Tour of Duty – Military vs Civilian

“Hello. I’m writing from home but it’s not my home. and your. Living in a place that is not my home.”

One person. Military life. Civilian life. Two identities. A soldier. A civilian. The same person.

In a neomorphic collision of lives, Soldiers interchange their identities.

Military life encompasses uniforms, uniformity, leadership, preparedness, and training. Soldiers provide services where and when needed. Military life commands a call to duty. A call to service. A call to serve bigger than themselves.

Civilian life clamors for uniqueness, individuality and self-empowerment. It values flexibility, spontaneity and creative engagement. Civilian life is like a do-it-yourself, take-it-at-your-own-pace, self-directed course in life living.

Then it happens. Much like a canoe headed downstream. One minute you’re up and paddling. Hanging out with family and friends. The next minute, your deployment orders arrive. It’s time to go.

There’s no time or space to land. So you do what every great soldier does. You jump. Water splashes. You hit the water running. You report for duty.

Skillfully, without capsizing, your family and your friends do the inner-canoe shuffle. Trading places. Their re-arrange. They paddle. Their navigation remains the same.

The distance between you and them becomes more like lifetimes of distant, outdated memories. Living 12 to 18 months across countries. Across worlds.

Back home, the unstructured zaniness of civilian life clamors on; without you. The once familiar …

“What’s for dinner?” 
“Where’s grandma? The neighbors called. She ditched her dentures in their toolshed.”
“Who used my toothbrush?”
“What! You flunked 1st grade for the 3rd time?”
“If it’s not your fault the dog ate the turkey than whose is it?”

A canter and a language no longer you own.

Coming home … you wonder, where did it go?

Your family and your friends re-adjusted; without you.  Changed roles; without you. Routines formed; without you. Life at home moved on; without you.

Deployment ends. Soldiers return. The canoe is not where you left it. Chasing it down. Skillfully, without capsizing, you lumber in.  Your family and friends rearrange. What was, no longer is.

In life, as in story, change happens. What once was, will never be again. A new normal unfolds.

ReStory: One Man – One Tree

Howling winds and torrential flooding ravaged through a young soldier’s life. Purging his house of its structure. Purging his farm of its avocado trees. 18-months of deployment has pasted.

Coming home used to mean sleeping in one’s own bed. Celebrating the harvest of an abundant avocado crop. The one his neighbors gleefully crowed about.

This time, coming home meant seeing a house without a frame. An avocado farm without trees to harvest. One tree remained. A male tree. Strong, yet barren, as only female trees produce fruit.

He prepared for his next deployment. Only 12 months this time.

In a conversation before he left. His lifted his eyes. He looked ahead. Uncertainty wavering, he looked back down; then up. He stood. He smiled. He said, “I am like the tree. Strong. Still standing. The storm; she planted the seeds for a bigger farm. I can see it growing already.”

One man. A new story.

Another ReStory Support Option

Magical trinkets. Electronic devises. Unexpected smiles and encouraging words all make life a bit easier. More palatable. More humane.  At times we all can benefit from a bit of extra support. For soldiers, natural disaster survivors and their families may also benefit from a bit of extra support.

Give an Hour offers professional, confidential counseling FREE of charge for Military personnel, natural disaster survivors and their families. A bit of extra support towards the next legs of one’s journey.

Until next time . . . Story Impact: Changing Stories – Impacting Lives

Clocking Out – Trauma’s Time Warp

The clock ticks. Time slows. Life stops. 

Tick. Tick. Tick. The hollow sound of the clock drones on.

When something traumatic happens it can leave us wondering if it happened at all. Or if what happened it is just an ill-fated dream, with morning only moments away. Only this kind of morning never comes. Yet, the feelings and experiences are real.

Anger, grief and fear are now familiar, much like worn out friends on a sour day.  Feelings taunt us. They trick us into thinking this is normal. So normal, we are almost afraid to let go. Because if we do, their absence would threaten to separate us from something or someone we once knew and loved.

Time slows. What once was, no longer is.

ReStory 

Find a quiet spot or a quiet time of the day. Grab a piece of paper and your favorite pen. Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes. Then write, draw or scribble anything that comes to mind. Words, feelings, images, doubts, fears … whatever it is, write it down.

When you are finished, destroy the paper. Don’t go back and read it. Just destroy it. What is done is done. 

Afterward, ask yourself these questions. Someone people write down the answers. Seeing your answers can help you know that some things can be different. 

What was it I like to do this?
What has changed? 
What is different now than when you started?

Time is time. Clocks are clocks. What happened, has happened. We are who we are. What you choose is up to you.

For many of us, when we stop fighting with ourselves and our experiences we can begin to see what is possible beyond them. Whatever things feel like now, life around you is still happening. Life is still changing. You are not the same person you were when things happened.

Until next time . . . Story Impact: Changing Stories – Changing Lives!

Disclaimer:  This exercise is not designed to diagnose or treat challenges relating to mental illness, crisis intervention or life-threatening situations. If you are experiencing any type of mental health emergency, immediately call 911 or contact your healthcare team.

Quiet the Mind – Images from the Past

OK, it happened. I was there, but seriously! How many times do I have to relive it? Does it ever end? If it there is an end, how do I get there?

Talking about it helped. It helped to figure out what what was going on. It helped to put some of the pieces together. It even helped to deal with some of the intense emotions.

Helped yes. But my mind’s playback button is still clocking in at triple overtime.

Breath

Simple but powerful.

Catch a breath in through your nose. Exhale through your mouth. Repeat a few more times.

Question

Ask yourself:

Is this happening now?
Answer yourself.

Most likely your answer is no. Take a glance around. Is it happening now or is it here now?

No. Ask again if you need to.

Keep asking until your mind doesn’t have as much to say. Keep asking until the image or images don’t feel as strong. 

Keep asking and answering until your mind gets quieter. Until your emotions settle down.

What is different? 

Until next time . . . Story Impact: Changing Stories – Impacting Lives

Connecting to Emotions Through Writing

[This series of blog entries will be an overview of the workshop given by Gary Young at the 2012 Young Living International Grand Convention.]

Is writing old-fashioned? Not hardly! Gary will teach you how to tap into your emotions so you can reprogram those you wish to change—and the key is writing.

Put your iPads away, put your laptops away, get out the pad and pencil—we’re going to do it the old-fashioned way. Yup, sorry. The old-fashioned way. There’s a very specific reason for it. The mind does not connect to emotion through electronics; it connects to it through energy that is produced from the nimble movement of your fingers wrapped around a pencil shaft. I’m not saying that you can’t put it in your iPod, your laptop, or whatever later; please do so that you can put it in a file, save it, and never look at it again. That’s what we do, isn’t it? But for this class, please, I want you to write, not type; you’ll understand the reason one day if not before class is over.

A lot of you are going to connect with some very deep emotions today, and I really desire for you to experience that, because there’s a reason for it, there’s a need for it. As you do, please just write, write, write. That’s how you get it out, by writing.

Typing on a computer will not allow it to erase out of the mind; only when your hand is in motion with the feeling of the energy and moving and inscribing will it erase. What you are basically doing is reversing the action of the transcriptase enzyme that does the encoding on the MRNA [Memory RNA], so that’s why this is really critical. Many of you have been in my classes when I’ve talked about writing, writing, writing.

Thank you D. Gary Young, Founder of Young Living Essential Oils in D Gary Young Bog.

Until next time . . . Story Impact: Changing Stories – Impacting Lives!