Growing Your Seeds: Self-Care

One thing that many of us excel at in life is self-care other-care. We give and give and give and care and care and care. Yet we forget to remember that we have to grow seeds in order to give seeds.

FlowersI am struck again and again of the lifespan of a sunflower. It starts as a seed and with much care (by others and nature: rain and food) it sprouts into a flower and grows. Then one day it blooms a sunflower head. The leaves stay folded into the center of the flower protecting the developing seeds. Then one day, as the seeds become fully grown, the petals unfold and reveal the sunflower seeds that the flower produced during its growing process.

 

Once the seeds are revealed, the flower drops them. Some of them set into the ground to grow new flowers, some are gathered by others to plant or eat.

So what does this mean for us as people?

Sometimes we need to

A. Let others nurture us, feed us, protect us, provide, and aid in our growth

B. Allow ourselves time to grow and bloom

C. Protecting our seeds (our gifts, skills, talents, energy)

and then- we are ready to release our time and seeds to others. Only after our own growth and self-care can we give back and care for others.

Impatient: (Re)Learning Emotion

im·pa·tient

adjective

1. not patient; not accepting delay, opposition, pain, etc., withcalm or patience.
2. indicating lack of patience: an impatient answer.
3. restless in desire or expectation; eagerly desirous.

Idioms

4. impatient of, intolerant of: impatient of any interruptions.
       Today I am choosing to blog on relearning the feeling of impatience. So why today? Well, you guessed it, I am feeling IMPATIENT! I recently ordered myself my first apply IPad. It is sitting at FedEx, and I am stuck in my office. Waiting.
      There are many things in life that cause us to feel impatient: the excitement of something new, the wait before an upcoming vacation, or when an ending of something dreadful is nowhere near sight.
     This last example is the one that I frequently hear from individuals in recovery (and from myself when I am faced with a change). Impatience is often expressed in the midst of recovery towards people. For example:
I am impatient towards my therapist who just wont answer my question or refuses to push me further.
I am impatient with my dietitian who just doesn’t understand that I cannot and will not do (fill in the blank).
I am impatient that my team is not listening to me or considering my point of view on a situation.
and the real biggy
I am impatient with myself. Why is my recovery not happening, right, NOW?
I know it is frustrating to sit with this feeling but it shows incredible growth and progress! It shows that you are willing to push forward, that you are not content in your disorder or negative coping behaviors, you are MOVING FORWARD!
So, instead of allowing these feeling of impatience towards yourself or others aiding in your recovery, embrace the feeling (cliche I know) and yet it is true. Embrace the feeling that accompanies change, and growth, and new experiences. This to shall pass.

Rejected : (RE)Learning Emotions

re·ject

verb (used with object)

1. to refuse to have, take, recognize, etc.: to reject the offer of a better job.
2. to refuse to grant (a request, demand, etc.).
3. to refuse to accept (someone or something); rebuff: The other children rejected him. The publisher rejectedthe author’s latest novel.
4.to discard as useless or unsatisfactory: The mind rejects painful memories.
5.to cast out or eject; vomit.
Feeling rejected is probably one of the most common emotions felt by those in recovery. Rejected by our friends, our families, our co-workers, our peers, even ourselves. We all have those memories of waiting to someone to come around, and they simply do not.
So let us break rejection down:
Who: friends, peers, co-workers, family, ourselves
How:  a) intentionally- although we like to believe that others would treat us fairly and not internally reject us, it does happen. Sometimes it is circumstances we are prepared for such as a rejection of a job position and other times it is just bullying or somewhere in between the two.
        b) unintentionally- sometimes (and most often) our rejection or feelings of rejection were not intentional. For instance, you waited for hours for you friend to call you back, you felt rejected when he/she did not call you, and yet in reality, your friend had a family crisis and simply could not get in touch with you. **This does not make you feeling of rejection any less real or valid**
We all feel rejected from time to time- the question is: how do we handle this emotion? how do we react? or respond? what self-talk do we use?
Feel free to comment on your own rejection stories, how you responded/reacted, and what helped you get through it.

Fearful

I realized it has been awhile sense I added a (RE)learning emotions post. So here we go again: Fearful

fear·ful

adjective

1. causing or apt to cause fear; frightening: a fearful apparition.
2. feeling fear, dread, apprehension, or solicitude: fearful for his life;fearful lest he commit suicide.
3. full of awe or reverence: fearful of the Lord.
4. showing or caused by fear: fearful behavior.
5.extreme in size, intensity, or badness: a fearful head cold; fearful poverty.

02-07-2013
There are two types of fear that I would like to address, mainly because they seem so different from each other.
First is the fear of somethingSuch as I fear hight’s or I fear falling. This type of fear is usually rooted in some kind of belief about the consequence of the fear. For example: I fear hight’s because if I were to fall from something high I might brake a bone and not be able to function in my daily life like I currently do.
 Rational versus Irrational Fears
Sometimes these types of fear are rational fears (such as the example above) and other times they are irrational fears. Irrational fears usually lead a person to do or not do something that eventually harms or inhibits the functioning of that individual. For example: An individuals with an Eating Disorder fears eating because it will make them gain weight and if they gain weight they just couldn’t go on with life as it is.
Second is the fear of someone. Such as I fear my neighbor or I fear my God.
Defensive versus Respect based Fears
Typically if you fear someone (other than a Leader or Religious figure) the root of that fear is defensive. You fear being around them, being open or honest with them in order to protect yourself. Again, this is at times a legit and rational fear at other times it is not. When they persona you fear is a leader or religious figure such as your God it is typically based out of respect. For example: I fear my God because I understand and I respect his ability to change my life forever.
**Note, these are fluid categories of fear and not all encompassing by any means. Every situation is unique. But the point of this is to give some food for thought about feeling fearful and why we feel fearful**

bullied

bul·ly

noun, plural bul·lies, verb,bul·lied, bul·ly·ing, adjective, interjection.

noun

1.a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habituallybadgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.
2. Archaic. a man hired to do violence.
3. Obsolete . a pimp; procurer.
4. Obsolete . good friend; good fellow.
5. Obsolete . sweetheart; darling.
12/04/2012
Bullying seems to be a “big word” these days, especially within the educational and academia worlds. I agree that it needs to be addressed but I think it is important to realize that bullying is not something new. I truly believe there are 3 directions of bullying that can occur: Others bully you, You bully others, or You bully You. So here are some brief thoughts of mine.

1. Others to you:

This is the direction of bully that most people talk about it. How others bully you, why they bully you, the effects bullying has on you. So what does it feel to be the one being bullied? When I feel bullied I feel disrespected, worthless, ugly, less-than, depressed, suicidal, hated, failure. Being bullied and feeling bullied is not an uncommon experience, but how you chose to respond with these emotions is crucial. Most people respond in 1 of 3 ways: Bully others back, Bully yourself back, or overcome it with the support of others.

2. You to others: Lots of people respond to bullying by bullying others. Its like the old saying “hurting people hurt people.”

3. You to you: Like I wrote earlier, typically being bullied results in feelings that lead to self-hate. Which usually leads to you bullying yourself. So how do you bully yourself? For some, it is just with our thoughts: I am so ugly, I am so worthless, I don’t deserve this ect. For others, it is physical such as starving, binging, cutting, burning, ect. Either way, it is self-destructive and does not lead to the change you want.

Broken Down

“Broken down” can feel and look so different for each person. I have two levels at which I feel broken down: Physically and Mentally. Both of these look and feel entirely different and it is only recently have I begun to realize this. I have also learned, that both require different actions, choices, behaviors in order to overcome these emotions. Another note, the more broken down you feel physically the more susceptible you are to feel broken down emotionally.

Here is a break down for how these look and how the response needed is different.

Physically: Hungry, tired, not taken care of, dressed down, overwhelmed, 500 mile to-do list. My response needs to be taking time for a long sleep, a nice shower and some good food. This allows me to focus on the other things I need to get done.

Mentally: I feel worthless, ugly, stressed, overwhelmed, incapable, disgusting, gross, overweight, ect. My response needs to be to check my emotions, hold my thoughts captive and determine what is true and what is not.

How do you experience “broken down” and what actions can be taken in order to heal and grow from those moments?

Brave

brave

   /breɪv/ Show Spelled [breyv] Show IPA adjective, brav·er, brav·est, noun, verb, braved, brav·ing.

adjective

1.possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance.
2.making a fine appearance.
3.Archaic . excellent; fine; admirable.
 

noun

4. a brave person.
5.a warrior, especially among North American Indian tribes.
 
verb (used with object)

7. to meet or face courageously: to brave misfortunes.
8. to defy; challenge; dare.
9. Obsolete . to make splendid.
verb (used without object)

10. Obsolete . to boast; brag.
 
11/18/2012
 
Feeling brave is an emotion that is frequently surpressed and underminded. But it is a huge proponate in recovery. Making difficult choices that allow you to take care of yourself takes bravery.
Being open or vulnerable is not weak- it is a sign of bravery.
 
So often in our mid-west individualistic culture we discount those acts of bravery and label them as weak. We forget to acknowledge our hard work and courage when it comes to making choices that better ourselves. My goal of today is to be aware of the moments I chose to feel and respond with bravery.
 
What is something you have done today that constitues as bravery?