December has arrived.
A month of religious holidays and traditions. A month of over indulgence - food, drink, spending money or all three.
The last month of the year is known to spark depression and lonliness in some people. They read posts and see pictures on social media of parties, friends and family gatherings and tend to compare their lives with others. Whenever we compare, our lives never measure up.
Rarely do people post the bad hair days, arguments, their own “less than” feelings and lonliness. Life is bittersweet, a mixture of joy and sadness. During this month of holidays people deal with cancer, with loss, unemployment and an array of other life issues.
Happy holiday or happy “any day” is a state of mind, an attitude. Think gratitude rather than poor me. There is always something to be grateful for. Always start a gratitude list with being able to take a breath, with or without an aid, and continue on.
Volunteer and help someone else have a happy “any day”. Start journaling and discover what will help you to have a happy “any day”. Sending everyone reading best wishes for a happy “any day”.
It’s that time of year again. The time of year when the Hallmark Channels kick off 24-hour a day “fantasy” holiday movies.
Holiday time is portrayed in commercials, television shows and of course movies as a wonderfully happy, joyous time surrounded by love ones.
There's always the one scrooge who learns a lesson and all is right with the world after the two hour movie. “Real life” however never measures up to what the writers dreamed up. Expectations we have consciously or unconsciously during holiday time are dangerous to our mental health.
Memories of holidays past – difficult or good – play a major role in how life unfolds. We remember the sad or the happy that no longer exists. People tend to eat, drink and party too much if invited or eat, drink and sit home alone depressed if not.
How do you cope with the holidays? What tools can you use to be “part of” rather than “apart from”? Planning is a great place to start. Old patterns do not have to continue if you look inward and become aware. Journaling is always a good option at any time.
It’s almost Halloween. Walk into a store and you’ll see costumes, candy, party goods and an array of cards ready to be purchased.
Pumpkins are ready to go home with kids of all ages to be painted or carved.
When I saw the costumes and masks that mark the holiday, it made me think of masks that people wear. Not the comic book, movie or music icon character masks but the invisible one we sometimes or all the time put on. The mask that keeps us from being who we really are with others. The mask that allows us to hide the parts of ourselves we don’t want to reveal. The mask that allows us to pretend we are someone else.
Do you don a mask? Sometimes, all the time or never? Why do you put it on? Do you have a different mask for different people you engage? Good questions to ask yourself, good questions to journal about.
Fear thrives in darkness. Open the door to let some light in. Awareness, learning more about ourselves, allows us to grow and evolve.
I was reading a long post from Doc B the other day and it made me think of all the people, through the years, who have shared with me about “trust issues”. What he wrote in one of the paragraphs was, “No one knows the real you but you. Self-trust issues happen when we don’t know ourselves. That’s because we have lost ourselves, or maybe because we never knew ourselves to begin with. The confusion starts with the not knowing what you want and why you want it. Then we look for answers in others. Do you see the detour about to happen here? Suddenly you feel others don't want what you want and it turns into self-doubt or you become a codependent people pleaser.”
If anything he wrote hits close to home, write about it. You know me, I’m the journal advocate! We all have the answers … it’s whether we want to examine them in the light of day or make believe they don’t exist allowing them to come out sideways; addiction, anxiety, digestive problems, etc.
There are times through the years that I’ve talked with friends and given a lot of thought to the words of Tennyson's poem.
If you love, care for someone or something, and it disappears, feelings step in. They can cause fear, anguish, sadness, depression and illness. They can overwhelm the strongest of people, teach a life lesson and change attitudes and behaviors.
Strong feelings of loss will always make impact how we act or react going forward. What do you think? Is it better to have loved and lost or never to be loved at all? Might make for a great journaling exercise.
4th of July - Independence Day is right around the corner. It got me thinking about the holiday, the history and specifically the word, independent.
A few thesaurus entries I found were self-governing, self-sufficient, self-regulating, and free. It’s necessary for a country that’s independent to maintain relationships with others as allies, as a support in times of need.
People who consider themselves independent and self-sufficient also keep others within reach as a support and to enrich their lives. Having others around us doesn’t take away our ability to stand strong unless we allow them to. The safe and trustworthy people we choose to be part of our life is a gift we continually appreciate.
There are Individuals who call themselves independent while isolating, convincing themselves that sharing, being real with another person, would take something from their existence. Life becomes very small, unhealthy when we cannot share our thoughts and feelings with at least one person. Being fearful of revealing ourselves – hopes, joys, fears and struggles - to at least one other safe person closes us off to living a fully realized life.
Are you independent with strong relationships? Are you independent and alone living with the fear “if you really knew me …”? Declare a personal indepence day. Think about it. Try journaling about the gifts you have or could have in your life if you allow people to "know you".
June, the month of graduations. For at least 12 years we attend school, take exams to see if we learned the material that was taught and then advance or do the lesson again.
Life is a much larger school – education is more extensive. Helpful tools to use while navigating life school are introspection, self-awareness and action to be the best person we can be. If we pay attention in life school, we continue to get lessons; some easy, some difficult. We are tested over and over again to see if we’ve learned what can be applied to a different situation down the road.
When life school comes to an end we inherently know if we failed, graduated by the skin of our teeth or did well. Our behaviors and self-knowledge through the years becomes our diploma.
Congratulations to all the 2018 school graduates. And to those paying attention in life school, I wish you easy lessons ahead!
Your mind is who you are and what you will become. When you love and appreciate yourself, you will accept and acknowledge that of which your thoughts know and your heart feels. With that I give you the belief of your spirit.
Tommy Doc B Blaché
There’s always something that doesn’t go exactly the way we want it to. While someone not taking out the trash when they should and hearing a difficult medical diagnosis are on different ends of an invisible ruler of difficult events, how we react to each is important to our emotional mental health that affects our body.
Finding a healthy way to cope with issues that don’t go our way is important.
As an advocate of journaling, that’s always what I suggest to people. It gets to thoughts and feelings we don’t even consciously know is bothering us.
What healthy “tools” work for you when things don’t happen exactly the way you want them to?
There is always something to be grateful for regardless of circumstances. Someone’s not taking out the trash? Why do you keep that person around? Is there something about that person you are grateful for? Living with physical pain? A disease? Sometimes you have to dig for what you’re grateful for. I promise – there is always something to be grateful for!