I discovered this on Tumblr, and wanted to share it with you since many of us need that little boost to get us through the day. I’ve posted this before, and because it’s so important you will probably see it again over the months. I like to bring it out in May during Mental Health Awareness Month and during my Mental Health Monday series. For this iteration, I’ve added one item in each category from my own Coping Skills Toolbox! I hope they are helpful. Good luck with your today!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Confidential crisis hotline available 24/7
IMAlive An online crisis network with trained volunteers available to chat 24/7.
My crisis intervention page will be updated on Saturday.
Mental Health Monday begins for the rest of the month on Monday, September 16th.
Please share your own resources in the comments and offer feedback on any of the above that you have familiarity with.
I’ve mentioned my friend, Brother Mickey McGrath often. After one of his retreats I come away with a renewed sense of peace in myself and my faith as well as a renewed energy to expand my creativity. You often see that depicted on these pages with my photography and artistic attempts, some of which are quite good, and others….well, I tried.
One of his new products is a card set called Prayer Starters. Below the cut, you will be able to click on the picture to be taken to his website to purchase them if you are interested in that. Simply, they are a set of about thirty cards with an easel under the theme of Wise and Holy Women featuring the words of the four women Doctors of the Church, Sts. Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Theresa of Avila, and Therese Lisieux plus Dorothy Day and Sister Thea Bowman combined with Brother Mickey’s beautiful art.
I’ve been using them as a daily devotional although I haven’t swapped out the cards every morning. Sometimes I leave them up for a few days and let them speak to me as long as I can feel it. This usually lasts two days.
I mention this because two cards ago I came across a quotation from St. Hildegard of Bingen:
“Only when we connect misery to our cravings can we begin to solve our dilemma.”
I did not understand its meaning. I read it again, and then went about my work. Whenever I passed by my dining room table, I read it again, paused a moment, thought to myself, again, that I do not understand this; what does this mean?
Some of you may read it the first time and think, of course, this is not hard, what is she not seeing?
Honestly, I didn’t know.
I began to read it a bit more slowly. I’d sit with it and read it out normally, then a bit slower, and then I’d emphasize the punctuation, adding in my own commas, like you would with a poem, each line paused for absorption. I think I did this for two full days. I still did not get it.
Simple words, but they simply weren’t reaching me.
I don’t know how many days passed, each day I’d read the card at least once, more likely twice. I stared at the card on the easel. I held the card between two fingertips. I read it over and over and over again.
One morning, probably about very nearly a week ago, I read it, each word on my tongue, my inserted comma giving pause, and as I reached the period at the end, my eyes opened wide.
It was there!
Right there the whole time.
And now that I’d seen it, I couldn’t unseen it; I couldn’t not understand the meaning, and the most significant part was how much it related to my life, to my cravings of things and thoughts and symbols and signs. Little things and big things, and there in all of it wasn’t misery but the idea that misery could be brought on with too much of the cravings or the opposite that if I think of the cravings as misery perhaps I’d crave less and therefore be satisfied with less. And maybe that’s not it at all, but that was what it was for me.
Because that’s what has happened in my life. I can feel it and I’m living it in some ways. I am not a pious, ascetic, silence seeker, but I also do not crave everything the way I once did. Not only do I prioritize secular, monetary and time things, but I am also prioritizing my faith in relation to my secular life as well as the items of faith that I want to follow and adopt into my lifestyle. That’s not to suggest a change in doctrine, but in a feeling of where I want my faith to bring me, and for me to bring to others.
Only when we connect misery to our cravings can we begin to solve our dilemma.
Today is the Trans Day of Visibility.
It is a good time for us who are not trans and are allies or want to spread awareness of trans issues and areas where we can do better to support all transgender people. This day has been celebrated since 2009, started by Rachel Crandell when she saw that there weren’t any trans acknowledgement days apart from the Transgender Day of Remembrance where trans murders from the previous year are memorialized. As an ally, I too was looking for a positive day to explore trans issues and celebrate trans lives.
Links to start off your exploration:
It’s that time of year for me again – the twice yearly, six week memoir writing workshop returns to my local library. If you’re interested in past prompts, just go to the left sidebar of this page and search the word, prompts, and write away.
Instead of sharing twelve weeks of our prompts with you, I thought this spring I would do something slightly different and share some advice that I’ve found helpful as well as resources and links. I will also be updating my Writer’s Resource Page in the upcoming days.
I discovered this blog from South Africa and writer, Amanda Patterson: Why Writing a Memoir is All About the How. Apart from this article, I do not know anything about any of their services and products that they have for sale.
Two of the things I took away from this was setting and timeline. These are two things that I don’t often think consciously about when writing memoir despite my wonderful teacher mentioning it fairly regularly.
Please add your own in the comments.
Tu Hwnt I’r Bont Tearoom, Llanrwst, Wales