’t quite figured out the HOW when it comes to realizing my goals and dreams.

In short, providing I haven’t dropped dead, I would like to have found my significant other and have some type of paid work I enjoy, as well as a furry companion in 10 years. Presently, I am unemployed and single so I have my work cut out for me! LOL However, 10 years is a long time and lots can happen. Certainly the last 10 years of my life have seen many changes (some good, some not so good). Overall I have faith my life will turn out in the way that is best for my personal growth. I also have faith that good things will happen for me so I am not going to focus heavily on the HOW, rather I will simply work on the WHAT. What do I want is probably the best thing for me to focus on because I have always found setting a clear and strong intention to be my best ally in achieving my goals/dreams.

©Natalya, 2013.

 

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Portfolio & Counselling

211106301254175104_dmBYAIjF_cAs some of you may know, if you regularly read my blog, I started a portfolio development workshop a month ago. Monday we had our “second” session after finally having a decent day without snow. The chronological timeline I had done two weeks ago, I passed in. My timeline was long compared to some but the length wasn’t important so it was fine. We had more people too so I was feeling less comfortable. I really prefer groups in the 4-8 range, preferably at the lower end. We had 10 on Monday which felt like a lot to me. Also, we ended up getting a new member who, in my opinion, talks too much! She is very verbose that’s all. Nice but verbose, lol. Thankfully other members spoke too though so it wasn’t a case of one member dominating the group. We have a bunch of questions this week we have to answer. They’re to encourage reflection on who we are and what we have done which is what I enjoy. I’ve a good idea of who I am but will have to of course find the appropriate words to express it. The what have I done and my resulting skills will make me think a bit more. I’m not usually as good at identifying what I’ve done and the skills associated but will manage!

Tuesday was my second counselling session I’ve had with my new counsellor (regular readers will know I started seeing a counsellor a few weeks ago for working on myself). It went well. We actually discussed my homework I’d done for the portfolio workshop since it was relevant. I continued to talk about my background and my counsellor said I was resilient. This was nice but not a shock to me by any means since I have already identified myself that way before. She was curious about how I had overcome as much as I have. To which I responded, almost immediately, my independent personality. Alone, my independence hasn’t been what’s saved me but it certainly helped. I suppose I am different from some people in not needing constant companionship/company; on the other hand it has meant I’ve been alone most of my life, aside from a few friends over the years who’ve come and gone. I don’t regret this but would appreciate it if I could have a positive friendship or two that involves people I can actually meet up with in real life. Online friends are wonderful but you can’t go out with them for coffee or a day of shopping.

My counsellor drew attention to the fact I wish to work on my boundaries but have actually had strong physical boundaries; in the sense that I have not allowed anyone to touch me if I didn’t want them to. This is true but I’ve also been a tad rigid too. I barely hug people, never mind an intimate relationship with anyone. In a sense I’ve been too shut off from receiving physical affection because I hated my mother constantly touching me without respect for my feelings. It became a defense against anyone triggering me into reliving my mother’s invasive behaviours. Unfortunately, I need to work on achieving a ‘happy medium’ if I ever hope to have a meaningful romantic relationship with someone. My emotional or psychological boundaries are the ones I need the most help with though. Not that I am without any boundaries but I still struggle to keep them in place.

This past Monday I bought myself a yellow citrine and carnelian crystal to help with my sacral and solar plexus chakras. I’m not sure how to make best use of them yet. Initially I thought I’d put them in a ‘cage’ and wear it as a necklace but maybe I’ll meditate with them instead. I guess I’ll have to think about it a bit more. My book on chakras that mentions the crystals for each chakra says citrine can be for the sacral and solar plexus, the only difference I noticed was it said yellow citrine for the solar plexus and just citrine for the sacral chakra. Anyone know what the difference is?

©Natalya, 2013.

 

Depression and Anxiety

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Ajahn Brahm talks about treating and preventing mild-moderate anxiety and depression without medication.


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Last Confidence Building Session Coming Up Tomorrow

Clinical research shows Buddhist mindfulness t...

Clinical research shows Buddhist mindfulness techniques can help alleviate anxiety , stress , and depression (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m feeling a tad let down by tomorrow being my last confidence building session. Not too sure I’m loads more

confident than when I started. I think I have more confidence now than a couple of weeks ago but it’s hard to tell. Perhaps I can work on it on my own time if I find a self help workbook kind of thing. Anyone have experience (successful) with confidence building/increasing workbooks? Or even just self help books on confidence? I think a fellow blogger tried this route but I didn’t get to ask them what the outcome was.

Anyway, I was supposed to have worked on doing meaningful activities all week(for the workshop) but I didn’t really manage it. At best I was able to do several days but certainly not the entire week. I’d planned on getting outdoors but it rained a lot last week and I am not very ‘outdoorsy’ so felt a disinclination toward venturing out. Friday was alright but I just wasted it not managing anything more meaningful than a 40 min. mindfulness meditation which I do regularly anyhow (or try to).

The thought has occurred to me that I’m a bit ‘sluggish’ from the decreased daylight and steady stretch of rain and gray skies we’ve been having here. Every year I develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) so it might be that, although it isn’t even October yet officially! Normally I think I can make it a bit further than the end of September before the S.A.D. hits. Oh, I don’t know. Hopefully the rain goes away for a little while. I am starting to feel like I’m living on the other side of the country where it typically rains more often than where I’m at. It could be the tropical storm moving up the coast giving us the lousy weather.

Maybe I should find myself a S.A.D. lamp and try that. I hate feeling unmotivated to do anything. Right now I

English: A 30 kHz bright light therapy lamp (I...

English: A 30 kHz bright light therapy lamp (Innosol Rondo) used to treat seasonal affective disorder. Provides 10,000 lux at a distance of 25 cm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

can blame it on the crap weather but if it is like this when the sun returns I won’t be doing well! Sorry for complaining. Tomorrow I promise my post will be more positive!

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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A Book I Found Helpful During My Recovery

I’d like to share with you a book I found helpful to me during my time in therapy whilst still working on integration. I know there are some people here who read my blog that have a diagnosis of DID or a related disorder. Although I never specifically sought out the label for myself, I found reading the book I’ll share here in a moment very useful. It helped me to become aware of certain things that had confused me. With the help of my therapist I was able to address certain things in a way that normalized my dissociation. I did not bring up the word DID in therapy, only dissociation itself. Frankly, the diagnosis scared me and I did not feel like having it formally on any records of mine. So I addressed the dissociation as a symptom and worked on gaining greater control over the frequency of it.

The book is called “The Dissociative Identity Disorder  Sourcebook” written by Debrorah Bray Haddock. It is extremely concise and seems to have everything in it necessary to understanding the disorder. It really helped me to accept my reality better-even if I did refuse to raise the issue of DID to my therapist. I think we both were in agreement on wanting to normalize my experiences as much as possible. For some people this may not be appropriate but it was what I felt was right for me. I chose to view my reality through the lens of CBT(Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) because that’s what my psychologist used. She challenged my faulty beliefs and thoughts. So I agreed, in my head, to act as if I could be whole. It seems to have worked because I don’t dissociate much anymore and remember information a lot better than pre-therapy.

Ultimately everyone is different and has to find what works for them and their situation. One’s core personality is a major factor. I’m intuitive but quite cerebral so found CBT helpful. For someone else it might be an entirely different approach.

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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Confidence Building Workshop-Day 1

Day one of the workshop was exploring what confidence is and how we gain or loose it. We heard from

Confidence

Confidence (Photo credit: wherefishsing)

everyone why they were there and what they hoped to accomplish through attending. I was surprised how many people were working on the same things I am dealing with. It made me feel less alone, like there were others who needed a bit of help too. I felt encouraged that our instructor/facilitator had been a shy person with little confidence and was able to overcome that.

Although we did not do much on day one I walked away feeling a little less isolated and a little bit more hopeful. When I was growing up with my narcissistic mother nothing was ever ‘good enough’ if it was not done perfectly. I don’t think she was conscious of how she made other people feel but I formed the belief you didn’t share anything unless you’d accomplished something major. It took a long time in therapy before I could appreciate little things can be big things when we’re struggling. Now I appreciate smaller accomplishments and celebrate positive steps I have taken to be kinder to myself and healthier. I need not win the Nobel Prize to feel valuable as a person or that I’ve achieved something really great anymore. Sometimes it is remembering the smaller achievements we’ve had that allow us to feel worthy as we are.

confidence

confidence (Photo credit: glsims99)

For day two and three of the confidence building workshop I hope to learn more strategies for increasing my confidence. I know a lot of it will be from just pushing myself to go out in public and attend a group with people I’ve never met before. Everyone there had a different story but we all shared in the painful reality of lacking self confidence-as well as self esteem for some. So I learnt that even though I tell myself I’m all alone in my struggles I am not. There are lots of other people struggling but I just have to reach out more so I can see it instead of isolating myself.

Thanks for reading.

Comments, thoughts?

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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Confidence Building Workshop

Our Lady of Confidence

Our Lady of Confidence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m starting a three part confidence building workshop tomorrow with the employment agency I visit for counselling. It’s three sessions lasting 2 1/2 hours each session spread out over three weeks. So one session each Monday for three weeks. Fingers crossed it helps me! I am not doing great with self confidence but want to gain more so I can do more things in the real world (instead of just here online). It would be wonderful if I could get enough confidence to apply for different jobs and ask for references for work and volunteering. Right now I am too fearful to do any of those things. It really is very crappy.

I don’t know how many of you have confidence problems. It is funny because my self esteem is fairly good but confidence is another story altogether!

***The picture is RC but I am not. I just liked the image for my topic here 😉

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.