Here is the rest of her list.
#11 Looking at the new seed catalogue and anticipating the beautiful flowers that will be blooming throughout my yard and on my deck this summer
#12 Baking and sharing it with others
#13 The smell of a fresh cut hay field when I’m driving down the road with my car windows open
#14 New baby calves in the springtime as they run about kicking up their heels
#15 The wide open spaces and the endless blue sky where you can see for miles
#16 My time with God in my special chair as I just sit and wait
#17 Sitting on the deck in the cool of the evening listening to the peaceful silence
#18 Camping and the smell of bacon frying on the campfire early in the morning
#19 Enjoying the company of my funny and witty brothers. They make me laugh
#20 My goofy friend makes me laugh so hard my stomach hurts
#21 Wearing the tiara I bought so I could feel like a princess
#22 My new rock garden that I created last summer
#24 The look on little girls’ faces when I ask them if they are a princess
#25 Collecting the chicken eggs on a farm
#26 My beautiful gold colored sandals
#27 Winning first prize at the fair for a cake I baked
#28 My soft green zip-up hoodie feels like a warm hug
#29 Re-decorating my very plain bathroom
#30 Picking berries for pies
#31 Building a deck storage seat at a wood working course
So, Tracy, you are far more alive than you thought you were. There is a wide spectrum of areas you already find pleasure in. You just had not languaged them as part of your treasure chest, and you had not been overt about anticipating, being in the moment and savoring after the fact.
Having those three tools from the PTSD set will enable you to take what already produced a sparkle in your brain to build a very large pleasure center which we will use in the next step.
I don’t know if you like to sort or not. For some people, categorizing is a pain in the neck. For others it is a revelatory experience. I don’t want you to do this next step if it is going to be a discipline, since I don’t want to intrude duty into your pleasure center unnecessarily. But if you find pleasure in sorting, then you could sort these a number of different ways.
There is the visual of the blue sky and the tactile of fishing and the olfactory of the pie.
Or there is the physical of your hoody and the emotional of your coat.
Or there is the solitary experience of gathering eggs and the experience in community of asking a girl if she is a princess.
For me, it would be interesting to see which areas produce the most pleasure for you and which the least. And how you feel about that. I find my greatest pleasures alone and that bugs the living daylights out of my gregarious friends who want to mooch off my pleasure, but I am really, magnificently OK with solitude. On the other hand, I have a deep craving for nuanced smells at the right time, but am sad when I look at my list and see how rarely I experience those pleasures.
So if you want to, sort and comment. No pressure.
I am going to park this for a week. Now that you have had this insight into who you are, I would like you to work vigorously at growing the nerve center for one week, and get back to me next Thursday with a report of anything you can report. It might be too soon to sense anything different, but the way you are tearing into this project, there might be something measurable.
Copyright February 2016 by Arthur Burk
From the Hub, after hours