Friday, July 11, 2014

Weekly Quotes Part 27

The Mindfulness Path to Self-Compassion 

Sadness is a “soft” emotion—there can be an opening to others, a readiness to receive help.  Anger and hatred, in contrast, are “hard” emotions that flatly reject others.  Soft feelings—sadness, guilt, rejection, embarrassment—require that we befriend them and go through them, feel them until they pass on their own.  Hard feelings like anger require different treatment.  We “let go” or “abandon” anger and hatred, whereas soft feelings become workable when we pass through them.  When we let go of hard feelings, we usually discover soft feelings underneath.  For example, beneath anger is often longing for connection, fear, sadness, or loss.  (117)

We don’t want to eliminate negative feelings—we just don’t want to get stuck on them.  (117)

A review of over 225 published papers showed that positive emotions are related to happiness, and happy people are more likely to be successful in life and resilient in the face of misfortune.  They’re more creative, less racially biased, more likely to succeed to work, and have more satisfactory relationships  (120)

Research shows that expressing anger actually increases the likelihood that we’ll get angry again.  The only way to reduce anger is to stop practicing it—to stop feeding the emotional habit.  (120)

Loving-kindness meditation uses the power of connection, whereas mindfulness meditation primarily uses attention.  (132-133)

Misquoting Jesus

This is not a dispute between scholars who think the text has been altered and those who think it has not.  Everyone knows that the text has been changed; the only question is which reading represents the alteration and which represents the earliest attainable form of the text.  Here scholars sometimes disagree.  (94)

Clearly, the predictors of doom in our own age—the Hal Lindseys (author of The Late Great Planet Earth) and the Timothy LaHayes (coauthor of the Left Behind series)—have had their predecessors, just as they will have their successors, world without end.  (110)

There is even better evidence than this speculative question of which reading the scribes were more likely to invent.  As it turns out, we don’t have any Greek manuscripts of Mark that contain this passage [Mark 1:39-45] until the end of the fourth century, nearly three hundred years after the book was produced.  But we do have two authors who copied this story within twenty years of its first production.  (135)

It is obviously important to know whether Jesus was said to feel compassion or anger in Mark 1:41; whether he was calm and collected or in deep distress in Luke 22: 43-44; and whether he was said to die by God’s grace or “apart from God” in Heb. 2:9.  (149)

The New Testament itself emerge out of these conflicts over God )or the gods), as one group of believers acquired more converts than all the others and decided which books should be included in the canon of scripture.  (153)

The Happiness Project

I’m not happy unless I think I’m happy—and by pushing myself to be mindful of my happiness, I can truly experience it.  (285)

When I was feeling unhappy, I felt dispirited, lethargic, defensive, and uninterested in other people; even worse, when I felt angry or resentful, I searched for excuses to feel even more angry and resentful.  On the other hand, when I felt happy, I was more likely to be lighthearted, generous, creative, kind, encouraging, and helpful.  (285)

The Art of Storytelling

Communication is a skill that can be learned.  This is done one step at a time.  (84)

People tend to believe what they see instead of what they hear.  (100)

For simple occasions, the easiest way to warm up is to quietly sing a variety of songs.  I usually choose songs that force me to go from low to high.  In addition, I do the normal “ha, ha, ha, he, he, he, ho, ho ho, hu, hu, hu” exercises.  (109)

[N]ervousness is not a weakness at all.  (115)

[T]he power is in the story—not my comments about it.  (134)

Letter to a Christian Nation

Understand that the way you view Islam is precisely the way devout Muslims view Christianity.  (7)

To the degree that our actions can affect the experience of other creatures positively or negatively, questions of morality apply.  (8)

If you think that Christianity is the most direct and undefiled expression of love and compassion the world has ever seen, you do not know much about the world’s other religions.  (11)

Admonishments of this kind [The Ten Commandments] are found in virtually every culture throughout recorded history.  (21)

People have been cherry-picking the Bible for millennia to justify their every impulse, moral and otherwise.  (38)

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Weekly Weigh-In While on Bed Rest

I lost 2 lbs this week, which is truly remarkable.


Well, if you read my blog post on Sunday then you know I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and was put on bed rest.  As a result, I haven’t been able to do much.  Part of the weight loss is probably due to the adverse effects of the prescription I was given.   I mean, you can’t have bloody diarrhea and not lose a pound or two.

Still, I went ahead and did a little exercise.  Abs and upper body.  I wish I could do something for my legs, some stretches, some yoga, but I’m extremely limited.  Limited because I have to be careful not to hurt myself.  

In the meantime, I’ve signed myself up for physical therapy.  We’re just waiting for the insurance and such to go through.  Then the physical therapist will teach me how to strengthen my leg without causing any more damage to my knee. 

I do what I can and that’s really all I can do.  All I ever can do.   

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Weekly Update: Discouraging Diagnosis and Dependent Independence Day

Using a cane.
On Tuesday I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my knee.  By this point, it had been swollen and hurting for nearly two weeks.  So an x-ray and quick exam later, I was diagnosed and sent on my way with a prescription in hand. 

I wish I could tell you that my leg is better but that is not the case.  On Friday the medicine I was taking made me sick.  I had no choice but to stop taking the one thing that was supposed to help the swelling in my knee to go down.  I was so sick I didn’t even want to take anything else.  In fact, I felt so badly, I had to tell Kanika I wouldn’t be coming to her party after all. 

That didn’t keep us from not making something for the party.  It was a luau themed party so we made a Hawaiian cole slaw with mandarin oranges and pineapple.  It was good but I only had a taste because I sent Rob to the party without me.

Not the way either of us wanted to spend our Independence Day.

The truth is, I am not handling this recent diagnosis very well.  During the exam, the doctor kept asking me if I am a runner.  This is not a surprising question.  I often get this because of my low blood pressure and slow heartbeat.  Low blood pressure plus slow heartbeat is common for highly athletic people so I had to tell her that I am not a runner.  The conversation went like this:
Are you a runner?
What about when you were younger?  Did you run?
Were you athletic in school?
(snort)  I was a bookworm.
I said this last and glanced at the book I had sitting on the exam table, the one I was reading while waiting for her to come to the room and give me my exam. 

So she told me what to do for my osteoarthritis.
  1. Lose weight
  2. Do yoga
  3. Tai-chi or Qi Gong
  4. Walking
  5. Water exercises

Something good
happened this week
Actually, she didn’t tell me I had to lose weight.  She was impressed with what I do for exercise and asked me about work.  When I told her I had a temporary job where I was standing up and standing and sitting down a lot, she made it apparent that it would have been better for my job to just allow me to sit down.  Water under the bridge because I did the best I could do under the circumstances and we all know how that turned out.

Which is why I’m feeling discouraged.  Can you blame me?  Everything I should be doing to take care of my knee I’m doing, have been doing, and/or am trying to do, and it’s not enough to keep me pain free.  And now I have another incurable condition to add to my list of conditions that will never ever go away but only get worse as I get older. 

Oh joy.

My step-father's childhood friend
died this week.
In other news, we bought a second crate for Holly.  We suspect that, in her past, she was a puppy-mill dog, forced to give birth to litters of pretty-as-she puppies.  My guess is that she was put into a crate with another dog for that purpose which is why, when we tried to put her into a crate with Snowdoll, she would freak out.  As it is, she goes into her own crate with more ease.  More ease doesn’t mean easily but she wasn’t freaking out to the same degree as before.  And it made taking me to the doctor easier. 

I’ve been home and on bed rest since Tuesday.

That’s been my week.  Adding to the “crazy” that seems to be par for the course this year and not changing any time soon. I’m still not able to walk without a cane and I’m beginning to find the bed an oppressive place to be.  Judging by the way my knee feels today, I am not leaving the bed any time soon.  So I need to figure out how to make this more fun.  Watch out!  Next week I may not have much to share about where I went but I’m pretty sure I’ll have some news about what I did.

I mean, besides going back to the doctor because, after nearly a week of bed rest if I'm still in pain, I obviously need to do something more.