Living Well

Posts Tagged ‘vacation

I propose that for the sake of simplicity that the fall season just be declared one long holiday


Thanksgivoweenadanuchakmaszaa  or something that helps roll all the holidays that occur around the world and keep one day aside – November 11 – for Remembrance and Memorializing those who gave their lives so that the rest of us might be here to enjoy whatever holiday we celebrate or just to work and play well with others – so that no one else need be asked to do such a thing again.


That’s the part we’re not supposed to forget.


You know. as we celebrate genocide of indigenous people through the north and south American continent…..


seriously, none of these are my holidays…….


okay Halloween. that’s like national everyone be queer day.




The Neuroscience of True Grit [Preview]

When tragedy strikes, most of us ultimately rebound surprisingly well. Where does such resilience come from?

By Gary Stix


Image: Photograph by Adam Voorhes. Photographed at The Department of Psychology and Institute for Neuroscience, University of Texas at Austin

In Brief

  • Convention held that psychological resilience to life’s stresses remained a fairly rare event, a product of lucky genes or good parenting.
  • Research into bereavement and natural disasters has found in recent years that the quality of resilience is, in fact, relatively commonplace.
  • People respond to the worst life has to offer with varied behaviors, some of which might be classified as narcissistic or dysfunctional in some other way.
  • But these behaviors—coping ugly, as one researcher calls it—ultimately help with adaptation in a crisis.
  • The question arises whether interventions to teach resilience—programs already instituted in schools and in the military—will really help if people cope naturally on their own.

In fall 2009 Jeannine Brown Miller was driving home with her husband after a visit with her mother in Niagara Falls, N.Y. She came upon a police roadblock near the entrance to the Niagara University campus. Ambulance lights flashed up ahead. Miller knew her 17-year-old son, Jonathan, had been out in his car. Even though she couldn’t make out what was happening clearly, something told her she should stop. She asked one of the emergency workers on the scene to check whether the car had the license plate “J Mill.” A few minutes later a policeman and a chaplain approached, and she knew, even before they reached her, what they would say.

The loss of her son—the result of an undiagnosed medical problem that caused his sudden death even before his car rammed a tree—proved devastating. Time slowed to a crawl in the days immediately after Jonathan’s death. “The first week was like an eternity,” she says. “I lived minute by minute, not even hour by hour. I would just wake up and not think beyond what was in front of me.”


full article – Scientific American – pay site


I read this issue when it first came out.

Agoraphobic Philosopher says:

People post a lot of things on facebook that reveal an awful lot about themselves as people. More often than not, far more than they ever release.

So one thing that I have noticed that people post about is their challenges in life.

So I would like to share one of mine.

Today I learned that the absolutely most scary combination of words to say in the whole of the English Language, whatever version of English that you use.

I am scared and I need help.

And the reason I know that is because I just had a panic attack that was so mild and safe for me, that I was finally able to WHISPER THOSE WORDS in the safety of my bedroom, in my own house that I share with Rhonda K. Jackson and Lorne Szmek and their daughter Dayel.

Because Lorne has gone to work and Rhonda’s sleeping. So I am the responsible adult in the house for a nine year old child and I can’t be having crying sobbing screaming running around the house in a panic kind of attack under the circumstances.

So being responsible to other people in addition to being in a loving and supportive environment with Rhonda who I worked with 12 years ago at another abusive corporate culture department. I mean, I am at home on disability from Department number 7 of the ones that I worked at over 13 years.

and it amazing to me to see the difference in health, physically at least that is discernible from the two videos.
but the happiest video that I made was this one for my Mom, doing my Grandmother’s favorite song and I sang it in my best Anne Murray!
I’ve been getting so much practise with story telling and joking around with my roommates that I have really gotten my sense of humour back – and that’s the most critical element to mental health. That I even tried to work out a actual stand up comedian routine so I made a comedy video, based on a short script that I had written several years ago for a now defunt Vancouver acting comedy group, The Sweet Tarts.
Because your sense of humour is also where your sense of perspective and sense of proportionality comes from.
if you can’t laugh at yourself, then you don’t get to laugh at others.
Because if all you do is laugh at others, then you are a bully. It’s that plain and simple.
In any case, your sense of humour allows you to cope, find ways to be happy and find joy regardless of your circumstances.

That’s not blowing smoke nor being Pollyanna neither.


Although, Haley Mills was my first baby dyke crush before I discovered Kristy MacNicol in Little Darlings!



aaaaa Little Darlings……


That everything you tell the person you love is actually and specifically true.

Because there is nothing in the world like knowing that you can absolutely 100% rely on every word that you hear from the person you love is just as exactly true.

So, if you are not willing to speak the truth in a manner that is comprehensible to the person you love – why do you think you love them at all?

And really, if you can’t communicate with your partner in a comprehensible way, how can you really know if they love you?

so, it’s no wonder to me that in most couples, one or both people are always one foot out the door and scanning the horizon for new and better prospects.



I was going to put the one liner version on the Shut In Stand Up Blog, but the later comment made me feel it was more appropriate on this Living Well in recovery blog.





1. BREATHING AND EXERCISE: I know this sounds like common sense.  However, are you really doing it… taking long, slow, deep breaths and taking the time to do this a few times throughout the day?  What is your exercise routine?   Exercise is probably one of the most important proven stress reducers.  A recent article in Better Nutrition magazing recommends a weekly mixture of weights, aerobics and stretching.  For me, it has to be fun.  I love my pilates class.  My local Curves offers a great Zumba dance class and I go to the gym twice a week for the heavy weights.


2. WHAT YOU EAT MATTERS:  What are you eating?  Try making a list of everything you put in your mouth this week.  Be conscious and awake here.  Sugars and starch can make you feel edgy, depressed and even angry… all leading to fatigue and irrational thinking, which directly leads to stress.  Living foods can help reduce stress, give you energy and help create clarity.  Try reducing the sugars and starch and increasing the greens and see what happens.


3. CONFIDENCE LOWERS STRESS:  I interviewed Master Talent Teacher founder and 30 year commercial audition coach, Carolyne Barry.  Her top tip on dealing with stress is “make a point of building your confidence.”  Carolyne’s worked with thousands of actors and she feels that the proper training with the right people combined with dedicated preparation is paramount to helping build confidence.  Feeling confident about yourself and your work will keep stress at bay.  Find out more about Carolyne at or at


4. HAVE A FULL LIFE:  Carolyne also suggested that we make sure we have a full life.   She’s all about mastering being organized so that “you can schedule in time for you!”  She suggests that “We dance, lunch with friends, walk, read a good book… release from work.”  “We’re alive to enjoy the ride” she says, ”so, how you treat yourself is important.  Surround yourself with empowering people and celebrate and appreciate every success, everyday… big and small.”


5. MEDITATION:  Meditation is an excellent stress reducer says Transformation Coach and Soul Notes founder Barbara Daoust.  Even a few minutes a day at any time during the day is beneficial.  However “the optimal times” Barbara suggests “are before bed and first thing in the morning when we are in our alpha state.  These are the best times to generate positive affirmations and new patterns of thinking that you want to develop.”  ”Silencing the mind will help you focus,” she says, “and focus leads to clarity and the more clarity we have the more the conscious we are.  The more conscious we are the more we can distinguish our thoughts.”  As I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, if you are a beginner or if you feel you just don’t have time check out   And to check out Barbara’s site go to


6. THE PIVOTAL PROCESS:  Barbara was telling me that of the over 50,000 random thoughts we have per day as many as 75 to 95% are negative!  Does that blow your mind?  Seldom do we question our thoughts and yet they determine our feelings.  The more we focus on the negative the more the negative expands.  That downward spiral leads to stress.  Barbara feels that the pivotal process is a great tool to offset this.  “Ask yourself… do I feel powerful or powerless?  When you do this you can consciously raise yourself into a better feeling thought.  When you’re feeling more powerful you’re managing your thoughts versus your thoughts managing you.”


7. TIME MANAGEMENT:  A lot of our stress comes from having too much to do and not enough time to do it.  One of the things that I did back when I started to experience stress was look at how I could improve my time management skills.  I was very weak in this area.  I took a time management workshop and the trainer suggested that we invest in a day planner or day timer.  I love it and I believe it actually reduces my stress.   Here are a couple of tricks that I use with my day planner.  At the end of each work day I set up my list for the next day.  That way I am not taking work home with me.  It stays in the office.  Also, I list my jobs numerically in order of importance.  And I check them off as I go through the day which feels really good.  If there are items still left on my list I move them to the next day.  Give it a try.


8. WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE:  Words have a direct effect on us both psychologically and physiologically so be careful what you say.  My stress specialist told me to stop using works like ‘should’ and ‘must.’  Use preferences instead.  For example, replace “I should have gotten that role,” with “It would have been nice if I had gotten the role and I certainly did my best.”  It really does take the pressure off and you gradually learn to stop beating up on yourself.

9. CHANGE YOUR SELF-TALK: What are those voices in your head telling you?  Most of the time we are on autopilot and thinking the worst is a tunnel we tend to go down.  It’s called ‘catastrophizing.’  We predict that the worst is going to happen.  My stress specialist back in the 80s gave me a great exercise for this.  He had me keep a daily list of events that caused me anxiety.  I had to write out a brief description of each item with a parallel category describing “what’s the worst that could happen?”  I was always amazed and relieved to know that even the worse possible scenario was something I could handle and never life threatening.  It’s a great exercise.


10. DO YOUR HOMEWORK:  And like the quote says “Live like your life depends on it.”  Like every topic today there are tons of resources available.  Google stress and you’ll find a wealth of information.   A couple of books that I found extremely helpful are Dr. David Burns “Feeling Good, the New Mood Therapy” and Dr. Albert Ellis’ “Rational Emotive Therapy – Self Help Techniques.”  If you feel that you really need help, make an appointment with a stress specialist.  Don’t let stress interfere with the joy and fun you want and deserve to have from life.



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