Archive | April 2012

and it works like magic


Be thankful for the things you have right here and now. Watch what happens. You may not have much, but start with what you do have and be thankful. You’ll begin to appreciate that which you do have and more will come.

Try making a list of ten things you’re grateful for every day in your journal. Write about those things. A simple cheap notebook can be used as a journal. You can find them for less than a dollar most places.

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Ms. Heddy Through it all Chapter 1


Hampton, Va. (May 14, 2005) - An F-4 Phantom f...

Hampton, Va. (May 14, 2005) – An F-4 Phantom flies in formation with an F/A-22 Raptor and F-15C Eagle during the U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight at the 2005 Air Power over Hampton Roads air show held on board Langley Air Force Base, Va. This year’s air show showcased civilian and military aircraft from the Nation’s armed forces, which provided many flight demonstrations and static displays. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was sitting at the kitchen table nibbling on a piece of dry wheat toast fresh out of the toaster when LeAnn walked into the kitchen

“Mama, this book, Heal Your Body, by Louise Hay says that disease starts in the mind, and high blood pressure and heart trouble are results of longstanding emotional problems that are not resolved. What are you holding onto? Who is that man?” she pointed to the 8×10 picture lying on the table. “Whatever it is, you need to let it go.”

“LeAnn, my heart condition is a result of years of eating too much fried chicken, and smoking too many cigarettes. Besides, I already dealt with most of my emotional issues. There is nothing that’s not resolved.” Just then a memory from my childhood ripped through my mind like a bolt of lightning tugging and pulling at my heart. I was standing on our front porch; it was a long gray wooden porch with a picket type wooden banister that connected the porch to the house. Four steps led up to the porch. A black metal mailbox sat near the top step. I saw myself sad and disappointed standing at the mailbox rummaging through the mail.  

“Mama I’m talking about emotional pain. What hurt are you holding onto?”  The thought of him made me want to cry. I fought back the tears. Could that be subconsciously bothering me after all these years? I wondered. This is my opportunity to tell her the truth. After all she’s not a child anymore she should know about him. LeAnn was walking out of the kitchen when I reached for her arm and pulled her back. “Wait a minute, LeAnn, there IS something I never RESOLVED.”

She stopped and sat down in the chair next to me and leaned towards me resting her arm on the glass table as she waited to hear what I had to say.

“I took a deep breath let it out slowly and swallowed. “During high school, I was in love with a boy from Akron, Ohio. He was a few years older than me, and when he graduated from high school he joined the Air Force. We wrote for a year or more. Then while he was stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia, one night the phone rang. Mama answered it. I stood there waiting to see if it was for me, but she kept on talking. So I went on washing the dinner dishes. After a few minutes, she called me to the phone. It was him! I was so excited. He had never called before. We communicated by letter.”

“What did grandma say to him? She asked as she moved my plate to the side.

“I don’t know. I wasn’t paying attention because I thought it was for her. He was calling from Langley Air Force Base. He said he sent me a picture of him and to look for it in the mail. Of course he asked how I was doing and I told him everything that was going on with me. He listened quietly.”

“It sounds like he was a nice guy,” she said smiling.

“He was a very kind caring person. He  was always concerned about how I was doing. And that I was doing good in school. I noticed that he was very quiet. I asked him “What was wrong?” He assured me that everything was okay. He said he wanted to ask me something, I said, “Okay just ask, but then he said never mind, I’ll wait.”

“What do you think he wanted to ask you?” I thought about what he could have wanted.

“I don’t know. I didn’t have any idea and I didn’t press him. My heart started racing and a dizzy feeling came over me. I had a feeling that there was something major on his mind. The thought of what it could be was frightening. He told me that he loved me, and I said I loved him too. Then we said goodbye. I felt relieved when I hung the phone up.”

“Why were you relieved?” She frowned.

“I didn’t have to hear what was on his mind. I was afraid.”

“Afraid of what?” she asked.

“I don’t know. I was just afraid that it would be bad news.”

“What kind of bad news were you afraid of?”

“I don’t know. I guess that he was going to the war in Vietnam. I sensed something real wrong. But I was too scared to ask. After a few days, I received a large envelope with this picture of him in his uniform and hat. I held the picture up close. I could barely see his eyes for the brim of his hat that covered them. A few days later, I received a letter asking me to marry him in eighteen months when he got out of the military, after that, I never heard from him again. That was in nineteen sixty-seven. I don’t know what happened. Leon just suddenly stopped writing.” I looked up at LeAnn. Her soft friendly smile had turned cold; her eyes were dark and empty.

“Leon?” she said. A serious disappointed look appeared on her face.

Benefits of Expressive Writing


Cases of PTSD and Severe Depression Among U.S....

Cases of PTSD and Severe Depression Among U.S. Veterans Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan Between Oct 2001 and Oct 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Expressive Writing

Expressive writing has long been used as a preventative tool to wellness it has positive and healing effects on an individuals’ physical and mental health. For writing to be therapeutic, participants must be willing to write openly about their thoughts, emotions and experiences. This allows them to bear witness to their story, reflect on their experiences and explore their thoughts and emotions.

Twenty plus years of research have found that expressive writing…

  • Increases the immune system’s functioning
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Normalizes sleep and eating habits
  • Reduces symptoms of a chronic illness
  • Improves one’s memory
  • Decreases feelings of anxiety, anger and depression

Writing in a journal is a powerful means for personal growth, self-discovery, life management and creative expression. The Journal to the Self®workshop transforms the traditional journal into a genuine, unique method that offers cost-effective, holistic self-discovery and becomes an ongoing trusted companion and guide.

Multiple studies have found that writing, in the form of story or an expression of emotions (expressive writing), is healing for various conditions and diseases. The act of writing is stress-reducing and translating the emotions, memories, and images into words changes the way the brain understands, and analyzes information. This allows healing to begin.  Dr. James Pennebaker found that a group who wrote for only 20 minutes a day for four consecutive days increased their immunity for six weeks!

Psychologists, counselors and support-group facilitators understand the power of journaling as an adjunct to therapy in the treatment of depression, anxiety, grief, PTSD, anorexia, cancers, smoking cessation, substance abuse as well as many other disorders.

Imagination


“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Albert Einstein

Imagination

Imagination (Photo credit: baejaar)

Thoughts


You are not what you think you are...But what ...

You are not what you think you are...But what you think - You are (Photo credit: Spiritual Quotes To Live By)

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
Norman Vincent Peale

When we change our thoughts we also change the situations and circumstances in our lives. Norman Vincent Peale and many others believe this works. We must begin with our thoughts and even those that we are not conscious of. Journal to the Self is one way to reach the subconscious mind and gain access to the unconscious thoughts we hold therein.

Mountain Quote


“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
William Faulkner

William Faulkner in his quote suggests that in order to remove a mountain in your life– one must begin removing small pieces step by step. Journal writing techniques that I share as part of the Journal to the self process is one powerful way to begin to remove emotional mountains. When I began writing my memoir, reflecting on the past I began the process of my healing and transformation.

“A Stepfather Real or Not?”


Father & Son

Father & Son (Photo credit: jeroenadema)

By Heddy Keith

Stepfather, stepfather, stepfather…

A real father or not

A real father –a biological father

Is a real father, the father who gives you life, or the one that teaches you how to live that life?

A real father teaches you how to behave in public

A real father teaches you to say yes sir, no mam, please, may I, thanks you, and no thanks.

He teaches you to say good morning when you wake.

He teaches you to give thanks for everything you have.

He teaches you to be respectful and mind your manners.

A real father teaches you to be polite and say excuse me when you walk in front of someone.

He teaches his daughters to sit with their legs closed.

A real father teaches you how to drive a car and how to take care of that car.

He says, hey you can’t let everybody drive your car.

And be careful where you buy gasoline, some gas has water in it, and always turn your radio off before you start your car.

Raise your right hand to say thank you when someone lets you pull in front of them.

That’s what a real father teaches.

Real father or biological father who taught you?

This poem is dedicated to my stepfather Robert E. Thomas WWII veteran 1909-2010 who He taught me how to live my life.