Melancholy

I’m battling through overgrown weeds of depression and the bramble of my mind, getting my thoughts in order. Following the confused tangle causes me to lose my balance. And direction.

I indulge in my despair and failure.

I’m comfortable sitting on the forest floor, and I cry. Scream. I can’t stay here forever. So, I get up and go …again..

Janet West
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

The holidays are a difficult time for me. Our culture has high expectations, and there’s no way for most of us to live up to those. We are disappointed. Somehow I must change my way of living. I need a new view of life, so I will not cry half of the day for two months.

My challenge is yours. Start your own traditions by creating a holiday or non-holiday for you and your family. Live on your terms. Release yourself from other’s chains. And may each year be better than the last

Happy days ahead!

Love in Cuchara Pass

I’ve wanted to share part of my Colorado trip, but I haven’t taken the time to organize my thoughts. Sometimes you have to do it. Organize later.

Off the highway in Las Animas County, Colorado, my boyfriend and I stopped for a chance to rest and take few pictures. It was more interesting than I was expecting. I found out later the area is called Cuchara Pass. We were north of a town called Cuchara on the downhill grade before you get to La Veta.

We both love Aspen trees. And driving through scenic Colorado in September is divine. The Aspens were beautiful—but they were Summery green—not yet turning golden for fall. It was a sunny day with a blue sky over us and the wind blowing softly through the round leaves. Perfection. As I walked into the grove, I noticed the fallen logs, which make for outstanding photography. Nature shots are my favorite to take. I happened to look up and see the Cupid hearts with initials carved into the bark of a tree. Several of the initials are replicated on other trees. Aha, a story. Those are the things that keep me curious, what keeps me alive. Art.

Disclaimer: I don’t encourage this practice—it’s harmful to trees. If someone finds this location, please don’t add more scarring to their skin.

Wind in the trees

Interested in learning more about the area? Here are some links I found.

Thank you for stopping by!

Take It Easy

Do you meditate and say, I’m just not good at this? Your mind drifts, and find yourself thinking about the movie you’d like to be watching. Might as well be sitting on the couch watching television. Right? Not quite. I was listening to a podcast earlier, which isn’t entirely related, but did make me think of this, and yes, I’ll explain.

Saints and Prophets – Real people

We love our gurus: pedestals and high statues. India is well known for putting its spiritualists at quite an exalted status. But there are those in other parts of the world who do the same. I hear people talk about how perfect someone is. “She never says a bad word about anyone. She helps at fundraisers and gives money to charities.” Blah, blah, blah. Usually, we follow with a self-deprecating, “Naw, I’m just not that good of a person.” If you come to that conclusion, you’ve missed the point. You can’t be good all of the time. You’ll miss. One day you’ll be tired and say the wrong word. Not good. Instead of being good, be real.

Games – There’s no scoreboard

Most of us grow up living life as if it’s a game. Level up. Goals to beat. Lives to live. School, job, marriage, children, etc. Somewhere in there, we throw in vacations as bonus runs, just for fun, and we call it a good game. If we think we need extra life points, we go to a doctor, a priest, or even a yoga studio. Some of us have gotten into meditation, thinking we can add even more health points. There’s some talk that it can give you some superpowers, or have you heard? Yeah, be careful with that one.

We aren’t going anywhere

The point is, we in the western philosophy are goal seekers. We want a prize. We get a trainer to get the abs to get the girl, or am I wrong? Let’s get this straight. I meditate to remember myself and to clear away the clutter of everyone else. I can do this by journaling if I wish. I could go for a long walk in the park instead. Anything away from structure and demands. Drawing, painting, sailing, biking, tanning. So if today my mind wanders a bit, it’s okay. In it’s walking, it allows me the freedom to release and let go. I relax. Then, I return to myself once again and slip out of the coils that the chokehold of daily life had held me in. And it feels so good to be me also.

The book Death on Diamond Mountain is just a glimpse into one of those moments when things go wrong. Take a glimpse. If you’re a Plus member of Mysterious Universe or want to be, they give you an interview with the author. Quite a trip, but the meditation that I’m referring to is remember your peace.

Namaste

Repost — Originally published April 18, 2015

Good Grief. I Sigh.

Shall we? Let’s do it together. I’m serious. On the count of three—One, Two, Three, Sigh. There are days when I can’t hold it inside any longer. At work, every thing seems frustrating. If one more person calls to ask if I can rush a work order, it’s possible I might freaking yell at them.

Do you sigh a lot? Here’s what science says it could mean.

Excessive sighing can be your body’s way of crying out for help.

The Indian Express – article, Do you sigh a lot?

With me, sighing comes from the forbidden. It’s the anger I’m not allowed to express. Hope is gone. And I am overwhelmed by the weight of the mountain I need to move. I sigh in frustration.

There is power inside me, even if I’ve forgotten. I look for quick fixes and something outside of myself for help. But, usually, I already have a solution. JKB

The act of sighing, both intentionally and spontaneously, appears to induce signs of relaxation in low-anxiety people as well as those with high trait anxiety…

Psy Post—Sighing reduces physiological tension in anxiety-sensitive individuals, study finds.
Sighs

If you’re exhausted, be kind to yourself and take a break. Make space for rest. Lighten the load if you can. Even an imaginary vacation can help for a time. Or grab a friend virtually and do a movie night together. In these days when everyone is working from home, I’m still commuting to work. I’m not complaining since it’s good to have a paycheck, I only need others to understand that I am not feeling the boredom from staying home. I would welcome my place, some couch time, and Netflix. But it’s against some companies’ policies.

We’re going to kick this thing.

I’m reading the book, You Are A BadAss. It’s a bit cheesy in its positive spin, but I needed it this week. A short shove in the right direction.

This is the book I’m reading (listening to)currently. View on Goodreads

Never apologize for who you are. It lets the whole world down.

Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

“We only get to be in our bodies for a limited time, why not celebrate the journey instead of merely riding it out until it’s over?” 

― Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

The top picture is from an instragram post

It’s Simple

We wish for the good old days when times were simple. Snapping green beans on the front porch or eating homemade ice cream. What I desire the most is the idle time to spend daydreaming.

I feel bad about the struggles on the other side of the world, but I’m limited to what I can do. I can listen to Beatles music. Maybe say a few lines of Rumi. It’s not by any means stopping the skirmishes of fighting tribes. I don’t wish for the old days, not really. They had their issues. Days were devoted to food preparation and lives cut short by disease. What I want is simplicity—living with this moment—making the most of what I have now. I don’t want to be always thinking about the fun of tomorrow or worrying about the issues that are not in my control.

This We Have Now

This we have now
is not imagination.

This is not
grief or joy.

Not a judging state,
or an elation,
or sadness.

Those come and go.
This is the presence that doesn’t.

From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks

The next time you’re watching the news and paying your bills while trying to phone your mom and pet your cat, stop. Do one thing. Only one. Choose your activity wisely and give it your full attention.
Save your sanity and realize your limitations. It’s okay if you can’t fix everything. It’s okay if you can’t save the world. We can put on our tie dyed shirts and chant OM.

Recommendation: The No Impact Man by Colin Beavan

The New Rule by Rumi

It’s the old rule that drunks have to argue and get into fights.

The lover is just as bad. He falls into a hole.

But down in the hole he finds something shining,

worth more than any amount of money or power.

Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street.

I took it as a sign to start singing,

falling up into the bowl of sky.

The bowl breaks. Everywhere is falling everywhere.

Nothing else to do.

Here’s the new rule: break the wineglass, and fall toward the glassblower’s breath.

translated by Coleman Barks
This writing is an updated version of a previous post, The Simple Life. Thank you for reading.

Don’t Speak

Helen Sinclair:
No, no, don’t speak. Don’t speak. Please don’t speak. Please don’t speak. No. No. No. Go. Go, gentle Scorpio, go. Your Pisces wishes you every happy return.
From Bullets Over Broadway

It’s time to hunker down, to stay inside, to do the opposite of what Americans do best. We do not do idle. And even when we rest, it’s not a quiet thing. We fidget. We plan. We vacation.

Today was the first weekend after Oklahoma Governor Stitt ordered nonessential businesses closed and people to remain home.

KFOR News – As part of the new restrictions, Stitt said that all non-essential businesses located in the counties affected by COVID-19 are being ordered to close at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25 until April 14.

So what happens when you’re home sheltering in place, and the electricity shuts off? No lights or television or computers. Netflix is unavailable. No binge-watching the latest show. Well, earlier, I swept the floor but couldn’t do the laundry. The WiFi was off, so I wasn’t able to edit, not even from my phone.

We took a walk. Thankfully the electricity was turned on by the time we had made the trek around the neighborhood. I had work to do: writing, laundry, and other busy stuff.

This week I will try to rest. Really.

I Want A Nap

Sleep. It’s the thing I am obsessed with lately. I want more than my share. I’m jealous of your easy rest. Why does something I need seem so elusive?

Sleep. It’s the thing I am obsessed with lately. I want more than my share. I’m jealous of your easy rest. Why does something I need seem so elusive?


I visited France a few years back and was surprised that Europeans are unmistakably more relaxed than Americans. If only I lived in France. My morning would start at 9:00 o’clock instead of 7:00 AM. I would have a long break mid-day when the town I lived in slowed to a crawl. Currently, this is the hours from noonday on when there is little respite.

I could change professions and have a lighter load, maybe. But in the states, the belief is in hard work. We have faith in the busy working day. Cram in more if there is empty space. Our vacations need activities to prove their merit. Worth, badges, honor, and glory are comfy pillows. We fluff them and tidy the trophies as we smooth our souls. So what if we gave up our vacation days. We clawed our way to the top of the ladder. Pats on the back for our commitment was our rest.

Nikita Gill

Once, I mentioned to my ex-husband that I wanted to spend a summer relaxing on the porch and watch the world go by. I love the breeze. Loitering. Doing nothing in particular. Quiet.

I do believe the thought fried his mind. He is a real go-getter. And when we were married, things were never still. He tried. As did I. Eventually, we had to part ways. No wrongdoing other than our pace didn’t match. As I’ve aged, it seems to be even more important that I pause. There’s time for breezes on the front porch.

Going back to work after my surgery recently was agonizing. It has taken sheer willpower. I hear the voices of people saying, “take as much time as you need,” or “if you hate your job, do something different,” or “get back in there.” Here I am at my desk. There’s a little more light each day. Hope. Friends. Love. Family. I’m not crying as often. That’s positive.

“Don’t rush your healing, don’t pretend to be okay when you’re not and don’t apologize for being broken.”

Lizelle Gutierrez

This has been a real struggle for me. I say these things, so others feel understood. Life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. No. I’ve had dark clouds and caves. I crave light. And I need to set my own speed. In the States, in modern times, I am continually working against the expectations of others.

I am learning to take short naps instead of working through lunch. I use my time off days. I’m going to extend my doctor’s appointment and take the day off. It’s approved. Couch time with the cats. And of course, I have prioritized my health. It is far more important than my vanity. If you took a glance at my nails right now, you would know. Sleep is more important than doing my cuticles.

Inside of you and inside of me is where the treasure is held. Nurture it. Guard it. Heal.

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.

I Am Well

There’s a time for work and for me, that’s not today. My surgery went smoothly, and now after a day in the hospital, I am at home on the mend.

Many thanks belong to the incredible nursing staff, doctors, technical people,I had a terrific care group with a vast array of knowledge. Kindness exists. I’ve felt it in action. It didn’t flow accidentally. Even in the of best souls, love must be encouraged. It must be guided.

While no worker was there by force, their influence wasn’t only a paycheck. There was further action, and I received the benefits.

Thanks to my friends and family. I appreciate your love!

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