Category Archives: health

Another Day

4/14/20

Another day
another news briefing
depending on who says
the weight of it all
heavy or heavier
in the daily fog
of uncertainty

I am choosing
and again and again
to mostly not listen
not in denial
head in the sand
but in determination
to not drown

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2020

Every day trying to find the balance between knowing enough, but not too much. Perhaps you too?

The Bridge

Bridge Reflection, from my Life Support Cards (TM)

9/25/20

The Bridge

Way back
I would stand on the bridge
or stand by the river
and throw petals on the water
letting my troubles float
downstream.

It was a relief
I often sought
the peace, the beauty
the soft insistent water
sometimes higher level, sometimes lower.
I no longer remember

the last time I went
or why I stopped going
why that place of solace
ceased to bring comfort
but though I still live near
I never go there.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2020

I wanted to post a poem that was not about chaotic current events, but reflection. Maybe some peace and calm.

Tulips and Grape Hyacinth, on the Bridge, from my Life Support Cards (TM)

Antidote to Anxiety

8/13/15

Antidote to Anxiety

Breathe
Easy to say, but to do?
guided imagery
therapy
Star of Bethlehem
Songs for the Inner Child
notice/practice

Breathe
count in and out and breathe
affirm and breathe
I am Peace (in)
I am Calm (out)
I am Safe (in)
I am Protected (out)
Seal Lullaby

Breathe
Balance energy
head hug
Cook’s Hook-ups
Stress relief remedies, but
not too much
imagine the scarves being pulled
out like from a magic top hat

Breathe…and count
1…2…3…in and 1…2…3… out
Drug a little, not like it
but necessary boat to get by for a while
Dig to the root cause
not everything has to be
solved at once

Breathe
manage pain
notice/practice
count
listen to Hildegard von Bingen chant
water outside plants

Breathe
stand face to the sun
call for help
receive
massage
acupuncture
healing energy

Breathe
kindness
rest
imagine restoration of optimism
Let belly rise and fall
like a baby breathes
open in the moment
Right here. Right now.
Distraction
Reading
2 bunnies in the yard
2 birdbaths and birds come
to drink and bathe
movies
Facebook

Breathe
hydrate
Breathe
eat good food
breathe
rest

wait

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2015

This poem is from a collection I assembled for my youngest sister, who is struggling with stage 4 breast cancer. I wrote it as a reminder to myself of what I did to reduce anxiety the summer I had a series of medical crises including kidney stones, etc.

62–“Express, Process, Assess” from “Resist the Slide into Darkness”

Chicago Trains, Coming and Going, by M D Mikus, Copyright 2012

4/26/16

Express, Process, Assess

After Mike Latza and Oriah Mountian Dreamer

Fear and I are well-acquainted
but any love lost is unrequited
Fear is not my friend though
sometimes I pretzel-bend in its wind

It is a choice, this distance
a choosing and re-choosing in the face of challenge
Not what has happened that might
suck me down and in and under but
who am I in relation to this
potential grand piano falling from the sky
Why ask why when there is no answer
Why contract into fetal-ball position
as if that guarantees protection

Beaten egg whites gently folded in
add humor as leavening to lighten
the batter I am making from a recipe
handed down or found or made up on the spot
Trust…just enough

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2016

From my upcoming book, Resist the Slide into Darkness. Listen here: https://youtu.be/DRxcVnP0uVo

Mike Latza is the editor of the journal, Willow Review. (I was the Illinois Featured Author in 2013.) I wrote this poem after the annual Willow Review launch and reading at College of Lake County, which is always inspiring for me. Oriah Mountain Dreamer is the author of The Invitation–based on her poem–and other books. We are connected on Facebook where she often writes beautiful, insightful short essays. Inspiration can come from anywhere and threads begin to weave together into something that speaks to me, that whispers “write this down.”

Randolph and State Streets, by Margaret Dubay Mikus, Copyright 2012

For more poem videos in the series

55–Experiment and “Stronger than You Think” from “Frazzle”

Moon Over Water, Egg Harbor by M D Mikus, Copyright 2010

“…In the dark
the seed of light

a path to follow out….”

From “Stronger than You Think,” in my book, Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing. Listen here: https://youtu.be/riXeccP3MMA

For today’s video I am doing an experiment: Before my poetry readings and healing workshops I used to do some easy exercises levels with the group to reduce stress, including for me. Why not try it here?

Begin with three deep “letting go” breaths—in through the nose, out through the mouth, noticing how we felt before and after. Such a simple thing, easy to forget: conscious breathing.

Then let’s do one of the exercises from the sheet, Energetic Life Balancing Waker’s Dozen. These are 13 gentle movements to balance energy levels as a daily practice. They were devised in 1989 (drawn from many disciplines) by Robert Waldon, Ph.D., N.D. and Betty Lou Lieber, Ph.D., M.F.C.C. and used with their permission.

On the video I demonstrate #7, called “Emotional Stress Release.” (My family calls it the “head hug.”) It’s the first one I learned and I’ve been doing it twice a day for 20 years. At that time I still had multiple sclerosis and I was working with several complementary medical practitioners to cope better. Doing this was a homework assignment to do for 15 minutes twice a day. MS is a very stressful disease and episodes can also be triggered by stress, so this was a good skill to focus on.

Lay one hand gently on the forehead and one on the back of the neck (in contact with the skin). You can do this standing, sitting, or lying down. You can visualize it. You can switch hands. You can do it for someone else (ask first, please). (Mothers intuitively know that it is calming for stressed out children to put your hand on their forehead.) You can do it for however long you have—less than a minute or 15 minutes or more. You can add some affirmations to say while you do the “head hug,” or hum a single tone (not singing). I do it in the morning before getting out of bed and last thing at night. If needed I also do it in the middle of the day as a recharge or power nap (even without sleeping). If I forget, I can feel the difference.

When we are less stressed we have more energy to do what we need to do. And that is very important in these chaotic times. We also have more functional immune systems and are nicer to be around, which benefits everyone.

And that brings us full circle back to our poem: “You Are Stronger than You Think.” Listen here: https://youtu.be/riXeccP3MMA

Seagulls, Door County by Margaret Dubay Mikus, Copyright 2010

For more poem videos in the series

THROWN AGAIN into the FRAZZLE MACHINE: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing