Monthly Archives: August, 2016

A Water on Rock Approach to Life: A Poem

Water on RockDoctor’s visits can be cool
and calm
rinsing myself in thermal springs
of mineral waters cleansing
me of toxins and sickness.
Or they can become challenging experiences
plunging over dangerous waterfalls
into precarious rapids
finally dashing my being into rocks.

This one was a warm pool
of healing waters full of minerals.
I listened to my husband
talk about my water on rock
approach to life
as I climbed on a stair
first holding on to the examining table
then slowly turning around
finally pushing myself up
into a sitting position.
“That’s what no one
seems to know about her.
She’s like the water
that formed the Grand Canyon.
She never quits until she succeeds,”
he told my doctor.

Here I sit thinking about water
my approach to life
and my current path to personal growth.
Poisoned toxic water
had dripped into my being
carving a canyon deep sense of desolation
and hopelessness.
Sickness is merciless
simply demanding until you give in.
Slowly illness wrestled one life’s activity at a time
away from me.
I coped badly
mistakenly immersing myself
into frothy nasty words
“It’s not important”
I told myself
each and every time
I gave up something else.

Today, I must rinse those thoughts
the toxic words out of my being.
Some days I imagine I AM water
flowing out into pools
merging into all the waters of the world
liquefying sickness
diluting negativity
just washing it all way
in the biggest most powerful
pools of water.
Instead I’m left with small water drops
hollowing out the negativity
and replacing the poisons with love.

And so I do.
Water is everywhere in my day
I go through the day
performing those tasks
that are healing me
adding loving words to myself,
saying instead, “I am important”
as I wash my hands making sure
I don’t give myself an infection.
Drip, Drop, “I have value”
putting the needles into my belly
for my treatment.
Burble, bubble, “You are loved,”
as I do my daily exercise.
plip – plip – ploop – plip – plip – plip – plip – ploop
“I deserve to be taken care of”
as I eat my mandated food on time
every two hours
and drink my eight glasses of water.

That, friends, is my water on rock
approach to life’s problems.
Each little task
no matter how small
builds upon the next task
until I can move mountains
carve out the Grand Canyon
or even find my way back
to health
or at least a richer life
filled with the joys
of the day.

If you would like to talk with someone about your chronic illness or explore your own version of a water on rock approach to your life problems, contact me to make an appointment.

email:                                         Telephone: (615) 464-3791

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©2016-17 by Laura Coleman, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.                    Privacy Policy


Picture is an NPS Postcard of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone by Frank J Haynes; words added by me.

Learning to Love Myself. Again and Again and Again…

One_LoveTW: Mentions of abuse
Exercises of self love and self care
intertwine within a tall stately pyramid.
My growth a series of concentric circles
getting smaller and smaller
composed of increasingly difficult life lessons.
I completed the largest circle of
easy baby step type learnings
and worked my up to backbreaking activities
where I create the skill out of air
and imagination.
Most days I accept my task in life.
Some days I have a temper tantrum
and paint curse words all over
the walls of my mind.

Today is one of those days.
God, I hate once again
to revisit this old and over told story.
I began my journey
resented as a child
needing massive healing from
abuse of all kinds
seriously harmed
hating myself
thinking I was ugly
deserving of all that abuse.

I’ve spent most of my adult life
learning mental and emotional self care
even teaching others.
This is not an easy skill to learn
nor is it simple to teach.
Can I stop for a minute?
Stomp my feet.
Just a little tantrum.
I’ll be good in a moment.

It feels ironic to need more
and more and more again.
Each and every time I have to grow
I also have to look inside
remember my history.
Oh, yuck, I don’t want to.
I’ve graduated to needing
extreme self care.

Like extreme sports,
Extreme self care involves
more of everything
new and improved self care muscles
enhanced mental stamina
increasingly dangerous life experiences
higher level skills
back breaking practice
and most of all an attitude
of gentle love for myself
till I earn my black belt in self care.

My increasingly dangerous life experiences
include living with multiple chronic illness
a series of revolving doors
that lead nowhere and back again.
leaving my health care team blind
me frustrated, sad, angry
and determined to fight my battle once again.
I stand firm fighting this invisible enemy
I fight with all I’ve got
I fight dirty
and I fight to win.

As I fight, I face my self care/self love pyramid
and find I need some stairs to climb
and enter this day’s seemingly too small circle
only to bump into Mother memories again
seeing the absence of care inside myself
where my mother’s love would be.
I need new and intense lessons
created out of imagination
telling myself what I might tell you
and you and you
or what I’d do and did for the people I loved.
Now I must do those things
say those things
all over in my mind just for me.

I’ve built a life with a gazillion resources
people in my life who love me greatly.
Keith, my lover, my husband
can encourage me
love me
say nice things to me
and mean them.
Then there are friends who speak honestly
with me about the same struggles
we help each other.

Resource I can use are everywhere.
hard bound, paper back and ebooks
google search and I find
cds and mp3s
hypnosis and relaxation recordings
positive thinking
self care
chronic illness
and more.

But, oh, wait, stop…
let me catch my breath…
this fucking shit is so very difficult.
I have to read those books
take their suggestions
apply the ideas to my own insides
and worst of all
I have to experience the feelings
walk through once again
the feelings of not being loved
as I graduate to a higher level of loving myself
once again.

I choose to grow
it’s my nature to fight for my life
I think it’s my karma
my life task.
I just sometimes need to complain
gripe and express myself
in order to do the very difficult work
of facing myself
facing my past
and facing life’s ever present challenges.

And so, for today,
I am determined to love myself
in every single minute action.
I will mentally talk to myself
in all the loving ways
I do for other people.
Whatever I do for myself
the necessary tasks of living
or the fun activities I desire
I determine to do them
as I would if I were my very own loving mother
thus putting in place
what should have been there all along.
Black belt extreme self care
I can do that for me
I deserve it.
And really, you do too.

If you’d like to talk with me about your pyramid of self love and self care, contact me to make an appointment.


Telephone: (615) 464-3791

Photo by Queren (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 es (, via Wikimedia Commons