ANGER


When you feel anger, don’t dismiss it or shame it. Acknowledge anger as the message it is. Emotions send messages, information that we need. Anger can tell us something needs to change; anger warns of injustice. Anger spurred such changes as important as the civil rights movement. Anger in the mind of someone skilled at its interpretation: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. So, we can practice being skilled, as well. When you feel it, realize it is a feeling, and that its message is that something needs to change, or to be addressed. Now, use your skillful mind to discern: what is your skillful, contributory approach? Practice, practice.

 

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THINGS, AS THEY ARE

So, I believe the truth is the best and most important thing in life.  That doesn’t mean I think you need to go about routing out other folks’ business.  I mean your own, that will keep you busy enough, anyway.  You won’t have time to go stirring up other folks.

I also believe that telling the truth about your circumstances is the first most constructive thing you can do about it.  And, along with that, I believe you don’t let yourself dwell on the negative.  Tell it like it is, be moving at the same time.

Here goes:  My broken leg is not healing on the schedule I planned, nor on the doc’s.  The bone is in alignment, and that is very good.  The two parts are not knitting together completely. And, they discovered a hairline fracture (a crack, if you will) in my elbow.  Actually, they ‘discovered’ it because I pointed it out and told them I believed it was a fracture – surprise, it is.  They should have known this 10 weeks ago.  This is whom I am dealing with and I’m doing my best to be a good advocate for me.  My orthopod is one of the very best, but in a cast of characters that are nowhere near up to par, nor close to his standards.

I don’t tell this for personal sympathy.  I know, for a fact, that I am going to be fine.  All I need, and will need, is present.  I say it because I know many people who have suffered a long time with conditions and illnesses that were improperly diagnosed, or not diagnosed at all.  They have had bad and wounding experiences with the healthcare community.  They have had to listen to the ‘it’s stress’ nonsense ad nauseam.  I say it because I can identify with, and truly understand, their experience, their physical and emotional pain over it, and their exasperation.  You must be your own advocate the very best you can.  You must become educated about you, and how that ‘you’ operates.

Again, meditation comes to my rescue.  I sit on my cushion.  I breathe, and watch my breathing.  Listen to it.  I listen to the sounds around  me; hear each one clearly and identify it.  Then, I let them go, hearing but giving them no names.  I think of my heart beating, tirelessly.  Your heart beats for you constantly, with no rest.  I contemplate the job my heart does.  It doesn’t know from good or bad, or other things it might be doing.  It does what it does because it does what it does.  That’s it.  It knows its purpose, and as far as is possible with it, it does that purpose – it serves . . . and, well.  I know that’s what’s within me.  From this, I know that I am willing and able to serve me to my very best regardless of what circumstances may look like.  As long as I am breathing, I am able to prevail.  I am able to help others, who are willing, to prevail also.  You are, too.  Your heart, my heart, all those with hearts – it is not an organ made carelessly.  For the most part, nothing is left out, forgotten, overlooked.  Remember that about yourself – it’s true from the inside out.   Remember that, meditate on that.  You are  complete, sufficient, able. . . right now, just as you are.  Pick it up, you can do it.

I sit on my redwood deck, built by the hands of my husband.   The day can’t make up its mind.  The sky is cotton-stuffed with clouds, deciding whether to give us one of those gorgeous, dramatic  late afternoon thunderstorms, or to pass it on to the city some miles away.  A gentle breeze moves the lilacs, and the birds are talking. I am here, right here with it all.  It’s ok.  I can do it, whatever it is and I will be happy in it.   I am in this moment.  When you lay out your plan, see it all – open it wide, get the big picture.  You’ve got lots of letters in the alphabet – start with A.

As always, may peace be with you; and, thank you so much for stopping by.  Lilie

MOVE IT!

I just took a refresher course in anatomy and physiology.  I love the design and function of the human body.  We are marvelously made, that’s for sure.  Though, sometimes we fool with that too much.  We have become a society where any normal emotion, or normal function, or phase of  life, if the slightest bit unpleasant to us, must be dispatched  immediately, and with as little effort on our part as possible.  Or, it takes us too much time to just plain take care of ourselves, and there are pills for that, so why not?

For example, my father, two days after my mother’s death, was upset – surprise, huh?  The doctor was.  He wanted my dad on antidepressants immediately.  Really.  I said, his wife just died.  The doctor said,  “Well, two years ago. ”  He had not listened, and the nurse had recorded inaccurate information on his chart, as she had not listened either.   I said, “Listening should be part of your medical education, he told you two d-a-y-s ago.  They were married for 49 years.  She’s the only person he ever really cared about.  He’s sad, he’s grieving, you bet.”  Well, can’t have any of that foreign substance, grief, going around – gotta knock that out of the body.  Bull.  If you are grieving a loss, grieve a loss.  Antidepressants are for people DIAGNOSED with clinical depression.  Not for people who want to lose weight, don’t get along with husbands, or family, or family of husbands, or normal life events, or who handle their emotions poorly.  No.  By, the way, the doctor did not correct the information on the chart, and when I left, put my dad on antidepressants.  Until we talked to dad, and got him off.

Also, now it is popular to be prescribed antidepressants during menopause.  They may take some of your symptoms away and make you more comfortable.  They are masking symptoms that must be gone through.  It’s a season of life, a change that is going to happen.  Do you have moods that change quickly, frequently?  Yes, the hormones in your body/brain are changing.  When you know that, you can do something more reasonable than suffer from it.  Are there exceptions to the rule?  Yes.  Exceptions to every rule.   But, remember, to everything there is a consequence.  Antidepressants change brain chemistry.

The best thing for your body, from begining to end of life, is motion and feeding it well.  Supplements, not unless your doctor shows you specific testing on which you show a definite lack in a particular substance.  Otherwise, you are making very expensive urine PERIOD.   Your body metabolizes the majority of its nutrients from food.  Lay off of making the pie, cake, candy, bread family the mainstay of every meal; slow down on the red meat a bit – remember, you are eating whatever you eat eats.  Yeah.  I have a terrible grass allergy.  I was eating grassfed beef – see a problem here?  Also, I have a serious allergy to bees.  Wanna know if I use honey for anything?  Or, beeswax?  Probably not, that’s a good bet.   Have some common sense.  People allergic to molds, pollens, bee/wasp stings, are often sensitive to antibiotics.

Been diagnosed with reflux?  Did you lose the weight, start exercising?  Or, are you doing the pill, elevate the bed, etc., etc., thing?  If you lose the weight, begin exercise, you may just find you don’t need to waste money on those pills and what a wonderful thing to have the money for a nice outing of some type with friend or spouse, eh?    High blood pressure?  Genetics – big, big factor.  TAKE YOUR MEDS.  Watch your diet,  be judicious about fluid intake,  move your body, meditate – get calm.   Bet you can keep the meds to a minimum.   Sleep apnea is another big game for your bucks.  Some, again, genetics and other conditions.  Many, poor health habits.  And, we would rather cling to our poor health habits than do something about them – it takes too much time – really?  That’s your reason?    Same with adult onset diabetes.  Diet and exercise, and many wouldn’t have to deal with this.  Really, you’d rather have diabetes, than get out of your chair?   Than, eat a salad instead of a bag of chips and candy bar?   Except, that these things are costing us all.  We all are affecting everyone else with how we decide to treat ourselves.  We are what’s wrong with the healthcare system, in some part.

At 50, I began taekwondo.  I love it.  I have a difficult time walking far enough to do me any good.  So, I can do yoga, and I can do taekwondo.  I have vertigo (most of the time), a bum leg and constant pain.  I move, as much as I possibly can.  And, I break that up in shifts.  I move some, lie down and rest; and, then I get moving again when I can.  But, I move.  Moving literally circulates those wonderfully brain-manufactured pain meds, hormones, nutrients, etc.  All the things I really need to help me.   The things you need.  There is something out there for you, some interest that can get you to move.  Do you like to dance?  Dance in your living room, to whatever era of music, or genre, that strikes your fancy.  Maybe you have a senior center, you could suggest getting together with others and turning on the music?  Or,  a simple stretch class.

Before you medicate it, meditate it.  Know your family health history.  Do your research.  See your doctor.

Peace be with you.  Thanks for stopping by.  Lilie

SOMETIMES YOU WANT TO SHOUT IT!

We all have a story to tell, and they are worth telling, IF only one person listens, and learns.

I never thought I would tell mine.  I was good at keeping secrets.  But, maybe, just maybe, one person will hear, and it will change the course of his/her life.

I got my life kicked – hard.  And, I fell.  Doesn’t matter how, who or why.  What does matter is why was I available for that?  What in me allowed it; didn’t see it; wasn’t consciously present in my life?  Those were the questions I asked myself.   Those were the questions that saved me.  I didn’t blame myself.  No.  I did examine my character and the course of my life, because I was the person I could change.  I wanted to be the person I knew I was inside.

I created a second chance for myself.  I think everybody deserves a second chance, and maybe they get it on the fourth or fifth try.  My first course of action was to separate myself from those with whom I had associated, and I sought out a very wise and compassionate counselor.  That was my safety zone, from which I plotted my course.  I had many influences throughout my life who practiced mental discipline, and some did this by meditation.  I studied everything I could find; took every course offered by every religion, organization, university,  individual, etc.  But I was no joiner anymore, not to or for anything.  I took religious studies, sociology, psychology, medical studies,  and so on, building and learning what most people come into life with naturally, through their families.  I have to say here, my dad was a great source of wisdom, but it was just not available to me then, didn’t mean I couldn’t find it now.

I stepped out of the cocoon and tried new things, slowly but surely.  Got myself a yoga teacher’s certificate, meditation certificates, pain management certificates, and so on.  I began to take writing courses, and turned to writing poetry, a love from childhood, and now I took myself seriously.  I began attending writing groups.  And, I published two books of poetry.  I didn’t look back.  I just kept going.  I had begun to have medical issues.   I had to accept the loss of my working life, and tried to ‘work’ and contribute in other ways.  Again, I didn’t look back.  When the stories played in my head, I acknowledged them honestly but did not entertain them, didn’t ruminate on them.  I realized I was in control of my thought life, all the time.  With practice, that became stronger and stronger.

I felt like Ghandi’s famous quote, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”  And yet, I had begun to have friends who were Christian, I mean that in the sense of acting like Jesus, really acting like Jesus.  So, I am watching and waiting.  Don’t know that I will ever join any group again.  Still feel like I need to know where the exit is.  I don’t like ‘group think’.  I try not to lump people together with groups, see them as they truly are in their own lives, but when it’s ‘group think’ or ‘group speak’, I keep my distance.

The most important lesson I learned;  You must regard you.  You must think well of you.  You must have a plan for your life, and believe in it.  You must hold it dear, and not give up on it for other persons.  It is one thing to help someone else, and I strongly believe in that.  But, DO NOT GIVE UP your goals, your life, your plans for another.  It won’t help them, and it most certainly will not result in anything positive for you.  And, YOU is what you have.   The least selfish, most giving people I know, regard themselves; have strong self-respect, and are accomplished in their life goals, and continue to have and set goals for themselves.  You can’t be free to extend anything until you know  yourself.

Whatever situation you are in, it is not hopeless.  You are still there, still present inside – listen to that.  Become present, awake, aware, conscious in your life.  Reach out.  Take one step at a time, but take a step.   I did it, and I got to take someone with me.  Someone who turned out to be a most incredible person, and love.  He just made that same decision:  To find, and be his true self.  I did hurt people I loved, and I can’t change my indecisions and weakness of the past, but who I am now is what counts.  I stand up for my mistakes, and take the consequences.  I repair where I can.  You are worth it, too, come on – it’s your chance, now!

With love and regard to you.  Lilie   – Thank you for stopping by.

THINKING, OR HABIT?

Did you know?  The simple act of thinking (or, maybe not so simple?) sends more blood flow to your brain?  Yes.  And, the expression “changing your mind” is not just an expression, but really does happen.   It’s from the momentary, and less monumental,  I’ll wear red instead of blue, to choosing the positive over the negative.  Repeat a choice often enough, your brain changes.

We have many choices before us all day long, every day of our lives.   Often, most of those choices are made by habituation.  We don’t even realize we aren’t really deciding.  It’s what we have done before so many times that our brain repeats the action.   Sometimes, that works for us:  riding a bicycle, writing, learning forms in taekwondo.  We probably all have had the experience of driving somewhere and not realizing how we arrived there?  Please, do less of that.  We can see that some habituated behavior can be a good thing.

Then, there’s the habituation that isn’t.  If every time we trip over the rug in our living room, we get angry and swear about it, the brain is going to remember to do that, by habit.  We are no longer going to notice that we aren’t deciding or choosing to do that anymore – it’s habituation.    Prejudice, anger, rigid beliefs can happen in the same way.  We don’t even know why we cling to them, we  “just do”.  Our brain has recorded that information and repeated the action – without thought getting in its way.  How about sending more blood to that brain, increase thinking – it’s a healthy lifestyle project!

How may we accomplish that?  My personal mental exercise:  Meditation.  It gives us that sliver of space between thoughts to examine; to ask ourselves questions.  What do we want to be thinking?  What would we want to  become a habit?  What beliefs are true for us, in a thoughtful way?  How do we want to live our lives, for self and others?  That space where we breathe and decide has greater power than just about anything else we accomplish – because, it’s the way we accomplish anything – by rote or by choice.   You decide.

Thank you for stopping by.

Check out:  hughasia.wordpress.com, janbeek.wordpress.com, affirmagise.wordpress.com, liberatedway.wordpress.com, for just a few people who are ‘thinking’ their every day, every moment lives.

AGAIN WITH THIS TOPIC?

Forgiveness,  a much talked about, written about topic – maybe it is exhausted by now?   I’m going to give it a shot.

I was raised, in very younger years – by my family, in a rather severe  Christian tradition.  Taught all the doctrine of  some particularly rigid churches I attended at the time; and, at that time, believed it.  Over the years, peace and forgiveness didn’t seem to come according to the rules and regs I was taught.  It did not work for me.  In fact, I seemed to be  in a state of inner turmoil and conflict, judging and damning myself continually.  What to do then?  (Not  a knock on Christianity, just my experience – I love and admire people whose faith brings the best out in them, and to them).

Then, an insight that had been with me, finally dawned.   For me,   I had to let go of all the doctrine of the  past, and look at the knowledge and wisdom available to me N-O-W.   A simple thing.  Isn’t it usually, when it comes down to it?  Maybe lay that concept of forgiveness aside, and go with me here.  Could you do it like this:  Know a thing, a person, a concept for what it is PERIOD.   See the truth, and accept it  as it is.

If a person has injured you in some way: physically, emotionally, financially, whatever way in which you feel injured – see the person for who they are.  Are they, in most of your dealings with them:  kind, considerate, compassionate, thoughtful, and it was just their turn, in that moment,  to be the jerk?   Remember, we all are up for ‘jerk day’, we have them.   If so, let it go.  Each time the thought arises in your mind, you have the power not to entertain it, not to ruminate – up to you.  The less you entertain it, the weaker it becomes – soon, you won’t recall it easily anymore.  If, however, injury is the character of the person, on a rather consistent basis  –  well, there you have it.  There’s your answer.  You can examine the issue, decide whether speaking to them would be of benefit;  or, accept that they are telling and showing you who they are.  What do you want to do about that?  You don’t have to get even, hate, gossip about, avenge yourself – no, you don’t have to do a thing.  You can decide where to put your attention; where to give your time, love and effort.  Simple as that.  What is, is.

There are painful experiences in the world.  We add the suffering.  It’s a choice.

Thanks for stopping by.  Lilie

IS ANYTHING RANDOM?

The other night, I sat out on my deck, and watched two great horned owls make their hunting flights.  They swoop and circle over the neighbor’s yard and very close to our house.  We have to keep watch on our rather small dog, she doesn’t go out unsupervised, that’s for sure.

In the odd moonlight, created by the abundance of clouds in a dark blue sky, the owls are eerily beautiful.  And, isn’t it funny how we categorize things/people/animals/supposed intentions.  If I were talking about rabbits, the word ‘eerily’ probably wouldn’t appear.  Watching them made me think a thousand thoughts at once.  I remembered, from my childhood, my dad saying to me, “Sugarbabe, stuff eats stuff.  It ain’t evil or good.  Stuff eats stuff.  That’s what it does.”    He was teaching me to see the reality of things, without judgment.  That you can be clear about something, or someone’s, intentions, and not judge them.  Protect yourself and your own, without judgment of another.  Recognition and discernment are not judgment.

There are predators.  All across the board in the animal kingdom – there are predators.   Probably, we would set up gradations of predation among humans, as their predation carries entirely different consequences, for entirely different purpose.   Yet, there are similarities:  Both hunt to feed themselves:  One derives nutrients in pattern with seasons and cycles of life; the other, to take down, to belittle, to consume so as to survive a threat that exists only in the mind of the predator.   One, in keeping with the pattern of every living heart that beats.  One, out of step, cruel and destructive.  Sometimes, when we are speaking of humans, it takes time to see them clearly.

There is peace in seeing reality.  In seeing people/animals/things as they are, not wishing them to be different, or denying the nature of themselves that they present to you.   It is possible, with practice, to see the nature of a person clearly without rancor, bitterness or judgment.  And, it is possible to learn to reasonably protect yourself from such predation by nonviolent means, in keeping with your desire to be an honorable person, respecting the dignity of life.

Let’s be clear here, that the ‘predation’ I am speaking of is the bully on the schoolyard or at work, the person in your life who takes advantage or says inappropriate hurtful things, the stranger who makes verbal jabs,  the relative whose behaviors have made life difficult.    I am not talking about sociopaths or psychopaths here.

That said, what do we do?  What do we do, when we are doing our best to be kindness in the world and we are struck with someone’s nasty words?  Well, it used to hurt me.  I didn’t keep the many positive things said to me around very long, but I held those negative things like they were a  favorite childhood comfort toy.  Hugged them close to me, examined, analyzed and repeated them to myself.   I guess I was trying to find some meaning or reason  – what had I done wrong?   Then, I would hear my dad’s words, “That’s what stuff does.”    And, many years later, I realized, it is that simple.  Saying to yourself, in that moment, “Hey, that’s what stuff does.  That’s what this ‘stuff’ does.  This one says hurtful things.  Hmm.   Well.”  Let that be the only message your brain receives about that moment.  And, when you (like I was) are tempted to replay the negative, the hurtful – play it like this, “That’s hurtful.  That’s predatory.  Hmm.  Well.”   Because now you know.  Someone has shown you their character, their intention.  It is up to you what comes next.  You need not answer with words or deeds.  You sure can decide to whom you will give your company, your friendship.  You can go on.  You can learn from the experience without keeping or making suffering of it.

Thank you for stopping by.  Lilie