labelleizzy: (Default)
getting over a nasty sinus infection that settled in my chest. Again.

it got bad enough this weekend that I couldn't sleep and my abdominal muscles started locking up after the violence of the spasmodic coughing.

never again will I wait so long before seeking help.

One: I have two kinds of bronchial inhalers, I will use BOTH, I will remember that I HAVE both and will use both when I start getting in trouble.

Two: one night of no-sleep is the dealbreaker now. One night, then get the doctor.

Three: try and figure out wtf is the problem with my head (I know, my mom was like this too) that makes it so I'd rather harm myself literally than perceive that I was disappointing other people.

Four: the doctor is there to help preserve your health and life. they're not put out when you go to see them with an actual problem, and if they are, then you need to see another doctor.

Five: crowdsourcing your health advice is a not-horrible option when you have people who actually do give a shit about you and not just posting clever quips. (My friends DO give a shit, I've seen other people get much less helpful comments, the bastards)

Six: saying I CAN'T BREATHE WELL if true, is an excellent way to get taken seriously with my HMO.

Seven: My HMO did good work again, I'm just saying.

Eight: it's time to write down all the meds I'm taking and when, so I can make sure to take ALL OF THEM (I forgot to do the inhalers till well around dinner time and it wasn't very fun.

Nine: More water, more hydration, and I want to go pick up some of that guaifenisin stuff to add to the regimen; and I need to get more sleep.

10: I'll be done with the antibiotics by this time next week but I need to keep using the inhalers through the first week of August (21 days since onset, minimum)

Ten things make a list, ergo a blog post. Sorry this is boring, glad I'm not dead (or suffering like I was before).
labelleizzy: (Default)
I am sorry that it took me this long to recognize how patient you were with me, and how hard you tried to trust me and to let me be a part of your lives. I'm sorry that it didn't work out for us to continue being friends. Despite the pain we ended up causing each other, there was some good stuff there that I miss. But we really had so many communication problems that I really think it was for the best to end things and cut contact.

I don't want to see you or talk to either of you anymore, because we both broke each other's trust in the process of progressive miscommunication. And I don't spend more time than I have to anymore with people who I can't trust not to hurt me.

I wish you as well with your lives as is possible under the circumstances, and may you not break trust again as you broke mine; may I never break another's trust again as I broke yours.
labelleizzy: (Default)
Having this broken hand , has been a whole exercise in how to put up with doing things imperfectly. (she says as she edits the post)

Dictation at the moment, speech-to-text, it's one of the accommodations I started using pretty early on in the healing process after breaking the base of my pinky and top off of my radius my right hand , on New Year's Eve. Doing things imperfectly doesn't come easy to me. More prone to refusing to try to do something. I'm more likely to give up easy after trying to do something if it doesn't come easy. One positive thing for me about the ADHD: learning that that's a trait! it's a thing about the way that this kind of brain works.

But actually I was swimming (wtf? not even close to what I said) to post about this today because had a lovely visit with Allison and Fritz , including a delicious dinner, a seriously delicious dinner. But something about walking into their house today for some reason gave me an insight into something new that I needed to do for my hand? I suddenly flashed on there was a new place to try to massage and stretch that I hadn't tried before.

Maybe this has to do somehow with Alison being a massage therapist but anyway I found some incredibly painful and Incredibly needed places in between my fingers to massage right at the point where the fingers' flesh joins each other to become the hand and had a breakthrough! (sudden breakup/breakdown of incredibly tight fascia according to Alison.)

I woke up a little while ago or half woke up cuz it's quarter to 5 in the morning right now, full moon is still out and shining through the bedroom window, I woke myself up massaging my hand again and doing Hand Therapy again. It feels different now, than it did yesterday because of the work I was figuring out how to do today and then Allison worked on my hand a little bit too which also helped and she had a heating kind of massage oil which seems to be very effective so high hopes for the flexibility in the healing of my hand and arm to maybe we've turned up what do they call it maybe I've turned a corner? I think that's the right turn of phrase so I just wanted to get up, empty my brain for a minute, and I'm going to have to edit this later because speech to text never works perfectly.

Hopefully I'll be able to go get some more sleep now. And forgive all the weird word choices from this very very stream of consciousness post. And wish me well with my hand? Suddenly feeling much less angra vated (wtf speech to text that's not even a word?) AGGRAVATED with it and the long long time it has been taking to heal.

thanks for listening.
labelleizzy: (strong)
Today is a good day.
Today I feel strong and whole.
I wonder if I will ever get over feeling so lucky, so happy about getting myself here.

I could have stayed where my childhood left me, tied up in gender stereotypes and my feelings of inadequacy.
I could have been too afraid to risk the pain inherent in risk and change.

I didn't, and I wasn't.

And I am proud of myself for that.

I say that so infrequently that I wanted to record it, meaning to encourage myself to take pride in my accomplishments more frequently. I slide between being reluctant to ackowledge and outright bragging, the grey space in between is hard for me to find.
Sigh.
Subtlety, I can not haz. Oh well. Knowing yourself counts for something!

Learned the hard way that slow and steady, consistent work is the most important way to make lasting change in my life. (I do know that probably sounds obvious. I'm okay with that, I need to keep saying it to myself, regardless.)

I can do a lot of things now, after healing from injuries, and with long practice, that made me feel less-than broken/wrong, and weird as a child and teenager.

Back then I Made a lot of assumptions about what was normal, and I try not to blame myself for that. Learning that "normal" doesnt exist was actually really useful.

What are the important lessons you have learned about how the world works, and how you fit in to that?
labelleizzy: (Pentacle)
Ground, Center, Shield
April 16, 2014 at 7:08pm
A friend elsenet asked for more information about these skills. Thought I'd save my notes here for future reference.



Have you ever been taught how to ground and center? Many folk I know who are empathic, who collect energies from around them, use the technique for energy management, it works as mood management/meditation for me also.

Let me tell you how I do it. My training involved learning about chakras, which I use, but it's not required.

quickest method of *grounding* is to use whatever visualization works best for you. Here are a few I have used.



1) hug a tree. Press your chest and face against the bark. Feel your heart full of everything that is Just Too Much, and gently push that whole tangle forward, envisioning the tree soaking it in like the earth soaks in rain, and then running down in its various strands, to the roots of the tree to disperse harmlessly into the earth.

2) Take a palm sized stone in your hand. You'll know a good stone for the purpose, it will just feel right. I hold it up next to my heart (I have two for this), and similarly to the tree-hug technique, push everything you don't need out into the stone. If you'll be using this technique often, a "quick" recharge of such a stone can involve a salt-water soaking, set it outside where the sun can bake it and the moon can shine on it for 24 hours, or bury it briefly in living earth (couple hours would do).

3a) I learned that for me, images from the classic Greek Elements work best; (part of my training and habituation). a Water grounding involves sitting quietly somewhere, and envisioning all the disturbing energies starting to gather and pool at the base of my spine, and then slowly drawing fresh "water" up through me, washing the brackish disturbing energies up and out through the top of my head, washing down the back of my head and back, to flow back into the earth.

3b) Another kind of Water grounding I find effective works when I am lying down in bed, on the floor, or on a couch, wherever I can sprawl comfortably and not feel constricted at all. Close your eyes and remember times you've floated freely in water, how your limbs feel, maybe your hair floats around you. The water laps at you with gentle waves and carries off everything you don't need, gradually, till your mind is at piece.

4) a Fire grounding might involve very intentionally feeling everything very intensely, while envisioning a fiery inferno engulfing this "fuel". Continue envisioning the fire as it dies down to low flames, to coals, to embers, to sparks, to cold ash. Then sweep your "hearth" and dig the "ashes" into your garden for fertilizer.


**oh, and slow deep steady breathing for 1, 2, 3a, 3b, throughout the exercise; 4 probably wants something closer to quick deep breaths, inhale-exhale, and the slow breaths once the fire is done.



Centering is what you do after you've grounded. The sequence is: Ground. Center. Shield.

We ground to rid ourselves of the unwanted, and to reconnect with what makes us feel clean and strong in ourselves.

Centering is the regathering of your faculties and the energies that are uniquely you. You may want to think of it as a crystallization, like compressing a diamond from coal, or like a hug, but a hug that encompasses your whole body in a gentle loving pressure. I sort of feel my bones more strongly in where they are, and my spine gets straighter, my feet more flat on the floor if I'm sitting in a chair.



Shielding is just what it sounds like. You develop your own meditation that feels like shielding yourself from anything you don't want.



Some people may visualize that as walls. Some as a mirrored bubble, or an invisibility cloak. Or perhaps a suit of armor, or a kevlar superhero suit. Mine is lighter than any of those, because I want energy to be free to move in and out, but to select AGAINST the kind of energy I don't want to have in my system. Selective deflection, if you like. Maybe a bit like Diana Prince's bracelets. *grin*

Fortunately I now live a life where I don't have to shield very often. (this wasn't always the case, and I didn't always know how to ground, or center, or shield. *wince*)

But grounding, if you practice, starts to become intuitive. Jewelry can ground me, or ornamental stones (OMG hematite and bronze work SO well for me!), or just patting a tree trunk or the wall of my house. Cats can help me ground, so can exercise. My own bones ground me. You can ground in other people, as long as consent is present. I channel for friends in this way occasionally.



Please let me know if you have any questions or if any of this is unclear. I've run into several reputable pagan authors who describe the process similarly; I can check my library for recommendations if you would like.

Peace be with you.



NOTE: You may use these notes freely yourself, If you share them please make certain to include credit.

Thanks.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Smoky candle wick
Relit by match through the smoke
Magical science!
Silver sooty snuffer burns;
Pain and blisters as I learn.

Around the campfire
Dreaming, mesmerized by flames:
Red, gold, blue, orange.
Flash! Roar! Swoosh! Whiskey on coals!
“You guys actually DRINK that?”

Many fires go out.
Dad dies. Grief drags us all down.
Under the rain and fog
Slog through the mud seeking joy
In Library, Students, Books.

Candleflame, cauldron.
Friends in darkness, points of light
Sometimes belonging
Ritual, dance, myself, words...
The sun comes out, the rain stops.

A phoenix, reborn:
Passion flames as strength returns.
Tattoo needles burn,
Fighter’s heart burns fear for fuel
Crucible of warriors.


This is my Week 15 entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol. This week's prompt was "A terrible beauty has been born."
The link to the poll is HERE if you would be willing to vote for me, thank you.
Please follow the elegant and finely-crafted link HERE to read the excellent work of my colleagues in this endeavor.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
I've been thinking for the last few years, that attention is the rent we pay for being in relationship, for being in community.

It was never such a privilege to pay attention as it was, many years ago, when I was teaching high school reading and drama classes, and became the advisor for the Improv Comedy Club. Thinking back, I marvel at the quick wit and facility with ideas, language and expression that these teenagers had. How fluent and adaptable they were to performance situations where anything could change (and did) with the drop of a word or addition of a new gesture!

Nick was a wiry, nervous Italian looking kid, earnest and new to the Improv team, often half-a-beat late with his responses, or just this side of awkward, in its own kind of funny. Mariel was a comic genius, with a rounded buxom figure, huge brown eyes and an impressive range of physical expression, and she could also get really LOUD in all the good ways. Tawd was clever, almost effortlessly funny both onstage and off, and a deceptively mellow, slow voice. He's the reason I acquired a nickname among the drama classes, and I remember him fondly for that. Aliza was slim, sly, sarcastic, with a drawling kind of vocal delivery that could quicksilver turn to something manic and panicked if the character called for it. Lucas was tall, with what his friends teased him was "emo kid hair", at that gangly teenage stage where his every gesture seemed floppy, but he sure knew how to use that puppety-ness to his advantage, like a Tim Burton character. Brandon was short and compact. He had a deep voice that belied his small frame, and an onstage poise and speed on the uptake that was nothing short of marvellous. Adam was blond, almost with ringlets, and our tech guy when he wasn't onstage. He was ridiculously silly and ridiculously smart, and I still remember one skit where he was spontaneously, slowly, somersaulting around the stage for no apparent reason.

They were all, every one of them, hilarious, but Parker felt like the ringleader. That kid... well. Damn, that kid was a force to be reckoned with. Sandy sort of dishwater brown hair (and I'm not just saying that because he had a positive TALENT for pissing me off), a nondescript sort of everyman face, and sleepy-looking hooded eyes, he was an absolute fucking chameleon onstage, with a rubber face and a skill at vocal characterization that reminded me of the young Jimmy Stewart. He's the one who I remember (with Mariel and Tawd) as starting the club and teaching the other kids all the improv games. He had a very strong personality, and he pushed hard to get the team members to practice all the different kinds of games and to get them in shape for competitive Improv Comedy events with other schools.

Parker was so funny and occasionally so bizarre... I remember how impressed I was with how much he knew about comedy and improvisation. I was brand new to the drama gig, and I don't mind at all saying that I learned virtually everything I know about improv and theater games from these kids. From Highway Patrol to New Choice, tongue-twisters and physical warmups, their speed and sarcasm and joy and silliness just delighted me. I would watch from the audience space and sometimes grade papers as they worked and played and tried new things, always new things, even with the old games they all knew well.

Building characters and scenes with zero stage props or maybe only hats or scarves or a couple of chairs from the audience is what made me think of them when I saw this week's prompt. These kids? I could imagine them EASILY getting a "confession from the chair." You'd be laughing at the one-sided conversation, imagining the chair's responses, and then cheering as the chair is dragged offstage. Of course, there'd be implications that a well-deserved beat-down will happen once the chair is in lockup.

It was a privilege to pay the rent there, to be on the sidelines watching the worldbuilding these kids could do in the blink of an eye. I got no call to be proud of them, I didn't teach them anything. They did it all themselves, but I'm proud of them nevertheless. It was a pleasure to know them.

I hope they are all still finding joy in words and connection and their own quick minds, making creative and subversive things in the world, and messing with people's heads.


This has been my entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol . This week's prompt was, as I mentioned, "Confession from the Chair."

Here is a link to one place you can find short descriptions of improv comedy games, you can also google "theater games" or improv games if you would be interested in learning more. Also I recommend comedysportz san jose as an example of improv comedy as a hell of a lot of fun for an evening's entertainment. (hmmm, I need to get out and see that again sometime soon!)
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
You've got to be careful with wishes.

I heard of one witch who said, I wish my husband would shut up... And then there were silent, violent, dark days afterwards...

It's why we're in such demand, witches... Wishes have real power.

You've got to be careful with words as well.

It's through words, after all, that we convince the world to be other than it is.
From sickness we can coax health, from discord, harmony.

But it's easy enough to make the world change in the other direction as well, if we're that-away inclined. Like the silent-husband case I've already mentioned, careless words in the world, in this line of work, can have horrific consequences.

The final element is will. Will-forces are the hardest thing to train up in the apprentices! And will-forces are terrifically important!
You can't expect even the most poetically-worded wish to deliver results if you don't have enough OOMPH to back up your desire and make it happen for real.

"With Wishes, Words, and Will, witches work in the world."

*grin* We've got that engraved in a nice signboard and hung up at the entrance of the School. As of this year's enrollment, we've got witch-children from most every religious tradition, and teachers from almost every tradition as well. Our School has a very strong commitment to cross-training and to understanding the philosophical underpinnings of the World-Soul, That Which Moves Us All.

Would you believe, that even now, some of our students come to us thinking that the way they have been taught is the Only True Way, and that all other Paths are invalid? No?

It's the truth. We do have quite the challenge to explain and demonstrate otherwise, but when the children all have to rub elbows with one another in all their classes, it tends to take the rough edges off any sharp belief systems pretty quickly. Added to the impressive experience of our teaching staff, and our Silent Recess policy, the children build tolerance and cooperation faster than in any school system I've experienced before.

I'm sorry, what?

Oh no. The Silent Recess policy is intended to prevent any apprentice-level mistakes out on the playground. Children feel things so intensely, they certainly do not lack for force of will! And a strong force of will is QUITE enough to enact some serious levels of mischief upon one's playmates. All the teachers concur, having all experienced, well, pretty appalling things out on the playgrounds themselves, before the Principles of Magic were studied and understood thoroughly. The voluntary Yard Duty roster is always well staffed, and the children are always well-supervised.

*fondly*
Yes, I know. Our children are lucky. Now that we understand the Principles, we can teach Ethical Magical Behaviors at all levels of school. We can train the children up into the adults we all know they have the capacity to be. They can all be strong, ethical, committed, principled young people that we can be proud to unleash upon the world.

*cough* Oh, unleash? My mistake. I meant, um, well, I meant...

May I offer you some more tea? ah, here we go. *pours*

Yes, well, our graduates find regular and lucrative employment in all walks of life, as a matter of fact one of our recent graduates is now Head Pastry Chef in our kitchen. Oh, yes, the petit-fours are her specialty! Here, DO allow me. And one of the small eclairs? Splendid.

*lengthy pause*

That said, shall I draw up the enrollment documents now? I think you will find the terms most competitive with the other Schools in town.

*sly smile*

Yes, I thought you might.


This has been my entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol. This week's was an Open Prompt week.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
So here's the thing: people pick on other people. They call people mean names, hit, shove, intimidate, say and do horrible things.

I know we usually soothe the people who've suffered such things with declarations of no-fault: "that girl is insecure and lashing out" "that guy was bullied as a child and he's continuing the cycle" "it's not about you, it's about THEM."

I'm about to say something that may get people pissed off at me. I've come to believe that we look at this situation, of bullying and harassment, and folks often say, it's all the bully's fault. Or perhaps that it's society's fault, or that parents have failed, or schools didn't provide proper guidance.

Believe me, I understand that bullying, harassment, domineering and controlling, assholish behavior has a bewildering complexity of causes.

And people also will point out (because often times the media and some individuals need reminding) that "victim-blaming", as a thing, is unfair, wrong, or bad.

Unfair, I grant. Unhelpful, I concede, and bad? Victim blaming is a mark of both lazy thinking and dishonest, delusional assumptions about interpersonal dynamics.

Wrong it may be to say the victim was at blame for their victimhood, but is it entirely incorrect?

I was alternately bullied and ignored throughout school. I entered into relationships with sarcastic, belittling partners and stayed there for years. I know now that patterns of behavior I learned at home shaped my childhood social experiences, my choices of romantic partners, and my willingness to trust... Actually to trust anyone at all, was a huge struggle, for many years.

I gained confidence and life experience, learned to thrive in nourishing relationships, and learned to survive and end verbally abusive relationships in work and romantic life.

What I eventually learned was that my assumptions influenced how my reality manifested. If you feel insecure, it shows in how you move, stand, hold yourself. Confidence or insecurity show in tone of voice and in your word choices too.

Humans everywhere in the world read body language fluently. Bullies and predators, consciously (or unconsciously) select people for body language that shows insecurity or wishy-washiness.

Radical honesty and being an adult demands that we must look deeply and unflinchingly at ourselves so we can solve the problem with accurate information, not self delusion.

* Am I complicit in being picked on, in any way?
* Do my assumptions about how I will be treated, or how the world works, affect how I AM treated, or how the world responds to me?
* If either of these are true, what can I do to recognize and change my habits of behavior and thought?

Suppose you've done serious reflection on your life and your attitudes or expectations to recognize that you contribute(d) to your own victimhood in some ways. You may expect people in your life to be rude, dismissive, disparaging, or sarcastic. You may have internal voices telling you you aren't good enough, aren't worth the effort.

And then you realize that you would NEVER speak even to your worst enemy with the language and tone you hear in your head. (The moment I realized this is clear in my head, even eight years later.)

Please be welcome to feel feelings about this discovery, but try to just feel them, not to judge yourself or beat yourself up for it. That helps nobody figure it out, it just gets in the way of discovery and change to a better paradigm for your inner sanctum.

It's definitely possible to start learning to present a more confident façade.
Think about the truism "fake it till you make it." Look around at people you know, or people you see, who look confident and calm, people who move happy, if that makes sense. People who move fluently and with purpose. If you're like I was at this stage, you're probably envious of those people. Use that. You want what they've got, start emulating them.

One of the first things I consciously did to conquer my fears was change how I walked. I lived in a not-great neighborhood, and so I thought about how to look like a not-target. I started to walk big, wear shoes that let me walk stompy, fast, strong. I stopped walking while reading or while checking my phone. I looked at people around me, and kept my chin up. Made eye contact occasionally, when I felt like it. That started happening more often as I built confidence. Nodding or waving or smiling slightly at neighbors started feeling comfortable. I worked on having straighter posture, and open, relaxed body language.

Now I look at the process as giving myself acting lessons. Really, they're acting lessons for your life, rather like the advice I've heard of dressing up to the job you want to have.

As an adult who's working to solve a problem, you'll immediately start to recognize victim body language or posture as you observe others, and how different it looks from confident body language or posture. And if your goal is to change your own behavior, you can start selecting habits that work better for your life, and work to change how you present yourself to the world.

The best part of fake it till you make it? As your body learns, your brain comes to believe what the body tells it. As you practice confident stances and postures, a strong movement style, aware and alert reactions to the people in your environment, not only will people treat you differently, YOU will start to feel differently about yourself. And that's a really big part of the solution.

Start research on techniques to build up your own resilience, tough mindedness, and compassion for yourself. This kind of interior remodeling job is worth the effort. And, if you already possess these skills? Please think about reaching out and lending a hand to someone who needs them.

(And let me say THANK you to all the families and teachers out there who are consciously working to raise strong, self confident children. You give me hope for the future.)



This has been my Week Four entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol, and the prompt was a quotation from Dr.Martin Luther King Jr:
“Nobody can ride your back if your back's not bent”.

Beta-readings done by [livejournal.com profile] alycewilson !

Please go read and enjoy my colleagues' entries here. To vote for my entry, link is *here* scroll down to Tribe 5. soon after Monday April 7th, once the poll's posted.

Thank you for reading!



My Recommended reading list on this topic:
Oriah Mountain Dreamer's The Invitation
Trina Paulus' Hope For The Flowers
Dr. Patricia Evans' The Verbally Abusive Relationship
SARK's Bodacious Book of Succulence (and all her other books)
Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen's Goddesses in Everywoman and Gods in Everyman
Osho's COURAGE: The Joy of Living Dangerously
labelleizzy: (changing habit)
I'm not getting to the gym, and muscles and joints have been getting painfully crunchy, and I'm not even exaggerating.

So last night I picked up the 5# hand weights I thought I'd graduated out of, and sort of danced with my upper body only. Swimming motion, Tae Kwon Do punching motions, swooping motions, tennis-racket and baseball-bat motions, until I was tired. Tried to find all the ways of moving that *hurt*, tbh. Not hurt like HURT, but hurt like OMG I can't believe I haven't moved that muscle in so long! I think I haven't done any damage, i.e neither elbows nor wrists nor thumbs nor shoulder joints are sore... and I do feel much more flexible and stronger again.

I think I will do the same or similar tonight. Especially since I will soon be on a plane for 8 hours? Nine hours? yuck.

Need to go make plans for a decent dinner. Maybe I will take my sweet husband out for dinner... oh crap, it's VALENTINE'S day. Never mind! I think we will order a pizza or something, damn. Or maybe he will let me come join him for dinner at Google. That could be fun.

*goes to find the phone*
labelleizzy: (how to eat an elephant)
Once upon a time there was a little girl.
This little girl trustingly swallowed, hook, line, and sinker, the cultural meme that having more stuff will make you happier. She was not a happy little girl, and there were many hungers in her life that were never properly satisfied.

She started accumulating and collecting stuff. Meanwhile she was puzzled about why she seemed no happier, because she continued to hear the message that having enough stuff, will make you happy. She continued accumulating stuff.

Of course it wasn't really about the STUFF. It was about the unsatisfied hungers.
But it took her many many years to realize, that if you find out what the shape of the hunger is, and you feed yourself appropriately to satisfy all of your hungers, you don't need your "STUFF" as a pacifyer anymore.

and then you can get rid of the pacifyer.
labelleizzy: (nanowrimo)

I am grateful that...

 

* I have a husband who loves me and who I love & can respect , is physically demonstrative with affection, pets, and cuddles, and supports us both in comfort.

 

*I have a pair of silly and serious kittehs, who nag me to get up, to pet them, to feed them, to play with them.

 

* I have exceptional health. I barely got a sniffle, for the last two years. My body is working well and responding to Martha Graham's "slow and steady pressure" as I incorporate loving movement into my daily habits.

 

*I have a good mind. I troubleshoot and bring creative problem solving skills to all kinds of situations, and sometimes can find the solution that eludes others.

 

* I have a good heart. I try to love well and without "judging", and to communicate proactively and with radical honesty. I try to bring health, clarity, and optimism wherever I go.

 

I am grateful for my ability to learn from my mistakes and to incorporate these lessons into my life. Every bit of learning has something to do that can make Life better, and even the small lessons (eat something when you get up if you have a Sad) have a remarkable impact. (like now.)

labelleizzy: (just do it)
I take teaching jobs in San Jose because it's a fairly reliable source of work, just from the three schools I get called to work at.

It is a bit depressing though, driving through the gang and other graffiti, the constant construction on Capitol Expressway, the emotionally needy and demanding kids. =/
The schools have mandatory school uniforms. Which oscillates between being depressing and reassuring, for me...

The neighborhoods are frequently full of litter, as are the school grounds. Stuff just feels dirty.

...

I was driving back home after an early release day (the teacher I worked for has a last period prep, and the front office had proposed I was needed for coverage of someone else's classroom that period, but it didn't turn out like that).

It occurred to me as I was (gratefully!) starting on my way home, to my beautiful and somewhat well groomed home in Mountain View, a beautiful and well-groomed town, how lucky I was to be ABLE to leave that part of San Jose. To have someplace ELSE that I call home, someplace nicer, wealthier, more polite, cleaner, where the graffiti is cleaned off almost before us regular joes even see it.

Those kids don't have the option to leave.
They have to stay there, live with that, every day.
They probably don't even have much experience with the kind of beauty and calm I have been blessed to be able to start taking for granted.
EVER.

...
This realization makes me want to DO SOMETHING only I don't know what that something IS.
labelleizzy: (jump for joy)
Thankful:

1) gorgeous crisp clear sunny day
2) art supplies
3) idea for art that Jeff has and wants to explore
4) tons of food in the fridge and freezer and pantry
5) friends who love me
6) family who love me (even though I'm weird...! they haven't said that for awhile though.)
7) warm cozy clothes
8) warm soft cozy bed
9) better-than-decent health, better than decent body
10) good brain that works on solutions in conjunction with heart and body
11) tea (mmm tea, time to go boil a kettle)
12) beautiful things in my life like movies, furniture, jewelry, this house
13) my cats (of COURSE my cats are #13!)
14) the sea, the sky, the trees, the earth, the flame - all so beautiful and so different!
15) my vegetable garden
16) medical insurance (fucked up that this is something to be thankful for instead of everyone just being covered!)
17) texture of objects - my teacup, my sweater, this desk, my cat's fur...
18) peace I've found since figuring my shit out and uprooting the unhealthy stuff in my heart
19) clarity of thinking since #18
20) children I get to work with
21) dedicated teachers and students I get to work with
22) cool people I have yet to meet(!)
23) adventures
24) learning new stuff (and getting frustrated and figuring it out)
25) the internet and all the friends I have found in it
26) really good pens and crisp strong paper
27) self-knowledge
28) intuition and having learned to trust it
29) breakfast at 11:45 am
30) and breakfast for dinner last night =)
31) the bike friendly town I live in which also has decent public transit
32) learning new things about how my body works in particular (see #24)
33) toast with cream cheese and fig spread (and all the other tasty foods!)
34) autumn leaves backlit by the descending sun
35) sunlight breaking through the clouds during a rainshower and how the world glows
36) my faith system and the deep thorough nourishment it brings me
37) rereading favorite beloved books (I just found Freckles on Google Books! I think I'm going to cry with happiness!)
38) Everyone reading this. You are appreciated and loved.
39) Second chances
40) Everyone who ever extended a hand or said a kind word when I was down. You made a difference.
41) A fresh and shiny new year to learn, love, grow, work, and change the world for the better.

Love,
Liz
labelleizzy: (creating yourself)
I used to feel like I was only of service to the world when I was doing something useful for other people.
I have been uncomfortable about and procrastinated on tasks that were "only" useful to me or that took care of me only, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually.

I'm learning how to value taking care of myself, getting water, good food, exercise, and enough social or spiritual time to nourish myself and keep from feeling lonely.

Has this been true in your life? or if someone you love acts like this, can I get an AMEN?

40 at 40...

Mar. 8th, 2010 08:07 pm
labelleizzy: from lj user= angelbob (creative resourceful sane)
I have an idea for a blog post: Advice for younger women.

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!!)
labelleizzy: (smart)
Wrestling with the Threefold Social Order in my Waldorf lectures. We're singing again (yay!) and I am "the strong alto" who knows the alto line on the Christmas Carols (thanks to MDUUC choir and [livejournal.com profile] coyote3502!) and several first-years want to sing next to me.

I, however, want to sing next to Anne-Marie, who's a strong SOPRANO, and who's in my year, so I can hear what the music's supposed to sound like. I can find the blend/harmony easier when I can hear her.

I want to talk more about, oddly, Economics and the Waldorf school (part of the Threefold Social Order, the other parts are the Cultural sphere and the Rights/Political/Lawmaking sphere) but not at the moment.

tonight, going for burritos with [livejournal.com profile] zpdiduda for her birthday. Nom nom nom.

p.s. Six days and counting till MY birthday. Heh heh heh. Looks like it will be quieter than I thought, but that's okay.
labelleizzy: (Default)
Ridiculous and inconceivable that tomorrow is my last day of Summer Session for the Waldorf teacher training.
I won't get to see my friends every day? I won't have dance and art history and creative writing and speech classes every day? I won't get to hang with the incomparable Ken, my sculpture teacher? I won't be learning new songs on the fly every morning with Lisa?

*WAAAAAHHH!!!*

This has been wonderful. I am entirely sorry it's almost over. I will survive the transitions necessary, but for now I have to kick my own ass to get there.

I get to bring a lot home with me. My Main Lesson book from Roberta's class, with art and poetry we created together. Some of my sculpture work. A LOT of literature to read and share, including a great article on the Waldorf philosophy of reading in elementary school. I have work I want to continue to refine, including writing and speech exercises, some of the art in the Main Lesson book, and I have a bit of clay I can use to be creative, and which might last a long while if I am kind to it.

Tonight I have to make a card for Glenda, another for Anne-Marie (my class secretary), and try to do a bit of practice for Saturday's assembly: the skit, the speech exercise, and the eurhythmy performance.

Gonna take the husband out to find some food he finds appealing. Right now he's feeling better enough to play piano, which is a VERY good sign.

Love ya, read y'all later,

Liz
labelleizzy: (balance)
In other life news, today finishes the second full week of the summer Waldorf teacher credentialling session.
I am STARVING. I am always starving when I come home after classes. AND I eat like a pig at snack (11:00) and at lunch (1:00) ... but I'm not changing shape at all, unless i'm gaining a little bit of muscle ... I suppose it helps that we are dancing for an hour every morning, and doing sculpture in the afternoon, and I'm THINKING like a hard-working thinking-thing the rest of the day (my Creative Writing teacher and Program Director, Dorit would have FITS about that description, not to mention all my parenthetical habits and multiple-adjective descriptors, hee!)

Other teachers and students refer to the work we are doing as spiritual work. And that it's HARD work I do not deny, nor do I deny its spiritual nature. But spiritual work burning this many calories, is just something I have to make an effort to wrap my head around.

Snack and lunch are incredibly tasty affairs at summer session. Today the snack table had berry scones, a variety of bagels, cream cheese, corn bread with honey butter to spread on it, melons and berries in an attractive display, hummus and sliced peppers and cucumbers and tzatziki... plus very tasty coffee with honey, brown sugar, whole milk and half-n-half, and a variety of teas, both caf. and decaf.

Lunch has been fresh, organic, and varied, and incredibly tasty as well.

I love my sculpture class. Ken Smith is also our Art History teacher, and he's built like a short balding blacksmith, with a gentle New Zealand accent and a puckish sense of humor. Really devoted to his subject, and very heart centered. Unfailingly polite and helpful, even when our class is feeling our oats and we start to talk over him. I thought sculpture would be kind of scary, you know, new means of expression, but he's so approachable, it's very easy to ask questions and get help.

I love my eurythmy (dance) class. Glenda was born in South Africa, has lived and worked all over the world so she has this intriguing mixy accent, and she's SO graceful and warm and welcoming and sweetly funny. I told her today what an amazing "stage ninja" she was, backstage (behind a simple curtain) at the first Wednesday night performance... she was unnoticeable, and I was LOOKING, and on top of that, managed to change costume back there, utterly unobtrusively... the way she walks is amazing, the variety of movement styles, accents she flows between, the real gentility of her manner... wow. I will be sad when I no longer get to work with her every day. I will really miss her. And I love the range of movement she has us doing, and doing beautifully, in class. She is unstinting with praise and warm eye contact, and I love that about her also.

I love my Language Arts class. Roberta is an experienced Waldorf teacher, having ushered two classes through from first to eighth grade, and now teaches teachers and, I believe, works part time in another Waldorf school with students having reading difficulty. She's profoundly deaf and relies on hearing aids, which gives her speaking voice a kind of metallic, flat affect, but her enthusiasm and encyclopedic memory for verse, rhyme, game, and story makes her a real force to be reckoned with. I hope my mind is as sharp and my will as enthusiastic by the time I'm her age (which I don't know, but she's got white white hair and an 8 year old granddaughter, so...)

I am having a time of it in the creative writing class. *wry*
Dorit, I am discovering through the grapevine, lacks certain social skills like tact and communicating the parameters of an assignment. She knows her subject, that's for sure, but when her way of telling you how she wants you to write an assignment consists of saying, write three sentences using these subjects, and then proceeds to just rip every body's work in front of the class? Hm. So she's letting everyone make their natural mistakes first, then bringing examples to the class for correction and suggestions... which is not too bad, everyone can give suggestions for improvement... kinda makes her the bad guy, but she's almost gleeful about it (funny, for a melancholic personality!) so yeah. She's maybe harsh but I don't see anyone crying on the way out of the room so it's probably all right.

And honestly? if anyone can break me of the remains of my codependent habit of trying to please authority figures? It'll be Dorit. Nothing I do seems to please her, I seem to irritate her somehow (no, really I have evidence) and tbh she's starting to irritate me also, though I'm trying to be compassionate about it. I'll work to stop trying to make her notice me and just pay attention to doing the work properly. And I have to admit I haven't given it as much thought as I have the other classes, cos hey, I can write already! I am a Writer. </ poncy pretension> heh. I need to give those assignments decent focus and not dash something off as I have been doing. I need to go ahead and draft something, work on the draft and change and experiment and fix things... I need to really friggin' WRITE, and do myself proud.

Lots of progress being made now. This is the halfway point, I can't believe we're already half-over, it's gone by swift as the wind over the El Sobrante hillsides...

I. Am. Loving. It.
labelleizzy: (just write)
I'm doing Artist's Pages, or trying to, in the mornings. The designer, Julia Cameron, insists that the benefit of doing them, consists largely in doing them handwritten. That is how you sweep the braindust out, she says, and has anecdotal stories to back her.

I'm growing more inclined to believe her, both from my own practice and from my extended experience of writing my Waldorf classroom-and-student observation paper, entirely by hand. And letting it lie fallow for days at a go, as I had always heard rumor was effective. (nemmind that necessity-invention's-mom had always insisted that I write all my college papers at the last minute, until now I have never been able to finish a paper early and then set it aside and leave it...)

This paper seems to have assembled itself in my subconscious. I refer to my notes, the second draft of fully written sentences drawn out from initial cryptic classroom notes...

And I can just feel how the words and sentences want to go together. Even if they were pages apart on my first draft. Just writing them, they assemble themselves. word leads to word, sentence to sentence, growing organically, building a progression like a jazz riff.

It's truly remarkable. I cannot recall ever before feeling this ease of assembly. I don't know if it's an effect of all the Waldorf classes I have been taking, if it's the newfound confidence and clarity from my recovery work, if it's the fact that I write so damn much HERE on LiveJournal that I just have become a better intuitive writer, or what.

But I can feel the organic nature of the process. I've never looked FORWARD to writing a paper for class like I have done this one tonight. I'm ready. It will be lovely. I have illustrated title pages for each section, drawn myself, and I'm handwriting it with my cartridge calligraphy pen, in purple. I never before had teachers who told me I could, I should make, my homework beautiful. And this time, they have, and I believed them that I was able to do so, and I think it will be beautiful. I can't wait to see it once it's done!

*happy dance!*

My 15 minute break is nearly over, I am hoping to be done by midnight so I can try to get a solid night's sleep before substitute teaching girls' PE tomorrow. Short commute, blessed be.

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