Do We Create or Channel?

I look back at work I wrote a year ago, and I don’t recognize it as my own. Yes, I know the piece. I wrote it. The characters are mine, and the art is authentic, but sometimes as if another person works through me.

I DO ME

Flow is the place we aspire to be. It’s a surfer’s dream. To lose the struggle and only know exhilaration and glory, man! That’s the ideal. We all want that, don’t we? Then why do I white knuckle it?

Losing control is not a feeling I enjoy. When I was younger, the coasting downhill on my bike was good. Not flying through the air and losing my sense of direction. But in my fear I find release. There’s a comfort—An “Oh dear gawd I’m going to die—Okay maybe not.” And relief that I didn’t. All is alright. It’s a time when I learned to let go of me.

The greatest benefit of being a solo performer is that it is seriously frightening, but at the same time very empowering. It’s just you and the audience. All the weight is on you to deliver the songs.

Zola Jesus

CRUNCH TIME

Some of the things I’ve done which scared the shit out of me, I leaped into them fully, feet first. I had an idea and started. Once I painted my kitchen cabinets. Yes, I researched the hows. I bought supplies. But I had no experience. I took the first step, then the second. Sometime in the middle, I realized there was no turning back. I was committed. I would finish this project. It’s at these junctures when you turn the music loud and get to work.

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Slowing Down to a Human Crawl

How much does it cost to feel well? What are you willing to give up to be free of pain? We know that healthcare doesn’t come cheap. Vitamins are expensive. Organic food is a bit extra so we weight the cost. Is it worth it for us? What about the medicine we take? That’s been my dilemma. But not so much about the cost. The medicine I’m taking, Topamax, helps prevent migraines. It’s also been helping in preventing my neck pain. The side effect for me is tiredness, fatigue. With each increase in dosage comes a bit of slowing down. So, my cost/ratio question is, how much pain prevention is it worth for me? How much slowing down can I adapt to?

All glory comes from daring to begin.

John Brown, a poem by Eugene Fitch Ware.

For a while I didn’t know if I was going to make it each time my doctor kept saying, we’re going to try upping your medication. But on the flip side, I didn’t know if I was going to make it with the fire-like pain that was radiating up the nerves in my neck and my skull. I trudged and braced myself, hoping I could make it through another day, then the week. Sometimes there was a reprieve. Until now. I’ve had a full month without headaches. That’s darn good. Freakin’ amazing! It’s been close to 9 months since this process started and now I finally see the progress. The slowing down is worth it.

We live and change

This article though is a little disturbing to me. The trend towards constantly rewarding our happiness button, or shortening our attention span a bit more, is increasing instead of decreasing. I think we’d be happier as a species relaxing our attention and letting go, but that’s just me. Check out the article if you wish here, What would you pay to be happy? The Guardian.

…the poet Guillaume Apollinaire: “Now and then,” he advised, “it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” That’s worth a T-shirt.

William Davies’s The Happiness Industry, from the above article.

 

Yoga challenge – Can you be still? A Sequence To Challenge Distractions.

 

 

The Rhythm of Life

In yoga, movements are measured by breath. Breathe in as you raise your arms, breathe out as you fold forward. Yoga is not about bending your body into a pretzel so you can impress someone. Yoga is feeling the flow and the rhythm of life. It brings rhythm to your thoughts, emotions, and body. The tide flows in and the tide flows out. The sun rises then sets. This rhythm changes the perspective of life if you let it.

This flow of life contrasts starkly against the rush of life around me. Yesterday, I watched a young motorcyclist weave in and out of traffic on a busy highway going at least 85 mph. No helmet. No protective gear. Just his ball cap shoved on backwards, young and careless. I’m sounding old now, but from my perspective, life is short enough. As I waited for my traffic light to turn green earlier today, the traffic rushed by me. I wanted to get out of everyone’s way and hole up in my home. I used to shop late at night. Groceries are so much easier to buy when no one else is around. Late at night life is quiet and life slows down. Here’s a couple of verses from a favorite song,

And when my mind is free
You know your melody can move me
And when I’m feelin’ blue
The guitars come through to soothe me

Thanks for the joy you’ve given me
I want you to know that I believe in your song
And rhythm, and rhyme, and harmony
You helped me along, you’re makin’ me strong – lyrics “Drift Away” Uncle Kracker

I think we sometimes miss the point of why we do things. For example, I write for the pleasure as I’ve before stated. I love the sound of words and the process of stating something clearly. It’s a thrill to say it just the way you mean it. It’s the process. Writing fiction is daunting, but the pleasure of watching your characters come to life is worth the push through. Inch by inch and row by row.

It’s not always the fastest who wins the race, or the strongest who wins the war, so slow down.

 

Space Clearing

I was once into Space Clearing or Energy clearing, convinced there was stale energy in the corners and dark spaces of my home. Don’t laugh or shake your head. There is something to this. It’s not energy or dust though. There is an obsessive drive in most of us. And with this obsessive instinct is a tag along superstitious instinct. We all have it.

 

I knew someone who swore the car drove better when it was clean. And many say that the laundry isn’t right unless it has that fabric softener smell. I realize now it’s all a ritual need. Like needing closure after a death or a divorce, we need that moment to shut the laundry room door and say we’re done.

 

You may have heard by now the story behind the marketing of Febreze. At first they marketed the product to remove odors, which it did, wonderfully. People loved it. Even the smelliest of problems were removed. But the product didn’t sell like gangbusters and the users kept forgetting to use it. Finally, after tons of research I’m sure, they realized how ritualistically we clean. When they marketed the spray as a finishing touch, after the vacuuming and after the fluffing of the pillows, the spray of Fabreze means I’m done cleaning. Close the door. It’s done.

 

There’s no need to ring bells in the corners of my house or smoke sage grass to remove stale energy. I vacuum and spray Fabreze and all the bad vibes scurry away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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She Let Go

10 of 365 - Let Go

I was once afraid to let go. I was afraid of drifting away on the wind, like Winnie the Pooh.

With no direction, I didn’t know if I’d drift to the closest tree with honey or blow up into the sky and be lost forever. But I let go. When it hurts too much to hold on, you let go.

She let go

On the last day of school when I was five, I came out the school door to find my mom. My hands and arms were full with a big poster, sacks with crayons and paper, and stuff. A big gust of wind came and I was afraid I’d be picked up. I was tiny. The wind felt strong, but mom was in front of me and I ran towards her. I knew she would grab me. She was my anchor and probably still is in many ways.

Once, when I was an adult, I was helping my in-laws. They had huge nursery greenhouses full of plants they sold wholesale to florist. The greenhouses had coverings of heavy plastic that they replaced when torn. We were in the middle of prairie land Oklahoma, where the wind really does go sweeping ‘cross the plains. I had an end piece of a 100 foot long piece of plastic sheeting and the wind was showing her might. All of the others were struggling on their hold so I didn’t feel alone. But one thought was there. What if the wind picks me up? Yes that nagging fear has followed me all my life. Well? What if?

What would happen if the waves of the ocean would have lifted me and carried me away. What if the balloons had too much helium and I drifted into the sky? What would it mean? Would I never see land again? All I’ve ever noticed was the fear. The first taste of panic. I’ve never thought of it in practical, light of day terms.

Dandelion wind

I could lose my footing in the ocean, but I would just as quickly be pushed forwards. The wind may have temporarily lifted me but I would be slammed back down again. It might be painful but I’d probably survive. Truly, I lacked control over life and it was terrifying to me. Still learning this. There is no control. We grab and cling and grasp with all our might, but we can’t hold on forever. Let go. I promise, the wind won’t take you completely away. You will not fly away into the clouds, just moved. When you let go, you learn. You learn what’s important and what is habit. You learn how strong you really are. Life is full of surprises. Some good and some bad. We may not want a change, but they tend to happen anyway. I like this moment. I want it to stay. I even believe I can keep it a little longer sometimes. If I hold my mouth just right and say the right words and think the right thoughts. You know what I mean?

The truth is, the right words are pretty. And being positive is healthier like jogging and eating your vegetables, but not going to keep the bad guys out. We all have a set point. The base of who we are. It’s our foundation, our steady. When I went through my “dark night,” the words came to me, Go back to what you know for sure. I didn’t know exactly what that meant, but I felt inside of me an understanding. I to go to the basis of my beliefs. That took me all the way down past religions and holy days and all the frills of rituals. What do I believe? What do I know for sure? I AM LOVED and I LOVE. At that time I wasn’t sure about marriage, or family, or even God. But I did know love. If I am able to move mountains, but if I have not love, I am nothing.

Love is my anchor. Love is my guide. It helps me decide which way I want to go. If only I stop and check my motives, I can see clearly because of love. The one thing I was so blessed to have in my childhood was love. And it kept me.