Amazon Shipping

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 Usual...

So, Josiah's return to school after break has not been so good.  Something is causing him great distress there, to the point that even talking about school gives him a stomach ache.  And he does not seem to be able to pinpoint exactly what it is that is just so problematic.  He shares with me that is is afraid at school.  The school does not seem to ever interpret his anger reaction as a shield against his fear--which tells me they do not know much about basic human dynamics.  Most of the people I know put a face on fear that does not look like fear.  For some people, fear shows up as depression.  For some people fear presents as mania, they run around like crazy being super busy and never stopping--but it is because of fear that drives them.  I have known many people who when they feel fear, the get defensive and angry.  And anger covers their fear, but the problem is not anger, it is fear, and if you help alleviate the fear, all of the symptomatic fronts, all of the behaviors that human being have to try to hide the fear, will dissipate.

It does not matter if it is fear of physical harm, fear of not being good enough, fear of making mistakes, fear of failure, fear of not fitting in, fear of being seen as wrong, fear of not having needs met, fear of being emotionally injured, fear of not being able to succeed...all fear is fear, whether rational or not, whether well founded by someone from the outside or not, whether anyone else understands it or not....FEAR IS WHAT IT IS.  And fear does not discriminate by gender, height, abilities, age, skin color, or any other of the artificial divisions we make between human beings.  Fear is fear is fear, and whether you are an adult or a child, fat or thin, black or white, tall or short, male or female...fear is fear, and we all have different ways that we retaliate against fear.  Some people laugh hysterically, so people cry hysterically, some people flutter around like a hummingbird on red bull, some people sit and stare out the window, some people sleep, some people are insomniacs, some people eat (and eat and eat), other people can barely keep water down, some people becoming bossy control freaks, some people become weepy incompetents, some people being red hot angry....

Until you calm the fear, until you help a person feel safe, until they know that they can be held, contained, protected, and know what to expect...until the fear is can not control the behaviors, and the more you try to the greater the fear increases, and the behaviors start going in all different directions.  When you try to stomp an an already full water balloon trying to make it smaller, it will pop.  When you try to stomp on an already distressed human being, trying to stop the filling without stopping the flow, they will burst.

Calm the fears, give clear boundaries and safe, logical, compassionate consequences, give support and encouragement to move beyond fear, give a sense of belonging and safety...those go a long way to alleviating fear.  Once a fear pattern and model has been in place for a long time, it is going to take a LOT more than a pat on the head and simple empty reassurance to reduce the fear that started months before and grew in response to inappropriate responses to need and/or fear expression. 

So I am thinking it may be time to bring Josiah home, to finish the Kindergarten year at home, just as we did with Gonzo.  Give him some time to learn and focus on schooling where he feels safe, and can then again start to equate learning with a safe activity.  Then we can try again in first grade, to integrate him in the social industrial model of public education, hopefully with a better sense of himself, and more internal capacity to regulate his own fears and insecurities, and be better able to understand the oddities and social structure of public education.  I DO believe that homeschooling done correctly is FAR, FAR superior to industrial institutional education, HOWEVER, I also believe that having the social training that a larger school population provides, and the greater range of experience with a variety of different adults and children, each bringing their own family culture and experience into the lives of the public school children is very important in helping children develop a stronger, broader sense of the world.  If it were only about academic achievement, public school should be obliterated and replaced with conscientious homeschooling, as each academic plan/curriculum is based on each child's needs and interests.  But school is a social experiment, and helps even out the family quirks, and introduce kids the the fact that everyone is different, believes different things, has different experiences, and THAT IT IS OKAY.

Friday, February 24, 2012

wow, a ten day break from blogging!

This is the longest break I think I have taken from blogging since I started this blog nearly a year ago.

So, I have been working a lot of the house, renovations seems to go so slowly.  But we had the framing inspector come and he approved what has been done so far.  So that is a good thing.  I am still hopeful that somehow we will be able to be done by March 13th so we can be moved in by March 15th, which is when I have to be out of my apartment.  It is coming along...I have faith that we will make it by the deadline.

Josiah showed some improvement during the remainder of that last week of school before the winter break.  We have been working on reducing any potential bad behavior influence in case that is exacerbating the problem.  Like I wrote last time, we have eliminated SpongeBob for the time being as so many of the rude things he was saying was coming from there.  A and I evaluated video games and we discovered that the Hulk game they got for Christmas has a lot of "I'm gonna make you die" and "I'll break your neck sucker."  and similar phases, we have decided to remove all superhero video games (and any superhero shows) for a while until the kids are able to understand that you just can NOT say those kinds of things outside of a video game.  So essentially the kids 2 dimensional entertainment has been truncated to much more wholesome shows of their choosing--mainly Veggie Tales, Go Diego Go, Thomas the Train, Up, Curious George, etc.... and video games mainly racing games like Mario Cart, and WII play, MonkeyBall, and Sonic.  the do have other games (Nemo, Dora, Madagascar, etc...) that they can play too.

In addition we have been working together on self-control techniques, reducing "freak out" behavior, super praising positive and wanted behavior and actions.  The kids are being more responsible in cleaning up after themselves, which has been great, as Gonzo had been doing well with it, but Josiah had just been refusing to do it.  And now they have both been helping, and HAPPY about it.  Josiah, with verbal persuasion, actually wore his glasses for HOURS today, without complaining after the first 10 minutes.  As he is supposed to wear them 6 plus hours a day, it is great to finally have some compliance in this area.  I am hoping that as he returns to school next week, his good behavior and compliant behavior (I have been using a combination of collaborative problem solving, where he and I talk about a problem and decide together on a solution), and basic "I'm the mom and I love you so you need to do this.  It is good for you because XYZ".  Gonzo, as usual, is more problematic for me at home than he is a school, and so using the collaborative problem solving has been somewhat effective, but as soon as another person is in the mix, he becomes Mr. defiant and nastily rude to me about some things.  Overall there has been some improvement in this area, but Mr. bossy and I still butt heads from time to time, which usually includes a lot of melodrama on his part.  Overall though, this vacation has seen the kids working and playing well together, and having some good family moments.

I have been working on a few things in myself these past couple of weeks as well.  To reduce stress I have been trying to do a guided mediation a few times a week, and it has been helpful, as well as some other centering exercises.  I have also been trying to move my body more.  I had mentioned previously that I am connecting socially with people in a neat virtual world called Second Life.  They have an extremely wide variety of different sim worlds there, and so I pick and choose.  I have found a couple of DJ music clubs and you can dance animate your avatar (the representation of yourself in the virtual world).  So some nights I have decided to imitate my avatar with the dance moves.  It has been fun!  Though of course I close the shades, as I really don't think anyone wants to see me dancing around my living room.  But it is a good workout, with great music and a lot of fun.

The next couple of weeks will be full of working on the house, packing the apartment, and praying that everything comes together in time....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

changes I am making

Okay, so I know earlier today I had my little rant about things about school.  It is just that it is such a difficult situation, and the school and I both have high hopes for my son, but we also have different ideas of what that means.  I want Josiah to be the best Josiah that he can be--to love who he is, the embrace his strengths and his weaknesses, to find what makes him who he is, and to find the best way that he can contribute to and make an impact in the world.  I want him to be happy with who he is, happy with the choices that he makes, and be a person that others can respect and cherish for who he is and how he chooses to live.  That is what I want for my son. 

The school also wants him to strive to reach his highest potential.  they want him to come to school ready to follow the schedule that all of the other kids follow.  They want him to move through the day in the same way other kids do.  They want him to not question their authority, and just calmly and kindly associate with his peers and his teachers in a way that is respectful and acceptable in our society.  They want him to conform to the needs and routines of the institution.  They recognise that due to his physical and developmental challenges, he needs help and some accommodation to do this, and expect him to just accept their help and accommodations just as they expect him to follow the rules.  They want him to be successful in the arena that they are setting forth for him.

Both of these goals for Josiah are good.  Both have the right focus--wanting to help Josiah to succeed and find his niche in the world, and to do so with self confidence, self-discipline, and self awareness, as well as a more local and global awareness of how he and his actions impact others. 

But what does Josiah want?

obviously we are all missing something here--as he is NOT reaching those goals.  What is his focus, what lens is he viewing the world through?  What is the motivation that he has for his behaviors and the words that he says?  When he gets angry and frustrated, he shouts out things and says he wants to hurt people, but I have watched him and know that he actually does not want to hurt or upset others, but when he is so upset, I think he puts that "bully" cloak on because it hides his fear.  He talks to me about being afraid, when I ask him to tell me about what was going on.  At school he says he is angry, at home he tells me he was scared.  But at school he can not identify why he was angry and at home he rarely can identify verbally why he was scared. 

I have spent quite a bit of time this evening going over his daily reports.  January was an amazing month of him, almost every day was a "star student" day (meaning that he did very well, and even if he had a mishap, that he worked to correct it and overcome it).  Then suddenly, with very little lead up time, he was having horrible days at school again.  he refuses to go to music, which is the class he loves the most (which started before the big meltdowns) and is telling me that he is scared to go there because he got in trouble, though no one has mentioned trouble in music class.  Other things I was looking at was the phrases he is saying when he is angry.  At first they made no sense to me, as they are not ones we use often (if at all) in our house--"You Suck" "I hate people" "Piece of garbage" etc....  And as read through them a few times, suddenly I could hear them in my head being said by a specific voice--the voice of Squidward on Sponge bob square pant.  Almost every single rude and mean thing Josiah has been saying has come from Squidward!!

So I started really thinking about this...In many wise and religious texts it talks about how what we focus on is important to our lives and/or becomes a part of us.  Phillipians 4:8 says "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (NIV)  This idea is well supported by the Law of Attraction teachings, "What you focus on expands..." "What you think about you bring about..." and a number of other references to this in the movie/book The Secret, as well as many other books.    I'd go more into this but it is late and anyone who really wants to know can find many more sources than I just by using google.

Anyway, with this in mind, A and I talked about it, and we decided that we will see what happens if we eliminate Sponge Bob Square pants from the kids viewing. At this point I am willing to try anything (including getting rid of TV, video games and all other 2 dimensional substitutes for life--though that is a bit drastic).  I am toying with the idea of limiting viewing to educational shows only, but for now I think we will go wit eliminating Sponge Bob as that seems to be Josiah's focus and his internalization of some of the attitudes and phrases from there.  I am also further reducing video gaming time (which I had started already, as Josiah has been having extreme reactions to losing--it doesn't help that his brother can not stop himself from rubbing it it very nonchalantly anytime Josiah does not get a perfect score). 

I am really hoping it will help.  i am not sure what else to change....

Life is sstill good...but....

Have you ever noticed that when a child is exhibiting challenging behavior, the school is quick to blame the parents.  But then when the child's behavior improves, the school pats themselves on the back about what a great job they are doing, with no credit given to the parents for the good behavior.  And then if that same child has a challenging week after a period of good, come then call that they need to talk about what is going on at home, because of course if it is bad behavior it must be because the parents SUCK.  I am sure they don't consciously think that, but that is essentially what happens, and the message it conveys:

Good child=Good Teacher, Bad Child= Bad Parent

Forget the fact that he did not exhibit these behaviors until he started school with them.
Forget that nothing significant has changed at home recently to prompt behaviorally negative reactions.

Forget that when his behavior improved there was never a call home that said "He is doing great!  What has changed at home to bring about such positive behavior changes?  lets meet to discuss what can we do to understand why he is doing well, so that we can keep it going."

But give him a few days of poor behavior and we get the call about needing a meeting.  Because obviously if he is having a bad week, it must be something the parent is doing wrong.  A child is not allowed to just have a bad week.

I just am at a loss.  I have no idea why he had a bad week last week, or had a rough start to yesterday.  He has been sleeping fine.  Last week I though tit was because he had a bad bout of constipation, but we resolved that and he is "going" fine again.  He has been eating fine, sleeping fine, a little clingy maybe, definitely a little more on edge, but I am not sure why.  Perhaps his body is fighting off a cold, but he has no cold symptoms.  Perhaps he is frustrated with something.  Perhaps he is just human, and we all have weeks that we just are  more grumpy than other weeks, without really knowing why.  I am just so tired of not only dealing with trying to help Josiah over whatever hump it is, but having to deal with the additional stress of school personnel who seem to think that something I am doing is the cause.  I am tired of the whole school sh*t.  He is not a child that institutionalizes well, which actually bodes very well for his adult life and his ability to someday be able to think for himself, to be creative and become someone amazing--As long as they don't beat that out of him by trying to jam him into a round peg hole when he does not conform like a little drone. "yes, teacher" "no, teacher" "flowers are always red teacher, I understand" "leaves are always green teacher".  A big part of the problem Josiah is having this year is that he sees all of the colors of the rainbow, all of the colors of the rising sun, all of the colors of the flowers.... 

He is frustrated...AND THEY DON'T GET THAT!!

Last week I said that maybe he is just having a period of time where he is frustrated by his limitations, and no one can do anything to reduce those limitations.  So sometimes it comes out in various ways, he is not always going to intellectualize it and say, "boy I am feeling frustrated this week about my physical limitations."

He just knows he is tired of not being able to do what he sees other people doing.  To me, that would sometime rear its head and give me an underlying grumpiness, even if I did not consciously acknowledge it.  but they said "no, no he has not expressed that at all"  completely missing the point of what I was saying.

God i am glad I had teachers when I was a child who, for the most part, could see the person in the child (aside from my third grade teacher who was just a monster).  But anyway, I am done with my rant.  I am hoping that things improve very soon.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Life is good.....

Ya Know.....even when life it stressful, life is still good.  There have been a great many things lately that I have been thinking about, which seems to always be my state of being...I am a thinker....I think ALL the time...and I enjoy thinking.

Thinking is not the same as worrying...or stressing....or anything that adds negativity to my life.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking a lot about many of the experiences currently in my life that do not resonate with my inner being, those things which do not feel good to me on a deeper sense.  A couple of weeks ago I defined some of those things in my post "Relieving Stress........!?!".  I have been focusing on what feeling I WANT to have and imagining what experiences would help to bring those feelings into my daily life experience.  I had detailed some of those in the post I mentioned, and have actively been working on allowing those experiences to enter my reality, doing what I can to open the door to experiencing better feeling things.

So this is the list of experiences I am opening my life to as per the post on February 1, and the ways in which things are moving in the right direction mentioned under each one:

1) The funds to have a smooth transition over the next couple of months
--Funds were generously donated that has greatly helped towards this goal...allowing me and the kids to remain in our apartment for another month while we finish the house, which will give us a much smoother transition overall.  Some of the funds also helped alleviate some of the stress around a particular problem that I had not budgeted for and was completely yes, it is a hit that will impact my ability to buy flooring, it is far less stressful because the funds to cover it are available.

2) The house completed with CO in hand, and a smooth move into our new place
--With this I am just continuing to breathe and be grateful for whatever help is given in moving the project closer to completion.  Every little bit helps, and it is coming together.  I just have to focus on the finished project and know that it will be done in time to make a smooth move over there prior to the Ides of March.

3) A consistent, regular income to support my family
--This I am learning to be patient with this, knowing that as the house is nearing completion I will soon be able to have my inspections and open the childcare center.

4) Pets that behave and find non-destructive ways to express themselves
--Well, they have been behaving better...

5) A vehicle that is in good working order and stays that way
--My car is now repaired and inspected, thanks to my step father.  I am very glad to have this nice blue sticker on my windshield that says my car is safe and legal.

6) A consistent sleep each night that allows my body, mind, and spirit its needed rest
--I'm thinking about how to work on this one, stayed up late last night thinking about this one  (haha...just kidding).  I'll get there someday.....

7) A more mindful approach to eating healthy and nourishing my body in healing ways
--I have reduced the amount of processed food that were in my grocery cart last week (almost none--just cereal, granola bars, and goldfish crackers--all for the kids, and a few cans of soup and stuff) and increased the amount of fresh and frozen vegetables.  I have also started drinking my green smoothies (Click) for breakfast again with 2 oz of lean turkey on the side.  I think I am going to stick with the simple blending I did today and only add other flavors once in a while.  The simple and fine tasting smoothie recipe is: 2 stalks celery, 1 1/2 cups chopped kale, 1 medium size apple, 3 Tbs lemon Juice, 1 Tbs Flax seed, 1 Tbs Spirulina, 5 ice cubes, and 10 oz water.  Blend to desired consistency and then drink (today I did not blend enough and had to eat part of it with a spoon as it was very dense).  The taste is not bad, and once you get used to it it tastes pretty good.  But it makes you feel great.  That is a lot of raw plant matter, which has lots of nutrients---very refreshing!!!  I am also going back to following a more calorie reduced diet (1800 calories) with limited processed carbohydrates (no bread, crackers, pasta, other processed grains--only rice, oats, potatoes, corn--whole food grains), and unprocessed meats or legumes.  I have gotten away from focusing on my physical health, and being overweight, not eating right, not exercising really does have an effect on everything in life.  If my body does not feel good, my attitude is poorer, my patience is thinner, my ability to visualize is weaker, and my overall sense of well being is muted.  So I am bringing physical health back into the forefront for a while. 

8) developing a few close friendships with people who live nearby
--I have been doing a little family therapy with the boys once a week for the past 4 weeks, and the therapist also runs an over eaters/emotional eaters therapy group.  I think I am going to start going to that, and meet some people who struggle with some of the things I struggle with so we can move out of it.  I am hoping that this will also help to make friendship connections with one or two of the women in the group.

9) Arranging the necessary child care and time to find a social outlet that meets regularly
--Still working on this, A has been great about taking the kids so that I can work on the house or go to appointments.  I think I am going to try to arrange that whatever day the over eaters group is on, that the kids stay with A for that night and get on the bus there in the morning, so that I can find a more socially oriented group or club to join down in the little city without having to rush back (the city is an hour away, so evening groups or meeting normally do not work out for me).

10) Creating time and space in my day and mind to replenish and further develop my Spiritual self.
--I have found an interesting online community (its called Second Life) that offers a LOT of different things, most of which I have no desire to explore.  I have never really been interested in joining a virtual reality world, as some of the things I have read and seen about them are pretty out there.  And while this one does have some really out there stuff, it also has some really great and down to earth people and places.  One of the things they do have are some great spiritual places where I can connect with others on similar spiritual paths for conversation, as well as libraries in world that have great spiritual guidance works, places for meditation, and just overall a way to release and explore.  I also have done some socializing on other parts of the community (it is like a whole new world, with a wide variety of destinations, themes, games, and ways to connect).  I have actually met one person who is a great conversationalist, and I have enjoyed building on online friendship.  It has been a while since I have had such stimulating conversation--philosophy, human nature, the power of mind, great books, society in general--we have conversed on a large number of topics.  I doubt we will be able to have conversation over coffee anytime in the near future as she and her husband live in France.  But it has been great getting to know her and having great conversation, it releases a lot of tension and frees my spirit.

So, yeah....I have been thinking, and following those thought up with action.  Life is what we make it, and the way we perceive it.  I am continuing to improve both my perception of my life and the experiences that set forth to bring into my life.  Every day is a new day to begin again, and move forward....

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ask and it IS Given!!

WOW!!  God is Good!  I have been squashed under stress lately as my time to be out of the apartment was quickly approaching (2/15) and the house is not going be be done for at least 3-4 weeks, and I did not have the funds to stay in the apartment AND finish the house.  So limbo was approaching quickly.  I have been trying to find ways to relax about this forthcoming chaos, and to be open to accepting whatever comes.  I have been focusing on seeing and feeling myself calm and at peace, seeking to embrace a knowing that everything is going to be okay, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.  Using the Law of Attraction and the Deliberate Creation that is discussed in the "Ask and It is Given!" book by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

About 10 days ago I put a Chip-in fundraiser link on my website and blog seeking help in bridging this time and money gap.  Today I got a huge donation from some old and beloved friends that I have not seen in over a decade.  Their generosity has blessed my family so that we do NOT have to be out of the apartment before the house is done, and I should have most of the funds needed to buy the last of the materials for the renovations (maybe even flooring!!).  So I feel richly blessed by the people who have helped with this project.  My father and brother have put in so much time.  Ursula (the owner of the property) has been so flexible and understanding though all the obstacles.  Andre has been great about being with the boys so that I can spend the evenings working on eh house.  My mom and Jim have been very supportive and helpful, and will be helping a great deal over the next couple of weeks as we do the electric.  I am so grateful to everyone who has helped and supported me in this projects and am so grateful that there are people who are able and willing to extend a helping hand to help others meet their needs AND reach for their dreams.

I am richly blessed!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

A little time to myself....

Okay, so I know I do have breaks in my day which are technically time for myself between the split shift that I work with the kids I babysit, but it lately has been so filled with dealing with things with the new house, school meetings, dr/dentist appointments for the kids, and all sorts of other stuff that have to be done, that it is rarely "me" time.  And, as my last post said I have been in dire need of reducing my stress levels.  So today I have some time, by myself following an appointment for myself to just be me.  I am sitting at the library, like I used to do every day last year, and just enjoying the peace, quiet, and solitude for a little bit before driving back home.  A is planning on having the kids for dinner, so there is no reason for me to rush home. 

The past few weeks I have been juggling the idea of stepping away from the babysitting and trying to find a job that provides a better income.  Now that my savings are depleted and the house is no where near ready, so the opening date of the daycare is still a long way off (which when this all started a few months ago, I had figured out and planned that the house would be done and daycare registration approved by the state at about the same time that my saving ran out, which would have been fine, as I could have then been in the position to increase my income through the daycare.  But alas, we are still at least a month from finishing the house, and at least 2 months (as I have to wait for the house to be done to even finish the paperwork to schedule the home inspections)  from completing all of the inspections and licensing requirements for the day care (probably more).  So the $80 a week I make babysitting is just not going to be able to carry us through the next few months, even with the boys' subsidies.  So I am trying to make a hard decision...the decision to try to figure out other gainful employment and thus strand one of my potential daycare families until it opens so that I can make enough to live on, or to just try to keep squeaking forward with that I've got and pray that it will be enough to build the bridge between the depletion of the savings and the time that the daycare starts paying for itself and my family's needs.

I have been looking at the online writing that I used to do and I am not at a high enough income level with it to even replace the babysitting dollar for dollar, so that is not an option really.  I think I am going to have to start applying for other jobs, but the area I live in has so few this time of year, so I will be branching out down to this area (where I am sitting int the library over an hour from home), and I have to make enough to offset the costs of fuel and childcare, or it is a moot point.  So I am juggling and searching, and seeking a resolution to this issue, at least for the short term until things are such that the daycare can be opened.

In short term hindsight, I wish I had not taken on this massive project.  i am hoping that a year from now I will look back with a longer term hindsight and say that this period of stress and uncertainty was worth it, and that I made the right decision to invest in my future in this particular way.  (I know, I have a bunch of oddly structured sentences in this post).

So, anyway... I am going to return to surfing the want ads and see if I can come up with a few leads that will help alleviate some of the overlapping issues that I face right now, as finding and affording childcare for two kids with special needs is a challenge AND getting a job that allows the time off that I need in order to get them to all of their appointments (can you imagine any employer that would have given me the 16 half-days that I had to take off during the month of January for various necessary appointments fro the kids?!?).  Boy do I miss my days at Cornell and the flexibility in scheduling that both Ed and Steve allowed me, as I could make up the hours in the evenings or weekends....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Relieving stress...!?!

Well, I have read (and written) many articles on different techniques to manage stress, and you know, sometimes all of the knowledge in the world is useless when I have trouble applying the techniques and principles of stress reduction to my life.

I have to admit, I have been stressed almost to my breaking point over the past week.  the term "nervous breakdown" kept coming to mind ... 

Between financial pressure, the stress of the house renovations, the looming time line of having to be out of the apartment around the 15th and being no where near done with the house (and without the funds to continue to pay for both places), my car being out of commission while my step father repairs the brakes and power steering so I can get it inspected (it was due in November), thus having to finagle my schedule and transportation needs with A for the week (it is amazing when you can be friends with your ex), and then the added stress of having to make sure the apartment was looking nice and neat for the landlord to show to prospective renters---well, it really has just been almost too much.  Top that off with the cat peeing on the easy chair and Josiah's coat (which was on the chair) last night, so that even with cleaning the chair as well as I could on short notice, and burning scented candles all morning, the house still smelled horrible when the landlord showed the apartment.   Right now the chair cushion is outside int eh rain hoping to let nature wash out some of the smell.  If I can't get the smell out, I may have to say goodbye to the chair.  Josiah's coat I will wash 2-3 times to remove the smell (hopefully) once I get quarters.

Anyway, all of these stressors have combined with the following list of issues to just zap my strength and my motivation to practice beneficial and useful stress reduction techniques:

1) my lack of sleep (running at about 3- 4 hours a night lately),
2) my poor attention to my dietary intake (being an emotional eater and not having as much healthy food in the house--and WAY too many carbs, which is not good for a type 2 person...),
3) my lack of a regular exercise program (I miss my daily hour long walks that I used to do when I was in GF all day),
4) my poignant lack of friends that live closer than 6 hours away that I  could potentially spend time with,
5) my lack of a social life of any kind, and
6) my sorely depleted spiritual reserves

So this is a post essentially focused in the wrong direction.  I am focusing on what I DO NOT want in my life experience right now, and thus am drawing more of those experiences to me.  As the Abraham-Hicks people teach though, these are the times when we are recognizing what we do NOT want so that in contrast we can further define what we DO want, and thus move forward with a clearer, more refined picture of what we are wanting to be created in our lives.  So I will be counting this past week as a week of finding clarity, and move forward from here knowing that what I pray for my upcoming experiences are:

1) The funds to have a smooth transition over the next couple of months
2) The house completed with CO in hand, and a smooth move into our new place
3) A consistent, regular income to support my family
4) Pets that behave and find non-destructive ways to express themselves
5) A vehicle that is in good working order and stays that way
6) A consistent sleep each night that allows my body, mind, and spirit its needed rest
7) A more mindful approach to eating healthy and nourishing my body in healing ways
8) developing a few close friendships with people who live nearby
9) Arranging the necessary child care and time to find a social outlet that meets regularly
10) Creating time and space in my day and mind to replenish and further develop my Spiritual self.

So I am now breathing and refocusing my attention towards thoughts that relieve my stress.  I would love to hear from some of you, my readers, about things that you do to reduce stress and gain a better attitude and more peaceful focus during times of challenge.  Please leave me some suggestions in the comments! I know that given time and discipline, I will feel far more calm and relaxed about everything going on, and hopefully find a stronger motivation and joy in the adventure that this life brings...