Friday, July 6, 2012


I've been in California for a few days with family and it's doing wonders. I spent today on the beach in Santa Cruz, fabulous, and took a nap in the sun.UntitledI'm thinking, reading, journaling. Today the most profound thing I read was about this idea that emotions are true- they are the effect, a reaction to a cause. The cause is believing something, which may or may not be true, but our feelings are always directly from our integrity. Also, it is critical to listen to my thoughts without believing them automatically. In order to really be authentic I need to be aware of my emotions and instead of stuff, lie about or deny them, simply be aware of them. My feelings are a reaction to my beliefs, which are based on the stories I tell myself. These stories are what I make up about my perception, which isn't reality, but is my reality. If I don't like how things are or how I feel, I can change my beliefs, particularly about myself.

This was prompted by a book I'm reading called "the voice of knowledge" by Miguel Ruiz. It's very thought provoking and a lot of it resonates with my soul. It's a guide to inner peace, which essentially is what happens when we quiet the voice in our heads. When I read that I immediately agreed, my lack of peace is a direct result from the chaotic and abusive crap that is constantly whirring in my brain. He says that what the voice is saying is just what what we know based on our perception. I can listen without believing, judging, or criticizing what my mind tells me. What a concept! This simple idea is a total "duh" that I obviously have missed or not realized/internalized (seriously, re-read my last post! Ugh)..

I want to write more as I read more, share my thoughts and opinions. I'm curious about what anyone else's perspective is, so if you want to start a conversation I'd be thrilled.

I've made a list of what I really want:
- Inner peace so I can be content, wherever I am with myself
- Financial independence
- to write
- to dance
- to have my own space somewhere- my own home place
- to get my bachelors degree
- photographic fulfillment

I had a horrible dream last night about trying to convince people of something terrible that had happened to me. I realized today that tomorrow is the 2 year anniversary of when that terrible thing happened in real life which became a catalyst for significant change and confusion in my life. This event also triggered a lot of repressed memories that still haunt me. I'm avoiding being direct, I don't know if I can be that vulnerable yet, but as I stated in my last post, I'm trying to be honest and I want to be authentic- so, I'm sharing vaguely the reason but more importantly the feeling of where I am right now which is really sad and also grateful. I am surrounded by family, my goal for the next three days is to love and enjoy these people in the moment and try to start this new thing of letting people in with them. I want to connect, I want to trust, I want to let people actively love me, and I'm willing to be open to it.

Right now I'm laying in a hotel bed with my sister, the lights are out and my parents are falling asleep in the bed next to us. I belong with these people and yet sometimes I feel so alone. This isn't anyone's fault, I want things to be different.

I've always wanted to be a dancer. I had this thought just now- as long as I dance, I AM. I don't have to be anything fancy, I simply just need to start to move and I become a dancer.

Forgive me for being all over the place tonight, the randomness in my mind is leaking onto my blog and I feel too exhausted to organize or edit what I'm saying right now.

- Posted from my iPhone Pin It Now!


Rebecca Barton said...

Hey Heather! Derek showed me your blog for me to look at your photography before we even started dating, and I've just been creepily following it ever since. Derek was definitely right about you being an amazing photographer. I'm glad we finally got to meet briefly at Derek's parents' house.
I'm a psychology major, so I kinda see everything through a psychology lens, and your post immediately jumped out at me. I've been reading a lot this summer for my job about how beliefs influence thoughts and moods. Pretty interesting how that happens. Have you read any mindfulness based therapy or acceptance and commitment therapy stuff? It's pretty much the psychology side of what you're talking about in your post.

heather said...

Hey Rebecca! Thank you so much for commenting, I'm glad we met, and I'm flattered that you follow my blog:)

I actually haven't intentionally read anything about mindfulness based or acceptance and commitment therapy, but that is fascinating to me. I have been reading bits of eastern religion books like about Buddhism and Islamism, which are really similar. I've been hearing a lot about practicing mindfulness and how amazing it has the potential to be. What are your thoughts on it?

I'm totally interested in psychology, I started studying it a few years ago but most of my experience and interest comes from working in a rehab and my own experience with therapy and my own thinking.

Do you have any good resources you'd recommend about mindfulness or any of the subjects here? I really appreciate you commenting! You're awesome and I'm excited to get to know you:)

Rebecca Barton said...

Ironically, I initially became interested in psychology in high school to try to avoid actually going to therapy myself haha.

Going into my job at BYU's Counseling Center, I kinda felt like I was above all the new-agey, meditation and mindfulness stuff and really only believed in the more hardcore scientific cognitive behavioral theories. For my job, I'm working on developing a computerized therapy program for depression, and we're incorporating stuff from a lot of different ideologies, including mindfulness. Because of that, I've had to actually learn a lot more about mindfulness and meditation, and I have to say that I'm much more of a believer than I was going in. I agree that it has amazing potential.

"Authentic Happiness" and "Flourish" by Martin Seligman and "Flow" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi are good. Or they have both given TED talks if you want a more Reader's Digest version of their ideas haha. "The Happiness Hypothesis," "Happiness: Essential Mindfulness Practices," and "Stumbling on Happiness" are all good too.
Stephen C. Hayes is your go-to guy for acceptance and commitment therapy and he's published a ton of stuff. ACT is all about accepting your thoughts and emotions as they are instead of internally trying to fight or change them. It is pretty different than most traditional psychology ideas.
Sorry that was probably more than you bargained for when you asked for recommendations haha. Hopefully there will be something for you in there.

Have you read The Fountainhead? I know it's one of your grandma's favorites. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it changed how I look at myself and life more than any psychology book I've ever read.

heather said...

Oh my gosh that's awesome, thank you so much for those recommendations! I'm excited, it's all very fascinating. I haven't read the fountainhead but it's actually on my list, well the three books are!

Your work sounds really interesting! I'd love to talk to you about it, will the program be for clients in therapy as a supplement?

I think a lot of people go into psychology for that reason, and into the whole field from therapy to research to social work. That was my first major (I switched around a lot) but I did the same thing haha. Has it worked for you? I think it's what makes people in the field better though, or more helpful to whoever they are working with since they have personal experience behind their interest.

Rebecca Barton said...

Haha no, it didn't work for me. I don't think it ever really does. It kinda just prolonged the inevitable. It worked out though because I found what I'm really passionate about. I think you're right about a lot of people going into it for that reason though. I think for whatever reason, we as humans have this inherent need to try to figure ourselves out and fix ourselves.

As for the program, the plan in to start having the current clients at the counseling center use it in addition to therapy to try to enhance their sessions with their therapist. Even at BYU which has one of the biggest counseling centers in the country, there's still a wait list and not enough counselors to meet demand. The end goal is to eventually take this to other universities, assuming it works at BYU. Fingers crossed. Helping to create this program has been fascinating for me, but I'm sure I bore Derek talking about it sometimes haha.

Any recommendations from what you've read? I'm always looking for new stuff to read.