Sunday, April 30, 2017

Frog Squats and Arclines

Walking. Check. Froq Squats. I did 20 - probably going to be a slow build up until I can do 108 in a row like Yogi Bajhan says you should. Arcline cleansing. Got a few minutes in before I was interrupted.

Dad and I are on our way to Alice Cooper. He surprised me with a ticket. I'm pretty sure I know more Alice Cooper than he does.

Easy Like Sunday Morning

I'm getting back to easy, but I woke up angry this morning. I hate that. I had this dream where my sister in law and I were in a law library in Atlanta and I was trying to make an interview with a real estate attorney in Sandy Springs, but for some reason Sandy Springs now had a mandatory siesta time of 3-4pm every day. My sister in law had been ordering wine and I was enjoying visiting with her, as we rarely see or talk to each other due to my relationship with my brother. Suddenly, it was pointed out to me that it was almost 4, so I slid down tight stair railings and ran and pulled a train door open to catch the one just leaving. Unfortunately, I could not catch the one leaving at the next station, and I knew I wouldn't be able to make it to the attorney's office before 5pm. Then my brother showed up talking about how it wasn't surprising and I probably planned it on purpose so I could blame it on my sister in law. Then I was in my current job, but it also was my old corner office at work in Atlanta, and I was answering a co-worker's questions about a piece of property, and my boss (current boss) came in and said something to me about not getting enough work done and fooling around, interrupting the information I was giving to my co-worker (who wasn't actually a co-worker I have, but some guy named Patrick who vaguely resembled someone I may have seen on a tv show). I was very frustrated and asked him what he was talking about, I did the workload of two people, that's why there were hundred of entries with my name on them, why there were over 2000 parcels and counting that I had audited and fixed. He wouldn't listen and left the room. My assistant manager came in then with my manager's number on a post-it note and said to call her and say it was an emergency. I said I had already called her and went and met my manager in her office, where there were 3 giant bags of my possessions packed in her office (including one giant version of my old traveling soccer bag). My manager said she knew I was a hard and detailed worker and she had plenty of evidence to such but that for some reason my boss wouldn't look at it. and then I woke up.

Having written that out, I feel a bit better. I can tell what a lot of that is referencing. It touches on my distrust of certain people in my family to actually be honest and do the right thing. It definitely reflects my job search frustration and how limited I feel after moving back here from Atlanta. There's a transposition of old boss/new boss behavior in there. My new boss is actually not that aggressive and wouldn't handle any situation like the one in my dream. Also, I do not have a corner office here, I have a cubicle. Which is fine. I liked having my own office space, but wherever I can get my work done, I can adapt. I am definitely experiencing frustrations with having evidence of my accomplishments and people refusing to see them, or acknowledge my worth. I also feel held back and unable to progress in my job, currently, and this was probably a bit of a manifestation of my desire to be given the new auditor position they are creating, and knowing that it probably won't happen because, despite my knowledge and abilities and having been there 2.5 years, I am one of the two newest hires in our section of the department. I don't really care that much about money, but I know a significant raise would assist me in a speedier arrival at achieving all of my fiscal goals. While I am eternally grateful for the help I have received from those around me, I am tired of lingering under the miasma of debt without immediate purpose.

The girls and I had a good day yesterday. My baby was so exhausted from fun and activities that she slept through the night without waking once and was quite the delirious and ornery lunatic prior to going to sleep. I gave them plums for breakfast at the house, and then we went to Dunkin Donuts and they each had a doughnut. (I told my oldest that twice a month, after I got my paycheck, we could have a small breakfast out, and an evening meal at a restaurant.) Then we went down to the market by the river that takes place every Saturday morning from spring through fall. We bought some rosemary bread, and some fancy popcorn. They petted about 20 dogs. Then I stumbled upon a sale of handsewn or embroidered children's clothes for $3 each and bought the girls some cute stuff, including a Holly Hobby dress and a Disgust t-shirt (with sequin hair!). I was able to pay for it after I rescued the fistfuls of silver necklaces that my magpie baby had captured and attempted to run off with. On our way back to the car, we purchased a little purple succulent plant (they didn't want a green one), which was thankfully sturdy enough to survive the bag ride my baby gave it. We got our traditional pina colada drink, the baby had a meltdown until I told her she was upsetting the doggies around her, and then we got some flavored honey sticks (and a small honey bear for their dad) and sat on the stairs of the old bank building for a while. Then, I had to strongarm hold the baby to the car as she shrieked and wailed that she "I no wanta nap! I don't!" and wrestled her into the car sear and got her to drink some water as she snuffled. She calmed down once I reminded her we were going to the park to have our picnic. I had packed little half sandwiches of cracked pepper turkey breast with either provolone or colby jack cheese, on honey wheat bread, and had brought some small bags of chips. The girls ran and ran over the grassy field and the oldest gave pointers to the man playing disc golf, mainly as to how many times he missed. Then we packed everything up and went home for naps, which were sorely needed. After naps, we went down to the local bookstore for Indie Book Store Day, where the girls scored 5 children's books, including a Darkwing Duck Little Golden Book, which I didn't even know existed. Then we went and had dinner at Applebee's per my eldest's request, and came home to watch Kubo and the Two Strings, which is amazing. We played the soundtrack for their bedtime music. The baby went down first and the eldest and I stayed up talking and drinking hot cocoa for a moment.

It was a good day. We had plans for more playground and park today (a different location) but I've just been informed that someone is changing those plans. I wish people would sit and talk things out instead of just deciding that what they want to happen at any given moment is the only right and true option. Communication, or the attempt at such, should not be so exhausting or difficult.

I hope you have a beautiful day.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Song Dedication

Let's go for a drive and pretend it's Beer-Me Tuesday and the river beckons this weekend.

I Had a Vision of Love

I just did my first tongue scrape. It was actually pretty amazing, just like Frankie said it would be. If you don't know what tongue scraping is, it's a form of ayurvedic care, wherein you use a spoon (or they actually have "professional" tongue scraping devices now) to scrape all the toxins your body released the night before, off of your tongue. Otherwise, when you take your first drink of the day, you're just swallowing them back into you; or, if you brush your tongue before tongue scraping, you're massaging them back in. Gross, right? You can read some more about tongue scraping here, if you're so inclined. I'm digging it.

We also made vision boards with which to focus on, mostly for the Venus Sadhana, but also for the future year/future us. I'll probably post a photo of mine later. It's really mainly about love, and forgiveness, and finding yourself, and holding yourself and all of that love and all of that forgiveness in even the smallest spaces, and moving forward as a more integrated, healthier person. There's keys for my husband and I, an arrow and a connection for my girls and I, flowers and plants and gates (I need some succulents, y'all), and words of inspiration and wisdom from people who have really moved me on my long strange trip towards the best me I can be. Frankie brought some sort of lemon muffins and made us hibiscus tea and we all dove in with scissors and tearing and glue sticks and random requests (a horse? a sunset? flowers?) which someone suddenly had right in their hands to give to the seeker.

There's something about being in a room full of women fanning the flames of creativity that just fills me up with light.

In other news, Rosemary, my budget bootcamp leader, is great. I'm probably biased, because she has a lot of the same financial spending triggers that I do, but that also makes her advice super-relatable. I was already doing some of what she suggested, and the other advice and encouragement is great, but it's really the confessions of what she had to overcome herself, in regards to triggered spending habits, that really has made all the difference. I signed up with her after working with a financial adviser and a program to aggressively rehabilitate my credit, and it was like adding the 3rd key was the charm. I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, but it looks like my finances are actually going to be meeting goals 2-3 months in advance, which is super exciting. Not really surprising, per se, because I knew I had it in me. Still super exciting, especially considering how certain people close to me didn't believe I could do it or was going to do it. So there.

I've been walking close to two miles every day during the first 30 minutes of my lunch break at work. I just listen in one ear to whatever audiobook I'm on at the moment, and I walk down the tree-lined downtown streets, marveling and oohing over the beautiful old houses, and having a moment of silence for those houses that people have let lapse into decay and rot and neglect. I would save them all if I could. I have an affinity for old houses, especially those that need a loving hand to redeem them. One day, when I have the money (and I will), I'll rescue the ones that I can, one by one. I also love the overgrown yards, where the trees hug the banisters of the porch, and the balcony edges peek over decorated roof edging. I just love all of the old downtown housing areas. New housing will never have the soul that they do.

I finally borrowed Pronoia from my friend, and am excited to delve into it. "Kaohinani is a Hawaiian word meaning “gatherer of beautiful things." - Which reminds me, I should share some of my Venus chart readings here for the fun of it. (It's in the 1st house with Mercury.)

We're coming up on my last week of this term in school and I'm proud to say I have lifted my grades to where I shall have a B in both classes, which is amazing considering halfway in I was failing one of them due to the chaos in my life. Still moving forward and not looking back. Things are going to be great.

Won't you come with me?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Diversion in the Woods and How We Choose Paths

It's been 3 weeks. I wonder if you know that? 3.1 weeks, to be exact. That's 22 days. 528 hours. 31,681 minutes. Soon to be 2 million seconds.

Despite my desire and effort, I am not in complete control of this situation and thusly, have no idea whether the feather will balance, when judgment time comes. Perhaps we shall become another recorded scroll, another piece of finished history, tucked and numbered. Perhaps tomorrow, when it comes, will be different than the tomorrow that I wanted to come.

It wouldn't be the first time it had happened in the world.

If the worse kind of tomorrow comes (not the worst, I hope) then I will do what any person like me in my situation would do: I will drape my rooms in flowers and ivy, and pretend that I live in an enchanted forest, that this is all a fairy tale and I am a moral lesson for somebody. As long as someone can learn from me, I can bear it.

I wish it was you reading this.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Moon...You Saw Me Standing Alone...

“To diminish the worth of women, men had to diminish the worth of the moon. They had to drive a wedge between human beings and the trees and the beasts and the waters, because trees and beasts and waters are as loyal to the moon as to the sun. They had to drive a wedge between thought and feeling...At first they used Apollo as the wedge, and the abstract logic of Apollo made a mighty wedge, indeed, but Apollo the artist maintained a love for women, not the open, unrestrained lust that Pan has, but a controlled longing that undermined the patriarchal ambition. When Christ came along, Christ, who slept with no female...Christ, who played no musical instrument, recited no poetry, and never kicked up his heels by moonlight, this Christ was the perfect wedge. Christianity is merely a system for turning priestesses into handmaidens, queens into concubines, and goddesses into muses.”
-Tom Robbins. Jitterbug Perfume.

Today was the first day of the 40 Days of Venus Sadhana course and, serendipitously, the new moon. So, I drew a bath and filled it with milk and honey epsom salts, and scattered the remaining white rose petals (less two, for the two loves intertwined in marriage) on its surface. I ate pomegranate arils (minus 8, for 7 years and one to grow on) with fingers that still smelled and slightly tasted of the jasmine incense a peacock feather danced through earlier. I had a prayer for us that I murmured into the night and the candlelight. It is not unusual for me to keep my requests secret, whispered as if into a friend's ear. They are my requests, after all, and no one else's business. Else, I've found, someone may meddle in that business, more's the pity.

I trust me and my heart and the fistfuls of worship my hands hold until they can touch again.

Anywhere I Lay My Head

I am not like my family.
I mean, I am like my mother and father in many individualized character trait ways. I am obviously reflective of them genetically. I am not like the rest of my family, though, not in the way I question things. The way I seek answers. The way I try to see with a million eyes so that my knowledge is not limited to that which I can directly see. I spent a lot of my time growing up nestled away into my room, where I would read and write and research for hours and hours. In between, I would sometimes lay on the floor or my bed and just think, just let my mind turn things over, sifting through new and old information, idly waiting to see if the musing turned over some important epiphany. I still do this - I go still. I go still and quiet and wait to see what comes to me. As Kafka once said "You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet."

Anyway, I am a wonder-filled person. Everything makes me wonder. I want to know the whys of you, and the hows of your thoughts, and the whats that are the objects of your thinking. I want to try and understand as much of you as possible, even if once the understanding is reached I care for you less. I want to know the truth of you. I want to see how far I can be stretched and pushed in my empathy. I want to learn when it's dangerous to understand too much, and when it's even more dangerous to understand too little. I want you to know you matter, even if it's in ways that are all wrong. We can all be lessons.

My family does not search like this into people. I watch the walls rise, when we speak of certain things. I watch the absolute certainty that enters their eyes like anger when I present a counterpoint they don't want to consider. I do not understand lack of consideration. I suppose this is because I enjoy consideration. I just want to be the best person I can be, not just of myself, or to myself, but to others as well, encompassing not only my family and loved ones, but to as many of the rest of the citizens of the world as possible.

This desire really sets me up for disappointment, a lot.

I'm turning 40 in June. I was really excited about it. This year has brought a lot of changes, and while I'm still really excited about it, it seems most everyone else has forgotten its importance to me. My mother and I had been talking about taking a girls-only roadtrip with she, my niece, my two daughters, and myself. Recently, however, my brother offered to buy them tickets to a show in Atlanta, and one of the shows offered falls on my birthday. My parents decided to go to that one with my brother. My brother whom I have rarely spoken to in the past five years due to some less-than-loving behavior on his part. I didn't bother mentioning anything about the roadtrip to my mother when she so casually stated she and my father were "of course" going to be gone that day. It does hurt me though. Mainly, I just want to shell myself over and retreat when these actions occur. It's so much easier to feel invisible when you're alone. But I am determined to be happy in the face of it all. In the end, that's what really matters, because that's what it takes to be happy. I choose to be so.

“Oh God, are there so many of them in our land! Students who can’t be happy until they’ve graduated, servicemen who can’t be happy until they are discharged, single folks who can’t be happy until they’ve found a mate, workers who can’t be happy until they’ve retired, adolescents who aren’t happy until they’re grown, ill people who aren’t happy until they’re well, failures who aren’t happy until they succeed, restless who can’t wait until they get out of town, and in most cases, vice versa, people waiting, waiting for the world to begin.” - Tom Robbins.

I'm not waiting for the world to begin. I am the world beginning anew every day. Wake up, beautiful ones, and dance with me.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

It's Kind of Like a Running Joke

It's hard going from silence and Self to constant conversation, especially when it's of the debating sort. That's one thing I always loved about my husband - his ability to be silent for long periods of time. While we lost a lot of our time like that to our children, when we were first together one of my favorite things to do was to sit and read while he watched tv or played video games. We could pass hours without speaking. I would speak more than he, but it wasn't necessary. Even in our arguments we've been able to maintain silences without the urgent need to fill them. I miss being able to be silent with him, miss being able to just be with him.

Sometimes it's just painful for me to be around other people, simply because they're there and they exist. Introvert problems.

There is a sorrow that comes when you realize you've grown past the child you were and can no longer place a parent on a pedestal. It's so much harder for me to accept my mother as human (and she seems to become more so as she ages and I age in turn), than it is to accept my father who has always had such open and apparent failings (he's actually gotten much better and I love him, no hard feelings). Like, really hard. Really, really hard. Painfully hard. I often find myself, recently, puzzled over her behavior, as though someone has taken my mother for a moment, and put someone else in her place. Did I miss this all along? Or, is it as new as it appears to be? Maybe both? It is a cause of stress for me right now, in the midst of all of this upheaval, to be having to reorder my recognition of my mother.

Maybe this is because when faced with certain crossroads in our lives that were scarily similar, I took the path she didn't. I'm not sure. It does feel that way sometimes.

She's still there for me, in a lot of ways, but in some ways it's like....she just can't be there for me anymore. We can't reach each other.

Deliver Me to the Water

Today, my friend asked me about forgiveness, and how you could tell when you were practicing forgiveness, and when you were just letting someone walk all over you. I told her the best I could define it, in my own prosaic way, is how it feels to me:

To me, forgiveness feels like walking out the back door of a house, towards a well on a hill. When you get there, you lower the bucket and you pull back up the sweetest, clearest, coolest water you could possibly hope for at such a thirsty moment. Then, when you drink it (or dump it all over you, depending on the circumstances) it washes all the dust and grime and heartache of the journey off of you. It's like a tiny baptism and you emerge reinvigorated and refreshed. This doesn't mean you plan on taking the journey again; you just wash away the worst parts of it, and then you carry on.

I once did not believe in forgiveness, and it was something I spent time meditating on and trying to put into practice, thinking it was something I could force. It's not. It's something that happens inside you, something that transmutes grief into a soft loss, and sorrow into a more wearable form of itself, and pain into an outpouring of love. Forgiveness is not about making the same errors in judgment when it comes to another human being, it's about not carrying the bitterness, anger, or regret that manifested from your interaction(s) with that person on the next leg of your journey. Forgiveness is not about forgetting, it's about releasing yourself from the demands of blame, and thus releasing the other person, as well.

At least, that's what forgiveness has become for me. My capacity for forgiveness has become formidable, almost terrifying, and yet also reassuring. There is little I carry with me now. After every anger, every heartbreak, every moment of pain that seems (for the moment) unendurable or unable to be overcome - after every one of these, or all of these, I sift through and find something beautiful. Sometimes that beautiful thing simply is the truth of how much I love someone; sometimes that beautiful thing is the knowledge that the moment is over and will never happen again. I forgive myself for feeling (too much?) and I forgive the person for not being the person I wanted them to be, which is what it comes down to most of the time. Then I hold onto that beautiful thing, and I release the rest, like soil to a stream, or birds to the sky.

I sing my daughter the song "Favorite Things", sometimes as a lullaby, sometimes as a way to help her assuage her young sorrows. Sometimes I sing it to myself. Song, my friends, is a great instrument of healing.

Some of my favorite things are: my husband's smile, my daughters' laughter, a really good paragraph in a book or line of poetry or a moment of film or the perfectly framed photograph of a casual moment, a beautiful day, certain songs that carry a memory of happiness with them regardless of where I am currently.

What are some of your favorite things?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

One Good Turn

"God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one" - Rumi

Hera, the Greek Goddess, was the Queen of the Heavens, wife of Zeus by trickery (he played on her empathy), and the protector of marriage; in fact, the protector of women throughout all the stages of her life. Her Roman counterpart, Juno, whom my birth month of June was named for, and the daughter of Saturn, was also a protector of women through all stages, including marriage, and was also protector of funds. Hera had a faithful servant in Argos, of many eyes, who looks from the tail of a peacock. Juno had a faithful messenger in Iris, the rainbow.

I've decided to sit in meditation upon these two same-yet-different goddesses as I traverse this path I'm currently on. They couldn't be more appropriate.

Now, I'm going to go have our morning song-and-dance party with my two girls. What better way to start the morning?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Suitcase Poems: Entry One

I am so short
I walk the ends off
my pants
my words
my relationships
I hide my feelings
in the linings
of suitcases
borrowed for the

I think part of my struggle in writing is that I have tried to bend myself and my will towards more polished and technical means. In reality, I am a confessor, and a confessee, and while I clean up well, let's face it, I will always wipe my hand on my dress without thinking, if I need my fingers free to do something and no napkin is at hand.
I've always know that I could never be a Martha Stewart, everything-in-its-place, my-house-is-a-showroom, type of woman. I'm domesticated, but still always wild at heart. I tried, though, but it's just not who I was born to be, and still be me.
I always pictured myself and my children, my girls I always knew I'd have, drawing on the wooden floors of cottages, using the sun for light, spilling dirt as we planted and re-planted growing things we would talk to as if they were listening. To me, the scattered parts of living lives that you trip over until Saturday or Sunday cleans things up, cheered on by bad pop music, was something beautiful. Despite my best intentions, I'm a hopeless romantic, and a born poet, and every imperfection is full of meaning. Maybe I misrepresented myself. Or maybe I was misunderstood. I'm not sure about these things. I'm a different creature in the office, and a different creature in the process of being someone for somebody else when force and focus is needed. We are all more than one self within our selves.

Do you see me?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Changing Spaces

you wore the bruising my moving in brought
but we both bear the bruises of my moving out

still, I feel, I bear the burden of understanding for both of us

Mindfulness without compassion

Mindfulness without compassion runs the risk of becoming focused egoism. Call it "self-righteousness syndrome", if you will.

"Mindfulness is both fully embodied and relational. In other words mindfulness is a fundamental practice for getting in touch with our true selves. That true self or true nature is fully embodied. In other words, it doesn’t just exist in our conscious thinking minds; it encompasses our full being including our somatic awareness, gut, heart and breath. But this must also extend beyond our bodies to others to achieve its full significance. In this way what arises out of mindfulness is what matters the most. This is the relational part. So mindfulness fully realised is not just within us, but also between us."

The spiritual aspects of mindfulness through an evidence-based lens

*P.S. You guys, this website has free mindfulness colouring sheets. Whoop.

Friday, April 14, 2017

...and boy are my arms tired

My muscles ache from moving my dreams of our future into a smaller space without you in it. At least, without you in it the way we once wanted you to be.

When fear clouds vision, sometimes people throw in the towel at just the moment that things were beginning to get better.

This is our fulcrum point, from where we move ever forward, propelled into each new morning.

Or, at least, I am moving forward, I am propelled. I grow increasingly worried that you are entropy personified. A slow drip of static sadness that seeps through you and shadows everything, blinds corners, dead-ends roads, and lies to you that everything is lost.

We are not lost. Here's my hand. Open your eyes. Come with me.

*I didn't make that photo but I can't find the original creator, so thanks to them.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Light Switch of Life

We're on. We're off. We're on. We're off.

Yoga completed this morning. Schoolwork submitted on time by the skin of my teeth. Lack of belief and future vision from someone who should know better rocking the foundations, but never crumbling, no, not even close.

My first listverse submission was rejected, so on we go to the next try. - Luckily, I've never cared if my work was rejected. It's something that has served me well over the past decades of sending in poetry.

Proud self moment: even though I've felt like stuffing my face with comfort food, I've maintained my healthy eating.

Currently reading: Devil in the White City

Currently song obsessing over: Ariana Grande/John Legend - Beauty and the Beast; Tori Amos - Parasol

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Into the Fire.

First day down. I'm not sure I'm out of any ashes, and quite frankly my brain feels a bit burnt. However! I did eat healthy all day (although Tricia forgot my promised carrot sticks), I did do yoga in the morning, I did follow through on providing my financial analysis/goals/plan to my husband despite the fact that I really didn't want to do that because he most likely will not find it as inspiring and well-thought out as I do, and I did finish the audiobook I was listening to.

(No, autocorrect, I will not change audiobook to "audio book" just to appease your red right hand.)

I signed up for the Betty Rocker 30 Day Challenge and I'm supposed to begin today, just not at 130am. Perhaps I'll feel more inspired when I wake up. The good news is that my new genetic weight report states that I'm genetically inclined to weigh 5% less than average for my height and age, which would put my estimated average weight at 133, which is actually what I normally do weigh when I'm not recovering from the fury of a body that underwent a very uncomfortable 2nd pregnancy. I'm going to focus on strength and wellness rather than weight, however, because I've been in recovery mode for a decade now and I don't want anything triggering the release of that eating-disordered version of my ego I tranquilized and caged.

Today's little thought poke is Day 1 of 30 Days of Brave: I Am Inspired
Today's Brave Act
Jot out a list of things that inspire you.
1. beautiful days; 2. my daughters' laughter; 3. forgiveness; 4. other's word journeys
Choose one that sticks out.
#4 - other's word journeys
What is it about that one thing that sparks a flame inside you?
seeing others reaching out and grasping to find their own bliss motivates and inspires me to continue to do the same in my life

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Phoenix Season

There are changes coming - to the page and to my life. I'm taking the power back.

I don't have time to write a long update as I'm on my way to work, but I can say that the brand new day has started with a successful round of morning yoga. We are counting every victory here, y'all, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem on the outside.

I was up until 1am finishing up my first submission for listverse, so fingers crossed that they'll accept it. If not, I'll attempt to sell it elsewhere, or I'll just publish it on my hubpages account that has been languishing in the dust as well.

No more languishing dust, from now on I'm stirring things up so we're dancing motes in sunbeams.

I hope you have a wonder filled day!