The Warm Milk Journal

A nurturing place for people who can't sleep

Expect The Unexpected


When things go better than planned, rejoice!

When you get an unexpected gift or break, thank your lucky stars.

Expect the unexpected. Hopefully more good unexpected things will come to you.

The universe is abundant. Let us receive our good (even unexpected good!)

Debra : )

May 11, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, Prosperity, Self-empowerment | , , , , | Leave a comment

Eating That Elephant One Little Bite At A Time


Vegetarians out there: please pardon this metaphor- but truly, how would you eat an elephant? One little bite at a time. Often we take on way more than we can chew. We get overwhelmed. Stressed. Our brains shut down. The answer? One small bite at a time.

It goes back to those baby steps we have talked about. I figure, so long as I am moving forward and taking some kind of action on my goals, I am going to achieve success. Action is important. If our ideas and goals are solely in our heads, we are dreamers and that’s about it.We don’t, however, want to take on too much at once- put too much  pressure on ourselves- and then have it all backfire because we get overwhelmed, discouraged, and quit.

Like all things in life- there needs to be balance. Small steps or bites, if you will.

I am continually reminding myself of this. The Warm Milk Journal, for instance, is a big project. Starting a new endeavor like this is a lot of work. There is a huge learning curve. There are parts of this project that come easier for me than others. I find the creative side a lot of fun and easier: the writing of the posts, reaching out and helping others, coming up with ideas for the Warm Milk Journal (because this is something I care and feel so passionately about). The more challenging areas for me are more the technical and business end of things that come with writing a blog. There is so much for me to learn and really I have just started. So I tell myself: baby steps, Debra. Small elephant bites.

I think if we enjoy the journey we will be happy with where we end up!

Debra : )

May 10, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, Self-empowerment, The Warm Milk Journal | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding Our Voice: Speaking Up For Ourselves


For many of who have anxiety issues, often a source of it is being shy and unsure of ourselves. I spent many years of my life not really speaking up: as a child with my family or at school, at work, in my marriage, etc. I think a lot of us have that “nice person” syndrome. We are afraid to really be ourselves because we want everyone to like us.

As a child and young adult I had a lot of sore throats and strep throat infections.  When I was very small, my parents took me to many doctors in Honolulu (where we were living at the time). My parents wanted the doctors to take my tonsils out. They did not and told my folks that I would eventually outgrow these infections. For the most part I did, but was still prone to strep throat well into my twenties. Even now if I am under a lot of stress or overly tired, a sore throat tends to be my first symptom.

Louise Hay in her book, Heal your Body, describes a sore throat as: “the inability to speak up for one’s self. Swallowed anger. Stifled creativity. Refusal to change.”

The affirmation for this condition Ms. Hay prescribes is this:

“It’s okay to make noise. I express myself freely and joyously.  I speak up for myself with ease. I express my creativity. I am willing to change.”

If we don’t speak up for ourselves, who will? I am a second grade school teacher. Little children at my school are expected to be quiet a lot of the time (no talking unless called on, no talking in hallways, in the lunchroom etc.). I was one of those well-behaved little children at school. I never acted up. Never got in trouble.

It is important to have a safe learning environment for kids. I understand the need to have order in the classroom. I sometimes wonder, however, if we discourage our young people from talking too much. It is easy to do this at home too when we are busy cooking dinner or reading the paper, doing emails etc. We need quiet and ask the kids to go play outside or tell them”not now, we will talk later”.

Some of us may have been born introverts. Perhaps though we have been conditioned to not speak up. It’s something to think about. We can work on reconditioning our old programming.

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Affirmations, anxiety, insomnia, Self-empowerment | , , , , | 1 Comment

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. Breathe”- Japanese Saying


When you are afraid of something, breathe.

When you are angry, breathe.

When you are feeling impatient, breathe.

When you are tense, breathe.

When you are irritated, breathe.

When you are feeling panicked, breathe.

When you are restless, breathe.

When you can’t sleep at night, breathe.

Breathe

May 10, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, Meditations, Physical Exercises, Spirituality, Tips to help insomnia | , , | Leave a comment

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety”-Psalm 4:8


If feeling a bit restless when it is time to sleep:

repeat something to yourself that brings peace to you.

Try:

“I AM safe”

“God Loves me”

“I AM love”

“I AM peace”

May 9, 2010 Posted by | Affirmations, anxiety, insomnia, Meditations, Prayers, Self-empowerment, Spirituality, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking Forward To A Good Night Sleep Tonight


I am looking forward to a good night sleep tonight and this is why:

  1. I am happy
  2. I feel good about my life
  3. My daughter is happy
  4. I am in love with the most wonderful man in the world
  5. I ate a healthy delicious dinner tonight (portabello mushroom sandwiches, couscous with greek olives and feta cheese, and brocoli) with a Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
  6. I am getting ready to go for my evening walk (my Ipod shuffle is charging as I write this)
  7. I am looking forward to Mothers Day tomorrow
  8. I am in The Now

I wish for all of us a good night sleep. Be safe. Be well. Know that you are not alone. You are loved.

Good Night

Debra : )

May 9, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, Self-empowerment, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Let’s Stop Putting Ourselves Down or why I almost didn’t buy that bathing suit


I bought a real pretty two piece bathing suit today at a nearby surf shop. It fits me perfectly and I feel very good in it.  I had put off buying a new suit for this season for weeks because I kept thinking that I wasn’t thin enough yet and hence, did not “deserve” a new bathing suit. Never mind the fact that I take pretty good care of myself by working out regularly and eating well. I am fit and am at a healthy weight. I still have this weight on my, ahem, backside, that I wish was less than it is. It is just how my body is built and if I let it I can be pretty self-conscious in a bikini.

Why do we do this to ourselves? I could choose to focus on my flat toned stomach and arms and tell myself that “Debra, you go out and get a pretty new suit for your beautiful body. You work hard for your  body and you deserve it”. Instead, I almost did not buy this bathing suit today because I was focusing on my perceived “flaws”.

Remember, what we appreciate appreciates. What we focus on grows. It is up to us whether we talk ourselves up or talk ourselves down.

Hopefully we are choosing to be around people who support us and help us to see  our best in ourselves. My partner was that person for me this morning. He said I look great and encouraged me to get that new bathing suit I’ve been wanting.

Perfection is a tough standard to live by. It would be freeing and a great relief to learn how to be easier and gentler on ourselves. I am learning to do that. As a result, I am sleeping better at night. All those years of sleeplessness and anxiety were greatly attributed to that perfect image of myself that I thought I had to attain.

It is no fun to beat yourself up at night and not sleep just because you are being yourself. No, you are not perfect. Nobody is.

The sooner we can accept that, the sooner we can have peace of mind and a more restful night of sleep.

If you are awake with your journal, go ahead and write down all of the many wonderful qualities that you have:

  1. What do you like about your appearance?
  2. What are some of your abilities that you are naturally good at?
  3. What were some of your best subjects at school?
  4. Think of all the compliments people have given you. Write them down.
  5. How have you helped or made the world a brighter place for someone else today?
  6. What are some achievements that you are most proud of?
  7. Think of all the wonderful, miraculous things that your healthy body does for you

Smile, and know that you are wonderful.

(This post inspired by a chapter called “don’t put yourself down” in Richard Carlson’s book: Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff With Your Family, p.70)

Debra : )

May 8, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, Benefits of Journal Writing, Journal Prompts, journal writing, lists, Self-empowerment, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , | Leave a comment

Be a laser beam: the power of focus and purpose


Being focused on something that has meaning and value in our lives gives us a sense of purpose. I know that I am so much healthier mentally and emotionally when I have this focus going on. I coincidentally, have very little anxiety and sleep much better at night when I am focused. Direction is a good thing. We hear hear so often of people (men particular) who die of heart attacks soon after they retire.  I think it is because they lost their sense of purpose for their lives.  Play and relaxation is very important for a balanced life but we do need some kind of aim and goals to strive for.

What is one good thing in your life that you can really focus on? A healthy “obsession” that can inspire and drive you? If you have many ideas- write them down. then choose one. Make a decision to focus on one thing. Once you decide to focus and commit to a project or task it is amazing what happens: ideas pop up when you least expect them, people will come into your life that can mentor or support your idea, things just kind of galvanize.

Decide on one of your ideas and commit to giving it your all for 30 days- and then see what happens.

Debra : )

May 7, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, insomnia, Self-empowerment | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tryptophan: good for sleep and overcoming shyness


We have heard about tryptophan. It is an amino acid that helps our brains to produce serotonin which helps us to relax and sleep.

Now, it would seem, researchers from McGill University in Canada have discovered that tryptophan also increases self esteem and helps people feel more confident in social situations. This is a great benefit for those of us who are plagued with shyness and anxiety. It just might be worth a try!

Tryptophan is naturally found in milk, cheese, nuts, chicken, and turkey. It can also be found in supplement form.

Resource: May 17, 2010 issue of Woman’s World

May 7, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, insomnia, Self-empowerment, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , | Leave a comment

“Out of clutter find simplicity; from discord find harmony; in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” -Albert Einstein


Ways to incorporate simplicity and harmony in our lives:

  1. Focus on the good in our lives and let go of the rest
  2. Like Richard Carlson says: Don’t sweat the small stuff…and its all small stuff
  3. Ask: Do we really need that bigger house?
  4. Ask: Do we really need that bigger car?
  5. Ask: Do we really need all that stuff?
  6. Ask: Do we really need to sign our kids up for every extra-curricular sports and activity our community has to offer?
  7. Learn to say no.

I read an article in a recent Ladies Home Journal and they took a survey from people from different professions about what they think it takes to make a marriage work. One lady, a realtor, suggested that couples buy a smaller house rather than stretch themselves financially to get that bigger house. The sentiment was that instead of being stressed and fighting about money, the couple who bought a smaller house with a smaller mortgage could then use their resources to go out for nice dinners together, take vacations, and nurture each other.  That is certainly something to think about.

Parents of our generation tend to keep our kids very busy with after school sports and lessons and weekend soccer games etc. Is all of this busy-ness really good for us? I am not judging (for I have done these things myself). I just encourage us to look at our lives and question.

Simplicity. Harmony. Peace. Balance.  I like the sound of these things. A person living a simple, harmonious, peaceful, and balanced life is probably not a person staying up at night stressed, panicked, and anxious about his or life.

Debra : )

May 6, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, Self-empowerment, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment