Monday, December 31, 2012

Playing With Mia

I haven't really been posting current pictures of me on my All @ Me project, but I thought these were fun!  It is me with my Grandniece Mia.  You can tell she poses for these types of pictures a lot as at age 2 whe knew what we were doing with the camera pointing at us, so fun!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mother's Are The Guardians

You are the guardians of the hearth, you are the bearers of the children. You are they who nurture them and establish within them the habits of their lives. No other work reaches so close to divinity as does the nurturing of the sons and daughters of God. President Gordon B. Hinkley

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Anxiety Free

Here are some of my notes from a book I read, I think it was called Anxiety Free (usually I am better at taking down titles and authors, not sure why I didn't here).  My anxiety has been almost non-existent for months, but the last few weeks it started kicking in a little, must be the holiday craziness, anyway I thought this would be helpful for me to review:

All our fears-no matter how irrational they may seem to us today-are in some sense survival based.

The key to reducing fear is to see that the fear you are experiencing does not apply to the reality you are facing.  And the way to see this is to actually experience that reality in a context of safety.  You need to practice your fears.

Evolution . . . wants us to be super careful . . . it instructs us not to relax our vigilance just because a ccertain peril we have been imagining has so far failed to materialize.  This is critical to our understanding of anxiety.  What we think of as an anxiety "disorder" -a kind of quirky deviation from the norm-is really not an aberation at all but simply the natural result of our evolutionary history. . . .  What we are being asked to do is to modify our primal insincts in a way that fits our present day reality. 

Security check questions: 1) what would most people do? 2) What would most people think is reasonable?  3) what are the probabilities that things will work out okay?

Old & New Rules:  1) OLD-detect danger; NEW-see things realistically; 2) OLD- catastrophize danger; NEW-normalize consequences; 3) OLD-control the situation; NEW-let go of control you are always looking for some way to take control because you fear that things will get out of control . . . but the biggest area of your control is your belief that you need to control your thoughts, emotions and sensations.  You try to suppress and neutralize any obessions you have-bad thought, stop that, or I didn't mean that.  It won't work . . . by practicing letting go of control you can learn that your thoughts, sensations and anxious emotions will decrease on their own.

Stand back and observe.  Observe.  Doln't control . . . gowith it rather thanstruggle against it.  Your anxiety is actually your resistance to your anxiety.;  You don't have to control it, you have to accept it.

4) avoid or escape your Anxiety NEW-Embrace your anxiety you have to go thorugh it to get past it.

Instead of waiting until you're "ready" for something, you'll look for opportunities to confront it right away.

you will learn that anxiety is not really a threat at all.  It's more like a false alarm going off, warning you of nothing - simply an irritating noise.

Your old rule told you that anxiety escalates the more you allow it in.  The new rule says that if you cease to feed your anxiety, if you stop giving it energy, it runs out of steam pretty quickly.

Anxiety is like a headache-iot lasts for awhile and then goes away.

Worry=preparation (trying to anticipate and avoid danger)

Worry was a tool and a strategy to avoid catastrophe.

Worry, in addiiton to being a strategy to fend off disaster is also a way of blocking your emotions.  You are thinking not feeling.  You are trying to think your way out of discomfort.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Engrossed in Gifts

My two girls engrossed in their Christmas gifts made me smile!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Crosby Family Christmas - Part 2

I couldn't help adding the rest of the Crosby Family Christmas morning pictures, these are all in black and white so they are a little older than last week's pictures.  Merry Christmas Crosby family!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Couseling With Heavenly Father

"I began counseling with Heavenly Father in the morning, telling Him that I didn't know what the day would bring but that I would do my very best.  'Whatever I can learn, allow me to learn it,' I prayed, 'but no matter what, I'm going to give Thee my very best today."  At night I would pray again to report on what I had studied and what I had done.  I shared with my Father in Heaven my struggles and my successes alike.  I had begun to turn to Him--not to others or even myself--to validate my progress."  Jan. 2012 Ensign, Look Up, by Carl B.Cook

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Affirming Others

Today turned out to be a very interesting day.  It started out with Christmas shopping with my daughter.  We pretty much finished everything, so we headed home to do some wrapping when we started getting messages from someone that we care about who was in a very difficult situation.  We have been counseling with her for some time and trying to help her through this challenge in her life and today turned out to be a major pivotal moment for her.  We dropped everything we were doing to go and help her.  It was a difficult moment for her and thus for us too because we could feel her pain, but because we care about her, we were able to help her.

In the past I would have not only wanted to help, but I would also have found a co-dependent way to try and fix everything for her too.  It was wonderful to be a support, but not a fixer.  As I thought about our day it brought to mind saddness, anger and finally joy at being to help our friend.  I was trying to decide what I wanted to write about and, of course, our experience today was all I could think about and wasn't sure it was something I wanted to share, then I ran across this quote:

There are four moments in the process of affirmation.  To affirm another, first we must see goodness in ourselves because someone has affirmed us.  If we cannot see goodness in ourselves we will not see it in others. . . .  The second moment in affirming another is that we notice the unique goodness and loveableness of that person, and are quietly present to it. . . .  The third moment of affirmation is to be delighted by it, without wanting to grab or possess or change the other to gratify our own needs. . . .  In the fourth and final moment of affirmation we let our delight in another's goodness show, especially in non-verbal ways.  From the book Healing the Eight Stages of Life by Matthew Linn, Sheila Fabricant, and Dennis Linn

Being in such a better state, both mentally and physically, I was really able to help this friend.  I had affirmed myself enough that I could affirm her and that felt really good to be able to do for someone else.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Jib Jab Smiles

I miss my son so much and my husband though making a Jib Jab with him in it to one of my favorite videos would cheer me up, it did, it truly made me smile!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Crosby Family Christmas - Part 1

I loved Christmas mornings with my sisters, it was always a feeling of excitement in my stomach, waiting for every one to get up so we could all go into the blocked off living room together!  These pictures are of several different years of Christmas mornings.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Meeting Them Again

We had two deaths in our ward this weekend, one yesterday and one today, in addition to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, I found great comfort in this quote:

"If I were to think, as so many think, that now that my beloved wife and my beloved parents are gone, that they have passed out of my life forever and that I shall never see them again, it would deprive me of one of the greatest joys that I have in life:  the contemplation of meeting them again, and receiving their welcome and their affection, and of thanking them from the depts of a greateful heart for all they have done for me."  Jan. 2012 Ensign, George Albert Smith:  He Lived as He taught, by Ted Barnes

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Worry Rule Book

Can you believe there are rules about worrying?  Okay, there aren't really rules, but we do seem to give ourselves worry rules.  I found these when I was reading one day and thought they were great, so here are the Worry Rules:

1 - You need absolute certainty
2 - There is danger all around you
3 - You have to be ready to respond
4 - You have to be in control
5 - If a worry pops into your head then you have to do something about it
6 - You need to avoid any emotional discomfort
7 - You need the answer right now
8 - You can't live in the present moment
9 - You need to avoid doing things that make you anxious, you escape your anxiety by worrying

Aren't they great?!  I have so used every single one of these rules as I have worried about anything and everything throughout my life.  I still struggle with a lot of them, especially numbers 4 and 7.  So what do we do about these rules?  They aren't a great way to live, well as I read on, this is what I found:

To overcome worrying: 
1 - Build motivation, make up a list of things you can do.  If you get things done, you will have less to worry about.  Action is different than worry.  Act-don't worry.
2 - Challenge your thinking, what action can I take today:  What's the advantage of doing what I don't want to do, but needs to be done?
3 - Set aside worry time and test your predictions, set aside 2 minutes per day to write down your worries.  After the first week use your worry time to write out predictions.  At the end of each week write down the actual outcomes. 
4 - Validate your emotions keep a journal of emotions.  Any time you become aware of a feeling write it down together with the situation that triggered it.  Try not to comment on the feeling in any way.  Either carry your journal around with you or make a point of writing in it every day for 10 minutes or so at a time-if possible several times a day.  At each interval the main feelings you remember.  Your being able to feel them is absolutely crucial to overcoming your General Anxiety Disorder.  The more you are able to feel them, the less you need t keep them at bay through worrying.

Aren't they great?!  My favorite line in that quote is "action is different than worry, act-don't worry."  I think the biggest thing I have learned about worrying is that I need to connect the emotion I am feeling with that worry and then decide if there is some way I can act on it, if not, I have to let it go.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Valance

My new valance in my scrapbook room makes me smile so much!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Renae and Renee

Yes, it is true, I had a roommate named Renee and here we are with our Valentine's Day roses.  I was living with Renee when I first met my husband and the funny thing is that they had met each other at college so the first time that he called me I kept asking him if he was sure that he had the right Renae and he said he was sure, so glad!
Not quite sure what we are doing in this picture, trying to show off legs I suppose, I guess I had the advantage since I was wearing shorts.  :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Loosening the Bands of Addiction Through the Scriptures

While battling an addiction to food, Susan Lunt of Utah, USA, prayed for help.  She turned to the Book of Mormon and read that Nephi was delivered from bands his brothers had tied around his hands and feet:  "O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me . . . ; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.  "And it came to pass that l. . . the bands were loosed" (1 Nephi 7:17-18).  "This scripture described exactly how I felt--bound with bands of addiction," Susan wrote.  "Nephi's tangible bands were immediately loosed when he asked for deliverance.  My bands were intangible and I didn't overcome my addiction in a moment, but as I read those words, I felt something shift inside me.  I felt as if the bands around my heart, mind, and body had been loosened, and I knew that I could overcome my addiction."  Susan has made great progress and, because of the inspiration she found in the Book of Mormon, has been able to break other habits that held her bound, including anger, selfishness, and pride.  "I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God," she explained, "and that the answer to any of life's questions can be found within the pages of that book."

from January 2-12 Ensign, Finding Answers in the Book of Mormon, by Sara D. Smith

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mitral Valve Prolapse

I have been free of so many anxiety symptoms for months now and it has been wonderful, but just the last little while anxiety has been starting to sneak in.  I am not really sure why, but I feel really tired and drained and will have sudden bouts of feeling like I am having a hard time breathing.  One of the major noticeable symptoms is that my heart starts to hurt.  When I first started feeling heart pains I was afraid I was having a heart attack, but now I know better.  It is just heart pains from a Mitral Valve Prolapse that I have and when I am having anxiety my heart starts to beat faster and it is just a little to much for that prolapsed mitral valve and so it hurts. 

Despite knowing that the heart pain isn't anything to worry about, doesn't diminish the fact that it is uncomfortable and I don't like it when it happens.  Understanding the issues that can come with a Mitral Valve Prolapse has been very helpful for me.  In fact, here are some of the symptoms:  panic attacks, anxiety, fatigue, palpitations, chest pain, migraines, depression.

What am I supposed to do about the problem?  Well, take care of myself and do things to help with the anxiety as well as these other suggestions:  avoid caffeine and sugar, have a high fluid intake (at least 64 oz), exercise (30 min/day 5 days/week) and sometimes medication can be required.

One other thing that I have to remember is that with the symptoms of fatigue, sometimes resting actually makes it worse as I read online that sometimes "fatigue begets more fatigue, the less you do, the less you feel like doing; the cause of the fatigue may relate to blood volume changes noted with exercise, to a high resting heart rate, or to other physiological factors."  So getting up and getting moving is the best thing for me and doing something active also helps to release anxiety.

It is such a challenge to remember these things, so it was really nice to run across my notes about Mitral Valve Prolapse to refresh my mind with the things I need to do to help take care of myself!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Alta Mesa Boyz lip sync, One Direction "What Makes You Beautiful" by 3x...

These Young Men are so adorable, they just make me smile and I know they made the Young Women in their Stake smile too!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Scuba Diving

I'm not a very adventurous person, but I had won a free scuba diving trip so I took lessons and these are pictures of me on the trip in the water by San Celemente Island in California.  I can't believe I actually did this, but for some reason it wasn't as scary as just swimming because I could see and breathe not to mention I think the pictures are just cool! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Don't Look Sideways

"I think the challenge for all of us--but perhaps particularly for young adults-- is to try not to looksideways to see how others are viewing our lives but to look up to see how Heavenly Father sees us.  He doesn't look on the outward appearance but on the heart.  And He knows, better than anyone else, what each one of us needs."  Jan 2012 Ensign, Look Up, Carl B. Cook

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Writing Up a List

I have been doing so well with my anxiety since probably June, but it has started to kick in again.  I have been traveling so much and been gone a lot more than I ever have and so I have been feeling like I am so far behind in my life and I keep trying to catch up.  Even as I sit here thinking about all the things that I need to do and how far behind I have gotten I can feel my heart start to beat a little fast and I feel a pressure in my chest and like I can't breathe right.  In fact, it feel just like as it is described as Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder carries with it a fundamental inability to relax . . . you're in a constant state of readiness for danger . . . remain hyper alert for danger, always seeing it as though for the first time.  It's almost as if they are continually facing threat.  Since the body is not equipped to keep this up indefinitely, you eventually collapse from exhaustion.  It's like the fight-or-flight response on a daily basis.

This is not a comfortable feeling, not to mention that being in a constant state of fight-or-flight is exhausting.  I used to just try and block it or just tell myself to just breathe, but I have learned that I need to stop and pay attention to the feeling.  I stop and ask myself what I am feeling and why.  Right now I am feeling overwhelmed because I haven't had the time to do all that I wish to accomplish and needs to be done (you know, mostly chores, etc.).  This is when I usually write my list.

I am a huge fan of lists, they just help me stay focused.  When I am overwhelmed and starting to freak out I pull out my paper and just start writing everything in my head that needs to be done.  Once I have my list I start writing next to each item a deadline date if they have one.  Looking at a huge list is daunting, but only looking at the items that need immediate action reduces the intensity of the list.  I only tackle the things that have to be done that day and then I move to the next date of items when I can.

It seems like life can just be about putting out the fires at times and at times like this, I really have to pay attention to the panic I start feeling, stop and recognize what I am feeling, then find a reasonable solution to solve it and my lists are just one way of doing that.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Turkey Treats

My Visiting Teacher brought this buy, isn't it so cute,
 it just make me smile (and the treats were yummy too)!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Baby Renae

So I recently had my birthday and then was going through some pictures on a disc my dad gave me and so I thought it would be appropriate to post my baby pictures to help celebrate my birthday!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Daily Bread

Regarding the exodus of the Tribes of Israel and the miracle of the manna, D. Todd Christofferson said:  "By providing daily sustenance one day at a time, Jehova was trying to teach faith to a nation that over a period of 400 years had lost much of the faith of their fathers.  He was teaching them to trust Him.  In essence, the children of Israel had to walk with Him each day and trust that He would grant a sufficient amount of food for the next day on the next day and so on.  In that way He could never be too far from their minds and hearts.  Once the tribes of Israel were in a position to provide for themselves, they were required to do so.  Likewise, as we plead with God for our daily bread--for help in the moment that we cannot provide for ourselves--we must still be active in doing and providing that which is within our power."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Letting Go of Your Childhood Role

I have been thinking that I am all better.  I seem to have conquered my anxiety about traveling, my depression seems to mostly be under control and I haven't found myself doing something co-dependent in over a year or more.  But then, when you least expect it, something happens and there you are, battling those old feelings as they try to take over your life.

Without getting into details, I received a request from someone that threw me into my old co-dependent thoughts.  At first I wondered how I could fix the situation, then realizing I couldn't fix the situation and shouldn't, I felt the co-dependent guilt settle in.  I didn't know what to do about it, I didn't know what to say and I felt so awful and I could feel myself sinking down with each thought.  After a day or so of struggling with myself I typed up a reply and off it went.  I tried to stick to just the facts, but that didn't seem to help with my guilty feelings at all. 

My role my whole life had been the "fixer" and I just couldn't fix this situation, but couldn't seem to shrug off the feeling that I should try and find a way.  I realize that this was just my old co-dependent self trying desperately to rise to the surface and claim the old role.  In fact, I had even recently read this quote from the book Healing the Eight Stages of Life by Matthew Linn, Sheila Fabricant, and Dennis Linn:

Even into adult life, children may assume any of four roles to survive, often the "hero," or caretaker, usually the oldest child, becomes a surrogate parent by supervising the other children and running the household.  This "hero" is often a super achiever in studies or athletics.  In contrast, the "scapegoat" or problem child misbehaves to draw attention away from the alcoholism or to express family tension.  The "mascot" tries to minimize the problems by joking, clowning and pretending to be carefree.  Finally, the "lost child" fades into the background in an attempt to withdraw from the turmoil.

I guess its no surprise which role I took on even though I wasn't the oldest, I was the caretaker and letting go of that role has been an enormous task and I thought I had done just that.  One message and I found myself fighting to not fall off the co-dependent wagon.  I am happy to say that I didn't lose this battle, but I didn't walk away unscathed either.  I feel my battle wounds just assuredly as if they were physical.  I guess the co-dependant war is never over, hopefully I can win the next battle a little quicker and easier next time.  I just have to remember that I am not the caretaker of anyone but myself.  I need to remember that my roles are varied and different such as a mother to my kids, a wife to my husband, a sister to my siblings, a daughter to my parents and a friend to my friends.  These roles are all very different and carry different responsibilities, but none of them include "saving" anyone or "fixing" anything.  I have to remember that I can be supportive but not try and fix everything.  It is not easy letting that childhood role go as it seems to sneak up on me when I least expect it, but I am trying and I guess that is all I can do.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New Princesses

On the right is my verbally adopted daughter, Taylor, who was recently crowned Bonney Lake High School's Daffodil Princess and on the left is Eatonville High School's Daffodil Princess, Annie.  They are both LDS and love having that in common, they are so cute and they just make me smile!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Crimping Our Hair

How funny are these, my sisters and I pulled out the hair crimper and went crazy!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Give Love With All Our Heart

President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “If the world is to be improved, the process of love must make a change in [our] hearts. … It can do so when we look beyond self to give our love to God and others, and do so with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind” (“And the Greatest of These Is Love,” Ensign, Mar. 1984, 5). (Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, Lesson 42: This Is My Gospel)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thow Out Old Beliefs

I was talking to someone about the abuse she received as a child and how her abuser convinced her that she deserved what she was getting.  We talked about how as an adult she logically knows that that isn't true, but emotionally the little girl inside her struggles to not believe that message. 

Whether we were abused, abandoned, neglected, hurt in some way, it is hard to let go of the message we felt for years and years.  I have really struggled with loving myself even though I received a clear message from my Father in Heaven that He loved me.  I knew that my family loved me, but loving myself, well, I wasn't sure I was worth it.  My friend was struggling with this same issue, she wasn't sure even God loved her.  I assured her that he did and then I sent her this quote from the book Healing the Eight Stages of Life by Mathew Lin, Sheila Fabricant & Dennis Lin about a woman named Linda who had received a lot of abuse from various family members:

As Dennis and I (Sheila) began to pray with Linda, we asked her to return in her memory to a time when she was sexually abused and then invite Jesus into her memory.  We thought Jesus' priority would be to help Linda forgive her relatives.  Although Linda was able to recall a memory and invite Jesus into it, she remained stuck in being able to forgive.  So I tried to listen to how Jesus wanted to love Linda in her memory of sexual abuse.  What I sensed in Jesus' heart was not first of all concern that Linda forgive, but rather outrage at what had happened to her.  I sensed that Jesus was angry on Linda's behalf, as angry at the desecration of her body as he was over the desecration of
God's temple (John 2:13-17).  I told Linda what I sensed, and then we asked her to see Jesus driving out the people who abused her just as he drove out the money changers who desecrated the temple.  At this, Linda began to cry for the first time in fourteen years of psychotherapy when we asked her why she was crying, she said, "that Jesus would get so angry for me . . . that he would love me so much.  He just wants to share all of me.  If I am crying he will cry.  If I am happy, he will be happy."

It is true that Jesus wanted us to forgive, but there was also a point where He said enough is enough as he did with the money changers.  So to my friend I say the she is loved and that God loves her and is on her side, enough is enough on believing her abuser's message, it is okay to get angry and throw out their messages as the Savior threw out the money changers.  Learning to love ourselves and believe in ourselves means having to throw out old mistaken beliefs so you can embrace new and better ones, namely that you are loved!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Puppy Potty Pads

I was helping a friend do some organization, we were in another room for about an hour and went back to find that her puppy had reached through the crate and had been pulling in puppy pads and shredding them like crazy, this was so funny it not only made me smile, but made me laugh!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Trip to Washington D.C.

Amy Richards was one of my roommates in 1984 or 1985.  She was so cute and we hit it off.  She ended up doing a semester at BYU Hawaii and I had bought a ticket to go visit her, but then her dad got sick and she went home to the DC area so I changed my ticket and went there instead to visit her.  As her father was the current President of the Republican Party, Richard Richards, we had the opportunity to do lots of sight seeing around DC.  We even did a quick one day trip on the train to New York City.  I had such an amazing trip which took place in 1987!

Amy Richards & me
Facing Lincoln Memorial with Washington Memorial in the back

Lincoln Memorial Building

Statue of Lincoln

Amy Richards on the steps of the Capital Building

Me on the steps of the Capital Building

Me on the steps of the Capital Building again

Me on the side of the Capital Building

Me inside the dome of the Capital Building
Me at the Roosevelt Monument

Me with Roosevelt's statue

Me in the front of the Roosevelt Monument

Me by the Potomac River

Me at the side of the Washington Monument

Me and Amy Richards by the DC Temple

Me by the DC Temple

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Visiting Teaching is a Way of Life

In reality, visiting teaching is never finished.  It is more a way of life than a task.  Julie B. Beck

Often small acts of service are all that is required to lift and bless another:  a question concerning a person's family, quick words of encouragement, a sincere compliment, a small note of thanks, a brief telephone call.  If we are observant and aware, and if we act on the promptings which come to us, we can accomplish much good.  President Thomas S. Monson

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Giving Equal Time

If you have been following along with my blog, you will already know that I have decided that having a balanced live is like a teeter-totter, bouncing back and forth between yourself and others.  Not doing this can result in a variety of health issues.  One of my friend's health really took a turn for the worse when she started having seizures and it was finally determined that because she wasn't finding a way to release all her stress, worries and emotions, it was coming out of her body in the form of these seizures.

Recently I was talking to another friend who was finding it hard to release some of her past experiences and emotions and had gone so far as to consider cutting herself.  I shared with her something my therapist calls "Exformation."  I am sure you all know what "information" is, but my therapist takes the word a little further in describing it as everything that comes at you every day by others and life and we hold all of that information in our bodies unless we find a way to release it.  Exformation can be as simple as exercise, talk therapy, a massage, or taking a step further by doing something like Cranial Sacral Therapy, pretend fighting, yelling, and so much more.  The whole point of Exformation is to do something to physically get the Information out of your body.

My friend really liked this idea.  In the book The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D. says:

People with anxiety disorders are often out of touch with their bodies. If you are anxious or preoccupied with worrying, you may, as the expression goes, be "living in your head" - not feeling strongly connected with the rest of your body below the neck.

This was me for so long, I truly did feel disconnected from my body, so much so I didn't even see myself when I looked in the mirror.  Learning how to Exform and release things that I had been holding in my whole life was really scary for me.  I truly was afraid I might hurt someone in the process so I had to take it little by little.  All the years of feeling like I couldn't breathe or that I needed to throw up in dreams had taken their toll on me.  I was exhausted and suffering from depression as a result.  I had to learn that taking some time for myself was okay and that in the end doing so would bless not only me, but those around me.  In Dr. Bourne's book he also said:

Co-dependency can be defined as the tendency to put others' needs before your own.  You accommodate to others to such a degree that you tend to discount or ignore your own feelings, desires and basic needs.  Your self-esteem depends largely on how well you please, take care of, and/or solve problems for someone else (or many others).  The consequence of maintaining a co-dependent approach to life is a lot of resentment, frustration and unmet personal needs.  When these feelings or needs remain unconscious, they often resurface as anxiety - especially "chronic, generalized anxiety."  The long term effects of co-dependency are enduring stress, fatigue, burn out and eventually serious illness.  Recovering from co-dependency in essence involves learning to love and take care of yourself.  It means giving at least equal time to your own needs alongside the needs of others.  It means setting limits on how much you will do or tolerate, and learning to say no when appropriate.

Just that one line of "giving at least equal time to your own needs alongside the needs of others" made a real difference to me.  Giving at least equal time is fair, trying to hold everyone else up on the other end of the teeter-totter isn't realistic.  Eventually you would let them all drop due to your own exhaustion.  How much better it is to bounce gently back and forth giving joy equal time between yourself and others!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Flirting With Princesses

These boys flirting with the some of the new 2013 Daffodil Princesses made me smile!

Monday, November 5, 2012

OHS Cheer & Song Squads

This picture was recently posted on Facebook and yes that is me in the first row on the right.  What a fun part of my life!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Try Again Tomorrow

"Have the determination tomake the effort, the single-mindedness to work toward a worthy goal, and the courage not only to face the challenges that inevitably come but also to make a second effort, should such be required.  Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that syas, 'I'll try again tomorrow.'"   - President Thomas S. Monson

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Learning How To Serve Properly

We were talking about service at church and I shared my story about learning how to serve without doing it co-dependently.  As my therapist had always told me, you have to give from a place of love, not from a place of lack.  But I didn't know how to do that at first, initially I served others, beginning with my family as a child, out of fear and guilt, then because I had to as a responsibility.  I had read this in the book Choices by Melody Beattie:

There's a way to give and be of service that's healthy.  And there's a way to give that doesn't work as well.  I had to back-off from giving for awhile.  I had to learn the difference between giving as a reaction and giving as an action.  I had to learn to take care of and give to myself too.

I knew there was a right way to give and to serve, but I wasn't really sure how to do that.  I had been doing it the same way for over 40 years, so this was all new to me.  Isn't it interesting how service is such a crucial part of any 12 step recovery program, except Co-dependents Anonymous.  In fact, this is what Melody Beattie had to say in her book Codependents' Guide To The Twelve Steps about it:

A general consensus among those recovering from codepencency is that Twelve Step groups for codependency recovery are naturally less service-oriented than Twelve Step groups for other addictions.  That is because for many of us, too much service to others and not enough self-care is part of what has harmed us in the past--harmed us and not helped others.

Many of us feel a need to back off from helping others for a while, as part of our recoveries.  While our goal in recovery is to become healthy givers--giving from a sense of high self-esteem, giving because we want to, giving in a manner that is not overextended, compulsive, or guilt-ridden--we may need to go to the extreme of not giving for a while in order to find that balance and to be able to discern healthy giving and caring.

We will know how and when it is time to being giving again.  By paying attention to ourselves, we will learn healthy ways of carrying the message.

Learning to give and serve the right way begins with looking inward as taught in the movie Ramen Girl by this particular line:

Sometimes too much technical training can get in the way. You cook with your head. Understand? Your head is full of noise. You must learn to cook from the quieter place deep inside of you. Each bowl of ramen that you prepare is a gift to your customer. The food that you serve your customer becomes a part of them. It contains your spirit. That's why your ramen must be an expression of pure love. A gift from your heart. Do you understand? Begin by putting your tears into your broth.

Giving and serving comes from love and emotions not from have-to's and should's.  I finally felt it when I got a new Visiting Teaching assignment for someone that I truly love.  I realized I could serve her easily because I love her and that those that I don't love yet, I can serve with the spirit of love.  So what did I learn after 40 plus years?  Doing for yourself and for others is plain and simple - love!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


This mug my friend Heather gave to me that says "Boolicious" on the front has a cute little ghost inside for you to see when you finish your cocoa, and that makes me smile!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jedi Puppy

On Good Morning America they showed this video of a little boy playing Jedi knights with his dog who was battling back with his own laser sword, it made me smile so much!