<![CDATA[mission serenity - Blog]]>Sun, 12 May 2024 06:37:43 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Musings of a middle aged white woman]]>Sat, 07 Oct 2023 16:50:50 GMThttp://missionserenity.com/blog/musings-of-a-middle-aged-white-womanI think. I think a lot. I think about mundane things. I think about deep things I wonder about people I wonder about the world I wonder about myself. I’m a middle-aged, currently, overweight, getting in shape, white woman. I have friends of varying ethnicities, nationalities, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. etc. etc. (that’s a King and I reference.) one of the big things that I think about is all the hate in the world. I hate mushrooms I hate tuna fish, but I don’t hate people. I’ve been angry at people. I have felt disgust towards some people based on their actions towards me, or towards others. There are some people that have come into my life and have, thankfully left it that “did me wrong” and I hope to never see them again, but I can’t say that I hate them because to hate them would be perpetuating the systemic problem.
Why is there so much hate in the world? Why is there so much prejudice? Why can’t we all just accept our differences and try to live with them. I know there are many varying views of this topic. And not everyone will agree. It’s not a simple topic and there is no one answer BECAUSE of all the differences we, as a human race, have.
So, in my little part of the world, in my circle, I will do my best to only hate mushrooms and tuna. Maybe even Brussel sprouts, though I do keep trying to give them a chance.
<![CDATA[meditation]]>Mon, 10 Jul 2023 19:57:52 GMThttp://missionserenity.com/blog/meditation​Have you ever meditated? There are so many ways to meditate: mindful, transcendental, spiritual, walking, focused, movement, mantra, progressive, etc. I used to imagine a soft lavender dot right at the intersection of my eyes and the bridge of my nose. I would focus on that and slow my breathing. I got away from it for a long time. Then, a few years ago, when the new buzzword around was “mindfulness”, I started to learn about that. I tried it. I did it. I couldn’t get into it. Not as a regular, meditative practice, but I did apply it to other areas of my life, though. Then, I learned about resetting the vagus nerve (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S8KT7w4uaA&ab_channel=NervousSystemNinja(ReneeOstertag)). I LOVE doing this! I can physically feel my body releasing the tension.
About 6 weeks ago, I learned how to do transcendental meditation. According to WebMD, “Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a technique for avoiding distracting thoughts and promoting a state of relaxed awareness.
While meditating, the person practicing TM sits in a comfortable position with eyes closed and silently repeats a mantra. A mantra is a word or sound from the Vedic tradition that is used to focus your concentration.
According to supporters of TM, when meditating, the ordinary thinking process is “transcended.” It’s replaced by a state of pure consciousness. In this state, the meditator achieves perfect stillness, rest, stability, order, and a complete absence of mental boundaries.”
Now, if anyone digs deeper into TM, you might find something called yogic flying…we did NOT do this!! We simply learned how to transcend. Sometimes, I struggle during TM, which is not uncommon. However, when that happens, I practice the vagus nerve reset to calm my body, then try again and that almost always works!
Whatever your method of slowing down your mind and body is, keep practicing it. You will get better and, hopefully feel the lasting benefits on your health.
<![CDATA[Can i really do this?]]>Mon, 03 Jul 2023 18:03:48 GMThttp://missionserenity.com/blog/can-i-really-do-thisThis is a hard post for me, but I am honoring my mom’s memory by healing and becoming stronger. A few months ago, my beautIful, loving mama passed away. I had been spending more time with her and wanted nothing more than to make her happy and to not be in pain. I hope I at least made her happy.
Everyday, I wished I could take away her pain. Everyday it got worse. And, everyday, she asked me why “all of this started”. I didn’t have an answer. My mom, who was always so healthy, was stricken with pulmonary fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. When she became bedridden, she developed drop foot, then drop wrist. At one point, she was on so much medication that she even developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS). But, I brushed her hair and her teeth, I washed her face and put lotion on her. I put chapstick on her lips. I helped my dad as much as I could. I could see he was getting worn down (he often wouldn’t let us help; I think he was trying to protect us). And, you know what? I would do it all again!
Then the time came when her body could just no longer go on. As much as I wanted, and still want, my mama back on this earth, I’m glad she isn’t suffering anymore. But, I miss her. I miss my mama everyday. It hurts so bad that I don’t know how to go on each day.
If you can’t tell by now, I love the outdoors. I always have. I love hiking, camping, kayaking, cycling, etc. Just being outside is therapeutic for me. And this is where being outside helped me. During the last few weeks with mom, I also lost my job. But that was a blessing in disguise. I had time on my hands and took advantage of it. I went hiking, I slept, I walked, I rode my bike, I spent a lot of time with Luna, my beautiful Aussie/Border Collie service dog. And, I journaled. I wrote. I cried. I hiked. I sat in the outdoors. I didn’t hold back. But, all the while, I kept thinking “Can I really do this?”.
I woke up everyday and thought to myself “Can I really do this?” And, I guess the answer is yes, because I’m still doing it, whatever “it” is. I still get up everyday, I still go outside, I still talk to mama, I still cry, though not as often or as hard, I still journal.
I’ve had many other hardships in my life. I believe this is the hardest. And, yet, I still get up and go. I have learned a lot about mediation, the vagus nerve, and the nervous system. I’m on my way to learning even more about all of it. Now, I have to really put it into place so I can accomplish my mission: Serenity.
At the time I wrote this post (but hadn’t published it), I was heading to something that I THOUGHT I understood what it was about, but learned quickly it was nothing like I thought. It was SO much better. Stay tuned for the next HUGE step in my healing!]]>
<![CDATA[Be careful what you wish for...]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2023 13:45:23 GMThttp://missionserenity.com/blog/be-careful-what-you-wish-forI have always wanted kids. Sean’s boys were already grown. But he had two more young children living with him. I eventually learned that they were to be adopted. Instant family!! Yay! Well….maybe not such a big yay. Over time, I realized that these kids had a lot of emotional problems. We tried to get them help. But, as they got older, the problems got bigger.
For their protection, I won’t give out their details, but I will say that anyone living with someone with  personality disorders and Reactive Attachment Disorder (or at least the symptoms), life can be hell. Just straight up, no kidding, I want to get out of this situation hell. Between the manipulation of and lying to others, and little to no support for parents, it can feel like a no-win situation.
We continued pouring our love into them. One decided to get help and try to work through their challenges. The other decided to blame us for everything and started on an all-out “rebel without a cause” war against us. At times, I honestly thought I was losing my mind. I was already under a lot of stress and with PTSD, my reactions were extreme. That’s mostly why I attended the Tulane IOP. I wanted, no NEEDED, to learn how to manage stress better. And it helped a lot! But the calmer I “appeared”, the harder the other child/teen tried to push me to my breaking point. It got so bad that Sean, normally a very chill, patient man, lost his temper, got frustrated, lost hope, searched for answers, etc. It was hard watching him give up. That’s where we are now. Trying to figure out our next best move.
But, we still manage to take a few trips a year. And, we have plans…fun, adventurous plans. And we want to share our adventures with you! Maybe you’ll connect with something I write, or find out new information on a place to visit, or just want to follow us. Whatever your reason, I hope you enjoy what I write and share!
<![CDATA[On my way...]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2023 17:25:39 GMThttp://missionserenity.com/blog/on-my-wayEven though I started the site just a few days ago, the idea has been on my mind for a couple of years. This is Mission Serenity. What does that mean? Simply said, I am on a mission to reach a level of serenity in my life that creates a peacefulness I’ve been seeking for a long time. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had some type of anxiety and depression, and, more recently (officially 5 years ago), PTSD. Maybe I’ll go into detail or maybe I won’t. It isn’t that relevant here. What is relevant is the mission.
How did I come up with the name Serenity? THAT started in June 2022 while I was attending the Tulane University Center for Brain Health IOP for veterans. One of the activities was trauma-focused yoga. For meditation, I was trying to come up with a word to focus on and kept coming up with “Balance”, but I wasn’t sure that was my word. Later, our instructor gave each of us a mala bead bracelet to help with meditation. A few days later, as she explained what it means when one breaks, mine broke! She immediately through me the one she was wearing. On it was a “Grace” charm. So, here I was, stuck between “balance” and “grace”. I desperately needed balance in my life, but I also knew I had to give myself, and others some grace.
The following week, believe it or not, as I was telling Sean about how my old bracelet broke while learning of the very meaning of breaking beads, my NEW bracelet broke, and the beads went flying everywhere! We had just received some devastating news the night before and, when this happened, I just didn’t know how to make sense of anything. It seemed like life was falling apart. Over the next couple of month, through making travel arrangements, funeral arrangements, leaving my service dog with friends, and figuring out how to tell our kids that their older brother had just passed away, I was laid off from my job. Balance. Grace. I needed something more. WE needed something more.
Then, one of the participants at the Tulane program sent me a new bracelet: it was a mala bead bracelet with a “balance” charm attached. I loved it and I was still searching…still mourning…still lost.
Fast forward a few months (still in the same land of confusion): Sean and I bought a travel trailer. We had rented some RVs for specific trips, but decided it cost too much to do that every year, so we decided to buy our own. Of course we had to name her.
As time went on, as it does for the entire universe, we continued facing more challenges. My beautiful mom, who was on hospice, seemed to be getting worse, and by Christmas, was bedridden. I wanted to spend as much time with her as I could. Since I had recently gotten a new remote job, I was able to go spend a few weeks in Louisiana and work at the same time. On the drive to Louisiana, my mind was scrolling through name ideas in my head when I heard something on the radio. One word jumped out: Serenity. I liked the word so much that I proposed that as the name for our travel trailer. The word continued to bounce around in my head; it stuck with me. It was then I realized that I had been searching for serenity for a long time: a state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. So…we named our travel trailer Serenity and I set out on a mission to achieve serenity in my life!
So, I’d like to introduce you to Mission Serenity.