HELP! HELP?

I have a particular topic for this blog, but first, let me say:

Thank you so very much to Steven L. Campbell, for nominating me for the Reader’s Appreciation Award.  I was, well, I just can’t think of the words – for a writer, that’s something, but it happens.  Thank you.  Please, go to http//:stevenleocampbell.wordpress.com.  Check out what this gentleman has to say.   And, Steven, please read the rest of this, it may explain some things.  My next post, it will be just blogs appreciated and passed on.  Again, thank you so much for your most kind gesture.

Permit me to begin here.  I am often tangential; usually, I connect the dots.

I learned something and received an offer of help, and the help itself.  Right here, on this blog.  It was consciousness, and conscience, opening which is what I am after, more than anything else, these days.    I saw (I’m interested in what you may see?) some things you receive, some things to regard when help is offered and/or given.  I’ll name 3.

1.  It’s personal.  Even when offered by a stranger.  There’s an extension, a connection, a desire for one to provide for another.

2.  It begins as a thought in someone’s mind; is allowed to develop, and the intention is acted upon.  It’s personal.

3.  Help/assistance often has a motive.  Keep reading. . . That motive is often selfless.  Motive does not always have a negative connotation.  It just means something that causes a person to behave in a certain way.  It is very often NOT exploitive.   How, then, is it selfless?  In my opinion, the giver has sparked a primary importance: the recognition of suffering, or need.  He/she believes  in his/her ability to offer to that need.  And, has the courage (it does take courage) to act on that.  It’s personal.

Now, 3 things to remember about that:

1.  It’s personal.  Be respectful.

2.  It’s personal.  Acknowledge value.

3.  It’s personal.  Be kind.

The last in the exchange:  2 things to do

1.  Reciprocate.

2.  Pass it on, in any way that you have the ability (not optional).

Of course, I don’t have to mention that you will feel and want to show you’re grateful; because, you carry that gratitude thing on you – any ‘chips’ being replaced by the daily practice of that, yes?  Yes, we’re trying.

Now, to the how I learned it, and the reinforcement:

My pain of my health condition expresses itself in this negative way:  I am limited in my energy; and, I am embarrassed about this –  my frustration and concentration level.  I work on that through my meditation, but I must be aware of the truth of its present state.  I spend my energy working at yoga, meditation, knowing the human body and the body in motion, reading, knitting, performing ‘home tasks’.  And, that’s about what I can tolerate.  When something extra is added, particularly in certain areas, I can become resistant and frustrated quickly.  Those areas, computer (not kidding), anything to do with computer function and/or function of internet activities.  A wonderful reader Monique Liddle at bendsintheroad.wordpress.com (please, check this out) offered me assistance with reaching out to more audience.  I was, at first, resistant.  I didn’t think I could do it.  I just blog, just write.  I don’t even check out the functions offered at wordpress.  Usually, my patience wears too thin for that.  Monique, offered, and gave me the tip on how to accomplish this.  Then, she was courageous enough to say why this might help me; she stuck with me – a stranger, she offered, and stuck with me to let me get through my own frustration.  She didn’t take it personally; she didn’t give up.

Help, assistance, gives us more, more deeply than the surface.  Please, accept help when offered – even if you don’t follow the advice, or action, accept gracefully, gratefully.  It’s a consciousness/conscience opening act.  Let  it be that.  There’s a reason for it, that connection – it’s personal.   It’s a building block.  It’s a chance to learn to l-i-s-t-e-n with all that there is of you.  Think what that could do?  Ok, now, do the wave with that – lol.

Thanks so much, Monique.

Thanks to all who have stopped by.  I hope something said encourages you, makes you think, makes you see your worth, and pass your words on – tell me about them, so I can.

Again, thank you Steven L. Campbell.  Lol, I have to figure out how to do the award thing.  If I don’t get it, I will, at the very least, post blog sites – there are so many creative, thoughtful, kind and, yes, helpful folks out here.  Lilie Allen

WHAT IS WHAT IS?

“What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.”  Nietzsche said it.  Who has not thought or repeated it?  I have.  Then, when I started thinking about life as it is, I reviewed this expression and whether I wanted to retain it.  I’m doing that with a few expressions, as I find them.  It has served a good purpose.  I think I’m trying to put it away, now.

I was talking with a friend about viruses, particularly, getting the flu.  She mentioned that the virus really is designed to kill you, that recovering from it, well, we ought to see the miracle in that.  I agree, in part.   But, I think a scientist would have a different take.  It’s not out to kill you per se.  It’s out to survive.  A virus is a living thing.  It does what it does to live.  It hasn’t any concept about killing you, it isn’t personal.

We do this with a lot of things.  Set up adversarial relationships.  We are at cross purposes.  But, is that really true?  Is it useful to us?  Maybe, that expression has been.  Probably many people have pulled up out of the dust by that one.  I just want to look at why we have to think things are out to harm, or kill, us?  Is it always true?  Sometimes a person, or other organism, is just doing what it does, and we happen to be the done to in that situation.

Why do we think misfortune, challenges or trials are this ‘adversity’?  It’s the stuff of the day, and you deal with it.  That’s the way I’m trying to see things.  Trying to get inside that equanimity.   I don’t see the limb that fell from our tree and into the road as an adversity.  I see that strong wind broke a branch of a very old tree, and it fell.  Period.   The fires that are currently raging some miles from me, it’s fire.  It does what fire does.  There is destruction, loss of life and sadness from that.  These fires are the result of someone’s careless disregard of the law, and other persons and property.  There should be consequences, natural ones that fall from such an event.   Why can’t we accept our true feelings about such events, rather than demonizing them?  I feel very sad about the destruction of the land, the loss of life and harm to animals, damage of people’s homes and property.  It’s an event that leaves a scar.  I believe we deal more effectively with our lives, and have something effective to pass on, when we just deal honestly with the emotions we feel, rather than projecting some quality on to something.  It’s another layer, not a solution.

So, when you trip over the rug, or fall off the deck (my specialty), the rug and the deck are not out to kill you.  They are not a challenge or an adversity.  They are what is.  The results are what is.  You don’t have to like them; it’s ok to be sad about the consequences – it doesn’t help you to think something is out to get you.

On that note, I’m going to have a cup of coffee and sit on my deck – it looks ‘friendly’ today.  Lol.  Thanks for stopping by.  Lilie

COME OUT SWINGIN’

I had to read my De-BUNKING post again.  I meant what I wrote.  I still looked at it with a smile.  That’s one of those days where I just come out swinging.  My dad used to tell me that’s better than standing around crying like you don’t know your way home.   I think so, too.  Sometimes, we need to tell ourselves the truth, and very plainly; and, maybe others in our lives.  Or, they need to tell us.  We get our angles straightened out for a while.

I am very tired of seeing people misused by others for profit.  And, it’s hard to see people so desperate in their situation that  they are willing to believe anything, in the hope of some relief.

It is very helpful to be one’s own mindful observer.  Good family and friends are helpful, but the process of wise counsel and thoughtfulness begins in each one of us, alone.   To know good advice when we hear, or see, it, we must have it within us.  It’s already there, you just need to tap in.  Take a moment to get still, to step back from your emotions and watch, listen.   This is good practice for everyday living.  We do not always have to respond to the ‘rush’ around us.  When you begin to practice having your own pace, that’s one of the things that starts to sort itself out – whose time are you on?  When do you need to be on another’s timetable and when is it just not necessary.  What is really an emergency?  What is not?

Many years ago, I was training as an EMT.  One of the older paramedics gave me some great advice.  At the time, though, I thought it was impossible and it didn’t make sense, lol.  I was pretty young.  But, I did figure it out; he was right, and it has helped me ever since.  He told me to slow down inside my head.  To learn to observe, listen and control my own breathing.  He said, when you accomplish that, you will react more quickly, and when it is necessary.  Slow down to be faster?  Huh?   He was right.  When I learned to be calm, not only in the moments of crisis, but in my everyday life, I did notice that I thought and reacted more quickly without panic or fear.   I began to notice that it took something very real to hit the adrenaline button.  I was no longer as susceptible to other people’s emotional crises.

This is what happens to people – you and I kind of people.  We get emotional about pain, illness, other facets of our lives – we invest in that emotion without realizing our brains have left the situation that sparked the emotion, and are now just travelling on emotion.  We invest in being desperate, or feeling overwhelmed and we are susceptible to the schemes of others.  And, sometimes others mean well, they believe they have a cure.  We need to practice using those higher functions of reason.  Let emotion do its proper job.  Emotion is a messenger.  That’s its job.  To tell you, “pay attention”.  Then, it’s up to mind to tell brain, “think about this, what should happen next?”  The more you practice using your reasoning mind, the more you will rely on it when there’s less time to think, when there truly is an emergency.   The less your wallet will suffer, too!  Lol, that’s always nice.  Practical in all respects.

As Dad would say, “Well, you laid out the path to home; now, go there.”  Lol.  Have a great weekend, all.  BTW, check the blogs of the people who have responded here, there are some incredibly informative, uplifting, innovative, creative minds blogging these days.  Thank you for your comments and insights.  Thank you for stopping by.

De-BUNKING!

I’m going to say some things that are going to make some people pretty angry.    That’s ok.   It’s about time.   You are entitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to mine.

For those who have chronic pain/illnesses who are taking:  Painkillers, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety medication, etc.  I hope you will seriously consider doing something else.  Try something else.  I’m not talking about naturopaths, I’m going to make them angry here, too.  Lately, I have seen a whole slew of friends diagnosed with “adrenal exhaustion”.  If  you take just a basic A&P class, you’ll know, that’s not really possible.  Your adrenals don’t get exhausted like that.  If your adrenals are really having a problem, a blood test can confirm it.   Also, colonics – if you like them – well, . . . . , go ahead, but they don’t do a thing for you.  Your body doesn’t need that to cleanse itself.  It is designed for that.  No help necessary.   Baloney on that stuff, stop listening.  They are making money off you.  When the ‘cure’ for that doesn’t work, they’ve got something else.  I’m sick of seeing people taken advantage of because they are desperate.  BTW, painkillers, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety meds, etc., are the western medical protocol for chronic pain/illness.  When you take these drugs, and your body gets used to them and you have to have increasing doses of them, you’ll notice your healthcare provider even more determined to get rid of you.  Yes, because they are being regulated, watched.  When they prescribe too much to too many, they get rid of those patients.  You have to find another doctor. You get accused of doctor shopping, and being an addict – not a good place to be.

Antidepressants, if you have not been diagnosed by a reputable mental health provider as clinically depressed, you have no business taking antidepressants.  They change your brain chemistry.  Your brain stops manufacturing the chemicals itself and becomes dependent on having the medicine to make them.  A state worse than the first you were in.  It is not helpful for chronic pain.  It is a bandaid, a something to get you out  of the office and off the doctor’s schedule, for a while.

The other day, I heard yet another ‘cure’.  Yeah, vinegar, for just about everything.   Did you know?  It makes your bones stronger?  Yeah, really – uh huh.  Oh, you mix it with honey, yeah, because honey is a cure for everything, too.  Well, honey for those allergic to bee/wasp stings, pollens, grasses, etc., can be deadly.  And, vinegar – it is acetic acid.  It doesn’t do anything PERIOD.  It makes a great cleaner.  If you mix it with baking soda, you can make ‘rockets’.   Basic chemistry people, use your brain!!!!  Acetic acid is not a cure for high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, arthritis or anything else.  It will make your windows shine.  Again, it’s a nice cleaner.  I use it for my countertops and windows.

Also, Neurontin (gabapentin) and Lyrica – look up the literature on them – they are about as good as a placebo for pain.  Neurontin is prescribed about as frequently as sugar pills.  Don’t bother.   It can make you sleepy, but if you don’t have epilepsy, it’s really not going to do much for you.  It can make you gain weight, and sweat, but that’s about it.  And, when you do read the literature, thoroughly, you will find they have no idea how it works on neurogenic pain.  It doesn’t.  I have neurogenic pain.  Fortunately, I had a dad smart enough to tell me not to take that stuff.  He said it makes a nice living for the pharmacist, and the drug company; otherwise, again – baloney!!! Yeah, that’s going to make people happy.  Figure it this way, if a doctor is willing to give you multiple refills on the medication, it isn’t actually going to do much for you.  It’s another  ‘here, shut-up, I can’t help you drug’.

I am fortunate.  I was able to avoid some of this crap, because of my dad.  He was a pharmacist.  And, an extremely intelligent man.

Doctors who don’t take insurance and are free with prescriptions for narcotics, aren’t sympathetic, compassionate people.  They are bums.  They are after your money.  They don’t care about your welfare.  A doctor who truly considers your welfare is hard to find for chronic conditions because they don’t make money, and chronic pain/illness sufferers can be a nuisance.   Healthcare providers  can’t often find a cause, and it’s frustrating to treat and to listen to, when they can’t provide anything.

Things to try:  Read as much legitimate literature on your condition as you can.  Take as little medication as possible.  Stay in the best health, at an appropriate weight, with as much activity as you possibly can.  Find a sport, or activity that you can tolerate.  I found taekwondo helpful, and I had to modify that.  Sometimes, I have to stop for a while.  Find something that interests you, and get more interested.  Find something to do that helps others, and do that.   If it sounds like I am not sympathetic, I am.  I am limited by chronic, constant, 24/7, relentless pain.  Sometimes it is very, very bad.  Lately, it has been.  I fake it for a few hours at a time, when everyone else has gone home, or when I can go there, I lie down, and I read or knit, or watch an entertaining program or movie.  I don’t belong to a pain support group anymore, because, when I did belong, all they did was rehearse their stories of woe.  It’s hard not to do that, but it won’t help you.  It reinforces that in your brain.  That’s why I got interested in meditation.  That’s another thing, meditation doesn’t take long to teach someone.  You don’t need to buy special clothes, nor spend a lot of money being taught.  It takes just a few sessions.  If the person teaching you tells you that it will help your pain go away, or you won’t feel your pain – bullshit – you will feel your pain.  The thing meditation does for me, and what I teach other people, is that it gives you the ability to give yourself  an attitude adjustment.  You can look at your pain, your life differently.    In time, after being diagnosed with everything in the world, I did find out what the source of  pain was, for all the good that did.  There is no cure.  It is up to me.

I still have friends, acquaintances, who give me info on the latest supplement, cure, etc.  I try to be polite.  I thank them.  I smile to myself that I’m glad I had a great AP teacher who wasn’t shy about speaking the truth, and a dad who wasn’t either.  Honey and vinegar, won’t cure you, one of them – can kill you.  Acai berries taste good.   Most supplements make expensive urine – if you’re going for that; well, take them then.  We absorb nutrients best from our food.  Eat well, make the calories count.  Fad diets don’t work.  Diets where certain foods are excluded, UNLESS you have a specific illness/condition documented by testing, don’t work either.  I am allergic to dairy.  I can’t have milk, milk-products, etc.  I can eat hard cheeses.  I stick to that, as best I can.  Otherwise, I eat from the groups.

What sounds too good to be true, is.

Live well, and wisely.  Thanks for stopping by.  Lilie

I’LL BE THAT

I thank everyone for their kindness, thoughtful words, and their insight at the passing of my friend, Jack.

I am hoping that I will tell his stories, and remember.   The most important remembering I want is to live the things about him that I so admired.  I think that just may be the reincarnation thing.  When we see certain qualities in a person, admire those qualities and live them out in our lives; well, that person lives on, and on.

When we admire courage, compassion, acts of kindness and interest in others, passion for social justice, and we have the courage to stand up and say, “I think I’ll do that.  I’ll be that, I’ll be kind.  I’ll wait and see before I speak.  I’ll forgive first.  I won’t allow the injury or oppression of another by word or deed.  I am here for all that.  I’m here.”  Well, who knows what good could come; how far that could ripple  We don’t have to wait for the people we love and admire to pass, we can accept those qualities right now.    It’s their gift to us – right now.  I have this feeling that if we do that, when we do that, there might be another person watching who decides to become that, as well.   Pretty soon, you have a world full of people becoming compassion, kindness,  and love.    We are assured the people we have loved carry on.

I’ll do that.  I’ll be that.  The best I can, I will.

May you be the fullness of all you have admired in those you love.  Thank you for stopping by.  Lilie

SHENPA, GO HOME!

In Buddhist writings, ‘Shenpa’ is the distracter, that chattering inside your head, always something to say.  This is one idea for coping with ‘Shenpa’.

a nice day, in the mid50s

walking into the early morning

Shenpa begins talking

wonder and worry

and all the other things

mind has to say

gray rain cloud forms a low ceiling

over this valley

to the mountains and beyond

a deer jumps, then sprints into the thicket

chipmunk runs the rails of a fence,

and skitters off

the dam seems quiet this morning,

beaver must have slept in

birds fly out from the bushes

surprised by the sound of footsteps

the sun tries to part the cloud,

for a moment,

with his big, round, bright face

moment by moment

this is what we have

what deserves our attention

let Shenpa get his own ride home!

from the book, A Perfect Blossom, by Lilie Allen

copyright 2010