Automation kills compassion

Helping a loved one cope with anxiety is a difficult and confusing time. My heart aches as I try my best to support Jane through a low period in her life. It’s really tough watching a loved one go through this battle, while sitting on the outside, feeling helpless.

Anxiety disorders are different from ‘everyday’ anxiety; they are more intense and persistent and interfere with a person’s life. Such disorders share an extreme sense of fear and worry accompanied by physical symptoms that can affect all systems of the body. Anxiety disorders occur when someone has an intense and paralysing sense of fear or a more sustained pattern of worrying when there is no apparent real danger or threat.

I will do anything to help Jane feel better about her life and would swap places to save her going through this torment. As best I can I remain calm, firm and consistent and show her she is loved and supported. In addition to her family support network I’ve have urged her to seek professional counselling advice.

I started asking myself what should I be looking out for? What can I do to help? What support is out there for people on the perimeter of anxiety disorders? I rang the helpline of the most reputable organisation providing an information and support service helping Australians achieve their best possible mental health. This organisation is widely known for its helpline advice for people struggling with anxiety/ depression or who have suicidal thoughts. It was daunting to make the call as a supporter of a loved one so I can only imagine how overwhelming it might be for people feeling helpless to make the decision to reach out for help.

After deciding to call I dialled the number and heard a click followed by a long recorded message spruiking information about the organisation and the types of services they provide. Then came an automated message to press 1 for this, press 2 for that, press 3 for something else. Feeling confused about which number to select I had to wait to hear the message repeated so I could make the correct choice. Once you choose an option a further recorded message announces that calls are recorded unless you state your objection, and then invites callers to press another number to agree to stay on the line at the end of their call to participate in a survey. By now I was getting agitated and wanted to speak to a real person to ask for advice. When I was eventually connected with a counsellor she was helpful to a point and reassured me that I am doing and saying the right things to help Jane.

After making the call I felt disappointed with the unfriendly vibe around the process of getting through to speak to a real person. I doubt very much that people who genuinely need urgent help choosing between life or death would stay on the line long enough to speak to a counsellor to guide them in their time of need. I think this is really sad.

A Selection of True Awakening Experiences Part II

I’m writing this post to participate in Barbara Franken’s challenge to talk about where I find myself now on my journey of self-realisation and freedom.

Sometimes I wonder if there was a defining moment when I consciously made a decision to change how I viewed my existence and where I fit in the world. I think it was around my 50th birthday when I started thinking about being more honest with myself.  Almost six years have gone by since then and I’ve been constantly challenged to face truths, be kinder to myself, let go of negativity,  move on from the past and learn to forgive. This has not been an easy progression and while I celebrate how far I’ve come I know I still have far to go.

There were times when I struggled to pick myself up after slipping back into old habits and sometimes it seemed too difficult. But every backward step was worth the uncertainty when I realised I’d taken another step forward towards being true to myself.

Snakes-and-Ladders-Game-510My journey feels like a game of snakes and ladders. As I create positive change I merrily skip along the board until wham I land on a snake and slip back a few rows into old habits. I’m happy that the snakes seem shorter now and less daunting. I now honestly feel comfortable in my own skin.

I’ve learned many things about myself during the past six years but the most valuable lesson I have learned is to be less fearful.

I strive to live my live following these five simple rules.f4ef85ae4212b42479eb5b1feb2b0ee0

Please visit Tanja’s site who will be sharing her story as part of Barbara’s challenge tomorrow– https://kundaliniawakeningprocess.wordpress.com

 

You’ve got mail

Dear fellow bloggersdownload

I’m sorry it has been a while since I’ve been in touch. I’ve no excuse for my absence and vow to stay connected from now on.

At the beginning of 2016 I stated my intentions and thus far feel happy that I have honoured my promises.

I’ve grown as a person by standing up to certain people and not allowing them to make me feel inferior. I’m sticking my head out from my protective tortoise shell and I’m not as afraid of being crushed anymore.

Another area of my life that needed my attention was reconnecting with people I’d lost touch with over the years. I’ve reached out to some old friends and family and it’s wonderful to feel a sense of belonging to a community again after years of imposed isolation.

We have been working on creating a family business with our son Chris who wants to open a trendy men’s barbershop. Fingers crossed we find out today if we secured the lease of a shop. If so we will be working hard over the next six weeks fitting it out and getting ready to open. We see this as an opportunity for Chris to follow his dream and for our whole family to work together and share their collective skills to make this dream a reality.

Other exciting news is that our daughter Laura has produced a CD of her original folky songs and will launch it in the coming months. I’d love to share her music with you when the CD is available.

Although I haven’t been on my blog site for a while I think of you all often and hope you are all happy and well. I’ve promised myself to spend time each morning to catch up with your news and reconnect with my treasured blogger friends.

Your friend

Jenna Dee

Moving on

When a New Year dawns people vow to instigate change to improve their lives. In the past I’ve cited old chestnuts like quitting smoking, losing weight or finding a better job, but this year my intentions are new. I’m moving on with my life.

“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.
~ Joel Osteen

These are my intentions for 2016

  • I will reject rejection
  • I will forgive others and myself
  • I will sever contact with people who cause me pain or anxiety
  • I will live by the words of Eleanor Roosevelt “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
  • I will speak the truth
  • I will say no if I want to
  • I will expect to receive the same respect I extend to others
  • I will embrace and remain true to my introverted personality
  • I will continue to live a simple life and be grateful for all I have
  • I will continue to love and cherish my husband and children in the only way I know how, unconditionally
  • I will accept my feelings and actions as the whole truth.

Happy New Year

HMQkS0K

 

Thanks for being you

Thank you to my blogger friends for sharing your lives, thoughts, adventures and experiences during 2015.  I value your company and friendship more than you will ever know.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.    ~Leo Buscaglia
Christmas message 2015
Christmas message from Jenna Dee

A tale of two chapters of travel

Europe Journey 2015 – 46 days, 6 countries

j&P collage2The best way to discover more about yourself is to step away from familiar surroundings and travel to new places as far away from home as you can imagine.

Our recent trip that closely followed an eight-week trip to Europe last year felt like a continuation or a second chapter of travel.

The weather was perfect during our trip last year (chapter one) and when the sun shines everything sparkles. We visited areas of Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Italy. I loved the newness and discovery of things I’d only heard about or seen in photos and felt like an excited child opening presents on Christmas morning. No matter how advanced photographic technology has become I discovered it is impossible to fully capture nature’s beauty. Printed images lack depth and appear overlaid with an unnatural filter. You need to physically experience the magnificence of nature and the world using all your senses. Standing beneath the majestic Alps in Switzerland under a cloudless sky breathing in the crisp mountain air was electrifying and woke me from a hibernation from life. During the first chapter almost everything seemed magical. On reflection this wasn’t always true but it is how it felt at the time.

During our latest trip (chapter two) we travelled around the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. This time the weather was mostly gloomy and cold despite travelling at exactly the same time as last year. The first nine days it rained most days and the sky remained grey making it difficult to plan sight-seeing activities. However in Paris the sun shone in a cloudless sky for three days allowing discovery and appreciation of everything this cosmopolitan city offers.   As quickly as the sun appeared it again disappeared on the morning we left Paris and for the rest of our trip only ever appeared intermittently amongst a whole lot of rain and fog.

During chapter two we felt the tension bubbling in countries trying to limit entry of refugees fleeing the Syrian Civil War. Although we don’t speak French or German we sensed this issue causing anxiety in European countries. At the border entry to Germany from Austria we sat in a traffic queue kilometres long while 10 police peered into every car and truck wanting to gain entry into Germany. The mood was somber and apprehensive.

My highlight of chapter two was seeing the Lippizan stallions perform at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, our days in Paris, visiting Salzburg and the storybook surrounding Austrian countryside. I also adored the bright floral window boxes and obvious house proudness of the Austrian and German people.

Chapter one was akin to falling in love for the first time and during chapter two it became like an old love that deepened and become more realistic. Although the level of excitement was subdued during chapter two I enjoyed the countries and places we visited more than I did on our first trip. I related to life in France more than I did in Italy and saw much more of Austria and Germany, which I adore, during chapter two.

During chapter one I felt like I was floating on air but in chapter two I thought about things on a deeper level. I imagined how the two world wars must have affected the people who lived in the places I visited. I thought about how the refugees must feel fleeing from their country to an alien land where people speak a foreign language and don’t seem to want to provide the required assistance. I thought about how living in another country is so different yet so familiar. I had more time to think about how I see myself in relation to the world. Although the two trips occurred only one year apart I feel wiser after our second chapter of European travel.

Travelling is fascinating but travelling is also hard work. It puts you outside your comfort zone and challenges you not only to cope with obstacles and disappointments but also to enjoy yourself and learn from new experiences. Travelling with my husband of almost 30 years is a joy and has strengthened our already rock solid relationship. We compliment each other like yin and yang.

Despite the contrasting nature of both trips  I’ve loved the entirety of the two chapters of our European travel. I’m proud I accepted the challenge to experience all that both trips provided. I’ve learnt much about the world but more importantly I’ve learnt much about myself. However I’m tired after travelling 46 days this trip and 44 days last year and want to return to my home and familiar life which I now have an even greater appreciation for.

Something deep down inside tells me that there will not be a chapter three but I’ve learnt that nothing is definitive and that only time will tell.

vintage travel lady