May series cont. Proper rest~

The benefits of proper rest

As usual I will share what has worked well for me.  Please feel free to comment anything that has worked for you in getting proper rest.

My best time of the day is 5pm-12pm.  I am generally more productive these hours so I try to save my hardest tasks for this period.  I drink coffee all day and early evening.  It does not prevent me from falling easily asleep but helps me to focus and get stuff done and I balance it with lots of water.  I am well hydrated!

I go to sleep at 12 or 1, waking up at 8am, and have a nighttime routine I have come to love the past few weeks.  This is what my night looks like:

It is all about preparation so I can get to my writing although today I am writing all day, which is unusual.  It means I am doing better than usual as I have been productive in many ways today happy to write.  We have a late dinner 8 or 9, we all clean up and then I do the dishes.  I almost always catch the sunset from my meditation room.  I tidy a bit and prep anything for the next day that I can if I have the energy, making my lists of to do’s and scratching off the lists of the day or week.  Then I put my husband to bed, light a candle and write for an hour or so.  I also read and meditate. 

I get my jammies on, take my night meds and cbd oil full spectrum and spritz my pillow with lavender oil and sniff it.  It helps to smell lavender a half an hour before bed.  I sometimes listen to music or just sit quietly meditating on the day and the day tomorrow.

Getting enough sleep is very important because if you don’t your body will really suffer as can your brain.  I just figured out that if I wear my Fitbit to bed, it tracks my sleep, even my REM time and hours of deep and light sleep.  I wake up naturally to the rhythm of the house and if my body needs it I sleep till ten but that is not very often.  My ritual helps me to fall asleep quicker and I go to sleep praying or remembering a song’s lyrics that are positive. 

My night medicine does cause drowsiness in the mornings (Risperidone/Risperdal).  Thinking I might take it earlier at night and see if the fog lifts sooner.  It also causes weight gain but I am slowly taking it off through WW. 

Trial and error has got me to a good routine and especially during quarantine, it is important to get proper rest.  I must add the power of a good nap or laying down for a half an hour every day.  I can’t usually nap but rest feels good for my body. 

Pax

Victoria

May series cont… The enjoyment of tidying…

The many benefits of tidying

I love to tidy and have gotten much better at it as of late.  It is satisfying to only have things around me that bring me joy and I find I am in need of nothing; and I know this because everything has a place.  The satisfaction is immense at having an orderly house or area, rather than being cluttered and untidy.  Sort of like our minds.  If we are in touch with our thoughts, through writing and meditation for example, we will make better healthier choices and dream bigger along the way. 

Here are the steps to how to tidy, some of which is what I learned from Marie Kondo who I don’t agree with on everything but her general guidelines for getting a tidy house I find to be useful. She also writes that one need only tidy rarely, but I enjoy it so I tidy every day especially because I live with a messy husband and two adult children.

Discard first! Do this by holding each object and asking if this item brings me joy?

If it does not, get rid of it.  I love this!  And then take good care of the possessions that do bring you joy.

Find a place for everything and if it doesn’t fit consider getting rid of it.  Storage isn’t the problem or answer.

Start with clothes, she recommends taking every piece out which I kind of did.

Books next, paperwork, small items, sentimental items…

You get the idea. 

The last area I am working on is my photos.  I have so many of my childhood and that of my 30 years of being married and with 3 kids.  It will be an ongoing process for sure but good for a Sunday afternoon, which is my rest day except for necessary housework and maybe some light gardening.  And yes, I tidy Sunday night because my daughter, as a form of rent, cleans the house on Mondays her day off.  I still clean but she does a fantastic job and it allows me to work on deep cleaning and keeping things tidy.

I love to tidy so much that I want to stop writing right now to tidy!  Be right back!

Discarded more things that do not bring me joy and am in the middle of organizing my meditation room among other tasks.  I like being busy throughout the day and like the way I feel when I tidy.  Can almost call it life changing…

Pax

Victoria

My road is not yours…

My path or journey to wellness is individualized; as is yours…

What it may take to get there is dependent on ones’ willingness to do the work, however hard it may be.

I am not speaking of external things; no, I speak of that which lies inside our hearts down to our souls, which is then manifested into our external being. An example would be my garden; it’s thriving and I can’t wait to get out there today! My house is tidy too and most importantly my relationships are solid… these are all manifestations of the peace I have inside at having done the work necessary to heal. yes, heal in many ways…

It’s a fight, and I am no longer timid about how I proceed. I am obsessed with being the best version of myself, but I take breaks and that is what gets me along…

I still have my moments though of uncertainty during the day. If I remember, I pray an Our Father for God’s will at my next task. I am always directed pretty much immediately and free choice lies at the center of all my choices. God is not a slave master, He watches us flail around a bit at times but He is always with us and helps us up when we fall.

God is my all!

pax

Victoria

May series cont…the benefits of writing~

I am struggling to write this blog of the May series.  I struggle with putting into words exactly what I am thinking.  I know I am not the best writer, as my mother can attest to, as she was the main editor for all my school papers, yet she taught me well…love her and glad she is still here on this earth mentally and physically. 

So, I will pose a question of any writer, whether one blogs or journals or exudes poetry… and then I will describe my experience in how writing benefits me.  Feel free to share your answer in the comments below or email me at:  victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com

How does writing benefit you?

To me, writing is cathartic, releasing my emotions through raw and real feelings shared through my blogs.  I share my heart with all my readers and I never regret it and have rarely deleted a blog.  I have been blogging since 2013 and was diagnosed in 2008.   It helps me to get my thoughts, emotions and the sharing of how I have recovered greatly from Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Disorder.

 The releasing comes in sharing my pain and offering help to others.  That has been the purpose of this May series and of this blog.  To share how becoming passionate about life by trying new things from yoga and meditation, to walking and gardening.  I hope it has been helpful.  I have enjoyed it and look forward to my time dedicated at night after my umpteenth cup of coffee because I enjoy sleeping in sometimes and enjoy the house to myself while I type away at night sometimes with a candle.

Caveat:

While I write under a pseudo name, I still do not share all.  Only my Maker knows all and that is how it shall remain.  My dark side shall remain a mystery to even me…

Rereading my writing:

I read a prayer list the other day from 2015 and saw that all my prayers had been answered, not always in the way I wanted naturally.  But it was fun to think about when I wrote that prayer list and the need to write a new one only to be discovered in what 2025?  All this from writing.

While I do not dislike any of my blogs!, I often destroy my journals and always have. I have always been a off and on again sort of prolific writer. During my psychotic period 2006-2008 I wrote the most giving messages and I stopped writing for many years. Then wrote a book (only took me 8 years) about my life which didn’t sell. If anyone wants a copy I will gladly send it to you as it is no longer available online.

Conclusion:

Writing does not come easy for all.  But even if you don’t already blog, just journal-ling about things in general can be helpful.  I remember when I first started seeing my psychiatrist, I would write down all my questions and refer to it during session.  I hope you have done the same if you are like me.  Now I just think about it because my meds aren’t changing and the past 4 years since my dad’s stroke. which paralyzed him, my depression has been mainly situational. Talk therapy with a grief therapist has been helpful.  It’s free and I talk to her once a week.  This week I cried thinking about my dad…

Anyway, try it for ten minutes and see what comes out for you.  Reread it the next day and if so inspired write ten minutes more.  Write about your joys, your sadness, your frustration, whatever just journal.  I switch back and forth between blogging and journal-ing.  I just started that.  But I write down what I do every day or need to do and enjoy crossing off my many lists.

What is your passion?  I have so many… write about that and especially areas you might like to improve for future reflection.  But don’t forget to write about all the things you did good each day you remember too.  Even if it is just drinking your water and eating healthy let your pen or computer write that. 

I had to write myself a note today to be gentle with myself right now.  I am recovering from an injury and can’t garden or do too much.  Been finding things to do that involve sitting like the photo sorting, writing and reading. 

So what is your answer to this question?  I hope I have answered well and that this short essay may please my mom. 

Pax

Victoria

Somewhere only I know…

I have a dark side but it used to be much darker in my teenage years when I was doing drugs. Drugs were not the cause of my Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Disorder! It was a gift when I was 36 (stopped doing drugs at 21). Quite the gift…

I still wear mainly black and enjoy heavy metal music, Metallica currently, Yet I am very zen and Christian all the time. I can’t listen to songs about the devil though. Just saying.

I find God mentioned a lot in this type of music along with rebellion, which I am currently in but know that the Grace of God carries me to heaven.

Back to the dark side, I do not love evil, I prayed tonight for all the hardened sinners imprisoned. A bit of family drama tonight spurred it on. Please pray for my husband’s side of the family as they are in need of serious help and may be facing more jail time. I ask myself if I should stay out of it. I do not know so I will do nothing for now.

The May series is not my priority right now as some of you may have noticed. But hoping to stay up late tonight to write on it and to read more of the book I blogged about that has changed my life.

Today was spent with my dear friend who lost her husband 3 weeks ago today, spending the afternoon in my little garden and it was quite nice. We cried, laughed, talked about Larry her husband and watched all the dogs play. My Toby is her dog and I was so glad she brought him. I do not see friends much right now except her and we socially distance during our visits.

I am quite content these days with or without friends. But I am glad that I can be there for her and right now she needs me a lot and I appreciate that she loves me so much as I love her.

I say that yet I do look forward to seeing the family who live with me especially my husband coming home. I wash his mask when he lets me lol and disenfect his phone often.

Is anyone else getting used to these crazy times?

I hugged my husband’s friend tonight, who was born on the same day, month and year (weird) as my husband, who just lost his dad. A good long hug which he was surprised I gave him. I am not afraid and when someone is hurting due to loss I am going to always be there for them. Love will conquer all!

I take a lot of time for me, though, through all of this. I have my music when I want it. Haven’t been doing too much yoga but it’s there…can’t walk right now due to a double toe procedure but still getting in over a mile each day. Been reading a lot. Lots of books right now to stir my heart for God and learn how to hold other’s pain better without letting it affect me in the process.

That’s all for tonight!

God bless and stay safe

pax

Victoria

A love poem…

My heart skips a beat-

when I really think about God

I am at peace with my life in many ways

God is the reason for that-

leading me, guiding me, showing me better ways

The end

I am not the same person I was last week nor am I who I will be in one week. We are always changing. Sure there are inconveniences especially with the whole Corona virus pandemic. But all in all I am better for staying at home. And my garden has never looked better.

I do a lot, manage a lot of things. But I take a lot of breaks and some days, although not lately, I take a day off. Feels like I might need one soon but so much to do.

I have a ton of gardening stacked up, paperwork to fight with and companies, and the dogs to keep happy. But the house is clean and tidy for now and laundry is going to be finished tomorrow. So I will write on my May series. Oh my! I am behind on that too.

But I take everything in stride. What gets done gets done and tomorrow will come soon enough.

A topic coming up is the Art of tidying. I enjoy it and have gotten better at thanks to Marie Kondo.

Well off to write about writing ha ha

pax

Victoria

A book has changed my life again…loving it~

It is late yet the house is still stirring in a very rhythmic way.

Jason Mraz is playing in my earbud, “Mr. Curiosity”.

I have had a good day in many ways, the highlight being a book which answered my question I had had the night before which I had written down.

The question was- how can I remain peaceful despite negative energy from other people I encounter in my relationships with family and friends and the occasional stranger?

The answer I found was in a book a friend gave me in Dave Markowitz’s book, Self-Care for the Self-Aware: A Guide for Highly Sensitive People, Empaths, Intuitives, and Healers

__________________

It opened my eyes to two main truths:

I AM ONLY RESPONSIBLE FOR MYSELF, my own soul, my own salvation…

I CAN HELP OTHERS HEAL AND NOT LET IT AFFECT ME BY USING HIS TOOLS, keyhole mainly, sending back

additionally, I can do a body scan, send back to the person or people, and re-calibrate…

Those are the basics.

I set up a free fifteen minute consult with the author next week and ordered his other book Empathipedia: Healing for Empaths and Highly Sensitive Persons

I also realized something tonight while reviewing the questions posed by the intake form. I am healed in many ways through the teachings of Christ, the wisdom of the Buddha, self-reflection, meditation, prayer, and to seal the deal (no pun intended) the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me moment by year until eternity…

Pax

Victoria

May series cont…Music~

Music has always been a part of my life…

It speaks to my soul at times and other times it is just a distraction…

Music used strategically can be a great motivator.  Listen to a favorite relaxing or jamming song after you accomplish a task, new or one you have been putting  off.  And then walk or dance or just sit in a comfortable chair or lay on your bed and listen away…

It also is fun when others enjoy your music with you.  I love listening to Simple Man with my husband as it is his favorite and I enjoy it more because of that… or listening to Jason Mraz, I won’t give up or Sarah Bareilles, She used to be mine or 1000 things.

I love almost all music from gospel with Elvis Presley to Heavy Metal Metallica or Pearl Jam.  The only music I don’t have a taste for is jazz but I appreciate people who are into it, and country on a limited basis of a handful of artist,  Keith Urban or Shania Twain.  Can’t forget Johnny Cash, Elton John and George Michael.

The last talented artist I will address is Justin Bieber.  I am a huge fan of this artist because of his dedication to others who suffer like him, giving them hope when he himself has seen the darkness depression enslaves…  giving away so much through his music, documentaries and interviews.  Thank you to all!

Pax

Victoria

 

May series cont..cleaning dare I write?

Well, it is the middle of May and this series is coming along with today’s topic being cleaning.  I cleaned today for two hours and even though I am tired feel so nice and relaxed in my nice and clean home!  Did some yoga and pet the doggie and now I write when the house is nice and quiet with my candle burning to give me inspiration.  I am calm tonight.  This is my routine lately, which I enjoy.

I know I have been writing a lot in this May series about my coping techniques to get me thought this quarantine but it is not always easy.  I have my days still; although they are getting farther apart happy to say. And I have found that by writing about them I think more about what they mean to me and have been doing them more so that I practice what I preach.

I use rewards a lot to get me to the next task and it is working so going to keep it up.  A nice cup of coffee or some relaxing tea.  Just some ice water can be a reward.  A nap.  Time to relax in the garden.  Relaxing music or heavy metal which I have on now- Enter Sandman by Metallica ha ha I still like to rock to some of the finest music ever made.  Off to never never land, boom!  The idea is to withhold the treasured reward until you are done with the task at hand and take breaks if needed.  Or just push through like my adult daughter does.  She is sick this week so the cleaning fell on me, which I don’t mind.

I don’t per say enjoy cleaning, but love the results so that is a motivator.  I always have my music on with my earbuds and the music guides my rhythm of working.

Today I took my time with each task and deep cleaned several areas which had gone untouched for a while.  I won’t bore you with details but the area behind the stove is cleaner than ever now!

When I am dusting I meditate on many things.  What a mundane but needed task!  I think about how my chores are a sacrifice for God and hope that by my good work will realize heaven one day.  Of course I believe in His grace and mercy but I also know that I must do my part while on earth.

Of course challenges will arise, but they are like solving puzzles and can be interesting and fun. One thing  I have been doing really well with staying at home and cooking more is not wasting much food and getting creative with what I have on hand to fix up my garden and home.

I still go to the store but just a small one where they wear masks and I of course wear one too.  I also use Amazon quite a bit…

Back to cleaning, if you do nothing start with setting your timer for ten minutes and find something small to clean, a drawer, a small area, doesn’t matter but surely you can at least organize something.  It will feel satisfying probably and if you are in the mood you can keep going with it or do something else.

If you regularly clean then do extra.  Deep cleaning needs to be done from time to time and you will burn calories and get a good work out.

Well that is my blog for the day.  Seems kind of boring but besides being necessary, especially now, it is something anyone can do and it will take your mind off your problems for ten minutes if you focus on the task and like I said I use music if that suits you.

Pax

Victoria

May Series cont… The Art of Meditation~

I would like to get to the place where I did everything in a meditative state.  Do things mindfully, enjoy them, relax into them.  Even the hard parts of the day when something goes wrong, to just notice it allowing the distraction, and come back to center of my mind, which is clear now and without delusions for the most part.  I have always had the tendency to be grandiose with my ideas so it is hard to separate the delusions with excitement of life, and then meditating upon the excitement the day has unfolded.

I am getting used to not going anywhere.  Staying at home.  Meditating more and allowing it more into my day.  I have many rituals, tendency towards OCD is a part of my diagnosis.  It’s hard to relax your mind when so much is turning around up there.  But I use cbd oil and other products to enhance my meditation practice.

Meditation is not just zoning out although that is sometimes where my mind goes.

I really need to get better at it but find it hard when I am obsessed with my music or other thoughts.

But I have been taught not to worry when that happens but to just go with it.  Eventually you can relax your thoughts enough that nothing disturbs you.

Here’s my definition of what meditation is…

Meditation is the relaxing of your mind to try to induce a peaceful state.

I get there quite often when I least expect it.

I find peace and quiet to be my choice drug when my life seems out of control…

It is hard to stop and smell the roses all the time so I try to meditate with music to help relax my thoughts.  If an intruding thought of some misdeed of my past enters my mind I crush it out with memories of good times replacing the bad.

I also use lavender through the form of incense and oil and also natural mood relaxers as mentioned above).

I sometimes sit for hours in my blue chair in my green meditation room.

Sometimes I think about God and my love for Him.  Sometimes I think of nothing.  Sometimes I think of my loved ones especially my grandma who died many years ago.  Honoring our ancestors can also be a form of meditation.

Sometimes I just don’t feel like it though and that is ok too.  Going with the natural flow of the day is what works best for me.

Pax

Victoria