A Therapist in the Mother Zone

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Nerve: 12 Ways to Be Afraid (and Keep Your Cool)

Originally posted on Therese J. Borchard:

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Taylor Clark has written a very compelling and insightful book about anxiety, our amygdala (fear center in the brain), and, in general, what makes us freak out in his new book, “Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool.” It was hard to choose which stuff to excerpt, but ultimately I think his “12 Ways to Be Afraid” at the end was the most helpful … what to do with all the research we just learned.

“I’ve built up a short list of the most effective, proven methods that psychology and neuroscience have to offer,” writes Clark. “Fear is a fact of life. All we can do is learn how to be afraid in the right way. So herewith, a dozen quick tips to get us started.”

I’ve excerpted from and consolidated his 12 steps below.

1. Breathe.

By consciously controlling our…

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The twelfth day of august, the humidity brought to us splashing in the backyard

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Peas!

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The fourth day of august meant returning to Toronto, and reuniting with daddy after his trip (but I don’t have a picture of that). The 5th day of august involved a trip to the farmer’s market where we got peas! The boys eat them as fast as I can shell them.

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The third day of august was grey in Belleville, so it included some drawing, but also a trip to Wellington beach in prince Edward county, despite the clouds!

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The second day of august included making, and eating, chocolate chip cookies

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..and eating a lot of fruit!

The first day of august found us happily at my parents place

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two years with two children!

two years ago right now, i was still waiting for aaron peter to make his appearance. his due date was June 30 or July 1, and i was convinced he’d come early….and the evening of july 2 i was still waiting. at 11.30 pm, just as i went to make one last bathroom trip before bed BAM! my water broke, and a crazy hour and a half later aaron peter made his appearance outside the womb. poor guy was purple, he came out so fast….fortunately the purple faded:)

purple baby

purple baby

isaiah meeting aaron

isaiah meeting aaron

no more purple:)

no more purple:)

he's been our smiley guy for a long time (fortunately the rob ford resemblance has also faded!

he’s been our smiley guy for a long time (fortunately the rob ford resemblance has also faded!

these two years have been very challenging. i haven’t had a good night’s sleep in two years. my mood issues have worsened because of that, and because of the constant, incessant demands of two children. i (and we) have in a lot of ways been living in survival mode for two years.

and yet….these of been two years full of the incredible, almost inconceivable reality that a creature came out of my body, and a whole person is evolving out of that strange alien baby. and what a person! aaron peter exudes joy, delight, enthusiasm, and cuteness. he’s outgoing, clearly an extrovert, unafraid of people, of life, full of love. he gives the sweetest hugs and kisses. overall he really is truly is the laid back southern boy i requested! (though it must be said that he moves a little bit more quickly at this point in his life, than his southern daddy:))

last summer

last summer

he loves getting messy

he loves getting messy

beach baby

beach baby

i have no idea why his face is red

i have no idea why his face is red

DSCF5956 DSCF6031the cuteness just overwhelms me….God’s beauty shines through

 

Painting

the picture of aaron with a paintbrush in his hand kind of stresses me out, given aaron’s lack of willingness to stick to the ‘only on paper’ rule. the second picture, though, brings delight to my heart:)wpid-img_20140528_155721.jpgimage

loving my neighbour

below is a series of quotations that have arrived in my inbox over the course of the last month, thanks to a daily email service called inward/outward,  provided by church of the saviour in washington, dc. i’m collecting these passages here because of the contentious relationship we have with our neighbour–literally our neighbour, the person with whom we share a wall of the house.

as followers of jesus, stephen and i believe that radical love is the path to walk….but that’s always so much nicer in theory. when one’s neighbour is not easy to love, when she is becoming more and more aggressive in her hostility towards us, because of our children, it gets very difficult. when you hear her call out into the back yard for you and your children to hear “you’re a fucking asshole isaiah”….well, that takes love to a whole other level of difficulty.

dealing with my neighbour is the last thing i have time and energy for right now, but the escalation that has occurred over the last months is not losing steam, so i know we have to do something. and these darn quotations about love keep coming into my inbox!

Trying to Love
I find that it is better to love badly and faultily than not to try to love at all. God does not have to have perfect instruments, and the Holy One can use our feeble and faltering attempts at love and transform them. My task is to keep on trying to love, to be faithful in my continuing attempt, not necessarily to be successful

Morton Kelsey
Source: Companions on the Inner Way

Gestures of Love
A gesture of love is anything we do that helps others discover their humanity. Any act where we turn to one another. Open our hearts. Extend ourselves. Listen. Any time we’re patient. Curious. Quiet. Engaged.

Margaret Wheatley
Source: Turning to One Another

Death Into Life
We feel small and weak, but we are gathered together to signify the power of God who transforms death into life. That is our hope, that God is doing the impossible: changing death to life inside of each of us, and that perhaps, through our community, each one of us can be agents in the world of this transformation of brokenness into wholeness, and of death into life.

Jean Vanier
Source: Brokenness to Community

jean vanier also says everyone is beautiful. oh lord, help me to see her beauty.

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