This post is designed to educate people on what they can do to alleviate their own mental health suffering or help to alleviate the suffering of others.
This week saw us celebrate World Mental Health Day and, yes, the world ‘celebrate’ is used very deliberately here. Mental health is something that should be celebrated and we as a society all need to pull together to ensure each other’s mental and emotional wellbeing. The problem is exacerbated by people (and, often, employers) who are either dismissive of the dangers presented by mental illness or have a backward and reactionary viewpoint regarding those who experience it. We need to shed the inherent stigma of this very real illness if we are to make progress in this field and alleviate the suffering of one in four people all over the world. Whether you’ve experienced difficulties with your own mental health, this post is designed to educate people on what they can do to alleviate their own suffering or help to alleviate that of others.
The key is understanding
Unfortunate as it may be, it’s human nature to fear the unusual and the unknown, and those who lack an understanding of mental illness are largely to react erratically to it out of fear. If you’re drawn to this post not because you experience mental health problems yourself but because you’d like to know more and wish to help others who do, then I thank you for taking that first step. Hopefully, a greater understanding of this field will generate a sincere passion to learn and help more. There are more options than ever for people who want to dedicate themselves to mental health. You can even get a Masters in clinical mental health counselling online. Many people who experience mental illness feel unable to openly discuss it as readily as they would, say a bout of influenza (more on that later), but opening a dialogue is a hugely important first step..
The truth is that mental health is a very broach church, rife with complexities and most people experience some form of mental illness at some point in their lives. Many unfortunate stigma persist to this day because of our need to simplify things, but mental health problems can be extraordinarily complex. Schizophrenia, for example, is a complex and deeply misunderstood mental illness that is often confused with the far less common Dissociative Identity Disorder..
It’s okay to talk about it
It’s vital that we as a society open up a frank and tolerant environment in which people are able to share our troubles and anxieties when it comes to our mental health. It’s really astonishing how much of a difference can be made when people can discuss their mental health openly with friends, family and colleagues. This will hopefully create an environment which is more conducive to people seeking out diagnosis and help rather than suffering in silence.
Treatment takes time
If you are currently experiencing mental health problems it can be frustrating when after what seems like a lifetime of diagnosis and analysis, treatment either has a negligible effect or isn’t working altogether. As infuriating as this can be it’s important to realize that psychopharmacology is an extremely complex field that requires the exact right drug and dosage for the individual patient. A course of pharmacological treatment should also be supplemented with some form of cognitive therapy.
With just a little understanding and the right treatment we can all do our bit to ensure that nobody need suffer unnecessarily with their mental health problems.
Explore 5 Tips to Reduce Stress While Trying To Conceive.
If you’re trying to get pregnant, there are no two ways about it; you need to relax. You might think you don’t have time to relax what with putting in a full working week, taking care of the house and trying to conceive, but if you don’t take time out to unwind, you could make it much more difficult to get pregnant.
The vast majority of infertility doctors agree that stress is one of the things that stop women from getting pregnant. It affects their mental and physical wellbeing, making the process much more difficult than it needs to be. So, if you’re frustrated by your lack of success before you try more extreme measures, do the following things to relax first:
Meditation isn’t as difficult as you think. You don’t have to bend your body into full lotus position or go off to a mountain retreat for two weeks; you just have to sit down, close your eyes and focus on your breath. It’s so simple, but it will help to keep you calm and present, and that will help your body fight off stress and all of the bad stuff it floods the body with.
The simple act of snuggling with a spouse, child or pet is enough to bring down stress levels and make you feel relaxed, almost instantly. So, take the time to relax with the people you love and indulge in pressure-free physical contact if you want to get your body and mind in the right space to conceive.
Book a Massage
If you’re so stressed out that your whole body feels tense, it’s time to book a massage or even better have your spouse massage you before the main event. You’ll feel so light and free that you won’t ruin your chances of conceiving by thinking too much about it and getting stressed out as a result.
When you’ve been trying to conceive for a whole without success, it can be so easy to slip into a negative mindset where you never stop blaming yourself and your spouse for the lack of progress in adding to your family. This will only make things worse, triggering stress and depression in the body. What you should do instead, is think positive. Recognize that no one is to blame and whenever you catch yourself being negative, stop, take a deep breath and replace that thought with a more positive statement. If you’re happy, things are much more likely to happen.
Get Away from It All
If nothing else works and you’re buckling under the stress of trying to conceive and getting upset when you don’t, it could be worth taking some time out either alone or with your spouse. Booking a relaxing holiday will help you to unwind, get some perspective and come back anew. In fact, many couples who’ve had trouble trying for a baby, but have no known fertility issues, have finally gotten pregnant on holiday when they were more relaxed than at home!
I am honoured and thrilled to announce that the Montreal Gazette featured me in a video about pet services in Montreal. It was about Pet Reiki. Here is a link to the original article:
Calming the inner beast through human hands-on-healing
By The Gazette, The Gazette August 15, 2014
Jade, Reiki master, explains her work as she gives her cat, Treun, a reiki treatment in Montreal. Video by Allen McInnis of The Gazette.Got a dog that won’t stop barking? Or maybe a nervous, jumpy cat?
For $60 an hour, reiki master Jade will try to take away your pet’s worries.
“Reiki can benefit animals by helping them feel more calm, relaxed and centered,” Jade says
Reiki is a Japanese technique developed in the 1920s, although some reiki practitioners say it was created in ancient Tibet and rediscovered in the 20th century.
The reiki master channels energy in the air around them, transferring it to a pet or person by placing their hands on the subject. The energy is believed to help heal the pet or person’s emotional problems and clear them of any energy blockages.
“The same way it helps people, for pets it can be used for anything from helping a senior pet with illness or injury to calming a hyper puppy to helping a depressed pet cope with the loss of their companion, as is the case with bonded pets who lose their friend,” Jade says.
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette
Fairly recently I had a somewhat shocking and dismaying phone call from a former client. I will call him George for the sake of clarity and anonymity.
Now George was a challenging client to start with. When he told me his situation I suggested that perhaps someone else would have the answers he desired, but he insisted on staying and having a session with me, so I did the best I could for him. I was generous with my time, giving him quite a bit of extra time after our session and further information that I thought would benefit him. At the time he acted happy and grateful and was receptive to what he was being told.
So imagine my surprise when George called me up and informed me that his current life circumstances were my fault, and that because of it I owed George not only an explanation but also a free consultation for an unspecified amount of time!
My first reaction was confusion as my brain tried to work out exactly HOW I was responsible for his life? As I tried to assist George further, he became irrational and angry. He made some pretty far out accusations and I felt my own temper rising as he simply was not willing to take any responsibility for his own life and the choices he had made. Every attempt I made at a rational, adult conversation was quite beyond his scope of abilities. He wanted someone to blame and I was it.
After I finished that phone call with George I was left feeling a mix of emotions. I felt angry, frustrated, hurt and confused. After I had calmed down a bit, I felt something else for George, I felt sadness. Here was a man with so much potential, so much that he could have done with his life, so much that he could still do, and yet he did nothing. He was akin to an Ostrich sticking its head in a hole! What a waste!
I’ve met a few people like George in my life as I am sure you have dear readers. What is important to remember when interacting with persons like this, is to determine for yourself at what point do you back away? Some people will continue to resist all good intentions and efforts no matter what, even when they say they want to change or want help. It’s up to you to decide at what point you say, enough is enough. Do not put your own emotional welfare and energy towards people that just want to be an Ostrich!
Let Your Spirit Grow.com
Have you ever asked someone a question, and after they answered it, you were still just as confused as when you started? This round about method of communication is called Double Speak. If it is done with a malicious intent, it is considered Double Speak. If a person speaks this way this because they are lonely, socially awkward, absentminded or on medication for example, it is not considered to be coming from a malicious space and thus is not categorized as Double Speak. Why do some people talk like this? When a person speaks this way with a malicious intent in mind, it is because they are able to avoid a question entirely or simply answer a part of it, veiled in language that distracts and goes off topic at every opportunity. This can be done with great success to the point that the person who has asked the question has forgotten all about it, and become entirely caught up in the new topic of conversation!
How do I know someone is speaking this way? The easiest way to spot a Double Speaker is to listen to them speak after having asked them a question. Do they get to the point? Has your question been answered in a timely manner, or are they giving you multiple examples and stories that only seem vaguely related to what you asked? For example: you ask the basic meaning behind a symbol they are wearing expecting a quick answer. What you get instead, is a 30 minute rambling detailing a personal story of how the symbol relates to them, the universe, and the social and political meanings of it, before they change the topic and ask you something totally unrelated. At no point has the person actually answered your question!
Why is it important to be able to spot this type of speaker? This type of speaker is a master at manipulation. They are able to make people believe that they possess more knowledge than they do. They are able to put themselves in a position of power by doing this. When you are able to spot this speech pattern, it is like a light bulb going off. In the workplace, this Double Speaker shows a good game face but behind the scenes they may be behind on their work or trying to pass off mistakes onto others. Whether you are in a higher executive position or are a co-worker, it allows you to clearly see the person for whom they are. You can quickly spot their tricks and avoid them or in the case of management, decide if this person is suited for their current position.
In your personal life, with your newfound ability to spot this Double Speaker, you can quickly categorize people and decide where they fit for you, whether it is in your dating life or with friends and family. Double Speakers within friends and family are apt to use Emotional Blackmail to further enhance their abilities. Using language as their weapon of choice, they are able to verbalize a reality in which they are being oppressed and hurt, and at the same time transform details and events as they actually occurred with their Double Speak, convincing people that they are in fact the innocent party and the victim.
No one wants to be a victim of a Double Speaker and people who employ Double Speak have lots of practice being undetected, but if you learn to spot the signs of a Double Speaker, you can save yourself much heartache and pain and increase your clarity of thought.
Let Your Spirit Grow.com
Many people have natural gifts whether it is scholastic skills like math or language, or life skills like cooking or organizing. Other skills we learn and hone over the years, picking up bits of information here and there until we reach a point where we feel comfortable and competent at that task such as driving a car.
For those of us who have abilities that fall outside of the “normal” range, life can be challenging, especially when we are children. As a child, I personally had no idea what to do with the skills I seemed to possess, and nor did my family. My sibling and I are both adopted from different blood lines, and yet, he too has abilities that overwhelmed my family growing up. I remember being perhaps 6 or 7 and waking up to my brother screaming and begging to mother to “ask them to leave me alone!” My mother brushed it off as a dream, but it wasn’t. As an adult my brother chose to ignore his many abilities and I had done the same for many years as I had no idea what to do with my gifts.
One of my gifts that I have is a very strong intuitive ability which helps me to “know” people upon meeting them. That is not to say that I can read their mind, but I can read their energy. As a child I was often overwhelmed by the energy people put out and would hide during family parties to escape the onslaught of energy and emotions from people. As an adult I learned to shield myself to protect myself from unwanted energy and I learned that I can also read the energy in photographs. In the beginning it was a parlor trick of sorts for me. I used to look at real estate listings and see what came up for me regarding the property. My husband wasn’t so thrilled with my ability when I would point out that a particular house was haunted by at least one spirit!
These days, I offer my ability to read photographs through a service I offer called Soul Snapshot. It is a way for me to use that particular ability in a positive way to help people, and really that is what life is all about. If you have a particular gift, make use of it and share it. Are you a natural teacher, dancer, or artist? Do you find organizing or planning events easy and enjoyable? Have you reached a point in your life where something is missing but you just don’t know what it is? Consider passing on your gifts to someone else. Volunteer, start a business, help a friend or neighbour. What may seem easy to you can be very difficult for someone else. They will be so grateful to you, not only for your natural gift, but also for your gift of sharing.
Let Your Spirit Grow.com
Today I was thinking about appearances, and how our physical presentation tends to hold so much meaning and importance in our society. In the world at large, there is a standard for beauty, strength, mental ability, and social status that changes based on appearances. It isn’t just Human nature though, even in the animal kingdom, those that are different are often not accepted with good reason. An animal that is born either a different colour or size is often seen a threat to the safety of the group. An of example of this are Zebra which have their distinctive pattern because it causes confusion to predators when they are running in a herd, as the moving patterns make it hard to distinguish one zebra from another. If a “golden” or “albino” zebra is part of that herd, then it can easily be spotted and attacked, posing a risk for the rest of the herd.
It makes me wonder if humans carry the same fear of standing out. Is it in our own genetic structure the need to blend it lest we be attacked? What about those who chose not to blend in? Sometimes they are applauded and given congratulations for being “brave” and true to themselves like a Paralympic athlete who has achieved gold. There are other traits that are not accepted as easily, like piercings or tattoos, but even that has become so much more accepted. I guess I am thinking about this lately because I am facing my own dilemma regarding not blending in. Well, truth be told, I have never been easy to hide! As a plus size woman at 5’10”, I tower over most women and many men.
My recent musings have been around whether I should let my grey hairs win the battle over chemical color. I have had a significant amount of grey hair since age 16, and as a result of societal pressure and personal insecurity I have dyed my hair since age 18. As I approach 40, I am at a different place in my life with regards to the comfort level I feel with myself. I was surprised and saddened by the responses I received from friends in real life and online. Many of them instantly responded with fear and confusion. Why, they asked me would I do that? I would look old I was told by some, and one even mentioned that she had no life partner yet so she most certainly could not go grey yet. I just find the whole topic fascinating, especially with regards to women and how we view our grey hairs. Men who are grey are seen as wise and distinguished, and yet women call themselves old. I find it very sad that women in particular are not only hard on each other; but they are so hard on themselves.
As it turns out I was not able to remove the entire old colour from my hair, so I decided to go a different route and colour my hair purple instead. I am sure that will probably illicit further commentary about not blending in as well, and for me that is okay. I prefer to be that crazy albino zebra taking chances and living my life, rather than worrying about going along with the herd. Sometimes, you just have to embrace who you are despite what others may say. Tall, short, fat, thin, grey hair, fun coloured hair, piercings, tattoos, and so on. Remember that you have the power to transform your life in whatever way you need to, and that includes loving yourself, for you who are and how you like to look.
Let Your Spirit Grow.com
There is a hilarious scene from Dr Doolittle with Eddie Murphy in which a hyper dog is desperate to have Eddie’s character throw a ball. The dog is seen jumping up and down begging for the ball to be thrown and when it finally is thrown, the dog erupts with joy screaming “I love you!” over and over again as it races back with the ball in its mouth, eager to have the ball thrown again, and again and again….you get the idea. In a movie it’s funny, but in real life that is exhausting, especially when an animal is like that most of the time. If this example reminds you of your beloved pet and you would like to help your pet, consider Pet Reiki to encourage calmness.
Why are some animals so hyper in the first place? Some are by nature high strung with lots of energy, others are feeling stress and anxiety brought on by changes in circumstances such as a move or being left alone all day, while others may need extra attention and they are not getting it.
So what is Pet Reiki you may ask, and how is it going to help my hyper pet? First let me explain what Reiki is. Reiki is Japanese energy healing that uses the energy that is around us to facilitate healing. The basis of the principal behind Reiki is to take the energy that we physically create in our body and the energy that is all around and using special techniques, the Practitioner or Reiki Master channels that energy to the client. If all of this sounds ridiculous to you, I have a small test for you. Hold your hands, palms facing each other about 1-2 inches apart. Now slowly bring your hands together but do not let them touch each other. Now slowly pull your hands back to their starting position. Repeat this process several times until you begin to feel a heaviness or resistance between your hands. Do you feel it? That is the energy that your own body produces. That is some of the energy that is channeled.
Animals are able to tune into subtle energy shifts, and are therefore very receptive to Reiki energy. Do your pets know when there is going to be a storm before you do? That is because they can feel the energy shift. Many times within a few minutes of the healing session with a pet, the changes can be seen right away. For example: I had one client who had a very unhappy, hyperactive rabbit. Within a few minutes of beginning treatment from a distance as the rabbit could not be still, he came to me, laid down in front of me and completely relaxed. His owner was shocked and told me that he never did that; in fact he would only ever do anything like that when he was in his cage at the end of the day. Why did the rabbit do that? The simple answer is that he knew that he needed it. For some time after, this particular rabbit became calmer and more co-operative according to his owner.
I do not want to give the impression that Reiki is a quick fix though. With people or animals there also needs to be changes made in lifestyle, environment and behaviour that embrace the change that Reiki facilities. By this I mean, just as people need a healthy diet, exercise and a comfortable, safe, loving and supportive place to rest at the end of the day, so do our pets. Without such an environment, any treatment whether it is for humans or pets, will have only short term effects.
So if you would like a calmer pet without resorting to chemical treatments or restrictive methods, consider trying Pet Reiki.
Let Your Spirit Grow.com
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