“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” 🌸🏵️🌻🌼
I hope you’re having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!
Xoxo Kim 💕💜
“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” 🌸🏵️🌻🌼
I hope you’re having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!
Xoxo Kim 💕💜
Clowns 🤡 – Too Much Joy – song
“I have nightmares filled with clowns and you’re there too
You have a big red nose and stupid floppy shoes
You’re becoming one I can see the signs” 🤡
Trigger Warning ⚠️: Phobias mentioned here
Fun fact: Last night, I had a dream about coulrophobia. So I decided to turn myself into a clown. Lol
In the dream, I was watching a movie about a young man with coulrophobia(fear of clowns). I don’t remember what his job was in my dream but whatever it was, his coulrophobia was interfering with his quality of work. For something to do with his job, he had to see a clown 🤡 or something if I remember correctly. His job was not actually about clowns though. It was something he usually did not have to encounter but it just happened that he had to cross paths with a clown now at work, just a coincidence. Maybe he had to visit someone’s house for work where they had a clown figure or photo? I don’t really remember much about that but whatever it was, his quality of work was greatly suffering and his boss was angry. He ordered him to be treated with exposure therapy, a form of treatment often used to treat phobias. The young man was having emotional difficulty with the exposure. He had to walk alone into a dark room in an old warehouse or factory or something like that, at night, full of life sized clown mannequins so he can get used to them and no longer be afraid. He couldn’t handle it.
In the movie in my head, his boss called him and was angrily telling him to get his shit together and stop acting like a coward and get on with it because he had work to get done. He was tired of his “nonsense.” I can still hear his voice dripping with arrogance, disdain, indifference to someone else’s suffering.
The movie in my dream was about how people who were murderers, dressed as clowns just like the clown mannequins used for his exposure, and creeped into the building and stood in the room next to the fake ones so they could eventually jump out at him during his exposure treatment. Lol It wasn’t part of the therapy and his boss wasn’t in on it. They were just psychos who somehow knew about it. They were strangers.
In my dream, I somehow got into the movie. Like it somehow turned real. But this wasn’t strange in my dream like it would have been for real. Like in reality we would be amazed, shocked, or confused if we somehow got into a movie or a movie turned real. But in my dream it was just a casual thing. The movie was all of a sudden not a movie and was real life and I was in it. I was walking into the dark room with the clowns. I knew the killers were in there since I just was watching the movie and wasn’t sure if they would lunge for me or not. But I had something to do in that room. I don’t remember what or even if I knew in the dream but I wasn’t sure if I should keep going and fulfill my obligation or turn around and leave since the killers were in there. The young man wasn’t there and I knew he would be coming soon. I think whatever I had to do was for my own job. This is realistic of me to still consider doing something that needs to be done even if it may be dangerous to me. I work with dogs and sometimes they can be aggressive. There are occasions I still considered interacting with them even when they clearly wanted to rip me to shreds. Lol And occasions I had to still feed and give them water while they were coming at me because a dog has to eat. Lol So this part of my dream makes perfect sense.
I wasn’t scared in the dream but a bit anxious and my body was tense like it was deciding it maybe should run. Then I saw some of the clowns moving and a vague thought crossed my mind like is this real or is it part of a movie I was just watching. It was like reality (the dream’s reality) and the movie blended.
So I wasn’t sure what would happen. Are they going to get me or ignore me? I had a feeling like they weren’t going to try to kill me. This is how I am for real in general, very trusting and always expecting the least bad thing to happen. I generally have this feeling like everything will work out well. I am not very anxious. I have suffered a couple bouts with anxiety but am generally not someone who is anxious. So I wasn’t extremely concerned for myself.
This feeling like this is real but also not is difficult to explain but in the dream it made sense. It was like a blend of something. Like sort of real, sort of not. I think this is common in dreams.
I think I decided not to walk into the room just in case the clowns tried to kill me. Better safe than sorry. Lol I remember walking away with this feeling of being very safe.
Then I woke up. Lol Intrigued by the dream. I don’t know what provoked that vivid and detailed dream or if there is really a movie like this but if there is one, I haven’t seen it. My head just made it up.
I had exposure therapy myself in reality, a few years ago, for debilitating claustrophobia. It began as professional treatment but I quit and handled it on my own, continuing exposure on my own terms. My claustrophobia was interfering with life because I have to get on elevators for work. There is no option sometimes to use the stairs and my claustrophobia was taking over everyday even when I did not have to get on elevators that day because I knew I would soon have to get inside them. In my dream, I sort of remembered my real life exposure therapy and how it was absolutely frightening at first and I experienced empathy and compassion for the young man. It’s like cruelty, irony, the thing we fear most in life is the very thing we must come face to face with alone, to get better.
I used to avoid elevators at all costs. I used to run up 20 or more things of stairs just to avoid them. This wasn’t a problem because I am very healthy and fit and energetic, always have been. But in college I had to get to buildings early to be able to run up 20 or more floors without being late for classes.
Sometimes that isn’t an option and stairs are blocked off. Some years ago, my claustrophobia triggered suicidal depression in me to the point I couldn’t even hold my toothbrush to brush my teeth in the mornings. I couldn’t handle knowing on any random day I may have to go into an elevator and that triggered a depressive episode that became no longer about that; the depression took on a life of its own. So I was struggling with a severe depressive episode on top of a bad, bad case of claustrophobia.
I grew up claustrophobic for an unknown reason. I have been for as long as I can remember, mostly about elevators. But it was rarely a problem because I rarely had any reason to have to get into them. So it may not have been able to be diagnosed as claustrophobia back then. Sometimes I had to avoid visiting people in hospitals because I couldn’t get into an elevator to the hospital room. On the occasions I did force myself, I would have some psychiatric breakdown. I have collapsed in crippling panic and have embarrassed family in front of strangers at the mere thought of getting into an elevator. Now I think it’s hilarious, especially embarrassing my mom and dad. One day when I was little we were all on a glass elevator with a stranger and I began to panic. I screamed at the top of my lungs and began kicking and flailing my arms and yelling let me out, let me out, let me out….just to go up two floors. The stranger turned and just stared in shock. My mom and dad were so embarrassed. ” My mom yelled, “Kim, you did NOT have to act like that!!!” It gives me a good belly laugh now when I remember it. 🤣😂😭😄😹 I remember my body flooded with sweet relief when that door opened.
All these years later, if I wanted to keep my job, I had to get over it. And I did. Years of claustrophobia gone in just a few weeks of simple regular exposure. Exposure works wonders, at least for me. It made me realize how something so powerful and debilitating is actually very, very weak.
Whenever I had to step into an elevator, it felt like I was going to die. My mouth dried up and always tasted like metal, like literally tasting fear. My entire body felt squeezed in the chokehold of death. The fear is so powerful it feels like I would *literally* go insane, like lose all sense of language and awareness and bodily movements. I felt like I could claw out my own eyes and claw off my own skin. And one day I actually did claw my own skin off when I was in an elevator alone as a teenager. There was no way out of the building unless I got into an elevator. I went into a panic and just mindlessly began ripping my skin off with my fingernails. Everything turned white like this blinding light around my head. I couldn’t see or think. All I could do was claw at my own body, my arms and ab, all bleeding when I finally stepped out of the elevator.
Welcome to my nightmare. 🖤
(almost had a cow when I saw this a couple years ago 😳 🤣 Just sitting there, doors wide open as if to tempt me; it felt like it was watching me, daring me. Lol It’s an old out of service elevator in a building I visit for work. It hasn’t been in use for some years and is in a strange place, not near the rest of the elevators and looks all old and dingy while the rest are newer looking and its doors are ALWAYS closed. But one day, I walk by and the doors are open! Holy guacamole! My heart nearly leapt out of my chest. Luckily my claustrophobia was already healed by then but this thing made it want to come back 🤣😭😹 Some things you just can’t unsee)
It has always felt like an eternity before the doors opened again and a sense of deep, deep dread and despair & regret as I watched them close on me.
It’s a kind of fear that knocks the wind out of me and takes my whole breath away. I have been in awe at how powerful it is.
I had a relapse once after mostly recovering when it seemed like an elevator door took a second too long to open, when I was inside by myself. It came back with a vengeance. It was way worse than before. I got mostly rid of the claustrophobia on my own by getting into elevators with dogs and found it healing. Then it came back then the regular exposure on my own helped significantly.
Now even if a door seems to take longer to open, I don’t have breakdowns or relapses. I get into elevators everyday by myself with no problems at all and find them very peaceful. Like a very brief reprieve where the outside world and all its problems and noise and stress and drama can’t touch me.
I love how a place that once felt so dark and cold and deadly is now a place of warmth and security like being wrapped in a cozy blanket.
There are some random occasions, I am a bit anxious with elevators and avoid them or sometimes suck it up and get into them anyway. But it’s not frequent. And not severe. I know if I am already anxious about something else, something unrelated, and have to get into an elevator, it sometimes triggers the claustrophobia but it goes away again. I believe if I ever stop getting into elevators for a long while then I do again, the claustrophobia may come back. I have experienced this already. So I try to get into them as much as possible to keep it away. It’s a lifelong condition that has to be controlled with regular exposure or I will go insane with fear again.
I don’t know what is up with this dream. Lol But it reminds me a bit of my own real experience. Even the old, dark warehouse where the clowns were. My work office used to be in one. Lol
I am not afraid of clowns and never have been. This wasn’t a scary dream at all. It wasn’t a nightmare even though it may seem like it. I don’t usually have dark or scary dreams. They’re usually positive, happy, or mundane. Though I have been plagued off and on, for as long as I can remember, by nightmares about being inside elevators and being stuck in them, sometimes with people, usually alone. Or sometimes terrifying dreams knowing I will soon be getting into an elevator. Sometimes I wake myself up before it happens or I force myself awake after I get into one if I can. I still have them on rare occasions but almost never since the claustrophobia went away. They are horrifying dreams and just dreadful. I had them since I was little even when I did not have to get into elevators and haven’t been recently in one. My brain just obsessed with them for some reason. I don’t ever remember any unpleasant experience with elevators that made this happen, just grew up with it. My earliest memories are terror when near an elevator. Couldn’t even bring myself to look at them walking by. I used to curse whoever invented them. I felt like that person destroyed my life sometimes.
This dream is bizarre for me because I don’t usually have them like this and it seems a bit creative. I’m not someone who is a creative writer or anything. So I don’t know why my head made this up.
Very recently, like just over one week ago, I saw the word “heliophobia” and looked it up to see what it is(a fear of the sun or bright light) and while scrolling, the word “coulrophobia” showed up. I think this is what inspired the dream but don’t know why just seeing that word and a pic of a clown holding balloons would inspire a whole story in my head while I sleep. Lol It’s heliophobia I was was interested in, not the clown one.
And the dream was very, very vivid. I remember the clowns and their faces and their pastel colored pj’s and balloons.🎈 And I remember the young man very clearly but don’t remember ever seeing him for real in person. I read before that all faces we see in dreams are real faces we saw at one point in life, even if years ago. It doesn’t mean in the dream they were who they are in reality, just that the face is real. I don’t know if it’s true.
Horror movies are my guilty pleasure, which I think also contributed to the dream, and I think this would be a good movie! 😍
I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever you are!
Xoxo Kim 💜
Mozart: Canzonetta Sull’aria – YouTube song 🎵
Relaxing songs list – website
How to use 4-7-8 breathing for anxiety – website
Diaphragmatic Breathing – Short youtube video to quickly learn how to breathe most effectively
(Content/possible trigger warning ⚠️: In part of this post, I briefly & lightly mention BDSM, a kink, where people, with consent, may be t**d up, usually in a s*xual context. It’s nothing graphic that I explain but just mentioning something to do with breathing that I learned in a fiction book about BDSM, that helps with meditation. But anyone who has experienced trauma may be triggered even by non graphic things, even by seeing certain words so I may block some things out with *** It’s important to face triggers but only when ready as possible, not by suddenly seeing a post on the internet when not in the frame of mind. Also, some asexual people do not want to encounter anything that has anything to do with s*x even if they weren’t traumatized because it’s icky or repulsive to them[not prudes at all, just grossed out and/or tired of hearing about the s*x constantly when it’s not in someone’s nature to want/crave it].
I’ll put a warning before the mention of the BDSM so any trauma survivors or aces can skip it. And I will put the caution signs ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ at the end so anyone who skips can see where it ends and continue reading.)
“The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as ‘relaxing breath,’ involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds.“
This is a very simple and powerful technique to stop anxiety in its tracks. Of course, it may not work for every single person but is effective for many, if not most. For me, it works instantly.
I haven’t been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and never struggled with general anxiety but I have suffered a six month long battle with debilitating health anxiety in 2019. And in 2015 I lost my close friend unexpectedly to a heart attack and after that have struggled with bouts of anxiety off and on and fear of others I know all of a sudden dying. Every now and again but not frequently, I have this terrible suffocating fear arise that someone I know will die soon or is dying right now or will suffer an illness. It’s something that comes and goes and even though it’s not constant or usually frequent, it is difficult to bear when it does occur. It can feel like it will never end and like I am the only one in the world suffering it. I have also struggled with crippling claustrophobia, which I have conquered on my own as I frequently must get on elevators for work. It was important for me to heal it.
So while I don’t have anxiety as badly or frequently as some people and don’t currently have a disorder, I know what it’s like to be plagued by anxiety sometimes. I believe my experience with health anxiety in 2019 would have been diagnosed as a fullblown disorder if I would have asked for help. It takes extreme strength and courage to battle anxiety. It’s a display of strength and courage to live with anxiety, NOT a sign of weakness or cowardice. People with anxiety are forced to be stronger than people without anxiety have to be, yet often feel we are weak and cowardly if we are anxious and fearful. There is no way we would be surviving it each second if we were weak minded. It takes emotional and physical strength to endure. To me, it’s worse than depression and I have suffered severe depression off and on for years. It’s difficult to imagine the strength of anxiety survivors who live with it regularly. Just six months for me was nearly unbearable.
My anxiety when it arises, more often than not, manifests as physical sensations and emotions as opposed to thoughts. Because of this, mine may be easier to calm down when it does arise than if I had deeply rooted fears and thoughts.
My heart pounds, nearly out of my chest, my breathing becomes shallow, my head spins, and bolts of fear run up and down my body, heart palpitations, and I have this terrible feeling that someone I know is dying, near death, or will soon die. Sometimes it lasts off and on for days, usually just off and on in one day. It tends to be worse at night and early mornings when it is occurring. And sometimes my health anxiety for my own self tries to return and convince me I have cancer. It’s absolutely frightening and life destroying when it’s constant like in 2019. I developed uncontrollable rituals each day, incessantly checking for lumps and marks on my body. I stayed on Google day and night reading about diseases and looking at pictures of diseases I was convinced I had. It was a fullblown obsession. How I survived those six months, I still don’t know.
When it’s out of control, it’s very difficult to meditate or just breathe so best to catch it when a symptom or episode is just beginning, or beginning to worsen, or not quite as intense. When my heart begins to pound or those bolts of fear ripple up and down my body, I do the 4-7-8 breathing technique and instantly my body calms. It’s not a cure, of course, but a good way to get instant relief and if it becomes a habit, it may just be a “cure” for some or at least make anxiety less frequent. It’s just it can be difficult finding the motivation or time to make it an ingrained habit. Or for many, their anxiety is just generally too severe to be able to sit there and breathe, mindfully.
But for me, it does work. When I’m out walking, if I am hit with fear or panic or anxious sensations, I do that breathing technique. Also, I haven’t made it a habit yet but at night/morning, I listen to a peaceful song/music and do the breathing technique even if I am not currently anxious. It’s very pleasant and can prevent anxiety. It instills in me a peaceful sensation all throughout.
One thing to be mindful of is if we meditate only infrequently or haven’t in a while, meditation may bring out more fear or anxiety or anger or sadness or grief…, because we have emotions and responses to everyday life and certain experiences already inside us and often pent up. Meditation will loosen it up and bring it all to the surface/consciousness like a plunger loosening all the contents in a sink or toilet. Lol It may make it seem like meditation or mindfulness is a bad thing or just not for us. But could just be we have to meditate more often. Everyday we experience things and our emotional reactions no matter how serious or not, build up. We get cut off in traffic, we drop things, we spill coffee on our white shirt, we see someone almost get hit by a car running across a street, we hear a loud noise that startles us, our coworker says something that ticks us off, we may remember someone dying years ago and feel current distress or sadness about it…all of our emotional reactions to these things stay inside us even if we quickly forget them. Then meditation brings it all out later and we may feel the stress, anger, fear for a while after a meditation session but it’s actually a good thing as all those emotions need a release.
As I mention when promoting breathing exercises, I suggest people who are physically able to, as long as it’s safe for them, do the shoulder blade exercise at the beginning to open up the airways and make breathing easier and deeper.
⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ Content Warning ⚠️⚠️ ⚠️
Some years ago, I read a fiction legal thriller series of books by Stephen Penner, for fun and learned an invaluable life tip. In one of the books, the medical examiner, character, Dr. Kat Anderson, explained that putting our arms back like that opens the chest cavity and helps us breathe better. In the book a woman was accidentally killed by her man while they were engaging in BDSM, a kink where they tie each other up and stuff; it looks and sounds violent but is usually safe and is one hundred percent consensual.
The characters were hooking up and he tied her arms back with her consent and he accidentally killed her. The doctor explained how she would have died sooner if not for her arms being tied back like that. The reason she died is he choked her (with her consent) and since her arms were back, she was breathing better so lived longer. I realized I can do that before meditations to make me breathe more deeply and just randomly throughout the day and then a professional fitness trainer told me the same thing, to do that all day, everyday. It aids in our breathing.
⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️END⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️
So put your arms straight at your sides then lift them to your waist, bend the elbows and squeeze shoulder blades for five seconds then loosen for a few seconds then do the same again however many sessions you see fit. Don’t shrug your shoulders while squeezing the shoulder blades. That isn’t necessary and may not be safe or effective.
This is only for people who can safely do this, don’t have pain or physical limitations, have arms…I understand this isn’t for everyone. I think the average person can do this though. Remember for counting seconds, 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi….I learned this is elementary school just saying one two three is less than a second so put the Mississippi after and it’s closest to one second. 😁
This song in the YouTube video above, Mozart: Canzonetta Sull’aria, is one of my favorite ones to meditate to. It’s beautiful and peaceful and scientifically shown to be one of the most relaxing songs on Earth. Weightless – ten hour version or Weightless – eight minutes version is the actual most relaxing (scientifically proven) and I love that one too. But this one is a bit too relaxing and can make us sleepy or go to sleep. I’m not always trying to go to sleep after meditation. Sometimes I’m meditating in the morning or afternoon or out walking or before work and Weightless isn’t a good idea those occasions. But it’s great right before sleep or if it doesn’t matter if we are sleepy.
When breathing, only the abdomen should move, not the chest. And breathing should always be inhaling through the nose with the stomach expanding and exhaling through the mouth with stomach deflating. It’s called diaphragmatic breathing and does matter. It’s the proper way to breathe, the most healthy, but most of us don’t breathe that way and our breathing is shallow. Diaphragmatic breathing is best for coping with pain and anxiety and just the healthiest in all of life.
Remember to breathe as slowly and deeply as possible, especially breathing out. It takes practice. And remember to gently bring your wandering mind back to breath. That takes practice too. Everyone without exception will have a wandering mind, even those experienced with meditation. It’s just the nature of the human mind. It’s not a flaw or something worthy of self criticism. It’s just important to catch it as best as we can because before we know it our allotted meditation time is over and was taken up daydreaming of our lunch later, or some task at work tomorrow, or stores we have to visit. Again, not a flaw! And not an indication that we aren’t good at mediation. It happens to everyone who tries to meditate or do breathwork. It’s just important to get into the habit of catching it as much as possible for mediation to be most effective.
Anyone who tries meditation or breathwork is successful. Just taking that step to better our own self and be better for those around us is an accomplishment.
Hugs, love, inner peace, and light to all! 💗
Beautiful!! Thank you for sharing!!💜💚
I haven’t posted here in a while and decided to update. Here is a pic of my (somewhat) new baby, Ralphie! He came to live with us a couple months ago. He is a happy, playful boy and slobbers a lot & gives lots of kisses! He loves humans & animals.
Isn’t he just adorable?!❤❤❤
I would like to start posting more here again! My photo space is getting full. I’ll have to start paying to get more!
I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!💚
Much love & light to everyone, everywhere!❤
This isn’t my pic! I saw it on fb and laughed out loud!😭🤣😂 lol!
I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!
Xoxo Kim ❤