Exercises to Build Self Esteem: #1. Pleasure and Happiness

Writing your Pleasure List

1. Take a clean sheet of paper and head somewhere you feel safe and relaxed.

2. Divide the paper into four sections:

– Section 01: People and Pets (who bring me pleasure when I think of them)
– Section 02: Places (that bring me pleasure when I think of them)
– Section 03: Things (that bring me pleasure when I think of them)
– Section 04: Things I like to do (that bring me pleasure)

3. Then write as many examples as you can under each section.
4. Remember to allow yourself to feel happy!

Section 01: People and Pets

  • Xan, my husband.
  • Beast, my son
  • Dill, my friend
  • Zen, my cat that passed on last year
  • Rees, my friend.
  • Ruby, my friend
  • Carla, my friend
  • Monday, my friend
  • My MIL
  • My FIL

Section 02: Places

  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina:   It is absolutely, hands down, my favorite vacation spot.  The beaches are huge and sandy.  The local, southern food is amazing, and the local people are very friendly.  I have some of my most fond memories there.  When I was sixteen, it was my first taste of freedom.  It was the only town I was ever allowed to wander around in unsupervised.  I was free to go wherever I wanted within a certain 15 block radius in either direction.  For Myrtle Beach, that’s a lot of territory.  I spent my honeymoon there with Xan.  It was the first time I had ever gone on vacation as an adult.  We just had the most lovely time, I recall.  Good food, peaceful setting, and a lovely beach.  I got to wake up every single morning to go out on the patio and watch the sunrise.  It was magical.
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia:  I recall Virginia Beach having one of the most impressive boardwalks I had ever been on.  Anything you could ever want was on that board walk.  I was thirteen years old, and I’d sneak out to my very own balcony in the middle of the night just to watch the moon rise on the ocean.  It was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen.  It was fairly close by car, so I wasn’t stuck in the car forever with my parents.  And, since I had my own room in our suite, I had a huge amount of privacy.  It was the best vacation I can remember from my childhood.
  • The Fountains in Pittsburgh:   There’s something about those fountains.  Pittsburgh has plenty of them, because we are so close to the river.  There was one in particular that I loved, and I took a photo of it right before my surgical consultation the August before last.  Something about it was calming, and settled me down to think about the beautiful things in life.  I even wrote a post called, “All the Pretty Things”.
  • The Trestle:   By my old house, in the same neighborhood I grew up in, there was this old, abandoned railroad trestle.  My best friend showed it to me when we were in our early teens.  We used to hang out there to drink and smoke pot.  Then, we’d have these deep conversations about our thoughts and feelings.  Those were very intimate moments.When Beck, my ex, and I became secret lovers behind her back, we used to frequent the trestle.  It was the place that I had my first kiss with a boy.  And he and I would sit there for hours, holding each other, talking about our dreams, and making plans for our future together.  And after Beck and I broke up, I didn’t go back again.

    Until there was Xan, three years later.  At the time, we were living with my ex, Avi.  I felt a bond with Xan that I couldn’t quite explain.  So, I took him there, so that we could be alone.  We hung out and we drank.  It was a beautiful alone place, even if it was a rusted trestle.  You could see the creek below, and it was surrounded by trees, a rarity in that neighborhood.

    It was the place where Xan and I spent our first night together as a couple.  We sat up all night and talked.  I don’t recall what about.  The past.  The present.  Maybe even the future.  I know we went through the story of our developing relationship, and how we got to this point.  And I remember we held each other in the rain until the morning light.

Section 03: Things:

  • My computer
  • My Samsung Captivate Glide
  • Pandora
  • My stuffed animal from when I was a kid
  • Coffee
  • Pizza
  • New clothes
  • Cigarettes
  • Overhead Lighting
  • WordPress
  • Facebook
  • Bejeweled Blitz
  • Bed
  • My blue coffee cup
  • My brown skirt
  • The Internet
  • Wikipedia
  • WebMD
  • Medscape
  • Google
  • Craigslist
  • My blue blanket
  • My journals
  • Inkjoy pens
  • G2 Gel Pens
  • All no bleed Sharpies
  • Office supplies
  • Caffeine
  • My medication
  • My contacts

Section 04: Things I like to do:

  • Go for long car rides
  • Eat at this little mom and pop diner a few towns over
  • Shop
  • Get dressed up (sometimes)
  • Take hot showers
  • Visit my in-laws
  • Craft
  • Take on a new project
  • Crochet
  • Write
  • Read
  • Write on WordPress
  • Read on WordPress
  • Do selfless acts
  • Practice Tang Soo Do
  • Play computer games
  • Watch my favorite TV shows
  • Create things
  • Play with my son
  • Spend time with my husband

All that I am, all that I ever was...

“Pleasure is the only thing one should live for, nothing ages like happiness.”
~ Oscar Wilde ~

Accentuate the positives

The first exercise toward building better self-esteem is to focus on the positives. Now, I’m not a convert into the positive thinking movement, in fact I find books that proclaim all we need to do is think positively and everything we want will magically appear out of thin air complete crap. I don’t believe someone can ‘pretend away depression’ nor do I believe thinking positively will cure you of cancer or the myriad of other illnesses that people suffer from.

However, thinking positive thoughts about ourselves can bring about an attitude change toward better self-perception.

Once upon a time I was in a counselling session. I had seen this counsellor for several sessions and in each one he noted how stressed and tense I was; how I sat in a…

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20 Days – Day 1

Normally, I don’t like to talk about my dreams.  Norman Mailer once said, “A novel is like a secret affair, you don’t bring other people in on it.” It’s not just novels.  It applies to every working project in life.  Once others are in on it, then the secret it out.  All then, it just isn’t the same after that.

So, here we go:

My Life’s Dreams

  • Have two children:   Originally, when I wrote this down over fifteen years ago, this was have four kids.  Then, just after I squeezed Beast out, I asked Xan if having one child would be fine with him.  Much to my current chagrin, he agreed.  But, doesn’t every parent want to have one of each?  In a way, I think it would be the most fulfilling parenting experience.  Truly, I would actually prefer to have two boys.
  • Write a novel / book:   This is probably on everyone’s bucket list, so I’ll leave this one alone.
  • Fall in one of the Three Rivers:   I’ve lived on two different rivers here in Pittsburgh.  There is the Allegheny, which comes from the Northeast.  Then, the Monogahela comes from the Southeast.  And they meet at the GolThe Falls of the Ohio Riverden Triangle, which is known to the rest of the United States as Downtown Pittsburgh to make the Ohio River.

    Ruby is going to yell at me for this one.  Remember how I said I was going to walk into the river from the North Shore River walk?  That’s the Allegheny River.  Well, we live over by the airport now, so we live by the Ohio.  And, there’s this nice little dock off the west shore at this great bar we live near.  I promise, there will be eight people there to either throw me in or fish me out.  I’ll let you know.

    And it can’t be that nasty.  To let everyone know of my previous location, I’ve been in Chartiers Creek before.

  • Make and sell my own crafts:   This one is all about finding the time and the money for the materials.  I think it would be seriously fun.
  • Be an extra in a movie / TV show:   Pretty self-explanatory.  I know, I know.  But, The Dark Knight Rises was just filmed there last year!  Or, couldn’t you have tried out for Idol last year too?  Yes.  But, even though I was actually in the city while it was being filmed, I was also teaching summer semester.
  • Become a full-time teacher:   I am a little too old for the when I grow up dreams.  Well, are we ever, really?  I just have to decide whether I want to go to school for Early Childhood Education or just plain Education?  I love children of all ages, so that’s going to be tough.
  • Get my Master’s Degree:   ‘Nough said on that.  I have my choice of various different kinds of Education I could be studying.  Personally, I don’t want to teach Special Education.  To be fair, I think I have had enough of Special Education in my life.  Both my brother and my son have various degrees of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  It is something very difficult to have in your life as a constant, and I’d like to keep home and home, and work at work.
  • Watch every episode of Doctor Who:   Growing up, Doctor Who was a constant in my home.  I 10th doctoreven remember not liking the series as a child.  There were the silliest reasons too.  First, it came on during one of my cartoons.  It also hailed the nightly “grown up TV time”.  The effects were cheesy.  And last of all, it was not a cartoon at all.  It wasn’t until the second series that I actually fell in love with the show.

    But that doesn’t mean I don’t remember Tom Baker.  I actually liked the 4th Doctor.  He was funky and kind of New Age for his time.  That’s why, when the 10th Doctor came around, David Tennant, I was hooked.  He is just an amazing man.  And, he helped fortify the hypothesis I have about my inexplicable love for men I didn’t originally know were Scotsman anyway.

  • Have a stable episode for longer than six months:   Okay, I’ve done three months before.  I think it would be great to be able to live in a period of time without symptoms.  Even if it’s just once, I want to be able to live it to know what it’s like.
  • Cover all songs written by A Perfect Circle in a bar:   Currently working on this one.

Maybe it doesn’t look as if I’m shooting high.  But, that’s the thing about dreams.  If you shoot for the moon, you’ll land in the stars.  Well, guess what?  I want that moon, even if it’s not completely full.  Get it?