Everyday Inspiration; Day 2: Write a List; Things I’ve Learned

Things I’ve Learned and Why I Learned Them

  • To play the flute; I learned to play the flute in elementary school. I started out playing the trombone but my arm was too short even with an extension so my best friend talked me into playing the flute.
  • DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) Skills; I needed to learn DBT skills for the reason that I didn’t learn good coping skills growing up and DBT skills helped me learn better ways to cope with everyday situations as well as how to deal with the symptoms of my mental health diagnosis. In fact learning DBT skills is what helped start my recovery with mental health challenges.
  • Painting: I love art and one of my neighbors is teaching me to paint. He started teaching me to paint when he found out that I enjoy coloring as well as collaging.
  • Philosophy: I have found a new love passion about philosophy and have learned a great deal over the last few months. I started learning about philosophy while listening to a podcast when the podcast was suggested to me. After each episode I then do my own research on what was discussed in the episode. In fact I am still learning about philosophy.
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A Creative Type of Day Due to Mindfulness

Good Afternoon, World!!! Well, it must be one of those days where I am able to be creative and I am enjoying this immensely. I am extremely grateful that I have been able to be creative today.

One of the ways I have been creative today is by painting. I, finished two painting that I am really proud of. In fact of the paintings my cat accidentally helped me with. She stepped in some paint and then walked on the canvas which I think is very cool and unique. Sadly, I had to give her a quick bath in the sink before paint fully dried on her paws and fur. She is not a big fan of taking a bath but at least she “helped” me create an awesome painting even though that was not her intention. Maybe, one day I will share this painting with you someday.

Another way I have been creative today is that I have written several poems. Something I love to do yet struggle to do because I never feel like they are good enough. Sadly, I tend to throw away a good portion of my poetry due to the fact that I don’t think they are worthy of being read. I have been having others such as a good friend of mine hold on to my poetry as I hope that someday I can create a book full of my poetry.

Another way I have been creative today is play my flute. I love playing my flute and just like coloring, it is form of mindfulness for me. Playing the flute has been a life saver for me since I started playing at age twelve. It has helped and still helps me with my mental health challenges. It also helped me make friends in school as I was in the junior high and high school bands. And being in band is what helped me graduate high school. So you can say that playing the flute helped me graduate high school even though I am really not that good at playing it.

I think the reason why I have been so creative today is because I have done several mindfulness exercises today. I have done some much mindfulness today because of my anxiety and am learning that mindfulness not only helps with my anxiety but helps me be creative. I am grateful that I am slowly getting back into mindfulness on the daily basis.

I do not have much else to say. I hope to blog again this evening and if not then tomorrow. Have a great rest of you day. Peace Out, World!!!

Daily Prompt: We Got The Beat

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “We Got the Beat.” Have you ever played in a band? Tell us all about that experience of making music with friends. If you’ve never been in a band, imagine you’re forming a band with some good friends. What instrument do you play in the band and why? What sort of music will you play?

In fact I have been in a band. I was in marching band as well as concert band in junior high and high school. I played the flute throughout my school years. My years in the school band were quite positive and therapeutic for me.

Being in the school band not only kept from dropping out but helped me with much need social interactions with others in my own peer group. I tended to have friends much older than me so band greatly helped me with making friends my own age. Being able to make music with others was (and is) an amazing experience. Being able to hear how a particular piece can come together gives a sense of accomplishment that other things can not do.

It is that sense of accomplishment that helped me make friends as well as stay as relatively “normal” as possible. Playing a musical instrument helped my mental health symptoms a great deal. Being able to focus on something other than the urges to harm myself. Playing the flute was quite therapeutic for me throughout junior high and high school. In fact it still is.

Now that I am an adult, I still play on occasion. I also am teaching myself to play the harmonica. There is something to be said about playing a musical instrument especially with other people. I am still close friends with many of the people I was in school band with. Once a band buddy  always a band buddy.

Now that I’ve bored you, it is time for me to get ready for work. I will be doing my Blogging 201 assignment on my lunch and my Writing 101 assignment when I get home from work. Have a wonderful last day of summer. Peace Out!!!!

Daily Prompt: Strike a Chord

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Strike a Chord.” Do you play an instrument? Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing? Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice.

As I was searching through past topics of the Daily Prompts, this particular topic caught my eye instantly. It caught my eye for a multitude of reasons and decided that I would do this daily prompt before heading out to work today.

Yes, I do play an instrument. I play the flute. I’ve been playing the flute since the sixth grade. That was back in September of 1991. Holy shit, that was 24 years ago. The story around why I started playing the flute is quite humorous. I originally started playing the trombone and my arm was to short to slide to the fifth and sixth positions and even with the extension I was still unable to slide to the sixth position. Since I was unable to play the trombone due to short arms, I had to choose another instrument. I was debating between the oboe and the flute and was ultimately persuaded into choosing the flute by my best friend, who was learning to play the flute at the same time as well. I am beyond grateful that I was talked into playing flute but part of still wishes I picked up the oboe. The oboe has a beautiful yet unique sound and is an instrument that catches my ear.

I find many musical instruments quite pleasing to my ear besides the above mentioned instruments. One of the instruments I find particularly pleasing is the bagpipe. Yes, the bagpipe. People tend to laugh at the fact that I not only enjoy the sound of the bagpipes but want to learn how to play them as well. Over the years I’ve come to study the history of the bagpipe. The reason being is because it is a part of my heritage. I am half Irish and identify as Irish. Yes, I do know it’s also a part of Scottish heritage however, I don’t have any Scottish in my blood. A cool side note about bagpipes is my fiancé, Junior can play the bagpipes quite well. In fact he is a part of the pipes and drums with the fire department. He in fact is a firefighter and paramedic. The cool thing that I find about Junior playing the bagpipes is that he is Mexican and isn’t afraid to do so. (Junior is also able to play the trumpet and plays in a Mariachi Band).

Playing the flute has been a life safer to me in many ways. Playing the flute in the high school marching (and concert) band is what helped stay in school and prevented from dropping out. That’s why I am so passionate about keeping both the performing and fine arts in schools. The arts keep people like me in school.

Not only did playing the flute keep me in school, it has helped me enormously in my recovery with mental illness. Playing the flute helps with my mental illness in several ways. It helps keep me distracted at times. It relaxes me. Most importantly it helps me focus on my breath and breathing well. When I am dealing with severe PTSD symptoms I tend to forget to breath and the “normal” breathing techniques and exercises don’t help me much. The “typical” breathing techniques and exercises tend to make my PTSD symptoms worse due to some trauma. That is where the flute comes in to helping me focus on my breath. You need to breathe well to be able to play the flute properly. That means, me being able to breathe well not only helps me with playing the flute helps with the symptoms of my PTSD. You can say that playing the flute has been a type of therapy for me; music therapy. Unforantenly, not many places offer music therapy despite how helpful it is to many different people in this world.

When I chose this particular daily prompt, I had absolutely no idea where it would lead. I honestly didn’t think I would be discussing how the flute helped (and still helps) with my PTSD. I thought I would me discussing more how band kept me in school and how I now have life long friends because of band. In all honesty, I have my best friend since the third grade to not only to join band by picking an instrument but persuading me to choose the flute over the oboe when I was not able to play the trombone. Playing a musical instrument gives one a community that they will always be a part of.

Now that I’ve done this daily prompt, it brings joy to my soul that I was able to share one community I belong to, to you the blogging community in which I to belong to. Thank you for allowing me to share all this. I am going to have to end this blog for now because I have to go to work now. Have a wonderful work week everyone. Happy Monday and peace out everyone!!!!