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Feelings😏

feel·ing

/ˈfēliNG/

Learn to pronounce

noun

plural noun: feelings

1. 1.
an emotional state or reaction.”a feeling of joy”

I write these blogs from my feelings , heck a lot of my work as a psychiatrist is about understanding feelings , so how come it is not so easy for me to write ABOUT feelings ?

Perhaps this is because FEELINGS can be sooo subjective. NO one really is an expert on another person’s FEELINGS because it is so personal, so subjective. You have YOUR FEELINGS and I have MINE… both are valid and demand respect.

When a patient is telling me how they FEEL in a therapeutic session, they are granting me special access to their psyche, in hopes that I can be helpful to them . To me , this feels both honorable and humbling at the same time.

I am well trained to do this type of work however I do have to work really hard to try to understand WHAT and HOW my patients are FEELING. This is because they are only granting me temporary access to a very personal space, to their very personal property- THEIR FEELINGS.

Scientific data support that animals have the ability to feel , however we humans are the only known species thought to have the ability to “ think” about our FEELINGS. This is a form of introspection. Lucky Us right?

Well not so fast , you see this amaze ability we’ve been given also comes with challenges. Think about it, since we can think about feelings, then we may easily be expected to “understand “ not only our own FEELINGS well but the feelings of those around us, perhaps even our pets . I mean why not , right?

Well the problem with this “tall order “is that we are generally not great at understanding even our own FEELINGS let alone those of others in our lives.

Can you guess what we’re feeling here?lol

Nonetheless, FEELINGS are a vital piece of our communicative ability . We need to not only be able to express our FEELINGS but also try to recognize those of the people around us. We typically do this by observation of behavior, affect and ofcourse expressive language. Sharing and understanding FEELINGS seems harder and harder for us to do in this technologically advanced, face mask wearing , Instagram posting , pandemic life we are all currently living.”’.

No wonder emojis and GIFs exists to help us out 🤪

It is wonderful to have the ability to express our feelings safely and hopefully without judgement. You see, because feelings are “ like visitors, they come and go”. Having the terminology to express how we are feeling at any point is extremely valuable. It allows others to “ hear “and “see” us more clearly.

There is also an inter connection between our FEELINGS, our thoughts and then our behaviors.

Feeling like Blues Hockey Stanley Cup Champions!

FEELINGS also have a way of surprising us at times. They seem to have a “ mind” of their own, showing up at unexpected times such as , a stronger than expected reaction to a situation, tearfulness at a romantic movie or a nostalgic music, the thrill of the physical touch of our loved ones, fearfulness triggered by specific phobia, or even guilt and self loathing of our own self.. ouch!. Our feelings can sometimes illuminate parts of our psyche that we may not be ready to uncover yet, for better or for worse.

To get to be better at understanding FEELINGS, we must first pay attention and welcome feelings . This is not an easy task, you see , because FEELINGS can be varied and complex. Some FEELINGS are beautifully intoxicating like LOVE , some exhilarating like a thrill of adventure , some are frustration when you discover for example that your middle seat on the plane doesn’t work to do that very tiny recline thing to bring you comfort (ugh!) while others can be pain staking such as GRIEF and PAIN.

It is no wonder , most people prefer to sweep both theirs and others’ FEELINGS aside due to the complicated nature of FEELINGS. It can feel like a Pandora box that we rather not to open , least this exploration unleashes DRAMA!

In reality, not acknowledging FEELINGS does not make them to seize to exist. ALL FEELINGS , good or bad, are valuable and can teach us more about ourselves and the world around us, IF we let it. Beauty and growth can be on the other side of adversity or even those negative FEELINGS.

It is important that we validate our feelings, even when we cannot find the words to describe those feelings. We should honor our feelings and those of the people around us.

Practice getting comfortable with FEELINGs.. the next time you casually ask someone , “how are you?” , it may be worthwhile to actually give space to receive their response, instead of rushing away without knowing how they really are FEELING.

We can get better at embracing FEELINGS without judgment. Can you imagine a world where humans actually cared about how each other were FEELING? Geez, that almost sounds utopian.

Feeling loved and sun kissed!

The practice of mindfulness and meditations may be helpful in embracing FEELINGS in an nonjudgmental manner . Although this may not come easy to us at first , remember like most things in life … Practice yields Progress !

My dear reader, it is my wish for you , that you find value in your own feelings and the feelings of those around you, and may this wonderful gift be also returned to you DOUBLE FOLDS!💕

As always, thank you for reading my musings on this blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

Happy MLK Day!

Let me start by saying Happy MLK day to my readers!

You see, for me MLK day is extra special on many levels. Not just because of all the adorable service projects that our elementary school would engage the kids in. Nope MLK day is one happy day in our home for a special reason.

You see, MLK holiday circa 2003 was an igniting factor that made the blessed family that DH * and I have , possible!

That year, as a first year medical student, I had traveled to visit my parents in New Orleans on a red eye ticket I purchased on Priceline ( remember those? You pay for a cheap flight so you know you will fly, but when exactly will you fly?.. we don’t know this!🤪).

Of course , my now less youthful perhaps more rigid self , cannot imagine letting go of so much “ control” in deciding when I get to take a flight or not.

Thankfully , my 25 yrs old more naive, bright eyed spontaneous self could care less and was game for the Priceline flight guessing game.

Well, I ended up as a “Stand by” passenger on a connecting flight in Chicago , on my way back from New Orleans to St. Louis. I was totally fine with this arrangement, as long as I eventually got to St Louis , then I was good!

Well it turns out this infamous connecting flight was also connecting my DH in Chicago, as he travelled from Denver back to St. Louis!

To cut a long story short, DH and I met at the baggage claim in St. Louis and the rest is history – a spontaneous weekend trip to visit him all the way in Alaska 😳, a romantic engagement over the pacific ocean, two wedding ceremonies in two continents, four beautiful children and a host of blessings in family , friends , and wonderful life full of adventures and some challenges.

My heart owes gratitude to Martin Luther King Jr for his dream that in turn has allowed so many more to not only to dream but also to have an chance to realize those dreams.

I am grateful that our country has chosen to honor his legacy with a special day dedicated to his memory , However this days should also serve as reminder of the work that still remains to be done by all of us to advance the cause of equality and inclusion.

MLK day made it possible for my own individual AND family dreams to take root!

Therefore, I would not trade my youthful spontaneity or my Priceline tickets on that faithful MLK day for anything in the world!

Thank you MLK for the life you led and the legacy we continue to honor💕

Visiting the MLK monument in Washington DC summer 2018.

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

**DH (Darling Husband)

TIME

This piece is inspired by DH **- whom I love to spend my time with.

Okay so you’ve heard TIME referred to as a most precious commodity right? How TIME waits for no one , How TIME is money? How TiME flies? etc etc

Oh! And how TIME is the most precious gift,right?

So my curiosity question is Who, What and Where do you choose to you give YOUR TIME?

Oxford dictionary defines Time as
“the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole”

You can obviously keep track of time on a time piece such as your watch, your cellphone etc. Therefore at any given moment , at your choosing you can access how much time you’re spending on who, what and where…. Or can you???

You see, there seems to be aspects of our TIME that lends itself very easily to TIME tracking , example is how long will it take theoretically to obtain X Degree , or how long a play / show is? How much longer till the school bus arrives with our most valued blessings aka. our children ?

Then there are other times where keeping track of TIME is impossible. I think this is particularly the case , when we are spending time being present with those who make our heart delightful.

Albeit some of this delighting of the heart may be not equally calibrated across all parties involved, however….

It is in the reconnection of spouses /loved ones , reestablishing their unified, intimate peace and quiet after a long noisy day away from each other.

It is in our long embrace of our loved one before they board a plane away from us . It is also at our reunion of loved ones following distance and separation.

It is in the longing of a child for their parent to “ read “ them one more book before they are tucked into bed at bedtime.

It is in the spontaneous hug from your child , yes even teenage children, that reminds your heart how sweet LOVE is 💕

In these precious moments, TIME feels like it stops or perhaps we subconsciously ignore TIME for fear that the moment will seize.

It is valuable for us to assess where TIME “stops “ for us. This is because , therein may lie more of our LIFE’S beauty💕

Who do we excitedly swipe to answer their call/ text ? And who do quickly swipe to courteously send them an automated message back? And who do we plain ole ignore? Again there in may lie our LIFE’S BEAUTY💕

The heart easily knows a friend. This makes it easier to welcome home into our hearts, friends /loved ,where TIME seizes , giving way to the present.

We all should be encouraged to explore where we CHOOSE to spend our most precious commodity known as TIME

Remember that Time flies and Time is money, and Time waits for no one etc etc

……….oh! And how Time is the most precious gift , right?…. then we better be spending this gift called Time on our LIFE’s beauties!💕

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

**DH (Darling Husband)

Lead with Love

What does that even mean? Leading with love… I wondered to myself as I entertained this thought inconveniently entering my consciousness.

A negative encounter with someone that I have a lot of love for had just occurred. Events such as this typically prompts a self examination of sorts. Therefore when this question initially bubbled to the surface of my mind, I wasn’t that surprised but perhaps I was a bit annoyed. A part of me wanted to dig my heels in more to assert loudly that my stance in the conflict was the MOST logical perspective. Then there was a more demure thought… but what if it wasn’t? Followed by, did you lead with love?

The truth is we don’t always lead with love, heck , we aren’t even trying to think or consider LOVE during conflicts. We are typically too busy trying to prove ourselves right or the victim or the hero etc etc.

When we are in conflict with another, there is a tendency to claw at eachother defensively. Our sympathetic nervous system is charged into gear , our amygdala firing , in anticipation of fear and danger . The release of excitatory neurotransmitters such as epinephrine and norepinephrine further incite our fight or flight emotions , alienating us more from our perceived enemy. Yes even when that “ enemy” used to be our loved one. It is worse still when we had no preceding positive emotional connection to the person whom we are in conflict with , a stranger during a road rage for example .

When we are left without appropriate interventions to change the course of the conflict, emotions continue to heighten , negative words become our armor flying around destroying all in its path and in some situations, physical threats may even arise….. HALT!!!!

Enter breathe , a most precious commodity in conflict resolution. Just breathe…. aahhhh

Yup do that again and again… now take an even deeper breathe….oooooh yeeaaahhh ( sigh).

Now give some time for this precious oxygen carried in your breathe to quiet down the raging parts of your brain. As this oxygen perfuses the frontal lobe , which is the rational , decision making , organizing part of your brain…. You begin to emerge from your battle field to rediscover yourself again. Now you can “see “ clearer Who, What and Why you were fighting so hard in the first place . Look around your battlefield and assess the damage done in anger .

Sometimes there is a mess to be cleaned up, maybe starting with acknowledging the parts we played in the conflict and extending a peace offering maybe the most COURAGEOUS action to take.

Luckily, now you have your well oxygenated “thoughtful“ frontal lobe to thank for your ability to rationally consider pros and cons of continuing this conflict. It also allows us access to that tiny whisper reminding us to LEAD WITH LOVE, because after all, loved ones or strangers, enemies or friends, we all are HUMAN (be) KIND.

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

Home Sweet Home

Ada and I agreed that the fIrst thing on our minds after the longest travel experience we had today was a HOT SHOWER!!!!

I exhaled deeply as I stepped out of the best shower I’ve had in weeks. Wrapped my hair in towel and felt like I had finally arrived home. You see I have come to develop an immense appreciation for the shower we have at home after this trip. Why? Because I had many “ near misses” with shower experience on our African trip. Showers on this trip ranged from highly anticipated such as after the Kilimanjaro hike, to get just a mediocre shower experience at even the fanciest safari tented camp- Maribou. They had welcomed us by a spill that included something like this “ welcome to a happy place with happy people…”. I loved not only their slogan but their ambiance was perfection! Lovely accommodations overlooking a safari of peacefully grazing giraffes, zebras , “pumbahs”( worth hogs ) etc. The whole place was heavenly except the shower was not hot enough😏. The explanation for this was that the water was heated by solar power and the day before we arrived the sun did not do it’s thang enough apparently- Boo.

So you see I’ve been “ managing “ showers throughout this trip, from bucket showers in our tent in Ngorogoro crater to a random “ poor water pressured “shower in our fancy accommodation in Camps Bay, Capetown. What the heck?! It was like the shower gods were not in my favor for real lol . It was to the point that DH would wish me good luck before I embarked on some of my showering experiences. So you see, then coming home and “winning “ with my ole faithful shower was like a piece of heaven!!! It allowed me to forgive all the random showers on this trip as if to say “ I got ya back- literally “lol

On a more serious note, I could not be more grateful be home safe after the longest family trip we’ve had. Ada and I left Capetown a day earlier than the rest of the family. It was so hard to leave all the fun with cousins behind, but we had to be home early for Ada’s Muny rehearsal scheduled tomorrow morning. DH will be bringing the youngest three home with him tomorrow. He’s a good man, I think I got the easier travel job …

Well if you count the stupendous almost 24hrs delay at LGA airport then maybe not so easy after all . We arrived into NYC at around 6am from Capetown via Nairobi ( where we had a 17hrs layover so ofcourse DH arranged with a friend to do a game drive safari and other sight seeing in Nairobi, a hotel to freshen up before our flight to NYC later that evening). We didn’t get to STL and home until close to midnight.

Ada was such a trooper as always on this trip and even when I was close to loosing my S**T, she tried to distract me with a game “ so you don’t think of the bad stuff Mommy”… she’s truly a STAR.

I’m also blessed with the best in laws honestly, so we had many volunteers for a ride from the airport this evening, which was tricky since the flight time kept changing.

Finally we take off after “ getting a route” from Air traffic Control, apparently there were storms in our paths, ….if only Mother Nature gave a crap about minutiae things like me really needing to get home for my shower…

My BIL ( Brother in law) picked us home from the airport and charioted us home in no time. Oh yeah by the way, Southwest Airline lost one of our bags in all the craziness but this is no time to loose focus on a lost bag, besides they promised the bag and a voucher so I’m good for now lol

It’s now almost midnight and we’re exhausted , but so happy we’re home in our warm bed and my heart couldn’t be more grateful, as I watch Ada sleeping peacefully next to me. I miss DH and the rest of our crew and pray for the smoothest trip possible for them. I count my blessings daily because I don’t want to forget or neglect to be grateful . I loved traveling through Africa and Dubai on this amazing trip but I also truly love being right here at home, grateful for the opportunity and grateful to be a lover of this God given life !💕🙏🏾

As always thank you for coming along on this journey by reading my blog, don’t forget to leave comments as I love reading from you all as well.

Tell me, what you look forward to , after being away from your home. Clearly mine today was a HOT SHOWER!😂