Mental Wellness

Every Little Thing I See

As a child I noticed flowers every once and a while when I came across them. As an adult they form the patchwork quilt of my thoughts. Every summer walk I am compelled to take photos of the flowers in our neighborhood. I find it difficult to pass by the opportunity to capture the fleeting floral images. I stop, I crouch, I stand on tip toe, I lean. Finding the camera angle and time of day to take the best picture is like a meditation. Results vary; a few photos shine, a few photos fail, but the time behind the lens brings me joy. Sharing photos on my websites has doubled my joy.

What do you love to do?

Happy Manic Moon-day! –Rebecca

For more nature photos see: https://fakeflamenco.com/2021/08/28/fotd-satellite-dish-or-hibiscus-bloom/

Maiden’s Bower Photo: Rebecca Cuningham
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
Mental Wellness

Why Can’t I Sleep?

Several nights a month I can’t turn off my thoughts when I lie down to sleep. If I don’t get enough z’s, my mental health suffers a lot. Without good rest I am more snappish and get upset more easily. What snares do I prepare for myself? I’ve compiled a list of my sleep devils and angels.

Sleep Devils

These rob me of shut eye:

  1. Watching TV or blogging too late in the evening.
  2. Staying indoors all day.
  3. No exercise.
  4. Forget to journal or skip writing.
  5. Leaving the internet on or my phone on my nightstand.
  6. Family members waking up in the night.
  7. Worrying about finances, COVID, family members, career.
  8. Caffeine, including chocolate.

Sleep Angels

This is how I get my best night’s sleep:

  1. Remembering to stop my blue screen time two hours before bedtime. Blue screen light makes my brain think that it is daytime.
  2. Enjoying fresh air outdoors, or near an open window at least 15 minutes a day.
  3. Walking for 15 to 30 minutes a day.
  4. Putting my thoughts to bed by writing in my journal.
  5. Remembering to plug my phone in outside of the bedroom and unplug the internet overnight. (Electric Magnetic Frequency of electrical devices can lower our melatonin levels, which we need to help us feel sleepy. They can disrupt our circadian rhythm.)
  6. Asking my partner to sleep in the other room if their bedtime is past 2 am. That’s a boundary, but if our child has a nightmare, I’m there.
  7. Meditating for 15 minutes a day, with mindful breathing feeling the air enter and leave my nose. That calms me a lot, as does journaling.
  8. No eating chocolate after lunch time.

What are your sleep angels or devils?

Happy Manic Monday! –Rebecca

Sleeping Child Photo: Vanessa Kay
Mental Wellness

Dirt Under the Nails Set

I adore digging in the dirt. I like the loamy texture, the rich smells, the meditation of weeding.

Dig

I set my left foot, then my right on the shovel

years on kid stilts giving me me the balance

to wiggle back and forth leaning into it

then I hop off and up on the left again

for good measure, scoop dirt to the side

planting bulbs, perennials and vegetables.

–Rebecca Cuningham

Gaia’s Furrows

Good soil loved for years, whole century before me

the joy of color, of herbs, of growing food

the earth, present for all creatures and us the

stewards of her bounty; guardians of her waters

I lay my sanity at Gaia’s feet and she never fails me.

Every season has its task, its joys, its harmonies.

Rain and sun and snow bring us to life

we the tiny seeds so briefly on the earth.

The rhythm of the seasons matches our lives

Flower and pollinate while ye may.

For tomorrow is winter when tender stalks

sleep ‘neath blankets of snow til March.

–Rebecca Cuningham

Do you till the earth?

Happy Manic Monday! –Rebecca

Purple Clematis Photo: Rebecca Cuningham