podcast

Podcast: Seven Self Discovery Questions

In my recovery from depression, violence, grief and low self-worth I spent a lot of time relearning my truth. after a lifetime of self-hate, I finally love myself. Some days I’m amazed that I truly feel like a strong and wise person. I never expected that! So, as I share my journey I hope to inspire others to start their own healing journey.

I’ve started recording mini-podcasts about healing tools and resources that helped me. I’m excited to share these and plan to publish one per week.  My first podcast (below) is about seven questions that repeatedly came up during the first few years of my recovery. These helped me define how I felt about myself, how I wanted to feel and who I wanted to be. Defining myself was a game changer for me. After years of always being the victim, I felt incapable of creating a life I would actually love. But recovery turned me into my own heroine. If you listen to it, I’d love to hear from you.

Seven Self-Discovery Questions for Reconnecting with Your Truth

I’m an artist and writer with an interest in art therapy. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month*, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Journey E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other free creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

D.I.Y. Therapy

Self-Care Win – What’s Yours?

Self-care is the greatest idea, especially if you grew into a codependent adult like I did.  Wow has it been a struggle to place my needs first. It’s been one hell of a journey! These days, I succeed 90% of the time. 

For example: When a few of my friends moved away this summer, I was feeling sad and lonely. One of those friends didn’t say goodbye. I was hurt. For about two weeks I felt sorry for myself and wondered how soon I could make new friends. Then I remembered the quote “Just because you think you’re stuck, doesn’t mean you are.” (Coincidentally this was from a codependency group.) I meditated and set boundaries. I removed the phone number of the friend who didn’t feel the need to say goodbye and stopped following her on Instagram. The first week was rough. I wanted to reach out, but I knew that I had reached out enough. I knew deep in my bones that it was time to let them go on with their journey.

For the past two months, I haven’t feel codependent towards her or any of my friends. When I start feeling the need to reach out I look for other options, like going for a hike by myself, or stopping at a cafe for a drink and a book or language study session. It’s amazing because I never realized that I could feel this way. I didn’t know that I was codependent or that I needed to work on this issue, but I am feeling like a real winner about it.

What is one if your self-care wins?

How are you at setting boundaries?

How often do you place your needs first, second, third to others?

collage of hummingbird surrounded by

I’m an artist and writer with a focus on art therapy. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month*, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Journey E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other free creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

Empowering Discussions

Are You Stuck In Victim Mode?

Depression is a natural reaction to life, a debilitating reaction.

I understand how being in depression for too long stops you from the ability to make decisions. I understand because I have been there and still visit once in a while. When we are depressed, we second guess, immerse ourselves in negatives and worst case scenarios. We become so tired that it’s easier to just stand still, hide under the covers, freeze time.But we have to reach out. We must seek help at some point!

Victim mode became my label because for so long it was all I knew. I began to feel entitled and my thoughts turn downward, “After all I’d been through why shouldn’t someone else save me? Why don’t others know I am depressed and give me attention? Why am I alone?”

That is where my thoughts were for all those years. Being a victim for 20 years, both at the hands of others and my own is debilitating. It’s traumatic and not easy to recover.

It’s so difficult and frightening. I understand you and I believe in you. You are powerful. You can start healing. It’s time to make a tiny change and another and another until you are in control of your mental health. Please reach out to someone!

Here is a list of resources for you to start your healing path.

  • Shakti Rising provides the support and tools for women to tap into their own wisdom, power and resiliency.- http://shaktirising.org
  • The Love Warrior Community focuses on helping people work on self-love and body acceptance at http://lovewarriorcommunity.com
  • Mental Health America – This is where I completed a free mental health first aid training,
  • http://mentalhealthamerica.net NAMI – Alliance of mental illness has a program called Peer to Peer, similar to Big Brother/Big Sister, which is a way to socialize and give support for those who are feeling isolated. – http://nami.org DBSA– Depression, Bipolar, Anxiety- http://dbsalliance.org
  • Survivors of Suicide Loss – http://SOSLSD.org
  • Nationwide Suicide Prevention Hotline , 1-800-273-8255
  • The Trevor Project – Suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth, 1-866-488-7386 or http://thetrevorhelpline.org
  • There are apps that support mental health. The My3App connects someone who is feeling suicidal with their three main support contacts –http://my3app.org
  • Don’t want to call? Use a text hotline. Text 741741 anywhere in the USA for a live trained counselor.
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Diy therapy book cover

 

My book, “D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression” is available through Amazon; available as both an e-book and a paperback.

If you’re suffering from depression I strongly encourage you to seek help. If you can’t afford a therapist find a supportive mentor, teacher or healer who can help you discover inner peace. Healing is possible IF you are open and willing to commit to a self-care plan.

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Want more creativity and play in your life? Print my FREE COLORING BOOKS!

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Find art and gifts at my boutique store, Zazzle.com/OviedoStyle

D.I.Y. Therapy

D.I.Y. Therapy: Creating Connections and Planting Roots

We are social animals. Because of this, feeling disconnected is an opening for depression to seep inside.

Looking back I can see that connection has always been something I felt missing. Perhaps because my family moved so much I have always craved connection with others so that I could plant my roots and grow. A constant feeling of being out of touch with my peers (and intense bullying)contributed to feeling like an outcast. Now I understand that connection is not about being in one place or popular, but finding those who share similar thoughts hopes, dreams and aspirations for not just ourselves, but the world. It seems to be a matter of planting your roots in those ideas.

Compounding the need for connection is the amount of violence that is ever-present in our lives and our entertainment. There’s the school bully, deep seeded prejudice, racist governments, police brutality, war, genocide, etc. How does anyone heal from that?

They seem to do it out of a deep knowledge that WE have so much potential. That WE can heal together and each of us are in control of our response to the world

Have you ever…

…joined a support group?

…volunteered?

…talked to a therapist?

…joined a team to solve a problem?

…attended a rally or marched for justice?

If so how did you feel?

Did you feel connected, make friends and become more involved?

Despite violence and fear that overwhelmed my youth, I’ve learned to heal, to release the pain. Why? Because I feel like all is good because there is an abundance of energy that is ours for the absorbing. Isn’t this what wise women(and men and children) have been teaching us throughout the ages, to surrender to the idea that we always have access to this abundance if we CHOOSE to access it? I definitely feel inner balance when I believe there is an abundance of peace and love that I can always access, if I choose. Most of the time it is a concentrated effort, but it’s slowly becoming an automatic habit. There are still times of doubt, fear, grief and pain, but I know healing is possible.

Throughout my years of depression I did socialize, but not often with those whom I felt a deep connection. I tended to need acceptance so much I would force it on whoever was closest and eventually that faux relationship would crumble. So I volunteered which gave me more opportunities. Still even that wasn’t enough to make me feel connected. Unknowingly I had to find my “tribe” of people who were on similar journey.  Finally I did. I found them through being myself and pursing what is most significant to me. I attended activism rallies, volunteered and offered support to people I genuinely liked, moved to a new area of the city and said YES more often to invitations. I started offering my self-defense classes free. I accept gifts of support and ask for help. As shy as I can be, I even attended a party, convinced that if I simply acted like my true self I would enjoy it. So I went to a party where I didn’t know anyone and felt relaxed enough to create genuine connections.

This new tribe is not all in one place and not all are close friends, but just being surrounded by people who accept me, as is, gives me energy. It’s just like finding solace at home. Family has always been my solace because it feels safe and loving. All the years of faux friendships hindered my growth because I was not being true to myself. I was simply trying not to be alone, not to be an outcast. I wasn’t trying enough, I wasn’t exploring or moving past my comfort zone.

I’m so amazingly grateful for these new friends and neighbors who have created a safe space for me to thrive. I know if more of us can learn to feel connected we can stop the apathy and fear that plagues or world. It’s a knowledge deep in my bones.

Are you ready to connect?

  • ONLY say YES to new opportunities IF they resonate with you. Don’t waste your time in groups or places that go against your grain.
  • Focus your energy on what’s significant, on your passion, on finding inner balance.
  • Start exploring. Talk to people, ask questions, read books and learn about the world. Don’t just absorb the bad stuff on the news.
  • Turn off that TV, put down your phone, get away from the negative media images. The mass media is built around advertising. It’s not about creativity or connection. It’s about profit.
  • Learn to love yourself and that will help to attract people who love themselves and in turn you.
  • Say farewell to relationships and work that pull you away from your true self.
  • Practice feeling comfortable in your own skin. Be yourself around loved ones and when you’re strong enough continue to be yourself everywhere you go.

This isn’t random advice, these are all actions I took toward creating a healthier life. It was challenging at first. When I started doing this I was scared of judgement and being cast away, but it made me stronger. Now when I am true to myself good things are attracted back to me. I’m not financially wealthy or über popular and haven’t accomplished all my goals, but I’m finally living.

I hope this helps you to live a happier life as well. Like this? Read more of my D.I.Y. Therapy Posts.

abundance

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Find my BOOKS on Amazon.com and Bookemon.com.

Check out my ART & DESIGNS onZazzle.com/OviedoStyle.

Want freedom from DEPRESSION? Read my D.I.Y. Therapy posts.

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D.I.Y. Therapy, Empowering Discussions

D.I.Y. Therapy: It’s Time To Heal By Releasing Those Expectations

Life is going to give you all sorts of expectations. Some are great, like expecting to be respected and being happy. Others like expecting people to change for you or the idea that if only you had that one ‘important thing’ you’d be happy.

textgram_1398055224If you want to heal, you must release the expectations that life owes you anything other than the opportunity to be alive. Release the thoughts that others should be more considerate, that you should be happier, that life should be easier. Don’t SHOULD all over yourself.

So you had a bad day and everyone is in your way? Release the expectation that others should feel your pain or get out of your way and be nice to you. They have their own stuff to deal with and have a right to be here. Change your attitude. Watch a funny video or meditate.

So you don’t like your job, but need to keep it while you actively find something better? Release the expectation that you should have found a better job already. Embrace the moment you are in and allow yourself to be happy while you wait for and work toward this new transition.

So your grief is too powerful for smiles and sunshine? Release the expectation that you must put on a brave face. Allow yourself to feel the sadness of loss. It’s okay for others to know you are sad. Being sad is not a weakness. It is a valid emotion.

Remember there will be days and moments when life is devastating or annoying. That’s okay. You are capable of overcoming obstacles and moving forward! RELEASE the expectation that you deserve an easy path in life.

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Support FREE SELF DEFENSE Classes through my new campaign, Gofundme.com/freedefense

Want ideas for a healthy lifestyle free of depression? Read my D.I.Y. Therapy posts.

Find inspiring books I wrote on Amazon.com and Bookemon.com.

Looking for books that support your personal development? Read my book reviews.

Check out my T-shirt and greeting card designs on Zazzle.com/OviedoStyle.

*If you like this blog share it…

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D.I.Y. Therapy, Empowering Discussions

D.I.Y. Therapy: Finding Your Happiness and Following Your Truth

Life is challenging and how we react to this is what decides our happiness. We can give up or we can move forward. For many years I gave up. I barely tried and ended up wallowing in pain and depression that lasted way too long.  Luckily I woke up and realized that my life was in my control. I taught myself to be happy by learning my own truth, trusting my struggle and staying focused on creating a life that I would enjoy.

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How did I find my truth? By asking myself questions and then taking action.

What makes me happy in the long run as opposed to instant gratification?

What are my true passions?

Am I willing to move forward beyond my fear and live a life that resonates as true happiness with my inner self?

Once I began to answer these questions I began to take action. I started writing, published books, became a self-defense instructor, read every self-help book I could find and asked for help. It wasn’t easy. Some days are hard and I forget my truth, but I always come back. I know that you can do this too. You just have to make the choice to find your truth and LIVE IT!

 An important aspect of staying happy is to find things and activities that make you feel good AND are also good for you. You probably won’t find happiness at the bottom of a tequila bottle or immersing yourself in angry depression movies, books and music. When I was in the process of healing I gave up those things for more positive entertainment. If you also choose positive reinforcement throughout your daily life, you’ll see a change in your thoughts which will in turn change your feelings.

 When I’m feeling mentally strung out I really like HUGS, positive affirmations and time with people who love me without judgement. To keep my physical body feeling good I gave up the daily sodas and twinkies and instea choose flavorful healthy foods and lots of movement.  Yoga, swimming, paddbleboarding and walking really keep my energy up and on par with my positive mental state.

Remember there will be days and moments when you won’t be happy. That’s okay. You’re an imperfectly perfect being. Embrace that reality and RELEASE the expectation to always be bright and cheerful.

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Support FREE SELF DEFENSE Classes through my new campaign, Gofundme.com/freedefense

Want ideas for a healthy lifestyle free of depression? Read my D.I.Y. Therapy posts.

Find inspiring books I wrote on Amazon.com and Bookemon.com.

Looking for books that support your personal development? Read my book reviews.

Check out my T-shirt and greeting card designs on Zazzle.com/OviedoStyle.

*If you like this blog share it…

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D.I.Y. Therapy

DIY Therapy – Own Up To Your Actions

Own Up

It’s easy to place blame on outside forces. When someone hurts us, they are to blame and we take some comfort knowing it wasn’t our fault.  On a personal level however, we truly are the only person in control and if we refuse to accept personal responsibility we are unable to move forward.  Allowing ourselves to be victims for too long is damaging. We are designed to heal. It starts with silencing those thoughts in our mind that give voice to our past, present and future bullies.

Pity parties, disillusionment, and fantasy allowed me to give up before things ever got too challenging. I refused to heal

I was a victim for longer than I needed to be. Rather than find help so I could move forward and grow, I clung tightly to those long gone bullies in school, career failures after college, and unhealthy relationships. Nothing was my fault because the world was too cruel and unforgiving for “pobre mi” to do anything. I stopped trying to succeed and decided to live in the memories of a happy childhood, along with living in a fantasy world of books and movies. This fantasy told the story that someday my luck would change, an important person would point me out in a crowd as a heroine, and raise me up.

Even in my fantasy world I wasn’t in control, but instead waiting to be saved. Because only if someone made it easy for me could I finally succeed.  I lost any thought that I was in control of my life. In my disillusioned state only someone or something else could help me.

I lied about my personal feelings, invested my energy and time in people I didn’t care about or who had little in common with me, and chased the elusive myth that money and things could solve my problems. In fact that is still an obstacle I must fight when life gets rough. I did try for things, but easily gave up whenever it became difficult. I put on a brave face. Oh wasn’t I such a martyr, marching on despite this cruel world that rejected me as a young adult and still didn’t want me to be happy. In reality, I was very sad, socially awkward, and scared. I couldn’t admit to being wrong or people would realize how much of a failure I really was.

Terrified of rejection from people that might genuinely like me, I stopped socializing. I jumped from one job and one city to the next with no plan. I burned bridges. I gave up. So I acted like the unintended consequences of my rash decisions were purposeful choices. There was always an excuse or a way out of any problem without putting myself in too much harms way.   I felt so alone which only made my depression deepen. While skipping from place to place in attempt at finding purpose I gve up by never trying hard enough.

I had taught myself to be a perpetual victim. At the age of 32 and a tumultuous year of loss and change, I  decided it was time to learn a new way of living. Personal Responsibility was my first lesson. Below are five lessons I learned about owning up to my actions.

1. You are in control of your thoughts. What you think has a a huge impact on your self-worth. If you constantly think “failure, loser, awkward, weird” in reference to you, that is what life becomes. Change the way you think about yourself, about others, and about your capabilities. Celebrate what makes you feel good and learn the necessary skills for the parts of you that need improvement. Focus on what YOU think needs improving. Don’t listen to those who judge you and tell you what you need to change. *They don’t know what’s best for you. You know what’s best for you.

*(Unless you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol which change your brain chemistry. In that case others may have a clearer idea of what you need.)

2. Change your relationship to the world. The world owes you nothing, but it has given you life. Now it’s up to you how to live. You are in charge and it’s time you take actions for the life you desire. What do you perceive as the perfect life? Whatever it is, you need to figure out how to make it happen without waiting to win the lottery or for your boss/partner/friends to realize you deserve better and save you. We are the outcome of cause and effect. What we give to the world is what we get back.  Research what you need to get to your dream life, make a plan, and stick to it until you succeed.

3. Ask for what you need. Ask for help. Ask for guidance from someone who has been through what you are going through. If you’re not succeeding in your career find a mentor or shadow someone at work. If there’s a hobby or sport you really enjoy learn how to do it better. and see what opportunities there are such as internships, classes, or books that you can learn from. When I decided to start a writing and editing career it was and still is a learning experience. Before I would give up if I had to put it in too much effort, but now I commit to actually finishing projects.

4. Admit to being wrong. Go ahead try it the next time you make a small mistake. Now repeat that admission a few more times and pay attention to how that makes you feel.  Let go of your ego.  Let go of the fantasy of perfection.  We all make mistakes, some of us seemingly more often than others. That’s okay! Mistakes don’t make you a bad person, but believing you’re worthless will make you act worthless. Teach yourself to apologize, admit when you are wrong, and allow yourself to make mistakes without admonishing yourself.

5. Fight when it matters. Fighting in self defense is good. Fighting to prove you are tough is dangerous. Debating(without yelling and with reason) over politics, human rights, and personal beliefs is healthy. Arguing over the remote control, what movie to see, or who is correct; those are all a waste of energy. Your energy needs to be spent on inner growth, not on changing others.  Save your strength for what matters. There will be many times you need to assert yourself and  prove a point, but sometimes you need to let go and move forward.

Before when I was frustrated, upset or angry I would throw a pity party complete with panic attacks and hours of sobbing.  The slightest thing could set me off, be it serious, exaggerated, or simply a doubtful thought. After teaching myself a new way to live I am at a point where I can stop myself from giving up. I do this by reminding myself that life ebbs and flows. What’s bad now will not be bad down the road, unless I insist on moving forward with it.

Now I know that I am capable, I remind myself that of my accomplishments and my desires every day with my powerful thoughts. I changed my thinking. I stopped letting every bad moment turn into a week or month long tragedy. I read books and articles about conflict resolution, anger management,  and inner peace.  I became certified to teach self defense. I started working on a career that would resonate with me, and now I  learn something new every day.

I used to live in fear, now I live aware.

Be conscious of your actions, words, and thoughts. Seek out people who share your passions in life.  Get involved in a project that makes you feel good and see it through to the wonderful end.  As you focus on what resonates with you more of that will come into your life.

learning self-worth

I lost 17 years to depression.  During those years many days and nights were spent curled into a ball, sobbing, and calling myself the worst things you can imagine.  During the day I felt this incredible weight of sadness. It was only lifted by occasional moments of relief in the form of happy surprises and lucky turns. There are months at a time that I have zero recollection of; others will remind me about something that happened or a job I had and it will be a complete blank. Hope was a made up word. I could glimpse a good life, but assumed that sadness would hold me down until I drowned sooner rather than later.

Fortunately after spending more than half my life unhappy I was finally able to make changes. It didn’t happen overnight, but I learned how to take control.  That weight of sadness is gone.  Even a few years after changing I am AMAZED that not only can I feel good, but I am not afraid. This post is one of many where I will share the steps I took to overcome depression, fear, and self-loathing. I hope it can help someone else on their journey to inner balance.

If you like this blog check out my books at Bookemon: http://www.bookemon.com/member-book-list/151519 or Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007LMUEJ2

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