Adding Pleasure

Benefits

In my years of recovery from abuse, I’ve learned that a victim’s coping methods are smart. List making and stocking up on supplies are virtues we admire in others, but we can use them to hide also. It’s like procrastinating until it’s too late. I’m the same way, there are many healthy habits we can develop.

Creation

Creating small memories throughout your day is a great way to build a beautiful life. Totems can be made to honor your life. It’s an easy way to remind yourself of your values. You can have unique traditions or days of your own. My two girlfriends and I created our winter holiday in which we exchange socks. The holiday is our day. And it is sacred.

Socks

Only you are in charge of your life. Yes, others cause things to happen around you, but you are the ultimate chooser. Be well in your life today.

“Simply asking yourself the question, ‘How am I doing right now?’ is a gentle reminder to take care of yourself,” Hill Kooienga said. – HuffPost

Thanks for your patience while I am recovering from my surgery. Healing is slow but sure.

This Is Like Planting Seeds

At the beginning of all things, we tend to feel quite silly. Picture me, chubby girl, jogging through my neighborhood. I’ve got the shoes, the shorts, a water bottle and of course the required music blaring in my ears. At this moment, I can’t brag about my pace. My GPS phone app clocks me at 5 K in 57 minutes. And that’s estimating that my last 30 minutes will be the same as my first, which they won’t. By the time I get a mile and a half (about 2.4 K) of walking and running in, I’m sweating like crazy. My calves burn, and my knees are weak. I am no picture of athletic prowess.

Of course, it won’t always be like that. Eventually, I’ll build up enough muscle to finish in half that time. Hopefully, I won’t be as sore. My stride will look stronger, and my run will be more fluid. I picture myself as a leaner version than now, running like a gazelle through the neighborhood. Onlookers will be in awe of my agility. I wonder, should I take my hair out of the ponytail? The wind could blow it as I run. I would also be in color-coordinated clothing. Shoes, shorts, and a tank top all coordinated. Yeah, I look like I belong.

It’s humorous because when I started with my old tank top and 10-year-old shorts and shoes, I felt awkward. I was pretending to be a runner because it’s cool. And I hate being trendy.

Aside: Running vs. Jogging.

The two are technically the same. Jogging doesn’t become running at a certain pace. Jogging is just an uncool word for some people.

– Me

I’m not sure where this started except possibly in the marathon running group. You don’t jog a marathon. When I looked up the terms in all the online running blogs I could find, no one was sure of the difference between the two. Jogging implies that you are trotting through the neighborhood with no purpose. In the case of running, people mean they are training for a run or a marathon. But that’s speculative.

When I began, with my out of date shoes, I felt awkward. So to legitimize myself I purchased official running gear. Funnily enough, the models displaying running shorts and tanks are 5’10” and 100 pounds. Their BMI is probably 5%. I know, I know, it’s really 14% and I’m exaggerating, but they are skinny girls. Lanky. Anorexic. My BMI is a higher. All those chubs on my body are well-earned. It took a lot of cookies and pints of ice cream to build them.

Now that I have my running gear, at least I know the shoes are not going to injure my knees and shins. With time, I will develop the strange quirks that go with being a runner. I don’t know if I will ever feel authentic because my mental picture is unrealistic; no real person could meet it. I think we do that with a lot of things. Even being an adult, which is something that comes with age, and we don’t genuinely earn, the mere act of not dying brings us to it, we can feel like we are a fake. At the beginning of every attempt, we step one foot in front of the other until we’ve trained our senses to become familiar with our new task.

Adulthood, parenting, hobbies, and vocations are that way. It feels strained. Not quite right. Everyone sees your stumbling and fumbling. That makes me smile. Even though I may not reach gazelle-like grace in my running, eventually even I can become comfortable jogging and running about the neighborhood dressed in trendy shorts and bright-colored shoes.

This is an edited repost.  Taking Up Running from June 9, 2013 

The image above was provided by Wade Harris ”Door, New York City”

My posts might be sparse for a few weeks since I have a cervical spine surgery scheduled, which will make it challenging to write. Wish me luck!

Seriously Happy

There’s no guarantee for success or one formula for not ending your life with regrets, but there are a few pieces of wisdom which have been shared over many generations.

  • Hang around positive people.
  • Don’t fix negative people.
  • Help your tribe.
  • Seek tasks and lessons that are challenging to you.
  • Respect the human needs: camaraderie, love, family, tests, learning, struggle.

Fan Stuff

Have you liked my posts? If you’re a fan of my writing or even a casual reader please take a look at my Patreon account. I promise not to zap you when you stop over. It is the fiction side of my writing.

What To Know

I’m completing a novel currently titled I’m In Love With A Gangsta. Not the final title obviously, but I had to start somewhere. Come and see the status. Check up on it periodically. I’ll let everyone know when it’s off to editing.

Patron

If you wish to become a part of the process, dive in with me, become a Patron. Otherwise, your cheering on the sidelines is also much appreciated.

Thank you for your support! You are the best.

Patron Become a Patron!

QUIT-repost

I have so many questions sometimes when I try new things. I start with, I’m ready. I’m excited. I crouch down like the jumper at a sporting event, and I’m prepared to take off, but then the questions start. How much pressure do I need to push-off? Do I land on one foot or both? Do I dig in with my toes? You get the idea. So many questions that I start doubting if I can do it or if any of it can happen. Can I really make it work? Am I just daydreaming? We all go through this struggle. We worry. We fight the fear, then we fight the desire by telling ourselves, ‘Well, I don’t want it anyway.’ We try to shut the emotions down because they can be so raw. The open heart can feel so exposed.

Vulnerable

Quit – over thinking. Quit – trying to make it work. Quit – wishing, thinking, pushing, willing, trying so hard. All of these things make you seem like a fish flopping on the shoreline, out of his comfort zone, out of your life zone. That’s not you. We act like we’re afraid. Like that sick fish, gasping for air. We are not desperate. We might be frightened, but we aren’t hopeless.

Tilt

Once when I was dating a guy, without telling him anything, he started saying things like, you know you can’t be happy unless you’re with someone who meets your needs. You have to have someone that lets you have room. In essence, it was all the things I’d been mulling over in my head. Was he reading my mind? Sometimes I wonder if the universe isn’t responding to my thoughts. Is the world around me really just a hologram of my own making as the new-agers say? Matrix overload. Tilt. Tilt. Beep. Beep.

I’m afraid. I’m in the open, but I know I’m not alone here. I just have to wait. I did that thing I do so often, I got here early. I got over excited. How did I say that before? You can read that post here:  Overeager.

Here are a few items I ran into in the process of writing this blog. I love how, when you start pulling strings, the blanket starts coming towards you.

The Wiggle Theory – by Buster Benson on The Medium Find the parts of your life with wiggle room. Look for the loose teeth.

The Upside of Quitting: A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast

A Windy Day

I wanted to feel secure, to be carried, to at least be helped with the many things in my arms. I wanted my mom to hold me. But it didn’t happen that way. Mom said I needed to be a big girl and learn to do things myself. 

It was May and the end of school. The Oklahoma winds were blowing across the plains,  propelling my tiny kindergarten body forward. With my school projects in my arms, I walked toward my mom’s car.  I didn’t feel capable. It was as if the wind was going to use this poster board as a kite, pulling me upward into the sky.  I trapped it tighter between my elbows and ribcage. My skinny legs couldn’t hold my body to the earth. At any moment I knew I’d float away upward and my papers would be lost. Everything would be lost. But I kept stepping toward my mom, silently pleading for her to step forward. 

I’d like to say I grew confident in my strength, but no, I didn’t. Instead, the synapsis string of scarcity formed in my brain. I was not enough. And there was no one here for me. It left an emptiness in my stomach, like when you go down a hill too fast in a car. I couldn’t lean on my parents. It was obvious.

It wasn’t the first time. Hell, no. I remember many times before. Deep sadness and feeling alone. But you learn to shut it down. That was when my mind completed the circuitry of understanding. The lightbulb zapped. My parents were not capable of being The Brady Bunch parents.

They also were not anything like Marianne Williamson’s amazing parents.

When you have generations of people who have been deprived of love because of poverty, war, lack of education, The Great Depression, and families who have struggled to survive, the children of those generations won’t have strong support. They aren’t capable of loving with full hearts. They were not taught.

That kindergarten day,  the wind showed its face to me. It was the wind that has blown across the plains of our state for generations. It’s known our names and tasted the dust of our bones. It is lack. I don’t fear it. It is empty and dry because we have forgotten where we came from and who we are. We have forgotten to love our people. 

What if the wind took me away? Could I return?

If you like this, check out Catch Me

Midlife Awakenings

I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:

“I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.

Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

~ Brené Brown, quoted by Peter Freed in “Prime: Reflections on Time and Beauty”

Katharine Krueger ~ Journey Of Young Women

Learn to mentor girls, guide Girls Circles and offer Coming of Age

JourneyOfYoungWomen.org/Mentor-Girls

Art by Sylvia Pavlova

-this is a reblog.

Motivation

“I keep asking why he did that.” Yeah, I hear this a lot. I say it a lot. We are a little naive about the behavior of others.

From my eyes, I see opportunities for learning. The world in front of me is a vast library with armloads of books to grab. All of that information, every word excites me, makes me want to blab all of it to someone else, but there’s usually too much to unload onto one person. I wouldn’t dream of torturing another in that way. And each day is another chance to learn.

When I had my kids, it seemed obvious how I’d raise them. Parents do this to their kids without thinking. Athletic parents prioritize sports and fitness. Being physical is natural and encouraging this in their children is a given.

As an adult with adult children, I know I got lucky. My children and I have similar enough personalities, and my craze for teaching them didn’t warp their brains. There are some inconsistent families with parents who are baffled by their children. They wonder why their child doesn’t play football or refuses to hike all day in the mountains. As I said, I was lucky.

Don’t think I feel the same as you, even if I’m wearing the same brand of clothing. It’s the common thing, the easy slip, to assume we believe the same way.

Not everyone has the same viewpoint. We’ve had different experiences. Learned lessons the other hasn’t. The most significant differences I notice are in our motives. What excites me, learning and teaching, is nothing to most. Doesn’t register. But we’re familiar with people who work tirelessly at a singing contest or those scientists who cure fatal diseases. They are motivated more than if they were offered money.

We are all human and need a reason to wake up in the morning, but that reason might be so different than mine I can’t understand it. Ah, but there’s the beauty of life.

Scenery

We mellow. Some of us do, at least. Learn some lessons and apply the knowledge, then over time, we seem smarter. That’s the plan.

In my youth I loved trying to move mountains, making situations change to fit my needs. Except I have grown tired as I’ve gotten older. Dodging fights. Hiding isn’t the answer either.

These mountains you try to move, you are only supposed to climb.

Yesterday, was a beautiful day for me. I finally let myself be as I wanted to be. All of last week I did actually. I chose actively to be in my own life. I’m choosing to enjoy the mountain scenery, you could say.

Not everyone will understand, but not showing up for life is a big epidemic lately. It’s easier to pretend that everything is fine, go to work, but inside you don’t give a damn.

Showing up in our personal life is more difficult than taking a shower and eating food. It’s choosing yourself over your job or the opinions of others.

Showing up requires effort in our thinking. We have to do the challenges life has placed in front of us.

“These spiritual window-shoppers,
who idly ask, ‘How much is that?’ Oh, I’m just looking.
They handle a hundred items and put them down,
shadows with no capital. What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping.
But these walk into a shop,
and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment,
in that shop.
Where did you go? “Nowhere.”
What did you have to eat? “Nothing much. “
Even if you don’t know what you want,
buy _something,_ to be part of the exchanging flow.
Start a huge, foolish project,
like Noah.
It makes absolutely no difference
what people think of you.” – Rumi These Window Shoppers, taken from wegotthis.com