Saturday Series: Mind, Body & Spirit Connection~ Consciousness

Welcome to all! Today’s it’s Saturday still where I am at and finally sitting down to blog this series I have been excited about all week:)

But first an announcement~ I am going to begin a new podcast called, “More than my Diagnosis”, very soon right here through this blog. I find when I verbalize my thoughts, I can be more concise and energetic with my words rather than when I write. So stay tuned as I learn about podcasting and record my first episode! Join me if you aren’t following me yet and if you are already following me, I hope you tune in.

I chose “More than my Diagnosis” as its title, with my daughter’s help, because all of us, no matter what we are labeled with mentally or physically, are more than any label. Our family and friends can attest to this I am sure and maybe one day we will believe it too! I do and it is very freeing and energizing to continue my successful mental health journey, which leads me right into today’s topic- Consciousness

First what does that word/term even mean? It means being awake and aware, first to ourselves and then to others and our surroundings. It also means realizing our potential, which one person can never achieve fully, but we can try our hardest to be all that we are meant to be. Not an easy task for sure but it is good to be on a much clearer path with the help of my herbal supplements, mainly Kratom, which has put me in full remission from Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Disorder. See this post to learn more about taking Kratom for therapeutic benefits. I also have an article to be shared with health care providers on Kratom that I will gladly share with anyone who writes to me using my contact form above.

So, how do we enter this state of being fully awake? It’s easy and hard for some at the same time. But anyone reading this is already becoming more aware and awake through choosing to read this blog so it will probably be easier for you, dear reader.

Take a deep breath and hold it for a moment and release slowly. If it was a big exhale, do it 2 more times. Feel the breath of being conscious enter your physical state, and allow the release of breath to be anything you desire, positive thoughts, creative ideas, mental health wellness. This paused your day, if you did this exercise, and put thought to whatever needs attention for your mind, body and spirit to connect. Remember that spirit is not religious or even about God, unless you want it to be; rather it is spirit in the sense of our soul or all that we don’t understand, YET.

How did you connect your breath to your state of awareness? Did it relax you and hopefully release some tension if present? For me, I carry my stress in my shoulders and jaw. When I do conscious breaths, I try to remember to relax my shoulders and jaw. And here’s a neat trick I learned somewhere- when you are going to sleep at night, drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth and relax this area. This will help you to relax and fall asleep easier.

I also find yoga to be particularly helpful for my mind and body. This is for guys and gals and anyone in between. If you aren’t familiar with yoga, check out Adrienne’s free yoga videos for beginners or advanced on Youtube. Although I do my own flow most days when I practice yoga, sometimes I watch her videos to learn some new poses and she is very down to earth good vibes yogini (female who does yoga). For more about the benefits of doing yoga, click here for a past post I did in 2020.

As we learn new tools or discover old ones tucked away we begin to become more fully aware and it’s easier to enter a state of consciousness. How many areas are affected when I practice these mindful activities, I become much more peaceful, and content with whatever drama might come my way. This is a great state to be in- Acceptance.

Let nothing disturb you.

Problems become opportunities to grow and expand our consciousness.

For example, during the start of this blog, the dogs next door were barking like crazy and caused me to lose focus. I was irritated for a while as they kept barking, but then I wished them well and continued my blogging. After a while, they stopped barking. I was so focused on this blog that I don’t even know when they stopped. Lesson- difficulties will come and they will go, yet it is our attitude towards them that matters. If we let such things bother us, they will fester, but if we learn to let them go and enter the ultimate state of consciousness for me to achieve, described below, we will be at peace and ready for whatever might come our way!

My Ultimate State of Consciousness

To not prefer things, but to appreciate every person, event and circumstance

To not judge things as good or bad

Instead to be free in our new awareness of self and others around us

I will be talking more about this state in my new podcast soon and I am also looking forward to our next guest writer on starting a meditation practice. I am still struggling with dedicated meditation but it doesn’t bother me, because meditation is only one way to find inner peace and not the only way.

Pax

Victoria

Coming soon to this blog…

Good evening all! Welcome to all the new countries with recent interest in this blog. I appreciate all visitors, wherever you are located, and hope this blog is of some help to you on your mental health journey. And thank you India, USA and Australia for being with me for a while now. As you may guess, I am cleaning up my blog tonight in preparation for another upcoming guest post in a few weeks hopefully and also in anticipation for this week’s Saturday Series: Mind, Body and Spirit Connection about Consciousness.

If you get a chance to listen to any of Michael Singer’s podcast “The Commitment to Stay Conscious, please do as the Saturday Series blog will focus on some of it, if everything goes as planned. I am pretty excited as it fits perfectly with the theme of this series. It’s a great listen anyway so check it out if interested.

Also, check out the new menu item at the top of this page for all my guest writer’s posts. I will be adding them tonight so check back tomorrow if you are interested in some great posts written by professionals, other bloggers and people interested in mental health. Thank you again to all my past guests on here and if you are interested in writing for this blog, feel free to send me an email or use the contact form. Any topic related to mental health will be of interest to me and others on their mental health journey.

I’ve also managed to get this site indexed through google after much research and emails to WordPress Happiness Engineers, who are all an awesome team! It wasn’t easy but I have realized recently that I am pretty good at figuring things out and being patient and adaptable when needed.

Have a great night/day and stay strong no matter what comes your way. I know the many challenges I have faced in my life have all made me a stronger person, especially since I came out alive:)

Pax

Victoria

I cannot fight providence, God’s perfect plan…

As much as I would like to start working, it is not to be…

It is true I am doing better than ever, but something always prevents me from working.

I made an announcement recently that I was going to start life coaching and was very excited about it. But that same day, unbeknownst to me, my mom had extreme dental pain, that required an emergency visit to her dentist a few days later. The day I was planning to start to work, I was called urgently away to help my mom. This is my life… so I promised God I would not work outside the home and when we got to the dentist, the pain was gone, and x-rays revealed that everything was normal. Coincidence with my prayer?

The old me, the delusional one, would have taken this very seriously as an admonishment from God because every time I try to work something bad happens to me or my loved ones. I cannot fight it. I am not delusional, just in God’s will, I feel.

Yet, a part of me feels really bad for being on disability and receiving aide from the government, which I get a thousand a month, when I feel so well to work again. In the past when I did manage to work, there are all sorts of stories about my attempts to work. I’ll entertain you all for a moment~

There was the time that I worked at Macy’s for one day but set off an alarm when I went out the wrong door. The alarm went off for 20 long heart wrenching minutes. Luckily, the store was closed at the time, but it stressed me out so much that I never went back.

Another time (2012) I was working on a crisis team doing emergency services as a therapist intern. The voices that I thought was God, told me to tell my coworker that I had Schizophrenia, so I did, even though I knew it wasn’t a good idea. And to top it off I even told her that God had told me to tell her! She was very concerned naturally and told my boss who ousted me soon after confronting me with my odd behavior, which even though it was true, was not her place to confront me.

She watched for me to make a mistake and when I did, she threatened to make me work in the field without back up. I reported her actions to the headquarters after going on temporary disability because of the stress she caused. They investigated my claims and called me to let me know that they weren’t going to fire her, so I left pushed out of my job because of my Schizophrenia. Stigma at its finest. I was good at my job.

And lastly I will share the most recent attempt in 2017. I was teaching a sociology 101 course as an adjunct professor at our local community college, which was my favorite job in my life. I was great at that one. All the students loved me and gave me the most beautiful emails to say how much they leaned from me after I quit because of one student who was a thorn in my side from day one. He was older and taking the class for fun and didn’t interact well with me or the other mostly younger students.

He complained to my boss about me early on, which did no damage. When he wrote in one paper about how killing in war was fun, I was alarmed but just watched and tried not to let the stress get to me. Towards the end of the semester, he got into a verbal altercation with another struggling student who asked him a question when I went to use the bathroom. It was a heated fight on both parties, and the other students let me know after class.

I went straight to the police with his paper and several derogatory emails he had sent me. They investigated and said I had done the right thing but didn’t find any weapons at his home or other evidence to charge him. The college banned both students from one class and then allowed them both to return to class.

I knew I could not be in class with him after reporting him to the police. I emailed the head of the college that I was resigning because of him being a possible threat to me. It did no good. I helped the new professor to take over the class, but was very sad. Then to top it off, the week of what would have been finals, I was rushed to the hospital to have my gallbladder out and then the following week had to have another surgery for stones in a duct.

All very painful, but got through it all. Later, my adult daughter pointed out the fact that there was no way I could have even worked at that job because of my health problems.

Do you see, dear reader, if you are still with me, why I am scared to work again as is my husband and daughter?

I’ll wrap this up. I am slowly weaning off my psych meds successfully. I feel that soon I will not need my psychiatrist anymore. So when they redo my disability, I will not have him to check that box that says I am disabled. Without being under a psychiatrist’s care I will not qualify.

By that time I will be receiving a rather large inheritance, of which I plan to give it to my husband and children.

Final thought~ I still have schizophrenia, it is just in remission on my herbal supplements. I am doing great but who knows what might happen if I work and something stressful happens. I got stressed out on Sunday when my mom came to my son’s home for Father’s Day and almost choked to death right in front of me. My daughter in law saved her life with the Heimlich maneuver. Very stressful day. My mom, my children and husband need me right now. So I will not be working even though we really could use the money.

Thanks for reading thus far. Tis’ my life to not have a paying job, but to write, blog and keep up my home and gardens and help others.

I feel like I just went to confession haha. Any comments are always welcome:)

Pax

Victoria

Energy and Motivation…

There are a plethora of ways to get energy: some already have it in their natural state (not me), caffeinated (used to be me), and herbal supplements (which is where I am today). There is also a type of energy that is created when one has a deadline or exciting event to prepare for, examples could be a holiday, vacation or party.

I’m noticing this more and more in my observations of my activity in my every day life now that I am in full remission from Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Disorder. These last few months have been major catch up, for what “normal” people take for granted, the ability to be motivated and stay on top of things.

It was awesome today when I got everything done on my list and now I get to blog! My pièce de résistance (main creative work ha ha, I had to google it).

But for me now everything is important, from how I fold the laundry better and more organized, to dusting properly rather than just suffering through it wishing I was done. I don’t mind even tedious tasks and am now thinking about how long I have suffered from lack of motivation and natural energy- pretty much my whole life, I could never finish things unless my mom and dad made me.

This is night and day. Another extreme benefit to taking my new herbal supplement, Kratom. If you would like to read a rather lengthy article to give to healthcare providers about it click here. It has given me a new lease on life and I’ll take it!

What motivates you? What gives you energy? How do you achieve goals?

Please feel free to comment or send me an email using my contact form:)

Pax

Victoria

Enjoying first social event without delusions… & a Love story~

I don’t want this story to be about me though, so I will just say it was nice to be at a wedding today with people I didn’t know yet feeling more comfortable than I have ever felt in my life socializing. No weird thoughts that the day was about me. That’s it about me Haha. Now to the beautiful story…

This couple’s wedding was a work friend of my husband’s and was in Spanish. My Spanish is pretty good but my husband did translate the toast for me because it really was a lovely story. This couple has been together for 26 years, have kids and I have no idea why now they decided to get married now, but after hearing the story of how they met understand why they went all out with the decorations and mariachis. I can’t post all the pics I took for the privacy of the people but just had to share a bit of their amazing wedding.

They first met crossing the border with coyotes and all. This is a very dangerous exploiting situation already. But somehow this is how they met and they had no money, no food, no water, nothing but an apple he gave her to win her heart. It worked. They both passed safely to America and began a very humble beginning, which led to him becoming the owner of a very profitable carpet store and not really sure if she worked or stayed home with the kids but she doesn’t work now.

I wish I knew more of the details of their long term relationship but that is all I know except for this~after the vows and toast he presented her with an apple. I have tears now thinking about it. How much love he showed for her the whole wedding, as if he was winning her heart all over again…

Here’s some more pics below. It’s nice to feel “normal” whatever that is. I read today that this world has 7 billion normal’s. I love that. Inclusion to the very core of our planet!

This was the photo booth where the newlyweds took pictures with the guests…

A Popular fruit bar…
A simple yet elegant cake…

It was a perfect wedding and I am glad I got to witness this happy couple’s love and devotion.

My husband and I had a lovely time, too. It was like being on a 5 hour date with everything paid for, just him and I at the table.

Happy Father’s day to my dad in heaven and all the dads, all the men who want to be dads, the priests and happy birthday to my nana, my sweet daughter who arrived on Father’s day as a present to her dad 28 years ago today.

Pax

Victoria

Guest Blogger: Mind, Body & Spirit Connection~ How to prevent Anxiety Attacks through Wellness…

Welcome to our Saturday series old and new followers! I actually am going to a wedding today:) so it was nice to have a guest article writer today. Here is a little about her and article below.

Have a great weekend!

Pax

Victoria

Sophie Letts has been practicing meditation for five years. Her practice has helped her in many ways, including improving her ability to focus and reducing feelings of anxiety. She created meditationhelp.net to help others get started with meditation, dispel meditation myths, and provide the resources others need to connect with their bodies, calm their minds, and embrace their true selves.

How To Reduce Stress and Prevent Anxiety Attacks Through Wellness

Anxiety and stress are two of the most common mental health conditions in the United States. One in three adults in the Greater Cincinnati region reported worsening mental health in 2021. Left untreated, anxiety and stress can lead to several other health problems, including depression, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. But there are many things you can do to reduce stress and prevent anxiety attacks. Below, you’ll find some tips on optimizing your wellness routine to minimize stress and avoid anxiety attacks.

Start a Fitness Routine

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress and prevent anxiety attacks. It releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Exercise also helps to improve sleep quality, which can further reduce stress levels.

A fitness routine doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. Even moderate exercise, such as walking for 30 minutes a day, can significantly impact stress levels. If you’re new to physical activity, start exploring the many parks and recreational areas across Cincinnati, such as Eden Park or Smale Riverfront Park.

Lean on Family and Friends

Having a solid support system is crucial for reducing stress and preventing anxiety attacks. Family and friends can provide emotional support and practical help in tough times.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out to your loved ones, and let them know what’s happening. A supportive friend to lend an ear or a family member to help with childcare can be a lifesaver.

Build Stress Relief Into Your Day

Making time for activities that reduce stress is essential for preventing anxiety attacks. Taking breaks throughout the day, spending time outdoors, and practicing meditation or deep breathing exercises can help lower stress levels.

It’s also essential to avoid smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and caffeine. These substances can all contribute to anxiety and make it more challenging to cope with stress.

Find a Hobby

Pursuing a hobby can also help to reduce stress and prevent anxiety attacks. Doing something you enjoy can boost your mood and provide a much-needed outlet for tension and anxiety. Cincinnati offers a large selection of activities with something for everyone. Take some time to explore your options, and find an activity that brings you joy.

You can also join a group or club related to your hobby to meet new people and make friends. Doing something with others can help to reduce stress and promote a sense of belonging.

Optimize Your Home Office

It’s necessary to create a zone of calmness if you’re working from home. A cluttered or poorly lit workspace can contribute to feelings of anxiety and stress. Use technology to reduce desk clutter and increase efficiency, and improve organization with a storage system for digital and paper records.

You should also have ergonomic furniture to protect your back, neck, and shoulders. Long hours at a desk are a leading cause of work-related injuries. Take the time to set up your home office to promote comfort and wellness.

Boost Mental Wellness With Healthy Living

Living well is the best way to encourage mental wellness and reduce stress. These activities can help to improve mood, increase energy levels, and promote better sleep.For help with your personal mental health journey, follow My Personal Recovery From Schizophrenia for stories of encouragement.

Upcoming Guest Blogger on Meditation for Saturday Series…

Today has been so smooth, gliding into a quick blog to introduce Sophie, who hosts a lovely meditation website; she contacted me recently with a wonderful article about meditation. Perfect for this Saturday Series about the mind, body and spirit connection don’t you think?
I still struggle with making time for meditation, though. So many fun projects, and visits with my family, yet I think it would greatly benefit me to meditate at a dedicated hour. Her website, which I will share this Saturday, is full of resources and debunking some of the myths of meditation. I know I am not the only one who struggles with meditation; in fact, few people I know personally have a daily dedicated practice.

How about you all? What are some of your experiences trying your hand at meditation?

Leave a comment pretty please, or email me using the contact form above if you would like to share privately.

How does meditation connect to the mind, body and spirit connection. I see benefits in all three dimensions of the unified whole person…

The mind, sets itself free to be still a while, and to receive whatever one is supposed to receive from God, or whatever you believe or don’t believe in. This can set a nice tone for the day.

The Body, it’s relaxing and restful. Great way to prepare for a busy day!

And the Spirit, but remember this is not religious, also can say soul interchangeably,, but it connects us to whatever force or within ourselves to fully live our lives.

Not sure if I have blogged this before, but I remember an anecdote about the Dalai Lama who meditated for hours every day, and on busy days with his important schedule, he even meditated more hours.

I need to practice what I preach so am going to really devote some time to meditation and report back in a couple of weeks.

So tune in early Saturday for this special blog. I can’t wait:)

Pax

Victoria

A bit about depression and what helps me…

Hello world! Happy today for many reasons. Today started with an opportunity to tell my Schizoaffective Disorder story through Healthy Stories Project focusing on the depression part of my disorder, mainly. I am not depressed anymore and haven’t been for a while, but I remember it well. I remember years ago being so fatigued that I curled on the floor up in a closet when I tried to clean it haha. This was when my Lexapro stopped working, after being on it for years. I started Trintellix soon after and have not been depressed ever since.

But my mom, who I spent 2 hours with today, is depressed and does nothing to help herself. I actually believe she just likes being miserable and that she is annoyed often by my positivity in response to her negativity. I had to detox from negative vibes after being with her.

That’s enough about my mom and her depression. Bottom line is that we all have choices and those choices can make the difference between night and day.

Here are my top tips to fight depression ~

Getting enough vitamin D by 20 minutes in the sun every day possible and/or vitamin D supplements, I do both most days.

Exercise regularly, 30 minutes a day 5 days a week is my goal but every little bit will help. Walking, lifting 5 pound weights, yoga and gardening are my go to but find something you like and do it (but not the hour before bed as it can be stimulating and be hard to fall asleep).

Surrounding yourself with positive people (and limiting time with negative people).

Reading and watching uplifting material and limiting the news, but here is a link to Nice News who send out positive news m-f via email on uplifting positive news in the world:) Today was a clickable article about NASA launching first ever study on UFO’s! Also has lots of animal, helping humans stories and more.

Recognizing negative thoughts and turning them around remembering good, funny or interesting things.

Limit~ social media, alcohol, judging people, fast food and junk food, sugar and find replacements that you enjoy. I get my social media time online through right here on WordPress, don’t drink, try not to judge people (but bad drivers, don’t get me started, sorry I’m not perfect), eat mostly unprocessed foods and have sugar by way of a little gatorade or honey in my tea and the occasional splurge!

Eating whole unprocessed foods- this one is a biggie for me. Veggies and/or fruit at every meal mostly and fermented foods, kombucha, sauerkraut and yogurt with live cultures. Get creative in the kitchen as time allows.

Establish a routine but be flexible so you don’t go crazy. I go to bed late and wake up between 8 or 9, take an occasional nap and the rest of my day isn’t structured at all. So, I don’t really do this one but I do make lists on my phone and/or on paper of what I hope to accomplish for the day and sometimes the week.

Individual peer counseling or talking ( my go to is Jordan at Safe Haven, God bless her!) or peer group counseling. I prefer one-on-one to groups but might try again one day.

Increase dopamine levels with a nootropic, but remember this if you delve into this world~

From Psychology Today-

In the initial phase of getting to know the effects of a compound on your body and mind, you should experiment very carefully. Take it slow in the early stages of your exploration. Research the individual compound and be present to what is happening in your body and mind upon consumption.

Check it out here for more on nootropics to fight depression, if you scroll towards the bottom they list and describe 24 nootropics. If you are already taking an SSRI, it is recommended to check with your doctor who prescribed it and always watch out for the signs of serotin syndrome which can be dangerous.

Therapy, I recommend finding a Logotherapist if you can.

Meds, I need mine for now but one day may try going off them, but the thing is that if it doesn’t work, there is no guarantee they will work again so this is a hard one for me and probably won’t risk it!

That’s all that comes to the top of my mind. I am sure this isn’t an exhaustive list. Feel free to comment or email me your ways to fight depression. I love to learn new ways to feel good:)

Oh, and prayer of course should be in there too or whatever grounding connecting to God, Mother Nature or just meditating on the good things in your life!

Pax

Victoria

Saturday Series: Mind, Body and Spirit Connection~Ayurveda lifestyle…

I am not anywhere near to being knowledgeable about Ayurveda but it intrigues me greatly as I find new herbs that help with so many ailments.

Ayurveda is the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing. Literally translated it means “science of life”. Perfect for this series!

I won’t get into great detail about Ayurveda in this blog because it is highly complex and seems to change with the seasons. It is all about balance in the body, mind and spirit. I will say that the study of Ayurveda excites me as I expand my herbal supplements and research healthy ways to live my best life rather than just trusting Western medicine.

I will give one example of how Ayurveda techniques helped me last night and discuss one super herb that just arrived on my doorsteps.

I have had knee pain for a while now and with my increase in activities I have been gardening quite a bit which is hard on the knees already, but has caused me much joint pain of recent weeks. Couldn’t even get up without support of some kind.

So I was relaxing and exploring a new Ayurveda School (which I’m not going to do lol), but it had a section on Sports injuries. I checked it out and found that it is recommended to rub EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) on the afflicted joints. You have to rub a little vigorously, so I did so a little later with warm EVOO the front and back of my knees. I left it on for an hour as suggested and woke up this morning to a great relief of my joint pain. They still hurt but it is improved 75%. Amazing.

Here’s the thing though with Ayurveda, other types of pain encourage massage with different oils, so if it isn’t your joints EVOO won’t be as effective as other oils which I forget because it didn’t relate to my condition.

This new lifestyle has been on the horizon for me for a while now but it was confusing at first but I feel I have the brainpower now to learn more.

I actually have a free consult with an herbalist to discuss a new herb I hope to incorporate into my diet soon. It is callled Haritaki and is what the Buddha himself used. I am still learning about all its benefits but want to discuss it with an herbal doctor before adding it to my diet.

Next week I will continue this study of an Ayurveda lifestyle. Any questions or comments are always welcome.

Pax

Victoria

Something in the air tonight…

It’s been a lovely day, warm weather and abundant sunshine ☀️. A day to reflect and decided to embark on new endeavors with my professional life.

I am going off of disability and going to start offering services right here through my blog for 3 months and if It is successful will continue. If I don’t earn money at what I offer which will be coming soon 🔜 I will get a job hopefully remote of writing for an income.

This is huge for me. Please excuse the ads that I have also signed up for monetizing my site. Thanks for all your support and for being faithful followers. I know that without my blog and all of you I wouldn’t feel able to do this no risk endeavor.

I’m actually pretty excited to share my knowledge and experience in a new dimension, in a way that will help me, not just financially but also help others into a better way of living.

I am not posting this to my front page as I want to give my followers the first chance at these new services which include life coaching to help find meaning in life no matter what the situation or diagnosis.

My studies and life experience have brought me thus far and sharing with others to find meaning and purpose gives me meaning and purpose!

I also hold a Masters in psychology but my real success is in my studies around Logotherapy and the mind, body and spirit connection.

So feel free to use the contact form to sign up and spread the word if possible. This is my unofficial announcement and I don’t know the response obviously but am pleased to branch out and who knows?

Pax

Victoria