I recently wrote an article for About.com about the similar health benefits of crochet and walking. In that post, I shared some of my favorite resources about inspired walking. I thought I’d share those here as well, along with a couple of other related resources that I hadn’t mentioned yet.
- Walk It Off: A Walker’s Rambles. This terrific blog has a lot of information and inspiration for all walkers including people who have never walked regularly before and want to try it out.
- Walking in this World by Julia Cameron. This book, part of The Artist’s Way series, is a creativity exercise book that also encourages daily walking as part of a creativity plan. It has great tips and information for using movement-based creativity to improve your quality of life. I love the whole series and I was excited when Cameron added the element of walking to the other daily rituals she was already recommending (journaling, etc.)
- On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation by Andrea Horowitz. In this book the author takes a simple short walk with experts in different fields and discovers that each person sees different things in the world. It’s an inspiring guide for walking and I found that it also gave me a new perspective that infused creativity into my craft work and writing.
- The Flaneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris by Edmund White. This is one of the first books I ever read about walking and it revitalized my own interest in this simple exercise. It’s a book about Paris, a book about the history of wandering, a book about the magic of walking through the world.
- Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit. I’ve fallen in love with author Solnit in recent years. The first book of hers that I read was the one about San Francisco, which someone had given to my beaux as a gift and he had lent to me. I also read Paradise in Hell, her book about how we thrive in big disasters. And I’m currently reading The Faraway Nearby, a memoir about memory and stories. Wanderlust is her book about walking, about all of the different ways we walk and the stories of walking that are intertwined through time and her own experience of walking in my own San Francisco Bay Area.
Where was the last place that you walked? What did you discover?
During one of our classes the first weekend of this semester the instructor brought up the common scenario of an adult returning back home and suddenly behaving the same way that s(he) did as a teenager. There were so many understanding nods of agreement in the class, from people I know well enough to know that they often do battle with their families of origin in a way significantly different from how they interact with their chosen families. While I understood the reason for this, and I could recognize that it commonly happens, I didn’t feel it resonate as something that is true for me. I’ve been sitting with that ever since the class, mulling it over, and I reached the “aha” moment when I realized that there has been such a significant shift in our family dynamics over time that our new homeostasis doesn’t match the old homeostasis we were in when I was a kid … so of course I don’t feel like a kid in that home anymore and yet I do fall into a certain role or pattern that is different from how I interact in my other situations in life.
I recently wrote about the revival of Clearly Canadian. I have to say that the company is doing a great job of spreading the word. Two different people reached out to me to mention this based on one article I wrote for Hubpages a few years back. I’m seeing a lot of promotion around the web so I can only assume that they’ve been reaching out to thousands of other people in the same way.
One of the places that published about them recently was The Bold Italic. And they mentioned something I didn’t know … that the same folks who made Clearly Canadian also made Orbitz, and that they’re hoping to bring that drink back as well.
Aw, I remember Orbitz. It was a weird drink that had jelly balls in it. Kind of like Boba tea, which I don’t like at all even though everyone I know seems to be a fan. I kind of remember liking Orbitz at the time … but I was a teenager and it was newfangled and it had a kind of retro-edgy design so I imagine that was what I was drawn to. Curious to see if it does make a comeback.
“World Mental Health Day is promoted by the World Health Organization to help raise awareness about mental health issues. The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and what the world’s governments and health organizations are doing in prevention, promotion and treatment services. This year’s theme is living with schizophrenia.” – PsychCentral
Crochet for Schizophrenia
I’ll have a post up today on Crochet Concupiscence about the ways in which one woman has used crochet as part of her total wellness plan in living with schizophrenia.
A Recent Setback
For my post here, I wanted to talk about depression instead, because that’s what I personally deal with. And I wanted to be open about a setback I had recently that was hugely frustrating and reminded me how difficult it can be to get adequate mental health care when you need it.
I just started the process of applying to be a Pet Therapy volunteer at SF SPCA. I’m planning to be a pet/person team with Lucy. I went to the initial orientation yesterday and am really excited about it.
The orientation went really well. The main woman who is my coordinator seems to be really skilled at finding the right matches for the people/pets and the facilities for volunteering. She assured us that there are all types of dogs with all types of demeanors and that she’s able to get a good sense of environments where the dog will do best. Some places want big dogs, some small, some playful, some calm so it seems like there’s a place for every dog. She did note that we shouldn’t come in with too many assumptions about what’s going to be right for the dog because even a very playful dog can sometimes take on a much calmer demeanor in certain settings. She said that they really seem to all know that they are there to do a job.
That said, as I work with my coordinator over the next couple of months, we’ll be trying to figure out the different settings that are best for both Lucy and I. There are SO many different choices: Hospitals of all kinds including pediatric, psychiatric and end-of-life care, shelters for battered women, group homes for foster youth, transitional housing, after school programs … it’s a big list. One of the things I’m personally interested in is their therapy groups where the dog can play different roles ranging from sitting by people and getting pet as they talk to getting involved in playtime as a way to bond the group (playing ball with her, etc) but we’ll see as we move forward what the best places end up being.
Lucy will be going to an evaluation and then some classes with me to make sure that we’re a good match for this type of work. I have no doubt that she will really enjoy doing this and will make a lot of people really happy. In the meantime, I’ll be doing some shadow visits with other volunteers to get a sense of what the locations are like, what the dogs do when they are there and see if I have any more questions about the volunteer work.
I think that this is going to be a great new way for me to help my community while enjoying my own puppy time.
Yesterday I wrote about my graduate school intensive retreat week in which I took a Gestalt course
. I’ve written a full paper about what I really learned in the class but I’ve also written this top ten list of things I learned, which I thought I’d share here on the blog today:
- Oh, wow, I live inside a body, not just a head.
- Beware of the word “should”; it signifies an introject that might be worth giving back to its owner.
- If you want to still look youthful after years of being a therapist then you should probably consider being a Gestalt therapist.
- Confluence isn’t always bad. There are orgasms, after all.
- All of those times that I’ve tuned out the world around me in order to rejuvenate were actually excellent self-care practices using the technique of shuttling.
- My ears still glaze over when someone starts talking about their dreams.
- How I eat may reflect the way that I take in information.
- The only dogma of Gestalt is that we work in the here-and-now.
- I am in a constant process of imploding and exploding in order to become self-actualized.
- I am not the same me that I was a moment ago.
It’s been about two weeks since I said that I’d be gone from the blog for a week because I was going on a week-long retreat intensive for school. I should have known it would take time to acclimate again to normal life including blogging and dog walking and seeing friends and basically anything else except napping. School is wonderful and this retreat wasn’t nearly as emotionally tough on me as last year’s retreat but it’s still draining and it seems that when I return I always need to just sleep and sleep and sleep to integrate everything that happened while I was there.
The Annual Retreat
Things I enjoyed imbibing and ingesting recently, at home and in various San Francisco restaurants.
The summer is flying by. It’s just a few weeks until I go to my intensive week-long retreat to kick off my second year of grad school. Hard to believe! We’re taking a Gestalt class first so I’m reading up: