Thank you for joining me and welcome to this month's edition of my Hope for Healing newsletter! I feel blessed to have you here with me. I welcome and appreciate feedback. Feel free to reach out via my website contact page or through e-mail at email@example.com comments or questions.
Positivities of Persistence
Grab that journal or note pad and let's get our positivity on! This month we will address the next step in our Positivies of Persistence journey:
The simplest definition? Responsibility.
No one or no thing is responsible for your happiness but you. That's it. I could literally stop right there and just let you marinate that for a few minutes . . . hours . . . days. I am the only person responsible for my happiness. The end.
Yes, people can be jerks. Circumstances can be crappy.
Or, maybe not.
What I mean is that our perception holds so much power. Sometimes what we perceive as someone being an ass really is just someone who is a super nice person 99.99% of the time, but just happened to receive sad news about a loved one and now, out of character, they are short-fused and you happened to be in the line of fire for their impatience.
What if that huge line of traffic, causing you to be late for an important meeting, really prevented you from being involved in a horrible accident that's about to happen further up the road?
When I started to shift my perceptions and remove all expectations, my life became so much more tranquil and joyous. I started saying silent prayers for the jerk-face who cut me off and flipped me off in a bout of rage. I started thanking God for the detour and smiling at the new scenery. I stopped expecting other people and situations to bring me joy.
I am not going to lie. This is a tough one to put in play. It takes practice. It is a matter of catching yourself and putting new response habits in place. Just gently remind yourself, without judgment, to do what YOU need to do to create a sense of peace and happiness within yourself, regardless of what is happening around you.
Tree limb fell on your fence? Opportunity for me to replace all of those broken slats and re-stain the fence, which I've put off the past two summers.
Sat on your glasses? I've been wanting a new look. Let's pick something fun and different. Maybe purple frames this time.
Boss blamed you for a costly mistake? Time to face my fear of confrontation and request a meeting to calmly talk over the circumstances and offer my help to correct the problem.
Kid is screaming in the cart in front of you at the grocery store? I can offer to load the groceries on the scanner while mom attends to her toddler.
Exercise: Write down ONE way you practiced conscious accountability each day this week. Seven days. Seven opportunities to create new habitual happiness patterns.
Coming up next month: Celebrating Goals
Welcome to The Healing Place Podcast! Click below to listen in:
I loved connecting with Janyne McConnaughey to discuss being brave, childhood trauma, dissociative coping mechanisms, healing strategies, EMDR therapy, and so much more! Thank you, Janyne, for joining me on the podcast and shining your beautiful light of hope into the world.
Bio: “Janyne McConnaughey, Ph.D., retired from a forty-year career in education while healing from the attachment wounding and trauma she experienced as a child. During therapy, she wrote her way to healing and now is redeeming her story by helping others to understand the lifelong effects of childhood trauma and insecure attachment.
Janyne is a frequent guest blogger for the Attachment and Trauma Network, blogs at her own website (Janyne.org), and other organizations addressing trauma and attachment. She accepts a limited number of speaking engagements and can be contacted through her website.
Along with Brave: A Personal Story of Healing Childhood Trauma, and the companion book, Jeannie’s Brave Childhood: Behavior and Healing through the Lens of Attachment and Trauma, Janyne is working to complete three other books in the BRAVE series. She enjoys living in and exploring the Seattle area with her husband, Scott, children, and grandchildren. Her favorite activity is to follow her GPS to “green spaces” along the coast of Puget Sound.
Do you want to know my favorite go-to coping skill when I feel my anxiety heightening or notice a trigger response stirring?
So what the heck is that, you might ask.
Mindfulness, as defined by me, is being present in the now, of bringing my attention to this moment and all that surrounds me. I bring my attention to my senses, the energy, other creatures that may be present, and remind myself that I am safe. Right here. Right now. It is letting the past fears release and future worries dissipate. It is savoring all that is good and beautiful right now, even in the midst of chaos.
As for 5-4-3-2-1 Mindfulness practice (and, yes, I practice this almost daily, mostly in nature settings!), I follow the following guidelines:
Find 5 things to look at and describe them in great detail: color, texture, how looking at it makes me feel (soothed, calm, excited, so on).
Find 4 things to touch and, again, describe each in tremendous detail . . . is it soft, rough, silky, prickly, etc. Does it bring comfort to touch it? Does it feel cool, warm, maybe even hot?
Find 3 things to listen to by either "stretching the ears" as far as you can go (meaning listening to the farthest sound you can find) or by simply allowing sounds to "fall on" you (meaning you allow sounds to come to your awareness by merely observing).
Find 2 things to smell. This is one of my favorites in nature. We live near a nature preserve and it is filled with all things delicious for the olfactory gland. Flowers. Wet leaves. Pine trees. Even skunks. I try to find a new scent each time I visit. And I cannot help but smile as I savor each deep breath in. Keep in mind that you need to remain cognizant of every detail about the scents.
Find 1 thing to taste. This can be a food, the remnants of tooth paste still lingering from the morning's brushing, or maybe the salt on your skin as you lick your lips. Remember to describe it in great detail to yourself as you bring your attention to it.
By the time I've worked my way through these fifteen mindful gifts, I am immersed in the NOW. And usually smiling, calm, appreciative, and naturally breathing slower and deeper.
Mindfulness practice is one of my favorite gifts to myself.
Please remember:Healing is possible and you are so very worthy of that gift!
Coming next month: Understanding Mindfulness - part 2
I want to share one coping strategy a month. These are strategies I use (or have used) in my own life as I travel the healing journey. I hope they bring you tranquility, as well!
The self-love in that invitation and welcoming of angelic presence, guidance, and comfort is critical to healing. Did you know, according to a 2016 Gallup Poll, that 72% of Americans believe in angels, with another 12% unsure, leaving 16% who do not believe. I decided to go with the odds and share this particular coping strategy as many of you just might relate to it.
I talk to my angels daily, expressing gratitude and requesting their guidance. And, wow, do they deliver. I receive signs in the form of hearts (have you ever noticed how my chosen newsletter photos almost always contain a heart?). I have received messages from loved ones who have passed. I have been inspired, re-directed, saved, and comforted. All as gifts from my angels. And for that I am eternally grateful.
Until next month, remember to be gentle with yourself!