Honoring Interior Seasons

Spring by dareppi from Flickr Creative Commons

Spring by dareppi from Flickr Creative Commons

The spring equinox is this week for about half the world; new life is rising and it’s time to plant seeds literally and metaphorically.

The season inside of us doesn’t always coincide with the season in nature. My life works better when I honor my interior season however I can, whether it’s more physical rest being needed, an emotional retreat from the world or less focus on technological communication and more on energetic connection.

Of course we need to be responsible for our lives but sometimes I opt for a less popular way of being in order to honor an interior season.

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The Delivery of Changing the World

photo: Come Together by h.koppdelaney ~ flickr creative commons

photo: Come together by h.koppdelaney ~ flickr creative commons

We can have a great message or important insight to share with the world but our delivery of the message is important if we want to be heard. Yes, there are some people who are at the level of making changes that other people want them to when they are shamed, guilted, nagged, ridiculed and so on. If the message is so brilliant and right, isn’t it enough to walk the talk and use words of compassion, clarity, respect and insight?

This week I’ve been noticing folks who have good points to make but their delivery is one of anger, scorn, blame and using the word “should”. There’s that saying–I’m not sure who it’s attributed to–that “they won’t remember what you said or did; they’ll remember how you made them feel”.

When I’ve wanted someone to change, I’ve learned that making them wrong and putting them on the defensive hasn’t worked so well. In blogs, when the writer has an observation or opinion, it can be readable and interesting if they’re hip, snarky, scornful and such. They can simply be expressing themselves about their pet peeves or whatever, but disrespecting others and then pointing out what they “should” be doing in a one-size-fits-all, I-have-the-answer way…..really? Is that working these days like it used to?

When the Crazy Comes Out

Spring Flowers by El Frito from  Flickr Creative Commons

Spring Flowers by El Frito from Flickr Creative Commons


I haven’t noticed any spring flowers in my area but they’re surely on the way. The sun has been shining more, the ice is gone from the sidewalks for the time being and sometimes it isn’t always windy. Windy is annoying and can lower my mood.

I can be puttering or rushing along and let something effect me and when I can see what’s happening I usually work at regaining some equanimity rather than going into a downward spiral. Lately I’ve noticed a fair amount of people flipping out of character, both in my personal life and with those I connect with online. The news headlines are full of stories of people who crossed over a line of going out of character to a seeming point of no return and now they must face consequences.

Loyalty is a value I hold dear, not abandoning people I care about on the basis of a downward turn in circumstances or the fact that they are no longer able to offer something they once did.

But when the crazy comes out I don’t want to invest too much time in understanding it. Tantrums, venomous spewing that seems to have no relation to whatever is going on in objective reality, vague overreactions, especially with online interactions–I just want to step away. Some people are consistently displaying attitudes but I’m writing about those who seem to lose it in a way that seems to come from out of nowhere.

When people show me by their actions who they are, I’m going to take more note of it. In the meantime I’m avoiding the wind where possible and am on alert for the first spring flower I see outdoors.

Summer

This year I am really enjoying the dry heat of summer where I’m living. Spring came late and much of my productivity from that time is paying off now as I drift a bit enjoying summer.

Many of my ambitions and intentions of being productive that I wrote down last winter are forgotten. I am enjoying my life though. Knowing myself, I will become all fired up about something again eventually and when the energy is there for it, I’ll make up for any time I feel I’m losing now.

Actually, I don’t feel like I’m losing time at all. When I stay in the present moment, time seems to expand, like a portable eternity. I get done what feels important for the day and what is aligned with my values. Without thinking too much about it. My mind is finally getting breaks from the hamster-wheel it has often been on during the past. The past I barely recall most of the time.

It has been good for my health. It has been good for my happiness. And I am still a responsible, caring, contributing member of the human race.

Often I have words to go with the enjoyable feelings and experiences..words that arrive easily…sometimes processing kinds of words as I emotionally or spiritually heal from this or that. They seem to be pertaining to me only and when I think about making my way to the computer–this one that has my WordPress password saved, since I don’t recall where I wrote it down–well, I just don’t arrive at this point to write.

It feels like two weeks or so since I’ve been here and I see it has been two months. Today I showed up to approve a comment that was offered on a previous post. But I am well and enjoying summer. Of course I have challenges and issues but I no longer am feeling that I’m hanging on by my fingernails. Or that I need to record my days as though I might be taking a scary journey through a weird landscape. I am simply enjoying the scenery. Or observing with interest the fun-house mirror weirdness.

When I speak, my words often still go in one ear and out the other, if that, to the one I am speaking too. But I mind less because I make sense to myself.

April Fool

It’s sunny and expected to be near seventy degrees again today. Then the weather will turn rainy and cooler for the weekend. Not bad at all but it’s so easy to get spoiled and acclimate to great weather.

Last night I shut down a party in my building. I live in a cool, historical building that attracts artists, musicians and young folks who work in the downtown hospitality industry. There’s usually a fair amount of nighttime noise. This was a bunch of musicians three floors below me. They had friends they hadn’t seen for awhile over and were playing keyboards loudly and doing some kind of white guy rapping with the F word quite often used. After several hours and getting close to 3:00 a.m., I got up and went looking for them. The acoustics in the building make it difficult to locate where such noise is coming from. It actually sounded like it was coming from outside the building. But I found them–surprised it was below me.

The two guys who came to the door were apologetic and thanked me for not calling the police. One shook my hand. They did shut down the music although the loud voices continued for awhile longer. Next time I’ll know right where to find them–in the past I’ve given up after looking for them on the top three floors.

I look a lot meaner than I am in the wee hours of the morning. Chronic pain has given me a stern, rather hard-ass look I think. Once they began apologizing, I could feel myself shifting internally and there was quite a delayed outward response about it being O.K. now.

I feel a bit like I’ve used up my energy reserves for the day but I’m going for my second wind and intend to make the most of this lovely spring day.

What Writing Education?

There are always blogs to be found on writing here and once again I’ve just been reading some and am reminded that I’ve never been taught to write. That I recall. I was taught spelling in school, about nouns and verbs and such–punctuation but I don’t recall ever being taught to write. Which is odd because I like to write and I want to and I guess I’ll need to teach myself. Which I’m willing to do.
I grew up in a small mid-western town of about 750. There were 43 of us in my high school graduating class and it was a very poor school. Half of the young women were pregnant or had children, the Viet Nam war was still going and only a handful of us would go on to college or leave the area. A surprising number of us are deceased. If anyone wanted to be a writer, they were keeping it a big, big secret. Good idea.
My family lived way out in the country. I spent an unusual amount of time being isolated there. My mother had an eighth grade education and English was her second language. Often in school, I would be reprimanded by teachers or ridiculed by the other kids for pronouncing words incorrectly or just talking weird. Everyone had a kind of hillbilly accent which I wouldn’t learn until I left the area.
I read a lot of books, as many as I could get my hands on. There were very few books in our home and I made good use of the library. I recall a big deal about being allowed to check out Michener’s Hawaii because of a sex scene in it.
Having remarkably few conversations, my thinking voice and also some verbal exchanges became a mixture of the language in books, my mother’s style of speaking and what I picked up around me.
When I was working in the blue collar jobs I had, it didn’t go over well when I used big words. But often they were the only words that would come to mind when I was trying to express myself. Wanting to please, I would often attempt to tailor my speech and expression to whomever I was speaking to.
But it was often awkward and expressing myself still is. There’s often a feeling of not being clear or understood. And I don’t care as much but I am intending to learn some basic writing skills because I know things that I don’t have words for.
It’s almost a duty that people share what they know because we all need to teach and inspire each other.
More and more I realize how important it is for everyone to take responsibility for their own education. I made better than average grades because I wanted to be a good girl and I was a good memorizer. (What ever happened to that?) I didn’t really understand much though.

Three Realizations

fabric art

fabric art

Dare I call them epiphanies? I’m still feeling like things are going to be all right even with needing to take two naps today. Simply couldn’t keep my eyes open and had a fever. In a healing way, not a getting sick kind of way.

First I became very much aware that I’ve been pressuring myself and limiting my enjoyment of life because I need to make changes in how I do things, faster and more often than I used to. Well, so does every one else. Faster and more often. And I’m doing it. I know what and why I need to change and day by day I know the “how”, most of the time, in the moment. I just don’t have a plan for the long-term “how”. But whenever I’ve done that before, I’ve always had to change the plan. It doesn’t mean that I have to postpone enjoyment of life until I figure everything out.

This usually happens more often after I speak with a healthy, employed, successful acquaintance who has family and friends and who is envious that I have more free time. Maybe I should feel guilty? Uptight? They’d never change places with me.

The second realization is that there’s nothing wrong with me for not liking the selfish, abusive, greedy, lazy, mean, snarky, manipulative, lying, ill-mannered, ignorant people in my past. Of course, I wouldn’t like them. As a caring person who understands that we’re all one and that there is a beautiful soul underneath icky personalities, I tended to make it mostly my responsibility to ensure that every relationship went smoothly. Well, it’s a two way street and there’s no need to relate to disagreeable people if I don’t have any real business with them.

The third realization is that as challenging as my life is, it’s better than it was a year ago. Five years ago. Ten years ago. Twenty. And so on. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I have regrets. It does me no good to condemn myself now that I have hindsight. I’d do a lot of things differently. But really, my life is better. I’m generally optimistic about the future even though I have dark moments and sometimes feel that at age 56, it’s too late for me. There’s no evidence why I should feel optimistic, but I do.

Celebrating On A New Hill

Those of you who easily have clarity, finding words to describe your inner process and insights, I very much want to be able to do that too.

Something that helps me in the meantime is to picture a landscape and describe what’s happening that way. While the last few days I’ve been a bit morose in the shadows, I’ve now moved on to a new and higher hill, taking deep breaths. And enjoying the view.

The celebrating part was a choice I impulsively made this afternoon to indulge in food that isn’t on my strict health diet. I got some orange chicken from the deli at a store that doesn’t have organic meat. The list of ingredients was very long and I didn’t read it. I also had a small pot of real coffee and some cheap chocolate. I don’t expect to feel ill tomorrow but I do expect to have some food cravings because I believe that kind of crap is addictive, what with the chemicals and all.

Emotionally, my mood is lighter. Not doing so well with my goals this week on the surface, I still feel that I’ve accomplished something by finding another missing piece of a puzzle. Don’t you love when that happens?

One of the keys came in a newsletter I get from something called the Yin Project. I get interested in lots of things, sign up and then delete most of them as they show up because there is simply too much information coming at me.

The Yin Project is intended for professional women, of which I am not one and so I’ve been ignoring it as yet another thing not relevant to where I’m at. A video drew me in recently. Rachel Jane Groover, the creator, has found that the women she coaches, do better when they have a wide practice instead of a high and deep one. O.K. She lists six areas of growth that are important and if a woman is weak in one or two, it will be the Achilles heel that holds her back. (I doubt if this would just apply to women, though.) Anyway, I actually do a lot of work on the psychological, energetic, ethical and spiritual areas of my life. Not necessarily sticking with one practice, I follow what lights up for me.

The area where I’m currently working hard, with a ways to go, is physical and if you’ve been reading this blog you may have noticed that I do a lot of research and practice in that area.

My weakest area is interpersonal. Damn! And I’m very, very weak in that. I keep postponing doing anything about it too because it seems like wasted effort, I can think of lots of reasons to give up and I’m just so burned out with people.

But good information to know. It’s awareness I didn’t really have even a week ago. So, like writer’s block, something was cloudy and holding me back from striding towards my goals–more information trying to get through. Now it’s like the sun is shining a bit again, there’s a gentle breeze and I can make some changes while carrying on with some of my goals. In my own way, since I doubt I have much in common with the women who take courses and workshops such as The Yin Project. (Fine for them, though.)

That has to do with my background and history. It’s really odd that I would be interested in growth considering where I came from.

Male or female, which of the six areas–psychological, energetic, physical, interpersonal, spiritual or ethical is your most neglected?

Showing Up Again

I still want to post every day this year, be positive and authentic, but am sorely disappointed in human nature and wondering if I can ever, ever fix all the mistakes I’ve made.

I’m tempted to write about the bok choy salad I’ve made instead. Rice noodles have made it onto my radar (gluten free) and I broke them into bits and sauteed them in butter and added chopped green onions and slivered almonds, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar and olive oil.

Or I could write about some of the production notes I’ve read about Midsomer Murders, a BBC series I have on dvd and love to watch. It costs two million dollars per episode! And takes five or six weeks to shoot. And in England there is a challenge with aircraft noise when shooting films.

Some things have currently made me jump back into survival mode. That’s what growth is, excavating, understanding, releasing and moving on and then doing it again and again. There’s nothing linear about it. It’s more like a dance.

There are basic developmental things I’ve missed out on and it causes problems. Our society encourages us to be in denial about a lot of things, soldier on, don’t act like a victim, be positive blah, blah, blah and a lot of time that’s all about the person dishing out that advice. They don’t want to feel uncomfortable, they don’t want us to drag down the vibrations, not pitch in to contribute to society enough or whatever it is that they’re perceiving that makes them so lacking in compassion and so abundant with poor advice.

So, I’ve wasted a lot of resources reaching for things without a proper foundation because no one would believe my history. This is the road I’m taking to learn to trust myself, not the people who have no clue what it’s like to be me.

Well, I guess that is obscure and the details don’t really matter. It’s simply been another rough day and I’ll get through to the sunny days again. I feel like a fool for trusting my fellow humans and that is sad.

Sunday Morning Odds and Ends

Actually it’s mid-day here and warm out (relatively), I’m able to walk without too much pain and my hair is clean. So, I’m wanting to get out and get some more food before it rains–30% chance.

Writing my morning pages went well today–it unearthed something that may seem a little shadier than the bright tone I attempt to take here. It’s about nuances–as usual–regarding human nature–discernibility to the degree of acceptance in the now moment and the degree to which one wants to grow and move on to better circumstances, how sometimes it’s better to learn from someone closer to us in proximity than someone who would sell us a bulldozer for the task of digging a small flower bed for the first time ever. About how good people can be highway robbers, because we are traveling in a strange land where that’s the way it goes.

Whew! I’ll maybe get back to you on that–there is a wide gap between my consciousness and my ability to find terms and words and organize them with clarity, but this is important for me because it fine tunes the way I can handle obstacles on my journey. The audience I’m writing for, persevering people with huge challenges, willing to take responsibility, have self-authority and who are about a mile behind me–well, they are not on the internet reading WordPress blogs. And that’s O.K. I will carry on.

Reading a book about novel writing, I ran into the brick wall of not having an idea that I think I can manage somewhat for my first endeavor. For the time being anyway. And the little basil plant I’m growing from a seed (another post waiting) has survived the watering can washout from yesterday where it appeared to have vanished for a day. Win some, lose some. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell which is which.

Giselle Bundchen, a super-mode,l has said that sunscreen is bad–causes cancer, I think. I only read the headline, but I guess some big company is not liking her saying that. From all the research I’ve done, I agree with her. Except now I’ve modified it to putting sunscreen on the face for graceful aging purposes.

And and obscure source I check out has found that for many people there is a generation of our ancestors that got too much sun which altered DNA and that the current “craze” for vitamin D3 is not necessarily good. They work with miasms and vibrational remedies. We really need to pay attention and do due diligence when it comes to choices we make. Pay attention.

Then there are those who are in survival mode and the question of sunscreen and vitamin D3 supplements is not at all a priority.

Which brings me to another personal insight. Take my word, I’ve not had many good people in my life. On the hierarchy of needs, (Maslow?), I get frustrated with the belonging and be loved need and attempt to jump to self-actualization. Who wants to be stuck when the world doesn’t cooperate? It seems I’ve been in survival mode longer than I thought or want to be. Yet, I carry on.

Lastly, my blog got a lot of hits. From a spammer with an acne med. site. At least this one wasn’t about porn. Now, somewhat cheerfully I’m off to brave possibly eventual inclement weather to score some healthy food.

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