Category Archives: Inspiration

Is it Really Anxiety?

Growing up, I knew there was something wrong with me, but I didn’t know what. Only that I was tense and unhappy most of the time.

My mother had died when I was 2. My father remarried, but my stepmother showed me no affection. There were 9 of us children by the time I was 12. To many this might seem like a dream come true, but for me it was extremely painful.

To protect myself I spent as much time alone in my room with my hobbies or outside as I was allowed. I was deemed unsociable, selfish because I rarely joined in and was often teased unmercifully by the other children. Through all of this, my father was there for me. He was loving and kind, supporting and encouraging me emotionally and in the activities I was involved in.

I didn’t do as well as was expected of me in school. My full brother and sister were both high school valedictorians. And though I had girlfriends, I never dated.

My first college experience wasn’t any better. My father had died the summer before I started classes. I went from living in the country near a town of only 1500 people to a college campus of over 15.000 students from all over the world. After 3 semesters at Washington State University I had a nervous breakdown and hitchhiked 90 miles to my sister’s in Spokane.

In my 30’s I was diagnosed with depsession and anxiety. When my youngest entered school, I enrolled in Spokane Community College. This time I was armed with meds for both conditions. The program I had chosen would hopefully lead me to the career I wanted to pursue. I graduated with an Associates degree and a GPA of 3.8. I still wonder if it was my commitment, the medications, or merely the power of suggestion that got me through those two years, where before, just the thought of entering a classroom full of strangers put me in a mental and emotional stranglehold.

I have developed several mechanisms to avoid being overwhelmed by too much sensory input such as noise, people, and possessions. The first is minimalism- keeping my home, obligations, and activities simple and uncluttered. This is a rather simplified version of what is involved. There are many options for more in-depth articles on minimalism on the web and in the bloggiing community.

Another is avoiding situations that cause anxiety for me such as many public places and events. I do my shopping in the early hours or later at night. Even small groups of people such as a knitting circle, product party or group therapy are very uncomfortable for me. This is social anxiety. I have undergone counseling for this with no results. Honestly, I enjoy my own company and have no desire to be “cured” of this perceived character flaw.

Mindfulness meditation calms the body and mind and allows the subconscious to receive solutions to the questions and problems we seek to understand. This could manifest itself in the form of a person we might meet, an article or blog post we read, or a book we are led to.

I recently came across a a book titled “Highly Intuitive People” which was recommended by Amazon Kindle based on my previous reading choices. The author also talked about “sensitives”, which I immediately identified with. This was the explanation I had been waiting for most of my life.

If you, too are a sensitive, it is something you were born with and will need to learn to live with. You can embrace it or merely tolerate it, but you cannot change it. Either way, you must treat yourself with kindness and forgiveness. This means you no longer judge or condemn yourself for being “flawed.”

The book also suggests ways to deal with this part of your nature and make it work for you. The journey is yours to pursue. May you enjoy it with all your heart!

What’s in a Poem?

This post began as a comment on a poem written by Roxy St Clair called “The Writing Way.” Http://www.roxystclair.com

I admire writers who can create poetry in what I call freeform verse.

As for me, I am constrained by the elements of meter and rhyme and am often left unsatisfied with the finished product.

But this is who I am and all I can do is follow my heart. I have written poetry most of my life, but “Oh Willow” is the first one I’ve published. Self-publishing is not the same as having your writing accepted by a periodical or a volume of poetry and verse.

Publishing to my own blog hardly counts as here I am my own worst(and best) critic.I have submitted my poetry to several periodicals over the years and each attempt was summarily rejected.I don’t believe it was a matter of quality as much as it was a poor match or bad timing. Of course I am understandably biased on that subject.

Unfortunately, these pieces were lost or I would surely have kept trying.

Poetry is the singing voice of the heart. Let your heart sing.

Thank you, My friends!

Today my blog reached 100 likes! My first milestone. I started “A Walk in the Clouds” three months ago knowing I just had to put my thoughts on paper. I had no idea how it would be received or even if I could create a community. Secretly I hoped it would, but that wouldn’t have stopped the words from flowing or crushed my desire to be better.

And thank you for your posts and comments that encouraged me and fueled the fire.

I have uploaded more of my photos to be available on the customizar and learned bow to use the edit feature better. This morning I updated 2 of my recent posts with feature photos that had both a personal connection and conveyed the message of my words.

I hope my readers will visit “Oh Willow: A Poem” and “Who is This Chris Columbus Anyway?” and let me know what you think.

Who is this Chris Columbus Anyway?

And why do we honor him with a holiday every year? He never even visited North America, for God’s sake!

What he did do was land in the Bahamas and proceed to inflict atrocities upon and initiate genocide against the indigenous peoples who lived there.

There has been an ever expanding movement in The USA and Canada to change today’s holiday to Indigenous Peoples Day. North Dakota was the first state to ratify this. To date, a total of 10 states and 100 cities have followed.

I, for one, think that it’s about time! This is nothing against the Italian people. There were explorers from other nations who perpetrated the same violent, hateful actions that Columbus was guilty of.

As I an part Chippewa, this issue is of particular importance to me. But you don’t have to be Native American to be a supporter. There is much information on the internet where you can get more facts. http://www.npr.org has an excellent article on the subject.

So enjoy your holiday, whether you get a day off work or not, and think about the ancient civilizations that came before us and the history and culture that deserves our respect

Oh Willow:a poem

Please read “Sovereign”, a poem written by Roxy St. Clair at http://Roxy St. Clair.com

I once knew a tree that moved me like this Oh willow, Oh willow, you gave me your gifts.

So stoic, so sad, yet joyful your call. We rejoice in your presence, shed tears when you fall.

Our shelter, companion, our home and our berth, you cleanse the air and feed the earth.

You open your arms, embracing us all. Take comfort, my brothers… The willow stands tall

Less is More

Minimalism is about unburdening your life from unnecessary possessions, obligations, and distractions.

But it’s about much more than that. It’s about freeing up space and time for the really important things.

Clear your clutter, clear your mind. We’ve all heard that before, in one form or another. But it works. (I’ve done it. More than once.) Not only for your mind and your space, but for your time and your finances as well.

Your excess “stuff” requires a much larger investment in money, time, commitment and peace of mind than you may realize. I’ve been practicing simplicity for some years now, but for me it’s a question of survival.

Growing up, I always felt that something was wrong with me, but I didn’t know what. Only that I was tense, restless, and unhappy 90% of the time.

Growing up in a family of nine children was extremely painful for me. To protect myself, I spent as much time in my room with my books and hobbies, or outside with my animals as I was allowed. I didn’t do as well in high school as I could have (my full brother and sister were both valedictorians), and though I had girlfriends, I never dated. I was always my own best friend.

When I left home and began a life of my own, I began to see that too many people, too much noise, too many obligations and too much clutter would trigger feelings of anxiety in me and block my creative voice.

Wanting to do more, to know more, to be better allowed my activities and commitments to snowball until I was overwhelmed and something had to give.

Practicing minimalism is work, sifting through each area of one’s life until the dross is separated from what’s necessary and important. But what is gained in the process is invaluable.

Craft me a List

I’m a consummate list maker.

It’s not so much a compulsion as a need to categorize the vast amount of information stored in my brain.

It is done with pen and pape. Firm and soft. The feel of these two items in my hands comforts me, while the simple act of combining their functions is pure magic. It stills my rracing thoughts and brings order once again when life turns chaotic.

The first list is an outline for goals in every area of my life, with steps to accomplish them. Other lists include passwords, phone numbers, books I want to read, movies I want to watch.

I even have a list of the next few knit or crocheted projects I want to make. This keeps me from getting distracted or over- whelmed by the myriad patterns and designs I view online each day.

All of these are kept in a spiral notebook with 3 sections. The last section is entitled “finances.” The first page is a list of the current month’s expenses, which lets me know if I’m sticking to the 50-30-20 budget plan or not. Next are the proposed expenses for the following month where I can make adjustments and hopefully do better. And so on…

These are only examples. A list can be practical or fanciful. It can have whatever purpose you choose, or no purpose at all. Your favorite words or your least favorite foods. A brain test or a brain tease.

The important thing is that it makes you think. And you have complete control.

I keep my to-do list in a 3×5 inch notebook, small enough to have at my elbow or to take along to an appointment. Big enough to jot down blog post ideas, quotes that inspire me, a pattern, a recipe, a dream…

Now go make your list, and I’ll make mine.