Archive | September 2014

Mom’s Wisdom <3

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“A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” ~Tenneva Jordan

Today is my mom’s birthday! Her name is Lee and she’s 53 years old. Just like me, she loves the Fall & Winter. So it’s very fitting that her b-day is on the first day of Fall. My mom is very youthful and young looking. Everyone thinks she’s younger. I inherited her youthful beauty. My grand mom and aunt are also very young looking. My grand mom hardly even has any wrinkles and she’s almost 80 years old! 

My mom is very confident but she will never allow her photo to be taken. Ever. It took so much for me to get her to agree that I can take one but she wouldn’t look directly at the camera.

My mom loves animals just like me, especially dogs. 

She would always let me get anything I wanted even if she couldn’t get something she wanted. She would spend the last money on my sister and me. 

My mom always had inner strength I could never completely understand. She never gets depressed or anxious. Ever. She can’t completely understand depression or how someone can ever want to die. I’m the opposite in a way. I can’t understand how someone can never ever get depressed and never want to die. Lol  Sometimes I think my mom is just way too normal. 

Also, I have this deeply rooted insecurity I had for many, many years. It doesn’t hurt me as often as it used to but some moments it still gets the best of me. Since I was a young girl, off and on, I have felt that I need lots of friends and to know a lot of people to be worth something, to be someone, to be worthy, to be valuable. To be deserving of life.

This insecurity seems kind of childish or adolescent. But I still struggle with it now, occasionally. I have never been someone with lots of friends or someone who knows a lot of people. And it used to kill me inside. Sometimes it still does. I don’t know why.

I just want to know lots and lots of people. And I want a large group of friends and for everyone to know me. 

And even when I do have a couple great friends, sometimes it still feels like I don’t have any and I wish I had “just one friend” when really I do.

I don’t judge others like this, just myself. My mom always tells me, you don’t need anyone to be worth something. And just one good friend is enough. Deep inside I know it’s true. But I still struggle now and then.

I always wished I could be like my mom in that way, to never ever feel that I need someone to make me someone.

My mom is very positive in general. She never let’s other people’s negativity or insults get to her. I’m mostly like that too. I’m happy I inherited that!

Another thing my mom always tells me, no one needs an “important job” or big, busy life to be valuable. I know this too but it’s another thing I struggle with, that I’m worthless and things outside of myself give me value or purpose or take it away. I’m better with this now but occasionally those feelings come creeping back to me. But my mom always reminds me I don’t need anything to have value, all I need is myself. My mom has always known that she is enough just how she is. 

My mom has no problem getting older. She has aches in her bones and joints but she knows every age is a blessing.

My mom, little sister, and me do just about everything together. We get into arguments too but then just minutes later it’s like it never even happened. Lol

I was thinking today about the deep wisdom my mom has and I should start listening more! Lol

“A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.” – Leo Buscaglia 

Xoxo Kim

Another Fall in Philadelphia <3

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“I prefer Winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.” ~Andrew Wyeth

I’m so thrilled and filled with immense gratitude that Fall is finally here! It feels like being embraced by a long lost friend! I am just bursting with joy! The day is cool and the nights have been so cool. There are crunchy leaves all around and Pumpkin goodness in every store! I just love it.

I love living in a place where we have four seasons, each very different than the one before and the one after. The thrill of a new season is enthralling! 

I love Hall & Oates, two Philadelphia boys and one of my favorite groups since I was a little girl, for as long as I can remember. I have been listening to their song “Fall in Philadelphia” and my heart wells up with even more gratitude and thrills! Fall in Philadelphia is just the best, nothing can be better! The cobblestone streets, Center City, the Eastern State Penitentiary, the brilliant colors, old buildings, people everywhere, septa busses, trolleys, tour busses, the beauty and love that throbs through the city…
I am beyond blessed.





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Also,

I’m reading a novel called “The Bird Eater” which is said in the reviews to be one of the scariest books ever written! Even people who said they never get scared over books or movies confessed to being scared out of their wits. Lol  I only read like forty pages and I think there over 200. I have been waiting till Fall to read it so I can read it on cool nights all wrapped up in blankets with my little pomeranian boy!

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It’s very good! It’s like we’re unsure if the main character is mentally ill/psychotic or if there’s ghosts haunting him!

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Also, here are some of my favorite Autumn quotes!!

1.) Autumn is the hardest season. The leaves are all falling, and they’re falling like
they’re falling in love with the ground.
Andrea Gibson

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2.)  I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
L.M. Montgomery

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3) Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Albert Camus

4.) I want to say something so embarrassing about September that even the leaves start blushing and turning red.
Jarod Kintz

5.) Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.
Chad Sugg

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I’m falling for this season already. It’s magic!! 😀

I hope everyone is having a wonderful first day of Fall!! 😀

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=Lxpjj3Bp5zg

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 Xoxo Kim

September 21st – World Gratitude Day

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Today, September 21st, is World Gratitude Day!! Yay!! I’m not a fan of gratitude on just certain days but everyday! But it’s great to have a whole day to bring awareness to gratitude. Gratitude can be a fleeting feeling that comes out of the blue every once in a while or when something great happens or around holidays. But it can also be a way of life, a conscious habit, an intentional decision we make each and every day to experience gratitude no
matter what. When good things are happening, when bad things are happening, in happiness and in pain. In sadness and even despair. In joy, laughter, and in tears. Live it and breathe it. It’s life changing. No matter how naturally grateful we are, how easily it usually comes to us or how ungrateful we are, we can choose to consciously live in gratitude, to feel it in every cell of our bodies, in every pulsation of our hearts, in the pores of our skin, deep into the marrow of our bones. We can summon these feelings often after developing the habit of living in gratitude. We can do this by using certain techniques, meditation, gratitude journaling each day writing a list of
things we are thankful for that day or in general, gratitude photography taking a photo each day of something that inspires gratitude in us, making mental lists of all we are thankful for, sharing quotes, reading books on gratitude…

In honor of World Gratitude Day, here are a few beautiful quotes related to the concept of gratitude.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John F. Kennedy

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Melody Beattie

I’m thankful for a pair of shoes that feel really good on my feet; I like my shoes.

I’m thankful for the birds; I feel like they’re singing just for me when I get up in the morning… Saying, ‘Good morning, John. You made it, John.’

I’m thankful for the sea breeze that feels so good right now, and the scent of jasmine when the sun starts going down.

I’m thankful…” ~

Johnny Cash

At any given moment we can think of a list of reasons why our lives suck but at that same moment we can think of a list of reasons while our lives are simply amazing! The choice is ours. Here’s to Gratitude EVERY DAY!!

😀

Xoxo Kim

Living for the simple moments {beauty all around}

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“Underneath your blackest emotions,
far above your brightest wishes,
stands a world for you to hold” ~Samael

I was watching videos about children who suffer with severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia. It’s currently incurable and is a lifelong struggle for them. They suffer immensely and so do their families and those close to them who do the best they can to cope and help them cope.
They suffer hallucinations and delusions, some pleasant and some not pleasant. 
They talk to things no one else can see.
Unlike some children, these aren’t imaginary friends playfully made up for fun, they are hallucinations the brain makes up as a result of an imbalance in its chemistry. It doesn’t function the way most people’s brains function. They literally see, hear, feel things that aren’t there for everyone else and often, they believe they’re real. And to them they are very real.

You can tell a hallucinating person that what that person is seeing, hearing, or feeling isn’t really there and it’s possible the person will know it’s not really there but that knowledge will not make the hallucinations any less real.

That can be an additional stress on someone. Knowing what the person is seeing, hearing, feeling isn’t really there but not being able to make it go away, even feeling the need to respond to certain hallucinations knowing they’re not really there. It can be so frustrating.

Sometimes their mental illnesses provoke some of them to act violently against other people not because they’re bad people but because their brains don’t function properly. Not everyone with a mental illness is violent as a result but some can be. Most aren’t.
In other ways they can be just like other little kids. They like to play, go outside, run around, swing, laugh….

People with mental illnesses, children and adults alike, are a whole person underneath, a person separate than the illness. But sometimes the sickness seems to take over.

It’s a heartbreaking struggle.
 
One of the most inspiring parts of one of the videos I watched is when a little girl’s dad said he has only two hopes for his little girl. One that she stays alive and two that moments of happiness will always find her throughout her days even when most parts of her days are an agonizing battle, he hopes she will always find something to be happy about in the midst of her pain and struggle. 

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This can be viewed in a more negative light like that it’s too bad that all someone has is little moments throughout the day because everything else is just so bad.
Or it can be viewed in a positive light that there are always moments we can embrace to be inspired and joyful, single moments scattered throughout each day that we have, to seize and hold on for. No matter how much pain we’re in.

 It’s a beautiful coping mechanism. Mental illness and physical illness is heartbreaking and devastating but as long as we stay alive and hold onto any little bit of happiness or joy or anything that can make us smile or giggle about, we can make it.

We can’t always hope to be cured or to be generally recovered or to go in remission right now. We can’t always hope that pain will end right now. Some things just won’t be cured and some people will have to struggle most days or everyday just to survive and do basic things. Some people will have severe flare ups every now and again, of an illness physical or emotional that will feel near impossible to cope with.
And even temporary pain or struggles that we know will end eventually, can just seem so overwhelming, so absolutely unbearable. 

But as long as we live and can find those glimpses of magic hidden in the midst of the pain and darkness, we can have something to hold, something to hope for, something that encourages us to keep going, to get out of bed, to move.

The reflection of the sun on windows and signs and water, the blueness of the sky, white fluffy clouds, a steaming cup of hot tea, a funny movie, the depth of inspiration a beautiful song can bring us, a poem, friends, family, animals, photography, books, the vibrant colors all around, random acts of kindness, strangers, hot fudge sundaes, peanut butter, the gentle flapping of butterfly wings, helping someone, funny jokes….whatever touches you in a deep place. 

These things, the simple beauty all around, are always beautiful no matter what our situation is but for some people with certain illnesses or disabilities or in certain situations, they are all we have at the moment. Just moments of simple beauty and joys. Sometimes it’s really all we can hope for, to have solitary moments of joy or happiness or some small sense of pleasure in the midst of our darkness.

And it can be enough.

I know this because when my depression/psychosis is flaring up for hours, days, weeks, months, whether it’s a full blown episode or just some symptoms, sometimes all I can do to stay alive, to find the motivation, the inspiration, the courage, and strength to carry on, is grasp onto all the single happy or joyous moments throughout every day of my darkness & despair. Focus on the goodness that still does exist.

I no longer have long term general depression in the middle of each major depressive episode but sometimes I still have temporary depression or depressive symptoms in the middle of each recurring episode and it can be difficult to cope with. Having depression or any mental illness or pain can feel like a different world than where everyone else is. Even when my depression is not flaring up and I’m not depressed at all, even when I’m happy, there are some occasions I think about it and it feels like I live somewhere else, somewhere that is very different than where people without depression live. It’s like another place, another time, another world. To know I have this dark place I slip into and have lived for so long.
To have random suicidal thoughts and urges that can appear suddenly for seemingly no reason.
It can be a struggle to feel like I’m normal. 
People say there’s no such thing as “normal.”
And that it’s good to be different and “crazy” and unique.
But in some cases there really is such a thing as “normal.” People who always want to live, those who don’t have to battle random or frequent suicidal urges, ones who don’t have unpleasant images and thoughts flashing across their brains, people who don’t have their whole body crushed in an invisible heaviness where they can’t even stand up straight, ones without panic attacks and flashbacks and frequent anxiety, food obsessions, seriously disordered eating habits ….(i don’t have anxiety or panic attacks or body image issues/eating disorders and never have but many, many people do and it’s a serious problem that is very painful for them)
This is normal to not have all this. 
And for people who have any of it, it can be a difficult struggle to try to be regular.
I know people without health conditions like this may not be “normal” in other ways but in this context they are.
And it’s not good to try to force ourselves to be society’s or someone else’s idea of normal while not being true to ourselves. 
But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
Yes it’s good to be “unique” but not when unique means battling violent urges to take myself out for days/weeks/months.
And “crazy” is good when it’s all fun and games and playing, acting funny and silly but it’s not good when “crazy” is a true illness.
It’s not always easy to handle and it provokes pain in me, even when I’m not depressed sometimes. Just thinking about it.
Not always. For the most part I feel and am normal. But it can be a struggle sometimes.

 The psychological consequences of having this condition, even when it’s not currently acting up, are profound and we have to find ways to cope with the pain and struggles and the very fact of having them when we are someone with a mental disorder.

I know I’m not a victim. That’s why I’m posting this, because I have found a way to empower myself and I hope it helps someone else. This life is still a sweet blessing. Just because we have bad things and painful things happen to us, doesn’t mean we are victims.

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” ~Jawaharlal Nehru

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 I’m alive. And as long as that remains true, there is hope. Even when I can’t feel it.

Sometimes the simple things are lifesavers, crucial parts of my coping mechanisms. 
They are all there is. 

I honor all the brave families and other people for sharing their stories, for sharing their pain and struggles with the world. Mental illness, medication, mental illness in children, specific ways of coping, treatment…are all very controversial. People disagree on the nature of some illnesses, whether or not they really exist, if certain treatments are ethical, the way people handle these illnesses and so much more. Anyone who shares a story like this that reaches a large audience, on blogs, YouTube, tv…, is bound to receive criticism of all kinds, some intended to be constructive, other critics intending to be malicious and inflict pain or anger upon those sharing their story.
There will always be loving supporters and those who just want to hurt.
Anyone who shares their story is brave and strong and deserves love and compassion whether or not we agree with everything they do or say or believe.
The people who share their pain with the world do the best they can the best they know how. 
No one chooses to be mentally ill. We have to take the life we were gifted with, healthy or not, and do the best we can with it, bloom where we’re planted, create a firm, strong foundation with everything we know, everything we experience, everything that is thrown at us.

“Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.” ~Anne De Lenclos 

Mental illness, pain, being suicidal…none of these are choices but acting on them is often a choice. Acting negatively or acting positively. Giving in and giving up or finding it in us to keep going with everything we have. We have the choice to do something to better ourselves, to hold on, to inspire, bring hope, consolation, encouragement, and understanding to others. 

I choose to hold on, to keep going, to inspire myself and anyone else I can along the way.

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And I hope you will always do the same whatever your situation is. And if you need reminders every now and again, look for them. Take photos of happy things, write positive quotes and affirmations in a book so you can always look at them when you need inspiration, always remember words, books, things that have helped you and let them continue to help you. Remember an occasion when you were happy and filled with joy and hope and full of life and know you have it in you to feel that way again. If you can’t remember when you last felt that way, then know there’s always hope as long as you’re alive.  The world is full of pain but it’s also full of hope, healing, happiness, love, and possibility. Endless possibilities.

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“I choose to FIGHT BACK! I choose to RISE, not fall! I choose to LIVE, not die! And I know, I know that what’s within me is also WITHIN YOU.” (Mayor Pappas, “City Hall” movie quote)

Xoxo Kim

Cool Nights {it’s like a heatwave}

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“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you,
if the simple things in nature have a message you understand,
Rejoice, for your soul is alive.” ~Eleanora Duse

This is exactly how it feels to me to acknowledge the beauty of Nature. I have always been aware of the profound beauty all around me even while in severe emotional or physical pain. Mindfulness of natural beauty and the thrill it brings have come easily to me for as long as I can remember. Even as a little girl I would be in awe of the simple joys of living. The blueness of the sky, the sparkle of the rain, the dramatic colors of sunsets, the scent of cold air, the fragrance of grass and soil, the seasons changing…but I never realized this as a “thing” or concept or way of life until years later when I decided to create a personal development plan to heal my depression and I learned about mindfulness and gratitude at deeper, more conscious levels.

I decided to take my natural ability and habit of being aware of and thankful for the beauty all around me and make it even deeper, a conscious, intentional habit.

This to me is truly living. And it’s beautiful and also helps me cope with pain of any kind. But even when I’m not in pain it’s a thrilling way to live. Living generally mindfully with a conscious frequent attitude of gratitude, not just as a fleeting mood or feeling, has a dramatic impact and healing effect. Being mindful of my mindfulness itself also uplifts me often, knowing I have this ability, that I accomplished this lovely way of living.

Mindfulness or awareness or acknowledgment of beauty and blessings, an attitude of gratitude as a conscious, intentional way of life are incredible life changing habits but they are not cures for anything. When we accomplish this and develop these habits we will still feel pain, unhappiness sometimes. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be when you think about it, right?! That’s what it is to be alive. To feel both happiness and unhappiness, pleasure and pain, joy and sadness, thrill and blah feelings. But those habits can help us cope when something unpleasant is occurring.

Summer is my least favorite season but I love all four lovely seasons. They all have their own blessings. One of the things I will miss most about Summer is the beautiful insects/flying creatures/kreepy krawlers….lol

The bumble bees and the butterflies, the fireflies and other beauties.

Many days this summer there was a bumble bee drinking nectar out of a bright orange flower on the street where I live. So many days I would walk by the beautiful vibrant flowers and see the bee there sucking through the center of one of them. Truly amazing to see such beauty! 

I got a few photos one day. 
I will also miss the flowers. But I usually don’t dwell on what I miss. Instead I focus on Now. Whatever is currently here is really all I have. All any of us has. It’s great to look forward to, hope for, and plan on things in the future but generally I believe it’s best to honor Now. Now is still Summer and right now it’s a heatwave.

95 degrees in September!! For real! It wasn’t even this hot all Summer! 

But I see signs of the impending Fall. Pumpkin lattes and coffee and donuts are already out!
I get in holiday and season spirit very early. In July I’m already ready for Fall and in October I’m ready for Christmas and snow! Lol

I think pumpkin coffee is more thrilling in cooler weather though and if I get it now in the midst of a heat wave then on the first crisp, Fall-like day it won’t be quite as thrilling. Still totally thrilling but not as much of a new feeling.

So I guess I will wait on that. Right now I’m drinking toasted almond coffee!

Here is a list of my favorite things about Autumn!

1.) Pumpkin Everything 

2.) Cool nights

3.) Fall fashion (although I dress like it’s Summer all year except I wear hoodies in Fall) I love seeing photos of Fall fashion and other girls wearing it. It’s just usually not the style for me to wear myself.

4.) The colorful leaves on the ground

5.) Halloween themes and Thanksgiving things. I believe in gratitude all year round but it seems everyone else gets in the mood for gratitude around the holiday season

6.) Hoodies

7.) the feel in the air, the mental feeling of Fall

8.) apples 

9.) Fall colors – brown, yellow, orange, red…

10.) candy corn!

11.) the fragrances of Fall -cinnamon, apple, cool air, pumpkin

12.) hot coffee, cocoa, tea…it’s just more magical in the Fall

13.)  my dog loves the Fall & Winter! She gets quiet all summer and on really hot days and isn’t as playful but as soon as Autumn is in the air, she gets all wild and playful and happy! She’s a big pitbull and loves blankies and pillows! She loves snow too!

14.) The Eastern Stare Penitentiary – the old prison has exhibits all year I think. To learn about the history and all but in the Fall they have the haunted attraction! We get to walk through and monsters jump out at us and there’s all kinds of gory stuff and creepy sounds. I don’t always get to go but I always see the advertisements and stuff and it’s fun! The first day I went was years ago in college with a group of other students and we were clinging to each other, holding onto each other, hugging each other like our lives depended on it! Lol it was fun! One funny memory I have is the group of us consisted of all girls and one boy and the boy was the most scared and tried to make us stand in the front and we told him since he’s the boy, he should be leading the way! Lol  I was so afraid we were going to be separated and I would be alone in small, dark places! When it was over we got outside and there were candy and caramel apples and monsters dancing and flashing lights! 

15.)  longer, darker nights

16.) Halloween decorations 

17.) Halloween lights

18.) pumpkin pie, apple pie, coconut custard pie

19.) cranberries!

20.) candy doesn’t melt in cool weather 

21.) Everything 

22.) hay rides

23.) apple spice 

24.) apple cider 

25.) sweaters 

26.) jack – o – lanterns 

27.) cool, windy days

28.) it gets dark early

29.) crunchy leaves

30.) sweet potatoes 

Fall just thrills me so much!

And since it’s still summer I will honor it with some lovely summery photos I took! 

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This little beauty was drinking nectar through this bright orange flower all August long! I used to stand there and watch with wonder.

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This fly was basking in a light rainy afternoon one day out in my backyard. I captured him and the glistening drops on the vibrant green leaf.

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A different fly on the same day on a flower or leaf stem. Aren’t they beautiful?! Flies really can be quite lovely and I have great photographer skills, don’t you think?!

I think so too! 😀

Xoxo Kim

p.s. check out “Cool Night” by Paul Davis!! one of my favorite songs since I was a little girl! ❤

<3 Currently <3

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(meeee <33)

This is that blog trend people do where they write what they are “loving lately.” 
It’s kind of useless but I felt the desire to post something. Lol I have lots of drafts of content of more substance saved not yet ready to be posted! Soon! I love reading people’s “currently” and “loving lately” though.
😀

Reading: A murder mystery novel called “Blind Evil” about a serial killer who kills newlywed couples. I like reading scary books in bed at night and personal development/educational/other books during the day. Something thrilling about falling asleep thinking about serial killers and murder right?! Ok not really. lol But I like reading mysteries at night. It’s my guilty pleasure.

Loving: the two puppies my dog just had four weeks ago! She had two and my family is keeping both of them! A little boy and a little girl! Woody & Quinny! They are already wild and chew and run around playing and give lots of kissies! We also have the mom and dad. The mommy is a chihuahua/daschund mix and the daddy is a purebred pomeranian. The daddy, Emmy, is a very wild boy who is constantly on the go and gets into everything. He loves his babies and is always licking them and playing with them. He’s a good daddy.

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Tell me, are they not the cutest little things you ever seen?!?!

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They have rolls and big bellies and short little legs! so adorable!! ❤

Also I’m currently loving these bracelets I recently saw when I was out with my friend at the mall. They were like 18.00 and on sale for like 14.00 but I’m currently totally poor, financially and couldn’t purchase one. They’re BCBgeneration bracelets with words like “love” “fearless” “meow” lol I’m ordering one soon that says “True

Thankful for: That it’s almost Pumpkin Season aka Fall!!

Listening to: Cool Night by Paul Davis

Quote you’re currently loving: Sky above me. Earth below me. Fire within me.

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Drinking: Toasted Almond coffee

Weather: 93 degrees heatwave! Just horrible!

Happy about: taking photos! I have been inspired to learn more about taking pictures. I read about it a lot. I don’t understand most of it but it’s still inspiring to read! And happy about Autumn season arriving soon! Yay!!

Laughing about: That awkward moment when I’m reading reviews for a mobile app and the first review on there is not a pleasant one and I’m judging the reviewer as seeming really pompous and really needing to be humbled to put that annoying, audacious tone in its place.
And then realize the reviewer is me. The review is over a year old and I totally forgot I posted it. Then I looked and saw my name on there: kimberly10. And remembered. 
This happened. Embarrassing. How’s that for humbling?! Lol! I probably wouldn’t be admitting it if it wasn’t so hilarious.  ;-D

Unhappy about: the bruise under my fingernail. I was attempting to pick something up and accidentally picked up a soda bottle really hard. I have no clue how. It’s like my hand had a mind of its own and grabbed the soda bottle really hard and my nail bent back really hard and a bruise developed. My real nails are long and it’s not always easy having long nails! It seems that the bruise gets bigger, darker, uglier, and purple-er each day. I usually have my fingernails and toenails painted. They’re currently painted peach. But they chip easily and the bruise can be seen. Ouch! Eww! It looks like dirt under my fingernail. Lol! 

😀

Xoxo Kim