Mindfulness Monday – Changing.

I’ve decided to change things up a bit on my blog. I won’t be posting a Mindfulness Monday every Monday. I will still post once or twice a month, I’m hoping to blog more often with different topics. (health allowing) xo

Remember…

This is my favorite quotes. I hope you enjoy it, I know I’ve used it before. xo

**Image by W. Holcombe, please do not use without permission.

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Mindfulness Monday: on being mindful

“Be mindful even if your mind is full.”

James de la Vega

 “Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.”

Sharon Salzberg

 This time of the year can heighten both joy and despair; laughter and tears; friendship and loneliness; comfort and pain. Being present in the moment among the presents and presences can ground us as the season swirls by. Mindfulness can act as anchor, guidepost, tao. Bringing us back inside, to quiet, stillness. Mindfulness can help us do what is so important: breathe, love, live.

 This week is a selection of quotes around the idea of mindfulness, grounding, coping. I hope these resonate with you.

 “Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.”

John Kabat-Zinn

“Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.”

Amit Ray 

“When you look into a field of dandelions, you can either see a field of weeds or a field of wishes.”

Anon.

 “Regain your senses, call yourself back, and once again wake up. Now that you realize that only dreams were troubling you, view this ‘reality’ as you view your dreams.”

Marcus Aurelius

Wishing everyone all the best of this festive season, and in the new year to come. Charles Dickens wrote, “Christmas would not be Christmas, but for the exchange of our good wishes.”

 Image: google images/pininterest

Mindful Monday – Mental Illness

Today’s Mindfulness Monday is not really quotes on mindfulness, they are mindful quotes on mental health.  There are more quotes than usual, I actually found over 30 that I liked and finally cut it down to these 7.  After each quote I will explain why I chose that particular quote.  I hope you will bare with me, as most of you know I’m working through a mental health crisis of my own, and working on this post has helped me feel not so alone.  ***Please note that this post contains a frank discussion on mental health issues including suicide ideation.

“Beautiful fake smile.

All it takes is a beautiful fake smile

 to hide an injured soul and

they will never notice how broken you really are.”

~Robin Williams

I chose this quote because we I often use a fake smile to get through the day.  Whether it be because of my physical or mental illnesses, that fake smile makes others believe I’m okay, and that makes dealing with the general public, and sometimes even those closest to me, easier.  I don’t have to explain, I don’t have to deal with the awkwardness…..the fake smile, is a shield I use to deflect the judgments from others.  

“Be proud of every step

you take towards stability,

no matter how big or small.”

~Jessica AnnHardy

I have been feeling like all the work I’ve been doing to overcome this crisis has shown little improvement.  I chose this quote because it reminded me that even the smallest steps toward my stability are worth being proud of.

“I’m still me no matter

my mental health”

~Niki McBain

Earlier today I texted a friend how afraid I am that this is my new normal, all the anger, and simply being a bitch all the time.  I’m no longer a nice person.  I told her, “I feel like I’ve lost Wendy”  I chose this quote simply because it reassured me that Wendy is still in there somewhere.

“It’s exhausting to fight a war

inside your head

every single day.”

~Mickie Ann

If you don’t have a mental illness I don’t think you can ever understand this quote, if you do, I doubt I have to explain why I included it.  This constant battle going on in my head is driving me insane….or perhaps I’m insane is why I have the battle in the first place….these are the kind of questions that bombard me all the time lately.  Every… Single….Day

“Surviving a psychiatric crisis is one thing.

Overcoming one is something completely different.”

~Chris Curry

I hope to somehow understand this, and hopefully so will my husband.  Right now we are in survival mode, overcoming it is going to be a long, hard process.  (I’m not sure it will ever happen completely)

“The bravest thing I ever did

was continuing my life

when I wanted to die.”

~Juliette Lewis

Okay, I’m admitting something here so other’s my hear my pain, and will perhaps not feel so alone.  Each day since this crisis began has been a fight for my life.  More than once I’ve thought it would be best if I were not here.  I’m not being selfish, of looking for the easy way out.  I’m hurting the person I love most, over, and over, and over again.  When I’m having the most severe emotions, rage, despair….and the psychosis (auditory hallucinations)  I cannot see that removing myself from this world would hurt him worse, I can only see that I’m causing him so much pain, and at that moment I believe that if I’m wasn’t here it would be better for him…and others I love.  I want to remove myself from the situation.  Actually, that’s exactly it, I am simply trying my hardest to get away from the war inside me, I simply need to escape.  The pain is just too great.  Please do not judge me, if you do, keep it to yourself, my psyche can’t handle it right now.  I am not in danger, my husband and my psychiatrist know about this and I’m being watched….like a child….I hate it.

”You know when you’re in a bad dream

and you’re trying to run, punch, kick, or scream,

 and your body just won’t move?

You open your mouth and nothing comes out.

You feel frozen or in slow motion,

 and no matter how hard you try to fight it,

nothing changes.

That’s how it feels to battle mental illness.”

~Evyenia

When I read this quote I thought….Yes!!  It is often like that.  I feel like I scream and scream and even when I’m making noise it makes no sense.  I’m stuck, I can’t get out.  I just want me back again!  There are so many people who feel like they aren’t themselves after they start their psychiatric medication, especially those who are bipolar I, like me.  I will admit, when I first started my meds I wondered if the changes in my moods were making me less….me.  I was losing part of who I identified as me, but after I was stable for a while I realized that the real me was the stable person.  I no longer had times of extreme mood swings, I no longer did so many dangerous things, I felt more in control.  Yes, I missed being able to pain for days on end, I don’t feel I’ve been as creative, and I miss the times I could read 2-3 books in one day, but I don’t miss buying a car I couldn’t afford, or having sex with someone and not remembering it, or losing days that I don’t remember.  That wasn’t me.  When I’d relapse, which has never been as bad as this crisis, I’d run to my doctor immediately for help.  I didn’t like that feeling at all, I was suddenly not me.  And suddenly after 20+ years, I’m having a severe crisis.  It scares the hell out of me.  I will say, I think I’m better today than I was 2 weeks ago, but I still have a long way to go.

I just want to be Wendy again.

***by the way, the photo above is a self portrait I took a few years ago.  I haven’t been in the mood to take many pictures lately, and I felt this photo was appropriate.  (all right’s reserved)

Meaningful Monday: Compassion

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”

Dalai Lama

“The compassionate mind is the mind that transforms.”

Paul B. Gilbert

“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain, but also being moved to help relieve it.”

Daniel Coleman

image:  quotesgram.com

Wendy just needs a break today so rather than her wonderful Mindfulness Monday, I am filling in with some thoughts on compassion.

 

Q3 – The Quotation Challenge

I don’t usually do challenges, mainly because I know so many amazing bloggers I can never decide who to pass the challenge on to, but when Kim, from I Tripped Over a Stone, nominated me, I thought, “Quotes?  Hey, that’s up my alley!”  So I couldn’t say no.  Kim is an amazing woman.  She’s witty, smart, busy, and just happens to have fibromyalgia.  She is full of knowledge that she readily shares on her blog and in a Facebook group she helps run.  Follow the link above and check out her incredible blog! Thank you Kim for selecting me to participate in this challenge.  So, today we’ll take a little break from Mindfulness Monday and do these quotes instead.

Here’s how this thing works:

1. Thank the person that nominated you.

2. Write one quote each day for three consecutive days (3 quotes total)

3. Explain why the quote is meaningful for you.

4. Nominate three bloggers each day to participate in the challenge

Kim changed the challenge up a bit and did all three of her quotes in one day, I think I’ll follow suit and do the same.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes.

I believe in you

“I believe in you.” ~Christeen Calloway (my mother)

This is my favorite quote of all time because everyone needs someone who believes in them, and I always knew my mother believed in me. I specifically remember her telling me this when I was in college.  I was struggling putting myself through school, working many part-time jobs and taking a full load of classes so I didn’t waste any tuition money.  (You had to take at least 9 (or was it 12?) credit hours a semester to get full time tuition.  Over that minimum requirement you could take more classes for the same price. So I normally took 15 – 18 credit hours per semester – that’s 5 – 6 classes.)  At one point I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to finish.  I was working so hard, and I had the grades to prove it, but I was getting worn down.  (at one point I had 5 part-time jobs)  My mother was always my champion.  I called her one day just to chat and mentioned how hard things were at that moment and how I just didn’t know if I could carry on with that pace.  I also mentioned how much I missed her banana pudding.  That afternoon when I got back to my dorm, my mother was there waiting on me, with a big bowl of banana pudding.  We had dinner together and talked and talked, like we often did.  She told me how much she believed in me.  She knew how hard I was working and she also knew I could handle it.  It was her belief in me that pushed me forward, and the next semester I was awarded a scholarship for outstanding academics and art.  I was also given a work study opportunity, so I didn’t have to have all those part-time jobs.  If it had not been for my mother’s belief in me, I don’t think I would have been able to follow through and graduate with honors.

Anne-Frank-Quotes-4

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ~Anne Frank

I hear it all the time, “I can’t afford to give….”  This simply isn’t true.  “No one has ever become poor by giving.”  How very true.  We must remember that even the poorest of us can give without causing ourselves more hardship.  We can give of our time, there are so many lonely people in this world, all you’d need to do is spend a little time with someone who needs the company, this doesn’t even have to be in person, you can reach out to someone online, you may even make a new friend.  We can give a service, can you cook, sew, garden, babysit?….there are so many ways we can give simply by doing what we know, we don’t have to buy anything.  We can give a smile and a compliment, has there ever been a time when a stranger smiled at you and complimented you out of the blue?  How did it make you feel?  A kind word can mean the world to someone, you never know, they may be going through a really rough time and your kindness helps just a little.  Don’t believe that you can’t make a difference simply because you can’t give monetarily, there are many ways to give that don’t cost a penny.

mindfulness-sunset-palm-springs

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”  ~James Baraz

How could I list my favorite quotes without including my favorite quote on mindfulness?  This is one of the first quotes on mindfulness I read, and it spoke volumes to me.  It was hard to imagine facing every day without wishing it were different.  I admit I’m still not at that point, but I strive to be, and some days I succeed.  However, I still wish things were different when I’m having bad symptoms, but I try hard to be as okay with it as I can; and I take solace in knowing that the unpleasant will not always be with me.  I’m also learning how to enjoy the good times without trying to hold on too tightly.  Sometimes I’m better at that than others.  For example, my sister came for a visit this past week and I had so much fun I didn’t want that feeling to end.  One night I made a roast chicken and we made a wish with the wishbone.  My wish was that every day could be as good as that day.  umm, I think I was trying to hold on to that day a little, don’t you?  Luckily I wasn’t trying to hold on so tightly that it caused me pain when it was over.  I am so grateful we were able to have such a good visit, and I was mostly symptom free.  I must admit, I would have held on to those days if I could, but I’m grateful for today, even though I had a cluster headache earlier and I don’t feel like lifting my head now.  I’m still happy.  Hubby just came home, and it’s time to make brownies.  😉

 

If they would like to participate, I would love to read some quotes that inspire or excite or have meaning for:

Oh there are just so many in my blogging family that I’d love to see do this challenge, if you’d like to do it, please let me know in the comments so I won’t miss it!!

If you don’t want to do the challenge but have a quote that is meaningful to you, I’d love to hear it!!

3 Inspirational Christmas Quotes on Mindfulness Monday

christmas-tree color

 

“My idea of Christmas,
whether old-fashioned or modern,
is very simple:
loving others.
Come to think of it,
why do we have to wait for
Christmas to do that?”

~ Bob Hope

 

“Christmas is not a time or season,
but a state of mind.
To cherish peace and goodwill,
to be plenteous in mercy,
is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”

~ Calvin Coolidge

 

“What if Christmas,
he thought,
doesnt’ come from a store.
What if Christmas,
perhaps,
means a little bit more!”

~ The Grinch (Dr. Seuss)

 

*artwork by W. Holcombe.  Please do not use without permission.

Merry Happy Joy to you all.

Mindfulness Monday – Creativity

 

leaves 2

“Creativity is the way
I share my soul with the world.”

~ Brene Brown

 

“Creativity is
intelligence having FUN!”

~ Albert Einstein

 

“In short,
a calm mind is
a creative mind.”

~ Russell Simmons

 

I’d like to thank my dear friend, Lorraine, from Lorraine’s Frilly Freudian Slip, for taking the reigns last Monday and posting some great quotes for me, and on her birthday no less!  You are a true friend.  Happy birthday, a little late.

 

*artwork created on the Bamboo graphics pad  by W. Holcombe.  Please do not use or reproduce without permission.

Kinda Mindfulness Monday Quotes – Halloween

DSC_0117

“He gathered the boy somewhat close
and thought,
Evil has only the power we give it.
I give you nothing.
I take back.
Starve.
Starve.
Starve.”

~ Ray Bradbury – Something Wicked This Way Comes

 

“If a man harbors any sort of fear,
it makes him landlord to a ghost.”

~ Lloyd Douglas

 

“Nature is a haunted house –
but Art –
is a house that tries to be haunted.”

~ Emily Dickinson

 

*photo of pumpkin and grasshopper by W. Holcombe.  please do not use without permission.

#HAWMC Day 3 – Quote

Today is Day 3 of #HAWMC (WEGO’s Health Activist Writers Monthly Challenge).  The prompt today is:

Quotation Inspiration. Find a quote that inspires you (either positively or negatively) and free write about it for 15 minutes.

mindfulness-sunset-palm-springs

I post mindfulness quotes on my blog every Monday, this quote from James Baraz is my favorite it shows the essence of mindfulness in just a few lines.

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different;  enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz

When I read these words they resonate with me.  When I’m having a good time and I realize I may pay for it later, I understand that things will change and I will be okay with it.  I will not try to hold on to these good times, I know it will end and that’s okay.  It is this moment that counts.

I really rely on this quote during bad times.  “being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t)”  What an inspiring thing to say.  Remember no matter how bad it is, this moment will not last.  Things will change.  The unpleasant moment will not be here forever.  When I go through a difficult medical test or treatment, I remember, it will not last forever.  Things will get better.   When I’m in the middle of a vertigo attack, I constantly remind myself that it will not always be this way.  It will change.  The vertigo will stop.  It-will-stop.  It will not always be this way.  This is very important when I have vertigo because during an attack I am always afraid it will not end.  Remembering that it will end, that all unpleasantness has an ending, helps.

There is another quote that I think goes well with this one.  It is by Eckhart Tolle – “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

I think on this a lot.  When I am having a bad day I remind myself to accept this day as if I had chosen it.  If I chose it then there is nothing wrong with it.  How can I not like it, if I chose it?   If I’m having a vertigo attack, I will work with it, not against it, and things work out much better for me.  (I must say here that vertigo attacks are one of the most horrific things I have every experienced, if not the MOST horrific.  Vertigo attacks with Meniere’s Disease can last for a few minutes to days. Normally mine last for hours….many hours.)

These are a couple of quotes that get me through the day.  There are many mindfulness quotes that run through my mind when I’m having a particularly rough time.  Reading inspirational quotes really helps me keep a good grasp on things.

I have one more quote that really gets me through.

i-believe-in-youMy mother told me this often.  I particularly remember her telling me this when I was in college.  I was the first in my family to graduate from college, when I was attending there were a few times that I doubted myself.  I was going through a very rough time undiagnosed with Bipolar disorder.  I was misdiagnosed for a long time.  When I was in college it was a very rough time, but my mother always believed in me.  It has always meant a lot to me to have that belief.   I have found that the people who touch me on my blog believe in me and I believe in them.  This is a great support system.  This is very important when you have a chronic illness.  This quote is very important.  Remember, I believe in you.

If you’d like to read more posts from today please check out WEGO’s Facebook page.  and don’t forget to check out Picnic With Ant’s Facebook Page too.  🙂

*all artwork on Picnic with Ants has been created by Wendy Holcombe unless otherwise noted.  (I can’t remember if I created the “I believe in you” graphic or not.  It was in my files)