Being Bipolar isn't EASY

and the Art of Slowing it Down

Tag Archives: Spirituality

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.

Accep(s)tance

Acceptance

 

Note to reader: And this was written a whole two (2) years ago. Couldn’t tell you when?! #sigh I love a good time stamp.

. . .

I learned to be grateful for Macau the hard way! L.R. Knost reminded ME of that: “Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.”

 

It’s the “ordinary and mundane and routine” that I have struggled with being an expat in Macau! To digress, it’s the reason that I think I drink. Outside the pollution, Macau isn’t all that bad!! I am most grateful to not have to wear a facemask like many routinely do in Beijing…

 

I have already spoken about not being able to communicate to the locals; I was learning Hindi to speak to my in-laws upon arrival, so I never picked up Cantonese. To date, I can say maybe three (3) words after four (4) years?! You can trust that I use them a lot! Good Morning = Jo Sun. Hello = Ni Hao. And Thank you = Um Goi Sai. …I am most grateful for Google Translate! You would be too if you lived here! There are too many characters in the Chinese alphabet to count.

 

IF you are following ME on Facebook, on the BP Magazine page, you’ll note that I have mentioned that my five (5) year old son cannot run on the grass in the local parks but what I didn’t mention is that we have a lovely resort that we can take a soccer ball to play with on a beautiful lawn after a lovely Sunday brunch. In retrospect, we don’t do that enough as it’s it next to a VERY polluted beach. <Insert sigh> Yes, we have beach, sounds exotic but it’s not, but I will not allow our family to go in the water!

 

This one (1) time & only one (1) time we went to see a play. For my birthday, my husband took ME to see a play about the mentally ill to inspire ME in writing my own story, a Screenplay, an autobiography. My (embellished) autobiography in which I hope to, for the first time admit by blurring the lines of reality, provide an insider’s guide to the inner working of one BP mind and not the events as they passed.

 

Am now I am living a life practically, not entirely unlike John Nash, free from the ‘agents’ that were following ME and my conspiracies in the USA!

 

But if I am honest a neurological pathway has been eroded and still, some days I see t-shirts, most are in English, and I think that they are wearing it for ME!? And while I am being honest, sometimes I take note of neighboring apartments, one in particular, with their lights on in the middle of the night when my insomnia hits & I question, repeatedly, is there someone in there on an assignment watching ME?!

 

And then I check to see if I took my medication and remind myself that it is only ME that is doing the watching! Gratefully I can live with it now; it does not drive ME crazy anymore. It’s not weird, nor scary. It’s my new normal… a breathtakingly beautiful take on ME & my “ordinary” reality.

 

Is God out there or in here?

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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.

Break on Through

 

If your familiar with my older posts – you’ll take note that it’s been a while since I opened with a song. Hope your glad to have it back! This one touched me deep inside recently as I am working on breaking on through to the other side… Gratefully I have been coping for a long while but think I am in the final stages of gaining life long stability through introducing a daily routine and continuing with my gratitude practice. Not unlike how recovering alcoholics prey for their sobriety morning & night.

 

With that I will share that it was only after reading this I realized that I am just TOO HARD on myself!? http://www.mysticalraven.com/inspirational/19-signs-youre-doing-better-than-you-think/

 

And so I will try to take a deep breath, now and again, when life presents me with another challenge and continue! Our breath is and always has been our gift in this life!!

 

  1. I am alive; and for a Bipolar that is significant. I have contemplated suicide more than once.
  2. I am able to see the sunrise, alone in the comfort of my home with a cuppa joe. But a glass of wine, usually cooking at sunset?!
  3. I am able to hear birds sing if I pay very close attention and waves crash if I go to a beach of any significance. I have never really been a beach bum!
  4. I can walk outside and feel the breeze through my hair… sometimes I notice it when I don’t have my nose in my phone?! I will try to not the sun’s warmth on my skin more often!
  5. I have tasted the sweetness of a chocolate cake & living in macao, I miss a good chocolate cake!? Thanks for reminding me. :|
  6. I never go to sleep hungry, unless I am dieting, and for that I am so very sploit.
  7. I did awake this morning in my family bed with the roof still over our heads. My son & I try to remember to thank the Universe for this daily.
  8. I always have a choice re: how to express myself and for this too, I am so very sploit.
  9. No, I haven’t feared for my life today.
  10. I have overcome some considerable obstacles, however innocuous they have been and I have survived. Am still evaluating the learning curve. ;p
  11. I have ambition, passion, drive and thte freedom to make my own choices!
  12. I don’t live in China… Macau isn’t China!
  13. I am strong & healthy! Although you may be hearing from me more soon, I have to get foot surgery & will be strapped close to my apartment in a cast for a month!
  14. I have a family of nine (9) whom misses ME and is looking forward to spending some time together around the holidays.
  15. …uh, no. Maybe not, at 42 I don’t reminisce much yet.
  16. …uh, again no. The drinking water in Macau is the shit of the litter. We get everything that China doesn’t want. BUT I know what you mean, it’s clear.
  17. I have high quality medical care and insurance that covers most of it! This is a blessing!
  18. Geeze! Sadly this is a BIGGIE!! I don’t know what I do without the internet.
  19. I can read and I am very proud that I taught my son to read at four (4) by simply tracing sentences with my fingers.

 

Note to reader: I encourage you to elaborate on your own answers as I did. And I encourage you to write them down!

 

Forty (40) Questions that will quiet your mind

So I just completed this questionnaire. http://www.the-open-mind.com/40-questions-that-will-quiet-your-mind/ You don’t have to write it & post it in your blog like I am doing but you should really take twenty (20) and try answering the questions too! Note to reader: It got hard at the end, I had to go back & think harder about some of the questions but most of them came to me effortlessly. I am glad that I made the time for it! The opening was my hook, line & sinker: “Judge a person by their questions, rather than their answers … because asking the right questions is the answer.”

1. In one sentence, who are you? I am a creative, impatient, generous soul.
2. In one word, what do you live for? Family.
3. What is worth the pain? Make up sex.
4. What will you never give up on? Love.
5. What do you always try to avoid? Ignorant people.
6. What’s something you take for granted every day? My breath.
7. What do you need most right now? Sleep.
8. What’s the best advice you have ever given yourself? Count your blessings.
9. Happiness is a ________? Cuddle.
10. What would you immediately do differently if you knew no one would judge you? Where shorts.
11. What kind of people does the world need more of? People like ME.
12. What does beautiful look like in the dark? Empty.
13. What is the most beautiful thing you’ve seen today? (This one is a little forced…) My naked body.
14. What’s one problem you’re thankful you don’t have? Childhood trauma.
15. What’s something nobody could ever steal from you? My creativity.
16. Who would you like to forgive right now? Myself.
17. What is the most valuable life lesson you learned from a mistake? We have many soul mates.
18. Happiness is not ________? Constant.
19. Love is not ________? Worthless.
20. Who are you grateful for? My husband.
21. What is something you wish for everyone you love? To see the real ME.
22. What impact do you want to leave on the people you love? An indelible impression that they matter.
23. What’s something simple that makes you smile? A wild flower.
24. Life is too short to tolerate _______? Republicans. (Drew a blank here, so took a cheap shot.)
25. What’s something negative you think about too often? Why doesn’t anyone understand me? (I am most certainly flawed but filled with good intentions.)
26. What’s something positive you try to keep in mind when negativity surrounds you? God made me this way.
27. What’s something you’ve grown to appreciate, as you’ve grown older? Listening takes time. (I really need to re-read that!)
28. What’s something that used to scare you, but no longer does? Sleeping in the dark.
29. My life would be a lot different without _______? My son.
30. What gives you hope? The sunrise.
31. What do you have total confidence in? My marriage. (It has taken me years to say that!)
32. What chance are you given every single day? To start anew.
33. What do you want to remember forever? The support I got from my parents.
34. What do you appreciate most about your current situation? That I am a pedestrian.
35. What do you always look forward to? My husband coming home after work.
36. What the world needs now is _______? More yoga.
37. What recently reminded you of how fast time flies? Seeing an application I submitted over eighteen (18) months ago.
38. If you were going to die at midnight, what would you be doing at 11:45pm? Gently resting nestled in the arms of my loved ones.
39. What’s something everyone should be able to say before they die? Don’t give up.
40. What’s something that doesn’t have an ending? Soul searching.

got a bathtub?

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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.”

Life is a dance

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After reading this post, you may add “snob” to my growing list of nicknames – it wouldn’t be the first time. In college I wouldn’t eat a bagel outside of NYC – forget the frozen ones… & when I lived in PHX, second retirement capitol in the USA to LV, I imported my coffee from Portland on a small Architectural salary while my ex boyfriend, Scum Lazy-Ass Moron, covered my rent!?

So you can only imagine that the story now continues. Sadly I have to accept that in some ways I have changed very little. After all that I have seen in my short forty-one (41) years, I have a really hard time saying that developing countries are “beautiful”! It’s somewhat technical and most certainly reflective of my quest for the perfect words in life but in my narrow world view, I think there should be another word for them… Ever since my first trip to India, in 2009, I have been searching for a new term!

I’d like to say that the people and the experiences they afford are beautiful; and IMO they have been and continue to be – unforgettably so, but I am beginning to wonder if I only appreciate them because I grew up in America, in an arguably privileged household.

It’s not just mainstream Design/Architecture that is missing in third world countries but on average much of the landscapes are barren and dry, the infrastructure is sometimes poorly designed but most often tattered & many of the people, it fascinates me to note through their endless smiles, look tired and their street clothes are often dingy – forever spoiled by the inordinate amount of hand washing.

If that last paragraph makes you feel disdain for me, please consider forgiving me, I am only now finally beginning to understand that I am one of those “Sploit American’s” that so much of the world snickers about.

Short of taking away from that acknowledgment; I’d like to come full circle and back to what place this post has in a bipolar blog…

As I lay in bed and reflect on the theme of my accepted Screenplay and autobiography let me remember what Arianna Hufgington said: ‘Life is a Dance Between Making It Happen & Letting It Happen’… Although I have just begun to tap into my hero’s message, my understanding is that it has something to do with answering the questions: “What is really important?”

Many of you might think that I should have arrived at the answer by now but I am still on this road hoping to learn to pass with less judgement and deeply accept that although we share so many commonalities, our countries, our families, our afflictions are so very different! And short of rejecting myself and diving off the deep end into a pity party, that’s what I think that we all need to embrace. Like them or not, our differences make the world go around!

And with the recognition of that at 3am, I am going to close my eyes and pray. I am going thank our dearest Universe for my teachers – my lessons then & my lessons now. I want to thank the Creator of all things for the extraordinary gift of travel, I feel light years ahead of where I could have been if I were held captive in my homeland. I want to ask that the Spirit Guides and Deities help me to keep it real & to share the finer things that are within my control; appreciation, compassion and love for one another – may it come to me freely and easily. But most importantly I need to remember to thank God for bringing me here to the tip of this iceberg; hopefully I’ll figure out what life is all about, act accordingly & grow deeply and profoundly beyond my wildest dreams!

Note to reader: The picture above was taken on my first elephant trek! Imagine your own possibilities as you realise that little girl from Akron Ohio road an elephant in Thailand!

Call ME Cliff

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Pippi not working for you? So, Call ME Cliff!

When I met my husband on Match.com my ID was “Call ME Cliff”. What his was doesn’t matter it wasn’t nearly as… foretelling. (Note to reader: Today I just call him Roadblock!?!?) The nickname was coined by one of my previous boyfriends on a day that my patience wore thin with grocery store or fast food restaurant clerks behind cash registers.

For me it was a red flag; i.e. “you don’t want to mess with this one” – I wasn’t looking for love, I was just looking to get out of my parents house but my now husband, and gratefully only third (3rd) Match.com date, was totally fooled by the fitted pink dress that I wore to our first date. It’s actually a very funny story that I may someday find an avenue to share here but for now, let’s do what I love to do here in this blog, and back up the message in this post with support from the Huffington Post! Kindly read:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html

I didn’t just stumble upon this but a ‘friend’ posted it on Facebook recently and I really found it so very thought provoking that I too wanted to SHARE somewhere where it mattered. I read it in the morning but by nightfall it had me thinking a lot about the nurture side of my “bipolar” issues.

Note to reader: You may have to do some brain crunches & twists to catch up with me but in my minds eye the article could easily have been written about people with mental illnesses. As I couldn’t agree more that AA is so very helpful for alcoholic souls as I believe it is in AA that they get the connection/ attention they have/ had been missing.

By the grace of God I got my connection/ attention at birth! Compared to other stories that I have heard, especially stories from the mentally ill in Psychiatric Wards, I really had an idyllic childhood. My Mom was a stay-at-home-mum (SAHM) and my Dad took each of us girls out on Daddy-daughter dates as often as his job could afford. Some of my favorite memories are of the magic environment that my Mom created in our home at Christmas through her incessant obsession with decorating our home around the holidays. Another is getting fresh bagel’s with my Dad on Sunday mornings, can’t recall if that was before or after church…

That said, my parents may have uprooted our family a great deal and really upset my primary school education by moving from place to place but I think that I turned out all right. Even my older sister turned out all right and she went to five (5) high schools.

I may have lost best friend after best friend during those formative years and started retaliating by smoking cigarettes at twelve (12) behind the roller rink but I finally found one (1) best friend that has stuck through all my relocations for the last twenty-six (26) years and I have much healthier ways to cope with stress today; screw the yoga if I am honest at any given moment I just reach for Facebook instead of a cigarette. Lol; I should carry my mat around town with me and practice more yoga!

But back to my family & the environment that my parents afforded ME.

Moving may have been disruptive but in retrospect I see that as a result from bouncing place to place I became independent and self-reliant because I had a safe haven at home, wherever my home was. My family was always extremely supportive and caring behind the scenes. They were never in my business, nor in my face. They allowed me to take chances and make mistakes and were always there to help pick up the pieces when I dropped the ball or better found an ice pack when I fell on my face.

After I graduated Architecture School, I was not shy about uprooting myself and moving across the country in order to enable my career. These expanded experiences further contributed to being the individual that I am today. I may be acutely idiosyncratic and hyper sensitive, all characteristics which came before my bipolar diagnosis, but I learned that I need not follow the crowd and routinely made/ make my own decisions that are in keeping with being true to ME. All because my upbringing gave me confidence that that was okay; I was always encouraged to aim high and follow my dreams.

And so after graduating with distinction from DAAP, in 1998, I aligned myself with award winning design firms and learned to approach my career with the same grace that my parents raised me. When I was employed as a Project Architect I was sensitive to the client and project demands. In many ways I see that I managed my projects, as I would have a child – with the client’s & their projects best interest not as per my agenda.

But I don’t know if any of this would have made much sense as I grew without my foundation, my faith in God. At a young age I found Jesus, thanks to my Mom dragging me to church every week. My friends and I often went to 7am mass, before school, when we could drive. And as a consequence my Father later converted to Catholicism in small part due to the faith that he saw that I possessed.

If you have been following ME here, you know today my religion is rather nebulous. We have a non-denominational altar at home and I am teaching my son about all the different gods and deities. I am teaching him how to center himself for a few moments, take a few deep breaths and be respectful and grateful to the powers that be. Hell, I am even teaching him how to pray and I am not sure that I really know how to pray anymore. We are making it up as we go along.

My heart goes out to all the mentally ill that weren’t as lucky as I growing up. God knows that I wish that they had it as well as I had it and continue to do so. Further, I so hope that the Huffington Post article gets people started thinking. I hope people: parents, educators, architects and interior designers alike become increasingly more mindful about the environments that they are creating for the generations to come!

If you have not read the Huffington Post article above; please don’t close this window yet but take a minute read it now!!

An Interview with ME

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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/

Sacred Ground

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So Caroline Myss pictured here, an American author, posted on FB the other day: “If I may, I would like to ask a question of all of you and share the reason I am asking.

I had a conversation with someone quite special to me about the power of prayer and its capacity to actually influence anything at all, much less change in the world or a person’s health or the quality of someone’s life. Admittedly there is no way to produce evidence in such an argument. We’ve all heard that adage, “All we can do now is pray,” or “I’ll pray for you.”

The other night, a dear friend shared something I deeply understood. She is presently going through a difficult passage and she sent out word to her close group of friends for prayer support, knowing they would indeed pray for her. They would not just promise prayers; they would offer them for her and she would receive a down pouring of grace. She trusted them and she had faith in that grace. It did not occur to her that any of her friends made that promise to her casually. They would keep their word.

In my conversation about prayer with the friend I mentioned earlier, I said that there is no hard core proof and perhaps that is why commitment to prayer is often well-meaning but an oh-well type of thing. And it is in our nature to want to see proof – always that irritant of physical proof. But proof tends to translate in seeing the evidence that we are getting what we want.

Prayer is a funny sort of thing. It is like talking to air and musing with the stars at night. And yet, a presence is there, hiding behind the walls of the imagination. So I ask you, is prayer something real for you?

I am especially interested, as I am teaching an upcoming class on Spiritual Direction. I have waited a while to teach this class but I feel that so many people are really seeking the type of direction that comes from the tools of that knowledge bank.

Prayer is certainly one of them but so is deep listening to your inner nature. I’ll speak about that in my next post. For now, I would really appreciate it if you would share your thoughts about prayer.

I love the way the old guard used to speak and so I leave you with this blessing: Blessed be the journey that has taken you so far along in your life. Blessed be the willingness and fortitude you have to face each day. And blessed be the goodness in you to want to rest on sacred ground.”

AND

My response was: “I don’t pray traditionally much these days – instead I offer things up… I was raised Roman Catholic but found Yoga in College (‘98) which naturally redirected my spiritual path towards Hinduism & Buddhism…

To give you an example: when I was married, to an Indian, by a Hindu priest (‘09), I was told to whisper what I wanted most in the world into the ear of an animal, forgot which now… as I have not revisited the temple since.

Then on my wedding night I kicked over a metal vase filled with rice and coins in it to symbolize attracting children into our home… it may be important to note that i had had two (2) surgeries for chocolate cysts and endometriosis – my fertility at the time was questionable but we gratefully naturally conceived a little miracle!

… I have a non denominational altar and i pay homage to it most mornings while reciting my gratitude for my/our blessings & the deities support but I don’t think that that’’s “prayer”.

Instead I think I am drawing inward and outward… opening myself up to life’s beauties and mysteries.

Even as recently as last month I went to some holy waters in Bali. there, we didn’t pray either, a Balinese man told me that it was customary to just focus on what I wanted to attract into my life as we bathed under the mini waterfalls…

I had a plan, I knew what I wanted, so I asked the Creator of All that is and ever will be IF he/she wills it that my son should have a sibling… the jury is still out but I’ll let you know if it works! ;0″

What do you guys think? How do you make ‘prayer’ a part of your life, your rituals?? Do you think that it helps the Bipolar, believing in something greater?

I hope you’ll share but I want to reiterate: “Blessed be the journey that has taken you so far along in your life. Blessed be the willingness and fortitude you have to face each day. And blessed be the goodness in you to want to rest on sacred ground.”