Introducing Snoop E.
This weeks Photo Challenge just might get me back into this thing called a blog.
Introducing Snoop E.
This weeks Photo Challenge just might get me back into this thing called a blog.
I rarely question my assignment. Today I was given the job I’ve been preparing for. Everything is ready, T’s have been dotted, I’s crossed, and assignments handed out. I am to hang with an 8-year-old boy named Tim. Anna, Tim’s sister just came back over a few days ago. She only had 12 years on Earth this time, but she did her job quicker and better than most. I spent some time with her when she first arrived back home. She will be at or above my own level. She did well on Earth. She gets to rest for as long as she desires then it is off to work she goes. I love how she calls me Will instead of William. I believe this is going to be a beautiful, powerful friendship.
Most don’t take much time off. Some choose to retire, but no one lasts long at that. There are so many people who need our help. Speaking of help I should go down to Tim, my newest assignment. With Anna leaving him for a bit, I have (my) work to do.
Anna made me laugh the first time I met her. She told me she has already been testing her family. She was able to assign her brother, Tim to the Angels’ baseball team. Anna’s Mom noticed that right away, and that night Anna sent Tim a dream. Tim recalled this vivid dream and shared it with his Mom. They were able to smile together. I guess Anna is declining her opportunity to have a break. Only the best do that.
Anna might have chosen the body of a child this time, but she is such a strong old soul, full of wisdom. I am going to be proud to have her as my newest companion. With this family I got assigned to way back when, Anna’s insight will be invaluable. That’s not to say with all my preparation and dedication I can’t hold my own, just that more help reaches further.
Catherine and Emily. For the longest time I thought I had them. When I left my body, they truly believed in me and my power. I proved it to them using that JH dude. Twice!Over the years they have stumbled a bit. I think Emily might be on her way back to believing I am there. It’s taken some time, but she is starting to see the signs I’ve been sending her. I was pretty subtle for a while, then the Senior dude visited. The Senior dude told me to hit her with a biggie. Not too big though.“She needs to WAKE UP!!!!” She recovered nicely from that sign and now I believe I have her back.
Jax and Catherine. Well they are going to take more time. They will be open to me soon though. As long as I have the whole team playing, rookies included. They will hear us. As long as she stays open, They are gonna have to listen to Emily. Since Anna and I teamed up, It is almost as if Emily forgot to lock her door. I am also proud of how outspoken she has become. She has found her voice. This family is very special to me. They have so much work they still need to do. I sometimes wish we could get things done all by ourselves. But then again, it wouldn’t be right or much fun for any of us.
“It amazes me the racket the Senior Man has going on in relation to tHis family. He’s got me working with Anna in Sue’s house, while Clarence is in Canada convincing Hollow to motivate Emily to try on her appropriate funeral attire. Meanwhile Gabriel is in Pennsylvania, reminding Base, to remind Emily about us.” PHEW!!!! Busy, Busy, and Busy.
I’ve been waiting all day for Emily to ask for me to come with her tonight. The Senior Man wants us all there tonight. Everyone!!!! This Anna must be pretty special to him to bring out all stops like he is. I can’t wait to work with her more.
A message arrives, “Well would you look at that? Emily is asking for my help. This is way cool, she hasn’t asked for my help in a long time. I love it when they ask me to visit. I love them so much. Helping them is so much more fun when they know I am around. I know I am doing my job right when they feel me near. They do still have that free will crap the Big Ole One gave them. It is sometimes tough to work around.”
This story was supposed to be about Tim. Everything happens for a reason they say. The Senior Dude wants me to hang out with Tim all day. Or, for as long as he needs me. I must say, I have enjoyed my brief hiatus. Given the choice though, I’d much rather be working and spending time with the ones I was given. They can be so much fun. I feel like I’ve been on vacation forever.
Back in the saddle again as some might say. “I’m just gonna say thanks for the work Senior Man. I am so looking forward to your newest assignment.”
Enough documenting, it is time to visit Tim. I love working with kids. I have always loved them. They are so much more open to my suggestions than the older ones. This should be a fun day for me. Anna’s got her hands full with her Mom, Dad, and sisters. She will appreciate the time I spend with Tim.
“All I know is that this assignment involves the color purple. They never tell me more than I need to know. I just go with it and it all will be well. Plus, in time, when I find everything out, it will be breathtaking. Can breathtaking be a feeling? If it can, then it is.”
Recently I have been doing a lot of work with mindfulness. I figure if it can help me with other areas of my life, why not with smoking.
I “accidentally” stumbled across an App that uses mindfulness as a way to quit….
My first attempt at quitting, I used an unconventional method. I did very well for 6 months. I had no defense against stress and smoked. The second time, Patches did nothing to help me. I do not chew gum and the thought of a lozenge sickens me. I do not need or want another med.
Everything I have seen in this app so far makes complete sense. I learned right away that nicotine leaves your system rather quickly. So nicotine replacement makes no sense. Why not just decrease the number of cigarettes you smoke day by day. This is possible with help. Other methods do not teach me about the habit of smoking and how to rid myself of it.
On day 1 I kept track of how many times I smoked and found it to be a lot lower than expected. I have done a lot in the last few years to decrease the amount I smoke and apparently it was working. Now to rid myself of them completely.
In just one day of using this App, I have already learned things about myself and smoking. I always thought I smoked because I was addicted to them and it was a habit. The first time I smoked mind fully, I realized it gives the illusion of calming me.
I do not want to suffocate to death. That is my future if I do not quit. I believe using mindfulness to stop is my best option. Not only am I learning how to use mindfulness to quit, I have incredible online support via this App.
I tried hard to meet todays (day 2) goal of mindfully smoking every cigarette. I found this to be a bit difficult at times. I would start my cigarette concentrating on the cigarette, then notice I had moved into autopilot. I would then as non judgmentally as I could, bring my focus back to the actual cigarette.
On Day 3. I started the day like all others. With a coffee and a cigarette. This time I also brought my phone with me so I could see what was in store for me today. After debating with myself, I put my cigarette out so I could follow along with the body scan exercise. I found it to be difficult to focus on the scan knowing that I had a cigarette a few inches from me waiting to be smoked.
Having the rest of my first cigarette of the day waiting for me definitely affected my ability to concentrate on the exercise. I will do things different next time.
I learned If I have to make a phone call I smoke. I learned I can crave a cigarette within minutes of just having smoked one. I crave a cigarette before I finish dinner. The RAIN exercise will come in very handy in these situations as well.
I picked a quit date as suggested. 3 weeks from when I started using this App. At first I thought 3 weeks wasn’t going to be long enough for me. I had doubts that I would be ready. Now I am thinking it may be too long.
Yesterday I used the RAIN exercise a lot. I went from 10 cigarettes to 7. The number of cigarettes I am technically allowed is at 13.
I did get a suggestion that I only smoke 6 today. That freaked me out a bit. Only 6? How will that be possible?
Todays goal is to use RAIN each time I crave a cigarette. So far RAIN has been helpful. So if I use RAIN every time I crave a cigarette and it works as well as it has, then technically I should not smoke at all today. That is when I started thinking too much again. If I don’t use RAIN when I crave a smoke, I do not meet todays goal and I fail. If I do use RAIN all day and I am successful then I won’t smoke. I want to smoke. I still get to smoke. I get 6 today.
I don’t want to use RAIN and smoke anyway. That will scream
“it doesn’t work” at my addiction. So do I use RAIN each time I crave and let it fail so I can smoke or do I not use RAIN every time and not meet todays goal?
I wrote, “Now I wonder. Am I thinking too much or am I just more aware of things?”
online response “Not thinking too much. This is what happens when we start to wake up to our lives.”
I am having trouble distinguishing between craving a cigarette and thinking it is time for one. For example when I first woke up I thought it was time for a cigarette. I wasn’t craving one. I just thought I was supposed to smoke one. Instead of smoking I chose to access the App and see what was up for today. I used the RAIN exercise even though I was still not feeling a craving. I did not smoke. 10 minutes later I felt a craving so I used RAIN again. I still did not smoke.
DESTROYING the habit.
A trigger hit me and hit me hard.. I had cigarette and lighter in hand. I stopped. I took some breaths, focused on feeling, easily recognized that I wanted a smoke, accepted it as well.
I put the lighter and cigarette down and proceeded to go back inside. I did not smoke.
About 45 minutes later, the phone rang. I grabbed it and immediately walked to the door to go outside and smoke. Obviously on autopilot. I stopped. This is the habit they have mentioned. This is a trigger for me.
I could see the last cigarette I didn’t smoke and my lighter waiting for me outside.
I walked away from the door.
I do not need to smoke while on the phone.
I finished my conversation without a smoke.
For those who do not understand, This a Big Deal!!!!
I spent time on my deck without smoking just to try to start breaking the connection that outside/deck equals smoke. It worked out well as I spent my time listening to a pebble meditation that I “accidentally” came across.
I need to take the word perfection and all variations of the word out of my vocabulary. This is called mindfulness PRACTICE, NOT PERFECTION.
I have done just that. My original quit date was 11/13 now it is 11/5. But if I meet todays goal, which was yesterdays goal and the goal the day before that, I should remain smoke free today. Being smoke free today is not my goal. Using RAIN whenever a craving comes up is. If using RAIN is successful, I should not smoke.
Do I really need an anticipated date to quit? The first one seemed too soon at first. Then it seemed too far away, so I changed it. No where does it say I have to smoke until my quit day. Although my mind/addiction/habit is telling me what great idea that would be.
The program I used to quit was a 21 day program. You had 21 days to decrease the number of cigarettes you smoked. You had 21 days to learn how to successfully get through cravings that WILL happen. I quit in 7 days, but I continued to follow the program to the end. It has been 5 weeks since my last cigarette. It has not been easy. At times it has been very hard. As long as I remember that this can be done and that I am doing it, I will succeed. Odd, I can set up the App to help me remember….
This Can Be Done!!!!
Hello Folks. I have been bad. “Wicked, wicked bad”
My plan/path/road was to take the blogging201 course. I think I completed day 1 maybe day 2. I encountered a roadblock in the form of physical illness. Actually there had been a couple of illness crap things going on with me. While I took the time to care for myself, my blog and many other things were put on the back burner. At times, I have had this blog pop up in my brain, but until today I was unmotivated to write.
“What’s been going on you ask?”
“Shhhh, Don’t tell anyone But, One thing happened which led to another thing then another and another. The result being I started writing elsewhere. And now I am here.”
“Where is here?”
“On my couch, writing this.”
I am taking part in a research study that involves using a mindfulness App to help people quit smoking. When this opportunity arose, I went with it. Part of the process of quitting is writing down your experiences with this App. Writing ovah there led to motivation to write ovah here. Hmmmm. Sharing my experience with mindfulness would not be a bad purpose for this blog. I am still looking for one of those.
A year ago I had an experience that felt almost life changing. I will warn you it is a bit long if you choose to read it. Looking back, I can see that the experience gave me the opportunity to be more aware of what was going on with me. To be present. To be in the moment. Not worrying about something in my future that might never happen. Not ruminating over something I did or did not do in the past. My soul focus was on whether I could get from the couch to the bathroom without help. I was forced to look at right now and nothing else. I was forced to focus on my body and what I could or could not do. This experience was the start of a journey I did not expect to be on. This experience led me to My Mindfulness Adventure.
This new awareness led me to a new therapist. He shall now be known as Dennis. Dennis led me to a true introduction to what mindfulness is and what it can do. Learning about it and practicing a bit led me to talk about it. Talking about it led to a friend sharing a link with me. That link led me to TheMindfulnessSummit. I am presently calling this summit my crash course in Mindfulness. From it I am learning exactly what I need to learn to continue my exploration of Mindfulness. I am becoming aware
(there’s that word again) of how practicing mindfulness can make a difference in my life. My eyes are opening to the possibilities of what practicing mindfulness can do for anyone who gives it a chance.
For instance, I did not know it could help prevent a relapse of depression. There are things called Mindful parenting. Mindfulness for business. It can be used to help deal with pain. I did not know there was such a thing as mindful eating. Which is a tad odd as I recently made a decision to lose some weight. I was actually losing weight by using mindful eating techniques that I didn’t even know existed. The extent of my experience with mindfulness consisted of using it to deal with an anxiety thing.
Back to the MindfulnessSummit. One of the lectures I listened to led me to a local Mindfulness Center that I did not know existed. That centers website led me to ask questions about becoming part of a research study. That study was being conducted to see how successful a particular App was at using mindfulness to help people quit smoking. Odd, I have been thinking a lot about how much I really need to make a final attempt at quitting. Patches, gum, medication, lozenges – none of that appealed to me. This appealed to me. Is all of this one rather large coincidence? It doesn’t matter as it all came together to lead me where I need to be.
The first time I quit smoking was a bit unconventional. The last should be as well. .
Time for me to get back into writing. Time for me to start another course. Time for me to learn more. Did I mention it was time for me to learn more? This time the learning will be via Blogging201. Does everyone have their seatbelts on? The seats do not have to be in an upright position. Comfort is my aim. Bring it on Blogging201—-
Today’s assignment: consider what you want to accomplish with your blog. Write down three concrete goals. For bonus points, write a post detailing your blog’s goals and publish it. Making your goals public ups your accountability. Your readers will cheer you on, and might even find ways to help you achieve your goals.
So there you go I have completed my 1st assignment of Blogging201. Yes, I am still working on completing Photo101. I shall not worry about that at this time.
if anyone has any ideas or suggestions on how I might meet my goals, feel free to let me in on them.
When I first started this blog, I had no idea what to do or where to go with it. All I knew was that I felt better when I wrote shit down.
Here we are roughly 6 months later….
I became obsessive over completing Blogging101. See my history and you might understand why. I learned so much from this course. I was wicked new to blogging and I was learning stuff that a woman of my age should know. widgets, image widgets, feature, Know your audience, INSPIRATION…. COMMUNITY!!!!
I did not expect or have any clue that starting a blog came with such a fantastic community. I am very grateful I was led to WordPress. Yes Lily Pup you are to blame for that.
After Blogging101 came Writing101. I am proud to say I did well with this class. The obsession I had during Blogging101 was not present. Damnitall. I read a blog post recently where the writer talks about swearing, I’ve been swearing ever since. It is part of my Distinct Voice, which I also learned about in writing101. I learned so much more than I could have ever anticipated.
Writing 101 is where I received my first bit of criticism. Maybe it was Blogging 101? It truly does not matter now. The assignment was to write about your home. I requested constructive criticism and I got it. It basically said, “show me, Don’t tell me.” Funny how one of the very next assignments was “Show me, Don’t tell me.”
Hmmmmmmmm !!!! I wonder what is in store for me at the grocery store. Will I be wicked late or Right on Time?
I parked in a most unusual spot. I usually do this shopping thing with my husband, but today I decided to venture out on my own. We usually find the best parking spot together.
I’ve been doing real well with the mental health crap stuff, so I figured “Why not give it a Go?”
As I start walking toward the entrance, I spot a woman wearing my husband’s work shirt. I just assumed it was a coworker as no one has this shirt in this color.
I thought to myself, “odd, such a nice day why is she not at work?” I approached her saying, “Hi there, You must know Jax?”
“No, why did ask that?” she questioned.
“That is his work shirt. Where did you get it?” As obsessive thoughts kick into high gear in my brain, I completely forgot that she should not have access to this shirt.
As the woman briefly looked down then back up to meet my eyes, she responded with “At the salvation army. I liked the color.”
“Do you have kids? Jax works there.”
“My kids are in their 30’s, but I have 11 grandkids.”
“As long as there is 1 under 12 you can get in. Jax works there. He is their favorite, he can get you in for free. It is a wicked expensive place. He is there favorite. Do you have a pen? crap! I always carry one, but not today.”
“I have one in my car.”
“Then, let’s go,” I smiled. Not realizing that my friendliness could be construed as total NutBag Material.
“Is Jax your brother?” She asked as it dawns on me. The Idiot i can be at times pipes up, with “the short hair and way I am dressed, add in the cough induced raspy voice and I look and sound like a teenage boy.”
“Jax is my husband. This is my number, I am Emily. Just call me when you want to go.”
“Wow thank you so much. I’ve always wanted to go there too. I just want to spend the whole day walking around.”
“No problem, it can be wicked expensive to go. My mom and I go all the time. We sit and relax there in the Adirondack chairs scattered about. The many animals come to us.”
“I am Darlene nice to meet you.”
When I got home I had more time to think. I saw it from my Husband’s work point of view. No one has these shirts. No one!!!! I need to call him.
Then I started to see it from Darelne’s point of view. “Who is this crazy person talking to me about my t-shirt? I only picked it cuz of the color. I’m embarrassed, but I don’t know if this is a girl or a guy? The short hair, hoarse voice, the glasses could be female, bulky sweatshirt…. I can’t believe this is happening out of the blue. My son was just telling me he wished he could take his kids there, but it is so expensive. Now out of the blue, someone in a grocery store parking lot, I don’t even know is offering me free admission.”
“This is so not America 2015.”
On the drive home, she thought long and hard over what just happened. I was just told the other day that I needed to learn to trust others. Maybe this is my test? Some real strange crap has been happening lately, maybe I should just go with it. If I don’t call, nothing can happen. If I do call; it could be a wrong number, or they don’t know what I am talkin about, or I get to splurge and take my grandkids to the Center. I think I know what to do. I don’t even have to think about it. I will make the call despite my hatred of phones. If they answer I don’t know what I will do. I can hang up, talk, or hopefully get to leave a message. Yes, a message would be best. I can do this. I can do this for my Grambabies.
And to think I was going to die tonight. I was ready to end my life. The Rolling Stones said it best, “But if you try sometimes you get what you need.”
I’ve been Wicked obsessing again. I can’t really focus on random obsessive thoughts today because it is so much more than just thoughts right now. My brain feels like a family size pot of Obsessive Thought Soup, anxiously simmering on the wood stove. OTS should not be confused with LPS or Llama Poop Soup which in itself can be obsessive, but is a completely different kind of soup.
Okay, my most prevalent recent obsessions are as follows….
I tried sitting with the thoughts and letting them go. I tried distraction as a way to rid myself of these thoughts. Old negative coping techniques no longer work so I shall not even go there. I could verbally rant, but I don’t feel like bothering anyone else with my batshitcrazy way of thinking right now. Maybe if I take each named obsession one by one and rant a bit, they will lessen. If I do this right, I should be able to rid myself of these obsessive thoughts, complete Obsessive Thought Thursday (maybe a day early even), do some work on Photo101, and release from my mind the other close-ups I’ve been obsessing over.
I do believe I am feeling an increase in anxiety which may be causing an increase in obsessive thoughts which definitely is causing more anxiety which leads to compulsions…………….OR did the obsessive thoughts start first which led to the elevation of anxiety which led to more obsessive thoughts which in turn led to compulsions……………All I know is I am obsessing. Other coping skills did not work, so right now I am attempting to rant them away by writing. I shall write those obsessions right out of me. Write and rant about obsessions in order to rid myself of those same obsessions. Is this making sense to anyone???? I think I may have confused even myself. I refuse to add to the anxiety by starting to obsess over the # of times I just wrote “right” and “write” or obsess over those run-on sentences I let stay.
Ah, I just took a break for breathing. Breaks for deep breaths are good AND I completely forget about them almost all of the time. How come the stuff that is the best for me when I obsess and feel anxiety are the last things I remember to try? If I didn’t mind bothering other human beings, the very 1st thing they would have told me to do is BREATHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Each and Every One of them would have said in a firm, yet tender voice, STOP and BREATHE!!!! and not in a loud voice either. I have been doing very well with firm, yet tender prompts. “No, buts, just STOP and BREATHE.” They may have to repeat it. And possibly repeat it again, but it helps.
Time to stop ranting and writing and hit save. This breathing thing is calming me down. I am obsessing less and think that I just might be able to stop writing for now and maybe eat supper. Who cares when I finish Photo101? I can’t just pull photo’s out of my
ass, I mean hat, to match the subject of the assignment in the order they are assigned. Look at this past weeks weekly challenge. It just happened to be close-ups. To start, I went looking for close-ups. After I published my 1st attempt, close-up opportunities kept popping up everywhere. Inspiration can come from anywhere.
Day Seven of Photo101 Big & Point of View. Ah screw it. I am feeling better. Less obsessive, and no anxiety. I am no longer obsessing over finishing Photo101. I also did tomorrow’s regular weekly feature today. So that leaves time open tomorrow to work on last months Photo101 assignments. and I forgot my 5:32 PM Ativan again. So here’s to Obsessing or to Not obsessing. I much prefer not.
My original close-ups I took the other day. These new ones I just found on my computer. Facebook is so good at reminding you of things.
I took these quite a few years ago. So they would be my first evah attempt at a close-up. Maybe there is a little bit of a photographer in me yet.
I never did find out if the cocoon was related to the caterpillar or not. I just loved the colors of both.
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