Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Seeking Lessons by Seeking the Teacher (Musings)




The Universe will bring you the Teachers you need and these Teachers will speak the language that speaks to you. Always be open to new information and opportunities. Begin you day with inviting the Universe to speak to you and you will be surprised at the lessons you learn. Approach your life with the expectation that today you will grow by learning. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I Don't Need to Be "Fixed"…


Here's a lesson I've learned along the way through all the drama/trauma and dysfunction that has been my life…
There is nothing "wrong" with me. 
I am not broken even though I may have felt very broken. 
I do not need someone to "fix" me and I do not need "fixing".
I needed to LEARN about what I did not get that I needed and how to give that to myself. 
When I stopped trying to figure out "why" I felt so broken and understood that those charged with "raising me in the way I would go" could only give me what they had been given is when I was able to grieve the life I never got and needed, the life I did have that I didn't need and come to accept the life I had and - that I could still learn to create the life I wanted.
Many of us can and must find our way on our own because there are not adequate or qualified helpers to help us. This is why I do what I do and share my journey with you because this is what I expected to get when I asked for "help"; this is what I expected from "therapy" but never got. Finally, after 15 years, I met someone who had traveled this path before me and was able to share the basics of the "how" to do this journey before she moved on in her own. 
For those who feel they cannot do this on their own please consider taking a look at this post: How to tell an average therapist from a great therapist. 
I am currently not taking new coaching clients and my writing/posting abilities have been severely limited for quite some now as I address my own health issues. If you are interested to read my story or help in some way please visit me here or message me here.

Follow me on Facebook for more musings, mumblings and ramblings here: Susan Kingsley-Smith 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dr. Andrew Saul on Depression and Mental Illness

A quick share today on the topic of what has become known as "mental illness". Dr. Andrew Saul discusses what we will not ever hear in our standard health care or mental health care.

My disclaimer is that I have not found animal products or synthetic supplements to be helpful. I have found a plant based diet and plant based, organic supplements to be supportive of creating health for myself. And while I do not endorse nor support the use of animals in testing for anything…the outcome in this video cannot be denied.



For more on learning to live a high nutrient lifestyle based on 20 years of research check out this video, Forks Over Knives (this is just a clip. you can purchase the full documentary for a very nominal cost at the connected link or at amazon) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1LUj3kxB9M



Friday, September 12, 2014

When We Don't Have "Helpful Help"


From a Facebook note I posted recently….

Not everyone has a supportive network to "help" them; in particular when community, friends and family do not support our chosen path and are often part of the pattern of dysfunction that keeps us feeling helpless and hopeless. Of necessity some of us must learn to figure out how to heal our lives on our own. The good news is that even then we are not really "alone" because the Universe always brings us the teachers we need in order to learn the lessons we need. The thing is to learn to be the student who is ready. 
Survivors of early life drama, trauma and dysfunction often struggle with the idea that we "need" someone to "help" us find our way. 

And - this is a very NORMAL place to be because in the drama, trauma and dysfunction we often did not learn how to see ourselves as capable. 

In fact many of us learned that we were incapable to effect change in our lives because our power was taken from us early in our lives. 

We grew up believing a big, fat lie that told us we are not good enough and will never be able to do anything right enough. 

So - it can be a bit of a challenge over-riding that old programming but the biggest part of that challenge is learning to recognize when I was "there" by checking, challenging and changing the story I was telling myself about whatever the challenge I was facing was. 

1. Was I focused on what I "had no choice" about? Was I "feeling" powerless? Did I "feel" hopeless? 

The truth is that as a child - I did not have a choice about pretty much anything. Life happened to me, things were done to me and for me; but I never had a choice. I learned to tolerate the intolerable; I developed a very high threshold for being mistreated so the lesson became learning to recognize when something "felt bad" so I could choose to leave those situations instead of trying to "work it out"

I learned to recognize when I was feeling hopeless and that in turn helped me to recognize when I was feeling helpless/powerless and this helped me to find my hope by finding my power. 

I learned to recognize and utilize the support and resources I DID have and trust that I would have WHAT I needed WHEN I needed it. 

I learned to remind myself that feeling powerless is far different than actually being powerless. 

2. Was I feeling as though I had the answers for everyone else? Did I know exactly what others needed to do (yet struggled with knowing what to do for myself and my life)? Did I believe that in order for my distress to stop - others had to abide by my expectations? 


Learning to let go and let life unfold naturally was easier said that done at first. But in time and as I learned to recognize that I was taking on things that were not mine to take on - I found I was better able and prepared to deal with my own things. 

All in all - the lesson I learned that became a truth that set me free?

The lessons that enabled me to see that I was all I needed? 

Was when I realized that I already hold all the knowledge I need within me by way of the universe/inner wisdom/still small voice that lives within each of us and - that by becoming open to recognizing the struggles I faced in my life as my teachers?


I became the "student who was ready". 

Tip: learn to ask "what is the lesson I need to learn here" when things feel unmanageable, difficult or overwhelming. Practice going deep within for your answers instead of looking for that knight in shining armor on the white horse to rescue you. 

We don't have to wait to "hit bottom" to figure this out but of course sometimes that is the lesson we need in order to learn this.

A list of related posts on being the student who is ready can be found here and learning to use feelings of overwhelm to guide our path here


Is this easy? 


Not at all. 

Was it worth it?

Absolutely.

You go. :)

Best always, 

Susan

Tip: choose one thing instead of many things to work on and when this has become your new "normal" - choose another. 

Baby steps each day gets us where we want to go but thinking about all we should do? Often prevents us from getting anything done. 

ONE thing. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

On Grief and Loss

On grief and loss - I know the pain that feels as though death would be the only relief and have found a new life after that kind of inner devastation. 

Let those big feelings out. Don't try to contain them for they will consume you from the inside out. Find a way to safely express your anger, angst and pain through some physical form. Run it out, walk it out, scream it out. Throw something and let it make the loud noise against the wall as you fall to the floor sobbing.

Let go of those unable to sit with you or your pain. Let them go that you can find yourself. Dont try to find comfort from those who are not comforting. Give yourself a soft place to land each day. Visit the trees. Walk in the grass. Breathe with the clouds and know that with time it will hurt less and the hurt will come less often even though we know it never goes away completely.

Know that you are not alone.



Friday, August 1, 2014

As It Goes…

So, as it goes, things change. Life is an evolution and for me a marvelous, exciting and sometimes challenging experiment.

I've been writing here at A Journey since April 6, 2009 where I began to chronicle my journey out of the darkness  and into the light after a lifetime of seeing myself as a victim who had "no choice" and realizing in this amazing journey that I no longer had to live as a victim and that there was life far beyond "recovery" and survival. 

Then for awhile my path shifted and as the student who tries to be ready, I found myself drawn to other adventures like creating the Empowering Solutions page and podcast.

I tried my hand at guest blogging at a few places and was able to contribute on some issues that are very dear to my heart like the abuse and dysfunction many of us come from  , finding our own path to personal empowerment  and sharing a bit of my story as it relates to how I experienced the nearly 2 decades of my life when I was told by doctors that I had a brain disease, was ill and would need "medication for life" and the resulting years of protracted withdrawals when another doctor decided I no longer needed them as a trauma survivor. (NOTE: NEVER let a doctor tell you that you can "just stop" these drugs; this is very dangerous. I was fortunate to have the tenacity to go through this and come out the other end ok; many are not able to tolerate the impact of cold turkey or even a short taper. Get informed to be empowered - you can start here if you need resources.)

I wrote about how I came to choose a new paradigm for myself and this has led to my coming to terms with realizing that I had never been "sick" and that it was the drugs I was being given that actually was the source of the symptoms that seemed to get worse instead of better, even though I was following "doctors orders" to the letter.

As time went on my focus shifted to healing myself and my psyche from the damage of being told I was "ill" and the realization that I am not what they told me I was and had been so terribly harmed and made ill by those I trusted with my health and my life; my doctors and those I sought out for support and help in my journey.

In following the inner drive to make meaning of these experiences, in time I found myself shifting my focus from this blog to the Facebook platform where I have met hundreds and thousands of amazing people on their own individual journey's.

Here I found a camaraderie of persons who have experienced their own journey to well being in many different ways. To each of you - I am in awe of your strength and courage and in complete gratitude that somehow our paths have crossed. In support of those who have wondered about the use of psychiatric drugs I created a workshop and website and was invited to contribute a chapter on using the internet and social media to find support.

Time moved on and I was seeming to lose my voice, I was unclear to my path and my purpose and realized along the way that in order for me to regain my footing and clarity that it was vital that I stop trying to create new things and start focusing on letting go of the old so I could embrace the new. 

So here we are.

It's nearly autumn 2014 and my journey is again changing directions as I focus on continuing to reclaim my health, create my best life and rediscover my voice.

I don't have a clear vision of what my path is just yet - but I do have a desire again to write now and then so - stay tuned; my hope is that we will continue to travel this path together.

Namaste.

May you be well, be happy and live in peace.

Susan

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

When Things Are Changing



As things go - when something is not "flowing" I have to pause. 

In the past - I would have looked "outside" of myself to try to discover what I could do to "fix" things. 

I would work harder.

Push harder. 

I might even try "blaming" something or someone for why things are not working aka "flowing" the way they have in the past. 

Yet - one of the life lessons I have learned as I committed to being the student who is ready…?

Is that when things are not working - I've learned….

That working harder won't make it work better.

That pushing harder - only makes it harder. 

I've learned to let go that I can see what remains, what might come back and…

What new thing might emerge.

I've known and felt for some time that as much as I have loved writing here at A Journey and sharing on twitter and at the Empowering Solutions page on Facebook and the podcast at Blog Talk Radio…

I've felt a sense of discontent that if I ignore it only leads to more discontent.

A good friend and my own Life Coach has helped me to see that when things are not "working" that the Universe is trying to direct me to some sort of change. 

For the past many months I have felt that I was to let some things go…

In order to be ready to receive what might be next for me in my Journey.

If you are on my mailing list here then you will receive any future updates from there as well as by subscribing here (to the left) for blog post updates.

So - once again…

I'd like to say that This Blog Is Not Dead….and encourage you to visit the archives here at A Journey, at the Facebook Empowering Solutions page here and the Blog Talk Radio podcast here. 

Thank you for your continued engagement and encouragement to continue doing this work that is not work - I am always so grateful to hear your stories and testimonies of how A Journey and Empowering Solutions have impacted your life. 

Susan:)