Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Preparing for a Fight Toward the Light

and putting the house in order
because i suspect that we will be called on to fight for
the human rights we have previously taken for granted

the fight will be on many fronts
so making friends with
lawyers and entrepreneurs,
young and old,
rich, middle class and poor
mis-educated and educated
and people that are like me and not like me

and stockpiling skills for the post-election apocalypse :)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Quien Soy

There is a saying that you are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with.

In Spanish, the saying goes: Dime con quien andas y te diré quien eres.

When I think of my circle, my social support, I am grateful for their kindness, wisdom and love. I realize their words are on my brain and provide me guidance and soothing in unexpected times. Here's a sampling of my peeps...

 "We only learn from pain, so if you don't want to experience more pain then learn the lesson."
J. Swain

"We all have to learn how to bind our own anxiety."
J. Swain

"Parece que nunca se les ha presentado el diablo! No le tengo miedo al diablo ni a la suegra del diablo." 
L. Herrera

"Some people are happy to repeat [bad] patterns [in relationships]. I don't want to repeat patterns."
L. Chacón

"The people that love you will love you regardless. The people that hate you will hate you regardless."
M. Salazar

"Time is your friend."
P. Escudero

"We feel ambivalent about everything."
R. Simon

"I'm efficient because I'm lazy...I organize things and make them pretty...I'm a nerd."
C. Trinh

"Before I die, I want to be a grown up."
R. Gutierrez

"Fresh (not frozen) sushi grade ahi tuna and yellowtail always a plus. It's the creator's bounty from the sea."
R. Lopez

"I'm a nerd...We make a great team."
J. Martinez

"My life was good when I practiced transcendental meditation. Problems still occurred but I somehow managed everything better."
H. Myers

"Tu has tenido que batallar por todo - es una limpieza espiritual para ti...ya no pienses, deja que las cosas fluyan." 
S. Cadenas

"Death creeps in through the gums."
"I'm accumulating skills for the apocalypse."
"Right now I don't need you to tell me what I can do, I just want you to listen."
"Have you ever been embarrassed? Tell me a story of when you were my age and felt embarrassed."
P. Acuña-González

My books are my friends too. My mom went so far as to say that they were my true mother. It's no wonder that I underline and highlight and collect quotes from my favorites. Those are for another post...

Sunday, November 27, 2016


"...self-caring, including maintaining a healthy diet, getting sufficient sleep, and treating one's self with compassion, care, and kindness have been found to lower stress and promote positive psychological well-being (Leary & DeRosier, 2012)."

We are "parent-adult-child" in varying degrees - hopefully in balance.

The "adult" part of us is responsible for making self-loving choices in terms of diet, sleep, self-acceptance, self-respect and self-worth.

Sometimes it takes a lifetime to achieve this. I want my daughter to be so well-accustomed to self-caring that it becomes her default for life. It's one of my goals as her mom. Some days it's easier than others but I am tenacious.

Mad Skillz for the Apocalypse

"Research supports the existence of a number of factors that have been associated with positive responses in the face of stress, including 
  • social support and having a close social network  
  • taking care of one's self physically as well as mentally
  • possessing particular skills (i.e., self-regulation, cognitive flexibility) 
  • and the style with which one thinks about the past and future events (i.e., optimism, pessimism) (Leary & DeRosier, 2012)."
"Moreover, such factors seem to have a cumulative effect on stress such that persons possessing a greater number of protective factors are more likely to adapt positively in the face of stress and display resilience (Leary & DeRosier, 2012)."

As my teenage daughter would say, "I'm stockpiling skills for the apocalypse."

What skills get you through your own apocalyptic moments? And do those skills have side effects? The trick is stumbling upon skills that are safe and then stockpiling them so they crowd out the coping skills that hurt yourself and others.

Defining key terms:

Social support is the perception and actuality that one is cared for, has assistance available from other people, and that one is part of a supportive social networkSocial support means having friends and other people, including family, to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus and positive self-image. Social support enhances quality of life and provides a buffer against adverse life events. Social support can take different forms:

  • Emotional (sometimes called non-tangible) support refers to the actions people take to make someone else feel cared for.
  • Instrumental support refers to the physical, such as money and housekeeping.
  • Informational support means providing information to help someone.

Self-Care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure etc), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.) socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication (World Health Organisation, 1988).

Self-regulation is the ability to monitor and control our own behavior, emotions, or thoughts, altering them in accordance with the demands of the situation.

Emotional self-regulation or regulation of emotion is the ability to respond to the ongoing demands of experience with the range of emotions in a manner that is socially tolerable and sufficiently flexible to permit spontaneous reactions as well as the ability to delay spontaneous reactions as needed.

Self-regulation theory (SRT) is a system of conscious personal management that involves the process of guiding one's own thoughts, behaviors, and feelings to reach goals.

Cognitive flexibility is the human ability to adapt the cognitive processing strategies to face new and unexpected conditions in the environment (Cañas, Quesada, Antolí and Fajardo, 2003).

Optimism is hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.

Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences.

Antidote to Fear

"Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God."

From "A Course in Miracles"

Truth Opened

Freud presented a paper in April, 1896 to the Society for Psychiatry and Neurology in Vienna on the sexual abuse of his female patients by t...