Tag Archive | getting unstuck

It doesn’t matter – Yes it does!

sunset-681840_1920

What you do matters. What you want matters. How you feel matters.

I’m ready to start my list and I figured out why it is so difficult. Remember those stuck points from cognitive processing therapy?  It seems I am still stuck, big time, on a major one.

“It doesn’t matter” or, related but even bigger,”I don’t matter”

Those two thoughts run rampant in my head, causing downward spirals into negative thinking, but even worse, causing numbness, thoughts of worthlessness, causing my protective shields to go up full force and dissociation to engage.

How do I get past this one when it is so huge? I need to build off those sparks I wrote about previously. Those moments when life sneaks through and I do feel something. I must be in here. And then I parent myself. What if my daughter had no desires? What if she thought it didn’t matter what she wanted? What if she thought she didn’t matter?

Okay. Wow. That hurts, unbelievably so. To even imagine for a moment another child having these thoughts is unbearably painful and brings tears to my eyes. But for me – for me it is truth. Okay. So this is how I will get my motivation and feel something, and get my head on straight. I’ll tap into this pain, because this pain is feeling alive. This pain brings me strength as it washes over me and I realize if only for a moment that if my beautiful children matter, then I must have to. I must still matter. It is just so hard to hold onto that. And now I know I matter most because I have taught my children they do matter. They know it in every cell. They will never question it or hear this in their heads. And I matter to Hubby. I now understand his pain when I say I don’t. Wow. Okay.

So if I take that realization, that raw emotion, my inner strength – how do I make a list of what I want? This is still really hard….

http://jackcanfield.com/blog/know-really-want-life-decide-today/

Excerpt:

Stop Settling for “I Don’t Care, I Don’t Know, and It Doesn’t Matter to Me.”

It doesn’t matter how small the decision, to begin reclaiming your right to decide what you want, have a preference. Yours is just as important as anybody else’s so speak up, voice yourself.

30-30-30

If you are having a hard time figuring out the one thing you want from your life, why not choose thirty? That’s right. On a piece of paper, write down a list of 30 things you want to do, 30 things you want to have, and 30 things you want be before you die. Sometimes when the pressure to find just one thing is removed, the floodgates open and you discover that there are a multitude of things that you want to do with and in your successful life.

Make an “I want” List

For 10-15 minutes have a friend record your answers to the simple question, “What do you want?” During the allotted time, have your friend ask you the question over and over again. If you’re like most people, your list will range from the very material things to matters of the heart and the true revelations of who you are and what you want from your most true self. Go ahead, start asking: What do you want? What do you want? I want! I want!

So I’ve been trying to trick myself. Ask what I want (what I really really want, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want (sorry for the Spice Girls intrusion)) so quickly that I get a response before my stuck points engage and all my defenses kick in.

I also saw a comment on that page that helped a bit

“I’ve always had a hard time making “I want” lists, so I started with “I don’t want” instead. It’s amazing to see how much hard work we can put into getting things that we don’t even want. Once we eliminate some of those, it’s much easier to see what we do want!”

Things I don’t want? Hmmm let’s try that:

  1. A sunburn
  2. Trump as president
  3. Fake friends
  4. a meaningless job
  5. insects. except maybe honey bees
  6. cancer for anyone else I know
  7. to feel dead inside
  8. to fear so much
  9. to waste my life
  10. to ruin my kids’ lives
  11. to hurt or bother people
  12. to feel irritated or bored all the time
  13. to go on a cruise
  14. to scuba dive or snorkel
  15. to be alone
  16. Poison Ivy
  17. lose my sight
  18. to gamble my money
  19. noisy, smelly fish tanks in my house
  20. to be homeless

30 is hard, so I’ll stop at 20. That was interesting what popped into my brain. So let’s reverse now. What do I want? (remember – do not think about money or what feels possible, only what you want. If you want it but think “that will never happen”, it still needs to be on the list) The first thing I keep hearing is: travel. Go somewhere. Get out of the house. Get out of the state. See something new. Do something.

  1. Travel somewhere I have never been before that has an amazing natural view, landscape, or rich history – mountains, lakes, caverns, forests, rivers, estates, cabins,  mansions, museums, parks, etc
  2. Experience Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue live with full symphony
  3. Take kids to see Joseph and Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  4. Go to a concert without kids – Zac Brown, 21 Pilots, Jack Johnson, Shaggy, Lumineers, Chili Peppers, Chicago…so many options
  5. Walk on a white sand beach
  6. Take kids to Niagara Falls
  7. Write a novel (finish the one I started ?)
  8. See the stars in the giant telescope at the observatory
  9. Hear a jazz band in New Orleans
  10. Sit on a horse (I’m not allowed to ride…)
  11. Paint a large painting from my heart
  12. Join a club or meetup group (hiking, art, photography, writing, book club, drum circle…)
  13. Explore Machu Picchu
  14. Take canoe trip down a river
  15. Join a performance group – get on stage again
  16. Take a weekend getaway with hubby and no kids
  17. rescue and train dogs, certify service dogs
  18. grow fresh herbs indoors
  19. illustrate a children’s book
  20. write and illustrate a book of poetry
  21. get a tattoo
  22. save the world
  23. research and write about the brain and behavior
  24. cure PTSD
  25. find where I fit in, a job with meaning
  26. make a friend to have a coffee with once in a while
  27. be a good person, feel like a good person, feel like a person
  28. See original art from Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, Dali, Botticelli, Michelangelo….
  29. Do something that afterwards I say “I can’t believe I just did that!”
  30. Drive a fast motorboat
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Overwhelmed. Tired. Anxious. Frustrated. Sad. Sorry. Confused.

Not happy today. Overwhelmed. Tired. Anxious. Frustrated. Sad. Sorry. Confused.

Overwhelmed by how many tasks I must manage daily that seem to be solely up to me.

Tired of always waiting on Hubby to be ready to talk or deal with something that is on my mind or needs done.

Anxious from all the activities I must do and ‘try’ to enjoy even though I don’t. (Went to a pro basketball game – Terrible, the crowd, the noise, the smells, jumping out of my skin with each speaker blast, not caring about a ball thrown around, not understanding the people around me with red and blue hair screaming with excitement about a ball, its just a ball, boredom mixed with overstimulation – just terrible)

Frustrated by going round and round with the same conversations/disagreements with Hubby and getting no where.

Sad that he doesn’t seem to have the same goals as me or think that mine are important, realistic, or even worth talking about it.

Sorry that he feels attacked whenever I try to talk to him. I’m not trying to do this and don’t know how to change.

Confused that he thinks I am nasty every time I open my mouth, and yet he loves me anyway. How can he say I am so terrible to him and yet still want me here, but doesn’t want to ever talk about it? I don’t understand.

Not sure this has anything to do with my past or PTSD. I think it is a typical marriage problem.

Manic, Obsessive, Not Compulsive, Mind Loops

Traffic Circle

Stuck in a loop – mindfulness gets me out (Photo credit: bikeracer)

I am happy. My mind is happy. I thrive on novelty, new thoughts, learning, and creativity. I have all of these right now. In fact I have so many ways to keep my mind happy right now that I have to decide which one to do in any given moment.

  • Work has given me the lead on some very interesting projects and allowed me to delegate all of the tedious portions. Hooray!
  • I have enrolled and started 3 online courses. Yes 3. One for computer programming, one for writing memoirs and self-publishing, one that actually applies to my current job.
  • I have won another art commission, with a deadline to complete the project in early Aug.
  • We’re going on a little family vacation soon, lots of planning for that.
  • I still have all my kids here with me. All day. Every day. Well except when the lovely neighbors, that I am ever so fond of, invite them over to play.

I’ve been getting up early every day for the longest stretch I’ve ever managed before. Without an alarm. I wake up, no fog, no hate, no inner scolding. I just wake up, get up, and start doing something.

This is so unusual for me, and is why I am noting something that otherwise seems unremarkable.

The interesting part though, is that although I am more productive than ever overall, I keep finding myself stuck in a manic, obsessive, not compulsive, mind loop. I will check the same email 3-5 times before I realize it. Or I’ll switch computer tabs in the same sequence 3-5 times without doing anything at any one of those apps. Or I will write an email response in my mind 3-5 times before I actually type it. I can stop – and do stop – so it is not a compulsion. But it has interfered greatly with completing my work tasks in the last few hours. Mindfulness has allowed me to stop each loop, but I seem to jump from loop to loop, simply switching which task I repeat.

I almost wonder if I have found a new way to distract myself from hurling negative thoughts at myself obsessively.  Like I need to be repeating something, and if I won’t permit that negative tape to loop any more, I had to find something else.

So then I thought, OK, I am really irritating myself now that I am mindfully aware of this –  and it is time to break this loop. But how? Blogging of course. Always the quickest mind fix.

Another day I will look into why repetitive behaviors may be soothing, or why they start up like that. Until then, it just gets filed under the ‘my brain is fun’ category.

The House of my Dreams Was NOT My Dream House

historic houses

historic houses (Photo credit: Akhenaton06)

Sleeping has always meant dreaming for me. I can’t recall any night without dreaming, vivid, powerful dreams. Or terrifying nightmares.

Does dreaming make me more creative? Or does being more creative make me prone to wild dreams? Not sure, but there is some research being done here. (Why do I call myself creative? I write stories, blogs, poetry, I paint, draw, woodburn, I dance, I play instruments, I have a constant flow of annoying thoughts and daydreams that never ever stop)

http://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20030627/creative-people-remember-more-dreams

Excerpt: 

When researchers looked at personality traits that contributed to dream recall, they found people who were prone to absorption, imaginativeness, daydreaming, and fantasizing were most likely to remember their dreams.

 “There is a fundamental continuity between how people experience the world during the day and at night,” says researcher David Watson, a professor of psychology at the University of Iowa, in a news release. “People who are prone to daydreaming and fantasy have less of a barrier between states of sleep and wakefulness and seem to more easily pass between them.”

 

What do these dreams mean? Or why do I have them? And what does it mean that I no longer have the same recurrent dreams? Is it a sign of mental healing?

For years, so many years, I have had the same terrifying dream of being trapped in a huge house with an unseen scary presence. Floors would drop out unexpectedly, stairs would turn into slides, and all the doors are locked. I roam the hallways, trying every door to find safety or escape. Around every corner, is a new hallway, a new gruesome sight in an endless and expanding floorplan. If I pass a mirror, I am not alive in the mirror, but some twisted and disgusting creature full of holes. I hear evil laughter and usually wake up screaming.

I have not had this dream in the past few months. I have instead been dreaming of lovely houses, and exploring endless and expanding floor plans, but nothing is scary. The doors are all unlocked. I see my actual self in the mirrors. I am not alone – My family is with me, and often my children lead the way and call for me excitedly “Mom, you have to see THIS room” and I follow their happy voices and find yet another amazing, beautiful room full of solid, stately architecture. A mix of Victorian, Craftsman, some Celtic knots and even some LOTR Elvish beauty along with  Modern styles. Yes, I have complex tastes, apparently. Every room is rich in detail, from hand carved woodwork, to molded plasterwork, hand made Tiffany style stained glass windows and light fixtures, and hand chiseled stone fireplaces. Everything is beautiful. And then Hubby says we might be able to afford it. Do I like it? And I am full of hope.

I think my brain is actually changing. I think I am no longer stuck in my mental prison. I think I have more hope than fears. Wow.

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More info about house dreams. I don’t believe in all dream interpretation, or follow it as totally accurate, but I do think there is something to it here.

 

http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/the-house-in-your-dream/

The House In Your Dream

When you dream of a house, you are meeting a hugely important and many sided representation of yourself. It is both many faceted and multidimensional.

If this is an old house and you gain entrance to new areas, you need to ask yourself what influences from the past – perhaps the long past – are emerging in you at the moment.

Is the house well built or weak in some areas. If weak what areas and what can you gather from that? If it is well built, does it reflect any particular skills or strengths you have and does your personality and inner life reflect those skills or lack of them?

Any weakness in the house may represent difficulties you are facing – and of course strengths are signs of your ability to cope with life. Does this link in any way with either your health, or the condition of your inner or outer life? What is it saying about you?

In the dream how are you relating to the house? Are you arriving, leaving, repairing it, pulling it down, exploring it? Whatever you are doing, or in whatever way you are relating to the house, what does that suggest about what you are doing to your body, your personality, or your way of life? For instance if leaving, are you leaving a way of life behind? If renovating, what attitudes or part of you are you changing?