Tuesday 30 October 2012

Improving Your Self-Esteem.

Greetings friend, in my previous post, Recognising Our Validity, I discussed the subject of self-esteem and how you evaluated your own life. If your self-esteem has you feeling good about your life and those you interact with, the following can be considered positive reinforcement.  If you are struggling and are experiencing low-esteem, due to a number of environmental factors, the following may help inspire you to have the determination to make some choices for the benefit of your overall well being.

Positive Resources And Distractions To Improve Self-Esteem.

.  Identify and accept your strengths and weaknesses. We all have them.

.  Set yourself realistic goals and accomplish them by acquiring new skills.

.  Be good to yourself.  Thinking of others is wonderful, but not at the cost of your own personal wants and needs. This is not selfish, but a chance to look after your well being.

.  Be happy in your own company and focus on positive distractions.

.  Reinforce your right to say 'no'.

.  Realise a 'can-do' approach to help develop and work on your personal goals and aspirations.

.  Take pride in who you are. Delve into, acknowledge and appreciate your own personal differences, talents and achievements. Take pride in your accomplishments, both big and small.

.  Accept and and learn from your mistakes. Do not overreact  to your mistakes and become disillusioned by them. See mistakes not as a barrier, but an opportunity, a chance to grow and improve your life.  Do not be discouraged by mistakes. Try to find the less serious side of an error.

.  Remove negative 'self-talk', the negative 'inner critic' and replace such thinking with positive statements that  validate your right to be happy.

.  Practice positive affirmations. Reinforce them whenever you are having those moments of despair or for positive reinforcement. Everyday and in every way, you are getting better and better.

.  If you experience rejection, step back and try and look at it from a different perspective. Try not to take it personally.

.  Involve yourself with people who are conducive to a positive, healthy environment. Try to distance yourself from negative people who would undermine you, rather than respect your validity.

.  Know that your personal rights, your opinions, your beliefs and ideas are just as credible as any other person.

To summarise, remember this is your life and you have the right to live it in a peaceful, positive, fulfilling way. An honest assessment of your life and what you wish to do to make adjustments, are there for the taking.

If you are content with your self-esteem, that is most encouraging,  May you continue to realise a positive life and be of help to those who need some comfort.  If you are struggling with low self-esteem, I hope some of the above points and some you can come up with yourself, are of inspirational value.

Saturday 27 October 2012

Recognising Our Validity.

What is self-esteem?  In essence, it is how much you like, accept and respect yourself.  Self-esteem refers to how you think and feel about yourself.  The more positive your thoughts and feelings are, the healthier your self-esteem will be.  Conversely, negative thoughts and feelings have a detrimental impact on your overall well being.  

Thus, self-image and self-esteem are intertwined.  You can think of your self-image as the marker on which the opinion of yourself is based.  In other words, a positive self-image is conducive to positive self-esteem.

Feeling good about yourself is a vital aspect of feeling in control of your life.  Other aspects of your life will feel the benefits.  More fulfilling relationships.  Allows you to set realistic expectations of yourself and not the perceived expectations of others.  Feeling good about yourself can give you confidence in realising your goals in life.

Having a low opinion of yourself can give you a distorted viewpoint on who you really are.   And the end result can be total lack of confidence, negative speculation and yes, low self-esteem.

Your self-esteem is based upon your life experiences.  If you were constantly put down, constantly criticized and told you were not as good as so and so, this will impact your self-esteem in a way that you start to question your validity.  If enough people undermine you, you can start to believe the hype.  Do not believe the hype.  If you have been surrounded by a positive environment, your chances of a higher self-esteem level are more likely.

Some Common Signs Of Low Self-Esteem :

.  Being overly self-conscious and a feeling of being inferior to others.

.  Unable to be assertive and prone to being hurt by criticism.

.  Incapable of making an honest evaluation of strengths, qualities and capabilities.

.  Struggles with accepting compliments or acknowledgement from others.

.  Struggles with a sense of self-identity and adjusts their personality to blend in.

.  Insecure, fearful and anxious in the company of others.

.  Fearful of opposition to their opinion out of fear of rejection.

.  Being a 'people pleaser' and finds it difficult to say no.

.  Replaying conversations in their head.  Thinking they said the wrong thing.

.  Avoiding new experiences because they think they will look stupid.

.  Feelings of frustration, bitterness and resentment towards others.

.  Distancing themselves from society and becoming reclusive.

.  More inclined to mental health issues and the usage of addictive substances to mask the pain.

Some Questions To Determine If You Might Have Low Self-Esteem :

.  Do you like yourself?

.  Do you think you're a good person?

.  Are you someone worthy of love?

.  Are you entitled to be happy?

If you find it difficult to say 'yes' to the above questions, you might be struggling with your self-image, your self-worth, your self-esteem.  I leave you to think this over and in the next posting, I shall discuss the various positive resources and distractions that can be implemented if you are experiencing low self-esteem.

We must understand that recognising our validity is something we must cherish, nurture and let blossom.  Peace and positivity, be with you.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Regaining The Clarity.

I was sitting there in my living room.  What had started to seem so clear, was vanishing into another dark cloud of distorted confusion.  Another moment of despair had crept into my well being.  I glanced over and there was Penny looking at me with great concern.  She could sense that something was wrong.  It was written on my face and in the dull glisten of my eyes.

"Gary, what's the matter?", asked Penny.  "Just feeling a bit down, Penny.  I have tried so hard to maintain a positive environment and yet, I keep encountering negative influences that try to destabilise our right to a peaceful life."

"Gary, let's try this.  Can you think of three examples of where you turned what started out as a negative into something positive?"  I pondered Penny's question for a few minutes and then I responded.  "Right then, Penny, this first example would be one that has impacted us most recently.  Those new anti-social neighbours have caused much distress.  Yet, even at their most abusive, I have responded with a calm politeness.  I'm hoping, because they have been much quieter over the last week that they have learnt something from my example.  And even so, they are an ironic catalyst that has made me realise that it's time for us to move on into a new home, a fresh start, a new adventure."

"That's most encouraging.  Keep going Gary and please give me your second example."  "Okay, Penny.  I did a lot of volunteer work for a mental health charity.  I demonstrated, kindness, caring and the power of empathy.  Instead of acknowledging me, I was exploited and my own personal recovery took a battering.  If anything, they reinforced my mental health issues.  I left disillusioned, disheartened and ready to retreat back into my reclusive world.  However, I met some decent folks through that mental health charity.  Like-minded individuals who had also felt used by the charity.  We have all remained good friends and two of them have now started up their own mental health charity where empathy, understanding, support and encouragement are vital ingredients.  I am honoured to have been asked to be an integral part of that new mental health charity."

"Brilliant.  Now then, Gary, what would be your third example?"  "Penny, here is my third example of turning what started out as a negative and turning it into something positive.  I was subjected to severe workplace bullying, physical, financial and psychological.  This went on for over eight years.  One day I could take no more and had a complete breakdown.  I left that awful, self-esteem destroying, dead-end job that had transformed me into a broken man.  Despite it costing me my marriage, despite it nearly costing me my life due to nearly drinking myself to death, I somehow picked up the remnants of this shattered man and rediscovered me.  The ending of that painful and traumatic time in my life also brought back the dreams of a young boy.  And the young boy, now a man, still a fragile man, recaptured the spark that fired his imagination.  The spark, the power of the written word, had returned and I started writing again."

"There you go, Gary.  Now how are you feeling?"  "Penny, thank you so much!  I'm feeling rejuvenated and I'm understanding that my life aint so bad.  Negative forces will never be given permission to get the better of me.  I have a choice and I choose the right to live my life the way I want to live it."

"Gary?"  "Yes Penny?"  "Gary, I have an additional example to share with you.  I could sense how concerned Tristan and yourself were when you took me to those two different places that were full of animals and people.  I also saw, when your shared sadness eased to shared relief, that you and Tristan were so close together, father and son, united in their love for me and each other."

Penny and myself are wondering if somebody reading this can think of examples of how they could or have changed a negative into a positive. You need not allude to them in a comment.  They can be for you to contemplate.  Peace and positivity, be with you.  Gary and Penny.

Saturday 20 October 2012

Hey Lenny!

Hi there, yes it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star, or should I say, superstar!  Right then, I've taken back over my human Gary's blog to make a very special announcement.  Today, Saturday, October 20, 2012, is the birthday of one of my young buddies, Lenny Lee!  Yes, this cool young chap is now 13.  Yes, my young human friend is now a teenager.

Gary and I, or as Lenny calls him, "Mr. Gary", believe that Lenny is an inspiration to young and old alike.  Lenny is the future of blogging and an important part of the ideal that we embrace in this, the sharing, caring blogging community.

And to you Lenny, myself and Gary, indeed all those who have the great fortune to interact with you, my young human buddy, are privileged and honoured to know you.  Your passion for the written word, the wonderment that fills your young heart, is a profound and touching gift that we warmly receive.

I would kindly ask all our friends, human and animal, to go and visit Lenny and wish this amazing young man, a most happy 13th birthday.  If you have never met Lenny, you can find him here : Lenny's World 
Lenny, I'm forwarding you my very own award, "The Gold Framed Dog Blog Award".  This award has no rules, what it does is spread the unconditional, non-judgemental love that we animals share.  And Lenny, we know how much you care about us precious, fragile creatures of our world.  This, my young human friend, is my birthday gift to you.

Hey Lenny!  On behalf of my human, Gary, I, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star, superstar,  wish you a fantastic birthday!   Stay special and know how much we care about you! :)  Pawsitive wishes, Penny!  Arf!  Arf!

Thursday 18 October 2012

We Are All In This Together.

My blog's underlying ideals has been and always will be, a demonstration that my mental health concerns are only a small part of who I am.  That I endeavour to live with, rather than, suffer from my mental illness. This blog is about bringing awareness and further understanding that mental illness need not be a taboo subject.  Anyone who is experiencing mental health issues should not feel ashamed.  The shame should lie within those who would place unfair stigmas, labels and stereotypes on those who are battling with inner turmoil.  We have to realise that we are all in this together.

I have received a number of emails from people who are struggling.  Who seek, comfort, advice and encouragement.  And thus, my friend, if you are struggling, do not suffer in silence.  We can, through verbalisation and seeking out positive resources and distractions, get that one step closer to that quality of life we so richly deserve.

There are those amongst us who have never experienced mental illness and would all to easily dismiss us as being weak.  'Get a grip', they tell us.  Yet, what they do not understand is that mental illness can happen to anyone.  And if it ever happens to them, then they would know and would understand, it's more than just 'getting a grip'.  So very much more.

Mental illness can stem from being overwhelmed by a negative environment.   This is what we call "nurture".  Mental illness can be of the genetic variety or "nature".  And some have a combination of both nurture and nature.

What has to be learned is that nobody has the right to devalue your humanity.  If you are experiencing mental health concerns, rest assured, through reaching out and finding motivation, you will be inspired and in turn, inspire others to have a more positive life.  We become motivated by the need to achieve a positive outcome.

I shall do a number of postings over the next few weeks that can help cultivate healthy thinking and behaviour.

To end this posting, I give you a list of your personal rights which are conducive to assertive behaviour.

You have the right to express your feelings and opinions.
The right to say 'yes' or 'no'.
The right to change your mind.
The right to say, 'I don't understand'.
The right to be yourself without having to act for other people's benefit.
The right to decline responsibility for other people's problems.
The right to make reasonable requests of others.
The right to set your own priorities and make your own decisions.
The right to be listened to and taken seriously.
The right to change and grow.
The right to make mistakes, admit to and learn from them.
The right to be illogical in making decisions.
The right to be miserable or cheerful.
The right to be treated with respect.
The right to say 'no' without feeling guilty.
The right to express anger.
The right to be assertive.
The right to to take personal responsibility and to be independent.
The right to disagree.
The right to religious and political beliefs.
The right to information.
The right to privacy.
The right to economic status.
The right to be treated equally.

Monday 15 October 2012

Thought I'd Drop In.

I'm most grateful to Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star, who has somehow reached superstar status, for actually allowing me to do a pawsting, sorry, a posting on my own site!  I also want to thank Alex J. Cavanaugh for having Penny guest post on his site and declaring her to be a superstar.

Seriously, it was nice to have Penny take over the writing on here so I could take a break.  Thanks Penny and I shall try to take note of your writing advice.

So, I thought I'd drop in.  And speaking of drop in, you may have heard about that skydiver, Felix Baumgartner, who thought it would be really neat to jump out of a balloon at an altitude of about 24 miles.  Along with getting a very nice view of our planet, Felix also managed to reach a velocity that exceeded the sound barrier.  So what happened to the balloon?

Fastest man to earth - Felix Baumgartner- 833.9 mph.
Fastest man on earth - Usain Bolt - 27.78 mph.

Felix may have started a new craze.  I can see it now.  Folks trying to go even higher and go that little bit faster.  Yes indeed, if it really catches on, they could have designated 'drop-in centres' worldwide for those trying to get up there and  get down here, at an even faster speed.  Of course, this could cause problems when you hear a crash through the roof.  Looking rather startled is some dude in a pressure suit , lying on your living room floor, wondering what went wrong.  Predictably, you say, 'Glad you could drop in.  Would you like a cup of tea or coffee?'

I was wondering if Felix was listening to music inside his pressure suit.  If so, was he listening to "Jump", by Van Halen?  "Free Fallin'", by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers?  Or  an updated version of  "8 Miles High", by The Byrds titled, '24 Miles High'?

Speaking of skydiving, you know you're having a bad day when the following situation occurs.  You are about to make your first ever parachute jump and just as you leap out of  the plane,  the guy linked up with you asks how long you have been a skydiving instructor......

Friday 12 October 2012

Paws And Effect.

Greetings, yes it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star!  As pawmised, sorry, as promised, I'm submitting an article on Friday, October 12.

I've noted that my human's, Gary and Tristan, are continuing to pack boxes in preparation for getting the heck out of here.  I sense how much they now want to move.  I hope our moving experience is a moving experience.  In the meantime, we wait for that day when I can start new adventures, in a new garden, with my humans and our enchanting, magical friends, the 'wee folks'.

I mentioned in my previous article that I have another special announcement to make.  Right then, here goes.  A mystery guest poster has graced the site of one of my favourite humans.  Yes, the mystery guest poster has been featured on Alex J. Cavanaugh's site.  You probably know Alex.  He seems to be everywhere.  His support, encouragement and positive interaction is much admired.  So, be amazed and please go and check out his latest article, which is full of various fascinating information and even horror movie trivia.  I've no doubt you are curious and thus, here is the link to Alex's latest article,  A Modest Internet Star Visits, Ninja News Overload, Award, and Movie Trivia
Here is a photo of me in our garden during the past British 'summer'.  Okay, just kidding.  This was me acting as a snow plough last winter.  I cleared a pathway so my humans could get to the street.  Talk about paws and effect.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

A Short Paws.

Greetings, yes it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star!  After taking a short paws to reflect a bit about life, I thought I should type out a short pawsting, sorry, posting.  I seem to be more pawlific, sorry, prolific than usual.

Bear with me, my nerves took ages to calm down today.  The nasty man below us starting banging really early in the morning.  I trembled for about half an hour.  Gary, thank goodness, hugged me until I calmed down.  Gary has been packing boxes.  I think this is symbolic of him wanting to take us away from this very stressful environment.  I feel better verbalising this.

Today, October Ten, is "World Mental Health Day".  And clever me, here is a link that tells you all about it, World Mental Health Day.   And today, October Ten, is also Gary's son Tristan's birthday.  Tristan is twenty four and I have been with him for half of his life.  I love Tristan and I know how much he loves me.  Tristan, my human brother, happy birthday.

Friday, October Twelve, I shall be making another special announcement.  I hope you will come and visit me on Friday.
My dear friend, I leave you with this.  Here is a photograph of a twelve year old Tristan and me, a wee puppy of two months old.  In peace and pawsitivity to you, Penny.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Attacking Our Positive Environment.

After a most sad and traumatic divorce, I lost virtually all of my life savings.  This meant that I ended up in social housing.  Eleven years ago I moved into this home and was placed here based on a point system that assured I'd be in a peaceful, positive environment.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It took three years and two court cases to have the people living below me evicted.  They made my son's life, our dog's life and my life, a living hell.

For the next seven plus years, we  lived in peace and harmony with our neighbours.  All getting along without being intrusive.  Out of squalor, I created a beautiful garden.  An oasis of tranquillity and in balance with nature.  I was proud of all I had done and proud how I had battled against negative neighbours to make this a safe haven for all three of us.

The neighbours who moved in after we finally got those nasty people evicted, were cooperative and respectful of us as we were of them.  Eight months ago they moved on and my negative speculation went into overdrive.  What will the new neighbours living below me be like?  Will they be peaceful and respecting of others?   My worst thoughts came to fruition.

For eight horrendous months we have been subjected to loud music, slamming doors, unattended dogs barking and their dogs fouling by my part of the property.  Even the slightest hint of noise from us is greeted by a torrent of foul mouthed abuse from the 'adult' living below us.  For instance, Penny who has been of great worry during some confusing times recently, accidentally dropped a bone she was chewing, off a chair and onto the floor.  The guy below screamed up and I quote in edited version, "I'm gonna' come up there and kick your f**king heads in!"

Yes, I tried to have some civil conversations with my anti-social neighbours.  Anything I said was dismissed and I was told in no uncertain terms, that they could do whatever they liked.

I have made an initial complaint to my housing authority in regards to what has been going on.  I have asked my housing authority to make note of this pending further meetings.  In fact, I have indicated that I want to move out and into my own separate place.  I know I have a huge amount of evidence to get the people below evicted but I would then worry about who moved in next.  And yes, if I took such action, I would worry about reprisals.

I'm writing this with head phones on.  I can barely concentrate and this has been having a huge impact on my physical and mental well being.   We all have the right to live in peace in a positive environment.  Our environment has been attacked by positive energy saboteurs and I cannot take any more.  After that first situation with my original neighbours, I can fight no more.  Somehow, I embrace this as having a positive lining.  Time to move on and make a fresh start in a home where I can actually do some writing without the panic attacks I'm experiencing.

So, what I love, my passion to be involved within the great blogging community has been thrown into chaos because of rowdy neighbours who have made life unbearable.

Friday 5 October 2012

Ernie! What Happened Next?

You may have read the posting in the following link, if you had the time or inclination,  Undercover Boss.   Ever so briefly, it was the story of Ernie, a hard working, conscientious guy in a fast food joint.  Ernie was involved in a 'documentary' that raised his suspicions that the guy he was training, 'Fred', may well be the undercover boss.  He'd seen such shows before and figured that this guy was definitely the boss of the company.

Months passed by and nothing happened.  Ernie finally assumed that it wasn't the boss working undercover.  In a moment of frustration, Ernie covered the supervisor and his smirking son with the entire tub of secret sauce that is the essential ingredient in producing a decent 'Big Crap' burger.  I mean, really, Ernie worked harder than anybody else in the restaurant while the lazy supervisor's son was "Employee of the Month", every month.

Here is the last paragraph in the previous posting about Ernie:  I should note that in that posting Ernie was supposed to be you.

"A few days later and now jobless, you notice that the documentary you were in is on TV.  On the screen, 'Fred' announces that due to unforeseen circumstances, the guy who was training him was not getting rewarded.  Instead, you see on the screen, the supervisor and his smirking son, being praised and rewarded for a job well done." 

So what happened next?  The next day, Ernie goes out and heads for the unemployment office.  On his way, several people recognise him and asked him what happened.  Ernie explains that he was stunned to discover that his initial suspicions were correct.  That it was indeed the boss of the company.  Everybody he talked to was outraged that he didn't get the recognition he warranted.  It might of had something to do with the dumping of the secret sauce on those two.  Or maybe the boss was going to reward the incompetence of the supervisor and his smirking son, anyway.  

Word soon got around.  Ernie became famous for representing the downtrodden workforce masses.  He wrote a best selling novel titled, 'Recognising the Competent Worker'.  His life and his representation of challenging the corruption, the bullying and distasteful games of 'office politics', became a blockbuster movie titled, 'Working Together'.  The film broke box office records, worldwide.  Such was the impact of his novel and his movie, that corruption and bullying at work was replaced with a spirit of encouragement, praise, cooperation and higher moral standards.  

'Fred', the undercover boss, the supervisor and his smirking son, have changed for the better.  All three are now working for a rival fast food restaurant and all three are sharing the duties.  And Ernie , despite his new found fame, remains but a humble man who took great pride in making the best darned 'Big Crap' burger.  

Monday 1 October 2012

Like-Minded Hearts.

Hi there, yes it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star!  Just want to let you know I'm doing just fine.  So fine that when Gary, the human I so kindly allow to live with me, was typing on the keyboard earlier, I snuck up to him and dropped a fart!  Although, the little squeaky noise from my butt startled me and I ran out of the room!  

A few days ago, Gary took me to this place that had other animals waiting around with their humans.  I got a bit nervy because I thought those other animals and humans might recognise me.  I was sure one of the dogs over in the corner was a member of the pesky 'puparazzi' that always hound me.  As luck would have it, I wasn't recognised.  Or maybe all the animals and humans were too starstruck to make a fuss over me.

The lady at the counter called out my name.  "Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star!  The vet will see you now."  Okay, slight exaggeration.  She only said the name, "Penny".  I went into this small room and Gary placed me on a table with a rubber mat.  Gary started telling the vet about this lump on my chest area.  The vet squeezed the lump and I got a bit agitated by it all.  The vet then spoke to Gary and I'm not sure what was said but I could see my human was looking very worried.  The next thing I knew we were leaving that place and Gary cradled me in his arms.  I could see tears welling up in his eyes.  I wondered what was wrong.

A few days after we had gone to that place with all the animals and humans, we went to another place with animals and humans.  This time Tristan, Gary's son, came along with us.  Gary drove up to this really nice old building that was set in lovely grounds surrounded by trees.  This place looked after all sorts of animals such as dogs, cats and equine animals.  I had no idea what the heck an equine animal was.  That would be until I noticed a horse in the waiting room sitting right next to me.  My human kindly informed me that an equine was an animal relating to or resembling a horse.  Knowing this made me realise that Gary could make an ass of himself.  Yes, I was only joking about a horse being in the waiting room.  Although Gary is another matter....

Gary talked to this very friendly man up at reception.  A few minutes later, Tristan and Gary took me into this room and placed me on a table with a rubber mat.   The very friendly man from reception started to check me out.  Gently and lovingly, Tristan and Gary got me to lie on my side.  The nice man stuck a needle into my lump twice.  I just lay there and wagged my tail.   We then left and Tristan took me for a wonderful walk through the park.  Half an hour later I was back in my home.

The very next day, I noticed that Tristan and Gary seemed calmer, more relaxed.  Everything changed after Gary had been talking on the phone.  I don't know who had phoned, but Gary was smiling and he gave me a great bid cuddle.  Tristan and Gary have been in a most cheerful and invigorated mood since that phone call.

What I do know is this.  That first place Gary took me to didn't feel right and the second place they both took me to I sensed was so much better.  Whatever happened, something very profound,  positive and heart warming has come of this.  Two humans who had been drifting apart through turmoil in such daunting times, showed a new and wondrous resolve.  For I saw Gary and Tristan, father and son, teaming together in like-minded hearts, united in their love for me.