Nalda has led a rich and varied life. She has worked as a college professor, a mental health counselor, a psychosocial rehabilitation therapist, a research assistant, a retail associate, and a starving artist.
Writing for Wellbeing
Like so many creative people, I struggle with bouts of depression. Indeed, when I was in graduate school, I had to take the MMPI (Minnesota Multi-phasic Personality Inventory) as part of my Test and Measures course. For an exercise in giving personality tests, we were required to take and analyze this 567 word test. Although, I do not test as someone with clinical depression, my professor indicted that I had a pattern typical to writers. This pattern indicates that one is prone to issues with depression and hypomania. In laymen's terms, I am a little bi-polar with some periods of blues and some days of blissful happiness. I am not clinically depressed or manic. However, I like many others, deal with bouts of sadness that appear to perplex the rest of the world. In other words, my blue days don't always appear connected to the quality of my life when viewed from outside.
Altering Negativity Through Mindfulness
For several years, I spent my time providing crisis care for individuals struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues. One thing that was evident in all of my clients was traumatic life experiences. For over a year, I worked with clients struggling to regain control over their lives after traumatic life experiences. Having lived through my share of trauma, I find that I have a deep level of empathy for individual struggling to stabilize, recover, and ultimately rediscover their best selves. I have been a part of helping others rebuild their resiliency and exerting their personal will over the lives they found themselves in. I have held the hands of individuals who wish to end their personal pain. I have sat with people who deal with their pain by using substances to deaden the pain, individuals who disassociate as a means of escape, as well as those who harm themselves to control the pain in their lives.
It hit me this year, earlier than usual, the stress surrounding the holiday season. I walked into the local World Market days before Halloween, and there was Christmas! The holiday season has become such a shopping event, that we are being presented with Christmas trees, winter clothing, and decorations while it is still warm outside. Unfortunately, this continued redefinition of the season creates undo stress.
Life Beyond Stress
Life is stressful. I think that we can all agree with that. However, you may be surprised by the amount of stress the American population experiences as common, daily, and persistent. You may be concerned, when you realize how much impact this continued chronic stress has on our everyday lives.
My NaNoWriMo Journey
As a therapist, I know the value of goal setting. However, as an individual, I am as lax as most people about setting my own goals. I have always found that when I commit to a goal, I obtain it. Now, this doesn't mean that I do something whimsical like stating I'm going to become a millionaire in the next year, and it somehow magically occurs. It does, however, mean that I establish SMART goals. These are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Live More Like a Local
When we travel, we often live as if we are alien to the landscape about us. There is good reason for this. We are often in a different time zone, immersed within a different culture, and surrounded by people, sights, and sounds that are novel to us. I find that I enjoy travel best when I have done my homework and spend my time in the land I am exploring behaving as much like a local as I can while being sure that I see the icon sights that have propelled me toward this destination. Holding ourselves outside of the culture we are visiting keeps us from fully enjoying the experience we have set out to have.
I find that, from time to time, I will open up past journals and revisit my poetry and writing. Several times in my life, I have contemplated using some of these past writings in a novel or story. This concept has hit me again today as Nanowrimo is coming up, and I thought I would share some previous work as I look through the journals.
Intuitive Painting for Health
Like so many people living in modern society, I deal with stress on a daily basis. The stress may be from work, or lack there of, depending upon the day. It may be due to family commitments, the political air that pervades our lives, or financial struggles. Regardless of the reason for the stress, it is imperative that we understand the negative impact continued uncontrolled stress has on our lives and that we learn how to deal with it.