Time Mind Life

A moment of peace in the Juvenile Detention Center – The Art of Being Me.

Posted by Glenda Bundy
26 Oct 2018 08:42 PM

I’ve always valued the opportunity to give back and pay it forward. And, when I’m able to incorporate my professional skills into the volunteer activity, it becomes more meaningful. This summer I had the opportunity to leverage my health coaching skills by sharing principles of self-awareness with local kids. I took a trip to my home town to educate a small group of diverse, young people who resided in the local juvenile detention center.

I'd visited this center many years ago in my role as a Public Health Nurse. So, I'm familiar with the adolescent psyche and expected a few challenges. More specifically, I knew that I'd be tested to assess my level of trust. 

On this day, I’d be implementing a workshop called “The Art of Being Me: Transforming Negative Self Images.” This workshop is designed to help individuals improve self-awareness, reduce negative thinking and develop gratitude towards self.

Relaxed and filled with positive energy, I walked into the large, dull gray room lined with miniature cells along the perimeter. It hadn’t changed much since my visit years ago. The workshop would be held in the center of the room described as “the common area.” Thirteen tweens and teens joined me in the common area. I introduced myself and provided them with an overview of the workshop. The participants watched with curiosity and skepticism.

I kicked off my training with an ice breaker. The activity allowed the students to slowly emerge from their shells. The group quickly began to test the boundaries by asking me a series of questions. They were also disruptive with one another. After a few episodes of redirecting and answering questions we established mutual respect.

As we worked through the modules the students gradually became more comfortable expressing their feelings, which led to transparency when sharing life experiences. The stories were filled with details of aggression, impulsivity and the desire for control.

I’d love to say that the workshop was going well and as planned; however, it was quite the opposite. As the students articulated negative life experiences, I felt the energy in the room begin to shift. The verbiage was abrasive and at one point a few of the students became confrontational with each other. I quickly learned that some of the students tolerated each other while incarcerated, but they were foes outside of the center walls.

As the training progressed, I felt myself grow frustrated. The redirection strategies I used early on were no longer effective. The conflict between the youth continued to escalate. I called a break to reduce the negative energy and to be mindful of my purpose in this space.

After the break, (which included several students being reprimanded by facility staff) the energy in the room remained course, but the behavior had calmed.

I began to talk about meditation, its benefits, as well as the value of being mindful. I could see several students settling into the concept, while others seemed confused. I provided clarity to the explanation by comparing mindfulness to being “awake” and “woke.” The youth were familiar with these terms as they explained to me it’s cool to be “woke.”

As we continued the conversation, I intentionally avoided focusing on behaviors that resulted in the students being sent to the juvenile detention center, but more so on the thought process that led to those behaviors. I challenged them to be mindful of the chatter in their minds, and to begin to separate the lies from the truth in the thought process.

I explained that overactive minds could lead to symptoms of stress, restlessness, anxiety, and even depression. I then began to describe an exercise in which we would take a few breaths to prepare for a moment of stillness and quiet, while observing our physical presence.

Several of the youth began to rustle in their seats. One student stood up and began pacing around the room. I could feel the tension from earlier in the day returning.

The pacing student glared at me and stated, “when my mind slows down, I begin to think of dying, I’m afraid of dying.”  A few other youth shared similar sentiments. Tension around the topic of reducing mental chatter and observing presence began to build.

I released the phrases meditation and mindfulness.  I explained the activity as breathing to connect the mind with the body. The group accepted this explanation and the pacing student sat down. It appeared that his act of sitting was a non-verbal cue to the remainder of the group that this activity would be okay. They agreed to listen to a 4-minute guided instruction on connecting the mind with the breath. (I know that sitting in a quiet space for 4 minutes feels like an eternity to someone new to the experience.) Before the music ended I could hear and see bodies shifting and papers rustling. I quickly thanked the students for participating and commended them on taking a step to help reduce the chatter in their heads.

Student feedback from the experience varied, yet all positive in my eyes. The responses ranged from “that was the first time I’ve ever felt that way” to “it was scary, but I might try it again.”

The demeanor of the of group changed. The youth began to engage with one another in supportive commentary, and I felt a sense of comradery that I hadn’t felt earlier in the day.  The remaining modules of the curriculum were completed on a positive note.

The final module in my workshop consisted of creating art projects/tokens as a reminder of the experience. The students created beaded necklaces and bracelets. Several charms were available for the students to add to their beaded project. I found it interesting that all, but one student chose to add a charm in the shape of a cross. My interpretation of this is that despite their current situation and behavior, these young people still grasped a sense of  value, hope and protection through the presence of the cross.  

I took time to process the experience. My conclusion: now is the time to teach young people strategies around self-care and mental well-being. Although the youth at the detention center have been identified as high risk, mental chatter is not unique to this age group. It’s time to create opportunities that focus on helping youth decompress. The Art of Being Me: Transforming Negative Self-Image, begins the process by helping youth identify the authentic self, amidst the developmental phase of adolescence. I’d like to see an avenue where young people are allowed adequate time and a certain level of maturity before being tasked with taking the wheel in their lives.  

 

Glenda 

Time Mind Life Health and Wellness Coaching

 

 

Transition - Embracing the Process

Posted by Glenda Bundy
30 Jul 2018 10:25 AM

 

It’s my birthday and as always, I’m truly thankful for the gift of life. Currently, I’m amid transition. As with many transitions there is a degree of uncertainty.  The decision to do or not to do….

Now that I’ve navigated the emotional element it’s time to trust the process. What does this look like?

I’m energizing only the elements of which I have control.

I’m remaining true to myself despite the influence of others.

I’m focusing on self-care by creating opportunities to quiet my mind and soul.

I’m opening my heart to give and receive an abundance of love.

Additionally, the fundamental basics eat, hydrate and exercise.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Posted by Glenda Bundy
01 May 2018 09:41 PM

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

 

What do you do when the day to day challenges of life become overwhelming, and you lose the ability to meet life’s demands?

Being overworked, loss of a job, relationship issues in the family, unexpected love loss, among other things can cause overwhelming emotional stress.

Excessive  stress can lead to anxiety or depression.

 Many people attempt to push through it, afraid to seek help due to the fear of what others may think of them.

Often we hear “shake it off or work through it”.  Ignore this type of advice.

WHEN LIFE HURTS GET HELP. 

Seek professional help if you; develop feelings of hopelessness, lose interest in activities that once made you happy, experience changes in sleep and appetite, feel there is no value to life, or self medicate with drugs and alcohol. 

Start with a good Psychologist or Psychiatrist.  If your employer offers an Employee Assistance Program utilize the benefits. Self- care includes taking care of your mental health. 

Walking Meditation

Posted by Glenda Bundy
21 Jan 2018 10:24 PM

This past week a winter storm hit and left many parts of the country with unseasonably cold conditions and record snow fall.

Here in the south we experienced it for a few days, yet it quickly returned to 60-degree temperatures.

Saturday morning, I set out on my walk with the intention of focusing on the sensations of the environment.  I began walking with quick strides and minimal awareness of my surroundings.  I realized my mind was filled with chatter and my body was on autopilot.

I was out of touch with the world around me.  This walk felt like work.

In this moment, I decided to transition meditation into this walk.

I slowed my pace and began to walk with gentleness, noticing the sensations of my feet touching the ground.

I consciously relaxed my body, mind and established a natural rhythm with my breathing

I was present. The air was warm and breezy. I observed blades of grass through the melting snow.  I could hear dogs barking from afar. The chatter in my mind decreased. I felt at peace.

Walking meditation can be practiced at any time.  I am pleased to have experienced the benefits of cultivating mindfulness through walking.

 

Preparing for the Holiday.

Posted by Glenda Bundy
05 Nov 2017 07:39 PM

  

As the holidays inch closer, we are reminded of the joys of family, friends and holiday fun.  However,

These are also times of increasing stress and anxiety.

There are year-end deadlines.

Organizing events for family and friends – cooking, shopping and hosting.

Memories of loved ones’ past.

Reminders of goals and resolutions that one had hoped to achieve.

Days quickly turn into nights.

Many people experience an array of symptoms, from happiness to stress, anxiety and sadness.

Self-care becomes essential to keep the body and mind in balance. As you seek tools to place in your self-care box, consider the CD “Guided Meditations for the Busy Woman.”

These guided meditation tracks provide an opportunity to pause and be present… to focus, relax and be mindful of truly what’s important during this time.

 

Enjoy the sample.

 

When gray hair strikes!

Posted by Glenda Bundy
22 Oct 2017 11:13 PM

I recently noticed a gray hair in my eyebrow and chuckled at my own response of smiling back at myself in the mirror.  In my case I’m sure it’s a classic sign of aging, versus a symptom of a health condition. To be honest If I'd had this experience just a few years ago I may have panicked.

I believe that society’s message of aging continues to be more negative with less emphasis on the positive attributes of the normal aging process. 

Here is a description of the color gray.  Gray is boring, drab, depressing yet on the other hand can be elegant, formal, yet never glamorous.

So why am I chuckling? I’m mindful about what I think and tell myself about me.  I refuse to allow a gray hair and society’s standard of what gray hair represents to define my actions or my perception of who i am. 

To be mindful of your thoughts towards yourself is an element of self-care.  Remember to embrace who you are and be open to the natural changes of life. If you decide to make changes (for example if I decide to color that gray hair) do it for your personal pleasure and not to hide your true nature.

Be mindful of the negative messages that flow within your mind, and reinforce them with positive messages.

Be kind and truthful to yourself. To age is a blessing.

 

 

A day of Reflection- My Birthday

Posted by Glenda Bundy
30 Jul 2017 11:34 PM

My Birthday

This month I celebrated my birthday.  I decided not to make any plans as I yearned for a day of reflection. No fanfare, gifts or special dinner.  I wanted the opportunity to be spontaneous, to do or not to do.  To simply experience being.

The day provided the opportunity for me to reflect on where I am, where I’ve been and where I’m going.

I can start by saying I’ve been to a lot of places, mentally, physically and emotionally. Life has presented a variety of storms.  I survived the storms, yet must admit the damage from a few left me cleaning debris longer than expected.  The cleanup created an opportunity for me to mature, become resilient and embrace that life isn’t always fair.

Today is today. I’m living in the moment. Embracing the beauty of being me. Loving myself and as a result promoting healing in my life. I’m grateful for this journey. Walking in love with myself hasn’t always been a priority, however now that I do it everyone around me reaps the benefits. I’m better prepared for new storms and thankful that God protects.

Where am I going? I’m confident that it’s to many beautiful places, mentally, physically and emotionally. Places where I can show love, compassion, and teach others the benefits of taking care of themselves.

Places where I can motivate and inspire. Places where I can relax, revive and feel refreshed. Happy Birthday to Me!!!

 

A quest for happiness

Posted by Glenda Bundy
29 Jun 2017 05:58 PM

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of quotes and articles on Happiness.  I’m most curious about the ones that state “happiness is a choice" and  "tell yourself to be happy” Is it that easy?  I had to think about it for a moment………. While I agree it is a choice, I believe that a certain state of mind must be present while feeding yourself these statements. One must assess their own definition of what makes them happy.   Is it the possession of tangible items, certain people or significant events?  I’m sure we can all agree that dependence on these things for happiness is not realistic and typically short lived.  

Then there is the phrase,” I choose to be happy today.”  What does that really mean? Wouldn’t it be nice to be happy every day? True happiness illicits joy and a sense of peace, even when the chips are down.

How does one accomplish being happy every day?  There are many suggestions and ideas on market and I’m sure they are effective, however I’m back to my original suggestion that happiness is a state of mind.

I don’t have all the answers, however I’d suggest  that one's mind transforms when they are loving, understanding and engage in gratitude towards self.

For example: If I’m loving and grateful towards myself, when I lose the tangible things I have the confidence to know those things didn’t define me and I can get them back at some point.

When those that I love no longer  love me, the love and gratitude I have towards myself  will enable me to pursue and respect future loving relationships.

When the joyful event has passed, I understand it brought me happiness in that moment, I can treasure it or  let it go.  

A significant step in being happy is relying on your own inner strength to keep you grounded, realistic and protected. 

I choose to be happy today, how about you?

Remembering Memorial Day

Posted by Glenda Bundy
26 May 2017 10:50 PM

I volunteer at a Senior Center where I provide guided Meditation. Often the session ends with seniors sharing what they experienced during the meditation session. There is one shared experience that I'm reminded off as we approach the Memorial Day weekend.

Towards the end of the meditation practice I instruct the seniors to open their eyes when they’re ready.  Mrs. Ruby (not her real name) about 89 years old, opened her usually bright eyes and immediately began to laugh. We all turned to look in her direction as her laugh grew louder and louder. By now she was rhythmically tapping her feet on the wheelchair footrest, mind you she can’t walk.

Suddenly the laughter turned to wailing. With tears streaming down her face she began to speak. Initially it was difficult to understand what she was saying and I reminded her that she didn’t have to share her story. She insisted and expressed the moment was vivid, “he was right here” she said.  Mrs. Ruby shared that her husband served in World War II.  He was scheduled to come home one spring yet didn’t make it. She stopped receiving letters from him and began to fear the worst. Out of blue, one evening he showed up. She opened the front door, he pulled her outside, and they began to dance.  Mrs. Ruby said they danced until her feet began to hurt.   She talked about how much she loved him, missed him and how well he took care of her. She expressed being grateful to have the opportunity to relive that moment.

As we give thanks and remember those that died in active military service, remember to show compassion and extend your hearts to the loved ones of loss veterans. 

Supporting Mental Illness

Posted by Glenda Bundy
09 May 2017 09:12 PM

Loving those with mental illness-

This weekend I watched the HBO special, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks featuring Oprah Winfrey. The movie left me filled with a sense of enlightenment, while provoking thoughts around mental illness particularly of those close to me.  So much so, that I called one of them. The called followed the routine format, I told her I loved her, we talked about our day to day lives. I jumped on the topic of treatment for her condition. (maybe jumped too fast) The same response follows, "I'm not taking that medicine or talking to anyone, I don't need anybody trying to get inside of my head" Fortunately /Unfortunately the nurse in me leaped  out. I provided all the supportive reasons why treatment could potentially improve her life, reminding her that  her symptoms prevent her from experiencing a sense of “normalcy”.   Yet she remains resistant, convinced that treatment is deceptive and designed to change her for the worst. I feel helpless when she responds this way, yet strengthened knowing that change is voluntary and evolves from within. I’m hopeful that one day she’ll be ready and when the time is right she’ll seek adequate treatment. In the meantime, we completed a few mindfulness meditation exercises and engaged in a conversation around appreciation and gratitude. She finds the meditation helpful, but what inspires her most is when I tell her how grateful I am that she’s a part of my life, and I mean it!!  Support your loved ones with mental illness.