You’re Not Listening

Angry Talk (Comic Style)

I AM NOT YELLING!! I’M TRYING TO MAKE MY POINT. DO YOU HEAR ME?

What happens when we yell? What happens when we get yelled at? I cower, run for cover, or if backed in my corner, I get defensive.

Why do we yell?

We want to make a point. We have an issue or a gripe and we want you the listener to hear us. If we yell, then you know without a doubt we mean it. Right? Stomps foot! Or do we turn off? Walk away? Put up our hand? Some might start crying. Some might yell back. But NO ONE listens. We can’t. It goes against every little fiber of our being to listen. Yelling hits us at our nerve core and radiates up our spinal cord until-ding, ding, ding-you ring our fight or flight bell. Every time. 

So why do we do it? We are scared. We are afraid of you, the one we are yelling at. You may have hurt us or you remind us of someone who hurt us in the past. We have to square off first. Like the bird ruffling up his feathers or the cat with all hairs on end. I’m bigger than you. Bigger, badder, meaner. Don’t mess with me. But I thought I was scared? I am. I’m hiding my fear underneath these scary, ugly, loud snarls.

yelling.
yelling. (Photo credit: J-Urban-Hippie)

So what happens when we yell? We turn off what we want to turn on. We push what we really want to pull. We scare those for whom we care. Mostly we make ourselves tired and weak, because we’ve wasted a lot of energy.

Electricity is a wonderful thing. It’s power is amazing. We, mankind, have harnessed it. I love my computer. And my washer and dryer. Electricity helps me be comfortable and entertained on Sunday afternoons watching Netflix. Or listening to Vevo. Watching silly videos on YouTube. But electricity without being channeled through the right wires, circuitry, and breakers would kill me. Zap! Ka-bing!

Fire is the same way. Wintry evenings by the fireplace and a warm blanket, mmmm. That’s a great place. But fire raging across the plains of Texas or the mountains of Colorado or coming towards my house, makes me want to run. To cower. Or to fight back.

You know where I’m going with this. Me yelling at you, has the same response as the fire coming towards you. Or a lightening bolt. Run for cover or run for your life. There must be a better way. I have to tame my fire. Harness my anger. Yelling uncontrollably feels right. I’ve vented.

I am big.

I am bad.

And I am one tough cookie. Don’t mess with me. But who got burned in the end? Even if they deserved it, razing the enemy doesn’t heal my pain.

We need an expression that works. Stop before we yell. What is the point I want to make with the person in front of me? Can it wait? Maybe this moment isn’t the best moment to make it. With some, those you’ve told a thousand times, the point may never reach them. Those you walk away from and let them be. Others may need something beyond words. Remember tough love?

Yelling makes us feel like we’ve accomplished a task. We made our point. We vented our anger. Open your eyes. No one’s listening.

The Rescues-You’re Not Listening (Live at the Troubadour)

Ninjas and Pirouettes

Ninja vs. Ninja vs. Ninja (Unmasked)
Ninja vs. Ninja vs. Ninja (Unmasked) (Photo credit: wiredforlego)

I bumped into a silly belief that I didn’t realize I had. It goes like this, “If it doesn’t last, it isn’t valid.” It isn’t real. Now the funny thing that I’ve noticed about these ninja, super hidden beliefs is that if you look at them in the light of day without distractions, they are ridiculous. Obviously nothing lasts. The supper I made tonight, as good as it was and as filling as it was, processed through my body, pulling out the nutrients needed and the rest discarded. And hopefully, not storing too much excess as fat.

The paycheck I received from working my 40 hours each week is processed through my life, used as needed and then is gone. It doesn’t last. Was it valid? Yes! Valid and wanted. So when that thought came in, I was sitting and talking to a friend. We were talking about relationships and those that have come and gone. Apparently there was a fleeting moment that I was feeling like a failure at relationships. I quickly tallied up my pluses and minuses and my brain handled the rest. It called in the ninja belief to protect me from my evaluation. The minuses, my so-called failures, became invalid. I guess they weren’t authentic. They didn’t last, right? If they didn’t last, they weren’t very strong in the first place. They must have been only superficial, pretty side shows that only appeared as strong relationships. Or so my thinking went. That’s it! My clever self had given me my out. The failed relationships were all just shams! Propped up to look like the real thing.

It seemed so simple. About as quickly as the super secret ninja thoughts went through the exit, the wise Yoda-like came in the entrance. Hmmm..maybe. He rubs his chin. Could be true. Something else might be. Momentary, fleeting, brief, and elusive. maybe not sham at all.

Fleeting moments like the sight of your son on graduation day. Or the moment you held him in your arms for the first time. Brief like the fear before you dive into the swimming pool. Or the elation you felt from actually seeing it through. Elusive moments, like the wisps of cologne from your lover’s shirt. The moment of passion that takes your breath away. And the memory of it an hour later. Elusive like the site of a ray of sun through the clouds. The rainbow that follows. Yes. Fleeting, elusive, brief moments. Anyone have a tissue?

tweet-able- Brief, fleeting relationships are just as real and necessary as lasting ones.

Brief moments and so-called failed relationships are just as valid and real as the longer lasting type. The day with the sun beating down on your back in the August heat is no more real than the short glimpse through the clouds. They both exist. Did the sun fail on the rainy day in April? Of course not. It didn’t take long for me to realize the belief was stupid. But what did take me a day to process was the reason for the incredibly silly thought in the first place. Rather than think of myself as a total failure, making me depressed and gloomy, my mind was helping me. By telling me it wasn’t real, it was a sham, my mind was allowing my to protect myself.

After each failed relationship, I boxed away my feelings of joy, my memories that made me smile and all the beautifully wicked first kisses and experiences. I stored them away on a shelf and they were gathering dust. I didn’t know what to do with the old wedding photos. Isn’t it wrong to look at them and smile? Those days are gone and forgotten. Shouldn’t they be put in the dumpster with the relationships? I failed. I gave up. I couldn’t finish my race. I quit. And that is why my mind was protecting me. It hurts. It cuts deep inside where no one but you can see like bits of glass or shrapnel left inside the tissue. Every time I see a happy couple, every time I’m lonely, every moment that I see my children, I’ve felt the failure.

Seeing the pretend, propped up, temporary relationship was clever. And maybe my mind was even sneakier than that. By allowing me to see the “failures” as shams, it gave me the ability to laugh at its joke. I knew that I couldn’t dismiss temporary things so easily. The shams are real. The moments of good in them were just as real as the moments of good that I haven’t boxed away. Maybe I packed them away in boxes of splinters, but I still have them. And up until that moment I hadn’t realized I’d boxed them away.

I wonder. Is the human psyche really that clever? It’s a delicate pirouette to do. The dance it took around my dusty storage room and then gently prodding me, it did brilliantly. Almost as if it had super ninja skills.

I have 2 videos here. First Linkin Park – Bleed It Out,  then Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love. Pick your poison.

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Prim and Crazy – A Tale of Two Sisters

English: A roll of silver, Scotch brand duct tape.

Let the wild woman free.

I sometimes don’t know what to write about. I’ve made a goal for myself. I must get in my 1000 words a day. I feel as if I haven’t completed my task if not. And that makes me unhappy. I like meeting my goal. Of course that same side is the perfectionist and she feels untidy and lazy if I just write nonsense as I am now. The other side? Let loose the horses. Let the wild woman free. The one who splashes in mud puddles and chews her nails. What to do?

The two sides

I name myself the two-sided twin. Maybe I will come up with a more nonsensical name, but for now, it’s two-sided. I can see this becoming a good chapter of a book. I could explore the two sides of my personality. The tidy perfectionist who can’t stand wasting the bread crust. Then the crazy bitch that just needs turned loose. Let her out of the freakin’ cage already. She’s shaking the bars and the other inmates are screaming at her. She extends her long claws to snagging the guard’s arm. Of course the other one, the prim one, is sitting on her neatly tidy bed in the corner. If she’s quiet enough maybe no one will associate her with this she-monster.

Dichotomy – division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups: a dichotomy between thought and action.

Now that image is probably taking it a bit far, but I feel the dichotomy of my personality or should I say personalities? I’m standing in line, the long line at the grocery store. I’m trying to decide if I want a candy bar or a pack of gum. There they are, the crazy bitch and her proper escort.  I think the bitch has duct taped Ms. prim’s hands. It keeps prim from dragging her away from all the ice cream and candy. Prim’s filled her basket with pasta and vegetables. She has her list neatly printed and has marked off the items in order. She’s the picture of calm and orderly as she rips the duct tape with her teeth, peeling it from her wrists. Her eyes never leave her monster of a sister. She’s not afraid. She knows Crazy too well. Later Prim will clean up the mess while the crazy one passes out from exhaustion.

Duct Tape Flip Flop
Duct Tape Flip Flop (Photo credit: Clint Lalonde)

Prim never gives up.

Quite honestly I love them both. The sparkle and the shine of the bitch makes me smile. She is pure joy to shop with. She loves life and can work a room like nobody’s business. I laugh at her quirky view of life. Her bubbly laughter. You may think Crazy’s my favorite. Some days she is. It’s only when I get the credit card bill and the bank overdraft that I ask Prim for help. She’s good to help. Sometimes you can see her frustration. All her long hours and careful budgeting, shot! What’s a girl to do? She catalogs and notes the accounts, checking for ways to get back any lost ground. Well she’ll just take the loss this month. Prim never gives up.

I have to free fall

Is this any way to live? Is there another way? Can the Critic and the Creative ever cohabit? I really don’t know. When I write, I’m in complete creative mode. No holds barred. I have to free fall to express in all the full color lively verbiage. when all is fully expressed, the critic may enter, but only then. If he comes out early, the Creative will shut down and shut up. And beware of having those two out at the same time. There isn’t a fight. The Critic is too scary. He has no remorse. He will open up a vein on the creative and leave no blood. To the critic, the creative can’t be trusted.

Can’t we all just get along?

I’m sure that we each have our own version of the two. Who are your people? Or are they people? Monsters maybe. Wild things. What seems abhorrent one day seems perfectly reasonable the next, depending on which personality is in charge. Tell me, please, how you deal with a dual personality? I know I’m not the only one with these issues. I will admit to having a few, but I’m certainly not the only one.

Can’t we all just get along? Is it possible? Is that even what I would want, for my two sides to come together in happy harmony? Truthfully, I don’t think that’s what I want. I like both sides as they are, with all their duct tape and personality differences. There is balance in the differences. I certainly wouldn’t want the personalities to converge into one happy medium.

What do you think? Would you meld your various personalities together? Would you prefer them more mellow? Or do you appreciate their separateness? Truly I don’t have a multiple personality disorder. No blackouts or loss of memory. but I do find it funny to think of the two sides as being opposing singular beings. They, in their slices, make me whole. With each perspective I can do the entirety of living.

I am the dichotomy

I’m the one with the duct tape, the one with the claws, the one with the excel spreadsheets, and the one with the grocery list. I am the dichotomy and so are you. We are the frivolous and the detailed. Live it.

Have you read Where The Wild Things Are?  How about Women Who Run With the Wolves?

Check out Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts, to learn more about your wild side.

I’m concluding with a video called Let Loose the Horses by The Rescues. If you count my words, I’m lacking a few to make 1,000, but what’s a girl to do?

Perception and Perspective

Where?  There!
Where? There! (Photo credit: John Fraissinet)

Perspective is a hot topic for me now. I would like to understand it better. I watched a Ted video that I’m going to re-watch soon. I will add it below. If you’d like, you can watch it now. But please don’t forget that I’m here waiting with bated breath..or something like that.

Through different color variations that had light and shadows mixed, Beau Lotto showed color shapes that looked the same color, but were really very different colors with various shadows or lights.  His main delivery point was how your brain needs color, but also that your brain learns in response. Even in just a few minutes of watching a two toned color with the dot in the middle to fixate on, your brain learns to filter by the two tones side by side. When you refocused upon the scenery,  you see the scenery with a mental color filter. Your very own brain was using the colors and projecting them on the picture you were looking at. That was a fascinating experiment and I would love to learn more.

I wonder if that’s what is happening in our world now. We have fixated upon certain events so that when we refocus our attention on the scenery around us we are prejudiced automatically. Wow. That’s a deep thought. That one will take a bit of time to ponder upon. Very good thought, but also very scary. I have to share this one.

“There’s no inherent meaning in information.  It’s what we do with that information that matters.” Beau Lotto

http://www.lottolab.org/

Touchstones and Totems and how we handle life

Cover of "Inception"
Cover of Inception

For some, it’s a ritual, the lighting of a candle, the touching of a bead. For others it’s a prayer or a song that brings them comfort. We all have something. In the middle of chaos what helps you find your home? If you  dropped into a foreign land what would you do every morning or every evening to remember yourself to not forget what matters the most to you?

I am often reminded of scenes in movies. One in particular, is the movie  Inception. In the movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, a group of people  (extractors) trained to gather information for the purpose of corporate espionage, with the help of a military engineered machine. The tricky part is not to lose themselves in the other person’s subconscious.

There have been many movies about delving into the subconscious of others and the fear always seems to not to get lost. In Inception, the extractors each carried a personal totem. It had to contain a strong special meaning to the person which held it and only he could control how it would behave. In this case the DiCaprio kept a spinning top which he could spin on a table  to find if he was in his own dreams or in others.

The sun would set, but in the morning it would rise again

In our lives, we develop totems or rituals of our own. They keep us from losing our balance when life gets too difficult to handle. We take comfort in them much as a child would with her blankie. It’s a comfort to know that when I get stressed I can take my hot bath. Candles burning in front of me help to calm my fears. I can say a prayer with the candle flame burning and afterwards I feel the relief as if I really had accomplished a task.

rituals
rituals (Photo credit: The hills are alive)



Once, when I was in a particularly stressful time, nothing seemed to help. I felt completely lost as if my world had spun upside down. My entire nervous system had seemed to shut down and I was a messed up girl. I was standing by the window watching the sun set and it struck me not as beautiful but as absolute. It was the one thing that felt the most steady, the most solid and the most predictable. The sun would set, but in the morning it would rise again in the east and I could once more see its bright rays fall across the lawn.

I learned to take steps once again

That one simple fact got me through. Afterward my faith strengthened. I felt myself grow a bit stronger. I couldn’t control the loss of my marriage but I could trust in a few things. I learned to take steps once again and hold on to whatever brought me comfort and strength again. 

Life is a process

When you’re swimming in the deepest of emotional turmoil, you need something to grab on to. And the time to prepare is before you are treading water. When you are on the dry land and in your sane mind, prepare. The day will come if it hasn’t already. Find one thing at least that you can look to which will remind you that a better day will come.

Remember a song from your childhood. A funny or a simple little ditty that doesn’t have to have any meaning but reminding you of a memory, a beautiful day. It could be a photo album or a diary you have kept. A prayer altar that you can set up with small items such as a dried flower or a river rock that smoothed and worn over time.

Life is a process, a wheel of time that takes us through the seed-time and the harvest. Through this wheel we have births and deaths, but in between the surety of the many sunrises and sunsets.

It’s not the item itself that has any power

Many cultures throughout history have had totems and rituals and yes I do put those two in the same group. In the time of tragedy a child will grab a doll or a blanket, a preacher may grab his Bible, a musician may grab his violin. It’s not the item itself that has any power. As I heard from the movie Practical Magic, the metal star of a lawman,  is just a small symbol. It has no true protective or comforting power of its own. Only the authority that we as people have given it.
In our culture we honor our dead by burying them in their nicest clothes. We place objects that have meaning only to us and that other person in the coffin with the deceased. This is normal for us and we think nothing of it. But there are other cultures that burn their dead. Some even mix their ashes with water and drink together the ashes of their loved one so that person’s spirit continues inside of each of them. Since I’m not from that culture I think I’d have a difficult time drinking the ashes of my grandmother, but I do understand the adoration and the honor that is given.

There’s no simpler thing than helping someone else that is hurting

These are totems, these are rituals, these are steps we take together to honor each other, and to keep our civilization intact. We, like the sun that sets in the west and rises in the east remind ourselves with rituals and customs that there is love and there is good and there is comfort. Even though that today is difficult and we are in pain, tomorrow will come. And that day may bring more pain but hopefully that pain will not last forever.

When a person has nothing left to hold  they go into a blackness which they don’t know how to pull themselves out. That is why I am encouraging you to find something to help you balance. I realize that a candle will not replace a lost child. Nothing can ever take their place. But you have to continue on.

Those that we love that have died are gone. They are in our hearts and in our memories and we will miss them dearly, but what reason, what comfort can you find that will help you find your balance? If you need encouragement to make it one more day or if nothing makes any sense to you anymore because someone you believed in betrayed you, what will help you?

It was once said that if you are grieving, comfort someone else and if you have loss, give to someone else. If nothing else in life makes sense, bring your life down to the basics of humanity. There’s no simpler thing than helping someone else that is hurting. There’s no purer love than giving a cup of water to someone thirsty. It may not take all of your pain away but you have made a choice towards life and the living of it.

And at that moment that is what totems and rituals are all about.

I’m not sticking my belly out

This is from the writer of “Formerly Hot

This is the lighter side of being not so young. I really wish I had her good humor about it. And I do have to check out this book. Looks to be funny!!

Have a wonderful day everyone!