Addiction, Beating Fear with a Stick, Guest Posts

What Happens When You Live Next To Your Worst Nightmare?

September 22, 2014
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By Renata Youngblood.

I had a good conversation with my meth-addict neighbor the other day.

You see, something switched in me when there was yet-another raid next door last Thursday. I’ve seen the tweakers come and go for a while and at times it bothered me, but for the most part I felt only a compassionate sadness for the lives wasted in addiction. I’m even guilty of finding humor in some of the characters we’ve witness showing up in broad daylight barely able to walk to the door of this partially painted, infinitely haunted, next door monstrosity.

But something definitely switched inside me at 5 am last Thursday when I was up with my hungry baby and heard the visiting tweakers rifling through their car right in front of my house.

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cancer, Guest Posts, Letting Go, motherhood

A Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Mother/Daughter Bond.

September 22, 2014
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By Lockey Mitten Maisonneuve.

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As she lay in bed dying, Marlene told her daughter Kathy, she could see a door opening, beyond it she saw flowers everywhere, Marlene said “it was beautiful.” Kathy whispered “it sounds like you have a beautiful place to go with a lot of people who love you waiting for you, it’s okay to go.”

I had the privilege of participating in Marlene’s final days on this earth. I would go to her house and help her through guided meditations. She liked the full-body scan kind with white light covering her entire body. At the beginning of one of our first sessions, she was weeping and wouldn’t make eye contact with me. She just kept trying to hold it together. I finally said “if you are trying to not cry in front of me, it’s not working, just go with it.” She did. She allowed herself to cry as she settled in to meditate. I guided her through, she wept, I reminded her to breathe, she relaxed, I guided, she became soft.

After the meditation, she was a bit frantic about needing to write letters to her three adult children and her grand children. She was in too much discomfort to write, so I offered to write the words she spoke. As I wrote the words she needed to say to her children I understood how loved her children are. After we completed the letters, we sat quietly for a moment.

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Beating Fear with a Stick, courage, Guest Posts

Cleared for Landing.

September 21, 2014
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By Petra Perkins.

“You ready to go up?” I examined my reflection in the aviator shades of an Air Force captain who was to take me for a ‘discovery ride’ in a small airplane. He looked official and solid, like Captain America — wings on his epaulets, a clipboard for a shield. I would go up with him.

“So, you ready?” he asked, again.

I shook my head. “Yes.”

I had fear of flying…  “Aviophobia,” he said.

An airplane accident had cruelly changed my life. I was a nervous passenger before it happened, but afterwards it was painful for me to fly. Long distance business travel was required in my job. I didn’t tell Captain America that my husband and son had been killed in a plane crash.

Here I was at the very airport where they took off together for the last time. This was the last place on earth I’d ever imagine finding myself. Rod, 17, was almost a high school graduate. Terry, my high-school sweetheart, had been my husband for 20 years. They’d built an aerobatic airplane in our garage over eight years and tested it months before they left on a trip — their tragic, final takeoff. The propeller had sheared off on a landing approach. I’d always wondered if Terry could have somehow recovered, though pilots told me no one could have. The question continued to haunt me.

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Guest Posts, Video, What Made You Happy Project

Don’t Be An Asshole.

September 20, 2014
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By Jen Pastiloff.

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I have this project. It’s called The “What Made You Happy Today Project.” Well, it’s called that until I think of a better name for it. I ask people that question. Strangers on the street. People I know. People I don’t. People stepping off the bus. People stepping on. People on corners. People with dogs. Old people. Kids. People standing in the bright lights of a supermarket wearing matching pink sweatshirts.

Then, I let their answers seep in and move me. I let it change me- their words. Their lives. I often write about them. What can I say? I’m a storyteller. Watch the video. Wherein I discuss Russian people, being an asshole and happiness. The usual coffee talk, ya know. Post in the comments below what made you happy. Pretty please.

Video after the jump. Jump! Continue Reading…

www.GetGratitude.co