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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Biker Mamma

I am excited to tell my blogger friends my new goal.  If I put it down on my blog, I am more likey to continue.  I don't want to set myself up to fail, so I was very purposeful to share my news in a way that would not feel constraining.   Many of us set weight loss or excersise goals only to feel guilt because we cannot sustain them.  Researchers say goals like these, similiar to new years goals, usually fail after two weeks.  After much consideration and talking to my friends and family members, I know I am ready to spill the beans.  I am going into my second week of biking to and home from work.  Each way is 6.3 miles so yes, I am biking 12.6 miles a day.  If it rains or I have to bring the car to work to travel far to present my violence training, then I will have no choice to take the car.  This does not happen too often so I will be biking more often than not. 

The first day I must say was the easiest.  I have not ridden since last summer and I probably only then did two miles at the most.  I can't tell you how good it feels to know that I am not adding to the pollution in the air by biking.  Of course as a woman, I am most excited about how I feel.  I know I will be getting into great shape and it is a positive  health and wellness step for me.  At a younger age, I struggled with obsessing about how much weight I could lose fast and almost before I started, I would have myself so overwhelmed I would stop.  I am glad to say that as a older young person, I do not struggle with this issue anymore.  In fact, I just tell myself daily how healthy this is for me and I do not get lost in how fast I ride or what gear my bike is in.  I have to tell you, this feels so freeing to me.  There is truth to "with age comes wisdom". 

My second day was a bit harder as I felt the pain in my legs due to the change in activity.  I am sleeping like a baby though.  I really have never had sleep issues, but sleeping after 12.6 miles of biking is heaven. 
I know the toughest part of a new program for me is the psychic energy I put into thinking about it.  I have not done that at all yet.  I will speak KNOWING I will not.  I know the energy of participating in the psychic energy drain is very real. 

Nature is so amazing.  Each day I ride I experience so much.  It is like devouring dessert before eating dinner.  Let me give some examples of the beauty I experience daily.  Frogs croaking, Willow Trees swaying, birds singing their songs, bikers exuberant, riding through blizzards of flower blossoms, young and old out walking with serenity, Cherry blossoms in bloom, birds flying in front of my face, and so much more. 

I will keep all of you posted as to my biking journey and the feelings it brings up.  As a person with a psychology background, I just have to share them with you.  I hope it is helpful to those of you like me, that at times cannot stay with a program that your so adamant to do.  I hope my mind does not play tricks on me and I can stay on this fantastic bike program goal I have set for myself.  I know every day will be different because that is how it has been in the last week.  I will promise to be very honest with you and throw the idealstic part of me away, so that I can take you with me with honor.  I have made a comittment to myself and to my two great kids, Jacob and Ellie, so that they have a healthy mom they can be proud of. 

Please come along with me, I know I will need your support.  By the way, for some reason no one can comment on my blog.  If you know how I can make that happen please let me know.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Domestic Violence on the Rise

Violence in the family is serious business.  On the news all too often lately, one can spot another death from a domestic violence perpetration.  Unfortunately, a  death occurred very close to my home the other night.  The woman killed was trying to get herself a order for protection. Don't get me wrong, some orders of protection can work, but remember, it is just a piece of paper at the end of the day.  On the news tonight, channel nine discussed different ways a woman can protect herself.  Here are some of the ways I teach women in violent relationships to protect themselves.  Some women may not even be able to name the abuse and that is ok.  We need to support women where they are at and they may not want to leave the relationship.  The more educated we are, the more power we have and the safer we are.   We must realize that the more economic turmoil in the economy, the more family violence we see.  I train in the community on family violence and here are some tips you should look for if your feeling you may be in danger. 
  • Trust your instincts- Please listen to your gut.  Intuition is our birthright. (Your not Crazy)
  • Talk to someone about your feelings of angst- support is vital
  • Call a crisis line- If you dont know one look online for crisis centers
  • Find one or two neighbors to share what your going through and have a plan if you are in danger.  (ex:  Flick your outside light on and off in some sequence you have discussed. )
  • Have a safety plan- Pack a bag with clothes for you and your kids if you have them.  Make sure you have some money in the bag for emergency.  Don't forget shoes.  Many women tend to forget the shoes in their bags. 
  • Talk to a counselor that works with domestic violence.  They need to specialize in this or you may be revictimized. 
  • Call the shelter near you as they give out free cell phones that ONLY call 911. 
  • Tell every woman you know that if their perpetrator takes their phone away this is a felony and should be reported. 
  • You are not alone.  A women is killed in this country every 10 seconds. 
  • Come up with a plan if your perpetrator is escalating and you are choosing to stay in the relationship.  You may want to go take a walk when you intuit that your partner is ready to explode. Do what is best for you. 
  • Write a journal of your feelings and have a trusted friend keep it. 
Pay attention to the red flags- Control and Power.  This is what keeps the cycle of violence going
  • Pay attention if your partner is telling you how to speak, what to say to others, how to dress, who to talk to, isolating you, acting jealous when you know you are not straying, verbally abusing you in private, and may be doing this in front of others.   Saying you will never find someone else if you leave, threatening or intimidating you. 
It only takes up to three months of dating to see these red flags.  Try not to minimize, deny or rationalize your partners violent behavior.  If you are uncomfortable and feel confused by this behavior, GO GET HELP.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Casco Point Road

My son was on spring break and had a play day with a friend. I could not believe when he told me his friends' address.  He lived in the same neighborhood I grew up in.  Old Casco Point Road. Wow, what memories I have of that neighborhood.

  I did not have the perfect childhood, but I must say, the good, really did out weigh the negative from my perspective. The neighbors really made my childhood experience rich.  It was like going back in time as we passed all the houses, some the same and some different.  Yes, a blast from the past.  Each and every road had more and more memories. It felt surreal to share some of the Casco Point Road stories to my son who is thirteen years old.  I am definately more cautious and would not tell him all the goings on in the neighborhood, but those memories too have some bearing as to who I am now and how I have led my life.   It felt good seeing my son interested in my childhood and how we spent our days as kids.

 My soul has always beckoned me to go  back there to live.  I may actually have that opportunity to look at a new residence since I am in negotiation right now on my Minnetonka home.  Perhaps Cacso Point would welcome me back.  I don't know.  My twin sister said it would feel to her as if we went backwards.  I found that odd since it is such a beautiful place.  Perhaps it is how we have each dealt with and reckoned with the past we had there at Casco Point.  All I know is that I could see my self there again. 

I had to take pictures of course.  I hope you enjoy seeing my childhood home.  It is on Lake Minnetonka.  We had all the luxurys any kid would ever dream of : boats, the tennis court, phone down at the lake on the post, dairy queen right up the street, trampolines to jump on at the Schervens and Boylans.   Always buddies to play with.  Whether  I go back there or not to live, I will always treasure the memories that this magical neighborhood has given me.  Heres to all my casco point buddies.  You all have a special place in my heart. To those friends on Casco that we have lost, god bless you all, your all in our hearts.  God Bless You.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mind Matters----Anxiety-- Your Not Alone

Every now and again I will blog about different mental health issues since this is where my education and experience lies.  Part of what had me pursue the mental health field was that I wanted to be able to share with others, in an easy to understand language, what different mental health issues look like and feel like so that I could share what worked for me.  Lets face it, no one has a perfect childhood nor do they come out unscathed by all the dynamics in their family of origin.  

The first thing I want to say, is that the most common neurosis in our fast paced, get it now world, is the entire range of anxiety disorders. Today I will share in my Mind Matters segment, what anxiety is, what it feels like and what you can do about it.  For more information, you can go to

 I can share with you, that as a young girl around five years old is when I felt my first pangs of anxiety.  I did not have any idea at the time what was happening to me, but now I do and can share with you how crippling anxiety can be.  One must get help because there are times where diet, excersize and doing all the right things just doesn't matter.  If you do feel anxiety gripping, make sure to eat a balanced meal, excersize, take your vitamins, and it never hurts to get some good ol' therapy to learn what is upsetting you.  Anxiety can feel as if someone or something is smothering you and you can't breathe.  In my case, it was anxiety brought on by remnants of my childhood that I had to look at.  I remember sitting at my desk and my heart pounding out of my chest.  It did not take long for my sister to talk to me at length about panic attacks and what they feel like.  Yep, it was a panick attack.  You feel as if you want to run from yourself.
 Here are some tips just in case this happens to you:
Make sure to take any tight clothing off that may be increasing your anxiety.  Take off your shoes and slowly rub your feet on the floor and take your time and just breathe slow and easy as you rub your feet into the carpet.  This will bring you back into your body.  When the fight or flight syndrome occurs you really do go somewhere else.
 Ground yourself and remind yourself that anxiety attacks always have a starting point and an end.  Normally one does not go longer than ten minutes, trust me, 
and this too shall pass.
 Talk to a friend once you have calmed down  get some tender love and care.
 I would take nice hot bubble baths with candles as I listened to smooth jazz. This helped me tremendously
Don't give the power to your panick. Once you learn this skill, your off to a calmer way of life.  The more power you give anxiety, the worse it will get.  The mind can be tricky and you can learn how to outsmart it.  

A Funny World

I must say, I had a good belly laugh shopping at the grocery store the other day.  There were two older women that looked like they were around the age of 60. They were standing near the check out isle speaking loudly and quite charged up, as if one of their family members had been involved in a scandal.  As I neared closer to them they were talking about some jerk,  but not one in their own immediate family.  They were discussing  the latest drama in Sandra Bullocks life.  Yes, how Sandra Bullocks husband had cheated on her. Sandra, our american hollywood sweetheart.

 What a funny world we live in.  These women were so caught up in Sandra Bullocks' love life that it sounded like it was happening to their own family member.  

I have enough on my plate as a single mom than to worry about an actresses cheating husband. I do however believe, that we do as a society get pretty caught up in what is happening to the hollywood stars. I mean, in one way, it is pretty touching how people out in the community are so protective over Sandra Bullock, our down to earth American idol.  In a way, it  feels like Sandra is part of our extended family.  Perhaps we  need some way to divert our attention from our own struggles in our own lives, to the hollywood scene, to make us feel that we are all alike. We are not alone and no man or woman is an island. We all have problems and struggles. I  believe,  psychologically speaking, it is healthy at times, to look at others having issues because it  take us away, at least for a bit, from our own problems.

Do you find your self talking about the hollywood stars  as if they were your own extended family.  If so, please talk to me.  I would love to hear your view on this matter.