Just like two weeks ago when I had that shift where my shoulder released, this week goes workout, massage, workout. Massage was today, and I told Danniel about the progress of two weeks ago on the left shoulder, and asked him to work on the right, and a bit on places where I am sore from yesterday's workout...
working with Danniel feels like Safe Space. He has proved i can trust him. But it is WORK, sometimes more than others... to trust, to consciously relax and let someone cause me PAIN because I know if I can relax, and let him do what he's proved he's excellent at, I will make further physical progress in my struggle to gain full body Strength and Flexibility. (your mileage may vary, of course)
Today was excruciating all through both shoulders, down the pectorals, and through the big muscles that form the armpit, front and back.
part of what makes Danniel so special as a massage therapist is that I... well. I am very vocal during massage. I make a lot of what I know are noises not generally OK in public spaces... and I've never had him make me feel weird or wrong or even an iota uncomfortable for doing so.
and he does deep painful work, and uses my sounds as guides, digging in or holding steady as is needed.
Today there were a few moments where I was hyperventilating because the pain was pretty intense, but I could feel the muscle fibers lengthening and the moment where I conquered the pain by enduring it was the moment that the muscle relaxed and gave in, and then the pain got less. (story of my life in a nutshell, right here.)
I had an odd moment there this morning, where I felt like all the hollering and moaning and groaning was actually deep releases of very old pain, pain from times in my life when it wasn't safe or smart to grieve or express myself out loud. it's being an incredibly valuable experience to VOCALIZE when it hurts, even if, or maybe because, it's nonverbal noise. And because it's safe. I didn't have the privilege of crying with someone there to comfort me till I was well past 30... I appreciate this deeply on account of I didn't get to have it growing up.
I'm proud of myself for doing this healing work even when it's not "fun" or pleasurable. I'm learning to value myself in the physical realm and to do what's needed to take care of and maintain the health of my body.
my goal is to be a spry and flexible and juicy old broad, who laughs too loud and too long, who amuses and offends the neighbors, and who goes on all kinds of adventures with all kinds of friends.
And what I am doing now, is building strength and good habits slowly and carefully, so I can achieve that goal.
Looking cute was never enough motivation for me... but comparing confident and strong old ladies and weak, tottering old ladies at the gym?
well. which group do YOU want to be in?
Best. Motivation. Ever.
"Seems I have 3 rules for dancing at 5Rhythms:
1) dance in 3 dimensions
2) take up space
3) try to detach from thinking, just move!
Oh, and HAVE FUN & SMILE A LOT"
a FB friend said, well yeah, I agree, except those are my RULES FOR LIFE!
Last night went AWESOMELY. Excellent flow, mostly I was out of my own head and just moving, doing some things I believe I have only seen other people do... (but I wasn't planning them or observing myself doing them, so I'm actually not really very clear as to what precisely I was *doing*, which is a very interesting state to be in...)
I did notice that I had more people "asking to dance" with me last night, in a way... that was also very interesting (people ask to dance nonverbally there, usually by eye contact and then joining you in the space on the floor)
At one point, after the lesson, Claire asked us to join other dancers in groups of 5... < anxiety levels rising, who will want to group with me? >
We had a group of 6 for a bit, then it shifted and the 3 that joined my/our initial group of 3 melted away and we were joined by 2 others... David is HELLA tall, and looks like a friendly, meditative Lurch from the Addams family, a shorter more choleric-moving guy whose name I didn't catch though I danced twice with him later, an ectomorphic blond girl, and a (relatively) shy-moving Asian girl. I was *definitely* the fattest in our group, and also the most uninhibited in some ways. I think I blew the petite blond's mind... we were taking turns dancing at the center of our group, and holding space at the edges when we weren't dancing (and also dancing, sometimes echoing whoever was at the center, interpreting the idea or quotation we'd selected to think about)... I've no idea what I was doing that made her face and eyes look all surprised and amazed while she was watching me, but I was grinning, and moving, and loving it.
My turn in the center turned out to be brief. I didn't talk about my quotation, I just moved it. I love that I studied eurythmy with the Waldorf program... it makes it so much easier to EXPRESS some things...
The quote paraphrased: Intuition is about Knowing, not about Thinking, and something about a battle with the Ego. Maybe that last part is something I will have to live my way into the Answers, later (thank you, Rilke) because I don't really understand what was meant by it, but the first part of the passage I can live now, in Dance, and in other Expression.
Moving While Fat is still just MOVING. I dunno why, but nobody gives me flack for being fat while dancing... and 5Rhythms is the BEST about being welcoming and fun.
Just DANCE, my babies!!
Naamah_darling took a similar headspace several notches further. (and more completely explored, and better written than I did, but then she always does. Go read it, please.)
I *get this*. What she's saying? I get this. This makes sense. It wasn't safe to feel-feelings in my house, and especially not in front of my dad. (it's not to say we were ever physically abused... but verbally? and did we get our emotional needs met?... that'd be "yes" and "no", in order.)
that's as much as I can handle talking about tonight. Just some shit I am gonna have to think more about.
As if the peace they now know didn't come from earlier challenges that were faced, and mastered.
OK - not really that funny, The Universe
Thoughts become things... choose the good ones! ® © www.tut.com ®
P.S. The more challenges one faces today, Elizabeth, the more "Whoohooo's!" "Yeehaaa's!" and "Holy Batman's!" tomorrow.
Am hoping to make it to the gym tomorrow. Picked up a couple more pairs of exercise sweatpant-dealies that should be cute and comfy. Looking less like a schlemiel when I go, when so many fitter ladies have cute coordinated outfits, will help me look forward to going.
I don't have any fear about going to the gym anymore. This was not the case when I last had a membership, something like 8-10 years ago. I was full of feelings that I was being judged, was worried people were staring, stuff like that. I was also judging myself. Lots. Feeling guilty and lots of should-have's.
I love that my life for the most part isn't full of fear anymore. My motivation does not come (or perhaps 10% instead of 90%) from fear. Wanting to be strong comes from a place of security and a desire to do what's necessary to plan for the future I want. I want to be a strong, flexible, vibrant old lady. Period.
Must sign up for regular check ins with a trainer so I develop muscles in a balanced way. And while I have learned a lot down the years about how my body works and how to address its needs, this is a time to work with an expert.
Working out improves my mood and helps me get stuff done, it's a bit like the momentum you build when running or biking down a slope while approaching an uphill...get a little extra traction on The Next Thing.
Feeling a bit under the weather today. Going to strive to do the right thing, the kind thing, as much as possible today.
If you hear yourself thinking, "GIFT of fear? Who in their right mind would want MORE fear in their lives, I mean look at this place!!" then you've got it all wrong. de Becker does a great job at explaining that we can de-activate a lot of free-floating fear and anxiety (that largely comes from living in modern America with its marketing techniques and 11:00 NEWS! programmes) by training ourselves to be able to trust our OWN perceptions, our own intuition, our own "gut feeling".
And to do that you must be able to distinguish your worries, and your imagined fears, from real perception of potential threats.
de Becker uses dozens of real-life examples. It can actually be kind of triggery at times, he talks about real life robberies, rapes, murders, stalkings... and he also talks about stories of successful ESCAPES from robberies, rapes, murders, stalkings. And he explains how the situations differ, and what tools anybody can use to become an escape or avoidance story instead of a victim.
I've been working to conquer my own anxieties and fears for over ten years now, and he describes some of the conclusions I've arrived at (don't read tabloid magazines, don't watch commercial news programs, control and choose the input into your brain to decrease fear-mongering from outside) but has the benefit, as I do not, of a deep and varied career problemsolving and deconstructing threatening and potentially deadly human-on-human violence, in various permutations. Man's good.
Granted, since the book was published in '97, some of his examples are a bit dated. Shouldn't be a problem, since his principles are sound and many of the stories are either anonymized or just regular people.
I highly recommend this book - and despite its age, its popularity is such that I couldn't renew my library loan, someone else had it on request. That should tell you something.
During dinner with princeofwands last night, I came to remember a story about Steve Jobs and his perspective on success. The story goes that Steve was looking at different divisions' reports of success and failure rates, and notices one division has a notably smaller failure rate than other similar divisions.
Steve goes to visit.
At first the department chief is proud and thinks Steve's there to praise them, but instead, Steve says, Fail more. Fail bigger, and more interestingly. Learn from the failures, and use them to try to take even bigger risks afterward. A low failure rate won't lead to innovation or new sales.
Fail More. Fail Bigger. Fail flamboyantly.
In my case the worst thing that could happen is being embarrassed or ashamed, since for example, I've no job to LOSE and I'm pretty sure my spouse will stick by me even if I do something really flamboyantly failtastic.
Planning to fail means planning to risk. Risk is scary, but it's better than stagnating, which is what I fear I'm doing right now. Change is scary but it's better than stagnating.
I've prided myself on my ability and willingness to go after things which were scary, but up till now my practice with scary things has primarily been internal.
I dug up a bunch of giant old rocks out of my garden and have used them as material for fences or conversation-starting ornamental rocks. I pulled out old weeds and old stumps, and got rid of colonies of yucky stuff, earwigs and slugs and fungus, that had lived in my garden. And this endeavor, took years and years of hard work, intermittently and steadily, as I had the energy and resources to tackle the challenges.
Basically it feels like I tilled the land, reclaimed it from the wilderness, and then went to the market to get seeds to plant... only when I got there nobody had the seeds I thought I wanted to plant and grow.
So I have been sitting with my tilled field, watching the weeds start to reclaim the land.
I don't want to just grab ANY seeds and stick them into the dirt; I want to be pleased, literally and figuratively, with the fruits of my labors.
I want strawberries and roses, lavender and bay leaves. I want grapevines and wisteria and hops on trellises. I want shady bowers with koi ponds full of sweet water. I want I want flowers and fruit, I want plain vegetables and fancy decorative flavorful frilly herbs: boxes and boxes of fragrant herbs for cooking and making. I want fruit trees, where we can just walk out and take deliciousness from the branches.
And I want people in my garden. I want my garden to be restful and nourishing, and I want people to feel they have a welcome there, welcome to work and to rest and to play and to sing or play music. I want there to be cycles of productivity and rest, and for one feature to fade away for a season while other features come into their glory.
and now I'm crying again, because the metaphor is beautiful but I still don't know where and how to find the "seeds" yet.
So today it is time to return to the basics. Pull up the weeds and restore order to the grounds so that the earth will be ready for the seeds. And then I have to get working with the seed and seedling catalogs, to decide what needs to come FIRST.
I don't have to decide *everything* right now.
But I do REALLY need to get back on the work I've been neglecting.
Strengthen and reinforce my house(my body). Build up, repair, and plan my garden walls(my boundaries). Weed my fields and garden(prepare for my life and my work).
and... craft a good, solid, beautiful garden gate(to invite in those I want, and shut out things I don't.)
and I realize I am indeed at middle age.
42 is a good age to be at, but I will be exceptional for my family if I live to significantly past 80.
So now is a good time, especially since I HAVE the time right now, this year, this season, to think and plan out what I want middle age to look and feel like, and to think and plan and imagine what eldering will or may look and feel like for me.
I think I need to really re-examine what I think I know about getting older, and what it will feel like from the inside. I think I am learning that a lot of assumptions I used to have about how the world worked, drove COMPLETELY off the tracks after I discovered a pagan practice, after I discovered a polyamorous lifestyle, after I realized I don't, and I can't, fit tidily into the boxes that pop culture seems to want to put everyone into.
I overflow. I am large and abundant and have way too much love and hope and earnest curiosity and quirky interests. I am not nearly sarcastic or bitter enough for "what it feels like is expected of me". I'm an idealist. I'm inclusive. I'm passionate and frequently relaxed and forgiving. I like to make things myself, to find things out myself.
I don't think we have enough dialog about what it means to leave the Youth Culture behind and move into ... what? What does it *mean* to "get older" or to "become mature" or "adult"?
Who are the models of behavior? What do we need to do to move from here to ... wherever there is? What can, what MUST we shed and leave behind to make the journey?
If I think of this process in a pagan context, I can use the five-stage model, which goes Maiden-Mother-Teacher-Warrior-Crone. (the last four steps, I feel, interchange and interweave in women's lives as we grow older and more experienced and sure of ourselves, rather than being concrete, definable stages we progress through in an orderly fashion.)
I've been through Maiden, Mother/Teacher stage (my teaching and librarianing all had a deeply maternal caretaking quality), have spent some time in Teacher/Warrior stage and want to spend more there and gain in strength and confidence. I want to return to Mother/Teacher stage as an artist, birthing words and images and inspiration... since I can't birth my children, I will find children to mother and mentor and teach; I can't "lose myself" in childrearing, so I will strive toward finding myself in artistic and community endeavor. I will find my own teachers, and worry later about Being Teacher, if I choose to return to that. Teacher/Warrior needs community, and I've let my community drift away from me for too long. If I rebuild and regrow Community for myself, I think that over time, my other needs will gradually be met: needs for people time, needs for meaningful work, needs for playful and productive connection and belonging. And my need for FUN. =)
Have been living in "stuck" mode for too long. Been struggling to do *anything* productive. I've been homecaring, and taking care of my own body. The good part of that, is that for the first time in my life, taking care of my physical self is an unconflicted, unguilted, first priority. Too many "wake up" calls about my health in the last few years.
No more "shoulds": The change is here. I *am* moving my body. I *am* finding the foods and activities that help me feel strong and healthy and good. I *am* looking to the future, to 50, 60, and yes, to 80. I'm Off The Path. I have NO idea what these years are "supposed to look like" and you know what? I don't care. I can survive in the wilderness, I can feed myself and take care of others and make all my own tools.
Not getting any younger. (in some ways, thank Gods for that!) Therefore: NOW it is time to take stock/inventory, time to truly see where I am as I descend into the season of Dionysos, into the dark and the cold, into the introspective time and the Lesser Madness. Sink my Roots. Allow myself the time to make my Tools, talk with others about the Path Ahead, laugh and eat and drink wine around the fire, love hard and plan to Do Important Things before I die.
Ripples in the pond. Are my ripples from a big ol' PLONK or are they the cascade of light, sweet rings shimmering out from a single smooth stone skipped far across the pond? I'm hoping for a many-times multiple skip with a surprising dogleg hop at the end before the splash...
Actually, it's not funny at all.
It feels to me as though there are forces in the world that draw us out of ourselves into confusion, that the goal of those forces is distraction and dismay and discouragement.
Feels as though these forces are trying to prevent us from accomplishing the wonder*full, important, world-changing tasks we are capable of accomplishing.
Someone I read recently was reflecting upon the results of introducing sugar and alcohol into the diet of the Inuit: addiction and obesity and other health issues resulted... along with the disintegration of the strong traditional society.
Don't get me wrong, I do my best to use my Internet Powers for good, and I know most of us do. I keep in contact with family and friends, both distant and near. I try to keep informed about political issues and problems close to my heart, and to use the internet to learn and grow.
But I do find there's thousands of ways to get distracted and lose focus.
(p.s. In the middle of writing this post, I got distracted, lost focus, wandered around other websites, and eventually left the computer, forgetting to finish this post and, well, POST it. One more data point for my hypothesis)
How many of us have to write down what we came to the computer to accomplish, because once we get online, it's "Oh, I'll just check email and facebook" and two hours later, dazed, go to turn off the screen, only to realize we totally spaced on the One Task we'd set out to finish?
*raises hand very high*
Right at this instance, I have two Chrome windows open, the first has 55 tabs open (I counted) and the second has sixteen. And I'm aggressively using ReadItLater to close tabs!
Why the holy FUCK do I need (or "need") SEVENTY-ONE windows open for websites?
I think, among other motivations, I feel guilt about not-reading things which are Relevant to My Interests, or I want to respond to people, participate in conversations, try that writing assignment popfiend inspired, decide which events I will actually attend, find inspiration and support in changing my habits...
There is just Too Much Crap out there.
I'm not "keeping up" with Facebook, OR Twitter, much less Google Plus.
Livejournal is where I come for substantial food-for-thought. It's where I come for a human experience.
Here is where people can think, discuss, collect.
Here is where posts *stay still* in their original place, so I can refer back to them easily, they don't get shuffled all around in my reading list.
Here I can bookmark, tag, save to Memories, useful or interesting posts, information, and art.
I hope LJ succeeds. Because for me, it's rather like a beacon on a dark and stormy ocean.
Livejournal (go ahead and laugh now) is a bastion of sanity in the craziness and you-should-buy-this-now, inadequate-creature-that-you-are culture of the Internets and the western, corporate commercialization of thought.
People here truly talk, think, reflect. People here share, comment, (hug), give good advice or smacks with the salmon-of-wisdom.
I'd pitch a lot of the internet out the window (defenestration practice anyone?) before giving up on this site.
Matter of fact, think I will for awhile.
One was to wake up after a night of almost no sleep to initiate an emotionally difficult conversation.
Two was to keep my mouth shut at a time later on when responding as my first impulse demanded, would've made things worse.
Here is where I say the thing that may get me in trouble : I fucking DO want a cookie. After doing Hard Things That are Hard? Yes, I want to hear a "good job" or a "thank you" or "I appreciate your efforts" BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I NEVER GOT AS A KID.
Similarly I will never get tired of hearing someone I respect tell me I'm pretty, they love me, they're proud of me, I said something that made them think or laugh, BECAUSE THAT also IS WHAT I NEVER GOT AS A KID.
I give myself EXPLICIT PERMISSION to want that cookie. Explicit permission to attract that cookie, to find safe people whom I might ask for a cookie, to feel my sadness and my rage about growing up without any fucking cookies.
Because also I was taught growing up, both directly and by example, that there Are. No. Cookies! for you, and no matter how hard you try to be worthy of one, to work for one, to ask or to suffer because you want (or need!) a 'cookie'? You get NOTHING.
Fuck that shit.
I'm in charge. Y'all, I grew up, and now I make a choice.
I make cookies every fucking day, you know? and I give them out to friends and lovers and strangers I have just met. I make them by the bushel. There ARE enough cookies.
Sometimes I make cookies just because i can. I have what i need to make them and i just do it. Other times i know I am wanting to please people because I still crave approval and a smile is as good as a cookie. I'm okay with that.
And sometimes? Sometimes, (I am *such* a subversive! ) sometimes I *actually* make cookies that are just for me. Exactly what I want and need in that moment.
And then I have what I need.
Some days I run out of cookie ingredients altogether. Days like that suck horribly because it's scary and flattening. I'd say I'm lucky because that happens pretty rarely, after 11 years of learning how to make and share and ask for a cookie. I have good cookie makers around me all the time now. There's a reason for that.
I. Am. Allowed. To. Want. A. Cookie.
So, for that matter, are you.
Here endeth the lesson.
Posted via LjBeetle
It interferes with my capacity for independent thought, interrupts ideas-in-progress.
YMMV, of course, but it's notable in my case.
Was thinking earlier today about what does it really mean to be grown up?
To put a different spin on it, when exactly do us Walking Wounded finally come to own our own souls?
Our bodies, our health, our own opinions and reality?
I had no concept of myself as lovable for the first 18 years of my life. I had no idea of myself as attractive, gorgeous, loved, until I was 20 (thanks, gorgeous and loved Irishman...) I had no idea of myself as a dancer till I joined Travellers' Union at age 22 and started to learn English Country Dance and Ballroom (Thanks, all you former Travellers!) I had no idea I could be athletic until I started taking TaeKwonDo (thanks, Master Rankins!) at age 26.
Of course, I didn't realize I could be broken, either. I challenged myself to try new things, always proceeding with caution, hesitantly. But I could feel my self stretching, growing, filling out, and dimly sensing that the possibility of *flowering* was there, even if I wasn't robust and juicy enough yet.
Then I backslid. I married the wrong guy (or, the right guy, because I did need the "another opportunity for growth" because I was STUCK and needed to be jarred loose). I fucked up my knee from trusting that my teachers knew my body and abilities better than I did (dumb, dumb, blind, thoughtless and dumb), and I coped with the first disease/problem that was the brush with death. That's when I discovered that doctors are not omniscient, they are human, and make mistakes. I worked on healing myself and in the time I thought I was face-to-face with my own ceasing-to-be, I looked at my blind spots and my dead spots and my not-broken-but-grew-crooked spots. And I started trying to remove the dead spots and enlivening the dead spots and retraining the grew-crooked spots.
Then I made progress. I worked with the Thiasos, a group of Hellenic Pagans based in Sacramento and the Bay area, and I started to learn what mattered. That *I* mattered. That *I* was a child of god, same as the trees and the stars (thanks, Desiderata!) That I was worthy. That I could be strong, but that I would have to work on it, since I had a habit of thinking of myself as weak. I learned that I was *beautiful* (Thanks, Adelphai! *wipes tears from eyes*) though it had to come to me as a surprise and after a lot of time working on my headspace. After that, I joined a learning coven, a Wicca 101 group, and started to work on becoming strong and principled.
Still I referred to myself as a "girl". A "girl" of thirty-something, because "woman" was ... fraught. Being "a woman" felt like more than I could claim for myself. I mostly referred to myself as a "person". "Woman" still is complicated (political, and with lots of connotations), but at 41 with the life experience I have? I'm finally referring to myself as a woman, because somewhere between 30 and 40 I actually DID "grow up:"
I did start taking responsibility for my own health and my own happiness.
I did start taking responsibility for my own life and my part in building or destroying my own relationships.
I did start making the conscious decision to strive to be kind and compassionate and truthful. To live my sense of what is right and true and ethical.
Whenever I start to feel like I'm treading water instead of making forward progress, I look at what I'm saying, and what I'm doing, and what I'm thinking. I look at where my relationships are, and if there is any place I have enough resources to help someone else - time, attention, energy, and sometimes money or goods.
One of the Christian philosophical systems has a saying: Lord, let me be an instrument of your peace. I add:
Lord, let me be an instrument of joy.
Lord, let me be an instrument of healing,
Lord, let me be an instrument of hope and compassion.
I am a grown up now. In my way of thinking, that entails a number of responsibilities.
If you have strengths, you use them in the service of weakness, and helping others become stronger.
If you have learning, you use it in the service of educating ignorance into knowledge.
If you have passion, you work to fan the flames of passion in the world: passion for justice, for truth, for beauty, for fairness.
If you have health, you use it to help others heal themselves.
If you have traveled from brokenness to wholeness? You work on helping others see and fix the broken wherever it is to be found.
And you know what? None of this is *easy*.
None of this Living on Planet Earth is easy. We get sick, we suffer. We hurt each other, intentionally and un.
We lose possessions we value. Maybe we learn something.
People we love die. We suffer. Maybe we learn something.
People around us suffer. Maybe today we have enough to share, a hand to stretch out in comfort. Maybe we are the ones suffering, and hoping to have the comfort of another's hand. And maybe we learn something.
and maybe? maybe what we learn? is that's what Love is.
maybe once we stop being afraid, we can put Love to work in our lives.
And maybe that is all the Change we need.
If Love drives out Fear, how do we make sure everyone has enough Love? How do we help people Not be Afraid?
It starts with me. It starts with one word, one hug, one (dumb) little post on the internet.
And the courage to make it public.
It's easy to write for people I've chosen, people I know I can trust. I'm going to stretch my trusting muscle farther today.
Remember. Love. Learn. Hope.
*headdesk* I had to write a note to the vice principal as well as to the teacher.
Then I got home, and eeyore42 was there! I didn't have to manage my frustration alone! It made me feel so much better to talk about it, and to eat some food. Then I phoned chinders about delivering compost-food to her house, then I got to go visit her and check on the progress of her garden (yay), dog training (yay) and behbeh chickens! I got to hold baby chickens! (almost adolescent chickens!) One perched on me for awhile, it was awesome.
Came home a little while later, started layout work on my poster for class this weekend. It's challenging - I'm doing art that requires a certain amount of precision, and well. Precision has rarely been my strong suit, but it is coming along.
I think that this is going to be great. AND I can put off one of the assignments I thought I had to do, till next weekend: read three more Steiner lectures and make a poster for THOSE. well.
Back to it then!
I'd like to make it a list of 40 things I've learned as a woman of a certain age.
I'm not yet sure I HAVE 40 things I've learned as a 40 year old that would be valued by younger women.
Here's a start though. Edit: who knew I had this much good advice in me? =)
1) Pluck your chin hairs while your face is slightly 'dirty'... they come out easier and don't break.
2) If the person you're crushing on isn't all that "into you"... might want to reconsider why YOU are into THEM.
3) If your body is sore, move it. No, really. (And don't say should I move it if it's broken, I know you are smarter than that)
4) Invest in quality tools of all kinds. Take care of them. You don't need 3 pairs of mediocre scissors, or nailclippers, or whatever, if you have one good pair and you know where it is.
5) Get rid of crappy stuff. Get rid of multiples. You deserve better than to paw through boxes of crap looking for something you need.
6) Don't talk trash behind people's backs. Hell, don't talk trash period. You look petty and mean when you do.
( Read more... )
Whew! Not too bad for a first draft! Any comments, advice, critiques, or contributions?
(that was SO much fun!!)
and to start losing my heart.
is it too "egotistical" or too arrogant, to think, "they need me"?
But I don't think I could teach full time in that school, not with what I know already... not with Waldorf workings in my spirit... my head, my art, my intention...
Jeff is bothered by public spaces that have too much "ping"... it's an auditory thing. These public schools have a literal AND a figurative ping... Sharp edges, no pride, hard surfaces, much of the nature around them broken down, splintered, or scattered with trash... kids learn anger because they learn it gets them attention. But that's another tangent entirely...
Okay, how's this. If a place of learning is to be an oasis for the mind and the spirit, it simply doesn't do, to have each person hand carry a bucket of water from a faraway place. Or to "start an oasis" with bulldozers...
There's no meaning behind what I was teaching. It's all been drills of some kind or another, mental calisthenics maybe. Not that that's a bad thing... But all calisthenics and no... what? using the muscles you've built for something useful? No learning how to play a new game, or ride a unicycle or swing from a trapeze or climb a rope?
just my quick note here.
*is tired and frustrated, and missing the kids already*
Here's one for today, related to the post I made a couple days ago:
Don't live in your body half-assedly or absent-mindedly.
It is only flesh and someday it will fail you.
Treat your body with Love and Respect.
Treat your body like Home, because that is what it is.
Live there. Live HERE, not in the past If Onlys or the future When I Finallys.
This is not a fucking dress rehearsal. What the fuck are we waiting for!
Bear with me a moment:
When you begin, the animal (the fearful part of self) is skittish, angry, violent, in pain, unpredictable (add your own adjective here). You don't know what motivates it, you aren't sure how to help at first.
So the first step is to gently build trust. You do gentle things, comforting things, calm, quiet, predictable things. Perhaps you find ways to nourish the fearful animal, as frequently they are hungry. You do this until the fearful animal calms down a little, and you begin to have positive interactions. Perhaps at this point you can start to explore what is causing the fear: is there an old or current injury? Is it a habit of thinking or behaving that can be changed? Perhaps it is something as basic as a self-reinforcing loneliness. (not that THAT is easy to cure necessarily but knowledge of the problem is half the battle to solve it.)
Trust is building, it's an ongoing process. Like Androcles and the Lion, trust itself is often its own reward. If the fear-animal is internal to self, learning to trust the part of yourself that does know better, that does know that fear is a chain that binds you to old ways of living and thinking which no longer serve you and which even hurt or harm you, well. Learning to trust the part of yourself that wants you to be stronger, happier, and more free, and is willing to work for the privilege... that leads you closer to wholeness. Closer to real health.
You have to be brave to work on your fears, work with your fears. You must be gentle in parenting the fearful child within, firm and reliable to train the fearful-animal to strength and reliability within itself. Think of animals that have been poorly trained and how they behave. Think of children that were parented unreliably or who were victims of neglect and abuse. Now, if you have fears that behave like bratty or desperate children, fears that mark their territory like feral cats or piss the floor like (you'll forgive me) my mother's dog, fears that cling to you and don't let you Get Stuff Done?
You may have to start from the beginning. And you may find that no matter how much Work you Do, there is still more to be Done. You may find that even once you are firm, reliable, gentle, loving, and consistent? There will still be days (weeks, months, years) when your inner feral cat or terrified toddler re-emerges and leaves messes all over the landscape.
We are the grown ups now. We are the ones who can choose to take charge, to put those gentle, loving, trust building routines into place. We are the ones who get to build our own internal strength and improve our personal discipline. and to keep ourselves fed so we can Do This Work.
But keep the end goal in mind. Remember the hunchbacked, starving, irritable, cringing, unpredictable, even vicious 'animal' you first knew?
Think of a beautiful, well fed horse running in green fields and coming to eat apple slices from your hand, snuffling warm grass-fed breath into your face. Think of an intelligent, clear eyed dog, attention focused on your face and your hand-commands, waiting eagerly to fetch the ball you just threw, knowing ear-scruffles and praise come after their expected success. Think of a child so funny and smart and upright and trustworthy that your heart aches when you see them achieving their real potential, when you watch them soar high above anything you have ever achieved previously.
That could be you. You can DO THIS.
Stand up straight. Take the first step.
No hobbled horse is joyous. No chained-up starving dog has perked up, laughing ears.
Take the chains off. Be the reliable, loving, gentle friend your inner child needs to grow strong and free.
Love them. Love YOU.
... and if you're already there? Lend a hand with someone else's animal taming.
I haven't met anyone who couldn't use the help.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle..."
Flaking on a promised visit to celticmoni due to finishing homework: Boo! (and, I'm really sorry, Monica.)
Sugar crash that led to multi-hour near-depression: Boo!
Husband who shopped and cooked dinner, an AMAZING dinner: Yay and Happy Dance!
Now to complete the last work for school: a self-evaluation from the course we just completed, then go thud with the book for my Dickens character. I think I'm going to like this - not only is it a satire on American manner, mores and values, it's a recently retranslated satire, with academic notes and history of the previous translators' efforts. *nerd swoon*
okay, i go thud now.
Guess I've been here a long time now.
Here's something I learned this weekend.
I grew up in Sacramento but have spent the last several years slagging it off and praising the Bay Area. Thing is, I don't have to slag off one place to love another place. And visiting family and friends this weekend has been good from the perspective of appreciating how much value-added Sacramento has in terms of old, vivid, meaningful memories. There are stories around every corner: there's where so and so used to live, I got my first tattoo there, Drat my favorite thrift store has gone out of business, there's my first apartment where I lived with Jeff for a little while, etc. Stories that go back so far that I remember distances in minutes-walked or bicycled because I was a kid and that's just how you got around.
Stories that shaped me.
In a similar vein, I found myself falling into old habits of snarkitude. I'm embarrassed to admit this. I took the easy shot, more than once in the last week or so, snarking or slagging people who are "easy targets", people who other people also make fun of, people who I used to make fun of myself. I don't need to do that either anymore. I don't like how I am when I do that. I want to be a person who speaks up when my cousin says something I object to, not wait till he's out of earshot and snark on him. I want to work on that level of courage. I want to have the courage of my convictions and the strength to hold them up.
Truth is more important than the easy laugh.
Integrity is more important than avoiding offense.
It's time to kick things up a notch. It's time to show up and take on more responsibility, take care with the details to make sure they are done properly. It's time to reach out and go get what I need for my life and my health and quit avoiding, best I can, the things that I don't want to have to do but that I know I need to do if I'm going to launch into the next phase of my development and my impact on the world.
I want to make an impact. I'm okay with it being subtle (though knowing me, I'll probably be a bit brash and loud about it instead) and I'm okay with being small-scale.
Taking care of business is what I can do right now. Bringing Quality and Commitment to whatever I choose to spend my energies on. What I realized this morning, is that means, if I'm being a housewife, to take care of things as best I can, and don't put it off till tomorrow. If I'm being a student, same thing. If I'm jobhunting, same thing. (sensing a trend here? Yes, I procrastinate)
I need to use available tools to help me stay on track, motivated, on top of things, and to complete quality work. To quote a certain famous Hindu, I need to be the change I wish to see in the world. And let what doesn't matter, fall away.
I think I better go. I have work to do.