The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. (The Message Bible, 396)
I think sometimes people think I am magic or that I am just naturally a grateful person. That may be partly true now, but it was not always so. In 2017, when I was released from the mental hospital, I was traumatized and angry. I had to intentionally practice being grateful every day in order to become well again. At first, I started at night by writing a gratitude list before bed. Then I added positive affirmations in the morning and finally, I added looking for gratitude during the day. It was a slow but rewarding process. Five years before that, gratitude was a completely alien concept to me. I had fallen into a suicidal depression and I felt gratitude towards nothing. I knew I should be grateful for at least the basics, like family and home, but, I. Felt. Nothing. I joined my therapist's dialectical behavioral therapy group and started learning skills to make my life better. It was hard and overwhelming at first. I spent my time irritable and angry and bitter. Slowly, I started practicing self-care and self-love by telling myself good things and reframing negative thoughts. I started looking for the good, while still acknowledging the painful. Gratitude and inner peace started to come easier and easier, so that when I relapsed I already knew the benefits of getting back to gratitude and that motivated me to get well again.
The election of Donald Trump was another stumbling block in my well-being and I counteracted that by reading the Bible and writing prayers. I embraced the forced isolation during Covid-19 by self-publishing those prayers. And then there are the mass murders of people of color and people with disabilities by cops. While the police officer who murdered George Floyd was pronounced guilty yesterday, that does not stop the continued murdering of oppressed people by police officers. I put my energy into learning about police and prison abolition and doing what little I can to help the movement. Staying in the present moment and staying active keeps me grateful. I am aware of inner and outer pain, and yet I am not suffering. This is all a direct result of learning skills and practicing them every day.
You can do this too! Start your days with intention and take things one step at a time in the present moment. I know that might seem trite but it is what works for me. In gratitude of living forty years, I am hosting a "Hope Is Real Gratitude Party" this Saturday from 7-8:15p on zoom. To celebrate, I am selling t-shirts with my logo on them from now through the end of Saturday's party. t-shirts are $20 made from 100% cotton.
***Meeting ID: 853 0524 4083 Passcode: 408261***
To donate or pay for t-shirt:
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
(This is what the shirt looks like! Mine is a large)
Other zoom events:
"Highly Sensitive" Warriors
April 21th 7-8:15p
The purpose is to counter mental health stigma with education, empowerment, support and skills. Each group will begin with a check-in, a skill or education time, and then peer support. The group is led by Corey Jones, a certified peer specialist who is in recovery herself from borderline personality disorder and who considers herself a highly sensitive person.
ID: 837 1276 7952 Passcode: 921206
Zoom DBT Peer Support Group
April 28th 7-8:15p
We are in the emotional regulation module. Yes, there are things you can do yourself to help you regulate your moods-I find this to be very empowering! This is a group open to people who have taken DBT before and for newbies, for people with many diagnosis, or none. I believe that DBT skills are really just life skills, and are useful for anyone struggling to manage their emotions during Covid, or any other life situation. I think family members who support people with addiction or mental health challenges would also benefit greatly from learning the skills. I have been practicing and studying DBT for the last ten years, but I do want to emphasize that I am not a registered DBT therapist, so I ask that people not join if they are in crisis.
ID:864 6836 2450 Passcode: 236989