Jealousy (and a know thyself art therapy directive)

I have jealousy on my mind. What is it? Why do we feel it? What’s the message?

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Jealousy, by definition, is the fear that someone else will take what you perceive to be yours—you feel jealous when an attractive (better), powerful (better), amazing (better) person is talking to your significant other.

I know the feeling. It sucks. It’s fear and anxiety. Anger, to try to fend off the fear and anxiety. There is certainly a feeling of crazy. Pain, hurt, doom, those come to mind as well. And physically I feel jealousy right in the pit of my stomach. Where it likes to punch me until I feel like even more of an idiot.

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Zentangle

I told a story recently about yoga experience that involved a guided meditation. Quick summary: it involved talking to my baby boy, Liam, who passed away in 2005, and some crying. It was, very simply, a healing experience.

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What I also mentioned back in that post, somewhat shamefully, is that I watch Grey’s Anatomy. But more importantly it’s that I cry—a lot—while watching Grey’s Anatomy. Over the last couple-few weeks it’s come into my awareness that maybe I count on this show to do this thing for me. Maybe. This is what’s really interesting, though, ever since my guided-meditation-yoga-experience (that’s a bunch of episodes) I haven’t cried during the show.
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Simple Breath Awareness Technique

This kid.

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Lately, in response to this kid acting in very age-appropriate ways, I have found myself dictating open letters to him in my head. For example:

To the free-loading two year old living in my house:
I found the butter knife in the litter box.
(
…)
Gross, dude. So, so gross. The level of grossness is so great that I think I have to go ahead and throw the knife away.
(
…)
Stay out of the litter box, for the love.

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Awareness: All in a Weekend

Part One: Liam

Liam’s been on my mind a lot. I’m really aware of the ten year reunion of his life and really aware that it only lasts for nine months. And this awareness feels important. I’ve put out an intention to check whatever this is out; to be open to…anything.

Part Two: PTSD

On Friday I went to a training for an intervention (SBIRT) and at the very end we touched on PTSD. I was reminded that sometimes people who have been diagnosed with PTSD do not remember the trauma. Or if they do remember it, they don’t perceive it as such. It’s a coping mechanism, right, and it helps people—us—to get on with our lives. So, not remembering and/or not identifying with a trauma—that’s in my head all weekend.
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Lotion

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I have heard this a few times: I would go to therapy, but I feel like it’s selfish (?). And I’m here to tell you that it is.

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It is 100% indulgent, all about you, don’t-look-at-anyone-else time. For a lot of people that can sound kind of scary. It can lead to thoughts of, “what about the children?” or “what about the dogs?” or “what about my book that I should be writing?”…what about all of these things that I should be doing instead of going to therapy, right?

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As it turns out, the more we take care of ourselves, the more space we free up for the other people/animals/interests in our lives. You gotta take care of your brain, dude, there’s no getting away from it. No matter where you go, there it is, still inside of that big ol’ dome.

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Taking time to do things for yourself feeds your brain, body, and soul. It declutters and reorganizes which then, for me especially, gives me greater energy to direct at other things, like my kids. So instead of deflecting them I am able to engage and read a book for the seventh time, without wanting to scream. Or maybe I still want to scream (let’s be real), but it’s without resentment. I find I have time for homemade lotion. Freeing up this space makes room for other things you care about. 

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This lotion is kind of indulgent. I have to take time out of my day to make it. But it makes me so happy when I smear it on my hands. I love to grease up my kids after the bath and know that I’m not putting chemicals on their bodies. And it’s not complicated. You don’t have to make lotion, but when you start taking time for yourself (therapy, exercise, good food), you might just want to make your own lotion.

Homemade Lotion
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup olive oil
  2. 3/4 cup beeswax
  3. 1/2 cup coconut oil
  4. 20-30 drops essential oil (optional)
Instructions
  1. Fill a sauce pan about half way full with water and place it on the stove.
  2. Put the heat or flame around medium.
  3. In a glass jar (I use an old peanut butter jar), add olive oil, beeswax, coconut oil and essential oil.
  4. Place lid lightly on jar.
  5. As everything melts, pick up the jar (careful of the loose lid!) and swirl it around.
  6. When everything has melted pour it into your vessels of choice (I like the half pint Ball or Mason jars).
  7. Allow to cool, then dig in! Food for your skin.
Notes
  1. My favorite smell at the moment is 20 drops of lavender, three of patchouli and three of vetiver.
Adapted from Wellness Mama
Adapted from Wellness Mama
Melissa Fannin http://melissafannin.com/

Mindfulness :: Scribble Directive

The Scribble Directive. I used paper, a pen, and water colors.

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Okay, I can’t take credit for the actual scribble, that was done by the little person that snuck into some of the pictures. The Scribble Directive is great for practicing mindfulness. It’s great if your working on living in the here and now. It’s great if you want to paint something. Here’s how this went for me this morning:

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Find scribble (you can make your own).

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Practice breathing while child joins in on the action (take notes on how child stays in the moment).

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Add paint.
As you can see this is simple stuff. Paper and paint. Some inspiration from the bluff I can see out of my window. This is about movement, clearing out the brain, and simply allowing whatever wants to happen happen.

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As ever, check out what’s happening through the process. Be an observer of your thoughts. See if you can stay in the present. When thoughts creep in you can acknowledge them and then simply ask them to leave. Practice being here now.

Self-talk

Goodness. Half-way through the week already. How’s your self-talk? Your inner voice. The critic. The devil on your shoulder. I call my inner voice, the super chatty I-have-something-to-say-about-everything voice, the terrorist. And for some reason I also refer to him as a he. As a him. Whatever. This guy reeks havoc on me. He is seriously the biggest meany, jerky jerk. And he’s me. And I’m him.
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Beyond that, he’s a liar. Like, clinical. He lies to me all of the time. And pokes and pokes and pokes. An example: the other day I was at yoga and class was pretty full. The owners (or at least the people I think are the owners) of the yoga studio set up their mats right next to me. So I’m thinking alright…yeah…you know…I got this (in my head it looks like I’m at the gym about to lift something heavy, jumping up and down, working out the kinks in my neck, flexing, but really I’m just sitting on a yoga mat zen-like) and then the terrorist joins in and starts saying crap like THEY ARE LOOKING AT YOU THEY THINK YOU SUCK THEY CAN TELL YOU’VE NEVER DONE THIS POSE BEFORE YOU SUCK DID YOU HEAR ABOUT HOW YOU SUCK and so on. I know, deep in my core, that he’s full of crap, but I still can’t help but feel that feeling. Fear. What if they kick me out due to sheer suckiness? What if they don’t like me? What if…? Fear makes us put our heads down, ball up, and cease to exist. We step back and stop participating; stop singing, painting, playing, writing, dreaming, living.
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I fight my terrorist in a couple different ways. One, if I’m by myself, I will yell–out loud–not a word or anything, just a long yelly noise to drown him out. It’s like I startle him (me) into closing (stopping) his (my) mouth (thoughts). And it works, interestingly. It works better when followed by some deep breathing, maybe a count to ten, maybe some self-forgiveness. There is lots of breathing in yoga, so I was able to process through that negativity pretty efficiently and then I was able to say I forgive you, Mel, and I love you. Saying those things to myself doesn’t stop the terrorist, but it gives me a really sturdy feeling in my core. That sturdiness is a knowing…and I’m guessing you probably know what I mean. You just know.