Tag Archives: decisions

Thoughtful Thursday #253 – Affirmations

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Affirmations are those positive thoughts and words that are said internally and out loud over and over until you believe them and see the truth of them.

Simpler said than done, but saying affirmations do help make one feel better.

If you go back to negative thinking very quickly, it’s because of the long-standing criticism you have of yourself. It’s OK. You can redirect your thinking at any time.

If you find resistance when you are saying positive affirmations then that is where you have an issue to look at.

Practicing affirmations is the key to making them work. It takes at least a month of speaking kind words, compassionate words, uplifting words to yourself.

Here are two of my favorite affirmations.

I believe in myself.

I approve of myself.

And you can also research the subject on-line. Louise Hay was a pioneer in positive affirmations and her audiobooks are free online.

 

 

Thoughtful Thursday – #244 – Stream of Consciousness Writing

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I usually write with stream of consciousness because it’s easy and therapeutic. Here’s an article about several writers who use this method very effectively. From Quiklit.com.

10 WRITERS WHO USE STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS BETTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE

By May Huang

A narrative technique that has perplexed and fascinated readers for centuries, the stream of consciousness technique has been used by many writers to trace the seamless (and oft erratic) musings of characters such as Mrs. Dalloway and Stephen Dedalus. Below are 10 writers whose works – ranked amongst the finest in English literature – feature the stream of consciousness technique.

Okay, but what is Stream of Consciousness?

Stream of Consciousness is a type of writing that originated with the works of psychologist William James (Brother of Novelist Emeritus Henry James). Basically, its purpose is to emulate the passage of thought through your mind without any inhibitors. For that reason, sentences become longer, less organized and more sporadic in style. Its lack of structure is not for everybody, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any order. Stream of consciousness permits deeper patterns of order to emerge, ones based on the genuine movement of information in your brain. It also permits writers to simulate different forms of consciousness, such as dreams, comas, drug use and hallucinatory seances.

  1. Dorothy Richardson

Considered the pioneer of the stream-of-consciousness technique, 20th century British author Dorothy Richardson was the first author to publish a full length stream-of-consciousness novel: Pointed Roofs. In fact, it was in reviewing Pointed Roofs that British author May Sinclaire first coined the term ‘stream-of-consciousness’ in April 1918.

On one side was the little grey river, on the other long wet grass repelling and depressing. Not far ahead was the roadway which led, she supposed to the farm where they were to drink new milk. She would have to walk with someone when they came to the road, and talk. She wondered whether this early morning walk would come, now, every day. Her heart sank at the thought.” from Pointed Roofs

  1. William Faulkner

Recipient of both the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, American author William Faulkner used the stream of consciousness technique to great effect in The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, exploring the depths of different characters’ inner conflict through disjointed, unpunctuated narrative. In one short paragraph, the reader is at once exposed to different smells, sounds and movement:

“Nonsense you look like a girl you are lots younger than Candace color in your cheeks like a girl A face reproachful tearful an odor of camphor and of tears a voice weeping steadily and softly beyond the twilit door the twilight-colored smell of honey suckle. Bringing empty trunks down the attic stairs they sounded like coffins […]” – from As I Lay Dying

  1. James Joyce

Dublin born writer James Joyce employed the stream-of-consciousness style in all of his novels, including Finnegans WakeA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and – of course – the 1000-page, 265,000-word long Ulysses. It is easy to get lost in any paragraph in the novel, as the protagonist Stephen Dedalus guides us quickly – and disjointedly – through his thoughts and surroundings. One moment he is asking himself, “Would you go back to then?” and the next he is on Grafton street, pondering whether to buy a pincushion while the “jingle of harnesses” sounds in his ears. Then, out of the blue, he answers himself and concludes that it would be “useless to go back.” Next thing you know, he’s moved on to Duke Street and we’re not quite sure how he – or we – got there.

  1. Virginia Woolf

 

Recognized as the most important feminist writer (and perhaps one of the most important writers in general) of all time, Virginia Woolf used the stream-of-consciousness technique to great significance in her work. Paying scrupulous attention to detail and describing even “the footman’s hand,” “parcels and umbrellas.” Woolf takes readers through different minds, perspectives and surroundings in Mrs. Dalloway. She makes us wonder who is speaking – and about what.

  1. Marcel Proust

French writer Marcel Proust also used the stream-of-consciousness style in his works, notably in the seven-volume long Remembrance of Things Past, in which even the simple childhood memory of eating a petite madeleine plunges one into the “vast structure of recollection.” Reading Proust, one is caught up in the taste and smell of the pastry, “the water-lilies on the Vivonne” and “Sunday mornings at Combray” – all of which are memories that converge in the narrator’s stream of consciousness.

  1. Jack Kerouac

American writer Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is now remembered as one of the defining novels of the Beat Generation – as well as a modern example of stream-of-consciousness writing. Originally written over a course of 3 weeks on one scroll of paper (deemed the ‘original scroll’),On the Road is based on Kerouac’s road trip across America, a journey at times vividly recounted in continuous stream-of-consciousness prose, fusing both description of land and memory:

The brown hills led off towards Nevada; to the South was my legendary Hollywood; to the North the mysterious Shasta country. Down below was everything: the barracks where we stole our tiny box of condiments, where Dostioffski’s tiny face had glared at us […]” from On the Road

  1. José Saramago

Portuguese Nobel Prize Laureate Jose Saramago, like Woolf, also liked to alternative between narratives and use stream-of-consciousness in his writing. In Blindness, Saramago uses long sentences and eschews quotation marks to enhance the seamlessness of his prose, allowing the stream-of-consciousness to run free of interruption:

The very air in the ward seemed to have become heavier, emitting strong lingering odours, with sudden wafts that were simply nauseating, What will this place be like within a week, he asked himself, and it horrified him to think that in a week’s time, they would still be confined here, Assuming there won’t be any problems with food supplies, and who can be sure there isn’t already a shortage, I doubt, for example, whether those outside have any idea from one minute to the next…” – from Blindness

  1. Samuel Backett

The second French writer on this list, Samuel Beckett used the stream of consciousness technique in his Three Novels (Molloy, Malone Dies and the Unnamable) to deliver a stream of observations and musings on time and existence. In fact, Molloy defies conventional grammar and tense rules in order to emphasize the continuity of the narrator’s non-stop train of thought:

What shall I do? What shall I do? now low, a murmur, now precise as the headwaiter’s And to follow? and often rising to a scream. And in the end, or almost, to be abroad alone, by unknown ways, in the gathering night, with a stick.” – from Molloy

  1. Fyodor Dostoevsky

Although Crime and Punishment is Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s best-known work, his 1864 novella Notes from Underground also sits amongst the classics of Russian literature. Throughout the novel, the ‘Underground Man’ expresses his continuous train of thought through long, comma-filled sentences (even in brackets).

If you take, for instance, the antithesis of the normal man, that is, the man of acute consciousness, who has come, of course, not out of the lap of nature but out of a retort (this is almost mysticism, gentlemen, but I suspect this, too), this retort-made man is sometimes so nonplussed in the presence of his antithesis that with all his exaggerated consciousness he genuinely thinks of himself as a mouse and not a man. It may be an acutely conscious mouse, yet it is a mouse, while the other is a man, and therefore, et caetera, et caetera.” – from Notes from Underground

  1. Toni Morrison

83 year old African American author Toni Morrison published several books on slavery, the most compelling of which is undoubtedly Beloved. The story of a ‘ghost baby’ who returns to her family in the form of a grown woman, Beloved is both a harrowing tale about the horrors of slavery as it is a testament to the unrelenting power of memory. Morrison uses stream of consciousness in one of the final chapters to reveal the intermingling of three characters’ thoughts:

Beloved

You are my sister

You are my daughter

You are my face; you are me

I have found you again; you have come back to me

You are my Beloved

You are mine

You are mine

You are mine

I have your milk

I have your smile

I will take care of you

You are my face; I am you. Why did you leave me

who am you?” – from Beloved

 

 

Thoughtful Thursday #237 – Bad News Good News

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Bad News : trauma recovery work never ends. Trauma stays in your DNA, in your subconscious, in your dreams, in your worries, in your decision-making, in your choices. Trauma is embedded in your cells.

Good News : trauma recovery is indeed possible, trauma recovery is uncomfortable and our defenses will throw many distractions at us because they think it’s dangerous to feel. When we are ready and can sit with being uncomfortable without running away something happens. We become healed, because we didn’t run away, we allowed and trusted the organic process of feeling what we have avoided for so long and allowed the experience to fade away. Is recovery a simple linear process, not at all. The results are worth the effort.

Thoughtful Thursday #235 – Mind Blindness

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Mind blindness is my code for believing anything you are told or believe to be true, especially when it is not.

Mind blindness causes prejudice, destructive false beliefs, tons of fear, missed opportunities, misrepresentation, isolation, sadness and creates many reasons to thwart camaraderie and friendship.

It is no easy feat to see our own mind blindness yet so easy to see it in others. It is easier to judge rather than see our own huge false beliefs disguised by mind blindness.

First, let’s start by uncovering our own false beliefs about ourselves, let’s stop beating ourselves up as not good enough, or rich enough, or wise enough or good-looking enough.

Let’s acknowledge that we have our blind spots but we have so much to add to the world. Let’s be open and honest enough to examine and question our own mind blindness.

Ask questions, why do I believe as I do, why do those I know act as they do, what is the truth behind that mystery that is bothering you.

You may be very surprised at the result of questioning your own mind blindness. The more we question what we believe the more open we we are to understanding no only ourselves but most other people too.

 

Thoughtful Thursday #232 Grief

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It is not easy to feel grief, we avoid it at all costs with distractions galore.

Allowing yourself to feel grief and cry and rage and weep are very healing actions to take you forward.

Grief that is not felt is invisible and holds you back. Clues that you are not feeling grief is lots of unfounded fear, perhaps you feel numb, anxious.

How can you get to a point where you can organically feel grief? Writing, talking to someone you trust, exercise, getting educated on recognizing grief, find a support group, being really good to yourself because you are hurting.

Grief work is a very personal journey, there is no timeframe, no right and wrong to process grief and your coping strategy will belong only to you. Only you have to validate this.

Is grief work easy, no it is not. It’s uncomfortable, the good news is that every opportunity you have to process and express grief the quicker it goes away.

 

Thoughtful Thursday #229 – Step Away From The Mess

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Step away from generational family dysfunction.

Step away from emotionally dangerous and perverted people.

Step away from escaping the way you feel.

Step away from codependency.

Step away from tolerating the unacceptable.

Step away from self-doubt and sabotage.

 

Step Towards Yourself, Your Recovery, Your Self Acceptance, Your Wholeness, Your Healing, Your Opportunities, Your Wonderful Life.

Celebrate your success and know you have come very far already.

Thoughtful Thursday #228 – The Perfect Sin

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Complicit silence means to remain silent and complicit of a questionable act.

Complicit means involved in some wrongdoing.

Willful ignorance means refusing to be informed in bad faith otherwise known as ignoring the facts.

This amounts to a perfect sin, the sinner is perfectly lazy in not making effort to check facts, rethink their beliefs and opinions, being afraid of being wrong and knowing on some level they are actually wrong or actually getting involved in knowing truth in any significant way and staying close minded and blindly following along as if nothing is wrong.

These sinners are witness to domestic violence, child abuse, animal cruelty, bullying, turning away instead of helping, cheering wrongdoing because they are too passive to be a fighter and a sundry of crimes against our fellow-man.

Complicit silence and willful ignorance are mutual pals, can’t have one without the other. Both are incredibly harmful.

If you feel you can’t get involved and are a  witness to an injustice then say a prayer to your favorite deity for a positive outcome.

Send good wishes and pure feeling to the offended party.

And…………. you can call the appropriate authorities anonymously, talk to a mental health professional for advice, take an active part in getting involved to help save someone’s life by getting informed. If the offended is a child talk to their teacher. It’s OK to be courageous even if you are scared.

None of this is easy, but to remain in complicit silence and willful ignorance is so very harmful to all involved.

If you are a recipient of complicit silence and willful ignorance don’t remain quiet, fight back, find a way to get out of there, don’t give up. You are worth the effort. And you deserve the best life.

 

Thoughtful Thursday #221 – Flashbacks

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I have had two strong flashbacks that has kicked my complex trauma response into high gear. That’s the thing with C-PTSD flashbacks, it places me in two worlds. The world of the past and the present.

Flashbacks are important in trauma recovery but not at all easy to process. Flashbacks are a necessary part of healing. You can’t heal if you don’t feel.

At this time there is a part of me that feels it’s safe enough to allow a repressed memory to surface. I am thankful for that. Doing this kind of work and the willingness to feel the feelings of the past uncovers underlying traumatic emotions.

Once the repressed feelings come to the surface it is easier to make positive change, stay in the present moment and get happy again.

Dissociative Amnesia

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Here are bits and pieces of an article about Dissociative Amnesia from the blog: TraumaDissociation.com.

 

3 Types of Dissociative Amnesia - localized, selective and generalized

 

Dissociative Amnesia Dissociative amnesia is the most common Dissociative Disorder. There are several different types of amnesia, and many different causes. Dissociative Amnesia is not caused by head injuries or physical damage to the brain, it is amnesia which has a psychological cause. It can occur as part of a number of other mental health conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder and acute stress disorder, dissociative identity disorder, somatoform disorder, and anxiety disorders, [3]:298, [7] in any of those cases it would not be classed as a separate disorder. Dissociation Amnesia can last for between a few days to a few years, but is typically less than a week.[4] The period of time which cannot be remembered can range from minutes to decades. Read more: http://traumadissociation.com/dissociativeamnesia

Because there is no neurobiological damage or toxicity, and the difficulties are in retrieving a memory which was successfully stored, the amnesia is always “potentially reversible”. [3]:298-299, [7] Neurocognitive disorders involving memory loss usually include cognitive (thinking) and intellectual impairments in memory, these are not present in people Dissociative Amnesia. [3]:300-301 Dissociative amnesia is more likely in people with a history of multiple adverse childhood experiences (especially if they include physical or sexual abuse), people who have experienced interpersonal violence (for example, domestic violence or physical assaults), and the risk increases with the “severity, frequency, and violence of the trauma”. [3]:298-299 Clinical interviews to diagnose Dissociative Amnesia include the SCID-D (revised) by Dr Marlene Steinberg, and the Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule (DDIS). Both of these are capable of diagnosing any dissociative disorder and a number of other disorders as well. [1]:124 Read more: http://traumadissociation.com/dissociativeamnesia

The three common types of dissociative amnesia are localized amnesia, selective amnesia (which may occur along with localized amnesia), and generalized amnesia. Generalized amnesia may involve the complete loss of a person’s identity, in addition to all memories of their past. Other forms of dissociative amnesia can also occur; people with generalized amnesia (the most severe type) may also lose semantic knowledge (previous knowledge about the world) and procedural knowledge (forgetting well-learned skills). [3]:298-299 Systematized amnesia is amnesia for a category of information (e.g., no memory of family, no memory of a specific person, or childhood sexual abuse). Continuous amnesia is unable to form new memories. [3]:298-299 Micro-amnesias are also typical in dissociative disorders, the amnesia is for very, very brief periods of time. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation gives the example of forgetting the contents of a conversation from one moment to the next. The person may struggle to work out what was discussed while trying to avoid the other person realizing this. [7] Dissociative Amnesia has been previously known as Psychogenic Amnesia, and Hysterical Amnesia. Read more: http://traumadissociation.com/dissociativeamnesia

Dissociative amnesia occurring with fugue should be treated as soon as possible; psychotherapy is the recommended treatment. This should involve a safe environment for therapy and a strong therapeutic alliance. Treatment goals include the recovery of the person’s identity, identifying the triggers linked to the start of the fugue, and working through the traumatic material. Medication given during interviews, and hypnosis may be also help.[7] Recovery is often rapid. [8] When memories begin to return a person often experiences emotions such as grief, rage, shame, guilt, depression and inner turmoil. Many people with Dissociative Amnesia develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder at some point in their lives. [3]:302 Read more: http://traumadissociation.com/dissociativeamnesia

Crying

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We cry in response to emotions like sadness, anger, grief,  frustration,  even happiness and joy.

There’s wailing, weeping, blubbering, lamenting, whimpering, all out bawling to the point of throwing up.

I have a hard time crying in front of others, however, in private I can really let it out. After crying I feel exhausted yet empty.

There is a soothing effect to crying, and can elicit support from others, relieve stress, restore emotional balance, and helps recover from grief.

No matter what you have heard or what you believe about crying: it’s perfectly OK to cry for as long as you want in any way that you want and you will not fall apart, you are not weak or defective.

I guarantee that even if the problem that causes you to cry persists, crying when you need it, will restore your balance.

Take that moment you need to deeply feel what is causing you to cry. You deserve to be relieved of pain.