Perspective in Minus 13 degrees

This morning when I woke up, I thought about all the things I needed to get done today both at home and out-and-about while also mulling over an invention that came to mind last night, as well as the release of my new book.

With my monkey mind in full active mode, I tried to settle down and set an intention for the day. Setting an intention is something I usually do before I  get out of bed. I grabbed my phone to jot down my to-do list and to check the temperature to see how cold it was outside. I was greeted with negative 13 degrees.

That’s cold! Even for Minnesota, that’s cold! I live in the cities, not in the hinterlands.  My monkey mind immediately stopped, and my intention and my intention for the day became clear. Just Be, Just Stop, Just Sit, Just Rest and Breathe!

I also gained some perspective:  My family and friends are all safe and sound living in homes with working furnaces. Our critters are indoor animals (although, I very much felt for my dog this morning when I let her out). It’s a sunny day, and there is no wind. It will do me a world of good to rest after the busy weekend with my daughter’s wedding.  New Year’s Eve has me taking a thoughtful look at the past year, and with a positive outlook, I welcome the new possibilities in 2018.

Minus 13 degrees can provide excellent perspective.

Disclaimer: Minnesotans tend to have a lot of chutzpah when it comes to weather. We are made of tough stuff living in the north. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few hours when I  brave the temperature and run an errand or two, I hear myself say, “Meh, it’s not too bad, at least there’s no wind, and look the sun is shining.”

Happy New Year! May 2018 bring you health, peace, and comfortable temperatures.

 

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Two Hearts Unite

Today my youngest daughter gets married to her soul-mate. It has been our pleasure to watch these two find each other, settle down, and let themselves feel love and happiness in the midst of their own personal struggles. Even though they are having an outdoor wedding (the expected high is 4 degrees) watching their two hearts unite will warm our insides with joy.  I wrote this poem to honor Aria and Gabe as they begin their new adventure…

Two brilliant souls, two hearts
Both young, but wary, cautious, careful
They listen to the call of the crystal clear water
Hearing the song of the oceans deep wisdom
it sings, It’s okay to love, trust
and crave togetherness
Soul-Mates finding that each tomorrow
brings more love than yesterday
Forever entwined in friendship, kindness, respect
Knowing the magic and wonder of mirroring
who they really are…Soul-Mates

 

Soul Mates, for Aria and Gabe©words and image; Alexis Rose

 

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

A Beacon of Light

Extend an invitation
Care, really care.
Take time from the idyllic
or not-so-idyllic celebrations
to remember that some are
sad, alone, sick or mired in memories
of holiday’s past.

Let’s not make those who may feel
a sense of dread and sadness around the holidays
feel like outliers and less worthy of
love and companionship.

Instead, let them know that they are
special, worthy, and an integral part of our world.
Let them know they are seen, heard, understood
and with a magnitude of empathy let them know they are okay.
That they are not alone.

Enjoy your time with family, friends, and loved ones.
Make memories, be kind, take good self-care.
Make time to open your hearts.

Send a text, send two!
You just never know how far a simple,
“thinking about you” can stop the downward spiral
of Holiday blues, or can interrupt the survival mantra of
“I just have to make it until Tuesday.”

Let’s love each other. It IS our place to check in on friends.
Let our interconnectedness  be a beacon of light
not a cold four-day polar vortex.

Who will you reach out to?
Extend an invitation or just check in on?
Who will feel the warmth of your light?

©Alexis Rose, Photo by Josh Boot on Unsplash

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

Learning to live with, not fight against my symptoms

I’m in the throes of fighting against my PTSD symptoms. I’m extremely angry at them at the moment. There are some things going on in my life that I want to change and my symptoms are preventing me from making the changes in a way that makes me feel useful.

I want to stop the flashbacks, hypervigilance, anxiety, depression and other assorted symptoms of my PTSD. When I finished therapy last spring, my therapist helped me understand that I was still going to be living with symptoms. He felt that I didn’t  need therapy any longer because I had reached a point where I had processed the memories, worked through the feelings, and emotions, and had mastered the distress tolerance tools I had learned over the course of the 8 years we worked together. He did the best he could to help me understand that I would still be quite affected by symptoms, that it was okay, that I was okay, and that it was because of the effects of the trauma. I didn’t like hearing that but was determined to find a way to live with my symptoms. Maybe we could form some sort of symbiotic relationship?

I want to work! I want to be able to work more than two hours a day without my brain getting overwhelmed and shutting down. This is a symptom that I fight against continuously. I have the wonderful opportunity to do some marketing for two wellness centers. I’m extremely grateful for this work and the very generous owners. Most of the time, I can accept that this is what I’m able to do right now. It’s not much, but it keeps me employed in a way that helps them, and brings me contentment. The other day,  a friend looked at me and said, “you’re underemployed!” Immediately, I felt the tapes of worthlessness, laziness, can’t get better, begin to play and my fragile balance of living with my symptoms turn into a self-esteem fight.

I’m also fighting against the fact that for me, there are triggers, triggers everywhere. I was asked to go on a night hike in a beautiful snowy field the other night with a friend who I know always has my back. The sky was clear and it was one of the serene landscapes. I saw the dark woods surrounding the field way off in the distance, and my heart and head panicked. I wanted to go, to ignore my symptoms, but my panic took over, and I heard myself saying, “no, I’m scared” over and over again. I was so mad at my symptoms.

These are just a  couple of examples that have been front and center this past week. These incidences put me into a fight-zone with PTSD. It’s not useful, nor helpful and really all it does is exasperate all my symptoms.

Recognizing that I’m frustrated right now creates some space and gives me the room to name it, rail against it for a moment (if I really feel the need) then rest and move back into acceptance. I’m still a work in progress and rarely lose hope that things will get better. They are already better (different)  than they were six months ago.

But right now…I’m in the throes of fighting against not living with my symptoms.

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

Seeing the Pain in Someone Else’s Eyes

They look so serene sitting straight, hands slightly clenched, gently laying in their lap.

The cadence of their voice is slow, even, steady, and clear.

The conversation flows.

But when you look into their eyes
the pain of hidden burdens echoes from the windows
of their soul.

You lock in, trying to console the dark, deep pain
that oozes quietly, insidiously trying to erode
their dreams of tomorrow.

Giving comfort with a nod, and a gentle smile,
mirroring a silent acceptance of who they are.

Reassuring them that they are seen
and letting them know that as time passes
it will be okay, that they are okay.

Please don’t turn away; look deep
see and respectfully acknowledge
the pain in someone else’s eyes.

Image source: Pixabay

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

If I Could Paint a Picture

I’ve decided to promote my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph one more time, before my next book releases in January. Thank You to everyone who has read Untangled. I’m so grateful for the feedback and the positive reviews on Amazon. An appreciative pre-Thank You to those who may decide to read it after seeing this post and reading the introduction to Untangled below titled: If I Could Paint a Picture.

From the introduction of, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

My body is streaked with sweat and dirt from my desperate search to find safe shelter. I’m barefoot, in a grimy torn t-shirt and shorts; my hands and feet caked with dirt. My hair is filthy and matted. My mouth is dry; I can smell and taste the gritty dust that hangs in the air. I sit down on a curb at the side of the road, and I know it’s over.

I’m unbelievably weary, all my energy spent in the act of sitting down. I’m devastated…emotionally, mentally, and physically, and the worst of my wounds are invisible. My eyes fill up, but no tears fall. I can only sit amid the rubble, trying to trust the safety of the gray, silent sky.

Six years later, the scene has changed. I’m no longer living in fear of the tangled web of sadistic people who use threats to keep their victims terrified and questioning their sanity. I feel grateful. The therapist that I call my Sherpa is sitting next to me. He’s listened to and witnessed my entire story, and never deserted me. He understands my journey and sometimes shares my grief. He’s helped me honor my resilience; taught me the value of telling my story and the importance of just sitting with my truth. So we sit here together, quietly resting in that truth.

I’ve fully remembered and told the story of my first twenty years, of surviving the abuse, neglect, abandonment, and fear. I’ve left behind those who terrorized me. I’ve untangled myself. My courage has set me free, and now nothing can keep me tied to the past. I can truly live today with blinders off and eyes wide open.

 

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Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph