by currantdesignsllc | Sep 29, 2016 | Acceptance, Emotional Healing, Growth, Healing, Processing Thoughts and Emotions, Recovery, Relationships, Self-Help
I had dental work done last week. I generally don’t like going to the dentist. I don’t like poking, scraping, prodding or pain. After the dreaded shot of novocain, the back of my throat felt like it was swelling to the point where I thought I couldn’t breathe. I was not having an allergic reaction but my mind was telling me to panic. I could feel it starting to take over. Then I remembered to think this through. If I didn’t focus on the swelling sensation, I could take a deep breath through my nose. I put my hand on my stomach and began to take slow, easy, relaxing breaths. I told myself, “You can breathe. You are OK.” The swelling sensation was still there but as long as I kept my focus on “You are OK” then I was OK.
Our mind is so powerful but we don’t often spend time thinking about how much control we actually have over it. It’s a potent weapon that, when unchecked, can cause devastating damage; however, when we learn how to manage its potency we become Jedi masters (not like we can make things move with our mind but you get the reference!). We can stop intrusive, unhealthy thoughts. We can shift our focus from grumbling to appreciation. We can recognize and live out our own freedom. Life is full and rich and satisfying when we use our brain’s influence for us, not against!
by currantdesignsllc | Sep 9, 2016 | Growth, Processing Thoughts and Emotions, Recovery, Self-Help
“If we take responsibility for our feelings, we can use them to make our relationships better. Our anger is often a signal that someone has wronged us. If we feel that the person who has wronged us is responsible for our anger, we are in trouble. We will stay angry until the other person decides to make it better, and that could be a very long time.”
– Dr Henry Cloud
So, this is the quote I opened when checking my email tonight. This might not seem like anything to write about until you know the circumstances. I got into an altercation with family. As my anger rose and I sequestered myself, I thought I would use the time to check my email. I don’t always open Dr. Cloud’s emails because I get one every single day and I usually don’t have a whole lot of time to check my email so his usually just get deleted. When I saw it tonight I thought, “Hmmm, I wonder what Dr. Cloud has for me…hopefully something relevant,” and I got the quote above. It was awesome! So, I am breathing deeply, acknowledging and owning my anger, understanding it makes sense (based on reality not a made up story), accepting my part in it all and working on letting it go (not an instant action but I am on the right path).
by currantdesignsllc | Jul 7, 2016 | Acceptance, Forgiveness, Growth, Recovery, Relationships, Self-Help
I laugh when the very thing I write about catches me and spits me out! We planned a once in a lifetime trip for my husband’s mother. She is Norwegian but has never set foot on the soil of Norway…or anywhere outside of the United States. My husband had been promising her he’d take her there someday. At 81 someday needed to happen soon! So we decided to take the plunge this summer. The itinerary is planned, tickets purchased and passports are ready to go! Then, the unplanned jumped out and smacked us. My father-in-law’s health plummeted and my mother-in-law needs to stay with him. Go figure!
At first I was understanding. Then this nasty poison crept in. I realized we planned this whole trip for her! What!? You mean we’re spending all this money and taking time away from work (which for me with a private practice means zero income) and she isn’t even going? What?! Visualize my red face, temper rising, anger beginning to leak out all over the place!!!
In church a woman prayed, among other things, to speak blessings instead of cursings…healthy conviction began sinking in…well, after I had a little fit! Now I am amazed at my behavior. Really, Karen? You are incredibly self-centered sometimes. I must give myself grace as I always tell my clients and yet, I do hope that one day I can be more concerned about others than myself. Oh, and roll with the unpredictable a little earlier in the process.
by currantdesignsllc | Oct 1, 2015 | Acceptance, Growth, Recovery
I had the opportunity last week to drive about 8 hours roundtrip in one day. My van sort of died on our way home from visiting family. A few days later, with little explanation from the mechanic, it was revived enough for us to drive it home, a miracle of sorts. You know, the kind where the person’s heart stops beating and everyone thinks she died but then she just wakes up and is fine. That’s my van. It has 196,000 miles on it…one of these days it will die and not come back to life.
This particular day offered me one of those opportunities where I had a choice to make. I could be pissed off at God or my car or whatever that we had to drive back to the place of my van’s pseudo-death and drive it home. Or, I could choose to be content. I chose contentment. I do not say this to win accolades but to reinforce the concept that contentment is a choice despite our circumstances. I recognize fully that my circumstance was a first world problem. My husband and I had to drive together in one of our cars to get the other car. Some people have no car. I get it. But I do live in a first world and this was a problem I (and many others) face.
There’s no magic in choosing contentment. You just consciously, with intention, do it. In my case, I looked at the drive as an opportunity to listen to a bunch of speakers I admire and learn from. Before we left I downloaded a bunch of podcasts from Henry Cloud, John Townsend, Elizabeth Gilbert and Brene Brown. They are my current favorites. I also downloaded a Story Telling podcast on the topic of addiction. The drive turned out to be intellectually exhilarating. I learned powerful lessons on that drive. Lessons I might have missed.
Every aspect of our lives is rich with meaning and purpose if we are willing to look under the surface and find it. We can! We have the amazing ability to look, to think, to question, to understand and accept. I love this about us!!! So today, how will you approach your circumstances in a way that inspires you toward contentment rather than dread?
by currantdesignsllc | Mar 5, 2015 | Boundaries, Emotional Healing, Forgiveness, Growth, Healing, Parent-wounds, Recovery, Relationships
What I love about these words from Viktor Frankl is the clear communication that we have a choice. We can choose how we are going to respond or what we are going to think or how we are going to act. Now I know it sometimes doesn’t feel like we have a choice but that is an illusion. Unless you have a diagnosable brain malfunction that makes it literally impossible to choose, you can choose. Viktor Frankl survived being a prisoner at Nazi concentration camps in the 1940’s. I think he knows what he’s talking about. Think about your circumstances, how they seem so awful and you think you don’t have a choice about how you respond. Now think about being in a concentration camp where you literally have no visible choices. Dr. Frankl has communicated to us from real life experience that we always have the ability to choose how we will respond in any circumstance.
What is it that you are facing right now that you think you don’t have a choice? Is it true you don’t have a choice? Do you have to yell at your partner because you are so angry that she won’t listen to you? Do you have to believe you are not enough because that’s the message others have told you? Do you have to go on ruminating on everything you have to do because that’s what you’ve always done? The answer to all three and many more is, No! You get to choose. Right now you can choose to believe that you have value and worth. You do. Simply because you exist, you matter. You can choose a healthier way to communicate your frustration with your partner. You can stop those runaway-train-like thoughts. You really can. I know all of these for a fact because I have done each one.
It seems really hard at first to start choosing and not being a victim to the world around you. Don’t give up. Stay with it. If you find you need help, then reach out for it. You may need a counselor/therapist. Go for it! You have a choice there, too. 🙂