Posted on 8 October 2017 by Michael Dahl

Find joy.

I just lost my pup Franco. I’m grieving.

The wonderful things my friend did that brought me immense cheer are currently making me incredibly sad because of the loss. Even small things, like eating peanut butter or even seeing the jar on the shelf, bring a lump to my throat because Franco knew what opening the peanut jar sounded like. If Rebecca or I got to eat peanut butter so did Franco. He’d run to the kitchen and engage us in an intense stare down to make sure this was the case.

So many things. Even writing this post is making me sad because Franco would lie on the top of my legs whenever I sat down to write. Right now I’m imagining the warmth of his body on my legs outstretched over the ottoman. read more

Posted on 10 June 2017 by Michael Dahl

“Mikey Dahl for 3 years old like a good boy” and other pick me ups during a difficult week.

This morning I woke up with my lip quivering, the border between crying and just feeling overwhelmed. It’s been a difficult week mental health wise, and my spirit and mind just feel taxed.

I won’t recount the difficulties, but feel free to read about one of my encounters with Anxiety this week, if you’d like to read what an attack can feel like and / or what I sometimes do to overcome It.

Instead of recounting the negatives, I’d like to express my gratitude and appreciation.

Many of you know about (and Facebook “like”) my posting of photos that help me see beauty in the world or remind me of a good time. These daily postings are amazing ways for me to start each day with personal expressions of gratitude for the good in the world. This picture in particular was a treasure for my week. read more

Posted on 7 January 2017 by Michael Dahl

Man in the Mirror

Earlier this week I was looking into my bathroom mirror. At first it was simply a quick last look at myself before I headed out for the day. And then it became something more.

Something — I don’t know what — held me in place and transported me to another time, about a year and a half ago, when I was looking into a mirror in a Target store as I felt my mind and body stuck in the grip of Anxiety and Depression.

I started comparing the feelings of the two different experiences, peering into the mirrors. The day earlier this week, I wouldn’t say I was happy or sad, anxious or depressed. I felt somber and powerful at the same time. So I just stood there and let the feelings wash over me. I also allowed myself to linger in the memory — but not the feelings — attached to comparison point of a year and a half ago. read more

Posted on 13 June 2016 by Michael Dahl

A nudge from my niece helps my day start out right.

Yesterday my niece, Mali, reminded me that she had nominated me to do the “I’m beautiful the way I am” challenge.”  “The purpose is to bring yourself up, not down.”  In being nominated, my task was to post 5 to 17 pics that I feel beautiful in.

I accepted the challenge — usually I wouldn’t — because it seemed interesting that the reminder came within just a couple of minutes of me posting about writing on the back of photos why I felt grateful for the pictured person, place, thing or activity. read more

Posted on 24 November 2015 by Michael

Gratitude reduces anxiety, improves mood, deepens friendships.

It’s the week of Thanksgiving: a holiday that reminds us to express gratitude, to give thanks. I actually see Thanksgiving not as a simple reminder. I see it as a commandment of sorts.

With all that is mean and wrong and difficult in this world, we would all be better if we found more time to give thanks. And hopefully that time would not come solely when the calendar reminds us. Hopefully, we would express gratitude when the person, moment, or thing shows its worth, and we were there to witness it. read more