Tag Archives: mindfulness

9 EZ PZ Ways to Happy Creative life with Special Video Snap of Nonconformity and the Creative Life

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“All our problems and all our unhappiness are created by our uncontrolled mind and our non-virtuous actions. By engaging in the practice of dharma, we can learn to pacify and control our mind, abandon non-virtuous actions and their root cause, and thereby attain permanent peace, the true cessation of all our suffering.” ~ Geshe Langri Tangpa of the Kadampa Lineage

Mindfulness is the Survivor’s greatest weapon when it comes to managing living with cancer and dealing with life’s daily fun filled challenges.  I wish that as part of the entire process after being diagnosed that the Integrative Oncology Wellness team would have been a part of the treatment team sixteen years ago.  This way whatever the treatment plan coordinates so that it involves the mind in the spirit. It was as though my body went through all of the horrifying side effects and the mind and spirit were left in a state of limbo and confusion for extended periods of time.  When the treatment was finished then I was given the all clear but there was nothing for what to do with my life from there with a new body and an unprepared mind.  I was not only going through this alone, I was also my mother’s caregiver and there was no support.  Now I find there is NO support for Survivors who live beyond the extended survival date.  All Wellness Programs relate to those who are undergoing treatment and those that fall outside of that window as I have been and continue to be turned away.  In essence there is no Support or Wellness programs available for survivors over 2 years.  This is WRONG!

So, I had to DYI my life and it was by using Mindfulness to deal with the Stress and to explore myself to find out what makes me happy now living with cancer.  Integrative Oncology didn’t exist in 2000.  Research has shown and Time Magazine has just done a special edition pointing out how Mindfulness is the way to a Happy and Healthy Life.  With that, I, as a neuroscientist, Survivor Advocate, 16 year survivor and writer am LIVING PROOF that mindfulness in conjunction with building a daily practice using jazz improvisational techniques, and for me Poetry is what gets me to Show Up as  Survivor who, through time found a path that some days are good and others not, but, I am not suffering as a result.  Who wouldn’t want a Happy solution….  So here are the 9 EZ steps to putting a little creativity into your way precious and valuable life.

Creativity – is having the ability or power to create.  It is characterized as living in the moment and evokes approaching life with originality or looking at life with a fresh perspective using your imagination and expressing yourself in a style that is uniquely You. Sounds cool right?  So why not live like this every day?  Sometimes the hardest part is taking the first step.

Here are 9 suggested inspired steps to help you start living a creative way of life:

  1. Be willing to try something new.

Step out of your daily routine and did something totally different? Take a dance class, go to a concert or try a new jazz club near you to experience something that is a departure from your normal routine.  Try a new radio station or grab a pencil and start sketching the trees in your own backyard or a park where you see children (they could be yours) take a vegan or gourmet cooking class @ a Natural Food Store to engage in a creative action. Creative thinking and creative action occurs when you decide that you want to jazz up your everyday life.

  1. Create something with your own hands on a regular basis.

Set the table following a layout from your favorite magazine, i.e., I like Coastal Living they have wonderful recipes and table settings that are really festive and different.  Make time to try something new. For example go to the art section of your favorite department store and come up with a theme for the centerpiece with flowers, object, etc.  Check out DYI sites on your computer.  It is a lot of fun when you do it as a family and or friend thing.

  1. Express yourself through movement it could be dancing to music or watch a classic film, game or performing arts of a play or opera. creativeStart a  writingor book club.

You have the option of creating whatever fun filled game board night, or learn a new dance step or routine to break away from your usual nightly routine.  It does not have to cost a lot of money, just use your imagination.

  1. Integrate Creativity into your daily life.

Begin by scheduling time on your calendar for it. You don’t have to go crazy.  Start off with maybe twice a month.  Make it an intention as you would when you are meditating for a positive and productive day.  Chances are you will not consider it foreign or uncomfortable because you are pacing yourself to experience life differently.   Pick your own pace and find Parks and recreation programs that go to Wine Country or Hiking or Ballroom Dancing where there is not a long term commitment and you can sign up without going into debt.  My cable company has dance, yoga, exercise as part of the cable package for free!

  1. Design or make something for your office or your room that is made by you.

Your surroundings are a reflection of your uniqueness. Inspiration is the catalyst for more creativity, grace and character.  So it is wonderful to surround yourself with objects that you make or you find in unusual places.  Hand-made objects evoke vivid memories as well as diversify your experiences.

  1. Find interesting and exotic creative spaces.

Museums, art shows or galleries, outdoor exhibits, theatres and outdoor performances will places remind and cultivate our innate creative abilities.

  1. Take time-outs or break for new inspiration

Inspiration is everywhere!  Check with friends, family, coworkers, etc. suggestions of creative ideas they enjoy.  Get the conversation on creativity going.

  1. Let your creative juices flow and explore everything!

Keep in touch with your creative network.  Dialog and you will both be inspired.

  1. Be a creative outlet.

Talk about unique and unusual experiences to friends, email, start a blog or a Creative Living Circle.  Just be relaxed and free to do whatever suits your fancy.

 At the end of the day, be yourself.  The possibilities are endless.  Just include love, compassion, grace, forgiveness and most of all YOU!  There is no right answer.  Not happy with a choice, just make another one.  And now for a short vid on nonconformity….You are here!  Peace and Love Out!  JBC 😎 & ❤

 

Copyright © 2016 by JM Fuller/Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick/. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ https://isurvivorchick.wordpress.com/.  Readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance for any or all of this content.

What Do Cancer Survivors and U.S. Veterans believe in common? There is more to being Alive than just Breathing and No, We are not Grateful Living Drenched in an Attitude of “Beggars Can’t be Choosers…”

Homeless-and-Happy
Homeless-and-Happy

Jazz is smooth and cool. Jazz is rage. Jazz flows like water. Jazz never seems to begin or end. Jazz isn’t methodical, but jazz isn’t messy either. Jazz is a conversation, a give and take. Jazz is the connection and communication between musicians. Jazz is abandon.  ~ Nat Wolff

Actually, I don’t know what other survivors think because for the past 20 years I have been living in the margins of American life.  Of course I could blame this on something common like the neuropathy that took me down from a very active and productive life, which I never heard of before. I was paralyzed.  Or maybe the oh so common theme for the baby boomers was it was …”the rents fault” even better the man, anti-establishment, blah, blah blah.

I was born with a successful jazz arranger/conductor father who, you wouldn’t know it by looking at him, was a straight up, no holds barred, chauvinist of the more traditionally drenched deadly type.  He felt that the best way he could protect me from the “bad” things in life was to control mom’s and mine.

He wrote a song for me when I was 4 apparently it was a contract he made with himself to enforce it.  I spent most of my childhood in my room.  Not chained to a radiator but imprisoned by some undefined sense of  guilt, a duty as a daughter and powerless to do otherwise.  I grew up all jazz.  Not complaining, just that it is yet another layer that is so opaque that the truth became buried in pages in the books I read and poetry I wrote for an audience of one.  That changed in 1965 which for me was when I had truly fallen in love with music, words, and the Blank Space of which was filled with wonderful possibilities.

Being a Survivor comes in many layers and over the past twenty years the layers have gotten thicker.   Jazz is all about conversation.  It is when freedom of expression is allowed.  Where being totally present is a requirement.  Well there were three conversations I had with my father,  but this one is the one that not only confirmed my suspicions that this conversation revealed what my father felt about himself.  Ever since I was eleven years old I thought it was my fault that I was not the girl he wrote the song for and if he didn’t love me why should I? What remained in my heart was the last words that clang through my head to this day…  Funny thing I loved him no matter what and followed him everywhere in 1965 like a “mini-me” of him throughout all of the rehearsals and live performance.  But, those words some twenty five years after still cut through my heart with the same fear and anger…

”You brought this on yourself!  I told you that I am only doing what is best for you.  You can’t come back home and stop calling your mother at work you will get her fired.  Welcome to the Harsh Reality of Doing it Your Way!”

I didn’t say a word as the phone lay propped against my quaking chin slippery from the tears that fell from a shackled tree.  My arms lay dead at my side and my legs on fire and numb at the same time.  It was hours before I was set to begin my eight treatments of Plasmapheresis which drained my blood and replaced it with human albumin.  Now this was the only treatment for this neuropathy.  As a neuroscientist  the experiments done in the lab were what I thought were noble,  to find new pathways for nerve growth in spinal chord injuries or regenerating bone cells there was through electromagnetic fields were done on the body without any consideration of what was going on in the patient’s mind and spirit.  It is conceivable to not be concerned when we are talking about dogs, or cats, monkeys or rats.  But humans,  that is where we are now and I am terribly frightened that the Frankenstein syndrome has taken affect.  That life has been reduced to materialistic and is quantified by increasing the years of survival.  So the plan is to keep chasing the cure and forget about the carnage of the survivors left to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives.  Somehow I am having a hard time separating my father’s last words and how I feel when I even think of the word “Survivor”.

Actually, until now, I wish I was given the right and the choice to decide for myself because I am living with the unintended consequences that through no fault of mine I got GBS, Uterine and Breast Cancer, I now have Lymphedema I can’t afford treatment for and of course with being a 62 year old, single, female, missing body parts, weakened and rapidly deteriating neuropathy and being treated and feeling like I should feel lucky that I am alive, I don’t think so…It sucks.  And it is rightfully my choice with respect to the astronomical cost to save my life when I can’t afford to stay alive because of the circumstances.  Nobody seems to care.  They suggest therapy because they have accomplished their goal.  Now the rest is up to me?  NOT!  In the next posts will delve into the mindfulness of being a Survivor or the Secret Life of a Survivor…

So mindfully, Mary Oliver’s poem resonates so loudly in my soul…”Every day, I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight.”

Mindful
by Mary Oliver

Every Day
I see or hear
something
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It is what I was born for—
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world—
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant—
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these—
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

Copyright © 2016 by JM Fuller/Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick/. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ https://isurvivorchick.wordpress.com/.  Readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance for any or all of this content.

3 EZ PZ Self Care Happy Beats When the Forecast ain’t nothing but the Blues

 

Mindfulness and the techniques I learned from jazz improvisation that my father taught me as well as using my love of literary and visual arts saved my life.  Through developing a practice over the past 25 years, I have learned to rewire my mind through neuroplasticity techniques so that I am not stuck in “Victim” mode feeling more helpless than I did before I received the diagnosis.  I realized that it would have been ideal if there was a Mindfulness meditative or visualization that was introduced in order to start thinking and building a practice that you have control over and will give relief from the stresses of the treatment, but it allows you to be an active participant in your life.  Once the body was taken care of, they give me a big ass smile and a slap on the back telling me that you are all set.  We have saved your life, now, the rest is up to you.  Now, if you have the ideal situation, you know, this whole cancer business is just a dream and I am cured so I can go back to what I was doing.  That is not true in my case.  And beause I am so damn good at taking care of my self, pampering and doing things that before the diagnosis I thought was decadent.

Here are three mindfulness improvisation self care tips that will leave bad habits in the dust and shed light into your life bringing you to your very special happy place.

Here is one of my Happiest Beats from my childhood…

If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are — if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time. ~ Joseph Campbell

Mindfulness is your portal to be present in your daily life. For me mindfulness in concert with techniques from jazz improvisation is a way for me to live creatively in the moment and not emotionally reacting to everything  and everyone. When we live in the present it allows us to let go of the pain of the past and the worries or expectations of the future so we can focus on what we have now. It is not a matter of denial or I will be happy with a million bucks or all of my bills are paid because the price of living is that bills will always be there.  There will always be an expense for living.  Finding gratitude for the things we do, even the smallest thing gives me a sense of peace.  Worry over being able to meet our daily lives takes us out of ourselves and life, then seems like an uphill battle and we lose sight of the present moment.  We get caught up and eventually will disappear from our lives.  Mindfulness gives you the choice of what to focus on and redirects the mind to stop letting the past shape and distort the future and lose the present moment.  You no longer dwell on things you cannot change and rely and react emotionally to them which can be quite exhausting. One of the biggest perks of mindfulness is that you can minimize anxiety and stress. Living in the moment and creatively brings more joy, clarity, wellness and energy.

The best way to cultivate mindfulness is through meditation   So how can you do this?  When you  meditate you can  detach yourself and become a witness or an observer and it will release you to explore ways that work for you.  Now it takes a whole lot of practice and finding a different perspective to help you to find your happy quiet space between those thoughts. You quiet your ego driven, obsessive thinking (“monkey mind”, and start responding instinctively. Meditation allows you to relax and to listen to your inner spirit that will allow your thoughts to detach and flow. This is the Happy Place, where you begin awakening and manifesting your dreams.  You are now in touch with who you really are; with what matters most to you as well as becomes your way of improvising on life  so you face adversity and the challenges in your daily routine imparting your own style.

Here are three mindfulness improvisation tips for self care that will leave bad habits in the dust and shed light into your life bringing you to your very special happy place.

#1: . Get Your Mind into it:  Mindfulness Meditation 

When I started 20 years ago I began  with ten, then fifteen minute meditation twice a day.  First thing in the morning and then again in the evening at the end of your day.   Here is one of my favorites.

Mindfulness Meditation – Quick 15 Min Stress Relief Version

If you want to fold it into your daily routine begin with eating a healthy, balanced diet that would include fresh organic food.  Or how about a walking meditation or yoga class to help you to connect with your body that helps you to center yourself, and find balance?   The benefits are a good night’s sleep that will rejuvenate and detoxify your mind and body.

#2: Taking Good Care of Yourself

Your objective ~ to connect with those things that truly make you happy. Target that thing, place, or activity that creates space every day.  This is not negotiable and a top priority.  A total Ah Ha! Moment!

Block out time in your day—take five minutes or an hour — start with a time frame you are most comfortable with.  Do something you love. Listen to music, read a good book, sit in silence by the water or a fire, or even try dancing in your bare feet in the living room. Give yourself a star on your calendar every time you do it. Believe me, you will feel more inspired and creative.

#3:   Flow with an Attitude of Gratitude

You can start by counting your blessings!  This lets you realize how good your life truly is and connects you with the abundance in your life.  I have found that it attracts more prosperity and is way more rewarding.. Surround yourself with what you think is beautiful, and be grateful for it in your home, your work space, your clothes, I think you get the picture.

I love to take this time and combine it with my nightly 15 minute mindfulness meditation routine just before bed.  It is a perfect way to open your heart and to dream beautiful dreams.  Mind you, I am no spring chicken and that it does not happen overnight.  I am also a late bloomer so some folks get right away and then there are folks like me that work at it until it takes hold and opens your heart and life to the wonders and joy of life’s possibility.  Give it a go.  Peace and love out!

Copyright © 2016 by JM Fuller/Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick/. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ https://isurvivorchick.wordpress.com/.  Readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance for any or all of this content.