Tag Archives: resistance

Thoughtful thursday #251 – Thoughts And Actions

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There are two things that we have complete control over. Our thoughts and actions. That is pretty much it.

Things that go on outside of us are uncontrollable. We may have a chance to use our own actions to influence the event. That is still controlling our actions. We can take an action that will influence our own lives or someone else’s in a positive way.

We can’t stop our thoughts, that is the purpose of our mind is to think but we can stop useless thoughts by practicing redirecting our thoughts. For example, if someone is talking bad about you or someone else you can choose to stop those negative thoughts that put you down the rabbit hole of despair and change the subject to something positive.

Take note: This kind of mindfulness is not easy, when you start and you can expect your mind to resist change. This is good because resistance will show you where you need look at your own issues. Be kind to yourself as you make these positive changes, if you become distracted, redirect when you can. You are worth the effort.

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 #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.

 

The Universe Doesn’t Like You

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Both writer Steven Pressfield and Professor of Psychology Steven Pinker have stated in their writings that there is a quality of life that really doesn’t care about us. Namely the Universe at large.

Steven Pressfield calls it “Resistance” in his book The War of Art. Resistance is always there and never goes away and completely impersonal and out to get you.

In the interview with Steven Pinker on Think Big ” Is Human Nature Evil” says the Universe leans toward destruction and chaos rather than out to help you.

I believe both of them.  Both also give an antidote for the unknown, chaos and unpredictability of outcomes in our lives.

  1. Don’t live isolated lives, disorder and chaos automatically increase unless we use our energy to get the information we need to create a purposeful life.
  2. We must use our own intelligence and energy and effort to make things work out.
  3. Expect that things will go wrong and keep persisting in your path.
  4. Life is an uphill battle.

It’s hard to not feel victimized by some of the dumb stuff that hurts you deeply. However, these statements are some of the hard realities in front of us.

Most people will do anything not to look at some of the harsher realities but in my opinion the hard realities are easier to take in very small doses.

So be gentle with yourself and take a step back. You will succeed in creating a wonderful life.

 

 

 

Grounding And Unsettled Thinking

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To ground oneself in an effort to gain healthy mental health is very necessary. It’s not easy because we get caught up stuck in our heads, thinking too much.

Grounding helps us to calm down our minds so we can get clarity. Grounding facilitates that emotional release we need to heal ourselves.

We can’t heal ourselves from unsettled thinking through a cerebral process. It doesn’t work that way. Our unexpressed emotions and unexpressed truths will consume us until they are looked at and this is where grounding comes in.

Here are a few examples of grounding that worked for me:

  1. focusing on the breath gradually working up to about 2 minutes.
  2. paying attention to what you are thinking and write it down.
  3. coming back to the present moment, what are you doing at that moment.
  4. meditation, quiet time, reflection.
  5. do artwork, draw, paint, doodle, sew, knit, woodwork any kind of crafts.
  6. write, even if it is a word, or sentence, write what you hear, write from the heart.
  7. listen to music, any music that you like.
  8. take a walk, breath in deep, look at nature, go to the ocean.
  9. take a different action, redirect your actions.
  10. exercise, any exercise is better than none.

Grounding is an important part of getting in touch with your body where a lot of negativity, hidden memories, and confusion  is stored.

Our mind needs grounding for clarity and our bodies need grounding to get rid of stored negativity, hidden memories and confusion that it holds.

By practicing grounding on a regular basis, even once a week reaps great benefit and help change your thinking by changing your emotional life for the better.

 

Betrayal

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One of the worst experiences one can have is to be betrayed. What is betrayal? It’s disloyalty, stabbed in the back, unfaithful, double crossed, tricked, given false information, or no information, misled, abandoned, let down, and deserted. You get the idea.

It’s that crushing feeling of shock, disbelief, anger, shame, and you want retribution and fight hard against denial of the betrayal because it hurts so much.

This is no easy feeling to deal with, it may take some time to process what is going on. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Have some detachment.
  2. Talk it out with a trusted friend.
  3. Feel the emptiness and grieve.
  4. Don’t act out irrationally.
  5. Make a recovery plan.
  6. Be really good to yourself.

The key to healing betrayal is to be self-aware and really good to yourself. Know that it is only a matter of time before you feel better.

Resistance

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Resistance is something I live with every day. It’s like a chronic illness. For me resistance keeps me from doing the things that I really want to do. The things I know are really good for me. I have created an inner barrier that sabotages my own efforts. Why does this happen?

There are many reasons all of us live with resistance here are a few.

Fear, maybe be don’t want to know the truth or are fearful of become uncomfortable with self-knowledge. Fear of the unknown, not realizing the need for a change, maintaining an old habit. Those are just a few reasons.

Resistance is part of the human condition. No one really likes change or makes changes quickly.

Rather, resistance to change can disappear in a very natural way.  Examining ourselves is a deep way will cause change to happen painlessly, automatically, organically. Uncovering, unblending, undoing what we have always done is the catalyst for positive, dramatic change in tiny steps.

Take the time to objectively look at your own beliefs and actions. Why are you believing those beliefs, why are you taking those actions. Are these beliefs learned somewhere along your life or are they your own? Are the actions you are taking in your comfort zone, why?

Ask these questions in a non judgmental way so your inner life trusts you to reveal the information you need.

Examining resistance is a life long self-care action. You are meant to progress not stand still.

Abandonment

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Here’s a list of what abandonment is from Susan Anderson’s book “The Journey from Abandonment to Healing” Pages 5 and 6. Susan Anderson has a blog with tons of information on the serious subject of “Abandonment”.

What is abandonment?

A feeling

A feeling of isolation within a relationship

An intense feeling of devastation when a relationship ends.

A primal fear – the raw element that makes going through heartbreak, divorce, separation or bereavement cut so deep

An aloneness not by choice

An experience from childhood

A baby left on a doorstep

A divorce

A woman left by her husband of twenty years for another woman

A man being left by his fiancée for some “more successful”

A mother leaving her children

A father leaving his children

A friend feeling deserted by a friend

A child whose pet dies

A little girl grieving over the death of her mother

A little boy wanting his mommy to come pick him up from nursery school

A child who feels replaced by the birth of another sibling

A child feeling restless because of his parents emotional unavailability

A boy realizing that he is gay and anticipating the reaction of his parents

A teenager feeling that her heart is actually broken

A teenage boy afraid to approach the girl he loves

A woman who has raised now grown children feeling empty as if she has been deserted

A child stricken with a serious illness watching his friends play while he must use a wheelchair or remain in bed

A woman who has lost her job and with it her professional identity, financial security and status

A man who has been put out to pasture by his company as if he is obsolete

A dying woman who fears being abandoned by loved one as much as or more that she fears pain and death

Abandonment is all of this and more. It’s wound is at the heart of human experience.

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You could add to the list but I think you get the message, the important thing here is to name what the feeling is.

Abandonment is so very painful, it is a feeling we have all experienced at one time or another. There is a PTSD component to abandonment which leaves it victims with shame, low self-esteem, and fear just to name a few of abandonment influences.

There is hope for survival and recovery, it will not be easy, you will have to do the important work of reaching deep within yourself and uncover the pain that is just below the surface of your awareness. Most of the time this work is not done alone. Counseling, or writing or exercising, read books on the subject, mindfulness and finding some way of getting to  the trauma that abandonment left behind.

You have to help yourself just enough to lift you. You are worth the effort. Don’t give up.

Symptoms of Depression

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To be clinically depressed one would have at least two symptoms almost every day for at least two weeks.

Very sad mood.

Loss of joy and interest in activities that used to be enjoyable.

Lack of energy and tiredness.

Feeling worthless and guilty for no good reason.

Wishing to be dead and thinking about it often.

Can’t concentrate and making decisions.

Unsettled and restless, sometimes too slow sometimes agitated.

Sleep difficulties.

Changes in eating habits.

This list is not all-inclusive and not everyone will exhibit all of these symptoms. Symptoms of depression affection emotion, thoughts, behavior and physical well-being.

The causes of depression are varied. A break up or living in conflict, poverty, unemployment, disability, victimization, victim of a crime, long-term illness, death of an important person, side effects of certain medication, stress of having another mental disorder like schizophrenia, withdrawal from substances, hormonal, there is also bipolar disorder depression, depression following childbirth, seasonal depression.

It is ideal to have early intervention but that is not always possible.

If you are suffering with any of these issues reach out to mental health care providers and if you are involved with someone who needs help remember the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan: ALGEE – Assess the risk of suicide or harm. L – Listen non judgmental. G-Give reassurance and information E-Encourage professional help. E-Encourage self-help and support strategies.

And of course if the situation is dangerous call 911.

Helpful Resources:

http://www.depression-screening.org

http://www.moodgym.anu.edu.au

American Psychiatric Association Answer Center _ 1-888-357-7924