In this Moment – I Changed (Planting the Seeds of Change)

seed

I just read a blog I had written in 2013, and I was struck at how much I have changed since then. It’s funny how we can forget how much we have changed over time because it tends to happen quite slowly, and it’s cool to blog and document progress because it produces moments like these. Here is the blog, and at the end I will give an update on how I am doing now:

“I’ve noticed that while on my way to work, regardless of what time it is, I will become anxious about getting to there on time. I have been late to work SO MANY times because of OCD and skin-picking, because I would become trapped within a skin picking session up till the last minute, and then I would have to hurriedly apply make-up to look ‘normal’ again for work. Throughout this entire play-out I would be building and generating anxiety until I was tightly wound up; and this would be the starting point of my day.

This has happened so many times over the years that I find, even when I am not late I  will automatically go into this anxiety before work as a habit because it’s what I’m so used to. It’s become all that I know. I feel as though, if I do not go through these motions I will not be able to get to work at all, because in the past, it has been the anxiety of getting to work that has broken me out of the skin-picking possession and got me moving towards actually getting out the door. So now there exists the belief that without the anxiety, I cannot move myself, and I won’t get to work.

 

Continuing with this common sequence: after I would get myself out the door and off to work, I would be in a really unpleasant state. I would get to work, and would probably have an air about me, or a presence about me that others may react to. Whether I did or not, I can never be sure, but what is certain, is the fact that because I felt so anxious already, and because I would also feel insecure due to the fact that my picture presentation was covered in flaws, and because I created and manifested the anger at myself, the fear, the self-loathing caused by picking, I would reflect it back to myself off of my coworkers.

 

For example: one day as I arrived to work, and as I was walking by a couple co-workers I said “good morning”. One of them looked at me and replied, but the other one just looked at me and turned away and began talking again. As I continued walking to put my coat away I remember this having given me a really bad feeling, I felt like they disliked me, did not want me there, and painfully endured my presence.

 

So, the interesting thing about this is that these thoughts or emotions can only be experienced by me if I created them already- somewhere in my life I accepted and allowed myself to feel these ways about myself, ways which are now activated within and through certain situations. So, within self-honesty I can see, realize and understand that I in fact painfully endure my own presence at times, especially within and as OCD. I dislike myself when I participate in the self-abusive habits that I participate in. I in fact don’t want to be me when I feel the way I do after I have had a pick session, for example.

 

I thought about this that day, and I tried something new to see if they were in fact feeling this way about me, or if I was simply creating it all in my mind. I walked back over there and asked how they were doing, and the other one ignored me again. So I pushed through the fear, self-consciousness and anger, looked straight at her and asked if something was wrong. This seemed to surprise her or catch her off guard, she sort of snapped out of it and apologized. She actually reached out and touched my arm, and participated in a very warm and welcoming interaction.

 

As it turned out, she was dealing with an extremely stressful situation within one of her work-cases, and she was trying to figure it out with the other co-worker. She was just completely wrapped up in it, and had probably worked herself up into a state where she was so self-involved in her own situation that she was not concerned or aware of the impression she was giving off to others- which is the exact same way that I become. So when I pushed it a little by asking her if anything was wrong, I learned it had nothing to do with me at all. I had just been taking everything personally, and consequently feeding my own cycles of self-loathing, insecurity and lack of self-acceptance.
Within the state of mind I enter into within and through the disorder of OCD, I become even more prone to these self-experiences, by taking so many things throughout my day personally because I set myself up to already feel this way: so a glance, a comment, my own internal conversations, etc…  using all of this to accept and allow myself to feel terrible; creating and manifesting an absolutely dreadful internal experience, and then getting home to abuse myself within OCD as a release and escape from it, only to start the whole cycle over again- waking up the next morning and not wanting to face the day ahead. Reluctant to get out of bed, and feeling fatigued on my drive to work because of this absolute reluctance and the anxiety that I create for myself—I mean, is this living? Or is this simply enduring the day? Within and through OCD, I create a life which that I can’t endure and which I would rather escape, but I see now that with a little awareness, I can stop a LOT of the experiences by pushing through the situations I create for myself, simply by using common sense and pushing through a small wall of emotion.”

That is the end of the older blog, and it has been a few years since then…

So how am I doing now?

 

Well, in the mornings, I have a routine that does not include OCD or skin picking. If I slip, it is very minimal, I can get out of it and move on to the next point quite easily or fluidly. I am more aware.

 

When I look at how I arrive at work now I can see that it puts me in a good mood (sometimes a little distracting as I enjoy my co-workers so much that I have to pull myself away and focus on working). I do say hello to everyone, even at times going around to people that sit further away to make a connection and ‘check-in’. I really like this and the dynamic it creates between us.

 

I laugh a lot with my co-workers and generally have a pretty good time, even spending time together outside of work (and have gone on two vacations with co-workers). I would say the relationships I have at work are worthwhile, deeper that I have been used to, but have a light, easy-going feel to them. I am so glad I walked this point, and it is cool to see one of the first moments of correction where it started years ago.

 

So what am I reflecting to myself now within my experience around others? I would say a lot more self-acceptance and self-appreciation. It is to the point where I am now pushing more self-expression, to express me and get to know myself as who I am when I am not constantly judging me and looking at my flaws.

 

This is how the process works, one moment at a time, which accumulates into many moments and then just becomes a way of living. This is how we can create a life worth living for ourselves. Not just with getting along well at work, but within realizing that we are the creators of our own lives, starting with the small, and working to the great. My one condition is that the life I create will be one where I value, respect and honour all Life in my living application, and live according to principle, such as giving as I would like to receive, and doing what’s best for everyone, not just me.

 

The Problem-Oriented Mindset and How to Break Through

Continue reading to understand WHY we develop this problem-oriented mindset… you may be surprised by the answer!

How and Why I Developed a Problem-Oriented Mindset

When I was a teenager I started to experience REAL problems, meaning, problems with real life consequences., such as health, legal and financial problems. This was placed on top of the usual teen stuff like relationship, friendship, family and school problems. My life felt like it was full of problems and I was not comfortable discussing them with anyone, so I would internalize them and think about them on my own. Unfortunately, I had not developed effective problem solving skills, and I felt powerless in the face of  and crushed by my problems.

This led to the problems consuming me, wherein I became melancholy and isolated, and began seeking escape through OCD, substances and relationships, and other such compromising and risky behaviour. I find that within interacting with others with OCD, this mind-set of creating a world crushed by problems was prevalent. And what I noticed within myself, was that so long as I had this ‘bad situation’, all my escapes, including OCD, were easily justifiable.

It ‘made sense’ to me to try to constantly try to get the ‘high’ or the ‘numbing’ effect to take me away from the lows that this way of thinking can really exaggerate. This is where I can see a time in my life where I could have become empowered, became instead the solidification of my self-limiting and problem-oriented way of thinking, doing and being. Despite my exterior presentation, a self-defeating problem-oriented way of thinking was the real truth of me.

Into my young -adult life, my problems (my bills, my debt, my relationship issues, the effects of OCD, not being able to keep a job, not knowing what I am going to do with my life, difficulty making friends, my messy house, my lack of discipline to do basic things, the poor quality of food, the problems in the world etc etc etc)  had become my comfort. Self-pity and helplessness became safe, familiar places where I never really had to face who and how I had become.

I can see now, looking back, that despite hating the life I had created and wanting change, I was actually getting something I liked out of obsessing about my problems. It was comfortable, familiar, and I always had an excuse handy for why I just can’t change. Changing was scary and difficult,  terrifying and uncomfortable. Pushing myself to really change was totally outside of the comfort zone I had created for myself in my life.

Thinking about my problems would create an emotional experience in me, chemically induced in my brain, a chemical pattern I could dose myself with daily, thus creating a kind of addiction to a way of thinking. What I also noticed was that with pushing myself to break out of the internal isolation and open up more to people in my world, this problem oriented thinking would come again out in moments of vulnerability. I would speak about my problems in order to seek support to change, but what I found was, the more others would try to help and push me, the more I felt defensive and would argue or make excuses and justifications for myself.  This is what can be called ‘arguing for my limitations’.

This is a pretty tricky cycle, because I would  remain isolated and try to figure out solutions alone with myself, there was no one to be accountable to. I realized I had not developed a sense of self-accountability, and it was easy to get away with not really seeing things through when they got tough. But then, when I would seek support outside myself, I would argue for my limitations out of fear of really having to go for it for real, because now there was someone that could call me out when I produced no visible evidence of having walked any kind of change. Looking back, I can see these were signs that I was still holding on to a problem-oriented mindset.

This mindset explains some of the friction and conflict within me as I physically did the things I set out to do. I had not yet fully aligned my way of thinking with my actions in the physical world. It was time for not only the external change of ‘doing’, but also to look at the internal, seeing my mind and how it functions within me. I saw that it was time to step outside my comfort-zone and become solution-oriented.

So I began to venture into the scary unknown of really looking at solutions for real. Really walking my change and stopping myself when I would start to make excuses such as stating what the problems are and why I cannot move on a certain point. I am still working on this, as it will take some time to fully develop and strengthen to become  quality that is substantiated and evident in my life and living. But even over a small period of months, I have noticed the friction dissipate, the conflict drop, and cool and clear interactions with others start to come through.

It’s cool when relationships and interactions with others are not used by one’s mind to perpetuate the comfort zone by arguing for one’s limitations. Without awareness, you can end up resenting and blaming others in your life for showing you the limits of your comfort zone due to the reactions it causes.   When it was pointed out to me where I still tend to speak from this problem oriented mindset, I experienced resistance towards hearing it, but often times, when what is seen and spoken by another that causes a reaction (defensive, hurt or resistant), it means that there is a truth to it that self does not want to look at or see.

 

Being solution oriented, for me, was not this wonderful, positive experience. It was scary, raw, and humbling. It exposed my vulnerabilities, and it showed me where I was still weak or underdeveloped. But when I could actually listen to another and see through my reactions, I was able to plant a seed of change within myself.

I have had to nurture and grow this seed through some painful moments, but ever since I have been making this self-directed effort, I have made more progress than in the past in terms of getting things in my life together and get them moving. Moving through the problems and finding gifts of self-development and expansion all along the way.  There is still a long way to go, but with progress, the journey is a little more enjoyable, cool things start to develop, and life beyond the comfort zone becomes a place of abundance and opportunities to grow.

It’s interesting that as the problems melt away, and solutions and forward motion begin the manifest, there remains very little reason or justification to OCD. I see this as a serious step towards healing self and managing this disorder, because it diffuses and disarms it. It leaves one wondering, what is the point?

 

OCD and the KEY to ME

keyEver since I realized I had OCD I have slowly been coming to grips with what it means to have a mental disorder. For a very long time I found myself victimizing myself as if I had this separate entity in my life, something separate from me that had been imposed on me, something I was powerless towards and imprisoned by. And most of the time this is what it feels like, so this perspective of my life has been very easy to justify and validate.
Recently, I have been learning more about what it means to be and become ‘self-responsible’, which means, seeing, realizing and understanding that I am responsible for everything in my life, my life is my own creation and as creator, I am also responsible for every aspect of it. Many people will fight an argue this is not so due to genetics, environment, upbringing and life experiences, and this is another perspective that is very easy to justify, validate and make real. But if you consider the consequences of this, you will see that this perspective directly takes one’s personal power away, and places it within outside sources, such as genetics, environment, upbringing and life experience.
In this way, self-responsibility can seem like a tough pill to swallow, I mean, it’s not my fault I was born with a genetic disorder and into an environment that was not equipped to teach me how to learn to cope with it, right? This is true; it is not my fault, it is no one’s fault, there is in fact: no one to blame. So, where this then leaves me is squarely in a position of responsibility, one where I have to step up and take back control if I want to live a life that is in any way worth living.

If I look back at how I have lived, I can see that my quality of life has been drastically reduced due to the effects of OCD. It effects everything I do. It is not just actively a part of my life when I am caught in a possessed state where I am acting out the compulsive behaviours. Upon consistent self-introspection, I have realized that all of me, my thought patterns, my reactions to things, the way I feel when I experience myself walking through my day, is in fact obsessive compulsive. However, what is also apparent, is that there is something else, something MORE to me then just this.

There has always been a part of me that is ‘suffering’ in a way. A part that can clearly see that this is not what life should be like. There is and has been a part in me that has stood up time and time again, fighting for me and my life, wanting more, not feeling satisfied, seeing potential, but not knowing how to change or get there. This is actually huge.
What this means is that, yes, I have OCD in this life. This is the hand I was dealt and it is my deal, a part of myself that I have to work through. But it is not all of me, it is not entirely Who I Am. There is something else and something more. I have committed myself to push to make this part of me that is ‘something more’ the biggest part. Until now, I have functioned with this disorder my entire life, but I have always fought and pushed myself because I had to. I had to make money to survive, so I had to have a job and work. I have to interact with others, so I have to have social relationships, function within a family, a relationship, groups at school or at work. I have forced myself to live for all these reasons, but have I ever really pushed, fought, and forced myself to live for ME?
This is so important, because there is a part in all of us that is worth fighting for, pushing for, living for. It is the most important starting point one can have for all decisions and life choices. It is literally the greatest purpose from which one can source the most personal power, authority and ability to do whatever is necessary to realize one’s personal potential.
This is where my process is moving: where I take steps, make moves in my life, and practice being the Living Change for ME. This means, really taking the time and effort to get to know me, learn to understand the intricacies of my mind and thinking, really commit to give myself that time and dedication, because really, who else is going to do that for me? Even if there were someone willing to take this on, the truth is that, no one can do this for me. This is something that only self can give to self, and this is the greatest gift we can give ourselves in this life.
The focus of this blog will continue to be my process of walking out of OCD and into Life for real, as the process I have walked so far has led me to the realization that self-responsibility truly is the key, but both the SELF annnnd the responsibility must be taken into consideration. If you also have this disorder, please walk this process with me.

 

The Decision to STOP

stopThe decision to stop never really happens in one moment. Even when I make a decision to stand in one moment and I stand, I realize that the moment was never an isolated incident. Moments of Decision Making and ‘Taking A Stand’ open up, but are only ever the result of all the other moments that took place before, the thousands of little moments that accumulated and contributed to who we are in this moment Here. This is what determines if Who I Am is someone that will stand, or someone that will fall.

For me, the development of resolve is tested every day. I have stood up and made decisions, and it is almost as if by design I am immediately tested in a way that is greater than I what I believed myself to be capable of. As if the experience of power and mightiness that I feel in that moment of making a decision is matched by a direct challenge, and as a result, I fall often.

This is because it is not about the way one ‘feels’ when a decision is made, but rather how one directs self through all the moments before, the moments that led to the opening up of a moment of opportunity, where one can really make the decision to take a stand.

For me, there were moments where I was able to stand and face myself. These were moments where I believed it to be too big or too overwhelming, yet I was able to find a place within myself where there was safe quietness, a true source of power.

What I learned was, it is never about the feeling or experience one has while making a decision. In fact, if there is any kind of feeling or emotion in the moment of making a decision, I can be sure that I will be tested and fall. This is because thoughts, feelings and emotions do not create a stable foundation base from which to stand. They are erratic, unpredictable and come and go seemingly on their own. We don’t’ necessarily have control over our feelings and emotions in a way that is constructive or beneficial, in fact, we most often seem to use them in the form of self-sabotage and self-manipulation. So, how can we depend on these undependable, sporadic and non-substantial things to face our darkest hour? In my experience, we cannot.

Real strength and resolve comes from directing oneself in the decisions one makes every day, in many many seemingly insignificant, or even significant moments. When I faced myself in my darkest hour and was finally able to stand, it was only after I had spent weeks doing a little bit every day. Most days there is no feeling or experience of advancement or result, and one has to direct self with common sense, within knowing what is best. Testing, playing with all things, and keeping what is good.

I am still faced with challenges every day, and I have to make the decision to stop, to start, to move, to look, to stay still, over and over again, in many moments throughout the day. It can be a bit of a jungle out there, but we each have more power than we may think.

For me, the tools and skills I have developed for myself have been a result of studying and applying the Desteni principles. It is the only way I have had any real effect. It takes time, but not an endless amount of time.

Check out this blog for some insight into daily accumulation: Creating Structure(s)

 

 

Feeling Like an Outcast

outcast

 

I can relate to the experience of feeling like an outcast. It is very rare that I feel like I fit in comfortably anywhere or in any group. This is an experience that had to start somewhere, because I wasn’t born feeling like I don’t belong. It is something that is learned through, friends, family and environment when a child is young and cannot fully understand or process information, situations and reactions from others. Usually when people would get mad or upset with me, or if other kids teased me, I would immediately think there was something inherently wrong with me as a kind of default understanding of the situation. I never really questioned if it was actually something about me, and looking back, I see I always had something to explain it or blame myself with.

When I was younger I was a tomboy, and I liked to play physical games and rough-house, and most of my friends were boys. But I always felt secretly ashamed and less-than because I was a girl. I would notice the boys treated me a bit differently, and it made me feel different, and I couldn’t play on the same sports teams as my friends.

There were some things I felt awkward doing because I began to understand that normally, girls don’t do that type of thing. So when other girls would not be interested in being my friend or would tease me, I felt like an outcast from both genders and began to define myself as different, but in a ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ way.

It’s as if the way that I was naturally was wrong, and my ‘who I am’ was breaking some unspoken rules. I felt that I made people mad just by existing. Looking back now and being able to understand more clearly, I see that it would not have been impossible to enjoy aspects of both genders, and later on in life I was able to embrace the femininity I had come to reject for so long, seeing it instead as a strength and a flexibility.

OCD began presenting itself in my life pretty early on, so the cuts and scabs and marks on my skin made me a bit of a target, especially combined with the ‘tomboy’ appearance. OCD is something that I did not understand and again, did not question, but simply accepted as a part of who and how I am. I was ashamed of it and did not seek support but rather tried to hide it and become invisible so as to avoid being teased. This then furthering my mind’s programming a view of myself as an outcast due primarily to shame. Both of these issues remained with me for most of my life, with the OCD continuing but is something I can now see and understand more clearly, and am now supporting myself to face.

When I was a bit older my family moved to a new neighborhood. It was one with bigger houses and the kids that I become friends with were from wealthier families. My family did live in a very nice neighborhood, but were what is called ‘mortgage poor’. Many of the new friend I became close with were doing activities such as for example, horse-back riding lessons, or going away to summer camp, and I did not see the bigger picture of why I couldn’t also do these things. At first they would show me their medals and tell me all about camp, but at some point they stopped and started actually hiding things from me. Once I found out my best friend had bought a snowboard after we had been talking for a while about how much we wanted to go snowboarding. She later admitted that she had hidden it from me because she felt bad. I did eventually get to go to summer camp and get a snow board, but not before having developed a sense of self-pity. I wasn’t able to see the bigger picture, that my parents were stabilising in their careers, that there were financial factors that had to play out.

Instead I had defined a part of myself, again, as an outcast, always a bit ‘off’, or ‘less-than’ in some way, nurturing self-pity and self-diminishment. I see now that all of humanity face different struggles and exist at different levels of income. I see that I am among the elite in the world when I look at the big picture, and I absolutely do not judge the billions of people struggling to survive as ‘less-than’ or ‘pitiful’, but rather the consequential outflow of a system designed to create poverty. I see myself now as in a position of responsibility towards others, to open my eyes to others and to the reality of our current situation on this planet.

As  I got older and started working, I was confronted with feeling like an outcast due to language politics. I am part of an English-speaking minority in a French province, and I began working with the public during a time where there was a lot of social and political tension between the two groups. I ended up working in a primarily French neighborhood at one point, and I remember working with people one night that were making fun of the way I spoke. It got to the point where I eventually broke down crying, believing that the French would never accept me. Most places I would go when exploring more of the city as I got older would have French culture or influence, and I would feel I didn’t belong and wasn’t wanted. I had French people insult me for being English, and there was graffiti in a local park telling the English to ‘go home’, but to me, this WAS my home!

Looking back I can see that I wanted to be accepted, but the problem is with the starting point I had at the time. I still saw the French culture as something foreign that I could not be a part of. I felt a hostility and separateness that was impenetrable. So the wanting to be accepted came from me wanting to change my internal experience and feel better about myself by having others accept me. The way I see it now is that I was the one creating impenetrable walls around me to protect myself. I could not, at the time, see that language politics were being used in a larger political context playing out on a provincial and national stage, but instead I judged myself for the language I spoke. What I eventually learned was that in not judging myself and not hiding myself and keeping quiet, but rather by accepting MYSELF, I am able to open up more to, with sincere intrigue and acceptance, get to know a whole other culture and see and realize how it came to be, and understand where it comes from. Within this, I am now able to get to know other human beings, and see that all human beings are influenced and affected by the culture within which they are raised, myself included. I also see how the two cultures  are not mutually exclusive, and have grown and developed together, intersecting and intertwining at points, having a mutual effect on each other. Now I feel like I can actually appreciate this difference that exists where I live, and learn a lot from it as well, but not because anybody else started doing anything differently. It all started to change when I started to change myself.

There are many times now where this program still gets triggered in my mind, and I judge myself and then blame something outside of me and feel like an outcast again. It’s persistent because it starts so early in life, before understanding, so it becomes the accepted explanation. There is a group now of people that are very inspiring to me, people that I admire very much, where my ‘outcast system’ often becomes triggered. Looking at it now, I can see that I am judging myself because I know that I could be doing better, and doing more in many ways. I also see that I am not giving myself credit for the things I am working on or have done, but instead only focusing on the ‘negatives’ and allowing myself only to look at what I am not doing well. These different dimensions trigger the self-impression that I am not good enough, not worthy, destined to be an outcast. But the difference here is that this is the present moment, which is the moment where I have the power to do things differently. The moments in the past have already happened, so all I can do is look back and see how I could have done things differently or better to be more supportive towards myself. But things that come up now where I start to feel like an outcast again are like opportunities for me to look a little deeper, and do something different NOW, and change the experience while I am in it. I will start with some self-forgiveness on the point.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to judge myself within comparison to people that I admire or look up to, wherein, instead of ‘looking up to’ them, I can look to them as a resource that I can use to assist and support myself to overcome the obstacles I face, turning every obstacle into a gift of learning and overcoming.

When and as I see that I am ‘looking up to’ others in comparison and self-judgment, I stop, and I breathe, I bring myself back to equality and oneness by reminding myself that I can instead look to others to learn and use their experience to apply in my own life that which can assist and support me to be the best possible version of myself in my own unique and individual way. I see, realize and understand that by using judgment and comparison I am only denying myself an opportunity to grow, to learn, to evolve and to expand.

I commit myself to identify moments of judgment and comparison, and look for ways to turn it into learning, growing and expanding by giving myself what I judge myself as not having/being, and develop in me the qualities I notice in others..

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think, believe or perceive that anyone or anything outside of myself can make me less than or make me an outcast, because in reflecting on my life and investigating the ‘outcast’ character, I can see that there is and has always been another way.

When and as I see that I am blaming someone or something outside of myself for causing me to feel like an outcast, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to living self-forgiveness by reminding myself that only I have the power to condemn me, and that this is something I will no longer accept and allow as part of me and the way I use my power. Instead, I will use my personal power and decision-making authority to author for myself a new way of being, by forgiving the old patterns that were learned in un-awareness, and living instead a new pattern that I choose and that I create, one of self-acceptance, one of seeing and looking in self-honesty at ways where I can create a life internally and externally, where I am supported and challenged to change.

I commit myself to take self-responsibility for my personal growth, and for stopping my personal self-diminishment.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to believe my mind system program when it tells me I am not good enough, I am shameful and that I do not belong, and I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to react to this self-talk by diminishing myself, closing myself off and becoming apparently small and invisible.

When and as I see that I am listening to my mind telling me I am not good enough, that I am shameful and I do not belong, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-honesty by reminding myself that whenever I have reflected back, I have always seen another way. I push myself to override this program by forgiving it and allowing myself to see another way IN THE MOMENT. I push myself to use this seeing, realizing and understanding to expand, open up about the challenges I face, interact, ask for support when needed, and become visible, where I see my POTENTIAL, and not the self-diminishing version of myself I had grown to accept and allow within me as my self-definition.

I commit myself to fearlessly become big, visible and open.

 

Doing it All Alone

alone

I have realized many times that I can’t fight this battle all by myself, yet time and time again I find myself falling back into the pattern of shutting myself off and isolating myself as a coping technique. A part of me justifies this by holding the idea or belief that I am protecting others from me, and that this is my problem or issue and it should only be a burden on my own shoulders. And this causes me to not reach out and to ask for help, assistance or support.

I want to see myself as strong and capable and able to handle myself in any situation, and I also developed the belief that no one can really help me or do anything for me that I can’t do for myself. But circumstances in my life have made me realize that sometimes you can’t do it all alone, and that sometimes you can be surprised with just how beneficial reaching out and sharing can be. Unfortunately I took the route of learning this the hard way, through consequence rather than having taken more preventative measures when I saw things were getting tough.

I had reached a breaking point with the anxiety that I had been building up and suppressing for quite a long time. I had been feeling very overwhelmed and powerless with certain situations in my life, with things not moving fast enough, or financial situations where I didn’t see an immediate solution. Also, with a course I had been taking, I was working 7 days a week, with many obligations and responsibilities in between. This caused an accumulation of reactions which increasingly became overwhelming.

During this time, whenever I found myself alone, instead of taking that time to support myself, I would lose control and fall into OCD behaviour. It’s that repeating program that takes over and mutes out that part of me that is fighting for healing, allowing instead for the destructive part of me do the coping and the processing. Finally, one day a severe migraine broke me physically, forcing me to stop for real, and this ended up giving me the chance to see that it was time to stop suppressing and putting up walls around me like a fortress, and I allowed myself to go through an emotional breakdown as well.

After such an episode I felt much better, but alone. I closed myself in my room and told myself I would tough it out and everything would be better tomorrow. But, before this all took place I had just listened to an interview about this exact topic, also titled “Doing it All Alone” (you can listen to it for free: https://eqafe.com/p/doing-it-all-alone). I decided to take the advice from the being that had been going through similar experiences, and I came out of my room and talked to my parents. I’ve been hiding OCD for so long that talking about it with people in my world is still a bit foreign and uncomfortable for me. But I was able to express myself and speak about the anxiety and the lack of control I feel with OCD. We talked about the circumstances surrounding me reaching my breaking point, and discussed some immediate steps I could take to take care of myself. We also discussed some long-term options which I will be taking steps toward exploring as well.

After talking for some time, my migraine dissipated completely. I felt like I had support around me, and my parents expressed being grateful about having a better understanding about what it is I am going through. This was not the outcome I had expected when I imagined or anticipated talking about it. In my mind I thought it would be hard and uncomfortable and make matters worse, but in reality, it felt life-saving. I know that this doesn’t mean that everything will be easy from here on out, this is obviously a process that needs to be walked from moment to moment. It will take time before I become more and more comfortable allowing myself to be vulnerable in front of others, and to learn to identify when I can handle things on my own, and when it is best to ask for support.

The moral of the story is that we cannot trust that things will turn out exactly the way we imagine them, especially not when we are in an emotional reaction or heightened anxiety. It is important to sometimes come out of one’s own mind and cross-reference things with others in order to get a clearer perspective on oneself and one’s own situation. Talking to others and seeking support can introduce new options, open up alternatives or solutions that one may not have thought of alone, especially not from the limited perspective created by anxiety.

Doing some things alone is cool, it can be very empowering and build confidence and strength of character, but so can asking for support. With practice, it has become easier to do this, and to correctly identify which path is more appropriate to take in the moment.

 

 

Creating My Home as My Internal and External Sanctuary

room 360

Here is a 360 degree view of my room, which I moved into about a year ago. It is within this room that I decided to really apply what I had learned in my last two blogs, and create for myself a sanctuary of sorts. A place to heal, to unwind, to fall apart and put myself back together, to nurture myself and to rest. I went through a process to make this my own space, a process of redefinition and creation, to accompany my process of self-creation.

Some things were gifts, like the chalk board above my computer where I write the living words I am working on, some I brought with me, and some I found close by.
Making a space my own is something I wish I had developed much earlier in my life, as I have moved many, many times throughout my life, often times feeling like I was living in someone else’s space.

Now, I thoroughly enjoy setting up my space in a way that best suites my needs, a place where I feel comfortable and cozy, where when I walk into it, it feel like I am walking into a warm embrace.

I aim to make my room my safe haven, full of comforts and support. At the same time, I am creating an internal safe haven, so that my internal and external spaces are a reflection of each other.

I must say, my dog Ghost has been a huge help in the creation of cozyness! Wherever he plunks down, he transforms that space into the most homey, welcoming and pleasant spots in my room! Additionally, his company, cuddles, protection and consistency have been huge internal support as well as I had decided to put aside my fears and walk unconditionally into a relationship with him.

room ghost
Our personal space, as much as our internal space, is sacred. It is a place we can CREATE, using our capacity as CREATORS, and with our CREATIVE abilities, to support us in many ways and on many levels, to walk a process toward becoming our utmost potential, our best.

turbie.PNG

On the front lines of OCD: Bringing PEACE to the war at HOME – Creating my safe space, my sanctuary.

In the photo above, you can see how I have taken steps to create a home environment that is supportive in all ways: I have set myself up in front of the computer to write, which supports me in in my process of taking my authority back from OCD/derma. But because I know that being in front of the computer triggers the OCD, I have put a hair mask on to keep my hands away from my head. The hair mask also nurtures and moisturizes the scalp, which supports me physically as I have scalp psoriasis.

I lit a candle to create a more relaxed and soothing atmosphere to lower anxiety, and I also like the way it smells, so it is a point of  simple enjoyment as well.

The same with the tea, which is filled with healthy ingredients such as ginger, turmeric, honey, lemon, and also chamomile which calms and relaxes. It keeps my hands busy when I get antsy, it tastes good and is warm and comforting.

This calming, soothing, healing and nurturing environment was created by me, in awareness. This is MY CHOICE. It depicts an act of creation rather than an environment of consequence, resulting from the automated behaviour of OCD. This is one step of my journey, bringing my writing to life in practical application.

To read the writing, visit: Feeling ‘At Home’ in My Skin and my Environment and At Home Within Myself – Living the Word ‘Home’

10 things in my room that support me:

1) the turtle a friend gave me to remind me to slow down, accompanied by the tree her son gave me, “my tree” he says, which I must promise to protect.

turtle 1

2) the salt rock lamp I bought for myself for balance. The colour and presence of the rock to me look like a heart, reminding me of my heart as well as the delicate nature of the living body.

salt rock lamp.PNG

3) the painting that I chose. To me it is less about what the painting represents and more about the fact that I chose one I like instead of keeping the one that was there before.

painting.PNG
4) the mosaic glass lamp I found in storage. The colours match the colours in the painting, and are colours I have been playing with lately: shades of champagne, golds, browns, ivory, rust and auburn.

lamp.PNG

5+6) essential oil diffuser, essential oils, homeopathic ‘rescue remedy’, and ‘cell food’ supplement from the pharmacy. I am exploring the effects of these products on my mind and body, seeing how I can support my body’s comfort, calm and release.

essential oils.PNG    oil diffuser.PNG

7) beeswax candles for that firey glow and to clean the air. Calming and soothing and they smell so damn good.

candles.PNG
8) Butterflies above my medicine cabinet, reminding me of transformation, change and growth. My medicine cabinet is full of teas, supplements and creams I use to tend to myself as acts of self-care.

cabinet

cabinet contents.PNG

9) blue tooth speakers to play nice tunes while I work.

bluetooth.PNG

10) living-words chalk board. I take the words on one at a time to incorporate into my living. I take ‘problem’ words, or words I have not been living effectively, and turn them into ‘solution words’, where I redefine them in a way that supports my best.

blackboard.PNG