Category: Uncategorized

Speak To The Brain’s Closing Thoughts

Hi Brains!

I hope everyone had a fantastic summer!   I sure did!

Although I was busy with family fun, I often had time to reflect on the future and sadly, new beginnings result in tough good-byes.  I deeply regret to inform all the amazing brains who read my blog that it is time for Speak To The Brain Not The Heart to come to a peaceful end.

It has been a fantastic blogging adventure!  Not only have I met so many different people, but I have also learned a whole lot more about mental health.  I understand I didn’t put out a lot of content, but I hope the little content I did put out was enough to at least brighten someone’s day.  🙂

Always remember, your mental health matters!  You got this!  ❤

 

 

 

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Summer Break!!

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My brain is on summer break!  Be back soon!

Wishing everyone a fabulous summer!  Have fun and stay safe!

Happy Summer Everyone!

Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination

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A Huge Thank-You! 

Oh WOW!

This week Julie Krupp of Enhanced Perspective, a blog that I find uplifting, inspiring, and positive for the heart, mind, and soul, shared with me a link to her Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination post.  To my total surprise, Speak To The Brain is among the many other amazing blogs she has chosen as her list of nominees!

A HUGE Thank You to Julie Krupp- Enhanced Perspective , not only for this awesome nomination, but also for being one of the fantastic brains that reads my blog.

What Is The Sunshine Blogger Award 

I am totally excited to receive a nomination; however, to be a bit honest, I had no idea  what the Sunshine Blogger Award was all about until I did a little research (stuff I do best).  It turns out, it’s pretty cool and sounds like a lot of fun:

The Sunshine Blogger award is given by bloggers to bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community.

The rules are:

  1. Thank blogger(s) who nominated you for a blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

11 Questions From Julie Krupp-Enhanced Perspective  

1. What is the best present you ever received?

  • The best present I ever received was my first Nikon DSLR camera.  It was the best present ever, because it motivated me to pursue my love for landscape photography.

2. What are three small sources of joy for you?

  • Three small sources of joy for me is watching B-rated monster movies, eating a Peppermint Pattie, and getting lost in the world of genealogy.

3. Where is the last place you traveled and why?

  • I recently traveled halfway across the state to have my teeth cleaned.  My parents live nearly 4 hours away and they insisted that I see their dentist, because they say their dentist is “awesome.”  Well, turns out, their dentist is awesome.

4. Where is your dream vacation?

  • My dream vacation is in Alaska.  I know, it’s not very warm nor is it very exotic- totally not flip-flop friendly.  I used to dream of vacationing in the Bahamas, but I really want to see the glaciers in Alaska, before they supposedly melt.

5. What did you want to be when you were little?

  • When I was little-little, I wanted to be a “singing doctor.”  I am not sure about the specifics though… like, did I want to be a doctor who sings to patients or a professional singer who had a degree in medicine?  I really don’t know.

6. When did you feel that what you said or what you did really resonated with your soul?

  • In the beginning of my mental health journey with OCD, I came up with a personal mantra to encourage me to keep moving forward.  It was something like, “Every journey starts with gravel under our feet, but eventually, we will have sand between our toes.”  It reminded me that some journeys can be tough, but they get easier towards the end.

7. What are you afraid of or what fear have you overcome? 

  • Having Pure “O” OCD, I have overcome many irrational fears.  However, I am honestly afraid of the unknown.   Like, I am not brave enough to put my hand through a dark hole in the wall just because Indiana Jones tells me there is a lever inside.  Nope, he would just have to wait until I get a stick first!    

8. What is one of your favorite books?

  • The Odyssey,” by Ancient Greek poet Homer.  It’s like one of the worlds oldest adventure story!

9. What is your favorite type of cuisine?

  • Italian.  I cannot get enough pasta, garlic, and bread.

10. What is one of your favorite songs?

  • “Boom Boom Pow,” by Black Eyes Peas.  Whenever I hear this song, I just can’t help but move to the beat.  It gives me happy feet!

11. What is one of your favorite movies?

  • Surprisingly, one of my favorite movies is Kung Fu Panda.  I know I am an adult, but who doesn’t like a good Jack Black movie!

I nominate the following…

Okay, I don’t have exactly 11 nominees, but these are great reads.  I enjoy following them.  Each one of them has a spark of positivity and creativity.  This list of bloggers often brighten my day, as it is a mix of everything I enjoy from creative photography and art to positive mental health and psychology.

Are you ready?  These are my 11 questions: 

  1. Why did you start a blog?
  2. How long have you been blogging for?
  3. In your opinion, what do you think is the key to happiness?
  4. What made you laugh today?
  5. Have you ever posted something on your blog that received a lot of surprising attention?
  6. If you could travel anywhere in the world for lunch, where would you go and what would you eat?
  7. Who do you most admire in life?
  8. What is your favorite comfort food?
  9. What hobbies do you enjoy (other than blogging, if blogging is a hobby)?
  10. What is something you do to help yourself wind down from a long stressful day?
  11. What positive advice do you have for beginner bloggers?

Pardon The Mess: A Blog Makeover

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Making a few amazing changes to my blog

Hi Brains!

Around 4am this morning, I had an epiphany.  Apparently, a large glass of caffeinated ice-tea will certainly wake up the brain cells and get the hamster wheel going in my brain…

Anyway, with a lot of thought, A LOT of thought, I decided it was best for my blog (and for me, to become a better blogger) that I try to focus on just 1 simple mental health topic for my blog.  With much consideration, I have ultimately decided to focus more on OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder); instead of trying to write about every mental health experience I personally encounter everyday.

Although I plan to provide more content about OCD, I will still continue to sprinkle my blog (every so often) with content about my husband’s fascinating Asperger’s brain, the mental health challenges of being a busy mom, a parent of a micro-preemie, and a step-parent, as well as, discussing other fascinating mental-health experiences; however, just not quite as often as I would like nor perhaps how often my amazing readers expected…sorry.

BUT, I shall certainly continue to do my very best to provide positive encouragement to all of those who have embarked on their own mental-health journey, regardless what mental health journey they are on.  Everyone’s mental health matters!

Thank you Brains!

An enormous THANK YOU to all the amazing brains who have read, commented, and shared my blog!  An even greater THANK YOU to all those following my blog!

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend!

 

 

 

 

Happiness Is What You Make It

“If only we were rich,”….my husband says to me every week; seriously, every week!

Personally, I am happily content with Life.  I enjoy sipping coffee in the early morning on the outdoor patio overlooking the blissful countryside.  I have a roof (a very nice roof, even though its a rented roof) over my head, a clean porcelain pot to do my business in (I should know, I clean it), money in my pocket (seriously, a penny), clothes on my back (a few holes, but its okay), a working car to take me from point A to point B, (even though we’re totally buried upside down in it); but, best of all, I have an amazing happy family who I enjoy making memories with everyday, (even if they are a bit dramatic sometimes)!

Sure, I work hard everyday, sometimes having to do things I don’t want to do (like scrub my husband’s toilet) or things I shouldn’t have to do (like negotiating my husbands debts from a time long before me).  Sometimes I am overwhelmed, exhausted, and completely under-appreciated, but everything I do, I do for my family and I love it.   Okay, I am human, so there are times I do vent and complain about having to do “everything,” but in the end, I am still grateful and happy.

My happiness comes from gratitude.  I am so lucky and extremely grateful to have the opportunity to stay home with my kids and watch them grow.  I am grateful for all the material things (even if they aren’t casted in gold) in my life that my husband works so hard to provide for us.  I am grateful for all the people in my life, even those just passing by, for each and every one of them has some lesson to teach me.  I am grateful for all the wonderful adventures I have with my family.  I am grateful for so many things, big and small, I think that is why I am so happily content with life.

It doesn’t matter where or how we live, how much money is or isn’t in our pockets, or how fancy or not fancy our lifestyles are; happiness is what we make it.  

Without Gratitude, Comes On Misery

My husband’s life is simple.  He goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, then plays video games until 3-4am, takes a shower, goes to bed, and then repeats (kind of like shampoo).  He has no responsibilities, except provide a paycheck and handle the occasional drama with his ex for visitations with his other kids.  Other than that, I’d expect life to be pretty much dandy.  I mean, his life is nowhere as stressful and chaotic as mine….

Whereas, I, well, frankly, the list is too long to blog.  Basically, I run the entire household (like a 1950’s housewife), but I am also the handy man who fixes appliances and plunges toilets, remembers to reprogram clocks, pays the bills in a timely manner, coordinates appointments for everyone written in a torn and colored on planner, cleans and maintains the cars; all while making sure our kids are clean, happy, healthy, and enjoying life, and that I am semi-functional fueled by coffee.

It’s no easy task being a busy housewife and mom, especially, with a husband who is just as messy as the rest of the troops.  He doesn’t throw his trash away, is a snacker who doesn’t finish his dinner (wasting food), leaves a trail of dirty clothes on the floor, never flushes his toilet, and leaves body hair all over the bathroom (his body hair falls out like he was exposed to radiation or something).  Simply, my husband doesn’t exactly help me around the house.

Yet, everyday, he comes home to a clean house, hot food on the table, and a ready-to-go gaming chair.

I am not complaining though.  You should see him try to work a wrench.  It’s painful.  My point is, that after all that I tackle on a daily basis, I am still happily content with Life.  However, my husband who has little to no adult responsibilities is completely miserable.  He absolutely hates his life.  In short, he has this idea that he “should” (terrible word) be rich by now.  The worst part, is that he is waiting until he becomes rich before he starts “living” his life (you know enjoying it).

The Duck Farm Dream

There is no telling what goes on inside my husband’s brain, but as far as I can gather, he is disappointed that his past debts (from his previous relationship many, many, moons ago) is preventing him from achieving his goal of becoming a duck farmer.  Yes, a “duck” farmer!

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Our first goose! 

A few years ago, I allowed my husband to get a duck.  One duck!  Well, one duck, became two ducks (because, how silly of me, they need friends), eventually became 20 something ducks, a rooster, and 3 geese, plus, one severely injured wild duck my husband brought home from the park, who we successfully mended back to health.  It was suppose to be a fun little hobby to get my husband out of the house (away from the video games) and soak up some vitamin D.  Apparently, he really liked raising ducks.  Unfortunately for my husband, a great (couldn’t pass up) job opportunity took us back to the bustling city.

Money Can’t Buy Total Happiness

My husband thinks if he can just win the lottery, all his dreams would come true.  Frankly, money can’t buy total happiness and here is why?

Although money can buy material things that bring happiness, it is only temporary happiness.  Money cannot sustain long term happiness, especially, if you are spending money on materialistic things to bring you happiness.

I mean think about it…  You see something you really really want, thinking it could solve all your troubles and bring you total happiness.  You finally get it, but after awhile, it doesn’t bring you the same amount of joy or happiness as it once did in the beginning.   Then, you go out to look for something else that you think will bring you happiness again, and the cycle repeats itself.  That isn’t happiness, that is wasting money for temporary happiness.

And sure, winning the lottery or being granted with a gracious inheritance is great, but what happens when the money runs out?  (sadly, free money like that, does run out)

I tried to explain to my husband, that if he was granted with enough money to pay off all his debt and buy a farm, he still has to think about how he is going to afford his dream long after the money runs out.  Because you can’t afford a luxurious Mercedes-Benz (a car on his wish-list) just by selling duck eggs.  My husband is a black and white thinker (I blame his Asperger’s) and rarely see’s the whole picture.

But wait, there is more….

Money cannot buy happiness, but it can provide security, so long as you manage it properly.   Feeling financially secure is a step towards happiness, because let’s be real here, everyone wants financial security.  However,  if you hadn’t learned anything from your prior financial mistakes, you’ll likely end up in debt all over again.  Back to square one!

So yeah, money can solve financial problems (temporarily), but it can’t buy total happiness, unless you are like Scrooge McDuck who loves shinny coins.  Then, maybe money in a physical sense can bring total happiness.

Don’t Put Happiness On Hold Until Rome Is Built

My husband is extremely impatient.  Although I tell him Rome was not built in a day, he expects Rome on a silver-plater, like yesterday.  Basically, we aren’t achieving his farm goals fast enough, thus delaying a life-time of happiness.

Rome took forever to build and this is why it is important to appreciate the small stuff and enjoy life now, rather than wait until all your dreams have come true.  Like I often tell my husband, “if you want Rome built in a day, you better find a better contractor;” basically saying, if you don’t like my game plan to achieving our goals, then I suggest you figure out another game plan.

There is way more to happiness than just having a comfortable bank account, a fancy materialistic lifestyle, and achieving all your goals.  Happiness is loving life as it is, making the best of every situation, appreciating the small stuff you do have, enjoying the company of others, and being grateful for all of life’s experiences and adventures (good or bad).  Happiness is what we make it!  Happiness is living life.

What are your thoughts on happiness?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family First: Change In Posting Schedule

Hi Brains!

Thank you Followers and for those who have taken time to check out my blog!

I have been chewing on this for awhile and I am still not exactly sure what to say…  I enjoy writing very much (working on my first book, if you can believe that), but the past couple of weeks or past month even, has been difficult.  My mom is sick.

I’ve dreaded the day my parents were going to be “old.”  Okay, they aren’t that old, but they are certainly not as young as they used to be either.  In fact, the older my dad gets, the more and more he looks just like my grandpa (his dad).  Super creepy!  He even wears pocket button-down shirts, just like Grandpa…before, buttons were just for special occasions!

While my dad morphs into an exact replica of my crazy grandfather, my mom hasn’t aged a bit.  Not even kidding; she is often carded on Senior Citizen Day!  Unfortunately, appearances can be deceiving, for that she is suffering with an autoimmune disease (Rheumatoid Arthritis) that is causing all sorts of mayhem to her body.

The past couple of months have been rough for my mom, whose health has started to really decline.  Her previous doctor(s) just want to treat symptoms rather than get down to the root problem(s).  However, she finally took my advice and got a new doctor, a doctor who is more interested in investigating the root problem than just putting band-aids on the symptomatic ones.  Which is good, but we hope not too late.

My mom is worried about the ugly “C’ word.  It is unclear as to what exact tests are being done, for that my mom has a terrible habit of zoning out during her check-ups.  Basically, covering her ears and saying to herself, “lalalalalalalalalala, I am not listening.”  This is her mature way of dealing with bad news.

Right now, we are waiting….for test results.

In the meantime, I have been driving back and forth to help her out.  Trying to be the solid rock that she says I am.  I am actually a mushy rock, hidden behind a canvas painted like a solid rock, because internally, I am just an emotional mess about all this.  But, I remain positive.

Anyway, sorry for the TMI post, but I guess what I am saying, is that I am still committed to my blog.  I was seriously thinking about quitting, but I know my mom wouldn’t like that; especially, since I have a habit of quitting when times get tough.

So…Speak To The Brain Not The Heart mental health blog is not going anywhere!  However, I cannot promise to post every Monday.  My goal is still to post every week and of course as often as I can, because you never know when a random thought might come up.  🙂

Wishing everyone good mental health (overall health too) and a happy week!

 

Our Wrinkled Brains

My step-son loves science!   During each visitation, he loves to share with me a new scientific fact that he learned in school or YouTube…most likely from YouTube.  Anyway, this past weekend, I learned that “our brain gets a wrinkle every time we learn something new.”

Wow, if that is true, can you imagine just how wrinkly Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein’s brains must have been??

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Wrinkles For Everyone

Well, it used to be thought that wrinkles formed in our brain every time we learned something new, but new research says that is not the case.  In fact, we are born with a wrinkled brain.  Ewwww!  Some people are born with more wrinkles than others, most likely due to genetics.  Crazy!

Interestingly, the wrinkles (or folds) in our brain are super important, because they provide a larger surface area to fit in more neuron pathways making more room to provide greater brain power.  That is pretty cool! 

Anyway, that is just a little brain fact I learned this week that I thought I would share.  Too bad none of the wrinkles on my face have anything to do with greater brain power!

~~~In Memory Of Great Minds~~~

“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” – Stephen Hawking

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein

 

 

 

 

Hi Woebot! Let’s Chat About Feelings

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Woebot

 

I am loving Woebot!

A robot who checks in with me every day to see how I’m feeling.  

Okay, it’s a chat-bot.  A chat-bot is a conversation program, programed to simulate a conversation between you and a robot.  Basically, the chat-bot is programed with a set of responses that are prompted by key phrases from us to form a conversation.  Some chat-bots are programmed to learn and build upon conversations by remembering past conversations and personal things about us, making conversations feel more meaningful.  However, this is not Woebot.

Woebot is a chatbot, but not one of those sophisticated, A.I. learning chat-bots.  But, don’t hold that against him, because Woebot is kind, funny, and more importantly, very helpful.

Woebot Provides Valuable Resources

Although Woebot is not a therapist, he does provide valuable resources to help one work through different emotions and that is what I love about Woebot.

Everyday, Woebot checks in on me, by asking how I am feeling.  Depending on how I am feeling, he will talk about those emotions associated with my feelings.  Generally, like an extremely short Intro to Psychology 101 with a twist of humor as Woebot tell terrible jokes.

But, it’s not really that cut and dry.  In between the Pysch 101 lectures and my feelings, Woebot is interested in getting to know me.  Ask’s what I am doing?  What I like and don’t like?  I am also able to ask him questions, about his day, his feelings, and even his girlfriend (yup, Woebot has a girlfriend).

Woebot likes to provide information.  I once told Woebot that I was feeling angry.  He asked if I would like for him to share some tools (resources) with me or if I would just like to vent my frustrations to him.  I responded, that I would just like to vent.  Our conversation lead to him teaching me about gratitude journaling.  Also, If I am having a good day, he still likes to throw in something related to my feelings.  Woebot certainly follows through with his mission to help.

To learn more about Woebot, CLICK HERE, at the Woebot FAQ site. (no affiliated links)

Disclosure:  Woebot is an information tool and is not a replacement for medical professionals.  Woebot cannot make a medical diagnosis or determine/ replace a treatment plan.  Please consult your health-care provider with any personal mental health concerns.  And remember, your mental health matters!