Budgets and Expendables

I usually avoid writing about government policies and politics in my blog because that’s not what this blog is about—it’s about maintaining a higher-frequency focus of living with love and compassion for everyone.

However, I guess I’m still reeling at the news that our Governor (Iowa) is planning to close two of the states remaining mental health institutions and booting out the residents to use “out-patient” mental health facilities in their original communities (if those communities even have them).

silhouette of womanThis subject of cutting the state’s budget on the backs of the most vulnerable people in our society is really bothering me because I think it will adversely affect a personal friend who has frequented one of the facilities over the last several years.

To me who has known of and shared some of her lesser challenges, I anticipate that she will face a sink-or-swim, tough-love approach to coping with her daily life. While I truly hope she can master the stroke necessary to do laps across the pool, I also know the greater likelihood of her failure to do so; and that failure can result in her quickly sinking to the bottom.

What I see as the greatest benefit to residents at a state-run mental health institution is in viewing the institution as a place of sanctuary and security—which are two of the biggest issues in anyone’s mind to establish and maintain their own wellbeing. People need to simply FEEL safe. Even being contained within a locked room provides them protection from “others” when they are in their most vulnerable states of mind and unable to make rational decisions, or to physically protect themselves (and likewise not to harm themselves)

That sanctuary and security assurance will be the first casualty when the residents are booted out onto the streets. Families and friends will be faced with impossible situations of helping/not-helping and not even knowing what “helping” really is, for someone with mental health challenges.

I’ve been trained in many different healing techniques, and I’ve seen how easily the mind can be affected and altered by devices, substances, and the ill intentions of others, besides our tendencies to adversely undermine our decision-making abilities through self-doubt, self-loathing, and self-denigratimental_health_awareness_ribbon_mousepadon.

There is so much at stake when you are messing with someone’s mental health stability. I just can’t believe that these “budget cuts” in state-run mental health facilities are wise or even conscionable for an enlightened society that claims it cares about human welfare.

Don’t take away the only safety net that some of these extremely vulnerable people have. That leaves them with even fewer options, and those options are more likely suicide or jail.

To Pick a Raisin

“After walking out grapes on vinethe backdoor, Elizabeth ambled off to the grape patch and decided to sit there on the ground until she could pick a raisin from the vine. Knowing that it might take some time for the grape to completely dehydrate, she closed her eyes, straightened her spine and began to meditate.”

“WHAT?” our rational mind protests. “You can’t just wait there until a grape shrivels into a raisin. It could take days. She can’t sit in meditation for days! That’s illogical.”

But the subconscious mind understood the story as metaphor for delayed gratification and immediately got the message from it. Elizabeth knew what she wanted, was willing to wait for it, and considered the wait-time as soul-nourishing and acceptable. It isn’t meant as a literal interpretation of events; it’s a hypnosis device called an Ericksonian metaphor.

Just to be clear, this brief story isn’t about the “dreams deferred” of Langston Hughes’ classic poem “Harlem” or the amazing 1959 Broadway play by Lorraine Hansberry, called “A Raisin in the Sun.”

This story is about how metaphors, particularly Ericksonian metaphors, access that inner systems program that runs our life—which is our subconscious mind—the behind the scenes controller of almost everything we think and do—from how we perceive and interpret the world around us, to how we react to those perceptions, because sometimes we automatically think someone is referring to one thing, when they are instead talking about another.

I was actually providing my own childhood memory of walking out the backdoor, going over to the grapevine area between our backyard and the garden, and sitting down waiting for the then tart green grapes to ripen to sweet burgundy for eating. My grandmother had come over to me sittingrapes-or-raisinsg there and said I’d be waiting a long time for that to happen—like days; and I said I’d wait.

Of course I didn’t. Kids have no concept of time. But my grandmother also told me back then that if I waited there long enough, those grapes would miraculously change to raisins. I later learned that “miraculously” meant to dehydrate in the sun and shrivel on the vine. But miraculously sounded so much better.

Miraculous is how hypnosis works. I admit that hypnosis and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) absolutely fascinate me. That’s why I’ve been trained in those techniques.

I’m fascinated with them because so much of our lives we believe the world around us to be one particular way, and seldom comprehend that the world around us is how we perceive it to be. It is our perception of the world that makes it the way that it appears. And our perception is very changeable.

In the last 9 paragraphs I have shown that how you perceive and decipher what is presentemilton ericksond to you can be easily manipulated and refocused toward a desired conclusion. That’s the beauty of Ericksonian metaphors: It’s like being driven around the countryside by your eccentric Aunt Betty, who after hours of wrong turns and harrowing near misses of both stationary and moving objects, she somehow manages to find her way back to your home just in time for dinner.

The desired effect is: early suggestion of delayed gratification, food references as rewards for patience, proposed childhood memories to trigger your own childhood memories substantiating suggested premises; and last effect is to refocus your mind on how your perception miraculously creates the world that you experience.

I mean, seriously, …Aunt Betty was just too erratic to drive anyone, including herself, but it’s strange how she always knew when it was time for dinner at our house. I’d call that Selective Craziness; and it worked for her.

Expectations vs. Reality

einstein quoteSuch a strange time lately for all of us. It’s hard to get a handle on what is really happening in the world or what we wish would instead happen, because it is all so complicated now—collective living, that is.

Relationships are complicated. Associations are complicated. Life is complicated.

Even for the individual, most would say that life rarely turns out like you expect that it will. Life more often turns out like it simply does—for better or for worse. People come and go in your life: some you care deeply about, others maybe not so much. They cycle in and out of your awareness and concern. Sometimes you have a choice in the matter and other times, you don’t. That’s just how it is—that’s LIFE, you say.

Your circle of influence and relationship expands and contracts throughout your lifespan, while you learn the joys, as well as the pain, of loving and caring about the welfare of others besides yourself.

Throughout this process, eventually we all learn that life is an endless loop of give and take, come and go, want and don’t want. We learn to accept the veiled aspects of uncertainty and change in everything we do, as we adjust our sights on putting our next foot forward from wherever we are presently located.

In a state of confusion you might have even asked yourself, “Where do I go from here?” To which I would question, “Well, where are you at present, and where have you previously been?” Those are two answers you will need to first know before setting off in a new direction.

Some would say that we can view our lives as that “play the hand you were dealt” thing, but in another sense we choose the cards we add or subtract from our hands during the entire game. So we all make choices along the way. Often the winning hands are the results of making good choices. The best card players are those who learn quickly from previous mistakes so they aren’t repeated.

And no matter what we expect to happen in our lives as the result of our efforts, we also know threality dogat sometimes those expectations just don’t materialize in quite the way that we had imagined or had hoped that they would.

That’s called the difference between expectations and reality. What it implies is that reality disappoints and seldom meets your unrealistic expectations.

What it should actually mean is that perhaps your expectations were based on fantasy and improbability, or perhaps even that the Powers that Be had something else in mind for you, because REALITY is not what it seems to be.

Reality is far from REAL. So it is pretty hard for you to have expectations of something that is a momentary collective consensus opinion, and is not set in stone like we often think that it is.

Reality is a perception. Reality is also a frequency with which we align ourselves and resonate.

What that means is that IF you shifted your frequency higher than your present ability to perceive “reality,” you would likely view a different reality. That’s the entire point of the anticipated collective frequency-shift higher: We will be participating in a different collective reality, and hopefully one less fear-based and more love-frequency focused.

Is that collective frequency-shift to a higher plain simply another unrealistic expectation—is it fantasy-based?

Not in my reality, because I can already feel it happening.

How about in yours?

Inbrain what world do you wish to live: a world of fear-mongers and hatred-spewers, or a compassionate loving place where people care about and help, rather than hurt, each other?

To me, it’s a no-brainer that I prefer the loving place, but it has to be a collective effort to hold the frequency of that world for everyone. I can hold it for me, but I can’t do it for you. That’s something you will have to choose for yourself.

I choose a love-based reality over a fantasy expectation of it, because I CAN also choose the reality that I live in, so I hold that higher-frequency in my thoughts and actions.

What thoughts will you hold today? Which reality do you choose?