Monthly Archives: October 2011

Changing Your World…One Idea at a Time: October 2011

October 2011-

Emotional Wellness-

Patricia Potts

Stress Management. Is this really Possible?

Guest Column by Lena Baron:

Stress Management. Is this really possible?! I ask myself this question every day. Especially as I go through my Stress Management course this semester. I know I said that I was going to blog all of my Stress Management diary posts. But some just don’t need to go public.:)

Last week I read every word of the chapter that was assigned. By the time I was finished I found myself in a stupor of frustration, yet wonder. Especially as I read about Maslow’s theory about Self-Actualization. I believe that he has hit it pretty close on what our potential is for true inner peace. I just don’t have a clue how it’s possible to find the time to take the time to reach the steps as a crazy mother of three busy boys. I can barely gather my thoughts to blog let alone analyze my inner self and it’s thoughts. I NEED TO though! I have said before that I need to get away and write. I really believe that that will be the only way for me to sift through my inner self. And that will take an insane amount of planning and inconvenience for way too many people. So how do I maintain the ounce of sanity I have at the moment?


I’ve taken more afternoon’s off in the last couple of months then I have… ever. Outings just for myself. Mostly to go to the Spa (it really helps to know the owner;).

I’ve listened to meditation and relaxation programs before I fall asleep. This has been a good experience. I hope to find more and explore this avenue.

I breath more. Seriously.

I’ve laughed out loud as much as possible.

That’s how I’ve maintained this week.

New Music Studio For Guitar Students

Yea!  We have a performing group complete with new mikes, drums, electric piano, bass, rhythm and electric guitar and we now have a room to rock out!!  It has been so much fun!  Stay tuned for performance times and dates.

 

Needle in a Haystack?

When I was in Elementary School I went to a Church activity.  That night Spenc Pock sat on a haystack and sang to us.  The lights were low and there was a light directly on him.  I was mesmerized by the rhythm and message.  I was captivated as if I were the only one in the room. 

That night I decided that one day I would play guitar and one day I would sing for others on a haystack. 

I found pictures of haystacks and I drew haystacks and for years I dreamed of my goal, pondered about it and prayed about it.  When I was shopping at Walmart at the first of October I found a lonely bale of hay in a center aisle.   I took it home and let it be part of our POTTS PIZZA POP GUITAR PARTY in October. 

Yea! I finally got to sit on a haystack and sing to a group of people.

Dreams really do come true and sometimes we do find needles in our haystacks!

 SATURDAY BLOGS

I am now a guest blogger on Saturdays for Latter-day Women Magazine online.  Join me for short stories and tips guaranteed to increase your emotional health!

http://latterdaywoman.com/

(click on the brown box farthest to your left J)

 

Workshop available at House of Hope on October 20, 2011.

No cost.

1:45 PM

If you are interested in coming contact me at patripotts@gmail.com

Workshops available at SLCC on November 1st at 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Email me for further information. patripotts@gmail.com

New Workshops in the Works for 2012!!

Kerri and I have often wished we had more time during presentations to churches, schools etc.  Then the idea struck us that we could share what we have through extended workshops!

Therefore, we plan to begin a 4 part workshop in January. The cost is $10.00 (50% will be donated to NAMI.) It will be held in my home and include more hands-on exercises.  We are excited about this idea and would love to add you to the waiting list.  Please sign up at patriciapotts.com.  Let us know whether daytime or evening works best for you on a Tuesday or Thursday.

Let’s start 2012 in a great way!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yea!  My book is now available on Nook and Kindle for just $2.99!!!!

 

Advertisements

Another Challenge?

Another Challenge?
By Patricia Potts

I have a dear friend who just lost twins at 20 months along. She lost her previous baby about the same time to down syndrome.

My heart hurt as I visited her shortly after her hospital stay. As we sat on the couch I felt her pain and sorrow as we watched her 4 year old son play with his toys…alone.

Her arms were empty and her soul was numb as once again we talked about the path that lay ahead. As I drove home tears fell and once again I wondered why it had to be this way. Why so many trials in just two years and then I remembered a lesson from my life long ago when I was pregnant and living through a devastating depression.

The Day Will Come
I glanced at the clock that read 2 A.M. then sat perched on the side of the bed in my nightgown, with my arms folded on top of my rounded belly. Quickly I wiped tears from my face and took a deep breath. As Dan placed his hands on my head I prayed for guidance, for help and for hope. Then through the power of the Holy Ghost the words Dan spoke through my Father in Heaven began to bless me, soothe me and teach me. They permeated our quiet room and my trembling ebbed as Father’s message entered my heart.
As I sat there I could visualize myself receiving a similar blessing before I came to receive my earthly experience. It was as though I was viewing a video of my past. I saw my Father placing His hands upon my head and felt a great love for Him and an immense respect as well as His deep love for me and His confidence in my ability to succeed. I could imagine my Heavenly Father telling me that I would have experiences on earth that I would need in order to return to Him again. Among the experiences He named was that of depression. Through the blessing I was promised that “one day this will be a blessing to you, your family, and all those around you.”
Dan completed the blessing in the name of Jesus Christ and I opened my eyes. Warmth and love replaced the shaking and fear. Dan and I embraced each other and wept. Although it was hard to believe just how this hellish experience with depression could ever be a blessing, at least now I knew that it wasn’t just a lack of character, a fatal flaw or a terrible imperfection…. It was part of my life’s experience that God somehow meant to use to benefit myself and others.
The blessing helped me in my recovery and gave life more meaning, making me want to live again. Knowing that my depression was something I had agreed to experience helped me to overcome part of my guilt. Although it didn’t by any means solve all the questions and problems that were swimming around in my confused head, it did provide hope.

-My Journey from Darkness to Light by Patricia Potts LDS version

Many years have come and gone since that dark night. I saw the fulfillment of the blessing as I have written books and spoken to hundreds of men and women about understanding and overcoming depression.

As I finished driving home from my friend’s house I had a quiet feeling that the loss of her babies would someday be a blessing as she reached out with compassion to others. I believe it could have been one of those “agreed upon” experiences.

The next time another trial comes my way I hope I’ll remember that blessing so long ago when in the dark of the night a light was born.

Falling Into the Hole

My story begins last week at the Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida. My husband and I went to Disneyworld following his business seminar. I felt a headache coming on fast as we approached the France exhibit. I slumped against the wall onto the carpeted floor and told him to go ahead without me. I nursed my head while he was gone for a 20 minute presentation in the next room. During his absence I got some Excedrin and a coke, and then took my glasses off to rub my eyes. When Dan returned I was ready to take his hand and he helped me up. We walked and I felt thankful that my head was better but when I reached up to adjust my new $250.00 glasses I discovered they had disappeared.

“Oh no” I groaned,” I took them off to rub my eyes. “

While Dan ran back to the France exhibit, guilt began playing its well-rehearsed dance on the stage of my mind. After an hour of fruitless search and inquiries Dan returned to report that the glasses were gone. Ugh.

The last two hours at Disneyland were subdued for me. “If only” and “What if” swarmed in my head, threatening to resurrect my headache. Not even Disney’s fireworks blasted the fog from my mind. Dan tried to help by saying “Honey, these things happen. If they are lost, they are lost; we’ll just have to order new ones.”

But his words fell on deaf ears as my own self-talk shouted, “You are so stupid; you wasted all his time, now we’ll have to spend the money, make the time to get new ones.”

That night we got to bed past midnight and we had to get up at 4 AM to catch a plane home.

We managed to return the rental car and get in line for a security check in plenty of time, but when my backpack went through the scanner I was pulled aside. The officer found two unopened cans of pop. Double Ugh. When she rescanned the bag she also found suntan lotion. Triple ugh. In my frustration I also left my laptop and jacket on the ramp. Dan had to bring me my lap top and another woman asked if the sweater was mine. Quadruple ugh!

By now tears were forming, threatening to erupt right in front of the security officer. I felt as though I had fallen into my own private hole of stupidity lined with “ughs.” All I wanted to do was disappear before one more ugh landed on me. I plopped onto a chair beside Dan with my offending backpack. I dared anyone to look at me or say anything to me as hot tears finely escaped and fell from my unshielded eyes down reddened cheeks.

“Are you all right?” Dan asked

Without even bothering to look at him I responded through gritted teeth, “I will be!”

As we waited for our flight I put my head in my hands and wondered how long it would take to climb out of the hole this time. It felt five feet deep and very confining.

Climbing out of the Hole

There are many ideas that help me pull out of negative emotional holes. They are often as varied as the problem itself, but here are some ideas that helped this time around.

Prayer. Always needed
Sleep. if needed. I was able to get a few hours of sleep on the plane. Three more when we arrived home.
Friends. During part of the time Dan was looking for my glasses I used my cell phone to call friends and daughters so they could help me begin to put perspective on the situation. I was also blessed to meet a new friend on the plane.
Temporary Solutions. Pulling out a pair of old glasses once we got home allowed me to get back to semi-normal life instead of squinting until I could get new ones.
Recovery Meetings. I went to an LDS Recovery Support group. It helped me so much to be around people who are letting-go-and-letting-God
Music. I enjoy listening to Pandora. I choose my favorite inspirational artists and songs.
Exercise. A simple walk helped get the endorphins going.
CTR instead of CTW. It took little effort to count the wrong about myself but counting the right helped me climb out. It can be as simple as giving myself credit for having a driver’s license!
Cognitive Therapy. Paper and pencil can do wonders. A more thorough explanation can be found in my article: “Leafing Your negative Feelings Behind,” in Latter-Day Woman Magazine as well as my website: patriciapott.com.
Stress reducing supplements. I took Be Calm and Neurozone
Do something. Running to the store was helpful because it put my mind on something else
Laughter. Dan was laughing about the airport event within hours. It took me days before I could even smile about any of it, but when I did, a smile, laughter, and writing this blog helped.
Whether you have lost your keys or your glasses or done something else that doesn’t exactly qualify as a brilliant move, I hope that along with prayer these simple ideas will help you as much as they helped me. Life at the top of the hole is much more pleasant.

By Guest Blogger – Patricia Potts

http://www.patriciapotts.com

http://www.speak2myheart.com

I Feel Soooo Dumb!

Falling Into the Hole

My story begins last week at the Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida. My husband and I went to Disneyworld following his business seminar. I felt a headache coming on fast as we approached the France exhibit. I slumped against the wall onto the carpeted floor and told him to go ahead without me. I nursed my head while he was gone for a 20 minute presentation in the next room. During his absence I got some Excedrin and a coke, and then took my glasses off to rub my eyes. When Dan returned I was ready to take his hand and he helped me up. We walked and I felt thankful that my head was better but when I reached up to adjust my new $250.00 glasses I discovered they had disappeared.

“Oh no” I groaned,” I took them off to rub my eyes. “

While Dan ran back to the France exhibit, guilt began playing its well-rehearsed dance on the stage of my mind. After an hour of fruitless search and inquiries Dan returned to report that the glasses were gone. Ugh.

The last two hours at Disneyland were subdued for me. “If only” and “What if” swarmed in my head, threatening to resurrect my headache. Not even Disney’s fireworks blasted the fog from my mind. Dan tried to help by saying “Honey, these things happen. If they are lost, they are lost; we’ll just have to order new ones.”

But his words fell on deaf ears as my own self-talk shouted, “You are so stupid; you wasted all his time, now we’ll have to spend the money, make the time to get new ones.”

That night we got to bed past midnight and we had to get up at 4 AM to catch a plane home.

We managed to return the rental car and get in line for a security check in plenty of time, but when my backpack went through the scanner I was pulled aside. The officer found two unopened cans of pop. Double Ugh. When she rescanned the bag she also found suntan lotion. Triple ugh. In my frustration I also left my laptop and jacket on the ramp. Dan had to bring me my lap top and another woman asked if the sweater was mine. Quadruple ugh!

By now tears were forming, threatening to erupt right in front of the security officer. I felt as though I had fallen into my own private hole of stupidity lined with “ughs.” All I wanted to do was disappear before one more ugh landed on me. I plopped onto a chair beside Dan with my offending backpack. I dared anyone to look at me or say anything to me as hot tears finely escaped and fell from my unshielded eyes down reddened cheeks.

“Are you all right?” Dan asked

Without even bothering to look at him I responded through gritted teeth, “I will be!”

As we waited for our flight I put my head in my hands and wondered how long it would take to climb out of the hole this time. It felt five feet deep and very confining.

Climbing out of the Hole

There are many ideas that help me pull out of negative emotional holes. They are often as varied as the problem itself, but here are some ideas that helped this time around.

Prayer. Always needed
Sleep. if needed. I was able to get a few hours of sleep on the plane. Three more when we arrived home.
Friends. During part of the time Dan was looking for my glasses I used my cell phone to call friends and daughters so they could help me begin to put perspective on the situation. I was also blessed to meet a new friend on the plane.
Temporary Solutions. Pulling out a pair of old glasses once we got home allowed me to get back to semi-normal life instead of squinting until I could get new ones.
Recovery Meetings. I went to an LDS Recovery Support group. It helped me so much to be around people who are letting-go-and-letting-God
Music. I enjoy listening to Pandora. I choose my favorite inspirational artists and songs.
Exercise. A simple walk helped get the endorphins going.
CTR instead of CTW. It took little effort to count the wrong about myself but counting the right helped me climb out. It can be as simple as giving myself credit for having a driver’s license!
Cognitive Therapy. Paper and pencil can do wonders. A more thorough explanation can be found in my article: “Leafing Your negative Feelings Behind,” in Latter-Day Woman Magazine as well as my website: patriciapott.com.
Stress reducing supplements. I took Be Calm and Neurozone
Do something. Running to the store was helpful because it put my mind on something else
Laughter. Dan was laughing about the airport event within hours. It took me days before I could even smile about any of it, but when I did, a smile, laughter, and writing this blog helped.
Whether you have lost your keys or your glasses or done something else that doesn’t exactly qualify as a brilliant move, I hope that along with prayer these simple ideas will help you as much as they helped me. Life at the top of the hole is much more pleasant.

By Guest Blogger – Patricia Potts

http://www.patriciapotts.com

http://www.speak2myheart.com

I Worry Too Much

I Worry Too Much!
I used to say “I worry too much.”
I thought worrying equated to caring. I would worry about what others thought of me, I’d worry about what they thought of my children, I’d worry if someone was mad or sad or indifferent and even about whether my dress was as nice as others I saw at church. That is until I learned the W2W formula.
Fear seized my heart as I heard of men being called up for duty into
the military. My husband was an active reservist and I knew he could
be one of those called. For three days I lived and dreamed in fear and
Imagined what it would be like if he left us and yes, if he were killed.
It was hard to function from day to day. Finally, I realized I must face
my fear head on. Prayerfully I took a notebook and wrote what I would
do if worse came to worse(W2W). The quiet promise of faith in specific ways
as I wrote and I received keys that opened the bars to my self-made prison, and once again I was able to function . – First Aid for Feelings by Patricia Potts
Exactly how do you do W2W?
1. Pray for help and inspiration
2. Write down what you are worrying about. Include any fears associated with it. Here is my W2W from this morning: It has been 3 days since we have heard from our son. He is in Afghanistan in the middle of an ugly war. The last time we heard from him, his unit was under fire. I am worried he will be killed. I am worried that if he is not killed he will come home maimed or brain dead. I am worried that I won’t be able to handle it. I am worried that we won’t hear for days, weeks or months about how he is. This is monopolizing my life!
3. Face your worst fears as if they actually happened.
What if he was killed?—I know that he will be received by Jesus and allowed to learn the remaining lessons he needs. We could do the temple work for him. We could continue to pray for him
What if he was maimed? – This would be very difficult, but I know the Army would offer help. We could fix up the guest room for him. God would give us the strength to handle it. The ward would help.
You get the idea.
4. Do what you can do and remember the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Whether you are facing addictions, divorce or simply worrying about small things, the next time you find yourself saying, “I am worrying too much,” remember W2W. Most Importantly, remember the comforting comfort of our Savior that we will surely find as we put our trust in Him.

Patricia Potts August 2011 Newsletter: Tips and Tools for More Sane Living (is there such a thing?)

Hello Everyone!  I am so excited about my new website!  Laura Lee has worked hard to make it more user friendly and to allow me to put my own newsletters on! Wow!

My Pops

This month I lost my dad who I lovingly called Pops. He was 83 years old and suffered from cancer.  It was a sweet experience to help out each week for the last few months of his life.  My most painful time was the night after he died when I woke up sobbing and missing him.  Our daughter prepared a video show of his life that is priceless.  I am so thankful for technology that allows his memories to live on  in such a beautiful way. Dad kissed me at my wedding

Piggy Back

One of my favorite childhood pastimes was going piggy back.  As a mom I played the horse more than once.  Now I use the same concept when I want to “get around” to doing something but have a hard time finding the time.

Lately I was thinking of how much I wanted to work on playing the guitar and blogging.

Is There Purpose in Pain?


Is there really purpose in pain?

Recently my husband and I visited dear friends who live in St. George, Utah. Our 57-year-old friend Dave, who we have known since high school, has had such severe back problems that he is functionally disabled. He spent days, months and now years mostly in bed, while his wife, Joann, has had to work to support the family–with no retirement in sight.

As I thought of them, I pondered the words of Kent F. Richards in the April 2011 General Conference. “None of us is immune from experiencing pain. I have seen people cope with it very differently. Some turn away from God in anger, and others allow their suffering to bring them closer to God”. Joann and Dave said they have experienced both.

When we are suffering from physical, spiritual, mental, or emotional pain–or a combination of them all–we are hurting. We need understanding and succor. President Richard assures us that, “The Savior is not a silent observer. He Himself knows personally and infinitely the pain we face . . . In the book of Matthew we are reminded, “When the even was come, they brought unto Him many . . . and He . . . healed all that were sick.” That means we can all experience some form of the Saviors healing.

In the case of Dave, many times we have prayed for him to be healed, but in the end we have had to accept his illness. Joann has changed her prayer from “Please heal Dave so he won’t experience such pain, so he can work and help and be more a part of our lives,” to simply, “Please give me patience, please give me strength.”

I was discussing Joann’s dilemma with a friend, Kathy, while we sat around a campfire. She was quiet for a moment and then responded, “It is my personal belief that many of our trials were ones we agreed to before we were born.”

I couldn’t agree with her more. I shared a time in my life when years ago depression had me clutched in its painful hands and I begged my husband, Dan, to give me a blessing:

The Day Will Come

I glanced at the clock that read 2 A.M. then sat perched on the bed in my nightgown, my pregnant belly hiding my thighs and folded my arms. Quickly I wiped tears from my face and took a deep breath, Dan placed his hands on my head and I prayed for guidance, for help, for something. Then through the power of the Holy Melchezdich priesthood the words Dan spoke became the words of my Father in Heaven. They permeated our quiet room and my trembling ebbed as God’s message entered my heart. I was reminded of the Lord’s love for me, then I was told that that I had agreed to this depression before I entered into mortal life and that the day would come when it would be a “blessing” to myself, my family and all those around me.

As I sat there I could visualize myself receiving a similar blessing before embarking on my earthly experience. It was as though I was viewing a video of a past memory. I could hear my Father counseling me and telling me that I would have experiences on earth that I would need in order to return to Him again. I felt great love for Him and an immense respect as he allowed me to be part of the “trial selection process.” Among the experiences we discussed was that of depression. Through the blessing I was promised that “one day this will —be a blessing to you, your family, and all those around you.”

When I opened my eyes after the blessing was finished, I could only recall the warmth and love I felt and somehow I knew that I truly had agreed to go through the depression I was now facing.

Dan and I then embraced each other and wept. Although it was hard to believe just how this hellish experience with depression could ever be a blessing, at least now I knew that it wasn’t just a lack of character, a fatal flaw or a terrible imperfection . . . . It was part of my life’s experience that God somehow meant to use to benefit myself and others.

(An LDS adaptation from My Journey from Darkness to Light pg. 32 by Patricia Potts)

So it is, as we ponder and pray, then ponder again in the quiet moments of our lives, hopefully we will remember that as we ask Him to, Christ will strengthen and heal us (but perhaps not in the way we first expected), and that often our trials are ones we agreed to before we came to earth. Orson F. Whitney said it well, “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted . . . . It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.”

Whether our pain is physical, spiritual, mental or emotional, we can turn to Jesus. We can find hope!!

http://www.Patriciapotts.com- Tips and tools for More Sane Living (is there such a thing?)