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My experience with EMDR

Inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places, even from the office of your therapist. Therapy is a new revelation for me, but it is time to heal wounds from my childhood that have long remained. Pushing them deep down inside is a tragedy just waiting to happen. Last week, I located a therapist in our area that specializes in EMDR(Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). therapy for childhood trauma.

EMDR uses eye movement and mental imagery to replace negative thoughts with happy ones. That is what I take from the large textbook-like description from I also want people to know that it is a good option for anyone diagnosed with PTSD(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). PTSD acquired from childhood and war have both been successfully treated with as few as 3 EMDR sessions and as many as 10 to 12. Not only that, but many insurance companies pay for this therapy, because it has been studied and documented in its effectiveness.

So what of my first session? I think it was just first session. I did note lots of resentment towards my mother following the session. The session felt like a roller coaster of emotions, but primarily it evoked happy thoughts, which I believe is the point. My life at present is quite happy. I have a great support system via my husband and his extended family. I have two wonderful and very bouncy boys. My life is generally a very happy one, but until I face myself and these open wounds I can never truly heal. I no longer have to merely survive. I can get myself to a place so that I may thrive. The negative demons no longer have a place in my life.

You can follow along with my EMDR therapy progress here. I will blog about each session consecutively. Perhaps, this may help someone down the line and if this information helps just one person then it is worth putting my strife out there for all to read. Want to know more about my childhood trauma? Read more here and here. Positive feedback? Please comment below. Negative feedback? I have a sage stick with your name on it. Have a great Thanksgiving holiday everyone!

How to Make & Use a Smudge Stick
First off, you might not even know what a smudge stick is. A smudge stick is typically made of sage and looks like an earthy wand. It is used for the cleansing and clearing of negativity. Winter is quickly closing in and I have a bountiful herb garden growing in our backyard. Before the first real frost, I thought it a good idea to make as many smudge sticks as I could before winter when my sage will be in hibernation. I also had the inclination to use peppermint, a few lingering sprigs of lavender, and some calendula. Before I used those herbs, I needed to know the meaning of every herb I included to make sure this is something I wanted in my smudge stick.

The herbs I used in my smudge sticks(The herb meanings minus calendula were researched from this blog).

Desert Sage: used to drive out bad spirits, feelings, and influences. An important, strong, and herbaceous Native American plant. Burning for wealth, wisdom, knowledge, protection, and purification.

Peppermint: used for healing, protection, prosperity, growth, and renewal.

Lavender: used in love and healing rituals. Used to attract and protect relationships. Promotes sleep and peacefulness.

Lemongrass: used for psychic awareness and purification. 

Calendula: the states that calendula is used to bring comfort to those who are nervous and prone to fear. It is also used to temper anger and rash behavior.

When choosing your smudge stick ingredients. I believe you should follow your intuition while building your smudge sticks. I knew sage was good choice for cleansing negative energy, but all the other herbs I chose were on instinct. They are probably just the herbs I need right now for healing and cleansing. Calendula is something I desperately need in my smudge sticks right now.

How do you make your smudge stick? Making a smudge stick does not require a degree in aerospace engineering. Find cotton string and wrap your sticks tightly. Snip any dangling herbs and string with scissors. If you can wait, allow your smudge stick to dry for 2 to 3 weeks.

How to use your smudge sticks. Light the top of your smudge stick and let it burn. You can place it on a plate or take it to a particular room to cleanse negative energy. I suggest you follow your heart and do what feels right. There are many rituals for cleansing and I am not going to sit here and tell you that one way IS the way, because that is just not true.

Good luck making and using your smudge sticks. Do thorough research if you are looking to take it to the next level and do a cleansing ritual for yourself or your home.
Personal Mastery and Meditation.
Blooming in defiance of the season. Blooming in the eyes of adversity. This year, I have been on a spiritual journey. Progress has been made, but right now I feel stuck. Meditating at night has proven to not only be disruptive to my sleep, but everyone else's. My old home is also home to lingering energies from past residences and they are very interested in my new found hobby too. So, what does any good fighter do when faced with adversity? Push through of course, but perhaps also taking on a different perspective or direction.

Yesterday, I meditated during the day. Something I thought I did not want to do, because everything is so much more vivid at night. However, the nighttime vivid imagery is total chaos and the chattering of the mind constant. Needless to say, I did not make much progress. I did discover that I have the ability to tap into my intuition on a very deep level and even communicate with a young spirit living in our home. This was fabulous, but a very different part of me. Now, I want to go deeper within myself. Which I have to be honest, seems like a scary place. The ultimate spiritual goal? Personal mastery and spiritual enlightenment.

 "Personal mastery teaches us to choose. Choosing is a courageous act: picking the results and actions which you will make into your destiny." - Peter Senge
Mastering a skill is something we do from the moment we are born, but mastering ourselves is something few of us even consider as a possibility. I suppose personal mastery is the goal for me. Not only to unlock potential secrets of the universe, but to get to know me on a deeper level than ever before. My new strategy is meditating with my mala beads during the day for an hour everyday. I also wear turquoise and tiger's eye for protection. During the course of the previous week, I have been receiving images of someone very close to me that I believe will pass soon. At first, I was simply seeing his face. Yesterday, I had a nightmare that I was chasing after him and inside this nightmare I knew it would be the last time I would see him. He lay before me on a stretcher with multiple IVs and an intubation tube protruding from his mouth. He was dead.

I rarely dream...ever. This is significant for me. I cannot tell this person about these dreams, because I believe I am being prepared for the inevitable. I believe the wheel of fortune is turning and there is nothing that I can do to stop the events set in motion. Also, think of the pain I would cause my loved one by telling them about my scary nightmare. I refuse to do this.

My first real lesson in meditating has been to let go and to not be afraid.....and to meditate during the day. I would love to hear about your meditation journey in the comment section below. 

How to Make a Chalkboard Tabletop
This year for Halloween, I became obsessed with black furniture. I bought some chalkboard paint for some scary DIY craft projects, but then I wondered if I could use the chalkboard paint to renew a few tables for our Halloween party. Never one to venture from an unusual painting project, I decided to go for it! At best, we would have a fun chalkboard table during the winter months that the kids could create chalk masterpiece's on and at worst I would have to re-paint the whole piece. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

How to Make a Chalkboard Tabletop
I purchased Martha Stewart's multi-surface chalkboard paint in black. Martha Stewart and I have this love/hate relationship. Her products are of a great quality, but ungodly expensive. I decided, however, that her chalkboard paint is definitely worth the extra money. The bottle was only 6 fl oz. and I painted two tables with 2 to 3 coats each. Not bad, eh? The coverage is fantastic and it seems that it is fairly water hardy as well. I am pretty stoked and very happy with the results. If you have a home with lots of solid white rooms then a black table will really stand out and the black n' white combination is truly a classic.

Chalkboard furniture painting tips? Start by using thin brush strokes and allow your chalkboard paint to dry at least 12 hours before applying additional coats. You do not need to scrape or remove any old paint, but just make sure you have a clean and dry surface before you begin. That is it!

This was a really easy last minute project and a chalkboard painted table can be fun for everyone...including the big kids! Good luck with your next painting project my friends. Questions?? Just leave them below.
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