Transitioning Back To California

Hello Readers,

I have not been back to my part-time position (the one I spoke of during my last blog). I was looking for other temporary jobs but they were either conflicting with keeping the Sabbath or they ended up choosing someone else for the position. I was also looking into part-time and full-time positions from various places (ex: saw job ads, job search websites, and public library job database).

My Mom stated a while back that I should just focus on moving (hence why I was just looking for temp jobs). However, I wanted to help financially with the moving process. We are using the rest of our tax returns for the move back to California; the place my family and I had came from when we moved to Tennessee for me to take the clinical mental health counseling program at Southern Adventist University. We already have our plane tickets (which my Mom wants to surprise church members back at home so I am not sharing the date, here, for my Mom’s sake). We have enough for our Penske moving truck. My Dad is covering the amount for gas for our Penske; him and another gentleman will fly into Tennessee and then drive the truck back to California. There are some other details that I know God will work out. As long as my husband and me refrain from remaining quiet whenever someone asks us what we need or how we are doing.

I had started to pack some items that my family and I will not be using about a month or so (some time after writing my last blog). We have been gathering boxes from here and there. The annoying thing for me about moving is needing to change address to major companies that need to keep in touch with me (ex: bank, student loan leader, magazines, etc.).

While at home, I have been recalling how to help others with my medical missionary training. I usually ask for $35.00 for a consultation. I remind my consultees that I was trained through M.E.E.T. Ministry several years ago and, as M.E.E.T. Ministry states, it is only for educational purpose and it is not guaranteed to cure any disease. My title I received from this training is a Christian Lifestyle Educator and Consultant. I start with a health and nutrition questionnaire and then I take that information, use the eight laws of health (GOD’S PLAN), and then I create two separate packets for the consultee to review. I really enjoy this and I hope to help others in California with this training while I, hopefully, can find a supervisor to continue my career in mental health counseling. Since I don’t have a license, I will have to work under someone that already has a license (hence the need to find a supervisor).

I would write more but I must end, now.

Part-Time Work As Office Worker

Hello Readers,

I’ve been meaning to update here for a while. I am currently working part-time as an office worker at Health Management Services. I started working here on January 26th. They were looking for someone to work during the time when the office is very busy (Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 1:00pm) and so I told them that I would love to work for them. This was the first place where I had started my internship hours; before Behavioral Research Institute (BRI) moved from this location to Youth Counseling Services (then, us BRI interns were also relocated to Youth Counseling Services). But, when the week is not really busy, I do not go to work.

Although this is a mental health facility, I want to reiterate that I am not working here as a counselor. They needed help in answering phones, making appointments, filing, etc. This is helpful  to me because I am learning some more skills in the front office of a mental health facility which will help me to understand other aspects of a counseling office.

Those That Have Trodden The Same Path

Dear Readers,

Those that have trodden the same path that you are on are the best ones to understand what you are going through, now. Others may try to understand you or, heaven forbid, try to shame or criticize you. But if you happen to bump into the “others” first, please don’t let this make you to decide to cut off all humanity. Seek for the one who has trodden the same path and ignore the shame and criticizing voices for, unfortunately, those will be plenty but the ones who truly understand will be few.

When I Look Back

Hello Readers,

I had just added a blog that I had shared through Facebook and decided to also share this one that I had written earlier today (after reading a disturbing email):

When I look back from all the trials I had went through, surely I will say that it was nothing. But when you are going through it, it feels so terrible! I love sharing encouraging words wherever I go. I have become so spiritual in the last few years that, really, all these frivolous things that we often get so caught up in is really nothing. I thank God for the book of Job in the Bible. Although people may stop me and try to sit me down and talk to me of how God must be punishing me for not doing or having something, I am able to see from another perspective and say “God, what is your plans for me?” I want to live for God every day. I want to walk in His will every day. And, seeing the judgmental faces or the confusion of others seem to get easier when God places me at the right place and time to help at least one person; by my writings or whatever. That is what I have learned to live for. I know, one day, I will be able to do more. Until then, this is my life and I’m grateful for it. Thank you, Jesus, for your wonderful gift of life!

Reference to lessons on the book of Job: http://www.ssnet.org/lessons/16d

Don’t Wait To Do What You Can Do Today

Don’t wait to do what you can do today (i.e. be a helper by sharing, giving, comforting, loving, etc.) by waiting for a better future for yourself. My story:
Months ago, I knew we had moved into this neighborhood for a reason. So far, I have been able to help two of my neighbors by just bring myself. As my fellow Southern Adventist University alumni (or is it “alumnus”?) know, I am a resource junky (I love to hoard research and resources that can help my future clients). And, yes, we can all keep wondering why I didn’t become a social worker instead of a counselor (God knows what He is doing). Well, anyhow, back to my testimony. 😉 I was able to give resources to a neighbor who has an autistic son. Without going into further detail, the neighbor thanked me a lot. It took me a while to give the neighbor information because I had to find it, first, and also believed the neighbor already had that information. I guess my own current health situation caused me to realize that I needed to hunt down that info and give it to the neighbor NOW because tomorrow is not promised (no, I will not die with my health situation; it’s just an inflamed throat – pharyngitis, acute). The information included group support for parents and a number for parents to ask for assistance (legally, medically, etc.). It’s for those that live in Tennessee but I’m sure there are places nearby for parents that have a child with autism. If you are a parent in this situation, I applaud you and I’m here to tell you that there are people that care and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

The other neighbor (I had mentioned there were two) I had helped by watching her two boys while she went to work. It was such a nice experience that I told her if she ever needed someone to watch them again (pay or no pay) I can do it; even if she just needed a break. Unfortunately, or fortunately for her, I connected her with some other agency that could help her with child care. So it’s either that or her previous child care is able to help her again. So, as of now, I haven’t been asked to watch those two again.

So, to make a long story short, don’t wait until you are better of (financially, emotionally, socially, etc.) to make today a great day for yourself or for someone else. You never know what you can do until you try. 😉

Daring Greatly – Book Recommendation

Hello Readers,

While taking the clinical mental health counseling master degree program at Southern Adventist University, a professor had recommended my classmates and myself Daring Greatly by BrenĂ© Brown. That was almost three years ago. Since I didn’t have the money to buy the book, I had saved it on my Amazon wish list. Determined to save the little money I now have, I decided to look for books on my wish list at the local public library. I had found two on my list and Daring Greatly was one of them.

What I had liked about this book is the author is a shame and empathy researcher who has spent the last thirteen years researching on subjects such as vulnerability, worthiness, courage, and shame (see her website at brenebrown.com). Therefore, she has “the know” on these topics. According to Daring Greatly, BrenĂ© has “spent [her] entire life trying to outrun and outsmart vulnerability” (p. 7, para. 1). She has observed this in the cultures of communities, organizations, and even families. Those who are the most resilient to shame, and believes in their worthiness, BrenĂ© calls them Wholehearted people. She has created ten “guideposts” for Wholehearted living (p. 9, 10):

  1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
  2. Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
  3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
  4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
  5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
  6. Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
  7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
  8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
  9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
  10. Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”

Along with this list, she shares her definition of Wholehearted living: “cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough” (p. 10, para. 3). And when one goes to bed at night, he or she thinks “Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging” (Ibid).

Although BrenĂ© has written in earlier books (including her dissertation) about vulnerability, she used some of her time of writing Daring Greatly to discuss vulnerability. She has found a relationship with vulnerability with other constructs like belonging, shame, and worthiness (p. 12, para. 1). “Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences” (Ibid). It is defined by BrenĂ© as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure” (p. 34, para. 1).

When it comes to organizations (i.e. workplace or school), shame is often used as a management style. As a result, engagement dies. “We have to rehumanize work” says BrenĂ© Brown (p. 15, para. 2). “When failure is not an option we can forget about learning, creativity, and innovation” (Ibid).

According to BrenĂ©, shame is more likely to be the cause of narcissists behavior. For example “I am only as good as the number of ‘likes’ I get on Facebook or Instagram” (p. 22, para. 4). The yearning of knowing that what I do matters may cause the drive of narcissist-ism. In other words, if one doesn’t drive to be extraordinary, does that mean the person fails to exist? Many communities are plagued with phrases “Never __________ enough” (ex: never good enough, never powerful enough, or never smart enough). to get to the point of saying “I’m enough” is what BrenĂ© Brown attempts to help the reader develop. This is called to dare greatly because the person has to make choices that challenge the social climate of scarcity.

BrenĂ© also shares several personal examples from her own life experience. With that in mind, she states the difference between vulnerability and oversharing, purging, indiscriminate disclosure, and “celebrity-style social media information dumps” (p. 45, para. 4). When someone overshares, it’s often like one is a deer staring at headlights; very overwhelming! This is why BrenĂ© Brown explains that vulnerability requires boundaries and trust. For this type of example, BrenĂ© shares how she had to guide her then third grade daughter after a painful lesson of what happens when one shares with someone who isn’t trustworthy. To connect with people, BrenĂ© said that it’s like placing one marble at a time in a marble jar; one private information at a time. Then one has to see if the person is trustworthy. If the person is disrespectful, mean, or shares our secrets, the marbles come out of the jar. People who keep the marbles in the jars are those that are trustworthy.

The final thing that I had wanted to share about Daring Greatly is the gremlin concept. Everyone wants others to respect, like, and even admire what they have created or produced. However, those that are not shame resilient connect self-worth with their creations or productions (ex: if others don’t like my painting or project then I have low self-worth). Shame is what keeps one afraid, resentful, and small. Shame is what causes the gremlins to fill our heads with messages such as “Dare not! You’re not good enough!” (p. 66, para. 2). BrenĂ© shares in detail about the gremlin concept in Daring Greatly.

Shame starts as a two-person experience (ex: parent, teacher, or caregiver) but, as one gets older, one often learns how to do shame all by him/herself (p. 66, para. 5). One is unable to embrace vulnerability if shame continues to suffocate the sense of worthiness and connection. How to deal with shame? BrenĂ© had found men and women who had high levels of shame resilience and shares the similarities within this type of group (p. 74). I will not go into detail because it’s better to read it from the source. But to give some hope to my fellow readers, I will say that “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive” (p. 75, para. 1). Another tip is to have self-compassion; talk to self as a friend and not an enemy—be gentle with self in the midst of shame.

Brené Brown has written other books; has her own blog; and TED videos. Read more about her at her website: brenebrown.com.

The Wilderness Experience – Easy Does It (Part 2)

Hello Readers,

About two weeks ago, I wrote a blog about my wilderness experience: https://belovedgeliebt.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/the-wilderness-experience-easy-does-it. I would like to share an update.

As the previous blog had mentioned, I had a Pidgeotto (the evolve version of Pidgey) who, under the right conditions, can evolve to another Pokemon. But I needed three more Pidgey candies to do this. However, unknown to myself, I had captured three more throughout those two weeks of not writing another blog here. So, this week, while I had captured another Pidgey, I had looked at the total amount of Pidgey candy and realized that I had 51 candies and not just the 50 candies required to evolve Pidgeotto.

This caused me to think from a spiritual point of view. We may become so used to the battle part of our spiritual journey that we may often miss out on the blessing that is right before us. Of course, we are to be aware that we are in a spiritual warfare and the devil is like a roaring lion trying to devour us (see 1 Peter 5:8). However, we may become so fixated on what the devil is doing that we forget to view what God is doing and has done for us. We might count our struggles more than our victories.

Watching a Pokemon evolve reminds me of how our bodies will change when Jesus comes back again.

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The only thing I saw different in this evolution of a “new body” is that the Pokemon is registered into the Pokedex after it is changed (as in receiving a new body).

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But, thinking it over, I see that, after we make a change, in deciding not to sin anymore (repent, confess, forsake, etc.), we are registered into the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27). As long as we remain faithful until the end, our names will remain there (Revelation 3:5).

So here is my strongest and most recently evolved Pokemon, Pidgeot.

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Pidgeot’s CP and HP has dramatically increased. The wilderness experience for him was of a great gain. As mentioned before, my wilderness experience has included Bible verses (currently reading over and doing deep studying of Daniel 9 and Ezekiel 16), job applications (waiting on responses and submitting more resumes), reading (just finished The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome and Codependent No More two days ago), and volunteering to work with clients at Foundation House Ministries. Reviewing this list in detail, I see my great gain; my spiritual and mental knowledge (HP: Hit Points) has increased. And, now having two options of connecting with a Titus 2:3-5 woman, my CP (Combat Power) has also increased.

So the next time you pick up your smartphone to play Pokemon Go, just know that it can be more than a game. It can be life changing.