Mental Wellness

What Makes Me Happy?

Garden blooms make me smile. A little water, a little weeding, a little waiting and nature comes through with amazing colors.

Red Monarda – Bee Balm Photo: Rebecca Cuningham
Pink Hollyhocks Photo: Rebecca Cuningham
Pinks and Seedum Blooms Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

What makes you happy?

Happy Manic Monday! –Rebecca

Mental Wellness

Walk and Don’t Hesitate

Sixteen months into this pandemic and I’m in the worst physical condition of my life. I’ve resolved to take daily walks. My low bar is around the block, if that feels good I move toward a mile. I’m happy when I have the motivation to start.

Two days ago I had gone one block uphill, and was on the block downhill. It was about 8 pm, still before sunset (at 8:30!) As I reached the corner, a guy on a bike pedaled by. He was muttering. All I heard was the f-bomb he dropped every three words. Nothing like the fricative sound of f and the hard k sound to carry on a breeze.

Now, I am an expressive person. I may have looked startled. His reaction was to spin a wide circle in the intersection and come around again to expose me to a second earful. Up to this point in my walk I had seen only one couple who dashed for their car. Currently, I saw no one else around.

I took my stand. As he rode by me spouting profanities, I began to sing loudly. He biked by quickly and did not look back. As he turned the second corner, the spell was lifted and several people walked into view. I kept singing and walked happily home, empowered by the music.

What’s your anthem? –Rebecca

Here’s one I love:

Mental Wellness

Does NAMI Know About NAMI?

For twenty-five years I’ve known about the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). Since 1977, they’ve been educating people and fighting stigma. They organize support groups for people with mental health issues and for their families. The group I attended was important in letting me realize I needed both a mood stabilizer and an antidepressant.

Last year I was driving to pick up our child from school when I saw a commercial van in front of me. The letters NAMI were prominent. I began to laugh at the absurdity. It was a Wisconsin engineering company named North American Mechanical, Inc. I kept wondering, does NAMI know about NAMI? And vice-versa? The joke goes both ways.

This made me think about the WWF vs WWF case. World Wildlife Fund did not want to be association with the World Wrestling Federation. Might have been good advertising to have the animals in wrestling poses… The WWF won a lawsuit to have rights to the acronym, that’s why second is now World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

Funny thing about acronyms, they can mean more than one thing. I share the initials of Royal Crown Cola. “RC is me.” A friend of mine does too, although with different names from mine.

What acronyms have double meanings for you?

Happy Manic Monday! –Rebecca

NAMI Truck Photo: Rebecca Cuningham
Mental Wellness

3 Days of Rain

All the adults in our family are now fully vaccinated! Last weekend, my parents visited for the first time in 14 months. That was our longest separation ever. We cooked food on the grill, took a great walk and hugged each other a lot. A highlight of their visit was all of us working together to plant our vegetable plot. As we finished on Saturday, the rain began. We’ve had a good soaking rain day after day since. I’m off to the garden to see if any plants are peeking out of the ground. Happy days.

What are you up to in order to nurture your spirit?

Happy Manic Wednesday! –Rebecca

Mental Wellness

A Tree and Sky Meditation

I find that if I rest on the grass by the tamarack tree twins, the earth changes my mood. If I am troubled or tired, after a ten minute break stretched out, I feel revived. I feel supported and cradled by the lawn, the soil, the rock, the isthmus. The earth’s electromagnetic field calms me. The energy resets the cycle of my internal rhythm.

I look through the leaf needles of the trees toward the sky, tracking the clouds. I breathe in symbiosis with the twins, new carbon dioxide for fresh air. Deep breaths, we exchange in turn.

I feel alive and content.

What makes you feel content?

Happy Manic Monday! –Rebecca

Tamarack Sky Photo: Rebecca Cuningham