Saturday, October 31, 2015

6 DBT Distraction Techniques to Help You End Self-harm

The video below was produced by Kati Morton who's one of my favorite YouTube therapists. In the video, she discusses six dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) distraction techniques which will help us change our life for the better.

If you've asked the question, what is DBT, you'll get a better understanding of it after viewing the video. She talks about how we can distract ourselves using simple methods, instead of hurting ourselves or causing pain to the other people in our life.

6 Dialectical Behavior Therapy Distraction Techniques

The text below was written by Kati and edited by Ramiro Rodriguez. Most of the text is the same as in Kati's YouTube channel, I simply reworked some parts so I don't get in trouble with Google for pasting text verbatim.

You ask and you shall receive! In this video I talk about six distraction tools as well as how to create a distraction plan which will help you change your life for the better.

I would encourage all of you to grab a few 3x5 cards to help you create your life changing plan.

Using the six tips outlined below, you can come up with different distractions to use regardless of what time of day it is or where you are. Put your ideas on your card and keep it with you at all times.

The six distraction tips are:

  1. Use safe alternatives to self-harm behaviors.

  2. Distract with pleasurable activities.

  3. Think about someone else! Make up a story about the people you see.

  4. Distract your thoughts.

  5. Distract by leaving! If you have self harm items around you and you are struggling to fight the urges, get out of there!

  6. Distract with chores.

I hope you find this helpful and are able to use this to fight back against those self-harm or even negative depression voices!

My Friend Ignacio Came to Visit Me In the Hospital

I've always said you get to know who your friends are when you're in jail or you're in the hospital. Having said that, I can say without a doubt, I have two close friends.

One of those friends is Ignacio Núñez who is running for mayor of San Francisco. He's on the 'write in' ballot and he has no chance of winning, but he's put in all the leg work to get in the race for mayor.

At any rate, Ignacio Came to visit yesterday. He'd been smoking marijuana and he laughed uncontrollably at some points.

It was a fun visit. I hope he comes back this weekend. I'm going to call him later to see what's going on.

Friday, October 30, 2015

In San Francisco General Hospital

I'm currently a patient at San Francisco General Hospital. I came in for surgery yesterday, and I'll be here at least five days according to one of the doctors. It's going to be a tough five days.

The doctors performed a skin graft and they lengthened my achilles tendon. It doesn't hurt as much as I thought it would. In fact, I don't feel any pain when I take my pain meds. If I begin to feel a little pain, I can ask for a breakthrough pain med and that usually stops the pain before it gets worse.

The hospital changed it's procedures since a patient went missing last year and it now closes individual units, which helps nurses keep track of who enters and exits each unit. They also changed some of the things patients can and cannot do.

One of the new rules is patients cannot leave the hospital. I'm not sure if we can leave with a visitor, but I know we cannot go off the unit alone. My nurse told me we're not allowed out, but we can walk around inside the unit. Patients who are in a wheelchair can cruise around the unit.

I Hope this Hospital Visit Helps Me Change My Life for the Better

Something I've been to doing to help me change my life is I stopped judging myself harshly and I have to say it makes a big difference! I am nicer to myself and I am more accepting of other people.

It's a great way to live. Practicing self-compassion isn't difficult. You simply treat yourself as you would a friend. You're nicer to yourself and you give yourself advice just as you would if someone came to you for help.

Please be sure to post a comment and include a link to your website so I can visit your site. I post comments on sites I visit so if you post a comment here... I'll do the same.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I Enjoy Creating Digital Art

Welcome to my blog on DeviantArt. I'm glad you're here and I hope you find my work interesting enough to view my gallery.

I've been working as usual at creating abstract images as well as background images. I really enjoy creating stuff, mainly because it keeps me busy and out of trouble. And it is helping me change my life for the better.

I'm going in for surgery on Thursday, October 29th, after which I'll be confined to a wheelchair. And since I won't be able to get around, I'll be working a lot to occupy my time.

One of the things I enjoy the most is creating images with a kaleidoscope app. I was looking around in the Google Play store and there are a number of kaleidoscope apps most of which are free.

Technology makes it easy for people like me to become creative even though I don't have any training in art. Please be sure to browse my gallery and let me know which images you like.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Going to the Hospital Tomorrow for Surgery

Tomorrow is the day for my surgery and I'm a little apprehensive. I'm sure it'll go well, but something is nagging at me.

I hope I can use this experience to change my life for the better. I'm kinda tired of having to go through things like this.

I'm 50 years of age and it's time to do something different with my life. I know I can do so much better! I can have the world if I want.

Do You Judge Yourself Harshly or Call Yourself Names?

YOU'RE SO STUPID! I say to myself sometimes. And I call myself other names as well, and I'm sure other people do the same thing. Why do we do that to ourselves? What can we do about it?

If you too, say the following words to yourself, maybe this article and video below will help you overcome that sort of thinking.

  • You're an idiot
  • You're so stupid
  • I look ugly
  • You can't do...

We also criticize ourselves and expect things of ourselves that we don't expect of other people. Very rarely do we talk to people the way we talk to ourselves. Unfortunately, that's a part of the negative thinking we learn as children.

Maybe your parents yelled at you and called you names, or the other kids at school criticized your clothes or the way you performed at sports or in class. Whatever the reason, there is a way to combat those negative thoughts.

How to Stop Judging Yourself Harshly

There are several methods we can use to stop judging ourselves harshly. I've found the following two methods to work well. Both have helped me change my life for the better.

  • Self-compassion
  • Positive affirmations

Self-compassion is treating yourself as you would a friend or family member. It's not too complicated to be nice to yourself, or to give yourself the same advice you'd give to a friend.

When you call yourself stupid, stop, then tell yourself, "I did the best I could" or something along those lines. Be nice to yourself every day and before you know it the negative thoughts will slowly diminish.

You can find self-compassion exercises here. Set a goal to say something nice to yourself every morning. Write it on a sticky note then paste it on your bathroom mirror so you'll remember to do it.

When you find yourself saying bad things, immediately tell yourself it's okay to mess up. It's okay not being perfect at everything. In fact, being kind to yourself in everyday life is in my experience, one of the best things you can do for yourself.

The best part about being nice to yourself and treating yourself with self-compassion, is that you'll begin to accept people as they are. You won't be as critical of others as well, which is a great way to live.

Listed below are three ways to be kind to yourself. The text was copied from the Positivity Blog.

Invest in yourself.

Spend 15-30 minutes in the morning or evening with reading, listening to or watching material that uplifts you, that helps you to understand yourself and the world or that helps you to live a better life.

Then, if possible, take one small action on what you have learned.

Find the truth and exception when an inner critic or outer critic attacks.

Your own inner critic may not always say nice things about you. People around you may attack you or try to bring you down to serve one of their own needs.

If you or someone else does this, ask yourself this question:

What is the exception to this though?

This is effective to change your train of thoughts, to find the truth and to not get down on yourself.

For example, if you or someone says that you are not doing a good job in school then you can ask the question and find answers that tell you that isn’t really true. If you question the attack and look for the exception you may for instance see that you are actually doing a good job in most of your courses, but may be a bit unfocused and lazy in math and geography.

That is a more nuanced truth that helps you rather than just brings you down.

Unstress tonight.

Take a long bath and read something to escape. Or work out. Or talk to someone about something that is on your mind and let it all out.

Video - Be Kind to Yourself

This video isn't too long. Take the time to view it now. It may help you change your thinking for the better. Remember, it's not hard to practice self-compassion.

Please be sure to bookmark this blog. And share this post now on your Facebook page.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Video - What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Many Ways to Change Your Life

There are many ways to change your life, but I can talk about only a few methods because they are what I've used in the past. The methods I know well are saying an affirmation over and over, practicing self-compassion and visualization.

Watch the Anthony Robbins video below after you read the text for more information on how to change your life. It's a good video. He talks about how raising your standards will automatically change what you want and cause you to take a different path.

Currently, I am practicing self-compassion and I have to admit it works extremely well. I don't beat myself up as much and I'm nicer to myself most of the time. It truly is a great way to create changes in my life.

Self-Compassion Creates Change from Within

The great thing about self-compassion is that it alters your thinking slowly and thereby creates lasting change. It's a change from within which has a lasting impact and it's noticeable in your speech and the way in which you treat yourself.

Self-compassion isn't difficult. You simply treat yourself as you would a close friend. You respect yourself more, you give yourself advice and you're nicer to yourself.

Another Way to Create Life Changes is by Repeating Positive Affirmations

I've had great success with affirmations and because of that I highly recommend it. I call it performing a mental exercise.

Positive affirmations don't 'stick' sometimes so you may have to begin again. For example, I had a bad case of bleeding gums in 2006. Every time I brushed my teeth my gums would bleed profusely. They bled so much the blood would cover my teeth and the water in the sink would turn pink.

To solve the bleeding gums issue, I created an affirmation that read, "My teeth and gums are healthy." I repeated the affirmation for 10 minutes every morning after I brushed my teeth. After two weeks my gums stopped bleeding. I wasn't surprised because I knew the power I had.

The Positive Affirmation didn't Create Lasting Change

What did surprise me was that my gums started bleeding again after a few weeks. The affirmation didn't stick, so I began performing the same mental exercise and a week later my gums stopped bleeding and they haven't bled since then.

In fact, after the second time my teeth felt as if I'd just had them cleaned and they still feel that way today. The last time I visited the dentist she advised me that I had a very clean mouth. She said I had strong saliva that killed the germs responsible for creating gingivitis. I just smiled at her because I knew the real reason my teeth were clean.

To be effective, an affirmation should be repeated for 10 minutes non-stop every morning. If you have time, you should perform the mental exercise every night right before you go to sleep.

Anthony Robbins Greatest Told Story and Creating Lasting Change

Give To The World what You Want Most

If you want to change your life give out what you want most because it will come back to you. I'm not saying that just to have something to write about.

I've experienced giving and receiving many many times during the last couple decades. When I first began giving away money in 1992 I was earning $10 an hour. Every week I would give away ten percent of my income and in a few months I got another job earning $12 an hour.

I've also given away drugs and received drugs in return. The universe operates via universal laws one of which is called tithing. Simply give away ten percent of your income if you want money and you'll get more money.

There is abundance in world. You just have to learn to follow immutable laws to get what you want to change your life.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

San Francisco Nursing Center Runs Out of Coffee

I'm still a patient at the San Francisco Nursing Center. Today during dinner we learned the facility ran out if coffee. David, my roommate, is in disbelief.

He said, "How can a place like this run out of coffee!? Who runs out of coffee? Allowing the coffee reserves to run out is an indication of poor planning by management and it's an indication that the kitchen employees don't care.

We were offered tea with dinner instead of the coffee we normally get. And we're getting tea with the eight o'clock snacks.

I'm sure management will purchase coffee tomorrow which is Monday. Let's hope it doesn't happen again.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

San Francisco is My Home Now

When I decided to move to San Francisco more than 10 years ago, I also decided I was going to change my life once and for all. Unfortunately, it didn't work out as I'd planned because I began using drugs as soon as I arrived in the City.

I have changed a lot and I have had a good amount of 'clean time'. In fact, I launched a press release writing business which did so well, I eventually had to hire two writers. And I started a mindfulness meditation walk that showed me there is a better way to think and to live life.

The problem is none of those life changes lasted longer than a six months. I invariably turned to drugs again and again. I have to give up drugs if I'm going to create the kind of life I've been dreaming about.

San Francisco is now my home. I've been living here more than a decade and I don't plan to leave any time soon. Before coming here in 2005 I lived in Denver, Colorado for 6 years and before that I lived in Miami, Florida for 6 years. I lived in West Hartford, Connecticut for three years and on and off throughout the years in Houston, Texas.

As you can see I've lived in many different cities and states. It's time to change my life. Again.

Surgery Date is Near - Will I Change After it's Complete?

My surgery date is set for October 29th, which is less than a week away. I've been through surgery in the past and I haven't been afraid, but this time I'm a little scared. And I'm wondering if I'll be able to change my life for the better.

There are risks with any kind of surgery so I'm sure it's okay to be Scared. However, I'm wondering why I wasn't scared before. What's different now than in the past?

What has Changed in My Thinking?

I think I'm scared because I had a consultation with my anesthesiologist yesterday . She asked me a lot of questions and I signed a few papers which is something I hadn't performed in the past.

I asked the doctor why I had to go through all that and she said I was hospitalized before the past surgeries so the procedure was different. That makes sense. But it's scary nonetheless.

As always, I'm positive and I'm sure the surgery will go well. In fact, I'll be 100% better after the operation. I'll be walking normal and as good as new.

I have to change my life after I'm discharged from the hospital if I don't want to go through something like this again.

Friday, October 23, 2015

What Is Forgiveness?

I copied the text below from the Greater Good website. There is a link at the end of the text that leads to the site.

Normally I don't copy and paste a full article onto this blog, but I did this time because it's a very short article and because it is very powerful... and I want to make sure you read the full text.

After reading the article you will change not only your definition of forgiveness, but how you view the people that hurt you both of which can be life changing events.

One of the best ways to overcome anger or being hurt is to not take the offense personal which is one of the agreements in the Four Agreements. That in and of itself is incredibly powerful.

How Do You Feel about the Infraction? Can You Communicate it Effectively?

1. Know exactly how you feel about what happened and be able to articulate what about the situation is not OK. Then, tell a couple of trusted people about your experience.

2. Make a commitment to yourself to feel better. Forgiveness is for you and no one else.

Try Not to Take the Offense Personal

3. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciling with the person who upset you or condoning the action. In forgiveness you seek the peace and understanding that come from blaming people less after they offend you and taking those offenses less personally.

4. Get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognize that your primary distress is coming from the hurt feelings, thoughts, and physical upset you are suffering now, not from what offended you or hurt you two minutes—or 10 years— ago.

5. At the moment you feel upset, practice stress management to soothe your body’s fight or flight response.

Learn to Give Up Expections to Change Your Life

6. Give up expecting things from your life or from other people that they do not choose to give you. Remind yourself that you can hope for health, love, friendship, and prosperity, and work hard to get them. However, these are “unenforceable rules:” You will suffer when you demand that these things occur, since you do not have the power to make them happen.

7. Put your energy into looking for another way to get your positive goals met than through the experience that has hurt you.

8. Remember that a life well lived is your best revenge. Instead of focusing on your wounded feelings, and thereby giving power over you to the person who caused you pain, learn to look for the love, beauty, and kindness around you. Put more energy into appreciating what you have rather than attending to what you do not have.

9. Amend the way you look at your past so you remind yourself of your heroic choice to forgive.

9 Steps to Forgiveness

How To Change Irrational Thinking with CBT

Image Credit: Slideshare.net

Most of know we have to change our thoughts if we want to change our life and the article below confirms that theory. When we change our thinking we also change the way we view the world, so things that bothered us in the past, no longer matter.

The article is pretty lengthy but well worth the time it takes to read because it teaches us how to look into our past to see how our upbringing affects us as adults. There is a link at the end of the text you can use yo continue reading the article.

Before reading the article, you may want to watch the video below. It explains CBT and it's only about 10 minutes long. It's well worth the effort to watch the video as you'll gain a deeper understanding of cognitive behavioral therapy.

How Do We Change Irrational Thinking

By Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.

As you may realize as you read the articles on this site, the underlying core issue for many problems resides with irrational thinking styles.

That, of course, is the basic premise of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). We develop styles of thinking based upon our learning experiences, our parents' thinking, and societal/community beliefs and expectations.

Childhood Learning Experiences Shape Our Life as Adults

1) Learning Experiences. When we are growing up, we have many experiences and the outcome of these experiences contribute to beliefs or ways of thinking that we develop.

For instance, as a child I was very shy and fearful of speaking in public due to fear of making a mistake and being ridiculed. In the 7th grade I had a teacher who encouraged me to attend speech competitions.

I was so excited that she thought I could be good at this that I was willing to face my fear and engage in speech competitions which I continued even throughout high school.

As a result, I developed the belief "Even though talking in front of people causes anxiety I am capable of doing it."

Now, if I had not had that experience and my main experience was being embarrassed in front of my class because I couldn't say the word "peculiar" when I was reading out loud (it sounds different than it looks and I couldn't get my brain to switch from the visual to the auditory because I was so anxious), I may have developed the belief "Talking in front of people leads to embarrassment which I must avoid."

Black and White Thinking is Irrational but Easy to Correct

The problem that causes this belief to be irrational is that it is black and white--it leaves no room for alternatives. I would be assuming that talking in front of people always leads to embarrassment.

Instead, by doing speech competitions I learned that talking in front of people could be enjoyable and could lead to awards.

Childhood Trauma can Shape Your Beliefs and May be Hard to Alter

Trauma is an important subset of learning experiences that severely affects an individual's belief system. For example, an individual who survived a fire has a fear of low probability catastrophes.

Due to the fact that a low probability catastrophe occurred to him or her, it is more difficult to challenge the thinking with a statement such as "It is unlikely to occur."

Or a person who was raped and then told it was her fault because she left her door unlocked may tend to unreasonably blame herself for things that happen.

Our Parents Unwittingly Teach Us Irrational Thinking

Parents' Thinking. Sometimes our parents teach us irrational thinking directly such as "What would the neighbors think?" if they saw a dirty house implying that the neighbors would think we are bad people because the dishes aren't done and the beds aren't made.

They may catastrophize about situations and pass their worries onto us "I don't want to fly because the airplane might crash."

Often, they don't recognize that their thinking is irrational and so they don't tell us there might be alternative ways to think. For instance, they don't typically say "I have an irrational fear of crashing but airplance travel is actually the safest form of travel.

Even if our parents don't directly tell us how to think, they impart certain ways of thinking based on their behavior and how they handle situations.

For instance, I remember my father speeding past a bunch of cars and then coming to a stoplight which caused all the cars he had passed to catch up with him and he slammed his hand on the steering wheel and said "They're all laughing at me."

At first I was confused, but then I came to understand what he meant and that others laughing at him was a catastrophe. From this I came to learn that I had to be careful in how I behaved so that people wouldn't have the opportunity to laugh at me.

Teachers and Society Shape Our Early Life

3) Societal/Community Beliefs and Expectations. We learn a great deal of thinking based on the culture we grow up in. For instance, a professor of mine once described his experience as a teacher in the Virgin Islands.

He said they did not have the same concept of time that we do in the U.S. College students in the U.S. typically arrive to class on time but as soon as the class is over they are out the door even if the instructor is in mid-sentence.

However, in the Virgin Islands college students might arrive 20-30 minutes late but they also tended to stay longer and be involved in discussions after class.

Neither of these scenarios are right or wrong, they are just different behaviors based upon cultural influences. However, sometimes those societal beliefs and expectations can lead to problematic behaviors.

Here in the U.S. the perfectionistic tendencies that are imparted to us as we grow up can lead to being overwhelmed and not trying. I believe much of our problem as a society with obesity can be related to these attitudes: "I can't make myself stay on a diet and exercise daily, so why should I bother trying?" (see Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight)

Cognitive Restructuring Can Change Your Life

Therefore, due to these various influences we develop our thinking styles, both rational and irrational. You may already recognize some of your irrational thinking styles and how they developed, but you want to know, "How do I change this thinking?"

In fact, many times you've probably have had people tell you "Think this way!" But no one tells you how to "Think this way!" So, you still have the question, "How do I think that way?"

The answer is that you are already halfway there. Half of the battle is recognizing the thinking that is problematic for you. You can do this by reading other articles on this site as well as the recommended books.

The next step however, is the part that requires more active work and that is challenging the thinking, repeatedly and often. This part of therapy is known as "cognitive restructuring" and can change your life for the better.

To learn any new skill, we first have to identify how to complete the skill correctly and then we have to practice the skill repeatedly.

So, for instance, if you want to learn how to hit a ball with a bat, you need to learn how to hold the bat and how to stand and when to swing. But, just because you know intellectually how to hit a ball doesn't mean that you will be able to.

The next step is to practice swinging the bat at the ball and adjusting your stance until you can hit the ball. However, even then it doesn't mean that you can automatically hit the ball whenever it is thrown to you.

At this point you need to practice swinging the bat at the ball again and again until you develop the muscle memory to do it automatically.

That way, when you are under the stress of two outs in the ninth inning, you will be able to automatically engage in the behavior you need to hit the ball.

Change Your Life by Altering Your Thoughts

Well, learning a new way of thinking is learning a new thinking skill and the process is the same as learning to hit a ball with a bat. You need to identify the thinking you want to learn and then you need to engage in it repeatedly until it becomes automatically. Just as your body doesn't feel comfortable at first when you are learning to hit a ball, your brain doesn't feel comfortable at first with a new way of thinking.

However, the more you engage the new thinking, the more comfortable you will become with it and the more you will believe it and be able to rely on it.

The most difficult part of creating the new way of rational thinking for most people is the repetitive practice. Some people, however, may have difficulty with recognizing how their thinking is irrational.

In which case they may need further assistance from a therapist. However, for everyone else, the process at this point is to develop methods of practice.

Continue reading this article.

Please be sure to post a comment and include a link to your website so I can visit your site. I post comments on sites I visit so if you post a comment here... I'll do the same.

Eight Keys to Forgiveness

Eight Keys to Forgiveness

When another person hurts us, it can upend our lives.
This essay has been adapted from <a href=“http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OD8Z0K0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00OD8Z0K0&linkCode=as2&tag=gregooscicen-20&linkId=UMPHE5GNLL2P3XCK”>8 Keys to Forgiveness</a> (W. W. Norton & Company, 2015)This essay has been adapted from8 Keys to Forgiveness (W. W. Norton & Company, 2015)
Sometimes the hurt is very deep, such as when a spouse or a parent betrays our trust, or when we are victims of crime, or when we’ve beenharshly bullied. Anyone who has suffered a grievous hurt knows that when our inner world is badly disrupted, it’s difficult to concentrate on anything other than our turmoil or pain. When we hold on to hurt, we are emotionally and cognitively hobbled, and our relationships suffer.
Forgiveness is strong medicine for this. When life hits us hard, there is nothing as effective as forgiveness for healing deep wounds. I would not have spent the last 30 years of my life studying forgiveness if I were not convinced of this.
Many people have misconceptions about what forgiveness really means—and they may eschew it. Others may want to forgive, but wonder whether or not they truly can. Forgiveness does not necessarily come easily; but it is possible for many of us to achieve, if we have the right tools and are willing to put in the effort.
Below is an outline of the basic steps involved in following a path of forgiveness, adapted from my new book,8 Keys to Forgiveness. As you read through these steps, think about how you might adapt them to your own life.

1. Know what forgiveness is and why it matters

Forgiveness is about goodness, about extending mercy to those who’ve harmed us, even if they don’t “deserve” it. It is not about finding excuses for the offending person’s behavior or pretending it didn’t happen. Nor is there a quick formula you can follow. Forgiveness is a process with many steps that often proceeds in a non-linear fashion.
But it’s well worth the effort. Working on forgiveness can help us increase our self-esteem and give us a sense of inner strength and safety. It can reverse the lies that we often tell ourselves when someone has hurt us deeply—lies like, I am defeated or I’m not worthy. Forgiveness can heal us and allow us to move on in life with meaning and purpose. Forgiveness matters, and we will be its primary beneficiary.
Studies have shown that forgiving others produces strong psychological benefits for the one who forgives. It has been shown to decrease depression, anxiety, unhealthy anger, and the symptoms of PTSD. But we don’t just forgive to help ourselves. Forgiveness can lead to psychological healing, yes; but, in its essence, it is not something about you or done for you. It is something you extend toward another person, because you recognize, over time, that it is the best response to the situation.

2. Become “forgivingly fit”

To practice forgiveness, it helps if you have worked on positively changing your inner world by learning to be what I call “forgivingly fit.” Just as you would start slowly with a new physical exercise routine, it helps if you build up your forgiving heart muscles slowly, incorporating regular “workouts” into your everyday life.
You can start becoming more fit by making a commitment to do no harm—in other words, making a conscious effort not to talk disparagingly about those who’ve hurt you. You don’t have to say good things; but, if you refrain from talking negatively, it will feed the more forgiving side of your mind and heart.
You can also make a practice of recognizing that every person is unique, special, and irreplaceable. You may come to this through religious beliefs or a humanist philosophy or even through your belief in evolution. It’s important to cultivate this mindset of valuing our common humanity, so that it becomes harder to discount someone who has harmed you as

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Judging the Self and Other People

I just read the article below on judging others and the self. The article was written by John Schwary who is a recovering addict with more than 24 years of sobriety. He is the CEO of the TLC Outpatient Clinic located at 32 S Macdonald Street in Mesa, Arizona.

If you live in Mesa and want to get into treatment, you can contact John at (480) 666-8670. You can read John's blog Recovery Connections here.

I have been communicating with John via email for nearly a year and he has been incredibly helpful and insightful. He truly wants to help addicts turn their life around. He'll even accept you If you don't have any money.

Judgment

"Love is the absence of judgment." Dalai Lama

I often find myself being judgmental. Not just of others. But also of myself.

And, I ask myself where this comes from? Part of it might be my family upbringing. I had a large family, seven aunts and uncles. And it was a pastime - when I was a kid - for everyone to sit around and talk crap about each other.

There was never anything right about anyone. They either made too much money. Or thought they were better than. They were ugly. Fat. Or stupid. They didn't know how to live or, for that matter, do anything else right. The list would fill an encyclopedia.

Even though that was the atmosphere I grew up in, I like to think of myself as above that stuff. That I've grown beyond. But somehow, like weeds popping up in a garden, judgments intrude in my life. It takes no effort on my part; they just appear.

I stop this immediately as soon as I catch myself. The remedy is always acceptance. Whether I'm judging others or myself, acceptance immediately stops me.

My goal in life is to not waste my time on anything negative. And judgment of self or others is the ultimate waste.

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Thanks for visiting my blog. Begin to change your life today by setting goals which will slowly take you where you want to go. Take your time, there's no rush!

Spent One Hour Deleting Emails

I just spent the better part of an hour deleting email from a Mail.Yandex.com account. It's 4:56 p.m. here in San Francisco and I started deleting emails at 4:00.

The reason I had more than 300 emails to delete is because I hadn't checked that account in three months. I set up that account to receive emails from several companies so it wasn't too important... so I didn't have to check it every day.

Needless to say, I unsubscribed from most of the companies that have that email address so I can begin using it again ;-) I'll use it to get things such as free downloadable ebooks or white papers.

Yandex, if you haven't heard of it, is a company I believe, is headquartered in Russia. It's a great company that has developed several apps for email and online disk storage space for consumers.

Time Management and Email Accounts

If you have multiple email accounts it may save you time in the long run. You can have one email address to receive email from friends and family and another two to receive free downloads or whatever you're into.

You don't have to check the free stuff email addresses every day because you know nothing important is going to be sent there.

I guess that's my daily wisdom ;-> Please be sure to post a comment now and insert your blog's link so I can visit. Change my life for the better.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How Much Money is Enough to Live Your Life?

Image Credit: Nate Robinson

Long ago someone asked me how much money I needed to live my life without working or depending on a check to arrive in the mail.  I answered the question by saying, "As much as I can get."  And I meant it.

Money is a funny thing.  Most rich people give it away because they know it'll come back tenfold, while poor people complain they don't have enough money to live on or to purchase food.

And there are the newspapers that report how the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer but they don't offer solutions.

There is Abundance in the World

There is a solution. The world is full of abundance in everything you see.  Look at how many people there are on the planet.  Look at the abundance of trees and grass. And there is an abundance of stars and planets. The same is true about money.  You can have as much or as little as you want or need. You just need to know how to get it.

I have money all the time and I don't work nor do I receive a check. I always have money because I think I do.

We Live in a Thought World

We live in a world that is controlled by thoughts. What we think about most is what we get. It's as simple as that. I speak from experience. I've been practicing and experimenting with mind control for more than 25 years and I've been able to create miracles in my life.

One of the reasons it's so hard to get off drugs or change other habits us because we think about them constantly. And we get what we think about.

Affirmations Can Help You Change Your Life

The only way I've been able to change my life for the better in the past, or create something I desired, is by saying an affirmation over and over for 10 minutes without stopping.

Affirmations are powerful. When you say something over and over, it gains power and continues to grow until it manifests in your life. You can make miracles happen with only your thoughts.

A while ago I read about a man who was able to increase his self-confidence simply by saying, "I am confident, I express confidence outwardly." He repeated the affirmation for ten minutes every day, and before long, he was dating women and enjoying life more.

How to Increase Your Income

If you want to change your life by increasing your income, begin giving away ten percent of everything you earn. It works because it's a spiritual law called tithing. I've experienced it more than once so I know it works well.

When I began giving away ten percent of my income, I was earning $10 an hour. After only 2 or 3 months of tithing, I began to earn $12 an hour. My income slowly increased to $15 simply because I gave some of it away.

Thanks for visiting the Trying to Change My Life blog. Please be sure to post a comment below and include your website link so I can do the same.

Creating Change with Blue Abstract Images

I created the blue water abstract image below with two apps from the Google Play store. I am a student of digital art so I practice creating these pictures almost every day. It is my way of changing my life and it seems to be working.

I am a lifelong drug addict and it's hard to overcome such an addiction. I had my first drink when I was 11 years old or younger and I just kept going. When I was 12 I started smoking marijuana and taking pills.

My parents didn't find out I was doing drugs for a long time. And by then, I was addicted to marijuana and beer. In my twenties I started drinking Puerto Rican rum and by my late thirties I was drinking a half gallon of vodka a day.

Finally Got My Morphine Prescription Refilled

My morphine prescription expired last Saturday and it took the nursing staff here at the San Francisco Nursing Center more than two days to refill it. I know that if I want to change my life I have to get off the drugs completely, but I need the pain killer until I get better and I'm able to walk again.

Currently, I'm in a wheelchair because of my foot injury. It's getting better as you can see from the picture of the injury below.

Photo Credit: ricoramiro

Surgery Date is Set

A surgery date has been set for October 29th. The podiatrist is going to do a skin graft and lengthen my Achilles tendon. Talk about a life change!

Maybe after all this is said and done, I'll Starr going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings so I can change my life. I'm running out of excuses and I really do want a better life.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fighting Nursing Staff for My Morphine

I know the title of this post doesn't sound like I want to change my life and get off drugs. But I've been on morphine for more than a year and it's going to take a long time for me to get off the stuff.

At any rate, my morphine prescription expired Saturday and the nursing staff lagged in talking to the doctor about getting a refill. They gave me the runaround for two days.

At first they said they were going to fax something to Dr. Ho, the doctor in charge if The patients here at the San Francisco Nursing Center. Then they said they were waiting for the pharmacy to deliver the meds. Finally, after a lot of questions, they told me that the doctor wants to see me before he refills the prescription.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Video on The Scientific Power of Meditation

If you're thinking about starting a meditation program watch the video below so you can get a good idea of the power of meditation

I've had a lot of positive experiences with meditation, especially mindfulness meditation so I highly recommend beginning some sort of practice.

I recommend a mindfulness walking meditation program for several reasons. First, I have more experience with mindfulness walking so I know the benefits because I've experienced them first-hand and second, we all walk anyway, so why not practice mediation while we walk.

Major Benefit of Mindfulness Walking Meditation

One of the major benefits of walking mindfully is a clear head. After only 2 or 3 weeks of walking mindfully you are able to think clearly and you're able to see things differently.

Another benefit of meditation is a straight back. When you meditate your posture will improve 100%. You'll walk more erect and you won't experience any more back pain because your posture is perfect.

Please post a comment below and let me know how meditation has helped you change your life.

Friend Ignacio Núñez Visited Today

I'm feeling pretty good right now because my friend Ignacio Núñez just left. He came to visit for the second time in less than a week. And, thankfully, he brought me a cigarette.

Photo Credit: ricoramiro

Ignacio is running for mayor of San Francisco. He has all the signatures he needs to get on the ballot. He won't win, but he could disrupt the election.

My roommate here at the San Francisco Nursing Center and I were talking about how to tell who your friends really are. If you're in the hospital or in jail, your real friends will write to you or visit if you're in the same city.

I have a serious decision to make soon. Part of getting off drugs and changing your life is letting go of friends that are still using narcotics.

It's hard enough to change your life when you're alone so it is almost impossible if you're still hanging around people that use drugs.

Kaleidoscope Eyes Ramiro Rodriguez Picture

I took the picture below with a kaleidoscope app. I like the way my eyes look. It's scary and curious at the same time.

This picture was taken weeks ago, but I don't remember posting it here on this blog. If you see it on another page, please let me know.

Fighting Kitchen Staff for a Few Cookies

Today is Sunday, October 18th, and it's close to lunch time here at the San Francisco Nursing Center . About an hour ago I had to fight with the kitchen staff so I could get a something to eat.

Let me explain. Every day at ten in the morning we're supposed to get snacks. Today I didn't get a snack, and because I was asleep, I didn't get to tell anyone until 11 a.m. When I went to the kitchen asking for my snack, someone in the back said, "It's eleven so we're not doing any more snacks.

Of course I didn't go for that. I demanded something to eat and I finally received four cookies.

Someone in the kitchen staff is in trouble. One of the administrators asked me what occurred so he could write a report of the incident. He also apologized to me.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Before and After Surgery on Right Leg

The image below show what my right foot looked like immediately after surgery and what it looks like today. It took about 4 to 5 weeks to get to this point.

To help the injury heal faster, the doctor ordered a wound vacuum which requires three changes a week. The vacuum sucks the blood and other fluids into a small container.

I recently wrote a blog post about my upcoming surgery date.

I'm sure the wound will heal perfectly. I don't want to go through something like this again. The next time I get a cut or an infection, I'm going straight to my doctor.

Eyes Looking through to See You

I hope you enjoy the abstract image above. I call it the Eyes Looking at You. These kinds of images are very easy to make. I used a kaleidoscope app from Google Play.

I thoroughly enjoy creating these abstract images. The time simply flies by when I work on creating images and when I write these blog posts so I can be as busy as I want to be.

It is 6:45 p.m. here in San Francisco and I'm bored so I decided to work on this blog post. I'm trying to change my life so I don't do drugs any longer and I don't drink alcohol.

Finally Got a Surgery Date for Skin Graft

I'm excited and scared at the same time because of an upcoming surgery date. I'm excited because the podiatrist scheduled the surgery for the skin graft and I'm scared because she's going to lengthen my Achilles tendon.

I sent an email to my primary care provider expressing my concern about the tendon lengthening and she said not to worry. My PCP said it's necessary to lengthen the tendon so I have full range of motion in my right leg.

The picture above contains the preoperative instructions I received from the podiatrist. I have to meet with the anesthesia doctor before surgery and I have to do a couple other things as well.

Today is Friday, October 16th. I've had a very busy week and I'm glad the weekend is here. I plan to relax this weekend by not doing too much work. Maybe I'll work on some digital art to post next week.

I wrote about 8 articles this week and I published more than 20 abstract images some on ricoramiro DeviantArt and some on ricoramiro.PicsArt.

My Doctor is in Uganda Yikes!

I just received an email from my doctor. She said she's in Uganda but didn't elaborate so I don't know if she's there because of work or on an African safari.

Carina Marquez, my doctor, works for UCSF so I'm guessing she's there helping the people of Uganda with medical care. The emails we sent each other are below.

-------

Hi Ramiro,

I am glad you have a surgery date.  I wouldn't be too scared about the Achilles tendon, it seems  necessary (but I will review the surgery notes).

I am in Uganda now, but will review the surgery notes when I get back next week, and then I will email you.

Usually people go to a skilled nursing facility after the surgery.  This will give time for the skin graft to heal. -Dr. Marquez

From: Ramiro Rodriguez   Date: Thursday, October 15, 2015 4:18 PM  To: Carina Marquez  

Subject: Follow up

Hi doctor,

I saw the foot doctor yesterday.  The preoperative instructions are attached.

The podiatrist wants to do a skin graft in two weeks.  And she said she's going to lengthen my Achilles's tendon (that has me scared).  Should I get a second opinion about that?

On October 29th, I'll be admitted to General for the operation and I'll be there a week according to the foot doctor.  I don't know what will happen after that.

Ramiro Rodriguez

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Return of the Abstract Monsters

If you've read other posts on this blog, you know I create abstract images. It's a hobby I got into to help me change my life for the better.

One form of abstract I create is what I call abstract monsters. I created abstract images that have eyes and sometimes a nose or month. When you look at my abstract monsters, you'll know you're looking at something scary. The image below is a good example.

I also create other types of digital art. I'm fond of a kaleidoscope app I downloaded from the Google Play Store because it allows me to create quality images like this Eyes Have It.

I hope you enjoy my writing and my abstract images. Please post a comment with a link back to your website or blog.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

At San Francisco General Hospital - Right Foot Healing Nicely

The pic above depicts how my right foot looks today, October 14th. It's healing very nicely although it's not closing as quickly as I'd like. But it is healing which is the important thing. I'm currently at San Francisco General Hospital.

I may be mobile in less than three weeks depending on how long the skin graph takes to heal. I've never had a skin graph so I don't know what the process is or how long things take to happen and I don't know how long things take to heal.

The picture below shows how my foot looked immediately after the second surgery. I think it's been about 4 or 5 weeks. I'm on morphine so the days blend in together.

I'm writing this blog post while waiting for the doctor to give me good news. I just received an appointment for two weeks out. We're currently in the middle of October so I'm looking at being hospitalized for another month possibly.

Did you read the article on self-compassion? The post also contains a video about overcoming objections to self-compassion.

Setting Goals - Aim for the Stars by Shooting for the Moon

Moon and Stars

I hope you are doing well when you read this blog post. I'm still a patient at the San Francisco Nursing Center so I'm doing good. They're feeding me well and some of the nurses are pleasing to the eyes :-) which makes the days easier.

We got a new roommate last night named David. That was my cousin's name. The one who died last week.

My cousin had just bought a house somewhere in North Carolina for fifty-grand cash, and he and his wife were in the process of moving their family when he suffered an asthma attack. You never know when your time will come. He'd given his inhaler to someone in the family so he didn't stand a chance when the attack occurred.

I'm going to miss my cousin. I feel bad because I couldn't attend the funeral which was held clear across the country in a small town near Philadelphia. I'm in San Francisco and I'm hospitalized at the SFNC so there's no way I could've made the funeral.

Setting and Achieving Goals to Change Your Life

I titled this article, "Aim for the Stars by Shooting for the Moon" because that's where I'm at, at this point in my life. I'm about setting goals and doing what I can to achieve them as quickly as possible. I'm 50 years old and I have to change my life now. I don't have a lot of time left on this planet.

I've set and reached a couple goals this year, but I think they were the wrong goals. I did learn that I am definitely capable of setting, then achieving goals.

The text below is a blueprint for personal change. It was written by Leo Babauta who maintains the Zen Habits. I subscribe to his newsletter.

Start with a simple statement: what do you want to be?

Are you hoping to someday be a writer, a musician, a designer, a programmer, a polyglot, a carpenter, a manga artist, an entrepreneur, an expert at something?

How do you get there? Do you write your intention on a piece of paper, and put it in a bottle and launch it to sea, hoping it will manifest? No. The universe isn’t going to make this happen. You are.

Do you set yourself a big goal to complete by the end of the year, or in three months? Sure, but that doesn’t get the job done. In fact, if you think back on most examples in your life, setting big long-term goals probably doesn’t work very often. How many times has this strategy been successful?

Nothing in Your Life will Change Until You Change Something Daily

I’m going to lay down the law here, based on many many experiments I’ve done in the last 7 years: nothing will change unless you make a daily change.

I’ve tried weekly action steps, things that I do every other day, big bold monthly goals, lots of other permutations. None of them work except daily changes.

If you’re not willing to make it a daily change, you don’t really want to change your life in this way. You only like the idea of learning to draw/speak Japanese/play guitar/program in php/etc. You don’t really want to do it.

So make a Daily change.

Let’s dig into how it’s done!

How to Turn an Aspiration Into a Daily Change

Let’s name a few aspirations:

  • lose weight
  • write a book
  • stop procrastinating
  • fall in love
  • be happy
  • travel the world
  • drink more water
  • learn Spanish
  • save money
  • take more pictures
  • read more books

How do you turn those lofty ideas into daily changes? Think about what you could do every day that would make the change happen, or at least get you closer to the goal. Sometimes that’s not always easy, but let’s look at some ideas:

lose weight – start walking every day, for 10 minutes at first, then 15 after a week, then 20 … once you are walking for 30-40 minutes a day, make another change — drink water instead of soda.

write a book – write for 10 minutes a day

stop procrastinating – I can already hear the ironic (and original!) jokes about how people will deal with procrastination later (har!).

Anyway, a daily action:

Set a Most Important Task each morning, then work on it for 10 minutes before opening your browser/mobile device.

fall in love – go somewhere each day and meet/social with new people. Or do daily things that make you a fascinating person.

be happy – do something each day to make the world better, to help people.

travel the world – save money (see next item). Or start selling your stuff, so you can carry your belongings on a backpack and start hitchhiking.

save money – start cutting out smaller expenses. Start cooking and eating at home. Sell your car and bike/walk/take the train. Start looking for a smaller home. Do free stuff instead of buying things.

drink more water – drink water when you wake up, then every time you take a break (once an hour).

learn Spanish – study Spanish sentences in Anki and listen to Pimsleur tapes 10 minutes a day.

You get the idea. Not all of these are perfect ideas, but you could come up with something that works better for you. Point is, do it daily.

How to Implement Daily Changes

This method is fairly simple, and if you really implement it, nearly foolproof:

One Change at a Time. You can break this rule, but don’t be surprised if you fail. Do one change for a month before considering a second. Only add another change if you were successful at the first.

Start small. OK, I’ve said this two bajillion times. No one ever does it, though. Start with 10 minutes or less. Five minutes is better if it’s a hard change.

If you fail at that, drop it to 2 minutes. Do it at the same time each day. OK, not literally at the same minute, like at 6:00 a.m., but after the same trigger in your daily routine — after you drink your first cup of coffee in the morning, after you arrive at work, after you get home, after you brush your teeth, shower, eat breakfast, wake up, eat lunch, turn on your computer, first see your wife each day.

Make a huge commitment to someone. Or multiple people. Make sure it’s someone whose opinion you respect. For example, I made a commitment to studying/coding PHP at least 10 minutes each day to my friend Tynan. I’ve made commitments to my wife, to other friends, to readers of this blog, to readers of a newspaper on Guam, to my kids, and more.

Be accountable. Taking my programming example with Tynan … each day I have to update a Google spreadsheet each day showing how many minutes I programmed/studied each day, and he can (and does) check that shared spreadsheet.

The tool you use doesn’t matter — you can post to Facebook or Twitter, email someone, mark it on a calendar, report in person. Just make sure you’re accountable each day, not each month. And make sure the person is checking. If they don’t check on you, you need to find a new accountability partner or group.

Have consequences. The most important consequence for doing or not doing the daily habit is that if you don’t, the people will respect you less, and if you do, they’ll respect you more. If your accountability system isn’t set up this way, find another way to do it. You might need to change who you’re accountable to. But you can add other fun consequences: one friend made a promise to Facebook friends that he’d donate $50 to Mitt Romney’s campaign (this was last year) each time he didn’t follow through on a commitment. I’ve made a promise to eat whale sushi (I won’t fail, because eating a whale is repugnant to me, like eating a cow or a child). I’ve promised to sing a Japanese song in front of strangers if I failed. The consequences can also be positive — a big reward each week if you don’t miss a day, for example.

Make the consequences bigger if you miss two straight days, and huge if you miss three. Enjoy the change. If you don’t do this, you might as well find another change to make. If the daily action feels tedious and chore-like, then you are doing it wrong.

Find a way to enjoy it, or you won’t stick to it long. Or find some other change you enjoy more. That’s it. Seven pretty simple steps, and you’ve got a changed life. None of these steps is impossible — in fact, you can put them into action today.

What daily change will you make today?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Picture of 3 Kittens Ready to Steal Your Heart

Image Credit: /Ravi Sharma

I hope you're enjoying the three kittens as much as I did when I posted this picture. The kittens are adorable, especially the first one.

Yellow & Blue Patterned Hearts Abstract

Yellow Blue Patterned Hearts Abstract

Maybe I should've saved this image for St. Valentine's day. The hearts are nice to look at mixed with the different colors. I created this image in less than a minute but it looks really good.

I also like the blue windows abstract image I created earlier today. Have a great day my friend. And thank you for stopping by my blog.

Video & Pictures of the Courtyards at the San Francisco Nursing Center

The video below is of one of the courtyards at the San Francisco Nursing Center. They have two courtyards in the facility both of which get used a lot mainly by the interns and the staff that smoke cigarettes.

Pictures of the Second Courtyard at the San Francisco Nursing Center

The images below are of the second courtyard at the San Francisco Nursing Center. It's a decent facility. I'm glad I landed here. The fact that it's a nice place means someone somewhere is looking out for me.

Yellow and Purple Abstract Image

Image Credit: ricoramiro @ PicsArt.com.

I hope you're having a great day today. It's 3:10 here in San Francisco which means it is after 6 p.m. on the east coast.

I'm still here at the San Francisco Nursing Center. I got a new roommate named David... he's a pretty cool guy. He claims he 70 years old, but he doesn't look a day over 60. I'll see if I can finagal a picture of him for this blog.

I posted the above abstract image here because it reminds me of royalty. I think purple is a color used my the royal family.

At any rate, thanks for visiting my blog Trying to Change My Life. I'm really glad you're here and I hope you enjoy my posts.

Eyes Picture Taken with Kaleidoscope App

I hope you enjoy this picture of my ricoramiro eyes. I just took the picture with a kaleidoscope app from the Google Play Store.

Blue Windows Abstract Image

They say the eyes are the window to the soul. That may be true... to a certain extant. The eyes can tell us when we're angry, happy and sad. But can the eyes tell us when we're hurt?

How often have you seen someone and known immediately something was wrong, but you couldn't put your finger on it? Probably a lot. As humans, we can be as revealing or as secretive as we wish. Simply smile and the world thinks you're happy. Put on a sad face and the world knows you're sad.

The image below is hosted on Cloudup.com. Both images are 540×922 so they can be used as Android backgrounds.

Black Lips

Side View San Francisco Home Near Daly City

Black Lips Abstract Image


I call this abstract image 'black pop's because it reminds of of a woman's lips. I shot the image using a kaleidoscope app from Google Play.


I hope you enjoy it 😎

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Yellow Flowers Circle Blue Background Abstract Image

I hope you like the yellow flowers in the blue background. I just created the abstract image using a kaleidoscope app from Google Play Store. I've been learning how to create digital art and I have to admit, it's a lot of fun.

Today is Sunday, October 11th and I'm still a patient at the San Francisco Nursing Center. It's not a bad place. I've heard of worse places from my case manager, Mary Beth.

She told me of a skilled nursing facility in downtown San Francisco that was really bad. In fact, she said she was afraid the people at UCSF Medical Center would send me there instead of SFNC.

I guess I'm a lucky guy. I started creating abstract images as a way to keep me occupied and as a way to change my life for the better.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Yellow Hearts Abstract Image

This abstract is pretty. I like the yellow hearts in the light blue background. Yellow Patterned Hearts Abstract

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Kristin Video on Overcoming Objections to Self-Compassion

I've been practicing self-compassion for several months now. It's not easy to do because the old thought patterns surface and since I'm used to those thoughts, I entertain them until I remember to be nicer to myself.

Something I discovered that helps me to remember is I treat myself as I would a friend by giving myself advice and telling myself it's okay to do something wrong, or that it's okay to make a bad decision. When I approach my life that way, I'm more compassionate with myself.

Compassion for Others Leads to Compassion for Self

Something else I've learned is compassion for others translates into compassion for the self. Acceptance of others has the same affect.

I hope you enjoy the video on the objections to self compassion. It's only twelve minutes long and we'll worth time.

My goal is to continue to be compassionate towards others and to mindfully practice self-compassion.

You Can't Smoke Out Here!

I just got caught smoking outside here at the San Francisco Nursing Center . The administrator came out the back door and caught me red handed. Or I should say with a cigarette in my hand.



I should have said that everyone smokes outside but I apologized instead. No need to throw everyone under the bus 😉. I'm sure I'll get caught again because if he caught me, he'll catch other people too.

I've actually been doing well controlling my urges to smoke because it's part of my plan to change my life. I've been using mindfulness to help me learn how to control the urges to smoke and it's been working well.

Thanks for visiting this Trying to Change My Life blog.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What is Value?

It's been said that anything of value takes hard work or a lot of money. However, the value we place on our things, or things we desire is subjective.

If money were not an issue, one person may be willing to pay $5,000 for the diamond in the picture below while someone else may not be willing to pay that amount.

The value of a human body is less than $10 in parts, but it's priceless to someone's family. How we value things says a lot about our personality as well as how we view the world. Read the text below to change how you value things.

Obtaining Value

For anything worth having, anything of value, there is a price to pay. If there were no price, there would be no value.

The price is not arbitrarily imposed on the thing of value. The price is in fact a big part of what gives it the value.

If diamonds were scattered around on the ground everywhere, they would be worth no more than pieces of gravel. The rarity of diamonds, and the resulting price that must be paid to obtain them, are what make them so valuable.

Trying to obtain something of value without paying the price will only lead to frustration and disappointment. Much of the misery in the world today is the result of such misguided quests.

For anything of value, be willing to pay the price. Be grateful and enthusiastic about paying the price. Because without the price to pay, there is nothing of value.

Ramiro Rodriguez aka ricoramiro

Blue Green Patterned Abstract Image

I created this blue green patterned abstract image using a kaleidoscope app from Google Play. I simply enjoy creating these images because it keeps me busy and it's a great hobby.

And, believe it or not, creating abstract images is helping me change my life for the better. I've been off meth for more than thirty days and I don't have any cravings.

Blue Green Abstract Image

Changing My Life One Abstract Image After Another

Art therapy is a class that's offered at most drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers because it is extremely effective at helping clients pursue other interets. One of the biggest challenges addicts face upon graduation from rehab is finding something they can do with their time. Clients who are not employed are especially prone to relapse simply because they have too much time on their hands.

I plan to pursue creating abstract images and I may even get into photography. Creating content if that nature is very rewarding and it's an easy way to help others as we all need our picture taken once and a while.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

No More Physical Therapy

Wahoo! I don't have to do anymore physical therapy. I just met with the woman in charge of the physical therapy department and she said, "At this point, we're just waiting for your wound to heal so we won't do anymore therapy.

That's a good thing. Their exercises were hurting the wound more than helping. I can't even do a simple ankle roll without causing pain!

I hope they don't call me back.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Busy Monday Morning with Wound Vac Change

Today is a day I wish would be over sooner rather than later. My wound is hurting something fierce today to the point it is throbbing. It actually began hurting last night but I didn't feel it as much because I took a morphine pill and my psych meds, and went out like a lightbulb with no power.

I smoked some weed earlier today to see if it would ease the pain and it did. The marijuana worked well as a pain relief option. My wound isn't throbbing any more which is right on time. I asked for pain meds earlier and they should kick-in before the marijuana wears off.

Getting Off Drugs to Change My Life

I know I'm supposed to get off drugs to change my life but I simply cannot function with the pain. Sometimes I can't sleep it hurts so much.

Aside from the pain, the wound is healing well. The woundvac is doing an excellent job at accelerating the healing process even though it's been acting up lately. It's been getting loud and temperamental.

Sometimes the woundvac will beep then indicate it is low on battery power or it will beep then stop. I've started to turn it on and off when it acts up which usually fixes the beeping noise.

The wound will heal well and I'll be able to change my life for the better.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Learn How to do Without Something Using Mindfulness

Lately, I've been learning how to do without cigarettes when I get an urge to smoke. It's a great tool because I can't smoke regularly here at SFNC and I have to be able to control my response to urges to light a cigarette. It's also a great tool because I don't go on a hunt for cigarettes if I don't have any.

Photo Credit: ricoramiro DeviantArt

To help me better control the urges to smoke, I use a mindfulness trick. I allow the urge to become as strong as it can and I just watch it. I can see it floating above my body and I realize I don't have to act on it. Watching the urge becomes the fix.

Of course that's easier said than done and I've failed more than I succeeded... but the successes I've had show me it is possible to change. Mindfulness is about observing something with complete acceptance and without judging which makes it easier for us to understand we have options.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Abstract Images For Inspiration

These yellow abstract images were created using the digital art app from PicsArt.com. the software is a lot of fun and it empowers anyone to become a digital artist.

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