May Series 2022~Inspiration in Nature…

But first a little brief housekeeping!

Thank you to those who are reviewing my nature thought journal!

And I want to share that mypersonalrecoveryfromschizophrenia has been rated as one of the top 20 Schizophrenia blogs by Feedspot! I manifested more readership and it is happening! Thanks Feedspot!

And for any of you with schizophrenia blogs like this one, feel free to apply as well. Good job! Good job me! ha ha link is right here for Feedspot…

Now for my current Nature obsession!

As any of you who have been with me a while now know that, I, like many people with schizophrenia have OCD qualities which can be good or bad depending on the type of reader you are and interest in the topic of my obsession. So I have been blogging in May Series 2022 about the body, mind and spirit connection that is lacking in most psychiatric and psychotherapy care. My blog on Logotherapy and Schizophrenia addresses this deficiency in current mental health care, which is part of how Logotherapy was born. I wish I knew now what I have been learning about with Viktor Frankl’s books, Man’s Search for Meaning and Will to Meaning and how when one has meaning in their life, they can stop being suicidal and not only survive and thrive, as I have begun to do. I might have even become a logotherapist…

It is all interconnected through our body, mind and spirit…

So where does Nature fall? To me it is found in all three. Man is unity despite multipliicity- paraphrased by Frankl. I am one person with 3 aspects of me.

So in nature, one can find inner strength through exercise (ie.. walking, sports, yoga and I might even try my strength training next workout), which raises our dopamine levels and helps the mind to be more balanced and even euphoric if enough energy is exerted! This happy sweet spot, which is different for each of us, leads us to thank our Creator for all the beauty and awe inspiring nature spots; that can even be found inside our house (see photo for my favorite houseplant), in our front or back yard, at our favorite park and even far away places like Maui! We are able to connect at a deeper level to the Divine when our body and minds’ needs are met but also if we aren’t quite there yet with an exercise routine, we can appreciate the delightful display’s of God’s goodness at its finest.

Last night I was appreciating the stars and moon. Here’s a borrowed thought- what if the stars only came out once every thousand years? We would all be out there on that night in amazement and awe. Yet we have the starry sky every evening and how many of us get out there to appreciate it. I know I am not always out there but go in spurts according to my interests.

Nature is everywhere! Where is your favorite local or vacation destination spot? Please feel free to share in the comments.

There has been much study about the wonderful benefits of spending at least 20 minutes a day in nature surroundings. I do pretty good most days…

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. —Albert Einstein

Becoming whole by addressing our body, mind and spirit connection may just be the future of mental health!

Have an awesome day!

pax

Victoria

May 2022 Series part 2, Shifting our Focus…

“When we shift our focus from ourselves to the world around us, we often find contentment, fulfillment and purpose” Viktor Frankl

Frankl’s works have given me new reason to not only live but to thrive after the passing of my dad last September 11, 2021. There has been the desire to die and go be with him; he was and is in a new way my biggest supporter in my life. My dad instilled in me not only values but much philosophy about how to treat others from family and friends to strangers. He did not write his philosophies down, but led by example which I will ever cherish the many memories of seeing my dad in action with whomever he was with.

I have decided to take on new writing projects because of the inspiration I have learned from my dad and the many books written by Viktor Frankl. Of course most people have heard of Man’s Search for Meaning and many have read it and found it profound. But I have also found much benefit to reading some of his other books.

The Will to Meaning: Foundations and Applications of Logotherapy by Viktor Frankl is my new current read. It discusses much on the topic of body (somatic), mind (psyche) and spirit (logos) being interconnected. I am still trying to grasp its deep meaning so will share more as I am able.

It is my hope to spread his views on the principles of Logotherapy (healing through meaning). He gave hope to many people, from when he was a prisoner in concentration camps, to his practice where he could be found at odd hours helping people he didn’t even know find meaning in their lives, to his family, friends and associates.

Frankl often writes about other peoples’ observations in the field of psychology and philosophy in his books. I intend to focus solely on his pearls of wisdom from these books because while I don’t agree with every word in the books, there is plenty to begin to understand Logotherapy and what he writes about in terms of healing through meaning. His most famous book, Man’s Search For Meaning sets the foundation with these pillars.

The 3 pillars of Logotherapy are:

  1. The Freedom of Will
  2. The will to meaning and
  3. The meaning of life

So it is inferred that Logotherapy teaches that through an individual finding meaning in their life through exercising free will, and by finding meaning in one’s life, one will choose hope over despair and ultimately, life over death. He used this model in the concentration camps where many prisoners, starting with himself, lost hope until he found meaning in his life, as did many other of the prisoners thanks to Logotherapy he developed while still a prisoner.

This has also happened to me in my experience of having Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective disorder. Through finding meaning in my life through my writing and other healthy habits (yoga, walking, gardening and meditation etc…) my life now has purpose and my self study of Frankl’s works has come at the perfect time in my life. More to come in this May 2022 series.

Peace

V

May Series 2022: Mind, Body and Spirit Connection

In psychiatry, the mind is the focus of treatment 99% of the time. This does us a huge disfavor in terms of our wholeness of self.

In my own experience of having Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Disorder since 2008, I have only had my psychiatrist ask me once about how I was managing in spiritual matters and the question was posed as a curiosity, rather than as a treatment of my spiritual condition. It was never followed up and it was not a deep inquiry.

The body isn’t talked about much either other than the fact that I have gained much weight on anti-psychotics. And this was addressed early on in my treatment and then just accepted by my psychiatrist not me.

I am sure I’m not the only one who is in treatment for a mental health disorder, whether it be depression, anxiety, bipolar, psychotic disorder, or any other and have read the instructions for the many meds we take to manage our mind symptoms and have observed the following disclaimer- the doctor deems it necessary to take this medicine because the condition being treated is more serious and outweighs any side effects (then a long list of possible side effects) or something along those lines.

So we take our meds and observe the mind’s reaction and deal with the side effects, often taking another med to counter any negative reaction. I hate this! While my disorder is well-managed now better than ever, I have learned my own ways to deal with the unwanted side effects and I am still experimenting and open to anybody else’s successes at natural ways to counter them.

I will speak more about this in another part of this May 2022 series for I wish to further explore the neglect of the body, mind, spirit connection. For if one part of the equation is out of whack, how can we truly say we are doing well? It just doesn’t add up. We must be unified in all three aspects I believe to live a more functional life. Balance is what I seek after…

I learned this recently from Well Being Blogger in one of our few life coaching sessions. Her homework was simple and instructive and for me had the biggest impact upon my well-being. She asked me to write and do 5 things for my mind, 5 things for my body and 5 things for my spirit (which does not have to have any religious connotation). She also gave a few examples to help me but I was out of the gate running as I ran through my list quickly categorizing old and new ideas of how to manage these three aspects of myself.

It has been the elixir for my treatment plan and each week as I diligently started to adopt this 5 things practice, I became more connected to who I was and who I am becoming. I am quite pleased with the results thus far and would like to share a few examples of my routine. Some overlap as you shall see but I think you will get it and hopefully develop your own way and feel free to use any of mine. I also suggest taking a look at my May 2020 series published here for ideas and ways to incorporate them in your lives.

My 5 things

Mind- self study through reading and writing, meditation (walking I prefer, which can also count as spiritual as I observe nature), learning new words, practicing my Spanish and studying philosophy.

Body- exercise (for me this involves walking, yoga and just added strength training and swimming), proper nutrition (I’m trying whole foods eating 90% of the time), stretching, getting dressed nice (even though I don’t have a job) and gardening.

Spirit- yoga, ritual prayers, tending to the houseplants, listening to uplifting music of sorts and spending time appreciating nature.

I don’t do them all every day but do some of them every day like eating healthy, walking, reading and writing, and spending time in nature. The rest are on a weekly basis.

What are some of your 5 things you do for your mind, body and spirit?

Pax

Victoria