‘I actually created a tarot deck.. What I’m shuffling now, came from my very own brain.. a part of me is in these cards. The deck is me…’ I was thinking all of this as I shuffled some more. Awaiting its wisdom, I held my breath and drew… the one card that pretty much said it all. I had to laugh. This deck is so me.
We had a hungry little visitor today! The Happy Squirrel.. so vague and mysterious…
I found SuperBetter.com literally just yesterday, after watching one of the TED Talks with Jane McGonigal. I was a little skeptical at first. The video seemed interesting but I wasn’t entirely convinced that it could help me. I admit that the beginning just seems like a push for people to play more video games, but it does get more interesting closer to the end and does shift to focusing more on health and wellness. The SuperBetter site itself is made to feel like a simple game. Find little ways to improve aspects in your life and find healing by completing tasks, collecting allies, gaining power ups and defeating the bad guys. Who doesn’t love unlocking achievements and completing quests? It all sounded really easy – and fun – so I decided to give it a try. I think the video is worth the watch, and I hope that doing these daily small tasks on SuperBetter will help with my anxiety and stress in the long run. And really, who doesn’t want to live an extra 10 years?
One of the ‘quests’ on SuperBetter is to write a list of all my worries, stresses and fears, and then make a separate list of all the things I’m happy about, grateful for, and find enjoyable right now. So I made my negative list first, and to be honest, my negative list was long. Really long. I was getting a little worried there that my positive list would not be as long as the negative one. But interestingly enough, once I started the positive list, I found that I could really keep going on and on with this list as well.. I was worried my negative list would overwhelm my positive list, but this was not the case. How enlightening, really! How wonderful life is, no matter how negative you may feel at times.
Here’s my positive list from that exercise, because really, that’s what matters the most:
I am grateful for…
- my mom who goes above and beyond to bring me happiness
- my dad who will do whatever it takes to help me with anything and everything
- my brothers who have always been there to help me in any way, and have always looked out for me
- my friends, always there for me through it all to create fantastic memories
- the love of my life, so incredibly understanding, loving, and everything I could ever hope for
- this magnificent country with its magnificent people, health care, opportunities and equality
- television. really. my place to get away, my time to escape and live in another world with crazy friends and stories to stay with me always
- my health. yes there are hiccups but I am so grateful for how I am now when there is so much suffering in the world
- having a roof over my head, a fridge full of food, heat warming my toes, and light where there is darkness above
- creating artwork that has actually had an impact on someone’s life
- the internet. what wonders that have come from it that have had an impact on my life
- being able to travel over 2000 miles, to be able to see the clouds from above: a sight some may never see in their life
- music. it really is life changing
- my culture, its traditions and how proud I am to be who I am
- books. I can learn anything and everything from the words laid before me
- inside jokes. who doesn’t love a silly secret
- being able to (almost) find an app to help me with anything!
- the new year. new beginnings. new outlooks.
- laughter. without it, what is the point in living, really?
Creating a full tarot card was one of the biggest projects that I’ve probably ever completed. It still boggles my mind that I managed to finish The Animism Tarot. It felt like I was spending all of my waking hours working on it: writing down ideas, researching symbolisms and meanings and interpretations, sketching and painting and MORE writing.. that when I finally finished it, had the deck in my hands and everything was published, I felt a little, well, lost! I didn’t really know what to do with myself after that. The creating process was over.
Of course, life went on after that and I started other pieces of artwork: more greeting cards and jewellery and things like that. But there was that nagging thought in my head that my tarot creating days were not over.
Over the last while, that thought has been digging deeper and deeper into my brain. I’ve briefly thought about different ideas for a new tarot deck, and there is one idea that has stood out to me since finishing The Animism Tarot. But time will tell; I’ll continue to brainstorm and contemplate about the direction of this possible deck.. but I’m pretty sure that this idea won’t go away until it becomes completed…because that’s how it always works!
I deal with anxiety. A lot! My life is one worry after the next, and that kind of sucks. So I got my hands on The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook recently, because really, I don’t think I can really overcome something without really understanding it first. I haven’t read a lot of it yet, but these workbooks, like The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, are incredibly thorough and informative. Reading about different anxiety disorders and the questions that the book asks, I’m certain that I’m dealing with “Generalized Anxiety Disorder”..
“Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by chronic anxiety that persists for at least six months *but is unaccompanied by panic attacks, phobias, or obsessions.* You simply experience persistent anxiety and worry without the complicating features of other anxiety disorders. To be given a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, your anxiety and worry must focus on two or more stressful life circumstances (such as finances, relationships, health, work problems, or school performances) a majority of days during a six-month period. It’s common, if you’re dealing with generalized anxiety disorder, to have a large number of worries and to spend a lot of your time worrying. Yet you find it difficult to exercise much control over your worrying. Moreover, the intensity and frequency of the worry are always out of proportion to the actual likelihood of the feared events happening.
“In addition to frequent, hard-to-control worry, generalized anxiety disorder involves having at least three of the following six symptoms (with some symptoms present more days than not over the past six months):
- tense – feeling keyed up
- being easily fatigued
- difficulty concentrating
- muscle tightness
- difficulties with sleep”
Well, I can’t say that I necessarily suffer from depression, but anxiety sure makes things depressing! I really do appreciate this book though.. it’ll further discuss ways to deal with anxieties and maybe, fingers crossed, I can really use these methods in my life. I really need to push myself to read more.. without my worries distracting me!
Do you suffer from anxiety? How do you deal with it?
I’ve missed you, blog land! I’m away for the holidays, where the sun shines bright, palm trees are decorated with Christmas lights, and the only “snow” around here is made out of styrofoam (that will always amuse this Canadian.) No real snow for me this Christmas, but that’s okay when you’re surrounded by fluffy kitties.