You can do this!

I deal with people in crisis in my mindfulness group. NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) hosts my mindfulness group upstairs in the county mental health building. NAMI is like the Red Cross for mental health, a free organization for support of mental illness.


Unlike a Zen center filled with intellectuals pursuing the abstract awakening or enlightenment goal, my group has people looking to lighten their suffering or heal from PTSD, depression or maybe cope with a disorder better.


I have witnessed the doers, those who exert effort and practice daily, change their lives.


Self worth has blossomed from obscurity, while a heavy weight seems to be lifted. Life gains purpose then fills with opportunity, and finally a little inner peace appears.


The biggest challenge I have seen is inaction. My therapist says one out of ten of his clients do the daily work.


Inspiring someone to take action is the biggest challenge.


Why do the same words, same model, same program help some heal, make dramatic changes, while the majority do nothing and continue to suffer?


Those that improve (heal), or find some inner peace have a few shared traits.


They have hit a place, maybe desperation, where a decision to do something different has been reached. They are doers, those that heal.


They can take action without immediate results and keep going. They have willpower and persistence.


They accept the road has bumps, loss and setbacks but they do not quit in the face of adversity.


I have found a special desire in those who try, who heal, who do not give up.


It is not easy sitting quietly, facing our strongest fears, as our fight or flight mechanism erupts violently, envisioning our most frightening trauma.


You can do this with some support. It takes action, courage and desire.

12 responses to this post.

  1. I want to thank you for your daily posts. It’s done as much, if not more, than working with a therapist. Today’s post, as so many, seem to speak the words I need to hear. Just when I feel that’s all there is, throw in the towel, your post shows up. So grateful to you and your calling.

  2. Until I found your blog, I’d discounted meditation because I thought of it like you described “a Zen center filled with intellectuals pursuing the abstract awakening or enlightenment goal.” I’m starting with baby steps – breathing in self-acceptance and breathing out regret when difficult memories overwhelm me. By starting small, I don’t feel the judgment that I might be doing it wrong.

    In working with people recovering from abusive relationships, I’ve also wondered why some are willing to invest in the hard work while others continue to suffer. I’ve concluded that suffering does bring some payout. Until I bottomed out, I took some pride in my ability to suffer. I try to understand that someone trapped in suffering is getting some reward from it. Western society has been elevating the victim status, which may explain one of the rewards.

    Thanks for your post. You’ve helped me sort out some thoughts.

  3. Rudid96 thank you for your words. Sometimes I think my posts do not reach anyone. My blog is for doers, those taking daily action who have questions and need an inapritational quote or an encouraging word or a bright light in this dark area of our path.

    Healing has suffering just as life.

    We do not have to be frozen from our fear. It is a defense mechanism ism laced with cortisol and adrenaline but no fear resides inside the mechanism

    Our thoughts and judgments keep us from taking action.

    As I say we control two things, attitude and effort.

    Use your body to help the mind when it is stuck.. aerobic exercise, strenuous, sweat, breathe hard, push and feel the achievement.

    Similar to facing our fears and healing.

    We heal by going towards the danger not away

  4. Posted by Anonymous on May 12, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Taking your suggestions seriously. Got my gym bag in hand and heading out the door now to do aerobic exercise, work hard & sweat. Discovered that listening to hard rock while running calms the alarms within for a while. Please, oh please, keep the posts going. It’s a life line!!!

  5. empathetic encouragement
    to do it
    together 🙂

  6. Powerfulbeautifulwise

    Yes I know self criticism. No right or wrong, good or bad in meditation. There are ways to focus more intently and deepen your journey but your investment in meditation time is special. It is a time where you have set aside for self soothing practice.

    WE let go of the ego, of judgment, of emotional angst

    We start with a few breaths for the best results. My breathing track model has helped many that I have mentored. Use your other senses to heighten focus and make it easier for thoughts to fade. Listen for your heartbeat, listen for your inhales and exhales.

    Take five breath challenges. When five slow focused breaths have let thoughts fade, increase to ten breaths.

    This is the basic building block the great sages, the enlightened yogis started this way.

    We are just training the mind, to slow down and let itself empty of thought for a while.

    Master this and you can apply this in every aspect of life.

    Now, to address those who do and those who do everything but take action.

    An old adage says we will suffer a known situation or pain before we minutes of action, never happens.

    Change is extremely difficult and when you add PTSD or depression taking action seems impossible for some.

    Being aware that you can only shine a light for Them, not walk the path for them.

    From the first time someone walks into my mindfulness group, I stress this is a daily practice.

    Takes action to heal and healing is the responsibility each one of us must assume.

    Avoiding or denying heals nothing

  7. Music is fantastic to relax, motivate or focus. At my age and old athletic injuries, my workouts consist of hiking uphill. I have found a butte that takes about an hour with the High point in the middle.

    I save my music for the steepest, most challenging part. I imagine my pain or PTSD wants my legs to stop.

    Music up, focused on my breath, I attack through the pain.

    The exhilaration and achievement flows through my body and mind.

    Healing is not calm or stress free. It would be boring if it was easy.

    Accept the challenge, giving effort and keeping our attitude positive is part of inner peace

  8. Posted by Julie McCann on May 12, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Sometimes what freezes me from action isn’t fear of a false start. I don’t want to fail or quit where self deprecating words fill my brain. Do I hide. The absurdity is by not starting I donor avoid failure. I kid myself. I am onto action now fir 3 weeks. Working to stay there.

  9. Julie, the way we frame things impacts our journey.

    Failure is impossible if everyday we wake up with a positive attitude and give all our effort.

    Victor Frankel said enduring the concentration camp had its satisfaction, inner peace

    Healing or trying brings failure, restarts and regret

    It takes us being vulnerable, being awkward feeling like a failure to heal.

    Can you tolerate
    Staying with that feeling of failure

    Let the storyline go and take your breath to the loss and breathe

    Give yourself inner peace, approval and kindness

    Make your goal to give effort everyday with a good attitude and let it be for a month

  10. Julie have you considered doing nothing as the ultimate failure?

  11. Posted by Julie McCann on May 12, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Yes I said that. Not starting is absurd and I do not avoid failure.

  12. Sorry that is excellent

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