Thursday, 08/24/23

How a Personal Commitment Can Change Your Life

"The quality of your future is determined by what you personally commit to today."

--The Returning Citizens Survival Guide

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We all yearn for change in some aspect of our lives at one point or another. Whether it's breaking free from harmful habits, pursuing a long-held dream, or simply striving to become a better version of ourselves, change is a constant companion on our journey. But how do we make those changes stick? The answer lies in the power of a personal commitment.

Choosing a New Destination

Imagine life as a journey, and every journey requires a destination. However, to embark on a new path, we need to actively choose where we want to go. This is where a personal commitment comes into play. It's not just a fleeting desire; it's a conscious decision to change your course and set a new destination for yourself.

The Returning Citizen's Survival Guide emphasizes the significance of this commitment, whether it's for your career, relationships, health, or personal growth. By making a clear, personal commitment, you anchor yourself to a purpose that becomes the driving force behind your actions.

The Role of Commitment in Changing Habits

Change is often thwarted by deeply ingrained habits. Those little routines we've become accustomed to can keep us stuck in an unproductive cycle. A personal commitment is the antidote to these habits. It's a deliberate choice that empowers you to challenge your routine, step out of your comfort zone, and take action towards a better future.

The Returning Citizen's Survival Guide's exercises help you identify triggers that may lead to negative behavior. The simple act of acknowledging these triggers is the first step to overcoming them. One technique, "playing the tapes," involves visualizing the consequences of succumbing to those triggers. By doing so, you create a mental barrier that prevents you from falling back into old patterns.

Harnessing the Power of Thoughts and Attitude

The guide teaches us to replace negative thoughts with mantras that refocus our energy towards positivity. This tool might sound simple, but it's incredibly effective in interrupting self-sabotaging thoughts.

Gratitude can also play a vital role in fostering a positive attitude. The act of listing things you're grateful for shifts your focus from what's lacking to what's abundant in your life. This shift in perspective transforms your attitude and ripples through every aspect of your life.

Turning Dreams into Tangible Commitments

One of the guide's powerful exercises involves crafting a personal commitment statement. Writing down your commitment makes it tangible, something you can touch and see. It transforms your abstract desires into concrete goals. This step is crucial because it signifies your dedication to change. It's not just a thought; it's a statement of intent, a declaration of your pursuit of a better life.

Embrace the Power of Commitment

In a world filled with distractions and uncertainties, a personal commitment becomes your guiding light. It's the compass that steers you towards your desired destination. By making a commitment to yourself and your aspirations, you take control of your journey. It's a pact that holds you accountable and propels you forward even when challenges arise.

Remember, change isn't an overnight miracle. It's a gradual transformation that requires consistent effort. But armed with the tools from The Returning Citizen's Survival Guide, you're equipped to face the obstacles, conquer the habits, and maintain a positive attitude that will propel you toward the life you've always envisioned.

So, take a moment to reflect on your goals, dreams, and aspirations. Make a personal commitment to yourself today and embark on a journey that will lead you to a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life. Your commitment is the key to unlocking the incredible potential within you.

Changing Patterns is a nonprofit organization that works to assist citizens returning home from incarceration to become healthy, well-respected members of their families and productive members of our communities.

Tuesday, 08/22/23

Suicide Risk in Prison Rises Alongside Temperatures, Highlighted in Oregon

"It was so hot in here –the airflow in the unit was turned off – we were all screaming and yelling. It was horrible."

--Woman incarcerated in CCCF

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Extreme heat is not only a concern for the general population but also poses a unique and grave risk to incarcerated individuals, particularly those suffering from behavioral health conditions. The United States holds over 2.1 million incarcerated people, a disproportionately high number of whom experience mental health challenges. Suicide, sadly, stands as one of the leading causes of death within the prison population. A recent study conducted in a Deep South US prison system sheds light on the alarming connections between extreme heat, solitary confinement, and the prevalence of suicidal behaviors among incarcerated men.

The study's results illuminate a stark and disturbing connection between extreme heat and suicide incidents within the prison system. Compared to days with temperatures ranging between 60 and 69°F, the rate of daily suicide incidents surged by 36% when reaching extreme caution levels (90-103°F)...Keep reading.

Monday, 08/21/23

"We are all implicated when we allow others to be mistreated."

--Bryan Stevenson

Silhouette of a Sad Woman

A new report by the Women's Justice Project (WJP) has brought to light a distressing reality that has long been hidden within the confines of Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF) - Oregon's only women's prison. The report features stories of inmates incarcerated at CCCF, offering a stark glimpse into an environment marked by suffering, despair, and allegations of worsening conditions....Keep reading.

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