Why Music Is Good for My Life- Music Soothes the Savage Beast.

I admit that there are times when I get in a bad mood and I just can’t get out of it.  My outlook on life seems dark and gloomy, and I snap at everyone I come across.
I don’t want to be like this nor do I desire to stay like this, but that attitude just sticks to me.

What do we do about soothing the savage beast?

Everyone has their own way of dealing with the beast.  I deal with it by playing music.

This week I have decided to play at least one instrument a day.  This may seem like a no brainer and an easy task, especially for a musician, but it is so easy to become wrapped up in the “work” side of being a musician and start forgetting the “enjoy” side.  Let me explain:

  Music gives me pleasure:

Each time I play an instrument I feel instant enjoyment.  It is the kind of enjoyment that makes me feel like all is right in the world.  I really need this when I feel the savage beast coming on, because the best way to get rid of a bad mood is to not just simply cheer up, but to do something that gives you a sense of meaning.

  Music also helps me think: 

Even though I am playing a piece of music, my mind wanders to the thoughts of my day.  To worries or truths that I didn’t comprehend before.  I think better while I play music, not because I can’t think elsewhere, but because music helps calm my mind down enough to allow me to think clearer.

  It soothes the savage beast inside and lulls it to sleep.

Your way of soothing this “beast” probably is very different.  Maybe you feel better if you go off and read a book.  Maybe you soothe it by cleaning the house or taking a walk.  Maybe a shower is something that relaxes you and clears your head.

I will make a note here that there are some wrong and some unhealthy ways of soothing the savage beast.  Those things are not truly helping, but hurting you, physically and emotionally.  However there are many things which we can do, that are good and healthy, that soothes this beast such as running or sitting out on the front stoop.  Watching a TV program or listening to some music on the radio. All very good and healthy ways to soothe the beast.

  Your way is unique, because you are unique, but one truth remains the same: 
  What ever it is, don’t neglect to spend time doing it.

We all need time to think and to calm ourselves because this world is a very hectic place.  If we don’t take the time, we will never have the time.  I have chosen to play an instrument each day.  I made that choice and it is a choice that I have to consciously make everyday.  This time is not only good for my mood, but good for my spirit.

I feel more connected with Jesus after I have spent some time playing music.

I feel His guidance more clearly and I am able to trust Him more with a situation after I have spent time playing an instrument.  Because when we are overwhelmed by anger and frustration that we can’t let go of, we can’t possibly be in a position to draw close to Him.

Remember those cartoons where the mans becomes so angry that his face turns red and steam starts pouring out of his ears.  Can you possibly expect that man to be open to listening to anyone?  When the savage beast is rampant, we start turning into that sort of a person.  Sometimes it is better to just walk away and spend some time doing something that soothes that beast to sleep.

  So let me ask you:

  What is your way of soothing the savage beast?
We all experience this, because we are all sinful and human. So how do you do it in your own unique way?

And with that question in mind ask yourself this:
 Have I been making some time to do this?

We all deal with this monster.  We all get grouchy and sometimes feel like throwing up our hands to the whole mess! But God gave each of us a particular way through which He soothes our savage beast so we can be more open to His leading.  This is a blessing and a wonderful gift from God!

Don’t neglect taking some time to sooth the savage beast inside of you.

Have a question or a comment? Please write it below. I love hearing from my readers.

I am Weirdiful!- “Why Your Weirdness is Wonderful” Book Review

Me In The Ball Pit

Guessing time!

Where do you think I wrote this review?  In a chair, at a desk, on a bed? No, to all those answers.  I am writing this review while laying in a ball pit.

Now, that you know the answer, what do you think of me?… do you think I’m weird maybe?

Good.

That is exactly what Why Your Weirdness Is Wonderful by Laurie Wallin is all about: Pointing out the fact that we are weird, but our weirdness is wonderful!

When I first began reading this book, I was skeptical of what it had to say. Being confident in who you are, quirks and all, somehow didn’t seem right to me.

As Christians, we are taught that everything we do, that has any worth, is God working through us. In my mind that meant that I didn’t have any worth.

But instead of reinforcing that belief, Laurie Wallin put that idea on it’s head.

God created me with “Weird quirks” that are specifically for me and those quirks are something He treasures!

I have worth!

Unlike the temperament tests and the ‘find who you are’ books, this book doesn’t try to fit you into a pre-formed mold.  Instead, Laurie gives you tools to discover your unique quirks and how special you are.

I have spent so many years of my life thinking that my weird quirks (such as my ability to dream big or my nervous tics) were a bad thing.

How many of you have thought this way as well?

In this book, she points out that the word “Weird” in the original Greek is actually a good thing… a beautiful thing.

I have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD for short). It is easy to look at this piece of my personality and say, “This is a horrible thing!” It’s hard living with SPD, it’s lonely, and it’s makes you feel different from the rest of the people around you.

But instead I say, “This is a good thing!”

This book gave me the tools to embrace my SPD. It taught me to see that my SPD has a light side, just as much as it has a dark side. Through living with SPD, I have learned how to see people that many overlook. I hear things, see things, and feel things that a lot of people never even knew exist

But I have also learned that I have more to my personality than just un-useful quirks. I discovered that I have strong leadership talents through this book.  That I have taken on false quirks from other people that aren’t natural to my personality, and I have discovered why my quirks clash with other peoples quirks.

My life has been radically changed through this book and I have been able to explore my heart more than I ever thought possible.

So whether you are struggling with understanding your place in this world, or maybe you just want to know a little bit more about who God made you to be, this book is for you!

Laurie has been through the wringer. She has adopted children, had children of her own, and has had to make some serious decisions for her and her family. She knows how hard life can be and how hard it is to live out your quirks weirdifully. But in this book she shows her readers that it is possible to live in the light side!

I know the things Laurie has taught me through this book will keep coming back to me throughout my life… I hope you will be able to say the same?

Want to have your own copy of Why Your Weirdness is Wonderful?… check it out on Amazon.com.

Photo from Amazon.com

Photo from Amazon.com

 

Stop Avoiding Sensory Processing Disorder and Pick It Up!

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When I walk into a room, it is hard for people not to notice that I am different from the rest of the twenty-somethings.  With a big black bag full of Sensory Tools in my hand and my nervous tics filling up the dead air space, you can’t escape from it.  But instead of facing this fact, many avoid it… or take pity on me.

This feeling of constantly being ignored or pitied makes my life a lot harder because I can’t avoid it, I have to face it everyday.

A Story About a Girl and a Coredisk.

My Coredisk

Earlier this month I had my whole family over for dinner.  This was the first family dinner we had had since I had found out about my SPD.   Everyone could notice that I was carrying a Koosh ball everywhere I went.  Everyone could see that I was sitting on a CoreDisk at the table.

SPD was there, in the room, but no one was facing it.

Until my cousins daughter (who is about two) came over to my chair and noticed my Coredisk.  I happened to be standing nearby so I moved a little closer.  She poked it with her fingers and then simply asked, “What is this you’re sitting on Netta?”

I smiled and explained, “This is a seat that I sit on.”

She continued to poke the Coredisk.  It was fun to poke because of the air and squillet inside.  Then she placed both hands on the Coredisk and picked it up.

If you have ever held a Coredisk full of squillet you will know that it is very heavy.  But despite this problem, she proceeded to pick it up off the chair and carry it over to the living room for further investigation.

Pick It Up and Carry It

Many people avoid SPD because they simply don’t understand it.  But instead of avoiding SPD, we need to pick it up.  We need to face that it is in this persons life or in our lives.  We need to stop believing that if we ignore it, it will eventually go away or that it is a reason to take pity on someone.

Remember, I am as much of a person as you are, I just have a slight disability.  That doesn’t make me unable to have a good life, to hang out with friends, and be a productive person.

Yes, SPD is hard, but people make it even harder when they don’t admit that it is there.

Instead of Pitying My SPD, Poke At It

In the story, she didn’t pull her hands away in disgust, but reached out and poked my Coredisk.  She asked questions and investigated it as much as she could.  That is exactly how we need to be about SPD.

I love it when people ask me questions about my SPD.  It shows me that they are interested in understanding it, instead of avoiding it.  We need more people to poke at SPD.  To investigate it and be interested in how it effects each person.

A big part of understanding SPD is taking the time to ask and also taking the time to share what they have learned.

However, we, who deal with SPD, are also to blame because SPD awareness starts with us.  We need to talk about it, admit that it is there, just as much as those around us.

It May Be Heavy…

Sensory Processing Disorder is difficult.  Sometimes it is hard to talk about because it is not always cheerful.  There are a lot of draw backs, restrictions, and failures in SPD, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored.

Just as my Coredisk was really heavy and hard to lift for a little girl, so is SPD to face.

But I was so happy for someone to admit that my Coredisk was there and for someone to be curious about it.  For someone to want to experience what I was experience.  To treat it like it is no big deal, just like we treat those who wear glasses or hearing aids.

I am learning to embrace my SPD: to stop treating it like the monster in the room, but recognize that this is a part of who I am.

I hope you all will do the same.

Enjoying Your Food Without a Sensory Fight- Guest Blog On Coming To My Senses

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Hello readers.

Near the end of last week, I had the pleasure of guest blogging on a fantastic site: Coming To My Senses.

Coming To My Senses, created by Rachel Schneider, has been for years the place for adults with Sensory Processing Disorder to find the answers they’re looking for. Rachel tells personal stories, information, and explains the complicated medical stuff of SPD in a way we non-medical people can understand.

Rachel was also the person who really helped me when I was first discovering my SPD. Weeks after my diagnoses, we connected and she pointed me to a fantastic support group for adults with SPD. Since we first connect she has become one of my many cheerleaders and a good friend.

I can’t tell you all how honored I am for the opportunity to guest blog on this amazing site and for this amazing person. So instead of simply trying to tell you all, I thought I would share the blog post for you to read, enjoy, and learn how to make friends with your food again.

Thanks again Rachel and I hope you all enjoy reading it: Click here to view the link: “Enjoying Your Food Without a Sensory Fight.”-Annetta Nesler

Happy eating.

Annetta Nesler

Discovering and Accepting My Special Needs

 

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When I was a child I always knew I was different. I reacted to things quicker than most kids. My life was ruled by what I did or didn’t like in everything from clothing to food.

But my biggest struggle was against the lies that I am worthless, lazy, and stupid.

I saw myself as clumsy, fearful, nervous, and highly sensitive. Frustrated that my body required more sleep and more down time than most people.

No one put those labels on me, my heart was just slowly fed these lies through the way I saw myself in the world.

But those labels were lies, and I was telling myself those lies because I hadn’t accepted the fact that I had and have special needs.

I always knew I was different, but to see myself as having special needs is very new!

Being different is one thing, having special needs is another. Admitting I have special needs means admitting that:

1. I have real limitations

2. That I have odd behaviors

3. And that I require things that most people don’t require.

When you are physically disabled, most people see you have special needs right from the get go, but with a subtle disability like Sensory Processing Disorder most people don’t see it visibly until I put on my noise canceling headphones or sit on my CoreDisk.

Because the world often mistakes me as not having special needs, I forget that I have special needs. Why is this so bad? Because when I forget I have special needs that also means I can’t accept that I have special needs either. And when I can’t accept that I have special needs, I begin to feel discouraged and I punish myself for not being “normal”, thus creating the lies in my head.

Trying to get out into the world, to reach beyond my limitations, and improve my SPD is still important, don’t get me wrong! I am continually trying to push my limitations and make my life better, BUT instead of shooting for “normal”, what I really need to shoot for is the best that I can be: special needs included.

Personal story:

Last night I went to a fundraiser with my young adult group, which happened to be at a very cluttered, noisy restaurant. When I heard that my group was going to this fundraiser the first thought in my head was, “Oh, boy! This is going to be bad for my SPD,” and I almost decided to stay home, but in the end I decided to go.

It was 7:30pm when I got to the restaurant and it was packed. Filled with people, voices, loud music, and antiques covering the walls. Within seconds of walking in my SPD started sending out warning signals.

I had three options:

1. Stay and try to stick it out, so I wouldn’t have to look funny using my sensory tools.

2. Leave and go home.

3. Use my sensory tools and give it a try.

There is a strong temptation to go with the first option. It is embarrassing to wear big honkin’ headphones in a group of people. It looks strange when I pull out my big, colorful, CoreDisk cushion. It’s weird to have a 22 year old playing with a Koosh ball in public!

Everything in me wanted to be normal, but if I tried to be normal I knew that my body would suffer. I would probably have a panic attack or a complete sensory overload (which isn’t pretty).

The second option would mean accepting my limitations, but it would also mean hiding them; not even trying to push my limitations.

Going home would be easy and that would always be an option no matter what happened, but I knew if I left right away, I would be running away.

I’m not saying leaving is bad, but leaving before I tried my sensory tools is.

Having special needs doesn’t mean you avoid all situations where your disability would be a problem.

Excepting your special needs means doing what you need to do to help your body/mind live the best life you can have.

In the end I chose option three and not only did I have a great time, but I also built up my self esteem, my courage, and I beat back those lies a little more!

Yes, using my sensory tools was awkward at first, but in order to except the fact that I have special needs, I need to do what I need to do to help my body.

Don’t ever be ashamed of using the tools and techniques that help your body function in the world!

I have special needs, so I am going to sleep a lot more than most- and that’s ok.

I have special needs, so I am going to use sensory tools in my life- and that’s ok.

I have special needs, so I am going to have bad days- and that’s ok too!

This is a new mindset for me. To see myself as having limitations and special needs is very new, but it is very freeing.

Day by day I am learning to accept that I have special needs. I hope you will do the same.

Not ever disability is visable picture

Want to read more about this topic? Here are some other blog posts related to this one:

Overload alert!- What it feels like to have Sensory Processing Disorder overload.

I Am Still Me- I am more than my SPD!

Stop Avoiding Sensory Processing Disorder and Pick It Up!

Sensory Tools and Toys For Sensory Processing Disorder- Part 1.

Also don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post. Thanks for reading. God bless!

 

I Am Adopted- Adopted In Christ

This month is Adoption Awareness month and just this morning I was reading a book that talks about adoption, it’s called Ephesians.

“Even as [in His love] God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love. For He foreordained us (planned in love for us) to be adopted as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will. So that we might be to the praise of His glorious grace, which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved!” ~Ephesians 1:4-6

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I Am Adopted- not earthly, but spiritually.

Many children who have been adopted came from homes, countries, or villages that didn’t love them. No one treasured them as a parent treasures their child. Many grew up lonely, having lies drilled into their hearts through terrible experiences.

But is that any different from what we were before Christ?

My heart has often felt out of place and unloved by the wicked, sinful world and I am sure everyone has experienced loneliness.

I also have had lies drilled into my heart. Lies that I am worthless, unlovable, ugly, and many more.

But I belong to Someone now… Someone who loves me.

Adoption doesn’t mean that the pain is taken away completely. It doesn’t mean that the memories disappear and the lies dissolve in a puff of smoke. It takes time to heal from the pain of being an orphan, whether that is physically or spiritually.

But knowing that Jesus loves me passionately and that the Father calls me His child, that gives me hope. It’s amazing how just knowing you belong to someone who loves you makes everything ten times better.

It shows me that I am loved… even when I feel unlovable.

It shows me that I have security…. even when the world crumbles.

It shows me that I am treasured…

God not only loves me, but He is interested in my life! He wants to take me by the hand and dig through the muck in my heart, not as a condemning judge, but as a loving Father.

Adoption isn’t a fairy tale

I know families who have had to take their adopted child to counseling or a psychologist because of what happened before they were adopted. I’ve seen families struggle as one parent goes overseas to bring home their adopted child.

Adoption is not a perfect solution. But that’s part of being in a family, isn’t it? Dealing with each others burdens and as my mother always says, “helping you unpack your baggage.” Yet, there are joys mixed with the trials.

Adoption gives a child hope and a life they never could have without you.

Christ’s adoption gives us joy and hope in this world, and hope for complete joy in the future.

If you haven’t been adopted in Christ yet, I encourage you to, right now. Pray and ask Him to save you from your sins and adopt you as His child. (Prayer is just speaking to Him as if He was right in front of you… because He is, you just can’t see Him.)

If you want to offer a child hope and a chance to live a better life, then I encourage you to look into adopting.

Life isn’t easy, God never promises that it will be, but what He does promise is that He will be right there with us, just as a loving Father stays close to His child.

I am adopted… are you?