How a Rose Quartz Helped My Mental Health

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Photo by Adam Dachis

As you may know, I explored and adopted various spiritual practices and principles when I was first diagnosed with depression some 7-8 years ago.

But I never “got” crystals.

I’d collected the bog standard ones that beginners often get, Rose Quartz for love, Aventurine for the heart chakra, Blue Lace Agate for the throat chakra. But I didn’t feel anything when I held them, and I ended up leaving them in a drawer.

Then last year I randomly bought a beautiful piece of blue Celestite. The first time I meditated with it in my hand, I felt different. Clearer, calmer and more connected (and more inclined towards alliteration lol). This prompted me to dig out the crystals I’d bought and look for more that might help me with the specific issues I was having.

Fast forward to 4 weeks ago. I am a total mess.

My dermatillomania is the worst it’s been in years (for those who haven’t heard of it, it’s also known as a Repetitive Body Focused Behaviour, or Compulsive Skin-Picking). I am having CBT which has helped me understand the condition and given me more motivation and accountability to stop, but only I can resist the urge and kick the habit and I am really, really struggling. In fact it’s getting so bad that I am having panic attacks over it. In public.

So this one night, 4 weeks ago, I was feeling extremely down about it all. I was getting ready for bed and putting my gloves on so I wouldn’t pick in my sleep. And I randomly decided to pop my old Rose Quartz inside the glove on my left hand. Silently, and probably rather half-heartedly because I didn’t have the energy at that point to fight, I asked it to help me feel better.

The next morning, I woke up, and I didn’t pick.

At midday I texted my therapist to say OMG I haven’t picked yet today. I was so proud. More than that, I was astonished. I had not been able to resist picking for this many hours, for almost a year.

I have not picked since that night.

I have not picked for four weeks.

Frankly, it feels like nothing short of a miracle. It was literally overnight. I went to bed a compulsive skin-picker, and woke up reformed. (There is a theory that we are more open to spiritual healing when we’re asleep). I retained the habit of feeling my skin for imperfections (although that has lessened massively over time) but I literally had no interest in picking anymore.

When I next saw my therapist I felt squirmy at how little involvement I had had in this miraculous recovery. She quickly told me that I had had a massive amount to do with it, which of course is true. I had had months of CBT prior to it. I had reached a point of desperation which led to determination to quit. I had tried and tried and tried again.

I can’t promise this will happen to everyone. And I can’t explain exactly what happened. But it’s worth a try. Try it for anything you are going through, any mental health concerns you may have.

And if it doesn’t work the first time, persevere. Because we are all at different stages of spiritual openness. There’s no rules to if, when or how it can work so don’t beat yourself up. It can be a process, or it can be instant.

I wish you love, light and hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mental Wellbeing vs Paying Bills

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One of the main themes of Freedom, Birdie! has always been the relationship between mental health and work: which, for so many of us, means surviving in a job we don’t enjoy, for whatever reason.

Everything I write (well, except the vegan burger recipes 😋) relates somehow to my own goal to escape the career path I am in;  and to instead work independently doing something which allows me to live the fullest authentic expression of who I am, and be happy and healthy. As an INFP if I have to take a job just for the money, a job in which I have no interest, emotional engagement or spiritual reward, if I have to assume a ‘character’ and repress elements of myself to ‘get the job done’ and be ‘the face that fits’, it is to my mental and physical detriment.

Yet that is the situation I have been in for many years as a professional ‘temp’. You can be sure I’ve spent those years exploring for a better-suited career path, starting up a number of entrepreneurial ventures, and working through my emotional and spiritual blocks – but out of necessity I’ve had to keep taking the ‘soul-destroying’ jobs and in doing so I’ve continued to push my mental wellbeing and the greater my emotional and physical health has suffered as a result.

So I’m currently in another temp job, which started in January and finishes in April.

Three weeks in I was given the workload of 3 people and it was this which alerted me to the toll these many years have taken on my body and spirit. I just can’t tolerate it the way I used to – I used to be able to get through 3 months in a job before I started to feel depressed, trapped and panicky. Now it’s only a matter of a few weeks.

I feel weaker now. In body and mind. It’s not just the usual repercussions: the insomnia, panic attacks, chest aches, sadness that leads to depression, feeling frustrated, drained and defeated. This time I feel tearful all the time, in and out of work. And I’m extremely anxious about work, in and out of work. I ache all over, more than ever. And my hands are noticeably shaking.

People who don’t know how this feels, they don’t get it. My doctor doesn’t get it. My government doesn’t get it. It’s constant and it’s exhausting. I can FEEL there will be great and more serious repercussions on my health, sooner or later. But you are expected to carry on until you crash and burn; only then, once there is visible ‘proof’ that you aren’t well, can you be helped and really taken seriously.

In the meantime you feel alone, scared, trapped, and under the assumption that you must just be so WEAK to feel like this.

As you can see I don’t have a definitive answer but I share everything I share simply to show all those who are experiencing the same that you are not alone. Connection can make a massive difference. And so can speaking out.

Please, do not accept this as ‘the way things are’. You deserve better.

Reframing Mondays

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Scratch. Cling. Scream. Desperate. Sad.

These are all words I just typed into a search engine, looking for an appropriate image for this blog post that would accurately portray my feelings right now (p.s. that’d be the one above).

It’s Sunday evening. And I am clawing at the remnants of the day – no actually I am clinging onto it for dear life. My fingers are bloodied and torn. I am screaming these awful, gutteral, painful howls as panic rips through my insides. I am pleading hysterically “please, please, please don’t leave me!”.

I don’t want today to end, because I don’t want Monday to come.

It’s not like I have an awful Monday planned: I’m not going to a funeral, or into hospital. It’s just another day in a temp job. But for someone who’s been trying to transition OUT of that lifestyle and into a life and a career I love, for many years, it’s the same. old. shit.  and it can frequently feel maddeningly frustrating.

I know some will tell me to be grateful, to get real, to suck it up. All I can say is, I’m an INFJ (or an INFP depending on the day): I need engagement and fulfilment in my work. I am trying my hardest to make that a reality,but in the meantime the days spent doing monotonous and menial tasks feel like my life is going down the toilet.

I’ve realised that, actually, what makes an impending Monday worse is that on Sunday night I start to get REALLY mean with myself about how I’ve spent my weekend.

“You haven’t worked hard enough this weekend to change things. You took a break to have that nap / take that bath / watch that show. You sit here immobilised by your fears and your obstacles and your laziness and then you get upset that things aren’t changing. Your efforts are crap. Your energy levels are pitiful. You think you’re brave and ambitious and determined, you’re delusional love!!”.

So tonight I thought I’d try and reframe my thoughts. It worked and I’d like to share it with you.

*I have done the best that I could*
*I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now*
*A new day, and a new week, is a new opportunity*
*Monday HAS to come so I can take one step closer to my dreams*
*Monday will be GREAT because I will be one step closer to my dreams*

Just give this a try and see how you feel afterwards. I can’t say I feel amazingly joyous, but I feel less rooted-in-misery-and-fear than I did 10 minutes ago. I was lying on my bed face down half-heartedly clutching a crystal, feeling paralysed in sadness and hopelessness. And now I feel…accepting of what is. And even, dare I say it, almost ok with it? I mean, if it’s going to bring me a step closer to my dreams, then that’s ok isn’t it?

After all, there’s no point wishing Monday isn’t going to come. But we’ve survived this many of them, we can survive another one.

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from Sunny DE Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to have a ‘Me Hour’

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I decided today that I urgently needed a ‘Me Hour’ (which is something I made up on the spot).

The rules for ‘Me Hour’ were threefold:

  1. Don’t think about any worries, problems, responsibilities, decisions, people, injustices, frustrations.
  2. Don’t compare myself to anybody else.
  3. Don’t continue any thought which begins with the phase “I should be…”

I set a timer, and then I put my computer and phone to one side.

I ran a bath telling myself not to feel guilt for using my last limited edition bath bomb instead of saving it for a ‘special occasion’.

I didn’t pressure myself to use the time to visualise, dream, pray, manifest, plan, connect to my Higher Self/guardian angels, analyse, strategise or decide.

Every time a thought floated in which breached these rules, I floated it out again. I acknowledged the aches and pains in my body but without analysis. If I received any intuitive guidance, without any ‘trying’ on my part, I allowed it.

I bathed in silence.

When the hour was up, I took Baxter for a walk. I strode around our usual route and felt so different to usual. I felt grateful and strong and powerful. I felt more connected, more energy and more faith.

I know alone time is an elusive luxury for many. But I hope you may find time, and schedule it into your weekly planner if possible, to gift yourself this opportunity to come back to yourself.

After all….

 

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What am I doing? Mid-January edition!

 

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Let’s dive straight in 😀

I AM… getting my Leonie Dawson on.

I got the Leonie Dawson 2016 Life Workbook and Weekly Planner for Christmas, and I am committing a bit of time every weekend to filling the Workbook out and making plans in the Planner.

I haven’t been strict enough with myself to make specific goals that actually push me forwards. I am feeling the call to do so, but I’m hiding in my cocoon. I need to be brave, strong, and more determined about my dreams!

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Here I am in the bath!

I AM… keeping a daily diary.

I’ve tried to do this before and it never lasts, but so far I only have 4 unfilled pages!

I am trying it out so I can get my feelings down on paper as all too often I hold them in. And also so that I can record any spiritual happenings or guidance, dreams and signs that happen.

I AM… seeing a lot of unicorns!

Speaking of signs… So, elementals. I’ve not been that interested in the past; they’re a bit too ‘woo woo’ for me.

But the past 1.5-2 weeks I’ve seen unicorns everywhere! Yes I know if you follow anything spiritual on social media you’re bound to see unicorns, but it all actually started with a unicorn appearing in my meditation one day and since then I’ve seen them literally all over the place.

Apparently, unicorns assist with self-belief and faith, hope, the imagination and healing. All of which I would say are themes for me ☺️

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I AM… reading ‘Soul Shifts’ by Barbara de Angelis.

And it is wonderful. Barbara creates the image that your Higher Self is a temple and I LOVE that. It resonates.

You are a Seer rather than a Seeker of your own wisdom. You merely need to understand that everything you’re searching for – which in my case is my life purpose and satisfying that horrible feeling that I’m here to DO something but I don’t remember what – is within you already. You just need to open yourself to it.

Since reading this I’ve had some vivid dreams and felt shifts to my thoughts and my energy, so I know it is penetrating at a deep soul level and I can’t wait to see what happens as I continue into the book.

I AM… rewatching Ab Fab.

Lately I seem to enjoy rewatching old classics over discovering new shows. So I found Ab Fab on Netflix Australia and have had a good binge.

Watching it now I’m older I can better appreciate the fantastic writing by Jennifer Saunders and the acting of all the cast but particularly Joanna Lumley as Patsy; I’ve since seen her out of character in numerous documentaries and she’s so poised and classy in real life, this just makes her performance more fascinating and her comedic skills more impressive!

I also sit here gobsmacked at how incredibly abusive Eddy is towards her daughter Saffy, I take it for what it is of course (i.e. not real!) but my HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) side feels too deeply for the Saffy character. Ah the trials of being so sensitive!

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That’s all for now! I’ll be back next week, it’s in the weekly planner 😄🙏

And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going

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There’s no denying it: in latter 2015 I fell out of the habit of blogging.

There is a lot going on in my personal life that I cannot discuss at the moment.

I mean, I can still talk vegan and Etsy and publish general thoughts and recommendations but it feels almost superficial.

How can I maintain an honest space on my blog, where I give from all parts of myself, and where I urge others to live authentically and to reach for that life they’ll love, when I am not able to speak my truth?

WELL I don’t know, yet, but I want to keep writing here and connecting with others – and so one of my goals for 2016 is to find a way to keep blogging authentically. Until such a time as I can speak the whole truth.

Now, any idea how I actually do this?? Haha 😄xx

 

 

Frenemies on Social Media

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This has been on my mind for a while but more as a little gripe than anything worth talking about. It should be something I can brush off without further thought because it’s so tiny and so stupid really, and 99% of the time I do simply brush it off. But now feels right to discuss that silly little 1% that bothers me.

Frenemies, or Fake Friends, on Social Media.

I’ve had to step back from a few Frenemy friendships over the years but I remain ‘friends’ with them on social media because,  although it didn’t feel healthy for me to be in their company on a regular basis anymore, I still cared for them and I wanted to keep in touch (conveniently I moved away, which gave me the perfect excuse to distance myself literally without hurting anybody).

Even though time and distance has separated us and mutually our interactions have reduced down to the odd ‘like’, ‘comment’ and annual ‘Happy Birthday!’ post, every so often their indirect actions still manage to sting a little, and remind me why I had to step back.

You see, I’ve been promoting my Etsy store a lot in the run-up to Christmas and as I’ve done so I’ve noticed who is supporting me and who is silent. And these particular Frenemies have ignored every post I’ve written about it.

Without going into the finer details of how the Facebook News Feed works, which I know all about, just trust me when I say this: I know them well enough to know that they are ignoring me anytime I have anything positive and personal to share, and I know why they do this. It was evident back when we were friends, and it is still evident now, that they were and are threatened that I at least give my dreams a go.

They were never interested or supportive. Whenever I accomplished anything good it was either met with disdain or skimmed over completely, never to be acknowledged again. I learnt to keep quiet: it just made for a more pleasant evening with them if I remained small.

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So when I write something, and within minutes I see them online, ‘like’ing or ‘comment’ing on mutual friends’ – or worse other artists’ or entrepreneur’s – status updates, I cannot help but feel that a decision has been made on their part – be it conscious or subconscious – not to support ME for some reason.

I can tell from their online behaviour towards me over the years that they have a very specific set of criteria that merit a positive, or in fact ANY, acknowledgement of me and I’m sure there will be many of you out there who will have similar Frenemies doing this too. I will only get a acknowledgement if I say something inane, bland, neutral. “I’ve had 3 glasses of wine tonight” for example. Nothing that denotes going anywhere nice, doing anything fun, or achieving anything good.

I admit I am a very sensitive person! 😉 Duh I write about depression and anxiety! But whether I am in fact being paranoid, or whether I have got it spot on, it brings back memories of times when any good news I had – even something as small as going on a 2nd date – became too uncomfortable to be aired.

It reflects the dynamic of our original friendship only too well. I would support anything good that happened to them and support them through anything bad, and they could not hear anything good that happened to me and only had an interest in the neutral or the bad times (as long as they weren’t too bad to warrant any special attention).

I dunno. Can anyone else relate to this?? xx