Mental Wellness Challenge – 2021, May 07
This past week has been Mental Health Week. The theme was “Name It”. Name what you are feeling. I often BLOG about this idea – and I hope that you were able to participate, in some way, in thinking about, talking about and sharing the need for Mental Health Awareness in your circle.
Last week I challenged you to:
- Read something you wouldn’t normally set to. If you read novels, read a news paper… if you only read scholarly articles, read some fiction, read a poem… just move your mind outside of your “normal”.
- Look at your face in the mirror. Look right into your eyes and tell those eyes that you are wonderful. Do this two times each day. (This is a super powerful exercise for me. I tend to struggle with value and worth… and this exercise helps me FEEL my own love.)
- Take 10 minutes… Look for shapes in the clouds… see how many animals or geometric shapes or whatever in the clouds… Enjoy the beauty that is right there…
I did a good job of my challenge this past week.
I read some fiction that I wouldn’t normally do – a book called “TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN” by John Green. He writes for youth about mental health…(The title of the book comes from a story about a scientist relating the history of the earth and the contrasting view of an old woman who believes the earth is a flat plain that rests on the back of a never ending stack of turtles, on turtle on the back of another, on the back of another… Turtles all the way down.) This story is about young girl named AZA who struggles with OCD and all the stuff that comes with it. The spirals of inner turmoil due to her OCD are constant challenges that permeate her entire experience. It’s a good story… not all fluffy…
While I didn’t get into my mirror exercise every day – I did push myself to do it more than I usually do – which is not much at all. It really does help me to pluck the negativity out of my bucket and to focus more on the positives I see and feel.
I saw dogs and horses and hearts and all sorts of shapes in the clouds. Some of the days this past week have been pretty overcast, but even in those overcast skies, there is beauty – I just have to look a little harder for it… There’s a lesson in there for me!
This week has been – well – different for me. For a bunch of reasons, I suppose. I struggled with a number of things… stuff mostly… The usual – Some stuff I can influence, other stuff I can’t… I caught myself really struggling trying to change the things in my experience that I am powerless to change…
Back room deals… I read a piece recently about a politician that is seeking a seat in Canadian government through the process of making backroom deals with another political party… Trying to garner votes from the other parties candidate to make his chances of being elected better… in exchange for his party backing off on their candidate in another riding… I supposed this is just politics – but it seems underhanded or conniving to me… which, in my opinion – tends to suit this particular candidate to a tee…
Anyway – that piece set me to thinking about the backroom deals I make with myself in my own experience. I am 100% aware of the manipulative games that I play with myself. I have a good idea where I learned the games and the “art” of the twist… This is a piece of my experience that I have to stay on top of. If I don’t stay at the helm and watch where I am going, I WILL end up talking myself into “things” that don’t need to be. “Life by crisis” is one way I that I have described this.
These backroom deals show up in all sorts of different ways… Perhaps something like – If I just do this for this long, then I can ‘get away’ with that… The this and the that can be insignificant or consequential…
Making deals with myself… coercing my self I suppose. Its not so bad I guess when this deal making just relates to me, but sometimes it involves the people that my life touches. I work really hard to guard against that happening.
The thought comes to me that this “conflict of inner ethical concerns” could look a bit like the little demon on one shoulder and the little angle on the other… and I suppose there is a bit of that in what I am talking about – this is deeper than that to me. My inner roommate can be a dick sometimes… The roommate throws shade and confusion into spaces where there wasn’t any… So – this deal making is a different thing….
OK, so this isn’t really self motivation either… I 100% get that… exercise, lose weight, feel better, be healthier… so get after it. Save the moola, put away for the “toy” I want, reward myself with said toy… Study to gain a certification, get certification, etc… I’m totally for that.
This deal making really is more like a manipulation. Motivation for the wrong reasons… kinda like when I was a kid – I was super heavy… and my mother would try to get me to be more mindful of my weight by paying me to lose pounds… so much a pound… kinda like reverse weight watchers… Sure – I’d make an effort, lose some weight, get some money, buy junk food – rinse and repeat… That’s the kind of deal making that is going on… Very often its very much like I would imagine that this politician has on the go… make the deal, get the reward of the seat, then instead of being honorable about the agreement – just go ahead with his own agenda…
I have to be ON this when I see it coming up… and I believe that it’s the fact that I recognize the pattern in myself that this type of manipulation bothers me so much when I see it happening in other places… “If you spot it – you got it…” (Basically you can’t recognize that of which, you are not aware of.)
This week I’d like to challenge you to:
- Spin the clock back a bunch of years. Think back to a day – a long time past – that you were super happy. Think back to the events of the day. What was the reason you were happy? Who was there? What was the day like? Let yourself go back to that time and just ‘be’ there for a few minutes. Think about the scents in the air… try to remember the tiniest of details.
- Hold a loved one’s hand. You don’t need to talk or do anything other than just hold their hand. Feel the connection to that person through the tough of their hand.
- Give a close friend or family member a few minutes of your time. Call them. Talk to them. Listen to them. Be there for them.