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May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.–

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

My team and I are glad you dropped in!

As the coronavirus continues to spread, we are all seeking paths to mental and physical wellness. The isolation, fear, and despair of mental health conditions are no stranger to me.

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Out Of the Abyss

Featured

(A story of healing and hope)

The opposite of depression is not happiness; it is vitality

Andrew Solomon

One of the main themes of Light at Sea is that healing and hope grow when we talk openly about mental health and addiction, so I thought I’d start by telling my own story.

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HAPPY NEW DAY!

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men…lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain.   

Robert Burns (1785)

INTRODUCTION

Before the confetti settles onto the shards of 2020, I want to talk about New Year’s resolutions. As usual, look for some statistics, a personal story about your intrepid, sometimes hypocritical blogger, and some thoughts on solving the frustrating conundrums that these insane promises we make to ourselves (and boldly proclaim to others) create. How dare I label a well-intentioned self-help plan “insane?” The answer lies in a combination of Professor Einstein’s definition of insanity and some annoying statistics. 

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THEY LIKE US JUST THE WAY WE ARE.

(Why impostor syndrome is itself an impostor.)

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.

If, Rudyard Kipling

INTRODUCTION

Fred Rogers may have liked us just the way we are, but most of us don’t share his upbeat opinion. We gnash our teeth and silently scream, “I hate myself!” We’re sure that any success that might have drifted our way was just luck, not ability.

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IT TAKES A SEAL TEAM

No [person] left behind. USMC

INTRODUCTION.

“It takes a village.” “There’s strength in numbers.”  These wise cliches notwithstanding, so many of us lead lives of isolation, a physical reality and harmful state of mind that are being exacerbated day after day as COVID cases increase. Today, I will talk about combating the depression and fear that loneliness often brings.

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ZENNIS

(Mindfulness and the Spin of the Ball)

The first skill needed for the inner game is called ‘letting it happen’. W. Timothy Gallwey, “Tennis: Playing the Game.”

In my cozy, book-lined blog workshop, I have been trying to write a post on meditation and its first cousin, mindfulness.  Because I am a neophyte practitioner of these time-honored arts, I decided to start with a subject that I know more about: tennis. What has that time-honored sport got to do with mindfulness, you may ask? Please read on.

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Exercise shouldn’t be the “E” word.

There are few things that you can’t do if you are willing to apply yourself.

Greg Lemond

INTRODUCTION

“Go get some exercise!” Great advice! After all, the mental and physical health benefits of daily exercise are tremendous. For folks like me who practice self-care to manage depression, it has been wonderful to experience directly what studies show:  Regular, modest exercise is at least as effective as antidepressants. Healthy Living.

So, why is it sometimes so bloody hard to follow this great advice? What follows are some thoughts on how to actually look forward to exercising rather than dreaming up excuses not to.

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IT’S THE HELMET, SILLY

(Smarter cycling in the smartphone age.)

Having talked a bit about bike riding in my last post, Cycling For Justice, I want to share some risk mitigation tips I have learned training for and struggling through long organized rides since 1996. Note that I am not using the words “safe” or “safety.” As with anything worth doing, cycling has a number of risks. Although they can’t be eliminated (even by the most zealous helicopter parents), here are some tips for reducing them:

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CYCLING FOR JUSTICE

(A Dime per Climb)

I had intended in this week’s post to explore mindfulness and meditation, strategies in the self-care tool kit. Instead, I want to talk today about issues of racism that have been highlighted yet again by the May 25 murder of George Floyd, and by the homicides of so many other innocent black victims, by police sworn to serve and protect them. These slayings have re-focused national attention on, and raised fundamental questions about, the deeply embedded racism against blacks in this country:

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FEAR DREADS RESILIENCE

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear…is fear itself.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Introduction

I can’t remember when I first heard those famous words, but I’m glad I remember them now. They will live in famy. (This is my blog so I can make up words if I jolly well like.) They are as timely, necessary, and inspirational now as they were when FDR addressed a terrified nation in 1933.

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