search
top

Non-Negotiable Creative Soul Living

My therapist chuckled a little and said, “You know you get to live an extraordinary life. Where you can live your creativity every day. You live in your house that you made pretty for you and you’re creating your world daily according to what you need. That is a precious way to live. Don’t forget that.” Because , yes, I had forgotten that. Or perhaps I’d never realized that. And these doses of perspective are one of the many gifts I greedily gobble up with my world interactions these days.

I am so busy doing doing doing all the things I think I should do and the things that need doing to keep me slightly ahead on the mothering treadmill, that I lose perspective on what my world truly looks like. I see that my children are happy and sweet and fed. I see that the sheets are clean and the beds are made. But I can’t say I notice and appreciate the creative world I’ve woven around me. Yet in missing that, I’m missing out on giving myself credit daily. And sharing this better with the world which might need permission to create as well.The Non-Negotiable Creative Soul on Shalavee.com

Creative Living is My Journey.

My Goal is Creative Soul Salvation.

I’ve been at war with myself for a while. Caught up in what I’m calling a “should storm”.  And what I stole from myself, permission to create just for joyful creating’s sake, I’m beginning to regain. What I’ve also noticed is that when art is a non-negotiable in my day, much like brushing my teeth or getting my exercise in several times a week, I become happier and more grounded. I don’t have to have that argument with myself over whether I feel like it or have time for it. When something is non-negotiable, it’s just getting done. Worked in and accomplished.The Non-Negotiable Creative Soul on Shalavee.com

My soul is in need of the healing that the lack of arting has wounded. I do not care if my efforts culminate in works of brilliance or crap. I only care that my brain and soul have a few minutes to wander around and connect with what they need to, outside or inside, wherever they need to go. And with that having happened, I can get on with my day, grateful to myself for the permission I gave myself. What more can a creative life provide?

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Save

Save

Cognitive Distortions

I may be on my sixth therapist but who’s counting. I love that light feeling I used to get when I was walking out of the office after the appointment. Like I’d just been too confessional. Thing always felt more hopeful, even if they really weren’t.

Late last year, my then therapy gal told me she’d gotten a job in the big city and we were breaking up. She was really sweet and I hated to see her go but I knew I’d been sliding and gliding with her. I had done my work but I knew there was bigger work to be done and I needed bigger guns to do it.

Enter my new therapist Kathleen who is keenly aware of what I need to do to move myself on. And she gave me some feedback this week that smarted. Because sometimes I need compliments and sometimes I need truth. And I need new materials to mentally devour that aid in my processing.hello kitty pool 2 on Shalavee.com

Seems strange but in all my reading and studying up on self-help stuff, I apparently never studied cognitive therapy. Quick summation of this technique/concept: If you’re depressed, it means you’re having sad thoughts. And these give you sad feelings. And more often than not, those first thoughts you had are based on some illogical distortions that you have used to process your life since forever. When the bad feelings “validate” the bad thoughts, you are full circle. Your original feeling must be truth. Makes sense in the moment.

What if the first thought includes an “always” statement or a “never” statement. Like “I always lose” and “I’ll never win”. These are probably not truths but there you go basing your feelings on that self-fed misinformation over and over and over. A pattern has formed in my life that has so ensconced “never” and “always”  in my psychic garden that I’m having a tough time pulling them out.

As outlined in David D. Burns, MD’s book Feeling Good The New Mood Therapy, there are 10 “cognitive distortions” us thinkers use regularly and I spoke about them in Summer’s Stutter Start. Like the 20 something fallacies I had to learn in my college Logic class, they’re like equations that once you’ve become familiar with them, you can recognize them again when they’re laid out. And you can either choose to believe them again or call them out for the phonies that they are.hello kitty pool 3 on Shalavee.com

My most popular distortion recently seems to be over-generalization where I see something bad happening and then assume it will always be like that. Three weeks ago, Fiona got sick. Her schedule was thrown off, she was clingy, waking up all night, and generally life wasn’t much fun. The next week, I believe she was getting her molars in. Another week of not quite rightness and I could only expect that the rest of my life with this child was going to ridiculously hard and exhausting.

Those thoughts stressed me out and my eye twitch returned for an encore jiggity-jig. And then the following week, she’s lovely. She’s talking and playing on her own and napping. And I think, “Hey wasn’t she supposed to be terrible for the rest of our lives? “. This isn’t the first time I’ve concluded another distortion called Catastophrization. Or how about The Fortune Teller Error as in “I can see that it will always turn out badly”. Why try right?

So here I am really starting to realize that my thought processes are a little hinky when my therapist, with mere seconds on the clock before her alarm sounds, gives me this :

I tend to look for things I know I’ll fall short on instead of giving myself credit for my accomplishments.

I had to write that one down. Then I felt sad. That seems like such a mean thing to do to somebody. If this was my daughter, wouldn’t I praise her efforts and her accomplishments? Wouldn’t I smooth over the crappy stuff and help her focus on the hopeful skill building fun future stuff? Yuck. hello kitty pool fun from Shalavee.com

From an article written by Alice Boyes, PhD on the Psychology Today blog, a little overview of Cognitive Distortions and Overcoming Catastrophizing. ( An even better and pretty comprehensive one by her titled 50 Common Cognitive Distortions is here.)

– Mindful awareness –You have to catch yourself having cognitive distortions to be able to do anything about them,

– Consider Other Possible Outcomes
Consider positive predictions, neutral predictions, and mildly negative predictions, not just very negative predictions.

– Make a Distinction Between Significantly Unpleasant and Catastrophe
Key to overcoming catastrophizing is making a distinction between something being significantly unpleasant and it being a catastrophe. Failing an important exam would be extremely distressing but it does not doom the person to a life of failure.

– Increase your perception of your ability to cope.
If you believe you can cope with negative events, anxiety will be much less of a problem for you ”

That last one is about self-efficacy. I am in dour need of upping my self-efficacy. I’ll be studying my cheat sheet of cognitive distortions to help my mind learning along and shove the happy life hot air balloon higher up into the sky.

And for your clarity, you can contract with a therapist for a specific amount of time with certain goals in mind. They make an action plan or a “treatment plan” with an end date on it. My plans are to work on seeing my potential and build my esteem around my writing and blogging. I can imagine many people don’t want to start therapy because it seems endless. There is another way. Doable chunks.

Let me know what you think about any or all of this. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

If you can’t tell, I don’t mind talking honestly.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Save

Save

top