Saturday, March 26, 2011

Weekly To Do List Review

Work Related
Sign up for additional online course
--Word (started so this week finish)
--Excel (sign up and get started)
Organize desk and desktop
Organize file
Apply to jobs (monthly ttl 22/annual ttl 118/interviews 0)
Call Marie
Call Kirsten (left message)
Email Kirsten

One of these days, I'm going to actually do something about my desk. This week it didn't happen for reasons that will become more clear later.  For now, suffice it to say, I was stopped for reasons within and beyond my control.

Conference Work
Begin mid-month note
Remove poem and transfer to newsletter
Create Poem-a-Day Email list
Write review for Breaking the Silence

Again, shit happens and . . . well, I didn't do much this week.

Get email inbox under 325 unread (currently 350)
Write Patrick (re 2010)
Write Momma (re book and box)
Write Evi (re package)
Write Saila
Write Greg (re holidays)

At least my email is now at 335.  That has to count for something.

Organize shelves in guest room
Clean blinds in great room
Organize shelves in great room
Scrub kitchen floor

I promise, the reason is coming.  Why did I do so little?  

Reiki meditation 5x per week
Update well-being blog twice
Update personal blog twice
Update body blog daily
Study Italian 3x
Yoga daily (mo-tu)
Cardio 5x per week
Strength 3x per week
Write television/movie reviews
Write March newsletter

And on Tuesday I hurt my back.  Yes, my dear readers.  Once again my best laid plans went awry because I do something stupid and then don't do anything else while I recuperate.  I almost started to cry but I reached for a muscle relaxer and slept the rest of the day.  Wednesday I felt only a tightness in my back.  Thursday I did a very gentle yoga practice.  Same with Friday.  This morning, I did a qigong practice since Kanika and I were scheduled to go for a walk.  Only problem is we got our times mixed up and didn't walk.  I still feel like crying because I'm so frustrated with how hard this year has been for me and it feels like it's too much to even get three weeks of consistency out of my schedule.  But fuckit.  Moving on.

Walk with Kanika (Sunday)
Walk with Kanika (Saturday
Schedule new game day

Well, clearly the Saturday walk isn't happening right?  Moving on . . .

Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write Their Bodies
You Can Beat the Odds!
Emotional Freedom
Peace and Plenty

I am loving Stories of Illness and Healing and would honestly recommend it to everyone.  Emotional Freedom is boring me more than Peace and Plenty, which is saying a lot because the latter is pretty damn boring.  At this point, I'm trying to finish the latter just to get it over with.

Write Reviews
Peace and Plenty chapter 4
You Can Beat the Odds

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekly Quotes Part 12

You Can Beat the Odds!

Quoting Roland Nolen
Expecting fairness in life is a gigantic energy waster.  The fact is, once you’re done with the fairness hang-up, you can really make serious progress.  (223)

Reframing a tragic situation or tuning up an unproductive worldview buffers some of the crushing effects of calamities that befall us.  Questioning our automatic assumptions builds a repertoire of positive self-beliefs that support us during periods of crisis and change.  (241)

It is not unusual to react in a time of crisis but, when we choose to live more consciously, more responsively (and responsibly) than reactively, we allow ourselves to make better choices.  Just because we beat ourselves up in the past, doesn't mean we need to do it again.  Just because we didn't duck the first time the shit hit the fan, doesn't mean we shouldn't duck next time.  And just because we're standing, covered in shit, doesn't mean we have to beat ourselves up now.  Just remember to duck next time.

[F]eeling guilty isn’t particularly helpful.  Giving yourself a hard to for not exercising, for example, rarely results in a workout.  More often, negative self-talk is followed by a heavy sigh and a trip to the fridge. . . . (243)

Focusing on our faults and our flaws may actually bring us more of what we don’t want.  By focusing on what we do want more of, maybe more compassion, tolerance, or peace, we’ll be moving in the direction of our goals.  (248)

1.  Is this line of thinking how I want to create my future?
2.  Is it productive?  Is it true?
3.  Is it helping me now? (248)

This is a wonderful list of questions to use when trying to shift from reacting to responding.  Odds are, especially at first, you'll react and then later remember the questions.  But with time, and practice, and more time and a lot of practice, the questions will no longer be necessary because responding will be the knee-jerk reaction rather than an unconscious reaction.

Our meaning is defined in part by our perspective.  (258)

The following are five ways we can interpret illness depending on the meaning we assign to it:
1.  a challenge to be met
2.  a form of punishment
3.  an opportunity for personal growth
4.  an event signifying irreparable loss or damage to ourselves
5.  a welcome escape from responsibilities   (259)

I think this is very interesting because it pretty much covers most of the ways we approach illness.  I was especially intrigued by the second one, "a form of punishment", because this is unfortunately very true.  In a culture where sin and disease are so strongly connected, it should come as no surprise that often the person with a disease feels a guilt and shame associated with it and that some people, even very close friends and family, blame the person for being sick.

Facing our own mortality allows us to appreciate the present, live in the moment, and create a new way of being.  Designing a life that suits us, that stimulates us, one that makes us feel vibrantly and passionately alive, may be our greatest work.  (264)

I just love that last sentence!  I highly recommend this book!  But you already know that if you read my review.

Garland of Love

When we’re afraid it’s because we’ve lost or haven’t yet found the common thread, that which at the center is alike in all of us: that we are human, that we suffer, that we change, that we die.  (March 21)

[A]lthough we all tend to hope that life will be simple, that things will stay as they are, we also need to welcome the changes of life–of growth, of loss, of altered circumstances.  (March 23)

During my Qigong practice this morning, the teacher mentioned how working with energy, doing energy practices like qigong or yoga, helps the person to flow with the changes in life.  The internal work of moving energy in the body, of sitting in silent meditation, etc., grounds the self so that when changes in life come, as they inevitably will, the self is untouched, unmoved, even in the face of change.

Romancing the Ordinary

[E]valuate the importance of wearable clothing by asking each piece these four questions:
When were you last used or worn?
Did I feel beautiful or comfortable in you?
When and how could you be used or worn in the future?
If I were moving instead of cleaning, would I take you with me?   (137)

I really need to clean out my closets but I am still hoping I'll lose weight.

Quoting Dominique Browning
Let go of the people who cause you constant pain; let go of the negativity that colors a room more darkly than any coat of paint.  Keep close the people you love, the ones who stay engaged and open to life, who bring joy and peace to the house and garden.  (140)

I think it's important to recognize the darkness we carry within, to consciously choose to let it go as best we can.  There is a time and place.  Sometimes we need to set aside our grief or anger just long enough to get through the moment.  Going to work angry won't make the day go by faster and going to a party depressed won't make the sadness go away.  But when we can set these aside, nurture these emotions in the right time and place, then we can trust that we aren't carrying this kind of darkness with us everywhere we go.  Whenever I have sensed people pulling away from me, it is not because they did not care to connect but could not reach me, typically because I was so consumed with my own feelings that I wouldn't let them touch me.  Too raw in my own emotions, connecting in any way seemed like an invitation to more pain.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Things to Think by Robert Bly

One of the hardest things to do is to change the way we think, to reframe our knee jerk reaction to things like a telephone ringing or a knock at the door is yet another unwanted interruption.  This poem, by Robert Bly, from his collection Morning Poems is a wonderful reminder to allow miracles to come in wonderful ways, to be open to the moment, whatever the moment may be.  To be soft and to trust . . .

Things to Think

Think in ways you've never thought before.
If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
Larger than anything you've ever heard,
Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.
Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,
Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose
Has risen out of the lake, and he's carrying on his antlers
A child of your own whom you've never seen.
When someone knocks on the door, think that he's about
To give you something large: tell you you're forgiven,
Or that it's not necessary to work all the time,
Or that it's been decided that if you lie down no one will die.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Little Satia Trivia

One time poor Rob and I were dragged to a karaoke night.  Neither of us is terribly fond of such things but I figured I'd have a little fun.  I chose this song to sing because it is such a perverse song and doesn't reflect my approach to relationships as all.  Plus it's a pretty sexy song to sing.  At least the audience seemed to think so.  I don't think they were listening to the lyrics however.

A Poem from Vertigo Verses

To Tell the Truth 

It gets weary explaining the differences between
Vestibular and cervical, and google searches
Lead to U2 mp3s and graphic novels but
Never to anything close to an answer or cure.

Maybe someday I will come to forgive
Bono and Gaiman for confusing the issue
But that will only be sometime before
I forgive the doctors for not knowing
How to make it all go away forever.

Miss Jackson and Meatloaf may not need me
To come to their defense but I’m the one who hides
Afraid that people will think it’s all in my head
Just some psychosomatic psychosis unable to cope
With the reality of getting old or being sober.

The audacity of invisible illnesses,
Misdiagnoses, and inconclusive tests.
Point a finger of blame where nothing stands,
Where beliefs sway in the wind of judgment,
Where Gaiman humanizes Death to feel grounded.

I am never sure of this piece.  It's so full of pop references and I doubt most people get them all because my eclectic taste in things tends to keep me all over the map.  In light of earlier comments, I figured I'd toss this out.  Two weeks in a row with some old poem pulled from an even older file?  Wow.

Two Weeks and Counting

Scary as it is to say, two weeks from today I shall turn 49.  I still haven't stopped celebrating my birthday.

I sent my loved ones my J list of gifts.  Every year I create a new wish list.  This began one year with the letter F when everything on my list, without planning it, began with the letter F.  Since then, I've had the fun of creating new wish lists that are determined by the next letter in the alphabet.  So J includes Jack Johnson and Judy Garland and juggling and Juno and journaling.

But I have other lists.

Like my graphic novel wish list.

Or my crafting wish list.

And more.  There's a Bibi wishlist and a list of coloring books (I kid you not) and one that's strictly exercise videos and yet another that lists movies and music I would like to own.

The longest list is the Neverending To Be Read List which is currently at 327 items.  I can't read nearly as quickly as I can add to my own list.  Oh well . . .

So mark your calendars and get ready for my big 49 on April 4.  Woohoo!