Love, Loss and Learning to Self-care with Art

self-care
The Mask – Jason Rice – April 2020 (mixed media)

In my last post I discussed my “self-care” emergency kit. While I incorporate several modalities, my favorite is the “Daily Challenge.”

Every day, I challenge myself to learn or try something new. Sometimes it is as simple as looking up a word I don’t recognize. Other times it’s reading a new topic, or challenging myself to walk 15 more minutes. Some days, it’s trying something new with art.

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Love, Loss and Learning how to Self-care in a Crisis

As I continue my healing journey, one thing I am constantly reminded of is to “self-care.” I’m sure others are probably tiring of me reminding them to do the same.

Self-care may sound a little “woo-woo,” but it really is not. It’s not all about massages or mani-pedis, though they can be incorporated, too. In times of trauma recovery, self-care is a reminder to be gentle with yourself in all situations, and to not only learn your limits, but to honor them, too.

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Hysteria leads to empty shelves and no toilet paper

coronavirus
Yikes! Empty shelves!

All I wanted was toilet paper…

It’s been a few years since I did on-the-spot reporting for a newspaper.  So while this is for my blog and not the local paper, I did have some fun.

Today I was so happy to put my freshly-earned journalism degree to work. LOL. It wasn’t my plan at all. But the excitement took me “back to the day,” and I relished it – for the most part.

I had a front-row seat to the hysteria of the Coronavirus hype. In my own neck of the woods – or concrete city – whatever.

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Love, loss and life lessons

Love, Loss and Life Lessons
Weight of grief – Sculpture by Celeste Roberge – www.celesteroberge.com

As I continue on my healing journey, I am learning lessons on love and loss.

As I mentioned in my last post, I feel grief is the death of hope. It’s the loss of the loved one, the dream, the life you hoped for.

Grief sucks. Grief produces a trauma all of its own. You can feel its physical affects.

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Love, Loss and Lattes

Love, loss, lattes

Yesterday, I celebrated my sweet Sarah’s 13th birthday, wracked with profound grief. Sarah transitioned to Heaven early in December after contracting viral myocarditis. It was such a shock to our family, friends and the community at large. People from around the world – literally – were praying with us as this sweet child battled an awful virus that attacked her heart. And those same people have supported us in our grief.

The initial shock is beginning to fade, and I find myself living in the reality of the grief. The loss. The gut-punch of never seeing her in this realm, yet feeling her presence on a soul-level.

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Love, Loss and a Labyrinth

A labyrinth walk

grief
The intricate center of the labyrinth

To say that the past year or so of my life has been the worst season of my existence is a gross understatement. So, while I am on my healing journey, self-care has been a huge priority.

A month or so ago, my hairstylist/friend, recommended the book, “The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron. The book is an exercise in tapping back into the creativity we all have, and using our art – in any form – as a building block to healing. A great way to self-care.

grief
My first attempt at creating using multi-media.

Ordering the book, I was struck with the thought, “I know I heard about this book before,” but I couldn’t remember why. An email reminder that I received the next day re-engaged my brain: I had signed up for a workshop at our local library, based on this book – and it was being facilitated by a friend of mine.

There are no coincidences.

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The importance of self-care – May is #MentalHealth Month

Self-care is absolutely vital when you decide to commit to therapy.

Self-care is vital
My mood scarf is tracking my healing journey

If you are committed to getting back to good mental health, self-care will be an important component. Self-care is similar to giving yourself healing time after surgery or an illness – such as eating light, resting, drinking tea, etc.

As I stated in my previous post, trauma can be anything from grief to abuse to living through a life-threatening illness/injury or even a near-death experience. And while you may be grateful that you lived through the trauma, you may not have processed it.

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My mental health journey – May is #MentalHealth Month

My mental health journey
My mental health journey – recognizing that I am stronger than I know…

Why is it that when we have a physical ailment, we feel free to go to the doctor? Yet, when we have a mental health issue, often times we don’t seek help.

There is a stigma around seeking mental health treatment, and it is killing us in many ways: broken souls, suicides, abuse, stress-related illnesses, substance abuse, etc.

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Let Freedom Ring – Reflections on Freedom this Independence Day

Let Freedom Ring
One of my favorite views in my neighborhood.

A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom. – Bob Dylan

I look forward to walking my puppy in the evenings. It’s a nice way to decompress after a long day and enjoy the beauty of the seasons. Especially in the summer.

One of my favorite views is of an older church in our neighborhood. The well-kept building and its grounds are beautiful and peaceful. It reminds me of the iconic, Americana view of a sunset, steeple and lush trees.

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A puppy tail – Was it divine intervention that brought us joy?

Puppy Tails
Remington’s first day.

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Charles Shultz

Last summer, our family was heartbroken over the unexpected loss of our beloved dog, Jack. For eleven years, the dog we rescued when he was just two-years-old filled our home with unconditional love, muddy paw prints in the spring, and a whole-body-wiggle greeting when we walked in the door. He provided security and companionship. Especially for me, working from home.

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