Ferret Adventures

Today was a lovely fall day; perfect for a ferret adventure.  Watching my ferrets explore a world I know reminded be to pay attention and not just sleepwalk through life.  They have rarely gone outside since my injury.  They never went to this park although it is close to my home.  It was a “new” experience and they were totally involved in the experience.

Pay attention to life.  You might be surprised what you see.

Fall adventure




Trying to find the positive

The past few weeks were tough, mentally and emotionally.  I try to keep a positive attitude and not focus on the negative.  It’s not easy.  I know I’m sliding down the depression hole again.  However, I think there are things I can do to prevent going totally to the bottom- again.  Thus, trying to be positive.

Currently I have two real issues that are pushing the depression.  I’m still grieving losses from the brain injury.  It’s ongoing.  There are things that improved but so many that haven’t- and probably won’t.  This may be what I have going forward.  So, as I learned in the Marines, “Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome.”  How do I adjust for and accept the changes?  There’s a difference between acceptance and giving up.  I still hope for improvement.  I work towards it.  But, I want to fully accept that this is where I am now.  There may not be changes.  The other problem is fear for the future.  I put in my medical retirement paperwork.  Work is one of the things that needs to change.  At least for now, working is not a healthy activity.  I am worried about what will happen with the retirement and after.


Mindfulness: focused awareness of the present moment.  Staying in the now rather than worrying about the past or future.  They can’t be controlled.  We can only take action in the present moment.  The awareness allows us to experience life in the fullness- the feeling of sun on our faces, the smell of the campfire, the bite of autumn coolness in the morning, colors of the leaves, and other.  It’s a stance of acceptance of the moment.

Be where I am; be still in the moment.


Truth of Happiness

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”-    Thich Naht Hanh (Zen Master)

I came across this picture on the LOL Cats website (http://icanhascheezburger.com/).   The website is usually good for a smile.  People caption funny or cute pictures.  It’s more than just cats.  It includes other themes such as heroes, dogs, politicians, fails, etc. 

The picture provides some ironic truth.  On one hand, you could view the cat in the “fortress” as delusional.  “Rainbow markers will keep you safe?”  Uh huh.  Nods.  And where is your medication? 

However, there is some accuracy to the statement.  Our attitudes impact our moods.  In a sense, we can choose to build a rainbow wall by what we choose to think about and how we choose to act.   We color our reactions, emotional and physical, by how we view the situation.   People have commented about my positive attitude towards my injury.  My recovery is directly influenced by my attitude.  For example, going to WalMart is still an overwhelming and anxiety provoking experience.  My friends took me grocery shopping there today.  I got some of what I needed but experienced overload shutdown.  I stayed in the store and got most of what I needed but I’ll have to pick up some additional groceries tomorrow.  I see this as an accomplishment.  Instead of avoiding something that challenges me, I went pursued it.  The new neuro-connections that my brain needs to make are formed through a combination of experiences/ actions and rest.  By allowing myself to experience physical and emotional discomfort, I provided an opportunity for my brain to work on the neurons.  The trick is to do this safely and to allow for my limitations.  If I avoided going to the stores or out in public, my recovery would be slower.   And I would be more limited.  For me, that would be a depressing situation.

This is the concept of “acceptance” in mindfulness.  I accept the fact I had the accident.  I accept my injury and the limitations.  But wait!  I just said that I’m challenging the limitations and working towards improvement.  How is that acceptance?  My injury is what it is.  I don’t necessarily like it.  So, I work to change it.  Acceptance isn’t always remaining in the status quo.  However, you cannot change what you don’t accept.  Think about this.  If you want to change, you have to recognize, and accept the situation.  Otherwise, energy is being wasted in denial, anger, fear, and avoidance. 

Often, we find ourselves captive to powerful emotions.  As humans, we are emotional beings.  Emotions are healthy and natural.  There are emotions that we term “bad;” anger, jealousy, fear, lust, to name a few.  But, each of these “bad” emotions have purpose.   They provide information about our environment.  There’s something going on that we need to pay attention.  Fear can indicate danger.  Anger can be a healthy response to an argument.  It’s what we do with the emotions that matter.  Do we dwell on them?  Do we lash out with them?  Do we hide from them?  Or do we notice and accept they are present?  Accepting the emotions for what they are reduces their power.  It also helps us to address the situation. 

Those emotions such as love, happiness, and enjoy are to be embraced.  Laughter is healing.  Laughter is powerful.  Life, for all its challenges, is meant to be embraced.  We cannot always be happy.  Life is balance also.  For joy, there is also sorrow.   Even in sorrow, there will again be joy.

Grey the dawn rises
Dark clouds burst soaking the earth
Dancing in puddles