Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sunset and leaves, spring at dusk

In beauty I walk.
With beauty before me, I walk.
With beauty behind me, I walk.
With beauty above me, I walk.
With beauty below me, I walk.
With beauty all around me, I walk.

It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.

Traditional Navaho prayer 

It's SkyWatch Friday!  May you walk in beauty today.

Friday, May 20, 2011

NAMI Basics

Friday and Saturday I'm helping to sponsor a NAMI Basics class in our community.  Hopefully we have a good turnout for our "Cram and Jam" session!  We are offering six weeks of classes in two packed days.

NAMI Basics is the signature education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses.  The NAMI Basics course is taught by trained teachers who are the parent or other caregivers of individuals who developed the symptoms of mental illness prior to the age of 13 years.

It's free and taught peer-to-peer because those who have been there understand the best.  NAMI is a great community resource if it's available.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mental Health Month Blog Party

There is a history of mental illness in my family, primarily depression.  I have suffered through bouts of it, been treated with medication, and ultimately learned to cope by changing my life in a number of ways.  Feeling depressed is not a party but recovery is worth celebrating.

How did I do it?  I learned to implement a set of skills that helped me stay mentally healthy.  I started taking responsibility for my life and my choices then quit blaming others for my problems.  I explored many spiritual paths, eventually discovering what works best for me.  I try to exercise regularly, eat well and get plenty of sleep.  I write in a journal and take pictures to express what's inside me.  I meditate and practice mindfulness.  I practice lovingkindness by helping other people.  I keep learning and growing.

Of course I still have down days and don't always do what I need to do, but I view my path as a spiral journey, ever evolving.

How about you?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

"When you are in your heart of hearts, you can see beyond appearances." -Carlos Santana

What do you know about mental health?  

The World Health Organization defines mental health as a "state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community."  

I think the feeling of well-being is the key to mental health. Mental health also requires resilience, balance, flexibility, and the ability to express who you really are inside.

Part of my work is to help remove the stigma from mental illness.  It's a brain disorder, a medical illness that affects one in every four people.  It's important to fight against hurtful representations of mental illness. The National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) does just that. Get yourself educated, or get help if you need it, it's ok.

This week I will be participating in the Mental Health Blog Party.  Check it out!

And that's what's going on in My World this week.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

April Showers

Eventually bring May flowers, right?  May 5 and we have one tulip blooming!

The last day of April looked like this:

Spring snowstorms are not always welcome but they are not unusual.  They do provide moisture so this week things are greening up and looking less brown.

This time of year the days are longer, the energy is increasing in the natural world,  and the earth is stirring again after a long winter's sleep.

Likewise, we start becoming more active and spend increasing amounts of time outside.  The pace of life picks up.

Best of all, kids come home from college!  Our oldest daughter is home now and I'm going to help my youngest daughter move home tomorrow.  We will be reunited as a family for the summer.  It's another kind of change, a welcome one.

Every day, every moment, our lives change.

Just like the skies at SkyWatch Friday.