Tag Archives: intense

Dealing with Adversity when You Feel A LOT

 

I love naps, in the thought book, by Marie D. Tiger 2013.
I love naps, in the thought book, by Marie D. Tiger 2013.

 

It’s been a bit quiet for a while here on the blog. I have been dealing with some suprising and sudden changes. So I thought this blog post could be about dealing creatively with adversity.

What helps?

– Allow yourself to feel everything, uncensored, no matter how conflicting, crummy, hateful, wallowy, self-pitying or bitter the thoughts may seem to your rational mind. Let the feelings move. You do this by simply observing and feeling. When you feel tempted to judge yourself, go back to sensing what your ear feels, what you see around you in the room, how the soles of your feet move on the floor or in your shoes.

– When your thoughts are racing over hurful comments or rehashing what has happened over and over in a hamsterwheely fashion, choose a word that’s neutral to you and doesn’t awaken any strong feelings (oatfield, cucumber, rice or truck work for me) and repeat it to yourself, fast, over and over again. This reboots the thinking process for a while. You may need to do this a few times to change tracks.

– Allow many versions of reality to be true at the same time. The adversity you are facing may be a closing door and an opening window to a new opportunity, at the same time as it pisses you off.

– Take lots of naps, use all of your relaxation techniques and tools, read uplifting books that you can connect with, listen to angry music, break a few dishes in the sink, watch movies where people go through big challenges and come out on the other side.

– Move your body. It doesn’t matter if it’s yoga, running, dancing, walks or horseriding. Your body wants to help you get through this.

– If the adversity you’re facing pushes your money buttons, try two things: Write a to do list about everything you need to do financially, the bills you need to pay, the people you need to contact, everything. Then take a time out. When panic hits, look at the to do list and reassure yourself that you are taking the situation seriously and responsibly. Then, with a conscious choice, move your awareness to your now moment and your basic needs. Are you bodily safe? Is your belly full? Do you need to sleep? Take care of your immediate needs and reassure yourself that this moment, you are in a safe space.

– Ask for support. Dare be vulnerable. Say no to obligations first and then share as much as you want about what has happened and how you feel about your situation in this moment. People will support you more than you can ever believe.

– To the people closest to you, describe what you are doing to cope. Sometimes we look perfectly competent on the outside, although every moment is a struggle. When you tell your loved one what you are doing to remain active solving problems and not crashing, it is easier for them to support you in loving yourself, because the inner work you’re doing becomes visible to them.

– Remember that your point of power is in the present. No matter what has happened, right now you can choose to be your own friend. You can appreciate yourself, take care of yourself and let yourself feel whatever it is that is happening in you.

– Last but not least, remember that you can always draw, paint, write, mold, sing, dance, vocalize or in other ways express what is happening inside of you. The mere act of getting it outside of yourself can give you clarity.

 

The Terrifying Unknown. thought book 2013, by MDT.
The Terrifying Unknown. thought book 2013, by MDT.

 

Do any of these tips resonate? Is there anyone you know, who is facing difficulties who could find this blog post useful?

 

Day 2 of Scintilla – The Truth of Howl

2013_momandme

Prompt 1 : When did you realise you were a grown up? What did this mean for you? Shock to the system? Mourning of halcyon younger days? Or the embracing of the knowledge that you can do all the cool stuff adults do: drink wine, go on parent-free vacations, eat chocolate without reprimand?

The first thing that hits me seeing this question, is a pulling back. No, I don’t want to look at that and I do not want to write about that. So I go hang some laundry, copy paste Within Temptation’s CD into my music box and heat up a serving of potato casserole.

What came to mind while hanging my wet work clothes on the line in the living room is a memory. I’m sitting at work, my caramel latte is standing beside the aqua colored Mac. The coffee is still steaming in its sturdy paper cup. Maria is sitting behind the screen that is dividing our work space, typing away at her interviews. There is an air of camaraderie in the room. The lighting is soft, the day is just beginning.

My work phone starts ringing. I answer. It’s my mother. Relief warms my stomach. She has moved out from my childhood ocher brick house. We’ve been driving around Herttoniemi with my dad in shared embarrassment, trying to catch a glimpse of her to find out where she lives. Her voice is rank with booze, I feel my world start spinning and I’m grateful, knowing it’s only on the inside.

– “Hello my sweet darling, my rose, my honeybee, I am so unhappy,” she says.

– “Hi Mom.”

I am wordless in this connection with my mom, my former best friend, comfort, my everything. There is no trace in her anymore that I recognize and the yearning for her is the strongest pain I have felt. Despite the depression I have lived with several years, this pain is more visceral, less thought based, more like something precious is being ripped apart and destroyed in my body, something that changes my past forever.

– “Mom, I miss you, where are you?”

– “He beats me, you know, he calls me such horrible names. I will kill myself.” Mom has speaks with difficulty. I hope my face gives nothing away so nobody notices what is happening.

– “Mom, tell me where you are right now. I will take a taxi and take you home or to a women’s shelter or where ever you want to go.” My hand is shaking, I move my other hand to support it, so I can keep the phone to my ear.

– “No no no, sweetie, my beloved, I will tell you if I need help. I don’t need any help. I’m independent now. Don’t you go telling me what to do.”

I want to stop her from using endearments with her reeking white wine breath. They are mine, they are between me and my real mom, the one I still believe in. Don’t mess with my memories, Mother. But I don’t say anything. I have to keep it together. I’m at work.

After the call is finished, I’m no closer to finding out where she lives, I don’t know if she will live or die. The police, social workers and AA personnel all tell me there is nothing to do. It will be another ten years before I accept that statement.

Maria asks me to go get lunch together, chunky canned pineapples, yoghurt and banana. Creamy whites and fresh yellows. I walk into the bathroom first, put my head between my knees for a little while. Breathe. Let the tears flow. Breathe through the fathomless intensity that billows in my chest. But not too loudly, because somebody is doing her make-up in the mirror outside the stall I’m sitting in.

I’m an adult now.

 

Prompt 2: No one does it alone. Write a letter to your rescuer or mentor (be it a person, book, film, record, anything). Share the way they lit up your path.

Dear Mom (Rakas Äiti)

I’m taking part in this project called the Scintilla. You’ll be happy to know that I am taking steps to create my Dream of being a Writer. For two weeks I am sharing my writing, instead of hiding it in my little electronic thought book. I just wrote about the time you called me and threatened to kill yourself. It felt good, in a way, to open up the mom-book. We talk seldom, these days.

When I read the second prompt, I thought I would write about Richard Bach, whose book The Bridge Across Forever helped me keep up the faith that there would be kindred souls out there in the world, flesh and blood friends, instead of books only.

But I want to write to you, Äiti. Because no matter how you choose to live your life today and no matter how your pain is spattered on everyone who loves you, you were also my first hero and first love. I couldn’t have done it without you.

 

You filled my world with love.

 

There were Saturday mornings, the scent of coffee, joy in your eyes when you saw me. Wriggling close to you. Your voice when you read Marjaanan helmikruunu for the thousandth time. Your handwriting on the decorated small notes that waited on my pillow when I came home from a movie night with a friend, saying how much you loved me. The multipage letters that you wrote to me when I was in Switzerland as an exchange student.

I have recovered my memories of you, Äiti. Walked into the rooms in my heart’s landscape with a flashlight, looked for them, piece by piece. They look different now, there are some overlaps, some missing pieces, thick grooves of glue.

There are no easy answers.. But I accept what is, now. I respect your freedom. I see the precious wild value of who you are, despite my bewilderment. Äiti, rakastan sinua. I love you. Thank you for being my everything, the first eighteen years of life. Thanks to you I am open to love, I know gentleness, I never wear navy and black at the same time and I love gemstones.

Äiti, you continue to prompt me in loving beyond reason. Thank you for being you.

 

A Moment in Life

paint1_turquoise

Here again
Welcome shadowlands, non-verbal, diffuse, intangible
mush-consciousness
Yeah, I know the rewards are great
But man oh man is this the longest
incubation phase Ev-er?!
So niiiice to be in transition. Again.

And oh yeah. I do know I chose this path
insisted, in fact.
But can I just groan a little?
At not knowing, just waiting, musing, for the miracle
of birth.
Like all births, messy, bloody and gory.
But inside. Always inside.

A memory; at thirteen, telling my Dad about
being a mystic, not using that word,
just trying to describe this sense of urgency
Inside.
As everything else, it was met by incomprehension
because I wasn’t talking about going to Hanken.
This time I was probably lucky, though.
Some other Dad, might have freaked out
just a bit,
hearing his thirteen year old princess
saying she had chosen this family as a soul &
decided to be born
to understand the Fabric of Reality.

So God Bless that absent minded loving
Father of mine
and his benevolent refusal to pay
For my longing to move to New Mexico
to live in a spiritual community,
or join Up With People & travel the world dancing and singing,
or for the motorcycle I wanted.
His determined resistance to my Dreams,
has helped me create precise discernment
for What Matters Most.

Thus, this Mystic has a brilliant, loving
free free free man at home,
two crystal passionate children with him,
Lots of laundry, dirty dishes, dust
and other signs of life
To keep me grounded grounded grounded
in yet another Shift
in the Fabric of Reality.

And I am strong enough.
to stand in this intensity
open up wide to the unknown
let it rush through me, breathe
Heavy metal in my ears, matching the intensity
of this internal rush.