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Showing posts from 2014

HALTT-Taking Care of My Vulnerabilities During Christmas

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God knows us from the inside out. ( Monica A Coleman , Making A Way Out of No Way: A Womanist Theology, 116) But it is helpful if we start to know ourselves well too. Mindfulness is important. (Myself) I am back from my Christmas vacation and I am glad. Today, as I took a bath to warm myself up, I reflected on how well I took care of myself on my trip. I went on several walks where I noticed how the rainy northwestern weather created lush, green ferns and moss. So beautiful!  I also took some cool pictures of boats:  In one of the marinas, a boat was sunk years ago to provide a break for the water and now there are trees growing out of it!  It is really neat looking, although it was hard to get a good picture because of the cloudy weather. The best thing about the trip was that I finally got to meet my brother's dog, Bee, who is just the cutest! Like Bee, in the picture, I had to take care of my body and mind while on the trip.  Sometime

Confession of Need for A More Introspective Christmas

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I write some of the liturgy for my church and one of the things I usually write is called the "confession of need," which is a special kind of confession where we recognize how much we need Godde in our lives and ask how do we invite Her in more and more fully.  I really enjoy writing them!  This is the one for the Christmas season and so I thought I would post it here.  If you are not Christian, then just wait for my next post.  If you are, then I hope the confession inspires you to become more introspective and ponder the story of Christ's birth a little more deeper and to not be afraid if you do not have all the answers or do not know quite what to believe.  Spirituality is a mystery and it is by opening ourselves up to the unknown that we really grow. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In this season of Christmas, it can be so hard to make time for what actually matters, which is to be true to you, O God.   We hurry and worry and put on the top of our list the age

Corey's Travel Tip-Pack a Self-Soothing Kit

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Our hopes for the future are implied, and therefore in some way present, in what we have done. (120, Making a Way Out of No Way , Monica A Coleman ) Tomorrow morning I am leaving for Washington state to see my brother and his girlfriend for Christmas and I am excited!  Fortunately, my doctor upped my new medication and I am definitely feeling much better than I was even four days ago, which is a relief. Here are some pictures from the last time I visited: (The column is from the famous Seattle Pike Place Market , which was so cool.) While I was packing today, I made sure to pack my "self-soothing kit"-a coping skill I started practicing last year.  The kit is just a bag of small things that usually help me feel better and calm down when feeling stressed out that I have stored in a bag, so I can just pop it into my suitcase when I'm traveling somewhere.   Mine Currently Holds: -a small bottle of scented lotion -bath salts -packets of tea -lavende

Mysticism or Mania? Hiking the Doll's Head Trail

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Isn't it odd how you can be with a group of people and feel completely different from how everybody else is feeling-or at least seems to feel?  Last week, I was at a gathering and even though I was surrounded by friends I felt very alone, lonely, and out-of-place.  That is an unusual feeling for me now, but a few years ago I felt that way at gatherings all the time.  Fortunately, I was able to reassure myself by telling myself that I don't usually feel that way, so I knew that the feeling would eventually pass.  I reminded myself that these really were my friends, even if I felt out-of-touch for the moment.  I have been struggling with some depression off and on this holiday season, mainly because of a medication change, I think.  It's annoying to experience my moods go up and down more than usual, but I just try to enjoy the good times as much as I can and self-soothe myself during the bad times.  I have started coloring again, which is very soothing to me.  It lets me be

November 2014 Book Review

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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou – This was my feminist book club’s selection for November and it is fabulous, of course.  I read it first in seventh grade, but I got so much more out of it during my recent reading.  I really recommend listening to it be read by Maya Angelou herself, which is what I did.  She is the best narrator I have ever heard and at times, it was almost eerie to hear her tell her own story.  Her story touches on many tough issues-racism, sexuality, rape, just to name a few-and we discussed what we each thought were the most disturbing or painful aspects of her early life.  To me, the saddest theme was that children and adults were adversaries in the book.  Maya and her brother do not feel that they can ever trust adults and the adults in the book do not give them any reason to-children are to be tolerated and disciplined and that’s about it.  It’s an us vs. them mentality that I find very disturbing.  In my view, children are to be loved an

Thanksgiving 2014 in Pictures and Ferguson Activism

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We can creatively transform the past to decide how we should move into the future. We can also draw power from the lives of those who have come before us. ~ (101, Making A Way Out of No Way, Monica A Coleman ) Thanksgiving and other holidays can be hard.  I have been with my extended family since Tuesday and sometimes I have been enjoying it and sometimes I have been very triggered and depressed.  I don't like this emotional flip-flopping around and I am trying to calm myself as best I can, but it can be hard when I sometimes feel like I am so different from my family.  I knew it would be difficult when I heard that Darren Wilson was not going to go to trial after all-I have been keeping up with activist bloggers and photographers and believe that justice has not been served at all-I also know my family very well and knew that I would be the only person who felt this way.  I was right.  I wanted to go protest on Tuesday, but I had to ride with my family up to Virginia that da

Book Review - Dying to Control

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Here is another Speakeasy book that I read recently.  I would only give it two out of five stars, maybe 2.5.  I actually like the author's blog better than the book, I think. Dying to Control: The 21st Century Dilemma by Leon R. Hayduchok  - Hayduchok's basic premise is that what was wrong about Eve and Adam eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil was that they were trying to live as they saw fit and not as God saw fit-they thought they were in control.  Okay, I can go with that-Hayduchok seems to that this his premise is radical, but it does not seem that radical to me.  What I cannot buy is that he thinks God cursed the ground and animals in order to help people-to remind us where our priorities should be, but curses do not seem loving to me.  Hayduchok even writes that, "To curse someone is to wish that person misfortune or doom.  Curses tend to be spite or vindictive, and they typically don't have redemptive intentions," (85)  With that in mi

Book Review - Theology from Exile

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I had to take a break from reviewing books, as I was getting a little burned out from doing so many, but I have read so many good books lately that my book reviewing days are back again.  Of course, the first books I have to review are from Speakeasy . Theology from Exile Vol. II: The Year of Matthew by Sea Raven I really enjoyed this book!  It is the second "in a series of commentaries on biblical scripture that follows the three-year cycle of Christian liturgical readings found inn the Revised Common Lectionary "  (Sea Raven 1).  Sea Raven takes each Sunday in the second year of the lectionary and expounds upon the scripture in a progressive, postmodern way.  It is a book targeted towards scholars and ministers, to help them in their research and sermon preparation, but I enjoyed it all the same.  I like that she acknowledged that the RCL often cuts scriptures short or put seemingly random scriptures together in order to serve their own ends (to

Recovery Questions

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I am applying for Georgia's certified peer training .  It is a really great program.  Basically, when one is doing really well in one's recovery and would like a job helping others who have mental illness, they can apply to be trained and certified as a CPS.  They are trained on how to use their life experience as someone in recovery in a way to help and reach others and they will have a respected credential that will help them get jobs.  I had to answer a lot of questions about my recovery on my application yesterday and I thought a few of my answers might be interesting to you.  Here they are: What does recovery mean to you?   I do presentations about my recovery on a regular basis and I always say that recovery is when a person believes that “mental illness is a part of a person, but does not define the person.”  I am in recovery, because mental illness no longer controls my entire life.  I will always have to acknowledge its presence in my life and cope with it, but I

Enforcing Boundaries-No Diet Talk

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"It is not mean to enforce firm boundaries; I respect myself." ~ Myself It is rude to talk about weight and dieting at the dinner table.  I know that that is not how the commercials see it, but they are trying to sell you a product-they do not actually care about the well-being of your body or soul and they certainly do not care if the behavior they promote will make you popular.  The only people who appreciate diet talk at the table (or really anywhere) are those who are dieting themselves. I DO NOT appreciate it when people talk on and on about how they hate their body and what they are doing to change it in my presence, especially while I am eating-it triggers me and annoys me. Fortunately, people do not talk this way in front of me very often-I pick my close friends very carefully.  However, it still does happen from time to time, just like it did a few weeks ago-in the past, how I would have dealt with it would have been to try to make a side conversation with someo