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Monday, January 22, 2018

Keeping God's Secrets

Today was a miraculous day! God very visibly, UNDENIABLY answered my prayer..

Wanted to YELL TO THE WORLD the miracle God just did. I told 2 people - one started crying tears of unbelief, and the other gasped for air in amazement. I called whoever I thought it would bless... the rest, I am keeping this miracle in my heart as long as I can by staying in the conscious presence of Jesus.

If a person didn't answer, I felt they didn't need the message. I only shared to GLORIFY GOD. IT'S NOT ABOUT ME. 

I KNOW THAT WAS GOD GOING OUT OF HIS WAY TO TELL ME TRUST HIM. HE PROVED BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT TO KNOW HE IS IN CONTROL... DON'T JUST "HOPE" HE IS. 

I am turning off my phone and getting on my knees to be with Him... no distractions.

I feel like the day I was saved! FREE! 

LATER-

I spent several quality hours with Jesus, and it was so refreshing. 

Worship, praise, and contemplation. 

Reading how Joshua took over the Jericho and God told them rid the city of all that was not of Him, they got rid of the people, yet kept the gold and silver...they disobeyed. Keeping the gold may have seemed minute to them, but it was a sin. They disobeyed God. I want my life free of everything that is not of Him. Everything else is meaningless. 

Borrowed From Pinterest

Just found this inspirational article from Pinterest about creating a vision board... after researching quality of life, goal setting and vision boards for 20 years, this is one of the best articles I've found. I wish I could credit the author, but can't find contact page.

✏ Definitely following her blog.
How to Create a Powerful Vision Board

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Yalom and Writing

Yalom discusses writing, Existentialism and psychotherapy... everything I love by my favorite psychiatrist. Interesting he changed his mind about online therapy sessions. 

Be With People who Inspire You

After writing in seclusion all week, I was so thankful for my friend taking me out last night,. We went to this brewery where she bought me a cool glass, they give you 6 tickets and one ticket equals a glass of one of their various beers. It was amazing. Not only was the venue Seminoles (Native American), it was indoors opened to a huge patio with a band, firepits, and dogs galore! Of course, everyone wore FSU gear, and since my friend works at FSU (Student Affairs), I was surrounded by alumnus. Discussions included books, theatre (I was invited to the opening night of FSU's Theatre production of "The Adam's Family"!. 

Definitely my element when her friends used words like "dystopian", and other stimulating concepts. It truly soothed my brain while we discussed existentialism and psychological theories. My friend is one of those people who inspire you to make the world a better place, just as she does with things like taking her plastic container with her to recycle at home since there was no recycle bin and supporting local vendors. From playing cards, Connect Four, playing with dogs, to engaging in conversations with wit, humor and compassion, she did it all.

Lesson learned - socialize with people who have qualities you desire. Her friends all were educated, welcoming, and all around GOOD PEOPLE. This recluse is already looking forward to hanging out with her again.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Making Dreams Your Reality... Despite Having a Disability

Response to schools limiting student's vocational goals -
https://youtu.be/_G-ppNLqg3c

Follow my blog at thewritingtherapist.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Living in the Moment

My recent vacation has turned out to be profitable for my job as a freelance writer. While discussing those few days with a couple of friends, God has revealed to me how my cell phone and smart watch (which I accidentally left at the hotel and am STILL trying to adjust to life without it) are preventing me from living in the moment. We are so distracted by things of this world, we miss out on life. 
My co-author and I were discussing creation and creativity… how God is The Ultimate Creator.  She told me how the sky was such a glorious shade of pink underneath a puffy gray cloud, she rushed to take a picture,  and it was gone by the time she found her phone.
During my vacation, I walked my dog around the lake at 6 am before people crowded the streets. Desiring quality prayer time, I  purposefully left my cell phone in the hotel so I could take in the ambiance and silence 
While having dinner with my Godparents and close friends, I only used my phone to take pictures because I was so engaged in conversations. I didn't want to miss anything. 
When driving steep mountains in the rain and fog at night, this Florida girl gripped the steering wheel to focus on the semi lights ahead. I didn't even listen to the radio, much less pick up the cell phone, for I needed to completely focus on the journey, not daring to look to the left or right. I kept my focus on repeating Bible verses for comfort.
As I type this on my tablet,  I am fighting the distraction of my phone beeping text message alerts in the other room. I need to silence the phone to stay single-minded. Too often, my phone keeps me from living in the moment. Think of how offended it is when you are trying to talk to someone and they are busy looking at their phone. We do that to Jesus, missing out on hearing from Him and appreciating His creation. 
He tells us in Jeremiah 33:3 to call on Him and He will show us unsearchable things we do not know. We call other people and search Google for answers to questions only God can provide. Trying to find information on social media keeps us from living in the moment. We put so much effort into trying to take control, we miss out on what truly matters. 
As my co-author suggested, we need to enjoy creation, actively participate in life instead of just taking pictures of it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cerebral Palsy and Anxiety

Here is my first video blog. Check out the impact of having a panic attack in addition to Cerebral Palsy at my YouTube channel. Cerebral Palsy and Anxiety Video

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sample from My Upcoming Blog




There has been a delay in launching my newest blog because I am making it PERFECT! I am so excited to share it with you because it covers all my passions, including Bible study, book reviews, writing, psychology, making dreams reality, and living authentically.

Since this post relates to art therapy, which is such a useful therapeutic technique to use with the most difficult client, I will share a glimpse of my new blog, The Christian Bohemian.


Using the Past to Live Today



Today is my first day back to work after a vacation to my childhood home. Of course, I am "working" just 30 minutes after waking, under the blankets of my warm bed. A major perk of being a freelance writer. The importance of following your passions and swimming against the current epitomized my trip. I took my tablet to get some work done, and decided to take in each moment instead. Let's say I did research more than writing. Here's what I learned:

Perspective is everything.  So much has changed in my once beloved childhood environment, I literally sat in my car and cried. Was my brain playing tricks on me? Had I romanticized the once warm, inviting environment of my youth? I focused on the changes, mostly negative, instead of holding on to how life was back in my day. It wasn't until I met my closest childhood friends and Godparents that I realized the environment had changed, and so have I.  Time passes, life happens, growth occurs. Hold on to the positive influences and use the negative to embrace the rewards you have earned through hard work, courage, and perseverance.
Not until I met with my former hairstylist did I feel a sense of belonging. Seeing her was like fitting in the missing puzzle piece that makes me ME. My entire body and mind “let go" by her mere presence. Later, when the group gathered for dinner, my world was right again. Love encompassed me like a cloud as I observed my guests interacting effortlessly despite some had never previously met. Various discussions were concurrently flowing, and each of them were of great interest to me.
Just hours before, I felt my memories were tainted and fallacious. Now, I realize home is the baseline we each carry within us. If everything remains the same, there is no growth. The absence of growth is stagnation.
Instead of longing for the good ol’ days, use those reflections to measure the distance you've progressed towards your self-determined quality of life. Notice the quality of relationships, alignment of interests (addressed in a future post), even your character.
Are you who you aspired to be? Are you happy? Compared to who you were as a child, are you where you want to be? It's a great time to take inventory and start/continue to purposefully be living.



“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Diffusers

I quit using my diffuser after reading the scents are not good for cats... now I have had a 12 hour migraine. Broke down and took 2 of my last 4 Excedrine for Migraines! And Kashmere is coming out with the ULTIMATE DIFFUSER! I even tried putting lavender oil on my eye mask. It's not the same. The oils definitely calm my anxiety, take away migraines and clear up congestion.

The more I researched, the more convinced I am it's not worth the risk. Then I read Kashmere's blog on diffusers .

I am so confused. I won't base my decision on that one website. Diffusers definitely help me, but not willing to potentially hurt my kitty...

To be continued!

Any experience would be appreciated if you'll share...

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Turning Dreams into Reality

When I worked as a school counselor for students with disabilities, it was heartbreaking to hear high school kids getting ready to "graduate' with no transition plan. Classes were exceeding capacity with students of various physical and ESPECIALLY cognitive levels, all on "special diplomas", which are basically Certificates of Attendance. Neither the students nor their parents knew they would not be earning a High School diploma.

The county received additional funding per student with disabilities. If a child has a visible disability, no testing was performed. They were thrown in the portable behind the main campus, away from the general population.

On top of missing out on age appropriate peer interactions, the students were playing checkers and coloring all day. There was no academia from the beginning. Here they were, High School Seniors, who were unable to read, write, or do basic math. The situation was a complete travesty.

Of course, the students had no idea what would happen after getting out of high school. I went back to square one, and developed a tool to help students plan for a future based on their interests. Even defining their interests was a great challenge since, as the teacher informed me, students were not even given the option of vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

My Dream Portfolio has since been successful with court-ordered adolescents, couples in premarital counseling,  professionals desiring a career change, and every other population I have treated.

Every person deserves to turn their passions and dreams into reality. Amazingly, this is not common knowledge. Dream about YOUR ideal life with NO limitations. Brainstorm, and write down your interests, then short term and long term goals to make your dream life reality.

Resolve not to settle anymore. This is purposeful living. In a future post, I will show you how to use planners (an obsession of mine), to develop a map to your dream life. After all, staying on the right path with a clear destination in view is being effectively productive.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Crappy Thing Called Crohns

So I started the year determined to be a full-time freelance writer. I haven't even written in my planners or bullet journal the past 2 days. My Crohn's Disease has me planted on the couch. Found this great article comforting me. 


Something so simple as intestinal spasms can, rather, DOES dictate every minute of my days. There's no forewarning, no definitive precautions, nothing. One minute, I feel fine. Five minutes later, I am either keeled over in a ball feeling like my stomach just got hit with a wrecking ball OR sitting/standing with a massive diarrhea explosion in my panties. 

Needless to say, I try not to go out in public. I have days where I have to take three showers per day because I make such a mess. My way of attempting to avoid symptoms is to lay still with no movement. When I get up, liquid diahreah leaks out. It's horrible. I take Dicyclomine, which has lessened my flare ups, but stress triggers Crohn's.

At age 16, I was diagnosed and doctors have tried putting me on predisone - I won't go for personal reasons, and cutting the part of my intestines that is impacted - which I refuse because if you keep cutting out the problem site, another flare up appears elsewhere, and soon you'll have to poop out of a bag.

Crohn's is when your intestines spasm and form blockages where food can't pass through, so you vomit and have diarrhea concurrently. 


Welcome to my life.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Aging with Cerebral Palsy

Being a full-time writer has already impacted my health, and I just started a few days ago! There are so many projects on my plate, I have been having chest pain, anxiety, anger outbursts, Crohn’s attacks, and extreme irritability at distractions. I keep a bullet journal recording how I rate in different areas of each day (faith, reading, writing, self-care, etc.) and the numbers are declining.

Aging with Cerebral Palsy is challenging because while the brain damage remains the same, the rest of the body declines faster than individuals without Cerebral Palsy. As quoted in 8 Factors that Affect Life Span in Cerebral Palsy - 

Those with physical impairment can also experience premature aging. Inactivity and lack of exercise can weaken the body and decrease immunity and cognitive function. Some children with Cerebral Palsy will use more energy to move than a child without Cerebral Palsy. The result is excessive wear on internal organs, including the heart.

Cerebral Palsy led to numerous secondary condititions forcing me to shut down my counseling practice. I literally have not had time commitments for 10 years! It's overwhelming. I question my ability to write full time. Cerebral Palsy never goes away. And I am constantly fending off PTSD, Agoraphobia, Major Clinical Depression, Attention Deficit Disorder, Crohn’s Disease, Endometriosis, Drug Addiction or Excoriation.

 I still have bad times that no one knows about. This is so frustrating since Cerebral Palsy didn’t limit me until my middle 30’s. Lately, I have been having chest pain, so much so that I drafted an article about Cerebral Palsy and Costochondritis, wondering if people with Cerebral Palsy are at a higher rate for heart attacks. The night I started the draft, a friend with Cerebral Palsy died from a heart attack.  You can read more about Costochondritis in The Medical Dictionary.com.

You can have a normal childhood with Cerebral Palsy.., yet adulthood becomes more challenging,

Friday, January 5, 2018

Description of New Blog

Although I have been blogging for 12 years, converting from writing as a hobby to a full time job has been challenging. I wanted to launch my newest website January 1st, and I could have. I want this blog to be informative and entertaining, covering a wide range of topics. The website is The Christian Bohemian... Not Your Traditional Christian.

There will be different sections covering the following topics: psychology, disabilities, Golden Retrievers and kitties, books, writing life, guilty pleasures, poetry, and faith based material.

In a few months, I will write ebooks to purchase... informative guides on planning and realizing your dreams, how to build a successful business writing, mental health issues, physical disabilities, Bible studies, and devotionals.

Then I will configure a YouTube channel to coincide with posts. This will be especially useful since I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has mental illnesses, so I provide a perspective from both sides of the couch.

Until I get my newest blog launched, I will post on this site content written for The Christian Bohemian..

Please be patient- you are going to love my newest blog.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Blogging about Suicide

Between writing, blogging, promoting and organizing, I never look through Facebook anymore. I am in this writing groove and have learned how to market my work, so I turn my phone on silent now to avoid distractions.

I wanted to share something MAJOR- When my mom triggered me into suicidal thoughts, I was telling Jen I am mad at God because He won't let me come home, and quoted all these scriptures where He says He is not like my earthly parents, when I listed ways He is. I put my Bible on the shelf because He (like mom) won't talk to me face to face, so I wasn't going to read the Bible anymore. I studied suicide in Grad school. I have to take professional courses on suicide prevention yearly to maintain my counseling license because suicide is so common. It makes me so mad 14 year old kids commit suicide. I have tried so many times and failed. I give up trying. Jen said the PERFECT response: "God is NOT like your relatives. God won't let you commit suicide because you make the world a better place, where your relatives don't care if you die". She got me.

Benefits of Depression

Benefits of Recurring Depression

This blog will soon split off into a devotional blog and a counseling blog. I've been torn on how to incorporate the two into one blog without chasing away non-believers. Hang in there as I make further transitions!

So let’s discuss mental illness, shall we? As mentioned before, I’ve been everywhere from being a Licensed therapist to a suicidal patient in a mental ward. Speaking of transitions!! The contrasts are vast, from the people I hung around to whether or not I had a roof over my head. I’m good now, thank God. Yet depression is a lifelong condition, which can poke its head up at any time. Once you have suffered the depths of depression, it can get easier.

·       You’ll discover the hopelessness and lethargy are temporary; you CAN feel better again.

·       You find out who your true friends are… and are NOT.

·       You better understand the mental health system, including knowing which statements cause alarm.

·       You learn some things are better left unsaid.

·       You have better empathy for others suffering from depression.

·       On a similar note, you have no patience for people who carelessly use the word ‘depression’ to describe a bad mood or upsetting circumstance.

·       You learn after trial and error which medications/techniques/therapies help you best.

·       You know what to expect.

While three depressive episodes indicate the need for lifelong treatment, experience can be beneficial when struggling through the hard times. Knowing you have made it before proves you can make it again.

When all else fails, take life 5 minutes at a time…

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

World Introvert Day

 My dear friend is hooking me up for my second visit to The Bohemian Celebration Hotel, which is truly DREAM-LIKE! Last time I stayed there, I truly felt a high as if I was on some phenomenal drug. The hotel makes me feel like a little girl playing Princess in the Castle...

Well, the hotel is located in my former home town (pre-college days) so I want to see the friends I love. But the more I plan, the tighter my chest is getting. My Crohn's is kicking in as I try fitting everyone in three short days of paradise. 

However, It's The Bohemian Celebration! MY DREAM HOTEL! I want to relax and enjoy the hotel and write on my patio and walk the quaint town with my Jireh...

I have become the one person I so often criticize for allowing them to make me feel like a burden when they are too busy for me. My dilemma is becoming a lesson in self-care. Other's being "too busy" isn't about me. It doesn't mean they don't love me. It means they have set healthy boundaries, prioritizing what is needed to be their best.

Some people need to stay busy. Being active gives them purpose and satisfaction. People energize them. These are extroverts.

My friend is on the go non-stop. After trying to connect with her, I told her I would go INSANE with her schedule!  Not to mention physically, but mentally and emotionally... I have a limited supply, and when it's gone...  when I start getting over stimulated, you need to step away. I get MEAN with the flip of a switch. I don't want to be that person. 

I am an introvert to the highest degree. A recluse. That doesn't mean I don't love my friends... it means I need to show them my love by taking care of myself. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

The First Resolution For Success


Started this on new blog, Mediaism. - Happy New Year! Starting my first Bullet Journal today to keep me focused. I always reply to messages and calls immediately, not only taking away from MY TIME, but messing up my mind space. I am a full-time writer, and part of my resolution is to stay on a strict schedule. In fact, this is turning into a long blog post which will be continued on either thewritingtherapist.blogspot.com or my other new blog. Setting boundaries dictate the details of my day as interruptions themselves irritate me. Add on the necessity of switching thought processes, which frequently lead to emotional energy, and by the time I finish addressing the interruption, my thoughts, emotions, and physical stamina are majorly depleted. That's why people with attention deficit disorder tend to have several projects started, and years (yes, YEARS) go by with the same to-do lists. My goals for 2018 are the same goals as 2017, 2016... even 2010! So this year, my top goal is to set strict boundaries. Forbidding interruptions help to focus on what truly matters.