Anika’s Blog

Peaceful Purple

Peace comes at a price, don’t you think?  I mean it involves not only your imagination, but your spiritual, physical, mental and emotional well being.  In fact it filters to every part of your life.

Today I wasn’t being particularly peaceful.  I couldn’t understand what was happening in my body.  The last few days have been brilliant for me, and I knew I wasn’t falling into a full-blown flare up of my fibromyalgia.  Now I am well aware that fibromyalgia encompasses the mind as well as the body.  But that didn’t quite seem to fit.  Or maybe it was the weather, which was rainy and could have accounted for it.

Anyway, after discussing with Kevin what could be wrong, he asked me one simple question – Did you take your tablets this morning?  I immediately said yes of course but then I suddenly remembered that actually I hadn’t.  The morning had started off unusually with Johnathan waking just after 6am.  So we had to get up and start getting ourselves ready for the day and with the change in routine I just hadn’t remembered.

Now a few months/years ago I would have beaten myself up for it mentally.  I would have put the blame firmly on my shoulders and told myself horrible and nasty things.  Now if you want to have peace in your life, this is not the way to get it.

I knew that if I wanted to have peace in today, I would have to stop the self-blaming and condemnation because that doesn’t get you anywhere.  Today is the day where I normally write the blogpost I have in mind.  I had tried 3 different ways of talking about peace without success.

The fact is that when you are in pain and your head feels mushy there is no way you can function at a peaceful level – the only thing you can do is try to mitigate the pain.  Every disabled person has their tried and tested methods to help themselves, but nothing worked for me this morning.

My body is still trying to recover but it is now peaceful in every way while I allow my tablets to do their job and get me out of the pain I had inadvertently put on myself.  My mind, soul, body and emotions are all returning to their usual states and the fact I know the pain will die down is a tremendous and peaceful blessing.

But it doesn’t have to be pain that causes you a problem and it’s incredibly difficult to find that peace.  There could be other things that cause you to lose your peace.  Peace is a wonderful gift and without it you seem to be unable to function.

Do you want peace in your life?  What is out of whack in your life?  It doesn’t have to be just one thing that is causing the problem and making you lose your peace.  There can be one or more.  

Fortunately for me today, there was only overriding fact that was causing my difficulty.  And now that I have taken my tablets, I feel so much better both mentally and emotionally and am calmly waiting for my body to return to where it should be.

Having said all that, peace is something to acquire both in sickness and in health.  Looking at what the problem is and fixing it if you can or knowing a plan of action for dealing with it will help bring peace back into your life.

So how are you going to bring peace back into your life again?

 

An unexpected new beginning


An unexpected new beginning

This year I have certainly had an unexpected new beginning in spite of myself. I wanted this year to be a good one We have had quite a few shall I call them uncomfortable? Years. Yes, let’s put it that way.

Uncomfortable most certainly, but we have got to a place where we can accept that one phase of our lives is over and we need to move on. I had thought when I got pregnant with Serah, she would be our last baby but I didn’t realise how it would be made so emphatically to me that my pregnancy years were done.

So during the week, Kevin and I decided to be rid of all the big baby stuff we still had. What is the point of keeping things that we were never going to use again for sentimental reasons? At the end of the day, they were taking up space in our big cupboard and Johnathan’s wardrobe for no reason.

Now we have much more usable space in our big cupboard and I can see what we actually have in there. That will make a big difference to us. So strange to think of everything gone, but Johnathan starts school in less than 2 weeks and our whole routine will be totally upended, as he will be collected in a bus and the last time that happened was when he was 15 months old!

So in some ways our lives will be changed naturally in the passing of time. But they will also be expanded through the challenges and opportunities we face. Although life gives us opportunities we can explore, not everybody takes them. But that’s ok if that is the life you want to have. However, if you want more, you can go and get it.

One of these new beginnings for me is going to have the time to do the digital artwork I would like to do for not only myself and others but digital artwork purely for selling. And also, I wish to focus on not only mine but also my family’s health. So you see, my life will become busy.

I guess in some ways you say it’s not totally unexpected or a new beginning, just the natural years that change your family life. Probably it is, but the shock of the change, the enormity of it and the fact it seems improbable we should go back but must move on.

When you are faced with a unexpected new beginning, what are you going to do about it? Accept it or get bitter and angry? Your choice determines what you do and the outcome that evolves.

An unexpected new beginning

An unexpected new beginning
Can start in so many ways
You never know when they begin
Or what their blessings are.

The problem of labels

The problem of labels.

The problem of labels is that it is such a complex and emotional question. Some people agree with them and others do not. But where would you start with labelling a person?

You see, if you think about it, it starts from when a child is a very early age in life. You know what I mean. “Oh, she’s the slow one….he’s the clumsy one….they’re a monster….she always does this wrong….he’s a trouble-maker.” I am sure you have heard these and more throughout your life. But then, what does it do to that child? They become replicas of what they hear people say about them.

Do you really want your child to turn out as a slow, clumsy, or not clever person? I am sure you don’t want them labelled as any of those things. Every child is precious, and are unique in their character and understanding. But then, aren’t we all? Did you know that not only do we all have individual fingerprints, the ridges on the roof of our mouths are all different too? My dentist told me that the other day. How amazing is that?

Again, this problem crops up with health issues. My son is on the autistic spectrum. Now, here is a conundrum in itself. Do you think of him as an autistic child or love him for who he is and think of him by his name, or the “label” that he has? There are so many different variations in opinion as to whether or not your child should be known as autistic before they get to school or not.

I knew from when my son was born, that he was different. I don’t know how I knew it but as a mother, you know. There is an instinct inside you that tells you something is different about your child. So many people told me I didn’t know and that I was wrong. But I knew.

The nursery Johnathan went to when he was 3 years old asked if they could call the educational psychologist about him. We had no objection and it led to him being diagnosed as high functioning autism (basically Asperger’s).

We could have refused for the educational psychologist to be called and that would have meant it was a lot longer before he was diagnosed as autistic. I had mixed feelings about getting the “label.” In some ways it would make life more simple when he was poorly and didn’t know what was wrong. Doctors wouldn’t look at me in surprise when I told them he didn’t know what he was feeling anymore.

On the other hand, did I want him labelled before he went to school, not particularly. Did I want to shout it out to the world? Not on your life. But we had to account for the differences in him when we were out and he didn’t behave like others expected him to. So we had to tell others.

There is a label on him and one I cannot ignore. However, I cannot ignore the illnesses my husband and I suffer. Someone asked me if I referred to him as Asperger’s or an Aspie. I looked at them and said “his name is Johnathan.” We don’t introduce ourselves by our illnesses or disabilities but speak our names.

At the end of the day, labels do not define a person or their ability to function in life. It is their behaviour and manner of living. Yes, that may cause us to have to adjust our ideas of what they can and cannot do, but that’s ok.

Having a son who is on the spectrum really woke me up to the difficulty of labels. We needed that label in some cases (like with medical staff and teachers) because it gave them more understanding of him and where he was coming from.

I love my son dearly and his excellent attributes, bur I realise there are situations and circumstances where it is both important and necessary to use the medical label he has and that’s ok. But he is not the high functioning autistic boy to me. At the end of the day, he is my son, Johnathan and that is all that matters.

Labels can be emotional.

Labels can be emotional
I know you know this truth
Labels have been put on you
Giving you some fear or doubt

But is this the end of you
Can you change from these labels?
Some of these can be altered
If you work to change them

Everyone has an actual name
That they can be called by
A label doesn’t change that
They are just who they are.

Medical terms are different
Helps them work you out
And give you the best treatment
In ways that help you out.

Where do you start?

So where do you start when you don’t know what to do? I have ended up talking to a number of people today because I didn’t know what to write. But you know what? There are many different things you can write about and starting anything is difficult.

I am doing an intuitive piece of artwork at the moment. One of the things I discovered this week is that I didn’t trust what I was thinking and feeling and was asking the client questions and when she answered it was exactly what I had thought originally myself.

One of the things I have realised through my work this last week is how little I have been trusting myself and what I know. As I was pondering that, I realised that so many others distrust themselves as well. Our spirit, soul, mind, gut, intuition – whatever you want to call it, I really don’t mind, but the place you hold the answers to the questions that come up.

Many of us have learnt to distrust our inner knowledge, but actually that is not a good thing. Our inner guide will always lead us right and we need to discover and learn this. It is not necessarily something we come to naturally but that’s ok. There is time, and we can all learn, no matter what age we are.

On the voyage of a journey we call life, there are many things we discover and learn. Trusting ourselves and being confident in our decisions is not easy. I know my son finds it hard to believe that what he thinks is good and right. Some days he will come and ask questions you KNOW he knows the answer to, but he tries to be reassured by an adult telling him what he thinks. What I have learned to do is ask him what he thinks and try to encourage him to believe in himself and what he thinks.

So why do some people trust themselves and what they think? HOW do they have the courage of their convictions while others falter and flounder and look around to others to provide the answers for them? Is it their personality or something that others instil inside them?

Personality has a lot to do with it, I think. Natural confidence and belief in themselves helps them to navigate the world in a seemingly easier way than most people. Although they appear to fly through life untroubled by the storms that confront other people, you really don’t know what they go through. The image they portray is not reflective of the reality inside or even outside.

What I think we all need to remember is that all the answers you need to have are within you. You can start exactly where you are. There is an untapped well of knowledge inside you that can help you in life, no matter what the occasion. Believing and trusting in yourself may not come easy but until you begin to do so, you will end up thinking you are without answers whereas they are only a thought or two away.

Having said all this, I want to say that I am not talking about anything where you need a professional to help you, but it is true for everything else.

So, the question becomes, where are you going to start now that you know you can do it?

Where do I start?

The answer lies within you
It is written in your soul
You know where the answer is
So why not stop and listen?

Anger could build up inside
When the answer seems not there
But if you could just quiet down
You’ll know what you need to do.

It’s just the quiet voice inside
The one you’re not listening to
Or it could be the feeling
The one you have discarded

But take heed of this advice
For it will guide you true
Starting is the place to be
Doing what you know to do.