2018 resources

Hi all

Yes, You will maybe notice I am posting less often this year.  I’m hard at work on my 2nd book on suicide prevention.  Are we all talking about suicide that much more?  It seems like I hear of a sucide at least every week lately.  The world has become an uglier place and the less connected we are, the meaner we can be to one another.  The meaner life feels, the harder it is to maintain the struggle when we’re in pain.  This is a book I promised myself to write and finish this year. I will.

That’s why it’s always best to discuss anything delicate in person – not by text, and not over the phone. We are much kinder to one another when face to face.

So While I’m off writing my second personal project, here are some resources for you.

Kindspring.org    You can sign up for their newsletter and share your random acts of kindness. the readers will gift you with karma bucks you can then send on to others. A lovely site where kind people connect and you can feel inspired again by fellow humanoids.

Dailygood.org    This lovely site shares positive stories of humans doing lovely things that positively affect other humans every day.  Alot of wisdom and alot of inspiration of people of all ages, around the globe.

Kindful kids from ServiceSpace.org   Stories intended to help parenting kind and considerate little humans to help our world be a better place in the future.

DBTselfhelp.com  A site set up by a real woman who graduated and continues to use DBT skills training to self calm and deal with borderline personality disorder.  Also search under DBT on Facebook. You will also find DBT sites there where helpful information is posted to help with self calming and “emotional regulation” ie having control over your responses

Simple Habit  is an Ap available on most smart platforms. It’s a 5-7 minute  Mindfulness exercise to help you calm down.

Insight Timer is another Ap that can help you use guided imagery to self calm. Calm mind =happy mind.

Online therapy is a “thing” now. Available from many sources.  Byron clinic is one of these.  Take care of yourself while I’m working. I will be back.

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2018 resources

Touch Me (i found it- it was a “page” not a “blog” f-in technology grrrrr)

In the early 1940s, the rate of infant mortality was very high. Abroad it was even higher. In 1944 a study was done in the United States  to determine the effectiveness of touch vs just nutrition. Forty babies were divided in two groups.  Those who got all their physical needs met but no affection  and those who were cared for by caregivers who were allowed to play and speak to the babies.  The study was stopped after 4 months, because half of the babies in the basic needs group had died.

In 1952, Dr Rene Spitz studied a group of infants raised in an orphanage/hospital environment vs those raised by women prisoners in their cells. The institutional group had a 37% death rate, but none of the babies raised in prisons died.

In 2007, studies were published from a Romanian researcher about the effects of early institutionalization.  Human kindness was not withheld in this study,  they were just looking at the effects of life in a institution vs that of early life in a home environment.  52% of those who spent their early lives in institutions developed mental health issues compared to 22% in those who experienced a foster environment but not institutionalization.

The need of human affection and touch greatly changed the behaviors and rules of childbirth and visitation in our country over the years. In the 1950s, moms were sent home when children had medical issues and were allowed only limited contact with children in intensive care or after birth.  Things like fathers and partners allowed in the birth rooms and less visiting restrictions after birth today  have changed because  human contact and love goes a long way to promote life and survival.

We don’t just want touch. We actually do physically need it for development. Not just babies.  Adults do too.  Please give someone in need the benefit of your eye contact, and your touch today.  It will help you as much as it will help them.  There’s no crime in asking for a hug.  I love when my patients ask for a hug.  It’s a gift for the receiver too.  I am with you.  You are not alone. I’m sending you my hug right now.  I like to hold on really snugly and give a nice sustained squeeze around your shoulders, giving you a nice loving stretch and all my body heat.  I hope you can feel me.  I’m here.

 

Touch Me (i found it- it was a “page” not a “blog” f-in technology grrrrr)

Touch Me

Really frustrated because I wrote this whole great blog post about how babies in orphanages die without human contact

How studies were done in early and mid 1920s-1950 about touch being as important as food and water, how important human contact is to survival.  How a study was done in 1940s where babies were broken into two groups, one with caring and basic needs and the other 20 babies just basic needs with minimal human interaction – and how after 4 months the study was ended because half the infants in the limited human interaction group had died.

But somehow when I pressed publish, it didn’t. Then on my Ap I hit an X and now it’s all gone.

So I’m a boob and here’s the bottom line.

We all need human contact to survive.  Touch someone, even someone you prefer not to.  We can all live healthier and longer and we all need it.

Touch me. Happy holidays.

Touch Me

Daily reminder: what do you hold on to?

There’s an oldish proverb about a teacher holding up a half full glass of water in front of a class, asking the students how much they think it weighs.

6 ounces says one. 12 ounces says another. One pound shouts out a third. The teacher continues to hold the glass as students shout out guesses.

Well, the teacher finally says. The answer depends on how long you hold up the glass.

Every day, we hold onto things both large and small.  What we hold onto becomes heavy, that heavy becomes a boulder we lug on our backs of all the pains and hurts we’ve ever felt.  The perpetrators don’t feel the weight we carry. Our backs are breaking. How do we remedy this?

We let it go.

Daily reminder: what do you hold on to?

What’s an earworm?

We have all had that nasty sensation where our mind gets stuck on something, some music or thought and after awhile it’s just annoying.  Or maybe you get upset with someone and you’re trying really hard to let it go.  But the more you think about stopping thinking about it, the more it annoys you.  It wasn’t until I read an article about this in Psychology Today a few months ago that I learned a name for this: Earworm.  It’s something you want to get rid of.  Here is some advice and methods to try.  Each of them involves doing something else that interrupts that thought process. When chewing gum or singing a different song doesn’t work, here are some more suggestions involving Mindfulness.

Interrupted breathing technique:  First get comfortable and slow down your breathing.  Lengthen your breathing to inhale and exhale as long as possible.  Now once you’re comfortable, break your inhale into three segments. Try to inhale only enough to fill one third of your lungs and hold…now one third more and hold…..now fill your lungs and hold….then fully exhale.  Repeat.  If this causes too much discomfort or anxiety, do half fill and hold and full fill and hold and repeat.   Once you’ve practiced this 10 times now fully inhale and exhale a few times and begin the second half.  Inhale fully, then exhale one third and hold, then another third and hold, and then the last amount and hold, and then inhale fully.  Repeat this 10 times.

Sensory exercise: ” Name three things”  Close your eyes where you are and listen first.  Pay attention to what you hear.  Can you name three things you’re hearing?  Can you hear your own breath.  Can you hear any sounds outside?  Can you hear your stomach?  Name three sounds you can hear.  Next name three things you can feel right now.  Can you feel your feet touching the floor?  How about your toes inside your shoes?  Can you feel your wristwatch on your skin?  The amount of things we can feel but never pay attention to is enormous.  Name three of them.  Now think of three things that make you happy.  Three memories, or three things you like to do, or three people you like to be with for example, and just focus on those memories or how you feel about those people.  Repeat this process three times.  The things you are hearing may be the same each time but try to pay attention to new things you feel and different memories and people each time.

Sensory extreme:  I learned this one in yoga class and it involves doing something completely out of your ordinary comfort mode.  There is nothing quite as stimulating and refreshing and inversion and letting the blood flow to your head.  If you are game, go flip yourself against a wall and pay attention to everything you feel.  So stimulating that it’s crazy!  Scary and crazy!  But guaranteed you won’t be able to obsess about what was on your mind before.  Some other versions of this is to do the “down dog” position of yoga.   This involves putting your body into a V, your hands in front and legs outstretched, trying to stretch and touch your heals to the ground.  Just this effort with your head hanging lower than your heart will be enough to stimulate you and will get your mind paying attention to the present moment and all the sensations going on.  A

 

What’s an earworm?

Embrace the Chaos- time to reblog this

Here’s my update: I’ve ordered  Portobello Quiche from a really great bakery Tags in Evanston, my mashed potatoes and other sides from Whole Foods, and all I have to fix is the stuffing, turkey, and I decided to make tenderloin – more expensive but so much easier than brisket – so yay! I have zero stress this week with 32 people coming. It’s been a process and has taken years. You can do it! Do one thing to make things easier for yourself each year. It’s food, for gosh sakes, it’s the love that has to be real! Spend more time loving, less killing yourself!

Original post: Nov 18, 2015

It’s family holiday time.  A time that is rarely what it is expected to be. Movies portray it as peaceful, loving, warm, comfortable.

What it really is….chaos, conflict, discomfort, and challenge.

Let me share with you this story of how I learned how to enjoy the holidays instead of freaking out over them.  It happened a few years ago in yoga class, at the beginning  of class we are asked if we want to set an intention for the class. As I was working on improving my tolerance of stress, in order to reduce how stressed I felt, I set my intention to “embrace discomfort”.  It wasn’t long before the universe answered my request perfectly. A tiny red spider began walking around my matt. My normal inclination would be to push or blow it away, but since today I was “embracing discomfort” I decided to let it move as it wished, and I would neither do anything to destroy it or move it, or move myself. I would continue my practice as if it wasn’t there.  I couldn’t help but laugh at my discomfort, I hate bugs and most of all spiders.  My internal laughter at the predicament I was in helped me cope with the stress I felt of this little spider wandering around the top of my matt in the middle of my practice.  Both the spider and I wound up surviving the class, and I gained a powerful lesson.

I have hosted Thanksgiving for many years, and Thanksgiving involves a lot of house cleaning, cooking and organization. In the past, my children let me know that they did their best to avoid me during these family events because I would become a crazed lunatic.  I would organize things just so and freak out and yell when people messed up the table before the company would come, or make something dirty I just cleaned.  And let me tell you about our family Thanksgiving.  It involves a lot more chaos than most other people’s family events, as the men and boys of the family gather early to play football, come back sweaty and muddy and then all have to change and sometimes clean up. So how ridiculous was it of me to expect neat, tidy and organized?  And with a little oven expect everything to be perfectly hot at the same time?  I guess crazy, and crazy was how I acted trying to accomplish that. With the “gentle” prodding of my kids, I finally figured out why once the food was served, I was sitting by myself petting my dog.  Who wanted to talk to me after I just was acting like a lunatic?

After that yoga class, I realized the importance and value of embracing the chaos, because I finally in my late stage of life, realized that it’s the family that is what’s important about thanksgiving.  The family who still comes over to your house after you’ve screamed at them. The family who sit together even though they’ve been fighting for months.  The food is actually not the point at all, it’s a time to celebrate that you still have each other in spite of all the mistakes you’ve made.  Now I try to approach Thanksgiving in awe of the fact that people would still come to my house at all after all the bad behavior I’ve exhibited in past years. And that’s what the holidays are really more about. They’re about how we accept and care for each other, no matter how imperfect we are, and that’s really what there is to be grateful about.

Embrace the Chaos- time to reblog this

We have survived one year of Trump

It is still inconceivable that so many gullible and naive people believed the promises of the circus clown who is in the leading seat in our government, but I am heartened to know we’ve survived the first year, and so far without complete destruction of our lifestyle and the American way as we know it, despite all efforts to destroy our freedoms and way of life.

So I’d like to point out this bright side.  A year plus ago, when the accusers of his sexual predatory behavior came forward, they were downplayed and passed aside. Like sexual predators in positions of power in many fields, this is nothing new. This type of poor behavior has been around forever.  It was “fake news”.  But with the loss of Hillary and the election of a predator, women decided it was time to form groups and resist.  And it is possibly from this new strength found in numbers, that suddenly the sexual predators are finally made to pay the price for their poor behavior.

Bill O’Reilly was fired, and   Fox News Chief Roger Ailes was fired in 2016 but the news about why came out much later , then Harvey Weinstein  was accused and now Roger Moore.

Because I try to be an optimist, I like the idea that the anger we caring and committed Americans felt at being forced to be represented by an animal, all somehow resulted in a turning point where sexual predatory behavior is finally paid attention to rather than tolerated and victims paid off to keep their silence became a thing of the past.  In that way, I can consider that something meaningful and positive has come out of this last year.  We’ve learned we can’t keep silent about terrible behavior and if we speak up, things can finally change.

We have survived one year of Trump