This is an old post, now new and improved, revisited for two reasons: one, my neck issues are making it hard to write new posts these days. But more importantly, I wrote this in November 2010, when my blog was still a baby. Chances are you’ve never seen this before, and kookys taste much better when we enjoy them together. So go ahead, help yourself. Feel free to make some crumbs, the floor is already dirty…
- – -
I love skills.
I love practical tools.
I love cookies.
I like jars more than I like boxes.
I LOVE metaphors.
On my quest for self-kindness and mental health, I collected a lot of skills and tools: ideas that can be implemented in our daily lives. The kind of ideas that if you practice them often enough, what you get is mental-fitness.
Neuroscientists says that mental exercises can literally change brain chemistry by effecting the ratio of good and bad brain hormones, and can change brain structure by building more neurons in brain sections that perform different mental tasks, so that means that when you are depressed, you have more neurons in your gloomy section of he brain, but by exercising your thoughts, you can literally build more neurons in the sunny-side-of-the-street part of your mind. So while this explanation is really simplistic (I bet any real brain-scientist would shudder to read it) you get the idea: mental skills are nifty and useful.
I like to present ideas with easy-to-digest metaphors, and the image of practical skills, neatly arranged in a shiny-red toolbox was appealing. For a while.
I had this toolbox, full of good things, but it somehow seemed heavy, and too masculine. I found myself resisting carrying it around. And I wasn’t sharing it nearly enough. Until, the other day, while watching my kids show me how the cookie crumbles, and than proceed to step on those crumbs with glee, I had a little epiphany: that this toolbox is more of a cookie jar. Full to the brim with sweet, crumbly goodness, that might melt in your mind while exposing you to ideas you can easily digest and implement.
So now it is my honor to invite you to reach into the Postpartum Depression Kooky Jar. Offering the only cookies I know of that enhance your fitness. And while they won’t help you get back into your pre-pregnancy jeans, these kookys might help you be more friendly with yourself. When this happens, you find yourself with more energy. Energy you could use to go to the gym, or go to the kitchen to bake cookies, or approach your already much too long to-do list with less trepidation. Either way, skills that come from a kooky jar taste better than tools from a box. Delish!
But how come it’s spelled Kooky?
Because, sadly, I don’t bake. I barely have the wherewithal to put three meals on the table, not to mention hardly fitting in my pants. So cookies here? Not so much. Besides, I don’t really have a sweet tooth, if I’d be baking anything, it would be bread. And then there’s of course the obvious reason. If you’ve been hanging out around here, you probably noticed that I am a kooky one (if you are new here, consider yourself warned!). The more I relax into this kookiness, the better-off everybody else around here is. This is probably true for you too. This, by the way, is actually a kooky in it’s own right: let your own kooky self out, because trying to pretend your kookyness away might just have something to do with getting depressed in the first place.
Still with me? Oh, good! Obviously you deserve some kookys!
Here we go:
It’s about not fighting yourself, but rather interacting with your emotion kindly and powerfully. Here is how: If you only have time to read one more thing, this is the link to click.
Because all too often your pain has nothing to do with what’s in the picture, and everything to do with the frame.
That’s why metaphors make everything taste better!
Whenever I have to deal with something that scares me or rubs me the wrong way I try to look at it from a different direction, shed some new light over it, and give it a new name. Just like I did here, with the toolbox turned kooky jar, and with the teleconference turned SpeakEasy.
Metaphors work wonders to reframe effectively and playfully. The amazing Havi Brooks of The Fluent Self, one of my favorite writers ever, cavorts with a superhero called Metaphor Mouse, I’m a big fan.
Don’t Believe Everything You Think
I am taking this to mean that while emotions are always valid, the scary stories they tell are not. I first encountered this idea on a bumper sticker about 6 years ago, while I was deeply depressed, just as I was leaving a therapy session. Someday I’ll make this into a T-shirt. For a more extensive how-to for this kooky, read this post about PPD Mantras
You probably guessed it already: my blog is the kooky jar.
I keep “baking” new coping skills, served freshly with each post.
Please remember, that no matter how sweet the kookys are, none of this is medical advice. I’m a mama who’s been through a lot and I like to share, just don’t mistake me for a health-care professional, OK?
Please have a kooky (or seven). And while you are chewing on all this, would you please let me know which one of these kookys tastes best to you?
As always, love, love, love to all who read.
Whether you comment or not, may the joy be with you.