Our choice of Paths

 

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In this moment right now, I surround myself with kindness
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Next, I send kindness to everyone that crosses my path.

 

I am not in competition with others, I share this path and look for opportunity to help others.

 


The real pleasures in life can be experienced in these small mundane crevices of existence.

 

Under the cognitive glare of comparison, under the biased judgment of our “Ego”, lies wellbeing.

 

Wellbeing (Happiness) sprouts from gratitude and giving.

 

Giving without regard for reward fuels the happy soul.

 

When feeling down, gloomy, depressed, or lost, look for ways to give.
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I have to get out of my head!!!!!!

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I have a tendency, like everyone, to over think , to be up inside my head, constantly.

 

If I am in my head, I enter into the past and future.

 

This space brings trouble for me, suffering in fact.


Relief arrives when I enter my heart space, away from my “Ego”, away from cognition.

 

That is an ever-present space, observing the present moment, using intuition as my navigation guide.

 


Let thought go, be gracious and look for opportunities to give.
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PTSD and Civil War Veterans


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Veterans of the Civil War were perhaps the first to draw attention to the possible psychological consequences of combat. At the time, veterans with psychological problems, including criminality, alcoholism and addiction, violent behavior, and suicide were attributed to “nervous trouble”, “nostalgia”, “soldier’s heart”, and other vaguely defined conditions which are now known as post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

In this work, the authors, respectively the Senior Fellow and the Chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, devoted to the advancement of persons with disabilities, examine the effects of the war on a sampling of Union veterans, both black and white, with particular attention to the suicides now recognized as a frequent result of PTSD.

 

Their results, bolstered by an impressive mass of statistics, indicate that veterans had a notably higher suicide rate than men in the same social cohorts who had not served. Moreover, men who had been injured in combat or who had undergone the ordeal of being prisoners of war were even more likely to commit suicide than veterans who had been wounded or imprisoned.

 

While they uncovered these grim statistics, Logue and Blanck also found that veterans were more likely to be unmarried or have marital problems, more frequently suffered insanity commitments, and even were relatively less wealthy than non-veterans, though oddly African-American veterans appear to have been somewhat more prosperous than black non-veterans.

 

Heavy Laden, a volume in the “Cambridge Disability Law and Policy Series”, is an important read for students of veterans affairs, throwing fresh light on the problems that still affect those who served.
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Kindness by MARK TWAIN

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Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

 

— MARK TWAIN

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Kindness starts within, fills the host, then flows outward.

 

Surround yourself with loving kindness, bathe in it’s soothing warmth.

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Unfamiliar Places

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“Some people feel more alive when they travel and visit unfamiliar places or foreign countries because at those times sense perception — experiencing — takes up more of their consciousness than thinking. They become more present.

— ECKHART TOLLE”

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My two cents:  Happiness does not have a geographical component.

 

Happiness does thrive in only one time zone, right now.

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The power of the Mind

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Nando Parrado: excerpt from a speech;

“I walked them through all the important moments of the ordeal so that they experienced it all just as I had, the wild grief I felt when Susy died, the terror when we heard that the search had been canceled, and the horror of chewing the flesh of our dead friends.

 

I placed them with us inside the fuselage on the night of the avalanche and in the grim days that followed.

 

I led them up the mountain and showed them the devastating view from the summit, then I took them with Roberto and me on the trek, which we were certain would lead us to our deaths.

I didn’t say a word about creativity or teamwork or problem solving.

 

I didn’t mention the word success.

 

Instead, I shared with them what I suddenly realized was the true lesson of my ordeal:

 

It wasn’t cleverness or courage or any kind of competence or savvy that saved us, it was nothing more than love, our love for each other, for our families, for the lives we wanted so desperately to live.

 

Our suffering in the Andes had swept away everything trivial and unimportant.

 

Each of us realized, with a clarity that is hard to describe, that the only crucial thing in life is the chance to love and be loved.

 

In our families, in our futures, we already had everything we needed. The sixteen of us who were lucky enough to return to our lives will never forget this.

 

No one should forget this.”

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My journey with PTSD anxiety

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PTSD anxiety would be considered severe anxiety in most cases. I experienced  full-blown adrenal stress response (fight or flight mechanism) many times each day.


My system wanted to avoid another dump of cortisol and adrenaline at all costs. That desire led to six months of agoraphobia.


Resisting failed miserably, so I plotted ways to be friends with my nervous system.

 

The first step was to learn not to be afraid of anxiety or experiencing the frightening symptoms.

Denying, resisting, avoiding gave PTSD power!


What to do?

 

Strenuous aerobic exercise and daily meditation soothed my nervous system. It was not an easy or quick journey but an extremely simple one.

 

Aerobic exercise depleted the cortisol and adrenaline. I could exert maximum energy and my mind could share the exhilaration and accomplishment. Even when my mind was frozen my legs could move with determination.

 

Meditation allowed me to observe my panic attacks, allowed me to sit in the middle of those explosions, quietly.


There was nothing to fear inside the mechanism. I saw my fear, it was only my defense mechanism trying to warn me of imagined danger.

 

It was broken from my childhood trauma. No real danger existed inside my PTSD.

 

I found it could be fixed. Trauma thoughts could be integrated into the present moment, safely with a specific use of meditation.


I have PTSD symptoms at times but my adrenal stress response does not fire now.

 

Meditation and aerobic exercise quell the anxiety monster!
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