Being Bipolar isn't EASY

and the Art of Slowing it Down

Tag Archives: Freedom

I yield to God

Warning: The following is highly personal & daily LOVE from one of many fearless leaders blogging today

I yield to God or at least I think I can. How well or not well one knows one another has little bearing in SM (Social Media) IMO. Matters little where care/concern, voices/truths are expressed/considered. But alas there in lies my problem with the crickets (I LOVE your hearts): so much is wasted largely on part of keeping up with the Jone’s and FOMO (fear of missing out).

It’s a much more powerful tool than we allow. Try as I might to make it a better tool. A tool that I both need and want. A complete luxury, I am aware WordPress. You have my permission to go ahead & crown ME.

But ppl, you ppl, are so much better than Google in a land with few Western or English resources. I post here to work things out and am most grateful that you listen but I’d really like to chat more with you; listen to your advice.

Maybe look at my naivety this way? ATM moment for all intents and purposes I am nobody & have done little. I might have 1000 friends/followers between FB, IG & WP – some are duplicates – and that’s GREAT. Really great!

But Leo, The Nerdy Lion, here is most right!

All my blogging, posts, replies & personal and intimate emails (writing) with friends etc.. have been enough. I have found my Voice. I need not look ANY further.

I have most everything that I need besides your chirping lol and so I declined a suggestion to learn how to speak from the Heart (which I am to do in my writing) by taking a class. I’m just gonna write the fcuking book.

There I said it.

Now I have to do it! <inject utter & daunting fear> MVMB, now I have fear… If you follow me here – you know: vulnerability is my path.

I need not be normal nor popular. And I do not have the desire for approval nor recognition. Certainly nobody needs to give me permission. 🙂

But I do desperately desire to know if what concerns me resonates or makes one think or is supportive. It effects the keeping up with the Jone’s and the FOMO’s – a well known human behavior. But it took me so many years to understand that I do have it, because many of you that I follow here or elsewhere or have read etc. (you get the point) have it! So #thankyou.

I deeply thank you for your existence because, and I quote Dani Shapiro, it’s our job, our responsibility (good word responsibility), perhaps even our sacred calling to take whatever life has handed us.

I’m a REAL Princess

Drum roll please? …I’ve decided not to keep my Pen Name, Princess Marksalot. Not to bore you but, while I mourn through it, I’d like to share again that it did have meaning.

One of my Grandmothers, sweet Gma Kay, was an albeit far – lol – descendant of American Indian royalty (so that makes me a REAL Princess) and in Architecture School amongst other more figurative aspects of my life – I’m an editor. As embarrassing as it is, I never mustered a professional grade balsa wood model but I was voted most poetic. 🤗

And, those that follow me closely know that I’m always neurotically editing my Social Media posts, my blogs etc.. So I’ll give you a little insight. (I love being an open book.) I don’t think anything is ever FINAL – and as a Creative constantly designing… as if life’s demonstrable motto is, and everything that I do, an ever evolving work of Art – dare I say masterpiece???

Yeah, I know that that might sound a ‘lil grandiose (I am bipolar & I didn’t sleep much last night) but am most comfortable w/ that so feel free to sprinkle rainbow fairy dust on me, will ya??? I also love using a proverbial eraser ✏️ and the lead smudges that come with it. So do you get it now? Marks a lot???

Further I’m all abt Kintsugi pottery, hence the picture here. If you don’t know, as told by the Modern Gypsy: “Kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending broken objects using gold or silver epoxy. The Japanese believe that when something has suffered damage (and suffer mental damage I did/do) and has a history (that we all do too), it becomes more beautiful”. I see ME, my motto, really the same thing… so maybe I should have been Princess Kintsugi, always in a state of “golden repair”, but it’s kinda too late to change as I’ve been branded.

Those that matter will stay. Those that hate it will unfollow me. And that’s a-okay b/c I aim to show you that I care!! …get it marks a lot (of people). Quick – somebody call a doctor? I am delusional. 😂 😂 😂 I’ll shut up after I say this: it’s all so v personal – how to recover from Mental Illness, there is NO Cure! We’re all so v different.

Make me not belabor you but remind you of a little thing called DNA… So for those of you reading this that do not suffer, as poorly, mentally. We all suffer some IMO. We desperately need to get comfortable with this uncomfortable space.

We all really need to get past our insecurities, is that the right word, fear might be a better word… and talk abt Mental Health to bust the stigma. So say Goodbye to Princess Marksalot, with me – will ya?

I mean well. 🙏 your new & improving, Jessica Kaushik

The Devil is in the (Mental Health) detail, Mies

Don’t ask me why, but (I’m trying to use the word “but” less these days) I prefer to do things the HARD way. The very hard way!

I.e. It wasn’t until most recent years, and I just turned forty-four (44) that I learned to appreciate how our great big beautiful world works. How friends & family, including friends of friends and friends of family, can give you a ‘step up’, help you with that often ever so hard rung on the ladder.

If you can imagine I preferred to do things alone. ME, myself and I. It’s not that I’m not a collaborator. I am. I won’t use a superlative but most creatives need to be… it’s just that I never needed, scratch that – wanted – help. …I should clarify, the type of help that could maybe get one a job that one isn’t really qualified for.

…But now, @44, I am so very over “ME, myself & I” (if you have this/that neurosis – I encourage you to just STOP while your ahead & get over it now too), which brings me to the thought of the evening, It’s 1:04am where I am (I’m drinking coffee), and although I’ve written about the under cover agents/ physicians/ policemen that have haunted me in the past (Note to Reader: Maybe see https://beingbipolarisnteasy.com/2014/09/07/4cici/) there have also been angels, including President’s of the United States of America.

Yep!? That’s how bad this sh*t has gotten in the past), that have – are you sitting down? – stalked me. …Ooooooooooh! She just said it?!?!?!!? Ooooooooooh…………. is Princess Marksalot’s next mission to find out who her stalkers were/are?

And RED FLAG! RED FLAG!! …did she just use the word “are”?????

Fudge.

Mr. Remarkable, Honey, if your now on the other side of the world reading this, there’s NO need to panic and hop on a plane to come rescue me as you tried a few short weeks ago, but it’s true. Very true.

You may as well know THE TRUTH! I am so broken that ever since the very beginning in the Nation’s Capitol when I ran into George Washington Hospital, was it?, kicking & screaming “Protect ME, Protect my family”… you know the drill (Reader’s I elude to that fateful day often here in my posts) all of my MAJOR EPISODES and I guess very small ones, like we are experiencing now revolve around me being stalked.

Yes, that’s a fighting word. And a pretty legal term at that! It’s just that it breaks my heart to report that since that Labor Day weekend in 1999 or whatever (I can’t be bothered to cross-check & be most accurate ATM) …if I comes up in a Court of Law, I have the year. I remember the faces. The pendant… not!

Sadly, I CANNOT remember that pendant AND I desperately want to!!! The Activist & ever so Fashionista in me WANTS to wear a “pendant” of her own.

If I were a betting woman, I’d say it was GOLD! Solid gold. Every pun intended. (Note to reader: At the very least, I’d like to recover the DIY stained glass that I painted while talking to the pendant; I mean Art Support Staff. …like that’s ever gonna happen.)

But I digress. I’m not going to share my secret’s/ connections/ links via psychotic associations ATM, maybe not publically nor privately maybe not ever – a girl’s gotta hold onto something – rather (notice how I didn’t say “but” – insert grin) poke around here if your interested. Dappled in this blog are myriads of sites that I follow. Love Wiki. And/or some of my Hero’s, big & small – known and unkown.

Outside of these pictures that I often pilfer off the Internet, to visually articulate the title of my posts, I try very hard to give credit where credit is due.

That said. This, above, is a picture of my own. You can tell by the fingerprints. :) By the lot of marks. Ha! That’s a stretch. …Marksalot. I crack myself up & can be so v unintentionally cryptic. A beautiful ‘invisible single display book shelf’ from Barnes & Noble for less than 4USD.

Sadly, if you want one (1) of your own, you’ll have to run to the nearest store – as they were marked down 75% in the gift section in recent months.

It is a great way to make utterly beautiful Art. One just has to spend their money on the books! How very clever and poetic is the man/woman that came up with the idea. I hope he/she is absofuckinglutely rich by now. I have that their muse is wealthy…

I managed to acquire four (4). For ME. The lucky ME!

For a set of Edward Tufte’s four (4) graphic related books. Four (4) of these https://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/books_vdqi. Saw somewhere; too tired to look for the link tonight but somewhere the Tufte organization makes a recommendation for his top four (4) best sellers, I guess.

Must publish this now & order them right quick! My mama wants me to “go back to bed”!?!?!?!? <insert sigh> She’s right.

Peace out people. /\

Is God out there or in here?

15JA2014InspiredHeavenInTheClouds

I don’t know about you BUT I believe that my faith is in large part responsible for my stability. Even when I was totally psychotic and undedicated I was able to hold my shit together & conceal it from others for months at a time. (You’ll note that I have no idea what the psychological ramifications are of that.)

 

And so, to get the conversation rolling, I share with you now that I recently stumbled upon two (2) questions that I diligently saved to ponder at the appropriate time. I.e. When I was ready! In no shape or form am I “certified” to answer these questions. I am no expert on the topic, I merely have had a relationship with God since I was in my early teens!? So I can only start from a co-creative space!

 

But now that I say that, I am reminded that God presented him/herself to me much earlier. When I was about five (5) I guess. For a long while, often in the morning after a good nights sleep, I would regale to my mother about my OTHER mother. The one that came to me in my dreams!

 

She was every imaginable color in the Universe. Not only her medusa like hair? was colorful but her garb was not unlike Joseph’s in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Part of me wonders today if my Mother might have seen the Musical when I was in her womb as it did hit the stage in 1973, the year that I as born. …But that is highly unlikely it didn’t hit Broadway until about ten (10) years later AND my parents lived in Ohio at the time. Suffice it to say I am comfortable with the idea that she may have read about it!

 

But more about my OTHER mother. She had a gazillion children. In real life I only had one (1) sister, five (5) years my senior. But in my dreams I was part of a much larger family. I had brothers and sisters, each a solid color. I may have been purple, to this day it remains my favorite color but regretfully, I have no idea what color I was! <insert sigh> And we had pets! Our pets were striped, polka dotted and zig zagged as you may have guessed by now! We lived in beautiful rolling hills not unlike those in the Sound of Music… You can imagine, at five (5)?, I loved my rainbow colored and patterned family and our slice of heaven on what I perceived to be earth!

 

But I digress. Now that you have a small inkling of where I am coming from, I will share the questions that I found so valuable to store away in a safe place for a rainy day, or in this case a sleepless night. Again, I am no expert I am merely in a Spiritual Partnership with the Creator of All there is & ever was… So here goes nothing!

 

1) Are we a part of God or are we separate entirely?

 

Uh! Definitely, a part of God/Universe.

 

As I share with my son. God lives in us. We live in God. We humans are merely the shells protecting our truths. The truth that everything that there ever was began and continues to persist out of great love.

 

Practically every morning after I sing “Rise & Shine and give God your glory” I put on Elizabeth Mitchell’s “So Glad I’m here”. If you don’t know it I encourage you to check it out. In one version, she starts by clapping! <insert smile> It’s terribly uplifting! And she goes on to say “Love brought me here” and I am confident that that’s the ultimate truth!

 

2) Is God out there or in here?

 

Oh! Maybe I already answered this? …I repeat: God lives in us. We live in God. So I guess, if you allow, I will say: both! Typically I don’t like to stand on the fence. I have been known to be a very pick sides kind of girl. Very principled.

 

The more I commit to my meditation practice, the deeper I get, the less I see, I know that the bliss that I feel is emanating from inside of ME! It’s an awesome and humbling feeling that I hope and pray many of you know.

 

But the amazing stuff is that we all get to witness, when we open our eyes and hearts, I believe, is that God is all around us. The Universe is working for us, every second of everyday.

 

With that I leave you with this seed of advice. Accept the disease if you will, disorder if you prefer, that the Creator of All things has bestowed on you, me, us… Be grateful for the insight and awareness that dealing with a …misfortune teaches you on your, operative word “your”, path in this lifetime. Consider how you can help/relate to others, potentially in different circumstances due to your diagnosis.

 

If you already pray consider starting a different practice just sit/stand/walk/ lie down and quiet your mind by not holding on to your thoughts, let everything that arises in you go, so that you can listen to yourself. And breathe. Feel your body fill with life on your inhale and release any & all negative crapola on your exhale. Some call it meditating, I wouldn’t go so far. I call it centering.

 

You can do it any time of day to reach your belief system.

got a bathtub?

image

As I writhed in my bed, desperate to get back to sleep, after being rudely awaken by some noisy tourists the other night, my husband had a novel idea; he suggested that I take a bath!

??? It did not compute! That’s not something that I can recall doing since I was either pregnant or when my son was a newborn… Mind you, I take baths all the time, well every other day, BUT those are more work and most certainly not like the bath that I had then nor am having now, for pleasure!

If you haven’t taken a real bath, a water bath, in a while I don’t know how to impress upon you that you should. The title of this post is a play on the “got milk?” campaign & my feeble attempt to get you to take a water bath more. I for one am going to continue to try, perhaps not after I put my son to bed, that’s QT time for my hub and I, but after I wake up my computer in the middle of the night & write.

…but before I diminish what I do here let me share that frankly, it occurs to me that, my blogging is a mental bath! Writing cleanses my soul. Often I just have to get things off my chest in order to move on. If your like me I encourage you to try it all the more!

And with that comes the realisation that you may already do; there are many more blogs out there than we know about. My best friend has a blog, it’s old school & called a journal. It may very well be much more accessible to her than this here is to ME, as she keeps it in her purse, but I wonder if it’s as constructive!?

Although I envy her pen to paper, my journals were/are never constructive they were/are mere recordings and a place to bitch, whine & complain… I didn’t come to realisations the way that I do here when I write and I think that’s because I have you, an audience. I have someone to write for, someone to edit for. My blog challenges me to attempt to complete a thought, come full circle, find answers, suggest solutions…

It’s unrealistic, today as I’ve just rediscovered the water bath, to think that I am strong enough to suppress my extroversion and reach for the faucet first to cure my insomnia – often I feel that I am going to burst if I do not record myself, either verbally or in written form!? Writhing in bed, tossing and turning, alone with my thoughts, is a royal waste of time. Soaking in a tub while writing seems so much more productive, no?

It is important now to note that a deep(er) relaxation is coming from having a good sit, reflecting on the fact that Rome wasn’t built in one day. I am no different. I am a work in progress! Unless your a genius or child prodigy, great things take an inordinate amount of time. Even small things like a good cup of tea needs to brew, coffee needs to percolate & fine wine needs to age!

The change indicative of such a realisation that I need to be patient, to take time, to respect the natural order of things! Change is hard & doesn’t come overnight but if I make more time for baths I trust that slowly & for good… the inner fulfilment that I seek from honouring my calling will come. I may not be able to run today but I certainly can see myself tip toeing toward the light and perhaps that’s just the sign that I am looking for – the sign of a good bath?

Note to reader: It’s bad for us to wake up our devices in the middle of the night… I recently read in BP Hope: “Prolonged exposure to our devices at night throws off the natural cycle of melatonin production, a hormone that regulates our sleep-wake rhythms. People with bipolar tend to be especially susceptible to such disruptions – which is why experts recommend both maintains a regular sleep schedule and shutting off your computer or phone early in the evening.”

Idiosynchronicity

image

I wouldn’t wish it on my four (4) year old son but I am acutely idiosyncratic. If you need a refresher on what it means or its common synonyms, kindly google it? I see no point in copying the definition here!

A handful of people, in recent years, have told me that I am also real, interesting, insightful, refreshing & even funny. And so I choose to believe them!

Countless others have also communicated under no uncertain terms that I am also a royal pain in the ass because I do not follow common social rules of engagement. But I am okay with that! I am OKAY with being a pain in the ass, after all I am the problem child – the middle child… it’s all I know?!

The problem is it’s LONELY! And yet to get out of bed everyday I tell myself: “It’s not me. It’s everyone else in this damn world that has got it wrong.” I know how to get my point across & am not afraid of having the conversation that no one wants to have. I am not afraid of using words creatively, liberally & succinctly.

And in that way, I am unique!

It’s very sad to admit but it is below me to acculturate!!! The thought of communicating about things that we are all very well aware of, like the weather, makes me want to carve my eyes out of my head! I want to have important conversations with value with real people that matter. And it is in that quest that I continue to learn how different we all are!

Note to reader: I might not look nor dress like Uldus Bakhtiozina in the picture above; I tell myself it’s what’s on the inside that counts! ;) She has a great talk also about her photography & fighting stereotypes on TED if you haven’t seen it!

Perseverance

I don’t know that this is the right forum to discuss this but I want to talk about recognition. So here’s my spin on recognition with relationship to this blog, my blog.

Since September, when I came out, my blog has received approximately 137 views a month. That’s huge in comparison to the 216 views that I averaged per year since I started writing in January of 2011. And those are just the ones that get recorded! I cannot explain the increase in visitors but assume that http://www.beingbipolarisnteasy.com is showing up more often in searches now that I have gotten some traffic with the help of my friends.

Obviously, Mental Health is a popular topic in American, so I have plenty of fellow American viewers but what amazes me is that peeps from Brazil, Italy, the UK, France, Portugal, Canada and South Africa regularly visit my blog. Hell I have even had viewers from Egypt & Montenegro?!

The thing about being able to view the stats is that the public acknowledgment, acceptance, admission… approval, validation feels good. It makes my efforts official. Note to reader: The key word is “public”. Most of my viewers keep their visits “private”. Nonetheless, I find it empowering even if you readers don’t acknowledge my writing by commenting or liking my post. I know that I am being watched… I know because I watch you. It’s a little narcissistic. No?

I may only have 60 WordPress.com followers & 242 Facebook followers and that’s …something. I should say “and that’s enough”… but if truth be told, I cannot because I salivate so much that I have to wipe my drool with my shirt sleeve when I see the hundreds of likes and commentary on other popular bipolar blogs. It’s not the attention but the conversations that are being had elsewhere that I envy!

You see I aim to be an open book, honest about my experiences in hopes of helping bust the stigma of what it’s like to be creative & mentally handicapped but as far as I can judge the thing of it is, is that my stories are not average and I cannot acculturate.

I do not suffer nor cope apparently the way the typical bipolar does, I blame a large part of it on my spiritual practice – yoga, & therefore I can only assume that people, that do not practice yoga, cannot identify with ME. And that’s where the recognition or lack there of rubs. It would be easier if people accepted ME into the social process of blogging but because I do not fit into the socially accepted bipolar identity I am reduced to an outcast.

And yet I try to stay positive. So if you are reading this, accept my appreciation to all of you that read my blog. Writing isn’t easy and so I will persevere. I am just trying to take action, face the stigma & increase public awareness – possibly change THE WORLD (views). ;)

And so as I often do; I leave you with this: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2015/7-Things-To-Remember-about-Mental-Health?utm_source=social&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=blog

In My Opinion

IMO had I not told my now husband, a few short weeks after we met, when I was thirty four (34) that I moved back into my parents house to get medicated for & stable with my “BIPOLAR” condition, we might not be together today! You see, I had a vision & a belief that my future could have a different story than the one that I had been living/ struggling with on my own…

Kindly read this article now so that you can appreciate where I am coming from! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/11/mental-illness-shame_n_7204676.html?utm_hp_ref=stronger-together&utm_content=bufferf56f9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Further I might not have been blessed with a child, because I had fertility issues in my late twenties (Note to reader: We were preggers a short six (6) months after marriage.), and I might not live in Macau… Ha! Not that Macau is any great shakes, IMO, but it does afford me the privilege to travel internationally & appreciate the limits of our greater world, first hand.

And that got me reflecting – had I been honest with my employers I a) may have been paid better, Bipolar’s are known for their creativity, or b) I potentially may not have so easily quit & or been fired from many a good job prior to meeting my hub.

All that said, I know how tough it can be! It still took me a good five (5) years later to “come out” to my larger network of family and friends and I still haven’t come out here, behind this blog?!

After Robin Williams suicide, a light bulb went off in my head and it occurred to me that IMO: “honesty IS the best policy” and amazingly I have found in less than a year that I am more comfortable not hiding behind a secret/lie… whichever way you choose to look at it! (Note to reader: Now I believe that not being true to myself and fair to those around me by being an open book was both; a secret & a lie!)

Additionally I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to enjoy the joys of advocacy. I wouldn’t be able to help friends old and new. Some times it is not so obvious but years and years of therapy has taught me how to dissect what’s behind our words and actions. Mind you it’s only my opinion, at the end of the day, but it helps me analytically juggle my interactions and those of others IMO. Lol; are you tiring of all the IMO’s?

Even more importantly perhaps it has made me hypersensitive to my alcohol fetish. I cannot say “alcohol addiction” because I often choose to pair my drink with my food in a very rudimentary non-sommelier way. (Note to reader: If you haven’t read some of my other recent posts, you may want to stop now and read another breaking ground study: http://www.thelocal.no/20150427/norway-study-substance-abuse-related-to-mental-health.)

The saddest thing about this reality: “that people living with a mental illness choose not to seek treatment for their disorder due to fear of judgment is the loss” is that it cuts both ways. Loving a person that is mentally unstable may not be the easiest thing to do. IMO they can be less rational, practical, logical, hold grudges longer, literally imagine that the sky is falling when the shit hits the fan but the breakups and the havoc that they wreck on both parties is so very not worth it. Sand bagging relationships is not worth it. Sticking to your guns to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is!

And to think that this very common occurrence could easily be remedied with three (3) simple words: “I am _______.” Here, I challenge you, all of you – clinically unstable or not to fill in the blank. If you can’t I encourage you to write to Encyclopedia Britannica because the world needs to record that there is one “PERFECT” person in this crazy world.

The point here is this: never be ashamed of your _______. It might not be pretty but admitting that you have a _______ might be the first step towards making it work for you. Dig up the courage to look past your limits & listen to Caroline Casey, “being absolutely true to yourself is freedom”. Here I have chosen to share her TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/caroline_casey_looking_past_limits

…I know it may be hard to admit our weaknesses, shortcomings and failures but it’s so very exhausting trying to being perfect. When reality not a single one of us is. IMO we all need therapy. We are all some shade of fucked up. Some of us are just more open and honest about it than others.

It is my hope that you find this post supportive and that its helps give you the ability to believe that you can get past your _______. I hope that ME and my stories encourage you to be yourself! Trust that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

At the end of the day, my message is this, I am glad that I told some random guy that I had barely even kissed in a town that I had no intention of staying in why I was very nervous to be HIS date to his birthday party. What I learned through my sharing is what Caroline Casey learned: “When you make a decision at the right time, in the right place – the Universe makes it happen for you!”

An Interview with ME

0207_AZ

This is a picture of ME! Can you believe it? After all these years, I am posting a real picture of me, HERE? Caroline Myss’s snap shot, that I posted earlier today (OH wait! That was yesterday…) encouraged me to do it! So, IF you see me on the street, feel free to stop me in my tracks (I like to make tracks) and say hello? I’d love to know what you think about my blog! That said, you still might have to call ME, Princess Marksalot as I am not considering to reveal my real name to the general public until I finish my Screenplay… am thinking that that will be my real debut! Am still tossing some names around for it but it might be called “Being Bipolar isn’t EASY” or bBiE for short… That said, I do intend to share more of my crazy stories one day, they will certainly be in the movie, but as of late it’s been all these posts have been FEEL GOOD… so read on? Get to know ME more intimately?

Who are you? I’m Princess Marksalot; a.k.a. my childhood hero: Pippi! Or you could “Call ME Cliff”, that’s a private joke but I’d probably respond!

Date of Birth? Oh that’s a touchy subject, I’ll give you the year BUT people in my immediate family are super paranoid about identity theft… so suffice it to say, I like to keep them happy & will share, 1973! …I am an OX according to the Chinese Zodiac and a Virgo in the West.

Where do you come from? All over! I was born in Akron then I moved to Germanton (Memphis) at the age of three. I think after that I went to Dallas, then on to Phoenix and New Canaan. My dad was climbing a corporate ladder… which fell out from under him when I started college. During my stint in New Canaan, I was an exchange student in Lisboa… but I digress, I went to college in Cincinnati, DAAP was a great school – don’t know how it ranks today, but when I went t was in the top five (5) for Architecture Schools! During my stint in Ohio again, I was an exchange student in Kobenhaven. (The most beautiful women in the world live in Kobenhaven… note to self, I do not live there!) oh & also New York – how could I forget New York?! I spent most if not all of my co-ops in NYC… After graduating, I moved to New York close to my best friend and my older sister. I fell in love, hard, and followed Scum Lazy-ass Moron, as we will forever refer to him, back to Phoenix. When that fell apart I moved to DC, where I proceeded to loose my mind?! But I loved every second of it! Then to save myself from drowning in my own thunderstorm, I moved to Las Vegas, met my night in shining armor, had a child & begun a life as an expat in Macao (China).

What do you live for? My family. My interests are Architecture, Graphic Design, Photography, cooking, party planning (I love planning a good party), Yoga, traveling & of course writing but I live for my family. One day I hope to live for something greater, …am currently learning how to be a Bipolar & Yoga advocate but my family keeps me going! I am a pretty good wife, mom, daughter & sister if you ask ME, but I am biased of course…

What project ‘s’ are you working on? Well, I have this blog that I get around to in my spare time, which is usually when insomnia strikes, and I have three (3) Facebook pages one for the blog, one for yoga and my own of course (I really love connection). I teach Yoga out of my home, I just became a teacher this year, and dream of opening a Studio one day! Then there’s my 7th Wedding Anniversary party and a Wellness Day in Macao & my Hindi lessons… but, the coolest project by far, outside my son – can I call my son a “project”? lol – is my Screenplay! That I am really proud of! It’s an autobiography & starts with ME getting handcuffed during my first psychotic break in front of Starbucks on Connecticut Avenue in Dupont circle. I am not sure how it ends – it’s about reclaiming my divine birthright; peace, joy, freedom and laughter! I started on this path with a cleanse at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali in February of 2014 and I aim to finish it!

What are your ambitions for your projects? …Ugh – I’d like to make a blockbuster! Did I just admit that? Is that a “flag”, I am Bipolar ya know… All joking aside, who wouldn’t? And in the process, I’d like to make my little sister famous! She has all the skills, as she is an actress AND looks like ME?! Do forgive me for just addressing one project here BUT that’s a pretty enormous ambition! No? My Screenplay, it’s also an insiders guide to how one woman’s hyper alert, idiosyncratic and acutely sensitive manic-depressive mind works! I hope to make what it’s like to be mentally unstable available to more people. To suppress the stigma’s – make mental illness less taboo!

Do you have any political views? All is fair in love & Yoga! And by that I mean, there are different strokes for different folks! I am finding that I mainly vote/ lean one direction but try to see everyone’s point of view and do not side with a political party. Several of my friends & relatives are political die hards and I try to reason with them. But many of you know that that’s pointless! So what do I believe? I believe that all women should have the right to abortion but hope to never have to make that decision myself! I believe that all people should have the right to bear arms but don’t want a gun in the house. God forbid, when I get depressed, I just might use it on myself?! I believe that Education is really important and wish that it was FREE in the USA but that would wreck havoc on our taxes! I am glad to see that Health Insurance is reaching more people now! #GoObamaCare I don’t know if I believe in the death penalty, I think torture is better suited for some! …I support same sex marriage, like I said “All is fair in love & Yoga” – it doesn’t matter to me if some people are born that way or choose that direction later in life! Think that about sums it up… I am really not abreast of what the main issues are! But those are a few that I can think of that are important to ME!

What are your religious views? I have written about them in this blog, but I’ll share what I recently posted about my altar on my Yoga Facebook page here. I think it pretty much sums it up: “I have come to believe that I am a Universalist and believe that our universe, in all it’s glory, is an eternal organism and from it proceeds all life, all consciousness, all creativity… in other words, I believe: ALL is God. On my altar I have a photo of Jesus and a pendant of his mother Mary. (I was raised Catholic, though left the Church shortly after I started yoga in College). You will also find Ganesha, Krishna, Saraswati and of course Buddha up there too. (My husband is Hindu. A Hindu priest married us and another gave my son his name.) I own, but have not read in their entirety, the Holy Bible, a Bhagavad Gita, the Teachings of Buddha & most recently acquired a Qur’an… a close friend and Missionary tells me that I am a Pantheist but I’ll leave that up to you to judge… I promise not to bore you with my spiritual beliefs, in class, but you should trust that they are part of my yogic journey; finding your center is part of yours! Note: that this is intentionally a “Community Page” and I am open to such discussions about God, the Spirit, the Creator of all things, as you like. One thing that I have learned from Yoga since the Summer of 1998 is that WE ARE ONE and in my classes, I will work towards reinforcing that message! Chopra is a huge role model of mine and he often reminds me that we share and are responsible for only ONE World… so kindly keep in mind, as you come to class, that we are in this together!” …imagine that you get the picture!

What do you hope to fulfill in life? I hope to support my husband’s happiness and help make a respectable ‘citizen of the world’ out of my son! …I hope to follow the instructions that my Grandpa Bud gave me and do a job, any job, well! …he really haunts me sometimes, God rest his soul, often I put in the extra effort! You know, tie a pretty ribbon on the package. I could learn more from my Mom; she ties the best ribbons! Trust, I know, this list is not that “lofty” but they are the first things that come to mind!

Do you have any hobbies? Kindly see “What do you live for?” AND “What project ‘s’ are you working on?” above. ;) …the head of Human Resources at my first real job, in Rockefeller Center, told me that smart people usually answer questions before they are asked! Guess this proves that I am SMART? …I have been trying to prove that my whole life! Now my life is complete! …I might not know where Madagascar is nor who fought in the French Revolutionary War ;) but I do know some things!

In your spare time what artists do you listen to? A lot of 5 Seconds of Summer, Green Day & Pink lately! My four (4) year old son loves them… but when I get to choose it’s Pink Martini and Florence + the Machine… REM, Blondie, David Bowie, Eurythmics, Neil Diamond, George Michael & the Eagles when I am feeling nostalgic.

Any closing statements? Please note that I stole these questions from Vonj, out right! There is no shame in stealing! Everyone needs inspiration sometimes… that said, you can find his original post here! I may have just stumbled upon him but I <3 what I’ve seen… http://vonjproductions.com/in-troduction/

The path to wisdom

namaste

Can you have balance in warrior three (3) if the chemicals in your head are out of whack? Can you find a moment of silence, peace if you will, out of your tree pose if your mind is fettered?? Can you choose to act kindly and with compassion when you really want to lament the torture that you have been asked to endure? The answer, in my experience, is a resounding YES!

There are days that I may be more easily distracted but to clear the channels between my thoughts, I find my drishti. I focus my gaze on one spot and/or lower my eyelids once I assume a particular posture to dampen the visual noise of the teacher walking around or my son’s toys on the floor.

I have learned to do the same when the unhealthy voices in my head cloud/blur reality. In recent years, I have learned to put up imaginary blinders when outside running my errands. Often I have had to use my hands to shield my eyes, to tune in/focus, and tune out the cacophony around me. Rather than running home and hiding underneath my blanket, I find accomplishing the chores I set out to do, in the midst of troubled moments, helps me feel better about myself. It helps me feel functional when I am truly dysfunctional.

Many a years I have practiced yoga, budokon and other forms of seated and or walking meditations hypno-manic and/or moderately depressed and I have found that it helps me to go with the flow. Being present helps me to keep my shit together! Constantly opening myself to what the Universe is offering me both in the grand scheme, i.e. life lessons, and even the littlest, tiniest, everyday things like being kind to the grocery clerk when he drops my eggs allows me to walk steadfastly on the path towards spiritual growth and development.

Often I roll out my mat surrendering myself to the Universe, with the centering thought let’s see where this will lead… I practice knowing that the physical postures will rub off on my innermost being and help to make all of my endeavors easier, effortless and more natural.

The stability that I have found through a hearty yogic practice has helped me get in touch with who I really am. More recently I am incorporating the eight (8) limbs of yoga by limiting my meat, caffeine & alcohol intake and bringing my attention to moments when I might want to lie or lust after something. I feel it clearing, purifying, my mind, body and soul. I am lighter. Soon I’ll levitate. ;) Actually they are just tools, merely observations; demonstrations that cause less harm and bring me closer to the truth, my truth.

It has taken years to get closer to answering “what is my calling” but I have found that the asana’s align us to something greater; our true self… God, if you will… that help the answer become clearer! It’s a process, an exercise (pun intended) that is constantly unfolding.

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Patanjali claims true yoga is a union with the Source of all things. And that is why many yogi’s consciously, or unconsciously, often begin and end class bowing to ones intention, teacher and fellow students with their hands in a prayer position reciting the Sanskrit word Namaste. Namaste loosely translates to ‘the light/divinity within me bows to the light/divinity within you’.

Many a Eastern Indian walk around every day tossing around this greeting unaware of it’s true meaning?! Further, I am finding that a great deal of people don’t know that in it’s simplest form yoga translates to union… for many it is a scared act but it doesn’t have to be. In my experience it has also been a protective measure that I have taken to harness my mental health. To suspend time, to release control, to let go of my daemons… to offer up my oh so common and not so common inadequacies of being mentally ill.

For me being stable is really about having balanced lifestyle: a little bit of medicine, a little bit of sunlight, healthy eats and exercise. A yogic mindset is my partner in crime that helps me battle everyday depression, stresses and anxieties. It reminds me to return to the breath; to find calmness over calamity. I find if I do not fuel my paranoia but rather fuel my core muscles and incidentally spiritual being – I am stronger… fitter to cope with life’s challenges!

The jury is out if Yoga can be a panacea but Chopra, Harvard University and other teams are working to find out if it can be… In the mean time, don’t just listen to me but read these two articles below. They may encourage you to roll out a mat of your own or to sit quietly to make your mind a better place!

http://healthland.time.com/2013/01/28/yoga-and-the-mind-can-yoga-reduce-symptoms-of-major-psychiatric-disorders/

http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1891271,00.html